Thursday, November 29, 2012

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

How's that for a opener? This is month end, and fr some people that means payday, for others it is month end accounting...but for some of us, it is time to finish up our Schnibbles and get her ready for PARADE DAY!
This month's Project is a Carrie Nelson Little Bite pattern. She goes by the name of DROP.
Sue was really on the ball and had the better part of her project done early in the month. She made the larger version with the cornerstones out of a French General collection.

French General fabrics and Carrie Nelson patterns...a winning combination.

I on the other hand was facing the end of the month and needed to make not just one but two bed quilts for Christmas gifts. They had to be ready to go to the long arm quilter before I headed to Ontario again. After spending almost every available minute getting the two quilt tops ready, there was not much time left for my parade entry. I chose to go with the smallest of the three versions on the pattern cover.

She is not perfect (but who among us is?) and she sure is little ...she has 104 pieces and measures in at approximately 10" x 12". She is not quilted yet, because she is not sure what she wants to be when she grows up...we have considered a few options...

Here she is in Mr. O's arm chair and she is certainly to small to be a lap quilt...

She isn't big enough to cover even my smallest cushion...

She is at that awkward size where she is too big to be a mug rug, but not big enough to be a placemat.

She is strongly considering becoming a zippered cosmetic bag and I am encouraging her in that direction. What do you think? Any other suggestions for Drop's future?
When you are that little it is so hard to decide just what you want to be when you grow up...but with a little guidance, I'm sure she'll turn out ok.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Friday, November 23, 2012

My hero!

Some of you may know I have been having troubles loading photos on the blog. I was talking to Mr. O about it and thought perhaps it was connected to Picasa somehow...he checked it out for me and didn't think that was it. It was very curious because I could post photos from my IPad but not the IMac. So ever the curious and persistant;  Mr O (Georges to me)
spent some time looking at the background stuff on the blog narrowed it down to the new Google +.
Google + downsizes the space a photo requires. I think it is just Google's way of herding us toward the changes we don't really want to make because we are comfortable where we are. The "Why fix it if it aint broke" mentality. Anyway, we he downloaded Google+ and things seem to be working fine.

Here is a picture for you as proof that Georges fixed things up for me. Just for the record...that G is not for Google.

Just as a matter of information and explanation, when we are jumping through all the hoops to sign up for Google+ they ask if you want to send invitations to all your "friends" and contacts. I agreed to 3 or 4 family members and then clicked "continue". The next message that popped up said "You will be lonely you only sent to a "few" friends". Don't you love Googles sense of humour? We went back and resent to contact list.
So if you received an "invite" or message from me, I hope that explains it.
So tomorrow, I hope to share a few quilty pics...courtesy of Google+ and my hero...Mr. O

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. Christopher Reeve

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Photo test

Going to see if the photos load this time...bear with me.

A Man Is Only As Good As His Word

That actually should read, "A Man Company is only as good as their word."
Almost 15 years ago when I took my first quilting lesson, I purchased minimal supplies. A cutting board, a ruler, and a rotary cutter. I chose a Fiskars rotary cutter mainly because of price and I figured a cutter is a cutter right? I own one Olfa, but I always go back to my Fiskars. I am comfortable with it. About 5 years ago while using my cutter the little tab you depress to lock the blade, broke off. No more retracting the blade. Well, I thought things don't last forever, so I bought a new one. Last week, the same thing happened again. This time, I sent off an email to the company, explaining that I no longer had a receipt, and that I had purchased two of this tool many years back and both broke the same way. Were they aware of this little problem with their cutter? The next day I received an answer; their cutter had a lifetime warranty. Just send proof of the cutter/problem. I answered with a photo of said cutter to which the reply was, "Thank you for contacting us. Two new cutters will be sent to you in the next 2-3 weeks."

Yesterday, I was at my machine and I heard a knock at the door. My friendly mail lady had a parcel she wanted me to sign for. I was expecting my new cutters, but this did not look like it...
(google will not upload the photo)

I signed for my parcel and immediately opened and there all by itself; no packing, no papers, no notes, just one packaged rotary cutter sliding around in the bottom of a fairly large box...send by express mail.
 (google will not upload the photo)

I was very pleased but thought there was supposed to be two of them...checked back at the correspondence and yes, she told me two. I emailed a thank you and said there was only one in the box. An answer came, that a second was on the way!

Hats off to FISKARS. True to their word!

“Be true to your work, your word, and your friend.” Henry David Thoreau

I had photos but Google is being Google and says they want money to load photos...what's up with that!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blog Hop Pt. 2

By the time I was finished at The Running Stitch it was just shy of noon, but I was on a mission and had no time for lunch. I wasn't sure how much time I had before Mr. O would be finished his business meeting and wanting to be picked up and I wanted to hit as many shops as I could; besides I had eaten a pretty substantial breakfast and The Country Quilter was calling my name.
I loaded the address in my GPS
and headed for the black and white checkered flag at the finish line. The shop was about a 15 minute drive out in the country to Richmond. It was a beautiful sunny day and a pretty drive along a little river.

The shop was very easy to find, and I probably could have found it without the GPS but don't tell Mr. O that (our secret).

