29 August 2008

Wanted, brain cell - apply within ..

I' m using this entry as a draft for my acceptance speech for the "Twit of the Year" award. I swear that some days if I had operative brain cells I could be registered as a dangerous and offensive weapon .. pfft!! Notice how I didn't say lethal .. I only kill my stuff :\

By this time I'm sure you're wondering . what on God's green earth has she done THIS time .. oh this is a goody for sure!! I even amaze myself this time!!

Remember in my last post where my Ohio Star block was just zipping along sweet as can be and I discovered that it was the wrong size?? yeah well this is even better .. truly it is .. twit for brains here messed herself up royally - it WAS the right size .. I needed 11" unfinished and 10½ FINISHED .. "I would like to thank the members of the academy for .. blah blah blah .. FIDDLESTICKS!!!!!" See I told you it was a doozy even for me - heh not your average bear, eh boo boo .. &^%@#! **sigh** Ah well .. I have these 5 done now, one more already cut out from before and just 2 more to cut now .. bloody hell .. BUT on a good note; that is it for the blocks for this quilt .. i just need to put them into sections and then quilt as you go :D :D :D

I wanted to show you how great this combination looks even tho it is the mostly unlikely sounding combination on it's own .. It's really going to blend well together and add some interest to the corner-ish where it'll be ..

In my defense for my screw-up; things have been a wee bit interesting around here to say the least and I've been on an emotional roller coaster since I got back from up North - I guess I was more distracted and worried than I thought - granted I'm not perfect, but since I designed this damn thing, you'd think I would remember what size blocks I made for it; pfft .. ah well .. onward!!

On a good note tho .. I have half of Clue one done for gran's quilt - I even don't mind making mistakes at this point, as it gives me another chance to stitch up another seam :) .. Bonnie - thank you for your wonderful light bulb moment :)

I'll be busy stitching this weekend .. Myself and a few other ladies will be helping Carmen get ready for a mystery that she has plotted .. I think we were promoted to stitch detectives :D I am looking forward to altho that means I have to cut a mess of fabric up today as well as get those other 2 blocks made ..

Think I can be trusted with a rotary cutter?? I promise not to massacre any more defenseless fabric and I'm sure that there's not much left of my ego to shred at this point ..

Oh any operative brain cells, please fill out the application and leave it on the counter please .. I'm sure I'll find it later .. when I'm looking for my mind ..

27 August 2008

I must have been due ....

B ack in January I posted about fabric quality and how getting the thin / low thread count muslin could bite you on the nose in later years .. if not sooner.

This is one of the blocks from my swap quilt from 1997 that I used the cheap muslin for filler blocks for this swap. As you can see it shredded away. So I'm fixing it .. I have Guide to Vintage Quilting by Sandra L Hatch, where she shows you how to fix vintage quilts (I'm not sure I would go THAT far with THIS quilt) and also neat period patterns for the older vintage tops / quilts you may find in your travels. Because this was my first swap quilt and the blocks are signed, I really wanted to try and save / fix it.

I got all sorts of WOW, muslin and batting scraps ready to do this block first .. this is the only one where I have to replace all the white parts - the rest are just QSTs. I decided to quilt these pieces in one shot as they are all going under the other pieces as they are white and I was replacing the batting too.

I did really good with the first QST - cut away the shredded batting, frogged the quilting just ever so carefully and then took out the stitching from when they were pieced. The first part went just about perfect - that should have been my first clue .. It was rather tricky with the quilt stretched out of shape from over the years of these bits n pieces missing - this poor QST had more pins than a porcupine - but as you can see the QST worked just fine ..

So with more confidence I went to the square .. it was the square that did me in .. yes a stupid simple square! For some reason I just could NOT get all the material under the seam for this one .. and this was TWICE this did this to me .. YOu can see the two spots where it wouldn't tuck under. I had it all pinned in and it looked fine - but get it on the machine and start quilting it down and it goes all wiggly piggly on me .. okay nuff of that .. i'm going to lose my temper and I was getting tired. So I just might put them in all by hand then quilt them down .. I just wanted to keep the batting in place as all this shifting and moving was going on with this quilt .. I can use my Sullivan's basting spray for this I guess - or a glue stick :)

Two days ago I cut the greens out for the Ohio Star blocks for my 1800 quilt and yesterday I did the pink paisley for the background .. While i was sewing this I did the leaders n enders for Grans quilt and actually got 7 nickels stitched on one side .. I used Around the Block by Judy Hopkins for this block as these blocks are rotary cutting and she has 6 different sizes for each block

The Ohio Star went together just nicely .. I squared the QSTs after they were stitched to avoid any issues with it being out of kilter - I find that taking that extra step after doing a section construction helps to fix ooboos that would later have me on the endangered list for baldness and sanity .. well okay - not sanity .. baldness then ...

I press the block out and all my points line up (but one little corner - bet you can't find it!!), then I head over to the cutting table to square it up .. and it's a perfect .. 11" ?!?!?!?!?! My heart does the demon drop .. that can't be .. I didn't do a scant seam on this block! I did a flat out ¼" seam - bloody hell .. what the devil is going on .. So I grab the book from my bookshelf and see that it's for 10½" FINISHED block .. NOT unfinished .. oh jesusmaryjoseph I needed a 10" finished .. crap crap crap .. and I was soooo proud of myself that this block just zoooomed together quicker n all get out .. yeah it got out all right .. pfft!

Well I've figured out that I need to have 4½" squares for the QSTs and then 3¾" or 37/8" for the squares .. not a big deal .. I'll just cut down what I've already cut .. but will do the 3¾ block first and test it for size ..

Bloody Hell . only me!

**Throws paws up in frustration, shuts the sewing room down and leaves while there still IS a sewing room .. which in this house is called the cat cave ..

26 August 2008

Moving ahead; gran - 1800 quilt

W ell I did have a more quilt-related day than yesterday .. I actually did quilt-related stuff ;) then again .. I didn't do anything quilt related yesterday, so there is definitely room for improvement ;)

Before I left for up north, I pulled out fabrics for Gran's quilt .. I got those cut out and will work on her quilt 'in-between' - i read on Bobbie's blog yesterday about Bonnie Hunters "leaders / enders" and thought it was a capital idea as I do the scrap leader / ender now .. **Hmm .. why does light green always looks yellow!?!?!?

