Thursday, March 27, 2014


14Mar27needleplate I suppose it was bound to happen. Almost three years without any major problem. Until this morning. Burning the midnight oil, it was, in fact just after midnight. After weeks of working on a market design and testing different methods, I finally found one that worked. So it was time to put everything together. It was going so well last night that I didn’t want to stop. But my machine called it quits for me. It might have been the six layers of canvas, two layers of batting and one layer of cotton, but I don’t think so. I’ve been a bit concerned with the needle plate on my Janome 7700 for a little while now. Although it hadn’t given me any problems, it just didn’t seem quite right. Maybe I wasn’t taking care of it properly. 14Mar27bag Anyhow, it looks like it needs to be replaced, and the machine won’t work until it is.

Pity that my repair shop is in another city and is only open Monday through Friday – same hours that I work. It’ll be a challenge to get there. I could send Mr. ZQ in to get it fixed, but he’s in Fort St. John for a couple of weeks visiting his parents. His dad had a bad fall at the beginning of February and has limited mobility. His mom’s been using a cane for the past two years, so she’s having great difficulty trying to assist her husband! They’re both very stubborn. So, either I find a temporary fix for my Janome, or else I pull my little Bernina out of 14Mar27fmq the basement. It’s time she got a workout, though she doesn’t have the fancy stitches that I used on the handles. And I’m not thrilled about going back to that narrow throat for FMQ-ing. But, it is what it is.

I was working on this Farmers Tote when she stopped. And, like other free patterns I’ve tried to share in the past, today when I look for it, the link is broken. It’s just a simple tote with a pocket on the front by Maggie Makes. No zippers, no snaps! As I say, it was going together quite nicely, and I was even happy with my FMQ-ing.

Until next time,

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring bling

14March19tomahtoes Look at these beauties! I planted 216 tomato seeds on March 11 (and another 48 on March 18) and put them under the grow lights in the basement. They’re coming up! Every morning I go downstairs and talk to them, because seeing them makes me happy. In a couple of weeks I should be able to move them outside to my greenhouse. I planted 12 different varieties, most of the heirlooms. There are some cherry tomatoes, some beefsteak, some plum and some globe, or slicing, tomatoes. I’m hoping that I can sell most of them at our Farmers Market, which starts in May. The rest I’ll plant or give away – and haul the ripe tomatoes back to the Market in the Fall. I also have a bunch of herb plants to sell. I used to have an herb nursery business many 14March19bag1 years ago. It did really well, but we had to move and it wasn’t really a portable business. I started growing herbs when I was 13 and I will never stop.

Besides the plants, I’m hoping to have a few bags and things for sale. I’ve started some but I’m not getting far. I caught between co-workers with medical issues and family members with medical issues and things are very topsy turvy at the moment – and have been since the beginning of February. However, I did manage to get this great Fabric Wallet done. The pattern is not to difficult, and the result is quite nice. I made a couple 14March19bag2 of goofs, but learned some new tricks. I don’t know if it was the pattern or me, but I managed to cut most of my striped pattern the wrong way, so I had to cut a few of the pieces apart and re-sew them back together. And next time, I’ll set the magnetic clasp further back from the edge so I can topstitch next to it as the pattern calls for. I’ll also use my zipper tape on the next one to hold it in place, because this one (no picture) is messier than it needs to be.

Like the pink leopard fabric? That is so NOT me. Or, it never was before I started quilting. Now I buy and use all sorts of weird colours and designs I never thought 14March19bag3 I’d like. Or maybe it’s because I’m past 50. Anyway, it’s very roomy inside, has little pockets to hold credit card-sized cards, and has a zipper pocket on the back to hold more. But it’s still small enough that it doesn’t feel bulky when I hold it. I think I might actually take this one out in public!

I’ve been rearranging my blog page today a little bit. If you scroll down to “My Favourite Tutorials” (they aren’t mine, they’re just my favourites), you’ll notice that I’ve added a few new ones. From now on, when I recommend a free pattern/tutorial that I’ve found on the internet, I’ll place it there so you’ll have access to it if you want to try it. That’s my plan, anyway.

Until next time,