Friday, December 30, 2011

Duffle Bag Theatre - Beauty and the Beast (with a twist)

Here Beauty is teaching the Beast to be nice!

Beauty picks flowers in the Forest!

The old lady is casting her spell over the Beast!
We were thrilled last evening when we went to see the nearly famous Duffle Bag Theatre's redition of Beauty and the Beast.  Caitlin was chosen from the audience to be "Beauty" and was part of the hour long hilarious performance.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Do you Swatch?

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.  I can't believe how quick Christmas has come and gone.  Seems we spend so long preparing for the big day, then poof, it's over. 
Well, I'm excited to start knitting on my Rococo Wrap in the evenings...   I opted to use brown Fisherman weight wool instead of  my stash Briggs and Little Wool.  I like the brown color, and I love how this wool is so soft.   I read a comment on Ravelry, that one knitter used a Cable Cast On for this wrap because of the large amount of stitches that needs to be cast on.   Hmm... I've never used that type of cast on.  I'll have to practice..

Then I wondered if a swatch was necessary.... it's a lose fitting wrap..... is a swatch really necessary?   Well I decided to knit one up last night, and after measuring, it was the right length, but not wide enough....   Since this wrap is 70 inches long, I'm afraid that my wrap might be too short by 7 or 8 inches..... So I'm glad I made the swatch and I guess this evening, I'll make another using needles a size larger and I can practice a bit more using the Cable Cast On method.

I'm loving having my Boye needlemaster set... so easy to switch out needle sizes.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A fun gift - all the way from Korea

My niece saw that I had pinned this great knitted shawl on Pinterest.  It didn't have a name...  I was so surprised yesterday when I received a gift notification from Ravelry.   It was from my niece Stephanie, who is an elementary English teacher in Korea.  I was so excited to get this Rococo Wrap pattern as a gift from her, I immediately started to read through the requirements and gather all the things I needed to start this project.

The first thing I read was that I needed a 36" circular needle... Hmm where would I get that?... then it hit me, that I had a Boye Needlemaster kit that I've never even opened  yet.   Yep... I can string 3 plastic extensions together to make a long circular... And I had this light "Fundy Fog" Briggs & Little Regal yarn in my stash... 

Wow, I love it when a plan comes together. 

So, over the holidays, I'll knit up a swatch and then gear up to start this great showy shawl.. 

Thanks for the great gift Stef.. and Merry Christmas in Korea!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

St. Dunstan's Log Cabin

I'm all set to start sewing on St. Dunstan's Log Cabin Raffle Quilt 2012 after Christmas.   This is my first full size log cabin quilt.   I did a bit of research, and I've decided to use the techniques of Marti Michel to make this log cabin. The fabric strips are cut long ways and not width ways to avoid bowing, and they will be sub cut cut to the exact size logs. Each of the 120 blocks will be pieced with correct size strips. That means that I have 360 medium strips cut, and 360 white strips cut and 120 gold center blocks.   Did you know that traditionally, the log cabin block is made with a gold or red center.   

Anyway, all this pre-cutting has allowed me to get a good start on preparing to sew.    This quilt has no border.   So I figure that if I sew 10 blocks a day, that should give me lots of time to put the blocks together and bring to my guild show and tell on January 16th and 17th.  After that, the quilt top will go to the St. Dunstan's ladies for marking and hand-quilting over the winter and spring.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gingerbread Letters

A few years back my friend Lee M. gave me a whole set of cookie cutter letters.   You would not believe how much we use these letters.   Every year, they are the first thing the kids want to do, is to cut out their names, and decorate.  So from the picture can you tell who was here today making cookies with me. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Aurora makes gingerbread cookies 2011

I love love love to  make gingerbread cookies with the kids.  Aurora dabbled a bit last year... she was almost three then... maybe a bit too young... but not now.   She's been practicing rolling dough of various types all year.   So yesterday when she came to make our "official" gingerbread cookies yesterday she was prime.

The cookies are baking so let's clean up the flour... or should we say play in the flour... 

She loves all the different icing colors.

She's learning to hold the big bag of icing.  Grammie, you could have made smaller bags....gesh.

Voila.  Cookies are done.  And she brought them home in two bags.  One for her, and one for her best friend Saddie.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Pure Chocolate Love

THREE pounds of pure chocolate love that is. A fresh batch of Almond Bark curing..... What is your perfect white chocolate mix? This one is two pounds very dark chocolate, and one pound white.

