Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Lately I have caught a couple of episodes of "Consumed" on HGTV. It is all about folks that are living in chaos because of all the stuff they have accumulated. Basically, the host of the show goes in, takes everything but absolute necessities away for 30 days, then the people try to work on relationships and address the reasons for the accumulation of possessions. At the end of the month they all go to the warehouse and try to get rid of at least 50% of the junk.

This is ringing a bell. I am not exactly a hoarder. Hmm. Maybe I am in denial. Ok. I AM A HOARDER.
Mostly of hobby stuff.  I have loads of hobby stuff that I have bought over the past several years, as well as things I have inherited. I have been through many craft phases and have the detrius from all of them stored in a shed on our property. Lately, this shed is also a junk repository. Whenever I don't know what to do with something, it goes into the shed. I can hardly walk in there. There are also little caches of wool, fabric, books etc all over the house. Also lots of clothes to go through. On my days off next week, I intend to start a ruthless sort through all this stuff. Goal: get rid of all the things I have been storing for years and never used.

Estimated start date: October 8th. Watch me go.

Adventures in Dying

Well, we hauled out the dyepot again. Had a lovely time dying all sorts of fibery goodness. However, all this fun was preceded by some misery. Note to self: never, ever put damp items in a rubbermaid tote and close it up for several months. I opened my tote of dying accessories and had to pitch most of them out because of mold. None of it was very expensive, thank goodness. Plastic tablecloths, paintbrushes, and a bamboo steamer. But still a waste. Last time I dyed stuff I was visiting my friend Lynda, and we packed everything up and I headed for the ferry, completely forgetting to dry everything out on my arrival home. Once the clean up ordeal was over, Joelene and I got to work and dyed wool for her own Swirl! jacket. She wants a jacket that looks like fall leaves and moss. I think she has succeeded.

Joelene's Fall Frenzy

I was in a mood for bright colors, as usual. I dyed some lovely light mohair and some 50/50 wool silk for another Swirl! jacket too. Yes, I know I am not finished the first one yet. I also dyed alpaca laceweight and some wool roving for spinning. Only darkness kept us from going further.
Susan's Royal Peacock Plumage

Roving, Color - Black Cherry

Now everything is drying out in the bathroom. It is amazing how much water wool can soak up. Even with the dehumidifier running it has taken 3 days to dry out. Then we had to wind it up into balls. Do you know how long it takes to wind up 2800 yds of laceweight alpaca? Too long.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Baby Turns One

Another last minute finish, this time binding stitched on while riding the ferry to visit my Granddaughter, Leota. This quilt was completed in time for her first birthday. Not bad. I had originally planned to make it for a baby shower present a couple weeks after she was born.

Last minute ferry finish

 I love this quilt. I am enchanted by the bright colors, the interesting blocks, the texture etc. I had to use the last piece of my treasured Laurel Burch stripe fabric for the border. It was the only contender in the end.

Bluebird block. Fancy stitching, hand embroidery

Fuzzy sheep. Leota's favorite block. Too cute.

Teddy bear. Machine and hand embroidery, rick rack. What's not to love?

Leota seems to like it almost as much as me. She keeps playing with all the fuzzy fabrics, particularly the sheep block. I think I will make this quilt again. There is another family baby due in January.

Leota and her quilt

Now, on to my next deadline. Another wedding present.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Girl on Fire

I am on a finishing projects kick. Alas, because of the finishing thing I have also begun a starting things kick as well.

Which of my legions of UFO's are now complete, may you ask?

1. The quilt for my sister-in-law's wedding present. Finished at 2:30PM on the day of the wedding. The wedding was at 4:30PM.

2. The thrum mittens. Love them. Want to knit more. Have ordered and recieved two kits for thrum socks, as you are more likely to wear warm socks on the West Coast than mittens. One of the mitts is slightly fatter, as I became more generous with the thrum material on the second mitt.

3. My little snowman quilt. Wool hand applique and hand quilted. Started, oh, 3 or so years ago. Just needed to be quilted. This is the first hand quilting I have done on a finished quilt.

4. 30's reproduction fabric table runner. It could also be used as a baby blanket. Hand appliqued and machine quilted.

5. Handspun wool. Fibre was purchased at the Gibson's Fibre Arts Festival 2 years ago. I started spinning it on a drop spindle, then switched gears and spun the rest of it on a spinning wheel. I think I will call it Merlot Magic.

