Now for some fru fru

Wow .. the quilting on these kitties is DONE .. but I can’t do the kittyhappydance yet. Just a few more things to do .. There’s my 2 fan kitties that are still minus their heads and tails that need to be appliquilted on .. I know where the heads are, but I think that I’m going to cut out new ones as I’ve gotten a new idea that I’m going to try .. that along with a few other little things I want to do is going to be done tonite, then it’ll be time to cut the binding πŸ˜‰ WOOOO HOOOOO – A year later and it’s almost done .. how cool is THAT!

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Butterfly Border

HPIM2679.jpgOriginally I wasn’t going to do any quilting in the narrow border, but on looking at my motifs and the spacing from the edge in some cases, I thought it would be better safe than sorry .. so I wanted something that wasn’t to fussy for there and fairly easy to free hand .. that border is 1ΒΎ” – not to much you really want to do in that small of a space .. So, I decided upon some really simplistic butterflies in a continuous line .. no marking for these or tissue paper .. total freehand – and you can tell, but that’s okay .. they all look the same (for the most part) I’m good with it and pretty pleased too! I turned the butterfly on an angle to put in the corners of the borders for easy joining from each side.

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Meeces n Paws Outer Border

HPIM2690.jpgThen the outer border – that one I used tissue for and I printed them out instead of drawing them .. it went OOOOOH so much faster! And considering my scotch tape is still MIA (course NO ONE has seen it GRRR), I opted to use a dab from a glue stick for sticking it to the regular paper for running thru the printer. For this border I used a cat paw and the cutest mouse alternating in the border. They are almost the size width so it was easy math wise to work them in .. I didn’t use the original paws I had picked out as it ended up just being wayyy to busy .. maybe for the main quilt part .. but not the border – well maybe a wider border, but these are 3Β½” – and why not keep a good thing going, I used a paw in the corner to connect the sides. My original plan was to use white thread for quilting this and I am glad that I did find this variegated and decide to use it .. altho, it doesn’t quite make the statement that the white would have, it still does the job and I’m pleased with the overall results so far ..

Now I’m off to do my fru fur and appliquilting – then binding.. wooo hooo then I can do the kittyhappydance!!

The heads and tails are appliquilted on as well as a few surprise elements .. I did take some pics, but nite pics are not good for showing the finer details .. I’ll take some better pics when I get the binding on this quilt πŸ™‚Β  **half a kittyhappydance

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Trumpets n Fanfare …

hpim2272Well this rather feels good πŸ™‚ .. I finally have finished the borders for Erica’s quilt .. I tell ya, I was doubting it would happen at the rate I was going .. I wanted to try and get these done the other nite, but just plain ran out of steam. Everyone seemed to really like the placement borders that I used, so I tried to use those .. **holybiblebatman** – those borders were a pain .. I struggled and battled with them for a good two days before I screamed for help from Carmen .. and she wasn’t able to get anywhere with them either .. poor thing came down sick at the time too ..

Then I started to look at it again and I just couldn’t wrap my head around it no way .. then I came down sick .. Then I finally decided to go back to “Plan A”; only thing was, the extending borders were rather bothering me – it didn’t seem right to not have a block in the corners framed by the inner border, so I thought .. what the heck .. who says it has to be framed .. so I didn’t do it .. Quilt police just HATE me .. (heh .. good feelings mutual!) So the struggle to decide how many blocks to use … we won’t go there .. once was enough .. I finally decided on a nice minimalist asymmetrical border with a staggered frame .. I just love it .. and I love working with hand-dyed fabrics .. they are so soft and have such a nice hand to them .. I do have those other blocks left and I just might make a pillow case or some such thing for her or maybe a tote bag .. we’ll just have to see ..

