Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

From our house to yours ... "Happy New Year"!  We wish everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2012! 

View from my side door - our sleeping garden, Peter's workshop and our almost frozen stream. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Modern Minx Bee - Janurary

Hi everyone!  This is my first attempt at a tutorial, so please be patient me and don't hesitate to contact me and/or ask questions.

First of all - welcome to everyone and Happy New Year!  This is going to be so much fun!  Just to make sure everyone is on the same page, the Guidelines for our bee can be found here:

We are working from the book, "Modern Blocks: 99 Quilt Blocks from your Favorite Designers"; compiled by Susanne Woods.  I hope everyone has a copy.  If not, please let me know.  After many hours of pouring over all of the blocks in the book, I have finally decided on making my project using the "ENVY" block, shown on page 56 with directions on page 57.  

My inspriational fabrics are from Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley line with some Kona Cotton Solids in Snow and Green Tea. In my test block I have made the centre diamond in 'snow' and stripes around the center motif in 'green tea'. The placement of the solid fabric is the only thing that I would like to have constant so please let me know if that is not possible. 

The instructions in the book are very straight forward, so I won't elaborate on them.  I have been quilting for over 10 years, so if you have any questions - DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK!    I will do my best to help you out.  Note:  The pieces are cut exactly to size, so be sure you have an accurate 1/4" seam.  If not, the final pieces may be a bit short.  I use a 1/4" foot and I have marked my sewing machine with a piece of masking tape at the 1/4" mark.

I took photos during the process and I have added my notes and tips (if any): 
Step 1 - Be sure to press all the seams in the same direction; it will make the next step a little easier and smoother.  I used a striped fabric for one half of the triangle and made sure that all were facing the same way.  I think it works in the final result.
Step 2 - The easiest way to mark the center of the solid square is to fold it in half and press a tiny portion on each side, then open up the square and do the same in the other direction.  Match the seam of your triangles with the pressed markings.

Tip:  I find that when you are sewing a piece with seams to a flat piece of fabric, be sure to keep the seamed side of your work up - then you can make sure the seam allowances don't get flipped the wrong way causing a bump or making extra work "un-sewing"  (my term for seam ripping or unpicking).  A teacher once told me, "Sew what you know!", to keep your work smooth and flat.

Step 2 continued - Pressing away from the center

Step 2 continued - Repeat with the two remaining sides - I trim the overhanging points before adding the second set of triangles for ease of sewing.  It helps with accuracy.  
Step 2 - Here is the center motif after trimming to 4-1/2" square.
Step 4 - Sew A's and B's together; press toward the larger segment (in this case the printed fabric).
Step 5 - ONLY sew the upper right edge of the first segment - this will be completed once the rest of the segments are attached.
Step 5 - Back of work.  Note you are pressing away from the center.
Steps 5 and 6 - To get really sharp points, make sure your seam goes through the intersection of the previous seams.
Step 7 - Once all segments have been attached, go back and finish the partial seam of the first segment.
Step 8 - After pressing, trim away any wobbly bits to 12-1/2" x 12-1/2" square.
Voila - The finished block.  Sadly, the colors here are not really accurate - they look pretty dull.  I assure you that they are much brighter in real life.
So, any questions?  I'd love to hear from you and don't forget to post pictures the our group in Flickr! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

another Christmas is over....

So Christmas is over for another year and a good time was had by all.  Today I sit here listening to the rain on the roof - the prediction is for it to turn to snow by morning...winter may actually arrive soon.

We had a lovely turkey dinner and lots of leftovers.  Today I made broth for future use from the turkey bones....mmmmm.  The house smelled wonderful, all over again.  

The last couple of days were spent using up scraps from other Christmas/winter projects.  I started sorting and cleaning and then I made us a couple of 'mug rugs' and a small table topper.  I feel good having been productive with bits and pieces that where headed for the trash....  

