Sunday, October 30, 2011

The WONDER of it all!

Saturday was BACK TO TEACHING. And the class? One of my favourites!!  ONE BLOCK WONDER.

The class was full - 10 people. I love seeing how each fabric reacts to this cutting process. Sit back and enjoy the show and let's just hope that I get everyone's name right!

Carrie's fabric - interesting lines. This is NOT her normal fabric - she likes brights - like ME!!!!

Carrie's blocks. Notice those BIG blocks of gold on the bottom left. And the movement of the light and dark lines in the other blocks. Very interesting!!!!!

Barb - wanted something watery  - a good start for that effect
I know that she got more than TWO blocks sewn. For some reason this is the only picture of her blocks that I took. Definitely going to have that soft water feel to it!!!!

Bonnie's fabric. Nice contrast in colours and nice size of motifs. 
Bonnie's blocks. It is so hard to know what type of fabric to pick. I think the motif size in this one was just perfect!!!!   Lots of variety in the blocks.

Beth - do you know what these little fellows are????   Why PANDAS of course. Very cute!!!!!
The end blocks are not as defined as some of the others, but then the fabric Beth started with was not as defined either. I definitely think an accent border in red would be perfect for this one. 

Bev had a VERY dramatic print to work with. High contrast between those luscious red tulips and the black background.
Gorgeous blocks (but then I do LOVE LOVE LOVE high contrast in anything!)

Shelley - a VERY large motif so we can expect blocks with one colour in them. 

Hmmm - do you see what happened here????   The motif was so large that we have lots of blocks with one colour in them. And the beauty of this quilt is - THAT IS OK. there is NO right and NO wrong with this technique.

Rose came prepared with FOUR different fabrics and chose this one. 

Which I think will be very successful. Notice the bright blocks and lots of blenders. It is going to be awesome. 

Janet - BRIGHT as usual. This is a gorgeous fabric. I love it and might have bought some except it was all gone!!!!!

Notice how she has blocks that read as ONE colour. Again this is because her motif was so large that it filled the entire block for a "single" colour block. 

Janet had a second fabric (from the same line). She is going to cut this and make "blender" blocks between the other ones. 

Joan had SKUNK fabric. How cool is that!!!!! And she got it at my local quilt store. I think a little side trip is in order. 

Joan's blocks. Now as we were laying the blocks out - we were having the discussion of adding cubes or not. I really think cubes will help to pick up some of the colours and give the blocks a focal point. 

Her friend Bonnie whipped out these greens which she was going to use on her quilt (but we have all agreed that it won't work, but hard to tell before you cut). And those greens are PERFECT for Joan's quilt. Nice to have friends who come prepared for anything!!!!

Anna's fabric. This is very cool - lots of movement. And what did it give????

Anna's blocks. I was very surprised that she got some completely dark ones, and some completely  light ones. Who would have thought????

 And there you have it. If you are at all thinking about doing a One-Block Wonder - have a close look at the above before and after pictures. Sometimes people are disappointed that their finished product isn't bright, isn't clearly defined or whatever. It all has to do with the fabric you start with.

It is late and I need some beauty sleep.

Have a great day!!!!!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

What would you do???????

So what happens to the time some days?   You wake up and before you know it - it is time for bed. And you wonder "what did I do today?"  Yep - that happens. Maybe that is why I blog - so I can keep track of myself. Lord knows that if I don't write it down - it is gone. What have I done since I blogged last??   I don't know, but I do know what I did yesterday!!!!!

It was a Pampered Sit n Sew day. And there were only three people. Yeah!!!!!   That means that it was a very relaxed day and boy I needed that as the last Sit n Sew was VERY hectic.

I am happy to report that Sparky AKA the Big Black Dog is back to her normal self!!!!!  Maybe I mentioned that. So while I appreciate NOT being able to sleep in, she can be a pain as we get her back into her routine. "I need to be fed and NOW would be a good time!"  She is VERY insistent. Oh someone is at the door - "I MUST bark like crazy so my owner knows they are there - even if my owner is standing right at the door". Drives the man of the house CRAZY!!!!!

Sparky and Sammy had a visitor yesterday.

Hello BIG black dog!!!!!!
This is Tucker. He is a Dashchund - a mini - only weighs seven pounds and despite the fact that he is only four months, he was VERY well behaved. He ran around, but NOT like Kaylee. The toybox is too big for him to get into!!!!   Sammy pretty much left Tucker alone and so did Sparky. I don't think Tucker was impressed. It was very hard to get good pictures - he does move a LOT. But so CUTE CUTE CUTE!!!!!   He is welcome anytime at our house!!!!    Hmmm - I wonder if we could get to babysit??????

