Thursday, April 21, 2011

AWOL

Isn't this a pretty sunrise?  I took this photo this week - more snow again!  I think spring will never come.  I am heading off this evening for a couple weeks in the Maritime Provinces - hopefully we will have a bit better weather there.  I'll be back in a couple weeks with lots of photos and stories to share from Embroidery Association of Canada's National Seminar.  I have signed up for three classes and am VERY excited about them!  See you when I get back - take care!

More Bits & Pieces

One of the groups I belong to is Mailblocks on Yahoo.  Every month they have a block lottery and when I have time I try to participate.  You can make up to five blocks of the designated pattern (this time it was Box Kite) and your name goes in the draw once for every block you pledge.   For an aspiring traditional quilter like me, it is a great way to get a bit of practice in making blocks. I have managed to get all five made for April's lottery. Cross your fingers for me - the winner gets enough blocks from everyone to make a nice sized quilt!

 For this block the white and black were mandatory in the positions they are in and the print was the maker's choice.  I had a good time finding things in the scrap fabric basket to make these blocks - I love these prints!
I should mention also how very sweet and supportive this group of talented quilters is with beginners like myself.  My points don`t always match and I often have lumps and bumps but they take these best effort of mine in good spirits without complaint.

Some of my lumps and bumps will press out hopefully!

I think the block looks wonderful with an Asian print.  I think I would like to make a whole quilt from this pattern. Then again, every time I go in the lottery I fall in love with the block involved!  lol


This give you an idea of how the blocks will look put together.  I love the secondary patterns that come out!

Please allow me to introduce you to Bullwinkle the moose, featured in this picture with my daughter, Katie.  My husband waited eighteen months to get this back from the taxidermist but he is very pleased with it.  I can remember stating very firmly that there would never be `dead animals` hanging in my home.  What can I say?  You mellow as you get older!
Just to give you an idea of the size of the moose,  here he is when he came home.  It was quite the job to get him up on the wall, even with three of us!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Another "Sane" Block Done!

Another little project done today!  This is a block called Friendship Bouquet and is done mostly in batiks - I love batiks!  This one is for a friend, hence the name.  My skills in sane quilting are pretty limited and this block taught me that trapezoids are evil.  Seriously, I think they are the work of the devil and whoever makes a pattern with them without any explanation is pretty mean too!  lol

Bits & Pieces


 With holidays looming, I am getting a few things done up before it is time to go.  This first one was just a fun little project today - a potholder for a swap.  I received one in this technique from Ramona last year and wanted to try the chenille thing for myself.  It was quite fun and quick and the fabrics in the center that fluff out can be any old thing so it is a good way to use up ugly cottons from the stash.  It will fluff more after a good wash as well and then the effect will be better.
 This one was finished today as well.  It was "cheap and cheerful" - a quick little quilt for AAQI for this month.  I found a wonderful jacket at the thrift store awhile back made from this great batik and couldn't resist buying it even though no one in my family would every fit into a jacket that small except maybe the Pom.  I finally bit the bullet and cut into the jacket to make this little quilt.  The pattern is outlined with a mix of glass seed beads in golds that I hand stitched on after cannibalizing a necklace, also from the thrift store.  There is just enough outline quilting on it to qualify it as a quilt and it's ready to go.
 This is what I woke up to this morning.  It started in the night when these pictures were taken when dd got up to let the dogs out.
 They didn't know quite what to make of another snowstorm either!  Once again someone said the word "summer" out loud and jinxed us and this is what we ended up with.  Happily, we only got about four inches although dh's work was under a foot or more this morning.  Another snow day for him!
This is what my living room looked like this afternoon at nap time - three dogs and dh all flaked out on the couch at the same time!  lol  So, that's how I managed to get some sewing done.

My daughter, Katie, spends her summers at a different campground from the one I work at.  Her job is a little posher and so is the campground.  She works in the office and they have hot showers and other niceties there.  So, it only seems fair that I get the nice 5th wheel and she is stuck in the old truck camper, right?  I took pity on her though as she didn't think she could go through another summer with the curtains and cushions from a 76 Scamper camper in the colours above.
 We started out by dying the cushion covers and although they came out a pretty washed out red pattern, it was an improvement over the original orange and green.  The curtains were replaced with ones I made of red corduroy and some cheery red and white gingham.  Now if it would just stop snowing they could open the campground so she can go to work!
Of course, you can't have the dye going without throwing some lace in!  These are a few bits that I put in to soak up some of that nice red dye.  Not sure what I'll use them for but I'm sure a suitable project will turn up one of these days.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Canada Block Pieced

