Saturday, September 26, 2009

No Fools Here

This is the block on this week's Party. It is called 'Fools Square'. I don't like the name and I don't know if I like the block, but it was easy and quick. Perhaps it will grow on me. It's a 10-inch block, so I used batiks and batik-like fabrics. There are no fools here. Just me and my Mimi.

And even Mimi is behaving herself!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Strike Outs and Underlines

I promised a few people that I would do a little tutorial on strike outs. Underlining something is done in a very similar way, so I will show you how to do that too. If you want bold or italics you just have to click on the 'b' or 'i', but if you want to cross something out, you have to give blogger a command.

When you compose a new post, blogger takes you into 'Compose' automatically. But if you look up at the right hand corner of the box, you will also see a box called, 'Edit Html', This is the box you will use to cross something out.

Pretend that you have a list of things you want to finish before the end of the month. As you complete them, you want to cross them out. Type a 'less than sign' (this is a <> sign. Now type what you want to cross out. Then type a less than sign (<), a backslash (this is a /) followed by a 'greater than sign' (>). I have tried it several times and I found that I could just type those things into my 'Compose' section and then click on the 'Edit Html 'box and back to 'Compose' and the word or words were crossed out. Actually now that I have been playing with it for awhile I have discovered that you don't even have to go to the "Edit Html' box. You can just type everything, command and all, in your 'Compose' mode and blogger will do the rest.
But I have also found that it will cross things out even if I just add a photo or post it. This is making it very difficult to show you exactly what to do. Every time I type the command it crosses everything out, but the command can only be seen in the 'Edit Html' mode. So I am going to direct you to a site I found on Blogger. I have seen them use the word 'strike', but it worked just as well with only an 's' or the word, 'del' instead of 'strike'. Try it and let me know if it worked for you.
Notice that there is a backslash at the end of the command. This tells the computer when to stop the command. If your whole post is crossed out, you may have forgotten to put in the backslash.

To underline something you have to do the same thing. Use a similar command, only change the 's' to a 'u' for underline. Don't forget the backslash at the end or everything will be underlined.
I hope this helps everyone who wants to learn how to do cross outs and underlines. Look! Even Oscar got into the action! Without those little crossed paws I probably would never have figured it out!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Never Too Old to Learn Something New

Yesterday I played with my computer. I wanted to figure out how people cross things out on their blogs. I have never been able to do that and I thought it might be fun. So I experimented with blogger for a couple of hours. And I learned a few things, well, a lot of things. See what I mean. You're never too old to learn something new!
These are some nine patch blocks I have been working on. Remember the nine-patch along I did with Crazy Mom Quilts? Well, it is not quilted yet, but I just had to start a new one when Crazy Mom decided to host another nine-patch along. I used Christmas fabrics for that one. It is going to be a lap size quilt and it will be finished soon hopefully by Christmas!

When I was visiting my Mom a few weeks ago, I noticed that the nurses had put the blue and white quilt on her bed. It really cheered the room up! But that quilt is really too small for a bed. It is great as a lap quilt though. So I decided to make, yet another nine-patch since the quilt along was still going. I decided to use batiks this time. So far I have made about 36 blocks - still have just about as many to go. I am running out of batik fabrics. Think I will have to make a trip to the quilt shop soon tomorrow!

Mimi had to get right on top of them the minute I put them on my design wall floor.
Me: "Get off Mimi! I want to show off my pretty batik fabrics!"

Mimi: "Meow! Can't you see I'm busy washing my tail!"

Me: "Hmmm. Yeah I can see that. So finish what you are doing and get off, NOW!"

Mimi: "Almost done, Meow! Just a little bit more to do on my 'you know'."

Oh, Mimi! You little buttlicker sweet kitty, you!

Do you think I am overdoing it a bit with all the cross outs? Don't worry this is just a novelty at the moment. It will get boring soon enough!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another Victory for Nelson

I sat in my sewing room this morning, trying to decide what to work on next. It's all so overwhelming! I have so many UFOs! And I don't seem to have any energy. It feels like a return to bed morning. I am feeling very lazy. What to do? What to do? So I made another version of Nelson's Victory block - in a 9in. size this time. I used some cat fabric in the corners.

