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.
Once I got started, our living and dining room quickly became a workshop.  So much sanding and removing upholstery/staples going on. 
I think my DH looks a bit bewildered.  He looks scared to enter through the doorway!  :o)
This table leg ...
.... has become this colour.  DH will make a top for it and it will become a plant stand.  I'm going to play around with tile and grouting.
Two end tables, a magazine rack and the base of an ottoman changed colour:
This is my spray painting station.  It is high up the hill in our backyard.  Who needs a stair climber?
While shaking up my can of spray paint, I get a good view of the tree/roof tops and I can see Lake Nipissing in the distance.
It is so beautiful up there right now .... the leaves are changing colours.
Here is another group of chairs just waiting for their turn to be transformed.
So, for my September OPAM (One Project A Month), there are two completed chairs, 3 dish cloths and a pair of curtains for the dining room.
Have a great day!

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.
I use Crayola Washable Markers (Ultra Fine) for marking my circles on the fabric (here for cutting them out and directly onto my block that will have the applique sewn onto it).  Just be sure to NEVER, EVER use a permanent ink marker with your plastic green template.   I do like to have about an 1/4" of fabric all around the cardboard circle.
A running stitch gathers up the fabric and once tightened, forms a perfect circle.  I used to use the same colour thread as the fabric, but  not anymore.
Once a whole bunch of circles have been made, then to the ironing board they go for a good pressing.  Use a hot iron without steam.  I like to tighten the thread and place it under the iron and keep a good grip on the thread while pressing down on top of the circle with the iron.   I just don't want the thread to loosen up and the circle to become wonky.
 Someone is paying very close attention to my instructions.
 Perfect circles all in a row.
 Let your fabric and cardboard cool before removing the cardboard.
  On my fabric block, the actual size of circles that are needed are drawn onto the fabric using the green plastic template and Crayola Washable Markers (Ultra Fine).  This is the exact place where my circles are to be sewn.
After my circles have been made, the cardboard circle is removed and a cut in the gathering thread is snipped.  There is a reason for this and the next photo explains why.
When my circles are being pressed, there is a chance that the fabric will shrink.  Some of my red circles did shrink and they did not fill the drawn circle.  It wasn't noticable at first but as I stitched around the circle, suddenly it appeared to have shrunk on the last section of the circle.   Since the gathering thread had been snipped, I take my needle and ever so gently move out a bit of the red fabric towards the drawn circle line and finish sewing the last bit. 
Here they are .... all done. 
Have a great day!

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 disabled ..... 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!