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)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

More testing and finding the silver lining

Funny Bunny Blocks
These two blocks were tested for Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts (here). She has done many nature based designs. Last week she had this block and three others up for testing. The big one is 10" x 12" finished and the little one is 5" x 6" finished. Her finished pattern has directions for several different sizes of quilts. These were just fun to do.
Now for the silver lining part of the post. Yesterday I went to the local pharmacy to pick up some eye drops. I had phoned ahead to renew my prescription and it was to be ready at a certain time. I went 45 minutes after that time to allow for whatevers to happen. Well of course there was a big line up so I did the rest of my shopping and came back and there was still a line up so I got in line and waited. After I had been waiting for about 10 minutes a female person walked her shopping cart in through the groups that was waiting and when the "can I help who is next?" was called she just waltzed up to the counter. I will admit I pointed out to her that there was a line and we were all waiting our turn. There were still two people in front of me. So I got to wait some more. The silver lining you ask??? Three months ago I could not have stood at the counter as I did for a few moments short of half an hour so I am gaining my strength and stability back tiny bit by tiny bit. Enough negativity. I am heading back to my sewing room. Piecefully, Joanne

Monday, July 18, 2016

Welcome to Day 6 of the 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop

Thank you for stopping by.  I am thrilled to be part of this particular hop. Sarah over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict has done a fantastic job of organizing this varied gaggle of bloggers and keeping us in line (well sort of).  Make certain to visit her blog daily for the next installment for the quilt along.  She had us test the project ahead of time so that it worked into about an hour or less of sewing per day.

We have reached the midpoint of the blog hop.  Based on what I have seen so far it looks like there is something for everyone who celebrates Christmas and with a little tweaking there is something for everyone who celebrates anything.

For my turn I am going to talk about Folded Fabric Ornaments or Fabric Origami.  There are all kinds of videos on YouTube showing how to do the folding.  This I discovered after I started my love affair with folded fabric.

The red and green "flower" above started as two 21" circles of fabric and finished at just over 10" square.   I have found good contrast between the front and the back improves the final look of the flower.  I thought this one could be a hot mat for the table so it also has an insulated layer of thermolam inside, much as you would have layers of a quilt.  I layered the batting, then the back (green) right side up and then the red print right side down and stitched around the circle, leaving a hole to turn the circle right side out. Before I turned it right side out I went around the circle and took tiny little notches out of the seam.  This reduces the bulk in the seam and helps the seam lie flatter when turned right side out.  Once turned right side out and the opening is stitched, the directions for all sizes are the same after adjusting for the newer size.

The maroon and green ornament shown above started as an 8 1/2" circle, and finished at 4 1/4" square and the smallest one, next to it, started as a 4 1/2" circle and finished at 2 1/4" square.

Steps to make your own:

1.  Start with two fabrics that have fairly high contrast.  Determine the size you want and cut two circles to that size. The final product is approximately half the starting circle size and in this case a circle becomes a square.

2.  Place the two circles right sides together and stitch around the outside edge with 1/4" seam, leaving a break large enough to turn the circle right side out.

3.  Clip the curves on the seam or if using a batting take little V notches out of the seam.  This reduces bulk and allows the seam to lie flat once turned right side out.

4.  Turn right side out, press and stitch the opening in the seam closed using a blind hem or other nearly invisible stitch.

5.  Fold the circle in fourths and find the centre and mark that with a pencil on the good side. this will be covered over when you are finished.

6.  Lay the opened circle on a flat surface with the good side down or the back facing up.

7.  Fold in the curved edges all the way around (1/2" for the small, 1" for the medium and 2 1/2" for the large).  This photo shows the back of the piece with the edges folded back.

8.  Turn your piece over so that the side that has the folded over edges is at the back.  Pull each corner to the centre.  That is the spot you marked in step 5.  Stitch these four points together.  To "hide" these stitches you can add a button or a bead to this center location.

The book Flower Origami by Kumiko Sudo has this and many other flower shapes made using origami techniques. The instructions are clearly illustrated and easy to follow.

Be sure to "hop" over and see what today's other 12 Days of Christmas in July blogger, Suzy over at Adventurous Appliqué and Quilting, has to share! Piecefully, Joanne