Sunday, November 25, 2018

A busy week with lots happening

As my subject lines says it has been a busy week with lots of different events. I started the week as the guest speaker for the Bluewater Quilters Guild monthly meeting. I spoke about Pattern Testing and my journey to becoming a quilt pattern tester. It was the first time I had been a Guild speaker. Hubby was worried about me driving there at night so he drove me there and read a book while I did my presentation.
The rest of the week was eating cautiously and then prepping for Friday's colonoscopy. So I spent time stitching scraps together as that does not require the attention to detail that pattern testing requires.

This is one little project I got assembled this week. I cut the bars out this summer while the work table was set up in the garage. Smoky pinks and olive greens. Over a period of time I made small rail blocks out of them. Each block here is 1 1/2" x 3 1/2". then stitched a pair together and then made a four together unit. I thought it wouldn't make a very big quilt and recalled hearing that setting them on point extends the size. Went on line found out about the Math for the setting and corner triangles and here it is.
Today we are heading to a Festive Brunch. We purchased this "event" with our neighbours at the local Rotary Charity Auction. We each invited another couple so there will be 8 of us for brunch. 
Hope to be back to regular stitching in the week ahead. Piecefully, Joanne

Linking with Cynthia at Oh Scrap! (here)

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Almost too embarrassed to write a post

Someone asked me recently if I had stopped blogging. I instantly said "no" but as I look at things maybe in some ways I had. The past couple of months have been difficult on the health front and a bit of a roller coaster. Sick, recovering, sick again. Nothing it seemed was getting accomplished. but I suppose in little bits it has. I continue to do pattern testing for a variety of designers. Some of the testing is secret and some is not. It is easier for me to think of it as all secret. Then I don't show a photo I should not have shown.
So I can show this photo. As I work away at tests I continue with my love of Leaders and Enders. This quilt is just such a project. I was given a large baggie with several smaller baggies. The smaller baggies contained very small triangles that matched each other. A somewhat larger baggie contained a lot of white triangles that were similarly sized. So I stitched a coloured and a white triangle together Leader and Ender style. Then I made pinwheels with the HST's. Then I made pinwheel nine patches, then turned those into square in a square. Needless to say this project has been on the go for a while. It is now awaiting quilting. Piecefully, Joanne
And linking to Cynthia's Oh Scrap! (here)

Thursday, August 30, 2018

The La Conner Tote

The Fat Quarter Shop is updating a few of their previous posts and videos. There were several choices available to their Quilt Along group and I was fortunate enough to get on the list for the La Conner Tote Bag. The original bag was made using a couple of charm packs to "create" the fabric for the two outside portions of the tote. With an "oh yes, you can use one piece of fabric" message tucked in. I decided to use one piece of fabric and broke into my serious hoard of turtle fabric. This fabric had been hidden in my stash, note I did not say languishing, for a while. It is a South Seas Import and I suspect they do not make fabric anymore.
A piece of my extensive turtle collection. The painters tape will act as the guideline for my first row of machine quilting.
There is a front and a back for the tote. I did a diagonal line from top left to bottom right
and then added a line two inches away on either side of that original line.
Next step is some lining and of course a pocket. In retrospect I should have done two pockets but since these are added before the lining and the body of the tote are attached it is too late for that. 

And finally the big reveal. 

You will note there is a row of top stitching around the top edge of the bag. Wonder clips would have been the perfect tool for this job but since I don't have any I settled for a really good pressing and some pins.
I am particularly happy with my La Conner Tote bag and would like to thank the Fat Quarter Shop for the opportunity to construct this remake of the original. sometimes a little push is all that is needed. There are a few more bloggers making this tote, check out the Fat Quarter Shop's blog (here)

Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

August is usually red hot in our part of the world

So it is a good thing that Jen picked red/orange for this month's rainbow colour challenge. Last month with the green's I had a little difficulty with my value selections so I tried the black/white edit button on my iPad to see if I hit the mark a little better this month. These are my four pieces dark, two medium's and a light. I believe I am getting closer.
And here are my blocks in all their  summer glory.
I have continued to make a 12" and a 6" block each month. And for a wee spoiler alert, Jen has a few setting options that will crop up towards the end of this event that are different, interesting and manageable for all levels of quilters. 

Make certain to visit Jen's blog (here) for the free instructions for this month. And while you are there have a look around if you have not done so already. She offered a series of free Mug Rugs last year and those patterns are still available. 

