Monday, June 29, 2015

My Second Anita's Grecian Wrench

Someone asked me once how is it that I get so many quilts made.  I think my secret is that when I decide that I am going to make a certain pattern, I make a kit up with all the fabric cut to size.  It if is 2 1/2 inch squares or 5 inch squares for example, then I pick the fabric and cut it all and anything else that goes with the pattern. I put it aside until I am ready to start a new project and then I just have to pick a kit and everything is ready to go. 

When I made up my kit to make the first Anita's Grecian Wrench I put a lot of green squares in the kit and then decided that I didn't like some of them together so I pulled them out and added different colours to make it scrappy.  So now I had all these green squares and had to decide what to do with them so I just added more assorted squares and made a second quilt.  I like the way there is a secondary pattern when it is all put together.

Anita's Grecian Wrench

I also completed another quilt.  This one is such a simple block called a nine patch.  I then sashed the nine patches and then added white sashing to all the squares.

Sashed Nine Patch

This was suppose to be a larger quilt but since I like smaller lap sized I just made less squares and came up with a 38 x 50 inch quilt.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

More Finishes

Our Guild does a lot of charity work and one of the news charities that we give to is called Precious Bundles.  This is a group who give quilts to those who need them for newborns or small children.  I used up some of my fabric that was leftover from my Charlie Brown Christmas quilt and made a small quilt for Precious Bundles.  I bought the blue and yellow fabric in Montreal on our last trip.

Charlie Brown Number 2

When we were in Tallahassee I bought great children's fabric at Hobby Lobby, so I made another small child's quilt.

Baby Buckaroos

My sister-in-law Judy gave me the following fabric a number of years ago and I couldn't figure out to do with it until I came across this pattern and it fits quite well.

The fabric features all quilting motifs.  I had to turn some sideways but it makes the quilt usable at any angle.


This quilt was in a book that I got for Christmas that uses pre-cuts so I used scraps.  A small lap quilt for one of the homes for the aged.


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Iron Caddy Workshop

Today I taught a workshop on making a Caddy to carry your iron in and also use it as an ironing surface.  It needs special fabric for the ironing surface and we used an ironing board fabric that looks like it is Teflon coated.  There were 7 ladies in the class and everyone completed their project except that a few of the ladies forgot their buttons or didn't like what they had so these have to be added at home.

Everyone had such pretty fabrics.

This pattern is from Sister's Common Thread called Caddy Pad.
I found this pattern when my sister Lynda and I were doing shop hopping in Southern Ontario and as soon as a few people saw my Caddy Pad they wanted to make one too.

The hardest part about making this pad is drawing the lines on the ironing board fabric so that it folds up the way it does.
They are so handy to have to take to a workshop or retreat when you can have your own iron right beside you and not have to wait in line to use an iron.

Some of the finished projects.  As you can see some of the ladies didn't have the buttons sewn on so we pinned the caddy's closed so they would know where the buttons were to be sewn.


Friday, June 5, 2015

Lime Twist Tote

I finished a new bag today.  It is called the Lime Twist Tote by Brenda Miller.  She is a quilter that lives in Southern Ontario and designs bags and quilts.  Her bags finish very professionally with all seams hidden and most of them have a gusset in the top to finish the bag off.

The front of the bag. 
 I bought the fabric just because I liked it.

The back of the bag.
The instructions are very detailed in all her patterns but they come with good instructions and lots of pictures to help you make the bag.
I have a couple of Brenda's patterns and am just waiting for fabric so that I can make a few more bags.  That is why they call me the bag lady.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Our last full day in Montreal

Today was quilt fabric shopping day. We bought a day pass for the Metro (subway) and went looking for quilt shops. The first shop we found was a fabric store with thousands of bolts of any kind of fabric you could think of. I purchased some really nice cottons that I could use.  We decide to walk down Ste Hubert St to window shop all the beautiful stores. It turned out to be all bridal or grad dresses but we enjoyed them anyway. 

We found a quilt shop along the way but I didn't like the choice of fabric so we decided to stop for a coffee and then go back to the first store. We got back on the bus and Lynda had forgotten the bags at the coffee shop. She hopped off and I continued on and bought more fabric, of course. 

We then took the metro back down to old Montreal so we could spend our last day there. It was very cold again today so after a late lunch we took the metro back to our hotel. 

We are packed ready for tomorrow and having a quiet night and will be on our way home in the morning. 


Thursday, May 21, 2015


We arrived in Montreal on Tuesday and got settled into our hotel then went out to get in touch with our surroundings. After dinner we scoped out what we would be doing the next day. We were chased out of beds at 6 am by construction vehicles under our window. We complained and got a bigger room in a quieter area of the hotel.  After a light breakfast we decided to go on the hop on hop off bus. We stayed on for a full circuit and nearly froze it was so cool here. We went back to the hotel and put on extra clothes so we would be comfortable for the rest of the day. 

