Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Everybody had a good Christmas. Santa brought Jim a scanner for Christmas - the nifty thing about the new scanner (we did not have any scanner before) is that it will scan slides and 35mm film. Jim has boxes and boxes of slides from years ago, that never get seen because they are slides - it is so great to scan the slides into the computer and then they can be put on CD or DVD -- what a great idea. I received a lovely pair of emerald earrings from Santa. Andrew got an electric razor (he hasn't shave since Thanksgiving) and he also got an Ipod Nano. Eric got Season 5 of 24 and a Canucks Vintage Jersey.
Now I am looking forward the the tree coming down so I can get back to quilting. I am really enjoying the scanner though, I am scanning my Dear Jane blocks and putting them on the Dear Jane block map. (Santa was so smart to get this Scanner!)
Sunday, December 24, 2006
The stocking was finished at 1:30 P.M today, lots of time.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I think we got a very nice tree from the Boy Scouts this year. We usually like to get a wild tree ( not cultured) but this year there were none left except for a few "Charlie Brown" trees. (My mum always liked the Charlie Brown trees) So we got this tree which is shaped a bit but really looks more natural than cultured. I think it is a very pretty tree. There hanging on the door behind the tree is Andrew's Christmas stocking from years ago - one he had to colour with fabric crayons. I am still not finished that last stocking - I have until Sunday night - right!!
One year - about 7-8 years ago I made a bunch of these little Santa ornaments. Very cute and easy to make and I kept one for myself. There is a little bell hanging from the end of his hat - so he jingles a little bit.
This is our tree angel. Andrew made this angel in about Grade 3 I think. It has been on the tree every year since. Sometimes when we take it out of storage it needs a little repair - this year I used a glue gun on it so it should be better. I just love this little angel - it is one of the things that remind me what Christmas is really all about -- love, family, peace and hope.
God Bless and Merry Christmas.
Friday, December 15, 2006
I sew 2 1/2 inch strips together and then cut them into 2 1/2 inch strips and then sew that together so I have a piece of "fabric" made from 2 inch squares. When I cut out my stocking pattern I then put the piece of "fabric" on point so I have the diamond shapes instead of squares . I always have bits and pieces left over when I cut out the stocking shape.
With the left over pieces I have been sewing the bits together to make small "crazy patch" heart ornaments. I put a bit of ribbon on the top to hang them and then a bit of gold trim all around the outer edge of the hearts. I put velvet on the back and then just stuff them with bits of left over batting. They look quite cute - I don't have any of the finished ones to show as I usually just make 1-2 every year and give them away.
S0 -- the Thai Massage was nice - interesting, relaxing, and I think I would do it again - except it's $96.00 for 60 minutes ( and of course they really recommend 90) It was more than just a massage. I was lying on the floor on a thick mat and the women did a lot of pressure points and then moved my legs up and around and over (she mentioned that she was surprised how flexible I was -- as was I!) She bent my arms backwards and over my head. Thai massage is sort of like yoga - but someone else doing it to you instead of you doing it yourself. I've always wanted to try yoga - the masseuse suggested I just buy a DVD and start yoga at home - so I may do that in the new year. That could be my New Years resolution. I bought a Pilates DVD once - it is in my sewing room, still in the shrink wrap. Maybe I should start with that DVD first??
Anyway - we will probably get the tree up on Sunday. Shopping is almost finished and another year is almost gone.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
This is not quilty but it is a small Christmas wall hanging that Jessica made when she was about 8 years old - so that would be 20 years ago now - and it is always sitting over the fireplace. I just love it.
These next two wall hangings were made by a girlfriend who I introduced to quilting. She quilted up a storm every year for Christmas for a number of years and gave me some wonderful things - table runners, placemats, aprons etc. Then she had children and had to slow down on the quilting. I'm sure she will go back to quilting once the kids are not needing so much time.
