Monday, May 9, 2011

Brown Bag Challenge rides again

This is one of my favorite Guild activities. I think it's unfortunate that only twelve people participated in it and perhaps since the results were so great this year, more people might step up to be part of it when we try it another time. It's always a puzzle to decide what to make with the fabrics you receive in the brown bag. For someone else, I may have made a purse but Sheila has made purses before any of us were so she didn't need another one. The thing with the piece I made is the unusual shape. It's not just a rectangular topper; it's all about the corners. I like it and hope Sheila liked it too.

Christmas Charm

This is a cute little item; I bought a package of charm squares that were so pretty and when I got them home, had no idea what I would do with them. I found this little pattern and it fit the bill; not too difficult; quick to finish.

Just the right size to put on a little table or on the back of a chair. In keeping with my newly developing 'skill', I machine quilted it. Not bad but still not great. However, with this new skill there are times you just have to do it and hope for the best. What I can say is that it's improving.

...and now, it's May!!!

Well where did April go!? I didn't get much done but the month seemed to disappear nonetheless. One thing Mystery Quilt is at the quilter and I should have it back for the quilt show. There was no way I was going to quilt that myself. There were too many seams and it was just too much of a project to take on. It will likely be a gift for someone this winter and I know it will be appreciated however it's quilted. Can't wait to get it back. Looking at my completed tops, I am going to have another small quilt hand quilted by a local group. First of all I am going to add another set of borders to give it a bit more dimension. This was a Debbie Mumm BOM that turned out just too small. A lot of work and too small after all.

So...I did make something to show! This was the Royal WEdding season and I made a fascinator to wear as I watched the whole thing, starting for me at three-twenty. Unfortunately I didn't decide to make it till the day before and finding supplies to produce such a little hat proved to be a challenge. I will now add feathers and millinery supplies to my Florida list so I will be ready when the next big occasion approaches!!
A fun little project!! Won't be wearing it again soon could be awhile before the next royal wedding. But it DOES look great with red pyjamas!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It's April!!

Mike and I have been in Florida and I did a blog of the trip which was of interest only to my children and a few friends who were curious as to where we were and what we were doing. Every evening I posted an entry about the day. Now I have a record of the actual feelings I had at the end of those days. I will certainly do that again. The down side of being in the sunny south...well there is no down side in actual fact...but I haven't done any sewing in two months. The question becomes...where to start and what to start.

I decided to do the kits I have bought and just ignored from the day I fell in love with them. Happy to say I am making progress but only the first one is ready to be bound and the paper is traced for the second one. I will get those actually finished in the next few days. So then what? We have a new grand baby girl coming at the end of July so there will be another trip to Florida to check her out early in September and her quilt for Christmas. I am making a sweet quilt called Waiting for Nana but since I am her Nona, I am calling it that....Waiting for Nona. I bought the fabric at Rainbow's End in Dunedin, perhaps the loveliest quilt shop I have ever been in. Fifteen pastels, three of each of five colors, will make up the background and then the appliques will be in appropriate bunny colors. I really want to start it TODAY but I am delaying for the obvious reasons: there are other things in the queue that have to be done first and there are other things in the queue that have to be done first!!!! (Not typos...just facts!!)

Today I am going to assemble the top of my Mystery Quilt. The blocks are FINALLY done and actually have been done for a few months now. I know it will take some time for that sewing and pressing. Then I need to have it done for the quilt show the end of May. Plus there are other things on my table. Lots of other things. ... and here I am, sitting at my desk, writing on this blog. Tick tock...tick tock... better get busy!! To be continued!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One More Purse and a Parliament of Owls

This little purse has been in the works for months. It was one of those things that I started with enthusiasm and after getting the major part of the construction and embellishment done, I just moved it to the back of the table and promptly ignored it. Didn't forget about it...just ignored it. Well this week I am struggling with a cold and needed some kind of inspiration to perk me up and what better than a project that was already 75% done! Off to work I went...sewed the button on this morning and called it done.

