Friday, February 27, 2015

A Mini Celebration

Back home after a day away.  Visited with friends did some shopping and looked forward to being back in our own little castle.  It was nice getting together with our friends and catching up on the news but I find these trips are tiring.  Didn't sleep well last night but I think the real reason is the my rapidly advancing years are starting to slow me down.

If you would like to see a fantastic fireworks display, click on the link below.  I considered it a 'glad to be home' celebration,

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spinning in the Wrong Direction

Tomorrow we are going south.  Not very far, just an hour and a half away but my hubby is so tired of the cold he will take anything.  We are meeting friends from Alberta who are here visiting family.  We will also do some shopping while there.  Every once in a while it is nice to get to a larger community and take advantage of the shops and, usually, cheaper prices.

Yesterday, I posted a photo of a block I made as part of a BOM.  I want to clarify a statement I made about who is organizing it.  I mentioned that Pattern Pastiche was the sponsors but it is actually The Quilt Pattern Magazine. Pattern Pastiche is a part of the magazine that allows subscribers and contributors to interact with each other as well as get information on various topics.  It is like a virtual quilt group.
I wanted to correct what I said in case you were interested in joining in on the BOM which you can do by becoming a subscriber.  Of course, you will also get to read my monthly column!

I have got a couple more pinwheel blocks finished after a bumpy start.  The pinwheels are made using a different method which can be a bit tricky if you don't pay close attention to what you are doing.  I have used this design in other projects and, in fact, made the king size quilt for my bed using it so I am familiar with the steps.  However, this didn't seem to make any difference today as I put three of them together incorrectly not once but twice.  One section I managed to do wrong three times!  Stay warm and have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Keeping Up

I just finished the fourth pinwheel block for a new top I am doing.  The blocks feature a lot of black and grey with shades between the two.  The pinwheels are a bright red.  I think it will be striking and a nice gift for a young couple.
When making quilts intended for younger adults, I have to keep in mind that the traditional patterns and colours might not appeal to them.  The same is true for new mothers.  The pinks, yellow, white and blues that my contemporaries used have given away to brighter hues.  I am sure these are much more appealing to the baby as well as they don't see lighter colours as clearly as the brights .
A lot of contemporary quilts no longer have borders.  We used to be told that the border frames the quilt just as it does for a picture or photograph.  However, printed photos have been borderless for many years and many painters are opting for the simpler look.
I don't think quilters should feel obligated to keep up with the trends in colour, print and styles but, if we want to sell our products we should, at least, be aware of what is current.

I gave our Heidi a bath this morning and, as usual gave her a good rub down with a towel and then used the hair blower to dry her as much as I could.  Unfortunately, hubby hadn't let her out before her bath, and she had to go outside earlier than I would have liked.  I put one of her blanket's on and got her inside again as quickly as possible.  I then wrapped her in a blanket and gave her a good rubbing.  However, her little teeth were, literally, chattering.  She seems alright now but it wasn't a good sound.
Times like that I wished she used a litter box.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


This is the second block in the Over the Rainbow Challenge.  It is sponsored by Pattern Pastiche, (part of The Quilt Pattern Magazine) .  I am enjoying the block of the month as the instructions are easy to follow and challenging enough to keep you on your toes.
Today, I taught my first quilting class at our junior high school. The 12 students included 2 boys which I was glad to see.  I went over the basics of using a rotary cutter with ruler and mat for this lesson and they picked it up quickly.  The biggest problem at the moment is not having supplies. 
I don't know what it is like in your area but I suspect it is the same as here.  Often the teachers have to augment supplies out of their own pocket because the budget doesn't stretch far enough.  I don't know what causes the problem but I do know that education is the biggest part of our property taxes.
If you have a school in your area that teaches sewing in any form but particularly quilting (as that is my passion), consider donating your unneeded fabric and notions to them.  You could be part of encouraging the next generation of fabric artisans.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

