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Sunday, December 26, 2010

I survived Christmas!

Yes folks - it's true .... I have survived another holiday season - how about you ? The first week has been a blur, with finishing up all my "projects", gift shopping, house cleaning and other chores the time has flown by! Here's hoping next week is more relaxed as I need some down time!!! Above is the final Tiskit a Tasket BOM. Yup ! I finished it in one year! I MET THE CHALLENGE - WooHoo! I don't think the other two ladies in my challenge group accomplished it, as a matter of fact I think they quietly dropped out of the challenge - party poopers!
I am so proud of myself, even with totally inadequate
finishing instructions I managed THE FIRST TIME
to get all the blocks together in the correct order and with the seams going in the correct direction! A first for me!!! I originally chose a blue with red somethings as the cornerstone blocks. They looked good together on my cutting board, but after I got them all together and on the design wall the blue was too strong. So, a quick trip to the local fabric store and I was able to find a suitable replacement which I think works better. And, since it was on sale for $3 a meter (yahoo!) I purchased enough for it to be the backing!
Who knows, you may just see this one done real soon! As always I have made the requisite resolution to NOT BUY ANY MORE FABRIC (insert uproarious laughter here). Ok, I do have that gift certificate from the sister to one of our local quilt fabric stores .... but after that !
Anyway, I think I have enough on my plate for the new year. I have an oriental panel to quilt for the mater, something I should make for Quilt Ontario 2011's invitational show (as yet undecided, but I have a few ideas), a quilt display at the library to arrange, and the invitational show to manage! By the end of May I will be ready for a grand vacation!
Happy New Year Everyone
and happy quilting!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Window with a View ...

This is currently the view from my sewing room window. That's snow hanging over the eaves! Makes ya feel in the mood for the holidays - so, having found an old cross stitch I'd forgotten about I decided to make a wee door hanging for the mater's apt. door. I cropped it down a wee bit with the pinking shears, found some red Christmasy fabric for the borders and used some leftover blue binding I had made about 10 years ago. (I'm glad now that I kept that binding all these years). Overall I'm rather pleased with the results ... Just the right size, feels wintery and snowy and Christmasy to me - what do you think? TTFN

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Snow, Snow and more snow!

So we are now into our third snow day .... and I have to admit. besides the D$#^@ shoveling I'm not actually hating it - feels almost like an early holiday ;) I have managed to take care of lots of wee niggling chores which I had fallen behind on, and this is good since it's the busy season. Have missed a lunch, two dinners and our Christmas theatre outing ... but most have just been postponed, so nothing tragic yet. Spent another 2 hours digging the car out - again! The snow drifts were up to the door handles! Yikes!
Then again, I can honestly say I haven't missed the library ... just last week there were two dramatic news stories involving libraries. The first was about two students at Queens University who fell through a skylight. One was killed and the other injured seriously. That happened at my library a few years back but the young person did not die - I believe he was injured for life though! The other news story was of a man who was killed by a crossbow - yes a crossbow - while sitting reading in the main branch of the public library in TO. Yes, I said a crossbow! Who said working in a library was a safe job!!!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

T'is the Season

T'is the season - the pater dropped by with my yearly Poinsettia. This year I inserted it into my glass globe which I've been keeping on my table. Last year I filled the globe with large pine cones and a read and gold ribbon. I like this year's version. Thank's Dad!
Finished off the Holsteins so got busy and made up
two place mats. The mater purchased machine lace panels with a variety of holiday themes. When she downsized her home I "inherited" the panels. Last year I made the mater a door hanging. I used plain red behind the panels and scrap Christmas fabric on either side. I used another Christmas scrap for the backing and more for the bindings. My quilt guild donates these place mats to Meals on Wheels to add to the Christmas dinners! I have two panels left, wonder what else I can do with them - any ideas or suggestions?
Even my indoor plants think it's the season ... my "Christmas" Cactus has decided to blossom. No ... I can't take any of the credit, actually, neglect seems to be what this plant likes - and I think it worked again this year!
Well, it may be the season but I have to admit I HATE the SNOW! It has snowed here for hours, and I've shovelled twice already! Phew! Supposed to snow again tomorrow - all day. Oh NO! Wish me luck!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Work Free Day - Woohoo!

So today is a work free day - woohoo - and I deserve it!!! Since I took the process pledge I need to show the process and not just the finished project!
Here's the Holsteins Ahead project on the ironing board. Once all the pieces are applied it was off to the sewing machine where I used invisible thread to quilt/tack down all the appliques. Seems I have developed the knack for that. But then I decided to do some thread painting in the grassy knoll (pardon the silly reference). Although I practiced practiced and practiced I was not at all satisfied with my tension with this machine work - but what can you do? Well, I did pick some/a lot out and redid it using a coloured thread in the bobbin as well as the variegated thread on top. It was a little better, but still not the best. Guess I need more practice practice practice!
What else have I been working on? Well .... while digging through my basket of holiday fabrics I ran across a 1/2 made table runner. All I needed to do was quilt it! So, since I already had the machine threaded up with invisible thread ..... This time the tension problem seems to have corrected itself - go figure - and I'm very satisfied with the end results. I even had enough "left-over" bindings in green and red to get this puppy finished off! Not sure who will be the lucky recipient - any takers?

