Tag Archives: Quilting

Number two all done


Yippeee!! finished number two of the Volume One (Quilters Academy Series) quilts that i have piecing over the last year or so.

Actually finished it saturday evening and got to work right away on a dress for one of my granddaughters yesterday so this is the first chance i have had to post some pics.

the first one is some of the quilting i did. I did 5 rows of the treble clef design. I had it traced on a long sheet of tracing paper which i pinned on to the quilt and then stitched right through it! worked really well for this as the placement didnt’ need to be exact. I used some of Superior Threads size 40 polyester in a variegated colour ( which if i had it to do over again i wouldn’t use variegated)  really like the thread, the only problem i had was at one point for some reason i had tightened up my top tension…. ?? and i had some shredding , but as soon as i loosed it off , no problems!


In between the 5 rows i did some totally freehand/freemotion musical notes. they turned out not to bad.


On the borders i did a swirly continuous line , that turned out not to bad, if i do say so myself!


the left shot shows the backing i used, I got that fabric at Fabricland many months ago when it was on sale . I used a plain black for the binding , which i machine sewed on.

The right hand pic is one of the corners after it was all washed and dried!  It didn’t get too scrunchy , just a bit!

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And here it is in all its musical glory laid out on the spare room bed!!


the weather has been good for out door pics but we are in the middle of a pretty severe

Forest Tent Caterpillar invasion! so not laying this outside at all!!

the little buggers are all over my house and have been for 2 weeks, apparantly they like stucco (vinyl siding is next i think.

This picture is one of three trees out by our back fence that have been totally stripped of ALL their leaves.


the two pictures below are the same trees , showing how bare they are.You can see some of the green new growth, but there is NO Leaves at all!


we saved a small tree at the side of our yard when we sprayed with “Sevin” last week.

I wanted to spray the 4th tree in the back this evening but it is too windy.

I hope there are some leaves left tomorrow for me to try and save.

the whole tree is like this! I hope i can get the spray up high enough to get them all!


They are just gross and disgusting!! I don’t mind a caterpillar or three but our whole city is infested this year.  there are great  patches of trees all over the city with no vegetation at all on them.  the caterpillars are all over the roads in some spots and can get quite slippery!

I  hope i didnt gross you out with the caterpillars but misery does love company LOL!

right now i am making a matching dress for my oldest granddaughter Daphne and her dolly! hopefully will have pics later in the week!

cheers and thanks for dropping in!


I’m done, I’m Done, I’m Done!!!


Did I mention i was done, piecing all eleven quilts in Quilters Academy Vol 1. Freshman Year.  I finished off the Block b’s in the Irish Chain Variation quilt top earlier today, didn’t even take the time to run up and get my camera 🙂  I didn’t have any real problems with the block B’s….. DSC_0096

This is the only picture i took, saturday afternoon when the strip segments for the nine patch blocks in the center of block b were all ready to sew together.

Then we had to cut strips of background fabric 5 ”  wide and subcut into 2 ”  pieces and sew down the sides of each nine patch block, I did cut mine a smidge more than 5 ” maybe 5 1/8 ”  I decided i would rather trim it to fit rather than have it end up a bit short. That strategy worked just great for me.  and then checked the width of the 9 patch blocks by measuring on the back from edge to edge to get  my unique measurement for cutting the strip sets for the top and bottem rows.  My measurement was within a few threads of 5″  on any that weren’t exactly 5″ so i was good to go!

Strip s cut and sewn together , pressed and ready to subcut when i realized 42″ of fabric would not yield 34   2″ segments? Not sure if that was an error in the book or just Harriets way of making sure we are paying attention.  So i had to cut some more strips to make enough segments for the top and bottem.  I did press the first strip set all wrong, pressed them to the chain fabric instead of the background, so had to repress after they had been cut into 2″ segments.  Not a big deal, just a little time consuming!

Here is a closeup of one of the block B’s (it is in the finished quilt top though) they turned out fine and i love the green!


Then I got all the blocks sewn into rows and pressed ready to be sewn together…..

and here is the finished quilt top! with some closeups below!!!




I’m so excited to get all eleven quilt tops pieced before the one year anniversary of when i started came up on the 7th of April. I know i won’t get them finished, finished by then but one part of the journey is done!

and we are going away the 5th of April for a quick trip to see my oldest granddaughters (she is 6) dance recital!  so i will have the long weekend here at home to get a start on some borders and quilting.

I am going to do a quick recap post in the next day or two so stay tuned if you would like to check out the tops i have been learning to piece over the last year!

Weekend Wrap up


AKA 10 done 8 to go on the Block A’s of the Irish Chain Variation!

Did not do much sewing at all really this weekend , made one block

saturday ,  today  i managed to churn out 7 Block’s .

