Announcing a Stitch Along for 2016!

I am having so much fun with the Doctor Who stitch along blocks that I finally got around to doing from Fandom In Stitches. You can see pictures on instagram under verylazydaisy. I’ve got all the doctors done, even 8.5, and I’ve done River Song, and K-9. I’m currently on the Vincent van Gogh block. What does Van Gogh have to do with Doctor Who, you ask? Well, he was the subject of my very favourite episode of the show, wherein Bill Nighy’s character says of Van Gogh, “to me Van Gogh is the finest painter of them all. Certainly the most popular, great painter of all time. The most beloved, his command of colour most magnificent. He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world, no one had ever done it before. Perhaps no one ever will again. To my mind, that strange, wild man who roamed the fields of Provence was not only the world’s greatest artist, but also one of the greatest men who ever lived.”
I still cry every time I watch this episode. It is truly moving.
I am thinking of adding a swirly starry night sky effect to the background of my Vincent block.

While stitching away the hours I have thought of what other fandom quilts I would like to make. I added a Firefly quilt to my growing list of projects.

I have been planning an Outlander quilt for many years, well, “planning” in my head with no concrete plans on how to achieve this. Since I read the first book, way back in 1991, I have been obsessed with all things Outlander. I thought of paper pieced blocks, similarly to the Harry Potter quilts I have made. But, I decided embroidery would much better suit my goals for this quilt, and I truly am enjoying the process of stitching.

I know many of you are also Outlander fans, and thought how fun would it be to share the designs with you in the form of a stitch along, starting in January! I will post one block pattern per month, so you will have plenty of time to work on them, or just print them out and save them for a later time.
I will share all the info with you on which products and notions I am using. The supply list will be very simple! Needles, threads, background fabric. That’s it! We will talk block layout towards the end of the stitch along, and I will post full finishing instructions along with measurements and detailed directions.
The embroidery designs will be simple line drawings that will work with a basic backstitch or could be embellished with your own choice of stitches.
I’m looking forward to sharing the first block with you in January!

Go quilt something

LDQ #63 The Cursed Quilt

Happy Halloween, my Pretties! It’s my favorite time of year. In celebration, I bring you an original short story, read by me, and written by Stephen Mier. Yeah ok, he’s my little brother, and we sorta collaborated… and by “collaborated” I mean that I asked him to write me a very short story about a cursed or haunted sewing machine. MWAAAAHAAhAAAAA! This is what he came up with. It’s the last 7 minutes or so of the podcast. The first bit has two book reviews, and then I talk about what I’m sewing, briefly.

Relax, it’s just PG-13 or so :-)

The Cursed Quilt

I wiped my sweat as I leaned over the sewing machine, frantically stitching in a vain attempt to finish the quilt before Halloween. I had one day left to complete the quilt I had promised to raffle at the party the following evening. It was by far the largest and most intricate I had ever undertaken, borne of thick and luxurious fabric for the cold of the coming winter. It was becoming clearer by the moment that I had bitten off far more than I could chew. Hour after hour I worked at a nearly inhuman pace, and just when it looked as though I might finish, as I set my eyes upon the last few stitches needed to complete my creation, the thread in my machine ran dry. My last spool.

I had special ordered the thread weeks ago, as no local shop had stocked the one perfect color I needed, a color which no other could approximate, and which no other could so perfectly complement the shade of the fabric. I stood, clutching the sides of my head in my tired hands, expletives erupting from my heathen mouth.

In a fatigue and frustration induced stupefaction, I bundled the quilt angrily, though I loved it so, and threw it into the backseat of my car. I set out for the one quilt shop in town with which I was less than familiar, hoping against hope that it might have my thread. It was very old, and an unnerving mood hung all about the place. There were stories, warnings really, that the owner was not quite right, and that a couple of noteworthy local quilters had walked into the shop and never walked out. Silly stories, I always told myself, though I never did tempt fate by going there.

