Thursday, September 30, 2010

News from Home

                                I have an announcement to make. It is with heavy heart I tell you this realizing all too soon it will come to an end. My golf course is about to CLOSE DOWN! I went golfing yesterday and saw how quickly the trees have changed colour. Our weatherman here in Ontario is predicting an early winter. Of course he could be wrong and I hope he is because I am not looking forward to the white stuff. I didn't want to use the "S" word yet. Sometimes I have been lucky in the past and been able to golf until the first week of December. Let's keep our fingers cross.
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You are probably wondering what this blob of "stuff" is all about. It is lying on the floor waiting for me to have an artistic moment. My niece decided that she wanted something "done" with her wedding dress instead of having it hanging in the back of the closet. At the moment I am removing the beading and lace from the dress so I can determine how much fabric I have to work with and then cut it up into big pieces. She was married 4 years ago so there is no rush to start the project but my deadline is to present the reincarnated piece at Christmas. I do have several ideas at the back of my mind so do come back and visit with me to see how "it's" coming along.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hexagon Wednesday

As you know I've joined the Hexagon crowd and I wanted to show you my handy, dandy hexagon transportation device. Wasn't that a mouthful for such a small thing. I found the plastic container 2 weeks ago and nearly dismissed buying it thinking it was not tall enough. I wanted to be able to carry various combinations of tools and fabric so the box had to be flexible and flexible it turns out to be. When I started using it I was reminded of the old adage "never judge a book by its cover". I fell in love with it at the outset and I've posted two photos of possible uses. I'm sure there are many more. It comes with a pullout tray that has the capacity to store quite a few things as you can see. The bottom level is divided into 3 sections that can hold my thread, fabric, sewn "flower petals", pins and scissors. At the moment 2 of the lower sections are full of sewn flower petals. There is also a "break" in one of the lower divisions which enables me to carry a 8" ruler. I can also close the lid on the box while the threads are standing upright and  found out by accident I can pick up the box and not have all the contents slip to one end in a big mess. So there you have my latest treasure. Happy Hexagon Wednesday everyone.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Leaf

This week has been a very discombobulated week for me. I was putting out fires every day in my life. Because there was no period of recuperation between events the stress level kept rising. I could not concentrate on the smallest thing, including my blog. I hope that is all behind me now so I can get back to business. I have preached for years people should stop and smell the roses and when the dust settled I realized my angels were telling me in a round about way that I was ignoring my own advise. The first thing I did was revisit my sewing room. It had been neglected for awhile, not used to the extent that it was in the past. I was just dashing in and dashing out with no feeling of inspiration or bonding with my fabric. I felt like a robot that was stressed. I have heard it said that the first step is the hardest. Well, I have now taken that first step and can tell you I feel a tremendous weight has been lifted.  I'm going to just sit back, relax and see where that step will take me. Bring it on world!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pincushion Swan

Since pincushions are very much in the forefront of quilting/sewing these days I thought I would share mine with you. This swan pincushion came about because I was having trouble picking up the round shaped types. My fingers weren't bending properly so I was leaving my pins scattered around. I liked the idea of being able to pick up the pincushion easily and carry it wherever it was needed. So the neck of the pincushion was born and the pattern just grew from there. My husband wouldn't let me use his saw (in case I hurt myself) so he cut it out for me from the paper template I made. The wood was pine which I sanded and stained 3 times. I then applied a sealer.
The hard part was the fabric body because I wanted something that said "feathers" and showed "wings". I guess my sewing angels were with me that day because in no time I had the body sewn together. I used scrap batting and stuffing material packed very firm into the body of the swan and then attached it to the wooden base.
I still haven't found an eye I like so it's going without. I know it probably looks more like a duck to most of you but to me it's my swan.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Quilting Phrases

