January 12, 2009
After my last post the store called me back to say that the walking foot would cost $150. Yeowch! Not having that kind of "disposable" cash on hand, I decided to hand sew the top, backing, and batting together, and it seemed to turn out well. I didn't get the piece finished for Christmas, so my goal is to have it done for my daughter's birthday in June. I'm sure I can manage that.
One thing that this allowed me to do is rediscover the enjoyment I get from hand sewing things that could possibly be machine sewn. When my daughter was very young and we lived 4-6 months of the year travelling around North America in our Volkswagen van (similar to this one), I found some wonderful vintage cottons at a yard sale in New York somewhere. From one peachy floral piece, I hand sewed my daughter two skirts and tops. I really enjoyed sitting in the van at night by the light of the lamp, or during the day in the sunlight creating something she would wear. And she did wear it for a year or two, after which it went to Goodwill.
Sometimes when I'm machine sewing it feels as if the goal is to get finished; but, when I'm hand sewing the goal is to sew, and sure, I'm sewing toward a goal, but the goal is far away and it is the sewing itself that is the focus. Just like hand quilting.
Nevertheless, as soon as I have the dough, I'll be picking up that walking foot.
Hope the new year has come in well for you all. If you've time, take a look at Allie's blog as she's creating an amazing piece of art - a home portrait.
Keep your foot on the dogs!
December 6, 2008
Finally, I decided I had to just do the obvious: lay the backing on the floor face up and tape it down, then lay the top face down on that, centre it, then pin in place. Once that is done and the backing is trimmed to size, I would fold them up then lay the batting on the floor and put the back and top on top of the batting, smooth it out and pin in place. And that's just what I finished doing. That's good. That's done. But as far as I can figure out, that also means that I won't be using the front border fabric as binding but will sew the lot together pillowcase style. Too bad. But I can't do anything more on it until I get a walking foot for my old machine. So I just called a new place down on Queen Street near Dufferin called The Workroom. It seems like a very cool place and they have recently become an authorized Bernina dealer. So Karen, with whom I spoke, will call me Monday about the walking foot. I just hope I can get it in my hot little hands really fast as I still have hopes to hand this quilt to my daughter for Christmas.
And here they are in black and white - I wanted to see how they are grouped value-wise
This seems okay. I can see one change I might make, but really, I think they are just fine as they are. So I'll start joining them together!
Keep your foot on the dogs!
December 1, 2008
An update on my mum's quilt: All the squares are bound and now I just have to sew them together. I was thinking of keeping it "light", if that's the right word, and tack one to the next once in the middle of the sides of the squares - in other words, I won't sew all one side to one side of the next block, just sew them together at one point. I'm not sure why I want to do this, but it seems like the right thing to do and I think it will be good.
On top of the tacking down I want to put a ribbon bow and to that end I went to Mokuba last week and bought a metre each of several different ribbons. I decided on an lovely transparent red ribbon with gold edging. Mum would like it. She loved red and gold. In their last house together my parents put in wall-to-wall red carpeting.
I tried this white and gold ribbon
I think this is the way I'll go. I put up pics when it's all together and on our bed.
November 30, 2008
I am reading P.M. Forni's The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude after dabbling in his earlier work Choosing Civility and finding it somewhat lacking. Perhaps it's part of the aging process, but I find myself growing increasingly weary of the horrendous lack of manners and civility in the people I encounter daily and in the world in general. Manners really are the social lubricant: they make every person-to-person encounter pleasant regardless of whether or not you like or agree with the other.
I work at an animal clinic and meet new people everyday and I am flabbergasted at the lack of consideration, restraint, and manners prevalent in people of all types and ages. I've seen a man in his 60s sit in the waiting room with his pinky up his nose, and another man the same age take out a pair of nail clippers and trim his nails. Just the other day a man in his twenties came in to have his dog neutered and he said in a loud voice, "can you tell me again why it's good to have my dog's b*lls cut off?" Hoping he was simply ignorant and not a jackass, I replied, "you mean have him neutered?" He laughed, and said yes. Luckily, there was no one else in the waiting room, which wasn't the case the next day when he came to pick his pup up. The place was crowded with women of all ages (sometimes that's just the way it is - women tend to bring pets in and pick them up more often than men). When this man's dog was brought to him, the puppy was so happy and wriggling around tail wagging and this guy shouts out, "What are you doing? You just had your b*lls cut off!" Turns out he was a jackass and not ignorant.
And this behaviour isn't limited to men.
And this little rant doesn't even touch on basic manners - saying please and thank you, holding a door open for the person behind, lining up at the back of the line instead of sneaking or pushing in front of others. Ah, the list goes on and on. What to do? What to say when encountering this jackassery? I'm hoping P.M. Forni will enlighten me.
