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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year !

Happy New Year! Looking back I can see how wonderful, busy and creative this past year was .  Most of the early part of the year for me was taken up making No Squirrels Allowed, a wedding quilt for my niece. Her bridal shower and wedding were highlights of the spring, followed by a 85th birthday family party for the mater. During the summer I got busy and made some artsy pictures for the blog - yes, you'll see some this winter ... and I made up some teacup bird feeders for the garden. In the fall I made purses - 5 to be precise, and numerous (at least a dozen) purse covers. I took a wonderful spinning 4 patch workshop in the fall which turned into 2 lap quilts for the mater and father's partner, and a lovely table runner given to an aunt. I also ventured into the Lil Twister territory and practiced my machine quilting on that! Throughout the year I visited the pater several times helping him with his computer. He's still  digitizing family pictures, hence you'll see some childhood pics of me in the collage :) All in all it has been another great year, here's hoping 2013 is just as great!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays to all my friends in blogland . Here's a pic of my wee tree. I know lots of  people don't bother anymore, but personally I can't get into the spirit unless I put up my tree. It's not that big an effort and really helps my holiday mood. How about you? So far this "vacation" has been different. I took an extra week off, yeah, and it's a good thing. The pater had a wee spell in the hospital, but all is well now. I'll be over there Christmas eve to spend some time with them, apparently we'll be playing Crokinole! I haven't played it in years, hope my fingers hold up :)

Last week was busy ... our stitch-n-bitch group got together for our third annual potluck. June kindly hosts this, and she sets a lovely table. Unfortunately I was not well placed and I guess I was concentrating on eating all the delicious food. Sorry ladies, I did not get enough pics!! Here's Deb, and Mibs (with the wine) and Susan. All in all there were 11 of us and the potluck was a success! I made my now famous Candy Cane cake, my third for December! I'll not make another for a very long time!
We did a secret Santa gift exchange and fun was had by all! I'm so lucky to have such as great group of friends. Thanks ladies :) Yesterday I finished off my "cleanup" chores, by sorting and filing away my scraps from this fall. I'm all ready for a new year of quilting, but still undecided as to what project to start. You know how it is ... so many interesting, challenging and fun projects and not enough time! Guess I'll have to try them all .

TTFN and be of good cheer,

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Inspiration ....

I realized as I was wrapping my holiday gifts that I didn't show you the last of the purse covers. I really like 
this brown/turquoise paisley fabric. And here is the reverse side! Ive used this floral before, for summer purses. This time it goes with a dark brown purse. Hope the recipient likes it :) .....
Since we are a divided family, I've already had one holiday gift exchange. Timely for me as the $ given were quickly spent yesterday at our local quilt fabric store, Cornerstone Quilts, which was having a sale! Yeah - sales are GOOOD.

I haven't felt like sewing/quilting lately. Instead I have been going thru all my Q magazines and printouts, sorting and tossing out, and in general getting inspired for the new year. Anyway, look what I found!  This is a semi quilt top made from left over blocks from a cobblestone workshop approximately 3-4 years ago. After the quilt was done I  randomly put the left over blocks together. Periodically I would dig it out and add a border or two. Anyway, I have finally decided who I should give this to, and how I would like to finish it up .... so off the the Q store for some fabric to add 2-3 more borders, or possibly some more blocks then a border or two, who knows! I'm improvising ;) Wish me luck ...

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Do Cats Fart?

She looks totally innocent, right?  Well, I have to say she's not - Phew!!!! I haven't been doing much quilting lately. Just vegging out under a vintage quilt watching, err sleeping in front of the boob tube. Sweetie Pie, aka Iris, sleeping on my lap, keeping me warm and farting in my face. What the heck! Well, this has got to stop! So instead I'm renovating my blog .... new background, and changing over my blog roll into a blog list. Bear with me as I do all this editing. :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Snow ...

Snow - Booo Hiss
Ok, I know it's not a lot - in fact it's barely there, just a dusting, none-the-less it is a harbinger of worse to come :( and I am not a fan of winter. So my lovely Japanese Maple has lost all it's gorgeous red leaves. In case you are wondering, yes, that  is an old bed sheet torn into strips and wrapped around the trunk. It's my effort to save that one main branch which has a split in it. I would seriously cry if I lost this beauty, I planted it when I first purchased this place which  I call home :)

So my local FL store had another of their famous 50% off for members sale. Can I resist? Silly question .... On the left is a depression era, feed sack Dresden fan quilt top I purchased many years ago at an antique show. I've decided to finally quilt it and lucked out with this blue polka dot fabric for the backing. I think It will work. I also picked up a supply of white-on-white, oh and some pretty blue, oh and a red fat quarter! It is the Christmas season right? Have to buy some red ....
All that great fabric inspired me. I also picked up this beige houses print and made another, actually three more purse covers! Now I'm totally inspired and have been digging through my stash to find some appropriate browns for one more purse cover. Then I'm definitely DONE with the purses (probably not!)
I don't know why they call these Christmas Cactus ... mine is in full bloom and it's not yet Xmas ! I couldn't resist this pic which includes my spider plant I propagated from a plant at work. I haven't had a Spider plant @ home for years. The previous kitty would eat any Spider plant in the house -  full grazing season for her. My current kitties Simone and Iris haven't even noticed it - yet!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gooood Morning Blogland friends !

