Friday, December 30, 2016

Dear sadly neglected Blog, I'm sorry

I have no stopped stitching, I have just apparently stopped talking about it here. It is that time of year when we look back and plan ahead. Looking back over 2016 involves some challenges met and others dropped by the wayside. Getting my total knee replacement at the end of April really took a big hole out of the year. Physio twice a week for 4 months kept me on the road. thankfully the road was short, just to the next small town and I cannot say enough good things about my physiotherapist. He was amazing. Even had me convinced to try Acupuncture. (And I think it helped). I got quite a few books read this year. But I did not have a favourite that stood out above the rest. Usually there is one but I have reviewed my 50 Book Pledge book shelf and did not find one I really really liked and would recommend without reservation. I must say I really like the 50 Book Pledge run by Harper Collins publisher. This is the completion of my fourth year of taking the pledge. I read 58 books this calendar year.
I have been doing a lot of testing for quilt pattern designers and that is partially the cause of my cone of silence. Most do not want anything seen or said until the pattern is released.
I treated myself to a new sewing machine last week. I did not see it as a christmas gift, more a necessity if I am going to be able to finish the huge backlog of quilt tops I find myself looking at. I purchased a Janome Memory Craft 9400 QCP. It has a very large harp and I have started quilting my first of I hope many.
As to next year, I hope to post a bit more regularly. Instagram has taken over the need to "show off" what I can show. The blog however provides details and depth that does not come with Instagram.
What I would really like for 2017 is to be able to continue doing what I love, namely making and donating scrap quilts to those in need, to read a bit of fiction and to learn a bit from non-fiction, and to maintain my limited gym schedule. Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Some finishes are happening

This fun quilt is soon to be on its way to a new baby. It is a bit big for a crib but should provide a play surface for a while. I tested this design for Eileen at Pine Rose Designs. She has done a number of projects that start with a panel and add various borders. I had to buy the panel but had the other Cat in the Hat fabrics in my stash. Our daughter has a friend who at age 40 has finally had a baby and this quilt is going to him.
I have been getting a few tops quilted and spending a bit more time testing. The next round of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks magazine testing has begun. I missed out on the last issue because of my knee surgery so it is nice to be back.
Last week I had plans to go to the Gathering of the Guilds in Teeswater and meet up with Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts. I ended up with an appointment in the middle of the day that made that impossible much to my disappointment so today I will settle for  Linking up with Lorna at SewFreshQuilts (here) Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, October 23, 2016

And yet more testing, but this time there is something different

Diane at Fromblankpages recently expanded her tester pool and I had the good fortune to be included. Almost right away there was a block for testing. What made this call different and I thought rather brilliant was she asked that people make the 12" block and mail it to a central location and that one person would then assemble this into a charity quilt. I have dozens if not hundreds of orphan testing blocks. But I was a little late to the party and sending blocks across the border can take unexpected amounts of time. So I volunteered to test the 9" block. For her designs she uses templates that you precut and then use when you are paper piecing. Certainly cuts down on fabric waste and makes for more efficient sewing time. The pattern is now available (here). Most of the "modern" quilters have put a rainbow spin on their blocks. I opted for a two colour block and I feel that it works. Take some time to visit her blog and view her designs. she is a very talented designer. Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Frequency Quilt Pattern: A Slightly Goofed up Test

Jessica over at Desert Bloom Quilting (here) released her new pattern Frequency today so now I can show my test version and apologize once more for my goof in working on the design. Jessica has a tester group and for this round she had three specialty rulers to give away to the testers to use with the assignment. The pattern includes paper templates for those who do not own a Lazy Angle ruler but for this test I was fortunate enough to get one of the rulers. Learning how a new ruler works can sometimes be a challenge but there are all kinds of YouTube videos out there to help you.
My goof was in laying out the final blocks. The big diamond in the centre is not supposed to be in one long row. It should alternate between the outside edges where it is on mine and the centre. The pattern is layer cake friendly and comes in several different sizes.
Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Using the design floor to arrange some bright strings

