Friday, August 30, 2013

The Last Friday of Summer?

I have received several calls from friends who are worried about me.  I haven't posted anything for over a week.  But don't worry, I am fine.  Just a bit lazy, maybe.  I have been doing a lot of reading with my feet up.  My leg feels a lot better than last week.  Now I am sure that it was hurting me because of my fall and not because the auto-immune disorder had come back.  So I am happy.

Today is the last day of August.  This weekend is a long weekend for us.  It's the Labour Day Weekend. On Monday the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) will close for another year.  School will begin on Tuesday. I used to get all excited on the Labour Day Weekend, but since I'm retired now, I think I will just go out and buy myself a new package of markers and maybe some new pens.  I just can't ignore the calling of the bell.  But the sad thing is, this weekend marks the unofficial end of our summer.  Oh, well.  I suppose I will have more time to quilt.

 I have been working on my La Passion that Grit was doing.  I did not get a lot of it done, but I will this week.  I plan to do the pink flowers that go around this piece.  That should keep me busy.

Also, I have signed up to go on a retreat in October.  Debra of Patchwork Sanity has offered to take me. How fun!  A whole weekend of sewing.  I have decided to work on a new quilt while I am there.  I saw it at our executive meeting last Monday night.  It's called 'Autumn Dance'.  It was featured in the Quilters Connection magazine last month.  I just love this quilt.

The one that was shown at our meeting was even more beautiful than the one in the magazine.  I figure if I can cut out all the 2 1/2 inch squares I will be able to sew this baby together at the retreat.  That\s my plan anyway.  These are just a couple of prototype blocks.  I am going to need a lot of 2 1/2 inch squares as well as 2 1/2 inch HSTs.  There is also a stem that has to be appliqued onto the block.  I might get those prepped too before I go.  Right now I have lots of inspiration and ideas.  We'll see what I'm like in October.

And now a final shot of what is on my design wall.  These are some of the half nine patch blocks that I have been working on.  I do one or two a day and sometimes none.  But I already have 12 blocks done.  I have no idea how many more I need, probably 100 or so.  Phew!  Back to work.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What Day is it?

OMG!  I haven't posted anything in over a week.  Today is supposed to be Wildflower Wednesday, but just like last Wednesday, I have nothing to show you.  Oh, sure, I have lots of pics, but I just can't write a whole post on any one of them.  I have been walking a lot lately and about four weeks ago I fell in the backyard.  At first my left knee was what hurt me.  It is black and blue for three weeks.  The bruising is almost gone now, but my right leg is giving me a lot of trouble.  I think I injured it when I fell and didn't realize how bad it was.  I am taking it easy now, with lots of hand work and reading and ice tea drinking.  I'm feeling better already!

So today I will show you some of the hexie flowers I have been working on this week.  I tried to do a quilt like Grit's "La Passion" quilt, but I think it will be too time-consuming.  Here is my first little flower made with half inch hexies.  You can see the size better in the next photo.

It is very tiny - much too small for my hands.  So I increased the size of the hexies and started to make Grit's pattern using the bigger ones.  These are 3/4 of an inch, but I think they will be too big.  You can see them on the right.  So I downsized again and made my hexies about .6 of an inch.  You can see them on the left. This is a good size for me.  But I don't know if I will make this pattern.  I still have a lot of navy blue hexies to make in order to finish my basket quilt.  And I think I should be doing those before I start anything else.

I will leave you with a couple of photos of my garden as it looks at the moment.  When I went out this morning the whole yard was full of female goldfinches.  They were everywhere, on my coneflowers, sunflowers, phlox and of course, my thistle sock.  These little birds and such a delight.  I love to sit and watch them flit around, chirping and arguing at the feeder.

I also have some nice veggies in my garden.  My tomatoes are doing well and so are my beans.  I planted them a bit late, but they are now supplying us with more beans than we can eat.  I also have cucumbers, which I think I will turn into refrigerator pickles later today.

And here is one last photo of a beautiful sunflower that volunteered itself.  I just love this one!  The birds do too.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Day After

I so enjoyed Quilts at the Creek yesterday that I am now, totally inspired and ready to sew.  Here is one last look at my inspiration.  It really was a fantastic day!

I went to my sewing room early this morning and decided to work on four projects - at the same time!  They are all ongoing projects and I only have to make a block or two per day - some nine patches, a few 'make fabric' blocks, some HST and another block that I don't remember the name of.

This will keep me busy and out of trouble!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Quilts at the Creek

This weekend Black Creek Pioneer Village held its 'Quilts at the Creek' Festival of Quilts.  The weather was beautiful and the quilts were fantastic.  I met many friends and quilting buddies while there.  Here are a few photos of the Festival.

This is a quilt by Dolores of the True Blue Canadian blog.  I recognized her quilt immediately because I had seen it on her blog awhile back.  Great work, Dolores!

DH and DD came along.  They loved the quilts as much as I did!

A hexagon quilt, one of my favourites.

My favourite building at the village is the Stong's first house.  It was built by Daniel Stong in 1816 at the site where it still sits today.  Sorry, I didn't take a photo of it.  There was just too much going on and it was very dark inside.  A Black Creek volunteer was spinning wool shorn from the sheep at the village.  This one seemed to be quite a ham,  (pun intended)

This one is on my bucket list.  I would love to make something scrappy like this.

