Sunday 31 August 2014

The sewing room is open

I am finally in my sewing room ... for the right reason, and yet I don't have much to show. :(

We had a week of professional development at work. An entire week of just sitting in the conference room doing nothing but brain storming. Do you know how tiring just sitting is? Actually I did do something; I had to take the minutes and come Tuesday, I will put them all in order in a Word document so all my colleagues can read it so they don't forget. Who can forget a week like that? It was torture!! It is so hard for me to stay put for a long time. I need to burn my energy not hoard it. So in the evening, the last thing I wanted to do was to sit in front of the sewing machine. But today it is different.  

I did some clothes mending (so I was in my sewing room but it was boring) and some Plums and Orange Jam (yum).  I did NOT do the Marcus Designer Sew A Long new block ... yet. Will do this later today. I did finish the hand quilting on Antique Inspiration. 

It looks kind of warp-y now that it is done but that's okay with me. So now on to the label making. 

It is a hexie label, of course, like all my labels. Since it is a small decorative quilt, I decided to make a half flower.  I will sew it as close to the edge as I can. I am back stitching the name and my embroidery skill is very rusty. 

The thread is a very light pink just so it looks aged. 

Remember my adventure with sunflower seeds? This is the result! 

So NOT impressed!  Although the birds are already feeding from the puny flowers, I am putting up the bird feeders this weekend. I did learn a lot from this though. I should be able to do better next year. 
Too bad birds don't feed on Rudbeckia. It was a very good summer for them with all the rain we had. They are all over the place.  Around the clothesline post, (which is where I planted them years ago)
in the middle of the garden, 

in the flower bed (which is more weeds than flowers!)

and up to my sewing room window. I love those little suns :)  I let them grow where ever they want. 

Anyway, have to go and finish a few things (have to do Kiwi Jam and some Apricot Chutney too before the end of the weekend, not to mention cleaning) and some sewing too. 

Linking up with Kathy for a Slow Sunday Stitching and Angie at Hexie Weekend

Until next time ... sssSM :^)LE ... it brightens up like a little sun too. 

Sunday 24 August 2014

Sunday ... Aaaaahhhh!

A little quiet time is what I am enjoying this Sunday morning. What a week! And to finish it off beautifully, I had two training sessions on Friday on two different computer programs. You know I will forget it during the weekend and will probably remember only half of it comes Monday. Ha! ha! ha! Anyway! That's tomorrow's funny headache.
Right now, all my men are still sleeping so I have the dining room all to myself, with a coffee and some hand sewing. My favorite sewing place, the deck, is all wet from the dew at this time of the year, so I'll settle for the dining table, next to the patio doors. I am working on my Antique Inspiration.

It is doesn't take very long to do one block. The part that is most frustrating is the hoop. Because the quilt is already bind, the hoop doesn't "grip" properly and it keeps slipping off. I try to quilt without it sometimes, especially for the square in the corner of the quilt but, after awhile, I put the hoop back on. 

I have three more blocks to do. Then I will remove the machine quilting around the blocks and redo it by hand. It will look better I think. 

Oops! This one is not completely finished. :)

Hope that you too find some time to stitch a bit. I am linking up with Kathy for a Slow Sunday Stitching

Until next time ... ssssSMiLE ... it is stressless. 

EDITING: to link up with Angie from A Quilting Reader's Garden for some eye candy. Hope you will come and pay us a visit. 

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Blame the French Accent

I had nice comments on my last post. (I am not implying that usually I have bad comments, I just mean ... oh brother!!) Misunderstanding is what I mean.  Uh! Um! Let's start again.

I had comments on my last post and, as I was reading them, it dawn on me that I had mislead my readers. I apologize for that.  :- (

In my post, I said that I will add a white sashing and my sweet commentators were agreeing that it look good with the white sashing but, to me, the sashing was not on yet. So what were the nice people talking about? Then, the light came on in my head. Oh brother! I've mislead my readers with my blocks. True, the blocks do have a white sashing but, for me, that one is part of the block and not a "true" sashing. (Am I making sense?)

