Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ghosts, Goblins and Flowers from Outer Space

I have edited this post. Thanks for your help in identifying the designer of this pattern. The edited parts are in red.
Today is day 31 of Blogtoberfest. I made it!

Not only that, but I am joining the Bloggers Quilt Festival that Amy is hosting. I have a finished quilt to show you! Yes! Finished!!!

This is the one I have been working on for the past week. I finally got it quilted and last night I put the binding on. I started this quilt many years ago. Unfortunately I can't remember where the pattern came from. If you recognize it, please let me know so I can give credit, where credit is due.

Edit: The pattern is called, 'Flowers', by Linda Brannock. It was published by the Star Quilt Company when Brannock was the owner. She has since retired and this pattern is no longer published. Having learned that I am even happier now that I finished this quilt. Thanks to all who left me a comment on this.

When I was working on this quilt, my son used to tell me that these flowers reminded him of aliens from outer space. I am calling it Alien Flowers just for him. It's a fitting name since today is Hallowe'en.

And here is some pretty Hallowe'en colour.

I worked in the garden yesterday and picked these flowers. They are the last ones for this year. My obligations for Octoberfest have come to an end. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Murphy's Law, I Guess

Today is day 30 of Blogtoberfest. Only one more day to go.

Did you know that Amy from Amy's Creative Side is having a blogger's quilt show this week? Well she is! And I wanted to show my primitive flowers quilt, but unfortunately it is still not done. Oh, I've been working on it, but things just aren't going right for me. I broke my thread many times, changed threads, put a new needle in, re-threaded my machine - but still it kept giving me problems. Then Mimi got into the mess. Walking all over my quilt. Trying to get my attention by scratching my fabric bin. I have put her down for her nap now, but she is not asleep yet.

Just pretending to sleep.

And then, as a final assault on myself, I ran over my thumb with my machine when I was just about finished all of the quilting. Ouch! That hurt. I am putting the quilt down for awhile. I hope to get the binding on later and sew it down tonight. For now I think I will go and do some shopping. Still haven't bought any Halloween treats yet. I think I will buy something especially for me. I really need something to make my thumb feel better - something chocolate!

Friday, October 29, 2010


Today is day 29 of Blogtoberfest.

I finished the rest of the blocks which I showed you yesterday. Once I got them going they were not too difficult. I frogged the two blocks I did wrong yesterday and fixed them, so I only had to make three more. If you want to see more of our Row Robin, just click on the robin on my sidebar.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm Seeing Stars!

Day 28 of Blogtoberfest and I got nuttin'. Well not much anyway.

I joined a Row Robin a few months back. My row is supposed to be done and shipped to the next person by the end of this month. I am not going to make it. Procrastination! I should have started it earlier, but never really had the desire until this morning.

This row is supposed to be a row of stars - in bright colours. I had this star block done last year with the Friday Block Party. It's called 'Hope of Hartford'. I really like it. And no one had done one of these yet. It seemed like the perfect block. The only problem was, it's a 10in. block and the block for this row should be 9 inches

So I got out my graph paper and designed a 9in. block. Sounds easy, doesn't it? But I guess I measured wrong because the first block I made came out 1/4in. too small. That's the yellow one on the left.
Back to the drawing board!

I made another block, but it was the same. I don't know how I got it wrong twice, but I did. Not even going to show you a photo of that one. I went back to the drawing board and tried again. And I finally got it right! It's the pink one on the right.

So now I have to make 5 more blocks.
Note to self - measure twice, cut once.
I hate unsewing!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Flowers on Wednesday

Today is day 27 of Blogtoberfest.

I have been busy with my hexagon quilt this past week. I love these little hexies. They are so much fun to do anytime I have a spare moment. I have now come to a rather large area that needs to fit perfectly or the hexagon shape will be distorted. So I am auditioning hexies at the moment. This is what it looks like so far. I am not sure about those two yellow hexagons. They look like eyes to me. Maybe I will make them in a different colour (darker) so they won't come to the foreground so much.

I have also sewn all of the flowers that I have prepped so far for the flower quilt. I have several more flowers cut out. I just have to baste them. And I need to make more green hexies. I am hoping that will happen this week.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Things

Today is day 26 of Blogtoberfest

I tried to get back onto Blogger last night, but my internet provider was giving me problems. I could not log on and I could not leave any comments. So I went to bed. I've been busy the past few days.

