Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Stitching up a storm

"Scarecrow" was my first torture machine applique project (totally a weird process for me and I probably messed up too) from "Miniature Quilts" (which I dearly miss) and I even submitted a pic to the Editor and was in the Show and Tell section!!! WOW for me. And it was on display at work this last week!

Sorry no pictures of the progress I've made as yet, but nothing really completed as yet either that you haven't seen already!

Well yes it's been heaven having my evenings free and since I went to my sister Sylvia's in Ontario on vacation I've been either stitching or planning/drafting stuff to stitch just about everyday, even on the weekends before or after my part time job shifts. I've made quite the dent in planned Christmas presents that have to be mailed out by mid-end of November. I'm also in another group for a Holiday postcard swap and they are all going overseas and have to be mailed by the 17th, well the tops are finished just waiting for the already planned out PC backs to be penned out. No ink in my printer, so doing it the slow way, but I at least printed one out at work on paper and will use my light table for tracing with the Micro pens.

And if not stitching, then I'm embellishing crazy patched items, either postcards or blocks. Then (guess too much time on my hands) I've also been trying to get organized in regards to swapped items and just lucky I'm a list type person as I had most of my info either on paper or the emails and got my Postcards Swapped list together - I couldn't believe the amount I've done and I've barely participated in the various monthly swaps. I've made up 53 so far (give or take a few I may have missed), sent out 47 and received 48 - not bad, and two no-shows from one swap! These are all kept in the Staples purchased postcard pages so you can read the backs and stored in the large 4" ring binders that work was throwing out cause they were ink stained from other projects (I'll cover them one day).

Also I'm thinking about and checking out what type of unit I need for my FQs so I can get them off my floor in the spare room and then maybe get to some organizing in there! It's a mess and that can't stay like that forever! Sheesh what will happen to it when I perish??? Scary thought if my sister Elsie has a say!!!

So that's what I've been up to just about every day since beginning of the month! Besides computer stuff at home with other groups too! But not much chatting time nor housecleaning!!! He He He!!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Another step finished!

Well first off I feel a total goofball!!! I would have missed my quilty sister's 65th BD today if my niece had not emailed me telling me so!!! SHEESH, I can't believe it - I was just there and she'd mentioned it and I had it written down!!! Well I got a card off to her but did call and chat a bit again today! We really should just get a direct line already!

Anyways, I've completed all the satin stitch on my angel pieces for the postcards and now I'm adding in the beads, trims and star sequins. Then I'll draft up the backs and they'll be ready for addressing as soon as our swap lists are posted. YAHOOIE this is the first in a long long long time that I'm actually catching up with things. Maybe just maybe I'll even get to more cqing on my personal swap block yet. That would be lovely.

Guess it helps not to work the part time job every second day - on top of a fulltime one too!!! LOL!

Comments posted

I LOVE receiving posted comments but sorry ladies, without your name or email I can't provide the information you've asked for. I hope you check back here for the answers.

Lately my satellite group asked that I do a postcard demo (my way) and thus I did a write up with pictures. Now I've uploaded that to a couple of Yahoo groups in the Files section and I hope you belong to one of them for your own copy.

Now as for the clear envelopes or bags as they are called, yes I will be posting my personal swaps in them in future and hope for similar in return. I've never used them before but have been told they are great and accepted by the postal system too. I hope these will help to prevent embellishments from hindering the delivery process. Apparently sending to or from Italy, they are a must.

So you prepare your postcard as usual, I take mine to the postal outlet to ensure proper postage is stuck on the back of the card AND have it hand cancelled too! Then insert it into the clear bag/envelope, seal it and hand it back to the postal clerk for mailing. The FibreArtPostCard group I'm in does not allow these (cards are to sent "as is") and most of those I've received have arrived okay. But a few have had machine cancelling on top of hand cancelling and also pinkish bars across the front of the cards or smudges on the back. So I'm hoping the clear bags/envelopes will prevent this but yet you'll have the cancelled stamp on the postcard back too.

Guess time will tell.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I like it, I like it!


I've been playing with my new stained glass postcards and LOVE the effect. So much so I had to phone my sister again today (definitely long distance) and squeal with delight! Yep, naturally she has call display and knew it was me and asked what the heck I was up to now!!!! (I hate that feature!!!) But I can't help it, I just love the stitching (a soft pastel multi coloured rayon thread) on these fabrics and boy at times like this I WISH I had my own digital (oh well maybe soon) and then I could post as I go!