I do love making string quilts. This one has black centre strings and then every bright bit I could find. And there are enough bright bits to make at least one more just like it.
In a couple of weeks I am away for a few days sewing with my retired friends. I have missed the last two get togethers because I could not travel with my knee. So I am really looking forward to this get together. I arranged these strings and organized the rows so that this could be one of my sewing projects while I am there. Of course I think I already have enough projects packed to sew for a week and a half not four days.
September has been a busy month and it shows no signs of letting up. We had Quilt guild last week and it was great to see all my guild friends again. As usual show and tell was the highlight of the meeting. This year I have offered to do a different brick based pattern for a mini demo each month. I will show these on the blog later this fall. September went well and I am working on the October demo. I have a huge list to draw from and lots of bricks cut. I do scrappy and they expect nothing less. That and sometimes really small. So combining those two things is also expected. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking up with Cynthia at

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Playing with some scraps to make a mini

Janice and Jen got together and set up this little mini blog hop featuring the Shadow Box quilt. I got my top finished but like a lot these days it isn't quilted yet. I have admired this style of quilt top for some time. Making the mini allowed me to experiment and I must say I do not know why I delayed so long to make one. These are quite easy to construct. The original instructions were written up by Debora at Studiodragonfly (here). I will confess I studied her directions and them made some efficiencies to allow a bit more chain piecing. My mini measures 17 1/2" x 21 1/2". The coloured squares started at 3" square.
The boys have been here a lot in August. So not much has been accomplished. I have done several test quilts for some new to me designers and really enjoy that part of the quilting journey. The only difficult part is keeping everything secret for what seems like forever until the pattern is released. By that time it is such old news. My sewing room has been excavated and it is nice to be able to walk across the room and not around piles of stuff to get around the room. I am looking forward to regular routines starting up now that summer is almost over. Well it is over for the kids. We retired teachers tend to enjoy this weekend a lot more than we used to.

Please take time to visit the other bloggers who signed up to participate in this mini blog hop and see how they interpreted the directions.

The other bloggers are:Jen Rosin at A Dream and a Stitch
Janice Holton at colorcreatingandquilting
Debora Exum at Studio Dragonfly
Amanda Everest at Quiltologie
Susan Arnold at Quilt Fabrication
Bonnie Stapleton at Institches with Bonnie
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Jennifer Strauser at Dizzy Quilter
Joanne Harris at Quilts by Joanne
Anja Clyke at Anja Quilts
Mary Schuberg at Needled Mom

Piecefully, Joanne

Linking up with Lorna for Lets Be Sewcial (here)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

More testing and finding the silver lining

Funny Bunny Blocks
These two blocks were tested for Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts (here). She has done many nature based designs. Last week she had this block and three others up for testing. The big one is 10" x 12" finished and the little one is 5" x 6" finished. Her finished pattern has directions for several different sizes of quilts. These were just fun to do.
Now for the silver lining part of the post. Yesterday I went to the local pharmacy to pick up some eye drops. I had phoned ahead to renew my prescription and it was to be ready at a certain time. I went 45 minutes after that time to allow for whatevers to happen. Well of course there was a big line up so I did the rest of my shopping and came back and there was still a line up so I got in line and waited. After I had been waiting for about 10 minutes a female person walked her shopping cart in through the groups that was waiting and when the "can I help who is next?" was called she just waltzed up to the counter. I will admit I pointed out to her that there was a line and we were all waiting our turn. There were still two people in front of me. So I got to wait some more. The silver lining you ask??? Three months ago I could not have stood at the counter as I did for a few moments short of half an hour so I am gaining my strength and stability back tiny bit by tiny bit. Enough negativity. I am heading back to my sewing room. Piecefully, Joanne

Monday, July 18, 2016

Welcome to Day 6 of the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop

Thank you for stopping by.  I am thrilled to be part of this particular hop. Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has done a fantastic job of organizing this varied gaggle of bloggers and keeping us in line (well sort of).  Make certain to visit her blog daily for the next installment for the quilt along.  She had us test the project ahead of time so that it worked into about an hour or less of sewing per day.

We have reached the midpoint of the blog hop.  Based on what I have seen so far it looks like there is something for everyone who celebrates Christmas and with a little tweaking there is something for everyone who celebrates anything.

