Waste not

Like knitting, one of the things I love about quilting is that you’re able to use up nearly every bit of your materials, and if you’re careful, and conscious, there’s very little waste.

After I finished up the Jane Austen quilt, I had some strips left from the star border. Since they were already sewn together, I decided to chop them up into 2.5 inch pieces.

They were just perfect for the centre strip on a nine patch.

Then I gathered a few more leftovers and before you know it…

… 28 perfect little scrappy nine patches.

These nine patches will be paired with some friendship stars (still to be made), and all surround a big, beautiful flower medallion. What flower medallion, you ask… this one!

Oh Burton! You’re big and beautiful too – but we want to see that flower!

That’s better. Now, Burton and I need to go make some stars!

April’s blooming!

Mother Nature continues to do her Spring Thing. There’s been a good amount of rain, but it’s been mostly sunny. And on those sunny days, while it looks nice and warm, there’s always been a cool breeze to remind you that it’s still EARLY spring – don’t get too excited about the garden just yet.

Still… I can’t help but do so when I see blooms.

It’s mainly daffodils so far.

But I certainly won’t complain about that.

The Crocuses that survived the bunnies are mostly done now.

I got to see those pretty white ones a full day before some hungry little bun came and nipped them clean off in the night. At least I got a picture!

And of course, there’s lots more happening. I have tulips and hyacinths that won’t be far behind. And there are hints of the summer perenials everywhere.

I’ve definitely lost one of my roses, but since I moved them all in the fall, I can’t remember which it is. I suspect it’s Blue Girl – she wasn’t looking too great last year.

This little rose is doing quite well, despite the Cotton Candy Alium that’s trying to take over. When I did the moved, I thought I got all the alium bulbs up out of this spot – as you can see, I was very wrong. And now that the other tall plants that surrounded it were moved, and it’s getting more sun – it’s just gone crazy! When they are done blooming, I’ll try to dig them out and give that poor rose some more space.

The raspberry canes were starting to really bud up,

so I gave them their annual buzz cut

I never worry about chopping them down too much – I don’t think I could kill them if I tried. In another few weeks they will be leafed out and thriving! And almost back to the height before the hair cut!

And before I go, Sammy Jay finally got comfortable enough with me to come down to Squirrelington’s while I was watching.

If you look closely, you’ll notice that he’s perching on the side of the structure, not the little bench. Such a clever little Jay, making it work for himself!

I love nature!

Spring kittens for Burton

Bowing to Lord Burton, I pulled together some kitty fabrics for a new quilt

I got these pieces from Walmart a while ago, and in truth, I’ve been itching to make a quilt with them. Just like Burton (who was likely born some time in May) these are adorable spring kittens. They are just perfect for a light and airy spring baby quilt!

It also gives me a chance to practice some more no-waste four-at-a-time geese, and this fancy new trimmer Mom gave me (she loves those gadgets!). I was mostly just cutting everything to get it ready for block assembly, but you know I couldn’t resist putting just one together right away.

And as you can see,

Burton is finally content!

FO: At the Seashore

This FO isn’t mine, but Mom’s. But it’s so amazing, I just have to share it. Back in the summer of 2019, Mom joined in on the Moda summer quilt-a-long. That summer, the theme was At the Seashore, and Mom diligently followed along, creating new blocks as they were made available. Some she subbed out for other blocks not from Moda, but ones that kept the theme going. The result was a pretty amazing sampler quilt. (And it’s the reason I decided to join in with the Moda Blockhead QAL in 2020).

She put them all together into a top. And then that top sat there. And sat there. And sat there. She really wanted to fancy quilt it, but felt her skills just weren’t up to the task.

Well, as you know… since the summer of 2019, she’s been doing a lot of “practicing” of that fancy quilting, and FINALLY she got up the courage to quilt it. And I’m so glad she did.

Isn’t it amazing?????? You have to check out all the incredible blocks in there.

It’s only a lap quilt (60″ x 64″) but as you can see, there’s a lot of fun packed into that space.

