Challenge piece

RYQG challenge

The fabric to be used in this challenge……. is beautiful “Strokes of Brillance” by Deborah Edwards for Northcott.

Thanks to Patti Carey of Northcott for the contribution to our guild.


This time I have managed to take photo of each stage.

My pattern for this challenge piece came from Savor Every Stitch.  Liz is an software engineer who designed a neat little program for using HST.  It is called Haphazard.

The program lets you choose your block size, the number of block needed for the quilt, you can choose up to 10 foreground colours and up to 10 background colours, and the ratio between large and small HST.   Now, that’s a lot of choices.

haphazard_pattern challenge colours (11)


After you have made your choices you click a button and a design is generated.  PLUS it tells you how many HST you need of each size broken down by colour combinations.  Now, that is neat!  If you like the design you are able to save it.  I saved 32 versions until I found “The One” I was going to use.  I think it has a good balance of all 5 colours.





The smallest HST Liz has in the program is 2″.  I needed to make some alteration because my challenge piece can be no larger than 18″ x 24″, therefore, I needed to make 41 large 2″ HST and 160 1″ HST.  The black I have changed to my print fabric. I started with 1/4 meter of 5 fabrics.  I used all the printed fabric and about half of the other 4 fabrics.

When I saw that number I wondered if I was crazy for choosing this pattern. I thought it would take me forever to make 201 HST.   But again,  a search on Pinterest produced a chart for making 8 HST at the same time.  The chart and sewing instructions can be found here,  In no time at all I had all 201 HST made.  Not exactly sure how many hours it took because I still need breaks for my naps.

challenge step 1

The next step was pressing all these HST…. do you know how long it takes to press open tiny seams when your fingers aren’t co-operating.  This step was great fine motor control therapy for my fingers.  I know it would have been faster and easier to press to one side, but I prefer my seams pressed open.  Just a little tip I learned at a workshop with Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr from the  Modern Quilt Studio.


Joining the blocks into rows is the next step.  This steps shows how accurate you were when cutting the original squares, sewing the 1/4″ diagonal lines, trimming and pressing..  When you are working with 1″ squares there isn’t much room for easing to make the seams match.  Must say, I wasn’t as accurate as I thought I had been.  There was quite a bit of picking out, trimming and redoing.  I tend to made all my seams a scant 1/4″ and with such little blocks, that really makes a difference across a row.

How has the time flown by soooooooooooo quickly?

I’m half way finished, but I’ve missed the 27th Feb deadline for entries.  I knew that was always the probability, but I challenged myself anyway.

challenge 4

BUT, I’m not defeated.  I’m going to finish anyway.  I sure would like to send Liz a picture of my finished piece using her design package.

Stay tuned……

Guild Challenge

RYQG challenge

Aren’t these beautiful fabrics?  Doesn’t your mind get filled with ideas of how to use them?

Our guild is having a quilt show in early April and there is always a challenge for the members to participate in for the show.  I’ve had this fabric since May of last year.  I’ve always known what I wanted to make, but life truly did get in the way.

Of course, there are rules about what you must and must not do.

  •  Rule #1 – hand in finished challenge piece at the Feb meeting.  (Feb 27th).                                           Nothing like leaving things to the last minute.  I think I can get it completed.
  • Rule #2  – must not be larger than 18″ x 24″.                                                                                                    So little time, so a little project is good.  
  • Rule #3  – new fabrics may be included, but all the original fabrics must be easily visible in the challenge piece.                                                                                                                                               The original colours were the print with the purple and orange.  I’ve added the blue and green.
  • Work to your strengths and imagination.
  • Have fun.

Now, what pattern am I going to use you ask?   I can’t tell you because all the entries must remain anonymous until the voting is finished (at March meeting).  What I can tell you is that I found this little pattern gem on a blog belonging to a fellow participate of the 2018 New Bloggers Blop Hop that was hosted last May.  That person is Liz who blogs at this cool savoreverystitch.

Can you guess which one it is?   I’ll  post a  picture of my hopefully completed challenge entry in March.    Til then, happy quilting.




I’m glad to be back

It’s been a long while since I’ve blogged and truth be told, I was so sick I didn’t miss blogging, I didn’t miss my longarm or domestic machines, and I didn’t miss fabric.  For someone who did all of those things daily, that’s quite an admission.  Although, towards the end of my hospital stay, I did do a bit of hand piecing.  It was a UFO project from a couple of years ago.



The pattern is called Chain Link by ivan and lucy .  My copy of the pattern is back from 2014.  I couldn’t find it on their blog, but they do have the pattern in their esty shop.



The new year saw me gaining my strength back daily.  I now feel like my old self.  I attended my first guild meeting.  I even did blocks for our BOM draw.  Because of a low turnout due to bad weather, the draw for Jan will take place at Feb meeting…… Sure would like to win these.  It’s a great way to use up your scraps.

RYGC BOM Jan      RYGC BOM Jan draw


I sewed a dog bed up on my domestic and gathered up 2 green bags of fabric and batting scraps to use as filling,

I sewed the chain blocks together,20190201_163954

This will be a modern asymetrical layout.  White on both sides.  I plan to quilt the chain design in the great amount of negative space I will have.

And I finished off that charity quilt that got left on my longarm back in early July  ( 3 bleeps ) with half a row to go.

In July my machine needed to be sent to Utah for an upgrade. She came back in September. Due to my health I wasn’t able to have her installed properly in the home until the first of January. 6 months is a long time to be away from quilting.   I’m certainly rusty with my technique, but I know I will improve as I get more quilts done.

Hopefully I’m back to posting more regularly.



Another Burgoyne Surrounded Finished


During a particularity difficult time last year, 5 of my friends came to my home and quilted with me every month.   I posted about  it in “Surrounded by Friends”.

