Friday, November 28, 2008

just off the frame

This pretty Quilt of Valor pieced by I am not sure who, but from the Heartstrings group. What an awe inspiring group of people they are.

I used a panto called Water World, and r/w/b King Tut, I think it turned out fairly well. Have the binding cut, will spend this afternoon getting it stitched on and hand stitched over the weekend, washed, then off to Alycia on Monday is my goal.





Helping out

A local elementary Grade 2 class needed some help making these little Christmas books, spent Wednesday cutting, pressing, stitching the covers for the pages, and putting them together. Got all of them done, the wee ones were so excited lol



Guess not a lot of people sew? or maybe just really busy not sure, but glad they didn't end up having to scrap the project and it really wasn't hard, took maybe 6 hours or so with coffee breaks in there too =)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Tales from the Longarm

Well phew! this quilt is finally finished, it belongs to a friend and I quilted it.
Here is it pre-quilted.



I looked at it for a few days and tried to talk myself out of sashiko quilting it but meh sometimes u just gotta do what u gotta do lol It took an awfully long time because of all the stops and starts around the embroidery...by the final row of blocks I complained loudly and frequently, mostly to the dogs who did not really care, altho my youngest dog thought it was a grand opportunity to consistently bring me her toy to throw for her. when Mama is standing, Mama must wanna play is her philosophy lol

Here is a close up of the blocks and sashings quilted.



Course once u do geometric, straight line design, the border just screams for a similar treatment...oh yes, I can honestly say I have mastered the diamonds are a girls best friend ruler! Still, much as we 'bonded' I think me and that ruler need
a lil break from each other, say oh about 2 years? lol



Heres some pics of the finished quilt, well less binding, my friend gets to do that part =)







The quilt is a gift for her friend.

Today I will piece some backings for a couple of heartstrings quilts and get those on the frame, been waiting for some new pantos to arrive, not a big fan of the pantos but need something pretty but quick to do this time around, lil break from custom quilting.

In weather news, couple of feet of snow...ew ew ew, way to early!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Progress and not

I have been working on quilting this quilt, a true labour of love, but it has been taking me a long time to get done. Today I am going to remove it from the frame even tho it isnt finished because I just have too many November deadlines and I really dont want to rush the finish. All the blocks are stabilized and embroidery centers quilted, but still need to do the pieced areas, sashings and borders.

Here are some pics of a few of the blocks so far.

Center block:



Others:










Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Found UFO and completed


I actually don't even remember when I started this, but it was all finished except for
stitching on some beads to use for hangers and putting on a binding.

Embroidery designs from emblibrary. my favorite embroidery design place.

So...after several days of hand sewing...ew ew ew ew...I finished it! Woot!!!

And yes its to early to hang up but I did anyway, 'cause after all the work I figure 25 days just isn't enough to justify several years of waiting to be done =)

Pics are blurry and nasty as usual but its done!! oh yes done, I LOVE that word!!




Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Winter...yup its coming

Not sure why every year I have this thought that maybe just maybe winter will forget to come...never happens of course and gosh it seems to be coming early and fast this year! I refuse to turn the heating on yet, but have had the fireplace going at night in my studio along with sweaters, socks heck even a blankie if necessary lol
Stubborn I am, I dont wanna pay for gas, after all 100.00 buys fabric! yanno cause I need more of that :/

Anyway...here is a snow people wallhanging I made, fun thing to look at to pretend that there is something actually fun about winter...

Its embroidered on snowy type fabric, found the snow people fabric border type stuff somewhere years ago, where I do not recall, but really went nicely with the embroidery I thought.



*usual disclaimer* my picture suxs. =)

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Thingy

Some years ago I experimented with some mathematical equations based on chaos theory.
The images I created using this formula inspired me to create them in thread. I had sort of forgotten about them until my friend visited from Australia and saw one of my samples. She loved it and wanted to try one of my designs.

Here is the result of our efforts. Sadly the picture really does not do this justice, they are really 3D with a build up of thread colours and textures that meld together to create quite an intricate and interesting visual.



She has left now on her way to explore more of North America, it was the first time we have actually met but have been computer friends for a long time. Its mind boggling to think of the things we have shared over the years, I feel very fortunate that we got this chance to meet no matter how brief. I am missing her being here, place seems awfully quiet again =(

Saturday, September 20, 2008

In a Slump or something idk

Well, this is frustrating. I was going good, got 1/2 a string quilt pieced and rows put together, as well as about 100 indian hatchett blocks or whatever they are called, happily busting some stash, using up scraps and so forth.

