Saturday, June 30, 2007

Postcard a makin!

OHHHHHHH I've been having a blast last night and so far today working on my postcards for two groups and it's soooooo much easier now that I have ink in my printer and Bubble Jet Set for the fabric and soon to be testing my first set of printed fabric backs. I goofed last night and did not set the muslin and also did not wait till the BLACK ink dried before spritzing it and it bled a tinsie bit but I hope the gals don't mind as it's still readable. Now I've preset a number of pieces so they are ready to use when needed.

Then I played with one of my sets and OOOOOHHHHHHH had so much fun and just waiting for the violet fabric to dry so I can actually print this baby off! YEP I'm trying my first colour printed front from pics I've taken and can't wait to see how it turns out! Will keep you all posted and naturall will post pics when completed.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Retreat project pics

Okay here are the pics of the Selvedge Challenge hosted prior to the June Retreat and there were three entries for this with online voting for Viewers Choice which I won.

Here is my reversible "vest", possible with some friends saving and sending me their selvedges over the last six months or so plus I was cutting off whatever I could from one side of my stash fabrics. I had cut rectangle pieces of cotton batiste, drawn 45 degree lines for guidance, layered on top of wrong side of backing and started stitching from corner to corner on all four pieces and then cut out the vest and stitched together and bound the raw edges.

And here are the other two entries, coasters and holder by Dale Anne P and the apron and potholders by my sister Sylvia. Apparently the group will be enjoying another online "selvedge" challenge again this year.

Now here is another challenge "All Creatures Great and Small" that was hosted prior to the retreat with the winner decided by "Viewers Choice" at the retreat. It had to have an animal print, a crazy patched block and some embellishments of bone, horn, feather or shells (which was exempt if you were a firt time retreater). There were five entries and neither of us won.

Here's me working on the satin stitching down through the top, batting and backing all in one step and borders added on in that same process - fast and just great for small projects.

Now here are pics of my sister's challenge, basically a horizontal panel that she butchered up and turned it into a vertical one, removing the large eagle and replacing it with a smaller one from the "pillow panels" by the same designer. Then she made a crazy patch rock and stitched that in the foreground before anchoring the overlapping pieces in place - very ingenious I say!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hardanger Heart

WOW I totally forgot about this baby and was very happy when I opened the email and realized Kelly didn't, even though she's in the process of moving to a temporary home and then moving again in October - WOW!

This is the pattern picture.

Here is my actual pincushion and a closeup.

I can tell you this was harder than I thought as I was just starting into Hardanger back then and some of the embroidery stitches I had not done before. BUT the worst was the pattern instructions I thought were not so great to understand and some I had to improvise for. Now that I've a couple of lessons under my belt I'm wondering if I feel up to tackling it again or maybe try something new! Decisions!!!

I wanna go back!!!!!

Oh my do I ever miss my friends from the west and after this horrific tornado wreaking havoc so close to our city I'm ready to run away!!! BUT where is it safe from all? I think the only place is maybe within oneself - you never know what is around the corner or down the road!

Okay I've put in two days at work and so far it's been pretty good - BUSY for me - but no added stress so that is good. There are times when I think if I see another number (totally my job) I'll scream but then I just go for the mail or coffee/water or check my emails just for a change of pace and then I'm back at it again.

Now that I've had a number of vacations that were quilt related I really am looking forward to the time I can retire and pick and choose my quilting time. I've a number of "retired" friends that meet on a regular basis and are just waiting for my chance to join in. Also my sister Sylvia asked if I was interested in joining her in some eastern Canada or even US retreats - is she kidding!!! Sure I would, but I'd definitely have to plan for that! Guess I didn't scare her off travelling with me - even if I accidentally went through a red light (very little traffic thank God!). You never know, maybe one day I'll be in your area.

Retirement is coming - I just gotta hang in there for a while longer! LOL!

Friday, June 22, 2007

I'm BACK!!!!!!!!!!!

Me and "Mom n Jr" 2000 Millenium Bears I picked up in Red Deer for $5.60 - what a DEAL!!! Yep I'm back home finally! Now to catch up on all and get back to the grind!

