Wednesday, June 30, 2010

An Addiction

Only got 3 flowers done this week. But that was because I got sort of side tracked. I was searching for a UFO that I started several years ago. I didn't find it, but I did find an 'I Spy' quilt that I started many years ago. It was a hexagon and triangle pattern. I had lots of hexagons cut out. They were supposed to be sewn together by hand. Since I have been doing grandma's flowers using the English paper piecing method, I decided I would never finish the I Spy quilt by hand. So I turned it into hexagons without the triangles. Here's what I have done so far.

I was also doing a bit of mindless sewing. Wanda from Exuberant Color gave me the idea. She makes little squares with her left over fabric. I decided to follow her lead. These little squares measure 2 1/2inches and will finish at 2inches. They're kind of addictive. I should really be quilting a couple of charity quilts I promised to make at our last guild meeting.

Just can't stop making these. But I really should work on my other projects. Yes, that's it. I am going to put these little squares away for awhile and work on my UFOs..... or, maybe not.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Our City Under Siege

I don't often use this blog to complain about the world around me. I know others do and I applaud them for their ability to speak their minds and not worry about what the rest of the world has to say. But the G8 and G20 Summits, which were just held in our province, have kind of stirred up my thoughts and given me the desire to share my feelings.

While the G20 members were calmly smiling, waving and posing for the cameras, our city was anything but calm. Thousands of protesters descended on downtown streets when the G20 Summit was held here this past weekend. Although noisy at times, they were mainly peaceful and nonviolent - lots of colour, lots of signs, lots of chanting, lots of music and dancing in the streets. When I saw them on television I was reminded of the 60s when demonstrations were held by flower-bedecked 'hippies' to make love not war. I wanted to go downtown and join them. If only I was 18 again. Here is a 2010 flower child, wanting to share her daisies with a cop in full riot gear.
I never doubted that our police force, as well as thousands of police officers from other cities, would be able to handle the demonstrators. But on Saturday, I was astounded to see violence and mayhem on our city streets. A group, calling themselves, the 'Black Bloc' splintered off from the main protesters. They wore black clothing and had their faces covered by balaclavas or bandannas in order to hide their identities. They started smashing store windows with anything they could find like bricks and boards. On other buildings they spray painted obscene graffiti. They eventually set fire to or destroyed four police cars. I watched the scenes play out in horror on my television - from the safety of my living room. What I really found interesting was that everyone at the scene seemed to have a camera or cell phone and was taking photos. I hoped that everyone of those violent protesters would eventually be identified and arrested.Our police have come under harsh criticism for their actions this past weekend. Some people believe that they didn't do enough to stop the thugs who tried to take over our city. Others claim that their actions were not democratic and should have been more fair. Many of the 'Black Bloc' were arrested and charged. In fact, it was reported that over 900 people had been detained and/or questioned over the weekend. I am proud of our police, even though they had to resort to firing teargas and rubber bullets into the unruly crowd for the first time in Toronto's history.

This whole thing has got me thinking. Our government spent over a billion dollars for security this past weekend. Wouldn't it have been better to spend that money on poverty, maternal health, the economy or whatever else they discussed at their Summit? The leaders could have participated in a teleconferencing Summit, each safe in his/her own country. But I understand the limited photo ops in that plan. I guess we can't have it all. Peace without policing. Government spending without a Summit. Photo ops without cameras.

Now it is time to clean up the mess left in the downtown area. I hope our city can go back to just being Toronto the Boring Good. That's the way I like it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cats in my Flower Garden

I've been AWOL for awhile. It has been a hot and humid week. The heat never used to bother me. I would just dive into our pool and cool off. But the pool is gone. We had to fill it in. So sad. (more of that on a later post) Now all I can do to cool off is stay indoors where it is air conditioned. And that's what I did. So you might think that I got a lot of quilting and sewing done - actually no. Nothing is completed for this month. I did get some flowers made. Five of them to be exact, but I was still working on them last night. Here they are.
"Oh, Mimi, get off my flowers so I can show them to my blogging friends."
"No way! Purrrr. I love these things. Just get that camera out of my face, Meow!!"
"Get off and I will go outside and get you some catnip. Ahhhh. That's better!"

Oh, no, not another one! Now Oscar wants in on the action! He always wants to do what Mimi does. Guess I'd better go out and get that catnip I promised them.

I also got a few spooltjes (klosjes) made. I have close to 200 now. I am trying to figure out how many I will need. Mine are 3inch blocks. If I make the quilt 48in. by 60in. I will need 320 blocks. Yikes! That's a lot! Guess I'd better get back to work.

And here is a gratuitous shot of Felix. He was polite enough to stay off the flowers, but I thought his photo should be in this post too. He is just so handsome.... and huge! My DS calls him 'The Big F".

