Alcohol Inks

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I’ve been painting lately.  With Alcohol Inks.  On Yupo paper.  I love them!  It is the ultimate in letting go.  In letting the inks do their own thing.  I’m just there to add the inks and move the paper (or tile) around and see what IT (the ink) wants to do.

Oh sure, I could try to make the inks do something specific.  I could try for blooms or landscapes or animals – but I don’t want to.  I just want to see what happens.

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I’ve tried moving the inks with straws, with my hair dryer, with a heat gun, with air-in-a-can.  Some work better than others.

Have no clue what I’m going to do with the pieces – but it doesn’t matter.  I figure it’s easier to stack yupo paper than it is quilts!

I’m still quilting.  If anything, this painting has inspired me and motivated me more with my quilting.

On the quilting front, Sweetie (Sweet 16) is back and rockin’ and rollin’.  I am having so much fun with her.  I finished a disappearing nine patch this morning and have been working on some small practice pieces for my friend Karina.  I’m doing Angela Walter’s Free Motion Quilt Challenge and enjoying it.  I’m running out of things to practice on though.

Karina’s pieces:


Fabric Swap haul


During a weak moment, I signed up for a fabric swap with the Ravelry quilting group.  Although I love the idea of fabric swaps, my frugalness (the small amount of it that I possess) usually keeps me from participating.  The cost of international mailing takes the fun out of it.


The focus for this swap was to eventually use the pieces in some kind of Gees Bend inspired improv piece so we exchanged larger pieces.  When my swap partner asked if I had any requests I told her to send me her uglies.  The uglier the better.

Well, I did NOT get ugly fabric.  I received the most delightful envelope of retro fabrics.  At least one of them is 20 years old as the selvage is still attached.  I cannot wait to use these.  We’re still working out the details for our challenge but I’ll keep you posted.


To say I’m excited about this challenge is an understatement.  ‘Who’d a thunk’ I’d be so excited about retro fabric.  Like I said in the forum, it almost ALMOST makes me want to start haunting op shops in search of retro fabrics (and I’m not a shopper).

Perhaps I should end this with…send me your tired, your old, your ugly fabrics.  I’ll give them a happy home.  Well, I’ll have you send them to my mom or sister so you can keep the mailing costs down.  I’ll pick them up in 2019.

I’m linking to Kaja and Ann for the AHIQ link up tomorrow (if I remember – I forgot last month).   They have a new invitational/challenge going on which you can read about HERE.   I am so far behind on blogs that I haven’t even read it yet – but I’m sure it will be great.  I loved the last challenge issued to use words in our quilts.  I started a new one called “My favourite word is”.  And, I have my double wedding ring quilt, with lots of words, but it isn’t back from the quilter yet.

Anyway – enough from me.  Enjoy your moments – I sure enjoy mine!  xo

9 Improv pieces


Nine more small improv pieces finished and ready to roll up and store on a shelf.  Then again, perhaps I’ll try to sell them.  And if they don’t sell, perhaps I’ll find homes for them.  Who knows.

They started with a challenge I gave myself to work through Maria Shell‘s book Improv Patchwork.  I made it through most of the book before it started to feel like homework so I quit.  I pulled my collection of Cherrywood hand-dyed fabrics and got stuck into it.


The applique circles were my idea.  I’m still into circles.  (I might have to do another squircles-type quilt just to get them out of my system.)

I tried not to put too much thought into any of them – just went with the flow.  Didn’t use a rotary cutter except in the final square up stage.


I hand big stitch quilted 3 of them and then did the rest on the Janome.


Instead of binding them or facing them, I tried a new-to-me technique of using a pillowcase turn.  I’m quite pleased with it.  I did this as my hands are getting old and weary and I want to save them for work I really enjoy and plan to keep.


The pictures aren’t the best.  I struggle to get the color right when taking photos inside.  These were taken outside early morning and they aren’t the best either.  They show the texture well, but the photos don’t do justice to the rich colors that Cherrywood Fabrics produces.  When I win the lottery, I’m going to buy a 1/2 yard of every single one of their fabrics.

I like the first one and the purple one the best.

Latest Hexie is finished!


So this quilt can finally go into the FINISHED pile (well, except for a label)!  I am glad to be finished but it was a real joy to work on.

This started with the blocks from The New Hexagon book by Katja Marek  and the booklet Glorious Hexagon by Katja Marek & Liza Prior Lucy.  The outer border was an idea from a 2017 Mighty Lucky Quilt Club tutorial.


My friend Bossy Boots and I started this in November 2016.  When developing my fabric palette, I found this musical print online and really like the rust and turquoise colors so I used that as my starting point.  As I collected fabrics, I glued them onto a piece of paper and carried it with me.  I probably ended up with 150-200 different fabrics.  Some purchased, some from the stash of friends and family.

We both ordered packets of paper templates from PaperPiecers.  I cut my own clear plastic templates to use for those pieces I wanted to fussy cut.  I also used the glue basting technique.