More Accomplishments

Another productive day.  I finished everything on my to do list and now can start another one.  Actually, I think I better concentrate on getting some housework done as I am expecting company next week.
I do have another block from a BOM challenge to finish before the end of the month but that shouldn't take too long.
It is still quite cold here but next week is predicted to start warming up.  Warming up now is anything above 20 below!
I just realized today that I forgot to take a photo of the wedding quilt I made for my niece and her new husband.  I wanted to post it to a group site and then couldn't find it.  I am sure she will take a picture for me.  This is the second time I have done this.  I just gave a quilt to a friend and forgot to photograph it as well.  The daughter, who is an accomplished photographer has taken one so it will probably be better than any I would have done.
I am just waiting for the two young women I teach to arrive.  We are working on hand applique today.  I also started another of the Vintage Tiles Revisited blocks this evening.  I only have three more to go.  I forget when I started these but it has probably been two years ago. Will be nice to get them done and quilted.  I think it will be a winter quilt for my bed.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bag Finished

I got this laptop bag finished today.  I made it extra sturdy to support the weight of the laptop.  You can't see it clearly but there is a pouch on the front with a Velcro flap.

I am getting caught up on my 'to do' list although I keep remembering something else that should be one it.  My neighbour that is raising mini goats thought she had until March before the birthing began.  One nanny, however, seems to be ready to go any time.  I said I would make some fleece coats for the babies as they don't have any hair to keep them warm in the early days.  Even in a heated barn, they can get chilly.  I think they had better be my next project.
Also got some baking done today so shouldn't have to do any more of that for a few days.
It has been a nice sunny day and only 7 below so I thought I was okay to leave Heidi's bootees off when we went for our walk.  I did stick them in my pocket just in case.  Good thing I did.  We didn't even get all the way down the driveway when she started doing the 3 legged hop.  I guess as long as there is snow on the ground she is going to need to be covered.  Her hind right foot seems to be the most sensitive.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Enjoying the Cold

The sun rose on breath grasping temperatures this morning.  The news stations gave warnings of exposed skin freezing in in a few brief minutes were anyone to be foolhardy enough to go outside. I decided to chance it.  By the afternoon, the temperature had risen to a balmy minus 17 and I needed to go for a walk.  I bundled Heidi up in her bootees and warmest coat and myself in the same plus the scarf I recently made.  I love cold, sunny days and they are my favourite times to be outside.
We didn't go to far and I kept watch to make sure Heidi's feet weren't giving her any problem but it was nice to be out in the fresh air.  When we got back home, I made myself a hot drink and Heidi got a doggie treat.
I also finished the borders on my tumbler quilt today although I am thinking of adding another to add a bit of colour.  I should have time to do that tomorrow and then I will have to leave the quilting for a bit.  I have an order for a laptop bag and need to get that made.
Happy Valentines Day for tomorrow.  I am going to make hubby some mocha macaroons which he loves. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Quilting Athletes

I am not very athletic but I think I could be a competitive quilter.  A friend posted this on my Facebook page and I thought it was humorous.  I got the sashing finished on my quilt top today and am just in the process of putting on the border. 
It is quite cold here today.  Too cold to take the dog for a walk.  Of course, after mentally moaning for the past few days that I am never home, I am now fussing about not being able to go out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Disappearing Time

Today was the monthly meeting of our local artisans club so I have been out until mid afternoon.  the meeting ended just after lunch but then I had mail to get and a bit of shopping to do so, by the time I got home, I was ready to eat.
I have volunteered to start a blog for the group and am going to have to think for a bit about the content.  I won't be posting on it as often as this one but even once a week will give the group some publicity and a chance to connect with others that share interests.
I don't seem to be making much progress in any other areas this week.  Still haven't finished putting the sashing on my tumbler blocks or done any more rows on the quilt that is on the frame.  Perhaps tomorrow I will be able to get some things done.  I don't have anything scheduled.
It is amazing how time disappears isn't it.  I try very hard not to get myself too booked up but it seems to happen anyway.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Make a List. Check it Twice.

