Friday, December 31, 2010

I'm finished!

I had two blocks to finish up the Bee and was able to put both together yesterday afternoon.

Here's Madeline's:

I had a hard time initially cutting into her fabrics because I was afraid I'd mess up but I think it came out okay.  The center pieces are small and a bit wonky but the block turned out a scant "9, which is what she wanted, so I'm pleased.


I love scrappy quilting, and this was a fun block.


I'm looking forward to seeing some quilts now that many of us should have completed blocks.

Happy New Year !!!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Lydia's Dove in the Window Block

Lydia's block arrived.  Isn't it so pretty?

Merry Christmas and

        *./ | \ .*
   * .* *.
    * . • '* * ' • ,
    * . '*• •*'
 * *. ' *, • ' ' • ,* '
* .' * • * * • * '
 *  * , • JOYEUX• , * '
*   * ' • * * • ' * '
' * ' • ***  NOEL*** • ' * ' '
' ' * • * * • * ' '
  ( )
  ( )


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hope to hear from you...

Happy Holiday Happiness to you!  We have ice, beautiful to look at, treacherous to drive in.  Hope you are all ready for Christmas and keeping warm.  It's this season of yummy baking.

I've only received a block from Dee for the November block exchange.  I did hear from Alison that she's unable to make my block so I thought I'd better check with everyone else if there is a concern or problem.  Also, I haven't received Solidia's (December's turn for a special block) fabric and instructions yet.

~ Madeline

Monday, December 6, 2010

Catching Up

I have been dilatory!  Please forgive!  But I have caught up, at last - here are the blocks for Madeline and Claudia!
For Claudia
Dove in the Window for Madeline

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Dove in the Window for Madeline

Here's my block, at last. It uses the white muslin and 2 patterned fabrics sent by Madeline. That paper piecing eats up fabric. I'm afraid I only have a teeny bit of the gold left.
Like Dee, I had trouble with the points, but only the 2 that were separate little squares; not those that were part of the long piece. Dee, was that where you ran into trouble? I wonder if it's the pattern. Anyway, I played with the seams a bit and they're not too bad now. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished quilt.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Blessings and a Block

Well, it came out on my first try.  LOL
I've been dreading this one because I hadn't had time to sit down and properly read the instructions and all that kept floating in my head was the combination of paper piecing and "hand" piecing.

I spent last weekend at my mom's helping her through her sleepy weekend after chemo.  I had packed up all my sewing stuff since I had two days where she would be napping.
I started working on a new project and read thoroughly through the instructions for Madeline's block.
Today was the first day I've had to sew a test block.

I traced the templates with tracing paper and worked off those.  It came out to the 9" unfinished block.  Thinking maybe my 1/4" seam is stingy?

Hope you like it ma mie!

Happy Thanksgiving to all celebrating tomorrow and may we all have attitudes of gratitude throughout the year!
God bless!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pratice Block for Madeline

I thought I'd share with you my practice block for "Dove in the Window"

After reading that there were problems with the paper piecing templates on quilterscache, I decided to print them out and take a look.  Math isn't my strong point, but I realized straight away that the templates were too small.  If you think of this block as a basic 9-patch to finish to 9", each "patch" should be 3" without seam allowances and 3.5" with seam allowances.

Since this appears to be a fairly simple block, I decided to draw the block on graph paper and piece in the conventional way. 

I used my triangle tool to cut the points ... and the block came together fairly quickly.

I'm assuming this is a 9" block, and the unfinished dimensions should be 9.5".  Madeline, if this is incorrect, please let me know!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

A fix for Madeline's block (I hope!)

Madeline would like an 8.5" unfinished block, and the pattern hasn't been cooperating all that well.

If you measure the length of one of the strips in Template A, you will find the block width, both finished and unfinished.

If your template is not measuring 8.5" unfinished, you might want to try what I did. I eventually found that if I printed at 93% of the actual size (control P, look under preferences, then efffects) I'd have an 8.5" unfinished block. My grade-school ruler tells me that this block has a "1-inch test square" that measures 29/32 of an inch, which sort of looks like a smidge over 7/8".

You can play with your printer's settings to see what percentage you need to arrive at 8.5" across. Then use the same setting to print Template B.

One word of caution: by shrinking the templates we will be leaving Madeline with seam allowances between 3/8" and 1/4". If you normally use a generous seam allowance you may need to print Template B a little larger (moving up to 94% might be enough). Please consider making a trial block, or at least a trial centre section.

