Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blocks for Maple Leaf Bee

The January block is for a little boy's quilt; hence the doggies. I loved this fabric!

The February block is so bright and cheerful. Making it reminded me that spring is coming!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Catching up on my virtual Quilting Bee blocks

Improv block
This is for Bee Addicted 2 . We were given the 2 colours and some black and white. I added more black and white. I am really looking forward to seeing the finished quilt because I really cannot picture how such disparate blocks from all the bee members are going to go together.

This is for Bee Addicted . I like the Deer Valley fabric but I struggled with the lack of value contrast so I ended up appliqueing the circle with the fabric wrong side up to make it stand out a bit more.

String Piecing
I had a lot of fun adding fabric from my stash for this block. There are many ways the blocks can be put together, so I left them unattached. This is also for Bee Addicted.

Wonky Star
The starling print in the middle of this block is absolutely darling. I really struggle with making the wonky blocks because my brain really does not do wonky very well. I added black and white prints for the points. This is for A Piece of Work B

Another wonky star
The interesting point about this block for the Quilting Sisters Bee is that the background is a linen/cotton blend. I really enjoyed working with the fabric. I think the linen adds some textural interest.

Gratuitous fur baby photos
Just because they are cute.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

These word play contest entries are so funny ....

The Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to
take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or
changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are this year’s
winners. Read them carefully. Each is an artificial word with only one
letter altered from a real word. Some are terrifically innovative:

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until
you realize it was your money to start with.

2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people, that stops
bright ideas from penetrating. The Bozone layer, unfortunately, shows
little sign of breaking down in the near future.

4. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the
subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

5. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

6. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the
person who doesn’t get it.

7. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

8. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

9. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

10. Karmageddon: It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these
really bad vibes, right? And then like, the Earth explodes and it’s
like, a serious bummer.

11. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day
consuming only things that are good for you.

12. Glibido: All talk and no action

13. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when
they come at you rapidly.

14. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after
you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web

15. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into
your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out .

16. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in
the fruit you’re eating.

And, the pick of the lot…

17. Ignoranus: A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Long overdue thank you for placemat swap

Nanotchka gifted me with this bright, happy placemat and hot mat set for the Placemat Quilt Swap 2. I use these everyday. Thank you very much Nanette!

These are the placemats I made for Nanette. I adore this Rouenneries fabric by French General and was delighted to have the chance to use it for something special. I liked working with it so much I bought some more from the Fat Quarter Shop.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Stitchers Angel gifts received

Several weeks ago I received a lovely parcel of goodies from my Stitchers Angel partner.

The hand embroidery is stunningly beautiful, using fabulous variegated threads. I am very happy and thankful for Nina's gifts. Thank you Nina!!!

Isn't this stitching fantastic?

This is hanging right above my computer. I love it!

Nina also made a charming heart door hanger which I forgot to photograph. D'oh.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Quilt Swaps update

Hi everyone,

Yes, I have been terribly delinquent. Please accept my apologies. September and October were a time of upheaval and great new beginnings in my organization. All is settled for now. Onward ....

So, as for the swaps I'm in, here is an update:

1. DQS7. I received a fabulous little quilt from Isabel in Portugal. It is very striking and hangs on my studio wall. My little quilt gave us quite a scare by going missing for 3 weeks. I was beginning to make a replacement but then received word that Shabby Ducklings had finally arrived in California. The recipient and her toddler like it, which makes me very happy.

Isn't this lovely? Made with Amy Butler prints. I love the contrast. Isabel's blog post is not in English, but I think I figured out that she said she used a Flying Geese pattern because the quilt was being sent to Canada. Cute, eh? Thank you Isabel!

These little ducklings gave us quite a scare by taking their sweet time to fly south to California.

2. Summertime Swap. My BrightSummer quilt arrived overseas and has been acknowledged by email. The quilt that has been sent to me has gone missing. I think I'm bad luck :(

3. Friendship Bag swap. My bag and goodies have been received by Luv2Quilt2. She blogged about it here. I am so glad she liked her parcel! I have no idea what is happening with any parcel coming to me.

4. Stitchers Angel swap. I have received an awesome parcel from Nina in Norway. The stitchery is so beautiful I need to wait for a sunny day to get photos that will do it justice. Check back in a few days for photos. Thank you Nina in Norway!

