Sunday, November 16, 2014

Checking his list!

While we are all warm and cozy, Rudolph sent his wife to check on the neighborhood! Who's been naughty and who's been nice?


I'm getting ready for retreat next weekend! I have a whole load of projects to get going, complete and cut out!

I will post more after next weekend! It's going to be a busy week with work and getting everything together!

Happy Quilting Everyone!

Margo

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I may not have a Grand-daughter yet....but




I do have a wonderful grandson! The little man wanted to "sew" with Nana. He's getting way too big to put on my lap, so the best solution was to put the chair up and let him go!

Now before you all panic...... I'm controlling the presser foot and Little Man is listening to my instructions. We marked a line on the machine for his right hand... that's the "NO ZONE". The machine stops and he re positions his hands!





Now he's thinking of how to make "A SWORD CARRIER!!!!!" He's thinking this sewing is pretty cool! I'm thinking he's pretty amazing and listens intently to my instructions. We were busy making "burp cloths" for his little cousin because Little Man says it's pretty "gross" when she spits up her milk! haha! Well... There's a bunch of burp cloths headed her way!



I've been thinking about how to get him interested in sewing. I've looked at those little children's size machines, but then I don't know what type of projects would interest him. He's done the little stuffed bunny a way back that was rudimentary. Keeping him interested is another thing as well. I guess I'll have to bide my time and wait until he really expresses an interest for a longer period of time. He'll take pleasure in ownership of making those burp cloths though!

Happy Quilting all!
Margo

Quilting the easy way!


This is the Quilt Halo that I bought from Purple Daisies. I am new to free-motion quilting and have been trying out things that will help me! I find that gripping the quilt with my hands, or my hands in quilting gloves -- I just don't get it! My hands slip and I seem to grab it all wrong. I found this online and I LOVE IT! It is a heavy metal circle, with a red rubber covering that grips the top of your quilt. It fits under your presser foot when you have your presser foot up. You can free-motion to your hearts content and then when you stop, you re position the "Halo". The only thing that is under the quilt is my Supreme Slider. The weight and the rubber covering is enough to grip the quilt to move it around! You can tell on the photo above that you can rest your hands flat on it, or grip the sides and quilt away! It was a great investment and I am so happy that I tried it out! It was worth every penny for me to get it shipped her in Canada. Hopefully they will start carrying them here. Check out Purple Daisies! I learned so much! Like using Elmers Glue for applique? WOW! Things you learn when you browse the web!






 This is the little quilt I've been working on! We have a new great niece a couple of provinces over! Chef's sister is now a new grandma so we now have TWO Great Nieces! So much fun!

 I had so many things going on and then with am ambulance ride from work for my asthma and my regular arthritis in my thumb, this was put on the back burner. (Man I am getting old!) I finally got it together this weekend AND I quilted it myself. May not be a big deal for any of you out there, but for me I did it! Only a little marking in the border and the rest I did a stipple and echo around the flowers. So much easier with a series of Grey's Anatomy running in the background!






 I did some machine applique to bring a little life to the quilt! I used the Elmer's glue to stick down the stems and then sew along the edges. It was my first crack at trying something like this with my flower petals from Accuquilt. I learned a LOT with just three little flowers.










I tried a new little pattern with a Frixon pen and Chef was convinced it wouldn't come out! Those pens are bloody amazing! A little touch with the iron and voila! PRESTO, gone! It marked so nicely! The pictures of the quilt are after a HOT wash with Retayne and a tumble dry. I just love soft, puffy quilts! It's all ready for a snuggle with a little one!

The bumblebee fabric was Chef's finds on one of our trips! It was a perfect fit for the border and backing!





So what are you working on today?

PS... If  you are interested in a Fat Quarter Swap, read my earlier post! It would be great to build some stash and meet great people in the process!







Last, but not least ... look who came to see Great Auntie and Great Uncle in her Halloween Outfit!
She wasn't impressed with her Penguin Suit but we sure were!


Happy Quilting Everyone!
Margo



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Another Mystery!







Don't you just love surprises? The Youngest and I went to a Mystery Quilt day with Nimble Thimbles Quilt Club out in Airdrie! Never participated in a Mystery Day? Well neither did I until I went to my first one last year! Of course you have read about these on various blogs, but doing one in RL (real life) is a whole lot of fun! Just check out how happy we were!
Before our trip, we got our first "clue".... ok, they were instructions on the type of fabric and how to cut them up.We placed them on our labeled bags and then brought them to class!

The first clue was read out and we started to sew our faces off! 
We had help from a wonderful group of ladies (in the aprons) who helped "un-sew" and also press our pieces!




