Monday, 31 December 2012

My Quilting Wrap Up of 2012


It was a great exercise to go back over the year to see what I completed this year. I always feel like I haven't finished enough or that I should be working on sewing and not watching videos or reading blogs! It's very funny to see how much we ate over the summer and the day trips we went on (we love driving in the country side.) 

 My Sewing New Year's Resolutions,

I need to work on my Longarm machine more often to improve my skills. 
I should go over what I've completed each month so that I get a picture of what I've been able to accomplish.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Curve Quilt Comes Together

Well it's very quiet around here today. We all (including Poppy) slept in and we are having a lazy day. We are reading, quilting, blogging...
Sharon made an amazing Christmas dinner last night. Our Mum is a good sport and eats our vegetarian fare when she is here. We started out with stuffed mushrooms as starters, YUMMY! Then we had a nut loaf, gravy, mashed potatoes (with sour cream and chives) squash, stuffing, and a corn and bok choy combination. (I'm sure Sharon can make this all sound so much better) For dessert Sharon made a chestnut trifle cake(I think that's what it is called) OMG it was goooood. We were too busy eating to take pictures. Sorry :(

Today I was able to piece my 4 blocks together and now the quilt top is ready for quilting. I'm going to use the same red fabric to bind it when it is finished. My first Modern baby quilt!

It's a little washed out but it is a dull day inside and out so bad for photographs.
A close up!

Now I have to figure out how to fix my frame. I keep trying to level the frame but it makes the problem worse. It feels like I'm pushing the machine up hill at the joints in one direction then I have to stop it from running downhill in the opposite direction. Very frustrating when you are doing fine details.
So now I think I'm going to have to look at the joints of the frame and do some adjusting there. If that doesn't work I'll have to call my dealer and see if they can come out and fix it. I just hope it doesn't cost too much for a house call 'cause they are 2 hours away!

Monday, 24 December 2012

From Santa

While we were walking in a small town we came across this note attached to the outside of a store window. I couldn't resist - so I took a picture!

Merry Christmas!

from Barb and Sharon

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Containing the Wave and the Mess!

After a busy day out visiting a farm to buy goats cheese.  Sharon, my Mum and I traveled through many small towns and stopped in several places to Christmas shop and eat lunch. We had pizza at a little place called Jim's Pizzeria. The sauce was amazing and we have now found where we will eat when we stop in Port Hope.

I added the 2" border to the 4 blocks. I am happy with the red fabric around the block. My next step is to add another section of white fabric between the blocks and on the outside. Then I will be able to start quilting it!

We inherited a teak table and hutch set from my Mum when she moved into an apartment recently. It  had to be put into my sewing area because it is the only room with a wall big enough for the hutch, so I am using it for my sewing storage. It means I've had to change some storage containers to make it attractive and usable. I found glass jars at Winners and I've stored my zippers and fasteners in the medium and small jar.
 I bought a file holder and used it to store my rulers on top of the hutch.

 In Loblaws I found a large glass jar and placed in it, my Nana's and Mum's buttons they collected over the years.

What cool things do you use to store your sewing supplies?

Friday, 21 December 2012

Wavy Quilt Continued

Okay so here is part 2 of the wavy quilt. I realized if I joined all the blocks together I would have to cut single "bumps" in order for the curves to continue. Nah - not doing that! So I joined them together in a square made up of 4 blocks.
You can see how the blocks don't match.

Then I looked at the fabrics I had on hand to use as a border. I wasn't happy with the fabrics I had. While we were out shopping in a little town near us I popped into a quilting store I have never been to before. They carry a lot of reproduction feedsack fabrics and I was able to find a fabric that goes very well with the colours in my blocks.
The circles mimic the polka dots in the blocks.

This is going to be a baby quilt so I will put sashing between the 4 blocks and bind with the same fabric. I think it will look nice! What do you think?

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Farmer's Christmas Parade of Lights!!!

Every year for the past 11 years some of the farmers in my area have got together to put on a Christmas parade. It is the best parade I've been to in a while because of it's simplicity. It is also short and sweet. :)

Sharon and Poppy on the side of the road.

Sharon and I go and stand in the dark on the side of a road in a small town/village and watch with the kids and their families. It goes right by people's homes so they have visitors come for dinner and stand to watch the parade.
They carry a generator on the wagon that they pull behind them, or in the bucket in front of the tractor.

We found out about it while talking to a farmer where we buy our potatoes  and we try to make it every year. I even went to the parade then drove to a quilting class and tried to quilt with frozen fingers, toes and nose. My machine needed warming up time so luckily they make coffee!!! I'm still learning to use my DLSR camera so these are the best pictures I could take. Sharon might have a video on her phone she will add later. Have fun!


YIKES!!! - we are having so much fun with our technology!!!! We got the message that we ran out of space for pictures. So after some research I found out I have to go to Picassa and change the size of the photos to 800 x800 in order to post more pictures. While I was sitting and going through my Picassa album the wireless modem stopped working. Argggggghhhhh!!!! So I call my internet provider and it turns out the power cord isn't working and "Mame if you had called before 6 PM we could have had your new cord to you by tomorrow but because of the lateness of the hour it won't be coming until Monday." Sorry I have a life and was out and didn't notice the wireless wasn't working until I got home!!! (Too sarcastic?)

So we are sitting at Starbucks and their wireless isn't strong enough for me to edit pictures. Well I can get 4 done an hour but.... so I won't have photos for you until Monday ish :(

I've just changed the size of 300 photos in my Picassa album - so now I can add a few of the photos I wanted to add to this entry!

