Thursday, June 22, 2017

Keeping Occupied!

I have a difficult time just sitting and doing nothing constructive.  TV makes me antsy, even if it is something I really want to watch.  If I am not doubly occupied I want to eat and that can be a bad thing.  When I decided I was going to go to Newfoundland to visit my Dad on his 90th birthday, I knew I would be in trouble if I didn't have something to work on. It had to be something small to work on since I determined to take only one suitcase and my carry on and that included my purse which I packed (empty) and carried my Professional Tote (made a few years ago) with all the necessities of travel in that so I knew I would not have lots of room ( I tend to overpack clothing).

If you have been following my blog then you know that I am a big fan of Sindy Rodenmeyer's work.  A few years ago she posted patterns of various dogs ...freebies....that I downloaded and saved. They are actually 12 inch squares but I used the diagram pictures she used to show placement of the various pieces for actual square size.  Worked out just great.   I picked my fabrics, cut out background squares and put each pattern in a plastic bag, packed them with the various threads, needles, scissors and trusty thimbles in an "Open Wide" bag I had made and off I went.(Wouldn't be hard to guess I am a quilter since everything was hand made)

Well, I was busier than I expected to be and when I had a moment to rest, I did just that. Who knew that visiting family could be so very exhausting. When I got home I realized that I hadn't done too much on my doggies...did manage to finish one square . So now I have some more done and thought you might like to see my "'tit chiens"
This is a Shih Tsu (sp?) on the left and a Dachshund on the right.  
As you can see I have eight of them done...am currently working on a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  Sadly, I do not have a Shetland Sheep Dog....I may grab my courage and draw one myself.  I may be able to get a lookalike of Tigger if I work at it.

The squares will end up either 5 or four inches finished...not sure . I cut them six inches unfinished just to give myself room to pare down.  Bought some really nice Batiks in brown and tan so that will be the sashing. 

On a side note, bought my first Row by Row for 2017...don't plan on actually doing any until after Christmas and have them ready for the Villa Madonna in the spring.  One must keep up a tradition.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Number 90

I've been sewing along with the 150 Canadian Women blocks .  As I did 30 of them (they fit on my "design wall") I would put them aside and start on the next 30.  Here, I am, up to number 90 , only sixty more to go. When I started ,  the three blocks would only take me an hour to do.....now I am working about an hour on each one.  Either I am getting slower or the squares are getting more complicated.  Regardless, I am still enjoying the process. It will be interesting to have it all together.....  Cheers!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

For show and Tell

I really hate not having anything for show and tell. Makes me feel like I am slacking off , when in reality I have been slogging away at my PHD's (Projects half done, if you are wondering).Our annual and final meeting for the year is tonight and I wanted something so I blitzed this.
Here's my alphabet quilt...the one I appliqued over the winter, and starting piecing at the Villa Madonna this spring.  Finally got all the sashing and cornerstones done.. If you are wondering it is a Sindy Rodenmayer pattern...Fat Cat Patterns on the interweb. I think I may add some borders to make it just a tad wider. It is a square quilt....I actually prefer them square but in the case of this one, I think I will make it a rectangle since you can't really turn it any other way on the bed.


 As a side note...here is an interesting development.  That bird house is ornamental...really. But this tree swallow decided it would make a good nest. We're kind of happy about having them board in our birdhouse despite the fact they dive bomb us now and then.
 Here's DH helping DD # 2 remove the hard top on her jeep and put on the summer top..  Seems she goes topless a lot in the summer...sounds kinky doesn't it?
Here's a second shot of the alphabet quilt.  The colours seem very subdued ...let me tell you they are not.  I am not a pastel kind of girl!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Catching up on things...