On to the yellow quilt. Well, I guess I sort of lied when I said I'd show you peeks at how the back was coming along. I haven't put the back together, although I do plan to do so today, but I have finished one big part of it. Like my mum before me, I brought my daughter up to believe in some of the unseen things and she and I both have had many experiences with unseen things including the human energy field and the sharing of energy between a couple or a group of people. It's really quite amazing sometimes the lives we lead on an energetic level and how unaware we can be of them. I have taken Reiki classes and have experienced energy coming from my hands and from the hands of others, and this is a fairly commonly-held belief - that energy comes from our hands - and one that has been around for thousands of years. So I included this in the back of the quilt in the form of applique:
You can barely see it in the photo below, but I hand-stitched around the inside of each hand in gold embroidery thread. I found this difficult thread to work with as it kept bunching up. For the second hand I switched to gold metallic machine thread which worked much better. I also used this thread to sew in a three stars.
I embroidered on two spirals and this was the first time I have ever tried doing so. I like the way the second one (upper right) turned out, but the first one's okay too. This is the first one,
And this is the second
And finally, I added a spider and web. This after learning on the quilt embellishers' online group that they represent good fortune/luck. Plus I like spiders. I know that's quirky, I know most people don't like spiders, but really, they're great. They eat up all the other bugs that I don't want in my home and I appreciate that.
So, today I'll sew this piece onto some large strips of the pink backing fabric and put the whole thing together in readiness for quilting. I'm thinking that I will quilt most of it just following the blocks on the front, except for where the hands are and there I will quilt the hands so it shows through on the front. We'll see.
Until then, keep your foot on the dogs!
November 19, 2008
So, here is the top:
I used four different yellows: one dark new one, and three older, paler ones. Two of them I bought at a yard sale almost twenty years ago and the other was in my mother's stash.
This fabric is dark blue with beige, bright red and bright purple, and my dearest daughter brought it back from Pakistan for me. I love this fabric and look forward to using it in other projects.
November 1, 2008
The Quilting Patch in Scarborough had a booth there, and I picked up some lovely fat quarters. But they also had this very cool tiny toy-looking travel iron for $13. I thought I'd wander around the show a bit then go back and pick one up, but of course, they were all gone by the time I got back. It was so cute! Like a child's toy, but it seemed to work really well. I am always burning my finger tips when trying to do delicate ironing and have thought many times about getting a small iron - at first I was thinking of the Clover iron, but this little one might be better. The woman demonstrating it was using it on fusible interfacing for a nature-scene wall-hanging and it seemed to do just fine for this. One day I'll travel the loooong way it is from downtown out to their location and have a gander at their store and pick one of these babies up. Unfortunately, they don't have an online catalogue.
There were so many beautiful things and so many wonderful fabrics. I picked up several fat quarters from Sew Sisters. They had such good deals - $2 fat quarters and 4 for $5. Can't beat that! And, A Great Notion was there and they had just about everything one could want in notions, except the thing I really wanted: blades for my large Fiskars rotary cutter. Oh well. I did get some dissolving thread and other things from them, and they seemed to do brisk business with women lining up to cash out!
One criticism I have is that the food offered was not the best and there were almost no vegetarian options - all the sandwiches were provided by the same company and they all had meat in them. There was over-priced sushi but the ones I saw also all had meat. So, being vegetarian I had to make do with a mass-produced danish and yucky coffee. Next time I'll be sure to take my own healthy food and drinks.
That puts me in mind of what I think was the only food-type booth there the Little Rock Honey Farm. They had hand cream that was fantastic and smelled wonderful (as beeswax/honey-based products do), and amazing honey butters, honeys, and sauces. I bought the chai honey, which is delicious and great in tea - the only problem is that there are some chunky bits on the top of the honey that you have to either scrape away to get at the non-chunky honey, or that you have to swallow in your honey-sweetened tea. And I bought some blueberry honey which is amazing. My partner and I are real honey-lovers and both of us rave over both products. Any of their products would make great Christmas/Solstice gifts. All in all, it was a fun, productive, and educational time. I look forward to the spring festival.
Cheryl from the online guild I belong to, the Maple Leaf Quilting Guild, is sharing with guild members her new method of creating a double wedding ring quilt. If you're living in Canada, I highly recommend joining the guild as the women are friendly, very creative, and share wonderful methods and tips.
I'm off for my morning shower and then into my crowded sewing room! Hope everyone has a great weekend!
keep your foot on the dogs
September 23, 2008
Well, here it is: my first block based on Canadian themes. I call this the Tipi block, which is, of course, a Native Canadian thing. It is similar to the kaleidoscope block. The colouring is grass yellow or grass/tree green for the background and almost any colour for the tipi itself. The corner at the top of the tipi represents the sun, so should be yellow. As you can see, however, I've also just used it in various colourings including using red to represent camp fires.
Here's the block:
This pattern has nothing to do with tipis. I've called it Blackbirds and ice cream. The red is the cherry on top of the ice cream cones.
And this one could be called Planes and ice cream.
This is the Circle of Tipis in "traditional" colouring - green and yellow background for the grass and trees around the brown tipis with red for the communal fires.
It can be used in the same way the kaleidoscope block is used and more!
I hope you like it.
Keep you foot on the dogs