Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas

So where do we go from here? You might have noticed that I didn’t announce anything for 2024 after finishing the HedgeHUGS BOM. And that’s because I need a break. Even though I pretty much stopped posting and abandoned some social media platforms, it feels like I didn’t get anything done this year. I have pattern samples finished that have been lying around for almost a year and a half with no time to actually write and publish the pattern. And let’s not even talk about the long list of half-finished designs and design ideas. Longarm quilting is still my main business and eats up most of my time but I also have quite a few medical appointments and am involved in the two local guilds. And I did quite a lot of traveling which of course I don’t want to give up either.

I have also not come up with “the” idea for a new BOM. I have played around with several ideas but I found nothing really satisfactory. So here is where you come in. I would like to start another project later in 2024 but I haven’t been hit by inspiration so far with anything that might work as a block of the month. What would you like to see? Leave a comment, and maybe inspiration will hit me.

So instead I will show you a few of the things that kept me busy this fall. I did the registration for the quilt show again and organized the quilt intake and return which is a huge, very time-consuming task. But I love a good spreadsheet and well organized events, and I had a lot of fun doing it. The guild had not enough people for setting up the frames, so this year the quilts were displayed in the sanctuary of the church where we hold the shows.

Quilt Show 1

Picture courtesy of Lyn R.

I usually don’t participate in the show challenge (if the day just had more hours!!). But this year inspiration suddenly hit me in late September, and I whipped up an entry in a few days. The theme was a “song with a colour”, and I suddenly had this vision of “Red Roses for a Blue Lady”, and it turned out pretty much the way I saw it in my head.

Red Roses for a Blue Lady


Two guilds means two Christmas parties with lots of activities. At the Chilliwack Quilters Guild we played Bingo with fabric cards, and the blocks were collected afterwards and will be turned into donation quilts.

Bingo Blocks


We also made a bobbin blossom brooch which is a very quick project, especially when you use a magnet instead of a pin. It looks really nice and is easy to do although the instructions looked quite intimidating at first.

Bobbin Blossom


And then we played the “Left, Right, Centre” game. Everyone starts out with three Jelly Roll strips, and the one who ends up with the last strip(s) when all the others have been placed in the centre wins the whole pile. Only that this year the winners of each table played a final round against each other with the winner taking all the strips. Well, guess who the (reluctant) lucky winner was… yes, I went home with about 120 strips of fabric. There is a huge variety of patterns and themes, and nothing is coordinated. I folded them, and they found a home in my big Fisherman’s Friend tin, and I have decided I will make (probably three, depending on how many strips there actually are) Jelly Roll Race quilts and donate them back to the guild’s We Care program.

Strips 1 Strips 2


The Chilliwack Piecemakers Christmas Party was even more hilarious (you would have loved it, Joanne). We played some games, had lots of door prizes, and the President made all executive members sing a quilty version of “Twelve Days of Christmas”. I was lucky (and maybe everyone else too because I can’t sing very well publicly) and managed to get the twelfth verse that I only had to sing once.

We also made Healing Heart blocks for a member going through some rough times, and a nice collection was gifted to her as a “fabric hug”.

v


And then my husband needed a new Dinkelmaus (the German version of a bean bag, if you want to know more or download the free pattern, check here). His was wearing thin after about 15 years, and he would leave kernels of spelt all over the house. Since they make such great gifts and don’t take long to sew, I made a whole collection and gave them away to my quilty friends.

Dinkelmäuse


Last but not least I spent almost all of November on my Christmas Cards, they were all finished in time and mailed out in early December.

Merry Christmas


I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday season, take some time to slow down and relax and enjoy your friends and family. See you all in 2024!

 



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HedgeHUGS BOM – Block #12

It’s December, and once again I am asking myself where time has gone. The older you get, the faster it seems to fly. December is always busy with Christmas approaching quickly, and before we know it, another year will be over. We are not going to put up a tree as our silly cats are out to destroy it. And what’s even worse, they munch on the needles whenever they have the chance, standing there under the branches like little ruminating cows. The last time we had a tree we ended up moving it into our son’s room and kept the door closed, so it makes no sense to even buy one. But I will hang up my favourite Christmas decoration, a silly moose wreath I made a long time ago. Probably 20 years or so, and it came to Canada with us and still makes me laugh evey time I see it.

