Sunday, January 18, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Christmas has come and gone and I, for one, am not sorry.  I find it a very sad time of year that reminds me of all the loved ones we’ve lost. 

 

I do, however, have some Christmas things to show you that I couldn’t post before they were given to their recipients.  I love to make Christmas themed gifts and am always drawn to Christmas kits and patterns.  There is something wrong with that!

 

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This beaded bracelet was for Sandra and the one below is for her wonderful mother in law, Judy.

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Sandra was also the recipient of this tissue holder which was done in the hoop on my embroidery machine.

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I made these for my son in law’s sister who just had a wonderful new addition put on her house with her dream kitchen.

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These Owl hot plate holders went to Sandra.

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I showed you one of these trees in my last post, but I felt they needed a little something so added some snow and presents.

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I’ve been working on a mystery quilt I made several years ago.  Here is a picture of the top:

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Those big empty plain blocks always bothered me, so I decided to machine embroider some applique on them.  It’s a pretty tedious task – it takes me almost 2 hours to do one block – I could probably have hand appliqued them faster, but here is a not very good picture of one of them done:

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There just don’t seem to be enough hours in a day to accomplish everything I want to.  I’ve been asked to make 3 baby quilts – one which is very special and is going to take a lot of work.  I also got talked into doing a Block of the Month for a quilt called Moonshine. 

I’m doing mine in dark blues, reds and creams. 

 

Yesterday Lee and I took a class on how to make thrummed mittens.  It was fun and I think these mitts are going to be really warm when they are done.

Thrummed Mittens: February 12 -- New Session! - Click Image to Close

 

After our class we had a nice lunch, then went to Len’s Mill in Guelph.  I think the Guelph location has more fabric than any of the other locations I’ve been to.  I’ve been searching for ‘sky’ fabric for a couple of weeks, and had my choice of several there.  It’s too bad sky fabric wasn’t the only thing I bought Sad smile

 

I will soon have to decide which Judy Niemeyer quilt I am going to do for the group starting in April.  I’m drawn to 4th of July, but it may be a bit ambitious for a first attempt at one of her patterns. 

 

There is also another quilt my friend Nikki showed me that I’d love to do.  It’s called Country Crossroads and it, too, is a block of the month.

 

Well, maybe if I got off the computer and actually DID some of the things on my list instead of just telling you about them, I might accomplish a bit more.

 

It’s been freezing in our part of the country the last couple of weeks, so I hope wherever you are you are staying warm and cuddling under a lovely quilt.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December Musings

Do you remember my annoying friend Lee?  The one who doesn’t have a blog but calls to ask me when I’m going to update mine?  Well, she asked again and guilted me into it!

 

I think I left off at our Guild’s quilt show and still had more pictures to share.

 

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This is a Jinny Byer pattern called Moonglow.  I’ve always wanted to make one of these, but the pattern is free on her website and after I looked at it, I decided I didn’t want to dedicate the next ten years to one quilt.  That being said, I have joined a small group that are going to be working on a Judy Niemeyer quilt.  We are all going to be working on our own pattern, but hopefully will get help and support from each other.  It isn’t going to start until April, which is a good thing since I still haven’t decided which one I want to do.  I’m leaning towards Fourth of July  but I’d like to buy a kit rather than try and pick my own fabrics.

 

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There’s a new baby in our house – a Babylock Ellisimo Gold.  I’ve always owned Husqvarna machines and never really considered another make as I had all the feet, embroidery hoops, software, etc. for them.  Then I saw the Babylock demonstrated and fell in love.  In my humble opinion, it is way ahead of the Husqvarna technology wise.  It’s very user friendly and I love sewing on it, as well as doing embroidery.  It came with everything I could possibly want, so buying more hoops or feet wasn’t an issue.  I’m trying to sell my Husqvarna/Viking SE but so far have had no interest.  It’s a great machine – I just like the Babylock more Smile

 

I took an embroidery class where we learned how to do a tablerunner or quilt completely in the hoop.  I’m not sure I would do the technique again, but it’s always nice to learn new things.

 

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Sandra and I went on our annual Christmas shopping trip to Buffalo a couple of weekends ago.  You might have heard about the 7 feet of snow they got!  Well, it seems like the snow literally cut the city in half – the south was hit really badly, but the northern part of the city got very little.  Luckily, we were staying in the part that had no snow and didn’t see any during our travels all weekend.  It was hard to believe that just 5 minutes south roofs were caving in from the weight of the snow.  We had a successful trip and I always enjoy spending time with my daughter.

 

I made her an Advent Calendar a few years ago, but she has taken to filling it every year for Darren, so I made her another one and gave it to her complete with 24 little gifts wrapped and numbered.

 

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I also managed to finish the top of my Blueridge Beauty from Bonnie Hunter’s class. 

 

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There is one heck of a lot of sewing in that top – two hundred odd half square triangles and the same of four patches.  Since I did it completely from my scrap bin, there was a LOT of cutting involved.  Let’s just say I’m glad it’s done!  Now I need to get it quilted.  Oh, by the way, Lee’s isn’t finished yet Smile 

 

My favourite quilt store is about an hour away.  The Quilting Bee is a wonderful store and the owner, Kelly Korfe, has done so much for the local longarm community.  She is bringing in Judi Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts for classes.  Lee and I have signed up and are looking forward to learning from Judi. 

 

I saw a tutorial on Facebook the other day for a fabric tree and decided to give it a go.  This isn’t a very good picture, but I think I’d like to bling it up a bit with some hot fix crystals on some of the ‘branches’.  If I make another one, I’ll do that.

