Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Thursday 30 December 2010

Short and sweet......

Just a quick post before I go in to work this afternoon. Noel and Laurie are in Texas, visiting with her Mom and Dad. Before they went, they arranged to have an ultrasound done while they were there, as a surprise for her parents. They arrived at the place of the ultrasound, and it wasn't until her parents saw the sign, that they realized what was happening. Noel says there were tears involved. Wasn't that such a sweet and thoughtful thing for them to do? Her parents were able to go right into the ultrasound room and see the whole thing. No wonder there were tears involved. And, they recorded it, so we'll be able to see it at some point too. Now for the news, drum roll please.........................................

IT'S A BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 And now, let the fun of planning and sewing and quilting for a boy begin.

Thank you, Lord, for the gift of family, and new life.

Wednesday 29 December 2010

A wonderful Christmas

Laurie, showing off her baby bump in front of the Christmas tree
We had a wonderful Christmas in Collingwood with all our children. We arrived there on the 24th, after a beautiful 3 1/2 hour drive. The weather was good, and the roads were clear, both for the drive there, and coming home again, which was a direct answer to a lot of prayer. Noel and Laurie did a wonderful job of the preparations.  They went out and cut
 down their own tree, and it was beautiful

They had a full table spread of finger foods for supper on the 24th, and we spent the time just enjoying each others' company. Laurie is starting to show a really cute baby bump. Her Grandmother was there to celebrate with us, and it was fun to be able to get to know more of her family. It is so wonderful to have the in-laws all get along with each other, such a blessing. Christmas day was fun. Noel had gone out and done some shopping for baby clothes, which he gave Laurie as parts of her gifts. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to watch him as he did that shopping, as he chose the items, and looked at all the adorable clothes. He even picked up the outfit that they will use to bring the baby home. He is going to be a gentle and caring father. I am looking forward to watching him be a father, almost as much as I am looking forward to being a Grandma.

This is one of the outfits Noel picked out, so soft, and so cute.

Matt acted as the designated "elf", delivering the gifts the the anxiously waiting family, and decided to decorate himself, at the same time. Can't you see the mischief in those eyes!
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My 2 "boys", Matt and Noel, the father-to-be, looking calm and peaceful, and not too happy with mom and the camera, after a wonderful turkey dinner.

 On the 26th, Noel and Laurie flew down to Texas to spend a week with Laurie's parents, who go down there for the winter. So, we got to bring home a visitor for the week. Shelby, who is their Chocolate Labrador Retriever, They have done such a good job with this dog. She is obedient, doesn't chew things she shouldn't, and is quite good company. However she has one habit that brings out the "Eeeeuuuuuwww" factor, she loves "poopsicles". All together now ......eeeeeeeuuuuuuwwwwww!!!
And, somehow, in taking these pictures, I didn't manage to get one of our daughter, Rebecca. Shame on this Mother. (giggle) She doesn't read my blog, so she won't feel left out, I hope. And now, after writing all this, and finally figuring out, after blogging for a year, how to get pictures to go where I want them, I'm going to go take my Nine Patch Pineapple off the machine, because the quilting is finished. I'm going to clear off the dining room table, and use it as my large surface to trim the quilt, and then I'm going to get the binding onto it, and maybe even have it finished by the end of the year. Woohoo.

Monday 27 December 2010

Design Wall Monday Dec 27

Most everyone's post that I have read today, has expressed the same thing I am feeling, how is it possible that it is the last Monday of the year. How is it possible that 2010 is almost over. I have enjoyed participating in the design wall Mondays, since I started, and find that it gives me motivation to get at least something small done, and often a whole lot more than that. Today is one of the small days. I have one of my 100 block challenge blocks done, and one more to go to make sure I keep up to date. The last one is all cut out, but it has curved seams, and I don't seem to have the patience to do the curved seams.

We had a great Christmas up in Collingwood with our children, and Laurie's grandmother was there as well. She's a sweet lady. Some of my quilts and other crafty stuff from the past year found new homes at Christmas. Here are 6 pictures of the different hand made gifts.

This is the One block Wonder that I did earlier this year. It went to live at Noel and Laurie's

This is a kit that I ordered from Keepsake Quilter. Matt and Becca are both outdoors type people, and Matt has a thing for moose sightings, so this was a perfect quilt to go and live at their house.

