Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Oops. No not between chaya & erez.

End of an era

This is my last post at daveha.
I have moved to chaya.erez.blogspot.com.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Productive weekend?

Well it depends how you look at it.
Yesterday was Joy's Bat Mitzvah and it was a lovely service. A little unorthodox (pun if you are familiar with the various Jewish religious streams). I am not sure but I think it is a reform egalitarian synagogue. Very participatory. The rabbi and cantor both strummed guitars and sang throughout the service and the choir, of which Joy is, among other things, the conductor sang as well. And well!
The service was followed by a kiddush luncheon and unlike the Shabbat kiddush luncheon at one shul I have attended on several occasions, the congregation did not descend on the food like a swarm of locusts and the food was quite good!
I took Joy the gift I made her (since it was a reform shul with a very relaxed attitude) and I hope she liked it. I suppose I shall hear about at the office on Tuesday when she returns to work.
I came home from the affair all tuckered out. I haven't recovered from my cold/flu and it seems to be getting worse. And today I didn't much feel like doing anything. I spent about an hour in my studio and finished unpicking the quilting stitches on one of the challah covers. I didn't like the way they turned out. And then I unpicked the embroidered "lichvod Shabbat veYom Tov" which was wrong in scale to the piece. I think I will type in "Shabbat Shalom" in my Hebrew word, enlarge it at the office, wonder under the letters onto fabric pieces and then wonder under it onto the cover.
I'll see how that turns out.
I also made a paper coffee cup cuff (for insulation). It turned out nicely. I gave it away and am waiting for feedback to see if it fits Tim Horton cups. The template was from Second Cup...
Off to bed.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Previous post -- the photos

This is my Pomegranate monochromatic challenge. It's 10" x10", obviously white, but using as many textures and embellishments as I could think of. You can't really see the depth from this photo. I now have to decide how to finish it. I have some lovely white ribbon and I think I'll give it a 3" border. The question is white or colourful?
This is the piece (14" x 14") I made for Joy's Bat-Mitzvah. Her parasha is "Vayeshev" (embroidered in the Hebrew lettering). For those who know the Torah portion, perhaps you can recognize allusions to Joseph's coat of many colours and his pre-slavery dreams. One of Joy's Jewish names means gold so I tried to use gold fabrics, trims, threads and embellishments. And Joy love singing hence the (barely visible at the top) golden bird and musical notes. I hope she likes it.

And this is the pot holder I made for Silka. I am hoping to make more like it. Perhaps not pieced. I thought of using Judaic fabrics (as yet I have none in my stash, but that can be remedied...) The back is pieced from scraps from Menachem's quilt and other scraps which I can't remember where they came from but the colours fit in

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Countdown to the end of the year

I haven't blogged for a month. My excuse is a bad case of the flu. I'm still coughing my guts out, steroid puffer and all.
I also missed both of my guild meetings. I especially wanted to be at the Pomegranate Guild meeting to show my monochromatic 10" challenge piece and see what the others came up with. Oh well. (photo to follow).
I've also been sort of busy creatively. I made a small embellished quilted wallhanging for a friend's bat-mitzvah. (photo to follow)
I made a potholder, one piece two hands. (photo to follow)
I have been working on two challah covers. Neverending. Just can't seem to get them right. (photos to follow)
And I've been thinking. They say that a large part of creativity is in the thinking process.
I'm reviewing what I've done this past year and pondering what and how I want to create in the coming year.
Not ready to share yet but will get there before the year's end.
In preparation for the new year, I've made some changes.
I signed up for a new email account because I was discouraged with the amount of spam we were receiving and I wanted to keep my incoming emails (quilting/needlework lists, Shomernet, etc.) separate from the basketball, gadget, camp, jokes, etc. emails.
So far no spam and I'm trying to be selective what I send out and sign up for.
I registered on facebook. I'm not really sure why but I figured it couldn't hurt.
I opened an etsy account with the thought of actually selling something.
So I guess December should be a busy month if I'm planning to get everything I want to do before the year end done.

Friday, October 26, 2007

New sewing machine

Just in case you were wondering why I'm not blogging in rapture over my new Brother, it was a lemon. I started sewing gingerly, afraid I'm hit the wrong buttons on the computer screen and somehow screw it up. So when the needle shaft when down into the fabric and I was only able to lift it with great difficulty, I was very upset with myself. I managed to dislodge it, do a little more sewing (and I really like the speed, ease, embroidery features) until it went down again and refused totally to come out. Menachem took it into the shop where they determined it was nothing I had done but a faulty part. They have ordered me a new machine which will hopefully arrive any day now. And I fully intend to check it out at the shop before I bring it home.

In the meantime, I pieced another challah cover from the scraps of my colourful quilt. And embroidered the centre panel with variegated green thread. On the previous challah cover, I embroidered the centre panel first and then attached the bottom, top and sides. On this one, I put it together and then embroidered the centre panel. Embroidering first is the better way to go.

I also "made" myself a light box -- I took 4 shadow boxes, stacked 2 high on either side and put my long long 6" wide omniruler on top of them with a strong table lamp lying on its side under it. I traced onto the white fabric with an air soluble pen. I got about half of the embroidery done yesterday morning. This morning, the markings for the second half had disappeared... So I marked again and finished embroidering. Now I just have to wait for my machine to quilt it.

