Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hello.... anybody still out there.

Parc de la Chute-Montmorency

Well... I am back, momentarily. LOL

I have been in the process of setting up my own web page and was hoping to move my blog there, but it hasn't happened yet so, I thought I would check in here so you could catch up.

I have been busy, busy, busy! End of year for my husbands business and we needed to get the books all up to date and all the year end junk done. As a present from hubby, he took me off to Quebec City for the weekend and what a QUILT that was!!! I have pictures! I have many favorite spots in Canada that I love, Newfoundland is my most favorite Province, the Glacier Highway in BC is my favorite path and Quebec City is now my favorite city.

Old Quebec is the most beautiful setting I have ever been in. What a surprise I had when I arrived and saw all those old wonderful mortar and metal houses with their beautiful little porches, surrounded with flowers.

One little house had mirrors above their window box so people down below could enjoy their little garden.

Every corner brought a new hill and every hill was filled to the brim with shops and homes and history. A peek through the trees gave you a beautiful view of what was to come as we traveled down those curvy hills to the next level of explosive colour. Too beautiful for words. The St Lawrence River flows past and ships and ferries and yachts and boats and kayaks and jet skis dot the surface as the blue shimmers and mixes with the reds and greens and yellows and blues and oranges and golds of the houses on the hills. The only words I could find to say were, "Oh what a quilt this would make"!

On our way home we stopped for a night in Montreal and it was the crumbs after the cake and icing. We did go to a wonderful restaurant, Moshies, a man ran to take our car on a busy street and park it who knows where, a doorman opened the door and escorted us in. We were seated with the utmost care and before our waiter arrived with the menus, a young man filled our table with the most delicious dill pickles and coleslaw and a sip from your water glass was all that was needed to summon a refill. The meal was delicious, (although we loved the pickles and coleslaw the best) And our waiter was there at our every beck and call. But the big disappointment came when there was no Creme Brulee and they arrived with the bill instead. Next time we are heading for the deli... for pickles and coleslaw and saving our money for fabric!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This is the quilt that sits on my table all the time... I love this quilt. Our guild is doing a windmill block exchange this year and I am going to make another quilt, just like this one from the blocks, only my exchange is all white backgrounds so it will be nice for spring and summer.

Ok, Ok, so I don't have a picture of the FINISHED Nutcracker... No! not even half, or a quarter. In fact no sewing yesterday at all.... grrrrrrrrr. I was detained by my own self. Who knew that someone who wanted to sew as bad as I did, could stop me from sewing the whole day. WHO KNEW?

I know my friends are all saying, "I did, I did"... Well my real friends will keep that to themselves. I started out well, but the day flew by and the next thing I knew it was midnight and I missed the whole day. I would like to think I am the only one that happens to, but I am sure there are a ton of people who have it happen to them and I bet they all, pick themselves up and say... OK... Today is the day I finish the Nutcrackers.

So... today is the day I finish the nutcrackers. ( Are you buying it?) hmmmmmm.

(Don't You love this quilt... someday after the nutcrackers I am going to make this quilt and hang it on my sewing room wall... If I lose 40 more pounds I'll look just like her.)

I don't know exactly what happened yesterday. I spent some time on here and
then some more time on here, I washed my kitchen floor and more time on here while the floor dried. I went for lunch with Mariona, and then the girls came over to sew and I got 4 baskets ready for an applique project I am working on, and then I watched one episode of The Mentalist that I had taped, ate a sweet potato, went and visited my granddaughter, went and visited my friends Aimee and Sharon and came home at MIDNIGHT and went to bed... Did I mention that I am a bit of a procrastinator.

I did find a very interesting web site, actually my friend Aimee found it for me... http://www.quiltshops.com/ . It's a virtual shop hop and well... if that doesn't keep you up at night, I don't know what will. We spent at least an hour cruising around at Aimee's and then when I got home, well, all I can say, is if you see me yawn today, don't ask why! Amazing.

Anyway... no matter what, I am not even going near that site today. I am going to do Nutcrackers.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

This little quilt was made by making 9 patches and cutting them through the middle both ways and repositioning them, then sewing them back together... sounds complicated but it was easy and fun and I made them for the grandchildren one Christmas. I put Minki on the back and they were the most cozy quilts!