Moose Wreath


Our hedgehog friend is busy with one of our favourite fall activities – quilting! When summer is over, when the days get shorter and the air cooler, there is less to do outside, and we tend to spend more time at our sewing machines. This little guy or gal has assembled a pretty Nine Patch block. I tried to stay with fall/Halloween-ish colours but feel free to substitute for your favourite colours. As always the pattern will be available for free download until the end of the month and move to the pattern store when the next block is released. The finishing instructions are also available now, scroll down for the download link.

PPP-076-12 Hedgehog #12

EDIT: The year is over, so block #12 has moved to the pattern store and is now available for purchase if you missed the free download. I have also created special pricing bundles again for blocks 10, 11 & 12 and also for blocks 7-12, in case you missed a whole bunch. The full HedgeHUGS pattern is also available for purchase now for those who missed most or all of the free blocks.

If you just need the finishing instructions, they are also still available for free download.





Auch Block #12 ist jetzt auf Deutsch und in metrischen Maßen erhältlich. Es gibt auch wieder Blockbündel zum Sonderpreis, entweder die Blöcke 10, 11 und 12 oder die Blöcke 7-12 komplett. Die Anleitung für den kompletten HedgeHUGS Quilt ist jetzt ebenfalls auf Deutsch erhältlich

Wer nur die Anleitung zur Fertigstellung sucht, kann diese nun auch auf Deutsch kostenlos herunterladen.







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HedgeHUGS BOM – Block #11

It’s November, and the garden season is barely over. I still had cucumbers two weeks ago, and I only pulled them after the last harvest because there was arctic air in the forecast and overnight frost was coming. I also had a final bean harvest of about 1 kg before the cold air arrived. The warm fall temperatures have really extended the season this year. I am happy to get a small break now as I need to plan the garden set up for next year. And I am also going to start radishes indoors today. I have been doing this for the past two years as we always need radishes for a New Year’s Eve dish, and sometimes they are hard to find at the grocery store. With a grow light they’ll be ready to harvest around Christmas.

Our little hedgehog friend is celebrating Thanksgiving this year. Canadian Thanksgiving is in October but since there was also a Halloween block, the Thanksgiving block had to wait until November and American Thanksgiving. This is the most complicated block of the year, December’s block will be easier and have a lot less pieces. I tried to just add a single vegetable instead of the basket but the only one that looked right was a squash, and it looked too much like the October block with the carved Halloween pumpkin. So a basket it is, and the pieces are a bit fiddly but you can always do less, embroider or add a cute button. I like how he turned out, and pumpkin pie is my favourite, so it had to be included in the block. As always the pattern will be available for free download until the end of the month and move to the pattern store when the next block is released.

PPP-076-11 Hedgehog #11


EDIT: If you missed the free download in November, Block #11 is now available for purchase in the pattern store.



EDIT: Block 11 ist jetzt auch auf Deutsch/mit metrischen Maßen im Pattern Store verfügbar.





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HedgeHUGS BOM – Block #10

Welcome to October! The garden season is almost over, and I pulled my tomato plants yesterday. We have a ton of green tomatoes now but most of them will turn red over time. And if not, my friend Connie makes the most delicious green tomato relish, so I would have a recipe to try if I am drowning in green tomatoes. Today I will clean up the front yard with the sunflowers. I grew Velvet Queen (a red variety) and Lemon Queen this year, and they are both still producing small new flower heads but overall the plants look pretty beaten up. Twice I saw a squirrel scurrying away with a flower head. I am growing the sunflowers for the birds and other animals, so I don’t mind that at all. It’s mostly entertainment for my cats who love sitting in the front window, watching the birds. We’ll harvest whatever seeds are left and put them in the bird feeder, so the cats won’t lose their entertainment.

As for our hedgehog friend, he has decided to dress up as a ghost for Halloween. That makes for a pretty easy block this month, although the bat eyes are a bit finicky, and you might want to embroider the orange eyes as well, not just the black pupils. It is possible to appliqué them but if you don’t like fiddling with tiny pieces, just simplify the design. As always, the pattern will be available for free download until the end of the month and move to the pattern store when the next block is released in November.


