2009 Re-Cap of my Year (entry 55)

I think 55 is a good entry number to re-cap the year 2009 and getting the idea for this from ParkcityGirl Website – thanks Amy.

**when I first wrote this entry, I didn’t have any quilting projects added sometimes I’m so focussed on the project at hand and forget why I’m doing this and all of the quilting that drives me**

Here’s a montage of my year in a nut-shell:

January: re-negotiating contracts with my business partner at Exhibit Studio, setting budgets for the coming year, discussing the market, reading the Twilight Series

February: high stress with the market crashing, not enough work to keep employees busy, trade shows getting cancelled, trying to figure out different avenues for Exhibit Studio, reading the Twilight Series

March: My Birthday, thinking about my quilting business, something I’ve always wanted to do, how can I make this work, the huge decision about deciding to sell Exhibit Studio, reading the Twilight Series (lovin it so much!!)

April: more discussions about quilting business online, partnership with another gal, hmmm, lots of debating about doing this on my own or with another person. DH showing so much interest in this new business venture for us, possibilities are endless, reading the Twilight Series

May: sold Exhibit Studio to my partner, Bye ES I wish you well :), now onto full time thinking about online quilting business, what should the name be, how can I make this work, what do I want my goals to be? May long weekend camping and waking up to 4″ of snow, so much fun!

{taken the day before the snow storm, which we slept like babies through it all, lol}

June: Started training for a race to clear my head and regroup for a new chapter in my life, Incorporated my new business name of Pastimes Online Ltd. Pastimes could be used for any hobby like Scrapbooking, Photography (DH’s passion), cooking, etc. and online self explanatory. Registered my business, which felt so good:) and camping (bliss)

July: Training for the race, figuring out block of the month programs and found this great site, ordering in some supplies, finding Manufacturers to do business with all over the world. Finding a great one in India – thanks Anant for all of your help & I love the silks!!, camping at Kaslo, BC – what a fab place!

{the famous SS Moyie}

August: Training for the race, placed orders for cottons, dupioni silks, threads, Gingher Supplies, Quilters Tea (our own blend) and more! Finished Pinkie Lee.

this one I’m keeping for me 🙂

September: Race time, 12km in 1.5 hours, my 8th Wedding Anniversary, (I love you Jeff), waiting on materials, building website (thanks Jeff), taking pictures, prepare for Podcasts, reading, reviewing, & rating websites (pros and cons) to figure out what I love the best & what you will love the best. Finding Squarespace and Squareflo – both life savers of time and money, reading Friday Night Knitting Club – touched my heart! My cousin got married & my sister and I made a set of personalized sheets. Designed my first pattern, Cutest Camera Bag.

{on the home stretch, phew}

October: My DH’s birthday, ThanksGiving, spending time with Family, always a joy! Playing with my new silks that have arrived. Finding an excellent supplier for lightweight fusible materials for applique, silks etc. Our very good friends had a beautiful baby boy, Zach. Opened PastimesOnline – what a month. Started another Freebie 15 project with my LQS.

{which will be available to purchase soon}

{perfectly matching threads, beauty}

{mom and baby Zach at his baby shower}

{waiting to be layered and quilted, hopefully soon}

{official store home page}

the theme is leaves and I LOVE the colours

November: Shooting my first podcast, finished first block for the Journey of a Quilter Block of the Month and loved it! Realized yet again how much I love being part of my quilting guilds and how these women impact my life. Started work on the development of the basement, new home of PastimesOnline and my new Studio location. Quilt til you Wilt weekend to complete the two housecoats for my nephews. Quilters Connection Magazine, finally a magazine for Canadian Quilters – thanks Heather! Joined the Toyota 4x4ing Club with my DH, started reading The Book of Negros – WOW!

{where to begin?}

{almost finished and boy what a journey}

December: Marketing investment with QuiltDash and Within a Quarter Inch, hosted Christmas potluck for my Lakeside Quilters Guild, and attended the potluck for my other awesome Guild called Flying Needles, hosted Christmas Dinner for 13 plus 4 and it was probably the best Christmas ever. Permits approved, more work on the basement, dry-wallers scheduled, carpet ordered, dreams coming to fruition, *sigh* life is good.

Here’s some of the gifts I made for family:

aprons for MIL and SIL

housecoats for nephews and messenger bags for nieces (silks)

silk scarf for Mum, it kind of works with the red shirt 🙂

Happy New Year everyone, I am so looking forward to starting an amazing 2010 and getting to know you all who follow my blog, comment and email me privately as well as all of you who’s blogs I read. I would love more comments and please let me know what you would like to see and read about or ask me questions…

Until next time have a happy, warm and creative day, 

Around the Net: Clare’s Craftroom (entry 54)

Hi everyone, hope Santa was good to you…He was super good to me, so I’m thinking I was a good girl in 2009!!

