Monday, October 20, 2014

How can a broken needle be a good thing?

We are in Moncton staying with grand daughters while mom and dad are cruising in Europe.  I hesitate to say babysitting because we've not done a dish since we are here.  The kids are awesome.   They work the Netflix for us; take us on our daily 5k walk so we don't get lost, manage the garbage because they have different rules than what we are used to, and help us find things like the sugar.

Since we will be here for a few days before the other grandparents come to relieve us, I thought I'd bring along the dancers quilt to work on while here.     I was making good progress when I heard a loud snap ..  Gesh ....  Broken needle.  My fabric folded under and I hit a darn safety pin.  It took me half an hour to unpick the folded under fabric, and then I had no spare sewing machine needle.  I run to the Quiltery to get needles.   As I'm browsing the fabric, who do I see in the classroom, but a bunch of quilters from the Keswick guild.   They were doing a pfaff club project.  How fun to have a quick chit chat with them since I'm doing the program at their guild in a couple of weeks.  So if I hadn't had a broken needle, I wouldn't have had the nice little visit.

I'm making good progress.   I've done a lot of the outlining and I'm starting to quilt the background.  I'm using swirls around the trees.  I'm undecided if I will quilt the trees.  They are quite puffy.  I'll sleep on it and let you know what I decide.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pin Basting a Winter Quilt - Using a Kwik Klip

I've said it before,....  Thank goodness for UFO's.     A week or so before going on vacation, we found out that our grand-daughter Grace has to fund-raise for her new Dance Troop.    They are developing various ideas to raise money.  One of their ideas was to raffle a quilt and they asked if I would help out.  At first, I thought, ohhh, how can I fit this into my busy schedule?  You know, with classes, travel etc.   

Then I looked in my spare bedroom closet.  That's where I keep all my near finished projects (or UFO's)  I smiled when I saw this Winter Wonderland lap quilt, because I knew it would be a quick finish.   A couple of small borders and its small enough for me to machine quilt myself.  It's a great Winter themed quit.  Perfect for the dancers to sell lots of tickets on over the winter.  If you are local, you will probably see me helping to sell a few tickets..   
This was a "Row of the Month" project we did at the Cotton Mill Guild.     The borders are now done and I'm now layering and pin basting the lap size quilt.  It makes me smile when I look at it.  

My husband helped me by closing the pins after I strategically put pinned the layers together.  I find closing the pins hard on my nails so I bought this Kwik Klip tool last year.  It is specifically made to close the safety pins. Anyway, he thought it was pretty good tool.   So from the safety pin closer in this house, it receives a thumbs up.     

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Busy Month of quilt classes

I'm really looking forward to my fall.  I am teaching three classes to local groups.   I've been preparing samples, photocopying class notes and ordering up any special supplies that I need.

On Oct 25th, I'll be teaching a "Beyond Stippling" free motion quilting class.   I really enjoy this technique and skill-building class because I know that half way through the class, I hear the "Oh, I Got It" from students.  That's the big reward that teachers look forward too.   Holly is hosting that class.

On November 22nd, I'm leading a project class at the Keswick Quilters Guild..  We will make a screen bag.  I know that class is full and the fun part about that class is that I will have delivered the Guild Program to their entire guild earlier that week.

On November 29th, I'll be leading a Batik Wallet class to the Fredericton Quilters Guild.  I love making this wallet.  I've made many wallets and have lots of special tips and techniques to make this a show-stopper.   You already know that Jeanie-Kay won a first place ribbon at the NB Exhibition this year.   This is not a beginner class, so there might be a couple of spaces left after the Fredericton Quilt Guilds October 21st meeting.

Maybe I'll see you in a class this fall!!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Loaf Liners - a good idea

It's time to get back in the groove after our fabulous vacation.   I must say that Scotland and Ireland delivered everything I expected.  It was a wonderful experience.  Both the tour and the Ryder Cup experience.  

I thought I'd share something that I've never seen before around here.   These are loaf liners.  Like cupcake liners but for sweetbread loaves, like a banana bread or fruitcake.   

I bought this package if 15 loaf tin liners at the Pound Store in Scotland.  It's like our dollar store.    I'm going to make a couple of pumpkin breads today.   
Have you ever seen these?  I think I'm going to really like them for making my fruitcakes this year.  For me, the worst part of making a fruitcake is lining the pan with parchment.   
If you have ever bought these before, I'd love to know where you got them.  I have a feeling I'm going to really like using them and will want more.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Scotland and Ireland - here we come

We are heading out on a nice vacation tomorrow.  We're flying to the UK and taking an escorted highlights tour of Scotland and Ireland.  This will be followed by a week in Glasgow, Scotland.  

While in Glasgow, we'll be attending the Ryder Cup Golf Match.   There's lots of excitement around this match because it is only played every two years.  It alternates between a USA city and a European City.  As part of the event, we'll be attending a big Ryder Cup Opening Gala Concert where we will hear live bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and many local bands.  We will also get to meet the celebrity golfers and just be part of the wind-up.

