Thursday, January 31, 2013

Idle hands....

Just so you won't think I have been idle for the past few days - I finished Block # 44 - Gentleman's Fancy on Monday night.  This is definitely one of my favourite blocks -went together very quickly.  Would consider doing a quilt of this block.....

Block #44 - Gentleman's Fancy

I started another block Monday night but have been having trouble with it and have had to take it out a few times already.  Worked diligently on it Monday night and Tuesday night but have still not finished it....

Last night I did nothing "quilty" at all.  It was a very sad day and I guess I just needed to sit back and reflect.  I have two extremely close friends, Mucie and Dov, whom I've known for over 40 years now.  We are like family - I am godmother to both of their children, Oren and Sarah Tamar and they are Jonathan's godparents.  Last Sunday at 11:15 a.m.,Dov's mother passed away.  As is our religious tradition, she was buried on Monday.  I had Mary come in to the store and I managed to get to the funeral.  Of course there were many people there whom I never see being so busy at the store, and we all parted saying we would meet again in April (Sarah's wedding day).

On Tuesday evening I received a call from Mucie telling me that Dov's father had passed at 11:17 a.m. that morning, the funeral was yesterday afternoon.  To say we were all in shock was an understatement!  Jesse and Sam were married for 68 years and spent their last days at Baycrest, Sam suffering from dymensia and Jesse needing a little extra care.  Jesse always wondered whether in the last few years if Sam knew she was there for him.  Well, I would have to say that not only did he know that she was there but that he did her the honour of allowing her to leave first so that she would not suffer his loss.  In fact, I believe that once she reached her destination, she prepared her new space and then called him to her.  They were inseparable in life and so it should be that they be inseparable in death.  They were laid to rest side by side and we can all take solace in the belief that they are joined hand in hand looking down on us, free from any pain and suffering.

As we all know this does not relieve the suffering of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren left behind but we have been on our own for many years and will continue our day to day activities, every once in awhile wanting to share our days with our parents.  We have been blessed to be a generation whom with medical technology has had the opportunity to enjoy our parents who have lived to their 80's, 90's and beyond.

For me personally, Jesse and Sam, were the last of my "family's" elders to pass so I find this particularly sad.  When my uncle passed in August 2010 and then my mother in September of the same year I had no time to grieve.  I was busy with the store and it was just before my health issues became evident.....I will now take the time to grieve, for Jesse, for Sam, for my mother, for my uncle.  It is time! 

Tonight I will go home and hopefully go back to my quilting - it is both relaxing and soothing (although that block that I am working on is extremely frustrating - I may just put it aside for now).  I need something that is mindless.....

Have a great day everyone!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Too much TV......

Obviously there was way too much TV watching last night because I managed to finish another two blocks.  The funny part is that there really wasn't that much on but once I sat down to hand piece I just kept going......

I redid block # 35 - Flower Basket and with the correction, everything went together perfectly.  I am really happy with how it turned out.
Block # 35 - Flower Basket

I then started on block # 41 - Friendship Star which went very quickly.  Usually I mess this block up especially when I am sewing it by machine but everything just fell correctly into place and it came out great.....
 Block # 41 - Friendship Star
I actually pushed myself to the limit and started a third block which has two pieces left to be added before it too will be done.  After about 5 hours of sitting and piecing I had had enough and decided to finally put it down.  Will check the TV listings for tonight and see if I can't keep this moving.  I really am enjoying the relaxation of the hand work and it keeps me busy while I watch the mindless "boob tube"!

Today I continued a bit of my Urban Pods - the new one, in greens and greys.  I am really loving the way it is turning out too!

I really have to get caught up on my 9 patch blocks and start that Mystery Quilt and machine quilt my Amish Shadow quilt but I'm sure I will find some extra time somewhere (NOT)!  You know what we quilters say - Sew Many Quilts - Sew Little Time!

Have a great day everyone!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

I was on a roll....

Got another block done on my Farmer's Wife on Thursday night and I was so excited.  Block #26 - Cut Glass Dish - 30 pieces, done!
Block 26 - Cut Glass Dish

So I decided to continue to the next block I had cut which was block #35 - Flower Basket. Because the basket handle is appliqued on I decided to add it first (I've already unstitched it).  I then put the large half square triangle together and then the smaller ones.  To my surprise - nothing fit!  As you can see by the photo - the large HST is way too large.....

Block 35 - Flower Basket

Jo-Ann's Tip of the WEEK!, MONTH!, YEAR!

When you are working on a pattern from a book, any pattern, any book be sure to check if there are any corrections!  One of the pros of our "age" is the access to information.  Yesterday morning when I arrived at the store I immediately went onto the internet in search of The Farmer's Wife Quilt and found Laurie Aaron Hird's blog  On the right hand side of the blog is a box called Pages and the third caption down is Corrections - I can now go back to my Farmer's Wife and YES - Block 35 had a correction on the template size.  Now I can get back to it.

Last night at NO MACHINE - Sit & Sew, I managed to unstitch to get ready for the re-cut and restitching of the block.  Hopefully I will have a productive weekend (tonight and Sunday) getting some stitching done - both hand and machine.

Have a great day everyone!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pleasantly surprised!

If you've already read the "store" blog then I've taken up too much of your time today and I would much rather you be quilting then just reading about quilting.....After all, it is what I wish for myself!  To have more time to quilt.

