Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas? Already?


I haven't been quilting at all....


UniversityGirl came home from school last Thursday and is now home for 3 weeks. It's so nice to have her home! Her 19th birthday was on Monday, so between that and trying to get ready for Christmas, I've been a little busy.....


The tree is finally up, but that's it as far as decorations go, now I just have two gifts left to buy and I'm all done.


I'm on holidays from the 24th to Jan 5th, so I'm hoping to do some major quilting during my holidays (one can always hope!).


Since I do most of my blogging from work, I probably won't be posting until the New Year, so, for all my bloggy friends out there:


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Is Accuracy important to you?

I just finished reading this post on the inaccuracy of quilting rulers and mats. Very interesting. While I'm not a fanatic for 'exact' measurements (I tend to fudge if it's close enough) I do try to be accurate, and I never thought that my rulers might be wrong. Her explanation of why the borders don't always fit perfectly sounds familiar. Hmm... I guess I'll be going home tonight to measure my rulers ....

Quilty Weekend

I'm a little late posting about it, but I had a really nice weekend that consisted of mostly quilting and one of my son's hockey games (Christmas? Decorating? Shopping? Maybe next weekend....)

I finished Courtney's BFF quilt. It's made with all the leftover fabric from Meagan's 'Skunk in a Blender' quilt. I made the pattern up as I went along. I started by using the small scraps in random 'crumbs' blocks and then I made various squares like nine-patches and four patches. All of the blocks are 6 1/2 inches. Some of the blocks are surrounded by 3 1/2 strips to make them 12 1/2 inches, and the rest are the 4 blocks put together. Very similiar to the 'Skunk in a Blender' pattern, but I didn't have enough fabric to copy it exactly.
I quilted it with an allover large stipple. This is the one I had tension problems with, so I spent over an hour frog stitching..... But it's finished and I'm happy with it.











Then there's the Christmas wallhanging.... I'm not happy with it. Now that it's quilted, I don't like the colour combination. The red and green are too dark and overwhelm the Christmas print (yes, it's red... not pink!). Live and learn I quess. I'm going to put the binding on it and use it for a tablecloth instead, I think it will look better that way.
If Fabricland has any of the Christmas print fabric left after Christmas, I might buy more and try again with a different pattern.









Thursday, December 4, 2008

Another story

Turns out I’m not the only dumbass in the family….

My oldest daughter is in her first year at Carleton University and exams started this week: She phones me at 1:20 this afternoon:

Laura: “So….. you know that dream where you sleep in and miss your exam?”

Me: “NO, tell me you didn’t!”

Laura: “Not exactly. Actually I had the wrong date on the calander; I thought it was Dec.10th…… turns out it was at 9:00 this morning. I was AT THE GYM at 9:00 this morning! Walking back to rez I turn on my cell phone and I get a text message that says “Good Luck” from a guy in the same class. Good Luck? What for? OMG!!!!! I run to my room and check the exam schedule and I’ve missed my first exam! It started over an hour ago! I am TOTALLY freaking out! My roommate convinces me to calm down and go to the exam anyways, maybe they’ll let me write for the last hour and a half….. By the time we get there, I’m crying so hard I can’t even talk, my roomie explains to the Professor that I had the wrong date and he agrees to let me write anyways, AND he says he’ll let me write for the full three hours. I start to calm down a little and then he asks if I’ve studied….STUDIED??!!! Are you kidding, I THOUGHT IT WAS NEXT WEEK….. I HAVEN’T EVEN OPENED A BOOK!!!! I’ve been studying for the other three exams I have THIS WEEK! And if that’s not humiliating enough, me bawling my eyes out in front of the ENTIRE class, and the Proctor bringing me tissues every 15 minutes, I was so upset I forgot to turn off my cell phone and it RINGS DURING THE EXAM….. I just want to crawl under a rock now…..You can stop laughing now Mom. Mom! Stop laughing!”

Me: (slightly hystericaI) “I’m sorry honey, but I have this really clear vision of your scholarship money swirling down the drain…..

Laura: “Thanks for the reminder…. plus, the exam was worth 45% of my overall mark, I might not even pass the class! But, I can honestly say I did learn one thing in university…. Crying gets you everything….”

