Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Finish!

I joined the UFO challenge that Nancy from the Patchwork Penguin is hosting. I had wanted to finish this quilt before the end of last year, but things just didn't work out. So here it is - the end of January and I am finally finished my Christmas Table Cover/Wallhanging. (It's having a bit of an identity crisis since I am not sure what I will do with it - wall or table - but at least it's finished.) It's about 4feet square. I found the pattern in a Fons and Porter magazine.

I didn't have enough of a Christmas fabric for the back and because I had originally thought of hanging it on the wall, I decided to use a light blue fabric that I didn't particularly like. But there was not enough of that fabric either so I brought out some old blocks I had made a long time ago. I pieced them together and put them into the back. Voila! Back art!

But perhaps the most exciting thing that I have finished this month is the swag lamp that I made several years ago. It is hanging above my work table in the solarium, thanks to my DH! Now I have light and I can even cut fabric at night. I have strict orders not to become a night hawk though! But I just love to stay up and quilt when the house is quiet. Maybe I can sneak a bit of time in.

This lamp was done in stained glass using the copper foil method. I made it several years ago, but never got the electrical stuff to wire it. On a recent trip to the Home Depot, I decided it was time to hang this thing before it got knocked off my workbench! I apologize about the photo. It doesn't show the colour because it was already starting to get dark when I took it. The colours are really soft and pretty. I will try to get a better photo tomorrow.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lots of Things Going On Today

First of all it is time for a Sky Watch Friday photo. We have not had much sunshine until today, but it is too cold for me to go out on scooter to look for interesting shots. So I am entering this 'sun shot' taken from a local parking lot a few days ago. I didn't even get out of the car - just rolled down a window. The sun was a great big hazy blur.
If you want to see more Sky Watch photos please go here.

Second is a sort of photo challenge that Pat at A Little of This and a Little of Pat issued this morning. to kind of take our minds off winter. We were supposed to pick the fifth photo from the fifth folder from five years ago. There were only four photos in this folder, so I took the fourth one. It is a shot taken when we had Japanese students staying with us for a ten-day period during that summer. Two of the girls stayed with me and the other two stayed with my DD, who is on the right. The two girls in the middle came back to Toronto a few years ago and stayed with me while they attended an English language school downtown. This is a really fun photo. It brings back lots of wonderful memories for me. Thanks Pat, for suggesting this!
And finally, Barb from Bejeweled Quilts had a Thimbleberries Day yesterday. Quilters from all over the world worked on Thimbleberries patterns. I thought I didn't have any of Lynette Jensen's patterns, but it turns out that I have two books, full of them. As I was looking through those books for something to sew, I came across a pattern that I started a long time ago and never finished - Ahhhh, the story of my life! I don't even know where this quilt is hiding. Now that I have a 'taste' for it again, I am trying to find it. I hope to join in next month and maybe even finish the lost quilt, so stay tuned. But I have to find it first........... Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I've Been AWOL

Hi Everybody!

I think I'm back - for good this time. Had a toothache all week! I went to the dentist last week Monday, and told him that I was experiencing pain when I ate hot or cold foods. So he fixed a filling that had fallen out. He told me that he had to drill really close to the nerve and I might have to have root canal. Oh, no! The dreaded RC word! By the time the freezing had gone out of my jaw the tooth was hurting. It continued to hurt all week long. I tried to manage it with pain killers and oil of cloves etc., but nothing worked. In the end the tooth that had pained me when I ate hot or cold foods, was hurting me all the time! So I called the dentist yesterday and he sent me to a root canal specialist - need I say more? Now I have a hole in my tooth, an abscess that has to drain and I am still in pain! Also, I am not supposed to chew anything on that side of my mouth because food will get into the hole and prevent the abscess from draining. Am I making you sick yet? I have to wait two weeks until he can finish the rest of the root canal. At least he gave me a prescription for Percocet!

We not only had to deal with my toothache, but also with an ailing Oscar as well. We took him to the emergency animal clinic early on Sunday morning. I feared that he had a bladder infection and maybe some crystals as well. It turned out that it was only an infection - no crystals. After a bill of $365.00, we took him home with medications - which he refused to take. But there is more than one way to treat a cat! The way to Oscar's heart is through his stomach, so I bought him his favourite, most expensive food and I am crushing the pills and adding them to his dinner. He has faithfully taken each tablet with a smile!

I also finished his cat bed. I found a pattern on the internet, but did not use it. Instead, I made up my own pattern. I used some awful Red Heart yarn that was in my stash. Right now Oscar is too suspicious of me and he would have nothing to do with the bed. But Felix loved it! Mimi did too, but Felix wouldn't let her near it. When I first put it down on the ground they all sat around it as if it was a giant feeding dish! Wish I had my camera ready at that moment!

Not much quilting has gone on around here, but I did finish the Block Party block for this week. It is called, "Odds and Ends 2". It was quick and easy. And I really like it. The pattern was written for an 8inch block. I made that one in batiks. Then I upsized it to a 12inch block and made that in red, since I have Valentine's Day on my mind......

And here is a shot of Mimi in the bed with Oscar looking on. I am sure she is trying to tell him that it is safe to go in it. Aren't you girl?