For my turn I am going to talk about Folded Fabric Ornaments or Fabric Origami.  There are all kinds of videos on YouTube showing how to do the folding.  This I discovered after I started my love affair with folded fabric.

The red and green "flower" above started as two 21" circles of fabric and finished at just over 10" square.   I have found good contrast between the front and the back improves the final look of the flower.  I thought this one could be a hot mat for the table so it also has an insulated layer of thermolam inside, much as you would have layers of a quilt.  I layered the batting, then the back (green) right side up and then the red print right side down and stitched around the circle, leaving a hole to turn the circle right side out. Before I turned it right side out I went around the circle and took tiny little notches out of the seam.  This reduces the bulk in the seam and helps the seam lie flatter when turned right side out.  Once turned right side out and the opening is stitched, the directions for all sizes are the same after adjusting for the newer size.

The maroon and green ornament shown above started as an 8 1/2" circle, and finished at 4 1/4" square and the smallest one, next to it, started as a 4 1/2" circle and finished at 2 1/4" square.

Steps to make your own:

1.  Start with two fabrics that have fairly high contrast.  Determine the size you want and cut two circles to that size. The final product is approximately half the starting circle size and in this case a circle becomes a square.

2.  Place the two circles right sides together and stitch around the outside edge with 1/4" seam, leaving a break large enough to turn the circle right side out.

3.  Clip the curves on the seam or if using a batting take little V notches out of the seam.  This reduces bulk and allows the seam to lie flat once turned right side out.

4.  Turn right side out, press and stitch the opening in the seam closed using a blind hem or other nearly invisible stitch.

5.  Fold the circle in fourths and find the centre and mark that with a pencil on the good side. this will be covered over when you are finished.

6.  Lay the opened circle on a flat surface with the good side down or the back facing up.

7.  Fold in the curved edges all the way around (1/2" for the small, 1" for the medium and 2 1/2" for the large).  This photo shows the back of the piece with the edges folded back.

8.  Turn your piece over so that the side that has the folded over edges is at the back.  Pull each corner to the centre.  That is the spot you marked in step 5.  Stitch these four points together.  To "hide" these stitches you can add a button or a bead to this center location.

The book Flower Origami by Kumiko Sudo has this and many other flower shapes made using origami techniques. The instructions are clearly illustrated and easy to follow.

Be sure to "hop" over and see what today's other 12 Days of Christmas in July blogger, Suzy over at Adventurous Appliqué and Quilting, has to share! Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Wait Is Almost Over

The 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop is coming to a blog hear you starting before you know it.  Beginning tomorrow and for the following 12 days you can blog hop here and there, travel across an ocean or two and meet bloggers famous and not so well known. Each and everyone will be sharing an idea or two that could apply to Christmas.  If Christmas isn't your thing there will be gift ideas and thoughts of cooler weather for those of us in the NorthernHemisphere who are finding the weather a trifle warm these days. I will make my entrance on Tuesday July 19 so see you then.

Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has us all organized and she is also running a quilt along while the blog hop is running so make certain you stop by her blog (here).

Piecefully, Joanne
Here's a list of all the blogs and their posting dates:

July 14th:     Sharon Vrooman @ Vrooman’s Quilts
                    Carole Carter @ From My Caroline Home

July 15th:    Yanicka Hachez @ Finding Myself As An Artist
                   Chris Dodsley @ made by ChrissieD

July 16th:     Marsha Hodgkins @ Quilter in Motion
                    Leanne Parsons  @ Devoted Quilter

July 17th:     Tonia Conner @ All Thingz Sewn
                    Selina @ Selina Quilts

July 18th:     Lara Buccella @ Buzzin Bumble
                    Soma Acharya @ Whims and Fancies

July 19th:     Joanne Harris@ Quilts by Joanne
                    Suzy Webster @ Adventurous Applique and Quilting

July 20th:     Vicki in MN @ Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting
                    Jennifer Fulton @ The Inquiring Quilter

July 21st:     Michele Kuhns @ Crayon Box Quilt Studio
                    Jan Ochterbeck @ The Colorful Fabriholic

