Sunday, March 31, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

About Hand Applique and Groundhogs

The next block in Eleanor Burn's 'Applique in a Day' is done.  She should have called her pattern 'Applique in a Week', because that is how long this one has taken me.  I changed several things in this block, sorry Eleanor.  It's called 'Spring Flowers'.  So where is spring?

A quilty friend sent me this picture this morning.  So cute!  Wiarton Willy predicted an early spring this year, but so far it still seems like winter.  Still lots of snow around, especially on the north side of homes and buildings where the sun 'don't shine'.  I have not seen a robin yet.  Guess they don't listen to groundhogs.  

Robins are smart.  People are... well, you figure it out.  Who in their right mind would listen to a rodent?  But as long as it is still cold outside, I can work on my quilting indoors.  So all is not too bad.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Finish and Earth Hour

I finished my first quilt for this year.  There should be more to follow.  My sewing machine seems to be fixed, because I had no trouble quilting this one.  It's a small charity quilt for Quilts from the Heart and it will likely go to a women's shelter.

Just a reminder.  Are you joining in on Earth Hour this evening?  Turn your electrical gadgets off at 8:30pm (Daylight Savings Time) for one hour until 9:30pm.  Light some candles, chat with friends and family and enjoy the peacefulness of an hour without electricity.

We had a bit of a head start on Earth Hour last night.  The power snapped and crackled and I heard an explosion not far away.  Then our power went out.  It was about a quarter to six and I was busy preparing dinner.  Needless to say, dinner did not get cooked.  So we went out to Swiss Chalet.  We'll eat last night's dinner tonight.

Happy Earth Hour!  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Spring arrived a couple of hours ago.  Or so they tell me.  I don't believe it.  When I look outside my world is covered in snow.  I couldn't even go out and take a photo of my crocuses and snow drops because I couldn't find them.  I only see snow, snow and more snow and snow with squirrel prints in it.

And squirrels in the trees surrounding my home.  There are many of them.  They have already successfully dug up and eaten my tulip bulbs, that tried to show their young, green tips during our last thaw.

It is freezing out!  Last year on this date we had wonderful tropical weather.  I sat outside and enjoyed the spring songs of birds.  Today all I got were cold feet.

But I did manage to see some nice blooms this weekend when we went to Canada Blooms.  Lots of tulips.

And Hellebores, also known as Christmas Roses.  I bought myself one.  It will have to stay inside until the ground can be worked, probably another month or so.  I already have one in my garden, but I just couldn't resist buying another one.  I just love these plants.

So what am I going to do on this frigid, but sunny day?  Quilt of course!  I am still working on my Scrappy Trip quilt.  I only have 3 or 4 more blocks to make.  I am having so much fun with this I think I may have to make another one.

And my first charity quilt, for this year, is ready for quilting.  Got to test my machine some more. That should keep me busy.

Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

This Should be a Happy Day, But...

Hope you get a chance to quilt today.  It's International Quilting Day!

I made this little quilt a few days ago in order to test my machine.  It still wasn't working right the last time I got it back from the repair guy.  I had trouble with the bottom thread when I was machine appliqueing, quilting and sewing on bindings.   It just wouldn't pick up the bottom thread, so I tested it and double tested it and it seems okay now.

This little quilt is based on a wall hanging called, "Celebrate Each Day' and it is part of the 'Backdoor Quilt Series' by Cottage Creek Quilts.  I bought it about 7 years ago in order to contribute to breast cancer research.  I didn't make the whole wall hanging as the pattern stated.  Mine is sort of a Journal Quilt, only a bit longer.  It measures 8.5 by 13.5 inches.  I guess it is sort of fitting that this was a breast cancer quilt since my DH has just been diagnosed with the male equivalent, prostate cancer.  He goes for radiation treatments next week.  Perhaps you can send prayers and healing thoughts his way.  Thanks!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Day Out

My DD picked me up yesterday and took me all over town.  First I got a much-needed haircut.  Then we packed a lunch and headed down to Allen Gardens in downtown Toronto.  I always love going to this park, especially in the winter, when there is nothing blooming outdoors yet.  There are four green houses and a huge domed conservatory, where we like to eat our lunch among the banana plants and palm trees.  I took some pictures of the wonderful flowers that were in bloom.  These are from all over the world.  We are so lucky to be able to see them in our cold climate.

This is a Brugmansia.  I have one just like it in my solarium, just waiting for the weather to heat up and be moved outside where it can produce wonderful flowers like these.

This is a Turquoise Jade Vine.  Breathtaking flowers.  The colour was exquisite.

A Bird of Paradise flower.  I find these so amazing.

This is a species in the Genus Euphorbia.  I am not sure which one it is.  There are so many plants in this Family.

A Phalenopsis Orchid.  I have one of these, but mine is not in bloom right now.

