Thursday, April 29, 2010

This was a consignment quilt I made for a lady in the states. She sent me a box of silk ties (over 300) her father had collected over the years and I made this quilt for her. I printed her fathers picture and it is in one of the squares on the outside edge.

I am in a hurray today. We are going on an adventure and I am sooooo glad to be getting away. We are heading north to see some really good old friends, who I have not been good at keeping up with, but they are very forgiving. It always amazes me that good friends always stay good friends even when distance, time and money get in the way.
This is my friend Rod, who I am going to see this weekend
performing the wedding ceremony at my Scot's wedding.

I love this family and their 4 kids and although it will be hectic, I know that I will come back refreshed and ready for what lies ahead... but I won't be seeing you, dear blog, till I come back. I would like to say I will miss you, but it will be nice to wake without the stress of heading to day 30, for just a few days.

It turned out to not be such a grey day yesterday, it warmed up nicely and the coats were back in the closet by noon. But now I feel so extremely guilty for all my whining when I heard on the news that my dear friends in Calgary are expecting a blizzard today. 20 cm of snow may fall. Fortunately, my mom who lives in Medicine Hat will be spared. She hates winter more than me.

As predicted, I spent an hour cleaning up the sewing room yesterday and ended up not starting, continuing or even planning. No motivation whatsoever. Part of the problem I have is that even though it is a sew day, my dear friends come at 2 and we hand quilt. Its a wonderful time, but all morning I kept thinking there was no sense getting started when I still had to clean the house. House work is a wonderful release when you would rather do that than yell at someone, but the rest of the time it gets in the way of life. Anyway, procrastinated on that too and other than the necessary bathroom clean, they saw my house the way it comes and I didn't get any sewing done. Oh well!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I pieced this plaid cushion for my living room. I could have bought plaid fabric, but this was way more fun!

Today is a sew day!!! yippee. I can't wait. I think I will work on....

You know it's a hard decision to decide what to work on when you have so many WIP's . I would like to stop "starting" new projects, but I think it comes with the creative gene so medically, I am unable to stop "starting". What a relief. I wonder if there is a pill. Seems to me there are pills for everything according to the medical world... another story, won't go there!

So knowing that, I intend on going into my sewing room and standing aimlesslyy for about an hour while I pretend to tidy up when really, I am trying to figure out what I am going to continue to do today or what I might start. What ever it is, it will be bright and cheery, because the weather is not! Imagine stopping in the middle of spring to have winter again (as per my 4 year old granddaughter, who will be a philosopher I am sure!) Its cold out there and I need to go put socks on!
The picture is of 2 of my granddaughters,
laying on a sensory quilt made by
a dear friend who is an ECE student.

I am almost at day 20 and it is getting harder and harder to find the perfect tool to talk about. Don't get me wrong, I have a ton of gadgets left, just not all of them are my favorites. And through out this, I have been looking at many new products and well let's just say my allowance is dwindling. I haven't found anything new that has knocked my socks off yet, but I did get something very interesting in the mail this week and I am dieing to try it. It's called the "Sew'nSharp" needle sharpening pad. The ad said "just sew through the pad to sharpen the needle" so I had to have it! If I get a chance to use it before the 30 days are up I will be sure to mention it! you can get more info @ (and yes, I ordered the rotary cutter blade sharpener too, just to try it out).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Woke up this morning and it was snowing... yuk!!! Reminded me of these little quilts I made. The pattern is called Snow Babies and they are all sooooo very cute!

Well 3 days of the flu and my weekend was shot!. No time away with Victor although I did get some time away FROM Victor... I stayed in bed and heaven only knows what he did... Yesterday was a busy day, although in retrospect, I don't think I got much accomplished. I was trying to make a block for my friend Cathy for our gift quilt exchange at Nifty's, but as usual she will have to wait till next month to get it cause I didn't get it done... I am SO last minute, not a good thing!

I took a pile of stuff to Nifty's last night... some new toys, some old books and some more circle things, but the best part of our meeting was the introduction. Every month everyone introduces themselves and there is always a little something you have to say... this month it was to tell about a new technique you had learnt or were going to try or had tried in the recent past. Amazing to see what variety there is in a group of 20 women and for almost everyone, we learnt about a lot of new techniques last night. That was very fun. I am sure a lot of the group will be busy at their machines today, trying out some of the fun things we heard about last night. The picture is a Nifty's group shot taken at one of our retreats.