July 22nd:     Alla Blanca @ Rainbows. Bunnies. Cupcakes.
                     Zenia Rene @ A Quilted Passion

July 23rd:     Joanne Hubbard @ Everyone Deserves a Quilt
                    Paige Alexander @ Quilted Blooms

July 24th:     Carolyn Jones @ …by CJ
                    Tisha Nagel @ Quilty Therapy

July 25th:     Susan Arnold @ Quilt Fabrication
                    Beth Sellers @ Cooking Up Quilts
                    Linda Pearl @ One Quilting Circle

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Test Pattern Reveal

I am so excited to be able to reveal this particular test pattern. It is called Ellipse and the pattern can be found in Gudrun Erla's newly released booked called Stripology Squared. On the final two pages of the book she shows one test quilt for each quilt in the book and mine was picked for this particular pattern. The patterns in the book are all designed to use layer cakes. I used scraps to make a layer cake and then put together the design. Each of the ten designs in the book come in multiple sizes, so if you like her modern geometric style you will likely love this book. She started shipping the book Monday so watch for it at your local quilt shop or check out Gudrun's Etsy store.
I continue to make tiny steps of progress with my knee and have a return visit with the surgeon coming up next week. Piecefully, Joanne

Linking with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Lets Bee Sewcial (here)

Friday, June 17, 2016

A test project I can now show

Jen, over at Patterns by Jen (PBJ) (here) is launching her Star Light, Star Bright sampler today. I made the small size it is approximately 30" square. She has a larger quilt and a couple of table runners in the pattern also. As one might expect I made mine scrappy. A friend had given me a baggie with many of the pieces of used for this little project. I put a nice soft flannel on the back and it is now ready to donate.
I am so happy to be back sewing again and am back to pattern testing also.
Physio is progressing reasonably well. Knee is bending, just not as far as it is supposed to. I see the doctor again in early July.
My main sewing machine has had a trip to the spa and it isn't the same sewing on the back up but I imagine there are many thousands of people who either don't have a machine or for sure don't have a back up.
It is starting to look like a fairly busy summer. The boys are going to spend a big chuck of July with their other Grandma and then they will spend three weeks (every other week) here in August. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict (here) and Michelle at Michelle's Romantic Tangle (here)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Modern Quilt Guild Ireland QAL

The Modern Quilt Guild of Ireland is having a Quilt Along featuring the Dutch Rose block. One of those blocks I love. They are making it a rainbow block and have explained a bit about the colour wheel in their first post. You can make a small (baby) quilt with 5" squares or a larger quilt with 10" squares or likely even fat quarters. A couple of years ago our guild did an exchange of 5" charms. Each month was designated with a different colour. At the end of the year we were given a pattern to use but it just didn't fit so I had two baggies full of rainbow inspired charms to pick from. You can find the beginning details of the quilt along here Even if you don't decide to do it you will learn something about the colour wheel from reading their blog.
I got the go ahead to drive today so that is good. He wants my knee to bend a little more and says that when I go back in a month he can give me an anesthetic and "tweek" it a little to make it bend more. So I will be celebrating the 4th of July with another trip to the city to see the doctor. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Scraps as therapy

This was a strong motivator for me to get back to my sewing machine and working. I had to be able to bend my knee enough to sit at the table. I am happy to say, I reached that point about two weeks ago and have been stitching ever since. Mind you it is in short bursts of time and then I need to move around a bit. Guess I need to build up my tolerance again.
I do not remember who gave me these scraps. Or most of them. I cut them all to 1 1/2" squares and added some from my scrap heap that I thought would work well with the core group. I stitched them together Leader and Ender style. First one I saw as light with one I saw as dark. Pressing all to the dark. Then those were joined into four patches and then sixteen patches. Once we were at that stage I let them talk to me from the design floor. I had 60 sixteen patches which would have made a really long skinny quilt. So I went with using 56 sixteen patches and kept four for corner blocks. One of my friends drove me to the local quilt shop and I picked out this border fabric. I will be happy to be able to drive myself places after tomorrow's check in with the surgeon.
I have done a lot of reading in the last few weeks but am anxious to get back to doing something more hands on. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking with Cynthia (here) for another session of Oh Scrap!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Hands to Help Final Linky Party for 2016

