I’m linking up today with Material Girl Quilts and her Layer Cake Sampler QAL.  I have discovered that prepping the HST beforehand makes for quick assembly.  I was able to finish the blocks before heading in to work, even with a bit of experimenting with color placement.

I was a bit worried to start, I was missing one of the purple HST.  How do you loose a HST?  I’m really good at misplacing things as my crafting has taken over the spare bedroom, the dining / office area, a cabinet and possibly the living room.  Although, I tend to try to pick up the things I take into the living room.  Mostly to stop Nathan from playing with them.


Well this missing HST confuddled me.  It wasn’t on the ironing board, it wasn’t with the rest of the HST in the bag, it wasn’t on the coffee table.  All the places the purples had been since cutting, and nowhere to be found  I wanted to use the purples because the blocks weren’t looking balanced (too much greem), it was a little frustrating.  Oh well, I figured I could at least start figuring which of the layouts I wanted to use.

I didn’t even notice one of the HST was turned the wrong way, no wonder I didn’t find this combination aesthetically pleasing:


It contrasts nicely in the photo, but in person I felt the grey blended in too much so I swapped it out with a teal instead.


Found the missing HST! (it mixed in with the other prepped ones, I swear I went thru them!)


Another placement swap…


And switching over to the zigzag… hey, I wonder if I reversed it (making the grey to be the zig zag):


Here’s a winner – I deviated from the pattern , I wanted it to alternate colors like I did for the chevron block in week 2.


So then I got to thinking, I wonder what the other block would look like if I alternated the colors.


Here’s my final quilt blocks, using my own color layouts.


I think they fit in nicely with my previous blocks.  I even got the squigglies in the white fabric going the same direction. Now to convince my husband I need a bigger hallway…


The Beginnings of a Table Runner

As I started my quilting journey my mom became really interested in what I was doing.  Like any good mother she awed and complemented everything I brought down to show her.  As she lives about 2.5 hours south of us it’s not the easiest to teach her in our random visits. Last summer my sister and I collaborated on a gift of quilting supplies and a beginners quilting class for her birthday.  My sister decided to take the class as well, both to learn to quilt and help my mom.

Unfortunately the instructor wasn’t that good.  I had to show them both how to fix some of the places where her seams didn’t match up and for some reason they were told to use a 3.0 stitch length.  They were told it’s easier to take seams apart!   Geeze, at least have faith that they might do it right the first time.  So we had to go back and fix some areas where the blocks were separating.  I’ll share the story in another post some time.  Needless to say, neither of them have actually finished their first quilt.

I’ve been wanting to take a Judy Niemeyer class since the staff over at Fabric-Etc started talking about trying to get one of the certified instructors up to their store.   I had never heard of her patterns until they mentioned it.  This never really panned out, the facilities at the store are just to small.  I started looking into instructors and found a class in Puyallup, WA which is another hour south of my parents home.

The class was supposed to be the first week in January, but it got pushed back to Sunday, February 9th due to a scheduling conflict.  This was going to work out great as the Monday was a Canadian holiday so I wouldn’t have to make the long drive home straight from the class.  I also talked my mom into taking it with me so I didn’t have to drive alone.  Then my sister also decided to join us.  Yay!

The night before the class was supposed to happen it started snowing.  By morning the roads had a good pile of snow.  We got the call just as we were about to head out the door that the class would be rescheduled.  Funny thing was by noon the snow had changed to rain and most of the roads were clear.

So the third time it was scheduled the class finally happened.   Here’s a picture of my mom while we were waiting for the class to start.  Like me she isn’t a fan of having her picture taken, I had to pretend I was snapping a photo of the quilt behind her.   Turns out the lady who made the quilt was also in our class.

A picture of my mother at her sewing machine
Mom setting up for class


Mom was convinced that the class was over her head after we finished all the pre-class cutting.  I finished the center of one of my template pieces, my mom only finished two of them.  She was having problems with the lighting, threading the machine and some other quirky things.  I think my sister finished all but six of the individual units in class.


There are four of them in the table runner pattern.  My sister has been working on hers since the class.  She’s probably going to be the first of us to finish.  Mine will probably become a UFO soon.

I found out that the teacher will be visiting our quilt guild in July, I have made it a goal to help mom finish hers by then so I can show them off.

I keep telling the two of them that they should come up and we can have a sew-in.  Maybe sometime this summer.

The Woes of Matching Thread

The only thing worse than not buying enough fabric is running out of thread when you are in the middle of an embroidery project.

My husband and I belong to a re enactment group, the Empire of Medieval Pursuits (EMP).  I blame one of my previous managers.  He kept trying to recruit me due to a bumper sticker on my old car that advertised a sword fighting school “WARNING: Trained Duellist” (my husband and I used to study European Martial Arts and Swordplay).  When he discovered I had one of those fancy sewing machines that could do embroidery he asked if I could make his dragon crest into favors (identifiers that show what house you belong to).  He currently had no artisans in his group other than his wife.  Being artsy-craftsy (and having this annoying habit of not being able to say no) I said sure and in exchange he agreed to cover my annual membership fee.  This was a year ago.

House Crest - Design to work from
House Crest – Design to work from

I digitized the first dragon and stitched it out.  It took a couple hours, turns out I made it too large.  I then proceeded to get the right size and create the stitching path to do cut away for the black and blue fabrics.  I got it all worked out and then managed to somehow delete the file.  I think that was three days of work down the tubes.

Test run of the digitized dragon
Test run of the digitized dragon
A dragon is born!
A dragon is born!

