Sunday, March 31, 2013

It's time to link your Q1 FAL finishes!

Mod Pop

So as your hostess for the Finish-A-Long, I have the privilege of sharing my finishes from my Q1 FAL List - which is here - first.

I am very proud to show you my king size Mod Pop. She still does not have an official name, although I am leaning toward Molten or Lava Lamp. This quilt is big - king size - and I have been sleeping under her every night. You can read the Ta Da post about her here.

Mod Pop - detail

I finished this quilt as part of the Mod Pop QAL and you can see other finishes Mod Pops linked here or in the flickr group here. Julie's wonderful pattern is here.

Scrappy Trip

My second and only other finish for Q1 is my lovely Scrappy Tripalong quilt - Trippy #1. This quilt often cuddles with me when I am reading the internet. Her Ta Da post is here and the link to the pattern is in that post too.

Scrappy Trip - detail

That it for me this quarter, 2 finishes out of 6 excellent projects. I did make some bee blocks, and a couple of mini quilts and went to QuiltCon and stuff, and that old statitis has been acting up this quarter too. But no more finishes from my FAL list. I am going to have a long list for next quarter, it is a good thing the sun stays up longer in the spring.

Now it is your turn, link up your finishes. Remember this question from last post:

How do I link up my finishes? Do I need one link for each finish?
  • Please link one blog post or flickr picture for each finished item.
  • If you like, you can link up older blog posts where you first showed off your finished item, you do not have to write a new post for each finish. 
  • It is nice to see one end of quarter post letting us all know how you did overall, so feel free to use this post to link one item and then link older posts for the rest of the finishes.
  • Please ensure that at least one your end of quarter linked posts contains a link to your original Q1 FAL list so that I can check to make sure your finishes are of things on your Q1 list. It is even easier for me if all of the linked posts link to that original Q1 list. If you are linking flickr photos, add a link to the originally linked flickr photo in the photo description. And yes, I do check, Rhonda can be a bit of a taskmaster you know.
she can quilt

The link is open until midnight MST April 7 - don't be late. You must link your finishes by then for them to count in the draw for the wonderful prizes from our generous and wonderful sponsors. If you are trying to squeeze one last finish in you can link the rest now and that last one at the 11th hour - just saying.

I can't wait to see how many beautiful projects you have finished and gotten out of your sewing rooms this quarter. Oh, and you can start getting together your Q2 lists, the link for posting that list will open on April 8. Don't forget, we have all those great tutorials coming daily this week, in between the link ups - it is going to be a fun week.

I wish you all a lovely Easter,



Friday, March 29, 2013

Q1 FAL Tutorials and some answers to FAL questions

she can quilt

I am so pleased to share with the line up of wonderful bloggers who have volunteered to share tutorials on this blog for Q1 of the FAL:

While you are waiting for the tutorials to start here, feel free to visit these wonderful bloggers and get to know them a bit better.

And to answer some questions that many of you have (the rules are also here):

How do I link up my finishes? Do I need one link for each finish?
  • Please link one blog post or flickr picture for each finished item.
  • If you like, you can link up older blog posts where you first showed off your finished item, you do not have to write a new post for each finish. 
  • It is nice to see one end of quarter post letting us all know how you did overall, so feel free to use this post to link one item and then link older posts for the rest of the finishes.
  • Please ensure that at least one your end of quarter linked posts contains a link to your original Q1 FAL list so that I can check to make sure your finishes are of things on your Q1 list. It is even easier for me if all of the linked posts link to that original Q1 list. If you are linking flickr photos, add a link to the originally linked flickr photo in the photo description. And yes, I do check, Rhonda can be a bit of a taskmaster you know.
Is there a penalty for not finishing something on my list?
  • No, but I hope that if you still have any UFOs around you will join us for Q2.
Do things I finish in the first week of April count?
  • As long as you link up your finishes before the post-quarter link closes on April 7, I will count the finishes. Consider those extra days as bonus days or a little buffer just because.
Can I do a tutorial in a coming quarter?
  • Please email me (shecanquilt [at] gmail [dot] com) or leave a comment on this post if you would like to propose a tutorial. I have lots of open slots and need your help.
How else can I support the FAL?
  • Take some time to visit some or all of the Q1 finish links and leave comments. Also continue your wonderful support of everyone on the FAL flickr group.
  • Join us for Q2 with more UFOs. Remember that they need to be started projects to qualify, not just plans and ideas.
  • Support our lovely sponsors and consider dropping them a line or leaving a comment with your next order thanking them for their FAL prizes and support.
  • If you would like to become a sponsor for the upcoming quarter, please email me (shecanquilt [at] gmail [dot] com)
When are the next link-ups?
  • Sunday March 31 - the Q1 post quarter link up opens - you can start linking up your finishes
  • Sunday April 7 - the Q1 post quarter link up closes at midnight, mountain standard time.
  • Monday April 8 - The Q2 pre-quarter link up opens - you can start posting your Q2 list of projects to finish in the quarter.
  • Monday, April 15 - The Q2 pre-quarter link closes at midnight mountain standard time. 
  • Sunday June 20 - the Q2 post-quarter link will open. And I will post the other dates later on.
Since there are no pictures, here is a photo from instagram of my pickle dish progress last night - I have made 37 of 200 pickle dish units (one "half" circle is a unit to me) and have 163 to go. This quilt is going to be so good I think.

