Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bits and pieces...

Collapsible thread catcher with laminated bicycle fabric
So - since my last post I've managed to get a few things a step closer to completion. Practically speaking "completion" is the end game I guess - but  getting there is really what it's all about. The journey so to speak. (this is my cleaver way of justifying never getting anything done!) Making progress on an "in process" is always a bonus however. I'm almost afraid to tally up my "in process" projects for fear they will send me into panic attack mode. But "just for fun"...

Quilt a long at Miss Rosie's last week - in which we stitch , drink tea and eat cookies!
  • Gypsy Wife Quilt  - all blocks done - just requires the sections put together.
  • Christmas Stars Quilt - not sure what's happening with this quilt - I usually pull it out every Christmas and work on it during a Harry Potter or Hobbit Marathon - ahhh tradition! 
  • Hometown Picnic Quilt - Oh - SO - CLOSE!
  • My Small World Wallhanging (Started cutting all the little squares - but suddenly got distracted by the next quilt on the list)
  • Circle Game Quilt - offered as a class at my LQS - only 2/16 blocks done so far - me bad!
  • Autumn Quilt as You Go Table Runner - loved making this with a gay improv abandon - but when I hit the "sashing instructions" I went blank. (Note to self: You must learn how to do sashing. Going blank is not an acceptable oft repeated excuse).
  • Christmas Gold Table Runner - no excuses here - I want this done by Christmas.
  • Matryoshka Lemoyne Stars Lap Quilt - I loved making the stars - but my colour palette is a bit challenging - I think it would make a nice child's quilt.
  • Improv Log Cabin Bedrock Quilt - I started this as way to try my hand at improv block making - lots of bright primary coloured blocks with dinosaurs in the middle - another child's quilt?
  • Craftsy 2013 BOM Quilt - I learned alot of great techniques making these blocks. I didn't get all the blocks done - but there's enough there to move this towards a completed project.
  • Chatter of Houses Quilt - Yoko Saito Quilt . This is being hand stitched and is a labour of love quilt so I don't mind having it in the "in process stage".
  • Green Stitch Hexagon Quilt - this was my first attempt at hexagons (part of a "piece and love hexathon group" on Flickr - dated 2012.)
  • Epic Passacaglia Quilt - This is another hand stitching project. I did get started but bogged down with all the fussy cutting. Plus I spent so much time on Instagram admiring other people's #passacagliaquilt progress I made little forward movement on my own. (warning: do not go down that rabbit hole!) Things have come to an abrupt halt and the endgame for this remains uncertain (a mini not so epic mug rug perhaps?). 
  • Christmas Bells Applique Wallhanging - just needs the backing / quilting and binding.
  • Viking Socks Applique knitting bag - I started this to put my next project in...
  • Viking Socks stranded knitting project - because I like to knit and wear hand knit socks.
  • Audrey cardigan - this sweater is all done except for 4 rows on the last sleeve - now how pathetic is that! I had to quit when the temp hit plus thirty degrees Celsius and I just couldn't pick it up!
  • Tour de Fleece handspun - this is my handspun fibre project for this year's 2015 Tour de Fleece group. I need to skein one bobbin and ply the remaining two bobbins.

I have the fabric and patterns for a few bags etc but since I haven't officially "cut into anything yet"  I still have options. Soooo... here's the tally:
  • 9 quilts (the #passacaglia quilt status is not yet confirmed)
  • 2 table runners
  • 2 Wallhangings
  • 1 project bag (sewing)
  • 2 knitting projects
  • 1 handspun project
17 projects in all - anyone having a panic attack yet?

Having done a mental inventory and documented it I have surmised that things aren't as bad as I had thought. I like the projects I'm working on and it's good to reflect where I am on the "completion spectrum. It helps with prioritizing what I want to work on next.

Happy stitching!

Monday, June 29, 2015

The albatross around my neck...

Have you ever spent countless hours looking for the perfect pattern to make the perfect quilt with the perfect fabric for a special person - only to realize mid way in - that you hate dislike the project itself with a red hot passion? 

A few years ago (and maybe I've written posts about this before) I wanted to make a quilt for Youngman II. He was reluctantly agreeable (he's not a big quilt fan) and only succumbed when I found the "perfect quilt" pattern on Pintrest. It's called the "Bleacher Quilt" and I found it by searching "man quilt". It was agreed I would do it in the team colours of his favourite NFL team the Baltimore Ravens. Terrific I thought. So with jersey in hand I headed to the quilt shop to do a colour match. I returned with endless metres of dark purple and black. Ugh! Not my colours. I found some Raven team logo fabric online and added some gold for relief.

Now as far as the actual quilt pattern goes (it comes as a pdf) - it was terrific. A variety of sizes, clear concise instructions. I loved the potential for fussy cutting (which I did). But it was the colours that we dragging me down. It took forever to complete. And I missed deadlines. Christmas #1. Graduation. Birthday. Christmas #2. 

This is the only quilting project I have referred to as "the big black cloud" and "the albatross around my neck." I have plenty of WIPS but this one I was actively avoiding - like a migraine.

Finally Youngman II announced he was leaving the nest to get degree #2. I decided I had to put this sucker to rest. 


It's been a full year since my last write! (Not a good sign).

My biggest angst (problem? excuse?) is that it has become virtually impossible for my ancient old Dell computer and my Iphone and Ipad to play nice together. I've downloaded apps, Blogger, Blogsy, watched YouTube tutorials and spent countless frustrating hours with Windows 8 trying to make everyone play nice together. Finally I get so fed up - I just "go away" and do something else. I have decided that come fall I am thowing in the towel and going straight to Apple across the board. I tried to spread the love but seems like that just ain't going to happen.

