Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Poinsettias

Finally, I finished hand stitching the binding on the borders of these pillows. Made by cutting a stamp from craft foam and stamping onto white fabric. Some background color and some free motion stitching.

I guess it's a good day fir it; we're getting snow. The schools are closed but we quilters still got together for some stitching.

They're 19" square, a nice size. I'll enjoy them for today and put them away for Christmas.

 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Quilt retreat

When a cancellation came up at our quilt retreat at the last minute, I decided to sign up for two nights. I went Friday after lunch; it started on Wednesday anded mid afternoon today.

To save myself some packing, I came home to sleep. I live about 5 minutes away by car. I'm glad I was able to go. It's such a nice bunch of ladies. This year was an anniversary and the two organizers went above and beyond to gather prizes and gifts, some sourced locally by generous vendors, some picked up on their travels and some even handmade by them and a husband!

I received some nice things-- picture another day when I've unpacked.

I thought you might like to see a few of the projects. First is my pinwheel baby quilt which I finished and passed to the machine quilter.

She says it will be done this week, so I'll have a second one to hand over. I didn't quite finish this one.

I found inspiration for this on Pinterest. It consists of part of a charm pack, 2 1/2" strips and 1 1/2" sashing and border strips. Easy and fast. The strips look crooked because they're not quite all put together yet.

This is me at my station --front right.

It has been on my mind for some time now that I've aged since I did the photo on my blog banner and boy, I can see it here! It's on my 'to do' list to update my banner.

This is a baby quilt done by my friend. Love those fabrics!

These blocks were done by guild members as a block of the month. We draw a name and that person wins any that are brought in to the meeting.

Isn't it pretty?

Here is another area where my usual partner (right) was working.

I loved this bright kaleidoscope stack n whack.

The sashing fabric has dragonflies on it.

The quilt on the left is a flannel rag quilt; on the right,the 'shadow box' or block of the month for March.

I only recognized this as x's and 0's later. I used it in a baby quilt once. Very nice pattern.

Soft colours in this one made by another friend. My non fiber artist group would know the name of this collection but I do not. I don't usually pay attention to collections, buying fabrics as I like and combining where they work.

The next one was a work in progress along with another quilt. She says she likes to switch back and forth to avoid boredom. Her quilts sure aren't boring!

Another pretty quilt-- maybe a monthly block, not sure. The lady doing this is in her 80's! Can you imagine what fun it is to get together with quilters of all the different ages and backgrounds?


Tomorrow, I'll unpack and putt around at home in the morning. I have a sock knitting group at the Spinning Wheel yarn shop after lunch.

 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Finishing more projects

Today, I've stayed home and devoted my time to domestic activities like these yummy banana chocolate chip muffins. I added chocolate chips and chopped walnuts.

http://www.catcancook.com/awesome-banana-muffin-recipe/


After making the muffins and a batch of spaghetti sauce, I headed to the studio for some sewing. I'm on a mission to finish a few little projects.
This 'snap bag' was done last fall using one of my Gelli prints. It was all done but adjusting the length of the piece of aluminum measuring tape that runs through the top edge.




One has to force the tape open and if you let go it snaps shut.
I stitched up another pear pin cushion. Stuffing will happen tomorrow.


All in all, a satisfying morning. Oh yes, I also stitched the hem on a pair of my husbands cords.I was busy!

Just before lunch, I took the time to do some of my knee exercises and a few yoga stretches. After lunch, I sat with the ice packs while I had my tea and knitted a few rows on my latest project.


All of these little things I will add to my box of 'gifty' items to be  pulled when the need arises. I like to have hand made things saved ahead of time. I'm not at all a last minute sort. It makes me feel good to know they are there.

Finally, after all those little things were finished up, I got back to working on the Tree. I think I will call ot Frosty Morning. I worked on adding some Hollowshimmer thread to the shrubs and branches here and there and then added the first bobbin work snowflake before I had to stop for a break.


I'm linking to The Needle and Thread Network.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Little gifts

It's another beautiful sunny winter day here.

Just looking out my southerly windows cheer me up. This is my kitchen window.

And the view from my kitchen window. A small yard but still nice. The bird feeders and bath are fun. Yesterday there was a flock of goldfinches.


 

I've been busy as a little elf this morning putting the finishing touches on another pear pin cushion.

Adding the zig zag edge to a donation piece I'm calling Leaves In Ice,

And stitching up a quick little microwave hot bag that will be filled with rice.

