Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Blue Ribbon Stars

She's done! And just in the nick of time for the Q2 FAL with Adrianne at On the Windy Side.  This was #6, a bit of a mystery project, a secret, on my list.  I had in mind a star quilt out of one of Pam & Nicky Lintott's jellyroll books.  But then I designed a quilt for H2H, and then, I thought, what if I make it a bigger block and use this for the blue secret quilt?

There were definitely some quilting pains along the way, but you wouldn't know it to look at these photos.  Here is the flimsy post.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sunday Stash Share

I know, I know, it's supposed to be computer-free Sunday in my world, but I haven't posted since Tuesday, and I do have a purchase from a Canadian, no less, quilt store, to share, as well as my (somewhat limited) progress on the star quilt.  And it's morning somewhere...maybe Hawaii?!

After hearing good things about Sew Sisters from Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, I signed up for their newsletter.  Well, two months later, I made my first purchase.  They have a special on right now until July 1 or while supplies last, on the charm pack, Oh Canada! from Stonehenge for $5.  Um, that's amazing, even in the US, but for Canada?  Pretty much unheard of.  So, of course, I couldn't just order a charm pack and pay another $5 to ship it; I had to add something, right?  And I do not have a patriotic quilt...yet.  Gasp.

So I went to their sale section, where fabric is $7.99/metre.  That works out to $7.38/yard.  Translate our CA$ to the US$ at the current rate of approximately 25% and you get $5.90 US/yard, decent, especially for Canada.  I was looking for backings, and did a whoop! whoop! when I found the cows fabric, "Farm Chic" by Wyndham Fabrics.  It's been a while (like 3 months) since I paper-pieced another cow, but have no fear, the 3 cows I have so far gaze/graze contentedly at me from my design wall, and yes, I am adding to the herd very soon, following the colour of the month at So Scrappy.  This was a good score, so I bought 4 metres, aiming for a roughly 60" or so quilt for my aunt.

The "Purses Galore" fabric from Michael Miller was another I bought with a bag in mind, be it makeup, or lunch, graball, what-have-you, probably for my daughters.  Girls can never have too many bags, and makeup bags are right at the top of the list in their worlds.  It was also in the sale section; I got the minimum 1 metre.

Shipping was $8.99, which I thought wasn't bad for Canada.  Had it been fabric.com, I'd have got my shipping free, since they ship free for orders over $35.

I have a post coming with more price comparisons, just have to sit down and write it.  I have spent hours and hours on the computer over the past few days, working on my grandson's movie from his trip here last September, and I'm so close to having it ready to burn to DVD...which means it could still be another couple of hours' work.  Disappearing soundtrack credits was the last glitch, and I'm hoping I can fix that somehow in iDVD.  Anyhow, long convoluted and frustrating story (I need to make more iMovies so I remember how to work the damn programme from year to year and update to update, lol; ya I'll get right on that) but the movies I've made for him are, if I do say so myself, freaking fantabulous, and he and Brianne watch them over and over.  Heck, I myself have rewatched them more than a couple of times!

So the Blue Ribbon Star quilt (what do you think of that name?) is progressing slowly because of me being an airhead and not adjusting the tension when I switch from a near-empty bobbin to a brand new full one, or forgetting, or plain just not paying attention to, what direction the feathers are going on the outer borders...
feathers along the top edge, a design I pinned on Pinterest
I am having trouble, well was--I think I have a handle on it now--with the background.  More when I show you the finished quilt, and I'll explain.  I am also having a long-fought battle, which I am losing, with two very bad "bobbles" as I quilt.  I am positive it has to do with where the table sections join, but the machine is like possessed, and grabs, or takes a hard left kind of thing, and (insert very bad word) there goes my petal, or feather or swoop or what-have-you.  It also is not quite level at the left end; the carriage slides towards me and to the left, so that should be an easy fix to level the table, but this bobble is driving me literally to tears.  Any thoughts are most welcome.  I have gone on the HandiQuilter troubleshooting, and googled "bobble in my Avante" (bahaha and that got me some car chassis and track info and YouTube video!!)

Here are two of the six stars' designs:
Angela Walters again--ha! not planned but it's visible on her book cover you can see here
Lots of ruler work, which is good for me.  I know I don't spend enough time with Avril; hope to experiment this coming week with some scheduling ideas I've got.
Thanks to Judi and Judy here: Judi Madsen for her design, which Judy at Quilt Paradigm sent me
I shall persevere!
Linking up to the effervescent Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash, whose post, interestingly, is about rulers among other things, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Bloggers Hop Week 2

There is another round of lovely blogs to check out for you this week.  Don't forget the prizes (another round of them too, that are up for grabs this week as well.

