Rebecca’s bag

A few posts back I mentioned I had a project that was secret. Well now it is ready to be blogged about.

A few weeks ago, Rebecca – who I work with – brought in a Professional Tote Bag that she had made. It was very sad looking as it had lost a fight with a bottle of bleach and she asked if anyone wanted to salvage parts, etc before she threw it away. I took it home with me, planning on surprising her by replacing the panels that were damaged. I bought some of the black fabric online (and then discovered there was a half metre inside a zipped compartment) and I already had the grey floral from a sale on at a local fabric shop so I knew I could do it. The fabrics are Downton Abbey ones from a couple of years ago.

side 1 - I had already touched up the handles at this point, I didn't think to take a photo until after

side 1 – I had already touched up the handles at this point, I didn’t think to take a photo until after

side 2

side 2

Then it just sat for a while, during the time I was writing and getting book projects sewn up. I am leaving my job at the fabric shop at the end of this week, and so my deadline of today was set as it will be the last day we work together.

I started a couple of days ago and kept as much of her original fabric and stitching as possible. One handle was completely savable after colouring in the spots with a black Fabrico marker. I also used it on the odd pocket spot on the black fabric, such as on the inside.

The whole lining was fine as were the side panels, so I dismantled what I needed to replace the front and back, plus the zipped pocket on the second side of the bag.

I then made templates (as I don’t have the pattern) from the existing panels and fused Craft Fuse interfacing to them. It’s not an interfacing I particularly want to use again as it was hard work to get it to stick, but I wanted it to match the existing stuff.

It’s not exactly the same as the original. I struggled a little bit trying to figure out how the zip placket thing attached to the exterior and lining. You don’t turn the bag right side out through the lining it seems! I got somewhere close though and only broke one needle, so I’m pretty pleased!

Finish Along 2016 Q4

It’s a cliche, but this year has flown by. It’s the last quarter of the Finish Along already!

I’ve booked to do a craft fair and thinking about booking another, so my list is largely so I have stuff to display and sell, and I need to finish these fast. I have things I want to start making (wallets and dog collars), but in the spirit of the finish along, these are the already started things that I want to get done.

Four Blanche Barrel Bags by Swoon. I’ve started sewing two, and I need to cut and fuse interfacing for the other two…

blanche wips


Two Weekender bags- cut out and I’m going to lightly quilt them. The plan is fusible fleece and then back with sew-in Peltex. I also need to find lining fabric that I will also use for the zipped panel on the top of the bags. I also want to buy premade piping for all of these bags, including the Blanches. I plan to go on a little shopping trip next week for zips and piping.


Crosswalks quilt. This guy is a magazine project. I actually need to write it up first within the next week or so because of this particular issue’s deadlines, so working on it a different way round to usual.


Also the Michael Miller challenge for QuiltCon. This needs doing very very soon, I’m actually a little bit panicked about this one, because the submission deadline is the end of November. It’s only going to be about 36″ square though.


Doggy dress. I started this about four months ago and it’s sat on the back of the chair that I sew at ever since. I was waiting for O rings to arrive, which now they have, and then I was waiting for more time. I also have some repairs and stuff to do to other garments I have made, but not interesting enough for the finish along I don’t think!


I need to make the “step-outs” for the step by step instructions in my book too. These need to be in by early December. If I get time later in December, I’d quite like to finish up my Lotus quilt too. It was the first project I started when we moved, so it’s been a good while since I picked it up, and it looks like this so far…


And in the spirit of previous posts, here’s where I was on Wednesday. We went to Moraine Lake and also Lake Louise (if that sounds familiar, it is where we got married a couple of years ago). It was snowy and a bit foggy but a nice day out nevertheless.

moraine lake

Linking up…

FAL 2016

P.S. Thank you for the help with the blog reader last post. I’ve got it how I like it again, but not had time to read as much as I would like just yet!


Two things checked off the really long to do list.

Firstly, today I submitted my first draft of my book! By submitted, I mean that I am currently 16% of the way into the uploading process. It’s almost 3gb of stuff so it’s taking a while.

Oh that top left? Yep still working my way through – 10 blocks of 36 done.

Secondly, I finally got super patient Simone’s bee block done. I’m *technically* up to date now because I was off the hook for August (the person who’s turn it is opted not to make the block for my round and I was removed from the list of duties I think to compensate for this, even though the lovely organiser sent me a block to make up for being one short). So I just have September, I wonder if I will actually do it in September?


Does anyone here use Bloglovin? I’m trying to catch up on my reading and it has changed. I can’t figure out how I can read blogs by blog name. I used to have a list where I’ve drawn the red oval, but I can’t find any display option remotely similar. I like to read up each blog at a time if I’m behind by more than one post (which believe me I am behind about 2000 posts total), so this multi-blog layout tile thing I has going on just isn’t doing it for me….

