Slab vs Made fabric

Which do you like best? Sometimes there is a definite crossover, but I think of slab work as


right angles  and all vertical and horizontal, maybe a 90 degree angle thrown in. I learned about slab work from Cheryl Arkison  and from when she came and did a trunk show at a guild meeting.  I have always loved having a way to use up every last scrap and this is certainly a great way to do it.

The other way I used to use up scraps is by making “made” fabric, as Victoria Findlay Wolfe calls it.  Like this

010These are pretty much crazy squares too. They are also fun, but my order-lovin’ brain likes the organized slab much better.  I am always amazed when you take a random, same colour palette, pile of fabric and put them together, they all work together pretty well. Awesome.

And putting together scraps to make fabric seems to be a good thing.  When I first began quilting my hubby would ask “why are you cutting all that fabric apart, only to sew it back together?”  He knows better than to ask that question now.  Somehow quilting helps to keep me sane and we all like that!

Have a good week.  I am counting the days until I get another sew day.


Not the scary old harmonized sales tax, the fun and versatile half square triangles.  I love them!

But first, how I got to this point.

I have a quilty friend, well more than a friend, she’s the one who’s charisma made me decide to join my Modern quilt guild.  And she is a fountain of quilty knowledge and support. You can find her at She retired as our guild president at the end of 2016 and as a thank you for all her hard work over the years, we all cut 2.5″ squares to give her.  Some might think that’s a funny present, but she was thrilled.  She loves 2.5″ squares. Here’s my contribution…(she’s a rainbow lover too).


That got me thinking, what do I get as excited about?  I do love 5″ squares, often called charm squares.  Often precut and found in a charm pack. Great name! But when I think of precut squares of any kind…I think about making them into HSTs.  That gets me excited! HSTs are so versatile and give so much more movement and potential shapes to a quilt.

A few years ago I drew out and systematically put together this quilt top.  Sadly it is waiting in the closet to be quilted one day.

dsc03838 Another quilt I made with a Charm pack gifted to me from a friend; you have seen before.


These tiny 1″ HSTs came together in a tiny doll quilt that you can see at

And every time you put two squares together, you can make 2 HSTs.


Or if you sew a square onto a corner, sew a 2nd seam and then you have left over HSTs for something in the future or to use in the same quilt like this.

I even have a little box where I collect them for ??? I am sure I will find a use someday.


The little blue and white stack is for a medallion border on a sort of started blue and white quilt.  I have so many quilts on the go, it is just silly!  I will really try to finish some of them this year before starting new ones, sometimes I just get a new idea into my head and start pulling and cutting fabric.

Well that’s a peek into my brain today.  Thanks for reading.

playing with fabric

That’s always fun, isn’t it.  Well for me anyway.  I am hosting a round robin at my quilt guild and need to figure out a palette for my starting block.

A round robin is  way of making a quilt where one person makes the starting(often centre) block and then it is passed to another person to add another block, strip or border.  This continues for as many people as designated in the guidelines and at the end the first person ends up with a finished quilt top that has been worked on by themselves and 5 other quilters( in my plan).  This can be a fun way to challenge yourself, working on something for somebody else, to follow their work, and to learn to let go of your own block and trust that others will do great things.  I chose to do an anonymous swap, which adds to the fun (I think).

I am a little nervous to be in charge of this, but really wanted to be in a round robin, and nobody else seemed to be starting one in our guild, except in one satellite group that did one last year.

I have spent time reading up on how to run these and hope I can get it running smooth and successful.  If I have at least 6 people participating, then we are good to go.  But if needed I will step in and do a 2nd one or pick up if somebody has drop out. Hopefully that won’t happen as I have broken down everything pretty clearly, including the 1 year commitment, making a contribution every 2 months.

And the anonymous bags will come with a label so that each quilter can put their name on the final label.  And look what I found the other day at Bib n’ Tucker


Absolutely perfect for modern quilt round robin labels! I was so excited.

So now to decide on my colour scheme.

Option #1, calm and refreshing blue and green


Option #2, lovely, crazy, a bit busy, rainbows


My concern about the rainbows is that not everybody is a rainbow purist like me, which as I look at 2 of these fabrics, they aren’t true rainbows, so I might take them away.  And I have been saving the horse fabrics for something particular, with some other coordinating turquoise horse fabric from the same line.  Don’t know what that project is, but it makes me hesitate in cutting into it.

Option #3, or maybe I will go with pink and green


Decisions, decisions.  Hmm, I will sleep on that one.

And then I need to come up with block lotto for February.  I have an idea, but have to test the pattern in my head on actual fabric.  Sometimes my ideas work out, sometimes they just don’t:)

Oh, here is my son’s Storm Trooper quilt.  Not fully quilted, but getting there.


even the cat had to get in on the photo shoot!

It’s time for my sewing machine to go in for regular yearly service, so I will take a sewing break this week.

I was reading on another blog (sorry can’t remember which one) about Griddles.  Gotta get me a book of those.  Part grown-up colouring book, part colour by number, and looks like an embroidery pattern. Done by Lorraine Holnback Brodek, an former needlecraft designer.

Image result for griddles colouring books

To me this looks awesome.  Lots of potential there.

Have a fun week ahead in however you can find your colour.




I would call it a success.  I am not able to take a completed photo of my son’s birthday quilt as he is all snuggled up in it, asleep in bed.  He has been wrapped up in it most of the last 2 days (when he is sitting down) since I gave it to him.  That makes me smile.

I did not get the quilt totally completed, but enough so that I could bind it and he could use it.  Next week I will put it back in my machine to finish.

But I did get some other things finished.  A few months ago I said “sure I can make you some pillows for your living room” to a friend of mine.  Yup, got right on that one.  But I finished 2 of them today, and the other 2 just need zippers.


