Thursday, January 29, 2009

Before I Go Any Further

I need your HONEST opinions please. I thought I'd try a Disappearing 9 Patch with some of my Fat Quarters. This is what it looks like so far on my design wall:

If I liked it, I probably wouldn't be asking the question, what do you think? As you can see, I have all the blocks laid out the same way. I have a really hard time just putting them up any old way - the symmetry in me fights for some kind of order.

These are not good pictures - it's dark so I had to use artificial light and even without the flash the colours didn't register true.

Any suggestions? Do I leave it the way it is? Do I try and mix it up a bit more? Do I throw it out? HELP PLEASE.

Thank you all for your concern about Ben. He is feeling much better but it is so hard to keep him quiet and he doesn't understand why he can't play with his ball. I'm sure I feel worse than he does.

Edited to add:

What about this one?

I've looked at so many pictures in Webshots of D9Ps and none of them look like either one of these. I think most of the ones that appeal to me have only 2 or 3 colours in them. I like all the fabrics in this individually, but I'm not sure I like them all together, even though they are all from the same line.

Can you tell I'm really struggling here!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I really had fun today making these snowmen tea towels and I'm pleased with how they turned out.

I saw these towels in a local quilt shop just before Christmas (at an outrageous price) so I tracked down the manufacturer and bought some quite a few, from them. They are a lovely quality 100% cotton and come in lots of colours and patterns. Since it's still so darned cold outside, I might as well be working on snowmen inside too.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Is It Spring Yet?

I spent the day embroidering, but not what I had originally planned. I ended up making 8 quilt labels so all the quilts I have lying around could go on their merry way to their new homes.

My embroidery unit and I have a love/hate relationship. I did the first 4 labels and they were perfect, then for some unknown reason I started getting an error message when it was stitching out the last word of the label. This happened twice and I have no idea why. I think what is so frustrating about embroidery is when you quilt, if you mess it up, it's usually your own fault, but with embroidery machines, 9 times out of 10 the computer just goes wonky. That's my experience anyway. I have a Husqvarna/Viking Designer I USB - does anyone else have problems with their unit or is it just me? If you have another brand, do you have problems too?

I may have blogged about this before, but I was thinking about it again today. I find myself obsessed with using up scraps and old fabric I don't like much anymore, yet I have all this gorgeous fabric that I love that I'm reluctant to do anything with. It's kind of like not using the good dishes. Life is too short, I know.

Of course, a lot of the fabric I purchased is for a specific project, but my memory is so bad I no longer remember what pattern I bought the fabric for. There's a lot to be said for leaving everything in a bag.

I don't have any pictures to share with you today - quilt labels make for pretty boring viewing.

The temperature outside today feels like -23. I'm sure it's warmer here:

Friday, January 23, 2009

Back to Quilting

I finished this little top today. I had to put it sideways on my design wall to get a picture of the whole thing.

Have you ever noticed that when you have to go out and buy fabric for a pattern it seems you always need so much, but when you are trying to use up stuff from your stash, you don't use nearly as much as you hoped you would?

I'll try and find something in my stash to back this with. Now that should use up at least a couple of yards!

I think I'm going to change gears this weekend and work on some machine embroidery. I have some designs (understatement of the year) I'd like to try and I just got some beautiful cotton tea towels to try them on. Someone at our Stitch N Chat the other day said there was no skill involved in machine embroidery - you just pushed a button and sat and watched it stitch out. Obviously, she's never tried it!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This Is It - Honest!

In order to get the bride and groom to kiss, you had to sing a song with an animal name in it. There were some very creative renditions.

These are some of Sandra's girlfriends but I can't remember what they sang.

My forever friend, Trudy, and her husband Lou. We've been friends since we were 5 which is almost 52 years ago! We've been through a lot together - good and bad.

As soon as we finished this:

it was time for the first dance - "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green.

Then the dance with her Dad, which ended up being "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra - let's just say it wouldn't have been my choice!

After a change of footwear for Sandra & Tonya

the real dancing got started.

I have to give kudos to the photographer, Heather MacEachern, of HRM Photography. She did an amazing job and was so much fun to work with. She had a calming effect on us all.