37 pickle dish units, 163 to go. #pickledish

I hope you are having a lovely Easter weekend.



Thursday, March 28, 2013

A couple of things for Thursday

Positively texty - a pillow for me by Kirsten

Look at that stunning pillow that I received from Kirsten who blogs at Gemini Stitches in the X-Factor Pillow Swap. I love it, not only is it texty but it has some of one of my favourite fabrics ever, Authentic by Sweetwater. Thank you Kirsten, it is even better in person! By the way, I sent my pillow to Kirsten, where it is being well loved. A lovely end round for the swap.

Fabric Mutt

I am participating in a new blog hop put together by my friend Heidi from Fabric Mutt. This blog hop features tutorials to make items for the office, home office, classroom and child's study area - you know, useful  stuff.

Since I spend a lot of time in my office, I am looking forward to some ideas to brighten it up. My tutorial - on April 12 - will be to make a modern take away coffee/tea cup cozy and mug rug - which I need as I have a cup of coffee in my hand a lot of the time and coffee rings on my desk. I cannot be the only one.

The blog hops starts on Monday and here is the schedule so you don't miss out:

Mon., April 1 -- Heidi Staples @ Fabric Mutt
Tue., April 2 -- Kristy @ Quiet Play (Pink Chalk Fabrics giveaway: $25 certificate)
Wed., April 3 -- Becca Bryan @ Bryan House Quilts
Thur., April 4 -- Amanda Woodruff @ A Crafty Fox (Westwood Acres giveaway)
Fri., April 5 -- Lee Heinrich @ Freshly Pieced
Mon., April 8 -- Svetlana Sotak @ SOTAK Handmade
Tue., April 9 -- Beth @ Plum and June (Sew Me a Song giveaway: fabric bundle)
Wed., April 10 -- Taryn @ From Pixels to Patchwork
Thur., April 11 -- Lori Hartman @ Lori H. Designs (Fabricworm giveaway: Robotic fabric bundle)
Fri., April 12 -- Leanne @ She Can Quilt
Mon., April 15 -- Blog Hop Recap at Fabric Mutt

Tomorrow's post will let you know the schedule for the Finish-A-Long tutorials, which are also going to be excellent. I will also remind everyone about the expectations and the how to for posting their Q1 Finishes. So maybe you will be finishing something this weekend, like I will be, before all these tutorials get you starting new things too.



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday - I have some WIP to share

Pickle Dish Quilt

I cannot bear to look back and see how long it has been since I posted a WIP Wednesday post - far too long. Finally, it is Wednesday and I have time and photos to share. Above is my progress on the Pickle Dish quilt for my son's wedding - due the end of June. Mostly it will be brown solids with minty green/aqua prints but there will be some of the minty solids you see on the left and brown prints too.

Luckily, I am in love with these pickle dishes because I have calculated that I need about 200 single dish units for a king size quilt - yup I am making another king. I have 31 made, so I need to step up the pace. My friends on Instagram have made suggestions to speed things up and I am going to try them this weekend. Currently I can do about 6 dishes in an hour, so I expect that I will be making dishes a lot this spring.


Here are is the triangle quilt so far. She is quilted with a white, ivory, gold variegated Valdani thread which I think gives a nice interest in the ivory linen space and is about 22" x 17". This quilt is for my secret partner in the Fab Little Quilt Swap.

