Monday, January 29, 2007


Welcome to Bones & my little corner of the blogsphere. We are starting the blog to keep our friends and family who we live far, far away from, informed of our oh so exciting lives, mainly about my pregnancy.

You see I am finally knocked up. It has been quite a process, I will give you the abridged version, wasn't getting pregnant easily and when I did, I miscarried. Was told many different reasons for this, all of them were shit, wasted my emotions and time, finally got a hard fought for referral to see a fertility specialist. During the wait to see him, had my 3rd miscarriage. At the fertility clinic had many tests to rule out possible issues, previous assumptions from my GP were proven wrong, 2 more miscarriages and 5 medicated cycles later I am pregnant. Holy crap. Needless to say I am a pro at picking up the pieces after a loss, this is a bit strange.

There are some positives that have come out of this process, although Bones and I had a rough time there for a bit, it has brought us closer in the end, I am bit more patient than I was, still not a very patient person, I can now give myself needles, which would be a necessity should I ever decide to take up heroin, and I have no problem having many medical personnel looking up my hooha, all while my loving husband looks on in hopeful anticipation that it will bring us closer to a baby. It is all really humorous if you wish to see it that way.

Now we are excited, not just yahoo we are pregnant but REALLY EXCITED!!!! We have been monitored so closely that we have been able to see a smudge turn into a lima bean turn into an alien with arms and legs turn into a moving, waving bean that kinda looks human. I gladly turned away from 'normal' pants to maternity pants, they are so comfy, at 8 weeks even though I didn't have to. Bones walks around with an ultrasound photo eagerly showing anyone that will look at it. We have bought his and hers diaper bags that I am so excited about I had to call everyone to tell them about it, then bug Bones to call his family and tell them all about it. I am crazy with excitement.

But there are times I still feel like the rug will pulled from underneath me at any moment.

And we have 3 dogs. A tiny house with 3 dogs, 2 adults and soon a baby. So I am hoping that with a blog named, Adventures with Darch & Bones, we can live up to the hype.


Monday, January 1, 2007

The Quilt Log - To Be Completed

Friendship Quilt

A few ago the A Stitch in Time Quilt Guild had a paper bag exchange. You put a few fabrics together in a plain paper bag and bring it to a meeting. All the bags are placed in a pile and each person participating selects a bag. You then make a project of your choosing with the fabrics not knowing who it is for. It was to be completed Christmas 2004 or 2005, can’t remember off-hand. I did show her the partially finished top at that point but really it is time to get this little project completed before I test my quilting friend’s patience too much further.

Hugs ’n’ Kisses

A few years ago I participated in a block exchange with an online quilting group I am part of, Machine Quilting Professionals, we exchanged black & white 9-patches with the black creating the x within the 9-patch, (corners and center). I paired it with a snowball block, adding a splash of pure primary colours in the center of a snowball block every now and again. This type of quilt, alternating 9-patch and snowball blocks is called Xs & Os or Hugs ‘n’ Kisses. Wish I had come up with some really cool name for the quilt but finally settled on a classic.

Jewels of Bali

This quilt is a result of a 2004 Block of the Month program at Along Came Quilting. I quilted the store sample of the quilt and few other of their customers came to get theirs quilted by me as well. But alas I never finished my own. I really like this quilt. That year they also participated in their other Block of the Month, Star Light, Star Bright.

9-Patch Exchange

Another quilt that was created from a 9-Patch exchange with Machine Quilting Professionals. I put together 4 9-patches to make a block and sashed the blocks with neutrals, then added 3 borders. I got rid of a lot of fabrics that I didn’t like to complete this quilt. It is no beauty that is for sure, it will be used as a camping/picnic/in the car type quilt. One that provides a cozy cushion but really I don’t give a hoot what happens to it.

Ellen’s Baby Quilt

Before I knew the sex of the baby I decided the theme for the baby’s room would be black & white with bright bugs thrown in. I thought I would throw in a few flowers here and there for a girl. This is the quilt I came up with for a girl.

Sweet Dreams Quilt

A quilt to hang above the crib.

I Love You This Much Quilt

Another quilt to hang above the crib.

Baby in the Bathtub Quilt

A quilt to hang above the bath tub.

