21 December, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from all of us - Hubby, Little Miss Sunshine, and the Monster included.

We are celebrating in Mexico this year. No presents, no stockings, no baking, and no turkey dinner. But sand, sun, fishing, and infinite days spent in the water. We'll see you in the New Year.

16 December, 2008

Piecing for Others

One of my quilting friends was recently diagnosed with cancer. The ladies in a group I belong to got together and made blocks for a quilt for her. People sent me the churn dash blocks, I pieced together and appliqued the lighthouse block, and another friend and I put the top and back together this week. Another lady is quilting and binding it before we send it out to provide some real hugs from virtual friends. I'm excited to see how this gets quilted. I'll let you know.

My apologies for the crappy photo. We were in a rush to get this out for mailing.

12 December, 2008

Dynamo Done

This little Dynamo is done! Delivered too, as the little man's bris was yesterday. What a special ceremony for welcoming someone to the world. Intimate and beautiful. Yes, beautiful. My friends, the parents, were overcome with emotion for their wondrous son and for the meaning of the celebration. Their community of friends and family welcomed Charlie and brought a bit of light to what is a busy, stressful time in anyone's life.

My hope is that this quilt can bring some comfort and light to Charlie's life as well. From building forts, snuggles on snow days, and some bright spots in his room - all can bring love to the child.
This quilt was a bit of a different style for me. I am thrilled with the way it turned out - very graphic and bold. The colours are more muted than I normally work with, but they all went so well with the inspiration fabrics. I tried a few layouts after making a whole bunch of half square triangles. It was all too busy, so I went for larger blocks. Then, of course, I couldn't resist a few circles...

To emphasize the graphic nature of the quilt's design I stuck with a simple and graphic quilting pattern. I simply accentuated a few of the circles - free-hand, can you tell? - and did some straight line quilting on the diagonal. It's been a while since I used a walking foot.
Sometimes it is good to try a few new things. Sometimes they do just work out.

09 December, 2008

It Was a Good Idea

Oh, but how the execution sucked. This is why I don't make bags and things with lots of different, somewhat intricate ways of manufacture. Or maybe it is why I'm not one to sew anything but quilts.

I had this grand idea to make a special travel colouring book for the Monster for our upcoming Christmas vacation. Something new for the plane ride and something to keep markers contained.

It started with an idea, a pattern drafted, and some delicious fabrics. Somewhere between my brain and the sewing machine something went screwy. It looks great, but the markers fall out, it is too big for the chosen book, and it doesn't close tight enough to keep everything contained. Laying open and flat it is handy, but that's about it.

It's worth another shot, but not this week. We leave on Sunday and I have way too much to do. I think we'll just be putting the markers in a ziploc and the paper in the little backpack I bought her.

06 December, 2008

I'll Show You

I've been kicked out of the house a lot lately. No, Hubby and I are not fighting. Sure, we're stressed with the reno, but we're not fighting. It's just that I need to get one or both of the girls out of the house while he does messy or noisy work. There have been a lot of visits to friends and prep for our Christmas trip, but sometimes none of that can be done. What's a girl to do? Fabric shop, of course!

In total I went to four different local stores:
Traditional Pastimes

As you can see, I bought a wide variety of fabrics. Oh, and this isn't all of them. I saved some special ones from the photo because they are to be made into a quilt for new baby for someone who reads here. Generally, it was simply stash enhancement. A few pieces were for one quilt I have brewing in the back of my head.
It was good to go to a number of stores in a short period of time. We often get used to going to the same one or two places. Once I got out and about (yes, I am Canadian) I could see some big differences in the fabric selection. Hmm, maybe that isn't such a good thing when your money is supposed to be directed towards renos.
It wasn't all brand new fabric either. A few weeks back I swapped with Jacquie for this great retro fabric. She found it on a bolt and I begged her to swap with me. It is going to find its way on to our dining room wall, and maybe some placemats or an apron.

Speaking of walls, check out the sweet wallpaper we found hidden behind the basement bathroom's walls.

Not much quilty activity lately. Just getting the binding sewn down on this baby quilt. I'm trying to finish off a travel colouring case for The Monster. We have a 4 hour flight next weekend and I'm hoping this new treat will carry us for a bit longer than 5 minutes. Oh, and I started some Christmas baking.

Best get back to my budget spreadsheet. The girls are both sleeping, the dogs are finally outside for a spell, and Hubby is buying lumber to make some stairs. And I'm working on a spreadsheet. Fun times.

02 December, 2008

Little Helper

I had a little helper the other night. Oh, she was so interested in what I was doing and insisted on helping. It breaks your heart. And drives you insane. Very insane. Just when you get things the way you want she starts placing/throwing blocks around or crawling over the blocks to get one where she thinks it needs to go.

You just can't get mad though. She is taking such interest in quilting. When she wakes up from her nap she comes straight to me at the machine, pulls up the chair next to me, and grabs hold of the quilt to help. Of course, it doesn't really help when you are trying to actually quilt and she's pulling in the opposite direction.

Is she too young to teach how to sew?

Poor Hubby. It's bad enough that he has one girl in the house with this expensive habit. Of course, this is also the girl that loves to go to the basement and look in the holes and watch Daddy bang things.

Oh, an actual quilt update. This was us playing around with the layout for the latest baby quilt. I went with a completely different layout. I thought this was far too busy. I'll post it as soon as the baby is born - my friend reads the blog sometimes so I don't want her to see it here first.