Monday, October 31, 2011

Favourite treat

Pumpkin pie is my favourite and while mellow yellow is my favourite, orange is starting to lean on that choice.  But then orange is right next to yellow on the colour wheel so that would make them kissing pumpkins!  

Green, the chartreuse shade, is fast becoming my favourite 'neutral'.  Again, another close relationship on the other side of yellow.   

And the crisp air of autumn and the hint of wood smoke.   Now there is  a real treat!

The bunny in the cabbage is the latest thrift shop find and I'm out looking for the perfect thread.  Not a lot of choices locally so I may need to treat myself to some on-line shopping.

It would be a real treat if this gorgeous weather would hold for a wee bit longer and them I'll be quite happy to curl up with a cup of the hot stuff.  In my case that isn't hot chocolate but  coffee.  A warm pumpkin slice, a dab of whipping cream and a few sips of hot black coffee is all the treat I need!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The worktable- wow

I have gotten all the straight line quilting done on this lap quilt.  I used the guide on the  walking foot to make sure I stayed straight through the bigger squares. 

 I changed the thread from variegated blue to yellow and zig zagged  a few lines thought the gold squares.  Then I free motioned in the largest squares.  I went  around the rooster and added flowers.  I also free motioned a rooster in one blue square.  kinda fun!

Before I bind the first quilt I was anxious to get started on the sampler. I've stabilized the straight seams with invisible thread.  I'm doing the sashing because I have the right colour.  I may need to buy something for the actual blocks.  I want subtle when I try the curved outlines in the sampler blocks.

I really like MQing and I can see I've gotten rusty so I'll need to keep my skills up.  It is very true- use it or lose it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Slow Going

I've survived the change.  I needed to upgrade my browser which is challenging on dial up and everything is quite different.  It is also slower to do what seemed so familiar.  But you know what they say about tides and times, they wait for no blogger.  LOL   Good old progress!  This is my 500th post so I find it ironic that this is the time for this major curve in my blogging.  I'm not sure how the ol' grey matter likes it!

The ladies at Common Threads were sent info on this next challenge.  We were to draw something on our page sized foundation and then bring fabric scraps and glue to meeting. I originally had picked two birds on a tree and I'm so thankful I changed my mind and found the sample of a cropped orange slice.  This is very fiddle diddly and we were all trying to figure if we should do the background first or last.  The jury is still out on that.

One thing I do know, I haven't time to fiddle with it anytime soon.

Back to MQing and I'll try to figure how to move these photos around another time.  I just latched onto them before and moved them but they are definitely not cooperating.  I also need to see how the font looks as well.  

Slow and steady seems to be the mantra for the jobs ahead.

Monday, October 24, 2011


I opened blogger in a different window/tab so I could write a post. I decided to try the updated blogger interface. uh, oh! That might have been a mistake as I'm back in the first window/tab and I'll be definitely comparing things. And if I am missing for a bit it'll be due to technical difficulties! yikes! I gather that ready or not, a change in Blogger is definitely coming.

I started off this morning with a quick Internet check then right into laundry. I grabbed the vacuum and started to clean. I am so happy to find like minded people in the blog world. Some of my acquaintances feel too much changing around is the sign of a frustrated female. :( But I've found kindred spirits who feel if you need to move it to clean it then have a happy time rearranging things. I like that! 8)

So I shoved the chairs around in the sitting room and the table and then I pushed the brown wood-look bookcase from the kitchen into the sitting room. It used to live there and seems happy to be out of the heat and steam and back to calm repose. I'm definitely going to change that blah door to a glass paned one. I'll need to have frosted or painted glass but I've never changed my desire to have that glass door.

The old china cabinet enticed the fridge to move up and over a bit and hunkered down to her new command position in the doorway. Much better than always having the bathroom door blocking her view. I'm beginning to really like painted furniture. I'll keep my wood floors and a few table tops but I'm thinking I'll be painting everything else. The trim will be an antique white because I've learned with this white/white china cabinet that mellow is better. I will be changing up the innards of the cabinet and bookcase but tomorrow. I'm not procrastinating I'm trying to stick to the schedule. I am supposed to be machine quilting in the afternoon and preparing for the new challenge at quilt group tonight.

While I'm quilting away I'll be entertaining a few more push, shove moves and then I'll be comparing all the what if's ...

