Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Thought It Was Tuesday

Today was one of those days where you are running in circles and feeling like you aren't accomplishing anything.  Then suddenly it comes to a crashing halt!  That's what happened while I was at the Pet Store picking up food and hay for Cocoa and Vanilla...our resident gerbils.  The world started to spin and get a little darker and my legs grew weaker.  Fortunately I did not hit the floor.  I was able to lean against a display until the feelings of passing out...well...passed!  After that for the rest of the I felt lousy with a capital "L"!  I'm hoping that I'm not coming down with something.  I'm wondering if there was something in the pet store that I might be sensitive to because I seem to recall this happening the last time I went on a gerbil food run.  So, after resting a bit, I got up and helped my daughter with the finishing touches on her project and then it hit me...Today is not Tuesday...It's Wednesday!...and that means that I missed my CSA food pickup.  <insert frustration here>  I don't shop at the grocery store.  The only food we eat is the food that is delivered in our trusty box and whatever I make.  I have never missed a pick up before.  Can I have a restart on this day?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

UFO #1 Lone Star Update

Phew!  I actually found sewing time last night and today.  It is really a miracle some days, weeks, month, years... 

Last night Early this morning before heading to bed, this is what the Lone Star was looking like.

This afternoon, after wandering around the house feeling absolutely discombobulated (I love that word!)for most of the day, I finally found my way to my sewing room.  Giving up all hope on doing any housework, I started sewing again.  My goal was to have the rest of  the star pieced and the small inside border on before my girls got home.  I finished the last of the borders just as my oldest came downstairs proclaiming hunger.  If all goes well their dad will take them to rehearsal tonight so that I can add the pieced border.  I am really loving this and so glad that I didn't add the appliqued flower baskets in the corner squares.  I took a poll of the family and none of them cared for them either.

Hoping to post the next stage later tonight!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Craft Shows and What Brings Me Joy Pt 4

The past few days have flown by...I would think "blog" then fall asleep.  Exhaustion was starting to set in.  

Yesterday I made homemade ketchup.  I was only able to get enough tomatoes to make six jars...eek!  

This stuff is so good and so much better than commercial brands in my humble opinion.  How will I survive through the winter with only six jars?!

Today, I ran away.  I thought I would be stuck at home for the daughter lost her voice and the other had elastics jammed between her back molars yesterday to make room for a spacer.  The pain set in today.  It wasn't a great day in our house.  My husband had a meeting but decided to stay home so I could have a bit of a break.  I seized the moment and took off to the Prospect Rd Craft Show and Sale...a couple of my friends had a table so I wanted to go support them and check the show out.  WOW!  There were a lot of people there and a lot of tables.  I had one daughter with me (the tylenol kicked in) and she kept saying "Mom, you can do that!", "Mom, you can do that!"  I can do perhaps it's time to get myself out there.

What Brings Me Joy Pt 4
31.  Homemade Ketchup
32.  The first flowers of spring
33.  Lilacs
34.  A bag full of angora fibre
35.  Puppies
36.  Bunnies
37.  Lambs
38.  Petting stingrays
39.  Petting Beluga Whales
40.  The countdown to Christmas Holidays =D

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I Wish I Was Sewing

I was called in to work today.  I do sub work so this is a good thing...this is how I get paid.  The bonus...I love the kids that I work with!!!  It was a short shift today and on the way home all that I could think about was sitting down at my sewing machine.

I wish I was sewing...I really do!  BUT this is life and the reality is that sometimes we have to shut the sewing machine off and deal with other washrooms!!!  Weeks ago, I woke up to the smell of sewer gas...gag!!!  I tried every plumbing trick that I know and we thought that the problem was solved.  About a week later, I walked to the end of the road and back and opened the door to the smell of sewer gas!!!  My eyes were watering.  The plumber has been here three times and the issue is issue.    To date, the shower has been the plumber and the sink has been taped the plumber but smells! It has been decided that the washroom must be gutted.  My husband said that he would do this but he has been out of town the past few days and simply said...I CAN'T STAND IT ANYMORE =(  As soon as I walked in the door, the smell hit me again...I have now vacuumed out the toilet and dismantled it and stoppered up the plumbing in the floor.  My drywall knife is ready to make the first cut in to the wall(and yes, it's husband wasn't so much into home renovation until he met me).  I'm looking to see what is in this toilet even hooked up to a vent?  My guess is NO!

It isn't in the budget today but the new plan for the washroom is to gut it and move the washer and dryer in there plus a wash tub.  Then we can install a counter and some cupboards for all my dye and equipment.  This is the plan.  I need to start saving my pennies...the plumbers estimate came today...eek...gasp...but it will be so worth it in the end.

I sit here lovingly looking at my fabric and sewing machine with my wrench and knife beside me.  I wish I was sewing! lol

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

CQA Challenges 2013

The Canadian Quilter's Association (CQA) has a couple of challenges taking place that you may be interested in.

