Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ooh pretty.!! Look what I get to play with!

I just received 29 of these blocks from a client.  They've been passed down the family.  Her grandmother made them, probably in the '30's.  The plates are hand appliqued onto white backing fabric.  I have the challenge of using them to make 2 double sized quilts.  The plan is to applique them onto white background fabric, using half the squared on each quilt.  Stay tuned!!  You just know what I'll be dreaming about tonight :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Should I mount the dollar on the wall?

I sold my first designer bag at Red Bird Designs today !!! Yay.  That makes being a designer official, right?  It's fine to design and use your own, but when a complete stranger likes your work enough to part with their hard earned cash, Wow, what a rush!  Happy dance :D

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I won again - holy cannoli!

Recently I won a wonderful book on Cara's Talkin' Tuesday - a twitter chat for quilters on Tuesday nights from 9-11pm EST.   (hashtag #talknt)
This week, I won again!  What a wonderful feeling.  I won 3 patterns of my choice from
  • Empty Bobbin Sewing Studio
    She has the cutest patterns!  Check out her website and see if you can guess which patterns I chose!
    I'm giddy just waiting to see them.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Found a home for Hunter's Star

My favourite fan, my Mother just called.  She politely asked if I planned to give the Hunter's Star quilt to anyone yet.  Then she asked how much I was asking for it.  So, I told her.  Then she said she wanted it!!!  As if I'd charge my Mom lol!   So, since she likes it, it will go to her.  I know she'll show it off to all her buds, so I'll just consider it a win/win.  Mom's happy and I get free advertising!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

FNSI Results

I had a good, productive night!  The Carpenter's Star top was ready for quilting by 9:00 pm.
So, I put my son on "get your own snacks" alert, and kept going.  By 12:30, the quilting was done, so I serged the edges and put it away.  It's ready for binding and I'll get that done this week.  Now I just have to decide who to give it to.  It's 65" square, so that's sort of a short twin size, but perfect for cuddling on the sofa.
I enjoyed working with these colours.  I love the teal and white combination, but since I have both a cat and a dog, the white wouldn't last long in my house!
I may just put it away in the closet until the perfect recipient presents itself :)
How did you do on FNSI?

Friday, February 17, 2012


It has been one of those weeks.  I am so eager to put everything else on the shelf and just quilt tomorrow.  I'd like to get the Carpenter's Star top finished.  Who knows?  I might just get it sandwiched too!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Carpenter's Star - started

I've always wanted to do this pattern.  Now that my list of client quilts allows me to start a "me" project, I got it started.  Here are rows 1-4 (of twelve)

Monday, February 13, 2012

FNSI is coming this Friday!

I love Friday Night Sew In.  Click on the button for info or to sign up.   It gives me a guilt free reason to quilt 'til I wilt one evening a month. (read am, afternoon, evening, into the wee hours).  I prepare my son a couple of days before, first to let him know, and second - to help him plan what to do that night so I'm not on the hook for entertaining him at the last minute (because "nothing" is on tv.....)  This weekend is also the sewing class for my students, so between quilting and planning class, I'll have lots to do.
I finished quilting the Autumn Leaves quilt for a client.  She did a lovely job, using earth tone batiks on a cream background.  I did a lot of FMQ on that one.   The main body of the quilt was free flowing echoing lines to depict the movement of wind.  The lines were about 1/2" apart.  The boarders were made of "bricks" of fabric.  The quilting on them was just outlining the bricks.  That was a lot of work.  Each brick was separate, so I had to break thread and hide the thread tails for each start and end on every brick.  I spent 5 hours just tucking in threads.  Oh my aching back.  I took it along to the Senior's quilting club today and gave it to her.  She showed it around with pride and everyone oohed and aahed and it felt so good.  I am really going to have to start suggesting to clients that I will square off and sew on the binding for them.  After all, I have the thread, the large tables, and the momentum, so why not?  What do you do?  If you send your quilt to a longarmer, or other quilter, do you get them to attach the binding or not?

For sewing class this week, the girls are starting a new project.  They're going to make a zippered hoodie using fleece fabric and a separating zipper.  We're using the pattern 
 Young Burda # 8042   We're going to make view A which is the longer, blue one.
This is a multi-sized pattern, so each girl is going to have to trace out the pieces for their size.  That may be all we get done the first class.  If we do, i'll be happy.  If we get to the part of pinning the layout - I'll be ecstatic!  I chose this pattern because it has the set in sleeves, and the separating zipper.  This will be a challenge for the girls, but I think if we take our time, it will go well. This will be the first Burda pattern they're exposed to, and it does have some things unique to Burda, so that will be a good learning experience in reading patterns.   I'm also going to start stressing neatness now.  They've had a few successes, so now we need to concentrate on making things neater - so the finished product doesn't look (so) homemade.   This pattern also calls for topstitching with a double needle.  That should be fun.  I'm having a great time showing them  the wide world of sewing.  They are so keen, they just soak up everything.