This is a wreath that I made up for Matt and Becca. It used the bells that we had on the tables for their wedding. I added some red and green bells, just to give it colour

These are some little 5 inch stockings that I did up for Noel and Laurie to put on their Christmas tree. They always get a huge tree, since they have a cathedral ceiling in their living room, 12 feet tall, at least.
These are some mini pocket warmers. They have 1/2 cup of rice in each. A pair of pocket warmers  go into the microwave for 30 seconds, and then get tucked into pockets to keep hands warm. I found the idea here each of the kids got a pair.

This is a table runner for Noel and Laurie, also from a kits from Keepsake quilts. It had an interesting way of doing the applique. The shapes were cut out from the gold fabric, while reserving the parts of the gold fabric that the shapes were cut from, giving a positive and negative effect

Friday 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas, everyone

Well, here we are, on our way to Collingwood to spend Christmas with our family. I must say, that I love this mobile internet thing. The roads are good, and the drive is going well, as I sit here, on the internet, writing a blog post. I want to wish all who fallow my blog, and all who visit regularly, or just happen to be passing by, a very happy safe, blessed and wonderful Christmas. A couple of days ago, as I was chatting with Susan on facebook, I noticed some comments about a song that had the line in it, "where's the line to see Jesus?". It sparked my curiosity, so I went searching for it. I'm so glad I did, it is a wonderful song, which I would like to share with you all.

Monday 20 December 2010

Design Wall Monday Dec 20

Wow, December 20, already. Four days from now, we'll be heading up to Collingwood to spend Christmas with our son and daughter-in-law, Noel and Laurie. Our daughter, Rebecca, and her husband, Matt, are going to be there too. I am praying that the weather cooperates, and we don't have any of the heavy snow squalls that have been hitting us this month. Laurie, who is around 4 months pregnant, is having an ultrasound on the 22nd, so they will, hopefully, know the sex of the baby by the time we get there. And then, the true fun begins, when I can seriously think about a customized baby quilt, just for that precious child. Woohoo! I was hoping to have all day today, after working the weekend, to relax, and play in my sewing room. But, Rebecca called, and wants to head out to do some Christmas shopping, and how can I pass up an opportunity to spend time with my daughter. However, I
did manage to get one more of the 100 block challenge blocks made this morning, so I'm up to date. Go on over to Patchwork Times to see more design walls

Sunday 19 December 2010

I'll do it

 I've been wavering back and forth on whether or not to join in on the UFO challenge, which aims to list 12 UFO's, and finish one per month. Or, if not finish, at least get some work done on it. I've been wavering back and forth, mostly because I'm not sure if I want to put that kind of pressure on myself. But, further reflection has brought me to the conclusion that there really is no pressure. It is my choice, depending on what is happening in life, whether I work on the UFO during the month or not, but it seems like it would be a good motivational tool.  Judy L., over at Patchwork Times is hosting this, and providing some motivation to achieve the goals. One the first day of each month, she will draw a number from 1 to 12, and that will be the project we all work on that month. If we get the project done, she will draw for a small prize. So, here goes the list, most of which are projects I've been working on, off and on, for the past year. If you click on the ones underlined, it will take you to previous posts about these projects.

1. Hexagon baby quilt
2. Double Wedding Ring
3. Grandmother's Diamond Ring, from Judy Martin's Creative.... (I can't remember the rest of the title,       off the top of my head, and the book has temporarily gone missing in the disaster zone of my sewing room) I've been working on this as a leader and ender project, and it is ready to start going together
4. Freeze Frame, just needs the last 2 borders
5. Endless Chain
6. Card Trick Swap
7. Roll roll cotton boll, this is actually a current work in progress, but I listed it, since it has the very great potential to end up a UFO, because of the 600 1 1/2 inch half square triangles needed for it.
8. Cactus Rose
9. Disappearing nine patch
10. Crazy curves
11. Kitchen Sink
12. Cosmati Stars, this is only going to end up table topper size. I actually haven't had this one out of its box in quite a few years, so it could probably come in as the oldest of my UFO's.