My hive,
Erin at Twin Mom Quilts
Anja at Anja Quilts
Carrie at Chopping Block Quilts
Adrian at Quilting Fabulous

If you hop over to one of our four hive mamas, then you will see the other bloggers in this week's hop:
Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl
Teri at Childlike Fascination
Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs
at my hive mama's, for today (Tuesday) you will find some cool Tips and Tutorials!
Stephanie at Late Night Quilter

Remember there are some great prizes to be had!

In random news in my world, the quilt back is pieced, well, nearly.  We've had an eventful last 12 hours, beginning with quite the storm, so bad that Point Pelee National Park is closed today as they deal with downed trees and still a power outage.  Our power was out from 2:30-8 am, which I would like to say is why I am only finally getting this post up but that is not true...  Our dogs are now terrified of storms as of this winter when a smoke detector in our Florida home suddenly went off and we could not get it to stop, and it's hard-wired in...the dogs went totally to pieces, trembling useless blobs of fur, poor babies. I know how much that sound hurts my ears, so I can't imagine how it must feel to a dog's sensitive ears....and it went off again a few days later...and then a few weeks later, Naala came running into my sewing room, belly low, ears back, shaking like a leaf, and I realized why: my husband was watching a video on YouTube that had some high-pitched "beeps" on it, and she thought the alarm was going to go off again. Poor poor baby.  Of course, with the power out, our alarm here, which is also hard-wired in, was chirping every hour or so, which sent Naala to the edge.
She's spent most of the day pressed into this corner of the living area, a place she never lies
Rocco jumped in bed with us, yep, big 65-pound raging pitbull that he is....NOT...and would NOT get out.  Sigh. So we let him stay, safe between us, Naala pressed against the bed so my husband could reassure her, but she stayed on her bed.  Not a lot of sleep was had by anyone for most of the rest of the night.

I had a much-needed pedicure appointment this morning which we all walked to. It turned out to be a lovely day, and I love the sparkly blue turquoise toenails I now have!  I took Rocco down to the beach when I got home and he had a wonderful romp and swim.
Swimming out for the tennis ball...

...and back
We disturbed a Great Blue Heron and some turkey buzzards feeding on some dead fish...which, sigh, Rocco found, and started to roll in to douse himself with their "delicious" scent.  No wonder Bella thinks he is a revolting canine!  Unfortunately for him, he got doused with the garden hose and then taken into the shower and shampooed and rinsed off.

Last night on my drive to yoga in Amherstburg, where I always see the swans on Creekside Road, (remember the photo of the two embracing?), I saw this big guy
The creek is always bluer on the other side of the road...

I've never seen one this big in Canada, maybe in Florida! Apparently there are lots twice his size here, and he was about 10" across his shell.
He pulled in his head and started to turn around so I quick went behind him so he'd keep going to that bluer creek on the other side of the road.  I'm pretty sure he's a map turtle, from zooming in on his algae(?) covered shell. There was a recent wonderful story about saving one who got run over by a car and had his shell cracked.  Love this guy's fat prehistoric front flippers, and he sure has a long tail!

Now to actually get down to sewing today!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Star Quilt Flimsy and a Winner

Outside shot in the shade
I don't have an official name for this quilt or this pattern, which is my own design.  It is the same pattern as my H2H quilt, just bigger blocks.  I love how this version turned out!  Bella had her fair share of input too.

"a scant quarter inch Sandra!"

Then she got bored
This is a gift for someone in my family.  Once the quilt is finished, and named, I'll divulge that.  I braved spiders, fishflies, and snakes (last trip into the green strip between our lane and the next I was greeted by one wriggling his way across the end of our patio to the garden--needless to say, I let him have the right of way), and tried pegging it to a tree branch since I don't have a clothesline,
but you didn't get to see the entire quilt, although I do love the look in amongst the greenery!

Tried again:
Better, but the breeze wafted the one edge over.  The stake is there because they are putting in new sewers in the lane behind us, so needed to mark our property line as it abuts the town-owned green strip.

