Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Cats of Christmas Past

I have mentioned before that we foster cats for the Humane Society. I showed you some of my crafting assistants, here.
I thought you might like to see some of the guests at past Christmas celebrations at our house.
We started fostering in 2005, and Tia was here the first year.
In 2006, we had Cupcake with us.

In 2007, Jasmine was here.
2008 bought us Mabel.
Yeap, up the tree again!

In 2009, we had Joy and Jelly Bean. This was not their present, but they wanted it anyway!
In 2010,  Marilyn climbed the tree, and helped unwrap the presents.

Last year, Suzie and Red (and Wink and Blink) made Christmas lively.
In early December this year we had Fluffy and Beanie, who helped with the tree decoration.

However, they have gone on to new homes and we now have Asher. He is really cute, but we haven't caught him playing with the tree, yet. Here he is just looking cute. He is Cat 114 of our fostering experience.

Hope you had as much fun at your house.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thanks, Heather, I think...

Heather, over at Books and Quilts, is having a link party for tree skirts. This reminded me that I have a tree skirt that I started a couple of years ago, but sadly, haven't finished. You know how it goes: you don't get it done before the tree goes up, then you are too busy to finish, then after Christmas, other projects take priority, since this one doesn't need to be done until next Christmas.
Here is my progress so far.

The rows are done, but not yet sewn together. Since the kids aren't home for Christmas, and there is just the two of us and the pets, I could probably finish this over the next week. After all, what else do I have to do except cook, eat, and knit (while watching Christmas specials). Then it would be done for next year, right.

There is only one tiny problem. I can't find the backing! I know I bought it, and it is from the same fabric line as the rest of the skirt (the skirt was a kit from Connecting Threads). Everything else is in the bag, even the scraps from the blocks, but the backing is MIA. Of course, I have other fabric I can use for the back, but if I do that the backing fabric will turn up, as soon as I finish. Then, what will I do with 3 m of fabric with snowflakes on it?

Meanwhile, there is a skirt under my tree that I bought at the Boxing Day sales at Canadian Tire when the kids were little. It is looking well loved. Here it is a couple of years ago with the Christmas foster cats.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Finished...With Time to Spare!

I have been knitting madly, to get Christmas presents finished. I would like to thank my doctor's office, last week, who kindly gave me an hour and a half of uninterrupted knitting. Of course, the other people in the waiting room where not as thankful as I was, because they forgot their knitting.

Some of this was sent on its way, in a parcel, yesterday, and might even make it by Christmas.

Here are the pictures, with no indication of the recipient, lest they read my blog (although I don't think they do).

First some Peter Pan slippers.

Next, some lovely, soft, alpaca socks.

And a hat and mitten set.
Warm hugs for some of my favourite people.

Meanwhile, the girls and I have been doing some decorating.

Fluffy was a huge help.
I think we need a red ball over here.

Beanie preferred to supervise and enjoy the fire.
Beanie is too cool to help.
Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love from our house to yours.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

An Ugly Sweater?

A young friend is having an ugly sweater contest in her office. After we determined that my wardrobe doesn't contain anything that could be even vaguely called "ugly", we set about to create something.

I had given her some earrings that were cats, wearing Santa hats, so we thought this would be the idea we would go with. After a morning's work, we showed what we had to the males around here, and they told us that if our mission was ugly, we had failed. It was just too darn cute!

I finished it, and turned it into a little wall hanging, for her cubicle at work. I pulled the backing around to the front to make a faux binding and I am not completely happy with how it came out, but she loves it, so it is off to work.

Not so Ugly Cat
Our second attempt involved some old fabric panel appliques, some Stitch Witchery and some fabric paint, left over from my glitter paint period, when my kids were much smaller. The sweat shirt underneath was in my pile to go to the thrift store and has a coffee stain on it. We figured that it added to the general feel of the piece. Don't you think the colours clash perfectly!

The misalignment of the appliques add to the character, I think.

And Santa Bear is on crooked.

I think she was a little subdued with the paint, but she was quite happy with the results. We will see if it is ugly enough to win a prize on Friday.

Update: The sweater took Third Place in the contest!!! 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Snowball Auditions

A couple of years ago, I was given a Laurel Birch panel called "Bountiful Blessings". If you haven't seen it, this is the top half.

It is wonderful and bright, full of many of my favourite colours, and of course, from my favourite designer.
I put it away after Christmas, and it was forgotten last year, until too close to Christmas, so this year, I am determined to make into a wall hanging.
Yesterday, I pulled out my stash of Laurel Birch fabric, and selected some to go with the panel.
This will have to be part of it, but I am not sure how.
And I think I will make some snowball blocks. Three inches seemed like a good size, so I cut some 3 1/2" squares .
Yep, I have a good selection. Doesn't that purple just scream Advent!

Today I was auditioning sizes to use for the corners.

I think the ones on the bottom are just right, so now I am off to cut a bunch of 1 1/4" squares to sew on the corners.
Meanwhile, Mini, my grandcat, got her Advent calendar in the mail and sent me a picture of moving the mouse.
I hope she put it into the right pocket. I am not sure how well she counts, since she is only 9 months.
And her are all of my decorations.
I put on the pointsetta table cloth, and lit the first advent candle.

