Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Canada Flag blocks done,

It was pretty easy.   In just 15 or 20 minutes each day, the 10 Canada flag blocks are done.  I started these blocks two weeks ago.   They didn't take very long to finish.  I will sew them together, and then it will come home with me in the spring to be quilted. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015

We survived Christmas without our family.  Thank goodness for technology.  We spent time online with each of our three daughters and families... And we were able to watch our youngest grand daughter open all her gifts.  It was fun and so heart warming.    Later in the day, here in the community, we had an organized pot luck turkey dinner with 5 other couples followed by a Yankee swap.  It was lots of fun.     In Florida, where alligators are our respected back yard neighbors, they are honored on the front yards as decorations.   

So, for our Christmas pot luck dinner, I brought vegetables.   I used a couple of borrowed casserole dishes to put them in.    With time on  my hands, I made these two hot pot pads to fit the dishes.  I considered making Christmas themed hot pads, but decided to use scraps from my Canada flag quilt.  I will use these hot pads again.   when I return the dishes, I'll send along the custom made hot pads. Cute, Eh..

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Fusing Maple Leaves

 I tested out my sewing den a bit yesterday and today.    I found out I wasn't a fan of the big office chair.   A spare kitchen chair seems to be better.

I've been itching to get at my Oh Canada quilt.  I led a class last month at our guild where we prepared 10 flag kits, and did a fabric swap.   I brought my kit of fabrics all nicely cut and stored in baggies by color.    I knew it would be my first project here.

I decided to work on the 10 maple leaves as my first project.  It wasn't very much sewing, and an easy project to work on in short spurts.

After piecing a chunk of fabric sized to fit each of the different colors of the maple leaves, I fused the traced leaf onto the back of the fabric.     This afternoon, I spent some time on the warm lanai, cutting out the 10 fused maple leaves.

They are calling for cooler weather here in Florida in the next few days, so I'm sure I'll have a chance to work on the side sections of the flags.

I'm done sewing for the day, but I did get a chance to lay out a couple of the colors on the ironing board.

For these side pieces, I'm doing a bit more contemplation on the placement of the colors, and how to sub-cut the strip sets to create a little variety and interest.

Stay tuned..

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My Sewing Den - Winter 2016

We arrived yesterday at our home away from home in Florida.  It was so nice to finally get out of that car and just soak up the warmth.

Here is the before picture of my sewing den.   I spent a little time thinking about how to set it up.   I had my sewing machine, bags of fabrics and project kits.  I also have some knitting and stitching supplies.   I'm here for four months, so I want to make sure that I'm comfortable.

So it's all ready to sew.    I will have a look it my bag of kits and decide which will be the first.    Stay tuned.

A simple placement of the office desk by the window is perfect.
My cutting mt and tools are on this end of the desk.
The ironing board has a nice place to the right.

Lots of storage here.   There's even
a cute TV.  I'm not sure I'll use that
but we will see.

And another storage bookshelf.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Meet the St. Anthony's Quilters

I was visiting with the St. Anthony's quilters earlier this week.   They are almost done the Christmas Goose Quilt.   I love that they have a full complement of quilters around the frame.   They will put on the Bluebell quilt that I showed you last week.
Remember, I couldn't remember the name... Well, it was Bluebell.   They knew what it was right away.    I guess it was only me that couldn't remember.  haha..

So, this is Doris, Alice, Paulette, Dolly, Josey and Alice.  Over the winter, they will pass Wednesday afternoons quilting.  

Friday, December 11, 2015

Scarf - allmost done!

I was knitting like mad last evening to get my fun scarf done.    But I came up short.    Just another hour of knitting and it would have been done.     Today, we are on our way to our home away from home in Florida.   So, since I hope not to need my my cute scarf for the next few months, it remain here and
will just be completed and blocked in the spring.

Actually, I consider this my practice scarf.   It's such a fun pattern to knit.  Each point of the scarf requires twelve rows.    While south, I'll look for some nicer yarn and I may knit one when I'm south..    


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Making Small Gifty things

I've got all my big projects behind me.  I'm now into making some small projects for our guild's silent auction that will be held at the Annual Christmas Luncheon.

