Saturday 30 May 2015

Gravity Project: Intergalactic

Intergalactic: (adj.)
Existing or occuring in the space between galaxies...

Is that what these blocks do? Exist in the space between galaxies? Maybe. They're going to end up between other blocks in the grand scheme of things when this quilt is all said and done.

All I know for sure is that they co-mingled rather nicely with the Kona Kandy in Anja's identical blocks! It was so much fun working on blocks together at our Maritime Modern Quilt Guild's Sew-In last weekend...these quilts are going to be stunning!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts for the Gravity Quilt-A-Long! 

Thursday 28 May 2015

Let's Ride!

Never wanted to get on a motorcycle, let alone learn to ride one.
But it happened.

Never wanted to own a motorcycle quilt, let alone set out to build one.
But that happened too.

Plans change. People change.
One thing leads to another.
3 bikes later, I look back and smile.

This quilt was a classic "brain on fire" episode. A spark that blew up in my explosion of "what if's" and "this might work's" that landed me, years later, here.

A few years ago I sketched my 2nd bike, a 2006 Suzuki Boulevard 800. I fondly called this bike Piggy for as much as I loved it I hoped he'd one day grow into a Hog. Thought I could free piece it-- HA! Changed my mind-- QUICK! So instead I drafted my bike in a fashion that I could see it paper pieced, enlarged it, tweaked it, pieced it, made some free pieced letters, put it all together, took it all apart, cut parts down, put it back together, basked in the glow, showed it off a bit, put it in the closet. Figured I'd quilt it, someday.

Someday came on Tuesday when I saw a flame panto for download when I was surfing quilting patterns over at Intelligent Quilting.
Had. To. Have. It.

Flames were the right choice!
"Hot Nights" by Apricot Moon 

Finally complete.
With a long arm I never thought I'd own.
Have to make another quilt someday, I ride a Fatboy now.
Like I said: Things change.

What better way to kick off this year's chilly riding season than to have a cozy bike quilt for my cold bones to curl up in when I get home!

Linking up with Anja Quilts who's hosting

Wednesday 27 May 2015


"My little dog-
a heartbeat at my feet."
~Edith Wharton 

The IZZ-A-BOO quilt for my son,
my first free pieced adventure ever!

Nothing could be truer than this simple, sweet quote when I think of my wee Izzy. Always close, always underfoot. She doesn't see well but she feels with her whole heart. Total. Love. Bug.

I may or may not have jumped ahead of the Quilt-A-Long with the Gravity project so I'll not disclose where these pieces fit but when I pressed them I of course was tripping over the Boo...I'm always tripping over that girl. The pieces were labeled B, F, F.

Yah...she's my "BFF"

Best. Friend. Forever.

Sunday 24 May 2015

Google Gremlins Approve of Polly Cove

Not sure how or why it happens but every now and then I see that one of my photos gets magically transformed in cyberspace and lands itself discreetly back in the folder next to the original. I am sure there is a technically sound reason for this, it doesn't bother me, it just seems weird that the Google Gremlins clearly play with my Samsung Tab4 while I sleep. It always happens when I'm not looking.

This morning I have this beautiful photo to enjoy. Thank you Gremlins! I'll take any opportunity to breathe in Polly Cove again.

Notice the iron sculpture off in the distance toward the right?  It's perched atop a hill out on the Low Side. I hear conflicting stories of its origin so can't say with any certainty how or why it took up its watch there. What I do know is that it casts a distinct element of mysterious & spiritual energy to that spot, it is a beautiful thing. Up close it looks like this:

The Low Side is really beautiful. I didn't share much of it with you the other day because that crazy springy thing of mine demanded his own story, so here's a bit more Polly Cove eye candy to remind you what you're missing...

All these photos were taken on the same hike, notice how the sky changes from blue to grey. That's why they say here: "If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes". In the course of less than 2 hours that Atlantic sky went from grey to blue and back to grey; by the time we left it was almost raining. And, because no Polly Cove post would be complete without at least one photo of the dogs I give you this...