As I mentioned in an earlier post i am using each dark and light fat quarter fabric twice, mixing and matching so no two blocks are exactly the same.

I find making two at a time with the same darker fabric and two different light fabric works well , I can chain piece some of the short strips together, press and trim at the same time as well. working really well for me.

the seams on the blocks are nesting really well when sewing them together which makes me happy and i am sewing the 2 center seams open as they do not need to next with anything when i sew them together with the B blocks.

the left pic is all the background fabric cut into the 2 x 8 1/2 ” strips for rows 2 and 4 and also the 3 1/2 x 4 1/2″ strips for rows 1 and 5.

to make my 2 blocks i would then cut the darker background strips for each block and then one colour light strips for one block and another light fabric  for the other one.

In the right picture you can see them set our ready for sewing , You can see row 1 and 5 for each block sewn and laid out.  above you can see one block has a very light fabric and the other has a orangey colour as the second colour.

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Here are the two blocks done.


Here are two more sets of two all finished.

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And two more all done!


And this is all of them pinned to the wall in my sewing room


When i did the first block of this design i didn’t think i would enjoy doing them very much, and it seemed to take a long time to sew it together.

But figuring out a way to chain piece speeds it up a bit and also just doing them over and over you get somewhat quicker.

Before i came up stairs i cut all the coloured strips for the remaining blocks to length and they are all ready to go. I didn’t do that earlier because i found myself getting confused about which colors i was using with each other LOL

so no cutting tomorrow night after work, supper etc. maybe i can get 4 or 5 done and then we will see.

we are going out for a dinner with friends on Tuesday  after work and not sure how late we will be out.  so maybe no sewing 😦  but Wednesday I don’t have my regular meeting just coffee with a friend and should be able to hit the sewing room afterwards.

I would like to get this done asap as this coming weekend will probably have a funeral to go to and that will not leave me in any shape to wield sharp instruments and sew straight lines and the next weekend will probably be going to my sons ( about a 6 hour drive) for my oldest granddaughters dance recitial, she is 6 year’s old and is doing tap and ballet and its a hoot to go and watch all the kids her age and especially the younger ones who are so darn cute, waving to their parents etc!

so i would like to have this one all pieced before i go away.

oh and Dawn i did not unpick and re sew the pieces of fabric on the first 2 blocks that had the pattern going the opposite direction, It took me a minute or 2 to find them today, so i decided they were not that noticeable after all 🙂

I did press the two center seams open though!

 So far so good on this one! The last piecing lesson in Quilters Academy volume one!!

thanks for stopping by!

Double Irish Chain Baby Quilt finish!


Since this is not a huge quilt it only took about 1 1/2  or so hours to sew into rows and then sew the rows together. I was a little concerned that since i had kinda rushed while re-making the A blocks that i would run into problems with things not being exact.

there were a couple of blocks that i had to pin really well before sewing to keep the seams lined up but surprisingly most of them were able to be sewn without using more than my stiletto (well seam ripper really) to hold things in place!


The blocks all chain pieced into rows ready to be sewn together!  I love this last bit of the process almost a s much as starting a new project 🙂


All finished ( I really need a white sheet for the wall )

I love this one! Actually i love all the designs in this first volume!

Here is a closeup, and notice all of the carousel horses are upright!


I still have to check and make sure i have enough of the fabric left for the borders. since i remade half the blocks it could be an issue.

Although i did get more of the mauve and pink on sunday , oh and thats another thing i did…  I grabbed the bolt of the mauve and hummed and hawed whether i had the right PINK.  and of course when i got home i had the right pink but the wrong mauve! LOL

I know the quilt store downtown has more of the carousel horse fabric as of saturday. so i am going to check in the morning and maybe i can run up the quilt store tomorrow on my lunch if i need too.

the mauve will have to wait for the weekend if i need more.

so lessons finished and learned, the hard way this time!

but am still enjoying the journey, background fabric still has not arrived but i will get started cutting the block colours tomorrow evening.

I have also been planning on how i want to quilt all of the projects i have made.

I have been putting a picture of the finished quilt top as the background on my monitor so i see it when i am working on the computer and think about what to do with each one. then i have written in a notebook along with what colour thread to use and whether i want thicker thread ( so it shows more ) or thinner thread.

I have decided on 3 so far and am working on the rest one at a time!

Finish! Colour Purple











As promised yesterday here is the latest Quilt top in Quilters Academy Vol 1. all finished except the borders as per Harriets instructions.

I have to say taking that extra care really made a difference when it came to piecing these babies together, pretty much each seam met the othere where it was supposed to and was sooooo nice. I only had to rip out one block when making the rows, as it slipped a bit while sewing and the seams didnt match. but an easy fix.  So here’s a tip for myself  ” Slow down, don’t skip stuff, pay close attention to measurements and instructions!”


