Monday, January 12, 2015

Tisket a Tasket




Friday was a sister day. Barb and I tackled our long awaited Harvey pattern. I'm happy to say that things went together very smoothly. Now don't get me wrong...we didn't get them finished. 
By the time we made coffee and a toast and then Barb gave me my birthday gift and we chatted about things it was 10:30 before I even turned my machine on. Marking and sewing just under 100 hst's and then cutting and squaring them up took a good bit of time. After all the blocks were squared up I had a cute little pile of trimmings that looked like a perfect little bird's nest.

I tossed a couple of bobbins onto the pile of trimmings and it was too cute not to photograph. We worked so hard and that worked up our appetites so then we had lunch. More sewing and by supper we had all the centre units done.


I know that had we worked alone it would have gone faster but it would not been nearly as enjoyable, so I'm okay with the slower progress. Faster is not always better.



Another few hours of work yielded these



Barb used Zen Sphere and dark grey Kona cotton.





Mine on the other hand was a mish mash of white and cream backgrounds with mostly low volume print. The background is a brown with a tiny black swirl. It doesn't photograph well at night but you get the idea. 
The lower rows still need to be added to the upper and then the outer border pieced, but hopefully by the end of the week this baby will be ready for the long arm quilter. 
I do hope to get some progress made tomorrow. 

Yesterday my sister and I and a dear friend from home spent the morning yard saling. I made a few good purchases. Almost everything was quilt/sewing related.
A glue gun for a little workshop we quilters are doing, making Lori Holts mini design boards.


A bargain at just $1.00




A huge roll of sewing elastic, 5 zippers, and just under 4 yards of cotton fabric for a total of  $5.25



A cute "Quilty" looking tote for just $1.00

And my big purchase



A neutral queen sized quilt and shams in amazing condition. I have 2 at home already but need one more for the guest bedroom. Why did a quilter buy a quilt you ask? Well I like to use and display my quilts and not all of them are bed sized but I figure with a neutral quilt on the bed I can accent with my other quilts. 



The best part of that purchase was that I talked the lady down to accepting my offer of $10.00
A good bargain I think!
I have been thoroughly enjoying my audio books and listened to a Marie Bostwick story today.



It's late and I really would like to make some headway tomorrow on Harvey, so stay tuned, you just may see two very large basket quilts by weeks end.

P.S. For those of you wondering, I have an appointment with a dentist in Mexico on Wednesday morning. Yay! My favourite way to spend the day...in a dentist's office.

"I've been to the dentist several times, so I know the drill."
Author Unknown


Friday, January 9, 2015

Making Headway

Today was our Park Guild day and  my aim today was to reassemble all the blocks I disassembled less than 24 hours ago. That however is easier said than done.  How easy it is to get lost in a job and and not really see what you are doing. I still shake my head at the mistake. My gran had a sign in her kitchen that I have thought of and repeated more than once and it has been bouncing around in my head the last couple days since realizing the mistake. 



I am happy to report that of the 180 blocks needed there are only 44 left undone. The rows are pieced and just need to assembled.



I also have a hand  project prepped and ready to embroider. The piecing that goes on top and bottom of the stitchery will be made from various red and white/cream scraps.


It feels good to get back in the swing of things and guess what? Tomorrow is another quilting day! My sister and I have planned this day for quite some time and we will be working with the same pattern but totally different fabrics and colours. I am really stoked about this project and have all the prep work done. Everything is cut. All the charms are marked and ready for sewing into HST's and I hope to see big progress on this project by end of day.
I may be one of the last people on the planet to hear of  this app but my grand daughter introduced me to a free app called OverDrive. It gives you access to thousands of ebooks AND audio books. You need to have a library card but that is something I have always had since a small girl.
I am totally enjoying this app and in case you have not heard of it, you might like to check it out.


OVERDRIVE.... Check it out.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

KEEPING IT REAL

I'm not sure if it has anything to do with being closer to the Equator, but crikey the days sure fly by down here! I t seems like I just get up and it's time to go back to bed. Today was a quilting day with some if the local gals. There were only four of us today because it seems people are not all back from their trips home for Christmas. Tomorrow is another quilt day for our little guild here in the park. I'm thinking there may be a few more then. 
Today I concentrated on cutting all the pieces for a quilt I had planned to do in October for the Schnibbles Parade, but  circumstances altered my plans and it was set aside. This was a quilt that my sister Barb and I have planned to do together.