5. August Swap Til You Drop. Again I was paired with someone in Norway, this time Mari. She sent this lovely folk art piece that is hanging over my computer desk. I love it! Mari has received my appliqued tree house.

Isn't this so cute? I just love the little touches, like the antenna on the roof. Thanks Mari!

6. Teeny Tiny Mini Swap.

This is only 6 inches square! I hand quilted using hand dyed thread and added a glittery yarn border just for fun. This went to Sandy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her quilt is making the long journey to me now. I really enjoyed this swap.

7. Advent Swap. I have been busy shopping and scheming for this one. It is so much fun to gather 24 little gifts! I'm still working on the big hand made gift for the finale.

8. Inchie Swap. Haven't even started this one yet.

9. Bee blocks. I am in 4 virtual Bees (gulp). Meeting those deadlines has me stressed right now. That is all I'm going to say about that.

There is more, but I'm tired just thinking about it. That's all for now.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

SummerBright mini finished and sent to partner

This is one of my favourite quilts.I really didn't want to send it to my swap partner!

The flower is outlined with embroidery and filled in with water
colour pencils. The quilting is McTavishing style, done by hand.

In the photo I have the quilt pinned to the blocking board. The hand quilting made the piece a little wonky, so I spritzed it with water and pinned it out square and flat. When it was dry it was lovely and flat. I think I will block my quilts more often!

Made for the Quilting Gallery's Good Ole Summertime Mini Quilt Swap. My assigned partner rarely blogs and is not active in the Flickr groups, so I don't have a good sense of how she will react to this piece. I tried to follow her tastes, as much as I could figure out.

Cross fingers she likes it!

August STUD Mini Swap quilt received!

The Swap Till You Drop theme for August was buildings. I was paired with Mari of MidlandDesigns. She lives in Norway on a beautiful farm and does lovely quilting.
I adore the quilt she made for me. It is a very folk art style, which I like but cannot do myself. I lack the artistic gene :) So, I feel very lucky to get a quilt in a style that I would never be able to make for myself. It now has place of pride on the wall above my computer at home.

I made a mini for Mari, which she has now received. I stitched the embroidery and quilting by hand. This little quilt gave me lots of trouble! I had quilted by machine but hated the effect, so I ripped out all those stitches and quilted by hand instead. I used two strands of a variegated embroidery thread for the quilting and like how it turned out. Overall, I'm not that happy with the quilt, but Mari emailed that she likes it, so it all ended well.

The photo below is bad, I know, but it is the only one I've got. I was late mailing the package so I had to rush the photo shoot.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bill is coming to town

Hi everyone,
So, an unwanted visitor is going to be tearing up our city tomorrow. I was here when Hurricane Juan touched down on the mainland and took out the backbone of the entire power grid. It took days for power to come back on. One person died in that storm (an ambulance attendant working to help people died after a tree fell on him).

We had a house with a pool then, nestled in a lovely forest. Several 40 foot high trees were blown down, but luckily they fell away from the pool and house. The local yacht clubs were disaster areas, with broken boats flung about like toys. Both of our beautiful city parks were extremely damaged.

Juan was a Category 2. Bill is predicted to be a Category 2. Juan hit us at high tide. Bill is predicted to hit us at high tide. So you can understand that Nova Scotians are scrambling to prepare

My storm prep consists of spending today sewing like mad to catch up on my swaps in case the power goes out.

(Yes, Mom, if you are reading this, I have enough food/water/flashlights/batteries/candles/meds/cash.)

See you all on the flip side.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nothing Important to Say Here

Really, I have nothing but trivia.
It has been too darn hot here to sew, since the weekend. The heat wave finally broke today, for which I am very grateful.

I mailed out my packets for the Quilting Sisters Bee. The story of my Excellent Adventure at the Post Office can be found here.

My cat, Lulu, fell off the balcony (4 floors) and disappeared for a night. Early the next morning I had to get to a meeting so my neighbours had a search and rescue mission. They were successful. Lulu is now safe and sound at home, not injured at all. She is no longer allowed on the balcony.

My admin assistant has been on vacation for a week. This makes me cranky.

The gratuitous photo above is a block of applique. I'm not sure I like the stark contrast between brights and white and the raw edge applique with the fancy, frilly design. It has been sitting in a drawer for months.

