Monday, February 28, 2011

One year ago today...

Hello everyone!  One year ago today we were some of the fortunate people who witnessed the best hockey game ever!  Yes, we saw the Men's Olympic Gold Medal Hockey Game.  How lucky are we??  It is something my daughters will never forget, from the heartstopping tie in the 3rd period by the American team, then our own gold-medal worthy goal in overtime...I've never heard shouting like I did that day.  It was an incredible experience.


We saw all sorts on the way to the arena...the chill in the air didn't stop these two from nearly baring it all!

Getting the ice ready.  Our seats were up in the nosebleed section, but we didn't care!
The crew, waiting for the game to start.
These blue seats were for media and special guests...the lights flashing from cameras were incredible.

See the men in suits sitting at the table?  They were from one of the national networks.  When the game was about to begin, they would scramble to their seats and the desk would slide back into the stadium.

Getting ready to face-off.
A very blurry shot of Iginla...from our very own Calgary Flames.

Jumbotron shot of our first goal.  I stopped taking photos after that as the game was just too exciting!

After Crosby scored the winning goal.  It was madness...of a good sort.

Our flag unfurling as the national anthem played.
Sidney Crosby grabbed this incredibly huge flag from someone in the stands (so glad they weren't sitting in front of us!) and skated around the rink.

Two very happy girls!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Of Strips and Strata...tutorial two

Hello everyone!  Today I will demonstrate how to make string blocks using strata.  Now this is a term I came across in Persing and Hoover's book "Stratavarious Quilts."  Since then, I have noticed the term used by other quilt designers in various magazines.  Strata, is a term used to describe a piece of made fabric using 22 inch or longer strip of varying widths.  Scroll down and you'll see what I mean. 


Here are some of my strips, cut and ready to use.  I cut 1", 1.5", 2", 2.25", 2.5" 2.75" and 3" strips.  All strips (except for the lone short one in the photo) are 22 inches long and cut from fat quarters.

I make my first selection, grabbing two strips with different widths.  You could plan your colour scheme or you could go scrappy and just pick at random.  Sew these together, right sides facing of course, then press open.  Finger pressing is fine at this time, again it's a matter of preference.

Continue adding strips, alternating the sides you add the strips to.

Before I began, I decided I wanted my final blocks to be 6.5 inches.  After putting several strips together, I press the newly made 'fabric', and measure the width.  Always make sure your new fabric is wider than your desired block.  For this example, I needed 7 strips to make it wide enough.

Place your ruler on top of the fabric, at an angle, as shown above. 

Begin to trim away the excess fabric.

You will end up with two blocks.  Don't despair, the rest of your new fabric will not go to  waste.  See that triangular piece of fabric on the lower left?  You take that and place it on top of the larger piece on the right in the photo.  Take the triangular piece on the upper left and place in below the larger piece.

Now sew the two top pieces together, then do the same for the bottom pieces.

You should be able to get another two squares from your made fabric this way.

Here are the four blocks done.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Of Strips and Strata...tutorial one

Hello everyone!  It's good to be back in blogland.  The Sew'n Sews gathered at my place this past Thursday and we worked on three different ways of creating strip blocks.  Sue presented the first method - using fabric as the foundation.  I even remembered to take a few photos for you - yoohoo!  Here's what we worked on.


Sue and Marilyn, ready to sew!
Sue brought a few of her strip blocks for show and tell...they were fabulous!

Begin with a piece of fabric of your choice, bearing in mind a portion of this will show on the final block so be sure it's something you like!  Cut to whatever size block you wish to make.  We opted for 8.5 inches.
In order to accurately place the first strip, we need to mark out the one-inch section of the foundation piece that will not be covered by strips. (This dimension is completely arbitrary, you could make it any size you like.)  In order to do this accurately, place your ruler diagonally across the foundation square, with the 1/2 inch mark lined up at each corner.  Make your first line using a pencil or pen, don't worry as the line will be covered with fabric.

Here is the block, ready to go.

Place your first strip right side down, lining up the right edge of your strip with the right line drawn on the block.  I know, you're thinking 'but that covers the whole center strip!'  Well, yes it does, but if you sew your strip to the foundation with your 1/4 inch seam, then flip it over to the right, as in the photo above, you'll see that it all works out just fine! 
Press the strip you've just added, then select another piece of fabric and place this right side down on the first strip.  Sew together, flip over, press and continue until one side of your foundation square is covered.  Repeat on the other side.

I prefer to press with the iron after adding each strip.  It keeps everything lying nice and flat against the foundation fabric.

Here's one block done.

Now you are ready to trim off the excess fabric, using the foundation block as a guide..keep the scraps for a different project.

Here's Marilyn with her first block done.  Awesome job!
Here are two of our blocks done.  Note the white foundation fabric strips in the center of each block.  Although we began with a one-inch strip, once the strips are added, its final size is 1/2 inch wide.  Be sure to take this into consideration when deciding on the width of your center strip.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Things are starting to come together

Hello everyone!  Thought you might want to see what new and fun things have been done to the house this week.  We finally have a functioning oven again...yoohoo!  Three weeks of eating out isn't as wonderful as it might sound! :-)  The hardwood is almost finished, just a few little pieces to go in before it's one hundred percent complete.  A little work was done on the ensuite as well.  Although we have more work to do, everything is beginning to take shape...the end is near!!


Our hardwood floor is looking lovely.  I'm very pleased with the colour.

The oven is back in place and fully functioning.  Now to get the pantry door back's mighty dusty in there.

The shower fixtures were added this week. 
New fixtures for the tub.
Ta-dah...a new low-flow toilet.  Yes, I really did post a photo of this on my blog...if you had paid as much as I did for this thing, you would do the same! ;-)  Seriously though, who knew these things were so expensive!!

Oops, we have a little more work to do, but it's getting there.

Friday, February 11, 2011

In memoriam

For some moments in life, there are no words.

In memory of my mother, Ruth Frances Sabourin
November 12, 1924 - February 11, 2010

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I have been very, very naughty

Hello everyone!  Well, the time has come for me to 'fess up and let you know what it is I do during the day while the work crew is busy installing our new floor.  I started packing up the sewing room earlier this week so the painters can get in here and do their some point...soon...I hope. ;-)

Sooooo, no sewing room means I just have to go check out some LQS's and see what new and wonderful fabrics they've received since my last visit...a mere seven days ago.  I'm not kidding.    Really.

Take a peek and enjoy!

When the time comes to pack up your sewing room, that's when you discover just how much fabric you really have..

I always thought my stash was on the small side...really...
But it seems I have enough to fill two plastic containers and four banker's apparently I have more fabric than I realized.  Not that it's stopped me from buying More fabric! 

My sad little sewing table, sans machine...
...which is tucked safely away in it's little rolly bag.
I have been on a gray/green/purple binge these days for some reason.  I have no pattern in mind for any of this...but something must be percolating in that little brain of mine, I hope.
Here are a few of the greens...I love that psychedelic fabric on the right...way out of my comfort zone.
Some of the purples...
..and these are pinks, really they are.  I swear to you I did not touch anything on my camera and this is how the photo turned out...I really don't know what's up with the random yellow-tinged photos...sigh.

And one turquoise batik...just because.

The last of the shopping spree.