Friday, June 28, 2013

Please Vote for Me

Edited at 9:00pm.  I apologize if anyone was confused about the link to the Quilting Gallery. Apparently it was not up and running until now.  Please try again if you have come back to my post. It works now.  You'll have to scroll down to the thumbnail photos.  But you can now see the quilts and you can vote on them.

When I realized the Quilting Gallery was showing paper pieced quilts this week, I decided to enter a little quilt I finished several years ago.  This is the first paper pieced quilt I have ever finished.

The quilts that are submitted to this weekly gallery are always amazing.  Go over there and just take a look around.  It is truly eye candy.  Of course you can vote for any of them that you like.  But I would really appreciate it if you vote for mine.  LOL  I have never done this before.

As for my Friday finish...  Well, there isn't one.  It was just too hot to sew this week.  And I had company for the first part of it.  Then there were the get togethers with friends.  Just too much to do in one week.  But I do have something to show you.  I joined Em's Scrap Happy Summer 2013.  I plan to finish a lot of UFOs this summer.  Here is the first one I am working on.  Only a couple of rows to go.

When my DD returns my cutting table, (she borrowed it for her party last night) I will sandwich it and quilt it and show it finished - as soon as I can.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday

Very busy!  Tons of stuff going on around here.  We had visitors from Germany spend a few days with us.  Then yesterday I went out to Ajax Downs for lunch with a couple of friends from the last school I worked at.  It was nice to see them again.  We sat by a window and watched the horse races.  It was also my DH's birthday and the phone never stopped ringing with birthday well-wishers.  Today I have to make two batches of pizza dough in my bread maker for my DD.  She wants to serve pizza as an appetizer at her staff's year-end party tomorrow.  I am also trying to work on a few quilty things, but there just doesn't seem to be much time for that.  I joined Em's Scrap Happy Summer 2013.  As if I need an excuse to sew scraps together!  LOL

But on with the program...  Today's wildflower is the Canada Anemone.  This is fitting because next Monday is July 1st, also known as Canada Day in these parts.

The biological name for this plant is Anemone Canadensis.  It is in the Ranunculaceae, better known as the, buttercup family.  There is also a shorter version of this species called a Wood Anemone, but it is much smaller.  The Canada anemone bears pretty white flowers.  These are not true flowers because this plant lacks petals.  But it does have 5 white, petal-like sepals.  The leaves are whorled on the stem and are deeply cut and stalkless.  The flowers rise above the leaves to about 20 inches.

These plants spread by rhyzomes and seeds.  It is a native plant and was used by aboriginal people as an astringent, an eye wash and a cleanser for wounds and sores.  It blooms from May through July and is always a pretty sight in damp forests.

Now back to the tasks at hand.  The weather has been unsettled and unbearably hot and humid here the past few days.  Today the sun is shining brightly.  Hopefully the worst is over and things will cool down a bit and become more comfortable.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday - A Trip Through the Highland Creek Ravine

I know this is Monday and I should be showing you what I am going to work on this week, but I have nothing to show.  I plan to finish a few more things from the past couple of weeks.  It is hot and sticky in Toronto today.  The temperature will go up to 32C with the humidex at over 40C.  I plan to do some handwork because my sewing room will be too hot.

So for today I will take you on a scooter ride through our closest ravine.  I took this ride a few days ago in order to buy the last of my annuals at a local garden centre.

I started my journey along Lawrence Avenue.  There was not a lot of traffic, but you get the idea.  This is looking east.

I took a photo looking down into the ravine from the bridge.  It was a good thing I did because I did not get a shot of the hill going down into the ravine.  It is quite steep and it was all I could do to control my scooter.  This shot is facing north.  I went south in order to get to the garden centre.

The bridge has many huge concrete 'legs' to hold it up.  Graffiti artists just can't resist painting them.  This was the nicest, in my opinion.

The ravine is a wonderful place to ride through.  The path is paved and goes through the forest with the river in one side.  There are many bridges and views.  I love it!

These trees have fascinated me this spring.  They sport long, white clusters of flowers that resemble wisteria.  They even smell like wisteria.  I have no idea what they are.  They seem to have been planted where they are.  Does anyone have any ideas?

This is the path, coming up to a bridge.

The river meanders along.

This area has some high bluffs.  This is what makes this park area so pretty.

The path is surrounded by trees.  And wild flowers.  And all kinds of shelf fungus.  And even some animals.

This is a view of the Lawrence Avenue bridge, from below.  I was on my way back when I took this.

Then coming out of the ravine this is a photo of the bridge, looking west.

Hope you have enjoyed my little journey.  So much wild stuff, so close to home.  Living in Scarborough is often criticized and discouraged, but for me it is the best!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Finished on Friday

I got a couple more pillows done.  I have a few more to do.  Hopefully I will have them finished by next Thursday evening when my DD is having her staff over for a year-end get-together.  The cushions on her couch were looking very sad, so I decided to make some new ones for her.

Here is the back of the squares one.

I also finished a little table runner that I had started a couple of years ago.  It doesn't have much contrast, but I think it will look okay on her kitchen table.  (It's round)

I don't know if I will continue with these pillows next week.  But I will work on them until they are finished.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday

My post is a little bit late today.  I had to recharge my camera's battery before I could download any pictures.