I want to thank Vicki of Felines and Fibre Arts for finding a link to the Japanese Manhole covers and leaving it in a comment on yesterday's post. I am not going to leave a link on this post because I can't seem to get it right and it just won't work. It must be me. They are actually very easy to find. I am going to show you a couple of photos from of the book. I'm sure this isn't allowed but if I say it is from the book called, 'Quilting with Manhole Covers' by Shirley MacGregor maybe I can get away with it. The photo on the left is the quilt and the one on the right is the manhole cover that inspired it.

Here is another one. Quilt on the left, manhole cover on the right. The quilts are about 16in. to 40in. in diameter. I want to start making one of these, but I have way too many UFOs to even give it any consideration. Maybe when the cold winter months make doing anything outside impossible. Something to look forward to.
I went to my quilt group this morning. The person who made that real-looking doll a couple of weeks ago brought in a monkey to show me. She makes these too. She buys the parts and paints them. Then makes a body and inserts the hair a strand at a time with a felting needle. Wow - patience! Isn't this guy (girl) cute?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Guild Night

Today is day 25 of Blogtoberfest.
The manhole covers book is fascinating. The manhole covers we have in Toronto are kind of ugly and boring. They have not been given much thought when it comes to creativity. But the ones in Japan are beautiful. They depict history or something interesting about the region, like boats, fish, flowers etc. The book shows some of them along with round quilts that quilters have appliqued in beautiful fabrics. I still have a lot to read and I don't know if I am going to be clever enough to turn one of those gray pictures into a colourful quilt. But we'll see. You can google 'manhole covers in Japan' and that will give you some idea of how intricate they are. I would find that link for you, but I am in a hurry at the moment. I have to be at our guild meeting in an hour. And I am still cooking dinner and getting ready. If I have time when I get home tonight I will try to be a little more helpful.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Creative Festival

Day 24 of Blogtoberfest

My husband and I went down to the Creative Festival today. Had a great time and met lots of fellow quilters. I bought a few metres of fabric to replenish my stash. The reds on the left were from Len's Mills. Gosh I love that place. It was a bit difficult to maneuver around in their section, but I did find a few nice reds. The fabrics on the right were 2.99 per metre. Not bad for backings or baby quilts. And the fat quarters in the centre were 4 for $10, more reds and a couple of light coloured batiks.

I also got a few extra things that caught my interest. A new cutting mat and a ruler with 30, 60 and 90 degree markings, some seed beads, and a ball of Rozetti Cocoon Multi. I saw something like this on Cybele's Patch. I think my daughter will like this once I have it made up into a scarf. The book looked interesting - Quilting Manhole Covers. I didn't buy it when I first spotted it. It's a book full of quilt patterns based on the manhole covers in Japan. As we were leaving I decided that I just couldn't leave it behind, so I sent my husband back to get it for me.
We took the GO train to Union Station. It is almost completely wheelchair accessible now. It was a fast and economical way to get downtown. Now that I am home I can feel my exhaustion. I need some sustenance and then a nap. And I also want to take a closer look at that book. Talk to you all tomorrow.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday = Errand Day

Day 23 of Blogtoberfest!

I have lots of errands to run today - shopping and banking etc. Then there is the laundry which I didn't get around to yesterday. I doubt that I will get much quilting done, although I did quilt one more block on my primitive flowers quilt this morning.
So I will leave you with a few fall photos. Today the weather is not so nice, but a couple of days ago we were at the peak of fall colour here. These first two shots are of the trees along side of the main road. There is a ravine below. I love riding past these beauties. They are mostly maples.
The next two photos were taken in the park. We have had an exceptionally colourful fall. I guess it has to do with this year's hot summer. And also the amount of rain; it was never too dry. There was colour in every direction. I could have taken hundreds of shots!
This last photo was of the Sumac at the end of the path, up by the main road. They were absolutely spectacular! I don't think I have ever seen them as red as this!

Friday, October 22, 2010

UFO - Primitive Flower Applique

Today is day 22 of Blogtoberfest. And I am still blogging daily. Unbelievable!

I had to choose another UFO to finish and I picked #11, one of my first hand-appliqued quilts. I took a BOM class with Lucy Anne at the Quilter's Garden when it was still in business. It was very early in my quilting career - perhaps 8 or 10 years ago. I can tell by the lack of fabrics in the quilt. I didn't have a large stash yet at that time. Sorry, I can't remember what it is called or who designed it. I finished the top, and started quilting it when I first began to suffer from my neuro symptoms. It is quite large and I couldn't work on it then, so I put it away. Now I hope to finish it. But don't hold your breath! It's still a difficult task. I am going to quilt individual blocks - like maybe one per day until it is finished. I'll show it to you when I am done.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday's Flowers

Today is day 21 of Blogtoberfest.