The quilting does make a difference. This quilt was a test quilt for The Quilt Pattern Magazine called Big Block Stars. I have donated it to my local Scrapbag group and suspect that some teenage girl may just like it. One of my Scrapbag quilter friends did the quilting for me on her long arm machine. My "planned" donations for H2H this year are not quilted yet as I am unable to go up and down the stairs just yet. I can do the three in the garage with my cane and the railing but do not have the courage to try a full flight just yet. I have quite a stack waiting to be pinned and quilted once I can get up and down more easily. Piecefully, Joanne

Friday, May 20, 2016

Last weekend LEGO saved the day

The boys were up for a visit and we had snow. Yeck!! It is May for goodness sake. They played with the Arctic set and "used their imagination". They are coming back this weekend. It is what we Canadians call The May 2-4 weekend. People open their cottages this weekend. Our little town, on the shores of Lake Huron is already noticeably busier. The weather man is promising some slightly warmer temperatures. So a little outdoor play will be on the agenda.
I am able to sit at my sewing machine for short periods of time as the knee is starting to bend better. It has only been a month and so I should perhaps not be quite so impatient. Everyone says it is looking good. I do not however see the surgeon for another three weeks. And just when you think you should feel a little sorry for yourself  you just need to open your eyes and look around. At Physio last week the patient seeing the physiotherapist after me was one of my classmates from University. She had both knees done the week after I had my single knee done. She  has a tougher road ahead of her. Piecefully, Joanne

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Some of my old skills are returning

This is the Go Board for alida's Play with Me Quilt Along. Each month she is releasing a new board and it is made using a different needlework skill. This month I had to brush up on my embroidery skills. They are slowly returning. I used a cross stitch, a back stitch, and a stem stitch. For rows that were duplicate stitches I varied the ply I used. The whole thing needs a good press but I can't get the walker into the ironing board so that task will have to wait.
Note that I am not posting any photos of my 38 staple knee or today's definitely yellow leg as the bruises come out.  Joining up with Alida's Linky party (here)where you can see some other boards. Some decided to use the fancy stitches on their sewing machines. Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hands to Help progress report and more scraps turned into tops

These two quilt tops will eventually become my Hands to Help donations for this year. The one on the upper left started as some 9 patches and some 1 1/2" strips. It grew to this point, (35" x 43"). The one on the right is a bit smaller at 26" x 30". It is all 1 1/2" squares sewn together as leaders and enders. I am working on another one and will definitely make it bigger. My younger grandson held these up for me. He thought I should hold them up since I made the quilts. And he would take the pictures. I won that particular discussion.
He and I went to see the new Jungle Book movie on Saturday afternoon. That showing was 2D. His older brother said he didn't want to go. Good choice. Grandson number 2 liked it but we both figured number one would have found it a bit too much. I did close my eyes for the snake part.
Only sewing that has happened this weekend is some mending of trousers. Piecefully, Joanne

Linking with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict (here) and Cynthia for Oh Scrap! (here)

Friday, April 15, 2016

Such a busy week

Monday started with some gym time and then a trip to the hospital for my pre-surgery physio session. They had booked me on the wrong day for my original visit. A hip day not a knee day so I was able to get everything but the physio done on the first visit. So I am measured for a walker and have my starting exercise information.
Tuesday I taught a class for the local quilt shop. Our intention was to have a class that would be good for a beginner but not a total beginner. This pattern is from the book Three Times the Charm Book 2 by Me and My Sisters designs. The book has several patterns made with Charms and a small amount of yardage. they make small quilts but you can use more charms and make them bigger if you wish.
Wednesday was Quilt Guild in Kincardine. The Snow birds have returned and show and tell was worth the price of admission. So many new ideas coming from south of the border. And those of us who stay in the north for the winter had some items to share also.
Thursday I worked at the store, Shoreline Quilts in Port Elgin. I was making a store sample and testing the pattern before she made up some kits. Good thing I did as there were errors in the pattern.
Friday, today, another session at the gym, hair cut, pedicure and then a trip to the city to pick up the boys for the weekend.
I hope to find my sewing machine for a few moments in the next day or two. Piecefully, Joanne

