Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December OPAM and a year's recap

December OPAM (One Project a Month) was a good month ..... for me ..... a lot got done.

3 Christmas stockings

Monday, December 23, 2013

I've been busy

Christmas is only a few days away and there still are things for me to do.  Some days, I feel like I'm running around with my head in the clouds.

Nothing can be shown at this time ..... all will be revealed later.

In the meantime, here is what our place looks like decorated with quilts/tops for the holidays. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Just a scrappy trip

Borders are on my scrappy trip.  I did a demo of the block (using Bonnie Hunter's pattern) to my day guild back in October and I'm happy that it is at this stage.

I'll definitely be doing more of these blocks.  They are just so addictive and so easy to do.

Have a great day!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

November OPAM and a prezzie

My November OPAM (One Project A Month) has resulted in 8 adult bibs for a local nursing home, 3 dish cloths and 4 kitchen hand towels.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Call me Coach

Years ago, when we were living in Toronto, a young mother saw what I was doing and wanted to learn how to quilt too. 

You know how it is sometimes when a person wants to learn a new craft, they say they are really interested and you offer to help and ask when they want to meet up next and they dilly dally and can't arrange a date and so it goes.  When I asked this gal when she wanted to meet up, she said the next day.  OK .... this gal was serious! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Playing 'what if' again ...

I love doing that .... it is fun and it gets my creative thinking racing.

As I was sitting in my chair and looking at my Promise of Spring top on my design wall, it just felt that something was missing.  But what?

I kept looking at the centre section and thought the jade green leaves at the end of each stem was lacking.  What if it was surrounded by red?  The template was enlarged by 30% and suddenly that leaf doesn't look so lost and it looks more defined.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Prep work

Lately, a lot of prep work is going on for the final push to get my Promise of Spring top done. 

A gazillion circles are needed:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Trying to do hand quilting

With cooler weather upon us, this is now the perfect time to bring out a long abandoned hand quilting project.

While the girls are snoozing away in the living room by our new gas fireplace, there is no time like the present to get at it.

So, away I crept to my studio and got in 6 rows of hand quilting on my hexagon quilt.  Not bad.

Oh, oh, here comes trouble.  Miss Hank and she will want to be right on top of my quilt frame.
I'm trying to take a photo of her big brown eyes, begging to be allowed up and over the quilt frame.  Guess she is a tad camera shy.
Nope, WE are now ticked off.
WE are definitely ticked off.
Alright, come on over and have a lick of my finger.
Now, Miss Hank is a happy kitty.  Having a snooze on top of my frame.
Luckily, there is another project on hand for me to work on while she sleeps.  Darn, how did this happen?  There is will some ripping out to do ..... oh well ....
For those of you wondering about the health of Miss Hank ..... some days we think she is starting to go down hill and then we think not.  She still has an appetite, still wants to play, still wants her treats and still wants to go outside to check on the chippies.  I put out peanuts for the chippies and if they don't show up, she chirps for them to come .... and they do.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Styrofoam queen

Yep, that is what I'm famous for these days.  Why, you ask?

Recently, I took a machine quilting class with Martha Schellingerhoud and amongst the items that we needed to bring was an extension table for our sewing machine.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

October OPAM and this and that

I'm back from my trip to Aruba where we enjoyed the sun, sand and beach and hot, hot weather.

I did bring along one hand piecing project with me, but it was too breezy sitting on the beach to be able to do much.  One day, the breeze was a tad too strong and it whipped open my box and 3 EPP pieces went waltzing towards the sea for a dip.  Guess they were a tad too hot and needed to cool down.  :o)

So, this is all that was accomplished on my trip.  That is better than nothing and I will be happy with this lot.
My DH came to me a few days before my trip to Aruba with bits of rags in his hands.  Could I make him a new bag to replace the one that got chewed up by one of his tools?  Yes, I could and did and that is my October OPAM (One Project A Month).
 Have a great day!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Border time

Even though the 3rd and 4th blocks have not been appliqued yet (the applique pieces have been pinned in place), the time has come to put my plan into motion with my version of Kim Diehl's Promise of Spring.

The layout is going to be like this:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A scrappy trip

I just love Bonnie Hunter's method for making scrappy trip around the world blocks and right now I just want to make all kinds of these blocks.  For my quilt (for the time being), I decided to do a controlled scrappy block. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A new block

Before even finishing my 3rd block from the Kim Diehl's Promise of Spring pattern, the last block has already been auditioned and a few adjustments still to be made before everything gets sewn down.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Promise of Spring again

It was time to get back to my version of Promise of Spring project.