Since I was cutting Gran's quilt, I figured I would cut out the greens for Ohio Star blocks in my 1800 quilt .. Since there is only 8 of them, it went rather quickly. I've laid the pieces out on the background fabric that i will be using .. I know this looks rather funky, but the greens are managing to work itth the blue/green in the paisley - AND, this was the one fabric that worked the best with the mauvey brown background colour that is being used throughout most of this quilt .. so tomorrow, I cut out the background fabric and maybe the muslin for the repairs I want to do on my swap quilt from 1997.

I know it's been forever and a day since I posted anything about my 1800 quilt so to help you visualize how this will look - voila! the final layout .. and this one has the background changed for these ohio star blocks ..

I am sooo close to getting this all put together .. I got the flannel now and just have to stitch up these last 8 blocks, then cut the border and it's time to quilt-as-you-go. So this quilt should make up pretty quick once I get it all pieced in sections .. heh .. just in time for the end of summer for our summer quilt (@@) ... that's okay .. I can start on our winter quilt right after this ;)

25 August 2008

Day after ... blahs maybe??

Still on the terror-list .. bah

W ith getting the laundry done while up north, there wasn't a whole mess of vacation 'clean-up' to do but put things away (done in fits in bursts thru the day) and go shopping .. Good thing as I am just flat out exhausted .. I'm thinking that this is due to overexposure to the sun 2 days last week .. once was when the boat died on us and the other was driving home (6 hours of sunlight on my arm) Both times I broke out in hives / blisters on my arms, hands (legs for the one on the boat) and while they don't really hurt or itch, I am aware of them and I was totally whacked out both times .. I even took a nap today and I don't ever do that!! This isn't the best picture (I'm right handed and so's my camera) but you can see the blisters / hives on my arm .. specially that big one ..

Reg thinks that I might be allergic to the sun as his mum gets this when she's out for too long - Carmen suggested that i have sun poisoning .. oh great .. I'm already susceptible to heat stroke .. I've not noticed this before as I usually don't spend a lot of time in the sun due to heat stroke danger ... mostly a few hours in the afternoon - but I'll get that checked out tomorrow maybe ...

I mentioned yesterday that I picked up some doilies while I was in Fenellon Falls at a flea market there .. heh .. you should have seen the one in Bobcaygeon .. it was like walking into a junk closet .. there's a sign at the door that even said - "this isn't a museum - this junk's for sale" LOL Gotta love it .. but at any rate .. I got these for $1 each, but the 3 small ones were $1 in total .. so with tax $4.52 .. not to bad me thinks :D I could make these myself, but I would have to get the crochet cotton and then spend the time doing them (!) This is better for me .. quicker AND likely cheaper too! Some of these patterns might be too tight to be really effective for the discharge dyeing, but they all have open areas to use .. if not, I can actually use them for what they were made for .. heh .. fancy that piece of work!

I did get some handwork done while watching TV at nite .. with the fullness of our days, and no puter - I spent most of the day outside doing this and that - so at nite after supper, we would watch the Olympics and I would quilt .. I got quite a bit done considering I might have put 12 hrs in total on this .. one thing my stitches were way to small at first so I had to really concentrate on making them longer .. I like the look of the longer stitches .. You might not be able to see it, but I am using a peachy pink thread for this and the fabric is tea-dyed muslin - I think that it's going to look quite nice when / (IF) it ever gets finished ;)

While I was gone, 2 packages showed up .. 1 I was waiting for, the other was a total surprise. Cheryl from one of my lists gave up tring to sell some flannel and just wanted us to pay for postage (Thank you again Cheryl!!) .. and with me wanting to use flannel for the 1800 quilt, this was just perfect. (I still have the Ohio Star blocks to do on this one) It is so soft an d pretty, it almost seems a crime to use it as batting ..

IF .. operative word here is "IF" my math is right, I should have just about enough to do our quilt .. I might have to buy ¼ yard of it, but need to get some flannel to do Gran's quilt - she doesn't like the heaviness of quilts, so I need to make her's as light as possible weightwise.

The unexpected one was from Darlene .. This picture doesn't even come close to doing this FQ justice .. it's a nice medium deep red with darker swirls on it .. I'm low on reds so this is just perfect timing for me :D I just think that is perfectly cute! I LOVE it .. Thank you again Darlene!!

So other than reading list mail and finishing my emails, I didn't do anything else quilt related .. just too bloody tired today ... maybe tomorrow I will have more energy .. I do NOT like feeling this .. blah .. I'd better feel better tomorrow .. I have some running around to do and with being a one car family, I get to use 2 wheels :S

24 August 2008

Travel Notes from Bobcaygeon

Would you believe that I had to request to get reviewed AGAIN bah! I checked my email and my junk mail and nothing from them, but to extend my stay on the terror list - Bloody Hell!

A fter 9 days, we are back .. it was absolutely GREAT and I had a total blast. I love vacations like this where you visit and veg and just piddle around and do whatever .. no schedules, no tearing off to this and that ... my parents used to like those types of vacations .. i swear you needed another week off to recover from those (!) ..

5:30am - alarms start ringing, eyes crack open and the fun begins .. making sure all gets into the car and we leave on time .. as reg and kyle were getting ready, I decided to put my bag into the trunk along with a few other bags .. as i'm stuffing this in, I crank my head right off the trunk .. oh Lordy did THAT smart and it raised a small bump .. then afterwards, I was putting the milk in the freezer (2-½ gallon jugs) so we could have it when we got back and I didn't know that a jam jar had stuck to the one gallon where I couldn't see it ... my darling son saw this and and of course said nothing (not sure he was awake or even 'thinking' yet) - well at any rate, I get the milk jug to the height of my eyes, when the jam jar decides it's NOT going to spend the next week in the freezer and unsticks itself .. that puppy landed right on the bones above my big toe (%^&*$) - I think I woke the bloody block up .. ohmyGod did that HURT!!!! Reg was in the bathroom and figured that we were going to be starting our vacation in ER with me and a broken foot .. I have no idea how i managed not to break it .. matter of fact, you really couldn't see the bruise all that well - and it really doesn't hurt anymore .. God does protect the foolish :D But I sure felt it for the next 4 days.

