Friday, December 30, 2011

East End Cake Decorators - December 2011 Meeting

This was the last meeting of 2011.  We had a pot luck, a fun gift exchange and show and tell which included this pretty little chalet brought in by our long-time member, and the Christmas cakes below.
All this takes is a few cookies.  Two whole ones for the roof, two trimmed for the front and back, and one cut in half for the sides.  The trimmed bits are used for the chimney.  Then decorate.  

The challenge for this meeting was to only use the holly leaf cutter to decorate a Christmas cake.  There were a couple of variations:  the top left has a poinsettia made from red holly leaves, and the sleigh in the front is a clever way of using larger holly leaves.
The next meeting will be on January 22nd at St. Margaret's in the Pines, Lawrence Avenue near Kingston Road in Scarborough.  Cynthia Lewis will be demonstrating the correct way to do brush embroidery.

More flower quilt blocks

Two more finished blocks on the road to the completed flower quilt.

I used wide two-tone wired ribbon for this flower.  

These three gorgeous hand made flowers were made by Sandy who took part in the Retreat in Colorado.  I loved these flowers and took them off the block they were on to make them part of my flower quilt.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


This is the postcard I made for the Christmas swap on Stitchin Fingers.  

Star quilt

I posted this photo at the beginning of 2011.  I had just started making blocks for a paper pieced quilt for our Seniors' group.
Now here it is assembled by Terry. Jan (on left), Terry (top right) and Anna are getting on with the quilting of it. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Boys and their toys

A  quiet moment.  It could have been a whole quiet afternoon if Jack (8) had been allowed to keep playing his game.  Josh (4) and Elijah (2) were fascinated with it.

This is Emily, now 6 1/2 months, and she still has blue eyes!

And sweet little Elijah who looks as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth!  (But we know better!)

Just a few pictures from our Christmas celebrations this year.  

WIPocalypse deadline

The WIPocalypse list of unfinished projects is due before the end of the year, only five days away.  Once listed (aka "owned up to" ), we will work on them during the month, and check in each full moon to report on our progress.  So as not to be late in listing (aka "procrastinating"), here is the list.  If you want to check out WIPocalypse look here for information. 
1. Flower quilt - 60% finished.
This will be a 3-block wide by 4-block long wall hanging.  I have completed the 12 blocks.  They now have to be joined together and finished.  

2. Handkerchief quilt  - 25% finished.
There are about 22 vintage hankies appliqued onto white cotton squares.  I have to square them all up, add sashing.  Then the quilting ladies at my seniors will hand quilt it. 

3. Asian wall hanging - 30% completed.  
These are naked blocks, but the embroidery is finished on all of them.  I want them together as a wall hanging, I just have to figure out how to do it.

India-stitched by Misty Frederick
4. Flag Project - 0% completed.

This is the flag of India which I have committed to stitching for the Flag Project.  This is due at the end of January, so I'll be working on this first.

5. Quilt as you go quilt: - 80% finished.
Still needs some blocks joined and the whole bound all around.  I made this "quilt-as-you-go" single bed quilt from men's cotton shirt fabric and silk tie fabric.  The centre diagonal strip in each block is silk.  

6. PDF Tutorial to make an heirloom baby block.
I've been working on this project for a while, I just want to get it finished.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Angel swaps

I took part in two swaps this month.  On the Swap Bot group Hooked on Dotees, Nancy and I traded our choice of dotees.  I requested an angel, and she a kitchen witch.  This is the outcome and we couldn't be happier!


Kitchen Witch
The second swap was for a Christmas themed postcard on Stitchin Fingers.  Again I requested an angel and received this great postcard from Liz.  The postcard I made went to Australia and hasn't arrived yet, so I can't post a picture of it until it does.
Angel fabric postcard from Liz

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gardenia and hydrangea wedding cake

I just really appreciate it when a customer shows me what they have achieved with their purchase from my etsy shop. 

I had a lovely surprise in my e-mail in-box when Carla from honeycrumb sent me photos of a gardenia cake she had made using my gumpaste gardenia tutorial.   The overall cake is beautifully made, the fondant looks perfect, and the gardenias and hydrangeas are just lovely.

Carla, thank you for letting me brag about it!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wedding Cake

This was a very special cake that my friend Verdie and I worked on last week.  It was the wedding cake for her son and his fiance.  The bride chose beautiful jewelry which sparkled brilliantly on gorgeous wide satin ribbon.   

It looked very elegantly plain until you looked closer and saw the hundreds of little white flowers on various areas of the cake.

Friday, December 9, 2011

All About Angels RR - Joyce's block

Joyce's block arrived with lovely stitching already on it by Laurie N.:  the cross - lower right, hearts and gathered ribbon seam - upper left.  Wendy R. :sequin flowers with chain & drizzle stitches, and the lazy daisies below the angel.  Debbie S. added the lace with the blue stitching and gold bead clusters, the sequin flowers and butterfly to the left of the angel and the roses across the top of the block.  Also beading on the white rose lace to the right, blanket stitches and the gold stars above the angel. 

Joyce's All about angels block is the last I will receive in this RR.  I've enjoyed working on each and every one of these lovely blocks.

