Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Quilting in the Garage, Part 1

Yes, in a garage.  We really do quilt in a garage, even during our very cold winter months.  When did this quilting in the garage all start?  It was about 3 years ago when 5 ladies decided to get together in a garage and quilt.

Let me introduce you to the Garage Girls (we haven't come up with a better name and thus the name has stuck).

Meet Darlene (on the left) who is the owner of the garage.  She needed a bigger place to quilt and to hold family gatherings.  So, she built a garage, but not for vehicles, for quilting.  This garage is the perfect place to gather.  It is heated and well insulated.  Even though it is a garage, we still have our standards and dine in style!  LOL  Of the whole group, Darlene is the youngest and is still working.  The rest of us are retired and enjoying our leisure days.  Now Darlene is a go-getter.  She starts and finishes her quilts.  No grass growing under her feet.
Hello Karin.  Karin is like me.  She starts many projects and works away at them as she pleases.  Then she will go on a spurt and finish a few quilts at a time.
Claudia.  I have to laugh because Claudia always brings about 5 projects to work on during a garage day.  She will work on each project for about an hour and then pack that project up and then bring out the next one and so on.  The thing is, she gets a lot of quilts done and is constantly showing us her lovely quilts.
Jeanne.  She does the most amazing machine applique I have ever seen, but also does hand work as well.  Jeanne also has finished quite a number of quilts since I have known her.  Yep, no grass growing under her feet either.
Me with the garage dog, Coach.  If you have been reading my blog over the years, you will know that I have many tops and UFO's and grass does grow under my feet.  Oh well, I love what I do.  Mind you, these gals push me to finish my projects and I have produced a number of finished tops over the past few years.  They are also pushing me to get my tops quilted, either by myself or by a LAer.
From time-to-time, we have guests from out-of-town visit and if possible, we have a garage day.  The one stipulation is that if they want to sew in the garage, guests must bring a show and tell.

Meet Lynn (from Timmins on the right):
My friend, no blog Mary (standing on the right, from Toronto):
 Trudy (from North Bay):

When we gather, the drooling starts as each lady brings something different each time.  We each inspire each other to finish our projects and not leave them in a bin.  Therefore, we see progress from the start of a project to completion.  We are simply good for each other and egg everyone on to finish.
Projects in different stages of completion:

Then, the finished quilts.  These are by Darlene:

Since I took all these photos, there are no quilts of mine shown here.  Oh well, they are on my blog and if you are a regular reader, then you know what I've done.

So, this is Part 1 of quilting in the garage.  The story continues on my next post.

I'm linking to Needle and Thread Network.

Have a great day!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Phew .... September was a blur!

Here we are in October and celebrating Canada's Thanksgiving.  But, where did September go?  Most of August was a blur getting ready for our guilds' quilt show at the beginning of September.  After the quilt show and with one day to recuperate, DH and I flew to Quebec City and beyond to visit his family.  We were gone for 6 days.

Normally, I don't put a lot of personal photos on my blog, but will make an exception this time.  You see, my in-laws in Quebec have discovered my blog.  So this post is for them and is photo heavy.  It helps that there is a translate button on my blog that they can click onto and have my English post translated into French.  Mind you, the translation is not the best, but it will let them have an idea of what I'm talking about.

We stayed most of our visit in St. Adalbert which is located south of the St. Lawrence River and very close to the Maine border of the U.S.A.

The only place we could use our cell phone was at the top of the hill by the church.  It was quite the walk up the hill, but the weather was gorgeous and after being wined and dined by family, it was good to take a walk up that hill and burn off some calories and carbs.
St. Adalbert is at the tail end of the Appalachian Mountains and is quite hilly.  I so love the drive to and from here.  The only thing missing on this visit were the colours.  We arrived two weeks too early to see the sugar maples do their magic.  The house we stayed in (way down this hill) belonged to DH's brother who passed away many years ago.  His son inherited the house and allows family to stay there.  Thank you, Jasmin.  That is me waiting for DH to take his photos.
In this photo, way in the distance where you can just barely see a range of hills is Maine.  The village is that close to the border.
I brought hand work with me and my niece, Mary Ann, saw me working on my applique.  She wanted to learn.  So, I taught her and sent her off with homework to do.  She surprised me by coming back with a swatch of fabric and a leaf was appliqued onto it.  She did an excellent job and I do hope she will keep it up.  Between my broken French and her limited English, I'm surprised that she was able to understand my instructions.  It was an interesting lesson to say the least.  LOL  Mary Ann has been collecting Quilter's Newsletter magazine for years and has always wanted to try applique but didn't have the nerve to try it.  Now she can.
My DH comes from a large family and there are so many nieces and nephews that meal times means a lot of family are around to eat.  The elderly couple in the background eat their supper around 3:30 p.m. and just joined us for dessert.  This was our last meal in St. Adalbert and we enjoyed a beef fondue.  Delicious!  Merci Linda and Nelson for hosting us!
Three of us were celebrating birthdays within days of each other.  So, our dessert was a birthday cake.