I'll leave you with my favourite picture of the day.

The happiness just radiates from her face.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Back To The Wedding

I've had a very frustrating evening, so maybe looking at more wedding pictures will improve my mood.

Here is the bridal party.

Sandra's best friend, Shawn, was her Man of Honour and Elizabeth, Darren's sister, her bridesmaid. Thomas, on the far right, was Darren's Best Man.

Left to right, Leo's sister Sylvia, our son Ian, Leo's sister Karin, and Sylvia's husband Jack. Sylvia is the one that got to go to the Emmys!

My "other mother", my Aunt is on the left and my Mum is on the right.

Shall we dance?

They had personalized M & Ms as the favour with their name and the date of the wedding printed on them.

Tomorrow will be the last of the wedding pictures - I promise!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Must Be Tuesday

I've heard it said that the Baptist Fan design looks good on anything, but what I needed was a design that makes anything look good!

I am really pleased with the Circle Lord's Baptist Fan on this, but I still don't like the quilt. I've had several offers to take it off my hands, but I am going to donate it. I just haven't quite decided where yet. The Institute for the Blind comes immediately to mind.

I have a couple of ideas for my fat quarter bundles, so they are going to be next on the list - just as soon as I finish this one.

The fabric in this is as old as the hills. It was among the first lot of fabric I purchased when I started quilting and I'm sick of looking at it every time I sort through my fabrics. This is another mindless pattern (I'm good at those) so it shouldn't take long to finish.

Edited to add: I was shocked when I enlarged this picture and saw how far off my seams were. Then I realized the strip on the left isn't sewn yet - it's just placed on my design wall. Whew...

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Special Kind of Doll

I'll get back to more pictures of the wedding in a day or so, but wanted to share this with you today.

My Aunt has a neighbour in her 80s who gave me this little doll that she made.

Now this isn't just any old doll, it's a Dammit Doll. The little poem attached to it's neck reads as follows:

When you are about to climb the walls

And need to scream and shout

Here is a little dammit doll

You cannot do without.

Just grab it by the legs

And find a way to shake it

And as you whack the stuffing out

Just yell dammit, dammit, dammit!

She knows how frustrated both my Aunt and I get with my Mother, so she gave us one each. Trust me, it will get a lot of use!

Ben decided to go for a dip in the pool today:

He loves the snow but isn't quite so fond of getting dried off!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Wedding - Part 2

The wedding party actually had their pictures done before the ceremony. I wasn't keen on the idea, but in hindsight, it was a good idea as there was no waiting between the ceremony and the reception and the bridal party were able to enjoy all the festivities.

However, since this is my blog and I can do it my way, I'll show you the ceremony pictures first!

Darren's parents, Judy & Jack are a wonderful couple and I couldn't be happier that we're all now family.

Our son Ian walked me down the aisle to "The Prayer" one of my favourite songs.

Sandra and her Dad walking down the aisle to "November Rain".

A kiss before handing her over to a beaming Darren.

I wanted to show you this picture as it shows the gorgeous floor and ceiling. If you enlarge it you will notice the carved hand painted flowers on the medallion on the ceiling and the beautiful inlaid floor - it would make a great quilt pattern!

Before you have visions of Guns N Roses singing as the bride walked down the aisle, the music was tastefully provided by Sunny Choi and during the signing of the register, one of Sandra's friends, Alyssa, who came all the way from the Washington D.C. area, played a violin solo. Both were absolutely amazing!

Introducing the happy couple!

I hope I'm not boring you to tears. Believe me - I could - there were almost 650 pictures so I'm doing my best to edit and show you what I think you might be interested in. I've saved the best for last - all the fun ones - and I'll show them another day.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Come to a Wedding

We finally got the wedding pictures so I'd like to share the day with you. Looking at the pictures, the one thing that struck me immediately was how happy everyone looked - the bride, the groom, all the guests - everyone!

The wedding was held at Queen's Landing in Niagara on the Lake. Leo and I headed there early in the morning and were given the task of delivering both the dress and the cake - in the same car! On the way to the bakery, I happened to brake for a squirrel and Leo told me after we pick up the cake, if a squirrel crosses my path - hit it!