I'll report back in a day or two once, I've finished mine.

Good luck!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Crazy Patterns

Hello ladies.

Suzanna sent me an e-mail that the template that I printed from Quilter's Cache site and sent to you is off.

She said they are a bit smaller than expected.  I asked for a 9" block, and Suzanna says the individual squares should measure 3.5" but they are not quite 3.25".  If you use the templates the block will be  about 8" finished and 8.5" unfinished instead of the 9" I'd originally asked for.

I'd like the 9" block.  Please don't stress---this is supposed to be fun!  and I'll make it work.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

November Block


Colorful Fall Greetings to you. 

I can't believe an entire year is almost over and it's my turn.  Thank you so much for making the November block for me.  We will be using April Cornell’s Prayer Flag material to construct the Dove at the Window 9” block found at Quilter’s Cache website.  It shows it as partly paper pieced.  I’ve printed off the templates (if you need them) and included it with the fabric that I'll mail out tomorrow.

Please put the light material on the outside and the patterned material as the star points.  For the centre section of the block I’ve sent a second patterned fabric and a strip of the light fabric.

The Prayer Flag pattern I’m going to adapt is at Moda under Free Stuff > Patterns (6th picture down
in the first row). 

I hope it’s a fun block for everyone. 

~ Madeline

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lesly's "Le Soleil"

Such a fun little block to make and such sweet fabric.  The sun came out in all its bright glory while I was making this
block so I'm calling it "Le Soleil."  It squared up nicely, too.  I'll put it in the mail tomorrow, Lesly.

I didn't have a very good time with Claudia's Ohio Star.  (shameful since I've made a ton of them in the past AND I'm originally from Ohio).  Where was the sun?  I swear I took my time cutting the pieces, got all of the triangle points together, nice and crisp,  pressed them, and went to sew them to the 4.5" corner and ...
gosh, be darn, drats, crud and other choice words.  
The sewn triangles were an inch smaller than the corner pieces.  Now, how did that happen?  duh.  I just know I must be the only math challenged person in the group who can't count out the difference between 4.5" and 3.5".  
 Claudia answered my confession e-mail so I'm thinking she forgives me.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Lesly, my dear!

I finished your very fun to make block Saturday and will sending it off in the mail this week.
Thank you for the pattern and the chance to work with such beautiful fabrics.  I was very good and put all the scraps over 2" in the envelope for you.  I will admit to some small, stray pieces, strings really, making their way into my scrap boxes.  But mind you, I was obeying the letter of the law!

No need for you to know how badly I wonkered this up the first try.  But, I think I got it here.  I'll claim being on cold medicatins as the reason.

Beautiful quilt in the making and I can't wait to see it from you soon!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Post Office Love

Claudia and Lesly:

Your fabrics both arrived today.  Claudia, if you sent a second package I'll return it to you with the finished block.

P.S. Love your fabric choices.


Friday, October 1, 2010

It's October!

After agonizing over all kinds of potential block patterns for my month, I've settled on a classic; the Ohio Star.

Ohio Star
A couple of days ago, I sent out the fabric - a mix of 30's repros and contemporary prints in yellows, oranges, greens and reds - you will receive 2 prints and solid white for the background.  Instructions are included but can also be found here:

This is a very simple, straightfoward block, but if you have any questions, let me know.

Thanks, Shrinking Quilters'!


Friday, September 24, 2010


Lydia's block was returned to me by the Post Office stamped "Unclaimed" on the envelope.  Lydia, dear Lydia, I can't find your e-mail and your Blog is gone when I click on the link.  Would you please e-mail me so I can re-send your block to you?

DEE:  Did you get your block yet?  You should have it by now.

LESLY:  Your fabric hasn't arrived yet.  Did you send it to my new address?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Dee's Starflower Block

Dee's block is in the mail.  yeah!  yippee!  I'm all caught up now.  I love her fabric.

Now, just where is Miss September's fabric???

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dee's block

I mailed this yesterday, which probably means Dee won't get it until after Labour Day :-( Thankfully it was quick and easy so I could finish on time. This will be such a pretty, fresh quilt when it's done. Thanks, Dee. Now Lesly, bring it on!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Hi Ladies.  I am BEHIND! in making and sending blocks for 2 people.  Forgive me.  I just moved and haven't uncovered my sewing machine or set up my studio yet.  I promise you WILL get your blocks so please be patient and forgive my tardiness.  Love ya!

