Spring is here

Spring is here
The first flowers of spring

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Wonky Star Block Tutorial for my Canadians Quilt Bee Buddies

Let me start by saying that I did not invent the wonky star block.  It has been around for a long time and you may have made one in the past.  This tutorial is not original – I read quite a few before I made my block and was influenced by others methods.  I do need to give a shout out to Jane at Jane's Fabrics blog as she demonstrated one part of the method that I liked and used.  I’ll let you know when we get there. 

I also have to say that my block idea is not original.  I took a look at the link that Lisa provided to Stash Bee’s post on fun blocks to use and I really liked the look of one by Jolene from Blue Elephant Stitches blog.  I don’t have her permission to copy the photo of the quilt but you can see it here.

So I would like you to make me a 12.5 inch (12 inch finished) Wonky Star block.  I would like you to use colour.  I love colour.  Please don’t use solids or tone on tone fabrics.  Please don’t use anything that is predominantly black, white or brown, although it is fine to have these colours in a fabrics that is predominantly some other colours. 

Here is my pile of fabric as I played around figuring out what I was going to use.

In the end I decided on these two…

The one on the top is Silent Cinema by Jenean Morrison from Westminster fabrics.  I loved this line when it came out and bought a few different colour ways of the different fabrics, but I haven’t used it much.  The one on the bottom from Art Gallery Fabrics Sugar Collection and is called Feel the Difference.  It is my favourite fabric right now and I am always wanting to use it.  Good thing I bought a few meters of it. 

Enough rambling.  Here’s how to make the Wonky Star block.  Cut eight 4.5 inch blocks from whichever fabric you are going to use for the background and five 4.5 inch blocks from whichever fabric you are using for the star.

Cut four of the star fabric blocks in half diagonally – only four, leave the fifth one intact.

Place four of the background blocks out right side up and place four of the star triangles right side down on the blocks like so…

You notice that they are all different?  This is what will make the star wonky. 
When you are laying your triangles out flip them over to see how they will look once sewn to make sure you like how they look.

One of my blocks was problematic because when I flipped it over it looked like this… Do you see how far to the left the yellow fabric is on the bottom. This did not make for an attractive point on the star.

Another one was a problem because when the yellow was flipped over it did not completely cover the 4.5 inch block. 

Sew across the long edge of the triangles using a 1/4 inch seam.  Press the star fabric open.

Now place your second set of four triangles face down on the four blocks like so…  flip the triangles over so that you will see what they look like once sewn again.  This will prevent having to do any reverse sewing. 

Sew again along the long sides of the triangles using a 1/4 inch seam and press open.

Now this is the part that I got from Jane.  You notice that we didn’t trim any of the background fabric before adding the second triangle.  Now you can flip the blocks over – wrong side up – and use the original block as a guide to trim back the star points.

Trim all four star point squares to 4.5 inches then use your small scissors to cut away the excess background fabric.  I don’t know if this is really easier and if you are an accomplished wonky star maker and want to do it the other way, well please do. 

Lay out your nine squares thusly, putting the squares with the star points in a pleasing arrangement.

Sew the rows together, using a 1/4 inch seam. 

Press the two outside row seams out to the side blocks and press the middle row toward the middle block.  This will allow the seams to nest when sewing the rows together which is the last step.  Eh voila!!

A wonky star block!  I can’t wait to see what wonderful colours my peeps in the Canadian Quilt bee come up with.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Friday Night Sew In for May

I had to do something for FNSI, otherwise I wouldn’t have done any sewing in the last couple of weeks.  That isn’t totally true – I have done some mending – but nothing that I want to tell the world about Smile 

I received three sets of second round hexies from Joke from the Netherlands, my March swap partner in the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap.

These ones claimed their flower immediately and they have been united.


Here are the other two sets, which haven’t been added to flowers yet.


I asked for bright colours and that’s what I got!  They are great!

On Mother’s Day we started out the day with a rare bird sighting – rare for us anyway.  A yellow headed blackbird.


Then we had a lovely canoe outing on the Yukon River along with two of my daughters, their partners and my grandson.


And we are off on a boat outing this afternoon – down the lake and camping overnight.  We are having summer right now and it is much too warm and sunny to be inside for long!

I hope your weather is wonderful too.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Friday Night Sew In Report–ARG!! This was Friday Night with Friends!!