The Mexican & Izzy partaking in an afternoon
all-you-can-eat crab buffet.

Saturday 23 May 2015

The Riley Blake Challenge

A while ago all members of the Modern Quilt Guild were invited by the "mothership" to participate in a multi national challenge. I signed up mostly because I wanted the free fabric...uh, who doesn't? So after a bit a little box came with 6 wee pieces of Riley Blake's collection, "The Cottage Garden", all tied up with a pretty ribbon and a note outlining the rules.


But, right off the get-go we had a problem: the Riley Blake solids weren't available anywhere in Canada. So, our little guild said, "Well then, let's just have our own little challenge and allow Kona!"  Okeedokee Smokee! Works for me. I loves me some Kona now and then! So, off to the fabric store I went to pick up some matching Konas and I even managed to find a hunk of a Riley Blake mottled white. But what to make? It had to be something fantastic I hadn't done before, and I had to learn something new along the way. Okay!?!

I wasn't feeling very well yesterday, that stupid plague has returned, so I was having a lazy day at home. What better way to avoid the housework than to get that oh-so-important challenge done? The deadline is looming & I know my priorities people. Play comes first! Poking around downstairs I found that little whizzy circle attachment from Pfaff that I had only used once in a class. I saw a guild mate applique circles with it once and since I'm kinda liking circles these days, I sat down & figured it out...

First, I cut a square and folded it in quarters to mark the center and layed it on the base fabric with tear away interfacing underneath. With the whizzy circle thing attached to the machine, I then set the push pin to the size of circle I wanted and straight stitched around it. It's so cool. And perfect.

Then, I trimmed very closely to that stitching. After that I just replaced the push pin, changed my stitch and went around again with the tight applique stitch to cover the first stitches and secure the raw edge. I used 50wt. cotton thread but a 30wt. would have given a nicer, more dense finish. Next time.

Before I quilted it I cut away the 2 layers of fabric (the white and the Kona) from under the 6 print circles that were stacked up 3 high. It made it lay nicer when I pressed it and I expected that the Robot might be happier with less bulk to quilt through.

I was a little sad about the garbage can. To be honest I don't like to toss scraps and all that used interfacing troubled me. I reused the big circles under the smaller circles, but beyond that saving it seemed silly. Where would I store it? So it's trash. My inner tree hugger cried a little when my practical self slapped her.

So. Much. Waste.

Then came the quilting. Another challenge. Haven't mastered the Robot yet, not by a long shot, but I did know that none of the on board quilting designs suited the runner; I wanted something more modern. Although I'd never done it, I knew you could download designs so I Googled it and voila! Everything a robot needs on one little site: Intelligent Quilting. With a little help from the websites FAQ section I figured out how to download, unzip, save and transfer to the robot! Not bad for a technically challenged sick girl!

All done!
Quilting design is "Round About" by Apricot Moon

Quilting designs are like chocolates. Once you start you can't stop. 4 new designs are loaded up on the robot now...and my Visa? It's loaded up too. This could easily become my latest slippery slope of money eating madness, but this time it was justified. It was medicinal. I'm sick. I needed some retail therapy and boy, this digital stuff came fast and easy! Figuring out how to nest the pattern? Not so fast and easy. But eventually I got it done, with a little help from my stitch ripper. A pieced binding finished if off and used up some scraps.

Anyway, this little runner checks all the boxes for our Maritime Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake Challenge.  It was a lot of fun and I'm glad to have some new tricks up my sleeve. I even used the ribbon that the fabric bundle came tied up with, it made the perfect compliment to my "selvage label" on the back...another a new trick!

Thursday 21 May 2015

YooHooo, Kona Nerds...

Psst.... You there. Yes, you.

Craftsy has a big sale on in honour of Memorial Day. I just ordered this new kit called Kona Cotton Pointy Quilt designed by Elizabeth Hartman.  