I have never quilted anything for Christmas (except the Christmas stockings) but I really like having the little quilted things to put up and around the house, it make the house much more festive. I think I would have made a Christmas item or two except my friend sent me so many different Christmasy things that I never needed to make any myself. We have not put up the tree yet - we will do that next weekend, so I will post a couple of tree pictures then. We usually put the tree up the weekend before Christmas and take it down New Years Day. The kids come over and drink eggnog and watch their mum decorate the tree!! They used to help with it but now they just like to watch. Jim puts up the tree and the lights and does help with the decorating a bit - he doesn't like to put on the tinsel - which is a very important part of the decoration.
I have to go off to the stores again today, a few more things only to do and a couple of packages to mail off and a couple of Christmas parties yet to go to this week. Next week I am working so I will not be able to do much next week -- and I do not go to any stores on the weekends or the last 4 days before Christmas -- already the stores are getting way too busy for me. Not much for me to get in the stores now and I pretty much stick to a short list - go in, buy, get out.
Last year Eric gave me a massage (Thai Massage) for Christmas and I am going to go have the massage today -- see what that is all about. I have never had a massage, so I am a little unsure if I will actually like someone rubbing oil on me - I don't know how relaxing I will find it.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
This is a bit of a test post. I was able to post this picture from Picasa by shutting off the backlinks as recommended by Blog help. Still can't see the darn thing though. I am not sure what it means to have the backlinks turned off, but that was what was suggested to do. Can you tell I am a bit obsessive about this!!
This is a picture of the new chair - so nice a comfortable. Sofa picture to follow. This is our Christmas present this year. I must get back to quilting!! I have a Christmas stocking to make yet and it is the 9th of December.
Friday, December 08, 2006
I bought this quilt kit at my last guild meeting (although I changed the colour of the nine patch from white and green to gold and green). I thought if the nine patches were white and green there would be too much white. The bunny fabric is quite cute.
Someone was selling all the kit for $10.00 - including the backing and binding. I have a neighbour who is expecting her first baby next May so I decided I would make a baby quilt for the baby. I started sewing it on the new featherweight -- which is working quite well - except after a few rows when I was disconnecting the plug from the wall the plug end came away from the cord - I was planning to take it in for a tune up anyway so I guess it will be sooner rather than later. I really like the little machine. The inside of the case has a bit of a musty odor - which is getting better as it is sitting in the garage airing out - if anyone has odor removal suggestions. But the machine is fine and at first had a bit of a musty smell but it went away quite nicely with a bit of a cleaning and I shined it up with a bit of lemon oil as well.
Still with this post the picture is showing up as a bunch of code when I am creating the post - I find this a little disturbing - I can not see the picture at all until I Preview or Post - I wonder if this is happening to everyone or just to me.
Also I had been having trouble with my Quilting 4 Pleasure blog ring icon as well - unbeknownst to me of course, so I have been off and on the ring for the past few days. And my new little icon seems to be working but it is different, not the same little quilt patch. And also unbeknownst (apparently that is not a word) my email setting had changed when I switched over to Beta. Of course I was looking under the wrong spot to change it and thought it was there but it has to be changed under "Profile" not the other setting. Ahhh the frustations of technology. But it is amazing how much more about computers and codes and such I know now that I started this blog.
I also heard about an interesting blog the other day on CBC radio. It is by a 93 year old fellow. Don to Earth He is from Canada - doesn't own a computer but posts his blog on a regular basis from an internet cafe. He lives in Toronto and there has a little entry about him in Wikipedia
So I guess if Don can do it - I must get over my little frustrations with the beta blogger.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
I got this package of Dear Jane stuff just before we left for Calgary. I wanted to get a couple of more packages of the freezer paper for the printer - it is great to have for the Dear Jane quilt as well as it could be used for lots of other things. One day I would like to do some of the Linda Franz diamonds as well.
I of course thought if I was going to be ordering a couple of packages of freezer paper I should make it worth while and get a few more items. There is now some fabric that can be ordered from the website - so I got a fat quarter selection and then I thought I needed a Dear Jane bag for carrying all my Dear Jane stuff -- Of course I'm right on that one.
