Thursday, January 31, 2013

Snow Days

Hello everyone in the Snow Days class. I have posted some pictures of some of the stuff from the weekend to help you remember what we talked about.

For those of you who are NOT doing Snow Days, you might still want to read this post as there are some interesting tips and tools that are presented.

Snow Days - pattern by Crabapple Hill. It is very hard to see in the picture, but there is embroidery around that center group of pieced blocks
The floss "recommended" by the designer - Number 8049 by Cosmo. The floss variegation is very subtle.   

The closest alternative of variegated by DMC. The variegation is a bit more pronounced in this thread, but a close match to the COSMO

The solid colours by DMC that are the closest to the colours in the COSMO 8049, You could use one strand of one colour and another strand of another to get your colours. 

A sample of the different flosses stitched out. The bottom is COSMO 8049, the center is the DMC variegated and the top is two different flosses used together (one strand of each)

Here is the homework for the month of January.............

We are making ALL the churn dash blocks. Two - 12" blocks, four - 9" blocks and six - 6" blocks. I will likely remake TWO of those blocks - the top left (very heavy looking block) and the middle one on the bottom - again very heavy and that will draw the eye in.

Some are in the middle and some are in the border - here I have highlighted the churn dash blocks for you to see. 

(Note - the sizes mentioned below refer to the 12" block)
In the pattern, the cutting and piecing instructions have you make the Half Square Triangles (required for the corners) by cutting ONE 4 1/2" square of light and dark for EACH corner. You draw a diagonal line from corner to corner and then stitch 1/4" away from that line. After trimming - the leftover is in fact a LEFTOVER - you do not use it for something else. This is one of the reasons you "need" to have so much fabric.

See - the triangle on the left is LEFTOVER
 Another method to make the HST is to cut a five inch square of the light and dark and then make TWO half square triangles. Nothing is wasted and you have to trim down slightly.
TWO half square triangles made from 5" squares
 OR - you could cut a strip that is 4 1/2" and get all your pieces from that ONE strip.

Here I have cut TWO half square triangles from a piece that measures 4 1/2" by 5 1/4".

How did I do that?????   Below are TWO tools that make this cutting a snap...............

IF you have Marti Michell templates you can use the triangles templates to cut the HST. You will need both set A and Set B (B for the 12 and 6 inch blocks and A for the 9 inch blocks)

You can use this MULTI SIZE tool called the Easy Angle by EZ Quilting. 

These last two tools take into account that "lost" dog ear that you cut off HST and so you can get away with cutting HST from a strip that is the same size at the squares required (in this case 4 1/2")

By cutting this way - there is little or no waste and the fabric requirements can be significantly less!!!!

If you have any questions - let me know.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Hungry for Change!!!

The pictures are all downloaded and BACKED UP on the external hard disk. Even got a bit of them organized. Oh boy - that is going to be a LONG job. I need to be dumped on a desert isle with a generator to get that task completed or perhaps it would be easier for me to just take a folder or two per day and get through it!!!!

Oh oh - had a great workout at the gym with the group in the morning. Went for a walk with the girls in the afternoon. I mean how could you not! It was a gorgeous day.

Then it was decision time. Another Burn and Learn session was scheduled at the gym in the evening. This means cycling while watching a documentary OR they had the first session of TEAM UP which is a way to encourage people to get gym friends!!!!!   Which to choose - which to choose?????   I was tired from the workout in the morning, but decided to hit the bike!!!!   I cycled 26 MILES in an hour and a half. Of course it is easy when there are NO HILLS. It was a great workout, BUT the documentary. Yikes - what an eye opener.

Hungry for Change

Now we could say that this is another fad and it will go by the way side. But the message is that we are NO LONGER EATING FOOD, but food related products. Think about that for a minute. I know that while I eat better than a lot of people, I still have BAD habits and the worst is my ADDICTION to sugar. Yes - I am addicted to the damn stuff. I crave it all the time!!!!!   Sounds like a detox is in the picture. I've never done that before.

Well I want to lose 10 pounds before the summer and it doesn't appear that working out is going to make that happen. Working out is maintaining my weight so I am going to have to change my diet. YIKES - I am going to need a LOT of hand holding through this. I don't know how radical I will be in the changes, but I have to do something.

