From Ugly to Prince Charming

I won a basket with some uglies…

glass 165

I bought some pre-cuts with uglies hidden in the center.

I heard that if your fabric is still ugly, you just haven’t cut it small enough so I bought a pattern that called for small pieces of 80 different fabrics – 40 dark; 40 light. (Split log cabin by Judy Neimeyer, for the record)


I bought more fabric.

I shuffled the deck according to instructions.


I made the blocks. This was not my kind of fabric or my kind of pattern. Quilting friends told me to stick with it – it would turn out in the end.


I decided I had a colour problem, and signed up for classes.

I put some of the fabrics on the back as a forever reminder.


I posted a picture on FB.


It got 1500 likes, 200+ comments and 50 shares.

Someone wants to buy it.

Go figure.

Have a great week. Thanks for reading this post.



Posted in 2017, Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Around the Block Again

This week I finished some of the best patterns of Northcott’s Around the Block Party. Let’s start with one that was a top design winner – All Around Canada from Along Came Quilting in Calgary.


Fortunately for me, the pieces were laser cut and pre-fused. All I had to do was iron them on and stitch around them. Hmm, that sounds easier than it was.

West Coast BC comes from Serge & Sew in Nanaimo, BC. A lovely scene, also done in raw edge applique.


The Red Barn Quilt Shop in Campbell River gave us Kermode the Spirit Bear that I showed you a couple weeks ago. This week I was able to get the pattern for The Great Blue Heron that comes from their sister store in Courtenay, BC. The Great Blue Heron they feature is a sub species only found along the coast from Southern Alaska to Northern Washington. It is a fishing bird whose habitat is shallow intertidal zones and lake edges. Due to shrinking habitats and their unwillingness to nest near human activity it is considered a species of ‘special concern’ in Bristish Columbia.


I finally got some patterns from Saskatchewan. Stand On Guard comes from The Sewing Machine Store in Saskatoon. It was kind of nice to get back to piecing. I quite enjoyed making this one.


The Sewing Machine Store also has a store in North Battleford. We Remember will need a special spot on my quilt, with it’s 3-D poppy and machine embroidery.


Block Party comes from Les Ateliers Quilt et Coton in Gatineau, Quebec. It is the only participating store in that province, and I was thankful for a former work colleague that made the effort to get the pattern for me.


We started with the west coast, and will now go all the way to the east coast. Sheila from Sheila’s Quilt World, went to Atlantic Fabrics in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia and sent me Unit 4 – the letter A. I have never met Sheila, but after following her blog and participating in her quilted postcard exchanges, she feels like a friend.


We soon realized that Atlantic Fabrics has six stores and a person needs to collect patterns from all six stores in order to spells CANADA. I have Units 4, 5 and 6 (ADA). Two more are coming but we don’t know which letters they will be. The only one missing is from Greenwood, NS.

I was going to wind this up but obviously, I need to collect the remaining Nova Scotia pattern and collect at least one pattern from Ontario. People are starting to ask how many quilts I am making. That is a good question!

Have a great week. I hope spring has sprung where you are.

Posted in 2017, Canada 150, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

What’s Your Mood?

moodHere is my Mood Board. It has been ‘in my head’ for at least 2 summers as I clipped and collected pictures out of magazines.

This week I thought we might take a break from the TransCanada Block Party and give you something to make if you should so desire. This project is lots of fun.

You may be asking what is a ‘Mood Board and how is it different from a vision board?’

A Vision Board is all about goals, blah, blah, blah. Sorry, did I say that? It was my inside voice speaking. After a lifetime of working, it’s nice to be spontaneous and not necessarily worried about numbers or goals, so I don’t have a vision board.

A Mood Board on the other hand, is a mini-collage that expresses who you are. It is a way of branding yourself. It reflects what you like, and what you want your work to convey. A mood board can guide your buying decision. It will help you organize your work and eliminate clutter. In other words, it provides focus.

My tagline is ‘modern quilting with a touch vintage’. I like modern, I am selective on the vintage side, I like rustic, and I like nature. My Mood Board reflects all of that. It is a little bigger and more colourful than it should be, but so be it. It reflects me.

Grey is ‘my little black dress’. It goes with everything. Grey & red, grey & purple, grey & yellow, grey & orange, grey & blue… What this exercise did was help me identify the values of these colours I like, and percentages.

