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.


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Hinge Method Workshop

The day before I left for Ottawa I took a class from Jackie Black who has developed a new method of joining squares together.  The completed squares are quilted and then joined together with sashing strips.  She calls it the Hinge Method.

Add sashing to the front and back of the strip.  I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance so that I wouldn't lose my points in my blocks.

After that zig zag the 2 blocks together.

Sew the hinge to the second block.  I sewed the hinge with a straight stitch although it could also be sewn with a fancy stitch.  You have to catch the hinge on the backing side and sometimes this is easier with a fancy stitch or a zig zag stitch.

Two finished quilts from the class.

My finished quilt with hinges joining the squares together and borders added.  This quilt was one of my BOM's that I did last year from "In Color Order"

One really exciting thing that I took away from this class is how to add borders to an already quilted quilt.  

So the next time I finish quilting a quilt and haven't added the binding but decide that I would like to make it larger I know how to add another border.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Wednesday and Thursday in Ottawa

Yesterday our main goal was to go to the Supreme Court of Canada and to sit in on one of the hearings.  We arrived around 10:30 am and had just missed a major ruling on the Harkat National Security Certificate.  One of the security guards told us that was alright as there were lots of media there because they new the ruling was coming down and there was also a demonstration going on at the time.  We sat in on a hearing about what the National Art Gallery had to pay an artist when they showed their works in the gallery.  The Judges questioned the lawyer who was presenting the case and he talked forever about this.

We couldn't take pictures in the hearing but this is a picture of the Supreme Court Judges.

From here we took the Tulip Shuttle back to Dow's lake to roam around again and look at the tulips.  The other day when we were there it had started to rain so we only saw half of them.  

There were fireworks at night so we went back for a third time.  For 15 minutes we were thoroughly entertained by a fantastic display of fireworks.

This was the grand finale.

Today we went back to the Parliament Buildings and walked around the outside of the grounds where there are statues of some of the former Prime Ministers of Canada.  There is also collection of statues of women who fought to be called "persons" and be appointed to the Senate.

After lunch we went into the Parliament buildings again and went to Question Period to see Parliament at work.  It is something that I had seen in the news but had never experienced it live.  Everyone should do that at least once in their life time.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ottawa Trip

Lynda and I planned this trip since we were in Washington D.C. a few years back and we thought that we should visit our nations capital.  It is about 30 years since I was last here.  We are staying at the Business Inn a great hotel located very central to everything.  
Yesterday we took a tour of the Royal Canadian Mint.  They do not make coins for circulation here but only investment coins.  It was a very interesting tour.  We had a small group of about 7 people so it was easy to ask questions and to follow along with the guide.  From there we took the bus to the Governor Generals home at Rideau Hall.  We were lucky to get a tour there of the inside of this wonderful place.  We toured the Great Hall and the Hall where all the service medals were given out.  We were not allowed to take pictures inside either of these buildings.  We did take pictures of the grounds.

Rideau Hall

Then of course we had to go to a quilt shop in Orleans which is a suburb of Ottawa, called Quilty Pleasures.  We bought fabric for a quilt for Lynda's newest granddaughter.

Today we were heading for the Supreme Court of Canada and as we were walking past the Parliament buildings we decided to try our luck for a tour.  There were loads of school children but we managed to get a tour with about 10 other people.  We could take all the pictures we wanted so I have lots.  After the tour we went to the Peace Tower and had a view of the entire city.

The Senate Chamber

When we were finished we went to the gallery in the House of Commons and heard a debate on the new Election Act.  Questions Period wasn't until 2:30 pm so we couldn't wait around because we had had no lunch.  After lunch we went to the Bayward Market and then took the Tulip Shuttle to Dow Lake to see the tulips.  There are over 300,000 tulips with over 60 varieties.  That is not a typo.  They are given to Canada from the Netherlands to show their appreciation for the Canadian soldiers who liberated the Netherlands during the Second World War.

There were tulips as far as the eye could see.

There are 2 varieties here, one a pale pink and one a darker colour.  The pale ones were taller than the darker ones.

On to the Supreme Court tomorrow.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Leaving for Ottawa

I'm off to Ottawa today, Canada's capital city. It is tulip festival time. I will try to post lots of pictures. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Zig Zag and Mug Rugs

Another donation quilt is finished and ready to go.  I get emails from Fab quilts and they send me links to quilt tutorials.  I am using up scraps and I thought this was really an ideal pattern.  So cute, but it is one that has to go on a design wall to put it together.  You can find the pattern here.

Zig Zag Rainbow Quilt

I have been doing yoga for about 12 years now in order to stay limber and to get some stretching into my exercise routine.  I go to our local community center and have been fortunate to have the same yoga instructor.  When I saw this mug rug I knew that I had to make it for her.  I hope she likes it.  

It is hard to see the background fabric but it is 
sky fabric.
I found the pattern at Damsel Quilts and Crafts.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

From Scraps to Squares

I have been on a real scrap kick lately and making scrap quilts especially for donation quilts.  I have a wall of medium sized bins with scraps sorted by colour.  
They are all labelled so that I can access them quickly.

I decided that I should go through them and see how big some of my scraps really are.  I found some that were all different sizes so I decided that maybe I should cut them into squares.  I thought that if they were in different size squares then I could plan on using them in some of my scrap quilts.  I found some smaller bins that were 6 x 8 inches so I used them to store the different sizes.  I have been very busy lately.

3 1/2 inch squares
These are a good size for making pinwheels.

2 inch squares are great for 9 patch and 16 patch squares

I decided on 3 inch squares because I didn't want to waste fabric if I cut larger pieces into 2 1/2 squares.

The 2 1/2 inch squares over flowed the small bins so I had to put them into a 6 x 8 inch bin.
I cut my bindings at 2 1/2 inches so I had an over abundance of that size strip.  I have already made a few quilts using this size square.

I also have a small bin with half hexagons.  I like making half hexagon or whole hexagon quilts.  They are a lot of fun to do.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have been very busy quilting my latest quilt tops.  I finished my quilt that I started at the Quilt Bee on April 5th.  It is 36 x 48 just the right size for a wheel chair quilt.

Windmills at Night.

I finished making tops from my Magic Stack N Whack.  I thought that if I made one top it would be too big for me to quilt on my own so I put 4 blocks together and made 2 quilts from the 8 blocks.

Quilt Number One

Quilt Number Two

The borders of both quilts are the same colour although they don't look it.  It is black with a swirl in it, and it turns gray when I take a picture.

A few years ago I made an Easter Egg Tree table topper so I decided this year that I needed some placemats to go with it.  I wanted them bright with some of the fabric from the Easter Tree.  The only fabric I had on hand was from the border and binding, so I used it on the placemats.

The center square is from the same line and I also cut the side borders from that fabric.  I fussy cut the center square and then had to scrounge fabric for the side borders.  I had barely enough to make my four placemats.

I also put together a new purse.  Linda G took the Bag Class and asked about making a bag with a gusset for the zipper.  She found a pattern and I said I would give it a try.  It turns out that it is not a true gusset but fabric added to the zipper so it is a false gusset.

I think if I made it again I would make it wider and not as deep. but I am happy with it and have used it a few times already.  Since mine is all one colour it is a little more dressy than the original.