Another Friday Night Sew In Friday Night with Friends has come and gone.  It seems sometimes like time disappears through a big hole.  Ah well.  I did manage to participate in FNSI FNWF this month.  I haven’t done any work on my Grandmother’s Flower Garden since I was in Hawaii in January, so I decided it was time to pay it some attention. 

I added the bottom green border hexies on two flowers…


Earlier this week I made hexie flowers for my April swap partner, Helen (no blog) from England.  She wanted purples or blues in small prints.  I think I managed that…


WE have had an early spring, the snow is almost gone and some days has been quite warm.  Some though are still quite cool… Today we went on the first spring canoe and bird hunt.  We didn’t see many birds but there were about fifteen sheep hanging out up on the mountainside. 


It was nice and warm when the sun came out. Smile 

How was your FNSI FNWF?


Thursday, April 23, 2015

A non sewing/sewing day

Today I attended the Walking with our Sisters exhibit that is in Whitehorse right now.  This is an exhibit of hundreds of moccasin vamps, created in memory of the hundreds (some reports say more than 1000) of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.  The slipper tops are not attached to the rest of the slipper to represent unfinished lives. 

Walking with our Sisters

photo taken from this CBC website: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/moccasin-tops-honour-missing-slain-women-in-new-art-exhibit-1.2582162

Very moving.  Very overwhelming.  Gorgeous sewing.  Please check out the links to learn more. 

I also watched the movie Highway of Tears which is about young women who have been murdered or have disappeared on a stretch of highway in British Colombia.  Many of these women are aboriginal and most of them are young women – even teenagers.  http://globalnews.ca/news/1811819/a-list-of-the-victims-along-b-c-s-highway-of-tears/

You may wonder why I am posting about this.  I hope you will read some of the articles, find out more about this, carry prayers and love for these women and their families in a small area of your heart.  The world is slowly changing I hope.  Life is getting better for some women in some parts of the world.  But in a “civilized” country like Canada we should be concerned that so many aboriginal women are murdered or missing.  We should know about and care about all the women who are victimized.

Thanks for reading.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Not just a Friday night

I missed out on signing up for Friday Night Sew In last Friday.  But I didn’t miss out on the sewing!  My friend Linda P. and I attended the spring No Snow retreat in beautiful Haines Junction.  We drove up on Wednesday night so we could be there for the early start at 8:30 Thursday morning.  There was much sewing to be had over the next four days with almost thirty ladies whirring away on their sewing machines.  IMG_8854[1]

Unlike many others I didn’t complete a quilt top, preferring to work on small articles.  Like another Sew Together bag…

IMG_8849[1] IMG_8848[1]

And a couple of cute little bunny bags..


a finished table runner…. you may remember that I was working on this one at my friend Dahn’s house back in February.  Well now it is bound and finished and ready to adorn my table….


And a second round for a hexie flower…. Lynette sent me a lovely gift of a set of second round hexies as a thank-you for my time as the coordinator for the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap...


The rest of the time I spent  working on my postage stamp quilt.  I was able to add three rows – I now have eleven rows done and about another thirty to go…. I don’t have a picture to show right now but stay tuned. 

So a lovely weekend of sewing fun.  Lots of good food and a few good laughs.  What more could one ask for?

I hope you had a great weekend too!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Friday Night with Friends

Friends, I thought about you on Friday night, but I didn’t do any sewing.

Hubby and I went camping.  We skied about an hour down the lake, put up a tarp lean-to, cooked smokies and potato packets on the fire and had a lovely evening. Here is our view at about 9 p.m. in the waning light.IMG_8825

My hubby is a good boy scout and knows how to set up a first class cooking fire…


Zeke, the scaredy dog, woke us up at about 4 a.m. quaking and shaking because the ice was cracking.  He is also afraid of beaver tail slaps, thunder, gun shots and fire crackers.  He had a nice nap in the morning sun the next day.  He was a tired puppy after quivering for about two hours…


I have been working on a sewing project over the past week though.  About two years ago I participated in the Get Your Hex On swap.  This was the most disappointing swap I have ever joined.  I sent out fabric and patterns to my partners.  One person never sent anything back.  A couple sent back their parts missing a few pieces.  Several people sewed their parts with the pieces reversed so I had to take them all apart and put them back together the right way.  Some didn’t make all the pieces because they said they didn’t have enough fabric – but I sent lots…  I was done with this project and didn’t think I would ever finish it, but it was hanging on my design wall taking up space.  I had to order some more green fabric for the background, but it arrived quickly … and now it is finis!!