Today's wildflower is the Ox-eye Daisy.  This common wild daisy grows just about everywhere and I am sure you have all seen it before.   It is also known as a White Daisy or Field Daisy.  The flowers are borne at the top of long stems.  They have white rays with a yellow centre and a scent that is not liked by everyone.

The Ox-eye Daisy is in the aster family.  Its botanical name is Leucanthemum vulgare.  This plant is an alien and was introduced by pioneers.  It reproduces itself by seeds as well as through a vigorous rhizomatus system.  In some areas they have become an invasive species and are sometimes a nuisance to farmers.  Although they are a short-lived perennial, they are difficult to control with herbicides.  Cows don't like the taste of them and will shun pastures with daisies, giving the plants more opportunity to spread.

But I love these little flowers and can't wait for them to bloom.  I think I will go out again tomorrow and pick a small bunch to decorate my kitchen table.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Show it Monday, Make it and Finish it Friday

I have been busy.  Not much sewing has been done lately, but I plan to change that.  My garden is completely planted and now there is just some weeding to do each week.  In the meantime, I will continue to work on my Finish it Friday project from last week.  I have several more pillows to do and another project if I have time.  Yeah, like that's going to happen!

Here are some peonies from my garden.  We had a lot of rain the last few days, so I picked these before they could be destroyed.  Aren't they amazing?  My house smells wonderful!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Finish it Friday - Sort of....

Wow!  This was not an easy assignment.  I thought it would be a cinch, but NOT!  I did manage to finish one little pillow.  And another should be finished today.

I had thought to make a few more, but that did not happen.  I went over to Fabricland on Tuesday to buy some pillow form.  When I got to the cash, the woman asked me why I was buying them 'now'.  I said I needed them for a project I wanted to finish on Friday.  She asked if I could wait until Thursday  because they were going on sale - 50% off!  How could I turn that down?

So I waited until yesterday to buy the forms.  But it rained all morning and even though I went over to Fabricland on my scooter in the afternoon, I didn't get home until supper time.  So I was only able to finish one of the pillows.  It is 14 inches square, but I think it is kind of cute and I hope my DD does too.  I am making these for her.

The other pillows will hopefully be 'Finished Next Friday'.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday

For the past few weeks I have noticed some beautiful plants growing along the highway and in waste areas.

I had always thought that they were a wild phlox, but after taking some photos and looking at the flowers more closely, I realize that these plants are called 'Dames Rocket'.  You see, Phlox flowers have five petals and Dames Rocket only has four.

They come in many colours, from white to pink to lavender and purple.  The interesting thing is that they are in the Mustard Family.  Seeds are produced in a similar manner as other mustard plants.  The botanical name for them is Hesperis Matronalis.  Hesperis means a tall herb with fragrant flowers. and Matronalis means belonging to a married woman.

Dames Rocket was brought to North America by early settlers from Europe.  In some areas it is considered an invasive species, only slightly less noxious than Garlic Mustard which I showed you a couple of weeks ago.    But I just love the looks of this plant in wild areas.  It blooms in spring when there is not much else in bloom.  It is colourful and smells terrific.  And it is thought to be useful in the treatment of some forms of cancer.  What more could you ask for?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Make it Monday - For Friday

I have decided to be a copycat.  Marilyn of Marilyn's Maze has been showing a photo of some fabric on Monday that she intends to make into something gorgeous by Friday.  I love her posts!  So I decided to do something like that, not every week, but just for a couple of weeks while I decide what I am going to finish.  I have so many projects on the go right now and our guild is having a quilt show next year, so I am sure that won't be difficult.

So this is how it works.  I show you some fabric that I intend to use.  Here is some, but I may add some more from my stash or take some away.  I haven't really decided yet.  Then on Friday I will show you my finished project.  So don't forget to come back then and see what I have made.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Wednesday Wildflower and Some Playing Around

I drove my scooter into the ravine yesterday and discovered this patch of Virginia Waterleaf plants.

This plant is native to a large area of eastern North America.  The flowers on these plants were white, but they can be light blue or light purple too.  The leaves develop white patches and look like water marks, hence the name of Waterleaf.  Its biological name is Hydrophyllum virginianum, which literally means waterleaf of Virginia.  The leaves are edible as a salad when young.  They become bitter with age.  The Native Peoples used the roots to make a tea to treat diarrhea and dysentery.  The leaves were chewed to heal mouth sores and cracked lips.

Now that I am finished the baby quilts that were on my list, I have had some time to 'make fabric', my favourite pastime.

I have no idea what I am going to do with these blocks - maybe make another bag or a scrappy quilt.  What do you think Mimi?

"I think you have too much time on your hands.  Meow!"

I wish I had more hours in the day.  Today I am planning to make a batch of strawberry-rhubarb jam, as well as buy a few more sunshine plants for several pots that have no plants in them yet.  I also have about a hundred new members' names to add to our guild's membership list.  Ah, the joys of being on the executive.  And of course there are the usual chores - the dishes and mess in the kitchen, laundry, watering of plants, both inside and out.  Jeez, I'm tired already.

Sew long for now.