Because I am such a hands-on type learner (I don't do well with verbal instructions! haha!) 
My quilting friend Karen (yes, the one and only one who quilts my lovely creations)
 helped to un-sew my boo boo's! (Thanks Karen!)

We had NO idea of what our creation  would end up looking like -- even after a few more "clues"


until..we ended up
 with full blocks!


So my "Shambhala" quilt is on it's way! I'll post it once it is quilted and bound!
 It's definitely a HAPPY quilt!

We had a wonderful time! It's so great to see  how things comes to life bit by bit! It was great to share this day with so many great ladies! Hope you all have a chance to do this one day! Remember there are a lot of great "Mystery" quilts you can participate in on-line -- don't wait for it to come to you, check them out and take a chance! So much thing to see what wonderful creations there are out there! Bonnie Hunter has a new one -- check it out! http://quiltville.blogspot.ca/2014/10/surprise-quiltville-winter-mystery.html  You can still get in on it! The fabric and cutting instructions just came out!

Happy Quilting everyone!

Margo

Monday, October 13, 2014

Quilting Momma's 2015 Fat Quarter Swap


Want some excitement in your quilting life without leaving the house? Love pleasant surprises that come in the mail when you least expect it?  Being that I love organizing things, I would love to arrange a Fat Quarter Swap for 2015. I will be doing this for two sessions -- January to June and July to December. For the terrified, I also have a one month try. Read my post a couple of times and then make your decision! I hope you join us!

What kind of swap is this?
- This is a "Decentralized Swap" -- means that it is more personal. You will be getting to know people all over North America. There are pro's and con's to any swap, but if you don't try, you will never find out if it works for you.

How do I cut my Fat Quarters?
- you can purchase your fat quarters already cut or refer to the diagram below on how to cut your own fat quarters:|
Learn How to Cut Fat Quarters of Fabric - © Janet Wickell

PS: One meter is 39.4" by 44" - a Yard is above in the diagram

At the beginning of each month I will announce the Swap theme on the blog, but when you sign up you will get a list of all monthly topics for your session. If you have a fabric that is suitable for a topic down the road, you can then put it aside for the upcoming month!

We will be swapping lots of fabrics through the year! Of those signed up, you will receive a "buddy" name and contact address each month.  You must send 4 various fat quarters to your "buddy". If you CHOOSE, you can also enclose a small gift (i.e. thimble, needles, pattern, something you made yourself, i.e. mug rug, etc. -- keeping the cost of said to under $5 -- remember the heavier it is, the more it will cost you to ship it). Remember that quilters come from all backgrounds, young, old, working, retired, single parents, etc. The "gift" is not a requirement, so if you do not get a trinket along with your fat quarters, please do not be disappointed.

 The fat quarters must be sent to your "buddy" by the last day of the month. If your postmark is not within that month your buddy has the choice of letting me know and the buddy will be taken off the swap roster. Once you are off the swap roster, you are off until the next swap opens.  I love my quilty friends, but I am not in the financial position to "make up" for those who have signed up but do not follow through. Taking into consideration that some geographical locations will take a bit longer for packages to arrive, please do not report your missing package until the end of the 2nd week of the following month. I will then follow up with your buddy for that month and have them track the package. If you have any questions, please email me at onlydiamonds@hotmail.com

If you are interested, email me your name, address and phone number and tell me a bit about yourself that you would be happy to share with your monthly buddy. Your name and contact information will only be released to your buddy for the month, phone numbers will only be used in the event that I need to make contact with you regarding a missing package. Everyone who signs up, must agree to keeping names and addresses strictly confidential. If you and your buddy for that month want to continue communicating, that is totally up to the both of you. If you wish to share your email address with your buddy, make sure you include it in your "list of things to share".  If you do not get a response from your buddy, please do not be offended -- but be kind and thank your buddy for your package. Cost of fat quarters, "gift" and shipping will be your responsibility. You must be able to ship your package by "traceable means" i.e. UPS, courier or Post. If your buddy does not receive your package by the 2nd week of the following month, I will be asking you for a copy of your trace receipt.

I will be limiting this to continental North America. Note that the Canadian's will be sending Fat Quarters in Metric, and the U.S. folks will be sending in Imperial measurements. If you feel that you are being short-changed over a couple of inches, then maybe you need to stick to a swap limited to your country. I will take into consideration these and try and spread the names as fairly as I can, but remember this is for fun.  We're not going to be fussy here -- other than

  • MUST BE GOOD QUALITY 100% QUILTING COTTON. Please be considerate and forward only unwashed/new fabric and not vintage.
  • It's ok to cut from your stash (use the Fat Quarter Measurement above) provided it meets the quality requirements and monthly theme
  • Beware of the other items you put in the mail as it may be subject to inspection if crossing borders (i.e. metal objects. Ensure that you list the items and value on your package as required)
  • Monthly theme's may not be up your alley, but remember this is a way to build your stash and get fabrics you may not ever choose yourself.
  • If you sign up, you must be committed to the swap for the full six months
  • If you choose to send me a photo of the goodies you receive, I am more than happy to post them on my blog.
If you are committed to this swap, please email me your contact information and a share-able tidbit (including your email if you want to share with your buddy) about yourself to onlydiamonds@hotmail.com . I will then send your contact address and shareable info to your monthly buddy. Any questions? Please email me.