I love the pictures in the bright morning sunshine; these are true colour renditions.  So, the fabric story.  The navy two-tone blue is one of my all-time favourite fabrics, "Opalescence" for Grandma's Attic by SSI.  South Sea Imports...are they even around anymore?  It is the background fabric in a Stack 'n Whack quilt I made in 2003.  Yep, more ancient fabric!  I bought extra because I love it so much.  I still have not quite 27" left. Maybe binding...or maybe another rendition of this one?  What's that? You'd like to see that Stack 'n Whack?  Okay, hang on, I'll go dig it out and take a pic...here you go:

The inspiration for this wallhanging came from one in a quilt shop in Lethbridge, a quilt that was not in Bethany's book, but designed, using two of her blocks, by someone who worked at the store.  This was before cell phones and their handy cameras.  So I mentally took a picture, bought the cloud fabric from the store, and recreated my own version.  I was so happy with the result.  It used to hang in our family room in our Alberta home.  I need to find a spot for it here; rolled up and stacked with the other quilts in my closet is not good!  I quilted it on my brand new Bernina in 2003:
the leaf motif is in Bethany's first Stack 'n Whack book
Back to this star quilt, though.  I love the "stained glass" effect pics I've seen around the 'net of quilts taken from the back, and I was able to do that with this one!
might give away my construction secrets, lol
The light-medium blue used in the inner border and star points is a Quest for the Cure fabric by Northcott.  Another fabric I just love but have not worked into a quilt until this one. The background is a 3-yard piece bought at one of the many quilt shop hops I went on, a Jennifer Sampou fabric from a while back.  The other blues are scraps from other projects, two fat quarters I bought because I liked them, and a few pieces of a bright blue floral that I bought this winter for the backing of this very quilt.  I knew I was making a blue quilt, just hadn't totally committed to a pattern at that point.

This is on my Q2 FAL list, so I have 8 days left to get 'er done!

And the winner (thought I'd forgotten, right?) from Friday's post of the Grande Scrappy Tiles pattern by Meadow Mist Designs is (drum roll:
#22, Jasmine of Quilt Kisses!

Thank you to all who visited and commented.  I've replied to most of you, and I will get to the rest sometime today.  I've emailed Jasmine to let her know. :-)

And she was right: this is the Detroit River, and because I am standing on the Canadian side, in Windsor, I am looking north towards to Detroit in the USA.  This is the only place in Canada where you are south of the US.  My little town, Kingsville, is even further south of Windsor.  And Point Pelee National Park is the southernmost point on mainland Canada.  We are on the same latitude down here as the northern border of California.  Cool, huh?
Note that Windsor is not named, but Tecumseh, Lakeshore and even little Kingsville all are... more evidence that, as is often said, Windsor is just south Detroit, forgotten by the rest of Canada...wry grin

I'll be linking this post up to Patchwork Times' Design Wall Monday, and also (a bit late) for Oh Scrap! at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Christmas Table Runner

Well, I've torn myself away from my basement enclave to bring you a second finish for this week!  This is one of the projects on my Q2 FAL list at On the Windy Side.

I actually had the hand quilting finished last weekend, but this week's posts had to do with the New Bloggers Hop and Cheryl's Grande Scrappy Tiles pattern launch, and so the binding didn't get finished hand-sewing down until yesterday!

This past week in quilting blogland I've seen no less than two others, so 3 counting my own, decades-old projects finally finished.  First, I saw some cute baskets that Wendy (she's hilarious) started 26 years ago and finished this week over at The Crafter's Apprentice, and second, I saw a beautiful honeymoon quilt finish by Bernie, the fabric for which was purchased on said honeymoon 17 years ago!  So I am in good company showing this finally finished project which I started in 1998 or 99, so 16 or 17 years ago.
Here you can see the pointed end of the runner...as well as the banana plants and elephant ears. I'm curious to see the change in them in a couple of months
And, who knew, but it's an original design!  Here I thought I had something new going over the past year with the creative bursts of inspiration -- I'm doodling and sketching and sewing and publishing (eeek- see the Moda Bakeshop button on the sidebar, still excited about that).  Apparently this designing thing has been in me and into fabric for longer than I realize.

I love star blocks.  They are my favourite.  So I put three different ones all within one table runner and set them on point.
Evening or Sawtooth Star
Rising Star
Ohio Star
I bought all the fabric except for the backing at my LQS at the time, Lori's Country Cottage.  I love the Old World Santas fabric.  However, it does not show the hand-quilting off very well, and it was really difficult to find a marker that would show the lines I marked, so I just marked small sections at a time.  I did a simple cable there.  The straight lines in the dark green (which has pretty cool shading, no?) were done right around the start of the new millenium.  Can you believe that's over 15 years ago now?!

