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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Small Circles

Here is what I have done so far with the smaller circles. Now I will be adding some of the fabrics I bought yesterday. I think it still needs a small touch of red.

Here are some samples of what can be done with stencils and Shiva Paintsticks.

Grand Forks Shopping

Yesterday my friend, Lori, and I went shopping in Grand Forks. The original idea was to go to Fargo but that city is all closed down due to flooding. As it was, we had to avoid the I29 interstate and take smaller highways due to water on the road.
Of course I had to head straight to Joanne Fabrics where I got the assortment of black and white fat quarters. I also got a few bag handles and magnetic snaps. I have been wanting the Jane Davilla book since I saw it on someone's blog. I love the way it is set up as lessons with homework. I'm going back to school! I hope to work through the entire book in the next few months.
After some other shopping we headed farther south to Mayville and Faye's Henhouse quilt shop, one of my all time favorites. My only problem there is that there are so many delicious fabrics and kits and quilt samples that I don't know what to buy. I ended up just getting the little package of spring like Moda fabrics. I did find a nice circle cutting ruler as well. Does anyone detect more black and white circle quilts in my near future?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Black and White Circles II

I got the black and white sewn together today and now I have to decide on borders. I only have a tiny bit of that bright red but I really like the look of it so I may have to buy some more. I also want a wider black border. Looking at it in the picture I think the second from the top and second from the left might be turned the wrong way. it worth turning?

I was back at the fabric store today and found these irresistible dots. I got a metre of each.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Black and White Circles

Three posts in one day. I must be house bound.
While I was waiting for the snow dye to work I started this black and white quilt. I still have to make one more circle and work some more on the arrangement. I made a lot of smaller circles but they just looked too small. I guess there will be another one with smaller blocks, maybe in colors to show off those circles.

When Life Gives You Snow...

You do some snow dyeing. I wish I had some blue because the yellow got eaten up by the pink again. I didn't have enough yellow left to make a strong enough dye to compete with the pink.

This time I used a round grate and that showed up on one piece.

I found these two strange faces when I ironed the fabrics that I dyed yesterday. That's the best thing about low water immersion dyeing. You never know what will turn up.

More Dyeing

I did some more dyeing yesterday and these are the results. It looks like I may be able to do some more snow dyes today. I'd rather be doing sun dyes but you take what is given to you and run with it I guess.

You might want to check Calmity Kim's blog for a draw for a wonderful gift.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Spring in Manitoba

Enough said.

Yesterday I quilted the vines that I made using a stencil and Shiva paint sticks. The green smears at the bottom are part of the dye job not from the paint sticks. The quilting was good practise for doing veins in leaves. I had no idea what to do on the background so I just did my usual meander.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cleaning Day

Today I spent most of my time cleaning and organizing the studio. I want to do some more dyeing and that corner was such a mess that I really couldn't use it. Here it is now (I forgot my camera at the house so no before picture) all ready to get messed up again.

Here is the bead corner, clean but still not organized. I have to get some sort of container for them first.

Here are the most recent dye jobs. The pale on on the left is really much nicer than it would appear in this picture. The vines are done using a stencil and Shiva Paintsticks. I want to do some thread work on top of the leaves as soon as I get some sort of border on it.

These last two are snow dyes. There is still a bit of snow so I thought I might as well take advantage of it. I folded two pieces in four and laid them one on top of the other on a plastic grid over a plastic box to catch the melting snow. I used pink and yellow dye but the yellow mostly got eaten up by the pink. I love how the grid shows on the bottom section of the bottom piece. I thought that would be it for snow dyeing for this year but they are predicting a big snowstorm tomorrow so there may be one more run at it! For all you folks out there who hate winter, sorry to sound so cheerful about more snow.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New Fabric

Fabricland had a 40% off sale on quilting fabrics and this is what I came home with yesterday. I particularly like the orange on the left but it doesn't show up as nicely in the picture as in real life. The butterflies are gold and really sparkle. The green ladybug fabric is very cute and I have dyed lots of green that will probably match the background. The dots on the two dotted fabrics are printed on an angle and I think they'll make nice borders, among other things.

If you have children or grandchildren who are interested in cartooning you might want to check out my son's animated drawing lessons at Follow Me Cartooning . He also has some games and animations at Frolic Media.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Dye Job

I did some dyeing this morning. While I was waiting for the dye to batch I started this wall hanging. The center looked a bit Easter so I added some borders and trims. I think there will be quite a few changes before it's done.

