Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Not Really "Wild"Life

Kellie over at Don't Look Now is having a couple of giveaways . . . but that's not all, the eye candy is fantastic. I'm really enjoying her color combinations and the style of raw-edge applique is so easy and yet dramatic. I love her work! Go check it out . . .

This little gal was so close to the window the other day that it felt like you could almost reach out and touch her. She actually stood there long enough for me to try and find the camera (which took a bit of searching - especially when the husband decides to tidy things away!)

She did eventually get tired of looking at us through the window and decided to show us her furry little backside as she strutted away.

But then she decided to tease me just a bit more and hang around on the driveway. She seemed awfully sure of herself and just a little fru fru about things. Imagine! A deer with an attitude!

About a half hour later we did see three of them walking down the street . . . heading for home maybe? Who knows! I only hope our lawn has survived their constant pawing that they have been dishing out all winter long. We'll see what damage there is once the snow is all gone, plus all the little droppings that they have fertilized the yard with. Always interesting mowing the lawn for the first time every season . . . you don't know what's going to be flying where!

'til next time,

Monday, 30 March 2009

Saturday Workshop

Ah, the teacher's sample . . . always inspirational!

Those colors all combine into such a beautiful quilt and that cat fabric is gorgeous.
I didn't count how many of us took in the workshop on Saturday, but we had a nice group and had a very good time. Of course, with all the homework we did before the class, we were able to get right to work on what the different techniques were like to work with.

As you can see this is a variation of the drunkard's path block that uses 17 different fabrics plus a feature print. I'm on the hunt for the feature print right now, so I don't have too much to show just yet. I'm still looking for the "Fancy Cats" fabric in cream (see previous post for photo) and I have a few emails out right now trying to track some down. I had thought I would use a stripe in addition to the small piece of cat fabric I had, but once I started cutting out the drunkard's path shapes and laid them next to the stripe, it just didn't look good.

These beautiful prints belonged to a new gal to the group and her color selections were wonderful. Good job, Judi . . . can't wait to see the finished piece.

(Gotta love our red tableclothes that we use on the old tables!)

This was the pattern that I worked on for most of the day. It is also a drunkard's path variation where you have your square and then applique a circle in the centre, then cut the block in half both ways to get your four drunkard's path blocks. So while I'm searching for my cat fabric for the other quilt, I will continue to try and finish these blocks off. I finished the applique yesterday and now need to trim away the extra fabric from the back and remove the freezer paper that was used for the circle. Good job for TV watching I think!

After a little cheering from the peanut gallery (Myra!) . . . I was shamed into spray basting two quilt tops yesterday and now have my machine set up on the big dining room table to get started on the quilting. Now if I only knew what design I wanted to use, life would be good.
'til next time,

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Stacks of Homework . . .

. . . all ready to go.

What color combinations are these? Dark goldie, green and brown plus white and brights . . . you must be wondering what kind of quilt I'm going to be making! The good news is that there are two quilts being made, not just one. Those lights and darks just don't really match, do they?

I am really happy with both of my color selections, although I did find the lights and brights almost found me. These darker colors took some searching.

But now that they are all together and the decision made, I am really liking my choices and can't wait to see how it all goes together and what the final outcome will be. I do wish I had more of that cat fabric . . . anyone out there have a piece for sale?
Tomorrow I will post some progress photos so you can see what I've been up to. I better get moving here . . . got a half hour drive to get to class.
Have a great Saturday,
'til next time,

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Stress and Fabric . . .

. . . not related to each other though!

Fabric will never cause me stress . . . but job interviews most certainly do!

I've now been to both of my interviews . . . Monday and Tuesday of this week were busy to say the least. Both interviews went well and I had a job offer on Tuesday but I don't think I can accept it as offered. So now I wait until almost the middle of April before I find out about the second interview.

Now I can concentrate on quilting again!

I have been working on my homework for the workshop that is scheduled for this Saturday . . . lots of strips and lots of straight, boring sewing, but I'll be ready and raring to go for the next step come Saturday morning. That is if it ever quits snowing and blowing here . . . the roads are a mess and travel is very interesting!

Block 4 of my BOM came on Tuesday, so now that is waiting for me and by next Wednesday Anne over at Bunny Hill will have her fourth BOM posted. Anne is giving away some fabric over at her blog right now, so make sure and pop over and have a look. The Chelsea Manor fabric line is named after the cutest little thing . . . maybe a little attitudal, but very cute.

My border and backing fabric arrived last Friday from Martina's Fabric. What great service and they even included a free fat quarter with the package (which I forgot to take a picture of!).

