Friday, July 31, 2015

Valuable Art Work

We have the quilt room completely finished once again.  Today, we got the odds and ends done that were waiting for a cooler day to finish.  We had to replace a number of the ceiling tiles because of the winter leak and that meant removing the damaged ones and the decorative boards that were holding them in place.  Of course, nothing fits quite the same when you start putting them back so some adjustments had to be made.
I also did some rearranging of things on the walls as I wanted to hang a painting where I was able to see it when I am working.  I got it from a friend who is an artist and I love looking at it.  It shows an old, log cabin that was obviously abandoned many years ago and just left to fall over.  The artist used pen and ink which seems to emphasis the subject.
I have a lot of paintings as both my husband and his uncle are artists as well as a number of our friends.  Hubby's work , of course, takes precedence but we also have both an early and later work of his uncle, one from an Edmonton friend that we bought before we moved and another that has great sentimental value.  It was painted by the brother of an elderly man who was one of my passengers when I drove a transit bus.  We became friends and, when he died, his family very generously asked if there was something of his that I would like as a remembrance.  I chose the painting.
Art work, like quilts, contain the essence of the creator and I value each of mine.  They don't have to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to be worth that much and more to me.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Recycled Plants

Our hot weather has lessened-only by five degrees but what a difference it makes.  There is also quite a good breeze which helps keep the air moving.  We have been puttering around getting this and that finished up.  I got some more five inch squares sewn together into 9 patch blocks.  I had to cut to cut some more from light fabric as most of the ones I have seem to be bright.
I have a top I want to get onto the frame but can't until I have the crib quilt I am working on finished. 
I had an odd item come in the mail today.  A friend sent me a few Rose of Sharon plants after I admired them in a photo.  They, apparently, grow much like lilacs so I am going to put them near those plants.  As they start growing shoots, I want to put some in other areas.  I love receiving other peoples excess plants and the majority of what I have in our garden came from this source.
I was able to pass on some of our tomato plants this year as we had them popping up everywhere.  In the fall, I will be gathering seeds from some of my plants and will pass them on to others.
Recycling at its best.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cool Thoughts

Here is a photo to help you have cool thoughts if you are in the midst of a heat wave like us.  Hard to remember 30 below when you are at 30 above. 
Huntsville was very busy today as it often is in the summer time.  Lots of out of Province and out of country licence plates were seen in parking lots and in the street.  And, of course, a lot of children where shopping with their parents.  Despite this, everyone seemed to be in good humour which certainly makes the situation easier to bear.
I got done and home as quickly as possible but it still took nearly four hours from the time I left until I returned home.  And then everything had to be put away.  Dear One helped and then made me a cup of tea so I managed to survive.
I did a bit more work on the Nine Patch Mix block last night.  I think I am going to like this one.  I bought some fabric to finish a top but don't think I am going to use it as it isn't going to look the way I hoped.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Free Block-Nine Patch Mix

What does a person do when it is too hot to do anything more strenuous than breathe?  I fiddle around with quilt patterns and today I have come up with a simple, quick pattern for using up 5 inch squares.  Start with a 9 patch block and make as many as will be needed for your project.  For example, using 12 block (your finishing block will be 11 1/2 ) you will need 35 blocks plus borders.  Half your blocks should have a dark center and corner squares and the other half plus one will have light center and corner squares.  My sample shows the light version.  For scrappy, use different fabrics for each of the squares. Diagram 1

Diagram 1

Cut your blocks in half diagonally-D2


Pair a light center block with a dark and sew.  You may wish to pin where the corners join as you are sewing fabric that will stretch.  D3
Sew all your blocks together following the same method.  Sew blocks into rows and the rows together.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Chipmunk Having Lunch.