The time has come to start working on the third block.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hand quilting

Rose Marie Castonguay, North Bay, Ontario, Canada

Over at Celebrate Hand Quilting, there is a fall blog hop going on and here is my quilt to show off!  Enjoy and please visit the other links to see what is going on around the world with hand quilting and be inspired.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Furniture up-do and September OPAM

A little bit of quilting has been going on .... upcoming posts will show you what I've been up to .... but most of my time this past month has been spray painting furniture.  The weather has been perfect; low humidity with lots of sunshine.  Now is the time to take advantage of the nice weather before it turns cold.

I have lived with dark furniture for all of my married life and it was time for a change.  Besides, with so much inspiration on Pinterest, I got hooked to make changes.  So, here is how my dining room looked like before mayhem came for a visit:
Do you see all those dark chairs above?  Well, they are slowly becoming like this chair below.  New upholstered seats complete the look.  Can we say yummmm?  The new stapler works like a charm and is so much easier to handle/use.  It is odd, but the camera has some how picked up a flaw in the fabric that I bought for the seats but there isn't a flaw when I look at the fabric.  Odd, for sure.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Going around in circles

I want to thank all of you who sent me comments about my blog and your advice.  So, I will be testing the waters over the next month to see if the spammers come back or not.  In the meantime, changes will be permanent on my blog.  From this point on, my posts will be truncated and no comments will be permitted.  99% of you are wonderful and so supportive.  It is the 1% that are abusive and take advantage of honest bloggers. 

There is still a lot of information in me that I do want to share and I'm not ready to give up my blog just yet.  A number of you have asked how to do certain things and if one person wants to know, then there are others who want to know as well.

So, today, I will be talking about circles and how mine turn out so good.  It took me a while to figure out a routine and it works for me.  Here goes ....

Using cereal or tissue cardboard boxes and a green plastic circle template (bought at an office supply store), whatever size of circle that are needed are made and cut-out, the size is marked on each one and put into an individual baggie and stored away until they are needed.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Taking a break

Well, I've been reviewing my stats to see where visitors to my blog are coming from and they are not from quilting sites. 

So, a lot of someones has taken the liberty of putting my blog onto their sites, without my permission, and I'm not happy about that.  These sites are hackers and spammers.

So, I will be taking a break ..... for a while ..... maybe a very long while.  It is possible that I may not be coming back.

Comments have been diabled ..... because there are a number of idiots who are leaving me stupid comments.

To all my quilting friends .... happy stitching and I do thank you for your time, your support and for all your lovely comments over the years.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Do you know where your needles are?

One member of my night quilters' guild certainly does. 

Are you, like me, guilty of leaving your pins and needles pinned onto the arm rest of your chair?  Yes?

Well, last night after coming home from my guild meeting, all my pins and needles were removed and placed into a needle keep and I have, not one, but two pin cushions handy by my chair.  That is where they will go from now on.

What prompted this?

Last night, lovely Karin regaled us with a 'tell' part of our show and tell.  Although it was hilarious, there was a serious side to her tale.  Recently, Karin started to feel something in her butt.  It was short, thin and stiff and it was bothering her a little bit.  So, off to the doctor she went.  He sent her for an ultrasound.  The technician said, after looking at the ultrasound, "I've never seen anything like this before".  She called in a doctor.  The doctor looked and said, "I've never seen anything like this before".   So, off she went to have an x-ray.  After the x-ray was taken, the doctor called her into the little room off to the side and showed her the x-ray.  The doctor says "I think it might be a needle."  Karin asks how would he think that?  By the head on the needle the doctor replied.  To be exact, a #10 Milliners needle is stuck in Karin's butt.  She will have to have it surgically removed next month.  It is possible the needle has been there for a few months because it has not rusted nor broken up into smaller pieces.  Karin doesn't remember sitting on it and never felt a thing until lately.

Needless to say, her story was the butt of many jokes at the hospital.

I laughed until I had tears in my eyes as she regaled us with her tale.  Too funny. 

That is why, all my pins and needles are now off my arm rest and in a pin cushion and needle keep.

What about you?

Have a great day!

Monday, September 9, 2013

So, it goes ....

I'm now ready for the next round of applique on my version of Kim Diehl's Promise of Spring.  The rows for the bottom half need to be sewn together and then I'll be playing the 'what if' game as the applique pieces get pinned.  That is the beauty of the styrofoam design wall .... I can pin to my heart's content and keep pinning and changing things around until the right look emerges.
I have also been playing around with two new projects.  More on that later.

Also, I will be addressing questions about EPP (English Paper Piecing) for applique and applique on borders and markers for hand quilting.  A number of you have asked how I do things. 

