Thursday, November 12, 2015

5 Months Ago Tomorrow

Five months seemed like as good a deadline as any!!! As of tomorrow, I wouldn't have posted to my blog in 5 months!! Time for an update.

It's slow going these days, since going back to work, but I HAVE made a little progress...

1. Started quilting the t-shirt quilt. I am loving the variegated 40-wt Aurifil. The pink looks great with these girly fabrics.

 2. Got most of the way through my sparkle canvas laundry bag, but I've hit a snag and that project hasn't moved in months.

3. I'm really excited about how my Tangelo is coming out... Just started my second-to-last row. It's just going to be wall-sized. I'm having lots of fun getting faster at paper piecing the triangles. I'm hoping THIS one will be a quick finish??? There is some Denyse Schmidt, some Carolyn Friedlander and some Cotton and Steel. Plus Free Spirit and Kona solids. Definite faves :)

See? My sewing machine and I are not dead. It's just easier to post to Instagram lately when/if I have anything interesting to show. Check out @tmcfritz! The photos might even be a tiny bit better there. Some day I'll get better at taking pictures :|

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Back Is Done!

Now I've got the back and the front done on the T-shirt quilt, yay! I really wanted to use up some of the extra fabric and the 4 extra blocks I had from the front, so I threw some strips together between the blocks and voila!  

I haven't bought the batting yet, and I have a few large things to cut using my floor space before I baste this thing. Slowly but surely.... actually, this quilt has come together pretty quickly compared to most of my other projects!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Handwork is Fun!!

I already think handwork is fun, and I really dig Carolyn Friedlander’s designs, so how could I resist signing up for the Modern QuiltGuild’s webinar hosted by Carolyn herself, entitled “Handwork is Fun”? 
Last night I propped up my eyelids and tuned in at 10pm and I wasn’t disappointed. Especially when it was revealed at the end that she has a new line of fabric in the works. Eeeeeeeek! Keep an eye on her blog for more info and extras related to the webinar.
Recordings of these webinars are available online to members after they’re presented, so you don’t really have to watch live unless you want to ask questions. The two other MQG webinars I’ve joined (one about color theory, and one about paper piecing) were good, but I got more out of this one than I did out of those. 
The main idea of the presentation was to encourage quilters to give handwork a try. I’ve done a fair amount of handwork, so as I watched the webinar, I felt like I could really relate to (and agreed with) a lot of things that Carolyn was saying. I liked her point that handwork has a place in the modern quilting movement. Some of my guild-mates have shared tales of other more traditional guilds that reject machine quilting as heresy. I like that the reverse isn’t true. In particular I’ve seen a lot of big-stitch hand quilting on blogs I browse and it seems to fit right in with the modern aesthetic. 
After this little pep talk, I’m itching to give big stitch quilting a try, especially since it looks great mixed with machine quilting. You can use it as an accent or to add texture, etc., and you can still get your quilt finished before the end of time, which is my main issue. Don’t know when I’ll actually get to it, but that’s another story. I liked the specific information that was given about tools, especially, which makes getting started easier.
Here are some examples of handwork I’ve done. I’ve taken a hand quilting class and a needle-turn applique class and I’ve done lots of cross stitch and embroidery, but I’ve never tried hand piecing. I enjoy needle-turn applique, but the shapes I've worked on have been more traditional types of things (except for the basketballs, but they're just circles...).

Carrying on with the CF love-fest theme… I just got her book Savor Each Stitch along with Alison Glass’ book on modern applique (happy birthday to me, thanks mom!). I’ve got my eye on that awesome circle lattice block. Oh man, so many cool projects, so little time!!! What I’m REALLY hoping to tackle before I try anything else is Tangelo. Paper piecing here I come!!!
If you want to know who the queen of handwork is in my book (some traditional, some more modern), check out Quiltsalott. Her blog has been quiet lately but regardless…. WOW! I'd better stop typing now and start sewing, ha ha ha!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Night shirt

Had a spare hour tonight to do some piecing on the t-shirt quilt. This section makes up the top left quarter. 6-ish more nights like this and I could have the whole top pieced!!

