Friday, January 31, 2014

Mini Completed

Here is the completed mini.  I finished the hand work on it while recovery from my dental extraction. 
It was fun doing this and I think it will look nice on the tiny bed.
We have another leak today.  Husband has been out to try and direct the water off the roof so I hope he has been successful.  The other areas have dried up so that is a plus.  We found that the water softener salt works the best as it is a slower melt.  Defiantly some roof work to be done in the summer.
Tomorrow is a new month, the second of the new year.  I am hoping it will bring more seasonable temperatures.  I really miss being able to get outside every day.  I am sure Heidi does as well.  I try to give her some exercise in doors but that doesn't give her the fresh air.  Oh, well, I will soon be complaining about the blackflies.
Hope you all have a great weekend,

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Out of Time

Our internet is spotty today because of the weather-although it looks nice outside to me; perhaps a problem in the provider's area.
It is almost time to get supper so won't be adding much today.  I did get the big quilt finished and have everything but the last half of the binding done on the mini.
Tomorrow I am off to the dentist for an extraction so will see how I feel after I get back. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Big and Little


This little top is a miniature quilt that I am making for a friend.  I am just getting ready to add the border and then will layer and tie.  The scale is 1 inch equals 6 so this is a double bed size.  It will be slightly smaller than normal because the bed is rope spring.  This means that in place of a box spring mattress or a spring base (as was the case when I was a child) the frame bottom consists of a rope lattice which supports the mattress.
I am almost finished this quilt.  I am working on the binding today.  Not bad considering I started it in 2012.  I did have the quilting finished once but didn't like it.  So, I had to unsew and redo.
This is one of my patterns and will be a house quilt.  The back is also pieced.  I will take a photo of that when everything is finished.

I just took a glance out the window and I can't see the end of our driveway.  My husband is out and expected home soon.  I know he will go slowly and he doesn't have to go on the highway so I won't have to worry.  As long as everyone else stays on their side of the road, of course.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday. Ho Hum.

Friday has arrived.  Actually, when you are retired that doesn't mean a great deal.  Friday is my husband's euchre day and my writing.  Other than that, there is very little significance.  Saturday is when I do laundry and give the house a good cleaning.  I would prefer doing that through the week but, thanks to Hydro One's lowering of costs on the weekend, I have to do it then.
I spent most of yesterday afternoon and evening looking after our dog.  She always reacts to her shots and even when I gave her something to counteract the side effects, she was still pretty lethargic.  I had to lift her off the couch so she could go out to do her thing.  She seems quite a bit better today but still not back to her spunky self.  I think I will take her for a short walk later so she can get some fresh air.  The coolness should clear out the rest of the fog.
I sympathize with her as I react the same way to medications.  I generally have the choice of putting up with what every I have or sleeping.
I did get a few rows done on the quilt that is in the frame.  It is coming alone nicely.
Today, I am going to post a couple more of my quilts that are for sale.  One has been made with charm squares and is called Prints Charming.  The other is preprinted block with dogs.  Not sure what I am going to call it.
Whether you are at home or work, I hope you have a great day and a special weekend.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Legitimate Health Expense.

I took our wee Heidi in for her check up this morning and she was declared to be a 'healthy dog'.  She has lost 4 pounds since last visit so she is back in the range where she should be.  It continues to be cold here but the sun is shining so it is lovely.  I have some writing to finish and then hope to get back at the quilt that is in my frame.

The following was sent from an on line friend.  It might be something you would like to copy and keep on your wall in case anyone thinks you quilt too much.  Wonder if we could get the government to allow us to deduct our quilting costs from our taxable income as a 'medical expense'.

Quilting has several important health benefits:
  • Quilting lowers your heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Quilting helps you sleep better.
  • Quilters have fewer colds and influenzas.
  • Quilter’s wounds heal faster.
  • Quilting gives you the time and space to think your own thoughts, to dream your own dreams, and to plan your life.
The calming rhythms of quiltmaking allow us to process whatever challanges we face and to listen for that still, quiet voice that brings compassion and guidance.
Quilting is about love and relationship. It is life-affirming and life-giving.
In short, quilting is therapy.

Dr. Susan Delaney Mech M.D.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Errant Boots.

I had an busy day yesterday.  A friend and her husband came over and the two men finished the wiring in my quilt room.  I needed a couple more outlets.  Of course, everything had to be moved so they could get to the walls. This morning, it all had to be put back again.  I am doing a bit of re organizing at the same time.  My dressmaking fabric that is in a tote will now be in a drawer.  More stuff has been discarded.  It is an ongoing battle to de clutter.