Have a great day!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Whirlwind visit and Edyta Sitar

Goodness, but I had a busy week.  To start the week off, last Sunday, Debra of Patchwork Sanity drove up to North Bay from Toronto to visit with DH and I for a few days.  We had fun with a lot of laughter.  We visited our local museum where we saw a quilt display by a local artist.  This lady is very creative and her quilts won ribbons from south of the border (as in Houston).  I did take photos, but I would like to have this lady's permission first before showing her quilts.

After the museum visit, we walked around the downtown area and looked at the wonderful old homes and their gardens that were visible from the street.  Then lunch at a local restaurant on Trout Lake where after dessert, Debra double dared my DH to lick his plate ... which he did ... twice.  Oh my, how embarrassing.  I will never go to a restaurant with those two again!  :o)

Last Tuesday, Debra and I drove back to Toronto and the following day we car pooled down to Fonthill, Ontario for a trunk show that was being held at the Quilting Bee.  Who did the trunk show?  Well, Edyta Sitar from Laundry Basket Quilts.  How lucky we were to obtain tickets for her trunk show!!!

So, without further ado, here are photos of that wonderful day:

Here are some of the ladies that we car pooled with.  There were ten of us that went down in two vehicles.  If the traffic is good, it is roughly a 2 hr. drive from Toronto to Fonthill.  Debra is in the front center.  You know, there is one in every crowd!

Can you see the amount of quilts piled up on that gorgeous iron bed?  We knew that we were in for a real treat.
Edyta Sitar is a charming, well spoken, humorous and a delightful quilter/designer.  I can understand why people flock to take her classes and to see her trunk shows.
As you scroll through the photos, keep looking at the foot of the bed.  You will see the quilts piling and piling up.  I was sitting on the balcony and it caught my attention as each quilt was talked about and then dropped onto the ever growing pile on the floor.  She showed us a lot of quilts!
One ....
 gorgeous ....
quilt ..... after ....
 .... quilt
In the photo below, this pattern was not in stock at the store, but guess who has ordered it?  The appliqued strips really appealed to me.
The pattern for this wedding ring quilt came home with me:
 .... after quilt was shown.  I have many more photos which are not here, but really, you should just try to attend one of her trunk shows in person to be awed by Edyta and her quilts.
After the trunk show, Edyta had a meet and greet and she signed our patterns and books.  I'm nearly 6 ft. tall .... she is really petite.  I asked and Edyta gave me permission to show her quilts on my blog.  Since we were the last group of the day, we all got to stay longer and had more questions for Edyta.  Even though she and her family had a 7 hr. trip home that evening, she was in no hurry to leave us.
The items below are what came home with me.  I had to really restrain myself because I was taking a bus home the next day and there is really only so much that I can physically carry.  The fabric (called Paint Box by Laundry Basket Quilts for Moda) that you see will become borders on the wedding ring quilt.  I want my quilt to be bigger.


So, what a wonderful experience that was!  Oh dear, I forsee new quilts being made and my UFO's will be taking a back seat.  Good thing that I made an effort to get some of those projects made into tops before her trunk show!  :o)

Lastly, thank you to Debra for driving me to Toronto and to hosting me in your home.  Your DH and Cheech are delightful companions.  AND thank you for gifting me with a surprise birthday gift.  I have already thumbed through Scrappy Firework Quilts a number of times now and it will be well worn by the time I'm finished with it.

Have a great day!

Friday, August 30, 2013

What a difference!

I have been so busy painting my living room pine wall units this summer, that I thought it would never end.  It was a lot of work, but so worth the effort.

Here is what one unit looks like before and after.  Huge difference, eh!  In the before, we can barely see what is on display in the unit.

In the after shot, all my items are easy to see and we can enjoy them even more.
We are absolutely thrilled with our wall units that we purchased on Kijiji.  After a lot of sanding and painting, these units help to complete the look in our living room and they look fabulous with our new hardwood floors and our painted walls.  New hardware makes a huge difference to the finished look.  Only two more units to finish up and my boxes can be unpacked once again and more purging will take place.  Last year, we purged before our move from Toronto to North Bay and after a year of things being in a box, anything that was not missed will be donated to a local thrift store.
There is still a lot more work to do inside .... but the work will get done bit by bit.  As I'm writing up this post, DH is busy in the kitchen tearing up the flooring.  Sigh, will it never end?
Have a great day!
BTW, my next post will be about my whirlwind visit with a quilty friend and then about Edyta Sitar's trunk show.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cottage results

Switching from hand quilting to hand piecing at the cottage has resulted in another section of my D046 project being made.  I'm getting close to having 3/4 of the top done.  I just need to make more EPP pieces to work with and I can continue once more on this project.