Cute, eh?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Carfree, Equinox, Victory Kind of Day!

Today marks the Autumnal Equinox, or September Equinox. Fall arrives at 5:18pm, our time this afternoon. It has been sort of rainy and humid today. It looks like fall, but it is still warm, like summer. Don't get me wrong. I love fall, but this year our summer was a little to cold and wet for my liking. Hopefully we will have some lovely fall weather to enjoy the changing leaves. I am not ready to give up on the outdoors yet!

It is also Worldwide Carfree Day today! Everyone was asked to leave their cars at home and walk, take public transit or bike to work (or play) today. This is only a one-day thing, but it is hoped that people will continue to leave their cars at home, thus reducing our carbon footprint on the earth. A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact we have on our environment. It relates to the amount of greenhouse gases we produce in our day-to-day lives by burning fossil fuels for heat, transportation and electricity. I am curious to know if other people celebrated this day in other parts of our wonderful world.

And in the hopes that we can reduce our carbon footprints on our planet, let me show you my Victory block from this week's Block Party. It is called, "Nelson's Victory". Nelson being Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson and Victory being the HMS Victory, a flagship of the Royal Navy.

It is a 12-inch block. Easy and quick! I might do another one in a 9-inch size using a fun fabric in the corners. But that remains to be seen. I am sort of busy at the moment and the atmospheric changes have left me exhausted. Think I will go and take a nap now.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Buggy Finish!

I have been working on and off on this 'bug' quilt all summer. It is going to Quilts From the Heart at our Guild this month. The quilts will be donated to various organizations, but mostly to shelters in our area. This one measures approximately 38in by 52in. I hope it is not too big. I did my own thing with this one.

Can you tell I'm addicted to nine-patches? I wonder how many more I will have to make before that's out of my system. Oh, well. At least one more of my UFOs is in the finished pile. Now back to the sewing room. I am trying to tidy up a bit. I can't find anything at the moment! And that drives me crazy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fruits From the Garden and Sewing Room

We have had a very cool, wet summer and now we are having a nice mild, totally dry September. But that's okay. My tomato plants are finally starting to produce some ripe tomatoes. I decided to experiment a bit this year. I didn't have much room for vegetables, so I only planted a few tomato plants. They are heirloom tomatoes. I have no idea what that means, but they are kind of interesting. One plant bears a dark burgundy fruit with a darker (greenish) top. Another one has pretty yellow lines on a bright orange fruit. The third one is a little red tomato that has an excellent tomato flavour. I love this one in salads. And finally, the fourth plant bears little clusters of yellow tomatoes. These are like candy! I just go out into my backyard and pop them into my mouth! Delicious!

I have not had much time to spend on sewing this week. There have been doctor appointments and other things that took me away from my sewing machine! But I did manage to finish another journal cover. This one fits a full-size notebook. I used cat fabrics and I love it!

I am just working on finishing the binding to another charity quilt. I will photograph and post about it as soon as I am done.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Block Party Block - Week 37

This is the block for week 37 of the Friday Block Party. It is called, "Hope of Hartford", and dates back to around 1945. It's a very easy block to make.

I got excited when I saw it on the Block Party. That little central square seemed like a perfect place to do some fussy cutting of a kids focus fabric. But halfway through the construction of this block I remembered that this is a 10-inch block and all of my 10-inch blocks have been done in batiks. I have used novelty fabrics for my 9-inch blocks. Duh!

So I make another block. This time in batiks. I like them both.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Searching and Searching

Tax officials of our Canadian government, in their infinite wisdom, have decided that I am holding out on them. They claim that I have contributed more than I was allowed to my RRSP. (Registered Retirement Savings Plan). The amount we are allowed to contribute is deducted from our yearly taxable income. I always tried to contribute a few dollars. I have no idea how much they think I owe them. It could be hundreds or thousands of dollars or maybe just a few cents.

I don't get it! I never had enough money to put in too much. They want me to show them all of my tax bills for the past 10 years. Not just the tax stuff they returned to me after I had sent it in, but all the income and taxable deductions as well and of course, all of my RRSP stubs. Ten years is a long time to keep old tax records. I thought only businesses had to do that.

