Getting back to Normal (whatever that is)

Wow the smoke from the BC Mainland fires is really making things look like fall around here although it is still really warm outside these days. It would be downright unbearable if we could actually see the sun. I had a text from a cousin that lives south of Seattle and he sent a picture of the skies above him and the smoke from all of the Mainland BC forest fires has even reached down in his area. I don’t think I have ever seen a fire season as bad as this one in my lifetime. I am hearing of a lot of homes being lost and that is so sad.

I myself have been feeling better although I did overdo things yesterday and am paying the price today. It’s fine though and I am finally back to quilting (OK maybe not today but I have been).


This was a fun quilt to do. It was a Dresden plate quilt design made up of all different types of fabrics. In keeping with the more traditional design of the quilt, the client decided on just simple stipple quilting in the background. I know some people don’t like stipple quilting however, for this application and design I think it worked well.

I used three shades of Superior threads So Fine 50. A Royal Blue, Soft Mint Green and a yellow. I can’t recall the numbers at this time though.

I just completed another quilt for the same client, she had made a quilt using old hankies and had hand quilted most of it however decided she didn’t want to hand quilt the sashing and borders so asked me to again just machine stipple quilt it. I don’t have a picture of this quilt but we used a soft yellow to tie the colours in the hankies together and it worked well.

I finally got a picture of Kevin wearing the hat I knitted for him. So here it is.

This was a simple hat to knit and it should keep him nice and warm this winter when he is working outside.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far now to go and see about maybe having an ice cream cone.

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Inspiration Journal



Happy Canada Day

Well here we go again another two weeks goes by and no post. Last post I mentioned maybe quilting one of my own quilts before my schedule got crazy. I should have known better, life got really crazy and still is. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel though so that is good.

I was just sitting at my computer with a brownie in the oven that I was making for the church Canada Day picnic. I don’t like to leave the room when I have things in the oven. I tend to forget them and not hear the timer, this never turns out well. I received an email from Craftsy regarding a sale they had on this weekend, I haven’t looked at Craftsy lately so with 20 minutes to kill I thought I would take a look and see what was new.

There was one class that I hadn’t seen before on machine quilting so I watched the trailer and then went down to the reviews. Sometimes I don’t know whether to shake my head or just laugh. I actually do a bit of both. This particular class got mostly rave reviews but there were a few 1 and 2 star reviews so I read them.

This is where the head shaking comes in, after reading the reviews it is quite obvious that the writers reading compression is not very good. The few bad reviews all complained about how disappointed they were etc etc re whatever it was but here’s the deal, the class wasn’t about those things, in fact it clearly says it in the description of the class and in the trailer!!! These people are leaving bad reviews not because the teacher can’t teach but because these people can’t READ!

Oh well, I feel sorry for the class instructor though as these people who obviously have issues are bringing down the overall score of the class which is a shame. Hopefully the instructor realizes this and doesn’t take these comments personally.

On Sunday there was a silent auction for Dee’s Orphan Kitten Fund. It was fun catching up with an old work friend and seeing all of the items up for action. Kevin and I adopted our Mia through Dee’s and my friend had asked me to make a quilt for the auction. I heard it went for $180.00 which is below it’s value but still better than it could have been. I had taken a bigger picture of this from my phone but when I moved it over to the larger screen realized it was fuzzy. This was a small lap size although I put a hanging sleeve on it in case someone wanted to hang it.

Cat's in the Window-2

The other quilt I finished was a custom made quilt.

Pia's Memory Quilt-3

Pia's Memory Quilt-4

This was a graduation present and it was made of fabrics that all had meaning for my client. Some of the fabrics she picked out at the Cloth Castle  and some were from old duvet covers she had growing up. The pattern was one she saw on pinterest and wanted me to make. It is just 2.5 inch strips cut at different lengths and made into 12.5 inch blocks. I cut some of the panels of the duvets apart and used them on the back of the quilt. I used the Bora Bora pantograph from Urban Elementz which you can purchase at the Cloth Castle. I love the way this turned out and hope she gets many more years from her memories.

So Happy Canada 150 to all.

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A Quilting Update

Well the days are whizzing by, or at least it seems like that. I remember being told that time moves faster the older you get. I could never figure that one out when I was younger but I am beginning to see how that saying came into being. Of course being busy helps with time appearing to move faster.

The weather here in Victoria continues to be unusual or at least it seems that way. It appeared to jump from winter to summer overnight, a few wonderful days and then back to winter overnight again. So far we appear to have missed spring altogether this year.

Here are a couple of random photos taken while Cocoa and I were on one of our daily walks. We ran across this turtle behind the pond near where we live. He/she had come out to enjoy the sun that had finally shown itself that day. Don’t worry Cocoa didn’t harm it. I picked Cocoa up and we carefully stepped over the turtle and left it in peace to enjoy the day.

My crazy work schedule has slowed down a bit and that is both good and bad. Good as I finally have time to relax and do some planning and maybe actually quilt one of my own quilts (we’ll see how that goes), and bad because slower work means less money coming in. Oh well, I am enjoying having a little time to sit back and actually think about what I want re the future. Besides come July 10 the schedule will go back into crazy mode again so I need to just enjoy the time I have while I have it.

Princess Kieva Quilt-1Princess Kieva Quilt-2

Recently I got the chance to work on this wonderful quilt. This was really fun to work on, the only drawback I had is that the silver Superior Sew Fine 50 thread I used as the background colour for a large part of the quilt ended up being back ordered. I had one small spool of the thread so I ordered a cone the same day I started working on this quilt and I didn’t receive the thread in the mail until 10 days later. Not great however it all turned out well and I love how this quilt turned out.

