Thursday, September 30, 2010

Timing, It's an elusive concept.

Today was setup day for the London Friendship Quilters Guild's "Harvest of Quilts" show. Since I am the "Vendors Committee," I had to be there for the time when the vendors were arriving and setting up their booths.
But,... you know there's always a "but."
But, my darling son woke up sick as a dog this morning. That after a restless night that saw him up and down several times, and me not getting a wink of sleep - or so it felt.
His timing couldn't have been worse.
I had to call the show chairwoman and ask her to pass it on that I would not be there in the am, but would try to be there by 12:30 when the vendors could start setting up.
Luckily for me, I did have a good friend who agreed to "babysit" for the afternoon, so I did make it there in time.
All was up and ready for tomorrow by 6:15 pm. That's pretty good for a deadline of 6 pm!
Hopefully, the fact that he was playing with mud on the front porch when I arrived home, means he will be well enough tomorrow to go to school. I've started to plant the idea in his little head that he's recovered and able to attend school.
Hopefully tomorrow's timing is better.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Retail Therapy

I broke down and went shopping. The ladies at The Marsh Store in Coldstream was ever so helpful in picking out the 16 fabrics that I need for the "Ribbons in Motion" quilt project starting in October. Since my living/dining room walls are painted in a sage green, I wanted to use that in my quilt. So this is what we came up with. The dark green in the back is the background colour and the red and green print in the middle is my foundation fabric. I like. Do you?

Monday, September 27, 2010


To make up for my "craft fail" this afternoon, I made amends by getting Mom's quilt onto the frame tonight. I should get started on the quilting tomorrow, that's if I don't end up going to my LQS to shop for fabric. The quilt club is going to do a lovely bargello wallhanging (each) as a learning project together. It only means I need 15 coordinating fabrics. Yeah, right. That's why I'll be going to a quilt store - I'll need the expert help for sure!

Craft Fail.......Tube quilt.

This was supposed to be an easy peasy quilt. Sew 2 strips 2 1/2" wide together, then sew that on both edges to a 4 1/2" strip making a tube. Use a square ruler on the bias to cut out triangles. Sew together in any of several layouts and 'voila' - cute quilt.
Ok, so maybe I didn't follow the directions exactly. I used a triangle ruler instead of the square ruler in the tutorial. The result is an abysmal failure. Not a single square lines up because I didn't cut the triangles to allow for the seam allowance. All by using the wrong ruler!
Crap. Yup, that's what it is. I can't even give this to a charity with a straight face, so I guess my doggy has a new blanket.
And next time - I'll use the right ruler.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Maybe I should have measured first...

Tonight was the night. My new Horizon was going on the frame. The main reason I bought the Janome Horizon 7700 was because it has a 11" throat, perfect for quilting on a quilt frame, right? Well, when I tried to put her on the carriage, she---didn't---quite---fit. That's right, I could not get her through the handle bars on the carriage. I only needed another 1/2" in width, but NO, she wouldn't fit. So what's a girl to do? Answer: take the offensive bars off, that's what. So out came the wrenches and off they came. Then the girl fit just fine. I was wondering how I was going to get the handle speed control to fit the Janome plug, well now I don't need to. I just put the foot control upside down on the top of the machine and held it there with a 1" wide piece of elastic. That way when I need to get into the top for thread or bobbin winding or whatever, it just slips off for easy access.
That's when I noticed that some of the wheels of the carriage, weren't on the tracks. Two were, and two weren't. Of course it was one of each on the front and the back. So after fiddling with it a bit (and uttering a couple of words I am ashamed are in my vocabulary) I finally just stuck my scissors in there and pried the one wheel out, away from the carriage. It popped into place and then everything lined up. Hooray! Now the carriage runs smoother too, so it must have been off before, when I used it with my other Janome.
So, now I'm too pooped to do some practicing, so, I'll get to that tomorrow.
What else did I do today? I finished marking mom's quilt. Along the way I noticed that I had another 4 patch block in the wrong way, so I fixed that.
And, I moved part of my stash downstairs!!!!! I started wrapping my fabric around 7 1/2" x 11 1/2 " pieces of sign board, as seen on a tutorial from alaskasunshine on the quilting board website. Basically, she folds the fabric lengthwise one more time , making it approx 11" wide, and then rolls it onto these plastic corrugated boards so they can be lined up on a bookshelf just like bolts in a fabric store. I had a bin full of them done already, but nowhere to put them.
Today, I found a 6 shelf bookcase, perfect for the job, at a yard sale - for 8 bucks! Woohoot, score! My boarder/friend/roomie pal Janet helped me carry it in and bring it down to the sewing "studio" in the basement. It took me about 2 minutes to get my stash on the shelves. There is room for a lot more, so I'll be wrapping in my spare time for the foreseeable future.
When I am not quilting, of course.

