Monday, August 31, 2009

Why do people do nasty things?

I didn’t get much quilting done this weekend and the work week was very busy. I got a couple more paper pieced dogs done and that was about it. I still have 2 more dogs and 8 cats to get done for Monday September 14.

So what happened?

Unfortunately I spent a fair bit of time on the phone to various companies letting them know that I hadn’t moved despite them getting my mail returned to them stating that I had moved. Apparently our mailman was on probation for 6 months for not delivering mail and had just returned at the beginning of August. This was about the time when we noticed that we were seeing less and less mail and then no mail. So after calling Canada Post to report this and would you believe that they tell you it will take 5 – 10 business days for them to get back to you with an answer.

In the mean time after talking with the one of the supers at our apartment here I found out that this postie had been suspended for 6 months for not delivering mail and has only just returned. I guess the suspension taught him nothing. I finally did hear from Canada Post and they told me that our management office told the mailman that we had moved. Well even before talking with Estelle, I knew that this was a load of crap because Estelle would never do this. We have lived at this place for over 18 years and Estelle has been here the same amount of time. Estelle also called our contact at Canada Post to let them know that this wasn't true and that they better not get her reputation muddied.

Finally this week Wednesday we started seeing mail delivery again. But the worst of it is, is that now you have to call up various companies to let them know that you haven't moved and that you still need to get your statements/bills/info/etc. On top of that since mom is in a nursing home, I get all of her stuff (bank, phone, cable, etc.) coming to my place. So the weekend was sorting out who to call, making the calls, switching to things like e-post, or with my banking to getting my statements over the web. Just a complete nightmare. This is almost as bad as getting your wallet stolen.

I hope I got everyone covered. Oh and I did have one fabric order from the states that I’m pretty certain got sent back. I have contacted Web Fabrics to let them know, but I will no doubt have to pay for second shipping which personally Canada Post should pay for it or they should take it out of that postie’s pay.

Well here's hoping that this week will be a better one.

Friday, August 21, 2009

100th Post Giveaway Winners

WOW, did we have some wicked storms yesterday evening. Just north of the city tornadoes did touch down and several hundred homes were damaged or destroyed. In another community north west of us, they were also hit by tornadoes in the late afternoon and unfortunately one person was killed. The weather was so severe at one point that Environment Canada took the unusual step of advising people to take shelter in basements or other secure areas. It was rather spooky listening to these warnings on the battery operated radio, especially when one lives on the 22nd floor of an apartment building. After the storm moved to the east there was a beautiful double rainbow in the sky. Rather ironic to say the least.

So without further delays, I want to say thanks to everyone who came by and responded to my giveaway. I had visitors from across Canada, the US, American Samoa, Australia, Costa Rica, Croatia and Italy. It's certainly has been an international event.

So let’s get to the random winners. The first winner of the book "Simple Start Stunning Finish" and a bunch of fat quarters is poster # 15 Carol E of Giraffe Dreams. The winner of the Amy Butler fabric and the black & white fat quarters is poster # 3 Hetty of Crafts and Stuff. I also had enough fat quarters for a third random winner and this is poster # 26 Rock Granny of Krpe & Zakrpe. So if you will e-mail me your mailing addresses I will get your prizes out to you. By the way keep reading since there are more winners listed at the end of the blog.

Next I'm going to give you my answers to the questions that I asked of everyone.

The blog that inspired me to try something new - there are two. First off, Donna of Quilt Pixie inspired me to start my own blog. She may not be aware of this, but when I first started looking at blogs, I posted a few comments and initially Donna was the only one who actually responded to my posts. I also liked what I saw on Donna’s blog and thought if she can do it, then I can give it a try.