We decided to put black on the back, for interest and contrast.


Really, they only took me about 15 minutes each, just a matter of getting to it.  But no beating up, just happy to be able to do them and happy they are done.

I spent time this morning finishing up my info sheet for a round robin that I am hosting at MQG Victoria .( At our actual meetings, not online.)  I am very excited, and a bit nervous.  Hope it all works as planned.  I have never been in charge of a group quilt activity before, and this is a year long event.

And then I finished up my block lotto for this month’s guild meeting and the block to present, to be finished for next month.  And organizing what blocks have been done, what colours have been used lots, which have been missed etc.  Got my notebook and I am having fun with it.  Oops, still need to put it on the guild blog, to appear at meeting time this Thursday.

That will not happen tonight.  Time for bed.  Have a great week ahead.


I really find that a busy week equals an overloaded brain which equals the appearance of forgetful Netta.  This may seem obvious to many, but it took me awhile to recognize this and not just beat myself up about being forgetful.

What that means tonight is that I brought the part quilted storm trooper quilt to work today to show to a friend who was coming in.  I have planned to quilt in all my spare time between now and Saturday morning.  But the quilt is still sitting under my desk at work! argh!!! And work is a 25 minute drive away.  double argh! So tomorrow I will lose an hour of quilting time to go get it.  My dear hubby says “is it really so important if you don’t get it done in time?  He will still get it.” Me “It is important to me that he gets it on his birthday”.

So I was in a grump for awhile, but took some breaths while doing dishes and let go what I couldn’t change today.

And now I have an evening with less to do in it.  so…


a bit of time to explore some new books I borrowed from the library the other day.


It’s the spice, right?  And variety goes hand in hand with balance.  Sounds good to me.

I used to do many different crafty things…basket weaving, crocheting, beaded jewelry, stained glass, sewing, embroidery, painting, and Christmas crafting of all kinds.  Then I learned to quilt.  I still did most of the other stuff, but found I was feeling like I never had quite enough time for any one thing.  And I wanted to get better at quilting and that takes time.  I decided to pare down my other craft materials and cut out some altogether so that I could spend more time doing the main thing that I was steadily becoming obsessed with.  It was kind of freeing to have some of those craft things gone.  I still love to make, but don’t feel “obligated” to work with, say, beads, as they are all gone from my house.  I use that word, cause that’s how my brain works.

But sometimes it is good for your brain to do something else.  And it is good to go out with the girls and get away from the house and family sometimes.  So we went to Paint Nite.  You go to a bar/pub and eat, drink and paint.  An artist instructs you step by step to all make the same painting.


It was actually amazing to see the different peacocks that came out of this.  Mine was pretty true to the original ( cause I like to follow directions and rules), but many people altered the colours or perspective, or made an amazingly realistic bird.

It was fun to be creative in a way I haven’t been in a long time, but make it social, and not too brain draining.

And it helped to break up the days of sewing tiny squares.  I worked hard all weekend and got the Storm trooper quilt top together.  Although now seeing the photo, I realize I have missed a whole row of white squares on one side to frame it on all sides.  Better add that.  And I didn’t realize that the medium grey was too dark, and the light grey too light.  Too late to change it now, and it is because I wanted to use fabric I had, and not go buy more.  I think the effect is still pretty good though.


I don’t think the 8 year old will complain or criticize:)

Now I have this week to baste and quilt, in between 4 work days, a Parent Advisory Council meeting, an MQG executive meeting.  Well that’s variety in my week!  Needs to be done for Saturday morning for little M’s big 8th birthday.  And I only have part of the quilting planned.  Hmm.

Hope you have a great week. Threats of snow hereabouts, so we shall see what comes.



getting started

I have spent a LOT of time lately cutting 2.5″ squares and the other day started putting the 786 squares together for M’s upcoming 8th birthday present.

This is the plan:

Strormtrooper pixel art - Stickaz:

Star Wars StormTrooper for those who don’t recognize it.  This is a Perler bead design I found on Pinterest.

I ran out of the dark grey, so have added a darker grey for even more colour transition.  Here they are, ready to go…


the only squares missing are the 99 4.5″ white squares to fill out the background.

Each evening I pin squares together until I run out of pins,

dsc03815 following my plan, section by section.


I started by just using shades of pencil but found I needed more distinction so pulled out random coloured pencil crayons.  This has the added bonus that at a glance M would not realize what this is a picture of!  So I plug along, pinning late in the evening, sewing the next day, pinning the next evening.  It’s coming along well.

from here


to here.


It just takes time.  I am tempted to get more pins, but I really don’t need more except for something like this.

This is where I would put in a photo of my pin filled rainbow pin cushion, but I don’t have a photo of it. hmm, must take one, once it has it’s pins again. You can see a glance of it in a photo a few above, but it is so much nicer when my older son has arranged all the pins in their colour matching pie piece.  He has said more than once ” mom, can’t you put them back in their proper places so that I don’t have to keep organizing them”.  He’s awesome!

So the deadline for this quilt it January 13th so I better stop typing and get sewing while I have a few free hours alone at home.  Enjoy the end of your week.



well, this year is just about done.   Many have said good riddance.  I have had a year of learning a new way.  Breath, let go, don’t feel guilty, don’t overstress, it’s ok to say no, take moments to do nothing-that is ok.

All of that is great in theory, and I am trying to apply it to life.  I am working 3 days a week so that I have more time at home with my family, my home and my creativity.  This has helped balance the busyness of life.  But still a work in progress.

I quilt a lot and feel like I want to do more, but I think I did pretty well this year.

I already have 3 must do quilts for 2017, along with many old works in progress.  And rather than weighing me down, this gets me excited for the year to come.

Thank you for following me on my fabric journey.  Wishing you a peaceful, wonderful year to come.