Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Bit of This and That

Now that I have all my strings organized by colour, I'm on a quest to try and get rid of some of them. This is what is on my design wall right now:

It's been pretty tedious cutting, as my strings aren't cut in any specific sizes so I've been pretty much cutting one set at a time. No wonder my carpal tunnel is acting up. There are a couple of blocks in here that might not make it to the final top, but we'll see.

I had a nice visit with my grandkitties today (oh, Sandra was there too). She bought a great new storage cabinet at Ikea that I would like for my sewing room. It's also great for storing kitties.

One of my pet peeves about North America is there are so many restrictions about where you can take your dog. In Europe, dogs are welcome pretty much anywhere - on public transit, in stores and restaurants. I think Tommy has come up with the answer. She bought a stroller for Bella which allows her to take her into places she might otherwise be banned from.

When I mentioned this to Leo, he gave me a response very similar to what Tommy's husband gave her (I'm assuming there were swear words involved in G's answer too), but we are both modern women and don't often listen to our husbands. I'll check with Tommy in a week or so and see if it has opened any doors for Bella.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I'm Recovered

Well, I've gotten over feeling disgusted. Thanks to all your kind comments and e-mails I am now totally convinced I have nothing to feel guilty about. There are a lot worse things I could be spending money on and at least this way I'll leave something behind.

(Note to Sandra if you are reading this - do NOT throw out everything in my quilting room when I'm gone - it's worth money!)

My friend Sandy sent me a link to this blog - it made me feel so much better!

My friend Linda put things in perspective when she said to me - what else can you spend $4 on (for a fat quarter) and get so much pleasure?

It's a good thing I'm over it as the mailman brought lots of goodies today. I got my Fonz & Porter magazine and my Unlimited Possibilities magazine. This is a longarm specific magazine and I usually read it cover to cover.

I also got a book I'd ordered from Ebay:

I got prints of all the wedding pictures. It took me forever to upload them all to the Kodak website, but I finished them on Monday and they arrived in the mail today - all 670 of them! I've already got a couple of albums to put them in. I'm really impressed with their speedy service and excellent print quality.

I ordered Ben a new harness - well, actually, I call it his little sports bra. These harnesses are great - he has one but it's at Doggie Daycare (my Aunt's) so he needs another one to keep at home. They are soft mesh and made by Puppia. My poor baby cut his paw today while out with my Aunt for a walk. She cleaned it out really well and put Polysporin on it, but he's still limping. I hope he feels better tomorrow, although it isn't slowing him down any. I think I'll go and give him some cuddles.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Name is Irene and I am a Quilting Addict

I am totally disgusted with myself. After wasting the best part of the day yesterday procrastinating about cleaning up my sewing room, I was up bright and early this morning determined to get the job done. I'm almost finished.

I have enough fabric in that room to quilt for ten lifetimes and still have fabric left over. It's not a good feeling - it disgusts me. How did I get into this state? I have only been quilting for just over five years - not years and years like some of my fellow bloggers.

What is it about acquiring fabric that we find so appealing? Why do we continue to buy when we know we don't need it? Why do I, in particular, keep buying florals? I have enough florals in my stash to wallpaper an old Victorian house! I have really been trying to buy more tone on tones as that is the only way, in my opinion, you can make your stash work for you.

Then we come to kits - Christmas kits in particular. I don't even like Christmas and I have two drawers full of Christmas kits. Panels are another downfall - baby panels in particular.

Why is a trip to a quilt store so exciting?

I don't only limit my addiction to fabric - oh, no - I also buy books, patterns and magazines.

I need a 12 step program and I need it NOW.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Cluttered Sewing Room Makes for a Cluttered Mind

My sewing room has really been bothering me lately - it is so unorganized and cluttered and I just can't stand it anymore....again! I bought a LOT of clear plastic containers on Friday and my goal was to try and get my strings and scraps organized by colour in these bins.

So far, I've spent a couple of hours on the computer, put in a few loads of laundry and laid the containers out on the floor. Do you think I'm procrastinating????