In terms of actually trying a new technique it was Tia at Camp Follower Bags. She issued a challenge back in February of this year for everyone to make some wonky star blocks for a drive to get quilts made for the bush fire victims in Victoria Australia. I've never made anything wonky and thought why not. Initially I was only going to make a couple of blocks and send them off. But I had so much fun making these blocks that I ended up making a whole quilt top for the quilt drive. You can see my end result here

The blog that has taught me the most, has been the Friday Block Party hosted by Donna of Quilt Pixie. Each week Donna posts a new block and it's up to use whether we do it or not. It's a great learning experience without the pressure. I've been fairly good with only 4 blocks missed over the course of the year. I have to say that my piecing skills have greatly improved and I've tried things that I would never have done otherwise.

And what have I learned from my own blog. My blog has shown me how much my quilting skills have improved over the last year. It also has provided me with a good way to keep records of what I have completed and what is underway. Finally I was looking over the year and it was interesting to see what my intentions at the beginning of the year were and how things change.

So now for the prizes that are based on personal reasons.

First I have a special package of fabric and a book as a thank you to Donna of Quilt Pixie for her support over the past year and for hosting Friday Block Party for which I am very grateful.

The second gift of fabric is going to go to Kelly Jackson of I have a notion who made me laugh and put a smile on my face this past Monday. It was one of those mind numbing days where I had boring work to do and at my lunch break I decided to see if there were any more posts on my blog. Well when I read Kelly’s post I almost burst out laughing, but caught myself realizing that I was still at the office. Let me just say that Kelly practices “Extreme Quilting”. It’s probably best that you go and read her post for yourself for the full impact of her post. She is post # 18.

The third and final gift of fabric goes to Elizabeth for the sweet entry she wrote on her blog about my giveaway. Here is part of what she had to say: “Let me start by staying I love looking at quilts and kittys. A blog about both is like having homemade apple pie and pumpkin pie with your Thanksgiving Dinner.” You can go and read the rest of her post here if you wish at and look for the entry dated August 15th.

So please e-mail me your mailing addresses and I will get your gifts out to you in the mail.

So there you have it. I hope everyone enjoyed this giveaway and even if you were not a winner, hopefully you found some new and interesting places to visit. Have a great weekend and hopefully it will be storm free.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hundred Post Giveaway - Delay in Announcement

Due to severe weather and tornados in the Toronto area, I am without power and cannot do my post for the giveaways. Once I have power back up, I will publish the winners.
This announcement is courtesy of my friend (who has power - in a different city!).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Stacked Coin Quilt - Part 9

I finished the dinosaurs on the stacked coin quilt yesterday at my friends place. I'm very please with how they turned out especially considering I've never tried this method before. There are a few things that I would do differently if I got the opportunity to do something like this again, but that always comes from having the experience. I will have to take a needle and thread to a couple of dinosaurs and do a couple of hand stitches to finish connecting the lines because when the image was digitized somehow things didn't connect. This is not a big job, just an evening sometime this week sitting in front of the TV. I'll be seeing my friend from whom this quilt is made next week Tuesday so perfect timing. Below are some closeup pictures of the dinosaur rows that I took this morning while we still had a sunny day and they turned out much better than the last ones. It's overcast again and very humid here. Probably due for more storms. Enjoy the pictures.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

100th Post Giveaway

The giveaway is now closed. I will post the winners a bit later this evening.

I made it to my 100th post and to celebrate I'm having a giveaway. Anyone can enter since I will ship to international locations. If you don't have a blog I will need an e-mail address to contact you if you happen to win. If you have a blog, please make sure your e-mail is enabled so that I can contact you if you win.

First what are the rules. As you will see the giveaways I think are pretty good, so I will not accept just a "count me in" for this one. What I would like from everyone is an answer to one of the following 3 questions:

a) What blog has inspired you to do something that you might not have done and what was it? Please include a link to the blog.

b) What blog has been of value in terms of teaching you some new techniques that you have never done before? Please include a link to the blog.

c) What have you learned from keeping your own blog and has it changed the way you approach your craft?

So what am I giving away. For the first prize I have the book "Simple Start Stunning Finish" and a bunch of fat quarters.

