Saturday, April 7, 2012

Precious Pinwheels Flimsy

It has been a busy couple of weeks in my little corner of the worldIn September of 2011, I made a two year commitment to our parish and agreed to participate in a spiritual formation program.  This involves a 'retreat' once a month for two years.  I use the word retreat rather loosely because in fact there is very little retreat time.  During the weekend we generally have about 15 hours of guest lectures, some small and large group discussion time,  large group prayer time, small group prayer time and once in awhile they let us have time to eat and go to the bathroom!  I just completed weekend # 8 and I have to say that I am loving our time together.  It is exhausting and uplifting all at the same time.  We are growing spiritually and in relationship with one another.  One of the young couples participating in the program are expecting their first baby in June and it is for them that Precious Pinwheels is being made.  During some subtle questioning last weekend I learned that they have decorated the baby room in a jungle theme with lots of green and purple.  I hope they like the quilt we are giving them.  Now that I see the finished product I wish I had chosen something different for the outside border.  However, learning to put fabrics together is all part of the process and maybe next time I'll be more satisfied with the results.  I do like the way the rest of the quilt turned out.  I'm even quite proud of my pinwheels!  Now I will baste it and then do some straight line quilting of some sort.  I haven't learned how to do free motion quilting yet so I have to stay fairly conservative in the actual quilting of the project.

Here's a close-up of one of the pinwheels. 

As well as working on this project I also put the borders on one of our Peacemaker's group projects.  It is a comfort quilt made entirely from donated scraps.  I'll share a picture of it tomorrow after I take some pictures.

May you all have a blessed and Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Movin' On

Thanks for listening to my last rant...and thanks for the good advice.  Until I can connect with someone who can show me what I am doing wrong I have set aside my Lone Star and decided to move on.  I guess that makes me a real quilter....I now have one WIP and one UFO and I'm going to start a new project.  Wow....three things on the go at the same time.  I'm not sure how I'll manage (hee hee)!

So a young couple that I know is due to have their first baby in June and I am going to make a baby quilt for them.  Because I don't know whether it is a boy or girl, my fabrics have to be rather non gender specific.  And I asked their mom/mother-in-law if they would prefer light pastels or bright colors and she said definately bright colors.  So here's what I have chosen.  My dear husband says it looks rather Eastery).  I guess he's right but we'll see what it looks like when it all comes together.  That's the exciting part about making a new something isn't it?

This is the fabric.  The yellow flannel on the bottom will be the backing.

And this is the pattern.  It is called Pinwheel Princess and is in the July/August 2010 issue of McCall's Quilting.  Since mine won't necessarily be for a 'princess' I may have to come up with a new name.

In other news...I am excitedly looking forward to going to one of our local sewing stores, Creative House, on Saturday where Monika Kinner-Whalen of  '' will be hosting a demonstration.  Check out her blog....the things that lady produces are absolutely phenomenal! (Sorry, I don't know how to do links yet but at least you have her address)

As for a weather update...who can keep up...we have gone from spring to winter to spring to fallish weather all in the past three days!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Oh, I am so frustrated right now I could scream!  I have been working and working on my Lone Star and I simply can't get the triangles and squares for the background set in properly.  When I get the point of the Y seam to lie flat then the rest of the piece is wavy.  When I get the background piece to lie flat the point is lumpy bumpy.  I have watchted so many videos and read so many instructions but I just can't seem to 'get it'.  This is why I call myself a newbie.  I wish I could take a class or have an experienced quilting friend I could call on.  Oh well, for now the Lone Star is going to be folded and put into the closet as a UFO.  I give up.   Perhaps someday I will give it another try but not right now.  I am too frustrated.   And I have been spending so much time on it I don't even have any pictures of other projects to share. That's my rant. Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

From Blizzards to Spring

Okay, it might not be exactly spring but given the fact that one week ago we were buried under snow, today's sunshine and +5 degree (celcius) weather seems pretty wonderful.  I'll take it.  My husband has a number of American clients and they have been telling him that their weather is quite unusual this year too.  The pessimist side of me worries that this is global warming but the Pollyanna side of me tells me to just accept what is and be grateful for it.  There aren't any flowers blooming or lovely spring pictures to take it (outdoors is nothing but muck and slush and dirty snow).  I remember doing recess supervision on days like today.  Oh my, the messes the kids would get into. The lure of a mud puddle is just too great to resist!