When Carrie Nelson published her pattern Harvey, I knew that it was going to be added near the top of my list of quilt projects, so today all the prep work was done and when Barb and I get together on Friday to quilt Harvey will be the pattern of choice. I'll explain more about that later.

I have another Carrie Nelson quilt in the works that I started this summer for myself and set it aside because of all the Christmas quilting I was working on. It came out of hiding today and that will be tomorrows project.



Do you see all those little red and white blocks that make up the chain that runs through the quilt? Pretty simple yeah? I had 144 of those little units to make. Tedious because they were small and it was so repetitive, and I did not pay attention to placement of the pieces.



These two squares look pretty much alike right...but they have a mistake in the placement of the pieces. I know that on a galloping horse you might not notice the mistake but from where I sit it seemed pretty glaring and this was not just a one block mistake...oh no! Not me...when I do something it has to be big...when I counted there were 94 of these babies that needed to be ripped out and rearranged!!!


After supper this evening we had tickets for a Comedy/Magic show so we didnt get back until 9:30, but my mission was to at least have all 94 blocks ripped apart and ready to press and REassemble tomorrow at our guild work day. I have to shake my head at this blunder, but like I said, just Keeping It Real!
I'm happy to report it is now 1:23 a.m. and all the ripping is done and I will be ready for some assembly line piecing tomorrow, but ladies, please don't distract me. Apparently it doesn't take much these days for me to make BIG mistakes with little blocks.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Roses In December

Yesterday I told you a little bit about our Christmas and some of you know that I am a December baby. Mom went into labour for me on Christmas day but true to form I made everybody wait til I was ready before making my appearance on December 27th. For most of my life I have to say that my birthday didn't really feel special, simply because it was in the shadows of Christmas. Not to say Mom did any less for me than my siblings but let's face it, after all the hub bub of Christmas no one really needs another gift to buy or party to go to. As I have gotten older birthdays are not really as important because they just seem to add up way to fast, but I have to say that my friends and family sure make me feel special. 
Just look at some of the lovely gifts I received.



Just as a side note, this pouch is not quite true to colour and it is lined in clear vinyl which makes it great for easy clean up from leaked toiletries. Very clever idea! Done in masculine fabrics it would make a great shaving bag for a special guy in your life.


This purse is a faux leather and was a surprise from a friend. Don't you just love the quilting on it?

While visiting the Boyce Thompson Arboretum I saw the cutest Christmas decoration, and a girlfriend made me up a kit to make my own Rudolph for next holiday season. Isn't he just the cutest? Can you guess what he is made from?



He is made from the fallen pieces of bark from palm trees!  Mine will have a blinking red nose and lovely false eye lashes...Gee I can hardly wait for Christmas!
Along with my Rudolph kit was a microwave heat bag and a gift card to a local quilt shop. Score!



I received a parcel in the mail a few days ago from a special friend and it was loaded with goodies.
Each item was wrapped individually with a cute little clue as to the contents





Filled with jars of luscious body butters!







Here is a closer look at this tower of wooden spools of trim And if that wasn't enough she also made me this charming cushion...







Mr. O bought me a Bose bluetooth speaker which I absolutely love! He also bought me a 3 season Columbia jacket and candy.




I had been feeling a bit under the weather for 3 or 4 days before my birthday so I opted out of a dinner date with Mr O but when he offered to take me for a walk through a public rose garden he had found in his exploring I thought that was just what I wanted. Being a December baby and growing up in Northern Canada there is something very decadent about seeing roses growing in December...even if it is in Arizona! 




I stopped to speak with one of the ladies who volunteers her time in the gardens and thanked her for hard work. A few minutes later she sought me out and offered to cut me a bouquet of roses!





Thank you Phyllis!

Afterwards Mr O took me out for lunch and when we left the restaurant we encountered a hungry mother and child looking for food. Mr. O suggested I take her in for dinner. I stayed in long enough for her to order lunch for herself and her daughter, then paid the bill and left. The cashier told me it was a very kind thing to do...my answer; maybe i was being scammed but you can never go wrong being kind to someone and it made me feel good to be able to give to someone when others had given so much to me.
All in all I had a wonderful day! 
I had an elderly friend from England who commented to me one day, " I wouldn't trade places with the King of England right now." That's exactly how I felt!

