Tuesday, January 29, 2008

At last.......a flimsy!

The 2,112 piece puzzle has been sewing into a top.

I have pieced the top of my Brother's quilt. I wanted this project finished for his birthday. So I worked like a mad woman until the wee hours of Saturday morning to have it ready in time for their weekend visit.

My father and brother were coming down for a small birthday celebration. You see, their birthdays are 2 (two) days apart.

We had a wonderful dinner Saturday evening. I made fresh pasta and baked my brother's favourite cake and for my father, date squares.

It was great to see his expression when he opened the box! He's been nagging me to get it done. ;o) I can hardly blame him, it does have beautiful fabrics in it.

Will I ever make another one? I don't think so. There are so many pieces to this quilt. Towards the end of putting this puzzle together, I just wanted to get it over with. Not good! When there are many pieces I feel the need to take a break from it, otherwise I find it tedious! The pleasure is no longer there.

I also finished another flimsy. I call this one History Repeats Itself. The picture really does not do it justice.

The fabrics are all Smithsonian reproductions. I've had these fabrics for years in my stash and had bought them for a specific project in mind. With time, I no longer liked the pattern so the fabric stayed in my stash. Some did get used in other quilts.

I chose this pattern because it was the only one I felt would not detract from the beauty of the reproduction fabrics. I wanted a sort of fabric scrapbook. I still have lots of fabric left. With time, they will be used in another project. I've been eying the book Prairie Children and Their Quilts: 14 Little Projects That Honor the Pioneer Spirit. I'm positive the fabrics would work well with the quilts in these books. Hum... perhaps it's time to help the economy again! ;o)

Aside from a busy weekend, not much is happening. School is picking up so I'll be doing a balancing act again.

Thank you for stopping by! I truly enjoy reading your comments!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A give away -Time for some new friends!

Well, since I haven't much to share with you in the way of quilting, I thought I would brag a bit about a few gifts I received from friends in Blog Land.

These treasures come from Sharon. Aren't they just the cutest?

I tell you that chocolate bar was delicious! Had I known it was that good, I wouldn't have shared it with anyone! ROFLOL

Yea, silly me brought it to my machine embroidery class. Big mistake! I didn't think I'd like a peppermint chocolate bar! Wrong!

Now, if you haven't been keeping up with Sharon's blog Red Geranium Cottage, I invite you to do so. Not only is she funny, kind and generous, but she's a hoot to read. I always enjoy reading a post from her. Let me warm you though, she doesn't give "Spew Warnings", so make sure you're not drinking anything when you read her blog. Don't say I didn't warn you!!!

Now, I received these beautiful treasures from Pam down at Pam's Page. Aren't they just the loveliest?

Notice there are 2 (two) chocolates! Well, I didn't make the same mistake twice. No sirrreee! I tested them before I even gave it a thought to share. Fortunately, that was the right thing to do cause they were yummy. Well, I did let dd have a small bite! But that's all!

Look at that cute mitten! It's Pam's first attempt at working with wool and she gave it to moi! I feel honoured! It's just so sweet of her to think of me this way. Of course we won't talk about my constant nagging at her to try wool! ROFLOL I love the sewing case!

If you haven't paid Pam a visit, I suggest that you do so. She's a hoot. You might want to check out her new shades. She's styling!

I received these two hand embroidery pattern from none other than May Britt.

I just love the trollbarn stitchery! It is so unique! It is from Norway, Langebraaten design.

Now, if you haven't paid a visit to May Britt at Abyquilt, I invite you to do so. She's presently offering "kicks in the butt" for those in need of one in order to complete a WIPS or UFO. I'll be heading on over there after this post for one myself! LOL Yes, Darlene I should be quilting but I just had to do this! ;o)

Okay, now for the give away.

It would appear, according to a couple of my friends, Darlene and Sharon, that the way to friendship is to offer a "give away". Well, it's been a while since I've had one of those so why not today!

Let's celebrate my 154th post! Yea for me! Notice I've been in Blog Land longer than Sharon and haven't reached my 200th yet! ;o)

So leave a comment on this post and I will gather up a gift bag of goodies. Oh, how I love to shop with a purpose. Deadline January 31, 2008 draw to take place in February!

Have fun and thanks for stopping by! In friendship!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Moving along on the quilt front!

It's been quite the week! Wednesday I took Bernina 180 to the dealer. She really doesn't like bulk and we've been having a tension problem. All my quilts in waiting were pieced with that machine, so that's really putting a damper on my quilt production. I'm hoping to have some news by Monday.

