Sunday, June 26, 2011

Little Shop of Horrors Revisited

Yesterday I showed you my mystery plant.  I think it is a pumpkin, but who knows!  It could be a man or woman-eating plant from an other world.  I am going to leave it.  Maybe move it over so it is not directly in the middle of the path.  I have enough trouble walking without tripping over this thing.  Here are some photos so you can see for yourself. 

I put a geranium basket beside it for comparison.

This is one of the leaves.  It's about 12inches (30cm) across.

And here is a shot of my cucumbers.  Similar leaves, but much smaller.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

One More Done!

Another charity quilt done.  Gosh, I'm really on a roll! 

This was also a kit from my guild.  I think I got lucky this month.  The fabrics they gave me are all nice.  Sometimes you don't know what you're going to get.

And speaking of what I am going to get... I have this 'thing' growing in one of my raised beds.  No idea what it is.  It's a volunteer.  Maybe a pumpkin?  It is taking over my garden!  The curious child in me wants to let it grow and see what it becomes.  But the adult in me wonders if I should pull it out.  I hope it isn't anything from 'Little Shop of Horrors' fame!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another Charity Quilt is Finished

I finished another charity quilt last night.   It's a Disappearing Nine Patch and it came as a kit from our guild.  I love these colours  I think this one is going to a veterans' centre - probably to one of the many women who fought to give us our freedom


Monday, June 20, 2011

Another Kitchen Update - Back Splash

We went to Olympic Tile yesterday afternoon and I picked out the tiles for my back splash.  I have been playing with them ever since we got home.  I love them!  They remind me of a quilt.  I think they will tie the whole kitchen together - the light flooring, the cabinets, the paint and the gray of the counter top.  These tiles are made out of real stone. 

My DH and I have a 'thing' for stone.  We are always looking for interesting colours or fossils.  And even though they are real stone, one side has been polished.  It is smooth and shiny.  I think it will be easy to keep clean.  Can't wait to get them up on the wall.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Disappearing Nine Patch?

My sewing machine is still not working properly.  Sometimes the needle does not go to the centre position when I turn it on.  It's not really a problem, unless I forget to check it.  I was so excited about making another DNP quilt, (I know, I know!  I shouldn't be starting anything new!  But I just can't help myself.)  that I started to sew immediately.  And... well you guessed it.  I broke my needle!  It was so wedged in there that I had to use a pair of pliers to get it out.  Luckily I was wearing glasses because the tip of the needle flew off and hit me.  I put a new needle in and continued on with my DNP.  Here is what I have so far - 18 blocks, only 12 to go.  They are just on my design floor and are not arranged as they will be when it is finished.  I need more blocks to see how the colours work together.

I really shouldn't be calling it a DNP because I did not make any nine patches for this top.  I just didn't have enough large pieces of fabric in my stash.  But I did have strips of fabric measuring 3' that I wanted to use.  So I made up my own DNP blocks.

Here is what I did.  I cut the larger pieces from larger fabrics.  They measure 6' x 6'.  Then I cut two pieces of fabric measuring 3' x 6' for the sides.  For the small squares I chose a fabric that I used throughout.  It's the red in my quilt.  I cut one of those for each block measuring 3' x 3'.

Then I sewed them together - a 3' square to a 3' x6' rectangle and a 6' square to a 3' x 6' rectangle.

I finger pressed the seams in opposite directions and sewed my two pieces together.  And... Voila!  A finished block.  I need 30 of these for a baby or lap quilt - 5 blocks across and 6 down.  Easy, peasy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Something New and Something Old

My kitchen is moving along........
The 'new' in this post is my new countertop that was installed on Monday.  It's called 'Silestone' and is a man made material made of quartz and some kind of binder.  It looks like stone, but it is actually much stronger.  Here is a close-up.

And the 'old' is a UFO that I started three years ago.  It is all hand pieced and appliqued.  I'll show you more when I have it done. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Not Much Progress

Yesterday I finished a block from last week's Friday Block Party.  It is called, "Friendship Scrap Block" and is made out of triangles.  It's a 12inch block.  Although it was not terribly hard, some of the pieces didn't line up as I would have liked them to.  I don't think I will make any more of these.  This one will be added to the 12inch blocks and hopefully one day I will make a quilt out of them.

