Monday, May 30, 2011

Family times - good times

Our family celebrated this weekend. We truly are blessed. Every member from the oldest to the youngest was able to be there. So, we took photos. Lots and lots of photos. Over 1000 photos by the time you counted everyone's camera! So, we're in the editing process and will burn a CD for my parents. After photos, we went out for dinner and returned later to party into the night...

We celebrated Mom and Dad's 55th wedding anniversary....
This is the original family with spouses. I have 2 brothers and two sisters.
This is a shot of all the grandchildren with their spouses and significant others, as well as the 4 great grand children.

We also celebrated my handsome younger brother's 50th birthday.

My younger brother and his wife.

And here's my family photo of my parents, me, and my son.

I can't wait to see everyone else's photos - some have better lighting/exposure as well as some funny candid shots. Sometimes it's the funny shots that really show what a family's like - right?

Brother in law insisting that "this is my better side!"
Dad and Mom hamming it up with the great-grands! Trying to get the younger ones all lined up at the same time was like trying to keep puppies in a basket.
So that's what I did this weekend - how about you?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A new WISP, and a couple of other things.

I've been collecting some black and white prints over the last year or so, planning to do "something" with them. Well, yesterday I started on these wonky DP squares. It took a bit of practise to get the curves going properly, but now it's getting easier. I don't have a deadline for this quilt. I'm just going to use it for a "work in slow progress" to play with between big quilts.

21 down, 51 to go.
Then I had a little problem. I know "they" say you shouldn't sew over pins, but I don't think THIS is quite what they meant lol.
I did a bit of doodling too. Playing with a different way to do feathers, or paisley, or whatever you want to call it, but I like how it turned out. I can see a lot of dimension even in the pencil drawing, so I know I'm going to love it in a quilt.

So, what have you been up to lately?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

FNSI results - take one off the to do list....

Last night was another successful FNSI. I love these virtual evenings sewing together with my online buddies. Besides, it gives me an excuse to sew 'til I drop - figuratively speaking as all I dropped were my scissors about a dozen times. :)
I worked on finishing the quilt for my son's teacher. Her colours are brown and green and orange, so this is what I came up with. And - I tried something new for me -- I pieced some of the front fabrics into the back. I like~! I think I'll be doing that again.

The quilting is freeform "S" 's and I really like how that looks. I will definitely use that design again. It's actually relaxing to just swoop to the left.....swoop to the right... repeat....

Here's a closup of the stitching.

So, that's what I did Friday night. How about you?

Friday, May 20, 2011

One done, four more added to the to do list.

I delivered the wedding quilt and shams yesterday and the mother and the father of the groom were ecstatic. I'm so glad they loved it, it feels really nice when something I make is really liked by the person receiving it. So, on to the next project.
I started a teacher gift yesterday, a 54"x72" sofa quilt. It is 6 inch squares of 2 main colors and 2 accent colors. I got the top made, so hopefully I can get it quilted tonight in the FNSI. Then I can put it aside knowing there will be no end of the year rush.
I'm going to make a second one of the similar style for a friend who helped me make a lot of important financial decisions before Christmas, and would not accept pay for his time. I told him I would therefore, make him and his wife a quilt. They both like green, so it should work out fine!
After that, I hope to get started on my denim quilts. I have 2 teenage nephews that a denim quilt would be perfect for.
So, I guess I have a couple of things on my to do list eh? TTFN

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Don't forget, this friday is another Friday Night Sew-In. Not that I need an excuse to spend a whole evening (night, wee hours of am....) quilting. Click on the logo on the left to sign up.

Ready for gifting - ahead of schedule - Yeah!

I love it when I finish something ahead of schedule. I had hoped to have this ready for giving by May 28, so yeah!
This is the photo I've shown you before of the finished top before quilting.
I did a wandering feather pattern over the center of the quilt. The inner border has topstitching 1/4" in from each edge.
The outer border is feathers again, this time following a foundation line of a single wavy line. This is the first time I used a foundation line and I like how it turned out. It made it easy to adjust the feathers to go around the corners and to keep them a uniform size.
Here's a pic of the matching pillow shams. I had two blocks that turned out just a bit smaller than needed for the quilt, so this was a great way to put them to use.
The body of the pillow sham is quilted, and the fringe is plain. It is completely reversable so the other side matches the backing of the quilt. That way there are two options! Love options!
Here we are packed up with the care instructions packed with it!