This is a drawstring bag just big enough for a sewing machine foot pedal and cord.    It could also be used as a knitting bag for a small sock yarn project.  They are quick to make up out of scrappy fabric.    This was a free tutorial.  I followed the directions and the size is great.  It's easy to scale the size up if you need a bigger bag.

Now, I'm not sure what I will put in the bag.  Maybe it will be a surprise.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Sock Monkey Coffee Cup Cozy

A friend of my teen granddaughter dropped a BIG hint to me last week...  She said that she loves Caitlin's Sock Monkey coffee cozy.   She said everyone loves it, even the teacher plays with the tail.... and she really wants one..  ....  So later on I asked Caitlin if that was a hint.... Caitlin smiled and confirmed my suspicion. It was a BIG hint.   I asked Caitlin if would like me to knit one for her and she can give it to her friend as a gift...  She jumped at the chance... So I made a couple.  I'm sure I'll find a home for the other one.  They are friggy to make, but I don't mind on a small project.   
If you want to make for yourself, you can find the free pattern on ravelry.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Presenting: Blue Something - St. Anthony's Raffle Quilt 2016

It's the next raffle quilt that the St. Anthony's Quilters will hand quilt over the winter.   One fall day a month ago, we had a discussion about the nice arrowhead block and how popular the color blue is.    As we were quilting, we threw around ideas and we all settled on a name.  And I can't Remember!!!!    It was to be called Blue something.....

I'm bringing the quilt, the backing, the batting, dark blue binding over this afternoon.  But the label will have to wait until next week so that I get the name right.    I bet the girls will forget too... teehee...

Monday, November 30, 2015

I love my Serger

I have had my serger for 20 years I'm sure... I use it in in fits and starts.  

Just look at that narrow edge using only
one serger needle..
This past week, I took a 3-hour class with 10 other serger owners to learn and practice how to do rolled hems with light fabric.   We learned how to set our machines for a rolled hems.  We tested flimsy, slinky fabrics using various stabilizers and techniques.  I had no idea that I could sew with three threads rather than my normal four threads.   I love the narrow seam that the serger makes with the three threads.   We even changed the threads by tying on a new color and pulling it through the loopers.   Pretty easy once you've had some help to do it the first time.  

I'm about to change the thread to black and I'll be making a few scarves for our guild's silent auction in two weeks.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Pencil Cases for Madame Annie and Madame Venessa

Voila!!   They were a quick finish this morning.   Miss Aurora will be thrilled and proud to give these to her teachers.

Look closely...  Do you see the straight stitching? If you want to do it, just find the right blue thread and stitch parallel lines.  Then add a red straight stitched margin line.  I took measurements from a piece of loose leaf paper.  Easy peasy.

I practiced drawing the name on paper first, then  wrote the name on the fabric with a friXion pen. I hand stitched over my markings with red floss.  Any marks that showed, disappeared when I gave the pencil case a final ironing.

See, it's big enough for lots of pens and pencils. And
there's nothing like a little crystal zipper pull to make any
plain gift sparkle.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Making Teacher Gifts

Little Miss Aurora was here last weekend.  We spent much of our time in the sewing room making clothes for her American Girl Doll.    

During our conversations about school and what not, she told me how her grade two music teacher, loved Aurora's pencil case that had her name stitched on.    So Aurora asked me if I would make two pencil cases this for her regular teacher, Madam Annie and one for Madam Venessa.  

Aurora made me a note so I wouldn't forget.  Good thing, because I almost forgot. She even helped me by picking out the color of the zipper for each teacher.  

I stitched up some blue lines on fabric, added a red sideline to look like ruled paper.   Then came the hand stitching of the cursive name in red floss.  Now that the parts are finished, these two pencil cases will be a quick finish.

I'll show you tomorrow..

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Frogging - Ugg!!

I'm moving along nicely on my scarf.....and something is not right.    I realize that my bobbles are too big.   In reading the pattern, it said MB for make bobble.  I googled knit bobbles, and the first 3 articles I read had a 5 stitch bobble.   So I made 5 stitch bobbles.

