Wednesday, October 26, 2011

OH MY!!!

Gosh so much going on and I don't know where to start!

First off I smoked my computer and didn't have a "start up" for a day until I found my backup discs and "recovered" the SystemsConfig file - HEY don't get me wrong, I am not computer literate - only following onscreen instructions until it did not work like I wanted it to.  So now I have Internet access but NONE OF MY FILES OR PICTURES or my newly uploaded 2010 MS programs.  YIKES!!!  Well Tom my computer techie says they are probably still there but just hidden and when he's back from his two weeks vacation he'll restore my computer once again.

WELL I can tell you I'll be doing a backup of my system, documents and pictures on a regular basis from now on!!!  This hurts badly as I can't get to files I would like for the time being - at least I PRAY that is so.  PHEW, what would I do without him I do not know as I've heard many people who've taken their PCs to stores for fix its just are not happy, whereas mine is always fixed and runs better than previously.  Thank you Tom!!!

Then, I'd like you to meet McDuff, my new house sitting pet.  We've adjusted to each other very quickly and no interruption to his eating or sleeping that I can tell.  He greeted me no problem at all and when settled to watch hockey with a glass of wine he promptly jumped into my lap for some pets and his begging for "armpit" scratches - talk about funny!  I'll know more today when I get home.

In the mean time I had finished off Cris' RR block from SewBuds.  Here it is.

I embellished the top yellow patch only but not the seam treatment.  That is my crocheted pansy and then I used my Edmar Brazillian rayon threads for the wrapped stem and various sized leaves in satin stitch.  I used a thinner rayon and feather stitched some filler stems.  For accents I added pearl beads to the pansy and attached some tatted butterflies with beaded bodies.

Then Sunday night I stitched together the following heart block for Susan N for the SewBuds BOM heart activity and last night with much difficulty I finally got the biased edging turned under and the heart stitched onto the backing.  Yes I did some "rippit" a couple of times as it was crooked - WELL it still is but hopefully there is enough fabric for Susan to maybe square it off.  Sorry my dear.

So now I'm going to relax tonight and I've all my sewing stuff packed for my quilting retreat weekend.  Will be a first not to actually SEW something, but I find that very relaxing so will miss it too.  Just did not want to haul to much unnecessary stuff for a couple of days.

Monday, October 17, 2011

DYOB #4 Swap Block Finished!

YAHOOIEEEE!!!! I'm finished my Chain of Hearts "swap" block and ahead of time for once, a first for Rose Anne!!!  I have to say thank you first to Pat F and Dianne J for their advise at our Ravenesque stitching day - they got me over the first hurdles!!!  Then this weekend to Jeanette O for her idea to outline the rose patch that had me stumped (last thing to do too).  Then I "begged" Maureen, Margreet and Ritva for their input and they very kindly steered me on the right path which basically coincided with my friend's suggestion.  So I put the three suggestions together and just love the finished patch!  I'm ready for mailing!  It's so AWESOME to know you can just ask away and someone will provide constructive critique on your block!  Thank you all ladies, much appreciated!

Swap Block - who will receive it???

This has my tatted beaded edging just visible, the Feather stitch with Delica beaded accents on the green patch and on the wine patch my Heart motif with my own fine chain tendrils that sort of form a heart too.  The wine patch is edged with the Reversed Fly stitch whipped.
Top left

This shows the "rose" patch that I had the delimma with and Jeanette O suggested outlining the flower and leaves with gold.  It is edged with the Barb stitch which I first thought was the Up and Down Buttonhole - DUH me!  Then Maureen B had suggested beading the rose which makes it pop I think and then Stem stitched the leaves and Margreet suggested fine feather stitch branches which covered parts I did not want to embellish.  Awesome group effort ladies.  

Then the brown patch consists of the Wheatear stitch motif which I then took artistic license with and added leafy stocks filled with a fine feather stitches again.   Finishing off with a medium butterfly charm.  I figured this patch had it's motif so close to the seam it did not need a treatment.
Top right

This shows off the lovely Venice lace trim that I anchored in place with two rows of the Up and Down Buttonhole stitch following the lace details.  Then I used the circle motif for the Whipped Spiders Wheel stiches and added the beehive charm and a stitched trail to the bee.