There are always risks with joining a swap, but I know if we stick to it, we will have a lot of fun! We will be swapping with people all over North America, so be sure that you include a note with what you are sending and include little things that you feel your buddy may be interested in. What is your area like? What do you love the most about quilting? Remember that this is for FUN and we are looking for different fabrics! This is a great way to get unstuck in choices of fabrics! You never know what you'll find in that package that you will absolutely fall in love it! Who knows, maybe one of your buddies added a fabric that you just had to have in your next project, be it that wild African print or muted polka dots!

If you have any suggestions for our monthly swap -- let me know! We are going to have a blast!



If you are shy about this and are not sure about the 2015 swap -- I am arranging a "Sneak Peak" swap for one month. All fabrics to be mailed in the month of November. Deadline to sign up for Sneak Peak is November 1, 2014. Deadline to mail is November 30, 2014.

1. Sign up by sending me your name and contact information by November 1, 2014.
2. Theme for November is "Anything Goes!" -- that means any color, any pattern, solid, stripes, foilage, ANYTHING!
3. Subject line in your email - Sneak Peak.
4. Wait for your buddy's name and contact info.
5. Mail out four "different" fat quarters to your buddy by November 30, 2014 by traceable means.

Let's see how our Anything Goes works out! Feel free to send me photo's to include on the blog!

Happy Quilting everyone!
Margo

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Calgary today!

Instead of the leaves falling, the trees are falling!
About 10 cm of snow fell overnight. The trees are not ready for the weight with all the leaves still on. Now we have a cute little crab apple to the right of the little garden. The trees directly in front of the umbrella and the BBQ are from our neighbors yard!

This is a peek into our neighbors yard when it just started!

This is right behind our house!

The tree is now leaning on the eaves trough of my sewing room. We are waiting for this to come crashing down and through the patio window below! Until we can get help, we are on "stand-by" mode. There were over 2,000 emergency calls in the first hour of snowfall as tree's were falling down onto power lines! Thank heavens all our power lines are buried. It's not so much of an urgency around our area! There are a lot of areas worse off! The Little Man and his Momma are on their way over to sleep here as the power at their place has been off all day!

So while we wait for the rest of the trees to fall....I've been servicing the little Babylock BL9! It's sewing beautiful now! It's packed away and the sewing machines are tucked in for the night after being unplugged! Too many power surges here!

 The BL9 is  a  little entry level machine! I do not regret for a minute buying this little machine. It does not have all the bells and whistles like automatic needle threader, or kneelift that the Symphony has. It has enough stitches to keep you stitching for years though! Enough basic stitch selection that will have you piecing and appliqueing, as well as free motion quilting (It has an extra place to cover the feed dogs)! Ignore the zig zag at the front -- that was before I got it all cleaned and threaded properly. Note to self....make sure you spend time with your instruction manual! Something as simple as threading your machine incorrectly can cause a whole lot of problems!
So now I am confident that my youngest can use this machine again! It should be great for the retreat!

oh....and by the way....

105 more days until Christmas!

Happy Quilting all!

Margo


Monday, September 8, 2014

Snow Already?

Welcome to Calgary! It started snowing around Noon today! We had 26 degrees Celsius yesterday! That means 78.8 Fahrenheit to you others! From shorts yesterday to long pants and warm coat today!

What a wonderful suprise when I got the email on Saturday night that my Babylock was ready! I picked it up today from the store! I haven't taken it for a test ride as of yet! Even BETTER news...I didn't have to deal with Cranky One! I have checked to see if there are other stores that carry Babylock and my choice in Calgary is the North store. I think the drive will be worth it. It just irritates me so when I see Cranky One in action -- thus, why expose myself to that? 

Now when I got home, I got another surprise! My pattern arrived in the mail! I want to try this out! Metro Hoops looks like such a fun pattern!


With the new pattern, you need the new ruler too! How fun is this?


I love being challenged! I love curves, so I'm thinking this should be a quick one to get together. Realize that the strips are just pieced in rows and you cut the pieces out with the Quick Curve Ruler. Check out Sew Kind of Wonderful. I have been reading her blog for a while and was thrilled when she posted the Metro Hoops Pattern. I thought it would be really difficult, but from all the blogs I've read and the You Tube videos that I found, it looks pretty easy yet the finished product looks like it was really, really difficult! You know me! I love EASY!