Take a look at the grey, yellow and orange picture. When I think of pleasing moods, I think of sitting on the dock at the lake, watching a sunset. That is the intent of these colours. If I made a quilt to reflect this mood, it would be mostly grey with several shades of yellow and just a splash of orange.


Here is the blue/green section. It is calm, natural, and I can just picture having a cup of coffee at the bistro table. What a lovely morning! Also natural is the birch bark. Nature provides us with many colours and textures as inspiration.

I love the modern and rustic elements of the grey & red picture – it just needs some quilts on the sofa!

You can see that I simply can’t commit to just one set of colours, one era, one style of quilting, or one of anything. For now, though, this is the Mood Board I am going with. I might add a few details if I come across things that fit. But I am also going to start a new collection of pictures and objects so that I can come up with a new Mood Board in several years.

If you would like to give this a try, here are some suggestions…

  • Go through a ton of magazines/flyers and cut out things you like. Don’t limit yourself to just quilting magazines. Cut out anythings you like -pictures, sayings, and words. Cut it as small as possible to eliminate any of the noise around it.
  • Go to hardware or craft stores, and pick up some paint chips and/or scrapbooking papers in the colours you like.
  • Go to antique stores, second hand stores. Walk around the house, around the block and anywhere else you feel like. Collect everything you like – buttons, trim, thread, bark, seeds, rocks, feathers.
  • Go through your pictures and look for shapes, textures and colours you like.
  • Make prints of cartoons, sayings or people that inspire you.

Once you have a good collection, sort it into piles

  1. Pictures that reflect a mood you like
  2. Colours you like
  3. 3-D items (like fabric, lace, thread, rickrack)
  4. Sayings or other inspirational things
  5. Fonts you like
  6. Storage or furniture ideas
  7. Discards (but don’t throw away yet)

Now look at each piece & decide what it is that you like about it. Is it the colour, is it the lines or textures, is it a single elemnt or a combination of elements? Maybe it is how the picture makes you feel. Set aside your favorites.

Next, start playing with fabrics. Work on several colour pallets if you like. Group fabrics and paint chips. Start eliminating colour, paint chips, and pictures until a pattern starts to emerge. In the end it is recommended that you use only 3 colours. For your main colour, get 4 paint chips – a light, 2 medium and 1 dark. For your second colour, get 3 paint chips – 1 light, 1 medium and 1 dark. For colour #3, get just 1 paint chip.

Once you have some patterns and colours working for you, step away for a few days and come back with fresh eyes. It is recommended that you make a decision on 1 style and 1 colour pallet. Eliminate more items that don’t match.

Make your Mood Board. Tape the chips together and use them for shopping, storage and organizing. It will save you time and money.

Mine has only been on the wall for several weeks. I love looking at it. It keeps me focused on projects I want to do. It helps me let go of things that are not worth my time.The sayings inspire me and it helps me make colour decisions.

I hope you give this a try. Have a great week.

Posted in art, quilt along, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Party Continues

Ken’s Kitchen has been sending recipes, but it has been awhile since I posted any. This seems like a great time to give you a couple. After all, what is a party without food?

Dear hubby got a cast iron skillet for Christmas so both of these recipes were made using the cast iron. When its too cold to barbecue but you are want to make a nice steak dinner, try this T_Bone Steak. It was delicious. Not in the mood for steak? Then I recommend the Chicken Cacciatore .

Back to our Northcott TransCanada Block Party.

I promised you some more challenging blocks and yes, they were. The most challenging one of all so far has been the Star of Hope from Di-Versity Quilting Supplies in Pritchard, BC. 128 pieces in the star alone. 45 degree angle cuts. Fussy cut centers. Inset corners. Thankfully, strip piecing made it manageable and I only had to make one! Somehow we managed to get it of hope

O Canada comes to you from The Fabric Addict in Lethbridge AB. Their design was tied for first place and its easy to see why. The scene strip at the bottom covers us coast-to-coast. This was a fun block to make. A little traditional piecing, paper piecing, and raw edge applique.O Canada

One of my personal favorites is Kermode, the Spirit Bear form the Red Barn Quilt Shop in Campbell River, BC. Kermode is a rare sub-species of the American Black Bear. Estimates peg their population at less than 400; 10% of which have a white or cream coloured coat due to a double recessive gene. I love it when the quilt stores give us the story behind their design.Kermode

The last one I will show you today is the Inukshuk from Earthly Goods Quilting in Edmonton, AB. A very simple but striking design.Inukshuk

That’s it for now. Have a great week. Thanks for stopping by and reading my post.

