Friday, March 30, 2007

Indroducing -- Jenny

We picked her up this afternoon. It is very hard to take a picture of a black dog. She seems to be very quiet and gentle, and very, very tired after a very long drive. They left Topley at 1 p.m. yesterday and got to Vancouver at noon today. She still has a real "puppy" look about her although she has already had a puppy. She has been spayed. She has such lovely brown eyes.

She was quite happy to have a sleep on the deck. One very tired pup.

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And this is my purchases from the Sewing and Craft Show. I bought 3 packages of wonderful silk fabric from a new little "in home" shop that is just starting up in Vancouver. I think I need to start collecting enough pieces to make a lovely silk quilt. The silk pieces are on the lower left. I also bought some silk thread for applique that was on sale. Seven spools for $28.00, good deal. Also various fat quarters and 1/2 yards of fabric that were on sale. I got the two fat quarters of a blue fabric from the Chocolat line that I will use to make a small sashing for my table centre.

And in the upper right corner is the reason for my trip to the Sewing and Craft show to begin with! It is a piece of Grip-n-Grip. For drawing pencil lines on fabric, instead of using sandpaper. You get a smooth, clean pencil line - the fabric doesn't move (so I am told) And with my DJ blocks I am always drawing pencil lines on fabric. It also is good for Crayon quilts. I have not used it yet but I have heard wonderful things about how well it works. Has anyone else used Grip-n-Grip?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

It is a start

It has been quite awhile since I posted. I went to the Sewing and Craft show in Abbotsford last Friday and bought a whole bunch of stuff (pictures to follow in another post) Then on Saturday we had the two boys booked in for the moving of furniture, they came out and all the work got done - but without me unfortunately. I ended up working Saturday evening because they were so short staffed -- so I was not home for the moving. Everyone managed to follow my instructions fairly well - but I have been working steady the rest of the week so my sewing room is still in the just beginning stages.

Here is the sewing table set up. I love having it sit under the big open window.

As you can see below there are still a few remnants of Andrew left! He has taken two of the three guitars and he still has his large stack of egg cartons sitting in the corner. I moved his big amp into the storage room. I wonder if he will ever get it all :)) I think the stereo will be getting moved to the other side of the room, we will get a small TV to put in with the stereo. I can sew, watch TV, listen to music, and use the computer all in one room. I may never leave home again!

Posted by PicasaI think we should be able to finish most of the small bits this weekend. I want to get another small table and put it up on bed risers to have a higher table for cutting fabric.

The other new is that we are getting a new dog - she is supposed to be coming tomorrow. I will post a picture of her when she arrives. She is coming down from a place in central B.C. that rescues abandoned or abused dogs. She is a 1 year old black lab/retriever cross that was found under a house with her one puppy. The puppy has since been adopted. So hopefully all will go well with their trip here and we will be picking her up tomorrow morning.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Some time spent stitching

I worked on the Chocolat Charm pack today. Of course - inspiration from Darlene - I decided the Chocolat would be perfect for a table centre for the dining room table. You know the table that sits there, that my husband felt we really, really needed - that is used twice a year. But it is a lovely table - a dark stained oak. Perfect for Chocolat. I am trying to decide what to do with the centre. Wendy showed a quilt that has a really narrow little sashing and corner blocks between the four patches. I quite like that, but if I am going to do that I will have to buy some fabric. I don't have anything in my stash that will work.

I am going off tomorrow to the Sewing and Crafts Show in Abbotsford tomorrow -- so I certainly will be up for some shopping. I will bring a little patch with me - maybe I will find something I like for sashing and also I need a little inner border. I have a great piece of Chocolat fabric for a outer border.

