Thursday, December 3, 2015

Moving a Leader and Ender Project closer to the finish line

This little leader and ender project was just the ticket this week. I had all the components sewn it just needed assembly. So I arranged  it on the design bed, numbered the rows and stitched it together. One of my quilting buddies gave me the scraps that I used to make this one. I cut pieces 1 1/2" by 3 1/2". There are 110 blocks so I set it 10 blocks by 11 rows. Once it is quilted it will be a Project Linus quilt or a Scrapbag Quilters baby quilt. Piecefully, Joanne

Monday, November 30, 2015

Saying goodbye after close to 68 years

This "selfie" was taken when my sister and I visited our brother last summer. Sadly Bill passed away early Sunday morning. So Linda and I will make one more trip south of the border to say good bye. Bill would have been 68 on Saturday. He had his struggles but also had a heart of gold. I will miss him. Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thoughts on Leaders and Enders and the 200th post

This little quilt started its life as a leader and ender project. It was a bag of blue and green and white triangles. So first leader/ender task was to make them into half square triangles. That took a while. Then those triangles were grouped into likes and made into pinwheels. Then I looked at them and thought they were too small to do anything with them so added "sides" to make them a little bigger. Each additional piece was added as a leader/ender. I did have the nerve to go back to the person who had given me the original baggie and ask if she had any more pieces that matched to get enough of the right colours and then added from my stash.The borders came from my stash. Sometimes you are saving a piece for some unknown reason. I thought the outer border this time was just right. this is ready to give to Project Linus at our next Kincardine Sunset Quilters Guild meeting.
And my thoughts on Leaders and Enders. I prefer not to leave home without them. I have several cut out and in small containers ready to take to workshops or group sewing events.
And if that is not enough excitement for the day according to Blogger this is my 200th post. I think I do repeat myself but my original intent was to record finishes. This year there have been fewer finishes than I would like but there are a ton of tops waiting for their finish. I have a list today for the Scrapbag Quilters to get batting cut. My Bernina has died and I am now learning to use my little Lotus by Elna for the machine quilting. It is not the same but I think we will come to terms with each other.
So thank you followers for taking the ride with me. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking up with cynthia at Quilting is More fun than Housework (here)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Hop is on this week

This is one of my favourite blocks from the last round of testing. If I took better photos you would realize this flower looks much like a poppy. With this year being the 100th anniversary of the writing of In Flander's Field by John Macrae, and my sister having the roll of chair of the Guelph events to celebrate that occasion the block just resonated with me. I tested about 13 blocks for this issue. I have said many times it continues to amaze me how many talented designers are out there and the original designs they continue to come up with. Testing is well under way for Volume 13. So to date 1200 new blocks or variations on traditional blocks and new ones still arriving. To visit the blog hop drop around to Quiltmaker's blog (here) .
Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Two workshops in less than a week

I had the good fortune to attend a workshop given by Lorna McMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts (here) to the Kincardine Sunset Quilters Guild. I was recovering from a bad gut so did not have my usual pep and did leave mid afternoon to drive home but what a fun day. In the photo Lorna and I are holding up a sample of the quilt we worked on. Her original was done in blues and of course with my stash habits blue it was to be. I have all the pieces cut out and two rows stitched together. Lorna did a great job of circulating and making sure everyone was comfortable sewing all those triangles together.
Now with winter  approaching my workshop outings will be limited to my personal sewing room and getting some things finished over the winter. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Modern Quilt Workshop

Cheryl Arkison, co author of Sunday Morning Quilts was presenting a couple of workshops in St. Mary's this past week. One of my friends lives about 15 minutes away from the workshop venue so I asked if she would put me up for a couple of nights and return email said "sure". So I signed up for the Values workshop. I don't think I will ever get to be an Improv quilter. We were to bring a stack of 6 1/2" squares to the workshop. Of course I dug into my blue scrap stash and went to town. And further of course I was the only participant who went monochromatic but that's OK. We sorted our squares and used one of those Smart phones to take a picture and then turn it into gray scale. people shared their phones which was nice. And others explained to phone owners how to do this on their phones. Then we paired things up made a whole lot of half square triangles. Cheryl demonstrated (very fluidly) how to make several different arrangements using the half square triangles we had made. My first tentative design is on my design wall behind us. I want to do an asymmetric design with this but the design wall was not big enough. I have a ton of half square triangles ready to use and hope to get to this over the winter one of those days when the wind is howling and we don't even want to look out the window.
The other thing to mention was the age of the workshop participants. About half of them were young enough I could have been their Mom and the other half was my vintage. This tells me that the quilting bug has bitten and the next generation is ready to take it on. I was very happy to see that. I thoroughly enjoyed my day. It is fun to spend time playing with like minded people and to NOT be in charge. I could just sew and play. It was a great day! I understand some plans are in the wind to get Cheryl back to southern Ontario in the future. I for one would be looking forward to that. Piecefully, Joanne

Monday, October 26, 2015

Are you ticklish?

