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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Progress


I have made quite a bit of progress on the wonky quilt this weekend. I decided on Sweet Dreams for the words. I was going to add Baby but didn't really have room. I have sewn the houses on the top and sides but need to do some adding to make the bottom fit. That's what I like about Wonky quilting. It's like doing a jig saw puzzle but you get to make your own pieces and if they don't fit you just add to them or whack pieces off until they do. I'm sure I'll have to make more stars but I'll wait until I'm ready to add them. I'm now auditioning fabric for the borders. The white I have up there right now looks a bit gray from a distance. I may try the cow print that I got last week or else the wavy black and white that I bought in Plumas.
I can see that wonky is where my greatest pleasure lies in quilting. I love every minute of this kind of piecing. I'm sure there are a few more in my near future.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wonky Stars


I have started putting a round of stars around the houses. I have decided to have the houses all stand the same way because this will be a wall hanging rather than a quilt. I haven't decided what to put in the middle. If it is words I am leaning toward "Sweet Dreams" or "Sweet Dreams Baby". I could also put a sunset or a moon or something else altogether. If I don't put the words in the middle I will put them in the outer border. I think I prefer the middle because I don't want some of the words to be upside down or vertical if the houses are not placed that way too.
I went into my spare parts drawer and found the piano key strips so I am auditioning them.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Wonky Houses


Here are some wonky houses made from the cute fabric I bought at the sale. I am trying to decide on the best layout for them. On consulting Collaborative Quilting I see that they often place the houses in a square with something in the middle. Letters and words? Or I could do it the same way as the last wonky house quilt that I made and place them in rows. I will be making a few more houses whichever way I decide to place them. I do want to do some words for this quilt so if anyone has a short quote I'd love to hear it. The little characters are all ready for bed so it should be something about sleeping or going to bed. I thought of the nursery rhyme about Wee Willie Winkie but I think that one is a bit too long. I like doing letters but there is a limit.




Sorry the second picture is a bit blurry but you get the idea. I think I'll probably use this setting since it will end up as a wall hanging rather than a bed quilt. Or I could use the first setting with the houses all standing up the same way and the words in the middle.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

New Fabrics


I knew I'd have to go back to the quilt sale. I went to get black fabric to border my M-A-M quilt but there was only polyester broadcloth (thin and shiny) in black but I couldn't come away empty handed could I? The gold and the pink with moon shape are for backings or borders of something else. I got the bright pink piece for the little figures. I want to make some more wonky houses and I have been watching for fabrics with little people or animals to put in the doorways. These are perfect and small enough that the houses will end up not too big. I find that when making Wonky Houses, the size of the door dictates the size of the rest of the house. I guess the landscape quilt is not meant to be at this time. I will probably make some wonky letters for this quilt but will have to see what sort of quote it needs once a few houses are done. The figures all seem to be ready to sleep so maybe something about night time or sleeping.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reindeer Moss


I know, I know, two posts on the same day but they are on totally different subjects. I'll get to 400 faster this way too! This is the woods near Nelson House, not far from Thompson, carpeted in Reindeer Moss. Apparently, when the soil is very poor there is no other undergrowth that can survive. It was a magical spot. We hated to step on it but it was unavoidable. There was also a brighter green moss that looked like tiny stars.



This next picture is of Labrador Tea. It turns a wonderful orange color in the fall and the leaves can be made into tea, as the name suggests. The pink plant beside it is Fireweed.



This picture is a close up of Fireweed. I'm not sure if the name comes from it's resemblance to fire or because it is one of the first things to grow after a forest fire. Either way, it is a beautiful plant. They are all inspiring for a landscape quilt.



Finally, here is a picture of a Lynx that was crossing the road just ahead of us. There were two of them but the first one disappeared into the woods before anyone could get their camera ready. They were quite large, probably the size of a large dog but shaped like a cat. I was not at all tempted to get out of the car and follow them into the bush!

Mile-a-Minute


I have been wanting to try mile-a-minute blocks for awhile now. I know I said I was going to do a landscape quilt, which is probably why I am starting another scrap quilt. When it is pieced I will have three tops to quilt. I try not to get a pile of tops to quilt because I will get overwhelmed by them and never start them. Unless I end up with a longarm somehow. The last three are all so busy that they will need fairly simple quilting and will be good to practise on because the quilting won't be too obvious.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

New Floor

One of the reasons we went to Thompson was to get out of the house while new linoleum was being put into the kitchen-living room area of our house. When we got home it looked like this.



I am quite happy with it. It is a lot darker than what we have had for the last twenty years but it certainly doesn't show dust the way the old one did. Also, we have so many windows that our house has lots and lots of light so a bit darker is not a problem.


I bought some fabric at a quilt store in Plumas and more in Thompson. Then when I got home I found a huge fabric sale going on and this is the result of all three shopping sessions. I may go back to the sale because quilting fabric is on at $3.95/meter and that's hard to beat. I was not crazy about most of the colors and designs but there are a couple more I might like. They also had unbleached cotton very cheap but I'm not sure if it's a fine enough weave that I want to buy it for dyeing. I may get a few yards to try it out and buy more if it works well.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thompson

Here is my first attempt at uploading a video. This is Odei Falls near Thompson. It is an incredibly beautiful spot right on the highway to Gillam. We spent two days getting here, stopping at The Pas the first night. We did find one quilt store on the way at Plumas, Manitoba. I had heard about it and always wanted to stop there. It is called Kick Ass Country Store and it lives up to it's name. I forgot to take photos but did get a couple of pieces of fabric.