To celebrate all this finishing, I started knitting a new project. It was destiny at work. I got a new book in the mail, called "Knit, Swirl". I highly recommend this book and the patterns in it so far, but please go to the author's website and download the pages of errata in the published volume before starting to knit a jacket.  

Turns out that I had the exact wool required to make one of the jackets, "Stratasphere", in the exact color depicted in the book, and, get this.....4 extra skeins more than the pattern required. As any knitter knows, the chances of this happening are about one in a hundred million or so. Usually you are short one skein, and knit 95% of the garment before running out 2 inches before you finish the second sleeve. So, of course, not wanting to thwart destiny, I started casting on that afternoon. Once you have cast on the 570 stitches called for, and joined them in the round, the jacket is lovely. Perfect company knitting, you can chat with friends and not make a million mistakes because you are not paying enough attention. Of course, I am knitting it with Noro Silk Garden, which is lovely and soft and endlessly entertaining with it's color variations.

I am also currently sewing three handbags, which I started last Monday night at quilting. My niece Melissa was visiting and we started one for her as well. Needless to say, she went home with her handbag complete and I was left with three cut out only. However, things are going well on that score, I have one finished and two partly completed. The down side to this is that I have another quilt deadline looming and am ignoring said baby quilt in favor of finishing handbags. Hopefully this will be remedied by the end of the day.

I am also spinning my wheels, so to speak. I have just bought a new spinning wheel, and am really liking it. It is an Ashford Kiwi, double treadle. I really like the double treadle compared to the single. Much less work. I am spinning a single right now. I am going to name it 'Amazon Parrot". It was hand dyed by my friend Lynda, fibre content unknown. We suspect it is BFL wool and possibly a little silk. No matter. I also have to finish spinning the fibre on my borrowed wheel before I return it to my friend Barb.

Now I have to get busy and work on my baby quilt for granddaughter, Leota, who will be one year old in mid September. I have my work cut out for me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Deadlines Again

Well I have my work cut out for me again. A deadline looms and there is a lot of work to be done. I have a queen-sized quilt, a wedding present, to quilt before the 30th of July. The quilt is sandwiched in two sections, which will be united once the quilting is finished on each half. First I have to pick out the mess on one section where the slippery rayon thread popped out of the tension disks on my sewing maching and created a loopy looking chaos on the reverse side. This is likely why very little quilting has been accomplished so far. I hate picking out quilting.

Half of my Fall French Braid Quilt.

 I also have a dress I want to sew for the wedding. And a shawlette I want to knit to go with the dress. Something tells me I will need to pull a couple all-nighters. And get up at 6 AM every day to sew before work. And sew in the evenings after work. Hmm.

Shawlette in Angel by Debbie Bliss. Lovely and soft.

Dress material and pattern. Dress is cut out only. Of course, I am planning on modifying the pattern. Foolish me.

Unfortunately, I keep getting distracted from my tasks at hand by other things.

a) Visitors. My nephew Carson is visiting, and it is impossible to machine quilt and visit at the same time. He will be here til the 25th. He seems content to visit, play cards and relax. A very low maintenance nephew.

b) Knitting things other than the above shawl. My friend Cheri sent me a present from Montreal. She was in a knitting shop, and really wanted a certain Fleece Artist kit for herself. She resisted purchasing it for herself, as she has 4 other projects currently on the go, and has vowed to finish one of them before starting anything new. So she bought it for me. I opened the package, and pretty much started casting on immediately. Cannot stop knitting thrum mittens.

c) Reading. I have been sucked into a series of three books and have been unable to set them down. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. Thank goodness, they are now finished.

d)Migraine headaches. I think, due to needing new glasses. I have lost 3 perfectly good evenings because I cannot focus.

e)Work. I am working full time until the 29th, doing holiday relief. I should have done more sewing when I had a few days off, instead of reading.

f)Gardening. The garden is growing, I am starting to have to do stuff with the produce. I have to make a bunch of pesto sauce tonight, my basil plants are exploding.

I have also been distracted with a couple new hobbies; painting for one.

Painting of Hesholt Lake in the Winter, from a photo by  Lorrie

.And Canvaswork embroidery for another! Not that I need another hobby.

Winter Chills pattern by Carolyn Mitchell. Love it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Guilt Trip

The last post triggered a guilt trip for abandoning the Rosewood Cottage Quilt. So at lunchtime I went home and dug out a couple of my blocks. Here they are, now ready for hand appliquing.

Two of the blocks from abandoned quilt.
Tally-ho! I will work on them later this evening while watching a movie with Mom. We are going to watch "Tin Cup" this evening. We were talking about Kevin Costner movies last night, and Mom said she had never seen it. How did this one slip by her??