I know I am a day late, but here are my flowers for this week. Five of them! Yes! I am still making them. Haven't run out of red fabric yet. On Sunday I plan to go down to the Creative Festival. I hope to find a few more reds and a lot of other stuff. Must make a list!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another Finish!

Today is day 20 of Blogtoberfest.

Oh, boy! I'm on a roll! I finished the second charity quilt for Quilts from the Heart. This one was fun to do. I was given a kit containing 30 ten-inch blocks, some backing fabric and binding fabric. But when I went to put the 10-inch blocks together I discovered that there were only 28 of them and three were a very inferior polyester. So I took those out and added some fabric of my own. Then I decided to do this log cabin type, square within a square. because I didn't think the blocks looked child-like enough. Now each block has a fussy cut kids fabric in the centre. I like it a whole lot more now.

And Felix seems to approve of my changes. All is well.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Finish!

Day 19 of Blogtoberfest.

Bee Night was a blast! Lots of chatter and sewing. Exactly the things that I love best, And,,,,,

I finished the table mat! I love it! Don't you? I may make a few more to give away as hostess gifts around the Christmas season. There is no batting in this mat. And no binding. I just sewed the top to the backing, right sides together, and turned it through the hole that was in the centre. (I hadn't put the circle in the centre yet.) Then I pressed it and did a bit of quilting 1/4 inch from the edges of the blades. After I had attached the centre with a blanket stitch, I did a bit of free-motion quilting on it.

Here we are at the Quilting Bee, happily working away. It was a terrific evening!
I wasn't the only one who made a mat. Here are the other quilters from our guild who turned out last night. Like I said, it was a blast!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bee Night!

Today is day 18 of Blogtoberfest.

Tonight is Bee Night at our Guild. We are going to make Dresden Plate Table Mats. Our homework was to cut out the pieces before the class. We will get further instructions on how to put it together tonight. Felix is helping me today. He is a huge, clumsy cat, but he is very respectful of my fabrics and would never hurt them. Not like Mimi who sometimes gets a bit wild when she sees quilt pieces on the floor.

I used three different fabrics. The fourth fabric that you can see in the bottom right corner is going to be for the centre. But I don't want to cut it out until I see how big my inner circle is after I sew the blades together. Hopefully I will have a finished table mat, or at least an almost finished table mat, to show you tomorrow.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Crocheted Hexagons

Day 17 of Octoberfest.
I thought I would show you something other than my quilting projects today. Nynke from the Dutch Purple Rabbit, showed some of her crochet and asked what others are working on at the moment. So here is what I've been up to. Crocheted hexagons! The quilted kind just aren't enough for me! I have been doing these while sitting outside in my garden over the past couple of months. I find the quilt patches blow away too quickly, but the yarn stays put and I can work on it without any problems. I have lots of left over yarns and I am joining them as I go with a huge 454gm ball of Red Heart off white yarn.

Mimi loves these things! Don't you girl?

"Meow! I love the ones with tails on them. I love anything with a tail on it! Meow!"

I am trying to sew the ends in as I go. It makes for more work right now, but I will be happy when I finish it and not have to sew in thousands of ends. And Mimi will maybe leave them alone. I am also trying to make every hexie different. That is the hardest part.

While out in the park the other day I found some poison ivy growing right beside the path. This is not a very artistic shot, but it shows the beautiful colours this noxious weed has in the fall.
I am always reminded of the 'leaves of three' rule. Stay away from this one. It can cause a very itchy rash with blisters and red spots to the affected area. If you do come into contact with it, rinse it right away with COLD water. Don't use hot because the oil from the poison ivy will get deeper into the skin. It can be bad enough to see a doctor. There are some topical creams that can be applied to help the itching, but the best idea is to just stay away from it altogether. Remember............
Leaves of Three,
Let it be!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beautiful Fall Weather

Today is day 16 of Blogtoberfest.

Not much sewing has gone on yesterday or today. It is just too beautiful outside! The sky is blue. The air is crisp. The trees are at their autumn finest. I am going to the quilt shop this afternoon. I need want to buy some fabric. I don't know exactly what I want, but I will know it when I see it.
I have been prepping some little hexies. These are all ready for sewing tonight while I watch W5. I need a few more, but that will have to wait until after I get back home.

Hope the weather is as good as ours where you are. Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Company's Coming

Day 15 of Blogtoberfest. I am almost half way through.

I baked cookies this morning. Chocolate chip! A friend is coming over for coffee today.
My charity quilt is ready for quilting. Oscar helped me sandwich it. I couldn't have done it without him. Good kitty!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The UFO List Continues.......

Day 14 of Blogtoberfest!