Also seen is the cream filler patch which I edged with scrunched silk ribbon and clumps of seed beads.  Then added scattered Colonial knots with varied fine chain tendrils to fill the patch.
Bottom right

The lower left patch had it's own embellishment stitched in place so I added some seed beads for emphasis and the butterfly charm.  This patch I edged with the cretan stitch in wine and then whipped with a varigated corded thread.  You can just see the fawn sparkly patch above that has my tatted beaded edging with the larger dragonfly charm.

Bottom left

This is the centre of Chinese brocade with more dragonflies which I've left as is except for adding in three smaller charms.

But who knows when I'll get my own heart blocks embellished - were supposed to be worked on at the same time as the swap blocks.  Now I have DYOB #2 and #4 heart blocks on the UFO pile waiting for stitching/embellishing!!!  SHEESH!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sewing Room Update!

NO I don't have pictures yet as it's still not presentable BUT I made headway today and got the machine end all vacuumed and washed then went out to meet the "crew" at my new client's home (3 dogs, 1 cat and 2 fish tanks).  When I came home had a quick supper and then went back to setting it up with the new area carpet in place too - think I pulled something moving that stuff around though.

So I've put "Rita" the Kenmore into the sewing table, with light and thread holder and got all them plugged in also. Switched the old Singer sewing table with the serger now on the right side - easier to roll over with the chair this way.  Next will be to pack away my Singer from the Kitchen into it's own table and then will probably put the Vintage Singer on top on display.  Hopefully I can find a decent peg board and prop it in back to hang some of my quilting tools there along with my rulers stand too. If not guess I'll have to rethink that corner. I've also moved my box of dowels and rolls of FlexiFirm and some kind of stiffener into the other open corner made by the sewing machine table along the windows and on the right my serger table. For now that is a perfect filler there, the only thing I might consider in the future is a cube like tower shelving unit - will see.

I also found room in my bedroom closet for the sewing tote bags so they aren't in the living room anymore - had gotten rid of the old huge hard sided suitcases earlier on so lots of room in there.  Not now though!

Next is to tackle all the rest of the stuff that's in the middle - UGH!!! Not sure where that'll go - maybe another session of purging again!  Yep I'm pooped from moving that stuff around twice more before it got settled - hopefully for good now.  But it sure does look nice - a little at a time and I will have it mucho better!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Breast Cancer Wallhangings on E-Bay

OK here's a GRRRRREAT chance for you to own one of these three AWESOME crazy patched and embellished quilts - well actually wall hangings.  These blocks were made by various members of the Crazy Quilters International group and sewn together by a very hardworking and generous member of that group, Leslie E.  The fundraising for these quilts are explained on E-Bay from these links:

Crazy Quilt for a cure

Golden Crazy Quilt for the cure

Another Crazy Quilt for the cure

A Tribute to Mother breast cancer wall hanging

So go check them out NOW before it ends!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Yeppers I did - my first time on a RR block and I was not a happy camper!!!  At least it was fixable and actually I like it better now. 

See there is a REASON for those booklets with the block owner's wishes and/or expectations for their block?  So people like me in a hurry to gather items together and rush out the door (slept in) to a stitching day DO NOT MESS UP!  If you look at the first picture you will see a nice blue glass piece with green beads holding it in place - a cabachon.  Well when I got home and pulled out Susan's booklet it said nice and clearly "no heavy/bulky items please" - DANG IT!!! 

So there I was after three attempts at trying to do a balanced collar (so to speak) I late in the evening ripping it out.  Then searching through my crocheted and tatted items for something that fit into the colour scheme of this block and also into that space.  Luckily I had this simple tatted flower which I stitched in place and added the slightly larger beads for emphasis.  I think it looks lots better with the whole block.

