Saturday, 5 October 2013

A Little Sex Change and a Winner

Oops!!! . . . .

Full face - closeup copy

Turns out that this little sweetie is actually a little girl – the breeder had a few issues with sexing the four little monkeys from this litter and I got a call last Sunday.

I had originally wanted a little girl but was persuaded by various people, including the breeder, that I might have better acceptance from Whiskey with her bonding with a little boy versus the little girl.  Turns out that all four in the litter are little girls, so there really isn’t an option right now for a boy anyway . . . it would be quite a bit longer wait for sure.  Plus this is Whiskey’s mom’s last litter as she is retiring and I wanted a half brother sister for Whiskey.  Now I will just keep my fingers and toes crossed that Whiskey is young enough (under 2) to accept and bond with this  little baby.  I guess by mid-December I will know the answer for sure!

Goes to prove  that you just can’t make too many plans and always be ready to make a change part way through your initial decisions!

Now onto the winner of the . . .

Daily Craft TV

from my post on September 23rd.

There were not a lot of entries, but the entries that I did receive were really excited about the classes that were offered by the Daily Craft TV and rightly so . . . I can’t wait to the get the portrait of Whiskey done and try my hand at the new little “currently unnamed” monkey – suggestions are most welcome!

So “Nuper” is the winner and I will be contacting her very soon.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by and had a look at my blog as well as popping over and checking out the Daily Craft TV site.  It’s always so much fun to stretch our horizons and try new things and there are certainly lots of new techniques and ideas out there to try.  Have fun exploring!!!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Moda Bakeshop - Down on the Farm

Good Thursday morning everyone!!!

I'm so excited to have another recipe for the Bakeshop and I just have to say that it was amazing fun to work with the beautiful reds, creams and tans from the Midwinter Reds collection.

I think that one of the first blocks I ever made was a log cabin, so this project was certainly a "remember when" type of quilt.  The paper piecing is something that I have been doing on and off for quite a number of years and some of these same shapes can be found in a couple of my older patterns that will soon be almost ten years old.

This is one of the featured quilts that we will be using for a workshop that is coming up at the end of October.  There are close to 90 Canadian gals coming to join us in putting together a few versions of this design.  We will be doing miniatures framed in barn board, an appliquéd version and quite a few breakout sessions to teach beginners the log cabin block; a paper piecing session and also an applique session.  It's going to be a very fun and busy two days, but so worth it when we get to see what everyone comes up with at the end of each day.

I hope that you enjoy the "bakeshop" version of Down on the Farm and I would love to hear from you if you get a chance to make this project.

Happy Quilting!!


Monday, 23 September 2013

A Review, A Giveaway and An Introduction . . .