EDIT: If you missed the free download in October, Block #10 is now available for purchase in the pattern store.



EDIT: Block 10 ist jetzt auch auf Deutsch/mit metrischen Maßen im Pattern Store verfügbar.





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HedgeHUGS BOM – Block #9

July and the first half of August were extremely busy for me with quilting for customers. Now I am finally caught up and have started working through my own project queue. Some of the things I found in my closet were quite a surprise! As for gardening, the season is winding down. We have harvested all the onions, leeks and cabbage. The tomatoes are still going strong. But the biggest success of the year were the watermelons. We have picked two so far, and they were so good! Sweet and juicy and full of flavour, the best watermelon ever. I will definitely try this again next year. For those in my area: the variety is Sugar Baby which has a shorter ripening time, and it needs to be started indoors in late April and transplanted around May long weekend, otherwise there won’t be enough time for the melons to ripen before the temperatures start to drop. I highly recommend giving this a try, you will never like store-bought watermelons again!

As for our hedgehog friend, it’s time to go back to school. He maybe looks a bit old-fashioned with his blackboard but I thought it looked cuter than having him carry around a laptop. The backpack is a bit more complicated with a lot of small pieces but I think it looks adorable. Please remember that you don’t have to do everything exactly the way I did. You can always simplify or embroider details. As always, the pattern will be available for free download until the end of the month and move to the pattern store when the next block is released in October.

PPP-076-09 Hedgehog #9


EDIT: If you missed the free download in September, Block #9 is now available for purchase in the pattern store. I have also created a discount bundle for the first three blocks, if you missed more than just one download.



EDIT: Block 9 ist jetzt auch auf Deutsch/mit metrischen Maßen im Pattern Store verfügbar. Außerdem gibt es auch wieder ein Bündel für die Blöcke  7, 8 und 9.





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HedgeHUGS BOM – Block #8

Another month has flown by, and I wonder where time has gone. My veggie garden is keeping me busy, I am about to start the third batch of beans. The first one is done, the second one is ready to harvest. The cherry tomatoes are so sweet and yummy, and the first big tomatoes are ready as well. And I just noticed today that the first grapes are changing colour. This year I was smart enough and covered them with netting, so hopefully we will get to taste them. Last year the birds got them all. I don’t mind sharing with the crows, not even my fruit and veggies but I would like to try at least some of them myself.

For our little hedgehog friend, it is already (still?) fall, and he is busy raking leaves this month. The blocks are getting a bit more intricate, feel free to simplify the maple leaves by omitting the stems. As always the block will be available for free download until the end of the month and move to the pattern store when the next block is released.


EDIT: If you missed the free download in August, Block #8 is now available for purchase in the pattern store.



EDIT: Block 8 ist jetzt auch auf Deutsch/mit metrischen Maßen im Pattern Store verfügbar.





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HedgeHUGS BOM – Block #7

Happy Belated Canada Day and Happy Fourth of July to our American Friends! The past six weeks have been super busy for me as I have been traveling a lot. I was square dancing and sightseeing in Washington State for ten days in May, then spent two weeks at home trying to catch up on everything, then went to see my mom in Germany for two weeks. I came back last Monday, and after another three days of playing catch up we went down to Oregon on Friday to meet friends at Crater Lake who we hadn’t seen in ten years. We got back last night, and now I am back trying to catch up again. I don’t have a lot of quilts in the queue (phew) but the garden is still two weeks ahead of regular years and will need some attention. I have the first watermelon growing and two butternut squashes, and the first cherry tomatoes are turning orange. I plant only the Sungold variety that turns dark orange but never truly red, so they will be ready to eat soon. The peas are almost done but I still have a ton to harvest, peel, blanch and freeze. My first Velvet Queen sunflower, a red one, has started to bloom, and it is so pretty! I have always wanted a red sunflower and decided to go for it this year. And our California Dreaming rose decided to surprise us with five open flowers yesterday when we returned, that was a beautiful surprise. We spent some time in Portland on our way back and visited the International Rose Test Garden where almost all the flowers were in full bloom… I took over 400 pictures! Now I have to decide which ones I like best and try to hunt some down for next year.