So now, while Harper is having an expensive lunch with dignitaries, flying around the world in a private jet and staying in fancy hotels, all at the expense of tax payers, I have to search through all my old files and papers and try to find what I have to send them. Aaaaachoo! All that dust! I am sneezing a lot as I go through all of those old boxes and files. I know these papers are here somewhere, because I never throw anything out. I came across a few very, very old letters, from girlfriends who had moved away many years ago. It was kind of an nostalgic moment - almost enough to make this search worth it.

But I have to stay focused. Searching and more searching. I wonder what they will do to me if I don't find those documents. Will I be stoned in the public square? Hung and quartered? Maybe sent off to fight the war in Afghanistan? Nah, probably none of those. They'll probably just charge me more tax! But it's the principal of the thing. I want to be able to say I was right. So I continue to break my nails and cough and sneeze!

But sometimes searching is a good thing. Look what I found in my mailbox yesterday! The Calico Cat had some kittens to give away! And I was lucky enough to have her send me some! Lots of really cute cat fabrics and some other fun 'I spy' fabrics. Thanks Amy! These are great! I've already started to cut some strips to add to a cat journal cover I was working on. But more of that tomorrow. Now I have to get back to my files.......

Monday, September 07, 2009

Some Bag Patterns and a Block

OMG! Look what I found. I know I already posted something for today, but I just had to tell you about this! It's a site with free instructions and tutorials for making bags. Lots of different bags. It's fantastic! I love this. Go take a look. I have put the link on my sidebar.

I found it on Barb's blog. I have been looking for bag patterns for a long time. Now I have more than I can handle! I always knew I was meant to be a bag lady!

I also finished this week's Block Party block. It's an 8inch block called, Double Quartet. I love this pattern. It was quick and easy and took me all of half an hour from start to finish, including taking a photo! I used scraps from my scrap bin as well as some background fabric from my stash. I think I might make another of these, except in a 12 inch block.

Last Weekend of Summer

Today marks the unofficial end of summer. School begins tomorrow! Where did the summer go? Last June one of the teachers who works with my DD asked me to help with a felt 'quilt' her students had been making. Each student had designed a felt square and then those squares where supposed to be joined together to make a wallhanging. But their efforts to sew everything together had not resulted in anything that could be hung on a wall. The problem was that the 'squares' weren't square.

So I squared them up and decided to add a sashing. I used a quilt-as-you-go sashing. I think it gave the individual parts more definition. I also had to sew down some of the decorations, because the students had used white glue, paint and hot glue to add their decorations and pieces of felt and these were falling off. It was difficult to sew through them, but after much calculating, cutting, sweating and hand sewing, I came up with this.
I think it came out okay. And Mimi and Oscar seem to like it!

Mimi: "Meow! I'm not staying. I'm just passing through!"

"Thanks Mimi." I think Mimi just wanted to be sure there would be lots of white cat hairs on the quilt when I take it over to the school tomorrow.

Yesterday we took another trip up to Haliburton to visit my mother who is still in the hospital up there, waiting for a space in a nursing home. On the way up there, we stopped at a roadside picnic spot to eat our lunch.
I am pleased to be able to tell you that my Mom looked well - probably the best I've seen her since her strokes and other problems and ultimate admission to the hospital. We took her outside to sit and visit with her in the warm sunshine. It was a nice way to end the summer.
Our next trip to Haliburton will probably not happen until the Thanksgiving long weekend. And by then they could have snow up there!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Another Journal Cover

Not much going on in my sewing room this week. The weather is just too wonderful to sit inside. We have waited all summer for weather like this! Figures it would arrive in September. I did make another journal cover though. I copied the idea from Em's Scrapbag. I thought my DD would like it now that school is going to start next Tuesday. She has already been there all week, getting her classroom in order. She will be teaching Language to the grade 7 and 8 class this year! Also some science and phys ed to other grades. Her classroom looked rather bare and I thought a nice journal cover would brighten up her desk!

Mimi: "Meow! You mean it's not for me? But I like it. I want one too!"

Me: "This one is not for you sweet kitten!"

But I will make another one. I love these things and I am still having problems getting the size right. This one is still a bit on the small side, but I'm sure that after a few more tries I'll get it right.