Sunday, 24 December 2017

Christmas gifts

     Sometimes you don't want to post something too soon in case someone checks your blog and they see their gift before you have given it to them ... well, that's the excuse I am going to use, even though a couple of the gifts are going to people who probably never check my blog!!

     I finished the cat quilt - duvet cover.  My daughter had one of those snap thinkamajigs to close up the opening for the duvet and she suggested that I add whiskers to the larger cats. Note to self: add all the details when the quilt is small enough to work with rather than trying to shove the whole piece through the sewing machine. Once my step-granddaughter opens her gift and puts it in her room, I will put up the final picture for that.

     My art fibre friend, Karen H, handed me a challenge earlier this month ... well, actually she handed me a postcard art quilt and said she would like one in return. The postcard is 4" X 6" and is a view of a couple fishing huts in Peggy's Cove.

     She chose the picture based on what she knew I would like, but that left me stumped as to what to make for her. Since we sometimes create similar styles of pictures, I wanted to find something that she would be unlikely to make for herself.  Here is a picture of her house ... I probably should have snuck into her back yard; they had a lovely deck & trellis added this past summer that would have made a nice picture ... but she might have noticed me sneaking around ... ha ha.

     The idea behind the postcards is to create a picture that is quick and simple.  I am not too good on the simple part. I like to add extra details where I can.
There was a 3rd person to this challenge ... unfortunately, it was impossible to get a good picture of her house; it is on a hill and from the road, all you can see is the hill and trees and bits of view of the bottom of her house.  I would need to go well out into the lake to get the full view of her house ... and until the lake is frozen, that is not a good idea.
     Fiona likes wind turbines and lighthouses.  This picture is the Pubnico NS lighthouse, where I was able to combine both her likes; I have a friend who is lobster fishing near there and the boat is docked not far from it. It is a little tricky getting fine detail into small pictures ... and after working on the red fabric, I may just throw the rest of the fabric out, since it shreds much too easily, even with fusible web on it.

     I have another postcard project in mind for my lobster fishing friend ... something to work on once Christmas festivities die down.  :-)

     I stayed with my Dad for 3 weeks in November while his partner was in England for a family emergency. Besides aging (he'll be 89 next month), my Dad also has Parkinson's.  His favourite chair is in front of a large window overlooking Halifax Harbour. Frequently on cold evenings, he'd get chilled sitting by the window.   Enter the "quilted hug".  I found some patterns on-line and then modified it to suit my Dad.

     The colours are rather bright, but that was done to match the colours of the couch, which has a bright apple green background with large flowers in different shades of blue. So perhaps, not 'manly' colours, but it was made to suit both people ... one, to keep Dad cozy and two, to match Jan's decor ... that is, until she decides to make new slip covers for the couch.

     The inside is fleece ... I'm a little worried that it will pick up cat hairs, but decided that warmth was the greater need. There are also fleece pockets on the inside flaps.  Several patterns I found on-line called for a narrower  & shorter back, perhaps just meant as a shoulder covering; this is made to provide more warmth, especially for long, cold winter evenings in front of a great harbour view!

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Cats and other things

December ... and only a few weeks till Christmas.  How is it that I seem to be busier being 'retired' than I did when I was working full time?

1. My Cumberland County piece has been sold and has found a new home in Ontario. The new owner used to spend time with family in the three locales depicted: Cape d'Or lighthouse, Advocate Harbour and Spencer's Island.

2. I attended a book-binding workshop with Rhonda Miller at the NSDCC (Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council) in Halifax ... an excellent teacher and a great workshop. I'd like to do more of that, hopefully I have made enough notes to remind myself how to repeat the process.

3. My step-granddaughter, who just turned 8 years old, loves pinks, purples and cats ... none of which is a favourite for me.  She chose bright pink paint for the walls in her bedroom and it is time for her to have a quilt that suits the room.  There is a small painting at my Dad's place that has a couple of quirky cats, and using that style and some inspiration from Pinterest, I created striped cats, ... playing around with the placement:

One small problem: Ari is a rather warm kid, so a quilt will likely be too warm most of the time.  I have decided instead to make a duvet cover.  She has a double-sized bed and I picked up a duvet from Ikea.  Hmm ... the duvet is listed as a double / queen size but after opening it and using the measurements to create a pink-purple cat top, I think it is more queen-sized than double!
Here is the top on my queen-sized bed.  It is a Mondrian - art style (Piet Mondrian was an artist in the early 1900s who created paintings with large blocks of white and primary colours outlined with black stripes.)

I am 'quilting' it, or rather sewing the top to thin white fabric without any batting, to help give it stability when the duvet is being put into the cover.  The burgundy stripes are Kona fabric and I found it was fraying a bit more than I liked. Following the burgundy sashing / binding lines by sewing in the ditch should resist the wear and tear that an 8 year old might give it.

4. Years ago, possibly 2010, I learned how to make Cathedral Squares, and I started a small 16 square cushion-sized block ... which grew larger and larger. Any time I spent time in a waiting room either for myself or driving someone to an appointment, I would pull out another section to hand-sew.  At one point, I was going to make this in to a full or queen-sized quilt, but the colours didn't match any of my bedrooms, so the ambition for it has shrunk.  It will be a twin-sized bed quilt and this past week, I finally sewed the last section to the main body.  A few more coloured blocks need to be hand-stitched, and the edges need to be tacked down, then this quilt will be done!!!