Well, here I am back again. I didn't think I would say this, but I have missed my little blog. It's funny how having structure in your life helps you to motivate yourself to do the things you don't want to do.

And speaking of doing things you don't want to do... today I am going to FINISH those nutcrackers... I don't care if I am up till midnight. There, I have written down and now it will become stone!!!!! (We'll see; I will tell you tomorrow how I make out... LOL) (this is the quilt as shown at
Mine is nothing like it... except ofcourse the nutcrackers! Pictures to follow, tomorrow, maybe!)

Funny how things happen, isn't it. I was sitting here yesterday thinking I needed to get back to this little blog when I got an email from a friend of mine saying how much she missed it. I hope she wasn't just being nice, because I am back and intend to commit to another 30 days of something... I am thinking about something like... pieced blocks and how to construct them... What do you think... would that be interesting? Well, you can let me know in the comments.
A recent acquaintance who has become a friend, is opening a quilt store here in the next few weeks... I for one am very excited. She has some great ideas and it looks like I will be teaching some basic classes with her, this fall. My long time friend who has the quilt store in Harrowsmith is planning some Bernina classes with me too and I have another iron in the fire that I am still trying to wrap my brain around, but any way you look at it it will be a busy, busy fall for me.

I have a new product for you... well new to me really.. but it is real fun to use. Take a look at it here:
I have a project in mind for it... but it's a secret... I'll post a pick when I can! I first saw this at the Sewing and Needlework Festival in Toronto, and then on a couple of Internet quilting sites, but when I saw some of the finished products, I really fell in love with it. If memory serves, it wasn't at all expensive and I spent hours, the first few days I had it, putting together a bunch of things with pictures I had taken... Now to put them into a quilt. But not today... today I am doing the nutcrackers!!!! Remember!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cute little baby quilt that I made using embroidered blocks from one of the cards for Babylock. this Quilt went to Sweden
I've turned a corner. Sleeping is impossible.The problem is there are too many forks in the road and I can't choose!

Yesterday I did something nice for my Very Best Friend. She didn't get it. But I felt so good. It's one of those things where you have something that is meaningless to you and you know it will be meaningful to them. So what's the point of hanging on to it... So I put it in her hands. Traded it for something she wasn't happy with and I didn't care about it, one way or the other. Life is so good. And the lesson I learnt? It didn't cost me anything to be nice. Sometimes I forget that!

I won't be spending any time on notions for a bit... sorry... but I have to get some sewing done. after all you can only procrastinate for so long. Another week and it's Guild again and I still haven't done last months pinwheels. I am going to do both months this week and get it out of the way. And Cathy's block is not done and soon Bev's block will need to be done... late probably, but done, none the less. And I started that BOM... late... and another month has just been put up and well... I need to sew. I like this ... blogging... so I probably will see you here each day, just need to spend a little more time at my machine.

And sleeping. I need to clear my mind so I can choose a fork to follow. I have been awake since 3 am... I need to sleep But first... I NEED to go to the solitude of my sewing room, close the door and SEW! (and listen to Neil Diamond)

My Daughter and I went to Toronto to see Neil in concert last year. She was 9 months pregnant and I had a bad case of vertigo... What a Beautiful Noise!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Twosey-Foursey Quilt by Cathy Wierzbicki using the all-in-one ruler ! Fun and easy project.

Yesterday I was thinking... I should start knitting or crocheting again. I was trying to work on my grandmothers flower garden blocks but it was getting dark and I didn't want to put the light on and seriously the pieces are about 1/2" across so its not like working on a "mega" quilt. I must have been crazy the day I planned to start this quilt... had to be a full moon or PMS or something. I will stay with it, but for the moment I need a break and so, in the mean time, I might crochet something... I will research that! (translated, that means for the next week or two I will be sitting watching the ball games thinking.. oh yeah, I was going to find some crocheting to do, then I probably will let that feeling pass and get back to grandma!)

