Thursday, October 23, 2014

Another fern mug rug

I've felt the urge to be working a bit cleaning up my gardens the last few days. I clipped all my hostas and other perennials that were laying soggy on the ground in the backyard on Tuesday and the side of the house this morning. I put out a bird feeder in the apple tree which I will move to the deck  when the snow falls.

This afternoon, I didn't quite feel like getting into a big project. Inspired by the fern mug rug that I made on the weekend at retreat, I pulled out the remnant of sun printed fabric and cut out another one. It's almost instant gratification as they sow up rather quickly. Just enough free motion quilting to relax a bit.

It needs only the straight lines quilted on the right hand strips and the binding which I've already cut and sewn.

I'll finish it off another day.

This is a pottery tea pot that I just purchased for myself after thinking about it for a year or so. The one at the shop sold and when I told the potter how much I liked it, he made another. I drink a cup or two a day and it will definitely add to the enjoyment.


It's time to sit with a cup now before I get started on dinner.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A day in the woods

As a birthday present, my friend Anne promised me a day at the camp. Today was the day. The air was perfectly clear and crispy in the morning, warming up after lunch.

She was anxious to try out the new side by side buggy which we did on the trails bfore lunch.

After all the wind yesterday, many of the leaves have fallen; the colors are softening.It is beautiful in a gentler way than the bright leaves were.

Apparently, this used to be a pond before the beavers built their dam and blocked it. You can see the remnants of the dam on the left.

Ever the comic, Anne couldn't resist dressing up this fungus a bit with a roll of birch bark. It's indentations were placed to resemble eyes. It almost seems to be smirking.

After lunch while she had a little cat nap, I did a small sketch of the tree tops. The camp is situated on the top of a ravine and as I sketched I noticed that the tree tops were swaying gently. 

It almost felt like I was sitting in a tree house.

While taking some pictures from a neighbours camp, I spied this interesting pattern on the porch.

I think it's one of the nicest gifts I've received. I did get another beautiful gift, two matching zippered pouches which I never showed, so I must next time.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cleaning, organizing, baking and thinking about a new work

When I got home from retreat yesterday, I unpacked almost everything and threw all my wash into the laundry basket so that I'd be ready to do the things I wanted to do today. I woke up to a beautiful, although windy and cool day just perfect for doing laundry to hang out. It is a little blustery but it's holding.
I also made made a 2 loaf batch of multi-grain bread that I just took out of the oven. I wish I could say how lovely the smell is, but I don't have any smell. I'll sample a piece in a bit.
Then, I finished ironing my winter curtains and swapped them for the summer shears. No more gentle breezes wafting through the lacy shears; it's time for window coverings, sweaters, and warm drinks.

 After lunch, I headed to my sewing studio where I put away my projects and set my sewing machine back into the cabinet. Finally, I was free to play a bit with an idea that has been floating around in my head --trees and rosehips that I mentioned and sketched a couple of posts ago. Here are a couple of my inspiration photos.

Using the pinking rotary cutter, I've cut some leaves which I will attach using a thread lace technique that I demonstrated in a post listed under the tutorials tab at the top of my blog.

The birches are done by painting on a mottled batik that is wrapped around a tin can. This is the shibori tree painting method I wrote about in my first article in Quilting Arts magazine. i have used it often.
I think I like where this is going so now I must add a few appliqued trees and get the confetti leaves stitched together.
It's a good place to stop for today. I'm going to have a cup of tea and sample a slice of the bread.
Tomorrow, I've been invited to a friends camp for the day. I'll be bringing my camera, my walking poles, some warm clothes and my sketchbook. I'm looking forward to it!
Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Home from retreat

I've unpacked all my retreat clothes, food, and most of my sewing. Gord and I had an easy supper of eggs and Swiss chard and then did our Bowflex workout. I  had a soak and then did some yoga. What a lovely ending to a beautiful retreat weekend.

Quilters are such a warm, friendly, giving group! We range in age from 40 something to 80 something and we all get along on the same level. Isn't that great?

I can't keep up with some of them!

One of my favourite quilts was this one by Yvonne for her granddaughter. All from scraps.

