Monday, February 25, 2008

Quilt of Valour

I belong to a very small but dedicated group called the Canadian Quilters Forum on Delphi. I volunteered to quilt a QOV, and I am really pleased with how it turned out.

Here is a close-up of the quilting and the back.

I finally achieved, on this quilt, what I've been striving for - stitch definition with the stitches sinking into the quilt. The batting was supplied with the quilt and I think that is what has made the difference so I must find out what kind of batting it was. It was fairly 'linty' but I'll put up with that to achieve the end result.

Next on my list is my Aunt's Jewel Box quilt. I have procrastinated way too long on quilting this. I am so afraid I'm going to mess it up and I put so much work (and money) into the top.

I took it with me for my lesson with Carol and we discussed some options for quilting, now I just have to get the guts to get out of my comfort zone and go for it! This top is crying out for some custom treatment - it would be so easy to do a panto, but I've promised myself I wouldn't do that.

Just noticed Blogger has finally fixed the Spell Check - yayyyyy.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I hit the Jackpot today! My girlfriend and I took a trip to Buffalo to a little quilt store that was closing. EVERY bolt of fabric in the store was $3/yard - good quality, name brand fabric. I think I showed amazing restraint only buying 18 yards.

We also got our Joann fix, visited another quilt store which had a lovely fabric selection, and enjoyed a nice lunch. Who could ask for a nicer way to spend a Saturday!

There seems to be a lot of media attention being given lately equating people who accumulate a lot of 'stuff' to those who can't lose weight. The premise is that if you get rid of all the unnecessary stuff in your house, you will also be able to shed pounds - it's the excess stuff that's causing you to eat. I wonder if that also applies to fabric? If so, I now know the reason I'm overweight. Actually, I don't buy that theory for a minute, but it's an interesting thought process.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged by Sandy who asked me to post 7 weird or random facts about myself. I'm not sure how 'weird' I am, but here goes.

  1. I was born in Scotland and moved to Canada when I was 5, but returned when I was 10 for over a year. I remember going to school in Scotland and they tried to break all my 'Canadian' writing habits - they told me my capitol Fs looked like giraffes and I was hit across the knuckles numerous times because I didn't write my Rs the way the British do! And to think, this wasn't THAT long ago.
  2. I am an only child and have hated it all my life. I especially miss a sibling now when I'm trying to deal with difficult decisions regarding my aging family members.
  3. I consider quilting my lifesaver. I enjoyed crafts all my life - knitting, embroidery, cross stitch, etc. but when I developed arthritis in my hands, I could no longer do hand work. The day I walked into a quilt store and thought 'I can do this' was the day my life began again.
  4. I am anal about toilet tissue rolling from under the roll. It just has to, and if it doesn't, I'll change it - doesn't matter where I am.
  5. I am very compulsive and impatient - not two good traits. If I want something, I want it NOW.
  6. I have a bedroom completely decorated around my teddy bear collection. For years, friends have been giving me bears - stuffed bears, ceramic bears, big bears, small bears - so many that when we redecorated a spare bedroom, I decorated it around the bears. (I guess that is pretty weird!)
  7. This won't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, but I LOVE animals and can't stand to see or hear of any animal abuse.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's My Life

My heading has absolutely nothing to do with my post, I just can't get that Bon Jovi song out of my head today.

I'm not sure why this quilt doesn't photograph well, but it doesn't - it's much prettier up close and personal - and it's soooo soft.

I had another lovely day yesterday with the 'ladies who quilt', although I'm not convinced they meet to quilt, I have my suspicions that they meet to eat! I had to leave early to join my bowling team so I missed the chocolate fondue with fresh fruit!!!! Probably just as well as I'm not sure how much longer my diet (or lack thereof) can stand all these quilt get togethers.

Louise managed to turn these into this:

Louise also had some beautiful embroidered blocks that she was planning to incorporate into a quilt top. She embroidered them on batting, so that when the top was completed and another layer of batting added, the blocks would have a trapunto effect. I'd never seen that done before, but it looked like a great idea!

I spent the day working on a kit I bought off Ebay quite some time ago. It's a John Flynn pre-cut Wheel of Mystery pattern done in flannel fossil ferns. This is my first attempt at curved piecing and I'm not so sure flannel was my best fabric to start with.

I just stuck these on my design wall when I came home - they will not stay this way as I've got some dark and lights mixed up the wrong way. The picture on the right is just to prove I did do something other than eat.

I ordered a pattern last week and was thrilled to find it in my mailbox tonight when I got home.

It's called 'One for the Money' and what I found so intriguing is it's made from ONE striped fabric. I purchased it from Grizzly Gulch Gallery and I was very pleased to see they charged me actual shipping costs to ship to Canada. Trust me, this doesn't happen very often.

In anticipation of receiving this pattern, I just HAD to buy some striped fabric as stripes are usually something I steer clear of when buying for my stash. Here's what I picked up on the 50% off table at my local quilt store. I just hope the repeat isn't too small for the pattern to work. Heaven forbid I should actually wait until I have the pattern to run out and buy the fabric.

If Blogger doesn't fix Spell Check soon, everyone is going to find out I really can't spell!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Where Do The Days Go?