Blame it on my French accent please. I should have wrote; I will add a second white sashing because this is what I meant.

and add some corner blocks too ... or should I say corner stones? Funny how differently we can interpret one's writing. I've read my post again and again and now that I see it, I don't understand how come I couldn't see it before. I'll try to be more explicit from now on. I can be such a blabbermouth that I try to keep my posting short (not to bore you to tears).  But I left out an important little word; second. Thanks for all the nice comments, hope there is no hard feelings for my lack of ability at translating my ideas. Sorry to whom my reply was confusing. I had another vision of my quilt in my head then you did and I guess my reply didn't always made a lot of sense. (No, I was not drunk).  
BTW, yes, the blocks are crooked. I didn't pay much attention when sewing these little bits together and now, I am regretting it.

Hope you find some time to put some fabric to a needle.  Ha! ha! ha! (It does make sense in French!)

Until next time ... SMiLE ... it's international language.

Monday 18 August 2014

Monday's Options

I finally have a few minutes to sit at my sewing machine. Yeah!!

Yesterday, I've pulled out the finished blocks of my on again/off again leader /ender project. I've been sewing little 1.5 squares together for so long I think I've started this in 2012 but not sure. And now I am tired of this project so... I will finish it.

I have 8 blocks done. I will do 4 more and add white sashing to calm it down a notch. The inner square has 100 pieces of almost every cotton I have. Not paying much attention to how I am sewing this so it is very colourful and ♫ ssscrappy ♪ . It will go to charity when done.

So this will be my work for this week (and the next). What about you? Hope you find some time to put some stitches on a fabric.

Linking up with Patchwork Times, for even more fun check out what some quilters are stitching together. 

Until next time ... SMiLE ... show your colours. 

Saturday 16 August 2014

The rebel got the blues

I have worked on the Marcus Designer Sew Along.  I redid the first block which now looks like this:

My first try at this block is now a mug rug:

I am happy with my decision of redoing it. I much prefer the green in the first picture. The blues just leave me cold in both pictures. I hope it will look better when put together in a quilt. 
After finishing these, I sew the second block which is this one:

This one was easier to do. The background is a very soft beige but look too white in the picture. It is better in real life. The green is a nice celery green that I like a lot. 
Since all was going so well with the blocks, when they (wonderful ladies doing this sew-along) posted block #3 last night, I went for it. 

And I went for the blues!! Hush! Hush! Please don't tell anyone but sometimes I'm a little rebel and don't follow instruction to the letter.  Giggles! Not that it looks better in blue or in green, I just thought there was enough green in the last block for the two of them. Here they are: 


This is fun. I love it!! 
Did you join? You can find all the information here in case you wish to sew along too. I'm sure you will see these blocks popping all over blogland, they're so cute. The wonderful ladies who are responsible for this are Pam Buda, Paula Barnes, Sarah Maxwell, and  Pati Violick will give us the next block on Friday. Is it Friday yet??? 

Until next time ... SMiLE ... it won't rebel against you.     

Monday 11 August 2014

Monday's Option

This week, I don't have an option. I just HAVE to redo it. No options!!

I will try to keep up with the Marcus Designer Sew- Along which started August first and I am already in hot water. Ha! ha! ha!
I followed the instruction but obviously messed up somewhere because...

it doesn't measure 9 inches!
I've cut off the cheddar triangles,
plus the black and green are not working very well together nor are the black and blue. So I have no options but to redo it. (In real life, the black and blue blends more than on the picture which was taken in full sunlight.)
And the second block is already out and I am still on block one. Oh yes, that looks so promising Ha! ha! ha!

I will not waste my humility block though. As you can see it is sitting on a little piece of batting and it will become ... a mug rug.
So this is my Monday night. Hope you find some time for sewing too.

Until next time... sssSSSMiLe ! ... it remains an option.

Sunday 10 August 2014

And she's off

quilting the miles away at a very slow pace. (I think I've been watching too much horse racing.)

I've had many comments and ideas from my last post and I am so happy for all of them. Thank you. Now it is with confidence that I am quilting my Antique Inspiration. (Worst case scenario: I'll have a lot of unpicking to do ha! ha!)

Last evening, I've started with no hoop and was doing diagonal lines in the squares only. It was very disturbing to have the quilt move around every which way while I quilted it.  So I did some digging and it took a while (it was packed for the move) before I found my hoop. Then I looked at the piece and was not happy with the lines (first, they were not straight, second they were too big) so started the reverse stitching process. And now, I'm off to a better start ... I think.  The squares finish at one inch and half so I decided not to respect the 1/4 inch but I will outlined them with a tighter 1/8 inch and make my stitches as small as I can just to stay in the miniature state of mind.

