Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Quilt Show and Sale over for another year!!

We held our 13th Annual Quilts at the Harbour Show and Sale this past weekend and made over $700 for the support of the lovely small church in our community. In these days of disappearing rural community infrastructure it is good to see an active vibrant small church surviving. So many other features of the rural community have gone - gas pumps, stores, and one room school houses. But the community of Hall's Harbour continues to support an active fishery, an up-to-date fire protection service, and a Historical Society and C@psite . We rely heavily on volunteers and so many residents work hard to keep the community active and growing.

It was so nice to have an opportunity to visit and network with so many friends, new and old! Often our lives are busy and we don't have the chance to slow down and share, but this event gives us a nice opportunity to do so. It was good too, to see what everyone is doing and to get fresh quilting ideas from each other!
One of my goals was to move out a pile of quilting magazines and quilt-related bits and pieces and it was good to see so much of it got to new homes - more downsizing and de-stashing will be in the works this winter.
And talking about winter, I think we may have had frost last night - very soon we will be starting the lugging of firewood and the countdown to Christmas!

I'm planning to be ready a little earlier this year - are you? I must get my fresh listings ready for FunkyBabyMine and A Coastal Christmas sites - keep an eye on them as I hope to make some progress there this week.
And if like me, you love the classic old quilt kits, both applique and cross stitch (wholecloth too!) you must check out - these lovely kits have become harder and harder to source and my inventory is extensive as we go into winter! Enjoy! And remember I also have gift certificates for those hard-to-buy-for ladies on your list.
Until next post, big hugs to everyone and apologies for not posting this summer. I must try to do better this fall.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

UPCOMING QUILT SHOW: Quilts at the Harbour 13th Annual Show and Sale


September will be here before we know it, and today I was revising my publicity documents for our 13th annual Quilts at the Harbour Show and Sale, and getting ready to print and distribute them. I thought it would be a nice idea to give you all an early heads up about the show, and some details:


September 24 (Saturday) from 10AM until 4PM
September 25 (Sunday) from 12 Noon until 4PM
Hall's Harbour United Baptist Church
885 W Hall's Harbour Road at Sullivan Road
(go through the harbour and climb the hill past the Lobster Pound. Stay on the paved road. The church will be on your right, facing the sideroad in about a kilometre or half a mile)

Admission is by freewill offering and free refreshments will be available

There will be many quilts and quilted items for sale, as well as those that are on display only.

For avid quilters, the "Gently Used" table is always a very tempting delight

And of course we will have the traditional B AKESALE to go with the show!

The church itself is a beautiful vintage 1840's structure with a cemetery that fascinates geneologists. Most of the original church furniture is intact and cherished. Ask to see the antique collection box on a pole - any of us will be happy to show it; and Richard, who is a deacon of the church, an historian and last but not least the proprietor of the bake table, can give you many details including lots of leads if you are researching family connections.

Here's a picture of the outside of the church so you know what you are looking for - we will also have a banner and a sign out.

If you wish to enter quilts in the show, come by the church on Friday evening between 5:30 and 7PM and we'll take your entries - specify if the items are for sale or just on display - all quilters are very welcome to show - you don't have to be from Hall's Harbour. Bring two copies of your list and leave one with us so there are no errors at pickup time, which is around 4 on Sunday. Again if that time is not good for you we can work something out in advance.
If the Friday evening drop off time is inconvenient, just email me: and we can arrange something outside those hours.

IF YOU JUST WANT TO BROWSE SOME LOVELY QUILTS, then we welcome you - you're in for a treat and this year I expect some older, vintage quilts and bedlinens for sale as well. Bus tours are welcome - not long ago we had folks on a bus tour from Newfoundland!

There are always lots of other local activities going on, fine dining is still available and the weather is usually very stable - fall colours will be lovely too!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I am selling my collection of vintage and antique quilts

Hi everyone! Greetings from cold and soggy Hall's Harbour, Nova Scotia. I'm still plugging away on various quilt commissions plus the small quilt of next to nothing expense. There aren't enough hours in a day!!!
But I have nothing to show you for now from the various projects, but I think I can knock your eye out anyway with what I show you today!

So for this nasty, bleak day I'm going to show you some highlights from my vintage and antique collection of quilts. I have decided to liquidate these lovelies through and will be gradually listing them over the next few months along with some vintage bedlinens to enhance them.
Above is a sweet indigo flying geese  quilt  with doublepink setting squares -  a very traditional choice of colurs and prints for this period. Gotta love it!

 Reflecting my love of applique and of blue is this beautiful quilt, quite probably made from a kit, but I haven't yet found proof for this yet! Will keep looking though.

