Monday, January 30, 2012

I have got to stop doing that!

I have a terrible habit of putting pins into my mouth when I am sewing. I know ....bad plan, but it is an old habit.

But I bought new pins awhile back.....and they taste funny !

When I looked at the package, it said they were made in China.
I have heard all the stories of children's toys that were imported from China being dangerous because of Toxic Cadmium (is there non-toxic cadmium????)

mmm....I wonder what Cadmium tastes like????

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Red Dress

One of the Blogs I follow is The Bloggess.  Absolutely nothing to do with quilting of fabric...or creating anything. But she is hilarious, and smart, and brave. Others have described her as "outrageous and irreverent and perhaps even a bit frightening,"  I have linked to one of her funniest stories before..the Giant Chicken...I still laugh so hard when I read this that tears roll down my cheeks!!

But her post about The Red Dress is very touching and meaningful.
“I want, just once, to wear a bright red, strapless ball gown with no apologies. I want to be shocking, and vivid and wear a dress as intensely amazing as the person I so want to be. And the more I thought about it the more I realized how often we deny ourselves that red dress and all the other capricious, ridiculous, overindulgent and silly things that we desperately want but never let ourselves have because they are simply “not sensible”.”

We each have a red dress...something that we want....something that makes us feel good, or pretty, or smart...but we know it is totally silly, or it is something that we will never actually use...... but we each have a red dress.

My Red Dress??
Pointe shoes! Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to dance in pointe shoes. I grew up on a farm, no access to ballet classes, so sadly pretended in my socks!

I did take Adult ballet classes a few times, and although they were fun...not to mention hard work and good exercise....they did not progress the Adults to pointe shoes!


one day, I went and bought myself a pair of pointe shoes!

I was trying them on with all the other budding ballerinas.... 10 year old ballet students.
The sales lady kept suggesting that I check with my ballet teacher before using them....... I assured her that I would! No sense worrying her!
 Yup...and I wear them in my kitchen....and feel good !

Do you have a "Red Dress"?              If so...go and get it!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

binding boredom

I absolutely LOVE to see scrappy binding, stripped binding...polka dot binding...or even just a contrasting colour of binding.  I LOVE to see it!

But when I try to do that, I never seem to find the right match! I usually have one or two borders, and it always seems like adding another pattern in the binding competes with the border :( 
So....I end up usually using the fabric from the border.
When I look back over my pictures...I don't have one fun binding!!  I know....boring!! 

I need to get more creative ...or braver..or something!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Year of the Dragon!

Jan 23 is Chinese New Year and I have been reading so much on the internet about Chinese New Years, and the Chinese calender. And it is now the Year of the Dragon! And yes....I am a Dragon.  (well I meant I was born in the year of the Dragon...but come to think of it, my kids have used that term to describe me too Hahaha)
The Dragon  is one of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar  (from Wikipedia)
In fact I am; a water Dragon...and this is now a water Dragon year again. Chinese astrology is closely connected with Chinese philosophy (theory of the three harmony, heaven, earth and water).  I must admit that I don't know much about Chinese astrology or Chinese philosophy, but find it really interesting.

And....I love dragons!  There is something magical about a Dragon! They are associated with wisdom—often said to be wiser than humans—and longevity. They are commonly said to possess some form of magic or other supernatural power, and in fact dragons have been featured in history in many cultures throughout the world. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: European dragons are more often winged, while Oriental versions of the dragon resemble large snakes. Dragons can have a variable number of legs: none, two, four, or more when it comes to early European literature. (fromWikipedia
Me ?? I am partial to the winged Dragon myself!!   Wouldn't you like one of these....

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Final finish for 2011

I know...I is already 2012...I am just a little slow!!
This is Paris finished !! Even the hand stitched binding!

Fabric is "Etchings" by Moda. Not sure about the red and black border/backing...from my stash!

For the back, I wanted to feature one of the Etching prints that has hand writing on it. sorry, it is hard to see the writing under the quilting!

I reminded me of a letter, so I thought a couple of larger pieces would look like a letter on the back!

I was running short of backing fabric, so this is actually bits and pieces pulled together to make it big enough.

I finished about 90" square. I plan to use it in the guest room at our cabin.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I might as well enjoy it!

I am not very good at the hand stitching part of sewing. I pretty much do everything I can by machine. But when it comes to the binding, I do like the look of hand stitching it down on the back. I have tried to do it by machine, and sometimes do for baby quilts or wall hangings, but think it is much neater looking if it is hand stitched.

I have seen some bloggers that can do a great job of machine sewing it down and just catching the edge perfectly. I am not one of them! So when I spend this much time making a quilt I think that I should spend the time hand stitching the binding for a very "finished" look.

But I am quite slow....and the "Paris" quilt is quite I will be here awhile...

so I might as well enjoy it...

I also love having my little thread catcher hanging on the couch beside me...

Looks like I am all tucked in and ready for some stitching!
Now lets check out the Needle and Thread Network and Lee's WIP Wednesday

Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas gift

Now that I have finished my 2011 quilts....well most of them anyway.....I think it is time to start something new and fun!
My sweet daughter ...the one with the new puppy - Zoe..

gave me this for Christmas!