The best part about these instructions are that they are all on the scale itself so you don't have to try and remember which number to place where or how to read it. (Mind you, you may need a magnifying glass to read the fine print...)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Not forgotten...

You are not forgotten, dear blog... I have had the flu all weekend and today was a busy away day. I will catch up tomorrow, promise!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Snail's Trail Tablecloth... doesn't show a thing!!

Victor and I have decided to fly the coop this weekend... What a relief. It has been a long stressful week and we both need to just go away.
Disappointed that the Jays are in Sunny Florida or we would go to a game. I dream about sitting in the seat next to the couple that sit right behind home plate. Sometimes I wonder who they are and how come they have those same seats game in and game out, year in and year out. I wonder so much that I get distracted from the game every time she orders popcorn... Well this year, I told Victor we were going to get the seats right next to them and I am going to ask them... then I can get back to watching the games! tee hee.
I have started a block of the month... no, I am not finished the Nutcrackers or any of the other 3 dozen projects I have started in the last 3 years.... but I needed to do some piecing and this block of the month is all piecing. It's the Sue Garman BOM on and it is a lot of piecing. I joined late last year, too late to start last years block of the month although I thought I would do it, but didn't, but my good friend Cathy did it and hers is beautiful. My new daughter in law wants a quilt with stars and this BOM has plenty of stars, well as a matter of fact it is all stars... If you haven't joined the Quilt Show, you should! There are some pretty cool shows on there and these block of the months are great even if all you do is read the notes and watch the videos.

And today I am going to try Superior Threads' Texture Magic. I bought it a year ago at our Guilds' Quilt Show and haven't tried it yet. Anita Zobins from Cotton Mill Threadworks has a great tutorial on her website, check it out!
I want a chance to use my BSR on my Bernina and this looks like I can kill two birds with one stone. It's been a long time since I have free motion quilted on a domestic machine, so wish me luck!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Shining star. I found this pattern in a little Mennonite store in Elmira, and plenty of beautiful yellows

Some days, it seems to me, you just don't get anything done. You have really good intentions, but nothing seems to fall in place... Yesterday was that kind of day.

I did however get my floor washed. I have a room that is about 10 by 26' that is all linoleum and it has had many licks and promises, but yesterday I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed! I realized in the first few minutes that many licks and promises is OK, for somethings, but not an off white linoleum floor with bumpy parts... go figure! Even my husband saw right away that I had scrubbed it! Now that was amazing. Now, I am a little embarrassed about this, but honestly, a wet mop twice a week, and it looked clean and besides, who has time to clean when there is sewing to be done. At any rate I was so exhausted after I cleaned the floor I had to sit down and eat chocolate and enjoy that clean floor. What else could I do?

These are my sons, Kris and Scot. Cute, eh?
My son turned 32 on Tuesday so last night we went to Red Lobster to celebrate! YUM YUM!! do I need to say anything else. We had a great waitress.. Michelle, so if you go to the Red Lobster in Kingston, be sure to be sat in her section and tell her I sent you. She is fabulous, best waitress I have ever had! In fact, I am writing Red Lobster an letter today to praise her.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Before I say too much today, I just want to scoot you all over to Mark Lipinski's blog Mark seems very positive about his diagnosis, so lets hope everything goes well for him!

I love spring... I just hate the allergies that come with it... The trees are in full bud and so are my eyes and nose and...sleep habits. I have been up between 4:30 and 5 am every morning for the past 4 or 5 days and by 6pm I am ready to go back to bed. I have been helping my daughter with her kids in the evenings and last night I crawled into bed with my granddaughter and I am pretty sure I won the 'get to sleep, first" race! I finally bit the bullet and took some allergy meds this morning, but it will take a few days before I will be feeling like normal.

I did get out in the gardens on Monday and that was uplifting. I got all the front flower beds de-leafed and raked and ready for spring growth. We have very little to no sun out there so everything takes a lot longer to bloom. But I did see some little Hosta shoots...
Laura's Quilt. I made this quilt for my nieces 16th birthday. I showed it in our Guild show that year and won a ribbon for it.