Well here is another feather to tickle your fancy. I tested this for Kristy at Quiet Play(here). She is hoping to have it in her shop around the first of November. It was a breeze to put together. The finished size is 5" by 10". There are several "feather" designs out there. I particularly liked the overall shape of this one. And of course it is paper pieced.
Much more testing happening here as the testing for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 13 is underway. Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A little more testing fun

This lovely 12" paper pieced block was designed by Kristy at Quiet Play. She had a few out for testing and I was able to snag this one. As I have come to expect from her designs it went together beautifully. The one mistake I have spotted is mine and not hers. The other designs she had out were a mermaid, a cat  looking out a window and of all things a pig. I don't know where the other designs are in the testing process but eventually they will be available through her store.
I have done a couple of "I cannot talk about it" tests this month too. Enough said.
On the home front we continue to have our lesser moments. I would show my wrist from the attempted insertion of an IV drip but I might lose the limited readership I already have. I had not planned on a three day stay at the local hospital but that was what happened last weekend. They do look after you well there but I am happy to be home and on the mend.
I taught a strings workshop for my Guild this month and also had my turn for the Scrapbag group project. So a lot of preparation. Both events went well.
Bill and I got away for a shortened trip to Stratford. We went on the light side for this year's entertainment and saw Carousel and Sound of Music. The only down part was that our friend Ray was not well enough to travel from Cincinnati to enjoy the shows. He is hoping for next year. It is the first year he has missed in the 40 since he started driving up here.
I am hoping October brings some finishes. I have 2 three day get a ways with different sewing buddies so maybe there is hope. Piecefully, Joanne

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Working with some strings

I am giving a string quilt workshop at my guild in a couple of weeks. My samples are ready. In the morning we will make four basic styles of strings and in the afternoon I plan to give them some ideas about where to go for further inspiration. There are always more stings so hopefully this will be helpful to some for their scrap management. Piecefully, Joanne

Friday, September 4, 2015

September brings out the Lion, too late to be a Leo

I tested this block for Kristy at Quiet Play when she was getting ready for her Zoo Animal series. So it was done a long time ago. He was a challenge because of the set up for his mane. I was trying for different colours. I got it more or less right. All short comings would be mine not the designers.
Other than that I have been working on samples for the store (Shoreline Quilts in Port Elgin), doing some testing for Fandom in Stitches and for Cora's Gypsy Queen Mystery. What I really need to do in the final third of the year is finish some of my tops. My 60+ year old Bernina has officially died or at least that is what the repair man said. He indicated the motor was the problem and that could not be replaced because of the age of the machine. That is the machine I did my machine quilting on so I have not come to terms with how I will deal with this problem.
Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A little more fun with scraps

This top is now ready to quilt. It began its life as a baggie of bonus triangles in blue/green/white. I used them as Leaders and Enders to make Half Square triangles. From there they went to pinwheels. Once that was done I thought they were a little small to make a quilt top so I got nervy and asked Mary if she had any more left overs from her triangle donation. She did and I added from my collection. The borders came from my scraps too although it is almost embarrassing to mention the date on the selvage of the blue green wavy outer border. The resulting top is 34" by 37". Personally I love the colours. when it is quilted it will go to Project Linus.
In non-quilty news I had a birthday this week. Next birthday a decade will change. The whole family came to celebrate with me which was very nice. The boys stayed the rest of the week. DH will take them home tomorrow so no more LEGO in the family room or forts with the couch cushions. Well that is until they return towards the end of the week.
I think my big job next week will be organizing my "Strings" workshop and making certain my samples are up to snuff. Piecefully, Joanne

Linking up with Cynthia's Oh scrap! (here)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A finish is a good thing, even if it is a small finish

This little doll quilt is ready to go in the mail for its new owner. The pink squares were all 2 1/2" pieces. The blue beside each pink square came from a bag of 1" strips someone gave me at quilt guild. I don't remember who. The inner border is scrappy pinks and the binding is also scrappy pinks. It continues to amaze me how many quilt tops (and quilts) I make with pink in them when I don't recall buying any quantity of pink fabric. I do keep it separate when it is given to me so maybe that is how I end up with so much.
It looks like a busy week ahead so it remains to be seen how much sewing gets done. I have a test quilt with an August 14 deadline so I suspect that will take up any stitching time I can find. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking up with Cynthia's Oh Scrap! at

Sunday, August 2, 2015

I don't think I have ever met a blue I didn't like

And today I can also say I am loving the blue/green colours. At the end of May when we were at the retreat in Tobermory a quilter who was getting out of quilting offered us her fabric. We all had a great time. When I can pick I go for the blue/green/purple side of things and sometimes brown. Last night I prewashed all the blues and today all the blue/greens are on the clothes line. The blues are pressed and I will cut them as the day goes by. The hard part for me is taking them from a big bag of stuff to something I can use. This time I am going to cut 10", 5",2 1/2" and 1 1/2" strips. Gudrun Erla is starting a quilt along on her new Facebook group that uses left over Layer Cake pieces, hence the need for 10" squares. I don't buy layer cakes as they are terribly expensive here.
The peas are essentially done, the boys are returning tomorrow, and summer is half over. What more can I say. Piecefully, Joanne