The block is from Aie Rossmann's Affairs of the Heart book.
What do you think? Should I carry on with it?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Town

There is a lovely small farmers market very close to my home. Once in a while I get off my butt and get there early on a Saturday morning before it gets too busy.
I took some quick shots with my iPhone camera.

Where: At the Dartmouth ferry terminal, looking over the harbour to Halifax.

When: Saturday, Aug 15, 2009 Time: 8:10 am
Temp: hot with lovely ocean breeze

Where: Dartmouth ferry terminal looking toward the MacDonald bridge, which I drive back and forth to work.

When: Saturday 15 Aug 2009

Time: 8:10 am

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Weekend Will Be HOT

Hi everyone:
Here on the east coast of Canada we get lots of fog, rain, mist and cool temperatures.

Every once in a while the sun swings by real close and hits us with the big guns. This weekend is going to be one of those times.

That temperature forecast for Saturday is 32 degrees Celsius. In Farenheit that is 89.6
We still have to factor in the humidex to get the "feels like" temperature. Now, before you start laughing at me for being a wimp, let me remind you that I live in Canada. That means I live north of most of you. And I live on the east coast. I actually live very near the ocean. Where temperatures are moderated by our proximity to the ocean. In Halifax we don't do 32 degrees very well.

So, enjoy your weekend everyone. If you need me, I'll be in my fridge.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Swap Till You Drop - August

Hi everyone,

Yet another swap I signed up for in August is the Swap Till You Drop (STUD). This is a monthly themed swap. Unlike the Doll Quilt Swap, partners are not secret for this one (hi Mari, if you want to be surprised, STOP READING NOW. Please.)

Everyone else, follow me. So, the theme this month is buildings. I have chosen the fabulous tree houses courtesy of Jenny of Elefantz. If you haven't seen her blog yet you should totally check it out. She is absolutely delightful.

There will be hand stitching. There will be circles. Mwhahahah ...

Monday, August 10, 2009

A day with coloured pencils ...

... is a fun day.

Hi everyone,
I know it is only August so Santa's elves are still on seasonal layoff, but I'm hard at work making scrappy Christmas blocks for a swap. I like the scrappy look which often also means random fabric choices, but I'm not so good with random. In fact I'm downright allergic to random. So, I got out my quilt design book and coloured pencils to, er, plan my random. Or something like that.

I'm having fun and that's all that matters! Right?

How many of you plan your scrappy projects? Come on, 'fess up!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A City made of fabric

Hi everyone,
By virtue of lovely serendipity I recently discovered the amazing work of an author named Catherynne Valente. From what I can discover of her background she has a solid intellectual grasp of folklore, fairy tales and mythology which she uses to inform her marvelous fantasy tales.

Cat is currently writing a story and releasing it in weekly episodes on her website, to be enjoyed for free or a donation, whichever the reader prefers.
In Chapter 8 of the Fairyland story, the little girl named September and her escort, a friendly dragon, enter the city of her destination, Pandemonium. September sees:

Pandemonium spread out around her, a city of cloth. Bright storefronts ran ahead of them, built with violet crinoline and crimson organdy. Towers wound up in wobbly twists of stiff, shining brocade. Memorial statues wore felt helmets over bombazine faces. High, thin, fuzzy houses puffed out angora doors; fancy taffeta offices glimmered under the gaze of black lace gargoyles. Even the broad avenue they stood on was a mass of ropy, pumpkin-colored grosgrain. And there! That crooked, creased, ancient leather obelisk must be Groangyre Tower! The warm wind filled a coppery satin balloon at the tip-top of the tower and blew it up into a fine cupola.

Sigh. Can't you just picture that scene on this sunny Sunday morning? I can.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making begins with Chapter One here.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Cheater Post

Hi everyone,

I belong to a virtual quilting bee. (Actually I belong to several, but today the focus is on just one of them).

The Bee is called the Quilting Sisters. Our blog is here.

The idea is that each quilter chooses a month in which she will send fabric and directions for a block to the other Bee members. We all make that block for her and mail it back. By the end of a year we will have collectively pieced 12 quilts of awesome variety. Cool, eh!

For the the Quilting Sisters, I chose the month of September. When I asked my fellow Bee members if they wanted to see my choices on the blog or be surprised by what arrives in the mail, they opted for instant gratification. So, with chants of "Show! Show! Show!" ringing in my head I have photographed my fabric choices and prepared a blog post.

Note: What follows is an extract from my Quilting Sisters post, so I consider this a cheater post.

