Friday, May 31, 2013

Another Finish!

Yippeeee!  I finished another baby quilt.  Another 'just in time', for the week, the month and the baby shower that is being held on Sunday.

I used lots of scraps on this one, as well as a piece of colourful focus fabric featuring reptiles.

I found some bright, striped fabric in my stash and used it for the binding.  I am happy to get this one done.  Now it is time to work on some summer projects.

And this is the first poppy to bloom in my garden.  Love the colour of this one!

I am linking up with 'Can I Get a Whoop, Whoop' and Crazy Mom Quilts.
Have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday and Other Stuff

Today\s wildflower is Jack-in-the-Pulpit, also know as Arisaema triphyllum.  It is a woodland plant.  There are several species.  The kind I have in my garden are green, but they also come in brown striped and an almost dark burgundy.  There may be more.  This one was growing in the park near my house.

Last spring I found a bulb in the path around my raised flower beds.  I guess the squirrels had dug it up.  I had no idea what it was, but it looked sort of like a tulip bulb, so I stuck it into the ground beside some other tulips.  I was very surprised when it came up and turned out to be a Jack-in-the-Pulpit

And where last year there was one plant, this year there are five or six.  This plant is poisonous, although native peoples prepared and boiled the bulb and ate it as a vegetable, I would not recommend this.

I also worked on a Journal Quilt this week.  The president of our quilt guild gave us a challenge - to make a journal quilt.  On Monday evening we displayed them and they were judged by the guild's members.  I did not win anything, but I feel this journal quilt is very significant to me.  It is a photograph of prostate cancer cells.  I found it on the internet.  My husband was recently diagnosed with this cancer and I thought this would make a great journal of our 'going through treatment' time.  I printed the picture onto cotton fabric that had been ironed to a piece of freezer paper.  Then I free motion quilted it in tiny circles to indicate the individual cells.  And that is what I ended up calling it - just simply "Cells".   It measures 8 1/2 by 11 inches.

I have also been working on my hexie quilt too, but not too much.  I have another baby quilt to finish today and then I will concentrate more on the hexies.

We have had heavy rains here for the past day or so.  I heard that we got around 50ml in some areas of the city.  The Don Valley Parkway is closed right now due to flooding.  And we are expected to get more rain today.  Since it was so gloomy yesterday I started thinking about what I will work on when I go outside this summer.  I know my plants need the rain, but I want some nice summer weather soon.  So perhaps a crochet project would be good.  That at least won't blow around when I am working on it.  So I started making hexagons yesterday afternoon and joining them as I went along.  I have lots of left-over yarn so this will be good to keep me busy and get rid of some of my stash.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Pooh is Finished

I finished the 'Winnie the Pooh' baby quilt!  Just in time too.  The baby shower is tomorrow.

I did not have enough fabric for the back, so I pieced it.  The green fabric has little bees on it.  Thought that was fitting for Pooh's love of honey.  

Mimi did not jump onto the quilt when I put it on the floor to photograph it.  I wondered if she likes it.  But she assured me that it is fine.  She is just busy resting.  Got to get those 20 hours of nap time in, you know.  She just wants me to take the picture and get the heck outta there.

I am linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, as well as Crazy Mom Quilts.  

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

My Design Floor

It's been a crazy week.  On Monday we celebrated Victoria Day.  That's our official planting weekend.  We usually don't get any more frost after that, so I managed to get some tomato plants planted in my garden.  Can't wait for those delicious fresh, garden tomatoes this summer.

I have also been busy trying to finish the two baby quilts I'm working on.  Still some finishing touches to do before I can show them.

But I do have some interesting blocks on my design floor.  Over the years I have accumulated many orphan blocks.  I have seen a few quilts made up using blocks like these.  I want to put mine together and get them out of their bins and bags.  I think I will make this my summer project.  I have sewn a few together, but it will take a lot more thinking and planning before my orphans become a quilt.  Here are a few of the blocks I have.

EDIT  I left the blocks on the floor when I went to bed last night.  Big mistake!  Mini decided she didn't like my layout and arranged them for me.  So this what they look like this morning.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday

Today's wild flower is the May Apple.  I have always loved this plant.  I first saw it in the woods near our house after we had immigrated to Canada, way back in 1957.

About ten years ago I found a May Apple plant in a garden centre and decided to buy it and try to grow it in my garden.  It did well and took over a large section of my garden.  When looking down on the plants only the leaves are visible.

The leaves are arranged in pairs.  A single white flower is produced on a short stem in between the leaves.  The flower is difficult to photograph because it points downward.  But it is a very pretty white flower that later becomes a green, round fruit.  This is where the plants gets its name.

The official name for these lovely spring wild flowers is Podophyllum peltatum.  It is in the Berberidaceae family in the order Ranunculales like the buttercups.  And the flower does, indeed, look very much like a buttercup.

All parts of May Apples are poisonous.  I have heard that the ripe fruits can be eaten, but only in small amounts.  Native peoples used parts of the plant as an emetic to induce vomiting and also to treat warts.

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday and Progress on my Hexagon Basket Quilt

Today\s wildflower is the Garlic Mustard plant, officially called Alloria Petiolata.  It's a pretty plant, but quite invasive in the garden.  It's in the mustard family - Brassicaceae.  But when it is crushed it smells like garlic, hence the genus of Alloria (Allum).  Actually I find it to be quite stinky, not like garlic at all.  It has white flowers on lovely green plants.  It is a biennial.  The first year it grows into a low, green plant.  Then it winters over and the following year it grows very tall and produces the white flowers.