Saturday, April 9, 2016

From time to time some things do get finished

These three little scrap quilts are ready to donate to the Scrapbag Quilters of Saugeen Shores. . The pieces for the small ones with the green borders came to me as scraps in baggies. They are finished doll quilt size now. The larger quilt is a nice lap size. It was all done as off white/cream with blues. Who knew there were so many blues.  I have four more tops done but do not see how they will get quilted in the next week and a half. The optimist would say it is always nice to have something to look forward to. I will take that rather than the pessimist pointing out they are not finished.
I have enough scrappy windmills completed to assemble another top. They are such addictive Leaders and Enders. I have also been doing some postage stamp squares as Leaders and Enders. They pile up quickly. I plan to link up with Cynthia's Oh Scrap! (here)on Sunday.
It is shaping up to be a busy week. I have a return visit to the hospital for my physio session, I teach a class for my Local Quilt shop, and have quilt guild Wednesday. That is in addition to the normal things that happen around here. Piecefully, Joanne

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Kristy you do good work

Kristy at Quiet Play (here) has been busy designing up a storm. I had the good fortune to test two of her recent projects. The Star Wars Rebel Millennium Falcon on the right and lower case X above. Kristy has already done an upper case Geo Alphabet and the lower case alphabet is out for testing right now.  She is also part of the Make Modern team and has a couple of small youngsters. I sometimes get tired just thinking about everything she is up to these days. Anyway, suffice it to say, I am a fan. Last week she did a blog post on paper piecing tips if you are thinking about getting started you may just want to have a look at that one.
On her Craftsy store she has several free patterns in addition to the ones requiring a modest payment. All of her patterns are tested before being posted so you know they work.
I am starting to get anxious about my knee surgery that is looming in less than two weeks. Everyone says the first two weeks post surgery are tough and then it just keeps getting better. Right now my knee hurts all the time so better sounds good. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking with Jeanine at Quilt Art Designs (here)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Joanne doesn't do well under pressure

This Month's Play With Me game board was a Backgammon board and the skill to learn was reverse applique. My board is adequate but not stellar. I have done reverse applique once before and I used felt at that time. Felt don't ravel or have little threads to deal with. Once again Alida's directions were wonderful and complete.
The board below is from one of the tables in the lobby at the resort in St. Lucia. One of the other tables had a checkers board in it. I have never played Backgammon so I still have lots to learn.

I have been trying to wrap up some of my loose ends before my surgery in just under three weeks. I have one more test quilt to work on and then my testing obligations are complete.
I left this board to the very last minute as I was nervous about trying the technique. They are due tomorrow.
Some people thrive on pressure, I am not one of those people. Piecefully, Joanne

Saturday, March 12, 2016

When the Scraps talk, you are supposed to listen

Carole over at From my Carolina Home (here) is running a Scrap Mystery and I heard my scraps say you need to do this one. I was gifted with a bag of "vintage" Christmas triangles. Not half square triangles, just triangles. So first task was to sew them into half square triangles. This is a photo of four blocks for step 3 which was posted yesterday. Since it is a mystery I have no idea where it is heading but I am more than happy to be up to date. The background fabrics are a little busy for my liking and may make the pattern difficult to see but I will have to wait on that one too. There is still time to join in. This is her second Scrap Dance Mystery. I did not know about last year's project in time to join in. It is good to be back with my sewing machine going and the iron at the ready. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking with Cynthia for Oh Scrap!(here)