What are all your working on? I promise to post the quilt when I get it going!

Happy Quilting Everyone!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Customer Service - Babylock Symphony

UPDATE - SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 7, 2014
The machine is ready to pick up! Will be picking her up tomorrow! Cross your fingers that Cranky One is not there!



This is a vent...so if you don't want to read it, I'd say browse some of my other posts.
 ***warning... contents may be caustic to some readers******

My lovie bought me a beautiful Babylock Symphony at Sewing Sensation in Calgary (south store). It was a LOT of money -- to me that means over $2,500.00 (on sale) -- which in my world was a HUGE present. I was gobsmacked and blown away at the generosity of Chef. I love, love, love my machine. Considering that I went in the store and was not allowed to "touch" it, or try to sew anything on it, but I got to watch the sales clerk (aka Cranky One) show us all the great features. I should have walked out then, but I didn't. I listened politely, asked questions, looked at Chef and he said, "Do you have one ready to go?" Off we went with it. BEAUTIFUL! It's a great thing that I can read. My lessons consisted of "Come in anytime, but you have to book first." The "lesson" came with buying the machine.

"OK, sign me up!" -- Cranky One went to the calendar and said "There is an opening with me three months from now." Now, here I am, a new customer and I'm thinking to myself that I'm excited! I want to rip into the package and get sewing and try out everything! THREE MONTHS???? You have got to be f-ing kidding me?  Could I figure it out on my own? Would Cranky One be upset even MORE if I asked for another person? Politely I said, "OK, that would be lovely".

Flash forward to three months and I go in for my "special lesson" that came along with the purchase of this machine. Again I sat there as Cranky One made me sit next to her while SHE sewed and showed me the stitches. What a bloody waste of my time!

Any time I went back to that store (only if I absolutely had to), I would sit in the parking lot and get my gumption up to walk in the door. Cranky One would sniff you out like a rat in heat and pounce! Now don't get me wrong, there are "other" people in there, but MY luck, I always ended up with Cranky One! I even drove to the NORTH store (now realize I live on one end of the city and the North store is a "pack your lunch" ride!) When I went to the North store, the customer service was OUT OF THIS WORLD! There was ONE person in there that handled 3 people at one time with courtesy AND a smile on her face. She even offered to let me sit in front of a machine and SEW ON MY OWN! Lordy! (Trust me I said thanks to God right then and there!) ok..ok...I digress....

A couple of weeks ago, I called in because it's been 2 years since my "Baby" has been there. She works beautifully! I got another lady on the phone at the south store (NOT CRANKY ONE), who said it would take a couple of weeks if I brought it in. She said though that she could put me on the list and that when my machine came up, I could take it in right then and they would service it that day or the next. She told me to be sure to bring in my foot peddle and the power cord. I could do that. Well they phoned yesterday and asked us to bring it in today. YEAH! Baby is going to the spa! I've been good with her and treated her well. Cleaned her and used good thread and of course the right bobbins, etc. She is FINE. She just needs a spa day to clean out where I can't!

Today I walk in after a day of appointments to drop off Baby. Waiting patiently at the desk for someone to free up. Out of the corner of my eye, I see, in stealth mode.... CRANKY ONE headed to the desk. I look down at my feet hoping and praying she will wait on someone else, but you know, she's sniffed me out already and barks at me, "YOU NEXT?" God, I look around and there is no one behind me that I can push forward...and I meekly say, "We had a phone call saying I could bring my machine in," pointing to Chef standing next to me holding my machine.

"Well put it up here!" she says to Chef, who comply's and walks towards the kids area where our grandson spy's a train set.

"What's WRONG with it?" she says, staring at me with a sneer on her face.

"Nothing's wrong with it. I just brought it in for a spa day!" I said smiling! (hoping to God that maybe she'll lighten up a bit!)

"ARE YOU SURE NOTHINGS WRONG WITH IT?"

"I'm positive! She sews like a dream!" I say

Cranky One looks disdainfully at my Baby (realize it's still a pretty new machine that SHE sold me), an starts writing out all the stickers to place over the machine, foot, cord)

"Oh, I labelled everything," as I show her where the labels are.

"Well those arn't GOOD ENOUGH," she says.

"Oh?"

"These labels have to have the invoice number!" (with you guessed it, the sneer!)

"Oh, Ok." I say (with a f--ing SMILE) God help me be graceful and less potty mouth!

"You DIDN'T bring the right presser foot!" (said like I am a total moron)

"Well, I WOULD HAVE brought the RIGHT presser FOOT, if I was TOLD to bring the RIGHT PRESSER FOOT!"