Kona Cotton Pointy Quilt
by Elizabeth Hartman

A box full of Kona Kandy and the pattern will be delivered for the delightful price of $114Can, shipping and duty INCLUDED! That's not too shabby for a top that'll work out to be 67x80.


Hurry up Gravity... I'm off in new directions!
It's entirely possible that this quilt was designed just for me as it easily & adequately represents my incredibly poor sense of direction. Somewhere there's a paper bag that I've been lost in, but I'm hard pressed to find it.

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Polly Cove: Traipsing Across The Low Side

Seems we always go to the High Side. The views are a wee bit more breath taking over there but mostly it's just habit. Yesterday we decided to take the path less traveled and head on down to the Low Side. There's a wee sandy beach on the Low Side that only appears when the tide is down...a tiny spot of Atlantic Paradise in the midst of all that granite.

This Crazy Cooter of mine doesn't care which way we go as long as we end up somewhere he can swim. The Mexican and his girl Izzy, both of whom could care less about water sports, were busy munching on dead crabs. The fisherman are using them as lobster bait on the trap spindles now so plenty of crunchy body parts are washing's a seafood buffet for the scruffs these days. Yuck.

Flushingwings Crazy Cooter
...9 years of nutball still going strong...

That happy springy face says:

"Throw the stick.
Throw it now.
I LOVE Polly Cove Mum!
Throw it.  Again.
This is the best day ever.
Since the last best day ever.
Throw the stick.

Monday 18 May 2015

Gravity Project: Orbit

The third set of blocks for The Gravity Project are complete.

Yup, you dear reader, are looking at my first bunch of hexies ever. It's true! I love this ever popular shape but have never before gone so far as to even cut one out. First time for everything...

Did you feel the bump in the universe? That was just me knocking these 2 stellar combinations of Kona Kandy into their own orbit!

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts for The Gravity Quilt-A-Long! 

Project:Robot Rescue **Up For Adoption!**

After spending Saturday morning hiking at Polly Cove I was "in my happy place" and ready for my second date with the Giant Wiggler. I'm happy to say that in no time at all The Robot wiggled it's way to my heart  a finish. There were some awkward moments, a few fleeting "what the hell am I doing here" thoughts but before long I found myself at the end of our date with a glass of whiskey in my hand and pleasantly recalled an afternoon well spent.

I chose an open, simple edge to edge design called Charms. Since the fabric is old and the stitching somewhat "fragile" I thought that an overabundance of stitching might perforate the cotton too heavily and compromise the quilts longevity.  The Robot didn't  seem to mind taking things slow & easy and strutted his stuff with flirty little options like "add pattern", "auto fill" and "move start point". He impressed me with polite questions such as "Did your thread break?" and "Is this where you want to start stitching?". That charmer even reminded me to "cut thread" and "make sure needle is in up position". Friends, this fella turned out to be a complete gentleman! I can't wait to see him again!

I decided that several of the vintage fabrics bear strong resemblances to modern prints and a few pieces of the solids are reminiscent of the shot cottons that people are all over these days. Who ever made this flimsy was ahead of her time! I had only one fabric in my stash that seemed colour appropriate for binding; I think it was actually a Christmas print, though there's nothing very Christmasy about it. The Kona Nerd in me would have liked a solid navy binding but alas, since I have not achieved Kona Badass status I didn't have any, nor can I tell you which shade of the 300+ would have been the perfect choice.  So, I went ahead with the lowly Christmas print, this was after all a Christmas gift to me in the first place so in some small way it seems fitting.

For a vintage quilt top that was in violation of every subsection of the Building Code it turned out rather nicely. There are 2 noticeble puckers and some areas of slight fullness here and there but, all in all, it looks pretty good. Well, as long as you don't measure it or fold it too neatly...this puppy is not square. Didn't ya know? It's not hip to be square in the rescue world.

