Thursday, November 9, 2017

Bendy Bag

Awhile ago, Craftsy offered a free viewing day, where you could watch all the classes you wanted, for free. I watched Joan Hawley's "Zip It Up" and really enjoyed it. So when Craftsy offered me a deal on the class, last week, I bought it, so I could watch it again, and get the patterns.

I was doing some tidying after retreat, and decided to reward myself, by playing. I grabbed two fat quarters from my stash, a zipper, and some scraps of fusible fleece, and made a Bendy Bag.

I used another of my Laurel Burch fat quarters. I am not out yet! This one is from Secret Jungle.

The bag uses the piece of zipper you cut off, to make a tab on the back. Not sure how useful that is.

It has a nice bright yellow lining. If I make it again, I will do the ends of the zipper like I do my usual zipper pouches.

It isn't very big, not large enough for a knitting project bag, but it might be handy for my chargers, when I go to retreat (and maybe the camera, so I know where it is.)

I was inspired to sort my zippers. I had them all in one large drawer, but I was spending a lot of time having to measure a zipper, when I pulled it out to make sure it was the right size.

A friend gave me this drawer unit that she wasn't using, so now I have six shallow drawers of zippers. It makes things much easier. Thanks, Michelle.

For the kitten fans...

Count the ears, and divide by 2 and you get 4!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Retreat Bags @ Retreat

My friend Maggie of The Cheerful Chickadee was at retreat with me, and together we made Emmaline Bags' Retreat Bag.

We added straps and a zippered pocket to the inside.

Mine looks like this.

The inside looks like this.

I mislaid my camera at retreat (it was in the bottom of my suitcase with my clothes, up in my room) so I didn't get a picture of Maggie's bag, but she sent me one yesterday.

This is her interior.

The pictures tell a bit of a story about who we are as quilters.

I also made new tablet cases for the new tablets at our house.

Laurel Burch Elephants and Tula Pink Turtles, both fat quarters, from my stash. Someone at the retreat asked what pattern I use. I actually take rough measurements, layer batting between a piece of flannel and a piece of pretty fabric, quilt the sandwich, cut it to size by wrapping it around the tablet, zigzag the edges together to form a pocket and add binding to make it pretty.  No patter, just a tape measure. They close with velcro, added just before the binding. The elephants is for my husband and the button says Handmade with Love.

Of course, if you put a quilt down, a cat will lay on it, no matter how small.

Ti-Gars left us yesterday and was adopted into his forever home. We are so happy for him!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

New Brunswick Finished

I started my New Brunswick wall hanging in July and I am finally finished. It is on its way to its owner in, as you might guess, New Brunswick.

Binding on and complete.

I put the binding and the hanger on at retreat. Thanks to Diane for helping me figure out the hanger.

It is a cold and damp day, again today, so a little smile to end the blog.

The Paw Patrol is keeping us safe from marauding squirrels.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Packing for Retreat

Yes, it is retreat time again. A weekend of sewing, with my friends, with lots of laughs. The best part is that if someone gets stuck, there are lots of people to help them figure it out.

I have been collecting supplies for the trip. I will be making a couple of bags, so I needed hardware and zippers.

A few years ago, when I first started to make bags in earnest, I looked for a source of zippers. I wanted to buy them in bulk, because $3.50 per zipper was getting a little steep, given how many I use. In addition, they closed the Fabricland near me and the nearest is a 20 minute drive, not on any of my usual routes.  I discover that a company called Zipper Stop sells in Canada, through If you are a Canadian, you know what a hassle getting goods across the border can be, so I normally shop in Canada. However, the prices were in Canadian dollars and customs and duty were included in the price.

I was pleasantly surprised by the service and quality of my zippers , so I have been ordering my bulk zippers from Zipper Stop ever since. I was afraid that my latest batch were not going to make it in time, since they had gotten lost within the shipping system. I went to the mailbox this afternoon and found my parcel of zippers.

These are bright, fun colours, and a box of zipper pulls, so I can change the pulls. The price was about $1/ zipper, shipping included. I have enough to make lots of presents.

I also finished the quilting on my New Brunswick quilt.