Friday, March 11, 2016

I may have to recognize that I can no longer multitask the way I used to

Title of blog has not got much to do with the photo but it is a starting place. We came home Sunday from a marvellous two week vacation on the beautiful island of St. Lucia. We all agreed this was the best resort we had ever been to. In the photo you may be able to identify the worker cutting down coconuts for Saturday night's drink for the evening buffet. No slightly attired native shinnying up the tree. This harvest involved a macheted worker on a forklift. Saturday evening the resort featured dinner (weather permitting) dinner under the stars with a Caribbean theme. Weather permitted both Saturday's we were there.
It felt strange to do absolutely no sewing for two whole weeks. I read a few non-taxing novels and enjoyed the sunshine. The first week our family was there so I got to watch the boys now 8 & 9 thoroughly enjoying the pool everyday. Meal time was family time. We set a meeting time and enjoyed lunch and dinner together.
Now it is back to reality. My knee replacement surgery is set for later in April and the pre surgery appointments are stacking up. I am a little nervous but both of my local quilting friends have had the work done by the same surgeon so he comes well recommended.
Earlier this week I took a younger friend out to the local International Women's Day celebration. I find I can no longer multitask the way I once could. At our table two people were 20 years younger than I am and the remainder were 30 years younger. They had their devices going and talking and etc. etc. etc.
So I am going to work on trying to finish off a few things and get my scraps a little more under control (so what else is new?). Maybe writing down a list that I can stick with would help? Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Another little flannel quilt

This little quilt (34" x 51") was the one I worked on at the January Scrapbag workday. I made little four patches and joined them together. This represents the end of another bag of scraps, thus the slightly odd size. I was thinking wheelchair lap quilt at one time but think it is too long. Each piece is 3" square and I sewed them together with a generous 1/4" seam as recommended by our leader for the January work session. It has a nice medium blue flannel on the back and when it went through the wash everything came out well.
It has been so cold here this last few days it was a delight to have this on my lap as I finished the binding. Piecefully, Joanne
 Linking up with Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More fun Than Housework (here)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A new game added to the configuration

The February game board is Nine Men's Morris. This one was paper pieced. I still am not certain how I want to "finish" these off so for now I am stopping. Alida included how to play the game in the instructions and that was good because I had heard of the game but did not know how to play it. This is a fun Quilt Along and the instructions have been terrific so far. Add to that there are so many techniques involved and you get (or at least I get) to learn something new.
The last few days have been snowy and windy. They closed the highway yesterday and last time I looked it was still closed. Good time to stay inside and sew or read a book. We just need the roads open next week so we can get away on our holiday. Today is our youngest Grandson's birthday. I explained to him we had not seen the sun for so long I forgot what it looked like. His simple explanation was it is round, yellow and hot, you better not touch it. Piecefully, Joanne

Linking up with Alida, check out the other game boards. (here)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A finish is a finish no matter how small

In January the Scrapbag Quilters were working with flannel. I dug into my scraps and cut up quite a bit for the workday. When I got down to these little bits they were so pretty I couldn't bare to throw them out. So I cut some of my favourite 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" inch bricks and made my "go to" simple bricks block. This is what I had so this is what I used. The finished doll quilt is 16" by 20". We donate doll quilts to the toy drive at Christmas so I have one done already. I aim for about a dozen over the course of the year. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking with Cynthia at Oh Scrap! (here)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Scrapbag quilters today

I am looking forward to our monthly Scrapbag Quilters meeting today. I am taking 7 quilts that are finished and ready to add to our "inventory". We are always low in January because our main distribution time is late November/early December. This big quilt I will be sad to see go but it needs to find a home. I made it as a test for The Quilt Pattern Magazine long enough ago that I no longer remember its actual name. I think it was called Interlocked. It is 79" square. June S. one of my fellow Scrapbaggers long arm quilted it for me. She did a lovely job. The other quilts I have are smaller baby sized quilts. I am really trying hard to take my pile of tops from tops to finished and donated quilts. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts (here)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Baby Rail Fences, More Leaders and Enders

Three little finishes start the year off right. These quilts were all done as Leaders and Enders, so have been underway for a while. The scraps for the middle one came primarily from a friend (thank you Laurissa), the blue/green  and yellow on the left from my left overs and the blue and grey on the right from a quilt top left over. Pieces are all cut to 1 1/2" by 3 1/2". the centry strip is either the same fabric or very similar in colour and value. And I have two more in the works. The over all size depends on how many scraps I have in that colour scheme. I am not certain how a totally scrappy one would work. It is a lot of work over a period of time to discover you aren't happy with the result.
I was going to take these as my show and tell to Guild tomorrow but the weather continues to look iffy. The highway is however open today. Piecefully, Joanne

