Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Finished the race!

Time is whizzing by and summer is more than half over. And what a busy summer it has been!  Between little trips, yard make-overs, work and a call for submission (more on that later), I've had little time to sit down at the computer.

Last month, on almost the last day of the month, I finished the jelly-roll quilt. It is a little wobbly around the edges, but will keep me warm when I curl up on the couch this winter to read books.  I had fun machine quilting it, as it meant I could dust off my half-size quilting machine again and play with it. The lumpy batting (or my lack of practice) made it a bit of a challenge to keep the lines going straight, but in the end, not too many people will be looking closely at the quilt pattern. I think I may save that batting for doll stuffing and look for a less lumpy variety for any further quilts.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

New website launched

My website has been re-built and is now up and running. No more coding for me, for now! I'm hoping the drag-and-drop method will be more enticing (and easier) to refresh on a regular basis.

You can visit me at


Thursday, June 21, 2018


I've been working on the jelly-roll quilt a little bit each day. It has been sandwiched and the quilting has begun. A master quilter I am not, and it is good to have a "throw" quilt like this to practice on. I've had to take a little break from the quilting today, however, due to a puddle (lake, river?) that crept into my studio during last night's thunderstorm and surrounded the pedal of my quilting machine. Luckily, the pedal was not submerged (unlike the cars up the road last night -- who knew that the flat road could hold so much water?), and I am hoping that a day or two to dry will see it right.

In the meantime, I'll share a little project I've been working on.  A few years ago, I started a visual journal in a day-planner, having seen the idea in a book for using small visual entries to tell about your day, rather than relying only on words. I was good about keeping it up for 3 - 4 months, then missed a day here, and two days there, and before you knew it, had an entire empty week in the day planner. At that time, I threw my hands up in the air and gave up. As a perfectionist, having the empty pages meant I had not done the project "right"!

One of my daughters, while downsizing her possessions to move, passed on to me a small moleskine storyboard book. Each page is 3.5" x 5.5". A month ago, I found it again and went "aha!" This could be the solution to my empty page dilemma.  With no days or dates pre-set in the book, I could miss a day or two and still have full and complete pages. I've been having fun with it, experimenting with format, and think that, for now, I have settled in with what I want to do. Take a look:

Coloured pencils will probably be my go-to medium (watercolours don't work so well on these pages), but I'm leaving myself open for a multi-media approach. I look forward to seeing this book finished, and won't worry about the occasional "missing entry".

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Racing slowly

Well, another evening and an afternoon have seen some progress being made on the jelly-roll race quilt. I can honestly say I would not win any races, but then again, this is not a competition ;-)

One evening last week, I spent an hour and a half doing the next steps in creating the quilt top, according to the jelly-roll race instructions (fold, sew, cut... repeat). The result was more square than rectangular, probably due to the fact that I joined the strips on the diagonal, rather than using straight seams, thus slightly decreasing the overall length of the long strip. 

The fabric piece (for a new piece, it was) then sat on my sewing machine while the rest of the week passed and I mulled over my options in my head.

Today, once the garden was weeded and the bedding plants tucked into their beds, I came inside and rolled out the stripped piece once again. Then I grabbed ruler and scissors and started to cut.  Four hours later, this is what I accomplished:

Hmm. The cellphone camera is obviously not the greatest, but you get the idea.  Once those diamonds are sewn on, I can sandwich and quilt the piece.  That may be next week's relaxation exercise.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Time to start anew

Habits come and go - some easily, some not so easily. I have a habit of signing up for school, as I love the learning and the challenge of doing assignments. Sadly, that habit often takes away from other habits, such as making quilts, dolls and other artworks.

I've just about completed another round of school, this time for a Provincial Instructor Diploma at Vancouver Community College.  With a break now between the first seven courses and the final capstone project, it is time to re-examine what else I enjoy doing, and renew old habits with the intent of making them stronger and longer lasting.

Last week, I picked up a set of jelly roll strips from a quilt store in Penticton and decided to play with them at the soonest available opportunity.

Having never made a quilt from jelly roll strips, I looked up online for  away to tackle the project with the least amount of fuss and bother.  Look up "jelly roll race quilt" online to find out what I set myself up for.

Tonight I sewed the 40 strips end-to-end, as instructed:

I then trimmed threads and seams, ironed everything, joined the two free ends and wound up the big long strip (1600" long, I'm told) to keep everything neat and tidy until I have a chance to do some more sewing. Hopefully it won't be too long a wait.