I’m sitting in my studio, it’s snowing again outside, we definitely had a white Christmas this year – it was awesome!!

I’m in the process of making the cutest Birthday present for my Mum I can’t disclose as of yet but my DH saw it and said “make one for Colleen as well” my SIL so I spent the day creating and it felt wonderful.

I also tested some new silk flosses and fell in LOVE with them. They glide through the fabrics and shimmer like jewels the BEST to work with. So I’m going to finish the pattern I’ve just created, get the tutorial on here for all of you and kit these little beauties up and include some of these fab flosses…just look at the way they glisten.

I found this cute site: Clare’s Craftroom, she has winsome patterns and is a delight to read.

this is the header on her blog, don’t you just love how cheery it is?

This frog is what made me read more into her adorable site…

This one is called John Bear 🙂

{All photos courtesy of Clare’s Blog}

Until next time, come join our Block of the Month Club: Journey of a Quilter 

AND if you can think of the reason why you LOVE your iron, I need to know. I’m desperate to find the best iron out there and why, so if you love yours please pass the info on & if there is an iron on your wish list, please let me know that also, thanks.

Have a happy, creative and warm snuggly day…

Christmas Tree, Freebie 15, Tig (entry 53)

Hi everyone, I’m sitting here thinking about my blog and how great it will be to expose all of my handmade Christmas items after Christmas…how I wish I could share them with you today as they are so cute!!

Here’s a few shots to tide you over 🙂

{cute shot of one of my sweet little somethings on the tree}

here’s my beaters…they DIED during the whipping time of my famous shortbread cookies…these are probably over 12 years old. You would think they could have made it through another year 🙂 

This gorgeous quilt was a raffle that we did just for our own guild, we all made a somewhat scrappy block, I put the pieces together and made the piano key border and Kathy B hand quilted it, I think she said she completed this in 2 weeks, yes ladies 2 weeks!! She’s amazing, thanks so much Kathy. Heather won this quilt and it’s sits beautifully and cozy on her bed but she brought it to show everyone. We all wished we would have won it!!

Here’s my 2nd Freebie 15 block for this year, this is called “Poplar”

Here’s Tig, playing on the back deck, watching the snow drip from the window sills from above, we had a fabulous chinook come in this week so it warmed up from -30C to -2.5C, she was enjoying the warmer weather.

QUESTION: Over the holidays I’m hoping to find a new iron, I want something super hot (temperature-wise:) and high end – what are your favourites and why? I’m thinking about spending a couple hundred…please help me out finding the best iron – thanks ladies!!

Until next time, if I don’t get another post in before Christmas (I hope I do) I will wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year. Have a happy, creative day…

Around the Net: Selvages…. (entry 52)

Hi All, around the net I go and I stumble upon this excellent site with all sorts of uses for selvages. Did you know you can make amazing things with selvages?

Just look at these:

Parasol, can you say beautiful?


Garden Hat

Hmmm, let’s see make a whale out of these selvages, what a good idea? 

Couldn’t you just see a Bride sitting on it…speechless.

{photos curtesy of Selvage Blog}

I’m sure I got your creative juices flowing and you are now trying to figure out how to save your selvages like me 🙂

Until next time have a super creative and festive day…

Media: Within a Quarter Inch & Quilt Dash (entry 51)

One more entry for today, I seem to be on a roll and I almost feel like I miss my blogging world lately, it must be the Christmas spirit in me that makes me feel like I need to connect more, does this happen to you also?

I decided to sponsor two sites: Within a Quarter Inch and Quilt Dash.


Some of you may recognize Within a Quarter Inch as I’ve talked about Alison Rosen before and how much I love her podcast. Just just like the rest of us, trying to squeeze one more precious minute out of the day with something creative. She’s a mother of twins and she loves to quilt, talk about her latest purchase and all sorts of crafty things. I’m not sure how she finds the time and the budget for what she produces…but good on her and we love her for it. I’ve sponsored some episodes of her show and she is having a quilt contest for people to be entered IF they leave a comment on my site here.

So thanks Alison for donating a prize and for doing such a great job on my sponsorship commercials 🙂

I’m also sponsoring a site called Quilt Dash. This is a site where you can register for the “dash” which means they give you a list of the online stores you need to visit (aka dash to) and find the “clue” and then click on it and you get points and entered into a draw…I gave an excellent prize of the 5″ Elena Scissors which is such a nice addition to your quilting supply of scissors..it’s been very interesting watching the traffic come through my site!!

Thanks to all of you for your support, it’s so appreciated and I love hearing from you…

Winner, Gift Exchange and Christmas (entry 50)

Entry 50 already, WOW where does the time go *smile*

Hi all, well today I have a winner to announce, Vivian from Northern Needles Blog entered her favourite Christmas story for my Quilters Connection Magazine Post, here’s what she entered:

For some odd reason I cannot remember any memorable childhood Christmases. How crazy is that? I must be blocking or maybe I just can’t think tonight LOL. Surely I would have remembered if something terrible happened.

