Thursday, February 27, 2014

The great experiment

14Feb27Moon I saw this lovely sight in the early Tuesday morning sky as I was on the deck feeding Frankie the stray kitty, and I had to take a picture. Venus and the moon. We are lucky to live in a place with low light pollution where we can see the beautiful night sky – when it isn’t obscured by clouds. I’ve always enjoyed stargazing, although I’m not much good at pointing out the constellations. When we lived way up north years ago, we could see the Milky Way from our backyard on occasion. And seeing the Northern Lights never lost its appeal.

14Feb27Quilt Done! Just making the label tonight and sewing it on. I know, it looks weird and choppy. There are a lot of things I would do differently if I were to do it all over again. I took a gamble on the layout and the colours and it didn’t really pay off this time. I’ll know better for next time. But I’m still giving it away. I was talking with a local quilter a few days ago who said as soon as she makes another quilt, it goes into the closet with the rest of them because she doesn’t think they’re good enough to give away. I thought “What’s the point in that?” Even an ugly quilt will keep someone warm.

14Feb27Quilt2 This is 50 inches square (at least I’m getting more accurate with my piecing and my seams!) and was made as a lap quilt for the husband of a friend who is being treated for cancer. I can’t even give it to him in person because he’s in another city for his treatments, but I’m hoping that his wife will be able to take it to him. His birthday is next week.He loves sailing, in case you couldn’t tell by the mariners stars, the sailboats, the starfish and the other fish.

There’s a New Moon at 10 Pisces in the wee hours of March 1. Have you ever tested that saying that if March comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb? I have. I usually mark it down in my garden diary (old fashioned blog), and what I’ve found is that March usually comes in like a lion and it goes out the same way! Pisces is normally known for its introspection and sometimes for day dreaming while surrounded by a pleasant fog. Pisces is also known for its charitable nature. The New Moon will be joined by Jupiter in a favourable aspect. Whatever Jupiter does, it’s always big. And it’s usually quite merry. Everyone with planets in Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio should feel it’s pleasant effects on Monday. If you have big quilt plans that have been going nowhere, Monday will be the perfect day to put them into motion.

Until next time,

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fabric rescue

14Feb22fab Yes, fabric rescue is another one of those things that I do in my spare time because somebody’s got to do it. My favourite LQS, Katja's Quilt Shop in Kamloops was having an inventory sale with lots of half priced fabric that no one wanted, so I sacrificed my Saturday in order to adopt as much of it as I could! Of course, I had to fight off several other quilters to rescue my fair share. But I got some beauties who will be loved and appreciated as the newest members of my stash. Actually, this is a Christmas present from Mr. ZQ, who gave me a fabric shopping spree. I immediately looked up the date of this annual sale and marked it on the calendar. It caused quite a stir when Mr. ZQ came into the shop and paid for my purchase 14Feb22planet in front of all of the other ladies. The comments from the back of the line indicated that, even if just for that one moment, Mr. ZQ had become the most Desirable Man in the World! He is to me, all the time.

I’ve been putting in just about every spare hour I have on Chaos Under the Heavens. I was hoping to have it finished today so I could give it to the recipient tomorrow, but that’s not going to happen. I still have a bit more FMQ to do, which translates into at least six more hours. The binding will be another three or four.And I have to work tomorrow, so… maybe Monday.

14Feb22star I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out how to quilt it. I looked for all of the images that I could find of Mariner’s Stars, but not many of them were quilted. I did find a handful, though, and they gave me some ideas. In the end, I sort of went with the first idea that came to me as I worked on the different parts of the design. Not that they’re unique by any means, but I think they enhance the design. I guess we’ll see when I wash it. And yes, looking at the pictures I also realize that I missed a few bits that I’m going to have to go back and fill in,

My goodness, look at all that CAT HAIR! You’d never know that I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, and cleaned it some more before I sewed. The recipient has two cats and I’m sure wouldn’t mind a hairy quilt, but his cats might.

That stuff gets everywhere! On the way home from Katja’s with my brand new fabric – I found CAT HAIR on it. I carry tons of it with me wherever I go. There’s no escape.

Until next time,

Monday, February 17, 2014

Adrift at Sea

14Feb17front No, not really adrift. I began quilting my Chaos Under the Heavens this morning, using a nice variegated YLI cotton. Didn’t get too far before I had to pack up and go to work. I know the colours and the pieces look kind of wonky, but I’m not ready to give up on it yet. I started this sucker last March! I told you I’m slow.