Good news is when I redid the dragon I learned a few tricks and cleaned up a few things.

Second dragon, digitized smaller
Second dragon, digitized smaller

I’ve since made three or four batches of favors, I think over 20.  I got the request to make six more of of the gentry rank and one more of another esquire rank.  The ranks are identified by extra embroidery at the base of the dragon.  We need these done by our event in April.

I am always trying to finish things early (which rarely pans out) and had sat down to stitch out the favors.  Over a few days I had finished all but the last two and RAN OUT OF BLUE THREAD!  I couldn’t believe it.  I haven’t really found the Madeira brand in my local shops, and the Floriani thread was just a tad off.  It made the transition embroidery between the blue and black stand out, at least for my eye.  Most people would probably never notice.

Luckily we were heading south that weekend and I could pick up some more on our way to grandma’s house.

Favors in progress, time to buy more thread!
Favors in progress, time to buy more thread!

And I forget to buy the thread.

We stopped at the store and everything.  Got talking to the staff and it completely slips my mind.  Drat.  Luckily there is another store down the street from my parents.

And then I doze off on the drive.

I wake up when we are about to pull into my parent’s driveway.  So I figure I can drop off the hubby and the kid then drive back down.  Nope, quick search online and I discover the store closes in 5 minutes. No way I can make it in time.  Double drat.

So my next chance is two days later on my way to a quilt guild meeting. Due to traffic I don’t make it to store before it closes.  Drat, drat, drat!

That was two weeks ago.  I have the big debate with myself, do I just say screw it and use the other blue thread or do I just loose two weeks of sewing time?

I decided to wait.

I’m glad I did, I finished embroidering the last dragon the other evening.  Now I just have to stitch them up into little favors.

Imaged of completed embroidery favors
Embroidery complete!

I really need to find a Madeira distributor in my area. Sigh.

Monday Star Count – 61.5

I’m linking up with Jessica from Life Under Quilts with my EPP Traveling Quilt.  It’s been a busy month so I haven’t had much paper piecing time; my sister and her clan came for a visit one weekend, a quilt class, some other events have kept me from hand sewing.  My star count is 61.5, and I am VERY close to finishing this!

Unfortunately it has gotten too large to really piece in the car, I’m losing some of the card stock around the edges.  So now it’s become a WatchingTV Quilt!

Having a hard time trying to get it all in the shot…  Guess it’s a good sign when I have to stand on the dresser to get a full shot of the quilt!

Here’s me trying to take another photo with my phone above my head…



Layer Cake Sampler QAL – Week 5

I’ve finally caught up on my Layer Cake Sampler QAL blocks – this week’s blocks 9 & 10.  Block 10 is by far my favourite so far.  When first looking at it I thought it was a bit plain but the teal bubbles made it pop!  I’m so excited to complete my blocks DURING the same week as they are released!  The same weekend too!  Amazing!

Layer Cake Sampler Quilt Along - Blocks 9 (right) & 10 (left)
Layer Cake Sampler Quilt Along – Blocks 9 (right) & 10 (left)

Here’s playing with the combinations for Block 9.  I ended up finding the two fabrics that made the pattern too flat for my liking.  I ended up ditching the color combo completely and opting for a darker pallet.  I do need to bring purple back into the mix, I’ve been using up the aqua / greens quite a bit.

Layer Cake Sampler QAL - Auditioning Block 9
Layer Cake Sampler QAL – Auditioning Block 9

And here’s my finished blocks 1-8!  Sorry for the sunshine… well maybe not really 🙂

Layer Cake Sampler QAL - Blocks 1 - 8
Layer Cake Sampler QAL – Blocks 1 – 8


On the home front, the little guy has been sick with the fever the last couple days.  We did make it out to the Dinosaur Train event but he ended up getting car sick on the way to the train depot.

Layer Cake Sampler QAL – Week 4

Had some time today to spend working on quilt projects while the hubby and little guy went to a neighbour’s birthday party.  We came in this morning from the grandparents and went straight to wrapping the presents.  Nathan even helped me put on the tape.

While the boys were away I tackled the Layer Cake Sampler QAL blocks from last week.  Prepped up some HST so I could audition some block combinations:


Layer Cake Sampler QAL - HST Prep
Layer Cake Sampler QAL – HST Prep


And here’s auditioning two of the layouts for block 8: LCSQAL_004a

Layer Cake Sampler QAL - Week 4
Layer Cake Sampler QAL – Week 4


I liked the pinwheels having two colors, but in retrospect they get lost with block 7:

Layer Cake Sampler QAL - Week 4 Blocks 7 & 8
Layer Cake Sampler QAL – Week 4 Blocks 7 & 8

It was another beautiful Pacific Northwest spring day so please excuse the sun streaming thru the blinds!

Layer Cake Sampler Quilt Along – Sort of

I decided to participate in the online Layer Cake Sampler Quilt Along hosted by Amanda of Material Girl Quilts.  I am a little late to the party, due In part of trying to find the perfect layer cake.  I ended up going with StudioE’s Metropia line thanks to a Fat Quarter sale at one of the local quilt shops for Fat Tuesday and no luck in finding the perfect Layer Cake.  I really love this collection and have been eying it for some time now.  As I am using FQ instead I’ve decided to use 3.5” squares.  This way I can add a wider boarder…  and because I already had 2 yards of this gray fabric that I picked up at some point… Hopefully I have enough because I don’t want to have to try to match it in the end…

Here are my first two blocks:

First two quilt blocks of the Layer Cake Sampler QAL
Layer Cake Sampler QAL