Saturday, July 31, 2010

Time for a Clamshell Club Update

Can you believe it? It's the end of July already! That means it's time for an update of the Clamshell Club. I have decided to make a bag with my clamshells - a project that is not too big, nor too small. Since I am using my Kaffe fabrics and an assortment of Japanese prints, it has given me a chance to take a close look at the fabrics I have collected up until now. I seem to have a lot of dark colours, but almost no lights. I wanted to do a row of light clamshells between the other rows.

I am not sure if I am getting the effect I wanted, but this is what I have so far. I have only sewn three rows of clamshells together, but they signify at least six rows because I have had to unsew many times. Well, back to the drawing board for me. Hopefully I will have more to show next month.

If you want to see more Clamshell efforts go to Jossie's blog, Cybeles Patch, (just click on the icon on the left) and then click on the club members listed on her sidebar.

I should also update you on seeing the Jersey Boys a couple of nights ago. They were fantastic! I loved every minute of the show. Their performance was a little loud, but then I am getting a little older. There were a lot of bad words, but I can handle those. LOL. All in all a terrific performance! Our Japanese visitors did not understand much of it, but they loved the music and bought a program and a CD so they can 'study' it. Gosh those girls are cute. They are so dedicated and hard working. They left yesterday and I miss them already.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Flowers and Cakes, Oh My!

This week has gotten away from me. I totally forgot about posting my hexies and scraps yesterday. On Sunday we had a family reunion at my aunt's house. Lots of delicious food and good company.

On Monday my DD's Japanese visitors came to my house for dinner because DD had to go to a leadership course downtown. I took the girls to Walmart afterwards, to do some shopping. I know Walmart isn't too classy, but at least I can borrow one of their scooters and get around the store on my own. We also needed eggs and milk and this Walmart is one of those super stores that has everything.

Tuesday morning I spent drinking coffee, eating goodies, talking quilt talk and doing a little bit of sewing with my quilt buddies. I never miss a chance to do that! In the evening DD's girls cooked a delicious Japanese meal for us.

Yesterday I can't remember what I did. It rained. So today is Thursday and I will finally show you my hexies. These were again taken in my garden. Notice that they are not completely finished. I don't think it will take me long to complete them, so I am counting them towards this week's flowers. There are five of them. My scrap bag does not seem to be getting any smaller, in fact, it seems to be growing! Why is that?
It was a lot cooler today, so I baked a Pflaumenkuchen (a German plum cake) with the plums I bought last weekend. I also baked a zucchini loaf. It's still in the oven. The house sure smells delicious today!Tonight my DD, her Japanese students and I are going to see the Jersey Boys. I'm kind of excited about that. I hope the girls will like it. It's really my era of music and not theirs. Tonight is their last night at my DD's house. Tomorrow they are off to Niagara Falls and then to spend a week at a camp in Haliburton. The last 10 days have gone by quickly.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

At the Beach

I finished the picnic quilt - 'What's a Picnic Without Ants?', just in time to take it for a test run at the beach. I went with my DD and a couple of Japanese students she is hosting for about 10 days. They were kind enough to hold the quilt so that I could take a photo.

I think my embroidered ants scared any real ants away. We never saw even one on the quilt. So I guess my plan worked!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ants on my Quilt and other Things

Click on the icon for more Scrap Happy Quilters.

Let me introduce my scrap quilt. It's still a work in progress, but I should be finished in a couple of days. It's going to be a picnic quilt.

My DD has been wanting one for years. It has taken me a long time to get going on it because all I could think of was putting a quilt on the ground and spilling food on it. And then there were the bugs that would be crawling all over. So I came to terms with the ground issue by using fabric that was destined for the garbage. (Well, not really. I just can't throw any fabric out - not even a tiny scrap.) It was a lot of fun sewing the blocks. They really went together quickly. But I still had to get over the bug issue. I solved that by hand embroidering tiny ants onto the blocks. Here is a close-up of my ants. They do look kind of real, don't they? What's a picnic without ants?

Then I sandwiched and quilted each block and sewed them together using the quilt-as-you-go method. I have finished all the blocks and only have to sandwich and quilt a few more of them and then sew them all together. I want to have it done by Friday evening. Wishful thinking? I hope not! DD is going to the beach on Saturday.

I only made one hexagon flower this week. Here it is outside in my garden with my summer phlox. When the picnic quilt is finished I will spend some more time on the hexies.

Some people were wanting to see a close-up of my little crumb blocks. Here is one that will finish at 3 inches. I have been making these as I sewed the picnic log cabin blocks. They are 'starters' and 'enders', so that my machine doesn't get a chance to knot up the top thread when I start to sew something.

We are in for a thunder storm this afternoon. I hope that will cool things down a bit.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hot for Scraps

We're still having a heatwave! Boy, is it hot! But I did manage to get some scrapping done. Here are 7 more flowers for Grandma's Flower Garden.
When I put them on the floor I was afraid Mimi would get on them. But Mimi is one hot pussy today. She doesn't want to be bothered.

"Meow! Go away!"
Felix, on the other hand, used this opportunity to sit on my flowers. He loves to sit on my quilts and parts of quilts, but he never gets a chance to do what he wants when Mimi is around.
I have been working on the tiny scrap blocks I made using left-overs. I decided to start putting them together. I feel the need to finish something. I found this polka dot fabric in my stash. I bordered 2 in. of polka dot fabric around each 2in. block. I have seen this done with white fabric, but I am a lover of colour, so the polka dots seemed perfect! I hope I have enough of it. I still have a couple of rows to add to this top. My plan was for it to be 6 by 7 blocks, but only if I have enough fabric. Wish me luck!