Then boom, suddenly seem to have hit a brick wall this entire week I have not turned on the sewing machine...one day I turned on the iron and went outside with my coffee waiting for it to heat up (its definitely on its last legs), but by the time I came inside, looked around, my head said meh, dont feel like it. *sigh*

Not sure what the problem is, its not like I did much of anything else...and I need to be. My friend is visiting from Australia next week, I'm excited to see her, but have plenty I *should* be doing, I don't get it.

Well, sitting here venting and surfing the web isnt really helping me get off my butt.

blah, maybe more coffee will help.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Longarm Quilting Music

My current favorite. I actually cant sit still when I listen to it.
I love quilting to music, helps me keep a good flow when doing freehand or even pantos, my personal favs are R&B, underground hiphop, but whatever makes you smile is what you should listen to. Sometimes I just have it playing from my computer, sometimes hook myself up to my iPod.

Oh speaking of which, iPod phone and iPod touch has an awesome free game called Tap Tap Revenge, its like Guitar Hero (and seriously who doesnt LOVE guitar hero!) only you tap the screen to the beats. Lots of music you can download (free) for it, really fun and great for eye/hand coordination (ok not really but I have to keep giving myself excuses for my game addictions), still, I figure it limbers up the wrists, hands and fingers for quilting, shhh dont blow my theory! =)

My three criteria for enjoying and setting myself free while quilting:
Relaxed shoulders
Glass of wine
Great music

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tiny Treasures quilted

Yippee! another completion, well mostly .. binding and a heartstrings label still to do but basically done lol

I think with the quilting it has a bit more personality, hopefully some lil girl will like it anyway.






Saturday, September 6, 2008

Finally done

Well I finally finished piecing this Tiny Treasures quilt, took me 2 weeks of on and off working on it, I must say it gave me lots of troubles and I'm not super happy with
it, but, its on my to do list today to quilt and I'm hopeful I will like it better once
its quilted.

As usual my picture sucks lol

Funky Caterpillars

Last weekend I finished up this little quilt from Becky's pattern. I'm not sure where it is going yet, but I think it will be ok for a wee one to cuddle in. Anyone have any suggestions? It is quite bright and crazy but I rather like it, used up some stash and some hand dye that I did years ago, that well isn't the greatest but I think its turned out sort of fun looking.



I pieced the back, made another caterpillar block for the center, and put a heartstrings label on it.



Being as its been dubbed the caterpillar block, I quilted it with butterflies and leaves.



Quilted the border with a circle template, overlapping them.



Thanks for looking, have an awesome weekend!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Great Debate

Ok so I'm not a gardener, but I do love fresh tomatoes, so this year I decided to stick
a few plants in the ground along with some cucumber plants. I rationalized this with myself as 'how hard can it possibly be'.

As luck would have it, for once in a very long time, we have had insane amounts of rain, instead of brown dried up grass like we should have this time of year, we actually have to keep cutting it! Lucky for the tomato and cucumber plants because its not like I would have thought to water them.

In any case the great debate has been ongoing for 4 days now about one lil tomato on one gigantic plant, that IS red...yup it is, and yup it is ready to eat! However, the person on the other side of the debate keeps saying, no it is NOT ready, leave it there.

Well, my anticipation got the better of me and I picked it on Saturday.



And we ate it...and its true (and I hate being wrong), it really wasnt ready...but it looks ready dont you think?! =)

Chinese Coins/Striped Fabrics

I had so much fun testing Becky's write up on making these funky chinese coin blocks, I didnt have any coins tho so used a neat striped fabric I've been dying to use for a long time.



I will only have enough of that stripe to do a 3 block across, 5 block down, did a few more blocks on Sunday. Seemed every time I sat down to sew this weekend, something interrupted me .. dang.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Walking and Wii Fit Progress

not quilt related but maybe there are other people considering the Wii fit
program and I thought it might be useful to share some thoughts on it.

I've been doing the Wii Fit thingy for 6 weeks now, but truth is not everyday...*gasp*, are you surprised? lol

Still, it is doing something because I am seeing results. I started out at 114.9 pounds and after 6 weeks (no change in diet) I'm at 113.4. I'm actually not trying to lose any weight, just trying to get toned, so the inches mean more to me. And surprised myself when I measured, it actually is working. I have lost 1" off bust, 1" off waist and 1.5" off hips. Considering I average 3x a week, I thought that was pretty good really. I am noticing a lot more definition in my legs, mind you I'm walking everyday too which probably has a lot to do with it, but my upper body strength is a definite improvement, and for sure my weakest area.

