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Progress and Projects on the side

Friday, October 26, 2018


I am working on this forest fire rebuild quilt for our friends. Its undergone extensive renovations.

Its getting done in between challenges and other projects I have on the go.


These blocks were hauled around all over the country side while being worked on.

I love Dresden Plate blocks.



This quilt is intended to be finished by end of November ready to begin hand quilting on this treasured quilt. With the goal to be complete hand quilting by summer of 2019.


I've decided that instead of in the ditch or some 'overall' hand quilting like clams, I will do something different. Different from clam design below.




I love  blending generations of fabric. Its so forgiving, even while at first you think, NO, those colors can't go together and they do!



You can see about 4 years worth of decisions and slow progress. BUT I am making progress too. My hubby is having some surgery in early December, so I'll need to have  something to do while keeping him company. Looking after my sweetie is just a total pleasure because when I need help, he's there for me too.

I've  been mending clothing and making a few upcycled fashions for winter too. Also, my lovely pattern for new dresses for next summer arrived this fall and looking forward to sewing those over the winter. We will be staying close to home recuperating.

Coming up soon is the finish of #RetroBeauty!

Circle Explosion

Saturday, October 13, 2018

When I began to write this progress report on my "365 Circles" that began so long ago I suddenly realized that circles have been a huge part of everyday life. Bowls to holes and all in between circles are the way life goes, in a circle!


This lovely table runner went to a local charity raising funds in an auction. Three Dresden Plate Fans made into this Modern Dresden Table Runner



I made this upcycled bath mat way back into the 1990's and have not looked back on the upcycling front.



This fire ball was an exercise in exploring Ms. Carlson book.

Quilting hoops around my house are a constant distraction for my family as pins and needles managed to escape and no one drew any blood in this exercise.





When you begin a project I don't usually have a plan, to be completely honest. I just usually start with some sort of vision in my head and if I don't get it onto paper soon, it goes by the way of the Do Do Bird.


I have learned how to make moccasins and beading from my friend a Gitsan woman of Glen Vowel.


I made these two needle and pin catchers for her grand daughters.


Then I started with the challenge and I can say that yes, mindful stitching is the name of the game with stitching around the outside edge of any circle and I am not a perfectionist or use any kind of template to make my circles. So they may appear wierd to your eye.





So it wouldn't surprise you when I learned of the 365 Circles Challenge and I began with a goal of 365 circles appliqued onto blocks, I now have well over 400 blocks to work with when I decided I had enough to begin making my quilt.


This had become the medalion of this new quilt. I am working on making the borders that will become something like this sketch below.


Hope you all are having a wonderful day! Thanks so much for hanging in with this long blog post. 




Forest Fire Quilt

Thursday, October 11, 2018

This project did at first make me think, "Oh ya, I can do this, really quick!' but then it was suddenly daunting with a whole king size quilt to machine quilt in a quick way. 


  • It meant I'd have to have an attendant to help me move the big quilt through my home machine and I really enjoy hand quilting more than that. 
  • I would need help with pinning it on the floor, OMG, this means I must wash the floor! 
  • Just joking, but it started to feel a lot like a more work. And as I get older these questions do arise with each new quilt I make, so I look for easier ways to do things.

So I cut it all up!


Yes, the freedom feeling that it gave me was instantaneous and I felt a lot better being able to really calculate how soon I'd have this quilt complete and in the mail. 

Of course, I didn't count on Canada Post going on strike.

So, I elected to do Free Motion quilting and QAYG on each block and then sew each block together again using Marti Michells's method from her great book "Machine Quilting in Sections"



But once I opened up this great book of Marti's, I realized quickly that I would have go off into "FreeStyle Planning Mode" and get busy.

I added 16 inch batting chunks and sandwiched all 20 blocks with Miscellany from Cloud 9 Fabrics equal sized chunks for a reversible quilt finish on the back.


I proceeded onto machine quilting with these smaller chunks. I made it simple and did only 2 inch vertical lines of machine quilting down each 16 inch block.