Posted in 2017, Canada 150, recipes, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

TransCanada Block Party

I am having a blast with Northcott’s TransCanada Block Party! Last week I showed you the first 4 blocks I made. This week I have a few more.

This first one is a barn that comes from Pleasant Valley Quilting in Armstrong, BC. They designed the barn because they have a large agricultural community and are home to the Barn Quilt Tour. It really does represent Canada; it could apply to any one of the 10 provinces.


Also from British Columbia, is Canada ‘Heart’.  This comes from Katja’s Quilt Shoppe in Kamloops, BC. Very simple but effective.


Moving to Alberta, here is True North Sea to Sea to Sea from Quiltessential Co, St. Albert, AB. I love the reference to the 3 oceans that surround our country. We often think of the Atlantic and Pacific, but seldom think of the Arctic.


From the small town of Mannville Alberta, the Village Treasures Quilt Shop choose the traditional block of Wagon Tracks for their Canada 150 block. This was chosen because Mannville was situated on the Victoria Trail from North Battleford to Edmonton and many wagons traveled this trail delivering supplies before the railway was built. wagon-tracks

Country Stitches in Winfield AB does not explain their block, but they had mountains  on the horizon line, above lines of traditional Hudson’s Bay colours and a Canada Banner at the bottom. I made a substitution of Canada trivia for the banner.winfield-ab

Manitoba only has 2 blocks. Last week I showed you the one from Arborg. Here is the other one that comes from Oma’s Quilt Shop in Grunthal Manitoba.


So,that covers Manitoba, a few from British Columbia and a few from Alberta. Definitely know more people west of Manitoba than east. If anyone in Ontario or Nova Scotia wants to help me get blocks that represent their area, please contact me.

Next week I hope to have a few done that look more challenging. Today I started working on one that has flying geese, a maple leaf, paper pieced trees, a scene with 41 pieces of raw edge applique, plus embellishments. It should be interesting.

Posted in 2017, Canada 150, challenges, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Seeing Red

I have fallen in love with the colour red.

It wasn’t planned. The last red & white item I made during decades of crafts and custom sewing was a hounds tooth ‘blazer’ when I was in high school. Now that was a looooong time ago!.

But it happens to be Canada’s 150th birthday this year. To celebrate, I was going to make one red & white quilt. Yes, that was one.

Here is a preview of the quilt I started with along with one of the lovely fabrics I found by Moda. I decided to use a strip of it in each block. Subtle Canada.

The blocks are done and up on my design wall. Everyday I rearrange one or two. The big decision is whether to quilt it myself  (insert fear and trembling), or send it out.

A jelly roll that turned out to be half a jelly roll (insert annoyed!) meant a trip to all the local quilt stores (not so annoying) and a whole lot more red fabric to work with. Do you know how hard it is to find red these days?

So after using a mere 2 1/2″ strip from each, I have a small red stash. More than enough to make a small red & white wall quilt to be donated to the Manitoba Craft Council for their Red & White Quilt Exhibition , but what to make?

For Christmas I received Volume 3 of Our Quilting magazine. It had an article on making zenties. Now you can insert crazy. They are fabric mosaics using 1″ scraps with seam allowances folded under, and then appliqued on to a background fabric. zentiesGoing with the theme of Canada’s 150th, I decided to make one with 150 squares. Well, that certainly used a lot of fabric! Not.

Then a friend came back from British Colombia with patterns from Northcott’s TransCanada Block.Party. Each participating quilt shop across Canada designed their own block using Northcott’s Sesquicentennial fabric line. The only problem is you have to visit the quilt store in person in order to get the kit. Some are pretty fabulous. Check out and vote on the top 10 on Northcott’s FB page. This is similar to the row-by-row, if you are familiar with that.

A number in my quilt group got excited about making a quilt using the Northcott blocks. I tried to resist, but did not succeed.  Soon we were comparing notes and contacting friends across the country to visit their local quilt stores to purchase kits. Here are my first 3:


Addie’s Foothills Scene, Cochrane AB


Simply Canadian by Family Fabrics, Arborg, MB


Toque by Heather’s Fabric Shelf, Kamloops BC

BTW, does anyone know someone living in Selkirk, Ontario? I just have to have the mitten block to go with the toque!

