Friday, August 8, 2008


Happy August everyone. The weather has finally broken and it is cooler, thank heavens.

The last few days I've had the push on to complete this quilt top, which I call "Janet's Indigo Baskets".

It's made up of repro fabrics dating from the 1850's through to the 1870's and was a great deal of fun to do. I will be posting a project soon based on this design on my learn to quilt website: I plan as well to write a couple of articles to post there on the theme of half square triangles made into baskets; and in fabric/colour choices to make a quilt like this sing.

In addition, I have quite a few leftover orphan blocks so may do another variation of this type of quilt and use a couple of other colour prints such as an ochre flower print and some darker madder red prints as well.

I'm looking forward to getting the binding on another small quilt over the weekend - a vintage 1972 Paragon Holly Hobbie quilt kit I have just finished quilting - so that I can sandwich "Janet's Indigo Baskets" and get that handquilted before our small Quilts at the Harbour 10 show coming up in late September.

That's all for now. Have a restful and pleasant weekend!


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Giveaway for quilters

As you will recall, I have launched a membership teaching site and am beginning a campaign to encourage people to join. Between now and the end of August everyone who becomes a member will have a chance to win a prize consisting of a book, fabrics, notions and perhaps a small quilt kit. I am gathering items at the moment and will announce a bit later the contents of the prize package. It will be worth at least $50 USD, and anyone signing for membership who hasn't dropped out during his/her first 30 days will be entered in the draw which takes place around the first of October.
The pictures above show my quilting library, a basket full of notions as well as a box of more notions and stacks and stacks of patterns. I will be drawing on this cache to fill the giveaway box as well as including some fabrics similar to the picture in the previous post!
I think you will enjoy checking out the projects listed so far and two more projects will be added very shortly at:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stash Enhancement!

I have a confession to make! I bought 15 yards of fat quarters, yardage and two yukatas(lightweight summer komonos in cotton) from Japan. I did it and I'm shamelessly happy! My argument is that stash enhancement unleashes my creativity. The yukatas are stunning - I intend to unstitch them and make a full sized(queen) quilt using several more pieces that are winging toward me as we speak, combined with the indigo Kona cotton from that is with it. I'm looking forward to this exercise.
Also shown are 4 yards of Jo Morton's "Fredericksburg" line in green - this is to top up my supply which has been dwindling. Since it's out of print I grabbed it while I could.

The fat quarters are a mix of Moda in the same colours as the 3 Sisters Chocolat line, and a good supply of plum fat quarters for my plum/smoky lavender stash and then some neutral, indigo and red civil war fabrics. A nice haul; keep an eye on this spot for what I will create from this great stash enhancement.

Above is a shot I took the other day just after it stopped raining for a moment. If you enlarge the picture you will even see the aphids on my hanging basket of nasturtiums - what do you do to get rid of them? Any suggestions? The view is toward the road in front of my house - you can't see it because the vegetation is so lush with all the rain.
We have been between a rock and a hard place for the last two weeks as one tropical storm lingered near Newfoundland and another beat its way up from the Carolinas. It has been muggy, foggy, too darned hot and impossible to dry laundry. The sun is weakly poking through finally, so maybe I'll get some laundry done tomorrow - I certainly hope so, otherwise I may have to resort to a laundromat and that doesn't bear thinking about as most of them are not air conditioned!
I'm sitting around alternately quilting and writing this post and finally getting my first coffee of the day into me at 5:30 PM. Wondered why I had a headache until I realized I was in coffee withdrawal. I left for town very early this morning so didn't bother, but hey - look at all the lovely stash that was waiting at the post office.
The last three pictures are of projects I've been working on recently. One is called Janet's Indigo Baskets and these are the trial blocks I just finished this afternoon. Doing a little happy dance because I thought I might have made an error but I haven't so I will go ahead and cut the rest of the blocks out in the morning. This one will be fun. I'm going to be posting it as a new project on as soon as possible.

This is the first block in another project for . It is called Civil War Friendship Stars and I have to finish up the rest of the blocks - they are cut out and I have a couple more of them pieced. The fat quarters to the left of the block are a sample of the fabric choices I'm using.More pictures later.