A family photo of my DH and his siblings.  The older brother holding the cane fell on the stairs when he left the house.  Our evening ended with a bang.  Fortunately, he suffered only a cracked rib and bruising.  It could have been worse.
Before flying out of Quebec City for home, we visited with another of DH's siblings.  My DH is the youngest by 20 yrs.  It was sad to see his older siblings age so much since our last visit 4 years ago.
On our way home on the plane, a lady one row up from me started sneezing.  My DH said we would be very lucky to not catch her cold.  Well, I wasn't so lucky, I caught her cold and also ended up with pink eye.  Double "D".  I'm not surprised to end up being sick, as I was tired before we even went on the trip.

Sick or not, my family celebrated my birthday.  This little lady was the official candle blower as I didn't want to spread my germs to everyone else.  Yes, that is the big 65 that I celebrated.  I'm officially a senior citizen.

Then, at the end of September my sister and I drove to Ottawa to visit an Aunt and cousin. Both my sister and I were not feeling all that well, but my Aunt said "come" and when she says "come" we go.  So, off we went. Our cousin has leukaemia and is tired all the time.    We're not sure if he is willing to do any treatments.  He is 81 and is tired of being sick all the time.  Perhaps it is just time for us to respect his wishes and let him go.  He has fought cancer off/on for the last 15 yrs. as well as a stroke and other surgeries.

Our visits to Quebec City and Ottawa were sad visits.  Between problems with diabetes, cancer and dementia, ageing sure sucks.

I did do a couple of quilt store shopping.  Sweet P Quilting did a lovely post about her recent trip to Ottawa.  The stores I visited were Sew For It and The Running Stitch.  This time, I was on a mission to find certain fabrics and I found what I needed at both stores.  Sorry, no photos of my loot.  This post is photo heavy as it is.  :o)

Then back home by Oct. 1.  Yeah, I WILL have time now to relax.  Nope.

Since DH and I have been away, time at the cottage to do repairs was lost.  So, Monday morning after coming back from Ottawa, DH says that he would like us to go out to the cottage and on our way there, stop in Sturgeon Falls to place an order for wood to be delivered the following day.  This is something that I really didn't want to do, but the weather was perfect, so off we went.  This time, we took Ashes the Cat with us.  She was alone for our Quebec visit and my BIL told us that she was letting out some very moanful meows when he went to feed her.  She really missed us.  So, she came with us this time.  It was her first time at the cottage, and by the second day she was feeling more comfortable.

DH and my brother got to work on a deck.  It was rotten and starting to fall apart.  They are quite proud of this deck and it sure does look good.
Scrap lumber was used to make a bridge over the ditch.  The kiddies love crossing the ditch on the bridge.  The old one was rotten as well.  So, a good couple of days of work and everyone will be safe to use the new deck and bridge.  Some hand railings need to be added to help anyone that have physical handicaps.  Heck, we are all getting older and hand railings are a necessity these days.
I'm now back at home and enjoying my peace and quiet and the wonderful fall colours.  There is a nip in the air and the temperature is supposed to go down to freezing overnight.

With all of my comings and goings, I was starting to run out of hand work to take with me.  So, for the last few days, I've been very busy prepping leaves.  If DH or I have to go anywhere suddenly, I'm prepared with hand work.
This is the project that all those leaves are for.  I have long admired this project and decided to just plunge in and do it despite all the other UFO's that are at different stages of completion.
 There are 14 of 36 strips done so far.
 This will be my alternating background fabric.  Yumm, I just love it!
 This is what my DH woke me up for this morning.  Two deer on our hill.
So, that was my September and the start of October.  A blur.  It has been very busy.  I'm just so glad to be HOME!

