Monday, 8 September 2014

Blog Around the World

My friend L is a prolific quilter and blogger (and a great mom too). A few weeks ago she asked our friend C and I to participate in this Blog Around the World. I said yes (as usual) and promptly forgot all about it (not usual). Until L reminded me tonight that I had to post tonight. I'm sure I've forgotten what I'm all supposed to do.

Here's what I could glean about what I'm supposed to do...

1. What am I working on?
Way, way too much. Hold on while I go take a few pictures (in this dark evening light)

a) I knit too. This is a very cute sweater for L's baby. This is the front, back, collar, and the beginnings of a sleeve.

b) I did a swoon-along with C and L this summer and I was the first to finish making the top. My progress is stalled since then. This is for my cousin's little girl. It's her - welcome to the world quilt. She'll be 5 the end of Oct. Sigh.

c) This is my ironing board. Full of bra making supplies (I am in a state of desperation for them) and two partial Dear Jane rows.

d) This is my actual design wall and the (damn) Dear Jane quilt (which is what I really need to be working on. These are rows D and E completed.

e) This is my dining room table. On here are parts of bra making supplies, two pillow cases for Xmas presents and a couple of pairs of baby shoes. I think that's all that's on here. Oh, wait, some bib making supplies. And fabric for a dress for L's little one.

This shameless display of un-finished-ness also carries on upstairs in my house, but is out of sight so out of mind.

2. How does my work differ from others who quilt?

I think we're all different and that's what makes quilting so great. I like to do patterns that are more on the traditional side with fabric that is more on the modern side. 

3. Why do I quilt?

So I don't go insane. I like it. I especially like how appreciative other people are when I give them a gift that is handmade (not only quilts); I can see that they really love that I took the time to create something for them that they can't do themselves.
That being said I need to start doing some sewing and crafting for myself. For all the quilts I've made, I only have one wall-hanging for myself. Nothing to snuggle under at all. I'm working on changing that (there are patterns in my wip containers).

4. What is my creative process?

I don't really have a process. I wait for inspiration to hit and when it does, I listen. I sometimes go long periods where nothing catches my attention, then I find a project or fabric or idea that I like and I go with it. I read some blogs and I really like instagram for ideas. I have thousands of pins on pinterest (and I do look at them). I like variety and I think that's why I switch between projects before they are finished. My Dear Jane quilt is a case in point; I get so sick of it sometimes that I need to put it aside and work on something else - eventually I get back to it.

I hope you've learned a little bit about me.

I think I'm supposed to refer you on to other bloggers (but I've neglected to make arrangements for that). Here are some bloggers I enjoy - and I'll ask them if they are interested in participating, so if they don't make a post, be upset with me, not them.

This one makes me laugh:
This one inspires me and reminds me of when I lived up north:
And this one teaches me about a part of my heritage I did not know about:

Sunday, 17 August 2014

I Am a Negligent Blogger

I have been sewing this summer - just not blogging very much. I actually got into instagram and like it a lot - you can follow me as @howmytimeflies if you're interested.

I went on a quilting retreat last week to QMBH and it was awesome. The facilities are great and I had fun. I worked only on Dear Jane and took a chunk out of what I have left to do. Here's my progress:
I don't know the reference numbers for all of them - some of them had over 45 pieces. I have about 20 to do to get the 169 squares done. There is a big reveal the end of Sept for everyone who started the class. I at least want the centre squares finished for then.

I've also made a bunch of baby shoes for assorted people:
These 5 pair are all size 0-3 months.

And I made a boxy pouch to store my knitting in. It's Riley Blake "Apple of my Eye" - the first fat quarter bundle I ever bought.

I started with this...
And finished with this
It's about 9" long and 4" tall and wide. If I make another one I'll for sure put zipper pull tabs on both ends of the zipper. I'm happy with it and it's the perfect size for knitting projects.

And my friends and I made our own swoon along quilt project for the summer and we're all finished ours. Mine is for the daughter of my cousin. The light isn't great here - it's actually quite purple - and huge so I don't have a floor space big enough that is lit very well to show the true colours.

Soon it's back to school time and there will be a significant decrease in the amount of spare time I have to sew. I'm  going to try to get as much done as possible before then and I'll keep you posted.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Design Wall (and Floor) Monday

Here's an update on what I'm working (and not working) on.

These pieces make up three
more swoon blocks. My friends and I are doing a swoon-along this summer and all our fabric choices are different. Mine is a gift for my cousin's daughter. All my blocks will be the same. After I made the first three one at a time, I decided I'd had enough of that and was going to start chain piecing to go faster. It sort of defeats the purpose of a swoon-along, but then I decided I really needed to finish something this summer so went ahead. Also, my sewing friends might just be competitive enough that it will motivate them to keep going.