Oh no, that's not true as BLOGGER was blogging itself and wouldn't let me in this past hour or so, so guess I couldn't do my uploads anyways! LOL! Good thing my hockey game is on so between the sewing and TV I've been kept occupied you can say!

Sorry for the teasing, but I know my neighbours definitely are not interested in seeing my sewing and I really don't feel like dressing up and heading out the door at 10:00 pm either. LOL!

New Pics Again!

Hey I think I just learnt how to insert a link in this baby too - and if it works I need to give my head a shake for not trying it sooner! If it does not work, then check on the left hand side for Favourite Blogs and Dale Anne's to see who and what I mean!

Ohhhh I'm having so much fun, would be mucho more if this blasted headache would go away! I finally broke down today and bought the Advil Migraine gel tabs - hope they work.

Okay, here is the first of my attempts of a thread and snippets postcard. I received on from my friend Dale Anne a long time ago and she just showed me the techniques on my last visit to her place in June. I loved it and my sister thought I was loosing it, digging through my thread catcher and then her's too, but then when she saw what I was doing she went to her serger and pulled a few black threads for me! Then she wanted to know if I wanted her to collect them for me - NO!!! LOL! In the end she thought it was neat - that was before the sandwiching and edging too! Talk about recycling to the itty bitty pieces!

Then here are two more of my crazy patch heart PCs - I just LOVE doing these but still have trouble keeping the edge in line so my decorative stitches cover all the edges nicely. Remember PRACTICE MAKES PERFECTION! Otherwise I just shrug and say the world's not perfect so why should I be! LOL!

Then there is the new "stained glass" PC that I want to attempt for my CQF group holiday swap. Now I know it's not crazy patch and hope you gals don't mind this, but I sure hope it turns out like I envision it to and that it is liked by those receiving it. My friend Linda (thanks again for the picture taking) really likes it and it's still in the rough stage.

Okay, guess I'll go start my embellishing on this baby and maybe get them finished this weekend too! That would be great as the clear envelopes should arrive next week and then I can concentrate on the backs ready for mailing! WOW!

REMEMBER to have fun and play with these babies!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Postcard playing

Ohhhh, I started playing with a thread and snippets postcard while on vacation at my sister's and then it just carried on from there. I'm kinda relieving work stress by playing in the evenings and finishing off what I started.

Then I thought what about a stained glass type of PC and after a very slow evening shift Friday night I drew out my design and yesterday put the finishing touches to it and traced out all the Steam a Seam II pieces and today I played once again. So I have all the pieces puzzled together ironed onto the background fabric and so far so good. I can even envision the finished effect - now just as long as I don't screw it up!!!

I also finished off my FAPC group list birthday postcard for November and it's ready for mailing off - WOW - that's a first for being on time for me!!! That'll now allow me to play and play and play and play some more!!! LOL!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Colourwash Quilt Update

Well I've just finished stitching together that block I started at my sister's. So I still have two 21" centre blocks to plan out and stitch along with 11 side and 3 corner blocks, then all the hand applique (yep that's how I'm doing mine) of the nine flowered centre blocks. We haven't decided as yet how we are going to quilt this baby but I'm sure Sylvia will figure something out and pass it onto me. We both know that with all the applique blocks (she's doing her's by machine) there is no way it can be machine quilted on the frame.

I know I mentioned working on these blocks before so I thought I should maybe pass on the info from where we've gotten our inspiration for this quilt.

My sister first saw it in the magazine "Quilt Works Today" August/September 2003 stitched by Sharlene Jackson of the pattern by Rose Hahn found in http://www.needles-n-pins.com/hahn.htm but neither of us cared for the presentation of the flower blocks and also not all the light colourwash squares. So Sylvia redrafted the colourwash and we've found various flower images from other books (I grow orchids and she's a painter) and adapted them for a nondirectional layout. This way the quilt can be placed on the bed anyway - no definite top.

We both have lots of extra 2.5" squares for the colourwash and plan to make pillow scarves for the beds - I'm not into pillow shams that is for sure! Heck I don't even make my bed upon waking - why when you just crawl back into it at night! LOL!

