Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Making Sandwiches

My long suffering husband allowed me to take up the entire apartment with basting my quilt...and my poor children had to tiptoe all the way around the edge while their harridan of a mother rasped "get off the quilt", "get off the quilt" repeatedly...It took me 6 hours to piece the back and get it all pin basted. I am sure this is terribly slow. My husband asked me why I was huffing and puffing so much, but picking up and moving this beast in the tiny space between the rooms in our apartment nearly killed me. I have now quilted four out of twenty squares by hand, with an elaborate structure of rocking chairs and tables holding up the bulk of the quilt. I squirm around to get to each corner of the square. Needless to say I must look a bit crazy, and it's not really going to be heavy on the quilting. The first picture shows the backing I chose and the lovely pink-apricot quilting thread. I think it is going to look nice. The backing material is very soft. I just can't wait for this to be finished and on our bed! 






Quilt show Lennoxville 2012


Here is my WIP at the quilt show and a few pics of my favourite quilt there, a Noah's Ark quilt. The lady who made it apparently didn't even use a pattern. The detail and colour variation is spectacular. Now I want to make a Noah's Ark quilt but I am not too sure how I will go about it. I only have 4/5 of a queen size quilt to hand quilt and three other quilts I have promised to others to get started! Oh well, it's on the mental list.



oooh quilty

Noah's Ark

Next door to Noah

Incredibly detailed piecing




Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Little square

I made this little square for a lovely baby who I have been waiting to meet for a long time. He is just past his second birthday, so I wanted to make something with a lot to look at. Originally I planned to make the rectangular borders of the squares as a grey road for him to drive his cars around. Then looking at my blue, I decided on a circus parade instead. The whole idea is that each square is a destination, the house is obviously home, the butterflies are at the museum, there is a forest to have a picnic in, and a park full of ducks. I used the disappearing nine patch pattern and just switched two of the squares.





It's a little light on quilting, probably could have used more but I am still pleased with it.



I started by stitching  "map" lines for him to follow, with destinations, but then decided to leave it at one. Who I am to proscribe the paths he might want to take!?




And if all else fails, it can be put up as a picture somewhere. But any baby that says "Hello flowers" and "Do you like to eat saag?" (to our dog) might just enjoy this little picture book page made out of fabric. Almost as much as we enjoyed his visit.

Back in time

To a place of beautiful colours and myriad quilts and schoolrooms bathed in sunlight...






A visit to Upper Canada Village immerses you back in a time when it seemed to be more about making than doing; making things that could have just been functional as beautiful as possible, and finding beauty in function. Making a life settled quietly and comfortably in a natural surrounding, surrounded by warm light and soft colours. The furniture is smaller, the rooms seemed just the right size to me. I'm not immune to the comforts and advances of modern life, but sometimes, don't you get the feeling...it's this. This is what it's supposed to be like. This is the size of life that would fit me.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Penelope's Web


It's here, it's very wrinkly and a bit wobbly-lined, but I love it. Seeing the quilt top finished and out in the open has been a huge incentive to get the rest of it put together and get it quilted. This is going to involve a heretofore unexplored path for me, as I am going to try and quilt part of it on the machine. Never mind the fact that it is huge and my machine is wittle. I can't wait till the hand quilting part however. Seeing the quilt top completed has made the quilt into some kind of reality, it's not just scraps of material anymore...



husbands and father-in-laws are perfect for quilt display!




The weather was cooler today, and somehow the end of summer is creeping up on us. The big one will be 6 on Tuesday. He told us he is nervous to turn 6 because he wants to be a kid forever. But the call of Grade One beckons him and he is excited to go forward and Learn! The little one is all sunshine again after a few months of tears and shyness. He has figured out that by waving and smiling to old ladies on their balconies as we walk by down the street, he can obtain cookies. They run down and smother him with kisses and ply him with cookies and give him basil leaves to hold. Life is great. Look at those chubby little hands with the fishing rods. Love love love.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Still here, still sewing

Just terribly lazy about recording anything...I have finally completed the dresden 'plates' and am powering through appliqueing them onto their background fabric. Most of my delay came from dithering about what to put behind them, but that's where clever, shoot-from-the-hip decision makers like my husband come in. He marched me into my local Fabricville, took one glance at the shelves and picked out teal cotton sheeting, and I scored 6m for $20. What a hard life I lead, with a husband who actually figures stuff like this out for  me all the time!


So here is where we are. I am up to 8 out of 20.  I love love love handwork, and after all the doom and gloom about hand appliqueing these, all I can say is pshaw, it's fun! However, one must have at her disposal chocolate, tea, and netflix. These aren't really optional. I find that watching intense slightly gloomy British dramas seem to work the best at getting that needle (and time) to fly. I absorbed  two seasons of The Forsyte Saga, and immediately ploughed into Daniel Deronda. Another good contender is the new Dallas, which also hits the spot.

However, five and two year olds don't like these shows so I had to call a halt, as I am sure they felt like their summer was swirling away down the toilet. Luckily for me, because I am the most important person in the world (!) the Olympics started and my older son is easily distracted by this kind of thing. Add to that his sudden ability to be able to sew simple stitches on Aida cloth and now he is 'making a quilt' too. It's going to be a sticky little ball of black material before long as it is going everywhere with him.  But you have to give me props for my totally selfish act in teaching him how to sew, and yes of course how non gender specific I have made my chosen sport of needlework appear to an impressionable mind! For he told me last year that only girls made quilts, and I have tried very hard to disabuse him of that notion....

So much as I would love to continue watching Daniel Deronda, I have to remember to consider what summer is really about! And on the very hottest days, almost fantasise for a moment or two about a snowy day, cuddled up inside sewing while big fat flakes of snow swirl out of a bruisy grey sky. No, silly! I am loving my summer and wouldn't wish away a day of it!xx

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Time capsule






A while ago, I bought a kit from way back when (1976) at a charity shop. It was completely unopened, never used. I had wanted to try crewel work for a long time, and here was a whole kit. After reassuring everyone I would not in fact be making myself a wildflower party skirt, I tucked it into the cupboard and forgot about it.

The other day, I cracked it open and sorted all the wools and flosses and then the bug bit and I had to get started. I had also bought a beautiful wooden hoop some time back and am finally getting to use it. At $7.99 for the kit, and $1 for the hoop, no massive spending had taken place!

So far I have already learned two new stitches and am curious to see how the rather lurid seventies colours are going to come together. I toyed with the idea of embroidering it all in one colour, but then I decided the poor kit had waited long enough to be made up. And how much more authentic can you get!? It's a big piece and will take a while, but it is always nice to have some needlework to do at night in front of the tv. A sewing machine seems much more of a day time kind of thing to me, I never feel like using at night! I am trying to remain motivated to keep going with my dresden plates, I am almost half way through making the actual plates. But again, that is a long term project! It's a nice as tucking into a huge book that you love and hope will never end. I'm not complaining.