Saturday, March 31, 2012

Barrister's Sow-a-long fun= Farmers Are a Blessing Quilt

I have been sowing along with Randy over that the Barrister's Block.  First and third Wednesday of the month she posts public domain patterns (finish 6").  I have also bought the  The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt where many of these patterns are also found, albeit with out cutting or sizing instructions.  In any case, there seems to be scores of quilters following along as well and I enjoy looking at the choices that others have made for their blocks. Through their links that take me back to their home blogs...something like the virtual Alice and falling in a hole in the stratosphere that not only takes me to wonderful places but it can also eat up a huge amount of time.  Back to quilting...
1. Contrary Wife...using some red hst's that are a cut-away from a 
red thread's spool quilt that is on the design wall.
2. Box...also using up some bonus red hst's from above mentioned quilt.

3. Basket weave...using a strip set that was in the scrap bin.
4.Attic Windows...really digging in the scrap bin here.
5. Autumn Tints...more scraps that come from G knows where, because I sure have not used these in any other quilt I have made.
6.Basket...I love basket blocks
 7. Bat Wing...I had to draw this out and do some paper bats are not all that scary!  Whoa that is a lot pink too.
8. Big Dipper...introducing the qst's now (quarter square triangles).
9. Birds in the Air...should have used a stronger contrast or accept the fact that the birds are so far up in the sky that they are hard to distinguish.
10. Bowtie...just a fun little block.
11. Broken Dishes....accomplished handily through the use of my new favourite tool...the 6.5" Easy Angle Ruler by Sharon Hultgren. Awesome results every time.
12.Broken Sugar Bowl ...more broken china...opa!
13. Butterfly at the Crossroads...this surely is  a good sign of spring.

14. Calico Puzzle...made with some calico scrap stash.
15. Churn of my favourite all time pieced blocks; done scrappy and using bonus red hst's.
16. Cut Glass of the non-broken remaining.
17. Flock...there are several traditional pieced blocks that refer to's another one.
18. Flower making these basket blocks
19. Friendship Star...there is a lot of pink in this quilt.  Time to toss in something a little stronger ...let's try cheddar.
20. Homeward Bound...another pink block!
21. Maple Leaf...bring on the cheddar again.

22. Peace and thankful for my easy angle ruler, it kick's the stuffing out of these tiny hst's.
23. Postage stamp...perfect corners and yes yet more pink.
24. Practical Orchard...calming soothing greens.
25. Prairie Queen...hang on here is more pink.
26 & 27...with the careful placement of fabric you can have either a Snowball

or a Shoo Fly (more bonus red hst's).
28. Wedding Ring...oh look pink and cheddar together.  I like it.
29.Whirlpool...have I mentioned how much I like my easy angle ruler for making these 1.5" hsts?
30. Wrench...if you go back and look at #15, it is the same block.
31. Bonus Basket baskets.
32. Sickle...yes I am looking for the connection too!
33.  Cross between a basket and an it.
34. Stars...another block favourite.

well that get's you caught up on my progress for the Barrister's Sow-a-long, and because of my A-type personality I have done a few more blocks than have been called for at this time. 

Monday, March 12, 2012


The Edmonton & District Quilters' Guild supports two endowment awards at the University of Alberta, Clothing & Textile program (an undergraduate and graduate award). The Endowment committee each year has a number of funraising events to continue to contribute to those awards. So far this year we have held a Hi-Fibre Christmas Bake Sale and the still to be held the annual garage sale (May 5, 2012), Pennies while they still make sense and the Button Challenge.

The Button Challenge accepts button and or beaded items showcased at our year end banquet (June 13, 2012). These items will be raffled off at the banquet.

My submission is called "Clothesline". A white 'button and bead' shirt blowing in the Alberta summer breeze.

I started with a layer of clothes labels sewn down to a Timtex batting. The labels were gathered for me by my family members who volunteer at a senior centre cutting up used garments into rags (which are then sold as a fund raiser to machine shops etc) I painted these blue and green respectively in a 1/3 - 2/3 ratio to represent sky and foreground.