Here is another finish from that quiltalong…. Lynn used modern fabrics.  I just love the fabrics she chose.  She finished the quilt so it could hang in our latest guild show.

I always find it amazing how the choice of fabrics can alter the same quilt pattern so entirely.

Here are pictures of the other completed quilts…… we’re still missing one Nora.

Jeans BGbettys-bs.jpg

Surrounded by Friends

Throwback Thursday

Falling Leaves………….

dupioni silk contemporary quilt (leaves)

I made this quilt during my contemporary phase…..somewhere around 2005. Prior to the Modern quilt movement.   I was not being challenged by traditional quilts and sought something new.

I looked through so many contemporary books, but wasn’t sure I could do them because I can’t “draw” for the life of me…. I don’t remember the title of the particular book this pattern was in, but when my hectic summer finishes and I clean and sort the studio, I will find the book and post the author.  It has many more wonderful ideas in it.

What I do remember about this quilt is the fun I had making the leaves. Also the fun I had breaking the “traditional” rules.   Because I was left to my own imagination when it came to fabric choices,  I was a bit  braver than normal.

Because the leaves are 3D and floating on their backgrounds, I wanted something that would hold it’s shape.  I searched my stash and found various shades of fleece.  I had been using that as backing to some corduroy quilts I had been making from old pants.  I fused 2 layers together and then free hand cut the leaf shapes.  Such freedom…

Now what fabrics did I have in my stash that would highlight those leaves? I found some sage green Dupioni  silk and some pin whale corduroy.  Did I dare mix fleece, Dupioni silk and pin whale corduroy in a quilt?  What would the quilt police say?  At this point I got really brave and said….”I don’t care.  I’m using them anyway!”

The fleece leaves now float on pin whale corduroy.  The spine of the leaf is the only place the leaf is attached to the background.  These individual leaves are framed with Dupioni Silk.  I love the shinny affect of this silk.   The outer border is pin whale corduroy.  I used the rest of my fleece for the backing.  Because of the weight of these fabrics, there is no batting.

Minimal quilting was done to stabilize the quilt.  I remember thinking “when I get better at machine quilting I will come back and do some detailed quilting  on the silk”.  That never happened.  It’s home now is in Calgary with my oldest daughter.  I sleep under it when I visit.

I’ll be linking up with Sandra at mmm!quilts



I got a Squishy

I just love getting a squishy in the mail.  I picked it up at the mail box just before going out,  so I had to reign in the excitement until I got home.

It was worth the wait.  Look what was inside……………….

squishy from Nicole

Lovely low volume charms.  Aren’t I a lucky girl.  It’s my birthday next week and I feel like the presents have arrived early.  Thank you so much  Nicole for the very generous addition to my low volume bin.  They will hold a special place in my quilts as a reminder of the wonderful people we meet through our blogs.

Throwback Thursday

Moms quilt


A little lost history found…… continuation.

After writing that blog about finding more history behind my Mother’s Key West quilt, I was reminded that many years ago I had started a quilt that was similar …..






It was called “Whirl” by Mary Maguire.  Mary’s colours are soft florals with stripes meeting in the corners to produce a pin wheel effect.  I think it could also be described as a kaleidoscope quilt.



I never have been a “soft floral” type, so I looked in my stash. What striped fabric did I have.  At that time my stash contained many yards of fabric from back in the days when Fabricland had a buy 1 yd get 2 yd free.  (What year did we change to metric?)  There were four different prints in the line, so I bought 1 yard of each and came home with 12 yards of fabric.



I remembered there was a striped fabric in there.  This collection of fabric would be great.

So I started sewing……………..



Like so many of my projects, it became a UFO and was relegated to the back of the shelf.  I think I had completed 10 blocks.  I really can`t say how many years it sat there, but when looking at Mom`s quilt and talking about the pattern,  my inspiration to finish the quilt was awakened.

I was fortunate to be able to spend time at a cottage with a quilting friend the second week of July.  We had a great time swimming, eating and quilting.  Our machines were set up in the living room to entire week.  One of the projects I brought to work on was my `whirl` quilt.  I managed to get the other 10 blocks finished and the rows sewn together.  Here is the result………….

Whirl flimsy

It still needs a border.  Now that really is my question to you all.  Which of the fabrics should I use as the border and how wide should it be.  It currently measures 44x 55.

When I showed it off to my 7 year old granddaughter, her eyes just light up and a `WOW! I really like that` was her response.  Just goes to prove that ugly old Fabricland fabric can thrill someone.

What I also discovered while completing the top is……  I was a terrible piecer in the beginning.  No consistency at all.  I`m amazed I got the blocks together without too much distortion.  (Don`t look too close for matching points….a lot of them aren`t there!)

When my longarm comes back from her spa trip to Utah, I`ll put it on the frame and finish the quilting. OR, maybe I`ll get some Pearl cotton and hand quilt a large stitch as Mary suggested….. she used `Pearl Cotton no. 8 with a number 24 chenille needle`.

For my Mother`s quilt……well, I have a friend who loves hand quilting and we trade services

I’m linking up with the host of Throwback Thursdays…………Sandra Walker over at Musings of a Menopausal Melon



3 bleeps

Has anyone heard those dreaded 3 bleeps when turning on their longarm?  Well it happened to me yesterday.  With one row to go to finish a charity quilt, my machine stopped mid stitch.  I turned it off, then turned it on and got those 3 bleeps and nothing. My heart sank.  I have a call in to service……… we’ll wait and see what the result is.

My HQ sixteen has been my friend since 2005.  I know it’s old (like me), but it has been faithful.  No bells or whistles, but together we sure get the job done.  Not having the ability to quilt feels horrible, like part of me is missing.  I’m hoping just a tune up is required and we’ll be back in business soon.