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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Quilted Jacket

The Quilted Jacket
So, I've been sitting on - no, not accurate - I've been procrastinating with this pattern for approximately 4 years - ouch!
I'm not a seamstress - I've never taken any, and I mean ANY real sewing lessons. I never took Home Ec or 4H or any of that domestic stuff... which is why I've been procrastinating. I really can't sew a lick, which is why I'm best known for applique - you don't have to be accurate - you can be more creative in applique. My piecework in quilting is never 100% - my seams always go wonky and, as Kaye Woods would say - I'm a pointless person! None-the-less this past month I finally plucked up my nerve with the encouragement of my friends in our quilting group and got down to business.
As you can see I finished the jacket, and .... drum roll please .... it fits!! I even managed to make button holes with the machine's auto buttonholer. Now for me that is a real accomplishment!

The pattern called for 8 fat quarter - I've been collecting them for 2 years now, I have lots and lots left over ;). It was also supposed to have raggedy seams, but I chose to leave the seams on the inside, and, since I wasn't into the raggedy look I actually bound the seams with bias binding made from the leftovers of the 8 fat quarters. I got some white flannel with pink, blue, yellow and green polka dots for the "batting" and spent a week machine quilting the fabric.

Having proudly taken it to our last get-together to show-n-tell imagine how red my face was the next day when I noticed that the left sleeve was only 1/2 quilted! YIKES! What the heck? How could I??? In my enthusiasm I finished off the whole jacket without completing the quilting! So, last night after work out came the dreaded unsewer (aka seam ripper) and , as you can see below , I proceeded to quilt the remaining 1/4 section of the left sleeve, re-sew the sleeve, rebind the sleeve and re-hem the sleeve! Phew!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Spring Vacation !

So I'm just coming off a one week spring vacation. The weather was great and I accomplished - oh - about 60 % of my to do list - not bad eh? One of the things on my list was to make a canvas liner for this wicker bag. So, off to the infamous W store for another meter or two of the somewhat funky canvas ..I then had to figure out how to fabricate the planned liner ... hmmm .... after a couple of days on the patio, enjoying the sunshine, CBC radio 2 and some good wine I finally had a plan! Of course, as with all good plans, things did not go swimmingly and there were some alterations along the way (I am an intuitive sewer, not an educated one). Along the way I invented a few new techniques (or maybe not) and finally got the thing done.
Back at work now and none too soon! Simone has gone into heat (mommy procrastinated too long in getting her fixed ...) and she is now howling for all the neighbourhood to hear! YIKES! According to all the websites I've read this could last 4-6 days then I'll need to rush her off to a Vet that rumour has it will fix her up right quick in one go. Yeah, but oh my aching wallet!


Friday, May 15, 2009

Always a Bridemaid

So, last night was challenge night at the guild, the theme this year was Canadian, aka anything with a maple leaf. So at last winter's shop hop I noticed this kit and thought - hey, that would be good for Canada Day as one of my door hangings ... and bonus - it will work for the challenge! So after piecing the maple leaf I got another brainstorm and decided to add the silhouette from another pattern with trees and a Mountie with his horse. A Mountie, for those readers who aren't overly familiar with Canadian culture, is a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) person and they are famous for their musical ride.

So, I pieced together the border from the leftover red squares, found a piece of white with red maple leaves for the back, then bound it in black. I hand quilted (yes ladies, it's hand stippled!) and it only took me a month, not like last year's challenge which took me 3 months! All in all I'm pleased with the results and happy to at least win - ok ok - it's third prize for the second year in a row. I was feeling kinda bad since I used a kit for the challenge, but hey - the person who won first prize used a kit (I think I recognized it), so what the heck! ... Maybe next year I'll move on up to second prize?


Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek and Chain Letters and Shop Hops Oh my!

Last week, after two weeks of serious deliberation, and definitely against my better judgement I once again weakened and responded to the 2 chains letters sent to me. Why ? umh, err, well, that's the cruel magic of these pernicious missives ... I know better, I had previously resolved to never never never again be dragged into one, and then ....

