Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Trunk Show and Paducah purchases

It has sure been a busy week to come back home to!  I have 2 on call shifts at the hospital, 4 quilting classes to teach and one trunk show to all those usual things like laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning. I rushed around to get myself organized on Monday,  taught a quilt class at the senior's centre and then drove to Elmira to do a trunk show at the Elmira Needle Sisters in the evening. I took a photo of some of my quilts piled up and ready for their showing. For some of these quilts (the ugly ones!) it's the only time they get unfolded and aired out! Anyway, it was a lot of fun to be at the Elmira guild and I was able to visit with a lot of quilters that I haven't seen for a while.
I have also been struggling this week to learn how to use my Mac computer.  Everything is hard the first few times...especially getting photos to load on my blog.  It is taking me about 3 - 4 times as long to get a blog post finished these days, and I sure am counting on that improving asap because my patience is running a bit thin on this technology challenge!! I will try to load photos of my purchases from Paducah and see how it goes!

On the left is one of my favorite finds...FQ bundles from Back Door Quilts. People always ask "what are you going to make with that"? I have no idea, but I just liked it and I'll probably put it into my next Quiltville mystery.  These fabrics are from the Jo Morton fabric lines.

On the right are some additions to my collection of the "Oh Cherry" Moda line. Again, I have no idea what I am making with these but they make me happy and apparently I want to make a quilt from them, so here they are!

On the left is a collection of odds and ends I found that jumped into my bag...a kit from the Robert Kaufmann collection called "Permission to Play" that I bought at Hancocks because it just glows,  two packs that were 5 FQ's for $ who could resist that, and some guitar FQ's because I thought I was making a pillowcase, but I have way too many now to be a pillowcase,  so I'm either making a dozen pillowcases, or a quilt!!!

This is a black and white collection that I bought to split with my friend Marj who asked me to pick up some pieces for her. I guess I am secretly planning to make a black and white quilt also!

And this is my favorite purchase of all...a FQ bundle from Batiks Ecetera. This was one of my favorite booths...alive with colour and a lot of fun things to dream about making.
My other favorite booth was the Cherrywood booth...I could have filled my sewing room to the rafters with the fabrics they make...gorgeous! I just bought 2 "grab bags for crazies" because I liked the idea of getting little pieces of all their fabrics and because I am crazy, so it was perfect for me! 

Oh yah...and somehow 3 of John Flynn kits jumped into my bag...don't know how that happened! These kits are all coordinated batik fabrics and are precut, so it saves 2 steps for you! But I haven't yet sewn one, so I hope it works out well...I'll let you know!
That's it! Well, except for a few little odds and ends that I can't find today. That's enough damage to the credit card, don't you think?!?!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Back from Paducah!

I am back from an amazing, "once in a lifetime" trip to Paducah, Kentucky! It was everything I thought it would be...and more! There were over 400 vendors at the Convention Centre... can you even imagine how much fun and fabric shopping that is??!? It was absolutely mind boggling the amount of shopping that you could do, if you were so inclined! I will show you my fabric purchases another day (when I can take them out of hiding and photograph them!).
Today I will show you a few of the trip highlights, since I know my quilting friends will be checking in on their computers on Monday morning and if there is no blog report, I will hear about it for sure!
We saw beautiful scenery! Everything here in Ontario, Canada is pretty much still in winter hibernation...not much green to be seen. But in Kentucky, everything was green and it was lovely spring weather, which we enjoyed every sunny minute we were there.
There were fascinating people to see everywhere we went...and here is one of them, happy to pose for a photo for the tourists. I saw very creative outfits, quilted clothing of every description,
 funny hats, groups of women with matching t-shirts, etc. I wish I had taken more photos of the people to show you.
Then there was the fantastic entertainment...we had "tea" with Nancy Zieman, enjoyed an evening show with Eleanor Burns, and heard a fantastic concert from Ricky Tims. 
Who knew that this man was such an incredibly gifted musician as well as being an award winning quilter?!??! He has CD's of his original compositions for sale and I will be asking for one from Santa at Christmas time.
And, of course, I enjoyed the entertaining company of quilting friends! Here we are with a group of quilters that we know from home, which we just happened to meet up with, and we  enjoyed a laughter-filled meal together.

What a great trip we had! 
Oh yah, did I mention the incredible, breathtaking quilts we saw?
The AQS show was unlike anything I have ever seen. Exquisitely created quilts, both hand and machine quilted, that are so beautiful that your jaw just hangs open in awe! But I can't show you the quilts of course, because the rules explicitly state that photos of the quilts cannot be posted on the internet, without permission from the AQS and the quilt artist. However, I was just happy that we were able to take photos of these quilts for our own purposes, since the Canadian Juried Quilt Show in Newfoundland last June did not allow any photographs of any of the quilts, which was very disappointing for me. At this show I was able to take photos of my favorite quilts, and close ups of the techniques for me to study and enjoy in the future.
I now have my own little quilt show on my computer, so come on over if you want to see it!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I am packed and ready to leave early in the morning to head south to Paducah, Kentucky! I am hoping to go to the Quilt Museum and to see Ricky Tims, Eleanor Burns, and then have tea with Nancy Zieman. 
And of course, I might buy a Fat Quarter or two!!
How will I ever get any sleep tonight?!?!
I'll make a full report (including a purchase confession) when I return!

