Sunday, November 22, 2015

Another Sunday....slow stitching

Still stitching away on the applique borders of Sprigs & Twigs.

Old age is making all this handwork extra challenging.  The best thing ever is the Clover needle threader that Hubby brought me from Florida a few years back.  If you see one, get it!  It's not just another gadget -- it's a life saver!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Slow Sunday Stitching

Last load of laundry is in the washing machine, menu for the week planned, and groceries shopped....heck, I even went out and purchased a new filter for the furnace.  Nothing much else to do this afternoon, other than put my feet up and binge watch some TV shows while I stitch bindings on these two quilts, and the applique on Sprigs & Twigs.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Solo Shop Hopping

A cool and unsettled autumn day - after a week of record setting warm temperatures - and nothing to do.  Oh, that essay that I haven't started?  Ah well, it's not even due until the 20th!  Why not spend the morning driving out in the country in my new car, visiting quilt shops?

Yes, I bought a new car last week.  Itty Bitty signed the contract on his first REAL job since completing his undergrad degree, and needs a car for work, so I gave him my old Caliber ('09) and got a new Chevy Cruze.  I'm still trying to figure out how everything works in it, but it's a nice drive.

There are four shops on the tour, and my first stop was Creative Sisters in Kitchener.  At each stop, I had my passport stamped, and was given a piece of fabric to be used to finish the mystery project.  Since Creative Sisters is pretty close to my office, I visit there regularly, and didn't really see anything new that was particularly interesting until I spotted a new display of "Apliquick" products.

The tools were pretty pricey  -  but I thought I would give the product a try.  I generally use freezer paper for applique, but that means an extra step of cutting into the backing to remove the paper.  This product can be left in.

Next stop was Heart 'n Home in New Hamburg.  Again, it's not too far from where we live, so I have been there twice in the last few months.  I like New Hamburg a lot - - and I thought today, if I was to settle somewhere again, that I might like to live there.  It's close to 7/8 Highway, so it would be a quick scoot into Kitchener or Stratford.

Third stop on the Shop Hop is The Quilt Place in Shakespeare. It was very crowded today, with even a few MEN Shop Hoppers among us. I found a quieter place in front of the large selection of books, and chose a new title to add to my library: Stash Lab by Tonya Alexander.  Maybe you know her blog, Eye Candy Quilts? I don't know which project to start first!

And the final stop on the tour was Ye Olde Fabric Shoppe in Stratford.  Okay...I hadn't visited here since Sailor Boy first went away to Halifax, and I needed a fabric fix to cheer myself up.  Was that 2010?

Near the front of the store was a large collection of Kim Diehl fabrics in Christmas reds and greens, and the suggestion of this project which you can dowload from the Henry Glass website.:

I am absolutely crazy for Kim Diehl fabrics and designs right now.  I'm working on the appliqued borders on Sprigs & Twigs currently.  I'm not a Christmassy person, but maybe I could add one or two reds or greens to my growing collection?  But not so fast!  I turned a corner and found a whole wall of Kim Diehl.  I panicked!  I wanted them all!  But in the end, I only chose a handful, knowing that Stratford is only 40 or so kilometers away, and I can come back another day.

As it was the last stop on the Shop Hop, I collected the final fabric piece as well as the finishing piece and the pattern for the mystery project, a beverage tote:

On the way back home, I passed this sign, and stopped to read more about the Mennonite community here in the Waterloo Region.

I picked up a couple of more quilts from the long-armer this week, so I must get to putting the binding on them in time for the next guild meeting.

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Wild Goose Chase

I'm still working away on Sprigs & Twigs, and have the centre squares all pieced together, and it's time to start on the appliqued borders.  ummmm....not something I have a ton of experience doing, and there was one instruction that was a little mysterious.

The instructions in the book that calls for the use of "bias bars" to make the stems.  I can't find what these things are, there doesn't seem to be a list of required materials that would suggest to me what bias bars are.....this calls for an adventure!

So, we headed out bright and early Saturday morning, and drove the hour and a quarter to visit Creekbank Sewing Machine Shop (cuz you know I need more Kim Diehl fabrics, right?).  I showed them the photo of the mystery tool, and they were stumped.  