After getting our hair and makeup done, it was time to get dressed.

Then came the shoes - and what a story there was about these shoes!

Shoes are Sandra's 'thing'. She loves them and owns LOTS. Anyway, I believe she saw these on line and knew they were 'the ones' and started her search to find them, or something similar, here. I think she spent almost as long looking for shoes as we did for the dress. Anyway, she was unable to find what she wanted here, so she ordered these shoes from Zappos and had them shipped to a girlfriend in Maryland. Having shoes shipped to Canada costs a ridiculous amount of money for some reason. Her girlfriend brought the shoes with her when she came for the bachelorette a couple of weeks before the wedding.

Here is one very proud and happy mother of the bride

and here is our beautiful daughter.

I'm going to split up these posts - mainly because this is the best blog fodder I've had for a while and I want to make it last, and also because these pictures are taking forever to upload to Blogger because the files are so large. Stay tuned for Part 2.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Freezing Friday

Since there was no way I was going outside today (it's -16 right now), I finished up the two tablerunners I worked on at our Sew Day on Tuesday. Now they just need to be quilted. I'm looking for ideas on how to quilt the Santas.

Should I just quilt the background and SITD on the Santas? They are eventually going to have little bells on the tip of their hats and two bells down the front for buttons.

This was my bargain tablerunner kit I purchased after Christmas. I would never have picked this fabric but I don't mind it and they were generous with the amount they put in the kit.

The border is a metallic - it shows up a bit better in this picture - click to enlarge.

I read somewhere recently that UFOs are usually born because we either get sick of working on a project, or we get to a point where we don't know quite what to do. For me, I think that point is picking out the quilting design. Some quilts I have no problem - they almost tell me what they want, but others I really struggle with - probably because they are telling me they want freemotion and I'm afraid to get out of my box. It's a nice box and I'm quite happy in it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Frozen North

This is where I wish I was right now.

This picture is from Antigua, last year. It doesn't need to be Antigua again, but it needs to be somewhere warmer than this:

In case your eyesight is as bad as mine - those are minus signs in front of all those numbers! It's hard not to talk about the weather when it's this darned cold - it literally takes your breath away when you go outside.

Everyone at work was busy looking for sell-offs today - but no matter what they tell you, there aren't any great vacation deals out there right now, other than maybe to Vegas. You can get a 4 star hotel in Vegas right now for about $50 a night. What they don't want you to realize is it's freezing there too!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fat Bundles

Do you buy fat quarter bundles? I must admit I have, but I don't know why, as when I get them home I never know what to do with them.

I have spent hours this afternoon looking through my patterns, books and the Internet looking for patterns that use fat quarters. I know there are a million out there, but most of them require augmenting the FQs with fabric from your stash which then just complicates the whole process - at least for me it does. I've also come to the conclusion that the bundles I have don't include light, medium and dark fabric values which are necessary for any of the quilts I like. They also don't include enough tone on tone. Those florals suck me in every time!

I have a cute story regarding the tied bundle above. A couple of years ago Leo went to Florida on a fishing trip and I knew he was going to be very near Rainbow's End Quilt store. I told him he couldn't be so close to the largest quilt store in Florida without bringing me something back.

Well, I was sitting at work one day and got a call from a sales assistant at Rainbow's End. She explained that my husband was in the store and he didn't have a clue what to buy me - even although I had told him what I liked (brights, pastels, almost anything Moda) and didn't like (30s, Civil War fabrics, reproductions). She asked me what my preferences were and he brought me home that Moda Sandy Gervais bundle called Think Spring. I really like it but I want to make something special with it and inspiration hasn't hit me over the head yet.

The last quilt I made from a fat quarter bundle is the UGLIEST quilt I have ever made. It was one of those quilts that I didn't like right from the beginning, but I kept thinking it would get better once more blocks were added. Well, it didn't and I should have known if I didn't like one block I wasn't going to like 20. The individual fabrics are nice, but all together it looks like a dogs breakfast. It's still waiting to be quilted. Maybe I'll get it finished and give it to someone I really don't like. I could donate it, but I don't like giving away anything I don't like myself. Weird, I know, but that's just the way I am.