Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My version of the Scissor case

I just had to make one of the scissor cases that May Britt had shown us on her blog. I could see the basic premise of the case and the shape - so I began to play around a bit. This was my first attempt. I just could not get the top part even and the shape correct. So with a little assistance from May Britt I tried again.

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This one is a little closer to the original. I did not make the little notch top in it because I was having a difficult time with the top as it was -- the trick I discovered is the piece of fabric is not a rectangle but a parallelogram. I think I will try to make another for my sewing bag. This one I will leave hanging on a little nail in my sewing room to hold the scissor in plain view - as I always seem to be looking for one pair or another.

I have been busy this week. I took Jim off to see the Orthopedic surgeon on Monday and he is healing up well. He started back to work this week, he will be taking the bus since it will still be a couple of weeks before he can drive.

Andrew and his girlfriend are moving into an apartment tomorrow. He is coming tomorrow to get his stuff from his room. This means that his room
will be coming available. I am not sure whether I will end up moving my quilting room into there because there is quite thick carpet on the floor. I am not sure exactly what we are going to do with the extra space. He came by on Sunday and looked over the items he was going to be taking and I said I would take the pictures and poetry off the wall for him. It's been hard to go in there and take everything down. Although he hasn't really lived here for over a year there was still a little bit of him here because of his room. I did take a few pictures of his room awhile ago, knowing that when he finally did leave it would not be the same. His walls were covered with black and white pictures, lot taken in photo classes by him and also a lot of "teenage angst poetry" LOL - mostly song lyrics and such. He wants to be a rock star. Anyway --- as I ramble, it is done and the pictures are down and this weekend we will have 300 sq. feet more in which to spread out in.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I guess I need a life!

You've Changed 16% in 10 Years

You've hardly changed in ten years, from your lifestyle to those very retro clothes.
And unless you were really ahead of your time, you probably need to acquaint yourself with the modern world!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Sun, some Whales and some Cranes

I find it is always hard to decide what to title a post. The weather is starting to get much better here these past few day. The sun has actually come out even. This is a early evening photo of the sun shining through the clouds and reflecting off the water. I love when the weather gets nicer and we can get some really lovely sunsets -- and most of all I love that the days are getting longer and the sun is not setting at 4 PM!

I went to my quilt guild meeting on Thursday night and we had our quilt for Jonah all layered and machine quilted. This is a picture of the show and tell ladies holding it up for the guild to see. I think it turned out really well. We spent some time on it yesterday - hand stitching some spouts for the whales.

During show and tell one of our members got up and showed her latest quilt. She just makes wonderful quilts -- stunning actually. Apparently she had a couple of weeks before Christmas and decided to make this from a picture her husband had taken of some cranes in Australia. It is such a beautiful quilt. I don't think I could make that in a couple of years! But she always does such creative and beautiful work. I just love seeing what she brings to show and tell. Inspirational.

I just happened to bring my camera to the meeting to take a picture of the Jonah quilt - so I took a couple of pictures of this one as well.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I bought these diamonds in November at a sewing room sale that our quilt guild has every year. It was a nice big bag of them for $10.00, already cut up. I started to play around with them a bit this morning. There are a few more colours than this and about 15 of each fabric - and about 20 fabrics. I think I would like to sew it up in some sort of a gradient - going from purple to green and orange - which are the main colours. I have always wanted to do a quilt like this and it was so nice to buy the fabric already cut up into the diamond shape. They are quite large - about 6 inches on each side. I will probably fiddle around with them for quite awhile yet. I don't really have a big enough design wall to put them up on properly - so I just put 6 of each, and I have some that I'm not sure if I would use at all.

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Jim and I went out for a couple of hours this afternoon - went for lunch and then wandered around the stores for a bit. He got quite tired and sore by it the end of it all, but it was nice for him to get out. It has been raining steady and hard for the past 3 days and he is not really able to wear a coat so he can't just go outside for a short walk or something.

He was thinking of going to work tomorrow but after getting tired so quickly today he thought better of it and will stay home for a few more days. I made him a couple of T-shirts with the right arm and shoulder cut open and velcro put in so he is able to get into them and actually wear a shirt now.