Now, like all good rescue stories, this senior puppy needs a forever home. All my years of rescue work have been spent helping Springer Spaniels in need and back in the day I helped to found the non profit organization Springer Spaniel Rescue of Eastern and Central Canada. You all know by now that I'm a sucker for those springy things no matter what their age, but the old fellas are the hardest to place. No one wants the old guys. It's the saddest and hardest truth of rescue.

This oldie needs someone who will love him despite his wrinkles, will bathe him gently and understand that he may not be around for a long time. He may require mending from time to time as his antique joints get weak but he'll be happy to warm your lap and hang out on your couch just as well as any old springy thing could.

I'm going to foster him here til suitable housing can be found. If you think you might be able to offer a loving environment to this senior quilt, please contact me. His adoption fee is a mandatory donation of $75CAN payable to Springer Rescue as mentioned above. And, aside from helping out a springy thing in need, you'll get a quilt and an income tax receipt!

Rescue for Rescue.
Can it get anybetter??

Saturday 16 May 2015

Project: Robot Rescue

Don't be alarmed. The Robot is just fine.
Well...except that I'm a little-more-than-intimidated by him.
I know, I know.  I'm a big girl, I can handle myself and I possess enough determination to figure this out. But, have you seen this thing? The Giant Wiggler is a mammoth. And, he's complicated.   (***gulp***)

We had a rough first date and while I let him walk me home, there was no kiss. I can say with certainty that it's going to be a while before I let him put his lint brush next to mine in the medicine cabinet but I'm not going to give up.

I decided the best way to figure him out was to jump in, after all that's how I roll. So I dug out a Christmas gift and got things ready. Now, this gift I speak of...well, that's kinda complicated too. You see...there's this thing we quilters worry about: what happens to our stuff when we die? Who will finish our things? Will anybody care? Unless we make plans there's no way of knowing really. But sometimes, the universe looks after things.

I am a hairstylist by day and at Christmastime it's common to receive gifts from clients. This Christmas  I was gifted 2 vintage quilt tops by a client who works for an auction house. They had been hired to clear the estate of a deceased person. Among the piles of household items were 8 quilt tops, and the auctioneer deemed them trash. My client, an older quilter, was horrified and asked if she could have them. To make a long story short...she's determined to see this woman's work completed. She took them home and washed them, pressed them and shared them.

These tops are precious. They are made in typical make-do fashion. Things are wonky, seams are crooked, there are puckers and stains and frayed edges. To some perhaps they are trash, but to me, they are perfection. They are exactly what quilts were meant to be... a utilitarian object built out of need and love. There are mostly hand stitches and hope is evident, someone made these with the intent of sharing time, talent and warmth.

I decided that a first project for The Robot should be a top that I'm not terribly invested in...something that needs done but could be used at the beach or out by the fire on a cool evening where perfection of any sort wouldn't matter in the least. I rooted thru the pile of flimsies and found this orphaned gem. I am strangely drawn to the weird mix of colours and's funky, it's's "fugly". I like it. I found some chunks of old Jinny Beyer prints that have languished long enough in my stash and made a backing that is as weirdly "colour challenged" as the front.

It took some time to get that old top ready for the frame. I had to press it, repair a few seams, straighten up the borders and lastly trim the snarled and confused mess of tangled threads from the back that probably appeared when my client washed it.

Doing this trimming gave me time to look closely at the construction. Lot's of the blocks were pieced where she clearly ran out of fabric but needed to make do with what bits she had on hand. Some of the stitches were really fine and others were a bit bigger. There are a couple seams that were machine sewn. This leads me to believe that perhaps more than one person worked on the top; who knows, that wasn't at all uncommon back in the day.

At any rate, it's all done and loaded up. The Robot is ready to go. I've decided to float the top so that I can manipulate the fullness as I quilt. I learned a thing or two in my years with the Wee Wiggler, so although I am a total greenhorn with The Robot, this isn't my first time on the quilt-frame-merri-go-round.  The quilting won't be perfect; there will be puckers and pleats because it's not even close to laying flat. But I'm okay with it because somewhere in the heavens a woman is smiling, happy to see that someone valued her work enough to rescue it.

