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Friday, December 31, 2010

New home, new sewing space

We are in our new home and today was sewing room organization.  I had to create a mess to tidy up?  But, I kept at it and finally, have a tidy and happy place to be sewing.  While in the midst of the chaos, I realized I should make a list of all the projects that I have on hand here.  And, I sorted most of the fabrics here into themes such as Christmas, Valentine's and St. Patricks as well as colours.  PHEW!  But done!!

Total Chaos in the closet

More chaos being created in the guest bedroom

Cutting table set up, desk and sewing machine in place under the window.

A place for everything and everything in its place! I have a walk in closet, perfect for all my stuff.

Another view from inside the closet, looking out.

New design wall, all ready for my first sewing project of 2011. 
Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Saturday before Christmas

Hmmm... the countdown is on for getting baking done, gifts purchased and wrapped, last minute 'stuff' completed.

I took a quick class on making snap happy bags - they use a piece of metal measuring tape to allow them to snap closed.  Fun, quick and simple. 

The other project I completed is a cute little snowman wallhanging.  Looks a bit strange to have something snowy on the wall in Arizona but the bright colours look good!  I bought the kit last week at a local quilt shop and was determined to not have it become a UFO!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas is coming

The days fly by so quickly.  We are lucky enough in Arizona to have had record breaking high temperatures.  When we watch the news of weather everywhere else, I almost feel bad for everyone having to endure either floods, snow or below freezing temperatures. 

I have been trying to sew a little each day and have a few finished projects.

These are two Christmas placemats that I  made for a gift exchange.  Our "street" had a party and we played the game where you take a gift or steal from someone else - lots of fun and my placemats got 'stolen' once because a lady really wanted them! A quick and easy project but meant a visit to the quilt shop to get some suitable fabrics! 

Tulip Bells Table Runner - UFO finished!
This project was a ufo from approximately 8 years ago.  It was in various stages as it was a class sample at the Otter Co-op when they still carried fabrics and allowed us to teach classes there.  I think it will look great on my dining room table in our new house. 

I have our mobile home (park model) all decorated for Christmas.  The Patchabilities that I have made over the years fit perfectly on the small wall spaces that I have available for wall hangings. Through the window, you can see the great Christmas tree we got for free!  And across the street is an orange tree.  I tried one yesterday and they are NOT sweet yet!  My mouth did a major pucker!!

My Arizona Totebag
I made a trip to a local quilt shop with a friend to get some black batting for a wall hanging I am working on and found these charm squares.  Perfect size bag for taking show and tell to the quilt meetings! I thought the colours looked perfect for the hot, winter weather we are having. 

Off to write myself a list of the projects I want to work on and try to complete in the next couple of weeks.  Am hoping it cools off a little here so that I will be motivated to do some Christmas baking!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A lot has happened in a month!

We left 'home' on Nov 6th and headed south to the sunshine.  We don't enjoy the 3 day drive from BC to AZ but, I brought lots of ufo's with me to work on, here in my 'other' home.  We did spend the first week shopping for house and found one so, in 30 days we will be moving and, I will have a walk-in closet for my quilting stuff.  YIPPEEEE!!!  And, I will have space. 

Since arriving, house shopping and finding places to put all the household stuff I brought with me, knowing we would be house hunting... we also joined softball, tennis and of course, quilting. 

Everyone in the park is decorating for Christmas and we have done our outside lights but am waiting until at least Dec 1st to decorate inside.  I had found a panel at home, brought it with me and worked on it this week, for a tree skirt.  Our tree has to be small and it is pre-lit, sits on a small table and last year I wrapped a piece of Christmas fabric around the base.  But this year.... I now have both a tree skirt and a finished UFO! 

Last Sunday, I did make some Christmas cakes and have them hidden away to age for a bit, and hopefully develop a nice flavour. 

Am working on a table runner, called Tulip Bells which is a bit of a challenge as I left the pattern at home.  However, the pieces were cut and some parts of the blocks made as it was a class sample many years ago.  Hopefully, I will post a picture of the finished project later this week.  Am having to turn under the edges and stitch by hand and forgot my thimble - I probably own about 10 of them... all back home and none here.  Maybe a trip to a local quilt shop is needed? 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Winterizing and packing

Not much quilting happening here.  I do have projects that I would like to work on, some small things, this next week but we are busy outside, trying to winterize our home for the El Nina wicked winter that is being predicted.  Also packing and organizing for our trip south - so hard to know which UFO's and PIGS to take with me?
It is hard to winterize dahlias that are still blooming and hanging baskets that are still flowering.

