Monday, September 23, 2013


I had an amazing time on Saturday!  First, I was so excited the night before that I couldn't get to sleep.  That resulted in an extremely late start to the day.  I arrived just in time for lunch (perfect timing if you ask me!).  Since it was my first "real" outing in the car, I took the scenic route which took a little longer (no highways)!  Gail served a lovely salad with a fabulous lasagna and we had "West Coast" chocolate covered Nanaimo bars for dessert. (They were imported from the west coast!).

The girls (Cathie and Gail) had just come back from visiting Cathie's sister out in B.C. and so, our first order of business was Show & Share.  There are oodles of quilt stores out there and they really had a great haul to show.  You can see what was on Gail's mind while she was away.......

She did a bit of shopping for Halloween, the fabrics are great and I love the panel.  Her project for the day was also a cute Halloween table runner.  Of course there were other great purchases too......

The Laurel Birch cats are adorable and she's doing it in the pattern she's holding.  The cupcakes speak for themselves and the floral, well, that is just gorgeous!  I know I took pics of Cathie's haul too but I can't seem to locate them and I've gone through the whole disc of photos so I'll have to get those next time.

There was one more purchase which just blew me away!  Can you imagine making this miniature Christmas Ornament.  I don' think I would have the patience - and IT IS pieced!
Finally, after oooohing and aaaahing I had to really get down to work to catch up with these girls.  They were way ahead of me.....

Here's the quilt that I needed to make the backing for......a scrappy flannel quilt top which was completed in 2009 and then just set aside.....
The backing is made from the same fabric as the borders (I confiscated the bolt from the store...).  It took a fair bit of time to get this pieced, I had blocks left over that I wanted to use and I had already made a label which I wanted to incorporate into the back rather then sew it on later.....this is the result, thanks to Cathie's expert cutting!
FYI - If you are using flannel to back a quilt, take the measurement on the bolt selvage to selvage - this bolt measured 40" exactly and was tight, I had barely enough (Sandy's going to kill me!).  The quilt measures 68" x 79" so since it's being basted only she can put it on the long arm sideways where I gave her the extra inches.....

I have to say that is all I got done on Saturday but for me it was a huge accomplishment. I could have kept going but I didn't want to overstay my welcome!  It was a fabulous day, catching up with the girls and just having a great time!

This morning I dropped the quilt off to Sandy so I should be able to start hand quilting it some time this week.  Uh oh, another hand project!  I'll have to split my time between this and the Farmer's Wife so I can get them both done!

Have a great day everyone and happy quilting!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

I'm so excited.....

I'm like a kid in the candy store today.  I was invited to join the "Stitch & Bitch" tomorrow (Saturday) at Gail's.  This is the continuation of that once a month Sunday "Stitch & Bitch" I used to host at the store.  First, I am absolutely honoured to be included and second, this will be the first time I am having a "sewing" outing since I closed the store.

It was a bit difficult deciding what to take along so Liz popped over this afternoon to help me with the packing (okay, I know, it's only a day thing but still, you have to have choices!).  For some reason I was leaning towards flannel quilts?!?!  This was a little weird for me since I don't really do a lot of flannel quilts but, I knew I had one completed that needed a backing and two more which I had started piecing so I thought it was a good theme to go with.

The first quilt is a scrappy quilt made from 6" inch squares purchased years ago at the Hobby Horse.  I had cut them into triangles and made half square triangles which were sewn together as the centre and one of the borders (larger pic tomorrow when someone can hold it up).  I have the fabric for the backing plus a bunch of extra squares I can use so the plan is to get that done so I can take it to Sandy (Lindal) on Monday and get it basted. I'm going to "big stitch" quilt it by hand with Pearl Cotton.
 Project #1

The second project is Yellow Brick Road in flannel.  This was from a kit I purchased on a trip to visit my grandmother in New Jersey in 2000 at a great store, Patchwork & Pies which used to be just off I 81 in upstate New York near Cortland.  I used to stop there every time I went down to New Jersey.  Most of this is cut and ready to go but I'm a little confused as to how big it's supposed to be....duh!  Started it about two years ago when I had a private student who was a beginner and wanted to make this quilt.....should go pretty quickly......
Project #2

Project #3 is a quilt called Bricks & Mortar which I started probably some time in the first year I had the store.  It combines flannel and the  Faux Ultra Suede I had in the store and is made up of all different flannels from the store as well.  I really like the pattern and think it's definitely worth finishing.  Not to mention, it is already partially pieced so again, should move along quickly.
Project #3

I know, I know - too much!  However, Liz and I discussed it and we came to the conclusion that "variety is the spice of life".  I may only get one thing done or be lucky enough to get something done on each of these projects.  I'm just so excited to be able to get back to my sewing machine, (it's been quite a while - probably at least 92 days!)in a place where I can actually set up the machine and sew..... Whatever gets done will be an improvement on what has been done!!!