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Last Knit

I think you'll really enjoy this video!

I'm sick!

I'm sick - I'm truly truly sick! I mean completely addicted. What wrong's with me? I'm suddenly, totally, completely addicted to Ted Danson. Yup - that's right, Ted Danson!
How the heck did this happen? Why me? Am I nuts??? Suddenly I find my day starting off at 7 am with reruns of Cheers. A full hour while I'm running around the house madly trying to feed the kitties, drink some tea, put on my face and head out for the day. And now I'm ending my day with a half hour of Becker. Ok, at first I didn't even realize the connection, and then it seemed relatively harmless, but now I'm convinced I'm hooked, addicted, obsessed even!


 ... now for something quilty - here's what I've been up to .... and what I'm spending this weekend machine quilting. I intend on using invisible thread to quilt down all the appliques, and hope to do some thread painting in the grass area. Wish me luck!TTFN

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Well, the "Canadian Cottage" baby quilt is done, but the maker is now a sickee - Achoo! Got the sinus cold/flu bug that is going around - just in time for one of my busiest weeks, of course!!! I've started the Holsteins Ahead and will be posting pics of that soon - that is if I can get off my sick bed. I pushed it today and went into the library to take some pics... shouldn't have done that, now I'm feeling miserable and they won't believe I was OK Sunday but sick on Monday. What can ya do!?

Monday, November 01, 2010

On the Frame ...

My cup runneth over. I must confess that I am happiest when I have something on the frame. I LOVE hand quilting. Next to that I love hand stitching, usually cross stitch, but any - yes ANY hand stitching. I find it totally relaxing and a great stress reliever. The workshop baby quilt is on the frame and half done. In case the pic looks a bit odd may I explain, I baste on "extender" cloths (an old sheet ripped up) to all the edges so I can quilt right to the edge. I'm doing my favourite pattern - stitch in the ditch ;) and expect to finish this week, binding excepted. After that all I have planned is the McKenna Ryan Holsteins Ahead and this gift is done! Woohoo!
Whilst blog surfing last week I noticed several other ladies commenting on the experience of people taking their FREE tutes and selling the products on Etsy. Again, all I can say is Tut Tut Tut, there is always some selfish one out there who can't play fair. At least I'm not the only one!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's a Beautiful day in the Neighbourhood

Yesterday was dull and gray I spent the day sewing the blocks together with sashing. Still using the Robyn Pandolph Canadian Cottage fabrics. I did make a trip outside to take two boxes of "stuff" to the goodwill - finally. Now I'm trying to decide which fabric will be the backing and which will be the binding. What do you think? I'm leaning towards the turquoise for the binding. The backing will have to be pieced, as I'm only working with 1/2 meter lengths.
A few weeks ago I posted a tutorial on making what I call thimble holders. It's a FREE pattern, no copyright, but the intention of posting online was to SHARE with other sewers. Of course there's always someone out there that thinks this is now her license to make a bunch and sell them on Etsy. Tut Tut Tut, not playing fair! But what can I do? There's always someone!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Quilt shows and Workshops!

The last of the Fall quilt shows was this weekend in Nairn. A friend and I were able to see the show after work on Friday and enjoyed it immensely! Well done ladies, and thanks to my retired friend who was gracious enough to accommodate to my work schedule!!! Also this weekend was my first workshop for the season. Karen Llewellyn Parsons, from England, taught us "30's Spin" ... which is a double pinwheel. Hers was done in 30's reproduction prints and was lovely - but, following my stated goal of using up my stash - I chose several of Robyn Pandolph's "Canadian Cottage" fabrics to use in mine. I was able to complete 12 blocks, so I'm well on my well towards the goal of a baby quilt! Woohoo!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thankful Thanksgiving

