Thursday, August 22, 2013

Supersize me

13Aug22corners I’m back at work now; the deck renovation actually began this morning! (I had given up hope); and I’ve been working on a mariner star – patterned quilt for the past few days. I planned to do more work on it during my vacation, but I misplaced the pieces that I’d photocopied and only re-located them a week or so ago. It’s a free pattern called Sailing By The Stars from RJR Fabrics. The stars are paper-pieced and the rest is template. Now, the star pieces have to be enlarged 200 per cent. Don’t know why, but I figured that applied to the templates as well, so I enlarged everything. I looked at the templates for days while I was putting together the first star, thinking “Really?” So I went ahead and made the big template pieces.

13Aug22star No, not really. It didn’t fit at all, so I looked at the original pattern and it finally dawned on my what “full sized template” meant. So… the teeny tiny template pieces worked much better. Finished my first star. Unfortunately, it looks like I’ve lost the points on the first two quarters I made. The second two went together just like they were supposed to. The paper is still on the back of the stars, so I’m hoping that it won’t look so obvious once I remove all of it.

This is my first attempt at curved piecing – it was bound to happen sooner or later! I think I’m liking it.

Until next time,

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Furball – Princess and the P…

13Aug16ginger …Pile of Fabric. Ginger pretends that she doesn’t like to have her picture taken, but she manages to insert herself into he majority I take of fabric and quilts. She has good taste. She also won the coin toss with Rusty and is sitting in a favoured cat perch. Here she is with my latest fabric rescue.

It’s the funniest thing about fabric. Try and match up some fabrics for a project from the one-ton stash and there’s always something missing. I had to take a quick trip into the city yesterday to visit my favourite Local Quilt Shop to round out a colour 13Aug16fabric selection. I am happy to report a successful mission. I needed fabric to contrast with a red and a blue, and I needed to find a nice, pale gray. It’s not easy finding a good gray. It looks rather whitish in this picture, but I made my first block tonight and it works just fine against the dark background. The dark blue and red are Clothworks’ Laurel Burch patterns, and the lighter shades are Moda Marbles. It’s looking good so far.

Until next time,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What I did on my summer vacation

13Aug13chairs As little as I could possibly get away with! We bought these lounge chairs a few weeks ago – they’re called “zero-gravity chairs” – and they fold back a little or a lot, whichever you like. And they are soooooo comfortable! And the days have been sunny and hot. I do my yard work between 8-10 am and after that it’s too hot to do much else outside besides stretch out in my lounge with a good book and relax on my new patio.

We’re developing a hornet problem, however. They have a nest under the roof just around the corner from my comfy chair. Every year we have a few, attracted by the pear tree in our backyard, but we’ve been seeing more and more nests around the house. This one is huge. Now they’re in the food dish that I leave 13Aug13franky outside for Franky. He wasn’t impressed the other day with me waving my hands over his head while he ate, trying to make the hornets leave.

We also have a grasshopper problem, but I’m not worried about being stung by a grasshopper. We seem to have a few more than usual this year, but the biggest problem with them is that I hate grasshoppers. Ack! I can’t stand them. The birds have been snacking on them, but they haven’t made much of a dent in the population. Franky likes them too. He leaps after them and puts on a real show for a few minutes, and usually he nabs at least one crunchy treat. He’s carrying one in his mouth in the picture above.

13Aug13moose So what have I been sewing? I bought a couple of gorgeous bag patterns while I was visiting family and friends in Fort St. John, and I was really excited about getting started on them once I got home. But then, I found a pattern that I was looking for a few weeks ago (and gave up on finding), so the last few days have been spent looking through my fabric to decide which ones I’m going to use for it. My fabric is still, mostly, downstairs where I had to store it while the renovations were taking place, so it’s a bit of a headache finding things still.

13Aug13hanger However, I did manage to make a little gift for my next door neighbour who looked after Rusty and Ginger while we were away. I found her a moose-shaped cookie cutter in Fort St. John and I thought of her at once when I saw it! Now, you can’t just hand someone a cookie cutter and say ‘thanks’! So I was going to make a little bag to put it in. While that was going through my head, I decided to make a little wall pocket instead. Probably took me all of about an hour to make.

Until next time,

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Furball – Keeping amused

13Aug9a Well, I’m back to sewing – getting back into the blogging groove is taking a bit more effort. The renovations are far from finished and most of what is left are things that I cannot do. Neither, apparently, can anyone else. I believe our deck has been cursed.

Last week we made the quick trip (less than a week) north to Fort St. John to visit the in-laws. I enjoy this annual trek, but it’s a 10-hour drive one-way. It’s starting to become a little too much driving to do in one day. We lived in and around Fort St. John for many years and still have lots of friends there, 11 years later.

13Aug9b We left Rusty and Ginger in the care of our next door neighbour, and it appears that they were mostly good. Nothing pulled off the wall like last year. No surprises to clean up, although our neighbour told me that one morning they got into a drawer and pulled everything out of it. Now, this is a favourite sport of theirs and they do it whether we’re here or not. Ginger grabs the drawer pull and hangs on it, knowing that it will slide open far enough for them to get their grubby little paws in. Rusty is usually on the counter to be first in line – bags, ribbons, pencils, shelf liner – you name it, it’s our junk drawer.

13Aug9c Usually, they’re sitting in the windows waiting for us if we’ve been away for a long time. No sign of them this time. No one greeted us at the front door – not a good sign. I called their names and Rusty finally appeared before we had the chance to climb the stairs to the living room. But no Ginger. She was lounging in her cat bed on the couch, giving us two “hairy eyeballs”. That didn’t last long, though. First supper, then a few scritches and pets and they were both happy to cuddle with us again. The third picture is Rusty draped protectively over the junk drawer!

Until next time,