But first, a little bit of the story behind choosing this fabric. It went something like this.

1. Determine pattern, namely Amy Butler's Nigella Quilt, named after her fabric design.

2. Look at said fabric online, decide the time required to ship it to Canada so it can be cut up into pieces and shipped to 11 other places is too extensive and silly.

3. Use this as excuse to go fabric shopping locally.

4. Visit fabric shop closest to office. Find nothing suitable. Pout.

5. Visit fabric shop close to home. Find nothing. Pout even more.

6. Having exhausted the only two options for shopping locally, sigh heavily and go stash diving.

7. Spend a couple of hours flinging fabric around and shooing away dogs and cat.

8. Realize none of the groupings really work.

8. Drink wine.

9. Consult a battered, dog eared copy of de Bono's "Lateral Thinking" book.

10. Switch from a light background with dark applique as depicted in the pattern to the reverse.

11. Grab fabrics, arrange in group, stand back, look at group with squint, cheer. Success!

May I present, my September fabrics.

Some of this fabric is from the Opulence line by Paula Nadelstern for Benartex.

Friday, August 7, 2009

There might be 40,000 people outside my window today

Hi everyone,
If you follow professional hockey at all you will recognize the name Sidney Crosby, whose family lives about 10 blocks away from me (photo by Keith Srakocic/Associated Press) Yes, that Sidney. Captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, winner of the Stanley Cup championship. Captain Crosby turns 22 today. To celebrate he is bringing the Cup home to show his closest friends. All estimated 40,000 of them.

This morning he will and the Cup will land by helicopter on one of our military ships in the harbour. The first event will be for military families at Shearwater, our air force base. Later in the afternoon he and the Cup will be in a parade, ending up at the community ice rink. There he will have photos taken with fans and the Cup.

When I saw this schedule I immediately declared today as "work at home day" because I anticipate the traffic around my house to be, in a word, gridlocked.

If I get any good pictures of the festivities from my balcony vantage point I'll post them here.

Finally, Sidney Crosby's parents deserve hearty congratulations for guiding their son's growth into a hardworking, respectful, successful young man. I hope they can relax and enjoy this day.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Summertime Swap progress

For some reason I feel the need to prove that I am still working on this project. It is due to be mailed to my secret partner in early September. I am handquilting, so it is taking some time.

There, now I feel better.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Shabby Ducklings

Hi everyone,
I have to leave for work soon but took advantage of some sunshine to snap a photo of the Doll Quilt Swap project. The quilting is done, so I just need to attach a label and the binding. I had a lot of fun making this because I got to indulge my inner girly girl.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Progress Report

Hi everyone,
This is a long weekend in Nova Scotia, to celebrate Natal Day. I have renamed it "Yay! Catch up with Quilting Day!".

Here you see my creative space for the past several hours. Yes, there is a dog under my desk. She likes to curl up around the sewing machine foot pedal.

The DQS7 piecing is all done, and the quilt sandwich made. It is too cloudy today for a good photo, so here is a work in progress shot of some blocks.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Arrgghhh - I'm sick

Hi everyone,

So, re-entry from my little business trip is not going well. I'm feeling ill. Too ill to sew or blog. Will be back when I can.

By the way, the dogs' sleepover went very well. Apparently they didn't miss me one little bit. The brats :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Drive-by Post

Hi everyone,

I'm just stopping by right quick to let you know I can't really post until the weekend. Work is kicking my butt and I'm going to be away on an overnight business trip at the end of the week.

No sewing is being done here. I'm madly washing doggie beds and blankets and toys because Kobie and Dorey are going on a sleepover! They will be staying with my niece while I'm away. This is a first for the dogs and I really hope it goes well (cross fingers, toes, eyes, etc.)

Just look at these two troublemakers. Would you take them into your home for a sleepover? No, I didn't think so.

Try not to have too much fun without me. :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What happens in the sewing room stays in the sewing room

... unless I blog about it.

So, I'm working on the Little Bouquet Quilt Along. Cherri's instructions are wonderful, full of step-by-step text and pictures.

But, my type A self is having trouble wrapping my head around making wonky flowers. As you can see, on the left - my first attempt is pitiful. I could tell immediately it was WRONG so I tried again. The second attempt (on the right) is better, because I started using triangle scraps instead of strips. Now I have to keep practicing.

