Monday, January 9, 2017

9-Patch Beauty & Meryl Streep

The simple 9-Patch block in pastels.  This is such a pretty effect.

The quilting request was to enhance the diamond shapes, and quilt feathers.

That shell feather border is so pretty.

The backing was a nice muted fabric that shows the quilting beautifully.

Last night, I decided to watch the Golden Globe awards.  Normally, I don't watch award shows.  Hubby was glued to the football games, so I figured I could escape upstairs, keep one eye on the tv and the other eye on the weekend Sudoku puzzle.  Lots of pretty clothes, and lots of nice speeches.  I have no idea why Sylvester Stallone's daughters were featured... can anyone tell me?

Anyhow... Meryl Streep was honoured with the Cecil B. Demille award.  Did you see her speech???  She made me cry (and she commented on how great Canadians are 💗).  If you missed it, here is a link to a Youtube video of her speech.  Or, here is a link to a NY Times article with the story of her speech and Donald Trump's response.  Warning:  My Personal Opinion ... he is such an asshole.  Donald Trump, I mean.  I hope he does make America great again, but I think the personal cost to the citizens of the USA will be high.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

I am starting off 2017 with a clean kitchen floor, new coffee cups, and a Sewing Marathon Day with some friends both near and far.
What are you up to for the first day of a BRAND NEW YEAR?

Monday, December 26, 2016

A Black & White Christmas

Modern quilt, from a Drunkard's Path base.

Love the pillow ticking fabric.

Modern Dresden Fan.

The turquoise really pumps up the black & white prints.

Labyrinth quilt.  So graphic!

You don't dare mix up your piecing with this quilt.

I knocked off work at 2:30 pm on the 24th.  Went directly upstairs and cracked open the Baileys. 😁
DH and I had very specific plans for Christmas Movies this year.

  • Dec 23rd - Diehard
  • Dec 24th - The Sound of Music
  • Dec 25th - The Grinch with Jim Carrey
I had never really thought of Diehard as a Christmas movie before.  But in fact, it takes place at a Christmas office party,  so I guess that qualifies it.  I was giggling at the 80's hair.  And startled to see people SMOKING IN THE AIRPORT. Wow, the good old days, eh?

DH has never (!) seen The Sound of Music.  He gave me a bit of stinkeye when he realized it was three hours long, ha ha ha.  But he was a trooper and sat through it. 💓

Today I started The Winter Project.  All three bedrooms need painting, so this afternoon I did the cutting in part on the first two, which are the same colour.  Tomorrow will be 'roller' day.  Room number three is the master bedroom, and it can't be started until a large hunk of drywall is replaced.  Bad windows were leaking for, like, 30 years.  That problem is finally fixed.  DH has torn out the bad drywall, but he had enough brains to stay away from the home improvement store today.  Also, it was pouring rain.  That is NOT a good day to bring home drywall in the back of a pickup truck.

When I'm working on a Project I am grateful for leftover turkey in the fridge.  We don't have to worry about cooking for DAYS.  When repeated turkey dinners get nauseating we can switch it up with either turkey pot pie, or shit-on-a-shingle (translation:  hot turkey sandwich).

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Decorating 101 for Longarm Quilters

Step 1:  Put a Christmas quilt and Christmas pillowcases on the bed.

Step 2:  Put a Christmas quilt on the other bed in the guest room.

Step 3:  Put a Christmas quilt on the couch.

Step 4:  Hang a Christmas panel in the workroom.  For sale.  $10.00 each. 23.5" x 42".  Call or email me if you want one. 🎄

Monday, December 5, 2016

Bear Paw Quilt and the First Cold of the Season

Isn't this a beautiful Bears Paw quilt?  I love the addition of trees in the border.

Stitch-in-the-ditch: the borders, the trees, setting triangles, sashing, perimeter of the bear paw block, and green ribbons.

Half inch straight lines in the background.  Motifs in all the pieced units.

With the colour variation between the brown border and the brown setting triangles, I treated them separately instead of quilting as all one unit.

Evergreens were added to the tree border, along with windy/cloud background fill.  In between the pieced trees there is a bit of grass quilted in to fill the spaces.

Beautiful back.

It is pretty traditional at all guilds (I think) to celebrate Christmas at the last meeting of the calendar year with some kind of food event .  Binbrook meets on the last Monday of the month, so our Christmas pot luck supper was on Monday, Nov. 28th.
Picture a line of banquet tables laden with food.  Platters, casseroles, crock pots, salad bowls, each with their own serving utensil.  Now... picture 20 or 30 ladies all lined up, filling their plates.

