Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday Sew-in feels so good to be at the sewing machine again, and getting things made for Christmas.

Tonight I multi-tasked - not one of my strengths, but it had to be done.

While chatting with Cheryl on Skype, I appliquéd tea towels.

You can find the pattern for Santa here.

This one I kind of made up myself, using a snowflake appliqué from a quilt book.

The pale blue fabric is gorgeous - the photographs really don't do it justice.

These were fairly quick and easy projects - they probably would have been quicker if I hadn't been yapping all night. I guess I answered my own question, though: would I get more done if I had a sewing buddy?

Definitely not. But I wouldn't have as much fun either.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Farewell, Monkey!

That monkey is finally off my back.

He slid off at about 10:30 tonight when I finally FINISHED THE PAPER for my master's course.

But he left an awful mess in his wake:

I'll have to clean that up so I can get back to my Christmas sewing.

Less than a month to go...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sewing buddy

I was reading Thimbleanna's post tonight and I got to wondering...

Would I get more done if I had a sewing buddy?

Someone to talk to, laugh with,

to bounce ideas off...

I tend to do a lot of things alone. A LOT.

I go to yoga and dance classes alone. I walk the dogs alone. I (occasionally) go to coffee shops alone. I go shopping alone. I watch movies alone.

I sew alone.

Don't get me wrong, I'm usually okay with my own company. There are lots of people that I like, but I don't have a ton of friends, and my two really good friends who like to sew live 500 km and 5000 km away from me.

Ah well... I probably wouldn't get anything done at all if I had company. I'd talk too much!

Do you sew alone or with friends? What do you prefer?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday Night Knit-in?

Last night, during the little bit of time I had before heading to the hockey game, I managed to finish the Seed Scarf I was making for my lovely student teacher.

I'm quite pleased with it. Another small finish!

p.s.  pettie1019 - you asked where I got the pattern, but I couldn't respond because you're a no-reply blogger. The pattern came from the Two and Six blog and you can find it here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's Friday Night!

And that means it's time for the Friday Night Sew-in.

I have tickets to the Oilers game tonight, so I only have an hour or so to get my sewing fix before I have to head out into the cold, cold night. Oh how I wish I could just stay home and sew!

But, you know, I'd probably feel the need to you-know-what* instead. Guilt.

Happy Sewing!

*work on my paper (Sorry to Pat who feels she is being tortured by my constant references to this).

Thursday, November 18, 2010


It's funny how I can be so productive sometimes, and get so much done...even especially when what I'm doing is not what I'm supposed to be doing.

Last night, after the Snow Monkeys sewing spree, I finished the binding on my table topper. It's machine-pieced and hand-quilted. And lest you think I'm simply awful at matching up seams and corners, let me explain that this was made completely out of already-pieced leftovers/mistakes from my Hometown quilt, which was the very first full-size quilt I ever finished. I didn't cut anything to fit perfectly; I just sewed together blocks that were already made (and meant to be put together in a different arrangement).

It looks nice on my dining room table and brightens up the room.

"18 Dream Escapes." One must dream, you know. Especially when this is the view from one's front door at six o'clock on a Thursday evening.

So, what should I work on next? Should I finish the Seed Scarf (only 7 rows to go)? Should I start something new? Or should I maybe...just maybe...get that darned paper written?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Winter arrived yesterday, with snow and cold winds. It's perfect weather to stay inside and work on the paper for my master's course make Snow Monkeys pillowcases.

Oh... priorities!

Now to get the binding put on my hand-quilted table topper...

Monday, November 15, 2010

The cutest...

...little baby slippers I picked up at a craft sale on Saturday.

The technique is Sashiko - traditional Japanese hand-stitching - and they were made by a local woman. Look how even and perfect her stitches are!

Not for me...for friends who just had their second daughter.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Scenes from my Saturday

I was up long before the sun this morning. Way too early, in fact. When the sun finally rose, this is what I saw from my sewing room window. What you can see in this photo is part of the downtown skyline. The buildings look like they're on fire, but it's just the golden glow of the sun rising.

I love the pink sky... Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning?

On my morning walk with AbbyDog, I saw this:

And here's another of my favourite neighbourhood houses:

No snow yet (except for that one snowfall last month), but it's definitely hat-and-mitten weather!

After a long walk, it was nice to return to my own cute little house. I always feel content coming home.

This is the only Christmassy decoration I've put up so far. I think it's still too early. My friend Kim bought these blocks for me when I went to visit her a few weeks ago; I love them.

They are perfect for on top of our new kitchen cupboard.

Tonight the OnlyChild and I went to the annual Christmas Tree lighting downtown. You might remember that we went last year too.

There were fireworks: 

I love fireworks; my favourites are the ones that explode into little stars. The fireworks tonight were all red, white, and green (although I didn't manage to get a good picture of all the colours).

