Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It can't be! Just five more days of vacay??

After watching quilty-friend Gail piece together Step One of Bonnie Hunter's Christmas Lights Mystery Quilt last night, I was inspired and spent the better part of today cutting, pressing, sewing holiday themed fabrics together. I'm all set for Step Two!

I tidied up my studio once this process was done; dusted, swept, put things away. Now I'm all ready to get to work on another UFO - perhaps?

I can't believe that I only have five days left of my very short holiday. WAAA!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pick & Choose top is done


I'm really loving this quilt!
The pattern was from the June 09 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting.
NEXT!

I enjoy seeing other's interpretations of the Seven-Shirts quilt


Billye in Florida sent me a photo of her interpretation of the Seven-Shirts quilt which she made for her 8 yr old grandson.
Thank you for sending the photo!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

A "Scrumptious" Day

(My appologies to anyone with dial-up, because tonight's entry is photo-laden!)

Hubby and I went for a Sunday drive today and ended up in Grand Bend at the Lambton Heritage Museum to take in their special exhibit: Between the Stitches: Lambton Quilts & Quilters, and the 20th Anniversary North Lambton Quilters Guild Show.

I've been to this museum several times, and it's "very well done", and always has been, in my memory. The main part of the museum houses collections of items from the early history of Lambton County settlement. Outside, several old homes and public buildings have been relocated to this property, restored and protected.

Here are a few photos of the quilts in the museum's collection:

I got a close up of this block, because I liked the horseshoes in the background print. Here's the whole quilt:

Hubby was very interested in the quilts, and if we got separated, he'd come and get me and take me over to a display if he had a question about how Crazy Quilts are contructed, or what exactly "Bishop's Fan" quilting was, or how signature quilts were used in fundraising. That's the great thing about Hubby - - he loves to learn about things, and is interested in EVERYTHING!

I admired this pillow - the blades of the fan were constructed from prize ribbons awarded in school contests - presumably academic and athletic prizes.


I've seen many "signature quilts" before, and there was many examples in this exhibit, but this one is very unusual. First, the names are cross-stitched on the quilt, not stem stitched, and there are four colours, not merely white with embroidery, or bi-coloured. According to the information printed on the card next to the quilt, it could be fairly accurately dated to circa 1877, because a couple of the people named in the quilt died in a diptheria outbreak in 1878. Take a close look at the full picture of this quilt - it's breathtaking.

This quilt is constructed of flannel printed with national flags collected from cigar boxes in the early 20th c.


This quilt reminds me of MY antique log cabin quilt, except mine is in a barn raising configuration

This is one of the loveliest crazy quilts I've ever seen. Not precisely "crazy" since it is regularly patterned, but the embroidery is gorgeous, the figured fabrics are in pristine condition, and the wide lace trim is beautiful.




Now...onto the SHOW!






On the advice of quilty friend Wendy, I've been reading "The Selected Journals of L. M. Montgomery". Some of the things we saw reminded me of the first volume's journal entries: the school house, the Presbyterian church.








I even found a "Pansy Book" among the bookshelves in the Presbyterian Church.

On our way home, I asked if we could stop at the scenic lookout at the Parkhill dam and reservoir. I've driven by it dozens of times over the years, but never stopped before. I imagine it's quite lovely in every season.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Yard Sale Report



I didn't find too many treasures today, but a couple of goodies. I think my favourites are the the vintage pillow case, the pewter compact, the silver Scottish thistle pin (I should have given this to you Carol!) and the bag of handstitched quilt blocks. I love the print in the top block - it has musical notes, clocks and flowers. Cute!

I also got some books, a box that had 14 bobbins that will fit my Singer Featherweight, and a garden ornament of a sleeping cherub.

Deja Vu all over again!

Well THIS is something I haven't done for a long time! Getting up at 4 in the morning to sew? Well, for sure I'll be among the early birds at all the yard sales this morning!

