Sunday, April 16, 2017

I'm Home

You know the saying, there's nothing like your own bed after travelling.   Well, that is so true, but even more, There's nothing like your own sewing room and your stash.

I've been home almost two weeks, and believe it or not, I've been sewing up a storm.   I made new curtains for my living room.   I've been sorting through my stash to make samples for the classes I have coming up this spring.  

And on the quilty side,  I've made a couple of wallets this week.   The dark one will be going to the Miramichi quilt guild later this week.  My friend Geraldine will pick it up to take to guild.  Their class is full, but it'll be nice if they get to see what they are going to make.    

And you might recognize the busy print on the lower wallet..  It's one of the fabrics in the CQA Trend-Tex Challenge.    Since I was on a wallet making kick this week, I decided to make a wallet out of my challenge fabrics.  That will be going to Toronto for the annual fund-raising Auction.

Ahh, it's good to be home.











Tuesday, March 28, 2017

But before I Go..I needed to Sew

Just thinking about packing up my sewing machine this week gave me the heebee jeebees.  I've made the mistake of packing up too soon before.  So  I thought, I should get one or two of my small projects on my to-do list done.

The first project was simply to add a zipper to a large wide-open bag.  It was started a few weeks ago and was waiting until I found the right color purse zipper.  So that was a quick finish.     This is a gift for my friend Brenda and I'll give it to her when I get home later next week.


Next, are a batch of pencil cases.  To make the fronts of the pouches, I used up batik scraps, added some simple stitching to a plain light fabric, and then added my label.  When the fronts were done, I put them together using my standard simple pencil case pattern.    All they need now are  cute little beaded zipper pulls.


It was fun to sew the continuous random lines on the long
plain strip.  





Tuesday, March 21, 2017

When it's time to go, it's time to go.

The weather in Florida has been exceptional this winter.  We have had so much fun here in the community and it seems like we were busier than ever.  

We loved having some visitors this year.  The best was having my grand kids were here for March break. Besides suntanning and swimming, we played shuffle board, went for dance lessons, went bowling with the big balls, and we can't forget the afternoon milkshakes.  They loved having their own transportation around the community.   Everyone here has a golf cart.  It's a large community.   It would take 30 minutes to walk to the pool.  So the carts are a must here.

They also loved just going on the lanai in the mornings with their breakfast.  Feeling the warm morning sun on their face was so welcome.  The kids want to live here, but it's too bad for them.  To live here, you need to be of a certain age.  But you can visit all you want..  

Well the kids are gone now and the countdown is on. Most everyone's visitors are gone too and the conversations around the community are about who is leaving when and how long their drives are.  Now not everyone leaves, the majority of our friends are leaving.   Each year, my circle of friends gets a bit wider.   Most are sewers or quilters and I haven't even left year and can't wait to see them next year again.

Even with all that fun and community, I am now looking forward to coming home. I have a busy spring planned and I'm chomping at the it to get back in my sewing room.  I have all kinds of projects swimming around in my head.  I think I should start making some lists.  That way, I won't wake up in the middle of the night with things to add to my virtual list.

See you all in a few weeks.

  

Monday, March 6, 2017

Bunnies, Bunnies, Bunnies

I finished a medium size Open Wide bag yesterday. I thought it would be a good bag to tote my bunnies for show and tell at quilting tomorrow afternoon.   But I guess I should have made the larger bag.   Seven sets of floppy ears are just to many for the medium size bag.   teehee..

Also, I love it when I can re-use something that I have done before.   Here's the story... See, I plan to give a bunny as a gift to the girl who organized the quilt show here in the community.   For weeks now, she just goes gaga every time she sees my bunnies.   She really wants one for her adult daughter who has all kinds of quirky things.

I haven't told her that I'm giving her a bunny yet.   I wanted to make sure I had enough yarn to  make extras.  And I now know that I do.  So it will be a surprise for her.  I will give it to her in the last few days that I'm here, before heading north.   Now, how will I present it to her.   I need a gift box.  I know, I can make one...

I tried a bunny in my wallet box for size and Voila..it fit's perfectly. No adjustment to the size is needed at all.   Yippee.  All I need is a nice piece of tissue to wrap the bunny in and a ribbon for the outside.

So, if you want to make your own box for a bunny, you can use my wallet box tutorial which can be found here...




Saturday, March 4, 2017

It's a Blue Binding


The blue binding won out.   Thanks to everyone who offered up their opinion.  

After watching a Bethony Nemish video about machine quilting little sprays of feathers, puff balls and swirleys.   i decided I had to try.  She made it look so easy.  I thought I can do that.   For my practice,  I whipped up this simple runner.    She made it look so easy.  It's not as easy as she made it look.  😀  Maybe with a little practice I will get the hang of it.  