Table Topper
Connie's Mug Rug
Peter's Mug Rug
Today I put together more of the Japanese x & + blocks for my swap coming up in January.  Then I will have to decide whether to just join them like this (see photo below) or add sashing....stay tuned.
20 blocks made - 5 more to go, then off to the UK for swapping! :)

I also got a chance to work on the "Beyond the Block" Mystery Quilt that my guild is running.  We got the last piece of instructions at December's meeting and I used this bit of quiet time to finish up the top.  I am still debating the need for another border.  
Sadly the colors don't show here properly!  

Just another week left in 2011 . . .

Friday, December 23, 2011

Weekly Update

Another busy week and no surprise since Christmas Eve is tomorrow.  Even though I worked all week, I did manage to get a few more projects done....

I whipped up a table runner out of a charm pack that I found in my Christmas Fabric stash box, that I had forgotten about - I don't even know what line this is!  But I like it and am actually keeping it for myself!  (at least for now)

Binding complete for Melissa's table runner to go with her 12 Days of Christmas Sampler, the quilt is not yet quilted, though I did get it basted this week.

Label for Missy's table runner

A pair of 'Farmer's Market" Mug Rugs for our neighbour.  One is fruit and the other is vegetables!
I have been working on my post for the Modern Minx Bee - I am the lucky January Minx and have been working on the blog for my block/quilt.  I have made the test block and it went together very well; perfect for beginners.  I am so very excited about this bee.  

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. 

See you soon,  Connie (& Peter)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Weekly Update

It's been a busy week, but not too much time spent quilting....
Made a test block for the Japanese x & + swap that is starting in January.  I still have to decide how big this quilt will be and how many blocks I will need for the swap!  This is going to be fun.

The Mug Rugs were a hit at the office gift exchange and everyone has come to tell me where they are using them! :)
Diny shed a few tears when I gave her the Winter Enchantment - one of the horses in the panel looks exactly like her horse!  She can't decide whether to keep it at home and cuddle under it or bring it back to her office to hang so that she can see it every day!
Presented the "12 Days of Christmas Quilt Along" quilt top (as it is not yet quilted) at 'Show & Tell" at our December Guild meeting.  They asked if I would be entering it into this year's Quilt Show in July.  I have to get my daughter, Melissa's permission, as it is her Christmas present, but will probably be entering this one. 
It has been a busy week of Christmas gatherings.  I love this time of year - we see so many people that we don't have a chance to visit with the rest of the year.  

I am as ready for Christmas as I am going to be.  Hubby will be doing the food shopping early next week and then all we have to do is cook and enjoy! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quilt Guild

Tonight was the last guild meeting of 2011.  

After regular Guild business and show and tell (where I proudly showcased my 12 Days of Christmas quilt top to RAVE reviews), we played a few games to celebrate the season.  

Our team won the "Quilting Wheel of Fortune" challenge and we each received the new Pilot "Frixion" marking pen - it apparently marks fabric and comes off when you iron's too late to try it tonight, but will give a full report on my next post.
Guild Booty :)
We also played Quilt-o; the quilter's version of Bingo and I won an awesome fat quarter....anyone know what this is?  It is soooo cool.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Making a list & checking it twice....

Such a busy time of the year.....

  • Bake Christmas Stollen (German Christmas Cake) - check!

Finish Christmas gift for Diny - check!
Bake Biscotti for office pot luck - check!
Make Truffle Hot Chocolate Balls for special Christmas treat - check!
Make last minute Christmas Thank You for Mom - check!
Decorate house and put up Christmas tree - check!


Christmas is only 2 weeks away! :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Weekly update

Old-Man-Winter is finally trying to show his face.  We had a bit of snow this morning, but it's almost all gone now.  More is predicted for the weekend.  It looks like it will be a white Christmas! :)

We started watching our Christmas movies this week....I think we have enough now to watch 2 or 3 a week until Christmas.  While watching the movies, I have been hand quilting my "Indigo Stars".  I also have one or two small projects yet to complete for gift giving, but it looks do-able.

Since I don't think I will be able to finish the "12 Days of Christmas" quilt for Melissa (daughter #2), I ordered her a large mug, suitable for coffee, tea, hot chocolate or even lunch time soup, with a collage of all the blocks in the quilt on it.  It arrived yesterday and she was over the moon.