This morning I just couldn't get myself started.  It was dark and gloomy outside and I had been out late on Friday evening.  I took a short nap and then decided to 'make' some fabric.  I got a few pieces sewn together. but it just wasn't doing anything for me.  So I changed directions and made some small 9-patch blocks.  That is the block which is featured on the Block Party this week.  (see my sidebar) These little blocks measure 3inches when completed.  They are for my 'Oh My Gosh' quilt.  The original OMG quilt uses even smaller blocks, but my fingers and eyes don't like to work with blocks that small.  This quilt is fun, but it will not be done for a long time!

I also want to work on a UFO quilt that I started three years ago.  If I can get it done by August I will enter it into our guild's Quilt Show in the fall.  I hope I will feel in the mood for that tomorrow.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Finish

After a week of procrastinating, I have finally finished another Beach Party quilt.   I love this pattern because I can use a lot of scraps.   This one measures about 41in. by 57in. (105cm by 145cm) and is a good size for the couch or even a baby quilt.   I never know how big these quilts are going to be until they are finished...  and they are finished when I hear them speak to me. 

The blocks for this quilt were made by using 2 1/2in. square scraps and bigger pieces for the triangle blocks.  At the moment I am cutting out more scraps using smaller pieces, (2in. and 1 1/2in.) but those are ongoing projects and I probably won't be finished them until the end of the summer.

Now, what else can I show you?  Oh, I know.  Here is a favourite perennial of mine!  It's called Cranesbill or Geranium.  I have another Cranesbill in another part of the garden.  It is a pink one, but I think I love these blue flowers the best. 

And here is a photo of Mimi, wedged in behind a chair in the solarium.  She is trying to soak up every ray of sunshine she can get.  Our heatwave is over and it is going to be a very comfortable 20C today. 

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Just a Few of my Perennials

It's a hot one today.  Can't concentrate on quilting, so I thought you might like to see some of my perennials.  This first one is a Columbine.  It is very similar to the wild columbine that is our city's (Scarborough) official flower.

When I looked out this morning I noticed that a few of my Oriental Poppies have opened up.  With all the rain and heat I don't expect these to last too long.  But they are beautiful right now.

And here is a shot of that blue and white Iris I showed a couple of days ago.  It is in full bloom now!  I love this thing!  Oh, yeah, I said that already.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Flowers and a Kitchen Update

I am sure many of you are wondering about my kitchen, so I thought I'd give you an update.  Not much has been going on lately.  But the door handles have been installed and the fan is now in place over the stove.    This week the counter top is to be delivered and installed.  The sink and taps will also be added at that time.  Then it will just be a matter of the back splash and some final work and my kitchen will be done!  Ohhhhh!  I can hardly wait!

Our weather has become hot and humid.  But that is much better than the rain we had for the month of May - twice as much as normal - 140mm of the wet stuff!  I bought this beautiful basket of begonias yesterday.  They are a new species, blooming all summer long, and come in salmon and red.  I think I might go back to the garden centre and buy myself a red one! 

And last, but not least, my blue iris has started to bloom.  Isn't it fantastic?

And now I am going to sit outside in the shade and do some crocheting.  I started an afghan last summer, but never got it finished.  Maybe that will happen this year!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Wednesday Stuff and Give Away

Summer has arrived - finally!  It seems like we only have two seasons, winter and summer.  We had record setting temperatures yesterday.  The humidex went up to 39C.  I kept busy watering my garden.   It was too hot to sleep.  I had the air conditioner on, but it didn't seem to be working.  It turned out that someone had turned the A/C off at the furnace.  Once my DH turned it back on the air became cooler and I was able to get a couple of hours of sleep.  Today it is a lot cooler, but the winds are strong and everything in the garden is dried out again.  Guess I will have to go and water again.  Here is a lovely, colourful basket.

On Monday evening we had our last quilt meeting for this year.  It seemed hard to believe that another year has gone by.  We are now off until September, but that won't stop me from working on a few more charity quilts over the summer.  Here is the top of one I made on Monday night, after our meeting.  I couldn't sleep anyway so I figured I'd use the time productively.  It's a DNP.

And today was the day I promised to pick a winner in my give away. 

Here is your mini quilt!
Please send me your snail mail address, Nynke and I will mail it out as soon as possible.

We are expecting a mail strike starting at 11:59pm on Thursday.  If they reach an agreement before that I will mail it out on Friday.  If they go on strike I will hold onto it until the strike is over.