"Meow! No way! I want this thing all to myself! Meow!"

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Cloudy SkyWatch

Cloudy with the odd sunny break.
I took this when I went out on my scooter last Thursday. By the time I got home the entire sky was covered in a thick layer of grey clouds - no sun anywhere and even a snow flurry or two. This has been a very dark and dismal winter so far.... but 1/3 of it is officially over today! Hurray!

Want to see more SkyWatch photos? Just click here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Block and Some Strips

I didn't get a lot done this weekend. Too much visiting, shopping and entertaining! I still have some quilting to do on my Christmas table cover. Also haven't finished quilting my mother's 9patch. I hope to work on the table cover as soon as I get off the computer. I did finish the Friday Block Party block for this week. It is called 'Another Star'. But it looks just like a sawtooth star to me - only it is not constructed the same way. According to the pattern on the Quilter's Cache, it is done with flying geese and HST, but I made mine all in half square triangles. I had a lot of triangle pieces of greens (from the table cover) and I didn't want more triangles from making the flying geese units, so I just pieced them and this is what I got.

Not my favourite block, but I am sure that it will be fine in a sampler quilt at some time in the future.

While looking through my stash bin for the triangles, I found more strips than anyone is supposed to own! I'm not kidding. They are in two huge bins and I am not able to close them anymore! So I started thinking ways to use them up. I saw that Stephanie from Loft Creations has issued a quilt challenge, but I did not really want to join that. I am so bad with keeping up with things. However, it seems that I am making these strip units anyway. I made 23 of them this weekend! And that was just in between all the other things I did. It was very relaxing work. Just sewing strips together without much thought. Now I have run out of muslin for the foundation of these blocks. It's a good thing, because I think I need to get back to my quilting! I hope to get some more muslin on the weekend.

Tonight I am going out for dinner with a group of teachers and friends from a school I worked at over 20 years ago. It's kind of like a dinner club. They go out once a month. I have not been able to go for over 2 years because of my 'condition', but tonight one of my wonderful friends is going to pick me up. I think I am ready to start doing a bit of walking and get back into my regular routine. I am really looking forward to it!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Spring in January?

I went out on my scooter today. The temperature was around 3C! Almost like spring! Not much sun though and lots of water. The sidewalks were full of puddles. And I got splashed by every car and bus that went by on the Lawrence Avenue bridge. So I decided to cut my trip short. I stopped off at the Giant Tiger store on my way home. I bought some body wash. Since I was wet anyways, I figured I'd be able to use it!

Yesterday I showed you Felix's enthusiasm about the Winter Olympics. Mimi is getting all excited about them too! Just look at her, oozing excitement!

Hey Mimi! What event are you training for?

I'm napping!

That's not an event!

Well, it should be! That's the thing I do best!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

SkyWatch Friday - Bluffer's Park

Last Sunday at Bluffer's Park in Scarborough. This was taken at the public boat launch. It was very cold, but sunny that day. Notice our snow - or lack of it? It seems to be snowing everywhere in the world except here in Toronto. I took this photo out of the car window. That's as far as I got. It was too slippery.

Want to see more SkyWatch Friday photos? Just click here.

More 'Quatrefoils'

I made two more 'Quatrefoils' blocks from week 2 of the Block Party. I posted the orange and green one yesterday. It is a 9in. block. The two-colour green one on the right is a 12in. block and the little purple one with the hearts is a 6in. block. I think I might make that one into a little hot pad for Valentine's Day.

Because the Winter Olympics are being held in Vancouver in less than a month, we, as Canadians, are very excited! We have never won a gold medal in our own country. Hopefully that will change.

The torch is being carried across the country and here at home Felix is busy exercising for his big downhill event. You can see how active he is! I am sure he'll win!
"What exercises are you doing Felix?"

"I am posing for my photoshoots! Do you think this is my best side?"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bee Night!

Monday evening was Bee Night at our Guild. We made these really cute placemats! It was a lot of fun and for a good cause too. They will be donated to Meals on Wheels. I might even make one for myself. This is the one I finished on Monday evening. They only take an hour or so to make - start to finish!Here are a few more that I have started. Still have to add backing and batting. I have already cut out the fabric for several more. I just love this project! And the fact that the finished placemats will go to folks who are unable to cook for themselves is a big bonus. A nice 'heart' thing to do for Valentine's Day!

I also met a lovely lady who sat across from me. When I heard her talk about computers, I asked her if she was a blogger. And she said 'Yes'! She has a really interesting blog. Her hobbies are crazy quilting and cake decorating. To see it go to Dianesdecoratingdiary. She made a lovely pastel placemat! It's on her blog too.I also finished this week's Friday Party block. It is called "Quatrefoils" and is 9inches square. I made it using kids fabrics because all of my 9inch blocks are done that way. It's an easy block to make up and I have already cut out the fabric to make one in a 12inch size and a 6inch size. I will post them when I have them completed.
If you want to see a beauty, go to the Block Party and see Julie's. She made hers into a small spring quilt! It';s just lovely!

