Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What I'm Reading Now

I started reading this book on Monday, and ended up staying up until 2 a.m. turning pages.  I came home yesterday at lunch, thinking I would take a cat nap, because I did nothing but yawn all morning. Nope - picked up the book and read for a solid hour.  When I got home from work I immediately got my nose back into it.  I actually took a whole sleeping pill last night, to ensure that I didn't stay up until the wee hours for a second night!  

Just a few pages left!  So good!

Synopsis: A d├ębut novel featuring Patience Murphy, an Appalachian midwife in the 1930s struggling against disease, poverty, and prejudices-and her own haunting past-to bring new light, and life, into an otherwise cruel world As a midwife working in the hard-scrabble conditions of Appalachia during the Depression, Patience Murphy’s only solace is her gift: the chance to escort mothers through the challenges of childbirth. Just beginning, she takes on the jobs no one else wants: those most in need-and least likely to pay. Patience is willing to do what it takes to fulfil her mentor’s wishes, but starting a midwife practice means gaining trust, and Patience’s secrets are too fragile to let anyone in. A stirring piece of Americana, The Midwife of Hope River beats with authenticity as Patience faces seemingly insurmountable conditions: disease, poverty, and prejudices threaten at every turn. From the dangerous mines of West Virginia to the terrifying attentions of the Ku Klux Klan, Patience must strive to bring new light, and life, into an otherwise cruel world.

Just Rewards: Retail

Last Tuesday was my birthday, and my lovely mother-in-law sent me a Happy Birthday cheque in the mail.  I hadn't thought that I would be doing any stash enhancement with it - - what could I need?  But as I started to cut the pieces for the borders on Black & White, I realized I was all out of white on black prints.  

So, today at lunch, I did a quick trip to the LQS - Greenwood Quiltery to pick up a couple of FQs.  But who could resist the new "Type" fabrics?  Evidently, not me.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Thinking on my February Goals

January was a pretty good month!  But what will February's goals look like?

So I've sat down with pencil and paper to consider what's on the list, which seems like it might be a little ambitious, but I'm going to give it a shot!

1) 4 Grandmother's Choice BOW blocks
I've been able to keep up with this all of the month of January by making it my Saturday morning project.

2) 4 Dear Jane blocks

3) Finish adding borders to Black & White quilt top

4) Finish piecing Shirt Stripes top, piece the back together

5) Sandwich & pin baste Heart of the Home, machine quilt on domestic machine, and bind. I think I will take another look at this and possibly add a border.

January Goals: COMPLETE!

  • X Seven Grandmother's Choice Blocks

X Bookmarks

I didn't take a photo of the finished bookmarks.  I sent these to a literacy centre with one of my colleagues who was giving a presentation there on consumer protection.  He said that they were a big hit!  I'm so glad - now I can continue to stitch my tiny scraps together to make a small something that will be enjoyed by others. I hate to throw anything out!

  • X Organize Sewing Notions
  • Also done - and so far, I've been keeping everything neat and tidy!

  • X Plan Borders or Settings for four quilts
  • All charted out on graph paper - I think I will put one of these quilts on February's list of goals.

  • X School of Rock Quilt
  • This is completed, and now hanging on the living room wall behind the couch.  There was a bit of a scuffle over who actually was the owner - Hubby or Itty Bitty - but Hubby won out.

  • X Two Dear Jane Blocks

  • X Two Mug Mats
  • Again, I didn't take a photo of the finished mug mats, but I did give them away to my co-workers, as well as the extra five I made.  Our young (and male!) admin. assistant was thrilled with his!

  • Another extra project I fit in this month was to finish five more Sylvia's Bridal Sampler blocks, and then assemble the quilt top.  I still need to piece and add borders.  But I'm very glad this project is back on my's been sitting in a box far too long.

Jack's Delight

This week's Grandmother Choice BOW is Jack's Delight.  I finished a smidge small, so if you are making these blocks, I'd cut the side triangles and corner triangles a bit oversize.  (the black on white print in my example).  Another thing I did, was to leave the the black and red squares uncut, then stitched all four sides, and THEN cut them corner to corner.  The instructions call for bias edges happening on the HSTs, and I didn't want to give them too much handling. I squared those HSTs down to 2 3/8"

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Social Work is tough...

