Sunday, September 27, 2009

around and around we go

I'm finally on the border of the QoV, got a picture taken of it (unfinished) and sent off with the registration form to enter it in the quilt show next month. Also got 100 QoV brochures printed off and have been folding them into thirds for people to pick up at the quilt show. I'm hoping every one of the brochures gets picked up and people get interested and want more information so we have a bazillion new quilts coming in for our soldiers .... we'll see!

I've been pondering for 5 years now what to hang above the fireplace. Ideally, I'd like a huge metal star, but those aren't exactly just hanging around all over the place, so I've been trying to come up with a good quilt to hang up there. Not just any quilt, I want something really nifty, eye-catching, and different.

I got this really great batik on one of my fabric runs to the states. It's a medium blue, really cool, I couldn't resist it but had no real plans of what I was going to do with it. Lately I've seen a few different variations of flying geese quilts that got my interest and decided to do something with that. Now, I am NOT a huge fan of paper-piecing ... anyone who knows me knows that I'm usually very much anti-paper-piecing, but once I got the general plan for this quilt in my head I knew there was no way around it, I would have to paper-piece it. arrrrrgggghhhhh!!!!

Anyhow, I have the background laid out, it's the mottled blue batik, and on it there will be various sized circles of flying geese like this one here, all in different batiks. I'm not hating the paper-piecing process as much as I thought I would, maybe I'm getting used to it, I don't know. It'll never be my preferred method of piecing, but I can manage it.
So far I have this yellow one done, a lime green, and a pinkish one. They'll be placed so that some of them overlap or link, with some batik circles (non-geese) randomly among them.

The way my sewing room is laid out and the floor space I have to work on things makes it so that I had to put the quilt near the doorway. I was working on the geese, laying a ring on the background where I felt it should go, but then I when I stood back and looked at it from my work area, it just didn't look right. Something didn't jive. Then I went out of the room to get a drink, and as I went back in I saw the quilt from the other direction, in the hall. Then it dawned on me -- I was looking at it upside-down!

Gord laughs at me, he can't figure how a quilt with no apparent top or bottom could possibly be upside-down and to him it looks the same from either direction. But it definitely looks better from the other side. I think I'll keep doing the work from the wrong direction as I have been, then go around and look at it from the other side and see how that works for me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Christmas is a-comin'

Been getting started lately on making Christmas gifts. I decided this year on a gift to make for all my nieces and nephews ... they're all getting the same thing, in different colors. I can't be any more specific than that because they might get nosy and decide to read this, so that will just have to wait. Got the first one done, just to make sure I could actually make this thing, been a long time since I've done anything like this (curious yet?) and it turns out that it's actually very simple. So now I just have to get the materials to make the others in various other colors and I'm all set.

Also working on a quilt for Jay. He's 13 now, and crazy about 2 things: cars and the color orange. I had made Emma a quilt last year and hid a bunch of things in it for her to find, you can see her quilt here called "Stars for Emma". Jay loved the idea of having to search for stuff and requested the same for his own quilt, so I'm working on that. So far it's blue and orange, with various blue and orange things for him to find. I'll post pictures of it after Christmas, just in case he gets nosy too.

I'm about halfway done quilting my Quilt of Valour. It's the fourth one I've made, I'm planning to put it in my local guild's quilt show in October, so I need to get it finished and ready to go. Other than that I'm just waiting for hockey season to start!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Got my prize!

Yesterday I took the skytrain out to Metropolis at Metrotown in Burnaby to pick up the prize I won on the radio show earlier this week. I used to get lost in that mall -- it's HUGE -- but not so much anymore, so I had a pretty good idea where to find this store.
I had called earlier in the week to confirm where they were and asked then what my fabulous prize was .... it was a $25 gift card to the store. Nice! When I got there yesterday I asked if they have other locations I could check out to use the card at, but the only other one they have is out in Langley ... I don't even know where Langley is ... so I figured I'd best just use the card then and there, since I only go out to Metrotown a couple times a year.
Being the bargain hunter that I am, of course I went straight to the back of the store where the clearance and sale stuff was. I browsed around a bit until I found something I liked, tried it on and voila - I had my prize. I got some Vancouver Canucks lounge pants (kinda like yoga pants, very comfy) and a matching tank top. Together they were regularly priced at $50, marked down to $24.98 for the pair, so I ended up just paying the tax, under $3. I do loves a great deal!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More hockey - 9 more signatures, only 3 to go!