I loved the process of making each individual block.  Most days after lunch I’d sit in the front room and work on my blocks.  It was also fun to do this project with a friend as we would share pictures of our blocks as they were completed.  The Facebook site was very encouraging also.

The part of the process that I really really do not like is sewing the blocks into rows and then sewing the rows together.  ugh.  I’ve made 4 EPP quilts now and I always forget how much I hate that bit.  Even the paper pulling out process is ok in comparison.

Another problem I had with this quilt is my borders didn’t fit my centre.  I tried about 3 different configurations before I found one that I liked and that I could make work.


I hand big stitch quilted it with freehand triple clam shells in the centre and triangle borders and a simple outline of the cross blocks.  I used DMC perle cotton in a variegated color.  I used Quilt Lite for the batting and left over fabrics for the back.  It’s a nice weight for our climate and I know I will enjoy curling up with it as Autumn approaches.

It’s a tad bright and bold and in your face but I’m ok with that.  I photographed it on my favourite fence on the property.  During the last wind storm, about 1/2 of it took a tumble.  We might be able to salvage some of it – but the fallen part is destined for firewood.IMG_2197

I’m linking to the AHIQ.  It’s not a TOTAL improv type quilt…rather a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ type of quilt so I think it qualifies.  🙂


Year end wrap-up

New Years Eve is here and I thought I’d do a wrap-up of what I’ve finished this year.  I could just direct you to the tab at the top of the page – but thought I’d repost it here with a little commentary.


Sushi was the first finish of 2017.  I thought it was my favourite of the year but it’s my 2nd favorite (Voluptuous Woman beat it by a nose!).  This was based upon the work of Sherri Lynn Woods.  I loved the process.  The wabi-sabi nature of it.  The input from friends on how to proceed.



Next was Splendid Sampler.  It was a comfort quilt that I finished up for a friend who was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease.  One year post diagnosis, she’s doing well.  And, she uses the quilt.  It’s on her couch.  It’s always an added bonus to see a quilt you’ve made being used and appreciated.

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I did a cot quilt to add to a ‘grandmothers basket’.  I used 9 patches that I received in an online swap and made them into a disappearing 9 patch.


January also saw the start of the Mighty Lucky Quilt Challenge.  I have not been impressed with the administrators of this club – however, the lessons are valuable.  I do like this piece.  I like the rust.  It’s in my top 5 or so of the year.

I embellished my jean jacket with some Japanese fabrics and crocheted a scarf.  I actually crocheted two scarves but didn’t take a picture of the 2nd one.

I also made a few bibs and some shibori/indigo needle cases.

Another baby quilt was finished with the bib leftovers.  However, I don’t have a picture of the finished quilt for some reason.


Three more improv pieces were completed based upon challenge scores from the Sherri Lynn Wood’s FB group.  I like the taupe/red one and the pink one isn’t too bad.

I knit 3 luxury spa washcloths for my mom.  I hope she’s using them!   Mom?  They were made with really plush yarn – it was a pleasure to knit them.  I also knit two sets of fingerless gloves (one for me and one for a friend) and crocheted two sets (one for my niece and one for charity) but didn’t take pictures.


Next was Squircles – looks like this was a June finish.  This one makes my top 5 also.  Hand appliquéd.  Hand embellished and quilted with hot pink thread.  Also the border fabric was painted by me.


This is the BOM from Sue Spargo – modifications to embrace my style of improv.  Hand embroidered and hand quilted.  Ok, I like this one also.  🙂


Then there was the quilt in memory of Lila Jane.


And Steampunk.


In September I finished Split Personality – the double-sided curtain hanging between the lounge room and the dining room to block the A/C.

The last 2 months of 2017 I finished off these babies:

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Oh, and this one from a class one of the quilt groups I belong to took at a LQS.

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But my favourite of the year – is my Voluptuous Woman quilt.  I absolutely loved making this and love the results.  Thank you my friend Brooke for the woman image.  Thank you to all my peeps who provided input on her.  She hangs over the fireplace in the little house.


I think that’s it for finishes.  I have several that are close to being finished but I can’t put the final TICK in the finish box quite yet.  There are 5 tops ready to be pin basted and quilted (3 machine, 1 hand and 1 commercially) plus the hand quilting on my hexi quilt and the hand appliqué on my Ruby May top.

Reviewing this – I’m amazed at what I’ve accomplished.  I don’t know that I see a real theme revealed – which is what I was hoping for.  I do know that the quilts I love the most are the ones that start with an idea and develop from there.  The wabi-sabi style.

Tomorrow is the first day of 2018 and I will stick with tradition and start a new quilt.  For luck.  I have 2 in mind – or maybe 5.  🙂  I’ll let you know which one wins.

Thanks for following my blog!  I sincerely appreciate and value your encouragement and support.

Life is good.


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