We got back on the bus and visited old Montreal, Bonsecour market and Notre dame de Bonsecour church one of the oldest churches in Montreal. We got back on the bus and walked through the village. Over the road that is a pedestrian walkway are thousands of pink balls strung across the road. 

Today we went to St Joseph's Oratory and walked to the lookout on Mount Royal. Years ago I used to go to these places on a regular basis when I lived in Montreal. At the lookout you can see most of Montreal and the centre thing is the library at McGill University which is a circular building. 

We have enjoyed some great meals including a Montreal smoked meat sandwich which Montreal is famous for.  Tomorrow we go looking for quilt shops. 


Monday, May 18, 2015

Our bus tour to Ste Anne de Beaupre

We rarely take a bus trip but decided this time that it was the best way to see the countryside and the shrine.  

We were picked up at our hotel and then dropped off at the Chateau Frontenac where we got on another bus to start our tour. We crossed the St. Lawrence river and took a mini tour of the Ille de Orleans.  The driver pointed out points of interest and some local history of the island. We had a small stop at a chocolatier for a cup of coffee and then started off again this time for Montmorency falls.  Lynda and I were lucky to be able to take the cable car up to the top of the falls.  I say that because when we got to the falls there were at least 80 people ahead of us wanting to get on the cable car. I don't think anyone else on our tour was as lucky as us. 

Our next stop was The Copper Art shop.  Albert Gilles was a very talented artist who worked in copper.  Lynda bought a pair of earrings with roosters made from copper. Mr Gilles also made the large copper doors at the Basilica of Ste Anne.  

We had one more stop and that was Chez Marie. Here they made homemade bread and cinnamon buns but the best part was the homemade maple butter that was spread on the delicacies. Our best lunch of the trip. 

Then it was on to Ste Anne de Beaupre. This is a beautiful Basilica that was rebuilt in 1923 because the previous one was burned down. In 1876, St Anne was proclaimed the patroness of the province of Quebec and that year the first basilica was built.  We spent about an hour here, just taking in the huge church. On our way back to the bus there was a small glass building with a sign "blessings" on it. We went in and an older priest was there and he blessed us.  It was a very moving experience. 

Now it was time to return to the city.  Our driver dropped us off back at our starting point. He could have taken us back to our hotel but it was a beautiful day so we decided to stay in old town and walk back to the hotel. After standing in line for ice cream we made our way back to the hotel. Tired and weary after an hours walk we were back. A late dinner and some reading finished our night. 


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Day two in Quebec

We slept in today so we started out around 10 o'clock. This morning we took the bus down to the Plains of Abraham. There is a lot of history here the most significant being the battle of the Plains of Abraham. It is a long stretch of land overlooking the river where Wolfe and Montcalm fought and Wolfe won the battle making Quebec part of The British empire and not part of France in 1759.  Now it is a beautiful park where you can stroll and take in the beautiful scenery. We then walked down to the old town but this time by a different route.  Because it is a holiday weekend in Canada there were a fair number of men dressed in period uniforms.  We of course had to have our pictures taken with several of them. 

We then climbed the St. Louis gate. The old city is actually a walled city with several gates in which to enter the city. It was steep but it was there so we climbed it.  

One of the great features of the city are the many lovely bistros where you can enjoy a nice lunch and a brew.  After lunch we walked back to the bus depot which was outside the old town to take the bus back to our hotel.  Sore and tired we went downstairs to the pool area and soaked our weary bones in the hot tub. 

Tomorrow we are taking a bus trip to Ste Anne de Beaupre. We don't take many bus trips but thought this was the best thing since it is north of the city and we ain't driving here. 


Friday, May 15, 2015

Our first day in Quebec

Our first day in Quebec Lynda walked my feet off. The maitre de last night gave us a great map to old town. We walked past small boutiques and a market where they sold a lot of local wares and bedding out plants.   We had a great lunch at a sidewalk bistro of fresh pizza. Then when we got to old Quebec we took the funicular up to the Chateau Frontenac and then headed back to our hotel. The walk back was all down hill and some of the hills were very steep. 

After meeting with a friend of Lynda's for drinks we started out looking for a place for dinner.  We found a small sidewalk carafe and had fish and chips perfect for a Friday night dinner.  We found a great little bakery and picked up a cinnamon bun for breakfast. The one down side of this hotel is that there is no free breakfast. I guess we can't have everything since the room is great, very large and it comes with a refrigerator which is great to keep our milk in for morning coffee. 

Tomorrow we are taking the bus back down to old Quebec and the Plains of Abraham. 