Linda (AS USUAL) is working on a project that I want to work on. It never fails - I feel like I am one step (make that about TEN steps)behind her.

This is called Spider Web. It is paper pieced and a great way to use up scraps. She has made good progress so far and I am sure it won't be long before she is done!!!!!!

Speaking of Linda and her SCRAP quilts - here is another one. Many of us made or are still making this quilt. That was several years ago - probably more years ago than I want to admit to. Anyway - we had done a black/white exchange and those strips were perfect for this quilt. The blocks have been done for AGES. Once I got something off the wall last night - I put this up. There is one row missing because I didn't have enough space (got to get that last panel of flannel up!)

Black/White Scrap

Ruth was working on her Elm Creek blocks. She is making great progress with them!!!   I think she has surprised herself because when she started this project back in January, I don't think she even thought it possible to do what she is doing! Way to go Ruth!!!!!

And Liz was working on some elongated diamond blocks which I did NOT get a picture of, but she is in a nine patch exchange and actually working AHEAD!!!!!!

9-Patches (done way before they need to be) - what a concept!!!!

I managed to get a bit of cutting and sewing done. After they left - then I kicked into high gear. OK - not until after dinner. And what did I get done?????   I got NOT one, but TWO of Gail's cancer quilts done. Well the tops.

Cancer quilt No 1

Cancer quilt No 2

I still have fabric left over to make four, possibly five?????? more of these. If I got off my butt and got them out of the way - then I can empty that basket. I think I am trying to get things done - simply because it is tidier!!!!   Doesn't matter - just get them done!!!!!

And that list I made a while ago????   Well - I am keeping somewhat to the list - but as Linda said - the design wall is my list now!!!!  

I also got one border on this quilt - oh yes - after I finished assembling it. And I think the wall was still warm when the black/white one went up!!!!!

One border on - one more to go. Then backing and binding and ready for quilting.

This past Thursday night was guild night and our tinners were due!!!!  Now what is tinners??   Each participant chooses a theme. You make a block to get the project started, find a cool container to put it in (or not), add a diary and some fat quarters. The organizer (NOT ME!!) has determined the rotation order.

I will tell you about my tin another day, but I am VERY happy with it. EXCEPT for one thing - I forgot to take a picture of the stupid thing once I got it finished. CRAP!!!!!!   And then when I placed it on the table with the others, I was blown away by the creativity of the others with their tins. (Yes - even though I had TWO cameras with me - I forgot to take a picture - I'll get it next month) Can't wait to see all the blocks!!!   There were enough people that we have TWO groups of eight. So while I did NOT take a picture of my tin - here is a picture of my block. Can you guess my theme?????

Tinner block

And NO the theme is NOT self-portrait!!! Nice try though. Guess again.......

Not witches, but Halloween. Come to think of it - I still do NOT have my tinners project back from last year. Note to self - e-mail Lisa!!!!

One of the topics of conversation yesterday (oh yes - I love the conversations we have during these sew days). We cover everything and anything. So much FUN!!!!!!  Anyway - the topic was "what would you if you won $50 million?)    I have thought about this a lot (NO - I did NOT win $50 million - but I did win $20 when I took my lotto tickets in yesterday!). Hmmmm - would I call up a quilt store and say "I will have ONE of everything", would I buy a retreat house and move there permanently?, would I buy a quilt store and have FUN FUN FUN with the customers, would I build a quilt gallery/working studio?     I thought very long and hard about this and decided that NOPE - none of the above would really make me happy BUT what would make me ecstatic would be to have a PERSONAL ASSISTANT!!!!!   Oh yeah - someone fun, someone who would work hard and smart, someone who could take all these crappy little jobs off my plate - like the errands I did all day Thursday (yes - I remembered what I did that day). That would make me HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!!!!!!

Al those years I struggled in an office and now many years later, I realize that paper pushing is NOT my thing.

Well since I did NOT win the lottery and there is no personal assistant, I have some e-mails to send and other paperwork to attend to. Best get started and get it over with!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I had yesterday booked off as a play day!!  However my original plans fell through so I went to Plan B.

I picked up Jeanne, Shelley and Marian and we were off on an adventure!  And what an adventure. We compared notes, we laughed, we chatted, we drove everywhere and just had a SUPER SUPER day.

I know - you want to know what we did?????

Well.............................   you just had to be there!!!!   But here are a few pictures to show that we actually were out and about.