I finished a top for a twin sized bed today and, once I finish my commissioned quilt, I will get this one in the frame to quilt.  I also got another top ready for the finished applique touches.  I am pleased that I have finally had the time to get back at my quilting.
It was such a pleasure being able to sew, listen to my music and feel the breeze coming through the open windows.  I took Heidi for our walk early so I was able to have the afternoon free.  The walk was at a brisker pace than I intended because the deer fly's were quite bad.  I hadn't used any bug spray on either myself or the dog so they were really annoying.  I did have my bug hat on which kept them off me although it didn't  stop them from flying around my head.  They seem to focus on heads for some reason and Heidi had quite a number buzzing around her.  I kept switching at them but they are persistent creatures.
Our raspberries are doing well this year but I am not sure how many we will be able to pick.  The birds and little fellows like this chipmunk also enjoy them.  He is obviously enjoying his lunch.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Whose Law

I got the guest room set up again including the new bed.  Of course, as soon as it was done, I had to pile things on the bed that can't be put back in the sun room yet.  There is also some foam which I am going to use to make some chair cushions that is to big to have sitting in the quilt room.
The treadmill is taking up a bit too much room but I will adjust to it or find a better location.
I finally found my Jinny Beyer patterns that I want to use to make a couple of table runners.  I bought some of her fabric a couple of years ago but didn't get around to making anything.  A table runner will be the perfect project to do while working on the next crib quilt commission.  Most of this quilt is hand work and I don't want to start anything major that will have to sit in a cupboard when I start the machine sewing sections.
We had a bit of a scare earlier today when we saw smoke rising above the trees across the road.  Hubby thought it was the property that is being developed opposite us but it turns out that a neighbour was burning something.  I hate when they do that.  We aren't supposed to have fires before 6 because the majority of our fire fighters are volunteer but, of course, there is always someone who thinks that laws are for everyone else.
When you live surrounded by bush, fire is a very real danger.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Quilting Cook Book?

I am beginning to think I am not going to get have a full day of quilting for a while yet.  We got back from our shopping trip north in the mid afternoon and then I made some cereal for a friend who has been busy with some family concerns.
I seem to be getting more and more cooking jobs which I don't mind as I enjoy cooking but, of course, it does take time to do.  I have been half thinking of putting out a small cook book of some of my recipes.  Maybe I will combine it with some short quilting stories.  That will stay on the back of my mind for a bit.  What do you think of the idea?
One of the things I bought today was a fabric marker.  I got it at Michael's and it is a non toxic (great for baby quilts) permanent marker that comes in a number of colours.  It will be great for doing labels and adding touches to a quilt top.  It was under $7.00 which is cheaper than the ones you get at a quilt store.  A friend in our quilt group had purchased one and really liked it so I knew it would be okay.
I delivered the crib quilt to its new owner today as well.  They were really pleased with it and took some business cards to pass out to friends.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Flying Mattress

I have finally got back to quilting but not until yesterday.  I started a small wall hanging at quilt group yesterday and did a bit more on it today.  However, I didn't get a lot done as I have been busy all day doing other things and tomorrow we go north to deliver a crib quilt and do some shopping.
A friend offered to lend me a treadmill that he wasn't using to see if I liked it and he and my hubby brought it over today.  It has a lot of options so it will take me a while to get used to it but I have done a couple of 5 minute trial runs.  I still went for my usual walk with Heidi but that wasn't until after supper.  This is actually a good time as it is cooler and the bugs (which seem to have almost disappeared) are a lot less.  There was just one deer fly and even it was as persistent as usual.
After hubby got back from picking up the car at our friends, I had another chore for him.  I had been looking for a double bed to replace the one in the guest room.  I found a good one at a reasonable price and we picked that up in our old truck. 
The trip which seemed to be straightforward turned out to be a bit of an adventure.  First of all, we couldn't find the right road as it was in an area were we hadn't been to previously.  We loaded the mattresses into the trailer without problem and tied them down for the return trip.  We hadn't got too far when the mattress decided it didn't want to go to a different home and flew off the trailer.  Luckily there wasn't a vehicle following us.  We reloaded putting the box spring on top this time, re tied the load and arrived home without further incident.
I think that is enough excitement for one day.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Tomorrow, I Quilt

