Friday, October 29, 2010

True Spooky Story

This is a true story. I am relating the facts as they happened. My friends were driving home from a Hallow'een party. The party was located in the country not far from the city where they lived. They made sure not to indulge because the police were out doing spot checks on cars coupled with the fact driving on country roads at night you have to have your wits about you. The roads are not lit with street lighting as you have in the city and anything could happen if you are not careful especially when you are unsure of the bends and turns. Back to my story and please try to picture this as you read along keeping in mind we are in farm country with rolling hills and thick forests. My friends were driving along the road and saw what looked like a man walking towards them in the distance. They thought it a bit strange that a person should be out so late walking but thought he might be walking home from a costume party and lived nearby. Because the man was walking towards them the car headlights shone not only on the road but on the man as well. When they got a bit closer they saw he had on a long, black cloak like you would see in the early 1800's with the hood pulled over his head. They could not yet see him clearly. As they got closer to him they were able to see that, indeed, he had on a long cloak and shoes that also looked as if they belonged in the 1800's. The car headlights now shone fully on the man as they passed him. Both did not say a word to each other for several miles. Finally the one friend says "Did you see him?". The other answered "Yes, I did". The first one said "Did you see he had no head nor face"? The second one said"Yes, I did". They drove home in total silence. That, my friends, really happened. I thought I would pass this on to you because Hallow'een is approaching and I love spooky stories, especially ones that are true. I hope more people reveal them in their blogs over the Hallow'een period. When I was young I used to scare myself silly with spooky movies and spooky stories. I could never say "no" to either and just walk away. Happy Hallow'een everyone.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hexagon Wednesday

BooHooHoo. Sniff! My hexagon box is empty. I am feeling so forlorn right now. I'll have a good cry and then get on to cutting more fabric for making more friends. Surely they'll appear by the end of the day. Am I wishing too hard?  I think I'm starting to feel better already. What do I spy with my little eyes, peeking at me from around the corner?
Why it's one of my friends! I had faith things would work out for me today. Since I have one friend now I know there will be more friends to show you next time. Please visit me again to find out who appeared. By the way, If you are wondering why all the threads, it is because I sew it the English way and the paper is still in.

Santa Came Early
 My DH came back from the mailbox and handed me this envelope. I thought "I wasn't expecting anything". I opened it and found this inside. Was I amazed!
I had read other blogs and how quilters were receiving gifts just because of a small favour or act of kindness done for someone they did not know. How touched I was that it happened to me for such a simple gesture I willingly did. It was Leona that sent me the unexpected gift and I will treasure it always. I thank you very much, Leona, for your kindness. As I told Leona, butterflies have been on my list of quilts to make so as I am making it I will be thinking of her.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quilt Block Swaps

As I mentioned previously I joined a Quilting Block Swap not too long ago. I wanted to show you what I just received from my new friend Crafty Pug. The block flew in all the way from Australia and I am very happy it did. I had asked Crafty Pug for a Log Cabin block using black, white and some red and this is what she made for me. Isn't it a treasure! As you can tell I'm enjoying this swap immensely because you make so many new global friends. I don't know if all swaps are the same (because this is my first) but you can specify what colours you would like used and which block you would like as well. The swap is still open to participants so why not click on the logo on my left sidebar to be connected or the link above. It won't take a minute to have a look around once you're there. I think you'll like what you see and sign up. It's painless too.

Christmas in October
I also joined another block swap called Christmas Quilting Blocks Swaps Australia. This is for all of you that love it to be Christmas year round. In this swap you tell your partner what your block preferences are and here I'm showing you Linda's block. She lives in Georgia so I think I'm safe in posting her block as I sent it off last week. She had requested a Snow Ball block in modern Christmas fabric with a character of some kind in the centre. I just happened to have the three turtle doves in a Christmas ornament style so I used that and embroidered a hanger on the ornament. This swap is open to participants as well and it's a lot of fun as you can see. If you love Christmas, as I do, I think you'll enjoy this monthly exchange. Just click on the link above or the the button on my left side bar to be connected. My hope is that I will eventually be partnered with all of you.