I teasingly said this quilt may never get finished in my lifetime and Sylvia said she'll keep pestering or challenging me to work on it every so often. Well I phoned her tonight to chat and she'd just finished stitching up the two blocks she had planned out while I was there - SHOOT! So that's what got me up and atem tonight and finishing my half together block. She even suggested more vacation time out at their place and thus working on it more often than I do at home. LOL! Will see!

Here's the pics

Well here they are! My projects from my week semi-private quilting retreat at my sister's in NW Ontario. Check the previous couple of posts for some of the details on these babies or my Webshots albums (links below my email siggies).

Saturday, October 21, 2006

My Day!

Shoot don't tell me I'm coming down with a cold, been sniffling and sneezing a couple of days now and head feels stuffed. If it continues I's getting some Vit C tomorrow!!!! My nephew is coming tomorrow early to take out my AC - hope it's not too cold as it takes about an hour to wrestle this stupid unit out and finally close the windows - should get a different one next year and save both of us this aggravation!

Last night while driving home from my part time job I noticed my signal lights not working right = weird like! Well this morning they didn't even come on nor my flashers - YIKES!!! - I then wondered about my brakes but kept forgetting to ask someone to check for me. So I drove very carefully just in case.

Well in another group that is basically handstitching/embellishing crazypatch, we're exchanging postcards for Christmas. I haven't made them yet, but my evening job was dead and after the day job hectiveness I found myself nodding off so searched for angels and kept myself awake drawing up my plans for my postcards. She looks just lovely! And today I visited my needleworks shop and picked up some charms to stitch in place too. Now to get sewing and order myself some of those "clear" envelopes and I hope I'll be ready for the November mailout. This should be fun! I also drew out some simple Christmas light ones and have an idea of how to "embellish" them to give them some pizzazz! Not sure how many of those I'll make up but definitely will use my machine for some of the stitching.

Well today I had a quilting guild meeting 10-4 and a quilting satellite meeting 10-3 so I went to the guild in the morning and Linda M. took my pics for me so hope to post tomorrow results of my vacation quilting marathon and then the afternoon at the sewing meeting but no sewing for me. I did clean up from lunch and chit chatted with the gals (two I hadn't seen for months). Just lovely.

After my meetings I drove to my niece's and her DH checked the fuses and found my culprit so then off I went to Cdn Tire and got the clerk to find me my fuse, also picked up a steering wheel cover and back to the car I went. There I was in the parking lot stretched out under the door and under the dash trying to fit this !@#$ into it's plug! Then fighting with this rubbery fabric cover trying to get it onto my steering wheel, hopefully to keep it more even temp in both seasons! VOILA the lights work!!!!

Now I'm just relaxing (should be cleaning but no energy) and listening to the hockey and switching to the baseball game too. Why both at the same time!!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

UFOs no more!

Okay, I've finally recapped my sewing projects and here's what I worked on at my week long retreat at my sister's!

1. planned and stitched up 3 more 21" colourwash blocks with 9" cream centre blocks for my queen sized quilt. Lots more blocks to stitch up and then the nine centre blocks need the applique flowers yet - I think I'll be doing mine by hand needle turn technique - I've more control that way.

2. free motion machine embroidered the finishing touches to the pansies on a wall hanging started in Oct. 2004 and learnt to use Glad Press n Seal and free motion quilting in the border, then bound it, hand stitched the binding and hanger and wrote up and stitched on the label. Now the office will have a "spring" wall hanging - one for each season and a few extras too! Wonder what they will do when I retire and take them home with me?

3. planned out of swapped charms, stitched up, learnt to free motion quilt the sucker too and hand stitched the binding and label on a 51" table runner (for a Christmas gift).

I was then really tuckered out and stressed out from trying to control the free motion and doing it on the runner the proper way instead of stopping and turning the piece like I did on the pansy wall hanging, which my sister didn't say anything until I'd finished (good thing she waited as I probably would have cried and run away - LOL!). Then she got me to practice the proper way and it did get easier. But after finishing, I needed to play!!!!

4. gathered up our snippets and thread trimmings along with some serger trimmings and added in a coloured trim too and scattered them all willy nilly on a white with silver glitter charm and overlayed with some fine white netting and used my variegated cotton and satin stitched in varied widths and meandered all over the top. Then I added various beads scattered too. Just have to finish off the back and put together the PC and voila ready for mailing.