The Kaffe Fassett stripey fabric and the C & S fabrics are a lot more stretchy/looser weave, I'm finding, compared to the solids (not Kona, but I'm not sure what brand they are) and the Alison Glass Handcrafted. That makes lining seams up a little more tricky, but now that I'm aware of it, I can adjust as I go.

Another night indoor photo... Some day I'll pull off one of those gorgeous photo shoots I see on other blogs. Gotta get my quilt holder-uppers to grow taller too! ;)

I am in love with the Handcrafted line. I need an excuse to buy more. A friend of mine made a skirt out of it and it was pretty cute. Hmmmm.....

Monday, May 18, 2015

Owl and a Winner!!

Congratulations to Jennifer who is the winner of my Meet Maritime Modern Blog Hop giveaway!!

She said:
Am really enjoying this blog hop! It's a great way to learn a little more about our quilting "neighbours". Looking forward to seeing where your quilting journey takes you. I would have a head time pinning myself to one favourite fabric but when I close my eyes I see the Tidal Lace collection by Kim Andersson and wish I had designed

I checked out Tidal Lace - yep! Super cute and very Maritimey!! (even though the Windham site says the designer lives in San Francisco.... bonus, that's where I used to live). The square ruler will be headed your way soon!

As for things in the crafty category for this long weekend... well.... we had to shop for a new oven, and I have pulled some muscles in my back so I'm feeling pretty immobile, and the weather was really nice so I had to play outside as much as possible, and there was this beer fest I had to go to and.....


So I set a small goal for myself for the weekend and that was to finish the owl. It's not perfect but I still love this little guy. 

It would be really fun to try some of the other critters. They are just so darn cute!!! Really you should check them out. The free online stitch guide was great and the kit included everything except for the embroidery hoop and a needle (and scissors, but I think you can scrounge up a pair, right?).

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Wishing I had a proper design wall for this one. The t-shirt quilt is coming along. Alison Glass' Handcrafted line is a lot of fun and I think it is a fairly good match with the Melody Millers and Kaffe Fassetts. 

I finished making blocks and laid them all out, but this first attempt has me feeling "meah." I think there are too many mustangs and jacks. I'm thinking I'll save some of the overall lighter blocks for the back and make some additional darker blocks.

This shot is mid-rearranging, hence a few blank spaces. Olivia in particular I find a bit hard on the eyeballs. What do you think?

And some old time - I've been meaning to do this for like 2 years - I'm going to rip the plastic bag off the frame of this IKEA laundry basket (I think you can still get this laundry basket for basically nothing at IKEA) and make a new bag for it. I'll make it detachable (velcro? buttons?) so I can wash it. I don't think it's ever going to be a very sexy laundry basket, but it's light and compact - it's a keeper in my book.

 Step 1: Buy fabric.... check.

I'm not really a selvedge lover, but I kind of dig this one. Maybe I can do something with it... 
Who doesn't want a laundry basket with a little bling?

On the back-to-work front; day 2 is complete. I'm busy already at my job. For some reason my to-do pile didn't shrink while I was on leave. Bummer.

For now, it's worth it to spend half the night getting the kids' and our own stuff ready for the morning and all set out. Breakfast, clothes, diapers, lunches, coffee. I'm supposed to be doing that now :D When I get more efficient at that stuff, maybe I can start to squeeze in some evening crafty fun.

Thanks to all those who visited for the blog hop and especially to those who left comments!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Meet Maritime Modern!

You've caught up with me on my very last day "off" and I'm glad to be able to have some time to share a little bit about myself and how the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild fits into the crafty side of my life.

My quilting has evolved mainly during two maternity leaves and during the year I spent waiting for Permanent Resident status here in Canada before I could legally work. But on Monday I'm back to work, so the pace of my quilting is sure to slow down dramatically.

That's why I'm so thankful I discovered MMQG - being a member has been SO motivational and inspiring and I've done a lot more quilting in the past year than I ever have before. Knowing that show and share is coming up really keeps me going.

I'm about to start spending a lot more time with this guy (CH-149 Cormorant Search and Rescue Helicopter) and a lot less time with this guy ("the boy"). Hopefully I'll still have some time at night to keep my quilty works in progress moving forward. I'll be Tracy the aerospace engineer by day and Tracy the quilting MACHINE at night.