I will trim it and take the binding fabric to put on at retreat. Some hand sewing is always good for a break from the machine.

Like the ambulances on the back?

Now I need to cut some fabric, trim the wall hanging, wind some bobbins, and finish packing. I leave bright and early tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Thanks, Purolater

I did some on line shopping, the end of last week, and according to the tracking, my parcel was to arrive yesterday, via Purolater. So, I arranged my schedule, to wait at home for the parcel to arrive. At about 1:30 PM, I saw the Purolater truck slow down, then speed away, down the street.

I live in a suburban neighbourhood, with lovely big trees, and garages attached to each house. The original neighbourhood covenants required home owners to park in their garages. Since the houses were built when cars were larger, the garage is quite roomy. So our cars spend their downtime, cozy and dry, in the garage. In the cooler weather, it is not possible to tell if someone is home, without going to the door and ringing the bell.

Lately, we have been having the problem that delivery people assume there is no one home, because there is no car in the drive. Five times now, I have had to call and complain because a parcel has been returned to the depot of a delivery service, listed as no answer, when I have seen the truck go by. I am not saying this is what happened yesterday. When I complained about the truck not stopping, I was told, that sadly, they had put my order on the wrong truck. I find this hard to believe, since the parcels are all bar coded, however, I am stuck waiting for this turkey delivery person again today.

On the upside, I made good progress quilting my New Brunswick wall hanging, while waiting for the delivery. Since New Brunswick is an Atlantic province, I am quilting the blue with kind of random wavy lines, to make it look like water.

I think it looks pretty good. About two more sessions should get it finished.

My 1001 Nights shawl is progressing slowly. I am now at the section where it takes about 120 beads per row. Since they must be added one at a time, it takes over an hour to get across the row,

However, the end is near! Just 26 rows to go!

I was tidying some stuff and found a table runner I made a few years ago. Since I seldom use table runners, I hung it in my kitchen.

I am using a snack clip as a quilt hanger. I might want to think about finding a better hanger.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

MosaiCanada Part 2

As I said, I have lots of pictures, so here are a few more.

Chinese artists came to work on the project. This is their first piece, the dragon dance. On the left, the border plantings are Swiss Chard.

The Lions were represented, too.

In the centre, you get a sense of how big these sculptures are. There is a man in a bucket, with a hose, watering the arch.

A tribute to Glen Gould, a Canadian classical pianist. The piano was playing a recording by Glen Gould.

Maintenance of the works was an on-going task. Here is a gardener, trimming a buffalo, as the buffalo watches. 

The centre-piece of the whole show was Mother Earth.

I couldn't get her into a single picture. Her hand is raised and water is running off it. I love how the different plants give texture to the piece.

The walk ends with a different kind of piece, horses made from driftwood.

The display was truly wonderful, well worth the discomfort of the 31C weather. It closes this week, as the park is returned to its usual state, ready for ice castles and slides in February. We hope that they will come back another year.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Preaching Stole and a Shawl

Back when I first started my blog, I organized and helped sew 22 preaching stoles, for a national church event. You can read more here.

I have acquired a bit of a reputation, with those stoles, so recently I was asked to make another. This one is for a Lay Preacher, who also needed a place to put the transmitter for her microphone, since women's dress clothes seldom have pockets. She asked me if I could have the children of the congregation, help.

We actually ended up with two stoles. One is now finished and was presented last Sunday, while the other will need a bit more work.

The fabric was supplied to me, and my helpers did some hand stitching, with embroidery floss, around the motifs.

The back side, where you can see the pocket for the transmitter and the label from the makers. Some of the makers will not be confined to a box on fabric, so the label is also a pocket, with names on the inside, as well.

Needless to say, the recipient loves it.

A few weeks ago, I showed you my 1001 Nights shawl. I am slowly making progress, although it might be 101 nights before it is done. This week, the designer's photo assignment is to take a picture of the shawl relaxing, while not being knit.

The weather here is breaking heat records for September, so my shawl is relaxing in the air conditioning with a large glass of ice tea.

I spread it out for a better view.

The upside of the weather, is that the flowers are at their best right now.

My Rose Mallow, with flowers the size of plates!