American thanksgiving was this week and I find it kind of humorous they give thanks and then go crazy shopping the next day in Black Friday sales. Thanks, but I need moooooore! Ha. But hey, I am taking full advantage of so many great deals (I am trying to Christmas shop all handmade/small business this year). One great deal, I think might be done soon is Craftsy having a huge sale on all classes and supplies, like up to 66% off (to be fair I do make a dollar if you sign up). Remember my Craftsy quilt that I did a bit of each month this year? Well we still have one more month so it’s not quite done, but here it is so far (hugely wrinkled, I’m sorry, I was just having a quick look!!)
I am thinking of joining the blocks differently to the original pattern, Laura Nownes, the teacher of the class provided an alternative layout idea in a recent blog post and I’m thinking of doing it instead. The original layout is kind of all over the place and I didn’t help matters by choosing really nutty fabrics. So I’ll think about it this weekend, in the mean time I am making flying geese and half square triangles to get it done! (Left is the original, right is a different version).
What’ll I do in 2014?! A new one?! (Kidding, I have tons to do/finish!!) I’ll be on the lookout for a new BOM (block of the month) let me know if you see a goodie! I’m guessing Craftsy will have another and I found their videos so informative, I’ve used them on other quilts and patterns already. Also their beginning knitting lessons have been invaluable to me, I watch them over and over, which is perfect seeing as I really don’t get it easily! Knitting is not a talent that comes easily to me at all.
It’s really slow actually, my Farmers’ Wife quilt is getting so close to the end. Lately I’ve been seeing lots of peoples finished ones which is good for inspiration. I’m almost there, I decided to lay them all out on the bed to get a vision of how it’s going. I usually just add a new one to a big tall stack of squares so it was nice to see them all together. After making some quilt tops with bigger pieces going back to this one is proving a bit of a challenge, my squares are just over 6 in (15cm) which is pretty small. But I shall persevere and while I do I am trying to decide if I’ll do sashing in my favorite Kona Snow (a nice off white) or a light grey. Hmm.
Sometimes I am actually overwhelmed with how much information whizzes past my eyeballs while looking at my computer screen! Aren’t you? While I love the amazing things I read and images available, often I find the glut of info too much and inspirational quotes or news about governments planning to cut down rain forests blend into an overall blur, which I feel bad for. I pick and choose and know that this is a total first world problem, too much choice. I’m not criticizing the internets! I have a blog! I love being able to find out about anything I want at any time, it’s just up to me to reasonably sift through it all. And I too, when I find something interesting, want to share it. Today it’s these awesomely cool cowgirls from the 1940′s care of MessyNessyChics blog who found these amazing photos from a LIFE magazine shoot of American cowgirls so many decades ago. I wish I was one of them.
Lots more photo’s on MessyNessychics blog.
I was sick with the dreaded early winter flu last week, it knocked me and Ange out, so we just lounged, watched daytime tv and ate chicken soup for a day or two. When I’m sick I act as if I’m dying and do absolutely nothing besides sleep and rest to try and get better. Ange on the other hand, keeps working (we are a bit opposite to some couples!) so he makes soup for the two of us, which is superb, because I would just eat oranges and dry crackers until I was better otherwise.
I did manage a big finish though! My Chicopee quilt for my sister is finito! I am pretty impressed with myself for completing my first queen size quilt, although don’t look too closely at the quilting, I did have some issues with the thin cotton backing bunching up even with my walking foot and careful checking. Note to self, make sure the backing fabric is sturdy!
Someone is photographing the huge thing as I type, so more photos in the next day or two. But for now, no rest for the wicked. I’ve got a rather exciting baby quilt to make next and the decisions for pattern and colours are killing me! (I’m thinking flying geese or disappearing nine patch next). This is my favorite and most dreaded part of quilt-making! It’s so fun to play with the fabrics, but I could second guess for weeks, months. Anyone who has been unfortunate enough to go shopping with me can attest to my horrible endless humming and hawing…
I hope you’re all well and enjoying your various seasons. I couldn’t help but give all the money in my paypal account to the Philippines, what a terrible mess, I wish I could do more than send a little cash, but hopefully it’ll make some small difference, just click the link if you’d like to do the same.