Cranky one glares at me.

"I am more than happy to buy the right presser foot so that you have it!" pulling out my wallet.

Huffing, she heads off to see if they have a presser foot (remember this is the store I BOUGHT the machine at and they have parts).

She comes back to the counter and says, "We don't have one!"

Cranky One glares at me, "They would have told you to bring it when you booked it in."

I look at her, "Well they didn't, and nor did they tell me yesterday when they phoned to tell us to bring it in."  (Cranky One glaring at me like I just fell off the turnip truck).... "Alright, would you like me to go home and bring it tomorrow?" I ask.

"NO," Cranky One says...... That's it...she says "NO" and nothing else...she goes to the next counter and grabs a paper and writes with a bloody big felt pen, "NO PRESSER FOOT"
 like the sign would be seen by certainly a visually impaired person!

Next.....don't hold your breath here....she then rings it into the register so I get a receipt for it.


I thank her...yes, I THANKED that woman and asked, "So when can I come back and pick it up?"

Cranky One, "Maybe sometime next week."

Now realize, we booked it in, waited 3 weeks to get it in so it could be worked on and I get "Sometime next week." Yes, I had to open my mouth and ask, "Early in the week, at the end of the week, or the following week?"

Cranky One stares at me like I'm an idiot.

"Sorry," I say, "But I have never done this and would like to have an idea."

"We'll call you," Cranky One says.

Again, I THANK HER.

With a smile on my face I wish her a great weekend and thank her AGAIN. She yells after me, "You have a good weekend too!" (and under her breath I am sure she was saying "and I hope you die")

I'm writing this post and thinking that poor Baby has been left with the evil witch. It's like those bad restaurants and you send food back, thinking to yourself that they will spit in your food or worse and bring it back! Maybe Baby is GREAT now, but Cranky One will drop her so she really has some "problems". I am just sick, sick over all of it!

So, to the wise Calgary people out there.... find another shop, or if you are truly adventurous, I dare you to go in and see if you can spot Cranky One!

While I mourn here over the brief absence of Baby,

Happy Quilting Everyone!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Happy!


Every stitch was worth it! Now I am sure this little man will be dragging it everywhere! This is the greatest!

Happy Quilting everyone!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

10 Quilty Little Secrets


I think it all started out with 13 Spools , then it went to Mollie Sparkles ,  then  to Quilting Jet Girl and  Wombat Quilts and on and on! Somewhere along the line I wrote down my 10 Quilty Little Secrets -- but I have no idea where. Thank you to the author who started the 10 Quilty little Secrets (I think it was 13 Spools! please correct me if I am wrong)

I re-worked my list and here it is!

1. I NEVER wash my fabric, even if it's red! I wash it at the end with a color catcher and rinse wth vinegar. DONE!

2. I rarely use pins unless it's intricate. I like EASY....and yes I "accidentally" sew over pins.

3. Am I the only one that doesn't gravitate to those "new" lines and fabrics? If I like it, I buy it!

4. I am really bored with blogs that are full of advertisements. I want to SEE what everyone is making!

5. I really find it hard not to iron when they say PRESS.

6. I can bet if you can't tell by looking at a quilt, what machine that person used. You can't tell whether it was sewn on a Singer, Bernina, Babylock, Brother, Juki, or whatever.  If you take care of your machine and you know how to use it ( CAN adjust the tension, etc.) your work will show as great as if it was done on a mega-dollar machine!

7. I have never had a Bernina user not look down their nose at people who do not "own" a Bernina. I seriously hope that changes one day!

8. I think fabric shops should have a separate area for husbands or those who are not into "quilting". A nice place where they can enjoy a cup of coffee and browse through some "non-quilty" magazines and maybe have a home-made cookie! Can you imagine the sales??????

9. I love hand sewing my binding and feel it's the best finish for a quilt that you worked hard on.

10. I am not an expert and I don't personally know any "Quilt Police". Maybe they don't bother with me. I have seen them in action though, especially at shows where they comment on quilts that are not up to par. It makes me sad. Maybe the quilt they are tearing apart is the very FIRST quilt for the quilter. Maybe that quilter is learning a new technique. Remember, that to the recipint of the quilt, the only thing that matters is that quilt will wrap them like a hug those "not so perfect stitches" won't even be noticed. The whole quilt will remind them of how much love was put into each stitch. ("Quilty Police" maybe that person is standing behind you when you comment. Your words can destroy an up and coming quilter.)  Yes, I have seen some of those quilts and I thank God that they put it in the show! Bravo! I have heard those Quilty Police tear apart my quilt, but I just chalked it up to their own ignorance. Every quilt you put in will get better and better! I am sure you put as much love, sweat and tears into your quilting just as much as an expert quilter!

