Podcasts and BLOGS (entry 19)

Hi Ladies, I wanted to share a few of my favourite Podcasts & BLOGS with you that I listen to on a regular basis and love.

First: Alison Rosen puts out this excellent BLOG called Within a Quarter Inch – she always has so many good ideas and I love her sense of humour – just a good down to earth person with a creative heart – I can relate, can you? Here’s the link to her Podcast – it’s completely free listen to her while commuting into work and you will have a blast!!

Second: I also listen to Gene’s called Quilted Cupcake she’s also great to listen to – just very down to earth. She just did this fab one on aprons.

Third: Rachel Griffith called p.s. I Quilt she is quite gifted and creative – I like her short & sweet blog postings.

Fourth: Is my sister Lisa Jones’s BLOG called Urbane Bliss. This isn’t a BLOG about quilting or crafting although she is quite creative and is becoming more involved in the whole Pastimes Online Biz and she is an excellent sewer. She writes about her kids, natural parenting, massage as she is a massage therapist and owns her own business called Urban Therapeutics which is mobile massage. I always learn something from her…


Log Cabin Tutorial, Pizza Box Challenge (entry 18)

Hi Ya’ll, (I just like saying that as you Texan’s always sound so fun with your drawl accent)

As you know I’ve started a pizza box challenge (thanks to Boston Pizza for donation the boxes for us – so generous of them). I’m on my way to a retreat on the 2 & 3 of October so I had to get my block completed for the pizza box challenge.

I’ve always wanted a log cabin quilt but never seem to get around to making one – helping my mum right now make this beautiful one…can’t wait to see that one finished.

So I thought since I’m making one now for my Pizza Box Challenge I would do a tutorial on piecing them together the easy way.


First I found one of my favourite quilting books on blocks

Found the log cabin option pages

The block I wanted to complete (Diagram 7) and figured out my final size which will be 9″ and I wanted the one with the contrasting from one side to the other with the red block in the middle. The red center block dates back to civil war times and it generally means heart of the home. I chose 1.5″ widths for my strips.

I chose subtle blues (4)

red for the center square and tans and browns for the light side of the block

a) sew your center square 1.5″ x 1.5″ to the 1st tan as in Diagram 7

b) line up your ruler and cut the excess of this first strip off so it’s straight

c) finished center

d) add your next strip on (unfortunately I cut mine prior to taking the photo)

c) add you next 1/2 round of blues on both sides (see Diagram 7)

c) cut excess of blue off


make sure you press well on the wrong side keeping everything nice and straight

d) next 1/2 round of tans

e) remember to do both sides of the half

f) continue on until you have the desired size or equal rounds or both 😉

g) final round – press well and your done!!

any questions email me or leave a comment

Freebie 15, Block 11, Upcoming Challenges, Aprons (entry 17)

I absolutely loved this block – it is so cheery and fun!!

I was a bit worried by the amount of pieces we had to piece together but in the end, step by step, it worked out awesome.

Here’s my pile of pieces after I cut them following instructions…

Here’s my finished block – I love it!!



Now that September is upon us…all of the Guilds have started back up again and I belong to 2: Lakeside Quilters (my home town Guild in Chestermere, AB) & Flying Needles which is out in Millarville, AB. 

Lakeside Quilters I’m working on some of their projects – mystery quilt (this is when you get cutting instructions, amounts/values of fabrics and block instructions but you don’t know what the final quilt will be), Raffle Quilt project of some sort as we do this one every year.

Flying Needles Quilt Group I’m working on quite a few things – maybe over extended myself just a little 😉

Mystery Quilt – which I don’t know what it is this year as in the past I have helped with them, Jan B has redesigned this one and will be sending the instructions to me to lead

This is a mystery that we did a few years back – I embellished with the bias vine around the outside border and leaves but you get the idea.


Pizza Box Challenge: this is when you come up with the first block or the “theme” of the quilt you want add .5m of fabric and pass it onto the next person. There is usually about 9 blocks completed at the end that are yours, then you come up with the finished quilt. Here’s a pic of mine from several years ago.

9 blocks in total, the block I started with is the top left

This was my very first time with free motion quilting, here’s the close up – I’m pretty proud of my first time;)

Here’s the back I strip pieced it to use up the rest of the fabric. I also have this one for sale on Etsy if you are interested.

Apron Challenge: I made this one apron a while back and it’s hanging in my kitchen but I’m going to go hog-wild with this new challenge – not sure yet what I’m going to do but I love how big aprons are now – don’t you?


Here’s the one that is hanging in my kitchen.


My mom loves to make aprons and I know she is making a whole bunch more when we go on our retreat Oct 2nd to Rustlers Lodge, Sundre, Alberta. but here’s a bit of a preview of some of her other aprons..

Left to Right: SIL Colleen M, MIL Sandy M and me. Arn’t these the cutest aprons!! Thanks Mum!!