So all the tops are done for cmas gifts .. now the ever “pleasant” task of basting .. there are days I just hate to do it and this is one of them .. oh coo – I just realized I can likely stall one more day as I have still have to over-dye the backing for the spinner quilt .. and that one HAS to be done by Dec 19th or I’ll be working only on it late late late at nite – not that I don’t do that anyways .. but you know what I mean.

hpim2271I did some work on the cuff of sock II tonite, didn’t get as far as I would have liked, but far enough – I’m more tickled that the tops are done .. I’ve only 3 more sets of 8 rows to do for this cuff to be finished, then I get to graft it together and then start on the sock itself .. maybe by the weekend or middle of next week (If I get in super quilt mode) it’ll be done and I’ll be sporting these funky socks πŸ˜‰Β  How cool is THAT?!

Welp – my dad didn’t show up .. he told kyle that he fell asleep – but he also told us that he was out in front of the house between 8 and 9 .. which is rather odd as kyle leaves at 8:20 and he didn’t see him .. dad usually parks in front of the house .. I asked him if he was sure he had the right house **znerk!!Β  We did supper instead, so you just sooo know I’m going to get a call or he’s going to show up ‘demanding’ that I go with him .. **sigh .. MEN!

As for my door sweep .. well it was attached by screws but they started to pop right out as I pried the first two so I kept going – it was after the first three that they refused to come out, but the sweep that was there cracked, so at that point, I just kept going .. Well needless to say, the front door on this house has been Mickey Moused together and prolly with some kleenex and spit, bailing wire and twine for good measure .. yup – you guessed it .. it kept popping off – I’m not sure a ‘standard’ piece is going to fit in there .. I’ve a few other ideas I’m going to try – but am not going to hand drill holes in the door to do it .. So I’ve got part of the sweep placed in the gap for the time being just to block the air since the gap is now a good ΒΌ” bigger now **sigh oh and since it’s been cut, Home Depot won’t accept it as a return, so unless I figure out a way to use this, I’m out almost $20 with tax .. yeah you can sooooo see me going there in the near future (pfft – i don’t think so!!)

Tomorrow I get to over-dye the backing for the spinner quilt and maybe I’ll start basting, we’ll just have to see ..

Have a great day/ nite!

It’s bloody cold!

Oh Boy but it’s COLD today!! Windsor weather at weathernetwork.com says it’s 21ΒΊ F right now with some light flurries and our wind is at 14 mph – not a good day for the furnace to stop working me thinks … Last nite about 3am when I was getting out of the tub, it was bloody cold in the house – I check and it said 66ΒΊF (ESH!!!!) and the temp was dropping .. I’m guessing our furance had stopped working around 2am as the bathroom felt chilly when I went into the tub, but it wasn’t COLD – so I emailed the landlord and warned them, I’ve spoken with them today and the furnace guy should be here anytime .. he called me about 3:30pm saying he would be about 2 hrs – but he IS coming today. With space heaters and the oven (every hour or so), I’ve managed to keep the house around 68ΒΊ, so it’s not to bad. Altho I would kill for a heated toilet seat right about now πŸ˜‰ So today I’ve not been inclined to do much else besides try NOT to think about my cold toes, fingers and nose.

To add to this, I’ve got a bug of some sort .. I wake up feeling fine, but tired – then as the day wears on, I start to feel like absolute and total crap .. This rather explains my lack of energy and enthusiasm for quilting right now .. it just takes to much energy .. I would rather plop myself on the couch with some knitting and keep busy that way … it keeps me busy enough so that I’m not bored.

Erica’s borders still aren’t done, part of it is trying to get that placement border done in something I can understand – the templates that are kicked out are just wayyy to weird for me right now .. they make no bloody sense .. I can handle the inset seam part .. but it’s just wayyy to much effort .. so I’m back to the original plan of using the wrong size blocks as borders with the dyed fabrics and the purple that I picked up ..

Just to jog your memory these are the borders I was fiddling with:

ericaborders1 ericaborder21 ericaborder3

with these fabrics .. for the border and the backing:

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borders - backing

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I’m looking at the 2nd border layout – I really do like the asymmetrical look in quilts … it’s been something that I’ve been using more and more – starting with the spinner quilt – it seems to add a new dimension to a quilt and almost makes it look bigger than it is ..