I made this for a friend of mine who has left the province and for whom I have no address...did I say 'friend'?...yes but there are unusual circumstances. Anyway I will get her address and mail it off to her and it will be both done and dispensed with.

...and who knew that a group of owls was called a PARLIAMENT!? Not a 'gaggle' or a 'murder'
or a 'dule'( doves); not a 'murmation' (starlings) or a 'bouquet' (pheasants) or even a 'descent' (woodpeckers) ... but a PARLIAMENT! Well I made this parliament of owls and they are now winging their way to Taipei for my son Aaron and his lovely Rika. I don't usually sew these kind of things. Never do I make two of a kind so this was quite a departure for me. The pillows all have little pockets on the reverse side; for what? I don't know but when I mailed them to Taipei, I put chocolate bars in them, bars which they cannot get in Taiwan. It will be intersting to see what kind of shape these items are in when they arrive at their destination in 'seven business days' according to Canada Post. They offered me two options: seven business days or three months. Imagine!! Well I chose the former and hope it ends up being worth the cost which I will not share at this time...or ever. A parliament of owls! Who knew!? ... and just for the record, the pattern for these little critters came from Gingercake!! Special thanks to Sheila for sending me there!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bursting Buds by Pam Bono

This is a Pam Bono piece and it's quite large; lots and lots of pieces both small and large and machine quilted. I am working on my skills in that area and unfortunately I made an error in selecting the thread for the project. It's a variegated Sulky thread which shows up very dark on the light parts of the runner and quite light on the dark parts. I'm not sure which would have been the better choice but it's done now and there isn't too much I can do other than making a better selection next time. Overall I am pleased with the results. Batiks worked very well although the background is very light. I selected all of these from and even with a design wall, it's an inexact science to buy coordinating fabrics on line. Most of the time I have good results but every now and then, things just don't come together as you might hope. That's the sacrifice you make when you choose good prices over hands-on buying.
On a related topic...I am hoping to make Storm At Sea in the next year and thought I would go to the above mentioned website and request that they take a look at the pattern I am going to use and help me with fabric choice. I described the color way I was interested in and after a few email exchanges, a photo array of fabrics was emailed to me. I printed it off, looked closely and decided five of the eight were great but requested that they swap out the other three for alternate colors I thought would fit . Their reply was that the colors I wanted would throw off the color contrast and that the quilt wouldn't look right. This from a store with hundreds and hundreds of bolts of fabric to choose from.... So much for the "yes we do this all the time".... I was quite disappointed in the lack of assistance. Too bad for me and for the shop which would have been selling me ten to twelve yards of fabric. I guess business is really good! All things considered though, it's still the best place on line to buy Batiks.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Maritime Beauty and what a beauty it is...

First things first: if you check, you will see me with this project, along with Wilma and hers...we made them together and sent the photo to the designer who then added it to her blog!!

I like this project more than anything I have done in a long while. Karen Neary has designed this piece and although this is the first time I have used her patterns, it won't be the last. In fact, I can't wait to do another one of this particular design. I love the movement in the piece and I am fascinated with how KN has used this familiar New York Beauty block and adapted it to her own style. It's brilliant. If you have the latest Keepsake Quilting catalogue, you will discover one of Karen's kits. It's done in jewel colors, quite Caribbean in appearance but essentially it's this block combined with squares to create a very dramatic table topper. I haven't seen the pattern by itself; the colors in the kit aren't my favorites...otherwise I would have it...but I suspect it will be available sometime.
This piece is quilted with the blanket stitch and a double top-stitch that I like very much and is done with a variegated Sulky thread. I probably should have done a more dramatic machine quilting but I was afraid my lack of skill in that department might detract from this lovely table topper. I used a bias binding, ready made, prurchased from I'm totally sold on bias bindings and often used black as a finishing touch to my projects. I make it up in quantity so it's ready when I need it.