Thursday, 30 April 2009

I Finished!

Yes, I'm right down to the wire here . . . was beginning to think I wasn't going to get these two projects done. My Summer Baskets Block 5 can now join the rest of the blocks that are waiting for borders to come in the next shipment. They look detailed, so I can't wait to see what's in the package.

This morning at 6:00 I finished off the three flowers and all of the leaves - it was supposed to be done last night, but stuff happened.

Mysty (my tortoiseshell) decided to have an urinary infection - it seemed to start up in just a matter of a couple minutes during the supper hour and then it was a few very unsettled hours trying to figure out how best to deal with the situation. Of course there are no vets in our town and trying to decide whether this is an "emergency" or not before calling the after hours line. We decided it could be labelled as an emergency since Mysty has already been diagnosed with kidney disease, so we did call . . . the vet figured that she should be ok until morning - which was nice to hear. Fortunately we have a very large cage that we were able to put her and her litter box into so that we didn't have to worry all night about where she was going. Took her to work with me briefly this morning and then headed for the vet . . . got some tests done, pocketed some pills, new food for the old gal and dropped a hefty cheque on the counter to pay for it all! I feel so much better and I hope by tonight when I go home that she is feeling just a tad bit better than last night.

So remember that the best laid plans sometimes don't materialize! But in this circumstance I did finish what I had set out to accomplish - my four "Spring to Finish" projects. I'm so glad I decided to participate in this along with Jacquie at Tallgrass Prairie Studio. Thanks Jacquie for instigating this little work-a-thon. Did any of you participate also?

Here is my totally completed "Life" quilt. It's been done for a couple of days, but I just haven't had a chance to get the photo done. I was hoping for some nicer weather to maybe go outside with it, but we actually had some sloppy snow flakes this morning. No nice weather here yet.

And this is the back of my "Life" quilt - I made too many blocks and figured where better to use them than on the back. This quilt looks nice from either side, but we're still not sure whether or not to give it as a wedding gift. You'll have to read back to here when I started this quilt to find out what the meaning is behind it.
I'm in the process of finishing the binding on my Blue Meadow Designs mystery quilt - I have 1 1/2 sides done now, so might be finished by Monday - for sure I won't make it by the midnight tonight deadline.
Have a great weekend everyone!
'til next time,

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Landscape Workshop

I know . . . it's been a whole week!

But it's never too late to show off some wonderful talent! Heather Lair is a wonderful teacher and a very talented quilt artist. The quilts that she had with her were fabulous and just made my fingers itch to give it all a try.

Heather's use of different fabrics was very interesting and the different effects that she achieved where great.

This is one of my favorite - the colors and the village scene were very nice.

This one was unique in the way that the scene is all one piece and then the arched cutouts were placed over top. Creates a very interesting piece.

I also found it very interesting how she used triangle corners on the backing to hang her quilts. I've never seen that done before.

Here is my unimaginative first landscape creation.

The different layers of the project are needle turn appliqued to a muslin background - I'm also pretty much a newbie to that technique . . . just a bit of a learning curve for me. It's great fun to break outside the box and try these new things . . . it does confirm that old dogs can learn some new tricks!

The following works-in-progress are photos of some of the creations that were happening around the room - I think there were about 40 of us taking the workshop.

The different fabrics that people had found were all so different!

Ramona had wonderful landscape fabrics - wish I had some of those :)

Diane's water fabric provided so much movement to this tiny piece. - it was so much fun to see what everyone came up with. These were small projects that were easily finished in one day and I'm sure that if a person wanted to do two or three in a day (if you were organized), it would certainly be something that could be accomplished. Now I need to go landscape fabric shopping . . . ehm, wonder where to go?

Nice sunny morning here so it's time to finish off the yard work. Hope you have a great weekend!

'til next time,

Thursday, 23 April 2009

I Was Right!!!!

Look what showed up in the mail yesterday . . .