Linking up with Cynthia's Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than housework (here)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Quilting takes a back seat for now

Daily task after DH picks the peas is shelling then freezing. These are my favourite vegetable and I love having them over the winter knowing exactly where they came from. the boys were here last week and we will have them up here again in a couple of weeks. Heading to the Cleveland area Tuesday early for a whirlwind trip should be back home on Friday. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Orphan blocks ready for their forever home

A big round of thanks to both Cynthia and Kristel. Cynthia of Quilting is more fun than Housework fame organized an adoption event a few weeks ago. Regular followers of her blog and its Oh Scrap! linky party were offered the opportunity to give away one or more sets of orphan blocks to a new home for completion. Readers visited the blogs and left comments about why they would like to have/finish/complete/use the orphans. I left a couple of comments and was delighted to find out that one set of Kristel's orphan's were coming my way.I love the Bento box design and Kristel had a set of blocks that just needed assembly and quilting. As they say in quilt talk, done and done. This is all labelled, washed and ready to donate.
It was a bit windy when we took the picture so the boys each took a corner to hold it flatter. They are scheduled to be here every other week this summer so it remains to be seen what I will accomplish in between visits.
Linking up later today with Cynthia's Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than Housework. (here)
Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A scrappy selection

Hubby decided it was time for some of my quilt stash to find homes. He selected a large group from the closet and I could pick from those the ones that could move on to new homes. I like to wash my quilts before they leave here. No cats, dogs or smokers but I figure I want them to have the roughest treatment here before they get to somewhere where the treatment may not be gentle. These are primarily lap or baby size quilts. Some will go to the Scrapbag group and others to Project Linus.
Piecefully, Joanne

Linking up with Cynthia's Oh Scrap!  at Quilting is more fun than housework (here)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Inside Out and Fandom in Stitches

I tested Disgust for Katie Olsen one of the Fandom in Stitches designers. She has started doing the characters from the movie Inside Out. (The mistake in this one is mine, not hers). Fandom in Stitches followers can make these designs available for personal use but NOT for sale. So one cannot make and sell any of the images from that site. That being said if you are a fan of paper piecing and you are a fan of Disney, Harry Potter, Sesame Street. Alice in Wonderland, Shrek, etc this is your go to place to find a pattern to use for your personal project. All of the patterns that appear on the Fandom in Stitches web site (here) have been tested before they are made available to download from the site. If you think you would be interested in testing patterns for the talented designers then stop by the Fandom in Stitches Tester page on Facebook and ask to join. There is an expectation that you actually test the patterns and not just get them before anyone else does.
I need to back away from the testing for a bit and get some of my UFO's under control. Piecefully, Joanne
PS With the Minions movie coming out in a few days I sure hope someone does a couple of Minion designs. J

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Zebra Love

This fantastic zebra is a test for Juliet of The Tartankiwi. I can't say enough about how I love her work. Her original is (here). I reversed the colourway and made a rainbow zebra with black and white in the background. I amazed myself with the number of zebra skin types of prints I had collected over the years just waiting to be used. The block is 20" square and paper pieced. I got it a little overcropped for this photo. I wish I were better at that aspect of things.
She is working on a 40" zebra. She has done several other animal blocks, I was fortunate enough to test one of her elephant blocks. She is currently running a Quilt-Along with bird outlines. There is a nominal cost for each pattern.
Other than that is has been a busy quilty week. We had the June meeting of the Scrapbag quilters on Wednesday and on Saturday I taught a beginner quilting class at Shoreline Quilts in Port Elgin (our local quilt shop).
I have decided it is time to take the upper hand with the chaos in my sewing room so there may be more organizing that sewing for the next little while. Piecefully, Joanne
Edited to add a link to Jeneen's Quilt Art Designs Friday Link party.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A little leader and ender fun

The little blocks for this project were assembled leader and ender style. I was gifted with a bag of 1" strips of varying lengths. Corey Yoder (Little Miss Shabby) had a tutorial on the Moda Bake Shop using the 2 1/2" candy squares. So I rummaged through my 2 1/2" squares for all manner of pink ones and made these little blocks that were then assembled into a top. Current size is 18" by 21" but it needs to grow. If it doesn't then it will be a doll quilt for the Salvation Army toy drive next November.
Other than that I have been doing more testing. We have been assigned about half of the blocks for the next Quiltmaker's 100 blocks magazine and I have a couple of paper piecing projects I am testing. For me the only real downside to the testing is that for the most part you can't talk about it. A couple of the designers I test for are happy to have the pre-release buzz happening but most (90+percent) prefer total secrecy prior to the pattern release.
Have also been working on samples for the store (Shoreline Quilts Port Elgin, ON) and taught a bag class last week. So one way and another I am keeping busy. Piecefully, Joanne

Edited to add Linking up with Cynthia's  Oh Scrap! Linky party at Quilting is more fun than Housework here (Oh Scrap!)