It’s available in the shop now, and I’m betting it won’t be there long!

FO: Birds of Paradise

On the weekend, I popped up to Mom’s to finish up the parrot quilt. First I had to sew all the green fabric to the parrot banner. I waited to do that at Mom’s because it was a pretty large chunk of fabric, and she has more space for working on large projects like that.

It also meant I was under the snoopervision of Princess Winnifred. With her help, top construction went pretty smoothly and it was ready to quilt in no time.

I probably won’t surprise you when you hear that Mom took one look at those parrots and decided they needed some fancy quilting.

It was tricky to get a crisp shot of her stitch work, but I think you can get an idea of it here. After all 10 birds were done, she turned the machine over to me and I did my usually loops all over the background and green fabric. Not long after…

It’s a very simple design, but I think the use of batiks make it pretty spectacular. It’s a decent size too – about 60″ x 70″.

I love those colourful, rainbow birds, and the heart shape they make. If you’d like the pattern for those birds, you can get it here.

The whole thing is backed with this fun polkadot fabric. And it’s now safe in the hands of neighbour Krista who will use it to raise some money for the Hamilton Aviary. I’ll provide details of the fundraiser as soon as I have them!

FO: Thunder baby

When I finished the Thunderstruck socks, I still had a little bit of yarn left. Not as much as when I finished the Hamburger socks. Naturally the Thunderstruck socks were much wider and longer. But it was enough that I thought as long as I was creative, I could eke out another shortie pair.

And so I did! Now Rowan will have a pair that matches her Dad’s socks, as well as one that matches her Mom’s! And I have used up every inch of that Felici which makes me feel good!

I will admit, by the time I had them off the needles, I was a little sick of all that blue and orange. Time for something a little more varied. Details soon!

All patched up

As Leader & Ender blocks are wont to do, my nine patches have been piling up. It was time to take a break, lay them out and see where I’m at!

They are about 10.5″ big, so they build up to a good size quilt quickly. As you can see I have 19 done so far, but I’ve still got quite a few scraps to work with, so I think I can at least get a twin-sized quilt out of them.

I don’t know about you, but I think there’s something just so charming about a nine-patch block. I may be a bit biased – the very first quilt mom made when I was about 7 years old was a nine patch. I’m a little sentimental about it.

For this one, I think I’m going to do a nice, thin black sashing – something simple to let all those scraps really shine!

Happy Easter

I got a cute little Easter hanger from the dollar store, but that’s about the extent of our Easter celebrations this year. Oh, I do have a ham, and a some nice pineapple for dinner. I’ll probably make Dave some scalloped potatoes (I don’t like them much, so they are a real treat for him when I do make them.). But that’s it for us. In truth, Easter isn’t really a big deal for us, but I haven’t even bought myself an Easter dress this year. We’re saving all our pennies for our future house. (Still looking, but not discouraged)

Of course, every day is a feast at Squirrelington’s

If walnuts are out, the patrons still ALWAYS go for them first. But it seems otherwise, everyone has gotten up to speed on the new set up.

Even the Blue Jays have figured it out, though I’ve yet to be able to get a picture of them at the bar. They are much more wary of me than the squirrels!

April showers

The weather has been all over the place this past week. Up, down, rainy, sunny, foggy, windy. Even a little bit of snow. Still that hasn’t kept the neighbourhood critters from stopping by for a bite… and I don’t mean at Squirrelington’s…

Quite a few of the sprouting bulbs have been munched on, the but the crocus flowers seem to be a bit of a favourite.

Speaking of favourites, my favourite (and oldest) crocus has bloomed.

Until I got smart, and planted some crocus bulbs out back, this little guy was my only crocus! He’s in the front garden, on a corner that gets just enough sun to keep him coming back year after year. I love his purple stripes.

This wee little daffodil cluster is a new one from the bulbs I planted last year. It’s one stalk with five or six flower heads, and as you can see with my hands for comparison, it’s quite small.

And last, but definitely not least – this big happy yellow daffy has bloomed. And it won’t be the last – there’s lots more to come!