My Quilting Buddy

 

I would like to introduce you to Cocoa my little quilting buddy! Well, OK he doesn’t always like to stay in the studio as it can be cooler there and his bed in the upstairs hallway is a good spot to watch the stairs to see who comes up and keep one eye on the front door.

Cocoa-1This little guy has brought a lot of sunshine to my life! He is a deer headed chihuahua that we named Cocoa.

We found each other two years ago. I had completed my cancer treatment just two weeks before and  was still not well. I would force myself to go out and do at least one thing a day and that day I volunteered to go grocery shopping.

Well at the mall where the grocery store was there was also a pet store that had rescued dogs. I would go and stand at the window and check out the dogs (we didn’t have one at the time and I was missing that). I am a sucker for spaniels and on this day the store had a rescued spaniel cross. I asked if I could go in and interact with the spaniel cross. Well inside the pen playing with the spaniel cross on the floor I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye. It was circling around very gingerly, got up close put his two front paws on my legs (I was sitting on the floor), licked me twice on the cheek and curled up in my lap and just looked at me.

It turned out the spaniel cross had been spoken for, and he was for too energetic for me at that time anyway but it was nice to have some puppy time. As for the little guy in my lap I asked about him. He was found starving to death on the streets of Las Vegas. He had to have some teeth removed and had severe ear mites. My heart went out to the little guy but I was really not well so didn’t know how I would care for a dog.

I called my partner and told him the sad tale and he said the same thing I was thinking. It just wasn’t the right time to get a dog. So I continued on with the grocery shopping before my energy ran out and I wouldn’t be able to finish before having to go home. I finished my shopping and was about ready to leave and the little guys face came back to me and I knew I couldn’t leave him behind.

I went back and asked to see the little guy again and went into the room and just sat on the floor. It took a minute but the little guy got up from where he was curled in a ball. Circled gingerly around until he came close and then slowly crawled into my lap and just looked at me. Well, that was it, he was coming home with me and I would just have to trust that things would work out and he would be house broken and not need too much of my energy.

I texted my partner and told him to not kill me but we had a dog. He texted me back and said he figured as much and I better send pictures. The shelter had named him Elmo but it really didn’t suit him. Kevin, my partner named him Cocoa as he was chocolate brown.

Cocoa

Not sure if you can see how skinny he was or his poor scabbed ears. He is pictured above with one of his favourite toys just after I brought him home. He tends to hoard his toys it is too funny. This little guy makes me smile every day and we helped each other heal. We both needed lots of rest and would nap together in the sunshine. We are now both happy and healthy and I am so glad I trusted my intuition that it would all turn out alright.

 

5 Favourite Quilting Books

Well my machine got fixed! Yeah. It turns out I should have been able to fix it myself but that is OK, it is all a learning curve. I at least got the name of a good sewing machine tech who makes house calls on lower Vancouver Island. His name is Bill Murray and he can be reached at 250-888-0887. I highly recommend him. I can now finish the quilting the quilt I have on the frame.

I love books. I have always loved to read ever since I was a little girl. Today I don’t read that much fiction unless I am away on holidays, I tend to get right into books and then nothing else gets done. Staying up reading until 3 in the morning when you have to get up to go to work the next day doesn’t really work all that well. Anyone else done this?

When I started to quilt back in 2004 I started collecting all the books and magazines I could find on quilting. I have whole collections of magazines. I still have far too many although I rarely purchase them anymore. I have actually got rid of a pile of magazines during my three moves in the last few years but I still have a whole bookcase of them. Time to go through them again as I haven’t looked at them in at least 2 years.

The books are another matter. In the last few years I haven’t purchased all that many but during my first few years I amassed a LOT of books. Many are on different techniques that I want to try one day. Some I have tried but many I just use for inspiration.

I thought I would share my top 5 go to machine quilting books that I have purchased in the last 5 years.

1. I love anything by Angela Walters. The first one of hers that I go to a lot is Free- Motion QuiltingFree-motion quilting with Angela Walters

 

 

 

2. The second one of hers that I love is her Shape by Shape book

Shape By Shape Quilting by angela walters

3. I love Judi Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts her book Quilting Wide Open Spaces is another favourite. Quilting Wide Open Spaces by Judi Madsen

 

 

 

4. Another book I really like is by Cheryl Malkowski and it is called doodle Quilting

5. My final book I have to share (although I have lots of others) is Get Addicted to Free-motion Quilting by Sheila Sinclair Snyder

11011D

Even if you are reading this and you are not a quilter yourself or don’t actually quilt your own quilts check out the above authors websites just for the eye candy. The quilting samples on Angela’s and Judi’s blogs alone will make you drool and Cheryl has the most stunning quilt designs.