Friday, June 5, 2015

the boys are giving me a brain work-out

Our after dinner fun tonight was giving Grandma long division and long multiplication questions and then using a calculator to see if she got the answer correct. I am pleased to report so far I only got one wrong. Guess you can figure there won't be much sewing happening this weekend. Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hands to Help finale for 2015

I did a little laundry today. I like to wash a quilt before it is donated. Nita will be getting the second from the right quilt and the wife of a friend from the gym will be getting the third from the left. The others have not got specific homes yet. Quilts 3,4 and 5 on the line were all Mystery quilts and they turned out OK. Or at least I think they did.
My other donated quilt for Hands to Help this year is going to Project Linus through our quilt guild. I have what feels like a million tops that need quilting so I need to knuckle down and get some more ready to donate. I really feel that is what I should be doing with my time at this point in my life.
I enjoyed a wonderful retreat in Tobermory with some local quilting friends. It was fairly cold so nice to stay inside and get some sewing done. The women who plan this event do such a great job. We ate well, we had fun, we got some work done. And this year we had a totally unexpected surprise. On Saturday afternoon a woman came to the door at the Lodge. She was a quilter who was going out of quilting and giving away what remained of her stash. We were all invited to come to her place at 4:00. We went, we had a ball. She had bags for us and everything was laid out by colour. I got several quilts worth of very nice scraps (fat quarter sized pieces). Everyone got something. Piecefully, Joanne

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A chorus line..... pattern coming soon

Juliet at the Tartankiwi  (  has done it again. This time it is a chorus line with lovely ladies kicking high. The pattern will come with ladies kicking to the right and ladies kicking to the left. There are also several sizes. I tested the 12" by 18" size. There are a couple of very minor tweaks to the printed pattern before the pattern release in the next week or so. And yes it is a paper pieced pattern but everything is so clearly laid out it is really quite easy to construct.
Now for my high kicking chorus line story. About 50 years ago my Dad took our whole family to New York City for a week. It was our first plane ride and we stayed at a downtown hotel. Each day we went into a different area of the city and saw as many of the highlights as we could. One day we went to see the Rockettes at the Radio City Music Hall. I can still remember the precision. Oh my! Sometimes now you can see them doing a little spot on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and when I see that I am taken back to that trip. We packed a whole lot into those five days.
I am off on an extended weekend retreat starting this afternoon. We are focusing on UFO's on this retreat as opposed to creating more UFO's. I had a hard time deciding just what I would take. I think I have enough for a month but who knows. They are calling for rain on Saturday so that should be a good day for sewing. Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Happy Stars pattern release expected soon

Alyce over at Blossom Heart Quilts ( is getting back on the design wagon. I had the opportunity to test this lovely "mini" for her. It is a paper pieced and makes up as a 24" block. She has blogged about her design inspiration today and is expecting to release her pattern soon. I decided to go wild and crazy with my little test, or should I say wild and Happy! I had a big piece of background fabric that had splashes of colour and I pulled colours from that for my bands. Just need to remove the paper and get this one quilted.
I taught another beginner quilting class today. Summer people are arriving in our community and wanting workshops on weekends when they will be at their cottages. Our daughter has lined us up for babysitting every other week this summer so I am already feeling like the Summer of 2015 is going to disappear before it is even here.
Piecefully, Joanne

Friday, May 15, 2015

My tiny (and perhaps virtual) contribution to Spring Market

I tested these two patterns that will make their debut at Quilt Market. The top picture is called Strip Plus and is a table runner from Gundrun Erla's new Stripology2 book. I believe she will also be debuting this pattern in a regular size. Regular meaning using 2 1/2" strips rather than the 1 1/2" strips that her Stripology patterns use. It was a fun little pattern to do. Each of the 6 patterns in the book is presented in 3 different sizes. A mini quilt, a table runner and a baby quilt. The mini's would make cute little doll quilts if there is a little doll lover in your family.
The bigger quilt is called Charlotte's Lace. The pattern was designed by Raija from Quilters' Treasure Chest. She uses a lot of the Deb Tucker rulers in her designs. Her design will be featured in fabric from Timeless Treasures in their booth. It is a complex pattern but the result is worth it.
It is so nice to be able to talk about a test before it becomes a distant memory. I gifted the larger quilt to my sister in law who now shares a birthday with the new Princess Charlotte. The quilt had the name before the new princess arrived. But timely choice of name.
The testing for Quiltmaker's 100 blocks Volume 12 has started so I am back to work on that one. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, May 10, 2015

I am a guest blogger today

Be sure to visit Sarah's Blog (here)  for my guest post for the Hands to Help Quilt Challenge. I talked about my favourite "go to" quilt block for charity quilts. Piecefully, Joanne

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 11 coming out very soon

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Hop is happening this week. Visit their blog at to see who you can visit. This block was one of my favourites from the testing I was assigned. It is called Bicycle Path but when I looked at it I saw tumbling blocks. Testing has started for Volume 12. I can tell you in all certainty that there are still hundreds of talented designers out there. This magazine series has only highlighted a few.  Piecefully, Joanne