In September she is launching The Border Quilt Quilt Along. You will need to purchase the pattern to participate in this quilt along. The introductory post is up on her blog already. The Quilt Along was to start earlier but there was a shipping delay for the fabric so you have an extra month to get ready. I tested the pattern for this one for her a while ago. I pretty much hate adding borders but this one is interesting. Each round is a different border style. So nice to have someone else work out all the Math so all you have to do is cut and sew. I highly recommend you consider participating.

Remember to visit the blogs of the other participants for the Rainbow Colour Challenge. If you have been following along you know that several of the other members of the group are offering free patterns on their blogs. 
Piecefully, Joanne

Here is Sherry's list of participating bloggers. I have difficulty understanding the html information. I hope you don't mind that I "borrowed" your set of links. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Today is the day for the final installment for the Clementine Quilt Along

The final steps are posted for the Clementine Quilt Along today. Visit the Fat Quarter Shop's blog (here)  and for a voluntary donation you can download the finishing instructions. Just to give you a heads up the smaller blocks need to grown to match the larger blocks. They have a clever way of doing this that involved two steps but is quite effective. The difference between my background and the accent is slight so you may not identify it with my photography skills. You will be making a square in a square and then snowballing that block. The exact measurements are in the download so no spoiler alerts on that information.
And for my big reveal here is my Clementine top. Yes I said top. Not quilted yet. Sadly my go to long arm quilter is battling some serious health issues at this time and is not doing anything much beyond trips to the hospital for tests. I am praying for good news for her. And the other spoiler alert, this is a large quilt. Hubby is too short to hold this one up for a good photo so the clothesline was called to duty.
This is a beautiful quilt and I hope to find some way to get it finished soon. For those who are following along I trust you have enjoyed the process and will be making your own Clementine Quilt. This charitable initiative on the part of the Fat Quarter Shop has produced a significant donation for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
I have been honoured to be part of the Fat Quarter Shop's Quilt Along group.
Piecefully, Joanne

Monday, July 23, 2018

Welcome to the Kick Off Day for Pickle Toes Patterns Vacation Time Blog Tour

A recent call for participants by Pickles Toes Patterns saw me say, "yes please".  When I surveyed the patterns we could work with I almost wished I had a granddaughter. The dresses were absolutely delightful. But it's only grandson's here so I asked for the next best thing, some doll clothes. I made two matching outfits for my neighbour's granddaughters.
This was the moment of the big reveal for them. They were all ready for bed and I went over with the outfits. The outfit I selected was the Daisy Pinafore. It comes with a top that wraps easily around the back of the doll and shorts that can be made at two different lengths. I made the Bermuda short length which is the slightly longer choice. The Play shorts are about an inch shorter.
The instructions were very easy to follow. Perhaps not as detailed as some I have seen. I believe they made the assumption you knew a little bit about basic sewing but definitely beginner friendly. My biggest challenge was putting the snaps on the pinafore. Back in the day when I was originally doing this type of thing you got a two part metal affair that had little holes in the outer ring for you to stitch through to stitch them in place. The snaps today are much nicer looking but require some level of competence to apply and not over do it.
This is a better view of the outfits. In the photo with the girls the dolls are sporting a shoulder bag purse. In this photo I removed the purse as it was not part of the pattern we were given to work with. But a word about the shoulder bag pattern. It was designed by Lesley at Berry Birdy designs. It is a small folded coin purse but with the addition of a strap it became a shoulder bag.
If you have any doll lovers who  also have small girls they may well like making  a matching little girl's dress pattern. I did not know these girls well enough and they do not live near me so I had to pass up that opportunity.
Be certain to visit the other bloggers on the tour. I have had a sneak peak of a couple of the outfits they have created and they are beautiful Thank you Pickle Toes for including me as a stop on your Vacation Time Blog Tour. And a word or two from the folks at Pickle Toes.

Pickle Toes Patterns is so excited to bring to you a collection of patterns that are easy and fast to sew. Their patterns have the basic ingredients that you need to make a new sew your own. Color blocking, different fabrics and new styles are just some of the reasons that Pickle Toes Patterns should be your go-to when looking for something fun and unique. Many handmade children's boutiques use PTP's patterns to customize their designs. Kellie the owner and founder of Pickle Toes Patterns started out just as clothing designer making custom children's clothing because she couldn't find cute clothing for her boys. Boys' clothes eventually grew into girls' clothing, which grew into making original designs. To make original designs, she had to make original patterns, and Pickle Toes Patterns was born! Pickle Toes Patterns is not just a business, we are a family. I hope you enjoy sewing our patterns as much as we enjoy making them. We hope you take the time to look at all of the other blogger's post and creations. You can follow Pickle Toes at the following social media channels.





