Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Morning Solitude

After a 12 hour drive yesterday, it was nice to sleep in a bit. Up at 7 and after a quick coffee I told my sister in law I was going to take a bit of a walk before breakfast. I didn't bring my camera but I did have my phone so I took a few shots to share with you. There is always something to catch your eye on Ontario country roads

I love love love the huge weeping willows scattered all along the roadsides

Horses munching on clover and grasses.

Not a great shot but it was interesting to watch a pair of osprey try to distract from their 2 littles ones in the nest. They chattered and swooped and soared overhead but only because they didn't realize that I was no threat to them.

Cattails and Queen Anne's Lace.

Even milkweed looks so pretty with the morning dew.

An abundance of grapes growing wild all along the tree line.

Nothing quite like a walk down a country lane on a quiet Sunday morning.

Friday, July 27, 2012

I Killed 3 Birds With One Stone! La Maison Chocolat

Our son and his wife are building a new home and it seems they have run into so many roadblocks this summer. Hopefully things will pick up speed a little. On the other hand, my housing project is complete.

Oops! Did I forget to mention I was building a house this summer as well? Actually it was 5 houses...does that officially make me a licensed housing contractor now?
Let me explain...


I had several challenges to attend to this summer and I have been working steadily away at them.

I decided to kill THREE birds with one stone. (four actually)

1. July was "quilter's choice" in our Another Year of Schnibbles;

2. Our last guild meeting in June, we were given a challenge. There was a large selection of packages and wrappers all face down. If we chose to participate in the challenge, we picked a random package/wrapper. It was then explained that our challenge was to make a quilted project of our choice using only the colours on the package. This project was to be finished for the September meeting.

3. You may remember I finished my Cinnamon and Nutmeg quilt for the bed at the cottage, but I really wanted to use up the last of the fabric collection, so I made matching pillowcases and still had a fair bit of "scraps" left, so my goal was to use the rest of it .

4. I wanted to make a couple of toss cushions for the bed as well.

This was the package I had chosen for my challenge. Bakers Chocolate!
My fate was sealed...the fabric scraps I wanted to use was from the collection Chocolat.

Carrie Nelson had already made a cushion using the Full House Schnibbles pattern and had posted directions on her blog,

I went to work and this is what resulted...

I followed Carrie's instructions for the front and then just constructed my pillow sham according to what fabric I had left.
By constructing these houses, I made my July Schnibbles, made my guild challenge, made a pillow for the bed AND I pretty well exhausted the last of my Chocolate scraps, thereby "killing 4 birds with 1 stone".
Voila!
La Maison Chocolat!


***PLEASE NOTE:
No birds were harmed in the making of this post.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Have You Met My Grannie?

She is just the sweetest...her name was Annie Coffin. She was my Great Gramma actually, but we called her Gramma.

I've have mentioned a couple times that I am casually doing grannie squares with my scraps. I was quite happy with that idea...a block here and there. Enter: Lori Holt from www.beeinmybonnetco.blogspot.com
She took our granny squares one step further and made GREAT granny squares by adding one more row. When I first saw her post, I thought, "naw...I am already making granny squares...not for me."
Oh yeah...that didn't last long. Yesterday I decided to make a small project and I needed a few blocks, so naturally the first blocks I thought of were the great grannies. I only need one more block and it is cut out and waiting for me by my machine and the I will start to assemble my project.

I have four blocks together now, with the intention of sandwiching and quilting it and then somehow making it into a sewing machine cover. I used the collection Ruby by Bonnie and Camille. It seemed like the perfect fabric choice for my gal Ruby.

Like I needed another project! Oh yeah!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Apology to be made.

I meant to say with this mornings post that the pic I used of the bear was an image of what I saw, but by the time I had my camera out she was gone and I was left sitting on the side of the road staring after her. Her image was burned in my mind so when I saw this one on google images to show Mr. O. what she was like, it was like my own picture. (the one I would have taken if she had stood still a little longer)
Sorry I mislead you with the photo...I did see the bear, she was exactly like the photo, even the background was similar, but I did not take that specific picture.

Now, back to our regular scheduled programming....

Just the bear facts

Mr. O had an unexpected oral surgery performed this week and was in need of some very "soft" nourishment, so I made a quick run to the local Co-op grocery store at around 5 p.m. As would be expected, I saw the usual "rush hour traffic" . It took a few seconds to register what else I was seeing along our country hi-way...

