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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Unexpected Holiday

Despite living in Canada, and experiencing regular snowfalls, we, in Calgary, never have a Snow Day - not in the 23 years I have lived here.  It snows -- we carry on.  We're late; we have car accidents; we go to work anyway.  I work at the court house, and we do not shut down.  Last year, as you may recall, Calgary suffered major flooding in June.  Parts of downtown were under water.  But the court house wasn't, and I went to work.  (To be fair, we told many of our staff to stay home, and stayed open only long enough to adjourn all of the matters scheduled for that day.)

But, yesterday and today, we have been shut down.  There was a major electrical fire in the downtown and several blocks are without power.  So I get to stay home!  Yay!

What to do?  Well, I did have some yeast in the cupboard that was in danger of expiry.  So, I made some bread.

Then, I made some cinnamon buns.

I did some reading and podcast listening.

And, oh ya - I did some quilting too!  The Calgary Modern Quilt Guild is collecting 15 1/2 inch quilted blocks, then we're going to put them together for charity quilts.  I just happened to have some blocks laying around from my early days of quilting, when I was "trying stuff".  Add an extra bit of fabric to bring it up to size, and had some fun trying some new quilting designs, including doing a spiral with my walking foot.

All in all, a very nice way to spend a couple of surprise free days!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Q4 Finish Along Goals

I've been suffering from serious quilters block over the last few months.  I blame this:

Yes, you have seen this before - it's Sand and Sea Glass, the block of the month project from (now defunct) Traditional Pastimes.  I have quilted the easy parts of this quilt - the sashing and borders.  I've started quilting the blocks, and I'm not having any fun.  And, I've got it in my head that I have to finish this one before I can enjoy starting any others.  I don't even like this quilt any more!  But I WILL finish it!  I will!  And, so, I'm putting it on my list for one more quarter.

You've also seen this one - another one I'm hesitant about.

This is Scrapitude, and it's still at the flimsy stage.  How to quilt it?  On the one hand, it's scrappy, so an all over pattern would be fine.  On the other hand, there are some nice white patches in there that could do with some custom quilting.  Decisions, decisions!

This one is new.  (I managed to push the quilters block aside for a bit.)   I won this pattern,  Sunrise, from Carolyn Friedlander, through  a giveaway on Modern Sewciety.  I spent some pleasant hours this summer, with easy paper piecing, and have started quilting.

This is baby sized.  The quilt ends at the teal border - what shows as white outside that is just batting.  I only have the white parts to quilt yet.  I'm actually pretty pleased with the quilting so far.  Just when I start to fall into despair (see Sand and Sea Glass, above), I look at something like this quilt, and I see that I HAVE improved my quilting.  I'll never be Angela Walters, but I'm coming along!

I also put together this one, in the early days of spring - hoping to have a nice table runner by summer. This is a Thimbleberries pattern that was kitted in more modern fabric. It's still a flimsy:

And - in for a penny, in for a pound - I might as well throw in these two once more:

 Maple Sugar, above, and Aqua Stars, below.

So, that's it.  List everything, I say, and perhaps I'll finish a few.

My list:

  • Sand and Sea Glass
  • Scrapitude
  • Sunrise
  • Watermelon
  • Maple Sugar
  • Aqua Stars
Linking up to the Q4 FAL at The Littlest Thistle

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Studio Tour

Mad About Patchwork is hosting a Canadian summer of studio tours, and it's been really interesting seeing the spaces used by bloggers I follow.  I've uploaded my pics to their flickr groups, so as to be eligible for their contest, but thought I'd give you a peek too.

The contest ran all summer, but it took me this long to take pictures, because I had to clean it up a bit first!

My studio is in the basement of our house.  We finished the basement ourselves, about 15 years ago, and I marked out the space that I thought I would need.  Ha!  I realize now that I could have used twice that much space.  However, I have to admit that it is lovely having my own studio, and being able to leave everything out, ready for any brief time period when I feel like sewing.

The first photo is looking in the door.

cq2 studio 1

I've got a tiny basement window, with a window-well outside, so there is no view at all.  I made that little ruffle curtain when I first set up the room.