Saturday, 1 December 2012


Have you ever walked by a puzzle and instantly saw a piece you've been looking for and popped it into place? Or you move one block and all of a sudden you can feel it, that is the perfect placement? Today I moved my cut blocks out of the way to cut strips of white fabric to go between them.
Woo Hoo brain wave!

When I looked down I realized the block looked much better that way. So I cut my 5" white strips and then cut them again so they were 9 and 1/4" then I cut them to match the first patterned blocks.

I realized I had to re-press half of the patterned block so the seams would nestle together.

Changed seams so they nestle :)

Then I laid everything out ready to chain stitch.

Once they were lined up I started piecing the patterned fabric back together then I started the curve seaming. Now I have never done curved seams like this (that I can remember). I started at the squared off end and pinned the middle points but after 2 or 3 I stopped pinning the middle and just went for it!

Placement practise and fold line.

Side one attached!

These curves press out really nicely.
Side two attached and needs a wee trim.

Now I have a few more decisions about pattern placement then I'll be able to work toward completing this small quilt. Come back to see more progress! (Hmmmm? Do I make random shapes or do I make a squiggle? Hmmmm?)

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Randomness on a Saturday!

Sharon and I have been fighting the onset of a cold for a week now and mine bloomed on Thursday. A nice sinus cold, so the head doesn't want to think and the voice is scratchy. When this happens I find that all perfumes (body lotions etc.) make me feel ill.
Smiley Face with a Cold, Sneezing into Handkerchief by Antares42 - A yellow smiley face (emoticon) sneezing into a handkerchief

Sharon has a reaction to perfumes, they give her a kind of rash and migraines so we have gone pretty much fragrance free in our home. This has made me more aware of the scents around me (good and bad). I can smell cucumber being sliced from across the room and I drool, but it means I have developed a chemical intolerance of chemical based scents like perfumes in lotion, hair spray, soap etc. It is hard to find things that aren't scented. I am also finding more and more people at work have the same sensitivity. I work in the heart of the school building and everyone travels through and they carry their scents with them. I have taken to putting a fan on and using peppermint or wintergreen oils to help clear the air.

I use fragrance free starch on my quilt fabrics and wait in a line in quilting classes because I can't use the scented starch on the other ironing station. Why did I bring this up?

Well we went to the One Of A Kind Show and Sale in Toronto. It's always difficult in crowds but more so with a cold. Thankfully cough candies mask the scents very well! We saw lots of hats, children's clothing, stuffed toys and jewelry makers. There was only one lonely quilt maker there. :(

We did see fabrics that were printed with wonderful designs and made into tea towels, clothing, dog kerchiefs! I saw a cool scarf made out of old sweaters, hmmmm, I might have to learn how to use my serger again. 
In the morning before we headed out I played with a charm pack. I want to make a quilt for a friend who is having a baby in April and I want to practise pantographs, so I get 2 things out of one! I don't want to make the quilt out of squares so I am trying something new.
I sewed 2 squares together then I used my ruler I bought to make leaves and I cut out a curve to re-piece together. I used my large rotary cutter but it was too big, so I found my small cutter and it was much smoother to cut. The next step is to piece them together, I have never done curves before!!! I'll let you know how it goes.

high tech marking system

small cutter doesn't nick the ruler!

cut and...


Night time photo, sorry - my leaf ruler

I'm heading out to buy groceries and drag Sharon to Fabricland (they have a big sale this weekend) then we might go look at sweaters at Value village (she doesn't know that yet. Shhh!)

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

My First Quilt Presentation

Last week the Art teacher asked me to talk to her grade 8 classes about my quilting. She wanted me to talk about my background, influences, materials/tools and why I use them. I spent a lot of the weekend going through my quilts and quilt tops as well as my fabric and tools. I took pictures and scanned old slides into my computer. I made a power point and packed 2 large tubs (with 4 or 5 more quilts stacked on top) I found some examples of old hobbies ( folk art, pottery, costumes, clothing) to show my many influences. I also found pictures of me in dresses my Mum had made. That made the kids and some teachers giggle when they saw me as a little girl.
My Dad made that doll house for Christmas. (I think he made the table too) It had electric lights in the ceilings. My Mum did all the wall papering.

My first and only piano recital! That tree is now taller than the house!

On the weekend I had had some problems with my back door of my car. It kept coming up as not closed on the dashboard. I left it, and on Monday morning drove to work loaded down with quilts, computer, lunch, purse and coffee cup and headed off to work. My overhead light stayed on the whole way there and my car binged every time I stopped at a light. When I got to work and turned off the car the car locked and everything turned off.

At the end of the day I though I should drop in to the dealer and see if they could do a quick fix. They ended up renting a car for me (covered under my extended warranty) and driving me to the car rental place. Don't forget I had all my quilting stuff with me and my computer... They packed everything into the car and drove me there, then unpacked me. The rental company helped me pack everything into the rental car and off I went. Everyone was very nice and there was some good old teasing about my load!
Everything is working now and I like my car again. The poor thing heard some unkind words over the last few days. :(

Here are a few of the slides I shared with the students,
Fabrics, they thought the names were funny especially when I told them about honey buns!

Resources, they couldn't quite get what a guild was.


Interestingly I had more questions from boys than girls but everyone loved the lap quilt I passed around with the Minkey on the back. I didn't think it was coming back home.

I think they were impressed, I've had a lot of questions since the presentation. Some of the students recognized the wall hangings because I hang a new one in my Library each month.

Funny these 2 quilt tops got the biggest reaction...

My first Bargello.
This top is finished now, waiting to be quilted.

They wanted to know how long a quilt took and were surprised at the length of time but I explained I do have a day job. We laughed when I said it got in the way of my quilting. One of the girls said that school got in the way of her blogging!
The thing that impressed them the most was that I was a blogger!