Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Wednesday Works in Progress

Because I don't like posts that are, 'Here is my finished quilt, here's the back, here's a close-up, the end', kind of posts, I thought I should give you a peek into what I've been up to up here in my sewing space. I do tend to post progress photos on Instagram, so you might have already seen some of those that follow.
Note: I did not mean to offend anyone with that opening statement; I simply love people's processes, and seeing how a quilt evolves. I also like to keep a record of what's going through my brain as I create!

First and foremost we have had full-on winter for the past couple of weeks. I know because here is the current state of my temperature quilt:

You can see that the last time we had above 0℃ (freezing) was the highs of February 2 to 4, and the overnight low on Feb. 5. It dropped throughout that day and we haven't seen chartreuse temps since. In fact, last night was the coldest (-16℃) we've seen in more than a year, possibly two.  (Yes, I looked back on But that low temperature meant I needed to use a new colour! Kona Turquoise. Thank goodness it is only one night and then we are back to -10 to -13 until the weekend when it finally smartens up to where we normally are.
We also got snow. And then some!

Meanwhile, inside where it's nice and cosy, I've been chasing squirrels. And then some.

I started another RSC project that will be a comfort quilt for H2H.
18" square, all 9-patches, such fun!

I'd been sucked in by making a yellow square first, and then thought, meh, I could sew a pink one as another leader/ender project, and besides pink was January's colour. And then when that one kind of took over, and got done lickety-split...

I thought, meh, I should do a black with a bit of grey and white one because that always gets left until the end of the year. So I now have three blocks and three RSC projects. I'm making myself wait until the March colour is announced before I start another 9-patch block though. They are FUN! Nothing but 9-patches in the original pattern, though I've tossed in a couple of 3.5" slab blocks in the pink and yellow ones. This is another quilt in Nine-Patch Revolution by Jenifer Dick and Angela Walters.

Speaking of that book, I'm plugging away quilting one I made out of that book in last year's RSC. This is as of last night, the final roll!

There is SITD, dot to dot, both done with a ruler, Slim, Angela's 7" ruler that I absolutely love, and some FMQ, the continuous curve in the 9-patches. I'm using two colours of thread, both Essential by Connecting Threads (affiliate link): Custard and Stone. I was going to use Custard, a pale yellow, for the entire quilt, but some of my blues, greens and reds are pretty rich dark colours, so Stone, a fairly dark grey, is better on them. They have come out with a better spool, the same dimensions as Aurifil's, and the thread feels every so slightly finer. I've pieced a bit with it and noticed the difference. Maybe it's one less ply? Regardless, I love it, Avril loves it; her tension is beyond beautiful. I aim to quilt two rows a day, 24 blocks. With 120 blocks in the quilt, it's taken five days exactly. Each row takes about an hour. I should have a Friday finish! This is another on my PHD List. It certainly feels fabulous to be making steady progress on those Projects Half Done.

But squirrels abound.

Besides getting sucked in with the 'camouflage' sort of 'pixels' RSC 9-patch project, I got totally sucked into my Card Trick project. This, along with my Bow Ties project, are the original two RSC quilts I started this year, both that use strings, and both from another library book, Classic to Contemporary String Quilts by Mary M. Hogan.
I'd left you wondering on Instagram what fourth colour I'd be including. The quilt already had gone on further than I'd planned. This is my brain when it sees a squirrel:
What if?
Maybe I should just..
Well, that was cool!
Since I did an HST (half square triangle) with a solid HST, what about one with a second, all -strips HST?
So what about a QST? (quarter square triangle)
And presto, 3/4 of the quilt done.
One person thought my fourth colour would be yellow, and I'll admit I had considered it, since then I'd be staying on track with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge guide. Moreover, those colours do look good together (see those 18" 9-pach blocks to the side). However, I'd had another little glimmer, and when February's images were posted for Inspiration Collaboration, it was a done deal. Green.
And I could.
Just one more...
Okay, well maybe another...
Isn't that QST just the coolest? We won't talk about how many I messed up with the strips going the wrong way... That is very important.
I love that camping fabric, an oldie but a goodie. See the dog? And the turtle? 😊

