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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Glorious Weekend!

What a difference a week makes! Last week my Japanese Maple was gorgeously red but November winds did blow and now I can count the leaves on the tree .... 8! While I will miss the deep dark red of Fall outside my kitchen window I am not sad as it is another fabulous sunny Sunday and still nice and mild. Woohoo!!
Another big woohoo to my guild London Friendship Quilter's Guild who put on a fabulous feature speaker and followup workshop the next day. They brought in Karen Howes from Faeries and Fibres blog fame. 
Now, I've been a big fan of Karen's blog for a couple of years now, every since I became addicted to EPP/Hexies. So, I took a vacation day from work, struggled with the sewing machine lugging it down the stairs and out to the car, into the Church and setting up. My only complaint is that I forgot my camera, drats !!! It was all worth it as this was one of the best workshops I've attended! Karen was very well organized, understands the difference between talking and teaching, and had a knowledgeable assistant with her.  Her pre-class instructions were very specific and that was good as we were all well prepared for our hand work for the day.
We were given an accordion file folder with these 6 mini patterns, some fabric and some paper hexies to practice with. Karen works with ordinary paper, not card stock, this and her counter clockwise basting were definitely new to me. Once we accomplished the first(yellow) hexie flower we were on to making the individual hexies from "made" fabric (our homework). We started with the "Half & Half" hexie, then the "Candle" block, the "Whirligig",  the "Frame" and the "T" blocks and finished off with the "Narrow Star" hexie. Karen had a different method for fussy cutting, different from what I use for my Lucy Boston, so that was interesting to learn. All in all I was thrilled - absolutely thrilled to have gone, met Karen and accomplished so much. A day well worth the effort!

On the home front I haven't been a total slug - and I have managed to accomplish a few things. I got the borders on the Hanukkah wall hanging , so I'm almost ready to start quilting.
I think I'll try machine quilting this one, perhaps with invisible thread. Just have to decide on t he backing. I have the same fabric as the border only white with blue Stars of David, or I also have light blue with dark blue Dreidels, hmmmmm which to use ?
I also accomplished another Lucy Boston block ...
This one was a bit of a challenge. I had saved a scrap of the black with flowers from a previous project and got busy cutting the honeycombs before I realised I didn't have many/enough repeats. So I improvised ... I kinda like it, what do you think?

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Too good to last ...

Last week the weather was glorious, double digits - no coats, people were actually wearing shorts and sandals! My Japanese Maple , as you can see, was glorious. I had a tremendously busy week - working the weekend and trying to squeeze in my "regular" chores as well.
This week, the November winds have come. The temp has dropped and so have the leaves. That's Simone walking away in disgust - or is that confusion? Maybe she understands fallen leaves mean winter is coming! Bah humbug!!
Ah well, the fabulous weather was too good to last.
Also too good to last was my arrangement with a local "teenager" to help me out and take my garbage up to the curb. It was lovely for a month and a half, but he's moved on now, so it's back to me slugging it up there :(.
I don't have much show-n-tell this week as I've been busy catching up wth housework, chores and hand quilting the Wild Flowers. But I have started a new project! Shhhhhh it's supposed to be a secret.
 It will be a Hanukkah wall hanging for a friend/former work colleague. Somehow we got talking about Hanukkah on FB and it inspired me to dig out those patterns I've tucked away for "someday". Well, someday has arrived! It was supposed to be paper pieced but in my infinite wisdom (folly?) I decided to hand applique the candles/candlesticks.  I see some of the candles/candlesticks are wonky, oh well, done now, and all from my stash!! There will be a small inner border (of unknown colour & fabric at this time) and an outer border of dark blue with Stars of David, and a mid blue with dreidels for the backing. I'm thinking I'll machine quilt this one just to get it done. I also have Christmas placemats yet to make for the guild - one of our community activities as we donate them to Meals on Wheels. Oh, and of course there's work, parents and a social life to try and fit in somewhere somehow....

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Say it isn't so !!