I do have a Christmas story, however it takes place when I was all grown up. I hope you don’t mind but I want to share anyway!

We live quite a distance from our whole family, definitely not a short jaunt. It was my daughter’s first Christmas. As I’m the oldest, she was the first baby in the family, so it was quite an exciting time for everyone. Everyone wanted to be together, to hold her, to be there when she opened her first gifts (she was 11 months at the time) and just enjoy her since our visits were rare due to distance, etc. So we took some extra time and went home for a couple of weeks. Days of visiting and nights of card games and board games, lots of pop and junk food and dainties and fun.

Christmas Eve morning came and something was definitely wrong. I figured it was just the travel, the food, the excitement. Until I sniffed some meat. There was only one other time that meat did not appeal to me. I put 2 and 2 together and made a mad dash to the nearest town with a drugstore. I was on pins and needles all night, just waiting for the morning.

Christmas morning came and with it came the results. Before the mad rush of present opening, I got to make my announcement to the entire family. Little Lisa was on her way!

It was a wonderful day of celebration, although there was no way I could have any of the turkey.

That was my best Christmas. I had my little girl and a new one coming soon.

Thanks Vivian for your story, I know quite a few women who would agree with you :). Please send me your mailing address so I can get the copy of the magazine out to you, Thanks for following my blog & Merry Christmas.

Since no one is posting their quilting bit of goodness right now as we have all of these secrets we are keeping from our family and friends…I thought I would have a scrappy non-quilt related post.

Cookie Exchange with my MIL, SIL and my Sister it was sure fun and we made some awesome cookies
These were mine, whipped shortbread with cinnamon chips in them, so delicious.
My MIL, thumbprint cookies and they were my favourite. I actually had to make a deal with DH so he would save these for me *smile*. She scrap-booked her recipe card – so cute!
These were my Sisters, Ginger Cookies, scrumptious!!
These were my SIL’s they are lemon, cranberry shortbread. 
We were kind of joking about having to make 4 dozen cookies amoungst all of the other Christmas stuff going on…but it worked out and it was such a nice down home visit with the ladies – thanks Colleen for making it happen.
Here’s my MIL’s Christmas card for this year. Every year she water colour paints her card then gets it printed onto photo paper…this year was probably her best yet, but then again I really liked the Christmas decorations she painted one year…
For me, this little bird is all puffed out trying to stay warm yet enjoying the stillness of the day with the freshly dusted tree branches and the brisk air, how re-freshing she would say…Love it!
Last but not least, I thought I would share a picture of Tig. Since we rescued her from the pound 8.5 years ago she has never really enjoyed winter and is always cold during this time of year but hey who isn’t :). In the winter months, she can be found either a) under the tree or b) on a heat register…it’s really quite cute:
{not one piece of the register vent is exposed, she has it covered LOL)

I have one gift left to make for our “homemade” Christmas and it’s for Jeff’s Nannie (mom’s mom), if anyone has any ideas please send them my way as I’m kind of struggling here…thanks so much.
Until next time, have a happy creative day…

Flying Needles Quilt Guild (entry 10)

Hi Ladies, I absolutely loved our Christmas exchange this year with Flying Needles Quilt Guild. This Guild is fairly new in age but has such a vested nature in one another and respect for each other that it is a real pleasure to belong to. Since I am one of the founding members, I can truly say how much I love being part of this group. All of the ladies are warm and friendly and open with offering support and praise upon each other. I am related to two of the members in this group Karen R and Colleen M through marriage but I feel a kinship and sister-ship with so many of you.

Here’s some photos of our amazing gift exchange bags and WOW did this ever turn out to be a hit!!

{All of the bags…amazing}

{I think this one is Carol L’s…I love yo-yo’s!}

{Center: Anna with her custom drawn and painted fabric…beautiful, bottom right: Colleen M: with her cute Rice Bag Foot Warmer which I believe Anna B received…hmm was it meant to be?}

{This is the one I received from Riska & I love the colours, thanks for the pretzels and the matching fabrics, I will put those to good use :)}

{I must also give a shout out to Mary D (I think) as she made about 30+ of these fabric wrapped Christmas crackers complete with little inspirational saying, needles, candies and so much more, thanks so much what a nice treat and surprise!!}


I also wanted to thank Robyn for the amazing home made Egg Nog which I LOVED (sorry if some of you didn’t get to try it as I did have a couple of helpings…:)

I heard from so many of you through-out the day about how much you loved this gift exchange. It didn’t seem to feel like a challenge this year to come up with something and I don’t think one person in the room felt dissapointed with what they received, so great on all of you for making this special for all of us 🙂 From the overwhelming comments about doing this again next year, we’ll (I’ll) see what we can do:)

To those ladies who couldn’t be with us for whatever busy reason that happens this time of year, we missed you! Please also keep Shirley H in our prayers and thoughts.

