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Friday, September 29, 2006

A Long Hike

We took a long hike this afternoon down into the Pembina Valley near here. There is a beautiful trail on a razorback, which is like an inverted v. The land slopes down sharply on both sides and the views are magnificent. It goes down into the vallery and at the bottom is a little creek with a small beaver dam.

I am standing at the entry to the razorback trail.

Here is a view of the valley.

And here is the little beaver dam. Too bad I can't add the sound of the water trickling over the dam. It was so peaceful.

Some Progress

I have made some progress on my little nine patches. I seem to be spending a lot of time debating about colors and placement. The placement is still in the playing around phase, the most fun of all. I am not sure if it will be 4x5 blocks or larger. I guess it depends on how tired of making these nine patches I am.

BTW, has anyone else had problems seeing the photos on other peoples' blogs? I seem to have to reload again and again to see them on many blogs. The next day they come up at once but I hate waiting a whole day to see the pictures. Maybe it's a problem with my computer, but I sure hope not!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Back to Business

I am temporarily over my chicken fetish and back to the nine patches. I have sewn some together and have more placed on the design wall to see what I need to make. I love trying different color combinations and I want to try to get a graduation from blue to pink and red or dark to light. I have to decide about the sashing but I am thinking of making it all the same so there is some cohesion. The other option is to make the sashing part of the gradation. I'll try both when I have more blocks made.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Flock

If one chicken is good then a flock must be better. Here we have the rooster and his wife all dolled up in her best feathers. With them are the twins. One of them is looking a bit freaked out for some reason.
These chickens are adictive for some reason. I just can't stop making them. My quilt has gone by the wayside for now.

Monday, September 25, 2006

New Pincushion

Thanks to Darcie at Longarm Quilter and Hand Dyer (I hope the link works) I now have a fantastic chicken pincushion! Sorry the picture is not that great but you get the idea. So far it has no pinfeathers but it will live on my hand quilting frame so it will probably have needle feathers instead. I wish I'd had some of them during our studio tour. They probably would have flown off the shelves. No pun intended (maybe).

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Giant Squash

Here is a giant squash given to me a couple of weeks ago. I am not sure what the name of it is but it is huge. I made some pumpkin soup and a pumpkin pie from it and there is a lot left to put in the freezer.
We had company for dinner and they loved the soup. I just realized as I was writing this blog that I forgot all about the pie. We had applesauce with ice cream for dessert and all the while there was a nice pie in the refrigerator. Oh well, more for us tomorrow I guess.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Autumn Beauty

Here are a few pictures of our walking trail. The first one features Simba, my furry (or should I say Burry?) walking companion. It doesn't show well in the picture but the trail goes uphill here.

Meanwhile, back in the studio, I have been working on small nine patch squares to make into a quilt that was on the cover of Quilt IT! by Quilters' Newsletter Magazine. It featured all nine patch quilts. Mine is quite a lot more scrappy. The one on the cover had all the light patches in beige or white. I don't have that much pastel in my stash so I am using what I have. The long sashing strips may have to be similar to each other, though, to give it some coherence.

And, finally, here is a silk painting I did several years ago. It has glass in front of it so it was hard to get a good photo. I also have several flower ones which I will show in a later post.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hand Quilting

Here is what I have done so far on the Double Irish Chain. It's going faster than I thought it might but it is always that way at first. You want to see how it will look but by the time you are on the hundredth Baptist Fan or second mile of straight stitching you are pretty much over it. At least that's how it works for me.
A few people mentioned my quilting frame. I got it second hand at a craft sale (selling leftover craft supplies, not finished crafts) which is held every year near where I live. There are usually lots of quilting books and fabrics so I like to go. The frame looks like it is home made and it is very sturdy. It has neat little wheels with cogs on each end to tighten the quilt. I love being able to have my quilt all set up ready to work on at any time, even for a few minutes while waiting for supper to cook or the bread to rise. It's either that or Blogging. Hmm...maybe it woud go faster if I spent less time blogging and more time quilting. Not likely to happen!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wonky Log Cabin Again

Here is the Wonky Log Cabin with the borders attached. I made mitred corners to make the point that it is wonky by choice and not because I am incapable of doing precision sewing. I hope I haven't stretched it all out of shape by hanging it for the photo. I have the backing ready but haven't decided how to quilt it yet. I have to decide whether I will mark it or just do a meander. I haven't tried anything freeform on such a large quilt before so I am leaning toward marking it. Any ideas? I will probably do some sort of chain on the yellow border.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

On the Table

Here is the Double Irish Chain on the quilt frame in the sunroom. It really matches the walls perfectly. Maybe it will find a new home there. Of course it will be there for the better part of a year getting quilted. I want to get green thread for doing the green border in fans. The rest will be done in off-white. That is all the quilt stuff I have done today and we are off to town now so that will probably be it for the day. I am so stiff from all the kneeling to baste yesterday that I wouldn't get much done anyway. Showing my age I guess!