However, it is Hallowe'en this weekend so we do have our pumpkins carved and have been lighting them every night. We put them on the ladder and in the dark, they look like they are floating in the dark night! 
 Enjoy your spooky night on Sunday! 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Time to post

I am trying to spend less time on my computer and more time working on the things that need to be done around here!
Am actually finishing up painting my kitchen cupboards.  The ones damaged during our kitchen fire got a fresh coat of paint but it made the rest of the cupboard doors look old and tired so, with the leftover paint, am giving them a clean, nicer look, covering up years of nicks and scratches and abuse.

And, I have made a new table topper for my kitchen table. 
I also worked on my monster mystery quilt.  I was determined to get this quilt quilted and bound and out of my sewing space.  It was taking up too much space and yet I was dreading the pulling, pushing and shoving that was required to get it through the machine.  The quilt was too large for our B-line set up and I didn't think that it warranted me spending big bucks for professional quilting so I did it myself.  PHEW!  Done, finito, bound and on a bed.  I is totally  made from scraps from my quilting leftovers.  Even the binding is made from leftover binding strips from other quilting projects.  Am so happy it is finished!! 

I also found an old quillow, made for my daughter, 20 years ago that was in sad shape, badly torn and worn.  I didn't do much to it but fixed up the major tears and thought it was worth salvaging as it has obviously been well used and hated to throw it out. 

So, while I haven't been spending time adding to this blog or on the computer much at all, I have accomplished some other projects and it feels GOOD! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Welcome Fall

At 8pm this evening, fall officially begins.  Funny how it always feels like fall long before the actual, official start of the season?
I have brought the Rubbermaid container out of the attic and gone through my quilts and wallhangings as well as table runners and table toppers and my house now has autumnal decor in the living and dining rooms.
One of my yahoo groups, Fiberwizards, posted a very cute, extremely quick to make, pumpkin wallhanging last week so I sat down on Sunday and it was as fast as promised! 

One reason I was able to sit and sew on Sunday was the incredible amount of rain that fell that morning... definately a stay inside and keep dry kind of day!  The gutters couldn't handle the amount of water that came from the skies and overflowed drastically!  The bonus of all this rain in September (we have tripled the average September rainfall) is that fields and grass are green although, means back to cutting weekly!

Yesterday and today are gorgeous fall days - time to dig out some of my outside fall items that I like to have in my yard. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

And, it is raining, again!

Such a lovely morning and early afternoon and now, back to rain.  Oh well... I finished up two projects for my neighbour who is off to Alberta for the sewing/quilting shows there next week and both projects were from fabrics and/or panels that just arrived in her shop a few days ago. 
Time to clean up my sewing spaces tomorrow.  I have some very messy batiks as well as 'stuff' from the workshop I taught on Tuesday at guild for QOV quilts, bits of stuff everywhere.  Rain is good weather for doing inside tidy up jobs! 
I did bring in all my houseplants from outside - figured that the next few days of moisture on top the rain last week would be too much water for the poor things.  Usually they get left outside until the first frost is predicted but having wet roots for too long won't help them to be happy and healthy! 

The project on the left is a little girl's apron and would look quite adorable on a child/toddler.  The second is an Advent wallhanging made from a panel - all the numbers are small pockets to hold a wee gift and do the Christmas countdown.

I had a great report today from my optometrist - my eyes post surgery look good and, best news of all, no more contact lenses - ever.  He has written me a prescription for glasses and I had fun choosing a new pair of frames.  For the first time in my life, I didn't have to worry about the actual size of the lens area as I no longer need coke bottle lenses (the smaller the lens area, the thinner they could make the lenses) - so had fun and the gals working at the optometry clinic had fun with me, helping me to choose.  I love my transition lenses, perfect for watching tv, sewing and or reading while my dh clicks through the channels during commercials.  The distance isn't  a very strong prescription but will give me superwoman vision!  However, like everyone over the age of 40, my close up vision is the pits and so I will have great vision for all distances.  Can't wait till next week and surprise everyone with my new look!  However, having said that, I am legal to drive with my eyes just the way the opthamologist gave them to me during cataract surgery... just need a bit of tweaking to see the little details when watching tv from a distance.  Am doing a happy dance! :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Crazy September weather

This is the craziest September weather... we were warm and comfortable on Saturday with the doors and windows open and by Saturday evening, needed the gas fireplaces on and everything shut as we got bombarded with rain!  It continued to rain until this afternoon, when, once again, it was warm and a perfect summery afternoon?  With all the rain, I managed to accomplish a few more necessary projects. 