It seems so strange to be away from quilting and blogging for so long - we got back late on Sunday and then off to work both Monday and Tuesday. I was very tired on Monday. I am working a night shift tonight and we are supposed to be getting the new sofa today. I think this year all in all enough money has been spent -- time to get back to frugal spending now. I think I should be going on a fabric diet!!
The blogger seems to be having a few picture issues this morning. I have added a picture that is just showing up as text in the post box but it seems when I go to the Preview post it does show up as a picture - kind of strange and a little difficult to type around. I still am not happy 100% with the way the new blogger works. I sure hope they fix the issues soon. It is much more work to post and comment on posts then it was with the old blogger. Maybe I should send them an email.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
So the wonderful west coast has had another weather system storm through -- this time SNOW!! It started snowing on Saturday night and this is what it looked like this morning. And of course we have been without power since last night at 11PM. It was darn cold - the power came back on about 3:30 this afternoon, for that I am happy that we don't have to spend another night without power. Norma from Silver Thimble Quilting
has much worse weather out her way and hopefully she is okay and has power.
And lastly -- here is the other thing that hangs on the wall in my quilting room. It is an Elvis Presley hip shaking clock that Andrew brought me home from Graceland in 1997. He was 11 and my mum and him went to Memphis to see Graceland (both big Elvis fans) and I asked him to bring me back some sort of tacky touristy thing from Graceland and this is what I got. I just love it - straight from Graceland.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
The reason I decided to clean up my sewing room is because I bought myself a Christmas present!!
Every November our quilt guild has a sewing room sale and people sell their crafts and clean out their sewing room and sell various fabrics, ribbons, craft supplies that are cluttering up their sewing room. And someone at the guild had their neighbours featherweight sewing machine for sale. I have really wanted a featherweight, I have been searching them out online for the past year or so. Most of them are for sale in the U.S. and the prices seem to be in the $400.00 or so range American. This little machine has the case, manual, and a whole bunch of bobbins and extra feet. It was $400.00 - Canadian. So impulsively I bought it!! It is in really good shape - sews really well. I will take it in to the Singer shop for a bit of a check over and an oil. The machine was built in 1954-55 in Elizabethtown, New Jersey and spent most of it's life in Guatemala being used to sew clothes for a family. The woman who's mother's machine it was had a little note on the handle of the case. I am so happy to have bought it. But it was a bit impulsive. Oh well - it's only money.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I got my package of fabric from the Reproduction Fabrics this week as well. That was exciting.
This is a stack of 20 fat quarters for my Dear Jane quilt. I really don't need fat quarter size pieces for that quilt but I have another quilt in mind that I can use the left overs for.
This is a small sample selection of Den Haan and Wagenmakers chinzt fabric. It has a slight waxy coating on it and I was thinking it would be great to make a nice bag out of this fabric. Otherwise beside just loving the chintz I have no plans for it yet. Suggestions always welcome. This fabric is quite expensive. $35.00 for the 9 pieces that are not as big as fat quarters. The fabric is about $30.00 per yard.
And last but certainly not least is some assorted chintz fabric - 1/2 yard cuts. This was only $8.50 per yard. I just love the fabric and I think I will collect a bit more before I decide what I want to do with it. I'm sure it will sit lovingly washed and folded in my fabic cupboards for a number of years before I can bear to cut it up!!
Sunday, November 19, 2006
I did get to go to my retreat - but I didn't work on my planned Japanese project because I had not managed to gather it all together in the dark of my sewing room. It has been very dark here, and cold, and no hot water.
Hopefully the power does come back today and I can catch up on all my blogging -- funny how you miss it.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
I bought some fabric today to go with a bit of Amy Butler fabric I have purchased. I am not sure if this is what I want to use because I don't want it to look like an "Amy Butler" wall hanging.
I have a collection of Japanese fabric that might be an idea. I also have a collection of brights and bolds and some Jane Sassaman fabric - that might look good.
This is the second time I am typing out this post. The jury is still out on this new beta blogger. There are some better things about it - but there are some downsides as well. I have to re-log in all the time, it doesn't remember me even when I check the "remember this password". I used to have a system with the Picasa2 which worked for me and I am not able to upload pictures with the Picasa2 any longer. I did use the Photobucket and that seemed to work well. I guess there still are a few issues to work out - and I shouldn't complain, it is a free program.
