Saturday, July 31, 2010

Christmas in July - Blue Yuletide Jewel

On the last day in July, I'm pleased to show you my Blue Yuletide Jewel, my third "Christmas in July" project. I love the Maritime look of this Blue Jewel. I've always wanted to do a small Christmas project in blues. This project can hang on a door or wall and it depicts the shape of a Christmas ornament. But it's a great size (18 x 26) to put on a little table to use as a table mat. I haven't decided how I will finish it.

So that's it, I've done 3 really nice Christmas projects. They all need to be machine quilted, and each one won't take very long. But I will give thought over the next few weeks as to the free motion designs I will use on each.... I hope to have the Christmas Sugar Cookies table runner and this Blue Yuletide Jewel quilted by early September.
I know some will ask about this pattern. This is one of Karen of Sew Karenly's designs and she recently did the Jewel in a very different set of Christmas fabrics/colors. Go have a look here. And to see Karen's original pattern colors, or if you'd like to make your own Jewel, go to Karen's pattern page to see/order the pattern.

Friday, July 30, 2010

I Spy Quilt Ideas - Part 3 of 3

I've scoured Bing, Google and Yahoo looking for ideas for this last of 3 blog posts for different I spy quilt layout suggestions. I'm pretty sure I've touched on as many ideas as possible for you.

With so many ideas, I wonder how you will ever choose!!!

Here we go...

I love the clean look of this I spy. Each block is an individual design and not an all over design. My favorite in this picture is the lighthouse on the blue background. Speaking of hexagons, here is a Marti Michell video on quilters TV that you might enjoy watching. Click here.
Are you a paper piecer? The pattern for this I Spy Lightning quilt can be found by clicking here.

Many of you have the Nickel Quilts book. I love how the stars in this Morning Star by Pat Spelth is perfect to showcase your I spy Charm squares.

I spy cubes/pyramids. The "Y" seams in this quit make me shutter! But I do like the idea and the work in this quilt.

The black sash and yellow cornerstones give this I spy a classic look. Border with girl or boy fabric and it's a quick finish.

How about a mini-I spy with in an I spy quilt.

This design has all the darker squares on the outer rows, then mediums, then the lights. Very nice. By the way, it was a picture on a calendar.
Here's another idea for listing many of the objects to search for. Print with a fabric marker, or stitch with your sewing machine.
And if piecing curves is your thing. This is a stunning look.

Here is a cute little envelope quilt using I spy fabrics for the envelope flaps. I'm dying to know what's inside each envelope!
If you ant to add larger squares to your charms, this might be one layout you will choose.

If you know the intended child this quilt will be made for, why not personalize it with their name. I have found this alphabet that you can print out to use to applique the name. Click here.

Oh my stars... Look at the piecing in this beautiful star quilt.

This on-point layout ranks in my top 5 favorite I spy layouts. It's a snowball block that uses dark corners and is set on point. Nice! Do you need help in making snowball blocks, check out this at

And to end off my ultimate I spy Ideas blog posts, I hope you can appreciate the work in this large bed size I spy quilt. If I count correctly, I count over 270 charms in this quilt. It is sashed and cornerstoned. What a wonderful quilt. Click on the quilt for a larger view.
Good luck with your I spy quilt and let me know which of these is your favorite.

To view Part 1 of I Spy ideas, click here.

To view Part 2 of I Spy ideas, click here.

To see a couple of tips on cutting out hexagons for your I spy quilt - click here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Christmas in July - Spicy Spiral Christmas Table Runner

Here is my second Christmas in July project. It is a Christmas Spicy Spiral using all Christmas fabrics that graduate from dark green to dark red.
I will not be completing this project right away. I will use this as a sample if I get to teach this Christmas Spicy Spiral to some local quilt guilds this fall.
Just between you and me, this sample is actually not sewn together. I just placed it together for the photo.
Here it is before I placed it together for the photo. It is what the Spicy Spiral table runner like before the final middle seam is made.

I have a little more work to do on my workshop sample set, but here are my three samples that show the 3 main stages of making the Spicy Spiral Christmas Table runner.
  • The strip strata;
  • The cut wedges
  • The 2 spirals
Looks simple, doesn't it. It is. But in making several of these so far, I have definitely come up with some important tips and techniques to share with my spicy students. Are you intrigued? Maybe your guild will host this workshop.

So, that's two of my Christmas in July projects sewn and as I write this, I'm just taking a break from working on my third project. It's turning out so nice, but you'll have to wait a day or two to see it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Christmas in July - Sugar Cookie Table Runner

I'm pleased to show you the first of my "Christmas in July 2010" projects. This table runner was inspired by the Sugar Cookie table runner that can be found on the Moda Website. I got carried away and added too many hexagons, so in order to make this fit my dining room table, I squared off the ends.

I used a Moda "Fruitcake" charm pack and some coordinating green and red Moda fabrics for the two borders.

This runner is not quilted yet but I hope to machine quilt it in a couple of weeks.

