Monday, January 31, 2011

And another pillow... and another sunny day

I was really intrigued by the block Card tricks.  I tried it out for a pillow.  I used some Rouenneries by French General for Moda that I had along with some of Gramma's stash for the back and the border.  The pillow turned out well I think.  I used my walking felt and quilted straight lines in a square but I should have used 2 prints in the same colour family and not just the one print for the main part of the block.  You lose the card trick idea of the overlapping cards.  Or a print and a similar solid.  Next time I will know better.  I was not totally happy with my quilting but it is all about the process.  It is a little wonky.   All about the process.  But I am liking it in the rocking chair!

I have to say that the name of this block intrigued me because of my card ladies.  I play cards every few weeks with friends.  We play this crazy game of whist and it is just too much fun.  It is more about the friendship than the cards and we have a great time with lovely food and laughing.  A lot of laughing.  So I must get really expert at the card trick block because of my card ladies.

Check the amaryllis.  Pretty lovely.  A gift for winter solstice from a friend.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunny day!

After weeks of gloomy weather today was bright, clear and crisp.  I took a photo of yesterday's pillow.  I bought a bag of 2.5" wide scraps at the fabulous local quilt shop for $2.95 and they magically transformed themselves into this lovely pillow.  Rail fence.  Cut the strips to 4.5" and made the blocks.  Played with the layout a little bit, added the strip around the edge for a border.  The strip was in the bag too.  Stippled it in taupe.  Added a back, with a simple envelope closure.  Shazam, pillow!  

And while I was having fun with the sewing machine today, Husband was in the blueberry patch pruning.  He has been waiting for the rain to let up.

The yellow cord is not leading to some snazzy, electric blueberry bush pruner but the extension cord to Husband's ever present radio.  

Webster was helping with the pruning and then before I went back inside, I peeked into the big woods to see what was new... and it just looked lovely as always.  

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fabric and a visitor

First of all the visitor.  Hanging out at the pond for much of the day was this lovely fellow.

But about fabric.  We stopped for a bit at the fabulous local quilt shop this morning.  We had a list of errands including mailing a care package to nursey student daughter.  Husband made her cookies.  BIG cookies.  He claims the recipe was broken as the recipe said it would make some vast quantity and it made only a few dozen BIG cookies.  Anyway, fabric.  I picked up a few things on sale including the end of the bolt of Happy Butterfly from the Meadowsweet line.  Very cheerful.  And a wicked steal of a deal because it was the end of the bolt.  I had to get some more of the dots from Momo's It's a Hoot because I love, love, love it.  And a few other things.  Buy one get one fat quarters too.  Check out the pile.  Aren't those little blue owls cute?

And then I have a thrift store find from a few weeks ago.  Almost a metre of Yuwa-Ring My Bell for $1.25.  Kind of odd colours and who knows what to do with it but it was almost as if they paid me to take it!?  Any ideas anyone?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Happiness is...

Today is the 29th anniversary of husband and my first date.  We always celebrate this day as well as our wedding anniversary.  Of course, husband would never admit to being a romantic but gosh darn, he is.   We went out for dinner.  That was fun but the food wasn't as good as at home.  Husband is a fine cook.  Before coming home though, we stopped to look at irons.  My iron has not been making me happy.  It just doesn't seem to get as hot as it used to and then I cannot press things as well.  Frustration!  I now have a new iron and oh my goodness, talk about the BMW, the Rolls Royce, the cat's meow of all that is an iron!  Husband convinced me to buy the Rowenta.  It is so lovely.  It is so shiny new that I can't stand it!

Husband said Happy Anniversary!  He told me that I am having so much fun with my quilting that I deserve the best.  How romantic!  How lovely!  He's a keeper.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sewing obsessions...

I love all the stuff that goes along with sewing.  I have boxes and tins of lace and buttons and trim.  Mum looked in one of the boxes when she was visiting and saw a tangled mess of lace and ribbon.  She made a comment that was less than complimentary.  It was like she had done the white glove test only worse.  I felt chastened.  I felt bad.  After she went home, I spent an entire evening sorting and tidying my messy boxes of stuff.  Husband was horrified by the mess I made organizing it all.  Cat and dog even helped.  You know what that looked like.  These boxes are so organized now that it is scary.  When Mum was here for Christmas, I had to show her my tidy boxes of sewing stuff.  The lace is so tidy, the trim all organized.  I even have the tin of bias binding organized according to colour.  It is really lovely.  I think she was pleased.  Definitely impressed.  Weren't you, Mum?

One of my sewing obsessions is about sewing baskets.  I have several of them.  I have my Great Grandmother's sewing basket.  I remember loving it as a child.  Who wouldn't love it?  Look at the shape???

And then Mum brought me her sewing basket.  I keep all the vintage sewing notions that I find in this one.