We get off at 6:05am and with 2 stops make it to Bobcaygeon around 2 pm .. heh .. Orion had her priorities straight .. she refused to go in the door, so Reg and Kyle took her around back .. all Gran saw of me and the dog was a black streak as she hauled me out the door and down the steps .. Orion made a beeline for the lake and just jumped in off the breakwall first and then off the dock .. so she was 'grounded' to the outside until she dried .. this of course was a daily thing .. heh .. she made a beeline for the lake every am and was tied up to dry off - after lunch we would do whatever and she headed for the lake again around 4 or so then was grounded to dry land and was generally dry enough for supper to become a speed bump in the pathway between the table and the kitchen ..

Today was the day that the family came to visit and see Reg .. his Uncle David, Melissa (cousin), Misha (Mel DH), Josh (cousin), and Aunt Barb (not married to Uncle David) arrived around 9 am. The day was spent tubing, playing croquet that turned into the 'Or Not' game as we kept whiffing or shooting the balls off on a tangent, and whiffle baseball .. sandwiches for lunch and bbq chicken for dinner. Reg opted not to come on the boat so that left David, Melissa, Misha, Aunt Barb, Cricket, Kyle and myself to pile in and terrorize the fish in the lake ... The lake was rough that day and David maniacal with his "S" curves and whipping around .. but what a BLAST .. I forgot how much water can hurt when you are hurting at it at over 30 mph :D

Like I was capable of movement after yesterday .. heh .. yeah right .. I spent Sunday recovering from the abuse that I put my body thru the day before .. and you know what??? I would do it again too :D Oh wait .. actually we did do something this day .. and it required no effort on my part but to sit and watch a movie .. Lindsay, ON has an honest to goodness real live drive-in theatre!!! When I first saw it two years ago, I thought it was deserted and closed down .. but nope .. it's open and showing movies 7 days a week :) .. we saw the Mummy - the second feature was Wanted, but we didn't stick around for that one as we weren't sure what it was about and were both pretty sure that it wasn't suitable for Kyle ..

Spent the day doing more tubing and swimming .. we weren't out long, not even close to as long as Saturday, but then again, today it was only Reg, Kyle and myself .. since i was sore and Reg's back was bothering him, and Kyle was being nervous, none of us was tossed around even a smidgeon as much as David did to me on Saturday .. did I get dumped?? Nope not this time .. just a nice fun ride .. the lake wasn't half as choppy either .. I did dump Reg tho .. he decided to get cheeky and take his hands off .. so of course I obliged with a quick S turn .. but then again, if he didn't want to get dumped, he wouldn't have let go - or he would have grabbed as he can react faster than the boat turns :)

Tuesday, Wednesday
We ran into carburetor problems on the way to Fenellon Falls on Tuesday and spent the rest of that day (when we finally got back in (!)) and part of Wednesday fussing with it .. of course this entailed trips into town (30 mins) away and poking around to find the right stuff .. we never did get it going again and I wasn't about to take off the carburetor and fix it .. I really didn't want that responsibility and Gran didn't have an issue with it .. she just felt bad, because the boat won't be fixed until sometime next week as the marina is really backed up on repairs right now .. ah well .. we got 3 days on the boat and there are other things to do ..

I could have just kicked myself .. Reg mentioned going into town for lunch - I didn't bring my camera, but in my defense .. he didn't mention WHAT town!! We headed off to Fenellon Falls .. brat! that is a really impressive lock there .. that thing is roughly 50ft deep, has a waterfall and a twisting river canyon that is just breath taking to ride down .. the rates for the locks are pretty reasonable too .. I wish we had taken kyle into the locks when the boat was still running .. there'll be other years, but he would have been impressed to all get out with Fenellon Falls ..

Oh and to make this part quilt related - I bought some doilies for $1 each and will use them for bleaching discharging for patterns :D

Reg's Uncle David came up again and this time brought his other daughter Lindsey as she was unable to come the weekend before .. more swimming and croquet and cards at nite .. this time David didn't put a plastic spider in my bed .. he did that the last time I was up there .. LOL .. what a card!!

After the dog's last swim in the lake around 11 and then our last swim we ate our hot lunch and headed off home .. we only made one stop this time in Waterloo and made some really awesome time .. it got busy in Toronto, but nothing serious .. we left at 1:50pm (yes I know .. it wasn't stupid o'clock in the am .. what were we thinking(?!?!) and got home around 7 - so just over 5 hours ..

It was sad to leave, but I am glad to be home .. Pixel hasn't really left me alone since I got in the door - he needs some serious attention from me .. poor shadow is half wild .. but she was always standoffish .. she'll come around ..

It was a wonderful week .. a lazy week but still a busy week ..

oh I did manage to get some handquilting done on my wholecloth quilt - I've not taken a picture of it and have just about had enough of editing pics for today .. I'll post that tomorrow or Monday

here is some pics from our week - not all of them mind you - but enough to get the idea :)
bobcaygeon 08

15 August 2008

4 1/2 hrs and counting ... then we're off

Still on the terror-list as a spam blog - ah well .. I should be unlocked by the time I get back from up north - I hope .. please blogger staff .. unlock me .. these verifications are murder

A s a good number of you already know, I'm leaving for up north in about 4½ hours from when I started this post. It's been a CRAZY day getting all the final things together and I've already almost forgotten my suit! Esh! Getting all the laundry done, stripping the beds, a quick wash over in the bathroom .. (already gave it a good cleaning on Monday), showed Dad where to find all the stuff for the cats if needed, re showed him how to work the satellite box .. (he'll mess it up and not being able to watch it LMAO - he always does!) Dropping off some paperwork downtown - (EEEEKKKKK I have library books .. let me renew them right now before I forget - gotta love being able to do this online .... ), grabbed our golf clubs, packed up a cooler of food to bring with us, cooked supper, Reg has the car mostly packed - still waiting for my stuff as I get to hold the toiletries hostage and of course there is my hand work stuff - and of course Kyle's busy bag (ipod, books)

I opted to bring a whole clothe quit to handquilt .. I have small hoop that I can use in the car if I want and my knitting to make dishcloths .. Also with just having one or two projects I wouldn't have to fuss and stress out about did I have enough fabric choices, threads, patterns. Doing the grandmother's flower garden hexagons is great for a few hours as a take along .. but not for a whole week. One of the things I did today was baste it up really quick .. I set it up on the table and of course the afternoon sun hits my kitchen table .. (western exposure) Pixel decides to he's going to take his nap right on my quilt!! the brat! LOL which was fine as i was all set up to do the first section .. but you sooo knew he would be having to move .. heh ..

