Sunday, February 27, 2011

Indian Orange Peel - Group 2

My second group of Indian Orange Peel students met yesterday for part one of this workshop.  We spent most of the morning sorting fabrics into colour groups, sorting by value light to dark then into temperature. This quilt is based on the "warm vs. cool" colour recipe so it's important to be very clear which category each fabric belongs to.  Since this was a smaller class, I had them do colour studies.  In larger workshops there isn't enough time to do this.  I teach colour studies as a separate workshop so I just combined the two.  Here are some story boards for you from yesterday's group.

Don't you just love the choice of inspirational photos?  One is from a painting, one from a tissue box and two are from National Geographic Magazine.

The Indian Orange Peel quilt is from a quilt and pattern by Karen K. Stone.

The students all chose a photograph to give them their colour palettes for their Indian Orange Peel Quilt.  Fabrics were selected in each colour found in the photograph from light value to dark value.  Most people buy fabrics only in mediums.  By doing a story board, you can really see which values are missing.  The dots on the boards indicate where more fabrics in those missing values are needed.
Warm fabrics are on the left and cool fabrics on the right side.  Neutrals must be assigned a side depending upon where more fabric is needed and the tone of the neutrals.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kitchen Confessions

Okay.......I'm just going to come out and say it................I LOVE MY KITCHEN AID MIXER!!
My wonderful husband gave it to me for Christmas last year and I have no idea how I managed all these years without one.  The best part is that it's YELLOW.   Everything is better with yellow, right?

I was reading Pioneer Woman's blog and she had a give-away (sorry, done now) of two custom designed mixers by Nicole Dinardio.   The custom painted mixers are absolutely amazing!  Check out Nicole's link to see the other amazing designs.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Son-In-Law Cookies

Monday morning saw yet another dump of snow in Southwestern Ontario.  Sunday I had been out just in shoes and a lighter weight winter jacket and Monday I couldn't get out of our driveway.  It has certainly been an unusual winter!
Hubby was still away, I had called 5 snow removal numbers from the yellow pages without a response and I had a group of students coming in that night.  What to do?  Son-in-law to the rescue!  The poor guy had just returned from a business trip so I'm sure the last thing he wanted to do was blow out my driveway.
So........wonderful son-in-law and daughter to the rescue cookies had to be made.
I'm sharing the recipe with all of you just in case you find yourselves in similar circumstances.

Son-In-Law Cookies (Double Chocolate Chip Cookies)

1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

- Line 2 cookie tins with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In bowl, beat together butter and sugars until fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time; beat in vanilla.  In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips and pecans.
- Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets.  With fork, flatten to 1/2 inch thickness.  Bake in top third of the oven for 8-9 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes on sheets then transfer to cookie rack.

Since my daughter can't eat these cookies because they contain dairy and gluten, I've made her the Chocolate Oatmeal Bars on my recipe page exchanging the butter in the recipe for margarine.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hopscotch Quilt Group 2

Saturday's Hopscotch class went very well at Quilts and Calicos in Exeter.  The day always passes so quickly when we get together for a workshop.  Everyone did very well and got an impressive amount of blocks!!!  These are Marg's beautiful blocks.

Look at how much fun Linda and Helen are having!
Helen really used up some old scraps in her quilt.  She had pigs, bats, snowmen and lots of other fun things in her blocks.  Whoever ends up with that quilt will have great fun playing "I Spy".

We were talking about the blocks in the workshop.  The reason they don't look like much until you get the sashing in the block is because the blocks are exactly 50% dark and 50% light.  You need to weigh the quilt at least 60% - 40% in order to see the design.  By adding dark sashing and the dominant dark border you will change the balance of the quilt and design of the blocks will stand out.

The use of pieced borders was also discussed in the class.  One of the dangers of using a pieced border is that it can soon over-power the design area if not handled properly.  You never want to change the "visual order" in a quilt.  My rule is..... the area that contains the most work should be seen first.

Today was "Family Day" here in Canada.  It's a statutory holiday when all of the shops, schools and most workplaces are closed.  I hoped you all got to enjoy some time with family today.  Does having your son-in-law and daughter come over to clear snow for you count?  I did make lunch for them......

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Last Stashbusters

The last of the Stashbusters series of workshops was held at Quilts and Calicos yesterday.  The Thursday group did a great job of using up bits and pieces from our other projects to make this Hopscotch quilt.  Group 2 will be held tomorrow.
With luck I'll remember to bring my camera on Saturday.  Sorry Thursday group!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Block of the Month - Part 3

Part three of the Whispering Pines block of the month was held here yesterday.  Here you can see Karen and Maggie hard at work on their blocks.
That's Karen that looks really happy to have her picture taken.  SMILE KAREN!!!