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Prized Pincushion

click on the image to enlarge
I was absolutely thrilled when the postman delivered the gift I won from my friend Cheryl. She had hosted a giveaway a while back and I was the lucky winner.  My angels must have been with me that day because I usually don't win. The pincushion took several weeks to arrive from the USA (which is not unusual ) and I wanted to wait until it was delivered before I told you about my good fortune.  Cheryl used wool for the design and embroidery embellishment to finish it. I just love it to pieces. It now holds a prominent position in my sewing room. I placed it so it is in view at all times whether I'm sewing or cutting. Here are a few shots taken as I pan around the pincushion. Starting with the upper right edge.
This is my favourite shot because I love lady bugs.


Such small detailing on the pumpkins. It must have been difficult to sew.
Isn't he cute? Reminds me of "The Wizard of Oz".

A lovely flower to finish off the scene.

      I thank you, Cheryl, for the lovely pincushion and glad you had the giveaway.  By the by, I'm sorry for the spaces between the photos. I wish Blogger was more user friendly when it comes to image implant.                               

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hexagon Wednesday

click on image to enlarge
This week I was working with fabrics that are not my usual style. I like to work with reproduction fabrics whether from the mid 1800's America or English floral. As you can see, the fabrics I used were in the opposite direction and very graphic looking to me. I don't know what came over me but I thought it would be nice for a change and as Martha always says "That's a good thing". These four hexagons took no time to sew together while my DH was driving. An issue came up during this trip and I hope all of you reading this post will help me solve the conundrum. When I finish my hexagon I check how tight the stitches are. Some of the stitching would be easier to pull apart than others. Not by very much but enough that I started using two methods of sewing the hexagons together as a test.  I used the whipstitch and the blanket stitch. What I would like to know from you is if there is a stitch that is almost unseen on the right side of the hexagon and the stitches hold the fabric so tight that when you try to pull the pieces apart you still can not see any stitches on the right side. Is there such a stitch? If you know, please leave me a comment. In the meantime I'll continue as I am and hope you enjoy my flowers.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Friday Night Sew In

I just signed up for the FNSI this past Friday. You are suppose to close the door on the world and work on whatever the spirit moves in you. It is left up to you to decide how long you want to spend in sewing, crafting and what you sew and craft. You can even sew in your pajamas if you so wish. I was not sure if FNSI was something I would participate in on a regular basis because I am not a night person when it comes to sewing. I decided to give it a try. Remember that blob I showed you several posts ago? My neice's wedding dress? Well it was now past calling out to me. It was screaming at me to start working on it.
I did not start on FNSI until 8:30pm because my day was jam packed so this wedding dress was the prefect project. I thought it would be ripped apart in no time. Using my sharpest scissors I slashed out the zipper and then the poking started. That dress was sewn, double sewn and triple sewn in places. It had interlining, underlining, bodice stakes, rings and every other thing known to man. The only part I slowed the slashing down for was the beads and embroidery. It took 1 1/4 hours to finish the job and I was exhausted. Needles to say I did not go on to another project. I now have 3 piles of wedding dress instead of 1 but am happy the job was done. I will try FNSI another time but will work on something more constructive.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hexagon Wednesday

"Mary, Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow? With silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row." TaDa. Here I present to you my pretty maids since I saw you last. My garden is starting to take over my house! That's an inside joke. Last week I sat in front of the TV one night and cut out 200 paper pieces to have ready. That only took 2 hours but I did have a sore thumb and fingers and thought it was time to order in the precut paper templates. As you can see I'm using only what scraps I have on hand for my flowers which is one of the  challenges to myself. I have decided that 2010 is the year I deplete my scrap stash. I don't have much compared to some of you in the Blogosphere but am happy nevertheless to use whatever I find. Since I have never made a scrap quilt (all of mine have been totally coordinated) I find it a bit difficult at the moment because the urge to coordinate is still there but I am making progress using the Hexagon as a "cutting edge tool of technology" to help me along with a laissez-faire attitude. Hope you all enjoy my flowers.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Our 24lb. Turkey
 Here in Canada we celebrated Thanksgiving and what a marvelous weekend it was. For us it is a time for family gatherings and lots of shameless over indulgence. I certainly did my part to make sure the practice continued. I had not one but two Thanksgiving meals and I don't mind telling you I was thankful (in more ways than one). My DH and I also contributed to the food bank drive so that others less fortunate could celebrate. This year will be a difficult one for food banks to make ends meet, I'm sure. The weather was another thing I was thankful for. It was so gorgeous, sunny and warm. How gorgeous do you ask? Well more gorgeous than a human should be allowed to have. My DH and I included a long walk (2.5 miles) in the local forest on Saturday so we would not miss out on the last of the beautiful colours. If you had asked me this weekend what I was thankful for I would have given you a short reply. I am thankful I can still get out of bed in the morning, with curiosity and anticipation, ready to tackle anything the day brings me.
this is "before" dinner
I thought I would leave you with a photo I took before dinner. I always like to take two. The "before" and "after" shots. I'm only showing you the "before" and keeping the "after" photo for myself. It's a private little thing I do. I want to be able to look back in later years and smile, knowing that a good time was had by all.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Brown Bag Ugly Challenge

