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Monday, February 27, 2012

Nosy Parker Time Again

Kat at Diary of a FlutterKat has posted a new set of Nosy Parker questions.  I'm happy to answer them.

Diary of a Flutter.Kat

1)  What are your preferred crafts? Do you have one primary one that you do most of or do you dabble around in many different crafts?
I have done several crafts - knit, crochet, embroidery, cross stitch, petit point, ceramics - but sewing (especially quilting) is what I love. 

2)  What avenues inspire you most in your sewing/crafting that we might like to check out?
e.g. what are your favourite books or websites or shops to visit etc... that we *must* know about ;)
I'm most inspired by quilting podcasts.  Tell you the truth, the reason I first bought an Ipod wasn't for music - it was because I heard that Alex Anderson had started a podcast.  I didn't even know, really, what a podcast was at that point, and couldn't imagine how a visual art like quilting could translate into an audio format, but I missed Alex after Simply Quilts was cancelled, and decided to give it a shot.  After listening to the two or three that she had recorded at that time, I went looking on ITunes and discovered Annie Smith.  By the time I got caught up on Annie's episodes, I was hooked! 
Luckily, now, there are several great podcasts.  Listening to them is like having a friend with me talking about our shared interest.

3) Are you a one project at a time person or do you have "craft ADD" - OR are you somehow like me and have a combination of both?
You know, I should know better.  I'm a one project at a time person, but I have to be disciplined - and I haven't been with my quilting.  I've currently got, oh, maybe 20 unfinished projects.  That's bad.  Having these UFO's make me feel scattered.  I HAVE to get them under control, so that I can go back to working on just one project at a time.

4)  What is/has been your longest ever Work in Progress (WIP)?
I've got several Saturday Sampler projects for which I've completed all the blocks, but have not put them together.  I think the oldest is 6 years old.  The strange thing is that I love the blocks - there is no reason not to complete them!

5 ) What are some of your crafty projects that you've made recently (or not so recently is ok to) that you'd love us to see?
This is a trio of little paper piecing projects.  The two cone flowers were from a kit.  I found the leaf in Quilters Newsletter and it seemed to fit.

6) Do you have a piece of fabric or craft item of any sort with a story behind it that you'd like to share briefly?
I do, but I am going to need to take some more pictures to tell the story, so I'll do it in a separate post.

Thanks, Kat!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Inspired to Quilt

This sounds like a fun event.  Inspired to Quilt is an online quilt show, taking place March 7 - 10, complete with vendors and teacher presentations.  Best of all - it's free!

You can sign up at 

I have no affiliation with the event - I just thought it was a good idea!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Downton Abbey'd

I am just loving the show "Downton Abbey", on PBS.  The second season is winding up this Sunday, but they are re-playing all of the episodes of Season 2 that day.  It is about the family and servants of the Earl of Grantham, on an estate in Britain during World War I.  The storylines are wonderful, but the clothes that the characters wear are fabulous!  I am amazed at the detail and embellishment on the dresses.

I am so wrapped up in the show, that yesterday at work, I dealt with someone who reminded me very much of one of the characters, and I almost burst out with a comment about Downton Abbey.  Since my job is with people going through separation and divorce, it's kind of like being a funeral director.  You have to start out being serious and business-like with people, and feel them out to see if they can handle humour.   I decided that this person would probably not appreciate my totally off topic comment.  But inside, I was wondering how she would look in a circa 1918 gown!

If you haven't watched, take a look on Sunday.  Or, in Canada, Vision TV is running the whole series, starting from Season 1, on Wednesdays.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Freebie Fifteen Day Again

I finished the Freebie Fifteen blocks, just in time, as today is the day to bring them in.  I've got today off from work too, which is nice.  I don't have to rush over to Traditional Pastimes on my lunch hour!  They always have some fabric on sale on FF day, so I'll have time to shop too.

This is the FF block:
I mucked it up a bit - that inner block was supposed to be turned 90 degrees, so that the black squares didn't form a line.  I didn't notice it until it was sewn in and decided it was fine as is.  Those little squares are 1/2 inch finished!

This is the extra block, all sewn together:

I blogged about this the other day.  I've altered the templates so that they have corners cut at the proper angle to make the pieces fit together.  That has really improved my accuracy.  The log cabin block was done with paper piecing, as those pieces are 1/4 inch wide when finished!

This is going to be an interesting quilt when finished.  These blocks are all 12 inches, and there will be 24 in all.  We're also doing 3 1/2 inch quarter square triangles that, I assume, are for the border.  So, it is not going to be a small quilt when it's done.  But all these tiny tiny pieces - oh my!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Without thinking about what day it was, I booked a few vacation days - including today.  That's a nice Valentine gift to myself!  My DH, as he has done every year for the past 26, sent me flowers to work (last week - since I was on vacation this week).  As he explained to my son, "You always send flowers to your wife at work, so she can have all the ladies ooh and aah over them."  They were lovely - and I did get oohs and aahs.

I made him a cherry pie.  I thought it was appropriate - being red and all.  And, it is his favourite dessert.  It was nice having the time to do that for my sweetie!

I filled a couple goodie bags that I made a couple years ago.

One for DH and one for my son.  They won't be crazy about the pink or the flowers, but they will like the chocolates inside.
I hope you all have a warm and happy Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Adventures in Tiny Land

I'm working on my Freebie Fifteen alternate block.  It consists of four 6.5 inch blocks.  Two of them are the  template blocks, that have appeared every month in this series.   The other two have the tiniest pieces I have ever seen.  Here is the drawing from the instructions:

That centre square is finished 3/8 x 3/8.  The tiny pieces beside it are to be cut 11/16 inch wide.  They recommended that we purchase a ruler that measures in 1/16 of an inch!  I can't even SEE in 1/16 of an inch.

So, I came up with the brilliant idea to paper piece the block.  One problem, though - that nice drawing up there is not to scale.  So, I got out the graph paper and drew something that was close.  The tiny pieces would finish up 1/4 inch wide rather than 3/16.  Here it is with most of the tiny pieces done.

Here is the finished piece.

And here it is trimmed.

I made one error, and I should have known better.  I forgot that paper pieced blocks end up reversed.  I didn't reverse my pattern, so my block is the mirror image of what it was supposed to be.  Oh well - it certainly is not critical in this case.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Finish-A-Long Progress

Oh, I am in major procrastination mode now.  I've finished the quilt top.  This is half of it:

"What are you talking about, Colleen?"  I hear you say.  "I thought you said you were finished the top??"

Well, I'm trying something.  I've pieced the top in two halves.  Imagine the mirror image just to the right of the piece in the above photo.  I didn't have a piece of floor large enough to put both pieces together.  I'm going to quilt it in two pieces, then put it together, like a quilt as you go project.  I don't know if that will work.  I will let you know.

So, the quilting...  I'm thinking of just doing an overall pattern.  I did take the Quilt Whisperer course last year, and part of my mind says that I should be doing something really fancy in terms of quilting.  But, this is the step that is most scary to me, and if I think too much about it, I may never get it done!  Better to just jump in with an easier design.

I could think about the quilting procrastinate for a long time at this stage in the process.  But, I made a commitment in the Finish-A-Long, so I WILL get it done.