Yesterday I was kidnapped by my dad for about 4 hrs .. dinner included .. but I did manage to turn it into a reverse kidnapping of sorts as we went to Walmart πŸ˜‰ … I wanted to grab some yarn as I’ve been wanting to knit myself some socks πŸ˜€ I’ve only done one pair before for kyle when he was a baby, and I figure that socks will knit up pretty quick .. I decided to grab a mess of yarn so I wouldn’t have to go back out anytime soon or try to get a way there .. In the pic, you’ll see numbers .. 1 & 2 are going to be for regular sport weight socks; 3 will be for finer socks, and I got 4 for various household stuff, dishcloths, trivets, towels, etc .. I’m going to be using the purples for the first set of socks .. hmmm .. the one looks more pink that purple doesn’t it .. it didn’t look that way in the store or in my house .. I might have to rethink this one **cries .. I did some serious hunting and came up with some cool socks (least I think so, but that’s what counts in this case, right??) I finally settle on this one – puffin perky – I was seriously looking at this one too, but didn’t have size 6 DPN (I do now tho ;))Beginner Sock – other contenders were Maizy Crop Socks and Quick Knit Eyelets. I’m sure that I’ll end up doing them all – gee maybe that’s why I picked up so much yarn?? **innocent whistle

While I was out, I grabbed a new light for my sewing machine and that’s all good to go now πŸ™‚ So, I’m sort of a happy camper – once I get my furnace fixed and then shake off this cold, I’ll be even happier .. I sure hope I feel better soon (or at least energized), as Reg has a tournament this weekend and I’ll have the house to myself, so I can get some stuff done .. God willing!

AHA!!!! Furnace guy is here .. God willing, I’ll have heat soon !!

Have a great day!!

Well I have heat again **kittyhappydance Now to get it regulated again .. we are going to get a new thermostat – I hope – and then the temperature won’t be so hard to figure then .. it’s a nice balmy 70ΒΊ right now and it needs to come down a bit .. He has to order the part and the closest place for my furnace is in London (bout 2 hrs away) sooo – he rigged something up so that at least the furnace works and heat comes out the vents!!

Now I’m going to hit the couch with my yarn and needles and hopefully I’ll feel better soon!

spinners n borders n snowmen

Now i’m happy and no longer suffering from withdrawal .. I hadn’t sewn a stitch since last Friday when I did block 5 of the spinner quilt. Saturday was spent shopping, Sunday recovering, and part of today catching up on mail, getting invaded by my dad (he’s seriously talking retirement now, so there’ll be more daddy drop-ins), doing up a mock up on a pattern that Carmen made for me .. oh and designing the borders for the spinner quilt. So, I guess I’ve been busy today .. just didn’t realize it until I typed all that out.

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Block 6

Here’s Block 6, the final block for the spinner quilt. No need for me to tell you how happy I was to reach this point. And what’s even better, is I am not sick of this block yet .. normally, I’ve about had enough of a block by the time I’m done a quilt .. but I might be ready to do this one again … what’s so neat about this block, it is easily resizable for 7″, 14″, 21″ 28″ blah blah blah .. but I think that anything larger than 28″ is just plain crazy .. the center star is 6″ on it’s own in a 21″ block – that’s a pretty decent size .. made up nicely size-wise for a lap quilt me thinks ..

kyborder1Once I had gotten Block 6 done, i started to think about the borders .. Actually I was digging looking for a link to send Carmen, when i stumbled across these links here – 9patch border and Flying Geese border. I had already been thinking in the back of my mind about a sawtooth, flying geese or spinning stars border for this quilt since I had so many HST units in it .. well the flying geese border gave me an idea .. it’ll make for a super quick border and still really pull the quilt together .. Kyle’s favourite colour is red .. one of the reason’s why there’s so much red in this quilt .. now I just want these stars to float and spin .. so I decided on using a red border too .. just one border 6″ wide .. with spinning stars .. here’s a quick mock up I did of it .. I’m not even sure I have that red anymore – I do have some reds and just checked my dyes (nope – no red dyes :'(), so he’ll have to be at the mercy of whatever I have i my stash .. the spinning stars will be whites and yellows .. whatever I have .. and the border will follow the scrappy standard that I set in the quilt – meaning it won’t be all one red πŸ™‚ so this is moving right along now.

hpim2086I did get the top all pieced and while the blue stars look really dark, I have to keep reminding myself that UofM has a darker blue – and this was taken a nite with no natural light .. I’ll see if I can Reg to hold the top up tomorrow so I can get a better shot of it ..

