Saturday, November 30, 2013

Beauregard -- Chicken Shaman

On one of our trips to Kalispell, MT, I found a pattern for Elinor Peace Bailey's "Chicken Shaman" at Quilt Gallery . They had a sample all made up and I fell in love with it! The pattern sat in my sewing room for a year and I needed a challenge that was a bit "different" than quilting! This post is loaded with photo's.I had questions when I was following the pattern as there were limited directions (I am a picture person). I found the internet was lacking on the details and only found the finished product. Thank God for Beth Watts of Fabric Chicks who helped me with "WRT" (with right sides together). Let it be known I am NOT a doll maker in any sort of the word and I just "wing it" with patterns! The last toy item I made was a simple frog full of rice. There was no depth or detail. So with that said, my photo's are here for anyone who wants to tackle this project so they can look at the details. It took me a couple of good days working on him but the outcome was so worth it! My daughter-in-law gave me the whole series of "Greys Anatomy" to watch, so I was in my happy place in so many ways!
My sewing room was a mess! I had many cups of coffee, but boy did I have fun!
I added some new yarn to bling out his tail feathers!
Chef and I went to Michaels to pick up some beads ("A few," I told him!) Sixty-seven dollars later I have enough beads to do about 20 more!
I even blinged out his feet a bit
I used beads to cover up the "boo boo's" from my lack of doll-making talent!
I had no idea how to attach the leg into the claw so I just went with it and blinged out my stitches that were showing! Trust me, these photo's will help those of you wanting to make one yourself. It really is forgiving and the bling helps you cover ALOT!
Fuzzy pic, sorry. The challenging part were the "joints". I had different buttons, but it wouldn't let me "position" the legs as it was not hinging at the knees. I am not thrilled with the buttons, but at least they work!
His wings are position-able as well. They are a bit floppy - I think the next one I would use a stiffer fusible -- what do they call it? The white board stuff you can use for your purses -- keeps the shape, but you can still quilt through it! Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with the outcome here, but just saying....the next one I'd use different fusible. I don't know if you stuffed in addition whether it would be a look you would like. Do a mock wing and try it out and see what look you like the best! Of the photo's I've seen, some were joined with one button on the very back. I positioned them on the sides with a button on each wing.
The tail feathers were the last! I had so much fun. I added real feathers (sewn), as well as beads here and there. Of course there are more buttons on the back of his um.... bum... but very impressive tail feathers. Chef name him "Beauregard" because he is just not quite sure that this rooster is into hens or ahem....other roosters My apologies to the Beauregard's that are straight out there! Beau is here to stay! He'll be spending time in the kitchen to watch over Chef and maybe will take a trip to the sewing room to watch over me! Being a "Shaman", he is sure to bring in the good and chase out the bad!

Do something different this week! Take on a challenging project -- whether it be a Christmas stocking stuffer, a mug rug for a friend, passport cover for the traveller in your life, or maybe a "Beauregard" to watch over your creative juices!

Happy Quilting Everyone!

ps to my something creative! Do something you've never tried before! It's ok to make mistakes... you never know what you will learn from it!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pink Chalk Fabric = Goodies!

I love Pink Chalk Fabrics! Of course with anything, there is a little story! I live in Canada -- I love shopping at my local quilt shops, but sometimes the costs are prohibitive. I want the best value for my dollar. Thus, I do order from the U.S., and I have had nothing but great service with Pink Chalk Fabrics. I browse their site on a regular basis and when the mood strikes, I order. Well to make a long story short (before I show you my goodies!), I placed my order. When the final bill was processed, the shipping was "almost" as much as my whole order! I had a fit! Here I thought that I had a great deal, but with the shipping, was it really worth it?
So, I emailed the gals and had a fit. OK, well not a fit, but asked why it was so expensive and I was thinking hard about whether it was worth it or not ordering from the U.S. It's good thing I asked! Apparently, the orders automatically "estimate" a shipping charge. It was reviewed and of course adjusted as my order was able to fit in a small shipping envelope which greatly reduced the shipping charge. Now THAT is what I call service. Less than 15 minutes after I fired off my email, I got a response! Yeah! So word to the wise, or the penny-pincher (like I am)....ASK. Apparently shipping costs for "notions" are somewhat higher. The notions that I ordered were small and fabric order was not outrageous, so they were able to reduce the shipping costs! My rule of thumb -- if I can order it on line with the shipping costs and it is substantially cheaper than getting it here -- I will order on line. Don't get me wrong -- I do support my local quilt shops on a regular basis, but if I find something that I can wait for and it's going in my "Rainy Day Stash", in goes my order!
Road 15 by Sweetwater for Moda and Barcelona by Brigitte Heitland for ZEN CHIC for Moda.
Robert Kaufman Classic Threads Small Stripe Primary (great for those bindings!) This is the panel from Michael Miller Fabrics - Norwegian! I can not tell you how many times I looked at this! One minute I was drawn to it and the next I had no idea what I would have done with it! The more I looked at it the more I thought it would be perfect in my stash and one day I would find something perfect to use it for! Chef was a dear and held it up for me so I could take a photo of it!