Here are the blocks all lined up ready to be sewn together. I use some coloured  glass stones with scrapbooking letters on them to keep things organized.


Here it is, probably one of my better efforts as far as accuracy goes!

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A couple of closeups !

the border for this one will be the print fabric and i think it is gonna look fine!!

I spent some time yesterday afternoon reading the next lesson in the book. it is all about calculating how much fabric you need by figuring it out based on mathmatical calculations. I actually read this and worked my way through the lesson previously , just cause i couldn’t wait 🙂

so i applied the formulas to some other blocks that had strip sets to practice. It’s all good as long as i can find my calculator.

On to lesson 170 I believe it is, book is downstairs , I’m upstairs…. heel hurts… you do the math  LOL

Anyways this lesson is all about combined grids, with lots of measuring , trimming each step of the way.

My challenge is to go slowly , follow instructions, and measure,cut,sew and press carefully.

The design is called Carries Inlaid Tile runner


this is the picture from the book.

there are several possibilities for the layout,  a square quilt, or table cloth (which i am leaning towards), the runner as shown , or a runner thats wider and shorter than shown.

My friends daughter had her twins on the weekend, they are about 6 weeks or so early. but not bad sizes one just over 5 lbs and one a bit under 5 lbs.

2 little boys! both are stable, doing well as is mom and grandma is down where they live looking after their big brother!

I have 2 little boy style baby quilts for them.

anyways off to cut fabric for my next project and maybe get a few seams sewn as well!!

cheers and thanks for dropping by



Colour Purple Quilt top….


Also known as  Double Nine Patch!  Well after  having all kinds of trouble with the first block in this quilt, I got them all finished up this last friday evening! They turned out okay but I know I can do better ( I hope) 🙂

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they squared up quite nicely for the most part and are usable.

So when i started the other nine patch blocks i vowed to myself that i would have none of the issues that i did with these ones!

Got the fabric cut out into the strips saturday morning and was very very careful about being exact, I tried the double fold method and had one or two strips that had a bit of a bend in them so cut them in half on the fold and used them anyways.

I put a barrier strip along the front of my machine bed to help keep me on the scant quarter inch mark.


Checked the width of every strip set very carefully after they were sewn and pressed and as you can see above It was exactly 3 1/4 inches, which is what it was supposed to be.   Speaking of pressing, i was very careful not to be heavy handed while pressing , used my starch and was generally a much happier person while these blocks were being done.  I had a couple of areas where a slight bit of trimming had to be done but no narrow areas.

I didnt worry too much about the outside strip that would be the outside of the block as i figured i could take care of any discrepancies when squaring up the block, but i did check to make sure there were no areas narrower than 3 1/4 inches ( there were not)


All ready to be sewn into blocks.

This is where i had to end off on saturday and go out to our steak and lobster dinner…Mmmmmm, it was good!

Sunday morning back at it to start sewing my very precise strip sets into blocks, thats when i discovered one of the green strips that i used on the center row was a quarter inch to wide, thank goodness it wasn’t narrow. I must have cut one strip at 3 3/4 inches instead of 3 1/2 ”  I didn’t have to worry about it until i squared up the blocks when they were done

because i had been super cautious and precise i had very good results on the butting of seams when sewing the two sets together.  I liked that a lot.

Continued to press carefully and lightly, checked each piece after sewing and trimmed any areas.  I did continue to leave anything that was on the outside edge alone until i squared up the blocks at the end.


chain stitching on the 3rd strip, you can see the barrier strip on my machine.

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All finished up, I love the fabrics together … I give myself an A + on my fabric selection for this project  LOL

and my corners are so nice and also the edges of the block , look how even they are and this is before squaring them up to the final 9 1/2 “

I feel really good about the edges especially because that is one area i was having problems, which i think stemmed from inaccuracies with measuring , cutting and pressing on the internal parts of the blocks. so things were pushed and pulled a bit sometimes to fit and that would show up on the outer edge of the block.


I put all 25 blocks up on my design wall last night to admire for a bit, but didnt get a picture.

And i did get them all sewn together today because it was a holiday here in British Columbia, so no work,  Yaaay

but will save that till tomorrow.

 No “Fails” this time Alice, so you don’t need to beat me up, okay! LOL

What did i learn on these blocks as opposed to the first set.

I have to be more precise and measure, measure , measure all the time. and not just here and there on a strip set , all the way along it.

Ironing : keep using the steam but with a light hand on the iron and be careful not to burn yourself! again..

Keep remembering its not a race!