Actually - - I had one of the best days ever today - - back to back appointments, no time to do case notes, totally missed lunch - - BUT I was able to take some considerable stress off a young family's shoulders and hook them up with some practical resources, spent nearly 2 hours with the cutest couple ever sorting out some tricky issues, and really connected with an ageing Asian lady with very limited English over menopausal symptoms and stress incontinence (we laughed our asses off! and maybe even tinkled a little!)

I freaking LOVE being a social worker!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Some sewing the crack of dawn

I was up at the "Crack of Holy $#!}" this morning...and my e-reader needed a charge so I crawled out of my nice warm bed, turned on CBC Radio and spent a quiet hour at my machine, merrily sewing away.  I finished all the units for Aunt Lizzie's Scrap Basket before having to shut 'er down to get ready for the work day. Tonight, while Hubby practised on his guitar I started to sew the units into pairs.  Nice, nearly mindless.  Is there anything quite like it?

While surfing around the www tonight, I found a couple of super cool links that I know other quilters need to know about.  Check out these links:

My Go-Go Life: My Christmas Hippie Chic Bus Pillow you can print on Pellon Wonder Under!!!!!  I can't wait to try this!

From Pixels to Patchwork : Free Printable Quilt Project Sheets  I think these might be helpful in organizing these UFO's for me.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sylvia's Bridal Sampler - a minor milestone

These little beauties were a pile in a box on Friday.  It's been an all-weekend-long putter.  I actually found I was a block short and had to quickly put the one in the top right of the photo together this morning.  I don't remember ever assembling a quilt top on point before - I had to keep laying it out on the bed, and pinning, pinning, pinning.  There was also some unsewing going on too! Yikes!

Now, I'll take a few deep breaths and try to figure out what to do for borders.  This UFO finish might be a goal for February.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Oh Gibson! I really don't think he cares if he's in the way or not.  He's actually sitting on a bunch of strips I've already cut.  I've tried to explain to him that they are not eggs, and he is definitely NOT a chicken! He's waiting for me to go to bed so he can spread them around the apartment again.

So I did decide to go with the LeMoyne Star block, instead of this week's posted Grandmother's Choice BOW.  Pretty nifty!

I've been working on assembling Sylvia's Bridal Sampler this afternoon.  It's beginning to take shape. I'll be setting these blocks on point.  I don't think I've ever set a quilt top this way before!  I'll have to figure out how to calculate the sizes for the side and corner triangles - there's gotta be a website somewhere that will do that for me.

Saturday Sleep-In, Sew-In, Settle-In

We just got home from getting a few groceries, and Hubby says, "We don't have to leave the house until tomorrow when I take the garbage out!"  I like the way this man thinks!

Took a side trip to Chapters and got a copy of Jennifer Chiaverini's "Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker".  After reading a couple of reviews here, here, and here I decided this was a great choice for a "To me, from me, with all my love" birthday present. All of the reviews mention that the novel gets a little slow with too many battle related details, but I am passionate about history, so I bet I'll have extraordinary tolerance for those bits. I can't start reading it yet though, because I'm still working on "The Secret Keeper".

And just because I've been an extra good girl, how about a glossy quilting magazine?

I liked a lot of quilts in the magazine, but I'm particularly drawn to this one: 

I was pretty impressed with the slick piecing trick to make the LeMoyne Star blocks without any set in Y-seams!  I will have to try that technique out - - perhaps this weekend as a replacement for this week's Grandmother's Choice BOW: Parasol.  I don't like it - I don't think it will fit in well with the blocks I've made so far.  I'll let you know what I decide!

 I spent some time last night cutting the sashing pieces for Sylvia's Bridal Sampler while watching TV.  I left them all stacked up neatly on the coffee table in wait for morning when I could start sewing them to the blocks.  When I awoke this morning, eager to get to work, I realized my favourite furry friend had spread the neat pile all over the apartment. Seriously Gibson? I hope I've found them all, and only a few were really hairy.  

Friday, January 18, 2013

It's OUR Birthdays!