And now - how about a picture of what today looked like on the "Wet Coast" Can you tell where the ocean ends and the sky begins? This is called "Rain, heavy at times" to continue all weekend from what I'm hearing. So I guess we have a wet drive out to Abbotsford.
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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Charm Packs

Posted by PicasaOn Friday I got my collection of Charm Packs I ordered from the Fat Quarter Shop. That really is a great place to get fabric from. They were very prompt with the service. At first it was to be $15.00 to ship it to Canada and then right away they sent an email to say they were able to send it off for only $9.00 for some reason - so they changed the bill. And it was here in about 3 weeks. Pretty good - all the way from Texas. I definitely will order from them again. I even got myself on their email newsletter.

The seven charm packs in the fabric bags were $49.00 - on sale half off. Such a deal. That is only $7.00 each, including the little fabric bag. Which of course we all need more little fabric bags!!

I also ordered a baby quilt charm pack and a civil war charm pack. I had a couple of charm packs already, the Sonnet collection - so now I have two of those, which would be enough for a good sized quilt I think. I also have some yardage of the Chocolat collection, which I would like to use to make another quilt. I will browse around looking for patterns and I think I will plan to take some charm packs to my upcoming 3 day retreat in April. I think the four patch method of Darlene's from Quilting Daze might be what I do with the Sonnet collection.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My oldest UFO

A few people have been posting pictures of their oldest UFO. I think that this is mine, although I can not be 100% certain because I have a few that are around the same vintage. This was a workshop I took not too long after I joined my quilt guild. It is almost entirely done with strips of fabric - cut either in widths from 1 1/4 inches to 2 1/2 inches. After throwing all the strips in bags of light and dark they are just pulled out and used to make the blocks.

I also have a couple of patterns that I had purchased and after taking the workshop I discovered that they were basically the same thing. Of course the patterns have never been opened. I think the reason I have never finished it is because I have no idea what I would do with it -- probably the only thing it would really be suitable for would be a baby quilt. It is baby quilt size. The border was supposed to be quite scrappy with various bowtie blocks and scraps of fabric but I sort of ran out of steam by the time I got to the border and thought the star fabric went well with it and I figured if I had to make more blocks it would never get finished. It is now a completed flimsy just waiting to be sandwiched and quilted.

I think this is a good idea to show off the UFO's every so often. I have some of them on the side bar but I really do forget all about them and some of them really are worth finishing. Wouldn't this one make the cutest baby quilt? I should finish it.

Here is a photo of how my "quilt closet" is looking now. I am using one basket to hold my "still wrapped in plastic and tied up with ribbon" fabric bundles. One basket will hold all my UFO's/PIGS and then the shelves are holding the folded yardage of fabric and of course my "fat quarter drawer" . As you can see I still have a lots of space - but I have not put all the fabric in yet. We are hoping to do a bunch of furniture moving this weekend - so stay tuned for further updates.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Very Productive Weekend

This is the closet from Ikea that is Andrew's room. It had a couple of metal rack shelves and a bar to hang his clothes. The plan was to turn this into a cupboard for my fabric. As we begin the transformation from "Andrew Bedroom" to "Pam's sewing and computer room"

We went to Ikea yesterday and bought the parts -- a couple of solid shelves, a couple of basket drawers and one wooden drawer.

Here is Jim working away on the wooden drawer. It has taken a while to get the process started because Jim's surgery. I think he did a bit too much today - but he insisted on finishing it. He is not really able to do to much with his right arm yet - so the bulk of the work today was done with his left arm. We still have a lot of furniture to move around and I think it will be a few months before we can get it completely finished. I think a weekend of both boys coming over and doing the major furniture moving will be required to get the sewing room completely set up.

And here is the final result. A new cupboard for my fabric - in my sewing room.

I started putting fabric in the cupboard tonight. The cool thing about the drawer is I can put all my fat quarters in it -- all lined up like at the quilt shops -- I can see everything, look through the fabric, fondle it -- just like at the quilt shop. I am quite happy with the way it turned out.

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There is alot more left to do - but this is a start.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

New Purchases

I think I might be more of a shopper than a quilter. I seem to buy much more than I make. I keep reminding myself that this is my retirement fund.