Final note: I felt so bad for her that I just sent her an ‘Exam Stress Buster’ care package through the university (it’s a package with fresh fruit, junk food and coffee shop gift certificates). On the note that comes with it I had them sign it “Crying gets you everything. Love Mom”

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Back to reality

Well, I’m back. And even though I had fun, it was pretty close to the vacation from hell…. It started with a bad cold two days before we left (which I STILL have) and ended up with me, flying ‘ass over tea kettle’ down a moving sidewalk in the airport on the way home. In between, I saw three great shows (yes, I love Donny Osmond and am not afraid to admit it!), had a minor bout with food poisoning, and a cab ride from hell that finished with Carol and I leaving the guys in the cab and running down Las Vegas Blvd in heels so that we wouldn’t miss the Donny and Marie show (not a pretty picture…. I’m not exactly Carrie Bradshaw in a pair of high heels….).

The highlight reel of the trip definitely had to be at the airport in Toronto. Hubby and I are at one of the moving sidewalks and there’s a family in front of us with three small children. Mom and the two boys get on the sidewalk and Dad and the little girl are in front of me and DH, and there’s NO WAY the little girl is going to step onto the sidewalk (she was probably two years old, maybe three). Well Dad can’t carry her because he has two suitcases on wheels that he’s dragging, and the little girl is frozen at the sidewalk and there’s a whole bunch of people behind us and he can’t back up or get out of the way. SO… I decide to be the good Samaritan and say to Dad, “pick up your little girl and leave the suitcase behind, and I’ll bring the suitcase…” Sounds reasonable, right? WRONG!!!! Turns out the suitcase is actually a tool box on wheels that must have weighed well over a 100 lbs…. I step onto the sidewalk and grab the case, only the case is so heavy that it doesn’t move…. But I’m already moving… Wham! I fell flat on my butt, then I had to get up and run back and grab both suitcases, I fell again, finally, DH helps me get both cases onto the sidewalk and he’s got this huge grin on his face when he says “OMG, I wish I had a camera!” Nice, honey, real nice…..

What a week.

Moving on, I spent two hours (yes, TWO HOURS) fighting with the tension on my quilting machine last night. I’ve had Courtney’s quilt on the frame since before the vacation, but somehow I managed to screw up the tension so badly that I had to give up and leave it. User error of course. It’s fixed now, but there were a few expletives thrown around last night before I got it fixed….

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Viva Las Vegas!

I'm off to Las Vegas tomorrow for four days with hubby and another couple. Of course, leave it to me to wake up with a nasty head cold on Sunday, my sinuses are so stuffed up, my head will probably explode on takeoff.....

But I'm going to tough it out and go anyways because Carol bought us tickets to see:






Donny Osmond! I have been a Donny Osmond fan since I was 10 years old and had his posters all over my walls. I also saw him in "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat" when it was playing in Toronto. Oh yeah, Marie will be there too. For some strange reason the guys didn't want to see Donny and Marie, so we're also going to see
Cirque du Soleil - 'Mystere'

and 'The Blue Man Group'
I love vacations ......

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Well....

I killed the dress.
It was a long, slow, painful death, too.

It turns out that when you haven't sewn any clothes in ten years, you kinda forget what you're doing. That'll teach me, I think I'll stick to quilting for a while. Maybe when the frustration wears off a bit (grrrrr), I'll go back and try again. ...... maybe, maybe not.

On a happier note, I finished piecing the top for my Christmas wallhanging and I have the BFF quilt loaded on the frame. I can 'smell' a finish soon.....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More starts, one finish

First, the finish:

The Sunflower Tablerunner I started in the summer. I finally put a binding on it. I used a floral piece for the the back so that it's reversible.










The Christmas wallhanging that I started this weekend (the colours aren't very accurate, it's a burgundy/red NOT pink). The border will be the lighter novelty fabric.





And this is my latest project:
I decided to make myself a dress. I have no idea why, it's been years since I've sewed any clothes. But the fabric was on sale... 75% off, who could resist? I'm hoping to have it done in a week, because Hubby and I are going to Las Vegas with friends in two weeks and I'd like to wear it then.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Leafs Nation

Just in time for Hockey season:











The border was a bit of a pain because I had to change colours to keep the 'flag' look.
The quilting is an overall looping pattern in matching thread for the blue and white sections, and I did a small McTavishing pattern on the leaf so that (hopefully) the fusing won't bubble up after it's washed many times. It worked out to be approximately a double bed size and so far is the largest quilt I have made. SportsFan is happy with it, and now I'm off the hook for quilts for my children. All three have their own and I can stick to making what turns my fancy!

Speaking of which, I've started two new quilts this week, a One Block Wonder (I bought the book 3 months ago) and I started a Christmas wallhanging. Dave's wildlife/hunting quilt is on the back burner for now while I stare at it on the design wall and ponder my next step....