And just because...

here is the grand kiddie comparing the view from a little higher up and a lot closer in! Fuzziness, grape juice mustache and droopy jammas, not withstanding! ;^)

Friday, October 21, 2011


I have been analyzing my quilt and my work area. There is always room for improvement.

I remember this top. It was a pattern that has a cut, sew, recut and turn all about and resew. Not doing those any more!!! It is well nigh impossible to control what goes where. So I spend the time saved ripping! I'm very happy putting patches in place and then walking back and forth to sew and keep things as best I can where they should be. But the most frustrating thing is the chopping off of corners. I can clip off points rather easily without actually doing them on purpose. :(

Then there are all the bias edges which if you look at the edge of the first picture of the quilt are significant. So significant I decided to remove some excess surgically. It would have been easier before I basted but I figured the grief of the puckers would be more than the discomfort of the operation. Aghhh!

Then I did my primary quick basting around the perimeter to see how flat it would be. Not too bad. I always use straight pins on the edge because I always do the edge first and it is quick and easy with relatively no loss of blood! ;^)

I also shifted my sewing cabinet to the side for better positioning. Nina's bed is flush with the cutting table. Then I dragged up the leaf on the table to get some more level surface on my left. My cutting mat makes for better sliding. I'll be getting the Rooster to help come up with a more permanent and larger work area sometime in the future.

I did end up putting my stool under the quilt that hung down as I feed the quilt. I think the ideal is a large square work surface with a cut out on the corner for standing. That would be just about perfect.

But that might take a bit more analyzing and I need to just quilt right now!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Seriously fun

I've been wanting to try stamping/rubbing on fabric. I have 3 small shiva paint sticks and this was the moment. Seriously, I need to fine tune my technique but what a lot of fun. YES! This will get designated space and time. I'll be looking to buy some more. Not sure where I got these but surely they must be in the city somewhere.

I taped the fabric down and slid the rubbing plate under. It can be taped down as well. Then I peeled the dried coating back from the paint stick and rubbed.

I moved things around by changing plates and colours to get a layered look. Then I dug out a few stencils and a stencil brush. The leaf is too 'in your face' and the faeries look a little sun burned.

As I was stenciling I had a thought about brush clean up. Stencils? hmmm? Well, I used the ubiquitous baby wipes and so far so good.

Everything is curing and then I'll heat set it. It'll be ready for the next layer, thread painting.

WOW again, TAP

Last Wednesday I posted about my For the Birds challenge using Transfer Artist Paper. I felt something was wrong so I tried again and I got it figured.

I tried transferring images from my computer onto fabric using transfer sheets.

The first sheets I used were from the package of 5 on the right. These were old and TAP has a shelf life of 3 years. The directions say the sheets are smooth after the transfer and mine were not. The good news is that I have a blurry image that I can add layers of mixed media surface to and I have a stiff paper that also has a blurry image I can play with so all is not lost. ;^)

The package I recently won from 3CS's contained the package of TAP on the left. It had 16 sheets, a great value pack. The process went extremely well and I had used up my quota before I knew it. I do wish I had thought a bit more before I got carried away as I'd have chosen the best images and then positioned the images better.

The blue fabrics were because I want a collage of quilts for my playroom wall. The colour of the background is definitely a huge factor.

I began to try lighter fabrics.

The ink jet printer worked well but uses huge amounts of ink so my last prints are not as clear because some of the colours are not at optimum levels. Again this can be okay if you like a faded look. But a good understanding of photo editing will do the same thing, I imagine.

I am no techy so the positioning, tweaking and enlarging of the image itself was very amateurish. I have a lot of waste pieces because it is recommended to trim off any white edging. These can be reused.

I drew on some with a marker and they transferred just fine. The directions say that you can draw on the TAP with other mediums.

The best use of the sheets is full sized images or a mosaic of images that can be cut apart and then ironed onto the preferred background.

I did try on paper. It does work although I see that the iron also heats up the glue if you are adhering to a layered page. The green fabric was not a good colour for the background of the eggs. Again, another creative opportunity waiting to be tried to improve this. LOL

One transfer had some water from the iron bubble onto it. Awk! A favorite image and I've no more ink or sheets! Fortunately it was at the bottom left edge and again gives a kinda cool effect. But my ink is also fatiguing. :(

So that is my recap from last week's what if...