Just goes to show one should ALWAYS READ FIRST, gather all appropriate floss, trims, charms etc that might work for this block and store it in a BOX with the envelope and the Booklet for reference.  Then this "rippit" delimma would not have happened!  I can tell you I've learnt my lesson - I had really liked that cabachon considering my first attempt was way overdone!  Oh Well.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Hope all have enjoyed a wonderful fall weekend - weather permitting!

Sunset - approaching Neepawa MB

Well I did travel 4 hours to my home town (Dauphin, Manitoba) in a horrific wind storm (gusts up to 95 km/hr) for the first hour and the last three were basic winds with no gusts - yes lots to be thankful for arriving safe and sound.  See as I left the city my window was down about 3 inches (going only 70 km/hr) and once into the open I got pelted with three tiny stones - not quite a sandstorm but I'd say close - yep the window was closed promptly and it sounded like hail.  A semi ahead of me that had two trailers was moving in a wide sideways V formation forward on the road alternating from outwards to inwards V's and talk about scarey.  Then up ahead some was a half or 3/4 ton truck with sheets of glass in a stand up unit within it's box - now this was totally ludicrous!  Seel the whole vehicle was tilted about six inches up on the left side angling towards the right side and I expected anytime that the next gust was going to toss it over into the ditch!  I debated returning home but decided to hope it calmed down once I turned north off the Trans-Canada and I was right it did and my heart beat calmed down too. :)))  This was my LAST trip in my old BOMB as the kids call my Parisienne - yep she was only to be around a couple of years, instead it turned out to be five iffy years - took her back to my mechanic for spare parts or whatever!

I had a lovely weekend with my younger sister but no turkey, her partner BBQd steaks, while she baked potatoes and made ceasar salad - YUMMY!!!  Then Sunday morning Florence asked if I would like her to attempt making apple pancakes (similar to those we always enjoy at the Pancake House) - sure I said - so I peeled the apples for her!  Well at first it did not seem like we were gonna ever have them and Wayne took off for golfing without eating and finally they were ready.  I thought they were great but she said only OK - go figure - needless to say I devoured mine promptly and without syrup - honest they tasted just like the PH ones - maybe apples too soft but still delicious!!!  Then she dropped me off to catch the Greyhound bus for the ride back to Winnipeg. 

Monday morning I slept in and then had to rush to gather my stuff and head out the door for our Ravenesque gathering - stitching with a few fabric artists.  I did finish off my part on a SewBuds RR block and then continued on the Chain of Hearts DYOB swap block (needs more work yet before pics).  I just LOVE these stitching days and sometimes I do pick up pointers and understand what they are talking about - sometimes I just stitch - totally lost!  Other times I get their valued opinions on my stitching or what to do next!

Basically I anchored the lace trim into place over the yellow patch with green blanket stitch, did a wrap stitch around the lace spokes and anchored a centre bead for 6-legged spiders and the odd green seed bead at the edges to anchor.  Over the weekend I had tatted with seed beads my favourite Allison Edging and anchored that on the straight lace edge but it still needed something.  Dianne gave me a smaller glass disc and I finally did a beaded collar I liked so to speak anchoring this into place.  Now this RR block is ready to be mailed off tomorrow and I'll be off onto the other projects.
Susan N's block after Rose Anne
Rose Anne's work left corner

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Chain of Hearts DYOB Swap Block

OK I've finally caught up to week #3's stitches, at least on the swap block - definitely not on my own heart block (same stitches just about).  So here it is waiting for Sunday's call of stitch #4.  You see I'll have lots more to add in after the last one is called, but that's OK - makes the block lots more interesting!

Weeks #1, #2 and #3

Now this is week #1 - up and down buttonhole or blanket stitch and after some struggling I manageed to pull it off - even though I thought it was a totally different variation of the blanket stitch and thought I could breeze through it - NADA.  I figured the lace treatment needed a double row of this stitch to anchor it in place.  Then week #2 had the whipped spider wheel stitch thrown in and I thought that was quite appropriate for the lace tabs but a might trickier to do until I realized I had to TACK in place the lace centres and then go from there - worked fine after that.