We did make a pit stop at The Quilting Bee (one of my favourite booths from the CreativFestival). Remember I told you they were moving? November 1 or thereabouts - grand re-opening on November 26???   Remember that????   Well - you MUST MUST MUST mark November 26 on your calendar. We got a sneak peek at the new space. I think they probably mopped the floor after we left. We were all drooling at the idea of the store in that GORGEOUS space. Two beautiful balconies running the length of the store, amazing storage area, classroom - well it is going to be GREAT GREAT GREAT!!!!!!!!    I cannot wait to see the new place. The store is in Fonthill and if have never been there - you should plan to go. If you are familiar with the store - they are moving to the BACK of the same building. Looking at the building - go left around the corner.

Yes - I did pick up my green thread.

Green COSMO thread

Now that I have the thread - I had better get back to stitching. Gosh - I can't even remember when I last sat down in the evening and stitched!!!

I also managed to get some fabric that I had been looking for. Remember those strips I was cutting a while back - of course you don't remember. Let me remind you!!!!

Strips from the scrap bags by Moda

Anyway - I needed a neutral to go with this and I found one at The Quilting Bee. Yeah!!!!

Matching fabric - more about that floral tomorrow!

I picked up a few other things as well and then we bundled back into the car and off to our next destination.

We went to a place where they had flowers....

Gorgeous mums!!!!!

So do you know where we went???  Would you like another clue?????   Heck the location of that quilt store should be a dead give away!!!!!   OK - here's another clue........

Lots of water!

OK - so do you know now????   Yep - we went to Niagara Falls. It is such a spectacular place. I just love going and while we were there - we saw this beautiful rainbow.

Rainbow over the falls - that is the American side of Niagara in the background. The Canadian side on the right

THE Falls (as the local signs say!!)

It is a shame that none of the information that used to be in the main building is there anymore. OH - it is there, but now you have to pay to get access to it. There is a show or lecture or something. That is such a shame and just a money grab. They could give you some FREE information.

"Tame" seagull. Some guy put his hand right on this one - ick!!!!!

Then we bundled back into the car and off to the next stop.  Well a couple of next stops actually and they all had a similar flavour (so to speak)

I think you get the picture!!!!!!

Do you think they could stand together?????   NO!!!!

Nuff said!!!!

It was a FUN FUN FUN day and I really really really needed it. Thanks Jeanne, Shelly and Marian!!!!!!

It had started to rain late in the afternoon and getting from Niagara on the Lake back to downtown was a pain and then back through the traffic was equally bad. But I had the radio and I was relaxed (not THAT relaxed - I was responsible!!!!!). I made it home at 8 PM!!!!!!    Needless to say, I did take out for dinner and went to bed early!!!!!

Today - well that is another day. Back to reality. I did get some more done on Dragon Star this morning.

Current status of Dragon Star

Now I am off to the doctor to arrange for the MRI and taking M to arrange for an X-ray. Poor thing fell off her bike on the weekend and has bruised/cracked a rib(s). Ah - there is never a DULL moment in this house!!!!

Have a great day!!!!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What I saw at the CreativFestival

The CreativFestival is a show of vendors from near and far who come together twice a year to showcase their goodies. All the sewing machine vendors were there which makes this show an excellent place for people to search out a new sewing machine. You can run from booth to booth to give the different kinds a test drive.

There is knitting, scrapbooking (although we saw a marked decrease in the number of scrapbook vendors), crystals, beading, fashion and of course my favourite - QUILTING.  The same way you can check out the various sewing machine dealers - this is an EXCELLENT way to check out quilt stores that you may not have seen before.

In the fall, the show is held at the convention centre down town (5 minutes off the highway!) and in the spring, it is held in another convention centre near the airport. So many people say they prefer the airport location - probably because they don't have to pay for parking.

But when you think about it - if you do not attend this show, but would prefer to drive from one store to another to check them out - how much money did you just spend in gas??????   Just goes to show you how flawed most people's logic is!!!!!    Like the customer who came into our booth - asked for the TOOTHBRUSH thing with the hole at the end that is used for rugs. Ah - that would be Aunt Philly's toothbrush needle used to make rag rugs. How much is that thing she asks????   $3.98!!!   What!!!! She says - I can make one for much cheaper!!   and literally STOMPED out of the booth.   OK lady - think about it - where are you going to find a $3.98 toothbrush these days (with a hole in the handle no less) and then you have to cut it down and file the end smooth. Never ceases to amaze me how ILLOGICAL people are.