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Finally something gets finished

This wee little quilt was a paper piecing test for Janeen at Quilt Art Designs (here). I finished it up with a couple of borders and it is now a good enough size for a small Project Linus donation. I was disappointed in my central yellow star because it rather disappears so I stitched around it with a dark orange and it shows up a little more. The border was a scrap piece donated to the Scrap Bag Quilters that I thought was perfect...oranges, limes and lemons.
The daughter of one of the Kincardine Sunset Quilters is quite technically talented and she made labels for us to use on our donation quilts. All we have to do is add the year.
My two other finishes this week will have to wait. One is a pattern that will debut in the Timeless Treasures booth at the spring Quilt Market and the other project will debut as part of the Stripology2 book that is coming out at Spring Market. I merely tested the patterns for the designers. Piecefully, Joanne
Edited to Link up with Cynthia at Oh Scrap!
Edited again to link up with Janeen at Quilt Art Designs

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Paducah...what can I say?

What an amazing week! Many highs and a few lows. The Kincardine Sunset Quilters Guild left early Wednesday April 22 for Paducah Kentucky. It took us two days to get there. We left the snow behind after the first couple of hours of driving and were treated to beautiful flowering trees, roses in bud, irises, and all manner of spring flowers. (Of course we did return 6 days later to no leaves on the tress, no flowers in bloom and the ice back in at the shoreline).
The group attended the National Quilt Museum (unfortunately my bad gut decided that was a good time to make an appearance). But after that episode I was able to take in most of the rest of the experience. For the quilt show itself I found there were so many amazing quilts it was overwhelming. As any of my blog followers know I am not an art quilter so really felt out of my league. The quilts were beautifully displayed and you could get a good look at them. We went early in the day before it got too crowded.
I got to meet Marie Bostwick at a book signing booth. She was a delight and I purchased her latest book, The Second Sister. I met Shannon of Fabrics 'n Quilts. We were in the same tester group for Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks magazine a couple of years ago. She now runs a Scrap Quilt Challenge. Visit her blog or her store web site for further details (
Our bus driver was a quilter so we had not trouble convincing her to make a couple of stops at Hancocks of Paducah. Our hotel was actually quit close to Hancock's. Our hotel was the worst thing about Paducah. Our entire bus was made up of non-smokers so it was a horrible shock to find out that our travel company had signed a contract permitting the hotel to put us in smoking rooms. Our poor tour guide was totally blind sided. 10 women from our group went to another hotel altogether for the second and third nights of our stay.
This was likely my last big trip of this kind. I am getting older and the knees don't want to wander around as much as they did a few years ago. The younger ones on the bus were talking about Houston in three years so never say never. Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Leaders and Enders a continuing battle to use up the little bits

I am back to making windmill blocks. This time I decided I should be a little "controlling". So the background pieces are various neutrals in the beige range of colours and the blades for the windmills are blue. Any blue, just need 4 the same, although when I was talking to someone on the weekend she was going to try scrappy blades. I am not certain I am there yet. All my pieces are cut 1 1/2" by 2 1/2". I do have some L&E that I am working with that are 1 1/2" square but I can't bring myself to go any smaller. To do this effectively you need the pieces ready to sew and you must be patient. A few at a time while the main project is happening. Otherwise you have two projects that you are trying to complete.
Today I am packing my suitcase and picking up a few last minute things at the store. Tomorrow the Kincardine Sunset Quilters bus trip to Paducah leaves town. The weather here is looking yechy so I hope we drive out of that. Have checked the Paducah weather and it looks like some rain is in the forecast but milder temperatures than we are having. Looking forward to this great adventure. I just hope my knee holds up. Piecefully, Joanne

Linking with A Quilting Chick for her leader and ender project

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My G7

Sometimes life gifts you and I feel as though I have been gifted with my own G7, not to be confused with what most of the world sees as G7. My G7 started just over 25 years ago when 14 grade 7 & 8 Family Studies (Home Economics) teachers got together to share teaching ideas. Most of us knew one other person at the three day session but no one knew everyone in attendance. At that time most grade 7 & 8 Family Studies teachers were the only one in their school, so unlike a Math or Language teacher you did not have anyone close by that could help you implement new ideas or share strategies with. We had such a great time and got so many ideas at the first event we decided to do it again. Now, 25 years later we are all retired, our numbers are stabilized at 7 and we call our selves the G 7 because it is simpler than Grade Seven and Eight and Nine Teachers group. We have been SET, then SENT but G7 works for us now.
This past weekend we had another get together. What a great time! We share the cooking duties and everyone brings their sewing machines and their works in progress. No two members of the group work in the same style so it is like a mini quilt show to see what every one is working on. This time we also took in a play at the local theatre. Once we knew about the play I got the book out of the library and read it. I wondered how in the world it could be made into a one woman play. It was beyond fantastic. The book and the play are called Confessions of a Fairies Daughter.
Most of the time we spent indoors doing our thing, cooking, eating, sewing, laughing so we missed the big tree falling in the back yard. The wind was very strong and it didn't surprise us to see the tree down but we had not heard a thing. So for my photo to go with this blog post I am adding a tree falls down in the back yard.
Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Oh Scrap! for the end of March

