Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Stash of Fat Quarters

Here are a bunch of my fat quarters. I have picked out a few that I think might work in a Dear Jane quilt. Although I think I will take a few of the larger print pieces out. I think I need to look at the Dear Jane book before I can really decide on the fabric I am going to use.

The are some of the fat quarters in my fabric cupboard. I have used a number of the packages for various projects, but as you can see I still have lots left to use. It was a monthly fat quarter club - 8 FQ's for $40.00. Some of the packages may never get used by me - I have about 4 packages of fall colour/ pumpkin and leaf fabrics. Not sure if I will ever use those ones.

I stopped getting the fat quarters in December because the store that I got them from closed their North Shore shop and I don't want to drive to Vancouver to pick them up. Although the Vancouver store is very close to where I work. I kind of miss getting them though. Maybe I should start getting them again and just pick them up on my lunch break -- now there's an idea!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Fat Quarters

I am a big collector of Fat Quarters. I just love when they come in packages all coordinated and wrapped up with a ribbon. I belonged to a fat quarter club for about 4 years and many of my fat quarters are still in the packages. I have 48 packages (some opened and used) at $40.00 per package = $1920.00. This past fall and winter I have begun to use them. This is a pattern I found on the internet that uses 5 Fat Quarters. I made it for my mother for Christmas. I also have been making Christmas Stockings with the Christmas fat quarters. Some of the fat quarters are fabrics that I wouldn't have bought and I wasn't sure what I would to do with them. Then I had an idea from my looking around blogland. A Dear Jane Quilt. I have a bunch of fat quarters that are just the kind of fabric that I would want to put in a Dear Jane Quilt. I have always wanted to do one, and I have 2 meters of muslin that would work with the quilt. So I ordered the book and CD off the Dear Jane website yesterday. I also ordered 2 packages of freezer paper for the computer printer. Hopefully the order comes without any problems. I had to email them after I placed my order because for some reason the shipping address said ALBANIA instead of Canada. Someone (Brenda) emailed me back quite quickly and assured me that Albania is a frequent error and they always check the "real" country. My husband felt I should really be finishing some of my other quilts (the blue and yellow one, the Dresdan Plate one, the Mariner's Compass) before I began another project. I assured him that I could do it all!!! I am so excited. But I really must finish my sampler quilt first. I am down to quilting the last side of the last border.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Eric,Zoe and Abigail Posted by Picasa
Andrew, Eric and Anri came out tonight for a birthday dinner for Andrew. It has been awhile (Christmas) since they have both been out so I took a bunch of pictures. My sister Sharon is turning 40 today - Andrew was 20 yesterday. Eric is exactly 20 years less 1 day younger than my sister Sandra as well ( makes remembering their birthdays much easier) Eric turned 25 in January. Andrew is 8 years younger than Jessica and 5 years younger than Eric - he was alway more of an only child because he was so much younger. It is hard to have your youngest turn 20. I guess it happens to everyone. He was such a cute little boy - he was the kind of kid you could take with you where ever you went and he was always happy, well behaved and loved to talk to anyone. He seems to enjoy the company of adults much more than kids his own age. He was an "old soul" many people used to say when he was young. We used to spend alot of time together. I would take him to lunch with me and my friends often. It was a real struggle for him to finish High School - he hated going to school, he had a very hard time fitting in with what was expected of him. He really wanted to graduate and even when everyone said he couldn't do it - he insisted on staying in school and it took him an extra year but in the end he did graduate. Now when I look back on it I realize he is someone that should have been homeschooled - he would have done wonderful with that. He is very independent and a little impatient and intolerant, but all in all a good kid!