I was going to pull another number out of my UFO bag, but then decided to just finish another 'Quilts from the Heart' quilt instead. I made the top for this one last June and now I am going to sandwich and quilt it so that I can take it to the guild meeting at the end of October. This is a bright one!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hexies on Wednesday

Today is day 13 of Blogtoberfest.
I have been hooked on hexies all week. Although I only made one or two flowers, I have been working on this piece whenever I had a spare moment. Now that it is getting dark around 7:00pm, there is not much I can do outside, so I just sit and watch television and sew these little hexagons together. Right now I am working on the triangles that you can see at the top of the photo. I have to make 5 more of them. The cats were nowhere in sight while I photographed this. (although that is Felix's fur you see bulging out from under the ottoman on the left) I am not taking it as an insult. I think they are just too tired to care about anything but napping.
Aren't you Mimi?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Anybody Know Where Can I Get a CAA Membership for my Scooter?

What day is this? Oh, yeah. It's day 12 of Blogtoberfest.

Sorry if I seem a bit spacey. I just got home after having to walk beside my scooter for several kilometers. This morning I went to the Tuesday morning quilt group as usual. The weather was beautiful. Although several people offered to pick me up, I decided to ride my scooter over there. At noon when the group was over and everyone went their separate ways. I unwisely decided to try to get some photos of the colour in our ravine. I had seen it from the top of the bridge and I wanted to get closer to the trees.

I went down the path that leads down to the creek. It was sort of mesmerizing - the colours, the sunshine, the birds chirping from the tree tops, the squirrels gathering acorns, the sound of the water as it went over little falls and rocks and boulders. When I got to the end of the path I decided to turn back. But after a couple of minutes my scooter decided it didn't want to go any farther. This was where I was......

On a little bridge that spans the creek. Such a beautiful spot. Why did my scooter decide to quit on me there? I got it turned around and went back to the end of the path, I then drove along the sidewalk of a very busy road. It was uphill and my scooter did not want to go up hill. A very nice man stopped and offered to give me a push. At least that kept the scooter from stalling every 30 seconds. When I got to level ground, I thanked the guy profusely and continued on, travelling at about half a kilometer per hour. When it stalled I would get off and walk beside it for awhile. I had to keep it running or I would not have been able to push it. The darn thing kept wanting to run me over. I continued another two kilometers that way until I got home. I managed to get the scooter inside the house and when I turned off the key it looked as if it was totally charged. I will have to phone the company because it should not be stalling like this. There is a little light that flashes 6 times when it stalls. I know that I read something about that in the manual. I think it can only be fixed by the scooter company.

So now I'm home. I am exhausted and I haven't had lunch yet. I just want a nap. But I also want to show you a doll that one of the quilting members brought in today. She makes them herself. She buys the parts and then paints them and inserts the hair a couple of strands at a time. She buys real baby clothes for them. I asked her to hold her baby so that I could take a photo. Isn't this thing real looking. It was sort of creepy. To me it looked too much like a real baby!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

Today was Thanksgiving Day here in Canada. Some people emailed me and asked about our Thanksgiving Day customs. We celebrate it on the second Monday of October. Stores and businesses are closed on this day. It is a time to get together with family and friends and give thanks.

Here are some facts that you probably didn't know. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in Canada in 1578. That's about 43 years earlier than the first Thanksgiving in the USA. An early explorer by the name of Martin Frobisher tried to find a route to the Orient by going north to the Arctic Ocean. He never did find it and returned to what is now Newfoundland. Frobisher Bay is named after him. Because he was so relieved that he and his crew had survived their journey, he decided to celebrate. Hence the first Thanksgiving. The indigenous peoples in our area had already been giving thanks to the gods for the food they were able to hunt, fish and grow. So they joined in with Frobisher in a huge celebration in 1578.

The food that they ate at the first Thanksgiving was different from what we eat today. They had pumpkins, sweet potatoes and anything that they could hunt and fish. Corn was probably not eaten on the cob, but ground into cornmeal to make bread. Regular potatoes had not reached the New World yet. They were still being experimented on by botanists in Europe. The potato is a member of the nightshade family and was probably viewed with caution. The odd wild turkey may have been eaten, but it was not officially a Thanksgiving food. Today turkeys are the most common meat at a Thanksgiving dinner. We also eat ham and as I told you yesterday, a roast is okay too. Anything goes, really. For dessert the early settlers probably did not eat pies, but they did eat cooked pumpkin.

The customs and traditions of the early Thanksgiving celebrations in the States got combined with Canadian celebrations when the United Empire Loyalists came to Canada. Now our Thanksgiving is not very different from the way Thanksgiving is celebrated in the States. Their celebration takes place on the third Thursday in November. There is one thing though, that I have never eaten here and that is sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. I hear that is a traditional food for Americans. I threatened to make it this year, but I didn't know where to start. So if anyone can help me, let me know.

