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Archive for March, 2011

The monsters get in on the crafting….

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

So – no fantastic quilting pics, I have had a great affair with a head cold this week (and couldn’t believe the forecast tonight was for snow – AGAIN) and had some emergency sewing requirements.

Specifically Harry/Seamus (monster 1’s puppy doll) and Ziggy (monster 2’s smaller puppy doll) needed pillows.

The youngest was early sunday before last rustling around in my fabrics, which I left her to, curious to see what would happen.  She found some cupcake fabric she loved.  It resulted in a request for pink cupcakes to look like one of these last week, and she finally agreed that a cupcake pillow would be a good idea for Ziggy.  And she very deliberately picked the cupcake liner fabric.

Number 2 wanted an ice cream cone pillow so designed it and chose the fabrics.  Next step is to put the sprinkles on (seed beads hand stitched – she is learning hand stitching in school).  

The good news is both dolls now need blankets.

But I had to laugh at my little quilter who said “mummy – we will just take little squares of fabric and sew them together, no problem”

SO – I am off to cut some fabric for my next project….

A finish, and a volunteer with sore arms….

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

So – lovely sunny day cold and windy but irresistibly bright, we were out riding (pushing, cajoling, negotiating and then yelling “hey slow down and wait!”) the new bike (someone grew) and the younger monsters “new” bike….though monster 1 isn’t sure she wants to give up the old one….a tad resistant to change.

Afterwards I figured leave them outdoors, let them play in the yard…..and then figured as it is sunny, let’s exploit the fact that the monsters are out, and use them to hold up a quilt to take a picture……

Started out so-so…..

That was photo 2….the wind was picking up…..Photo 3 is below, I forced a photo 5 and 6, but it really wasn’t worth the effort……

One would think I was sewing with sheets of lead!

As a test run for the Creativ Festival, where I intend to sell tumbler blocks and wanted an example….I am going to list this in the store, what the heck – there are no baby boys on the horizon amongst friends or family, and contrary to popular opinion in this house we don’t need numerous picnic blankets for the living room floor……

New Digs…..

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Ok, I have a cool new sewing post for later, but instead of sewing/cutting fabric for the show during my kid free day (yes, my husband and b-in-law have the monsters, as they are playing hockey tonight leaving me with my monsters and my monster nieces….the house may survive) I decided I would clean up.

I love that phrase, I am going to clean up – as anyone out there knows that only leads to a bigger mess.  I have done a bit of purging, which is good.  But moving the crap that was in a place and messy, to clean the place, leaves you with homeless crap.  So you throw it out, or you have to move some other stuff out of it’s place to fit the crap……cyclical for sure, productive value questionable.

Anyhoo……I decided to move my sewing machine so I can see the woods behind the ohuse, which is the reason we bought the house and something I don’t see that much of.  The main floor view is in the kitchen, and there is a second floor deck over the kitchen deck, as well as a kitchen table populated my monsters or there craft creations and mess to distract from the view.

These woods are good, there is a wetland which brings deer with their babies (and coyotes), we are near a  migrating bird sanctuary so there are lots of them making a lot of noise, and we are also in a raptor migrating area, so we get a few very unusual birds briefly including a variety of owls.  So lots of entertainment.

The new spot is also further from the bed my children take to co-opting at night, and since my Janome is permanently set onsuperfast speed it is sorta noisy, so I figured the distance may allow me to sew more.   Lastly I dragged a table I have had for a while upstairs so I can put one of my older, basic machine on it and keep little miss inquisitive 1 or 2 from pressing every button on my machine (in theory…. 😉 ).

So here is the new view, big improvement over the wall!

A happy result of the move was I found my seam ripper – the scissors while not fatal proved aggravating, replacement rippers weren’t as good – short of making the stitch spacing really wide I was getting very frustrated (of course paying attention could work….lol)

A few things….

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Hey guys –

First – who has my seam ripper?  Due to the contretemps I had with my sewing machine before my first last (that makes sense, really) work trip, when I was trying to save my sanity and finish the zig zag fat quarter quilt (ok, who are we kidding, quilt top, and finish is relative, sanity long gone), I used it alot, and right before I left I used it to show my oldest monster how to rip stitches in a bear she was making for her young puppy cousin….IT HAS VANISHED!  It is now required as while one top for a crib sized tumbler block quilt is done, the other suffered a major brain fart tonight, I had reluctantly decided to match up two of the same blocks, entirely, blissfully unaware that I still had to sew a row pair together, and wouldn’t have to make that match…and no those aren’t extra blocks on the sewing table, they have a PURPOSE!  Today was one of  those days.

Second – this is my new toy.  More affordable, and possibly as much fun, as the coveted long arm quilter.  Also will allow me to cut precuts of designer fabrics and go to town…..brace yourself for some HST (half square triangle, not the tax) silliness (the tax is more than silly…..)

Third – some news – I am in the process of getting involved with the very cool fat quarterly ezine, check out their site! – it is well worth the modest issue cost, packed with info, projects and special offers.

