September 17, 2018

Escape, Harness, 13

   Ah, the 13th Splendid Sampler Free Block. Betty's Bloom by Carl Hentsch. We chose the Paperless Paper Piecing method because you take off the paper in one piece. The more we do this, the more enjoyable paper piecing is. You can find our tutorial here.


   Brrr, it's cold outside and mom says I'm full of p--- and vinegar. The other day I managed to escape past mom. Ha, she thought she was being so smart at anticipating where I was going. We may be about the same age but I'm way faster. Well, you know I just had to snoop see what was on the other side of the neighbour's house. Rats, a gate. She didn't even give me time to investigate it. So, now I'm in harness again and having a sit down protest. Mom says okay by her. Ha, you know what'll eventually happen, freedom, because cats rule.

September 10, 2018

Ripped and Torn Fabric #12

   Meow first. Meow first. It's been a fantastic cat week. Even though my scratch pad throne is in the middle of the room and on the floor, all is good and I reign.

Tee Hee, even got mom trained to drag the ribbon beside the throne so that I only have to stretch out instead of chase and capture.
As you can see by all the little cardboard pieces around the throne I'm an awesome ripper and shredder. Just call me Shredder. 

   Here we are on week 12 of the Splendid Sampler II block. Free As A Bird by Irene Blanck of Focus on Quilts.

For the tree branch, we cut the fabric on the bias to make the curve smooth and pliable. What we did was: 
  • cut a 1.25" strip, 
  • folded it in half wrong sides together, 
  • stitched it closed with an 1/8" seam, 
  • rolled the seam to the back, 
  • pressed the seam open, 
  • decorative stitched on the edges.
We also used different stitches to give the bird a feather like appearance on the edges and made a Colonial knot for the eye.

   Many of us, including myself, have problems with people ripping instead of cutting our fabric. A friend rips the 108" wide fabric to find the true grain when selling as well as getting her back ready for the quilter while I shudder. Sometimes the fabric is up to 6" off grain.
This link to National Quilters Circle is worth a view and you can decide for yourself.

September 3, 2018

Labour Day Garage

   Not much happening here otherwise. It's been a lazy week. Been cleaning out one of the garage bays where we had put mom's things after she moved to the long term care facility. It's been a year and we'd like to have the bay back for winter. Winter? Ugh. Shush. You know it's just around the corner. The weather's cooled off and our smoky days are more off than on. Some of the fire areas had rain with wind blowing the fire back on itself. We actually saw the mountains last week. 
   Last Thursday the Tulip in Bloom block by Nadra Ridgeway of Ellis and Higgs became the 11th free block from The Splendid Sampler. It's way too cute and easy to make. Nadra has an easy way to make the leaf and background piece. Way less sewing and you can plan how your stripes will go. It was cool that I could use a checked fabric so that it looked like the stripes crossed.

   Neither rain, nor sleet, nor hail, nor snow, nor Mondays can keep us from hiking, that is until there's thunder. We at least hiked 4 km/2.4 miles. This is the third time we've attempted Sulphur Springs. Maybe try again Thursday. 

So off to Lucid Koffee in Bragg Creek - yipes, watch out for the wildlife - 

where we all played on our phones and swapped pictures, just like the young generation.

   Yes, it's been an interesting week cleaning out the garage bay. Boxes and furniture have been disappearing but there are still things that I can snoop. Oh mom, I found a shelf that is partially empty.

   Why do humans have so much stuff? All I need is my litter box, my comb, my ribbon, my scratch pad and my bed. Mind you, I have lots of beds and find more each week. Here's my latest. Mom even gave me a fuzzy blanket to sleep on. It's great because you can hardly see me.
Well, back to snoozing.

August 27, 2018

Shop Hop to Lloydminster and Back

   It was a glorious day today. No smoke and you could actually see the mountains. First time in 6 weeks. Oh no, there's snow on them!

   These beautiful fabrics were some of the backgrounds purchased during a shop hop with my sister to visit an aunt and cousins in Lloydminster SK and AB (border city). It was the old saying never say never, don't need any fabric, that is until we found a great background, white with red circles, on sale at Village Treasures in Mannville AB. 
Well we almost made it to Lloydminster unscathed. As you can see that was only the beginning. I daren't show you the other bits and pieces. Next stop, Extraordinary Extras in Vermilion, AB, there was the white and yellow circles on black. TG we were on a timeline to get to our meeting in Lloydminster. Otherwise disaster would have struck the debit card. 

But, then again we managed to get to Country Quilts & Stitches, which conveniently was across the street and up a couple blocks from where we were, to buy the blue fabrics.

   On the way home was another story as we had all day to head cross country thru all the small towns and villages. First stop, Creative Klutter in Irma, is where we got the bicycle fabric and a geode (rock with crystals inside).

