Thursday, December 30, 2010

and a Happy New Year!

I stopped in at Fabricland today just to pick up a little thing. But I left without it. To go to the bank!! It turned out they had most of their quilter weight cotton prints on for "buy 1 get 3 free" and "buy 1 get 2 free." Well, I just HAD to take advantage of that!
35 meters of fabric later, ----- I'm ready for a few new projects, and to finish a couple of UFO's.
I think I'll sew through New Year's eve, it's not much of a festival for me, I don't go out, but I've told my son he can stay up.
By the way, that little 10 year old "cleaned my clock" at Monopoly today!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010 is in the bag.

Seriously, the best part of Christmas is worshipping the King. A close second is when your child absolutely is blown away by a gift.
Rob didn't know it when he opened his gift with the PC games, that it was a hint.
He didn't know it, when he opened the headphones, that it was a hint.
He thought he had scored the bigtime when he opened the Lego kit that he sooo wanted.

Then he got to the last gift. He squeezed it - it was squishy. He lifted it - it was a bit heavy. He shook it a bit - no rattle. He was stumped. Then he opened the bag. He carefully unwrapped the blanket that surrounded it to disguise it, and found his "new" laptop computer. He was speechless. He quickly loaded the games I had given him and slipped on the headphones. He's been playing educational games ever since - he's even doing math games - on purpose! And I'm loving it.
He also loves his new pj pants that I made for him. When I told him I sewed them right in front of him, he was stunned. Really? Of course, I said, I always hide things in plain sight. He he and a Ho Ho HO!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

May you find blessings in this time of cheerful observance of Christ's birth. I hope your families are able to get together and have a wonderful time.
Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

FNSI, Dec 17th.

The second Friday Night Sew In for the month of December was a bit of a bust at our house. I really didn't get a good start until about 10:00 pm. Let me explain.
First, my darling son was home all day. Again. There seems to be a problem with this child getting sick the day after being home for a snow day, or two, or three. The next day - boom. Sore throat, fever, you name it. So, he was home. He did nap a bit, but basically, I was on duty all day, and let's face it, I'm used to the "me" time when he's at school. So, call me selfish.
By the time I had him tucked into bed at night, it was already 9:30. Now, how did that happen so fast?
I decided to start the Sew In by tidying up my sewing area. Here's proof. Now, before you worry that I've lost it, all that crap beside the machine is UNDER the clear extension table, so it doesn't count! I can tell I cleaned up, because I can see my cutting mat. Woohoot!

By then, it was ten. So I got started. I'm still working on the stars and blocks for my next quilt. I need 80 blocks, so this might take me another few days. But I did get 7 of the friendship star blocks done this night. I think that's pretty good.

So here's where the progress is so far.
Nine different styles of blocks. Fifty-eight blocks and counting.
The stack is getting higher! Now, to look for another style of star.
A-surfing I will go,
a-surfing I will go,
high ho the derry oh,
a-surfing I will go!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Woohoot! Another FNSI this month.

As if I need an excuse to sew or quilt, there is a second Friday Night Sew In scheduled this month, and it's tomorrow. I've been working on more blocks for my red and green quilt and I'm up to 52 of the 80 I'll need. Here's a couple of pics of what I've been doing.

So, now I'm struggling to find more ideas for blocks, so I leafed through some more magazines and got some. Stay tuned for the FNSI results. Any bets on if I get the 80 blocks done?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Night Sew In, What a night!

I love Friday Night Sew In. It gives me an excuse to quilt until I wilt. Well, tonight I wilted pretty fast. Let me fill you in on a few of the reasons.
First. I spent all day with a sick kid. Now, normally that would not wilt me, but you have to understand. Winter gave us a kick in the teeth this week with record snowfalls causing three, YES THREE, snow days in a row, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. To add to this, my darling son also had a PD day last Friday. So if you add in the weekend, he had 6 days off, 1 day of school and now another day off sick, and now it's the weekend again. I swear, if I hear "I'm bored" one more time, I won't be responsible for my actions!

Second. My wonderful, workhorse, laptop - crashed. Tonight of all nights. Lucky for me I know my IT by first name and can bring it to his house. Ha ha. We're not that close. He works out of his house. Anyway, it's pooched for at least 24 hours. How am I posting this you may ask. Please do! I am posting by using the cute little laptop that has been hiding behind the sofa for the last month as it is my son's Christmas present. So, naturally, I've had to wait until his nibs is safely asleep before I can a: install the printer driver so I can download my photos, and b: recover my password for this blog as I never use it because, well, I'm lazy and use Roboform to store all my passwords.

Third. I have a new quilting gadget!! It looks like this. Yes, that's right, it's a splint for carpal tunnel syndrome. My left hand has been going "tingly" for the last couple of weeks, so when I was at the Doc's office for another matter, I mentioned it. She figures it is the beginning of carpal tunnel syndrome and told me to wear the splint for 6 wks and then we'll figure out if it is cts or not. I did not mention that I've been quilting like a fiend lately. I figure she didn't need to hear that.