In the mean time, I have been working on machine quilting the Pine Grove quilt. I'm using a orange brown Mettler variegated thread. It doesn't show much on the blue paisley fabric. I'm basically looking for an effect when I wash the quilt.

Now that I have used a longarm, I can feel the difference between the two methods. Gosh my shoulders hurt! Of course it might be because I really over did it yesterday. I have all the blocks quilted in the ditch and have done at least 13 of the blue strips. I much prefer moving a machine as opposed to moving a queen size quilt!

This coming Tuesday, I booked some time with the longarm dealer. I was hoping to have a top finished but I guess that will have to wait. I haven't had the opportunity to practice since my course. I'm really looking forward to getting some practice time. I do have a couple of tops that only require an outside border, so I may just use Bernina 1090 for that. If not, I'll just bring some fabric to practice on.

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's a finish...... Woooo.... hooo.....!!!!!

At last I have finished the Winter Sentry!

Isn't she sweet! I just love her! She looks so pretty against my brick wall!

Today was the day I decided that it had to be done. So I sat myself down and begin machine quilting. For the hat, I decided to follow the design on the fabric, which gave a cross hatch effect.

The only issue I have with her is that she's not hanging straight. I think, I hope, it's because I was a tad sloppy with the sleeve! Perhaps she just needs to hang out for a while to straighten herself out! ;o)

The other news is that I have completed my last two papers for school! What a great feeling it is! Wooooo Hoooooo.... I've got my music blaring and I'm in a dancing mood! Darn that music sounds good! I will be taking a small break from school before I bury myself in books again!

The other thing I want to tell you about is that Stephen finally decided to tackle the inserts for the drawers of my embroidery cabinet.

If you recall, last year he made me a Thread Notion Cabinet to store all my machine embroidery goodies. It's great to have it all organized. I enjoy opening the drawers and seeing all those colours. I will say, it was quite tedious for him to glue 3 (three) drawers of pegs. Thank you sweetie!

Thank you for stopping by! I always enjoy reading your comments!

Friday, January 11, 2008

I'm so excited... and I think I like it!

What an exciting day it was for me! I tell you I felt like a little kid waiting for a big surprise.

I had planned to take dd to school in the morning so that I could have a coffee at the new coffee shop that opened in a town close by and read from The Ultimate Guide to Longarm Machine Quilting: How to Use Any Longarm Machine:Techniques, Patterns, and Pantographs: Starting a Business: Hiring a Longarm Machine Quilter by Linda Taylor. (What a friggen long title that is!) I did want to look like I knew a bit what I was doing! ;o) But, the coffee shop is closed on Thursday. So I headed back home and caught up on my e-mails, anxiously waiting for 9:45 a.m. to arrive so I can head off to Cowles Quilting Machine!

The course was pretty much what I had expected. We worked with the Gammill Classic Plus machine. She taught me how to set up a quilt on the rollers etc… Once we were all set up, she went to answer a call and left me alone with that baby. Well, I m sure you can imagine what I did. Yes, sir, I stood there dutifully waiting for her to get back! LOL NO way! I took that baby for a spin! What a beauty it is! I was in heaven! Of course when she came back she looked at the cloth and said, “I guess we can skip the next lesson on loops, hearts meandering etc….” On ward we went to the pantograph.

This is the prize I came home with!

I will admit, I did not do as well with the pantographs. For the record, I uck at it!

She had a snow flake pantograph on the table that I found hard to get my points just right. All I wanted to do was get it right so I kept practicing on the previous stitching. She looked at me and said "you're a perfectionist aren't you?" Darn, it is that obvious?

This is not a pantograph I would use again. One of it's major issues, aside from the fact that my points aren't right, is that it was not designed in such a way that would make it look not “pantographic”. I think I just made up a new word, but you know what I mean. The flakes do not intertwine in the gaps of the previous row. So it really looks like straight line flakes. The last rows are my attempt at getting it right.

I did learn that I work much better without the stitch regulator. To get a perfect point you need to stop and proceed. I have a difficult time associating the sound of the needle with my position on the pantograph. The stitch regulator reminds me of those IBM ball typewriters. Gosh, here I go dating myself again! lol They drove me nuts! I'd sit waiting for the ball to catch up. lol I did book the machine for next Thursday! I need to practice and I do want to get working on some quilts!

Thank you so much for your encouragement. It meant so much to me! You guys are a blessing!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I'm so excited.......!