Some people love binding quilts and some people don’t, I think I don’t. I mean it’s satisfying to be almost at the end, but kind of tedious to finish a queen size quilt with tiny hand sewing. I just want it to be done. But then again it’s nice to hand sew in front of the telly, even if I do have to watch some UFC while I quilt, it’s OK, the new season of Downton is almost out so I’ll get my payback!
Speaking of Downton Abbey, have you guys seen the fabric released from the show? Andover Fabrics has produced a full collection featuring designs chosen in collaboration with the award-winning Downton Abbey production team. There is a collection inspired by each main lady and they’re all lovely. I’m looking forward to ordering some Lady Sybil and Lady Edith. What a treat to quilt with.
You can check out Andovers website to see where it’s selling near you! I think it’s fun to be able to have a little bit of Downton in my house.
It’s getting really chilly here now, perfect for crafting. It’s around 3° during the day (that’s about 36° F) which people here still seem to think is ‘fall’ weather. I realised today that it takes a long long time (maybe never) to get used to a new set of temperatures, especially ones you never felt before you were almost 30. A body can’t get used to freezing temps that easily. So despite autumn being gorgeous, it’s not my favorite season, because I know what’s coming, a long really cold winter. Hard to keep spirits up with that in mind, but I’m determined not to slump too much and keep on working on toasty knits and quilts.
Halloween was this week, which is huge here in North America as you know, but it was rainy and freezing, so there was hardly anyone out. Poor kiddies. My favorite thing about halloween is definitely carving pumpkins, though this year we bought gigantic ones that wound up taking waaaay too long to carve. But both Ange and I love carving them, we even made our own tools.
We went camping in the freezing cold, too cold. It was totally gorgeous, but I was a shivering mess, so I’m looking forward to heading back to Lac Sourcier in summer. Ange on the other hand, loved every minute of it, he went back this weekend with a mate. It snowed. I can’t tell you how happy I was to be in my warm apartment quilting!
Meanwhile I always wondered just how hard it was to quilt a queen size quilt on a regular machine, but now I know. Even finding enough room to baste the beast was a challenge. Basting is where you sandwich the back, middle and top of the quilt together with pins or giant stitches, to help keep it all together while you quilt the 3 layers together. All weekend I’ve been wrestling with bunches of fabric and cotton batting, trying to force it all through my little Singer. I must say I’m enjoying it, despite having sore shoulders as a result and I was on a roll until I ran out of thread, just about 2 seams from the finish. I’m hoping to have it done and basted by next weekend and I’ll show you probably too many photos then. What are you working on right now?
People always ask me if we have thanksgiving in Australia and seem really disappointed for me when I tell them no. It’s funny living somewhere where you don’t feel the same emotion about a holiday as everyone else. You just can’t force that love of the holiday if you didn’t grow up with it’s memories. That being said I love any kind of holiday and thanksgiving really is a lovely one because it’s only about food. No presents or costumes, just lots of good food.
I made mini pumpkin pies with maple cream for everyone while our gracious hosts made a roast chicken feast with fried plantains and avocado. We had port and the pies with great company and I think I’m building some pretty good memories for future thanksgiving excitement.
I also began to knit myself a scarf! I have been knitting for years, I learnt in school when I was maybe 6 or 7, but I never mastered more than 2 stitches so I only pearled or plained scarves my whole life. I never understood patterns, they look like written star wars languages or something. But I’ve got lots of needles and wool and I feel it’s a shame not to make use of the freezing weather approaching, so I’m knitting. And drinking tea, like all good nannas should.
Also I finished the back of Case’s quilt! It should be awesome when it’s quilted, but I’m kind of dreading wrangling that thing through the machine. It’ll have to wait, we’re off camping for a night or two in a wildlife park in Northern Quebec, wish me luck and no hungry bears…