So far I have not worked on my UFOs this week. That is going to have to change! I need to complete a few things in order to feel as if I am getting ahead. But I did work on the Jacob's Ladder scrap quilt. I am trying to do one block a day. I posted it on my sidebar, so that you can see my progress.

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's Definitely Back to Business!

I have a lot to share with you today! First of all........ A very terrific package came in the mail today. It was a present from Nynke, the Dutch Purple Rabbit. She sent me this gorgeous necklace. OMG! I just love it! Thank you Nynke! Blue is my favourite colour!

She says that she sent it to me because I am such a good blogging friend. Awww! That's so nice, Nynke. You are one of the best too! Here is a close up so you can see some of the pretty beads!

Next is a charity quilt which will be donated to Quilts from the Heart at our Guild Meeting in two weeks. I have had it pieced for a long time. I even sandwiched it before Christmas, but I never got around to quilting it. Then I saw Laurie's quilt on A Yankee Quilter. She had free motioned her quilt and that seemed like a perfect solution to my quilting dilemma. As you can see, it turned out quite nicely!Here is a close up. I hope you can see my quilting. I sewed the binding on last night. Now just a label and I am finished - two weeks before it has to be! I'm smokin'!

Last week I perused the Quilter's Cache site for some interesting blocks for the Friday Block Party. I found Jacob's Ladder and fell in love with it. I decided to make the four patches that I started last week into this block. This what I have so far. I have lots more pieces cut out and I hope to make a block a day. I think I will only make it as big as the one that is pictured on the Jacob's Ladder site. I should have enough fabric for that.And lastly, it was a beautiful sunny day yesterday. The temperature was very cold, but it was fresh and clean. I know a lot of folks are dealing with horrendous winter conditions at the moment, but here in Toronto we welcome the snow and ice. Well, at least I do! We haven't had much snow, but it has been really cold. I made my DH drive me to Lake Ontario. I wanted to take some photos of this winter before it is gone.

But when we got there, I realized everything was covered in ice and I couldn't walk there safely with my canes. It was also impossible to push a wheelchair through all that snow, so we just drove around with the windows open, welcoming the fresh air. I took this photo of a boat ramp down in Bluffer's Park. There were thousands of gulls, almost as many mallard ducks, hundreds of Canada Geese and even a dozen or so Swans. I have no idea why these creatures don't fly south for the winter! Maybe they stayed this year, just for my enjoyment!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

SkyWatch Friday and a New Start

It's time for SkyWatch Friday again. I was going to dip into my archives because I have not been outside this week. It's too cold and the sidewalks are slippery. So I'm sort of confined to house arrest. But I did go out for a couple of minutes this afternoon to put some peanuts out for the squirrels that live in my backyard. When they come to get them they provide endless hours of fascination for my cats. It's like television for felines! So here is my neighbour's Chinese Elm tree with a beautiful blue sky! It's around -3 degrees Celsius (26.5F) so that's not too bad.
If you want to see more SkyWatch Friday photos from around the world, go here.

On the Quilting Front
I have been busy cleaning up my sewing room. Also spent a couple of hours quilting my Christmas table topper. I ran out of thread so I had to stop. I cut a few of the 5inch squares that I showed you yesterday. I know! I know! I have no business starting anything new right now. I have so many UFOs to finish, but I just couldn't help myself!
I used a couple of pieces of fabric from my stash. I think they will work very well with the squares from Barb. Can you tell which ones are mine and which ones are from the Bed and Breakfast package? I knew you couldn't. I think I will make a four-patch or something similar with these squares.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Feeling Better!

Thank you to everyone who left well wishes on my last post. I am feeling much better today, although not perfect. My sinuses still aren't cooperating. It is cold and dreary out. On and off snow flurries all day and when I look out my kitchen window I can't tell where my neighbour's roof leaves off and the sky begins. Everything is white.

But my day has been brightened by Barb of Bejeweled Quilts, sent me these nifty little squares of fabric. There are 28 of them. And she even included a spool of thread. Thank you Barb! I have no idea what I will make with them yet. I might even have some fabrics that would go with these. Anybody got any ideas?

Also, while I was recuperating, I knit my son a new scarf. He wanted one in black. So I just cast on 39 stitches and did a knit three, purl three across the rows. I changed the knit and purl stitches every three rows to create a sort of basket weave effect. Maybe you can see it if you click on the photo. I love this pattern for a scarf. A friend of mine suggested it to me many years ago and I still make a lot of scarves this way. It is an easy pattern and gives me just enough of a challenge to be able to watch television or just recuperate from a cold while I knit.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Back to Business Soon

I have a head cold. My sinuses are blocked and I can't breathe. Sewing stuff is not possible at the moment. I am making too many mistakes - in cutting, and in sewing pieces in the right order etc. So I am taking it easy. Good thing I went to the library last Saturday. All I need now is my Vitamin C. Where is my Vitamin C anyway? I guess I'll have to ask my DS. I'm sure that's where it is.

But I did finish week 1 of this year's Block Party blocks. It's called 'Wheel of Time'. It took a lot unsewing, but it is done. It's a 12inch block. Want to join our Party? Just let me know. I'll add you to our list of members. It's going to be a great year!