So? are you up to the challenge? Let me know what your little secrets are!



Giveaway! - Organizing - Fly Lady

Studio E Fabrics is having a Cotton Candy Giveaway ! Check out the beautiful fabric they are giving away!

I've never heard of them -- but seriously, there are so many sites out there, how can you possibly see them all? Check out this:
How adorable is this? I can imagine making some cute things out of this fabric! So pretty! It's great that we have a little girl in the family now! Now I have to hook her mommy into sewing! Don't worry! I'll teach her! 

Take a look at the yummy fabrics coming in December! 

  I love all these flowery fabrics. Chef probably would kill me if I made a quilt for the bed that was all "girly" lol -- maybe for the spare quilts when company comes?

 I think this one would make a great back!


So while I rehab with my hand -- I'll be browsing the sites -- maybe, just maybe I can show you some of my stuff soon!


Oh! Before I forget! I signed up for a Mystery Quilt day locally! I am so very excited! The day can't come soon enough! (it's in October....so stay tuned!)

My BIG project is organizing my sewing room as I was gifted a whole batch of thread! I am truly blessed when my friends think of me and my sewing! It's in a big box, so I would like to organize it. That of course resulted in a trip to IKEA for a new drawer unit. Chef said it came with 800 pieces (truly he has exaggerated!) The unit was put together and he hauled it up to the sewing room today. I love it because it has casters on the bottom so I can move it around if I change the purpose.

I've been hooked on Fly Lady for the past 6 months. She's been helping me get organized somewhat. As a result I am getting rid of duplicates in my sewing room and getting rid of stuff I really don't need. I have a three (3) two-drawer file cabinets filled with stuff that I really don't need. The shredder will be put to good use and I hope that someone can use the sewing things (that is if my kids don't want it!)

I am minimizing and getting stuff OUT that I don't need. This includes things that I don't love, won't use again or have a bad memory to it. I don't want to have my kids have to deal with all the "stuff" if I am not able to. It's hard for someone else to take on the responsibility of making decisions for "your" stuff. It always feels better when you can find things in their place and that things HAVE a place to live!

Happy Quilting Everyone! I'll keep you posted on progress!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Another Finish!

Another finish! Yeah! This one took a long time. Partly because I was afraid of the machine applique (still am....ask me what I think once I take the quilt out of the wash!), and partly because of my arthritis in my thumb -- which the latter, of the two, kept me away longer than I wanted!


It's not a big quilt. The little man is now 4 months old, but it's still a great size to cover him in the winter months and for him to drag around as a toddler. Mom told me the room was blue's and brown's and that they were focusing on an "airplane" theme. I found lots of patterns, but they were so much more grown up (outlines of large jetliners).

The pattern is called "Fly With Me" designed by Kristen Grassaway. I found it as a .PDF pattern at Connecting Threads. http://www.connectingthreads.com/Patterns/Fly_with_Me_Pattern_Download__D10316D.HTML She has a lot of cute patterns. I found the cutting instructions a bit confusing and had to paste little fabrics to the pattern cutting directions. I'm one to "make it up as you go along", so patterns are not my forte. I usually look at it and work it out myself. Remember, I'm the girl that HATES math -- so that's probably more than half of the problem!


I have always thought you "HAD" to have one piece for the back! Well I still wanted to incorporate some of the blue in the background from the front. I ended up having a whole new quilt on the back with the whales and a couple of stripes of white through the back. Of course I had to use my "black and white text" binding. I think it gives the whole quilt a bit of a lift without taking away from the whole quilt. Have you ever seen quilts where everything is nice and then the binding just screams "I DON'T BELONG ON HERE!!!!"


My applique is a work in progress. I used minimal lite fusible web ...meaning the body of the plane on the insides does not have fusible. I only have about a quarter inch of fusible around each pattern piece to hold it down. The wings as well have only the fusible web along the outside edges as well, as I cut the middle out. The windows and front windshield have webbing for the whole piece. Another thing that I did was put fray stop on the ends of each part that my thread was cut. I don't want it to fall apart until it's "worn" apart, if you know what I mean! I used matching thread for each piece of the applique and a small zig zag. It's not perfect, but from farther away it looks just fine! I think this helped me overcome my fear of machine sewn applique! Those little windows are smaller than a dime. Best advice: GO SLOW, take your time around corners and watch where your needle goes up and down. I'm happy with the outcome and wouldn't hesitate tackling this again -- except maybe tackle it sooner rather than later!

TIP: as the applique pieces are on one piece of fabric -- I zig-zagged the edges before putting together the rest of the quilt. The blocks were much easier to maneuver  around all those curves!