The first is a quilt top that I made for my neighbour.  He owns a quilt shop and is off to Alberta to the sewing and quilting shows and this will showcase some of their newest fabrics.  Cute and fun for a child! 

I also managed to get the blocks joined and a border added on my Autumn harvest quilt.  This is a Debbie Mumm pattern available for free on her website. 

My Orion Star, a Quilt in a Day with Eleanor Burns pattern has the borders added and ready for quilting.  I have a few quilts here that I need to get layered, quilted and bound! 

  It feels good to be back quilting and actually accomplishing some projects.  We also have had the painter here finishing up some of the final painting after our house fire in June.  Hopefully our home will be fresh and clean and ready for us to list it for sale next Spring? 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to school today - but not me!

Being a retired teacher makes the first day of school for the year very enjoyable! 

With fall weather arriving in a major way with lots of rain and dark, cooler, dreary days mixed in the sunny days, I have been able to take the cover off my sewing machine and have accomplished some sewing, finished off a few projects that have been hanging around for too long.

This is the second preemie quilt that I made using the BQ pattern - quilted and bound and ready for guild meeting next Tuesday.

I also worked on my Quilt of Valour and hope to get permission  to show how simple it is to contruct this block for a quick demo and inspire others to make a quilt for injured soldiers. I found the pattern in McCall's quilting, May/June issue and it is called Paradigm Shift.  This quilt is made from my stash and fits the term SCRASH quilt - scrappy and made from stash fabrics only.

These are a couple of block ideas that I have been playing with and will show these as inspiration for a  Quilt of Valour  - two sizes and again, made totally from my stash and are scrappy.

I also made a double sided baby quilt for my neighbour who owns a quilt shop - to showcase a sweet panel and coordinating fabrics.  A warm, soft flannel quilt perfect for a sweet baby girl?

I am also working on another SCRASH project - an autumn quilt made from all my bits and pieces of batiks. The pattern is from the Debbie Mumm website and a link was posted on my Yahoo Fiberwizards group.  After checking it out, I decided to give it a try and was a great use of 8" scrappy squares.

A successful labour day weekend! 
Now, time to think about some other projects around my house - salmon to can... lots of salmon that needs canning with the bonus sockeye run this year.
But, now that I am sewing and am all set up and organized, it will be easy to work for an hour or two a day and get some of these projects from the beginning or middle stage to being finished quilts! 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Late August

We enjoyed a really nice day yesterday with relatives that we had either not seen for a long while and some we had never met (great nieces, a great nephew, once removed).  At the last family funeral, it was decided that we should have a family gathering during happy times and not wait for the sad moments to get together.  All the children had fun, the teens seemed to enjoy themselves and the adults were all relaxed and we enjoyed some good conversations as well as reminiscing about the past. 

One fun activity I did with the family I hadn't seen for awhile and the great nieces we had never met, was to pull out of my linen cupboard a variety of quilts that were samples from classes in the past.  I let each family member root through the pile and choose a quilt for themselves.  It was interesting to see who made an immediate choice and hugged their quilt closely while others had a really hard time making a decision - maybe I didn't have quilts in their favourite colours to offer them? 

I did manage to get a couple of quilts quilted this past week and also managed to get the binding onto one of them so watch for pictures in the next few days as I complete each project.

This is the quilt that I posted in my last blog but it is now quilted and bound and ready to donate to the preemie SCU at our local hospital.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wow, has been awhile

Funny how life gets in the way and your regular routine gets disrupted?  I have done a little bit of sewing and have another of our redrafted BQ preemie quilt made though it is still a top and not yet layered or quilted.  One step at a time, right?

The last week has been a bonanza for blueberries and I seem to pick, pick and pick some more.  We had rain for three days and wow... they grew, ripened and the bushes were once more laden this morning. 
I have no idea why this picture is sideways?  But, you can turn your head to look? 
Sockeye salmon season is 'open' around here so my dh has been busy fishing and I am deciding between fillets and keeping some whole for canning? 