We have a lovely old fashioned "sit and swing" in our back yard and my granddaughter is finally old enough to reach the floor with her feet so she swung me for a few minutes yesterday. It was peaceful just sitting and swinging and reminded me of my love for the old fashioned. I contemplated getting busy and making another Dresden plate quilt and I think I will, I just need to find some nice old fashioned prints to make it with. Then I will be able to take it out and hang it on the swing for those days when I just feel like contemplating!

Monday, April 19, 2010

My idea of gardening is making these lovely wall hangings... full of flowers. This was an ugly fabric challenge ( see the pot) I used it for all the flowers except the white one which is silk...

What a weekend this has been!

No Sew Day on Friday. as it turned out, my 5 month pregnant daughter had some kind of mini stroke. She lost the feeling all down her left side. She is off to get an MRI this morning so hopefully we will know for sure in a few days that everything is OK. Very stressful! So this weekend I spent most of my time trying to help out and do some sewing when ever possible. I have all my blocks for the nutcracker finished (stick and paste applique), now I just have to do the stitching on 2 of them and then the quilt will be put together. YEAH! This one is called the Skier. After I get the applique done I embellish it with tons of stitches from my machine... He is my best so far..

Today I have to make more pinwheels for my Guild (one more month... hurray!!!!) and this morning I HAVE to get in the garden... I have so much that needs to be done and no time... The weeds are all ready plentiful and most of my flowers haven't popped up yet... go figure... and it is freezing out there, and how will I know the flowers from the weeds if I can't see the blooms. Oh well, those are my excuses for today. LOL

Friday, April 16, 2010

I love red quilts. this one was made on the serger... simple rail fence!

I had to get up early today to work on this blog. I have a sew day today which will be very fun but I have made a commitment to work on this every morning before I do anything else, and I thought about writing it yesterday which I probably could have done, but I didn't get a "round tuit".

Yesterday was another great day, but not for sewing. I didn't manage to do any sewing yesterday at all. But I did get a chance to go to a few Quilt Stores and that is always fun. It's not only that you get a chance to feel some fabric and renew your sense of purpose (I love to sew), but the social part is the best. I love to see people and find out what they are sewing and ohhhhh and ahhhhh over new projects and beautiful quilts. and yesterday I found out that my LQS owner joined a gym.... why? I don't know! She looks fabulous already but I guess she was trying to kill some time. I would rather find something to sew but I guess that's why she looks fabulous and I look... well... less than fabulous!

In a very few moments I will be packing to sew today so hopefully tomorrow you will get an update. I will pack my camera!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A work in progress...
I have a beautiful magnolia tree right outside my window and over the past few days it has broken out in full bloom. My daughter gave it to me 2 years ago for Mother's day and I never dreamt it would be such a beauty. It would make a beautiful wall hanging so I might take a picture of it today.

My favorite picture of my
granddaughter, Ella...
You can't hear her but she is
Help! Help! Help... too

No time in my sewing room yesterday. Wednesday is always a busy day for me. I generally have to do bookwork for my husband (grrrrr) and then in the afternoon a few of my quilting friends come over for a few hours of sit and stitch (translate how you wish)... handwork. I am preparing appliques for a Rabbit Factory Quilt I am planning on making. I calculated yesterday there are about 300 leaves on it (maybe more) plus the flowers so I might be a while getting it ready to machine applique. My buddy Elmer is helping me out with a little help from my Clover Mini Iron.

Today I am back at those pesky Nutcrackers, although I may run out to a couple of quilt stores instead... we will see! (Procrastination... next to talking it is my most favorite thing to do!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Pointless Wonder Quilt (a Quilt Country Pattern). I love pointless things... don't you?

