Thursday, 29 September 2016

The Road to Home Row Along - Day 9

Thank you very much to Marian ( ) and Amy (  for hosting this Row Along and for including me in it!
I designed this row in Electric Quilt 7® (EQ7®)  since I am not a trained (or natural) artist.  Click on the 'Craftsy' button to get the pattern.

EQ7 design - Leave a comment if you would like the EQ file.

 Nowadays my road to home is long and beautiful, because often I am travelling from visits to family and friends in southern Ontario in Canada to the west end of Manitoulin Island (the largest freshwater island in the world!) which is located in the northern section of Lake Huron, west of Sudbury, Ontario and east of Sault, Michigan in the United States.

The Island is home to a number of towns and villages, situated among lakes, farms, logging operations and quarries.  And quilters!  Since we enjoy mostly rural life, most of the families can boast of at least one quilter in the family.  There are two guilds, a club and several quilting ‘bee’ groups on the Island and many, many more quilters who just stay at home and quilt on their own.

After thinking about many ‘roads to home’ in my life, I chose the actual drive I take up Hwy. 400 to Sudbury, west on Hwy. 17 then south on Hwy. 6 from Espanola to Little Current.  After that, I travel Hwy. 540 to the west end of the Island and home.  I visualized this road trip as a movie and decided to design it as a movie or film strip with five blocks illustrating the drive I take.  The quilting (or piecing) challenge I decided to attempt was to improve my curved piecing techniques that I learned from Gourmet Quilter at  I have tried this a few times, but I wanted to do it enough that I could do it easily.  I certainly recommend her video tutorial!

Block 1
 This block symbolizes all the rock – granite and quartz, etc... that has been dynamited and pulverized to create the highway to northern Ontario

From Espanola to Manitoulin Island, there is more rock and the windblown trees memorialized by the Group of Seven – amazing Canadian artists.  .  ‘Stormy Weather, Georgian Bay’ by F.H. Varley, in the National Gallery of Art  is just one example of the type of scenery we have in this area

Block 2
I wanted to show a barn quilt even though our barn quilt trail isn’t quite complete yet!  Of course, if I had wanted to feature the wildlife, I would have had to show you whitetail deer, sandhill cranes, Canadian geese, hummingbirds, loons, raccoons, squirrels, coyotes, skunks, weasels, porcupines, as well as all the water life like whitefish, salmon, trout, turtles, etc....
We have miles of rail fences along the roads as well.

Block 3

Indigenous people lived on Manitoulin Island (which means ‘spirit’ island) until decimated by disease brought over by Europeans and then driven out by the Iroquois.  Early in the 1800’s Odawa, Ojibwe, Potawatomi began to move back to the Island. 
Nowadays these villages are vibrant places and each one celebrates and hosts visitors to their powwows and other events (Aundeck Omni Kaning, M’Chigeen, Sheshegwaning, Zhiibaahaasing, Sheguindah & the unceded reserve Wikwemikong).
At the entrance to Aundeck Omni Kaning is a welcome sign and a tipi, so I’ve included a tipi in my block.

North America is called ‘Turtle Island’ by the indigenous people so I had to include a turtle as a symbol.
The medicine wheel is a symbol of life and many aspects of the cycle of life:
· The  east is red and symbolizes Spring, growing, physical care, nutrition
· The south is yellow for warmth, Summer, breath and emotions
· The west is black for Fall, adults, water and spiritual health
· The north is white for Winter, dormancy, education and fire
These are the optional symbols that I have included, but of course there are many other items that could have been included.

Block 4

 I approach my home and in the summer, I can see the beach furniture and toys out on the beach (when the grandchildren visit).  Then there’s lots of activity on the beach and hours of fun.  Without the young people, it’s a pretty quiet place and I’m either working in the yard and beach or quilting! 

Block 5

How could I finish a road to home without a sunset?  I couldn’t.  My friends and I share photos of beautiful do millions around the world, I know.

I hope that you find something of value in the row I have designed!  The challenges involved in designing it have certainly helped me improve my skills with designing appliqué pieces in EQ7®.  This is a great computer program that will enhance the work of every quilt designer!  From designing quilt blocks to colouring the thousands that are included in the program ; to designing quilts, quilt labels, photo quilts and so much more....EQ7® is amazing!  Not to mention the company’s support of their software!  I’ve been using computers since the first personal computers and have never seen the level of support given by the staff at Electric Quilt.  They should all win awards for their efforts!

Thank you for visiting my blog!  Please enter for our giveaways today!
 Anita Goodesign

 Quilters Dream

Besides me today, there are 3 other bloggers presenting their rows:

Quilted Fabric Art at

Pamela Quilts at

QuiltFabrication at

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Road to Home Row Along - Day 8

Well, I'm really 'late to the party' today!  Everybody else doing the Road to Home Row Along has posted and I'm just doing it now.  I just returned from my annual quilt retreat at Red Lodge on the east end of Manitoulin Island.  September is beautiful around here and being at the retreat for a few days is even better.  The food was great, the rooms were great and quilting together with the others just made the retreat wonderful!
On the last evening, we had a 'show n tell' of some of our projects and I'd like to share some of them with you:
Connie's Stars

Melissa's Dear Jane (in progress)

Evelyn shows a quilt that Melissa quilted for her

The Hebert family - their 21st September to meet and quilt!