Let’s start with the review first . . .
I was recently contacted by
Daily Craft TV
to see if I would be interested in doing a review of one of the online classes.  My schedule right now is humungously busy but once I saw the offerings that they have on their list of quilting classes I just had say “YES”.
The class that caught my eye was this one -
and the introduction was this:  “Starting with a photo as a template, “paint” a portrait of your pet in fabric with this easier-then-it-looks technique. Jodie steps you through tracing shapes from the photo onto fusible web to fusing them and then finishing the edges to make a unique fabric image of your pet that will surprise you in how realistic it is.”
Anyone who has visited my blog in the past year or so will have met my lovely little Whiskey and seen some of her gorgeous markings.
whiskey6 - sunny days-overlaysample copy
So I knew that I certainly had a subject that would be perfect for this particular project and decided to jump in with both feet.
After watching the very informative and detailed video, and being amazed at how the two instructors put together a simple black and white kittie block and then a tad more difficult dog block, I thought that I was ready to give this a try.
With lots of photos to choose from, I narrowed the selection down to two photos and printed them out.  Then I proceeded to use my trusty “sharpie” and outline some of the more distinct areas on the photo.  It started looking like a paint-by-number picture after a while . . . certainly brought back some childhood memories!!!
 DSC_0002 DSC_0003 
On Sunday I spent an hour or so finding the perfect fabrics and tracing out a few of the major features for my little Whiskey.  I still have a long way to go and it will be a work-in-progress for a while no doubt, but I think it is safe to say that the similarity is apparent.  There are still some more details to trace out and place, but I think the real highlight will be when I can do some thread-painting and really get in there to make some of the more intricate details.  I also want to find another fabric for her little gold eyes . . . the fabric I used is too orange – so back to the drawing board for that feature.  But that is half the fun, finding the perfect fabrics!!
Now for the giveaway . . . Daily Craft TV is offering up a FREE online class for one lucky person who leaves me a comment.  Just visit the Daily Craft TV site and let me know which class you think you would be most interested in.  Are you most interested in Knitting, Scrapbooking, Quilting, Crocheting, Sewing or Papercrafts?  You don’t need to be specific – just let me know what appeals most to you.  I’ll be choosing a name from all of the comments on October 4th – so that gives you lots of time to look around the site and get back to me.  Have fun!!
Oh . . . now I have a little introduction to make :0))
summer's Boy1 (9) (800x524)
This little gaffer is Whiskey’s baby brother . . . he just turned three weeks old on Friday (born August 30th).  He won’t be coming to live with us until the first week in December, so I’ll have to live with photos until I can get my hands on him to squeeze him.  I’m thinking that his name will be “Wiser”, but we will be calling him “Bud” for short . . . of course this is subject to change, but that’s what we’re talking so far.  Isn’t he a cutie!!!?!?!?
Oh! (again) – be sure and stop by for a visit around the 26th (this Thursday), as I will have another news flash for all of you.  I told you I’ve been busy, right???

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Baby Birds and Giddy Chicks?

A few weeks ago I was doing a bit of weeding in the front flower bed and just happened to pull back a branch and see these sweet little faces staring back at me . . . and I mean staring.  Wow those eight little beady eyes were pretty intense!


They have now flown on to bigger and better things and I have saved the little nest in a bag to use for our next workshop that we have planned for October 26th and 27th in Brandon.  The plans are coming together and we’re gearing up for a busy September and October of more planning and getting all our projects done.  Busy, busy!!!


I’ve also been working on a new pattern and I’m thrilled with the silliness and fun of this project.


It’s off at the quilter’s house right now, but I hope to have it up on my blog and circulated to my wholesalers by the end of September.

Nothing wrong with being a Giddy Chick . . . life’s too short to be serious all the time!


There is also another pattern release for the end of September, so keep your eyes pealed for “something in red”.

Enjoy this harvest weather . . . it will change soon enough!

Friday, 9 August 2013

National Book Lover’s Day

I was thrilled to receive an email the other day from the great gals over at Moda wondering if I would like to participate in the National Book Lover’s day.

Of course I said YES!!!

MODA Book Lovers ICON

Click on the icon above to view all the other participants!

or HERE.

Absolutely!!  I love sharing my story about how I became hooked on quilting and the two books that most influenced my progression to where I am today.

Here are the two books that I always keep close at hand and I’m really surprised that I have never misplaced them over the years . . . and we’re talking a few years here!


Flashback, if you will, to 1979 . . . I’d just graduated, just moved into my own house and had my first job . . . something intrigued me about quilts and quilting.  My artistic side appreciated the designs and my creative side itched to give this “thing” a try. 


I also loved books and this led me to order this particular book - “Let’s make a patchwork Quilt” by Jessie MacDonald and Marian Shafer/Doubleday Books/Copyright 1980. 

I even have the bagful of blocks that I made using the directions in this book . . . they have followed to three different house now and every so often they get dragged out to get the dust blown off.  Talk about a walk-down-memory-lane!  Look at those colors and the fabrics . . . mostly poly-cottons purchased at the local B.A. Robinson Store – sometimes, if you were lucky, you could grab a bag of remnants that somehow managed to get shipped in.  What a far cry from today’s method of finding fabrics!!!


