Little fishies became a bigger project


Isn’t it always the way.  I can never follow a pattern.  I have to adjust it. This was a row by row pattern and I am just making a simple table runner with it.  I only had the center pieces so I added a border to make it summery.  I am also stitching some “fish” sayings.




I am having fun doing the embroidery.  I am using a Sulky water soluble stabilizer.  It will wash away when I finish.


And I received two long-awaited books:


I am curious about this technique so…

And I have already started last year’s craze, “The Splendid Sampler” but now have the book:




I hope you enjoy and are inspired.  I am linking up with The Needle and Thread Network of course, a place for Canadians to share.


A little middle of the night sewing

P1020233.JPGLittle fishies.

I was rearranging some drawers yesterday and I came across this little row by row project. I couldn’t sleep last night and I finished putting it together.  I will make a little table runner with it I think.

Every time I sit in my living room chair I pick up my hand stitching and I am making progress on my grandmother’s garden hexagon quilt.  I decided to start attaching a few into rows to see even more progress:

P1020228.JPGI so love stitching this and I am getting better in the corners.

Here is the back:


I started to take out the paper because I read somewhere that it is better to take them out as you go because at the end it is a chore.

Just thought that I would post my portable tray.  I use it all the time and really saves the always-have-to-pick-up-after-myself.P1020230.JPG

Happy stitching!

6-Word Memoir Series

Yes, this is my long term project which ties my professional 9-5 job with my creative life.


I teach at a college in Quebec.  I teach English as a second language and I teach many levels and many types of courses. My classes are similar to university classes, 15 weeks of 3-hour courses so I see a lot of students in a year.  Each semester, I have about 120-150 students.  For me, teaching is not all about the subject matter but also the human side.  My students range in age of 17-21 but I also have quite a few older students too, those who have come back to school.   I love this level of education because our youth have so much to give to our future.  They love to debate and have strong opinions as well of humourous and serious ways of looking at the world.  That is why I ask my students to write their own memoirs; their 6-word memoirs.  I find it is a good way to use what they have learned in English as well as expressing themselves creatively.

I ask my students to create their own and try not to make a cliche but to play with the cliche if necessary (doesn’t happen all the time). They then have to hand in a powerpoint slide which includes the memoir and and an image(s) that reflects the idea.  The last requirement is to write the memoir onto a block of fabric.  I tend to go with the 5-inch block (I am thinking of going triangles this year).  I then play with the memoirs.  My hope is to make a series and exhibit them in our school mini art gallery.  It has taken me a long time to get here.  I still have a way to go because I am not sure of the outcome but I have started.

The big quilt at the top of the post is the one I bring into class, to explain the project to the students.  I also tell them about my dark side as a quilter and they love that idea.  When I explain the project, they tend to say that it is impossible to write only 6 words, but then I start seeing their fingers tapping on the desks; counting out their words.  Some modify their tattoos and favourite expressions.  I give 1% for this assignment and for many it is the assignment that means the most.

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This year the film controversy of Thirteen Reasons Why made it into my classroom.  My students changed the title and positive messages came out.  I like how the days’ events enter into the fold.

This spring I took a few workshops about finishing quilts in a creative way:

finish 1.JPGHere is some piping and sashing technique.  Please excuse the blasphemy above.  That is a part of a 6-word memoir.  I may do a quiltlet of blasphemous because I do get the odd one.  Students will be students.

finish 2.JPGAnother finish, double piping.

The finishing workshops really got me into gear for a series of pieces.  I had to bring sandwiched blocks to the workshop so I decided that it was now or never to start my 6-word memoir project.   I made my sandwiched pieces with my memoir blocks.  I stayed up almost all night, it was so much fun, quilting for me and simply playing! These are the pieces after my day-long workshop:

6 wordmoir all series.JPG

My design wall.

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6 wordmoir 3.JPG

6 wordmoir 4.JPG

6 wordmoir 5.JPG

So, I have some finishes to do.  This project has so many possibilities! It is positive and it really adds to my love of my job.  I hope that you enjoy the messages from my students.  People who I meet have given me their 6-word memoirs and if you care to send me a block with yours, I would welcome it ;).  After incubating and collecting the memoirs, I have a beginning and I hope that there is no end because our lives are always giving messages.  I have even started logging my own daily 6-word messages.  The sky is the limit for this project! The themes I can delve into, not to mention quilt techniques, from piecing to applique to machine quilting and embroidery.  Follow along!

I am linking up with The Needle and Thread Network




I want to quilt this 100-5-inch block square quilt.  This is ready to go and I want to start but not sure how. I don’t want to take away from the focal point of the words/messages.  Does anyone have any ideas on how to quilt the squares. I am working on a domestic and I do have the westalee rulers so was thinking of that.

Do I start in the middle?

Do I really need to anchor it? I quilted another quilt and when I anchored it I had trouble with puckering.

So may questions but I really want to get this done!

This quilt is a compilation of 6-word memoirs that my students write.  I am making a series of smaller quilts and it is an ongoing project.



I started with this:


My christmas quilt.  Jen and I put this on my frame back in January and I really haven’t had time to work on it. So I pulled it out.  I also got out all my tools:

So I started to quilt on the frame and I like to quilt coming towards me and since I am just a budding handquilter, I was having difficulty going sideways.  I am stitching in the ditch around the stem:


I can’t wait to use my christmas stencils as fillers!  So, back to the dilemma.  I took the quilt off the frame.  Sorry Jen.  It is in the hoop and it is really relaxing to stitch:


I think that it will be better this way. I will be able to take it with me when I visit Jen.  On her good days she can give me tips.  She is the queen of handquilting.  I just love watching her hands quilt. She is the one who taught me. We handquilted a quilt together a few years ago. It was so fun:

julie quilt finished 003

Memories! Good memories! Quilty Jen memories.  So, now I am back to handquilting.

It has been ages, but I am going to link up with The Needle and Thread Network


jen 1


jen 2

Jen and me.

jen finished

Jen’s motivational quilt

It has been way too long and so many things happening in my life.  Above is what is my life right now.  Jen, my best friend has liver cancer and she is in palliative care and is happy to wake up and open her eyes to each new day that is a bonus for her.  She was told on June 5th that there was nothing more to do with her cancer and she has been showing them otherwise since, albeit there are some better days than others.  She is rallying and with so many who love her, how can she not.

The quilt above is a quilt that I made for her and I gave just before the awful news of June 5th.  I started it at the beginning of  April by giving blocks to Jen’s friends who wanted to giver her words of motivation.  I gave the border pieces to her family and colleagues.  I gave them sharpies and told them to write away.  I wanted Jen to know that she had lots of people on her side.

She loved it and is still loving it.  It is on her every day and shows her that she is loved.  So, this is my life right now; being there for her.

While I am with her, I am working on my own life long project:

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My grandmother’s garden hexagon quilt.  I have a lot of flowers done and I sit and stitch them while I am with Jen and when I am at home thinking of Jen.  I have to make 100 of these.  Right now they are very therapeutic.

Life is short…too short.