Sunday, May 19, 2019

Geisha Quilt and My Thoughts On Politics-and-Religion

This lovely geisha quilt was made using a center panel and co-ordinating fabrics.

As per my normal process, this got s.i.d. along the border, around the outside of the kimono shape, and outlining of the geishas.  In the kimono I used an Asian-style design with flowers and flowing lines.  The geishas have some quilting along the design lines - enough to keep them hanging nice and flat once this goes on the maker's wall.

The burgundy area was quilted with hanging diamonds, and there's a floral border design in the outer border.

Ok, here we go with my thoughts on Politics-and-Religion

It's been all over the news about the anti-abortion laws that are being passed in the U.S., with the end goal being to challenge and overturn Roe v Wade.  If Donald Trump alone wasn't enough reason for me to stay the hell out of the U.S. (although he actually IS enough reason) there are now several states that reaffirm my decision to stay here in Canada.  These laws are horrifying to me for the same reason radicalism of ANY sort frightens me.  At my age it's obviously NOT because I worry about my own circumstances.

However, just outside of my little town, there's a Provincial MPP who is 21 years old (yes - twenty-one) who attended the Pro-Life rally that was happening outside the Legislature.  He wasn't alone - there were two other MPP's there on stage with him.  If you don't feel like following the above link, here's a quote from him:  we pledge to fight to make abortion unthinkable in our lifetime

This boy still lives at home with his parents - he has zero life experience. He was home-schooled, which may be good for his book learning but it's a pretty insular upbringing. He's taking his religious morality and politicizing it - he needs to take a step back and do what he was elected to do, which is to represent the needs of the constituents in his riding.  He has no business dictating what may or may not happen between a woman's legs - that is between her, her partner, and HER God - not his.

Just because I think he's a stupid asshat I'll share this with you too (in case you missed it) ... a few days before that rally, his constituency staff called the cops on 15 senior citizens who were having a "read-in" in his office to protest library cuts. Dangerous, scary grey-hairers.  With books. Oooooh... 😱  Geez. Talk about having some fucked up people running the country.

We maintain a separation of Church and State here in Canada, and it should stay that way.  Grow up Sam.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Away From Home Quilt

AWAY FROM HOME is a book by Nancy Rink Designs.  Link HERE.  If you went to the quilt show in Ingersoll last weekend you would have seen this quilt hanging in the show.

I really love the combination of pieced blocks, multiple borders, and applique.

There was a great deal of s.i.d. on this quilt.

Cross-hatching behind applique is a very time consuming endeavour.

Such a pretty back.

I didn't make it to the show in Ingersoll, but I did get to the Quilter's Tea in Hagersville.  It was hosted by the Haldimand Quilters' Guild.  They had a guest quilter present a trunk show - Ruth Kennedy from Fergus.  I know Ruth through longarm quilting, and she put on an excellent show.  The event consists of lunch, door prizes, gift basket draws, a penny-sale, and grab bag draws.  There were eight people at my table - six of them won a bunch of stuff but I was not among the lucky ones.  Well, it's not like I need anything.  Although it was a bit of a bummer going home empty-handed, at least I don't have MORE stuff to think about getting rid of.  A blessing in disguise.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Kids Quilts and the Joy of Getting Older

Kids quilts are always so much fun.  This is an I Spy quilt, with a ton of cute fabrics.

It was quilted with an alphabet design which will come in handy as the child grows.

Here are several of the cute, cute prints.

Haha, frogs taking a bath while their friends are partying.

I finally bit the bullet and agreed to start taking Lipitor for my cholesterol.  As a rule my diet is pretty good.  I eat wholesome, home-made food, lots of veggies & whole grains, and in the summer most of my food comes from the garden.  My cholesterol problem seems to be just a result of genetics.
So, to "celebrate" my new drug habit, I splurged on some butter tarts.

And as night follows day...

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Beautiful Double Wedding Ring, updated to-do, and blah, blah, blah

As you may or may not know, I have been working on a double wedding ring quilt for several years.  I complete one row per year when I'm on retreat up in Tobermory with the Beach Girls.  Every once in a while the Universe teases me, and has a customer bring one for quilting.

This is so pretty.  I just love these quilts and look forward to someday completing my own.