Over to the left is my design wall.  You can see an oak board up top, and if you look close, you can see a couple clamps.  Mr. CQ2 made that for me as a quilt hanger.  I soon realized, though, that I needed the design wall there all the time.  It is actually just a large flannel backed table pad, and it works wonderfully.  The blocks on there are Carolyn Friedlander's Sunrise pattern - which will become a baby quilt.

This photo is from the opposite corner - you can just see the doorway on the left.

cq2 studio 2

My woodworking former brother in law made me the hutch on the right when I graduated from university thirty years ago.  The one on the left was store bought.  Both are stuffed FULL of fabric in the bottom halves.  The tops contain thread, some more fabrics, small tools and some cute things I've collected over the years - including this:

cq2 studio 4

This was the cutest little quilt shop - painted on a rock, by a woman in Pictou Nova Scotia.  She had an entire village that she had created and that was for sale, but I just had to have the quilt shop.  You may not be able to read it - it says "Quilt Around the Block", then below "Quilt Class Tues 10 - 2"

One last view of the studio

cq2 studio 3

A better look at my combination cutting / sewing table.  Between the table lamp and the ceiling light, it is very bright, even though it's in the basement.  (And, even though the basement can be cool in the winter, it warms right up, as soon as I turn on my iron!)

I bought a great chair from an office furniture store.  I was used, so the price wasn't bad, and it's completely adjustable, and very sturdy.  I'm so glad to have a well made chair!  The bookshelf was made by Mr. CQ2, and he did a very nice job.  The rainbow on the wall was a latch-hook kit from, oh, about 1980!  I've got a couple small wall quilts and a white board that are waiting to be hung - we took them down when we painted the room last winter.

So, that's my little studio.  It's small, but holds everything I need!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Back At It

I have a couple projects to show you - one completed and one not.

First, over at the Calgary Modern Quilt Guild, we had a zipper pouch challenge last month.  I had put in lots of zippers back in the "old days" (pre -quilting days!) so I wasn't intimidated.  I also had instructions in Malka Dubrawsky's Fresh Quilting.
 Link to Amazon's copy

I really want to make that sewing machine cover on the upper right, but that's for another day.

Here is the final product:

I chose black, white and grey text prints for the outside, so wanted something colourful for the inside.  And, I used a zipper that I had on hand (from the "old days"!), so there needed to be some blue in there.

It turned out pretty well for a first attempt.  Since making it, Cathy, over at Blueberry Patch, posted some great hints and tips for making zipper pouches - including how to put those little ends on the zippers.  Now, I'm itching to make another one!

I also pulled out a little kit I bought last year, at Village Quilts in Lethbridge.  (Just looked for a link to their website - they don't have one!  Strange!  But it is a great bricks and mortar shop, nonetheless.) It is a Thimbleberries pattern, but the gals at Village Quilts kitted it up with some fresher fabrics.

I've got the top done.

I need to embroider some seeds in those watermelon slices, then quilt it up.  It's about 24 x 36 inches, so a good sized tablerunner.  Hopefully, I'll get it done before those three hot days we get here, that we call summer.

That's it for me, for now!  I'm linking up with The Needle and Thread Network for WIP Wednesday.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Heritage Park Festival of Quilts 2014

Saturday morning dawned bright and warm for this year's Festival of Quilts at Heritage Park in Calgary.  It is not always this nice for this annual event on the last weekend of May.  I have seen it snow, and it often rains. But this year, we only got a bit of a shower Saturday afternoon, and lots of sun in the morning!

 As we entered the park, we could see quilts hanging under tents and (yay!) the Vendor Tent over on the left!

I only took a few pictures this year. There were about 800 quilts on display, and I wanted to enjoy them in person, rather than through photos.

 I thought these two quilts were stunning!

The was the one of the old houses, with quilts hanging on the porch.

The Wainwright Hotel, covered with the large bedquilts. 

The woman who designed this fabric gave a talk to our guild about her history and design process.  (I can't remember her name!)  But it was fun to find a quilt using her fabric.

This was a beautiful whole cloth quilt.  You can see in the closeup that the mosquitoes were out in full force and seemed to like the white!

