Saturday, April 30, 2011

I need TIGHTER jeans!!!

No - this is NOT about a rapid weight loss - nor is it about a slow weight loss. Last night when I was getting ready to leave the quilt show I COULD NOT find my keys. Normally I carry them in my jacket pocket. Nothing!!  A pat down. Nothing!!!!  I searched through my bag. Nothing!!!!  I searched my pants pockets. Nothing!!!  I ran to the car to see if I had accidentally locked them inside. Nothing!!!!!  Back inside and researched my bag. Nothing!!!!  Then I searched my pants pockets again and can you believe the stupid car keys were there all along. We are not talking ONE key, but THREE car keys so they are not small. How that happened I have no idea, but I was thinking I might just have to sleep at the arena and deal with my keys the next day!!! I guess I was just tired.

The Brampton Quilt Show looks AWESOME. It is amazing to see the work of the guild members. We would look at pieces trying to guess who had done what. WOW - there are a LOT of surprises. This is NOT the traditional guild that we used to be. There are some INCREDIBLE art pieces, PHENOMENAL hand work on large quilts. The pieces range from postcards to king sized quilts and everything in between. There are quilts with bling, quilts from classes, pieced quilts, vintage quilts that have been finished. There are bags, jackets, pillows and well you will just have to COME SEE FOR YOURSELF.

Not to mention that the girls spent a good part of the day setting up the members boutique - there is a LOT of stuff for sale - books, magazines, PRE-CUT squares, bags, quilts, bracelets, lanyards, luggage tags, place mats - so much - it is incredible where all the stuff came from!!!!!

The community projects have an AWESOME display. The amount of work that the guild generates for the community projects blows me away. There are cuddle quilts, memory quilts, pet mats, large quilts and lap quilts and probably much more that I have forgotten. The crew has set up a beautiful display.

There is also a display of the quilts that the guild is donating to Japan. Along with that are two beautiful Japanese quilts and the Japanese flag (correctly displayed - thanks to - I've forgotten his name- for helping us out there). And there will be some Japanese Samurai warriors in attendance today (great for photo ops???) and tomorrow we have geisha girls/women and the Team Canada Kendo team.

Six wonderful vendors (several are NOT local). Hey - wherever they are from - shopping is always a GOOD thing. Got to add to that stash room!!!!!  (I've already made a trip to the bank!!!)

The block challenge display is so CREATIVE. They did a fabulous job of displaying the TROPICAL theme blocks. And how are you going to choose your favourite amongst those on display - they are ALL GORGEOUS and very well done.

And let's not forget the challenge quilts. Hard to believe that all these quilts were made with the same fabric AND with the same theme (You've come a long way baby). And YES - you have to vote for your favourite.

The tea room ladies have been busy getting some fabulous food ready for your enjoyment.

And you MUST pick your favourite item in our SIX categories - large, lap/crib, wall hangings, clothing, miniature and other.

If you haven't purchased raffle tickets - there are two GORGEOUS quilts up for grabs. Better buy more than ONE ticket.  

And there are over 40 mini quilts ( 20+ different ones each day!!!!!) for you to purchase tickets on. Better come BOTH days.

There are TONS of door prizes.

WOW - I'm exhausted just thinking about all this. Just a word of caution - we are in an arena - so bring a sweater or jacket - it WILL BE cool.

Set up went very well and I am NOT posting any pictures. Oh no - you will have to COME to the show to see all the wonderful work. I am very proud to say that I belong to this guild. But as I was watching the show go up and checking out the work - a question came to mind. Am I a traditional quilter or well what am I????

I love the art quilts and I would love to do them (but I NEVER had time so I don't even know if I like doing them or if I am good at doing them). I love PIECING and don't want to give that up - well spend less time. All the more reason to get off my butt and do the things that I WANT to do.

CHECK OUT THE SHOW and come say HI!!!!!!    (yep - that's me in the orange scarf!!!)

The show is located at
Jim Archdekin Rec Center
292 Conestoga Blvd

(Heartlake area)

Admission is $6.00

Have a great day!!!!  


Friday, April 29, 2011


Yes it is the day BEFORE the quilt show. What am I doing????   GOD - I am STILL SEWING!!!!!!  Will I EVER LEARN?????   So when I was having all that fun on the weekend - I guess I should have been sewing my quilt show stuff!!!!  