Monday, November 13, 2006
This is mostly a test post - I finally switched over to Beta Blogger. Testing, testing, 1,2,3, ------ Have I ever mentioned that I hate change. I have driven to work the exact same way for 15 years (with one change of route because of bridge repairs). I probably change lanes in the same spots each time. This will be a stressful I think. I tried to post this from Picasa2 - my preferred method of posting - and I was unsuccessful, which has happened before. So now I will try again......... okay I am going to press that button!!!
I was looking for a bit of a boldness and thought the burgundy was a good idea but I think I prefer the blue as well. I think I might embelish this quilt with beads or something so that could be my boldness or sparkle. Plus there is the sparkle of the gold ribbon.
Any opinions out there? I have just a couple more bias strips to sew on and then I can layer it. I am starting to like it. The big wave at the bottom is green velvet - hard to see in the photo and I put a decorative stitch around the edge instead of bias strips, which would have been very difficult to put on with the tight waves.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Jim's Dad - who fought in World War Two -- Bomber Command RCAF
Jim's Uncle Doug - who fought in World War Two - Infantry in Holland
Today we remember all the soldiers past and present who fought and gave their lives for freedom and peace. May we have peace in the world. And remember their sacrafice for us all.
I have been working on my "River of Dreams" wall hanging today. I'm not sure why I decided I needed to work on it - the darn thing has been sitting around for years now. I took a workshop at one of our Fall seminars - (I think it was 1999 or 1997). It was an interesting workshop by Lorraine Torrence, but when I started to need to put on the bias strips to cover the raw edges I completely stalled. I hate cutting up perfectly good fabric to make bias strips -- just hate it. So I just stopped. But a few weeks ago Fabricland had all their notions etc on 50% off - so I bought a bunch of different colours of 1/4" bias binding, thinking I could use it on this quilt. The gold "ribbon" also had me stumped as how I was going to finish off those raw edges.
The entire quilt is an outline drawn out on a piece of foundation fabric and then pieces of fabric cut out and zigzagged in place on top of the foundation fabric. So all the edged of the fabric are unfinished and need to be covered to finish them off. I decided to use some gold rickrack (from my Christmas stocking supply) to finish off the gold ribbon -- I kind of like it. It seems to be turning out better than I was hoping. I am thinking I am feeling a bit more motivated to finish it. I call it "River of Dreams" because it sort of looks like a river is running through it and also I started it right around the time Jim and I went to the Billy Joel "River of Dreams" concert in Vancouver.
Speaking of rivers - what a river of rain we have had the last few days. Thursday night we had a terrible wind storm and woke up to no power. The power was out here on Friday for almost 16 hours. Good thing we have a fireplace downstairs with a heat-o-later (although with no power we couldn't turn on the fan) I had to bring the birds downstairs in their cage and put them close to the fire. It got quite cool upstairs -- as low as 13 degrees ( sorry - don't know what that is in Fahrenheit).
And so of course the driveway was back to a big mess again. Lots of fir branches down all over the driveway and roads. Still too wet to clean it and the weather forecast is for another system of high winds and heavy rains tonight. Fortunately Jim brought home a generator yesterday so if the power goes out tonight we will at least have a bit of light and we can run the fan on the fireplace to heat the house a bit better.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
It was our anniversary last Sunday and I got some lovely roses to go in my Port Meirion Vase (that I bought for myself last June at Costco). We went out to a restaurant for dinner on Saturday night. It was downtown Vancouver, we had never been there before and I had the best rack of lamb I have ever had -- ever. It was so tender and good. And I usually order rack of lamb when we go out for dinner.
I have been busy working these past few days and when work those long 12 hour shifts I spend very little time doing anything else. I was able to finish one more Dear Jane block but that was about it. I am now preparing myself to work a night shift tonight, takes a lot of "self talk" to get me ready!
I was trying to put a small photo up on my profile -- boy what a production. It seems to be there now - but not really where I want it. But none the less I am getting better at this HTML and pixel size etc.
