Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Bitter Sweet Moment

This was the house my father bought in 1959, two years after we immigrated to Canada. His dream of owning a home had come true. He was so proud of the house that would provide comfort and shelter for his family. It was to become our family residence. See that little window to the left of the front door? That was my room.

The house sat on the corner of a quiet street. Very few of the other homes in the area had been completed. The side street was a little dirt path. But over time the city of Toronto grew up around it. The house now sits on the corner of a busy intersection. Huge trees line the street.

If walls could talk. This house saw a lot in the last 50 years. There were first days at school and graduations. Birthday parties and Christmases. There were weddings and wedding receptions. There were births of children and grandchildren. It saw separations and divorce. It saw illness and death. It saw good times and bad times. We laughed. We cried. We played. We dreamed. We left the little house to make our own futures. So many memories.

My father passed away 14 years ago. His widow lived in the house until she died last summer. Then we put the house up for sale. We removed pictures from the walls. We painted. We cleaned. We emptied it of its contents until it was just a shell. And today the final papers were signed. The house belongs to someone else now. It's a bitter sweet moment.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Magna Cum Laude - With Great Praise!

I am a proud Mom today. That is not to say that I am not proud of my children every day, but today my DS graduated from York University. I always knew he could do it! He received an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. He was the only one receiving that degree out of hundreds of other graduates! And he did it Magna Cum Laude!
I took this photo of the huge screen that was hanging in front of me. It was impossible to get any closer in my wheelchair. Those things that seem to be sticking out of his head...well they're microphones on the stage. I couldn't do anything about them. They make him look like an alien or something. All I can say is, "The Mathman has landed!"

Oh! Yes! I am a proud Mom! But I think I said that already!

Friday, June 26, 2009

An Update

I just wanted to show you how I am doing with the baby quilt. It's coming together nicely.

I still have to machine applique the lambs. Still debating on what type of stitch to use. A few of the lambs don't have ears and a face yet, but they are in the works. I bought that blue and purple fabric to act as the first border. I think I will then add a narrow green border and finally a piano key border using most of the fabrics. You can see a bit of it on the left side of the photo.

Yesterday my son drove me to a LQS! I bought some red fabrics. I noticed that KarenDianne was doing a beautiful Dresden Plate quilt in reds and I fell in love with it. So I bought a few fat quarters to start me off.

Well that's about it. Oh, oh! I think Mimi is helping me iron. Watch out for that rotary cutter Mimi! It's sharp! Actually it isn't as dangerous as it looks. This my new rotary cutter! I love it. The blade snaps back as soon as pressure is taken off the handle.

"Mimi! You're putting wrinkles into my fabrics!"
"Meow! Yeah, I know! Wrinkles give the fabrics character!"
"Yeah! Right! Figures you would know about character, you...... charac, aaaah, cute kitten!"

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hey! Where's My MoJo?

I'm in a bit of a funk. Can't seem to decide what to do next. After finishing two quilts in one month, I am lost. I have lots of UFOs to work on, but nothing is turning me on. The garden is also calling me. I really have to go out and figure out how to pull all the weeds. We have had a very cool and wet spring. Everything is growing like crazy, especially the weeds. I don't ever remember my tomatoes being so tall before July.

And I just found out that we had a new addition to our extended family. My cousin became a grandmother! Her son and daughter-in-law had a girl! Here she is just shortly after she made her appearance into the world. Cute, eh?
I love making little pink things. I think I may just leave all my UFOs and start on something new for the new baby. Yes, I think that's it!
Maybe I will do this pattern that I found in the Fons and Porter Baby Quilts Magazine. I love those little lambs! I don't think I am going to piece all those little 1 1/2 inch squares in the inner border though. Nor am I going to make the outer border to look like a fence with ivy appliqued on it. I think if I just get some cute fabrics for both borders, I should be able to finish this little number in a short time. Yep! I think I am getting my MoJo back!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Psychedelic Butterflies

Do you remember that crazy fabric I had in a 'Quilts From the Heart' kit back in March? It was kind of scary! I decided to make some nine-patches and machine appliqued butterflies with it. I had the quilt all sandwiched and basted a few weeks ago, because I wanted it to be done before our last Guild meeting for this year. But that was not to be. Today I had a lot of sewing time and I was able to finish it. Yippeeeee! Another finish for June! Gosh it feels so good! It's a bit bright. So go and get your sunglasses before you look at it!

Here is a close-up of one of the butterflies. I used an old piece of Heat and Bond to applique the butterflies onto the background. It was a heavy weight bond, so it was difficult to do a zigzag stitch around each butterfly. My needle kept getting gummed up and I broke a few. I will definitely not use that stuff in the future!

