Monday, July 8, 2013

Design Wall Monday

Technically this isn't on my wall, but on Denise's. I have the exact same pattern, fabric and pieces made so I'm saying that this is on my wall. In reality, my pieces are still in the bag they were put in to travel back to Ohio, but they will be up very shortly. (That means later today. I promised myself!)

Jack and I spent a few days in Tennessee visiting our friends Denise and Allan. Denise and I both worked on this Christmas Celebrations Tree Skirt that we bought when we were at the Judy Niemeyer workshop at Tennessee Quilts way back in April of 2012.  Isn't this going to be wonderful?

This is the fifth one of these that Denise has made. FIFTH!!! It really does go together easily and I'm already planning to make more so I guess I can understand making five. Neither one of us is going to use this as a tree skirt. We both wanted something for Fall and I think this is perfect. Judy Niemeyer picked out the fabrics for us while we were working on another project, so I am excited about that.
I'd love to say that I'll be working on this later today, but I doubt it. I have to finish preparing for the classes I have the next two days and get some things ready for our guild meeting Saturday. I wonder if I could go without sleep a few more days and get this done. mmmmmm  Food for thought!!
Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Design Wall Monday

I haven't had much of a chance to sew "just because" lately and I've been missing that. It's been a bit crazy around here since the beginning of June when I spent a wonderful time with my awesome sisters at Burr Oak, came home and co-hosted another Old Bags Day Sew-In, and then Jack and I went to Toronto for four nights and three days.

Last week I posted the quilt-in-progress I was making for the Milan Library. These blocks were all painted by youngsters in the summer reading program and I was in the process of laying them out and beginning the quilt-as-you-go technique. (This was a bit of a challenge because some of these squares had multiple layers of thick paint and of course many of them had paint and writing that extended past the penciled seam line. It was challenging, but fun!)

Well that quilt is complete and has found it's home in the children's reading room at the newly renovated Milan Library

Jack and I went to the grand re-opening on Saturday afternoon and it was wonderful to see the large turnout, despite the rainy weather.

It was even more fun to see some of the kids and their parents checking out the quilt and searching for the block they painted.

Since that project is done and I don't have much time before we head to Tennessee, I pulled out the quilt I was working on during the Sisters' Weekend. If you are a regular reader, you'll probably remember when I asked you to vote for your favorite layout of these blocks. Well the votes were counted and layout #1 was the favorite but I hadn't had a chance to begin sewing the blocks together.

Wanting to do some quick piecing, I placed these blocks on the design wall and started sewing the rows together. This is what I've done so far. Ahhhhhh, it sure felt good to sew!!! I love the sound of a sewing machine's motor.  :-)

These are the bottom four rows and they are all sewn together. The top four rows are sewn, but not sewn together. I'm pretty sure I have the blocks in the same order as I pictured earlier, but I' not sure. Since the first picture was taken at an odd angle, it wasn't easy to see the fabrics well. It's close and I like how it's laid out now, so it works for me.

I don't think this will be done before we leave, but it's a good start. I not going to border this. I'm afraid that a border will take away from the block layout and subdue the design too much. I think I'll just do an all-over quilting design and then bind it. It's a decent size (about 60" x 80") and I can live with that. I've already been playing with a second quilt made using these blocks, and the layout will be similar to option 2 (the loser in the earlier voting) with some minor tweaking.

Realistically, I don't see that next quilt being made for at least a month because I have others with deadlines to finish first. I also have a number of classes that I'll be teaching this Summer and I want to begin preparing for my Fall classes soon. Then again, I may just get excited about it and work on that before anything else. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Be prepared to be amazed and inspired!
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times.

Toronto - Part 3 (Finale)

You can see part one of our Toronto trip HERE and part two HERE

Our final full day in Toronto was one filled with music. While searching the web for interesting things to do, we found the Toronto Jazz Festival schedule and planned most of our day around that. There are a large number of musicians and venues during this event and it is really cool that something of this magnitude was going on while we were there. Many of the concerts are free of charge while others charge as much as $70 per ticket and the times range from 8:30am until 11:00pm. Overall I think there is something for everyone here.

For our first concert of the day, we made our way to Nathan Phillips Square to enjoy an afternoon of music by Heavyweights Brass BandThis band was a lot of fun and very energetic.  Here they are getting ready to play.

Toward the end of their concert, they walked around the entire Square playing their instruments and many people followed dancing along behind them. It reminded me of a New Orleans funeral procession. 

I think Jack enjoyed himself!

Besides our musical tour of the day, we continued our culinary tour as well. We stopped at Swatow on Spadina Ave. and enjoyed a delicious Chinese meal. Jack's BBQ pork dish was awesome and my szechuan vegetables were yummy! This restaurant is just one of probably a hundred in just a short stretch along the road. I don't know exactly why we chose this one, but I'm glad we did.

We continued on our musical adventure to the Pure Spirits Patio in the Distillery District where the Andre Roy Trio would be performing.  We had planned to arrive at the venue quite early so we had a chance to walk around and explore this very unique area. This blurb from the District's website will help explain what I'm talking about.

Home to many of Toronto's hottest designer boutiques, unique cafes, artisan shops, performance venues and award-winning restaurants, The Distillery District is the place to see and be seen. An internationally acclaimed pedestrian-only village, The Distillery features more than 70 ground-floor cultural and retail establishments in the restored red brick, Victorian-era buildings of the renowned Gooderham & Worts whiskey distillery. One of Canada's hottest tourist attractions, centrally-located and just a short walk from downtown Toronto there is always something happening at The Distillery. Have you visited us lately?

There is still a lot of construction happening at the Distillery but there is one place in which I am particularly interested. Do you think this may be the back wall of a bar or restaurant for quilters?

There are actually two of these walls with the cool star pattern.
The structure below looks like a bar or counter that has a tumbler pattern in the tile work. I'll have to keep my eyes open and watch the progress of this place. 

I forgot to mention something that Jack saw while making his first trip to the pharmacy the other day. While walking through the park around 8:45am, he saw a group of women doing T'ai Chi together. He stopped to watch briefly and was thoroughly pleased. He went back later to see the tail end of their exercise and returned the next morning to watch as well. On that final day, he spoke with the leader, an older Chinese woman who noticed his interest. In her broken English, she invited him to join them every morning at 8:30. Oh, if only he had seen this earlier in out trip! That would have been wonderful for him. I don't know if I've mentioned it here, but Jack helps facilitate a local T'ai Chi Chih group twice a week and he just gets so much pleasure when the entire group (15-25 people) are all doing the same thing at the same time. I have to agree with him. It is beautiful.
All in all, we had a wonderful time in Toronto! My foot still hurts and I'll call the doctor tomorrow to see what he says. I'm not using the crutches, but it doesn't take long for me to want to sit down and give the foot a break. I've been doing my plantar fasciitis exercises faithfully in hopes that is the problem and that it will end soon. Keep your fingers crossed for me, please. It has to be ok! After all, we're soon heading out to visit a quilting friend in Tennessee!