I'm convinced she was looking for her young because she stood and looked all around and then tore across the road despite the traffic. I have been saying that I am a bit nervous walking alone, early in the morning, because of the possibility of encountering a bear even though we are in a small community, and this does nothing to ease my mind. Mr O tells me that I need to carry bear spray, but I would need to be rather close for it to do any good and that doesn't make feel very comfortable either. Going to have to find a different way to get a bit of exercise...

How about this?

Yup! Mr. O finally convinced to me to get a kayak; never thought I'd see the day. He was buying one to replace his stolen kayak from last summer and convinced me that I would really love it. I have taken his old one out for a little toddle around in the water out in front of the cottage, but sure never considered myself a kayaker...number one reason being that I swim like a rock. I am working on the assumption that I will spend my time paddling, NOT swimming, but have purchased a very good life jacket just in case. Stay tuned for further updates...

The little community we "summer" at has a Strawberry Tea and Social every July as one of the fundraisers for their little library/museum. They also do a monthly breakfast at the Farmers Market, and in December a Victorian Christmas supper. I love the little manse turned schoolhouse turned library, so it is always fun for me to volunteer to help out. Last summer I made a summer tote to sell tickets on at the door to help boost profits. I was asked to work at the door again this summer, so I thought I would whip up another bag...that's what I did yesterday.

I was limited to what I had here with me in my summer sewing studio, and this is what I came up with...

STEP ONE

STEP TWO

THE FINISHED PRODUCT.

It was an easy project and the pattern which is from an old issue of BHG American Patchwork is a good one. I did make several changes, but I have made enough bags by now that I knew It needed pockets, and batting to make it more serviceable. I added a floating strip along the pieced section (the pattern called for covered cording) and a floating border was much quicker and gave the same effect. I also made the strap a little narrower than the original, because I thought it was too wide. Over all, a pretty good pattern, however the next time I make it, I will add a little in the length, may just 2 or 3 inches which when folded will only add half that to the depth of the bag. Except for the straps, all you need are scraps and fat quarters, and I have been known to make scrappy handles too.

I had to set aside my rag quilt to work on my tote bag, and it is't likely I will get much time to work on it his weekend, so hopefully I can finish it up by the end of next week and get on to the next UFO.

*** I have decided to add borders to my rag quilt. It was 70 x 80 so a 6 inch border all around will make it more of a bed sized quilt. It actually started out as a throw, but I must have accidentally splashed some of that fertilizer on it the other day while watering because it seems to have taken a growth spurt!

@@@
Note to Carol H. who commented in the last post.
I was not able to reply personally to your questions because your settings are no reply, but yes I like the fertilizer. It is my first time using that particular one although I do buy the little bottle of their brand with the eye dropper, for my houseplants.
As far as posting a photo of the finished rag quilt with "borders" ...you certainly caught me off guard with that question, because at that point I was only considering the borders and had not fully decided yet.... I think you might have been referring to the binding I spoke about.
I will post photos of the finished product...hopefully next week.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Things are growing...

We have certainly had some wonderful sunshiney days, some blisteringly hot days and some huge downpours of rain. I don't know how the temps are in your part of the world are, but our nights are quite chilly. Last night the thermometer dropped to 6 deg. Celsius. That is a bit chilly...but things are growing nicely just the same.

A little sun, a little rain, a little food, and a little time...that's all it takes. Some grow faster than others, some don't grow as well as I expect, or look how I envisioned them but they are growing...even the weeds! (you can see the evidence in my hostas)
My hanging baskets are starting to fill in and look quite pretty.

YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE IS GROWING?

I'm growing a quilt!
A bit late to the party for a rag quilt, and it has been laying dormant for about 6 years but it has finally taken root and shooting up like crazy. In fact, I hope to have it pieced by the end of today and then maybe make a binding for it for a more finished look, and VOILA! Another credit towards my PhD.

When I dug it out on Sunday evening I only had about 50 or so blocks done...but I have cut and sewn enough that I have added about 120 more blocks since then and I will soon have another UFO off my list. Imagine! Sitting around for over 6 years and pretty well rebuilt in less than 6 days. I know it, but I have to keep reminding myself...

QUILTS TAKE A REALLY LONG TIME TO FINISH, IF YOU DON'T WORK ON THEM.

TOO MANY IRONS IN THE FIRE

In the last couple of posts I have mentioned several projects we have going on. Somehow this week has disappeared with none of them being co...