Nice plain back that shows off the quilting. 💗

When I posted my to-do list last week, one of the items on the list was to "Marie Kondo" my corner of the living room.  OMG, look at the piles of mess on my table and in the bookshelves.


DH and I were heading out for Chinese food and I told him that I'd been working on Marie Kondo-ing my corner.  He had no idea what the hell I was talking about, so I had to tell him all about Marie Kondo.  If you've ever seen HIS corner of the living room (or his garage, or the shed, or his truck, or...) you would know that she is not his kind of girl. 😛

I kept a small collection of magazines that I still need to go through before I decide their fate.  And that little pile of remaining junk will be dealt with today.  The Quilts Japan magazines will go upstairs where I have saved every issue I've ever purchased.  I may take them to the crematorium with me when I die. 😄

This is the pile that I'll plow through to see what stays and what goes to the guild for redistribution.  There are lots of Modern Quilting magazines and Machine Quilting magazines and a few random quilt magazines in here.  And my seed catalogue.

Here's the to-do list as it currently stands.

It has been a wonderful long Easter weekend for working on stupid chores.  We had no plans for a fancy Easter dinner, and it has been pouring rain for three days straight.

My quilting machine is broken and I can't do anything about it until I talk to Nolting on either Monday or Tuesday - whenever they are back to work.  Why is it that stuff always decides to break just before a long weekend?

In my forced down time I decided to join up with  #The100DayProject.  I have chosen a combination of two things, which doesn't seem to be against any rules.  I will either do some personal stitching OR I will do yoga.  The commitment is 5 - 10 minutes every day for 100 days.  The official start date for 2019 was April 1, but again, starting when I did is not against any rules.  If you follow me on Instagram or on Facebook I'm planning to post my activity there most days.  But don't expect to see any pics of my arse up in the air as I'm doing a Downward Facing Dog.

This is the stitching project I've been working on.  It's a Bonnie Hunter design Nine In The Middle from one of her books.  Today when I go and stitch for 10 minutes I will actually be PRESSING for 10 minutes.  If you check out that link to her site, scroll down to the quilt with the light blue background fabric and the red border...that's what I'm making.  Mine is in reds/greens/yellow-browns.  It will be for guests when I make up the sofa-bed in our upstairs tv room.  It should look nice with the room decor.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Vintage Quilts (love), the Current To-Do List, A Bit Of Humour

Several years ago I went on a road trip to the Shelburne Museum for their 100 Best Quilts exhibit.  So many of the quilts were tagged with the comment "maker unknown" that I was walking around with a kleenex mopping up my tears.  Yes, I'm a total crybaby.  I'm pretty sure I embarassed my friend Sue. The exhibit was fabulous if you're into vintage quilts.  Keep an eye out, they may do it again.  They DO have a quilt exhibit on from May through October.
Anyhow...I have a new customer who is loaded with vintage quilts.  She brought these two to start with.  Dear God - a double whammy - vintage AND Grandmother's Flower Garden.  I almost had to sit down.

Here's the first.  I did s.i.d. alongside the white area to create the "fence".

Inside the flowers is a six sided motif.  These were pretty wonky.  Some of the fabrics are polyester, so when the top was washed those bits did not shrink, but some of the cotton fabrics did.  It doesn't matter, it's still beautiful. 💗

Here's the back.

This is number two. These flowers are MUCH larger and have a small flower at the intersection of each block.  In this pic I'd finished...
  • s.i.d. around the large flower, the inner small flower, and the intersection flowers.
  • stitched a motif inside the small flowers, both the yellow center ones and the intersection ones
  • stitched a motif inside all the large flowers with a ring-around-the-posy type motif in the large flower zones.
But I was seriously, creatively stuck on what to quilt in the yellow background area.

I ended up with 1" diagonals which did a good job of nailing down the background without taking over the quilt. 

It also eliminates the worry of showcasing any crookedness in the piecing.

Another beautiful back. 💗


I'll leave you with a little humour if you have 20 minutes to kill.  This comedian is hilarious.  Zip in to about the 6:20 mark for his introduction.  Rob Pue.  Link HERE.  Go to the bathroom first - I don't want you peeing yourself.  Especially if you have any connection to the East Coast.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

A Teaser, Retreat Project, Great Friends and Stupid Weather

This hasn't been picked up yet...stay tuned for next week.

