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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February 17 and 18

I actually got some sewing done in the last two days!  Having a holiday Monday is great - I get caught up on my housework and my sleep, and still have time for fun.

Even though last week was a bit of a bust, I'm still committed to the Drop and Give me Twenty challenge.

I finished a little project.  This is a pattern by Susie C. Shore designs.  It is a potholder!

You can't see it all that clearly in the photo, but there is an opening under the "icing", and you can put your hand in. It was really quite quick and easy to make up.  The only challenging part was sewing the icing to the back part of the cupcake, because I was sewing through 8 layers of fabric and 4 layers of batting.  But, with my walking foot, it was no problem!

 My Mom's birthday is coming up in a couple weeks, so it will be a fun gift for her.  (Don't mom's always appreciate anything you make for them?)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Liebster Award

Thanks to the lovely Pauline, at Little House on the Hill, who has nominated me for a Liebster Award.

It is nice to be appreciated, and Pauline is someone who always comments and says nice things.   I will admit, though, that I was nominated for this award last April, and I was also tagged in a similar event in December, so I've kind of run out of other small blogs to nominate.  But, I'm happy to tell you 11 random things about myself, and answer Pauline's questions.

11 Random Facts About Myself

1.  I started sewing at age 8.   I still remember what I made - a green skirt and matching vest.  I remember being very frustrated at several points, and I think that maybe my Mom did a lot of re-sewing for me after I went to bed.  But I finished it and wore it very proudly!
2.  I read the newspaper every day.  Recently, our paper stopped publishing on Sunday, so I read half of Saturday's on Saturday and save the rest for Sunday.
3.  I love to cook and bake.  I like to bring baking into work, to have the other staff say "You made this??"  Not that I've baked something so incredible - but few of the people I work with do any baking, so they are amazed by anything home made.  (I feel sorry for them.)
4.  When I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher.  In high school, my family convinced me not to go into Education, as they said there was no money in it.  I went into law, and I honestly don't regret that, but I've tried to guide my career so that I get to teach  other staff.  It's the best part of my job.
5.  I don't like conflict. Mr CQT doesn't like conflict.  We compromise a lot, and we're both happy with that.  It seems to have worked - for the last 27 years, anyway.
6.  I'm very much an introvert.  My idea of a fun evening is reading a book, or doing some sewing, rounding out the evening watching TV with Mr. CQT.  We laugh about how boring we are.
7.  We're so boring, I'm having trouble coming up with 11 interesting facts about myself!
8.  Oh, this is interesting. To me, in any event.  I am working on a website - for work.  I'm not doing the design, but I am writing the content. It should be up in a month or so, and I'll post a link when it's done.
9.  When in doubt, talk about your kids.  I have two wonderful adult children.  My daughter is a teacher, and my son is going to school to learn "New Media Technology" - website design, graphic design, photography, video, etc.  No, he hasn't done any design work on my blog, but I'd love him to do that!
10.  I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada).  I've lived in Calgary, Alberta for the last 22 years.  Don't tell my Mom, but I prefer Calgary.
11.  I'm really obsessed with quilting.  (But you already knew that!)

And now to answer Pauline's questions.

1. How many UFO's do you have?
Do I really have to go count them?  OK I will.  [pause]  Oh, there aren't as many as I thought.  Only six.  I've also got 3 kits that I haven't started yet, and, of course, yards and yards of stash, for which I have many ideas.
2.  What colour do you use most in your quilts?
That's hard to say.  My projects tend to have a focus colour, and those vary.  My stash has a lot of blue in it, though.
3.  What was your first patchwork project?
I took a class and made a rail fence quilt.  I was hooked!
4.  Do you do other crafts?
Not really, any more.  I have done all sorts of crafts in the past - knitting, crochet, embroidery, cross stitch. ceramics.  I was never very good at knitting or crochet.  And my eyes aren't good enough to do stitchwork any more.
5.  Do you like floral, plain or geometric fabrics?
I'm not crazy about geometric fabrics.  I have lots of florals in my stash, and am getting more solids lately.
6.  How many blogs do you follow?
147.  As of today - it will probably increase tomorrow.
7.  What do you like most about blogging?
It really helps me focus on my quilting.  I have to be working on something, so that I have something to write about.
8.  Do you like gardening?
Yes and no.  I have liked gardening in the past, but Calgary is so close to the mountains, and so dry, that not much grows well here.  We have a really short growing season, and the nights are cool all summer long.  So, I'm quite frustrated by gardening here.  I don't have a vegetable garden in this house - just some flower beds.
9.  What is your favourite time of year?
Definitely summer.  Spring, here, is cold and rainy / snowy.  Summer is short and sweet - really just July and August.  (It has snowed in Calgary every month of the year except July.)
10.  What is your favourite flower  / plant?
I had a hibiscus plant for many years.  It would grow leggy and I would chop it back, and then it would bush our and be lovely again.  It had double blooms, that only lasted for a day - but it bloomed a lot.
11.  Do you have a pet?
Not right now.  We had a lovely border collie who was with us for 13 years, and passed away last spring.  We're not ready for another pet yet.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Drop and Give Me...Um...

