Saturday, August 27, 2011

Stitching again

I’ve finally sat down at the sewing machine again after what feels like forever and it feels wonderful! 
IMG_5036First up were a few flying geese. Last spring and early summer I made this table set for mom.  As I worked on it I realized my flying geese were not consistent enough for me to enjoy making this quilt I planned out.  I really want to make this so I’ve been trying out different methods to see which gives me the most consistent units. 
Thank you Love for the tip about Eleanor Burns’ flying geese ruler and technique.  I always hesitate to buy specialty rulers, but I went out and got this one this week and I did in fact sew and trim nice, consistent units with the points right where they should be.  There is a bit of fabric waste, but I think that tradeoff will be worth it.
With that settled, I’m clearing the decks, so to speak, to clear the way for total obsession with the flying geese quilt.  I have a few projects that stalled at my less favourite stages of quilt making.  I decided to move them past the hump before I start the new project.
IMG_4125_r1I finally basted and started hand quilting my leaf quilt. The top has only been waiting a year for its turn!   The basting and deciding how to quilt it were where this one stalled. I have decided to quilt overlapping sets of concentric circles all over.  I’ll have a picture once there is enough there for you to see what I mean.  So far I have 8 of the 42 blocks quilted.

Next I cut fabric for the borders on Whimsy.  That top was slow coming together and it is time for it to be finished.  Yesterday and today I started sewing triangle squares for the pieced borders.  I’ll need 100. 
Some of the ones I’ve finished are sewn together into strips.IMG_5199_r1I hadn’t planned to add another border after the saw tooth one, but now that I have this up on the design wall I think the saw teeth look puny and busy by themselves at the edge of the quilt.  I think I’ll add that outer border to tame things a bit. I think I accidentally bought more of that green border fabric than I needed for just the inner border, so that should work out well in the end.
Next week I have lots of painting to do – we’ll see how much quilting I manage to squeeze into the evenings.   Did I mention that after the flying geese quilt, I have another quilt plan drawn up and waiting?  So many quilts, so little time…

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wrapping up summer

From a weather perspective there is still plenty of summer left to come, but the kids are heading back to school on Thursday so we’re exchanging summer’s non-routine for regular routine. 
It has been a lovely, mostly lazy summer for us.  The last two weeks in July we headed back to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to visit family.  It was lovely to spend time with my parents, then with my in-laws.  The kids got a good grandparent fix, and I hope the grandparents enjoyed the grandkid fix as well.
The weather was lovely the whole time.  It has been so beastly hot and humid here at home all summer that the temperatures in the mid 20’s Celsius were a treat for us.  The scenery in Pubnico wasn’t hard to take either:
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And Smuggler’s Cove:
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I didn’t take many pictures in New Brunswick but my son took this lovely one of the sawmill at King’s Landing Historic Village.
We wilted in the heat and humidity as soon as we stepped off the plane here, but happily my garden hadn’t.  The girl we hired to water the flower beds did a great job, because we hear that it was hot and dry the whole two weeks we were away but my garden looked very happy.  A little weedy too, but we hadn’t asked her to weed, just keep things alive! I spent several days tidying things up – and not doing as good a watering job!
Remember these flowerbeds?
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June 29th on the left, August 3rd on the right!  That sunflower is a happy accident, sprouted from a seed from the bird feeder.  The vine on the far end has grown even more in the two weeks since and now covers most of that end of the frame.  Now that we’ve beaten back the Japanese beetles (with nasty chemicals, sorry!) it might actually become covered in pretty yellow flowers again.
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Mid-June on the left, August 2nd on the right!  You have to love those sweet potato vines!  They do fill in very nicely  The coreopsis are now in full bright yellow bloom too, which doesn’t show well in this picture, but looks gorgeous beside the purple sweet potato.  Finally we are getting pretty blooms on the hibiscus at the back now that we’ve sprayed the beetles.
For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, let me introduce you to the Japanese beetle:
Pretty little thing isn’t it? At some angles it even has a pretty green iridescence. It’s less pretty when it is one among a half dozen all clustered on one leaf or flower bud, munching away, with more on all the other flower buds.  These little pretties reduced the leaves on 20 feet of grapevine to mere veins last summer.  This summer they’ve been deprived of the grapevine (it died of old age) but I’ve actually been flicking them off my marigolds.  Yes, marigolds!  Those are the flowers you’re supposed to plant to deter pests because nothing likes them!
Ah well, life goes on.  Just because I’ve done no quilting at all the last six weeks, I’ll subject you to a few more garden pictures before closing.  There should be quilty progress in a few weeks, I hope!
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