Here's one of my drag-around projects that I was working on at retreat.  I am hopeful that I can finish piecing the top when I head up to Margaret's in May.

It's made from 100 of these.  It starts with 100 strip sets, then you add corners to two opposite sides and square 'em up.  Those corners are a pale muted yellow.

I have two go-to aprons and THEY WERE BOTH IN THE WASH.  How was I to cook???  The pink one was made by my friend Jean, and the aqua was made by my friend Karen.  I think of those girls every time I wear these, and that's a lot.  I met Jean somewhere's around 30 years ago, when we were both working in Toronto at RBC answering the Operations Help lines.  Until I started answering those phones, I thought I already knew everything about branch banking.  Whoa baby - I had a major come-uppance.  We connected again doing the same thing in Burlington several years later.  She's currently recovering from a broken femur after a fall on the ice.  **If you are taking a bone-builder make sure you get checked regularly - one of the side effects (oddly enough) is fractures in the femur.  Karen (of the aqua apron) is one of my Beach Girls. In the quiet part of my head I always think I'm the only person with any dressmaking skills but Karen slaps me down over that on a regular basis.  It's good to have friends who keep you grounded. 😘

And BLOODY HELL.  WTF, Mother Nature????  It was so warm on Friday I ditched the winter coat.  It poured rain on Saturday.  Sunday morning I wake up to this???
It's not going to last.  Tomorrow should be +10c.  But I'm still whining about it!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Some Pretty Spring Inspiration and Retreat Quilts

This was quilted last month, when I R.E.A.L.L.Y. needed something pretty.  It's Rainbow Trip from the book Garden Fresh Quilts.

The maker chose a lovely panto featuring feathers and flowers which suited the quilt perfectly.  I'm always so impressed by quilters who can tackle a challenging project like this and keep all their pieces where they belong.

Every year the Binbrook guild goes on a three day retreat to Crieff Hills in Puslinch.  It's less than an hour away from home so it's a really easy trip to take.  The retreat center feeds us three meals a day and we take care of our own snacks and (ahem) adult beverages.  I also buy a one litre jar of honey there every year.  There's a local apiarist who sells product at the center.  The last several years we've run these as UFO retreats, instead of having a class.  I have so many UFO's I think I only did the class one year, so there has not been much change for me.  We also have Sew Little Time come on Saturday and set up her shop.  I showed excellent restraint this year and did not buy a single bit of fabric.

I promised myself I would not start any new projects in 2019 until I got some of my own sh*t finished, AND got rid of some yardage.  Last month you saw that I finished up two little panel quilts, and here I've done two more.  Yay me!!  These will go in the donation pile for either the Women's Shelter, Children's Aid Society, or ...I also plan to talk to the local food bank.  They put together Christmas hampers and might want gifts for families. These were assembled from my own stash.

Still about the Binbrook guild, one of our very important members passed away last fall.  Her mission over the last several years had been piecing small quilts for St. Joseph's Hospital, for the kids who are in there for some kind of treatment.  The newspaper wrote a story about her when she was up to 600 quilts.  By the time she passed away someone said she'd hit the 1000 mark.  Apparently her sewing room was still FULL of fabric.  A few of our gals helped the family with a rescue mission (so to speak) and the guild members are working through the remaining fabric.

I took two kits:  they'd been prepped with pre-sewn rail fence blocks, and a hunk of fabric already cut for a border.  I pieced the blocks together, added the border and brought the tops home.  Last weekend I got them quilted and bound.  They have a cozy flannel backing which makes them super snuggle-worthy.
So far this year I've managed:

  • use up 32 m. 
  • deduct the 8 m. of fabric added 
  • net -24 m. of fabric in projects that are COMPLETE.  
That's my rule - if it's not COMPLETE I can't mark it off my stash report.  I have a list of  projects I want to complete this year, which in all honesty is the same list for the third year in a row.  Note to self:  stop watching so much tv.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Leftovers from February and Book Recommendation

Clearly, my schedule of posting weekly has flown the coop.  Organizational skills must have gone to Florida, where the inspiration for this quilt's colours could have originated?  By the beach, where the sky and the water blend so you can't see where one ends and the other begins.  Where it's warm.  Oh, sorry - my mind is wandering again. 😏

Reality comes crashing in with a winter inspired quilt - full of holly and poinsettias.