After each block is done, I will remove the machine stitching in the ditch that I had obviously done but can't remember. I didn't even had a walking foot back them. ANYway! The ditch stitching doesn't work here in my opinion. So off it is.

Here's a picture of the flower with leaves quilted in the negative spaces.

I will join Kathy and all her friends on a Slow Sunday Stitching.

Until next time... SMiLE ... and off you go.

Thursday 7 August 2014

This and That on Thursday


is done!  Well, until I go back to work and start piecing little diamonds together again, there is nothing more I can add to the Quilt of the Century.  I've attached all the diamonds that were made. So for now, it is done.


is finished!! Oh how my thumbs hurt! I am a lefty and living in a right handed world, we (left handed) tend to be ambidextrous and I can cut with both hands.  Therefore both thumbs can't stand the scissors anymore. (Too bad one needs both hands to quilt cause I would learn how to sew two different project simultaneously in a jiffy! Ha! ha! ) But it looks very nice and I like it. I am glad I've tried a new technique and worked with a different medium. This was outside my comfort zone and it will stay a unique child. I shook that quilt as if a rag (ha! ha!) before washing it and it still left a big mess in the washing machine. Named Off Road, it finishes at 54 X 33. (I admire people who do this kind of quilt all the time. Bravo!)


is half way done. Another one I am pleased with.  Not perfect but pretty good for a first try if I may blow my own horn. I'll try to finish it before the weekend. Wonder what hubby would think if he were to find out I'm not very good at driving in the ditch... yet!


is probably what I'll be working on since the Quilt of the Century is on pause.  I have done this one 2 or 3 years ago in a rush.  The Realtor agent have asked that we put away all personal pictures when selling our home. So my bedroom became very ... plain (not to say naked ... that would be inappropriate!!).


was my inspiration. I don't know where this beauty came from.  All I remember is seeing it on Lori's Humble Quilts blog one day and i fell in love.  It went straight to my to-do list and I did do it... well, a little of it.  

I've simply called it Antique Inspiration because that's all I know.  I certainly didn't want to call it something that would remind me of the for sale sign and I don't know the name of the block, so Antique Inspiration it is. I love how each block is different and yet all are the same pattern.  I love that kind of quilts. I did some hand quilting in the negative space but didn't do the blocks because I ran out of time.  So now I will take the time and finish this one properly.  How does one quilt after binding? The same way or is there something I should know before I start? Would it be best if I remove the binding first? I think I will just do a 45 angle line in the square and  around the block too but nothing in the HSTs. Hmmm maybe.

That's that for this Thursday. 

Until next time ... SM ;^)LE ... that is appropriate!

Edited to add the link to Hexies Weekend with Angie at A Quilting Reader's Garden as it is NOT only for hexies projects but really any sewing project at all.  You're welcome to join us. 

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Hello Mr. Postman

I am on vacation this week. Whoopy! Every time I plan some activities to do during my vacation, it falls apart.  I didn't plan anything this time around. Wow! No stress and no disappointment. Feels like those vacations when I was a kid and the grownups dealt with everything and all I had to do was have fun!! You know ... real vacation LOL.

Anyway, I got on the net because I received a squishy envelope in the mail yesterday. I need to share this with you.  Hope you don't mind.

A sweet blue batik fat quarter and some little hexagon from Audrey at Glory Be Quilter.  Thank you! Thank you! Audrey.  I LOVE it. Check out her blog if you have a few minutes. She does such BEAAAUUUTIFUL work. Hmmm!

While I'm on the net, why don't I show you a few things.

I have planted an entire package of Sunflower's seeds.  No, not the kind we eat but the kind to sow.  Out of the entire package, (which was maybe 12 to 15 seeds) all I've got out are these four plants.
So not impressed! Since I started the seeding in the house, I know the birds had nothing to do with this pitiful outcome.

The first one doesn't have flowers yet and the tallest one comes to my waist. The flower still fit inside my hand. Such puny little things. Is there such a thing as miniature sunflowers?