This is actually week #2 with the feather stitch (included was the whipped spider wheel) which I chose to use the velvet floss I had bought some time ago but wasn't sure where or how to use it.  This was an experiement and not sure I like it but it's there.  So I added in some Delica beaded decor and now it's nifty like.
This is week #3 the wheatear stitch - nifty but what a chore to get the hang of.  Since I could not find a unique use for it I just went for the wheat plant motif.  Here I used the ribbon floss with a gold sparkle in it then a gold filler thread to accent the wheat tips and the chain closures.  I also took license and added some wider stem leaves outlined with stem stitch and filled inside with a tiny feather stitch.  I added the brass butterfly as an after thought.  Kinda misjudged the layout so might have to forego a seam treatment here - will see.

Now not sure what Sunday will bring but I just love this learning DYOB very much.  The bestest part is that I do a heart block for myself and then this square swap block and get to trade with someone else.  THEN the fun begins in checking out the received block for the various stitches and how that person interpreted and stitched it for me!  That's the awesome part as usually they are so different from my own and yet so awesome.  Thank you Margreet (and sometimes helper Maureen) for this activity and also all the ladies who participate too!  LOVE IT!!!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Cathy's Sew It Up DYOB

Well instead of fighting with the TV to find either baseball or hockey, I sat down and finished the embellishing on Cathy's blocks (one completed by me and another joint block that the five of us all work on).  Don't panic these are only 6 inch blocks but let me tell you they take ages for me to complete - guess I'm to picky!!!

Anyways here is the joint block the centre part up to the top right corner was embellished by Lorrie.  My part were the lower two right patches and the rusty coloured seam treatment just above.  I used the six strands of floss to match the printed pins on the black fabric and then stitched in place larger beads for the heads.  Then I found matching floss but only used 3-strands and recovered the thread spools.  While at the Class on the Grass event my friend thought that seam should be left as is - glad for that advice as I was in a delimma once again.  LOL!

I chose the neutral block with the antique sewing machine for my own embellishments as the others had more "pink" in them and I needed a rest from that colour for a bit!  LOL!

That sewing machine in the top corner I overstitched the designs with white metallic DMC and also regular rust floss on the thread spool.  Then I knew I was tatting a trim and selected muted varigated blues for the delicate edging.  I repeated the pins and thread spools embellishments on this block too.  Amongst my sewing stash was this tape measure bow so I anchored it in place with a thimble button and found a half spool button but cut off the shank and covered the spool with floss and anchored in place.  Using the same floss I overstitched the running stitches on the two scissor patches and stitched gold scissors in place.  I then found the exact size and colour buttons and sewed them in place and a plastic thimble charm for the other corner.  Then I again used the Raised Fishbone stitch from Kerry's CQI BAS program and made a threader that just finished threading the silver metallic needle.  The seam finishes were herringbone, feather, daisy, zig zag chain, cretan and the up and down blanket stitchs with Colonial knots.

Upper left corner

Upper right corner
Lower right corner
Lower left corner

Like I mentioned in Cathy's booklet, this seems to be simplistic like embellishments and I hope she likes it as much as I enjoyed doing it.  Now to wait for the next set of blocks.  And I'm early - mailout deadline is Oct. 15th - WOW!!!

Class on the Grass

 Yes that is what the St. Norbert Farmers Market named yesterdays cultural display that I was part of.  There were a few of us that participated but since we were in the far corner basically where the entertainment and picnic tables were for sitting a spell, not to many ventured into this area once the Carribbean music stopped.  To bad, but then the gusting winds were a menace and my display board keep wanting to FLY away!!!  BUT what a LOVELY FALL day and it did reach the mid-20s C in temp which helped ward off the windchill!!!

First off thank you to Florence who came with me, was my photographer and kept me company for part of the three hours I was there (other times she checked out the vendors - which are awesome) - I appreciated that!  AND thanks to Dianne who ventured across the city to drop by too, much appreciated.