It's been a glorious weekend so far .... I've sat outside each day and the cats are revelling in the sunshine. For this I am thankful. I took an extra vacation day and made it a four day weekend, for this I am thankful. Thought I had a set up an outing for an out-of-town quilt show with a "friend" but she was a no-show so, spent my time productively and got the house cleaned and my remaining outside prep for winter work done. For this I am thankful. No wait - didn't finish my outside work as the screw that holds the umbrella has finally seized firmly in place and no amount of WD40 is going to budge it ... needed an extra pair of hands (being single does have some disadvantages). Guess I'll just pull a Scarlett O'Hara and "think about that tomorrow" ... the umbrella can stay outside until next Spring! The rest of the outside chores are done, including finally got my STAR firmly attached to the outside wall instead of hanging off the mailbox! For this I am thankful. Had homemade pumpkin muffins for breakfast this morning, for this I am thankful yummmm!
Got time in the sewing room once all the chores were done, for this I am thankful. Did some finish up work on my Halloween Witch and got my tree wall hanging completed - more machine quilting, this time with variegated thread. Found some Fall buttons, Maple and Oak leaves in just the right variety of colours! For this I am thankful. Now I need to get a postcard made for next week's guild meeting! Purchased McKenna Ryan's Holsteins Ahead pattern. The step mother asked me to make a baby quilt for her expectant grand daughter ... who is a bovine veterinarian. Thought I would surprise them with this added bonus! Should be fun! Hoping to use blocks from next week's guild workshop for the baby quilt. Off to the pater's today to once again show him some computer tricks. Tomorrow the mater comes for dinner (turkey breast not the whole bird). Lucky to have both parents still alive and kicking, for this I am thankful.

All in all not a bad long weekend. How was yours?

P.S. thankful I spent time house cleaning as the mater brought an unexpected guest for dinner! Also, the copious amount of WD40 I used last weekend did it's job and the patio umbrella is now safely stowed away for the winter!!!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Quilt Shows!

Tis the season for QUILT SHOWS! Yahoo! This past weekend was the show for my guild Harvest of Quilts and also the Ingersoll Pieces of Magic. Next weekend is a show in Paris, and the week after is a show in Nairn. Managed both shows this weekend, don't know about the next two weekends! Also have a workshop coming up and I work a weekend sometime in October! Phew!
I'm on track and have my October Tisket/Tasket basket done .... saw this BOM finished at one of the shows - beautiful job. Inspiration for me to keep goin and getter done! The quilt shows themselves should be inspiration enough - we certainly do have many many talented women!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lil' Witch and Pumpkins

Yahoo ! I finally have a Halloween door hanging. Not that I get a lot of kiddies at the door, but I'm just a big kid myself and want to get into the spirit of the season.... So anyway, I found this pattern - free - on the internet (from Angie's Bits & Pieces) ... thank you ,thank you, thank you! Of course the 50% off at my local fabric store (see last post) helps a lot, and voila!I have a Lil' Witch hanging for my front door.
Since I took the process pledge I guess I'm bound to show you all the process details. I had the black and white check fabric some of the oranges and the brushed cotton turquoise I used for the backing - all in my stash. I pieced together about 5 different pieces of batting, using my zig zag stitch. For quilting I used invisible thread and managed to go through 3 quilting needles before I finally got the tension just right! Since I used the heat n bond applique method I outline stitch each applique piece, then machine quilted Boos in the purple borders, using tracing paper to help me with the lettering. A little echo quilting around the witch, some star buttons from my stash and she's done! I'm pleased - what do you think of her?
Since I was on a roll of getting some seasonal pieces completed I dug out a block from my Piecemaker Times and Seasons 2004 calendar pattern. This one involved using snippets. New to the technique I was not very comfy with the results, but liked the inside border fabric so much (none left - boo hoo) I always hesitated tossing it out. Well, I decided it would make a nice door hanging - since it has wee pumpkins in the corner - so what the heck. The original block was meant to be on point and completed with crazy patchwork and lots of embroidery. I think my version will work just as well for a seasonal door hanging. Next weekend is my guild's biennial quilt show. They were a wee bit short on full sized items so I borrowed back one to put in the show. I promise to take pics and post them next week.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fabric Sale!

Fabric Sale! One of our local quilt fabric stores (Cotton by Post) is having a 50% off sale .... Well, although I've promised myself for the last several years not to buy more fabric ;) (yeah right) I none-the-less succumbed to temptation. Above is my first batch in prep for a wedding quilt? My niece is hinting - no announcement yet, but the hints are definite. We all know how long a full quilt takes, so time to get started!
Here's last weekend's sewing project - free pattern from All People Quilt. If I were to make this one again, and I might, I would not use fusible fleece in the lining as well as the bag = too thick/heavy. The fabrics for this one came straight from my stash, so I can feel somewhat righteous. Some lucky person in the family will probably receive this one for the holidays.

Well, it's September and our guild meetings have started up again. It was a very enjoyable meeting, the speaker was hilarious! I brought along a new person. It's kinda fun to share her excitement over each new technique, block and colour combinations.
Somehow or other I've developed a reputation as being "the driver", now don't get me wrong, the occasional request for a ride it quiet acceptable but when it becomes a habit or an expected thing - well .... especially when I have to drive across the city to pick the person up! Enough said, I just have to learn to say NO.