Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Whetting your appetite!

In my last post, I mentioned that I had joined an online sew-along group and promised to tell you more about it.

It's called the Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt Sew-Along, hosted by the Gnome Angel from down under.

I believe there are now over 3000 'sewers along' from all over the world and in order to participate, the only item you must have is a copy of the 1930's Farmer's Wife book pictured below.

I've had the 'other' Farmer's Wife book for several years but it won't do for this sew-along because all 99 blocks included in the 1930's book are new and different ones!

I'm not going to go into all that's involved but if you're interested in finding out more or joining in on the fun, just click HERE and it'll take you to the Gnome Angel's blog where she explains everything in detail.  And it's not too late to join either!

This week we started with two of the easier blocks, just to get our feet wet and to tempt our palettes...or whet our appetites.

To whet your appetite is almost the opposite of wetting your appetite. Whereas wetting your whistle quenches your thirst, whetting your appetite arouses, heightens, or sharpens it. Whet means to sharpen or make more acute and comes from the Old English adjective hwæt "brave, bold" (from the Old Saxon hwat "sharp").

I've decided to use some fabrics in my stash that I've had for a couple of months from Kim Diehl's latest line called Gathering Baskets.

No surprise there, huh?  *wink*   L-O-V-E Kim's fabrics and color palette!

Here's my first block called, "Becky"...

and the second block called, "Bonnie".

I like to be organized so after printing the layout for each block from the CD that comes with the book, I placed them individually in a plastic sleeve in a binder set aside just for this project.

Once I finished piecing the block, I slid it into the corresponding plastic sleeve. 

Each block measures 6 1/2" unfinished so they fit in quite nicely.  In this way not only will they lay flat but there's also less chance of one or more going astray.

All the fabrics that I'll be using are kept in a plastic tote for easy access.

After cutting out the strips for the pieces that I've chosen for a particular block, I fold and store the 'leftovers' in a little plastic tray.  In that way, if I need another small piece of fabric that I've already used, they too will be easily accessible.

By being organized in this way, all the supplies needed to work on this project take up hardly any room at all...

at the end of my cutting table as you can see.

Two blocks down and only 97 more to go...if I decide to make all 97, i.e.

So did I whet your appetite?

Happy stitching!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Lots of stuff going on!

Good Sunday morning to you all!!!

The sun is shining, the skies are blue and there's definitely a chill to the morning air.  Yep, Autumn is definitely here.  Yay!

We contemplated starting a fire in the wood stove this morning but opted instead to run the furnace through a couple of cycles to warm the house, just until the sun takes over once it rises higher in the sky.

The cooler temperatures means that it's soup time so my first pot of the season is simmering on the stove as I write this.

It should be ready just in time for lunch!

I spent yesterday afternoon with my friend Nancy who along with her husband, are vacationing in Maine and the Annapolis Valley region of Nova Scotia.  Just recently, Nancy and her husband returned to the US after spending three years in China where her husband was on assignment.  

When we both lived in Ontario, Nancy was my longarm quilter friend whose amazing work that she performed on my quilts I will treasure forever but since their return and her husband's retirement, she is now only working on her own stash of flimsies.  Maybe once she gets caught up she'll entertain doing a few of mine. *hint, hint*

While in China, they had the opportunity to travel extensively and here's what Nancy surprised me with yesterday.

Two pairs of embroidery scissors from Shanghai and a silk pincushion with matching thimble from Korea wrapped in a gorgeous fat quarter from 'The English Vegetable Garden Collection' by Rose & Hubble that she purchased while in Britain.  Nancy remembered my three loves...scissors, pincushions and gardening...very well.

Nancy also brought along her latest project for our own personal version of show-and-tell. 

She's working on this amazing quilt that is featured in the two latest issues of Quiltmania magazine, no's 107 and 108.

I have issue 107 and have just ordered 108 because I'm going to attempt it as well.

Have a look.  Isn't it amazing?

It's called "Brinton Hall" by Leigh Latimore.  

In the article, Leigh goes on to explain that her version of the quilt was inspired by an original piece made between 1803-05 by Anna Brereton who lived from 1756-1819.  Right up my alley!