But for the time being he was content to just lay in the sun and snoopervise my work .. you'd think he was an expert on quilting or something .. I tell him that shedding on the fabric and laying all over every project known to man in this house does NOT make him a quilting expert .. he just cocked his ear and gave me a look like .. "so you say" .. brat LOL. Needless to say he just sat there and continued to purr and soak of the sun as it is God given right - pfft! I did thread basting and it went very quickly .. and of course no killed back ..

I did manage to get a few packages out today; one to Joanne in NZ who's been sooo patient with my ineptitude regarding the customs form and some fabric for Judi too ... what will be really cool is that I'll have the flannel for my 1800 quilt when I get back (**remind dad to go to PO) and my red swap blocks should be here anytime!! **kittyhappydance** Heh I bet I forget a million things .. but my coffeemaker (Gran drinks instant - BLECH) and my quilting will NOT be forgotten ;)

The plan of action is leave at 6am EST and hopefully be back on Sat the 23rd to give reg a day to relax and do groceries then back to work on Monday - heh then one more week and Kyle is back to school **kittyhappydance** naw .. he's not driving me nuts at all .. ilovemyson ilovemyson ilovemyson ;)

Take care everyone and see you in about a week!! I'll have no computer or internet access up there, but I can still be reached by direct email to me or by comments on my blog .. I'll be going no mail on my lists shortly (self defense on THAT trust me!!) - I'm gonna miss you guys - any email I get I'll answer soonest :D

14 August 2008

Bits of Quilty - Mostly packing for trip

**Sigh** My blog is still locked .. current message from blogger on my poor blog's status - "We received your unlock request on August 11, 2008. On behalf of the robots, we apologize for locking your non-spam blog. Please be patient while we take a look at your blog and verify that it is not spam."

I 've been really really good about not starting any new projects the past few days .. It's been hard as I've been rather climbing the walls, but I am going a wee bit crazy getting ready for my trip too. You know, laundry, cleaning, triple checking things, arranging for mail pick up and cat checkings - Not that my dad will see Shadow much, but we want to be sure that their water is filled as they both drink a lot.

I've pulled out the fabrics for Gran's quilt - I'm making her a crib quilt size of the mystery quilt that we did last weekend .. her colours are pinks, mauve to purples, and blues .. so while it'll be scrappy like mine and with the same hues, it won't have as many colours .. I was rather hoping that i could have gotten it done before we left, but there was just no way with all the rest of the stuff that I had to do to get ready for this trip .. So when I get back, I'll get to work on this soonest so I can ship it to her .. I imagine it won't be too much to ship it with it being a small quilt. Only thing in the lights that one pink is going to give me issues .. I might just have to pull it and find another one - it IS a light, but doesn't look like it here .. even the grayscale it looks dark .. **sigh** ah well ..

We are going up to Bobcaygeon, ON in the Kawartha Lakes District .. reg was born in Lindsay (bout 25 mins away) and mostly grew up in that area .. I took a houseboat trip up the Trent-Severn Waterway with my family when I was in my early teens .. It was awesome and I really enjoyed our last visit up there 2 years ago .... so relaxing .. and it'll be good to see Gran and get descended upon by the rest of reg's family .. but there's 5 - 6 hrs in a 94 cavalier with reg, kyle and the dog :\

A while ago, I talked about the time I used cheap muslin in a quilt for filler blocks to make up for the fact that I didn't get enough blocks in the swap to make a whole lap quilt .. well I'm going to repair it. The book I have Guide to Vintage Quilting shows me how to repair quilts - mostly I'll need HSTs for 6 blocks, the corner squares on 1 and batting scraps big enough for them ... it looks like I'll have to cut some greens to as some of them have deteriorated since 1997 .. gee wonder why? LOL .. I use this quilt all the time .. and since it was from my first swap ever, I would love to keep it.

I was actually thinking that I wouldn't bring any handwork with me for trip .. the idea of having enough fabric pieces and patterns and thread varieties etc was rather daunting ... I was like Oh Hell NO! It would drive me nuts ... I would get overwhelmed with having enough fabric pieces, patterns and colour combinations and 2 prs of scissors .. oh I have table coasters that I make out of english paper piecing, really quick and simple to do, but man oh man ... I would overwhelm myself packing for that project .. so I was thinking about grabbing my yarn bag and making dishclothes ... but I'm not really in the mood for that .. bah .. I have no small projects that I can do handwork on and I'm not really motivated to do hand piecing .. Then I remembered that I have those 2 whole clothe quilts .. one's a wallhanging and the other's a throw .. and my plan was to handquilt them .. So I grabbed the smallest one, and cut out the batting for it tonite .. well on looking at them I should have grabbed the throw instead .. less detailed .. but this will keep my busy ... I just have to grab my little sewing bag (make up bag) with my handwork stuff in it and away I go .. I'll baste this tomorrow as I folded all the laundry tonite :D

esh attempt 4 for word verification .. oh I hate these things :(

12 August 2008

Now to our regular scheduled program

We now return to our regularly schedule program .. no the word verification isn't off, but the way I look at it, they didn't disable me, and I was missed in the "Spam Friday" where so many other bloggers got disabled for a few days - so I guess I'm 'lucky' (PFFT) and besides Tracy's comment for my post just about sent me of my chair giggling .. heh .. 'terrorist list' - LMAO - Thank You Tracy for the giggle and reality check - ahem .. at any rate .. Yesterday's post .. Today ..