My husband is a golf enthusiast so attending this golf match was kind of on his bucket list.  He is routing for Europe.  I'm excited to go too, but I'm joking with my friends... I tell them to watch for me on TV while the match is on (Sept. 26, 27, 28).  I'll be the lady in a Canada Red shirt holding a sign that says "Eh, I should be home Quilting!".

I may or may not post while I'm away.     I'll be back on October 1.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Can you Fly and Knit?

Do you recognize frogged yarn?   I've started this little scarf three times  It's a knit along project on Ravelry.  This yarn is very fine mohair but I'm using larger size 5.5 needles.  I thought it would be a great project to do while watching TV and also to work on on our up coming trip to the UK.    But I can't seem to get beyond the first dozen rows.  It's a simple pattern but I keep ending up with extra stitches and I can tell the lace pattern is not developing the way it should.  I could be rusty..  Hmm... Or Maybe I need to concentrate and not watch TV until I have the pattern down.     

Does anyone know if you can take knitting on an airplane?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Using (err mis-using) the Pfaff Applique Foot

Do you do this?  Use your presser feet for another use than the one it was intended.  

I have many feet that I use on my several Pfaff machines. In particular, I have used this 6 mm open toe applique foot for everything over the years.  Lots of zig-zaggy things such as satin stitch etc.  But lately, I love it for top stitching.  Most, if not all of my small projects have some sort of top stitching on it.   

This foot has red markings which I use for eye-balling where I want my stitching to be.   And the center opening is exactly a quarter of an inch.   That means that if I use the edge of the inside of the foot as a guide, and leave the needle in the center position, I will get a nice one eighth inch top-stitching detail.   

When I do zippers, I find that one side of this applique foot rides nicely on the zipper tape when doing the stitching.  Even as can be.   

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Judy's Wallet - completed.

Judy S. was in my test class in early August.  If you recall, I was working out the kinks in this new wallet class that I'm teaching.  Because of a family appointment, she couldn't stay for the last bit of the class.  She was so close to being done and I knew it would not take her long to finish.   Well, she came over today for some light guidance and she completed the wallet in no time flat.    Isn't it beautiful!   It looks like a "Maritimer's Fall" wallet as the greens transition to other colors.    

I've added this photo to the rest of the class photos that I posted here.   And I'm pleased to say that 100% of the students have completed their wallets.   I'm hoping the to keep the 100% going when I teach this class in November too.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Picklin' is done!

With such a busy month of August, I just got around to making pickles this week.  Earlier in the week, Linda H. gave me some giant cukes from her garden.   I made her Lady Ashburnham pickles, which are now not only a "Fredericton Favorite", but also favorite in this house.   Less sweet, few ingredients.  Easy Peasy.

Also, over the weekend, I picked up some small cukes, peppers and onions at the farm vegetable stand and made my sister's bread and butter pickles.   We run out of those every year.  It's a simple one day recipe.  No need to soak overnight.  Just three hours.  So we chop in the afternoon, and bottle in the evening.

Today, with 3 leftover giant cukes from Linda H. I made this fabulous fresh Cucumber Jelly.  It's eaten with cream cheese on a cracker.  It's so fresh!!   When I look at my blog hits, I seem to be getting tons of hits from Pinterest.  My daughter used to buy cucumber jelly from a vendor at the craft markets.  Then the vendor stopped coming to the market.  After a bit of research and asking around, this recipe came from one of our senior quilt guild members who wrote the details from memory on a scrap of paper.   It's delicious.   Linda H.  I have a bottle for you.  Thanks for all the cukes his week.

Monday, September 1, 2014

A NBEX Winning Ribbon for Jeannie Kaye's Wallet

Remember I showed you the completed wallets from my test class earlier this summer.  Well Jeannie Kaye entered her wallet into the Fredericton Exhibition.  It won a ribbon. I'm not surprised.  It was made with beautiful blue batiks and it was an elegant eye catcher.   I'm so pleased for her.  Who doesn't like to win a ribbon at the NBEX!!    Congratulations JK!

I'll be teaching this class at the Fredericton Quilters' Guild in November.  If you are local quilter and want to take this class, let me know.  If there are extra seats in the class, I'll put you in touch with the workshop coordinator.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Presenting the Bride and Groom

Its so hard waiting for professional pictures. But its nice she sent along this teaser photo.  Congrats Patience and Brian on your one week anniversary.

Wedding Cookies and toule

I loved making these cookies.  I have a favorite sugar cookie recipe called Signature Sugar Cookies.   I made two batches  Out of one batch, I made 12 wedding dresses.  Out of the other batch came 40 love cookies.   The love cookies were put on the desert table.  The bride dresses were put in cellophane bags and tied with a ribbon.  The kids took them home.

Then it came time to decorate.  The afternoon before the wedding, with advice and suggestions from my friend Willa, my sister and I hung toule, swagged pearls. Bunches of fresh Nova Scotia ivy dropped from the bows.  It was just perfect.