Next stop was the Quilter's Nine Patch.  They did know what bias bars, but didn't have any in stock, but offered to order them for me.  I thanked them very much, but I would check another place--I didn't want to wait--but I would call if I didn't have any luck.

Next stop was K-W Sewing Machines, which happens to be kitty-corner from my office.  Success!  The clerk there REALLY REALLY wanted me to purchase bias tape makers, although I assured her that wasn't what I needed.  

So .... are you scratching your head, wondering what bias bars are?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Quilt Show

This past Saturday I attended Waterloo County Quilters' Guild's Quilt Show.  If you go to the Guild's Facebook page, you can see photos of a few selections.  I have to say that I was dazzled and inspired by the show.

As expected, Day 2 of the show, well... the vendors's selections were getting a little picked over, so there wasn't a lot that I was compelled to bring home - with the exception of a small selection of some Kim Diehl FQs, but I did discover a couple of new shops that I hadn't visited before.  The FQs came from Creekbank Sewing Machine Shop in Mount Forest.  Well...I used to be in Mount Forest once a week and never heard of this shop before!  They will be my go-to resource for Kim Diehl fabrics - - which I will need to finish "Sprigs & Twigs" - - but more on that in a minute.  

The second "new-to-me" LQS is Kalidoscope of Quilts from Exeter.  This is a new store, and I understand, not at all related to another Exeter quilt shop (which I also really liked, but is now closed).  Okay - - I have to get past the fact that someone intentionally spelled "kaleidoscope" wrong in the name of their shop - - but I can get beyond that quirk.  I haven't been to Exeter in yeeeeears - but if I am in the neighbourhood, I will check it out.  

Okay....speaking of "Sprigs & Twigs" - I finished the squares of the centre of this quilt.  The original design calls for 16, but in order to get a larger finished size, I increased the number to twenty-five.

Tomorrow is the October meeting of the Waterloo County Quilters' Guild.  Time is going to be tight - I have a meeting that is work-related after office hours - but I'm packing up tonight  so I'm ready to participate in Show & Tell.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

a little retreatin'

I went away for four days this week with no real expectations of getting anything accomplished.  But I did finish two quilt tops.  The one above is a Bonnie Hunter mystery called "Christmas Lights" that was published in Quiltmaker magazine a number of years ago.  I had the blocks done, but needed to assemble the blocks and add the borders.  Can you see where I made the mistake?  Yes - I did get out my stitch ripper the next morning and turned the block.  I couldn't live with THAT!

Next, I added a row of four patches to finish off this top that I created from split nine-patches.  I really like it.

The retreat was at a cottage on the St. Clair River, with a number of "quaint" details - including this rotary phone.  I forgot what it felt like to answer one of these puppies - - just about knocked myself out cold!  It must weigh a ton!

One more day off, and then it's back to the grindstone. I plan to spend tomorrow working on homework - - I have SEVERAL projects coming due for both of the courses I'm enrolled in.  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Quilts: fueled by Swiss Chocolate

I know - - I'm an idiot.  Like I need more fabric.  But I saw a photo on Quiltville Open Studio facebook page yesterday of a finished Kim Diehl design called "Sprigs & Twigs" and I just knew I had to make one.  I looked all over online for a quilt kit, because I'm really bad at choosing fabric "on purpose" - I'm more of a fabric "finder" than a "shopper".  But first...I had to find the pattern.  (Hey - there are some free Kim Diehl pattens on the Henry Glass website!)

I thought I would spend tomorrow running around SW Ontario looking for "Simple Appeal", but started today with a trip to Elmira's "Quilter's Nine Patch" (it's open Sundays, but closed on Mondays).  WHOOP! WHOOP!  They had the book in stock!

On the way home, Hubby and I stopped in St. Jacob's at Picard's Peanuts briefly, and laid in a small supply of quilting fuel.  mmmmmmmm....chocolate!

I've put together my Leader & Ender project: Split Nine Patch.  I'm piecing together dark four-patches for borders.  I imagine I should have them done by the end of this week.  I still haven't decided what I'm going to do with this - - I love it a whole lot!