Well, I guess I should have waited until today to do my update from yesterday because now I don't have any news from yesterday for today.... tee hee! I am speechless! (all right, those of you who know me know that's not true.)
It is a balmy 17 degrees Celsius here today... yeah! I could be like most of my fellow quilters and say I am going to the gardens today, but I am not. I love the way they look and promised myself a month ago I would spend time out there, but... I would much rather quilt than "feel the earth between my fingers". Besides I just got a manicure!
I was telling some of my best quilting friends the other night that our awning had finally bit the dust and I called several awning people to come in and give us a replacement quote... One local guy arrived and as he stepped out on my deck, proceeded to say..." Yah! I have been here plenty of times when the old owner (we have lived here 3 years) was here and I tell you this backyard was beautiful when he lived here". I almost threw him off my deck and I gave my business to someone else...
I found another tool that I might have to have... the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker... it is getting great reviews, but I haven't talked to anyone who has one... although it wouldn't matter I would have to buy one and test it myself to add it to the favorites list. But I see Mark Lipinski likes it and anything he likes is good enough for me.

See I told you... speechless!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Well the day is just about gone, procrastination took its early morning toll, but I did finally get at the nutcrackers, got one block done, printed out the new pattern in anticipation of possibly having time to start it some time this week and then the UPS guy showed up with my books from Amazon... Well frankly, I didn't really feel like sewing today anyway!!!!
Well yesterday was a productive day! I finished one of the three remaining nutcracker blocks and started drawing out the pieces for another. Hopefully today I will get both of the two remaining blocks cut out and pasted and tomorrow I can work on getting the quilt together. But... I did find another little project I would like to work on too, so either I will spend the whole day in the sewing room working on nutcrackers or spend some of the day procrastinating because I would really like to start this new project... either way, it will be a great day to sew.

The new project: I got side tracked first thing this morning with an email from one of my lists, about this great little back pack that has some nice use of patterns from your machine. I love my tools but I don't tend to be a creative thinker so when someone else does the work for me, I am always grateful. This backpack can be found at and the best part for me is that she takes PayPal and emails you the pattern right away... love it. She has some cute stuff on there, gave me some great ideas. (thinking Nutcracker!, Nutcracker!... new project... NO NUTCRACKER) oh man this is going to be a tough day! Stay tuned.

Our guild executive meeting was yesterday and that is always nice, getting together with a bunch of ladies trying to decide about the future happenings and direction of our guild. I am past president right now, but hoping to take on a new little position this fall so I can stay in touch. (All though I am so opinionated, I am sure that some of the guild members would rather I just didn't show up)I love our guild and want to see it flourish. Next year is our biannual quilt show and so lots of planning to do on that. I am hoping to have the nutcracker ready for the show... so I better quit talking and get to procrastinating so eventually I can get sewing.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Here it is Monday already... where did the weekend go. I babysat my 2 granddaughters off and on during the weekend. Their mommy (my daughter), turned 30 this weekend (ugh) and daddy took her off to Montreal to see a Montreal/Leafs game. How fun for them. While she was gone and Nan was doing her shift, I came home and made Sue a bag.. It's my new favorite thing to make ... soooooo easy! There is a pattern for it, I'll have to find out the name of the pattern for you, but I just make them from 5" squares. They are quick and easy and this one was #5 since February. The blocks and handles give me a great opportunity to use my patterns on my new machine, although this one was done on my embroidery machine. It was supposed to be a Kenny's creation purse, but I liked the bag better!
I also had a chance to catch up on my pinwheels for our guild exchange, but I tell you, I will be super glad when it is over in May!
Then last night I went back to the Nutcrackers I started almost 2 years ago... only 3 left to make and the quilt is done... (this is my layout from EQ5) and I would really like to see it finished before Christmas this year!!! (you can find the pattern at BOM)I am going to give them high priority this week, so hopefully every spare moment will be devoted to them.

By the way, my daughter is having another baby at the end of August and we just found out on Friday it's a boy! Daddy was very happy with that, although he loves his Darling Daughters to bits... how exciting for him to finally have a son!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Yesterday, my good friend Aimee, who has made fun of my obsession for Elmer's Glue, came over to put one of her quilts on my Gammill so she could quilt it... We bartered something she wanted to DO for something I WANTED so it worked out perfectly, for both of us. Aimee is a "creative" quilter and doesn't believe in wasting too much time on perfect points that will never be seen by the recipients of her quilts and believes that everything should be about being "extraordinary" (which is the opposite of ordinary, like me). We complement each other!

