Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Work in Progress & Shoes

Here is the quilt I'm working on this week. It was featured on the cover of BHG Quilt Sampler in the Fall/Winter 2008 edition.
I saw in today's newspaper that Amy Winehouse (who is clearly a bit of a fruitcake) has replaced her drug addiction with a shoe addiction. WAY TO GO AMY!!! She spent $17000 (yes, seventeen thousand dollars) on shoes in one day. Her mean old dad returned all 20 pair. Killjoy.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

How to machine quilt a motif

So, you want to quilt African Animals in your quilt border?

Get on the internet or into your child's colouring books. You are looking for simple, single line drawings. Resize the picture(s) to fit your border and play with the design until you can follow the whole design with one single line. This may take many tries and multiple draftings. Persevere!! You will get there.

Copy the designs on any kind of paper. I photocopy - it's quick and accurate.

Pin the designs where you want them. In this example I pinned all the designs before I loaded the quilt on my machine. That was the only way I could keep the spacing I wanted.

Keep the pins out of your way and stitch through the paper. Slow your speed down so you can stay fairly accurate.

Gently tear off the paper. If you hate paper piecing you will hate this too.

I filled in between the designs with some 'grass' and 'trees'.

After tearing paper, picking off paper and scratching off paper I end up using a skinny tweezer to get the itsy teeny bits left over.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Red Hat Fondue Luncheon

The Caledonia River Belles are a group of 14 Red Hat ladies. All but one of us are quilters and we're trying to convert the rebel. We arranged our group so that everyone is responsible for planning a monthly outing which gives us a 14 month rotation. Fourteen is a great number for the group - small enough to make reservations somewhere but large enough to make our presence known, which we LIKE to do!

Back in the fall we were planning our next six months and Sue decided she wanted a fondue. She's never had fondue. I guess she missed the 70's. Better living through chemicals??? Good friend that she is, she volunteered me to host it, using the flimsy excuse that I have a large dining room.The event worked out very well. I spent about 5 hours cleaning my house. Even dusting! It's usually clean enough for me but somehow it's not clean enough for company. Twelve of us partook. Coincidentally that is all the settings I have of china and silver - which reminds me, I must count the silver. Bad economy and all.

The menu consisted of Sirloin Steaks cubed for cooking in the hot oil, dressed with a selection of sauces. The girls brought hors-d'oeuvres, baked potatoes and the fixin's, rice salad, quinoa salad, lettuce salad, double dipped strawberries, lemon cake, cherry layer cake, coffee, tea, much grog. I had three fondue pots - four ladies to a pot.

The haze in the room could be light overexposure from outdoors. It could also be smoke from the fondue pots. The house smells like a Steak House today - when you walk in you get hungry.

After lunch we watched This Is It with Michael Jackson. We didn't have sparkly white gloves but we DID have blue painter's gloves.

The girls got bored with Michael after a couple of hours and started playing with their cell phones. Phoning each other because they couldn't remember their number and needed to see it on another phone. Programming each other's numbers. Changing ring tones. Adding ring tones for text messages. Learning how to text message. Phoning each other and pretending to be a Chinese call centre. Too much wine, ya think???

The luncheon wound up around 5:30. Monica is still looking for the rest of the strawberries. I sure hope they aren't here - they will start to really smell about mid-March. Sadie was POOPED by the time they all left. She just loves it when she has this much company.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A little quilting and Christmas in February

Two pics of a lovely civil war flying geese quilt.
Sunday was not only Valentines Day, it was also my family Christmas dinner. My brother & his wife rarely go more than a month between vacations. December & January was their trip to Australia and New Zealand. There they met up with their Singapore daughter, who also rarely goes more than a month between vacations. DH and I stayed home and pouted.

However, the bonus is I get these really cool international gifts, without the expense of airfare. And no jet lag.

A little something to dress me up.
I have them well trained to seek out quilt shops. Some day (?) I plan to make a quilt with all the international fabrics I've been gifted.
Their daughter sent paints/fabric paint/dye. These have traveled from India to Singapore to Australia (or New Zealand?) and then here to Canada. When she gets home from her vacation THIS week (see I wasn't kidding) I will find out the exact nature of the powders. The bag will become our new Library Book bag. I love Bollywood movies. I understand them much better if I can turn on the closed captioning and read the dialogue. Even when I cannot understand a darned word I STILL love the colours, costumes, and singing & dancing. Hmm, no, it doesn't take much to amuse me.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day

I hope his arrow misses your butt. I hope all the chocolate misses your butt too. Maybe we should be making little heart shaped nibbles out of sweet potatoes?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Festival of Broken Needles

I keep my broken needles in an empty pill container. Here is a link to a Canadian stitcher with a story about a lovely Japanese custom.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quilts of Valour and Pillowcases

I took the weekend and caught up on a couple of committments.

Dineke gave me this quilt for the Quilts of Valour program, so it's ready now for her to bind. Quilted with Baptist Fan using the Circle Lord. I love the way she pieced the backing! I used a poofy polyester batting which is not my favorite. QOV has made a good deal with a company who will provide wholesale pricing to the program, so I thought I would try the stuff. I prefer my usual Hobbs batting which is much softer.

This is my Stack 'n Whack from many years ago, finished and going to the Quilts of Valour, along with Dineke's. For this I used large leftover hunks of Hobbs 80/20 batting. Three pieces in all - you can't even tell.

Here is the matching pillowcase.

Since I was making one pillowcase I thought I'd contribute my share to the local quilt shop. Sue's Quilt 'n More has committed 100 pillowcases to the All People Quilt campaign. These will be donated to Hamilton's cancer hospital for patients who have to stay. My pillowcase is flannel. Niiice.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Take Reading 101 before constructing quilt block

I haven't taken a quilting class for a few years. I thought it was time, so I signed up for the $10 quilt at the local quilt shop. I am (I thought) a VERY experienced quilt maker and signed up for the Advanced quilt. I wanted to stretch my skills a bit. It seems I need to take 'reading 101'. I missed the part of instruction where it says to "make 4 of these, then make 4 more of these with the slant going in the opposite direction". Now that I've wrecked the fabric included in the kit, I bought a fat quarter each of the white and the burgundy.

Bad units:

Here is the PROPER layout (after making the correct 'opposite direction' units).

Here is what I sewed. Idiot. Get out the stitch ripper.