Now I have to share my son's "best thing that happened this week."  He is DEEPLY into playing Minecraft online.  Part of this game is collecting different objects along the way to make things out of.  He found this shirt online and just had to have it.  He's been waiting, and waiting, and waiting......  (picture Charlie Brown checking his mailbox)  and it finally came.   I think I'm going to have to sneak it away from him to wash it because he won't take it off.  I think the shirt is so cool.  But I'm a geek.  I have a periodic table shower curtain :)  (

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Free Motion Quilting around Applique

I've started quilting another "Autumn Leaves" quilt.  This quilt top has a lot of fused applique on it - vines and leaves.  I'm stitching around the applique, close to the edge, then echoing that line about 1/4" away.  The rest of the top is quilted in wavy, flowing lines to depict wind.
Here's a peek.

My Uncle Art

My Uncle Art passed away last night.  He was 75. 
My Uncle led a medical miracle kind of life.  In his younger years, he survived a terrible construction accident when a cement beam collapsed.  It was later found to have defective re-bar.  He had fractures, but survived.  I remember him driving his car using a piece of 2x4 to push the clutch, casted leg sticking out the window.  He was that kind of guy. 
He and my aunt raised 4 wonderful kids.  They have all gone on to professional careers - 3 vets and 1 teacher.  All have wonderful musical talents that their mother nurished during her lifetime.  She passed away from cancer 2 years ago.  They both lived to see their grandchildren.
The biggest event in my uncle's life happened in 1986.  He was near death, in heart failure, when he received a heart transplant.  That was amazing.  To see someone recover as he did, is a medical miracle.
Even years later when he needed a valve surgery - on his transplanted heart - he still beat the odds and recovered well.
Art was an active member in the musical community in his town where he and his wife played music in several ensembles. 
This retired farmer served his Lord well.
Rest in peace Uncle Art.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hunter's Star quilt finish

This is the latest finish at my house.  It doesn't have a destination yet, but I'm considering a couple of options.
It's the first time I've used Deb Tucker's Rapid Fire Hunter's Star pattern, and I quite like it.  Using her special ruler makes it so easy to get those diamond pieces to cooperate.  There so easy because you strip cut them!!  You may need to zoom in a bit to see the stars.
This pattern has so many variations, it has so many different looks depending on how many colours you use, how you arrange those colours, and how big you make the blocks.  Her ruler comes in 2 sizes, one for smaller blocks, and one for larger blocks.  This one used the measurements for an 8" block.
If you look closely, you can see the brown mop of hair behind the top where my darling son is being my quilt rack!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sewing club - our PJ pants are finished!

The sewing club met again today and this time we finished our flannel pj pants.   They did a really great job.      I recall that in my "Home Ec" days, we weren't allowed to even "think" about making pants until 3rd year.  The girls are already planning to make a pair for their Dads for Father's day.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Free Motion Quilt challenge with SewCalGal

I hope some of you are following along with the year long tutorial at    She's hosting a different quilting expert each month this year to help us Free Motion Quilters develop our skills.  This month the topic is feathers, and the teacher is Diane Gaudynski.  If you head over to her website and check out the tutorial on the Feb 1st post.
Here's the video of my "test drive."  Note to self, use darker fabric on videos and/or cover some of the bright lighting that's on my Horizon machine.

I've also got some pics of the stitching.  The consistency of stitch length is getting better with practise.

A personal note....gambling.

I am in trouble.  I put myself there.  If I can prevent one person falling into the same trap, this admission will be worth it.
I've frittered away my spending money for the month and it's only the 2nd.  There.  I've said it. 
I fell for one of those ads on Facebook where it tells you that you can get an iPad for $ 0.50 or a computer for $3.00..  Sure, it looks great, but you know what they mean when "if it looks too good to be true..."
The company is QuiBids.  It looks legit enough and all, and I did win a few bids to start, but then the only things I'd win were vouchers for more bids.  That's right, you pay to buy bids.  To buy them outright, they cost you $0.60 each.  If you win a bid at $3.00 and use 5 bids to win it, then it really cost you $3 plus $3 for bids plus $xxx in taxes *on the value of the item, not what you paid, plus the handling/shipping fee of $1 and up.
IT IS ADDICTING - STAY AWAY - REALLY.!!  You bid, and it adds time to the clock and then you wait until the time runs out, but if someone else bids before the clock runs out, it adds the time back to the clock again.  So, basically, if it's down to 2 seconds, and someone else is leading, you click to bump them out, but then it adds time and allows other bidders to bump you out.  But if you wait too long to hit that button, the auction can close and you're out of luck.
Like I said, I've put myself in trouble.  I have now deleted my account, and if I knew how to block that website from my computer, I would. (any suggestions out there?)
Then there is the "I should have known" factor.  I know I have a problem with stopping whatever when I should.  Like auctions, bingo, lottery cards, just spending in general, etc.  Part of it is my bipolar disorder, but since I know that about myself, you'd think I'd see it and stop.  But no.  It doesn't work that way.
So, as I said.  If anyone else can be prevented from getting sucked into this money hole, my story will have been worth it.
Stay safe.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

OK, maybe not video...

Well folks, it looks like I have some homework to do about posting video.  It worked for 24 hours, then went blank and said the video was unavailable.  What's with that?  So, until I figure out that bug, I guess it'll be me, you and basic photos still.  Sorry :)