Tomorrow, we make old fashion cherry balls and peanut butter balls.

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A label for Lollipop Garden

I made this label up after reading how important it is to put details on a label.   I also read that Micron Pens are a great pen to use with pfd (prepared for dying fabric) when making a simple label.  I just happen to have some pfd fabric and Micron pens in my stash, so I set out to create a label for Aurora's Lollipop quilt.    I really want to acknowledge the help that my sister Donna and her daughter Michelle gave me while waiting for the arrival of Baby Jack.  
They helped me for hours in cutting out all the fusible web and then after ironing the web shapes down onto the many colors of fabric, they cut out the flowers.  They took homework home when I was too tired to think...Really, it was a big job.   They also organized the color combinations of the multi-part flowers, and helped layout the placement of all the components for a great overall flow.    By the time I was left to work on my own, all I had to do was fuse the pieces on the white background, layer with batting and backing, then quilt.  All the hard brain work was done!!  (Thank goodness because it was confusing at times)

So when Aurora is older, and reads the label on her quilt, she'll understand that it wasn't just me who made this quilt for her.   And that her little cousin, baby Jack wasn't even born yet when we started this quilt.  

I'll hand stitch this label on this evening..

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Jacks friend, Taggie

A couple of months ago, I made a little tag blankie lion for Jack.   I love it when I get a picture of a baby enjoying the things that I make.  At just a couple of weeks old,  Jack was fascinated with the big nose on taggie and was really focusing on his new friend.

Cute eh!.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Preparing to do new projects

Grace sorts out my paper piecing parts for Winter Critters
While our grandson Mitchell is out advancing in a hockey tournament early this morning, the Caitlin and Grace, who spent the night here, were helping me doing some preparations for new sewing projects.

I love it that they are good tracers and understand things like paper piecing.  They get to do lots of prep work for me now and that helps keep me organized.  

Before I start working on my next big project, which is the St. Dunstan's Raffle quilt, I'm going to do a couple of smaller projects.      The first is a paper piecing project called Winter Critters.  It was in the latest Quiltmaker magazine.  It's really cute and caught my eye as soon as I opened the magazine.

Caitlin traces the Holy Family pattern for me.
Caitlin is tracing the Holy Family wall hanging pattern for me.  We had lots of people do this in our guild, and I have some beautiful batiks, so this is on my to-do list too.  It may not get done for this Christmas, but I'm preparing everything I need in a kit so when I get a day with nothing to do, it'll be all prepared easy to pick up and do.

This afternoon, we're all going to watch Mitchell play hockey since he's in the Finals of his tournament.  

Yeahhh, Go Team Go!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Presenting - Lollipop Garden

I'm so pleased to finally show you the finished Lollipop Garden quilt that I've been working on for the past 8 weeks (or so).  I've named it Lollipop Garden, because the kitties remind me of cats lurking around enjoying gardens around our house.  I think the grassy flowery borders really show off this quilt, and it reminds me of a whimzical garden.   This quilt will be given to Aurora, my youngest granddaughter who is almost four years old.  It will fit perfectly on her single bed. 

The pattern is from "Don't Look Now" and is called Rainbow Lollipops. 

Quilt Borders as it lays on a bed.  Cute eh!
Cute Kitties

Sleepy Kitty
Aurora's Orange Kitty, Tarlick! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

St. Anthony's Quilt - End of November update

It's slow going.  My side of the quilt now has the border done.  I quilted up around the corner, and we rolled the quilt under today (after this picture was taken).  We love the rolling of the quilt because it looks smaller on the frame and it gives us new energy to quilt in a different part.  The other side of the quilt had a roll a couple of weeks ago.
Even though we feel it's going slow, we don't care.  We enjoy our stitching time together.  Somebody always has a story to tell... and we've eaten home made Christmas cookies and fruitcake at our tea break... Yesterday was especially nice.   The Choir, who practices in the choir loft on Wednesday afternoons, while we quilt in the downstairs crying room, sang/practiced beautiful Christmas hymns.  We, the quilters, joined in singing hymns while stitching around the frame.   It was nice.   

Since everyone is getting busy for the holidays, we decided we would take a break until after the New Year.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lollipop Quilt - Week 6

I'm so pleased that I now have the final two border strips all machine quilted.  Quite frankly, I'm all swirled out.   Tomorrow I move into the final phases of this quilt... and that is to connect all five panels together using a quilt as you go technique....   