We went out sightseeing with our hosts yesterday and took lots and lots of photos. The scenery is fantastic right now with all the colored leaves against the evergreens. It is quite a lot colder than at home and there is a heavy frost on the grass this morning. Today will be another photo day and then we will leave for home tomorrow morning.

video

Monday, September 17, 2007

Thompson

We will be leaving for Thompson, Manitoba later this morning. It is about 12 hours north of us (we are a couple of miles from the US border). Friends emailed us to say that the leaves are in full color up there already. They are a week or so ahead of us because ours are just starting to turn. Since we have to get out of the house for a couple of days this week while new linoleum is being laid in two rooms, it seemed a perfect time to head up North. We'll be back on Friday or Saturday. I'm taking the laptop but I'm not sure I'll be able to get online.
We are dropping Simba off at his real home on the way out. It will seem strange not to have Simba greet us when we come into the yard by racing around the perimeter making sure there are no monsters out there.
As for the giant bag, thanks for all the suggestions for a use for it. I have decided it is the perfect size to carry our pillows that we like to take along when we travel. We're off to test it out in a couple of hours.
Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Can You Say Giant?


Today I thought I'd make a slightly larger, rainbow colored bag without batting to use as a grocery bag. Good idea but I should have used 3.5 inch squares rather than 4 inch. Or maybe even 3.25 inch squares. The colors look fine but it is HUGE. If I fill that with anything but bread (which I don't buy because I make my own) it will be too heavy to lift. I am not a very tall person so big bags don't really suit me. If I were a 6 footer it might be a different story. Maybe I can make Simba into a lap dog and carry him around in it. Oh yes, I forgot, he weighs 90 pounds now. Maybe not.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another New Bag

I am at a bit of a standstill with my duvet cover because I think the part I have done with the stars is too small. It is only about 56 inches square and it needs to be about 85 inches square to fit the duvet. I think that borders that wide would dwarf the center piece too much. I may just call this one a lap quilt and start something else for the duvet cover. This time I will do a bit of planning and maybe buy some new fabric for it. Right now I am looking through my books and magazines to see what I want to do. I don't want a lot of small pieces and angled seams because it is going to be washed very often and the fewer seams the better.

Meanwhile, a person has to sew something so I made another bag. This time I used a set of gradated colors that I dyed awhile back. I like the look of it quite a lot.
Simba is feeling much, much better now. He will be going to live with his real owners very soon. We will miss him when he is gone!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Duvet Cover


Simba thanks everyone for their good wishes. He thinks they have speeded up his recovery. He's still limping but looks a lot happier so it's only a matter of time. We had him weighed at the vet's and he now weighs 90 pounds of pure muscle.

I have started working on a duvet cover and have most of the middle done. I thought I'd put it together to see how it would look and then add more rows if I needed to. Big mistake. Because of the way the stars are made the little triangles have to be sewn on before the sashing is put in. I spent a couple of hours ripping out and adding triangles but that is all done now. My current problem is that I need some borders to make it big enough and I have no more of the blue with moon and stars and no more of the brown used in the sashing. I may look tomorrow on the off chance that there is still some of the blue at Fabricland. I think that's where I bought it but it was a long time ago so I don't have much hope. I could do a piano key border with all the colors of the stars or multiple borders using the star colors. Or I could add a new color altogether. Once I get the rest of the rows attached I'll do some fabric auditioning.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Poor Simba


Simba was running across a field the other day when we were out walking and he hurt himself. We are not sure what happened but it could have been from the stubble left on the field. Anyhow, he got a cut in his left armpit. (Do dogs have armpits?) He lounged around all the next day but today it seemed that his leg was swollen so we thought we better take him to the vet. He got his leg x-rayed and they found nothing broken so he is now on antibiotics. I guess the cut is in a place that is hard to get at to lick. He has had some other minor cuts and when he licks it there is no infection. It could also be that the thing that cut him caused the infection. Anyway, he is lying by the back door soliciting sympathy today. And getting it, I might add. We are expecting company this afternoon and a couple of them are among his favorite people. The grandchildren who own him are also going to try to come and give him some extra affection. They are in the process of moving though, so it may not work out. As soon as they get moved in, by the end of the month, Simba will be going back to live with them again. It will be strange around here to be dogless again.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Chickens

I have been playing a bit more with the new camera. We are still thinking we will take it back and get a different one, probably a Cannon but higher end. If we want a cheap travelling camera I will look for one of those that is about the size of a credit card. I hate carrying cameras. Lol.

Here are some chickens that possibly were some of the inspiration for the chicken quilt.


This one is for hard boiled eggs and the chickens are salt and pepper shakers.



This one is a mustard container I think. The chickens bob their heads as if eating. I guess with my new camera I could do a little video of that. Hmm... maybe later. These chickens are also salt and pepper shakers.


This one has been broken and rather badly repaired at some time. I love it though because it was my favorite when I was little. The top of the hen lifts off and inside you can put a hard boiled egg. When we had been sick and were feeling well enough to eat, my mother used to let us have a hard boiled egg served in this chicken. It used to make me feel better at once. That's why I love it even though it is mended. Maybe it's in much the same shape as I am!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

New Camera


We bought a new digital camera today. We are trying it out and if not happy with it we can return it within thirty days. It is not very expensive but we want it for travelling and don't want to be too paranoid about losing a very expensive one. It's a Cannon A460. I tried to take photos of the beautiful candles that were a gift from my daughter-in-law's mother in Japan. They are much too beautiful to ever light but apparently they send up spiral smoke when they burn. Anyway, the blurry picture is being blamed on not knowing much about the new camera. It's not very fast at taking pictures but it does have a video feature which I like, although it won't be very useful for taking pictures of quilts.