Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Couple of Finishes

I finished this miniature coin quilt earlier this week, but realized I had forgotten to take a photo.  I'm quite pleased with the leaves I've machine quilted into it.
I finished the needle-turn applique on my Hawaiian Quilt Pillow top that I found at the thrift store this week.  I tried a different needle last night - size 10 John James Embroidery needles - and found it a much easier go than the sharp I had been using.  I quite liked needle-turn!

I think I'll start the hand quilting tomorrow!
Today, I am spending the day in my sewing room - cleaning up the dump!  It's gotten pretty bad, with so much stuff piled on top of the tops of piles, that there is danger of avalanche!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Have You Seen This?

Have you seen this box of candy at your LQS?  I found this vision of loveliness - EZ Quilting Mini templates -  at the Greenwood Quiltery this afternoon.  These templates are especially designed for use with Jelly Rolls.  I chose five - I'm just tickled!  They are just adorable!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thrift Store Score

I stopped into my favourite local thrift store the other day, and scored!

Hawaiian quilted pillow kit - - even included the needles and a spool of thread!  I started to complete it last night - can you believe I've never done needle turn applique before?  I've done a pretty good job so far, if I do say so myself.

1 yd. each of Timtex and Peltex Sew In Stabilizer - - intentionally mail ordered from Keepsake Quilting and Nancy's Notions for some project, I reckon.

I know ... dull.  Nothing colourful. But I think I scored great deals for my stash.  Total: $6.  

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Someday, I'm gonna be a tutorial

Sunday randomness

 I was out thrifting with Hubby yesterday, and picked up a bag full of notions. Unexpectedly, there was a sandwich baggie of fabric, which turned out to be good quality quilting cotton - one was a Kaufman. I cut everything up into 2.5", 3", and 5" scraps.
 I wanted to share this tip for hanging small quilts.  I'm sending this Hallowe'en wall hanging to Sailor Boy and future DIL to hang on their apartment door.  A wooden ruler and 3M Command hooks means no nail holes.
I'm also working away at a small project using scraps - a miniature coin quilt of CW repros.  I had to tear it apart because the coin strips were all different lengths.  So - for the first time ever - I've had to block to get them all to equal out--liberally spritzing with water and pinning against a ruler inch by inch.  Slow, but I expect the outcome to be worth it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Flimsy Finish

With the exception of the white sashing, all of the scraps for this quilt top came from a bag of scraps that I purchased from Quilter's Nine Patch in Elmira for $5.  On second thought, it might have been two bags, so $10.  
The fabric collection is Fig Tree & Co. "Patisserie".

I was forced to improvise on one block - - 11 blocks are 16-patches, but I ran out or four-patches and had to rig up a 1 part four-patch, 3 parts split rail.  Big deal, eh? 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Missing SewJo and Self-Care

This past week marked the 2nd anniversary of moving to Guelph and beginning to work at my dream job.

As you know, social work is my second career after 20 odd years in long term care nursing. The similarities between the two careers are not necessarily related to the service of others, a drive to care, the quintessential feminine quality to both worlds - - but the opportunity for creativity - designing new solutions, discovering new skills, deciding new approaches.  Theory guides, but both creativity declares.

The last few weeks on the work front have been intense as I finish up older projects, and plan new initiatives, and carry on the normal daily tasks.  I feel pulled in different directions, and unable to give 100% to anything, which is a difficult place for me to find myself.  

My default response to challenge is complete absorption.  It's nearly impossible for me to be able to divide my focus between any two things.   The risk of continuing like this is burn out - a deadly consequence for any nurse or social worker - - or artist.  (GASP!)  The first sign, which I initially didn't associate with the way I was processing work, was the inability to lose myself in a quilting project - my go-to for self-care.  I was completely uninspired by projects already in the works, and all attempts to try something new ended up in the landfill.

Soon I was coming home after work exhausted, irritable.  This week I had three nights in a row when I didn't sleep well at all.  I was waking up in the wee hours thinking about my most complex and challenging clients, and not coming up with any new ideas as to how to help them.  In a few days I started having frequent flutterings (think less butterfly, and more goldfish flopping outside of its bowl) in my chest - a certain sign the stress was becoming too much.  I had ignored taking care of me for too long.

I need to remember - - quilting isn't just something I do to exercise my creativity, it's a key part to wellness for me. It feeds me, and is as important as a good night's sleep, fresh air and sunshine.  I've spent most of the last week or two just cutting scraps.  Today I played with 2.5" squares all day.  I actually ended up piecing a baby quilt top together, and even have the border ready to apply.  I'll post pictures soon.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

And the winner is...

DONNA!  I've sent you an email, and will pop your prize package in the post as soon as I have your snail mail address.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Aberfoyle Antique Market

Yes, it's been a good weekend.

Today we had breakfast with a former colleague.  We were able to sit outside, the weather was outstanding, and had a great time.

This afternoon we spent three hours wandering around the Aberfoyle Antique Market.  I didn't make any purchases, but took some photos of vintage stitchy pleasures to share.