Thanks to my long arm quilter, Karen! The simple quilting is just great and "enough". Sometimes people over-kill on the quilting and lose the simplicity. It's just "right" or this little one! I wanted this quilt nice and soft so he could cuddle it around him!

Now, on to the arthritis. I have been typing all my life (from when I was 12). I remember the typewriters where you had to pound on the keys and throw the carriage to the right (you know what I mean if you ever typed on a manual!). Put that with always using my hands for crafting! You name it, paining, ceramics, croheting, knitting, Bunka, etc., etc.Flash forward to now, the joints are now wearing thin. I have had my second injection of cortisone into the joint and it hasn't helped much this time.

Using your hands all the time and in particular "pinching" fabric between your pointer finger and thumb hurts! (bubye for now those hand-pieced hexagons).  Putting my hand onto my rulers to hold down and cut fabric is another challenge.

Wearing one of these is a pain in the butt, but it does help with the pain somewhat. It's pretty hard to hold stuff that needs "delicate" touch. Meantime, I do what I can to get these projects done! If any of you have experience with this, I would sure love to hear about your journey through this. I suspect as I age, I will be having more issues! I just want to be able to continue to quilt! (Not to mention I have some years before I can retire! -- the last 7 years or so, I have been typing way more! Heaven forbid with the newer generations and all their "texting!" Can't imagine what's going to happen to them!

I'm going to try and take a hiatus and send my Babylock Symphony in for a spa day or two, so I'll just be content with folding my fat quarters and organizing the rest of my sewing room! I've got more planned to sew, but I think it will be a bit before I show you all any finished projects!

Meantime, think of me when you are sewing and as always.....
HAPPY QUILTING!

Friday, August 22, 2014

All Free Sewing's giveaway!

http://www.allfreesewing.com/sweeps/Breast-Cancer-Research-Pink-Oliso-SmartIron


How beautiful would this look in your sewing room? Check out their link and enter to win! I'm going to try, but I think that YOU might have a great chance at winning! "Allfreesewing" has been my go to site for ideas and heads up on new products! Check them out!

Happy Quilting Everyone!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

F.A.R.T. completed! (Fabric Acquisition Road Trip)


We are back from HOT HOT HOT Montana! It was like being in the desert! All that lovely dry heat! In Calgary we have been battling the hail storms. So much of the city in the north have houses pebbled with hail dents and much of the siding on the houses are littered with squares of duct tape covering the holes until the repairs can be done. The news is indicating the losses are in the billions! 

On to good news though......I've been reading much about Sharon Shamber using glue to baste and piece, etc. I have always used the solid glue for my hexagons and loved how it works. Not only does it work -- it's CHEAP! I've used the quilting glue sticks, but I go through them quickly and they cost a lot! Elmer's glue is WASHABLE! I've also picked up the liquid to see how that works on placing applique's. I have read (not tried yet) that once you piece your applique on your main fabric and dot it with the liquid glue -- press it with your iron -- it's STUCK until you wash it I'm going to research some more of Sharon Shamber's video's and see if I can find some more info! I also bought some more pens for my labels and maybe I'll try to make a new lanyard for work!



I've been browsing some tree skirts! I made one for my daughter that is on the UFO pile (to be finished for THIS Christmas). We've had a little felt tree skirt for the past 30 years that is U G L YYYYYYYYYY!!! So the wedge ruler will help me throw one together fast! I know you can do things FAST if you want without all these fancy rulers -- but hey! I was on a F.A.R.T.! I was thrilled to add to my ruler collection!


While researching Sharon Shamber, I found another of her video's showing her Quilt Halo . I have been having issues with my arthritis in my thumb (now onto the second injection of cortisone). It sure looks easy enough, and it looks like I can manage it with my hands. Though it will be a while before I try it out, thought I would mention it here so you all can check it out!


Of course the F.A.R.T. would never be complete without fabric! The 2.5" strips are perfect for the hexagon quilt I am working on! It's always nice to start working with new fabrics! I'll be using a lot of Elmer's glue sticks in the process! Check out my tutorial on how to prep hexagon flowers here . I couldn't resist the cute little bug material for backing a baby quilt!


Now the photo below isn't quite the way I wanted, but it gives you an idea of the stash I bought. Before we left, I took a critical look at what I was short on. I don't have a huge stash, but I have been working on building it up. I was short of purple -- so that is much of what I focused on.