Speaking of done - I managed to finish another Farmers' Wife block today.  This is the last block I need to complete the row I was working on.  Now I can finish the row and attach it to the growing quilt top.  (I have 66 blocks done!)

Block #78 - Shooting Star - 26 pieces

I was interrupted (happily-I might add) in the midst of completing the row when Liz called and mentioned a quilting dilemma she was having.  I immediately volunteered to come over and take a look!!!  I had an ulterior motive!  I wanted to drive the new car! Actually, I just wanted to drive, since I haven't driven since the night I drove home from the store on June 29th.  Jonathan and everyone else I know (Liz, Gillian, Linda, etc.) have been driving me everywhere.  Since I'm going to drive to Gail's on my own tomorrow I figured a little practice wouldn't hurt.  It's like riding a bike - except for the red light I almost drove through....ugh!  (Don't tell my son or he won't let me have the car again - ha,ha!)  

Lurch (the Kia Sportage) finally died about a month ago and we replaced her/him with a 2002 Ford Escape which, if tonight is any indication, is a dream to drive.  I haven't come up with a new name yet because I haven't really driven her at all but I know it's gonna be something sleek!!!

Liz and I came up with a solution to her dilemma and were planning to sit outside for a bit when the downpour started so we had a spot of tea and muffins inside and I finally left her at around 1:00 A.M. - so much for getting some sewing done Liz - sorry!!!  However, I really enjoyed getting out of the house - especially since it was last minute and unplanned. Felt almost normal!!!!

Okay, I'm off to bed now - need my beauty sleep!  It's a long drive up to Maple.

Have a great day everyone and happy quilting!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

I can't believe.....

Just a quick share!  I'm trying, slowly but surely, to get some stuff in order.  For instance, on my list for today is "unloading" dishes, china, etc. from my mom which I know my son will never use.  I have gotten extensive use out of the china as before I opened the store I never let a week go by when I wasn't entertaining at home.  The china definitely got used.
 Desert Rose - Francescan Ware
Florentine Gold - Wedgewood

Years ago there used to be a place in Pickering and another in Scarborough that bought and sold "old" china patterns.  I have tried calling these places and contacting these places to no avail.  The second hand stores here are not interested as they have an overflow of these things, on top of which, there pricing is based on the seller receiving 60% of the sale price which they continue to reduce as it sits on the shelves.  At the end of the day - you get nothing.  I would rather give it away then settle for this.

In order to "unload" it I have gotten in touch with Replacement China Ltd. in North Carolina.  This of course, requires that I pack it and send it to them.  They are an extremely reputable company and I am awaiting their Offer To Purchase which will give me an idea of how much each of the pieces are worth.  Of course, this will also require me to repack the boxes and there will be shipping costs so we will have to see if it will be worth the effort.  It is nothing less than frustrating.

You know, it's funny.  My mother collected all kinds of items which she thought to be "an investment".  China, artwork, books, some antique items, etc. and of course, when she passed away (3 years ago today) I inherited all of this.  I only took the things that I thought would be "worth" something and yet it appears that in 2013, these things are worth very little.  Is it the economic climate we live in or is it just that everyone has changed their tastes?!?!

I need to get this china outta here so I can make room for my ironing board LOL.  I need to get back to quilting and I really need my pressing corner......

Aside from the fact that I could really use the cash for the dishes rather than the dishes themselves, I could really use the room......

I am going back to organizing and getting stuff together so I can make some much needed space as well as get back to what I love doing...

Have a great day everyone!


P.S. - If anyone is interested in these dishes - don't hesitate to let me know!!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Feeling the love.....

I don't know what to say!  I attended the Etobicoke Quilters' Guild meeting on Monday night as a new member.  The warm welcome I received, the hugs and good wishes were just overwhelming.  I have to say that I truly feel the "love"!!!!  I am really looking forward to being a part of this wonderful group of quilters.  I also hope to be able to take advantage of Studio C on upcoming Mondays and Wednesdays and also participating in Workshops and Retreats.  

The most wonderful thing I took away from the meeting was the motivation!  Although my health issues are taking their toll on what I can physically accomplish, I still want to get back to the place where I can begin to complete the numerous projects I have waiting in the wings.  Some of them have been put aside because they truly had no destination.  However, Comfort Quilts seem like a great destination, so I am about to go through all of those UFO's and see what can be completed and donated.  It's wonderful to know that our work is needed in the community and I can't wait to get them completed.

I am finally somewhat back on track with my Farmers' Wife project and have completed another block.
 Block # 52 - Hovering Hawks - 24 pieces

This block was needed to complete the next row which I have been working on.  You can see it, it's the 6th block from the top.  I need 3 more blocks to complete this row, one of which I still have to piece.  Then I can attach it to my growing quilt top.....

