Monday, August 31, 2009


I am notorious for being over ambitious! My family seems to have gotten used to it over the years; perhaps they have simply realized I come by it honestly! My mother can never do one thing at a time - she generally has at least five, and often ten, tasks that are in progress and being attended to regularly. I am the same.

I am presently knee-deep in samples for my Christmas Cupboard Classes. Literally knee-deep. I finally had to stop this afternoon and put some things away as there was not a bare surface to be had, not even six square inches of a bare surface! I finished the wall hanging and centrepiece bag yesterday and today I made the napkin rings and am busy working on the ornaments. The first two are already down at the shop so I will take some pictures when I work tomorrow and get them posted.

Now I am on to the ornaments, which are fun to make but as it has been for everything, I am designing as I go and that is making it all take so much longer! I have two completed, one almost finished and the idea for another rattling around in my head. I am thinking I want three and then variations on each - makes the class more interesting if there are lots of options. It just makes it way more work getting it all pulled together but I think I just might have them all done for tomorrow.

Then it's on to Bags and Tags!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lovely Linen

As promised, here is a picture of my new inspiration!

I am trying to be more creative with my photography and this is my first "staged" photo .... nothing fancy but these are some of my special treasures and I thought they deserved more!

The fabric is a linen rayon blend with a very fine pinstripe, the linen thread is by DMC, antique Parisian buttons from French General, antique crocheted lace and twisted cording in various shades of an elusive colour that changes with the light. All are very subtle which is perfect for me!

I have no idea whatsoever of what they will become, or even if they will be in it together, but they do inspire me!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Something New!

I haven't done a lot of serious needlework lately; quilting has definitely become an all-consuming interest of mine, but.... I was in Kelowna the other day and found DMC linen thread and is it lovely! (I promise to post a picture later - I have to work at my other job today!)

It's so odd because as soon as I saw it I knew it was linen. It's kind of like an internal linen radar I have - I can't resist it whether it's old or new, thread or fabric, 100% or blended with cotton. Must be an addiction!

So now it's on my wish list for the Sewing Basket to carry in our needlework section but first I must create something splendid with the skeins I purchased so we can show people how it looks stitched. I try, they buy!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

This & That

Well, as promised, here it is! I have had a busy, busy day and am happy to show you what I have been up to. This is the Gypsy Rose fabric line again but this time a This & That pattern.

My machine has been acting up a bit lately - tension problems you know but I fiddled with it long enough that I finally got it all sorted out and we were down to business. Cleaning, oiling and adjusting the bobbin case seems to have taken care of all the issues and this runner is finished and the other one is now all quilted and washed (it's a frayed edge design) and is just waiting for the binding and the buttons. I spent a happy 30 minutes rooting through my button box but don't have anything that is just right so I will have to check out what we have at the store tomorrow when I work. I love my button box but it is filled to overflowing and I have had to store some outside of it lately. Somehow that just seems wrong! I think I will have to conjure up some button projects to make way for new ones...

Gypsy Rose

When I was a little girl I dressed up as a gypsy for Hallowe'en one year and it was my favourite costume of all. When I saw the name of this fabric line by Fig Tree & Co. a definite feeling of nostalgia set in and I knew I had to do something with it. A charm pack later and here is the start of it!

The pattern is by The Button Bush and goes together in a snap but it certainly was fun playing with the colours and figuring out what square to put where. (It kind of reminds me of doing jig saw puzzles!)

Anyway, I liked it so much and now another charm pack later and I am in the midst of another runner, this time by This & That Pattern Co.; these little things certainly are addictive! Although I jumped the gun and posted a picture of the first one before it's even finished I will wait until I have the second done before I post it - right now it's pin-basted and waiting for quilting.

Did I mention they are samples for the store and I want to take them in when I work tomorrow? Enough writing then!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Perfect Fabric

Today at work I was on a quest for the perfect fabric - for myself of course! After I made the new version of the star block into a table runner I decided I needed to make a blue version as well. The design lends itself to the idea of snowflakes and so replacing the red parts with blue ones seemed like a splendid idea. That is, until I realized I did not have enough of the background fabric for one more runner. (Actually, I don't have enough left for one more anything!).

It is a Fairy Frost fabric (has a nice ring to it doesn't it?) and has just the right amount of soft grey smudges on a pearlescent ivoryish white to make it the perfect background fabric for those two new Christmas fabrics by In The Beginning that I just love. No problem I thought - I'll get more on Thursday when I work in the shop. No problem alright - the bolt was gone!

There is nothing quite like searching for a specific fabric in a quilt shop - as soon as someoneone asks what you are looking for, everyone within earshot joins in the hunt. We trudged upstairs to the office, and down to the work room, tore into the piles under the counter,rifled the fat quarters, and sifted through the remnants, all to no avail. It was gone, long gone. A heavy sigh and shoulder shrug later and I moved on as all quilters do -" if not that fabric, then what?" And the search for what I knew to be perfect became the hunt for what might be.

Like actors vying for a part in a play there were a few auditions - "Too grey, too dull, too yellow, too dark" and after a while you start feeling like Goldilocks - until, the right one comes forward. What starts as the smoothing of wrinkles becomes the ritual of petting and a new star is born; a quilter has just found the new perfect fabric and the possibilities are endless.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Design Dilemmas

For the past three days I have been busy working on projects for my Christmas Cupboard classes - and since I want all the projects to be of my own design I have a lot to do! I decided to start with the table runner (as that will likely be the biggest project in the series so I want to get it out of the way first) and thought stars/snowflakes. Below is a photo of the first rendition of the block design; I was very happy with it on paper but not so much once it was sewn. It seems more like a cross than a star and while pretty enough, not at all what I was after.

Version 1

So back to the drawing board, literally! I wondered how it would look if I took the red star points further up the square, rather than having them meet up with the small black squares. A few line erases later and quick pencil sketch and a much better design emerged. The star is very "starry" and pointy and the block looks more dramatic.

Version 2

In the red colouration it looks starry but I think I will rustle one up in blue and bet it will look more like a snowflake.

It's amazing to me how much more I like the second version and the only difference was extending the star points. I just wish I could have seen it when I was at the sketch stage, but I was in denial and had to sew all three before I finally admitted to myself that I didn't like it! Designing for me is often a two steps forward, one step back kind of process and just once I would like a bee-line!