Oh MY, where do I start? We arrived in Winnipeg about 9:00 pm Thursday evening, picked up my computer and unpacked the van about 10:30 pm. We were covered with mosquito spray plus grungy from travelling since early morning. Well Sylvia left about 2:30 on Friday for home (northwest Ontario)! She got home about 10:00 pm. Gosh I feel for her but at least she said she slept like a log the night before - don't know why I didn't!!! Guess I was just so excited to be home and still so wound up that I was not ready to sleep! And we've a severe thunderstorm watches for southern Manitoba and Winnipeg with potential for huge hail the past two days - YIKES! Then I hear we've had tornadoes touch down a few places with major damage but no fatalities than goodness. I know that she was mighty glad to have me along to do most of the driving but on the way back I did switch off more so - we did about 3400 kms in total! UGH!!! Here's Sylvia peering into her overly stuffed van - don't know where I thought I'd pick up two more quilters on route! DUH ME!!!

On our way we stopped in Morse SK visiting with Alexandra at Dale Anne's (who was staying with family while checking on DH in intensive care that week - finally scary infection stalled some and now home). I had gotten so mosquito bitten resulting in an allergic reaction that I was on my Benadryl tablets and leaving me a might groggy while at the retreat. Then my friend gave me her Benedryl spray for allergic itching and BOY is that stuff awesome - like instant freezing and relief for hours - thank heavens!!! Good thing we're not driving anywhere!

Oh then we stopped at Medicine Hat AB and I got pics of Kerry and Heather with Angel Hugz for Kerry on Thursday and she says HI to all and is doing good and looks darn good in her new wig but I just can't get used to her in straight hair (chuckling)! I'm hoping we didn't tire her out too much with the lengthy visit, hopefully Kerry relaxed the nextday! Loved the catch up with both of them.

Anyways, I can now be as proud as others who brought various family members to the Western Retreat at Sylvan Lake, Alberta with them (three sisters meet annually at the Gimli retreat here in Manitoba for a family get together and I always thought that was awesome) and was very glad that Sylvia would like to return maybe for 2009 with me again. She's even talking about maybe something out east or into the States together! WOW! Yes we both enjoyed our jaunts but I feel kinda down that I forgot my promise to stop again at the quilt shop in north Regina on our way back (she loved that one the best) and Sylvia forgot it was there and here we stopped at Moosomin instead - SHOOT ME or like Linda M says BITE ME!!!

Oh well she thinks that when they both go west again to visit in Red Deer and maybe into BC she might convince Len to drive into Regina to that one shop at least - it's close and she felt easy to find and I gave her all my computer printed maps just in case too. LOL! BUT we did stop at Heather's Quilting Palette in Moose Jaw and picked up some of her painted Northern Lights fabric and other such awesome stuff and could have done more damage than we did. She even let us sneak a couple of pics and chatted as to her techniques to try out too - that was so special as many are very guarded with their designs/techniques used.

My 3" blocks mystery sampler top only

My Celtic table runner with drafted quilted images

AND this year I just about finished my 3" blocks mystery quilt (have the top all completed) and am set to do the quilting on my Celtic table runner class project - that is major accomplishment for me!!! Sylvia did finish stitching together her 12" blocks mystery quilt and LOVES it and now has another family gift put together! The both of us picked up LOTSA fabrics on this trip and also books/magazines too - and here I said I was not going to this year! Yeah RIGHT!!!

Sylvia's 12 inch block mystery sampler top only

I can truly say I loved the food, especially the the salmon but realize that could be an iffy item for a group function. The desserts were awesome but even for me a might to sweet. And everyone outdid themselves with the goodie tables but I restricted myself this year as the meals were bountiful on their own as par for other retreats I've been to there too (even if different staff). AND well what can you say about meeting/chatting with friends again and seeing such awesome works etc. The inspiration gleened from each other is priceless and so precious too! Thank you and I truly look forward to another year of anticipation and fun. Someday I can maybe pull off an extended travel like Alexandra and heck maybe forge into BC???