Triangles, the back

The back is orange linen and you can see the quilting a bit better. I am now debating binding - all ivory linen, all orange linen, or ivory with a touch of orange. I am leaning toward that last one, I think.


Here she is last weekend on my Mod Pop on my bed.

Diamond of flying geese.

My last thing to share are two bee blocks for Di in the Modern Stitching Bee. She asked for flying geese and my geese this month were terrible. So I went searching for a paper pieced pattern to get some points on my geese. That one I am calling Diamond of Flying Geese. I see a lot of different circles of geese but not diamonds. If anyone knows the historic name for this block, let me know.

Passing geese.

This is the other block which I have called Passing Geese. Again, if you know its real name, please share.

Flying Geese, which way should I piece them for my Bee block

The Instagramers and my Flickr friends have been tortured with this block all week. The 12" block is made of 4 units. Those 4 units can be positioned to make all kinds of blocks. There are more options than this too, for example a <<.

I found a block similar to these in a photo of an Amish quilt from 1940 in a book I have called Mennonite Quilts and Pieces - in the book it was pieced like the top left photo I think or maybe the top right and not on pointe. Then I found the single diagonal geese unit in a book by Carol Doak called Easy Machine Paper Piecing but it was a 4" square. So I got out my ruler and graph paper and drew my own paper pieced pattern block.

Flying geese for a bee block for @ylmommyx4, this is 1/4 of the block #flyinggeese

If you want to use the pattern too, you can have a copy here - it is not a fancy version but it works. The units should finish at 6" square and be 6.5" before you join them.

I am linking to Lee from Freshly Pieced who hosts WIP Wednesday and also to the Canadian Needle and Thread Network. There is always great work posted there, I plan to spend some time over the long weekend visiting the links, and I hope you do too.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Enjoy your Wednesday.



Monday, March 25, 2013

Q1 of the FAL ends soon - it's time to hustle!

she can quilt

How are you doing with your finishes? This is a short post to remind you that Q1 of the FAL is coming to an end and it will soon be time to post your finishes. Remember, each finish qualifies your for one entry in the random draw for the prizes from our wonderful sponsors:


Quilter in The Gap
Surprise Package from Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap

Here is the upcoming schedule (which you can also find here):

March 31:     Q1 post-quarter link opens - start posting finishes
April 1 - 6:    Q1 guest tutorials will run on this blog
April 7:        Q1 post-quarter link closes - last day to post finishes for Q1

April 8:        Q2 pre-quarter link opens - post your plan for Q2 finishes
April 15:       Q2 pre-quarter link closes - last day to post your Q2 plan

I have been trying to clear off my bee blocks and swap commitments so that I can hustle on to the unfinished business on my Q1 FAL list - there are a few things I have not gotten to yet. And although I do this last minute rush to finish some of my UFOs, remember that there is no penalty for not finishing. The things you finish each become an entry in the random draws, and the things that you did not get to are more than welcome on your Q2 FAL list. If you have any questions about the FAL, please just send me an email or post them as a comment.

I leave you with this picture of those triangles from last post, now quilted into a piece about 23" x 17". I just need to decide if I am going to trim it or not and then bind it.


It looks pretty nice on my bed, on the Mod Pop.



Tuesday, March 19, 2013

An image

Maybe some triangles?

Do you like this picture?

I posted it on Sunday afternoonish and on Monday it was on Flickr Explore. I have had other photos on Explore, it usually means a few more people view it, maybe a photographer leaves a pleasant comment on the shot. Yesterday this picture became my all time most viewed flickr photo, in one day. A lot of photographers favourited it. It is a nice shot, not perfect lighting, but maybe it is a bit compelling somehow. Then Explore dropped it and regular viewing levels have resumed.

The 2.5" triangles are now sewn together and they are progressing into a mini quilt. I have fallen for it  hard, and hope to have time to quilt it tonight. But it is just a bunch of orange, pink and yellow triangles. Why do some images just feel right?

Enjoy your Tuesday, I hope it is filled with lovely images.



Sunday, March 17, 2013

This and that and happy St. Patrick's Day

Octagonal Orb - for Always Bee Learning

My Always Bee Learning Bee had an unexpected open month, so they asked if anyone wanted to propose a charity quilt - this is a great group of women who seem happy to step up for most anything. I asked for help to make a quilt to bring to London this summer for Siblings Together, which is the group that the Fat Quarterly Retreat supports. I have asked for the Octagonal Orb block designed by Elizabeth Hartman (tutorial is here), in any colours with any kind of grey background. I am hopeful this will be a good unisex quilt for a teenager - my teenager approves at least.

