Monday, March 30, 2009

Fleetwood Mac and Beach Day Diane

Here is this week's project. I am in the middle of quilting lots of beautiful feathers, along with cross-hatching. Stay tuned!

In case you're wondering, yes I DO still have the plague. But I think it's on it's way out. Unfortunately it's taking the long way and travelling via poor DH. I was kinda busy this week, considering I was feeling so pucky. Tuesday I had dinner with my favorite bunch of gals - Jean, Jane & Teresa.
Wednesday was an extra sewing day for the Caledonia guild. See what I made? This is for one of my UFO's. I had cut all the pieces during the retreat two weeks ago. When I started to put them together I (apparently) had not followed the directions properly so the diamonds needed to be cut down a bit. So they looked like diamonds and not parallelograms.

The 'home' called to let me know that Mom fell out of bed on Sunday night. By Thursday her PSW was so worried I ended up taking her to the hospital for xrays. OK, I didn't exactly take her - I made the home call 911 and send her in an ambulance. She was in sooo much pain I just could not see how I'd get her there, in and out of the car, walking, waiting in emergency, and on and on. Once they determined she only had deep tissue damage (which is apparently very painful) and NOT a fractured pelvis, she had to make the laborious trip home in my car. Poor dear. The only good part about spending my day at the hospital was that I managed to get another 20 yo yo's stitched.

Thursday night I went to the Fleetwood Mac concert in Toronto. Yes, it was GREAT, although also VERY LOUD.

On Saturday I got a surprise call from 'beach day' Diane. She was in St. Catharines for the weekend, so I called up friend Debbie and we all had lunch together. It was a beautiful warm sunny spring day - perfect for playing hookey. Yes, I should have been working. (See quilt at top of post. Bad Helen, bad!)

As you can see, what with all the excitement in my life this week, AND having to work too, there was no time left for surfing the web and finding really weird stuff to entertain you. Maybe next week. :-)

Monday, March 23, 2009

My 100th blog post

Some days it just sucks to be me. I still have the plague, and now I have a sinus headache to go with it. DH and I seem to be having a 'domestic'. The home phoned to let me know Mom fell out of bed last night. I can't get in touch with the customer I need to talk to.
And I have 50 of these bottles that are supposed to go in the Paducah Bus Trip Goody Bags. Um, Mel?..., these are expired. By a lot.

It seemed like an excellent day to give up a few hours of paid work. I quilted up a donated top for the Quilts Of Valour program. We recently had four more Canadian soldiers killed and it just breaks my heart. Now, I'm not exactly in line to put on Mother Teresa's wimple. But it makes me feel better to think I can do SOMETHING to thank the selfless men and women who are putting themselves in mortal danger on our behalf.

Bernadette generously donated the top and backing (and a very nice top it is!). I had a leftover piece of batting that was... 3" too short. grrr...**#@!!!
I stuffed in an extra piece and finished up the 'hourglass' quilting (done with the Circle Lord Zig Zag template).

Then it's reward time! Brandy Beans - yum yum.

(I use Hobbs Polydown).

Take the new extra piece. Along the whole length, peel it into two layers, about 4" deep.
Open your pivot access and gently (!) rip up the edge of the too-short batting, so it looks like the dog has chewed it.

Lay the new piece and stuff the ragged edge in between the two layers, kinda smoothing out any lumps. With the batting layered in like that, it helps to keep the pieces from pulling apart and leaving a gap. The chewed up edge helps to disguise the hard edge - it's less noticeable when the quilt is finished.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cold Remedy, Red Hat Day, Bangkok Mannequins

Doris, I think you need to work on your smile before the showgirl audition.

I'm looking for snake oil remedies for a cold. Anyone??? I've been sucking on zinc tablets since Sunday night and so far they are not working. Unless, of course, I wake up Saturday morning miraculously healed of my cold. I'll let you know, ok?

This week was Red Hat Day. We started with lunch at Stir It Up a kind of new age, organic, mostly vegan restaurant in Brantford. Lunch was quite yummy. Then it was off to the Sanderson Centre for an afternoon performance by Frank Leahy and Family. He should have left the 'family' at home - his kids were AWFUL with a capital 'a'. They sounded like a bunch of little kids in the living room singing to grandma and grandpa. The disappointment necessitated a trip to Dairy Queen to make ourselves feel better.

Well, I have heroin-happy mannequins from Bangkok to keep me cheerful. Feeling crummy (as I do) I felt in need of a little levity this morning. These are the mannequins from Bangkok. These were laugh-out-loud surprises. Our manny's here in southern Ontario sure don't look like this!
This is a store where you can purchase these happy dummies.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Retreat Recap

At our last guild meeting Sue and I did demo's on making yo-yos. Sue made this tea cozy for the sole purpose of showing the gals what you could do with them. Then, she gave that lovely cozy to ME. What a friend, eh? Actually, I think she wanted to shut me up - she'd been listening to me for quite a while "ooo - that would look really good in my kitchen".