Here's my little sewing area in the basement where I'll be working away. In the name of keeping it real, I took a photo this morning without touching a thing. Looks like the fence needs repair after getting clobbered by winter... groan. My current quilting project (a quilt partly made with my daughter's old t-shirts is laid out in another room right now). My small stash is on the other side of the room sharing space with tools and other stored... stuff.

I sew with a Bernina 330 which I got in California while I was on maternity leave with my daughter. That was when I started getting more into quilting. I had done a bit before, but then I happened on Fons and Porter on tv which I would watch regularly while nursing. THEN I started browsing blogs while nursing.... and the rest is history!! 

The Bernina is ok, but piecing is best done with the Featherweight, which I've had forever - a hand me down from my mom.

Here's a WIP from (gulp) 2004. I pieced it with the Featherweight while I was in grad school and I started hand quilting it. I really want to finish hand quilting it but I keep finding excuses to put other projects ahead of it. Still I'd like to have it finished some day. It's king size, what was I thinking? Oh, I know, I was putting off working on my thesis, tee hee.

Here's my newest little treat - a new rotary cutter. And my other favorite tool, the square ruler. If I had a rotating cutting mat to go with it I could be like Edward Scissorhands....Tracy Rotarycutterhands... I'd be slicing and dicing WAY faster. Maybe I can afford it after I get some paychecks :)

See? I've cut the pieces for the last set of blocks for the t-shirt quilt. There's going to be a lot of pink, which should make the girl happy. It's not going to be done before I go back to work, but  maybe in time for show and share in a few months? I am SLOW compared to some MMQG ladies!

And... I make other things too. That's part of the reason I can only come up with a quilt finish every few years. A little embroidery, a little cross stitch, sewing kids clothes and playthings, a little knitting. 

In any case, I hope you'll come back from time to time and leave a comment on my blog - I appreciate comments and find them so encouraging. The blog is lots of fun, fills in little chunks of time and doesn't require TOO much concentration. Great for me and my mommy brain.

To get the comments going, I'm offering a small giveaway: a 6.5" square Omnigrid ruler like the one in the photo above (but smaller, drrr). To enter, just leave me a comment telling me what your favorite new fabric is. I just saw some really cute new Anna Maria Horner that looks amazing for kids' clothes. I might have to bust out my All Set pattern (also by AMH) and finally make that jacket for the boy. Giveaway closes Friday the 15th at midnight Atlantic Time (copying you Adrienne!).

And don't forget to follow along on the rest of the blog hop. You will not be disappointed by these ladies, I promise!

Tuesday, May 5 - Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge
Wednesday, May 6 - Adrienne @ 
Chezzetcook Modern Quilts
Thursday, May 7 - Tracy (that's me!!)

Friday, May 8 - Anja @ 
Anja Quilts
Saturday, May 9 - Val @ 
Purple Boots and Pigtails
Sunday, May 10 -  Linda @ Scrapmaster
Monday, May 11 - Jeanette @
 Stamp Stitch Create
Tuesday, May 12 - Dominique @ The Running Thimble
Wednesday, May 13 - Aimee @ 
Candy Coated Quilts

Monday, May 4, 2015

Hop Hop!!

Keep your eyes peeled! The MEET MARITIME MODERN blog hop starts tomorrow and makes a stop here Thursday May 7th!

In the meantime (and afterwards)... go check out the other quilty geniuses that are participating and learn all about our sweet guild. There ARE modern quilters lurking around these parts, woo hoo!!!! I am proud to be one of the group :)

Here is the schedule:
Tuesday, May 5 - Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge
Wednesday, May 6 - Adrienne @ 
Chezzetcook Modern Quilts
Thursday, May 7 - Tracy (that's me!!)

Friday, May 8 - Anja @ 
Anja Quilts
Saturday, May 9 - Val @ 
Purple Boots and Pigtails
Sunday, May 10 -  Linda @ Scrapmaster
Monday, May 11 - Jeanette @
 Stamp Stitch Create
Tuesday, May 12 - Dominique @ The Running Thimble
Wednesday, May 13 - Aimee @ 
Candy Coated Quilts

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Some kind of slush is falling from the sky again today and I'm at home waiting for the furnace cleaner guy. A good day to start on Mr. Hoots.

And a finish!! The girl seems to like it so I'm pleased. Except... she wants me to read all the words on the text print to her. This could make for a long bedtime...

