Sunday, 25 April 2010

Group projects - a caterpiller Quilt

Friends Lyla and Penny joined me in making another baby quilt for our good friend Jean's latest grandbaby. This is #4. His cousins and sister have quilts that were made by us and it is only fair that he does as well.
We get together with our chosen fabrics and put them together. Amazingly, the random choices work!!!
Our day's efforts netted this so cute quilt top. The  sleepy eyed faces were machine embroidered, manually (using the satin stitch, then narrowing it, as well as straight stitch for the lashes).
Penny cut, Lyla ironed and we all stitched the blocks.

This quilt pattern came from a magazine, Country Woman (p.44, April/May 2009) and is sooo sweet. This is the finished top, I will be quilting it in late May after the other 3 projects in progress are done.

The rest of the weekend included a Toronto FC Soccer match and picking up another Four-footed Grand Dog for a 5 week visit. TFC won. The four-footeds are all sleeping.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Earth Day Clean Up at Fanshawe, Scrappy CAT Quilt and making cappuccino

The week past has been quite full. As community service for Earth Day, a group that I work with donated time to clean a local Conservation area: Fanshawe. This was the second year we worked with TREA. Last year it was the first amazingly beautiful day of spring. This year however we experienced every kind of weather you can imagine in spring except amazingly sunny and beautiful.

Last year I was thrilled to see glimpses of color, there was lots of green this year however so even though we had snow, sleet, hail, rain and wind I enjoyed the simple beauty of nature's art. These tiny pink flowers were only a 1/2" long. Aren't these water droplets so amazingly clear?

I think that  the camera on my Blackberry Curve takes pretty good pictures, most of the outdoor pictures in this blog were taken with it. When I have some free time I will set up some page tabs, one of which will be just for landscape and flower pictures.
I have finished the Scrappy Cat quilt for CAT. It is being couriered to this dear friend on Wednesday so she will have it ASAP. Her follow-up oncology surgeon appointment is Thursday I think; this quilt should keep her safe, warm and definitely not alone in this fight.

See what conditions I have to work under. This little cutie much prefers to tuck her little nose into my elbow while I try to sew or type so that she keeps me still and let her sleep.

My next projects are the little lavender laundry sachets. I was stunned when I saw these selling at a local eco-store for $8. They contain a few cents worth of lavender sewn into a tiny cotton sachets. The tag indicated they were to be tossed into the dryer as an alternative to scenting your fresh laundry. The concept is great, the price is ridiculous.

One last project for this cappuccino mat. I prepare a fresh double shot of espresso and frothy milk every morning. Each day I also spill coffee grounds and wipe the frothing wand clean. That used up a paper towel each day; I know better.

I "borrowed" some terry toweling from a friend (which will be returned as a set of espresso mats) and added some coffee themed fabric to trim the ends. This is just the right size to tamp my freshly ground coffee and catch the overflow, wipe the steamer wand and tidy up any little spills around my prep area. It looks cute too!

Sew... I have been a very busy lady. These goodies,  completing my school term project, evenings with friends and all the other stuff that goes with living like laundry, cooking, cleaning, going to work, paying the bills, and of course, enjoying life with my sweetie and the four-footeds.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Screen Printing 101

This past weekend I took a workshop in screenprinting, my first attempt. I have been wanting to create a printed label for my quilts.   I always outline my quilt labels with hand-drawn stitching, needle and thread. I fill in the rest of the label with details about my quilt, its name, the design, the recipient, and a small story about it. 

The class was taught by  Roisin of bespoke uprising who creates  the wonderful, whimsical prints that I love to play with.  The workshop was held through the Guelph School of Art. This was a great opportunity for me. I will probably redo this in a more delicate format sometime but not today.

This is an open print re-using feathers from other students experiments. It was fun.

Here is my rudimentary design, my silkscreen and the first labels that I printed. These  labels will be used on my current projects: the scrappy kitty quilt, Heather`s Wall Hanging  (which is in progress), and a couple of other projects which are due to be completed within the next few weeks. These include a signature quilt and another wall hanging.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Plans interrupted

A friend is in need. Sweetie told me that I should make her a quilt (this does not take much persuading). All my other projects in progress are sitting a bit while I make this.
I went to the LQS to see what they had on offer for kitty fabric.
"Feline Friendship" by Whole Country Caboodle seemed to fit the bill. I added some prints and made random blocks.
I will quilt this in a random swirly pattern, just like an unravelled ball of yarn.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Using orphan blocks

Although it is often fun and challenging to be part of a swap for blocks in order to make a quilt, sometimes the blocks you receive just don't quite "do it" for you.
I love green. I love quilt blocks. I love blocks that are signed by people I have met online in quilting groups. The idea of having a green quilt sounded great and so I signed on. My blocks were made and sent off, and I duly received my Squishy of a dozen (or was it sixteen) blocks.
They were mostly very nice, a few were.... not quite nice enough for being in a quilt with its friends.

I have been using them up as orphan blocks in tote bags, place mats, wall hangings and other projects. There were 4 left.

I needed  to make a curtain for my studio door, and Sweetie was tired of the length of fabric that was draped over the curtain rod. I just was not inspired or enthused about making a plain white curtain, mostly because there is not much that is fun or creative about plain white curtain making.

I realized one night however that I could use these remaining blocks as the bottom of a curtain and then make a more interesting top using another block that a friend had sent as a RAQ.

ta da!

The other big accomplishment, besides some great family time, is that Sweetie helped me to put up a design wall. 3 pieces of an "environmentally responsible" styrofoam (2' x 8') and a few yards of extra wide white flannel. The whole unit cost less than $35 for the parts and a "big thanks" to the sweetie that helped me to put it up. 

There was a lot more sewing going on this past weekend as well, but I will have to blog about that project another day.

Pretty pink Kalanchoe

Even more flowers for Easter.
I was quite blessed with so many pretty things.
Spring is very beautiful this year, both inside and out

What are these pink flowers?

More Easter flowers

Bouquet #2.
Even the four footeds are enjoying the scent of these cheery flowers. Freesia, carnations and ??? What are these pink ones?

Easter flowers

Bouquet #1 Star Gazer Lilies.
They smell heavenly, it feels as if I were standing in a garden in the early evening.