My Blog List

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

I figure if I blog about them I might - just might keep of few of these .... (one or two of these might be a wee bit reminiscent from last year ...)
  1. I will buy fabric ONLY for specific projects (no more stash enhancement) - yeah right!
  2. I will exercise more - I have signed up for Yoga again
  3. I will try more new recipes, especially homemade soup
  4. I will be more self assured/assertive
  5. I will be more patient; this is especially important for me @ work; and
  6. I will learn to be a better friend, and I hope my friends will too. 
Phew! that's a long list, but I'll try - wish me luck!

I've been a real beaver this last 2 weeks sewing, unsewing and resewing on the wedding quilt. The quilt top is still not ready - but I haven't given up! Here's a small project I finally got to over the holidays (Hint - it's a bookmark).
Taking today off from sewing - having the mater over for New Year's dinner and watching the Hell On Wheels marathon, my latest TV obsession. Yup - I still watch TV. Tried to watch some Charles Dickens on DVD last night but my DVD player died .... so watched them on the laptop - woohoo.
Addendum to the above resolutions: #7 get more techy this year, starting with learn how to watch DVDs played on my laptop and displayed on the TV. I think this requires a trip to one of those techy stores!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Yummm, baking

I'm sitting here blogging while taking in the fabulous aroma of lemon squares and brownies with walnuts and ginger bread, and sugar cookies baking (not all at once!) Yummmm. I was tres lazy last week and did not get any baking done, but have been invited out for dinner and offered to bring some "goodies" with me, sooooo. Above are the miniature Christmas stockings I made for the gift cards I gave everyone. I felt guilty for not being very creative with my gifts this year, hence the stockings. I used up scrap Xmas fabrics and some of the Xmas ribbons in my stash. The were fun and quick to make and everyone enjoyed "opening" their stocking.
What else have I been up to, welllll, I finally, yes finally finished recovering the $5 Eastlake chairs. Remember these 1970's harvest gold lovelies?? They were a real bargain except for the upholstery. Never mind, a big sale at the local fabric store meant I got the whole bolt (6+ meters) of the rose coloured fabric for less than $20. A trip to another fabric store got me 5-6 meters of trim, and the loan of a couple of handy dandy tools from the mater and pater and bob's yer uncle. Well, actually it took several months just because of my procrastinating. Never mind, they're all done now except to insert the vintage porcelain casters. WooHoo! Personally I think they're FAB, do you agree?

TTYL and Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's Beginning to Feel a lot Like Christmas

Yes sireee, it's finally feeling like the holidays. My shopping is done, only 2 wrapped so far. I'm officially on 2 weeks vacation (YEAH), my tree is up and decorated, and there is a little covering of that white stuff . We've had unseasonably warm weather lately and some people have dared to talk about a green Christmas. Personally I never lost faith in the weather to always do it's thing ... so now we have white stuff. It can stay for a week or two then go go go! (I'm not a fan of cold or snowy weather).What else have I been up to? Well, as you can see I finally, yes finally got the tea cup pin cushions made. It's not as difficult as it might look, don't we all have dozens of tea cups from our mothers or grandmothers? And, if you look very closely I'm sure you'll see that some of them have a few chips or cracks or tea stains which just will not come out! Right? Come on, you know you've got them somewhere hidden away in the darkest recesses of your china cabinet! Anyway, identify these lovelies, and BTW a wide mouth cup is better as a pin cushion than a narrow cup, and also one with the "decor" on the outside not the inside is best. The next decision is what scrap fabric will work best with your tea cup(s). This of course is a personal choice, and if I may admit, I changed my mind at least a dozen times! Now it's time to get a luncheon plate from the cupboard and trace a circle on the chosen fabric. Using strong thread sew a running stitch around the perimeter and draw up the fabric into a circle. Stuff the circle with fibre fill and sew the opening closed. I filled the cup with a several glass marbles just to give the cup some weight, Actually, I hot glued the marbles into the cup. Next I hot glued inside the cup and stuffed the pouffe into it, and voila` we have a pincushion! Embellish with ribbons and trim and flowers, whatever you have on hand and now you have a lovely door prize or hostess gift . Have fun with this one ladies. As you can see from my clatter of teacups below I have already given two away! I had fun and hope you do too. Now, who can I give the remainders to?

Here's the teacup pincushion I chose to keep for myself. I re-found the fabric I had already used to make my thimble holder and decided it matched this particular teacup so well. It may not be the prettiest, but I like it. I kinda like being matchy matchy ;).
Happy holidays everyone!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Progress ...