R emember this??? Well I found a use for it, rather unexpectedly .. and it rather jumped out at me too! I had a vision for redoing my August abstract piece as sand dunes with grass and water in the background .. I have some awesome fabric that would be perfect for the sand, but it wasn't wide enough and the idea of piecing them didn't appeal to me at the time at all .. so I opened up my web album (why? I have no clue) and then I saw the small thumbnail of my discharge dyeing :D :D :D .. wheels started to turn, smoke came out my ears ... my brain super nova'd ;) and I was off and running ..

I grabbed two greens (dark and light) and some really neat light blue and started to lay them out on my fabric - i rearranged here and there and come up with an idea and then fused it down .. I put it up on my 'design wall' (flannel tacked to the wall) and walked out for a few . when I came back in I saw it and then saw that I had 'dunes' going all around in a horseshoe shape .. not just at the bottom ... so I cut a few more pieces of greens and fused them down too.

Now while this isn't totally abstract - it is minimalist which I can live with. It did match my vision and I am quite pleased with this one .. I opted to do a border on this one as I did a hanging sleeve for it and the border was rather necessary to hide the stitching for the sleeve :). And the green really does make the grass stand out more ..

For the quilting, I just did an outline around part of the blades and then 'zig zagged' my way back down .. waved thru the waves and did 'wind' blowing across the sand .. not sure if you can pick it up, but i added some depth with crayons by adding brown to the sand it's very understated. I was going to do the satin stitch around the border but then remembered that my zig zag machine is still not working and none of my other machines have zig zag (FW, 15, 99) I do have mum's touch n swear er I mean sew ... but it's a slant shank machine and while i have every foot known to man for mine, I only have the feet she had .. and she didn't quilt .. pfft .. I am glad that I remembered this BEFORE I dug out her machine from underneath current projects pile ..

Before I did the abstract, I also did a quick test with colouring on fabric with crayons .. while my drawing and shading leave a lot to be desired, I did get the gist of the test and learned what I needed to know ... I used freezer paper on the back to give it firmness while I coloured and used batting underneath to give it softness where needed .. I really used the wrong colour / angle for the dark part / shadow of the leaf .. but like i said .. I learned what I needed to know - Not sure I'll ever do a whole project with this, but for small bits here and there ... sure why not!

Oh and btw .. guess what Kyle found today .. you got it . crayons :S .. ESH!!

11 August 2008

Do I look like spam to you????

O h bloody hell .. Blogger things I'm spam for crying out loud .. Do I look like processed fake meat in a stupid can (*&#*&^(*&#($&(#*&*) - Oh bite my great aunt sally's big toe .. if i had one ... GRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Blogger's spam-prevention robots have detected that your blog has characteristics of a spam blog. (What's a spam blog?) Since you're an actual person reading this, your blog is probably not a spam blog. Automated spam detection is inherently fuzzy, and we sincerely apologize for this false positive.

Before we can turn off mandatory word verification on your posts we'll need to have a human review your blog and verify that it is not a spam blog. Please fill out the form below to get a review.

Spam blog: ... blogging services can be both used and abused. The ease of creating and updating webpages with Blogger has made it particularly prone to a form of behavior known as link spamming. Blogs engaged in this behavior are called spam blogs, and can be recognized by their irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text, along with a large number of links, usually all pointing to a single site."

Okay so now i'm irrelevant, repetitive and nonsensical .. I think I'm offended (??!?!) - but I know for sure that I am bloody well pissed off! And what's worse is that I have to do that annoying word verification that is so bloody hard to read in the first place - oh BLOODY HELL

My original post will follow when i've calmed down or not until this stupid 'block' is off my posting .. I'm thinking swear words in about 4 different languages right now .. okay so I'm an active blogger .. isn't this what the damn service is for!?! I have a link list (used to the 'new' blog roll until it stopped working properly), I share other tutorials that I found .. I have a whole 3 pages pointing to my qzone site .. and those aren't even for the products i sell ..

jesusmaryjoseph .. get a bloody grip! this isn't a page of links, okay .. i might be "irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text" but hey .. that's ME!

10 August 2008

2008 QT Summer Mystery

W hat a blast!! I'm veering between total and utter exhaustion and super pumped LOL .. i LOVED it!! Today was mystery day .. Ann Smith designed "If I had a nickel..." for members of her mystery list and quilt-talk. This also ended up being a sew-in on One Stitch at a Time as well .. I think that's what made it the most fun. She gave us the fabric requirements back in late June I think. This mystery is composed of 5" squares - she did 4 sizes for us too! I've never done a mystery and wasn't totally sure about this one .. but since the crib size only needed roughly 2 yards of fabric, I figured I had nothing to loose and this was designed for a scrappy quilt - and I have scraps! So I dove into my scrap pile and came up with these guys .. i cut them up and put them in zip lock baggies so they couldn't attach to the cats and walk away ;)

First clue was at 8am EST .. well i did my darnedest to get up, but just couldn't keep my eyes open .. that'll teach me for staying up late the nite before .. I ended up getting up around 9 and was starting around 9:30 or so .. Good thing that I was doing the crib size as while I was checking and drinking my first coffee, clue 2 went up :| .. Ann's instructions were super simple and very clear. This is the end of Clue 2.

While I was selecting what lights to put with what darks, had the idea to sort of keep colour groups .. when I got to the dark green tho, I was going to put orange in and went pink instead .. I started to kick myself later, but Carmen said that I would be surprised how great it would look .. I was doubtful, but there wasn't to much I could do about it at this point ..

As you can see here, I ended up putting the orange with blues .. this is where I was like .. oh man .. the pinks would have looked SOOOOO much better here than these oranges ... and the orange would go very nicely with green .. but at this point I figured that there is going to be an opportunity to put these greens and oranges together. So at that point I was good with my choice .. at this time I was still running 2 clues behind .. Ann was uploading them roughly every 2 hours for us ..