With the exception of one binding that will not quite be hand stitched down and paper labels, I think everything got done. NOTE TO SELF - take time in the next month and get labels on everything, bindings complete - blah blah blah BEFORE I start something new.

We had a great speaker at the guild last night - Karen W. who spoke about copyright. Holy smokes - basically you can't make anything! - well unless it is for personal use. I knew that, but when it is highlighted - it sure makes you think. I think some of it is carried to extreme (no rolling your eyes Karen), but I do think credit should be given to the designer, the quilter, the inspiration or whatever, unless it is COMPLETELY YOUR WORK or COMPLETELY PUBLIC DOMAIN.  That is one of the "fun" things about making labels - I am usually running around the house trying to find the source of inspiration or the derived source (that is a NEW term to me) or the actual pattern. Hmmmm - I guess with all those bindings, backings and tops - I had better insert a note about the pattern, etc because sometimes - well you no longer have the magazine or pattern that was used. OK - so that will be a task after the show and after my retreat. Thanks Karen - I am sure I won't conform to all the rules and regulations, but I will make an honest effort to get my stuff in order.

And I have a reprieve. There are a few things that I was planning on doing/making for this show, but alas they did NOT get done. However, the other guild I belong to is having a show in October. NOTE TO SELF: GET THOSE THINGS DONE - then they can be out of the house, off the lists, etc. etc.

It is interesting how people deal with the copyright issue. During our show n tell, one person got up and PROUDLY announced that she photocopied the pattern from a magazine for the quilt she was showing. When asked if the quilt had a label - she muttered something like "why would I do that??"    I mean - really. What are these people thinking! Well I won't go into a diatribe on that issue, but labels are fun - because they can tell the story of the quilt when the maker is not around.

And I have to say that yesterday I had another RUN AROUND day. Got the last quilt quilted (I know!!!! and yes it is the LAST TIE QUILT). I have so much going on - I can't even enjoy that feeling. Then off to Marian's (with both of my girls - they want to go with me in the car now!!!) and had lunch with some of the Monday girls. Then some of the applique girls showed up (ooops - Marian needs a secretary) so the hand sewing ladies stayed upstairs and the machine sewing ladies stayed in the basement. Marian was running up and down the stairs - pretty funny. I bet she was exhausted last night. Then back home to get my kid, then off to the bank where we learned a whole lot about compromised cards and bank fraud. I won't go into details - so as to NOT give anyone ideas!!!!!   Then pick up another kid and drop them off somewhere else. I am a TAXI SERVICE!!!!!   Well if I could have reclaimed those couple of wasted hours - I could have had this binding on!

On that note - I am back to the sewing machine - I have ONE BINDING left to sew on, but because of the nature of the "quilt" (two layers of fleece quilted together), I am sewing both sides of the binding down by machine. And then a bit of hand stitching on one more quilt and I'm ready!!!!!!

The Royal Wedding???   No - I had no desire to watch in on TV. Good grief - hours and hours in front of the TV watching a bunch of people arrive at the Abbey and all the pomp and circumstance????   I'll watch the highlights on YouTube. OH MY GOD - I am a changed person to say the least because this time last year - I would have been glued to the TV. And still NO hot chocolate. And NO desire either!!!!   Now what other vices do I need to get rid of?????  Just want to get rid of some weight - how do I do that easily????

Hope to see you all at our show tomorrow or Sunday.

Have a great day!!!


(sorry - no photos today. I did NOT take any pictures yesterday. How did that happen?????)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Time is RUNNING OUT!!!

It is now mere hours before our show starts and I'm still WAY BEHIND!!!!

Yes - do not forget to come to our quilt show this weekend.
That is the Brampton Quilt Show
April 30 (10 - 5)
May 1 (10 - 4)

Jim Archdekin Rec Center
292 Conestoga Blvd.

I will be there the entire weekend. Stop by and say hi!   I was looking  though the entries yesterday and OH MY GOODNESS - there are some interesting quitls. Close to 400 items will be on display. Bring your camera!!!!

The voting is now over for the FibreArts magazine. You know - the studio contest. And now the waiting begins. I am not sure when they are going to announce the results but as soon as I know - YOU will know. Thanks to everyone who voted for me.