I still have a way to go on Pick & Choose. The vertical rows are yet to be sewn together with sashing, but this photo gives you an idea of what it might look like when it's done. It will have a saw-toothed border, for which I have all the HSTs sewn, pressed, trimmed to square, and pinned together in pairs.

I've been struggling with a decision. I was thinking of switching my Speech course (Oral discourse, rhetoric, and debate) for a nice easy Visual Arts History class, that begins on the 6th. I was looking forward to the Speech class, but recently realized it was going to require a lot of writing. Ordinarily, writing it right up my alley, but I started thinking about all the research and homework I'm going to have to do. On Thursday, I was just "mouse clicks" away from swapping the class, but chickened out.

I say chickened out - because I felt really torn! I'm not one to step back from a challenge, and I'm not afraid of working hard on a project. So last night I decided - - I'm swapping! Guess what? The empty seats that were still open in Visual Arts History on Thursday, were filled by Friday. I guess the Universe is telling me to trust my guts, and embrace the challenge!

Besides, opportunities for public speaking practice will be good for helping me get over my crippling shyness - mwwaahahahaha!!! (I almost said it with a straight face!)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Why am I so dang TIRED!!!

I have ten more days of holidays, and I've done NOTHING. I am a slug!

I 'almost' feel like I should go out and pick up a few groceries...but that would involve putting clothes on!

I do have some news though. A very official looking certificate with a big gold seal arrived in the mail yesterday from school - - stating that I was on the Dean's Honour Roll, and notification that I qualified for a $1000 scholarship for next year. That's exciting!

Back to sewing Pick & Choose. The pieced sashing is sewn, pressed and cut, ready to be applied. The pieced border is all set to start sewing, piled next to my machine.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I couldn't back up far enough to get in ALL of the blocks in the photograph, but I'm now finished the 25 blocks for my Pick & Choose quilt. On to the borders and sashing!

I've had a terrific day - - sewing, reading, a nap! Jealous??? hehehe

First Day of Summer Hols

It's not even nine 0'clock in the morning and it's already HOT!

Itty Bitty and I have "agreed" that we would get up at the crack of dawn every day this week and spend an hour in the cool of the morning, lavishing my poor, neglected gardens with loving attention. Everything is overgrown and needs a haircut.

"Agreed" is in quotations, because there wasn't a whole lot of agreement on his part. It was more on the "DEcreed" side of things. But it's a good feeling to work hard early in the day, get it over with, and then just RELAX for the rest....guilt free.

And while we are on the subject of summer pleasures...

The advertising for Bud Light Lime has worked its spell on me, and as the weather got hotter and hotter this week, the more I craved a taste. I went to the Beer Store on Monday, and they were SOLD OUT! I went back yesterday, and met the new delivery. And I must say....I was not disappointed. I'm looking forward to finding a shady spot this afternoon to relax with a book and a beer.

But now? Shower, and then some sewing. I wonder if I'll get any UFO's done while I'm on holidays?




Monday, June 22, 2009

One more...

One more exam....

Summer is nearly here!

Okay, I don't think I totally FAILED my exam this morning, but it sure didn't go great. Consider this... I didn't realize this was going to be an essay exam until DAYS before the exam. I was counting on some multiple choice to save my bacon! Never mind...I used my best judgement and concentrated on what I believed would the prof would pull out. I was 100% right on - studied PRECISELY the right stuff. Then I sat down, and it all flew out of my head.

I only need a 54% in order to get an overall 70% grade, which is the minimum grade I need to get accepted into my program. I just kept writing, and writing, and writing. I don't think I actually answered any of the questions, but maybe the prof will take pity on me. ;)

Time to go study!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The End is Near


I'm up to seventeen now. Of course, that's NO WHERE near Erin's TWENTY!!!! Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Back to the books .... exam at 9 a.m.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Any Guesses???

So...what do you suppose was the last thing I said to Hubby last night before I went to bed?

"Could you please bring the cushions in tonight? It's going to RAIN!"

