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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What Next?

It's time for the next round and as usual I can't make up my mind. Opinions? It's now about 44x35.

Grain Mill

Yesterday I bought this little grain mill to make flour for my home made bread. It's made in Germany by Komo and is warrantied for 6 years. It grinds with two little stone and does a very nice job. I made some bread yesterday which tasted great but didn't rise as well as I'd like. I'll do some experimenting this week to see if I can improve the results.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Good Times

We had a Pyjama Party at the home of my friend Brenda in North Dakota on Friday. This is the view from her back yard. Amazing. We started eating at about 3:30 and kept it up until we were too tired and full to continue. We also had big plans afoot for the next day. Saturday we drove to Fargo for their Indian Summer Quilt Show, which was very impressive. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera so pictures will have to wait until I get some passed on from one of the other gals.

A short while ago I won a draw at Judy's blog, Heartfelt Fabric Art
It was waiting for me in the mail when I got home. It looks even more beautiful in real life. Thanks Judy.

One of my purchases in Fargo was this neat pair of shoes. They are supposed to be very good for your feet. We'll see. I'm still trying to get them on in less than half an hour. It's like giving gloves instead of mittens to a two year old. (Maybe you have to come from the frozen north to get that reference.) They are for outdoor wear but so far I have been practising around the house trying to get used to them. I got some matching toe socks. Are they cool or nerdy???

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another Option

I found this mottled green fabric in my stash while looking for something else. I kind of like the look. Maybe it's time to re-organize the stash...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Something New

I took my favorite hand dye from last week and started putting borders around it. I am stalled on the fifth one. I cut enough light blue to go all the way around and then decided it was too pastel. The yellow seems too strong. Now I am dyeing a green and yellow piece that will hopefully pick up the colors of the leaves in the flower border. If that fails, I'll be searching for a green leafy fabric at the quilt show in Fargo on the weekend.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yesterdays Dyes

These are some of the pieces I dyed yesterday. The one on the far right is my favorite. It's made from all the leftover bits of dye at the end.
I think it's almost time for a quilt made of hand dyes...

Cocoanut Kisses

These have to be good!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Playing with Shiva Paintsticks

Armed with ideas from Cedar Canyon Textiles and some Shiva Paintsticks, I did some experiments. I doodled a shape and then carefully cut it out of freezer paper. I kept both the cut piece and the piece with the hole in it. The picture above shows the freezer paper ironed on for the second half of the design. Each stencil piece is about 4 inches square. Although it looks like one large piece of paper, it is two squares with the design flipped over on the second one.

This one was made with the cut out pieces ironed on.

This is the finished one from the squares shown in the first picture.

These are stencils that I got at a pottery supply store, colored over with paintsticks. The bottom one is (badly) painted with fabric paint. I need a much smaller brush for such a delicate design. They are about 2 inches by 6 inches.
I don't know what they will be used for but it's certainly fun playing with them.

This Morning's Hike

The road less travelled...

If a tree falls...

The holes are cliff swallow nests.

Oh what a beautiful morning!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Done With Bugs for Now

Today I feel that the bug quilt is finished except that I need to dye some fabric pink for the back. I want to envelope it so that my messy hand stitching won't show on the back.

I put bead eyes on the bugs.

And did a wavy line in the pink border.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trans Canada Trail Hike

We hiked for an hour on the Trans Canada Trial this afternoon. Fall is my favorite time of year. Perfect temperatures, beautiful colors and no bugs. It doesn't get much better than that.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs

The quilting is done, unless I decide I need to do something on the pink border. I have sewn a sequin and a bead on each flower center and two or three in the big ones. Now I have to decide if the bugs need bead eyes or if that will make them look too freaky.

