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

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What I've Been Doing Lately - it certainly hasn't been blogging!

In terms of my current workload, there simply aren't enough hours in a day. I have a full plate - designing and working on a queen/king size wedding quilt; doing an appliqued art quilt which is one in a long series of art quilts for a very good return customer; working on a wholecloth queen sized quilt for another return customer; and restoring a beautiful circa 1928 silk crazy quilt. In addition I write and research a blog entry a week for a client and manage SEO for him; as well as researching and continually checking the secondary market in vintage quilt kits, both applique and cross stitch for my business at 
No real excuses for losing my blogging mojo though, except for the fact that winter should be over and isn't! I admit to a certain amount of cabin fever and impatience and some of my local friends in my sidebar are saying the same thing.

On to a happier subject: Here is the centre block in a medallion of 9 blocks celebrating aspects of a recently married couple's life together. This particular block celebrates their wedding day, and when finished will be embroidered with their names and their wedding date. So it doesn't quite look finished, but I'm currently ready to move on and come back later to put the finishing touches on. The background is one of the Hoffman 1895 range of batiks as will be many other of the fabrics in the quilt. The 1895 range of colours is very pleasing, and the fabric is silky, soft and very closely woven so it is very stable and takes both embroidery and applique well. The appliques have been done using vintage floral prints and some more recent repro fabrics from the 1800's, and have been enhanced by embroidered details.  I hope you like it!

Maybe in the next few days I will have something to show you on the crazy quilt restoration, especially if we get a little natural daylight around her! The flash does unpredictable things to silk due to the silks' irridescence and lustre - the photographed colours are not true and tend to be far more harsh than they are in the flesh - oh well!
I must get going before the day is fully out of control - I need to bring some more wood into the house and make some supper casserole preparations as well as do a little more stitching.
Stay warm and look out on the ice - driveways are treacherous around here!

Friday, February 11, 2011


I've just had my first ever guest post published on Jenna's blog:

Needless to say, I'm just thrilled that Jenna is hosting my post on her blog!  Back in the fall, I quickly joined her wool CSA when she announced it and was lucky to get in as there is now a waiting list. I can hardly wait to receive the major shipment of this year's share which is expected to be sometime in late summer after her sheep are shorn and the wool processed and spun at a nearby mill.

Since I received two skeins and the hat I made for Jenna took less than one skein, I am going to knit another, smaller one for a baby or child this weekend and will show you the results as soon as it is finished and put up for sale on my shop: which in addition to vintage treasures features items for babies and children.

In other news, the giveaway held by in aid of Pete's Greens is over, having raised over $11,000 to help cover the uninsured loss by fire of the huge barn which supported the Pete's CSA, and I was among the lucky winners - I have won the entire selection of patterns published by "Champagne Maker" at:  I gave a child's size wholecloth quilt kit to the cause, and Julie, the winner will be receiving it in the mail very soon.
(I must apologize to all my various giveaway winners as this winter has seen a huge amount of snow and it has been very difficult for me to get out as I am somewhat disabled. I still have one set of prizes to go out on Monday - everything else is on its way!!!)

Hmmmmmm..... maybe something like this to make from Jenna's next shipment of wool? This lovely  selection of pretty patterns is going to really expand my horizons - I need to brush up on cables!!! Or maybe a lovely cowl - I'll also be getting that pattern - actually there will be over 30 arriving on my doorstep very soon!!! Yeay!!
Have to go take lunch out of the oven - catch you later.
Keep warm and safe this weekend.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I received an email yesterday alerting me to a giveaway benefitting a young farmer in Vermont who lost his whole CSA storage and processing barn to fire two weeks ago - a loss of half a million dollars which is only partially covered by insurance, will make it difficult for him to get up and running again as he lost all his stock, freezers full of meats and his packing machinery and stores. His CSA offers meat, fresh vegetables and fruit and locally grown and processed grain. People in the localvore and green movement are rallying to his support and to the support of the organic CSA movement.
Check out what happened  at Pete's Greens website:  Then go to the site that is hosting the most amazing giveaway to benefit Pete's operation and help get him up and running again:

Even if you are unable to donate, you can still enter the giveaway, but you will have only until Feb 6 to do so - so hurry!
In the winter, I am always short of disposable income due to extra electric and snow clearing costs, but I always have lots of good things in my stash so I have offered the choice of one of two prizes:
1) A Benartex wholecloth quilt kit - all you add is the quilting thread and the quilt batting and I am also offering email support and advice to the first time hand quilter too!

OR 2)you may choose a $50 gift certificate to spend on my vintage treasures online boutique:  which features children's items, vintage handmade and embroidered houselinens, small vintage decorative items, etc.
Pop on over and check it out - just click on the button in my sidebar on the right.


Remember, too, that the Moda Pillow Talk Blog Giveaway starts today - go to  to get started! There are some great blogs to visit and some great prizes.