Another favourite of mine and DD's.

I don't know how many photos blogger will let me post, but I think this is enough for now.  Maybe I will post some more tomorrow.

Friday, August 09, 2013

I Must be Nuts

I know it's Friday and I'm supposed to show you something that I have finished this week.  But that's not going to happen.  You see, I have started a new project.  Over the past month or so I have been seeing a new BOM by Esther Aliu called, 'Love Entwined'. So, I joined Esther's Yahoo group to get the pattern.  It looked hard, very hard, and immediately I had second thoughts, so I just sat back and watched what others were doing. And I was sooooo inspired!  I couldn't take it any longer and I succumbed.  I must be crazy to start something this complicated, but I can't help myself!  Maybe I'll just make a small wall hanging.  Yes!  That's what I will tell myself.

I paper pieced the centre medallion.  The little dots around it will be hand appliqued.  I think mostly everything else will be appliqued too.  Good thing I love hand applique!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday

Meet Joe, Joe Pye Weed, that is.

This plant got its name from a Native American, Joe Pye, who used it to make a variety of medicines.  It was used to treat fevers and symptoms of Typhus as well as kidney stones and urinary tract infections.

Joe Pye Weed is a native perennial herb in the Asteraceae family.  I am not sure which Joe Pye Weed I have here, but I think it is Spotted Joe Pye Weed or Eupatorium maculatum.  It has long tapered leaves that grow in a whorl around the stem.  The stem may be spotted or dark purple.  

This plant is a favourite of butterflies, bees and other insects.  It also attracts hummingbirds.  It grows best in moist soils and loves sunshine.  The blooms last throughout the summer and well into fall. New varieties are being developed, at the present time, for use in the garden. This plant is really stunning when you see it in ditches and other waste areas.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Trying to Keep Up

We just celebrated the long weekend in August (the first Monday of the month).  I don't know who thought this holiday up, but it is nice to have an extra day off in the middle of summer.  It is a Civic holiday, but unfortunately it doesn't have an official name.  There are dozens of things that it is called across Canada. Here in Toronto we call it 'Simcoe Day', in honour of the first Lieutenant Governor General of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe.

We had lovely weather, cool without humidity.  The sun was out for most of the time and it was nice to sit outside and enjoy it.  But I think I did too much - drove up north to visit my mother in the nursing home, (that's where I took the hummingbird photo) went out for dinner and attended a barbecue yesterday.  So today I am trying to catch up.  Should I 'Make a List Monday' or show what is on my 'Design Wall'?  I think I will just try to tidy up my sewing room and organize some of my UFOs.  I feel like I have a lot to finish this month and I think I should put it all into some kind of order.  So that's my plan.

I will leave you with this cute little Gold Finch on a sunflower which I took at my sister's house yesterday.

Friday, August 02, 2013

A Friday Flimsy!

It's a flimsy folks!  I have been working on this quilt, on and off, for a long time.  Terry of Terry's Treasures did it as a quilt along on her blog.  I tried to keep up, but there was always something else to do. So yesterday I sewed like a demon and got the top finished.  It's not ironed, but you get the idea.

I wanted to take a photo outside because we have beautiful sunshine today!  But the sun was too bright and I have nowhere to hang it so that the whole quilt can be seen.  I'll make sure I have someone hold it for me after I get it quilted.

I am linking up with 'Finish it on Friday' at Crazy Mom Quilts.  I know I will have lots of visitors today, so if you stop by, please leave me a comment.  Thanks.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Two Posts in One Day

We just drove the girls to school, where a huge bus was waiting to pick them up and drive them to the next leg of their Canadian experience, summer camp.  They will be swimming, canoeing, rope climbing.and doing lots of other camp-related things.  They are all looking forward to that.

It has been great having them here with us.  The organizer of the tour thanked me for taking a student at the last minute.  But I had to thank him doubly for that pleasure.  The home stay has been interesting and it has renewed my energy.

I wonder what next year will bring........

Wildflower Wednesday on Thursday

A couple of months ago I showed you 'Dames Rocket', which I had always thought was some type of phlox. But is wasn't   Dames Rocket is in the mustard family and has four petals.  The flower for today has five petals.  So this is phlox, 'Smooth Phlox' - Phlox glaberrima to be precise.    It has been growing along the side of highways, in parks and waste spaces for a few weeks now.  I found some growing at Wasaga Beach when we were there last Sunday.  Isn't it pretty?  I love this photo!

Smooth Phlox is an herbaceous perennial in the Polemoniaceae family.  It seems to like a moist soil, but in this case these plants were growing on top of the sand dunes of Georgian Bay.  I guess they are doing so well because we have had a very wet year so far.

Smooth Phlox has smooth stems,without streaks or spots.  The leaves are lance-shaped and grow opposite each other on the stem.  The flowers are borne on a single stem, which often falls over from the weight of the flowers.  This plant attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and bees.   I am not sure if it has any medicinal uses.  I googled it and could not find anything.  Perhaps this plant is just on this earth to make us happy.

A closely related variety is Garden Phlox, Phlox paniculata.  I have this plant growing in several places in my garden.  It comes in several colours.  This one is a lilac colour.

I also have varieties that come in white and light pink.  It is flowering at the moment and brings a lot of colour to my garden.  Here is a white variety.

Just a last shot of my garden as it looks at the moment.