More coloured strings

15560304911_5e1c0dc2c2_oThe rainbow quilt I finished last month was so much fun I’ve decided to expand the colour choices to include more pastel shades.   I used the tutorial from Film in the Fridge but instead of paper, I used cotton squares for the foundation.   This way the foundation becomes part of the quilt and I don’t have to worry about ripping away stitches when I remove the paper.

Once the center strip is glued into place, the rest of the sewing is relatively peaceful, or should I say pieceful.  If you can sew a straight line, then you can sew this quilt.  It is just a matter of sew, flip, press, sew, flip, press, then trim the block.

IMG_6886finished block,

These are the blocks I’ve completed so far.

colour blocks

I’ll probably finish the quilt with white sashing between each set of blocks.





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There’s a method to my madness

Sewing scrap string quilts has become my favourite quilt obsession lately.  I love the frugality of working with these bits of leftover fabric.   I’ve been known to purchase Moda scrap bags to satisfy my cravings for a quick scrap fix.  These are bags of the end of the roll material, usually all in the same fabric line.  Quilt shows,  craft sales and thrift stores are another great source of scrap materials.  My daughter feeds into my addiction by saving scraps from her completed projects.  Mind you I often supply my daughter with fabric that I’ve purchased but don’t get around to using before she “borrows” it.

bag of scraps

The first thing I do with a new bag of quilting possibilities is to sort the scraps by colour.

dump the scraps

Once sorted, the scraps are placed in a photo box designated for that particular colour.   The boxes are purchased at Michael’s, when they are on sale for the  princely sum of 6 for  $10.00.   These boxes pile neatly upon each other allowing me to  hoard save even more scraps.


When trimming blocks I save all the small left over scraps in a plastic zip lock bag.   These tiny pieces are returned to my daughter who loves to sew ticker tape quilts.

tiny scraps

This scrap madness is never ending.  But it never ceases to amaze me how beautiful a quilt can  be made entirely from scraps of fabric.

Ayla quilt



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Meet my great niece Alivia Dawn Marie, born April 26th.


She is one happy baby now that her quilt is finally completed.   To force myself to complete the quilt before she was old enough to wed,  I held back from meeting her.    Yesterday her parents and the beautiful Alivia came to visit.

The quilt is a simple framed charm square pattern in various shades of pink.   As yellow is my niece Katherine’s (Alivia’s Mom) favourite colour, I added a few yellow squares as well.

My daughter finished each block with a different free motion pattern to give the quilt extra texture.

I think Alivia approves.

Happy Alivia



Posted in Family Tree, Quilts, Sew Mam Sew | 5 Comments

A bit of a Rainbow on a dark and dismal day

The wind is howling and the rain is lashing against our home.  The temperature is hovering at zero.  Mother Nature is trying to decide whether to bless us with rain or snow.

Luckily Himself and I are warm in snug inside.  There’s a big batch of spaghetti sauce simmering in the crock pot and I’m quilting up a storm.

So what better day then to show off the completed rainbow quilt, also known as a ROYGBIV quilt.   I love how the blocks just flow one into another.   As you can see by the close up picture the quilt is small strings of fabric sewn onto a 8 inch square piece of fabric.  A string of white centers the block.  The border is known as a piano key border.

I had a difficult time deciding the colour to use on the back of the quilt.  I am so happy with the end result.  A plain white backing was the perfect canvas to show case my daughter’s machine quilting talent.

15371895507_13ebe5d02f_z 14938249573_56b59dd578_o  15560304911_5e1c0dc2c2_o 15376851078_efd4b7ca05_z(1)

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Spider man, spider man

Looking for an unique Hallowe’en costume! Look no further, you too could be spider man, albeit one with a twist.  All you need is a stepladder, LED flashlight and a broom.

Himself cleaned the vents on the heat pump today which is no small feat considering the heat pump is half way up the high ceiling in the kitchen.

The line of dirt he noticed on the vent turned out to be a massive spider web.  The only nice thing about wearing bi-focals and being short, is I rarely notice the spider webs on the ceiling.

As he was up-close and personal, he decided now was the time to check for more of those nasty little webs.  I shone the flashlight and he did the sweeping.

For my friends and family next time you are visiting look up, look way up and let me know if you see any webs dangling.   Based on the amount of webs we cleaned, the bunch of you need glasses too!

IMG_6918 IMG_6919

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Not your mother’s cauliflower

I’m enjoying an extra long weekend as I don’t return to the office until Thursday.  We celebrated Thanksgiving in Fredericton with my daughter, son-in law, grandchildren and great granddaughters.    My grandson is an incredible cook, so he prepared the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy.  He rubbed the turkey with brown sugar and salt before roasting.  This made the baked skin a rich dark brown.