This list doesn't cover all of the UFO's scattered in various bags in a tote container I have, but it lists the ones I would really like to get done. I was tempted to add the 12 that are currently waiting for quilting to this list, as well, but that would be putting me into overload, since I would like to get into the habit of actually quilting a top, and binding it, so that it can actually count as finished, rather than adding it to the 12 that are already there.

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Pineapple Nine Patch Finished

After a marathon 2 days of sewing, I can finally count this top as finished. Not only that, but the backing is done, and I am going to load this on the machine, and get it quilted. I am going to try an add that as another self discipline thing, to quilt tops as they are finished, rather than leave them hang there. I have a few that have been waiting to be quilted for at least 3 or 4 years. And then, there are a few that are hanging there, because I'm not sure what to do with them. The all over pantograph ones are easy. It's the sampler types that I have, that really need to have the squares treated individually that have me stumped. I think I need to do some webshots browsing, or blog browsing to get some ideas for them. But, that is a New Years thing. For now, I'll be happy to get this one done. It was a huge challenge, with lots of little pieces, and I don't think I'll do another of them, but I like the way it turned out.

Monday 13 December 2010

Design Wall Monday Dec 13

I wasn't planning on doing a wall post today, since I didn't have anything new, and wasn't planning on making anything new. I've spent most of the last couple of weeks working on Christmas gifts, so I can't show pictures of those. Today, I was planning on working on, and trying to get finished, my Nine patch pineapple. But, when I went into my room this morning, the new fabrics that I got in the mail called my name and asked, very politely, if they could come out and play. How could I say no? (giggle) I knew when I ordered them that they were going to be hexagon blocks, in a grandbaby quilt, so I set out to make a few, just to see what they would look like. I'm, so far, only doing gender neutral colours, since we won't know till the end of the month whether it is a boy or girl. I've cut the strips at 3 1/2 inches, so that a lot of the fabric and colour will show, without being overwhelmingly busy. I think they look fun, so far. I'm going to end up with leftovers of each set, so, the plan right now, would be to use the leftovers in a border, but, that is a ways away. Go on over to Judy's Patchwork Times to see more walls. And now, to work for awhile on the nine patch pineapple, and then maybe more hexies, and go back and forth between the 2, as the mood hits.

Friday 10 December 2010

More before and afters....

Dining room table before
 I was talking to Susan last night on Facebook chat, and she was telling me about some of the decorating that she has been doing in her house. One of the ideas she has was to take a crystal vase, and fill it with glass bulbs and use it as a center piece. I jokingly said that, although I really liked the idea, it wouldn't work because I couldn't even see the top of my dining room table, which was a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. She is such a good and encouraging and motivating friend. Somehow, I found myself agreeing to a challenge, to take before and after shots, and actually clean up the mess, and do something nice with the spaces. So, here is the result of that challenge. Now, the challenge will be keeping it this way. LOL

Coffee table before

Coffee table after
Dining room table after

 Every year, Scott does a Christmas village on our mantelpiece, and every year it looks different. This year he decided he wanted to contrast the ideas of the busy city, with the peace of the countryside. So, he arranged all the buildings on one side, full of hustle and bustle, and people. On the other side, he arranged a peaceful country setting, centered on the nativity scene, so it could focus the real reason that we celebrate in the first place.  He has blue lights scattered through it, so, at night when the lights are on, it looks cool and restful, and oh so very Christmas. I must confess, that I look forward to him doing this every year.

Tuesday 7 December 2010

More snow stories

 These are pictures of Matt, the wonderful young man our daughter married this past summer. She sure knows how to pick a good one. He's making believe that he's a human snowplow, trying to get through the backyard in order to get to the shed, to get the extra snow shovel. Scott had taken the one from the front porch, where it is usually kept, to work with him, so that he could shovel himself out of the parking lot in order to get home. It's waist deep back there, and Matt's over 6 feet tall. The look on Scott's face when he got home and found the driveway all cleaned out was priceless. Thank you, Matt.

Before and after

At the end of last winter, I posted this picture of my rose bush and pond area, just as an encouragement to myself that winter would end. Well, this is what that rose bush looks like now. To give an idea of the amount of snow back there, the fence behind the rose bush is 4 feet tall, and all we can see is the very top of it. And, our garbage pail has a very lovely hat, don't you think. And, it hasn't stopped snowing yet. This is predicted to keep going into tomorrow. My poor husband had to go out in it again this morning to go to work, but I'm staying put. I hit a ruler with my longarm a couple of days ago. so my job today is to try and fix the timing. Once I'm done that, I'll finish what I was quilting, and then do 6 more foundation blocks for the RRCB mystery. I did 6 yesterday. And then, I'm going to try and finish the borders for the pineapple quilt.

