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Showing posts from August, 2010


Well, this has nothing to do with stitching and is not even interesting but I need to vent so here goes.  DH and I have been saving to have a nice gravel driveway put in.  We wanted a nice circular one with a space off one side for parking the boat and trailer.  We finally got around to calling someone to have it done.  Well, never mind it came in hundreds of dollars over the price he quoted us.  I thought DH sounded funny on the phone when I asked him how it looked but today I went home for a laundry run and got my first look at it.  You will note there is no picture because I don't want to have to look at it.  For some reason the gravel is half dirt which will be great in the spring - a nice mudhole we can all track into the house.  There is nowhere to put the boat and trailer - no gravel pad and there is a huge pile of sod and dirt there that apparently I am going to have to move and find somewhere to take?  Literally tons of the stuff!  At the space at the side of the porch whe

Last Week's Giveaway Winner - Congratulations Marie-Andrée!

The random number generator chose Marie-Andrée as the winner of the three books in last week's giveaway.  Marie-Andrée, they will be on their way in the morning mail!  Congratulations! I will be taking a break from the weekly giveaways for while as I am packing up now during my last week at the lake, getting ready to return home at the end of the season.  Of course, I am also working trying to put the campground in order for the end of the season.  Once I return home, I will leave almost immediately for a week in BC to visit my brothers and then after a short time I am off to the Annual CQI Retreat in Colorado - whoopee!

Christmas Ornaments

I am thinking about teaching a mini workshop in crazy quilting for my guild in Calgary and was asked if there was something we could do in the way of a Christmas ornament.  Well, I knew I had made some in the past so I went looking and found these photos.  I had forgotten all about these since they were all given away. Of course, I have no cq ornaments on my own tree! lol It is certainly fun to look back at what I was making five years ago. Wow - where did the time go? I didn't think I had been doing cq that long - time sure flies when you are in the throes of such a glorious obsession! This one is pretty glitzy with the velvets and lame - quite rich looking.  I do like the pine bough motif on the toe.  The velvet in the middle was pre-embroidered in the gold when I bought it. This little mitt was done in cottons.  The date on here is how I knew how long ago I made this and how long I have been cq'ing. Apparently I made this one for Flora - I wonder if she still has it?  Ev

Bluework Dishtowel

As they used to say on Monty Python... and now for something completely different!  I decided I wanted to make a dish towel and have just finished it today and would like to know what you think.  Would you hang it in your kitchen?  It's linen (I think or at least linen like fabric) and I put a decorative buttonhole stitch on three edges in blue over the rolled hem and the bottom side has a decorative pulled thread design.  The teapot I embroidered in matching blue DMC thread. Well, maybe it is just as well if you don't want to hang it in your kitchen.  As you can see from the penny in the photo, it might be on the small side!  lol  This is my first foray into the world of needlework in 1/10 scale for miniature dollhouses.  Next I'll make another to match with a coffeepot embroidered on it instead and I'll have a pair.  I learned a lot on this first small project so I think the next one will go easier and quicker.  My mother always told me that people would turn my ne

Gerry's Great Giveaway!

My dear friend, Gerry, is holding a wonderful giveaway on her blog, Older Rose .  You have the chance to win one of these two delightful prizes.   The first is one of Gerry's beautiful handmade pincushions, seen above.  How extravagant is this?!  On top of the weighted silver base, the blue velvet pincushion is adorned with lace, beads, and other lovelies.  It would be hard to lose track of your pincushion if you had one of these "Rise Above it All" ones! The other prize in Gerry's giveaway is a trio of her beautiful handpainted buttons.  These buttons are one inch in diameter! She has painted the bluebirds on these highly luminous vintage mother of pearl buttons -I can't get over Gerry's artistic talent - she constantly blows me away!  Wouldn't these look wonderful on a special crazy quilt project?  You have until the end of the month to enter Gerry's giveaway  so don't delay!

Arlene's Pansies DYB Block

I have finished my stitching on one of Arlene's DYB (Do Your Block) round robin set.  The theme is Pansies and I chose this lovely pieced fan to work on.  I hope Arlene likes what I have done.  Following is what I did in excrutiating detail!  lol This business at the top is supposed to look like lace at the top of the fan.  I made diamond shapes with Gloriana Princess Petite Perle in pink above a purchased rose trim I stitched down.  In each diamond I then did a diagonal and a horizontal line in two strands of white DMC.  Then I did a small cross on top of that with one strand of the same floss.  I wanted to add a bead at each intersection but ran out of time since I was already late in mailing this off. The first blade of the fan was this gorgeous dragonfly fabric and I didn't want to cover it up so I used irridescent Kreinik blending filament to highlight the wings.  You can't see it all that well in this photo but it has a nice sparkle.  For the seam treatments on each

Under the Sea DYB Round Robin (CQI)

Well, the picture doesn't look like much, but these are my blocks for the Under the Sea DYB round robin I am in at CQI.  The lovely ladies in this round robin with me are Nicki Lee, Ritva, Alice, Beryl and Carolyn and each of them will be completely embellishing one of these blocks for me in the Under the Sea theme.  This will leave one for me to do when they come home.  I love the underwater theme and can't wait to see what these ladies come up with!  The blocks are pretty simple and are pieced with all my most gorgeous blues and greens in dupioni silk.  Yummy!  I am excited to stitch on these ladies blocks too since under the water is such a fun theme with lots of room for texture and colour!