Ugh...and it IS raining...raining...raining... No yard sales for me this weekend :(

That's okay (sniffle, sniffle) I still haven't finished pressing all the fabric I got last week. I think I'm going to spend some time sewing blocks for my Pick & Choose quilt. I've got to catch up with Erin!

Plus...I reeeeeeeeally need to to study for my exams Monday and Tuesday. So I guess it's a good thing that it's a drippy weekend. I won't be so tempted to sit in the sunshine with a glass of sangria. (particularly on the soggy cushions)


The workshop that I was supposed to take today has been rescheduled for September. I'm glad of that, because I already have all the pieces cut and bagged up ready to go.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

All About School....

Since I'm new to blogger, and I've been "meeting" new people here, I thought I'd share my education plan(s) since I brought up the Stats course yesterday.



Plan A. By mid-August, I will have completed 2 full years of university studies in a 15 month time span - a fact I'm pretty proud of.... I've applied to the Honours Bachelor of Social Work for THIS Sept., but I won't know if I'll be offered admission until after my summer school marks are adjudicated. It will take a full 2 years to complete the program if I'm admitted this Sept.



Plan B. Even though the Social Work Program Admissions Coordinator has told me that I'm a very strong candidate for admission this year, I'm a little worried that I won't make the cut - - I'm freaking out about an exam I'm writing this coming Monday. If I don't get accepted this year, I'll complete a B.A. in Religious Studies by next Spring, and re-apply for BSW program admission in Sept '10.



...on to quilty stuff



I'm sooooooooooooooo bummed. I had signed up for a workshop this weekend, and it's been cancelled! Hubby told me tonight in the produce aisle at the grocery store that the quilt store called yesterday and left a message on our voice mail.


HE: I told you last night
ME: no, you didn't
HE: yes, I did
ME: no, you didn't

HE: ye-e-e-ssss, I did
ME: (on the verge of a serious temper tantrum) NO-O-O-O YOU DIDN'T!!!
STRANGER: (to hubby) um...I don't think you did
ME: (to sympathetic stranger) DAMN RIGHT HE DIDN'T!!!


I'm really disappointed! I had booked this workshop as my own little personal "reward" for getting through Spring intersession. (sigh)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I like Chi!


Chi Squared, that is. I'm really enjoying Statistics - - it's just like doing puzzles!
Spring intersession is just about over. Four more lectures, one assignment, and two exams. Looking forward to a rest soon though.

Monday, June 15, 2009

someone is gonna die




I was up at the crack of "what the????" this morning. Hubby dear is starting a new job this morning waaaaaaaaay over in north London (shhhhhh...he doesn't want anyone to know, just in case it doesn't pan out) so the alarm went off at 5:20.


Soooo...I've got some time to kill. Make the bed. Pick up a little clutter. Toss a load of laundry in. And then I think: I've got time to sew a quilt block!!!


Hee Hee!! I start running patches through good old Lucy, and when I get to the end of the stack, swoosh over to my desk on my rolling chair, kicking up my heels with glee! Grab up my scissors to cut the assembly line sewn patches apart, and OMG!!!!!


Someone is gonna die.....there was a glob of peanut butter on the handle of my scissors.



Saturday, June 13, 2009

Rosy Rhubarb Days!

We look forward to this event every year: Rosy Rhubarb Days in Shedden. The whole village has a yard sale, and I come home with AT LEAST a rhubarb pie, if not any wonderful treasures.

But I DID find treasures! First, some books. Can you believe I never have read Anne of Green Gables? I'm almost afraid to admit it - - for fear I'll have my Canadian citizenship revoked. For $1 I got 2 books by L. M. Montgomery, and 2 books ABOUT L. M. Montgomery.

Then, even though I PROMISED myself I wouldn't buy any more fabric - - who could resist all of this fabric -- and most of them are FQs - - for $5

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

Okay.....so....


who has saved the tutorial for the "Fastest Charity Quilt Ever" (aka: disappearing nine patch)??


I lost those instructions with the 2nd last myquiltblog crash. I occassionally get a request emailed to me for the instructions.