Woke up this am to snow !! Oh No!! Say it isn't so ! I hate snow :(. The leaves on my Maple haven't even started to fall yet! Not to fear, the sun has come out and the snow is melting away quickly. Phew!
Finally received my framed Thai temple rubbing . He did an ok job, not complaining there, but somehow it's blah. It seems to be lacking something, don't know what. When you're choosing the frame and matting it all looks good, but somehow this one just doesn't sing. Had this one in the closet for almost 40 years, so this is somewhat disappointing :(. Ah well, maybe I'll get used to it.
No POTC blocks to show you this week. Somehow I got my hand quilting mojo back - maybe it was the great speaker we had at guild last week. Anyway, I actually started quilting the Wild Flowers wall hanging which has been on the frame since late August! Feeling good so far, just doing outline quilting, will have to decide what to do - quiltwise - after the outlining is all done. Any suggestions?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh joy oh bliss - it's Thanksgiving - a four day vacation from work (yeah) and a chance to gather with the family :). Started the weekend Friday by buying the pumpkin pies and visiting the pater, then spent the afternoon in the sewing room prepping 4 more POTC blocks. Should have been cleaning the house but my back is still not 100%. Had much more fun in the sewing room. Saturday was our usual with the mater, we both got haircuts. I took my camera back to her place and got pics of her "collector plates". Hoping to learn how to put these up on Kijiji sometime next week. Sunday was driving around town picking up everyone then off to my sister's for turkey dinner - yummmmmm. Today is another lovely Fall day so I hope to finish off the garden work. Pheww! I'll be glad to get back to work!
Here's my progress on my Lucy Boston POTC blocks ...
 POTC block from 2 weeks ago. When I'm browsing the internet I like to see the fabric of origin along with the block itself, so here's a pic with it's fabric.
This one has a slightly different setting than the others. It was hard to find matching/complimentary fabrics, hence the setting. I rather like it!
This was last week's block - maybe my favourite so far !!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Soup's On!

Yup, that's right, I'm making soup .... Chicken noodle to be exact. Not terribly easy this week as I wrecked my back somehow late last week so I'm bent over double at the moment . Am living on tylenol and a heated rice bag :(. None-the-less yesterday still had to do the mater thing (taxi her to the hair dresser, brunch, groceries, bank). May have to make a run to the grocery store myself as I'm out of Parmesan cheese for my spaghetti tonight -  can't have that! Got some of my Fall decorations out, not too many, just not in the mood yet.

Hope to make pumpkin bread this afternoon for the folks at work - love the smell of something baking - Yummmmm. Maybe that will help me get in the Thanksgiving mood.
Managed to get one more POTC block completed - yeah. Got this fabric in Tillsonburg @ Cherished Pieces, part of her Civil War collection. Thought I would "plan" my POTC blocks and use one line of fabrics. For those who read my blog - that hasn't happened! I was/am too addicted to the blocks to use just one line of fabrics, and having too much fun using up scraps creatively. Will probably continue along as I'm going now and see how it works out. May have to make lots more blocks than needed in order to get a nice finished product, but who cares right?
Anyway, back to this block. Not my favourite, In fact I'm rather disappointed. The fabric had lots of movement in it so I was expecting good things, but the pattern(s) are too big for my honeycombs. Oh well, there's always this week's POTC block to come!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Fall Beginning

Well, the B-I-L and nephew came over this weekend and trimmed up my Forsythia and Rose of Sharon bushes and the nephew put the patio to bed. The weather has been so lovely it seemed a shame to do this so early, but on the other hand I'm glad to get this done. I still have several other fall chores before I'm ready for Thanksgiving - which isn't that far away - Yikes! Must get that Pumpkin bread made next weekend!
I decided to bring in my Boston Fern and see if I can coax it through the winter. I even had a fern stand in the basement, so why not try. I shook it up a bit so hope I haven't imported too many bugs into the house. Any hints on caring for these plants inside?
It was homecoming on campus this weekend, and for a change I was NOT on duty - yeah! Of course I did witness the inevitable car accident (in front of Costco) on Saturday. Seems to happen every year when there are so many visitors in town. 2 young blondes furiously texting mom & dad while 3 ambulances took away those who were hurt :(. This week was eventful for the Sew Whats as the partner of one of our members graciously cooked a full Indonesian meal for us all - oh Yummmy :) Thanks June and John !
My accomplishments for the week was to complete last week's POTC and a new one for this week .
I really like this one and think I may post it to Pinterest. The brown striped fabric was purchased as a binding for a previous quilt , obviously I purchased too much as I still have a couple of meters of it. Worked out great for this block! Well, that's about all for me.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunny Sunday :)

It's another lovely sunny Sunday :) Don't know about you but I can't get enough of them. September is almost over (omg!) and it will soon be time to think about putting the patio to bed :(.
So, here it is my McKenna Ryan triptych. It's currently on my bulletin board at work and giving me a smile every time I look at it. I still need to get some labels on the two newest ones. I plan on hanging them in my front hall. That will be a first for me .... I haven't hung any of my own quilts since the 80's! Will be a nice change to have something of my own on the walls. Recently when doing my overdue spring cleaning - actually done in late summer - I found my temple rubbing from Thailand. I've been carting that thing around since the late 60's (omg!!), so thought it was time to get it framed and on the wall. Well, my framer is bogged down with too much work (lucky him), so I am anxiously waiting and waiting. I hope to give you a pic of this lovely soon. In the meantime, here is this week's unfinished POTC block.