At the last Sunset Quilters Quilt Guild meeting one of my "regulars" handed me a bag of scraps. Inside were all these lovely triangle pieces. Stop me from myself. I pulled them out and set them beside the machine to sew together as leaders and enders. She had just cut the pieces off  so they were not all uniform in size nor did they have a smooth cut edge. I had been sewing some 1 1/2" squares together and making them into little four patchs to set in the middle square of a square in a square block and the light bulb went on. If I made little pinwheel blocks, squared them up to 2 1/2" then  I could do the same thing. So the sequence above shows the few remaining triangle pieces, a few HST's, One pinwheel block that has been squared to 2 1/2" and then a contrast set of triangles to make a final square in a square block. I will admit I did have the nerve to ask her if she had any strips left that I might be able to use for the outer triangles. I needed 2 2 1/2" squares for each block. She had a couple and I rummaged through my stash. I think I will end up with a nice little quilt out of this exercise.
I taught another class for the new quilt shop this week and took in a sample quilt for another class that will be happening in April. Probably just a little busier than I really need to be these days. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking up with Cynthia at  on Oh Scrap! Sunday afternoon

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hands to Help Charity Quilt project sign-ups this week

You may have noticed the Hands to Help button on my side bar. The signs ups started last Sunday and continue this week. For we Canadians there is a charity choice on this side of the border. That would certainly help with postal costs and with the uncertainty of sending something across the border. Sarah has a couple of linky parties planned as well as some guest bloggers. If you are at all interested in making charity quilts this is the premier, not to be missed blogging event of the year. I hope you will join me and make a quilt or two or three for someone in need. If you don't want to put a quilt in the mail then look around locally for a Project Linus or similar group.
Stop by Sarah's Confessions of a Fabric Addict (here) to learn all the details and to find out how you can participate. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Using Scrappy Strips

This is a sample of Strip Cocoon I made as a possible class sample. It is Gudrun Erla's pattern called Strip Cocoon. You can use strips or fat quarters. Around here Jelly Rolls are mighty expensive so I dug into my fat quarter stash for some I thought would go together reasonably well and this is what I can up with. You have to then cut the fat quarters into 2 1/2" strips before doing the necessary subcuts. The only tricky part of this pattern is that it calls for partial seams but it is well illustrated and went together nicely. Now we will have to wait and see if anyone would like this as a class.
Piecefully, Joanne
Linking with Cynthia ( at Oh Scrap!

Friday, March 13, 2015

My Grandpa always said......

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So I hope that Sharon over at Vrooman's Quilts (here) doesn't mind if I imitate her and start a new Leaders and Enders project. I had a small bin of 1 1/2" squares and was really wondering what in the world I would do with them. I can use up the 1 1/2" by 2 1/2" pieces nicely but wasn't so sure about these smaller squares. What Sharon has done is make a four patch and then slice two 2 1/2" squares and put the triangles that are formed around the outside edge to make a square in a square idea. So I have started making little four patches.

The photo below is a downsized Strip Cocoon block. Gudrun Erla of gequiltdesigns has written a book where she takes 6 of her patterns that were designed for 2 1/2" strips and downsized the patterns to make them with 1 1/2" strips. Each of the 6 designs has three different sizes. She is working on a new book Stripology II I am guessing the title will be where she is planning to do the same thing with some other patterns. I am currently making a store sample of Strip Cocoon with the 2 1/2" strips and thought I would give a try at the downsized block. Quite easy actually. this particular block makes use of the partial seam. Otherwise it is a very straight forward easy to assemble block.

Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A winter vacation

Two photos to remind me of our wonderful vacation in Costa Rica. In the top photo the tiny spot at the top of the stairs (path) is Bill beside our unit. We had to climb these steps each and every time we went anywhere. Xavier counted them and told me there were 39. I was too busy climbing them to count. The bottom photo is the view from the bar. I don't do direct sun so I was often found in the bar at a table with a good book (or some mediocre books). We got away for two weeks. The whole family was there for week one. That was the busy week. Week two it was just the two of us and it was very relaxing.
Not one tiny bit of crafting was done for two weeks. I must say I missed it. Now I need to get back on track. We picked up my machine that I use for quilting today, so no excuses remain. Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Another fun Guild meeting and my Project Linus donation for this month