Now, I was super lucky when I asked if anyone had the Seven Shirts quilt - - can lightening strike twice?


Seven Shirts + Seven Steps = One Thrifty Quilt

***UPDATE July 18, 2010*** I have noticed a huge amount of traffic visiting this particular post.  Could someone leave a comment and let me know who directed you to the Seven Shirts Quilt? I'm soooooo curious!  Thanks a bunch!

Bless you all! Several quilters answered my plea for help...so now I can re-post the instructions for the Seven Shirts quilt. This was originally a "mystery" on my old blog, but for convenience sake, I'll post the instructions in order.

Step One: How to Cut Shirts
Finished size: 52” x 64”, a nice throw size

Gather together:

  • Good sharp scissors
  • Rotary cutter with a NEW blade
  • Basket for holding scraps you’ll deal with later
  • Garbage can to toss scraps you won’t want to deal with later
  • Long ruler – 6.5” x 24.5”
  • Small ruler – 6.5” x 6.5”
  • Iron
  • Fabric Finish, Best Press, Spray Starch (some product for crisping up the fabric)
Begin with seven men’s shirts: 2 light and 5 darks. They must be 100% cotton, and similar weight. Ensure the fabric isn’t too worn, and has good body. It should feel like good quilting cotton.

    Cut off the collar, the cuffs, and the button plackets. Toss these in the basket to deal with later. If the shirt is an oxford type with button down collar, use your seam ripper to remove the buttons from the front – keep the buttons! Cut the back yoke, the sleeves, the fronts. Cut off the hems and seams. Seriously, don’t try ripping the shirts, or picking the seams out. Cut ‘em.
    Reserve the backs of all the shirts to piece together the backing of the quilt.
    From the lights: cut twelve 6 ½” squares, and as many 2 ½” strips as possible. Any strips too narrow for 2 ½”, cut for 2” strips. The two inch strips will be pieced together for the binding in a later step. Here's how it's done:
    Press and starch the pieces with a hot iron. Layer the sleeves one on top of the other, and cut 6 ½” strips across the width of the sleeve
    Then cut 6 ½” blocks from the strips. You’ll have 8 of the 12 squares, and lots of left over bits. Reserve the bits for later (toss them in the basket) Next, a front. If you are like me, you’ll ignore the pockets. Incorporating them into the quilt gives it some charm. If you’re NOT like me (ie: normal) then avoid cutting the pockets. Now you’ll have the last 4 blocks, plus some strips, and some trash. With the second front, Fold in half to make cutting easier. Cut 2 ½” & 2” strips Square off the ends of the strips, and toss the garbage. With the back yokes, layer the pieces, and cut 2 ½” and 2” strips. Square off the ends of the strips. Repeat these steps with the second light shirt. This is what you should have: A total of 24 6 ½” squares, 2 ½” strips, 2” strips, the complete back, and lots of good scraps to cut up later. Now, onto the dark shirts. This time, set aside the backs AND the sleeves of the dark shirts for later. Concentrate on getting as many 2 ½” strips out of the fronts and back yoke. If you are like me, you’ll make sure the label from the yoke is centred right in the middle of the 2 ½” strip. Again, I think this adds charm. But, if you’re not like me (you know, normal!) then avoid the label.
    Step TWO – nine patches, and some housecleaning. In this step, the goal is to create a total of 24 identical nine patch blocks, 6 1/2" square. Of your five darks, choose one of them to be the centre patch of the nine patches we’re going to make. I went with red – it was the brightest, and I thought it would provide some ‘pop” – but any colour is going to provide cohesiveness, because it’s going to show up where it’s expected. Sew together strips, using your longest 2 1/2" strips and a precise 1/4" seam. 3 sets of each will probably be enough. 1st dark, light, 2nd dark light, dark chosen for centre, light 3rd dark, a light, 4th dark
    How the lights are placed is irrelevant, but the darks must be placed so that each of 24 nine patches will be identical. Press the seams, light towards dark. Cut the assembled strips into 2 1/2" sections, and assembly line sew them into nine-patch blocks. Blocks will measure 6 1/2" square. Press and square them up . ***If you have enough sections left over to make four more nine patches, this is a bonus! You can use them as part of a pieced border that will be introduced in a later step. Go ahead and construct those four extra blocks. If you don't have enough left overs, don't worry about it, we'll do something different. SOME HOUSEKEEPING: (1) Prepare a border: Of the colour you chose for your centre of the nine patch blocks, sew remaining 2 1/2" strips end to end to prepare an inner border that will be used in a later step. You'll need about 5 yards in length. If you don't have 5 yards, cut some extra strips from the sleeves that have been set aside. (2) Prepare the binding: Sew all of your 2" strips end to end to prepare binding. Fold in half, and press. You'll need about 7 yards in length. If you don't have 7 yards, just wait until a later step.
    (3) Prepare the backing: piece together the back of the quilt using the backs of the shirts you've set aside. A total area of 58" x 70" is ideal. You may need to cut large chunks from the sleeves you have set aside. I needed five sleeves plus the seven backs
    Step Three : Snowball Blocks Cut 24 2 1/2" squares from each dark - except the dark that was used in the centre of the nine patch blocks.
    Match a dark square into the corners of the 6 1/2" light squares. Place a ruler with the 1/4" line diagonally from corner to corner of the small dark squares. It would be impossible to draw a pencil line on the dark fabric, so we're just going to cut here. Stitch, and press corners open. Make 24 identical blocks. Placement of the darks is IMPORTANT - so pay attention here. Maybe a photo will help you understand the explanation that will follow.