Note: Mr. Troll wanders into photos from time to time. He can usually be found in the presence of swear words.

I also spent some time this weekend working on my Doll Quilt Swap #7 design. It is just a small log cabin, nothing wonky or weird about it whatsoever. (4 inch finished, featuring Ducky and friends)

Do you think I could get this tiny little block right the first time? No. Let's just say I spent some quality time with my seam ripper. My excuse? I'm thinking too much about work. I am in the process of hiring a new employee so I have a lot to think about.

Yeah, that's it. Blame it on work. Heh.

How was your weekend?

Friday, July 24, 2009

A new swap in town

Hi everyone,

Are you up for a virtual quilting bee with a year long commitment? Then I have just the swap for you.

The "A Piece of Work B" group is starting up. So far there are 6 members but we need 12 to get going. The idea is that each member is assigned a month in which to send out fabric and choice of block style. Everybody makes a block and sends it back. By the end we will have a quilt full of blocks and some new friends!

Sound good? The signups are at the Flicker group, go here. Click to join and introduce yourself to the admin.

Hope to see you in our bee!

Swap Profile

Hi everyone,
Quilt swaps are a lot of fun but the process can be frustrating if the partner you are given is too mysterious. When I am trying to decide on a project for a partner I like lots of information about likes and dislikes to help me choose.

So, in the interests of being a good swap partner, here is a bunch of information about me.

I am:
Canadian, middle aged, divorced, employed full-time, child free by choice, companion to 2 small dogs and a young cat, home owner, introvert, Apple fan girl

I can:
quilt, knit, crochet, embroider, needlepoint, rug hook, sew clothes, teach others how to use computers

Some examples of styles I like
can be found at my Flickr favorites page and I am currently in love with all things Shabby Chic and the fresh modern quilt styles. My most favourite blogger right now is
Oh, Fransson!

I really enjoy:
needlework of any kind, reading, listening to music

I dislike:

I will not:

I try to avoid:
controversy, driving after dark

I have the following types of stashes:
fabric, yarn, quilting thread, beads, scrap book paper, coloured pencils and crayons. O.K., I admit it, I adore sparkly, shiny, colourful, pretty things. I must have been a dragon in a prior life!

I read:
science fiction and fantasy such as William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Neil Gaiman, Cathryanne Valente, Cory Doctorow, Anne McCaffery (love those dragons!)

My guilty pleasure
Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series, Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series, chocolate

I am currently listening to:
The Lord of the Rings soundtrack, Otis Turner, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Abney Park, Rasputina, The Penguin Cafe Orchestra

I would love to have:
any fabric by Kafe Fassett, Amy Butler, Lizzy House, or any of the other currently popular designers. Where I live the quilt shops are a year or two behind the trends. I could order on line but I hate to pay for shipping.

Items I would love to have but will never get around to making for myself:
quilted purse;
iPhone cozy;

Whew! I think that's enough about me. See you around the blogosphere!

Little Bouquet Quilt Along experiment

I am participating in the Little Bouquet Quilt Along. Much fun is being had.

One of the supply list items could not be found in my stash (ya, I was shocked too). I don't have any non-fusible interfacing. I do have fusible (miles of the stuff). So the designer suggested I try fusing two pieces together.

Another participant mentioned that she is using baby wipes, which reminded me that I have a stash of used dryer sheets (they work really well for applique). I decided to try both the dryer sheets and the fusible.

This pic shows the difference in weight and transparency between the two. The fusible is heavenly soft whereas the dryer sheet is rough.

This pic shows the finished blocks. There is no visible difference. The weight and stability are surprisingly different. I'm not sure how the dryer sheet version would hold up to machine quilting. However, since I prefer hand quilting, I can't see myself trying to get my needle through the thickness of the fusible block.

Conclusion : depending on your quilting method, either version of interfacing will do. Or, you could just go your LQS and buy some non-fusible. :)

I have two blocks of twelve done so far. But the sewing machine must be abandoned for the moment, because my two "kids" are demanding some attention. Kobie is telling me in no uncertain terms to turn off the sewing machine and pay attention to her or she will find something to amuse herself with. And I won't like it.

Duchess Dorey says "Mama, pay attention to meeeee. Me! Me! Me!"

The cat is very quiet though. Hmmm, better go see what she is up to. Excuse me....

"Lulu? Where are you? Lulu?"