Well, I can proudly report that I have successfully pumped gas for the second time and resolved the chirping smoke detector - woohoo, technology won't best me (least not this week;) ) Above are three postcards for the guild exchange using the leftover triangles from many of the blocks I made for THEE quilt. Nice to put them to use and not just toss these wee scraps, and I think they look pretty good even if I say so myself! !
On the left is the remade version of THEE quilt, and on the right is the first version. I felt the colours of the centre block and pinwheels were too insipid so I did some more unsewing and put them back together. Personally I think the second version works better! Now, here's hoping I have enough fabrics left to create the border, which extends the pattern and colour scheme. After the appliques I'm hoping I'll be hand quilting by January!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Ta Da!!

Ta Da! This week has been soooooo successful. To start, I PUMPED GAS! Yup - I said it, I actually got out of my car and pumped my own gas. I wanted $20 and I pumped exactly $20!! Yeah for me (small triumph, but none-the-less a triumph). Second triumph of the week ... (see pic on left) I have finished the outside blocks for "Squirrels Not Allowed". This is actually beginning to look like something - yeah - and I can start to see the pattern evolving. On the right is this week's set of blocks in the making. I can actually say that so far (risk jinxing it here) I have done NO unsewing - so far! Third Ta Da this week are these two Christmas placemats I made. Every year our guild donates homemade placemats to Meals On Wheels I use smoke plastic thread, top and bobbin and used my scallop stitch on the Husky to quickly machine quilt these. The green binding is some broadcloth donated to me many years ago from a non sewer.
The fourth success this week I must share - it was an enjoyable get-together. Our quilt group gathered at CMR's for a very friendly evening. Our hostess was away down East for the summer months and has only been back a month. We were treated to her many accomplishments while she was away, and a house all decorated for the holidays. It was nice to see her, and nice to see the group all getting along so well and overall it was a very enjoyable evening.
And, lastly, TA DA ! I have been notified that my blog post (Sunday Aug 22, 2010 - Busy Busy -Opps!) will be featured on Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle. Guess it's my 15 minutes ;). Note: this tutorial was NOT my original idea but based on something I was shown at guild by another lady, who in turn learned it in Florida at a craft workshop for seniors. Now, what on earth will I do for an encore??P.S. I finished the last three blocks and the centre. Even though I used my fabric plan (see above) I have to admit I am not happy with my centre block. It's supposed to be a lighter version of the outer blocks, but right now it;s just not making it. So, I'll have to audition some other fabrics, do some unsewing - well, you know the rest. Here's what I have so far ....TTFN

Saturday, November 19, 2011

One step forward - Two back!

Well, another week of sewing. Do you see the mistake? Hint, the one on the left is correct, the one on the right is not. I made one correct, three incorrect blocks. WAHHHHH. So, needless to say the old unsewing instrument came out - again! Below is the layout with the corrected blocks. Now we can start to see the pattern coming thru and I can figure out what block is next!
What else is a step backward you ask? Ok, don't laugh now, my full service gas station on the corner closed. Big deal eh? Well, I DON'T PUMP GAS. Yup - I'm an anachronist ... because I had a full service station, always a cent or two cheaper than the big brand on the next corner ... well, I'm not stupid (really, I'm not!) guess where I always filled up! But now I have to learn how to pump gas. Oh Bother! another big WAHHHHHH.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

She Scores!

I know what you're thinking - what they heck are these? Well ladies, remember those $5 Eastlake parlor chairs? They came sans casters, so, while out and about this weekend antiquing with a friend I scored! 4 porcelain casters, two for each front leg ! Woohoo! It was a fabulous day, lots of sunshine, good company and fun activities. Thanks SVA!
What else have I been up to? well I was down for the count for about two weeks with the plague (aka cold/flu) even though I got my flu shot! Grrr. Here's a pic of my block from two weeks ago.
Even though it was "next" in the instructions it turns out not to be next in the actual quilt. So here on the left is the first and third blocks. This week's is the pinwheel block, and on the right are the 1st, 2nd and third blocks. I starting to place them on my design wall in the order they will go in the quilt. It seems there are several groupings of 4, but within each group they either rotate in a specific way or reverse fabric placement right over left. Because I'm mildly dyslexic this can be very confusing for me. I rely very heavily on the visual, so my design wall is my best friend. Wish me luck -more to come ...... TTFN

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Did You See it?