I remember pouring over every page and had grand plans to make each and every block that was in that book.  It started with the beginner blocks which introduced piecing (pre-rotary cutter type!) and then moved into an intro to applique – I love my Sunbonnet Sue . . . she’s from the early 80’s!!!


Then the instructions moved into more advanced piecing and doing curved piecing.  I think I managed most of the piecing ones, but by the time I was ready to move on to curved piecing I had discovered Eleanor Burns on satellite and my quilting endeavors moved in a totally different direction from there.


I even went so far as giving hand quilting a try . . . gotta love those even stitches . . .


But . . . this is my favorite book and has been for years and years and years.

“101 Patchwork Patterns” by Ruby McKim - originally published in 1931  and then this Dover edition which was published in 1962.

I’ve been puzzled, intrigued and inspired by many of the blocks in this book.  The descriptions as to suggestions for making a quilt from each of the blocks in the book makes for a good read, plus all the other tidbit stories that are included – I LOVE THIS BOOK!

DSC09957 It’s my go-to-book for research and ideas of what blocks may work with other blocks; it’s my . . .DSC09954

. . . keeper of  little drawings from a bygone era . . .


. . . as well as little sketches from who knows when and why-for any way . . .  

Yup, I’m a book lover  . . .

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Quilt Show

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Nifty Needler’s Quilt Show on April 20th.  It was wonderful to see everyone again and to wander through the large venue that was filled to the brim with quilts and vendors.


One of the vendors was Copperfield Books from out of Winnipeg and it was absolutely amazing at how many books, DVDs, and kits that they had with them.  Every topic imaginable was represented . . . tatting, quilting, dolls, embroidery, beading, and on and on.  In most cases there were either kits or the tools available to tackle whichever hobby you wanted.  There was a whole display on the other side of the one in the picture as well as tables and display filled to the brim around the outside wall.  Amazing display!

You can visit them by clicking here.


Ants!!  How could I ignore those big ants?  Love them!!

There were so many quilts that it was hard to visit, shop and take pictures of all of them – my apologies to all of the talented gals who worked so hard!  I just couldn't get to everything.


Black and white is always striking and this one caught my eye . . . as did the lovely striped one there in the back – very nice.


And there is always a “show” quilt . . .


This was all embroidered and, I’m not sure, but possibly also hand quilted.  The patience and the talent must be applauded.


Ah . . . and then there were more vendors.  The photo above and the one below are both The Quilt Patch from Moose Jaw, SK.  I love their signature color style and their large block/large appliqué style . . . so fun!


Shelley and Jeanne have a new book “Tis the Autumn Season” coming out this June, as well as a new fabric line called Wallflowers that will be available any day.  Both of these are available by visiting the website link above.


I was so interested to see this quilt on display . . . I had been researching barns the other day and kept coming back to how striking this particular pattern was.  Was nice to see in “real life” – nicely done.


Shirley's Sewing Room

from Moosomin, SK is always so much fun.

Shirley is among one of my very favorite people . . . always a hug and a super warm smile every time I see her.  She is the first person who purchased my wholesale patterns way back in 2003 and she is an amazing educator to have on our phone list.


Sorry, I can’t remember who’s booth this was . . . I just loved the coffee theme that was front and centre.  Those colors get me every time!


And then there is the amazing Pauline from Mama Bear’s Quilt Shoppe from Ashern, Manitoba.  Pauline does not have a website but boy-oh-boy does she have fabric.  I love her backgrounds and some of the wonderful new lines that she brings in are amazing.  We’ve had Pauline join us for our last two As The Crow Flies quilt workshops, and we love her to bits!

I forgot to take pictures of my shopping adventures . . . let’s just say I won’t like my VISA when it comes . . .