My Wii fit 'age' has decreased significantly, the first Wii fit age was like umm are you kidding me?! lol but I personally think that has a lot to do with getting used to the board itself, so I'm using the 2nd week as a more realistic marker. Which would put me a lot of years decreased since I've been doing this thing. Go me! =)

Started out with 2.5km walks daily, 1/2 of that uphill, and increased it to 3km this week. Its a ton easier than when I first started out, there is one giant looming hill that used to make me gasp for air, but now seems quite easy to get up there and walking with a faster step too. What used to take me 35-40 mins is now around 25 mins.

Its nice to see improvement, now if only I could sleep at night....

Permission to let go

A few months ago I joined a yahoo group called Stashbusters. True to the lists I belong to, I'm not much of a contributor but I read while having my morning coffee.

I've learned quite a lot from Stashbusters about my purchasing habits, quilting habits and hoarding....yikes, in every other area of my life I am a very simple person, truth be known I don't even own a sofa...and yet....I not only have drawers full of fabric, apparently I can't even throw out scraps.

I've been thinking a lot about this, in the past few weeks I've sold a few items of sewitsforsale list. It was a lil painful. Packaging up some patterns that I bought because I loved the quilt I saw finished hanging in the quilt shop, but realizing that ok I have probably 4 or 5 McKenna Ryan pattern sets...and I've made lets see umm 0 of them! Well one is in progress, and I did finish a small one that I gave to my Mum, but essentially they have sat there for years.

Yes its a loss to sell this stuff, but its also freeing and its better to recover something? I've started looking at things a lil differently if I'm tempted to purchase them, if its a don't need item that is, I look at the price tag then figure out how many hours/days/weeks/months of work it costs me to buy it. Its quite a sobering thought actually, and more than a lil scary.

For the rest of this year I want to finish up the UFO's I have, but allow myself to give away, throw away those that I know in my heart I will never finish. They are weighing me down with guilt and "I shoulds".

Kathy made a list on her blog that I think is great, I may do that as well, altho I'm a little scared to actually see it in print! Kathy is very brave.

I am going to try to organize my time better too, I think that will help, setting some goals and time frames.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Busy but bad at updating blog

Finished this heartstrings top to send to Alycia for her Quilts of Valor project, windy day to take a pic but camera or the operator, not sure which lol, takes blue cast type photos inside. I bet there is a setting to eliminate that problem, if only I could a) find the manual b) have the patience to read one =)

anyway, here is the quilt and a shot of the back and label.





I've been working on this little girls quilt from Fons and Porters most recent mag, using up some fabrics from my stash, so the fabrics and colours are a little different, but I think all in all once quilted it will be pretty. I will give this one to the Women's Shelter when its complete. I was going full steam ahead on it but the pinwheel blocks for some reason have been giving me a hard time so have been putting off finishing the remaining 5...however, I've left it in the middle of my cutting table, determined NOT to put it aside, because well we all know what happens if we do that =)



This next quilt I will be loading on the longarm today or tomorrow, my dearest friend Judie tested this pattern and designs for our friend who passed away very suddenly this year. Judie did a beautiful job with the embroidery, piecing and colour choices.
The pattern and embroidery designs were going to be a BOM that Vicki was going to offer. I feel very privileged and quite emotional that Judie has given this to me to quilt. She said she does not want the quilt, I am not sure what I will do with it when done. The selfish side of me wants to keep it forever, I miss her so very very much, but the other side of me wonders if I should send it to her husband, either for himself to keep or perhaps give it to one of their children.
I will ponder these things as I work on it as well as celebrate all that she has meant to me and to countless others.





Saturday, July 19, 2008

Distractions and a Finish

This week I quilted this pretty heartstrings quilt top and digitized a heartstrings label, stitched out 2 of them for the 2 tops.
These quilts work up quite heavy, I had intended to mail them to Alycia for her QOV
contributions, but I may donate one locally to the battered womens shelter and mail one to Alycia, but will ask Mary about that.







I quilted in a beadboard border and did a freehand overall hearts and loops, with a feather medallion center.



I uploaded the embroidery file of this lil label to the heartstrings group site.

I've managed to join another yahoo group, Stashbusters....very nice group of friendly people, still working on busting my own stash. Seems every project I start, I am missing at least one colour that I just must have! ugh...use some, add some....its just not going to get thinned out this way!