Peter is out of town at the annual "Water Buffalo" dinner with 'the boys' - so I am on my own for an evening.  I helped my friend Pat, set up for the Busy Hands Craft Sale at Miss Lily's Cafe.  It looks good and I wish everyone lots of success and sales!

Well, off to sew a bit, then have a glass of wine and a hot bubble bath before bed...the occasional night on my own is nice too! 



Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Winter Stitching ...

A while ago (late October, in fact), Sarah over at FairyFace Designs, asked people to make a list of what they were working on over the winter.  (You can link to her post here:

I was tardy and too late to join the list, but did make one and thought this would be a great time to share it along with my progress so far.  BTW - these are in no particular order.

1.  Complete 'mug rugs' for the office Christmas Exchange - Complete
Mug Rugs for Office gift exchange
2.  Participate in the 12 Days of Christmas Quilt Along - the first such event I have joined - status - Quilt top is now complete and I hope to start quilting it this weekend (for my daughter, Melissa)
12 Days of Christmas Quilt Along 

3.  Mystery Quilt (Prince Edward County Quilters' Guild - PECQG).  The project is called Beyond the Block.  I need to have this completed for the Guild's quilt show in July 2012 - status - all sections completed to date.

4.  Finish hand quilting "Indigo Stars" - status - approximately 2/3 complete
Indigo Stars

5.  Bind "Tennessee Waltz" once returned from long arm quilter

6.  Quilt & bind "Freezin' Season 2010" {Freezin' Season is an annual mystery quilt that is mailed out from The Quilt Patch in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan}
The Big Flake

7. "Freezin' Season 2011" - start and finish?

8.  Quiltsy Team on Etsy - join something

9.  Organize quilt room

10.  Visit my daughters in Toronto

11.  Start quilting with friends at work (once a week or once a month)

12.  Complete "Winter Enchantment" - Christmas present for Diny - status - complete
Winter Enchantment

13.  Finish "Stars Over Fort Sumter"
Stars Over Fort Sumter

14.  Make gift for Mary Lou - new apartment/Christmas - status - completed and given
Scandinavian Christmas Tree (red) - pattern from VeryKerryBerry

15.  Complete gift for Amanda - status - completed and given
Scandinavian Christmas Tree (green) - pattern from VeryKerryBerry

So as you can see - I am going to be busy this winter....

Monday, December 5, 2011

Arrived in the mail....

I am so excited.  Look what came in the mail today!  More fabric (like I don't already have enough).  It is adorable.  I can't wait to do something with these.  
Denyse Schmidt, Hope Valley

Aneela Hoey Little Apples

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Week ending December 3rd...

It has been a very busy week; I am very busy sewing and quilting for various Christmas gifts.

For Yvonne & David
Today I finished up two "mug rugs" for your coffee/tea and a cookie or just to set your teapot on...for Mum and Dad and for Yvonne and David.  This will be a part of their is a sneak peak, so keep it under your hat!  Shhhhh...

For Mum & Dad

Last night was our company Christmas Party - a good time was had by all.  Peter & I danced the night away and stayed at the hotel in a room provided for by the company.

Hope y'all have a good week.....

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quilt Along Update

I can hardly believe it's December tomorrow.  Already!  The weather has become much colder and snow flurries have been teasing us.

I have been very busy with the "12 Days of Christmas" quilt along.  The last block's instructions will be posted tomorrow, so I started cutting the sashing and cornerstones this evening.  That done, I thought I would lay the pieces out on my bed to see how it would look and before you know it - the first nine (9) blocks have been joined together.  I think they look great!  Here is a sneak peak of the quilt...
12 Days of Christmas Quilt
Can you tell that I am excited about this one?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Lunch with 'the Girls'

Met the kids (most of them) for lunch at The Mill in Cobourg - it's about halfway for all of us.  We had the place almost to ourselves!  Lunch was good and the company great - if only for a few hours.  We feel like this was the first official event of the 2011/2012 holiday season.  

Good to see you all! :)  Sorry to have missed Melissa :(


Boris & Michelle

Jennifer & Kristian