Block five of my Summer Baskets BOM from The Quilt Patch in Moose Jaw, SK. I washed the wool pieces in hot, hot water and dried them in the hot, hot dryer last night, so I have at least made a small start on this project. Not too sure what's on for the weekend yet, so we'll see if I can squeeze this block in for the "Spring to Finish" deadline.

Another parcel that came in the mail was my Fancy Cat fabric. I was thrilled to finally find this supplier after two-three weeks of endless emails, phone calls and on-line searching for this particular old fabric line. Purrfect Pastimes were wonderful to deal with and answered my many questions regarding the color of the background, etc., etc. with great patience and understanding. Of course this print is needed to finish my stripey drunkard's path quilt that I started back in March and I really needed to make sure that it was the EXACT print that I wanted. I had already bought 1.6 metres of one piece that just wasn't right, so it will now be used for part of the backing.

I am now 3/4's of the way finished with the machine quilting on the Blue Meadow mystery quilt and so far it seems to be coming along quite nicely.

I'm using a loopy meandering pattern on this one and I can't wait to wash and dry it to see how puckered and soft it gets. Hope to finish this over the weekend also . . . running out of the thread color I'm using, so will need to make a trip to the city to replenish my stock.

I haven't forgotten about my last Saturday workshop photos . . . just need a bit more time!
'til next time,

Monday, 20 April 2009

Another one done!

Block four of my Summer Baskets BOM is finished! This is my second "Spring to Finish" project - check out the button over in the sidebar and also check out This That and The Other to see Jodi's finishes.

I think I just finished in time too because I noticed that the next installment has already been added to my trusty credit card and will be arriving some time this week probably. Wonder if I can get it done before the 30th also? Nothing like pressuring myself.

Hey! Do you remember this guy?

. . . and this tunnel that he was keeping open all winter long?

This is where the tunnel was leading to . . . not under the deck like we had thought, but out in the lawn about 4-5 feet from the deck. So much for him taking the easy way that we had thought . . . he made his life more difficult than needed - wonder if he knows that or really even cares?

He should care, because if he had done it the way we thought he'd done it, these acorns wouldn't have been frozen into a little mound that he could only make use of as it thawed. Talk about rationing yourself - you can only eat when the acorn decides it is thawed enough to be taken off the pile. I've heard of this working for humans too . . . they freeze their credit cards and can't go shopping until it thaws out - but I think that trick went out the window a few years ago because we really don't need the card anymore - just the numbers! On-line shopping is great!!!!

And speaking of on-line shopping . . . my monthly package arrived on Friday from The Fat Quarter Shop. This collection is from Three Sisters and is called "Aviary" - very pretty and pastel. When the package arrives the fat quarters are all layered together and folded into the mailing envelope, so when I open them up they really don't look all that special. I take the fabrics to the ironing board and press the wrinkles out of each one and then I can see exactly what the print is and get a feel as to what I would use it for.

I'm never happy with the collection until each print is folded into it's own little fat quarter square, so all twelve pieces gets a pressing and folded in half (cut edge to selvage edge).

I then take my 6x12 ruler and fold one-third of the fabric over the ruler . . .

and then holding the fabric and ruler tight, I flip it over the last third and remove the ruler.

Then I can fold it in half into it's little fat quarter square and . . .

place it in the stack with the other pieces that have already been done.

Now I can see all the colors and prints together the way I like to see them . . . not sure why, it's just the way they blend when they're in the stack. Makes it easier for storing and drooling over . . . it's even better when I can add an Aviary jelly roll to top off the stack of fat quarters!
I'll be back in a day or so to fill you in on my landscaping workshop trip, and I hope to also have an update on the quilting for the Blue Meadow Designs Mystery quilt which will hopefully get underway tonight or tomorrow morning.
'til next time,

Friday, 17 April 2009

Moving right along here . . .

Little bits and pieces of my projects are coming together.

I did manage to get that heap of binding machine stitched down on my "Life" quilt . . .

but, the hand sewing part may take just a bit more time. Those little black feet (with claws!) just don't seem to want to give this one up.

