Thursday, 26 February 2009

Inspiration and Admiration . . .

First the inspiration . . .

This isn't what we will be making in the Piece by Peace workshop in March, but it is very similar. Now if I could only find all of those colors I'd be a happy gal! The instructor came to our Saturday workshop last week and gave us a stack of homework if we want to make a quilt similar to the one above and/or a drunkard's path variation. Both have some serious color decisions to be made, as well as preliminary sewing that needs done before we meet again.

Now for the admiration . . .

Most of the Piece by Peace group participated in a block exchange last year and we were all asked to make one or two extra so that a charity quilt could be made.

Some of the girls got right down to work on Saturday and got the top tied and even finished off the binding. I was working on another project, but really enjoyed watching them work away on this quilt . . . it didn't seem like any time at all before they were done.

Way to go, ladies! The lucky recipient of this quilt will treasure it for years to come.

The Demanding Doll has some great ideas for using up scraps, so if you're needing to shrink down your scrap drawers, head on over and take a look. Also check out her dog blocks that she's working on . . . they're full of colorful characters!

For another great quilt that uses up scraps, head over to Quiltville for directions on making a crumb quilt. This is only one variation of this type of quilt . . . check out some other ones for similar ideas. I don't know about your scrap bins, but mine are getting over-full.

'til next time,


Monday, 23 February 2009

A Whole Week . . .

has come and gone. Where does the time go?

I did get my homework done for the Blue Meadow Mystery Quilt. The layout directions (I think!) are going to be posted today . . . I'm stumped as to what they have planned for the layout! Every time I lay the blocks out in a pattern I seem to be ending up with blocks short or blocks left over - it is a mystery!

Block #3 of the BOM from The Quilt Patch in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan arrived on Friday. All I've got done so far is washing and drying the wool pieces. One of them was a nice deep red and it had to be washed over and over and over again until there was no more pink in the water - just a little time consuming.

My husband is on lay off for a couple of weeks and he has gutted one of the bedrooms upstairs (and made a holy mess of all the others!) and in the process has taken boxes and boxes of my treasures out of closets. Among the boxes of fabrics and magazines that I have collected (and refuse to give up), were some boxes of old books.

As a small child I remembered these books being old and let's just say that was quite a few years ago. The date in this one is 1937 and I have no idea about some of the others.

Looking at the dog ears on the corners of these pages I'd say they've seen quite a few little fingers journey down the Dick and Jane road.

These dog-eared, covers-missing, beautifully illustrated little books are no longer in a box . . . they are now on my bookshelf again. I know that these books were instrumental in forming my passion for reading and I know they'll be around for a long time to come.

Now onto sewing . . . we're invited to a wedding in May and I thought I'd try and throw together a quilt for the happy couple. Not too sure if I'm liking what I'm doing, but I'm continuing on to the end and then I'll make up my mind whether or not it's something I would want to give away.

I'm calling this pattern "Life" right now. My husband gave me a questioning look about that name so I quickly explained the rationale behind it. Each of the blocks forms a nice, neat centre square and then slowly evolves outside it . . . and then rapidly just goes to hell. Is your life like that? Maybe I'm having a bad month and better review that name later in the year!

I'm thinking that Mysty must have thought the same thing about this quilt. I just assumed she must have done one of her "snowplow" attacks at the blocks and then Randy pointed out that the blocks were twisted on the inside and that the outside edges weren't messed up. She must have done the "tornado" move (tail-chasing) - confirms my theory about the name, right?

'til next time,


Friday, 13 February 2009

Hello Australia!

. . . and everywhere else as well!

My bloggie numbers are shootin' through the roof!

Kellie, over at "Don't Look Now included my link in her last post and there's been tons of people popping over here last night and today. Remember my "happy" pillow from a few posts back? Well that was Kellie's wonderful pattern and if you haven't downloaded it yet, make sure you do. Someday you'll need a "happy" pillow pattern to make - it certainly cheered me up when I really needed it.

On a rather not-so-happy note . . . The devastation of the wildfires in Australia and the long-term rebuilding efforts that will be needed will be felt by many folks for a very long time. My heartfelt sympathies go out to each and every one of you and your families and I wish I could make everyone a "happy" pillow in the hope that it would ease your burden. Our thoughts are with you.

