Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ho Ho Ho and More Quilting (well it is a quilting blog!)

Our son Eric has a charming "new" girlfriend - well "new" since the spring.  She's pretty special and any special person who comes near our place around Christmas needs a Christmas sock, so I made her one.  Jessica is a music major, so the sock reflects that.  The fabrics all have a music theme.


And still busy with Max.  Here is another Divas quilt.

 These two are Kristie quilts.


I've also got another top done and working on the binding for a quilt I started way back in the summer.  Too many diversions.  These will appear in a future post.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Max has been busy

The only way you get good at anything is to practice.  With Max, I am really inspired to do that!  Harley was fine - but not inspiring - he got the job done, so to speak, but with no flare.  With Max, because everything just works so smoothly - it runs over everything whereas Harley would bounce off any bulky joins - annoying - and the stitch regulator on Max is a dream - never worked properly on Harley so I didn't use it (although Joe managed to get the darn thing running well enough for me to sell).  I could go on - but won't - you get the idea.  I love this machine!
All that to say - I've been quilting up a storm - practicing on a backlog of Diva's quilts (I thought I'd done them all then found another stash of them when I was getting Harley ready to sell).  I've lost count - but I'm into double digits now.
 Above and below are the first two Max quilts.  I see the fish are upside down! 
 I want to learn how to do more than just meander - so have been watching little UTube quilting videos to learn some other things to do.  My first attempts are below.  I know - not nearly perfect, but considering they are just first attempts, I think not too bad.  One can only get better, right???

 Below - this year's crop of little Christmas bags.  Then I realized the little items I got to put in them are a bit too big!  So not sure if I'll use them or save them for next year. 
 And not quilting - but I think this is pretty cool - Joe's first project on his new CNC router - a "Steam Punk" birdhouse for Carol's Dan.  We made him open it when they were here early in Dec.  He likes it!  (He's into Steam Punk - which is a science fiction genre.)
 Finally - I just had to share this!  It's true - the 60s-70s were way cooler than the 2000s!  (PM Trudeau with John and Yoko in 1969 and our present PM Harper with that kid - Justin Beiber - can you believe it???)
Hope everyone who reads this has a safe and happy holiday season.  Given the randomness of my blog posts, it may not be until the New Year when I am back here - so enjoy - eat, drink, be happy - but safe!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Millennium Falcon has Landed

The Millennium Falcon (aka my new APQS Millennium) arrived this afternoon and Chewbacca (aka DH, Joe) is busy assembling at this very moment.  It's a much more substantial machine than Harley (aka Husqvarna 18.8).  I got the 12' frame.  The machine has a 24" arm.  It's big! So we needed to rearrange the basement so everything will fit.  It's a good thing I have an agreeable husband!
 It's still in the box - it comes with a bow!  I'm not sure what a final name will be, but Joe is already referring to it as "Millie", which I'm not so sure about (so ordinary), whereas the Millennium Falcon is pretty obvious...  but nothing else is coming to me right now. 

Harley has found a new home - I think a good one. 

And I ordered some new thread, too - I have tons of cotton thread, but was convinced poly is the way to go.  It arrived today, too!  It's like Christmas!
Here it is - all set up and ready for action!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November Again Already...

It's November - already!  How can that happen?
It was a very busy in October - hence no blogging.  Two weekends were spent on quilting related activities.  First - the Divas attended our first "quilting retreat" - this one organized by a local community association by a lady who, by coincidence, I happened to know from university days.  I ran into her at one of the quilt shows and stopped to chat.  She let me know about the retreat.  We had a blast and as I took a few pix, it will be the subject of another post. 
What I am very excited about is that I decided to purchase a new long arm machine - an APQS Millennium with 12 foot frame.  It should arrive at my door in a couple of weeks (I hope).  On October 27 I was in Edmonton taking a lesson on this machine.  I have Harley for sale - anyone in Calgary interested in a long arm, let me know.:) I'll have to decide on a name for the new one.  I guess Falcon would be too obvious - and so Star Wars! 
Sew - two busy sewing related weekends - a third weekend I had to leave on the Sunday for a conference in San Diego - hard to take!  :)
Somehow I did manage a bit of sewing.  In addition to the little baskets I was making as per the previous post, I also made these little bags.  They are so cute!  The fabric had a dozen separate cat panels purr panel, which made six bags.  I cut the bags to fit the little panels.  They have a zipper at the top and a little pocket inside.  This came from a tutorial I found here.  I changed the size to fit the panel and mitered the bottom corners to give a bit of depth. 

