Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Using up the Scraps

It's grey, grey, grey out there; I need some colour in my life!  The October block is one I've never done before and have admired from afar, economy blocks.  They were all done from scraps, no fabric lengths were injured in their making.  I had fun with every one, although sewing world looks like a bomb went off in there!

I'm hard pressed to choose my favourite in this group of four.  I guess the pink ears on the cats still gets me every time.

No contest in this group, the border collies and the high heels.  I bought that fabric to make my mother some throw pillows years ago.  She was always a high heel kind of gal!

This next grouping makes me wish I had a better camera, but like everything else, an expensive camera doesn't guarantee wonderful photos any more than an expensive sewing machine guarantees  perfect points!

I have to say, this one was the favourite.  Bunnies and polka dots are an unbeatable combination.

I also decided to hop onto the Farmer's Wife Quiltalong.  I'm late to the party, but decided that until I get more babies to sew for (soon, I'm sure) then it's best to work on small, slow projects.  There's only so many quilts I can lounge under, even if it's really peak lounging weather.

So, today I made three blocks, in no particular order.  The first was #12, Becky.  It was very easy to sew once you cut out all the little pieces.  I think this was just to lure you into the vortex because it looks like the easiest one in the book.  I can't imagine making an entire quilt using this one block, but it could translate to a bright scrappy quilt.

Next was #8, Aunt.  My practice making economy blocks this months came in handy. I'm still using up bits of fabric, so there won't be a cohesive colour scheme, but I think it doesn't matter to me that much.  I seem to have too many small pieces of material hanging over my head so I'm very happy to keep using them up.  Sometimes scraps just make me anxious and guilty about buying anything new.

Another simple block is Bonnie, #16.  Although it was super easy, I like the look of it and can see it making very interesting repeating patterns in a quilt.  Something to remember.  So far everything is working out to be 6.5 inches, with a little trimming of the edges.

This month's outdoor project was installing a second solar panel on the porch.  It used to be up on the roof, but it was always covered by snow and ice.  There's no way I'm letting Neil onto a tin roof in mid winter to brush it off. With our son supervising, it went up quickly.

And a little eye candy to remind us that there is beauty all around.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


It's time to start sewing again-the first snow is falling and the leaves are just slightly past their peak colour.  They've been late this year, but as always, my heart loves the view from my side porch.

As I was being good and getting my sewing bee blocks done, my second floor view kept distracting me.

Once they're gone it'll be six months before we see green again.  (Best not to think about it.)

For September,  the Queen Bee wanted baskets and sent along some orange fabric so that we would all be coordinated.  It was a heavy half square triangle affair, not something I love doing.  It's not that they're difficult or that my points don't line up.  No, it's that I'm lazy and hate trimming down all the blocks to the right size.  Honestly, every time  I see a beautiful quilt full of triangles, I marvel at the creator's patience.

Anyway, my two blocks came out fine, (I think!)

As you see, no point issues, just laziness.

September is also the time for our local agricultural fair, the Brome Fair.  It's always a great time with barns to visit, food to eat and people to chat with.  The chatting is almost the best part.  I'm very fond of goats and this year there were a few examples getting prettied up for their class.

The sheep were keeping clean in anticipation of their big moment.

Although one was getting a "do" and looked a bit sheepish about it all.

The driving classes are always great fun, with lots of participation and beautiful wagons and buggies.

  It's a labour of love to get these big ones ready for the show ring.

And, just for a final dose of adorable, look at this one.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Baby 3--Whee!

I say whee because I finally motivated myself to drive 40 minutes and buy thread to finish this project.  I even thought ahead and bought more than one spool! I tell you, I'm a model of efficiency.

Since baby 3 is due very soon, I'm glad to cross this one  off my list, and it wasn't a difficult sew.  Living on a farm there's always lots of decoratively rusty machinery to serve as a backdrop.  First up is the 1953 Ferguson that was in regular use when we first got married, but is now happily retired in what we call spare parts row.  In the background you can see bits of an old horse trailer.

I still think the fabric is just perfect for a little boy, especially the firetrucks and emergency vehicles. (I know, it's upside down, but you can't possibly expect me to go out and retake that picture!)

Next up is the equally elderly bulldozer.  It hasn't been anywhere in quite a while, but did wonderful work building roads in the woods.