We took a leisurely drive just north of Toronto this afternoon. The photos on this post are from that drive. The sky was blue and the trees were beautiful shades of reds, yellows and oranges. This little tree was growing at the side of the road. It's an oak. I was amazed at the bright orange colours on this one. Usually oaks turn yellow and brown. But all the oaks I saw today were this wonderful colour. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

If you ate today, thank a farmer!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Day 10 of Blogtoberfest.

We decided to celebrate Thanksgiving a day early. My DD volunteered to have the feast at her house. My aunt and cousin came too. While we waited for the meal to cook, we had some delicious appetizers to munch on. Edam cheese and Brie, pumpernickel and rusk breads, fresh fruit (grapes and strawberries) and dried mango, cherries and cashews. There was even some delicious plum jelly for the Brie, homemade by DD with the plums from my sister's tree.

Dinner was non-traditional. No turkey for us this year, but DD had placed some traditional Thanksgiving fruit and vegetables in the centre of the table. It looked beautiful. I always love the colours of Indian corn!

We started our meal with a spinach salad, tossed with chunks of fresh pears and candied pecans and served with homemade dressing. For our main course DD had made a delicious beef tenderloin with a mustard and black pepper crust. She served this with a red wine sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans and spinach stuffed pasta shells in tomato sauce for the vegetarians in our family. The tomato sauce was homemade with the tomatoes from my garden. There was apple pie and ice cream for dessert, served with coffee of course. We drank wine and ate until we could eat and drink no more. Sorry I didn't take any more photos. I guess I got sort of lazy after eating all that food. I'll be back tomorrow. Right now I am going to bed.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

The Disappearing Nine Patch is Finished!

It's day 9 of Blogtoberfest. I want to show you the charity quilt. It's done! I just finished sewing the binding down. Hubby was kind enough to hold it up for me. It feels good to have something done - something I can scratch off my list.

I think I will do some hexies tonight as I watch W5 on television. Then tomorrow I will pick another UFO and work on that. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you will leave me a comment. I love comments!

Friday, October 08, 2010

I was able to complete the block for this week's Block Party. It is a 12-inch block called, 'Wagon Tracks'. It looks like 'Jacobs Ladder'. This block comes with many names.

It's a beautiful day here in the neighbourhood. I think I will take a ride on my scooter and go to the store to buy few things I still need for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A Charity Quilt in Progress

Day 7 of Blogtoberfest.

I had a hard time getting up this morning. Even after my second cup of coffee I still didn't feel like doing much of anything. The sun was shining and it is supposed to go to 21C this afternoon, but I still felt kind of crabby. I made a couple of hexies, but even they did not hold my interest.

So I made a list of things that have to be finished...... soon, like a bear applique wall hanging, the Yokohama friendship quilt, three charity quilts for Quilts from the Heart, the applique I started last week, a scrappy quilt and a few others. Then I cut the list up, put the items into a basket and pulled out..........

The First Charity Quilt for Quilts from the Heart.
This one is a disappearing nine patch that I started last June. It was supposed to be done by the end of September, but that didn't happen. So I am going to finish it now, for the meeting at the end of October. The top is all done and I just have to sandwich it and quilt it.

That shouldn't take me too long. I hope!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

One or Five Flower Wednesday

Today is day 6 of Blogtoberfest.
I managed to do five flowers for my little red quilt thanks to the quiting get-together I went to yesterday. I have already sewn a couple of these onto the quilt and it looks spectacular!
I couldn't get a good photo of the quilt today because we are having another dark, gloomy day. But I did manage to take a photo of these yesterday, using a flash.
It doesn't show the true colours. but you get the idea.
I also worked on this wannabe quilt. I really like it. But I now realize that it is going to be a huge project. I made the green/purple units this week, I ran out of the purple fabric. So I decided to sew them together alternately with a different green/purple unit in between. Can you see where this is going? Do you think it will work?
My DD dropped in unexpectedly at noon today. She had an appointment with a skin specialist this morning, to see if the freckles on her back are anything to worry about. They are not! Hurray!

We ate lunch together, (grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup) and now she is taking a nap on my couch. She has to be back at school by 3:30pm because they have a staff meeting scheduled at that time. Too bad that she has to go back. She took the whole day off and her BFF is teaching her class today. The staff meeting is important because she is the one who is responsible for the computer program and info for the report cards. The school board has changed the format again this year. Only about the fourth time in the past ten years. Don't they have anything better to do?