Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Wednesday 31 March 2010

Split Nine Patch

Here's Charlene's Split Nine Patch finished. She wanted a simple meander, so that's sort of what I gave her. But, I wanted a bit of a difference between the light and dark side of the streak of lightening effect of her setting.So, I did the simple puzzle type meander in the light, and a loop meander in the darks. I'm happy with this one. I used varigated Rainbows blues in the top thread, and a light grey in the bobbin.

Hyper critical

I finished a customer quilt a couple of days ago. I didn't taken a picture of it, because I wasn't happy with the way it turned out. I've been upset, and nervous, and anxious, about her reaction when she picked it up, since she is a long time customer of mine. She just picked it up and loved it. The stuff that I was obsessing over didn't bother her in the least. So, my question to myself is, what was I so upset about? When I looked at it again, when I got it out for her, it wasn't that bad. Am I too hard on myself, or was I just having a bad day when I did that quilt? Maybe I was just "hormonally deprived" that day, as I seem to be most days, LOL. I lost part of a night's sleep over the silly thing. Is it just me, being overly critical of the stuff I do? Somehow, I don't think I'm alone in this, which helps, a bit, at least. I talk to many women, in person, and here online, and we all seem to do the same thing. Why is that? Why can't we do something, and be happy with what we do, rather than looking for the mistakes, or the not quite perfect in it? So, lesson learned, take pictures, even if I'm not happy with it, because what I'm not happy with, is probably just me being hyper-critical of my own stuff, stressing out over something that needs no stress put out over it. I just discovered something else, too, that writing about it seems to help to put it in perspective. Something else I'm going to have to remember, next time, and I'm quite sure there will be a next time. Thanks for listening. DO you do the same thing?

Monday 29 March 2010

Design wall Monday March 29

How is it possible that it is Monday again already? Where did March go? The weather forecast for London is getting better. It should be up in the 70's by the end of the week. A great way to cure cabin fever. I should be able to get out into the garden by the end of the week. Yippee!! On my design wall is "Endless Chain", which is growing at quite a nice pace. So far, according to my rough estimate, I've used up almost 3 yards of scraps. The pile is starting to look smaller.. I had planned on working on a couple of customer quilts today, but have decided, since I worked this past weekend, to take today off and do some more work on this quilt, and do customer quilts tomorrow. How's that for a good excuse to procrastinate?

Saturday 27 March 2010

Cabin fever

I think I have a really bad case of cabin fever. I'm moody, and grumpy, and irritable, and can't seem to settle down to doing anything constructive. I feel like I'm jumping around inside my skin, and I don't like it, not one bit. It seems like this winter has gone on forever. I'm longing for warm breezes, warm sunshine, and sitting out in my yard watching the roses bloom. This is a pic of my shrub rose bush, in full bloom from last year, which I took from my lovely swing, where I have my coffee every morning in the warm weather. It's my favourite place to be to read, or do hand work, other than when we are off on one of our camping trips. I'm reading other blogs of people in the southern states, and they are talking about temperatures in the 70's, and here we sit, near freezing. I love my country, and wouldn't want to live anywhere else other than Canada, but, winter stinks............ there, I said it. I try to be patient, and I try not to complain, at least not publicly. I try to be positive, but, winter stinks. However, spring always comes, and always will as long as the earth endures, and yet, I still have cabin fever. I'm longing to get out into the garden and get my hands dirty. I love planting things and watching them grow. I love the smell of the lavender bushes, and the sound of the water on our pond. It's fun to watch the birds as they come to drink and bathe. Even the sound of the bees as they visit the rose bush is pleasant. Hmmmmmmm, I'm not sure if I'm helping myself here, or making it worse. (sigh) Right now, not even all the spring colours in my fabrics are helping the cause. I think I get it now why so many people travel south in March. The warm weather craving is critical. It helps to know that most of us feel this way, but still.........

Monday 22 March 2010

Design wall Monday March 22

I'm a little late posting today, but I've been working on the star blocks for this BOM I'm doing. It's by Burning the Midnight Oil, which is in my blog list. I'm actually working on next month's blocks. This month's were the chain squares. But, I really like this quilt, and would like to get it into the finished category. Right now, the green in the star block is looking rather out of place, but I think it will be better when the other 3 are done. At least, I hope it will.

Sad goodbye

One of the most influential women in my life is gone. She passed away on Saturday. She was the woman who most exemplified the love of Jesus in my life, and is the person who led me to the Lord. She was my ex-mother-in-law, and, in spite of that, kept in touch with myself and my family. Of course, having my son as her grandson had something to do with it. In spite of all the family dynamics, she remained a kind and gracious lady. She never forgot an occasion to send a card, birthday's, Valentines day, Easter, Christmas. She showed me the kind of Grandmother that I want to be, when that day comes. I will miss her, until we meet again, in the Lord's kingdom. Good bye for now, Elsie.