Even though I previously posted that I am not a huge fan of doing pantographs there are quilts that call for just an all over edge to edge design. I am very good at doing simple edge to edge for kids and baby quilts and I really enjoy those however I thought it would be nice to have a couple more sophisticated edge to edge designs available for people who want them. The Cloth Castle where I work recently brought some pantographs in so I purchased two that I liked.  Both are by Urban Elementz, one is Deja Vu and the other is Bora Bora.

I have used the Deja Vu on a client king size quilt (which I forgot to take pictures of) and it turned out great and I have also used it on a smaller quilt for a client that needed a quick wedding present.

Blue Quilt-1Blue Quilt-2

I did like the way these turned out. I just finished a custom quilt (one I completed from start to finish) with the Bora Bora pantograph which also turned out really well, however I am still sewing down the binding on that one so the client hasn’t seen it yet other than in pictures I have sent so that will have to be posted later.

Good friends are like quilts they never lose their warmth

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Part 1 Panama Canal Trip

Hey I’m back!! Brr it’s still cold here in Victoria, what’s up with that! I really thought that the good weather would have been here by the time I returned from the trip. It was beautiful on Friday afternoon when the Nieuw Amsterdam pulled into port in Victoria but the next day rain and COLD! Ugh!

Mom and I had a great trip. We picked up the ship in Fort Lauderdale Florida. The weather was warm but not really that sunny as you can see from the photo below. Panamal Canal Trip-1

Panamal Canal Trip-2

Here I am sitting by the aft pool. Mom and I arrived at the ship early so we were able to tour the ship with relatively few people hanging about. The Nieuw Amsterdam is with the Holland America line. It is one of the larger in the Holland America line but it’s not so large that you get lost.

Fort Lauderdale is has many canals and small channels near the port. Here is a picture of a freighter coming through the channel that we left by.

Panamal Canal Trip-3

Our first port of call was Holland Americas own island Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas. It is a beautiful location with a gorgeous white sand crescent beach. I found the water temperature cooler than I expected however it was nice and refreshing once you took the plunge.

Panamal Canal Trip-4.jpg

Here is a picture of the Island taken from the ship. You can just make out the crescent shape beach.

Panamal Canal Trip-5

Mom and I got there earlier than most so once I had settled her into our sun shade I walked the length of the beach. It was so beautiful and peaceful. There was still a bit of cloud cover so although it was nice and warm it was perfect for a long stroll on the beach and since we were one of the first groups to land on the Island the beach was almost empty. Heaven!!

The next two days were sea days where we found time to relax and enjoy the warm weather and find things to do on the ship. Mom and I splurged for a “spa package” where we had access to a thermal pool, sauna, heated beds and a meditation room.

Image result for nieuw amsterdam hydropool pictures

Image result for nieuw amsterdam hydropool pictures

During those sea days Mom and I spent some time getting to know two of our dinner table mates a little better. It was great fun going to name that tune or listening to some of the on board bands and music with them.

Well that’s it for this leg of the journey soon I will post pics on Cartegena and the Panama Canal transit.

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A Few Finishes

Well not much down time these days however only three more sleeps until Mom and I take off for Fort Lauderdale, where we board the Niew Amsterdam on the Holland America line!! Boy do I need a break!! We travel through the Panama Canal and all the way up to Victoria (the ship goes to Vancouver but we have elected to disembark in Victoria, why pay ferry costs just to get home.

I managed to get the longarm machine fixed quickly which was very lucky and I finished quilting the last quilt Monday afternoon. I still had to give one quilt back though as I really didn’t have time for it and I didn’t want to keep it while I was away.

Here is Seeds of Life II. The first Seeds of Life quilt was given to the church for the annual church raffle. This client didn’t win the raffle one and asked me to make her one so this is Seeds of Life II. The photos aren’t great the weather, although warmer is still not great and it’s hard to get good photos of large quilts inside.

Client Quilts 2017-8Client Quilts 2017-7

This is the quilt I was working on when my needle broke on the machine. I got it finished though. Love the colours in this one.

Here is the last quilt I completed. The client just wanted an all over stipple but for this quilt it works nicely around all of that applique. This was her very first quilt can you believe it? She did a great job.

I had a day off today so I made my Mom a tote bag for the trip. How hard can this be right? Well, it turns out it’s not really hard however it is time consuming. I got hers made but won’t have time to complete one myself. Maybe when we get back.

Client Quilts 2017-9

It turned out really nice. I quilted this on my domestic Janome Horizon machine. This was a video from Shabby Fabrics although I changed it up slightly with the inside pockets and I added a magnetic snap. I learned one thing from making this. I like having the video tutorials however not JUST the videos. I prefer to also have written instructions to go along with the video alas this pattern did not have that. I watch on my iPad as I don’t have a computer in the studio and I don’t own a laptop. The issue with doing this kind of thing with an iPad is when you pause the video to do the step the thing locks and you have to unlock it every time (sigh) not to mention the fact it’s hard to rewind. Oh well.

The last project I was hoping to do was a travel jewelry roll for me. I don’t think I am going to get to that so will have to come up with plan B.

I won’t be blogging while I am away as I refuse to pay the high prices for internet on board and I am not taking a laptop with me. I was going to take my partner’s HP tablet computer so I could write but with the way things are going traveling to the US these days I have decided not to as I don’t want to have to put it in the checked luggage if the rules change. I simply don’t trust the airlines enough not to either have things wind up stolen or broken.

So talk to you in May!