Monday, April 27, 2015

The Quilt Show and Workshops

Our Guest Instructor Johanna Masko taught 3 workshops at our Quilt Show.  She taught The Farmer's wife blocks, Houses blocks that was paper pieced and the Pineapple Log Cabin.  I was fortunate to take the Pineapple log cabin class.  We were treated to a great class put on by a fabulous quilter and instructor.  She kept her eyes on all of us as we made our blocks making sure that we understood the procedure as she taught it.  It was a new block for me so I really needed to get the concept.  We didn't paper piece this block which is the traditional way but instead added rounds to a 2 1/2 inch square to come up with an octagon.  I have been very busy since I got home and have made 2 more plus started another one.

Johanna Masko

 Some random blocks by the class.

Our Class

2 of my 3 finished blocks.  
The light fabric and the center square is from England, the reds and blues are from my stash.  I seem to be making my blocks different each time I make one so I think I will try to make at least 2 that are the same.  I am going to make blocks till I run out of fabric that matches the original block.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Superior Quilt Show

This week-end was the Superior Quilt Show here in Thunder Bay Canada.  It was a great success with over 177 quilts on display.  There were antique quilts, donation quilts and teddy bears with their quilts that are donated at Christmas time to Christmas Cheer Fund.

I thought that I would post pictures of some of the quilts.  These are just random pictures, I didn't know who had quilted them, I just walked around and selected a few.

This wall is all the challenge quilts that were handed in,  We were given three fabrics and could add up to three other fabrics but the quilt had to be less than 36 inches square.  Mine is the small quilt at the bottom left with the bird houses on it.  I made it using foundation paper piecing.

On Saturday night we had our biannual banquet and were treated to a trunk show from Johanna Masko.  She is a quilting instructor at The Workroom in Toronto. 

Here are some of her quilts.


Farmer's Wife Quilt

Wedding Ring Quilt


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Microwave Bowls

Microwave bowls seem to be all the rage these days.  You can put them in the microwave with a bowl of food inside and then since the food is hot they are easy to remove and hopefully not burn yourself.  You can also microwave the food and then use the quilted bowl to carry the food so that you don't burn yourself.  I have made many items for Lynda and she was at the point that she didn't know if there was anything more that I could make for her.  She had purchased more fabric on her last trip and I made her a winter purse/bag so now she decided that a microwave bowl might be a new idea.

You have to use all cotton when making these since polyester will melt in the microwave, so I used cotton fabric, all cotton batting, and cotton thread.  The pattern is fairly simple but the prep work before sewing them is tedious.  I found the pattern here

There are a lot of patterns out there but I liked Lisa's the best.

Since our Guild Quilt Show is coming up next week I decided to make some for the craft table at the show to sell.

You can see the inside more than the outside but the outside is pottery bowls.

I made three of these for the guild.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Number 10 of My UFO'S

I have finished all my 10 listed UFO's.  I like to try new blocks and use scraps so it is a challenge for me to make a quilt.  I don't make big quilts, most of them are 36-38 by 48 inches.  I also learned a new way to do binding.  It is very useful when you run out of fabric to match the border.  That is one thing that I like to do if at all possible.  I really like the border on this quilt and when it was finished I didn't know what to do for binding because I only had 10 inches of fabric left which wasn't enough for the binding.  

One of the gals at the Guild posted a link on Facebook to a binding tutorial and I used the one with the flange attached to the binding.  The tutorials are all videos so they are easy to follow. It was really neat to do and interesting to try something new.  I made my flange slightly larger than the tutorial called for and I am really pleased with the way it turned out.

Sew Spools Quilt
You can see the flange here.  It is attached to the binding and sewn as one piece to the quilt.  It is really two colour binding.


This is the year of our guilds quilt show and the guild booth will be selling kitchen items so I decided to make a few placemats.  I made 4 of them but only took a picture of 2.  

I fussy cut the flowers for the center and then added the same fabric for the side panels.  This is a really easy pattern to make.  It goes together very quickly too.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

We hope to do a little bit of remodeling at camp this year so I thought I would make a new quilt.  I have made this one before and decided to change it up this time around.  It is called Cabin By The Lake designed by Leanne Anderson of the Whole Country Caboodle.  I used the Hinge Method to put the panels together and also when I added the border.  I also left off one of the borders.  I didn't want it as large as the pattern called for.  Also I was running out of fabric.

Adding the border with the hinge attached to the main body of the quilt.

I was trying to decide what to use for the border.  These were the two fabrics that I had the most of since this was my second quilt using the same fabric.

The finished product.
It was a beautiful day today, 17 C, so I decided to take a picture by hanging it up outside in the beautiful sunshine.  Spring might be on it's way.

I also finished another door hanging from Country Junk'tion.  I made all 12 of them a few years ago but did not quilt them so they could be hung on the door.  I have decided that I better get them finished so that I can enjoy them.