 As I move along, I now have 15 bobble along the edge of my scarf and it was bothering me that they are not the same as the picture...  I re-read the pattern.... ug... they call for 4 stitch bobbles.

I knew it wasn't looking right...

Ribbit Ribbit....

It's only a few hours of work but I know I'll like it better with the more delicate bobbles.  I'm also taking the opportunity to use a cream colored yarn this time.  I wasn't crazy about the heathered light brown.    This yarn is Briggs and Little.    I have a couple of points done, and I like the size of the bobbles much better.   But now I'm concerned that the Briggs and Little is not soft enough.... Seems a bit course in knitting this bit...

I'm contemplating another restart with softer cream yarn!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Doing the Highland Fling

I haven't knit in months.   I thought I would get some knitting in this summer at Grammie Camp, but we were too busy.   So I never got to scratch my knitting itch.   

Last winter, at a sewing class that I was teaching ,I noticed a couple of girls wearing a nice hand knit scarf or shawlette.   I really thought it was nice.... it showed off the regular old garter stitch, but had bobbles and a fun edging detail.   I filed it away in the back of my mind, and thought I'll find the pattern and do it some time.     Well the cool weather is here and after searching for the pattern without success I asked my friend, Margie for the name of the pattern.     There it was, right on Ravelry.  I just didn't have the right name....  which is Highland Fling...  See it here on Ravelry.

Ahh, it feels good to knit in the evenings.  It shouldn't take very long to knit...  maybe a week if I do a bit every evening...    I'll check in at the half way point.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Drawing Feathers with a Pencil!

Today, I'm leading a free motion feathers class in the Sewing Room at the Ville.  Yesterday, I spend some time preparing for the class.  I made up my own practice sandwiches of fabric... I like to give a paper hand-out to help people remember some key points.    I put pencil to paper and feathered.....
After using 10 pieces of paper, I finally have 3 hand-out pages that I'm happy with.    I realize that for me, stitching feathers is far easier than drawing them.   

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Here's Your Pants Back!

Last week while making wallets to go to Nova Scotia, I made a special one for my friend Willa.

Willa's Wallet with still more wool fabric.
Still enough for 3 more wallets
See, last winter, I was looking for wool pants to recycle into wallets.  I didn't find too much while scouring the thrift stores.  But in the spring, my friend Willa brought me a pair of her husband's pants that he no longer wears. They are a beautiful 100% wool in light grey.   He was a travelling businessman, and these pants were custom made for him in China a few decades ago.

A peek inside the wallet shows
the blue/grey batik.  

Well, she wasn't out the door and I had the pants de-constructed and the rescued fabric in the sink soaking in a mild detergent.  (you know, just in case she changed her mind and wanted the pants back, I'd better act quick :)).   In my recent wallet making spree, I cut a couple of  wallets kits out of the wool fabric pieces.   I decided to make one for Willa.   She hasn't seen it yet but she and her husband are coming for supper tonight.   I will give it to her, and say "here's your husbands pants back!"

 If you know Willa and her hubby, you know they will get a big kick out of it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Bling for the Wallets

A little sparkle goes a long way.

After finishing the 8 wallets yesterday, I made some zipper pulls for the zipped coin pocket in the wallet.   I used glass beads from my bead stash....  I love that little stash..  It's only 2 cups worth of beads but it gives me, and sometimes the kiddos, a lot of entertainment...  


The finished wallets now have their sparkly zipper pulls attached...and they are packed up for their trip to Nova Scotia this weekend....

Here's the final poses of the wallets.   It always amazes me how much you can get done in small chunks of time.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pose for the Camera!

Pose for the camera!!  I took this picture yesterday just before sewing up the sides of the 8 zip sections of the wallets.    Notice that the zip tabs are all pointing in the same direction.  

The wallets are almost done.  I'll give you the final wallets pose tomorrow.    Then they will be packaged up for the trip to Nova Scotia this coming weekend.