And finally, a corner of my quilt studio, showing several of the projects I have already posted on - full instructions are available to members. Check it out.
Now back to quilting some more on a sweet little vintage 1972 Paragon Hollie Hobby crib quilt kit I am finishing for my inventory and to display at the 10th Annual Quilts at the Harbour Show that is coming up in late September - will have a picture of it soon. Soft spot for it as my daughter was 2 years old in 1972 and had several Hollie Hobby dolls, nighties and so on.
Catch you all later - warm wishes and hugs!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Enjoying Life as a Quilter

Nova Scotia in summer has got to be one ofthe best places on earth. Everything in full bloom, and most days warm but not too warm, a soft breeze and bright sun, ending with a Joe Norris sunset that is different each evening.

Roses, both wild and cultivated are in bloom. These are the wild deep pink ones that grow in my ditch, make sure you click on the picture to see some detail - these are exquisite!.The rhubarb has bolted, but now we have strawberries and baby greens and soon a progression of fresh local fruits and vegetables at more than reasonable prices will be here. It is so easy to eat nothing but local food during the summer months. There is a fresh produce market near the Post Office in the small village just at the foot of this mountain.
Love the early morning here - my window beside the computer faces west toward the bay and there is usually a breeze off the water. It is so quiet I can hear a dog barking way up the road and no cars go by this early on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
Am just finishing up my latest project for and am cutting out the next one. I have so many ideas flitting through my head for articles and projects that I have started writing them down.
Have just taken a good picture of my display area in the porch off my studio work area and will show you it after I have re-sized it later today. For now, my work day calls.

Friday, June 20, 2008


What fun it has been to complete this small wallhanging or table topper! I sandwiched it last evening and will begin to quilt it later toay. The timing was just right - I completed it as an entry in the fiber arts category in an upcoming Lavender Festival and also have used it to design a project to showcase learning design skills on my teaching site . Just now, my huge old lilac bush outside my front door is blooming and the lilac/lavender and deep green is so much like the little quilt top. All I have to do is glance up out the screen door while I'm working to see this wonderful sight. I love spring, but there hardly seem enough hours in the day to get everything done, indoors and out at this time of year. I must guiltily admit to being behind both on posting and reading my fave blogs. Will try to get caught up this weekend!
Hope you all have a busy and happy weekend.

Saturday, April 26, 2008



Announcing a new concept in learning to quilt. This is a minimalist, low cost approach to acquiring quiltmaking skills; or a renewal for quiltmakers who are tired of the current emphasis on the "fast, fast, what's new and popular" approach currently found in the industry.
Here( you will learn to approach quiltmaking with only a pencil, pins, a ruler, and a pair of scissors plus needle and thread. To begin with you will only need to know how to thread a needle.
At you will find the satisfaction of learning to confidently design and construct your own quilts, seeing them through from the initial stages of fabric and colour choices to piecing, applique, handquilting and binding. You will design and make quilt labels to document your quilt and you will also learn to make an invisible hanging sleeve that is an integral part of your quilt.
This is a website devised to empower women everywhere (with a special emphasis on those quiltmakers who are either far from centres where they might learn or whose family commitments are such that they cannot easily get away for classes or retreats)
I want to support quiltmakers to feel confident in their developing capabilities and to rely on their own artistic experience and judgment, while at the same time spending as little or as much as they want to develop their skills and artistic expression.
It is planned to have an ongoing instructional course on quilt design and the skills needed to finish a quilt of any size; a monthly update of pattern ideas along with 2 new projects a month: buying tips: where to find the best books, patterns and tools at the best prices; and how to shop for the best prices on a variety of first rate, quiltshop quality fabrics, backings and batting. Best of all is planning a members picture gallery and a forum for comments, queries and exchanges.
ABOUT ME: I live in rural eastern Canada, and I have been doing needlecrafts of all kinds for over 60 years. I have had a business website presence at
for over 10 years now, and set up my blog a few months ago at I have been making quilts for sale through my quilt studio for about 12 years now and am represented in quilt collections in North America and Europe.
I feel I have a very good grasp of trends in the industry, of quiltmaking in a historical context, and the requisite skills to make quilts that are very much in demand.
My life before "retirement" involved a career as an educational psychologist, and I have both the skills to know how to teach a complex subject like quiltmaking and the desire to empower women through the medium of textile arts. Best of all I am using an information management system on that enables me to post directly, so there is no waiting for a webmaster to load content, and your questions are answered in a very timely manner.
Come on this journey with me over the next little while - I know you will not be disappointed! You and I will exchange lots of ideas at
I have a one month trial, moneyback if you are not satisfied and decide to cancel membership within the first 30 days. You can't go wrong!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tutorial: Sea Creatures - Part 3