Marla and Marlow were over the other night.  Hadn't seen them for ages.  I was finally able to get Marlow's quilt to him and give him is grandson's quilt. 

I think not so many busy weekends lined up for November so maybe I can get some more sewing done!  And I can't wait to get my new long arm!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A few Christmas Items

I was exploring random quilting sites and came across this blog where the Oct 4/12 post showed these really adorable little baskets.  That blog in turn directed me to this site where the tutorial is.  It's always fun to find new ways to use up the left-overs.  I made a prototype (far right above).  They are really easy and pretty quick (under an hour) to make - including cutting.  My special people will be getting these for Christmas.  It turns out that a rolled up T-shirt fits perfectly in one basked.  This is good, since it seems T-shirts from our travels are a favorite gift.  Chris will get the one below with these most adorable little mini Mexican figurines (is that what you would call them?).  I'll probably make a few more. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

End of Summer...

Summer - it came and went so quickly!  It seemed like I was pretty busy so didn't get that much sewing time in - but I did manage to get a couple of quilts done - and a top is ready for Harley although I'm not including it here as I don't have a pix yet.
This is "Follow Your Dreams".  I made it for my very good friend Pam.  We were in a fabric store and she spotted a bundle of 1/2 meter cuts and liked them so bought them.  That was probably about 3 years ago.  I said I'd make a quilt for her with the fabric - I just didn't say when!  It started to call to me so I thought I'd better get down to business and get a quilt going for her.  This is what I ended up with.  I cut the panel of six "tiles" up - then used a block called antique mosaic or something like that.  It seemed appropriate.  If you've ever worked with a panel, you will know they are notorious for being NOT square so the challenge is to match them up with something to add on and square up.  I ended up working with 12" * 12" blocks. 


 Then there is "Into the Mystic" - a quilt I made for another very good friend of ours - Marlow.  Same panel issue as above.  the large block at the bottom left is the entire panel.  Then I cut up another part of the panel into separate animals and put those into the centre of some wonky log cabin blocks.  I think in this case I was using 8" blocks.  The animals reminded me of native west coast art of mystic animals, hence the name, which is also the name of a Van Morrison song.  It was only after I had the name when I noticed that the fabric on the back is actually called Mystic Animals!  I guess it must be pretty obvious...

In other news, Harley is in the shop awaiting a tune up.  I have pretty much decided to upgrade so in anticipation of selling Harley, I thought I'd get it tuned up.  It turns out that for machines made within a certain three year period, they are replacing all the electronics under warranty.  Harley falls into that category so the "tune up" is taking longer than anticipated as the parts are still en route from somewhere in the US.  They were to have cleared the border last Tuesday - then of course they have to be installed.  One of these days I'll get it back - none too soon as I have a backlog at this point. 

Joan, Kristie and I have signed up for our first ever quilting retreat.  This one is nearby in a local community centre hall and coming up on Oct 19.  I've booked the Friday off from work and we are all looking forward to three days of sewing.  In anticipation, I've got two quilt tops cut and ready to go - I am going to try for a third.  I expect three is quite ambitious and I probably won't get three done, but I'd rather have it and not need it than run out of things to do! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012


 Gotham finished.  No helpers for pix so had to put it on the ground.
 I quilted it on my "regular" machine - bats. Small ones - above, and a couple of larger ones like below.  Not sure if it shows up in that pix.
 I also made a top for the the entertainment centre Joe made for Eric - Batman "left-overs". 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jessica's Tote

Eric has a new girlfriend.  We really like her.  It's her birthday coming up so I made her this tote bag. 

I thought it would be a good time to try out my Olfa tool that cuts circles.  It works really well!  And a lot faster than if I'd used scissors.  I'm pretty happy with this considering I put it together quite quickly due to various time constraints.  Hope Jessica likes it!