This is the smallest one, which was the first flower to come out, it's blinking.  It didn't open up all the way. It looks so whimsical. Poor birds! They won't survive winter with this crop.

My beautiful ivy going all the way to the roof and covering part of the balcony on the second floor.

I had a little visitor this morning. It doesn't stop for pictures, believe me. Oh! that was hilarious.

How about some cookies? A cup of tea with that? No problem! Coming right up.

Until next time ... SMiLE ... it's no brain work.

Monday 4 August 2014

Long week end Monday

Gotta love that!!

First and foremost, I would like to add to my last post. I might have sounded like I was complaining but it was not my point. Don't get me wrong, I DO love to quilt! I am by no means a small woman but I do suffer from back problems since I was 20 years old. No! No need for pity; not what I am looking for here. Just stating the facts. (More than a year ago now, I finally found an osteopathic therapist who is doing a wonderful job with my spine so I am living with less and less pain and more determination.(added in for all the well-wishers out there.)) Enough said! What I do want to say is: Machine - quilting is FUN!  I did a lot on the first night because I had FUN !! True, being a south paw, my right side has less endurance. (and I haven't done any exercises in the last 15 years!! ooops!) I coulda, shoulda, woulda listen to my body more attentively IF i hadn't had some much FUN!  Life is short! Why not pack it to the brim with FUN??   Just saying (to my non-quilters friends who mean good, I know).

Enough of the boring stuff... On to the jean quilt... now that is another story.  I am SO happy that I made is small.  Boy that snipping at the seams is hard on the hand and the scissors!! (I do sound like a complainer. Sorry about that.) But I have to say it is hard work. This will be my one and only jean quilt. (Yes, I have also said I don't do off road so... ) Nada! Hopefully the boys will finish the snipping and I can get it wash today and show you a picture of it soon.

Talking of TODAY: (finally we're getting somewhere) I will do some hexies. Yes, I'm in love again.

Four green diamonds attached and 6 more are waiting in line. Yeah!

I love my living green wall in the background. It is such a lovely ivy.  It's an English Ivy (Hedera Helix) the kind that turns red in fall.
So here I will be today, enjoying my lazy Monday.  Will do some baking, cooking and plenty of sewing by hand and by machine. Hope you are enjoying a long weekend too, or at least enjoying the kind of work you have to do.

Until next time ... SMiLE ... it's not hard work.

Sunday 3 August 2014

Sharing on Sunday

 After my decision of turning the jean quilt into a rug, I decided to change it a little bit. I've removed a few rows and added them the other way to make a long narrow rectangle.  It will sit better in front of the couch with these measurements.

No border and no binding on this one. I am finishing it with buttonhole stitches in red.

The back side is all the same golden flannel that my sister gave me a long time ago.  I've used it just a little bit in the crumb quilt because it is not a nice flannel.  It is stiff. You know the white on white fabrics that are not nice; they feel stiff and painted on? Well, this flannel reminds me of that. It's not soft and the little print feels painted on.  But it is perfect for this project as it will be against the floor and I'm sure the floor won't mind. :^)

Does removing basting threads from little hexies count as Slow (reverse) Stitching Sunday?  I do need to remove some paper pieces from this quilt. Hope to do some of it today but I do have a lineup of more interesting thing to do.

As the day progress and temperature rises, I will move from my "outside" favorite sewing room to my "basement" sewing room and thread a few kilometers on Take 21. 

This quilt is really progressing slowly. I have a feeling it won't be ready for his birthday.  Oh well, that's life and it's okay. 

I am also machine quilting for the first time and what a wrestling match it is!! Didn't expect that, silly me!! 

"Where I come from" aka the crumb quilt is under the needle, getting stitched in the ditch. I did 7 lines of quilting last night and this morning, my right side is in pain. I am a lefty and to work a big quilt made of flannel (front and back) through a little Janome took a lot out of my right hand, arm, shoulder, upper back, neck, you get the picture, which are not really used to this kind of workout. I am sure many of you can relate. I will survive and laugh about it one day... just not now. 

Hope you enjoy your Sunday as much as I will do mine.  I'm hopping to Kathy's place to check out what wonderful projects are being worked on today. It's my Sunday's indulgence. 

Until next time ... SMiLE ... it's painless.