My daughter  contributed the appetizers,salads and twice baked cauliflower.    This gluten free, low carb dish could easily become my favourite way to serve cauliflower.   In fact, there were quite a few comments of ” I would have eaten cauliflower as a child if my Mom baked it like this”.   One version of the recipe can be found  here.

The dinner was topped off with pumpkin pie, no bake lemon cheese cake and flourless chocolate cake.

I’m cooking a 9 pound free range chicken today and of course twice baked cauliflower.

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whole lot of quilting goin’ on

Since the middle of July I have completed 5 quilts……………..which absolutely amazes me.   I took my daughter’s advice and worked on them diligently.

The lattice quilt shown here was probably the oldest of my unfinished projects.   I started it just before the new milliuem and now it is finished.  It will be a summer quilt with a sheet batting rather than heavy cotton battingtrelliswhite

I’ve already posted about the scrappy round the world quilt.

This week I packed up the last three sending them off to Fredericton to be machine quilted by my talent daughter.

The two small ones are nap size quilts.   One is for my great niece Alivia who was born in April.  It’s a difficult quilt to photograph due to the light colours.   The rainbow quilt is my favourite.  I love how it turned out.   It’s amazing how a bunch a scraps can turn into something so pretty.

The bottom quilt is a full size quilt and will be a Christmas gift.   It’s based on a pattern titled strip off quilt.




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The colour in our garden

The roses, brown eyed Susie, hostas, day lilies, sun spots, milkweed, delphiniums and fox gloves  have faded away. It’s sad to see the leaves turn and the flowers die back but our little garden is still blessed with a few bright spots.


These beautiful lilies are filling the yard with an incredible fragrance.  In August I came across boxes of bulbs at Sobeys marked down to $1.00.   We planted them thinking they would not appear until next spring.   The side garden is very warm, with good soil which apparently is the ideal spot for bulbs.


The anemones were also $1.00 a box.   Before planting these bulbs I read that few people have success in the bulbs flowering.  Luckily this little one didn’t read that review.


A month ago we purchased 3 planted mums at Cedar crest Gardens.   Not only do they have the best prices on plants, the nursery is guarded by two very friendly rescue kitties.


This little guy is from Cedar Crest Garden’s mark down bin.   Only one of his solar eyes light up but I still think he’s adorable.


This is my favourite colour in our fall garden.  After  working most away most of the summer Himself built cold frames and planted lettuce, spinanch, kale, taoist, carrots and sugar peas.   For the past week we have eaten greens straight from the garden.   With 3 minutes from the earth to the plate, salads have never tasted so good.


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A perfect Saturday

The weather man predicted rain and high winds so we decided to stay  home rather than running the roads today.   With nothing really planned, it turned into the perfect Saturday.

As I searched through the house for autumn decorations Himself was busy in the side yard covering his raised beds with plastic.  Last Sunday he planted kale, spinach, carrots, lettuce, rocket salad, swiss chard and tatosi (an Asian green).   Most of the plants have already peaked through the soil.

He received Nikki Jabbor’s the year round vegetable gardener as a Christmas gift form our grand-daughter Sarah.   This book has become his garden bible.

His only complaint about the book being  while she has written an excellent book, her husband does all the work.    This from the man standing there using a Martha Stewart leaf punch to make paper preforated discs for my autumn banner.

autumn mantle

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Scrappy quilt around the world

Earlier this summer I vowed to finish off my UFOs  (Unfinished Objects).   I waded through numerous unfinished quilt tops, packing each in it’s own container, dutifully labeled.   Quite a few only needed another block or two, or a bit of binding.

My daughter Andrea spent a Saturday with me, sorting fabric, stacking UFOs and bringing lonely blocks to life by sketching the quilts including details on how to finish.   She made me promise not to start another quilt until I had finished at least one of the UFOs.

It was all worth the effort.   This quilt has been only two years in the making, compared to others that have been waiting to be finished since 1999.


When I finally finished the top I showed it to Himself, who muttered, “too busy for me”.  This past weekend we picked up the finished quilt at Andrea’s.  She worked her magic on the quilting and binding.  She also washed the quilt to make it nice and crinkly.  Himself put claim to it announcing it would make the perfect bed quilt.

He’s right, it is the perfect quilt to snuggle under while napping on the couch.

2014 scrappy indoors


Here’s a close up of Andrea’s skillful hand at machine quilting free style.

2014scrappy quilting

And don’t worry about Himself needing a quilt.  There’s still quite a few waiting in the boxes to be finished.

Posted in Home Sweet Home, My long suffering husband, Quilts, Sew Mam Sew, The world's best daughter | 1 Comment