Now, what shall I tackle next?

Monday, May 16, 2011

London Modern Quilt Guild, next meeting

The next meeting of the London Modern Quilt Guild will be held on May 31,2011. It will run from 6:30 - 8:30 in the conference room of the Talbot Center Mall at the corner of Richmond and Dufferin Streets in London, Ontario. New guests/members welcome! Don't forget to bring your show and tell item - either in the "flesh" or digital, your sense of humour, and your quilty sense!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's been a good news, bad news kind of day.

Most days I love being a homeowner. Some days I don't. Today was a tough one.
My boarder had pointed out that the hydro was 'flickering' and yes, last evening I noticed it too.
Then today, she told me that there was a burnt smell in her room and the power bar with the surge protector wasn't working.
So, I bought a new one.
Then when I got home, the washing machine was full of water and clothes, and wouldn't spin. I played with it for a while, flipped some circuit breakers to no avail, and called the service guy. He can't make it until Monday.
So, in frustration, I called the Hydro company. (for my American friends - it's the electric company).
They sent out a service man and he had a good look around - outside because they're responsible for the hydro up to the point it enters your house, then it is your baby.
He knocked on the door 20 minutes later to tell me it was a problem on the outside of the house (whew) and that he had hooked us up through a HUGE extension cord to the neighbour's power but assured me that they would not be billed for my use. And then he told me someday, not sure when, the crews would come out and locate the services (I know they run under the driveway) and then proceed to dig up said driveway, and part of the lawn to fix the problem. Now, normally the thought of having your driveway dug up would make a homeowner weep. But you see, my driveway is in desperate need of being dug up and repaved. The area where I park has divots about 4"deep where my tires fit in perfectly. But the downside of that is, in the winter, the tires are frozen in their little ponds of ice.
I had been thinking of getting an estimate for repairing said driveway, but basically was afraid to. So now, fingers crossed, they will do the digging up and repairing for me - and at their cost.
Now that's a bad news turned good news kind of day I can handle.
Bring it on!

Friday, May 13, 2011

eBook readers - what NOT to buy...

Ok, consider this an unofficial consumer survey on ebook readers. I looked at the Kindle, but since it will only accept titles from the Kindle store, and I want it to borrow books from my public library, that was out.
So, I looked, briefly at the Kobo at Chapters/Indigo. Good price, fair quality, not a lot of bells and whistles, etc, but you can download library books, and you can buy books online with gift cards (I do not use credit cards. - long story) So, I kept looking.
Then while in Costco, I had another look at the PanDigital Novel that they carry. Unfortunately, Costco being a warehouse store, had no staff to discuss this with, so, being dazzled by the pretty colour pictures and the promises of all things digital, and a good price, I bought it.
HUGE mistake. I should have read the reviews first because from the first hour, I was ready to throw it out the window. After 24 hours of not being able to get it to download anything, even the program that the library gives out FREE for reading their books, I called my IT guy. He agreed to look at it for me. Now, I trust my IT guy, he's extremely good at what he does, he's quick, he's flexible and he's not bad to look at either (but seriously married I might add.)
I left it with him and 2 days later he called. He was choosing his words very carefully, explaining that he spent 4 hair-pulling hours on it and finally got the updated firmware installed. Then the library's program, and yes - we had books. But only the preloaded ones from Barnes and Noble - you know, the gut wrenchers (sarc.) like "Little Women" and "Pride and Predjudice." He was sure it was on it's way now, so I paid him and went home dreaming of what to read first.
ARGH!!!!!! Yes, it would download the library books now. But, not in any format that would fit the screen. I could only use 1/4 of the page at a time and no changing of the font size, or telling it to "fit to page" would solve it. When I tried to scroll across the page to see the second half of the sentence - it would skip to the next chapter. Ok, now I'm really getting p****ed off.
This morning I spent a hour and a half at the library, with the help of their IT department to try to resolve the 1/4 page issue. Nada. Nowhere. So I left, leaving the IT person sending emails to the powerhouses that run those programs.
I spent the rest of today struggling with that darned thing, and finally it broke me. At 8:20, ten minutes before closing time, I returned it to Costco. I told the cashier I was surprised that they did not ALL come back - she did say they had received a few back... an understatement I'm sure.
So I phoned my IT guy on the way home to vent and basically tell him he's right, they're junk, and he has my permission (as if he needed it !) to tell anyone, anytime about my experience and warn them to stay away!
So, I am again eBook-less. I'll take some more time to shop around, and when I do decide, it will be coming out of the box IN THE STORE, and prove itself BEFORE I even take it home.
Who ever said technology was the way of the future? Some days, it just sucks!
So, my friends, on my personal advice, stay away from the PanDigitalNovel. Save yourself the stress.