Oh about the snowman block .. Carmen made up a snowman block for me since I just love the bloody things .. no clue why .. I just LOVE them .. and I had a light bulb moment based on a few things that I had been thinking about, and something she had sent me earlier .. So i plotted her block into the specific look that I thinking about .. talk about GREAT fun!! I just love it when my muse hits me like that .. like a cartoon smack on the lips πŸ™‚ and this came out looking pretty close to what I had envisioned, but not totally .. it was more a matter of me deciding the work to get it to that point would just be insane .. designing is fun .. but you still have to sew the damn thing eventually and I had to decide, did I really want to sew that .. nope πŸ™‚ .. so it didnt go to my full vision .. just ΒΎ there! Good enough

So onward with the borders – if this kid doesn’t end up liking it (he made note that he’s not really crazy about the scrappy look AFTER I started this GRRR, i’ll just have to ground him for life πŸ˜‰

Tops, sales, commissions??

W hat a whirlwind of a weekend!! First pushing to get Gran’s top done (sans borders) on Friday, then the all day power shopping on Saturday, being totally whacked and two more hours of shopping on Sunday, then our Cdn Thanksgiving on Monday. **whew!! I think I’m getting tired again just typing THAT! LOL

I didn’t even get to touch anything quilt-wise until Monday nite. Dinner was really good if I should say so myself πŸ˜‰ We picked up a 6 lb turkey breast, stuffing, 2 acorn squash, crescent rolls and did corn and carrots for veggies. Turkey cooked in about 2 Β½ hours, and I put the squash bout Β½ way thru (note to share acorn squash recipe!!), mashed the taters and Kyle did the stuffing and rolls, Reg scraped the taters. We were lucky enough that we were able to shift dinner time a bit so my dad could come to dinner. With him working midnites, it makes it rather hectic to schedule anything when he’s on shift. Sorry no pics of dinner, I supposed I could show the leftovers LOL, but naw – we ate a good chunk for supper, sorry .. oh and we had a apple crumble pie for dessert (sorry that’s gone too). NUMMY .. I am NOT stepping on a scale for at least a week!! We had a nice dinner together!!

The acorn squash recipe is super easy – it’s made with apples chopped up into it.

Baked Acorn Squash and Apples
2 acorn squash
water
2 apples, cored and chopped into smaller thin pieces
canola oil
nutmeg, cinnamon, ground cloves, brown sugar

Preheat over to 350Β°
Cut your squash in half, and scoop out the seeds
put your squash face down with water and bake like that for 30 mins.
Meanwhile, mix the oil, spices and apple bits together and let sit.
After 30 mins, take the squash out, flip them over and fill with apple bits.
Drizzle remaining oil / spice mixture over squash and cook for another 30 – 45 mins or until soft when poked with a fork.

As I was typing this up, I got a notification of payment rec’d. I was like ??? .. So i click on the email and open it .. someone actually bought one of my rice trivets!! Well 2 of them actually. WHOO OOOO **kittyhappydance!!!!! Isn’t that great!! This is the pair she bought. How cool is THAT!! My first sale off my website πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ .. Yeah, I’m tickled!!

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post ..

Last nite I finally got to work on quilt stuff. I did gran’s borders and attached my borders to my hopscotch quilt.