I won't win any awards for 20 stitches to the inch; I bet I maybe have 6-8, and that's not consistently!  Still, it is done, the first entirely hand-quilted piece I've done.  Here is the back:

Although I still have some of each of the fabrics used within the runner, I didn't have enough of any of them for the binding.  Happily I had almost a full fat quarter of this red with crowns on that I thought worked really well with the other gold-flecked fabrics.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: original design
Size:  60"X23.75"
Fabric: I don't know because I have none left with selvages on!
Backing: cotton purchased at Fabricland
Batting: 100% cotton purchased at my LQS specifically for hand quilting, but I don't know the brand
Quilted: by hand by me
Threads: Gutermann hand quilting cotton

Another project I completed this week is recovering the top for my cedar hope chest, a gift from my parents for my 18th birthday. (ya now that baby is decades old, but we won't go there!)

Here is the before:

Yep that grouse fabric just wore right out...darn, right?!
And here is what it looks like now!
Bella approves!
This fabric is from fabric.com, bought this past winter. I thought it was quilting weight cotton, but it is somewhere between that and canvas.  I thought maybe I'd still use it for fabric baskets, a bag, or cushion covers...and then a few days ago, it hit me!  Did I have enough? Yep, if I pieced two 2.5" strips on the long sides, it would be perfect.  With my husband on the super whack-master staple gun, and me on the stretching and positioning of fabric, we did it.  Awww, yeah!  I love it.

If you are observant, you'll have noticed Summer Scents Mosaic is on our bed. :-)
We slept under it last night and it was great! It washed up just wonderfully, no shrinkage other than the usual with cotton fabrics.  So the key to using flannelette or flannel as batting is to wash and dry it in the dryer before layering and quilting.  I might have found out the hard way what happens when one does not do this...
Linking up with Pet Project Saturday at Pink Doxies.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Grande Scrappy Tiles Pattern Testing & A Giveaway!

You've seen this before in fabric selection process and in flimsy form.

And here she is toute finie!  I named her Summer Scents Mosaic, a nod to the floral fabrics that are so summery, and the name of the pattern of Cheryl's, Grande Scrappy Tiles, on sale for the next 2 weeks only, for only $6!  This is a pattern I tested for Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs.  It is a terrific pattern, a very ingenious layout to get the overall scrappy look, with clear and concise directions.  The official launch is today, so if you'd like to see some other variations, click here.
 Detroit skyline as the backdrop in early morning sunlight
Lots of us agree that quilts 'talk' to us, and this one was no exception.  When I laid her down to piece the backing and the batting (more on that experiment in a minute), she just didn't seem quite together.

I wondered...what if I put a border on? Would it pull it all together?  I still had enough fabric (I might still have some left over...Cynthia!!!)

And yes, ahhh, she was complete.

So the batting experiment.  I want this quilt lightweight, as a summer quilt.  I'd used flannelette in runners with great success, so I thought, let's give it a try.  I'd hoped to pick up flannel, however, for just that bit of extra fluff...big sigh.  Even in Fabricland, not a quilt shop, basically the Canadian equivalent of JoAnn Fabrics, flannel was too expensive.  I checked out flannelette.  Diaper flannelette is what I'd used in runners, but it is a mere 27" wide, so I investigated some soft prints that were 42-43".  I found one that was a pale gold, so I thought it wouldn't interfere with the (then planned) backing.  Yay, it was on sale for $4.50/metre.  Stay tuned for another post on price comparisons in the not-too-distant future.  And, by the way, this has a great weight, I'm actually surprised it's as heavy as it is...but then again it is pretty large!
Was hoping for more flowers for the Summer Scents Mosaic theme
With the addition of borders the quilt was 80.5" so I pieced the flannelette (after washing and drying it) and then looked at the backing I'd planned...and couldn't do it!  This is a very pretty Robyn Pandolph cream with pale pink roses on, bought on sale (as I buy all my backings) at Fat Quarter Shop...and I just thought...nope, this needs to be on the front of a quilt, a low volume quilt.  I looked in the stash of greens, and found this backing that I'd bought for Savannah

and then somehow, before or after, acquired the same brown floral I used on the front of that quilt for the backing.  In all likelihood I could have bought the brown and forgotten I did that.  Who knows...anyhow I had enough for the backing of this baby! This came from Alma Sue's in Sarasota.

It quilted up quite nicely!  This is prior to washing.
I used Christina Cameli's "Fervent" motif as the all-over meander.  I loved this motif!