My only 'other' sewing has been altering some Sears catalogue curtains for our bedroom window.  After our fire, I decided I would wash our curtains myself rather than wait for them to be sent out for cleaning and then have a long delay with no curtains on the window - a nuisance on mornings when the sun is shining in your eyes at some 'ungodly' hour and you would much prefer to still be sleeping.  Unfortunately, the curtains were old and foam backed and I forgot to change my machine to cold wash and my warm water was a little too hot for the foam.... and we had some interesting curtains after that effort.  New curtains are hemmed and now hung, looking new and fresh.  For some things, you can't beat good, old fashioned catalogue shopping (am I showing my age?). 

Maybe now that life seems to getting back to 'normal' (whatever that is?) after fire, after eye surgery and after other comitments in the last few weeks, I really hope that I can make my sewing machine happy and have her purring away, getting projects completed that I had great plans for in June?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Quiet Wednesday

Today was a 'normal' day although my first eye I had surgery on is really bugging me and is annoying.  For some reason, I missed my eye appointment yesterday, had it on the calendar for today so need to wait until Friday morning to get it checked out. 
The opthamologist knows that it is sore, feels gritty and has me washing it with diluted baby shampoo? 
But, at least I got to go to my Wed Diva quilt group and I got inspired to come home and turn on my sewing machine.. yippeeee.
Our group is going to make some donation quilts using the BQ quilt pattern and one of our members did the math and downsized the blocks to make a size that is perfect for the preemies at the local hospital's NICU.  So, I got out some fabric, started cutting and sewing and my blocks are made ready for joining.  Still waiting for the final inspection for our insurance claim after our kitchen fire but am in no hurry to pay my deductible

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I have a microwave!

I have a microwave - wow!  The major stuff is finished - whoopee!!  Tomorrow is housecleaning and carpet cleaning and we are DONE.  What a feeling.  I also managed to spray baste three quilts yesterday so am ready for my after eye surgery quilting.  Hopefully, with my house clean and everything done, I will be able to either put my feet up and read or turn on my sewing machine after Thursday, maybe do a little of both? 
Considering that this was a 'small' fire, can't imagine what a large fire would be like to deal with?  My heart goes out to those who have to endure that kind of restoration.

So here is my new microwave and stove.  I am also trying an experiment, dehydrating blueberries?  Not sure how long to dry them for or how this will work but thought it was a good idea for using them later in baking?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Four weeks later

My fire happened four weeks ago and we are almost finished with the cleaning, repairs, painting and replacement.  Electronics came home today but need to call them about my keyboard - some letters need to be pounded on to get them to work.  The painter put a coat of paint on the kitchen cupboards and walls around the stove and I will paint the rest with the leftover paint. 
We chose a stove and microwave today to be delivered on Friday.  All that we have to wait for is the microwave installation, the carpets to be cleaned and one final housecleaning.  Yippeee...
Maybe, just maybe, I will find time to get some quilting and piecing done?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Electronics return home

Well, our electronics left on Wednesday for a sleepover at the cleaning depot, but, they did not come home Thursday!  After a frantic call this morning, one television with HD box as well as my laptop and modem arrived back home and where they belong!

The carpenters came on Thursday morning and installed my new cabinet and a painter arrived later and put on the base coat, ready for the final painting.  The carpenters were nice enough to also put some finishing touches on the vacant space above my fridge where a cupboard was taken out to give us needed height when we replaced that appliance. 

Am still frustrated with appliance company and hope that there will be some results early next week.  I know the painting will be done when the painter has some time left in his day after his bigger jobs.  The drapes that were taken down for cleaning are another issue.  Wow... the cleaners want $1500 to clean my 40 year old drapes!!  hmmm.... not so sure that they are worth that.  

Carpet cleaning will be done after painting is finished and that will leave me with a cleaner for a day to get all the little bits cleaned up that I have found in my travels throughout the house (a lampshade needs some tlc) and then, we will be DONE!

In the meantime, without any tv or computer time, and with the extreme heat of the last few days, it has been a perfect opportunity to put my feet up and read!   To heck with the 'to-do' lists!!