So, here is one of the six blocks tout fini, as Inspector Gamache would say. Yes I'm half way through another Louise Penny book! You can see why the strips in the centre QST block are so important to have running in the right direction.
Now there is just one problem. These are 18" blocks, unlike hers in the book. Her quilt is a runner. Mine is not. It will be 36" x 54", not a good size. But rest assured, my brain has been churning away on the back burner, (while I chase more squirrels of course) figuring out a solution, and yes, it involves some more strips, in a oh-so-cool solution, to widen it to the 42" or so mark. Anyhow, I now have two of the six blocks sewn together, and some of the strips strata done for the oh-so-cool solution.

Just two?
Well, yes.

Because behold another squirrel interrupted this one.

I got a lovely email from a blogging friend requesting that I make her two mug cosies, one for her and one for her daughter. I said well the pattern is a free download on my blog... but no, she wanted to give herself a gift. 

Smart lady. I like that attitude and need to remember that. Wait. I did. I bought myself two Ritter Sport Marzipan chocolate bars, and the book Think Like a Monk. I got some information as to potential themes and colours, mucked around through my stash (SO utterly satisfying) and decided to make not two, but four, so I can add a few to my Etsy shop where they are for sale.

But these actually got interrupted shortly thereafter by yet another squirrel...

This! Sorry for a wonky angled photo but I don't have a lot of room between my longarm and design wall. Such fun. I nearly went full-on DrEAMi and started quilting it so I could hang it from my mailbox, but then common sense actually prevailed and I went back to the mug cosies ...cozies. Whatever/however you spell it, (I write tea cosy, but write I am cozy today inside my warm house - throws hands up in air), I am working on them today, well after this gets finished and posted. The above Valentine fabrics are February's Stash Stocker from The Fabric Snob in Manitoba. Dayna gave me a 3-month subscription, such a great idea, and one she got her father (cough cough, Sandra did it all) to buy for me several Christmases ago from Pink Castle Fabrics in Michigan (permanently closed now), an Art Gallery Fabrics one. This one is Moda. January was blues. All but the bright pink is 'Be Mine' by Stacy Iest Hsu. The bright pink is still Moda, but a Zen Chic one. The reverse appliqué pattern is one I bought in December from Lisa at Love to Color My World. Her pattern is for several Christmas objects, ornaments, snowmen, etc. I had the idea of hearts, which, I found out after I drew mine, she has a download for on her site. The mini quilt layout is mine, as are the little ones in the corner.

So, along with reading, watching Netflix and CBC Gem, and the usual, yoga and a daily walk, I've been having just as fun a month as I did in January. And it feels good.

Where am I on the Project Quilting 12.4 Snail's Trail challenge? 

Yeah, still in my head.

Rufus is still working on being a quilting room dog. Some days he gets it right:


That's one of Bella's little mats! Too funny. He'd rather be close to me than on the really nice knitted selvedges rug that's at the longarm. Apparently he'd rather be on a mat or quilt of any kind than the floor too. Maybe he's telling me I should make him a little, or not so little, mat...

One last item I nearly forgot: money. I have a quilt coming up in the next issue of Make Modern that I am so darn excited to share with you, I can hardly stand it. I proofed the final pattern a few days ago, and I'll be hosting TGIFF on March 12, the day the issue comes out. I've subscribed to MM for a few years now, and they've kindly sponsored my annual QAL for a few years too. Well, who knew, but I could have been an affiliate all along...(those are affiliate links) Anyhow, I have rectified that situation, so perhaps when you renew, you'd consider clicking through on the sidebar icon? Or if you decide to subscribe you'd click on that link? As you all know, but I'll say it anyhow, you don't pay any extra, but I get a little kickback for promoting them. I only promote stuff I love and use.

Also AccuQuilt for whom I am an affiliate, is having quite the good deal on this weekend, 2/19 through 2/25. It's 40% off their Go! Cutter and free shipping. The code you need is CUT125. My favourite die are the HST ones. If you're not looking for a cutter, there are too many other promos on all month, so be sure to head over (use that affiliate link, 😉) and check them all out. There's a free pattern that's adorable too!

