Monday, August 27, 2012

Crafting Cats

I have already shown a couple of my crafty cats, and so, by popular demand, I bring you a few more.

In 2005, we started fostering cats, in need a little TLC, until they were ready to be adopted. We thought we could give a few cats a better chance at finding a forever home, by socializing them and teaching them house manners. Since we have a good-natured dog, named Dolly, we also try to make the cats dog-friendly. Right now, our count of total fosters is 108 (but never more than 4 at a time, except maybe once).
Over time, the cats have helped me with crafting projects. Here are a few:

Here are Pepper and Mint, helping put stuff in the dryer. I like to wash my fabric as soon as I get it home from the store.

Rosemary liked to help fold. She sat on top, so it wouldn't get away!

Marilyn and Michelle are taking a close look at the quilt layout. Marilyn is pointing that I have 2 red blocks together, and should fix that.

Cupcake says that it isn't a quilt, until the cat has slept on it. The quilt is 9" X 12", so you can imagine how tiny Cupcake was at the time.

Finally, we have Doug, helping with the knitting. I generally discourage knitting cats, because their little claws tend to get tangled, but Doug was doing okay.

A little silliness for a warm, sticky day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

One Down...Four to Go

I finished my Labyrinth Wall Hanging. The pattern was from Designs to Share With You.
I loved the pattern when I saw it, but it took me quite a while to get it finished. I know I took it on retreat with me at least twice so I spent over a year, just doing the reverse applique.
I remember basting it last summer, but it just sat, making me feel guilty for another year. In the end, it took under 2 weeks to finish.
I have walked a Labyrinth at a monastery in Arnprior, and I wanted my wall hanging to look like that, so I used a couple of landscape fabrics. I was pleased to find fabric that looked like my lawn in the spring, full of wood violets. Of course, it needed a touch of purple.

I don't have the binding sewn down yet, but the quilting is finished. This was my first attempt at echo quilting, and I was pleased with the way it turned out.
I found a Sulky Blendable that had the same colours as the fabric. How do those Sulky people do that? I love the Blendables, because I can nearly always find a thread that matches my project.

So this one moves to the hand sewing pile and I now need to baste another one.

Thanks for the Lovely Comments

Thank you to everyone who commented on the stoles last week. The General Council did give us a nice write up on their web site. I believe that there will also be a mention in the United Church Observer.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Now I Can Tell All

My church quilting group was asked, back in February, to make preaching stoles for the nominees for Moderator of the United Church of Canada. They thought they would need 8 stoles. Since there were 8 of us in the room at the time, we thought, sure, no problem, one each.
A week later, they wanted 10, then 12, then 15....and of course, with a budget of next to nothing.
We quit believing the numbers, and bought fabric for 22 stoles. We found a lovely, light weight suiting for only $5/m, so we took all that Fabricland had, then bought more at a second Fabricland.
With the weather in June turning very warm, very quickly, we joined together and turned the church into a "sweatshop" (most of the sweat was because of the heat).

We had stations for cutting fabric and interfacing, serging the cut edges, fusing the interfacing, kitting the stoles, basting the embroidery patches, and sewing the final seams. As well, the cutting ladies moved to turning around the finished stoles, later in the day.
Finished Stole
We didn't manage to get all the stoles finished that day, but we had enough done that they could be completed easily at home. Last week we sewed labels into 21 stoles.
It's no wonder I can't get my own work done.

WIP Update:

I have finished most of the quilting on my wall hanging. I think it needs a little more quilting in the corners, but I have to decide what I want to quilt there. I have found the rest of the fabric, that I was saving for the binding. The wall hanging should be done this week.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tent Sale

I accidently fell into the Tent Sale at Wool-Tyme, yesterday, and this is what followed me home.

Where did this come from?
 There seems to be 14 extra skeins of sock yarn. I am not sure what I am going to do with all the sock yarn, but I best get knitting. Of course, Christmas is coming and I see some hats and gloves here.
I am not quite sure what I will make with the variegated stuff in the bottom right corner. It is a DK weight chenille rayon. At 6 balls for $5, it seemed like a steal. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Incomplete Art

I have a guilty secret. I love to start quilts. I am not good at finishing them. I get the quilt top finished and then, I never seem to get around to quilting them.

Here is my current collection, spread over my ironing board. Sorry about the blurry shot. It didn't look that bad on the camera when I took it.

Some close-ups of the pile:

The wall hanging on the right is even basted to its batting and backing! The one on the left was a challenge piece from the Canadian Quilters on-line group, from about 3 years ago. 

These are placemats from a demo I did at the local guild, on using border print fabrics (Thanks, Jenny Beyer).
More placemats, and the quilt I was making for my son, while he was in college. He has now graduated, twice!
Mugmats that I made from the border print scraps, and the quilt I was making as my niece's wedding gift. I don't feel too guilty about that one, because the wedding is off now.

Okay, you have seen them all now. My church quilting group is having a quilt show, on November 17. Because of my bad habit of only finishing the tops, I have nothing to put in the show. So I am going to publicly declare that my goal is to finish this whole pile by November. I will keep you  posted.

Meanwhile, a young lady I know got married in June. Her grandmother was a quilter. While grandma was alive, she made this young woman a baby quilt, and a quilt for her "big" bed. After grandma died, the young woman's mother packed up all the quilting fabric and brought it home, thinking that, one day, mother would like to learn how to quilt. This past fall, mother decided she would love to be able to give her daughter a part of the quilting heritage, so she was going to commission the church quilt group to make a quilt, using grandma's fabric. As she went through the fabric, she opened a box and found a quilt top, entirely hand pieced! (see, I'm not the only one with the problem) So the quilters were instead commissioned to do the quilting.

The reason for the long story is that that quilt is now finished, and the young woman is moving with her new husband to a new home, away from here. The quilt is currently housed in a plastic garbage bag. Bad things happen to things in garbage bags, during moves. So, I made her a case for her quilt to travel to its new home.

The fabric is from the large stash that has been donated to the church quilters, except for the music fabric. The young woman is a violin teacher, and that fabric is from my scrap bag. I just did my standard pillowcase, and made it a little longer to hold the quilt. I think it took me 45 minutes, including the French seams. I love quick projects. Instant gratification.