Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mega Million or Bust!!!


Spring is in the air!

The colors are back in the sunrises (look at those batiks!).

 The tulips are up.

 The birds are back.

The pussy willows are fluffed!!

That means not only is it spring but it is time for the 2nd annual Montana shophop.

It's a privately planned event by our little group.

The stores were called to let them know we were coming.

 Seven women at one time can be a handful, so we like to give the staff a heads up! 

Quilts and More in Sidney,MT and The Enchanted Room in Glendive,MT welcomed us with open arms like we were at a family reunion.

Look at this hat...... Charlene was ready for the big day!!

 Personally, I think there should be some kickback from this chemical company.
 Can you imagine the exposure to a whole new sector of the public, if they partnered with a group like us?? Oh, the missed opportunity here.........

We realized that the Mega Millions Lottery for 640M was being drawn on Friday night, so we pooled together our remaining loot and purchased our 'winning' tickets and headed north for home.

At supper, there was talk of what we would do with our big winnings. There were new houses and pools being built (pool boy included,of course!), trips to be taken, sharing it with friends and family
 and
OF COURSE....

 new sewing machines for all!!


Mega Millions tickets
But in the end... we did not win the Mega Millions.

 Truth be told!

 When you have a super gaggle of girls
who had tons of laughs, great weather and loaded with inspiration, 
who all made it home, safe and sound,
with packages of our favorite things,
 giving us another reason to get together next week.....

That already makes us the WEALTHIEST of women!!!

....... but a girl can always dream.......

So like a lottery ticket, this post also comes with a BONUS number....

It's the extra play in the bonus blog, The Block Party Guild with more shophop details and great pictures of our trip to Montana. So just click on it and see what other adventures were had by all!!

 I think we are going to make this event, an annual spring AND fall event!!

So with that said, I am off to feed Starvin' Marvin and then peruse my new purchases!
 It's sure to be a good day!!!

 
Sunny Skies and Warm Days....

Christa

Monday, March 26, 2012

Fabric Fusion aka. My Nickel Quilt

Yesterday proved to be another productive day in both the calving and quilting front. A couple of newborns doing well and a chance to do some sewing. My husband even made supper!!
I was amazed how quickly and easily this pattern went together. I have a different pattern cut out and a couple of blocks done for our Block Party Guild Nickel Quilt challenge but did not like the direction it was going. I just loved how Jane Marcotte's turned out.

I like this one much better!! And I can't believe how well it went together since it was an unplanned pregnancy(the birth of a new quilt) by simply cutting up my scrap bin.

The only colors I pulled from the cuttings was my reds. They were a bit christmasy and I can use them in the next scrap fabric fusion.
I really have to thank my quilt group for allowing our 3rd Annual 2013 Retreat date to be changed. I am the one who has been planning it and do you think it would dawn on ME as to when it was planned for and work around it??

Heck no!! I go and book a cruise for the same time. Didn't phase me a bit till Terry Whitman found out and gave me the gears!! Thankfully we were able to push it back by two weeks and everyone was ok with doing that! They say they just did not want to take the planning over but I offered to still plan it even if I could not be there because of my own insanity! Thank you girls!! I appreciate your understanding...not sure why you let me keep planning things but thanks just that same!

So our retreat is February 1, 2 and 3, 2013 at Mother Theresa Center at Kenosee,Saskatchewan. My husband was quick to point out that it was our anniversary but I will be with him for 2 weeks before on the cruise.

I think I have it covered. Just remind me now and again.......


Christa



Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Story of Winny

video
Wyatt catching his shadow

It started with 5 little kitties and a neighbor who asked if I would take them.  Their mother was killed and they were only 3 weeks old. So I loaded them in a box and brought them home, telling the neighbor there would be parental support involved in this agreement. They were cold, wet and hungry. Three of them didn't even make the first week.

 So then there were two.

For weeks, I fed these two kittens, Winny and Wyatt. Even through the night, with an eye dropper til they could eat solid food. Before you know it, they were doing very well. They were such great entertainment for Dawson(the dog in the video babysitting) and us. Brought us alot of smiles. Wyatt always wanted to snuggle and purred if you looked at him. He was not the smartest cat in the bunch. He just wanted to be loved. But you could tell Winny was going to be a handful. She was mischievous and going to be able to handle herself.

Wyatt had a mishap one day and was run over. Such a sad day.

So then there was one. Winny.


 I have become EXTRA protective of her, always making sure she is safe. Now that she is almost a year, she has really come into her own. The problem is- she doesn't seem to know if she is a cat, dog or person.
She has been raised with 5 dogs(yes..that's another story) and two people. She checks cows with me, plays with Dawson like another dog, and hangs with all the dogs like she is part of the pack. She is EVERYWHERE we are. She posed for this photo while I was feeding Starvin' Marvin', our bottle fed calf who is a twin and needs a little extra each day.

This is my first attempt to try to add video to my blog. I have had this recording on my phone for some time and whenever I need a smile, I watch it. As I said, Wyatt was not the smartest but he sure loved the simple things in life. That has been my approach to life this year. Please excuse the audio and let me know if it works!! Hope it makes you smile inside!!