Here's what the website has to say about the building that houses the shop; 
"The Country Quilter relocated from Manotick to Richmond and is now situated in one of the community's well-known century residences. The shop is carrying on a commercial tradition for the heritage building at 3444 McBean Street, Richmond. Records of the property date back to 1832. The building has been a post office, a shoemaker's, a tailor's and an undertaker's. Under the ownership of Ann McLean the house has returned to its commercial use after 40 years as a private home. Ann has endeavoured to return the house to its previous appearance by building a front veranda and putting up a picket fence. The shop has a cozy atmosphere - just right for quilts and quilting. There is a fireplace in the main room and a large sunny classroom on the main floor. The kitchen is a source of coffee, homemade soup, and the occasional pot luck lunch for the "finishing school group"."
Ann was working that day and was very happy to help me find everything I wanted. We chatted about different quilting projects, and she invited me to have a look around the shop and check out the classroom upstairs, and the quilting room where they rent out a long arm machine to customers. How lovely to have a long arm machine at your disposal without having to invest in the cost of the whole thing! She didn't mind me taking pictures so come along and see some of what I saw...

Again, loads of shop samples and oodles of bolts of fabric.

See that bolt of fabric on the right with the large circles. That was just put on the shelf that morning. It is part of the new 
Malka Dubrawsky  fabric collection, Simple Marks. 

It is stunning and I'm not sure what I needed wanted it for, but for now I will just enjoy all the fabulous colours and texture of the fabric, and when the right project comes along I am sure I will recognize it.

Even the stairwell had samples to brighten things up!

Here is the "rent-a-quilter". Wish I was closer I might give it a try...
While I was chatting about websites and pillowcases and matching fabrics, Mr. O called to say he would be ready in about an hour and a half. I quickly paid for my purchases and said goodbye to Ann and was on my way to the next quilt shop. It was another fifteen minute drive and let's just say the best part about that stop was the McDonald's sandwich I purchased next door...enough said!
All in all though it was a fun day and a great shop hop; even if I was the only one "hopping". After picking up Mr. O we were on the road again. Another 4 hour drive to visit with his sister. We had a lovely couple days with them, made another 6 hr. round trip to visit our son and family in their new home, and then back home to New Brunswick. A very busy 5 days, but enjoyable too! Working away on my grand daughters quilts this week because I have another trip to Ontario coming up on Sunday...just call me the Gypsy Quilter!

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Mini BLOG HOP and a Good Read.

This post could also have been titled, A FEW OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS... I am back from another road trip and I have to say it was a lot of driving but so nice to see family again. Mr. O had a business meeting in our nations capital on Thursday, so I went along. Up early Wednesday morning and on the road by 5 a.m.  We drove the 1000 km. and were there in time to do a bit of shopping at MEC . Got me some new winter walking shoes and stuff...
After a wonderful supper at the Hotel's Italian Eatery, GRAFFITI where I ate the best Caesar Salad in my life, I spent the rest of the evening in the room while Mr. O met with a former co-worker downstairs. I had a few hours to catch up on my reading...I mentioned I was reading a book.

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

I am finished it. It was wonderful! Magical! Almost like a fairy tale for adults...a couple's lives are changed forever by the arrival of a wild and secretive little girl, who arrives on their snowy doorstep.
This is what Amazon says about it;

"Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them."

A big thumbs up from me. I loved it. Now, more than ever I want to go to Alaska...

Before we left home, Mr.O called me from work one day and said he found about 8 or 9 quilt shops in the Ottawa area. He googled them, printed maps; checked out their websites...what a keeper that guy is eh?
So after a lovely breakfast, again at Graffiti's, I dropped Mr. O off at his meeting and I was on a mission... to Hop to as many Shops as I could manage in the time I had available (about 5 hours)
Let me back up though... to breakfast. After reading through the breakfast menu, I decided on Italian Toast (Graffiti's twist on a French classic)

Fresh mango stuffed grilled Italian Panini, rolled in an oat crust, and topped with almonds, Served with maple syrup, a side of bacon and fresh blackberries and strawberries drizzled with raspberry coulis.
Definitely 5 stars and definitely worth stopping for if you are ever in the area!
I will be trying to replicate that meal one day...

Ok, let's go shopping!
Armed with my map (coutesy of Mr. O)

and my trusty GPS I was off! First stop (actually my second, but the first is not worth mentioning) was The Running Stitch

I had a wonderful time browsing, and shopping and talking with the shop owner Michelle. She wasted no time in telling me about a big even they are prepping for. Ricky Tims is coming to Ottawa, Canada. It sounds like a great event. Workshops, trunk show and a concert. They are still working out the details but Michelle suggested I spread the word and maybe get a bus load of quilters from New Brunswick to come join the fun; whaddya think?

The shop had a workshop (one of many offered) in progress

Loads of wonderful samples!

This landscape is from an Ottawa area quilt designer's pattern.
This miniature is just wonderful...and measures in at about 12 inches in total!

Loads of fabric and books and patterns. One in particular that I wanted, was only being delivered later in the day, so I may have to order it by phone and let Canada Post make the delivery. It is the cutest advent calendar

They even made choosing the right kind of batting fun!

