Sunday, September 21, 2014

Home from the Napa Valley

I arrived home a week ago and of course the most difficult thing for me is getting over the jet lag.  It took me a few days but it was worth it.  The trip was wonderful thanks to my sister Christine and her husband Gary.  

One of the first things I wanted to do when I got to the area was to go and view the earthquake damage.  We finally found a parking space downtown and only had 23 minutes to run around 6 blocks and take some pictures.  The area was cordoned off with high wire fencing but we managed to get some pictures of the damage.

This building really took a hit.

The poor person who left there vehicle here overnight, major damage done to the car and building.

Part of a roof laying on the ground.

It belongs on top of this building.  You can see the same type of roof here.

Christine and I took a tour up the north coast of California heading for Fort Bragg.  We stopped along the way at Healdsburg because there was a quilt shop there.  Her fabric was very different with large scale prints that I didn't really like but I managed to buy one small piece.

This tree was in the town square where we stopped to have some lunch.

Our next stop was the Coppola Winery where there is a lot of movie memorabilia and his many Oscars.

It is a beautiful place to tour, and there is also a swimming pool and restaurant for you to enjoy.

From there we drove on Highway 128 through the Redwood Forest and I got stung with Stinging Nettle but luckily I had some Hydrocortisone Ointment with me and it relieved the pain.

Huge massive Redwood trees lined the narrow road that twisted and turned through the forest taking us to our motel, the Little River Inn in Mendocino.  We toured around the little town and spent the night taking off the next day back to the Napa Valley.

These flowers grow wild everywhere and line the roadways.  They are called Naked Ladies because they have no leaves.  They are also called Belladonna Lily.

My last days there the weather was a little too hot for me.  I like it to be around 77 F but it was 90 F in the shade.  One thing about this part of the world is that the nights and mornings are cool and then it warms up during the day.  So it is good sleeping weather most nights.

A wonderful trip.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Day One In Napa Valley

   I arrived in San Francisco a half hour early but Christine and Gary were also early so as soon as I picked up my luggage we found each other. We headed north out of the city and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge .

This morning Christine and I went for a walk through a vineyard.  The valley of the moon vineyard. The grapes are getting nice and plump. 

The vineyard seemed to stretch forever.  

Next we drove to Petaluma to a quilt shop. It looked like a small shop from the outside but when we went in it was a very large shop with lots of varied and different fabric. 

I am very disappointed how my blog turned out when I did the write-up on my IPad, because the pictures are blurry and grainy.  

Monday, August 25, 2014

Nautical Themed Placemats

Lynda brought me a panel of 8 nautical squares and I spent a little time trying to figure out what I was going to do with it.  I thought I might be able to make a quilt from them but then I figured that I would have to do a lot of calculating to come up  with something so I decided that the individual squares might look good as placemats.  I have been looking for some male orientated patterns and fabric and decided that these might just do the trick.

I had the pale blue and the brown wood grain in my stash and really liked what they did to the panel squares.

I ran out of pale blue so I thought I would try some orange polka dot that goes well with the brown border on the square and my binding.  These will be donation placemats for Meals on Wheels.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

More Wonder Wallets

I seem to be famous for making Wonder Wallets.  I have made some for Lynda and someone she knows has seen hers and asked me to make her some.  It was Lynda's birthday last week so I thought I would make her a new one.

Lynda likes roosters and I had some fabric that she had purchased a while ago.
The other 3 are for her friend.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Eagle and Ouimet Canyons, Dorion, Ontario

This past Thursday YKW and I took Lynda to Ouimet and Eagle Canyons.  It is about an hour drive so we packed a lunch so that we could have a picnic and spend some time exploring and sightseeing.

We stopped first at Eagle Canyon.

There are 2 suspension bridges and a zip line.

Lynda and I on one of the suspension bridges

Stairs to the bottom of the canyon.

People walking on the second bridge.  This picture was taken from the first bridge.

Lynda decided to go on the zip line.  She was a lot braver than me.  I decided that the 2 suspension bridges was enough.  

 We took the easy way down to meet her at the bottom.

After our picnic lunch we drove the 8 kms to Ouimet Canyon.  The 150 metre gorge drops 100 metres straight down.  There are several Arctic plants growing on the bottom of the gorge that are normally found 1,000 kilometres north.  To protect this fragile plant community, access to the canyon floor is prohibited.

Things have changed over the last 50 years because when I first came to this area you could drive right up to the canyon, and you would lay on your stomach at the edge in order to look down into the canyon.  Now there are long wooden boardwalks and trails to get to the canyon.  
The walls of the canyon.
YKW, Me and Lynda
at Oiumet Canyon.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Two Inch Squares

I have been cutting so many scraps lately I thought I should make something out of some of them.  I decided to use some 2 inch ones to make a donation quilt.  I used a 16 patch block so that I would use a lot of the squares and make a decent sized block.