P.S. You will need my new address before anyone else sends their fabric.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

August Blocks

Hello one and all!
Hope your summer is keeping you happy, busy and sewing!

This month's block started a long time ago when I began collecting scraps in limes, blues and brown whenever I would visit a quilt store.  Stuffing as much as possible in a baggie for a couple of bucks.  I've managed to gather what I think will be happy, fun fabrics to sew and have together in a quilt.

The tutorial I'm asking you to use is from the Modify Tradition blog.
Simple, clear cut instructions.  I tried to cut close on the fabric, so don't worry about sending anything back. 

Here is a block I just put together that will go in the quilt:

I apologize for not sending printed instructions or notes with the fabric.  Our printer and computer aren't playing together well right now!  LOL
Thank you so much for helping me create this quilt top!  I'm so excited about it and can't wait til the blocks start coming home!


As I'm sitting down with my envelopes to mail out August's blocks, I realize my list of addresses got dumped!  I have no clue where they went or why!

Could I please have a new list?
Thank you and I'll get my envelopes in the mail johnny of the spot!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

At least I followed the rules...

Here's the picture of my block for Lydia. Not a recognisable pattern, straight seams only, and only added solid fabrics. For me, the other limitation was the relatively small pieces of fabric in our packages. 12.5" blocks are larger than I usually work with and I'd have felt more at ease if I'd have had more of any one of the fabrics in the kit.
What do I think of it? I think it looks better on screen than in person and the pattern won't become a classic; although I do like it on some level. I just hope it works in Lydia's quilt.
I'll get this and Joan's block in the mail no later than Tuesday. Looking forward to seeing what the rest of you come up with.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dear Joan Letter


Joan dear, when I sat down this last week to make your other block, I realized I didn't have enough of the Kona for the four smaller sides.  I got as far as I could and had to stop.  Do you want to send me more (since we don't have any stores close that sell it) or do you just want me to send what I have (partially constructed second block and scraps to make the strips and finished block) to you?

Just let me know!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lydia's Block

Is finished and ready to come home.  This one, though easy peasy in practice, was a stumper is theory!
I had no inspiration for this.  Maybe because I was tired and not feeling well?
I looked through flickr for help.
Walking through my house, I looked at my calendar and a block was born!
Instead of making the little, daily squares though, I wanted the fabric to be showcased and left them in long strips.
Then I saw Joan's and was so blown away!

Lydia, can't wait to see this quilt!

July Blocks

So, I totally forgot to post our July blocks instructions, here!

All of the fabric went out at the end of June (the 24th, to be exact).

I had a hard time making a decision on what I want so, I actually didn't make a decision! Here's what we'll be doing. I know how creative you all are, so I'm going to let you do your thing with the blocks with just a few guidelines:

  1. 12" finished block (so 12 1/2" when you ship it back to me)
  2. consisting of straight line pieces (wonky is fine, just no curves)
  3. with no readily visible "traditional" block design
  4. fabric will be from Amy Butler's Love line

That's it! You get to make an abstract block that consists of straight line pieces. You're free to add any solid fabrics from your stash, but please don't add any print fabrics (I consider Moda Marbles to be a solid!).

Another quick note - I sent a number of different fabrics for you to play with. Feel free to use as many or as few of the prints as you'd like. Don't feel like you have to use them all!

I can't wait to see what you guys come up with!

Monday, July 12, 2010

1/4" seam foot a little liar!

Hee hee!

Block one for Joan.  This was fun because I got to put a lot of my yummy scraps into it.  And as you know, some vintage made it in there too.  Plus, you get a real slice of Indiana quilt stores because these scraps are from all over the state!

My one difficulty was the seam allowance "seemed" off and I had to finagle to get the corner seams of the Kona and the scrap strips to match.  Sorry about that, but I think it turned out okay anyway.  I have noticed this before with my 1/4" foot before and I think it's more operator error than anything.  I also learned I'm not a red person.  I have very few stunning red pieces like the ones Joan sent us. 

Here's a better shot.  I just loved the scraps you gave us to work with!  Wishing I had yardage of all of them!  I'm such a fabric hog!  LOL

I need to make the other one and send them on their way.  Sorry for the lateness, but Life never seems to slow down long enough for me to catch up on all I need to do.