The best part of the evening - when I got off the bike, I ran into Emily who had attended the other event and so she gave me all the scoop!!!!!   Went through the list of events for that project and they are already plugged into the calendar!!!   I might have to give up quilting!!   There will be no more time!  I do think it is a great thing to try and bring like minded people together - it is kind of like finding a date!!  

And there you have it. Yes - I still haven't got to the wild weekend yet, but I am going to seriously try today.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Molas - Part Two

I wanted to get some literature on Molas in preparation for my demo on Sunday - OK - so I have to IMMERSE myself in the experience - can't just show up empty handed!!!!

I searched the library and they had NOTHING on molas. I called the local used book store - he was just back from vacation and not responding. NOTHING in the local Chapter's so I broke down and went online to Amazon. They had a number of books ranging in price from $10 to a couple of hundred!!!!!   Well - I hate to buy books without a good recommendation or seeing the actual book, so very carefully I read the reviews and looked at the budget and ordered the books on SUNDAY. Guess what arrived at my door on TUESDAY?????   Yep - my books - have a look.................

I recognized the cover of this book in my online searching and after a quick search of MY own library - I found it!!!!!

This is a GOREGOUS LARGE book with many coloured photos of OLDER molas

Beautiful pictures and lots of text of older molas
This book is to die for!!!!   It is HUGE and loads and loads of coloured pictures and all kinds of text!!!!

Beautiful book!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And I also purchased an inexpensive book on designs which is OK. But it is a design book so I am OK with that. 

Anyway - I think I did AMAZING with just reading the reviews. I love all THREE books I purchased. However these books are NOT for loan. If you want to see them - you MUST come see my demo on Sunday, February 3rd between 2 and 4 PM at the Peel Art Gallery and Museum Archives at 9 Wellington Street in Brampton.

I did manage to download all those pictures yesterday - took forever. Now I have to find the pictures of my wild weekend and I will get myself up to date.

I did NOT take pictures, but yesterday I started taking BRIDGE lessons. I know - who would have thought!!!!!   I love it, but I never realized all the "conversations", `bidding`and other stuff that happens in the game. Yikes - I hope I remember it all for next week. It is really a lot of fun and I never was a big card person, although we played KAISER at lunch at school all the time. Now if you do not know a thing about KAISER - here is the definition that I found on the internet...............   (from Wikipedia)

Kaiser, or three-spot, is a trick-taking card game popular in the prairie provinces in Canada, especially Saskatchewan and parts of its neighbouring provinces. It is played with four players in two partnerships with a 32-card deck.

I grew up in Saskatchewan so now I know why people around here have no clue what I am talking about!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today, I taught a class at Ruti`s. It is part of the Marti Michell series. If you are NOT attending these - you are missing out on some good information. Not only do we talk about the product of the month, but lots of other things get discussed as well. Today was the Kaleido-Ruler. I forget what is next time, but the next class is at the end of March. You should come!!!!!!!!!    There are some very cool things you can do with this ruler!!!!!   So many more quilts to make!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Went to the gym this morning and my body is going to be protesting tomorrow. If I am going to be at the gym, I am going to make it worth my while. We have to partner up on Wednesday and Sophia and I have a good system going. We have a tough workout, but like I said - what`s the point if you are going to slack off!!!!!

On that note - I have a TON of stuff to do - paperwork - ACK!!!!!!!   I just can`t keep up with the administration of all these classes and committees - never mind my own stuff. And let`s not even talk about the long arm nor the piecing. 

OK - I am out of here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a good day and hopefully tomorrow, I will get those pictures of the wild weekend posted!!!!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Here is a great textile exhibit that you should visit............

The Peel Art Gallery and Museum Archives (PAMA) has an exhibit on molas that is on loan from The Textile Museum  in Toronto. 

If you have no idea what a mola is - click on the link above and you will see. I will be doing a demo on reverse applique/mola making on Sunday, February 3 from 2 - 4 PM. I can't wait.

There is also another show that you should visit while you are at PAMA. 