AHA .. I KNEW I would be able to get those greens with the oranges somewhere down the line .. and it was looking really good at this point .. I've been told that I'm very intuitive when it comes to colour .. not sure if I entirely believe that, but picking colours does come easy for me and I don't have to agonize over my choices very often .. when I do end up struggling with them, that usually means that the colours I've picked just aren't going to work out .. Next time I do this pattern (and I will do it again), I'm going to make bloody sure that my 5" squares are 5" .. some of these nickels I got in swaps or from where ever .. I can't even tell you ..I had Aunt Gracie material in here, and I have never bought a strip of it in my life .. at this point, I was gauging everything off the HSTs as those were square as I had just done them .. what a grueling clue THAT was!

Here we are at the end of Clue 7 - while reading the clue, i had decided to take my 2 colour 'groups' that I did and use them in each block .. i figured that this would have a really neat affect when the final layout was done ... the HSTs are made up of a light and a medium fabric .. but since I did this scrappy, I knew that one would be darker than the other and I might end up with a neat colourwash affect .. wasn't sure it would work tho, but was willing to try it .. if anything it would be a nice break / contrast to the blocks and create some movement.

Off and on throughout the day, my speed bump decided to come for a visit .. she's laying in the 'path' from the computer chair to the sewing machine ...and of course she is right next to where I stand when I cut - so I got plenty of exercise stepping over her today :) Of course throughout the whole mystery time, the group mail was going NUTS .. not so much on quilt-talk, but on OST .. we had ourselves quite the gabfest during the mystery .. I'm amazed that we even got anything done :) heh poor Pix couldn't find the right seat to sleep on - he was constantly being moved so I could sit down .. he gave up and took my modem hostage instead :)

In Clue 8, Ann gave us about 4 layouts and challenged us to come up with a new one ... I did :D I really like this - and this wouldn't have looked so good if it wasn't scrappy .. while it doesn't have the colourwash affect, there is a great deal of movement in it - the TOTs really make this quilt sing too! This quilt has a few lumps in it, and as you can see some of my points don't meet .. I still have to do the borders, Ann's pattern didn't have one, but I'm sure that I can come up with something for this ..

Ann, thank you - I had an absolute blast doing this and look forward to your next mystery.

heh .. there's still the next abstract impression piece to do, crayon work, postcards, my 1800s quilt, basting kyle's quilt, quilting kitty quilt and a mess of other things .. I think I have a few things to keep me busy for a bit

But first I think I need some sleep ;) and lookie this . it's NOT 5am for a change :D

09 August 2008

August Abstract Lesson One - Finished

I t's done .. Not sure if I like it .. well I do like it, but it's not quite what it's supposed to be .. if that makes any sense .. I like what I've done with it .. but as for the 'assignment' it's not right .. but like i said in my previous post - I do have an idea and this one will be more abstract :).

This picture was taken after it was quilted - I decided to toss it into the washer to fray up those 'leaves' a bit to make them more realistic .. i think that this one was more a lesson in texture play .. but it was fun. I likely should have used another colour to quilt the moon and the reflection to play up the texture - maybe a nice light gray? I didn't do anything fancy with the quilting at all .. Just did illusions (I hope) of rippling water, leaves, bark texture, dock texture and the moon craters - not that you can see them .. I was going to try and get some better pics, but the batteries died in my camera and my other set wtih the charger has vanished .. I'll give you ONE guess where they went .. and if he's powering his Nintendo DS with my camera batteries, I'll rip a strip off him for that crime! Brat already lost like 4 sets of rechargeables .. he's NOT going to lose mine! Or if he does, he'll be using his bday money to replace them! PFFT .. KIDS - Mumfit over .. moving right along now ...

This one shows you the actual 'leaf' affect - that turned out so well!! You can also see the quilting that I did in the moon and the reflection here as well .. Also with this angle and lighting, you can see the tree trunk for the first time and the material i used for the dock .. One thing that disappointed me a bit with this is that i lost my 'wrinkles' in the trunk that I left (or tried to leave) to create bark .. it was there before it went into the washer. I guess not only is my washer a sock thief .. it's a wrinkle thief too .. nasty kenmore LOL

This one really shows how the hand-dyed fabric curled around the quilting to give me the colouring effect that I wanted for the tree .. you can't see the quilting in the moon or the reflection, but you can see al the rest of it .. I changed my lighting and level values to highlight those.

This does look good .. I do like it .. it's loaded with texture and depth - heh .. it's just not abstract .. but I AM learning and that's the whole purpose .. All in all, for my first attempt and having such a broad concept, I think I did okay .. I was having a hard time getting my head around impressionist abstract :\ .. no clue why that was so .. but it was ..

I found some beach dune images that are pretty close to the memory in my head .. Beach Dunes 1 and Beach Dunes 2. I can see this as an abstract (impressionist) very easily - I guess I just jumped before I looked - like this is new???? LOL yeah right ..

Well I'm doing the mystery and hopefully having fun with it .. gotta love how you can set up your posts to be published at a later time .. Okay it's like 5am and the first clue gets posted in 3 hours .. EKKKKKKKKKKKK

08 August 2008

Chasing my tail .. what to do???

W ell I wanted fru fru .. I got fru fru :D :D .. I hopped on my bike (almost 6 miles one way :O) and rode to Walmart to take advantage of the 50% off sale. I went by myself so I wouldn't feel pressured about keeping ppl waiting .. I ended up leaving around 1:15pm or so and got home at 4pm .. just like I told Kyle .. hehe .. I locked him out of the house so he would be OUTSIDE .. what is it with kids nowadays .. they allergic to fresh air??!?!! esh!!

I ended up getting 13.84 yards of various ribbon, sequins, beads, shiny stuff, (fru fru) for $13.61 - not to bad me thinks .. granted some of the pieces are just ¼ yard cuts, but those were also regular $5 or so .. I also grabbed another 3 yards of tulle ... granted this is red, but at 89¢ how can you beat that?? I also picked up a yard of this fabric too .. Judi had asked if they had purple and a few other things - well they did have this one purple, so I grabbed it on the off chance she would want some .. this purple almost was the background on my kitty quilt . but I wanted a softer more muted purple as the kitties are the stars of that quilt.