We worked all day chatting, drinking tea and generally giving each other a hard time.

Here are our finished blocks from last month.   The best part of working with a group is seeing how the selections of fabric reflect the personality of the quilter and how different the blocks can look.  Mine is the block bottom left with the striped background.
Things got a little competitive in the afternoon to see how fast one could applique one of those pesky little stars.  I'm not going to mention who would only start a new round of competitiveness, I'm sure.
Just to make things more interesting while we were appliqueing our next block, my daughter's 5 month old puppy came to visit.  She was very well behaved but  I'm surprised she has any fur left at all with all the patting and cuddling she received!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Star Sprinkles workshop

Saturday found me crashing through snow drifts on my way to teach the Star Sprinkles quilt in Exeter at Quilts and Calicos.  Despite the terrible road conditions, all of the students made it to class.  Don't you just love dedicated quilters?
As you can see, these quilters are on their way to some beautiful quilts.  Thanks for a great day ladies!
Nancy and Pauline are here hard at work on their blocks.
 Quilts and Calicos has a great teaching facility with lots of natural light.  The workshop facility is down the road from the shop in an old "Ontario Cottage" style yellow brick home.  The building has two workshop rooms and a kitchen.

Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!
I am grateful each and every day for my husband of 32 years.  Happy Valentines Day, honey!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Double Diamond Quilt is done!

No idle hands here!  My Double Diamond quilt is finished.   I used the King Tut thread (colour 914) that I bought from Anita at Cotton Mill Threadworks a few weeks ago.  The thread works so well for machine quilting because it is strong enough not to break in the more dense areas but not so noticeable that it interferes with the design.  When using this thread for machine quilting, I use a size 14 Titanium needle.  The titanium needles are stronger than a regular steel needle so rarely break and they last much longer than a steel needle because they don't dull as quickly.  I use the size 12 titanium needles when piecing with batiks.
Most of the coloured fabric is Kaffe Fassett fabric.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I saw this on Sheri Howard's blog and had to share.  Some things just need to be shared.  We are obviously sisters separated at birth.  Numbers 4 and 10 especially..........

Truths For Mature Humans

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired. 

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well. 

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option. 

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

21. Shirts get dirty Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever. 

22. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is

23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Great Weekend!

A good time was had by all AND we managed to get a few quilts sewn.  In my case, I got all the blocks made and about a fifth of the queen size quilt top made.  You have to keep in mind that there was shopping and eating to be done too.  Not to mention..........a wonderful on-site massage!!!!!!
I can't sing the praises of Memories Manor enough.  Jan and Deanna who own Memories Manor were fabulous hosts.  When we arrived there were two young men there ready to carry in our bags and equipment.  There was a gift for each of us on our work tables too.  The quilters each received a plastic thread case which is now happily filled with thread.   Each of us got a six foot table with an Ott light, cup holder and executive chair in what was once the parlour.  Jan took us on a tour of the home on Friday night telling us the history of the house while exploring all the nooks and crannies.
The meals were amazing with the table decorations and dishes changed for each meal.  The panty had snacks, candy and beverages available 24 hours a day plus we were fed breakfast, lunch, appetizers, dinner and late night snacks.

Several of us visited the quilt shop in town called River Place Quilt and Sew that was in the process of moving to a new location so had many of its fabrics marked down by 40%.  We were very helpful in reducing the amount of fabric that will need moving in the next couple of weeks.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Coming Up!

I'm just packing up the car for an exciting weekend adventure with some quilting friends.  More on that later.

I'll be teaching the Star Sprinkles quilt at Quilts and Calicos in Exeter next weekend on February 12th.  We have room for 2 more students.  If you're in the area, come and join us for a great class that is bound to put a hole in your stash.  This is a pattern from Atkinson Designs.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Keeping up.....

I managed to get the Postage Stamp Quilt Along quilt sewn together.  As you can see, I decided to attach 4" borders out of the white background fabric.  With the addition of these borders the quilt goes from being a lap quilt to a twin bed quilt.  The quilt is marked and ready to be quilted in the next week or so. This quilt will probably be donated to Children's Aid in Sudbury.  A friend of mine is a case worker there and finds good homes for my quilts. case that isn't enough to keep me busy.........Karen Cole, long- arm quilter extraordinaire, returned my Irish Courthouse quilt.  The quilting is perfect for the quilt!  The binding is going to take awhile to stitch down but it will look beautiful in on our guest room bed.  I'll be taking this quilt for show and share at the guild meeting tomorrow.

The big snow storm we were told to expect turned out to be nothing more than a little snow and a lot of wind.  Nothing like December's storms.
A few hours later...........I may have to eat my words!!!!! It's snowing like crazy now.