I can say it was a challenge to gather some of my Crazy Patch Quilting projects together along with a demo to take place there too.  Being the first time for me for something this long and a small tent-like structure for myself, I was not sure what to bring or how much to bring.  But from what you will see in the pictures I think I brought a cross sampling of my works and just enough to display too.  The three framed glass pieces I didn't even pull out of the suitcase as they'd have been history with the wind gusts (reported to be 40-55 km/hr)! 

Dressed for the winds!
Full display board

Left hand side


Right side

CQing etc display

Working on Cathy L's Sew It Up DYOB

Finally two ladies asking questions!
Thank you!

These ladies found it facinating to see the varied blocks from the Chain of Hearts DYOB #1 swap that I had on display.  The heart one was mine and the other was from Ritva - mine was bold and her's was tone-on-tone, both lovely but so different even down to the variations of the same stitches.

Florence providing colour advice
Sorry not so great a picture

Liz Chorney, bandurist
This last picture of Liz strumming her bandura (Ukrainian instrument) which I remembered from some of the WAY BACK country weddings/dances I went with my parents and also from the Ukrainian concerts I attended as a teenager.  Sure was nice to hear the story Ukraine's war victims that told their stories on street corners while playing their banduras - I didn't know that.  She's written a book "Strings of Life, Fate and Hope" available online from (ISBN 1-4120-5911-9).

Yes it was a lovely afternoon but would have been lots nicer with some interested traffic in this awesome cultural display corner.  There was a lady with small loom that was making sashes/belts, another with knitted items on display and also Dot From with her needlework but the wind kept knocking it over so she had given up trying to stitch. 

Then I ended the day off being invited out for supper to my girlfriend's back in St. Norbert so it was a bit rushed to drive downtown to unload all this stuff (didn't want to do it later in the evening) and then back out there.  BUT I can tell you it was well worth it.  Bruce had roasted a lamb shoulder and then potatoes in sauce with some of the lamb drippings - delicious - Angela made yams, carmelized brussel sprouts (never had them like this), and sliced garden tomatoes - all was totally YUMMY!!!  Naturally we had a few drinks and later on after letting stomachs rest some we had lemon merique and pumpkin/whipped cream pie with coffee!!!  And as par for the course I came home with garden grown tomatoes and some of both pies!!!  Thank you my friends!

Lace Retreat 2011

Yes, my second lace retreat with the Northern Lights Lacemakers of Winnipeg!  This time my tatting buddy Michelle joined us and she enjoyed they company and all the perks of a retreat and I enjoyed her company on my walks around the property and community.  That is until we strayed off the beaten path and got lost in Pollock Island - yes I was getting a mite anxious but her explanation of the sun made me realize we WERE going in the right direction and sure enough 5 minutes more and we found one of the tourist cairns and a pathway was more visible!!!  MICHELLE!!!  Here I thought I was the adventurous one!  HUH!!!
Anyways I tatted the weekend away and this time I did get many small projects finished - YEAH!!! 

Plain - as instructions
Rose Anne figured out how to add beads!

Thimble - won't be making again!!!

I can definitely tell you I WON'T be tatting this baby again - it was all tat, tie and cut each round and one of the ladies said it could pass as a Jelly Fish with all the ends from the inside hanging down.  AND you know I just might do some type of stitch with each end that twists them and attach it to my Under the Sea crazy patch block and remove that so-so sheer jelly fish I was attempting with yarn for legs!!!
Hard at work making bobbin lace!

Video on how to make Honiton lace.

Mary & Ann both made totes for their pillows.

Rise's 15 hour bookmark!

Michelle looking for ideas!

I's struggling with the pattern.

Here we enter our adventure!!!

We made it out!!!

A break to check out the
St. Norbert Farmers Market

Now I'll let a few of Michelle's pictures entice you to check out our Blog (no pics up as yet) for more information on the Northern Lights Lacemakers - some of them are heading down to Minneapolis next fall for a lacemakers convention - probably not me!