Friday 19 March 2010

I found my dress!

I took the dress that I was making for myself for Rebecca's wedding out of the closet the other day, and tried it on. I had put it into the closet because I wanted to lose some more weight before finishing it. There was something about it I just wasn't happy with, so, since I have lost about 13 pounds, I decided that I would give dress shopping another try, before investing any more time into the dress I was making. So, off Becca and I went, and who would have thought those pounds would make such a big difference. It's hard to get a really good picture of it, but enough to at least get an idea. It isn't really revealing, and it certainly isn't mother-of-the-bride frumpy. I love it! the actual colour is a bit darker and bluer. In addition to finding my dress, we also found shoes and jewelry to go with it. Then, we found her hairpiece for going above her veil, and her jewelry, and then we found necklaces and earrings for gifts for the bridesmaids. Woohoo. All in all a good couple of days worth of shopping were had by mother and daughter. It was fun to spend that time with her, too. She's in her final month of school at college, and it has been a brutal year for her, with not a lot of time available for anything outside school work, so it was nice to have that time, even if she did have to steal it from school work she should have been doing. I feel a whole lot better, too, now that I know what I am wearing, and that part is done, and can be crossed off the to do list. Huge sigh of relief. And now, I'm off to get ready for work.

Monday 15 March 2010

Design wall Monday March 15

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about a quilt I'd started, designed by Emilie Richards, called Endless Chain. I've gotten enough of it done to put up on the wall, to get an idea of what it will look like. I'm string piecing all the multicoloured wedges. The original pattern used a stripe, but I wanted to be able to make it scrappier, hence the string piecing. So far, I've estimated I've used up almost 2 yards of my odd shaped, not usable for anything else, scraps. I must confess to being quite happy with the way it is looking so far. The open section at the centre of each block will be covered with an appliqued circle, the same as the navy background. It is going to be a longer term project. The size of quilt I want to do is going to take 336 of the pieced wedges, and I have 109 done. I'm not going to be getting much quilt sewing done this week. I've decided it is time to take out my half finished dress for my daughter's wedding, and get it to the point where I can see if it is going to work, or not. If it doesn't look the way I hope it will, I need to give myself some time to go out and buy one, not an experience I look forward to. The dresses in the stores seem to fit 2 categories, extremely close fitting, strapless, something most mothers could never wear, or shapeless, and frumpy, something most mothers would never want to wear.  (sigh)

Friday 12 March 2010

Small bites work

Well, after having the last 3 days off, it's back to work for the weekend. I managed to get a fair amount accomplished yesterday, lots of batiks cut up, and a couple of test runs done for the crazy curves. They weren't to bad to sew up. After doing wedding ring arcs, and the curves in Cactus Rose, these were pretty easy. I got 4 more blocks done for the endless chain, and 80 pieces for Kitchen sink. I think I like doing small bits of things for limited times. Maybe I have ADD and don't know it. (giggle) Somehow, it feels like I get more done that way. On a non-quilty note, the wedding invitations are all done, and after they put in the cards that say where they have registered, are ready to go in the mail. That was a huge job. We bought do it yourself kits from Michael's, and, although it was definitely a cost saving, it did take a huge chunk of time, but it was fun too. Nicole comes for her dress fitting tomorrow, so I can get it finished this week, I hope. So far, we are managing to get stuff done with enough time to spare to prevent feeling panicked. Hopefully, it can stay that way. Anyway, time to go play for awhile before going to work.

Thursday 11 March 2010

Attack of the "Blahs"

Yesterday was a day of the "blahs". I woke up with a headache, and a bad kink in my neck that wouldn't go away no matter what I did. Spent most of the day on the couch with Advil and a heating pad. I hate it when I have stuff I really want to do, but my body tells me that there is no way it is going to happen. Finally, by the evening I was feeling better, so decided to come upstairs to do something, but still had a really hard time settling down to focus on any one thing. I've been going through my new books, and have decided on a project for my bin of 2 1/2 inch strips. I managed to get all of the lights cut into the 2 1/2 inch by 3 1/2 inch rectangles, but I think I'm going to cut the darks a few strips at a time as I sew. I'm kind of regretting cutting all the lights at once into that size, no opportunity to change my mind. I also, by deciding to cut for the length of my Hillsong album, got my pile of odds and ends fabric cut down into various sizes, which topped up my 2 1/2 inch bin even more than it was. I think I'm going to do the same thing today with my large drawer of odd sized batiks. I got my "Crazy Curves" templates in the mail, so that is what I'll be doing with the batiks. I'm going to try and focus on doing a project for the length of time it takes to go through a playlist of songs on my i-tunes, and see if that will help with getting various things done. So, first task for today, cutting up, and sorting out that bin of batiks. Second, sew up some more for those 2 1/2 inch scrap blocks for the "Kitchen Sink" project. Third, do some more endless chain blocks. Then.......... oh yes, figuring out income tax. (sigh) My dear husband, Scott, actually does the income tax, but I have to figure out all my income and expenses for my quilting. That is his goal for today, so somewhere in here, I will have to do that as well. Yuck. Hmmmmm, I think I still have that case of the blahs. Time to go play, and maybe it will go away.