Anyway, this quilt had circles on it that she had basted to the quilt with those plastic basting thingies, but mostly they were just laying on top of her background. Worked great for her, but the Gammill wasn't buying it. So we glued them down in place (although I don't think they really had a PLACE)and she got busy and quilted them down. She says she is a convert and she and Elmer will be dear friends (and she will quit making fun of me), but we will see!

I got no sewing done yesterday, but went out to my Bernina dealer and had a nice chat with her. That is always fun! I bought a new foot for my machine, which I am pretty sure will only be a yearly occurrence, unless I am desperate, cause I had to suck that one up... man the price just about knocked me off my feet ( I was going to say keister which is a word I use a lot, but just googled it and one of the definitions is not pretty so I won't use that again!). Oh well, I knew it, going in the door!

I am off to my sewing room today... till 4 when I get to spend the evening with the little delights in my life!! I won't be here tomorrow, but I will see you again on Monday...

Friday, April 9, 2010

I woke up this morning and turned on the news and saw there was snow in most of the country... lucky us got missed, but it is cold outside. I shut off the TV and turned on my IPod and listened to Neil ( that's Diamond for those of you who don't know me) and he perked me up. Dancing here at the computer. (too bad you can't see me. I am an awesome dancer!!!!! hahahahahaha!)

NO sewing time yesterday, but I did make a great discovery at Staples. More Elmer's Glue!!!! they have a great little pen that I bought and then rushed home to try and it is fantastic. It has a little thin tip (not thin enough for applique, but great for times when you just need a single dot in a specific place) and a brush tip for those other crafts... any way its not on my list of favorites YET, but I might consider it after more testing.

Jays won again and although I won't be mentioning it everyday, a come back in the 9th is great news, and I did get some more little flowers done.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Over the hump... it's already Thursday... YEAH!!! I have been so busy this week, but right now I can't tell you a single thing I have done. Yesterday I managed to sew for about ... hmmmm ... let me think... 2 minutes! I tried a technique for adjusting the Dual feed on my
Bernina 820 (did I tell you I just got one of those... tee hee). I got 12 leaves ready for a new applique quilt I am doing, but I think there are about 300 leaves in the quilt so, I am not excited about that yet. And the Blue Jays beat Texas last night and that got about 25 LITTLE grandmothers flower garden pieces made. (I think the template is 1/2", maybe smaller). I was excited about that... (the Blue Jays not the flower garden... million more of those little babies to make!)

Today if I have time I would like to start marking out my white on white trapunto quilt that I would like to make my daughter as a wedding present. I have to plan it first which always seems to be the problem, because I can never justify the time it takes to sit still and do it. But maybe I will have to make a commitment like this one to work on it for an hour every day until it is done... Now where did I put that extra hour I have each day? I will have to look.

Today, I have an exciting tool to talk about. It's my Rotary Cutters favorite tool. The Tri-sharp Rotary Blade Sharpener. I love my blade sharpener. I bet it has saved me $100 dollars in the last 5 years on Rotary Blades ( now that's almost a whole quilts worth of fabric). I have had mine since they were green, probably 15 years or more and it's not as sharp as it used to be, but it has paid its way.
I tell everyone, don't eat, drink or sleep on your mat...or pin, glue, paint, colour, or cut paper. I have separate mats for each or any of those purposes and an old rotary cutter that just gets used on paper.
Ever wondered why there are "Craft" mats and Quilters mats (Omnigrid, Olfa, June Taylor, Fiskers and more) and why there is such a big price difference... (I have a nice little cheep craft mat close to my GOOD Expensive quilters mat, I do all my crafting on it and save my good mat for cutting fabric).
Because, the better the mat the longer your blade will cut through your fabric properly, and the sharper your blade stays, the longer your mat will stay usable. Dull blades will tear up your mats, and your fabric, so once a month I like to pull out my sharpener and fine tune my blade(s). After they are all nice and sharp, I drop a little drop of oil on them and put them back in my cutter. And just as long as you don't invite your good friend over for a sew day, (you know, the one who throws pins everywhere)you won't get nicks in your blade and it will last a long, long time.
Another use for that Blade sharpener... run a ragged pin or needle over it and an irritating burr will disappear. ( I bought a tool once to get rid of burrs on needles and pins but unless I start a blog called the 30 tools I wasted my money on... you won't be reading about it here.)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

OK... so yesterday I trotted off to staples and other than buying a new Mechanical pencil, I didn't find anything too exciting. More about the pencil at a later date.