Are you with me so far?  Many women.  Each one touching every single serving utensil.  Is it any surprise that I woke up Friday morning with the beginnings of a cold?  😷
I've been drowning my poor body with lemon/ginger tea.  Onion soup.  Comb honey on toast.  On Sunday I slept until 10:15 am.  I know that humour is good for what ails you, so I spent last night watching and laughing through Bridget Jones' Baby. Today I was up at 3:00 am with a headache.  I will probably need a nap by 11 am.  However, SO FAR this has not progressed beyond the froggy/sore throat/slightly feverish stage.  I have another pot luck scheduled this week and a guild dinner next week.  I do not want to be sick!  I work in the basement.  Alone.  Generally feeling like a solitary cave-dweller.   I N.E.E.D. my social events.  Let's all send a rallying cry out to the Universe:  "Keep Helen Healthy!!!".  Thankyou. 💖

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Is Your Longarm Quilter A Drinker? Maybe This Is Why...

If you are a longarm quilter yourself, you'll look at these photos and (probably) laugh.  Or at least snort a little.  If you have ever heard me refer to someone as "a sweet little old lady", this is the kind of customer I'm referring to.  And there is no need to "tsk tsk" me - this particular woman is in her 80's and does not have a computer, so she'll never see this.  Considering her failing vision I'm happy that she is still quilting at all.  But getting her tops quilted is still a bit of a challenge for me.

#1 is a very common problem.  Ruffly borders.  Easy to accomplish by taking a big hunk of fabric and just keep sewing until the pieced top runs out, then whack off the remaining length.  Sigh.  NO.  Measure the top through the middle and cut that border to that length (and remember that you have TWO of them that ARE supposed to be the same, one on each side).  Then quarter mark the top and border, match them up, and pin.  Then do the same for the other border.

#2 - the frequency of this is not as common.  Leave as many threads as possible sticking out the top side of the seams.  Aaargh.  Honest - you can clip these off yourself!  You won't wear out your scissors!  If I left these the way the quiltmaker did, this quilt would look pretty awful.  So I remove them while practicing DH's Garage Language.  Yeah - use your imagination.

#3 can be dangerous for your quilt.  Longarm machines have a presser foot that hops.  Your quilter is often NOT watching the foot.  She's probably watching the pattern that she is quilting from because she's following the design using a laser light. When the foot 'hops' into that hole in your seams, the machine is going to stitch itself right into your quilt.  The poor quilter may have to cut your quilt to extricate the machine - that is not a comforting thought.

This happened to be in a "good" spot.  I was able to flip the border up and stitch the seam closed with the longarm, but that is a rare bit of serendipity.  Yes, it was stitched right through the batting and backing, but the thread was a perfect match for the backing and that little seam does not show.

#4 on this particular quilt, as if there wasn't already enough going on, the backing was not long enough.  I had to cut some length off the end, then piece it, and attach it to the perpendicular end.  I changed it from a measurement of 40 x 70 to 45 x 60.  Or something like that.  My usual system is that customers bring their quilt here.  I measure everything, check the batting & backing sizes, price out the work with an estimate, and we're good to go.  For this "sweet little old lady" I pick up and deliver when I have a dinner date with my friends in her neck of the woods.  She's either throwing a bag of work at me and trying to get rid of me because she's going to be late for her 4:30 dining room booking, OR she's trying to pawn off a bunch more quilting stuff that she found in her spare room/storage locker/under the kitchen sink.  In any event, I don't check sizes of anything, and that occasionally bites me in the arse.

After finishing THREE of her quilts on Wednesday, I drank myself out of house and home that night.  It was a happy accident that I went to a quilting event the next evening, AT A WINERY.  HAH!  SCORE!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Batik Cross, Quilts of Valour, End-of-season gardening, and the Current Book

This is a beautiful quilt.  The arrangement of fabrics make it glow.

Inside the cross was simply quilted, with 1/2" straight lines.

Today I woke up, came down to the 'sweat shop' and loaded up a Quilt of Valour.  These are done as my charitable donation work, and I have THREE of them that have been sitting here since early summer.  Hopefully, I can knock off two of them today, and maybe the third one next Sunday.  Alison from Sew What Else is probably wondering if I lost them.

As for the end-of-season gardening, I coulda kissed DH when I came home on Friday and found that he was rototilling the garden! Yay!  Now I won't have to keep bitching repeatedly politely ask him to do that once spring comes.

This fall has been incredibly beautiful, as far as the weather goes.  But alas, the fairy tale has come to a tragic end, with snow last night.  When I heard that it was on it's way I went and dug up the rosemary plant and some of the oregano.  They are now potted up in the house to keep my food nicely seasoned all winter. Unless, of course, I kill them. :P

I'm currently reading Someone Else's Garden by Dipika Rai.  This is what DH refers to as "a Charla-book".  Charla is my Singapore niece who, when she was still living in Canada, had a diverse personal library filled with books that had very dark and disturbing themes.  This book? I almost put it down about a third of the way through because of the extent of abuse towards women.  I gave it one last chance by flipping to the back and checking if the character I was worried about was still around.  It's the kind of story where you REALLY want to know what happens but getting there is almost torturous. If I had the brains God gave me I would not read this at bedtime.