I am working tomorrow - so he will be on his own for the day. We will see how that goes!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A quilt and a patient

This is the quilt I spent the better part of the day working on when Jim was having his surgery. I took him to the hospital for 8:30 AM and left him there about 9:30. As it turned out he wasn't ready to be discharged until 3 PM - so I had lots of time to spend quilting. Cute little quilt isn't it? I will show more pictures as we get it finished. It needs to be finished for February 8th.

And here is the good patient, just home from the hospital. The nerve block hadn't worn off at this time so he is still smiling. Actually the worst of the pain was Friday night and he has been pretty good, although he is taking pain pills every 4-5 hours. So he has to spend 4 weeks in this foam sling. I have cut up a tee-shirt for him and put velcro on the right shoulder and arm so he can get into a shirt. We were able to take his arm out of the sling and put the shirt on yesterday - so that was good. And he can actually do a fair amount with his right hand if he can get it close to things. Last night he said "I can carry something in my right hand - like a napkin" LOL!
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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Snow Again!!

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Well -- again last night it snowed - here is a picture of the snow on our hedge this morning. I worked a night shift last night and watched the snow fall all night. I am so ready for winter to be finished!!

Jim gets to go for surgery tomorrow morning - I just finished shaving half of his chest - I have a couple of pictures but I don't know if they are really good blogging material, quite funny to see though. There was a cancellation for tomorrow so they put him in the spot. I'm glad he gets in tomorrow instead of the end of January.

Tomorrow after I take him for the surgery I can still go off to my Friday quilt group as he will be in surgery for a few hours. Right now we are working on a quilt for the Variety Show of Heart in BC. It is going to be given to a young baby named Jonah that had to go for heart surgery. I will take some pictures tomorrow to post. It is a really cute little quilt with whales and sailboats and his name across the top.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

WIP Wednesday

Here is a little wall hanging that I am almost finished. It just needs to be hand quilted. It is all layered and ready to go. Maybe I should just machine quilt it and get it done. It was made from one of my fat quarter packages and a pattern from Better Homes and Gardens.

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I have no energy and a cold that came on quite suddenly Saturday afternoon - so I have done very little and am feeling fairly guilty, but then I feel too tired to feel too guilty. We did cook up the Peposo recipe from Cheryl at Quilting Hollow on Sunday though - and it was wonderful and peppery and well worth making.

Jim was hoping to have his shoulder surgery today but it was not to be, so it will be January 30th instead and for sure. He has a week of meetings in Portland starting February 12th - so I was hoping he could have the surgery earlier rather than the 30th. I think he will have a difficult time of it in Portland with his right arm in a sling and not able to use it at all. All the things that he will have trouble doing - like cutting up his food, tying his shoes etc.

Well back to the couch for another nap.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Directions for small make up bag

You need two fat quarters of coordinating fabric, ribbon and batting. The bag will finish up at approx 5 1/2 by 10 1/2 inches. The width of the bag will by the 11 inch side of the fabric and the length of the bag is the 12" side. I cut the fat quarters on the 22 inch side of the fat quarters -- if the fat quarter is less than 22 inches then my bag is a little narrower than 10 1/2 - it might finish up at 10 inches or 9 1/2" but it is still a nice sized bag.

1. One piece of fabric for the lining (the purple fabric) is cut 11" by 12".
2. Two pieces of fabric for the outside of the bag cut by 11" x 12"
3. One piece of fabric from the left over fat quarter for the inside pocket - usually cut about 8" x 10".
4. One piece of batting cut 11" by 12"
5. Once piece of batting cut 11" by 6"

Making the inside pocket and front of bag

With right sides folded together sew the fabric for the inside pocket. Turn the pocket and then iron and top stitch the pocket. After the pocket is finished, it is top stitched to the inside lining - 1 inch up from the bottom.

Take one 11x12 piece of outside fabric and fold in half ( so the piece measures 6" x 11") - wrong sides together. Add a small piece of batting cut 6 x11" and top stitch along the fold to hold the batting in place.

Layer the bag after the pocket is stitched to the lining

First lay the batting down.