Yesterday I broke yet another promise to myself...upon getting my Wii, for fitness purposes only, which is great btw, I really am enjoying Wii fit and its definitely helping to keep me moving...still, given my terrible addiction to video games, I promised I'd never use the Wii for playing games. But, but, but Mario Galaxy...ok so I've collected 5 stars already lol BUT, I'm NOT turning it on today...today is quilt day, and on that note, I'm off to load and baste the quilt top.

In other news, its still hot, humid, muggy, all around stay in the basement sewing room day. And coffee, I need more of that =)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Done

well the quilting isnt perfect, still getting used to the new machine, far be it for me to not just jump right in lol but I think it turned out not too bad. Binding is stitched on, partly hand stitched until night came when blah do u think I can see to thread a needle?! /sigh. Will finish stitching it today, have a heartstrings label on it and pop it in the post tomorrow for Project Linus. I'm so grateful to Mary for starting the heartstrings list, what a wonderful feeling it is to be able to share our love of quilting. While I was making this I imagined a lil child snuggled into it. Makes me smile all over.

I freehanded the whole quilt, main area is just a meander since there are so many seams, some wavy lines thru the hearts and center blocks to define them and 4 freehand feather hearts in each of the whitespace corner areas. A freehand feather border completes the quilt.





Sunday, July 6, 2008

over the weekend

I pieced together this heartstrings baby quilt out of some scraps from the wedding quilt I made in March and some other bits and pieces of fabrics hanging about =)



Hopefully I'll have time to get it on the frame tomorrow and bound, I think this one will go to Project Linus.

Other than that, some weeding, cleaning, visited with my brother, nothing very exciting =)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

June's Block of Inner Peace and incorrect pattern directions

I am now all caught up on Planet Patchworks 2008 BOM, woot!

For anyone that is making this quilt, the pdf file is incorrect. The green and yellow rectangle measurements in the directions state 4.5 x 2 inches, it should be 4.5 x 2.5" I am not sure if they have fixed it since I downloaded this a few weeks ago, but double check if you are making this.

well at least I accomplished something today even if it is a small thing, I think I will work on some more D9P blocks, have the first 2 rows of that stitched together.

And OMGosh, I hear chewing right behind the wall as I type this...do I have a mouse?!
Must go secure fabric! to heck with the food...its the fabric that counts!

Summertime Fun!

Great contest here
for the cutest sandcastle quilt kit!
Unreal how generous people can be! You need to leave a comment and if you have a blog and
link to it from your blog you get to be entered 2x =) I want to win this one! o.O that sounds terrible doesnt it? lol

In other news, idk whats wrong with me the last few days =( just can't seem to get motivated.
Today I think I will 'just do it' instead of looking at every link on the cyberquilters list and dreaming of 3 million quilts I want to make....I love the net, but ugh I sure can waste a ton of time here! lol

one more coffee....save me from myself someone! =)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Another one done

I got May's block of the Planet Patchwork BOM done today, one more and I'll be caught up ready for the July block when its posted, woot! =)



I played a little bit with a tumbling block paper pieced pattern from Quilters Cache today, not sure if I'll have the patience to do a full quilt of those tho, I'll have to think about that =) While researching the block I did come across some interesting reading tho. Apparently it is thought that the tumbling block may have been part of the Underground Railroad Quilt Code. Interesting theory, altho it would seem the whole code thing has caused much controversy amongst historians. Still, I enjoyed reading both sides of the theory.
Here are the links of the things I was reading the other day.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/02/0205_040205_slavequilts.html


and a lot of very detailed reading at the next one basically taking apart the book that introduced the idea of this quilt code theory, however, some really interesting facts about that time in history I thought.

http://www.ugrrquilt.hartcottagequilts.com/rr3.htm

No wonder it takes me so long to make quilts, I seem to have a great need to read all the history of each and every block I stitch, not to mention look at a gazillion pictures of ones that have been made. it is fascinating tho, quilts really do tell a story of our historical and societal journeys. Wonder what the quilts we made today will tell future generations about us?

Making the disappearing 9 patch blocks

Thought I would share how I've been doing these blocks, seems to be going along quickly.

I stitched 3 different strip sets of 3 strips each, each strip 4" wide. Dark, light, dark; dark, red, light; and light, dark, light.









I cut the strip sets into 4" sections.










I did this with all 3 strip sets.






stitch one of each into a block (the center, my red here, will become the lil squares when done)







Cut the block thru the center both vertically and horizontally.





Turn the upper right and lower left pieces as shown. Stitch everything back together and ur done =)