I did Angela Walters' no marking dot to dot wedge design in the borders.  Great ruler work practice for me.  This picture shows about an 8" piece of fabric I needed to piece in for the binding!  Yep, I used every last scrap of the green.  Both of these greens are in the quilt.

Tried to capture one of the many seagulls flitting around and I know there was one in this photo, but it must have blended into the background.

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Grande Scrappy Tiles by Meadow Mist Designs
Size:  80.5"X80.5"
Fabric: from my stash and from my scraps
Backing: ?? a wider backing that I think has been cut in half lengthwise to equal about 54" width
Batting: flannelette
Quilted: on my Avanté
Threads: Isacord pink #2560 in the top with So Fine in the bottom for 1 bobbin and The Bottom Line (prefer this, as does Avril) for 1.5 bobbins. Approximately 500 yards all told.

What was I doing in downtown Windsor at 8 am? I'd just finished my 6:30 am Ashtanga Mysore yoga class!  I go 3 times a week.  Here is the quilt on the bench right outside the studio!

 If you're still with me, here is the giveaway!  Cheryl has kindly offered up a copy of her pattern to one of my readers.  All you have to do to enter is tell me the name of the river in these photos, AND what direction (north, south, east, west) I am facing in the first photo.  You might learn a very interesting geographical fact about this part of Canada!  (wait, whut? as the younger ones say...you're in Canada and that's Detroit across the river?....exactly.)  For a second entry just leave me a second comment telling me how you follow me, and if you aren't yet a follower, perhaps you'd care to join?!  :-)

I will draw a winner on Sunday night about 10 pm EST and announce it on Monday.  Be sure to leave me your email address in the comments if you are a no-reply blogger; otherwise I will have to draw again.  ephdra (at) gmail (dot) com is a good format.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday, TGIFF and Confessions of a Fabric Addict's Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? These link buttons are on my Links tab up top!

Monday, June 15, 2015

We're All In This Together

Hi!  I am Sandra and welcome to my corner of Quilting Blogland.

Me with Brandy, our dear friend John's Pibble (75-pound lap dog) Feb. 2015
I am taking part in the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Hop which is hosted this year by four amazing bloggers:
Stephanie of Late Night Quilter (my hive leader, woot! woot!)

Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs (currently testing two patterns for her, awww yeah!)
Terri of Childlike Fascination
Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl
I am truly in awe, not to mention so very grateful for the extra time these gals are devoting to helping us improve our blogs.

In 2012 my husband and I made a rather bold decision:  we quit our jobs, he a few months shy, me a few years shy of retirement age.  On top of that, we left Alberta, where we had spent the past 23 years raising our two daughters, and moved to southwestern Ontario, a place we had lived for 5 years in the 1980s.  We had set the wheels in motion a few years prior to the actual move, but it was quite the be-still-my-beating-heart, outside of the box kind of thing to do.  Prior to, during, and after, and even still today, nearly 3 years later, I had and have many deep thoughts, aha moments, profound events occur, thought-provoking incidents, all of which led, and still lead, to much pondering about life in general. I also had time to pursue more fully my passions, sewing, yoga and reading.  I wanted to keep in touch with my family and friends back in Alberta, and I wanted to document not only my quilting projects, but also to share with them my journey in this new and exciting phase of my life.  Thus, "Musings of a Menopausal Melon - mmm quilts" came into being.

Menopause really is a profound time of change in a woman's life, and although I question on a daily basis just where my brain cells have gone when it comes to mundane tasks like opening up a recipe on the computer (3 tries later, after getting sucked into "just checking email, just looking up this Ontario tree, just seeing if I could fix the damn Pinterest button"--which is ugly I know--I finally did get the recipe and the cake made and it was actually delicious--more on the trials of baking with a menopausal absent melon in another post...), where was I? Oh yeah, I find I really think more deeply about the big stuff, the important stuff.  Important stuff...like let's get on with the post!  I hope you are starting to see the blend of humour with profanity. Wait!  Not profanity! (another menopausal issue, can't think of the appropriate word when I want it)  "blend of humour with profundity."  That sounds archaic, but I checked and it's a word, as is profoundness.  I think you get it.