Today I was expecting the COGECO guy at 8 am to fix our TV service. I hate it when you have to jump right out of bed (this is a picture of my bed) and into something presentable for some service guy who turned out to be gorgeous and then you think... damn... should have put some makeup on or at least fixed my hair... well I am almost 60 so I guess that 30 year old didn't care too much but man he was good looking! Anyway cable is fixed and I likely won't have to have him back in a hurray but it was an exciting start to my morning.

Just as soon as I get this commitment done I plan to get into my sewing room. Haven't been in there since last Friday... starting to get a little antsy. So this might not be a long blog today.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Yesterday, I set up the sun room to have our meals in once again... we use the room all winter for my weekly sewing afternoon with the girls and the grandchildren always get to play in there when they come for a visit because of the great little gas stove we have in there, but eating doesn't become comfortable until the first of April. This quilt is always on the table. I call it Daisy Fresh and it is one of my own layouts ( I like to think of them as layouts because I didn't Design the Drunkards Path or the China Astor and I am sure the appliques came from some source) but the putting together to make this great little table topper was my layout. I always say I am not in love with the colour purple but all my favorite quits have purple in them... go figure.

Last night I went to bingo with my Darling Daughter who is 5 months pregnant with my 8th grandchild and a dear quilting buddy... we had a blast but I had to buy fabric on sale (15 yards)before hand to justify the throwing away of the money I took to Bingo... didn't win, but I had a great evening!

Today I get to go to Staples... more fun sewing stuff!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter every one. We had a Great Easter celebration yesterday. The egg fights went over extremely well and the new 'cousins" had a blast. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get any pictures.

Today I planned to spend the whole day in my sewing room, only its the season opener for the Blue Jays and so I will be hand sewing this afternoon. I am working on another mini. The last one I made I gave away so this one will be for me. This quilt was approx 8 by 10... it was adorable. I have all my flowers made, now just adding some grass. I usually get a ton of the flowers done during baseball season so i expect this little quilt will be done in the near future now that baseball is back.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Its Saturday, the day before Easter and I am up early cooking eggs... 8 dozen eggs to be exact. Later today the grandchildren (x7) will colour and decorate those eggs in preparation for the annual family egg fight that has been going on for 33 years with Victor and I and probably 25 years prior to that with Victor's family.

Easter this year will be especially nice for me as I have re-acquainted myself with the son I had 40 years ago that I put up for adoption. He and his 3 children will be here to add to the excitement.

Here's a picture of a quilt top I finished this week. Really wanted to get it quilted but that didn't happen... Oh well soon... the 2 pillowcases I made on Thursday in my Sun room. First project on my new 820! (just a simple thing that rarely saw a seam ripper.. no points to match... LOL

Friday, April 2, 2010

Day one of the 30 days of favorite tools... My Brand New Bernina 820

Here it is April... 2010. Good Friday and it is a good Friday. All is right with my world.

I found my blog spot a while back but today I deleted my earlier post... it was so depressing so here I go again... Lets hope in a year I don't look back and depress myself with this one... LOL

I haven't blogged for months and I love the idea, now I just need to challenge myself to do it. I have been enjoying a lot of other peoples blogs so I've been thinking it was time I really got serious about this.... Then today...

I was awake at 5 am this morning and I watched Julia and Julie... what a great movie. I really felt like I could relate to Julie and loved her idea of her blog and thought I could do the same type of thing... so I am setting a deadline... 1 month today (small baby steps)

Yesterday I sewed 9 pillowcases, on my serger, which I rarely use but seriously... 9 pillowcases in one afternoon... how fun was that. They will make Great Easter presents or I might send some of them to Nifty's to add to our Pillowcase challenge. But, the best part of sewing yesterday was setting up the serger in my sun room and sewing in there... I think I got a sunburn on my back while I was sewing...

Today, right after I finish vacuuming, I am going to make some little Easter baskets... maybe