The Dalhousie girls, Laurie and Kristine were creating twister quilts with an appliqués monkey. Boy and girl version.

I also really like this black, grey and white quilt.

I believe she'd added another row by the time we left.

I'm still working on this quilt. I have two blocks left and then wil start adding all the white sashing strips that go between the blocks.

The I Pad color is not the best on this one. I finished a baby x's and O's quilt top too.

The pinks are coming through a bit more red than they actually are. It's softer and pinker in real life.

For a little break, I cut up a piece of sun printed fabric and put together a quick mug rug. Some of the women commented that they wouldn't want to use it as a mug rug. One particular lady said that she would hang it on her wall and drink her coffee while looking at it. I finished it up and gave it to her. It touched me that she got tears eyed.

I used a variagated silk thread to free motion around the fern.

One of the quilters, Kristine , who is very creative, was  showing this quilt that she devised by expanding a runner pattern and joining them together. She has another strip to add.

Pretty interesting quilt.

Well, I'm getting sleepy. I'm going to knit a bit before 'm off to bed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Thanksgiving weekend on PEI

Here I am back home again after a lovely weekend visiting with family on Prince Edward Island. I stayed with my daughter who is doing her B Ed at UPEI, but most of my family live there too, so I was able to spend time with them.

My sister has opened a cafe in a sweet little picturesque village called Mount Stewart and this is where we held our Thanksgiving dinner.

It used to be an old service station but is now quite cozy inside.

Just down the road is the Hillsborough River which the Trans Canada Trail crosses.

On my way out to the cafe I passed a couple of pumpkin farms and couldn't resist stopping for some photos. I've never actually seen so many pumpkins growing in the fields.

All over the front yard of the farm were these lovely little vignettes where people would go and have their pictures taken.

By the time I drove home mid afternoon, there were swarms of people. Also, something that we take for granted here is the method of payment.  I bought some decorative gourds, a pale green pumpkin and 2 squash, leaving the appropriate amount of cash in a locked box. I'm told that is quite unique to the Maritimes but I'm sure there are other rural placesthatcwould do it.

Today, I'm recovering from my trip. I've gotten myself unpacked and started washing clothes and organizing for my quilting retreat which starts on Friday morning for the weekend.

Ever since getting out onto  the trails last week, I've been thinking about a piece of fall fiber art featuring the rosehips. My head is always filled with ideas, some never making it to paper or fiber. At the end of my afternoon, I just had to pick up my pencils, paint and oil pastels to do a very sloppy sketch of what I have in mind.

I won't be working on this at retreat. It's too complicated to pack all the little bits I might need for a fiber art piece, but I'll be musing about it while I sew my quilts.

Friday, October 10, 2014

A little autumn walk and a colored pencil/watercolor

I was able to take a short amble with my poles today along a short section of the trail. It was a lovely day and I wanted to get out before my trip in the morning. I'm optimistic that  the cortisone shot that I gto into the hip joint under xray at the hospital yesterday is going to help.
I found this little maple tree near the end of the trail. It was so beautiful that I went back with the car (I couldn't walk any further) and the camera.
The leaves were glowing in the dappled sunlight.
Then I came home and made myself a chai tea, laced with honey and cinnamon accompanied by my favorite rice crackers with cheese spread and tomato. These are the last form my garden and oh so tasty.

As usual, I didn't come home with empty pockets.

Just enough time to sketch before supper.
To my Canadian, readers, Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Watercolour, coloured pencil, gestural sketch

I won't be doing any sewing here at home for the next couple of weeks. I'm leaving Friday, back next Tuesday, and then I must pack for retreat.
Tonight, I'm going to our guild pizza night where we have supper and then have a sewing night making quilts for charity.
I've been sorting and getting ready for packing, but took some time to do a sketch loosely based on my little hike yesterday. At first glance the colors In the photo seemed quite grey/brown/green. On closer observation one can find some really pretty soft mauves, pinks, and oranges.

When I see the sketch up on the screen, I always see some things I would change. This would be fun done in fiber.
I've got to get to work now cutting a bit of fabric for tonight. I'm connecting to The Needle and Thread Network.