I purchased this hand dyed felted wool from my LQS this week. I had a filled loyalty card worth $25.00 of free merchandise - so the wool was pretty much free :)) So that's okay then!

I would like to try some wool applique. I have also got some pieces of wool coming from the Fat Quarter shop, I am not sure what size pieces they are or what colours they are exactly. I need to start looking around for some wool applique patterns. If anyone has some suggestions feel free to give me some ideas or such. I really haven't decided yet what I will do with the wool - but I really want some wool appliqued flowers. Maybe a nice little wall hanging or table topper - like a penny rug. I think with the leftover bits I am going to try making some bottle cap pincushions ( I saved that site).

The other thing I bought was this Laurel Burch panel. It was new at the store and I really enjoy the fun, bright, fantasy colours and design of her fabric.

When we were in Sausalito I went into a little shop that had a lot of her mugs, purses, scarves, socks etc.(no fabric though). Laurel Burch is from the area around Sausalito and the woman who owned the shop in Sausalito said she knew her quite well. There was a book there to sign to say hello to her and wish her well, which I did sign. The shop owner had told me that Laurel Burch has very poor health and a chronic illness that affects her mobility and her bones - I can't remember exactly what is her condition. It is amazing the beautiful things she creates.

Of course, again, I am not sure what I am going to do with my piece of fabric. I thought it would make a great bag. The piece is folded (it is 45 inches wide) with the same picture on the other side. Maybe a centre for a great Laurel Burch wall hanging or small quilt -- or maybe both. Or maybe I will just save it for retirement and keep shopping :))
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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Hugs and Kisses

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It seems like quite a while since I posted. I finished all the blocks for the "Hugs and Kisses" quilt this week and it is now just pinned to my design wall. This seemed to me to be the best layout of colour for the quilt. I will start sewing it together soon. The slight difference in the WoW blocks is really not noticeable at all, you have to really look hard and search out the blocks which have the slightly smaller leaf design, it is the same pattern, just slightly smaller. I haven't decided what to do about borders yet but I would like to have something I think in the border. I have been working with the EQ6 program, so maybe that will be a place to try out different borders.

My son has pretty much finished my DJ website. I will post a link on my DJ blog. He has added a few sections - like "News" "About Me" etc. that I have not done anything with yet - he also added a picture of Jim and I - which I have left there for now. I think the virtual design wall looks great, he did a good job.

It was Andrew's birthday on February 24th. The baby of the family is now 21! My goodness. It is really amazing how fast time goes by. It reminds me how important it is to make time count as much as possible. So - that brings me to work......

I have been busy at work the past couple of days and I have been seriously thinking about some big changes -- like a new job. I have been working at the same hospital for 16 years. There have been changes almost every 6 months for the past 10 years - and now there are some really big ones happening and I think maybe a new job - which would be a big change, but a new change, would be a better fit for me. This is going to be really hard for me. I really like all the people I work with, and I always thought I would just work at this hospital until I retired. But the unit that I work on is being moved to another hospital and it will be a huge change for everyone. I have not done a resume in -- 16 years! But I am gathering my stuff together and I think it will be very good for me. I think it will take a few weeks to get everything organized but I have a few months yet before I really would like to be in a different job. I think before it is all said and done there will be a lot of - doubts, sadness, happiness, excitement, nervousness, apprehension -- and the list goes on.

One thing I would like is to find a job much closer to home. I am now driving over 40 kms each way to work and there are 3 hospitals much closer than that. It would be nice to have a shorter drive to work - and better for the environment. I bought my VW Jetta in 2002 and I already have almost 170,000 kms on it - in 5 years. That is 34,000 kms a year, just driving around Vancouver. Although in that 5 years I have driven to Calgary twice. That is a lot of driving I think. So, we will see what the next few months will bring -- at least I can keep quilting.