Maybe some triangles?

So the most exciting part of that picture is that those triangles are on my new design wall. I am reorganizing my sewing space to the now empty room down the hall and I tacked up some batting on the wall - what fun this is going to be. I am in the Fab Little Quilt Swap and I am thinking about a triangle mini with lots of white space and dense quilting. You might be reminded of atmosphere. or of Be - I think that I could play with this concept of lots of negative space and triangles forever so I am hopeful it might appeal to my partner.

A few more bits. #pickledish

The pickle dish quilt continues to grow - I hope to make a few of the dish units today.

I am also trying out new blog readers. I have not decided which one to use yet, so am trying many - Feedly, Bloglovin' and Vienna this week. Bloglovin' needs me to paste the following code into this blog so it can identify it. Please do not feel compelled to click it as you will be asked to sign up for Bloglovin' and I sort of hate it when folks who try to trick people into joining up. Also, I am not yet committed to Bloglovin' at all - and may ditch it in a week or two. Any number of readers can import your google reader subscriptions it seems, so when you are ready with your new choice, then I hope you will continue to follow me with the one you pick.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
I just liked google reader so it is going to take me a little while to decide where I will go - we do have until July after all.

I am still behind on my internet homework, I am responding to comments that are a week or more old today - thank you for your patience. I will be doing some serious FAL stuff this week, so take this as just an advance reminder, the end of the quarter is coming up.

Happy St. Patrick's Day - we have several inches of new snow this weekend, but hopefully most of you have spring.



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"Have you lost your marbles???!" - or - a pincushion in a night

e - the e is about 1" square, pattern by Kristy at

I bought a lovely paper piecing letter pattern on Craftsy from Kristy who blogs at Quiet Play a little while ago. I have been collecting letter patterns, it seems.

Last night, it all started with the e. First I reduced the pattern by 50% so that e itself is about 1"square, the whole thing is about 3.5" unfinished.

e, m - both about 1" square. I reduced the pattern by 50%. Pattern by @quietplay 2 more letters to go, about 1 hour a letter at this size.

So since it worked, I made the m. It is not a perfect m but good enough. These each took about an hour to make, mistakes included. I really just needed to focus and stop all the thinking that was filling up my head - it was a busy week by the end of Tuesday it seems.

e, m, q - 1-1.5" square letters, q was faster to make. Pattern by @quietplay  reduced to 50%. One more.

I needed a pincushion for tonight (Wednesday) to swap with my friends at the Edmonton Modern Quilt Guild. The swap was, after all, my idea and I could not come empty handed.

e m q g - Edmonton Modern Quilt Guild - will be a pincushion soon. Letters are 1" - 1.5" square. Pattern by @quietplay reduced by 50%.

The g took a while but it might be my favourite.

The back is crazy.

In case you had any thoughts as to the competence of my work, here is the back - a disaster.

A little quilting, now 5.5" square.

I slapped some batting on that back and quilted a few lines. Then a trim. Then made a box for the bottom.

Pincushion, about 5" square, 2.5" high. Letters are 1-1.5" square from pattern by @quietplay reduced by 50%. Tomorrow I will finish the stuffing and take daytime pictures.

Around midnight or so, it was basically done. I need to fix the stuffing, and sew the opening shut and take a nice daytime picture. This pincushion is about 5" square and 2.5" high.

And to answer my friend Krista's question above - posted on Instagram last night - yes, probably had lost my marbles but it worked. I had a great sleep, and I have a pincushion that is kind of cool.

Oh and thank you so much to all my Instagram friends, when you need encouragement and cheering on right now, that is the place to get it and they sure were nice to me last night, and I woke up to more cheering this morning.

I am linking this post up to Sew Cute Tuesday at Better Off Thread, where other cute things are being shown off too.

Enjoy your Wednesday.



Sunday, March 10, 2013

Playing, planning, and a list of my homework too.

A Pickle Dish Quilt - planning, starting

Our eldest son is getting married at the end of June and when I said if I made you a quilt, what colours would you like, he said, some months ago, brown and mint green. Well, those are not my normal colours so I ordered all the brown solids I could find and many minty green and minty aqua prints and solids. I have a bunch of brown prints too, I expect there will be some blocks with the solids and prints coloured the opposite way to these first blocks.