Our hedgehog friend is roasting marshmallows over a campfire this month. I personally am not super fond of marshmallows but I know that roasting them while camping is a popular activity, so it had to be included in the quilt. As always the block will be available for free download until the end of the month and move to the pattern store when the next block is released. Thank you for your patience and enjoy!

PPP-076-07 Hedgehog #7


EDIT: If you missed the free download in July, Block #7 is now available for purchase in the pattern store.



EDIT: Block 7 ist jetzt auch auf Deutsch/mit metrischen Maßen im Pattern Store verfügbar.





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HedgeHUGS BOM – Block #6

Can you believe it’s June already, and with today’s publication we are halfway through this year’s BOM? Time sure flies. We had very warm weather in the first half of May, and I decided to risk it and transplanted all heat-loving veggies like tomatoes and cucumbers two weeks earlier than I usually do. We were away for ten days in the second half of May, and it was easier for my friend who took care of our cats during our absence to just turn on the drip irrigation instead of having to water all the seedlings inside. And boy, did they love the weather. Even though the second half of the month was a bit cooler, everything grew like crazy when we were away, and I couldn’t believe the jungle I faced when I got back. I even managed to start some watermelon seeds this year. Watermelons are a bit problematic in our climate because of the short growing season. The plants are looking great already, so maybe I will get some watermelons this year.

Our hedgehog friend is starting football season today, another fall activity in North America. It feels a bit weird to me because in Germany football season started in the spring but whatever works, right? I am not sure what the little snail is doing on the football field but I liked my drawing, and I couldn’t find another block where it fit. And here was an open corner that asked for another element, so in he went. As always, the block will be available for free download until the end of the month and move over to the pattern store when the July block is released. We are tentatively planning to be away again on Canada Day, so make sure you download the pattern now because the next block might be released early.

PPP-076-06 Hedgehog #6


Edit: If you missed the free download in June, the pattern is now available for purchase in the pattern store. I have also created a discount bundle for the first three blocks, if you missed more than just one download. And there is also a six-block-bundle for those who are just catching up now.





Auch Block 6 ist jetzt auf Deutsch mit metrischen Maßen erhältlich, ebenso gibt es auch wieder Bündel für drei oder sechs Blöcke zum Sonderpreis.






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HedgeHUGS BOM – Block #5

You might have noticed that I haven’t been very active on here or social media over the last few months. While I am having some health issues again, I am mostly doing fine, I just don’t have the time right now for blog posts. Or rather, I don’t want to take the time. My garden has kept me busy, and I am going to Germany to see my mom in June for the first time since 2019 and have been sewing gifts. The BOM is not in danger, and I will keep posting on the first of the month, everything else has to wait.

I have already had the first gardening success of the year. I started asparagus from seeds two years ago, I had a 100% germination rate, and all plants seemed quite happy last year with pretty large spears growing already. In Germany everybody goes completely crazy over white asparagus from April 21 to June 24. Market stands are popping up everywhere, restaurants have special “Spargel” menus, and everyone eats as much asparagus as they can while the season lasts. And yes, if you mention asparagus in Germany, everyone will assume you are talking about white asparagus. Green asparagus is available but the craze is just about the white one. It is the same plant, you just have to protect the spears from light when they emerge. White asparagus is available here sometimes but it is very expensive, the last we saw at the grocery store was imported from Peru. So I decided we should grow our own. I hilled up the soil as much as I could this year and covered it with a special film that protects from light and keeps the soil warm, and we had a nice harvest already and ate lots of cream of asparagus soup, so yummy. It takes about five years before you can harvest for a full two months, so I have now removed the cover and will give the plants the chance to grow and develop sturdy root systems.

Our hedgehog friend this month is presenting the sunflower he grew to feed the birds. I love sunflowers but I am not interested in harvesting the seeds. I am fine with the birds and squirrels eating them, it also entertains my cats who love sitting in the window watching what’s going on outside. In the block the sunflower is there for the taking, I have omitted any tiny seeds… that was quite a pain last year with the bunnies sowing and feeding geese. The bird’s feet and beak are pretty tiny though, so you might want to embroider them instead of cutting them from fabric. As always the block will be available for free download until the end of the month and move to the pattern store when the next block is released.