Friday, April 17, 2009

First blog post on my new Mac

I have been struggling with my old computer for a while now and hoped that by buying a Mac that my troubles would be behind me. I treated myself to a new laptop, hoping I could do my blogging at the park and surf my favorite quilting blogs while drinking tea on the porch, if ever it is warm enough to sit outside!!! Click here to see my brand new little computer. It is a steep learning curve, but so far so good. I even managed to download some photos, although I need some work on the editing program.
I'll try to show you what I was working on last week. Click here to see all my pieces being assembled. I was working on a challenge with a couple of quilting friends...we challenged ourselves to use the spool fabric and make a mini quilt. So of course I made spool blocks! I sewed 1", 1.5" and 2" blocks trying to decide which ones I liked the best and decided that I liked them all, and would just stack them up. So I call it "Stacked Spools".
Then I got the idea to embroider my favorite words on the top as if the thread was coming off the blue spool. But is was a varigated thread that I used and I think that the word "quilting" disappears where the thread gets too light. I'm not sure what I will do about that yet. 
Here are the mini quilt that my friends made. On the left is Judy's quilt called "Mom's Spools", and it has the cutest little spools of thread sewn down the middle of the quilt. She found these spools in her mother's belongings after she passed away. 
And on the right is Joanne's quilt called "Simple Spools". I hope you will be able to click on the photo to enlarge it and see all the dense quilting on the spools. (Apparently I can't figure out how to enlarge the photos anymore! I'll work on it!) 
This was a fun challenge and we are planning another one in the near future.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Black and White Quilt

I drove to Elmira today to do some hand quilting on the Black and White quilt. You can read more about the block challenge here and see all the submitted blocks here.
I was wondering how they were going to set the blocks together, and this is the creative setting that was chosen. Each block has a thin red border, and then is set with a black sashing on 2 sides which gives a neat 3D effect. And then there is grey sashing between the blocks. There were enough blocks for a large queen size quilt and also a wall hanging for the auction. Around the outside of the quilt is a wider black border that has a cable design - one of my favorite designs for hand quilting.
Here is a photo of me quilting with the some of the Mennonite ladies. They gave me the honour of quilting my own block! I was really excited about that until I started quilting and realized that it was very hard to quilt because of all of the seams in my paper pieced block! It was a relaxing and fun day and a special treat to be included in the Quilting Bee.
As if that wasn't enough fun, I found out that I won first place in the block challenge, which was "viewer's choice"! I was delighted to win, but was further encouraged by the lovely comments that the voters wrote on their ballots. What a great quilty day it was!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

It is a beautiful, sunny Easter here and the Easter bunny has delivered her chocolate treats. A new Lindt store opened up near us and provided wonderful goodies for the Easter baskets. The children are in a sugar coma, and now the Easter bunny has some time to do some blogging and stitching! That worked out well for her!
Don't you just love a long weekend full of relaxing moments for sewing!?!
I finished up another block from Capricorn Quilts BOM (from last year). I think I still have 4 or 5 more blocks to stitch if I want to make the whole set and if I can find my patterns! I am planning to attend an old fashioned quilting bee on Tuesday and was thinking about that while I was stitching this block. I'm sure my hand quilting stitches will leave a lot to be desired by the experienced quilters, however they have agreed to let me join in for the morning.
Happy Easter! I am hopping off the computer to do more sewing!

Thursday, April 09, 2009


I have been having a terrible time with my computer again. Apparently my PC has been sending my email into the ether for a while now...where does this missing email go? I must be wherever my children's lost socks are! I have decided to buy a Mac to get away from all of this virus nonsense and hope my computer troubles will be behind me. I just have to decide which model to buy - do you prefer a desktop or a laptop? Can you offer me advice?!
And speaking of advice, my sister was "let go" after 18 years of working for Purolator, so I recommended that she use this found time to learn to quilt. She picked out an easy pattern to start with, purchased fabrics with a star theme, and mastered rotary cutting very quickly. Here are the squares she had cut out to start piecing together. Don't you love how she carefully organized all her pieces?!? She sewed up the 4 patches and here she is with her blocks layed out on the floor. Now she is sewing the rows together and so far is really enjoying it...I am hoping she will fall in love with quilting and it will help her to get over this terrible experience of losing her job.

Monday, April 06, 2009


The weather here is unpredictable. I have to look at the outside thermometer everyday to see which I should put on to walk the dog...winter coat? rain coat? spring coat? no coat?
I was starting to get excited about planting my expanded garden, and thinking about turning over the soil, but when I looked outside this morning, this is what I saw! Look what happened to my daffodils! I guess I am rushing the planting season, eh?
Better stay indoors and sew. I have been putzing around in my sewing room, kind of aimless and not sure what I want to work on. I have cut all these tiny pieces for a mini quilt, but wasn't sure what size of block I want, so I ended up cutting pieces for 3 different sizes - 2", 1 1/2" and 1" blocks!

Any guesses as to what block I am trying to sew?!?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Busy with Birthdays

This was a very busy week for me, with my husband's and my Mom's birthday within 3 days of each other. My husband requested a pillow for use in his Lazy Boy recliner. How could I refuse such a simple request?!? I made up two little 12" pillows so he will hopefully be able to find at least one when he needs it. They are made from the leftover pieces from my Dad's plaid quilt (click here to see it). I did not cut into any yardage to make these pillows...even the flannel backing was made from the pieces of backing leftover from Dad's quilt.
I'm sure I don't know why it gives me such a thrill to know that I used up all those little pieces that other people throw in the garbage?!? I am glad that hubby likes his pillows, and hope he gets lots of use out of them. But when he's not home, guess who loves to cuddle up with them?!?
For her birthday, my Mom wanted a celebration with some of her girlfriends. I didn't sew anything for her, but together with my sisters, we made a dinner party for 16 of her friends, complete with Hors D'Oeuvres, honey ham, scalloped potatoes, salads, etc. and of course a big birthday cake. Here is my very young looking 70 year old Mom holding the fruit arrangement I bought her from Edible Arrangements. It was a pretty, colourful display, and the fruit was delicious.