Have you ever felt such a chill that it snapped you from near-sleep to full alertness so suddenly that you felt as though waking from a dream? That is what I felt as I stepped into that grim place. The air was dusty and stale as I walked to the counter where an old woman stood, staring through me.

“Do you have Aurifil in teal feather?” I asked, nearly tripping over my words for the anxiety belaboring my every word and every thought.

“Teal feather?” She croaked with a crooked smile. “Yes… You have distinguished preferences, I see?” She smiled. It was scarcely a question rather than a statement.

“I guess so,” I nodded. “Look, I just need to get my thread and get home so that I can finish this quilt,” I didn’t have time for idle conversation.

“I don’t get many visitors anymore…” She lamented. “Let me show you something,” she said, wholly ignoring my previous request. She opened a drawer beneath the counter filled with unusual threads, most of which I had never seen, and plucked a spool of Aurifil, teal feather. “Come with me,” she said as she walked towards the back room. I pursed my lips and stepped around the counter to follow her, still clutching my quilt.

We stepped into a room which could have immediately curdled the blood of the devil himself. Blood red carpets streaked with black in indescribable, arcane patterns stretched across the floor. The walls were entirely black, and seemed to have been sloppily painted over and over with little regard for technique, with uneven runs and bubbles riddling every inch of the paint as though mess after mess had been hastily covered up. In the middle of the room stood an ordinary chair, and an ordinary but old machine on a dusty table.

“Please, finish your quilt here,” she said. “My old fingers can’t sew anymore, and it would bring me so much happiness to see my sewing machine used again, if only for awhile.”

I have no idea why I acquiesced despite my mind screaming at me to flee with every step I took towards the middle of that room. Her words were gentle, yet they made me want to vomit with fear, and still I sat down in that old, wooden chair. She handed me the thread with a cruelly affectionate smile, and I loaded it, somehow without any difficulty despite knowing nothing about this machine.

I brought the bobbin thread through and up to the surface of my quilt, set the presser foot down, and took a shaky breath as I pressed down on the pedal. My eyes brightened as the machine started to sew the straightest, most perfect line of quilting stitches I had ever seen.

“Wonderful, isn’t it?” She asked from behind my shoulder.

“Yes, I-” my reply was cut short as the old woman erupted into an unholy cackle, and I looked on in horror as my hand was drawn under the presser foot, the needle ripping into my flesh, splintering bone and severing sinew with ease as I screamed in agony. My blood sprayed viciously, caking the walls around me as I was drawn in all the way to the shoulder, my arm disappearing into the machine as the old woman’s laughter grew to a deafening level. I caught a final glimpse of my precious quilt which my face was now nearly pressed against, and saw that the thread being sewn into it was not teal feather. It was my own tendons. The fabric itself was being replaced by the supple skin being stripped from my body, and dyed red with my blood.

I awoke with a start, and looked down at my machine. The nightmare was real. I was still out of teal feather.

Written by Stephen Mier   copyright 2015

Go spook something!



LDQ #62 Back in the Saddle

Hey Twilters!

Today I gave an update on my dad’s recovery, talked about the quilts I’ve worked on lately, and reviewed a book I read. Don’t worry, I gave no spoilers.

This was Dad’s arm the day after the angio procedure. It later turned even darker from wrist to shoulder, before eventually fading back to normal. The Dr. kept apologising for the bruising, and we thanked him for it, since it was the first step that made the whole recovery possible!

Here we are before they took him into bypass surgery.

I’ll have to post a new picture of him when I see him next week. It’s amazing how good he looks! Even healthier than before these surgeries. It’s amazing what good blood flow will do for you :)


Now, on to the quilts…

Firstly, here is my Scrap in a Box, because I don’t think I’ve showed you this one yet. I love how the fat sashing turned out.


And here is Falling Charms


Here’s Birdie’s quilt, with a close up of some of the quilting.


And here’s what I’ve done so far on the background of my Twilter Round Robin quilt.