The above illustration is to help you in cutting and basting bias strips to represent seaweed for the sea creatures quilt - choose a fat quarter of muddy green, brown and/or dark plum print. Draw lines at 45 degree angles about three quarters of an inch apart on the wrong side of the fabric. Cut away the short triangle and set it aside.
Next turn over a quarter inch seam allowance and baste it. Then cut away the three quarter inch strip inch along the marked line. Do this until you have as many strips as you will need to make seaweed, and when you have enough, turn over all the strips another quarter inch and pin. Set aside.

Before you go any farther in cutting out fish, starfish, jelly fish turtles, etc, it's time to get a border around the inner part you have pieced. If you are using a print that is directional, as I did, you will first cut a top and bottom strip across the fabric. Each strip should be about 10 inches wide. Fold it over, wrong sides together and right sides outward, and then either drawing freehand or making a paper template, trace shallow a shallow curved line along the inner edges and then pin and cut along the drawn line. Set aside. Measure your side edges of the central piece and give yourself a little extra that you will trim off later. Cut two strips each about ten inches wide, then wrong sides together and right sides outwards, trace another curving scalloped line on the inner edges and pin together and then cut along line. Arrange the four pieces on your work table and carefully turn under scalloped edges and then baste down all four pieces along their scalloped edges.

First pin and then baste the side pieces, You will have first drawn a line on the outside of the pieces about 8 inches from the edges. Then turn over to the wrong side, baste checking that the scallops fit the central pieced section without gapping. Next arrange the top and bottom pieces to fit nicely and to make the edges all fit at 90 degree angles. (Again you can draw a line on the wrong side about 8 inches in from the edge). Baste and check by spreading out on the table and measuring to be sure the quilt top is square and all sides are equal. When you are satisfied, baste and set aside.

Next select prints you will use for fish, turtles, starfish and jellyfish.

I chose two shades of green for the turtle, a beige and a coral for two different starfish, a dark blue, a lighter green and a red and a mustard for fish and the same mustard for a jellyfish. These prints will be compatible with the "Nantucket" style print I am using for border.You can blow up and save to your computer the template drawings - then print them off and cut them out.

The dotted lines on the jellyfish tentacles show where they will be slid under the body of the jellyfish.

Next and last part of the tutorial will address arranging the appliques and sewing them down.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


These lovely tulips were brought to me on Saturday by a friend and neighbour - very timely - we're all longing for spring!

