Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Journey Begins!

Roxane of Scrap, Quilt and Stitch has done it again! Another great block to add to our De Deauville to Cape Cod quilt was sent to us last week. This is Block no 10...

As you can see, we had to sew the two backgrounds together before adding the flags. Simple but very nice!

One more block then the borders... I can't wait!

Meanwhile, I visited my sister and husband last weekend in Northern NB. We prepped fiddleheads her husband had picked for us to freeze... a big job but we will enjoy these in the dead of next winter. While there, I always take a stroll through his beautiful gardens whatever season and take lots of photos. To my surprise, he had these floats hanging from his trees... I just had to take photos... Lucky guy to have found these at a garage sale!

Before leaving on the weekend jaunt, I finished block no 3 Une Annee Dans Les Etoiles from Sylvie at Un Atelier A La Montagne . How cute is this block? I spilled the beans on this quilt too... this is for my niece Danielle whose mother, our oldest sister Viki, died 1 year ago in January. I am using clothing from Viki's closet to decorate these stars. Viki will always be the brightest star in the sky and I hope this will bring Danielle and her family joy at having this souvenir. My father's tie was used to make the bird house in block no 1; he had many, many bird houses around the ancestral home; the buttons are from Viki's dress shirts. 

Peppermint Place is back on the drawing board... or in this case the cutting table. I was not happy with the instructions for the borders. I tested my 1/4in seams throughout to make sure they were accurate but then the instructions tell you to trim to a certain size. Once that's done, you sew on the top and bottom borders but since you trimmed the blocks, the squares on point don't match up well nor do the bottom and top triangles look good because part of the tips have been cut off... 


My solution is to pick out the top and bottom borders and resew the strips so that the triangles aren't missing parts. It will make the borders narrower but I'll worry about that later. The center of the quilt is all sewn together and it looks great. This is one project that I will be thrilled to see done. It's been a joy to work on until the borders!

For the longest time, I've been in love with Dear Jane! Every year, I've contemplated beginning my own but the plans never worked out because of life's interruptions.

I've admired gorgeous and expertly crafted DJ quilts, at quilt shows and in museum exhibits etc. The following Dear Janes were hung at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver June 2009. We were in town for meetings and while my husband attended lectures, I wandered to the Capitol building to visit the quilt show. 

They were hung back to back and for the longest time I thought they were one quilt with 2 complete DJs front and back! But as you can see in the 2nd photo that is not the case! However they are still beautiful and have captured my heart once again.

So what's a poor girl pining for a Dear Jane of her own to do? One who is near completion of 2 BOMs? One who needs an evening project...

Of course I have to start one... my initial investment has arrived! I ordered the book, software and rulers. What I need to sort out is what fabrics to choose. I have a beautiful white tone on tone for the sashings and corner stones and I love the brightness of the two quilts above. I must go through my fabrics to see what will be suitable. I hope the software will be a great addition to the project; you don't need it but I hear it's quite helpful. 

My journey with Jane begins...



Sunday, May 18, 2014

De Deauville & Dreaming...

It's a long weekend in Canada... hope you're enjoying some extra free time and terrific weather!

Roxane of Scrap, Quilt and Stitch sent us Block no 9 this past week! What a cute one too!

We can now enjoy two thirds of the quilt top put together.

It's looking great! I think if I were to make another one of these, I would paint some sky and water fabrics because I really like my samples from class with Mickey Lawler at Road to California in January. Wish I had some of those paints... I would get right to it. Gorgeous weather we're having would allow for quick drying outside.

Block no 10 won't arrive until mid-June! Oh dear!

I have a small collection of older model sewing machines. This week, these old machines were cleaned, oiled and are now ready for use. There are spaces around me where I can display these machines as a reminder to keep them working. I plan to use each one on a regular basis so that they don't just collect dust! 