Andrew and Anri Posted by Picasa

Another workshop project waiting to be finished

I took this workshop a few years ago from Lorraine Torrence a quilt teacher from the Seattle area. I was at our guild meeting on Thursday night and I saw that Lorraine is coming back to teach some more workshops and give a lecture next month. I have not finished this quilt ( it is about 24" by 18"). My hold up is that I need to make a bunch of bias tape to cover the raw edges that are just basted together at this point. I don't like cutting up a bunch of fabric on the diagonal - seems like such a waste. I would really like to finish it though. I am also unsure of what colours of bias to finish it with as well. Maybe I should take a class from Lorraine again just to get advice on how to finish up this wall hanging.
The big green wave at the bottom is green velvet and the ribbon has gold fabric in it. I call it "River of Dreams"

Friday, February 24, 2006

Happy Birthday Andrew

Today my youngest child turns 20 years old. Funny I don't feel like the mother of 3 Adult children. Andrew is working right now at a ski hill as a lift operator and he says he enjoys it very much. What he really wants to do is play music. He was in a 13 week TV show here in Canada called "Rock Camp" and this is one of the photos from the show. Nice picture of him. So Happy Birthday Andrew.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Mariners Compass

I have so many unfinished quilts and projects sometimes it is difficult to know where to start. I guess that is a universal quilting problem!! I took this Mariners Compass workshop in September 2001 at my quilt guilds fall seminar. M'Liss Rae Hawley was the instructor. The fall seminar is planned and teachers are booked months in advance. The seminar was scheduled for the September 21 weekend. It was a hard time for everyone as it was just days after the disaster at the World Trade Centre. M'Liss Rae Hawley had a son that had just entered the U.S. Military and she was very concerned about him. I wonder how he is doing now.

It was a two day workshop and I enjoyed it. There were some interesting techniques I learned from M'Liss - how to make flying geese out of a bunch of squares and end up with 4 very nice looking geese - I still use that method. I had never done paper piecing and the middle medallion is paper pieced. The pattern in the book has another pieced border that has a kind of a trip around the world effect with small square which I left out and there was also a pieced fence at the bottom I left out. The piece of fabric I found for the bottom between the lighthouse and the sailboat and whale is a wonderful piece with blue and dragonflies and blades of grass. I thought it fit in there perfectly. I have had the top finished for a long time but it took about 2 years of looking to find a fabric for the border. It looks quite dark and plain in this picture but the border fabric is a burgundy with small blue stars and yellow moons.
My mariners compass is about 60 inches square and I am almost finished hand quilting it, but I have stopped working on it while I work hard to finish the big sampler quilt for the Quilt show in September. The Mariners Compass has a spot on the backside of a brick fireplace - that faces into the dining room just waiting for it - hopefully I can finish it in 2006.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Fish Quilt

This is a wall hanging I am presently hand quilting (when I am not hand quilting my sampler quilt and my mariners compass quilt). It is a workshop I took a couple of years ago. You take a focus piece of fabric - the fish print - and then build a quilt around it using a kind of mathematical combination of design and colours. It was an interesting workshop. The fish print is an actual fish that had been painted and then stamped onto a shirt, which was my husbands shirt - which he never wore. The shirt was 100% cotton fabric - not sweatshirt material. It had two fish on it - one on top of the other. It really didn't look good as a shirt but it offered itself up happily to become this quilt.

A quilter named Pam Godderis taught the class. It was a good class to take because there is always a little piece of feature fabric around that you might want to turn into a little quilt but the question is how to frame the fabric so it looks good. I would like to do something like this with the fish batik fabric that I bought at the Fabric Depot in Portland.
The object is to use the colours that are in the feature fabric to frame the feature fabric -- my problem with this was my fish was only black and white with a little tiny gold eye. So I went with Japanese fabrics - with black and gold and then added a touch of colour here and there - plus a bit of white needed to be added to bring white to other parts of the quilt beside just the feature fabric. You take the bits of fabric and make small 4 inch blocks of various types - as you can see all the different blocks. You then just play around with placement of the 4 inch blocks to frame the feature fabric the way you want. The feature fabric is cut so it divides well into 4 inch blocks. I think the fish is was 16 inches by 10 inches so there is a little bit of "ocean floor" under the fish. The outer border is from a piece of fabric my manager brought back from Korea for me. It went really well with the theme I thought.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

My Portland Purchases

These 4 books are from Powell's book store in downtown Portland. A wonderful store about 1 full city block and full of rooms and room of books. The rooms are named different colours - Gold Room, the Blue Room etc. The store sells new and used books. I got all 4 books for $42.00

This is the fabric I bought at Joesphines Dry Goods in Downtown Portland. The small blue print is a Liberty of London fabric. It was regularly $22.00 a yard and with the sale and the end of the roll deal I got 1 and 1/2 yards for $17.00. I just loved the little Chinese kitty print - I have no idea what I am going to do with it!