Do you get Better Homes and Garden Quilt Sampler magazine? Do you have the Fall 2011 issue? If you do, then they can tell you all about the Running Stitch, because they were featured in that issue! 
I almost caved and bought the kit for quilt from that issue, but I figured I had done enough damage for one visit.

Oh my, I do tend to go on and on, once I get started, but when it is some of my "favourite things" I am talking about, there is just so much to say. 
How about we finish the rest of the Shop Hop tomorrow?
See you back here tomorrow...same time, same place!

Italian Toast (Graffiti's twist on a French classic!)11.99
 Mango-stuffed grilled house Italian panini, rolled in an oat crust, and topped with almonds. Accompanied with fresh maple syrup, and served with your choice of bacon, capicola ham or farmers’ s

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I have been AWOL from blogging. I actually sat down several times to blog and then something interrupted/distracted me and before I knew it another day was gone and no blog entry. Good thing this "blog writing" is not a paying job, because I would be a lot leaner...
Actually the same thing has been happening with my walking routine. Routine? Who am I kidding, I don't seem to have one these days.
I have several projects I want to make before Christmas and have been spending a fair amount of time at that; also been reading a new book, which I seem to be enjoying more than I expected to...more later...
After finishing last month's Schnibbles, I made 3 sets of pillow cases for the grand kids.

I dug out a table topper I had pieced probably a year ago, and thought it was high time it got finished. I machine quilted it in no time and then sat and wondered why in the world I had not done it sooner.

Poor quality photos, because there was not enough natural light, and the overhead light seems to over expose things, but just try to picture colours something in between the two.
I have mentioned that our son and his wife have been building a new home, and I offered to make the girls quilts for their new bedrooms. I asked what they wanted and my aim was to please. We went to Google images and Emma picked this quilt...

She wanted it done in turquoise, fuschia, purple, bright green...oh dear, oh dear, oh dear! I had no pattern but didn't expect that to be a problem. I found the link connected with the picture and email the lady who made the quilt. Apparently the pattern was from an older issue magazine. (Fons and Porter I think) she told me her blocks were about 9" and the circles were fused and stitched, and that it was a baby quilt.
OK, I took my grand daughter shopping at the local quilt shop and she picked out some fabrics she liked. Her favourite fabric and the jumping off point was a Malka Dubrawsky fabric. A Stitch in Color

These are some of the fabrics in the collection. She chose the one in the upper left corner for a border fabric. Now people I have to tell you these fabrics are very vibrant and pretty but so far away from what is hiding in my stash that I was already starting to spin. The shop we went to was limited in this collection so we bought what we liked and I left for home with an idea of how to build this quilt. This all took place in the spring. Every time I was at a shop I would buy a few more brights that "might" work. This was going to bigger than a baby quilt. It had to fit a double bed. Therefore I needed larger blocks and more of them. Ok! 12.5 inch blocks would work. I would need 30 blocks. Each block needed 5 different colours. I would not be working with a common back ground; I needed a sashing strip that would work with all the different backgrounds as well as all the colours of the circles, not to mention the border. I called Emma to see if she still wanted the same pattern; even tried suggesting something else. No Nanny I still like the circle one the best...sigh
I tortured myself with this quilt for several months until finally about a month or so ago I had the brilliant idea (humour me please) to do white and black sashing and the reverse image of black and white for the border, to calm things down a bit. I would just incorporate her favourite fabric in more of the blocks and circles and maybe bind with it.
A friend stopped by and because she uses these types of colours and fabrics much more than I, I picked her brain a bit and she suggested using the white with black for the background and sashing with the reverse and using the intended turquoise for the border. Sounds good to me! One problem though. The black and white fabrics were purchased at a shop five hours away and I had bought w/b fabric (small amount) for sashing and b/w fabric (large amount) for a border, so I phoned and yes she had more of what I needed and put in the mail the same day! Telephones, credit cards, and friendly shop owner and Canada Post to the rescue.
I had a plan!
I was still going in circles but they were planned circles this time. I found round objects for my templates. My plan was to do 3 stacked circles not 4 like the picture. ( too much fabric, work and bulk)
Trace the circles onto fabric, cutting them out with scissors was time consuming. Pinning and stitching to background...more time.
While picking up a couple things at Walmart last week, I happened across these

You simply fold your fabric. Put the straight dotted line on the fold and cut with the rotary cutter and voila! A perfect circle. Much faster and my circles are better sized to coordinate with each other. There are 6 rulers in a set for only $13.00. Gradient sizes from 9.5 down to 4.5. A good deal in my books and they sure saved me time.
If you are still with me, take a look at my progress...

All the blocks are cut, appliqu├ęd and sashed along with cornerstones. All that's left do do is sew the outer black sashing border, and then the final border and this puppy is off to the long-arm quilter as soon as you can say Jack Flash!
I have a few more things to talk about, but it can wait til tomorrow. I have laundry and ironing and packing to do...another road trip.
Later gator!

(Backup) (Backup) On The Road Again Ok, telle me the truth...are you humming thatsong now? Cause I am and I fear it may be runni...