 This is the hand work that I took to the Villa Madonna last week.  It's a good thing I did since I miscalculated the amount of fabric I needed for my alphabet quilt and ended up with time and no machine project to finish.  These squares are six inches finished and a bit of a challenge for me ...trying to perfect my curves and some points needed work too.(can't really tell here, but I took out the yellow tulips and changed the shade of yellow to a lighter one...this shade was too glaringly bold )
 I decided to put sashing between the squares so I used the left over fabric from the row by row.  It's one of those colours that just calls your name...the one  you bring  on home and then wonder what in heck you're going to do with it.
Then nothing would do but I had to put swags on a border.  Thank heavens for EQ7...it was a cinch to have the templates sized properly for the border....finished this will be 24 inches by 24 inches...a nice wall hanging...but where to put it, I just don't know.
 I'm behind on the 150 Canadian women squares.  Got six to do before Tuesday next week...since I am off to two quilt shows tomorrow , looks like the weekend will be a sewing time.
 Timeless Treasures put out a pattern for a tote bag using their official row by row fabric and since I had bought some a couple of years ago it only seemed appropriate that I get off my duff and make one.  Pattern is simple and easy to do...just time consuming.   I like the finished product but if I had my time back I would have used a black lining for the outside pocket so the edging would be dark and maybe stand out more.
I used up some of the stash that I am not sure what I want to do with for lining.  I seem to have a lot of that type of material.

As a side note, a couple of days ago Tigger ran into the cutting table that DH had raised for me and knocked the whole thing over...made an almighty bang....material went every where and now I have no excuse , I HAVE to tidy  up my fabric. Woe is me!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

What a great Week!

What a great time I had at the Villa...good food, great conversations with good friends and lots of activity.  Here's the first project I have to show. It is my Row by Row from 2016...Home Sweet Home.  I have rows from Alberta, Ontario , Nova Scotia and, of course, New Brunswick.  I really enjoyed putting this one together as I had lots of input in what to put where.  I had two rows that just did not look right so I am putting them on the backing along with a label I will make to suit the project.   I love this row by row experience...not only do you get to day trip you get some fun projects to put together in a wall hanging, a lap quilt or a bed size quilt... what's not to love?
This is project number two...it is, as you no doubt guessed, not finished.. it is called House on Bleeker street and the pattern calls for the Bleeker fabric line but I am not a pastel person , so jewel tones it is.  It was another challenge....a gadzillion half square triangles later it is now ready for a small dark border, maybe 1 inch and then a larger border for some interesting quilting...muslin , of course....it is another quilt that I will enjoy hand quilting because I have choices in the patterns I will use to quilt...same as the row by row...can't wait.
I picked up this beauty on our shopping day ...one must always have a shopping trip when visiting the Villa...not sure why, just do.  Anyway GPS is a wonderful thing. It helped me find my roundabout way to Mario's framing...a wonderful place to have anything framed. They do excellent work ...DD # 2 did the 18 count cross stitch for her momma and I promised her I would have it  framed so Voila! She does amazing work ...only thing is she did not sign it so I am putting her name on the back for future reference.

I have two other projects I worked on in between fabulous meals at the Villa...my alphabet quilt. I miscalculated the number of scrappy strips I needed to make the sashing and cornerstones so I will do the finish up later.  AND I am working on a miniature easy Baltimore ....six inch squares to get warmed up for an even smaller one ..four inch squares that I am thinking of doing. One always needs a challenge...right?

Monday, April 17, 2017

To the Villa I Go!

Some would say that I am head strong (that would be DH) and some would say that I am single minded (that would be me) and then a lovely lady at lunch the other day suggested that perhaps I was focused.....I have decided that I like that better. Sooooo....this is what I am currently focused on.  I found a freebie on the internet  from one of the fabric companies and since I liked the whole concept (except for the pastels...I just cannot seem to do pastels) I decided it would make a great project for the retreat that I am going to next week.
 Since the pattern included piecing and some applique and one hundred zillion half square triangles (perhaps I exaggerate ...but there are lots and lots) I thought I should get it all ready for the Villa.  Well, I cut everything out and thought I should do the hand work now since I mostly sew at the Villa.  As I worked along , I realized that I wouldn't have the time to do all the HST's so perhaps I should prepare the squares and then just put it all together.  Since I have two other projects that need to be put together, adding one more wouldn't hurt.
Ergo, these are four of the squares ready to rock and roll.  I have one more applique rectangle like the one below (with the snazzy bird) to do and, of course, the requisite wreath....I have that on the go now. I will do the second bird patch facing in the opposite direction when the wreath  is finished. Then I will start on the HST's , if only  to get a head start on them before the Villa next week.
We will be there for four days and three nights....ordinarily a great stretch of time to sew but we do take an afternoon to visit a quilt shop and then there are the umpteen times we have to stop to eat all the home made goodies that the ladies make for us, plus we manage to get in a few games of strip poker...yes , you heard right, STRIP Poker!!!!...we are a wild and crazy bunch...I hear there might be wine involved again this year.