Sunday, 29 December 2013

A Really Late Show & Tell - Comparing DMC Floss to Kona Cotton Colours

I'd forgotten how little time you have to yourself when there's a baby in the house. My time is not so much my own as it used to be. My life is still in transition as well as my sewing room, so no quilting or crocheting has been accomplished. But it's worth it, seeing my adorable grandson every day. In between cuddling and playing with him today, I managed to finally finish choosing colours for my Bluenose II pixel quilt. My goal had been to not duplicate any colours, but I just found it impossible not to. After all there are 454 DMC colours, but only 271 Kona colours. Before I started this project, I didn't realize how many variations of blue there are, and trying to get the best matches has been a laborious process. At one point I actually considered buying all of the floss colours so that I could more effectively match fabrics. For those of you who might be interested in using this process to make a pixel quilt, I will share my colour matches to save you a little labour. As I said, however, they are mostly blues, so this won't help with many other shades.
Here's the list:

DMC # DMC Name Kona # Kona Name
155 Blue Violet Medium Dark 1003 Amethyst
156 Blue Violet Medium Light 1189 Lavender
158 Cornflower Blue Medium Very Dark 1541 Deep Blue
160 Blue Gray Medium 1123 Dresden Blue
161 Blue Gray 195 Evening
162 Blue Ultra Very Light 1513 Sky
169 Pewter Light 456 Shale
310 Black 1019 Black
311 Wedgwood Ultra Very Dark 233 Celestial
312 Baby Blue Very Dark 32 Surf
317 Pewter Gray 295 Graphite
318 Steel Gray Light 1223 Medium Gray
322 Baby Blue Dark 1452 Denim
334 Baby Blue Medium 196 Blue Jay
413 Pewter Gray Dark 1080 Coal
414 Steel Gray Dark 91 Steel
451 Shell Gray Dark 1713 Smoke
517 Wedgwood Dark 90 Pacific
519 Sky Blue 194 Lake
597 Turquoise 1011 Bahama Blue
598 Turquoise Light 362 Dusty Blue
647 Beaver Gray Medium 201 Sweet Pea
648 Beaver Gray Light 413 Parchment
747 Peacock Blue Very Light 1010 Baby Blue
775 Baby Blue Very Light 1028 Blue
792 Cornflower Blue Dark 1171 Hyacinth
794 Cornflower Blue Light 1285 Periwinkle
796 Royal Blue Dark 455 Riviera
797 Royal Blue 25 Ocean
798 Delft Blue Dark 357 Lapis
799 Delft Blue Medium 196 Blue Jay
800 Delft Blue Pale 152 Cloud
803 Baby Blue Ultra Very Dark 1218 Marine
807 Peacock Blue 1282 Peacock
809 Delft Blue 1285 Periwinkle
813 Blue Light 1060 Candy Blue
820 Royal Blue Very Dark 1218 Marine
825 Blue Dark 346 Regatta
826 Blue Medium 405 Alegria
827 Blue Very Light 277 Blueberry
828 Sky Blue Very Light 1028 Blue
890 Pistachio Green Ultra Very Dark 1137 Evergreen
924 Gray Green Very Dark 1361 Spruce
926 Gray Green Medium 1321 Sage
927 Gray Green Light 1328 Seafoam
930 Antique Blue Dark  1058 Cadet
931 Antique Blue Medium 1101 Delft
932 Antique Blue Light 318 Grapemist
934 Avocado Green Black 1166 Hunter Green
939 Navy Blue Very dark 1178 Indigo
995 Electric Blue Dark 171 Water
3032 Mocha Brown Medium 340 Herb
3053 Green Gray  1263 Olive
3325 Baby Blue Light 27 Cornflower
3371 Black Brown 1136 Espresso
3750 Antique Blue Very Dark 1389 Windsor
3752 Antique Blue Very Light 444 Fog
3753 Antique Blue Ultra Very Light 1513 Sky
3755 Baby Blue 448 Stratosphere
3756 Baby Blue Ultra Very Light 1387 White
3760 Wedgwood Medium 1101 Delft
3761 Sky Blue Light 1514 Robin Egg
3765 Peacock Blue Very Dark 454 Prussian
3766 Peacock Blue Light 1009 Azure
3768 Gray Green Dark 356 Everglade
3772 Desert Sand Very Dark 138 Earth
3799 Pewter Gray Very Dark  359 Pepper
3807 Cornflower Blue 357 Lapis
3811 Turquoise Very Light 1005 Aqua
3838 Lavender Blue Dark 1084 Copen
3839 Lavender Blue Medium 318 Grapemist
3840 Lavender Blue Light 1029 Bluebell
3841 Baby Blue Pale 152 Cloud
3843 Electric Blue 1376 Turquoise
3861 Cocoa Light 1371 Taupe
Now I just have to calculate how much of each colour I will need and get the fabric ordered, though I have picked up a few solids in the blue family over the past few months.
Now it's your turn. Here's my button:
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Saturday, 28 December 2013