If you want to see more Scrap Happy Summer blogs, go on over to Em's Scrapbag.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Flower of the Week

This is my favourite flower that is blooming in my garden right now. It's a Day Lily called 'Siloam Double Classic'. I just love the peach colour and they are very fragrant as well. The flowers are 5inches across.

Here is a close up I took this morning when the sun was out. It has clouded over now and thunder showers are expected to move into our area at any time. I am busy, playing in my sewing room. Will show you what I have done next time.

Family: Hemerocallidaceae. Genus: Hemerocallis.

Species: H. Siloam Double Classic

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Now You See it, Now You Don't

We used to have a pool in our backyard. It was a fun pool! We spent many a hot summer day in there. When I lost the use of my legs back in 2007, I could no longer look after it. I had always done all the cleaning and chemical adding. My DH didn't know how to do any of that. The water turned a pretty green colour and later a thick pea soup green. We decided to fill it in and build a raised garden that would be easier for me to deal with. This is what it looks like now - the same view without the pool.We are still working on the patio. It will be where the shallow end of the pool was, right near the backdoor so it is easy to carry things out there and to use the barbecue.

This was the pool from the west side.

And here is my garden. from the same angle, as it looks now.
I still have a lot to do. Lots of my perennials, that are at ground level, will be moved to the raised beds. I have no idea how they will survive the winter, so I am just experimenting for now.

This is the back of my yard. The few cherries that remain are for the birds and squirrels.
This is the view along the east side of my yard. Still a lot of work has to be done here too!This is the raised bed that has my vegetables in it. That big sunflower was planted by one of my resident squirrels. I love sunflowers, but I think those squirrels had a mission, because they have already harvested several of the flower heads.
And here is a head-on shot of my vegetable garden - tomatoes, zucchini, egg plant, cucumber, basil, parsley, rosemary, lettuce and radishes. I also planted a couple of pieces of potato to see what would happen. They came up fine. I've never grown them before.
Like I said, we used to have a pool in our backyard. With all this hot weather we are having, I wish we still did.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Hot but Green

We're having a heat wave. The temperature for today is going to be 34C and with the humidity it will feel like 40C. The past few days have been hot too. Not much sewing got done. And to add to this, I seem to have been stricken by a flu bug of some sort. Haven't felt like eating and can only take sips of flat ginger ale, of which two-thirds have come back up. I won't bother you with the other details. I have spent most of the past two days in bed. Feeling a bit better today.
While I don't have much to show you in terms of sewing, I do have some shots of my garden. That's the 'green' part of this post. Or did you think it was my flu-like symptoms? Well, maybe.

On Sunday I spotted this zucchini. It is my first zucchini for this year! I ate it raw, in a salad. Delicious!

This morning I went out to water my pots and hanging baskets. It's amazing how everything suffers when I don't feel well and neglect things for a day or two. I noticed that my zucchini plant has been busy. That little zucchini in the photo above had grown into the zucchini on the left in this photo. And there were two more that needed to be picked. I guess there is going to be some zucchini bread in my future!
My tomato plants are looking good too. I have so many green tomatoes already! Here's an example. The plants are huge too. Much bigger than usual for this time of year.

I did manage to prep a few more hexagons for my I Spy quilt. I decided to work on this one this week because several people have offered to send me some novelty squares if I don't have enough.

What constitutes a "Heatwave" in Toronto? At least three consecutive days with temperatures of 32C and nights with temps staying above 20C. This current heatwave will continue for the next few days and maybe even longer. A thunder storm is brewing. That will be nice. Maybe I won't have to water my garden for a day or so.

Friday, July 02, 2010

A Scrap Happy Summer

I am officially joining Emily for a Scrap Happy Summer.

The idea is to make something using scraps. Since it seems that everything I am making at the moment uses scraps, I thought I'd join in. Here are a few of my projects, The first one is my klosjes. I have been working on these for quite a while and I am about halfway to my goal of 320 klosjes. So far I have used each spool fabric only once. Then there are my Grandmother's Flower Garden flowers. I am really enjoying these! I have no idea how big this quilt is going to get. These flowers are so much fun to make, I may have to buy a bigger bed!

An off-shoot of the flowers are these I Spy hexagons. I came across a box full of these hexies which I had started many years ago. I decided to do them in English Paper Piecing, since I really like that technique and this is what I have so far. I am hoping that I will have enough different I Spy fabrics.

Then there are the tiny squares which I showed you a few days ago. These things are very addictive. They are only 2 1/2 inches square (unfinished). I usually don't keep scraps this small, because there is a wonderful gal at our quilt guild who collects these tiny bits to use in her classroom. But it is summer now and I have no one to give them to, so I thought I would try making these little squares. And voila! I'm hooked. I have no idea what I will do with them.

And here are some strip blocks. I only have a few more to make. Hope to have a finished quilt to show you soon. These strips are also very addictive. You can't just make one!

As I am writing this I realize that I have a few other projects on the go that involve scraps which I forgot to take photos of. I'll leave them for next time.
Vicki from Felines and Fibre Arts came over for tea this morning. She brought me some delicious cinnamon scones. So yummy! And also this wonderful fabric yumminess - fabrics she brought back from her trip to Kauai a few weeks ago. Aren't they stunning? And as if that wasn't enough, she also brought me the cutest little chicken pin cushion! I don't know how I feel about sticking pins into this. He is just too cute! There is a neat story that goes with the chicken and you know me, I love trivia! Did you know that the island of Kauai is over-run with chickens? Apparently they're everywhere. It seems that there were a couple of hurricanes during the 1980s that freed the chickens from their coups. Since there are no natural predators on Kauai, the chickens have flourished. Hawaiians must have a great sense of humour because these pin cushion chickens are everywhere too. Don't you just love it!


Thursday, July 01, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

Canada is 143 years old today. Happy Birthday Canada!