Now I can finish the Mystery Quilt from Blue Meadow Designs when I can find some time to get the quilt basted and ready to go. I also have the "Life" quilt that is at the same stage, so I've got lots of work planned and no plans yet to do the work.

I think I need some holiday time . . .

'til next time,


Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Homework and the Tax Man. . .

Happy St. Paddy's Day to everyone!

Hope you have more green in your wardrobe than I do . . . not a single item with even a smidge of green. Lots of green quilting fabric, just not clothing!

My March shipment of fabric from The Fat Quarter Shop came on Friday. I think it is so cheerful and bright . . . Mary Engelbreit sure knows how to combine those happy doodles and colors. This collection is called "Basket of Flowers".

The package was in my house only long enough for me to iron and fold the fat quarters before I knew exactly what I was going to do with it.

It wasn't long before the pieces were all cut up for one project.

The leftover pieces were all set aside with the directions for the second project. Imagine two projects out of twelve fat quarters . . . I'm thrilled.!

And then I got started on my homework . . . you gals from Brandon know all about this homework! We'll see how it turns out on the 28th before I show everyone.

Now that I've found the perfect fabric, I can't wait to get started on the actual project. First I'll have to finish just a tiny bit more homework.

Fabric homework is so much more fun than paper homework. I figured I best get organized for the tax season and get my paperwork gathered together . . . hate this time of year. I always enjoy the big cheque that gets deposited in my account once it's all said and done though! Hope that part doesn't change this year . . .

Busy work week again this week . . . two interviews at the beginning of next week . . . and then maybe things will settle down. Why do I set myself up for these things?!?!?!

'til next time,


Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Country Colors . . .

My backing and border fabric arrived on Monday from Sugar House Quilt Shop in New Hampshire. What great service!

This weekend I'll be able to get my "Life" quilt the next step closer to completion. How far? We'll just have to see.

I finished the "BIG" block of the Summer Baskets II BOM. That took some maneuvering to get those wool pieces sewn down, but I think it was worth it. This is my favorite block so far I think. Two more months of blocks and then the borders, which are also appliqued.

I'm going to like this quilt when it's done . . . it's got a bit of that folksy, country thing going on and I'm really enjoying working with the wool. I have even started a little wool scrap bin . . . ehm . . . what could I make with those?

'til next time,

P.S. For anyone wondering . . . the interview date and time have not yet been set. Still waiting to hear!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

So . . .What's New With You?

Once again it's been a week almost since I posted. What a week though!
Work has been extremely frustrating lately, so at the beginning of the week I dragged out my old resume and started drafting a new one . . . wasn't overly happy with the way it turned out, but deadlines for a couple of job possibilities were looming by Wednesday at Noon. Clicked the old "send" button and sat back to wait for rejection.

On Thursday we were all thrilled to receive the March block from Anne over at Bunny Hill. Cute as can be . . . that little bunny is adorable! Hope to get back to finishing it off tonight.

On Thursday we headed into the city . . . needed to order my new glasses, get a hair trim and make some design decisions for our remodelling project. Also needed to do some fabric shopping. Remember that inspiration quilt from the previous post? Well it was time to try and choose my own colors since I did not have access to the ones shown in the inspiration picture. I pulled out a bunch of prints from my stash and found that I was only needing to find a couple of missing prints that would blend in with the above fabrics - need 17 in total. I think I found what I was looking for but still need to find a focus print to tie all those colors together . . . but I'm getting closer. Workshop for this is March 28th . . . but we all know how time flies!

On Friday this lovely little package of jelly rolls showed up in the mailbox. No plans for their use just yet, but if you have a really great jelly roll pattern, let me know or send me a photo of what you did with your little bundle of fun. I'm getting quite a collection of these and really should make a quilt sometime soon with at least one of them.

I found my "At Water's Edge" fabric that I was looking for . . . on sale, of course. Took a bit of looking but I tracked it down in Alaska. Go check out Martina's Fabric . . . there are some good deals and lots to see - check out the photo gallery to get a glimpse of their local landscape - pretty awesome. Now when this border and backing fabric shows up, I'll be able to finish the Blue Meadow Designs mystery quilt. Of course we know they haven't dropped off the edge of the earth . . . just take a look at their "Cutie Pie"design they have - love those circles!

Friday was also the last day of work for my assistant at work. In a two-person office, it is very difficult to say goodbye to someone who fit in so well and was exceptional in assuming new duties as well as accepting changes that seemed to be constantly coming at us the past three years. It will be a difficult task to replace her, and even more difficult for me to re-train someone new considering all of the new changes. We haven't even advertised yet, so I'll be "doing it all" for a month or two (if I'm still there!).