A few days ago I did finish the stitching on my Bunny Hill block #2 and it is now pinned up next to block #1. This got me to thinking about how this whole little quilt will go together . . . I guess I better re-read my instructions, because I'm sure Anne has told us whether we need to buy sashing fabric and border fabric (I just went and checked (online) and she says she will let us know in the newsletter when they have calculated the yardage for borders, etc.). So, if I know before this line of fabric is discontinued, I will be checking over at The Fabric Depot for my border yardages. I received an email this morning advising that they were having a 40% off sale (on certain items) until the 17th of February. If you're looking for jelly rolls or flannels, this may be the sale for you.

This is the site where I buy most of my yardage for quilts . . . quite often I'll buy a fat quarter or a jelly roll somewhere and then I need borders or backing of that particular line of fabric - that's when I check out The Fabric Depot to see if they carry that line and then wait for a 35% to 40% off sale. Oh, by the way, the fabric is always 25% off, but I hold out for the bigger discounts. I love buying fabric . . . and I REALLY love buying fabric on sale!

And, the only other thing I have been up to this week, is finishing off the next step in the Mystery Quilt over at Blue Meadow Designs. Still really easy . . . no stress yet. I have no idea what the quilt is going to look like so all I can do is throw the blocks onto the carpet to see how the colors are working together.

We've only made 17 blocks so far, but we needed 35 charm squares, so there's still going to be some sewing and juggling of blocks happening down the road.

Em? With Monday being a holiday in Manitoba . . . will Myra and Cori post Part 3 of the Mystery Quilt? Can't wait to find out!

Have a great VALENTINE's weekend wherever you are.

'til next time,


Monday, 9 February 2009

Pink and Red Fabric!

This is the February shipment from the Fat Quarter Shop and it is very nice in all it's pink and red glory.

Trouble is . . . they're not really my colors at all, so I'm going to have to find a niece that needs a quilt or another project that makes use of these prints.

I did come across the little "pennie pockets" pattern that you see next to the fabric stack and it would work perfectly . . . but would I really use them? Not too sure about that either! But it is a very cute pattern just the same and unfortunately I have forgotten where I found it! I REMEMBER NOW! It was the Moda Bake Shop site! Go check it out also.
But, I did remember that there was almost an identical pattern over at The Happy Zombie's blog back in November. It was made in Christmas fabrics instead of Valentine fabrics and was very tempting also and used layer cakes instead of fat quarters, but either would work, right?

I finally finished my thread catcher/pincushion thing-a-ma-bobbie! This pattern, the fabric (free) and the ceramic tile have been sitting in a stack of "to do" stuff and yesterday was the day to get it done. It always feels nice to concentrate on one thing and get it out of the way. Bonus is that now I get to use it, plus if you have an extra fat quarter laying around, this project used just that - one fat quarter. There was a wonderful tutorial over at Myra's a couple of months back (check her side bar) if you were wanting to make yourself or all of your friends one of these. You could get started on some early, early Christmas presents.

And if you're looking for other ideas for fat quarters . . . Fat Quarter Month is being celebrated over at Sew Mama Sew and every day there is a new posting for an idea or a pattern. I know that we all have a lonesome fat quarter laying around that needs used up, so pop over and have a look. The baby booties are the cutest - no babies in my future yet, so I won't be making them up just yet, but they are very cute.

'til next time,


Friday, 6 February 2009

This, That and the Squirrel!

Look at this beautiful block!

I just love it . . . and I've been seeing a few finished ones popping up around blogland also that are looking just wonderful. How can they not? Anne has used her fantastic skills to supply us with such inspiration and my thanks goes out to her for providing me with this wonderful sense of anticipation for the next ten months - and I know that I'm not the only one because I've been reading blogs off and on all day.

This little pattern works up so quick and easy! I guess it depends on what your method is . . . but still it is a small block . . . not large pieces of fabric needed and not a huge time commitment to produce such a lovely little block. Plus you can now do it all embroidery . . . redwork, blue work, whatever color you wanted - how versatile is that?!?!?! What can she possibly come up with for the next ten months? It will be another few days before mine is complete and ready to hang on the wall with the January block . . . but I just know it's going to look great!