Back on it

I’m thinking of doing some craft fairs just before Christmas. Just one or two, selling purses and bags and maybe some of the other stuff like resin jewellery I’ve been meaning to get rid of for ages. I might take some quilts too, not that I expect them to sell. I’ve sent off for a few application forms, and my next step is to figure out if it will be viable, in terms of if I have to pay $200 in business licences (i.e. not viable) just to do the two shows.

My Weekender bag - next time I'll improv piece but not QAYG- the thickness is too challenging!

My Weekender bag – next time I’ll improv piece but not QAYG- the thickness is too challenging!

If it is I want to make more patchwork bags, maybe like my weekender bag, plus some smaller things like wallets that I can make reasonably quickly. I don’t plan to sell volume, if I sell one or two items but at a higher price, I’ll be happy with that.

In book news I’m happy to report that I only need to make a sleeve for initial photography and write up one project, then I can submit it for my October 3rd deadline. There are other deadlines for other things after this time (like printing out my patterns full size for the illustrators, making the individual step by step things for real photography, signing forms and labelling quilts) but the hard work is DONE! I decided to treat myself by working on a new project (for Popular Patchwork)…

Eight blocks down, 28 to go. I’m also thinking about a name for it. I’m thinking something along the lines of “Downtown Crosswalks” right now. I’m also going to get on with my bee block commitments this week because I’m feeling guilty about falling behind, and I need to start on my Quiltcon entry soon too. After that I have dress alterations and three quilts to finish, oh and I was writing a new Quilt Workout pattern…

I do have a question for you though. Does anyone have any tips for destashing? I used to be so good at it in the UK on Instagram, but there doesn’t seem to be the appetite for it over here, I think it may be because postage is stupidly expensive. I don’t get any biters on IG and I had some limited success on Facebook, but I like to destash, it’s good for my soul and it means my stash doesn’t stagnate. Often I will get a fat quarter bundle, use most of it, put some in my stash but then have pieces left over to sell on like these Uppercase FQs. At the minute though I have no outlet! Do you think it is worth putting this kind of thing on eBay?

$12 CAD plus postage, if anyone is interested....

$12 CAD plus postage, if anyone is interested….

I’ll leave you with some snaps from straight off the camera (no cropping, editing, etc). I’m getting too lazy to Photoshop these days, anyone else feel the same?

dscf1094 dscf1157 dscf1171 dscf1347

A Finish – S is for Snake

I don’t think I could really show this before, but now it is in print, this is my S is for Snake quilt!


It’s just baby quilt size and it’s in the current issue (27) of Quilt Now. It’s another quilt I put together using the Scan N Cut to cut out my Drunkard’s Path blocks. I really don’t like cutting these out and it saved me a lot of time!


WordPress won’t let me rotate this particular image for some reason which is very annoying


I quilted bubbles around the snakes and I used my walking foot to sew ladders in the spacer blocks. I also free motioned matchsticks either side of the ladders.

Here it is in the magazine…

quiltnow2 quiltnow3 quiltnowcover

Size – 36″ x 50″
Number of blocks – 15 snakes
Time to make – About 12 hours with the quilting
Fabric – Green scraps plus a print from Tula Pink’s Chipper in the spacer blocks and Kona Natural.
Backing Fabric – £2 a yard green linen slub from Fabric Guild in the UK.
Binding Fabric – Alexia Abegg Hatbox for Cotton + Steel
Threads – Piecing with Aurifil 50 wt. Quilting with Wonderfil Decobob prewound bobbins (80 wt) and Isacord on top (40 wt).
Batting – 80/20 Hobbs Heirloom.
Quilting- Freehand walking foot ladders in spacer blocks with free motion matchstick quilting. Snake blocks have pebble quilting around the central motifs.


Finished! My Lizzy House Meadow Quilt

So it only took three weeks after finishing this quilt to actually photograph it and post about it….


This is my Q3 Finish Along finish, the pattern is Lizzy House’s exclusive Meadow quilt pattern that she only teaches in class (because the pattern is open to some interpretation and personal influence which in turn can mean it doesn’t turn out flat or the right size without supervision). I went to the class in April so I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to remember how to do it but it came out fine. I cut out the pieces on my Scan N Cut and made the centre “eyes” (or eggs in my case) first, then chain pieced the rest!


The back is slightly wonky, shh!


The block on the back was signed by Lizzy with a Micron pen and I was pretty sure I heat set it but it kinda washed out a bit which is a little bit sad.


