Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thimbleberries Day - An Apple for the Teacher

Today is the last Wednesday of the month. I decided to join Barb for this month's quilt-in, or whatever she calls it. Barb loves Lynette Jensen's quilts (and so do I) so she has proclaimed the last Wednesday of each month a to be 'Thimbleberries Day'. I have wanted to join in for a long time, but I had misplaced lost my Thimbleberries quilt. Yesterday, while looking for another quilt, I found it!!! Gosh, I love it when that happens! I started this quilt many years ago, for my DD. She is a teacher and I thought the apples on this quilt were perfect! Here is a small section of the quilt top. I still have some more of those apple triangles to applique. And a few more triangles to cut for the corners. This used up a lot of scraps from my stash. It is from Lynette's book, "The Thimbleberries Book of Quilts". I am going to work on this whenever I have a few moments. I would like to have all the applique work done by next month. Then I can add some borders and quilt it.

I also worked on my hexies today, but it was only to prepare my pieces. I have started a new section of the Wannabe Quilt and there is really not much to show right now. Plus, I put a couple of rows onto the TAW quilt. Then in the afternoon I went outside to get some vitamin D. We have had so much winter and today the sun was shining and the temperature was above freezing. It was so nice outside that I stayed out and cleaned up some of last year's growth in my raised beds. It was nice to work in the garden. I even took my coat off!

I passed by Mimi as I went outside. She was sleeping peacefully, but I heard her mumble, "Get me some catnip if you can find it".

Sorry Mimi. Everything was still frozen yesterday. It will take a few weeks before the catnip is up and ready for harvest. Do you want to come out and help me with the cleanup?


Hmmm. That's what I thought.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Good

I have been suffering from cabin fever for the past few weeks, so I think I should tell you about the good things that are happening around here right now. On the kitchen front - The Home Depot is going to exchange the cabinets and give us the ones we ordered. So that's a good thing. It will take a few weeks, but at least things are going in the right direction.
We still have a bit of snow and it has been very cold this past week.

But today the temperature is going up to 2C. The next few days will also be sunny with temps above the freezing point. That should get rid of the snow and melt the icicles that are still hanging from my solarium. Another good thing! But even with the cold and snow, my early spring bulbs are making me happy. Here are some crocus and snowdrops that have defied the cold and snow of winter. Aren't they pretty? A good thing for sure! Another good thing is the package that came in the mail from Sew Sisters today. It contained my fat quarters from the Bargain Lovers Club. These were supposed to be here a couple of weeks ago. I even phoned the store to see if they had sent them. I was assured that they had and that our postal service was to blame. The owner asked me to wait just a few more days. And that is what I did and this is what was in my mailbox today. It was postmarked March 14th, so I guess the post office was to blame. I love the bright colours! A very pretty package of fat quarters and that is a good thing. And the fact that they came today is another good thing. Because today is my birthday! What more could a quilter ask for on her birthday? Tonight I am going to our guild's meeting. A quilting friend is going to give me a ride. And that is a very good thing! My final good thing is Oscar, waiting for me at the top of the stairs while I was outside looking at my garden. He always worries about me when I go out. He is so cute and that makes me happy too! A very good thing, don't you agree?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring in Toronto

I thought it was spring, but look what my world looks like after the snow we got yesterday. My DH was in the process of clearing the driveway, but it was coming down faster than he could shovel it.
This is what my yellow crocuses look like - totally covered in snow!
The roads were treacherous. Traffic was at a standstill. There was one accident per minute across Toronto. We fought our way through the mess to take some books back to the library, help my DD buy a new car and order a dishwasher for my new kitchen. Speaking of my in-progress-kitchen, Home Depot still hasn't called us back about the cabinets. My nephew and DH are going back there this afternoon. I hope all goes well. The cabinets are actually very beautiful. It's just that I am worried whether the particle board will be strong enough to support the heavy counter top. I want to get a lovely granite one.
I am tired of kitchen renovations.
And I am tired of winter.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Half Way Around the World - Yeah, I Wish!

Lots has been happening around here! My kitchen is still being worked on, but it is beginning to look like a kitchen again. This is the view towards the outside wall where the window used to be.

And this is the space where our breakfast area will be. The boxes contain cabinets. They are spread all over the house. The floor of the kitchen has to be put in first and it will take another week or so before it is delivered. The big, corner cabinets could not be brought inside without being uncrated. Even then it was touch and go. They had to be brought in through the front door because it is wider. The guys who delivered it were very careful not to scratch anything. I appreciate that. Unfortunately the Home Depot, where we ordered these cabinets, made a lot of mistakes. We paid for solid wood sides on the cabinets, but when we opened the boxes we discovered that they had used plywood or particle board instead. I have no idea how this will play out. My husband went over to complain and he hasn't returned yet.