Here are the three blocks I have finished. They are huge - 24" finished - and they only place there is room to lay them out - barely - is on the floor.

On my actual design wall is my Dear Jane. These are rows D and E. I an woefully behind where I should be according to the schedule set by the teacher. This is definitely my next project.

I'm linking up to Patchworktimes - go over to see what everyone else is up to.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

I Should Sew Something or Something

I'm a high school teacher so I get the summers off.  Some people think it must be really nice to have the summer off - don't get me wrong, it is - but sometimes I get a little lost and don't know what to do with myself. Personally I'd rather have a more balanced timetable throughout the year, but that's a topic for another day.

I had one of those days this past week.  I felt a little lost for a day - probably because I had nothing planned for the day.

So I thought I should sew. But I was paralyzed with all the possibilities.  I think I puttered the entire day away without doing anything productive.

The rest of the week went better.

On Thursday I stopped at a fairly local quilt shop that was involved in a shop hop I'm trying to do - the second prize is a suitcase full of Aurifil thread and I have my eye on that. I wasn't intending to buy fabric, then I saw these awesome fabrics which would be perfect for baby shoes.

Today I worked on my swoonalong blocks. A bunch of friends and I are all making swoon blocks together this summer. I feel like I need to get something accomplished so I'm sewing ahead. All my blocks will be the same and I'm only making 6. Today I finished chain piecing all the HSTs and flying geese for my remaining 3 blocks. I'll try to sew them into blocks tomorrow.

My lost feeling is gone and I've set some goals for myself - including cleaning up my office - who wants to do housework though when there is sewing to be done instead.

Friday, 11 July 2014

A Perfect Vacation Day

One of my favourite things to do is go fabric shopping and have a nice lunch. That's what I did today when I headed to the fabric district in Hamilton to hit a few shops.

I started with a drapery store (US Textiles) to get more fabric to match my drapes so that I can finish the cushion covers for the couch. Mission accomplished! Since I bought the drapery fabric last spring, I'm very lucky they still had any left in stock. It was my lucky day because they had some in stock (which I knew since I'd called ahead) AND I bought a remnant piece so got 1 3/4 yards for the price of 1 1/4 (which is what I needed). SCORE!

Then I shopped around a bit. There are several antique shops in the fabric district and there are a few galleries that carry unique art pieces.
I found these - it's an iron set - 3 bases and one handle. They were priced so well that I snapped them up. I want to decorate my sewing room with vintage sewing notions/pieces and I already own a 1902 Singer that belonged to my great grandmother and I picked up a giant pair of tailor's shears last summer.

I had two goals for the day - drapery fabric and getting a bra fitting. I like to sew my own and I took a course several years ago from Bra Maker's Supply. I learned a lot in the course, but have forgotten a lot since I don't make that many. It's really hard to fit yourself so I go in every now and then to see the owner - she knows everything there is to know about bra making. I picked up this very nice lace to use at some time. I also got fit too.

My final score of the day is that I found Pansy in Kona Cotton - I need some to finish the Swoon-along I'm doing with friends this summer. The store I originally bought it from didn't have any but I found some at European Textiles for a great price and I won't have to pay shipping either.

To finish the day I had lunch at a cute retro diner called Auntie Boom's. It was tasty - nothing like a good BLT on a summer's day.

To me, a perfect vacation day!

Monday, 23 June 2014

My Latest Project

I've been very busy around here, doing the job that pays the bills. I'm almost finished though and have a sewing project that needs my attention.

I've wanted to make a pictorial quilt for awhile - I like the way they look and I think it's a neat way to quilt. An opportunity arose for me to make one, so I've jumped on it.

My Uncle Gerald owns the family farm - my grandparents bought it in 1943 (or maybe 1942). My mom was born there and raised there as well. I spent a lot of time there as a kid and have many fond memories of being on the farm. My uncle has had several health problems, most recently a partial paralysis in February. He talked about selling the farm then - luckily he's recovered enough and is not selling right away, but I think a sale is in the works. He also turned 65 on June 21, so I decided to make a pictorial quilt wall hanging of the farm for his birthday present. There is a big party next Sunday, so I have a lot of sewing to get finished.

On the May long weekend my sister and her fiancee came home and we went to the farm so that Ian could take photos for me.

This is my master photo:

I took a Craftsy class to get some ideas - and it helped a lot.

Here are some progress pics - if there is a glare it's from the vinyl overlay.
This is my pattern master, printed actual size - 2' x 3' I think

making patterns using freezer paper

using highlighters to mark the colours of clouds

first layer of fabric, building forward
a tree

where I ended off tonight.
It's coming together really nicely and I'm pretty proud of myself. I just need enough time to get the sewing finished!