And, not a stitch sewn in the last few days! 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A warm July evening

We finally have a warm summer evening and hotter temperatures predicted.  This is a good thing to be able to have windows open and air our this stinky paint smell from our home.
Kitchen cupboard has been removed and is being rebuilt.  Painters will need to come to paint the new cupboard which is nice as leftover paint is mine for touching up the scratches on the rest of the cupboards.

I am frustrated by still not having any new appliances and cooking with just one burner on my stove but, eventually, this too will just be a memory of the June kitchen fire.  Tomorrow all our electronics go for a sleepover and this will be stressful with no computer or televisions - they need to be professionally cleaned as soot damages the wiring which will eventually corrode. 
The good news is that I managed to get a bit of sewing/quilting done.  I have completed some pillowcases for Quilts of Valour.  Sometimes quilts get turned in without a case and I also have made a few quilts that needed a case.

Last year I participated in a swap with my online friends and we made 9 patches with black, white and one colour which were then cut and turned into Magic 9 blocks.  I made two quilts from the blocks and my buddy wanted this one so she quilted it and gave me the funky binding and I have stitched it on to complete a UFO.  Yippeee.  One more project crossed off the list of projects that needed to be completed.

My house is slowly returning to normal and am trying to declutter one closet, cupboard or drawer a day.  Today, I managed to go through my dining room sideboard and have a large box of forgotten items for donation.  If I put them in the box quickly and don't handle or fondle the object, I won't miss it, right?  My sewing room is next and am dreading some parts of that cleanup/cleanout.

It has almost been two weeks since my eye surgery and while my vision isn't as perfect as hoped for, it is a nice change to be able to see the time at night without putting my nose right on the clock.  Using the drops is a pain but a necessary part of the surgery.  Oh well, this too shall pass!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


My home continues to be invaded by crews of workmen.  Today painters who used enough plastic to protect everything that it looked like "Dexter's place of crime". 
I did learn something that I had never noticed before.  We have lots of green grass outside and the walls look green from the reflection so you can't really see the true colour of the walls on a sunny day?
It is really obvious in this picture.  The stencilling that is on my walls, done years ago, is about to dissapear.
This is my newly painted kitchen and again, the green is reflecting off the grass, through the window on one of our seemingly rare sunny days.  Still waiting for a carpenter for cupboard replacement and appliances but walls are beautifully clean.  Stencilling is gone as are all the soot stains. 

Notice, nice new maple leaf placemats for Canada Day adorn my kitchen table. I don't seem to have much sewing time but, am hoping that I will find some time tomorrow since it is a 'holiday'. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Almost Over?

Today was the "meeting" of our insurance adjuster with two dudes from the restoration company and we got the 'bottom' line of what is left to be done in our fire clean up along with a vague timeline.  I am happy with what is happening, just wish it was all over.  We have a painting crew starting tomorrow morning, furniture cleaning tomorrow afternoon and, as well, a technician coming to do an onsite inspection of all our electronic equipment.  He will determine if their is soot on any of the wiring, components etc and if any pieces need to be removed and cleaned.  Apparently soot 'eats' the wiring?  Who knew? 
We are still waiting for a carpenter to look at the damaged cabinets above my stove, waiting to hear what the value of my appliances is so that we can decide if I want to shop for new ones or let the restoration company take care of that chore. Furnace ducts will be cleaned.   Also, carpet cleaning to be done when all is finished along with a final day of cleaning. 
After that, bare walls need to be somewhat decorated although this is a time for simplifying our lives so am hoping we can declutter and relegate some of our family pictures into albums instead of in frames that need dusting? 
I have taken a few loads of older clothes that I don't wear (or don't fit) to the donation bins.  Somehow, this clearing out is easier when you have your stuff piled or stacked up. 

I have no idea how my eye is doing after my surgery however, I see the surgeon on Wednesday and hope that he gives me a good report for my birthday! 

My sewing machine has been purring for the last couple of days.  I promised myself some sewing time after doing morning cleanouts of various drawers and my guild scrap quilt is now 'fixed' after I noticed a border had a few pieces that were added upside down and, as well, have stitched up my Orion Star blocks and they are ready to assemble and add borders.  I also have some QoV pillowcases ready to sew and labels to add to a few of my quilts that I am donating to that worthy cause. 

Pictures coming soon - keep watching! 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The week that was.

