Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

My conscience had been nagging me, reminding me I hadn’t blogged for quite a while.  No, wait a minute, it wasn’t my conscience – it was my friend Lee who took the time the other day to e-mail me and remind me I hadn’t posted in a long time.  You know Lee, the one who doesn’t have a blog and has no idea what is involved.  The same person that never sends me pictures as she doesn’t know how to get them off her camera.  So this one’s for you Lee!

I believe I promised you pictures from the retreat I attended back in November.  Since it’s still technically December, I can truthfully say that was just a month ago.

This top was completed by Jennifer and check out the size of some of these pieces!  Jennifer will take the tiniest of scraps and turn them into a top.  I’ve vacuumed up scraps bigger than what she uses!



This is another one of Jen’s.



Lorna is our ‘out of the box’ quilter.  She loves colour and just goes for it – with great results!



This top was done by Lawna and was gorgeous.



Patti does some amazing work.  She takes old fur coats and turns them into fully jointed teddy bears.  A lot of the Guild members have taken old fur coats of their mothers or grandmothers to Patti and she gives them back a gorgeous teddy with great sentimental value.


Here’s the finished product. 


She’s done them in all different kinds of fur and some with embroidered noses, some with silk.  Patti takes some of the coats with embroidered initials and sews them into the pad of the foot.

This is Helen’s quilt as you go finished quilt.  It too, was absolutely stunning.




This is Mavis’ quilt top.  It’s hard to tell the size from the picture, but this top is king size.  I need to tell you about Mavis – she is 82 years old and was down on her hands and knees most of the week working on this setting.  I’m also embarrassed to add that I was in bed before she was every night!



This is Lee with her table topper she finished.  Finished isn’t a word that’s used often in Lee’s vocabulary (she’s going to kill me)!



I had never seen this pattern before – it’s called Weaver Fever and Pat did an amazing job picking her fabrics.  It showed so much movement!


Here we all are – you’ll notice some are in full makeup, while others (me included) chose to go au natural!



I do have some Christmas sewing to share with you, but I’ll save it so the next time Lee bugs me, I’ll have something to post.

Happy New Year to you all and may you enjoy health and happiness in 2013.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Odds & Ends

Sandra and I went to see Jekyll & Hyde in Buffalo a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Constantine Maroulis played the lead – you might remember he was a finalist in American Idol many years ago.  I wasn’t crazy about him then, and I was afraid my preconceived opinions might affect my enjoyment of the performance, but he was good!

Jekyll & Hyde

The theatre in Buffalo is old and classic and a great venue for this type of production.  The bonus – we parked right across the street for $3!!!!  In Toronto you would be lucky to find parking 6 blocks away for $25.
While Sandra & I spent the day in Buffalo, Darren asked if he could bring Ben to their place to spend the day.  Darren is one of Ben’s favourite people in the world, so he readily agreed.  Here are a few of the fun things they did:

First they raked some leaves.


Then it was time for a walk – he’s telling Darren to hurry up, they are almost home!
After all that exertion, a snack is definitely in order.
Now it’s movie time – no chick flicks for them!
Now a little snooze in front of the fire with his favourite kitty cousin, Abby.
I’ve actually got a little quilting done lately too.  I quilted 5 Cuddle Quilts for our Guild so they can be distributed if necessary at Christmas.
I also made this wallhanging which I entitled “Joy” – my imagination knows no bounds.

I embellished the bow in the little girl mouse’s hair with Swarovski crystals and quilted it with gold metallic thread.  I made one of these quite a few years ago which I gave to a friend, and I was digging in my Christmas stash and found another one! 

I love making these Charm Totes.  I was away at a Retreat last week and got this one whipped up.

It’s fully lined with 2 nice big pockets and I find this size so handy for use when shopping, as a knitting bag or just for carting around ‘stuff’. 

Since this put me in the Christmas spirit (which isn’t easy to do), I made some Christmas tree napkins.
I love the fabric on these – it’s so classy!