Hope all of our quilting bee buddies are having a good summer and getting way more done than I seem to be!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

One down, one to go.

Although our blocks for Joan will probably all look alike, I thought I'd post mine anyway. This one was a real challenge for a few reasons. 1. I don't collect scraps. 2. when I moved last year I threw away (yes, threw away!) bins of fabric strips that I was sick of after many, many years. Which left me with the task of cutting into good fat quarters or lengths of fabric.

The final problem was that I unknowingly used a presser foot with a different width and my "scant" 1/4 inch seams turned out to be generous instead. So I must apologise to Joan that she is getting a block that's 12.25" square, not 12.5.

Now onto Lydia's block, where I can just tack on a chunk of fabric if the block is too small :-)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Joan's Pretty Grey Block

Such a simple and pretty block, Joan.  

It will go in the mail early in the week.  

Happy Summer!

~ Madeline

Saturday, June 5, 2010

June Scrapbuster Block

Hello, everyone!  Is anyone in more than one bee?  Does anyone else have trouble keeping them straight?  I'm only in two, and I'm constantly getting them mixed up!  But -- hopefully -- I just mailed my fabrics to each of you for June's block.  [And don't worry, my May blocks will be mailed this week.]  In August, I will be mailing the same packets to the members of my other bee (Nittany Block Party).  Then, in the Fall, I will join them into one quilt.  At least, that's the plan.  Here is my block for June:

I have sent 2 squares of the Kona Coal + 1.5 and 2" strips to each of you.  You only need to make one block, but I added the extra center square just in case.  I also included about 12-13 small precut print fabric squares.  This should get you started, save you a little cutting, and help out if you don't have many scraps.  I think it's fun to get to add a little of my own fabric when making bee blocks, so I hope you do too.  If this is difficult for anyone, please let me know and I will send you more.  I already have quite a few cut, so it won't be a problem at all.

It should be a fun way to use up some tiny scraps and result in a nice, scrappy quilt.  I only ask that you do not use batiks (sorry, if you love them, but I really don't care for them).

Little Miss Shabby Scrapbuster Block - 2

The instructions are here, and I found them very easy to follow.  And there is no rush at all.  I'll be collecting these blocks from the Nittany bee group in August, so please feel free to take your time.

Hope everyone has fun!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hope Valley for Alison

These were fun to make!  And restful!  I sewed these up while watching an old BBC production of Martin Chuzzlewit on the computer.  The hardest part was pressing all these seams open!  And kudos to Alison for some of the straightest cutting - these went together like a dream as a result.  Hooray for ticking another box and now bring on May!
Blocks for Alison - ISQB May

Friday, May 28, 2010

Hope Valley and I are buds!

Just loved the colors and patterns of this line!  Thanks for the chance to work with some beautiful fabric!
Here are the two random blocks for Alison:

I will mail them out when I get a free minute this week.  "Hope" you like them Alison!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Here are my blocks for Allison.  Since she asked for totally random placement of her Hope Valley fabric squares,  I placed all of my squares in a paper bag, reached in, one-by-one, and these are the results.  It was definitely hard to sew them as they came out of the bag and not rearrange.  They are in the mail.  Hope you like them, Allison.

P.S. I popped over to Allison's blog and her baby is simply adorable.  Go and coo a little.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

April's Gnome Block

Is in the mail!  I apologize for the delay.  We moved my sewing stuff into the sunroom, I knew I hadn't mailed it yet, and it got a little misplaced in the move.

I lost a lot of stuff due to my laptop quasi-crashing last week.  I've had to create a new flickr account and am trying to recover pictures off of my old one.  I love computers!

Hope you're all having a great start to the week!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gnome Home~

Here's my Gnome Home, at last!  Sharon, i'll put it in the mail later this week.  I hope you like it.
Definitely a challenge with all the little pieces, but I'm happy with it. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Alison's Hope Valley Block!

I am staying ahead of the game, this month (although a trip to the post office is needed!). I finished both blocks for Alison over the weekend.

Hope Valley Block

Monday, May 3, 2010

Crazy Gnome Home

Gnome Home!

I learned a lot from this block. I learned that I am NOT good at wonky. I learned that I am REALLY NOT good at just winging a block. I need a lot of work on both of those things!

I, originally, wanted the little gnome man to look like he’s standing on the front stoop of his crazy cottage. He looks like he’s just floating in mid-air.