I have been watching a few of Eleanor Burns’s videos over the last few weeks and noticed she uses a stiletto to guide her edges as she sews and to hold cross seams together instead of pinning… well I tried it with the point of one of my seam rippers and it really is nice to use.  I used less pins especially when the leading edge of the seam was on the top and the seams would butt nicely together. I think i will get a real stiletto to use as i quite like it.

so it’s off to the tub for me and then to bed as 6:00 am comes so darn early!




Shades of Grey…. done!


Yes i finished it a week ago! just havn’t had time to get some pics done and posted. but that is what is on the agenda this evening!
I went over some issues i was having when i made block A and here is how things worked out when sewing Block B.
1) I must be more careful with pressing strips, especially the narrow ones. the strips for the small 4 patchs are cut 1 1/2″ wide and then sewn together, they seemed to get a bit curvy here and there . Will have to watch that! less of an issue on the second set of blocks, still a few wonky bits here and there, but overall an improvement.

2) follow the pressing guide given in the lesson! I had no problems on Block A, and will follow again for Block B. managed not to have any huge issues with this, if i had one the wrong way when piecing things together i was generally able to repress in the opposite direction. I did piece all the larger 4 patches together incorrectly and they had to be un picked and resewn!

3) I must pay extra attention to sew the small 4 patch/plain square units together! check them out before sewing and pressing.
Much much better, they didnt seem to be sewn on at angle this time , and i left a little more room between blocks while sewing them to the strips.
4) make sure i am using the same side of the line on my ruler when cutting strips/or trimming blocks. I think i am cutting things properly but a few segments were a bit dodgy size wise, that is mostly a bit small , usually near the ends or beginnings of seams…. Not sure what I am doing there but will keep an eye open for it and try to resolve what it is.

5) take extra care to keep seams straight at the beginning and end of a row of stitching. I had a few areas on the odd block that were a bit smaller than they should have been IE: when squaring up the block a small bit, usually on the corner that were not out to the line on the ruler. never a huge amount. and i tried to make sure i compensated for that on the next seam. But i need to be more careful to avoid things like that.

6) Slow Down! this is my hobby , and i am not in a race!! this is a hard one to do especially when getting near the end of a project! LOL  a person just wants to keep working and get er done!

I did get a few pics of the blocks in progress..

DSC_0631 Sewing the small 4 patches to the 2 1/2″ strips to create

these units.


Below is the picture from the book on which way to press the seams on these units and then sew together.


I finally hung a sheet up in the spare room downstairs , as a design wall! I knew i would need it for laying out all of these blocks and make sure i had it right.   when i had all 48 blocks done i put them up on the wall , first the way the quilt is  in the book with the light colour in the center..


Nice, but i wanted to see how it looked with the darker grey in the middle….


Sooooooo, which one did i pick ? I’ll get to that in a minute.

I had to be really careful when sewing the blocks together so i wouldn’t mess up the layout.  so i sewed 4 blocks together ,


and ended up with 4 rows of three larger blocks. that was monday evening of last week when i started those and i only got 7 large blocks done that evening* sigh*  I wanted to be finished  🙂  this is where i had the most problems with the seams being the wrong direction and having to repress, but didnt have to re-do any seams.

Tuesday evening after work, supper etc i got back at it thinking i might not get done that evening either  as it took so long to get 7 large blocks done the night before.  But it went very quickly , the bottem half of the quilt top had more seams pressed properly and butted up against each other very nicely, not sure why that was. but less time spent at the ironing board and i guess i just got into a rythm and things went along quite nicely!


When all 4 rows of the large blocks were done then i sewed the 1st and 2nd row  together and the 3rd and 4th row together and finally the last seam was done about 10:15 sewing the 2 halves together!  I usually make myself stop at 10:00 on work nights so i can get to bed as 6:00 am comes pretty quick. but at 10:00 i was so close to being done i just couldn’t quit.  I knew i was getting low on bobbin thread when i was ready to start the last seam and i decided i should just have enough to finish before running out….. but sadly I ran out 4″ from the end of the seam! Yes ! I really did LOL

so here it is hanging back up on the design wall and you can see that i went with the dark center, I just liked it best for some reason.


Shades of Grey
finished Jan 15/13

closeup of the center area


I had to do very little easing in on this one, all the blocks were pretty darn close to being exactly the right size.  that made me pleased. On the small version of this one that i did, I remember having to unpick a few seams and resewing them either a bit wider or narrower to make them fit nicely with the neighbors!

Up next is Class 160 which has us learning to do 9 patches among other things as well.  And i have started a baby quilt ( none of the next class projects really worked for me as a baby quilt) so I am doing a little trip around the world.  I will have some pics of that in my next post and fabrics that are picked out for the next class project.