I found just enough fabric in my stash to make the perfect little boy backing-full of lots of interesting vehicles and signs.

Today was bread day.  I've made bread for years and really, every time I make it, I think it's a little miracle.  I love the feel of it as I knead and love the smell as it's rising and as it's cooking. Today's was particularly cooperative and rose beautifully.

The first rise.

The second rise.

And the final product. I like that a bit of the quilt can be seen draped over the chair.

I'm linking up to Finish it up Friday and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Baby 3-Well, not quite done

I had high hopes at finishing up this little quilt yesterday, but on the very last seam I ran out of thread.  I know, why didn't I buy two spools the last time I went shopping?  Excellent question--chalk it up to chronic short sightedness.  So now I'll have to wait until I feel like driving the not insignificant distance to find a spool of white thread.

I rarely post a flimsy, but here it is.

I managed to get the shed roof and the barn in the picture too, and my clothesline!

Once this is quilted up I think it will be perfect for a baby boy.

I'm linking up to Sew Fresh Quilts today so hop on over and have a look.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Baby 2-done!

So, baby number two is a girl due in August, so one rainy day I was able to cut out, sew and make the quilt sandwich in one afternoon.  I don't think  I've ever done that, but it was a sweetly simple pattern that I found on a free site for charity quilts.

I had to find a pattern that only used three fabrics.  With the Canadian dollar so low I find it too expensive to shop on line so I went to a store about half an hour from my home that specializes in 1-metre cuts.  I like that everything is arranged by colour so you can spend time roaming around looking for fabrics that go together.  The fabrics are never the newest, most popular lines, but they are all good quality and run about two-thirds the price of fabric elsewhere.

It was easy to find three boy fabrics in bold, happy colours.  I'll look forward to making baby quilt 3 with such fun fabrics.

I often find "girl" fabrics insipid, but once I saw the Volkswagon and bicycle fabric I knew I had to have it!

Unfortunately I couldn't get a picture that was true to colour outside--this was the best I could do.

Once again I went with simple straight line quilting. I found the backing fabric at the same place.  I know it's a Heather Ross print, but have no idea what line.  It's so pretty that I hated to use it, but hoarding is not an option! For the binding I went with an orange that went with the vehicles.

This was fun, mindless sewing at its best that will make someone very happy.  It also made me happy while I was making it!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Baby 1-Done

I finally finished off the first of three baby quilts needed for the summer crop of babies.  (None of them mine or my children's, but who can resist the allure of creating a small, colourful quilt!)

There are lots of polka dots and owls, but I think the new mum will like it a lot.

Many intersecting lines of quilting are both simple and effective.

And the backing is a sweet little floral print that was hiding in my stash.

There's lots of action at the bird feeders this time of year with all the babies being brought so that they can learn where the food is.  The twittering and wing fluttering is very cute and I get enormous pleasure watching while I drink my coffee in the morning.

 A pair of blackbirds built their nest in some dead bullrushes at the edge of the pond and I went down every day to see their progress.

Unfortunately, something else was keeping an eye on them too and yesterday they had disappeared.  The parents were still squawking at us and dive bombing, so it must have only just happened.

This handsome frog seemed quite unconcerned at my taking his picture.  He must be used to the attention!

Even this lowly garter snake seemed happy to bask in the sunshine after endless days of cold and rain.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Following Along

The drunkard's path that is.....

I've wanted to make a quilt with circles for a long time but never mustered up my courage to do it.  But last week I thought about the three different baby quilts I want to make and decided it was a perfect opportunity to play with circles.

I bought a little fat quarter bundle with owls, mushrooms, and polkadots and paired it with fabric from my stash.  I created my own circle template after looking at a few tutorials and ended up with four 6-5-inch drunkard path blocks that sewed up into a 12-in block.  I didn't overthink fabrics and probably should have used more white for negative space, but I'm always happy with a riot of colour.

The quilting was simple and just followed the lines and circles, so there was a lot of stopping and starting.

Since it was for a baby I got to use up a lot of my little animal prints.

But I never got to the binding as my brother-in-law from Vancouver Island was with us visiting, so the family got involved in one of its favourite activities, brush clearing and bonfires.  The weather was cool and rainy while he was here, so a great time to get out and work!

Neil and Bob cut down lots of saplings on one day, and then we burned everything the next day.

The smoke keeps the mosquitos away too!