Went to yet another Canucks pre-season practice this morning, hoping to get a couple of the remaining signatures that I'm missing for my quilt and I ended up getting 9 more!
When I got there just Luongo and Pavel were practicing, so I got a couple of good pics of them ... didn't need their signatures, got them last year. Every time I go it's like I'm collecting hockey cards or something - "got it, got it, need it, got it ..."

After about an hour the rest of the team started to trickle out. I was chatting with one of the security guards and asked him if it would be ok if I went over to catch them as they came out of the dressing room, or should I sit in the seats and wait til they came off from practice ... there was a table set up over by the hall to the dressing room and he said it would be fine if I went over there so I could spread my quilt out and get them to sign as they came out. Yahooey, thankyou mr security guard! This was perfect ... I spread out the quilt with the lower half showing, later flipped it to the upper half, so I could get the signatures evenly distributed. Kinda challenging when the guys come out in herds and I'm not sure what the new guys look like, but I managed to get quite a few of them. Had a guy who works at Thunderbird Sports Centre standing there chatting with me and he was quite helpful.

This picture to the left of Bobby Lu looks like he's saying "oh come on Scrappy, aren't you done yet?" (actually he was listening to his coach tell him something to do)

Later on while the guys were on the ice, I still had a few left to get and wasn't sure if they were there or not. I saw some of the TV reporters coming in and setting up over by the dressing room exit where I'd been before with my table, so at Gord's advice I went over to see them. I knew I recognized one of them, but didn't know his name so I just went over and said "hey reporter dude ... can you help me figure something out" and he very kindly looked thru my list of got-em/need-em's and told me who was who out there and who hadn't shown up today. Very nice of him, thankyou mr reporter dude.

Later on when the practice was finishing up and the guys were leaving the ice a few at a time, some students were sitting near me to get signatures on their stuff too. I only had a few left to get so I was just waiting for my guys to be ready to leave. These kids had quite the nerve ... as players were signing their stuff they were asking for their sticks ... as if they'd give away a perfectly good stick. I think not! I was still not sure about one player that I needed, and had seen a number on a helmet that I suspected was him, so I called over one of the Canucks trainers who was waiting for them to get off the ice and asked him. He confirmed that the player in question was indeed Brad Lukowich. Almost immediately after that Brad skated over with a broken stick and traded it for a good one and the trainer asked if I'd like to have the broken stick. Yessir indeed I would, thankyou mr trainer dude! So then when Brad was finished and came by to sign my quilt, I also got him to sign his stick, which now sits on my fireplace mantle.

Scrappy had a very good day, a very good day indeed!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hockey and fabulous prizes!!!