Old Log Cabin

My mom loves old quilts, (it is in my genes to be a true obsessed quilter), and auctions and there is nothing better than rescuing a quilt or quilt top from an auction. And that is exactly how she acquired this little gem. When I got the longarm she gave this top to me to finish. It is a log cabin pattern. The log cabin block is so versatile it is amazing. So many configurations you can do and if you change the width of the logs you can get more oval or circular designs.

Odd Log Cabin

This Odd Log Cabin quilt is an example of the wide variety of quilts you can get from the log cabin block. This was to be my entry within Innovations Fabric Challenge in 2006. I didn’t get it done. What else is new? The challenge fabrics are the pinks, normally I like pink, the bright, in your face neon or fuchsia pink but this dull pink, not for me. I added the brown to tone down the pink a bit. I really like the effect, still not really me but what a lovely quilt to hang on the wall at a rustic cabin.

This is quite a difficult setting because other than the corner triangular pieces it is all Y seams. I was up for the challenge, and this is the result.

Laura’s Tropical Breeze

I made a similar quilt to this through the 2003 Block of the Month Program with Along Came Quilting. My sister saw it and LOVED it so I have been slowly making her one for the past few years. When she comes out in September to visit with her new niece she will finally be able to take it home.

Batik 9-Patch Exchange

This is the last of the 9-patch exchanges that I participated in with Machine Quilting Professionals. We exchanged batik 9-patches and this is the setting I came up with. The sashing is a black batik and the bright gold stars really set off the blocks.

Anniversary Quilt

The first year anniversary gift is cotton. So Bones decided to get me the only logical gift of cotton you could give an obsessed quilter, cotton. Off he went to Along Came Quilting where they helped him pick out some fabrics for me. He gave me pinky, corals that were very different from any of the colours that I have in my stash. On a side-note Linda let him know that when he purchased the fabric but his response was, ‘well then she has to step out of her comfort zone’. A man after my own heart indeed *sigh*. He did force me out of my comfort zone and I came across a pattern for this quilt and I immediately thought of these fabrics! The next Valentine’s Day he got me a card that had a fabric strip on it that kept to the theme of this quilt so I ripped it off the card and it is now on the backing. Thanks babe.

This quilt was made with the Stitch and Flip method. It is a loosey goosey way to piece. Instead of having precisely cut out pieces or strips, you cut varying strip widths and piece at random. It is all stitched onto a muslin piece, the muslin piece is trimmed to the desired size and put together. Each muslin piece has a colour way to it so when you put it all together you get a picture. Anniversary Roses.

Quilt Log - Finished

Love You to Threads

A good friend of ours finally met a woman who lives up to and can live with his rather particular tendencies and they were getting married. We were thrilled so I HAD to make a quilt for them and like the good little quilter that I am, left it to the last minute. It wasn’t going to get done and I had the perfect Tie-Me-Over-Until-I-Get-The-Real-Thing gift.

We were checking out a garage sale when we say this beautiful statue. It was a 70s style statue depicting a naked man & woman in a rather intimate embrace. It was that browny, gold 70s hue beautifully shaded for drama. And it was only 5 bucks! It was a bit bulky but who wants a thing of such beauty small. I wanted to give it to them with complete sincerity, thinking they would be so polite to us after opening it, afterwards trying to figure out how to get us committed for psychotically bad taste. Two weeks later they would receive the quilt, have a good laugh and not be so embarrassed that we are friends. Bones didn’t want to do it. He didn’t want to embarrass our friend, I thought it would be funny as hell, guess he now knows who his REAL friend is! As much as I am disappointed that we didn’t play that little joke on them, it was for the best. This August they will have been married for 2 years, and the quilt will be finished by the end of April. Two weeks, two years, same diff.

There is no greater gift to me than loving a quilt that I have given to threads. The quilts I have been given have been backdrops to my life, they are reminders of the quilter, what they’ve meant to me, like the one my Grandma gave me, it is her way to still give me a hug even though she isn’t around anymore. I also think it is good to love your partner in the same way, so this quilt was named Love You to Threads.