And then I couldn't pass up a little mystery quilting either, so I've chosen my fabrics, with the main fabric line being the "At Water's Edge" by Blackbird Designs. I didn't have a medium and dark though and had to make a quick trip to Fabricland on Thursday to do some color matching and selections.
I already had the charm pack and the light fabric that was required for this Blue Meadow Designs 2009 Mystery quilt, but I needed a medium and a dark - not large pieces but something that would work. They must have thought I was nuts in the store . . . pulling this bolt down and that bolt down and flipping through my charm pack to see which fabrics matched the best. There's a lesson here to be learned . . . buy all your fabrics from the same collection at the same time . . . but, I suppose that might take the challenge out of it, right?

With it being a mystery though, you really don't know how medium and dark to go . . . so I'm out on a limb here Myra and Cori - I'm really hoping I haven't gone too dark. I guess time will tell!
So far everything is easy, smeezie and I'm not feeling pressured except for the color choices.

Ah. Here is my constant winter visitor. Way up in the tree, watching Mysty wandering around the other day when the temperature got up to about -1C or so. For all of you in the warmer climates . . . cats (Mysty) really hate the cold, but the squirrels keep themselves busy unless it gets really, really cold.

Even though the photo is a little fuzzy, you can see that the squirrels must feel a bit of the cold too - see how his tail is curled right over his back . . . I think it's a little bit of extra fur coating for him!

My hubby pointed out this little hole the other day and confirmed that the squirrel is burrowing and making tunnels in the snow banks. That's a first for me . . . I've never seen squirrel holes before!

He comes down the tree trunk, onto the deck and then carries on down his little hole to access under the deck where he goes through the lattice and into his acorn storage shed. Industrious little fella, wouldn't you say? Even though the hole is covered over/filled in every time it snows, it keeps reappearing . . . just like the tubby little squirrel. Life is kinda neat, eh?
'til next time,

Thursday, 5 February 2009

A Month Has Passed . . .

. . . and now it's posted!

Go get your copy and get stitching - A Tisket, A Tasket. Wait 'til you see it . . . I can't wait to get started!
Oh, I wonder what color to make my birds . . .

and what about the hearts and basket? More decisions to make - how fun will that be!?!?!?!?
After you're done downloading your Block Two pattern, head on over and check out Quilting on the Run's Unfinished Project Swap. I know everyone has unfinished projects kicking around and wouldn't it be neat to hand some of them on for someone else to finish? Sounds interesting to me!
Also head on over to Blue Meadow Designs to get started on their next Mystery quilt. All you need is one charm pack and a bit of coordinated yardage to get started on this new mystery. The final measurement will be 45" x 63" and the first clue is looking quite manageable and I hope to get the sewing machine warmed up this afternoon to get my first 10 blocks done.

Most of my quilting time has been spent stitching and will be for a while yet - so not too much new to show until I get my Bunny Hill block done. See you then!

'til next time,

Monday, 2 February 2009

Happy Groundhog Day!

Six more weeks of winter predicted . . . not so happy about that.

Groundhog day is also my daughter's birthday - Happy Birthday, Candace!

Twenty-five years ago today was ABSOLUTELY the happiest day of my life when this special little lady was brought into this world. She grew into quite a little rascal by the age of two and even more so at 25!

So while she was visiting over the weekend, between shopping, movies and eating (of course!), I was able to get the binding all sewn on this BIG pillow. I don't even have a pillow form large enough to fit inside this one, and I'm certainly not going to make one that big, so my shopping list just got a little bit longer.

I even had to make my own covered buttons - a first for me. Very simple . . . so I'll be doing more of that in the future. I also made buttonholes for the first time in ages and the Pfaff had no problems helping me through that new phase. It's been a long time since I've done any garment sewing so these little tasks appeared huge to me until I got busy and did them.

This pattern is FREE from the Don't Look Now blog and I just love it! The fabric I used was all scraps and it turned out so bright and cheerful looking, although it is looking just a little bit out of place during these dull Winter days. It will be my happy reminder that Spring will be here in six weeks or so.

The technique is raw-edge applique and I've done it once or twice before, but not a lot. So you'll have to forgive some of the squiggles here and there, but really they all blend in in the grand scheme of things. The little bead eye finishes off the cute bird perfectly and . . .

. . . there's a matching one on the back of the pillow also. Kellie did a wonderful job with this little design - it is fun, bright, easy and satisfying. So if you haven't been for a visit to her blog yet, make a little side trip and go see her.

'til next time,