I had some of the front fabric left over, so I put it on the back. This will go to our Guild in the fall. Hopefully someone with a sense of humour and colour blindness will enjoy it.

It has been raining all day today. My peonies were heavy with raindrops. Nasty weather! The beautiful blooms were flat on the ground. I waited all year for these things to open up and bloom and then the rain came and just knocked them over. Can't have that! I went out and cut them and brought them inside. Now their heady perfume is almost making me nauseous! But I'm tough, I can handle it!

Friday, June 19, 2009

What I've Been Up To

The sun was shining this morning! Kind of a novelty, since we've had rain for several days! I decided to go out on my scooter and see what trouble I could get into. I went through the ravine and was almost knocked off my scooter by the heavenly, intoxicating scent of the wild roses that lined the path! They were so fresh and delicate. What a stroke of luck to be passing by these while they were in bloom. I don't think I have ever noticed them before. And, in another stroke of luck, I had my camera with me.

I went to visit some friends and on my way home I passed by a garden centre and bought a few more plants to fill another planter. When I arrived at home, I noticed that the mail had come. How exciting! A few weeks ago I entered a give-away on Pat's blog and I won. My book arrived today!
Edit: Pat had put a fat quarter in the package, which I did not see until she emailed me to ask if I had found it. She was afraid that she had forgotten - age, you know, but it was me who had not checked the envelope carefully enough - age, yeah, I admit it! So here is the new photo.

I am really excited with this one. It has several quilts that I know I will make. I love the sunflower wall hanging and this fan one is lovely. I am thinking of using a fan block in a wall hanging that I am doing at the moment, so this will come in handy. Thanks Pat! I really appreciate your generosity.
Edit: And it seems that Mimi likes it too. She took possession as soon as I put the book and fat quarter down.
And if that wasn't enough, Oscar wanted to get into the action too. I think they are having a quilting discussion.

And I must show you my latest block from the Friday Block Party. This one is called, 'Triangle Chain'. It is a 9-inch block. For some reason the pattern was posted yesterday instead of today. That was fine with me! I went into my sewing room last night and started rummaging around for fabric. I planned on just finding the fabric. But then I started cutting it out. And before I knew it, I was so engrossed in the block that I had the whole thing sewn together! Mimi loves it! It's got silly cats and cat paw prints on it. I love it too. I will post the entire block on the Block Party's blog.

Now I am ready for the weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Winter Berries - A June Finish!

Ahhhh! How sweet it is! I finished my 'Winter Berries' wall hanging. This is the quilt I was working on when my machine broke down last month. It has taken me two weeks to get up the courage to try again. I had less than one hour of quilting to do. But now it's done!

I started this quilt in January. It is my original design. I wanted something winter-like, no flowers, so I chose berries and seedpods. (My interpretation of berries and seedpods, anyway.) It is machine pieced, hand appliqued and machine quilted and measures about 40in. by 40in. No fabrics were bought for this quilt. Every piece came from my scrap bin. Here is a close-up of the appliqued centre.

I can't understand why no cats have come to sit on it as I was photographing it. Usually they won't leave me alone when I spread something out on the floor. Maybe they don't like this quilt.

"Hey Mimi! Don't you like my quilt?"

"Meow! Can't you see I'm busy? I'm doing my ears and face and later I will do my nails and tail. Just go away. It's not easy being a cat - so much preening, so little time! Meow!"

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More Nine Patches and.......What's this?

I got a few more nine-patch blocks done. Now I have to concentrate on finishing something for this month's 'one project a month challenge'. Hopefully I will have something to show tomorrow!
What's that noise on the roof? Oh, oh, Mimi is watching something. What is it Mimi?

"Meow! It's one of those pesky squirrels. He is sitting on the solarium and he's eating a tulip bulb!"

"Oh those darn squirrels! Always digging in my garden. You keep your eye on it, okay Mimi?"

"Meow! Don't worry! I wanted to take a nap, but I can't seem to take my eyes off this furry rodent!"

Ahhh! That's my Mimi - she does fabric guarding and squirrel patrol too!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Inspiration and a Block

My poppies are in bloom right now. I love this orangy-red colour. This is really not a good picture. The sun was shining directly onto the poppies, but it was dark and shady behind them. But I still love them!

When I saw this week's Block Party block, I didn't know what to do with it. It didn't turn me on and I couldn't decide on the fabric. As the week has gone on, I have been looking out at my poppies and finally I realized that my block for this week had to be made in reds - in honour of my poppies! So this is what I came up with. I didn't have that orangy-red colour, but this is close enough.

