Sunday, August 24, 2008

30 Hour Quilt Marathon

Donna Taylor and I are the co-chairs for this year's 30 Hour Quilt Marathon to be held at Taylor's Sewing Centre on October 17th and 18th. If you aren't familiar with this Marathon, check out the Northcott website for information: . Our team received our blocks earlier this year and we had a one day sewing marathon to make the quilt top. I recently basted the quilt so now it is ready for the hand quilters!! We still need more people and more teams so if you would like to be a part of it, call Donna at Taylor Sewing Centre at 613-342-3153. In addition to the Quilt marathon we will also be having a bake sale and silent auction table and we're looking for donations for these as well. Please call us if you can help in any way.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Donna's Quilt

Since I'm still fairly new to machine quilting on my "big" machine, I want to get all of the practice I can get. But I don't have time to make lots of quilt tops - or the need for tons of large bed quilts. So, Donna Taylor and I have worked out a system where she gives me quilt tops to "practice" on in exchange for supplies like batting, thread, and fabric etc. The first top I did was a shop sample for a new line of fabric, so I wasn't too nervous - this time she tells me that the quilt is for her sister's 25th anniversary, but since Donna likes to joke around, I'm sure if she was just teasing me or not. But regardless, I tried not to be nervous and finished quilting it for her yesterday - about 10 days after she gave it to me.

I did nested hearts in the outside border.

I tried some freeform and outline quilting in the centre panel.

I wasn't sure what to do in the tulip blocks so I tried some ribbon-type things. I really liked how they turned out and it was super easy. Now I can't wait to give it to her - and get the real story as to where it is going.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Carson's Courtyard

While we we up on the deck taking pictures of my birthday quilt, I had Dad take a picture of the first quilt that I quilted on my new frame - called "Carson's Courtyard". This top of this super easy and fast-to-make twin sized quilt is made entirely from fat quarters (the scrappy binding is made from the leftover strips of the fat quarters). I still need to write the pattern for this one as I will be teaching it at Taylor Sewing Centre in the fall.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Blogger Gadgets

I have to admit, like many other quilter's and scrapbookers I'm a "Gadget Girl". I love rotary cutters and rulers, paper punches and new pens. So when Blogger announced that they had new Gadgets, I had to take a look. There are thousands available, but I found just two that I thought would be neat for my blog - look down the right side of the page to find the "Claude Monet Painting of the Day" and the "National Geographic Picture of the Day". Both of the them should be wonderful "eye candy".

Free Pattern of the Month - August

As a way to thank my blog readers I have decided to have a monthly special on my website. Each month I will offer a free pattern with every order placed on my website . The free pattern for this month is "Birds Beware!":
If you place an order through the website, send me a separate email and quote this coupon code: FPOTM01. I will then include this free pattern with your order shipment. Next month we will have a new free pattern available with a new coupon code, so check back regularly.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!!

I finally got my birthday present from my Mom a couple days ago. Even though she finished my quilt a week ago, it had to "make the rounds" and visit some friends and Taylor Sewing Centre (of course!) before I was allowed to keep it and put it on my bed. Here are a couple pictures of the finished product. It turned out great and looks wonderful on my bed! Pugsley (our Jack Russell) was the first to sit on it - he didn't like that he had to move so I could take a picture.
The quilt was so big that Mom and I had to hang it over our upstairs deck railing in order for dad to get a good picture of it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rug Punched Pumpkins

Now that I have an assortment of different colours of yarn for rug punching I needed to do something with it. So I bought a 14" embroidery hoop and got out the burlap. Here is the little pumpkin rug that I made over the last couple of days.

Here is a close up of the back of the rug. Now I just need to talk to my friend Marjorie Francis to see how I should finish it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Now I'm buying YARN!!!!

While on vacation in New York State, I took time in Rochester to visit the local Joann Fabrics. What a great selection of yarn they had! Yes, I said YARN. Now that Carson and I have started rug punching we need heavy yarn to do it - and I don't knit and don't plan to. So I ventured for my first time down the yarn aisle at Joann's. Mike and the boys were quite surprised to find my arms laden down with huge balls of 10 different colours of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick yarn! Now how am I going to store it?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More rug punching

I have been experimenting with my Oxford rug punch and some of my felting yarn. The variegation in the yarns makes a wonderful design when you punch with it. Here are a couple small pieces that I have made - I think they would make great little tea pot coasters.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Rug Punching