Do your remember the The Pointer Sisters' song? Perhaps I'm dating myself! lol Well anywho, I am so excited and I just can't hide it! Yes mam! I'm making head way in my quilt production world! Let me clue you in!

I have been lacking mojo for quite some time. I really could not figure out what it was all about. Then it dawned on me what the problem could be, the piles and piles of quilts blocks "in waiting". You see, I leave a potential quilt in blocks for easy storage and also to avoid puckering from having sat sandwiched for a long time.

I tend to do my machine quilting on a domestic sewing machine and since I work mainly in queen and twin, it can take me a long time to finish a quilt. Sometimes, a quilt really only requires an elaborate pantograph and nothing more. However, it is something I cannot do on my DSM. I guess you can say that I custom quilt all of my quilts! So, I tend to leave possible tops into blocks for easier storage. When I have completed one quilt, I piece blocks and start machine quilting a new one. It is quite a tedious process. Meandering and other basic stuff is fun but not always my preference for machine quilting.

I have been coveting (well perhaps lusting is a better choice of words lol) a long arm for quite some time. However, we will be doing some major renovations this spring. Our home is 150 + years old, which means lots of plaster and dust. It would not be an ideal condition for such a delicate machine.

What to do, what to do to get rid of the pile of quilts in waiting?

Cowles Quilting Machine offers long arm machines for rent. Before I can rent one, I must take a 3 hours long course, which I have booked for this Thursday January 10th!

You cannot imagine how excited I am! The pile will finally go down and I can concentrate on making more quilts!

I truly believe that clutter impairs one's ability to create. It was difficult for me to move on knowing that I had so many beautiful quilts in waiting! At last, I will have these beauties available soon enough! Well, sooner than previously thought! ;o)

Thank you for sharing in my excitement. I really cannot wait for Thursday to arrive!

Have a great day every one!

Monday, January 7, 2008

The People's Place Quilt Museum - Partie IV !

This will post will conclude my recent travels to Amish Country, Pennsylvania. Sadly, I did not take notes on the quilts I photographed. They are gorgeous! The workwomanship is phenomenal.

The Museum is located on the second floor of The Old Country Store. The quilts on exhibit are made by Amish and or Mennonites women.

As you reach the top of the stairs you are greeted with yet another gift shop!





By now I'm pretty much all gift shopped out! There's really nothing else to say about the "gifty" part of this tour. So let's head out to the quilts!

Libby, I thought of you when I saw this one! Very small pieces! Oh so gorgeous! I just love the way the various beiges work so well together



Here you have your traditional Amish quilts. They are my favourite!



The colours on this quilt was just magnificent. So bright and cheerful! The picture really does not do it justice.



This is one of my favourite quilts!





That is a beauty! I stood there for a long amount of time admiring the workwomanship! I cannot imagine the hours that went into this quilt! The stitches are perfect! It took my breath away!

If anyone of you would like to make me a whole cloth for a special occasion, I will gladly accept it. Valentine's day is coming up! Oh and my birthday is on November 3, that should give you plenty of time to whip one up for me! ;o)

This concludes my trip. Again I apologize for not having taken down the names of the individuals who created these work of art. I would recommend going to the Old Country Store and viewing these treasures for yourself. Do plan on spending a day in Intercourse. There's really so much to see!

Thank you for visiting with me! Have a great day!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A small break from my travels!

Hubby, who religiously read my blog and offers unsolicited but sometimes constructive opinions ;o), mentioned that I have a tendency to leave my readers hanging.

Anywho, it appears that I do not, at times, follow through with my posts. So there's a New Years Resolution for you, to follow through with my posts. ;o)

Here I go buttoning things up! lol

The December 20th, 2008 post needs a closure.

If you recall, I blogged about the Yankee Swap gift I was making.

This is what I ended up sewing for the swap. I wanted something that would go with every one's decorating style and this was a perfect table topper.

Dh made a beautiful wooden bowl, which I would have gladly posted a picture but he forgot to take one! Too bad because it was gorgeou! Very artsy fartsy! lol

We were the only ones that had a hand made gift! It was fun to watch people trade for them!

The next post that needs buttoning up is that of December 9th, 2007 .

On that blog entry I made mention of a machine quilting design I had come up with for the Winter Sentry Quilt.

It can take me a bit of time to come up with a design for a quilt. Especially for this one since the blocks were only 4 inches finished.

So far I like the way it turned out (if you click on the picture, you'll get a much closer view). It is a little bulky at the center but acceptable! I still have a tad more machine quilting to do on it before I consider this wall hanging complete.