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

White or Blue - That is the Question!

I whipped up this little table runner this week.  It only took about an hour to free motion quilt it.     Now the question is to bind in white or bind in blue.  Here I've auditioned the blue binding...  I can do either.... My intent was to bind in blue, but I quite like the fresh white look...      What do you think?



Saturday, February 18, 2017

Lake Ashton Community Quilt show 2017

The organizers were flying blind on this little show.  Never done one before here in the community.   They only had the venue for a day.  They had no budget.  So they organized the day long event.  The setup, the collection of the quilts etc, the hanging of the quilts, the exhibition was from 1 pm to 4 pm, and the take down.   It was amazing and everything went like clockwork.

There were over 300 visitors from our community.  We, the quilters were hostesses and spent the afternoon talking to visitors and answering questions.  I was impressed and very pleased to have participated.  

Let me show you a few pictures.

Show Stopper!!!   A brilliant applique quilt by Marilyn from Ontario
This quilt took her two years to applique.

Applique detail.



Such precise work.  I just can't imagine.

More detail

Fun Christmas projects.
A fun kitty quilt by Lowleen from PEI

Three wall hangings.  
Many works in this show were by
Snowbirding Canadians like me.  

A Cross Stitch and fall table runner

A stunning sampler Cross Stitch.
Look at the framing mat.  It was painted to coordinate
with the stitchery.  Very inspiring
but hard to photograph under glass..

The Venue was the ballroom.   We had loads of  visitors.

This quilt was made in the '70's  by the mom of one of the members.
It covered a queen size bed.  It was stunning.

Love the Geometric design.  Carol from Montreal made this.
Hand quilted...  Beautiful

Beautiful Cross Stitch by Elsie...  Three Cats Guarding.
Hard to photograph under glass.  It's stunning..

Look to came for a Visit.  Was great
to see you Lucy and Elsie!

Joanne made this traditional pattern,  Love the colors.

Joan  made this from a Kit she bought from AQS.
  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

I'm Teaching at Quilt Canada 2017 - Toronto

Well, I'm just tickled pink to be selected to teach at Quilt Canada this coming June 2017.   It's a great year, because it's Canada's 150 anniversary.    There are lots of Canada themed projects and I love that even regional teachers like me, can participate.   When I say regional, I usually only teach in the Maritimes.   By teaching at Quilt Canada in Toronto, I get to meet other quilters from all across Canada.    I'm Thrilled.

Notice the link on my sidebar to the right.  i'm proud to display the Quilt Canada Logo and my Quilt Canada classes can easily be found by clicking the logo.

Today, I've been featured on the Canadian Quilters' Association Blog.       Click here to have a read.   I know many of my followers are regional and have taken one or two of these classes locally.  If so, why not leave a comment on the CQA blogpost and let their readers know if you enjoyed the class.  

Friday, February 10, 2017

Cross Body Name tag/Badge Holder

Next Wednesday, here at the local community center, I'll be working at a quilt and needlework show.   We are a small community and the organizers of the show have put in a lot of work so far.  I don't know how many pieces are being shown, but I will have 4 small pieces in it.   I've shown them to you already on my blog in the last month.   I am expecting a few visiting friends and I'm thrilled about that.


It's going to be fun, and I will be there most of the day.    I made myself a name/badge holder.   I think it'll be just fine to hold my phone, a pen, pad of paper, and a snack.   In the little plastic front pocket, there is a paper with my name on it, and a little saying.

"Beautiful things come together, one stitch at a time."

I like this little pattern.   You've seen me make it a few times before.   Here is the link to the free tutorial.




Saturday, February 4, 2017

Knitting Neede Holder

Even though I'm putting my  knitting bag in the show in a couple of weeks, I've been using it to cart my bunny knitting things around.  I have found that the pockets inside the bag don't hold my needles very well.   I had saved the small bits of left over accent fabric.  After laying them out, I realized that if I pieced them all together, there would be just enough to make a to make a little holder for the needles.   So, here it is.    Inside, there are a couple of crochet hooks, and 5 sets of various sized needles.   The needle bag.  I like it. 

   
  


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Owl Table runner - Quilt as you go Style

Here is a project that was just finished.  It will go into the community quilt show in two weeks.   I enjoyed making this table runner. Once I got started, it went quite quickly.     See the sashing strips connecting the owl blocks.   I found it quite easy to be machine quilting one block at a time.    I used all kinds of scraps for the backing and connecting sashes and the binding.    

I call this "The Owls of Lake Ashton" because  our community is well known for water birds, wildlife, and owls.