Monday 6 December 2010

Design Wall Monday Dec 6

 Today is an excellent day to stay inside and sew. We are getting slammed with snow. Schools have been closed, the roads are a mess, and the snow continues to fall. So far, according to the Weather Network, we've had between 30 to 40 centimetres, which translates over to 12 to 16 inches of snow since yesterday. And, it's forecasted to continue like this for all of today, tonight, and into tomorrow. It's all coming in off Lake Huron, like an arrow, pointed straight at us. It's a good thing I've got lots I want to do, and no place I need to go. My poor husband, though, had to go out in it this morning to go to work. I can only begin to imagine the number of calls the hospital got from people not able to get in to work (he and I work at the same hospital). They called this morning wanting to know I could come in this afternoon. I very politely declined. If this snow keeps up, the people working this afternoon won't be able to get home. My Son and Daughter-in-love, who live in Collingwood, have at least twice as much as we do. It a ski place, so that community will be glad of the snow So, I've spent my morning, and early afternoon working on my 100 block challenge
 blocks, pictured here, at the side, along with a picture of all 8 blocks done so far. And now, since there is no place else to go, I'm heading back upstairs to finish off my step 2 triangles, and start my step 3 string pieced foundation squares for the
RRCB mystery sponsored by Bonnie Hunter. It seems like there are a lot of us in blog land working on this mystery. It is going to be a lot of fun to see everyone's finished quilts, once the mystery is done.

Saturday 4 December 2010


I finally got around to taking a few pictures of the  quilts I've finished in the past month, although I still haven't got the bindings sewn down. I've decided I'm finishing them off by machine, with my walking foot, decorative thread, and a decorative stitch. So, now, it's just a matter of getting it done, some time in this lifetime. I was hoping to have them done by the end of the year, so that I could use them as charitable donation deductions on my income tax, but I don't think that's going to happen. So, I'll get the rest of my donation quilts done in the new year, and have a much larger amount to donate. I also finished Amalia's quilt, and took some pics of it, as well. And now, I'm off to work on a quilt on the longarm before heading in to work this afternoon.
This is Amalia's quilt. It measured out at 97x97 inches. It's made completely out of batiks, and is absolutely stunning

This is a close up of one of the stars in the quilt. The centre of the star is sewn using a dimensional technique that I had never seen before
I tried to get a side view to see if the quilting would show up more. It is a pantograph called "Plummage" I can't remember the name of the designer at the moment. I used a Rainbows varigated thread
This is that half hexagon quilt I pieced last spring. The backing, which I didn't get a picture of, is large yellow sunflowers, which is also going to be the binding

A scrappy style Delectable Mountains,  in a barn raising setting. There is something about this quilt that I'm not happy with. I told Susan, when I was chatting with her last week, that it was an ugly quilt. 

This is a "Bricks and Stepping stones" quilt from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville.  It is going to have a scrappy binding. I took a whole pile of leftover binding ends, and sewed them together to get enough to bind this one

Thursday 2 December 2010

More fabric in the mail

I love, love, love, getting boxes of fabric in the mail. The website Thousands of bolts had a sale a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn't resist. Denise, at Count it All Joy, had been making these hexies and that was my take off point. Most of the fabrics are juvenile, baby related, so I have a good take off point for grandbaby quilts. WooHoo!!! That fabric website has a colour matching tool, so I was able to get a lot of coordinating colours. I think they'll make gorgeous hexies, and lots of other stuff. They are all one yard cuts, so there are 26 yards of fabric sitting here on my living room floor. Yummy! Added to that are 11 yards of cream coloured texture fabric, and 6 yards for a backing, for a grand total of 43 yards of fabric that came to live at my house today. Good thing I'm not participating in the stash reduction challenges. Instead, I've added more to my personal quilting retirement fund. (giggle) I think though, come the new year, I'm going to start keeping track of how much fabric is coming into the house, and how much is getting used, if only for curiosity. But now, I get to try and find a place to put all this lucious fabric, and try to finish Amalia's 97x97 inch quilt.

