Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Clamshell Update

The summer is coming to an end, although you'd never know it by the weather. We are in the middle of another heatwave. It is only 10:00am and it already feels like 40C! This is unusual for the end of August.

I only got a few clamshells done this month. Here they are. Click on the icon above to see more clamshell blogs.

We had the first executive meeting of our quilt guild last night. I got roped in volunteered to do the Newsletter this year. The only problem is that my computer is not cooperating. I have had several people come over and try to install the program, but so far I have had no luck. I thought the problem lay with me, but it seems that my computer's disk drives are not working. I may have to break down and buy a new computer.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

If Life Gives You Scraps.........

I can't believe that it's Wednesday already. The summer is coming to an end and time is just flying by! I made a few more of the small hexies this week. I have started to sew them together and decided that this time I would put a green hexagon in between the flowers. (They are not all sewn yet.) I am using all kinds of scraps of reds and greens. I don't know if I have enough reds, so I threw in a purple and an orange so that I can use scraps of those colours too. I have been taking part in Em's Scrap Happy Summer challenge. It's been a lot of fun!

I am also working on a baby quilt. It is for someone who works for my DH. He didn't tell me about the baby until after she had been born. So now I am frantically trying to finish a baby quilt for a girl. This is just a quick sample that I made up to see how it will look. I think I will use these fabrics. They are from my stash. I also have a couple of other pinks and a beautiful light green. Do you think I can finish this by, let's say, yesterday?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Finally - A Friday Finish!

I finished the crumb blocks quilt! They were so much fun to make! Really addictive. I put them together with a polka dot sashing. And today I finished quilting it and sewing the binding down. Hurray!

This is part of Em's Scrapbag's Scrap Happy Summer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Just a Little Post

I want to show you my tiny flowers. I made three of them this week. Here they are with a flower from last week for comparison. I have no idea how I am going to arrange them. Stay tuned.......
I am thinking of joining Christina's quilt along. I have so many things on the go right now I don't know if I will have time, but it looks like a terrific learning experience.

Now I am off to visit a friend in a seniors' residence. She called me last week and asked me to help her with a pattern for slippers. She wants to make some for a craft bazaar her residence is having this fall.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A New Project

This is the block from this week's Party. (Go to my sidebar) It's called 'Louisiana' and it's a 12inch block. I don't like doing pinwheels very much. I just can't seem to get them pointy in the centre. I think I need more practice.

I just love the quilt that is shown on the Quilters Cache site for the Louisiana block. The pinwheels are scrappy and that's right up my alley. So I made a few more blocks and hope to make that little quilt on the QC site. I figure if I do one block a day for the next two weeks, I will have enough blocks for a lap quilt. So that's my plan - along with all the other projects I have on the go at the moment.
See that little white paw in the bottom left corner? Yep. You guessed it. That's Mimi.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mimi on Her Own Quilt

I decided to enter CalGal's Pets on Quilts. It isn't difficult to find a photo to use because every quilt I own has had a cat on it. So I decided on this photo of Mimi on her own quilt. The fabric in it is mostly cats with a couple of dog pieces thrown in. She knows it's hers and she sleeps on it every day.
She also does her daily exercises on it.

And she keeps herself white and spotless.
But my absolute favourite photo is this one - when she did the ironing for me. Such a helpful kitty! I once asked her why cats like to sit on the quilts we make. She is very philosophical and has great insight into all things. You can read her answer here.

Click on this icon to see more Pets On Quilts! This is going to be fun!

Flowers on Thursday

I finished the three flowers I made for this week. I'm only one day late. That's okay, isn't it?

I also finished another Block Party block. This one is called 'New Waterwheel'. It is a 9-inch block.

Now I have to find a photo of Mimi on a quilt so that I can enter the Pets on Quilts Show that SewCalGal is hosting. That shouldn't be hard. Mimi is always on my quilts.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Not Even a Single Flower.......

No flowers were completed this week. This one still needs a centre.

And these are just parts that still need to be sewn together.

I did finish one more block from the Friday Block Party. This one is called, 'Album'. It is a 12inch block - very easy and only took me about half an hour or so.