Marking a quilt using a stencil

Good afternoon. I'm not one to usually pre-mark my quilts before quilting, but I figured, I should try everything at least once! So, I'm marking the quilt I am making for my mom. I found a beautiful stencil that fits the block really nicely and even scales down well for the sashing between the blocks. I do have to add a bit to the corners, otherwise the four patches in the corners would be left untouched.
I'm using my new Fons and Porter ceramic pencil, and I love this thing. The marking is white, which is perfect for the dark colours of this quilt. The pencil is a mechanical pencil, so I never have to sharpen it, and the lines don't get fatter just because the point is wearing down. This pencil makes using a stencil so easy, I may just have to use stencils more often. :)
Gotta go finish this. Bye for now.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The last few days...

I have been busy - honest!! Between hobbling along of that darned foot, running my son to school and back, fitting in a few errands here and there, I have managed to do some quilting.
I've finished the top for mom's quilt, by putting on two borders - a narrow one in green with a wide one in red. It should go on the frame in the next day or so.
I also took in a quilt from a friend to do the stitch in the ditch and borders and binding for her. She's going to do the handwork around the embroidered blocks. This was the first time I machine quilted polyester high loft batting. And to sum it up - I don't like it at all. It's almost impossible to get it done without some puckers in the back. I starched it, I ironed it, I ripped out stitches....and still some little ******* puckers got in there! I think I'll stick to Warm & Natural - it has served me well. But it's done, and ready to give back so she can finish it for Christmas.
Wow, Christmas is less than 100 days away. I better get cracking!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Walmart - why to boycott their fabrics

Folks, I'm angry. Why? I hate it when large corporations try to walk over other people. Today I found out that certain Walmart fabric sections are carrying printed fabric that is a blatant knock off for Tula

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Why I shouldn't sew when I'm tired

Did you see the mistake in the flimsy?
Look again!
The Bitchy Stitcher (blogger) says you shouldn't " drink and quilt."
I don't think I should quilt when I'm dog tired either! Guess I've got some frog stitchin' to do.

Friday night Sew In

Yeah!! The flimsy for my mom's queen size bed quilt is -- almost-- done. I have to take it with me to the LQS to find fabric for the borders since I didn't buy enough 2 years ago when I bought this fabric. Oh well, going to the LQS is a tough job, but someone has to do it :P (pick me, pick me!!)
The backing fabric is a wide floral, kind of a cabbage rosey thing. That way, mom can have a choice - generic or feminine, or just change it every day!
I really love how the red has made a secondary pattern. Considering I switched the red and dark blue from my original plan, I'm pretty happy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Teaching more geese to fly.

164 flying geese blocks, 35 center in the square blocks and 48 - 4 patch blocks. Now I get to assemble them. 9 small blocks to a large block with a pieced sashing in between them. Should take me a couple of days at this rate. At least I only have to make 12 large blocks because they finish at 18.5 " square. I can't wait to get this baby on the frame and start playing with the Horizon on frame mode! It will be like playing for me!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remedial flying lessons

I put in some serious time with the Horizon today. I pieced 82 flying geese blocks for the next quilt I'm working on. She worked quite nicely. I only had to send 7 geese back to the drawing board for more flying lessons. After cutting all my fabrics, sewing and pressing the blocks, trimming off the extra bits and tossing back a coffee or two, my poor foot was starting to swell again. So I have it up now, like a good girl.

One thing that came up about the Horizon was the knee lifter. I found it awkward to use because it is too far away from the center position. If you're sitting directly in front of the needle it's a long stretch to reach the knee lift for the pressor foot. Being a nurse, I fixed it with tape - I taped a 2" bumper to the arm with duct tape - it fits me a lot better now.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Being the klutz kween sucks sometimes. I went to a friend's place to help her transport some big items to the local thrift store, as I have a mommy-mobile (minivan) and she has a compact car. I figured that on the way, I'd stop at my local fabric store and pick up some fusible fleece and interfacing as I'm out of both. Sure enough, I completely forgot to turn off and ended up at her place before I remembered.
Somewhere in the middle of watching musketeer 1 and musketeer 2 try on fashions and decide what was being donated and actually getting everything loaded, I wiped out. Bigtime. I was carrying a diningroom chair in each hand and totally forgot/didn't see the step down in her sidewalk. So, I twisted my ankle in a nasty way, and smacked my nose and upper lip on a chair on the way down. I don't think anything is broken, except my pride, but I do have a case of the ouchies. My nose is still numb and my lip looks like I spent the afternoon with my dentist. When I finally took my shoe off, my poor ankle had saddlebags. So, it's wrapped up, being iced and I'm putting in couch time. My dog is giving my moral support by sleeping on my chest: at least she's not a Rottweiler!
My darling son was sent into the store solo, to pick up my prescriptions and a tensor bandage while I stayed in the car. I did phone the pharmacist and warn her that a 10 year old would be coming in for my scripts, and could she please add a 3" tensor bandage to the order?
The first thing my room-mate asked when I got in the door was - is it your sewing foot? LOL
After I left the thrift store - yes we did carry on and make the delivery, I was faced with a dilemma - not enough time to go home, rest and return to pick up my son at school, and too much time to just sit in the parking lot with my foot out the window to "elevate" it. What to do?
So I hobbled into the fabric store and bought my fleece and interfacing. What else? At least now if I'm cooped up for a couple of days I can sew up a couple of new bags!!
Quilt on!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oooh Baby !!