And this one looked familiar!  It's the Sand and Sea Glass quilt that I've been working on these last 2 years!  This quilter did a fabulous job.  There were two other Sand and Sea Glass quilts hanging in the show.  I've GOT to get mine done!!

These four critters were adorable!  The penguin was done by Mary Dylke of our guild.

These last photos were of one of those in the modern quilt display (draped over vintage cars).  The quilting on this quilt was just amazing!!

I didn't do too much damage to my charge card while I was there - despite some great bargains!  I did buy one jelly roll.  I recently won a Carolyn Friedlander pattern from Stephanie, at  Modern Sewciety. I chose the Sunrise pattern.  It can be made with a jelly roll, so I thought I had better be prepared for its arrival!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Not a Lot of Quilting Going On

Over the winter, we did some fairly major renovations to our house.  It started relatively small.  Mr. CQT discovered that the piping used for plumbing in our house was prone to leaks.  We've had a couple wet spots on the ceiling of the main floor, and decided it was time to replace that.  Mr. CQT is pretty handy, so he figured out how to locate the piping behind the walls and ceiling, so as to cut out as little as possible.

But, when we started talking about it, I mentioned how I really hated the popcorn ceiling and would like to have it replaced with knockdown - and since we're cutting holes in it anyway, now would be a good time to do that.

And then we started talking about how worn the master bathroom was... and before you know it, we decided to renovate the bathroom.

And then we started talking about the carpet - it was 20 years old and looking shabby. (We should have realized that we needed to stop talking, but no....)

Oh, and that gas fireplace in the family room that never worked - might as well replace that too, while the carpet was torn up.

Some major work was done, mostly by contractors, but we did the painting (and painting, and painting). We also replaced light fixtures (who knew brass was no longer in style!)

Mr. CQT was an expeditor before he retired - he worked on oilfield construction, making sure that items and trades were there when they needed to be.  Those skills really came in handy!

Here is the bathroom:

I made the curtain  - you can't see it all that well, but it has red in it to match the towels, and green that matches the bedding and curtains in the master bedroom.  Below is the huge shower!

And the new fireplace:

And new curtains in the kitchen, along with new light and table and chairs:

The fabric for the curtains came from a new-to-me online fabric shop in Toronto - Tonic Living.  They specialize in home dec fabrics and have a huge selection.  Their prices are are reasonable, as is their shipping cost.   They will send you swatches (that are about 6 inches square) for $1.50 - $1.75 apiece.  I ordered several before I chose the fabric.

I still need to make a set of curtains for the upstairs hall, and I'm going to make a valance for a bedroom with the Craftsy class, Sewing Custom Valances.  I'll be ordering the fabric from Tonic Living for those too.

So, not a lot of quilting in the last 4 or 5 months.  But, I will be going to the Heritage Park Festival of Quilts show next weekend, so I'll get my quilty fix!

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Central Alberta Quilt Guild Show

I had a delightful day out yesterday at the Central Alberta Quilt Guild Show in Red Deer.  This is a fantastic show, attracting vendors from all over western Canada!  Frankly, I prefer this show to the (for profit) Creative Stitches show in Calgary.  And if the weather is good, as it was today, it's a very pleasant drive!

April is a pretty iffy month for weather around here.  The show is always held on a Friday and Saturday.  One year, I took the Friday off from work and went up.  Good thing, as we got about 6 inches of snow on the Saturday.  Last year, I had every intention of going, and got up to fog!  Pea soup fog!  Now that may not be all that unusual in some locations, but in bone-dry Alberta, it is rare.  I started to drive anyway, but could barely see in front of me.  The thought of driving 90 minutes in that was not inviting.  I turned around, dejected, and came home.

But yesterday, the sky was blue, and spring was truly here!  Even though the fields were still snow filled, the roads and ditches were pretty bare.  I turned on some of my quilty podcasts, and the trip flew by.

I've created a slideshow with the photos - at least I think I did.  I can't see it in preview mode, but hopefully it will show up when I hit "publish".  I didn't take photos of most of the quilts - just the ones that struck my fancy.

 Edited to add:  It worked!!