I know what my problem is - I just don't know how to solve it.

This is where the bulk of my stash is - arranged by colour (sort of) and Christmas and panels/novelty/children's. The problem is I also have 5 sets of rolling drawers that also have fabric in them that I can't fit onto these shelves. Then there are the bolts of fabric piled on the floor.

I 'think' where my biggest problem lies is that I have fat quarters and left overs in with my regular yardage. I also have 3 large hat boxes that I keep scraps/strings in, but they aren't in any kind of order either by size or by colour.

So, I thought I would start with the hat boxes and sort them by colour into these plastic containers. When I began to do this, I started second guessing myself and wondering if I shouldn't be also sorting them into only strings and then smaller pieces that would only be good for applique or paper piecing. This was the point where I just kind of walked away and went and played on the computer - and I'm still here.

I just talked with my friend Lee and she suggested I move everything downstairs to my longarm room. I do have a fair bit of room down there, but I've always been reluctant to do this as I don't think I would sew as much if my sewing machine was downstairs. I could be wrong and maybe I need to try it. I'm sure Leo would just love to help me move everything downstairs, then when I decide I don't like it, he can help me move it all back upstairs again.

A bigger sewing room would solve all my problems. Maybe I need to go and look at real estate ads....

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's Been One of Those Days

The kind of day when nothing goes right and you wonder why you bothered getting up. This is the baby quilt I quilted yesterday.

With Ben:

Without Ben:

I bought this kit years ago before my friend Sandy convinced me that babies like bright colours better than pastels. My friend Ursula just became a Great Aunt again and the new Grandpa also bowls with me, so I thought it only appropriate that the new baby should have a quilt.

The trouble started when I was doing the label. It stitched out beautifully - of course, it was wrong - but just as it got to the date I said - oh, darn it (well, what I actually said isn't fit to print) as I put on the wrong date:

If you click on this to enlarge it, you'll see I put January - hello - the baby was born last Wednesday which was February!!!! So, I tried to rip it out but that didn't work. Then I redesigned the label and tried to move the date and my name over and I was going to cut out the wrong part, but as you can see above, I didn't move it over far enough and it started to stitch over my name. I'm sure there is a way to do this accurately but I know diddly squat about my embroidery software.

Then I thought - let's just forget about the date and cut out all the wrong stuff (see above). This didn't sit right with me either which is why it's all wrinkled - I had it rolled up in a ball before I decided to take a picture. I wish I wasn't quite so anal about things like this, but I can always hear my Grandma's voice in my head telling me if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing right!

So, I stitched out another one and it's right this time!

I haven't cut the jump stitches yet - I heard there is a new machine out that does that. I must admit cutting the jump stitches is my least favourite part but I'm sure for the thousands of dollars it probably costs for a machine to do this for me, I can live with what I have.

My story isn't quite over - while this was stitching out, I was frogging. I stayed up until 2 A.M. last night frogging and I finally finished about half an hour ago. What took me no more than 10 minutes to quilt took me at least 12 hours to rip out. It was my own fault too - I knew my machine needed a new needle - it was telling me with the clicking noise it makes when the needle has a burr but I ignored it - thought I could get "just one more row". Wrong! My tension was off - intermittently, but enough to bother me. Now, why didn't I just rip out the bad parts and fill them in? Good question and I'm still asking myself why I didn't do that, but oh, no, I had to take the whole thing off and frog it all.

I'm not sure which hurts more - my wrists from carpel tunnel or my fingers from my arthritis. Tomorrow will be better, I'm sure.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Do you ever wonder why you blog? What got you started in the first place, what keeps you going? There are many days, and today is one of them, when I can't think of a single thing to post that anyone would be interested in reading.

Nothing exciting has been going on around here and not much has been happening on the quilting front either. I did get a flannel baby quilt quilted today and then I spent the rest of the day frogging another quilt that I wasn't happy with. Doesn't make for exciting blog reading, does it.

