Friday, 22 August 2008

More shopping . . .

The mailbox had some lovelies for me this week.

I guess because I'm such a frequent customer (go figure!), the The Fat Quarter Shop sent me a little 20% off coupon for my next purchase. So of course I couldn't pass up a special and I chose the new 3 Sisters line called Portobello Market. This little parcel is called a "Charming Jelly Cake" collection - one charm pack, one jelly roll and one layer cake. It looks much more mouthwatering in real life - it was hard to get a really good photo of the depth of this sinful concoction.

It also turns out that this is the fat quarter collection that will be shipped out for the October Moda Fat Quarter Club that I have belonged to for the past six months or so. My little stack of Portobello Market will be just a wee bit higher come October.

Here is a closeup of a couple of my favorite prints . . . can't wait to come up with a scheme as to how these are all going to go together - won't be able to use the excuse that I don't have enough fabric!

When I get done with all the projects planned for this collection I'll probably be ready to move on to another color scheme - don't you think?

Maybe something like this one!
This is Portugal by April Cornell and is the August Fat Quarter Club collection. Beautiful yellows, blue, terra cotta and green . . . absolutely inspiring!

I figure I better stock up on all these fabrics now because if the dollar ever takes a nasty turn, at least I'll have my stash to fall back on. I need more time at home I'm thinkin'. Need to negotiate more holidays for 2009.

And to finish off my shopping show and tell - Fabricland had a great sale on last week - 50% off! Now I'm all stocked up on this wonderful product so I won't run out in the middle of spray basting another quilt . . . because I still have a lot of quilting to do . . .
'til next time,

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Blast From The Past

Look at this new little baby! Sleek lines, computerized . . . just a sleek little hummer . . . purrs right along . . .

and then check out this old relic. Kinda night and day, don't you think?
The little white beauty up there is the hot little number I was trying out for the past week. The old bomb is the first sewing machine I ever bought . . . I think I was 15 or 16 years old . . . she's been around for a good long while. I paid $100.00 for it and the refinished old Singer sewing cabinet.
Yesterday I returned the hot little number and sat down to my old relic and started clunking away . . . I swear it sounds like an old tractor . . . a little loosie klang, klang, every so often. But, you know what? Somehow it just felt more comfortable . . . like an old friend, maybe. Weird . . . I know, but what can I say . . . maybe because she was my first . . .
Now that I've kinda got this machine quilting thing figured out and that really seems to tie up the Pfaff with it's special bobbin thread, invisible top thread and the table extension thingy, I had been wanting to try out the little, lightweight machine to see if it would work for me . . . plus also for maybe taking to classes - something a little lighter and easier to lug around. But, alas, it just didn't feel right to me . . . and just how much I would use it . . . who knows?
We'll see how much machine quilting I actually do for myself and how much I'll be sending stuff out to have done . . . in the meantime . . .

I bought a new machine quilting book . . . just in case I decide to do more and more of my own quilting. Still need to read this one, it just came yesterday. Flipping through it looks very interesting. Anyone have a review for me?

The Bible also came . . . I have had a look through this book . . . very nice. Can't wait to try some of these stitches! Maybe work some into some new designs also - nothing too difficult though.

Ok, so I haven't done any sewing for myself in years. And when I did, way back when, everything always felt so homemade . . . just a feeling I'm sure! Then I saw this cool creation on Joanna's site and I actually reached over and jotted down the pattern number on a scrap of paper . . . for some reason I thought it would be nice under suit jackets and stuff.
Now I have the pattern . . . but I don't sew for myself anymore . . . and would I wear it if I did make it . . . where would I find the time to even put it together . . . help! . . . what have I got myself into this time?
'til next time,

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Busy, busy . . .

This last week I have finished off one of the quilts that needed machine quilted and made a really great start on the second one.

I have found that having the machine set up in the dining room is working very well for me . . . it is easily accessible to go over and sew for five or ten minutes and then jump up and do something else. This is working wonderfully for me on workday mornings . . . I can get in a little bit of quilting before work, at supper time and even sometimes afterwards. Working on the larger quilts is really stressful on the hands and shoulders, so doing this sporadic kind of quilting ensures that there are no huge aches and pains. Plus . . . it's really surprising how much you can accomplish in those little bits of time.