Looking at my Resolutions Again

Every post needs a photo so here is Little Bear again to say hello! Here I am, thinking out load again and looking at my New Year's Goals to see how I am doing.  It helps me to take a look at them periodically to remind myself of what I am trying to accomplish. 1. This year I will bite the bullet and arrange to teach a class in cq. Something a little more adventurous than just at my local guild. The main obstacle is my shyness and how to teach when my tendency is not to speak above a whisper! As good as done!  I have one class firmly set for early winter for the Continuing Education and have been requested to teach one by the Calgary Guild as well. 2. The group, Quilting on a Budget, has something going for next year called `Homemade Christmas`. During discussions on the group we realized that if you made two gifts each month, you would have 24 gifts ready next Christmas. Not just that you have made something from the heart, but avoiding a good part of the annual Christmas pa

Notes from the Lake

What a sunset!  And the sun isn't even setting yet - it still has a way to go!  This sunset is so spectacular because of all the smoke in the air here from the forest fires in British Columbia.  Take into account that the fires are hundreds of miles away from here and it is pretty amazing. Even in the daytime, you can see the smoke in the air.  It is like a thick haze on the horizon. What is usually a crystal clear view is muted and fuzzy looking. The lake and the smokey sky just seem to be blending into each other. To the west, you really can't see anything at all. The view of the next farm is usually so clear I can almost look in their windows and see what they are eating for breakfast, but now I can barely see the buildings.  It is almost a full day's drive from here to the fires and yet it is still so smokey you can smell that campfire smell from all the wood burning and you can taste it in the air.  I can feel my chest tightening up and I can only wonder how hard

Congratulations Lesley - plus this Week's Giveaway!

First of all, congratulations go out to  Lesley for winning the fuzzy fibre collection of yarns - have fun making seaweed or whatever tickles your fancy!  Also hope you enjoy the three kits that go along!  Please send me your mailing information and I will get this out to you right away. This week's giveaway is for three books from my rather eclectic collection.  The first is "Teach Yourself to Make Angels & Fairies", written by Jodie Davis.  There are instructions for everything from a teddy bear angel to a Raggedy Ann angel (so cute!).  Just another case of not enough time to try everything!  lol Maybe you will have better luck. The second book is "Stencilling:  A Harrowsmith Guide".  I love the old Harrowsmith magazine, Canada's answer to the back-to-the-land movement.  I must have really liked this book because somehow I managed to buy three copies!  So, one of them is up for grabs. Last, but not least, is "Hand Spinning and Woolcombing&q

Pansies DYB Round Robin - Arlene's Blocks

Right now I am working on Arlene's blocks in the CQI Pansies DYB (Do Your Block) round robin.  This is my work on the shared block:  the large ribbon pansy and the seam to it's right.  This is my first ribbon pansy I think and they are fun to make.  Maybe I'll add a tutorial later on how I made it.  The seam is a row of herringbone done in variegated perle cotton and then a row of cretan stitch overtop in Gloriana Princess Petite Perle.  I used the Gloriana thread to add trios of detached chain stitch to the top and bottom of each herringbone and added a clear glass seed bead to the point of each cretan stitch.  Five of us will be stitching on this little 6" shared block so there isn't room for me to do any more on it. This is the block so far.  As you can see, there is some gorgeous work on here.  I love the little crochet basket of overcast stitch pansies and the tatted butterfly is just great - love the colours!

AAQI World Series Quilt Challenge

Once again this year the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) is holding their World Series Quilt Challenge.   You need to head over and check out these gorgeous quilts more closely and read all about them.  Last year over $11,000.00 was raised for Alzheimers research with this event and this year I expect them to raise even more!  I can't decide which is my favourite?  Judy Mathieson's Scarlet and Indigo?  Rhapsody for Remembering by Ricky Tims?  Or it might be John Flynn's Heart of the Storm!  Hmmm... I might just have to cast more than one vote since I seem to have more than one favourite!  I will be watching with interest when they are auctioned in November which is Alzheimer's Awareness Month. 