My quilt studio is back to the point where I can do some sewing again.  Other than hand quilting, I haven't been able to stitch anything in a week.  The only other time I touched fabric was to get it back on the shelves.  Now, everything is completed.  Tomorrow I quilt.  To make it even more likely, my hubby is working.
I do have to paint the cabinet we use for storing groceries and that will need to be done outside.  Of course, there is the ever present house work that will have to be done as well but that shouldn't take long.
I am working on a quilt that is simply black and white blocks with red in the borders.  I find sometimes that simple can be quite dramatic and many of my favourite quilts contain only a couple of colours. 
I have had to set up a bit more lighting with the slightly changed layout.  The computer desk is at a right angle to one wall with the  sun room windows behind the back.  This is normally a very bright room so it is surprising how much of a difference one change can. 
Hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend,

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Medical Appointments, Patterns and Parks

A tiring day today.  We went to Huntsville for my medical appointment and to shop.  I was able to buy some extra shelves for my units for a dollar each as well as a few other odds and ends for the quilt room at equally good prices.
We didn't find any floor covering at a price I was willing to pay and forgot to look for ceiling tile.  Bought a few groceries to replenish the shelves and arrived home mid afternoon.  Our little Heidi went to the neighbour's for her spa treatment and she greeted us at the door looking like a little sweetie.
I have had a pattern bouncing around in my mind for a couple of days and worked it out in EQ.  When I get caught up with everything else, I will get it on paper.  I think this will be a foundation pieced pattern-or part of it, at least.
When I finished my appointment at the hospital, I went upstairs to see a friends mother who just had a hip replacement.  I hadn't met her previously but I wanted to drop off a couple of books both for her and my friend.  I had a nice, but short, visit with this very charming and gracious lady.  Don't tell her I said this, but I can see where my friend gets her personality.
Tomorrow, hubby and I are going to a local provincial park in our area.  It is free day and is a place we have been wanting to visit.  The predicted rain is not going to deter us.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Armload of Beets

I am starting to put my fabric back onto the shelves now which is giving me an opportunity to toss what I am never going to need (until it is thrown out, of course).  I am  going to note down what I do need-besides more  money for fabric. I am also devising some sort of divider for between the fabric piles to keep them neater.  I have left over corrugated plastic which I think will work.  I was going to glue in some wood  dividers but I don't want them to be permanent.
The weather has taken a 10 degree drop here so it has been wonderful for working both inside and out.  I did some pruning and weeding of the garden. I loped down a lot of the overgrown area in the rock garden so the tiger lilies can be seen more clearly and cut down a lot of raspberry canes.  They are as bad as dandelions on an urban lawn here.  They pop up everywhere and it is a constant battle trying to keep them from taking over the flower beds.
While pulling weeds from one of the small gardens, I noticed some of the beets were getting to be a good size.  I started pulling and ended up with a huge armload.  The gardens are really doing well this year.  We have good sized tomatoes on some of the bushes, some of the  broccoli is almost ready to be picked and we are gathering raspberries and blue berries. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Reuse, Recycle, Reduce

We are gradually getting back to what passes for normal at our house.  The renovations to the sun and quilt rooms are all but finished.  We have to buy a couple of acoustic tiles to replace those that got wet during the winter leak and something to cover the floor in the sun room.  On Thursday, we will be going to Huntsville as I have to get a test on my thyroid (only got one side remaining) so will go to our favourite store while there.  We buy the majority of our building and other items at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore as the prices are good, the articles are being recycled and the money raised helps build houses for those in need.
I am, as I am sure you are as well, a firm believer in the 3R's.  We try to buy used whenever we can, donate unneeded items to the same organizations and trade rather than purchase when possible.
I have just reduced my dressmaking patterns from 9 boxes to 2.  Some of the leftovers are being donated to an organization holding a garage sale, others given to a friend and the remaining will be used to start our outdoor fireplace.  I am also getting donating a lot of dressmaking fabric.
I have decided that I am not going to be making all our clothing anymore.  We don't need a lot of wearable's and, when we do, I purchase most of it from charity shops.

