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.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Cora's Quilt

My sister Lynda has a new granddaughter so of course she needs a new quilt.  We had a bit of a problem trying to decide on a pattern because Lynda doesn't live near me and we were looking at patterns on the Internet.  Some people also have a hard time seeing a pattern in different colours than what is on the cover of the pattern.  We finally came up with Pinwheel Baby Quilt that I found on Moda Bakeshop.  You can find the pattern here.

We chose the fabric, some soft baby prints, when we were in Ottawa in May at Quilty Pleasures Quilt Shop.  That is the shop that we took 3 buses to get to and had some ladies on the bus let us know when to get off so we wouldn't miss our stop.

You will also notice, if you check out the pattern, that I changed it a little.  I thought that prairie points would be sharp for a baby so instead of prairie points around the edge I put a pink flange.   I also put sashing between the blocks to make the quilt a little larger than what the pattern called for.

To tie it all together I cut binding pieces from the quilt colours and sewed them together for the binding.  I sewed the binding to the back (all Pink) and then turned it to the front and top stitched in white to finish the binding.  I like to do that for a baby quilt or a donation quilt since it may be washed a little more than some other quilts.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day

Today is Canada Day.  July 1st 2014 is Canada's 147th birthday. 

We were up at the cabin for the past 4 days because it was Field Day for Amateur Radio and YKW spent the greater part of 2 days on his radio making contacts with other Ham Radio Operators.

I spent my time squaring up some half square triangles that I had put together a while back just for such an occasion.  Sometimes the sewing machine interferes with radio reception because we use a portable generator for our electricity so if I spend my time doing other quilty things then I am not wasting my time. 

I found this block in a book of 100 blocks and it makes a super cute small quilt.
I made one of these before but as you can see I changed the size of the squares so that they are easier to square up if they are finished slightly larger that the 2 1/2 inches that is the square unfinished.
The colours I chose with a very pale beige background.
This is the other pattern I am working on.  I don't know where I found this one or I would link to it.  It is so easy and it is just half square triangles. I found where you can find this little quilt pattern.  It is here.
I had some leftover off white animal footprint fabric and Maria had lots of the blue so mine won't be scrappy but very appropriate for a teddy bear or one of the small stuffed dogs that I have. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Busy, Busy Reunion and Graduation

I haven't blogged for awhile because sometimes life gets in the way.  I am working on a few quilts right now, one is a teddy bear quilt and the other is for my newest great niece, Cora.  I will post them when they are finished.

I went to my 50th Nursing Reunion the beginning of the month and had a wonderful time seeing all my old roommates.  When I was in training we lived in residence so we were all roommates.  We laughed together and cried together.  We celebrated successes and vowed to do better when we had a failure.  There were 75 of us that graduated and 44 showed up at the Alumni dinner where our 50 years was celebrated.

These are the lovely gals that were seated at my table.  We sure don't look like we graduated 50 years ago, we must have all entered nursing when we were 14 years old.  At least that would be nice to think that it was so. Everyone loved the Wonder Wallets that I had made and blogged about in a previous post.  I'm so glad I made them, it will be a nice keepsake for our 50th.

The group of 44

I spent a week in Toronto with my classmate Joanne and had a very relaxing time.  We went out for lunch with Pierina and Mila on Wednesday and then we went to visit Andra and the twins on Thursday and I gave her the quilts I had made for them.  We picked up pizza on the way to Oshawa so that we could grab a quick bite and then we went to watch Dylan play soccer.  The twins are only 4 1/2 so it was great fun to watch them run around chasing the ball and see Dylan trying to score.

One of my classmates and a real good friend, Bonnie, couldn't make it to the reunion because she had to be admitted to hospital.  She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at least 7 years ago and has been through chemo and radiation and is now suffering from blockages in her abdomen from the tumors that keep growing.  The best part was that Tom, Joanne's husband, drove us to Collingwood so that we could have a visit with her in the hospital.  It was so nice to see her.  She looked great but tired easily so we only spent an hour or so with her.  

As soon as I got back from Toronto it was graduation for my grand-daughter Breanne.  That was a full day affair with Mass in the morning at the Cathedral which was followed by a luncheon and then the ceremony at night at the Community Auditorium.

This past week I have been planting my flowers in between the cold weather and the rain drops.  Such fun.  The only thing that rain is good for is to spend the time indoors sewing so that is what I am going to do tomorrow so I can get these two quilts finished.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Disappearing 4 patch

This pattern was on my bucket list, to make a quilt using a disappearing four patch.  I used scraps from my stash that I had collected over the years so nothing goes together they were just random pieces that were the right size.  The white was the only thing that was consistent.

This pattern is a little trickier than you might think just by looking at it.  You put 2 coloured squares and 2 white squares together in a 4 patch and them cut them apart one inch from the center on all 4 sides.  That is what forms the little tiny 4 patch in the center of the blocks.  When you are cutting them apart you have to be sure to have them always the same direction or they don't turn out the same.  So it means having a white square on the left or a coloured square on the left and being consistent.  There is one square in this quilt that is different from all the rest.  If you go to Missouri Star Quilt Company Jenny has a great tutorial on this pattern.

After I finished this quilt it was 38 x 46 and I thought it should be bigger.  I had already quilted it and was about to put the binding on it when I decided that it needed a few more inches.  I used Jackie Black's method of adding borders that she taught us when she did the hinge workshop. 

 I am really thrilled to learn how to do this so that I can enlarge a quilt if I want to.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Nursing Reunion

Every 5 years my nursing class holds a reunion.  I have been lucky enough to be able to attend the last 3 or 4 of them and this year is a very special one.  It was in 1964 that 75 nurses graduated from St Joseph's Hospital School of Nursing in Toronto Canada.  I was one of those nurses.  Fifty years is a long time.  I spent a number of years in the nursing profession and even taught student nurses for some of those years.  As my children were getting older, I decided that I should stay home and look after them.  I thought that they needed to have their mother at home even if they felt they were getting old enough to be on their own.  

We average about 40 classmates at these reunions which means about half of the class get together for 3 days of reminiscing and fun.  Since this is our 50th reunion the Alumni honour us with a Dinner on Friday night and then we will get together with our classmates on Saturday and Sunday at a Hotel downtown.

At the last reunion I made luggage tags for all those that attended and this year I made "Wonder Wallets" from Lazy Girl Designs.  I was going to make them in assorted colours but one of my friends suggested I try to find nurse fabric.  I found some in a small town on the north shore of Lake Superior called Beaver Bay.  I needed more so I ordered it on line from Loralie Designs.

I made 48 Wonder Wallets for my classmates.

I had some of the blue fabric left over so I made myself a few new luggage tags in honour of my 50th reunion.  

Two new luggage tags.

I also put one of the small business cards in each of the wallets as a remembrance of the occasion.

I will be leaving next Tuesday for Toronto, hopefully I will be able to blog and post a few pictures of all the fun and shenanigans.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Hinge Method Continued

I finished putting the binding on my Hinge Method Quilt and the weather was so beautiful I hung it up and took a picture of it.

There was a slight breeze but it turned out pretty good.
The temperature today was 28 C so I had to wait till the sun reached the west so that there was no shadow on the quilt.
I am really pleased with the way this all turned out and thankful for the learning experience.

I also finished 2 bags for the twin quilts I made for Joanne's twin grandsons.  Since the quilts are identical except for the backing, I made the bags to match the backing.  So one is green and the other blue.
I thought the humpty dumpty fabric was so cute for two 4 year old boys.

I like to put the quilts in bags because then the quilts can be stored in the bags or the bags can be used for toys.