An artist has turned an underground tunnel into a FLOWER garden. Crafters/quilters/sewists from around the area have contributed flowers of all kinds - crocheted, quilted, knitted - you name the craft - someone made a flower. Sue Sturdy has taken those flowers and created a secret garden in the tunnel!!!!!!  

PAMA is located at 9 Wellington St in Brampton. Come out on Sunday and see my demo or just visit the exhibits when you can. It promises to be a suburb show. 

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


PS - I have had the busiest weekend ever!!!!!   I have decided to download all the pictures from my card to my computer - a mere 3000 pictures and it it taking a LONG time. So I will have all the details of the FUN FUN FUN weekend tomorrow. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

I COULDN'T HELP MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There is NO OTHER WAY TO SAY THIS - but I am POSSESSED, OBSESSED, OCD about sewing.
So yes - while I should have been quilting yesterday, I decided to sew instead. Now I am behind in the quilting and will have no choice, but to get my butt in gear next week.

What did I do yesterday???????

As you know, I am trying to clean up the odds and ends left over from my tidying. And I found this while I was tidying. Now I knew that it was there, but I had been ignoring it.

A quilt top that was made a while back when I was doing some work for The Quilt Project and we did a block challenge. 

Read the story on the label and check out the date!!!!!!   

I sewed all the labels I had into the backing and the backing is done!!!!

Made the binding and this project is ready to be quilted. I have a potential buyer for this and now have to find a home for the funds. Well I will work out those details. 

And there is this BUNDLE of leftover fabric from these cancer quilts. (Don't worry - it wasn't donated - I bought the fabric) I have already made one Hopscotch from this fabric, but LOOK - there might be enough to make another one. 

Ooops - I cut out another Hopscotch!!!!!   Couldn't help myself - I really liked the other one so much. 

Scraps that went into the blue scrap bin

And look - there might be JUST ENOUGH left to make a backing and then all this fabric will be USED UP!!!!!!
Rearranged the values of the blocks in the raffle quilt and got the first row stitched together. I was a bit worried as there are a LOT of seams and lots of points. But my pressing plan has so far worked out just great and the points (with a little help from some steam) are working out just great.

Remember this??????

Well - this is what it looks like now - this is Step One. 

Then I got a job done that I was dreading. But it had to be done.

I had a BUNCH of icky scraps cut into 2 inch strips

Joined them all together

Ran them through the bias tape maker

Here is the start of the ball

Everything wound on the ball - sure doesn't look like much when it is wound up!!!!

And the final join to the crocheted rug. I have a feeling that I am going to have to search through my stash to find MORE HIDEOUS fabric to add. I don't have anything else earmarked for this rug and it uses copious amounts of fabric!!!!

Also got a few pieces from Easy Street put together. Oh - it was a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!    And then after dinner, Berke, M, DH and I had a great conversation about ghosts, scary movies, Scrabble and Words with Friends!!!!!  

Well - another busy day (and still no quilting - that is for next week). I had better get started. But the good news in all this - things are getting done (and even if I start a new project - Hopscotch is so easy - it takes no time to make it and I am using up my stash). Not buying anything new or starting any major projects that were not on the slate.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Progress report!!!

Boy - the gym sure cuts into my morning time!!!  I do have to say that the more I go, the more I like it and our Team Fitness group is becoming VERY NOISY, but I love it. I was talking to someone last night whose friend has decided to leave the gym for various reasons. I equate the gym with a quilting guild. If you DO NOT participate - you will HATE it and not go. If you DO NOT talk to other people - you will HATE it and not go. And who is going to make those things happen??????   Certainly NOT the guild, and not the gym. That has to come from within!!!!!   Everyone is certainly getting more chatty with each other and it is great!!!!

I have been wanting to post a progress report for weeks, but there just seemed to be so much other stuff to chat about. Today is the day - we are having a progress report on some of the stuff I have been doing.

Let's start with Easy Street - the Bonnie Hunter mystery that happened at Christmas time.

I got all the piecing done for Clue 4 - flying geese - I am SICK of flying geese

Ooops - there are TWO triangles left over - does that mean I cut two too many or short one of the orange????   After a count - I did not cut enough orange. Dug out the orange, and made ONE more flying geese. 