I have been too busy lately - and have neglected to post as often as I should. I'm embarassed to say, too, that I still owe you all another instalment on the Sea Creatures tutorial, and promise to work on it this week. I have some new ideas there for you - we'll look at finishing it in two possible versions - each very different from the other.
In addition to quilting like crazy on the Flying Geese quilt, I have been taking inventory on all the good stuff I have squirreled away in Rubbermaid totes. I now have a good idea of how much is too much on the fabric front and also am about ready to make a list of all the various vintage kits I own, and set prices on them - my daughter will not be a happy camper if this job eventually falls to her, so there's no time like the present to get on with it. Spring cleaning is in the air!
On top of that myself and a co-conspirator are drafting a policies and procedures manual for an organizaton we both serve as members of the board of directors; and as well, I am writing some of the editorial content for another local organization's revised website. Not enough hours in the day and I must get the flying geese quilt finished as soon as possible.
I've also been trying to keep abreast of all the blogs I follow and checked back to
Jeana Kimball's website which also has Jeana's blog and her "Sewing Room" link.
She has a lot to tell us that she has clearly thought through very carefully - she talks about hand quilting and hand applique, the current popularity of art quilts, machine quilting and applique and fabric painting and embellishment.
I have been thinking along these lines recently too - about fads and fashions and where it leads me as an artisan and artist.
I had jumped on the stashbusting bandwagon and to the extent that it helped me to look at my collections of patterns and fabrics and vintage stuff - this is very good. On the other hand I went for a couple of months there, not looking at new fabric lines, not window shopping and definitely not buying. It didn't work - I fell off the wagon bigtime and purchased in the last month quite a lot of new fabric and patterns. I have come to the conclusion that in order to keep my creative juices flowing I need to have actual new fabric under my hands and on the table to play wih. I will make a bigger effort still to use some of what is in my stash - that far is another good goal!
I also realize that even though I haven't had this blog all that long, I need to rehab the site a bit and update here and there. Another entry on my to do list!
Will try to return much sooner this time and forgive the long, long post!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

My "Ironing Corner"

I decided to play with Libby and so I'm posting a picture of my "ironing corner" above.
As I told Libby, I am the original "barefoot quilter", preferring to keep things very simple, so if I can't use my thumbnail or my $10 iron with a bath towel spread on my work table, it ain't gonna happen. Works for me!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Where does inspiration come from?

I'm writing an article about sources of inspiration for quilters designing their own quilts and want to run a few ideas by my readers at this blog.
This is the view of the "big blue cupboard" I have from my worktable - there are lots of other things on the cupboard, but two of the big sources of inspiration for me are the jewel box or modified jacob's ladder block which was orphaned from a project a couple of years ago because the client did not care for pink in any form. It constantly reminds me of the importance of accuracy in piecing and the fact that with several not necessarily totally fetching fat quarters and scraps you can make a very compatible whole.
The framed print is by a local and lesser known folk artist who, I think, is very under rated. It is the view of Hall's Harbour that I have as I come down my road and enter the village from the west side. Someday I will ask Marjorie for permission to make a quilt out of that painting.
Where else do I find inspiration? Lot's of times from the sea - that's a given with Nova Scotian artists, but also a lot of time from pictures and layouts in magazines, from websites - the International Quilt Study Centre in Nebraska is high on that list, and of course from bloggers' pictures, from online fabric stores and from the large stores that still send out actual printed catalogues - I think I have every one put out by Hancock's of Paducah, Connecting Threads and Keepsake for the last ten years and wouldn't dream of throwing them out. Lately too, as I've been going through my stash trying to get a handle on inventory, I have found a trove of 1.5 inch swatches from Keepsake and a whole bunch of 2 inch ones from the New England Quilt Supply Company. Seems serendipity that at the same time, I have been looking a lot at doll quilts and "Little Quilts"
Let me know your take on inspiration!
And for those waiting for another instalment of the Sea Creatures Tutorial - I hope to have done enough more piecing to show how to put an irregular, scalloped border around the part whoch will have applique by late Sunday or early Monday.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Learn to Quilt Tutorial

As I get ready to launch my new website, I have decided to offer a tutorial on my blogsite
I have just posted the next part of this tutorial which you can follow through all the steps to make my original design: Sea Creatures. In it I show the joys of handquilting, one of which is total accuracy the first time, every time - check it out - I am eager to see your comments and will answer questions for you.
Working very hard just now on several commissions and also on a small vintage quilt kit I am handquilting.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

TUTORIAL - Sea Creatures - Part 2

You will have cut all your sets of 3" blocks for the four-patches and are now ready to pin them together before sewing them. Remember that when I say 3" block I mean to draw around a 3" template but cut out with an extra quarter inch on each side for seam allowance - in other words - 3.5"

A REMINDER: you need 24 completed blocks so cut 48 of each of two fabric choices. 96 in all.