July 23 Quilts by Joanne and Do it Yourself Danielle

July 24 Our Play Palace

July 25 That's So Lilly and Sewing Ambi

July 26 SewGeeked and My Sewing Roots

July 27 Frullemieke and

Tales From A Southern Mom


We are so excited to bring you this great giveaway to win patterns from Pickle Toes Patterns and our friends at

Goober Pea Designs

Kelly J Designs


Jilly Atlanta Designs

Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, July 1, 2018

It isn't easy being yellow-green

It's the first of the month, again, and we have a new colour for July. One that I will freely admit I have difficulty working with. Kermit the Frog used to tell us it wasn't easy being green. I might amend that to say it's not easy for me to pick out green.
I suspect we all have colours that we struggle with. Mine are found on the warm side of green. I am good with the cool side of green but get me into lime green or olive green I am never just exactly certain if I have it "right".
And further to that almost apology I am fairly confident that I missed the light medium and dark on this month too.Or maybe my back drop is overpowering.
Once again I found my Bloc-Loc rulers handy. They have a set for Flying Geese. Be certain to visit Jen at patterns by Jen (here) to obtain your next pattern and to find the links for the other participants.
It is a great block this month that goes together quickly. Once you have your fabric selections made you will put it together in no time. I trust you are keeping up. We are midway through 2018. How did that happen. They always said that the older you get the faster time went and I think someone recently did a study to find out why. I don't really need to know why, it just does.
For for my Canadian friends Happy Canada Day. It is looking like this one is going to be mighty hot in our part of the country.
Piecefully, Joanne

Monday, June 25, 2018

Today we get the final blocks for the Clementine Quilt Along

Hard to believe we are six months in. I hope you have been able to keep up the pace. It isn't usually that difficult when there are only two blocks to create and they are actually one in different sizes. I love it when my piecing is just spot on.
This is a fairly good close up of part of the block as it comes together. Happy colours and simple to do. The flying geese for this project have all been done with the stitch and flip method. I am working on my waste  bonus triangles. The ones for the smaller block are small but then again I like small.
Here is the photo of the pair of blocks for this month. They are called Strawberry Star. I made an assembly error last month so I paid much more attention to block orientation this month.
After weeks of no rain we had a very overcast day that threatened rain but it didn't happen so an indoor photo was called for.
Make sure you come back next month for the "Big Reveal". In July you will get all the final assembly instructions and see just how these different sized blocks will fit together nicely into a beautiful quilt. All of this is available for a voluntary donation to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Visit the Fat Quarter shop blog (here) to purchase this month's block. Piecefully, Joanne

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Pretty in Purple, Lovely in Lavender

jen has created another lovely block for us this month. And the colour is purple. So many little girls seem to like purple better than pink these days. Did Frozen have anything to do with that? I will freely admit that with two Grandsons I have limited access to little girls and their opinions.
So here is my block. As you can see it is a simple block that does not take long to put together once the components are stitched. I was trying for an "arty" shot with the blocks lying on the Heather we have growing at the front of the house but the Heather is on its way out for this year.

The first photo I took of the blocks was in very early morning light and somewhat in the shade. I am adding this to show what a difference lighting can make to your pictures.
This one looks more like blue and something faded. I am still learning a lot about taking photos.
Be certain to visit Jen  at Patterns by Jen (here) to get your free pattern. With June starting we are halfway through 2018. I hope you are keeping up and building your own rainbow. And while you are looking around make certain you visit the other members of the Rainbow Crew. Several of whom are offering their own free patterns. Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Verdun Affair, a Book Review

I follow a number of Book Publishers on Facebook. Reading is my number two hobby behind quilting. And if it comes to something portable a book fills the bill perfectly for me. Many of the Publishers offer contests for an opportunity to read a book ahead of the scheduled publication date. These books are then referred to as Advance Reader's Edition or Advance Reader's Copy.

The Verdun Affair is the first book that I "won" in one of these contests. I will freely admit I am not likely to select a war story as my first choice for reading material but this one was different. The story is set in two primary locations and two different time periods. The story begins in post world War I Europe, mainly Italy and France and winds up in 1950 in Los Angeles. Three individuals are all connected to a soldier who experiences severe amnesia following the war. He is situated in a hospital and it is there that the three main characters try to interact with him. Each wishing he is a specific person for their own reasons.