I meant for that second, polka dot, story of the house to have a crisp point on the left side. Then, I forgot about seam allowances.

I’m hoping that Sharon doesn’t mind using this less than perfect block in her quilt. I had plenty of fabric left over and I hope she’s able to make some cuter blocks out of it than what I could make!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sharon's Garden Gnome

Sharon's blocks are finished and ready to travel to their new home.  I need to buy a new camera so the best I could do for Show N' Tell was to put the three blocks I made for her on my scanner.  Unfortunately, the third one, the condo, is hidden.

Hope you can see them and they are okay for you, Sharon!

Happy Spring.

~ Madeline

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gnome home renovations

Here's my "renovated" gnome home. A huge thank you to Dee, whose range of suggestions made me think outside the box. (The walkway is supposed to broaden at the end to give perspective, but it's not showing as much as I thought.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gnome advice welcome!

Because I can't draw what I see in my mind's eye, I am rarely successful in freeform design. So I went with something very angular. Sadly, my gnome apartment looks boring and sterile. I even tried melting silvery Angelina fibre to simulate reflective windows... 2 thumbs down! Now I'm reluctant to embellish it for fear of tarting it up.
Please feel free to suggest improvements. The block wasn't exactly straight when I shot it, although the crookedness you see in the roof is intentional. Also, there's more white fabric around the house, so I can add embellishments or details on all/any side.
And here's my little cliche, the gnome toadstool.

Glimwyn-North Shore Keeper

Meet Glimwyn.  He's the lighthouse keeper up on North Shore.  He lives a quiet life.  Doesn't ask for much.  Tends his mushroom garden and prunes his trees.  He loves his life and can't wait for the day he will meet his new friend Sharon.

The Gnome Lighthouse Keeper-North Shore

Here he is.  Faithfully manning his post.  Making sure that all is well and sailors and ships make it home safely.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Shoo-Fly for Suzanna


I'm late, I know.  However, I finally had a chance to do sewing today so I decided to tackle Suzanna's block for March.  I had been avoiding it because anything "wonky" seems impossible to me.  Not sure why I thought this was so difficult, because Suzanna's instructions were simple, and creating this block was extremely easy.

I already knew how to make a Shoo-Fly block because of the tutorial at Modify Tradition.  Adding the borders and trimming to make it crooked was a cinch.

One question-- the directions Suzanna included say to make an 8" block.  Does she want it to be 8" or 8.5" unfinished?  (I've trimmed mine to 9.5"... how did I not notice that my ruler isn't 8.5"?)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Shoo fly in blue

Here's my block for Suzanna:

Shoo Fly

Even though I'd made a practice block, I didn't realize that the order in which one sews the sashing strips makes a difference in how they appear; my block has two adjoining short sides in blue and two long sides in black. Suzanna, if you want me to redo the block, please let me know.

I also have lots of fabric left and I'm tempted to make another one.

practice block
Practice block in batiks


Monday, March 22, 2010

Shoo-Fly a Go-Go!

Here's my block for Suzanna - I love all the jewel tones she sent and I had a hard time settling down on selecting my final choices for this block.  Inspired by Madeline, I think I'll make a second block with the fabric that didn't make it into this one.  It's a addictive block!  You can make it look so different through fabric choices!
Suzanna's Shoo-Fly block for ISQB
Yesterday, my family and I went up to Ottawa to take my daughter to a meeting, and we had a nice visit with Suzanna and her husband, who used to be our neighbours until very recently.  It's the first time I've ever been able to hand over a bee block in person!  I was green with envy to see Suzanna's dedicated sewing room in their new house, plus her quilts that she has artfully placed around the house.  She showed me the spot she has picked out in the dining room to hang the quilt that we make for her in the Bee.  It's going to look fabulous!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Suzanna's Fun and Jaunty Block #2

Don't ask questions, let's just call it temporary amnesia.  Call it middle age hormonal loss.  Call it the first day of Spring joy.  I made another block for our March lady, Suzanna.

Happy National Quilting Day!

Hooray!  What a great day!  And to celebrate, here's a picture of the Block You Thought You'd Never See:  Jennifer's New York Beauty.  Yes, folks, that's right - we are finished at last!  What's that, you say?  This is March and that block was due in *cough, cough* February?  Yes, well, let's just draw a veil over that small detail.  Here's the block.  Jennifer, please say you subscribe to the "better late than never" school of philosophical thought.
Jennifer's block - ISQB