To all of my Canadian readers, Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Winning quilts

Well .... I guess a few of you have been wondering which quilts won those ribbons in my last post.  All for hand quilting.  Without further ado here they are:

Judged, First place - Hollyhocks in a Castle Garden (go here to read about it)
Judged, First place - Gathering Pumpkins (go here to read about it):
Judged, Third place - Sky Jewels (go here to read about it)
Viewer's Choice, First place - Secret Garden

This is the first time I'm showing this quilt and there is a story behind it, but that will be on another post.
My challenge quilt that I donated sold for $50.00.  Yeah!
It was a great show.  The show earned lots of money for our local hospital.  Life is good!

Yesterday was guild day and after the meeting, 22 women stayed behind to learn about hand quilting.  I'm going to teach my secrets to anyone who is interested.  Needless to say, I was shocked to see so many ladies.  If I can do it, they can to and I will be thrilled to see those ladies win ribbons at our next show in 2019.

I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Network.

Have a great day!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Oops ... did it again!

Well, our quilt show is over ... I'm pooped ... but thrilled!  This is why!
My next post will reveal more about these ribbons.  I have to fly out for family matters and my suitcase needs to be packed.  Will be back next week.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Painting and staining

Well, if it is September, it must be time for some painting and staining.   Well, in my world, that is.  The humidity was down and the temperature was cooler .... so, why not do some spray painting.  Good thing this job got done early in the week, because hot temps. and humidity came back with a vengeance.

About 35 yrs. ago, we bought a inexpensive bedroom set when we moved into our home in Toronto.  Time was not kind to this set.  The finish has worn off in places and there are many chips and scratches.  The set just looked tired and worn out.   So, after buying 9 cans of spray paint, my furniture has been revived and here sit the pieces waiting for the paint to cure.  I still need to add a coat of water based Varethane to protect the paint and that was done inside.
Edit September 21, 2016:  I've added the photo below to show that I do the spray painting outdoors with lots of plastic protecting the flowers, shrubs and brickwork.  A few comments made me aware that I omitted this important fact.  Please don't spray your stuff indoors as spray and the smell will be everywhere.  I do paint with a brush indoors with plastic or painter's canvas to protect the rug and floor. 
Our living room has been paint central quite a few times now.  It is the best room in the house to do painting.  The lighting is wonderful and there is plenty of room to spread out the pieces to paint.  The headboard received a coat of Varethane indoors (the spray painting was done outside).
I have to laugh.   My furniture went from dark brown to a medium grey.  Then my niece wanted some crates stained to store shoes and boots in her new apartment.  She is young and you would think she wanted a nice bright colour.  Nope, she wanted dark brown.  What goes around, comes around.  So, dark brown they became.  They are done and delivered.  Another item ticked off my 'to do' list.  These crates were stained indoors.
Then, for our quilt show, we needed more quilt stands to display our raffle quilts onto.  We ran out of stands.  I volunteered my DH.  Was he happy about that?  Ah well, it kept him busy for a week and it was something new to him.  These stands I am keeping for myself and since they can't be mixed in with all the other quilt stands, these got painted a nice mint green. They should stand out and not be picked up in error at the end of our quilt show .... which starts this weekend.  For more on that, go here.
Still, it has not been all work and no play.  Play I did.  My challenge quilt was worked on and here you see it being hand quilted.
It is done and in the blocking stage.  A label and some embellishments need to be added.  So, almost done.
Some maple leaf buttons were added and this is the final look.  So glad this is done and handed in!
 My split apple core centre is completed.  Just need to add outer borders.  Lordy, that is my nemesis.  Outer borders.  I have quite a few tops that just need outer borders.   These must be tackled soon.  Still, doesn't my split apple core look scrumptious?
This is my life these days.  Topsy turvy.  Too much going on, but at the end of the day, I can look around and see that something got accomplished.  Yes, life is good.

I'm linking to Needle and Thread Network.

Have a great day!