Monday, November 11, 2013

In memory of Remembrance day .... where does the time go?

I was watching the news today on an American channel where the news anchor was saying "Happy Remembrance Day everyone?" Chef and I looked at each other. It was a shock to me really, considering that I don't feel that Remembrance Day is a "happy" occasion. I am humbled by all the men and women who have lost their lives in order to allow me to live in a safer world. I am not "happy" celebrating their death, but I am THANKFUL for the sacrifices that they made for us. Now when I switched to a Canadian channel -- the news anchor did not wish us a "Happy" any kind of day, but reminded us to Remember all of those who sacrificed their lives for us. I bowed my head and said a silent prayer thanking all those, including my Grandfather who lost his life in the Second World War when the Germans bombed his little village. I am thankful for my dad who served two years in the army, and all my cousins overseas who also served in the army. It is through the Good Grace of God that we have not suffered loss any other family as a result of war and service for their country. Many years later, our countries still fight, we continue to lose good men and women who fight for their country. It will never be a Happy Remembrance Day for me, but one filled with sadness and profound gratitude for the sacrifice of others. I will never forget.
So much time has passed and I have not been blogging! GOOD news though! I have been reading all your blogs and am so thankful to you all! What motivation! What amazing creativity! I feel so humbled by you all! I don't know what it is! I come home from work I am just exhausted. The only motivation I have is to read blogs and take mental notes of things I would like to do! Without further delays, I do have a finish I surprised Chef with. I am in love with black and white bindings. I have no idea what it is. Could it be the element of not matching and being totally different than the whole project? Chef did help me pick out the fabric for the binding. My first choice was a text, and I found out that he totally "hates" text for fabric. Who knew?! I love the backing fabric. So full of colour and totally like Chef with his garden every year. He wants the garden full of colour and variances. We have such a short growing season, the quilt will surely brighten up those dreary winter days! I did surprise him with a new computer as well for his birthday, so I think he was fairly shocked when I gifted this one to him. We have been "sharing" our Arizona quilt, but now we each have a quilt to wrap in (since I was seriously hogging the one)
I love poofy quilts! It's so much better after the first wash! So comforting! This is the quilt from my Mystery Quilt weekend with Nimble Thimbles Quilt Club. Karen, my longarmer, did a fabulous job (as always!) I am NOT a pre-washer. The fabric on the back has a lot of white to it, but believe it or not -- no running of colours. I bought some of those colour catchers that go into the wash machine and just went with it. If it ran, it would, and I would be sorely disappointed, but regardless it would still be a cozy quilt! I was thrilled that all those wonderful colours showed through, even through the wash!
I wish I was more productive and could give her more work! But alas, I am not as productive as I could be. I need to prioritize again and spend more time in my beautiful studio! I have everything I need in there, except Chef. In the evenings, he and I sit and review the day and watch some television. I usually have my computer on my lap and browse those quilting blogs and every now and again I ask him what he thinks of the colours of some quilts, or we laugh at some jokes that are posted.
Every time I post, I vow to be more productive! Maybe I just have to keep posting so I have something to post about! ha ha! If you all have any ideas on how to keep "sewing" and have a good balance of "blogging" and "sewing", I would love to hear all about it! Happy Quilting everyone! I am off to start sewing on my Shaman Chicken by Eleanor Peace Bailey -- it may not be a "quilt" but "creative" none the less! I just came down here to collect my pin cushion!