I took the Dirty Dozen fabrics as my project for the retreat. I started by sewing the borders on both sides of my 5" squares. Then I thought (!) I would sew the borders on the other sides. Well, geez Louise - it never fails!!! As you can see, I miscalculated the size. All of my cream border strips were cut 1/2" too short. sigh....

This is FIX #1.

When you calculate one thing wrong, you have surely calculated all the rest wrong too.

This needs to be FIX #2. This is why I always bring extra blades for my rotary cutter.

I was rooming with Lydia. Here is the bedding they provide at the retreat. Can you say "ICK"?

Doesn't the bed look so much nicer with a real quilt on the bed, and my very SPECIAL pillowcase made by my dear friend Diane. Click on the photo to see it up close.

There were 20 of us on the retreat. We only blew the breaker once. Only one room decided it wanted to be alone, and accidently locked its occupants out on Friday night, necessitating a call to the after-hours caretaker.

Here is the DD top finished. But it's a secret until June.

Sunday afternoon and time for the group photo. Here we are, minus 2. Pat seems to be missing in action??? Lydia had gone home sick. She was kind enough to share her germs with me last week at guild, and again this weekend. Now I'm sick too. I'd have thought with all the anti-bacterial chocolate and jujubes I ate I wouldn't catch it. Not so!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Free Stuff and Retreat Weekend

My husband knows me well enough to know that:
  1. I love free stuff
  2. I love red wine
  3. If someone offers him a bottle of free red wine (even if it's open and some of it is gone) left over from a wine tasting, he should bring it home for me.

I'm leaving this morning for the annual guild retreat at Crieff Hills, a Presbyterian retreat facility. You don't need to be religious, or pray, to stay there - you just need to pay your rent. There are about 18 of us who go every year. This will be my project - the Dirty Dozen Challenge from my other guild, which needs to be complete by June's meeting.

Dirty Dozen Challenge:
  • 12 people (or groups of 12)
  • 60" fabric each, cut into 5" strips
  • each person gets one strip of each fabric
  • must use every fabric in a finished quilt
  • min. size 36" x 36"
  • may add up to 3 additional fabrics ( backing may be an extra fabric and won't count)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Probably late for another deadline

I had planned (honestly!!) to take a short lunch today and finish this quilt. But I'm sorry...
"Hi Karen, it's Helen. Yeah, I'll be another day on your quilt. I had to blog about another really weird thing I found on the internet. Sorry about that, but you know, priorities and all."

The Flying Spaghetti Monster is a religion and is practiced by (ready?) PASTAFARIANS. I thought the chocolate toilet was weird. OMG, when will it end?

Here is their logo (as seen on a car bumper).

Here is a link to the Wikipedia page about the religion, if you're disillusioned with your Anglican minister, or something.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Circle Applique Quilts - Tokyo

OK, enough about toilets (!). Here are some beauties with the little appliqued circles. I just love these.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Toilet Seat Story

I am always amazed at the creativity some people exhibit. My job today was a bathroom valance and a matching potty cover. I've never made a potty cover, so I did a google search "how to make a toilet seat cover". WELL. Did you know that you can order a chocolate toilet seat with instructions on how to make a cake to match? Did you know you can order a special Jewish toilet seat? Did you know that some gal has a blog with instructions on how to knit a toilet seat cover so your behind does not get cold? It's no wonder I spend too much time on the computer - I cannot get over some of this stuff (I mean I really don't believe some of this stuff) and I just have to check it out.

Anyways... Making A Potty Cover:
Step one is to make a paper pattern of the lid. Cut out a big hunk of fabric, fold 3" under at the top edge where the hinges are and pin the pattern on.

Step two is to cut out the fabric, (dare I call it 'fashion fabric'?) adding about 3" around the perimeter.

Step three - serge that top edge because it's going to be a facing. Then fold it back under and press.

Step four - cut a long strip of fabric about 2 1/4" wide and fold it in half. It will be the casing for either drawstring or elastic. I was having no luck with elastic today, so I went with drawstring.

Step five - stitch the casing on (to the right side of the cover) with about a half inch seam allowance (turn the ends in so they're neat). Next, clean finish the edge, with a serger if you have one. Then be neat again and press the casing towards the outside, with the seam allowance pressed towards the cover.

Ta Da - Finished. Thread the cord through. Put it on, pull the strings tight (watch they don't land in the toilet - you'll be cursing your oopsie). Tie snugly and tuck the strings under an edge.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dissecting One Japanese Quilt

When I grow up I want to be able to make just ONE quilt like this.

Beautiful quilt, eh?

Now - a closer look. Oooo - those are all intricate Mariner's Compass blocks.

Closer still... the sashing strips have a lovely vine on them. The leaves are reverse applique (or cutwork) and each one is embroidered. And the border vine - each little leaf stem is appliqued, with a circle at the end.

Now for the quilting... note the beautiful detail in the corner.