Monday, November 30, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

I’m back from a Quilting Retreat and I had a great time. Not only did I get a lot accomplished, but I got to spend some quality time with old friends and new friends.

Before I left, I stitched out two more mylar embroidery designs for Sandra:

Mylar Hippo 004

Mylar Penguin 003

At retreat on Friday, I got 6 of these done:

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Saturday, I spent the whole day on this bag.

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I still have a button to sew on the front pocket, then it’s done!

Yesterday I got this Bali Pop cut out:

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and ready to make this:

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Both of the snowmen applique patterns and the Quilter’s Harvest pattern came from my favourite local quilt store, Gone to Pieces.

When I was tired of sewing, I worked on this scarf which is almost finished:

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To top it all off, when I got home yesterday I unpacked everything and put it all away, unlike what I usually do which is dump it all on my sewing table and close the door!

Now I need to concentrate on some Christmas shopping. As much as I’ve whined and complained, as far as I know, Christmas still hasn’t been cancelled this year.

Leo’s gone to Montreal for a couple of days so I can cross off making dinner from my list!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Manic Monday

I got this little guy stitched out yesterday:

Mylar Snowman 005

and this one this morning.

Mylar Snowman 007

You put mylar underneath the thread you want to sparkle and it gives the effect of metallic thread without all the headaches that metallic thread can cause and it’s also a whole lot cheaper.

Bridge went well today – I had very patient partners.  I had my cheat sheets with me so they helped a lot when it came to bidding.  I think bridge is one of those games that you never really master, you are always learning.

I just got a call a few minutes ago to fill in at a Quilting Retreat this weekend.  Now I need to get busy and get some things cut to work on.  Not sure when exactly I’m going to do that as it’s Stitch N Chat tomorrow, bowling tomorrow night then I work Wednesday and Thursday. 

I swear for months I do nothing, then everything happens at once!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Another Week Bites the Dust

I haven’t been very productive this week as I haven’t been home much at all. 

I did get my new supply of crystals and added some embellishment to the Christmas wallhanging.  New camera or not, it was still very difficult to get a good picture of this.

Christmas Wallhanging 001

Christmas Wallhanging 002

I could have added a lot more crystals, but since I don’t like it much to begin with, I wasn’t going to waste the time or money.

I told you that I bought a book in Houston entitled “Cotton Theory”.  I wanted to try something simple so decided to try the placemats.  There is a lot of cutting involved as you cut your top, your batting and your backing as this technique is reversible. 

I think I must have been smoking something when I picked out the colours in this, but it gives you an idea of how this works. One side is the front, the other the back.

Placemats 004

What appealed to me when I saw this demonstrated is you can use some of the decorative stitches on your machine – you know, the ones you have a hundred of and only ever use 2!

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Placemats 006

I’m going to donate these to our Guild’s Christmas Pot Luck.  My Stitch Group seemed to like them a whole lot more than I do and convinced me someone would like them.  I hope they weren’t just being nice! 

Tomorrow I’m going to play bridge.  I was trying to figure out how long it’s been since I played, and I think it must be about 25 years.  I warned my friend that set up the game that I will probably need to learn all over again, but she assured me that she has invited very patient people to play. 

I’m almost afraid to put this in writing in case I jinx myself, but my bowling average has improved dramatically this year.  It certainly makes it a lot more fun when you don’t have to throw two balls every frame. 

I bought some Embroidery Designs in Houston and I’m hoping to get some done this afternoon.


Isn’t this little guy cute!  In case you are interested, I bought them here

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It’s Done…And So Am I

Clean Sewing Room 001Every piece of fabric is folded and scraps are all in the bins with the blue lids.

Clean Sewing Room 003

Fat Quarters have all been pressed and folded and are in their own containers.

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The drawers in my rolling storage units have all been cleaned out and sorted.  We have jelly rolls, Bali Pops and Charm Squares

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Then we have another drawer with kits:

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There isn’t a scrap of fabric left on my table:

Clean Sewing Room 008 Everything has been cleaned and sorted:

Clean Sewing Room 002

These bins contain all my scraps.  Novelty fabrics and panels have their own bins, along with Christmas fabrics and flannel.  All my Batik Fat Quarters are also in their own bin.Clean Sewing Room 007

These bins contain fabric that was purchased for a specific project – actually there is a lot of that on the shelves too, but I’ve had it so long I forgot what project I was going to use it on.

