Table runner gift

A few posts ago, I mentioned working on  a  time sensitive project.  My aunt had a big birthday a few weeks ago.  I wanted to make something special, but size conscious as it had to travel to Denmark.

I started with the blue and white fabric I found at the quilt show and couldn’t resist.

DSC03289  And then the difficult task of determining if the background was cream or white. Neither one matched, but I decided on the white for a cleaner look.


My aunt has blue and white dishes with gulls on them, so my brain was working on curves.


But also wanted some different interest. Varying widths of stripes will do.


I planned a LOT of  very dense quilting so I pinned a LOT!

DSC03306 I forgot to get a photo of the quilting before I sent it, but I did very close straight line quilting on the white, and a very tiny stipple free-motion quilting on the blue.  Pretty happy with how it looks.


After finishing the big batik quilt, I needed something small that I could tackle in a short amount of time this weekend, just to get my brain into another gear.  Enter block lotto for my quilt guild.  This month is a tiny tent in simple colours.


It was so much fun, I made 4! The instructions said navy/night sky, with a yellow triangle edged in turquoise.





Better than a bouquet

My parents just came home from a trip, and look what my mom brought back for me!DSC03400

Even though I love flowers, to me, this is way better than any bouquet.  I love Rosti bowls and utensils, but have been struggling to find any around here.  And she found the perfect shade of blue.  So yay! Thanks mom.

Colour and Glass

I have always loved coloured glass, and surrounded myself with it.  Come over for a glass of wine, and you will see the blue.


And what better to way to get a peek at the morning sun than a rainbow.


These bottles send rainbows all around the room. Awesome. Purple and orange were the toughest ones to find.  I have MANY more blue bottles in a box, waiting to be arranged in another window.  I guess you can have too much coloured glass.  Darn!  We have lived in this house for 4 years, and although I love the heavy wide wooden blinds, it interferes with my windowsill decorating.  So the 2 high side windows in the kids play room are my little spot for glass.

I grew up 1 block from the beach south of Campbell River, on Vancouver Island, and it has always been a good place to let go of the stress of the world.  Add to that beaches that have coloured glass washing up and I am all smiles.  There is even a beach just down the street from where I work in Sidney called Glass beach.  In the 1950s there was a glass factory right on the water, which burnt down.  The whole thing was bulldozed into the ocean, and for the last 60 years broken glass bits have been washing up.

This is still typical, but even 10 years ago, there was more glass than rocks, especially a one end where the big rocks created a catchall. I used to collect Delphite-the pale blue milk glass- and found many broken bits of that and all kinds of other china bits. Amongst the blue bits there I have come across lumps that clearly melted in the heat of that old fire.

I used to have jars of all kinds, but have become more selective and pared down my collection.


Here you can see bits of china and how the salt from the sea gets into the glass, never to be gotten out. DO NOT use this stuff in a fresh water fish tank!



Local colour, crazy colour, and just a hint of colour

What’s a girl to do when there is a ton of housework to do? get inspired to post on her blog instead!!


I am so lucky to live near the Saanich Peninsula on the south end of Vancouver Island. A large part of the peninsula is and agricultural land reserve, and hopefully will remain that way so we can continue to have an abundance of farms. Yay farmers! Sometimes I can’t get out to the farm stands and hop from one to the next, so again I am lucky to have places like The Root Cellar very close by. They have local stuff all year round, and some of the farms that don’t have their own stands sell there.  In this world of globalization, I feel that supporting our local farmers is so important.


This week there was an abundance of lovely local stuff in such vivid colours. That makes me happy. Sometimes a visual feast can be a good treat. Plus, the more colour the better it tastes. Don’t you agree.

On a totally different note, I came across some intense but “too crazy for my natural loving eyes” colour.


I was stunned by this rose. This photo has NOT been edited, this was in a bouquet at a florists. It’s amazing, but just wrong to my senses. But bright colour none the less.