I'm starting to think of what's next on my sewing to-do list.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

I'm Making Wallets - in my spare time

I'm making 8 wallets.   These along with a few others will be heading to Nova Scotia in 2 weeks.      I'm working on them in bits of my spare time.    Last week, just by working a bit in the mornings, I have the outside covers and flaps of the 8 wallets done.  

Today, I'm sewing the tabs on to the ends of the zippers.   If you have taken my wallet class, you'll recognize this step.    I thought this was a neat picture of my zippers.  It clearly shows the assembly line work.

Tomorrow I'll sew the zipper sections.  I would say it'll take me an hour and a bit to complete the 8 zipper sections....

With a quiet week ahead, I expect I'll have these wallets done by next weekend.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Presenting - My First Mini -

The great thing about doing a mini is that they're quick to finish. The name of this pattern is Sunshine and Shadows by Joyce Newman.   As you know, even though it was a jet lagged week, I took the class from Joyce.     She had such helpful techniques.    Since the fabric requirements are minimal, it was easy to pull colors from my stash...

I finished it off at home by adding borders and then machine quilting.  It was done just in time to take to our guilds show and tell.

I like it.  I'm planning on making another with different colors.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Making a Cake with Mitchell

Grandson Mitchell, now a teenager, was here yesterday after school.   I was helping him with his science project.   He had to make and decorate a cake that depicts a cell.    After some research Mitchell came up with a plan.  He needed a rectangle cake and many colors of icing.  Light, Medium and dark purple, pink, light and dark green, black, tan, orange, blue and yellow.  

See all those years of practice of decorating Christmas cookies has paid off.  (See as early as 2008 here, and then later on here and here).   He decorated this cake all buy himself.    It's a cell.   As you can see there are many parts.   Who knew!!

After the cake was done and we were all admiring the artistry, Grampie said he should have made a cake of his iPhone.  "That's a cell!! " he said.  Mitchell and I both thought that was hilarious.   Mitchell is known as a comedian at school but I'm afraid, he might not have a got a good mark for the science class if he brought an iPhone cake.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Sunshine and Shadows - Making a Mini

I took a mini quilt class this week with Joyce N.   It was called Sunshine and Shadows.   It's like a trip around the world quilt.   I've been wanting to make a mini quilt for some time now.  

I pulled colored strips from my stash and with Joyce's help, she helped me arrange the colors so I would get a dramatic effect.   As we sewed, Joyce gave tips on ironing and pinning and used a neat tool to arrange the blocks to transport from the ironing/cutting board to the sewing machine.   I really enjoyed this class and learning neat techniques from this master sewer.

This center part is only about 9" square.   I plan to put a small border and a larger border on it.  I'll finish it this weekend to bring to guild on Monday for Show and Tell.    I'll show you too on Monday.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Squirreling away Quilt Kits

This time of year, it's fun to watch the squirrels gathering for the winter.  When I watch them, I can kinda relate... I'm in the mood for preparing for winter too.    Preparing for winter sewing that is...
Late Bloomers Quilt kit:
This Late Bloomers quilt is on the cover of the April 2012 American Patchwork & Quilting magazine.    I had put this quilt on my to do list some time ago.  I like it because it has a little applique, and it is mostly pieced.  There are several star blocks but the overall design is one massive star.

The guild set a challenge this year, and it is to make a star quilt.   So when I found that out at the meeting last week, I knew exactly what I would do.  The Star challenge is a great reason to move this quilt to the top of my to-do list.    Over the past week, I've been pouring through my stash, and I've cut a complete kit.   I've even traced and fused the applique the flower parts and cut them out.   It's now all packed away in a nice kit, and it'll come south with me this winter.  

That makes two kits that are now squirreled away.   What are you doing to prepare for Winter?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Making Badges for Model Train Enthusiasts

A golf buddy of my husband loves model trains.  He belongs to a local club and they put on volunteer displays.   He has looked into having a train design stitched on to sweater/vests for the himself and the other train enthusiasts.  They would wear them when they do public events and exhibitions.   At the local embroidery place, the setup fees and the low number required made it too expensive.

In talking to him, I suggested that a patch might be the way to go.   He thought that was a great idea and the guys could buy their own sweater or vest, then simply apply the patch.  So, with his help in picking out the right train design, I stitched out a sample.  He was thrilled.