Behind the roses there is a wall hanging on a brick wall - which is the back side of the fireplace and the wall of the dining room. This wall hanging is supposed to be replaced by the wall hanging above - as soon as I finish quilting it and put on the binding. I really only have the border to finish quilting - Jim finds it very interesting that I am so close and have completely stopped working on it. He mentions this every so often - as he would really like this quilt up on the wall. It would look quite good on the brick I think. I have no idea where I will put the other wall hanging once it has been displaced. Maybe that's why I have stopped work on this one. I really like this wall hanging as well. This is from a workshop I took from M'Liss Rae Hawley in October 2001 at our Fall Seminar. Maybe I will finish quilting it at my TGIF quilting group. It really would be nice to get it up on the wall.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
This morning I ordered some things from the Dear Jane website. When I started the quilt I ordered the book and CD and freezer paper for the computer from the website. It came quite quickly - I noticed a few weeks after getting the stuff that Brenda Papadakis had autographed my book for me -- how cool is that!! Now there is a line of fabric that is offered on the website for a Susanna Culp quilt. The fabrics look just wonderful - as I am a big collector of Paisley fabrics. I also order some more freezer paper for the computer. That paper is just marvelous, I just print off two outline blocks on each page - no tracing by hand needed. I think that has helped with the making of this quilt. I am sewing the blocks together by hand.
I started my Dear Jane quilt back sometime in March. I ordered the book and CD February 26, 2006. I had just started blogging in January and looking around various quilting blogs and came upon Cathy in Ireland
and her Dear Jane quilt. I decided it was such a wonderful quilt and I watched with interest and excitement each time she posted an update and picture. She was well into the quilt by the time I started watching. I found I became a bit obsessed with the quilt. So, I ordered the book and CD and started my own. The obsession continues........
Then the other day I realized that I can get obsessed with other things as well. I have been making Christmas stocking -- so far I have made 5, one for Eric, Andrew, Jim, Jessica and Ben. I still need to make one for Anri and I should make one for myself. I have been collecting piping to sew around the stockings -- I buy piping everytime I go to a fabric store if I see it on sale. Fabricland had a great 50% off sale this weekend so I bought a bit more -- because there were some colours there that I didn't have and I might need. When I came home I thought I should see what I had already in the way of piping.
This my collection of piping -- to make two more Christmas stockings.
A bit obsessive I think.
Then Andrew asked last night if I could make him and Anri a pair of fleece jogging pants to wear under their snowboarding pants. I said sure -- and Fabricland is having a sale this weekend. Then I remember that about 10 years ago I had bought some fleece to make slippers for Christmas presents. I had made about 5 pairs of slippers but I knew I had purchased extra fleece -- a great giant container of fleece. So I dug out the fleece.
This is my collection of fleece -- to make 5 pair of slippers. Obessive?
I think I can whip up a couple of pair of fleece joggers!!
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Actually it wasn't that hard, but it was Halloween day and the driveway was a mess of fir needles and it needed to be done before the kids started to come around. Jim was going to do it after work - but it was a beautiful sunny day and I thought I could sweep it all up myself - having never used his leaf blower. Well the sweeping was short lived and I quickly figured out how to use the leaf blower - pretty simple really.
This is the before picture.
This is my pile - 3 bags full!!
This is my after picture. A nice clean driveway.
Then I spent the rest of the day admiring the nice clean driveway. Jim was late home and happy to see the nice clean driveway as well. And then the trick-or-treaters came -- we got all of about 25 kids. Usually we only get about 10 but this year a big group of parents and pre-schoolers came by together. They are so cute.
No quilting yesterday. I found a list of tips for quilter and I am going to add a quilting tip to each post - if I can remember.
12. Pin fabric swatches on a key ring to take along with you when you shop. Use a separate pin for each project.
Now doesn't that sound like a good idea. If you had the fabric swatches in you purse at all times and you just happened in a quilt store and you had been looking for a border fabric or binding fabric or another fat quarter for another applique block you would always have the fabric handy. I have some really good tips here. More to come.