Sunday, March 24, 2019


I had started some new pinwheel blocks for another "Charming Baby" quilt.  This one will be for IDA to display prior to a "demo day" on June 17.  I will spend the day there showing how to make these 3D pinwheel blocks.  Which means there will be a third and maybe a fourth 3D Pinwheel Baby Quilt in the future from blocks constructed during the demo.
How does it differ from the first one?  The four squares backing each pinwheel are four separate colours and the pinwheels are all purple, although from six different purple fabrics.  Doesn't it make the pinwheels "float" above the quilt visually?

The narrow purple and wide multi-stripe are thoughts for an inner border and outer border.  Not sure what I'll do yet.  It's still lots of fun.  And I keep on shifting the blocks around in the quilt.

Saturday, March 23, 2019


I removed the "too dark" block and substituted the same background but with an orange pinwheel.  I like that better.  And I finally got to IDA on Friday to choose some new border and binding fabric.  I thought it would be blue, but the blues available did nothing for the quilt.  Ange and I both thought this very spring green polka dot was a good match.
In the meantime I ordered another meter of the multi-coloured stripe from the quilt shop in Blackfalds.  That will be the bigger border and the binding with be more of the spring green polka dot.

It's a really colourful quilt.  I just hope my friend likes it.  She's still waiting on the baby, who is over a week overdue.  Our first was 13 days past due date.  So due dates are kind of an approximation.

One thing I have learned from making this quilt: I am quite "sure-footed" when working with bright fabrics, but my judgement in pastels is not as reliable.  I seldom venture into pastels, and realize that I need to examine them carefully on the design wall before sewing them together.

Friday, March 22, 2019


Yesterday our helper S. picked up a load of perennials from the shipper in Calgary, so today she and I are busy potting.  I had the easier job, potting bare root strawberries in the greenhouse, where it's nice and warm, even in the morning.

There were 250 strawberry plants in that plastic bag, kind of entwined one with another.  Pull out a handful, tease them apart, separate the leaves from the thready roots, hold the plant just under the leaves in your left hand, scoop up a big handful of potting mix with your right hand and pat it down under the leaves, burying the roots.  Add some more soil, quite a bit, because watering will settle the soil down, but not so much that the water runs off the pot.  Put the pots in trays of 18, set them on the shelves by the south wall of the greenhouse and start all over again.  

At the end of three hours there were 14 trays of 18 pots and 4 extra pots of strawberries.  S. did three of the trays and I did the rest.  It was a big help for Jim, but after I had some lunch, I actually went for a little nap!  Which restored me very nicely!

Next week we'll be transplanting small annuals.

P.S.  You see all that white behind me?  That's a parking lot full of snow piles!

Thursday, March 21, 2019


Well, I did go to IDA on Monday and buy some fabric for a border and binding.  It's the bright, deep pink to the right of the quilt.  I also did take out the block that didn't seem to fit in, but now another block looks too dark a hue.  At some point I have to decide this is O.K. the way it is!  Here's how the quilt looks today:

I was talked into the deep pink for border and binding.  It does (or did seem to) relate well to the deep pink in the quilt.  But it's easy to see now that it's not the right fabric.  It will go into the stash to be used another time.  But now the deep purple pinwheel bothers me.

Taking out the other block and dismantling it took an hour, and then putting it back together some more time.  But I think I'm going to do the same with the dark purple.  It just bothers me too much.

Then my friend S. mentioned (about the deep pink) but what if it's a boy?  Oh...  So this is still a quilt in progress.  I will keep posting it until it's finished!  Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 17, 2019


My usual Sunday afternoon is spent playing with fabric.  Today I was making blocks for a baby quilt.  Here's the first set up of the 12 blocks:
After I had a good look at them I got rid of the purple squares.

I thought that looked better.  I substituted the orange and the light green for the purple.  The green on the right is being auditioned for an inner border.  It didn't make the cut.  So here's the quilt top as it is now.  Can you guess which block is going to be replaced?