I am still enjoying the relaxation of the hand piecing as well as the prep work required to do each of the blocks.

Jonathan's friend Theo came by on Saturday night and made us another gourmet meal.  He had been over a couple of weeks ago and I forgot to take a picture of that amazing meal but this time I stopped to take a photo before I dug in......
A perfectly cooked burger with all the accompaniments.  I could only manage to eat 1/2 the burger but it was absolutely outstanding.....he's quite talented.

I certainly haven't been doing much cooking these days.  First because I find it hard to even decide what I want to eat and then it becomes too much trouble.  I haven't been very excited about food lately.  I think it's a side effect of all the drugs, etc. and there's the energy that it takes to actually do anything.  I'd rather save it for other stuff that I enjoy.....

Time for me to get back to my quilting so....

Have a great day everyone!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Label It!!!!

So, although I keep finding water in places I forgot to look, like under the sink in the pots and pans that are stored there (easily dealt with, just a pain), I have managed to tackle my "list" from yesterday.

The first thing on my list was to label a quilt that I am gifting.  My son Jonathan has a friend (girl) named Sydney whom he met when he went to Israel a few years ago (2006) and I had made a quilt for her back then.  You may all recognize this quilt ....
Mystery Quilt 5 - 2007

It hung in the store on and off for the last few years.  I taught it as a Mystery Quilt in the summer of 2007.  I actually made two of these quilts but I honestly can't remember where the second one is.  When I chose these fabrics it was for the "fun" value, all different kinds of candies, which I felt was something Sydney would like.  The back was fun too, I chose to do it in those  Faux Ultrasuede fabrics we had in the store and I chose really bright fabrics.  I sent it off to Linda Robertson to quilt and she did a fabulous job as always.  I also chose to do the binding by alternating the candy fabrics with the black background fabric.
Faux Untrasuede backing

It still needed a label - all these years and I had never labeled it!  There are so many ways to label quilts and I thought I would share this method with you.  It is the first time that I have done a label this way.  Here's the label -

I happen to have a stack of prepared squares left over from a previous project that I have found very useful.  They are Muslin squares backed with freezer paper and then the edges are taped with green painters' tape.  So - I designed the wording part of the label on the computer.  Using a light box and a Pigma Pen I wrote out the wording on to the Muslin.  I decided that I didn't want a plain label so using Mettler Variegated (4820-9981) which is very colourful I made a frame and then used one of the decorative stitches on my Janome made a second inner frame.  I pressed the label and then turned it under 1/2" and pressed it again.  Put it into place on the quilt back and sewed it on (left hand corner).  It's now ready to go for her Birthday today.

I believe in giving my quilts a "history" by labeling the ones that I give away.  The ones I keep, I am not so adamant about but may just start doing it just so Jonathan will have the history for the future.  I think that it is important that people know that these quilts are not store bought but are a gift of love and their labels should reflect that.

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Finally - on a roll!

After weeks of just existing and moving boxes from one location to another so that we could make room to move, I can finally say that there has been some progress.  Liz was fabulous and came by last Tuesday to jump start me.  From that moment on I could actually see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I managed to go through all but two of the boxes that were piled in the corner behind the back door.

Of course, there is always a snag!  I woke up this morning to find the kitchen and parts of the dining room and living room flooded.  It appears that someone above me has a dishwasher or washing machine which overflowed my kitchen sink sending water everywhere.  Physically I am not really up to the task of cleaning up this huge mess and I don't have to tell you, I have soaked boxes everywhere.....which really stinks because these boxes are mostly filled with paper records from the businesses.  I am slowly but surely working my way through everything but of course this poses a major setback.  I really want to get back to my quilting and I was well on the way until this happened.

The really funny thing is that up until last night I had not been doing my usual - which is to make lists!  I like to have a daily TO DO list which I have been neglecting for quite a while so as not to feel defeated when I don't get these things done on my list.  Last night I made my first list in weeks.  I was excited because it was a doable list and I was looking forward to working on it today.  Best laid plans!!!!

I guess what you take away from this is that flexibility is definitely the key here.  So now - my list will include finding a place for all the stuff stuck in water on the floor.....oh well!

Jonathan is working today and he left on his first call at about 9:00 A.M..  I had slept in after taking my pain pills at 9:00, I went back to sleep so we figured out that this mess had to happen between 9 and 11 a.m..  At any rate, the superintendent was kind enough to come and clean up the water where he could and I am left with the balance of the mess. The water was even in the kitchen just flowed right off the counter into an open drawer and then leaked down into the other 3....what a mess!  I have to admit that compared to what everyone went through with the big flooding in July, this is a minor mess but when you are not feeling well, anything can appear insurmountable, so I am taking one foot at a time.......

Trying to keep my feet dry - have a great day everyone!