Monday, May 9, 2011

It's about time.....for gardening.

I've gone and done it. I've tossed tradition out the window. Local gardening "rules" are that you don't plant any annuals before the May long weekend because there is still a chance of frost.
Tough. It has been probably 3 years since I've put any effort into the front flowerbeds because of illness, depression, finances, etc, etc, etc. It just never got to the top of the to do list. But today was different.
You see, I had an appointment with an Oral Surgeon today about a lump on my tongue. He was the same doctor who did my jaw surgery as part of orthodontics many, many years ago. Anyway, I've had a lump removed about 6 years ago, and was worried that this was another one. My dentist agreed that it needed to be "looked at." Well, the surgeon doesn't think it's anything serious, probably scar tissue from biting my tongue (that's a whole different ball game, Me? biting my tongue LOL, but we'll go with it) but agreed a quick biopsy was a good call. So that's booked.
What has that got to do with gardening? Well you see, his office is only a couple of miles from the absolute best gardening centre in this part of SW Ontario. Canadale Nurseries in St Thomas, Ontario. I could spend hours there just browsing. And since my appointment took less than a half an hour, and cost less than expected, I went shopping to celebrate.
That started it. Then I went to another nursery closer to home on the way to picking up DS at school. So now I have
1 new shrub for the front (to replace a dead one)
3 varieties of annuals that are drought 'resistant' since the prediction is for a hotter than normal summer.
and 2 varieties of tomatoes, and just for fun - a clump of parsley.
I got the small bed between the front steps planted tonight. I live in a semi-detached house and there is about 3-4 feet between the steps that we've always put flowers in beside the now dead shrub. So it looks marvelous now. I still have to get some more mulch to put down to hold the soil in place, keep the moisture in, and most importantly - keep the black topsoil mud OFF my dog's feet.
Tomorrow I'll deal with planting the rest, but the night is falling, and my sofa is calling.

Friday, May 6, 2011

"Stones and Skins", my version.

This is the WIP right now. It's destined to be a wedding quilt for the son of a friend. The pattern is "Stones and Skins" by Sue Harvey and Sandy Boobar of I used the Stonehenge line of fabrics by Northcott, but substituted the zebra/leopard/snakeskin prints because they just aren't available here yet. The pattern is in the April/May edition of "The Quilter Magazine."
I added an extra row of blocks width wise so it becomes a square quilt to fit a queen size with lots of drop down both sides. That way, no one gets a draft when there's two bodies in the bed ! :)
The top is done now, so soon the quilting will begin. So far, my friend loves it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Who doesn't love a road trip. On a cool, dark, drizzly day, nothing can top a road trip. I needed to shop for a fabric for sashing in a quilt I'm making (I didn't love my first choice) so I planned to head to Coldstream to The Marsh Store. If you've never been there, you've missed out on the hospitality of Shirley, (human) and Nellie (canine). This shop is a delight to visit as it's in a historic home, complete with wonky hardwood floors and nooks and crannies that hold all kinds of fabric and notions. It's a destination in it's self.
So, I said to myself, "why not take a few friends along?" The first phonecall had a resounding "Yes." As did the second and the third. So the four of us set off in the rain to go shopping.
Except for the little issue of being a half hour late due to an unfortunate interaction with the local constabulary. "Oops."
But we did get going, and once we were laden down with our purchases at The Marsh Store, we headed to Komoka for lunch. The Hearth restaurant served up a yummy split pea and ham soup (almost as good as my mom's) and sandwiches, and - really, really good coffee.
Then finding an hour left to spend, we headed to Mount Brydges, to Sew Creative. Here we were hosted by Joan in her shop and more petting of fabric ensued. We oohed and aaahed at all the beautiful quilts on display, and did more shopping, of course.
So, by 2:30 pm, we headed home. Just in time to drop off my three amigos and be at the school in time to pick up my son at school.
I was treated to a short nap after school. Thank you son!
Now I'm all set to continue with the quilt top in process. Stay tuned for photos - soon, I promise!