There are 560 - 2 inch squares in this quilt.

I finished this quilt using the hinge method so that it was easier to quilt.
I still have about the same number of 2 inch squares in my bin.  I guess I will be making another one soon.  I think I will look for a different pattern or use a disappearing 16 patch.  That is a neat pattern.

I found this pretty butterfly fabric at "The Circle of Friends" quilt shop.
Cora's quilt needed a bag to go with it and I thought it was great since it has so much pink in it.  I put a tab across the top instead of a zipper and found a large pink button.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Teddy Bear Quilts

If you have read my blog before then you know that our Quilt Guild makes quilts for teddy bears or stuffed animals and gives them to the Christmas Cheer Fund at Christmas time so that they can be given to needy children from Santa.  Last year after Christmas I scoured the stores to find some stuffys and found some really cute ones.

I found this spotted dog and was able to buy some dog fabric with a spotted dog on it so I used it for the cornerstones.

This brown and black dog is so dark around the eyes that they are hard to see.

I made this quilt before and liked it so much that I made it again.
I like the primary colours in this one.
This little brown bear is so soft he is very huggable.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Scraps to Squares Part 2

I spent last week-end at the cabin with the bugs.  This year has been really bad for mosquitoes, black flies and no-see-ums.  They seem to really love me and always want a piece of me.

YKW was on his radio participating in "The flight of the Bumble Bees" so I took advantage of that and spent my time cutting up scraps into squares and hexagons.  I needed a 2 1/2 inch piece by 5 1/4 inches for my hexagons so I didn't make very many 2 1/2 inch squares.  I thought I might make another hexagon quilt and I need about 200 hexagons so I have been saving the strips to do this. 

Anything less than 2 inches was not used and went into the real scrap bag.

Lots of different size squares.
5", 4 1/2", 4", 3 1/2", 3", 21/2", and 2".

I am really into scraps these days.

Half Hexagons.
The pile on the left has matching hexagons so that I can sew them together to make a full hexagon and the pile on the right has single ones and I may make a braid quilt out of them.
The squares were made from the leftover fabric that was not big enough to make a half hexagon.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Small Vacation

On Tuesday we took a trip to Kenora to visit with YKW's brother and his wife.  They have a camp (read cottage for everyone who isn't from the Northwest.) on an island on Lake of the Woods.  It is a beautiful log cabin situated on a hill overlooking the water.  I always feel that I am at a resort when I am there.  We are not allowed to do any work, we just relax, go fishing or a boat ride.

 In order to get here we have to take the boat down the creek that leads out to the lake.  You have to drive very slowly so that there is no wake.  There are about 4 bridges that you have to go under along the creek.

 This year there are very high water levels so many people who have boat houses on the creek found them under water and some could not put their boats in the boat houses because of this.

In Kenora many of the local businesses are build close to the water and they have pubic docks so that you can do your shopping when you come off the lake.

The local grocery store, Safeway, has docks so that you can pull up, dock and then get your groceries for the weekend.  This year their docks are under water and so is the walkway  leading into the store.

On Thursday we took a ride around part of the lake and found an island with pelicans and cormorants sitting enjoying the sunshine.

They didn't mind how close we came to them,

We went fishing on Wednesday and caught about 20 fish but only kept seven.  The rest were too small and so we did catch and release.  Seven were enough for a nice fish fry on Thursday.  On Friday the lake was too rough to take the small boat out to go fishing so we sat on the dock and did some casting from there.  Sharon caught 2 baby pickerel so she threw them back in.  Hopefully they will grow bigger so that next year when we go back they will be eating size.  

Sunrise on our last morning, over the Island across the bay.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Making Flowers

A year or so ago I purchased a quilt book from the library at our local Quilter's Guild.  I thought it looked interesting and maybe one day I would make one of the patterns in the book.

Muriel brought this project to Possibilities Group a few months ago and it got me thinking that it was time that I made one of the wall hangings in the book.
I had already made an individual flower so it was time to do some serious work.
I went over to Circle of Friends Quilt Shop and purchased some fat quarters Batiks.
You fold the 6 inch squares over and over until they look like this.
Then you continue to fold and tack down the centres.
And you end up with something like this.
I have sewn 4 of them together and still have to make 3 more sets.  I didn't open up all the flowers since the pattern says to wait until the piece is quilted.  I don't know if I will quilt it or not, I will decide when it is finished.
So far so good.