I have finally made some more progress on my Paper Bag Roses quilt. It was so frustrating to not be able to see well enough to sew by hand! My new glasses are wonderful. Now that I can see small details again, I can get back to English Paper Piecing, which is my preferred method for sewing hexagons. As you can see from the thread tails in the photo, I baste my fabrics to the thin cardboard templates, and then whipstitch the hexies together. This flower came together twice as fast as the last one I made wearing my old glasses. Thank goodness for progressive lenses, even if they cost more than a mortgage payment!


It’s been awhile since I made any flowers for my garden. When I stitched this one I realized that I now have to get progressive lenses for my glasses. I can’t whipstitch hexies together right now, so I have switched to hand piecing with a running stitch instead. We’ll see what happens when I get new glasses. I really love these fabrics, and had great fun putting this week’s flower together.

I’ve been beavering away at a couple of quilting projects, but they were gifts that couldn’t be blogged until they were bestowed. Last night was the Christmas pot luck meeting of my quilting group. One of our charter members did not renew her membership this year, and we decided that her 8 years of dedicated charity quiltmaking deserved a parting gift. We made her a quilt:

The pattern is “Falling Leaves” by Plum Tree Quilts, and it was a joy to make. Piecing the background blocks is simple and makes a good group project. Group members contributed fabric scraps for the leaves. I am so pleased with the way this turned out, and grateful to have been present when Joan received it. I’ve already put together enough background blocks to make one for myself!

We also do a gift exchange at the pot luck meeting. In September, each member chose and submitted a piece of fabric for another member to use in making a quilted gift. We then each chose a donated fabric at random. I received a silver/cream fabric with reindeer and holly designs–a perfect background fabric. This is what I made with it:

The pattern is a freebie from McCalls’ Quilting, by Lisa Schiller. Instead of using wool, I used traditional hand applique with some batik fabrics from Connecting Threads. I did the finishing with a handsewn binding, rather than the “pillowcase” method from the pattern. The gifts were distributed by lottery, so I had no idea who I was making this for! I was very pleased that the person who won it is someone I have known for years, even before the group was formed. I know she will enjoy it.

Now that all the secret projects have been revealed, I hope I can be a more diligent blogger. Hope you are all enjoying the holiday season. This is one of my favourite times of the year.

Just in time…quilt group meeting is tonight and I just pulled the latest cuddle quilt out of the dryer.

It’s raw-edge applique over a pre-quilted base. I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. The frayed edges give it a soft, naive look. I did the quilting and bound the quilt before sewing on the appliques, so that the applique lines become extra quilting. Next time, I may try doing machine applique with the edges turned under, but this was faster and lots of fun. It came out at about 24 inches square this time, because I prewashed my fabrics before starting. The backing is cotton flannel, which shrinks so much that I find prewashing is necessary.

I also finished a pair of socks on Saturday.

They’re knit in MCN Sport, by indigodragonfly, in the “More Sea Than Sky” colourway. The pattern is Ampersand by Kristin Kapur (a Ravelry freebie). This yarn is so soft it feels almost sinful to wear! I’m sorry the photo is so dark, we’re having more rain today and my pictures are suffering. I’ll miss being able to get outside to photograph my projects when the snow comes.

It seems as though the rain started in July and never stopped. Thankfully we have a little sun this morning so I could snap a photo of the clamshells. Row 3 is done! I have laid out the clams for Row 4 already, and hope to get some sewing done on those today.

I originally didn’t have a self-imposed deadline for getting this top together. Recently, I took it along to a meeting of my quilt group to work on it a little. One of the other members, upon finding that I was making a bed sized quilt, with hand applique, remarked to everyone that I am the “crazy” one in the group!!! We had a couple of new members  in attendance, and while I just smiled in response, I was a little dismayed to be labelled as crazy in front of the newbies. Well, I will have this top pieced by spring, I have decided. Then we will see how crazy I am!

Wow, it’s been ages since I posted last! Mr. Ribbon Rose took some holidays in early September, which kept us both busy for awhile. Then I got caught up in stuff to do for another year with my quilt group, Quilters’ Workshop, and time just got away from me.

Quilters’ Workshop is one of the local quilt groups whose members make small “cuddle quilts” for the neonatal units of our local hospitals. Our group makes them for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). They’re small, usually 24″ square or less, and they’re draped over the isolette units. It helps to take away some of the impersonal atmosphere of the NICU, and the parents have from time to time written us notes to tell us how much it touched them that a stranger made something for their baby. I haven’t made as many of them as I should have in past years, so I’m working extra hard this year to make a bunch of them.

I forgot to photograph the first one I made this month, but here’s the latest:

If you have a copy of Kaffe Fassett’s “Quilts en Provence”, you may recognize it! It is a somewhat downsized version of the Sherbet quilt from that book. It was pretty simple to make, as it is foundation pieced. It shrank a huge amount in the wash, and the original 22-inch square quilt is now 20 inches by 20 1/2! Still big enough to be useful, though. I hope it gets lots of use.

I really wanted to have the third row of clams done for this post…but it was not to be. Fig Tree Inc. is partially to blame…they released a new fabric collection that coordinates perfectly with the fabrics I’ve already chosen, so instead of lots of sewing, I’ve been prepping a bunch more clams from the new fabric!

It is already oppressively hot here at 10:30 a.m., so I wanted to take some photos indoors. They’re never as successful as natural sunshine pictures. Here’s part of the clamshell quilt, pinned to a double wedding ring quilt that hangs in the dining room:

It’s a bit blurry, but true to colour at least! That last clam in row 3 is just pinned in place, ready to be sewn. Here are the new Fig Tree fabrics:

The picture is a bit dark (that tablecloth is lime green!), but it gives an idea. I keep wanting to call this fabric collection “Victoria’s Secret”! I have to pause every time I think about it to remember the name correctly. Why? Who knows.

For awhile there were not so many little creatures in the back yard. I had run out of peanuts in the shell, which seem to be the preferred snack for most of the local wildlife! Now that I’ve restocked, I’m getting visits every morning from these guys:

We call the chipmunks “the Chiclets” because we believe they are the offspring of a chipmunk we named “Chica” last year.  The Chiclets will eat dried corn from the critter mix we put out, but they prefer peanuts. So do these beauties:

I still can’t believe I scored a picture of the blue jay. They swoop in to get a peanut, and fly away very quickly. I was trying to photograph a rabbit when this bird flew into the frame. Pure luck!

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