Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Back in business

Last week I wrote about my machine troubles. I was sure I would be without machine for a while, but the day after I wrote the entry I had a call. The machine was fixed and was ready for pick-up. I could not have asked for better service from K.W. Sewing Machines and Janome.
So it is back to machine quilting the Smile quilts, one per week.
This block is ready for embellishments. I have quite a few ribbons, beads and other things, but they were stashed in different places. That meant, that at times I would forget what I had. So after a trip to the Bass Pro Shop for small tackle boxes and a set of watchmaker tins from Lee Valley, I'm in business. Everything has its place. Now I have to be sure to put it all back in the right place.
My mother-in-law has been in the hospital for over a week now ( tomorrow she can come home again). At least one of us will visit her each day. On Saturday Jenny and Tony came for lunch and then went on to visit grandma.
She left me with some yarn and some needles.

I taught myself to knit before I went to school. I watched my mother , sitting across from her and since I'm kind of ambidextrious it was not hard for me to just knit mirror wise. But once in school I got into trouble, because that was not in the Dutch knitting curriculum. No standing in the corner or other punishments changed my style of knitting though. Over the years I did a lot of knitting, but about 10 years ago I had too much trouble with my shoulders and back, so I quit. Jenny has been knitting for a few years now and has quite a stash of yarns. I'm feeling pretty good, so decided that I should see if I could still knit socks. This time, instead of Jenny raiding my fabrics, it was me who wanted some yarns from her stash. This is Koigu and it knits beautiful. I promised myself to only knit after supper for a few minutes ,but that is very hard to do. I'm not a patient person. It is still winter around here. We did miss most of the snow, but it is still bitter cold. But for me there will be a spring tonic tomorrow in the form of a visit to the Stratford Garden Show. If that will not get me in the mood for spring I don't know what will.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sewing machine troubles

I know,that I'm a day late, but yesterday was guild day and I had a list long enough to be gone for the whole day. And than there were some exta chores at home to take care of in the evening.
Last week would have been the week to get a lot of machine quilting done. But after only 5 minutes the machine stopped....dead in it's tracks. No matter, what it would not budge. That meant an extra trip into Waterloo.
Yesterday I was told, that it needed to be taken to the factory. All the gears had been stripped, something that the dealer had never seen. Since I have not had the machine long, he hoped that it would be a warranty job, so let's keep our fingers crossed.
I have another machine, but it does not have the same room to hold a quilt. Time to switch gears. One thing on my list was another crazy quilt block.
Last year I made the first block of my "horsey" quilt. I tried to use as many things as I could to remind me of our horses at home. My mother gave me the ribbons and I received pieces of old lace used with Frisian costumes. The finished block is below with my father on his horse in the forties.
Now we forward to the sixties and we see my youngest brother and me on our horses. At that time we did it very simple. There were no trailers, riding arena's or even lessons. We would tride after school on a small piece of land in front of the farm and we thought we had it made. And helmets yet.
The piece of fabric on the right is from my sister's Frisian costume. The piece at the top is from a collection of reprinted Dutch shintzes I bought last year from De Haan and Wagemakers from Amsterdam.
The weather has been great for snowmobiling. Today it was sunny, but cold, but it was just right for a walk with the dog.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another week....another storm

I'm just about tired of this winter. Friday Jeanette came for a visit. I helped her with 2 baby quilts and some knitting problems. Our plan for Saturday was to go to Port Huron and do some shopping there. Friday evening Laurence decided to come along, as long as he could have breakfast at the Cracker Barrel. Saturday morning the chores were done before 7 and soon after we were on our way. After 10 minutes and 2 cars in the ditch, I was ready to turn around, but both daughter and husband only knew one direction...and that was forward, even after we saw an accident with 2 smashed cars and a horse trailer partly in the ditch. I have to agree, that the driving was not too bad, because there were not many people on the road. We did make it and were good and hungry for breakfast once we were over the border. And we did get our shopping done. The trip home was less stressfull. No snow till the last 15 minutes. Sunday was a different story. Blowing snow made it impossible to do anything. Chores were done with the help of tractor and snowblower. And what did not help either was the fact, that we had to take our computer in to town to get fixed a few days earlier. And the t.v. did not work right either. Jeanette had no choice but stay for an extra day. We cut some patches, read, she made pies and I made a big pot of soup. Monday was sunny and cold and things got back to their regular routine.
The last few days I have made some small quilt tops for the guild's Smile Quilt program. The one above is about 36 by 36. I made 2 identical ones. The one below still needs a border, but I have used all the fabric I bought. I was 2 blocks short, but found some matching chicken fabric.

The third one has a school busses. I think there is about 2 inches of fabric left over. All of them will be machine quilted and they all will have flannel on the back.
This afternoon I put the outside border on the Mariner Compass Quilt and I hope to take it in to the quilter tomorrow. It is big, about 96 inches. By now there is enoug snow for hubby to go out on the snowmobile. We hope for a few sunny and calm days so he can go for a few runs. I will stay in and get more projects finished.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Changed my mind

Yesterday I went looking for the white fabric and I could find nothing even close.
Then a thought struck me, why does it have to be white?
I went back to the store where I got the other fabric and found a green that matched perfect.
When I tried a similar white piece it looked very traditional The green border will give it a more up to date look, at least I hope. I do have to put an extra 1/2 inch wide piece all around to set the sashing of. But I have enough fabric to do that.So I hope to put the border on later this week and start with the marking next week and then it is ready for the quilter.
This has been a week of finishing things. The orchid quilt has finally been marked. The rectangles will be done in sashiko, the rest will be regular quilting.
The same here. The part circles will be sashiko with of white thread, the rest regular quilting with a dark blue thread.
Another project has been a baby quilt. A friend of Jenny's started on her first quilt. The baby was born early and she went back to work soon after, so Jenny took it home and it ended up here. Whoever had helped her in the store, did not know much about quilting. A velour type of fabric for the back is slippery and hard to quilt.I bought flannel for the back and a small check to use for a border. It all came together and I even enjoyed the machine quilting. I think I'm ready for another Smile quilt. Our guild tries to have enough Smile quilts available at the local hospital to hand one out to each child, who has a serious illness and there is always a demand for more.
These quilts give me a possibility to try out some different machine quilting.
There are a few other small project to finish. But I just don't feel like starting on something big right now. Have no inspiration it seems.
Time to go for a walk. School busses were cancelled, because of a storm coming our way, but that has not materialized. Just a few snowflakes, that's all for now.