Thursday, 30 January 2014

Sharon says...

I should stop entering blog contests if I want any chance of winning the Lottery. She thinks I am using up my luck because I have won a few blog contests. Yeah!!! I love winning.

We have also decided we don't have a chance to win the lottery because we use up our luck on lines too. If we go and line up at a restaurant 2 minutes later we look behind us and there is a huge line up. This goes for coffee, tickets cashing out...

Oh well, I say shrugging my shoulders, as I enter another contest. Tee Hee!

So I entered the contest Sharon (a different Sharon) was holding at her blog, Fabrics & Flowers. She is hosting a QAL for her pattern, Polka Dot Bikini. Her sponsor, Pink Chalk Fabrics offered a $25.00 certificate for the online store, and I won!

I headed to Pink Chalk's website and bought,

the Polka Dot Bikini quilt pattern

a magazine about Modern Quilting

a charm pack of Brigitte Heitland's fabric

and a 1/2 yard of a cool fabric

On the quilting front, I went to my first quilting class at a Quilt Store in a long time. My LQS that I usually go to holds most of it's classes during the day and the quilt classes it does hold at night don't change very often. So I went searching for a new store. The pattern isn't difficult but there is lots of  cutting strips of all different sizes. After shoveling snow (a lot of snow) my wrists are too sore so I'm taking a day break to rest my muscles.

I will check back in when I have Slash and Insert blocks to share (more cutting) and progress in the class I am taking. Happy sewing!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Slashing, Inserting and Shopping

Okay so it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I have done some sewing, by machine and by hand! 

I have been working on my slash and insert blocks and I have 4 done, then when I sat back and put them next to each other I realized they needed more slashes, so back to work I will go.

 I have 15 hexie flowers done and I love how they look when they are spread out on my counter at work. I still have a while to go and some time to decide how I will finally put them together.

I finally made it to Ikea to purchase more shelving to go under my frame to help organize fabric, threads and pantographs.

I didn't add the legs to the cabinet, they make it too tall. I might look for very small legs to lift the cabinet to make it easier to open the doors on the carpet.                                                                                               
I already bought a cabinet to hold some fabric. It was my second choice of cabinets but Sharon and I were unable to carry the first cabinet because it was so heavy! Now I can't even remember what cabinet it was.

Sorry iPhone photo and weird angle
The baskets hold a lot of fabric and let air circulate.
I read something on the blog (or a magazine article about) of Weeks Ringle she talked about loosing a lot of fabric to sunlight. She also recommended having air flow around you fabric. I guess because cotton is a natural fabric it is susceptible to light and mustiness. So many quilter's studios show pictures of their fabric displayed out on shelves. My studio is in my formal living room with many windows which are great for light to sew by but not great for fabric survival. So my fabric is folded to fit in the baskets. The sun stays off the fabric and the air circulates around and keeps it fresher.

The next cabinet I bought will hold my LA thread, pantographs and LA rulers. I first saw this at Tamarack Shack's blog during a studio tour. I hope to be more organized and keep the clutter off the cutting table!
Okay, gotta go and build furniture with very vague instructions!
Happy sewing :)

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Step One in My New Quilt

Saturday was a lazy start to the day. We woke up late and dawdled. Then we got in the car to drive to the Peterborough Farmer's market. It's open during the winter, yeah! We drove through the fog on the highway where you couldn't see 3 car lengths in front of you. Boy that was stressful. There were cars driving full speed and passing us even though they couldn't see ahead of themselves. Scary drivers!

Don't worry Sharon took the photo while I drove.

Warm air (4 degrees) on top of cold snow = fog!

We made it before the market closed (1:00PM) then we went to a couple of stores we like in town. On the way home we stopped in Lindsay so I could go in the quilt store but they closed at 3:00PM. I was very surprised they closed so early on a Saturday but when I got home I found out that my LQS closes at 4:00. Oh well, I have to decide between sleep and shopping, and this time sleep won out.

I cut out the first set of fabric blocks for my next quilt.