Another sunny day.  I think we might be experiencing a mini January thaw as the temperature is just below freezing.  The icicles are dripping and squirrels are happily dashing around in the warmth.
It has been a busy day and tomorrow will be the same.  I am finding it hard to get a few minutes quilting time but, hopefully tomorrow afternoon.
We were shopping this morning and then I had to stand on the ready as my hubby was taking snow from the roof.  A big job and one that should have been done earlier but we didn't have the right shovel.  At least it is done before the warmth increases the weight of the snow.
I am a little frustrated with my shopping trip.  I forgot to buy sugar and this is the third time I came home without it.  I can get it in the village but it is a dollar cheaper in the town.  It seems that even when you make a list you still miss things.
I ordered a quilt kit yesterday.  I have never bought one before but this one was 25% off and will be perfect for a gift that I need.  The pattern is one that I can use again as well.
Hope your weather is as pleasant as ours.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Free Scarf Pattern.

When I went for my walk today, I found that it was a lot colder than I thought despite the relatively warmer temperatures.  There was a bitterly cold wind and, although my coat has a hood, it didn't keep my face warm.  Make a scarf, I thought to myself.  I have tons but they are designed to be decorative rather than warm.
This is the result.  I cut a piece of fleece 22 inches wide by the width of the fabric which is 60 inches.  Fold in half lengthways,  right sides of fabric together, and sew along the long edge.  Turn right side out.  Now for the tricky part.  You want to join the two ends.  I put right sides together starting at the seam and sewed around the circle, adjusting the fabric to keep right sides together.  You will only be able to partially complete the circle.  Clip thread and remove from the machine.  Hand stitch the rest of the opening.  Place the circle of fabric over your head and then loop it over again.  Pull one of the loops onto your head.  There is enough fabric that the back of your neck won't be exposed.
I used my serger for the sewing.  You can make your scarf wider or narrower as you prefer.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Light and Shadow

We had one of those lovely, cold and sunny days that I enjoy so much.  This morning the rising sun created a lovely  shadow and light landscape.  you can also see how much snow we have.  We have put in a call to our favourite snow plow operator to give our driveway another cleaning.  I was able to get in and out  but I had to be careful.
I worked at getting another couple of quilts ready for the frame today.  One I had started hand quilting so picked out the threads and put the top in the laundry to remove the marks before getting it loaded onto the frame.  The other top needs another border and then I will get it next.  I only have one other top in my stash to be quilted.  To be truthful, there are two but I am not sure I am going to do the other.  I think I might just put it in the pile to go to a recycling place for someone else to deal with.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A New Day

A new day can make quite a difference.  I am feeling a lot better.  Still sniffly but I got some baking done and took our Heidi for a walk.  She had given up going to the door and looking hopeful at the usual 'walkies' time.  Poor thing.  She is going to start looking for younger pack mates if I am not careful.
I am doing the hand sewing part of the binding on the quilt I just finished.  I decided to do the binding in two colours because I didn't have enough of either to do the who thing.  I like to piece my binding and sometimes will insert a different fabric and other times do a scrappy.  We spend a lot of time making the top and then just stick on a border.  I feel that this last part of making the quilt is like a picture frame and can add to the over all look.
The next one to go onto the frame is a Mystery Quilt I did as part of a virtual retreat hosted by the Quilt Pattern Magazine. 
Now that my head is clear again, I can get the tumbler block top put together.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


I have another quilt, quilted.  Just finished the last row on one this afternoon and now am cutting the fabric for the binding.  I am not getting much done the past couple of days as I either have a bad case of allergies or a cold.  I am inclined to think it is the former as I don't feel ill and still have an appetite.  However, I have blown my nose so many times that it is beginning to feel as though it was scraped across asphalt.  Hubby is ill again as well.  I think I got whatever he has.  I fought off his first bought but let my guard down when he came home on Friday with the sniffles.
I am feeling really housebound and bored so hope I am over this soon.  I have not gone anywhere as I don't want to spread it around if it is catching.
I am going to go for a walk tomorrow even if it is just around the outside of the house.