Monday, January 31, 2011

Hockey night in Canada Widow's club

Hello everyone!  Isn't that a great name for a quilting group?  One of our local quilt shops (, hosts the club every Saturday night during the hockey season.  For $13 dollars, you get a table in their classroom and can work on your projects.  A quilt professional is available if you want/need help.  Not to mention the fact there is a whole big, beautiful store available to shop in too.  A few of the Sew and Sews spent Saturday afternoon and evening there, working away on our projects.  What a fun time we had!


Here's Sue, working on her postage stamp quilt.  This is her quilt-along project from P.S. I Quilt ( and it is just spectacular.  Here's a link to the Flickr page for the quilt-along

Michelle's just settling in.  She's working on a project for her beautiful grand-daughter...lucky girl.

Here's one of the blocks Michelle made...aren't those colours vibrant?  Love it!  She's rockin' the disappearing nine-patch!

Marilyn's the picture of's that quilt comin' along, girl?

Yoohoo!  What a fabulous those fabrics together!!  This is her first pieced quilt, congrats Marilyn!

This is one of the projects I worked on, a pattern I found at the Moda Bake Shop ( ). 
Those yummy fabrics are from the Dilly Dally line by Me and My Sister.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Slow progress

Hello everyone!  Just thought I'd show you what's happening with the reno.  After the hustle and bustle of tearing things apart, things came to a standstill this week.  This is my first renovation, so I have to assume this is par for the course.  The contractor told me it would take two weeks to get the whole job done....nudge, nudge, wink, wink...I knew enough to take that with a grain of salt. So, here we are, two weeks in, and although far from done, we do have some shiny new tile floor in the house...can I get a whoop, whoop?!


The foyer, with the new subfloor. tile...pretty spiffy, huh?

The back entrance and powder room also have new tile as well.  Really looking forward to having our washer and dryer set up again!!

This is the ensuite...pretty much everything has been removed.

Our bedroom door in the shower, of course, makes perfect sense to me (lol)!  I'm told this room will be finished this week...fingers and toes crossed people!! 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Disappearing Nine-Patch Variation #2

Hello everyone!  The snow is flying once again here in Calgary, back to winter after our lovely little respite from the cold...ahh well, that's the way it goes, a Chinook blows in and sets our minds to thinking of spring and then wham!! back to the realities of winter.;-)

If you're not a winter sports nut I mean, enthusiast, then this is perfect stay-in-your-house and curl up and read weather or hide-away-in-your-sewing-room and quilt weather.  If you're quilting, I have another variation of the disappearing nine-patch to show you.  I found this one on the web here:


Begin by making your nine-patch block.  I used 5-inch squares for this example.
Cut as you would for a traditional disappearing nine-patch.
Measure your four smaller blocks.  This one is 7-inches.
Find a contrasting fabric and cut four 7-inch squares.

Place contrasting fabric square on top of your nine-patch block.  Draw a diagonal line on your block, from the central corner to the outer corner, pin squares together. 
Repeat for all four squares.
Sew a scant 1/4 inch seam on each side of your drawn diagonal line, as above.

Once your sewing is done, cut along the diagonal line and you will have eight smaller units.  Press open.

Here are four of the blocks set in a pinwheel pattern.

Another possibility...

...and yet another. Have fun with this!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Disappearing 9 Patch Variations - Tutorial

Hello everyone!  Well, last night was the first gathering of the Sew n' Sews, and we had a blast!!  Each month this year, my quilting peeps and I will get together and spend some time sewing up blocks that will be made into laps quilts and then donated to charity.

January's block was the disappearing nine-patch.  Here's a quick tutorial on the traditional disappearing nine-patch block and one variation, which I call, double trouble (because I have no idea what this block is really called!).  I'll post a tutorial on the second variation tomorrow.

Please note, tutorials for these blocks are found in abundance on the web.  Do a quick search for disappearing nine-patch and you will find oodles of them...just so you know. :-)


Traditional Disappearing nine-patch

We started off with nine 5-inch squares to make our nine-patch block.

Then we made two cuts, one vertical and one horizontal in the middle row.  To determine how far in I had to cut, I measured the dark blue center square.  It was 4.5 inches and half of that is 2.25 inches.  Measuring 2.25 from the left seam brings me to the center of the block.

Take two of the smaller squares that are opposite one another, and turn them 180 degrees, notice how the small dark blue squares are now at the outer edges of the block?  All you have left to do is sew your blocks together and you have made your very own disappearing nine-patch!

 Disappearing nine-patch, Variation 1 (Double Trouble)

Begin by making a traditional nine patch block.  I used 5-inch squares for this block.

Measure your center block. Mine is 4.5 inches.  Half of that is 2.25 inches.  I made two vertical cuts, one in each of the outer rows.  I measured out 2.25 inches from the vertical seams.
One side is cut, now turn your mat and make another cut on the other side of your block. 