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Whiskey and the 3 Sisters

Yes, this is another Loonie Blooms wall hanging that I’m working on.  I know . . . the last one was a while ago, but we’re dusting off the pattern and offering it as a conference workshop on April 6th and 7th at the

Manitoba Prairie Quilter’s 30th Anniversary Conference.

You can get your free pattern for Loonie Blooms by clicking on the image in the right hand column, but we would love for you to join us in piecing together the entire project.  Please check out the link above.


I’ve made this version out of some leftovers from the Astor Manor collection by 3 Sisters.  This was a line that I purchased a while back and realized that it would work perfectly for all of the projects that we are offering as workshops at the conference.


And just as I was thinking that I really liked the colors in this line of fabric, I happened to notice this little monkey rolling around at her afternoon snooze station . . . notice the quilt behind her . . . yup, another 3 Sister’s line.  I can’t remember which line it was now, but same colors and I think even the same print here and there.


Of course the little monkey didn’t seem to take notice of the quilt . . .


. . . as she tied herself into a tight little knot . . .


. . . and went back to sleep. 


Sheila and I are also teaching the All Cooped Up pattern and . . .


the Pickin’ Up Stiks pattern.  Both are ready to baste and then start quilting them - that will be my month of March taken up probably.


Whiskey did eventually decide that being in a knot was not the most comfortable position to be in, and decided that . . .


she really needed to stretch out her neck to get the kinks out.

She does look pretty darn good with the 3 Sisters, don’t you think?

Monday, 4 March 2013

A Book Review and a Couple of Finishes

I was recently contacted by the Online Media Coordinator for Fons & Porter/McCall’s Quilting to see if I would do a book review of one of their newest ebook publications.

For anyone who loves the modern quilt look – this little ebook is for you!  All the photos, colors, directions and layouts are excellent and will ensure the success of whichever project you choose.

Free Modern Quilt Patterns from McCall's Quilting

I can’t wait to see what other ebooks that will be coming in the future . . . if they are as well-done as this one, it will certainly be worth the wait.  The colors in the Baubles and Beads quilt are gorgeous . . . any little girl would love that in her bedroom . . . so cheery and colorful!  You can have a look at this ebook by going here.  Oh, BTW . . . it’s FREE!!!!!

And speaking of color . . .


DSC09305 . . . here are a couple of shots of some of the colorful, delicious goodness that I’ve been drinking.  The orange one is what I had for breakfast this morning – two grapefruit, two apples, one orange and a couple of handfuls of grapes.  That made enough juice for two glasses and it was delicious!!

The green one is kale, cucumber, spinach, celery, ginger, and apple.  Once you get past the “green”, it is an awesome drink and very filling . . . usually enough to tide me over to supper time if I have it at lunch.

I’m lovin’ my juicer!

birthday quilt2 calla - quilt

I did finish the “big” quilt for my daughter’s birthday – lots of quilting!  Candace loved it and so did her side-kick Calla . . . passed inspection by both of them.


And just in case you thought I have been on a  permanent vacation from quilting,  . . . I have made a couple of other quilts . . .


I made this quilt for a little two year girl by using up some of the scraps from a quilt that I made for her Mom.


And this little quilt used up some more of those little scraps and was for a little 6 month old girl . . . lots of colors to keep her busy.

Spoonflower - Snips and Snails copy

Here is my attempt at fabric design . . . “Snips & Snails” is for sale over at Spoonflower . . . if I can be so bold as to say that I love the giraffe and the baby boys the best . . . I will be using those in some further designs hopefully very soon.  I have even sold a few yards of fabric so far . . . how exciting!!!  Did you know that you can also order wallpaper and decals from Spoonflower?  I think this would make a wonderful wallpaper in a little boy’s room – or little decals of the giraffe would be awesome!

I love all the options that are out in the world for us these days . . . 10 years ago we were limited; 20 years ago there was almost nothing – now it seems that what ever we can think of is doable.  Amazing!