One of the greenhouses contains a pond with lots of goldfish.  I love looking at them.  If I was a goldfish I would like to live at Allen Gardens.

One of the greenhouses is a temperate one, which houses cooler plants.  At this time of the year it is full of bulbs and other spring plants.  I could have taken a million photos, but I decided to restrain myself.  I am waiting for the bulbs in my own garden to bloom.


And as if Allen Gardens wasn't enough, we also went to the St. Lawrence Market to buy some fresh fruits and vegetables.  Later in the afternoon we drove out to Whitby, which is just east of Toronto to see the movie, 'Life of Pi'.  We still had an hour before the movie started so we had some delicious fancy coffees at Demetre's.  Then we got ready for the movie.  I had not seen it yet and wanted to have the opportunity to view it on the large screen.  My DD decided that if we went to see it, we just had to see it in 3D, so we did just that.  I loved it!  Everything about it!  The story, the computer generated images, the actors and of course the 3D.  It was a fantastic day and very fitting that we saw 'The Life of Pi', since today is Pi day.  No not Pie Day, although that would be nice.  It is the 14th of the 3rd month - 3.14 as in Pi.  If you are not into mathematics, just ignore this.  I just had to call my DS this morning, to tell him.  He is teaching math at a nearby college today and I thought he would appreciate it.

And here is my latest finished applique block in Eleanor Burn's Applique in a Day quilt.  This one is called Holly Wreath.  Not very springlike, but it does contain a couple of birds.  And on sunny mornings the birds in my backyard are happily chirping away.  Spring is only a few days away, and although the high temperature for today is not very warm, only -1C, the promise of spring is definitely in the air.

Monday, March 11, 2013

What's on my Design Wall

We have rain today and it is dark and gloomy.  But yesterday the weather was spring-like perfect!  The temperature went up to 13C and the sun was shining for most of the day.  My DH and I went for a walk down by Lake Ontario in Bluffers Park.  We couldn't have asked for a nicer day.

Looking south east from a bench on the shore.

Looking south west from the same

There were lots of ducks, geese and swans in the lake.  Even though there were signs everywhere to NOT feed the birds, people had brought whole loaves of bread and were busy throwing chunks of it into the water.  That always bothers me, but yesterday the weather was just too nice to get upset. There were 5 swans swimming around.  This is one of them.

So because there is not much else to do this morning, I am working at cleaning up my sewing room.  I had cut out and prepped the pieces for a couple of applique blocks.  I put the pieces neatly into little plastic baggies, but now they are playing a game of hide and seek with me.  I hope to find them as I tidy up.

So what's on my design wall?  These blue and red blocks that I was working on last year.  I only need a few more to make a lap quilt.  That is as many blocks as I think I want to make.  They will each finish at 4 1/2 inches square.  I have added lots more blue fabric to my stash since I started this, so I won't have any problem finishing it.  And I am hoping this will, indeed, be a finish for this month.

Mimi is helping me in her usual sleepy way.  I tried to wake her up for a photo, but she would have nothing of that.

"Meow!  I need my beauty sleep"

I disagree with her.  She is already beautiful enough!

Sunday, March 03, 2013

An Applique Journal Quilt

I've been busy doing hand applique in the evenings lately.  I used to love doing it and then I took a break.  Now I am back into it like there is no tomorrow.  I had a lot of blocks already prepped for Eleanor Burns' quilt.  In the baggies, I found a small applique piece that was not finished.  I finished it and because it was not big enough for any of the quilts I am working on now, I decided to make it into a Journal Quilt.  It measures 9in. by 12in.

I am calling it 'Applique Mania, 2013' in order to have a memory of this very intense applique time.   I am also calling it a finish for this month, because there may not be too many more.  I had to take my machine back to the shop.  It just won't stitch through anything thinker than two pieces of cotton fabric.  I used to be able to sew denim and corduroy, but now it won't pick up the bottom thread when I do.  Machine quilting and machine applique are also no longer doable.  I hope they can fix it.  If not, I will have to start looking for a new machine.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Another Wiggly Whimsy Strip

It is March the 1st.  Time is flying by, but when I look outside it still looks like winter.  It is sunny, but cold.  No more snow is forecast for today.  So is March coming in like a lion, or a lamb?  Maybe more like a dopey kitty.  This is Felix.  He is my huge kitty!

Here is this month's Wiggly Whimsy strip.  I am doing this along with Terry.  With her help I was able to put the photo onto Flickr too.  Thanks Terry!  I have posted lots of pictures to Flickr in the past, but for some reason it wasn't working for me this time.  Hope I can remember how to do it for next month.

I seem to have a lot of lurkers on my site.  Yesterday I had 160 hits.  But only 3 people left me a comment.  I really need to read your comments, folks!  So if you stop by today, please leave me one.  Thanks!