I'm linking up to Patchworktimes tonight.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Back to the Sewing Machine

It's been a busy few weeks at school so I haven't had much time to sew. I've been looking forward to this weekend so I could have a break from work and do some sewing.

I got three Dear Jane blocks completed:


M4 - with 49 pieces!

I have one more triangle piece then my homework is finished for this month.

Here's my design wall tonight

It's going to be a quilty week for me this week. Today I went to a quilt show in Ailsa Craig, where every year they host an international quilt show. This year it's quilts of Great Britain, and this blogger, who I read, had some quilts in the show and I wanted to see them. I took a bunch of pictures - unfortunately they have a strict copyright rule, so I can take for myself but I'm not allowed to share.

Tomorrow C and I are going to hear Zen Chic give a trunk show at a local quilt shop. That should be awesome. Then Thurs is guild night. Not much time in there for sewing though.

What do you have on this week?

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Baby Shoes

My friend C found this, or one just like it, a while ago. It seems rather fitting right now:

You can buy one here.  It's a stressful time in my regular job right now and so I'm really busy and not getting much sewing time in. So I feel not very nice. Today I took a little time to do some sewing so that I'm nicer to people.

I finished these off

These are for a friend at work who shares the same first name as me. She just had a baby girl this past week - her little boy is only 13 months old. She'll be busy.

These are for the grandson of my alternative health practioner. I've been seeing her for 8 years and my health is so much better because of her. These are size 3-6 months. The baby hasn't been born yet.

These are also for the grandson. Size 0-3 months and organic cotton.

all lined up

all wrapped up
I also had a long nap this afternoon, which helped my mood. I'm going to bed at a decent hour tonight, getting up fairly early, going out for breakfast, then going to a coffee shop to get some marking finished (since I can't seem to mark at home or work these days).

How was your Saturday?

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Decisions, Decisions

We are having a silent auction fundraiser at school for athletics. We used to do silent auctions and dinners years ago and they were great fun. I always made and donated something to be auctioned off. We have a young staff who are reproducing at a healthy rate, so I always made something baby appropriate because I knew it would sell.

I bought this fabric on my last quilt shop hop with C and L. This is the basic layout - I think
version 1

version 2

The fabric is folded in half so it would stick to the design wall. I will put random circles in the center white section that are made up of the other fabrics. I'm not in love with the dark fabric on the end(s). The binding was going to be the 2nd from right fabric - it might become the dark. I'll have to see. As soon as I get some time this week I'll update you on my progress.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Back at the needle

I've been away from the sewing machine for a bit - my paying job was making some serious demands on my time. I had a bit of a respite this weekend, so jumped at the chance to do some sewing.

On Friday, C and I had a sewing retreat at her house. I got two Dear Jane blocks finished there:


BR 5
It was a productive day.

Saturday I did a little shopping with my sister - hit a quilt shop but didn't take any photos. I also did another Dear Jane triangle. Here is BR 6:
BR 6
I got back to my sewing machine tonight and fixed up this block:
I had the bottom right hand corner mixed up - it wasn't mirroring the top left corner and it was bugging me.

Here's what my design wall looked like when my Dear Jane homework was finished:

I'm linking up to Patchworktimes Design Wall Monday.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Before and After

When I started renovations on my main floor last summer, I took down the 1980s peach vertical blinds and put up this beauty:

It's a blue gingham sheet I bought in the late 90s. It served it's purpose to cover the window but isn't very nice to look at.

I finished sewing my new drapes yesterday - they were only 11 months in the making. I bought the fabric last May and then couldn't start them until the renovations were finished, then I was afraid to start in case I made a major error - at $20/m it could be costly. I finally got started in March break a few weeks ago, then my machine broke - when trying to go through multiple layers of drapes.

My parents came over today and helped hang the new drapes:

I am very pleased with how they turned out - I wish I would have started earlier.

It's ironic that I was so worried about measuring correctly - I made a measurement error when purchasing the fabric - I calculated the repeat wrong - so I have a ton left over. I'll make some into cushion covers for this room and I have a room upstairs that needs something on the window.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

The drapes are finished

I decided to spend today finishing off my drapes. I'm having some friends and family over next weekend and I want them hung - I am getting sick of my blue gingham sheet that's been there since last summer.

I've never made actual pleated drapes before. All my previous window covering projects were tab curtains, which really take little math to figure out. It took two youtube videos and a bunch of math to figure out the pleats. I found an online pleat calculator which made it so much easier.

a page of math
Measurements and pins to divide off pleats

finished pleats
Maybe the best thing - my sewing machine didn't break this time!
I'll have some help to hang them tomorrow and will post them hanging as well.