 

I have yet to figure out how to add a link on this blog platform but the pattern came from a site called thirtyhandmadedays.com. It's called Handmade a Owl Heatpack.

Shortly, I'm heading out for a much needed haircut and then I'm going to a guild sewing day where we do donation quilts for Victoria Quilts, an organization that sends quilts to cancer patients upon requests.

 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Winter sun

I am very grateful for the winter we've had so far. We have about a foot and a half ground cover of snow and on the trails it is well packed, enabling me to be able to walk on them  with boots and no snowshoes.
As the sun came out and the temperatures warmed to about -3C after lunch today, the trail and my friends the chickadees were calling to me.

While my loaf of honey whole wheat bread was rising, I went for a stroll.

It turned out beautifully although I did leave it a little too long to raise while I was out.

I walked the same part of the trail I usually frequent taking pictures of many of the same things only from a different angle and different sunlight.

Shadows are attracting me.


Do you notice how their lines lead you into the trail? I had to stop right here and take a moment to feel the sun on my face and to breathe deeply.

And of course I took a few moments to share some seed with my fuzzy little friends.


Today, the textures on the birch trees caught my eye.


The lacy dried seed heads of the dogwood are so pretty against the reds and greys.

 I love the little raised dots on these branches.


There is an infinite number of things to see and wonder at if one takes the time to really look. I'll not even begin to use half of it in my work but it is all there for reference and may come out one day in a piece, such as the tree I'm working on now where I added the alder bushes in the forefront after my walk.

 All that remains are a few details, maybe a snowflake or two and to quilt the borders.

I added Hollowshimmer thread to many of the branches today but try as I might, I could not pick up the sparkle in the photo.


With the same Hollowshimmer thread, I added some stitching and a small piece of Angelina fiber to the Leaves Under Ice piece. It measures about 6 by 8 inches and is meant to be a donation. I'm not sure if it works or not.


It is time now for me to put my feet up for a bit before I start supper--sole done in a squash cottage cheese sauce.





Monday, January 25, 2016

Pinwheel baby quilt, a sketch

The weekend was beautiful and sunny and continued into today, even warming up to about -3C. Yesterday, I actually put on my skates for the first time in a few years! The ice on the lagoon at the beach is about a foot thick and pretty smooth. Thanks to little snow so far this year, it makes for good skating.

I was pretty shaky and unbalanced at first but did manage to puty around for a while as hubby went back and forth.

It's smelt fishing time on the ice again and I love getting out to photograph the shanties. They're not quite as colourful this year, hoping there'll be more.

I've been a bit taken with my shadow lately. Maybe it's something to do with how 'removed ' from life I've been feeling. It seems to affirm my existence and confirm to me that I'm improving little by little and getting out there.

I enjoy sketching the shanties and will probably do another fiber piece featuring them.

I had a few errands to do today and so just had time to get most of the blocks done for the baby quilt. I have two blocks left on the bottom corners; they're thrown up in random order. It will come down so I can trim the blocks before arranging them and putting it together.

Next, I have to do another one. Since I need it sooner and it's all cut, I will start it later this week. Tomorrow I'm off to another doctor's appointment in Moncton. I'm also going to the pain clinic. Looking forward to that.

 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Free motion quilting in my sunny window

It is the perfect kind of winter day-- cool, but sunny with no wind. I went out this morning to do a couple of errands and to make a little walk downtown to the yarn shop and to an antique shop with a friend. A bit of fresh air, some chat, and a wee bit of exercise. Of course we each came back with some sock yarn to add to the stash.

At lunch I got a pot of Morocan lentil soup going. Lots of yummy spices went into it: cinnamon, cumin, allspice, coriander and paprika.

The afternoon was left to head into the sunny studio where I started machine quilting the tree to some classical piano that I brought up on the I Pad.

It was so relaxing that I kept going. The bright view through the window and the music kept my hands moving.

I quilted all the background and started adding some of the spindly alders in the front

Next time I hope to add some sparkly frosty highlights and a few snowflakes.

My latest knitting endeavour is another owl hat in a variegated Noro yarn, this time for me. The buttons will help to define the owls. The only thing I need to do is take it back to where I started the decrease as I think I need a few more rows to add to the length.

I did this baby sweater a while ago. It's going to get mailed off Wednesday as a gift to a nephew's first born. I need to replenish the stock and get going on baby quilts too.


I hope you're enjoying your weekend.