Summertime Honey Bees

I was the activities director for Patch-Wurx Quilt Guild a few years ago and received this book about group projects. In it was a pattern for this fun quilt, well it looks fun, it was a lot of work to complete it. Those small honey bees took awhile, each one was paper pieced and the head was hand appliquéd. I do love the quilt so all the work was worth it. My great-grandfather had a honey bee farm and used to give us buckets of honey when we went to visit him. We always had honey. When I finished this quilt top I thought of him and now every time I look at it I think of him. It is my own little ode to Great-Grandpa Burton and his honey bees.

Garden Trellis

This is the quilt that Linda from Along Came Quilting saved me from a real disaster. See where the green trellis is, well I wanted that to be bright pink. Somehow she convinced me not to go in that direction but use green instead. Am I ever thankful! That would have be an awful sight, a true ode to Pepto Bismol. Still don’t really like the quilt but it is done and added to my collection.

take me down to....FUNKY TOWN

Patch-Wurx Quilt Guild had a block exchange of bright houses with a black and white background and a black border. It was a great idea but really disappointing. Some of the blocks I received were definitely NOT brights, there were holes in the seams and one block even had an area were there was a selvage edge showing. Brights can be seen differently by different people so that is excusable, the rest is completely not. I may sound like a persnickety quilter here but really there are some rules in quilting you just don’t break, using selvage edges and not completing a seam are right up there. I took apart a couple of blocks and put them back together properly. The corner and center house on this quilt are mine, the other 4 are ones I received from others. There are 4 other houses that I have stashed away, was thinking of using different fabrics for the sashing, stars and borders with it to use as a colour theory aid when I am teaching.

In the end I like the quilt, I don’t LOVE it and I should because it is right up my alley being black & whites with brights but alas that is the risk when participating in block exchanges, which I still do all the time because I have found the positive exchanges have far out weighed the odd negative experience.

This quilt will be hanging in my stairwell. Believe it or not there are few bits of wall space left!

Fuschia Daisies Baby Quilt

This quilt idea came to me, subtle fabrics for a background with wild bright, raggedy, raw edge appliqué stuffed with wool images. Of course fuchsia daisies would be my first way to go. I bought the fabrics, added some from my stash and began 2 quilt tops, got them both completed. Then I found out that Eli had a sister and so I completed the first quilt for her, thinking at the time that I would save the second for my little girl if I would ever be so lucky to have one. Fast forward a year and I have designed a completely different quilt for Ellen. Good friends of ours are having a baby girl, they are due in May so I found the top and finished it up for them.

Ellen’s Raggedy Shaggedy Quilt

This is a rag quilt, never really thought of making a rag quilt. That is until I had all these leftover flannels bought for a backing but weren’t used. And of course I had to buy some additional fabrics for the back of this Quilt! These types of quilts are so easy to put together and are a great way to get rid of scrap batting. For this quilt I cut out 5” squares, one for the top, one for the back, a 4” piece of batting that is placed between the top and back. Stitch a line diagonally from corner to corner to create an X. Make 81 of these, line them up in a 9x9 grid, sew the blocks together to make the rows, using a .5” seam allowance, back to back so the seams are on the top. Sew the rows together butting up the seams. One the top is complete take a pair of scissors and make a cut along the seams every .5” or so, make sure not to cut through the sewn line. After that, wash the quilt so that the flannel frays and creates the raggedy look. This quilt has an Around the World pattern on the front and an X on the back. I love it!

This quilt will be the one I lie on floor so Ellen can play. Thought the Raggedy edges would be some added textural interest for her.

A Sweet Hug

Along Came Quilting has a Stash-Busters program where every month they have a free pattern you can receive, then you make the quilt, it can be any size, table runner, crib straight on through to a king. You show the quilt top, doesn’t have to be quilted, to the shop by mid-September your name gets entered into a draw for a $100.00 gift certificate to the store. This was April’s stash buster pattern, at first glance I didn’t think anything of their sample they had hanging, the second time I saw it I thought of all the florals I own and immediately thought this would be a cute quilt for Ellen.

The top was made from fabrics entirely from my stash, however the shop made their money on the backing! I have a tendency to use busy flannel fabric on the backings. I had nothing in my stash for this quilt. Before the quilt was completed I bought some bright floral like flannels that I was going to piece into a backing. Once the quilt was finished, the backing fabrics bought didn’t go so well, back to the shop and bought some more flannels. That is ok though, I had a raggedy idea of what to do with the flannels that weren’t used!