Friday I bind...

Saturday, I label...

And Sunday will be a day of rest....   


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ksedeas for supper

OK. I know that's not how you spell it... But it's the hardest word in the world to spell.
I've been looking for a fun thing to eat when the kids come to spend some time over the holiday season. And this is it...A George Foreman Quesadilla Maker. We got it at the Walmart. Mert and I will test it out tomorrow night to see how it works....

Want to come for supper?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

FriXion Pen test on Batiks

Always test your FriXion pens on the fabric you intend to use.  Everyone knows that, right?  

Well recently,  I discovered that when I tested the pen on some batik fabric, the pen marks disappeared, but so did some of the ink in the fabric.  I switched to a chalk pen, but I thought that my discovery was interesting and it could be used to my advantage.

I was reading Paulette's blog the other day, and she had somebody reporting this as a problem too.  Well I thought I'd repeat the test today using four pieces of batiks.  Using the FriXion pen, I printed my name on the test fabrics.  I waited 5 minutes or so, then ironed it off.  

The color lifts out.   Every time.  Every batik I've tested, has the same result. 

So if you are marking temporary lines on your batiks, don't use the FriXion pens.   

But knowing this,  I know that some of you are pretty creative and might find a way to use this FriXion pen "feature" in your batik projects.

 Maybe write, "Congratulations on your new apartment", or "Happy Anniversary" Or simply sign and date the front of your project instead of making a label for the back.

Can you think of other ways that this "feature" would be useful?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

More Posy Wallets

Last week, while doing a bit of procrastinating, I cut up a bunch of small remnants of fabric into Posy Wallet Kits.   It's a cute pattern that I found in the Art to Heart - Sew Necessities book and I made some last spring.  It's the nicest little case for carrying all my hand quilting do-dads.   It's not so simple, but no so complicated either.  
I needed give some to a friend, so I finished up seven of the many many kits that I cut.  And I have a couple in my stash if I need a quick gift.

So the good news here is that I got rid of lots of the small pieces of fabric in my stash.  

More good news is, is that I got over my procrastination, and I'm moving along nicely on my lollipop quilt again.

And even more good news, is that if I feel the need for a short break on the lollipop quilt again, I have at least a dozen Posy Wallet kits ready to sew up.  When I need a break I can just take out a few kits, and sew them up.   

Now, I need to get back to the Lollipop quilt!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lollipop Quilt - Week 5

I have the three middle panels all machine quilted and they are hanging over my upstairs railing until I'm ready to sew the panels together.  It's so good to be able to move on to the borders.  They are really different than the center panels and I just love that each of the two border panels features a pair of cats. 
I'm not quite ready to layer and pin baste yet, but I'm going to continue to put the push on to get it done in the next 10 days.   I have two quilt guild Christmas meetings to go to, and I really would like to bring this Lollipop quilt for show and tell.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A "Get-Well" Gift Idea for a crafty friend.

I was searching my brain for a low-cost non-food gifty something that I could give/make for a crafty quilty friend who was in the hospital for surgery.   I came up with this idea.

I traced a stitching pattern on a doubled piece of white fabric, included an embroidery needle and a skein of red floss. I made a long home made envelope so I wouldn't have to put too many creases in the fabric. I put lots of Get Well writing on the envelope and dropped it off to her daughter to bring to her in the hospital. That was a week ago.

I just got word back that she loved it and is working on it 15 or 20 minutes at a time. It is a nice distraction from her medical stuff. She shows everyone who comes to visit!.. I'm so pleased that she is enjoying it.

The photo shows the faint marked stitching lines of the Meg Hawley 2002 pattern called "Snow"..

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Triplets meet their triplet cousins...

Well, cow cousins, that is.   Did you read in the Daily Gleaner about the rare triplet calves that were born down the road on the Bourque farm?  Here is is a short video interview too......Well, it's certainly a rarity.  They say chances are one in 8 million.  It turns out that this farm is owned by relatives of  our triplets other grandmother, so I say, they're triplet cousins...
The kids had a day off school today so as a mystery day, we picked up the kids and took them to lunch at the Blue Canoe.  

