Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March Madness

I have had one of those weeks, when I feel like I have hardly had a chance to catch my breath. However, I have a few things to show for it.

The ladies from the church Quilting Circle donated another quilt.

This one is a lap quilt and is going to a single woman who just arrived from Syria. I hope it keeps her warm, since today the weather is seriously cold, again.

I have completed the quilting on my Christmas Tree Skirt and I am on to the binding.

I am half way around!

Meanwhile, I got a new phone recently, and my lovely quilted case is the wrong size for the phone.
The case is too short and too wide. That was the last of my favourite Laurel Burch fabric, however, I remembered that I had this in my closet.

This is the purse I made originally, from that fabric. I carried it for about 2 years and the fabric is considerably faded, and the bag is worn in places. However, the pattern was called the X Bag and there is still pristine fabric inside the pockets. I just need to take the bag apart and wash it. So, I did that, and maybe, soon, I will have a phone case that fits the phone. The fabric is already quilted so I just need to cut, sew and bind.

I made a trip to Mad About Patchwork, to buy more interfacing, and this followed me home. It is a linen blend, and I think I know what I will use it for.

Meanwhile, I was at the mall, today, with my delightful grandson and his Mommie, and I came home with this.

 It is a bit hard to read, but all good Canadians will recognize this as a winning Tim Hortons RRRoll Up the RRRim cup. I won a coffee! I am such a cheap date! I was seriously excited.

Meanwhile, for the kitty fans, this is my current baby, dreaming of warmer days.

I am linking up to Needlework Tuesday, and the Needle and Thread Network.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Not Spring, Yet

I feel like it should be spring, however, the temperature is -15C today, so not yet. These are the tulips in a pot on my counter. They are a happy dark fuchsia colour, a lovely contrast to the white stuff outside the window.

I finished up some projects, that have been hanging around.

The mosaic scarf that was suppose to be an advent project is finally finished. It needs a blocking to straighten the edges, but it will be great, next winter (please, no more cold weather.)

The bag that was the sample for my bag making class got finished. I figured if I didn't finish it right away, it would be in the nearly complete stage forever.

 It is very purple, even for me. I did add a contrast pocket, on the inside.

I made another pair of baby socks. Baby socks are my favourite gift for a new little person. These ones were completed for someone else, who wanted to gift a pair to a new mom.

I love how the self striping yarn makes two really different socks, because they use so little yarn. this yarn is the greatest unisex yarn. It has a bit of everything.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Bags, Bags, Bags

I have been on a bag making binge.

I started with the sample I made for a possible class at my quilt group.

I got some takers for the class, so I needed to partially make a second bag, to show the steps.

The pieces were cut and labelled.

One side of the lining was made, to show how the pockets go on.

My little band of students finished the first part, last week. They were to go home and quilt their exterior pieces. So today, I finished the lining and did my quilting.

These pieces are ready for my class, tomorrow. I really must finish this one this week, before it becomes a UFO. I am sure I can find a taker for a purple bag.

Meanwhile, last year, my church group made a Dresden Plate quilt, to send with a group going to Virginia for a Habitat for Humanity build. The quilt will be given to the family who will live in the home, as a warm hug from Canada.

There were two blocks left over, and I volunteered to turn them into a tote for the quilt. Of course, I had a whole year to finish the tote, so I finished it yesterday, just in time to send it with the quilt.

I used every scrap that was left from the quilt itself, plus another scrap that I thought worked for the handles. The edges and lining of the bag are made from the scraps of the baking. The bag has a zipper in the top, and with luck, the quilt will fit inside.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

An Auction

Anybody who has visited here more then once knows that I have a special place in my heart for homeless cats. For the record, I have never owned a cat. However, I have 4 grand-cats and have provided foster care for 170 cats, to date.

So, when I heard that the Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project was having an online auction for the Gananoque Humane Society, I was pleased to make a donation.

This is my Eyre of Romance Shawl, and it is one of over 100 items being offered this week.

If you would like to have a look at all the lovely items, many cat related, and perhaps bid on one or two, you can see them all here:

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Colour Unboxed

Last week, I decided that I really needed to see the exhibit at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, called Colour Unboxed. The show featured the works of the "Out Of The Box Fibre Artists". The show has been on since December and ended on the weekend, and since I had heard really great things about it, I didn't want to miss it.

It was worth the trip. On a grey day, it was a feast for the eyes.