I love this toolbox!  Each of the twenty top drawers are crafted from wooden cigar boxes.  Can you imagine all of the thread and notions and fabric that could be stored in this!

 This cushion was fashioned from a hand embroidered dresser scarf, a chenille bedspread for the back, and some funky pompom trim.  Super cute.

 This handmade button bag was tricky for me to figure out - the fabric, the bias binding - definitely vintage.  But the embroidery?  Looks more contemporary "primitive". I liked it anyway.  See the pink package?  Inside is a little covered basket to hold a thimble.  This was a fun booth.

 These blocks!  I can't think of what the name of it is, but it's so unusual. It's sort of Carpenter's Star-ish, but not.  Any ideas? It is in incredible shape, and hand quilted.
 Okay hexie lovers - have a peek at this baby!  Isn't she a beauty?  The dealer told me that it was made by a Mrs. Smith out of Cambridge when she was 13 years old in 1938.  The fabrics were certainly period.  It was in very fine shape - one white piece was torn - which could be easily mended - and there was a small brownish stain which might have come out with a little tender loving care.  Simply gorgeous.  The dealer was a little cranky that I was taking pictures of it.  
 The piecing and quilting is all completely hand stitched.  We saw many quilts, but this was truly the loveliest.
This Royal Doulton figurine reminded me of "Grandmother's Choice" block of the week quilt.

S.E.X. (Stash Enhancement eXpedition) helps to find Lost SewJo - and a giveaway!

Thanks Nola G for the kind correction.  The term is not "mojo" but "SewJo"

Hubby and I took a unexpected ride in the country yesterday.  

We had been "home" (which is about an hour and a half drive from Guelph) while we were on holidays, and I left my BlackBerry on the table at a restaurant where we had dinner.  So we went back last Monday to pick it up, and were surprised to find it closed on the Civic Holiday.  What restaurant closes on a summer holiday long weekend????  We went back again yesterday, and picked it up.

Well, we left at 10 in the morning, and didn't get home until nearly 8pm last night.

One of our stops was pretty Waterford, ON.  And of course, I bee-lined it to Quilt Junction! I had already stopped in to Baskins in St. Thomas to find some fabrics to make a Hallowe'en wallhanging for Sailor Boy and my F-DIL to hang on their apartment door way out in the Maritimes.  Came up a little short, but secured the bottom two fabrics - goofy jack-o-lanterns, and potion green with spiders - to round out the supplies needed. (Linking to Sunday Stash)

I also got the cutest "candy" - a Moda Mini Charm Pack.  I unsuccessfully looked online for a pattern that would make use of it. Oh well, something will come to me!

So, this morning I was able to finish putting this together - it's all fusible applique - and next up is to machine blanket stitch around all the appliques. 
The pattern came from the Winter 2012 issue of Simple Quilts & Sewing, and is designed by Kelly Mueller.

But guess what?  I have TONS of the purple, pumpkins and green binding left over.  I'd like to share the pattern and fabric to make this wall hanging with another quilter/sewist. You'll have to add a few bits from your own stash for the appliques, but you'll likely have what you need in your scrap heap. To enter the drawing, leave a comment telling me what you do when you lose your SewJo (mojo).  I'll choose a winner on Wednesday evening.

Friday, August 9, 2013


Not sure where I put it - but I've definitely lost my mojo!  The last two things I TRIED to sew ended up in the trash.  I've done nothing all week except trim and stack scraps.

I'm not whining....just hoping I'll find it soon.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Some Sunday Randomness

I created a couple of little pouchie thingies - and I think I'll post a tutorial later. 

Terrible photo - just wanted to show I actually had the quilt UP!  I used a yard stick to hang this small quilt, and used "3M Command Hooks" - the yard stick fit perfectly into the hook slot, and no holes in the walls!

This is the flag I have made for Lac Megantic.

I had lunch at "The Church" in Stratford this past week for my sister's birthday.

I also bought this big jar at a thrift store while I was in Stratford, and I'm filling it with smallish zippers that I have been picking up at other thrifts for around $.25 each. As I've mentioned before, I want to start making smaller projects, so I'm building a bit of a stash here.  I got another big jar to store the notions I've been picking up.

I also bought a kit - see the bag in the bottom right hand corner - I couldn't find a picture online of JUST the bag.  It was created by Patricia Archibald - it uses velvet, sheers, gold foil, and metallic threads - it even came with the handles and batting!  I tried desperately to find out where it might have come from - but it looks like it is a kit from a workshop - but it seems this teacher only has workshops in the UK.  A bit of a mystery.  I paid $1.50 for it at the thrift, but I saw the class advertised as £57! My kit isn't purple though - it's turquoise.  It's worth a visit to her website to see the beautiful art quilts.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

We’re stitched together! for Lac Mégantic

I often listen to CBC Radio in my sewing room while I quilt. Over the last month, since the tragic train derailment in Lac Mégantic, I have listened with sadness and anger with each news update.  My heart goes out to the little town.  I was so pleased to learn this morning that I can do a very small thing to help demonstrate that I am thinking of the people, and want to show that I honour both their losses as they grieve, and their resilience as they recover.