And now back to the homework for Elm Creek

54-50 or Fight

The peaky n spike section

Cut one rectangle from bottom left to top right (they are NOT on the cutting mat just so you can see better)

Cut another rectangle from bottom right to top left

You now have TWO left hand pieces and TWO right hand pieces

Lay out two long side triangles with the center triangle

Line up the points and sew with 1/4" seam

Looks like this

Line up the other side - matching the points

Looks like this when sewn


This is what the unit looks like. You will notice on the lower right side that there is not a lot of fabric. I have left some of the seam allowance because there wasn't enough of the fabric on the side. If you want more breathing room - make the rectangles a little wider than 1 5/8". Then you will have more to trim, but you will have enough to get the complete size. Yes it is lopsided!!!!   I must have been sleeping when I trimmed!!!


Yes - it happens - when doing the math, I sized it originally for a FOUR inch block!!!!  Don't worry - you have the measurements for the SIX inch block.

Card Trick

Card Trick - trimming up each of the units. It should finish 2 1/2" so use the intersection of the 1 1/4" lines on the ruler at the center of the block (the intersection of the seams)

Corn and Beans
Corn and Beans - layout of the center section. Sew it in rows!!!
Corn and Beans - center section

Corn and Beans - 1/4 of the block. Trim to 3 1/2" and repeat with the other three sections

 And that should conclude all the homework for this month. Yikes - that sure keeps me hopping!!!!

Let's see - Oh yes - I was trying to get a quilt quilted yesterday. Well that was just NOT going to happen. Between the phone, sorting out the hanging details for the quilt show (where are we going to hang all these quilts???), picking up kids (not even my own!!!!), visiting a senior's residence (for a quilt project), taking a tour of the city of Toronto (for the upcoming Marathon!!!) and yes - I couldn't even read ONE chapter in my book before I was OUT!!!!

Let's just say that today - well today is going to be busy. What is critical?????   I MUST get myself better organized for stuff like this. Too much left for the last minute and no time allowance for those last minute gotchas.

Have a great day!!!!



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Homework catchup!!!

I am going to go through all the on-going classes I am teaching so if you are NOT in those classes bear with me.

First - let me tell you about my day yesterday. Started off EXHAUSTED!!!!  Thank goodness I left the in store retreat early so I could get to bed at my regular time or I would have been wiped for DAYS!!!

I ended up going to Marian's house (with my two girls). I know - you are thinking "she has SO MUCH to do before the show - how can she afford an "off" day".  Well - I took binding and I managed to get the binding on one quilt and the sleeve sewn down. When I got home, I tossed this quilt in the washer to get rid of the blue marks on it. As it is lying on the floor getting the final dry - guess who walks on it????  Oh yes - THE FUZZY DOG!!!!    But at least her feet were dry so no damage done!

After dinner, I fired up the audio book and managed to get ONE MORE binding done!!!   TWO in ONE DAY. That must be a record for me!!!!   So I DO NOT lower your opinion of me - I won't tell you how much still has to be done. Let's just say that today and tomorrow will be jam packed!

I think once the show is over, I am going to take two days (well I hope it doesn't take more than two days) and get labels on all my quilts and there are pins in some places on sleeves - wouldn't it be nice to say that all are complete????   Yes - for those who run through and finish everything - GOOD ON YOU - it just didn't happen here, but I am getting better - so time to get up to date.

Then there is another local quilt show in October - I better get my act together and get that stuff done NOW!!!!
Yes - let's make lists - but after the show.

And NO - I will not post the pictures of the quilts I finished binding. You MUST attend the show in order to see them!!

OK - here is the homework assignments.

Christmas Heart Light

This month we are making SIX variable star blocks. Page 11

Christmas Heart Light - 6 Variable Star Blocks 

Each block consists of SIXTEEN half square triangles - four are used in the center, eight in the star points and four for the outermost corners. So it makes sense to make the four in the center one colour configuration, the star points another and the outermost corners yet another.

