Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wedgewood Blues

I finished stitching the binding on this one this morning.

I'm calling it Wedgewood Blues as it reminds me of the blues found in the old Wedgewood Blue Willow china pattern.

I backed it with this - it's from Jinny Byer's line called Glacial Ice and I bought a bolt of it a while ago for something like $2.50 a yard - how can you go wrong?

You may recall I have another one of these which is the same, except it has a different border. It isn't quilted yet. I must have had one heck of a lot of blue in my stash as I got these two, plus the queen sized Blue Rover I'm currently working on and I still have more blue than anything else in my stash. What can I say - blue is my favourite colour!

We attended a wonderful 70th birthday party yesterday for a good friend. He was totally surprised which isn't easy to do! The food was absolutely delicious - they barbecued 3 large sirloin roasts which were so tender and tasty. One of the appetizers served was a slice of cheese and a strip of sundried tomato wrapped in a basil leaf - it was really yummy and I'm going to copy it the next time I make appetizers

It's a wet, dreary day here today - a perfect day to sew. Then again, isn't every day a perfect sewing day?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

You Have To See This

There is absolutely nothing blog worthy going on around here right now, but you have to check out Nadine's award winning quilt on her blog.

I believe I mentioned her 'inchies' a while ago when she was working on them, and now we get to see the result. I can't believe the patience and time it must have taken her to embellish all these 'inchies' and then she attached them with Velcro to her quilt.

Congratulations on your win Nadine - it is so well deserved!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Longarm Quilting 101

I finally learned my lesson today - the hard way, as usual.

If you don't like something about your quilting after the first pass, trust me, you won't like it any better after the third and it just takes longer - much longer - to rip it out.

I loaded a blue and white top today with a dark blue backing. I had a navy thread in the bobbin and a cream in the top - that was my first mistake. While you can get away with slight tension issues on many fabrics, white isn't one of them. I tried, very hard, to convince myself that the bobbin thread wasn't showing on some of my points. I told myself it was just the needle hole which is more defined on white fabric. It really wasn't THAT bad, but I couldn't live with it and unloaded the whole thing and ripped it out.

I'm really not a perfectionist, but some things I can live with and some I can't. I'm really glad dust doesn't bother me in the least....

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Already?

Things have been pretty dull around here this week. I've been fighting a migraine since Wednesday and so far, it's winning. I haven't had one this bad for a long time.

I quilted another Circus Quilt on Monday. I'm sure you're sick of looking at these quilts by now, but here's another one:

I'm going to keep this one on hand to have the next time I hear of another birth, instead of waiting until the baby is born then frantically trying to pull a quilt together. I used striped fabric cut on the bias for the binding and this is quickly becoming my favourite binding. The background fabric is balloons.

I also got all my scrap blocks sewn together before my migraine hit.

This is what is on my design wall right now.

I worked on these blocks at retreat. This is Mary's pattern which can be found here. I wish I had enough reds in my stash to make one like Mary's, but I seem to have blue in abundance, so this should help to use some of it up as it's going to be queen sized.

Leo had some excitement at work today. A propane truck took out a hydro pole while backing up this morning, plunging his office and plants into total darkness and starting a fire on the lawn. They had to evacuate and he told me 2 fire trucks, 2 police cars and 5 hydro trucks were there and it took them the best part of the day to get the power back on. I guess most of the employees got an early start to their weekend. No one, including the truck driver, were hurt but I bet when the bill for all this arrives, Leo will be the one with the headache!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I'm Getting There

Slowly but surely. I finished all the blocks of my scrap quilt but had to lay them out on the floor as my design wall isn't long enough.

You know, a year ago I couldn't have made this as I was just too anal about everything matching. I admired scrap quilts, but I just couldn't seem to do one. I still think they tend to look better from a distance than they do close up, but overall, I'm pleased with this one. If nothing else, it forced me to get my scraps organized into colours.

I'm hoping to get the blocks and rows assembled today so I can get back to Blue Rover. I also have quite a pile on my 'to be quilted' rack so I better get busy on those too.

Somehow, I swear I don't know how it happens, my quilting table is full to overflowing with stuff - AGAIN. There are books, magazines, pages I've printed from the computer, left over scraps from this quilt, the kit I bought last weekend, quilt store newsletters - all this in just a little over a week. I guess I better clean that up too!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

How About a Little Cocoa?

During these tough economic times, not too many companies are adding to their payroll, but we found the greatest new employee - she works for treats!

Meet Cocoa - a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy who spends her days in our office.

She is the most docile puppy I've ever know, in fact when she first appeared, I wondered if she was O.K. At that age, Ben would have been bouncing off the walls (some days Ben still bounces off the walls). She's almost 12 weeks old - check out the size of her paws in this picture with Gail.

I think she has already doubled her size in the last four weeks, but she is so gentle and she looks just like a big stuffed animal that you want to hug.

Nothing much new on the quilting front. I'm still plodding away on my scrap blocks. It's around this point that I get bored doing the same thing over and over and want to move on, but I'm determined to get this top finished. I only have 14 more blocks to do...

Monday, March 9, 2009

What A Wonderful Weekend!

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, I just had a very busy week last week and was out every night, then on Friday morning left for a weekend quilting retreat. I was lucky enough to be invited to a retreat with a group of gals that have been getting together twice a year for a retreat at Crieff Hills, just about 45 minutes from home. To say it was wonderful would be an understatement. Unfortunately, I didn't get very many pictures, but I will share the ones I did get with you.

Here is Valerie modelling all the Fat Eighths she has received over the years at the retreat.

I think she's looking for Vanna White's job!

Then we have Bev who insisted she was reading, but I have my doubts:

Jean finished up a quilt she's been working on for a long time and was happy it is finished:

After Bev woke up, she finished this beauty:

Bev also loves to paper piece and she was working on these miniatures for our Quilt Show tombola.

Lee whipped this up in less than a day - it's gorgeous!

Laureen was working on the cutest little doll beds that are then attached to a top - I wish I had taken a picture of the pattern but she has made all the little dolls and the quilts for the tops of the beds:

I made more scrap blocks.

When I got bored with that, I started sewing my Blue Rover, from Mary's pattern Red Rover. I seem to have more blue in my stash than anything else (other than florals and we won't even go there) so this is my attempt to use some up.

What would a retreat be without a little shopping expedition. A few of us went to Greenwood Quiltery on Friday afternoon and when I saw this quilt on the wall called Birthday Presents, I just couldn't resist.

Actually, I did manage to resist on Friday but by Saturday when someone else was going, Nikki had managed to talk me into getting one of the two remaining kits - she bought the other one!

Finally, I finished the binding on this little quilt. This quilt gave me more headaches. I've frogged the quilting twice on it and I'm still not happy with it, but it's as good as it's going to get. I am convinced there is 'something' in the backing causing my tension to go off intermittently. When I applied the binding on my domestic machine, the tension was off on the back too, so it wasn't my longarm. I wish I had known that before I spent hours....and hours...and more hours frogging it. I managed to snap this just before my little quilt inspector plunked himself down in the middle of it.

Here is a close-up of the quilting - I used my Circle Lord Swirls which has quickly become my new best friend.

It was a wonderful weekend, but now it's back to reality. The laundry is already calling my name.