Sunday, November 29, 2009

Funny little jobs

This week I've been working on funny things.

One normal quilt. Mostly normal - one of the butterflies is made with (I think) a plastic tablecloth fabric. I was very surprised Floyd stitched through it without incident.

One little project I'm planning for the Caledonia Guild.

One quilt restoration. So far I've replaced 13 fan blades and added a patch over some torn muslin. Tomorrow I will finish, up to the customer's $$ limit. If I didn't have a limit I could keep stitching on this all week.

Step 1 - find a similar fabric in my stash.

Step 2 - pin the heck out of it.

Step 3 - applique with tiny stitches, colour matching the thread to the patch piece.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

UFO and final class

I completed a UFO on Monday. This was a 'tinner' from the Binbrook guild - the theme of the tin was Cats & Dogs. The only dog block was made by me after I got the tin back from the exchange. Maybe I stumbled on a secret Cat Society Group??? Because the dog looks so funny surrounded by the eight cats I wanted to name the quilt "What the F**k???". However. I gave this to an old friend who had a brain tumour removed yesterday. I figure she is quite likely to have kids around at the hospital and that would not be appropriate on the quilt. I have been so sad for her. She was the person who raised funds for the SPCA. She was the person who organized a donation box for a needy family at Christmas. She was the person who collected for the Women's Shelter. She was the person who always made you see the funny side of any situation. If you have a minute, prayers for Kathy, please.

Yesterday was the final class for Morning Out. The gals all had their tops done or were adding their final border. Yaaay - good job ladies!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dinner Parties

Broken Star Quilt

Hubby and I need a vacation. On Thursday while I was out with my Red Hat girls, he was doing his 'man thing' in the garage. The phone out there is cheap, old, and covered in several years worth of dirt, oil & grease. Well, duh, it doesn't work very well. As he was bashing it about and punching all the numbers it seems he called 911. The two nice lady constables insisted on going through the house (to make sure I wasn't laying in a pool of blood) while the 6'6'' gorilla constable waited with hubby. As for me - yesterday I spilled a bag of flour in the pantry. That settled the issue of when I was going to vacuum up the cob webs and dust bunnies settled in behind the 14 cans of tuna, 12 cans of tomato paste, 3 bottles of apple juice, 8 tins of chick peas, etc., etc. (Belonging to a bulk food discount store is not always a good thing.)

Here is a lovely Broken Star quilt. Enough said.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quilts & Dog Theory

Today's Horoscope:
Wednesday, November 18
You might not be feeling terribly ambitious at the moment,
Am I allowed to live up to that? Apparently I didn't - I've been working all day. Mostly. Except for the half hour I took for a walk with stinky-dog. And the half hour for today's Sudoku puzzle. And the 20 minutes to watch Quilting Arts on tv.
On the subject of stinky-dog... I have come to the following conclusion: a country dog that is happy and stinky is the canine equivalent of a man hanging out in the garage wearing a plaid flannel shirt and baseball cap.

Here are two finished quilts. I made the star quilt - it's going to the Caledonia Rotary Club for their auction next weekend.

The Sundays With Seurat is a customer quilt. The body is quite busy so I quilted that with clamshells, then did separate border treatments. I love the little monkey in the cornerstones.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Quilting, Shoes & Zucchini (still???!!)

I love this scrappy quilt. Black makes the colours really pop. I quilted it with purple thread - feathers in the black background and continuous curve in the print fabrics.

My friend Anne (I am using the term 'friend' loosely here - you'll see why!) felt that I was making too much progress on my UFOs. At guild on Wednesday she gifted me with a Tinner she won a few years ago, knowing me well enough to be aware of my penchant for shoes. I'm ticked about the extra UFO but I really like the blocks, so I guess she is still my friend.

And this week's surprise in the mailbox. Someone made me laugh out loud when I opened this. Anyone willing to fess up???

Friday, November 6, 2009

Empty bobbin

We can send a man to the moon but we can't figure out how to avoid running out of bobbin thread. sigh. Most of the time that's only an inconvenience. Occasionally it is really noticeable. I have matured a bit as a quilter and now bury threads in this situation, to conceal the thread change. This is generally the ONLY time I bury threads because it adds about 5 minutes per bobbin. On an 8 bobbin quilt, that's an additional 40 minutes and I don't have my pricing structured to cover that.

1. Pick the 'ending' threads out back to within a few stitches of a pointy place in the quilting design - things will hide better here. Pull up your new bobbin thread and start stitching at the point. Very carefully stitch over top of the 'ending' few stitches. This will prevent the 'ending' stitches from coming out.

2. Clip off the tiny tails of the 'ending' threads. Tie your beginning threads using a quilter's knot. The knot should be about 1/8" away from the quilt top.

3. Thread this tied set of threads into a needle (I use a self threading needle to keep myself from going totally crazy). Insert the needle right at or one stitch away from where you began.

4. Travel between the quilt layers to maybe an inch away. Make sure you are between the layers!

5. Tug until the knot 'pops' into the quilt sandwich. Clip off threads close enough that they will suck back into the sandwich. Ta da. The tiny spot of double stitching is only noticeable when someone takes a HIGH RESOLUTION photo for their blog and says "look here".

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Christmas quilts

It seems to be Christmas week here. The wall hanging from Christmas ties was finished today.

My very own (!) Christmas sampler is quilted and ready for hand sewing of the binding.

Sadie is doing what dogs do at Christmas... getting underfoot. She's discovered the fan on the fireplace (it only took her 2 1/2 years - not the sharpest pencil in the can). I laughed when I saw her standing in front of the hot air blower - enjoying herself as much as she would with her head stuck out the car window.

On my way home from Margaret's on Sunday I was listening to interviews on the CBC. Since then I've been pondering the fact that a human is the only creature on earth (presumably) that KNOWS it is going to die. This encourages us to leave a legacy, such as children, or permanent 'works' of some kind. I have not left any children. Any of you who know DH and I may give thanks now. Is this the reason why I INSIST on making gifts for people, even when I know they end up either in the trash or at the Goodwill Store? Is this why I enjoy I leaving a legacy of my knowledge? When I send someone a hand made postcard am I leaving them my love? What do you think you are leaving behind? And is it enough?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Margaret's Retreat

Another wonderful long weekend at Margaret's. I think the feature this weekend was the breakfasts that Sue made. Saturday was waffles with fresh raspberries, maple syrup and whipped cream.

Sunday was Eggs Benedict (a direct result of a challenge I made to her based on the Tobermory retreat). That woman sure can cook - she's never made Eggs Benedict before.

Stack 'n Whack top started in... 2002?

Three-dimensional bow tie blocks - the blocks are done and the top is nearing completion. No thanks to Jilly (the dog). If you get anywhere near the floor she comes over and either skittches across all your blocks or French Kisses you (blech). Sometimes both. If she is too busy watching the insides of her eyelids, then it's the cats making merry on the quilt.

Margaret seems to have lost the beginning or the end. I'm not sure which.

Pfffttt - what a crummy place for Anne to sew, eh? Margaret is living the life of Riley in this wonderful home.

Everything is not perfect. She really needs a new salad spinner.

Time to go home? Already?