My husband had a nice surprise birthday party on Sunday afternoon when his family all come north.  His mother stayed after the others left and will be with us for a while.  It is nice having her here and our little dog gets another person to spoil her.
Despite the bitter cold, Heidi and I have still been going out for our daily walks although they are a lot shorter.  I have to remember to put on her booties as her little feet get cold pretty quick.  If that happens, I have to carry her.  Good thing she is a tiny thing.
The problem with her booties is that they don't stay on.  Her feet aren't bit enough to keep them in place no matter how snug the strap is. I am thinking of making something like a onesie for her with the bottom part cut out so she can still take care of business.
Tomorrow she goes for her vet appointment.  I am hoping to be able to get at the quilt I have in the frame in the afternoon.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Menopausal Dog?

Oops, yesterday got away from me.  Went to Huntsville and did a bit of shopping and then  did the usual house stuff after we got home.  Before I knew it, the day had gone and I didn't post.
While there, I bought some broadcloth to put around a quilt top before putting it in the frame.  This quilt is borderless so I needed something which would stabilize the edges plus give me somewhere to run onto when stitching near the sides. 

Arkangel Creations 2014 Fig. 1

War and Peace detail
Fig. 2
Figure 1 shows the sides and bottom of the quilt.  The white fabric is approx. 3" wide.  I didn't measure it.  I needed it to be wide enough for the clamps but not enough that it would make the top too big for the frame.
Figure 2 shows the top of the quilt where the fabric is tucked under the take up rod.  Could someone remove those threads, please?

Our little Heidi is acting odd.  She has a squeaky toy that she has been carrying everywhere with her lately.  Even takes it to bed and, as she sleeps with me, that can result in a few scares.  Nothing like rolling over on a loud squeaky to startle you out of a deep sleep.  I don't know if she is going through some odd maternal stage or what.  Husband wonders if it is menopause.  Do dogs get menopausal symptoms?  She is going for her yearly shots next Thurs. so I will ask the vet.
Have a great weekend.  It is my husbands birthday on Sunday and the weather is predicted to be nice so maybe I will surprise him and go snowshoeing.  I haven't been feeling well lately so we haven't been doing anything exciting.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Those Terrifying, Wonderful Gadgets.

I was doing some work on my new tablet today in between bread making steps.  All the little icons had been previously checked out and I was interested in the Apps button.  My investigation led me to the free section.  Guess which one I installed first?  A quilting one, of course.  I discovered that Robert Kaufman (one of my favourite fabric designers) offered a free quilters ruler.  There is actually three of them.  One gave you fabric amounts for different needs, another how many of a certain type of block i.e. half square, you can get from a particular amount of material and so on. 
I have most of these on a print out from Victoriana Quilt Designs (she has them free on her web site: but it is nice to have them on the tablet so they are with me when I go to quilt group or fabric shopping.

I think I have mentioned before that I love gadgets and I do enjoy learning new things but, sometimes, I am a bit fearful of getting started.  A very generous lady in our local quilt group gave me a couple of devices to help me set the upper and lower tension on my frame machine.  I haven't found them helpful.  They just sit there.  I have been waiting for them to jump up and do whatever it is they do.  I guess I am just going to have to put on my brave face and learn how they operate.  I am sure I will be quite excited once I do.  I am also sure I will be telling you about it.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Warm Spell

Our snow, thanks to warm weather and weekend rain, has lessened by a foot.  It had been quite difficult getting out our driveway because you couldn't see if anyone was coming down the road until your car was already in the driving lane.  The driveway itself is bare in spots.  The minus 2C feels like spring and I keep expecting to see a motorcycle go past.
I am not sure how long this will last but it is a nice break from the extreme cold and daily snowfalls.  Winter is still my favourite season but even I was beginning to think we were getting too much of a good thing this year.

I am in the process of unsewing the Northern Lights wall quilt.  The general consensus from each person asked was that the quilting is too dense.  They liked the work but it was the quilting you saw and not the panel.  That was my feeling as well although I was hoping someone would convince me I was wrong.
I spent a few hours at quilt group removing stitches yesterday and now have  it sitting by my  TV watching chair where I will continue to work at it.

In the meantime, I have another wall quilt to go on the frame-two of them actually.  One is going to be quilted from edge to edge and the other, I think, will be done as though the pictures on each block were appliqued.  I haven't decided completely yet.  I am going to look at some photos of what other quilters have done before I decide. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Drip, Drip.

I am just taking a few minutes break before getting back to my quilting.  I have my art quilt in the frame and am ready to start sewing.  I am pleased with the practise piece I did so am in great hopes of it translating to the bigger surface.
A bit of a problem this morning.  It has warmed up enough that the snow is melting including what is on the studio roof.  This morning as I was working on the computer, I kept hearing a intermittent tapping sound.  Finally traced the source to a drip in one of the windows.  We are assuming that the ice back up has caused the problem despite the extra care put in to assure it wouldn't happen.  Nothing we can do about it now but husband is planning on putting heating wire along the roof edges next year.  In the meantime, I have a blanket on the windowsill.
We also got the plow guy to come in and remove some of the snow from the sides of our driveway as it was getting difficult to maneuver the car.  We are, once again, all set for the next winter onslaught.
Freezing rain is predicted for overnight.  If we are getting it, I hope it is cleared up by tomorrow as I was planning on going out in the afternoon.  However, we take what we get.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

What a Difference.

