Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!

My goodness…I opened up the website to write a mother’s day post and saw that this will be post number 201! Now how did that upcoming milestone get past me, I wonder? I think I better start planning ahead a bit better because surely a prize would have been appropriate. Well, never say never, and I will put some thought into that!

Meanwhile, Happy Mother’s Day to everyone, whether you are a mother or not! I have had a wonderful Mother’s Day. Look what I was served for breakfast!




I adore French toast. And didn’t he set a beautiful table, oh my! I must have raised him very well, if I don’t say so myself!





Chef Michael:








And on the sewing front, I picked up Heidi’s quilt for the first time in too long and did some hand quilting whilst we watched a movie on TV last night.



Yesterday I worked on my 3×6 bee blocks. I decided to make disappearing 9-patches this time around. Sometimes I feel badly that I make such simple blocks for this group, but everyone makes the best of their ability, and you are placed in a group by first-come, first-served. So there are very experienced quilters making some very advanced blocks in the group, and then there are the beginner “me’s” who make simple blocks. So anyway, I felt that the disappearing 9-patch was going to be a challenge – and it was, but in a different way than I had expected. The challenge wasn’t in the sewing, it was in the fabric selection. A couple of the blocks I made over because while the colours looked like they would be perfect, when the block was actually sewn, they just didn’t cut it.

So what is a disappearing 9-patch, all my non-quilting friends are wondering? Well, you start off by sewing a straight-ahead 9-patch block that looks like this:








Then you cut it into quarters, like this:









And then you twist and turn the quarters around until you like the pattern!









Pretty cool, eh?

What I learned is that strong colours work best, especially a contrasting colour in the center of the original 9-patch. All of these squares are the same pattern, and the colours I used are according to the chosen palette of each person in the bee. See what you think:

019018016014017 020








Happy Mother’s Day to you all, and especially to my own mother!

I hope you all had a great weekend, and if you’re hungry, I’ll share my French toast with you.

Bonn Appétite!


Just Write {5} – Michael’s first bike

You got your first bike when you were four because you had started throwing tantrums and daddy said no way we’re not rewarding bad behaviour but I said he needs his freedom from the daycare kids in the back yard, he is getting older he needs to be allowed to do more, trusted to be a big boy, he is asking us to help him grow up,  and so we went to town and you picked out a purple bike with handle bars that came up to daddy’s knee and white training wheels and plastic streamers in the hand grips and we put clickers in the spokes and a helmet on your head and you were allowed to ride from our house to three houses down and back again. You stopped throwing tantrums, and a year later daddy took the training wheels off and ran behind you, back and forth up and down, one hand on the back of the seat, on your back, on your helmet, hovering, hovering, until you looked back and saw him running beside you, look, look, no hands!

This is my 5th installment of Just Write, an exercise in free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments. I am linking up with The Extraordinary Ordinary. (Please see the details here.)

I remember

…your shout of glee, your sagging training pants and orange striped socks, joyful toddler leaping to daddy’s arms, flying across the open expanse between coffee table and couch without fear, without thought to falling, landing against daddy’s chest to bounce off and do it again and again and again, neither of you tiring until the last leap, ending in the inevitable knock on daddy’s head with tight fist, ‘body home? ‘body home? squealing with laughter as daddy knocked back “anybody home?” and then you lean in, slumping into daddy as he breaths in a slow breath of sweet toddler sweat as you rise and fall against the beating of his heart.




A new quilt: Mon Fils Bien-Aimé

I hadn’t been blogging as much as I’d like leading up to Christmas because I had literally been spending every single spare minute working on finishing a quilt for my son. Now that Christmas is over I can let you in on the secret!

It was in the mid -20s and windy on Christmas Eve when I took these pictures. We were both bundled up, but it was so cold, we had to work fast!

As usual, I had a little help. Sammy gave his approval on the blue binding, and had a little play of tug-o-war before I sewed it on.


I needed to have it finished, wrapped and under the tree by the time I went to bed on Christmas Eve.

I wanted to make as many of my gifts home-made this year, and from materials I already had on hand as much as possible. I had a bit of nice grey fabric that would make a good backing for a small lap quilt, and a few 5″ charm packs of Petite Odile by French General. Because I was short on time, I simply sewed them together until the size was sufficient for the backing I had on hand.