Love the pale green interior.  And then there is my sewing basket.  I have had it since I was a little girl and have used since then.  It is a beauty.  Small and classic.  From the 60s.  With a lovely Dritz brand label inside.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Work in progress...

 This is what happened on Sunday.  Lots of cutting.
And then some sewing.

I like the look of these blocks.  That is a 4 1/2 " square in the centre, surrounded by scrappy strips.  This will be a quilt for my Mum.  

10 blocks finished.  More to follow.  

Happy Robbie Burns Day!

Monday, January 24, 2011

More weekend finds...

With all the excitement of Mum's Abigail, I didn't have a chance to show off my finds of the weekend.  Nothing outstanding in the fabric department this weekend but I did find a really great reference book.  Husband was most impressed.  He guessed I paid about $10 for it but how wrong he was.  It was a mere $2.50.  More costly than Abigail though!

501 quilt blocks.  That will keep me busy!

I also found some buttons and trim.  I get a real kick out of the packaging.

 Notice how these buttons are guaranteed washable...  bonus!  And the rick rack is apparently boil proof!  Who knew?  The rick rack must be pre 1970s as it is still in feet not metres and who knows what era the snaps are from... with the hairstyle of the lady, maybe the 40s?

Love the pink and blue buttons!  Have a happy Monday!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Love to finish a quilt!

Baby girl quilt

I took advantage of a break in the rain to throw the 2 baby quilts up on the clothesline for their photo op.  I am really pleased with how both of them turned out. Cute, cheerful and fun.  And what fun to quilt them compared to a big quilt!  I was over and done before you could say, oh- I don't know... empty bobbin.   And because they were just so much fun to take pictures of, here are a few more.  

The backs are fun.  Couple wrinkles in the boy quilt on the right but none on the girl quilt.  I used some really cute pink print thrift store fabric for the girl quilt back along with the green dots from the Love U line.  The boy quilt back has vintage sheet, some of the dots and the extra charm square coins.  I bound the boy quilt in a small green dot and then bound the girl quilt in the luscious raspberry egg print from It's A Hoot by Momo for Moda.  Too much fun!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Meet Abigail...

Today it was Mum's turn.  She phoned this afternoon.  Her voice vibrating with excitement.  She was out and about and found at one of her favourite haunts...

Abigail.  Mum says that is her name.  Mum used to own one but along the way and with the many moves we made as a young family, her dress form was given away.  Mum was just talking about this over Christmas and there she was.  Abigail.  Just waiting for her.  Complete with cast iron stand and even the wing nuts.  Mum said, soft and a little bit worn but with a lot of life left in her.  Perfect.  Husband had to laugh at the wing nuts.  I am sure he was thinking that his dear mother-in-law is a little bit of a wing nut!  Mum says Abigail is older than her previous dress form, maybe 1940s.  And for a grand total of... get ready for it... $2!!!!!  That's it.  Thrift store score!

Check this out.  Abigail's insides.  Mum was getting very artsy with her photographs!

And you can check here at Sophie's blog for more flea market finds...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Are you feeling blue?

My mum really likes blue.  I think it is fair to say it is her favourite colour.  She has been collecting blue fabrics over the years with the plan of making a blue quilt for herself.  Some of the fabric is new, but since she is the queen of recycling, some of the fabrics are from shirts and other stuff.  At Christmastime, she brought the pile to me and told me that I should make the quilt.  I think it will be the next project and this is what some of the pile looks like.  All lovely denim blue colours.  I am thinking of a modified log cabin block.  Pretty straightforward for straightforward fabrics.  I think there is even some flour sack cotton in the pile.  Third fabric from the top, white with a little blue flower.  Soft, and a little worn but with a whole lot of life left in it.  Sort of like my mum.

I started working on this post and was just in the midst of trying to upload this photo when dog came along.  Dog decided that he wanted to help with the post and shoved his toy on to the keyboard.  Crazy stuff happened.  It looked like he had actually managed to add something but he has to work on his computer skills.  Dog is Webster, a 3 year old Golden Retriever.  He is very silly.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fabric buying stage fright overcome!

I spend a great deal of time checking out all the wonderful online fabric stores in the US.  I check and recheck and debate.  Until just now, I have been completely too chicken to purchase fabric from the States. Not anymore.  I did it.  Phew.  Stage fright overcome.  Can't wait to get my hands on it.  Will have to let you know how it all turns out.

And just in case you did not know, Green Fairy Quilts have a 25% off sale.  Just in case you didn't know...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Spring is a promise...

I noticed the other day when looking out the dining room window that some bulbs were starting to peek through.  I know that we still have winter to get through and even the possibility of wet snow tonight but just the peek of spring is such a delight.  I asked husband to take a picture today when the sun came out.  And he did.  He is just so sweet.