Let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas on how to quilt the bright areas of this quilt.

The book I reviewed on the podcast is I Saw A Man by Owen Sheers


Thanks for stopping by!

Go Quilt Something

The Great Walmart Debate

There’s been quite of bit of debate going on over facebook quilting related pages lately, over the quality and price of Walmart fabrics versus quilt shop fabrics. Some have gotten completely butthurt over comments like “support your local quilt shops”.. One gem of a lady on facebook actually told me to “suck it” after I suggested that Walmart does not carry the same quality cottons you’ll find in an independent quilt shop.

Since I haven’t stepped foot in a Walmart in several years, because I don’t like supporting that monstrosity, I thought maybe I should do a little field research. So, today, I went to one of the walmart supercenters that is within a ten minute driving distance from me (there are four)

It is a proven fact that Walmart purchases fabrics from China, that are made as knockoffs of designer lines and brands like Moda. Designers have a hell of a time trying to track down all these copyright infringements. It would be a full time job to do so. Taking on a monster like Walmart? Fuhgettaboutit.

A perfect example of this is a line I have in FQ bundle form, called Mint Condition, by CamelotFabrics. The prints are at Walmart, though the names on the bolt are completely different. They look nearly identical in colour and design, except that the quality is very poor in comparison.

I browsed the cotton prints, and actually saw a few prints that turned my head.  An artsy, faded newsprint type design, a subdued print with antique or Victorian style furniture pieces with a text scattered over it, and a charming black and beige print with fancy perfume bottle on it. All for $4.97 per yard. I examined the quality of the cloth, holding my fingers behind one layer of it. It felt rough, thin, and I could count the threads, visibly, without my glasses.

They also had a few basic batiks for $9 per yard. They didn’t feel quite up to par, but they weren’t terrible. The bolts said made in Indonesia.

Now, for $5 per yard, I was willing to give the newsprint one a chance to live in a quilt, because of the three, it was the best quality. Still, it had a rough hand, but I’d hoped it would wash up softer. I really wanted to try it and report my findings to you in whole.

I’d like to be able to give you a full review of this fabric, from purchase to final binding stitch and maybe even beyond on how the quilt would hold up over the years in comparison with Moda and  Northcott and Bali Batiks.. Unfortunately I didn’t end up taking that pretty text print home with me. First, I waited about twenty minutes while the lady (very nice lady whom I’ve interacted with for years while I made many crafts and costumes) tried to find a printer in order to make a ticket for my fabric. After many announcements and pleas with neighboring departments she finally just wrote the information on a slip of paper and sent me along that way.

I should mention I was very patient and friendly up to this point. She thanked me for my patience and I shrugged it off, commenting that there’s no other way to be. Getting huffy doesn’t help anything.

After waiting for a half hour in the “10 items or less” line (screaming in my head the entire time that it should be 10 or fewer) while someone checked out with a $200 school supplies order.. Then the people behind them had someone join their party with an armload of items from the clearance rack with jacked up tags. The clerk started trying to look up the items, gave up, called another person over to help..  I just knew when I got up there with my non-scannable ticket, there would be problems.. I chunked my fabric over a nearby shelf and declared I was done. Done with Walmart, (again) done with the whole experience.

What people fail to realize is that when you pay $6- $12 per yard for high quality fabrics that don’t fade or disintegrate in three washings at an independent shop, you’re paying for quality in addition to prompt and friendly service. If for some reason, you have to wait at a quilt shop, you’re likely offered a comfy chair, and a cup of coffee or tea. You get someone who actually cares to hear about the quilt you’re making for your daughter’s boyfriend’s roommate who is battling cancer. You get someone who is knowledgable about quiltmaking, and most times they will get out a calculator and do the math for you to figure out how much fabric you need.