Did you see it? Look close now - closer .... closer ... I didn't see it - I missed it totally! But that's the advantage of a digital camera and blogging :) Apparently I switched two of the patches in block three, then repeated the mistake in block four. Easy enough to do .... and easy enough not to catch when that's all you have completed. But the mistake would become a whopper in the final quilt! I didn't see the problem until I was proof reading last week's blog entry. I came down with the plague (cold/flu) last week, consequently my only accomplishment for the entire week was to tear apart these two blocks and re-sew them with the correct fabric placement!
Here's the corrected four blocks. Ahhhhh, much better. I know what you're thinking - not much difference. Anyway, now that I'm on the mend, and my blocks are mended I can proceed to the next four blocks. Now if only I can figure out the pressing plan I'll be really happy :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Prideful Beginnings

Ok, Fall isn't really a beginning, it's more of an ending, but I have to admit I'm in love with my Japanese Maple. The patio has successfully been put to bed for another season :( but my Maple is showing it's colours in full Fall glory. It's another sunny warmish Sunday and I'm loving it?
So you may ask, what is the beginnings?
This - TaDa!!!! I have three blocks done for my niece's wedding quilt. I know - it's hard to tell what the heck this quilt will look like just from three blocks. There are 55 pieces to each block, and 7 different colours. Although I purchased the book so I would have the complete instructions, following instructions has become more and more difficult for my post menopausal brain ! None-the-less I'm proud of getting started - it's my beginning!
I'm proud of myself for once again attempting a new recipe (new to me anyway). My colleagues and I had a 6oth B-day potluck on the weekend, and instead of wimping out and buying something mass produced I made a potato puff casserole. Herb and garlic and yummy :)And lastly, I'm also proud of myself for turning a negative work situation into a positive. For too long silly work stuff dripped over into my real (non-work) life. But lately I have taken a more constructive approach. Unfortunately, while attempting to crow about my change in attitude to a usually supportive friend, the stars misaligned and our conversation got off track ... Ah well, everyone has their own opinion, Some days ya just can't win, but ya can keep on trying ..... and I'll keep on making more blocks!
P.S. Block 4 completed!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanksgiving :)

So, as promised here is a photo of my completed (aka bound) Fall table runner. Took me a week, I had fun and got to practice my machine quilting - always a plus! I took it to my fair soeur's for thanksgiving dinner. Not surprisingly her comment was not "thank you" but "oh". I'll take that as a "Ohhh, how nice", although I strongly suspect it was "Oh, not another one ". Hmmmm,

Remember these from August? My $5 chairs with their ugly 1970's gold flocked fabric?? Well, I finally got around to ripping the old covers off, and discovered these chairs must have been professionally re-covered in that ugly Gold flocked fabric, as they had a gazillion staples and, cotton canvas covers underneath. Good! So, on the left is the before picture, and on the right is the first chair with the ugly fabric removed.

I started with the top front and back. Not toooo too bad, after carefully removing the ugly fabric I used it as a "pattern" to cut the new pieces. Since I bought the whole bolt (Ok, you can stop freaking out now .... there was less than 6 meters and it was on sale @ $3 a meter! ) After getting that "right" I moved on to the seat .... much more complicated as you have to go around the wee arm. This is where the ugly old gold fabric had ripped, so I needed to take care and leave extra, while still making it look neat. What do you think, how'd I do?
Anyway, the gimp trim will have to wait for another day. It's just tooooo nice out not to go for a long walk then finish my book sitting on the patio.

Sunday, October 02, 2011


Well, I've been busy! Using a tutorial I found on the internet (the I created a car organizer for my car back seat. It now holds my book of maps (out dated now that I have GPS), my accordion folding sun shade screen, my soon to be used (waaaah) snow scraper, and finally, my string bags for grocery shopping. I decide not to bore you with the details of how .... suffice it to say I used a stretchy brown/black denim I had in my stash (why I can not fathom) and a nifty black & white geometric cotton print, also from my stash! Of course I couldn't stop with just the organizer and went on to make a garbage bag, and shortly will try my hand at a visor CD holder! Thanks to both ladies for such great and useful tutorials!
So ... what else am I working on you ask? Welllll, browsing through my abundant collection of miscellaneous quilt magazines I came across this wonderful Fons & Porter pattern for a fall table runner. I have been collecting leaf fabrics lately in anticipation of using them in my niece's wedding quilt, and because they are soooo lovely. The combination of this pattern and the fabric just screamed at me. Since I am over to my dear sister's home for Thanksgiving, I decided it might be appropriate to whip this up for her! ...So first you dig out a bunch of neutral beiges, cut them into 3.5" strips, sew the strips together, then cut them apart into 3 patch strips, sew them together again. Didn't even notice that I was toooo matchy matchy. Next time I'll try to mix it up better .... Then you border it with your fantastic fall leaf fabric. Next, cut out some oak/maple leaves in coordinating colours and strategically place them then bond the leaves to the runner. I chose to machine embroider the leave veins. I know what you're thinking - how lazy! Well, Thanksgiving is next weekend and I really want to get this one done. On the right I'm machine quilting with invisible thread. You get a peak at the backing fabric, also a nice fall leaf print. Hopefully next week I'll have it finished and will give you a picture of the completed project. Then back to/finish cutting out my niece's wedding quilt.