She's here! The new Janome Horizon 7700 is here. And oh does she look pretty. She handles beautifully and just hums along. I love all the extras that come with her. I even watched the intro CD! That saved a lot of reading the manual. I am so looking forward to putting this baby through her paces and getting to know her before I put her on the quilting frame. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First day of school blues.

I sent my darling son off to school today. Grade 5 - when did that happen? It feels like yesterday that he was a toddler. Today he went off with his backpack full of binders and loose leaf paper, pens, not just pencils and crayons, in size 14 jeans and size 9 shoes. This means I can now officially fit into my son's shoes. Is that a milestone in any baby books that you know of? Well, he came home in a happy mood and says he likes his teacher. I am soooo grateful for that. He wasn't a happy kid much last year so I sure hope this attitude change lasts.
So what did I accomplish while he was gone today? --- Sweet big nothing! I napped. But before you judge - here's my excuse. Darling son was so nervous about school last night that he couldn't sleep. The sure cure for that is to let him go to sleep in my bed. Well, I was too lazy to put him in his own bed, so I pushed him over and went to "sleep." Sleep? Not a wink. You see, he snores. Not only that, he grinds his teeth in his sleep. So when the alarm went off this morning, mommy was one tired mommy. That is why I napped. So sue me. :)
Tomorrow is another day.

I have been remiss in posting some bags.

It has come to my attention that I have not posted all my photos. The first bags I made were from the LazyGirlDesigns pattern called "Margo." The first two were teachers presents, then one for my mom. The last one was for my best bud. It's also the one you see at the top of my blog. So here they are!

Monday, September 6, 2010

My first "signature" bag.

I guess I'm officially making bags now, I've put my label on. This particular one will be donated to my quilt guild to go on the "Toonie table" to raise funds for our kids quilt charity program. Visitors to our quilt show, on October 1 and 2 can buy 3 tickets for $2 and put their tickets in the draw for any item on the Toonie table. I hope whoever wins this will pass my "name" around.

The features of this bag are : large outside pocket.
inside pockets including one for a water bottle
quilted front panel
two reinforced handles
bag is reinforced with Pelon for shape retention
and it is treated with 3M Scotchguard.
Oh, and it has my own label inside! Now I'm going to lay down to stretch the kinks out of my back and possibly nap while dreaming up new designs. Zzzzz

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Another finish and a day at the beach

Last evening, the creative juices were flowing, so I got another bag done. This one was made out of relatively plain fabric - blue with a small "bubble" like pattern. So, well, me being me, I had to quilt it up a bit. So I took one of Leah Day's all over designs and did that over the front of the bag. I love it! The lines are wonky, but that's supposed to be, then they are echoed about every 1/4". At one point I considered doing the bottom half with all-over bubbles, but after about a square inch of it, decided I didn't like it. Can you find the spot? I left it in and quilted around it.

This afternoon, I broke down to my son's insistance and we went to the beach. In long sleeves and jeans, we went to the beach. I felt better when I saw others with sweaters on, because I thought we were crazy. But the sun was warm, the breeze was wild, and the surf was relaxing. Now, if I could find a cure for my son's CONSTANT talking, well then it would have been perfect. I swear he gets lonely if he doesn't hear his own voice! Tonight, it's an early bed for both of us.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What a week~!

Ok, I guess in the grand scheme of things it wasn't that bad. I had to bring my laptop in for a tuneup and some work, and it took nearly all week. I felt like my right arm was missing - I guess that means I'm spending way too much time on the computer. To give my IT guy credit, it was during the week he was moving, and the cable and phone companies both messed up his hookup date so he had no phone or internet, so, I did try to be patient with the whole thing.

In the meantime, I did keep busy. First, I went to my sewing machine shop and took the Janome Horizon 7700 for a test drive. I fell in love. I was starting to reconsider my choice of the Pfaff Grand Quilter, when I was reading on the yahoo group so many tales of woe about thread breaking, oiling problems, tension problems, etc, etc... That's why I went to the store, because I had a niggling suspicion that I might not be happy with my choice. That and because I had been doing some quilting on my Inspira with my 6 1/2" Janome, I just knew I wouldn't be satisfied with the 9" throat on the Pfaff. One of my favourite quilting bloggers, Leah Day at has written great things about the Horizon. So, I did change my order. I'm going to get the Janome Horizon, and their shipment is supposed to come this week - hooray! I won't even have to wait forever. For the features on the machine, it is reasonably priced, but it still is the most expensive thing I've bought - except for my house and van!

I did manage to get some sewing done. Made a bag for my boarder, and one for a friend. So here's the pics. The blue one has pintucks on the front pocket, and I'm not too happy with the flap closure, but that's what I get for designing on the fly.

The olive, floral one has the all over quilting on the front. I love it.