    See how the two blue fabrics are placed the same as in the nine patch? Now notice that the black and gold fabrics and flipped to the opposite corners than in the nine patches. Like a mirror image...get it? Okay - - go for it.
    Step Four : Begin Assembly
    Using the 24 nine patches and 24 snowballs, we are going to construct 12 identical blocks. I guess the most important part is the placement of the lights of the snowball blocks. Make sure you have one of each of the two different light fabrics in each big block. Now arrange the blocks in such a way that a hexagon/diamond-y shape is constructed in the centre, all of the same fabric. Now assembly-line sew the smaller blocks into bigger blocks, and press.
    Once all your blocks are sewn, make sure they are all lying in exactly the same position, then lay them out in a 3 block x 4 block grid, and sew together.
    Step Five : Add First Border
    If you haven't done this step yet, Prepare a border: Of the colour you chose for your centre of the nine patch blocks, sew remaining 2 1/2" strips end to end to prepare an inner border that will be used in a later step. You'll need about 5 yards in length. If you don't have 5 yards, cut some extra strips from the sleeves that have been set aside.Apply the first border to the quilt.

    Step Six - Second Border: Piano Keys
    With all of your left over 2 1/2" dark strips, cut in 6 1/2" lengths, and begin piecing a piano key border. Of course, you can sew longer pieces together first, and then cut into 6 1/2" lengths. Now, if you had 4 four-patches left, you put those in the corners. Or, if you kept the triangles that we cut off the snowballs, you can piece some pinwheel blocks. Or, choose ANY block that will finish at 6" square to make your corners. I simply mitred my corners, but wouldn't blocks look cool? Apply borders to quilt.
    Step Seven - Finishing
    Y'all ready for this? Now is the time to make your quilt sandwich and quilt as desired. But I should give you a couple of tips, right?Do you want to use up some leftover batting? Trim two sides straight, butt the edges up together and Zig-Zag stitch where they meet - - be sure the stitch width is as wide as possible, and the stitch length is as long as possible.
    You kept all the buttons from the shirts, right? And check out your machine owner's manual....cuz you can sew buttons on with your machine. Cool, eh? Consider "tying" your quilt with buttons, instead of traditional stitching or tying with thread. Of course, you can quilt however you like, and then add some buttons in the border for embellishment. I can't wait to see how you interpretted this mystery. I hope you will share a photo when you're done!