Friday, December 26, 2008

I think he likes it!

I think he likes it!

More work on my Dutch Cathedral windows...

I think I will make a decorative pillow out of it. I bought the blue background fabric when I was in Holland. It is the fabric they would use to make the traditional costumes that they wore. I bought it at the Zuiderzee Museum; it is an outdoor museum like a pioneer village, where there are demonstrations done by people in period costume.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sub zero temperatures!

Here are a few photos of our Thames River on Monday when it was minus 11 degrees Celcius. The sides of the river was frozen with chunks of ice floating rather quickly by. The Canada geese and ducks are huddling together at the forks of the river...haven't made it far enough south, I guess.

These 2 specks are merganzers swimming against the flow, I watched them as they kept diving under water...brrrrr! I have only seen the merganzers in the river in the winter.

The forecast today is a high of plus 6 degrees Celcius and rain! and then tomorrow it will dip down again to -3 and then back up over zero. It's going to be icy out there!
We had to make Christmas decorations to demo at our guild, and I chose these Cathedral Window ornaments to do...I had never made cathedral windows before...and now I am addicted!
I've decided this will be a fun way to showcase my dutch fabric collection! and so it begins...!

Monday, December 22, 2008

December postcards: Let it Snow!

For this month's guild postcard exchange I took an old stained doily I had and cut out some of the circles.

Then I tacked them onto a beautiful snowy background print and then added some tiny embroidery snowflakes et voila!

Let it Snow! and has it ever! We have just had 2 major snowfalls come through since Friday and now it is snowing again...there is rain/snow coming in the next few days...will it be an icy Christmas this year?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Andrew's Scrappy Bargello done!

Yay! My brother's Christmas present is done, with a couple of weeks to spare! I am pretty happy the way it turned out. I decided to just do straight line criss cross machine quilting...(does this have a name?). Many thanks to Jacquie at Tall Grass Prairie Studio for her advice and to Bonnie at Quiltville for the free pattern!

And whenever I have time I have been handquilting my BIQR floor scrap quilt. I designed this celtic knot but I am not big on marking my quilts, I usually eyeball it.

But with this pattern I can't even draw it on paper without making a bit of a mess of it and it turns out all uneven. So I came up with making templates of the inner shapes and handquilting around them and then just eyeballing the rest.
Unfortunately, I should have spaced them farther apart, so that my double lines don't get too narrow, and I also had to take care that they looked like they were inter weaving.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas Open House

Haven't been in a blogging mood lately, sorry. So I will tell you about a lovely open house I went to last sunday. I received this lovely invitation in my mailbox, inviting me to an open house featuring the "whimsical paintings an greeting cards of Nicole Campbell. All are welcome! Apple cider, hot chocolate, and cookies!" Oh how nice, I thought, and only a block away from my house!

So my mom, dad and I went, a perfect day for a Christmas open house, big white fluffy snowflakes flying! I am so glad I went, what a lovely house she had, christmas music playing, her artwork displayed on the walls and her greeting cards on the dining room table, or tucked in baskets on tables in different rooms. You could buy packages of single cards or make up your own assortment. So hard to choose! She had the most beautiful Christmas tree I had ever seen, I wished I had my camera to take a photo of it. You could see the bottom of the tree from the dining room and then you walked into what is usually her living room, and there was this giant 16 foot tree beautifully decorated with fairies and glass pine cones and acorns, a tree skirt with real pine cones scattered across it and ceramic bunnies. Oh so cute, and magical!

I asked her where she got such a beautiful tree and she said they trudged out in snow thigh deep to cut it down. It turns out she has family that lives on my street and she saw my Black Cats Staring in my window, and thought I might like an invitation and popped it in my mailbox! So how lucky is that?!

So dear readers, I send you to her website Moonboots to see the Christmas card I pick out for you! Please check out the rest of her gallery of cards, they are a delight!

Season's Greetings!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Etsy Shop!