The quilting was done freehand on the Bernina Q24 long arm at work which is a lovely machine. The ruler foot was broken and not yet replaced so I did the straight lines “organically”. It is based on a fab Meadow I saw quilted by The Workroom in Toronto but I modified it a bit by adding medallions to the centre of my “eggs” which I drew on with a stencil and I echo quilted then spiralised the borders. I quilted the middle first and then rolled it all back to do the borders in a purple thread.

Weirdly this is only the second finished quilt under this year on my Finished Quilts page, however I have actually made four others plus lots of cushions and smaller quilts and fiddly things in general. One quilt is currently in Quilt Now magazine so I will show you that in my next post.

Size – 76″ x 62″
Number of blocks – 20
Time to make – Piecing is hard to say because it was on and off… quilting four hours- maybe a total of 20-22 hours including binding.
Fabric – All sorts from stash plus a lot of Kona Eggplant
Backing Fabric – Mostly reduced discounted stuff- Amy Schimler Creatures and Critters is the main part, plus a bit of Cotton + Steel Honeymoon and some V & Co dots.
Binding Fabric – More Kona Eggplant.
Threads – Piecing with Aurifil 50 wt. Quilting with Wonderfil Decobob prewound bobbins (80 wt) and Isacord on top (40 wt).
Batting – 80/20 Hobbs Heirloom.
Quilting- Freehand grid, stencilled mandala type things, plus echo quilting and spirals in the border.

I will leave you with these images of my spirit town, Canmore and one of the nearby Spray Lakes (where the water genuinely cured my hiccups instantly). I want to live there so bad. It’s nice that it only takes an hour and a half to get there.

Yes, the building on the left is a quilt shop.

Yes, the building on the left is a quilt shop.


Linking up to the FAL…

FAL 2016

Modern Quilt Guild stuff

I’m still buried in book stuff. I feel like I’m making good progress but I have two more quilts to make (well, three minis and a full one) and more writing to do and five weeks to finish it in.

Quiltcon is the next thing. I’m doing the Michael Miller challenge for next year’s show and also contributing to the Calgary group quilt. The group quilts are going to be a theme of micro and macro, here are my blocks…

Putting binding on my Meadow Quilt today so maybe I can make two posts in one month?

Puppy bandanas

Because it’s Stampede season (Yahoo not Yeehaa/Yeehaw apparently), I decided to turn a couple of fat quarters into doggy bandanas for Hank when I got home from work on Saturday.
I folded them diagonally right sides together and trimmed off the excess, stitched around the edge leaving a turning gap, turned through and top stitched along all three edges.

They’re absolutely pointless but I think he looks cute 🙂

Finish Along Quarter 3

The end of this quarter ties in exactly with when I need to finish my book projects by, but I thought I would try and make a bit of an effort with the Finish Along still, despite knowing I will be busy busy!

This is the project I’ve chosen to aim to finish, my Meadow quilt. It’s all cut out, but no further than that. If I can make the top, then I plan to long arm it which should cut down on the time I will need to finish. I’m worried I’ll forget how to assemble it if I leave it any longer, plus it’s sat in a project bag on the floor and I like tidiness in my sewing room where possible. Maybe I can prepare all the centre pieces then do a block or so at a time between other stuff.

Meanwhile in secret projects I have two quilts and three smaller projects to make…. *cracks whip*

FAL 2016

This month’s update

Well it appears I am currently a monthly blogger. I have just finished up another project for my book and have written about 15% so I’m still quietly working away on that over the summer. Here’s some of the back of the latest project, I’m very pleased with how my free motion quilting is developing…

In bee news, I have made a few more words…

And I have received some too, since June was my month!

I'm not sure what I did with Elizabeth's signature block, but I'm sure I will find it...

I’m not sure what I did with Elizabeth’s signature block, but I’m sure I will find it…

The plan is to make an 8-bit map of Canada, probably next year by the time I get round to it.

I also have a pouch in the latest Popular Patchwork (July issue) but I have yet to get a copy in the post. There are a couple more patterns coming up for Quilt Now too which means I’ll have some more finishes to show you when they go to print. My photos are being used by Pop Patch to save me money on posting the finished stuff- result!

I’ve been bitten badly the last few weeks, I think by mosquitoes. I had one on my leg where the vein started going red and it spread upwards which worried me and cost $100 in pharmacy fees to calm down again, then I had one which made my elbow double in size. I have been spraying myself all over with bug spray before leaving the house, despite people repeatedly telling me that there are no mosquitoes this year because it has been too warm. Well I have found them all it seems! Today I ended up at the walk in centre again with some kind of allergic reaction, might be the bug spray, might be an unknown dietary thing…

Anyway back to the writing- I’m in the flow!