The inside pocket is stitched to the lining fabric aprox. 1 inch up from the bottom of the bag.

After stitching on the pocket place the inside lining on top of the batting.

Trim all excess batting before layering

Next layer the outside piece that was made from the folded fabric and batting. Line up the bottom edges. The length of the bag at this point is 12 inches and it is 11 inches wide.

Two pieces of ribbon 14" or so in length pinned to the middle of the top and bottom edge. Place the edge of the ribbon along the outer edge of the fabric and the ribbon pointing inward. ( I tuck the ribbon inside a bit so I don't sew over it)

The last piece is laid on the bag

The last piece of 11"x12" fabric is laid right sides to the bag and then pinned all the way around.

I have a small cardboard template that I use to make a small curved edge on the top side of the bag.

Sew all the way around the bag

Sew a 1/4 inch seam all the way around the bag except for a small 3 inch opening on one side just below the curve of the top for turning the bag right side out. It is a bit of a tricky turn but it can be done!

The bag will turn inside out a bit and needs to be turned so the outer pocket is on the outside and the ribbons are on the outer edges of the bag. This picture shows the bag still needs that final turn of the bottom piece.

You will need to fiddle with it a bit to get the corners flat and square. Then give it a good iron.

Top stitch the top flap of the bag

I top stitch the flap of the bag after it is ironed. The small opening is easily closed with top stitching. The opening can also be slip stitched closed.

Finished bag.
Now is this clear as mud? Good thing I don't write instruction books for a living. And it is hard to do because I am trying to do it from start to finish but backwards so it reads the right way in the blog.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

One more bag

I think posting pictures with the Picasa2 is getting worked out a bit better. I now have a technique to it that seems to work pretty good.

I made another bag over the Christmas holiday. It was a bit of an experiment, because I am looking for a pattern for a bag that will compliment the Dutch Chintz fabric I bought online.

This pattern is called Scrappy Sack and is designed to be made up with fat quarters. I used some decorator chintz scraps that I had - and I had enough that I used the same fabric for the outer layer and a different fabric for the lining. It is not a bad little bag with two outside pockets and two inside pockets. Easy enough to make.

The finished results. I would have liked the handle to be longer. I am going to sew a button on the outside of the flap - as decoration only as there is Velcro there to hold it closed.

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I spent today making another little make-up bag. I took some pictures and I plan to post a tutuorial for the bags. I seem to have lost my page of directions for the bag but I have made so many that I haven't been using the instructions. I thought I could post a tutorial on the blog so that if I stopped making them and a couple of years down the road I wanted to start up again, I could check my blog for a little refresher. I wonder if my blog will still be here 5 or 10 years from now? Interesting thought.

Jim just called from downtown (which is where he works) high winds have blown down more trees in Stanley Park today so the Lions Gate Bridge and the Causeway has been closed. So he is pretty much stuck downtown for awhile. There are only two bridges to get from Vancouver to the North Shore - so if one of them is out - traffic is a nightmare. Better off staying downtown and have supper at a pub than sitting in traffic for 3 hours.

It is supposed to snow tonight as well. I am so incredibly tired of this weather here. It was very windy here today, we lost power for only a minute this afternoon. So at least I was able to spend the day sewing and enjoyed a great cup of coffee as the wind was wildly blowing outside.

That Stanley Park link I posted has some pretty good pictures of the park, and Vancouver. Worth a look I think.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Dresden Plate

Before I show my last bag I thought I would show off what I accomplished this weekend. I completely appliqued all my Dresden plate blocks to the white background -- pulled out all the basting stitches and removed all the paper. Busy work. I have 20 block all together but I could only put 16 up on my design wall. I still have the centres of the blocks to complete - but it feels good to have the blocks all appliqued.