Thanks to CSI and Harper's Island last night (and Mysty finally going for a cat nap!), I was able to get one and half sides hand stitched down. Not sure what's on TV tonight but it would sure be nice to get another one or two sides done.

My Blue Meadow Designs mystery quilt has been completely ironed; backing pressed and the 505 spray purchased, so maybe on Sunday or Monday I can get it all basted and ready to machine quilt.

Tomorrow I'm heading out on a road trip to Neepawa to attend a landscape workshop with Heather Lair and I'm quite looking forward to it. Although I have to ask myself why I'm taking on another new project! Let's hope this project can all be done in one day and there will be nothing left undone at the end of the workshop. I'll take my camera and get some photos of all the goings on . . . Heather is having a trunk show tonight, but I can't make the trek over to see it . . . I hope she has some of her projects still there tomorrow at the workshop and will let me get a few pics for you.

I have my flowers all fused down for my Summer Baskets BOM and . . .

have even done some of the stitching, so this block will for sure be done by the end of Sunday. Has anyone else noticed just how short weekends really are?

'til next time,


Wednesday, 15 April 2009

One down . . .

a few more to go.

The little chocolate Easter bunny has arrived and is all settled into his basket under the watchful eye of the little yellow peep.

And has joined the other three finished blocks . . . what a great feeling that is to get a little tick next to one outstanding project!

Now I can move on to item #2 . . . block four of my Summer Baskets BOM from The Quilt Patch in Moose Jaw, SK.

I'm really liking these little wool pieces on these BIG blocks. Going from the little Bunny Hill blocks and then on to these humongous pieces is quite the transition . . . same technique, just different materials. Lots of fun!
Gotta go and stitch down a few of these little woolie pieces . . . ttys,
'til next time,

Monday, 13 April 2009

Spring to Finish . . .

Jacquie over at Tallgrass Prairie Studio says she is needing some motivation to finish some projects. Who doesn't, is what I need to know!?!?!?!

Here is Jacquie's challenge: "Dig those projects out of the closet and work like the dickens during the month of April to get things finished. The least one finish. You might want to record your finishes on your blog.Then come back here on April 30 and leave a comment telling how many finishes you achieved from today thru the 30th. You keep's the honor system. I know you are honorable. Then on April 30th we'll celebrate. I'll be putting together a slam bang package of goodies...fabric of course and maybe some surprises. I'll preview the prize later for some more motivation. The more finishes, the more entries you receive. Simple enough. So, let's get sewing."

So here are the following projects that I would like to finish (or almost finish) in the next 17 days of April:

My "Life" quilt is all quilted and the binding is ready to sew on. That is if I can get it away from that little black foot at the bottom of the photo! This may be a wedding gift that will be delivered to Kelowna, British Columbia by car . . . so if the hand stitching is not completed before May 7th, I will be sewing it down all the way across Saskatchewan, Alberta and into BC.

My April Bunny Hill BOM is all ready for the sewing down part and the little bit of embroidery, so I'm feeling pretty confident that I will get this one done and pinned up next to the other three in the next week.

I love that little chocolate bunny and the little chickie . . . too cute!

My Summer Baskets BOM is still sitting here! The wool is all washed and ready to go . . . I just need to get the shapes traced, cut out and pressed down and then blanket stitched. It usually goes pretty quick once I can get a chance to get started so I'm feeling pretty confident about this one too. I'll have to watch out because the next block will be showing up in the next week or so and then I'll really feel behind.

This is the Blue Meadow Designs mystery quilt from a month or two ago and today I've been working on putting on the borders - a little more elaborate than necessary but what the heck! This may also be part of the wedding present so it needs the borders sewn down, basted and machine quilted.

Looks like the binding would also need to be sewn down between Manitoba, SK, Alberta and BC. What would my fingers look like by the time I got to BC????? Maybe I should just go buy a vase!

