Monday, March 30, 2009

Feeling Better

I think I can finally say that I am feeling better. This cold lasted a long time - over a week. Not only did I blow my brains out and cough up a lung, but I also had no energy. Sewing was a waste of time. I could not follow a pattern. But I did find a very easy quilt pattern on Bee Square Fabrics. It was this pattern by Crazy Mom Quilts. The whole thing is done in long strips which were then cut and sewn back together. I started it sometime last week, but made the mistake of placing it on my 'design floor' and forgetting about it. When I got up the next morning this is what I found!

I am sure this is Mimi's handiwork! She just loves to pounce on my blocks and push them around. She also likes to hide under them if they have been sewn together into strips. But I could not get her to confess! No way! Oscar pleaded innocent too. He says he just likes to sit on anything I make. Open your eyes, Oscar! I want to see if you are telling the truth!

I redid my 'design floor' and sewed some of the blocks together, but I did not have the energy to finish the quilt. Another UFO! Oh, well.

I did finish the Friday Block Party block for this week. It's called the Queen's X. It is another 10-inch block, so I did it in batiks. This one was an easy block, but with my lack of energy it took me three days to complete!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour

If we each save a little we will all save a lot!
I guess I'll be hand piecing by candle light this evening from 8:30 - 9:30pm.
Who knows It could be fun!
Let's all do it together.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Have a Frog in my Throat!

I'm back! Sort of anyway. I have slept for three days, almost non-stop. This morning I decided enough was enough. I got up, had a shower, got dressed in some clean clothes and now I feel much better. Except for this 'frog' in my throat. I haven't had laryngitis for years, but now I sound awful! I wonder if it has anything to do with the Friday Block Party block for this week, called 'Leap Frog'. Probably not!

I still don't feel much like doing anything, but I decided to at least tackle the block for this week. I think it turned out okay. There was a lot of extra cutting and sizing up before I could sew it together. I also did a lot of 'frogging'. Probably my own fault, but I'm blaming that on the block too. When I put it on the floor to take a photo, Mimi and Oscar came running!

"Do you like my block?" I asked Mimi.

"It's kind of green!" She said. "Can I play?"

"Play what?" I asked.

"Leap Frog of course! Come Oscar! Come and play with me."

And they did!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

One of My Earlier Quilts

I want to thank everyone who left me a comment on yesterday's post. All of your comments have come into my gmail account and I intend to answer each and everyone of them. But not today. My cold has taken over and I just want to sleep. I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Some people commented on the quilt which I showed a small portion of on yesterday's post. I don't think I ever posted this one on my blog because I made it about 6 or 7 years ago, long before my blogging days. It was from a kit called "Garden Delight", designed by Lydia Quigley, from the Quilt Collectors Series.

I made it with my mother in mind. She lives in the country and wanted something for the twin size bed in her spare room. But I was too slow for her. When she finally purchased a denim 'quilt' at a yard sale for $200 I knew that I had to finish the quilt. The denim quilt was not worth $200 and I felt bad that she had paid so much for it! If I had completed the quilt earlier she would not have bought the denim one. The entire quilt did not fit into one photo, so I took the top half in this shot..........

.........and bottom part in this photo. I used almost every method of quilt construction. It is machine pieced, hand pieced, hand appliqued and paper pieced. I machine and hand quilted it. When I finally gave it to my mother, she almost cried!


I even added some personal things that weren't in the pattern, like the appliqued dog and trees block. This was my mother's dog at that time, Also the appliqued flowers were an after thought because my mother loves flowers,

I'll be back soon.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Today is National Quilt Day!

It's a good thing I don't have to do anything besides quilting today. It's National Quilt Day and like.... I need an excuse to quilt! Yeah, right! Actually I am feeling a bit 'under the weather' - sore throat and a stuffy nose. But I won't let that stop me! When life gives you scraps, make quilts and when life gives you a sore throat, sew, don't talk!

Right, Mimi?
"Meow! Keep sewing! I haven't seen a new quilt around here for days! It's nap time! Just wake me when it's National Cat Day. Meow!"

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Aftermath of a Sleepless Night

I couldn't sleep last night. The pain in my legs was the worst it's been in a long time! I took 4 percocet tablets and still the pain wouldn't go away and all I did was toss and turn in my bed. So I decided to get up and rummage through my scrap bin. Doesn't everyone do that when they can't sleep? Anyways, I found enough fabric to make another Chimneys and Cornerstones block.

The colours kind of stunned me when I looked at it the block this morning! But I guess that's what happens when you take painkillers and sew in the middle of the night!

I now have a total of 8 12-inch blocks. I did not have a colour theme in mind when I started to do the 12-inch blocks. My only criterion was to use fabrics from my scrap bin. I don't know how I will put them all into one quilt. I will wait until I have a few more. Maybe I'll make two or three quilts!

