Friday, August 29, 2014

Yoko's House!

Those of you who have come to the shop have seen the 4 blocks I've completed from Quiltmania's Quilt Mystère 2012 designed by Yoko Saito. I have blogged about them here too. (check the labels list to the right of the blog and click on Yoko Saito) I love every block of this quilt but time and other circumstances have taken me away from this project! 

Preparation of the pieces is time-consuming and I wanted to show how I go about it.

For me, the longest part of recreating the block is choosing the fabric. That's my focus today! 

The first step is to trace the pattern on freezer paper and cut out each part. I like to keep each house, tree, church etc separate. 

Then I lay out the fabrics I want to use for each building starting with the background fabrics... here you see it as a finished whole with the building templates on top of each pile. 

This "playing with fabric" session may take as little as a few minutes for a house to hours of placing and replacing choices all the while looking at the finished blocks that join the one I'm creating. I frequently go to those finished blocks to see what fabrics were used as I have several fabrics that are close in color and pattern. 

The next step will be to iron the templates to the back of the fabrics and cut them out. I love seeing them take shape... I will spread out the choices again after they are cut out to reassess the color combinations and how they play with each other within the block.

Before the work of turning the edges begins, I will bring down the other blocks and lay them beside this one and reassess the fabric choices.

It takes me awhile, especially with interruptions to play war and go fish... when was the last time you played these games? So fun... but not much quilting getting done... :) I don't mind... the days will be long and lonesome without him! Best to enjoy these times while he's here...

Grand Papa brought him to the County Fair today... What a blast!



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Visitors and Visiting but little quilting...

It's been fun at Spruce It Up Quilt Shop this last week and a half. First off, we have our grandson with us for 2 weeks; this is the first time he visits us here at the farm without either of his parents. He's such a great little boy (don't all grandparents say that about theirs?); he's also a great entertainer, full of ideas, facts about wildlife, and also full of rules he makes up as he wishes his world to be. What a character! 

Have you ever heard of a 6 yr old ask for a tomato sandwich with lettuce and mushrooms? He will instruct you on how to build such a sandwich too. LOVE this kid!!! He eats very well and often. One wouldn't think so by the look of him... he's tall and lean! 

He's getting lots of practice driving the tractor...

So far, the weather hasn't been warm enough for him to play in the water at the beach. He came equipped to practice his casting... and you should hear about the big one that got away!!! The secret is: there's no hook on that line!

Those who have visited will have noticed that the old farmhouse has gotten smaller... the reason we separated the back shed from the main house is that the far wall on the north side was sinking into the ground and as a result, it was pulling the "lower" roof away from the main building. The shed will be torn down and the wood from the walls will be salvaged. 

DH is in the process of moving his wood from inside the shed to the lean-to... it's a big job!

Two of my sisters visited last weekend... I missed taking a picture of them riding the wagon to the shore as I had customers in the shop. I also missed this champagne!

Jocelyn gets to try out Lolah after meeting her! :) we had a great time Friday night dining on lobster and drinking wine; Saturday, the men went mackerel fishing; the women took Oliver on an excursion to the farmer's market and some garage sales. 

After they left for home on Sunday morning, we attended a special occasion; Happy 50th Anniversary Roger and Mary! Brunch with family and friends was organized by their children and grand kids. It was a wonderful party!


The barn project is in full swing; we visited the site... this happened Friday...



This morning... no flies on these guys! They arrived at 7:30 and by 8am the forms were all off. Impressive!

We hear the electrician is coming to install the temporary power pole later today!

Oliver loves the "mountains" created when they dug the foundation... 

Had to soak in the tub for quite awhile to remove all the dirt... but that's what the farm is for... a place to run free and get dirty!

We had an incredible sunrise this morning; the wind has been pretty constant and powerful! We're grateful the buildings were separated a week ago instead of this week... I'd hate to see the contractor on the roof in these winds. 

Hurricane Cristobal will be threatening our shores sometime this weekend. By then our little visitor will be home safely delivered to his parents by his Nana from Halifax! We will miss him... he's such great entertainment! He eats and sleeps well and is in non-stop motion-commotion!

Next week it'll be time to restart my quilting projects put aside to play war, go-fish, or pitch a ball... 

There are new fabrics, threads, patterns, supplies such as scissors, glue dispensers, starch spray bottles etc... For those who love to bring projects to class or travel with their supplies, there's a new thread bag you need to see... so come on in for a visit and bring your projects with you... DH will install a table for us on the sun porch. 

