Hippo Addition

What’s black and white and green all over? This Plus quilt, of course.26239676_10213286808259286_9208426791968188952_n

You’ve seen those lovely quilts with tessellating plus signs, each one a triumph of fabric placement and balance, haven’t you? I have and I love them, so this fall I finally bit the bullet and made one. Don’t know that it was a triumph, but it was certainly fun.

My stash of black and white fabrics had gone untouched for years, as had a length of lime green IKEA hippos. The squares were cut at 4″, the rectangles at 4″x11″, and it went together quickly. I thought I’d put the hippos a little more off center. Perhaps they moved themselves? 26231508_10213286808859301_1496871378684311475_n

The black and white fleece backing had been hiding in my stash, as had the white fIannel that I used for the “batting”. I didn’t want anything too bulky- I have problems enough quilting fleece on a longarm. The vertical quilting lines in lime green turned out OK after all. Since the weather was so cooperative, it was time for those hippos to have their school pictures taken. 26239044_10213286808379289_8402577128191662226_n

May you never finish a long spell of chain piecing only to discover your bobbin ran out at the second piece.

Linking up with Sandra who’s hosting TGIFF at http://www.mmmquilts.com

PHD progress report for January

The quest has begun! As with any new project, I have started work on my PHD with vim and vigour. This is my mid-January progress report.

I have completed my Ornament in the Woods, that had been stalled at the flimsy stage,26195640_10213219652180426_36803620574620690_n

a Valentine runner that had needed a binding, and


a Plus quilt, that also needed to be bound. It just had it’s picture taken at the local junior high and, as you can see, we have no snow. Newfoundland in January! Look now, it may never happen again.26239676_10213286808259286_9208426791968188952_n

The runner using the Liberty mini-charms was mostly cut out. I assembled the flimsy and am hoping to get the quilting done soon. I’d like to take it to see its roots when I go to London for my daughter’s graduation next week.26230109_10213279027664776_5059178570085265530_n Wonder of wonders, I even dragged out that sampler that needs hand quilting and put in a few stitches. No surprise, I still have no patience for the technique. It may meet the machine yet.

Progress has been good on the small projects. I’m thinking strategy is important. Should I keep the momentum going and knock off the little things, or bite the bullet and deal with some of the big ones? I’m thinking some more easy courses should be first, but I need to start getting my head around my dissertation, “Row by row, What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.  What do you think? I certainly don’t want to join the ranks of the failed PHDs.

Keeping myself accountable, one day at a time.


Linking up with Gail’s PHD program at quilting gail

Valentine or Betty Boop?



I just signed up to work on my PHD, cementing my resolution to finish a pile of half done projects. So what’s the first thing I want to do? Start a new project, of course.



How can I resist the pull of this? The print is from Annaluna by STOF, and the rest of the colours are inspired by it. Thought I’d make some hearts to demo the mini quick curve ruler at the next Guild meeting. After all, the Christmas decorations have been put away.


Sewed some curves. Put them on the design wall. OH NO!!! It’s Betty Boop! Can you see it too? Just picture a head of dark curls on top and a skirt underneath… Do I add it to the half done pile? Absolutely not; even I have my limits. That pile will not grow this year. I had cut pieces for five hearts, so five hearts I shall have. Sewed them together. They still look rather buxom.


Put the flimsy sideways on the table. Better. Added some borders and quilted it. There is matchstick quilting in cream with the odd gold line in the background. I tried some free motion in gold in the hearts. I wrote “Love” in the blue one. Why I thought 60 weight thread would show up, I don’t know; the heart just looked untidy. Added some silk flowers, an iron-on butterfly, and embroidered “Love” in stem stitch with 3 strands of DMC in red. Still not right. Added a second line in orange to the L. Still dark. Finally, took inspiration from Vera of  Negligent style  and her lovely french knots of last week, and added some yellow seed beads. And I’m done. 26804645_10213278013039411_3024685046500956138_n
It’s blowing a gale today, so the photos suffer from indoor lighting. Still, after all the fiddling with “Love” I don’t want it to take flight.

Happy sewing!

Linking up to amanda jean at crazy mom quilts

Ornament in the Woods


I live in a little house in the woods on a lake. At Christmas, it is decorated with more stuff than a sensible person would tolerate, but who said I was sensible? Yes, that’s Santa flying through mistletoe in my skylight.


At our fall Guild retreat, I opened my bag of Christmas scraps. There were wedges from tree skirts, unused stars from a runner and even a small paper pieced tree. Sew Kind of Wonderful has a great free pattern, SKW mod ornament,  so I picked out the Laurel Burch cats and got to work. The ornament needed a frame. I found a decent piece of gold, a friend donated some green quilt trimmings and I broke down and purchased the bright red. Not enough scraps were gone, so I put more to work as trees, stars, presents and general Christmas chaos.

This week I finally quilted it on Tin Lizzie, and put it up on my fireplace. Just as well the season is almost over: the double sided bra tape didn’t hold. I’ll do better next year.


The first project in my PHD pile is completed. Have fun with those last couple days of Christmas!


Linking up with Gail, Myra  and Amanda Jean




Quilting goals for 2018

Look at this post!


Quilting Gail says she’s working on her PHD and I can too.  What goal directed, box ticking, overachiever can resist the lure of a certificate of achievement? Not me. I’m in. I have assembled 26 unfinished projects on my “design floor”.

IMG_E0621There are 4 unfinished cushion tops: santa, cathedral window, star and sugar skull. Don’t know where that Mountie will end up, but he needs to saddle up and go somewhere. I added the tiny hat in need of a pompom for when I need a quick finish.

Two runners are in various stages of completion and a baby quilt just needs a binding. And then there is the Row by Row. That program is a blessing and a curse. In that “Oh Canada” mound are twelve rows from 2016, all assembled, and under it are 6 from 2017, still in kit form.  My plan is to put them all in one quilt. Is that 18 projects or 1? They need to be done. I need to avoid 2018 row by rows.

In the third row from the left, there’s a Rebel Quilt (blocks made), a Shimmer quilt (blocks assembled- needs borders), a 2×4 quilt (some blocks made), bits of a circle from a wonderful Christina Cameli workshop at Quiltcon, and a Liberty of London runner.

Furthest to the right are three large quilts and a Christmas wall hanging in need of quilting and binding, and the two projects least likely to be finished. There is my first quilt from a beginner quilting course, circa 2002, that is half hand quilted. I really dislike hand quilting and am soooo tempted to put it under a machine and finish it, but I won’t. So it waits. The last block is from a long term project that I plan to stretch out for years.

I fear there are a few forgotten items hiding in my sewing room, but surely there can’t be more than 10. With that in mind, my goal is to finish at least 16 of the 22 projects on the floor in the next year, and one of them has to be that Row by Row, because it’s eating away at my soul. There. I’ve said it. 16 old projects for be finished. I’m starting with these three.IMG_0623

My daughter is getting married in May and there’ll be a quilt for her. I need to get to work on that one.

This blog is going to need a lot of work too.

I am on our Guild’s program committee, so there will be little demo projects for that, but those things will be done by June. All I have to do is avoid the siren call of shiny new projects. Wish me luck.

Linking up with Quilting Gail