These first two views are the same as the ones I took yesterday.  Today, the sun is shining.  What a difference.
I have been organizing my photos.  At the end of each year, I put everything in a folder named for the year.  Some do go in separate on-going files such as Quilts, EQ Designs, Family, Business etc but doing this cuts down on the amount of time it takes to scroll through everything to find what I want.
I seem to be on a panel kick.  I just added borders to a third panel yesterday evening.  I am still working out in my mind how I want to quilt the art one but I think I am about ready to  a test square.  Funny how we can be so nervous about a little thing like fabric and thread, isn't it.
Hope you are getting some sunshine in your area.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Snow Deepens

These first two pictures were taken from inside my studio.  The first is a through a south facing window and the second is looking west toward the road.  Both appear to be almost black and white photos but they are, actually, in colour.  Or what colour that can be seen through yet another snowfall.  It is really isn't even 'another'.  It is the same one that started days ago.  It does appear to be a bit dreary but I think it is lovely.  I have another of my large pots of stew on the wood stove and I can smell it cooking.  I don't need to go out unless I want to and probably will later as I want to get the bows from the shrubs along the drive.  It will give the dog and I some exercise and fresh air.

This, more colourful picture, shows the two borders I have added to the panel on which I am working.  I hadn't pressed them so they show a bit crooked.  I may get it  layered today although I haven't decided on the backing. 
I am taking it easy today as I slipped getting out of the shower.  I have a grab bar installed as I am prone to a bit of dizziness and I was, thankfully, holding on to it.  Still, I wrenched my back at bit and my head feels a little fuzzy so I am not going to doing anything that takes physical or mental agility.
When I slipped, I shouted and, Heidi, true to her call as my protector, came dashing in.  It is a mark of her commitment that she did come as she avoids me when she suspects I am going to have a shower.  Shower's for me often include one for her and she doesn't like to take a chance.  She's a sweetie.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Clutter and Creativity Both Start with the Same Letter.

Happy New Year.  I know that we moved into another year seven days ago but I just took down the tree, put away the nativity sets and undecorated the house.  Everything is now back to where it was before the festivities so I feel as though, for me, I have said good bye to the old and am ready for the new.  I am sure, in the coming days, that I will find a bow or some other decoration that I've overlooked despite the fact that both my husband and I checked each room.  Of course, this is a lot like life, isn't it.  We think we have turned over a new leaf, bid farewell to an old habit and, suddenly, there is the little nagging reminder that we are still the same person.
In the quilting world, we face this never ending cycle when we do a thorough tidying of our sewing space.  We take further control of our life by folding fabric, cutting scraps and labelling unfinished projects with a 'complete by' date.
A few weeks go by or perhaps even months and someone mentions they are organizing their quilt space.  Feeling quite smug that you have already accomplished this, you scan your place of creativity and your eyes are greeted with a nasty sight.  When did that pile of fabric appear on the cutting table?  Who heaped all those half completed tops in the corner?
What is a poor quilter to do when all your notions, fabric etc. seem to have a mind of their own? You have two choices.  Ignore the mess and tell everyone who wanders into the room despite the locked and barred door that (a) you've been ill (b) clutter and creativity both start with the same letter (c) how dare you come into my sanctum without an invitation.  The second choice is to realize that life is made up of beginnings and just start again. 
I am not going to tell you what prompted these thoughts.  I will just leave you with the impression that it was the putting away of Christmas decorations.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Hippity Hop on Little Cold Feet

I have started working on my art quilt.  I have the first border added plus the nylon top. I had to press and carefully pin the two tops together to keep it straight and without puckers.  I like the way the sun creates iridescent colours along the surface.  It is going to take some thought as to how I will quilt it but I am thinking of either metallic or invisible thread.  I will keep you posted.

Our temperature is on the rise.  It was minus 37 this morning and has steadily risen to minus 14.  I took Heidi out for a walk but it was too cold for her.  She loves the outdoors but when she starts doing a hippity hop on alternating three feet, it is time to come in.  I should have put on her little booties.

Tomorrow, I am going to our public library for a course on how to upload books to my tablet.  I could probably figure it out but I am sure they will be showing some  things that will make it quicker and easier.  I am also trying to figure out how to load a podcast onto my ipod.  I am not sure if I can do that but I don't see why not.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

First Photos of 2014

This is the panel I am going to be using for my first attempt at an art quilt.  As you can see, it is a lovely view of the Northern Lights.

This is the fabric I will be using for the border and backing. 

And this fabric along with some crystals and decorative stitching is what I am going to use to turn the whole thing into something different-I hope.  I will keep you posted.

The middle photo was taken with my tablet.  The camera kept turning the off green wavy strips into blue so tried the tablet.  I can see this additional toy is going to be even more useful than I anticipated.