Monday, July 28, 2008

Western Fair drops Home Arts Competition

The Western Fair is London's traditional fall fair, but I guess it isn't so traditional anymore. They've decided to drop the crafts or "Home Arts" as the politically correct call it. You can read about in the local paper here. This is starting to create a bit of buzz at our guild, you can read what I wrote on our guild blog here. Me, I never go to the Western Fair, it got too messy, it was too big to be cozy, and too small to be eventful. Overpriced entry fee, I didn't care for the rides, and the silly games, food was terrible, lots of wasps, in the outdoor part, and too much crap for sale in the main building, the animals were, well...looking at horses' butts in stalls wasn't that great either. Am I too much of a city girl to get it? Maybe I have to go with kids to see it through their eyes...and come to think of it, I can't remember even seeing the crafts...probably my husband steered me away. So tell me, is it the same for you, does your home town have a fall fair and is it any good?

Also! I want to thank all you wonderful bloggers out there for your really nice comments about Black Cats Staring, I really appreciate it! I think it's a record number of comments for me, you guys are great!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Black Cats Staring done!

Woo hoo! it's done, the binding is on! This is the project I did for Lazy Gal's First Ever Class. Making the top was the easy part, it was the handquilting that seemed to take forever, but after taking a break from it, I was able to finish it quite quickly! This quilt was made completely from scraps from my stash as was the binding. If I had more purple or green scraps I may have done the binding in those colours, but I had lots of orange still, so orange it is. I will hang this in my front window for Halloween, I think.

I outlined the letters in a variegated orange embroidery floss (but 3 strands was a little heavy, next time I would use 2 strands), and then did spiderwebs in a variegated purple hand quilting thread from Coats, in the large open spaces. Then I handquilted parallel lines along the outer edge where there were no spiderwebs.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I want to thank...

Sewnut awarded me with this beautiful digital badge! thanks Sewnut! I don't usually play these tag-type internet games, but it makes me happy to know that someone likes my blog enough to think of choosing mine as one they enjoy visiting.
The rules are post the rules, nominate 7 more blogs and link to them, leave a comment on their blog that you've chosen them and post the badge.
Well you know me and rules...I like all the blogs I put on my sidebar, so consider yourself nominated if you find your blog there, but here are the top 4 and the reasons why, many of them don't play the tag games and they are popular sites, so they've probably been nominated before, I am sure, but here they are:
1. Lazy Gal Quilting has been one of my biggest sources of inspiration, and she offers on line classes and tutorials.
2. Quiltville, because Bonnie does so much for the quilting community and also offers great tutorials!
3. Fibermania, because I love to watch Melody work on any of her projects, her quilting, her oil painting or her garden, well Ok I am not too fussy about the knitting, but hey that's just me...
4. Spirit Cloth, her stuff is so totally unique, I just love looking at it!
This is me today! I came between a red-wing blackbird and her nest on the bridge on the way to work! She got me right in the back of the head, too!

Don't you just love this Barbie, I've got to get one of these!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Quilt as Desired: The Novel

No, I didn't write a novel! But Arlene Sachitano did! She contacted me by email to let me know that her book title is the same as my blog title....I thought, oh no she's going to ask me to change my blog name or sue me! But she didn't! Instead, she asked me to be a stop on her virtual book tour! At first I was skeptical, things like that don't happen to me. I checked out her book by googling it first, I was afraid the link could be a virus, I am so paranoid! But I am happy to report it is legitimate and Arlene seems to be a fine person via the limited email correspondence we have had.

Arlene has been writing since she was a child, then throughout high school, and through her many years working in the electronics industry. She wrote her first mystery novel "Chip and Die" featuring an amateur sleuth who is a supervisor in the high tech industry. Now she is featuring quilting as the background for her next series of books. Why combine mystery writing and quilting?