The final post that will be buttoned up in the near future is the Crayola affair! I am still working on that one! The objective of the experiment was not only to test the "washability" of the markers but also how long it could safely remain on the fabric.

So stay tune for the final post of the Crayola affair coming soon on your computer screen!

If there are other post that I have not "button up" please do let me know!

Have a great day every one and thank you so much for stopping by!

Friday, January 4, 2008

My Travels - Partie III !

The entrance to The Old Country Store! Don't ya just love the store front? So not like anything we have in my neck of the woods!
For those interested in reading more about this shop, it was featured in the Better Homes & Garden Quilt Sampler 1998 issue.

When you walk in, this is what greets you, lots and lots of beautiful "gifty" items!

It's my understanding that some of the items are locally made!

The shop really has a warm welcoming feel to it! Would you be surprised if I said I spend a few hours in there? ;o)

And check out that old stove! It's just gorgeous.

I'd love to have that in my kitchen. Of course I'd have to change the lay out a tad! ;o)

This is a separate room on your left.

It has a plethora of various items to suit any one's fancy. They even sell clothing that fits an 18 inch doll!

I love that cabinet!

On your right, after that gorgeous stove, is the quilt for sale room.

I tell you there are some beauties in there! The hand quilting is phenomenal! The prices are quite reasonable too!

Someone had once told me that some Amish people/stores buy quilt tops made in China, hand quilt them and pass them off as "Amish quilts". Now, the quilts I saw in this shop did not look like they came from China. You can tell that a quilt is from China by the type of fabrics they use to make their cheap quilts. No, the one's I saw were real beauties! I did go to Glick's Craft Shop in the town Bird-in-Hand and they actually had a large sign on their back wall stating, "We do not sell quilts made in China." So, perhaps some shops do go the China route!

During my very first visit to Amish country, (oh so many moons ago ;o), I was taken aback by the number of quilts that were made with printed fabrics. Given that traditional "Amish" quilts are made using plain cotton fabrics, it struck me odd. However, it dawned on me that although it would be against their principle to have a "printed fabric" quilt in their home, it does not mean that they cannot make them to sell! Perhaps they are better sellers than their traditional quilts! Myself, I would much rather have a traditional quilt any day!

The last part of the "gifty" section of the shop are, of course, the Amish dolls!

What struck me strangely were the faces on the dolls, forth row down!

They must have had a request for dolls with a face because it is not part of their tradition that's for sure! Never mind the rosy makeup cheeks!

Now for the "quilty" stuff!

They certainly had a very good selection of fabrics!

Their Batik section was sweet! You know, it's wonderful to be able to buy batiks at such a low price compared to other stores!

There was another room on the right of this one that I did not bother to photograph. It had a good selection of flannel fabrics as well as a section of fabric bolts that were "marked down".

Check out their fat quarter section! I love that cabinet!

They also had quite a nice selection of books to suit any one's taste.

Their notion wall was not as elaborate as some shops I've seen, but hey, keep it simple no? ;o)

This pretty much concludes the tour of the shop! Isn't sweet? There's just so much to explore!

Stay tune for The People's Place Quilt Museum tour located on the second floor! I'm telling you, you could spend hours in that store!

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me! Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

My travels - Partie II !

If you are into gift stores, Intercourse is definitely for you!


The Kitchen Kettle Village is the place you want to be. You can easily spend a day in Intercourse if not more!

The Kitchen Kettle is actually a store full of amazing home made preserves and pickled what evers. By the way, their pickled beets are out of this world and so is their salsa!

Aside from the Village Quilts, there are numerous little gift shops that make up this unique attraction.

Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to wonder around from shop to shop. One thing about Amish stores, they do close early on Saturdays and of course are closed on Sundays.

Just next to the Kitchen Kettle, sort of behind Zooks Dry Goods is the Country Accents .

They have an array of "country theme" items to decorate your home. Of course I stayed away from that store because I knew I would blow my budget! ;o)

I have visited these places in the past and due to my time restraint, I felt I should forgot these shops and concentrate of the quilt shops.

There are other shops within Intercourse that sell quilts and gift items. One of my all time favourite shop, which is across the street from the Kitchen Kettle Village is The Old Country Store.

What a sweet looking quilt and gift shop.

I was tickled pink when the owner allowed me to photograph not only the store but The People's Place Quilt museum, which is located on the second floor of her shop.

Stay tune for the tour!

Thank you for stopping by! I always enjoy reading your comments!
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