OHHHH I forgots to tell you about my "fright"! Nope not the incident of going through that red light - thank GOD he was watching out for me and it was a very very very quiet intersection or it could have been dreadful! No, this was about leaving Dale Anne's on the way to retreat and packing away my "special" fabric scissors, yep so well that I didn't find them until I got home and totally unpacked - yep nice and safe in the very bottom pocket - not the usual place at all.

ALSO, the worst was at 5:45 am I was going to transfer my car from the night spot onto the road (rented out during the day) and reaching for my drivers licence just in case and OH OH it's not in my wallet!!! So I just went out and moved the car and came back into to go to sleep, nope couldn't so unpacked my suitcase hoping it was in my pants pocket from when we went for a walk in Red Deer (always take ID with me) - NOPE not there and I was not about to go into the living room rooting with Sylvia sleeping - so crawled into bed and zonked out for 3 hours - finally considering I hadn't slept that whole night for some stupid reason!

So when I got up I told Sylvia and naturally she was worried for me but then suggested maybe I had put it in with the camera when we went for the walk and I said I thought so too and promtly searched for the camera bag. THANK GOODNESS it was in there - PHEW!!! Why oh why do I do this to myself????

Okay, I think I've uploaded my pics, read my emails, sent my emails and now the BLOG, so it’s time for my book, feets up and a marguarita to wait out these ongoing storms - not including Tuesday! Take care and happy stitching!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Picture Testing

Just testing to see if the option of clicking on the picture opens up to a larger screen! It has been hit and miss but mostly missing on whether it works or not.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Wedding Cake a Makin

Oakie Dokie, Linda here is the steps I take to icing my cake! Naturally I left out pics of making the icing - boring and messy stuff. Here are the many soft pink drop flowers which are made with a steady and quick twist of the wrist and I can tell you my arm and shoulder are still killing me today! Then dots of white are in the centres.

Now I totally forgot to take a picture of the shaved down top for the nice rounded edge, this is a might messy as it's regular cake and not as compact as the fruit or pound cakes. This is then coated with a watered down buttercream icing, allowed to dry, then iced with regular consistency buttercream icing which I added some Mrs. Brown's Classic Chocolate Cocoa for taste and set aside to dry 20 minutes. I knew I could not smooth this to perfection with my spatula so I cheated and used a paper towel and softly smoothed down the icing and leaving a slight pattern - hey ground is not smooth right!

Here I've used a shell tip and added the bottom border.

Then came the fun and games and guesswork of where and how to do the vine work up from the bottom, think it turned out okay.

Talk about trouble!!! With this humidity my royal icing drop flowers even with 4 days to dry were still sticky and soft and needless to say a pain to lift off the board and attach to the vines without dropping or breaking them.

Phew that's finally completed and now the tiny leaves to add helter skelter. Then I looked and something is still missing and the base looked funny with only the one stem from the ground so I practiced and made the ferns. I think that looks mucho better.

Okay, now for the supports for the cake top but wait I don't have the cake top so don't know the size, will have to wait till I get this baby to the hall and then will know where to insert the supports.

Now ain't they cute! I think I did an not bad job of matching the colours!!!

And here is a closeup of the cake and top only! I sure hope that Carla and Dwayne like it!

Friday, June 08, 2007

BLING! showoff

WOW thanks Linda for the awesome closeup of my Paisley you've just received.
So I'm reposting Linda's pictures here for you to see some details.
It really shows off the bullion knot stitches all around.
I've done three pieces with this know and have one more to finish off for myself.
I think I've got this stitch mastered or close to it. LOL!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Oh no! It's broke!

And all the BUTTONS are slipping out!!!

Well I perservered and continued with my original "idea" that had popped into my head when I read this swap theme. It was a might tricky as I really did not know what I was doing but slowly but surely it evolved. Hope you gals like your "BUTTONS"!

Postcards Rec'd

Okay, one of my quilting friends wanted to dabble in postcards (remember the one who wanted input on her first card she sent out?) wanted a small private swap to get her feet wet. Well I arranged it with Linda M another of my quilting friends and we stitched and swapped. You can scroll down and check out post June 4th: Another Down, Another to Go to see what I stitched and mailed out to them.