The shops we visited this round were:

Great Falls, Montana:
Big Sky Quilts
- love it for their selection. They have expanded their store front to include a number of long arm machines and added to their fabric selections.
- did not like it for them suggesting to Chef that he leaves to get a coffee. I sure wish quilt shops would welcome men more! The reason why they hate coming in is because of the way they are treated.
**suggestion --- have a reading area for the men with a couple of comfy chairs and some "guy" magazines (ok, not Playboy....but you know, Time magazine, etc.) and offer them a beverage and perhaps a cookie! ********************************ok...getting off my soapbox

Carter, Montana
The Quilting Hen
- This shop is off the beaten path, but well marked on the highway. To get there you travel a gravel road for about a mile -- really not that far. The owner is VERY welcoming and also welcomed the Chef with open arms. We were able to browse on our own and I did pick up a few things from there. There seems to be a great area for classes and it's spotless! So nice to go into a shop that is so well organized. Although I would have loved to take home some decorative chickens, I don't believe they are for sale, but they sure are cute tucked in and around selections of fabrics and notions.

Havre, Montana
Bearly Square Quilting
- We've never been to Havre, so we thought we would check it out. It's a pretty quiet little town driving in. BUT it has a QUILT SHOP! So all is good with that! The welcome I got when I walked into the store was like I have been a long-time customer and friend. Gotta like that about a store that you walk into the first time! This shop does not have the selection available in Great Falls or Carter, but there was still plenty to browse! I found my ruler there! They are relocating in September to another shop a couple of blocks down from where they are. I would definitely visit again! Maybe the new shop will allow for them to have a larger selection of fabrics?

Ben Franklin Crafts
- SERIOUSLY? That's all I can say. Wow! What a huge amount of inventory! I have never been into one of these stores, but I have read all about them. I didn't buy anything here, but it's HUGE. So much to look at, I would have needed hours to go through everything.

Those were the only shops that I really wanted to mention. We did do some "school" clothes shopping for the little man and bought our favorite oatmeal that we can only buy in the U.S. It was a lovely little trip! I came home and petted the fabrics (lol) and of course got them folded and added to the stash pile.

I even managed to finish the plane quilt. You've seen it, but I'll post another few photo's when I have a chance!

Meantime ... to end off my vacation, Chef and I are going to see The Hundred Foot Journey. Sounds like a nice afternoon to me!

Happy Quilting All!
Margo






Sunday, August 10, 2014

Family? or Quilting?



Isn't she beautiful? I think I'd rather be holding her than fabric.... in time my friends, I will be back again with my little addition to blog land! Meantime I am reading you all when I can and holding this wee one! My grandson declared, "I AM the best-est big cousin ever!" I think he was a bit scared of how little she really was. He held her so tenderly! His serious face shows how especially important his task was! He was so serious he barely moved his eyes, never mind give us a smile! 

Happy quilting everyone! I'll show you next time what I found on my travels!

Margo

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Quilting? or something else?




I am starting two weeks of vacation...with hopes of travelling, but we have the fires in B.C. Then we thought about headed to Montana, but we have a son living with us who "forgets" to lock the doors or leaves the keys "in" the door. Then we have the little man above! How can you resist the glee on a child's face when he discovers his uncles superhero's tucked away?

So, the Chef and I will be doing the Porcha-back-yarda for this year and enjoying what we have right here at home. Maybe a day or two fishing nearby?  Perhaps we can sneak a trip for fabric?

Hope you all have a wonderful summer if I don't happen to post again for a bit!

Stay tuned.... before you know it, Fall will be here and the machines will be humming once again!

Happy Quilting!
Margo

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Forest Fires and Babies?


This is what is happening near Banff -- which is an hour and a half from Calgary, my home town. The smoke is billowing into the city and our vacation plans are bust! I am quite happy to have day trips and Porcha-Back-Yarda if the smoke dissipates, but am so incredibly sad for Banff and area. Banff is the tourist mecca of Alberta. It is absolutely incredibly beautiful!

Send prayers out to all those fighting the fires.

Good news today though! I am officially a GREAT AUNTIE! Remember the quilt I was stitching into the early part of a baby shower a couple of weeks ago? Well she has arrived safe and sound as of 1 pm or so this afternoon! I can barely wait to hold her!

 Ayanna and her Mommy are all tuckered out! She arrived weighing 7 lbs 11 ounces and 21 inches long. She's half Hungarian and half Jamaican! I guess I better start making cute little pink things! It's been a long two days -- but both are healthy! Congrats to my Niece and her husband! You've waited a long time for her and we couldn't be happier for you all!

This Great Auntie is tuckered out as well! It's been a day full of a lot of emotions... ups and downs... so off I go to my happier place... checking up on all of your blogs to see what great things you are all creating!

Happy Quilting everyone!
Thanks for your comments! We are all here to learn, so kudo's and comments on how to improve are always welcome! I try my best to keep up my blog, but in real life, work and family take over! Happy quilting everyone!