This is not something I would normally do, but this guy has helped us out lots.  And it's nice to return the favor.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Presenting St. Dunstan's Raffle Quilt 2016

This quilt is a two block queen size quilt.   It's made up of the prairie flower block and the snowball block.   I'm trying to think of a name for the quilt.   I've been working on it a little at a time for the past month.   The St. Dunstan's Quilters will hand quilt this winter, and they will sell raffle tickets on it next year.  

Normally I wait until November to make their raffle quilt, but I was anxious to try the block.  I made the block,   Of course that lead to cutting a kit.   And that led to just making the blocks.    Well, here we are a month later, and the quilt top is done.

I've made the binding and when I decide on a name, I will make a label.  

Now, what to do in November?

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Makings of a Spool Quilt

As you know, I worked with Diane at Country Crafts and Curtains this summer on her Row by Row project.   I designed the row, produced the pattern and helped her implement this marketing program.  Neither of us knew how the program would work.   All we knew is what the Row by Row folks had told us about their previous years program.

The Row by Row program is now winding down.  Diane and I had a little sit down to talk about how the program was.  Diane loved the program and enjoyed every visitor she had.  

So, Diane is all set for next year's Row by Row program when the details are released next spring.  

As I sat there, Diane had a big roll of her new beautiful Batiks on her desk.    She handed them to me as a thank you for helping her out this summer.    I am thrilled.   I know exactly what I'm going to do with them.  I'll be using them in a project that has been on my to do list....  It's Edita Sytar's Spool Quilt.  I bought the book a few years ago, and it's now packaged up with the fabric, and will be coming south with me this winter!!

Thanks Diane!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Introducing The Sewing Room Blog

The Sewing Room at The Ville is now ready for Sewing.  www.thevillesewingroom.blogspot. ca.    You will see a lovely room to sew.  The bookshelves have lots of magazines and books for you to get inspiration from.  

Classes for the fall have been scheduled and more are being added regularly.  Class sizes are small, 8 - 12 people.  Class fees are reasonable...most around $25.  Some sewing days are being hosted by quilters you know.   Why not come out to sew with us.  

Let me know what you think.   Do you have a class that you've been waiting for?  Let me know and we'll see if we can get it scheduled.

I've put a link on my sidebar.   It looks like this.   When you find it, click on it, and it will take you to the Sewing Room Blog..   Please have a visit.

Monday, August 31, 2015

St. Dunstan's Raffle Quilt - Week 3 and 4

The St. Dunstan's Quilt has been coming along nicely, in my spare time.  This is an easy quilt.  Every other block is a snowball block.  Of course, that space will show off the delicate hand quilted designs.   The 54 blocks are laid out, and I will pick them up today, in a fashion that Eleanor Burns teaches.   This method is so cool.  That will get them off of my spare bed and when I have time, I'll sew them together.   Next step is to do the two borders and make the binding.   I have a busy fall planned so I'm pleased that this obligation, normally done in November, will be done.     

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lady Ashburnham Pickles

The past week has been busy with making pickles.   Today I made these Lady Ashburnham pickles from Linda H.'s blog.  I've really enjoyed recipe for a couple of years now.  

Linda tells a great story behind this local pickle.  I really love that they are not so sweet.  

When going to the market to get the produce, the vendors usually ask, "What are you making.. Lady Ashburns?"   They can tell because I'm only buying big cukes and onions.   So many people shorten the name.  Over time, I bet most will not know the real name.  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Harvesting Our Garlic

We have been harvesting rhubarb, lettuce, green and yellow beans for a month or more now from our little garden.

This morning, we decided it was time to harvest our garlic.   It was the the first time for us.  We planted it in October last year as we put our garden to bed for the winter.  Since early in the spring, we have been watching it grow ever since the snow left us.   The sprouts came up through about the same time as the tulips came up.   In mid July, on the 3 foot skinny stalks, it was exciting to see the garlic scapes emerge and eventually curl. That is a sign that all is good and the plan is maturing.    We cut them off and made a soup.  