Like the customer who was AMAZED that she had to pay tax on items she had purchased. Sunday AM - the assistant show manager comes to our booth to tell us that a customer was outside in the lounge and was very upset that she had been overcharged by us. George went out to investigate and then this woman was escorted back to our booth. I helped her run through the list of items she had purchased. The last one was the TAX. Well, she exclaimed -  ALL the other vendors INCLUDE the tax in their prices. WAIT A MINUTE!!!!!!   I asked her if she was Canadian. Yes she was. Anyway - she attempted to get out of paying the taxes and we politely told her that she HAD to pay the taxes. Bottom line though and I could kick myself - she should have been escorted back out of the show, but I watched her turn and head into the show and HAD NOT paid to come back in. Go figure!!!!!

When you work a booth - you do not get a lot of time to get out and investigate the other booths. And it is the most eye popping ones (or old favourites) that usually get my attention. I really would like to have a better peek at some of the others but that is probably a good thing that I don't. too much temptation.

I thought I would share some of my favourite booths with you!  Here they are IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER.......................

Pastime Pieces
 I have seen Marlene at MANY local shows as well as the CreativFestival. I love the patterns she brings in - Crabapple Hill, Don't Look Now are a few of my favourite designers. I always seem to find something new in her booth that ends up in my shopping basket. Check it out for yourself - Pastime Pieces

Border Creek Station

Sherri is a local designer and has some amazing designs. Lots of intriguing stuff here. But more important, Sherri is the creator of the Border Creek Station MYSTERY quilt. I am currently working on my THIRD mystery from her. It is an AMAZING deal ($20) - the pattern instructions are so well laid out, colour coded and very reasonably priced. I have decided to make TWO quilts this time - both the lap quilt and the quaintly queen. Do you remember my fabrics for the lap????

Lap quilt fabric
Now I have been struggling with the fabric choice for the colours for the quaintly queen. Sherri used fabrics from the Etchings line by 3 Sisters/Moda. I managed to snag the charm pack at the CreativFestival - remember the charm pack????

Etchings charm pack - that orange is actually PINK.
Well after some consultation with Sherri (I did NOT want to choose the same three fabrics that she choose), we came up with this combination.......

Quaintly queen fabric combination

I am not 100% convinced this is where I want to go. I LOVE the two on the left. And I LOVE the fabric on the right. I am just not convinced that they will go together. There is NO gray in that middle fabric. Why the gray is here and not a nice sage green beats me. I am not sure how fabric lines get put together and how they choose the colours, but there doesn't seem to be a nice bridge between the red and gray. Now why would they not put in a bridge fabric?????

More of Etchings fabric line - see there are reds, there are reds/greens, but NO red/gray

Well my personal quilt fabric match maker (Marian) is back home and we will be on the hunt to find something. We must move quickly since the clues have started.

Anyway - I would strongly suggest that you find a store near you that carries the Border Creek Mystery. They are one of the best as far as mysteries go!  Border Creek Station

Homestead Stitches
 I mentioned this store the other day. They are an online store and sell wool and wool kits, as well as flannel. I do love the look and feel of the wool. And because most of the work is done by hand - they are great carry along projects. They carry a lot of Primitive Gatherings patterns and kits, as well as Valdani thread (pearl cotton) that is to die for!!!

Check out their store  - Homestead Stitches

Mad About Patchwork

OK - so this store is COMPLETELY different from the previous one!!  How does one appreciate the wools AND the solid brights????   Only a crazy person I suppose. Anyway, Mad About Patchwork has a great selection of the Kona Solids and other bright prints. And while I was VERY leery at the beginning of the solids, I have grown to like them. They have kits made up that go with the book City Quilts - a great book if you are not familiar with it.

The Book - City Quilts by Cherri House

A couple of months ago - I purchased a shade card of all the Kona Solids from Mad About Patchwork.

Shade Cards for Kona solids
I mean - how can you NOT love all those colours!!!!   I overhead a couple of ladies say something about NEVER using solids. But if you use ONLY solids - it is a great place to showcase a design and the quilting. A LOT to be said for solids!!!  Anyway - you can check them out for yourself - Mad About Patchwork

The Quilt Patch - Moose Jaw - quilts from their NEW BOOK

The Quilt Patch - Moose Jaw

This was a BIG booth - hence TWO pictures. Again a totally different feel in this booth from most. And if you look closely (well you can't see from the picture), you realize that ALL THE PATTERNS in the store are designed by the owners!!!   How cool is that!   The patterns are simple yet there is a very homey, comfy feeling about them that just makes you want to make them ALL!!!!!!  Oh dear - I feel a BIG case of that delusional doability again!!!!