Since the eggs are picked, the calf is fed and the cows are bedded, I am off to work on my Fabric Fusion quilt for the afternoon!! Hope the sun shines in your world today!!

Christa (&Winny...sure to be featured again someday soon)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March of Thunder

.........Thunderstorms that is!! Look at the hail on my patio table still this morning! We have had the best weather for the last couple of days.  Temperatures of +20C and sunny skies! So why should  the house shaking thunder with waves of hail and sheet lightening be a surprise?  Because it's MARCH???


Everything is covered in frozen drops. The gates.......


and the trees. Looks like tiny swarovski crystals covering all the fine branches. Beautiful!


My poor dog, Dawson is so scared of storms she goes to the basement till it is over. I always say she will be the only survivor found after the storm. I think she is the SMART one! The animals always know.....


Yesterday was quilting with The Block Party Girls(otherwise known as therapy). You can see Tracey's new posts by clicking on the highlighted words or the link on the side of blogs I like. We had a surprise visit from a local man who came to do some work at the church we sew at. He thought we needed some background music so he sat at the piano and started to play. Before you know it, he was taking requests. Was an interesting change of pace and everyone got their share of sanity saving councilling for another two weeks.

 I decided it was time to tackle that scrap bin that has been overflowing for some time. I have even had the patten I had in mind from the quilt magazine, open and ready for a couple of months now. So the bin went from this.....



To this!!


My neat piles of squares to .....


completed blocks. Only another 40 to go. This makes a great pattern to use up scraps.



And with the cold, wet wind in the air, it makes for a perfect day to sew at my sunny window! Winny likes it on the hot side. Winny is a story in herself. I will have do a post on "The life of Winny". Most people have a cattle dog.... I have a cattle kitty!! Look at the picture of the gate (the top left) . There she is again.Watch for her upcoming feature...



Meow~

Christa and Winny

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Poppies and Paper Piecing



Well, I finished my Poppies (Miranda) bag. There is something to be said when living in remote Saskatchewan. You don't always have access to those little things such as handles to complete a project so you just have to wait for a trip to the city. You could always order it online but sometimes it's just the need to feel what it will be like to hold in your hand. So when I found some handles, I bought two pairs!!

When I brought my new creation down to show my husband, he said 'I thought you were making a purse?' 'Yes' I replied. He said 'That's a suitcase!!' I replied 'You never know what you need to carry when on a vacation. You know....sunglasses, passports, .....flippers!' Men just don't understand but still expect you to 'have' it in your purse!!

I had a couple of epiphanies while paper piecing my NYB Tablerunner that I thought might be of some help for future projects
  • Be generous with your fabric - there is nothing more irritating than flipping it over and it does not cover!
  • Use a small rotory cutter - easier getting in and around some of those small seams
  • Small stitches - makes removing the paper easier and the seams will not come apart
  • Spray starch the piece as you iron to prevent stretch
  • As I told my girlfriend - Its like childbirth!! Push through it - IT IS PAINFUL at the beginning but well worth the end product!!
  • And if all else fails - take a break for some chocolate. Calms the nerves!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Get Out Your Sunglasses!!!!

~WARNING ~
The tablerunner you are about to view could be blinding.Viewer discretion and sunglasses are advised!





Please excuse the crookedness(if that's a word) of these photos. I really need to get Tracey Holzer to start taking my pics as hers are always amazing.
Well, I finished my NYB quiltalong with Sew Sweetness.com. I realize that it is only on Week 3.  Once I got started, it was addicting and before I knew it I was ready to quilt it!!




My sewing machine was not co-operating so it did not quilt as nice as I had hoped for but these things happen. Life.....

I tried a couple of different layout like this.......
And this..... before deciding the right size I was looking for.


The possibilities are endless. If you make four of each block, it creates a totally new look. I would recommend this Quiltalong, as the blocks were easy and unique. If you go to http://www.flickr.com/ and look up New York Beauty, you will see amazing renditions of the same blocks. To see Tracey Holzer's NYB in progress, go to http://www.theblockpartyguild.blogspot.com/

I love her combination of blacks and brights!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Is it Spring?

Wow!! On a day like today who would imagine it was still only March. It is +22 out which makes this picture I took of my tires only weeks ago, seem surreal!! For some reason, when ever it is slushy and wet, the rim of my tires turn into these inspirational star/compass formations. It is the coolest thing! But I do have to say I would rather have days like today!!

So in keeping with some of my 'favorite' things theme - here is another of my most treasured loves! Irene Roy makes the cutest 'balls of yarn' made from the salvages and scraps of the same color and really makes them into little works of art. I am truly honoured to have been given these. They have a special place in my heart! Thank you, Irene!


Faith,Love,Hope - McKenna Ryan


Another favorite thing is my blocks of Faith, Love and Hope by McKenna Ryan. I made each block quilted with batting and backing so that some day I can un-mount them and make them into a quilt, but I think that will be some years before I tire of them! But the other night I discovered something lurking in the bushes!!