After you are done cutting up your block, it should look like this.  One central block, two smaller rectangular pieces above and below and two longer strips on each side.
Now, you get to do this all over again (yippee!!), with a different block.  Please note the placement of the darker coloured squares in this block (there are 5) versus the darker coloured squares in the previous block (there are 4).  This will make a difference in your final blocks.

Once you've finished cutting your second block, you will have something that looks like this.  Now comes the fun part, really!!

Take all the cut pieces from your first block and place them next to the center square of your second block, as above.  Sew the shorter top and bottom pieces and press.  Then add both sides, making sure the seams line up.  There will be a little extra length on the final two side pieces.  Once you've done sewing up your block, trim off the extra when squaring up.

Reverse the process, adding the cut pieces from your second block to the center square from your first block. 

There you have it, your two Double Trouble disappearing nine-patch blocks.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quilts in Movies

Hello Everyone!  One sign that you are undeniably hooked on quilting occurs when you start noticing quilts in movies you're watching instead of paying attention to the story line!!  Well, it's either that or the movie is really, really bad...

Here's a quick list of a few movies with quilts on display....feel free to add your favourite movie.


1.  Eclipse - T-shirt quilt given to Bella from her Mother

2.  Nanny McPhee - quilts on some of the children's beds, some have crocheted blankets

3. Christmas with the Kranks - yup, there's a lovely red and white quilt hanging on the wall in their hallway

4.  For Richer or for Poorer - Tim Allen & Kirstie Alley find refuge with an Amish family...yeah, I know, but the quilts are lovely :-)

5.  You've got Mail - on Meg Ryan's bed

6.  New in Town - a unique gift for Renee Zellweiger

7.  The Proposal - featuring the "Babymaker"

8.  How to make an American Quilt - the title says it all

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What I've been up too..

Hello everyone!  I'm still here, not much happening in the way of sewing, but I did manage to get my February Scrap-Bee blocks done.  The house is chaos, but the floor and tile will be put down soon (I hope)!  In the meantime, I've been spending my days out and about town, checking out quilt stores, perusing the quilt section at the library, hanging out with quilt friends (thanks again Sue for the sewing day!) and planning this Thursday's inaugural meeting of the Calgary Sew and Sews, a little quilting group I've put together. 


Here are February's Scrap-Bee blocks.  The challenge was to use five pieces of fabric or less, make sure they had angles in the block and to use bright fabrics, with a special request for turquoise and/or yellow in the blocks.
I have to admit, I have been very, very good at the fabric stores.  This is my biggest purchase (so far), I couldn't resist the greys and the purply-grey when I saw them and I had to try the new organic cottons in the hot pink and chartreuse.
I bought one meter of the purple...

and 3 meters of each grey.  Those greys are just fabulous and are popping up everywhere this year.  Yum!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sarah's home made cards

Hello everyone!  Let me begin by extending a warm welcome to Sharon!  It's great to have you sign up, thank you!

How many quilters out there are scrapbookers as well?  I used to scrapbook a bit a few years ago before I started quilting, but my eldest daughter took to it like a duck to water.  Here are a few of the cards she made this past weekend.  They are a project for her girl guide troupe...pretty cool, huh?  She has to keep the projects easy enough for 9-11 year old girls, but snazzy enough to make them interested in doing the project.  Here are the options...


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Renovation update

Hello everyone!  I'd like to begin by welcoming Maureen to the blog.  Thank you for signing up, appreciate it!

Well, the fun has begun folks, the house is topsy-turvy and we are basically living out of the basement or in my sewing room.  The contractor and his crew arrived Tuesday morning at 8 am and they were ready to start ripping up carpet and tearing out linoleum.  I spent the day with a friend and when I returned, the dishwasher was in the living room, dirty dishes and all and the fridge and oven were right next to it.  Looks like I'll be using my dialing finger to whip up our evening meals for the next little while :-)!


What is wrong with this picture?  Seems to me a few appliances have gone missing, in addition to a whole kitchen island.

I'm sure there was a stove here at some point...yes, yes, I do recall making a meal or two there. ;-)  I'm glad we still have the microwave to use, se we don't have to eat out for every meal (which gets to be tedious after a while).

Aha!  There's the missing stove and dishwasher!  And quite a few packages of wood flooring. No sign of the tile yet, hopefully it will be here tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

thank goodness for friends!

Hello everyone!  Hope you had a super day.  I need to give a great big thank you to Sue for inviting me over to her house today.  We had a wonderful time sewing up scrappy blocks and chatting, the time just flew by!  Sue made up a lovely lunch, as she always does, and I ate too much, as I always do! 


The scraps are on the table and we're ready to sew!

Here's Sue's first's awesome!  I love almost came home with me ;-)

Here's some of what I did today.

Yum, homemade cheese scones and raisin scones...there was even whipped cream and jam for the raisin scones.  How awesome is that?

Egg salad and a lovely multigrain bread for sandwiches.

And here's my little contribution...chocolate meal is complete without a little sweet...don't you think?