Hang Pinning: working with right sides of each piece facing inward, you will hang pin to secure for sewing. Put a pin through the exact corners of two different 3" blocks - line up the pieces exactly and do not bring the pin back through the two pieces - just let it hang. Repeat at the other corner. In the middle, between the 2 hanging pins, line up the markings and hang pin there too. Make sure there are no puckers or gaps. Proceed to pin together all the sets of two different fabrics.

Piecing goes much faster if you don't have to stop to pin each one.

PIECING: Thread your needle but do not make a knot. Insert you needle down through where the right hand corner lines intersect and the pin has been placed - this is crucial to accuracy. Remove the hanging pin.

Bring your needle back up a very short distance left of the entry stitch and repeat, then overcast the first stitch and draw the needle through the loop to secure the end of the thread, leaving a loose tail at least an inch long.

Working from right to left, make tiny running stitches and make a lock stitch every 5 or 6 stitches. The lock stitch is simply a stitch going over the previous one and will serve to make repair easier should a stitch break. Keep your work taut(firm) but not enough to make puckers.

Finish at the exact point where the left corners intersect, and again make a double stitch with the needle through the loop to secure - cut thread, leaving a tail of at least one inch.

Repeat this process until you have no pieces left - you should have 48 two-block units.Press all seams to the right - making sure they are all to the same side - either using an iron, your thumbnail or one of those little flattened wooden sticks you can find in the notions department of your local quilt shop. I'm always losing things so I use my thumbnail - it's imposible to lose and always available - smile - and I save money that I can then spend on more fabric!


Next take 2 of the two block units and turn one of them so that the seam to be stitched comes together, with one seam going one way and the other seam going in the opposite direction. This is most important in order to avoid bulky seams, but more importantly to help the two units to almost automatically come together in a perfect, accurate intersection.
Hang pin the two two piece units right sides together, starting with each end first. Then at the seam in the middle, hang pin on one side of the seam, exactly at the point where the lines intersect. Do not put the pin through the seam allowace, leave the seam allowance free. Then place a pin midway between the end pins and the intersection.
Match marked lines carefully.
NOTE: Until you are confident of your stitching, you can start at the central point(intersecting seam), stitch to the end, cut your thread and then flip the piece over and repeat, starting from the middle intersection again.
Note: Never stitch through seam allowances - just up to them, make a lockstitch and then pass the needle through the seam and continue on at the exact beginning of the marked lines on the other side of the seam. lockstitching helps to maintain accuracy at intersections by preventing "creeping".
Yet Another Note: after several stitches, flip over and check that you are sewing exactly on the marked line on both sides, adjust as you go.

Do all 24 four patch units, checking each for accuracy. When satisfied, press each seam to the same side. Never press seams open inless specifically instructed to - always press to one side, and make it the same side with similar units. Try to press to the darker fabric's side to minimize chance of dark fabric shining through from the wrong side. If that happens, carefully trim away enough of the darker fabric so that the lighter covers it, maintaining a safe seam allowance to avoid ravelling.

Laying out the blocks in preparation for piecing into the large central background:
You will have already cut 6 inch blocks (6.5 including seam allowances) of print #3, 9 for the inside squares, 16 for the setting triangles along the edges and 4 for the corners - 29 in all. Later on you will learn how to cut exact size triangles but for now, we'll work with the squares which will later be trimmed or not as you wish - the part to be trimmed is covered by the scalloped border.
Lay your blocks out on your work area or design wall if you are lucky enough to have one - the 4 patch blocks will be turned "on point" and will start out with one in the upper left hand corner, going diagonally across the design, the next row will have a four patch, a solid block, and another four patch. The third row will have a four patch, a solid square, a four patch, another large square and a four patch. Fourth and final row will have the same arrangement : start with a four patch, end with a four patch - carry on until you have completed a symetical 4x6 grouping of 4 patches, interspersed with the solid blocks, working diagonally downwards and keeping track of where the corners will be.
The blocks - 4patch and solid 6"blocks will be seamed as shown and placed back in the design area and the next row addressed, as shown in the pictures.