All but the first one of course! This was given to me as a Christmas gift by my parents when I was little. Our mother and grand-mother used a treadle sewing machine and we were definitely not allowed to use it let alone play with it. My sisters and I made doll clothes.The crank still works but then it was much more fun to use the power supply. It worked well enough for us.

My second machine was acquired by my sister-in-law who attends auctions on a regular basis. I had asked her to keep an eye out for a Featherweight; she knew of them, knew they "went" for lots of money. She was surprised to see this unusual case and when it came up she snatched it for $110. Apparently, not many people bid on it. This was over 13 yrs ago. It has a beautiful stitch and after some pampering, runs like a charm. This one was manufactured in Great Britain but the power cords are NAS and its number suggests a birth date of 1968-1969, the last years they were produced I believe.

My next one was a used-appliance store-find. I forget the reason we were in that shop, but when I saw the case, I was intrigued. This machine had had very little use despite the banged up case. It was cleaned and oiled and it too has a beautiful stitch. It was made in Canada.

Next up is a lovely in-cabinet 99K. That piece of cloth was put there by the previous owner and I chose to leave it there. We found this one by the side of the road at a garage sale in 1998 and it came home with us. It's been here at the farm all the years we were in California so it was in great need of a little TLC. After a good cleaning and oiling, it too is ready to sew. 

I inherited my grand-mother's treadle. Before I took it home, it had spent many a year on my parents cold porch. It's been with me for nearly 30 yrs and I've never used it. I'm afraid the weather in the farm house hasn't been good to it either. I doubt I'll ever get it restored; both the machine and the cabinet are not pretty. Perhaps I'll take a picture as a memento and pass it on to someone who can give it some new life. It's not worth the space it occupies. 

I've had several other machines that I parted with because of space not because they weren't working. In 1999, I acquired a Bernina Record 730 with cabinet complete with all sewing supplies and tools and cabinet inserts/stool for $65 at a local auction. I left this machine in California with our daughter. It even came with a case! 

My dream machine is a Bernina... oh how I wish I had one of the new ones! They are huge, but not as big as this one!! 

On a bike tour around Lake Konstanz in Switzerland/Germany/Austria in 2012, we rode by the Bernina factory and I just had to have a picture beside this one. Our tour brought us by on a Sunday so nothing was open which was very lucky for my companions! :)

Coming soon... news about this sign...I promise some excitement!

A side note: the last blog post was no 100 since my humble beginnings as a blogger June 17th, 2013.



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hearts On A Rail!

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Mother's day weekend! It was peaceful here at the farm. Sunday the sun broke through the clouds long enough for me to enjoy a great beach walk. That is until a storm blew in quite quickly! It rained before I could get home...

This morning, we walked down to the new cottage location.

DH is clearing the road to the shore. It's slow business with a hand saw! No chainsaw for him. There's no timeline to accomplish this; it's just something to do while waiting for construction of the barn to begin. The grey spot in the middle of the photo is him...

He's done a lot of trimming! The birch, maple and spruce trees will love the added light!

While he cut and cleared, I walked the beach. Tide was on its way out.

I look for treasures of the sea... small driftwood pieces, sea glass, unusual rocks... I call this one the Medusa tree... it'll be awhile before the sand gives this one up.

Some insect bored it's way around this branch

and along the trunk.

Seaweed covered the beach... that doesn't happen every day...

This reminded me it was time to head back home and load Lolah!! What a great feather design.

At Christmas, I was gifted with a software program called Quilter's Creative Design and decided to try it. One fabric on the quilt has red hearts on a white background so I chose the hearts. The beauty of this software is that you can size the design to the quilt whether it's for a pantograph or an individual block. I entered the width of the quilt top and the size I wanted the design then printed the panto. 

It came out in 14 sheets, numbered and with registration marks! I taped them together and set it up on Lolah! It was a dream to quilt.

 I call this one Hearts On A Rail... another top I purchased last summer at the local quilt fair.