I guess the old saying "practice, practice, practice" really does pay off. This time around I'm feeling so much more comfortable and more satisfied with the results that I'm getting. Knock on wood that this holds true until I'm finished that big quilt.

Sporadic quilting is helped along by my little assistant. She knows how to slow the old production line down to a crawl. It's a little tough maneuvering the quilt around when it's weighted down.

Of course she did apologize, and then promptly curled up for a nap. As if she doesn't have enough quilts to sleep on in every room in the house! Maybe she's laying claim to this one too.

A very late flowering coneflower decided to show up in the garden . . . I've seen some really nice quilt patterns using this flower . . . gotta try one sometime . . .

'til next time,


Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Manitoba Road Trip . . .

Not much quilting going on here this past weekend. We made a trip into Winnipeg to visit family . . . road trip consisting of two hours there and two hours home.

Since there are no quilt pictures for this post, I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the scenery of Summer (almost Fall) in Southwestern Manitoba. I know there are people visiting my blog from other countries and I also know that I love seeing the scenery posted on other blogs . . . always interesting to see what the rest of the world has to offer. Remember you can click on any of the photos to make the image larger and easier to see.

Here is a picture from Holland . . . Holland, Manitoba that is. The community built this little wayside park a few years ago and of course chose the little windmill as the landmark. I believe they have some trees and flowerbeds planted in the area and in a few years it will be well developed. Sorry about the dash closeup!

Harvest is getting closer and closer, and we did actually see a few combines, but of course when I brought out the camera they all disappeared! This photo is of an irrigation system located close to Glenboro, Manitoba where there are lots and lots of potatoes grown. The irrigation is certainly a necessity in this area.

This photo might be a little out of focus but I think you can tell that the sunflowers cover a giant amount of land. As far as the eye could see, this field just seemed to go on and on. Love the sunflowers fields . . . so bright and happy.
And here is a very typical Manitoba wheat field . . . we do seem to be having more and more canola grown around this area though . . . something to do with the price being really good. You'll be able to see the flat, flat land and the big, big sky - that's what we have quite a bit of here in Manitoba (and mosquitoes!).

This one of my favorite landmarks coming out of Winnipeg . . . these buildings just peeking over the little ridge - gotta love that sky . . . blue, blue and more blue.

And, of course, everything grown on those fields usually makes a trip to the local elevator . . . this is probably one of the smaller elevators around nowadays . . . most are huge terminals that truckers haul large semi-loads of grain great distances to. The small town elevators are not quite as popular as they used to be and many of the rail lines are being pulled out of the communities. This does cause many small towns to become little ghost towns and some just disappear completely.
All in the name of progress . . .

(I'm beginning to feel like a tour guide, so it must be time to wrap this post up!)

'til next time,

Friday, 8 August 2008

Catchin' up . . .

Last weekend we hosted a 25th anniversary party for my husband's sister and her hubby.

It just so happened that my mother-in-law, who had made the wedding cake 25 years ago, had frozen a piece of the cake that was not needed for the wedding. When we decided to do this party thing, she rooted around in the freezer and unwrapped it from it's many layers of protective coverings and researched with numerous people to find out if it would still be edible or not. The answer was "why not" and so she contacted a cake decorator and had it all done up for the anniversary.

What a look of shock on the happy couples' faces when they found out it was the actual cake from their wedding. PLUS it actually tasted not bad at all!

(Just a little side note: we were teasing the groom that he must have grown since the wedding because he doesn't really appear to that much different in height that his wife. Turns out that she was standing on the curb and he was standing on the street when this photo was taken - makes him look really short. Lesson to be learnt - watch out for those old pictures . . . they come back to haunt some of us!)

As an extra dessert, (just in case the old wedding cake didn't taste very good), I whipped up some of my cherry cheesecake tarts . . . someone really enjoyed licking of the beaters!

Now that I'm back to work there is not much going on as far as the quilting thing goes. Have the machine all set up to quilt this quilt . . .

and this one . . .

and this one.

Also borrowed a little Janome Jem Platinum 760 sewing machine to try out . . . that way I can still do some test sewing on some of the patterns I'm trying to write and also try and determine (and justify to my husband!) whether I could really use a second machine or not. If you have one, let me know what you think.

Off to Winnipeg this weekend so there'll be no sewing at my house - it'll all have to wait 'til I get back.

Have a great weekend everyone!

'til next time,