Gran's Quilt

Gran's Quilt

Hopscotch

I like my quilt better, but I like her borders better – hehehehheeheh .. Not sure if the borders for mine are just to dark, but I still really love this quilt! So hopefully later I’ll get gran’s quilt to the kitchen table to tie it .. I’m going to use turquoise, purples and maybe pink threads to tie. I’ll still have to stitch the borders down won’t I? I’ve never tied a quilt before so I’m not even sure. It would make sense to me to stitch on both sides in the ditch of the borders. Her backing is going to be the blue turquoise flannel I picked up at fabricland last week. Oh and this border idea is courtesy of Mary. Thank you Mary .. It’s just a perfect touch and a great way to extend the design of the quilt top .. granted I goofed, but no one but me will know exactly how .. and there was NO way I was going to frog all those blocks .. nuh uh .. forget it .. it looks just as nice this way! (Hint if you need it .. my mediums and dark values were switched in the border pieces, and that threw off the pattern I ‘created’. See told you you wouldn’t have figured it out )

I’m not sure how I’m going to quilt mine .. if i’m going to do an allover pattern or just follow the flow of the layout. I’m sure it’ll speak to me sooner or later. This on the left is what I’m using for Gran’s backing. $2.75 / meter! When I was in before it was on sale for $5 / meter .. Very nice deal me thinks!!

Oh on other business news .. I met a new neighbour down the street. She stopped by asking about the swing in our back yard that we are using. And this lady’s as chatty as I am .. (i know .. that’s super hard to believe LOL) At any rate during the course of our chat fest, we started talking about our hobbies, she does some sewing and furniture refinishing, and I mentioned that I quilt. Long story short – she LOVES quilts and wants a queen for her room. She hasn’t picked her colours totally yet, but is going to pick the border she loves and goes from there. I basically told her that if she gives me the border, I should be able to find colours and make a queen sized quilt for her πŸ˜€ .. how cool is that .. I told her cash / cost of materials UP FRONT an she had no problem with that .. so we’ll see how that goes .. isn’t that cool! A sale and maybe a commission .. oh and i did tell her that doubles run about $200 in materials and a queen will be more .. she didn’t even blink and has NO problem with that – WOOO HOOOOOO

And I can’t forget that I went and did my duty as a citizen .. Today is the voting for our federal election .. we’re sunk no matter who wins ….

Be-MUSED-ed

If you can believe it, I finally got the Michigan Left basted! I did thread basting a la Sharon Schambers again – I’m still trying to work out ‘my method’ for doing this .. not that her’s isn’t great – but I think I need to fiddle with my stitch length .. I used a poly bat for this one .. not used poly in YEARS and still not sure if I like it .. but, with me selling this, and ppl not wanting to pay the price of something done in cotton bat, I need to find a way to bring my cost down so that ppl will be inclined to buy. I want to find thin poly bat – this one seemed thin enough, but in hindsight (after basting), I’m not sure it’s going to be thin enough to suit me .. it might just change my quilting pattern .. but I’ll know more when I start to quilt.

I designed Gran’s borders today .. I think it looks rather sharp!! All I actually need to do is create 11 more blocks and just use them by half .. altho a thought does occur to me – with the added 1″ narrow border, that is going to change my block size, so I’m not sure that I’ll be able to use the exact size that’s in the quilt .. I’ve not drafted this as of yet, so we’ll just have to see .. and that outer ‘border’ is in actuality, the binding – I like to get a visual of exactly how it’ll look when it’s done. I’ll be doing the borders scrappy as well with hopefully some of the same fabrics – if I have any left of them .. I’m sure I do – but we’ll have to see .. Instead of HSTs in the corners, I just might do squares instead. It does occur to me after looking at it, if I continue the borders all the way to the edges, then I shouldn’t have to do deal with any math, as the extended borders will ‘frame’ the sections nicely .. my version of quiltpro doesn’t allow me that sort of design license, so I’ll have to do this by hand on draft paper.