Have a wonderful Christmas, Flying Needles Quilt Guild and a Happy New Year. 

Quilt Til You Wilt (entry 9)

A Quilt til you Wilt sew day has been a tradition with the Lakeside Quilters Guild ever since I’ve been a member (5 years now) and it’s always a good time.

We all arrive about 10am or so and then sewed until we couldn’t sew anymore 🙂

We had such a good time working on getting our UFO’s completed, spending time with Alison as she’s been in school and away for a few meetings. Speaking of Alison, she volunteered to create a quilted banner for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic torch when it comes through our small town of Chestermere, East of Calgary, Alberta on January 19th.

Alison, you did such a great job on the design, thanks so much!! 

Alison, the torch turned out just fab!


Here’s all of us busy working on our projects, enjoy and ladies please leave me a comment 🙂

{Wilma, working on her Turning Twenty, Again project}

{Danielle, you are so close to being finished, I hope the thread works out}

{Heather, this looks familiar}

{Frankie, thanks for posing for a photo & I love your fabrics}

{Suzy, you are sew coordinated with what you are wearing, lol}

{Thanks June for making this charity quilt, very generous of your time and we sew appreciate it}

{Sandy, another adorable quilt almost finished}

Last but not least is me…

I do have to send a shout out to Kim and Sandy for their painstaking work on my nephews belts *smile* I SEW appreciated it!!

I didn’t seem to get photos of all of the ladies that day, strange since I was one of the last people left. Kim and I stayed and sewed until 1am…it was so much fun!! Thanks for another successful “Quilt til you Wilt” ladies!!

Christmas Gifts Update (entry 49)

Hi All, short but sweet today…I’m sitting in my office enjoying a delicious, comforting cup of Quilters Tea as all of these late nights up sewing for my “Homemade Christmas” this year is starting to take a toll on me. I was up until 1:30 2-3 nights last week, which by the way I loved and enjoyed it so much. I finished my nephews gifts, my nieces gifts, some of my parents and in-laws gifts, figured out the rest (I hope) and finishing some of the many small little accents to add to each present…but I’m not feeling that well today…

I have the sorest back (probably from all of the sewing) so no complaining really 🙂 and my DH has been really great! I’ve also filled 5 orders today everything from Quilters Tea, Designer Scissors, Quilters Soap and so many more items.

I got the cutest email from a Dad:  “HELP!!! She finally told me what she wants!!!! I am looking for the Gingher Desingner Series 2009 Elena scissors set.  Do you have this or can you get it for me before Christmas?”

He left his name and number so I called him back and helped him fill the order out for his daughter, I told him I would get it all wrapped up and mailed to her before Christmas, he was so relieved and I had so much fun working through the wants and needs to make his daughter’s Christmas wishes come true.

I’m also in the process of getting my house ready for company, I have a Christmas exchange on Sat and a 40th Birthday party (my cousin-in-law) I’m hosting my Quilters Group here on the 16th for a Christmas potluck, my Dad and Step-Mom will be here on the 18th and we have a Christmas party on the 19th…phew so it’s just going to get busier 🙂

It’s been snowing here all day…I love Christmastime!

Here’s the quilt I finished and entered into the Quilters Cookbook along with my recipe for my Grandma LaPorte’s Banana Bread.

Here’s Tig sitting in her favourite chair by the Christmas Tree…waiting for Santa. Hey MIL she loves this fur blankie lol.

 Until next week, have a great weekend everyone…

Around the Net (entry 48)

Hi everyone, 

Quilter Going Bananas has a few tutorials on her blog and once I started digging a bit further there’s one on Half Square Triangles and Quarter Square Triangles. If you haven’t taken a class on perfecting these I suggest you do as there are so many blocks that incorporate these in the patterns we choose and it can be very frustrating when they don’t come out precise.

{from Quilter Going Bananas}

{from my pizza box challenge}

Several years ago, I took a class on Half Square Triangles and Quarter Square Triangles – well two classes actually part one and two. Joanne Middleton from Patchwork School House is an Alberta teacher and lecturer. She has a barrage of courses available to take and she travels all over Alberta, it just depends on how busy her schedule is to book with her.

This class I took was so great it taught me something like a dozen methods to do half square triangles and most of them proved to be easy and accurate – some I just tried the technique and then I chose the one I liked the best!

She sells DVD’s and has been featured on QNN – check out her site when you have a chance, she is an amazing teacher and person.

Joanne also has quite a few very cute patterns.

Until next time, join our block of the month club: Journey of a Quilter

Have a great creatively inspired day…