14Feb17back I started off using RJR’s pattern Sailing By the Stars . As you can see, I’ve modified it a bit. Go here if you want to see lots more free RJR patterns.

The piece I had for the backing was too small, as I discovered when I unfolded it yesterday. Took me a couple of hours just to piece the backing together, but that’s done.

Should have been practising my FMQ more!

Until next time,

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Furball – sweet love

14Feb14kitties More sweet Friday Feline love at Sarah Did It

Lovely Full Moon out there tonight. I watched it rise over the hill behind my house. A Full Moon always creates a certain degree of tension between the energies represented by the Sun and Moon.In tonight’s case, it is the Moon in Leo and the Sun in Aquarius at 26 degrees – both fixed signs. Opposite signs usually have a lot in common. In this case, Leo and Aquarius both have a great deal of creative energies: Leo likes to create for herself while Aquarius likes to create for others to appreciate. Leo relies on her own power to get things done while Aquarius motivates groups of people to act. Leo gets things done with boundless energy and spur of the moment action while Aquarius motivates others with ideology and charismatic speeches.While they have a lot in common, they accomplish their goals very differently and being fixed signs, they refuse to compromise. If you find yourself faced with someone tonight or this month who is irritatingly uncompromising – especially in your quilting circles, just remember what you have in common and use that to work through any problems you have with them.

Until next time,

Monday, February 10, 2014

Spinning and churning

14Feb9single You know it's cold when -8C (17.5 F) feels warm! We've had -20 (-4 F) –plus (or minus) overnight temperatures since the beginning of February. I'd show you a picture of Frankie, our outdoor cat, to let you know that he's okay, but he rarely leaves his "house" on our deck until mid-morning, after I've left for work. It’s quite the house as far as cardboard boxes go. I wrapped a sleeping bag around it and put an extra fleece inside - in addition to the carpet and cat bed - just before the freezing weather hit. Apparently he thinks it’s quite cozy. We're all waiting for Spring.

14Feb9stars I came across a link to this disappearing pinwheel block over at Linda's Quiltmania  last week and something clicked. Last year i made several sawtoothed stars for a small quilt, but it needed something else. When i saw this block, I gave it a try to see how it looked. I had to make several to find the right size for the star blocks, but I have the measurements now, and I'll get moving on it as soon as I have some spare time. If you’re interested, a 9-inch square will make a 10-inch block; a 9.75-inch square will make an 11.25-inch block; a 10.5-inch square will make a 12.25-inch block; and a 12-inch square will make a 14.25-inch block.

14Feb9samples In the meantime, I’m still in post-new year cleaning mode. Cleaning wasn't a resolution on my list, but I found myself in the early stages of spring cleaning anyway so i went with it - probably motivated by the mess caused by last year's renovations, which we're still cleaning up. After I got my fabric sorted and put way (mostly), I decided to weed out my magazine hoard. So far, I've gone through about a third of it so far, scanning the articles I want to save. The magazines are still in almost perfect condition, and are going into the first yard sale of the season. It's fun looking through them all again, one by one, rediscovering all of the patterns I planned to make (hysterical laughter in the background). Having them filed neatly on my computer, rather than hidden in random stacks around the house, makes it more likely that I will make some of them.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Groundhug Day

Don’t know if it’s a happy one, but it is what it is. We have a resident weather prognosticator in our house – Rusty the Groundhug. His fur is so long that it makes his legs look short, making him a groundhugger. Mr. ZQ gave him that nickname. Ginger is the Bedbug (she loves bedtime!), and Rusty is the Groundhug. He can prognosticate as good as any furry little critter with sharp claws.

14Feb2groundhug1 You want me to do what? Oh. is It that time of the year already?

14Feb2groundhug2 Hmmmmmm…..

14Feb2groundhug3 Jumping juncos, that looks colder than my breakfast, I didn’t see that! I didn’t see that!

14Feb2groundhug4 Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

14Feb2barneslake I think winter is frozen in place here for the next few weeks. That suits these guys just fine. They’ve been grumbling that the past few weeks have been too warm (one or two degrees above freezing) for them to drive over a frozen lake. This is Canada – if there’s a frozen lake, creek, driveway, pipe, we’ll find a pasttime to suit it. These guys are part of an organized sport whose members have been racing their cars on this lake for over 40 years. Whatever!

Until next time,