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I have two blocks with the centres finished. The centre has blue melons on top of a yellow circle. The block is not actually a Dresden Plate it is called a Chrysanthemum I think - because it has the four pointy pieces and the melons in the centre.
I am going to put the quilt together with sashing that is purple and white and corner blocks that are purple and white nine patches. I can't remember when I started this quilt - but I quite like it. It is my "30's" quilt. So that was my weekend - more or less. And in good Vancouver fashion there was a lot of rain and wind on Friday - but Saturday was actually not too bad. There is some terrible weather still happening in Colorado with the snow storms and avalanches. I hope this winter ends soon.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

More bags

This is another bag I like to make. It is quite a fiddly bag to make but it is really such a nice little make-up bag. It has four outside pockets and it is fully lined. I got this pattern from one of the old Better Homes and Gardens Quilting magazines - but it was one that came out around Christmas time for making gifts and quilty projects. I use a pattern for the small make-up bag as well - it is quite easy, if anyone is interested in the pattern just let me know and I can also send off a photo copy.

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These bags are a pattern I got with my fat quarter club that I belonged to for about 4 years ( I now have about 50 packages of 8 fat quarters each -- see where this bag thing came from) The pattern was designed to make one bag from a single fat quarter collection - but I found that if I cut the fabric just slightly differently I could make 2 bags from 8 fat quarters - and still have leftover fabric. They are quite a good sized bag -- about 19 inches wide and 30 inches deep - a good beach bag or shopping bag. They make really cute bags with a fabric grouping - so I made two watermelon bags and two flip flop bags. These a just simple bags - no inside pockets or zippers or buttons. One the weekend I made another bags -- pictures to follow soon. It is a completely different bag and I quite like it.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I love to make bags

I started making these little bags about 1 year ago. They are so quick and easy and I can make one bag with 2 fat quarters. I was looking for a some Christmas gifts ideas last Christmas. They can be quite addictive - and I have a ton of fat quarters that need a home.

They have a little inside pocket and just a ribbon to tie them shut - so very easy and quick to make.

I have given quite a few away now. We have another person on the ward that I work that has breast cancer - it is so terrible. Last year and now again this year. I gave Judith a bag to take with her to the hospital for when she had surgery - but in the end she never had surgery. She is doing okay but the cancer has gone into her spine so they are treating her with medication only. Now Angela will be going for surgery January 26th. She has a daughter who is about 5 years old. She will then be going for 3 weeks of daily radiation therapy. Such a terrible, terrible thing. I will give her a little bag as well to take to the hospital. I sure hope this doesn't become a habit with these bags - otherwise I think I will stop making them.
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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Changing my Template

I decided to change my template, to see if that helped with the posting problems I have been having. The biggest problem is I hate change and just changing a silly blog template is a bit of a trauma for me - can you believe that. So finally I decided to try a new template. I will see what I think of this template -- same pretty blue colour anyway.

Well -- off to work I go.

WIP Wednesday

I don't normally post a WIP or UFO or WISP on Wednesday because I
work every Wednesday. I either work a day shift or a night shift - today I am working nights, so I thought I would post a picture of a small wall hanging that I would like to finish this year. It was a class that I took about 5 years ago. Most of my WIP's are from workshops and classes.

This is a native design of a Blue Heron. There isn't much left to finish on the top. The addition of some yellow and red needs to be added in some of the white areas and a small rock or grass for the heron to appear to be standing behind. It is only about 16" by 24". What has stalled me with this is the fact that the yellow and red in the pattern to be added is embroidery instead of fabric - and I am not much with embroidery so I was planning to do little bits of fabric - which mean a bit more work but I think it would look better (at least better than what I could stitch). It needs an eye and some red or yellow dots down the neck and then some ovoids or something on the tail and maybe just embroidery stitching on the wing.

What I really should be doing right now is taking down the Christmas tree. I usually take the tree down on January 1st - but I had to go back to work on the 1st this year - and the 2nd, and today - so if I don't take the tree down today - it is Eric's birthday tomorrow and I think it could be Saturday before I can get to it. All the decorations on the tree have to be taken off and wrapped in tissue paper and put in special little boxes - so it is a bit of a job - and I am the only one that can do it correctly (so I believe). I really would like to get back my little quilting corner - so I better take the tree down today.

I am finding blogger very frustrating right now with the text and paragraphs - what I am typing up for paragraphs is not showing up and the line spaces are changing from the way I like it nicely spaced to the too close together spacing and I can't figure out how to fix this -- very annoying.