The weather report predicts rain for today but so far it is just hot.  I have put off going for a walk just in case but I think I am going to hitch up the dog and go for a short one at least.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Owl Done

Another busy day and I woke up over an hour too early this morning.  The art centre did well for sales today and lots of people came in. We had customers from B.C., Alberta and various spots in Ontario.  Sitting there for 6 hours is not my favourite thing but we all take turns and it is only once a month.  I did get the binding finished on my commissioned quilt so just have to do the label and it is off.

Tomorrow we start on the quilt and sun room renovations!

Owl Done
Owl Done

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Chicken and Fabric.

I had a great day yesterday going to some quilt stores and just relaxing.  It was a first time visit for one of the shops and, although it was hard to find and involved construction and traffic jams, it was worth it.  When I arrived, I found that they were having a half price sale because they had just got in a large shipment of new fabric. 
The second store was an old favourite and I bought a few more things there.  I had a discount coupon which saved me almost half off my bill.  My final destination was Thimbles and Things in Orillia which is a lovely store with great staff.  I didn't need anything more by that point but did get a small wall hanging kit.
The owner of this store made me feel quite the celebrity as she mentioned how much she liked the pattern I had published in Quilter's Connection.  Sue (the owner) is very good at remembering her customers by sight even though they might be someone like me who lives out of the area.
I went to bed early and had a good night sleep and then went to Huntsville to do our grocery shopping today.
Later in the afternoon, we herded (or tried ) our chickens into their new coop.  Chickens don't herd well so we had to capture the majority of them individually and carry them.  I managed to take a couple once my hubby caught them but I am not very good at that sort of thing.  I prefer making tea for my hero after he does the work.  They are all now safely moved and should be settling in.  We will probably have a reduction in egg output while they recover from the harrowing experience.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Unwelcome traffic

I have noticed that we are getting more traffic than usual on our road.  We are used to the weekends and summer days being busier as our seasonal residents return to their cottages but these vehicles are bigger and noisier.  There seems to be some logging happening further along to the south and the trucks with their heavy load and trailers are thundering back and forth.  Of course, it is a new sound and the dog barks every time one goes by. 
I know that commerce is necessary but when quarries, lumber operations etc. take place in a formerly quiet area, it is annoying.  I can only hope they will soon be finished.

On a more peaceful note, I went outside this morning and took some photos of the flowers.  This dew dampened rose is about to bloom.  I have more luck with roses here than I have anywhere else I've lived so am adding one each year.

A field of daisy's.  they are everywhere this year.

One of my miniature roses.  Love the colour on this one.

Gnomes at home.  We have the little folk all over the gardens.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Still a Week Day

I hope everyone had a nice celebration yesterday.  As I mentioned, we got together with family and watched the children swim and then ride their dirt bikes.  They have a little dog about the same size as our Heidi and the two got along very well even though they are the same gender and only 'children'.  They didn't like seeing the other dog sitting on their person's lap but didn't make a fuss about it.  They just tried to share which can get a bit heavy and crowded for the human in question.
I have my last commissioned crib quilt in the frame (other than one to be done for late August) and it is going quite well. 
Tomorrow, I need to get my cutting table cleaned up.  I have let thing accumulate while getting these last two projects done.
I almost forgot today was a weekday and thus blog post day with a mid week holiday.
We lost one of our new baby chicks yesterday.  We think that perhaps it wasn't eating.  It is hard to tell when you have 20 little ones.  Next time, if we aren't sure, we will hand feed.