Last Tuesday I started teaching the Hand Piecing/Quilting class to two lovely women and in an effort to inspire I decided to bring along my Farmer's Wife binder.  Certainly it was an inspiration for these ladies but it also turned out to be the motivation I needed to commence work on this, somewhat overwhelming, project.  I finished Block 25 - Cups and Saucers the very next day (33 pieces).  I am now working on Block 26, hopefully to have it completed shortly.
This past Tuesday (the 22nd), I had the pleasure of teaching the Quick Curve Ruler technique in the Urban Pods class.  If you saw the store blog then you saw the Urban Pods quilt I completed (still needs a small top and bottom border) but since I was teaching the technique rather than a specific quilt pattern, I allowed each student to choose their pattern and I had two that chose the Urban Nine Patch.  I had to try a block and make sure the instructions were clear and now I only need to do another 24 of these blocks to finish the quilt.  I am so pleased with this block, I really can't wait to get the other 24 done!
As you can see I am really keeping busy and I have a huge list of outstanding projects, etc. that need to be addressed.  I am trying to stay focused on that list and even keep moving in an orderly fashion towards completing all these projects.  Of course, there are always those "priorities" that suddenly crop up and have to be looked after (like a mystery quilt I have to have ready for March 30th), but, if I stick to my list I think I can actually accomplish something.

Wish me luck and I'll be sure to post my progress as it goes.....

Have a great day everyone!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

First UFO ......

My goal this week was to finish the baby quilt I was working on - Little Lambs.  I also wanted to try the Borders Made Easy on this quilt.  Well I have to say that I am more than a little pleased with the results.  Let me know what you think?!

I remember trying this product many years ago when I first started quilting and I think it may have been relatively new on the market.  Seems to me I spent an awful lot of time taking the paper out and it required tweezers as well.  I was not impressed.

This time I very carefully read the instructions, applied the paper with the adhesive strips, quilted using the suggested stitch length and my walking foot, and it all worked out perfectly.  This is a relatively small quilt and it took about 1-1/2 hours in front of the television (could have been semi- distracted) to remove the paper without a tweezer in sight.  It came out very easily with very little resistance.

I am going to do a meander around the smaller white border and then the quilt will be completed.  I've already squared it off, labelled it and last night I sewed on the binding.
Once the pattern is written up it will be kitted and in the store ready for consumer consumption!  Can't wait to share it with everyone......

My next project(s) for this New Year of 2013 are to quilt my Amish Shadow - which has been layered, pinned and waiting very patiently.  My plan is to use Golden Threads Quilting Paper to do a half feather in the black triangles, straight quilt matching the colours in the striped triangles, feathers in the black border and two half feathers in the cornerstones.  It will take awhile but I hope to get started in the next few days.
Then I need to finish my Urban Pods quilt top - will be teaching the technique on the 22nd and 26th of January so it would be nice to have something to show.....
Mine looks absolutely nothing like the actual pattern.  First I used only two colours and two solids and I believe I had mentioned before that I cut it wrong.  However I do like the way it is turning out and in the scheme of things will like pretty awesome anyway.....

Last project for the time being is my Mystery Quilt for the end of March - I'm really excited about that one as it is my own design and I'm going to get to use up a fabric I had purchased years ago to make a quilt for my mom.  Unfortunately she's gone now but I will cherish this quilt for me as the colours are some of my favourites as well....

Will keep you posted on progress -except for the mystery quilt of course!  You'll have to wait for the end of March to see that one!

Have a great day everyone!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Enter 2013.......

First, I would like to wish everyone a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

I personally have cancelled 2012!  I'm sure you can all understand why - and I hope to make 2013 a year of accomplishment if nothing else.  I believe that is my only resolution - to accomplish my's a big resolution, nevertheless, one I intend to keep!

You set your goals, big and small, and you reach for the finish!

My first goal is a relatively small one - to complete the baby quilt I started the other day.  I began quilting it on Sunday and have almost completed half of it.  I designed my own quilting pattern, which I will include in the pattern I am writing and also did some free-hand quilting - I'm not sure which of the three pictures below shows it the best but it is a heart in a heart which I've marked with white chalk, it works out to be continuous line quilting which is nice because I truly hate patterns that are not continuous.  I like the quilting to be relatively easy and flow.....

The free motion quilting begins with a heart in the white cornerstones and then a version of a vine and leaf pattern with the leaves in the design of a heart as well.  Will have to take that into account when I give this pattern it's final name.

I have decided to do some meandering in the first border (white) and then use Borders Made Easy #102 to complete the larger border (pink).  Once I've done the quilting I will post a picture.

I have to say - it's been quite a while since I've sat down at "Bernie" (my Bernina) to do any serious quilting and I have missed her.  She does such a lovely job.  I am using the Mettler variegated thread and I am very, very happy with it.  So far it has not let me down.  This is the first time I've chosen this thread to quilt with.  I usually use the regular Mettler cotton but I wanted to try the variegated and also it was the look I chose for this quilt.

It's a baby quilt so I don't want to "over" quilt it - it would be too heavy and I have used a baby flannel as the backing.

I need to start 2013 as I start every year, making a list of things I have to do tomorrow!  Not sure how long that will last this year but as I just told my son - I need to take at least 3 of me to work tomorrow for everything that I want to accomplish.....

Have a great day everyone and I hope to see you all in the New Year!