 

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We are having our living and dining room painted this week.  We’re buying new furniture for the living room and not before time.  The stuff in there is so dated and while there isn’t anything wrong with it, I’m sick of the sight of it.  I’m sure someone in need will make good use of it.  I just wish I could wiggle my nose and all the new furniture would appear as I hate making decisions.  On the other hand, if I left it to Leo, we’d probably be sitting in a boat in our living room!

 

 

 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Trick or Treat

I was actually ahead of the game this year and got some Halloween sewing done early.  I made this wallhanging for my adopted grandsons, and also a treat bag for each of them.007

It’s difficult to see, but I actually got out of my box and quilted a spider web on it!

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I think they liked them.

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I also made a tablerunner for Sandra – she loves Halloween and always decorates their house.

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Then I decided I needed a fall wreath for the front door.  I used batiks this time – all from my scraps.  I really enjoyed making the first one, but for some reason this one seemed to take forever and I never thought I’d get it finished.  I was going to make one for Christmas, but I think I’ll wait until next year when I’ve forgotten what a PITA it was to make.

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A friend I used to work with who is now retired has always wanted to take a beading class.  She practically begged me to take it with her and I told her I already had enough hobbies without getting addicted to another one.  You guessed it – I gave in and took a class.  I was hoping I’d hate it, but unfortunately, I really enjoyed it and can now add beading to my list of hobbies.  At least beads don’t take up much room and are easy to get in the house unnoticed!  This is the bracelet I made at the class.

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I’ve also been doing some knitting – furry cowls to be specific.  I made one for Sandra and she loved it, so I had a couple of requests to knit more.  They are unbelievably soft and the best part – they don’t shed – not one little bit!

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I made two more, but you get the idea.

 

I’m working on my Blueridge Beauty, but it’s going to be a while before that one is finished.  I’d love to be able to work on more than one quilting project at once, but when you have everything pulled out for something, it doesn’t make sense to put it all away and start working on something else.

 

I promised I’d share some pictures from our Guild’s Quilt Show.  I’ll post a couple now, and more next time.

 

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We have some very talented quilters in our Guild. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Road Trips

We won’t even talk about how long it’s been since I’ve updated my blog.
I am a huge fan of Deb Tucker of Studio 180 Design.  I first met her in New Hampshire at MQX about 6 or 7 years ago and have followed her progress ever since.  I find her fascinating to listen to and watch and her rulers are absolute genius!  My latest purchase was her LeMoyne Star ruler.  She has excellent instructional videos on line, but more for the road trip than the lesson, Lee, Nikki and I went to Buffalo one day to take a class on using this new tool.  It is SO easy and makes a perfect block every single time!

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Sandra and I spent a wonderful weekend in Rochester, NY.  She planned the whole thing and we visited the Jell-O Museum (the very fact that there is such a thing warranted a visit), a beautiful mall, a spa day, a visit to the George Eastman house which was amazing and finally a trip to the zoo before heading home.  We both had a ball and were particularly impressed with the George Eastman (of Eastman Kodak fame) house.  It is 35,000 square feet and has been restored to it’s original condition.  The guide told us that one New Year’s Eve over 900 guests were in the house.  Here are some shots from our weekend.

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The Eastman House and gardens.
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This wasn’t my favourite picture – he shot this elephant while on safari and while the tusks are the original, the original elephant’s head rotted and a replica had to be made.
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The crown moldings and decorative trim were unbelievable.
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Lee and I had our class with Bonnie Hunter.  I’m probably the only quilter in North America who feels this way, but I was very disappointed in her class (actually, there are 2 of us, as Lee felt the same way).  I knew the quilt we were making was an easy one – Blueridge Beauty – but I thought she would share all kinds of tips and tricks for scraps – like what sizes to cut them, how to sort them, etc.  Maybe we needed to go to the lecture to get that, but in her class we spent the morning making 4 patches and the afternoon sewing half square triangles.  I think I already knew how to do that!  In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, I think she is spreading herself too thin.  She had arrived in Buffalo from Alaska and was at the end of a 12 day trip.  I don’t care who you are, you can’t keep up that kind of schedule and be as enthusiastic at the end of the trip as you were at the beginning.  I would love to hear from anyone else who has taken one of her classes.  Maybe we just caught her on an off day, but I was extremely disappointed.  I was even disappointed in the picture – this is NOT a good picture of either Lee or myself but since I’m such a good sport, I’ll post it anyway.
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Last weekend, Nikki, Diane, Valerie and I went to Quilting Around Chautauqua in New York state.  It was a gorgeous weekend weather wise and the trees had started to turn down there, which is surprising as they are further south than we are and our trees haven’t started turning yet.  The show is held on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institute and it was like stepping back in time when the rich would go to their summer mansions on the lake for the season.  The community was so quaint and the show and vendors were spread out in different buildings throughout the community.  Several shuttle busses ran continuously all day taking you from one venue to the next.  This is the Athenaeum Hotel where a lot of the vendors were located.
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The hotel is right on the lake and that beautiful porch was filled with rocking chairs and you look onto the lake from them.  We tried them out at the end of the day when we were weary from carrying our purchases.  Did I mention we did our duty and boosted the economy of the area?

While the quilts for the most part were disappointing (honestly, they were), there was one building that housed quilts done by a group called The Stitchin’ Sisters and their quilts were outstanding.  Here is a sampling of what was on display in their building.

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Here’s a peek of the lake.
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You can see what a perfect day it was without a cloud in the sky.
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This one was taken from the porch of the Athenaeum Hotel.  I hope you appreciate the effort I made to get out of my rocking chair to take this!
Here are my buddies – Nikki, Valerie and Diane.
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They made me hide all their shopping bags behind them Smile
Here I am with Nikki and Diane.
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Our Guild’s Quilt Show was last weekend but I haven’t even downloaded the pictures yet, so those will have to wait until next time.