And I thought about wedding quilts and decided this quilt should be based on an historic / traditional pattern but done my way. This is where I am at so far. I am using the Pickle Dish Quilt templates from Kaffe Fassett's book Quilt Romance.

I left some of my kitchen tiles in the photo as they are 12"squares and give some scale. These blocks are big, each pickle dish unit finishes at 10" but I tend to see a group of 4 dishes as one block.

Pickle Dish backgrounds, maybe

Today I am thinking an assortment of these low volume prints would work nicely as the background - I don't have enough of any single one but I am hoping that variations will give texture and interest. I am excited - I love browns, the colour of trees and rocks and beaches and gardens - you might remember this quilt from two summers ago and its beach inspiration here. Those of you who diss brown, look out, I have a feeling that this quilt is going to change your mind.

Let's see how this goes, and how the plan stays the same or changes.

I have much internet homework, I am going to get to it later, once I play with fabric for a while, maybe after dinner, maybe over the next week, you see I would really rather sew. Given all that waffling, I best write it down so I will feel more compelled to do it. You can soon expect to see:

  • A Finish-A-Long update and some information about the fast approaching end of quarter. By the way, if you want to do a tutorial for this or other quarters, please let me know as finalizing tutorial plans is on the list too.
  • Progress on my Fabulous Little Quilt Swap quilt - yes, I could not resist another swap. I know I said I would not join too many, this is just one.
  • A pincushion for the guild swap and progress on a group charity project for the Edmonton Modern Quilt Guild meeting next week. Also an update to that blog as I am responsible for it now.
  • Celebration of my 2 year blogging birthday, which is on Tuesday.
  • Bee block updates.
  • I am sure there is more but that is all I am going to think of today.
Happy Mother's Day to all my British friends - I hope you have a lovely day with your moms, kids, grandkids and/or friends.



Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Here is Labyrinth. Labyrinth is a simple log cabin with logs that finish at 1" wide. The labyrinth forms from the way you place the colours. I pieced the log cabin differently than I usually do - basically I pieced two rows at a time, with the second row one log behind the first.


Labyrinth is my Emerald Challenge quilt and finished at 20" x 19". She is made of various green prints and solids with Kona White. I explained my inspiration for Labyrinth in an earlier post here, I said:

"I have long wanted to make a log cabin that was a labyrinth, and the Emerald Challenge seemed like the right time. Green makes me think of gardens and then I thought of hedges and lawns and that took me to the labyrinth. When my son reminded me that Theseus had escaped the Labyrinth by following a thread, well there was no turning back - the inspiration had hit."


I put a bird in the centre of my Labyrinth, instead of a Minotaur. I was thinking it might be more like the canary in a coal mine, which, I know, totally mixes the metaphors or something like that but whatever. I quilted her heavily - about 7 lines in an inch of space - and washed her to get the greens to puff and wrinkle.


I puzzled over the binding until my other son asked me if I could make it two colours, to carry on the colour changes and make you wonder if this was the full labyrinth or a portion of it. Taking inspiration and guidance (excellent tutorial is here) from my friend Debbie at A Quilter's Table, I did as he suggested.

Labyrinth - Back

Her back is Essex linen in olive green. I blogged about my search for the Pantone Emerald, which is the colour of the year, here. In the end, Labyrinth is a celebration of greens, tending toward the emerald side but she also shows how many greens can work together so well.


This little quilt looks so good on my cherry dining room table. I expect she can rest here often.

Labyrinth - before washing

That picture above is Labyrinth before I washed her. I really debated washing this mini - did I want the pristine flatness or did I want texture and a rougher look.


In the end, I chose texture - more in keeping with my inspiration to give you an impression of  walls, hedges, walkways, grass, depending on how you look at her - this last picture is after washing as are all the pictures except the one. And now she can safely lay on the table as a spill or two will not matter as back in the wash she can go.

2013 Emerald Quilt Challenge

The flickr group of all the beautiful Emerald quilts in progress is here. And I am linking her to Ali at a.squared.w to formally join in the contest. There will be many beautiful quilts linked there - the contest closes on St. Patrick's Day, I hope you have time to visit them.

The post travel lurgy has hit, I am trying to pretend I don't have a terrible cold and heading off to work, wish me luck and enjoy your day.