I don't know if you noticed, I photographed the first flower on one of the Castor Bean leaves. This plant is huge. I grew this plant from a seed this spring. It is over 6 feet tall now and the leaves have close to a 3-foot span.

This plant is highly poisonous and should not be grown where children are present. Since I have no children around any more, I like to grow Castor beans for the wonderful tropical feeling they bring to my garden. When I was in the Dominican Republic a number of years ago, I took a safari tour. We came across a whole field of Castor Beans. I asked the tour guide about them and he told me they were not toxic - only the seeds were. Castor oil is made from them. But I don't very often listen to what I am told and I like to find things out for myself, so I learned that Castor Beans are considered to be one of the highest toxic plants in the world. The toxin is called, ricin, and it is found in every part of the plant. It can cause severe digestive symptoms. A single bean can kill a child. They cause diarrhea which can lead to dehydration. Castor Beans are in the spurge family - Euphorbiceae. The beans are not real beans.

Family: Euphorbiceae. Genus: Ricinus. Species: R. communis.

Common Name: Castor Bean

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Storm at Sea

This is the block I worked on yesterday afternoon. It's called 'Storm at Sea' and it is a 12 inch block. When I was finished (it took me a long time to do), it was 3:00pm and we were in the middle of a rain storm - too dark to take a photo. It is not much better today. The sky is a sort of yellow colour that indicates more rain.

This block came from Quilter's Cache. I decided to paper piece this one because some members of the Friday Block Party had trouble with the downloadable pattern. I found that the pattern was not correct, so I got out my drafting paper and made my own paper pieces. The block came out at 12 1/2 exactly, so I know it's right.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Squares Within Squares

I finally got around to doing one of the Friday Block Party blocks. This one is called, 'Squares Within Squares'. It's a 12inch block. I really like how it turned out. It took me all morning - between doing some chores and other things. So glad it's done! It wasn't the easiest of blocks to put together. I guess pinwheels are just not my favourite blocks to make.

I still have 4 or 5 blocks to make in order to be caught up. Best get back to my sewing room.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Crumbs and Flowers

Three more flowers got done this week. I made them yesterday at a delightful coffee session with several other quilters. Coffee, cake, cheese, fresh fruit and quilt talk. It just doesn't get any better than that!

I have also been working on my 2 1/2inch crumb blocks. I managed to find enough of the sashing fabric to make a quilt that is 6 blocks across and 7 blocks down. It would measure 30x36 inches. I may do a border of some kind to make it a bit bigger.

While I was making the 2.5in. blocks, I experimented with some 3.5in. blocks. I think I like them even better. Here I have about 20 blocks done. I'll see how long my attention span is for this one, but I think it would make a cute baby quilt.
This is a short week for us. Monday was a civic holiday. Most stores were open, but businesses and banks were closed. We are in the middle of another heat wave. The temperature is somewhere in the 30Cs but feels like 43C with the humidity. I am just hiding inside the house with the air conditioning on and a fan blowing on me.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Sweet Potato Vine 'Blackie'

I planted a sweet potato vine called 'Blackie' last spring. It has interesting dark purple to dark green to almost black, deeply lobed leaves. I love it's contrast with other plants. I was surprised to see that it had flowers on it a few weeks ago. It seems to send out a few new flowers every day. I don't think I have ever seen flowers on my sweet potato vines before. The flowers looked very much like morning glories to me. So I looked it up and found that it is indeed related to morning glories. It is in the family Convolvulaceae, just as morning glories are.

I only grow these for their colour and leaf form, and not for their tubers, which are said to be edible. I know that the squirrels dig them up in the fall and eat them. I think I will stick to the grocery store varieties. The seed pods are supposed to be highly toxic. But that's okay. I snap the spent flowers off so that the plant will produce more flowers. I love this little plant, even more so now that I know it produces flowers!

Family: Convolvulaceae. Genus: Ipomoea. Species: I. batatas 'Blackie'.
Common name: Sweet Potato Vine Blackie.

Edit: Wanda from Exuberant Color posted about her Blackie today too. You can see it here.

And here are a few spooltjes (klosjes) I sewed together last night. I still have a lot of these to go.