Winny in the bushes






Another of my favorite things is my stained glass window. My girlfriends and I took a class and loved it. Two of us made the same window but in completely different colors and they both were great. Much like quilting!! In fact, the instructor was a little miffed at us as we drew out all the shapes on the glass and then started to cut. We did not realize that the glass could run and you would have to start all over drawing your shapes. One at a time!! My son, Justin and I are working on one right now to go in this garden shed. I will be sure to get some pictures of that one!
Block 5


Block 6

Here are blocks 5 and 6 of the NYB Quiltalong. Definately will be some serious squaring up!! Looking pretty wonky at this point!! Four blocks to go~ 
If any one is interested in attending the Regina Guild's trunk show on May 11,2012, just let me know!! Shelby Love has tickets. It will be a dinner and trunk show with a Judy Niemeyer Instructor. I know I am going!! You know.... the sharp points!!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ode to Love......Shelby Love



Block 0

Well, the road to New York has changed a few times but I think I have the right direction now. After looking though my fabric, I realized this would be a great project for my roll of purples that I received from Shelby Love for my birthday last year. Thus... the Ode to Love!!

Block 1

It has been kind of a shaky start as my patterns did not print off as the exact size they should be but at least they will all be the same WRONG size. I plan to make a table runner out of them.




Block 2

So with some contracting and complimentary colors, I am working my way through the blocks. 


Block 3

They will all require some squaring up for sure.


Block 4

I really am loving how the split thorns on the crowns appear to be shadowed with the color choices.  For a completely different and beautiful look at the same patterns go to the Block Party Guild and have a look at Tracey Holzer's. Amazing!! After some nudging, she decided to give her hand a try at this Quilt Along and is doing such a great job. Love her color choices - very stunning!!




Thursday, March 8, 2012

Well, Yesterday was another busy calving day!! Three new babies within hours of each other!! AND I still managed to get to my sewing room for a little sewing. I am trying to clean up my 'scraps' from previous projects. Lately I seem to be doing alot of that. This is one of two Pumpkin and Spice quilts waiting patiently to be quilted. I used the scrap pile from these to make my Farmer's Wife quilt(pictures in past post).

This was my rendition of an embellished jacket class with Marji Moore. My inspiration fabric was the southwest charm squares. It is a much more manly jacket than I was going for but the process was alot of fun. My poor Martha(my mannequin) has no figure in this outfit.
Of course I had leftovers........






.......which turned into my Southwest quilt with the remainders of the charm squares as the feature of each star in this quilt!!!


So after reflecting on my recent projects I think it is time to break out of my predominantly brown phase and start something much more spring-y! After all, it is on it's way. I am going to totally change up the direction of  my New York Beauty quilt along with Sew Sweetness. The first block started on March 5.

There is still time to participate!

Monday, March 5, 2012

What inspires you?

There was no sewing today! Too busy helping some cows with their calves. After all, it is calving season for us! This little cutie was one of Justin's belted galloway calves.

It was about this time of year when we booked to go to Chicago for the International Quilt Festival for our group for the first time. We had a luncheon with Kaffe Fassett at the show and he was telling us about how his inspiration is in the everyday things we see.
That started making me look at the things I liked and why. Before you know it, I was snapping photos for my next quilt inspiration! 

For me, it was in the sidewalks of the theater district in downtown Chicago. They came in all shapes and sizes.
There were compasses at all the street corners. I love sharp points, stars and compasses. That doesn't mean I am good at making sharp points but I do love the look of them.

This was one of my favorite quilts at the show!! Totally said Chicago to me!


We had a great time at the show. There was so much to see and do. So much inspiration. We hope to go again some day. Maybe Houston next time.
On the way home, we were sitting in the airport and every time we saw a Festival bag, we would flag the person down and ask them to show us the great stuff they had purchase at the show. It was so much fun to see and hear what inspired them in the quilting world. The time passed so fast and was so entertaining that the other passengers were probably wishing they quilted!!

The floor in the airport

 What will inspire you today?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Miranda Bag by Lazy Girl ....in Poppies






I have been eyeing up the Miranda bag pattern for about two months now but have been burned by patterns in the past with instructions that SUCK!! But I took a chance and have to say that this time I was pleasantly surprised. So with the poppies fabric I purchased from Sew and Sews in Carlyle last week, I got down to business yesterday!

Quilting on the bottom band

With some inspiration from The green fairy quilt blog I used this pattern on the bottom band and just followed the outlines of the poppies on the top. Sorry but this picture REFUSES to enter properly! 


Lots of pockets inside!


And voila!! A bag without handles!! Actually I am going to change up the pattern(I know... shocking!) and put in a zipper when Justin brings home handles from Regina later today. I think I will do this pattern again- as my sister has put her order in for one!

I just want to thank all of those who took the time to check out my blog and our group blog, The Block Party Quilt Guild by Tracey Holzer. She is doing a great job and I hope that we are able to keep you entertained while you cruise through our blogs!!

Thanks for looking!!