I’ve said before, if all you can afford is Walmart fabric (I’ve been there!!) then buy it! Quilt with it! By all means, buy it. But be choosy and careful, and try to find the quality pieces. I don’t want anyone to NOT quilt just because they are financially not able to buy quilt shop quality. Also, make friends who have amazing scraps :) Quilter’s love to share!

But also, realize that if you’re thrifty and smart, you CAN afford quality! Walmart fabrics run $5-$10. While quilt shops range from $6-$13 (in the U.S.) Most quilt shops have reward programs, coupons, or some sort of discount system to help you get the most out of your quilting budget.

Just please understand that you get what you pay for. For a couple extra dollars per yard, you get a quilt that will last several times longer and a personal experience with like minded people that is quickly and sadly disappearing from our society.


Back to your regularly scheduled quilting. I’m making a modern Dresden Plate quilt (thanks a lot Frances!!)

Now, where did I put that wedge ruler?

LDQ #61 Cake Sauce with a side of Music

I finally quilted Cake Sauce! And I made matching pillow cases. Ya know, cuz I’m awesome.

I also worked on this little quilt I’m calling Moby. It looks like he is caught in a hurricane..

I also laid out my Scrap In A Box blocks.. And I’m trying out some fat sashings to see how I like it.

I inserted a piece at the end of the podcast of my son, Ian playing and singing. He was on the radio this morning, and I’m so proud of him. These aren’t professional quality recordings, but if you’d like to hear more, check him out on soundcloud. He writes his own music and lyrics. My favourites are Brighter Now, Sunset Eyes, and Rest My Heart… and all the other ones.  ha

LDQ #60 Use Sunscreen

HI! look at me, posting right on time, two weeks in a row! BOOM!

I’m loving my Scrap In A Box blocks and I am excited to see how it all comes together.. I think a few of the Cherry Bomb fabrics made it into this quilt, and I love that.

However, I am still not happy with whats happening on the Grand Illusion.. ugh. I may take it apart and make it into two different quilts. I want to use up the units I have made, but I don’t like them together. At. All.

This week I talked about the pros and cons of my job..

And these are the books I mentioned:

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

The Mean Streak by Sandra Brown

Here’s what Pam and I are reading.. Join us, and we can have a little Twilter Book Club!

The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey

Now, let’s quilt! (and read)

LDQ #59 Triumphant Return!

>insert trumpet blasts here< I finally found time to get back to talking about quilting and books. I described a new to me method of making Half Square Triangles.. or HSTs.. and I have some pictures below to help illustrate the process.

Sew together two strips that are 2 1/4″ wide on both long edges. Use a 2 1/2″ square to trim the units, placing the diagonal marks ON the seam line.

If you want HSTs of a different size, for the strip width, add a quarter inch to the finished size, and then for trimming, use a square that is a half inch larger than the finished size.

Example: 4″ finished half square triangles ; use 4 1/4″ strips and a 4 1/2 square for trimming.


After replacing the cornerstones and center squares in the blocks for the Grand Illusion Mystery quilt, I am still not sure what to do next. I do like the spinning effect you get from the black sections overall, but I am afraid they are getting lost in my vibrant (maybe too dark) green. I will play around with this project this week and see what I can come up with. I’ll be tweeting my quilt angst each afternoon and I am open to suggestions.. Let’s have some cawfee and we’ll tawk. (hi Tina)

I’m LOVING the Scrap In A Box, and sending out good vibes and heart healing thoughts to Charlotte. Her family suffered a great loss recently.

One of our own Twilters is hurting also, after losing her daughter, and my whole self hurts for her. I hope the quilt we contributed helps to wrap Stephanie in love. Many thanks to Gretchen for herding cats on that project, and to Tina for quilting it! And to everyone who sent a block or three, donated batting or backing, sent money to cover postage, YOU GUYS RULE.  The Hearts for Stephanie quilt turned out amazing!


Here are links to the three books I talked about today.

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood (barf)

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (loved)

A Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (my favourite this month)

Go Make Something!

I’m alive!