Gerrys Art Nouveau Block

I have just finished up a block for Gerry in the Art Nouveau DYB at CQI.  I showed a sneak peek  earlier of the first motif I did on this block.  This is the second one, some carnations in the corner of the block.  This and all the other motifs I did came from a Dover Art Nouveau transfer book.  I am glad I had it in my collection since Gerry requested all flowers and my knowledge of Art Nouveau flowers was somewhat lacking.  I used two strands of DMC cotton floss for the greenery.  The stems are done in chain stitch and the other bits are satin stitch.  After working with one strand on the last motif, the two strands seemed kind of clunky to work with.  The blossoms are done in a pink variegated silk thread in a rather sad attempt at long and short stitch.  Definitely need more practice on that stitch! This next motif with the heart shaped flowers is entirely done in stem stitch, using silk buttonhole thread. I liked this one!  Silk buttonhole thread was used again:  stem stitch for

The Girls

What's a day without a post?  What's a post without a photo?  So, as you can see I will use any excuse to show off "the kids", my poms.  The ginger coloured one is my old lady, Nala.  She is quite content to snooze the day away in the trailer.  The little black one is the new puppy, Bear, and she is barely content to sit still for a minute!  DD, Katie, is a little worried how Bear will meld into the pack at home, and in particular with Duke, the bloodhound.  She just shakes her head and tells me; "Great!  She even sounds like a squeak toy!"  I am pretty sure they will all get along though and I know Bear will love having so much more room to tear around in.

Evening Star Designs Challenge & Contest

Once again this year, Evening Star  Designs is having a crazy quilting challenge and contest.  The theme for this year is Enchanted and features beautiful silkies from the art work of Kinuko Y. Craft.  I have decided to challenge myself this year and enter, and have recently received the package of fabrics and embellishments to use.  First the embellishments:  gorgeous threads, fibers and beads! Secondly:  a beautiful array of fabrics of various types and textures! And, last but not least, you got to choose one of the beautiful silkies!  This is the one I have chosen to use.  You can see the others at the challenge page at Evening Star .  Inspiring, right?  I will keep you posted on how my entry comes along!

Notes from the Lake

This is such a clever idea I saw in one of the campsites this weekend.  If I come back and do this again next year, I want one!!   First of all it starts with a special tent designed for a shower.  It is tall enough to stand up in and not very big.  I have seen single ones before but this is the first I have seen that has two rooms side by side:  a changing room and a shower room!  Even better is the apparatus he has designed to go with it. This bit of construction, which looks like a hangman's scaffold, is built to come apart and go together very easily, of cedar which makes the whole thing very light and very portable. There is an actual household shower head running into the shower tent - one of the type on the flexible metal hose.  This is then attached to one of the blue plastic five gallon water jugs full of water, balanced on the platform at the top of the scaffold.  According to the camper who uses this, the height of the scaffold creates good water pressure for a nice sh

Congratulations Marilyn! New Giveaway

First of all, congratulations to Marilyn for winning the Crafty Kids magazine from the last giveaway!  Email me with your snail mail information please, Marilyn, and I will get that right out to you. I am getting ready to be in a new round robin - this one is an Under the Sea theme.  So, I was digging around in the stash to see what type of fuzzy yarns I have for seaweed, etc.  I found over 20 skeins of eyelash, boa, chenille, feather, etc. types of yarn so I think I should share the wealth a bit.  The first item in this week's giveaway is approximately a yard each of each one of the textured yarns I found in my stash.  The second item is this cross stitch kit.  It is cute but I don't think I'll ever get around to doing it. The 3rd item is a Bucilla crewel kit called Floral Butterfly.  I have pretty well gone off crewel completely now so I'm not going to work this one up myself. The last item is a do it yourself diaper kit with pattern and fabric already cut out.  H

Art Nouveau Floral Motif

I am currently stitching away on Gerry's block for an Art Nouveau DYB Round Robin at CQI so I thought I would give a sneak peek at what I'm up to.  This is a design from an Art Nouveau book by Dover Publications.  I outlined the leaves etc with stem stitch and then did satin stitch over that with one strand of DMC floss.  I hope that Gerry will like it!

Misty's Novice Round Robin Block

I have just finished my work on Misty's block in a Novice Round Robin at CQI.  I am working as a "Round Robin Angel" in this round robin because someone had to drop out. Elizabeth worked on the block before me and I absolutely fell in love with this seam she had done - mauve straight stitches in a repeating pyramid shape with blue beads at the end of each straight stitch.  I loved how elegant this was and most of the work I have done is all around it.  Such a pretty seam - I just wanted to nestle up next to it! Working down the right side of the block, the first thing I did was add a little black lace motif with beads next to Elizabeth's flower bead seam. The seam with the pink flowers came next.  The flowers were removed from a piece of purchased trim.  The greenery is a feather stitch with some detached chain stitches added as leaves, done in Gloriana Princess Petite Perle silk thread.  I added a spider web for luck once I had flowers on each side of the blue patch