Well, the week that 'was' is almost over.  This time last week, I had no idea that the electricity being off would change my life drastically!
However, out of the bad comes the good.  While we have had to endure a cleaning crew in our house from 9 until 3:30 every day, my home hasn't been this clean since we moved in 28 years ago!  Every nook and cranny, every crevice has been 'de-sooted'.  And, for me, a great chance to get rid of clutter and old objects that I had long forgotten about. 
And, I am motivated to continue the decluttering in weeks to come - go through seldom used drawers, cupboards and closets and leave them with only functional, useful items that are used regularly.
We have one more day of cleaning crew - they are 'attacking' my laundry room tomorrow and then a walk through of the house, checking to see if anything has been missed.  I must admit it is a shock to open cupboards and, while everything is in there, it has been put back differently so time is spent searching for the elusive spice or tin of tuna. 

My walls are 'naked' as putting pictures back up is my job and, again, time to decide what we really like and what we have lived with just because it was there. 

Next week, new stove will arrive (I hope), carpets will be cleaned and after that, it is waiting for painters for the kitchen, carpenter for kitchen cupboard replacment and microwave/convection oven to come. 

For all my quilting or hobby friends, I have advice from what I have learnt!  Keeping items in labelled, lidded containers is far better than any other kind of storage.  The plastic bins with drawers are great as well but, having any fabrics or supplies for projects on open shelves is asking for not only dust and dirt, but in case of a fire or other disaster, damage from soot.  The time and effort to clean all the little bits and pieces that are laying around or on pegboards is incredible.  I am going to shop for clear view plastic shoe boxes that I can label and fill them with my fabric postcard making supplies, my quilting bits and pieces and try to have nothing left that will  need dusting other than the tops of the containers.  A lesson learnt the hard way and it was difficult to watch the cleaners have to handle each and every item that was exposed to soot.

Today was also my cataract surgery.  I don't think of myself as a wimp but, I much preferred retinal surgery where I had some wonderful drug substance put into my body by intravenous!!!  Today was a test of my patience.  My eye feels like grit or granules of sand floating around but I will survive!  I see the doctor tomorrow for a post-op appointment and will find out if he has success or there are issues with my scar tissue from surgery last year.

Lastly - every day is a good day when you can find time to sew!  My fabulous Pfaff is back home and today I worked on my Canada Day placemats.  I still have to do a bit of free motion quilting and bind them, but, they will be DONE for July 1st.   I have a few projects lined up to work on while I am unable to bend or lift.  For that, I planned ahead

Sunday, June 20, 2010

End of the week or new beginning?

This is a day where I am reflecting on the week that was and the week to come... a time to be frustrated or count my blessings?
My sewing machine is in having some upgrades done under warranty and I 'need' to finish my blanket stitching on my Canada Day placemats.  Hopefully, this week it will be ready?

One of my grandsons got his "Eagle feather and award".  I was a proud Grandma! 

My husband cut our fields on Thursday.  That was a good thing!

The crows were following behind him, grabbing critters from the ground.  As you can see, another drizzly day. 

Then the worst part of my day happened.  Electricity went off while I was frying bacon for a sandwich for my hardworking husband.  I forgot to turn the burner off and was with my husband returning the tractor when the electricty came back on.  Burning bacon isn't good for the microwave or the house.  Sad end to the day and we are now in the midst of an insurance claim.

This is a protein fire which means the soot is greasy and smears when you try to wipe a surface clean.  The cleaning crew boss gave me one of the magic sponges they use so I could clean my sewing machine (Brother 1500, not electronic)  and table since I didn't really want them moving or touching my 'baby'.  I have lots of quilt blocks cut out to stitch together and they are covered in soot so am deciding how to proceed.  They think that I should throw out all exposed thread and filled bobbins but I have sent a spool home with my buddy and she will let me know if the thread smells since her home isn't all smoky and sooty like mine is.
Clean up will be a slow process.  Kitchen first with all cupboards emptied, then the rest of the rooms in the house.  All electronics have to be 'dipped' to clean the wiring and components.  Furniture and drapes need cleaning as well as carpets.  Kitchen appliances replaced and new cupboard above the stove, painting and I will have a house that will be cleaner than ever before.  Not too sure what will happen when they see my 'stash' of fabrics?  So, good news was that my Pfaff was being serviced so it didn't get exposed to the smoke and ash. All quilts and wallhangings need to be laundered so I will busy this week working on those although the cleaning company will clean anything as per my instructions. 
A great time to declutter my house and reduce the trinkets and 'stuff' that we have.  In the meantime, I am hoping to be able to stitch up my Orion Star blocks and wipe off more of my sewing equipment before the crew arrives tomorrow and tells me that a lot of it has to be discarded. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Running around Monday