I tried dyeing rainbow colors. Once I had started I realized I didn't have enough blue dye so I used turquoise instead. It doesn't look much like a rainbow but I do like the results anyway. The top two are done with some new fabric that I just got yesterday. The colors are much more intense in that fabric.

This is my favorite piece, done with the new fabric. Do you see the tree in the lower left corner?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Circle Play

I bought this book awhile ago I bought this book and yesterday I finally got around to trying her technique. I have decided that I don't have a large enough stash to do justice to this method. Or maybe I'll have to go shopping with this book in mind. I'd need to buy at least 20 different fabrics. My favorites in the book are done with Japanese fabrics. Maybe I need to go back to Blue Bamboo in Minneapolis. No, I don't want to order online. I want to go back to that store and blow my mind on all their wonderful fabrics!

I used all greens. The center bottom block is the most successful in my opinion. I was trying to get a line that would go through the block and the circle. I am relatively happy with the background arrangement but would change some of the circles if I had different fabric. One of the samples is done in all black and whites. I may give that a try since I have quite a few of them. Next time I'll sew the circles on with invisible thread. On this one I used dark thread and a hemming stitch.
I'm noticing a trend here with books that have the words play or games in the title.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Three Finishes

Today was a day for finishing things. This little wall hanging needed some beads sewn on and the hanging sleeve attached.

I got some fabric glue called Tug-o-War to glue on the pompoms. I remember that glue from when I was a child. I didn't realize they even made it anymore. The nice thing is that it dries clear. I used it on the first wall hanging pictured here to glue down the sparkly trim on the pink tail.

And here is the Coffee Table Runner all quilted and bound.
It feels good to get a few things finished.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Coffee Table Runner

The Buttercup bag is so much fun to make, not to mention the need to use the piping foot, that I made a second one. I am debating some embellishments. Not that they particularly need it but I have all those beads. I have put an end to bead buying at least until I get these ones sorted and into some kind of storage container.

Today I started on a table runner for a coffee table. What better background than fabric that is dyed to look like spilled coffee stains. No worries if someone spills on this one, as long as it's not red wine!
You will notice the Australian landscape still sitting there waiting for some thread painting.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Buttercup Bag

This is the Buttercup Bag from Made By Rae. It seemed like a perfect project to try out my new piping foot, which worked perfectly. The only thing I would change is that I would use some heavy interfacing on the top piece. The fabric is one of my snow dyes. I may have to wait until next year to do more snow dyes. It looks like the snow is finally leaving us. Nobody is complaining.

Here is a close-up of the piping. I made it from a scrap of fabric that I had on hand. I may add some embellishments but I'm not sure it really needs anything else. But I do have all those beads....

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Yesterday we got up at 5:30 AM to drive to Minot to a quilt show. Isn't that dedication to the cause! It was well worth it because not only was it a wonderful show, but I also met Darcie from Quilting by Darcie. She is just as much fun in person as she is on her blog. She was helping her sister in her Comforts of Home vendors booth, so it was easy to find her. Naturally, we took time out from talking a mile a minute, to have our picture taken in front of one of the award winning quilts. I'm really hoping that Darcie will be able to make it down here for our quilting show in May.
On the way home, I stopped in at the Paff dealers in Killarney and bought a piping foot for my machine. I love the look of piping, especially on my wall hangings and bags, but I'm never quite satisfied with the results using a zipper foot. I can't wait to get to the studio and try it out.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Red Bag

I went out to the studio this morning to work on this wall hanging but it just didn't inspire me for some reason. It seems to lack focus or something. I'm not sure what.
So, when you are at a standstill on a project, what do you do? Well, I make a bag.

This little bag is made out of thrift store upholstery fabric. I am stalled on it for the moment because I need handles. The ones I got last week are a bit too big. I also have to put on the magnetic snaps and sew the top pieces on. I can't sew it together until I get the handles though.
I got the pattern on the internet but I can't remember whose tutorial it was. Whoever it was, if you let me know I'll give you credit on my next post. It's going to be quite a job to sew through all those layers at the top. I may get out my old treadle machine for that. Treadles will sew through anything!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I Won!