Since we have only 2 stores in Manitoba that are participating, our small group decided to design a block. One thing led to another. That block is still under construction, but here is one I designed just for this blog. So, YOU WILL ONLY FIND THIS PATTERN HERE! Totally unofficial, but feel free to print and use the pattern called winterpeg.


  • blue for big prairie sky, and our thousands of lakes
  • gold for all the fields of grain we produce
  • red and white because we are part of Canada
  • prairie points – a salute to our quilting heritage
  • and snowflakes. How could I not? We are known as Winterpeg, after all.

These are the fabrics used in the block:

redIf you want to locate quilting stores that are participating in your area click here for Northcott’s map of quilt shops and locations. They also have a contest with prizes for winning quilts. You have lots of time to get this done. Join us in the fun.

Christmas everyday, this quilting is.


Posted in Canada 150, my patterns, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

First Finishes of 2017

When it’s time to clean your house, where do you start? I start with the bathroom. It is the smallest room and not the most pleasant of tasks. It feels good to have it done – a psychological check mark.

I approach a quilting list the same way. Whatever is fastest or the most of a ‘chore’ gets done first. That way I am free to reward myself and can look forward to working on that next new exciting and stimulating project.

So, finally I have some finishes to show you. Not very exciting finishes, but finishes none-the-less.

My first 3 finishes are donation quilts. Actually, a very kind friend pieced the tops last year when I was swamped but they were in the ‘waiting to be quilted’ backlog.

True to form, I started with the one I thought would finish the fastest. It didn’t. It actually took the longest. On the positive side, it challenged my creativity and gave me lots of free motion embroidery practice!

My initial plan was to quilt calm water lines that I thought would go well with the fish fabric. I can’t draw straight lines. What made me think I could free-motion straight lines? But once you start, you have to keep going. I finished it. And hated it. Then it hung on my design wall where I looked at it everyday until I decided to try adding waves and bubbles. What was there to loose? It meant going over every line again, and adding bubbles. Lots more stitching, but I think we made it presentable enough to gift. YOU know I was covering up a mistake, but anyone else looking at it will think it was planned. Ha. Fooled them.

For quilt #2, I wanted to play with the design of the blocks. This time I was going to quilt with the feed dogs up and I wanted to practice using the quilting rulers I bought in Houston. rulersWhy did I buy the biggest, most un-ruly rulers????! Let’s just say I need a ton more practise! Fortunately the fabric was very forgiving. This went a LOT faster. Some boy or girl will love this quilt with it’s jungle theme and cozy fleece back.

Quilt #3 has been in my closet for 6 years. I know that because that was when I was going to be grandmother for the first time. I was a very new quilter and thought this panel was an easy way to make a quilt. It wasn’t; it would have been easier to make my own. When my granddaughter turned out to be a grandson, the panel was abandoned.

The same thing happened 3 years ago. Now, with no granddaughters in sight, it really was time to get this quilt done and out of the house. This time I tried the curved ruler. I really should have watched the UTube video first. This ruler is actually suppose to be used for feathers! My apologies to whoever gets this quilt. Trusting that it will be a baby and they won’t be looking at the quilting lines.donate2

These 3 quilts will be going to our guild’s ABC quilt program. ABC stands for Adults, Babies, Children. They donate quilts to many worthy causes including children’s hospital, Neonatal units, Healthy Start for Mom and Me, Women’s shelters, Crisis Pregnancy Centre and more. I feel privileged to belong to a guild that does such great work. Thanks, ladies.

Quilt #4 is a small quilt made in a class taught by Heather Lair that also goes back many years. Heather was a talented and very well respected Manitoba quilter that I met one day when I walked into a Quilt Store in Gimli Manitoba. She was so kind and encouraging that I just had to take a class from her when it was offered. That class was one of her last as she passed away shortly after. This little piece has been sitting in my sewing room all this time because I didn’t have any ideas on how to quilt it. It was time to just get it done, so here it is.

So, that is 4 finishes and I am actively quilting another 2. (A few hours of free motion a day is all my eyes can handle. For some reason I forget to blink. Does anyone else have that problem?) One quilt is back from the Long Armer and another is ready to be picked up. So now my backlog will be at the binding stage. There is hope that we are making a dent.

Having said that, I just started another 3. I am so excited about them I can hardly sleep! The quilting wheel continues to go around….


Posted in 2017, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

No to UFO’s

The 1 Million Mile Quilted Postcard Challenge is done. The Quilt Along is done. Now it’s catch-up time.