The stalks had started to dry from the top, and this is an indication that the bulb growing is done and they can be picked anytime.  This morning, I was a little surprised to see that there's a purple tinge to the outer skin of the bulbs.   I expect that will go away when the garlic start to dry.  

I will save one to plant again this fall, and we will enjoy the others in some garlicky recipes soon.  


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

St. Dunstan's Raffle Quilt - Week 2

 This is what 21 of 28 blocks needed looks like.  I got these done just before Grammie Camp started.   I have a busy week this week ahead, but I am sure I'll have no trouble doing the final 7 of these prairie blocks.  I intend to square up all 28 blocks as well.  Next week, I'll be working on the 28 snowball blocks.    

I had a little math problem, a couple actually.  I solved one problem pretty easy...  But the other one is still a mystery to me.  .   See, these flower blocks were supposed to be 10.5" finished.  I designed the block in EQ.   Turns out that they will be about 10" finished.      Oh well, it's close enough.  That's why I always do sample blocks.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Grammie Camp 2015 - Day 1

It's Day 1 of Grammie Camp.    

It's not supposed to be called Grammie camp any more, because we had the last official Grammie camp last year.    But my hubby and I are entertaining 5 of the 6 grand kids at the lake this year.   All Girls.     Grampie intends to give them all personal golf instruction.   We have even borrowed some lefty clubs for our lefty Jessica, and has set up his golfing net.    
The Golf tent is up at the cottage.  
Since it's so hot today, the peddle boat and swimming may be the major activities for the afternoon.  
Golf instruction is on the agenda for tomorrow morning, when it's cooler.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Sewing Room at The Ville

I've been working on a fun project this summer.   The old Alexander Gibson Memorial School in Marysville was de-commissioned a couple of years ago.   "What would they do with the school" was on everyone's mind.  Well, an enterprising team bought the building this spring and has been working hard since the spring to turn the old school into a community cooperative.     The name of the building is now The Ville.

There is one classroom on the second floor that lends itself to be a great sewing/quilting workshop room.   The room is bright, there are lots of outlets at table height for the sewing machines.     I've worked with the team this summer to make this a comfortable room to hold sewing workshops.  They painted, gathered and made tables from the surplus in the basement.  I am quite impressed with their enthusiasm, excitement and energy.   It's contagious.      

At the grand opening of the Ville, there were lots of non-sewer visitors to the Sewing Room.  They all want to learn to sew. I can tell that beginner classes will be in high demand at first.    

Gail with Caitlin and Grace.  
Included in the visitors to The Sewing Room last week, was Lori, the reporter from the Daily Gleaner.  While Lori was in the room,  my two grand-daughters just happen to come in with all the usual squeals, 'Grammie, I saw this, I saw that".    Lori, the newspaper reporter snapped this picture of me with the girls and wrote a nice little piece about the sewing room.  I hope you got to see Lori's article in Monday's paper.    

The Sewing Room is ready to hold workshops in now.  The executive director Jeff, is ready to take bookings. Ph: 506-472-7799.  I hope his phone rings off the hook.  

Although the room is ready, there are a few things that would make it just a little better.  I'll list the items that are needed just in case you can help.  Of course, used items are welcome.

2 Ironing Boards - thanks Connie
1 - Auto-off Iron
1 drip coffee machine - Thanks Brenda
1 small microwave - Thanks Brenda
1 electric tea kettle
1 blue recycle bin - Thanks Lori
1 first aid kit - Thanks Lori
2 medium size cutting mats

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

St. Anthony's Raffle Quilt - Week 1

Well, it's week 1.   

Last week, I was pulling fabrics, and preparing to kit up the St. Anthony's church Quilt.   I did up a test block. There was a problem, and I adjusted my pieces.    Then on a quiet day, I found myself, doing a few of the smaller component blocks.  Another quiet day, a few more.    Oh my, I have many of the components done now to sew the full blocks.   Four of 28 prairie flower blocks done.   So, why stop now.... I guess I'm officially started.  New Finish Goal - end of September.

On my table - components to sew 4 more blocks.