I've decided to sell a few of my extras, so check out my etsy shop, there's a link on the sidebar under my profile, click on "quilt as desired". If it works, I will probably make some more tote bags, for sure, and we'll see what else.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

November winter

Don't have any quilting photos, although have been handquilting my floor scrap quilt and have done some machine sewing on Andrew's scrappy bargello this weekend. It's been very wintery here. Lots of snow, which is unusual for November. It usually snows once or twice and then melts, this time we have had a whole week of snow, it hasn't melted away yet.
This was the snowy scenery on my way to work last Wednesday.

These are icicles forming on my coneflowers. I don't cut them back so the birds can eat them during the winter...but eventually they get covered with snow, here the ice formed a ball around the seeds, from the dripping icicles above.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

November Postcards

I made 3 postcards, top for my mom for her birthday, middle for my sister-in-law to thank her for the fabric, and one for the guild postcard exchange, a poppy for Remembrance Day.

Muppin had a wonderful tutorial on her blog on how to make fabric poppies, check it out!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

But what have I done lately?

Now, that the saga of BIQR is over, it's time to get back to 'what have I done lately?' Our guild had their bi-annual quilt show Harvest of Quilts 2008. I submitted 10 pieces this year, 3 of which were part of the Guild Challenge display. I am the official photographer for the guild blog and have made one post, but I am still working on getting a slideshow up, you'll have to wait for that. This pic shows my Robyn Pandolph folk art wallhanging with 2 other interpretations. Isn't it great when 3 people take the same workshop and each comes up with such different interpretations!

(I've upgraded to picasa 3 and have been trying out some of the new features, one is a watermark...I lay claim to taking the photos not necessarily the content therein.) For instance this next photo is not of my quilt but of fellow guild member Jill, The Quilt Rat (she's just started her own blog and is on my blog roll, so check it out...her stuff is amazing and very unique!). This piece is called Earthbound.

Next, I forgot to tell you of my sister-in-law's visit from Calgary in September. We don't see her that often so it was nice to catch up and we took her out for dinner one night. She was in London only for a few days and had many other friends to catch up with too. BUT she did bring me a wonderful present, Anne is a quilter too and she brought me a bag full of her scraps!!! Her bag-full practically doubled my stash! And they were big pieces, too, and so many wonderful fabrics that I wouldn't already have, florals, jungle prints, some left overs from jelly rolls. (If you are reading this Anne, I know I owe you a postcard...I am working on it!)

I have been using some already...there were these nice polka dots, I think from a jelly roll, left over, and I thought it might make a nice bargello... I also used some of my left over solids to add to it. I thought it might make a nice doll quilt, but it is a little narrow, perhaps a topper for a dresser in a girl's room...

Next, remember my 9 Lives, inspired by this comic? Well, I felt like it needed some borders, and I was really stuck on what to do, but after Gwen's retreat, I was inspired by her Wedges and Slivers piece in her new book and wanted that colour pallette. I ended up using her strippy borders in those colours and of course some more left over solids. I look at those solid pieces as a blank canvas for hand quilting and can't wait to get these batted up!

My UFO list is growing, the following need to be batted up and quilted:
Andrew's Scrappy Bargello
Carol's Floor Scrap Quilt 1
Test Pattern
9 Lives
Pink Bargello
Liberated Strips
Tomasziewski wall hanging
Top Secret Quilt, still working on the piecing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

First snowfall of the season!

When you get 4-6 inches of snow and the leaves are still on most of the trees then you get broken branches and downed hydro poles and downed trees on parked cars! Our electricity was fine on our street but just a little further they haven't had electricity all day! The neighbour's garage took the brunt of this tree. All I got were a few stray branches in the backyard which I hauled to the end of my driveway when I got home from work. My property is just left of the garage.

Nope, I just spent a half hour rescuing my small trees and bushes, like this poor Japanese maple. I went around shaking out the snow from all the branches. I was soaking wet when I was done, I had to throw my pants in the dryer afterwards!

We're supposed to get more snow overnight and then it will all melt by the afternoon! Yay! I'm not ready!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

BIQR: It's a wrap!