When you have all the rows seamed, check carefully that you have not "turned" a block and accidently spoiled the symmetry - if you have, unpick and re-do. Press each row toward the solid blocks each time - this lessens bulk and again allows the seams to nestle into each other, making for great accuracy.

Before seaming the rows together, add solid squares to each end and to the for single corner blocks, pressing as described before. Mark with a pencil at the line where trimming will take place (or not take place if you choose that option. Seam each row together checking for accuracy and pressing each seam in the same direction. You will end up with a rectangle if you imagine the top trimmed or actually trim it.
The next installment - SEA CREATURES TUTORIAL - PART 3 will be posted very shortly - on it I will show you how to achieve a wide scalloped border and discuss preparing the applique pieces.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tutorial, Sea Creatures quilt - part 2 coming soon!

To all my friends who are waiting for the next installment of my tutorial on the Sea Creatures quilt I want to let you know that I have pulled out the fabrics for the quilt top's background using my choice of three printed neutrals for a pieced blocks background;and a second choice using one print neutral for a wholecloth background. The fabrics are shown in the photograph and the border will be the lovely "Nantucket" fabric by South Seas International that I show with it. Bonus: I am busting stash here finally!!! No new fabric will be bought and when the tutorial is finished I will have made two quilt tops, and hopefully started to quilt them too, to add to my studio inventory for the summer tourist season.
Part 2 will consist of piecing instructions and how to add the scalloped borders.
Hope you will find this project fun to do!

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I finally finished the lovely "Garden Path" queen/double quilt top that I have been handquilting for Ruth in South Carolina. Before I sent it off to her yesterday I
took a moment to get a picture of it on my worktable - I usually do my photos outdoors in natural light, but in the winter my options are very limited - lol! Please excuse the poor quality. I show the hand embroidered label I put on this quilt in the other picture.

Now I can get on with Janie's quilt - a flying geese in very traditional solid colours of ochre, red and dark green, that I have posted here in the past. It is inspired by a quilt in a Pennsylvania museum's collection.
So happy to be making some progress!

Sunday, January 6, 2008


SEA CREATURES - size approx 40x60 inches

Suitable for a crib or youth bed quilt, table cloth or wallhanging

Pieced and appliqued

This project will provide you with the skills to piece very accurately, plus the basics of needleturn applique and handquilting. In addition, it will stretch and develop your confidence in making colour choices and design modifications. This tutorial will enable you to put your own identity into your final results. It will be posted in parts (today's is Part 1) on a weekly basis until we finish.
Good luck and feel free to contact me if you have questions or need further assistance.

1) your fabric choices, including batting and backing fabric - try to use good quality 100% cottons and for the batting Quilter's Dream request weight or Heirloom 20/80
2) a quilting ruler of the size of your choice - most versatile is 6x24 Omnigrid, but I got along for a year or so with their 3x18 ruler
3) a thin lead pencil - mechanical works with a very fine line - for light colours
4) chalk pencil and hand sharpener for dark colours
5) template plastic - for cutting accurate geometric shapes nothing beats gridded, but with care clear can be used, and should be used for the applique templates
6) sharp scissors (dressmaker's shears) you use only for fabric - this is important, hide them if you must, but don't let anyone use them for other purposes!
7) utility scissors to cut template plastic
8) sharp, long, thin glassheaded pins - you can use plain pins, too, but these are better
9) betweens needles size 8 or 9
10) piecing thread - 100% cotton - I use Star brand
11) quilting thread - 100% cotton - I use YLI


Background is really your choice with a few suggestions - I used darker mid green and mid blue for the four patch blocks because my client specified those colours - for myself I would today choose either a darker and a mid tone beige neutral print for the four patches, with the setting squares and triangles of a lighter neutral - that is 3 different but related neutral prints. Another choice that strikes me as simplifying the whole arrangement and making the appliques stand out more is to use
a light, neutral and simple tone on tone, marbled or one colour batik such as the Hoffman 1895 range - I love this fabric - it has a hand like silk and very good range of colour choices - super stuff to work with!