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Grandma's Flowers in My Flower Garden

I managed to get a few flowers made this week. It rained all day yesterday, so I couldn't take a good photo. But today the weather is gorgeous! So here are my flower blocks for this week.
First, 3 of them in yellow and green with my Verbena and Calibrachoa or Million Bells. I used to think that Calibrachoa were miniature petunias, but they are not. Although closely related to petunias, Calibrachoa has a very different DNA structure. They are wonderful in a hanging basket, and with the peachy Verbena they make for a colourful show in the garden.

I also made 3 in pinks and turquoise. Here they are in amongst my Phlox and Shasta daisies. The phlox is already beginning to bloom and the daisies look like they will open soon too.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Volunteer Tea

The school where my daughter teaches is having a tea this afternoon, to honour all the volunteers who have helped out during the past school year. I am invited. I didn't do as much this year as I have in other years, but they invited me anyway. My daughter thought she would like to experience what it is like to bake a cake for such an occasion. Don't worry, she is not intending to quit her job and make cake decorating her career. She just enjoys baking cakes and decorating them. This one was a simple layer cake with butter cream icing. It measures 13in. by 18in. A couple of people expressed an interest in seeing the finished cake, so here it is.
Here she is putting on the finishing touches.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Good Mail Day!

It's been a hot and sticky day today. I wasn't planning on doing too much in the kitchen. But then the postal service came and delivered a package. It came all the way from Australia and I knew right away that it was my apron from the apron swap that Sarah from Red Gingham organized. Hilary from quilary - take a peek over the fence sent it to me.

Here is my daughter modelling it. I am a lot bigger, so it fits me perfectly. I just love the little kangaroo and all the other Australian animals. So cool! So even though I now have this cute apron, I still didn't do any cooking. We ordered Swiss Chalet chicken instead. I'm not sure if I will wear it tomorrow either. I think I'll just sit and look at it for awhile. It's really too pretty to wear while I'm cooking and have things splatter on it. Hilary also included a couple of hot pads in her package. They will look great hanging on my kitchen wall! Thank you Hilary! You've made my day!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Flowers on a Rainy Wednesday

We are having a day of rain. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. We really need the rain. I can hear my flowers singing their hearts out in the garden. The birds are happy too! Guess it will be a sewing day for me and that's okay. I don't get much time to sew during the summer. Since it is Wednesday I am showing you some of my hexagon flowers. Here are last week's blocks. Only got three done, but it was a very busy week.

This week I did a bit better. I made 5 of them. Here they are in my vegetable garden. I planted the lettuce at the beginning of April and we have been eating salads for weeks already. The rows on the right are radishes. I still have to thin them out. But not today. It is too wet and cold outside. I think I will stay indoors and sew these flowers onto my flower garden quilt top.

Monday, June 07, 2010


I haven't blogged in a few days - been too busy convoking. Ha! I don't think I have ever used that word before. My DS received his Bachelor of Education with 'highest distinction' last Friday. It was a proud moment for all of us! The university he attended is not too far away from home - only about 40km. It's a relatively new university. UOIT stands for University of Ontario Institute of Technology. I'm glad he went there for his educational degree since he was able to learn a lot of new computer skills. He is currently working for the university, preparing some mathematics resources for future student teachers - using the skills he learned. That's him in the middle of the stage with the blue trimmed hood.
We had a lot of rain this past weekend. But we needed it. My garden was reduced to dust. I did not take any photos of my spooltjes (klosjes) or my hexagon flower garden. I have been working on them - a little. Hope to do some more in the next few days. Then I will post them.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Nine Patch Challenge

As I wrote yesterday, we had our last Guild meeting for this year last night. The food was plentiful and tasty! The company was inspirational and friendly. There were lots of praises and fat quarters for people who had made our Guild such a success this year. Also, the winners of the 'Nine Patch Challenge' were revealed.

I was on cloud nine! Cloud Nine Patch, that is, because my quilt was lucky enough to win third in my category. How exciting! I have never won a ribbon before! (Probably because I have never entered a challenge before.) Here is my entry. I call it '27 or Nine times Three' because that is how many times the nine patch block appears in my quilt. First the little individual nine patch units, then the bigger nine patch units (the black and grey ones) and finally the overall nine patch units that make up the quilt. Can you see them?
I was also awarded a couple of beautiful fat quarters for all the quilts I have made for 'Quilts from the Heart' this year. Aren't they lovely?

We all said a sad goodbye for the summer, but promised to be back in September. I still have one more Guild function to attend and that is next Monday evening. There will be another potluck to welcome all the new executive members for next year. I am one of them. I will be doing our monthly newsletter. Can you imagine? I volunteered for that! I have no idea what got into to me. I think it will be a lot of work and will keep me busy and out of trouble for the next two years.