UFO’s, for the benefit of non-quilters, is quilting language for ‘unfinished objects’. But I have decided that regardless of the number of quilts on my inventory list, I do not have any UFO’s in my closet. No, my quilts are projects. And I am the Project Manager.

Each quilt starts with a pattern or a plan. You have to source materials, decide what comes from your stash and what is required to supplement it. It has a beginning & end. And it goes through many steps in between (known as the critical path), with risk factors in each. Have you not run out of fabric mid-stream? Or made a critical mistake that affected the outcome?

I have identified 10 steps in my critical path (my inventory at year end is indicated in brackets):

  1. Future Considerations (too many to count – patterns marked, ideas jotted down)
  2. Concept Planning, working out a pattern (2)
  3. Next in the que -fabric & pattern ready, set and itching to go (3)
  4. Fabric at the cutting/piecing stage (1)
  5. What in the world do I do with this mess – set aside (3)
  6. Quilt tops waiting for me to quilt (9)
  7. Quilts currently at a long-arm quilter (2)
  8. Quilts that need binding (0)
  9. Quilts that need labels made and attached (3)
  10. Documentation, including The certificate-of-completion if it is to be a gifted quilt, and/or a picture if it is going into my records (? – I may be a little behind in this!)

According to Wikipedia, a Project Manager is a professional (no less!) responsible for planning, executing, controlling and finishing a project while managing the triple constraints of cost, time and scope. Do we not do that?

Quilting is not cheap but we manage that the best way we can -buying on sale, trading fabrics, using recycled clothing if necessary.

Time is relative, especially if quilting is your retirement job! But once again, we manage project on a stage by stage basis. Certain stages are great for working on retreat days. Some are done in front of the TV. Others are better done alone when you can focus on the task at hand. Sometimes it is better to outsource parts of it or form teams. All of this is done with families and other life circumstances in mind (think multi-tasking!).

Scope is a good one. You can run out of a certain fabric, you might run out of money allocated to the project, or you might simply run out of ambition for the project. At this point you manage the risk – modify the plan, downsize or eliminate.  A quote by Lin Yutang is appropriate:

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials

For example, I have hand stitched hexi’s that were intended to be a queen size quilt. It might be ‘de-scoped’ to a bed runner.Although I had big plans for that quilt, I have lost my desire to complete it. Last month I took some partially finished projects to the ‘Go Green’ auction sponsored by our local guild so someone else could reuse the fabric. And you may remember that last year I took scissors to a ‘failed’ experiment. Having done that meant it is not on my inventory list at year end and I do not have to look at it. Very freeing!

There is no question where my quilts are stalled. Of the 9 quilts ready to by quilted, 3 are donation quilts, 3 are class quilts, 2 are art quilts, and 1 is a whole cloth quilt (that I am afraid to start). I have an appreciation for great quilting, but I am not there yet. Practice, practice, practice.Yes, I have lots of material to practice on.

We are quilt professionals. Well, maybe not perfect – yet. No professional is. They all start somewhere, and usually get better with experience. What you do is important, so keep at it! And only you can decide how many projects you can manage at any given time.

Have a great week. Since doing my inventory I have worked at finishing a few – but also started some new ones. More of both next week…

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

New Year’s Resolutions

I missed the Julian New Year. I missed the Gregorian New Year. Thankfully, there was still Chinese New Year. Not that I am Chinese. But I have a few Chinese friends who have adopted us as friends, so I feel somewhat entitled to use it.

Usually at year end I tidy my sewing room, review my unfinished projects, and get organized.

I did tidy. I did review my unfinished projects (more about that another day). I tried to get organized.

As for resolutions, cross off 2016. Insert 2017. My New Year’s resolutions for 2016 were so good, I am going to repeat them in 2017. Without the numbers.

new-year-resolutionsExercise mind, body and soul.

Exercise the mind. More specifically, the right side of the brain.The original resolution was to ‘look for art everyday.’ At the beginning, I didn’t know where to start with this resolution, so I just took pictures – of reflections on the wall, of food, of snow.

Then I realized as you focus on something like art, it just appears everywhere around you. Tidbits can be picked up from people, from books and from observation. The key is to pay attention.

Art is on my list because I feel somewhat deficient in this area. Seldom do I look at one of my original projects and think – Wow, I really like that. In 2016, the postcards were a great place to practice art on a small scale. In addition, I did 3 art quilts – one was okay, one was cut up (because one bad decision in the end ruined it), and one is sitting in the “what in the world do I do with this” pile. There is still hope for that one – barely.