Clean Sewing Room 009

It occurred to me that after looking at the mess I had in this room, you might wonder what the rest of my house looks like.  Oddly enough, it’s fairly clean and tidy.  You could eat off my floors – Ben does it all the time :-)

I haven’t been very productive lately and I really believe the mess in this room was part of the problem.  I had piles everywhere and nowhere to put anything.  All the stuff I bought in Houston was just piled on my table and it was really getting me down.  Now I have no excuse.

The one thing I haven’t tackled yet is the magazines.  I’m going to have to give in and put them on my bookcase downstairs in my longarm room as there just isn’t anywhere in this tiny room left to store them. 

I am NEVER going to do this again.  I am determined to keep it tidy and put things away when I’m finished with them…..honest.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I’m Getting There

Contrary to what Leo says, I can see a difference.

Smaller Mess 002

I can actually see my sewing machine now.

Smaller Mess 003

And the pile in front of my containers is gone.

Smaller Mess 004

I’m hoping that by tomorrow at this time it will be finished.  I may have to make a trip to Canadian Tire to pick up another container to hold all my Fat Quarters – right now, they are sitting on the window seat in our bedroom – along with all the magazines.  Just wait till Leo sees that!

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Feel Good Post

Hopefully, by the time you’ve finished reading/looking at this, you will feel really good. You’ll be so happy that you aren’t me, all your insignificant little problems will simply disappear.

Doesn’t this look nice and neat?

Huge Mess 001

It’s taken me almost two days to get this much done. Here’s what I still have left to sort:

Huge Mess 002

And this:

Huge Mess 003

And this:

Huge Mess 004

I’ve got more piles:

Huge Mess 005

And finally this:

Huge Mess 007

And let’s not forget the magazines:

Huge Mess 008

The picture doesn’t show it, but those magazines are double what you actually see.

I am DETERMINED to get this mess cleaned and sorted this weekend. I was thinking that a lot of bloggers post what is on their design wall every Monday. Maybe what I’ll start doing is posting my CLEAN sewing room every Monday and it might shame me into keeping it tidy.

My friend Ann has a great idea incorporated into her stash. She puts pieces of cardboard between every 5 or 6 pieces, so when you want to pull some out, you don't have to lift out the whole pile. I asked my dear husband if he could bring me home about 100 twelve inch squares of cardboard and they are now sitting on my kitchen table. They don't call him Boxboss for nothing!

One of my biggest problems is what to do with fabric that is bigger than a fat quarter, but not a full yard. I do have scrap bins that I sorted all my scraps into a while ago, but what I put in there really are scraps – not half yards. What do you do with all your ‘bigger than scraps’? Right now, I could use all the help and suggestions I can get.

I did have one little helper that I could have done without. I finally had to shut her out as she has a fascination with my pins and I’m so afraid she is going to swallow one.

Molly October 2009 005

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Idol

One of my few many complaints over the years has been that Leo never plans anything – vacations, dinners, weekends, etc.  Whenever we do anything, I’m always the one who makes all the plans, then when he doesn’t like the hotel I’ve picked, or the restaurant I’ve chosen, he can blame it all on me.

I recently found out that Bon Jovi were coming to Toronto in July and mentioned that I would love to go and see them.  Well, my dear husband found out they were also playing in Vegas in March and thought it would be a great idea for us to go and see them there.

Jon Bon Jovi

I only found out about this accidentally as he was planning to surprise me, but it turns out the week he was planning to go to Vegas is also the same week I was planning to go back to Texas to visit Ann.

I convinced him that it would be much better to see Bon Jovi in Toronto and then we could go to Vegas whenever we found a good deal and weren’t tied into any set dates.  See, the poor guy can’t win.

I LOVE Jon Bon Jovi.  He brings a smile to my face every time I look at him and I love his music.  Even though he falls into my ‘short man’ profile, I still love him.  What, you ask, is my ‘short man’ profile?  I have this theory that most short men try and make up for their lack of height by being overly aggressive.  Of course, if your husband is short, I’m not talking about him.

This is just a generalization that I’ve found to usually be true – especially in the workplace.