My clothesline pole is a chopstick coffee dyed overnight in a slowcooker of coffee. The reel is a larger dark grey/green button.

The shirt is adhered to the piece with pearlized white beads, which are also used for infill amongst the buttons.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tuesdays with Elinor

My good friend Elinor Burwash and I have been working through Fabric Embellishment, The Basics & Beyond. My friend got her copy at Houston and I was so enticed I picked mine up at Earthly Goods so that I could join in the fun. Elinor had very generously offered to make me dinner and to lend me one of her Bernina so that I could come straight from work to play at her house. The get-togethers have stopped for the time being as we both concentrate on other projects but I wanted to share with you some of my completed pages. Elinor had made the decision to complete hers with the intention of creating a sampler wall hanging in analogous range of colours which she will no doubt share some day on her own blog pages.

My choice was to make mine into a book and to give my pages body, I used a sheet of "Heat & Bond" between my batting and false backing, cut to within a quarter inch of my outside edge. That is something you do not want to sew through!! False backing...because I want this to be neater and no distraction.

Page 1: Weaving Fabric: A too-far-gone lace tablecloth woven with hand dyed cotton from Cathy Tomm. A channel stylized branch with beading, buttons and seed stitching. The edge is finished with a novelty yarn.

Page 2: Adding Flair with stitches and bits: novelty edges adorned with beaded fringe, bias tape, eyelash yarn, rick-rack and anything else that can be sewn in. I finished the page in envelope style and mounted to stiff black felt with buttons.

Page 3: Crazy Quilting (traditional style) This was my first completed piece of crazy quilting. It should have come with a warning, it is very addicting. Finished with embroidery, beading and buttons. Thank you to Judy Hatt for the beginning centre that I just kept adding to.

Page 4: Crazy Quilting (deconstructed with arc-i-texture cirlces): I used a variety of black/white/red scraps leaving the mother goose visible through the arc-i-texture circle (a technique I learned from my good friend Kim Caskey). Finished with chenille yarn and a traditional binding.

Page 5: Rubber Stamping (with covered clothes cord coils): a warm August afternoon spent stamping and painting in the of shade of a linden tree. Margie Davidson's garden was the inspiration for the fern stamping (what she can't do with a fern is hardly worth mentioning). I loved the texture that the background stamping created and it was only made complete with batik covered clothesline cord made to represent fiddlehead ferns. Finishing included seed beads and an eye-lash yarn edging.

There are more pages soon to be completed and shared.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Science Sunday

The first Sunday of March is marked in my calendar from year to year. That is the Sunday that is reserved for my grandson Ty and I to attend Science Sunday at the University of Alberta at the Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Building. This is a hands-on science discovery day for ages 5 - 12. We always have a great time. This year was especially great because Ty is now old enough to participate in the archeological dig!

Twenty budding archeologist don goggles, take up trowel and paint brush and excavate away the layers to discover artifacts laying waiting to be discovered under the sand.

There is also the necessity to record/map where in the dig your artifacts were located.

It is a great day to spend with a special boy. We also took in the "Noises in Nature" presentation by John Acorn. Ty always get the answer right when John plays the recording of the flying grasshoppers. John has a new toy which records under water sounds. So this year we got to hear the under ice sounds at a frozen Lake Wabamum (wow the ice cracking sounds like a rifle shot) and the different sounds made by a low flush versus traditional old water guzzling toilet!

There was also time to do "Dot to Dot Dino's",

"Why Playdough is like a Rock",
Or decorate your bag...with a crushing scene of dinosaurs trapped in molten lava...titled "End of Dinosaurs".

Ty got to compare his humerus arm bone being shown here by a volunteer holding a human cadaver bone. Our bones are much larger than those of this smaller species type anteater.
There is so much to see and do at Science Day we will have to go again next year.