The starting squares are cut 3", trimmed to 2 1/2" and finished in the block at 2".
Pressing plan for the Variable Star Block
Pressing plan for the block center (note - TWO are pressed to the light and TWO are pressed to the dark)
Pressing plan for the star points - 4 are pressed to the light and 4 are pressed to the dark

Pressing plan for the star points - 2 are pressed to the light and 2 are pressed to the dark

 I think it is easier to make this block by making FOUR 4 patches - spin the seams, then join the FOUR 4 patches to make the block and spin the seams as you go.

Just watch how you position the HST - with those seams either to the light or dark.

Then applique the heart (if you want in the center of the block)

Nancy's homeowrk


Dragon Star

We are working on Bag #3 and Bag #4. The colouring of both bags is IDENTICAL and creates the spiky star points in the middle sides and corners of the quilt (NOT THE CENTER) - I hope that makes sense because we have already done the spikes in the center.

The process is IDENTICAL to bag #2 - just change the colours if you wish. The background used is THE background.

I recommend you do Bag #4 first. While the pieces are basically the same, the foundation is a tad smaller and easier to manage.

This is how you will cut the templates (NOTE these pictures are from the first set - so don't use the numbers as a reference!!!!!)

Lay out the TWO strips of fabric. Fold them at the fold line so you have half of the strip wrong sides together. You can cut through the two strips at the same time (basically cutting through FOUR layers of fabric)

Once you cut a rectangle (I just laid the template on the strip and added a smidgen more - remember the larger templates go on the wider strips, the narrower on the narrow strips.
You might want to lay out all the templates on the strips BEFORE you cut to make sure you have enough.
Then cut diagonally through all four layers. 
Same process as above, but with a skinny template.

Same process as above, but with a skinny template. 

Once you stack all 8 shapes on top of each other - you will note that they are in pairs - basically a right and left (because your strips were wrong sides together when you cut). You can separate them at this point. Your templates have a left and a right - use the appropriate ones for the appropriate foundation piece.

If you are confused - contact me!!!!

NOTE: On Bag #4 - I found that I had to extend the sewing line NUMBER TWO right into the seam allowance or it would not work. I don't know if this was an error on the pattern or my brain wasn't working properly.


Welcome to the North Pole

Ah - some easy home work.

Here are the two blocks we are working on......

Welcome to the North Pole - homework blocks
Welcome to the North Pole AND the Marble Shop

NOTE - I DO NOT have the snow on my blocks yet. Watch the North Pole block - some of the shapes are behind the snow and some are in front. I fused the top part of all the pieces (leaving the trunks of the trees and the elves' feet loose). Once the pieces are stitched down that are behind the snow - I will add the snow and then fuse the trunks, feet down.

Other than that - have fun!!!!!!


Elm Creek Quilters

I will be posting a separate tutorial on the flying geese units and the half square triangle units, although I think you are all pros at them by now.

Ooops - ran out of time - I will post the Elm Creek info tomorrow.

Have a great day!!!!!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

All good things must come to an end!!!

Last day of the retreat!!!!   It really was a great weekend - exhausting!!!  I had a guild meeting last night, but there was no way my body was going to take me there!!  I had a small bite to eat and sat in my cozy chair with my iPad and set an alarm to wake me up in an hour. Well obviously I haven't figured out all the ins and outs of the alarms on that phone because HOURS later - I wake up. Way too late to go to guild meeting!!!!  Then I had trouble going to sleep. GRRRRRRR!!!!!

Well I managed to complete my black/white and red blocks. They still need to be trimmed and then figure out the position, but the most important thing - THEY ARE DONE!!!!!  
Buggy Barn - Shoot for the Moon

Buggy Barn - Shoot for the Moon - Border fabric
 Found this very appropriate border fabric for the Shoot for the Moon quilt. Yeah!!!!  I think there is enough for border and binding. I am certain I have loads of stuff here that will work for the backing.

 I really liked Cathy's bright quilt. It was designed by   H.D. Designs and was called Stacked Posies (I think - it is hard to see on the web page. I have the Stacked Posie Supreme (of course - Stacked Posie is not enough - I need the SUPREME version!!!)

Well back home and back to reality. I have a TON of stuff to get ready for the Brampton Quilt Show and I have a sample to get ready for an upcoming class - OH YES - One Block Wonder AGAIN!!!!!  Got to rearrange those blocks and get sewing.

One Block Wonder

One Block Wonder - rearranged.

 I've rearranged it yet again and need ONE MORE block. Time to make a cube or something and throw it in.