There is romance, history and just plain good writing in this book. At the conclusion of the novel, Nick Dybek, the author provides an annotated list of some of the sources he used as he wrote the book. These are added value as for me it is a time period about which I could learn so much more.

Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Oh Scrap! One of my favourite activities

I love playing with scraps. The rewards are endless and so are the scraps. I have been collecting some red, white and black with a tiny bit of grey scraps lately. they were small so I cut them into small bricks (1 1/2" x 2 1/2") and after I finished some must do sewing I started a new Simple Bricks top.
The little blocks currently stand at 4 1/2" square. This is a small grouping to show how I put them together. I like to pair them first and them put four together. Once I have that together I lay those out as blocks. It just makes fewer pieces to handle and when you join the pairs together it gives you an opportunity to try to ensure you do not have two pieces the same beside each other. Of course with any multi piece quilt top this isn't always possible but using these steps helps.

In the evenings I have been reading an Advance Readers Copy of a book that is being published in June. The title is The Verdun Affair. It is set in two time periods and two main geographic areas. The story begins just after World War One in Italy and continues in 1950 in Los Angeles. I am generally not a big fan of war stories but like The Alice Network this story presents something different. the author has included a list of many of the books he used as reference material for those wishing to explore this era further.

And the secret sewing continues but it is secret so no talk or photos. I am heading out later this week for a few days of sewing with some friends. It is always nice to spend time with like minded individuals.

Piecefully, Joanne

Linking up with Cynthia, for Oh, Scrap! at QuiltingisMoreFunThanHousework (here)
And further Linking up with Lorna at SewFreshQuilts (here)

Friday, May 25, 2018

Time to Show Off Month Five

Introducing Pineapple's Puzzle. 

Another great block. This time a Square in a Square and some Half Square Triangles are used to build the design.

Once again the block is provided in two different sizes. The smaller size finishes at 12" and the larger one at 20". So the larger one with just a couple of borders could make a small Project Linus quilt. So much potential. 
Stop by the Fat Quarter Shop (here) to get your pattern. Remember the patterns are free for a voluntary donation to St. Jude's Children's Hospital. If you are on Instagram take the time to look at what some of the other members of the Quilt Along group are doing with their blocks. Several are using the Fat Quarter Shop's kit, as I am, but several others have branched out into either other collections or colourways that have special meaning to them.
Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

We are nearing the midway point for the Ellie and Mac blog hop

I am fortunate to be joining a group of serious sewing bloggers as they show you summer patterns from Ellie and Mac. As one who likes to put my usual spin on things I decided that the dolls in the house need to get ready for summer too. My next door neighbour's grand-daughter was kind enough to loan me her 18" doll (briefly I might add) so that I could make my interpretation of the Simply Sweet Doll Top.

The first problem I encountered was a lack of knit fabrics in my stash. And as someone who does very limited online shopping and has absolutely no shop within a two hour drive that sells appropriate knits I switched to a woven and mildly altered the pattern. A bit about the pattern first. It is fantastic. If you are just starting out the detail in the instruction is wonderful. This pattern could be tackled by a beginner as the instructions are so well laid out and so clearly illustrated.

The pattern is lengthy but well worth it in the detail it provides. I made the top only as the doll's owner was anxious for her return. If you are able to use a knit fabric then the top or the dress will fit over the doll's head. A woven will not stretch enough to do that so I cut it up the back and added a velcro closing.
So here she is for her stylized photos. Long pants and boots because it is tick season but a lovely comfortable sleeveless top. I love that just like her owner the doll wears glasses.

I hope as you visit the other bloggers on this blog hop that you will get all kinds of great new ideas for summer sewing. Be sure to visit the other bloggers who have made interpretations of Ellie and Mac designs to help you get ready for summer sewing. The list below identifies my fellow bloggers and their date on the blog hop.