And then they lit up the tree. It was packed with people down there and quite hard to walk around the square, probably because it's not yet too cold to hang around outside. I was bundled up, but really, it's still above freezing here, which is very unusual for November.

I worked a bit more on the quilted table topper this afternoon. I just have the borders left to quilt now. And for those who were wondering, I figured out where my large hoop was hiding - yep, it came to me at about 4 o'clock this morning while I was sipping a cup of tea. I had put the hoop in a blanket chest in the dining room. And it's not turquoise after all; it's just plain wood. I have a smaller turquoise one that I found last night. It made me wonder if I was losing my mind...

I still haven't made any progress on that paper I'm supposed to be writing for my course. I've had to switch my topic because I kept hitting dead ends in my research. Sigh. I have a meeting with a lady from the Department of Education on Tuesday and I'm hoping that will spur me on. I want that monkey off my back!

And speaking of monkeys...

Snow Monkeys! This will be made into pillowcases for Kim's sweet little girls. Oh so cute...

Friday, November 12, 2010

If you were an embroidery hoop...

...where would you be hiding?

For a little Friday night relaxation, Mr. P said he'd pick up a movie for us to watch. Since I can't just watch a movie - I always have to be doing something else at the same time - I thought I'd work on some hand-quilting. I've been planning to finish this table topper for ages.

I love how rustic and primitive the hand-stitching looks.

But I can't find my large embroidery hoop. It shouldn't be hard to spot, seeing as it's turquoise in colour. I cleaned out this entire sewing room a couple of months ago to ensure that things didn't get lost. Maybe that was my mistake - before, it would have been tossed onto the top of the closest pile and, therefore, easy to find. I've searched high and low, on shelves, in drawers, in tubs, under the tables... to no avail. I can't find it anywhere.

I'll keep looking until Mr. P returns with the movie. But if I don't find it, I may have to work on my Plan B project - a Seed Scarf that I've started as a Christmas gift for my student teacher.

Oh, but I really wanted to finish that table topper and cross another UFO off my list.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, 1915
Remembrance Day Service held at my school yesterday
Photo from The Edmonton Journal

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

House Hunting

The other day, DerbyDog and I went for a nice, long walk in the neighbourhood. I live in an older neighbourhood and I love wandering the streets, looking at all the houses.

Here are a few of my favourites:

All are older houses that have been renovated. Our community has a program to acknowledge the heritage homes with a plaque. You can see one in the photo above - it lists the year the house was built, the first homeowner and his/her occupation.

I've been meaning to get one for our house which was, we believe, built in 1913-14. We were told it was built in 1909 but when the OnlyChild and I went to the city archives to do some research, the records showed no mention of the house until 1914.

The next house was my favourite on Sunday (my favourites change frequently). I know it's not the most luxurious or ostentatious house in the community, but it's so cozy looking. When I walked by it, I could imagine it decorated and lit up for Christmas (plus I could sort of see in the windows and it's really cute inside).

This next one is for sale. But it's waaay out of my league - they're asking nearly $700,000 for it!

And, yes, there are some "uglies" in the neighbourhood too.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Red, White and Green

Last night, I spent some quality time in my sewing room. Just me, Bernice, a glass of sauvignon blanc (only one - can't be caught drinking and sewing), and a pile of fabric.

I've been working on Red, White and Green projects.

A few more string blocks:

 And I finished a couple of special Christmas surprises that I can't reveal just yet.

After a wonderful whole-wheat waffle breakfast (try to say that 10 times quickly), I went right back in my sewing room this morning and spent many hours with Bernice whirring away and episodes of Six Feet Under playing on my computer.

Tonight is Date Night. Mr. P and I are going to get all dressed up and go out for a fancy dinner. He made the reservations earlier in the week and all I had to do was promise to wear a skirt, pantyhose, and heels. It will be a big sacrifice, but I guess it's worth it.

Tomorrow will be a different kind of day - I'll have to catch up all I didn't do today, such as marking, laundry, more marking, changing bed linens...and, please, nobody tell my professor that I haven't even started my final project yet. I'll do it when the panic sets in, which should be very soon.

Yep, tomorrow I'll likely be broadcasting from Starbucks, because that seems to be the only place I can get any serious (opposite of fun) work done lately. All that Red, White and Green fabric is just so distracting!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

One Hour

Today I finished marking a stack of essays. And the postings for my online course are all done for the week.

I think that calls for a celebration.

With one hour to go before I had to leave for my dance class, and with neither Mr. P nor the OnlyChild home, I chose to party sew for a while.

More string blocks!

The bottom two blocks might end up on the back of the quilt. I'm not too sure about them.

But I'm having fun with these. Even though I keep telling myself I really should be finishing some other projects.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A change

I was getting tired of seeing myself in that Halloween costume so I thought I'd post a picture of the utterly adorable DerbyDog.

You can all gaze lovingly upon this photograph while I get back to my coursework.

Nothing interesting to post 'cause I'm just too busy with the serious stuff right now. But I'll be back soon.