My years of working in dog rescue has taught me many things, not the least of which is this:
Rescue work is more passion than perfection.
The same can be said of quilting.

Thursday 14 May 2015

Oh Nuts!

Chomping at the bit to find out if you won that hunk-o-skully-goodness?

A whopping  27 out of 41 comments answered my nutty query... so... I made a list that assigned each nutty quilty peep a number.

With a little help from an online random number generator I came up with lucky number 19.

And the winner is....
Lisa in Port Hope who thinks she just might be "an almond-chocolate covered of course!"

Thanks to everyone who played along, the comments were rather entertaining!

Wednesday 13 May 2015

15 hours and Counting....

Have you decided which nut best describes you and commented on my post "Meet Maritime Modern: My Turn" ?

Better have at'er...time's-a-wastin'...

That badass crown-wearing-skully fabric giveaway closes tonight at midnight and ONLY the comments that answered my nutty question will be put into the draw!

Today is the last day for the Meet Maritime Modern Blog Hop, so hop on over to the final stop at Candy Coated Quilts and see what Aimee has been up to!

Sunday 10 May 2015

Hazzard County & Me

Friday nights at my house in the early 80's found 2 wide eyed, blonde haired little girls in pajamas glued to the TV screen while that mean ole Boss Hog got up to no good and The Duke boys tried to avoid arrest, week after week. Yup, we were the biggest little fans of The Dukes of Hazzard...God, we loved that show.

I decided when I was 8 years old and first saw Daisy Duke in her Jeep that I would be a Jeep Girl too when I grew up. Apparently that finally happened in 2012 when I brought a Jeep home on a whim...because that's clearly what grown up's do, they make major purchases without thinking them through. In my defense, Mr. PurpleBoots did say to get whatever made me happy when I left for the Hyundai store that day. It was a total ADHD moment...all those shiny new Jeeps lined up and just sitting there distracting me when I tried to drive past.  Now, if only I looked that good in cut off jeans, oh well, can't have it all.

Me & My Jeep, Daisy

Back in 2006 when Not-So-Little PurpleBoots was fairly young I got the boxed set of Dukes of Hazzard so we could enjoy the re-runs...well, my boy ate them up; the craziness and the car chases seemed to be as exciting for him as it was me when I was little. (Now, all you moms out there, you can stop judging me for letting him watch the show, because I know it was inappropriate...he had water guns and camoflauge pants too!) Around this time we got a second springy thing and the wee pup needed a name. My boy really wanted to name him Uncle Jesse. For the love of Dog, who can go to the door and call Uncle Jesse with a straight face? Not me. In the end he settled on Crazy Cooter, because "springers always got their ears on, right Mom?"

Crazy Cooter... Spread your wings ears and fly!

What's the point of this? Ok, Ok. I'm getting to it.

The Enabler was here Friday when I was putting the last bits of the Giant Wiggler together and we had fits of laughter when I read aloud the short blurb in the manual about oiling the machine. The robot has a dipstick. The word dipstick appeared in the paragraph at least a dozen times, I kid you not. Say it once it's not that funny...say it 10 times in 90 seconds and it's damn right hilarious. And what does ANY of this have to do with Hazzard County?

Yup, that's a wee dipstick.

"Enos, you Dipstick...."
Can you hear it? Do you remember?

Rosco P. Coltrane. Oh how that character could make me laugh!
This clumsy cop simply made the show; he was well played by James Best, who died on April 6th, 2015.

Rosco & Cooter

There's a nickname in the wind here...Rosco Robot.
Let's see if it sticks...

Saturday 9 May 2015

Meet Maritime Modern: My Turn!

Well now...glad you're here!
I'm also glad it's Saturday. Saturday pleases me.

Welcome to Purple Boots and Pigtails! Home to musings & ramblings about quilty things, springy things, motorcycle things, hiking spots and life in general. I don't tend to take life too seriously, especially where quilty things are's all about the joy factor for me! Life is Good. It is also short. So we had best enjoy it. We should also enjoy chocolate. Daily.