Of course I didn't read the instructions very well and realized I needed another row of 5 blocks but I didn't have enough orange fabric so I improvised and added 5 more blocks of text fabric.

Forgot to rotate the photos, yikes!

So already my quilt will have my own personal flare and will not look like the quilt in the magazine, and I'm okay with that. LOL

Before Christmas Sharon ordered some books from Chapters and had them sent to her school. While she was ordering she ordered a book for me, I was surprised I could get it through Chapters but it was on their site so we ordered it. It arrived at her school this week and I now have it in my hot little hands. We didn't realize she ordered a used copy, we can't see anything wrong with the book and the price was lower so win win. ( I have to check out the CD still) So between sleeping and quilting I have some reading to do too.

Sharon texted this photo to me at school, I was very excitied.
P.S. here is one block I've been working on. I think I need to add more strips but I like it so far.

I might unsew one seam and redo it so the edges match better.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Post Holiday "Baking"

I love rum balls, but not just any rum balls. I want to have the Rum Balls I used to get from a little Bakery in Downtown Toronto. I used to stop there when I was in University. They made sandwiches and sold drinks and Rum Balls made with left over day old cake. Yum! I even saw them blacken red peppers on the gas grill one day. When you bit into the Rum Ball you could see the different kinds of cake inside. I haven't found a rum ball to match the memory of these yet.

Today I made a chocolate gluten free cake mix. Then I broke it up into tiny pieces and added a whole container or chocolate icing.

After tasting it I decided it needed vanilla (madagascar bourbon vanilla) and pure chocolate extract and Appleton's Rum. Gluten free often lacks flavour or is way too sweet.

I let the mixture set for awhile and then rolled it into little balls and rolled the balls in chocolate sprinkles.

Then I cooled them again (in the garage, 'cause it is really cold here right now) and then I had gluten free rum balls.

They taste alright but they aren't Rum Balls yet. Sharon says they need more rum next time. I'll keep experimenting until I find the right combination. Oh, why gluten free? Well I can't have rum balls in the house if I can't share them with my sister can I? And she is gluten free at the moment so what can a good sister do but share? BTW Sharon's iron levels have gone up while going gluten free but she isn't gluten sensitive according to her blood tests. Hmmmmmm!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

New Year Finish and a New App

I spent some time Friday working on a pattern I bought from a LQS before Christmas. I wanted to make these before I went on holidays but ran out of time. Then we had the ice storm and power outages so no sewing was going on before Christmas. I was able to get quite a few done, and after messing up the first one, ( instructions need work and I need to read without the TV in the background) I was able to make 7 pockets. The pattern is from Susie C Shore Designs. They hold a lip balm or a jump drive. 

I am trying out the Blogger App on my phone. Not bad but it is much easier to type on the computer. LOL


Wednesday, 1 January 2014

A Sewing Year in Review

Where I get to see what I accomplished and celebrate my successes. I also get to see what I need to complete and what new projects I'd like to work on.
1. Hallowe'en Quilt 2. Flowers and Paper quilt 3. Keep Calm quilt 4. Jewels quilt

1. Pin Cushion ring 2. Paper piecing bag 3. Summer Dress 4. Pigeon Skirt

1. Ball and Chain 2. Twisted Kitty 3. HST Quilt top 4. Mini Twister

1. Hexies 2. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus Quilt 3. Summer Slip 4. iPhone Case
1. Stack and Whack quilt top  2. Baby in the Jungle quilt
I am hoping to keep working on my Hexie flowers. I like how bright and cheery they are. I'd like to make a quilt top out of them for my bedroom. My mini twister is finished and hanging in my office at work. The Stack and Whack is pieced with borders  ( the backing needs working on) waiting to go on on the quilt frame. The HST quilt top has borders but needs something - maybe just some interesting quilting to be complete.

I bought some more designs of pantographs, so I'd like to finish some quilt tops that are sitting in a box. My Mum has also volunteered to let me quilt some of her quilt tops too! I hope to finish my Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus quilt before the holidays are over. Here's to new things and completing things in 2014! Keep safe and healthy and hope you get to sew a lot this year.