Weekend Retreat

Things have been pretty busy the past couple of weeks. Embroidery, knitting, quilting...all of these things have been taking place. And the more I do, the more I want to do. April 9th weekend, our embroidery guild, The Texada Island Needlework Guild, also know as TING, had Helen McCrindle come up and teach a weekend workshop on stumpwork embroidery. It was a great workshop, full of new techniques and learning. Guess what, I finished the project during the class, so... NO UFO!!! Here is a photo of our class project:

Dogwood Flower Roundlet - Stumpwork Embroidery

On Monday, I went to visit my friend Lynda in Gibsons. We relaxed, went shopping, listened to music, etc. We visited Carola's Quilt Shop and Unwind yarn shop while we were out and about. I am ashamed to say that I bought stuff for a beaded scarf at Unwind and was busy stringing beads onto shiny rayon cord about 30 min after getting back to Lynda's house. The lace gloves were forgotten, cast aside as I succumbed to the glittery lure of the scarf.

I restrained myself at the quilt shop. I only bought a "layer cake" of reproduction fabrics for 30% off. I have plans for it; Angel, Cheri and I are going to do a block exchange of the "Whimsical Quilt Garden" pattern, using reproduction fabrics.
Angel and Cheri have gone shopping for background fabrics, I have some on hand. Now we just have to get started. We are going to make one block a month.

Of course, first we should finish the other quilt we started a couple years ago. Rosewood Cottage by Nancy Odom.  Angel is clearly in the lead. She finished all the blocks and has only the border to work on. I made three blocks and stopped there. I am not sure what Cheri accomplished. We sent her block kits when she was in Alberta for the first four blocks. I don't know if she went any further with it. Barb McCormack started making the blocks for her version of this quilt at the retreat. She decided to fuse them instead of hand appliqueing them. After seeing her fused blocks up on the wall, all ready for machine stitching, I am starting to rethink my original plan to hand applique mine. Maybe invisible machine applique is the way to go. Hmm.

Barb's version

The Texada Retreat, a weekend filled with friends, food, quilting, more food, and, for many, UFO's. My weekend projects consisted of:
1. Finishing a quilted bag for my co-worker Roxanna's accordion.

2. Making two long-awaited T-shirt quilts for my former co-worker, Maureen. I am ashamed to say that I accepted the T-shirts in 2006, with the promise that I would construct two quilts, one for each child, from their collection of T-shirts from the North West Territories. I believe I looked at the shirts, whose logos were unfortunately already cut out, making uniform sizing of the t-shirt fabric blocks impossible. I stabilized a few, ran out of interfacing and stuck them in a bag to deal with in the near future, once I obtained more interfacing. There they sat for way too long. I did not have a clear idea of how to lay them out due to the inconsistent sizing of patches, so I decided to deal with them by ignoring them. However, in recent weeks, their thin piping wails began to get on my nerves, so I decided to knuckle down and figure out how to make a T-shirt quilt. The internet was invaluable in this endeavor. I looked at a few websites with tips and tricks, rolled up my sleeves, borrowed fabric from Barb McCormack, which saved me a trip to Powell River, and voila!...

3. The group project, a purse and wallet to match.

So this was my weekend, quilting and too much chocolate!!! Here are a few photos of the projects the other quilters were involved with:

Suzanne's Eagle Quilt

Sharon's Funky Chickens

Jessie's Mexican Star. I too have one of these quilts as a UFO

Doriana's Mayflies Quilt

How much is that doggie in the window?

Angel's Star Quilt

Jessie's Scrappy Quilt

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Timberlane Quilt Show

Well, the Timberlane Quilt Show is finished for 2011. It was a great show with lots of outstanding quilts entered. There are so many talented people in Powell River and Texada Island! It is a lot of work, though, and the members of the Timberlane Quilt Guild devote a lot of time and energy to hosting this event. Here are just a few of my favorite quilts from the show. I am afraid I don't have the names of all the quilts. There were many other outstanding entries. If you wish to see photos of the show, click on this link: .Pictures are not posted yet, but they should be up in the next few days.

Savannah by Donna Haake

Sadie by Jennie Read

Color My World by Georgeann Brewer

Another masterpiece by Georgeann Brewer

Eleanor Sinclair's Fiddlehead Ferns

Lone Fisherman by Darlene Sinclair

Georgeanne Brewer's amazing quilt

Here I am with my Gillies Bay Garden Quilt
To my surprise, it won Best in Show.