More to come…Valerie


Friendship Bag Swap – Finished!! (entry 16)

I was so excited about this Friendship Bag swap through Quilting Bloggers that I couldn’t wait to get right in and make one…or two *smile*

I went through my stash and found these colour which I thought were perfect!! Chocolate brown and lime green – heavenly;)

here’s my colour selection – green and browns with a few stripes!

Close up for you

First Bag finished

Bags finished – since I was making one – it took just a tad bit longer to make the second one at the same time.

Which colour option do you like the best? email me valerie@pastimesonline.ca

I love these little bags…”look out hostesses do I have a treat for you!!”



Library Quilt & Binding Tutorial (entry 15)

I wanted to have a quick tutorial on binding a quilt as I love to do binding but most people don’t and I think it’s because it can be tricky. But Practice, Practice, Practice and you will become a binding master.

I’ll take you through the binding I did for a raffle quilt that Lakeside Quilters Guild did for our local library to raise money. It is called the library quilt and this is the 3rd one we have done – the other 2 we just raffled to generate money for our charity projects.


 Start by cutting off the excess material and batting to square up your quilt.

I use a ruler to mark a 1/4″ away from the top edge – this will pad your binding

Here’s what it will look like after you trim around the whole quilt use your ruler to keep it a square as possible.

To create your binding the most general width is 2.5″, once you cut these strips, you will need to connect them together in the most non-de-script way – which is on the diagonal. I always do this in the same direction each time to perfect the technique and to not make it confusing.

Then mark on the diagonal – now make note of which way I’m marking the diagonal. Then pin to secure while sewing together.

 Here’s how your binding will look when pinning your strips together depending on the length of each strip.

Now the sewing part, I would recommend chain piecing as it’s quicker, you don’t break your thread in between until you are all finished the entire length of binding.

Here’s the first connection going into my machine.

Here’s what it looks like going to the machine in “chain” piecing. Always be careful sewing over the pins – try to go a bit slower or remove the pins right before they go under the needle.

Once all of your sections are sewn together cut 1/4″ seam allowance on the right hand side of your seam and separate your sections.

press the entire length of the binding in half


open the seam allowances prior to pressing in half

 leave a tail about 8″ prior to starting to sew your binding to quilt top – this will make it easier to connect the start to the end of the binding. 

Backstitch, then begin sewing along the 1st length of the quilt to the 1st corner, stop 1/4″ from the corner, backstitch.

bring your binding straight up to create a 45 degree angle to the corner of your quilt top.

bring it straight back down aligned the edge of the binding with the edge of the fabric – you can pin the corner if you want it more secure then just finger holding.

Backstitch and then continue along the perimeter of your quilt and

stop approx 8″ from where the beginning is – backstitch.

overlap the beginning and the end exactly the same as your binding width. 2.5″ wide binding, overlap by this amount as you can see with my ruler. Cut off excess.

place your quilt so the binding is on the far side away from you, match up the corners (binding strips) the same as you did when you connected the binding to begin with, mark, sew, cut to 1/4″ seam allowance, press.

Once stitched, pin in place on the top of the quilt and finish sewing together…all attached, the binding is complete. Now blind stitch the binding to the back of your quilt.

Binding complete!!

(any questions, email me valerie@pastimesonline.ca

Friendship Bag Mystery Exchange (entry 14)

I’ve joined this awesome site called Quilting GalleryMichele has the most organized site and she is such a huge advocate of quilters, bloggers, online and brick and mortar stores for Quilting!!

She started this Friendship bag exchange – Mystery style through another awesome new blogger I stumbled upon through Quilting Bloggers & her name is Rachel

Here’s the sample bag – adorable hey? Michelle had 288 entries for this mystery bag swap isn’t that amazing? The person I got lives in Ontario…


I’ll post pics of mine…working on it this weekend.


Gracie’s Label (entry 13)

Hi Everyone, I finally got a chance to stop by my SIL’s and get some snaps of Gracie’s label I did on her quilt (see previous blog for pictures of Grace’s Quilt).

I found these pre-printed quilt labels through the company called Possibilities and I added some extras to it. I’m so addicted to french knots now…it turned out so great.


Alberta Quilt Guilds

Please click on the image below for full view for a Quilt Guild listing in Alberta. If you would like to add your listing or modify the information in the attached please send us at the info to customerservice@pastimesonline.ca

Cutest Camera Bag (entry 12)

So, here’s the final camera bag instead of the standard “black” vinyl one with the ugly sippers and straps. This one the camera strap is the only strap, I have to add buttons and a few embellishments but it’s good to go. I love the waffle muslin inside and the chocolate brown with white flowers on the outside…

And then I added the bows & buttons!!

The buttons have to be slightly offset as the camers is offset due to the flash (Nikon D60)


After me writing about these fabric covered tins (one done to date) I have finally taken some pics…I have 2 more to go using more of the same line of fabric. I still need to add a few embellishments not sure exactly what yet. I’ve used this first one for storing my scrappy 1.5″ squares from all of the Quilts Past 🙂