I'm a fairly new blogger, started in January  of this year as part of my "What Can I Do To Make 2015 Even Better Than 2014?" project. I don't believe in New Year resolutions, even the smallest life improvement is a bonus in my mind, and with my raging ADHD they're bound to be forgotten anyway after about 3 days or 4 glasses of Jack. Why "Purple Boots and Pigtails" you're wondering?  It's my signature look when I ride my bike, my biker peeps have come to expect a certain level of quirky from me. Perhaps in time, if you hang out here now and then, you will notice it as well. my nutshell...

I joined the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild in the fall of 2014. Took a long time to find a group of quilters that might accept my often unorthodox quilty ways and my often off the wall sense of humor. Last June I rode my Harley to a meeting and clad in leather from head to toe stepped into a room full of strangers. They didn't seem rattled by my appearance in the least, in fact, the lack of shock value was almost disappointing. I have come to love and expect quite the opposite reaction when I pop into a quilt store in all that gear...the ole gals are always rather bewildered by my presence and surprised that I actually know what a fat quarter is...clearly bikers aren't typical fabric shoppers. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself feeling quite at home the meeting. Months of decent biking weather kept me from getting back to the guild til the fall, but when I did, I jumped in with two purple boots! That's what I do...I jump in! I'm not a "dip-your-toe" kinda gal.

That's what happened to me a couple years ago when I discovered free piecing in patchwork. Blogs are wonderful things; I stumbled across an amazing and inspiring blog called The Patchery Menagerie written by Lynne Tyler and I was hooked.... done like dinner. My jaw dropping "Holy cow!" moment led to Purple Cow freedom! The rest is history. I'd been making traditional quilts for a long, long time and when I saw these liberated, free forms of quilt making my brain simply caught fire. I still love traditional quilts too, but these new ways challenged and excited me in ways typical patchwork had long ago stopped.

A few of my creations: free pieced & otherwise..
Oh, and pardon my salute to the Kona Nerds back when
I first realized "they had me" in their clutches...

Not much original stuff on the quilty front these days, I'm working on The Gravity Project. Normally I wind down my quilty ways at this time of year so I can concentrate on biking, paddling, hiking and drinking my way through what is a very short summer in Nova Scotia, but this year I have a hunch that I might continue to quilt...there is a new robot that demands attention. Gravity is a big quilt designed by Jaybird Quilts, it's made with 114 colours of Kona cotton. Since joining Maritime Modern I have been assimilated into a cult-like group of people I refer to as the Kona Nerds. My stack of Konas is growing every week, resistance proved to be futile. I curse them, those nerds, and their evil plot for solid domination of the Kaufman variety. I'm also chomping at the bit to get my brand spankin' new long arm up and running. I've managed to get the frame assembled without injuring myself, or anyone else, and have finally installed all the many bits and pieces necessary to get this giant thing wiggling. I'm hoping by the time I head to my nest Sunday night I might have had a meet and greet with the robot. It's more likely that I'll meet R2D2 himself, but hey, a girl can dream.

...Long Arm Love...

So there you have it...that's me in a nutshell. If I were a nut I think I'd resemble a walnut...with all those little compartments inside to hold all my interests. If you were a nut, what sort would YOU be?

Thanks for hopping in! Go ahead and leave me a comment to let me know you were here. It's always nice to know that someone actually reads this fact, leave me a comment that answers my nut pondering and I'll enter you in a random draw for a half meter cut of that crown-wearing-skully fabric I've been coveting! (You can see it on my blog post called Round and Round. Can you believe I'm willing to part with any of it? I'm a bigger walnut than I first thought. Clearly.) I'll leave the draw open til May 13th @ midnight AST, the last day of the hop, to give you time to contemplate your inner nuttiness...and to give me time to figure out how the little random-number-picker-thingy works. I told ya, I'm new at this!

OH! I almost forgot, tomorrow hop on over to visit my pal Linda at Scrapmaster!