Once all blocks were quilted, this is the layout I chose to do to make sure of some kind of a planned backing layout. I took a risk that the layout on the front would be OK.
Our fiends are safe and sound and totally resilient. They will survive no matter what.


I started back to sewing these blocks together and a flood of memories came back to me as I sewed them all together. Memories of the many t-shirt quilts I've made, they are so fun and carefree to make. I made the Centennial Quilt for Smithers using this method and many more.


With my trusty Brother sewing machine I have sooo many options for stitches and I decided that Jenny will love to run her hands over the stitches and so decided on Blanket Stitch and they all turned out lovely. I am really pleased with the process.


Sizing these blocks has been a bit tedious, as the original makers of these various blocks supported a good cause back in Smithers and for some reason the quilt did not get finished. 
This was more than a decade ago. Then someone sewed all the top together, I think I remember participating with this part but can't really remember how it went. So the quilt blocks were  not regular, made by MY hand alone. 

Improvisation comes into play often in my work. They had inconsistencies in each one. 
But will be lovely and warm as this quilt came together.



So far so good on the way the first row all joined together looks, wow, what a piece of luck that the dark row of tiny squares are leaning the way I was hoping it would turn out.

Below, you will see the inconsistancy in the sizing does show up to my quilter eye. Some of it comes from not having these blocks made with the quilt in mind at the beginning, but you go with what God gave  you and move on.

But I'm hoping they won't care.


This quilt has been a great project!

In some small way, its brought me back to the roots of Good Earth Quilting and its origins and feeling like I had something worthwhile to contribute to the greater Internet world of bloggers who love quilts.

I strongly urge anyone who reads this all the way to the end to leave me a comment and tell me is this article useful in any way to your journey in quilting?


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Best to you, thank you so much to many followers who have continued to support my little bits of inspiration through this blog.


Wedding Table Runners

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Last summer was one of the busiest on record, buying, moving and two weddings!

While the summer was very busy, I started on some more autumnal colored circles for the first table runner for Monique.

You know I've recently had to put them aside as its all way tooooo addictive. Who knew I'd love hand applique of simple circles, as much as I do?

And her husband to be wanted something in red and blue.


 And as I look back on it, its a total wonder how I managed to make anything with my sewing womb a total uproar. I'm culling and giving away to local good charities and still I have too much stuff!


But this Denim Wedding quilt was a 2017 finish and it completely went right by me! 

Again, between moving and then buying, it was a hectic summer and I envy of you quilters who are so organized. But slowly I've gained ground with all this culling, its actually quite freeing and is allowing me to focus on what's important to me.

Getting out into the nature close to home and with my sweetie, we can pretend we are fully retired instead of the semi-retired life we live which is somehow busier than when we worked full time.


We are Islander's now and we embrace the beauty of Vancouver Island and all the friendly people too.


I have had fun with circles, its amazing what you can do with these little beauties! Add embroidery, more applique, the list goes on.


I really enjoy the Duncan Farmer's Market that run all year long!


And here are the final two wedding table runner's for Monique and Morgan.



Happy Stitching!

Trails In the Forest-Map Challenge

Friday, September 21, 2018

I am happy to report progress is  happening on several projects. Fall is upon us now, suddenly summer went without so much as a "see ya later" as I lay my head down to sleep one night. The  next day it was fall. I know my hubby will laugh and say "You always say fall is here and its only September!" but my bones know for sure.


I have decided to add my contribution over at AHIQ:Improvisational Quilts to this year's challenge. Map Challenge. You can tell its fall with this awful photo! Dark, grey days of rain is the only outside light and my sewing womb overhead light sucks!

These blocks were just the beginning of my expression of Mind Mapping trails of my childhood.


When I started this challenge, I was thinking memories of my fond days as a child walking and playing in the wild bush of Northern B.C.


Its that time of year when dog pads need to be refreshed, cleaned and repaired. Rusty seems to need a little help with positioning. Her latest quilted pad is two layers of upcycled bedding blankets covered both sides with greyish broadcloth.


I cut apart the previous blocks that we already sewn together for our friends quilt in Telegraph Creek and have machine quilted them. I'm at the tedious part of knotting and threading the seam ends buried deep inside.


Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs