April 29, 2009 4 comments

What's going on?

Does anybody else remember that Marvin Gaye song, "What's going on?" It has no bearing, actually, on what I'm about to write, but I typed that into the title box and I suddenly heard him singing in my head. He still is, as a matter of fact...

Anyway! First of all, welcome to my new followers! I gained four over the last couple of days and I'm very excited. Thanks for joining me here in the sweet spot. :)

As for what's going on: well I didn't quilt last night because BSP called me at work and asked if I wanted to go and see The Soloist. Because I've been sewing and quilting practically non-stop since Friday night, I thought that in the interests of our marriage, I should take a break. ;) Well worth it - we both loved the film.

Tonight I did a bit more quilting, but I can feel one my headaches beginning to build, so I must go to bed. This of course, means that it's more than likely that I won't finish this one for the Spring to Finish challenge. *domage*

However, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek of what I'm working on. (sorry about the colour - I had to darken the picture so you could see the quilting - curse indoor pictures!)

Remember when I said the other day that I quilted "seemingly thousands of flowers". I realized tonight as I quilted another 50 or so - that by the time I'm done this quilt, there may very well be a 1,000 free motion flowers. (please excuse my threads not being clipped.)

Plus, a wholllllllleee lot of parallel lines. Another quilt top I've got in th can that I was going to work on next was going to have lots of flowers too, but maybe I'll take a break from flowers for a little while after this one. (!)

I'm going to wrap this one up, however, and begin on the commission quilt very soon.

But now, I must go to bed and rest my sore head.

Talk to you soon!
April 28, 2009 7 comments

The Giveaway!

Okay, technically, it's not actually Monday anymore, but I was very busy in the sewing room (I'm sure most of you will understand) and I got a little distracted by the seemingly thousands of free motion flowers I just quilted. (My shoulders are owwie!)

But on to the giveaway -




As you can see, it's "Pay it Forward"!

I'm changing the rules a wee tad though, the person from whom I won my prize (Sandra at Pepperberry & Co) did a drawing, and I'm going to do the same. Because I don't have very many readers (I only have 6 followers so perhaps there may be 12 readers in total!); I'm going to wait to do my drawing on Sunday, May 2, so you have until Saturday, May 1 to enter. The original rules though are as follows: the first three people to comment on my blog, win a hand-made prize from me, and they must then host the same contest on their blog and so on.

I'll put together a package for each of you containing at least one hand-made item, a treat and something practical.

One comment gets your name in the draw, and if you link to your blog, come back and tell me you've done so, and you'll get your name put in the draw again.

Good luck! :)

Oh! And - if you get a chance, you should totally check out Sandra's blog - she's got a really fresh, humourous way of writing and lots of lovely eye candy!
April 26, 2009 5 comments

My Mis-Steps

Saturday was a long and productive day - I did in fact, manage to finish one more project in the "Spring to Finish" challenge I've been blogging about this month.

It was the quilt I've been referring to as "The Ugly Black One" (that's what I've been calling it ever since I made it, about this time last year). It was my second quilt ever, and it was quite a disappointment after the triumph I had experienced with The Green One .

I blogged about my pitiful attempts with "The Ugly Black One"; but sadly, that didn't motivate me to do anything with it. Jacquie's challenge finally "forced" me to get working on it. The poor dear really was an ugly little thing, wasn't it?

Never fear, I made it better when I pulled it out on Saturday, not least, by adding another border to make it a useable size (boy! It was quite long, but it was SKINNY!)

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And then I quilted that border using my own version of a stippling/meander - I'm not sure what to call it - I never actually "stipple (i.e. make those little puzzle shapes) and I don't "meander" (I don't cross lines because I like the challenge of a continuous line) but whatever I decide to call it, I did it in the outer border.



It was much more challenging to add a border to an already quilted piece than I could have forseen, and I must admit that there was some cussing going an as I worked on it.

However, I finally finished it - and although it's still not my favourite, it is no longer called "The Ugly Black One". *hee* As it is full of mistakes and based on my (sad) version of courthouse steps pattern, Beloved Spouse suggested I call it "Mis-Steps".

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After that extemely long process (much, much, MUCH longer than I expected or planned); I wanted to do something easy and fun - so instead of finishing another UFO, I made a new quilt top. Yay! And I managed to finish both Mis-Steps and the new top yesterday. I pieced the backing and binding today, batted and pinned and even began quilting the new one, so I hope that I'll be done this it by the end of the week in time for the end of the Spring to Finish challenge. I really hope I'll get it done - two pieces would be very sad to show for a month, wouldn't it? :/

And, if you got to the end of this very long post, you're about to be rewarded.

Tommorrow, I'm going to post about my first giveaway!

I'm excited, are you excited?

:)
April 25, 2009 3 comments

Struck

It's 8:30 in the morning on what's shaping up to be a stunning Saturday (27 degrees today - or 80 if you live in the US - mind boggling weather for Ontario in spring); and I have the house to myself for the day.

My plan was (and is) to sew all day, but I had wanted to work on some spring to finish projects., but my mind this morning is full of the possibilities of green and white.



(Quilt made by Feed Dog in 2007)


I really can't afford to be distracted this way - I have a commission quilt that is due on May 23!!!! - the worst part of it is that the one and only instruction I've been given is that it's to be "insprired" by the quilt I entered in the Bloggers Quilt Festival, but not be exactly like that.

Are those instructions a dream or a nightmare?

It reminds me of (a hundred years ago) when I was doing my master's degree and for one of my courses, the only instruction the professor gave us (for the entire 100% of the course mark) was to "Write a creative, intelligent response to *name of tome*" I agonized over that assignment, writing and re-writing; eventually, the day before it was due, I decided everything I'd done was derivative drivel and I started fresh, handing in my assignment at the end without so much as a read through! I'd worked 18 hours, writing madly through the night, and hoped it was good. When I eventually got my mark, it was an 89.

I hope that that anecdote is not indicative of how this commission project will go, and that I get a better mark than 89!

But in the meantime, I'm off to my sewing room to do... what? :) I guess I'll figure that out when I get there.

Perhaps I'll set up my sewing machine on a table in the sunshine later this afternoon...

In any case, I hope you have a productive and fun Saturday, and if not, just fun. Either way, make it beautiful!
April 24, 2009 2 comments

Oh my GOODNESS.

Back in march, I blogged about my troubles finding Tula Pink's Neptune fabric.

I was at her blog just now, and found that she has done it again - once more she has created "the most beautiful fabric in the world" (perhaps she should trademark that phrase), called "Hushabye"

Have you seen this deliciousness?

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My favourite colourway of the bunch:

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Pretty in pink:

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and this yummy modern interpretation of 70's era blue and brown:

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It comes out in August, and I predict (thanks to kind souls in my last post who directed me to online sellers of yardage) that I will be purchasing a whole LOT of it for my stash!

In other news, I haven't quilted in two weeks because of heinous migraine issues coupled with allergies (boy, that is not a combo I wish upon my worst enemy!); but I shall be sewing and quilting like a crazy woman this weekend - to catch up with Jacquie's Spring to Finish!.

Stay tuned!
April 18, 2009 37 comments

Online Quilt Festival - Spring 2009

With some encouragement from Amy at Park City Girl and my online friend Crystal as well as Beloved Spouse), I've decided to join in on the fun and play along.

So, this is my entry in Amy's "My Favourite Quilt" Festival!


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It's the third quilt that I made, which I called "Saucy Divo" as it was for my dearest friend, a male opera singer. I wanted it to be as "saucy" as he is, so the fabrics in it are lame, chenille, silk taffetta, velvet, a lovely dark red batik and some others; all beautiful shades of a rich, luxurious red. And then I quilted it with metallic red thread!
April 12, 2009 6 comments

A Day at the Zoo

This is my first finish as part of the Spring to Finish challege by Jacquie at Tallgrass Prarie Studios.

Originally, for lack of a better name, I called it "Elephants in the Park", but I'm now calling it,

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"A Day at the Zoo."
April 9, 2009 0 comments

Spring to Finish

I decided to join Jacquie's challenge over at Tallgrass Prairie Studio: Spring to Finish!

I know, I know, some of you may be thinking "Didn't you join Oh Franson's Quilt Along? What happened there?" Well, it turns out, I just don't like following other people's patterns!

Although I cut out all the fabric (which I'm kicking myself for now); as I watched hers develop, I f0und myself thinking "Where is the joy in having a quilt that looks like everyone else's?" Yes of course, everyone's will be different because of their fabric choices, but the "sameness" of them all just didn't appeal to me. I'll do something with that fabric some time, but probably not what it was intended to do! Which is no fault of Franson's, by any means.

I know that at this point, my quilting abilities are not up to the task of meeting my quilting expression, but I don't think that following someone else's pattern is the way to get there. Not for me, anyway.

Photobucket All of that said, Jacquie's challenge (to complete as many works in progress as you can in the month of April) is much more doable for me, because it fits in so well with what I want to do anyway! (See how that works?) *w*

I have so many WIPS or "UFOs" as I call 'em ( Unfinished Objects). And the more tops I make, the guiltier I feel about the tops that are waiting to be quilted, and the projects that fell to the wayside in various states of "undress" while I wandered off to fufill some other fancy. If I work on this challenge this month, I can make tops galore through the spring and early summer and not feel guilty at all.

In addition, this will be a great opportunity for me to experiment with other ways of quilting. I like meanders and swirls and stippling and free hand hearts; and I seriously need to practice them more to get my hand/foot speed cooridnated and get stitches the right size, but I'm so TIRED of meanders and swirls and stippling. I want to do OTHER kinds of quilting but I'm just not ready yet.

*SIGH*

This challenge will force me to quilt more, which will make me learn more, which can only make me better at all of this quilting business, right? So say I, anyway. :)

I haven't got a chance of winning the prize Jacquie's offering, because I do have a day job and can't devote ALL my time to this project, or even all of my free time; but I bet I can take a good bite out of my UFOs!

I can think of the following WIPs off the top of my head sitting on my shelves:

Isn't it Romantic?
Spring Forward
Autumn Steals In
Man's Fans
Monopoly Coins
Vincent's Song
A Sampler, Darkly
"That Ugly Black One" (Okay, I won't REALLY call it that)
Last Fall, in Spring
Elephants in the Park
Unnamed Bento Box

In addition, I have some unnamed ones in baskets too - including a lovely black and gold that's been cut but hasn't even been sewn yet, and has been languishing there since this time last spring!

So, I expect I'll have a busy April. As for what you can expect - expect a lot of updates as I post the work I've completed; or expect none as I bury myself in quilts!

'Til then, happy spring! Make it beautiful.
April 6, 2009 2 comments

It's all about SPRING!

Today, I finished the top I blogged about in my last post, which I'm tentatively calling Last Fall, In Spring . I know what I mean by this, but I'm not sure my meaning will be clear to others.
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Last week, as I looked at a post-it in this bright, fresh green, I thought how wonderful it would look with some fall-coloured fabrics I had in my stash. And as I put together my wonky blocks in various combinations of spring green and fall colours,
April 1, 2009 2 comments

Lest you think I haven't been busy,

I have.

Last week, I spent a fair amount of time taking the border off Spring Forward. I decided to do a bigger version (5 inches) of the second border detail

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as a final border, but do it in green and white only. So, I had to remove the original border, then take it apart into it's 5 inch patch portions, iron those, put them away, and then start making the new border. I only got as far as cutting the fabric for the new border, when a brainwave took over.

I was at work, writing on a sticky note that was a particularly fresh shade of spring green when I realized that that exact shade of green (which was sitting in my fabric stash) would look lovely with some vintage (70's era) cottons that I had squirreled away.

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This is just a corner of the block (as a teaser) and is the truest version of the colours in the cottons and most accurate representation of the green.

So I went home that night and immediately began cutting and sewing. The blocks went together so quickly that I finished nearly all of them the first night (I'm making 64 8 1/2 inch sqaure blocks), I only have another 15 to make!

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That said, since then, I've taken a bit of time off sewing - we entertained three times in the last 10 days and that always makes me want to take a day or two off from everything! (a day to get ready before entertaining, a day to clean up), so I haven't gotten any farther.


Tonight's date night with BSP, so I won't get work done tonight, but I'll be sure to continue tommorrow.

I may have something new to post as soon as Sunday!

Of course, I still have to finish Spring Forward, begin quilting a UFO (in keeping with my promise to myself to finish at least one UFO every month); make the disappearing nine patch I have planned, do another version of Spring Forward in the luscisouly girly version I had originally planned (blocks are already made), and I think, cut down Spring Forward to a Queen Size rather than a king.

The more I think about it, the more I believe that my skills are not yet up to quilting a king on my ordinary sewing machine.

A fun April ahead though, whatever happens!
 
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