Saturday, February 09, 2013


Hello...I didn't mean to let a whole week pass between posts. I have things to show you!

First of all, I finished the Scallop quilt last Sunday. I did some easy echo-quilting around the curves, just like in the original project on Stitched in Color.

I feel like I should have done something more ambitious with the wide open area but if I had to decide what to do, this little quilt would never get done.

I'm going to send it off to my friend Bethany. She had a baby boy a few months ago and I'm very behind in sending her a gift. This will be perfect.

My next project for Curves Class was an Orange Peel block. Man, this took ages! I mean, seriously, hours! Every piece was cut by hand and all those curves had to be meticulously pinned. I cannot imagine making a whole quilt out of this block. That being said, I'd definitely do it again. I love how it looks!

Instead of making another pillow, which was the project, I decided to sew mine up into a mini quilt. It's 16" square - the right size for a table mat or a little wallhanging.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try to finish my sock monkey postage stamp quilt top. I finally received the fabric I need to get it done and I have absolutely no obligations tomorrow (except to finish the laundry and clean the bathroom). 

Having no marking on the weekends is heaven! Getting home from work at 5:00 pm kind of sucks - I had been leaving school by 3:15 pm at the other job. But usually, I had a bag of stuff to do and now when I'm done, I'm done. It's a bit of an adjustment - and talk to me in the summer when I don't get July and August off - but so far I'm liking the new job. I miss my students and some of my colleagues, but I don't miss the marking or the staff politics, or the bullshit. I think I made a good trade.

And look what my yoga card said today:

How perfect is that!

Saturday, February 02, 2013

I couldn't wait to show you

I finished a quilt top today!

It took a bit longer than I thought it would (due to some unexpected, but very necessary, unpicking) but it's done. It is the Scallop Quilt for my Curves Class.

I'm hoping to quilt it tomorrow...but I couldn't wait to show it to you now. 

p.s. My Clamshell Pillow project was featured on QuiltStory's Fabric Tuesday this past week! What fun!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

More curves projects

I'm really enjoying the Curves Class I'm taking online with Stitched in Color. I know I keep saying that, but the projects are awesome. I only wish they were spaced out a bit farther apart. I missed a project last week because I ran out of time, and this week has been even crazier - I've been out (at least for a bit) every single evening.

So here are a couple of projects from the past few days:

This is my polka dot Rainbow Road table runner. It's very Spring-y looking (unlike the view outside my window). I will probably put it away until Easter, but for now it is helping to display the lovely roses Mr. P bought me for my birthday.

This week's first project was a Drunkard's Path potholder. Mine will be more like a mug rug or mini quilt because I didn't have any insulbrite. I think it's pretty cute - but it was the first project of the week (out of three) and I just finished it on Thursday. Sigh.

One side

Other side
Oh well, I should have lots of time to get the other two projects done since I have no marking to do this weekend...or maybe never again. Today was my last day at school. I start my new job tomorrow. It was a tough morning and I got teary once or twice then composed myself. I went out for lunch with some of my colleagues and the principal allowed me to skip the afternoon staff meeting so I went for coffee with one of my favourite people (the teacher-librarian at my school, who doesn't work Thursday afternoons).

Then I went to the fabric store. Nothing cheers you up better than a trip to the fabric store.

This lovely stack of solids is for my next Curves Class project. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

First Completed WIP of 2013

I made it! I finished my Christmas Strings WIP before the end of the month, thus granting myself permission to start something new.

I used a quick and easy meandering stitch to free-motion quilt this project. I didn't want the quilting to interfere with all the lines of the "strings" so I kept it flowing.

This one is lap-sized, 48" x 60" - perfect for snuggling under on a cold winter day. If it wasn't so Christmassy, I'd have it out now. It's been really cold here - -27 degrees Celsius (-17 F), and -40 C or so with the windchill. BRRRR!

I also have a couple of projects from my Curves Class with Stitched in Color. One is in the dryer right now so I'll post about them later.

Now...what shall I choose for my new project?

Monday, January 21, 2013


The best laid plans of mice and men...

I had planned to head home from work right away on Friday and get to sewing my Clamshell Pillow.


