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!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Randon Name Generator Aussie Style!

We weren't sure how to use a Randon Number Generator tool so we created our own. Poppy loves paper, she grabs it, runs away and eats it. She almost taunts us with the paper as if daring us to chase her!  Cheeky pup!  We have learned to never leave important papers lying on the coffee table after she ate my Mum's will we were reading over for her.  Luckily for us it was a copy.

We thought we'd get Poppy involved in the blog since she was feeling a little left out. 
Well actually, this is her Sunday morning all day position!

We wrote all the names of the people who left comments and are Followers on a square of paper. Then we crumpled them up in a ball. 
They were thoroughly mixed up and placed on the floor in a row. 

The first time we did this poppy took 2 balls
(she's so quick)

 so we did it again, 

 but put the papers in a crowd and had a cookie at the ready.

Once she grabbed one we offered her the cookie and we got our winning name. 

I know it is hard to read it but it says Becky!!! 
We will be emailing Becky tonight to ask for a mailing address so we can send her the prize. Congratulations to Becky and a big thank you to everyone who participated in our first ever blog give away. 
A special thanks to our Randon Number Generator...

Miss Poppy!


Sunday, 4 November 2012

It's Time to Get Back to It!

It's funny how in times of grief we loose our sense of taste, we only want carb laden foods and tea.  So after a couple of weeks of eating plain comfort food we were looking forward to something a little tastier and complex.  As I spent some time this morning catching up on my favourite blogs to read and came across this recipe for Kale, Feta and Carrot Toss at the Sweet Potato Chronicles blog and it sounded wonderfully simple.  I grated 3 large carrots, chopped 1/2 a red onion, washed and chopped some beautiful organic kale (I didn't have the zucchini the recipe called for).  Everything went into the pot along with the salt, pepper and 1/2 cup water until everything was almost wilted through then I added the feta cheese.  I used goats feta and it melted into a thin silky sauce which was soaked up by the brown rice I served it on.

This is definitely a simple, quick dish that is tasty enough for a week night but it could also be a great dish to serve to friends who pop over at the last minute!

Barb here!
Not only have we been eating comfort food but one of our sweet neighbours brought us a pan of goodies and some icecream. The pan contains "Sleazy Brownies" I asked her why they were called sleazy and she said because they were so easy! There is chocolate chip cookie on the bottom of the pan then double stuffed Oreo cookies and then the next layer is brownies. OMG, they are so good. We will have to share them with friends or we will not fit into our clothes any more :)
OMG These are sooooooo good! Even better with icecream!
I have had the Zig Zag quilt on my LA frame since mid September. I've tried to work on it on weekends and week nights when I had enough light.
I floated the top because I didn't want to rip it by putting too much stress on it.
 Well today I finally finished it,

and have taken it off the frame and trimmed the extra fabric away. I am in the midst of making the binding out of the purple polka dot fabric right now! I am so happy to have it finished, now I can decide what my next project will be.
The back of the quilt.

I do need to practise pantographs from the back of the frame. So, I might make a quilt from charm squares so I can quilt a pantograph that suits the fabric(and my experience). Right now though, I need to level my frame. The frame is on rug and as it has sat there it has settled into the carpet and become unlevelled. I fixed it once but it has become increasingly more unlevelled, it is like quilting uphill then racing down hill when I move over the joints in the frame. I think I will need to call my dealer or HandiQuilter for some help.

Sharon and I have just reached our 100th post and we want to celebrate with a giveaway! We have each chosen some special things and we have been giving you clues over the last few weeks.

We are now going to show you the prizes.  We'll be letting our Random Generator chose the number for us, in other words we are going to use Poppy our dog to help us pick the winner. We'll show you pictures of how this works in a upcoming post. We'll be picking a winner next Sunday morning. In order to be a winner you have to leave a comment and be a follower of this blog. So now for the prizes.

From Sharon,

I love aprons! 
They can be fun, quirky and extremely practical when working in the kitchen.
You can never have too many!
I love the Autumn colours in this print.
Hopefully you will too!
Measuring spoons.
How cute are these!
I think I'm going to have to get a set for me too!

From Barb,
An apple pincushion. Made by me!
The inside. A slice of apple for your needles.
A little pouch with a measuring tape inside.

I thought the title was appropriate for our 100th post.
Don't forget to follow us and leave a comment letting us know that you are one of our wonderful followers or have recently joined us!  Good luck to everyone!