Now for the more subdued colours. I have a hydrangea in the front yard, and another in the back.  They are one of my favorite flowers. Very cool that the blossoms start out green and then flush out in colour from the tip, inwards. I had probably noticed this other years, but hadn’t really thought about it being different from most flowers until taking these photos with the purpose of finding colour.

Can’t wait for these happy plants to be in full colour

I am trying to play with the colours of the blossoms, so old coffee grounds are put in the soil around the pink one to make it more towards the blue tones next year. I make sure to keep the ph level from getting too basic in the blue plant’s pot, so that it stays closer to periwinkle blue, rather than pale blue. How cool that they are changeable.

All done!!!

Lots of time spent hand stitching the binding


even at the office on my lunch hour, and all the binding is done.


Now this batik beauty is ready to make its way to Fort MacMurray, Alberta for someone who lost everything in the forest fire that destroyed a large part of that city.

The bright, cheerful colours in this quilt just screamed for a photo shoot somewhere colourful. Why not a playground?

It will fit on a queen sized bed, with a 1 1/2 foot overhang. It is BIG.


The back turned out pretty fun too, I think.


Here you can really see the double straight line quilting.  Although that blue was a big flimsy and as you can see, it puckered a bit when being quilted. But its the back, so no worries.

Big quilt, small machine

Today was the deadline to get this batik quilt quilted.  I have been sewing for the last 4 days, in between house cleaning, family life, baseball and sleep.  But it is done! Yay, phew!


The key to working with a big quilt is to keep the massive bulk of fabric organized and in control. These words make me happy.  I like organized and in control. Lots of rolling and pinning rolls in place and feeding evenly.

The suggestion was made to use variegated thread for the quilting, but I decided to just use a variety of thread instead.


Jewel tones, just like all the lovely batiks.  I chose to do double straight line quilting for ease of the bulk.

DSC03372And then just 33 feet of binding to attach.  I have sewn it onto the front and will hand bind it to the back this week.


On a sad note, Linda Rafuse, the owner of Satin Moon Quilted Garden who donated all the fabric for this quilt, passed away this weekend.  I didn’t know her, but feel connected to her through her fabric that I have been handling for the last few weeks.


This weekend it was about big pieces of fabric. and making big things.

A friend as school asked if I could finish the edges for some table clothes for the teacher appreciation lunch.  “Sure” says the crazy lady.  By next week. ” Sure” says the crazy lady. Cause I certainly don’t have anything else piled up!!  But I want to help, and it needs to get done.  So 45 feet of fabric arrived Friday morning at my house.

It had been cut into five 9′ pieces, which frayed a lot.


Trimmed, zig-zagged, double turn edges all sewn together and delivered.  The friend who asked for me to do this job took my kids to the beach for 3 hours so that I could get this done. Fair trade.


The other big job was to make a back for the batik quilt top to donate to people who lost everything in the fire in Fort MacMurray.

I didn’t have a big enough piece for the whole back, so I needed to come up with something.  My mom’s cousin is a designer for Ethan Allen and a few years ago gave us a big bag of scraps and cuttings. Amongst others there was a lot of this Greek column fabric. But it was a lot of smaller pieces and one long strip.


There wasn’t quite enough of the one fabric, so I added contrast fabric strips to bulk it out.

Pretty happy with the result. Hopefully this will work with the other side.DSC03359

So now it’s a matter of putting it all together.  That will be next weekend.



Applique pieces

I generally sew everything by machine.  Including most mending and hemming and quilt binding. The rare exception is embroidery once every few years.

But recently I hand bound a little wall hanging quilt and enjoyed the process.  Then I hand bound a surprise gift with as much pleasure. Now my quilt guild has asked members to applique a quilt square for a charity quilt.

This is what the final quilt plan looks like, but on the right is the colour palette that was chosen.

I cut the template and traced onto good ol’ cereal box board.  Then cut out my pieces.

DSC03343After sewing pieces together on my machine and pressing the edges under, I was ready to hand sew.

DSC03344And 1 baseball game sitting in the stands sewing, it is all put together.  I definitely need to improve my curves, think it looks not too bad.