OK, OK, I admit it.  I haven't done 20 minutes every day this week.  Turns out work required me to drop and give them a few too.  Darn!

But I did get to sew a few nights, and managed to crank out this.

This is a lovely pattern from Bonnie at Cotton Way.  I purchased it as a kit from Connecting Threads.  I don't know if they have the kit any more - I bought it about a year ago.  But, the pattern is still available at Cotton Way.  You can make it up with quarter dresdens as well.  You could also adapt it to make a plain cover, if you wanted to.

The neighbours probably wondered why I was dragging my ironing board outside in the middle of winter.  Or maybe they didn't.  They may have thought - oh, there they go again!  Mr. CQT has been known to engage in some strange looking construction projects out there from time to time!

Anyway, there's another look.  It was fun and quick to make, and now it is brightening up my sewing room.  Where I WILL have time to sew tomorrow, as it's the Family Day holiday.  Yay!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

February 7 - 10

The Drop and Give me Twenty challenge is turning out to be a real motivation for me.  I've been down in my sewing room every day, and 20 minutes has turned into an hour or more on most days.
I've finished the Freebie Fifteen top!
freebie fifteen all together

Actually, I didn't think it was finished.  After all, I've got 208 hourglass blocks that I made along with the monthly blocks, and they were supposed to be a second border.  But, as soon as I sewed on the first border, the quilt said to me, "Colleen, I am busy enough with all of these complicated blocks.  I do not need a pieced border!"  Well, who am I to argue with a quilt!  So, it's finished.  And I'm glad.

Now, for the backing.  I did buy fabric for the back, online.  When it arrived, it was all wrong.  So wrong!  It is a teal colour, and I thought it looked kind of oceany when I saw it.  (After all, the real name of the quilt is Sand and Sea Glass.)  But the blues in the quilt are more of a sky blue, not teal at all.  I'll save that for a backing for something else, and find new fabric for this one.

So, today, my plan is to clean in my sewing room.  I'm getting distracted by all of the bits of thread and fuzz on the floor!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

February 5 and 6

No new photos tonight.  I'm still putting together those Freebie Fifteen blocks.  Chugging along.

Linking up with Quilting Hottie Haven.

Monday, February 04, 2013

February 4

I took a break from the Freebie Fifteen tonight, and worked on the Craftsy February Block.

This one had a set in seam.  There are a LOT of first time quilt makers in this class.  I didn't do a set in seam until my third or fourth quilt.  I'm guessing it is going to be pretty intimidating for the beginners!

The orange is  my focus fabric.  It does have blues and greens in the design, although you can't see them so well in the photo.  I plan to use it in each of the blocks in the quilt.  Hopefully, it will have a unifying effect.

We made three of these.

Linking up with Craftsy and with Quilting Hottie Haven:

Sunday, February 03, 2013

February 3

First, to show my progress from yesterday.  I sewed all of the sashings on one side of the blocks, and laid them out to see what arrangement I would like.

I moved them around a bit, but they are all so different from each other, and the colours are so soft that I found it really didn't matter all that much.  However, just to make sure, I marked them all - A1, A2, etc.  I've started sewing the left hand sashing strips on.

Today, these will be put aside for a bit, as I work on a crafting project, for my Manager.  I'll post a picture when it's done.

Tonight, though, no sewing.  It's Downton Abbey night!

Linking up with Quilting Hottie Haven.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

February 1 and 2

February 1:  I spent about 45 minutes cutting all of these strips for sashing and a border:

and trimming up these blocks:

Here's a helpful hint.  You'll notice pins in some of those blocks.  They were to be trimmed to 12 1/2 inches. Some of them were a little short on one or two sides.  I put pins on the sides where they were short, so that when I sew on the sashing strips, I'll know to skooch the block over a bit so I catch less than 1/4 inch of it in the seam.  One of the blocks ended up only 12  1/4 inches on every side!  So, I pinned a note to it that says "Really small".  If the block didn't have, oh, a million pieces in it, I probably would have taken it apart and re-sewn it.

February 2:  I'm heading down to the sewing room shortly to start sewing on the sashing strips.

Today is Groundhog Day.  It is brilliantly sunny.  I don't remember a Groundhog Day, here in Alberta, when it has not been brilliantly sunny.  But, truthfully, if winter only lasted 6 more weeks, we'd be dancing.  Usually, it lasts well into April.  But...we do have the sun in the winter, no question!

Linking up to Drop and Give Me Twenty at Quilting Hottie Haven.