Tuesday 9 March 2010

"DogEar Star" done

I've finished my block for Shannon's BOM. It's called "DogEar Star" I think it's pretty, and plays well with all the others i've done up to now. I have spent my alloted time cutting fabric up from my scraps, though there are still a lot left. I think, though, rather than starting something new, I'm going to use some self discipline, and continue to work on the Endless Chain quilt. Here's a sneak peak. The holes in the centres of the squares will eventually be covered with circles of the navy fabric.

Books in the mail

What a beautiful day. It is warm enough for a long walk, and then a sit down with a cup of tea, and my new books, on the front porch. Pure bliss. I received 4 new books in the mail, all ordered because of quilts, or posts I've seen in blogs recently. Wanna see? So many choices, so many lovely quilts just waiting to be made. Do I need any more ideas? probably not, but it sure is fun browsing through these books for ideas to use up some of this fabric I have here. The problem is, now I confronted with over abundance of choice. Which one should I do? Which one do I like best? I don't know. Maybe I should just decide on a book, then decide on one of the quilts in it. Hmmmmm, what to do, what to do? I think the first step is going to be getting off the computer, and digging into my fabric. Then, maybe a decision will come out and hit me on the head, gently, I hope. (giggle). Right now, I'm leaning towards cutting up some of the pile of fabric on my cutting table, into 2 1/2 inch strips, and then digging into the scrap basket surprises book. To be really efficient, and also have an excuse to start something else, I'll grab my baskets of 2 1/2 inch squares and start a leaders and enders for a split nine patch. There, partial decision made, at least, and so far nothing has hit me over the head.

Thursday 4 March 2010

Pleasant surprise

I got up this morning, and, as usual, checked out the various blogs I follow, as well as checking out the comments on my own. Imagine my surprise to find that the author of the Endless Chain book had commented on my post. Wow!!! It's easy to forget just how far reaching this internet thing is. It has kind of given me some incentive to take it from a work on every now and then project, to a work on more consistently project. I'm now up to having 94 of the wedges pieced up. If I allow 15 inches of approximately 2 inch fabric for each wedge, it adds up to roughly 2 yards of fabric used up. So, why doesn't that pile look any smaller?  (sigh) I think the are fabric gremlins who come in the night and multiply fabric. Or, maybe rumpelstiltskin comes in and weaves straw into fabric, instead of gold. (giggle). I have a lot of a navy fabric here that I think might work for the wedges in between the wedges. I think I'll go and try it out, and will post a pic when done.

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Endless Chain

A number of months ago I found a really good series of books by Emilie Richards. If you've never read her stuff, I recommend it highly. The Shenandoah Series follows a group of friends in  small community, and, of course, quilting figures strongly in the books. All of the books in this series are named after quilts. One of them, named "Endless Chain", caught my eye, and added to the list of quilts I have fallen in love with, and had to make. So, I sent away for the instruction book, and got to work. The quilt in the book uses a stripe fabric in the wedges, and I really like the effect, but didn't want to use a stripe, so I decided to make my own by piecing the wedges. Whenever I feel like sewing, but without thinking about it, I pull out my odds and ends scraps and piece up a bunch of wedges, on paper, kind of like string piecing, or crumb piecing, but with a regulated shape and size. Today is one of that kind of days. It is going to be a long term project. The quilt needs approximately 336 on these wedges, and I have 67 done. I'm not sure, yet, what I'll use as the background colour of the rest of the blocks, but there is lots of time before I have to decide. I made a spider web quilt, once, using this technique, and one of Bonnie Hunter's, that ended up with 8 point stars, the points being made out of the string pieced units, but I can't remember the name of it at the moment. It is a great way to use up all the odd shaped leftovers that accumulate. Funny how the pile never seems to get smaller, though.  :)

Monday 1 March 2010

Messed up address again

So, I tried linking up to Judy's Design wall Monday, only to mess up the address again. Then, I tried to fix the address, once I found the mistake, only to have it post to her list a second time. So, the question is, can I remove the original post so that people aren't directed to my site twice, which could be rather annoying, I would think.

Design wall Monday March 1

On my design wall today is my continuing work on "Cactus Rose". She's to the point of hand work, so she's coming off the wall today. Replacing her, is a block of the month I'm doing from the website Burning the Midnight Oil.  The link is in the blogs that I follow, if you are interested. There isn't going to be a whole lot of quilting going on in the next few days, though. Nicole, Rebecca's Maid of Honour, is coming today so that I can get her measurements, and get started on her dress.