Friday, December 31, 2010

The Quilt I Didn't Want to Make

Last month, our good friend told us she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. It's one thing to talk about cancer in a generalized way but I know and love Marla - she's not an abstract statistic. What do you do when your friend has cancer - other than utter the usual words of support and encouragement? It's a very helpless place to be in.

I make quilts - so probably more to relieve my own stress regarding the situation, I made Marla a quilt. I hope she'll find it a comfort and then when she is fully recovered (because that's what I want to happen), she can either keep it or pass it on to someone else.

I'm going to call it Marla's Magical Quilt because if I could imbue it with magic that would instantly cure her, I would.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Last One!

Here is the last of the four kids' quilts - Party Time!

Now I must get on to Harley!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Back to Kids

I still have my list of kids to make quilts for. I really would like the kids (now between about 8 months and 4 years) to not be teenagers by the time I get to these quilts so am determined to get these quilts made! Soon! You may recall I did make one awhile ago (The Circus is Coming). Here are a couple more. Obviously started with the same panel then added the borders. Which one do you like best?

One thing about panels - they never seem to be square and these ones were also very close to each other so not much wiggle room around the edges. I had to add some fabric to square them up so tried to match it up as well as I could. In the bottom one, I added quite a bit to have it match up to the border (another example of my non-planning!).

I think I'll call them Day at the Zoo and Day at the Zoo, Too.

On to Harley!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mary Bakes Christmas Dessert!

No - the Gourmet Diva did not make this! I did! I really hate baking but I spent most of Friday and a lot of Saturday in the kitchen baking cooking and cleaning up - the things you do for your family! :) I do love them, after all!

Anyway - this is a Bavarian Torte. It looks healthy - but no healthy food allowed for Christmas! Nope! This is a layer of shortbread, a layer of cheesecake topped off with a layer of apples in cinnamon. It is really good! This is what it looked like after it came out of the oven and cooled a bit. Now it's pretty much gone!

Hope you and your special people had a great Christmas and all the best for 2011.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Sewing Wrap Up!

Here is Legends of the Ivories all done for my Mom. Mom taught piano for a billion years, lead choirs, played organ/piano for various churches, etc. Most recently she accompanied a quartet of singers in the Kelowna area - over a number of years, they put on concerts at various venues. Since they had to rent the venues, they charged for tickets and donated any funds left after they covered their expenses to the Food Bank. They raised something like $75,000 over the years!

Here she is!

I quilted the centre piano on my new Janome. It worked very well. I did the outside part of the quilt on Harley - tried doing a sort of "straight line" design - but Harley is definitely not designed to do straight line quilting so I'm not too thrilled with that part, but way too lazy to pull it out and do it again. Another live and learn experience.

Here is A Hunting We Will Go - for Dad. All done.

Carol and Dan showed up unexpectedly, so I stayed up late to finish stitching the binding on Skulduggery. Dan seemed pleased with it - whew!

I found some Maxine prints when I was in Denver so picked up 1/2 yard of the bubble print and then a panel of the blocks. I didn't know what I would do, but thought it would be amusing to do something for the Divas. I ended up making 8 inch blocks - one of the bubble and one of the block for each of six little minis. I guess they can be used as a hot pad or a place mat for a cup of coffee and a cookie plate or something. I had some colourful fabric left from another project to "fill in the blanks" with. Tops above, backs below.

Close up of "bubble" print above, "block" below. One for each Diva and one for Pam.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Random Catch Up

Here is Margaret with African Inspiration all finished for her Inspire!Africa silent auction.
These are some tiny gift bags - about 4*4*2 inches. Pattern found in a recent magazine. Designed to use fat quarters and since I had coordinating FQs, I thought I'd try making a few - OK - eight. They are kinda cute!
This is one of my new books. I love this book! It has some good general quilting instruction for new quilters and all the patterns are square/rectangular pieces with the occasional half square triangle tossed in. I would bet that "Boo" is not the name that shows up on her birth certificate! But Boo Davis has a fun website, although I suppose not everyone would appreciate it - definitely not for "traditional" quilters. But I found her site highly amusing.
This is one of the patterns from her book. Now before you get too concerned, the book also has some really cute patterns for kids - this one is the most "scary." This is another example of "never say never" - I said I'd never get fabric with sculls on it, but this quilt needed backing fabric. Skulls just seemed the most appropriate. So where you see the white blotches, those are skulls - I put a few strips on the top to pull the backing in - once it's on. The rest of the fabric is all stuff I had lying around - most of it is not actual quilting fabric. Most of the red, white and blue is very "hard" poplin - so I don't think I'll try quilting it on Harley - I'll run it through my new Janome and see how that works. This will be my weekend project. This quilt will go to my sister's boyfriend, Dan (The Man!) who wears rings with skulls on them. But in spite of that, we really like him! He's a character. I think he'll get a kick out of this quilt.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ronald McDonald House and Other Things

We are making some small things for the folks at Ronald McDonald House to present to some volunteers/sponsors. These are quite simple house blocks about 21 inches square - eight of them - each will be an individual mini quilt wall hanging. Kristie put the blocks together in advance of our day today. Divas Dorothy and Joan wanted to learn how to do applique, so we got together today to learn that skill and then proceeded to quilt and attach binding.

Above - a couple of the blocks. The stars and hearts were appliqued. Kristie even made little RMcD labels.