This fish batik print is from the Fabric Depot. I took the Rapid transit train out to the Fabric Depot on a very windy and rainy afternoon. Turned the umbrella inside/out.

This is the rest of the fabric from the Fabric Depot. I spent a bunch of money there, the entire store was 30% off. Who could resist! The bundled fat quarters are Laura Burch fabric prints - $9.49 less 30% per bundle of four. In Canada each fat quarter would cost $4.00-$4.50. plus PST and GST -- 15%. I bought quite a few notions as well at the Fabric Depot because of the savings. Marking pens, Paper piecing paper, scissors etc. Now I just need to do something with all this fabric!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Fall Seminar

Every other year my Quilt Guild has what we call a Fall Seminar. The guild has had some wonderful and well known teachers over the past years. (Jane Sassaman, Ruth McDowell, M'Liss Rae Hawley, to name a few). This last seminar I took this workshop from Sandi Cummings. It was a two day workshop.

So now I have the blocks I created at the workshop sitting on my design wall - wondering what will become of them. I quite like these four - I am not as fussed on the blue/black and pink ones. These blocks are 6 inch blocks and the strip is left over fabric from making the block. It is quite the interesting process to create the blocks. Lots of sewing and cutting up the pieces and then sewing them back together again - cutting them up and then sewing them back together again. I am hoping to make a few more of these blocks and turn it into a small wall hanging. If I don't hurry up and make more I'm sure I will forget how I made these!
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Thinking outside the block Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Valentines Day

I had to work Valentines day so we had our dinner on the weekend. Jim always prepares a nice meal that he has spent all day planning, shopping and cooking. Unfortunately the only course I took a picture of was the appetizer (after a few had already been consumed) This is endive with crab and shrimp and green aioli whip. He usually does quite the meal -- we had beef tenderloin with chantrelle/merlot au jus ( he makes up little menus like the special sheet at a restaurant) It was a lovely meal - as always.

My favorite valentines meal is still the dinner of 1998. It was a wonderful dinner. I worked all day but it was a Saturday so Jim did the meal while I was at work - so I didn't really watch the process. He had the table all set when I came home from work. He had even enlisted Andrew to serve the wine. He had brought up a little TV from downstairs and set it up on the corner of the table and the Canadian Women's curling team won the Gold Medal in Nagano while we ate dinner!! How wonderful.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

A Couple of Finished Projects

I thought I would show off a few finished projects before getting into the great pile of UFO's. This is a small wall hanging - about 18" square. It is my one and only attempt at Stained Glass technique. I finished it about 6 years ago, and it is still not hanging up anywhere!!

This next wall hanging is hanging up. It is a Thimbleberries pattern. These are some of my very first completed projects. I have another project from that Thimbleberries book that I have all the fabric cut and organized in little baggies - ready from me to put together. It is a really cute pattern and it has been waiting a long time. I keep forgetting I even have it. This is called "A walk in Rabbit Wood with Tasha". Tasha (our dog) and I used to walk everyday in the woods behind our house and in the summer she was always picking the blackberries off the bushes - very slow walking with her then!! This quilt has the leaves in the borders and the big "blackberries" in the centre of the blocks.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Lennard Island Lighthouse

Here is another Lighthouse. This is a wall hanging I made for the house we vacationed in at Chesterman's Beach every spring break since 1996. It is from a Piecemakers calender - I think 1994. The house was sold last year and the owners of the house gave the wall hanging back to us and it now hangs downstairs next to the fireplace - in the "Hook and Twine Pub"

I called it the Lennard Island Lighthouse after the lighthouse at Lennard Island, just off Chesterman's beach. We heard the fog horn often during the March break. We went there every year at spring break for 9 years, as well as a few May, and November trips. It was a wonderful house to visit. One day I will add a few Tofino pictures.