So, this exercise is about continued learning, absorbing and practicing.

In this coming year you can expect to see more art exercises, posts of my discoveries , my musings, more ‘mad scientist experiments’ and non-quilting art projects. These I consider cross-training.

Exercising the body is about quality of life. Long term. Quilting is a sedentary activity, with risk of repetitive strain injuries. We should do whatever it takes to get us moving more.

I had great plans in 2016. 5000 steps a day (half of the recommended 10,000); at least one 10k; stretch bands for strength training, and a strategy for sewing that included an ironing station at the other end of the house.

That didn’t happen. A fall on ice, a poisonous spider bite, and many weeks travelling took its toll on this goal. However, exercising the body is important so this goal will always be on my list. Maybe numbers aren’t important. Variety is. I belong to a fitness center that is very inclusive and has great classes. University students along with seniors, the abled along with the not-so-abled. All are welcome. Classes mean I don’t focus only on the things I like, to the neglect of things I don’t like.

You won’t hear much about this goal after today; it is more on the personal side. But writing it down makes me accountable. This time, I REALLY did not feel like starting at ground zero again, but I have learned not to beat myself up when things go south. I just try to go back to the basics when I fall off the wagon. A little is better than nothing.

Exercise the soul: Admittedly, the above 2 activities feed the soul. But this goal is about application. It is about creating. It is about expressing something inside and using fabric to do that.

Patterns have their place. Kits have their place. Pre-cuts have their place. And I will continue to use all of the resources out there when I want to make a quick quilt or when I want a greater chance of success, but they are not part of my resolution to exercise the soul.

Quilts that exercise the soul require a vision, a purpose, and lots of personal investment. They are more likely to be an art or wall quilt; they will express a concept, a story or a thought. There is risk involved. Things can go wrong at any step in the process. In the end, these projects may or may not see the light of day. Do I have the nerve to share bad results with you? Of that, I am not sure.

Hopefully, my first goal of exercising the mind will eventually help get me to the point where successes outnumber the failures. My goal is simply to finish one of these quilts this year – and love it when it is done.

But for now, have a great week! Happy New Year! Gong Xi Fa Chai! Welcome, Year of the Rooster. chinese-new-year


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2017 Quilt Along – Part 4

We are on the Home Stretch! Today we will put our Traveler’s Hand Stitching Book all together.

The instructions here might look intimidating, but just take it one stitch at a time and it will all come together. It is not difficult, just a little bulky in spots.

As you are attaching the pages, feel free to reinforce key areas such as the pocket, zipper, flap etc. with some back stitching for extra strength as you sew over them. Use 1/4″ seam allowances for all seams. That should be right along the fusible fleece line. Also, keep the basting stitches in mind. Sew to the inside of the stitches, as you don’t want them to show once you turn your book right side out.


The inside will be constructed in 2 sections. In preparation, cut two spine strips that measure 11″ x 1.5″ and one strip that measures 11″ x 1″.

Next, cut up the plastic canvas. If you have long sheets (10.5″ x 13.5″), you will need two. Cut both as shown and you will have very little waste. If you have short sheets of plastic canvas, you will need 4 sheets. Cut two of each size – 10.5″ x 7″ and 9″ x 6 1/4″.

Attach Pages 1, 2 and 3 to the Outside Cover

Here are the pieces we will be working with for the first section:2017qal4b

Step 1:

  • Finish pages 2 and 3 by sewing the top (where the magnets are) and both sides together with right sides facing each other.
  • Clip corners and turn right side out. Press lightly.
  • Insert one of the small pieces of plastic canvas. Trim the plastic canvas if necessary so that you have a nice snug fit. You do not want it too big so that it buckles, or too small that it slides around. You also want it to be shorter than the finished page by a little more than 1/4″ at the raw edge. I did not have to take any off the width but did cut 3 rows off the plastic canvas at the bottom.

Step 2:

  • Place a wider spine strip at the raw edge of page 2, and the narrow spine strip at the raw edge of page 3. Note: The spine strips are 1.5″ longer than the pages. Leave 3/4″ extra at both ends.
  • Sew the spine strips together with pages 2/3 sandwiched in between. Make sure not to include the plastic canvas in the seam.