This is my block for the ICQA (International Crazy Quilt Association) Flag Project.  We are making a quilt with blocks from each of the countries that our members come from, and I was lucky enough to score the chance to do the Canadian block.  Ignore the basting stitches still in play there and you can see I decided to make a huge maple leaf.  It is a twelve inch block so I started by piecing four inch crazy quilted blocks in white and red and then using them to piece a traditional maple leaf quilt block.  Now the fun of the embellishing can begin! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ritva's Tea Time Block

This is the block I embellished for Ritva in the Tea Time 2 DYB (Do Your Block) Round Robin at CQI.  In DYBs, each participant in the round robin makes six 6 inch blocks and as they progress around the round robin each person will fully embellish one block for each other stitcher.  So, this is the one I have done for Ritva.  There is a bit of everything in this block I think - two BAS seams (the butterflies and the tete de boef), couched ribbon, buttons, charm, hand dyed lace, trim, silk ribbon flowers and the cross stitch tea cups.

This was a nice little cross stitch pattern I found, originally intended for a bit of stitching on a napkin, and it fit perfectly on this patch when done up with 14 count waste canvas. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

BAS - Week 67 - Butterfly Seam Treatment

First of all, thank you to Vivienne for this butterfly seam treatment and for allowing me to use it for our 67th instalment of the Build a Seam challenge. 

To see a much better example of the stitch as well as Vivienne's excellent tutorial, please check out her blog.  Have fun!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Brazil block pieced

My DD, Katie, has little interest in stitching of any kind so when she requests something made I like to jump right on it to encourage what little interest she has!  So, she had brought me some of her souvineers from Brazil and asked me to make a denim crazy patch cushion with them.  Here is the block I made which incorporates the logo from a t-shirt as well as a baseball cap.  I will get this embellished next for her and sew it into a cushion to match one I made for her when she was away in Brazil as an exchange student when she was fifteen. 

Heart for Hideko

I have just finished my friendship heart for Hideko.  Members of CQI are making these hearts for our crazy quilting sister, Hideko, as a tangible show of our love and support for her and all people of Japan in the wake of the terrible earthquakes they have been suffering.  Hideko lives in Sendai so she has felt the full impact of the devastation. 
The colours used are mourning colours of black and grey for the loss of lives in Japan and the small red petit point flower in the center is a bright spot to symbolize the hope for a brighter future. 
If you would like to find out more about how you can use your art and skills to help the people of Japan please read the earlier post about Hearts and Hands for Sendai.  Thank you!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Glasses - Blocks Pieced

At last!  I have my new glasses to replace the ones the pup ate!  So, back to stitching at last!  The last six weeks have felt like six months and today I spent all day piecing.  Piecing is not my favourite thing but a necessary evil to get to the fun stuff - embellishing! 
So, I pieced my block for the Hearts for Sendai using jewel tones and some kimona fabrics I had.

Along the same theme, I pieced a friendship heart for Hideko.  The members of CQI are making these for Hideko to express our love and affection for her as well as our sympathy for what the people of Japan are going through following the earthquakes and tsunami.  Following the theme of the mourning hearts that Hideko has made and shown on her blog, we are making the hearts in mourning colours of black and grey. 


I got myself the job of making the nametags for this year's CQI retreat in Colorado.  So, between us we decided to piece cq nametags that the attendees can have beforehand and embellish themselves for retreat.  These are a couple examples but I've made over 20 over the last few days.  I think this will be good fun - hope everyone else likes the idea as much as I do!


oops!  Looks like I have run out of room for photos!  I'll have to show you the rest of what I did tomorrow...

Monday, April 4, 2011

April Showers...?

April showers bring May flowers?  Well, not here in Alberta they don't!  lol  This is what I woke up to a couple mornings ago - a snowstorm!  I had heard the announcer on the radio the day before say that we must be having the spring thaw.  I think he jinxed us!  So, here we are, back in winter for another while.

There is a shot of the thermometer.  Not all that cold, hovering around the freezing mark.  Cold enough for the snow to come down and stay though.  DD was stranded in town for 36 hours before she could get home and my granddaughter was stranded at our place for a day or two longer than planned.  She was visiting for spring break and barely made it back for school restarting.  Everyone is back on track today even though they still haven't plowed my road.  This grey weather is really starting to get me down though - it has been a very long winter.