This is probably going to be the most ambitious quilt that I've ever attempted in terms of all of the intricate work involved including EPP (English Paper Piecing), both hexies and clamshells, applique and patchwork.  I doubt that I would ever have attempted this project on my own but after seeing Nancy's progress, I know I can do it!  All it's going to take is time and patience.

I have also committed and joined in on an online sew along but I'll tell you all about that in my next post.  I'm so looking forward to both these projects!

And guess what I'll be doing at night in my 'spare' time while watching hockey?

Why knitting socks, of course!

I started my first pair of the season last night.

It smells yummy in here.  Better go and give the soup a stir!

Happy stitching!

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Your feedback has helped me reinforce my decision to stop at Step 5 of my Mystery Quilt-Along and I'm probably going to take a few days off before starting a new project.

I can now say that I am truly a "liberated" woman...not as in "woman's lib"...but free from all UFO's, WIP's and PhD's.  I am totally caught up and let me say that it's a glorious feeling.  In the past, I've found myself lying awake at night when I have more than one project on the go which causes me to be stressed out and I really don't like that feeling.

Honestly, I'm not here to preach about finishing up projects before starting on a new one.  It doesn't work for me but we're all different and all I can say is if it works for you then that's all that matters.  Different strokes, huh?  *wink*

For those of you that mentioned that they would like to make their quilt a little larger and before I made the decision to end mine at the fifth step, I was considering a final border of either log cabin blocks to tie in with the "house" theme or another border of piano keys to echo the other row.  I'll leave it in your hands or if you have an idea of your own, go with it!  I'm sure it'll be lovely too!

You can certainly tell that Fall is just around the corner with the warm days, cool nights and the noticeably shortened amount of daylight hours.

I've replaced the now spindly wave petunias that graced our wheelbarrow for most of the summer with a Fall mum and some pumpkins. 

The flower gardens are definitely past their prime and it won't be long before we start to put them to bed for the winter.  

In the spring, we planted six tomato plants in the kitchen garden plot just outside our back door and at the rate at which they're ripening, I think we'll have enough tomatoes to open up a roadside stand!

Few things can compare to the taste of a freshly picked tomato.

We can't keep up with them!  The 'beefsteak' variety were bred to be eaten fresh from the vine are not the kind for canning/preserving or I'd certainly be busy doing that.

Some of them are the size of grapefruits!  

That's a quarter, just to give you some perspective as to their size.

So now I think I'll spend the afternoon going through some of my hundreds of patterns, books and magazines to see if I can find a new project that tickles my fancy.  

Failing that, maybe I'll design one of my own!

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mystery Quilt-Along Step 5

Step 5 to our Mystery Quilt-Along is now a wrap.  Yay!

Addendum:  By sheer coincidence, this You Tube video on how to make prairie points by Jennifer Bosworth of Shabby Fabrics just appeared on my Facebook newsfeed.  Here's the link...


I love the look of prairie points and I really like how they unite the entire theme of the quilt thus far by echoing the flying geese.

Mystery Quilt-Along Step 5

For the instructions and photo please click HERE for the link to the PDF file.

The finished size for Step 5 after adding the prairie points and border is 82 1/2"L x 78 1/2" W.

I was going to add another step but I just might stop here.  

I need your help so what do you all think?  

The next step that I was considering would add an additional 10"-12" to the perimeter making it approximately 92" x 88".   I'll see what you all have to say before making my final decision.

Happy stitching!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mystery Quilt-Along Step 4

The fourth step to my Mystery Quilt-Along is finally done thanks to the low humidity of the past couple of days during which time I spent many hours happily playing in my upstairs sewing studio.

Mystery Quilt-Along Step 4
After Step 4, the quilt top should measure 66 1/2" long x 62 1/2" wide.  We're getting there!

I decided on a French braid border and for those of you who have never made one, you'll find that it is surprisingly easy to do.  

Below is one of the many links I found on how to go about constructing a pieced French braid.

And just click HERE for the link to the downloadable PDF file containing the photo and instructions.

Have fun and we'll see you 'soon' with Step 5.

Happy stitching!