Step 3:

  • Center page 1 on the wider spine strip, so that it is opposite page 2.
  • Sew spine and page 1 together. Press lightly.2017qal4g

Step 4:

  • Lay the Outside Cover down right side up, with the flap on the left.
  • Fold the ends of the finished flap down and pin them so that they do not accidentally get caught in the stitches. 2017qal4h
  • Place Page 1 right side down, on top of the Outside cover,  matching the left corners.
  • Flip the finished page 2/3 combo to the right side and pin, just to keep it out of the way.
  • Sew starting where the narrow and wide spine meet, leaving the narrow spine unstitched for the time being, then sew in a U around Page 1, and back over the wider spine piece. Stop at the seam where the wide and narrow spine meet. You will be sewing through the Outside Cover, Spine, Casing, Flap, and Page 1, including pocket.2017qal4i

Step 5: Unpin page 2/3, and flip to the other side. Set aside.

Attach Pages 4, 5 and 6 to the Outside Cover

Here are the pieces we will work with for the next section:2017qal4j

This is a repeat of the first section except that there is only one spine piece.

Step 1:

  • Finish pages 4 and 5 by sewing the top and sides RST.
  • Clip corners and turn right side out. Press lightly.
  • Insert one of the small pieces of plastic canvas, trimming if necessary.

Step 2:

  • Place the remaining spine strip RST at the raw edge of page 5 leaving 3/4″ extra at both ends.
  • Sew the spine strip to the page 4/5 combo, enclosing but not stitching through the plastic canvas. You will still have a raw edge at the bottom of page 4. This is where we will turn it right side out later.

Step 3:

  • Center page 6 on the spine strip, so that it is opposite page 5.
  • Sew spine and page 6 together. Press lightly.

Step 4:

  • Lay the Outside Cover down right side up, with the section we completed earlier on the left.
  • Place page 6, right side down on the other side of the Outside cover. You will see the lining of the zipper page and page 4 (the magnetic page). Flip page 5 to the left so that pages 2 and 5 are facing each other. At this point, the magnets at the top of the pages should be REPELLING each other. 2017qal4l
  • Fold the spine seam over 1/4″ and sew the spine along with a U around Page 6, and back over the spine piece. Fold the narrow spine strip for a seam allowance and butt it up against the one you just made. The seam allowance of the small spine strip should be more than ¼”. Use whatever it takes to butt up against the next spine strip. Sew across the spine again. Do the same on the other side.2017qal4m

Step 5:

  • Clip corners, and grade any of the bulky areas.

Step 6:

  • Turn both sections right side out, using the opening we left between the magnetic pages.
  • Use a chopstick or something similar on the corners to get them as sharp as possible. Press the edges gently.

Step 7:

  • Insert the larger piece of plastic canvas between the outside cover and page 1, trimming if necessary. (This time I had to take off 4 rows from one side.) It should not come down so far as to cover any part of the spine.2017qal4n
  • Stitch in the ditch between page 1 and the spine, through to the outside cover. This will enclose the plastic canvas. You can use the seam from the Outside Cover where it meets the Spine as a guideline. Stop and Start at the casing line. Do not stitch any part of the casing.
  • Repeat this procedure between page 6 and the outside cover.2017qal4p

Step 8:

  • Hand stitch the opening between the magnetic pages closed2017qal4o

Step 9:

  • Sew on your button.

Step 10:

  • Cut 2 drawstrings about 35″ each and insert them into the casing. I use a drawstring threader for this.
  • Add beads at each end if desired, and tie a knot.2017qal4q

Step 11:

  • Add a clip to one of the D-rings to hold your scissors, and a pull chain across the bottom two for threads. These can be cut to size. Have fun filling your book with anything else you want. Here are some suggestions:
    • Packages of Hexi templates (page 1)
    • Bobbins of different colors of thread (page 2)
    • Ring of Swatch Buddies (page 2)
    • Name tag (page 2)
    • Scissors (page 2)
    • Small pieces of fabric for stitching (page ¾)
    • Finished pieces (page ¾)
    • Variety of pins (page 5)
    • Chopstick (page 5)
    • Stitch ripper (page 5)
    • Pen, pencil, markers, pencil crayons (page 6)
    • Thimble (page 6)
    • Needle threader (page 6)


Congratulations!!! You are done!!!

Thanks for doing this little project with me. Any feedback you may be willing to give is very valuable. I hope you enjoy your Hand Work Book for many years to come.

Posted in 2017, quilt along, Uncategorized | 2 Comments