While there I also grabbed 2 boxes of 24 count Crayola crayons .. I got 2 boxes because they were 82¢ a box .. that's $1.00 off .. you can't beat that! I checked out their craft section and there wasn't any really neat sales going on .. altho they did have embroidery floss on sale there.. but it wasn't much off .. hind-sight says I should have grabbed some metallic ones .. oh well .. next time if there is any left.

Today was wayyy cool for me .. my dad went to the PO Box and there was a package from Mary containing 10 pieces of pre-cut 4x6" peltex for fabric postcards! Thank you Mary! I've not found it yet here, so that would be a Detroit trip for me.

I've another idea for my impressionist abstract .. Near here we have Point Pelee National park and the southwest beach has little dunes with long grass growing on it .. I'm thinking of taking that image in my head and seeing what I can do with it .. I didn't see any green lame today (and i was looking for just this reason) for the grass blades, but I can use some green fabric or even do some crayon work .. and do the beach (I have some brown that would be really perfect for this) and maybe the same blue that I used for the sky for the water .. we'll have to see .. as it's really blue and it's more blue green on Lake Erie here ..

So I chasing my tail here .. I want to do a postcard, I want to do some crayon work, I want to finish the first abstract, I want to get started on the second abstract .. EEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKK oh and tomorrow AM the Nickel Mystery starts .. Good thing my fabric was cut last week! :)

Okay .. I'm off to chase my tail some more and see what I decide to do ... prolly some crayon work .. that would be the quickest I think .. heh .. famous last words LMAO!!!!!!

Impression piece; Orion

A fter looking up the guidelines for abstract challenge group, I saw that I didn't have to keep my progress a secret, so I've decided to post my progress with this.

I've used a lot of texture in this quiltlet to make up for the fact that this isn't abstract - I'm struggling with this being abstract as the brush strokes in impressionist art were the abstract part of it - I'm finding that part extremely challenging with what I have on hand - or I could just be overthinking it too.

I've used suit lining for the moon, it's got a slight sheen to it, sheer cotton for the reflection; corduroy for the dock, hand-dyed fabric for the trees to show changes in lighting with the moon and velveteen for the tree trunk. My sky and water fabric create the illusion of the depth of night sky and waves. To help create more texture for the tree, I've made little cuts in it and will try and fray the up a bit to create 'leaves / needles'. The 'leaves' are currently NOT laying flat and it's my intention to keep them that way. I was thinking about using crayons to create more ripples in the water, but will want to practice first to see if I can't get the effect I want.

My plan was to start stitching these parts down, but after a discussion with Deb, I wanted to try to create the ripples with crayons, but that could be overkill on this piece. All I was planning (for lack of a better idea / inspiration - my muse is silent on this regard or just is totally clueless (yup I believe the clueless part)), was to do meander stitching on each part of the piece with the appropriate colours. I'm not sure I totally have a grasp on abstract at this point. I'm looking thru galleries and getting a better idea .. But since I've started this one, I'm going to finish it :) .. There's nothing in the 'rules' that says you can't do more than one quiltlet.

If I've said it before, I'm going to say it again .. yup - I'm a twit .. what did I do this time you're wondering?? Simple, I was at Walmart yesterday looking for fru fru supplies and didn't take the time to think about it .. i was just so overwhelmed by my options, that I did nothing .. well the ribbons, lace etc are all 50% .. With the average price being $1/meter - I could easily get 20 yards of various fru fru for like $10 .. yup . .I'm a twit .. I'm heading to Walmart tomorrow to shop without reg .. I always feel a little pressured when I'm in the craft / fabric section when he's with me - prolly part of my twit moment there - Not that he says anything, just that I KNOW he's waiting and its not fair to him. So tomorrow .. I go off by myself. I plan on buying crayons too and seeing what they might have in their craft department that's on sale too. I do want to get more tulle as I learned that can be used for these quilts. heh .. you'd think that with a kid in the house, I **might** find some crayons, right?? wrong .. not a one .. talk about disappointing.

Orion got a bath early this AM and so far has a clean bill of health .. no critters crawling on her belly or armpits. All the animals have collars on them - so we are good to go .. Brenda on one of my lists sent off a train of thought with me on cleaning with Hartz Rid .. mix an ounce of it with a 32 ounce spray bottle & use it for cleaning where the dogs are. It leaves a nice scent & the residue kills bugs. so that prompted a thought that I could just wash my floors with said solution and see what drops dead :)

I'm off to look at more abstract art ..

07 August 2008

Fabric n Fleas

A nice quilty & fabric loaded day - and some running around too .. but that's part of the good thing today!!

After doing the discharge dyeing and just thinking about my results - a solution for my abstract challenge quiltlet hit my brain - it sucker punched me out of nowhere .. I can't even remember where it came from to tell you the truth - altho this painting by Van Gogh might have inspired me.

Initially, I was going to do a sunset scene from up at the cottage, but have 8" to work with .. well that won't work .. so I started to think on other things and kept running into my own tail. This month's concept is impressionist art or artists .. oh geeze louize! Talk about your broad-side of the barn .. I LOVE impressionist work, so this was sort of like drugs for an addict.

Impressionist art is a style in which the artist captures the image of an object as someone would see it if they just caught a glimpse of it. They paint the pictures with a lot of color and most of their pictures are outdoor scenes. Their pictures are very bright and vibrant. The artists like to capture their images without detail but with bold colors. Some of the greatest impressionist artists were Edouard Manet, Camille Pissaro, Edgar Degas, Alfred Sisley, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot and Pierre Auguste Renoir.