See you soon - meantime, if you are on the eastern seaboard, both Canada and the US, batten down for a good one - I see a roaring woodstove and home made bread in my immediate future!!
Take care - and warm hugs from Janet!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Last Friday we had a little of everything - we woke up to snow which later in the morning became heavy, but by later in the afternoon we had passed through sleet and settled on drizzling rain and a wind from the southeast.
By bedtime, the wind had backed around to the northwest and was howling in off the Bay of Fundy. Saturday morning dawned very cold but with the wind gradually lessening. The high winds had coincided with high tide and the phase of the moon which means a higher tide than usual, and the damage to facilities at the harbour here was extensive.
Compare this photo with the one I posted in my last post - the view that sunny summer day was taken from the same level as the structures in the photo above are built on - the ripped off shingles were caused by large items such as a small shed and the small craft mooring pontoons which were in their winter storage positions nearby being thrown against them. The buildings are seasonally used storage for the Lobster Pound Restaurant and a building used as a Gallery for artists. It would appear the Lobster Pound itself and the Restaurant and washroom buildings must have had water in them too, and their raised septic bed had damage.
There was as well some erosion damage to seaside embankments on which homes are located. This points up very clearly the peril coastal communities the world round will face in the future due to rising sea levels coupled with increasing intensity of weather systems affecting us.

The weekend was intensely cold, at a consistent minus 18 celsius but the biggest factor in enduring that cold in an old uninsulated house like mine is the wind factor and that was variable settling down a little Saturday only to start to rise again Sunday evening and peak last night before settling again.
I did my usual thing - wandered around with a supply of left over quilt batting strips and a butter knife, tucking batting into all the drafty cracks I found, and keeping doors to the outside and to unheated parts of my house covered with heavy drapes. Both days I was a sight to behold with a knitted cap tied under my chin and two layers of clothing topped by a nordic fleece dressing gown - yikes - thank goodness no one was out and about visiting and thank goodness I didn't have a chimney fire - what a sight to behold! But today, it is rising to a balmy minus 11 and some gentle snow is sifting down out there and snow heralds warmer weather!

Have spent my time searching the internet and writing ideas down for improving my old 1820's house for next year. The old house has at best a layer of birchbark under a layer of shingles and many of the windows really need replacing, but so does my bathroom floor and that must come first.
I'm looking at another woodburning stove and have found something I just love - it is a compact oven cooktop and is small, sleek and nicely designed and engineered - it would be compatible with my old kitchen and could be installed in front of the bricked up fireplace and bake oven combo. It is manufactured in Vermont so I have sent an email to see if it is possible to buy in Nova Scotia.

I also have been checking out a new site that my daughter has launched as a Kindle book lending  exchange now that Amazon has allowed lending to take place. Check it out at   - if you already have a Kindle or are considering buying one, borrowing books makes a lot of sense - even if you can't finish it in the allotted two week span, then you will know if it is a book you'd like to buy and can go ahead and purchase it from Amazon instead. I've put the link on my Blogs and Website sidebar, so go check it out.

It's now finally warm enough in the house to be able to attack the hand applique I'm doing, so I must go now and first bring in more wood; and second spend a few hours at quiltmaking.
Cheers everyone - winter will be over soon!
Keep warm!   Janet

Friday, January 21, 2011


It's been a busy few weeks since New Years. As always in winter there is a lot to do in an old house to keep the cold and frozen pipes at bay. It has been a scurry of lugging wood in, ashes out; and waking a few times each night to keep the woodstove filled up and pumping heat. We've had lots of snow, but we're now a month past winter solstice and the days are gradually lengthening - can spring be far behind?

I've been busily designing blocks for an appliqued wedding quilt celebrating a life together for a young Nova Scotian couple who were married last August. As it develops and after they are the first to see the photos, I will be sharing them on this blog.

Last evening I was browsing around some new blogs about home decor - wanting to send URL's to an American friend who is renovating a 1930's Arts and Crafts style home, and I came across Bella's blog. Bella is hosting a giveaway which will be drawn next Wednesday. She is giving away a copy of the January 2011 issue of Jeanne d'Arc magazine. A cover shot  and a typical inside spread are shown below.   Go to  to sign up by commenting - you  can earn an extra ballot by becoming a follower of Bella's blog and another still if you blog about it on your own blog, as I am doing here.

This magazine is a high quality publication more like a book than a magazine and it retails for over $17 - I know, because I came close to buying it online the other night and became distracted by a momentary power failure that caused me to have to re-boot. Anyway - now I'm going to wait and see if I'm the lucky one who wins it instead!!!!

I'll be back after the weekend to talk a bit about quilting. One bit of news I have is that I have just made a rather large sale of vintage quilt kits so am working on re-stocking inventory. I already have a back order for one kit in particular, so the economy seems to be looking up.

Have a great weekend, I'm going to spend mine thinking about planting a few things in the spring!
Warm hugs!!   Janet