  1. May 7th: Seams Sew Lo
  2. May 8th: Tenille's Thread
  3. May 9th: Seams Sew Lo
  4. May 10th: The Sewing Goatherd
  5. May 11th: Aurora Designs Fabrics
  6. May 14th: Our Play Place
  7. May 15th: Sewjourns
  8. May 16th: Aurora Designs Fabric
  9. May 17th: QuiltsbyJoann
  10. May 18th: Liviality
  11. May 19th: Momma You Can Make It
  12. May 21st: Margarita on the Ross
  13. May 22nd: Sewing Blue
  14. May 23rd: Kathy's Kwilts and More
  15. May 24th: Momma Newey's Makes
  16. May 25th: Jot Designs USA
  17. May 28th: The Scatty Sewer
  18. May 29th: Granma Texas Sews
  19. May 30th: Fee Bricolo
  20. May 31st: My Sewing Roots
Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Where oh where is the green in our surroundings?

For now in our neck of the woods it is in the fabric. So this month we get to break into our green stash. And just a light and a dark are needed to create the blocks that Jen has designed for May. Both easy blocks and they take no time to pull together.
I hope you are finding that just one block a month, or two if you think of big and little is not too much to keep up with. I am certainly having a good time playing with mine. And be certain you drop by the other designers blogs and see what they are offering for their green blocks.
To get the free block from Jen visit her blog (here). Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Welcome to Month Four of the Fat Quarter Shop's Clementine QAL

I hope you are continuing to enjoy this worthwhile and fresh Quilt Along. By combining our love of quilts with a valuable fundraiser many dollars are going to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Donations are voluntary but every little bit helps and all donations add up.
Each month we are being treated to a newly designed block. We are getting lots of practice making various sized Half Square Triangles as well as Flying Geese. I will say that
I enjoy using my Bloc-Loc rulers for the tiniest bit of squaring up that I am doing. Once you use them for squaring up you will wonder where they were all your quilting life.
As month four starts the block we are making is titled Coconut Cross. If you are using the Fat Quarter shop kit with the beautiful Mama's Cottage fabric by April Rosenthal we have a couple of new prints and a couple of returning prints.
Take the time to visit the FatQuarterShop's blog (here) where they will have links to several other bloggers and a number of them are using different fabric combinations. And don't forget to make your donation. Every little bit counts. Piecefully, Joanne

Friday, April 13, 2018

30 Blocks in 30 Days, almost halfway there

I hope you are continuing to follow Carla at Creatin' in the Sticks (here) and her guest bloggers for her 30 blocks in 30 days adventure. We are almost halfway through April so a block called Median Strip is a good choice for the midway point.
Here are the block components.
Four rectangles that are 3" by 5 1/2" and one rectangle that measures 5 1/2" by 10 1/2"
The shorter rectangles are stitched together on their short ends and then added to either side of the median rectangle. Make certain your colour sections are at opposite ends.
Single block, note position of colour rectangles.

Once you have your sample block complete the decision making can really begin. Do you want to make one to continue the one a day theme? Do you want to make an entire quilt from this block? If you decide on one quilt the colour decisions come next. With a consistent background this could easily become a scrap quilt, or you could make a two colour quilt, or a rainbow of colours. I put four blocks together to see what they would look like as they are rotated.
Four blocks rotated clockwise
This is a very easy block to assemble and with no seams to match pressing direction is not an issue other than to make certain you do press each seam as you go.

I hope you continue to follow along and visit the other bloggers who are chiming in on this terrific project. the following is a list of who is participating.

Project Designer

April 1st

Block 1- 4 Patch
April 2nd

Block 2 - Double Stuffed
April 3rd

April 4th
Block 4 - Dutch Door

April 5th

April 6th
Block 6 - Tacked Up

April 7th
Block 7 - Stripper

April 8th
Block 8 - Staggered

April 9th
Block 9 - Topsy Turvy

April 10th
Block 10 - Chunky Pinwheel

April 11th
Block 11 - Painted WIndow

April 12th
Block 12 - Broken Cinder Block

April 13th
Block 13 - Reaction

April 14th
Block 14 - Median Strip

April 15th
Block 15 - Center of Attention

April 16th

Block 16 - Bounce
April 17th

Block 17 - Sweet Sixteen
April 18th

Block 18 - Yeah Eights

April 19th

Block 19 - Weave

April 20th

Block 20 - Classic
April 21st

Block 21 - Spot
April 22nd

Block 22 - Cross Walk
April 23rd

Block 23 - Opposites Attract
April 24th

Block 24 - Possibility
April 25th

Block 25 - Camper Window
April 26th

Block 26 - Catching Z's
April 27th

Block 27 - Broken Stripes
April 28th

Block 28 - Stockade
April 29th

Block 29 - Dovetail
April 30th

Block 30 - Slow Tee

Piecefully, Joanne