Yesterday I went out to Thunderbird Sports Centre again to see the Canucks training camp. I didn't really have that much interest in seeing the rookies practicing, but I did go with a purpose in mind. That purpose was to track down Alain Vigneault (head coach) and Mike Gillis (manager) and get them to sign my quilt. I figured that since they don't go to the pre-season practices for the Canucks this was probably my best bet to get them, as I was pretty sure they'd be at training camp.
I got there good and early, got myself a good seat where I had a good view of the ice and the players as they came from the dressing room to the ice, and settled in to watch for the guys. The players came out, along with an assistant coach that I recognized and a bunch of other coaches I didn't know. Vinny wasn't on the ice! I kept watching and looking all over the place, as I was SO sure he'd be there, then the guys sitting behind me started talking (in French). One said that Mike Gillis was standing behind the top row of seats at the rail directly across the rink from us, and that Vinny was sitting in a seat alone a few rows below him. I looked over and lo and behold there they were!
So I picked up my stuff and off I went. It would have been so much quicker and easier to just go around the end of the rink to get to them, but that was blocked off for the Zamboni so I had to take the long way around the entire place to get there. Vinny was sitting there by himself so I walked up to him and said "Hi there!". He smiled and said hi. I asked him if I could bother him for just a minute and he said "sure!". I showed him my quilt, pointed out all the logos I'd made and the players' signatures I've gotten and asked him if he'd mind signing it for me too, which he gladly did. Then I asked him if Mike was busy or if he thought it would be OK for me to go bother him for a minute too, and he said to go ahead.
I went up to the top row where Mike was talking to some other people, standing back-to me, so I tapped him on the shoulder and went through the same as I did with Vinny. He, too, signed my quilt and away I went. By then the practice was about halfway finished, the arena was packed and I was cold ... plus I'd done what I went there to do, so I left. Mission accomplished!

Then last night I was taking a bath, had some milk and a cookie, quietly reading a book while Gord was lying in bed listening to a sports station on the radio. He hollered in to me to call a number to win a prize - kept repeating the number over and over so he wouldn't forget it, told me I had to be caller #10. I was all comfy, my phone was way over on the counter, I really didn't want to call anyone at that time, but just to shut him up I did. And wahooooey I was caller #10!! The guy took my name and number, told me to go to Game on Sports in Metrotown later in the week to pick up my prize. I asked him what my fabulous prize is but he didn't know, but assured me that it would be fabulous. I'll also be entered into a draw for other fabulous un-named prizes!!! I'll head out to Metrotown on Saturday and get my prize, so stay tuned to see what it is!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Vancouver Canucks

Today I went to my first practice of the year to watch my Canucks. I only need a few more signatures on my Canucks Quilt. They've been practicing for a week or so now but I wanted to be sure at least a couple of the guys I need were there so we went this morning.
They used to practice pre-season out at Burnaby 8 Rinks, but now they've moved to the Thunderbird Sports Centre out at UBC. I like it so much better out there ... you have an ice-level view of the rink, it's so much easier to take pictures of the guys, plus they walk right past you to go to the dressing room, rather than sneaking out the back like before.

I had already gotten the signatures of most of the team last year, it took me 3 different practices to get them all. Willie Mitchell #8 is one of my favorite players so today since I only needed a few signatures I went with another goal in mind - to get some pictures of me with some of my favorite players. Willie was so sweet and friendly ... now I have this picture of him with me, plus he had already signed my quilt (above) and one of my Canucks ball caps.

Hoffman Challenge 2009

This year I entered the Hoffman Challenge for the fifth time. The focus fabric this time around was a gold,brown,green paisley print ... I liked it a lot more than the peacock print last year. Right away the fabric spoke "dragons" to me so I went with a dragon and yin yang theme. Sulky thread co-sponsored the challenge this year, with extra prizes for entries that incorporated sulky in the quilt.
Sulky isn't ideal for hand work, which is primarily what I do, but I did want a shot in that part of the challenge so I used it anyhow. I got some gold and green thread, used it for the quilting and doubled them up as a gold/green combo and embroidered with that.
The dragon is made with rows of greens alternating with the theme fabric for the scales, done 3-dimensionally. He holds a pearl in his front claw ... I had used a sparkly white/silver fabric for the pearl but it didn't look very pearly, so I got some pearlescent glitter glue and covered the pearl with that. It shimmers in the light now, kinda pink or green depending on how you look at it. I also used the glitter glue on his teeth to make them sparkly, and on his eye which glows green from the underlying colors ... very cool!
Today I got a letter from the Hoffman Challenge people with a fat quarter and a spool of sulky thread. The letter says that once again my quilt has been selected to travel in the year-long trunk show - that's 5 years in a row!!