Marks are due today at 9:00 am for my grade 12 class so I had to finish marking a ton of tests. Then I had to enter all those marks into the computer. Then I had to finalize all marks in the computer. Then there was paperwork to do for a couple of kids who dropped the course earlier in the semester. Then I had to print out mark spreadsheets. It was 5:20 by the time I left work and, because of a silly accident, 6:00 pm when I finally arrived home.

Then the OnlyChild pleaded with me to take her to the mall. Oh, you know, my favourite place. She did well - a dress, two sweaters, a top and I think something else for $70 - all on sale - and she *forgot* her bank card so guess who paid...? Sigh.

Saturday morning included cleaning, then dance class.

Ahhhh...Saturday afternoon was mine.

So, the story behind the Clamshell Pillow (there is always a story):

You can see in the top left that I had the shells all laid out and ready to go. Well, somewhere in there, I managed to turn around the base fabric (which was marked for placement) and ended up sewing the shells down the wrong way. Of course, I didn't notice this until after the first row had been fused and sewn. So I had to add a couple of extra rows to fill in all the white space. No big problem. I still love it. And it looks so good with my Swoon quilt because I used some leftover Ruby fabric to make it.

This was my third project for the Curves Class by Stitched in Color. I'm really enjoying this.

Yesterday I had planned to work on the Christmas Strings quilt. Becky from Sarcastic Quilter sent me some Christmas fabric that was perfect for the backing.

I made a backing from the two heart fabrics and got it all basted and ready to quilt yesterday. Then I remembered that I had a function to attend and had to leave around 5:00 pm. That meant I had to abandon all thoughts of quilting and make myself presentable. I guess quilting Christmas Strings will have to wait. My goal is to get it done before the end of the month! 

If I do that, I can start something new...

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Contrary to what you're seeing in recent posts, I'm not really a purple person. I don't hate it, but it is down the list from yellow, red, and green as my favourite colour.

But I have purple fabric and I'm gonna use it!

Project #2 for the Stitched in Color curves class was a baby bib that I whipped up tonight. You know, after my marking was done.

I need a snap or some velcro for the closure. I might just put a button on it because it's not likely to be used by an infant anyway...there are none in my house or in my near future (right, OnlyChild?).

I used to make these types of bibs for the OnlyChild. I'd use up old pieces of denim and appliqué pictures on the front - hearts, apples, etc. I always used a button for the closure and she never once tried to pull it off and eat it. But maybe back in the '90s, parents were more negligent in general. Ha.

The next Curves Class project is a clamshell pillow. I thought about starting it tonight - maybe I still will. But it will also be nice to have something to look forward to for the weekend. That is, if I don't have yet more marking in my mailbox at school tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Curves Class

I asked the OnlyChild to sign me up for Stitched in Color's Curves Class for my Christmas present. Registration didn't open until January 1 so the OnlyChild got me a different (and very lovely) gift. Since I still wanted to take the class, I decided to sign myself up for it!

Today we got the instructions for our first project - a cute little scallop bunting.

I planned to make mine in red and hang it in my sewing room. I thought it would look nice against the pale yellow walls. order to make my bunting in red, I needed red bias tape, which would necessitate a trip to the fabric store. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but I got about 2 hours sleep last night and wasn't up for a trek to the mall.

I had purple bias tape though.

Cute, cute, cute. This was an easy steps. I'm not a novice at sewing curves - I've made plenty of garments - but I enjoyed the simplicity of this pattern. I can't wait to get to some of the more advanced techniques and projects!

On Saturday, I finished up that stack of Dresden Plates and made all 12 of my circles. I used the Fons and Porter interfacing method, as suggested in the comments on my last post, and it worked like a charm. The template recommended in the original pattern is the Bigger Perfect Circle template that you can gather the fabric around and iron for a nice crisp edge. I didn't have that. But then, I didn't have the teflon sheet recommended for the interfacing method either. I used a piece of aluminum foil to put under my circles when I ironed them. They peeled right off. Ha! I am the queen of improvisation (mainly because I'm too cheap/lazy to buy all the little gadgets).

Next step in the Dresden process: sew them down to the white squares (which need to be cut).