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"Better late than never" is a phrase that has been around forever and it's a phrase that seems to populate my life. My DH has turned  "When you see it, buy it. Don't wait" into a mantra for me. Or another way of putting it is "He who hesitates is lost". That last adage applies very much to my fabric buying habits, although it's not always apparent to me at the time. The quilt you see is very unusual for me. It's an "out of the box" quilt meaning I had never worked with such fabrics or colours before and I wanted to relate its story to you.
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Awhile back I went to my local quilt shop with nothing particular in mind. I was wandering aimlessly when all of a sudden I spied the "Dick and Jane-1940's" fabrics line. They just lept out and stirred something inside me. I have never, ever had that happen to me before. I felt transfixed (odd but true). I felt happy to the point of giggling, to the point of saying "be still my beating heart". I had no clue as to what to make so did not know how much to buy. Since I had  fabric stored at home (don't we all)  I felt I needed to be prudent and only purchased 1/3 yard pieces. The car could not get me home fast enough. The "rush" was still with me when I started cutting. I had no pattern to work with so just cut squares and hoped for the best. Please understand that I am not the type of person who rushes home from the store and sits down to cutting and sewing. This was all very unusual for me. Suddenly my world came crashing down. I did not have enough orange fabric for the sashing. I went back to the shop the next day to find they had sold out of everything. For 2 years I searched off and on for more sashing fabric and had given up. As luck would have it I finally found some 2 weeks ago and was able to finish the quilt. As I was photographing it I thought this quilt does not look finished. What do I need to make it look complete? Does anyone have any ideas? In the meantime, you now know that "Better late than never" and "When you see it, buy it" are part of my quilting life that I am trying very hard to change.
 I want to apologize for Thursday's unlinked blog. I am still new to the computer/blogging business and I thought I had done the job correctly but found out after I published it was not. It took a while to get resolved and I think I now know how to link (I hope) so that it will never happen again.Thank you for understanding.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Hurry to enter these giveaways that are happening as we speak:
Good luck to everyone. I myself entered a giveaway and won! Have a look at and you will see the lovely pincushion that Cheryl made which is heading my way. One more giveaway to add is . If I come across anymore I'll let you know.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nature's Quilt

As yet the trees in my area have not changed colours but I thought I would share some old photos and memories with you. Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year. The changing colours make me think of a sampler quilt created by Mother Nature. It triggers fond memories of when my DH and I were dating.  One of the things he loved about me was that I enjoyed doing the "simple"things like going on a picnic in the country. The sunny weather and beautiful fall colours made the picnics extra special. The fall colours also trigger another happy memory for me.
The road to our country home is lined both sides with huge, ancient maple trees. I'm assuming they are a type of sugar maple because there would be a glorious riot of colour during Indian summer. Brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows would greet me as I drove up the road. I would always stop at the top of the small rise in the road to survey the lay of the land and  give a silent "thank you" to the farmer who planted these maples over 125 years ago. Whatever troubles I might have had during the day were melted away by those majestic trees engulfed by their colours somewhat like having a quilt wrapped around me. A childhood memory recuring at this time of the year has to do with Horse chestnuts. As soon as the chestnuts were mature a bunch of us would throw small rocks and sticks up into the trees to coax the nuts down. Just picture it. We were only about 8 years old and could hardly throw that high but we tried with all our might and were elated when we succeeded. Next I had to figure out how to get the nut out of  its shell without hurting my little hands. When I had enough nuts shelled I would string them together to make a necklace. That part almost got the better of me until I figured out to use my father's hammer and nails to make the holes in the chestnuts without him finding out I used his tools. I was forbidden to go near them in case "I poked my eye out". Once the necklaces were strung we all wore them around our little necks as if they were a badge of  courage. Each year when the trees change their colours these memories always come back to me and make autumn "special" for me.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Found Friends