I could tell you about our trip yesterday to buy a new dishwasher but that is almost as exciting as watching paint dry. We were finally able to find one that would fit in the existing space without having to remove the tile on the kitchen floor. It's being delivered on Thursday and for the first time in a long time, I'm going to have to wash dishes between now and then. Thankfully Leo is going away on business this week so it will just be me and Ben - how many dishes could we possibly use?

Hopefully I'll be more productive in the next few days and have something worth showing you.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Circus is Back in Town

I've been busy making more baby quilts and this has become my favourite pattern and fabric.

I bought a bolt of this circus fabric and it lends itself so nicely to Mary's pattern. It's lovely mindless sewing - the stuff I'm really good at!

I may need to adopt another granddaughter. Ben & I saw this little cutie yesterday.

This is Alex, my good friend Lee's little granddaughter. I took at least 6 pictures and didn't capture her looking at me in one of them - she was too busy playing with Ben. She is a little sweetheart and Ben has a new best friend that will throw the ball for him endlessly.

My Quilter's Home magazine arrived yesterday and I saw this:
It's made from coloured glass and I think it's adorable. The artist will be vending at MQX so I think I'm going to have to add one of these to my list.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Spring Fling

That's what I've been having - a Spring Fling - with these fat quarters from Moda. Now, they were probably flinging about 2 years ago as I think they've been sitting in my stash for that long.

I have a lot of quilt books - too many in fact, and I looked through a lot of them trying to come up with an idea for these fat quarters. I only had 6 and didn't have any extra co-ordinating fabric. I ended up using Mary's Boxed Squares pattern which I liked more than anything else I saw in the myriad of books I own. Thanks Mary!

I'm really not sure why I keep buying books as I gravitate more and more to patterns on Mary's site or Bonnie's. Maybe I need to have a big sale of quilt books and make room for more fabric! I do enjoy looking through my books though, even if I don't make much from them. I have every one of Judy Martin's books, and still haven't made one of her patterns....but I will one day!

I think this is a perfect size for a little girl - it's about 36" x 42".

I watched The Big Chill again last night. Do you realize that movie is 26 years old? The soundtrack is absolutely timeless though, and brought back some great memories. Tom Berenger has always been pretty easy on the eyes. I really liked him in "Someone to Watch Over Me" with Mimi Rogers. Wasn't she married to Tom Cruise eons ago?

Enough reminiscing - I have a brunch to get ready for Leo's birthday celebration tomorrow.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

As Good As It Gets

The ugly ducking has been transformed into a beautiful swan - well, not quite, but I'm glad I stuck with this and it didn't turn into another UFO. This is one that actually looks better in person than it does in the picture - the pictures make it look brown and there isn't any brown in the whole thing!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Oh, No - I'm Married To An Old Man!

I don't know how it happened, but Leo turned 60 today. I just can't get over the fact that I'm married to such an old man when I'm still a spring chicken. Why, I have years and years to go before I'm that old! Well, 3 1/2 anyway....

When he pulled into his parking space at work today, they had erected a sign that read "Seniors Parking Only".

So, what are we doing to celebrate? He's going out for a business dinner! Good thing I hadn't worked my fingers to the bone all day cooking a nice dinner. Actually, since I'm working today that wouldn't have happened anyway. We'll celebrate on the weekend as he's still rather childlike when it comes to birthday celebrations.

Happy birthday, bear - I couldn't make it without you!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

You Can't Make a Silk Purse

Out of a sow's ear....but you can try, and I've been trying for 2 days to turn this top into something vaguely resembling something I might like.

I have learned a couple of lessons. I only like D9Ps that are done with two or three colours at the most, and my fabrics don't have enough contrast. I'm not sure I shouldn't have just cut my losses and sewn the top the way it was, but if nothing else, I like making work for myself. I'm planning on putting on a narrow inner border, then a wider outer border, in the sashing fabric.

I still don't like it, but I don't dislike it as much as I did before.

This arrived in my In-Box this morning and it pretty much sums up my feelings about winter.