A few weeks ago I entered a draw held by Gwen from Scrappy Angel Quilts and I won! Today my prize arrived in the mail and I'm sure she has been reading my blog because the package contained a selection of my favorite kinds of fabrics. There were gorgeous hand dyes and dotted fabrics all tied up with the most beautiful trimming ribbon. The blue piece is very large and I have added another picture of a corner of it that is totally amazing. They will soon find their way into a quilt or wall hanging if I can bear to cut into them.

Thanks a million, Gwen.

Tool Box

I had all my tools in a large container and I was spending far too much time digging around for the one I wanted. I went to Canadian Tire and found this in the tools department. It was cheap and exactly what I needed for sorting my equipment. These aren't all my tools but they are the ones I use most often. My rulers, cutters and tape measures are on nails on the wall. That will be a picture for another day.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thrift Day Again

OK, I think I have enough beads already. I particularly like the blue necklace in the middle of the picture. The bigger beads on it are really beautiful. I also found some beading wire and some trims. Now I had better get back to making wall hangings that need beads.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Journal Cover

This afternoon I made a sketchbook cover. I'd certainly do a better job the next time. I made it too short, having not allowed enough for the thickness of the book, so I had to add a piece of yellow to the back. Next time I'd make the folded over part that forms the pocket to fit the cover in, much wider. I do like the way my name turned out though.

A Pillow For Sure

This one is unquestionably a pillow. It already has the pillow inside the cover. I think it looks quite spring-like. It's a bit smaller than the others I have been making.

Lynne asked to see yesterday's pillow with the quarter turn so here it is.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


I'm not sure if this should be a pillow top or a wall hanging. If it's a wall hanging it will be turned halfway so that the zigzag strips are vertical . I'll think about it for a day or two.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Spring Bag

First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who left kind comments on my recent medical adventure. I'm feeling much better now, although I seem to be slightly lacking in my usual energy. I'm hoping that will return soon.

Because of my lack of energy, I thought I'd start with something simple today. This is a plain tote with no pockets or zippers or snaps. I thought I'd try one pair of the handles that I got at the thrift shop on Tuesday. I like the look of them, although I have to admit that I'm not much of a fan of carrying a bag with handles like that.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

My Adventure

Last night we squeezed some lemons and oranges to make juice which I drank before going to bed. It was very strong and acidic so I didn't even finish it. About half an hour later, after I was in bed, I began to experience stomach cramps and pain. I thought it would just pass but it kept getting worse and worse. Finally at about 1 AM we called the hospital and they said to come in. (Thank you, Canada, for Medicare.) The pain was quite severe by this time and I could barely stand. In the end it was decided that I had severe gastritis, probably brought on by the lemon juice. Gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach. They put me on intervenus and finally at about 3 AM they gave me a shot of morphine and one of Gravol. I was out like a light and when I woke up this morning I felt fine.
Today I have been catching up on my missed sleep and eating very mild food. The doctor said no coffee and that has been the worst after effect so far. It is not an experience I am eager to repeat so from now on the lemonade will be heavily diluted with water!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Score Again

Here are the beads I scored today at the thrift shop. I think they have a lot of them and put out some each week. They might as well save themselves a lot of sorting and just sell me the whole collection right now. Lol. The shells from the necklaces (there are three of them) should look good with the Australian fabric.
Today there were lots of bag handles for less than a dollar each. I got a few but I don't usually make bags with that type of handle. Maybe I should start.
The fabric is really neat but maybe not suitable for quilting. It may end up being a table cloth for our outdoor picnic table.
If anyone is interested in winning a pincushion Fabric Mom is having a draw over on her blog. Check it out but be warned that I plan to win!

Step Two

I have added some more fabrics. The tree on the right is sewn down. I'm not sure about the other one. I'll work a bit with the bottom fabric so it will look more like roots.

Does it need some green? I think the middle looks empty but I'm not sure what should go there. The little pompoms were a thrift shop find but they may not make the cut on this one. Maybe it's time to take out the beads. I could also try some thread painting. I've never done that before but I could do some leaves on the trees that way. Or I could fuse on some green fabric. I think I have some fabric with leaves if I dig deep enough...but as I recall, it's a sort of lime green and yellow. Perhaps too bright for this one.
I'm off thrift shopping soon. Maybe I'll find something that will just perfectly complete this one. If not, I'll still have fun!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Playing With Curves

I thought I'd try playing a bit with curves instead of straight lines. I'm using the Australian fabric again. I've only had time to start but now I have a dentist appointment so I'll have time to think of where to take it from here.