I've quilted for 20 years.  It always interested me, but I thought it too fiddly and time-consuming when I first had a go, armed with scissors, pencil, and corrugated cardboard templates, to make a Grandmother's Fan block into a cushion.  Then when I won blocks in a BOM draw at the LQS, urged to enter and "just make one block, Mum, it's only $1" by my eldest daughter, age 9 at the time, I signed up for a class at said LQS, and, well, garment-making took a backseat to quilt-making!
Fleurs, a challenge from last year:  guild executive-directed, sew your own rounds on an orphan block (love this, still need to quilt it)
My nana, my mum's mum, was a seamstress and a knitter, so I guess I inherited her love of textiles and all things sewing-related, as no one else in my family sews.  I've mostly made traditional pieced quilts, and very early on began quilting them on my 1979 Elna Air Electronic.  I was addicted to HGTV's "Simply Quilts" with Alex Anderson, videotaping episodes, taking notes, drawing diagrams in a scribbler I still have.  There is where I learned so much about the craft.  More knowledge was gained when I found a guild and became a member.  How wonderful to gather with like-minded people! ....

Which is exactly how I've come to view the online blogging community.  When I moved here to Kingsville, it was really hard to find out information about local guilds, and when I did find a guild, Erie Shores Quilt Guild, very difficult to "break into" that guild.

Seaside Rose, one of my all-time favourite quilts, Lake Erie in the background
The online friendships I made fed my creative soul more than I ever imagined; I was wildly inspired by the online quilting activities, the tutorials, the classes (Craftsy is just the best!), the stores, the unabashed sharing that goes on between us whether it be of sales, tips, new techniques, epic fails, frustrations, finishes...and ...... modern quilting. Oh. Holy. Wow.
Summer Breeze, one of my first modern quilts
How absolutely wonderful to see young women embracing a craft that is often viewed as being only for blue-haired, overweight, gabardine-wearing grandmas!  How invigorating to see bright new fabrics and colours, and so much room (now known as negative space) to FMQ!! Since buying both of Kathy Sandbach's books (after I saw her on "Simply Quilts") and taking two classes at a sewing machine store, one on stitching with decorative threads, the other on McTavishing (by a guy who had bought Karen's old machine), I was in love with FMQ.  So now, to see the explosion of all the FMQ designs was music to my ears.
Yoga mat bag designed by moi
I am so happy I took the plunge and started this blog.  It has enriched my life more than I could ever have envisioned.  Truly.

So, to wrap this up, I have a couple of tips for you:
First, a blogging tip from me is to answer your comments by email (unless you are having a giveaway and have like lots!) and then visit the commenter!  We learned last week that answering them directly on your blog does not automatically send an email to the person who wrote the comment.  Emailing and visiting the commenter has led me to making some invaluable friendships with other bloggers, friendships I treasure, talented women with whom I frequently chat.  I love sewing "with" them, thinking (knowing!) they are at their machines right at this very moment, creating beauty, all across the continent, and around the planet.  :-)

But I interrupt my tips with a question for you:  how do you balance your time on the computer with your time on your sewing machine?  Any tips would be much appreciated, as this is something I am struggling with this year in particular!  I keep joking that I need a secretary...

Second, a quilting tip is one I learned on "Simply Quilts", and it is a timesaver when trimming up HSTs!
Layer 2 HST squares right sides together, atop each other, wiggling the diagonal seam together with your fingers so they abut
Lay your ruler down (I love my 8"square from That Patchwork Place) as shown, so the diagonal line is right on top of the seam line. I'm trimming these to 3 1/2"

Ta da!  TWO HSTs perfectly trimmed.

And finally!  Are you still with me?!  Here is some quick trivia about me:
1.  Dream Vacation Spot:  a tropical small island, set up for one couple only
2.  Favourite Book:  SO many!!  Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese, The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough, The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, Kingdom of Shadows by Barbara Erskine, pretty much all of Charles de Lint's books, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley...okay, I'll stop, but there are more
3.  Favourite Movie:  "The Princess Bride" with "The Commitments" and "Chocolat" coming close behind
4.  Favourite TV Show:  Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, Once Upon a Time, Outlander
5.  Random (fun) fact:  Other than I have a difficult time making decisions (and picking one favourite!), hmmm, I learned to do a wheel and a headstand in my 40s and as of last year, age, egad, 54, can do splits with either leg in front.  This is thanks to yoga.

I hope you might poke around a bit, stay a while, grab a java or a cuppa, and maybe pop back in on a regular basis!  :-)
QC inspector and sewing coach Bella makes frequent appearances on the blog
 As does Rocco, my sweetheart Pitbull.  Naala, our wise Rottweiler, makes occasional entrances too!

I hope you also check out my hive mates' posts for today on this first week of the New Bloggers' Hop:
Johanna at Sewing Time With Brownie
Jinger at Trials of a Newbie Quilter
Kelly at Quilting it Out
Tessa at Half Square Quilts