If you are going with the four patches, cut 24 sets of four patches - using a 3 inch square template - drawing around the template and leaving room for a quarter inch seam allowance outside your line when you cut them out - in other words - 48 pieces of each of the colours you have chosen.
Then cut out 6 inch blocks being sure to add your seam allowance from the background fabric you choose - you will need 31 of these. You will also need a 9 inch block of the same fabric which will later be cut into the corner pieces.
If you decide to go with a solid piece of background fabric then you need to cut a piece about 25x45 inches.

For the border (instruction for scalloping it later in the series) you will need a batik - again I used Hoffman's 1895 series - but as long as the fabric is suitably sea-like, anything goes! Buy 3 yards - you don't want to be left trying to match this type of fabric. Any left will be a very good addition to your stash - so versatile!

Now, at your leisure, you can look around for the fabrics for the applique - anything goes, except for the seaweed which should be suitably dark and muddy looking because that's what seaweed looks like and also because it provides a nice contrast to the brighter fabrics of the creatures.

The creatures I used are small fish, jellyfish, turtles and a seahorse or two and I used very small bits from my scrapbag - mostly bright calico's, but again it's your choice. Templates and full instructions for the animals later on.

You are now ready to begin sewing the four patches, or just cutting out the single background piece if that's your choice. Perhaps you are not ready to learn to precision piece and perhaps you don't have the time for it just now - that's ok - you can go at your own speed.

And remember - just holler if you need some pointers! See you next Sunday with the next installment - good luck and good quilting!


Friday, January 4, 2008

More pics to go with post below - UFO's and WIP's


I simply cannot believe this! It has been snowing big huge fat flakes off and on again all day - this last bout has been going on for over an hour and appears to be one of our famous "off the Bay" flurries - it certainly is dark out in that direction. Have wuzzed out on a meeting this evening - cold, snow and after dark is not my cup of tea now that I am staring 70 in the eye!
Have been working hard on one of my commissions all day now - I have 4 more blocks to handquilt and then the binding will go on - yeay!!! And then if I can travel on Monday - off it goes in the mail to balmy South Carolina - think I can squeeze myself into that box too? Would love a little vacation from lugging firewood and dealing with snow.
Have been looking over my pile of WIPS and UFO's, and as well as the current two commissions I'm working on, there is also a scrap hexagon one patch, and a big block, very masculine quilt I decided to do after buying a huge amount of marked down Thimbleberries fabrics that despite their lovely "hand" and how well printed they are tend to be unashamedly muddy colours - I ask myself again and again - what was I thinking?
The price was right but outside my comfort zone - so, I guess it is a charity quilt in the making!
Whoops! just glancing around and realized I missed my small amish-style strippy quilt which is already sandwiched and being hand quilted - that is picture #1 above, and since I seem to be unable to add more pictures to this post will post the others in a new post just below.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Have spent a lot of time over the last week or so thinking about the direction my activities should be taking at this point in my life. Have looked through my stash and my vintage and antique quilt kits and quilt top collections and my other collections of local folk art, smalls, books, paintings etc and decided that now is a good time to start downsizing. As my quilt studio opens as soon as the snow is gone around here I plan to work on selling many of these items. If you are interested in anything like the above, drop me a line and tell me your wish list and we'll see if I can be of help. I just might have what you're looking for.
Check out the blog on my homepage at http://www.novascotiaquilts for some pictures and more details....
In another way, my life is taking a slightly different turning as I am working on opening an online, membership website for teaching quiltmaking, including developing colour sense and design skills. Looking forward to that! In the interim, I am planning on setting up a free tutorial on "Quilting with Janet" for people who would like to see how to do my "Sea Creatures" quilt. We have a few interested parties and I am asking for several more in order to make it worth my while.
The weather here has ben very conducive to staying home and getting things done as it has been snowing pretty steadily since New Year's Eve.
Hope you are all enjoying that post holiday pause.
I am thinking about a Pay it Forward giveaway and will likely announce one in a week or so.....