Guess you can never go wrong buying fabric for a quilter!!
I just LOVE these colours. It is called California Girl. and I guess the yardage isn't even available yet, so I bought some similar coordinating fabric...

And will be sitting down with my favourite jelly roll book for some inspiration!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Friday finishes

Another finish! And I love this one.....

If you remember, this is the "Origins" fabric that I bought and then saved for a long time because I couldn't bring myself to cut it up.  Then when I did....I hated the quilt top..and cut the blocks up into little pieces and sewed them back together!!  Well, it is now finished!! And  I am very happy with the finished product!

I used up the extra bits for a strip of piecing on the back..

It finished at about 60"x 72".  And now it is one of my very favourite quilts!!
I think this earns a link up to TGIFF !! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Still at the FMQ

I started "Paris" and "Prairie Meadow"  quite some time ago...

And even though it is early January I am considering these 2 quilts as 2011 I need to get them finished!!
I am done the FMQ on on now to Prairie Meadow...

I am trying a pattern that I studied and took pictures of when I was at the Saskatoon Quilt Show (thank you Kathy)..

I like these flowers!

It is actually quite forgiving, and to fill in little gaps I have added some random leaves.

And this...what is this you might ask??  well it is a rare leaf formation of this particular species of plant!

Now I am going to check out what is going on at The Needle and Thread Network and Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

a fishing tale?

I have been doing a lot of FMQ the past week, and just needed a break. I needed to do something quick and easy that I could actually just finish!!
So I whipped up another one of these great thread catchers....

They really are fast to can see how I make them here.

But I had to run out to the fishing store to buy more lead weights for the pin cushion part. The fishing store man eyed me suspiciously as I piled my collection of fishing weights on the counter...

Then he asked "Don't suppose you are doing a lot of fishing...are you??
Guess I don't look like the ice fishing type ???

Now, that is the time when I wish I had a witty sense of humour and could have thought of something to say like....

  • no, I use them for resistance for my exercise program....or
  • I use them at Weight Watchers meetings..where I slip them into the pocket of the person standing in front of me at "weigh-in" ..just for fun!
But alas...I just smiled and said "No"
mmm...maybe that is even better.....I am sure he lay awake last night wondering what I was doing with my little pile of lead fishing weights!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

And the quilting continues..

Well, after Jenny (my Janome sewing machine) had her little melt down, (see here for the details !) things seem to be going smoothly.  [And I said that very quietly so that she didn't hear me and take revenge the next time is start sewing ]

I am trying to get more creative thought I would try something different border for the border again.  First I practised my design on paper...

then drew it out onto the border with chalk...

I used this cool Clover chalk device..

 it has a little roller wheel and you just run it along where you want to!

I only chalked one edge at a time because I was afraid that it would rub off as I was moving the quilt around. Anyway I did that for the first 2 sides, then I got brave lazy, and just went free hand for the last 2 sides!

I think that I am getting better, but still ...even when I draw it inconsistent and irregular in places. I am sure that it gets better with more practice...I am just not sure that  I will live long enough to get really good at this! :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

and the winner is...

Thank you all so much for helping me celebrate both my 1 year blogging anniversary and the 100 follower mark!
What fun comments! I am actually quite relieved to see that many of you have thought about what name you would have liked to have I am not alone!  HaHa!

And all those talent ideas! Wouldn't it be nice if we could do all those things?? But I guess we all have our own talents, and we should celebrate those!

OK...OK...on to the draw....Drum roll please...

I used a very high tech technique for picking a daughters drew the names out of a bowl! ( I even made her close her eyes LOL)

The winner of the little frame purse...

And the winner of one thread catcher....  (other daughter !)


Congratulations! I will send you both an email to get your mailing addresses, and thanks again for playing along!


Thank you all so much for all your helpful hints and suggestions!! It really is amazing how many small things you have to think about .....or forget to think about! The needle, thread, tension, cleaning the lint, and even that little disc thingy that holds the spool of thread in place (thanks Patti)!! I think I need a check list like a air plane know the pre-flight check....I will have a pre-quilt check-list! :)

Anyway...I did take in all the suggestions, cleaned out the lint (and yes, it sure does collect under there !!) changed my needle, tried a new spool of thread.

Then, yesterday, my Jenny (Janome machine) had what, in my medical opinion, was an epileptic seizure! What might that look like, you ask???
Well, all her lights started flashing, she kind of stammered several times...broke her needle and then groaned ...jammed up and stopped!
...what did I do???  Called a "Code Blue"! Blue as in that was the kind the language that I used!!

Then spent the next hour pulling bits of thread out!!

I think what happened was a small loop of the bobbin thread was loose ??? and caught in the bobbin mechanism. Don't ask me how that would happen, but the bobbin mechanism was certainly jammed. This little piece was stuck in there!

In any event....after wiggling and jiggling and whistling a all came loose. 
I cleaned it all out, changed the needle (oh, well, it was time to change it anyway!) , rethreaded the machine...and all was good!
I spent the rest of the afternoon, with NO PROBLEMS!!!  Really??? What a drama queen "Jenny" is! Just needed a little extra attention??  
Then I saw this add for the Janome Horizon...

Every Project a Journey????? Boy they sure aren't kidding !!!

p.s.  just a reminder...
***Last day for entry for my Celebration Give Away !! I will making the draw tonight!*****