Monday, November 3, 2008

Wow!

I received my ALQS2 quilt from Ann on Friday. It is gorgeous! And all the way from France! Thank you Ann!

The timing was good... it gave me the incentive to finish the binding on mine get it sent off this morning.....

It's called "Butterflies in Flight", the pictures aren't the greatest, but I think it turned out well.















Friday, October 31, 2008

And so it begins.....

I started the Wildlife quilt for Dave. Well, I cut out most of the the panels and stuck them up on the wall. Now that I'm looking at them, I have NO IDEA how to start, other than I've decided to use the dark brown fabric as the background. I'm thinking that this quilt is going to take a while....



In the meantime, I have about 4 feet of binding left to stitch down on the Maple Leaf quilt, and I still need borders on the BFF quilt, so I have plenty to keep me busy while I ponder my next step ....

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Next ....

My next quilt to make is for my friend Dave, who turned 50 this summer. One of the gifts he received for his birthday was this 'turkey shirt'. The first time he wore it the dog jumped up on him and tore the front of it (yes, he actually wore it! and no the shirt wasn't from me...) So he asked me if I could put it into the quilt I promised to make him (the quilt is for his 50th birthday, with the understanding that he probably won't see it until his 51st....)

The turkeys are actually quite nice, it was the fact that they were on a shirt that made me laugh (the fabric is 100% cotton).



Since Dave is an avid hunter, I picked up various wildlife fabrics to go with the turkeys:



Moose, ducks and fish



and I had these two panels of the bear and the deer (why I had them, I have no idea).

Since I don't have a pattern and all of the panels are different sizes, I'm going to wing it... here's my plan:

I'm going to cut out all of the various wildlife pictures and put them up on a design wall. Then, hopefully, I will arrange them in a somewhat pleasing manner, and either set them together with the leaders and enders (1 and 1/2 squares) I've been working on, or
I'll use the light brown fabric for sashing between the squares and the dark brown for a border.



Really, I'm not sure. I usually stick to making quilts from patterns. Basically, I'm just going to start cutting and hope for the best!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

WooHoo ...... I'm back!

Yeah, it took me TWO WEEKS to find my camera..... I think I'm going to tie it around my neck or something.....

First a big THANK YOU to Suzan. I won her blog giveaway awhile back and she sent me some great stuff!
Beautiful fabrics...
Gadgets I didn't have! Plus a fall wall hanging pattern and awesome earrings (that I will hide from the girls!)
And finally, tell me Suzan, how did you know that I only drink tea, never coffee? I love this little needlepoint teapot!
I've had a few finishes in the past few weeks, including this Thanksgiving tablerunner. I even managed to get it on the table in time for Thanksgiving dinner!
I have to take pictures of the other stuff I'm working on and I'll post them tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Argghhh.... more mental lapses....

I am really and truly losing it.

First, I still can't find my camera. I'm getting ticked. I remember taking it home last week from the office, but I can't find it anywhere....

That's not nearly as bad as what I did last night, though. I decided I had better get the back for the Maple Leaf Quilt pieced and put on the frame, so I sat down last night and and sewed the two seams of the backing fabric together. Then I went to start pinning it to the leader and discovered that I HAD ALREADY SEWED THE OTHER TWO EDGES TOGETHER!!!! So instead of one large piece of fabric, I had one long tube! OMG!!! And to make matters worse, I still can't remember sewing the first two edges together, and I had to have done it either Sunday night or Monday night, it's not like it was a month ago.

Since I had extra fabric, I just cut off the extra seam instead of frogging it all out. I'm still shaking my head that I did it and totally forgot about it ....

Monday, October 6, 2008

Accomplishments

I won't call it "September" Accomplishments, because a couple of things I just finished up this weekend:

Laura's quilt - quilted and bound
Megan's "Skunk in a Blender" - quilted and bound
Tyler's Maple Leaf quilt - finished the top
Thanksgiving tablerunner - quilted and bound

Goals for October:

Maple Leaf quilt - quilt and bind
ALQS - piece and quilt
BFF quilt - finish piecing and quilt
Sunflower Tablerunner - binding

After I finished the "Skunk in a blender" quilt, I realized I had purchased way too much fabric (that's what happens when you buy fabric before you've picked out a pattern). Instead of stuffing it into my stash and leaving it forever, I decided to make a BFF quilt for Meagan's best friend. I'm making up the pattern as I go along, but both quilts will be pretty similiar when it's done.