Quilted Bugs

I am quilting around the flower petals and making more quilted flowers in the bug blocks using the stencil as a panto. I am also quilting loosely around the bugs. Later I'll bead the centers of the pink flowers and possibly the quilted ones as well. I'm spending a lot more time on the quilting than I usually do. Hopefully, I'm expanding my repertoire of quilting designs.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Walking and Eating

These are in the wrong order. We went for a walk this afternoon on the Trans Canada Trail and I took a little video of the creek that runs along beside it for a ways.
Then when we got back we made Chicken Pot Pie, tabbouleh and cucumber salad for supper. There are four more pies cooling, which will then head for the freezer.
When I look at the preview I don't see the video. We'll see if it ends up on my blog page.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I got some new cookbooks in the mail today. The Cordon Bleu one is the most interesting at first glance. It has 90 menus that follow the lessons given at the Cordon Bleu in Paris. The Mediterranean one is ingredient based but I haven't had time to really look at the recipes. The Vietnamese one is because our friend, Denise, keeps sending pictures of the great food she is tasting in Vietnam. The James Beard is huge and comprehensive. I imagine pretty well anything you want to know about cooking would be in there.
I ordered these books from Book Closeouts . All of these plus a couple of fiction books were $67 including postage. The Cordon Bleu book alone is marked at $75 on the dust jacket so it's a good deal. Some of the books are damaged (rip in the dust jacket or corner bent from being dropped) which explains the cost reduction. The big question though, is, Do I really need any more cookbooks?


Today I put a border around the bugs but I haven't sewn down the rick rack yet. I found out from bitter experience that the foot on my quilting machine doesn't like rick rack very much. It always wants to nudge under it instead of riding over the top of it. I'll sew it on once the quilting is done. I have it on the frame now but I am wondering if I have the patience to stitch around each and every petal. I can't think of any other way to quilt it that would look half as good. I did one on a sample scrap and it looked great but that is a LOT of tiny little petals. Then I'd do the large leaves and just put a spine up the middle of the teeny tiny leaves.
Any other quilting ideas?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

And Some Flowers

Did I go overboard with the stencils? I'm thinking it looks too busy. Luckily, I have lots more bugs left so if I ruin this one I can always make another. I may quilt around each flower either with light pink or a darker pink to match the centers. Then maybe a gold sequin in each flower center. If it's not overboard now, it soon will be.

Dye Results

Here are some of the results from my dye day yesterday.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

To My Dyeing Day

Today was sunny and relatively warm so I thought it was a perfect day to dye outside. The breeze was a bit strong and blew the leaves off my sun dyeing but otherwise it was perfect.
While I was looking for leaves to use in sun dyeing, I spotted this little fellow drowsing on a burdock leaf.
I'll post the results as soon as they are done.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


I made some more bug blocks and have sashed them. I now want to do some stamping or painting on the sashing. I may do some beading on the bugs too. The fun part has just begun!

Friday, September 03, 2010

What Bugs Me

The One Block Wonder is quilted and the binding is on awaiting hand sewing. I decided to wait until I go shopping and get some wide fabric for backing the Star quilt. I couldn't find much in my stash that could be pieced into a nice backing for it.
That mean I was ready to start something new.
Awhile ago I got a piece of acid green fabric with a lot of different bugs on it. I thought they'd make a nice (well, maybe interesting more than nice) center for some crazy blocks. I will sash them with a light color and maybe play around with paintsticks on it and some embellishing on the bugs. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Starry Eyed

That's how I feel about this quilt now that it has some borders. I didn't have enough HSTs to do all of the inner borders so I did what any good wonky quilter would do and just added some fabric to make the top and bottom strips long enough. It is 67x88 inches which makes it bigger than most of the quilts I make. I think it might be a good travel/hotel quilt. I took two smaller ones on our last trip but one large one would be easier to handle and more comfortable for sleeping. Now I have to find something for backing. I'll probably piece some scraps.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Back in the Saddle

I got some backing for my kaleidoscope quilt in BC so today I loaded it on the frame. I thought I'd show you a picture of the chair I use for quilting. It glides along perfectly and I feel like I am riding a motorcycle. Sorry the picture is so dark. I hope you can see the chair.

This one is sewn together and I am now debating borders.