I have been travelling! Well, not really, but I have been sewing a Trip Around the World. I have always wanted to do one of these. When I saw it on Wanda's blog, 'Exuberant Color', I just had to make it. It is halfway done. I used a lot of fabric from my stash. Many were from the category of 'what was I thinking'. But in this pattern every fabric seems to look okay. Now that I have boxes and cabinets and all kinds of stuff all over the place, I have no room to take a proper photo of this quilt. I will take another photo when it is all done. Maybe by then I can take it outside and photograph it in the sunshine. We are going to have sunshine, aren't we? Spring is supposed to be here now. So why it is snowing like crazy today?

And because it is Wednesday I thought you might like to see my progress on the hexie quilt. Just a few more blue hexies and this section will be finished. I still haven't figured out how these sections will all fit together, but I am sure I will once I have them all done.

Monday, March 21, 2011


OMG! I haven't posted for a week! It's been busy around here. I seem to be forever dusting something!

I thought I would share my butterfly block with you on this, the first official day of Spring. The block is from this week's Block Party. It's easy and I think I will make more of these some day. We have rain today, but that's to be expected in the spring. Right? My crocuses are beginning to bloom and you can see my snowdrops on my header. There are a lot more out right now, but I don't feel like going out and getting wet. Last Friday I saw my first robin on the lawn. And this morning I heard them 'talking' to each other in the rain.

The kitchen is coming along nicely. The painter is in today to give everything its first coat of paint. I am staying far away from the kitchen. The smell is getting to me.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Camping in the Living Room

My sewing machine is home again! I am still not completely happy with the way it is sewing, but at least it works. They didn't charge me anything for fixing it this time. I wonder what that means? Maybe they did something wrong last time.

I finished the frog block from last week's Block Party. It's not totally symmetrical, but I am not going to change it.

I also worked on and finished this week's Block Party block. It's called 'Flying Squares'. It is a 10in. block. Since I don't feel as if anything is flying in this block, I am changing the name for mine to 'Global Unity' because it reminds me of the photo of four hands representing different cultures.

And just to let you know that my kitchen is still 'in progress', let me show you a couple of photos. The window is gone! I will have more cupboards there. This room has a sky light, so I really don't need a window and there was nothing to see anyway, except for my neighbours brick wall. I am going to make a couple of stained glass panels for the doors above the sink. They will be nicer to look at. The outside wall has been insulated. The electricity and plumbing have been roughed in and pot lights installed. The drywall panels are next. I have yet to hear from Home Depot about the delivery date of my cupboards. But it won't be long now.

It is strange to be without a kitchen. It feels as if we are camping in the living room. Our kitchen table and chairs are in there - also the fridge and microwave. All we need now is a big tent.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Yellow Flowers

It's still winter outside, but it is spring in my solarium. I bought these yellow tulips a couple of weeks ago. Yellow tulips are my favourite. They have been keeping my spirits up throughout this messy weather that we have been having - rain, freezing rain, snow, sleet. It's a mess out there.

I have also been working on my hexagons. They are all done by hand, so I didn't need my machine. And that's a good thing because it is in the shop again. Something is wrong with the needle alignment. I hope they can fix it. So here are my yellow flower hexagons.

This the section I have been busy with over the past week or so. I am really glad I have this project to work on because I could get very depressed with the weather, the mess of the reconstruction in my kitchen (my house is covered in dust) and having my machine give up on me.
Oscar likes it too. He is the only one who is not afraid of all the banging and sawing in the kitchen. He's a laid back kind of dude. And he stops to smell the flowers leaves.


Friday, March 04, 2011

Death of a Kitchen

I have no kitchen at the moment. The reno guys came yesterday and tore the old kitchen out - everything(!) beyond the bare walls, right to the studs. As you can see the window wall has no insulation. That's the way they used to build homes in 1959 when my house was built. The contractor is going to install some in order to meet the codes that are now called for. The floor has been ripped up as well. New plywood is coming today to fix that.

The old fridge will be removed tomorrow when my new fridge is delivered. The new fridge will sit in my living room for the time being. The old fridge leaks and I don't want my broadloom damaged. I need a fridge because I don't want to have to go up and down the stairs for a coffee etc. during the day. (There is a full kitchen in my basement, but it is not totally functional at present.) It will be finished in the next week or so. Then I will have to start cooking again and going up and down the stairs. Been going out for dinner the past couple of nights. That was fun, but we can't eat out for the next couple of months. That's how long it will likely take to finish it. The cabinets have been ordered and will arrive in about 3 weeks time.

This is the view from the other side. As you can see, it is not a big space, but there is nowhere else to go - no walls that can be removed or knocked down. I'll show more when I have something to show. At least my sewing room isn't being compromised. (sigh)