Monday, September 18, 2006

At Last! A Day of Quilting

It seems like ages since I have had a full day of quilting with no interruptions. Not that some of the interruptions were not enjoyable, like a trip to California or a family dinner, but it's hard to make any real progress in bits and bobs of time. Today I got my Double Irish Chain three quarters basted. I will finish it after my coffee break but right now my fingers need a rest.
I also sewed my Wonky Log Cabin together and am ready to cut and sew on the borders. Once the Irish Chain is off the floor the Log Cabin will be right behind it. That one will be pinned though, so it will be faster. It will have a very simple quilting pattern too, maybe a meander or wavy lines criss crossing it. I think it will have to be a bit wonky to match the piecing.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Turkey Dinner

I cooked a big turkey dinner for the family yesterday and fully intended to take a photo of the table before we started to eat. What with half a dozen hungry teenagers and assorted adults milling around the table (we did it buffet style and ate out on the deck) I forgot. Instead I will show you some photos of why we like to live here in spite of the long winters. It rained in the morning so all the leaves were glistening and bright. The first photo is of a giant ant hill on a trail in the woods at the west end of our property. The second one is of the view from the front deck. The small red trees are wild plums which are covered with white flowers in the spring. We went for a walk after eating and the weather was just perfect for me - light jacket weather.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Another Busy Week

We have had another busy week and the photo shows one of the reasons! He found a new use for the china cabinet. So much fun having a little one around the house again. It has become strangely quiet since they left. As a result of visiting all the relatives in the area with my nephew and his family from Alberta, there has been no time left for sewing. This weekend is also shaping up to be busy and then maybe a break and some quilty time.
There is a quilt show in Fargo, ND at the end of the month that I would love to attend. We will see how things are looking then. Meanwhile, a bit of cleaning, a bit of shopping, a bit of cooking and my day will be taken up.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Another Tour Finished

We had at least 200 people visit our studio on Sunday. It was like a madhouse. There were some old friends who dropped by but we really didn't have time to visit with them. I had a lot of quilters of different levels of experience and it was interesting to chat with them. There are several people who said they were going home to start a Wonky Log Cabin. I think that one got the most attention. People can't believe that something so unplanned can actually turn out.

I was too busy to take photos of the visitors on Sunday so I am including one of a wonderful writing desk we saw on our holiday . It was in an antique shop in Morrow Bay, California. I just love it but even if I could have afforded it, the car was already packed to the roof so absolutely no room for something like that.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Studio Pictures

As requested, here are a few studio pictures. The wall hangings, unfortunately, are not mine. The two on the same wall are by Alison Williams of Australia and the other one is by Travis Hamm of Winnipeg. Take a good look because the studio will not look like that for long after today. We had about 30 people drop by yesterday and last year Sunday was our big day so we are anticipating a lot of people soon.
And Lily, yes, Sky and Free are twins. They are 14 and Summer is 13. They moved into their house yesterday so it's a bit too quiet and empty here today.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Back to School

Here are Sky, Free and Summer all ready to go back to their old school after being away in San Diego for half a year. Because they have a 45 minute drive from here to their school, they were up with the sun.

Meanwhile I made some salsa from tomatoes that SIL, Nedra, gave me. I managed to process them in the canner for an hour in the 27 degree heat we are having today. It certainly heated up the kitchen but we will eat out on the deck later so no problem. It will be freezing cold here soon enough.

I am not doing any quilting because the studio is more or less organized for the studio tour and I don't want to mess it up. That's the downside of a clean, organized studio.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Creative Kids

Summer and Ariana had a creative morning in the studio while I was making tomato sauce in the kitchen. Ariana's jeans were too short so they cut them off and made bags from the cut of parts. I thought it was very creative re-cycling.
The arrangement for the Wonky Log Cabin came from Deb at Cold Feet Quilter who commented that if I would turn the corner blocks I would get a star pattern. Great idea and I love that arrangement. Thanks Deb!

Sunday, September 03, 2006


I have been a very slack blogger lately but I have my excuses ready. What with five extra people living here (their new home is available next weekend, but really we will be sorry to see them go), recovering from our trip, and trying to get ready for the studio tour next weekend, my days have been rather full.

This is a photo of the layout I have decided on for the Wonky Log Cabin quilt. I hope to get it sewn together before the tour but it doesn't look likely. Our days are pretty well booked up for all of next week unless I can slide in a bit of sewing early in the morning. Meanwile I have started cleaning and organizing the studio.
We have Summer's quilt, which she finished piecing while we were away, ready to pin. She has still not decided on how to quilt it but she did make two very cute pillows to go with it. I suggested something easy because once school starts on Wed. she won't have much time to work on it.
Hopefully, after the next couple of weeks, things will slow down and I will finish the Double Wedding Ring and Log Cabin and get the Double Irish Chain on the quilting frame. Then I will feel free to start something new. Not sure what it will be yet but maybe something else scrappy.