 This is the vintage 1950's 1960's "The Living Rose" kit made up with great skill.
 Definitely a quilt made up from a kit - now if I can just find out which one!!
 A truly exceptional loneststar with added verve - the quiltmaker chose a glorious pink/rose colour for the setting and carried the same colour through to the back too!! I'm having a hard time parting with this one!

This one is made from a kit and is in impeccably finished cross stitch - full queen/double size and suitable for master bedroom in that it is not too froufrou but is still lovely!

All these quilts have been carefully selected by me to have been completely flaw free - no rips or weak spots, nothing coming unstitched and above all no stains or funky odors. What's not to l0ve about any of them.
Watch as the complete collection unfolds on and I hope I've made a cloudy unpleasant day a little brighter for you!

Until next time.....hugs! Janet

Monday, May 2, 2011


I am frequently asked if I find the current pricing on fabrics makes it hard to make up-to-the-minute and inspired quilts.

My response is that if you know where to look you needn’t spend a whole lot on fabric, and free patterns are at your fingertips everywhere on the internet. If you have steeped yourself in traditional design and gathered in your files pictures of many blocks and inspired designs from the past it should be easy to draft a pattern for yourself and to draft one that is at your current skill level.

A case in point: I am an inveterate hoarder of scraps – I make a lot of quilts and buy my backing fabric by the bolt, so when I trim my quilts as I am completing them, I end up with several inches off each side of the quilt, and squirrel that plain ecru muslin away in a bag. Recently this cache has been growing and I’ve been wondering what to do with it .................

Enter a giveaway that the Alma and Barb at Blackbird Design hosted to publicise their beautiful new Moda fabric line – Antique Fair – (what’s not to love with this fabric) and when I won, it was for 4 lovely little 2.5 square sample packs – in total 168 luscious little squares of pretty and colourful fabric.
I did the math and figured I could make 84 four patches – and I could arrange them maybe 9 by 9 and with some sashing, maybe a border, end up with a sweet baby quilt of about 44 by 44 – no cost to me – right?

                               And the most recent line of Blackbird Design too! Win/Win!

You'll note that I'm piecing by hand - my supplies are limited to thread, a needle, a few glass headed pins and a two inch square of template plastic which I keep from project to project in a plastic sleeve for my templates.

I can piece a four patch in just ten minutes and tuck it away and get on with my other paying projects - this method works for me - the piecing is accurate and acceptable the first time round and can be picked up and put away without the time and effort waster of setting up and then putting away my machine.

Being still on dial up (groan!!) I can stitch a seam in the time it takes to load an image-heavy page, so I'm not sitting here twiddling my thumbs!

A big thank you to the gals at Blackbird Designs for that generous giveaway!  
Folks should bookmark this URL and check back often - Alma and and Barb have frequent giveaways and the prizes are always really great!!!

As I make progress I'll post more pictures of this project - I hope to have it ready to present at Quilts at the Harbour Show and Sale, and as well at my studio's series of Pre-Christmas open houses - "A Coastal Christmas"

Bye for now - Janet

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

DO YOU OWN A KINDLE? Did you know you can lend and borrow e-books? Did you know that there is a great organization that aims to place a Kindle in the hands of each school student in developing nations - here's how you can help....

Today I read  about a really inspiring international group of people working in cooperation with educators in developing countries and with business partners in the book publishing industry to bring about changes in the ineffective and random way in which books have, up until now, been made available to students and their families in developing nations.

Check it out at:

I'd like you to read about and get an idea of what their mission is and how they are accomplishing it.
This not-for-profit Non Governmental Organization has only been off the ground since November 2010 and yet they have had some remarkable successes in their pilot project and are about to launch a second project as well. Read through their website and see if their goals and methods are a fit for the way you look at problems and solve them, and then donate - it doesn't matter how little as long as we each give a bit.
Above: the international team working in Ghana.
Courtesy of

Below, children in one of the first classrooms to start using Kindles in Ghana, are amazed at their new view of the world and with the fact they can take them home and share with their families.
                                                                      Courtesy of
Next, go to the website's blog and read about the fundraising partnership Catherine has set up to tap her large membership and encourage them to take a one month challenge to donate $5000 worth of Amazon gift cards to - you will note that Amazon has partnered to sell discounted first quality Kindles to worldreader for distribution, so your gift dollars go much farther.
Follow the instructions on Catherine's blog entry to make a donation - I just did, and I feel a whole lot prouder of myself!!!

Back to quilting in my next post!!
Bye for now - Janet

Looking through my stash of books on quilting, taking stock of where I'm at....

(Lately, I've been feeling a little restless and unfocussed after a prolonged period of working on the same three projects. So as soon as I finished the first phase of one project, I gave myself a week's vacation. I feel the better for it!)