I did quite enjoy this and will definitely be doing more of it.

But this is really what is on my worktable. I am going to be immersed in machine quilting just as soon as I get this last quilt basted.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The B word

Yesterday's errands had me kinda frustrated with a lot of the traffic and construction in the city. But a 'mid course correction' made me stop and grab my camera. I AM supposed to be taking more photos. Winnipeg has some very lovely tree lined streets. The trees are fighting disease and environmental hazards but a view from the higher buildings shows lots of lovely green spaces. The canopy on this street said, Whoa, stop and sniff the crisp fall air! Breathe deeply and relax!

I was particularly searching for specialty threads and art supplies. Some for me and some for the grandkiddies! Didn't do well on finding thread but I did see another possible store on my way out for next time. I need to save up more money for paint sticks and I see they also carry the new pan pastels.

I joined the homeward hustle, picked up my stuff for the Monday quilt group and hustled right off to our bee. Lots of show and tell from the spirals class and the bird challenge. I forgot my bird challenge at home and totally forgot about using my camera. We basted one of my quilts and a couple of others.

This morning I found a dusting of the white stuff. BRRR

So for a good warm up I got the next quilt ready for basting.

I had friends for lunch and while I stirred the soup, they basted! It was a good trade.

I showed them the leftovers from the French Chicken quilt but with more blues. It is smaller and I should do it at the same time as it will use similar threads.

And that brings us up to date and ready for Wednesday's reveal

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stepping up

Stepping up on the calendar is November. Definitely I'll be expecting the white stuff. Is it okay to say, hooray? I'm looking forward to a slower pace as the light decreases and the time softens.

I was hoping to wash windows Saturday but I was the Rooster's 'gofer'. We used the flashlight to finish up the very last turns on the 3 short beams that will transfer the shifting veranda's weight to new supports. But we made it and they are in place. Next will come a creative solution to disguising the ends. I can hardly wait to see what we can come up with! :(

With fall fleeing rapidly I need to do a yard clean up and put all my garden accessories away so my little bunny will have to step down as well.

My son in law has chosen 2 of my finished quilt tops to give as presents when he visits his family and friends. This'll be great for crossing off projects on my list but I've not stepped up to the plate quickly enough and the deadline is fast approaching. So yesterday I began in earnest.

This photo is taken from the stair landing.

The top on the wall was a BOM at 3 Creative Studios. I can give it up because I still have some fabric and can try again. It was quite fun to do and only needed a backing. I had just enough fabric for the backing and to make sure it fit I tried layering it on my design wall. I was thrilled. This may become my preferred method for basting quilts.

The top folded wrong side out on the floor was made from a collection of Bali's, sunflowers and roosters. It possibly confirmed my luv for and fascination with the colour orange. I also really like this top but I do have some leftovers in a smaller quilt top. I did have the backing all ready to go and I'll be basting it at quilt club tonight.

Now I need to step into the car and cross off a whole lot of errands!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I got it figured!

But then I ran out of juice.

I tried the TAP technique again and got way better results.

And boy, did I get results. Like 16 sheets! Now I need to get some more printer ink!!!

I shall be ready for the next WOW post.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

For the birds!

The group challenge is birds. Not wanting to do the obvious, I did bird eggs.

I thought I'd try a digital transfer on some of my hand dyed fabric.

I printed the image from my computer onto the Transfer Artist Paper with my printer. That went swell, except I forgot it prints reverse image. Not too much of a problem as the fabric was darker than the little bit of lettering.

I ironed it on and should not have stopped to take a photo as the colour is lighter after I continued removing the paper backing! ;^)

Then I thought to stencil a bird on the fabric. The stamp was great on the paper but a little bit indistinct on the fabric. I needed a bit of a coarser stamp with deeper grooves, I'm thinking.

It gets a bit softer with a wash but I was anxious to try stitching on it.

Nina no like! :( And when Nina isn't happy I tend to get a little crabby myself! ;)

Now it is possible that part of the problem is the tight weave on my base cloth. I'm thinking I may have to find another fabric much as I like the price and the feel. I may also need to experiment with some different needles.

So I have sat down to think about what to do next. And while I am thinking I shall probably begin to baste the first of two quilts that need quilting asap!

Please feel free to add some "what if's... ".