Saturday, May 28, 2011

I love Yellow. My neighbor does not

I love the color yellow. I don't use it much, but I love it! One day I will make a sunshine yellow quilt, but not today.

This afternoon I was sitting outside with the dogs, enjoying some dappled sunlight and a soft breeze, admiring my beautiful yellow flowers. My neighbor was out so I headed over for a chat, proud to show her my beautiful yellow garden.
"Are you going to get rid of those soon?" she asked. Looking around at my wonderful dogs frolicking around the old tree stump in the middle of the yard my heart skipped a beat. "Why? They are like family to me!" I exclaimed, horrified at the thought of ever losing my boys! After a slow shake of her head she replied, "Not the dogs! The darn dandelions!!! They will be going to seed soon and will completely cover your yard if you let it go any longer!". So I gave in, and started pulling out my pretty little flowers.

Sometimes I wish I was still 6. Dandelions were beautiful then. I used them as pretty pillows for my Barbie to rest her head on. Nothing was prettier than a wreath of dandelions, or a bracelet (because it took way too long to make the string of dandelions long enough to wear on my head.) The perfect gift for Mother's Day. I can still remember gathering up as many as I could find and handing my Mom the beautiful bouquet. She loved the flowers I gave her, proudly displaying them in a crystal vase on the dining room table. The roses my Dad gave her relegated to the old buffet.

Yes. I miss the days when dandelions were beautiful. I still think dandelions are beautiful, I just don't say that out loud!

Happy Stitching!

PS   I wanted to thank you all for voting for my Dragonfly quilt at the Quilting Gallery. First place was won by Margeeth's gorgeous "Water Birds". I tied for second place along with the lovely quilt  "Alone Among Us"!  It was very exciting!

I'm not entered in this week's contest all about Wildlife, but fellow Manitoban Myra from Tactile Pleasures in Fabric has entered her lovely quilt "Gone Camping". It definitely got my vote! If you have a moment, click here to vote for it!  (Once you get there, you have to scroll down the page a ways to see all the quilts and the place to vote).

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monster Giveaway List

Maybe all you fellow quilters know about Sew, Mama, Sew! but I didn't. The site has a huge masterlist of giveaways being held. I've only checked out a dozen or so but there are some absolutely awesome giveaways and it's nice to find them listed in one place! Anyway, I'm off to enter a few more. I wish all my fellow bloggers Good Luck!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday Night Sew In

 My FNSI  was a combination of old and new. A few years ago I started making blocks for a quilt, but after 4 I stopped. Last night I found the project and lo and behold, there were 1/2 the pieces cut for another block! I quickly cut the remaining pieces I needed and sewed it up. Now I have 5! (At this rate it's going to take me a long time to finish the quilt!)
My husband was busy outside. He's building a new fence. Our fence was getting pretty shaky and it's only 5 feet high. Jaxi, our newest fur boy, can easily clear it (little brat)  so we needed a higher one. I'm excited because it will have lattice on top, it won't be plain like our current one! So with more sewing time available I put together a little block that I bought on a whim.
It was only $3 and I like having mini projects available. Sometimes you want o have everything laid out for you, no need to think about which fabrics to use, what pattern etc. I have no idea what I'll do with it yet, but it's kinda cutesy. It still needs blanket stitching around the fused pieces. I was thinking maybe adding another rectangle on the bottom of it with the words "Flower" or "Spring" and making it into a little banner. Maybe at the nexts on FNSI.

Happy Stitching


If you have a moment this weekend you should check out all the lovely quilts entered in the Quilting Gallery's weekly contest and vote for your favorite (voting is until Sunday night). The theme this week is "Birds and Insects" and there are some truly lovely quilts.
 I've entered my little quilt "Dragonfly". I took a class with Michelle Dobrin on thread sketching. That was the most fun I've ever had in a class. At first I was very intimidated doing thread sketching, but with Michelle's instruction it was easy.  Everyone had a great time and the work that came out of that weekend was amazing. I used free motion stitching, applique and iridescent Lumiere paint on the dragonfly's wings.

I noticed that three are three Canucks entered in the contest. A fellow Manitoban, Myra from Tactile Pleasures in Fabric , entered a lovely applique quilt with birds and hollyhocks called "Grandpa's Hollyhocks". So if dragonflies aren't your thing, maybe hollyhocks are!

The second little quilt I finished for the class was a landscape done with thread sketching. A small touch of Lumiere paint was added as the reflection of the sunlight on the water. I ended up matting and framing it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Amy at Amy's Creative Side is hosting a Bloggers' Quilt Festival! I decided to show my quilt "Maple Leaf". It was made quite awhile ago from a pattern in Leisure Arts A Quilt for All Seasons.

I cut out hundreds of squares from as many different fabrics as I had. It was a Sunday and I realized I didn't have the right dark background fabric. A quick trip to Wally Mart I(the only store with fabric open on Sundays) and I thought I found the perfect one. NOT. I ended up cutting and sewing all the dark and colorful half square triangles I needed. Steamed them really really well (Yeah, I know better now!) and realized #1 - I didn't like the background fabric and #2  I had stretched some 1/2 square triangles and shrunk the remainder!