One Precious Gift

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.
2 Corinthians 9:15

My daughter and I were estranged. I don't really understand why or how and it certainly wasn't my choice. I'm sure there were reasons that made sense to her, but my efforts to make amends fell flat and it was devastating to me. I tried to reach out to reconnect with her, to find out what was wrong, what I could do to mend fences and build bridges, but got nowhere. I have a 15-month-old grandson that I had only seen twice, and that only at my initiative. It was a living grief, probably the greatest grief I have ever experienced. It was soul-deep pain that nothing could relieve. I could only survive by keeping it surrendered to the Lord and asking His help in bearing it.
Then suddenly that all changed. It happened so fast that I'm still having a hard time taking it in. Two weeks ago, my daughter and grandson moved in with me. It was the most precious Christmas gift I could have ever asked for.  I get to see my grandson on a daily basis, to cuddle, to kiss, to play with, to enjoy getting to know and love. I get to be a mother to my daughter again, to support and encourage her through a difficult time of transition. This is a most precious gift and I can never thank God enough.
But there is a gift even more precious, one that is available to you and to me, to everyone. It was given on that long ago day in Bethlehem. It was the gift of God's dear Son, Jesus Christ, who was born in a stable and died on a cross to pay for our salvation.  And that is the most precious Christmas gift of all. 

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Show & Tell: Colour Cards and Pixel Quilts

Since the arrival of my daughter and grandson in my home, my crafting and computing life has almost come to a screeching halt. They are staying in the room that was my office, so I'm sitting in the living room with my laptop in my lap. I've had to keep the door to my sewing room closed to prevent Damian's access to pins, needles, rotary cutters and other things dangerous to little people. Today, I will be relocating the sewing room to the basement so that he can have his own room and we can set the crib up. It is currently disassembled in the hallway. Life has been pretty busy with a little one in the house and I want to try and restore some order to the chaos.
The basement is by no means ready to become my sewing/crafting/office area. Living on my own, I have just allowed it to become a catch-all area and I'm going to have to sell/give away/throw away some items so I can have it more organized down there. The unfortunate thing is, while the walls are finished, the floors are still just bare concrete, so not exactly warm and cozy. And since my daughter and I are discussing the possibility of moving, I'm not sure if it's worth investing in any more improvements on the house, like flooring in the basement. We'll see. 
I got a little work done on one more potholder. :-) So I don't have much in the way of projects to share this week. Instead, I will share my colour cards. 
Some of you will remember that I enrolled in Craftsy's free course, Pictures to Pixel Quilts, in which I learned about Pic 2 Pat. This is a site where you can upload a picture and have it transposed into a cross stitch pattern. You can then use this cross stitch pattern to create a pixel quilt. I decided to use a picture of the Bluenose II for a pixel quilt for my youngest sister's 50th birthday in 2014. You can read my ramblings on this subject in my post, Random Quilting Inspiration. At that point, I hadn't yet solidified my decisions on Cindy's birthday quilt and was just toying with the idea. I have since decided to make the Bluenose II picture as big as the bedtop (actually a little bigger), with a double row of 9" squares alternating in these fabrics used for the border:

Of course, the pattern from Pic 2 Pat gives the colours in DMC embroidery floss, so somehow I had to choose what colours to use in fabrics. I had decided on Kona solids and had been trying to choose colours by opening two browser windows - one with the DMC floss colours and one with the Kona colours - to compare and choose. What a hassle that was, especially since the pattern created on Pic 2 Pat had 84 colours! I then decided that I needed to get colour cards for DMC floss and Kona solids. Here they are:
The Kona colour card actually comes with 1" squares of fabric, but the DMC is only images of the colours, which is kind of disappointing. I must admit that it's still challenging trying to compare the colours on the cards. It's not easy to get the colours close enough together to determine if they're the best match. I finally resorted to taking my Kona colour card into a Michael's Store and comparing it to the actual floss. My buddy Phil, who is sign painter and somewhat of a colour comparison expert, was there to assist me. Unfortunately, out of the 84 colours I need, they were out of stock of 25 of them. So I still need to choose matches for those 25. Then I will need to calculate how much I need of each colour. In the Pictures to Pixel Quilts course, the instructor suggests importing the pixelated picture into an Excel document. That might work for a much simpler picture with far fewer colours, but the Bluenose II is far too complicated for that, unless there's a much simpler way of doing it that I don't know about. So I will just have to count symbols in the pattern and calculate a 1-1/2" square (1" finished size) for each space in the pattern. I want to get this all done soon because Cindy's birthday is in March and this quilt is going to be a lot of work. 
Meanwhile, in response to this blog post, Alex Veronelli of Aurifil Thread sent me 6 beautiful spools of thread and these colour cards:
The top one is for the cotton Mako thread and the bottom is for the wool Lana thread. I was thrilled to get these. Since I live in a small rural town, I do a lot of my ordering online, so having colour cards makes my decisions easier. 
Sorry I'm getting my Linky Party up late today. Normally I write it Saturday night and schedule an automatic post for Sunday morning. But life has changed a lot in the last week, and last night, we had a movie and popcorn night, watched "White Christmas." 
Now it's your turn. I know it's countdown to Christmas and I'm sure everybody's busy, so if you have nothing to share, that's understandable.
Here's my button:

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Saturday, 14 December 2013

No Show & Tell this week

Life has a way of throwing us curve balls. I have a new and unexpected development in my life. My daughter and grandson have come to live with me. Not sure for how long. After living "single and childless" for quite a few years, this is going to be a major adjustment for me. But a positive one. I'm looking forward to some quality time with both of them. But first I have to find a high chair. :-)
Too busy and tired - and disoriented - to worry about Show & Tell this week. Hopefully, I'll be up for it next week.
Enjoy your week everyone.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Secret Santa Christmas Placemat

We have secret Santas at work this year. I decided that, among the other gifts I was giving my "giftee" (recipient, whatever), I wanted to give something quilted. I considered the potholders I've been working on, but I am planning on giving one to each of my team members. It wouldn't be difficult for my giftee to find out and I wouldn't be a "Secret" Santa any more. So I opted for a placemat. I would have liked to do QAYG again, but wanted a Christmas tree block for the main feature of the placemat. So I googled and found this one. This is a 10" block and I wanted a 12" block. I also didn't want my tree to be as wide as it is tall. I wanted a more accurate perspective. So I modified the pattern and here's the result:
I didn't want the standard solid background either. This fabric looks sort of like it could be snowflakes and the lighter colour is actually a metallic silver. I love bling, so anything shiny usually appeals to me and I think is very appropriate for Christmas. I'm not entirely happy with the tree trunk fabric. I should have taken a little more care in selecting that. However, I'm really not a fan of the colour brown, so I have a very limited supply in my stash. I bought a fat eighths bundle for the tree in different shades of green. The Christmas fabric in the sidebars is from my potholder project. The red sashing is the same fabric as the backing.
I chose to use green as my bobbin thread so that it would show up on the red backing. And the binding is a purchased extra wide double fold bias binding that I had in my stash. 
I'd better go for now. Our Christmas potluck is tomorrow and I need to prepare some food. 

Sew Mama Sew - Giveaway

I just learned about this giveaway, so I'm working fast and furious to get this posted, as I did purchase some Christmas fabric for a giveaway. I figured I might as well get in on the Sew Mama Sew postings.
Here's the prize:
Three half-metres of Benartex "My True Love Gave to Me" fabric. Isn't it yummy? I like it so much that I'm having a hard time giving it away.
As a bonus, I'm including this DVD and book (not quilting related):
Just add a comment on this post to enter. Because I'm using the free version of Rafflecopter, my giveaway can only end at midgnight, so I extended it to 12:00 a.m. on December 14. Hopefully it will work properly as I've never done this before. If I have to, I will put everyone's name in a tin and draw a winner. Highly sophisticated! LOL!

And yes, I will ship internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Separate from the Sew Mama Sew giveaway, I have a giveaway that ends today (Tuesday, Dec. 10) at 4:30MST. It's for this Carolyn Freedlander pattern:
Please note that this pattern is not included in the Sew Mama Sew giveaway. You must go to a separate post and enter by posting a comment here: Pattern Giveaway.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Show & Tell: Assembly Line Quilting

Hello again and welcome to this week's Show & Tell. I thought I would share a little more about my QAYG potholders this week. I shared one last week. I have a tendency to overdo sometimes, so I'm not just making 1 potholder, or even 10 or 12. I decided to make 35. Yes, that seems excessive, but I came up with a list of 31+ people that I want to make them for, and since I can get 5 8-inch squares out of a width of fabric, I decided I might as well do a number that's divisible by 5. Assembly-line processes made sense when I was making that many of a single item.
I cut enough 8" squares of the backing, the Insul-Bright and the batting to complete all of the potholders I planned to make. Then I stacked them in layers, with a paperweight to hold them down.
All of the centre squares were cut. These were approximately 3-3/4" to 3-7/8". I just divided the squares up evenly, but if you're not using fussy cut squares, you could just use a 4" square. Next I cut enough 2-1/2 strips of fabric to do the rest of the top. I calculated that I would need approximately one strip x WOF for each potholder. I am keeping the strips that I am currently sewing with, plus the precut squares, in this basket. 
Here are the extra strips handy in a bigger basket (and no, not everything in this basket is for the potholders). 