While I was away at retreat, they had a lovely roaring fire that was burning almost all day and night.  What I didn’t know is that wood smoke is a huge asthma trigger and I ended up having a couple of pretty bad asthma attacks and I’ve been sick all week since I got home.  Is nothing safe any longer?  I think part of the problem was someone forgot to open the damper one night and the room filled with smoke – that really did me in.
Now I’m on my favourite drug – prednisone.  Those of you who have been following me for a while know just how much I hate this drug but it seems to be the only thing that clears up my lungs.  When I get down off the ceiling, I’ll let you know if it works!
I took lots of pictures at Retreat, but I’ve used up all my energy for today, so I’ll post them next time.
I hope all my American friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving – I’ve certainly been enjoying all the Black Friday sales!

Monday, October 22, 2012

It’s a Sunshiny Day

Our gorgeous weather is continuing here in Southern Ontario while my poor friend in Alberta is getting freezing temperatures and snow.  It’s hard to believe, as I look out at the glorious colours of the trees, that snow will soon be on the way.

I finished my Monterrey Medallions quilt for my Aunt and she was thrilled.  Why is it when someone cries when we give them something, it makes us happy?

Auntie's Quilt Finished

This quilt was done completely from my stash but it didn’t make a dent in it! 

I spent most of the weekend trying to organize my sewing room.  It wasn’t a mess – believe it or not – but nothing is easily accessible, mainly because there is way too much stuff in a small room.  I did go through all my photocopied patterns that I’ve printed out over the years and took out things I knew I’d never ever make.  I’m going to Retreat in a couple of weeks and I’m sure there will be someone there who will gladly take them home and add them to their paperwork.  At least now my binders are in relatively good order with separate ones for quilts, tablerunners, bags, wallhangings and general instructions.  I now have no excuse for not being able to find what I’m looking for – yea, right!

I’m doing Border Creek Station’s Mystery Quilt again this year and I love my fabric.  It’s called Cinnamon Spice from Moda.  The original pattern called for the same fabric in the green colourway, but I wanted a red quilt, so I picked this.  It feels as nice as it looks!


I’m not sure what to start next – heaven knows I have a million (well, maybe only a thousand) choices.  I bought this BOM in Houston last year, so it might be timely to try and get it done.  Who am I kidding – get it done by Christmas?  Highly unlikely!


The poinsettias in the middle are three dimensional and it looked a lot nicer in person than it does in this picture.  For someone who doesn’t like Christmas, I certainly buy enough Christmas kits! 

I’ve been knitting a Colour Affection shawl and if I wasn’t so lazy, I’d take a picture of my progress – maybe for the next post.

I’ll leave you with this picture of my Molly and her brother Ben, soaking up some sunshine.  They certainly light up my life!



Ben November 2011

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall is in the Air–Not!

It’s October 4th and it was 78 degrees here today – absolutely gorgeous.  Yesterday a friend and I took a trip up to Mennonite country and the fall colours were beautiful.  It’s just far enough north of here that they have had frost and the trees were ablaze with colour.  

Here’s a little bag I made out of Moda’s Honey Bun strips. 



I believe the pattern is on the Moda Bake Shop website, but I purchased it as a kit.  It was so easy to do and went together perfectly.  It would be a great pattern to use up small strips.

We have had quite a summer around here with wildlife.  First our neighbourhood was overrun with foxes – at one point there were at least 10 of them and it was quite scary as they were around at all times of the day and night.  Thankfully, they seem to have moved on and here is one of our latest visitors:


At first, I thought he was going to climb on the float.


All he wanted was a drink – I guess he didn’t mind the chlorine.


After about 15 minutes, he just wandered off – he wasn’t in the least bothered by me out there taking pictures, although I didn’t want to get too close!

I hope you can click on these pictures to enlarge them.  There must be a family of them around as we heard them having a party on our roof one night.  It sounded like baby elephants up there.

I’m working on a Monterrey Medallions quilt.  So far, I’ve done more ripping than sewing as I wasn’t happy with the background fabrics I chose.  I spent the day ripping and re-sewing today and I’m much happier with it now.


I have the 40 stars made that go around this, as well as the pieced border,  but I may need to replace the backgrounds on some of them too.  It’s not easy being so anal. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Glory Days

Sandra and I went to see The Boss a couple of weeks ago when he was in Toronto and what a show!  He sang and played for 3 1/2 hours non stop and he’s almost 63!  While Bon Jovi will always have first place in my heart, Bruce sure comes a close second. 