Edited to add a Link to A Quilting Chick's Leader and Ender link up
(here) and to Lorna at SewFreshQuilts (here)

Friday, January 15, 2016

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

These blue pinwheels were made as Leaders and Enders. I was trying for a different effect. I got the lights in the middle OK but the next row out should have been darker. It is done now and I learned from this one. Will probably tackle a green one next. Each little block consists of four 2 1/2" x 1 1/2" pieces of two different colours (eight pieces in total per block). On this exercise I used various blues and off whites. I am tidying up some new scraps so they will be ready for a new Leader and Ender project. Piecefully, Joanne

Linking with Soscrappy (here) and Quilting is More Fun than Housework (here) this coming weekend.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Alida's Play with Me Quilt-Along

Alida over at (here)has started a Quilt-along this year that caught my fancy. It is called Play with Me and each month she is featuring a different game board. There are a couple of particularly interesting features to this quilt along. One was that I did not know all the games so had to learn something new and two each each month along with the game board you learn a new technique.  This month's Checkerboard was constructed using a Bargello technique. The instructions were easy to follow and well illustrated. Once your "block" is done you have a choice of making it into a place mat, a travel game board or quilting the block and waiting for the remainder to be released and make a big game board quilt. At this time I am uncertain about what direction I want to go. I had originally thought a travelling game board but will mull that over a bit. Thank you Alida for a great start to this project. Piecefully, Joanne

Linking up with Lorna at

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A couple of test blocks and things I am learning

These are two blocks I tested for Kristy over at Quiet Play (here) .
She has done a whole series of geometric designs. I love turtles and asked her to do me a turtle sometime when she had a moment and you can see the result. A lovely little turtle. The elephant was part of her most recent call for testers and this is the one that I learned something on. ROOKIE paper piecing error, print actual size no scaling or sized to fit. So my elephant is a tad too small. but here is my problem, on Windows 10 I can't find the instruction to make it actual size. It is one thing to realize your error, it is another not to be able to fix it.
Looking out the window this afternoon is not a fun experience we are in a Snow Squall Watch and there is all kinds of snow blowing around. I can live with that as long as I don't have to go out in it. so for today I am OK but I do need to go out tomorrow. Maybe it will be nicer? Piecefully, Joanne

Edited to say: Problem solved!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A photo finish on a dark morning

This scrappy beauty is based on a pattern from the Me and My Sister design "Ingrid" from their book 3 times the Charm Book Two. All the patterns in the book are designed to use charm packs and some yardage and they all look great in their fabric choices. I dug through the 5" squares box and found bright's and then a black print with multi colour dots on it for my yardage. This one has finished at 27" by 35" so smallish. I was originally thinking wheelchair lap quilt. I suppose it could be a through it over the baby in the car quilt too. It is ready for Scrapbag quilters at our meeting at the end of the month. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking up with Lorna at SewFreshQuilts (here)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

So nice to see a new year, welcome 2016

I am ready for something new and something fun. Lorna over at SewFreshQuilts (here) has tempted us with just the thing. I have no idea when it will happen but it looks like fun and colourful and happy. I could use all three. The past month has been overwhelming and I need to get myself sorted out and on the right track again. In December I read one of my book club's upcoming selections. It was titled They Left Us Everything by Plum Johnson. It is the memoir of a woman my age who ends up with the task of clearing out the family home so that it can be sold. That struck a cord. I have the beginnings of the mess she had to sort through. It needs to be dealt with NOW instead of by someone else after I am no longer able to do the task.
I have not counted UFO's or done any of the list making that seems to be popular with bloggers at this time of year. But I do have my quilt pinning table cleared off and ready to use. I have quilted two quilts since Christmas and have a third ready to quilt. One quilt is a test quilt so can't be shown at this time. The other is waiting to be washed and then I can do it's picture.
And of course there are so many new quilt alongs and BOM's starting. This is a lively hobby for me, job for others. Hopefully I will have more finishes than starts this year. Piecefully, Joanne