I thoroughly enjoyed using my mid-size (2" side) Quilt Sense Hexagon for this runner and definitely will use this hexagon template set again. The binding is all made so this should be a pretty quick finish.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Christmas in July

Do you do Christmas projects in July?

Actually I have 3 projects I want to do, and want to finish them in the month of July. That means sewn, quilted and bound. If the weather continues to be hot and muggy, it may slip into August, but that's ok too.
The first project is a Sugar Cookie table runner. This free pattern was on the Moda Bake Shop site some time ago, and I really loved it. Mine will be festive and I was inspired by this fun charm pack called Fruitcake. As you can see, I couldn't wait to start. I've cut my hexagons already.
Next, I've always wanted to sew a blue Christmas project. I bought these fabrics while in PEI at the Quilt Gallery in O'leary a couple of weeks ago. This Yuletide Jewel pattern is by Karen at Sew Karenly.
And my last project is another spicy spiral table runner. I hope to teach this class to a few local guilds this fall, so this will be fun to have as a sample.

Are you doing a Christmas in July project?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Molasses Cookies Anyone?

Mitchell wasn't sure he wanted to go to the Cottage with his Mom, sisters, and aunt and cousins. That's just too many girls, doing too much girl stuff. So he stayed home with his dad, and he will visit with his grandmothers during the day. Today Mitchell visits with me, and guess what we did. "Mostly Girl Stuff".
Our day started out by laying out a 4-patch "I spy" quilt. After that, Mitchell sewed 10 of the 20 4-patches needed for this little boy's quilt. We're using flannel squares I got recently in a charm swap. I'm so pleased that he got that much done.

He's a good sewer and is learning how to chain piece. He's good at sewing the quarter inch too.
Then mid-morning, we made cookies. He had molasses cookies at his other grandmothers house yesterday and decided those would be the kind he/we would make. As we were making them, he kept smelling the batter as the combination of butter, sugar and molasses kept getting better and better. Then we added some ginger. He loved that smell even better. He did taste test the batter and gave it his thumbs up. I scooped balls of batter on the cookie sheet and his job was to sprinkle sugar on the top. The recipe didn't call for that, but he thought it would be a nice touch. I know some will ask, so here is the recipe we used. It is out of an older church cookbook.

Soft Molasses Cookies

4 cups flour
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 cup molasses
2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp ginger

Cream shortening, butter, sugar and molasses. Then add egg and milk. Add dry ingredients. If the dough is very soft, refridgerate the dough for half an hour. Drop on greased (or silpat) baking sheet with a small ice cream scoop. Bake for 10 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Makes approx. 75 two inch cookies.
After we had a fabulous lunch that included molasses cookies, the three of us (including grampie) headed off to the golf course.
The golf pro gave him a lesson. He loved Mitchell's beat up clubs. They were small and in terrible shape. But the pro said, he loves to see that because he knows the kid is out beating the ball around. We laughed.

After the lesson we proceeded to hole number one and played 9 holes. We had a lot of fun. Mitchell out drove me on many holes, but my score was lower than his by 6 strokes. I can tell it won't be long before that gap narrows and he'll be beating his grammie at golf.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mitchell's Quilt

What a great weekend at the cottage. The mugginess has lifted, and we had wonderful weather and some un-eventful walks (ie no bear or bobcat sightings). We laid out in the sun and had nice healthy meals all weekend. It was just so relaxing. Our three daughters arrived at the cottage to spend a couple of days which are supposed to be sunny sunny sunny. The kids will have a fun time together doing water stuff and just playing around the kids cottage.

But I thought I'd show you, on Saturday, when I had enough sun, I spent a little time at the sewing machine. I dug out Mitchell's Quilt kit that I had done up as a project for the cottage. I blogged about it here. I sewed in 15 or 20 minute chunks and have the geese part of Mitchell's quilt done. I don't normally start piecing a quilt on the border section, but I thought I'd so it since it was on top in the box. So, this is what 144 flying geese blocks look like.

Next time I have a chance to work on this, I'll be working on the center blocks. Now, that will take a few weekends.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fruit Flan Fan

My sister and I had a great day shopping yesterday. We talked, planned , and bought stuff for the up coming "Grammie Camp" that I'm holding for my grandchildren. She's visiting from Nova Scotia and left for Ontario early this morning.

Last night, we all had wonderful dinner together . BBQ chicken with new PEI potatoes, and new NS yellow beans. And to finish things off, and my sister's daughter brought desert. Michele, who is the new head pastry chef at the Crown Plaza made this wonderful light Fruit Flan. This flan was made especially light since I'm counting points.
What a delicious ending to a great Maritime supper.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Regis and Kelly in PEI

I don't watch much daytime TV, but I did watch Regis and Kelly today because all week they are broadcasting their show from PEI. Just being there last week, I can tell you that PEI is so green and beautiful. They couldn't have picked a better week to go.