Can you see the black squiggy line and the section below it?  That is the part that was recently done.
I've been thinking of a title and I just can't keep calling it D046!  :o)  Since most of the work has been done at the cottage, something along that line is what it will eventually be called.

When borders start showing up in my photos, that is a good sign that I'm still inspired to complete this top.

A special visitor (as in quilty) is arriving later today and there will be more about her visit to share.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Quilting at the cottage using solar

Now that is a catchy title, isn't it?  Our cottage is in the middle of nowhere and it is too far out to have electricity brought in.  So, we do what we can to make things function and the older we get, new technology is helping us get more comfortable.

During the day, hand quilting on the screened-in porch or inside the cottage is not a problem.  Lots of natural light.  Nighttime is a different story.  Until a few years ago, all we had were propane lights and they were not the best for hand work of any kind.

Below is a closer look at my hand quilting:
So, what to do about the nights and a poorly lit up cottage?  Enter solar and a 12volt battery (a car battery).  During the day, we put our battery (the item sitting on top of a pale colour piece of wood with wires and clamps) outside and hook it up to a solar panel (the mirror looking rectangular item).  A good day of sunshine will have the battery recharged by supper time.  The solar panel needs to be moved around as the sun moves around during the day so that we capture the full effect of the sun rays.
Once our battery is recharged and back inside the cottage, we hook it up to an inverter (the little black box on the right) and plug in a lamp (yellow cord) that has a low wattage light bulb and viola ..... instant lighting for a cozy evening of hand work or reading.  There is no noise with this system, so quiet.  When we want to run a vaccuum cleaner or a tool, we do have a generator that we can start up and use, but it is so noisy.  When it is time for bed, we unhook everything to save energy because that little inverter will keep using power unless it is shut down (unhooked).
Our battery is placed on a rug because if it sitting on a cold floor, the battery will slowly drain energy away.  We found this out by testing the voltage at night and then in the morning and we noticed a slight drain of energy.  The little things we have learned along the way.

What happens if it is a cloudy day?  The battery will still recharge a bit.  We could probably go about 3-4 days before recharging, but we like to have it charged up and ready all the time and we take advantage of the sun whenever we can.

So, now you know how we do it here in Canada. There are far more elaborate solar systems, but this works for us for the time being and it is not very expensive to purchase and install.

Have a great day!

Friday, August 16, 2013

My trunk show

Wow ... what a night that was!  Monday, August 12, 2013 at the Northern Lights Quilting Guild, North Bay, Ontario, Canada.   My first ever trunk show and there were quite a number of ladies present to see what I brought with me.  I was nervous at first; then once a comfort level set in, I quite enjoyed myself.
Many thanks to all the ladies that assisted me by holding up my quilts and taking photos and helping to cart all 5 bags of quilts into the meeting and then folding and packing all the quilts back up and carting them out to my car.  Again, many thanks!

A total of 20 quilts, 10 tops and 1 tote bag were presented.  To give you an idea of what went on, here are some photos for you to look at.

A few calls went out to family members to gather up their quilts that I made for them and bring them to me.  Here are a few out on the clothesline drying in the summer air.

While assembling my quilts for the trunk show, Miss Ashes looked very depressed and had to get up on my table to show me that she was not happy about the quilts leaving the house.

Here I am at the start of my presentation.  Do you see all the stacks of quilts on the left? 
My presentation started with my humble beginnings.  This quilt was made in 1983.
The ladies laughed when I gave them the wonky measurements of this log cabin.  If you want to know more about this quilt and how bad it really is, go here.
This lone star was made with cardboard templates, pen and scissors.  This was before the invention of rulers and rotary cutters.  I'm sure a few members remembered those days.
This quilt (below) has quite the history surrounding it and the ladies enjoyed the tale.
My 15 minutes of fame quilt that was in Fons & Porter Sew and Tell section of their March/April 2004 magazine:
This Baltimore style quilt was made to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary:
The guild members asked a lot of questions.  It was hard to remember how I did certain things with my quilts.  A follow-up email was sent with the answers.
I wonder if any readers will remember this swap block quilt.  You can go here and scroll down through my posts to read how this quilt was made.
My orgami hanging brought out oohs and aahs:
A few members were giving my little wall hanging a good once over:
At the end, lovely Laura presented me with a package of FQ's:

Thank you to the Northern Lights Quilting Guild!  It was a honour to be asked.

Have a great day!