Don't mind the debris in the garden.  I haven't cleaned the flower beds yet.  I tell myself it is insulation for the plants in case of bad weather.

Can you see the bulbs poking up?  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Decisions, decisions

I have baby girl quilt pin sandwiched and pin basted.  While watching the Golden Globes, I unpinned and ripped out 2 of the blocks because I noticed that I didn't like the placement of the blocks.  Good grief.  What a pain.  I could have left it but it would have bothered me.  Picking apart seams is so not fun but I didn't want to obsess about it later.  It seems that once you notice something on your quilt, that is all you can see.   Husband had not even noticed it and I rely on him to notice these things.  I always ask him about the binding choices.  He has a good eye for colour.  I don't always agree with him but I do ask him.  Husband thought I should bind the girl quilt with a dark red.  He thought that would make the colours in the quilt pop and also clearly identify the quilt as a child's quilt.  I didn't like the solid he liked but when I stopped at the fabulous local quilt store, I found the perfect thing.  From the It's a Hoot line by Momo for Moda.  (That sounds funny.)  Check out the picture.  I think it will look awesome.  I wouldn't have thought of that colour choice on my own.  I think I would have gone to a green.  Sorry about the photo but it was getting dark when I got home from school.

Monday, January 17, 2011

tiny vintage doll quilt and some scraps...

Lots of blogs are talking about doll quilts and swaps right now.  I thought I might share one of my wee treasures.  I found this several years ago at a thrift shop and I had to take it home with me.  I popped a nickel on it to show the size.  It is a mere 30 cm square ( 12" square for those of you in non-metric lands!).  Probably from the 1930s judging from the colours and the prints.  And such a lovely little teeny tiny dresden plate pattern.  Wouldn't it make a lovely grown up quilt?

I was planning to take my sewing machine in for a tune up today after school.  I drove over to the next town to drop it off.  Good grief.  I left my quarter inch foot on and they need a zig zag foot in order to tune it up.  Do you think they had a foot they could just pop on it?  Not a chance.  They could have sold me one for $12.  Like I wanted to do that?!  I was not a happy quilter.  I brought my machine home with me and I think it will visit another place for its tune up.  So there.

On the way home I decided to get happy at my fabulous local quilt shop.  Picked up a lovely bag of Moda's Sugar Pop scraps!!!  What a cool deal!  And some other happy fabric came home with me too.  I felt better.   Of course I needed it all.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Baby quilt girl version on a rainy Sunday

Went to the dump.  That was exciting.  Went for a walk in the field with the dog.  Found 2 pop bottles, a golf ball and a dead duck.  Back to the house for husband.  Husband got a shovel.  He said he would give the duck a burial at sea.  Part of the field is flooded from all the rain.  Then I got to the sewing machine.

Baby girl quilt is in process.  I decided on a disappearing 9 patch.  Nice easy block that looks complicated but is really just so very easy to put together.  Way back last summer when I found this tutorial on the Moda Bakeshop and that is what I did with this quilt.   I am using the "girl" colours from the Love U charm packs and a bunch of stuff from the stash, including some of Momo's It's a Hoot.  Love it, love it, love it!

Here it is on the "design bed."  One day when I grow up, I will have a design wall.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The yellow is nice...

Did the shopping.  Got some veggies.  Stopped at the hardware store.  Husband says... What's next?  Thrift store, says I?  Husband gave me the look.  It's it time for fun, I said. I got another look.   In I went, straight for the fabric.  I did glance over to the collectibles and was momentarily caught by a lovely cake stand but to the fabric I went.  I picked up some lovely decorator weight fabric for pillows or bags and some very nice yellow cotton print.  I tried to see what the selvage said but they package it up in such a way that the selvage remains a mystery.  Big warning notices tell the curious shopper not to open the packages!!!!!  I followed the rules.  Paid my money.  Said no to a bag and off I went.  I told husband.  Got some nice fabric.  He said, the yellow is nice.  I said, I'm going to check the selvage.  He said, what's the selvage?  I said, the white part... OH  FLEA MARKET FANCY!!!!!!!!  I was giddy.  I was faint.  He thought I had lost my mind.  I tried to explain that there are blogs dedicated to this line of fabric and I had just found .85 metres of Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy at a thrift store!!!!!!!!  For $1.50!!!!!!!!!   Apparently my reaction was akin to having won the lottery.  I did win!  The fabric lottery!!!  There you go... thrift store score.

My giddiness was so extreme that I could not even focus at our next stop at one of the local quilt shop's customer appreciation sale.  I went into the store with a funny look on my face.  Wandered around and left with nothing!!!!!  How could anything compare to this?

Husband said, what will you do with it?  I actually admitted that I might just hoard it.        Happily.

The photos are a little fuzzy.  I think I was still shaking with glee.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The weekend is here!