So this - is how I'm spending my time.... Posting food pics

... And bike pics

... On Instagram. 

We're having an affair. Just point - shoot - play and post. Easy peasy.

You can follow me there for now.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Quilt Canada - Day 1

Joke of the day:

How do you make God laugh?
     - make plans

Miz Rosie & her Weekend Bag (Amy Butler pattern)

So Miz Rosie and I hit the road for our first  Quilt Canada conference in Lethbridge. As I alluded to in my earlier post, I'd been packing and planning what to bring mentally for a couple of weeks (project in - project out) and physically a few days ahead (and the winners are! Chatter of Houses & new Boho Bag pattern). And this is where the joke comes in: I packed everything from soup to nuts including my sewing machine, rotary cutters, threads, thimbles, needles, clothes, coffee perk, ipad, on and on and on - everything I needed - except for one bag. The one with my projects. Yes - sad but true. And by the time I realised it we had already been to the vendors, come to the condo (we are living the lifestyle baby!) had a glass of wine, gone for dinner, and were just settling in for an evening stitch when OMG!!!  

Phone call home:

Me:  Hi ! I'm here at conference...
Old Guy: Great...
Me: Did I leave a bag at the front door?
Old Guy: Hmmm - no
Me : Did I leave it on the porch?
Old Guy: No....

Me: (oooohhhh noooo! someone has absconded the my bag of gold) Are you sure??????

(short story long - my bag of gold is sitting in the backroom all ready to go). Luckily - there are 101 vendors waiting anxiously to help me spend my quickly dwindling stash of nickles dimes and pennies. I will revisit them today.  New project is to make a charm pack table runner with a freebie pattern I given at a booth earlier... Tula is anxiously waiting to get that first chunk of fabric under her foot.

Here are a few pics from Day 1:

Wall Art - Turner Valley - next to the ChuckWagon Restaurant - best Alberta Beef Burgers ever! (featured in the "You gotta Eat Here" TV show)

Day One - Vendor Stash! Lots to see and with shops and goodies from British Columbia, Montana, Saskatchewan and Southern Alberta - all in one spacious venue! I  was able to find some lovely fabrics for my upcoming Jen Kingwell Circle Game class coming up end of month...

And of course time for wine... in snazzy glasses

And out for for the Black Tomato Pub Thursday night special - 2 drinks and 2 apps for 
$22.00 (in which we had a beer / gin & tonic / calamari and nachos

Evening Entertainment: 2 young punk skunks raced us along the roadside. They finally became so frustrated (note to all we were not chasing - just dawdling along) they stopped and decided to spray us! Harry turned left and Larry turned right - and they sprayed each other... oh my! boys will be boys!

We ended our night with a sit down to stitch (in which the missing bag was discovered) and laid out Miz Rosie's Gyspy Wife Quilt blocks... now isn't it just wonderful?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Headed to Quilt Canada...

Woo! Hoo!

Me and Miz Rosie are packing up the bags and heading outta Dodge. Due South. As in Lethbridge. To the long awaited Canadian Quilter's Association Conference! We bought our tickets as soon as they were available. We decided to splurge and rent a 2 bedroom apartment on campus only to find out last minute that they had overbooked (oh no!) so we were getting a free upgrade to a condo (oh yea!).

I started packing and planning a few days ago. That must mean I'm excited. I usually don't start packing until 2 hours beforehand. But this requires many decisions. Most importantly... which project to bring? I'm bringing two.

 One for hand stitching...

Chatter of Houses

... and one for machine sewing.

Sewfun Boho Bag 
This isn't a quilt. I was hoping I might actually work on something that won't require three years of commitment (ha! ha!). I found a boho bag pattern and some lovely Japanese kokka dragonfly canvas at my LQS. The goal was to use use existing stash for the lining - but nothing was suitable (how can that even be possible?) so back to next LQS with fabric #1 in hand to find the perfect lining (first row - third bolt - how lucky was that???) and some matchy matchy thread.

Next up: Vendor List: What do I need? What do I want?

Note to self: don't buy more fat quarters!

Reminder: Look for Circle Game fabrics: buy more fat quarters!

And to celebrate the fact that I'm going at all... a new sewing machine! (More on that later. Suffice to say I couldn't help myself. I was weak... in the knees! Her name is Tula. And she is Pink.)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My Small World - Summer 2015 Quilt Along

No doubt about it - I'm a major Jen Kingwell fan. I have several of her quilt patterns and they inspire me to actively work on my quilts and use my stash (my name is Judi and I'm a fat-quater-holic).

Yes my Gypsy Wife blocks are almost all done. When I heard there was yet another quilt pattern being released (this time in Quiltmania) I dashed to my LQS to ensure I was going to get a copy.

And yippee! As I was about to stash it in my "future quilts" wishlist - I came across a " My Small Town" Quilt Along on Instagram being hosted by verykerryberry !

 I'm currently putting the binding on Youngman II's Baltimore Ravens Bleacher Quilt (pics to come). I haven't organised my stash or anything (I'm doing it scrappy) - but I'm always open to augment my stash if something special comes along. I have a low volume off white tones jelly roll that I'm planning to use for the "sky portion" of the quilt.

Anyways - MSW QAL - more coming soon!

What type of quilter are you? And opening the box ...

Recently I've become a dedicated "Sewcialite" at my LQS. We meet every Monday and work on our projects. Some of us are prolifi...