Scrappy backing for the Owl runner

I should have used darker thread for the eyebrow tufts.  It's hard to see
where I machine quilted them.   Look closely.  They are there.

This owl is still quite sleepy, don't you think.







Monday, January 23, 2017

The Boy Bunny

Well, a bit of unexpected rainy weather was just enough time to finish off my boy Bunny.   I used a different yarn for this little bunny, and he came out slightly bigger than Flora.     I don't have a name yet for him, but he sure is cute.  He has a patch on his face and his floppy ears are different colors.  He has a blue striped sweater and a pair of blue shorts.  

I made Flora a new blue dress too.   Now she has a blue dress and a red dress. 

UPDATE:    I love my friend Linda H.'s suggestion that a great name
 for this little boy bunny should be Freddy.   
I love it and it sounds nice with Flora.   
So, here are Freddy and Flora.  






Saturday, January 21, 2017

Boy Bunny in progress

Two ears, two arms, two legs, and a body and a head.   That makes up a set of parts for the boy bunny to be friends with Flora, the girl bunny.   This boy bunny has a patch on his face and has two different colored ears.    He is going to be so cute.    He won't be done for a week or so because I'll be away on vacation for a few days...   so stay tuned.


 


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Flora the Bunny

Well, you've heard me talk about knitting recently.   I fell in love with these little knitted rabbits and just had to make one.   I thought I could do it pretty easy, then discovered I never had any of the 3 sizes of needles needed to complete the project.   The needles are small and were hard to find.  But I found some online at NordicMart.com.    I bought my yarn there as well.    

I just love the fingering weight yarn for the little dress and leggings.  It's called Flora.    I've decided this little bunny will be called Flora.    She needs a little flower in her hair.  Once I figure out how to do that, she'll be done.

I plan to make a boy bunny soon, and they'll both go into our community's quilt and stitching show in mid February.

Want to knit one yourself, the pattern can be found on Ravelry, here.

Flora without her dress on.


Flora's little bunny tail

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Filigree Bag

I did another of Pat's kits this week.   This is one that I had never seen before. It's call Filigree by Sew Sweetness.  It's a double zip pouch.    It is made with Annie's soft and stable, so it's standing on its own and keeps it's shape perfectly.   This bag features piping and a beautiful ribbon as an embellishment.  And it is constructed so that each of the two zippers opens to a separate compartment.   It always amazes me how designers invent new techniques and functions.   I absolutely love the shape of this bag.   
It's now at Pat's shop, Heartfelt Quilting, in Winter Haven Florida..


Saturday, January 7, 2017

My Sweet Knitting Bag

Well, I have my first project done since arriving at our home away from home just over a week ago.   It's large size Open-wide bag.   I just love the knitting themed fabric and a piece of stash accent fabric that works perfectly for the accent.     I had to get a piece of the fabric when I saw my friends Margie and Lucy had the fabric.    And what a fun small project to make for our community quilt show on February 15th.  I knew it would be the first thing I made when I got here.


I've made a couple of the medium size open wide bags now.   My first bag that I made a couple of months ago had a simple cross hatch of squares.   I know when I made it, somebody asked, did I buy the pre-quilted fabric?    I hadn't, but that got me to thinking that maybe I should do something other than plain crosshatching.  Heaven forbid that somebody thinks that I bought the fabric.😏

So, the next bag I made, I pre-quilted straight lines.  I liked, a lot.  It was quicker than crosshatching..and I liked it just as much.   For this knitting bag, I wanted to try yet a different pattern.   I decided to do a double lined cross-hatch.

I really like it.   It did take me longer to do, but it's exactly the look I was looking for.

It's hard to see, but I attached my little 'Sew Gail Mitchell' label to the front accent stripe of fabric.   I like it.     After attaching that, the bag went together pretty quick...


Next week, I hope to show you my knitting project.  I have it started, but I've had to order a set of 2.5 mm knitting needles to continue.   That size is very hard to find anywhere.  

The finished bag is about 12" wide, by 8" tall by 6" deep.

Perfect for carting my knitting project too and from the knitting club here in the community.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

We are settled into our Home away from Home for the winter.  We've had a day or two to get groceries and get settled in.    Now I feel like it's time to sew again.  All my supplies are sitting on the spare bed.   Today I've already started to transform the dining room into my sewing room.   I am just itching to make something.   In mid February, the local quilting, and knitting groups in this community are putting on a Fibre Arts show.  So it's the perfect motivation to get moving.

I will do one or two table runners and maybe a wallet or two for the show.  And I've selected a complicated but sweet little knitting project.

I have the required baby yarn but need to get the right size needles.  I have a 5 weeks to finish the projects. I'll report in next week on how I'm doing with them.