No, I am not going to include this quilt in my April finishes, but I did want to let you know that I am thrilled to have finally found two yards of the old Fancy Cats line of fabric, which should be on it's way from New Hampshire in the next few days. So I'll carry this project into May and also the other drunkard's path blocks I've been working on. Gotta save some projects for another time, don't I?
So what if it's the middle of the month already . . . I need some inspiration to finish up these projects. If you need some motivation too, head on over to Jacquie's and join in . . . it's going to feel soooooooooo good to finish up a few things!

'til next time,

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Happy Easter . . .

. . . from my house to yours!

And if you're in the mood for a little bunny sewing go check out Don't Look Now and the sweetest little bunny pillow you could imagine. Even if you don't make it for Easter, you must know some little gal who would love this.
'til next time,

Saturday, 4 April 2009

The Week in Review - Part II

Earlier in the week I received an invitation to go out to the Green Acres Hutterite Colony to see what they have been up to since the last visit. There is always so much to see and this time was certainly no exception . . . I'll have to remember to take some outdoor pictures next time . . . the buildings, pathways and houses incorporate so many different materials that that is something to see on it's own.

A new greenhouse has been built over the winter and there is a lot of excitement and activity getting things ready for Spring (if it ever comes!). They are going to be eating cucumbers in next to no time and the tomato plants were also in bloom.

Some of the gals have been wintering over their plants from last year and have cuttings everywhere . . . they are going to be so ready for planting in the next few weeks.

I love greenhouses! They are so warm and smell fabulous . . . my green thumb just starts itching to get busy. Look at all those tiny seedlings . . . someone has some work cut out for them.

Ornamental grasses are one of my favorites in pots on the deck, with lots of overflowing greenery around the outside edges. I'll be going back in a few weeks to beg for some of that millet.

Probably should get some Dusty Miller for the flowerbed next to the driveway . . .

and there were even a few little seedlings that I was wasn't familiar with, so I'll definitely be going back for a another visit.

Ah, here was one lady that wasn't going to wait for gardening season . . . she got busy and made her own garden that she can enjoy all year! Look at those tomatoes and little radishes - adorable.

A few other ladies couldn't wait for the robins to come back, so they made their own too. (Actually, I did see three robins in our front lawn last weekend - and then it snowed - not sure where the birds went).

This was the real the reason that I was invited out to the Colony . . . they are on school Spring break and all the ladies and girls moved their sewing machines (all Pfaffs!) over to the far end of their eating hall. They were having a week long sew-a-thon and enjoying themselves way too much! There must have been 20-25 industrious souls just motoring along . . . scraps everywhere, cords strung this way and that, opinions and encouragement flying everywhere . . . they were having a blast!

The last time I was out, Lydia had wanted to show me her tablerunner that she had made using one of my patterns (see the blue and yellow one on the left?). She had also showed me pictures of the patterns that they had ordered online and were anxiously waiting for. So when the patterns arrived the whole group got together and chose three to work on together so that they would be able to help each other as they went . . . instead of each one trying a different one.

The magnolia pattern was the first pattern that quite a few ladies started with at the beginning of the week and most had finished that one and moved on to another one.

There were magnolias everywhere!

I think I heard one lady say that there were 18 of them that had made this one (and she rhymed off every one's name as she counted them down). Amazing!!

Three of the girls had started this log cabin on Monday and had finished the top and moved on to another pattern. They are going to finish this quilt for their Mom and Dad for Christmas - it's only April, and they've got Christmas presents planned already. I'll have to start doing that . . . then I won't be caught off guard when December rolls around.
Tomorrow I'm off to a quilt get-together and will be taking my drunkard's path "circle-in-a-square" pieces and see if I can't make it look like the real pattern. I'll need to choose a layout from the million drunkard's path versions out there . . . more decisions!
Now I'm off to finish that machine quilting I've got started and maybe work in some vacuuming too. Have a great weekend and I'll see you next week . . .
'til next time,