Melissa's herringbone top

Margaret and Helene worked on Hunter's Star tops

Janice's amazing miniature paper-pieced centre

Melissa's Rainbow

Rose shows the centre of the mystery quilt

The bloggers presenting today are:
Seams to be Sew at

Batts in the Attic at

Creatin’ in the Sticks at

Sue Griffiths Featured At Just Let Me Quilt at

Thursday, 22 September 2016

The Road to Home Row Along Day 7

Today I finished about 35 vinyl bags from the design on .  But I made a ‘switch-up’ with the tops of the bags – I used old metal tape measures that I was saving for a project.  I liked the tutorial for using tape measures, but the thought of using vinyl for the sides was more attractive.  All my fabric is on open shelves because I need to see what I have, so see-through bags is a great idea.
I ended up with 3 different sizes of tape measuring tapes that had broken and some vinyl I bought years ago.  
I gave up on her idea of using scissors to cut the tape and bought a metal cutter at the hardware store for under $20 and well worth it!  I also covered the ends with masking tape once I had cut them.
If you look at the pattern in the link above, you’ll notice that the size of the top piece depends on the finished size of your bag.  I had 3 different widths of metal tape:  ¾”, 1”, and 1 ¼ “.  Because I didn’t have enough vinyl for the size made in the tutorial, I decided to make them finish up at 6” wide x 5” high.  So for the top pieces I cut:
-          For the ¾ “ tape pieces – 7”wide x 3 ¼ “ high (enough space to insert the tape)
-          For the 1 “ tape pieces – 7”wide x 3 ¾ “ high
-          For the 1 ¼ “ tape pieces – 7”wide x 4 ¼ “ high
Sewing the vinyl wasn’t fun!  Luckily I had a plastic or Teflon foot for my sewing machine and that helped immensely!  But there was some slipping and the pieces were not perfect!

Bag - inside out
When I reached step #13, I didn’t sew a full ½ “ seam because when I tested it, there wasn’t enough room for the 6” tape pieces.  I sewed from the top of one side down, across the bottom and then up just to the fabric strip of the other side.  I used pinking shears to finish the raw edges. Then I inserted the metal pieces.
I had made 6” tabs using fabric strips 1 ¼ “.  I folded both sides to the centre, then folded and pressed the strip in half and sewed on each side.  I did this with full width of fabric strips and then cut the strips into 6” tabs.
After inserting the metal tape pieces, I held the tab in place (with the loop on the inside and the ends so they would be sewn into the seam) and sewed up the top side opening, sewing over the tab pieces a couple of times.
Then it was just a matter of trimming the top and turning the bags inside out.  I liked this tutorial and it could certainly be adapted to any other fabric and closure choices!

For Day 6 of The Road to Home Row Along, we have 5 bloggers who wish to present their rows.  Enjoy!

Words & Stitches at

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Road to Home Row Along - Day 6

Well I’ve had a really busy few days, visiting my sister and my daughter and her family – but that doesn’t leave me much to blog about, does it?  Sorry!  But I did pick up 3 quilt tops from my sister for our local longarm quilter, Melissa Macintosh.  Melissa did such a great job on my sister’s quilt that I delivered to her that she sent 3 up with me for quilting!

What is My Magic 8?  Well, I wanted to teach the method of making 8 half square triangle units that I found on Craftsy
I taught it then we made a bunch of them and spent a meeting playing around with them to create interesting blocks for a group red and white quilt we are going to make together.  
I am going to put my tip sheet on Craftsy as a free pattern and I'll let you know when it's available to download.

Are you ready for the next few rows of this Road to Home Row Along – I know I am!  I hope you enjoy these rows (and sign up for the sponsored prizes).  Here are Day 6's rows:
Beaquilter at

Rebecca Mae Designs at

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Road to Home Row Along Day 5

Getting busy....welcome to September for quilters (at least those around here!) – clubs and guilds are starting and for me that means that I’d better get busy with the newsletter for this month’s guild meeting!  We will be having Connie Sue Haidle visiting next week and doing a trunk show on Thursday, followed by an appliqué workshop on Friday – .  I think what she and her husband, Jerry, are doing is quite cool.  They have retired and are driving their RV around North America.  Connie Sue has quite a few quilters who subscribe to her newsletter, so she has put out the word that she is willing to teach anywhere!  I’m looking forward to her trunk show and workshop! the same time I’ll be attending my annual quilt retreat at Red Lodge on Manitoulin Island.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE quilt retreats, and if I could afford it, I’d go to one every season!  Staying at a lodge with a group of quilters who just want to sit and quilt all day (for some it goes into the evening hours) is just a treat!

So, life is busy.

My tip of the day today has to be about putting the binding on a quilt.  Yesterday I suddenly realized that I had to put the binding on my sister’s quilt because I’m going to visit her this weekend.  Yikes!  And I’m not quick when it comes to binding!  Well, this morning I made the binding, then I squared off the quilt and attached it to the quilt.  After having tea with neighbours, I realized that there was no way I could hand stitch the binding in one evening.  So I used ‘Steam a Seam’ to seal the binding to the back of the quilt and then used a decorative stitch to sew it on.  No photos yet, but I will take one to show you that I’m not going to be ashamed to show this one off!  I think it’s just fine.

So that’s my week, I hope yours is going well also.  Back to the Road to Home Row Along now.  We have 5 bloggers today who are going to show you their Road to Home rows!  Are you ready?

Don’t forget to leave your comments (these bloggers have worked long and hard to develop these rows!) and sign up for prizes.

 bdieges designs at

Elizabeth Coughlin Designs at

Cloth and Paper Studio at

Seacoast Quilter at

Patti’s Patchwork at