And now, I am wondering how I managed to miss the purple.  I saw them, I just forgot to get a picture.

There were many other wonderful pieces, all beautiful, full of colour. It was definitely worth the trip.

I also went to the annual gathering of animal Foster Volunteers. We were greeted by a lovely cake, made by one of the shelter staff.

 Cats, dogs, bunnies, and I think there was a guinea pig on the cake. Adorable.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Did Someone Say Snow?

From Sunday morning until Monday, we got 28 cm of snow. That was not as much as they got on the East Coast, but still, a lot.

This morning we got up just as a "snow squall" was beginning.

We got 10 cm of snow in about 90 minutes. It was the light fluffy kind, just right for snow angels.

On days like this, we all wonder why we even get out of our nice warm beds.

My twenty minutes of sewing pledge took a bit of a hit, this weekend. I caught a cold, and decided that colds were more suited to knitting than sewing. So, I started a pair of socks and a pair of mittens. No picture, because I don't have a lot of progress on either.

However, today, I got back into the groove.

I continued working on my tree skirt, on the Singer 15-91.

It isn't my finest work, as I get used to using the machine, but it passes the three foot rule, so, since the final destination is on the floor, under the Christmas Tree, I am sure it will be fine, and a good piece to practice on. The old Singer is a joy to work with. It runs really smoothly (thanks to the expert cleaning it got last winter), and it doesn't even notice when it crosses a seam. A few more days, and it will be ready for binding.

Last spring, I finished knitting my Eyre of Romance Jane Shawl.

It has been sitting here, since. I knit it as a way to improve my short row knitting. I didn't really have any idea what I would do with it next. The Lyndhurst Feral Cat Project is having a fundraising auction, on Facebook. I have decided to donate the shawl to them. So, today, I finally blocked the shawl.

It will head off to Lyndhurst, hopefully tomorrow, via Canada Post.  The shawl is a Merino and Cashmere blend, lovely and soft, just the thing for reading Charlotte Bronte, by the fire. If you are interested in the shawl, or any of the other lovely artisan offerings they will have, be sure to follow them on Facebook.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Adventures in Sewing

I have owned 5 sewing machines. My first was a White machine. It did straight stitch, zigzag, and if you held your mouth right, a blind hem. It had a buttonholer, but I never really got along with it. I bought it with the proceeds of a summer working as a camp counsellor. The machine weighed a ton, and I lugged it with me, to university and on my coop job placements, unless I had to use the plane to get to my placement. I used it to sew my clothes, including numerous formals and bridesmaid dresses. We were very close.

When I was a woman of independent means, I bought a Beaumark machine. It was much lighter then the White, and it had electronic speed control. When you stepped on the foot pedal, it started to sew. I used it to make baby clothes, children's clothes, costumes for my kids Halloweens and theatrical endeavors. I actually wore it out.

I added a White serger to my collection, when knit fabrics were popular. I made track suits and t-shirts, as well as 1 hour shorts. It still lives in my sewing room and serves me well, though not as often as it used to,

I then made the big plunge and replaced the Beaumark with a computerized Husqavarna. I was assured that I would not wear it out as easily. I enjoy it thoroughly. It does everything I would want a sewing machine to do. It even has an alphabet.  The only thing it doesn't do well, is handling thick fabric. This is a bit of a problem when bag making.

A couple of years ago, I found this machine, filthy dirty, at the church jumble sale.

It was originally priced at $25. Then some volunteer looked at it, declared it was a featherweight and that it was very valuable, so they changed the price to $150. I realized it was not a featherweight (the thing weighs a ton), so I volunteered to research a price. It is a Singer 15-91. According to the historic singer websites it was built in 1939, and sadly, for the church, its value is $25-$50. Armed with this information, I went back and bought it for $50. They were willing to take the original $25, but it was for charity, I paid $50.  It is a direct drive machine, which should take heavy fabrics well.

Last winter, my husband took the motor apart and got it running much more smoothly. Today, I plan to take it for a test drive, quilting the tree skirt that got lost over Christmas, when things in life went wrong. I figure that quilting the skirt in February guarantees that it will be ready for next Christmas.

Meanwhile, I finished my first sample bag for the course I am teaching.

I think it turned out well.

It has a zipper in the top.

Pockets on the inside, including one for your name badge.

The lining is a piece of "What was I thinking?" out of my stash.

The pockets are cut from more patches from the scrap of Laurel Burch.