Well here is the one of various suggestions I gave upon request and what Linda so determinedly searched and found for me. I've always loved to watch and photograph the Herons we see at our lakes and rivers, sometimes to my own detriment and threat of a camera bath too! It is so lovely. Also I love the scrapbooking stamps you've used on the back. Thank you Linda.

Then here is Adeline J's "fourth" postcard and it has a spider and web in my own mini crazy patch!!! WOW! She says it's made with Saudia Arabia fabrics and yellow strip Indian pure silk! And I for the life of me do not know how this precious lady does such exquisit hand embroidery and so delicately placed too. If I get a chance this summer I'll zip out to Kenora and take in a "private stitching class" - so be on the lookout Adeline, I'm giving you fair warning!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Another Down, Another to Go!

Well I just finished two postcards for the private swap due May 30th (just a few days behind) and they are going into the mail tomorrow morning, hope the girls like my choices! It was the first time I've changed tactics mid-stream but I realized what I had planned was just tooooooo much for me to get done this weekend so I downsized the design.

Not sure if these pics will open up to an enlarged screen (having problems with that) but the outer edge is Brazilian dimensional embroidery - bullion knots - which my class instructor and various other embroiderers have mentioned that the only way to perfect this stitch was to do hundreds in a row. Well after the hearts for Norma and these two I think I can honestly say I've done many in a row and might have the technique under my belt now.

Another quilter mentioned how to put shank buttons onto artsy quilts but I can tell you bending these metal shanks on the larger buttons failed badly - yep snapped right off. The lifesaver is that between the individual sparklies there were holes that a beading needle could go through so I sewed them into place all around. I'll have to practice "gently" next time so I still have a shank to hold the button in place. Thank you Dianne LJ for that tidbit of information.

Okay, onto the FAPC "Buttons" postcards (were to be mailed also on the 30th) and hopefully into the mail mid-week. Then I'm caught up on postcards until after the retreat!!! Thank goodness, now I have to learn some "restraint" and not sign up for more than I can honestly get out on time!!!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Hearts for Norma

Okay, I've finished my 6.5" heart comfort block for Norma so it'll be mailed on Monday.
I originally was going to do my usual crazy patch with embellishments then thought of this baby and decided I could do three types of edgings and let the fabrics shine! I can honestly say that my Bullion Knots are getting lots and lots of practice this last week!


Phew I've been going since 9:00 am and think it's time to take a break. I just love this not working weekends anymore, I got two loads of laundry done, dishes done, supper pulled out, and then settle into sewing.

Well I don't know about hot outside, but with no AC in the window as yet it is very warm in here, especially with the Ott Lite and iron going cause I just finished sewing up the 3" mystery quilt blocks up to and including #22 - wonder if there's more - well guess there has to be as I've more precut pieces in baggies!!! I'm kinda sorry about the "light" fabric I chose - in some of the cut up pieces it hardly shows up next to the dark! Oh well lesson learned!

Now I've taken a bit of a break and had a Fresca float and then gone back to my Brazilian dimensional embroidery and hopefully finish off these just late postcards. Then I have a set of postcards themed "buttons" that I've got to finish this weekend also! Hope I can pull this off cause I'm running out of time to get ready for my retreat. I also pulled out my atlas to track of Alexandra's travels up from Twin Falls Idaho, but will have to find it on the MapQuest as I can't follow maps that have states listed alphabetically and not joined. I need one on one page or two maybe! Will find something on Monday.

Hmmmm I've really nothing finished for show and tell to take to the retreat - what will I do?

Friday, June 01, 2007


Oh I'm having a great past two days with Brazilian dimensional embroidery and putting some good advice to practice but not sure if my arm will survive this though!!! See in my recently completed classes we were told that to have proper bullion stitches it was to practice like hundreds in a row to get the technique down pat! WELL here I've decided to outline my paisleys on the projects I'm working on with a bullion scalloped edging! YEP, I must be crazy but I can sure tell when I've finally caught onto this stitch and it really really shows! I debated tearing out the beginning patch and continue on with the more uniform stitches, but decided that the nature is not perfect so who am I to expect my work to be. It is beautiful and I know that is good enough for now and one day I will have the techniques perfected and then maybe I can expect perfection!!!

Sorry for no "work in progress" shots, but I'll post pictures once I've completed the projects.