Several months later I started the quilt again, this time with a better background choice. Once I sewed everything together I decided that some points didn't match - so I put it away again. Months later I said I'm going to get that thing done! I added borders, quilted it and it is one of my favorite quilts that I've ever made. Now I try and relax a little with my quilting, and most of the time it's working. If things aren't perfect who cares? I for one have better things to do, like more quilting!

Be sure to check out all the other quilts here!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I Won!

The FMQ Challenge that I took part in finished up this week. I have FMQ Madness now. I find myself devouring books,  maniacally searching the web for anything to do on the subject, pouring through every magazine I own to see photos of the quilting on the quilts. I'm not sure there is a cure. I may have to go to my doctor for advice, but I don't know if that will help - she is a quilter too! 
I won 7 Fat quarters perfect for a Christmas Quilt!
The challenge was a wonderful experience. The combination of daily practice and all the encouragement I received from the other participants greatly improved my free motion quilting. If that wasn't enough, I also won one of the 2 prizes in the random draw! Joanne from Thread Head (she hosted the challenge along with Wendy from Inky Threads) dropped them off to my house just a few minutes ago! Thank you Joanne! It was wonderful to finally meet the person who's work I have been admiring for weeks now. 

I received a wonderful package in the mail on Friday. This cute pincushion and matching pin cushion ring!I participated in a pincushion swap that Linda from Quilt Cookies hosted. Thank you Linda! They are beautiful! I showed them to my guild members and they fell in love with the pincushion ring. I'm guessing there will be a few of them showing up at our next meeting! I hope my pincushion/needlecases arrive at their destinations soon.
closeup of pincushion/needlecase
Jaxi - Posted here just 'cause I love him!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

FMQ Challenge

This week has been quite special. My dearest friend who has HAD cancer finished her last chemo treatment this week! Yippee! She's had almost  a year of radiation, chemo, surgery, chemo again,  and some really scary moments but things are looking up!

I've been working on my last week of the FMQ Challenge. I was given a small table topper to practice quilt on. It was already quilted in the ditch and bound, but not a favorite piece (no worries if I messed up!). It was nice to work on actual blocks, rather than just doodle pieces. A little shaky on my backtracking, but not bad.
The newest piece is just muslin. Maybe a pillow, or small centerpiece for my coffee table.
I like marking with the water soluble pen. Much easier to see,.
Everything looks okay. I even like the back, tension was pretty good! Then I saw....
Oh Pickles!
I thought it felt a little different in the corner, but I was determined to get it done tonite. Lessons learned: 1. if it feels different FIND OUT WHY!, 2. probably not the best idea to be quilting at midnight. Me and the frog are going to spend some quality time together.  The challenge is over tomorrow. I'm kind of sad. It's been a lot of fun. I may just have continue on my own!

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I'm Back

I think I'm finally set up with the new computer. A few issues yet, like I can't find my bookmarks, email contacts, can't send email yet with my regular account. Oh, and blogger doesn't seem to have the blogs I'm following! Oh well, whatever I'm doing is faster now and that's a good thing!
Pincushion Swap
I made these needlecases for a pincushion swap. I know, not a pincushion right? Actually they are pincushions too. The monogram has 4 layers of batting underneath, therefore, a pincushion! The reason I made the pincushions this way was to get around size restrictions. Luckily I checked Canada Post for postage prices to the UK before I sent these off. Once the letter is over 2 cm thick, it is qualified as a small package and costs - get this - over $30! Anyway, I think my partners will be happy.
I tried out the pockets, but sent the case empty.

Free motion monogram

I wanted to post pictures earlier but wanted to leave some time for the needle cases to reach my swap partners.
FMQuilted and ready to be sewn
Time to post the last week of my FMQ Challenge. It's been a rather frustrating week with the whole new computer thing. after mine finally kicked up a really big fuss. It's taken days to find a computer, get it set up and home, and then to try and makes heads and tails of where everything is  I miss the familiarity of my old one, but not its' turtle like speed. Hopefully the learning curve on this one won't be too steep, I'd rather be quilting!!!

Happy Stitching

Monday, May 2, 2011

FMQ Challenge Day 2 & 3

I tried a few fills yesterday and a small feather. I tried to remove the green chalk I used, but it just made a mess of things. I am going to get a wash away marker tomorrow!
 Today I worked on marked motifs. I found it challenging to follow the lines but I still enjoyed it. There are quite a few places where my stitches became very small - my brain couldn't handle 2 tasks at once! I noticed my shoulders and neck really tensing up, even after only a couple of minutes. Will definitely work on relaxing a bit.
My favorite flower. Next time will do bubbles (not brains) in the center!
I enjoy doing this fill.
The fabric is actually ivory muslin, not grey. Will try daylight pictures next time
This challenge has really pushed me to try things I don't think I would have done on my own, at least not anytime in the near future. I've received lots of encouragement which has helped tremendously to boost my confidence, so I thank everyone who has commented on my progress so far!

Happy Stitching

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Amazing Free Feather Motifs

I'm participating in The FMQ Challenge and was looking for designs when I found Forest Quilting..This website has the most beautiful feather motifs to print out. Pat Adams of Minnesota started the website and she offers paper piecing patterns, feather motifs and quilting patterns ALL FOR FREE.

I'm going to try a couple of her motifs tonight. I'll be posting my results tomorrow. I hope I can do her patterns justice!