Oh Jeez! Will you guys get off my blocks! And get that tongue back into your mouth! Sorry about that folks! Just a little gay moment in our household. Okay! Enough! Get off my blocks! Now!

Ah, that's better.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Chimneys, Cornerstones and Chintz

Can't believe it's Friday already! The Friday Block Party block for this week is called, 'Chimneys and Cornerstones'. It's a simple block. All of the fabrics came from my scrap bin! All, that is, except for the darker fabric around the outside. I bought that a long time ago for next to nothing. It's not the greatest and I have a lot of it, so I decided to use some. I really don't have many light fabrics in my scrap bin.

I think it turned out okay!

And now for the chintz! I have been working on a charity quilt for 'Quilts from the Heart'. I took this kit home from our last guild meeting. Little did I know that the fabric inside would turn out to be absolutely hideous! There were 10 9-inch squares of a bright yellow-orange fabric and 10 9-inch squares of a very bright tropical fabric.

These blocks were to be sewn together in a checkerboard pattern. The fabric for the back was a dingy brown. While I realize that the fabrics for Quilts from the Heart are all donated and after all, 'beggars can't be choosers', I have a hard time making a child's quilt out of many of the fabrics that are in these kits. And these large 10-inch squares are not exactly challenging! So I cut the yellow-orange fabric up and added some blue and purple. I did not exactly want to make the quilt dull, but I wanted to get away from the large squares of yellow-orange.

That leaves the tropical fabric to go in between the pieced blocks. But I don't think I like the look of that. It's too busy. I think I am going to do some applique blocks to go in between the nine patch blocks. Maybe a heart or a butterfly, appliqued onto some of the dingy brown fabric that was supposed to be for the backing. Then I will piece the back using the left over brown and some of my own fabrics. I think it will work. It at least makes things a little more interesting!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Quilting Day

I have not yet decided how I will sew my Bear Tracks block together. Thanks for all your opinions. I really appreciate everyone's input. I think the problem with my block is in the colours I used. I might make a few more sections and see what things look like then. Maybe I'll even end up with two blocks!

Meanwhile............ I am working on finishing some other projects. This first one is supposed to be a surprise for a special someone, so I won't show the whole thing until I know the person has received it. It is almost finished. I even have the binding on it - just a bit of extra quilting here and there and it will be ready to send off.

Today is a dark, dreary and rainy day. I feel as if my eyes don't want to stay open. I don't feel very creative, so I have been sandwiching in anticipation of a quiet afternoon of machine quilting. The quilt is a baby quilt that I started a long time ago. Our Guild used to hold Bee Nights, where we had the opportunity to learn easy quilting techniques.

I was very eager in those days and never missed one of these Bee Nights! For this technique we were supposed to cut our fabric beforehand and bring everything to the Bee Night meeting. The pattern was a very simple half log cabin block. We were supposed to pick a strip of fabric out of a bag and sew with it - no planning was allowed. Well, with my neurotic need for order and my insane perfectionism, I was not able to do much of that! I took everything home and promised to finish the quilt on my own. I tried to do a little more each time I picked it up since then. I even appliqued some bears on the inner light spaces.
Now I have no more excuses. I pulled it out of the UFO bin and realized that I don't have much to do to finish this piece. So that is what I will do over the next couple of days.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Bear Tracks in the Mud

This is my block for week 10 in the Friday Block Party. Can you believe that 10 weeks have already gone by this year? We have melting temperatures and rain - very spring-like, but I'm sure that will change in the next few weeks. Spring is not here yet. One week to go until March Break.

This block is called Bear Tracks. I used scraps from my scrap bin, which was nice. I did not have enough scraps to make the block in two colours, so I used four. It's a fairly easy block. Now that I have been practicing my half square triangles on a weekly basis, they have become quick and easy to make. I just can't decide how to put the whole block together. The pattern calls for a layout as in the above photo. But because I used four different fabrics, I sort of like the layout of the one below.

What do you think? I haven't sewn the pieces together yet. I'm going to wait to get your opinion.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Spring Stripes

This is my version of the Friday Block Party's block for this week. It is called Fancy Stripes. I decided to make it in blues and yellow. Sorry about the quality of the photo. My camera is not cooperating. The yellow is really a nice soft, sunny yellow. I decided to use these spring-like colours in honour of those confused. little crocuses that are growing in front of my house so early this year. They are the colours of hope!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Spring Can't Be Too Far Away!

Look what I found in my garden this afternoon! It is only the first day of March but these little crocuses are already opening their little blossoms in the warm sunshine! I know that they are growing about a foot (30cm) from the house so they are sort of in a tiny micro-climate, but they make me think that spring can't be far off! And that makes me smile!