Thursday, March 26, 2009

I love mail!!!

I have always loved getting mail.  In fact, I often wonder if I shop online just so that I can get mail.  Back in February I did a giveaway for some fabric, and I got a sweet surprise in the mail from one of the recipients.   It was so uncalled for, but I have to really brightened my day and made me look so forward to the Spring (if it ever arrives!)

I love to garden, if I could intertwine it with quilting, my life would be set.  In fact, I just came home from the library, with "How to be a Hobby Farmer". Ya, Alberta is wearing off on me.

Look at the gorgeous goodies that arrived for me!!!  I am really touched at how thoughtful it is to share your garden with me...and I even received instructions too!  My coasters are mine...they will be my bedside tea coasters for when I'm leafing through my piles of quilting inspiration.  Thank you so much, grendelskin.  It was totally unnecessary, but so wonderful too :-)

A few things to share..

Been working on a few little things this week as I try and mend my body.  It's finally feeling alot more normal, and I've got my zing back!   Here's Ned #2,  that I made for my best friend Lorena.  She was coveting the ugly dolls when we were on our New York trip last May.  I told her in no way was "my" baby going to have an ugly doll as a stuffy.  He or she would be spoiled with perfect ones.  LOL.  So here is one I made for her...
Okay,  looking at this one, I need to squish the stuffing a bit, because HE looks a bit like a SHE! 
I also wanted to make one of these pillows for baby Alexander.  You know when you do a project and the effort it requires just doesn't feel satisfactory?  This was one of those long stitching projects, which wasn't very gratifying to me.  I'm glad it's done.  Embroidery certainly isn't on my list of pleasures.  You can click on the images to get more detail...
And here's the two together. The backing of the pillow is the same fabric as the stuffy, so they coordinate.   
Once I meet Alexander next week (!!!!) I'll get a feel to what kind of quilt he deserves. :-)

On that note, I'm off for Spring Break. We're driving to Vancouver through the Rockies, and will be "home" visiting family and friends.  Looking forward to it, but hoping for not too much pull of the heart strings.  

Sunday, March 22, 2009

still sick

it's been bad.   knocked off my feet since monday.  high fever for 5 days. super huge and painful swollen glands.  thought it was the mumps or mono.   finally have some penicillin to wipe out what's going on, but it's still slow to go.  my poor baby embroidery pillow isn't getting done, my binding not done, my ugly doll for my friend's baby not even drafted yet.

i leave for vancouver for spring break in 4 days.  and i'm still not better yet. 
*insert pity music now please*

will post soon.

and the kicker -  winter storm warning today. 10-20 cm snow expected. today.  gah.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tips from the inexperienced quilter

So the sickies have left the family and finally travelled to my body.  I was all confident and cocky that I hadn't gotten sick!  Welcome home little guys! ;-)
I'm the type that it takes a few days for something to sink in.  So on Friday I had the achey body, Saturday not so bad, Sunday I thought "that's it??" and this morning, it's back - head in a vice, really swollen glands, chest hurts.  Woe is me!  I need to quilt more.  That's what I did this weekend, and all those symptoms magically  went away!

So here's a sneak peak.  I finished machine quilting.  I thought at first it would be a disaster.  And it turned out just fine.  Actually, I'm really pleased.   
Things I learned:
1. get a pair of gardening gloves with the sticky dots on them.   I bought mine at the dollar store.  You can buy the same ones at the quilt shop for 10x the price if you'd like.  
2. get a pair of gardening gloves that fit a little snugly if you can.  I sewed my glove to my quilt.See the hole in the finger? hee hee! Actually, mine were huge, and after awhile of getting used to them, I figured things out, and had no more oopsies.
 3. After about 2 hours of quilting, I was in a lot of pain.  My wrist, forearm and shoulder were giving me warnings and so I took a break.   I looked on the net for some ergonomic tips and found this one, which made the rest of my quilting a breeze!  Turn your machine perpendicular to your body and quilt that way.  It made pushing and pulling the fabric back and forth so much easier and I wasn't twisting my wrist at odd angles anymore!

4.  Prefill about 8 bobbins of thread prior to beginning your work.  It really helped.  I usually don't do this, and it made things go so much smoother.
5.  when changing your bobbin,  take the moment to rethread your top thread entirely from the spool down to the needle.  Somehow, the tension may get compromised with the change of the bobbin, and ripping out stitching is no fun.  Especially with a cat that likes to eat thread.

Today, I'm hand sewing the binding!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Meet Ned

Ned is inspired by the Ugly Dolls I see at the specialty toy stores.

He cost $7.00 to make, and I have enough fabric left over to make about 10 more.  So, really, he cost about 50 cents.

My kids are fighting over Ned.  He's not even had his stitches put in yet, or his final touches of stuffing adjustment.

He's so weird and ugly.  And Ethan loves him.

Monday, March 09, 2009


Since I started quilting about a year ago, I've been accumulating fabric.  My tastes have changed so much.   What do you do with the fabric that you don't like anymore?   I can't get rid of it, yet it doesn't inspire me enough to make anything with it.  

I look through my stash, and there's really only a few pieces that shout out to me as ones that I love and want to keep.   I hate accumulating lots of stuff.  Do you keep it in thinking that if tastes have changed in a year, they will change once again?


I'm learning that I'm the type of person that needs to buy for the project I"m about to embark on, not buy and then save it for future use.  

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Well, the quilt top is done.  I was sailing along on it thinking, ah no problem on this one, piece of cake.  Until I started ironing it...and I found one mistake.  Two thin strips of the same colour butted next to each other.  How I didn't see it prior to piecing it, I don't know.  Me thinks the little leprechauns were around....  after debating, I had to rip it apart and fix it up.  

I need to purchase backing fabric for this tomorrow, but in the meantime I did pieced binding with the left over fabric.  Shameless photo with my littlest guy, but the lighting was so perfect and so was he.  Look at his lashes!  Why can't I have those?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Plain Spoken colour thoughts

When I initially received my colour palette for my Plain Spoken quilt, I was enraptured by the beauty of them together.  When I cut out the pieces and started piecing them randomly (as was instructed) I started thinking uh oh.  This looks gross.

Here's what I mean.  These are only 6 of the 16 colours in the quilt.

And now, after having the 120 something blocks laid out on the floor in the midst of leap frog chain piecing, I'm enraptured again.
When combined with a multitude of other colours and placed randomly together, they look stunning again. 
So, look at the homely combinations above, and stay tuned for the finale later on...

Have you ever pieced colour combinations together that you thought would not work, and in the end they did?   I bet that happens with pattern and texture as well.