I was beginning to worry that my Brown Bag Ugly Challenge fabric was lost in the mail but the postman delivered it the other day. If some of you have been wondering what that Brown Bag button on my left sidebar was about I would be not only happy to explain but I'll show you now that I have the fabric. The point of the challenge was to go into your stash and choose a selection of fabric, no more than 2yds. total, that you thought was ugly or that you knew you would never use. Send it to the person you were partnered with and she would do likewise. This was what I received from my partner Carolina. Holding my breath like a kid at Christmas I opened my parcel. The inside wrapper was taped with lovely "tulips" and this was what the wrapper unveiled.
I was completely surprised. It was love at first sight. Thank you, very much Carolina. Who could not love this fabric? It is Paula Nadelstern's Luminosity line and the instant I saw it I knew it would fit very well into my plans. I can't reveal to you at the moment what that plan is because the project isn't due until next year but suffice to say that the yellow fits very nicely into my pattern. This fabric will become a quilt of my own design. Back to Carolina. Not only did I receive this fabric but she also made a lovely bag for me as a gift and included a pretty card.
All in all I was glad I signed up for this challenge and am looking forward to seeing all the finished projects next year on the Flickr site. Remember to click on the images if you want a closer look. Sew-long till next post.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Yesterday I mentioned I now belong to the IFQ (button on left sidebar) where you could make many new quilting friends. I wanted to show you what I made for my new friend ,Terry, in England. The event at IFQ is called Mosaic Play. Each participant sends their partner the centre fabric patch. That partner completes the block and sends it back. Terry sent me the centre fabric patch of the block and included this lovely card which I've decided to put in a "memory book".
I used fabric from my stash to complete the block while at the same time trying to bring out the "beauty" of the centre fabric patch.

So here you see what I had accomplished to this point when the designing wheels fell off. I could not decide which colour I should use next.
At the back of my mind I knew Terry would be using this block in the decorating scheme of her bedroom so I wanted to keep the block soft and restful and toward the turquoise colourway. The dark blue was a better choice for bringing out the centre block but still I wanted the block to have a subtle look.
This is the end result that should be in Terry's mail box on Monday. I hope she likes it.
Everyone, give some thought to joining IFQ. It's a lot of fun and you'll make new friends.

Thanksgiving is this weekend in Canada. I wanted to wish my Canadian readers a very happy Thanksgiving and we'll talk "turkey" on Tuesday. Have a dessert for me, please.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Back in the Saddle doing Swaps

Hello everyone! I'm back. I decided it was time to venture into the sewing room to reintroduce myself to my machines. My first line of stitching did not impress me. It looked as if I had forgotten how to sew but in no time at all  I was back in the saddle again. As you can see I have several new buttons on my left side bar.The first button belongs to the International Friendship Quilters. If you click on their logo it will connect you to their website. What an extensive program they have. Not only are there block swaps in this group but there are also programs for learning new techniques, a chat room, photo gallery, and special events. Do have a look around their site. I signed on recently and have sent off a block already and made a new friend, Terry in England. The second button belongs to the Australian swap group. This is a block swap in which most of the participants come from "down under" but don't let that stop you from joining them. I signed up recently and have already sent off a block and made another new friend, Crafty in South Australia.
Crafty's block
What a great bunch they all are. Towards the bottom of my left sidebar you'll see the Christmas Block swap that was just established. In this group you will swap Christmas blocks ALL YEAR round. So if Christmas is your love (like me) then this is the swap to join. Since they are a new group they are looking for more participants to join them. Remember, if you don't want to sew with Christmas fabrics all year round consider joining for only part of the year.