16" by 16"
We've all heard "better late than never". That phrase is very appropriate in my case. I found these 2 little quilts the other day when I was looking for something. They were handquilted and all they needed was their bindings put on. As soon as I saw them I fell in love with them all over again. I felt bad that they had been neglected all those years so I put everything on hold that day and sat down to cut and sew the bindings on by machine. I always finish the binding by handsewing it to the back of the quilt which brought forward another pleasure I had been neglecting and that was handsewing is very relaxing. I enjoy the rhythmic movement of the needle in and out of the fabric. It somehow grounds me,  slows my world down and takes me off to my own little sanctuary. These little quilts had somehow managed to stay hidden through 2 moves and countless cleanings and rearrangings of my sewing areas. "How many years?" you ask. It had been 25 years since I last saw them so that's why I think "better late than never" is very appropriate in my case. Some things are put on your path in life at the moment you need them or can deal with them. In this case these little quilts taught me to finish what you start, learn to use a thimble again, small things are beautiful and above all to sit back and smell the roses.
15 1/2" by 15 1/2"

On another note, I want to tell everyone how much I enjoy belonging to the "Blogosphere Club". There is a wealth of information at my finger tips and I hope to be able to repay in kind with the hope that it's useful to everyone.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Hexagon Wednesday

As you can see a new button has been added to my left sidebar. I've joined the Hexagon Wednesday crowd. Just click on the logo and you'll be connected their website. Since I am new to the Blogosphere I find this very exciting; to be able to connect with people right around the world in a blink of an eye and see what they are working on. I've shown you a photo of 2 possible "flavours" of my hexagons.  I can't seem to decide which way to go probably because I haven't decided how the quilt will look. I like to design my own patterns (in a loose way) but in this case I think I will let the hexagons "speak" as to how they would like to be placed. The other reason I have joined the group is that I just realized how I've missed handpiecing. I had forgotten how relaxing it was and how very portable it was as well. So, do you think I should use the vintage scrap look or the modern fabrics for my hexagons? What do you think?
September is a month I find myself putting away my layback summer mode until next year and getting back to business at hand. I start thinking about setting new goals or have thoughts about what new road to travel next. At the present time I have decided, besides making the hexagons, to also include making small 9 patches measuring around 3", and a small bay leaf also known as the pumpkin seed. One tiny problem right now is the weather. It is so hot here I have trouble concentrating on my "new" road. I have always thought of fall and winter as a time to do quilting when the weather is cooler. One of my quilts in the family room is calling out to me and reminding me it's time to start. It hangs across from where I sit in the room so I have a constant reminder.
It's the handquilting in the quilt that reminds me to get back to business. I have several waiting for me to quilt. The border of the quilt was quilted without a hoop or frame. I did not want the bother of having to sew an extra piece of fabric on to be able to get it to fit the hoop so i basted the border area to death. It really did not take much more time and the benefit to me outweighed the sewing on an extra piece of fabric. Remarkably the border laid very flat and straight while I was handquilting and was very easy to manoeuvre. The whole idea of more basting giving me the freedom to work without a hoop or frame is very much on my mind for the next quilt. I was pleased with the outcome of this quilt.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stack-n-Whack Quilt

I have owned this piece of fabric for quite some time but never seemed to find the appropriate pattern that would bring out its beauty. I find working with black somewhat difficult because it is so intense in value. A close friend, Lynn, had just learned the Stack-n-Whack technique and asked if I wanted to learn it as well. Since this quilt had been on my "bucket list" I said "yes". One of the requirements was a fabric with a large "repeat". To my surprise this black floral fabric was perfect because of its 22" repeat. That's right. The repeat was 22" which meant a lot of fabric was needed to make anything. I was very lucky to have 3 yards of it so a lap size quilt was possible. Excitement was rising as we measured and cut because in the Stack-n-Whack technique you have no idea what your blocks will look like. It's like opening your presents at Christmas. Surprise!
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 In no time our first blocks went up on the design wall. We were thrilled at what we saw. I couldn't believe how much my fabric not only changed but how different each block was and it all came from one piece of fabric. At the time Lynn offered to teach me the Stack-n-Whack technique I wasn't sure if I would like it but I definitely became a lover after that day. The bonus was that it didn't take long to sew the blocks together. I now wonder if there is anything I should add to this quilt to make it "pop" some more.  I appreciate you leaving me a comment after this post. Thank you!

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