This little gift of a pincushion from my daughter makes me feel like royalty every time I look at it tho. A jewelled crown pin cushion!





"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
Aesop

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Have I Lost It?

In my last post I talked about challenges. One challenge was dealing with a broken tooth. Although I have been to 2 different dentists; one of which is an Endodontist (root canal specialist) and I have gone through a round of antibiotics, the tooth remains the same. Apparently even though I only have 1/3 of the tooth remaining it is the opinion of both dentists that this tooth is worth saving. Actually it is worth almost $2500.00 to these guys! However if I take a 2 or 3 hour drive to Mexico it is only worth about $400.00. Although I have repeatedly said I have no interest in travelling to Mexico, I think I see a trip to Mexico in the near future. I have spoken to many many people who take the 3 hour drive to Mexico for both dental work and perscription eye glasses because it is about 1/6 th of the price and each and every one of them have been pleased with the price and the results, so Mexico here I come...Ole! 
Another challenge was making something with my challenge fabric. I had a plan (or three) and finally took the plunge and just did it. I think I am pleased so far. It needs to be finished by the end of January and that should not be a problem. Everything is pieced, it is sandwiched and about 1/3 of it is quilted.
Here is a sneak peak...



I have worked on a few other projects as well. I made 7 baby quilts for a local charity called Arizona Quilts For Kids. One is complete...quilted and bound and the other 6 are just tops right now. Hopefully the quilting will get done before month end.

I pieced and quilted a kit I purchased at The Quilt Sampler while in Wisconsin. 



This pattern is called Prints Charming by Em & Me Designs
I know it looks a bit wobbly but that is just because I had it all folded up. 

Another project I am currently working on is a handwork piece in Wool applique. It's always nice to have hand work to pick up while watching a movie.



This is a pattern called Cold Days, pattern company is Primitive Pieces by Lynda. If you look closely you may see staples throughout the piece. I can't remember where I read it, but someone suggested stapling the pieces in place until they are stitched and I can't tell you how quick and easy that was and there is no trace of the staple holes after they are removed. How clever!
One day while on a video call to my daughter she saw this piece and quickly told me that she thought she saw her name on this piece, so I am thinking I better enjoy this while I am making it, because I may lose it after the last stitch is knotted.

You may have noticed that I did not make much mention of Christmas. Our Christmas was a little unconventional this year, in that we celebrated it on November 25th this year. Mr O and I had a very large condo rented in Fairmont HotSprings, British Columbia for one week. Our daughter and her family and our son and his family travelled to be with us, so we had an early Christmas, complete with decorations, gingerbread houses, fruitcake, meat pies, turkey dinner, gift exchanges, and lots of fun. The only thing that could have made it more perfect was if our second oldest grand daughter could have been with us. Unfortunately it is a little easier to take children out of school for a week without too much disruption in schoolwork than it is having someone take a week of University off so close to mid terms. We missed you Lex!
All summer I was working away on Christmas gifts but of course I couldn't post any photos. I made quilts for our son and his wife and our daughter and her husband.

 
Left to right. A hunting/fishing quilt (my own design) for my favourite son, a Harley Davidson quilt for my Favourite Son in Law. Made with Harley head scarves and the centre block is of a photo I took of his bike and printed onto fabric and then turned into a scarf. The next is a hand embroidered quilt, OverThe  River and Through The Woods by CrabApple Hill designs for my favourite daughter in law and last but not least a hand embroidered and pieced Winter Wonderland also by CrabApple Hill for my favourite daughter. It was a huge undertaking but to see how thrilled they were made it more than worth the hours of work.





Everybody got pillowcases (22) and personalized Christmas stockings (13) as well.





We played games and one of the prizes was a gift made by Mr O and I. It was a Scrabble board Family tree.



It has been ten years since we have all been together and it was such a treat!




I know I have been an absentee blogger and at times I wonder if I have lost it...I a
Have asked myself several times...
Have I lost my blogging mojo? I sure hope not...
I have heard from a few readers saying I've been missed. It's a good feeling to know you are missed. 





A YELLOW CHAIR WITH ONE BLUE LEG

Bonjour!  C'est moi, Wendy! (Don't mind me, I am practicing my French..I have been taking an intro to French with an audio book from...