Then we went off to the Bourque Dairy Farm, for the main event.     Meeting the 4-week old triplet calves. They are all girl calves, and are named Faith, Hope and Love.    The calves were receptive and loved to supple on the kids fingers.  It was scary for the kids, but once they caught on, they were not shy about it at all.  The kids took personal interest in each of the calves that were the same birth order as them.

Third born Hope supples on third born Caitlin's fingers.

Second born Mitchell gives gentle pats on second born Faith's head!
First born Love, has a rest while first born Grace talks gently to her.
Group Photo, Faith, Mitchell, Hope, Caitlin, Love and Grace

Thanks so much to the Bourques for letting us come for a visit.  We all certainly have a better appreciation of how busy running a dairy farm is.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

My Sister's Oatmeal Cookies

I've been looking for a good oatmeal cookie recipe for some time now. And now I have one.   It's my sisters recipe.  I should have  known.  I make lots of her recipes, and they are all good.  

I know she won't mind if I share with you.    It makes 2 pans of cookies.   Approx. 50 cookies.

Oatmeal Cookies.

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup butter
3/4  cup coconut
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda

Cream sugars, eggs, butter and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Take spoonfuls about the size of a walnut, and bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 10 or 11 minutes.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Fun making Looping Scarves

I look forward to Fridays.  See, that's when I get together with the other Friday girls for coffee.  We all sew, but don't usually sew at our coffee breaks.  But today was sort of a different coffee break.  Linda G. hosted and we had arranged for her to purchase lots of fabrics to make loop scarves.  So, in addition to having a coffee and coffee break treats, we tore the fabric into strips, and Linda G. demonstrated on her serger, how she makes her loop scarves.   We all left with a variety of fabrics to make our scarves.

I'm so pleased with the variety of fabrics that she purchased.  I came home with these seven pieces of fabric (about 15" x 80").  Not that I rushed my coffee break, but I couldn't wait to come home to sew them.   Within 5 minutes of getting home, I was in my sewing room serging one up. 

Easy Peasy.   Do you like it?  This one that I'm wearing is a bit of a shorter version (15" x 60") and only does two loops around the neck.   I'll make up the others later this evening and see how I like the three-loop longer version. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

She's nuttier than a Fruitcake

I wonder if that's what my kids say when they hear us talking about how much we enjoy our fruitcake.  We enjoy buying the stuff at our bulk store, Scoop and Save.   Such a fun store.  And we like preparing the recipe and baking them together.  Well, he chops the cherries and dates, I do the mixing and preparing of the baking pans and he does the dishes.   But most of all, we love to eat our fruitcakes, some months after we make it. 

I was looking on my blog to see if I had put the recipes on before, and yep, I had.  The recipes for the light and the dark fruitcakes, can be found in my 2008 blogpost here. 

Next year, we might be up for a change.  My friend Linda H. makes a layered dark fruitcake.   Next year, I am going to try her recipe.   I just need to remind myself in October of that so I don't forget... like I forgot this year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lollipop Quilt - Week 4

Well, I am pleased with my first panel.  It took longer than I expected.   I don't know what I was thinking, when I thought I could get three panels done this past week.   
Now that I know how much time this panel took I am going to try hard to get the other two panels done in this next week.    I don't have any big commitments this week, so I'm determined to stitch on the two panels two hours a day.   In addition to completing the free motion quilting on the next two panels, I need to have the outer two panels prepared and ready to stitch in the following week.    

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Spicy Spiral - it's so hot, there's flames!

I had a great teaching day in Saint John this past weekend.  I was with members of the Marco Polo Guild guiding them through their first Spicy Spiral  table runner.   Carol A. sent me some photos of her finished runner.  She free motioned flames in the wedges of her Spiral.  I think it's so hot hot hot!!     Have a look at the details.... Great Job Carol!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lollipop Quilt - Week 3

I'm into week three of making my lollipop quilt.  I will be quilting this in five sections and then connecting them together after all five are machine quilted.    I've taped the backing and batting to the floor and carefully laid out 3 of the sections to be pinned.  I find this the most difficult part of making a large quilt.  I use a pad to kneel on, and pin for 10 minutes at a time.  Getting up is hard.. tee hee...   The next step is to cut the three layered sections apart, and machine quilt.

 But first, I need to warm up... test my threads, etc.  My strategy is to quilt the white parts first, then do the colored part after.

With my warm up done, the next step for me, is to machine quilt, quilt, and more quilting..  By next Wednesday, I want to have all three sections quilted.  Do you think I can do it?