I have the pioneers to thank for bringing this plant over when they came to Ontario.  It is now growing prolifically in my garden.  Last year I wanted to pull the little rosette plants out, but I couldn't reach them.  They seemed so small and insignificant, so I let them be.  But this year they have grown into a large clump of invasive greeness, that is stifling my Garden Plox at the back of my yard.

So yesterday I pulled a lot of them out.  They have long tap roots, like dandelions, but I have been assured that if I don't get the entire root out, they will not regrow.  These plants only propagate by seeds.  But a healthy plant can produce between 150 and 850 seeds. And the seeds can lie dormant for several years.  So if I don't pull them up, I will have a garden completely over run by these plants.  I have heard that they can be used in salads and the seeds can be used to season foods.  But I don't ever think I will add them to my cooking.

I am also working on my last corner of my hexagon basket quilt.  Only about a hundred or so hexies to go.

I am running a bit late today.  A massive thunder storm woke me this morning.  I was afraid the power would go out and my computer would be compromised, so I shut it down for a couple of hours.  The sun is shining now and I think it will be a beautiful day.  So that I can go out and pull out more weeds in my garden.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have two baby quilts that have to be finished in the next two weeks.  I can't show you the whole quilts, although I doubt if any of these future Moms even know about my blog.  But these quilts are not done anyway, so I'll just give you a little sneak peek.  The first one features Winnie the Pooh.  Can you guess what the theme of this baby's room will be?


I don't have much left to do on this one, only a bit of sashing and then the borders.  Then I have to piece the backing because it is not wide enough.  Hope to get that done today so that I can take it to my Tuesday morning quilt group where I can sandwich it at table height.  That makes things easier for me.

The next one is going to be kind of scrappy.  I am using all the left overs from Winnie's quilt and then some.  I think it will turn out cute.  It has to be finished a week after the first quilt, so I have not done too much on it so far.  I am doing the four-patches as leaders and enders.  So this quilt is kind of making itself.

This past weekend was a cold one.  We had frost warnings over night.  I don't have any annuals planted yet, so I don't have to worry.  Yesterday we had rain, sleet, ice pellets interspersed with beautiful sunny periods.  It was a strange day.  Today should be sunny, but the temperature will not go above 9C.  I am going to stay inside and quilt, quilt, quilt.  And maybe cook a pot of stew for tonight's dinner.  Stay warm if you live in Ontario!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday and More Hexies

The flower for today is the Trillium.  This plant is the official flower for the province of Ontario. They are a beautiful early spring woodland flower.  The woods come alive when the Trilliums are in bloom.

Trilliums have three leaves.  The flowers are made up of three petals.  There are many varieties, probably 40 or more.  Trilliums are in the liliaceae or lily family.  These large white ones are Trillium grandiflorum.

I have a red Trillium in my garden.  I bought it over 10 years ago from the Scarborough Horticultural Society.  I planted it in my garden and hoped that it would multiply, but it didn't.  I still only have one plant, but I just love it.

Now onto the quilting front.  I have been working on my hexies - not a lot, but I did get a few more done.  The third corner section is almost done, just a few more white hexies to do.  I have started making the flowers for the fourth and last corner section.

Well back to my machine sewing.  I have to have a baby quilt finished in two weeks.

Thursday, May 02, 2013


I love yellow!  The sunshine - how lovely to have several days of brightness in a row!  The flowers - yellows are abundant in my garden right now.  And quilts - this one is a winner!

a yellow pansy

I saw a quilt like this one on Emily's blog on her March 25th post, 'I've Got Sunshine'.  I decided to make something similar because I needed the bright yellows to remind me that spring was just late and would come eventually.  I love how it turned out.  It's just a flimsy right now, but I will sandwich it and quilt it before the end of the month.   Thank you Em, for your inspiration!

I call it my 'Ray of Sunshine'/

Daffodils are blooming everywhere.  These are from my back garden.  There are more in my front yard.

creamy ones with bright, yellow centres

yellow ones with yellow centres

white ones with yellow centres

Some early tulips.  These look reddish orange when in bud, but when they open their insides are a creamy, light yellow.

And my Ranunculus.  There are hundreds of species, including buttercups in this genus.  I planted it a few weeks ago, along with some potted tulips and pansies into the urns at my front door.  Every time I pass by them I am amazed by their beauty!  They are in the Ranunculaceae family.

some yellow daffodils with peachy, double centres

a neighbour's forsythia bush  

And, last, but not least, another shot of my Ray of Sunshine quilt.  After all, this is a quilt blog.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Wild Flower Wednesday - Violet Violets

It's been difficult to find wild flowers in bloom right now.  We had so much rain that it was hard for me to go out and hunt some down.  There are lots of dandelions in bloom, but I don't think you want to see those.  So I am showing you The Great Spurred Violet.  These are in the Violaceae family.

I have seen them in lawns, waste places and in the woods of the Highland Creek ravine.  I planted some in my garden years ago and was disappointed that they did not come back year after year.  I kept planting them each spring and hoping for more.  Then I sort of forgot about them.  That;s when they started doing their own thing.   Now my garden is full of these wonderful, little, violet flowers.  They volunteer themselves all over, even at the very back of the garden, by the fence.  Here they are crowded by Daffodils and Solomon's Seal, but they are doing well.

My daughter comes over to harvest the flowers, in early spring, which she 'sugars' and arranges on her triple chocolate cheese cakes.  These delicate flowers are edible and make the cakes look very festive and professional.

I have no hexies to show you today.  I have been working on the white ones, but they are sort of boring, so I won't show you until I have this third section done - hopefully next week.

Happy Spring everyone!