Central American Travels
My Wild Seester brought back scrap fabrics used to make shirts from her travels in Central America. I loved the fabric, the vibrant colours, the graphic nature of the lines, it was so appealing! They are woven fabrics so their really stretchy and I wanted the fabrics themselves to be the show-case so I designed a simple block pattern. The leftover pieces were added to the backing. This quilt hangs in my front porch. I am so pleased with how it turned out, square and lays flat.

Eli’s Quilt

Poor Eli! This quilt was meant to be his baby quilt but now he is 2 and a half and about to receive it. Originally it was just the inside portion, I added the green and additional black border to make a toddler sized quilt.

For those of you who don’t know many obsessed quilters, there is a difficulty in getting quilts done on time for gifts. You have to have patience with us. There are some organized quilters who get their quilted gifts done on time, between you and me, those quilters are weird. We have been waiting for our wedding quilt for 6 years on September 1st. Although I like to tease my mom about it, I HAVE to give her my patience or else I can’t expect any back from ALL of the people who are awaiting wedding, baby-now-toddler or other promised quilts.

Back to Eli’s Quilt, I have always loved the pattern Bugs in Jars and it seems rather fitting for a baby boy. I have been collecting bug fabric for a long time now and used some of the brighter fabrics for this quilt. The black background is used to give an extra oomph to the brights. I chose the green fabric for the small border and the bright multicoloured quilting thread for the out black border to lighten up the quilt. Around the jars I used kept to black thread so there wouldn’t be anything competing with the jars themselves. The backing is a flannel fabric filled with zoo animals. Hope you like it Eli!

Coffee Cups

The Patch-Wurx Quilt Guild has a weekend retreat into Saskatchewan every July. At this retreat 3 years ago, the quilt fairy came along to give us a small project to do. This was the project I got, 4 coffee cups. I received the instructions and the fabrics for the 4 coffee cup blocks. The sashing and borders all came from my stash. For quilting, I used different texture techniques behind the coffee cups.

Comfy Cozy Lap Quilt

Found a package of charm squares of a whole fabric line at a quilt show in Carbon, Alberta. Not sure why they appealed to me as the colours are quite dull and I am definitely more into the brights but they did and it was a good thing too. I pieced together the squares and ordered the border fabrics online. Then I found out that my husband didn’t feel like any of the quilts were his so this was finished specifically for him and it goes so well with his chair. Originally I had a floral design for the quilting but if this was to be my husband’s quilt a more masculine design was chosen, an all-over fern pattern for the center squares, and a fern vine within the border. It sits on Bones’ chair.

Reptilian Mystery

While living in Ottawa I frequented a shop called Maple Tree Quilts, unfortunately it isn’t around anymore but it was with that shop that I attended a mystery evening where this quilt top where started. A mystery quilt is one where you don’t receive a full set of instructions, after each step of the piecing process you get the next step. Only on the final step to you get to see what the quilt will look like. Found the green fabric in the small border and binding after moving to Calgary and finally finished it last month. I am not particularly fond of this quilt but it has started to grow on me. This quilt is hanging on my quilt ladder.

Midnight Daisies

This quilt was started 4 years ago after a black & white fabric exchange with Patch-Wurx Quilt Guild. I love black & white quilts with splashes of pure colour to create some fun and drama within the quilt. The graphic nature of the squares is offset by the quilting, there are daisies in the squares and swirls in the border and offset blocks. I used leftover fabrics from the top for the backing. It is now hanging at the top of the stairs on the second floor.

Butterflies oh my

Made this quilt in a class at Along Came Quilting, (love this shop, they have always been really friendly and the owner, Linda, has my back when it comes colour, see Garden Trellis Listing for the full story), about 2 years ago, taught by Joanne. The technique is called Stack & Whack. Cut out a few butterflies from the fabric in the pinwheels and border, stuffed them with wool and appliqué them on the top. Not too sure how I feel about this quilt at this point. It is hanging in my Big-Ass Machine room at the moment.

Donation Quilt

This quilt was donated to a Breast Cancer Fundraiser. It is a small crib quilt with black & white fabrics with colourful bug fabric thrown in. It is quilted with an all-over pattern, loops and bugs. Wish I had a better photo, one without some of the border cut-off but Bones took this before he whisked it off to the silent auction, I was asleep, a needed pregnancy induced nap.