When we stayed there last week, we stayed and a really nice B&B in Oyster Bed Bridge which is just 15 minutes drive from Charlottetown. It was called Misty Meadows and Dot was our host. She was really nice and chatted with us each day about our adventures around the Island.
She also served us us the nicest breakfasts ever. Coffee, Juice, chopped fruit and an egg served differently every day.
It was our first time at a B&B in a long time and we were quite impressed. We'll definitely stay there again on our next trip to PEI. If you are considering a trip to PEI, give Misty Meadows a call. You'll enjoy Dot's hospitality, and let her know that I said Hi!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Travel Accessories

Later this fall, hubby and I will be travelling to Europe with two other couples. We are having a dinner together next week to celebrate making our final payment on the trip.
I'm making some travel accessories for each of the other couples to give them at the dinner next week. Here are the items that I finished today. The Take-Along Bag (by Lazy Girl Designs) is a favorite of mine, as you probably know. This fun RCMP and maple leaf fabric is perfect for our international travel.
I also made each couple a pair of luggage tags as well. I used the luggage tag tutorial that can be found on my sidebar. I modified the pattern a bit so that the tag is in the shape of a tag instead of a rectangle. I like it.
There is another another travel item that I want to make for each of them too. It's a free pattern called the Aeropac by StudioKat designs, but I'm not sure I'll have time to make them by our dinner Tuesday. We'll see....

A visit to The Quilt Gallery, O'Leary PEI

I know lots of people are heading to PEI this week because of some big concerts and of course Regis and Kelly are doing their show from the island next week. No doubt some of the visitors will be quilters.

I visited this Quilt Gallery quilt shop in O'Leary. It's got to be one of the biggest quilt shops in the Maritimes that I've been to. The quilter who worked there, Michelle, was very friendly and knew lots of the same people as I did, so it was fun to chat with her as I was browsing.

Besides all the fabrics that were there, I loved that there were lots of quilts on display.

They have a very large selection of patterns and books that I didn't have time to look at. I did pick up a cute little garden quilt pattern. I'll show you that another day.

These are a couple of my favorite quilts that they had on display. I'm sure I have the pattern for this one that I call "Winter Stars" and wouldn't it be great to use up lots of scraps.

I thought this one was so unique, where the blocks are all different sizes and each one is framed. I love that background color. I would have never thought to use that color myself.

I continued to browse section by section, and I near died when my husband said, it's noon, we really should go find a restaurant. We had been there since 10am. Two hours flew by that fast. So I did have a final quick look around and paid for my items and said a hearty good bye by saying "I'll be back" to the staff.

This place should be on your list of places to visit if you are heading to the island this summer.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

PEI Postcard Exchange

As promised here are pictures of the postcards that Judy from CJ Stitching & Blooms and I exchanged. It was really fun meeting her and her hubby Bill. They were on day three of their tour of PEI when we caught up with them.

I have to tell you PEI was at it's prime this week. The potatoes are all flowering, lupins everywhere, the weather was warm, and the fish and chips are Divine!!

The postcard I made for Judy was lupin inspired. I planned out my card and laid out my sketches. I cut a piece of my hand dyed Ricky Tims fabric to work on.

I was trying to decide, do I machine stitch, or hand stitch. I decided on hand stitching and chose some purple, pink and green flosses. I really like the french knots and I loved using my variegated threads. It gave just the right shading.

I finished up the postcard by satin stitching around the outside and used Micron markers to put my name and lupin doodle on the back. I was really pleased with it. Judy really liked it too.

And here is the postcard Judy gave me. I love it. We were of the same mind. Lots of lupins and flowers, and I love the coastline with the waves in the water and the sweet lighthouse.

She had a lovely inscription on the back.

Judy also came with a box full of Aussie quilt magazines that are to share with my quilting and other guild friends. That was so nice of her since there's not a lot of those magazines around here and when you do see them, they are expensive to purchase. I'll post about them on the FQG blog.

Many thanks Judy. It was great to meet you. I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip around the Maritimes.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Heading to Anne's Land

We're heading to Anne's Land. That would be the Cavendish area of PEI. This is going to be a fun get-away. First, our B&B is located near the cottages where the Triplets and their parents are staying this week. Very handy to the beach.

And I'm going to be meeting up with Judy from CJ Stitching & Blooms. She's from Michigan and she's a crazy quilter who's blog I follow. She does amazing work. Last Christmas her hubby surprised her with a trip to PEI, which was a long time dream of hers.

It just so happened that the stars lined up and we're going to be in the same area as they are, so we've coordinated to meet up. We're exchanging postcards, so here is the postcard that I will give to her. Since she's a crazy quilter, I've included some silk ribbon embroidery and crazy quilting stitches. I hope she likes it. I'll show you both postcards when I return.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

Jessica and Emily were here visiting earlier this week. Don't you just love the Canada Day sugar cookies we made and decorated from my new "Cookie Swap" book. I got the book for my birthday last week.

Enjoy your Canada Day Celebrations!