This is the correct orientation.  There will be a narrow inner border, then another border.  I'm thinking that bigger border might be half square triangles in the various fabrics used in the quilt top.  And then a binding, same as the inner border.  I will look in my stash for the border and binding fabric, but I'll probably end up buying that fabric.  Tune in again tomorrow and see what I find.  

Friday, March 15, 2019


 I had a really nice treat today.  My dear friend M took me out for the day.  I knew only what time she would pick me up and what time we would be back home, but not where we were going or what we would do.  This was an advance celebration of my birthday, which is coming on Sunday.

So I dressed up rather nicely, put on make up and was ready to go at 9 a.m.  We drove to Red Deer and stopped for coffee at a Second Cup.  I had a new drink there: a White chocolate Maple something.  OOOOH, that was delish!  We shared a fat slice of cranberry bread, also yummy.

Then we drove on to Blackfalds to a very nice quilting store.  M. is not a quilter, but she knows what I like!  So many beautiful fabrics to oooh and aaah over.  I did buy seven cuts of nice "baby" fabrics for the quilt I want to make this weekend.  I had previously bought a "Maple Cuts" package--a lot of 10" square fabrics, but didn't really like all of them, so this new purchase will be combined with what I had to create this new quilt.  As soon as we got home I cut and sewed two of the blocks:
The block on the left I made a few days ago, according to the pattern, the yellow background and purple background I made today.  I like the pinwheels better of a matching background, all four squares the same fabric.  I think this quilt will be quite a bit of fun.  I need six of these pinwheels and then six other blocks made of 4 fabrics in each block.  I'll think about borders and binding later.  But already I wish I had bought more of the striped fabric.  I bought just .3 meter of each of the 7 fabrics I found today.

M did buy some fabric to make some placemats.

Then we went out for lunch to a Thai restaurant in Red Deer.  I had never had Thai food before and found it delicious.

We did a little shopping in a mall and then picked up some ink for my printer and ended up at Costco, filling up a shopping cart with good food.

Home before 3:45, which was M's limit.

What a lovely day, and how very sweet of her to think to do that for me!  Plus, the weather was mild and the sun shone brightly.  THANKS!!!

Monday, March 11, 2019


Tomorrow is the day our Jacob's Ladder quilts for the R.D. quilt show need to be handed in.  Cathy will take the all to Red Deer for us, so that saves us an hour long drive there and back.  The hanging sleeve needed to be applied to my quilt yet, so this morning that was the priority.

The R.D. Quilt Show had posted explicit directions on line as to how to create the hanging sleeve they required.  They were very different from what I was used to, but I got to work over the weekend and made a sleeve according to their directions.  This morning I hand stitched the sleeve to the back of the quilt, also according to their directions.  I used hidden stitches and the whole job took 2 hours!  But it's finished.  I just need to lint-roller the quilt to pick up all the loose threads and then it's ready to go.

The sleeve forms a "D" shape.  That's what this part sticking up is.  The reason for that is that they use big rods (dowels?) to hang all the quilts.  I can surely understand how they need to have the sleeves uniform.  Hanging that many quilts is an enormous job!  You should go to their web site, Red Deer Quilt Show.  There you can find all their instructions and also, interestingly, all the quilts that were shown in '17 and '18.

I want to give a nod of thanks to my friend Elaine M. whose exceedingly helpful hint I remembered when I had much trouble with my sewing thread tangling.  The hint she brought to our club is this: When threading the needle for hand sewing, pass the thread through the needle eye, then bring the thread around and again pass it through the eye in the same direction.  The needle is able to slide along the thread.  Useful if you want to stitch with a single thread, but when stitching with a double thread, do no knot the thread before sewing.  Just take a few back stitches before starting.  This is a WONDERFUL cure for thread that wants to tangle.  As soon as I changed to this method of threading the needle I had absolutely NO MORE trouble with tangled threads as I stitched the sleeve to the back of the quilt.  KUDOS TO YOU, ELAINE!