I almost forgot to show a pic of my floor scrap quilt! I am quite pleased with it. I've got a couple of raw edges happening, which I think gives it some interest. I plan on doing some cool hand-quilting in the wide outer borders.

I almost forgot to tell you that Mary Jo got me a copy of Liberated Quiltmaking!!! Can you believe it? This book is out of print! but this girl she's got her connections I guess! I was so thrilled when I received it, that I had to make it my yearbook of the event. I got all the ladies at the retreat to sign it on the inside covers.....
and of course Gwen signed it too!

We went out for dinner to the Fish n Shanty with Gwen and MJ; excellent food! Apparently, new name, new owners, but the same chef!

It's time for the good-byes!

And the packing up!

Oh yes, and the mailing of a postcard to a Lazy friend in Paris, postmarked Elk Rapids, MI!

Anyway, that concludes my awesome experience at Gwen Marston's Beaver Island Quilt Retreat in Elk Rapids, Michigan. She's posted the dates for next year's retreat Mixing it up! Quilts that combine Piecing and Applique. Sign up now!!!! I highly recommend any of Gwen Marston's Retreats, because you get way more than you paid for! You learn so much!

BIQR: Final Show and Tell

On the last day, we had a show and tell of all our work. It was very hard for me not to include everyone's it is I limited it to 14 (sheesh). Many people accomplished more than one piece, but hopefully this is representative.

Christy, below, is proud of her liberated flower, she spent a lot of time on other projects, but on the last day spent time on this beauty! She had a lovely machine that did embroidery, too. She designs her own patterns. She designed a really neat Beaver Island Retreat pattern, and put them on t-shirts (as seen below) as a surprise for sister-and-mother-in-laws, with whom she attended the retreat.
Not everyone made liberated patterns, a few took store bought patterns and used solids with stunning results. The following is a Maple Island BQ Quilt pattern.

I am not sure of the pattern name but, if I remember correctly, it came from a magazine and the sample used Kaffe Fassett fabrics, so imagine the difference with this one!
Next, Cathy's liberated stars with liberated sawtooth borders:

Cathy's abstract piece:

Allyn used a lot of Cherrywood fabrics:

This was her amazing left over quilt:

Christine and I made postcards:


Rita's bars look like stained glass against the window:


Joyce's quilt dedicated to her dog Flash:

Christine's completed red squares:

Next post: It's a wrap!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

BIQR 2008: Creating with Solids

After Gwen finished her trunk show on solids, she basically said Go to it! But the hardest part is cutting your first fabric! It was so hard to actually start! You look at all your fabrics and you can't decide what to do! I figure there was 2 ways to start with a block or a colour palette. I chose a block...I liked her red square quilts and thought I will start with something simple to get going, knowing I could always change my path. Instead of red sqares I chose 3 yellows, cut 16 yellow squares and just got going.

I don't know how well the colour in the photos will turn out, but I added dark purples and blues, with a splash of green! This is how I ended my first day of sewing:

That night at bed time, I went through Gwen's book before I slept, Mexican Hat Dance was a favourite of mine, I knew I would have to try that block, even if I only made 4 of them. I chose random colours. I mixed them up,

I tried them together:

Eventually, I thought it needed a frame around it and made a blue inner border, that didn't go right so I added a red border, and from the left over pieces from the Mexican Hat Dance blocks I made a couple of sawtooth borders...that wasn't my idea...I stole it from someone in the middle of the room...can't remember who...

Anyway, I got stuck here I needed more fabric, didn't have the right colour to frame it...So it was time for a trip to the fabric store. Found what I needed at the cute store in Elk Rapids and what a deal, many of the quilt stores gave discounts to Retreat participants. It's a deep plum colour.

I added Gwen's serpentine borders and appliqued some of those circles, is strategically placed to cover a tiny error... of which will remain nameless.

I haven't decided what to call this piece yet, it reminds me of a test pattern on a TV, and since it is a bit of a sampler...I tried out many of the tutorials Gwen gave...maybe Test Pattern is a good name, or maybe Do not Adjust your Set, This is just a Test.