In response to a challenge that is still in our testers group, I drafted up this block for me – this isn’t the way it started out on draft paper – as I started to add the colours, I saw different movement and clicked away like mad. Well while doing this, I was thinking about doing a lap quilt for kyle for cmas. He’s using his quilts I made him for when he was in a toddler bed – so I think that he’s due for a new one (oh and while I didn’t find all the backing for his bed quilt, I did find other stuff I can use for backing .. so that will be getting pieced soon). I started thinking about how this block would look in a quilt and then started to play again ..

I want to do his team colours and maybe his teams logos like I did for Reg’s quilt – while this one won’t have them the way reg’s did, I can still do smaller ones for the corners or maybe 2 in the center of the quilt (UofM & Red Wings) .. I’m still thinking about it .. oh his teams?? UofM, Detroit Red Wings, Indy Colts – and well we won’t touch baseball .. I think he professes to be a Detroit Tiger fan to stop reg and I from ribbing him, but I think he’s still a Boston fan at heart .. Sports teams gets pretty nasty in my house LOLOLOL ..but that’ll be another post.

So his colours for this quilt would be yellows (maize), blues, reds, (his favourite colour!!) and white / neutrals .. and this quilt has all those colours in it!! Altho with hi being a 13 yo boy, I’m not sure bout white .. we’ll have to see .. These blocks are 21″ so that will give him a good size lapquilt for himself. What’ll be even nicer, I can get all the HSTs ready right under his nose – LOLOLOLOL There are times I love how sneaky you can be, being a quilter πŸ™‚

Death by borders …

I have bordered myself to DEATH! No more .. i just canNOT stand it anymore ..

Today & tonight, I’ve put 12 border strips on the 1800 quilt, and then 8 more on Carmen’s mystery … her quilt calls for 1 more outer border .. and I just do NOT think that I can do it :\ heh .. to take a break from it, I squared up 40 HST units .. so you know it was bad at that point.

But I did get the border strips on my 1800 quilt .. in the picture above that’s 2 of the top 3 sections .. the far right and the middle. This is going to be awesome when together. I had a nice scare earlier .. I really wanted to use the black paisley for the border and binding .. good thing I did the math first (altho in the long run, it didn’t mean anything … ) and i realized I would not be able to do both .. so I fussed and fidged and did my darnedest to get that paisley in .. i could have done, but really didn’t want a 1″ border unfinished .. that would have been a skinny little thing that would be useless on this size quilt .. so I started to dig .. (I do that a lot don’t I??) Found some light material – but naw .. I knew I didn’t want that, I really didn’t want to use the brown with the darker brown vines in it .. it’s nice .. but not what I wanted .. it’s not dark enough .. then I remembered my yard sale find πŸ™‚ .. it’s a nice dark green with red (colours that are in the quilt already) and with only &#188″ showing, it wouldn’t be a HUGE stand out .. so that made me happy there that I had a solution that I was happy with πŸ™‚

I finally got a chance to get back to my ’97 swap quilt that I want to repair .. I’ve opted to have that as my hand work while watching TV and with football season starting yesterday, I get to work on it .. it took me an hour to pick out that one ooboo’d spot and then some more places, and cut out the old batting etc, etc, etc .. I was still finding bits n pieces of that cheap 36″ muslin and it was just shredding like crazy as I was picking at it .. I’ve decided since I’m doing handwork, to just quilt it in as I fix it … one fell swoop .. all the patches that need to be replaced are white and I am old school and press to dark so they would be flat under the seams anyways .. so I’m just slipping them in, pinning the buggers down and stitching away .. I’ll likely get this done before footballs season ends, but i’m sure I’ll have a TON of things to hand sew soon enough. I did have a spot (where the pin is – see the blue dot??) where I didn’t get all the cheapy muslin out and I let it goof me when I putting in the patches .. so i’ll be prolly tucking that under or smucking it down .. not sure .. I really don’t feel like picking that whole patch apart, but if I have to, I have to ..

I’ll be starting to quilt my 1800 quilt today I hope .. I’ve picked out my motifs, adjusted them for my block size, all I have to do is print them out and then layer up the sections .. I’ll prolly pin these or use basting spray as they are a whole quilt just 33&#189″ sections.