It’s kind of like my ‘life is too short to read sh** theory’.  No matter how bad a book was, I always read the whole thing.  Then one day I came up with my life is too short theory and I’ve been a much happier person ever since.  I give a book 50 pages and if it hasn’t grabbed me by then, it goes back to the library.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary Sandra & Darren.  It’s hard to believe it was a year ago today.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Back to Boring

Now that I’ve used up all my good blogging material, it’s back to the boring old stuff that I make.

A few years ago everyone was making chenille scarves from flannel.  I tried several, but didn’t have any success, mainly because the cutter I was using (I believe it was a Clover) was the next best thing to useless.  I bought an Olfa chenille cutter in Houston and what a difference a tool makes.


This works like a charm and is so easy to use.  That being said, however, I wasn’t too thrilled with the finished product.  I got the pattern from an old Fonz & Porter magazine but I think the scarf is much too short and it isn’t as soft or flexible as I’d like.

Scarf 004

At least I can finally say I’ve made one – and only about 5 years after everyone else! 

Last week my girlfriend and I visited my favourite quilt shop in this area – Gone to Pieces.  They had a cute little bag pattern that only uses 10 – 1 1/2” strips and a small amount of fusible fleece or batting.

Cosmetic Bag 001

It is fully lined and very easy to make.

Cosmetic Bag 003

Something else I bought in Houston was a Cotton Theory book. 

Cotton Theory

I watched the demo and got completely sucked in – as usual.  The quilts at their booth were gorgeous and the ‘theory’ is they are all reversible.  There is a lot of cutting involved as you have to cut your top, your back and your batting as you are quilting as you go.  I’ve spent pretty much all day on this (other than a few turns of Scrabble on Facebook), and so far have only two placemats done.  I made one first to make sure I knew what I was doing, and just finished the second one.  I still have to bind them and I have 2 more cut so I’ll get some pictures when they are finished.

It was my baby’s birthday on Wednesday – he turned 8.  I can’t believe it’s been 8 years since we brought this tiny little furball home that fit in the palm of my hand.

Mickey Ben

Here he is in his Halloween costume!

Monday, November 2, 2009


After we had our fill of the Quilt Show, we headed out on Sunday for breakfast in Galveston.  It was a gorgeous day and we walked barefoot along the beach.

Texas October 2009 225

Some of us (Ann) were even brave enough to test the water.  Actually, it was really warm.

Texas October 2009 232

After a lovely day, Ann dropped us off at the hotel and headed back to Dallas while Lee and I stayed one more night and flew home on Monday. 

It was a wonderful trip, but our only regret is that we didn’t get to spend any time with Ann on her new longarm.  We’ve solved that problem though – we’re going back very soon to spend time with her and just play with her machine and her Circle Lord.

Here’s a picture of some of my loot – trust me, the damage could have been a lot worse!

Texas October 2009 240

Sunday, November 1, 2009

How Can it Possibly be November?

Maybe if we got an extra hour every day for the next year, I might actually get some of the stuff done that I would like to.

I have the final quilt show pictures to share with you, then hopefully I’ll have something of my own to show. I worked on the flannel Christmas panel today adding crystals, but then I ran out of a couple of colours I needed, so I’ve just ordered some more. Hopefully they won’t take too long to get here and I can get this finished.

This was my friend Ann’s favourite quilt – Broken Dishes. It was available for sale, but I have no idea what they wanted for it. Actually, quite a few of the quilts were for sale.

Texas October 2009 174

I loved this one – the texture on the little boys hair was amazing – can you see the spider on top of his head?

Texas October 2009 177

This quilt was so simple, but I thought it was lovely.

Texas October 2009 181

This was another of my favourites – it just blows my mind how people come up with their ideas.

Texas October 2009 182

Texas October 2009 187

You know I had to take a picture of anything with an animal on it!

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This was one of my friend Lee’s favourites.

Texas October 2009 192

The grapes in this were so life-like you wanted to reach out and touch them.

Texas October 2009 194

Texas October 2009 195

Texas October 2009 196

Texas October 2009 197

There was a section with all Canadian quilts.

Texas October 2009 210

This was my favourite of the Canadian ones – inspired by the houses in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Texas October 2009 209

You know how much I like scrappy quilts and this one was spectacular.

Texas October 2009 220

What a wonderful show it was!