As usual, I've misplaced my camera again, so I don't have any pictures yet. I also finished up a UFO from last fall. It's a Thanksgiving tablerunner that I found this weekend when I was cleaning up my sewing area.

Tonight I'm going to put the Maple Leaf quilt on the frame and start working on it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Guild Meeting

First Wednesday of the month... time flies. I actually remembered to take my camera for a change. Here's some eye candy from the meeting:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Under Construction ....

I started putting the Maple Leaf quilt together for SportsFan. So far so good. First I made three panels to create the flag, and then I fused the large maple leaf to the center section (I haven't sewed the three sections together yet, I'm going to wait until all of the applique is done).








I cut out the letters for the center of the maple leaf.









This is the poster that I am using as a pattern. Tonight I need to fuse the letters onto the maple leaf. I'm not sure how to line them up correctly and keep them from moving while I press them down. I might try lining them up aginst a ruler, then using a small piece of masking tape at the top of the letter to hold it in place, press the bottom of the letter, then remove the masking tape and press the top of the letter. If anyone has another method, I'd love to know about it.










In regards to my last post, I've decided to look at it from a different angle: in the first ten years of quilting (no machine or frame) I only finished five quilts, and two were quilted by someone else. With a quilting machine, in only a year and a half, I've finished 14! (Sounds much better that way)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Some people are more "Prolific" than others ...

I was reading Jen's blog and she mentions that she's had her frame for a year now and she has quilted 54 quilts. That's right. 54.

Now that's prolific. And it got me thinking:

I have had my HQ16 and frame for almost a year and a half and I have quilted, maybe, ummm, let's see.... Oh yeah.... 14. That's right 14, and four of them were baby panels. Sheesh. Now I'm just down right embarrassed that I even own a quilting machine.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

One down... two to go

I've been on a mission to finish a quilt for each of my children and I'm getting really close! I actually finished the binding on the quilt for UniversityGirl (the one formerly known as BoyCrazy). She's coming home from university this weekend and it's ready to go back with her.












I finished quilting "Skunk in a Blender" for MaterialGirl and I just have to buy some binding fabric and it will be finished (hopefully this weekend).

And last, but not least, is the Maple Leaf quilt for Sportsfan. I have the material all washed and ready to go, hopefully I will have time to piece it together tonight. It shouldn't take long, it only has three pieces to it and an appliqued Maple Leaf. It's supposed to look like this:







With this caption underneath:










We'll see how it turns out.....

Monday, September 8, 2008

Skydiving ....

Yes, my crazy husband and my friend Sue actually jumped out of a perfectly good airplane..... The first picture is DH coming in to land, and the second picture is Sue right after she and her partner landed. Her hubby and I watched from the ground and just shook our heads.....








I decided to finish quilting Laura's Quilt on Sunday and wouldn't you know it, my quilting machine stopped working. The top thread wouldn't pick up the bobbin thread. I was not happy..... I tried everything, changed the needle, changed bobbins, cleaned it, oiled it, etc. Finally I gave up, very unhappy with my machine. So Monday I call the techie at HandiQuilter and explained the problem to him and it took him less than five minutes to figure out that I had the needle in backwards.... ARRGGGHHHH.... Can you say senile???













So I finished it last night (after making a diagram of how to insert the needle for future reference!)

And finally, finished at last, the quilt top now officially known as "Not Ugly". I am VERY happy with how it turned out, I love the colours and the fabrics.

Originally I was going to name it "Skunk in a Blender" as in "What's black and white and red allover?" hee hee.... but I changed my mind this weekend...













The story goes like this:

I have been collecting black/red/white fat quarters for about a year to make a quilt for my daughter's bedroom (red walls, black trim). I finally found a pattern I liked and started cutting the fabric for it last month.....

MaterialGirl walks by and says "you're not making that for me, are you? Because I don't want a quilt for my room".

Me: "Since when?"

MGirl: "I just don't. I like the comforter I have".

Me: "Oh. OK. I'll give it someone else when I'm done"

A month later, I'm in the kitchen (AKA my sewing room) putting the borders on it and she walks in.....

MGirl: "That looks nice".

Me: "Thank you. Who do you think I should give it to?"

MGirl: "What? It's my quilt, you said you were making it for me!"

Me (with dumb look on my face): "Ummm, you said you didn't want a quilt for your room ...."


MGirl: "Well, yeah, but I thought it was going to be ugly ......"