Hubby and I share January as our birthday month - me on the 22nd, and he on the 29th.  Having January birthdays is common also means we've share the experience of having our special days virtually ignored for our entire lives - - they are too close to Christmas, the weather sucks - - so we have always made a special effort for each other to really celebrate one another for about a solid three weeks!

We've already begun letting the good times roll!  This morning we had breakfast out before work, and after work tonight went our for dinner and a pint.  The theme weekend is shaping up to be "hunkering down" and "cocooning" - talking about renting a movie or two - a little shopping - puttering around with our own hobbies.  You know what that means!  Quilting!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mid-month check-in

So, I don't wanna brag or nuthin'...

But I'm two BOW blocks away from from hitting all my goals!

I've even accomplished some extra stuff!  

Just some stuff

It would be so nice if my cat was just as helpful as this pretty kitty when I'm sewing.  Not Gibby!  He likes to lay on my cutting mat when I'm trying to work.  And if I poke him with a ruler, he bites.  If I'm rotary cutting, he likes to take a swipe at the blade - I'm sure he's going to loose a couple of toes.

And here he is, looking so innocent!  Bad boy!

I finished the last four Sylvia's Bridal Sampler blocks that I needed.  Next to choose some sashing and corner stone fabric and start putting this thing together!

I saw this magazine issue when I was at Michaels on the weekend.  I am in serious like with the granny square quilt on the front.  I didn't buy the magazine, but I went looking for the cover image for inspiration.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A BONUS finish! from orphan blocks

I finished stitching the bindings on these mug mats that I made from my tea cup orphan blocks.

Next on the list?

I need a total of 72 Sylvia's Bridal Sampler blocks to have enough to complete a quilt top.  I whipped together two last night - two to go!  I'll post a photo when I have all four of them done.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Working on my PhD in Quilting - another finish!

I have a finish to show you!  I finished quilting (on my domestic) and binding "School of Rock" yesterday!  Hubby loves it, and wants to hang it on the wall.  I'm giving it some thought.

This brings me so close to completing all of this month's goals - - I just have 2 BOW blocks to do on the 19th, and the 26th.  Any quilty projects I work on for the rest of the month can be considered a bonus!

In the meantime, I've been working on practicing machine quilting.  I dug out these tea cup blocks (which I mentioned as another UFO project), picked a few favourites and dis some stippling, clamshells, and loops.  Next come the binding, and these will make lovely mug mats -- and another UFO off my list!  A few blocks remain, but because they were 'practice projects' on which I taught myself foundation piecing, they aren't that great -- poorly pieced, bad fabric choices, etc. -- and not worthwhile finishing. I can toss them without a twinge of guilt.

Memory Wreath

This week's Grandmother's Choice BOW is Memory Wreath

We're just taking it easy this weekend.  I've got a super busy week ahead, including two marathon-length meetings.  So I'm stocking up on my energy resources!

Last week we went to the movies and saw "Hitchcock" which was great! Anthony Hopkins and Helen can you go wrong?  I don't think it's been widely released, but if you get a chance, you should see it.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Weird stuff found in my sewing boxes

I'm continuing to work away at this month's goals.  One of them is to consolidate and sort out a number of sewing boxes - and it was time to head over to Michaels with my 40% off coupon and purchase a new box that would store my notions and tools in a space saving way.

However, I couldn't resist this rolling cart, with two shelves and eight drawers. The regular price was $119, but it was on final clearance for $34.  While Hubby put it together, I sorted sewing stuff.

...and I found some weird stuff.  This pair of scissors is marked "Equity", and I have no idea what their purpose is.  Why the big notch in the crotch?

This plastic gadget has a lot of purposes.  I kept it as a tool to poke out corners when turning sewn items outside right.  But actually, it is a letter opener, a ruler, and a postal meter.  Seriously!  You put your letter in the 'claws' on the end then hold the tool between your thumb and forefinger at the red dots.  Each dot represents a weight measurement, and if the tool is level, that is the weight of your letter, and you will know how much postage to put on it.

It must be quite an age.  The phone number for Clark's Flour and Feed is only two digits!!!

And a kilt pin