Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I Bee Sewing

Most of my sewing this week has been for WeeBee Canadian.  We were asked to do any block we wanted, and this stumped me.  I can still remember in elementary school being told by the teacher to draw "whatever we wanted".  How is any child supposed to do that.  I always drew horses, but maybe flowers would have been good, or pigs, or birds....... Too much choice is never good for me.  I have the same problem when I go shopping for clothes!

So, I trolled the internet and decided to make blocks that were more complex than those I ordinarily choose for my own quilting.

My first one is called Gentlemen's Fancy and I included some crossword puzzle fabric as an homage to my mother's obsession with puzzles.  I can never remember her without one!

The second block is Castles in the Air.  Every morning I sit and watch the sun come up over the mountains while drinking my coffee.  Then the birds arrive and there's a flurry of activity at all the feeders.  It gives me such pleasure just to watch  and think.  

Yesterday's sunrise looked like this.

This is my month to receive blocks as well and I chose an x and + block.  I think that since winter is coming, I'd like bright happy colours to cheer up the grey November that's coming.  This is my example and I'm eager to see what my bee mates come up with.  Think it's bright enough?

Since it is also the ghost and goblin season, I thought I'd try out a cute tutorial at Bryan House Quilts to make boy and girl ghosts.   I made a few changes, using just a solid colour in the frames and am still debating if I'll add a colourful extra row to brighten it up. I like the polka dots and think it might be fun added around the outside.  

I'm linking up to the Needle and Thread Network and hope you take a look. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Time to get out the feather duster and clean the cobwebs off my blog!  I have many things on my design wall, all in a perfect state of unfinishedness,  but, you know, it's summer (oh, wait, maybe it's not!). The leaves are changing colour daily and we've already had a couple of hard frosts.

I did realize that I never blogged about my second-ever quilt.  Of course not, I didn't blog at the time, but we are talking a while ago here.  I decided to make a red, black and white quilt for my mother's bed shortly after she moved into assisted living.  I randomly bought all sorts of fat quarters and yardage from on line sources and set to work.  Of course, I had no pattern and was just winging it as I went along, something I do a lot and something that doesn't always work out.  But anyway, it finished out at a twin bed size and mum loved it.

It's funny, but sometimes I think that the less I "knew" about quilting the more carefree I was.  I quilted however I wanted, I cut and sliced with no worries that it wouldn't work, and generally just had fun.

I still have fun, but seem to worry more about making it right.  Silly me, it's right if I say it is! To take this shot I was teetering on top of an old milk can, but all went well.

This week marks the beginning of the end of the ladies afternoon bridge club.  The first of the snowbirds leaves on Friday, and the others will head off one by one until I'm the only one left.  I decided to use my cards fabric to make a little pouch for Linda to take with her. I did my best to give her good cards, and an ace and king isn't bad!

The inside is a word search pattern to give a nod to her long career as an English teacher.

This summer was the summer of the roof.  After 25 years, it was time to replace the old one and we decided to go with tin.  I do love the sound of rain on a tin roof.  We were lucky with the weather in the month it took to do the job, but there were a couple of days of tarps and high winds--never a good combination.  One of our nephews gave a hand for two days, which really helped.

He also took this terrific shot of the mountains and almost done peak.  Neil has no fear of heights, but just going up the ladder to hold something makes my legs start to shake.

Today is Wednesday so I'm linking up with The Needle and Thread Network.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Summer Fun

 Not much sewing has been happening around here in the summer--too busy swimming, riding, working outside, etc.  All of those things are wonderful, but when it rains I do scoot up to sewing world and stitch a little of this and a little of that. So, a little plus a little does not equal a lot, but here's what I've been up to.

I finished my great granny squared but haven't decided on a backing or anything else.  I'm pleased with it and the navy background.

I made a couple of zippy bags to take with me to camp. I love the foxes on this one.

And the dress form on this one.  Don't ask me what lines each fabric is from, because I'm hopeless at keeping track of that sort of thing.  I tend to buy when fabric is on sale and pick up fat quarters of whatever catches my eye.

I took the bags with me to hold all the bits and bobs needed while going from one music class to another.  I went to CAMMAC (Canadian Amateur Musicians Camp) for early music week and had a wonderful time.  I was either singing or playing my recorder all day long.  Great food and great company too!

This was my month to receive blocks from my Canadian Wee Bee, so here are most of them up on the design wall (otherwise known as a plastic tablecloth!)  Don't they all look happy and cheerful!  Now I need to think how to put them all together.  I really enjoy making very different types of blocks each month, but this month I am behind!

I am linking up to The Needle and Thread Network today, so go take a look.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pink and Green

It's hard to sew and quilt when it's sunny and HOT outside.  I admit it, I'm a foul weather quilter! But really, I can't garden, ride, swim, hike, mow lawns, etc when there's snow on the ground.  And next week I'm heading off to music camp at CAMMAC, so life is busy.

But, I realize that I have a "blast from the past" quilt that I've never blogged about.  When I retired, I was very excited to get back to sewing, something that got lost in the never-ending round of children and work.  I had always wanted to quilt, but didn't have the time, room whatever excuse there was, but really, I think it was just lacking the mental energy.  I'm sure you all know what I mean. So my first week of liberation I took to the internet and was blown away by the creativity and excitement of fabric lines and bloggers.  What joy it was to see it all.  I lucked onto Elizabeth Hartmann's blog Oh Fransson, and found a quiltalong.  It was perfect to get me going.