On Friday I also received a phone call from one of the places I had sent a resume . . . they wanted to set up an interview! Could have knocked me off my chair right then and there. So now I'm a nervous wreck - gonna have to practise some of that positive self-talk stuff. Changing jobs, or even thinking of changing jobs in this upset economy is very scary and would need to take a little bit of deep thought if the job was offered. Interview date and time hasn't been set up yet . . . the board needs to meet and set the details. What will I wear?!?!?!!?

Saturday . . . well I wasn't feeling all that well for the first part . . . touch of a flu maybe - not a happy tummy anyway. Lydia from the local Hutterite Colony asked me to come out for a visit and have lunch with them - that was very interesting. She gave me a tour of their wonderful kitchen, pantries and bake shop . . . WOW! is all I can say . . . what a wonderful setup they have - any restaurant would be jealous, I'm sure. Lydia had purchased one of my patterns a while back and was so excited to show me the project that she had made. She was also working on another pattern and was wanting some guidance on fabric selection. I had taken out some of my current projects to show her, including the Bunny Hill blocks, which were a huge hit of course. Quite a number of ladies stopped by Lydia's place for coffee after lunch so they could see some of the projects that I had taken out and they had lots of questions about applique techniques. They are only starting to learn applique and have just ordered their first patterns. It was lots of fun explaining the different ways you can do things and these ladies absorbed every word! They sent me home with the homemade buns that are in the picture . . . very tasty.
Now moving on to the wine and the thermos. I actually won something! Never, hardly ever, happens. My husband is curling in a mixed curling fun-spiel this weekend and they always have a supper and casino night. Every rink was supposed to bring a $5 gift item that would be drawn for at the end of the night . . . two winning tickets were mine. Not sure if I'm supposed to put the wine in the thermos or not . . . road trip? Just kidding!
So here we are at Sunday . . . the time changed here in Manitoba last night. You get up and see the clock is 8:00 a.m. and you have to go over and change it to 9:00 a.m. - just like that, you lose an hour but on a brighter note, we gain an hour of daylight. I think that's how it goes . . . confusing I say, but I'll go along with it (as if I have a choice!).
Hope to finish a couple of my blocks - Bunny Hill and my wool block, and clean some house. Maybe wipe that wall off behind the wine bottle and thermos!
'til next time,

Monday, 2 March 2009

Welcome to March!

Farewell to February!
I do hope that March is a pleasant month and there are no weather surprises. I received a call this morning from a Provincial flood forecaster and our district emergency coordinator that flooding is expected this Spring. Oh my, should I increase my culvert budget, or not? That's the kind of exciting decision that I need to make when I'm not otherwise occupied with quilting dilemmas. Boring stuff, eh?

Captured this yappie fella outside the window on Sunday morning. There were actually four of them flitting from tree to tree, but this was the only one that sat still long enough for me to snap a picture. I should have doctored up the photo just a tad and got rid of some of the extra blue sky for you, but I ran out of time.

On the quilting front, I seem to have a few quilt tops laying around that are needing quilting . . . (I'm sure I'm not alone on this one!)

Here is a weird quilt top - I'm going to refer to it as a practise quilt, but it is all basted and ready to go. I may not even show you this when it is completely quilted - could become another cat quilt or maybe one for the recliner.

This is the mystery quilt I just finished and it is also ready to be quilted . . . but now I'm thinking I'd like some borders put on to make it just a bit bigger. Know where there is a good sale for "At Water's Edge" by Blackbird Designs? I'm in the market for a good deal!

My "Life" quilt is waiting for the border fabric to show up. I finally found a good sale on "Wildflower Serenade" by Kansas Troubles from this wonderful, friendly shop in New Hampshire called the Sugar House Quilt Shop. If you're talking to them, tell them that you heard about the shop from Marlene up in Canada - the Canadian without an accent! These ladies were wonderful in putting together my border fabric order and you can't beat the price.

I started machine quilting this quilt this morning - got it about half done . . . that's a good way to start the day . . . feeling like you've accomplished something.

This is one of two charity quilts that Sheila (from Brandon quilt group) and I worked on yesterday . . . her's looks pretty much the same as this. We used some orphan blocks and made our quilt tops, added the borders and then headed home to finish them off. They're the perfect size for small children to curl up with and watch TV or just to drag around with them.
It's hard to throw out blocks of any kind and instead of these just sitting in a drawer somewhere, we decided they could be put to better use. I know there will be a couple of little ones out there that could use something soft, colorful and comforting to cuddle up in. We hope to get these dropped off at the local women's shelter in the very near future.
I need to get back to finishing my wool BOM and I just noticed that Anne over at Bunny Hill has announced the third block of the Tisket A Tasket BOM will be posted on Thursday, so I gotta get hoppin' to get some stuff caught up!
'til next time,