I will also have a 2nd draw for a set of black and white fat quarters and a yard each of Amy Butler fabric. I was originally planning on making some bags with it (it's a bit heavier weight cotton) but I'm not into that at the moment so it's part of the giveaway.

For these 2 sets I will do the random number thing.

In addition I have a couple more sets of fat quarters to give away. Those will be at my discretion for either the story that I think is the funniest, the most touching, the most interesting, what ever comes up over the next week. Hey I want to have some fun as well.

Also if you want a second chance at the random draws make a post about my giveaway on your blog and come back here and tell me that you've posted on your blog and I will give you a second chance on them.

The giveaway will close next week Thursday August 20th at 6 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time and I will make the draws later that evening. Good luck to all. I will try reply to everyone in a timely manner but depending on when people sign up there may be a delay since I do have a day job.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Creative Festival & Kaffe Fassett Workshop

The Creative Festival runs from October 16th - 18th here in Toronto this year and they were finally accepting registrations for workshops as of this Monday. I have only ever gone to see the exhibits before and have never taken any of the workshops so this year I checked out what they were offering and decided to bite the bullet and I'm booked for the Kaffe Fassett workshop. I do like some of Kaffe's fabrics and quilts, but not everything he creates. Still I thought it would be very interesting to here and see what someone at his level has to offer. This is the blurb on his workshop.

So I will let you know after Oct 17th how the workshop went.

So this is my 99th post which means that the next post is the big 100th giveaway post. I will have that post up tomorrow after work for everyone to see what I'm having for my giveaway. For those who are a bit curious here is a sneak peak at part of the giveaway.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Stacked Coin Quilt - Part 8

We have success with my friend's computerized embroidery machine and my outline drawings of dinosaurs. Mind you it did take a few tries and a couple of calls to the tech help desk at Janome but we got it working. Here are a couple of samples from the test quilt sandwich.

And here are 3 dinosaurs on my actual quilt. The photos didn't turn out that well on my quilt because I took these this morning and the weather here is rather gloomy and preparing itself for thunderstorms.

I'm pleased with how they look so today is the push to see how many I can get sewn. The actually sewing time for the dinosaurs is minimal. what takes all the time is getting the section of the quilt placed inside the embroidery frame and positioned in the right place.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stacked Coin Quilt - Part 7

I've started work on the dinosaur tracks that are going in the medium sized coloured rows. I'm placing a track in every other square and staggering them. I think it is going to look good. Hopefully I should have this part completed over the next couple of evenings.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Stacked Coin Quilt - Part 6

Here is the latest progress on the stacked coin quilt. Here is Jordie providing his guidance on doing the binding. He always has an opinion, as do many of our feline quilters.

I have finished the quilting of the body of the quilt and the borders. In the stacked area I did a wavy free form line pattern on the diagonal that you can see if you click on the picture to see the enlarged version. I did draw some guide lines to keep my sewing in line on the diagonal other wise who knows where it would have gone. I did learn something here and that is start the marking from the middle and work to the corner and not from the corner and into the middle. I did the corner into the middle the first go around and was completely off centre before I even got to the middle of the quilt. I was using one of those purple disappearing marker pens (which I first tested on scraps of my fabric to ensure it would disappear) and had to wait 2 days for the marks to go away before I could remark the quilt from the middle outwards.

Here is a close up of the border with a bit of the stacked coin section. If you click on the picture you should be able to see the border quilting better.

This is the pattern that was used in the border section.
So the next thing that I plan to do with this quilt is add the dinosaurs. I have a friend who has one of those computerized embroidery sewing machines and we are going to try an experiment to see if we can use her program to interpret my patterns into something that still looks like quilting and not embroidery but will be easier than trying to quilt them on a regular machine. Her program has various options for how it handles outlines so I'll put together a sample piece of quilt sandwich and we'll see what happens. The plan would be to quilt dinosaurs randomly up and down the wide stacked coin rows and on the medium rows I was going to quilt dinosaur foot print tracks.