Sunday, February 24, 2008

Quilt 'til You Wilt

Our guild had our annual Quilt 'til You Wilt at the Stoneridge Inn; great time as usual! I didn't know what to bring with me. I brought my entire stash, minus Christmas fabrics; it fits into one laundry basket!

I ended up spending most of my day making this tote bag out of an old Kabuki (by David Mack) t-shirt I found. This shirt was from the baggy t-shirt days, not the clingy babydolls of today, so I hardly ever wear it anymore. The art was a little long, so I cut off the word Kabuki. David likes to use triangles in his sketches, so I thought I would fuse some random triangles on it to jazz it up. Luckily I had some great purple batik to use.

Then I cut the word Kabuki into individual letters and then fused them onto the batik, I then fused that onto the tote bag. I machine stitched the applique all into place and completed the bag.

When we finish a project, we have to show it off to everyone, and there is a lot oohing and aahing, and photo taking. The ladies are asking me who Kabuki is and I am nonchalantly telling them 'Oh, she's a Japanese government assassin" And then they all break out in laughter! These women think I am crazy!

Anyway, a great use of an old t-shirt, I think. You can see other projects I've made out of t-shirts here, a quilt here, and a postcard here.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I've been tagged!

Sewnut tagged me, but I am a little late in responding. Here are 7 strange facts about myself:

1. this is often how I watch TV, sometimes it gets a little uncomfortable:

2. the messiest sewing room ever! This is a bit of a cheat as I was in the process of cleaning it and assembling a cupboard, so I just moved the stuff to one side of the room!

3. This is my favourite vacation spot; Oxtongue Lake

4. This is my first quilt, made in 1995; my friend Christine and I took a course together and have been quilting together ever since!:

5. My house used to be a Montessori pre-school, in fact I used to work there for 5 years.
6. I absolutely can't stand those bushes at the side of the house. I think they are called bridal veil Spirea. The flowers smell horrible, and it is really hard to trim! It only looks pretty from a distance. trust me.

7. These are my favourite slippers! I take them everywhere. When they wear out I buy new ones up at the cottage near Oxtongue Lake.

That's it. The rules are to tag my 7 favourite blogs and email them, but most of my favourites have been tagged already, and I recommend all the ones on my blog rolls.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Here is my February postcard for the guild exchange; I made a second one for my parents for taking care of the cats while I was away. Thanks Dad!

Hubby and I went to visit our friends in Michigan. We had a great time despite the deep freeze on Sunday! We took in the new and improved Detroit Institute for the Arts (DIA). Very nice! It's always nice to be inspired by great art.

I don't know why, but I really enjoyed this statue of Zephyr dancing with Flora! and this small bronze of The Freedman:

And this The Communicant...I thought she was going to step out of the painting!

I didn't take a lot of photos because you are not supposed to use a flash, and the lighting is quite subdued. There were so many more that I enjoyed... there was a Rembrandt I really liked and some Degas, Church, and more.

Here's our gang:

Sunday, February 03, 2008

This and That

Here is the postcard I received for the January guild postcard exchange. Isn't it pretty? The antennae are made of beads and the wings lift up!

I have been busy with a lot of hand quilting, but not a lot I can show you. On Black Cats Staring I've outlined all the letters and have started with spider webs for the rest of the background. I used 3 strands of embroidery floss (variegated orange) around the letters and then I found some purple variegated hand quilting thread which I am using for the webs. I am not in a hurry to finish this one, it doesn't need to be done until next October. So I moved onto my guild challenge. I've made 3 wall hangings already! I am trying to keep them a secret until they are due to be judged. I got all the hand quilting done, now they just need binding.

With all this hand quilting practice, these are my likes and dislikes: 2 strands rather than 3 of embroidery floss. I like using up all the beautiful colours I have on hand and I don't have to go out and look for and buy quilting thread...the selection of colours is not as great. I like the big stitch look you get with embroidery thread, but I don't like the needles I have to use, much sharper, ouch! I look at big stitch quilting as a type of embellishment so picking the right colours is easier with all the floss I have on hand. Although embroidery thread is fine for wall hangings, I am not sure it is very strong and might not be appropriate for a utility quilt. Next I've experimented with different size perle cotton and I like #12 best and I can use a regular quilting needle, again selection of colour is not as great or as easy to find. As for hand quilting thread, the jury is still out. The purple I am using is Coats&Clark and it seems fine. It is good for the smaller stitches. I've also used Gutermann hand quilting thread, I think it is thicker and stiffer than the Coats&Clark.

Below is a photo of the apartment we lived in before we bought our current home. We lived on the right side of the main floor. It was a great apartment, walking distance to work, near the park and was owned by an 87 year old German woman from Switzerland. When I paid the rent she always gave me a bunch of home-made muffins! She lived on the main floor on the left side and rented out rooms above her to students. She was as strong as an ox and could always be found in her vegetable garden in the back. Once I found her chopping wood in the backyard. She is still alive, she is 97 now!

When we moved I made up this cross stitch for her as a present. I just came across the photos today, I had to scan these--pre-digital camera!