Friday, October 26, 2012

Where I'm at .... and Aussie guests!

Gosh, but I sure have been busy lately.  Between joining the Near North Quilting Guild, taking two quilting classes, shopping and buying a new vehicle and getting our home ready for two special guests, not much has been getting done in the quilting department ...... oh, and I had to really, really clean and sort my studio again after pulling fabrics for my two classes.  Whew, nice and tidy again.

The only thing that I have felt like doing at night is a bit of hand quilting and this is my progress so far.  Over half done in the center and I do know what I will be doing in the borders.  So it is coming along ... chug ... chug ....

Now, for our two special guests ..... Jennifer and her husband Kevin will be arriving today.  All the way from Australia with stops in Toronto and southern Ontario!  They last visited us in October 2009 and you can read about their visit here.  We have a lot of things lined up for us to do and hopefully the weather will be kind to us during their visit.

The weather is turning cool again and a nice pot of soup will be nice to have after a day spent outdoors.

Have a great day, eh!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Autumn decor

Would you like to see some photos of my autumn decor?  Yes?  Well read on.

In our foyer, this is just the start of our autumn decor.

I collect pumpkins, and they have to be all different.  How did my pumpkin collection start?  It was the one second from the left.  It was so different, it was unique and that is how I caught the bug.  I never intended to start a collection .... but  .... that is how it is.  The materials of each pumpkin is different.  Some are made out of styrofoam, a few from grape vines, one from leaves, and the tall one on the right is made out of birch bark.  All so different.

You just knew that there was going to be a pumpkin quilt somewhere along the way!  This quilt was finished this spring and it looks delightful on this wall hanging above the dresser that Debra gifted to me before we moved.   Yes, more pumpkins on the dresser, of course!  :o)
My quilt ladder with autumn quilts.
My leaf quilt in our dining room. 
More autumn quilts and more pumpkins in our dining room!
Another view of quilts and pumpkins.
More pumpkins hiding in a wicker duck basket.  Different, eh!
A needlepoint that my Mom made years ago showing autumn colours.
An oil painting that I did over 35 yrs. ago. 
There you have it .... this is what autumn looks like in our home.  I hope you enjoyed it!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I'm still plugging away at my Grand-daughter's Garden project.  It is such fun to see it grow each week.  My studio is a mess with all kinds of fabrics hanging around for me to choose from for making my blocks.  Perhaps by next month, my studio will get cleaned up once again .... until the next project! :o)

At least I know what the width will be like ... with borders.  A few people (Debra) are trying to convince me to go without borders and just make more blocks.  Nope, not me, I'm a border kind of gal.  The length is still being figured out, but this is it so far.

Below, this block is ready for sewing together.  I like to stick my pieces onto a piece of styrofoam and then stand back to see if I like the look of all the pieces together.  Close-up, they always look good until you see a block at a distance and at this point, it is easier to change out any piece that doesn't look right.
The back of this block shows all the paper that was used to make the individual pieces.  Yes, this is English Paper Piecing, of which I am a great fan of now.  You could say that I am a bit obsessed doing hand work.  I don't sit at my sewing machine much these days.

When do the paper pieces get removed?  A number of you have been asking me.  Do you see the red and the green fabrics?  As soon as all edges of a piece have been surrounded (sewn) by another section (blue fabricsf), then those papers can be removed.

Below, you can see where the papers have been removed and you can still see the outer edges (blue fabrics) that cannot be removed yet.  If I do, there is nothing to hold those turned under edges .

I need to make a lot more blocks, but first these paper pieces need to have a light pressing.  While sewing my blocks together, my paper templates do tend to get a bit wrinkled and folded and limp.  A light pressing makes them flat and stiff again.
Another update in about a weeks' time should show more progress.

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Just how wonky?

DH and I were changing the wall quilts and decided to hang my Log Cabin quilt up for the first time.  In our old house, there wasn't a wall tall enough for the quilt to hang properly, but it would be perfect in our entrance.  So, up it went and after standing back to admire it, we noticed how much it was buckling on the sides.  Good Lord, there is not enough masking tape around that could help to make this quilt look straight.  BTW, I use masking tape to tack down edges to help a quilt look straight and flat against a wall.

Just look at these photos.  Can you see all the waves from the middle down to the bottom?

DH wanted to know how much it was off?  Looking at the way it was hanging, I figured a good 2-3" between the centre and the outside edges.
We just couldn't leave it up and down it came to be replaced with another quilt.  So .... just how crooked is this quilt?  Out came the measuring tape to find out.
The results:

Left side:   100-3/8"
Centre:       104"
Right side: 101-1/4"

Top:            88"
Centre:        89"
Bottom:       86-1/2"

How did this happen, DH wanted to know?  When I made this quilt back in 1998, I didn't know that you had to measure  the length and width in three places and take an average figure when cutting out the borders.  When the borders were put onto this quilt, I just cut a strip of fabric, sewed it on and trimmed off the excess.  Live and learn!

This quilt always looked good on our bed.  Who knew it was that wonky.  :o)

Did I learn anything over the years?  Oh yes, just look at the quilt below.  Flat and straight as a quilt should be! 
I've had my chuckle for the day, how about you?

This weekend is our Thanksgiving holiday here in Canada.  We are so thankful for so many things and especially to Mother Nature for putting on a gorgeous fall show.  To my fellow Canadians, Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Grand-daughter's Garden

I was curious to see how many more blocks need to be made before putting on the borders.  Sadly, a lot more than I figured.  About 20 more full blocks and a lot of half-blocks to bring it to queen size.

Can you see all the pink squares?  There is a method and placement for my blocks.  All the pink squares represent a darker block and are spread out in a pattern so that there is a nice flow of dark and medium colour blocks.  They weren't planned like this .... the pattern just evolved as the blocks got made.  Thank heavens for my design wall to help me think out my colour flow and placement. 

The fabrics on the right are there for border ideas.  Something plain and simple since there is so much happening in the middle.

I'm loving the look of this pattern.

Have a great day!