5. then Sylvia convinced me to finish off my guild class double wedding ring table topper her way and I must say it is BEAUTIFUL! So using a fine zigzag and her wine variegated cotton I stitched over my pencilled poinsettia in the centre and the holly leaves (green variegated cotton) and the holly berries (in wine) in the melon spaces. Then I used Sylvia's Quilt in Ditch foot (we've similar Kenmore machines) and WOW just about perfect in the ditch quilting around the arches. Then I added the biased binding and it's clipped ready for hand stitching (this completed Wed. night) and I've the label yet to do (this designed and stitched on along with beaded poinsettia centre Thurs. night) - all complete now!

6. We also hemmed up my 5" too long ski pants so I'm ready for the snow and cold!!!!

7. Also I crocheted tops onto 4 kitchen hand towels which I gave to my sister and her friend Fran as thank you gifts.

Okay I think that is it and I promise as soon as I get pics taken I'll post them too!

Monday, October 16, 2006

I'm Back from my Semi-Private Retreat

Howdy there! Yep I'm just back from a VERY VERY VERY LOVELY week long quilting retreat at my sister's! Even though it SNOWED Monday evening and STAYED all week (over 6 inches deep and heavy - one snow drift was 13 inches deep) and just started melting slowly when I left today. My BIL even cooked a wildgame supper for us one evening and others I helped out my sister prepare or heat up already prepared frozen meals allowing us to SEW just about from morning till late evenings. One day we drove into town (60 miles away) for BIL's Dr. apt and groceries and scouted out two quilt shops (one had 40% off moving sale on so I splurged) along with the Salvation Army Store and found two small crocheted doilies for CQing and ate out too. It was my BIL's 69th BD on Friday so in the evening they had friends over for some celebrating and we had all kinds of muchies BUT totally forgots the awesome Black Forrest Cake and candles!!!! DUH!!!

Well I got lots of stuff sewn and planned out and ideas for more. As soon as I can get over to Linda's (probably on the weekend) I'll have pics to post of my items completed. My sister loved having me there even though she didn't get much of her stuff completed - see she hemmed up my ski pants for me and coached me on my first solo free motion quilting and lent me her Quilt in the Ditch foot and now I'm going shopping for one for myself on Saturday! AWESOME! We did work on our individual colourwash quilt blocks but they are very very very time consuming so naturally neither of us are finished yet, but Sylvia is close, whereas I'm still a long way from having the blocks together. Then the nine centre blocks (21" squares) have flowers to still be appliqued either by machine or hand and then it can all be assembled. LOTS of work yet on that project, but I'm three blocks closer than I was two years ago when we started it! LOL! Oh and after the struggles with my initiation into free motion quilting using that awesome Glad Press n Seal for the designs I just had to PLAY! So I gathered up all my variegated thread trimmings and made my first snippets postcard - it was lots of fun but I've still to finish it off.

Gosh I've 120 individual emails to check and during the week sometimes check the various groups for group messages. Okay talk with you again soon! Gosh I missed the PC chatting but you know I sure got lots done without the distraction! LOL!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I gave up!

Well I was trying to change the "mug shot" to a nicer angled view retaken the other night and BLOGGER just would not cooperate! I hate that - I've limited evening time for whatever and computer aggravations I don't need! So I deleted that side view and am hoping I can upload the new one in this message.

And I can't believe it but only three people have noticed my new glasses! Guess there isn't much of a change after all. LOL!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

the "new" me!

Well I finally got my new glasses and on one of my groups we had a guessing game of what Rose Anne selected this time around. See I wanted something different and more with it, but you know I kept coming back to those same safe bronze ovals - LOL! Well I finally did pick something "slightly" different and I remember being very impressed with them at the shop.

On Thursday I picked them up, got them fitted and had a heck of time with the new prescription but just about okay now, just having a bit of trouble relearning not to move my eyes with the progressives again! LOL!

Okay so you can see the really old me in the first picture - round bronze frames - holding a miniature; then in the next picture with the bronze oval frames; and the last two are the new MOI! Sort of rectangluar but not too definite which did not appeal to me at all or to my round face but changed the arms totally.

Well like I mentioned to the office crew - I feel they are now too fancy for the plain Jane moi!!! Oh well this is what I have until I can get myself a backup pair and those will probably be more boring and plainer! LOL!

Sheesh not sure it's smart showing these all in one message!!! LOL! Now the new glasses!