The ocean smelled wonderful this morning. It gave up some lovely treasures; it's not often that we find blue sea glass on this side of the peninsula. Reds are even rarer.

My time on the beach rejuvenated me enough to load Lolah and finish quilting this beauty in one afternoon! I love that!

I'm linking to The Needle and Thread Network and Let's Bee Social.



Sunday, May 11, 2014

My beautiful mom!

On this Mother's Day, I wish my mother a wonderful, peaceful day! She has been the best mother to her 5 daughters, proud grandmother to 14, and great-grandmother to 5! We all wish dementia hadn't robbed you of your memories but we can rejoice in your good health that keeps you with us still! At 92 yrs old, you still look great! Love you forever!

The sunshine of the latter part of last week helped boost some nervous energy into productivity. You recall in the last post I mentioned loading Lolah with this large quilt. Life interrupted and I didn't get back to finish it until Friday. Oh how I miss my large bedroom in Los Angeles... I would spread my quilt tops and finished quilts on the hardwood floor to take my photos... no such space here and with the lawn still damp and not looking so lovely, there's no way I'll spread it outside. My clothesline has not been installed yet... yes! of course I brought my clothesline with me. It was not part of the sale of the house.

Panto work is something I've had to practice to "get it" and I'm so glad I used this quilt for this exercise. I didn't have to adjust for uneven borders etc... the quilt maker was a very precise piecer! This quilt is gorgeous;
it measures 94X106 after quilting (from 96X108).

I used a poly batting; the panto is called Chinese Crescent; the thread is Glide in Mocha color. I LOVE Glide thread... I invested in a wide range of colors recently and can't wait to try some of the greys and reds too.

The back was pieced with a strip of blue flowered print and a wider one of off white muslin then cut in half and flipped to reverse the colors. The blue print rectangles look like they're floating in opposite corners.

A bonus with this quilt is a fabric label by the maker which I will incorporate with mine. Today's job will be to work on the binding and since I don't have any of the fabrics in the top, I will use the blue print from the backing.

Last night while listening to Antiques Roadshow taped from Anaheim CA (a repeat I'm sure) I finally finished Yoko Saito's Quilt Mystere 2012 Block #6. 

My worry about the misplaced stairs has disappeared... it no longer bothers me and in a way, makes it recognisable as mine!

Happy Mother's day to all the mothers out there!! 26 yrs ago, I spent part of my Mother's Day in the hospital! It was well worth it...

Happy Birthday Isabel! You have grown to be a confident young woman, a devoted daughter, wonderful sister, aunt, granddaughter, friend to many! You have a great career as a "rocket scientist" and we're so pleased that you LOVE your work. Can't wait to help you plan that wedding and welcome Mac into our family.



Thursday, May 8, 2014

Catch up!

It's been a busy time here in the sewing room. Not much else to do when the weather isn't improving as rapidly as we want. When it rains and the yard is all mud, the best thing to do is to sew. That's what I've done.

First I promised photos of the lunch bags I've been making!

Very roomy! I think my daughter-in-law will have enough room for her lunch! I made a second one using the precut fabric I planned to use as lining in the previous bag. The lining in both is a water resistant nylon.

Lolah was awakened from her long sleep to quilt up some batting samples. I also wanted to test some new thread... this is Glide thread... gorgeous sheen and it quilts like a dream!

Lolah is sporting a new look... in order to increase drag when quilting pantos, I added bean bags... I really must make them prettier!

Then it was on to dressing her up for some serious quilting. This is the largest quilt I've loaded and it's probably at the maximum width on this 10 ft frame. If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know pantograph quilting is out of my comfort zone. I bought several quilts at the Lupin Quilt Show last summer in order to practice pantos on Lolah and this is the first one. 

This is my WIP for this week... check out the creative people at The Needle and Thread Network and Let's Bee Social.

The sun came out yesterday and it promises to be around today and tomorrow. That makes me happy!