I bound it with a piece of French General Woad Blue, also from my stash.

Each square is hand quilted with red thread in an orange peel design. This is what took so long. I literally quilted until my fingers bled! Yiikes! But I got it done in time! Yay! And bonus…now I’ve got some good calluses on my fingers for more quilting in the new year!


I named the lap quilt “Mon Fils Bien-Aimé”, which is a lovely old-fashioned way to say my beloved son in French.





The quilt is sweet and cozy and old-fashioned and just the right size to snuggle under in a comfortable chair with a good book no matter how old or young you are, even if you are a young man of 27. (Santa also brought him “The Hunger Games” to read, a new mug and a selection of hot chocolates to enjoy with the quilt, lol!)

I’m so glad he likes it!


My Favourite Quilt: Michael’s “Sky at Night”

I have just discovered something very cool… The Blogger’s Quilt Festival! This is a huge linky party and there are prizes and everything – I am in heaven! I am going to join! It runs from May 18th to June 1st. Check it out!

Amy's Creative Side
The rules say that I have to tell the story of my favourite quilt, and you know me – that won’t be difficult at all!
My favourite quilt is not my best quilt by a long shot. In fact, my favourite quilt happens to be the first quilt I ever made.
It has crooked seams and the corners don’t match very well, and that’s just the way I like it. It’s perfect to me because of the story it tells.
045In 1995 when my son was 10 years old, he had a friend whose mother owned a quilt shop. In fact, the quilt shop was attached to her house, and when I would drop Michael off to play at Seb’s house I would go in and browse through the beautiful bolts of fabrics and quilting books. Seb’s mother, Dawn, urged me to sign up for a class and so I signed up to make my very first quilt ever: a fence rail quilt for Michael’s bed.
017I couldn’t believe how involved he got in the making of it. He insisted on going with me to choose the fabric. While I was busy looking for blues and greys and other “boy” fabrics, he was busy picking out his own colours.
007He chose dark navy blue with gold stars, red with black line-drawn jungle animals, gold with black jungle-like veins, a green leaf print, and a stripy black-on-black for the background. The other ladies in the shop that day were very amused and tried to persuade him that the colours would not work together. But he insisted, and so that’s what we purchased.
024When I got into the class with my fabric, I sure got a lot of ribbing from the ladies. However, as the quilt started coming together, everyone admitted that the colours actually DID work very well together. Michael’s quilt ended up being the class favourite with it’s striking and bold colours. Looking back, I don’t think the era of modern quilts had really gotten started the way it is now. I think Michael was ahead of his time. Pretty good for a 10-year-old!
037I remember also being ribbed about my sewing machine. While all the other machines were purring quietly away, my old workhorse sounded like a train clattering over the tracks! Actually, that’s still my sewing machine, and while it would be lovely to have a new one that hums instead of clanks, it has taken me a long way and I feel kind of faithful to it.
When the top was finished, I decided to hand quilt it. I bought a template and hand quilted every single night for months! I have also never wavered from that, either. All of my quilts since then have been either hand quilted or hand tied.
Michael was so impatient for me to finish! I remember him keeping tabs on my progress. I remember how excited he was when it was done.
I remember that he used to come out of his room in the mornings in his PJs with the quilt wrapped around his shoulders.
I remember him eating his cereal with the quilt over his shoulders.
I remember him laying on the quilt and then rolling himself up in it on the living room floor.
I remember him snuggling in it with a book.
I remember us snuggling up in it together.
It was on his bed every night. Sometimes top-side up and sometimes backing-side up.
Here’s an old picture I found of it and scanned. My, how bright it was when it was new!
And here is a picture I found of him in bed with it. It’s topside-down in this picture, so you can see the backing:
When the quilt was finished, Michael named it “Sky at Night” and I embroiderd it onto the corner.  That quilt has had a hard life. After many washings, the navy has faded to a pale denim colour and the stars are completely gone. I pulled it out of the closet and took some photos this morning.
When he grew up and moved away from home, I tried to send the quilt with him, but he asked me to keep it here for him instead. He was afraid it would get lost or ruined. But he’s grown now, so someday soon I’ll be packing it up and handing it over where it belongs. Meanwhile, it’s  here…holding our memories safe.