Well, I love both activities, but my first quilt mystery was actually in response to a request from the owners of Storyquilts,Inc. At the time they had a store in the
Portland area where my quilt group met. They sell Block of the Month programs that have stories included. When they found out that I wrote mysteries, they asked if I would write a mystery for them. I agreed and we created Seams Like Murder which was so successful it was followed by Seams Like Halloween and Nothing’s What It Seams. Based on the success of these Block of the Month programs, my publisher and I decided I should write a novel length quilt mystery.

Quilt As Desired is a mystery novel about a 38 year widow, Harriet Truman, who returns to Foggy Point, Washington to babysit her aunt's long arm quilting business. She returns to the studio one night to find it trashed:

The workroom was a riot of color, but instead of a complimentary arrangement of pattern and shape, the scene was harsh and discordant. Pastels fought with crayon colors and muddy browns and greys. Quilts were strewn everywhere, their bindings hanging like Spanish moss from the edges. The shelf cubicles were empty. The box of show quilts had been upended and the remains were all over the floor. Carry bags of all types littered the space. Harriet went to the show quilts first. She picked up Connie’s bright sherbet colored quilt and held it up. It had picked up a few thread clippings from the floor, but it seemed otherwise intact. Harriet folded it and laid it on the seat of the leather wing chair. Jenny’s purple quilt just needed its binding reapplied on one side. It too got folded and placed in the chair. DeAnn’s quilt didn’t fare as well. She had done a simple eight pointed star block called Pieceful Hours. It had a second set of smaller points that surrounded a center octagon. Both sets of points were densely quilted which allowed the octagon to puff up. Several of the octagons had been cut open. DeAnn could repair the tears and appliqué a motif in the octagons, but it was unlikely she could accomplish it in time for the show.

Two seams had been split open on Robin McLeod’s log cabin quilt, but again it was damage that could be repaired. There didn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to the carnage. Some quilts were shredded beyond recognition, while others were barely touched, as if the attacker had tired of ripping quilts up part way through.

The mystery of the vandalism soon turns into a murder mystery involving quilting groups and quilt shows. This sounds like a fun read, I am definitely putting this on my summer cottage reading list. Last year was Harry Potter, this year a quilting murder mystery, titled Quilt As is fate.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Another comic cover inspiration?

This cover just looked so quilty and I loved the colour combination. But rather than make an homage I just wanted to do something geometric with those colours. I sewed various widths of strips together and then sliced them:

rearranged them:

added some dark bits and sliced them again:

rearranged them again and then added some more white bits:

but now what? I am stuck, maybe I'll add more white around and add some silhouettes, like I did for this Wedding Anniversary postcard I made for the in-laws:

oh well, that's experimentation for you, sometimes it works and sometimes it leaves you scratching your head. lol

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Carol's got her groove back!

I was in a hand quilting slump for awhile. I was having problems handquilting Black Cats Staring. I wasn't even enjoying the process. So then I took up my Delft Baskets piece to get back in the groove; even then it wasn't going well...what is the problem? I ditched the frame... I like that the frame keeps the fabric fairly taut, but what a pain to manipulate around...I finally said forget it! and all was well in the world again! I got my groove back!

I decided to quilt around the baskets instead of in the sashing because it is hard to keep a straight line against the plaid. You have a tendency to follow the stripes, but if your stripes don't line up perfectly, then you go off course. My stitches are not even, but I was improving by the end!

Anyway, I am back to quilting Black Cats Staring, and I am almost done. I have been handquilting and watching/listening to Margaret's vlogs on handquilting (see previous post). I highly recommend them!

On a funnier note, the next pic is me attempting Yoga from a book...I don't like to join classes where I exercise with other people, quilting is fine, exercising, NO! This is my favourite pose: the Corpse pose! heheheh. See, Suske likes to do Yoga too! I think she is better at it than me! She is particularly good at the Cat pose, too!

PS. Happy Canada Day!

Ok, 1 more thing, on extreme environmentalism from the late George Carlin