I can't believe it's Sunday already! My longarm lesson on Thursday didn't disappoint - it was great and I learned a lot from Carol. We spent a lot of time playing on the machine with background fillers, some different feather techniques and continuous curve designs.

Not only that, but she made us a delicious lunch too! I really am in love with my machine. I quilted my rose flannel quilt yesterday and it quilted like a dream. I wanted to get a picture of it, but unfortunately my quilt holder is sleeping on the couch right now.

The best news of all, though, is we found 'the dress'! Sandra and I went shopping again on Friday and she found the dress of her dreams - her whole face lit up when she saw it on and she said she felt like a princess in it. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders as we were running out of places to go.

I don't plan on looking for my dress until closer to the summer when hopefully I'll be down at least another size or six.

I volunteered to quilt a Quilt of Valour for our wounded returning from Afghanistan. It arrived on Friday - it's a Maple Leaf block quilt - so I'm hoping to get it loaded and quilted tomorrow.

This doesn't seem like a very exciting post, but that's all folks!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm Off to Class

I get my lesson on my new machine tomorrow from Carol at The Quilt Batt. Carol is an amazing quilter and a lovely person. I haven't had many quilts professionally quilted, but those that I have, were all quilted by Carol. She has a beautiful studio literally tucked into the woods. She lives at the top of the Niagara Escarpment and her house is down a long winding driveway and behind her house is her separate studio. It's a bright cheerful spot and I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can from her.

Last year, my best friend of over 50 years got married after being single for most of her life. She has always loved Hummel figurines so this is the quilt I made for her wedding present - if you click on the picture it should enlarge for you giving you a better look at the individual blocks. I bought the designs from Pfaff.

Carol did the quilting and she did an amazing job McTavishing all the embroidered blocks:

I can only dream of one day being this good.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Good, The Bad & Air Canada

We're back from a wonderful week in Antigua. Leo really needed some down time and we certainly got lots of that - lying in the sun and reading - but to be honest, I was bored to tears. It's been a long time since we had a vacation where we did absolutely nothing and I really missed Ben, my quilting and the Internet!

Sandals in Antigua has received a lot of bad press lately on some of the travel forums - some of it justified, a lot of it wasn't, in my humble opinion. The location is hard to beat with miles of beautiful clean white beaches literally outside your room. This location recently added a Mediterranean village which more than doubled the size of the resort.

This is the new pool - one of 6 on the resort. The grounds are beautiful with flowers everywhere and hibiscus to die for!

I didn't enjoy the food. It was very bland, everything tasted the same and I don't think they have ever heard of herbs. There are a lot of Brits who vacation there so maybe they cater to their tastes? Speaking of Brits, below are Samson & Delilah the resident parrots - they do speak - in fact they both say 'Hello' with an English accent.

Those of you who know me, know I'm not much of a drinker, but I did find something I could get very used to - a Banana Sip Sop - dark rum, grenadine, a banana, coconut milk and ice. Here I am enjoying the last one before we left.

Now we get to the ugly Air Canada. We were supposed to fly home on Saturday on a flight that left Antigua at 4:30 P.M. We arrived at the airport at 2 P.M. to be told our flight had just left Toronto and would be about 4 hours late leaving. We then lined up for a physical inspection of our bags (they don't have bag X-Ray machines there), then lined up to pay the departure tax, lined up some more to go through customs and a final line up to go through the metal detector. After sitting in the Airport for hours, Air Canada then announced that our flight had been cancelled as the crew needed a layover.

Fine, I can understand that, but they knew that when the plane took off late - why didn't they tell us before we went through all that hassle? Then came the waiting while they had to find at least 100 rooms for the night to accommodate the passengers and crew. More line ups, more waiting for room and taxi vouchers and finally we arrived at our room for the night. We were sent to The Verandah Resort & Spa and it was very nice.

I wouldn't have wanted to stay here - it's built on a cliff, (not good for the old arthritic knees) - this picture of the small beach was taken from our room. However, we did have the best meal of our vacation here!

That night, Leo was already asleep and I was lying in bed watching American Idol Rewind (Season 2 with Clay & Reuben - quite entertaining). Then I noticed something moving out of the corner of my eye.

Yup, one of these guys crawling up the wall. Well, I did what any self-respecting damsell in distress would do and screamed and turned on the light to wake up Leo. Now I know these lizards won't hurt you but I DO NOT want one crawling over me in the middle of the night. So, you have to picture Leo getting out of bed and running around the room with a towel in hand to try and catch this thing. I didn't want him to kill it, I just wanted it outside. He finally did catch it and I hope it is enjoying it's freedom in the great outdoors.

Of course, after this, I didn't sleep all night as all I could picture was one falling from the ceiling and landing on my face so I spent the night scanning the walls and ceiling.

Anyway, we're home now and I was so happy to be reunited with my baby and he was very happy to see us.

Friday, February 1, 2008

I've Gone to Get Warm

We're off Saturday morning to Sandals in Antigua for a week. I checked on their internet access (how pathetic is that) and it looks like unless I want to pay the equivalent of a downpayment on a house, I won't have access for a week.

I'll miss you all, but hopefully I'll have some good pictures to share with you when we get back.