Fourth – new stock wending it’s way here – Max & Whiskers – stay tuned

So – I am now going to go and rip stitches with a wicked sharp little pair of scissors with a curved blade, just tiny little guys, but let me tell you, they still smart when they hit the fleshy part of your hand by your thumb – and due to the curve I have to do this right handed…….and can’t destroy my left hand…

Tomorrow’s jobs?  New seam ripper that actually cuts the thread…..

Have a good evening, and if you are at all near Toronto stay warm and enjoy our freakish snow which fell all day – dare I say this should be the last of it?

Holy tumbler blocks Batman!

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Yes – I did watch the quality cartoons as a kid – Kapow!!! – Batman, Spiderman, Flinstones…..and hey Herc – a very disturbing one about a half man/horse thing that played a flute…..well – we aren’t here for those issues right now.  But holy tumbler blocks Batman is right!

I got myself an Accuquilt cutter, and the tumbler die.  I love the tumbler block. It goes together in no time flat.

Check it out.

Initially I pulled otgether the colours wanting to use Joel DEwberry and no pink.  So came up with an interesting palette.

The number or blocks was dictated by the amount of fabric I cut only, although the cutting came undone as I asked my husband to help by cutting while I gave our monsters their respective baths and showers for their return to school tomorrow.  And being a guy my husband figured if I could put in the amount of fabric I had shown him when demonstrating then certinaly more would be better… now the cutting die has a manual requirement!  Anyhow – the block is still fun.

So once I got these laid out, sewing a row at a time to make the alternating light and dark pattern, I was counting blocks remaining and figuring out what to do….struck me that I could make boy baby quilts.  For a decent lounge quilt I ended up being too narrow, and didn’t have blocks needed to finish the lounger evenly…..but I can do two boy baby sized.

So that is what I did!

I figure I will take these to Creativ Festival, meant to showcase the blocks as I will sell those, but hey if the quilt sells so be it!

And the code is……..

Friday, March 18th, 2011

So – I got the code……274LC.

Use this at the under the spring show to buy tickets online.

They get you in at 9 am, and there is a draw before the general opening!

So c’mon, I will see you there!

Fat Quarter Project 2 – this one had me questioning my sanity (there really isn’t any question of course!)

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

So – until I stitched the last row to this I was convinced I had a row ordered backwards and would have to take it apart.  Then I told myself no you are wrong, it is ok, then I decided it wasn’t.  Talk about easily confused!

Anyhow – I got it done.

It is late, I just wanted to give oyu a quality pic of real progress.

And a parting thought – this one was about piecing.  If I do write out the directions I believe it will have a healthy “what not to do” section – on that list is join from the outside in, on both sides at once…….

LOL – Nicole

Creativ Festival

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

So – I will be attending the Creativ Festival.

For any of you who want the utter thrill of meeting me in person (or, more realistically, a dollar off admission and an extra hour in the show before everyone else) I have been given a unique code that my customers can use to buy their ticket online and get the benefits outlined above (not forgetting the thrill of meeting me of course!).

So – I just finished writing this, went thru my paperwork, and found I haven’t been sent the code (understandable – I am seriously last minute here), but I did find out that there is one shopping spree of $550 given out each morning just before 10 am to the early attendees…..very cool.

Code is coming.

Here is the flyer with details on the show – check it out, there is a ton of stuff happening here and well worth the entry cost.

Here – a non sewing pic…..

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Insanity reason number…..I don’t actually know, but here is where I am today…..I have on 2 pairs of socks and 4 layers of shirts under my jacket….but the sun is coming out!  We may get up in the air yet – but visual flight means just that, pilot needs to see where he is going, and white on white isn’t great for that!

SO – do I need to tell you the reasons I am nuts?

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

It has been a while since I posted, and I am going to have to find you a picture to go with this……the leading indicator of insanity in my world is that I have decided, very last minute, to attend the Creativ Festival in Toronto this April as an exhibitor…..truly insane….booths and people don’t scare me, I just came off a week of that at the PDAC conference, it is the amount of work to do, and the fact that I have certain setup things I also need to do in order to make this happen.  Par for the course for me, I never plan things out, I just jump in.

SO – I am writing this from Northern Quebec, just north of where Labrador and Quebec meet.  It is cold here with snow drifts that are head height, and snow banks that are higher.  This is work.  The plan had been to do some work on the website in down time, but that hasn’t manifested itself.  I can report that the zig zag quilt did get some work on the weekend before I left and after my houseguests from Spain in town for the PDAC left.  But only after I had the most frustrating time of it with my sewing machine, that little bugger vexed me for a day, and just when it would seem to be fixed and sew a couple blocks with no problem it would get naughty again and eat some fabric, fully winding the thread into the thread race or something fun like that……we have a detente in place now and it is getting a break while I am away, so fingers crossed.

I will be home late tonight, so keep your eye on this place.  I have a backlog of stock stuff to list, I am becoming a sponsor of a really neat site, the Fat Quarterly online zine, I will post info about the Creativ Festival and a unique code I have that will allow you to buy tickets for $1 off and entry an hour early, and lastly an update on the zig zag quilt…..

For a picture how about this….a bali pop in summer(ish) colours, as opposed to the snowy grey here.