I got some new OLFA FROSTED RULERS yesterday, it was like Christmas... opening the box and touching each ruler, running my hands over the little numbered bumps, appreciating each sharp point on each corner. I had to do that, because I know I will eventually not have those corners so it is nice to enjoy them while they are still with us. I love new toys, and silly as it sounds getting something new, never used before, brightened my whole day. I ran into the sewing room stored the rulers in their new homes and sewed 3 blocks in my BOM. Now that's living!!!

The spring version of hay is attacking my eyes and nose right now and I am reluctant to go too far out of my house. With it came a little case of vertigo and all though my husband says I am dizzy all the time, I am not enjoying the dizzy I am right now. I was hoping to quilt some quilts, but unfortunately, standing is not great when you are not sure which end of the room you will land in when the spell subsides. So maybe crocheting is the answer.. more pondering... hmmmm.

Back to the tools. Believe it or not I had to think about what to talk about for a very long time. After all I only have ten more days left and it seems to me, I still have lots of gadgets left to talk about. But I finally decided to share some of my Value tools. Another 3 in one day.
First off... I love my value finders. Some people don't get it at first, but once you see how easy it is to tell whether a fabric fits into your quilt project scheme, your value finder will become your best friend. What happens with a value finder is, that it takes colour out of the equation and only leaves you with lights and darks. The most stunning quilts I have ever seen are usually made by someone who has a full understanding of what a dark valued or a light valued fabric will do in a quilt.

The value finder is easy to use. Choose your fabric and lay them beside each other, place the value finder up to your eyes, (its best very close) and look at your fabric. What you will see is lights and darks... no colour. If all your pieces look like one fabric, then you have no value changes in your fabric. When you make your quilt all your piecing will be in vain because there will be nothing to distinguish the pattern. A stunning quilt will have many value changes even if the quilt itself is 1 colour.

The other two products take it one step further. The Kaleidoscope to the right, is a great tool for seeing how all your fabrics will work together by chopping up a pile of fabrics visually. When you place it to your eye, it will create a beautiful Kaleidoscope that will immediately show you if your fabrics will be effective when placed next to each other. The Quilt and Print viewer to the left, is great for placing blocks into a quilt. Once you have your blocks on the wall it helps you "Step back" to see if everything is working right. Sometimes, the slightest shift will change the whole appearance of a quilt (or a block) and being able to see the whole picture is always a benefit.
Not everything is black and white, but in quilting, it should be! (with a whole lot of colour thrown into the mix!!!)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Not a great picture... but I do like the Delectable Mountains... Quilt in a Day Pattern

A new week. And I don't really feel like last week has ended yet. Wouldn't it be nice if every week had 5 more days... nah... I'd never catch up!
My friend K at the Rock watching the sun set over Lake Nipissing with her beautiful dog Nikita!

I had an incredible time with my friends in North Bay/Calendar/ middle of no where! It's just like them to live somewhere so remote that even the black flies hadn't found them yet. A few more weeks and it would have been an art quilt. They live on Lake Nipissing and it was beautiful there. I would say it was peaceful, but the 14 year old had a birthday and there were so many teens running in and out, peaceful wouldn't really be a word. But, being with old friends, if for only a few days... priceless. I did find a new favorite "notion". Ivory Soap. My friend gets leg cramps and his father told him to put a bar of Ivory soap under his sheets and voila... no more leg cramps. They say it works for restless leg syndrome as well... off to buy Ivory Soap! (but I think any soap will do!)

I also, learnt, that you can purchase the Proportional Scale at a Quilt Store. Golden Threads has one available. (I paid about 3 dollars for mine and this one was almost $9... I'm just saying...) I found it while browsing around a cute little quilt store in North Bay, Homestead Stitches. The store interior is charming. They have a whole wall full of old display cases that they have their fabric displayed on and the store reeks of antiquities when you walk in the door. Yum! I didn't buy much as I plan to go back when I am on my own and spend some time there, but I did manage to buy some Misty Fuse, which I have been looking everywhere for. I have heard it is wonderful with the Accu Quilt (which I am hoping to buy soon) and also for Bernina owners who are using the BSR. Also... it is so light weight, it feels like a product you won't know is there when you apply it, so I am anxious to try it... if it works out, you will hear about it!