And this just in! I see that my friend Joanne, of Canuck Quilter Designs has a new quilt available in a kit at Connecting Threads, (that link will take you to it) and it's a beauty!
It's a really great price too, just sayin'... It uses their new Quartz Metallic Tonals, and well, you know how I love blues, especially the turquoises.

Thanks so much for reading this rather lengthy update, and for clicking through on my links when/if you do! I do so appreciate your support.


  1. Oh, that last photo of Rufus tugs so hard at my heart! <3 It does look like you are having a lot of fun. I look forward to seeing all these projects progress!

  2. Some of us actually like three photos and done kinda posts. Just saying.

  3. An interesting and fun post sandra. One I'll have to come back to when I have a little more time to explore some more :-)

  4. Oh be still my heart the pink and black strings with the wonderful addition of green, is gorgeous! You have been sewing up a storm, but I really do think a certain furry pouch needs a mat of his own.

  5. So many super fun projects going on in your studio!!!

  6. The outdoor squirrels have been having a fun rumpus on my deck lately, and I think your quilt room squirrels are doing the same. So many amazing and fun projects going on - I'm a little envious, I'll admit. I thoroughly enjoyed this post, with all the lovely color and how your projects lead to another and another. Congrats on the pattern in MM and your affiliation. I'll be posting my PQ12.4 tomorrow, and I'll do my best not to make it three and done :-)

  7. You have a lot of nice projects going. I do think you should make a bigger dog mat!

  8. I am trying to reduce my squirrel tendencies, but I feel one coming on again.

  9. I keep looking at those 16" 9 patch blocks and trying to puzzle out the construction. I know, I should buy the book, but I really don't need one. more. book. The squirrels seem to have taken up residence in your brain. I wonder how you get any sleep at all with these ideas swirling through your mind all the time. But then I've been doing a bit of the same. It looks like you've gotten more snow than we have. The last storm came no where near the forecast and today's predicted snow has apparently gone south. Not that I'm complaining.


  10. That was a great newsy/quilty post & I still can't believe how much you get done. Loved everything. Must admit to being in the garden a bit more lately with it being summer, so sewing slows down just a tad. Can't wait to see our next issue of MM & what you've got in it. Your scrappy quilts are making me think!! Must do something about all mine, though I'm being pretty good & using my stash for many of my squirrels. Love the photos of Rufus & he must be such a darling & good company. Take care, stay warm & hugs.

  11. Hi Sandra! What a newsy post! Are you trying to share some squirrels or what?!! I started reading and thought hmm - I just KNEW you were going with green. And Rufus - good job, Buddy. You'll get there - and hold out for that bigger mat. Apparently, mom has plenty of time for squirrels so she definitely has time for a project for her Quilting Assistant. I am sorely tempted to go check out that AccuQuilt sale. Hmmm. Love, love, LOVE the heart project. And the joy in your post just comes through as if you were shouting from the rooftops. {{Hugs}} Looking forward to the next Make Modern issue! ~smile~ Roseanne

  12. Thank you for sharing all your ideas. You have certainly been a busy beaver 🦫.

  13. Well you have been really busy. I think you must be celebrating not being tied down to the IB projects, even though you loved them. Love the quilting on the one on the frame. I did not guess green...I probably would have gone with blue. Hmm...the temperature quilt is looking pretty "cool" I have to admit, we seem to be in an oasis with storms all around but not in our neck of the woods. I'm grateful not to have shovel snow. Looking forward to seeing your quilt in MM.

  14. I think I would have gone blue also! My temperature quilt for Ann Arbor resembles yours a lot; I had to bring in a snowflake pattern for the -0 days. We may still have another yet this week....

  15. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who works on a slew of projects all at once! I love all of this, especially the bright and cheery heart and those fabulous string blocks--I probably would have said Yellow, too, but the green looks so good that after seeing it, that was clearly THE choice.