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Sewing room news

 I spent most of yesterday, as planned, in my sewing room, with just a couple of tea breaks, and checking the computer for new posts breaks. All in all, a productive, yet relaxing day. It was so nice. I managed to start and finish both blocks for the 100 blocks challenge It is so much fun to see how the same pattern can look so different, depending on who made it, and in what fabrics and colours. I'll probably be repeating that thought quite frequently. I also managed to get all of the half square triangles cut, and about 2/3 of the sewn, for the Roll Roll Cotton Boll mystery I am liking the purples and blacks, and am looking forward to seeing the next clue, which Bonnie says she will be posting on Friday. Today's plan, after I yank myself away from the computer: clean off the table of my longarm, so I can mount a quilt onto it. I received a quilt from Amalia last week that she would like finished before Christmas, and it's HUGE, made for a king size bed. She wants a fairly easy pantograph, so it won't be hard to do, just a lot of standing, and a lot of time. So, when I'm taking a break from standing, I'll sit, and finish the last of the RRCB triangle units. I need to get back to the borders of the pineapple nine patch, as well. Oh yes, somewhere in there, I need to fit some ho-hum stuff like, making supper, and doing some laundry.

Tuesday 30 November 2010

Glad that weekend is over

Whew, that was a brutal weekend of work. I think I'm getting too old for this, but there are 2 1/2 years to go before I can retire, and even then it will only be with the minimal pension. I spent the weekend working on the Alzheimer's unit. That has got to be the worst disease. It robs the patients, mostly men, since they are vets from the 2nd world war, of their minds. Some of them know who they are, but none of them know where they are, let alone why. It's no surprise then, when some of them fight the idea, literally, of some stranger, to them at least, coming in and undressing them, taking off their diaper, and proceeding to wash their private areas. Reasoning doesn't work, because their ability to reason is gone. All they know is that these strange women are stripping their clothes off. Most of them are cooperative, but there are 3 or 4 who fight, tooth and nail, again, literally. Most of the time, if they are fighting it, we just leave them, and try again later. But, when they are "soiled", there is no choice but to get it done. There are no male staff on this unit, so it is up to us women to look after these men. To say that it is difficult is an understatement. But, the weekend is over, and I don't have to go back to work until Friday, so I've decided that today is my play day. I'm going to work on the mystery quilt, and on my 100 block challenge blocks, and I'll come back later tonight, or tomorrow, and give a progress report.

Monday 29 November 2010

Design Wall Monday Nov 29

There isn't anything too terribly exciting up on my wall today. I gave in, and decided to participate in the Roll Roll Cotton Boll mystery , so that's what is currently on my wall. These are the strip sets for step one. I haven't managed, obviously, to get them cut into their 2 inch segment, yet. Maybe this week, depending on what else is going on. I've worked this past weekend, as well as having to go in today, as well. And, for some reason, I just can't seem to get up any energy to do anything else. My body just doesn't want to wake up, which could make this afternoon's shift interesting. My get up and go has definitely gotten up and went.  Oh well, this too shall pass. The second picture here are the fabrics I think I'll be using for step 2 of the mystery. A continuation of the purples used in step 1, and blacks, since I think they will have a good contrast with the purples. Both pictures a rather blurry, for some reason, rather like the way my brain feels, today. Definite brain fog going on here. (sigh) I did get a lot more than this accomplished this past week, but most of it is secret, Christmas stuff.  I'm hoping to keep up with the 100 block challenge blocks, as well, so they are on my to do list for this week. But, for now, it's off to work I go. To see other design walls, go on over to Judy's Patchwork Times

Thursday 25 November 2010

100 block challenge

So far today, I have gotten all of the bindings made, and the fourth square for Teaquilt's 100 block challengs  finished. These are picks of the first 4, so far. I'm hoping I'll be able to keep up. So far, it has been an enjoyable thing to do. So, now I'm off to get those bindings actually sewn onto the quilts. Whether I finish them by hand or machine will probably depend on how my shoulders feel after wrestling 3 quilts though my machine. I much prefer the look of hand stitched bindings, but, these are quilts destined for charity, so, I don't know if I want to take the time to do them by hand.