We were just the three of us today so the Divas had to settle for my squash soup. Not too exotic compared to our Gourmet Diva Sue's usual fare. Sue had other commitments and both Kristie and Karen are under the weather.
With only three, we went down to the actual sewing area where everything is already set up. Here is Joan at the ironing station.

Dorothy practicing her new applique skills on my new Janome. Since she bought the same machine but hasn't used it much this was an opportunity to get a bit more familiar with it. I'm not sure about that girl's priorities!!! She says she's been too busy to sew - how can that be possible?? :)
Here is Joan showing us her latest creations. I am so proud - this is the lady who said she "couldn't sew a straight line" and look at her go now!!! These quilts are so nice! She's seems determined to make one for every living relative.
Below is a baby quilt - front and back. The back is that fuzzy brushed nylon - I'm sure it has a much more scientific name. But it's really soft and lovely for a baby quilt - one of the lucky babies in her life is due to receive this one.
I put up the last of that horrible Soft and Natural batting on my wall to use as a design wall. It works like a charm! Right now, I'm working on my Mom's Christmas gift. It's starting out a bit jumbly - another one of my make it up as I go quilts. I just can't help myself, it seems! I'm going to call it Legends of the Ivories. Close ups in a later post will make that choice of names a bit more clear.
It should be obvious that my Mom is a musician. She taught piano for years and years and years - played organ for church choirs, organized and conducted various singing/music groups over the years. Probably one of the coolest things she did was, with a quartet of senior singers, put on many concerts over a number of years. Since they had to pay rent for the venues (community halls, etc.) they sold tickets. They donated any proceeds above their costs to the Food Bank in Kelowna. They raised over $75,000 over several years!!!! Way to go Mom!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Canada Meets Africa

Above - Lynne is in Canada visiting Rhonwyn (her daughter) and Craig (my son - and the photographer in this case). We met for the first time on October 10 when I presented her with Icons of Canada. Here she (right) is modelling it along with Rhonwyn (left) and me (centre). I think she has been enjoying her first visit to Canada.

Below - close up of part of African Inspiration. Below below, the whole quilt top finished. These are six inch blocks so the quilt is about 48 * 54 inches. A lap quilt.

African Inspiration!

Here are most of the blocks for "African Inspiration" - a quilt I'm making for Margaret's charity - Inspire!Africa. I found the print/colourful fabric at a quilt show - made by African women - I thought it would be appropriate to use this fabric in a quilt to auction at a fund raiser for African women (specifically Rwandan women).
I could not get this one to come in the right way - tried twice - don't know what's going on there. It's going to be a village house, not a left pointing arrow!
Kristie and I got pedicures yesterday. Since it's time for socks and shoes and no one but people at home will see my toes, I thought it would be fun to do something different - at least for me! So here are my "Blue-tiful Toes"!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Official Divas Photo

The Quilting Divas - Pix taken about October 2009.

Divas Karen, Susan, Joan and Mary in the back.
Divas Dorothy and Kristie in front.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Hunting We Will Go

I saw this fabric last year in a little shop near Oliver, BC. It reminded me immediately of my Dad - a "manly man" who hunts and fishes. I have often referred to him as a "Great White Hunter." I do tease him a lot, so when I saw this - I had to buy it. I didn't know what I'd do with it so I only got a meter - my usual practice. Well - I decided I need to make him a quilt for Christmas - and not only that - but it has to be done by next month when he goes back home from - you guessed it - his annual hunting trip! That way I won't have to mail it.

The guys in the fabric do not seem to be terribly competent at hunting or fishing. I must be sure that it is on the record that my Dad is an EXTREMELY competent hunter and fisherman. And he is also very ethical. So while the fabric reminds me of him and (two of) his sports, it is not because he is bad at them.

I should also tell you that this is not the first time I have made him something as a teasing thing. I've made him a "typing skirt" to help with his typing skills after he complained that he wasn't wearing a skirt when he typed, which was probably why he wasn't very good at it (this when he got his first computer - a man who was used to having a personal secretary all his working life). I made him a "tie bib" because my Mom always complained that he always dripped on his tie. I have made him an "Omelet King" apron to assist with his (truly excellent) omelet cooking skills. You get the picture. It's the way our relationship is. I figure it's my job to keep him from developing too much of an ego. I love him, after all!

Back to this quilt... it does have to be "manly" as quilts go. This block seems to fill the bill - simple lines, easy to make, but striking and "manly." It's called Tam's Block on the Blocks Galore site.
They are 12 inch blocks with 1.5 inch sashing so the quilt is actually quite large. He'll be able to take it when he goes hunting and use it in the trailer.

Obviously I didn't get enough fabric but I remembered seeing it in one of the quilt shops here so went out and picked up another two meters - which reminded me why I always try to get fabric on sale - especially here in Canada! Oh well - nothing too good for my Dad!

I'm going to call it "A Hunting We Will Go."


We had a Divas Day on Saturday.

Here is our Gourmet Diva, Sue. This time I forgot to take pix of the food - but be assured it was good as it always is. Lobster mac and cheese and an oh-so-good chocolate dessert.

Here is our Organizer Diva, Kristie. Kristie is suffering from a neck injury and was here to "supervise" and have lunch but was not supposed to do much else. We are all hoping she gets back to her normal self very soon.

Diva Joan.

Diva Dorothy.

We started this cat quilt. I think this is the most complicated block the Divas have tackled to date so we didn't get as much done as we normally do - but we did have our usual fun doing it.

This is our green quilt all finished.