Hey! Guess what…? I didn’t fall off the face of the planet. I have been very busy with life. It’s been getting in the way of my sewing time and I’ve been battered by allergies and sinus infections these past couple months. Yeah, I hate Spring.

I have a son who is graduating from high school this Friday and I find it bittersweet. I’m proud of the man he is becoming, but my heart misses the little boy he was. He makes me laugh every day and I’m so impressed by his musical talents. He plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, pretty much anything with strings.. And now drums. But mostly, I love when he sings.

So enough mushy stuff right?

I have been working on some “stunt sewing” for John Adams, aka Quilt Dad.. I’ve GOT to get that finished and mailed off today. I have just a couple seams left. I so wish I could show you a picture! This is a super cool design. I’ve fallen in love with it and plan to make one for myself too. I’m sure to love his upcoming book, which I think is sort of a sequel to Beyond Neutral.. Which I still love! I’ve made two quilts from that book so far. They are for my great nieces.

I made Triton Cove from a purple squiggle print for the background (my neutral) and used the Folklore line from Moda by Lily Ashbury. My niece Lindsay loves how it turned out and her room is purple and green. Perfect! She chose the purple fabric, and I wasn’t sure where to go from there. I took my friend, Angela’s advice (she is also my boss) and used Folklore. I never would have paired this line with purple, but as you can see, it works very well!  I love all these bonus triangles! See the quilt top HERE

For my niece Taylor, aka “Birdie” I made the Pacific Crest pattern with Kona Ash, a Blue Hawaiian Bali Pop, and a dark blue batik that Taylor picked herself. I made the blocks smaller than in the pattern, finishing instead at 8″ because I was working with 2.5″ strips. I laid out the blocks exactly like the pattern (Which is something different for me, lol)  then I realized I wanted the quilt bigger… Closer to a proper bed size. So I started adding more blocks with the batik scraps I had left and threw in some from my stash. I think it worked out very well, and I am now sewing them into rows.

I showed the girls their quilt tops while they were here visiting from Maryland, and I will finish them up and get them mailed out to them this month. They pretty much think I do magic and loved their quilts.

Also, I’ve not podfaded! I had a bout of serious website problems and thought my whole blog was lost to the ether. Luckily, it was restorable and I am planning to record again just as soon as I can spend five minutes straight without coughing, sneezing, or spewing something disgusting. Tmi? Yeah, sorry. Lol. ACHOO!

reminders: in the meantime, you may still follow me on Twitter or Instagram. @verylazydaisy. I’ve also got my Etsy shop back up! Very Lazy Daisy Quilts.

Things are looking up, Friends.

Talk to you soon.

A Book Challenge

I’m throwing out a book challenge! Now, nothing bad will happen if you don’t join in, but I’d sure like to hear feedback about the books you choose and what you think of them.

Challenge: Read two books with the same, or similar titles, by two different authors.

I’m reading Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, and Life After Life by Jill McCorkle.

Let me know what you’re reading?

How do you feel about hype?

When a book is super hyped, I guess my rebellious streak kicks in (it’s about a mile wide and it doesn’t take much, to be honest). So, confession time; I have no desire to read anything by Toni Morrison. I’m certain she is a fantastic writer, with stories about important things, but I frankly don’t care. Lately, every blog I read, almost every book related podcast I listen to seems to be talking about her work. There is such a thing as saturation hype and I’ve reached it with Toni Morrison.
Perhaps someday, I’ll suddenly realize that I’ve gone three days without hearing about one of her books and I’ll decide to read one, but right now, the titles make me run in the other direction.
I do this with movies too! I didn’t watch Forrest Gump until two years after it came out on video! I just can’t stomach over hyped books, movies, songs..
How do you feel about books that get a lot of hype? Does it turn you off? Does it make you want to read it even more because you want to be in on the excitement? Leave a comment, and let me know how you feel about it. I’m wondering if I’m just stubborn, or if there’s some other explanation for why hype turns me away from some books.