Ask to see the "new" Lazy-Susan Valdani and Kimono Silk thread holder... you might want to make one for your sewing room!



Saturday, August 16, 2014

Dorothy's Quilt

Spruce It Up Quilt shop 
will be closed 
Saturday Aug 23rd, 2014. 
We're sorry for this inconvenience.

This is Dorothy's beautiful chevron quilt. She talked Darlene into helping her out with the quilting. They were eager to learn which makes the experience so much fun!

They chose to do ruler work, stitching 1/4" both sides of the seam line.  

Until they got the hang of it, they coordinated their efforts...

Then they flew solo... 

Isn't it beautiful? How gorgeous in red and black! 

 The back is really lovely too... Great job ladies! It was fun having you around yesterday! Up next will be Dorothy's purple quilt. 

and while the ladies were working, this truck showed up... you'll have to visit soon to see what the man in brown delivered!

You too can rent time on Lolah! Call us to reserve your date! Just remember next Saturday we'll be closed!! 



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Spruce News

Spruce It Up Quilt shop 
will be closed 
Saturday Aug 23rd, 2014. 
We're sorry for this inconvenience. 

If Saturday is your only chance to shop, perhaps you'll want to come THIS week. 

In the meantime, we've received a few shipments of new supplies that are sure to please you and we promise more in the next two weeks. 

Earlier this week, these beautiful solids and 1 print arrived. Our collection of solids is growing! 

I see from these photos that I forgot to photograph the new greens. Oh dear!! You'll have to trust me... they are beautiful too.

Valdani customer service is the best! Look what arrived today!! The top photo shows threads for hand and machine sewing, embroidery, appliqué, heirloom and fine sewing. These colors are just beautiful! They are hand dyed, colorfast, 60wgt (40wgt US) 250m per spool, solid and variegated. Great for art quilts too!

People who know me also know how much I love appliqué and embroidery. My favorite is Perle Cotton no 12 and Valdani is certainly up at the top of my list! I can't tell you how excited I am to have these in the shop!

Can you see the big sign now?? Our road man has worked his magic machine over the land, flattening the sides of the driveway after clearing all the brush and alders, making it safer to mow the lawn, and care for the edges of the drive. What lawn do you ask? DH sowed some grass seed yesterday... we need rain... the land is really dry. 

This morning's sunrise looked promising... I ran out to capture this gorgeous sky... it was breezy and warm and by 8:30am, my clothesline was full and the sun came out... no rain yet! 

If you're in the area next week, come say hi to Oliver... he's our grandson who turned 6 yrs old last Friday! He'll be here visiting from Toronto... I bet he can keep you entertained too! 

Don't forget we'll be closed Saturday August 23rd!



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Repair To Remember!

Remember Allison's quilt? It's one I won't forget...

I cleaned up the reverse side of the top, freeing all the lumps of fluff matted with threads, trimmed the binding off since the stitching had ripped the border fabric. There are still some threadbare areas but I think this can be allowed in the binding. This fabric is getting very thin so hopefully the cotton batting and the quilting will keep it together a little longer.

Sometime before I was done for the day on Monday, the bobbin thread caught on the bobbin case in such a way that it caused increased tension in certain spots. Lolah was making a funny noise so I stopped quilting to check the thread and nothing was apparent... so I continued on...  Later it was apparent that the beginning of the row needed to come out. It was quitting time... Frogging (rip it! rip it!) had to wait!

I was up early today to get this done; I started picking out the stitches at the beginning of the row and put in a pin where I needed to end the ripping out. When I reached that point, I inserted Lolah's needle and quilted my way back to the beginning of the row. 

This is one of my favorite pantos: Chinese Crescents by Keryn Emmerson.

 Have you ever "encountered" a smell that reminds you of someone, something, some event?? Well, while working on this quilt, I could "smell" my father!! It was just what I needed... his guidance, his love and his faith!

I won't forget this quilt... not just because of its issues, but because our mother made it with patience and love, to give to her grand-daughter Allison in recognition of all her achievements. I played a very small part in its creation and now, I've had this chance to make it last a little longer. 

 I can see my father patiently sit in the car while she shopped for the fabric to make this quilt, or for some other sewing/knitting or crafty project. I like to remember how he used to hover over mother while she sewed to examine her work! He did the same anytime one of his girls would be working on some project. I would like to think he'd be happy to see this quilt repaired, ready to wrap Allison in the love her family has for her!