Well that’s it for this post. Next time I am hoping to have the current quilt off the frame and I will introduce you to my quilting buddy Cocoa!

Happy Quilting

 

Summer Blooms

Well another week has gone by, where does the time go. I try to think back on my week and what I have been doing and it all seems to be a blur. The Victoria Quilt Guild had their semi-annual quilt show this past weekend. I went and had a look around on the Friday.

The show was a good one. Lots of great eye candy and plenty of vendors to spend your money at if you wished. I am very proud of myself, I actually came away without spending any money at all. Why you might ask, because although there was some really good deals and lots of great things to buy, I simply don’t need anything quilt related at this time. I have a whole studio full of fabric, thread and notions some of which are still in the packaging. I did pop into the Library branch that was next door to the show venue and borrow 3 books on entrepreneurship.

Before the quilt show I quilted a quilt made by Susan McGregor that was to hang in the Bib n’ Tucker booth. The name of the quilt pattern is Summer Blooms by Barbara Pershing and Mary Hoover. It turned out great and the pattern sold out at the Bib n’ Tucker booth quickly although I believe Gail is ordering more of the patterns in.

Summer Blooms (1 of 3)Summer Blooms (2 of 3)Summer Blooms (3 of 3)

I really enjoyed quilting this pattern it was a lot of fun and the big colourful blossoms were so cheery to work on. I may have to get this pattern and make this quilt up so I have it hanging in my studio.

I am currently quilting a quilt top I have had hanging around for awhile. It is one of my own designs made from some leftover blocks I had. Not one to waste things I turned them into a quilt.

Saturday is quilting with my friends at the clubhouse here at my townhouse complex. Once a month about 14 women get together and enjoy catching up and sewing away. It is always a good time and I am looking forward to it.

 

Life

Well life has a way of sneaking up on one when you are least expecting it. I had to go into the hospital on the Friday April 15 re a routine (for me) checkup as I had been diagnosed with anal cancer and had treatment two years ago. The procedure was horrible but the good news is they didn’t find any cancer left!!! Yeah!!

The bad news is that the whole thing put my system out of whack and I ended up back in hospital again and spent part of last week trying to get over the ordeal. Sigh! Cancer the gift that keeps on giving. Oh well, hopefully that part of my life is over now.

The rest of last week was kept busy quilting a quilt for a customer that will be hanging in Bib n Tucker’s booth at the Victoria Quilt Show. I can’t show pictures of it until next week after the show but the quilt is a beauty. Gail of Bib n Tucker will have some patterns available for the quilt. The quilt turned out so beautiful I am thinking I need to make one for myself.

I did manage to get the binding on my Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion quilt.

This is a large quilt 88 x 88. You can see half of it draped over the fence. I just quilted a freehand all over flower design on the quilt as for me the quilt is so busy with so many seams I just wanted something that would give the quilt some texture.

I did come across one example of someone who had custom quilted their Grand Illusion the other day. It looked lovely but wow the amount of work that would have taken!

On other news I met a friend for lunch downtown last Friday and I walked through Bastion Square here in Victoria BC. They have a public market Thursday to Sunday at this time of year. I came across a booth that had the most amazing leather journals and one is now on my wish list. You can have a look at the journals at SpellBinding Journals.

The Victoria Quilt Guild show is this weekend and I can’t wait to see all of the quilts displayed and see what goodies the vendors have for sale. Hope to see you there.

My Studio

Well things are moving along here very nicely at the Sunshine Studio. I had to go into the hospital for a checkup last Friday and what with the prep work and procedure, I feel like I did lose a couple of days of work. However it was all good I received a clean bill of health there was no sign of cancer so that is worth celebrating.

When my partner and I purchased our townhouse here in Victoria BC just over a year ago one of the big priorities is that whatever we purchased had to have room for two studios (he is an artist and musician) and of course I needed room for a quilting studio. Well we found the perfect place and I have the best studio! The man who lived here before us used my studio as a woodworking studio so we had to do a bit of cleaning up before I could claim it as mine but I absolutely love my studio.

Sunshine Studio 2

Looking into the room from the door

Sunshine Studio 1
Another view
Sunshine Studio 3
My sewing corner

It doesn’t get any direct sunlight as it is on the ground floor at the back facing North but there is lots of good lighting and it is just a lovely space to work in. I just finished quilting my 2015 Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt called Grand Illusion.

Grand Illusion 1
2015 Bonnie Hunter Mystery Grand Illusion

I used a free form flower design. You can’t really see it here too much as the quilt design itself is so busy but it worked out quite well. I will need to take some better pictures once the binding is on and I will take the quilt outside. The quilt is queen sized and I couldn’t back up far enough to get good photos of it.