Monday, April 27, 2015

Truly Terrible Photography

My excuse for the terrible photos today is that it's snowing out  (wahhhh!!) and I had to hide in the basement with my quilting stuff to escape the depressing view. :)

I went another way with my Cottage Garden reading pillow design for the Spring Fabric Challenge. Lots of loose ends to tie up before I can assemble the pillow. I got this idea from Crazy Mom Quilts. This is the front pocket.

And here's a little progress made on the t-shirt quilt. Excuse the monkey photo-bomb!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


On the weekend I checked out the Halifax Crafters Society Spring Fair. So much cute stuff and so many talented crafters!! I mostly exercised restraint but I couldn't resist this little DIY embroidery kit from Kiriki Press. The crafter who creates these kits is (too bad) not from Nova Scotia.

I have done lots and lots of counted cross stitch and a little embroidery so I'm hoping I can whip up this little guy in a day or two... when I get a chance. In the meantime I'm making progress on the t-shirt quilt. Most of the cutting is done.

Oh yeah, and I spotted this Frixion pen at my LQS and had to grab it after reading about it on Adrienne's blog. Marking my sewing with anything except chalk scares me. I'm going to take a walk on the wild side and give it a try :)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Spring Day With Snow

Finally! A warmish day with a nice stretch of sunshine. We're back from a week in Florida and a little bit of warmth seems to have come back with us. Time to get a few photos of my Denyse Schmidt Sawtooth quilt (from "Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration") out in the fresh air! There's plenty of snow still on the ground, but there are lots of clear spots too. Reason to hope that spring is actually on its way!!

Posing atop the canoe...

 Sunning on the back deck (notice the lack of a foot-thick hump of ice!!)...

A bit of a close-up...

Showing some backside...

No spare hands could be found to hold the quilt up, so I had to settle for the driest sunniest flat spot I could find. I'll take it!! It's a double size quilt so it was hard to get the whole thing on the screen. The colors are Kona Celery and ...dare I say... Snow.

After this, I'm hoping to squeeze in lots of quilting before I have to go back to work. No plans yet for these fab Kona charm squares I got in the guild swap on Thursday:

I have also ripped apart my first shot at the project I started for the Modern Quilt Guild's spring fabric challenge (some flowery teal and gray Riley Blake fabric). I want to make a pillow and I don't want it to turn into some huge project. Just want to get it done at this point and not have it look weird. No need to show it in its current state, ack!

And my next priority is a t-shirt quilt for my 4-year old daughter. It will be just a few very choice t-shirts integrated into a Cluck Cluck Sew design. That's the plan anyway.

So many quilts in my brain, so little time!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Friday Finish

I really didn't plan to finish on a Friday, but I was up early and everyone else was sleeping late....

More photos when I can get outside on a dry sunny day :)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Snowy Sawtooth

Since this was the scene at our house yesterday...

it doesn't look like I'll be making any trips to the LQS any time soon, which is what I need to do in order to get going on the next couple of projects I have lined up.

So that's helped me stay focused on my Sawtooth quilt. All that's left is to sew down the back of the binding, yay!!! I love handwork, especially when it's not an overwhelmingly huge amount. There's no going to the store to find thread to match the binding color, so I'm using the closest thing I have on hand. I like to think I'm fairly decent at hand applique, though, so the stitches hopefully won't be too obvious anyway.

Today is our second snow day in a row with everyone stuck at home. Office closed, daycare closed, no transit, sidewalks waist deep with snow... Looks like quilting will remain a late-night activity for me.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mug Rug Swap

Somehow I forgot to take a picture of the finished mug rug I made for our MMQG March swap, so here's a sneak peek of it, photobombing another shot from the guild's website. The binding came out very smooth, hooray, and a good steamy press made it lay flat. (look at that triangle quilt, wow!)

The free pattern is from Camelot Fabrics' blog here. You can make it a full Venn Diagram, but then it's more like placemat-sized. You can see how they tend to curl up in the pattern photos.

And here's the cute one I got. The woodsy theme of it fits right in at my house.

This is an idea I have for my Riley Blake Fabric Challenge project. Just gotta shop for a couple of solids to fill in here and there and it should be good to go. 4-year-old daughter approves.