I also cut enough 2-1/2" strips x WOF for binding the potholders. One strip for each potholder. Since they are the same width as the strips for the top, any extra cut off after applying the binding can be used for the next top.
Because I am using different thread for applying the binding than what I'm using for piecing, I do the piecing on several potholders first, then switch threads and apply the binding. If I was doing true assembly line, I would piece all the potholders first and then bind them all, but I find that gets boring. In this picture is one finished potholder and three ready for binding. I pressed the binding and pinned it to the potholder it belonged to. As I mentioned in last week's post, I do not want to repeat any fabric in each potholder, so I wanted to keep track of which binding belonged to which potholder. 
I managed to finish these ones and get them mailed away, one to my Aunt Isabelle and one to each of my sisters. Yes, I have that many sisters. One is actually my brother's widow, who has since remarried, but I still consider her a sister. 
And these are ones I just finished. I have 20 completed so far, 15 to go. And no two will be identical.
Now it's your turn. Here's my button:

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Saturday, 7 December 2013

Whiter than Snow

I love a new snow, how pure and clean it looks, how unsullied.
Unmarred by a single track, is there anything so perfect? Is there anything whiter than snow? Or even as white as snow? Certainly not polar bears. You've probably seen pictures of polar bears like this one, where the bears look rather yellowish.

Even Mystery, my "pure white" cat, is really not pure white
 compared to the snow (LOL - yes, I admit my picture editing talents are very amateur).
Cotton, in its natural state, is not "pure white."
Pulp must be bleached in order to make "pure white" paper.
The same can be said about our character in our own attempts at "being good." The Bible says, "There is none that doeth good, no, not one." Psalm 53:3. "There is none righteous, no, not one." Romans 3:10. And "we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." Isaiah 64:6. Kind of like snow in the city streets or at the side of a highway: brown/grey and gritty - nothing pure and white about that. And once that snow is brown and gritty, there's nothing we can do to make it white again, is there? And it's the same way with our characters. We have stained our characters with the wrong things we do: thoughts, actions, words. And we can not clean them up, not on our own. But God has promised, "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isaiah 1:18. And King David prayed, "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7. Whiter than snow? Yes, Lord Jesus, I want my character to be whiter than snow, as only You can make it.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Pattern Giveaway

I got this pattern "by accident" from Pink Chalk Fabrics. It's brand new, still in the plastic sleeve. I only took it out to take pictures without the glare from the plastic. It's not my style and I will probably never use it, so I want to pass it on to one of you who will. It's a Carolyn Friedlander design. To enter, just post a comment on this post. If you follow on facebook and don't have a google account, you can comment on the link on facebook. Or you can use the contact form at the bottom of the sidebar to enter by email. I will keep the draw open until Dec. 10th when I get home from work (4:30 MST).

The draw is not limited to geogrraphic location. Just make sure I have a way to contact you (google+, facebook or email) if you win.
Now a word about Pink Chalk Fabrics: I just discovered them recently when I was looking for a Kona colour card (I will blog about this later) and they were selling them. They answered my questions promptly and were a pleasure to deal with. Shipping was quite reasonable and my order was shipped out quickly. I communicated with them both by email and telephone and found them very polite and pleasant. I have added their link to my favourite quilting links in my sidebar. There are so many quilting vendors out there that I like to share if I've found one I like.
Good luck on the draw.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Show & Tell - QAYG Potholder

I finished the quilt top for Sophia's quilt. I still have to cut the batting and trim the backing and then it will be ready to longarm it when I have the opportunity to get to Sparrow Studioz. Next I decided to work on a quick project so that I can actually feel like I've gotten something accomplished. I was in the city on Friday and picked up some Christmas fabric and some Insul Bright so that I can make some hot potholders. Here's the first one:
I wanted a scrappy look and that's what I got, with no fabric repeated. I already had this centre fabric with nice little square pictures that are perfect for the starting square. I more or less followed the instructions found here: Make an Easy Potholder. It's pretty straightforward. Here's the back:
I actually used a glitter thread in the bobbin, but you can't really tell from this picture. I stitched the binding down with a snowflake design. 
I found out my nephew Jason and his wife are hoping to adopt a baby girl. They will find out for sure on Tuesday. I'd better get to work on this quilt as it's for their new baby:
Now it's your turn to share. Here's my button:

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