But first - I have one quilt that needs to be quilted before the show and then I'll be sitting here binding my little heart out. Got a couple of good audio books so that will make the task a bit more pleasant.

Well I've lost something yet again. I had a pattern in my hands last week. Then I put it somewhere because I wasn't ready to work on it. Well NOW I am and where did I put the pattern?????   Well - I have a few things that I need to work on BEFORE that pattern - hopefully it will surface before too long.

That's it for today - so much work to do and I'm still tired. Boy - what I wouldn't give for a hot chocolate RIGHT NOW. But no - I don't really need one - maybe I'll make a cup of tea. BORING!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!


DON'T FORGET - TODAY is the LAST DAY to vote on the stashes. I hope you had a peek - they were all fun to look at.

Fibre Arts

And this weekend is the Brampton Quilt Guild SHOW - April 30 - May 1

Brampton Quilt Guild SHOW

Monday, April 25, 2011

Let ME ring the bell!!!

First things first on the third day of our in-store retreat. I NEEDED to fuel up the car. This is the MOST I have ever paid for a tank of gas. Two reasons - the price per liter and that tank was PRETTY EMPTY. It must be a 40 liter tank - there wasn't much left.

Gas fill up

Once we arrived at the store (had to make an emergency pick-up as Marian did NOT have wheels) - well it was time to fuel the bodies for the grueling day ahead. Joanne made the MOST PERFECT pancakes I have ever seen. I wonder how she did that?????
Pancakes - YUM YUM (there were hardly any left after we attacked them)

A perfect pancake!!!!
Then it was down to work.

Now I am no dummy - as much as a retreat is a place to work on a BIG project - I like to take several small things so I can finish them and move onto another one. I decided that when one was finished a project - they get to ring the bell (OK - it is the dinner bell - but works for projects too!!!)  Well after I finished my first project yesterday - I was BANNED from ringing the bell. Oh those girls just did NOT appreciate that I could ring the bell and they could not!!!!  But some of them brought HUGE projects. At one point, I went to ring the bell FOR SOMEONE ELSE and when I went to ring the bell - it was GONE!!!!!   WHAT?????

I searched and searched and found it in the kitchen. AHA!!!!   I rang it extra loud and extra long - just so they all would know I found it!!!

But yes - it was another good day as far as getting work done. I finished this Stack n Whack.

Original stack n whack
Stack n Whack PIECED backing

Original fabric AND the binding is done!!!!!

This is the original Stack n Whack pattern. I started it a LONG time ago. It just needed the two borders. Got those on and made the binding out of the dark blue, but then did NOT have enough of the blue for the backing so a little piecing and I got VERY LUCKY - made the backing. Another project DONE. Well at least ready for the quilting.

I often joke and tell people that when I die - at my funeral - everyone will get a quilt top, backing and binding but not a finished quilt. Of course - those that were mean to me yesterday will get nothing!!!!! - OH - I know - they will get a pizza box with a bunch of scraps!!!!!!

Anyway - it was a fun day. But yes - I did get more done.

Patchwork Sampler - Clown's Choice - Number 42

Yes - ONE MORE block done for the Patchwork Sampler. Do you know what that means?????   Yes - there are TWO more blocks to go. This is very exciting!!!!!   Then a bunch of trimming. But after searching through my cupboards in the last couple of days - there are a LOT of quilts where the blocks are completed, but not sewn together. Well now that the guilt of the tie quilt is done - I should be able to crank those out in my morning sewing sessions. Got to focus - focus - focus - focus!!!

Then I dug out this project which I have been wanting to complete a while ago, but I DID NOT want to do it.
It is a Buggy Barn pattern -

Buggy Barn book - A Little Bit Crazy

Anyway - you take 20 fat quarters and layer them - then slash through all twenty layers (using a template). Do a switch a roo with the pieces and then sew them together to get the pattern. Well I had made TWO blocks and there was NOT enough contrast with either block. And I had sewed some of the sections together and there wasn't enough contrast with some of those either. ACK!!!!!!!   I hate when I do something like this. Well a retreat is a good place to do an ICKY job. I got out my seam ripper (I was pretty good at seam ripping before, but after yesterday - I'm an expert!!!!). I ripped some of the pieces apart, ripped the two blocks apart, we had a consultation about the values of the pieces and then I sewed them back together. I got 14 of the 20 blocks complete.

