Thursday, January 5, 2017

A New Year a New Quilt Pattern Test

After a short little break over the Christmas holidays I have started back testing. Lisa over at Counted Quilts has asked me to test a few of her patterns. I asked for "boy" ones so I could beef up my boy donations. She has all kinds of interesting quilts on her web site (here). She has tested all her patterns herself and wanted a new set of eyes to review them. The patterns come in three sizes; a wall hanging, a nap size quilt and a twin quilt. I have done a couple in the nap size and they turn out exactly as described. That of course is always nice for the tester. It is also nice to have a test that you can show.
We have been "stuck" in the house due to blowing snow and a closed highway so it has been doubly good to have new things to work with. Piecefully, Joanne

Friday, December 30, 2016

Dear sadly neglected Blog, I'm sorry

I have no stopped stitching, I have just apparently stopped talking about it here. It is that time of year when we look back and plan ahead. Looking back over 2016 involves some challenges met and others dropped by the wayside. Getting my total knee replacement at the end of April really took a big hole out of the year. Physio twice a week for 4 months kept me on the road. thankfully the road was short, just to the next small town and I cannot say enough good things about my physiotherapist. He was amazing. Even had me convinced to try Acupuncture. (And I think it helped). I got quite a few books read this year. But I did not have a favourite that stood out above the rest. Usually there is one but I have reviewed my 50 Book Pledge book shelf and did not find one I really really liked and would recommend without reservation. I must say I really like the 50 Book Pledge run by Harper Collins publisher. This is the completion of my fourth year of taking the pledge. I read 58 books this calendar year.
I have been doing a lot of testing for quilt pattern designers and that is partially the cause of my cone of silence. Most do not want anything seen or said until the pattern is released.
I treated myself to a new sewing machine last week. I did not see it as a christmas gift, more a necessity if I am going to be able to finish the huge backlog of quilt tops I find myself looking at. I purchased a Janome Memory Craft 9400 QCP. It has a very large harp and I have started quilting my first of I hope many.
As to next year, I hope to post a bit more regularly. Instagram has taken over the need to "show off" what I can show. The blog however provides details and depth that does not come with Instagram.
What I would really like for 2017 is to be able to continue doing what I love, namely making and donating scrap quilts to those in need, to read a bit of fiction and to learn a bit from non-fiction, and to maintain my limited gym schedule. Piecefully, Joanne

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Some finishes are happening

This fun quilt is soon to be on its way to a new baby. It is a bit big for a crib but should provide a play surface for a while. I tested this design for Eileen at Pine Rose Designs. She has done a number of projects that start with a panel and add various borders. I had to buy the panel but had the other Cat in the Hat fabrics in my stash. Our daughter has a friend who at age 40 has finally had a baby and this quilt is going to him.
I have been getting a few tops quilted and spending a bit more time testing. The next round of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks magazine testing has begun. I missed out on the last issue because of my knee surgery so it is nice to be back.
Last week I had plans to go to the Gathering of the Guilds in Teeswater and meet up with Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts. I ended up with an appointment in the middle of the day that made that impossible much to my disappointment so today I will settle for  Linking up with Lorna at SewFreshQuilts (here) Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, October 23, 2016

And yet more testing, but this time there is something different

Diane at Fromblankpages recently expanded her tester pool and I had the good fortune to be included. Almost right away there was a block for testing. What made this call different and I thought rather brilliant was she asked that people make the 12" block and mail it to a central location and that one person would then assemble this into a charity quilt. I have dozens if not hundreds of orphan testing blocks. But I was a little late to the party and sending blocks across the border can take unexpected amounts of time. So I volunteered to test the 9" block. For her designs she uses templates that you precut and then use when you are paper piecing. Certainly cuts down on fabric waste and makes for more efficient sewing time. The pattern is now available (here). Most of the "modern" quilters have put a rainbow spin on their blocks. I opted for a two colour block and I feel that it works. Take some time to visit her blog and view her designs. she is a very talented designer. Piecefully, Joanne

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Frequency Quilt Pattern: A Slightly Goofed up Test

Jessica over at Desert Bloom Quilting (here) released her new pattern Frequency today so now I can show my test version and apologize once more for my goof in working on the design. Jessica has a tester group and for this round she had three specialty rulers to give away to the testers to use with the assignment. The pattern includes paper templates for those who do not own a Lazy Angle ruler but for this test I was fortunate enough to get one of the rulers. Learning how a new ruler works can sometimes be a challenge but there are all kinds of YouTube videos out there to help you.
My goof was in laying out the final blocks. The big diamond in the centre is not supposed to be in one long row. It should alternate between the outside edges where it is on mine and the centre. The pattern is layer cake friendly and comes in several different sizes.
Piecefully, Joanne

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Using the design floor to arrange some bright strings

I do love making string quilts. This one has black centre strings and then every bright bit I could find. And there are enough bright bits to make at least one more just like it.
In a couple of weeks I am away for a few days sewing with my retired friends. I have missed the last two get togethers because I could not travel with my knee. So I am really looking forward to this get together. I arranged these strings and organized the rows so that this could be one of my sewing projects while I am there. Of course I think I already have enough projects packed to sew for a week and a half not four days.
September has been a busy month and it shows no signs of letting up. We had Quilt guild last week and it was great to see all my guild friends again. As usual show and tell was the highlight of the meeting. This year I have offered to do a different brick based pattern for a mini demo each month. I will show these on the blog later this fall. September went well and I am working on the October demo. I have a huge list to draw from and lots of bricks cut. I do scrappy and they expect nothing less. That and sometimes really small. So combining those two things is also expected. Piecefully, Joanne
Linking up with Cynthia at

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Playing with some scraps to make a mini

Janice and Jen got together and set up this little mini blog hop featuring the Shadow Box quilt. I got my top finished but like a lot these days it isn't quilted yet. I have admired this style of quilt top for some time. Making the mini allowed me to experiment and I must say I do not know why I delayed so long to make one. These are quite easy to construct. The original instructions were written up by Debora at Studiodragonfly (here). I will confess I studied her directions and them made some efficiencies to allow a bit more chain piecing. My mini measures 17 1/2" x 21 1/2". The coloured squares started at 3" square.
The boys have been here a lot in August. So not much has been accomplished. I have done several test quilts for some new to me designers and really enjoy that part of the quilting journey. The only difficult part is keeping everything secret for what seems like forever until the pattern is released. By that time it is such old news. My sewing room has been excavated and it is nice to be able to walk across the room and not around piles of stuff to get around the room. I am looking forward to regular routines starting up now that summer is almost over. Well it is over for the kids. We retired teachers tend to enjoy this weekend a lot more than we used to.

Please take time to visit the other bloggers who signed up to participate in this mini blog hop and see how they interpreted the directions.

The other bloggers are:Jen Rosin at A Dream and a Stitch
Janice Holton at colorcreatingandquilting
Debora Exum at Studio Dragonfly
Amanda Everest at Quiltologie
Susan Arnold at Quilt Fabrication
Bonnie Stapleton at Institches with Bonnie
Jennifer Fulton at Inquiring Quilter
Jennifer Strauser at Dizzy Quilter
Joanne Harris at Quilts by Joanne
Anja Clyke at Anja Quilts
Mary Schuberg at Needled Mom

Piecefully, Joanne

Linking up with Lorna for Lets Be Sewcial (here)