Today is my Sunday (I worked the weekend). It was a good weekend, lots of tourists in the library as it was preview day with lots of parents and prospective students. As I was relaxing at the end of my work Sunday I remembered I hadn't shared my latest finished projects. Oh No !!Here is a front pic of the three place mats I made for the guild's donation to Meals on Wheels. Perhaps you remember that I had an orphan block from my Lil' Twister project, and I found some lovely blue & white Star of David fabric. So I made a Happy Hanukkah place mat! On the right is a pic of the reverse side. This year is the end of the Christmas lace panels donated by the mater. So ... next year I will need to be more creative!
Here's a pic of my finished (?) Lil' Twister table runner.
I'm very pleased with my colour choices and the overall effect. However, I had serious troubles (indecision causing multiple unsewing and resewing) troubles with the borders and consequently it's not square, and very wavy, especially in one corner. GRRRR. I'm seriously considering using it as a machine quilting practice piece and just going to town with the quilting. Can't make it any worse! What do you think?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Not a winner ;(

I know what you're thinking - a  local guild quilt show is not a competition, and you're right, but it sure would have been nice to win "Best of Show" and another CQA ribbon! I admit I was disappointed, but that's how these things go. Once again I was so close, this was my second/third time being #2!
Contrary to popular believe, quilting is usually a solitary activity, thus there are limited opportunities to receive positive reinforcement from colleagues for all your hours of labour and creativity. Here's a pic of the "honourable mention award" I did receive. It's great that the guild provides a "ribbon" for second place so I do have something to hang on my wall of Honour :). Does your guild do this?
I very much appreciated all the positive comments from most of my fellow quilters. However the remark "I didn't vote for you" from my so-called friend took me aback and was rather unkind. I put  her comment into the sour-grapes category; it reflects on her not me. I may have to re-think our carpooling arrangements!

Here's a pic of the well deserved winning quilt
Congrats Tiny! (yup, that's her name)

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Woohoo! Spending a rare Sunday at home - not going out - not answering the phone, but not totally unplugged ;) After blogging and catching up on FB will spend the rest of today in the sewing room. Have a couple of place mats to make. Our guild donates holiday place mats to Meals on Wheels.
I have 2 half made "Christmasy"place mats from last year ... lovely red Poinsettia fabric with machine made lace panels appliqued in the centre. Then, since I had one orphan twister block , in blues, and my local fabric store had some great blue & white Star of David fabric - on sale - well, could I resist making a third place mat for those who celebrate their own holidays? Will show you completed pic next week!
Parting pic of my beautiful red maple which is quickly loosing all it's foliage ;( . Sad to see it go, but enjoying the colour! Have a great week everyone ...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Quilt Show !

So, my guild had a quilt show this weekend .... It was FAB :) I just wish I could have taken more/better pics!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Lil Twister Part 2

So, last week I gave you a mini tutorial on making Lil' Twister blocks. Afterwards I thought - wow, what a lousy job, I really need to beef up the visuals!
On the left the blocks are laid out in order. I take them to the sewing machine this way. Then, going from right to middle I sew together the first 2 blocks for each row, and of course follow this up by sewing the third, left block to make up the 3 rows.
Of course you press the seams for the 1st and 3rd rows in one direction, and for the 2nd row in the opposite direction, like the pic on the left. Sew the rows together, then using your unsewer (aka seam ripper) undo those little stitches @ each intersection so they can spiral as in the pic on the right! If you haven't discovered this trick - try it. It helps your intersections to lie flat! 
And voila!! You should have a block like this! Reverse view on left, front side on right! Now, all I need to do for my own table runner is get some borders on and tackle some machine quilting. Wish me luck!!!
While blog surfing recently I came across the funniest site I've seen in a long time - new to me, maybe not new to you ... Texts from Hillary :) Click on the pic to go to this tumblr site to enjoy more !!!


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mini Tut on Lil Twister!

So here's a mini tutorial on using the Lil' Twister  tool. First you decide on a colour scheme, in my case blue because this table runner will be for mother and she has blue in her kitchen and I have a basket full of blues! Once you have your colours chosen sew 4 5" squares together and border with 3" strips, in my case I bordered the squares with white.
Align the lines of the Lil' Twister tool with the seam lines in the block at the bottom left corner (see pic). Next move the tool up to the next seam line and cut around the twister, the "scraps" it leaves can be saved for another project.
Now it's time for the third cut, again, align the lines on the tool with the seam lines. For the next set of cuts aline the lines on the Lil' Twister tool along the center seam of the block, maintain the same angle as with the first set of cuts. And then cut the final three along the right side of the block.
Putting the blocks together is easy when you use distinctive prints, however, if you were to try this scrappy you will have lots of fun arranging the three blocks per row. Here's a finished block
 And my semi finished runner with the chosen backing fabric. Next week (I hope) I will show you the finished product!!