Then on to Crafty Creations Quilt Gallery in Killam for the green fabric.

The What Not Shop, in the village of Forestburg with a beautiful garden around it, had the music black and white fabric and some wonderful elephant buttons. Unfortunately for us June was at a retreat, but fortunately her husband was there to help. Great fun we had.

Next stop, Caroline's Homespun Seasons in Stettler then a late lunch. All this hopping makes a girl hungry and unable to make proper fabric purchasing decisions.

Now all fed up and alert, it was away to the IDA and Quilt Shop in Three Hills. Yes we missed some in between but we had been to most of them on a previous shop hop a couple years ago. 

Thank goodness Never Done Quilting in Beiseker is open until 7 pm. (Probably for the people coming home from working in Calgary) It's in a converted bi-level house right downtown. I bought a very cute winter panel here. Definitely worth a stop.
   I'm happy to say we managed to spread the wealth around and now we're broke until next time.

   Well! As you just read, mom took off for a couple days and left me all by myself. It was so peaceful and I behaved myself (she didn't catch me). I love playing with my new white ribbon.

August 20, 2018

Flying Geese Space To Home

   As the saying goes, it's always great to get away but even better to get home. These past months, we've traveled through space, the final frontier, but even better the finality is here. Thank you to all of you who made the trek .

   How many of you have problems with flying geese like I do? Jacquelynne Steves from The Art of Home has created another technique to make flying geese.

   Yeah, we are at the halfway point of Splendid Sampler II's free blocks. Block 10, Around Four Corners, by RachaelDaisy of Blue Mountain Daisy. Rachael has a very clever way to make the four circles. I'm in awe at how easy it is.

The decorative stitches were stitched using two 50wt threads, yellow variegated  and orange, through one 90 needle. If the thread keeps breaking then use a 100 needle and or adjust your tension. I threaded one thread on each side of the first loop (very left side where the thread goes to that then runs along the top of the machine) then threaded machine as usual.

Remember to change the sewing feet before stitching.

The decorative stitching all continuous. I started where two circles meet and went around each, then regular stitched to the next circle along the edge and decorative stitched around the two circles in a figure 8 path.

   Training is coming along. It's so smoky here that we can't go outside and there aren't any birds to amuse me. Yawn.

August 13, 2018

Flowering Tree Scratching Post

   The other day I was thinking I need some sewing to do because I'm tired of reorganizing. Careful what you wish for. Next day, an email with instructions for 43  six inch blocks  blocks, PLUS the next 2018 Murder Mystery block and clue. Geesh. I don't know whether to cry or be happy as the fabric for reorganizing is scattered on the cutting table and floor. Does it get cleaned up or shoved to the side and worked around?

   Last Thursday's block for Splendid Sampler II, Flowering Tree, was another fun block to paper piece. Amy Friend of During Quiet Time is the designer. Have to admit I'm in love with the smaller blocks. You may have to make more but the go together so quickly. My rendition for my version, Sunny Side Up, has two favorite things, yellow roses and bacon.

   Ever since I took a Judy Niemeyer paper piecing class, paper piecing is no problem. It is the second step that solved my problem. The pictures begin at piecing section 5. The tools are: a piece of heavy paper stock cardstock, flower head pins, a Add An Eighth ruler (instead of Add a Quarter because the block and sections are small), a small rotary cutter (easier to use) and a hera marker ( to save on fingernails).

1. Place the paper pieced unit right sides together on top of section 5 fabric and matching the seam allowance edge. Pin together so they don't shift. 
2. ***Fold back section 5 paper to make sure that the fabric for section 5 is larger than section 5 by at least 1/4". This is the step that will save you from swearing and ripping.
3. Flip the paper back over and stitch on the line.   
4. Press the fabric seam with the hera marker like you would press a regular seam. With paper face up, place the cardstock edge on the stitched line.

 5. Fold the paper back over the cardstock. Place the ruler lip against the fold.                                    

6. Trim fabric to 1/8" seam allowance.                                                                                                

7. Repeat the steps for the remaining sections.                                                                                     
Note that the outside corners that flap are basted down to keep the fabric and paper from shifting.

Units completed, pieced together and trimmed to 6 1/2".
   Mom is getting so well trained. She put another quilt on the bottom shelf in the den for me to nap on while she's on the computer. 

Now this is hilarious. After seeing me stretching and using the rug as a scratching post, Mom is on her hand and knees showing me how to use the sloped scratching post. Too funny! Even putting me over on the scratching box and moving my paws like I should scratch. Like I don't know how to scratch! Ergonomic, the box says, better for the cat, the box says. Meowgonomic. Mom finally got the drift and put the scratching post flat on the ground. Mom's training up real well!