The first is a Pin Cushion Challenge.  You do not need to be a member of CQA to participate.  Check out this link for the details....

The second challenge is a Youth Quilt Challenge.  The Theme:  Your Favourite Food
The idea is to get CQA members to sponsor and mentor a young quilter.  There are three categories:  elementary, middle, and high school.  They must be sponsored by an individual or shop member that is in good standing with CQA.  Here is the link:

There you go...I quick project to get you thinking and give you a chance to use up those scraps AND an opportunity to share what you love with your child, grandchild, or class.  Good luck!

Sunflowers and Joy

This past couple of days has been all about cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning!  I think my family is in shock that so much was done in such a short period of time.  The plan is that if I don't have so much to clean then I will have more time to sew and spin.   Now they just need to jump on board and help me keep it this way.

Today, I found time to sit back down to work on the sunflower. My lighting is not as great as it was at the workshop.  My husband has been talking about installing better lighting in the basement for me.  I have a washroom to fix so upgrading lights may be pushed aside for a while. With a few task lights set up around my machine I think I was able to achieve what I was hoping for.  What do you think?

How should I finish this?  Some of the thoughts that I have are:
a) do a variety of other flowers to make a small wall hanging
b) a journal cover
c) frame it as is

Part III ~ What Brings Me Joy
21.  Finished Sunflowers
22.  Starry nights
23.  The sounds of brooks and small waterfalls
24.  That look when a child figures out the answer
25.  Spring Peepers
26.  Making preserves just like mom
27.  Relaxing at my spinning wheel
28.  Freshly dyed skeins drying on the line
29.  Clotheslines full of freshly washed sheets and clothing
30.  Lightning storms

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Making New Friends and What Brings Me Joy Pt II

Today I made new friends!  I attended our first workshop of the season (my first workshop with my new guild). What a great way to meet other members and other fellow quilters from nearby guilds.  I walked in, set my machine down (my first workshop with my new machine...not always a great idea but eventually I found the zigzag stitch), and introduced myself to the ladies at my table.  Ironically, not one of them was from my guild but we had a great time getting to know each other (meaning me getting to know them and vice versa since the three of them were already friends).  It often amazes me that any of us walk away with anything to show after a workshop.  It is a great social event!  Early on in the day I realized what I have been missing so much since moving from our home in is that sense of community and having other people that share similar passions.  I even found some fellow weavers in the crowd.  I left the day with some phone numbers, email addresses, and a new fabric store that I didn't know about...even a sewing play date offer.  YAY!!!

It was wonderful being able to participate in Kathy's class.  I mentioned before that I have volunteered in her class at CQA and what a wonderful and patient teacher she is.  I learned so much...first, you must keep breathing! I wish I could go back for tomorrow’s class on birds.

This will not become a UFO because I LOVE THIS TECHNIQUE!!!  This is my first attempt...

Thread Painted Sunflower with Kathy Tidswell

As you can see I still have work to do.  Maybe if I chatted less....forget it that would have been no fun!

10 More Things That Bring Me Joy
11.  Spools and spools of coloured thread
12.  Sewing machines that work
13.  A room full of women equally as passionate about fabric, thread and fibre
14.  Listening to my children laugh hysterically
15.  Walks on crisp fall days
16.  The smell of autumn apples
17. A husband willing to run me to quilting and spinning workshops
18.  Big Bang Theory
19.  A freshly painted room
20.  Learning something new! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

CQA Conference 2013 and What Brings Me Joy

What's this...two blog posts in two days?!  I must be ill!  Actually, I joined Blogtoberfest 2012.  Kari over at The Purple Quiltapotamus (I love her blog name) told me about it and I thought...why not?!  

I am always so excited when the information starts showing up for the Canadian Quilter's Association Conference.  Although I have never been able to participate, I have had the opportunity to volunteer in class with Kathy Tidswell at CQA 2012 in Halifax. She is an amazing teacher and I learned so much simply by assisting in her class.  Tomorrow, I am so excited to be taking her Thread Painting Workshop hosted by our Guild.  I also volunteered at CQA in Ottawa working in the Professional Workshops.  This is a wonderful opportunity to meet amazing quilters and textile artists from across Canada.  This year, the conference will be held in Penticton, BC.  If you live in the area but aren't able to commit to a class, I highly recommend volunteering in a class, as a greeter, in the juried show...there are so many jobs that need doing to run a successful conference. Here is the link for CQA Penticton, BC 2013. If you aren't able to volunteer then consider submitting a quilt for the National Juried Show or the Trend-Tex Challenge.  For me, the cost of travelling from Nova Scotia to British Columbia is rather limiting.  I wasn't even going to consider this but then I went to Google Map...You see, shortly after moving to NS from ON my parents, my brother and his family all moved from ON to BC...That was over 2 yrs ago.  I haven't seen my brother and his family since; I haven't met my new nephew.  Penticton is less than three hours from his front door!  I am now pricing things out!  