PPP-076-05 Hedgehog #5


EDIT: If you missed the free download in May, Block #5 is now available for purchase in the pattern store.



EDIT: Block 5 ist jetzt auch auf Deutsch/mit metrischen Maßen im Pattern Store verfügbar.





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HedgeHUGS BOM – Block #4

After February dumped that huge amount of snow on us, March was very friendly and brought some early spring days. Suddenly gardening season was in full swing again, we had topsoil delivered and spent a whole day topping up the beds, built a new bed in the front and planted some pansies. The radishes and peas are growing quickly, and spinach and lettuce are starting to peek out. Unfortunately we have a new cat in the neighbourhood that loves to chew on our drip irrigation. I have put the chickenwire covers (that I used during the winter to make clear that my veggie beds are no litter boxes) back on. I am just not sure yet what she might do to the remay covers once I transplant the broccoli and cover the brassica bed.

In terms of sewing I am still completely obsessed with bags and purses. But I didn’t forget about April’s hedgehog, and he is celebrating Oktoberfest. That’s so not a thing in Berlin and northern parts of Germany but I think it is one of those stereotypical things that non-Germans immediately think of, so I decided to put it in. And I think the little guy is quite happy waving his Bavarian flag and enjoying a nice pretzel. As always the block will be available for free download until the end of the month and move to the pattern store when the next block is released.

PPP- 076-04 Hedgehog #4


EDIT: If you missed the free download in April, Block #4 is now available for purchase in the pattern store.



EDIT: Block 4 ist jetzt auch auf Deutsch/mit metrischen Maßen im Pattern Store verfügbar.





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HedgeHUGS BOM – Block #3

Wow, February really got away from me. I had some time-consuming custom quilting to do, and I took a week off afterwards, and suddenly it’s March. On Sunday morning we woke up to the largest amount of snow of the winter, luckily it warmed up enough during the day that most of it melted again quickly. But the weather is still more winter than spring, and even though I am pretty adventurous in my gardening and do a lot by trial and error, even I haven’t started any peas yet. Just some parsley seeds inside, and quite a few of them have sprouted already. Other than that I think I caught the bag-sewing bug. Inspired by a guild trunk show I bought supplies for an Ultimate Travel Bag (By Annie pattern), and I actually finished it last weekend and am now looking through Annie’s other patterns to see what else I would like to make. Pictures will follow later.

Our little hedgehog friend is flying a kite this month. I have some vague childhood memories of kites mostly not flying but crashing down, and it was never my favourite pastime, but somehow autumn is still connected to wind and flying kites, so I just had to include it. As always, the pattern is available for free download until the end of the month and will move over to the pattern store when the April block is released.

PPP-076-03 HedgeHUGS Block #3


Edit: If you missed the free download in March, the pattern is now available for purchase in the pattern store. I have also created a discount bundle for the first three blocks, if you missed more than just one download.




Block 3 ist nun auch auf Deutsch/in metrischen Maßen im Pattern Store erhältlich. Außerdem gibt es auch wieder ein Bündel für die Blöcke 1, 2 und 3.





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Hunny Bunnies – The Complete Pattern

I was so busy in January that I didn’t even have time to take a few detail pictures of the Hunny Bunnies blocks in the finished quilt. I published the full pattern on January 1st together with the last block and the bundles but I never got around to actually announce it here. So here we go, the complete pattern with all twelve blocks and finishing instructions is now available both in English/Imperial and German/Metric. I only added a crosshatch for the background of the blocks, I thought the background fabric provided enough texture. The sashing fabric was super busy, and the quilting doesn’t show much but I went with some spiral pattern that looks a bit like a stylized rose (at least if you have my imagination). For the outer border I used a pantograph design called “Let It Bloom!”. I finished the quilt a long time ago and it was actually displayed at the quilt show last October.

For those of you who missed most or all of the blocks last year, this is your chance, and if you enter HUNNY20 during checkout you will get an additional 20% discount. The code will be valid until February 12, 2023 11.59 PM PST.

PPP-067 Hunny Bunnies Quilt







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Header Photo: "Third Weekend in October" Pieced and Quilted by Beatrice Rieske, Design by Ruth Powers of "Innovations"
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