The Kincardine Sunset Quilters guild met this morning. In the winter it is always a worry whether or not we will be able to get there. It was my turn to drive and the weather was OK. It was snowing a little and the plows were out but nothing really bad.
For today, participants were asked to bring their largest quilt or a picture of it. I knew that was not going to be me. I have made about a half dozen queen size quilts but prefer the more manageable sized lap, baby and even up to a double bed size quilt. There were some stunning quilts on display. One member brought a Cathedral window quilt all done by hand while she and her hubby traveled. We broke into small groups to talk about the largest quilt we had made and tips and tricks for doing that. It was very informative. Last fall we were supposed to bring our smallest quilt but that had to be postponed so maybe next year.
Pictured today is the quilt Churnplus that I tested for Jan from the Colorful Fabriholic (here). She does not have a pattern available for this one yet but it is in the works. The directions were very good and there were a few very minor suggestions that I made to help clarify certain portions. I donated this one to Project Linus at the guild meeting today. The daughter of one of our members made us beautiful labels to put on our Project Linus quilts. So I picked up a couple. I am aiming for 10 donated over this guild year. Five done, five to go. Piecefully, Joanne

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Another scrappy finish

This one was started early last year. It is called Diamonds in the Rough and was done as part of a quilt along hosted by Karrie Lynn at Freckled Whimsy (here). You will need to visit her archives pages to get the directions (look for March and April 2014). I thought the pattern was available on Craftsy but could not find it so she may be one of the many who took down their stores over the European VAT business.
Anyway to describe the quilt. The original was made using 3 1/2" squares and HST's that were 3 1/2". I had a whole bunch of 5" strips so I cut 5" squares to make 4 1/2" HST's and trimmed some other 5" squares to make 4 1/2" squares. I was quite happy with the final result. It is 48" square.
We plan to escape the COLD with a brief family vacation in Costa Rica towards the end of next week. The sewing machine I use to do my machine quilting has gone to the spa for restoration so I expect to spend my sewing moments packing or trimming scraps this week.
I taught another beginner quilting class for our new quilt shop Shoreline Quilts in Port Elgin. The owner has a page on Facebook, but no web site yet. As they say, baby steps, baby steps. She has a beautiful selection of fabric and it is very tempting working there. Piecefully, Joanne
I plan to Link up with Oh Scrap (here) later on Sunday afternoon.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Making the transition from blue to pink

This week's scrappy contribution is a variation on the Chinese Coins pattern. I had a pile of 2" pieces. They were not uniform in length so a standard Chinese Coins design was out of the question. So I did a "jelly roll race" or lasagna style effect with the pieces. I joined them end to end and folded back on itself three times until I had a long strip that was 8 rows wide. Then I took that strip and cut it into 6 equal sections and joined them together vertically . I had some of this border print with pink and blue flowers and the length of those pieces determined my final size. It feels good to make something from "nothing" The machine I use for machine quilting is going for its annual trip to the spa so I will be making tops for a while until she returns refreshed and ready to stitch some more. I am hoping to link up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge (here) and Oh Scrap (here) later this weekend. At that time I will edit to add the appropriate links. Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A new to me designer and a fabulous paper pieceing pattern

Pictured today is a pattern called Paper Cranes and two paper pieced cranes from the pattern. I stumbled on this site a couple of weeks ago after following links from a linky party. The site is Flying Parrot Quilts (here) and the proprietor is Sheila. She has some fantastic designs with a Science base to them and as a retired Math and Science teacher they just drew me in. As I went through her site I noted that she had asked for testers for this pattern back in late Fall so I figured she would have that under control but I sent her an email anyway and said I would be interested in future testing opportunities. I ended up proof reading the pattern and making a left and right facing crane. The pattern is beautifully laid out, well illustrated and very clearly explained. And it includes little hints too. I could see her Science background at play here. The cranes are designed to be done with two charms. The first one I made with some scrap material that was cut in a 5" strip. For the second one I figured I better stick to two charms. That worked perfectly.
When my daughter was in Brownies they made Paper Cranes and sent them to the war memorial in Japan. One of the boys in her class (about grade 4) made a stunning mobile for the school library with a 1000 paper cranes. It hung in the library for the rest of the time that my kids were at the school. So I have a bit of a soft spot for that particular design.
Piecefully, Joanne

Friday, January 23, 2015

Canadian Quilts of Valour

This is my second Quilt of Valour. The first one was sent anonymously to the group so I have no idea who got it but this one I presented myself. The recipient is a young man in my community who was injured and told he may never walk again. As you can see he is standing upright on his own. I have watched him at my local gym for a couple of years now working, working, working to get his mobility back. The presentation took place in the gym's spin studio where he is now able to teach spin classes. Don't worry about me, I don't do spin classes. It was such an honour for me to present the quilt to such a deserving young veteran. Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Turning Scraps into Quilts one Leader and Ender at a time

Pictured are 25 quilt blocks made from my Scrap Salad box. I thought the box was full but after making 25 blocks the box is still full. Perhaps is it just a little aerated now. I like to keep these beside my machine when I am doing some piecing and before you know it you have a block assembled. With this particular one I sew the two centre pieces together on the long side. Then add a piece across the top and  the bottom. Next step is to join pairs of scraps on the short side and then add them to the sides. These pieces are 1 1/2" by 2 1/2". this design however will work with 2 1/2" by 4 1/2" pieces, and 3 1/2" by 6 1/2" pieces. I forget the 2" by? size as I don't use 2" strips very often. Once you have a good collection of little blocks made join them together alternating the direction of the centre pairs. No seams to match. another win-win block and project. This pile is enough to make a lap quilt or a baby quilt. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking with A Quilting Chick for her Leader and Ender challenge and later this week with Quilting is More Fun than Housework