Journeying hopefully, Kate

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Bit of Foolishness

It must be silly season in my world. I finished a couple of projects, just because they make me smile.

I don't normally knit sweaters, except for babies, because I tend to lose interest round about the second sleeve. However, I finished a sweater yesterday, and it is not baby sized.
It is gift card sized!
Don't you love the cables!
Here it is, next to my Air Miles card, to give a sense of the size.
Not to brag, but that is a GOLD Air Miles card!

Advent starts this week, so I finished an advent calendar for my grandcats, Mini and Suzie.
It is hard to see, but I put a mouse in the pocket, so they can move it every day while they wait for Santa.
In more serious endeavors, I finished the first sock of a pair, and following the advice of Grandma Coco, I immediately cast on the second sock, so the first one won't get lonely.
The picture is a bit blurry. I am not sure what the camera was focused on. It doesn't show well in the picture but the yarn is a lovely beige and green mix. It has a little alpaca in the mix so it is lovely and soft. I already have 2 volunteers to receive the socks when they are finished.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Arts and Crafts

The Quilt Show had a craft table, so I have been busy making items to donate. It is really hard to guess what will sell, and what price to put on items.

I made some coffee cozies, and three of the six sold. (The rest will be Christmas gifts)

And my obsession with border prints and the 60 degree ruler continues.

The middle two of these sold. I wonder who would like the others?

Now on to getting the Christmas knitting done.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Party's Over

It takes about 7 hours to carefully arrange 123 quilts. First, you have to check them all in. Then you have to figure out what they are (size, shape, antique or modern). Then you painstakingly lay them over pews, communion table, piano, chairs, hang them on the wall.

Note the white gloves and attention to detail

The Wall Hangings are looking good
We put some of the wall hangings into the Tearoom
We were very careful with the lovely quilts we were loaned. However, some of our exhibitors were not as careful as they checked them in.
In the end, it looked lovely.

Now, don't you wish you had been there?

Amazingly, it took only 30 minutes to take everything down. At services, yesterday morning, the only sign of the show was the minister, asking those who had not yet picked up their quilts, to please get them out of his office!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quilt Show Prep

My life has been taken over by preparations for a quilt show. For some reason, that I don't fully understand,  I seem to be in charge of my church's quilt show. I am not the best quilter in the group, but apparently I am a good organizer. And apparently, I'm bossy, so they let me boss everyone around.

We have done this once before. The show was so popular among the church members, that people have been asking us to do it again. Fortunately, I saved my file from the last time, so we aren't having to figure everything out. Last time, we filled the church with quilts (and the corridor and the church hall...) and it looked wonderful.

We included family quilts as well as quilts more recently made. Children brought their baby quilts, made by loving grandmas. We had quilts made by members of the congregation who are no longer with us. It was a celebration of who we are as a church and an extended family.

Saturday, we will do it again. If you are in the Ottawa area, and would like to drop in, we would love to see you!

The Threads that Bind
Quilt Show and Tea
Saturday, November 17, 1-4 PM
33 Leacock Drive,  Ottawa (Kanata) , ON

I will be there all day!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Completed

I managed to get the table runner and place mats that I started last week, ready in time for my book group meeting last night.
Here is what they look like on the table.

 There is a bit of an overlap on the 2 pictures, since I couldn't get the whole table in at once.

The table runner I made last week, now has a binding. The blocks I started last week, are now place mats.

I really like how the caution tape type binding worked out. I also like how well it goes with my teapot.

There is a pocket in the place mat, for the cutlery and napkin, but I didn't use them last night, just set the food out on them. You can see the remaining chocolate in this picture. I also served the cookies from yesterday's blog.

I don't normally decorate for Halloween (I don't even have a Jack - o - lantern) but I found making these very entertaining. Now I have some friends who want to make a set for Christmas, so I am thinking of doing a tutorial.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Treats

I don't have Grandma Coco's artistic flair in cookie making, but I had some fun last night. I made these to serve at my book group tonight.

I loved how gruesome they look, while they were cooling. The recipe is from the Canadian Living Family Cookbook, that I have owed for many years.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Playing With Fabric

I am suppose to be getting some quilts quilted for my quilt show, but yesterday, I went into my sewing room and played.

Last summer, I found some really cute fabric, while on a shop hop.I didn't know what to do with it, but it came home with me anyway.

 The kittens are too cute, but they are large and kind of close together, so they are difficult to fussy cut.
Last week, in a different store, I saw a sample that gave me an idea. The store had a kit for fussy cut place mats. They used a Christmas print, but the design seemed so simple that I had to come home and try it.

I cut 4 - 6 1/2" squares, trying to centre the kitten. Then I made the kittens into stars!

These two are going to become a table runner.

The other two are going to become place mats, that I thought I could flip and stitch. I am this far:
Side pieces attached, ready for the next row.
This one has the side pieces, too, but I wanted to show you the cute face.

And before anybody asks, no, I am not making costumes for my current batch of kittens. This is the closest I have gotten to that level of insanity.
Don't they look tough in their frilly collars?