I really want to go to see my family and if I can work in a class and the National Juried Show then I will be a very, very happy person!!  Dear Santa.....

As an aside, I feel like I've been going non-stop for the past few years and things are slipping by me.  At Thanksgiving we each shared what we were thankful for.  A lot of discussion resulted from this.  Over the next 10 days, I'm going to share 10 things that bring me joy simply because there are times that we need to stop and remind ourselves of what really matters

1.  My children turning around multiple times to wave good-bye as they walk to the bus.

2.  Finding my girls curled up together sound asleep.
3.  The colours of the autumn leaves reflecting in the lake.
4.  The smell of fresh baked bread.
5.  My husband taking over the task of after dinner cleanup so that I can take a break.
6.  A new box of crayons
7.  My children believing that I am the best artist in the world and how they encourage me to just do what I love.
8.  The sound of my spinning wheel when I spin.
9.  Fresh homemade soup on a cold autumn day.
10.  Phone/Skype calls from family and friends.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

UFO Invasion

How does is happen?  Where do they come from?  You sit down at your machine or with project in hand...inspired, motivated....knowing that THIS TIME the project will be finished from start to finish with no interruptions!  This is how it is supposed to happen, isn't it?  But then...10 yrs later, you pull out a quilt top...actually not just a top but a quilt already prepped and ready to quilt!  How does it happen?  It's right up there with the mystery of the missing sock!!

Somewhere during the past 10 years, life happened and this little project ended up in the bottom of the bin, just waiting to see the light of day again.  I started this wall hanging for a workshop that I taught while pregnant with my second daughter. Sure, I could teach the problem....I have almost 4 days weeks before I am due.  Little did I know at the time, my 9 lb daughter would be showing up five days after teaching this class.  At least my tummy served as a good felt board to display the various stages of the block on while I walked from table to table to see how everyone was doing.  

Ragged Hearts Quilt
Designer ~ Unknown but I am looking for the name Update:  Thanks to Cheryl over at Grandma Cocos Designs...she was able to track down the designer name for me.  It was designed for Homespun Quilts by Anna Laura Reidt (HQ105).

I modified the original pattern to add the inner striped border...without it, I just found there wasn't enough "Zing!" for me.  I machine quilted it with a stipple...I curse myself for trusting the spray on adhesive to hold the sandwich together all these years.  After it was all quilted and bound I realized there was a slight massive pleat down the back of my quilt and the backing had completely, it was my first time quilting with my new machine and the stitch tension was not cooperating with me.  Lesson all makes a beautiful area to place a label over!  Not letting the perfectionist in me win out this time...the one telling me to rip out all the quilting and start again!  It is done and it is happy.  If you put your ear up the screen you can hear it cheering because it is so happy to be saved from the UFO bin!!

Back to UFO #1...the Lone Star

I'm so happy with how this is finally coming together.  This week I hope to get the triangles set in and then decide if it will become a bed quilt of a large hanging for my stairwell.  What to do?

Just a little peek behind the scenes.  Nothing says love like well pressed seams!  I love my iron and my wooden pressing block!  I love ironing (disclaimer: quilts and fabric only).  Creating a pressing cloth was optional...take my word for it...if you ever make this star then MAKE THE PRESSING CLOTH.  It was wonderful to pin all my seams to and press.  All my star points came out perfectly and the same size.  It was well worth the time to have my husband draft out the cloth.

The Newest UFO Project

I swear...this will not become an UFO! (I don't know...grammatically should there be an "n" on "an" before UFO?)  Shortly after starting my UFO bin purge, my daughter came down with a horrible cold.  She is 9 (yes, my preemie 9 lb girl that was my flannel board for the Ragged Heart Quilt); she is extremely cuddly when she is sick AND she loves quilts.  I was on a roll but really it is soooo hard to sew at a sewing machine AND cuddle at the same time so I needed a new plan.  Not too long ago, I won the blog draw for a Grandmother's Flower Garden kit from Sew Sisters.  Shortly after, I received a couple more kits with my newsletter...was this a mistake?...or did they just know that I was feeling a little blue and receiving those little wrapped bundles in the mail was like getting a hug from a long lost friend.  These were so easy to put together.  Each little kit comes with enough fabric (pre-cut squares) to make one flower plus hexagon templates.  The templates are durable and can easily be used for multiple flowers.  To baste, I used a technique that I found on Youtube.  Rather than being redundant and posting instruction here, Katie over at Katie's Quilting Corner gave me permission to link to her tutorial.  Click on her blog name and it will should take you directly to the English Paper Piecing video on her blog.  Sew Sisters also recommend this handy little tool to bypass the basting.  It's called a Bohin Temporary Glue Stick Pen.  I believe they have also done a tutorial for paper piecing as well...I'll pop over to their blog to see if I can find it...they explain the use of the pen.  Sadly, I haven't had the chance to try it out...I pledged to stick within our family budget to help set a good example so my sacrifice...fabric and quilting tools.  I wonder if Santa is on a budget?!