I love the look of hooked rugs, but honestly I don't have the patience to do them. I consider myself a very patient person, but when it took me 2 years to finish on 20" x 20" hooked rug kit that I bought at Market, I knew that it just wasn't for me.
I do however love punchneedle so you can imagine how exited I was when I first saw rugs made using "rug punching". This technique uses the exact same stitch as punchneedle but on a bigger scale. You use heavy weight yarn and a large punching tool and within HOURS can have a small punched rug. Here is my first rug punched piece - a kit that I bought from Attic Heirlooms . This small piece is 12" x 15" and took only a coupe hours to finish.
Carson is currently working on a cat rug - here is his work in progress along with the Oxford Punch Needle that I bought along with the kit.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Country Home Studio Tour

I'm so excited! I've just been juried into the Christmas Country Home Studio Tour which happens the last weekend of November and the first weekend in December in the Thousand Islands region around Brockville. My quilting friends Linda Potter and Linda Scallion have both been involved in this studio tour in the past and I've always thought it would be an interesting thing to do. I have LOTS of wall hangings and quilts that I don't know what to do with, so this will be a great opportunity for me to sell some of them. As my home is not within the tour boundaries, I will be a guest artist and will be exhibiting at the Lyn Museum in Lyn, Ontario.
If you would like more information on this tour and the other studio tours run by the Thousand Islands Arts association, you can check out their website at .

Saturday, August 9, 2008

My birthday present

My mom always loves to poke around in my fabric stash. She always comes over to find just the right piece to finish off one of her projects and I usually let her have free reign - I figure I owe her way more than that in babysitting fees alone!

Apparently, over the years as she has been "borrowing" fabric from my stash, she has also been working on a scrappy quilt - the top of which she gave me for my birthday back in May. You can imagine my surprise when I opened my present to find a quilt made entirely with my own leftover fabric!! It has pieces of fabric from almost every project I have made - and is a wonderful reminder of every one of those projects.

So she gave me the quilt top for my birthday, but it still needed an outside border - we found the perfect one in where else but my stash!! But it still needed to be quilted, so last week we mounted it on my machine and Mom got to play. It came off the frame a couple days ago. I just called tonight and the binding is almost done - I can't wait to put it on my bed!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Our welcome mosaic

We finally finished our first large mosaic project! The boys and I went on a small road trip one morning and our first stop was our local habitat for Humanity Restore. here we bought a selection of floor tiles in colours such as rose, blue, brown and cream. At $1.00 a piece for a 12" x 12" tile, they were a bargain!! Next we headed to Home Depot to buy our grout, some different coloured tiles and some tile nippers. When we got home we headed out to Mike's workshop where we broke our tiles up using a hammer on the cement floor. We found a piece of plywood, drew out our design, the got to work. On Day 1, we sat on the back porch under the awning and glued down all of our tile pieces, to add some interest we also added glass stones to the design.
Day 2, we grouted and then day 3 we polished. Here is our finished project. It measures about 30" x 15". Now we just have to figure out how to hang it on the wall in our front porch.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


After our white water walk in Niagara Falls, we took a detour on our way to Oakville and headed to the beautiful little town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
This wonderful place is home to many vineyards, the Shaw festival, the Trish Romance Gallery and the Niagara Apothecary. Mike and I have visited many times and both just love to shop and sight see in the little town.
Being a pharmacist, the Niagara Apothecary is close to my heart as all classes from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto had a school trip to this historic place in their first year of school. My children however were unimpressed. The only way we could get them to bear with us as we toured and shopped was the promise of a visit to the bakery. The chocolate chip cookie and cinnamon bun that we found made their wait worthwhile!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The White Water Walk

On the way out of Niagara Falls, we decided to venture on the White Water Walk. For this attraction, you take an elevator from the gift shop down to an underground tunnel. You walk through this tunnel and find yourself on the boardwalk which winds itself along the White water rapids of the Niagara River.
Once outside, you find beautiful views of the raging waters and the Whirlpool Bridge to the United States.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Niagara Falls

We haven't been to Niagara Falls in over 7 years - Carson wasn't born yet when we last made the trip. But it is still as beautiful as ever. After a rainy morning, the sun came out just long enough for us to take a walk along the river up to the horseshoe falls. The mist coming off of the falls felt wonderful on our faces. The kids were amazed by the size and strength of the falls - what a great place for a family vacation!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Brick City, Niagara Falls

As I have mentioned before, my boys LOVE Lego! So when we arrived in Niagara Falls our first stop was "Brick City". This attraction features a whole city made of Lego bricks - over 1 million I think. Now the imagination of my two children has gone into hyper drive!
Here is the Golden gate Bridge.
Lego Taj Mahal.
My personal favourite - the Acropolis of Athens.