This pattern is called Flower Ball and is by Geta Grama.  Check out her blog if you haven’t before.  She makes really beautiful pieces.

I’m not sure what I am going to do with this.  It is about 30 inches across .  I thought of appliqueing it to a white background and turning it into a baby quilt.  My friend Linda suggested that it would make a nice table topper, which put me on to the idea of a table cloth with the ball appliqued in the middle.  Anyone have any other ideas?

I made a swan postcard for Sheila in the spring postcard swap that she organized.  I forgot to take a photo before sending it so had to grab Sheila’s photo…

swan postcard

Sheila asked me if we have swans here.  Well yes we do.  Harbingers of spring and winter as they migrate through.


I hope everyone had a lovely Easter and a productive Friday Night With Friends!  Smile


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Friday Night Sew In Report

Well Friday night was pretty well a bust for me.  I was exhausted after a long week at work and other than about fifteen minutes working on the layout for my Spring themed postcard for Sheila, I did nothing even slightly related to sewing. 

But the whole week wasn’t a wash-out…  I put together one flower using the second round hexies I received from Jenny for February in the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap


And I made these blocks for Lisa from Saskatchewan for the Canadians Quilt Bee.  I love these + and x blocks – they are so much fun to make.


And yesterday my friend Linda P. and I went to a class where we got detailed instruction on how to make the Sew Together bag (pattern by Sew Demented).  The pattern was duly purchased from Craftsy where you can purchase it too if you want to make yourself one of these beautiful babies!

Here is my completed bag.  Notice FOUR zippers (three inside pockets and the outer zip), full binding, a little pin cushion, and there is also a needle keep on the opposite inside wall.



I know…. my fabric choices are bright and busy, but It turned out beautiful.  And I have been wanting to use the Love Bird fabric in something for a long time.  Smile 

As you can see it is lovely and sunny here these days and our snow is melting.  I must get a new photo for my header…

I hope the snow is melting for you too - especially if you live in Eastern Canada.  I must be off and finish that postcard as it needs to be in tomorrow’s mail.


Friday, March 13, 2015

Christmas trees!

So many of you guessed on my last post that my friends and I were making Christmas trees and you were right!! 


Aren’t these cute?!  My friend Donna’s mother Eleanor sent her one of these last Christmas and we decided we had to make them.  Eleanor was here visiting last weekend when we sewed these together so I was able to ask about the source of the pattern.  One of her other daughters bought one of these for her at a craft fair somewhere in the Vancouver area and she had copied the pattern to make one for Donna.  Then we copied Donna’s to make ours…. so who knows where the pattern came from.  The one that Eleanor made had 17 tiers to it.  These ones only have ten or eleven.

I finished my second tree earlier this week.  Here are the two that I made.


I still have to add embellishments to them. 

Today I received my February second round hexies from the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap.  I thought it was Friday Night Sew In so I settled in to sew the second rounds to the chosen flowers.   Oops – it isn’t until next Friday.  Oh well I am sewing them on tonight anyway! 


Jenny also sent me a lovely card and a couple of “handmade” tags, made out of wood.  Thanks Jenny!


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Friday Night With Friends

It was a good FNWF for me last night. I put together two hexies for my swap partner for March.  Penny asked for pastel fabrics with white centres.  I am surprised at how difficult it is for me to use pastels.  I keep wanting to add some bright colour.  I think I did okay though.


I also basted batting to pieces for a Christmas project that some friends and I are making.  We had a first get together a few weeks ago when we made up templates and cut fabrics.  Tomorrow we sew them together.  Mine are ready – can you guess what the project is?


The moose were by to visit the other day and hung around the yard for an hour or more.  First they washed my car…it really needed it…



Then they cleaned up the sunflower seeds that the birds have spilled…notice the antler buds above the eyes…


And they did a bit of tree trimming…


Mom was here with these two one year old calves but she was busy cleaning up my compost heap so I didn’t get any pictures…

I hope you’ve had some excitement in your life this week! Smile