Friday, January 16, 2015

Kincardine Sunset Quilters Guild

The Kincardine guild met this week. I was certainly happy that the highway was not closed the way it was for several days last week. I donated this quilt to Project Linus. Some might call it a scrappy quilt. I was just looking for lights/mediums and darks that would "play nicely together". One of my quilting buddies gave me several of the pieces I was able to incorporate into this quilt. I felt this had a slightly more modern look and might be suitable for a teenager. Project Linus in our area supports children up into their late teens. I have been busy trying to get caught up on things around the house so that when we go on vacation there won't be any nagging things for me to worry about. Piecefully, Joanne
PS Don't forget to stop by Cynthia's blog(here) Quilting is more Fun than Housework, to see what other blogs are doing with their scraps this week.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Smile on Me a tested quilt

This lovely quilt top is called Smile on Me. It was designed by Raija of Quilters Treasure Chest in Arkansas. I don't exactly recall how I ended up testing for her but when I saw the draft design photo I loved the geometry of the design. I actually went out and bought fabric to make this quilt. The pattern makes use of two Deb Tucker rulers, the Corner Beam Tool and the Square 2 Tool. But there are paper templates with the pattern so if you do not have those rulers you can still make the design. I used the paper templates because no one had even heard of the rulers around here and I was on a time crunch to get this done so did not want to go online to purchase them. I did go online to watch the YouTube videos of them and may purchase them in the future. I think Deb Tucker does an amazing job with her specialty rulers and the education that goes with them.
While testing the pattern Raija and I had a few social email exchanges. She is originally from Finland and I had visited there on two different occasions so we were both able to reminisce.
The pattern is now available as a digital download and will be available soon as a paper pattern. Visit Quilters Treasure Chest (here)to see this and Raija's other interesting designs. Piecefully, Joanne

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Back on the Scrapwagon...did I ever fall off?

Continuing in my efforts to look on the brighter side of things. Three scrappy finishes for January to date. The red bordered one will go to Project Linus and the other two with the windmill blocks will go to the Scrapbag group. We are now in our fourth day of snowsquall warnings and second day of the Highway being closed. Perfect excuses to stay inside and do some finishing. I need to get some more quilts quilted so I can sit under them to do the binding. Another good way to stay warm. We have quilt guild next week. Sure hope the Highway is open on Wednesday.
The red border quilt was made with 4 patches created from some strips a friend gave me. It is 26" by 30" a good tiny baby size. The greener of the two windmill quilts is 41" by 56" and the smaller green one is 33" by 36". Those little windmills are so addictive. The most time is spent getting them ready. You need 4 identical 1 1/2" by 2 1/2" pieces for the small windmills. Diane Harris at the Quiltmaker blog did a great tutorial on them a couple of years ago. I try not to cut anything smaller than this. I keep a little container beside my sewing machine with the sets of four in them and use them as Leaders and Enders.  Piecefully, Joanne

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Reflecting on 2014, Looking forward to 2015, Focusing on a glass half full

As I rev my engines (slowly) for a new year I like to reflect back on the year just finishing. I completed 42 quilts, most of them have found new homes with the local Scrapbag group of through Project Linus. I am still enjoying doing that type of sewing and certainly plan to continue that. DH really wants me to reduce the stash so it can be a win-win. Several other projects of the "secret" variety were done and they are not included in my total. I have found that I really enjoy testing quilt patterns for other designers. I know I will never be a designer but I can follow directions and proof read well.
I met and then exceeded my target of 50 books for the 50 book pledge. The next question is which book did I like the best. That is almost the impossible question. I enjoyed The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi and In the Shadow of the Banyon by Vaddey Ratner. Both these books give the reader insides into another culture.
The photo for today's post is some of my Christmas break sewing. Grandson #1 brought his new "stuffie" with him when he came for the holidays. First he wanted a sleeping bag for his stuffie, then a pillow, then a stuffie for his stuffie and then a suitcase so his stuffie could carry his stuffie. Are you still with me? I drew the line at a hat for the stuffie. So a little piece of minkee made a little fish for the cat and scraps of cotton came in handy for the rest of the items.
As to the glass half full. I was thinking that as I stitched a new binding onto a quilt sized quilt. This poor quilt had been loved to bits over the last 15 years and was literally falling apart. I repaired it as best I could and then spent most of a day sewing the binding in place. It isn't perfect but it has a few more years to give some warmth. The glass half empty person would say throw it out, the glass half full person would be happy the quilt is still in use and the owner does not want to part with it just yet.
Wishing all the best for my followers and anyone else who stumbles across my blog.  Piecefully, Joanne