Tomorrow, Inbal and I are going to the Creativ Festival to check out what's new in sewing/quilting and scrapbooking/collage. I usually enjoy the Festival -- I hope Inbal will too.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

New Brother

So I've been trying out sewing machines and went with Menachem to Newmarket to Evelyn's Sewing Centre in Newmarket to test drive the Brothers. I had been told that Babylock, which I liked, and Brother were the same machine. And indeed, they are identical. I tried the Brother 450X and liked it and it was on sale $500 less than the list price and $300 less than I had seen in Markham. Menachem kept saying "buy it, buy it!". I'm not so sure it wasn't because I was sitting beside a machine which was also on sale: $7000 marked down from $10,000.... lol
Anyways, the salesperson told us that the machine wasn't in stock and that it didn't include several of the feet (walking foot, freemotion foot, 1/4" foot) but that we could buy anything, including fabric and sewing machines accessories, for 15% off for the next year.
Friday we got the call that the machine had come in and yesterday we went to pick it up. And it did include the walking foot and free motion foot! So all I want now is a 1/4" foot which I'm hoping to pick up at the Creativ (needlework and sewing) Show this coming weekend.
The purchase includes free lessons but I want to get a basic understanding of the machine before I take the classes. And since I have an aversion to reading manuals, it should be interesting...
Right now, I am busy trying to reconfigure my sewing room to accommodate all of my stuff... I think I am going back to the previous configuration.
Inbal came on Thursday and is wedding occuppied until this afternoon. We drove her down to the Hyatt at Bloor and Avenue Road where the wedding took place yesterday afternoon/evening. She looked beautiful. She had this lovely emerald green dress with gold accents and gold shoes. Friday, she came to the office for lunch and bought a gold pashmina at Winners. On the way home, I bought some gold fabrics and trims and yesterday morning sewed her up a little gold purse. I hope she had a good time. Today she has a brunch so she stayed at my mother's last night (subway convenience) and will go down to the Hyatt for the brunch from there. We will probably pick her up this afternoon, after Menachem gets off work.
So I'm off to play with my new Brother...

Saturday, October 13, 2007


So a while back, I wrote that I had sold a piece of my work which was exhibited at the Pomegranate Guild's 25th anniversary exhibit at both the Toronto JCC and Baycrest museum. Although the piece had verbally sold the day after the exhibit opened, I just got paid for it on Thursday evening. It's not the purchaser's fault that payment took so long. Rikki, who served as the intermediary between the buyer and me, was ready to write the cheque several times but whenever our paths crossed, either she was in a hurry or I was, and I knew (hoped) she was good for the payment. The exhibit ended at the Baycrest on September 30th and when I went to pick up my two pieces (the third, a shadowbox, is now going touring cross-Canada...), there was only one there. The "sold" item had been picked up by Rikki so I knew it was a done deal. Thursday evening, both Rikki and I attended the same lecture/event (an evening with tallit maker extraordinaire, Shirley Waxman) and I received the cheque.
And not a moment too soon. My trusty Singer is dying and I fear it is terminal -- the motor. The machine originally (18 year ago...) cost me under $200. To spend any money repairing it seems a waste. So I'm looking for a new machine, with more quilting/free motion capabilities. Thursday after work, I went down to a sewing machine store at Yonge and Eglinton to test drive some machines and figure out what I want. It was a waste of time. The woman selling (perhaps a new owner of the store?) wasn't terribly knowledgable and didn't go out of her way to show me the models in the store.
Yesterday after work, we went to another store in Markville Mall and saw a few machines. Here, the salesperson was certainly more knowledgable and it appeared they really wanted to sell.
Sewing machines with quilting capabilities can run up to $10,000. I don't want to spend anything near that much since it is still a hobby for me and I can't justify such an expense. I test drove a basic Pfaff with which I was not enamoured. Then I test drove a Babylock Decorator's Choice which I liked. As I said, the needlecraft and sewing festival is in two weeks and I will be able to test drive all the machines at the same time and hopefully make a more informed decision. And then see if there are sale deals, floor model promos, or if it's worth taking a trip to Buffalo...
At any rate, in the interim I am giving my machine a rest after ekeing (sp?) out the last drops of juice on Ezra's quilt. I am now binding it by hand.
Back to Shirley Waxman's trunk show/talk, although I don't think I'll be making any tallitot in the near future, I was inspired by her embroidery and it gave me some ideas for doing some handwork. The ideas are bubbling as I speak.
Today, Menachem is working and I am going to meet Devora downtown at the CBC building at 1:30 p.m. for lunch and to see a glass and pottery exhibit. Later this afternoon, I'm not quite sure what I'll be doing. Menachem finishes work at 3:00 p.m. Perhaps we'll hook up and do some visiting or something.
Inbal is coming for a visit this Thursday and I am so looking forward to it.

About Me

I am in my mid 50's, have been married (happily) for 38 years, have 3 adult children who live an ocean away... By day I am a legal secretary. The rest of the time I play with fabric but I still won't run with scissors...