So another week down.  We had the interruption of the snow part way through the week and the rains came.  And the rains came and the rains came.  Much of the snow has melted but the giant snowbanks still exist.  The teachers were so hoping that the rains would let up enough so that the children could get outside at lunch time.  A few were wet and mucky after lunch. One little guy looked like he had fallen in a mud puddle.  I said you look like you fell in a mud puddle.  He looked at me very seriously.  The eyebrows went together a bit and he said... I did.  Oops.

It's the weekend and the sewing machine awaits as there is not much on the agenda other than the prospect of a trip to the dump.  Very exciting let me tell you.  We are too far out in the country for garbage pick up.  Valentine's day last year,  we went to the dump.  Husband and I joked that we were on our Valentine's date.  Who goes to the dump on Valentine's day?

On the quilting side of things.  Baby quilt number one is completed.  Binding on.  Photo yet to be taken. Baby quilt two is next up.  Not yet sure what it will look like but some thoughts are percolating.  Daughter was a little surprised I was making baby quilts.  Baby quilts???  Mum, isn't that putting pressure on people????  I guess she is thinking I am hinting for grandchildren.  No worries.  No pressure.  ...Sometimes you just want to make baby quilts!  Happy weekend!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I am a self-confessed ADHD knitter.  I love to knit but it has to be something that I can finish really quickly.  I need to see results and I need to see results fast!  My Gramma was a knitter.  She would knit huge blankets!  She knit my Dad and my Grampa their socks with really fine wool.  And she knit mittens.  Great mittens!  My Mum gave Gramma's last mittens to daughter and my 3 nieces this past Christmas.  Mum had to finish one pair.  They weren't quite finished when Gramma stopped knitting.  The mittens are keeping hands warm and memories warm too.

I thought I should knit something last winter.  One of my aunties gave me a pattern and a couple of sample dishcloths for inspiration.  Oh man... dishcloths are so addictive.  You can knit them up fast and furious.  They are useful and appreciated.  Just my kind of knitting project.  I think I have probably made about 30 of them in the last 2 months.  I have given away a lot of them.  They stuffed nicely into Christmas stockings.

Cast on 4 stitches.  Knit a row.  Next row, knit 2, yarn over, knit to the end of the row.  Repeat until you have between 42-44 stitches on the needles.  You decide.  Next row, knit 1, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit to the end.  Repeat until you have 4 stitches on your needle.  Cast off.  Sew in the yarn ends.  Use for dishes or a gift.  You decide.  It's a win win, either way.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

snow day!!!!

It's a snow day!  We get pretty excited about this.  There was so much snow over night that all the schools are closed.  It is a gift of a day!  Husband was out early to clear the driveway.  About 25 cm of heavy, wet stuff fell and now it is rain/freezing rain.  Blech.  I popped over to the school to make sure that random children did not show up.  Answered at least a million phone calls.  (slight exaggeration!)  Is school open?  And then drove back home.  Wahoo!  Sewing machine here I come!

I will be putting the baby quilt together and quilting it today.  And then it is cards with the girls tonight.  Bliss!

I had to bash the ice off the clothesline to get these pictures.  I used a vintage sheet and a row of the coins framed in some dots from the Love U line for the back.  And I popped a few tiny squares of colour in the sashing on the front.  Too much fun!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

next project...

I started some baby quilts.  Baby quilts???  Just to stock pile for possible gifting.   I had 2 charm packs Love U for Moda.  Very cute.  I separated the charm packs into girl colours and boy colours.  Husband says no such thing any more.  Very progressive thinking.  Anyway, you know what I mean.  I planned to add some fabric from the stash.  I had some very cute bits from the by the pound sale from last August at the fabulous local quilt shop.  So this is what I was working with...

 The fabric from the by the pound sale works with the whimsy of the Love U line.  Lots of pin dots and little itty bit snails.

And then I decided to use this stacked coins recipe from the Moda Bakeshop as inspiration.  I did not follow it exactly, rather just the idea of it.  Right now my "design wall" is a "design bed" in the spare bedroom, next to where I sew.

 more to follow...  cheerful, right?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jelly filled part 2

I didn't really like the picture I put up the other day.  Yesterday morning, when the world was winter-wonderlandy, I threw a sheet over the grapevines and tried again.  Much better. I also took a picture of the back-very pink and there is a glimpse of the labels I made from this tutorial.  You can also see a bit of the vintage sheet that I threw over the grapes.  Pink plaid.  How retro!  I also like how I finally have a picture of a quilt without my feet showing.

The snow stuck around and we are supposed to be heading for a cold snap.  I had to run to the store this morning (husband was out of Twinings Earl Grey Tea... CRISIS!) and down the back road to town, I met Mr. Coyote.  He was enjoying a quick jog down the middle of the road in the big woods.  He didn't seem to mind that I was driving down the same road.  Beautiful.