This is week 24's block. It's called, 1930's Square. Kind of a boring name for such a pretty block. And yes! Now that I have it made up, it is turning me on. Or maybe it's those Oriental Poppies.....mmmmm......like opium, the colour is intoxicating! Here is another happy poppy shot!
And a photo especially for Karendianne of Leehaven fame! It's Mimi guarding my fabrics!
"You're doing a good job, Mimi! Thanks. You don't mind if I put this photo on my blog, do you?"
"Meow! For Karen I will do anything! I love her blog and her menagerie! Hi Kanga, Duke, Sagan, Katie and Kismet! Meow to you all! Hope I didn't forget anyone."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

BOM - A Tisket, A Tasket. Twelve Months of Baskets

I am caught up in the Bunny Hill Block of the Month (see my side bar), thanks to my sewing machine problems a couple of weeks ago. I'll show you them all now, but in the future I think I will just put them on my side bar.
Edit: I saw them on the side bar of Latane's blog. What a great idea! Thanks Latane!

This was the block for February:

This one was for March:


And finally, May:

Edit: Well, I thought I was all caught up, but then realized that we are already in June, so I should have six blocks done. It turned out that I hadn't even downloaded the pattern for June. But I'm going to work on it.......... soon.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Caught up in the Nine Patch Quilt Along

When I say "caught up" I mean that in two ways. I am totally fixated on these blocks. I love the simplicity. I am "caught up" in the fascination of imagining quilters all over the world working away at this task all at the same time. I am "caught up" in the making of at least one of these blocks each day as per Crazy Mom's instuctions. I am constantly looking at my fabrics, thinking of which ones to put together. When my sewing machine quit on me, I had to leave the nine patches. It was a sad time for me. When I got my machine back, I was about two weeks behind. But now I am "caught up"! I have finished a total of 46 blocks! I think that is about where we are right now in the quilt along. These are some of my latest ones.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Nine Inch Blocks

Wow! Two posts in one day!

I am all caught up on the Friday Block Party! This week's block is called '1941 Nine Patch'. It is in the bottom right hand corner and is a nine-inch block. I have photographed it with my other nine-inch blocks. A few more of these and I will have a cute baby quilt!

Back in the Saddle Again........

My sewing machine is fixed! It's good as new and purring away like a kitten. ("Meow!") Oh, sorry Mimi. You're right, kittens purr way nicer! But my machine is back in my sewing room and I'm back in the saddle again!!!

I have some catching up to do, but not too much. I finished the Friday Block Party's block for week #22. It's called Starflower. I started it on another machine, making the half square triangles, and finished it on my Bernina. The old machine I was using last week did not give me the right seam allowances so I decided to wait until I got my machine back to finish it.

I did it in these colours because I was inspired by the colours in my garden. This is my perennial geranium, known as Cranesbill.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Words to Live By?

I don't really have anything to show you. Not much quilting has been going on around here. But the good news is that my sewing machine is fixed. They called me this morning. I can pick it up tonight. I hope it works! I have a lot of catching up to do. Just for the time being, here are some words of wisdom that came in my mailbox this morning and some that were volunteered by the furry family members.

1. Aspire to be Barbie. The bitch has everything.

2. If the shoe fits, buy them in every colour.

3. Take life with a pinch of salt, a wedge of lime and a shot of tequila.

4. Felix say: "Stop and smell the flowers or tomatoes, as the case may be."

5. Go on the 30 day diet. (I'm on it and so far I've lost 15 days.)

6. When life gets you down, just put on your big girl panties and deal with it.

7. Let your greatest fear be that there is no PMS and this is just your personality.

8. I know I'm in my own little world, but it's okay. They know me there.
9. Oscar says: "Take lots of naps!"

10. Don't get your knickers in a knot - it solves nothing and makes you walk funny.

11. Mimi says: "Lead me not into temptation. I can find it myself."

11. When life gives you lemons - turn it into lemonade. Then mix it with vodka.

12. Remember where ever there is a good looking, sweet, single or married man, there is some woman who is tired of his bullshit!

13. Keep your chin up. Only the first 40 years of parenthood are the hardest.

14. If it has 'tires' or 'testicles' it's gonna give you trouble.

15. By the time a woman realizes her mother was right, she has a daughter who thinks she's wrong.

16. Good friends are like stars. You don't always see them, but you know they are there.

17. Oscar says: "Always say your prayers."

18. And last but not least, always take time to remember yesterday, dream about tomorrow, but live for today!