Today was spent running around - no sewing machine time.  I managed to get a few more geraniums and they are happily planted giving my front garden lots of colour.  Today is cloudy but no rain, so my poppies and peonies are happy and opening up in their glorious shapes and colours.
I traced off a couple of my maple leaf shapes onto fusible web last night and will try to get a couple of placemats made to match my July 1st table runner.  It won't happen tonight because it is actually warm enough that my excuse to not attend my dh's ball game is no longer valid.  It is close to the end of ball season here so I must make an attempt to go to a few games before the end of the month and tonight is the night!  Simple dinner planned and off we go!
Rain is predicted for tomorrow and if it is a wet day, my plan is to drag out all my Christmas fabrics and go through them, deciding what to keep and what to put in my 'for sale' container.  Since I am hoping to be somewhere much warmer at Christmas and I already have a nice stash of suitable fabrics in my 'other' home, I really don't need as much here.  Time to de-stash some more!  

I picked up my 'one' contact lens today for the eye not having surgery and the optometrist's office is a wealth of knowledge.  It was great to chat with the staff there and they reassured me about my upcoming surgery and also explained why I cannot have surgery on one eye and not the other...... the size of what I see in the distance will be completely different in the eye that had surgery vs vision correction with a contact lens.  Interesting conversation and am glad I had to go and get my one contact lens.  Best of all, they didn't charge me for it!  Great office, great optometrist and am glad I am their patient. 

Today was a good laundry day - washed all the barn jackets... gross job but they are hanging on the clothesline and not only look cleaner, they are much brighter.  Another job done off the spring cleaning list. 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

New day, new blog

I am going to start blogging again and hope to keep my friends up to date with my latest quilting projects, gardening escapades and life around our hobby farm.  With all the rain we have been having, my sewing machine has been purring while I have been stuck inside.

The quilt blocks pictured above were made for a contest at Tom's Sewing.  For every donated block with the theme 'think Spring', your name was entered into a draw for a new sewing machine.
Gee, I didn't win!  But, the blocks are being made into donation quilts so it was a worthy cause and fun to stitch the blocks with signs of summery flowers about to bloom! 

I have also been stitching together some Eleanor Burns, Orion Star blocks.  I taught a class last week to two of my regular students and this is one of the quilts that they wanted to make. The blocks are large and finish at 16" so, once they are made, the quilt will go together quickly and be a Quilt of Valour. 

One of my online quilting groups did a project that we called a weekend ONEder quilt.  Not only was it fun to make, it was fast, easy and a great way to dig into my scraps.  I have been seriously going through fabrics in my stash and setting some aside for selling (cheap!) to friends and guild members and as well, for cutting into strips to use in donation quilts.  Am trying hard to resist buying more fabric when I have lots upstairs!  This will be another Quilt of Valour and will be a project that I am going to teach at the guild in September when I do my 2nd annual QOV workshop.

This fun bag is a tote made from six fat quarters.  A group that invites me to teach a few times a year wanted to make tote bags and I gave them two options.  This one is fun, easy and can be made from those fat quarters that are sitting in your stash and you are wondering what to do with them.  Totally reversible, it is a project perfect for a beginner as well as an experienced quilter.  Makes a great gift as well! 
My funky flower quilt is a work in progress.  My Wednesday Diva group had a block exchange and we each made 11 blocks with one more needing to be made to complete the quilt top. The theme was 'bright' which is one of my favourite fabric choices.  It is patiently waiting to be layered, quilted and bound and I hope to get it finished this month as my name is rapidly approaching the top of the list on my Queen of UFO group.  We get two weeks to finish a project when we become Queen and, if we fail, we owe a penalty fat quarter.  Good motivation to get this finished.  It is better to finish than owe fabric!  
The sun is shining quite nicely now on the Pacific West Coast so gardening is calling my name but my peonies and poppies look glorious.  There are also some rosebuds forming so next pictures will be of my beautiful flowers! 

Have a great week - I know that I feel much happier with this glorious sunshine.