On my last post I expressed my disappointment in a pattern and the fabric for it that I had chosen. I didn't show you the results then, so here is the "potholder" I made.

Not one to give up easily, I figured I just HAD to come up with something I did like for this fabric. It's just too much to stick into the neverland of my stash.
I found an old pattern from Thimbleberries called Sedona Stars in my file of goodies, and it reminded me about the 8 point star that I've used in other projects. So, I figured I'd do a couple of test blocks. And, "I LIKE."

So, tonight's sew in consisted of me, trying to get my sick kid to take in enough nutrition to keep a bird alive, driving across the city to drop off my laptop and then driving home again, an hour or so of getting the "other" laptop up to snuff so I could post tonight, and finally - a couple of hours of sewing. I got 9 stars done, using 3 of the 4 key fabrics. I am not following a pattern this time, but want to end up with a queen sized quilt. Since these blocks are finishing at 10" square, I have some sewing to do.

I'm thinking of mixing things up a bit and putting in some larger and smaller blocks, and maybe some 4 and 9 patch blocks and maybe a block just made of flying geese, but I'll have to pop things onto the design wall to see if I like how it comes together.

But for now, I'm wilted. So is my dog, she's passed out on the sofa. I think I'll cuddle up with her and watch the late news and hit the sack. Nitey night!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why it pays to make a test block.

It's a new concept for me. Maybe I'm just more frugal with my fabrics these days. I've started making a test block before I cut out a whole quilt.
Today, I'm glad I did.
I have enough fabric to make this lovely 8 point star quilt in king size. I've been gathering the fabric for weeks.
But, I don't want a king size, and there really was no way to downsize it by skipping a row of blocks or so because the blocks were so big - just 3 blocks across, and they were set on point.
So, I rescaled the pattern and made the block smaller by making the star smaller.
Then I made a test block.
When I was FINALLY finished that one block, I took a good, hard look at it. I wasn't impressed. It didn't lay flat. I even hammered the thick seams but that center where all the points came together was just plain ugly. The diamonds that made the star were made of 2 pieces so there were double the seams in the center than a usual 8 point star.
Try as I might, I could not get it to lay flat.
Then there was the colour choices. There was supposed to be a play on light going on, with a dark and light half to each diamond of the star. My choices just didn't "pop."
SO, I made lemonade. Like the old adage, when life gives you lemons - make lemonade.
I pieced together a 9 patch big enough to be a backing and sewed them together pillowcase style. Then I took 3 layers of batting and zig zagged the edges of them together. I stuffed them into the block and quilted it. Presto - a large potholder, or trivet or what ever you want.
At least I didn't end up with a king sized UFO!

Monday, December 6, 2010

He got what he prayed for

You know the saying "Be careful what you pray for?" Well it's true.
My son has been praying for snow. He's been asking me daily "when" is it going to snow? I've been telling him that it will, but I just didn't know exactly when.
OK, now I know! We got our first snow, that didn't melt on impact, on Friday. DS had a PD day friday, so he got to play, play, play. Mind you, the grass was still peeking through.
Yesterday, it really started to snow. We got about 12". My son even asked if he "could" clean the driveway! How could I resist that offer!
This morning, I got a phonecall at 7:30 am. It was the lady I drive to work in the morning. She called to ask if my son's school was closed and if I'd still be coming. I was still in bed, so I hadn't looked outside yet. She told me all the schools were closed. So I checked the school website and sure enough, his school was closed as well.
So, I looked outside. Holy cow! The snow was over the bumper of the van. My dog had to pee so she flew out the door - and promptly disappeared! The snow is taller than she is! I laughed so hard my sides hurt.
So, now it's 8:30 and my son is playing outside in the snow. And the dog keeps coming and looking at me as if to say - "I want to go too!" But DS doesn't watch her when he's outdoors, so she's just going to have to wait until I get the urge to go play to.
I guess he got his prayers answered. All in one shot.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Argh! A pain in the..........

I'll be the first to admit that I'm on the south end of life, but come on! This fall has been a laundry list of aches and pains. First, I sprained my ankle in early September and it's still stiff and occasionally sore. Then in November, I tripped going up my front steps and banged my knee causing the arthritis in it to flare up, so I'm wearing a splint on it. Then today when I was at the Dr's, I mentioned that my L hand keeps tingling. You got it - probably carpal tunnel syndrome starting. Treatment? Another splint! I'm starting to look like a football player with all this reinforcement!

The good news is I delivered a bag today and got paid for that. It turned out a bit smaller than she was expecting, but, it's more of a purse than a suitcase anyway. Right now she uses a canvas bag that is designed to be a gardening tote. She wanted a similar style, but in blue. So here it is.