This is the time of year that I feel the need to go through my stash, my started but laid aside projects, books and patterns, and to weed out items I know I am not likely going to use - I set them aside for the Quilters' Gently Used table at the Quilts at the Harbour Show, which is held on the last weekend in September every year - this year is no exception, so put a ring around Saturday September 24, and Sunday September 25, 2011 and be sure to pop by - we'll be looking for you!  We always have great items for quilters to add to your stash!

The above two pictures are of several projects I completed over the last year or two - they vary from a small quilt, mattress and pillow with pillowcase  designed to fit the little doll's cradle also in the picture, and directly above an amish-style queen sized strippy Flying Geese quilt which was entirely handpieced and handquilted. I'm lately exploring another way to produce flying geese more quickly but just as accurately as these were done.

At the moment, I'm completely out of fresh books and magazines to read and since I need to read an hour or two before turning out the light, I've begun going through my library of quilt books and periodicals.  I find this a really stimulating past time. Last night I was going through a Kaffe Fassett book (ISBN 1 - 56 - 158 - 650 - )
 and also "Homage to Amanda" (ISBN 1 - 55853 - 268 - 4)
These two books sound as though they might be at opposites in the interest spectrum, but early on in the book, Kaffe states his and his co-author Liza Prior Lucy's strong base in traditional vintage quilts. Stunning quilts and lots of great ideas and inspiration in both those books!

And of course I must remind you all of Fons and Porter's Complete Guide to Quilting - I cut my quilting teeth on this text and keep a copy handy as it has so many handy little boxces of highlighted tips - right now I need to look up the diagonal measurements of squares in order to estimate an on-point quilt's size.
Today, in between tidying up a few almost complete small projects on my work table, I have been going through one plastic tote of stash and finding a place to put some very tempting new pieces of fabric. This has led me to all sorts of new ideas and to poking through my computer files of inspiration pictures.
I have remembered a wonderful almost toile like fabric I liberated from a high end printed cotton skirt I bought at Frenchy's: it is a series of six old engravings rendered on raspberry, rose, and two shades of a dark taupe - the subject is a turn of the 20th century America's Cup race and I see a quilt in the economy quilt pattern as suggested above - I think later I'll get that fabric out and at least cut the interior blocks to be framed by some yet to be found additions from the stash - a nice tie in to my projects - follow along as I get this new project started.
And below some teasers from my two current major projects:

Launching a kayak from the wedding quilt I described some posts back - you'll be seeing more of this later..........


Above are the last blocks to be restored on the lovely heritage silk crazy quilt; the  final step is now the fancy embroidery stitches that need to be replaced in spots. You gotta love that printed-on flapper!!! Thank heavens that particular block survive the decades since the quilt was made in 1928!
Talk to you later - hugs! Janet

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Launching "A coastal Christmas"

Over the years I have collected many vintage treasures, mainly in the area of vintage china and pottery, fine vintage bed linens and a few carefully selected vintage and antique quilts.
This is in addition to my primary business of one of a kind quiltmaking to special order and my sister business of buying and selling vintage cross stitch and applique quilt kits ( .

12 piece Japanese lustreware breakfast set

The time has come where I need to start dispersing my carefully selected treasures and I am opening a site called "A Coastal Christmas" ( which will be both an online and a bricks and mortar resource, operating year round  for fine
vintage treasures out of my home here in Hall's Harbour, Nova Scotia. 

Sweet pair of  hand embroidered and picot edge pillowslips

Some of the items offered will overlap  with my other site -, which sells a variety of vintage treasures, but most will be new and fresh to the market.

Double/queen hand embroidered and quilted - from a vintage kit

What I am offering is the opportunity to choose a lovely treasure that already has been pre-selectd  out of the less desirable items which usually make up the majority of vintage and antique items in shops and online.
If it had major defects I walked on by - I am choosy in what I buy and you will find no items with major defects here. If I would'nt display it myself - I won't sell it to you.

Late 1890's indigo and double pink flying geese quilt - immaculate!

This is particularly true of the vintage and antique quilts and the vintage bed linens I offer - you deserve to be able to display a clean undamaged quilt and linens on your bed, and you won't find anything else here.

So please go on over to and view the items I have shown you above - along with details  and pricing. Remember, I am set up to take Paypal and am happy to discuss two or three equal monthly payments to secure your choices. Otherwise your personal cheque is acceptable in USD, other currencies please check with me first.
Meanwhile, next week regular chatty blogging will resume. I've been very busy with commissions over the last couple of months, but that is easing slightly.
Until next week - cheers! Janet