A Walk in Lighthouse Park

It was a beautiful sunny day today, not a cloud in the sky and 14 degrees so we went for a walk in Lighthouse Park. It is a park that is very close to us that still has some old growth trees. It is a beautiful little park. When Andrew was in Elementary School he needed to adopt a tree and when he did he had to take a piece of string and measure the circumference of his tree. We took him off to Lighthouse Park and this was his tree. He had by far the longest string in the class. We found his tree today on our walk and took a photo of it.
Looking out towards Bowen Island

And of course the park is named for the Lighthouse that is there. This is the Lighthouse at Point Atkinson.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Sampler Quilt - Close up

Sometime in 1993 I decided I needed a hobby. Someone from work brought in a sampler quilt that they were working on and I just loved the fabrics they had chosen. I had never quilted before but I had done alot of sewing when I was younger. I found out where they took the class and I signed up for the next set of classes.

This is the sampler quilt I started then. All of the fabrics were bought at the time. I don't know if I would have chosen some of the fabrics if I was starting now. Most of the blocks are made with templates ( two templates - one for the cutting line and one for the sewing line) and most of the blocks are sewn together by hand. The Log cabin block and the Rail fence block were cut with a Rotary cutter and sewn on the machine - the rest of the blocks were cut with sissors. The Baby Blocks block was paper piecing and the doves are applique. I think I completed about 6 blocks through the course of the class. I can't remember it was so long ago. I think it took about 6 years just to finish all the blocks. The sashing was cut 1/2 inch to small ( because I forgot a 12 inch block unfinished is 12 and 1/2 inches) I finally finished the entire top about 5 years ago and I had it machine basted together and have been hand quilting it ever since.

I did find a new hobby out of this quilt though and I have started and finished alot of projects in the process of finishing this one. I did learn alot during the making of this quilt - and I never used those plastic templates again!

The Sampler Quilt

I have completely finished hand quilting the middle border (thanks to the weather) and I have started on the last and final border. I was going to quilt hearts all along the border - but I have since changed my mind and have started quilting a border pattern from a template that I bought years ago. I think I actually bought the template to put on this quilt. It fits the border well. It will be more quilting than the hearts but it fits better and it just quilting in one direction rather than the circle directions in the hearts so it might be easier.

I am hoping to get this finished before September. It might look like I have alot of time but I have Jessica's wedding on June 24th!!!!

The difference a day makes

The sky is still a bit grey but at least you can see the islands off in the distance now instead of just solid grey and rain.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Here is Jim gathering up the fallen branches yesterday afternoon just after the wind had died down but the rain was still falling quite hard. He is all dressed up in his wet gear.

A Windy and Stormy Night

Another Storm has come through. We managed quite well through this one - no power outages and only a few branches down. The sun is out today and Jim is out there gathering up the big branches that have fallen down. (I can hear the chainsaw going now)

I spent most of yesterday hand quilting the sampler quilt. the middle border is almost finished and then on to the final border. I have picked the quilting pattern for the final border - very simple hearts with a tulip in the centre of each heart. I think I will quilt my way through the Superbowl this afternoon.

I have never watched the Superbowl before but with Seattle in the running we really should watch. We watched the last Seattle game a couple of weeks ago and it was quite fun to watch. We can watch the Superbowl on the cable channel out of Detroit and then we get to see all the American commercials, much better than the Canadian commercials. Go Seattle Go!!!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Two birds in a Jade tree

Here is a picture of Zoe and Abby on the Jade plant. We had to take the photo quickly as they started putting their beaks through the leaves. No harm done to the birds but a bunch of little holes in the leaves!!

I have been working this week and so I haven't had time to post. When I work those long 12 hour shifts there is not much leftover time. Just sleep and work.

We had quite the rain and windstorm on Tuesday and the power was off from around 5 pm Tuesday until 4 am Weds. morning. It was down to 14 degrees by 4 am in the house. The fire was on downstairs and Zoe and Abby were sleeping in the cage downstairs to keep them warm overnight. The weather report is for another storm this afternoon. The month of January we had 29/31 days of rain. The most rain days since 1937! Good weather to stay inside and quilt.

I am busy trying to finish quilting the sampler quilt I started in 1993. I am almost finished the middle border - so one more border and the binding and maybe I can put it in the guild's quilt show in September. One day I will post a picture of the quilt. I am still trying to decide what to name it. A few years ago we thought of naming it "Ten Years After" but now that it is going on 13 years in the making --- I wonder if it will ever get done??