Not only have Jeanne and Shelley designed a ton of patterns, but they are also authors of not one, but TWO books. The second one was just released and the quilts in the first picture are from the new book. I am sure you have seen the first book -

Tis the Season 
 If you have NOT checked out this book - you should. There are some gorgeous ideas for Christmas quilts, pillows and other things. I JUST LOVE the book.

Their second book has a different feel to it. First - it is NOT Christmas. It has some amazing projects in it as well. I want to make them ALL!!!!!!!  You should see this on quilt store shelves NOW.

Urban Country Quilts

Something else I love about this store is their MYSTERY quilt. Yep - they also do a mystery quilt once a year. It has just started. And it is a GREAT deal. You pay $59.95 (fabric and shipping in Canada!!!) (don't forget there is TAX on that as well) and you get this yummy package in the mail.

The Quilt Patch - Mystery quilt package!!!!

The Quilt Patch Mystery Quilt instructions!
The mystery has JUST started and it is NOT too late to get started. Once you receive the initial package - you will receive additional instructions over the next couple of weeks. I have forgotten how big this quilt is supposed to be, but once you are done this part - there is a finishing kit that you can purchase to make it larger should you choose. Anyway - their mysteries are awesome as well - great instructions, no worries about fabric choices and ALWAYS CUTE CUTE CUTE and appealing. This is another one of those mysteries that I would do with no questions asked!!
Check them out - and ask about the mystery - it is NOT too late to join up!!!
The Quilt Patch

The Quilting Bee (the girls were having their coffee BEFORE the crowds descended upon them!)

My last store is The Quilting Bee in Fonthill. Whenever I am down in that area - I always stop to see what they have been up to. This is where I purchased my Cosmo embroidery floss. And I desperately need GREEN. They did not bring the thread to the show so I guess that means I have to go to them!!!   For those of you familiar with this store - they will be moving (November 1)- WAIT - they are just moving to the back of the same building!  And a grand re-opening on November 26. There will be specials, demos, door prizes, refreshments and much more!

This store has some great kits put together - not that I need another kit!!!  But I was saved this time because when I went back with money - the kits I wanted were gone!!!  They have a great selection of fabric, patterns and always great samples in the store. Anyway - you can check them out for yourself at this site:
The Quilting Bee

There were other quilt stores and knitting stores and others that I could have spent money at, but these were my favourites!!

If ever you are looking for an unusual gadget, tool or items for heirloom sewing - check out Alma's site. This is the booth where I help out. She also has a great selection of Valdani floss, thread and perle cotton and MANY MANY MANY other things.

Sew Fancy

And if you have ever wondered what happens BEHIND the scenes at the CreativFestival once the doors shut - take a look at this. I snapped these pictures over the couple of hours it took us to dissemble the booth.

There were five of us this time and it went very smoothly. The only problem is that traffic was very bad around the area and it took a while to get the vehicles into the loading docks but once that happened - we went fast and were out of there in no time.

We have LOTS of little things!!!

Carpet gone on the left - notice the start of the buckets on the left

More buckets filled - carpet rolled on the right (the convention guys do that!)

LOTS of buckets

MORE buckets

Our neighbours - GONE!   They had a small booth!!!

We now have carts to move our stuff

Getting close!

Not much left

Roll up those carpets (those belong to Sew Fancy)

One last load

Done BEFORE they came to take down the curtains!!!  Yeah!!!!!!

That is the WORST job in the world. No - let me think about that. Sorting through all those buckets afterwards is probably the worst job!!!  Thank goodness I do not have to do that.

Anyway we all went out for dinner  -  a LATE dinner and on the way I snapped this picture. I was so focused   on the changing lights - I didn't see the others start to cross the street!!!   They told me I needed to be tethered onto a rope like in kindergarten!!!

CN Tower at night. The lights are beautiful on it

And before I sign off - in case you are wondering what that toothbrush THING looks like - here is a picture.......

Aunt Philly's Toothbrush Tool
And what do you make with it - why a toothbrush rug of course......

Aunt Phillys   - check it out - there is a video there to explain how to do it. OK - I am going to get mine out and get that rug done!!!!

There you have it - loads of information for you to digest.

Oh yes - went for physio on my knee/hamstring yesterday. She went DEEP because I woke up in the middle of the night - needed pain killers and ice. Holy cow - it hurts. They recommend an MRI because they don't think it is healing properly and want to see what is actually happening. So off to the doctor this week to get the paperwork in place for that.

Have a great day!!!!!