I got my blue string quilt finished and tried very hard to get some pictures this afternoon.  I had a little helper and nothing I did could keep him off this quilt.  I’d put him up on the chair and by the time I got in position to take the picture, he was back on it.



I also finished my Border Creek Station Mystery Quilt.  I had the top finished at Retreat last April, but I needed to piece the backing before I could get it quilted.  Have I mentioned I hate piecing backings? lol  Sherri is running a 10th Anniversary Mystery this year so I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with.


Yay, one without Ben!


Both of these were quilted with the Seven Treasures of Budha boards from Circle Lord.  I get so lazy, once I have a template set up, I try and do a couple of tops when it’s on there and both of these seemed to lend themselves to this pattern.  This fabric was by Moda and I’ve never worked with anything that unraveled so much.  I was constantly picking threads from it and I still have more picking and clipping to do.  I think my next top will be batik and that eliminates that problem!

I’m working on a second sock but I’m starting to get second sock syndrome.  I’m using a new yarn from Dyeversion that is bamboo and lycra so it has a bit of stretch to it.  It feels wonderful and the lycra will stop it stretching out of shape as pure bamboo socks have a tendency to do.  I’m forcing myself to finish this before I start knitting anything new but I have so many yarns calling my name!

Leo went over to Sandra & Darren’s the other day to help install a chandelier so he took Ben with him to see hit kitty cousins.  Here is Miles’ reaction to Ben:

Miles being Evil


While Grandmas shouldn’t have favourite grandkitties, I must admit Miles isn’t my favourite – he’s bitten me once too many times!  Here is my favourite – sweet little Abby – she loves everyone, including Ben!

Abby & Ben September 2012


I’m not sure where Lucy was when these pictures were being taken – probably off eating which is her favourite sport!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Retirement Rocks!

I’m thoroughly enjoying retirement and don’t know why I didn’t do it 30 years ago Smile  There’s been a lot of knitting going on around here, but not much on the quilting front.  Here is my Scalene scarf.



Here’s Bruno modeling it for me.  Bruno is a very special bear to me.  My Mum wasn’t known for giving frivolous gifts.  I can remember more than one Christmas and Birthday when I received underwear.  However, one Christmas she gave me Bruno – she had seen him in the mall, fell in love with him, and bought him!  It was one of my best Christmas gifts ever.



I also finished the Mystery Shawl by Stephen West on Ravelry.  I’m really pleased with it and it certainly took me out of my knitting box.



I just noticed my little knitting inspector is in the corner of this picture.  I better go and move it off the bed before she decides to knead on it.  This is a better indication of the true colours.


I still haven’t figured out how to get my font on Windows Live Writer to stop reverting to some teeny tiny size.  If you know how to fix this, please, please let me know!!

Sandra and I went to Cleveland two weeks ago and had a great time.  We went to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame which we both loved.  My favourite part was concert footage from the 25th Anniversary concerts featuring Bono, Sting, Springsteen, Billy Joel, Jeff Beck and many others.  It was held in a small intimate theatre with comfy seats and you didn’t have to listen to all the screaming that normally goes on at a concert.  It was worth the trip alone!

We also went to the Cleveland Art Gallery and the Museum of Natural History as well as the new Casino which has opened downtown.  I was pleasantly surprised with Cleveland as I always remember Leo telling me quite a few years ago when I was going somewhere and had to drive by Cleveland – he said, if you get a flat in Cleveland, keep on driving.  It was clean, the people were friendly and it was very easy to get around.

We also hit two great malls in the suburbs – you didn’t think I could go to the States and not go shopping did you??”

Here are a few pictures of our visit.

Cleveland Hotel

Our hotel was in this beautiful building built in 1890 called The Arcade.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame



Sandra & Guitar

My beautiful tall daughter.  She complained that all the pictures I took of her were unflattering because I’m so much shorter than she is so they were taken from a lower angle, while all the ones she took of me were flattering (yea, right) because she was looking down!


Me & Guitar

These huge guitars were all over the city.

My blue scrap bin was full to overflowing, so I decided yesterday to make a blue string quilt.  I have 48 blocks done.  This is my basket before I started:


This is what is looks like 48 blocks later:

001 (2)


Notice any difference?  No?  Neither do I!!!!   There’s probably at least 2 more string quilts in that bin!

Here are half of my blocks on my design wall and now I need to start sewing them all together.