This artform is soooooo expansive .. okay .. there were no restrictions placed on us - as a matter of fact the exact opposite .. drat .. just tripped over my own tail this time .. so I started to think about other parts of the yard up at the cottage .. I thought of the dock and a tree, and the way the sun reflected off the water .. hmmm .. let me twist that a bit as I have no red or orange or any fru fru type stuff that could make that work .. hmmmm .. moon and moonlight .. perfect! And I have just the stuff in my stash that will work very nice for what I have in mind .. cottons, corduroys, velveteens, rayon, sheer cotton type stuff ... design is all drawn up and I'm ready to go .. I think that I might start cutting my abstract out .. I really do like this .. if I want to I do have ribbons and buttons etc .. but not sure exactly how those will fit .. to do added texture to mimic the short brush strokes, I'm going to fray the fabric on the tree to make it look like leaves and maybe the moon as well - so it might look like it's glowing .. I have all the ideas in place for the layout, doing etc .. but the final finishing is still not set yet .. I'm sure that something will occurr to me ..

Poor Orion still has fleas .. so I went online to see if I could give her more of the Hartz OneShot .. well the horror stories about this stuff is unreal .. they aren't even supposed to be selling it (!) .. needless to say, she didn't suffer convulsions, seizures, lack of balance etc .. nor open sores .. just the bloody fleas (!) I called my vet and she said that they have had numerous clients who have lost their pets to this product .. well that killed that idea .. I was half thinking about getting Frontline from the vet, and I love my dog to pieces - but no, but we would have to bring her in to get examined ($31) because it's 'medicine' and then the 'script' is $75. Sargents has a competitive product out, but we were worried that the sargents oneshot version would have the same issues, even tho I only saw one of those when I googled that product. Nope .. let's try flea baths and collars. Well we went out shopping to see what we could get for her (and the cats - they are flealess so far ... ) and had to go to 4 stores before we could find flea shampoo AND collars for the cats .. guess there's an outbreak right now ..

The cats already have their collars on; Pix just purred and well Shadow is still deciding if she's going to talk to me .. She was fine until I cut off the excess on the collar and then the **snip** right behind her ear sent her off my lap like a rocket .. Tomorrow I get the bathe the dog and put her collar on .. why do I always get to do the grunt stuff for the animals .. **sigh** ah well

We hit walmart while we were out and this store is renovating and clearing out their fabric department .. the other store will have it still, but not this one . the good news .. fabric 50% off :D I ended up with 5¼ yards of fabric for $19.76 - that would have gotten me only 2 yards at regular price .. so a nice fabric full day :)

06 August 2008

Discharge Dyeing

Click on images to see enlarged version in a new window

Finally I got a chance to play with discharging fabrics - I've been seriously itching to do this and read a few sources (Quilting Arts Magazine & Fabric Art Workshop) as well as asking a ton of questions on Abstract Challenge Group and to my Dad.
Discharge dyeing is the method were you remove dye (colour) from fabric with bleach (or other various chemicals) - this can be done on several types of materials - but silk has it's own process to follow as bleach will eat away and ruin the silk. I opted to do simple bleach bath discharging.

In the June / July issue there was an article by Rose Hughes on how to do this, she recommended using a 1:5 solution of bleach to water - as well as 2 water baths for rinsing the bleach. In the magazine article she showed folding and pleating the fabric then wrapping it with string to prepare for it's bleach bath. In Fabric Art Workshop, the author showed another way to wrap up the fabric (altho this was for resistance painting) that I wanted to try as well. This method involved laying a string on dampened fabric diagonally, then folding it over; you then spun it around (remember snapping your friends with wet towels??) and pushed the twisted fabric to the middle and then tied the string together - this resembled a scrunchie when it was finished. So I took 3 pieces of fabric and had 2 different methods for binding up my little fabric rolls.

I found Quilting Arts to be over my head a bit when I first picked up the issue - and I still feel this way. What the author said was to put the fabric into your bleach solution and then to watch for colour change .. what she didn't mention is that the colour change would happen UNDER the strings (!?!) ... So here I am waiting for colour change that I couldn't see **groan**. One piece I pulled out in under 4 minutes or so because it looked like it was white - well it wasn't - I was seeing the backside of the fabric. So the one piece was underdeveloped as it were - and the rest were a bit overdeveloped. I got some unexpected and very cool results.

This piece here was done with the diagonal scrunchie method. This fabric was dampened first. You can see that this is one of the over developed pieces, but the results are very cool looking .. I still have some very usable parts on this - the larger white area was where the string had been directly touching the material. The other splotched areas are the inside parts of the scrunchie .. there was no colour change showing on this on the outside parts that were easily seen .. it wasn't until I pulled the fabric away that I saw the colour change ..

This is the other half of the same fabric - this was the fold and pleat method that turned this into a sausage shape .. for this one tho I started my folding and pleating in the corner and went diagonally instead of straight across .. you can see where the colour discharged under the strings .. again I saw no change on this until after I moved the strings. This material was not dampened before rolling.

This was the second piece of fabric. I wish I had taken a picture of the FQ before I rolled this one - this was the second piece that I did the scrunchie method on and the first one I pulled out under 4 minutes in. You can see that the purple really faded in spots, while it turned reddish in others .. this was a really deep dark purple piece. Again, dampened before folding. I'm not sure I like this at all .. got rather different results with the same method - I'm thnking that solid colours would be best, but thought this would be really neat looking with the pattern.

This was another fold n pleat method - you can see where the fabric is the really dark deep purple as I mentioned above .. but still more red than it was .. this was to long in the bath as well as the 2 blue ones were - I sort of like it, but am not sure on it - I didn't really want a blue piece :S I am rather disappointed in this one .. it was to long in the bath and I didn't get the results I was hoping for.

This one was the most disappointing of all .. there is no change what so ever in this fabric .. I'm not entirely sure why .. I'm suspecting that this material wasn't washed, but am thinking that bleach should have done "something" to it .. even it it lightened it a bit .. but no change at all .. another unexpected result - and this one was left in the longest.

I'm not entirely sure of the amount of time that these were floating around, but it was under 15 minutes .. when I do this next, I'll be sure to time it amd check UNDER the strings at 4 minute intervals me thinks

I did have fun with this and as usual I learned a LOT ... I'm glad that I didn't end up using the light pink I was thinking of - that would have ended up pure white ... I am disappointed in my purple, I was rather hoping for more dramatic results as it started out as such a deep colour .. but again, they floated to long ..

So word to new people wanting to try this .. look UNDER the bloody strings :S