On a sewing note, I have been continuing to try to do the Y seams as I inset the triangles on my Lone Star.  I have done lots of research and watched several videos.  For some reason the videos all make it look so much easier than I am finding.  However, I will continue to plug along and someday I will have a completed project to share.  In the meantime here's a picture of how I hope it will look with the background done.

The following pictures are of the quilts I made for my daughter and her boyfriend for Christmas.  They were excited to get them and are using them daily.  To me that is the ultimate reward for making a see it loved and in use.

I called this one "In the Jungle".  For some reason it made me think of beautiful peacocks in a green jungle. 

My daughter loves to hoola hoop so I called this one Spinning Circles.  It was the first time I had tried curved pieces.  I used a template and it seemed to go okay.

Here are the two happy recepients...wrapped in love on Christmas morning!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Thank My Lucky Stars

Some days I forget to pause and be grateful.  I  can often be heard bemoaning the fact that I had to 'retire' from work before I was ready to do so.  It seems easy to find things to grumble and complain about.  But today I thank my lucky stars for many things.  First of all, when I got up this morning the car looked like this...

which gives you a pretty good idea of the blizzard that happened over night.  The radio announcer suggested that things would blow through by afternoon but in the meantime we should stay home if at all possible.  So, I promptly cancelled the three non-essential appointments I had for today and I headed into my sewing room where I have been working on my Lucky Stars quilt.  How blessed I am!  I have a warm and cozy home, I didn't have to fight the storm to go to work, everyone that I love was safe and warm and I had a whole 'bonus day' to spend sewing. 

This pattern (from Atkinson Designs) has been a really easy, peasy quilt to work on but I sure do like the way it is turning out.  Sometimes it is nice to work on something that doesn't require as much unstitching as it does stitching! (read...Lone Star!)  Here's what my Lucky Stars looks like today.  Now the question is, should I add a border?  The pattern doesn't call for one but I think I'd like to make this a little bigger.  What do you think?

As you can tell, my sewing room is pretty tiny and my design wall is a panel of batting hung over the closet doors and tucked in behind my cutting table.  Makes picture taking difficult but it works for now (until I can figure out a different plan or expropriate a larger room in the house).  Happy sewing!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sharing Old Projects

I had a very busy weekend although sadly it didn't include any sewing.  I was away on a church retreat.  Really great presenters, lots of 'food for thought' (lots of tummy food too) but very long hours.  I am exhausted!  So today, instead of sewing I have just been tidying up my sewing room, looking at the new jelly rolls I bought last week and dreaming about the millions of projects I want to do!  I thought I would share some pictures of a few of the projects I have completed over the last three years.  When I don't have anything new to share I'll throw a couple of these up for you to look at.

On a completely different daughter and her boyfriend brought me a present last night....a fish.  The long story behind this gift is the fact that my husband, who loves animals, is deathly allergic to both cats and dogs.  All my daughter was able to have for pets when she was growing up were hamsters.  The last of the hammies recently passed away at the ripe old age of nearly three! My daughter now lives on her own and has both a cat (Oliver) and a dog (Paisley).  I frequently and loudly lament the fact that there can be no pets in my home!  Thus, after listening to Mom whine one more time, Emma and Adrian brought me a Siamese Fighting Fish whom I promptly named Angel.  I suspect he is a boy fish and the name Angel might not be too appropriate but I don't care.  Angel he is!  And he is beautiful!  Not as nice as a cat mind you but hey...he'll do!

This is a "Not So Yellow Brick Road that I made for our family room.  It turned out well enough but I have to be that I've made it...Yellow Brick Road isn't my favorite pattern.  Maybe it needs some brighter colors.

I made this wall hanging in a class I took.  I think the pattern was called Bargello with a Twist.  It was really cool to see all the different looks that could be had simply by turning the blocks around.

And this one was a Block of the Month program from one of our local quilt stores.  I actually like how it turned out.  It was a gift for a friend's cabin in Northern Saskatchewan and she loved it.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012