It's very pretty, but I'm awfully tired of cold and snow.  I added angels and "Joy" to cheer myself up.

Lots of straight line quilting to emphasize those Jacob's Ladder (?) blocks.

This was a gorgeous view of the full moon rising on Feb. 19th.  Living in the country can often be a real pain in the arse, especially in the winter.  But there are also many uplifting moments.  I'm quite sure that two minutes after taking this pic I had to add a few more logs to the fire.
This winter DH has left the firewood HUGE.  I don't know if he was trying to save gas in the log splitter, or if he figured I needed the weight-bearing exercise for my bones (or maybe just some exercise for the aforementioned arse?), but Geez Louise.  I get a workout whenever I pick up a few slabs.

I have a new FAVORITE author:  Elizabeth Berg.  I'm very glad I discovered her because last weekend I threw my back out.  I spent three days flat on my back either watching tv or reading books.  Much of that time was spent in a hot bath loaded with epsom salts (and that's where I'm heading when I finish this post!).  I am back at work but can't work a full day yet.  Sadie and I have returned to our fair-weather walks but not our full length outings yet.  Because I KNOW you're curious, it wasn't an overly heavy log that damaged me.  It was getting out of bed.  Jesus Murphy.  I thought I had the art of bed-getting-out-of mastered, but apparently not.  As I departed said bed I thought "huh, cranky back this morning".  By noon I could hardly move and it went downhill from there.  
While I was perusing Ms. Berg's site I happened upon one of her friend's essays.  Hah!  A little ZUCCHINI inspiration. Read it - it's fun.  As much about marriage as zucchini.
Anyhow, I'm on the road to recovery.  Another week and hopefully I'll be good as old (ha ha...).  In the meantime I'll continue crabbing at DH to P.L.E.A.S.E. vacuum. 

Next week, assuming the blog-posting schedule has resumed 😊, I'll show you the little quilts I pieced at retreat the first weekend of March.

Sunday, February 24, 2019


Another February Winterruption with the Beach Girls has come and gone.  And I just want to point out - in this pic there is not a cocktail glass in sight.

The girls arrived Thursday, late afternoon.
  • unpack
  • cocktails
  • supper (which included Happy Birthday To Me 🙉🎵)
  • movie

  • breakfast
  • field trip to Ottawa Street, Hamilton .  We went to the toy store, an import store, an antique store, a couple fabric shops, and a consignment furniture shop.
  • late lunch/early supper at the Black Forest Inn
  • stop in at Vintage Soul Geek 
  • walk across King St. to Denningers (damn, I wish they'd had some bacon-wrapped tenderloin in the freezer.  Best. Appetizers. Ever.)
  • stop at the drug store and check twelve thousand of DH's lottery tickets from the past year.  OK, twelve thousand is a bit of an exaggeration, but there WERE lots of tickets.  What is wrong with the man, he buys tickets but never checks them???  I took his $46.00 in winnings AND all the free tickets.
  • return home, put purchases away, change into jammies & yoga pants.
  • settle in front of the tv for two more movies.
  • supper was potato chips and assorted junk food.  Healthy, no?
  • breakfast
  • sewing day
  • lunch
  • sewing
  • bar opens at 3:00 🍷 for appetizers and afternoon cocktails
  • supper
  • settle in the living room for two MORE movies
  • now that we've seen FIVE movies, a little pop-quiz to see who could remember the title of Thursday night's movie.  ❓❓❓ Nope.  I had to look it up.  At least we're all forgetful together. 
  • Stupid, stupid, stupid (!) weather forecast for today. 
  • breakfast
  • the girls were all gone by 9:15 this morning.  I wasn't even out of my jammies yet.

On our "sewing" day I finished the binding on these two little panel quilts that I'll be donating somewhere.

I sorted out the progress I've made on my Nine In The Middle  Leaders & Enders quilt from Bonnie Hunter's book.

From this point on, I will be adding the brown cornerstones as seen above.  Once those are all done I will add the completed sashing strips to the sides of the 9-patch blocks to create these:

Our next get-together will be the semi-annual SOLO meeting in April.  Until will be Messenger chats.