Buggy Barn - A Little Bit Crazy - a pile of pieces!!!!

Buggy Barn - A Little Bit Crazy - FOURTEEN blocks (and all but one has great contrast). OK - so I am happy that I stuck with it - I really like the quilt NOW)

I don't think I will get to ring the bell today as I have crappy little jobs to do today - yes it is the fourth and last day!!!!   I'm sad as I was on a roll and was ready to bring out many more projects!!!!   No worries - going on another retreat in a couple of weeks!!!

Oh yes - did you notice where on the design wall those blocks are positioned?????   At the top - I needed a chair and a ruler to put them up!!!   But they were out of the way of the rest of the people.

Now I wasn't the only one who was productive. Cathy was working on this EYE POPPING quilt that she was going to make for the bedroom. I think they are going to need SUNGLASSES AT NIGHT in order to sleep under it!!!!

Cathy's BRIGHT - EYE POPPING quilt

Detail of Cathy's quilt

It was BRILLIANT and the pictures just DO NOT do justice to this one. Then Cathy got working on her One Block Wonder (she was in my class a couple of weeks ago), but she took her blocks off the wall before I realized that she won't be back (a thing called work). Take my word for it - her blocks were AWESOME.

There seemed to be TWO themes for the weekend - ONE BLOCK WONDER/Stack n Whack or MYSTERY.

Karen was working on a mystery quilt and here is her top.

Karen's mystery

Karen's mystery - with the border added

Sharon's mystery

Karen and Sharon's mystery quilt. Although they are the same pattern - the look is quite different. 

Railli was also working on another mystery

Karen, Railli and myself were working on the Border Creek Mystery which Karen and Railli are almost up to date and I am on clue 5 of 7, but NO PICTURES. Strict rules!!!!!

Barb was working on some Thangles blocks (boy - a cuss jar was sure needed in that corner!!!), but look at the show n tell she brought in. Remember these mitts from a couple of sit n sews ago???   She was in the process of knitting them. Now they are complete - felted and all. I LOVE THEM.

Barb's felted mitts

Barb's felted mitts - I LOVE THEM

Barb's entrelac scarf. I WANT to learn how to do this - I bought yarn, but no chance to sit and try it. I LOVE THIS!!!!

Gillian's One Block Wonder

Gillian worked very diligently and got her one block wonder together. It looks awesome!!!!

Marion was doing applique - she started off by machine and then moved to finish the little bits by hand.

Marian doing hand applique

Now it was warm in the store and all that food - it just stands that someone was going to doze off. I did manage to snap a picture of Marian having a nap, BUT - I won't post it. I value her as a friend and well - let's just say that I won't post that picture - see how nice I am!!!!!   But the second she heard the shutter click - she was awake!!!!   She even sort of yelled JIM!!!  until she saw who took the picture. Then she told me she knew how to make the shutter silent, but did not offer to show me!!!!!

And then we have Andi. Andi is a relatively new quilter - I think she has been quilting for about one year. But - well I think pictures are a better way to get to know Andi.
Andi - cutting - what is she cutting - just wait for it! Every day I brought her some scraps and she diligently cut what she needed. 
Andi - cutting orange scraps
Andi's little bag of pieces. And how big are those pieces????
YES - these are ONE INCH squares!!!! - most were NOT fussy cut
Let's put those squares on the design wall!!!   Just kidding - she DOES NOT fussy place these. And what is she making????


Detail of Andi's obsession

I won't share with you how big this is supposed to be - but let's say that Andi won't be ringing the bell for a while. Though when you see what she has done in the past - well maybe she will be ringing that bell before we know it.

Andi's FIRST quilt  (I know - I can't believe it either!!! - but it's true!!!)

Andi's log cabin

Detail of log cabin

Andi's cathedral windows

OK - I'm going to tuck my tail between my legs. This woman is AMAZING. She jumps in with feet first and doesn't look back. No complaining - no fussing - just work!!!!!   I'll have more on Andi for tomorrow.

Well it is time to get ready to leave and I have a few things to get done first - like find out why my laptop is BEEPING at me. It is the strangest thing.

Have a great day!!!!!