I really like working with blues.  This block had a great assortment of rich cream and blues.  The centre is a very pretty cross stitch that I think Joyce did.  

Double herringbone

My favourite two stitches at the present time:  the scallop and Kiko's flowers.  

Some large chevron to fill in the space on the right hand side.

Some pearl swirls with tiny charlotte beads.

While the block was hanging around waiting to be written up and then packaged for sending in the New Year, I had another go at it, encircling the angel block seams with four different tiny stitches that didn't intrude into the block and the angel. And if you look very closely, you may find three teeny angels.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Commitments for 2012

I'm signing up for things, right, left and centre!  I'm going to be busy, busy, busy in 2012.  

First of all there's the CQJP 2012 where we will make a block a month for a project of our choice;  then there's TAST, take a stitch Tuesday organized by Sharon B., where she will choose a different stitch each Tuesday for us to investigate, practice and experiment with. 

And now I have found WIPocalypse which deals with the forgotten, unfinished piles of sorry, neglected projects.  For this challenge we will list our WIPs, and check in each full moon to report on our progress.  I think this is brilliant.  If you think it's brilliant and worth a look, check here for information. 

And because I don't believe in writing something without  adding a picture, here's my biggest WIP that needs to be finished.

This is a lovely selection of vintage hankies I collected from E-bay a few years ago.  I appliqued each one onto a square of white cotton and they will become a quilt....hopefully in 2012!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Emily's block - finished

I know I've posted about this block numerous times in various stages of it's production, but now it's finished!  And I'm so pleased with it.  I think in the last year thanks to four days with Sharon B in Connecticut, and various sessions with Gerry Kruger, learning about design, balance, flow around the block, etc., all things that I did not understand before, that I have actually "got it" (to some degree, anyway!)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fancy fibres

Well, I've solved the problem of what to do with all those fluffy, knobbly, hairy, tangly fibres!  Actually Sharon B gave me the idea.  At the "Adventure" in Connecticut she carried around her embroidery threads on a big ring rather than pack numerous baggies, and as she demonstrated a stitch, she just chose and snipped off a length from the ring.  Great idea, thanks Sharon.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Cookie Factory

It has become a tradition each year before Christmas, at our East End Cake Decorators, to decorate cookies and donate them to various groups and charities.
Each one of us baked two dozen cookies, brought royal icing, sprinkles, and other decorations and got busy. Here's Glenys, our president in the Santa mode.

Cookies of all shapes and colours emerged from talented ladies.....

We had to work quickly so that the icing could dry before being packaged later.

Such a variety....

Some were absolute pieces of art...

Here we are at the wrapping stage.  Two small cookies or one large in a clear cellophane bag tied with curled ribbon.

In total we packaged up 178 bags.  These will be given to the church where we meet as a thank you for the use of the facility.

Well done everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Crazy Quilt Journal Pages 2012 Challenge

The new logo to the right is promoting a new challenge for 2012.

Every month, beginning in January, participants agree to produce one crazy quilted block, at least 6" x 6".  The block can be any shape, and can be larger than that measurement, but can be no less than 36 square inches:  6" x 6", 12" x 3", 4" x 9", etc. etc.

The CQJP2012 blog will carry the photos of participants' projects. There are loads of stitchers registered for this project, and I'm sure there will be some interesting and amazing stuff to look at.  Here's the link to the blog to check it out and read the rules and regulations.   

I'm planning to use my flower quilt, which is a WIP, and challenge myself to try again several techniques that I found difficult the first time around.  These would include tatting, needlelace and folded fabric flowers.   

Friday, November 18, 2011

Emily's block

This Emily's block in progress.  Emily is 5 months and a bit.

These are Kiko's flowers.  Sharon B showed us how to do them.  Mine always turn out looking different from each other.  

I love these little lilies.  They're acrylic and I bought a bunch of them from an Etsy shop.  By themselves they sit awkwardly, but in threes I think they look super.

A patch with buttonhole rings, chevron that needs more decoration, and my favourite scallop seam. 

I'm working with bias silk ribbon here, and it's lovely to work with.  This is a patch in progress.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More birthdays...

Brynn, my 3 year old French-Canadian grand daughter and her five year old brother Caleb celebrated their birthdays together this past weekend.  I went there by train (5 hours of stitching time) and had a wonderful weekend.  My son Neil and his wife, Lee Ann had suggested a "princess" cake for Brynn and a monster truck cake for Caleb.  

She's not the prettiest of princesses, but that didn't matter to Brynn. 

Caleb had the trucks off the cake and washed as soon as the candles were blown out!

It was good fun creating the cakes, and I had them packed so tightly in boxes that they traveled on the train without mishap.

The party was at Lee Ann's parents place, and we were treated to the best home made spaghetti I've ever tasted.  Her mum and grandmother spent a good part of the day preparing the amazing sauce with meatballs, spare ribs, stuffed chicken, sausages and the spaghetti. 

Here's Brynn painting her magic wand that goes with her beautiful princess gown.

Caleb and my son trying to figure out how to build this 5-level parking garage.
It was a short, but a great visit with the family. Thanks, folks, I'll be back soon!