To all the recipients of my momentary weakness please feel free to do as you wish. Some may reciprocate, passing it on and enjoying the opportunity to share. On the other hand some may want me dead, and to those here is a link to a certificate of Chain Letter Nullification; sorry.

Please, no comments, email epistles or other repercussions. Just take it in stride. Chain letters, unless specifically requesting money or issuing physical threats, are not illegal and thus no more harmful than forwarding unwanted e-jokes or spam-like emails re psychic encounters or alternative cures for cancer, etc etc. etc., and haven't you all been guilty of one of those???
Pay it forward and use the purple charm squares in some charitable project. Now there's an idea!
On a more interesting note ... this past Thursday my friend and I experienced the new Star Trek flick.WOW Now, I'm not a dyed-in-the-wool trekkie, but I have been known to enjoy many episodes of whichever version. I was away living in West Africa when the original series played, so for me these shows were always reruns. None-the-less, I have seen all the movies, my favourite is The Voyage Home. So now I might just have a new favourite!!!

This past weekend two child-free women, aka myself and a good friend, spent Mother's Day weekend on a local Shop Hop tour - woo hoo! For those who've not experienced a shop hop - you get in your car and drive miles and miles around the province (kilometers and kilometers) visiting "local" quilt shops, seeing what's new and exciting in all their stores, spending money on fat quarters and getting a free wall hanging/table runner pattern. My friend was justifiably complimented at each stop on her wonderful "mini-me" japanese print fabric bag and managed to win 3 (or was that 4) door prizes. I was called Sunday @ 6 pm as the winner of a door prize from Quilters on the Square. Woohoo!


Monday, May 04, 2009

I'm Blind ... I'm Roman Blind!

Ok, ok, I'm not actually blind .... but I did make a Roman blind this weekend for my spare bedroom and I'm rather proud of my efforts - woohoo! The back 2 bedrooms face east and always get the morning sun ... which makes them very hot in the summer, so this should help!

It all started when I found some cute (read cheap) cotton canvas like material in the big box W store. Hey, that would work fantastic as a liner for the wicker carryall I have that has lost it's straps and I now want to use for the summer with my little blue cart I drag to work everyday. So I bought a bunch - it was on sale - I don't remember how much, probably 2 meters, and took it home. After rediscovering the shopping bag a few days/weeks later, I took a good second look and thought - hey, this would make a fabulous Roman blind ... so now you see how my mind works .... and why so many of my projects morph into other things ....
fabric pre cutting & sewing
Well, as if I didn't have enough to do this weekend .... like have brunch with mother, get haircut, grocery shop for the month, banking for the month, finish seeding the dead grass areas on the front lawn, finish spring cleaning the house, laundry, work Saturday, re-pot the plants I've been rooting for the last 6 weeks, fertilize plants @ work and top up with soil, respond to those 2 purple charm square chain letters (PLEASE stop sending me chain letters), play with the ever so patient (thank god the kitties still love me!) Iris and Simone, load/unload the dishwasher, finish that library book that's overdue, get to the 3 week old ironing, etc., etc., etc. .

None-the-less I merrily went about creating a Roman blind for the spare bedroom. Now that it's completed I realize there are probably much easier methods to create the same effect, but then again, how do you know that until you've made the first one ?
So, after sewing on the horizontal (yes, I know, usually the tape is sewn on vertically, but not this tape, no... that would be too normal...), inserting the 5 wooden dowels, discovering the dowels were 1/2 " too long, breaking off that darn 1/2" 5 times, deciding I had just enough left-over beige piano trim that would look just lovely on this blind ...Blind on sewing counter with piano trim pinned

Then determining how to attach the darn thing to the window, then finding the board for the header, sawing it to fit, 3 times - Yes, I know, measure twice, cut once ... but I didn't account for the extra space needed for the 2 L brackets, then I forgot to account for the screw heads holding the L brackets in place (planning beforehand was never my strong suit, I'm much too spontaneous for that ... or is it AAAD Age Activated Attention Deficit), and finally, YES finally getting it all in place!

Phew! I'm exhausted, but damn - my new Roman blind looks good!
finished product!
Too bad I don't have anymore windows where I can use another blind!