Saturday, 17 December 2011

another UFO, now a FO

In 2010, I made the High Desert Mystery Quilt.  The quilt top was designed by Kristina (  I completed the top in a month or so, but it  has been sitting in my UFOs pile (un finished objects) ever since.  I was waiting until I had time to custom quilt it, but the other day, I just felt like getting it done - so freehand feathers seemed to be the way to go.  Not only am I cleaning up my scraps, but I'm tackling the UFOs - I need to declutter!!!  So now this UFO - is a FO  (sorry, did I say that!) 
High Desert Mystery Quilt

High Desert Myster Quilt - freehand feathers all over

another pieced backing . . .

Close up - borders

 Christmas is one week away, and I've got three quilts to finish up, and some table runners that I've been making as "pay it forward" gifts . . .  not to mention my day job . . . it'll be a busy week at the Little House!  

Monday, 12 December 2011

Pinks, purples and pyjama parties!

I had an early Christmas with the 'in-laws' last weekend.  The tree is up, the turkey was cooked with all the trimmings, and the kids had a ball.  We were also given the gift of about 20 cm. of the white stuff - so, that meant an unexpected pj party for fourteen!   I think everyone had a quilt  to cover up with ;) 

 . . . here's what the morning looked like - beautiful blue skies and sparkling snow!  

In the meantime, I had to get this baby quilt finished.  The colors in this cute quilt really aren't as vivid as they appear in the photos . . . but they are bright - especially against the snow white backdrop!

Just off Lenni

Freehand flowers

Pieced Back

Colorful Animals and Stripes
  How's the Christmas shopping coming . . . only 13 more days til the big day! 

Thursday, 1 December 2011

It's Hip to be Square . . .

Actually, this quilt pattern is called Good to be Square, but I can't get this 1986 hit out of my head . . . Huey Lewis & the News - (wait to load)    Sorry - now I bet you'll have this song singing in your head for the next little while . . . or maybe it's just me!

This quilt is made from a beautiful selection of batik fabrics . . . Hobbs 80/20 batting; Glide thread

Because it is so "square", I chose a nice array of freestyle swirls and teardrops to give it some movement.

Good to be Square - Batiks

Pieced backs are all the rage . . .

Good to be Square - pieced back

 and I added my little bit of heart . . .

"Heart of Rock n Roll"

So, listen to the songs in your head - "It's Hip to be Square" . . .

and remember - Dance like no one is watching  :)

"If this is it" . . . "I want a new drug"

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Slave Lake - remember the fires?

Remember way back in June when I posted about the Quilts for Slave Lake?  Well, it's not over yet!  Although Patchwork Fabrics in Slave Lake has given out over 1000 - yes ONE THOUSAND - quilts,  there is still a need for more.

If any of you local quilters out there have finished quilts you would like to donate - contact Linda at Patchwork Quilts  in Slave Lake - here's a link to her blog:

Also, if there are finished quilt tops in your pile of UFOs (we all have them!), contact me and I will quilt them, bind them and get them up to Slave Lake.  You need to provide the quilt top, backing, and binding.  I have a supply of Hobbs 80/20 batting that I'm willing to donate, but if you do have batting as well that would really be appreciated.

So look through your closets and cubbys where you might even find a quilt top you forgot all about - then contact me.

Linda says:  "I hadn't done a count for sometime and have a few inquiries lately as to how many quilts have been gifted now. Well As of today 545 households now have their quilts . Add the total children from these households that have received their quilts(479) and a total of 1024 quilts have been gifted. Many new names have been registered in the last few weeks but there are still more that haven't been regis...tered. Please help make sure no one is missed. I also have names registered that need people to gift their quilts so if you have the time please stop by the store and look the list over to see if you might know someone on it. Thank you to all the wonderful quilters that continue to send quilts to our Slave Lake fire 'SURVIVORS'. You continue to BLANKET SLAVE LAKE WITH LOVE!

Hi Bev, household quilts as well as ones for older teenage boys and single men are what I keep running short of. Thank you for all you have already contributed to Blanketing Slave Lake With Love."

Let's not forget about the people in Slave Lake - winter is here!


Monday, 7 November 2011

What's a Christmas tree without a skirt???

Naked - it just isn't right!!

I took a class at a local quilt shop, Addies - Cochrane, Alberta , to learn how to make a Christmas Tree Skirt.  Now, you would think that would be a fairly simple effort - and actually it was, but the results were far from simple looking! 

The pattern actually makes two tree skirts from the same group of fabric strips - each is the exact opposite of the other.  My friend Carol and I went together on this project, so she got one and I got one.  We went with very non-traditional colours for Christmas, but they turned out to be fabulous.  The other class members each had two - and they were all stunning - and soooo different.

What started out as this . . . .

became this . . . .

and this . . .

and eventually this . . .

My Tree Skirt

Carol's Tree Skirt - same colors, just opposite placement

 Everyone in the class chose different fabrics . . . all very unique!  Have a look . . .

Another one . . . Beautiful soft colours

,,,, and its opposite layout . . . how different!!

Very traditional Christmas colours - stunning!!