So here it is, my pink and green sampler quilt.

I think I made every mistake there was to make, from buying fabric that wasn't good quality to doing matchstick quilting, but it still speaks to me of how happy I was to be DOING it, actually quilting!  It now lives on my mother's bed at the nursing home and she strokes it and admires the bright colours.

And because yesterday was Canada Day and it was glorious, here's the rest of my family (both kids home--yippee!) enjoying Caesars on the porch after an afternoon at the pond.  Hope you all had a wonderful day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Baby Square

A friend has a little grandchild coming to visit and because they must fly to get here, the mum is upset that she can't bring the baby's quilt with her.  Well!  There's nothing I like more that a reason to put bits of fabric together!

I made a "low volume" block a few months ago, jumping on the bandwagon a bit.  But it didn't speak to me, so I never did anything with it.  I know the baby's mum loves foxes, so I thought I'd use the block and just add borders to it until it became a useful size, so that's what I did.  It is still not as bright and cheerful as I prefer, but it's fine and I'm delighted to have finished something that will be used.

It's about 36" square, so a good size for a baby to lie on the grass.  The back is just a piece of cheerful Ikea fabric.

On a different note, a friend and I went to Sutton on Saturday to participate in a Knit in Public event organized by the local yarn shop, Mont Tricot.  It was fun and quite a few showed up to chat and show off projects.

I brought my ubiquitous socks and Norma brought a sweater she was working on  but got involved with a nasty snarl of yarn.

Of course, we got silly too, but it was fun!

I'm linking up with the Needle and Thread Network, so take a look and see what's going on.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Geese Have Landed

For anyone looking for quilting output here, you'll be disappointed, but spring has sprung and outdoor work takes priority!  Right now we're in those magical two weeks when the leaves are out, the trees are blooming and the air brims with possibility.  (as opposed to last week when manure spreading was happening--no magic there!) For those of you with no winter, you can't imagine the joy we all feel when the sun feels warm and everything is green.

Faithful companion and I took our favourite walk this morning.  It's also a fave with local wildlife and there was lots of bear "signs" and deer tracks.

Anyway, geese.  This month's Wee Bee blocks asked for flying geese, another block I haven't made a lot of.  There's a certain irony about the flying geese block this month.  Every morning at 5 am, a pair of geese make a flyby over our house. Why, I don't know, but I'm not always thrilled about the ecstatic honking only feet above the roof, and our bedroom.  I think maybe they're excited about the sun rising and are taking their equivalent of the Sunday drive.  Sometimes they land on the pond, but they never nest there.

So, sewing geese.  When I sew for myself, I'm somewhat slapdash and carefree.  (That's my story and I'm sticking with it)  But when I sew for others I feel like I have to hold myself to a higher standard.  So I wasn't pleased when my geese had no points.  I reread the instructions and saw that I had to sew a "scant" 1/4 inch seam, the quilting equivalent of a pinch of salt.  After much muttering and perhaps a curse or two, I nailed the scanty seam and whipped off a couple of blocks.  I'm on a roll now and might make a few more!

Truly, the pleasure of bees is to be able to make lots of blocks without having to put anything together!

This one looks very anemic--blame it on poor lighting because it's actually nice and bright.

I was lucky to have my daughter home this weekend and we visited my mother at her nursing home.  She was absolutely thrilled to see her (me she sees all the time so it's less thrilling!) and also to be able to go outside and sit on the porch.  So here's a picture of my bookends.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Granny and Me

Months ago, I bought a jelly roll of Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander.  Now, I've never bought a jelly roll before, so it took me a while to decide what to do with it.  I'm more used to grabbing bits of this and bits of that and sewing it up, so a whole line of one fabric was a quandary to me.  I doubt that I would do it again, as there are many fabrics in the roll that I wouldn't necessarily have bought singly.

Anyway, I decided to make a granny square quilt using a tutorial from Blue Elephant Stitches that I had bookmarked long ago.  (I know, why would I need to use a tutorial for a granny square, but I did!)   So that's what I've been toiling away on while waiting for spring.

I decided to use navy as the background fabric and, honestly, I'm not sure about it, but I'm pressing on.  I think it's one of those decisions that might work out once it's all bound and quilted.  Maybe it needs a contrast sashing, maybe........ OK, I haven't got there yet, but anything's possible. I also think the rest of the blocks will have as little of the orange as possible--I find it leaps out at me!

I like this block, probably because it's more restful to my eyes.

Finally, spring has sprung in our area--and not before time!  It's still jacket temperatures, but I can feel some warmth from the sun.  My daffodils are putting on a brave show as they love this cool weather.  I planted them 30 years ago and they still reliably make me happy every May.

There are lots of early flowers in the woods as well, like these dogtooth violets that bloom everywhere.

Another common flower is the red trillium (or stinking johnny as it's known locally).

One last sign of spring is one that any rural dweller knows well, the road breakup.  Each spring we drive our cars on a slalom track, avoiding frost heaves, pot holes and sink holes.  I hate the sound of the bottom of my car dragging through mud and stones and often wish I had some big honking SUV to get around.  Why is it so many urbanites have them and all they do is drive on paved roads! (I'm just jealous)

Today I'm linking up to The Needle and Thread Network and Sew Fresh Quilts, so go have a look!