Got my squares cut - didn't have enough DEEP purples so had to throw in some lighter ones. DRAT - not convinced that I like that, but I will see. 

All the pieces so far - after Clue Four
Clue Five was already cut and prepped and ready for sewing.  Now - I could have  made better or quicker progress on this, but I sewed it as enders and leaders, NOT as a project. Hence the slower progress. 

While I am trying to NOT start anything new - this was on the 2013 shelf.  For one of the upcoming quilt shows, we need to make something from precuts (and adding extra for the borders). I have had these for a while and decided to use them to make something. Not quite sure what yet, but I now have them laid out and started sewing this morning. I know - I am going to let it happen as it happens. No planning. 

Call me frugal - call me cheap. These pieces were leftovers after I cut the scalloped border from the Brampton raffle quilt. What to do with them????  I know - YOU would have thrown them out. I just couldn't, so I ripped them apart and they are filed in their respective spots!!!!
The batting will makes nice pads for cleaning the long arm and the fabric went in the scrap bins. And NOW that job is done and not sitting around any more. Like I have said before, at this point, I don't really care what I sew or rip or whatever, as long as I am doing something. And I currently seem to be getting a kick out of the cleaning up/tidying up rather than using the new stuff. KEEP CALM and TIDY ON!!!!!!!!!!

Then it was back to that red/white raffle quilt for Halton Hills. I HAVE to get this off the wall. So...........

You see the problem - there are a LOT of pieces in each block and a lot of prep - marking, trimming and then finally sewing the blocks together

There was also one block on the wall that was missing a white wing. I was hoping I would find it by the time I got to the end of the blocks, but NOPE - I was in fact short TWO wings, so cutting ONE square fixed both problems. I so hate to waste. I KNOW - I KNOW - I am pathetic, I am obsessive. Yep - I admit it and stupid little things like make me happy. So sad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what happens when you get the quilt to this state?????   
Well you suck it up and get the LAST block done. All the blocks are now done. Just have to rearrange the blocks - maybe try moving some of the lights and darks around?????   I might just say - SCREW that and sew it together as is. 

Then I took the leftovers and had to make MANY joins for the binding

See all those little cutoffs

But the binding is DONE. I just hope I have made enough. I am sure there is, but it was hard to tell because it is VERY scrappy. 
On the weekend, I taught the first class in the Christmas Club at Cockadoodle. The class goes for the entire year and we are going to make the above quilt. It is gorgeous and going to be a challenge with all the raw edge applique. It is called Bringing Home the Tree by Seams Like Home. 
Just before I left for class, I realized that those two blocks on the bottom had similar fabric, so when I got home, I had to take them out and reverse them. 
And VOILA - there is the background for my applique!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If anyone is interested in taking this class - the group is pretty WILD, but we have loads of fun and there is still a couple of spots open. Call Cockadoodle and sign up - it is NOT too late.

Had our monthly class for Stonehenge last week at Ruti's and my goal was to get all the blocks (as many as I could) sewn together. We have six more blocks to sew. And the best part - when I got to the last row - it was already sewn together!!!!!

Stonehenge - all folded, labeled and ready for the next blocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

One of my things for this year is to get more "cultured" - whatever that means!!!!!!!!    Anyway - Judy and I took a little trip out to my FAVOURITE gallery - Joshua Creek Art Center to see the latest exhibit. Watercolour and inks by Mercedes Horne. I LOVED the exhibit. Hard to take pictures because everything was under glass. You should go - it is a great facility and a great show.

Watercolour and ink by Mercedes Horne

Detail of the inking on another piece

We spoke to one of the assistants and they have great things planned for that gallery. Last night was some sort of a drumming session. Congo drums or something. I would have loved to have gone, but I already had a commitment. Maybe next session. I just wanted to go and listen and be part of that.

Well - there you have it. My crazy day and while I should be quilting today, I am going to hit the sewing machine and try to get some more stuff done today. I have sit n sew on Friday and Sunday and I really really want to get some of this stuff cleared up rather than putting it away and dragging it out again next week. Wish me luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!