Still traditional, still stunning . . . just opposite!

Another non-traditional - can't you imagine this under an all-white light tree with purple/blue/silver ornaments?  WOW!

Lots and lots of cutting and sewing, but well worth the effort!

I put mine on Lenni the Longarm and did swirls up each strip - (click on the picture for a better view of the stitching).

Even Charlie Brown's Tree deserves a skirt! 

Sunday, 6 November 2011

These snowmen will warm your heart!

We have snow on the ground in Water Valley, and it looks like it will likely be staying until we get one of our wonderful Chinooks. 

The Christmas and winter themed quilts are arriving . . . like this cute little snow man table topper!  I quilted a snowman in the red background - can you see them?  Glide Thread (blue, red and gold) top and Superior Bottom Line; Hobbs 80/20 batting. 

Snowman Table Topper

Snowman Table Topper

.... and speaking of Table Toppers . . .

Christmas Table Topper

Christmas Table Topper - Close Up

These three were each quilted using the same backing and batting - one right after the other.  Only one loading . . . makes it much faster than loading each one individually.  (Glide Thread; Hobbs 80/20 batting).

Next up . . . Christmas Tree Skirt . . .

Friday, 4 November 2011

Two birds with one stone . . .

The idiom "Kill two birds with one stone" means to accomplish two tasks with only one effort.

 In the Greek Mythology tale of Daedalus and Icarus, Daedalus is held captive by King Minos on Crete in a high tower. All he is able to see are high walls around him and large birds overhead awaiting his and his son, Icarus' demise. Daedalus devises a plan to throw stones at the birds in the hope of fashioning artificial wings to enable the pair to fly home. He finds, with his stone through a clever throwing motion, that he is able to strike one bird with the ricochet hitting a second bird, thus killing two birds with one stone. The rest is history.

This post isn't at all about birds, or stones, but it does fit nicely with my dreaded scrap heap. (see  Scrap-a-holic  post).  I'm making some progress with the scraps.  They are mostly (not all, but mostly) sorted according to colour - browns, blacks, yellows, beige/tan, golds, blue, green, brights, pastels, multi-prints .. . . it goes on and on!  But, the good thing is that I now have a purpose for the scraps.  Bonnie Hunter, of is hosting a Mystery Quilt project.   When quilters sign up for a mystery quilt, they are sent the instructions a piece at a time. They have no idea what the end project will look like - all you know is pretty much how much fabric you will need.  Each week, a new set of instructions will be posted, but final design is hidden until almost the very end.  This particular Mystery Quilt is called Orca Bay - and, it's going to use up a lot of my scraps.

According to the initial instructions, I will need to choose scraps in four color groups.  I have chosen  Greens, Reds, Neutrals, Browns . . .

So, the sorting begins . . .




Browns . . .

Lets's see where this goes - anyone out there want to join in??  Just go to for more information.

I have no idea where this will lead, but I do know I'll have a fantastic quilt top out of basically nothing AND I will be depleting the Scrap Heap!

I really like the Greek Mythology tale - but further research revealed that to escape, Daedalus used his inventive skills to create wings held together with wax for he and his son. The two were able to get airborne and fly out of their maze prison. Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too high or to low by the sea. Icarus soared so near the sun that the wings melted. The boy plunged to his death into the sea south of Samos. The sea was then called the Icarian Sea.  -

I certainly hope that I have more success with the Mystery Quilt and my Scrap Heap!


Saturday, 15 October 2011

Hooking up on the internet . . . you just never know!

Some people find love, some find money . . . here's what I found . . . .

A few weeks ago I saw a request on an internet site looking for someone to do some machine quilting for a charity . . . The lady who posted the ad needed help finishing some quilts that are going to an orphanage in Guatamala.  I could do that! 

Actually, it's not really an orphanage, but homes for orphaned children that will be run by a foster mother.  Check out Project Somos Children's Village  for more information.

The first quilt I called "Animal Cracker" as it is full of different animals or animal-like prints.  Free-hand teardrops; Fil-tec Glide Thread; Warm and Natural Batting.  (Check out my "Did you know??? page by clicking the link on the right hand side of this page for an interesting tid-bit)

"Animal Crackers"

Racoons . . .

Grizzlies  . . . .

Pandas . . .

Zebras . . .

This one I just called "Fan-Tastic" - It's a combination fo Fan Blocks from a number of different quilters.  Many of them have signed the block they made - and came from Arizona, Missouri, Illinois, to name just a few.  Truly an "International" gift to the Children's Village! (Free-hand Feathers and meandering; Fil-tec Glide Thread; Warm and Natural Batting)


Add caption

Fan-Tastic - close up

Fan-Tastic - I added the occasional heart <3

When I am making a quilt - either piecing or at the Long Arm , I find I'm constantly thinking about who the quilt is for . . . so I've been thinking a lot about these kids as I worked on these two quilt tops.  I hope they are comforting and warm - and thank you to those quilters from across borders for contributing.
If you want to know more about Project Somos Children's Village - go to 

some of the Children's Homes - Earth Bag Construction
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