I'm still hoping to finish the Christmas Strings quilt before the end of the month. The top is done, I have batting, so I just need the backing fabric. It should be an easy finish...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Working on the WIPs

Sew, sew, sew...Christmas Strings quilt top finished.

Uh oh - no backing fabric.

An Instagram friend is sending me some. Wait for backing fabric.

Sew, sew, sew...Sock Monkeys Postage Stamp blocks put together.

Uh oh - not enough border fabric.

Order border fabric from Fat Quarter Shop (along with some special backing fabric wink wink). Wait for border fabric.

Sew, sew, sew...Twelve Dresden Plates completed.

Uh oh - I don't have the fancy circle template to do the centres.

Tell me, have you made a Dresden Plate quilt? How important is the circle template? I know there are other ways of making the centres, such as the freezer paper template, but do these other methods make accurate, smooth circles?

Until I figure this out, I'm stuck.

I might have to start something new...and that's against the rules!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

2013: Year of the Finished Project

Oooh, look at me...posting again and it's only been two days.

Today is a lazy, lazy day.  I don't even feel like sewing (Gasp! I know!). I guess Monday is looming over my head like a big, dark, ugly cloud. Tomorrow is back-to-work day. Ugh.

Oh well.

Yesterday, I put together the blocks for my Sock Monkey Postage Stamp quilt.

Slightly fuzzy picture - sorry about that (no, it's not your eyesight). I took this pic when I was laying out the blocks, but they're all sewn together now. I plan to put a border around it and I have some appliqué I'd like to add also. It should be cute when it's done, although I have no idea for whom or what purpose I'm making this. I just had a couple of jelly rolls hanging around.

In the spirit of getting these WIPs out of the way, I've joined Lynne's Year of the Finished Project challenge. This is a good one because we can make up our own rules. Here are mine:
  • I will finish at least one WIP per month
  • WIPs can be of any variety - quilting, sewing, cross stitch, knitting - and any size
  • I can start one new project per month, provided the previous month's WIP has been completed
  • Class assignments for the Curves Class I enrolled in do not count as new projects

First up on my list are the Christmas Strings quilt or the above Sock Monkey Postage Stamp quilt. I'll let you know how it goes. (Actually I'll throw a ticker tape parade if I finish one of them by the end of the month.)

Friday, January 04, 2013

New Year Check In

Happy New Year!

I was so ready for 2013 to arrive. How about you? It's always exciting to have a new beginning and look forward to and good things on the horizon. 2012 was hard, in some ways, so I'm glad to move on.

Today is my last day of "teacher vacation" and it might be my last teacher vacation day ever. I've quit my job.

Well, not really. That sounds a bit dramatic. I've taken a leave of absence for 1 year and accepted a job with the Department of Education beginning February 1. I need a change and, as I mentioned in earlier posts, there were some disturbing trends happening at my school and some bad decisions being made. I'm not sure if I'll go back after the year, but I'm glad I have the choice.

So, no more summers off, no more Christmas vacation, no more Spring Break (except that I'm still taking my students on our battlefield tour to England, Belgium and France this spring). But...also no more marking all weekend and evening. It's going to be an adjustment...

I have to say I've enjoyed this vacation time. I worked on a few projects, did some reading, relaxed a bit. You can see in the photos the Christmas String quilt I started a while back. The top is now done. And I've been working on another Postage Stamp quilt using sock monkey fabric. I have further plans for this one and can't wait to show you!

I've been trying to resist the temptation of joining the impromptu Scrappy Tripalong that cropped up on Twitter. It looks like fun, but I still need to finish my yellow and grey Dresden Plates, put together my red and grey Bowtie quilt, and make pillows to go with Swoon. Plus, there are a couple of other projects I haven't yet started, but for which I have already bought fabric.

I had a to-do list that didn't get done - and that's okay. All those household projects (cleaning out closets, painting the bedroom) can wait. I did get my marking done (almost) and I'll be ready for work on Monday (maybe), but I'm looking forward to the end of the month and kind of excited (and a little nervous) about the new job.

And New Year's Resolutions? Well, you know, the same old plans: lose weight, be more positive, read more books.

How's your New Year shaping up?