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Saturday, September 20, 2014

I'm a Wimp



Fall has arrived in Cape Breton a few days early
and with a vengeance.
But that's just my opinion.
I'm a wimp.

Most of the birds are gone now,
even my favorite migrants,


the Whimbrels, 
large shorebirds that breed in the Arctic
and pass through on their return to South America, Africa,
south Asia, or Australia for the winter.
Check out those sexy blue legs!
Or is she just cold, like me?

And there are still some American Goldfinches
feeding their young.


Mother Nature is pretty smart. 
Goldfinches breed late in the season
 to coincide with 
when Thistle goes to seed.

Now that the weather has so abruptly turned cold,
I'm able to afford more time to forge my relationship 
with my new Janome.

Goodnight Irene is a complete finish now
(are you sick of looking at it?)



minus the half constructed label,



as is my little sailboat quilt.



The extra sailboat block made a cute label.

Now that my great niece is two, she needs a bigger quilt.


But it's a surprise until it's finished!!

Before I go, I'd like to congratulate fellow Nova Scotia quilt blogger,
Linda, over at SCRAPMASTER,
on having her first pattern published in a magazine.
Well done, Linda!!
If you have a minute, stop by, check it out, and join me
in patting her on the back!

Hope you are having a funderful weekend.
xo,
karen

PS. A Quilting Reader's Garden is having a give away
to celebrate a very important milestone.
This is a new-to-me blog
that looks like one I need to follow!



Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cool, Crisp, and Calm


Today dawned cool, crisp, and calm.


This was the view from my window.

It didn't surprise me at all when I turned around
and saw this morning moon.


I love early mornings the very best.
Sights like this give me hope
and inspiration to start my day.

While I was sewing yesterday,
I glanced up to look out the sliding glass door,
and discovered I had a little visitor.


This juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk 
took advantage of this puddle
and had a long and lengthy bath.


These are the types of distractions
I love best!!

It's been a busy end of summer.
But I have managed to do a little sewing.
My Crafty Daughter requested seasonal wallhangings
some time ago and I manage to put one or two together
each year.

Meet April.


This pattern called, "Use batiks!!" to me,
and I love how it came out.
I know you all recognize it as one of
I've made a few now and they are lots of fun.
I raw edge appliqued this one through all layers,
so it was self quilted!  Upon completion, all I had to do
was apply the binding.  I felt pretty safe using this technique
with batiks, they are so tightly woven.

Cute, quick story.  
One of my quilty friends here on the island 
(who laughs a lot)



has a son who lives in Tennessee and plays bass guitar,




most recently for Thompson Square.




 After growing weary of being on the road, he quit playing with the Thompson's and was freelancing for a little while.  My friend stopped by for a visit the other day and told me that some girl, who will be the opening act for Garth Brook's new tour, asked him to be her bass player.  He was pretty excited because he was going to get to tour on Garth's private jet instead of on a bus.  Come to find out, 'some girl' is Tricia Yearwood, (Garth's wife).  My friend obviously isn't up on her country western stars.  (When Thompson Square played in San Antonio a couple of years ago, he got us tickets to the concert.)

Well, it's time to truly start my day!
After being greeted by such a beautiful morning,
I can't wait!!

Happy day to you.
~karen

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Keeping the Tradition Alive


Here's a little girl
after my own heart!


This 5 year old granddaughter of a quilty, non-blogging friend of mine
 "could barely reach the pedal".
My friend writes,
"(she) wanted to learn how to sew, so she spent 3 nights with us last week.  She made an art apron with slots for markers, glue, scissors, tape, etc.  I drew lines and she did a lot of the sewing.  She was a quick study----needle down, pressure foot down, press locking stitch button, and step on the peddle.  I thought she'd lose interest after awhile, but she stuck with it.  Even ironed the seams as we sewed.  I did the gathering and the waistband for her.  Then she wanted to make one for her best buddy, Gavin, when he comes over to play school with her.  We made his like a Home Depot tool belt with no gathering.  She was so excited."



Proudly modeling the finished product!

She captured my heart a few years ago
with this picture.


My, how she's grown.
What's not to love?

Enjoy your day!
~karen



Monday, August 18, 2014

On the Road Again


It's been a wonderful couple of weeks.
The weather has been cooperative
and we took advantage once again to travel,
this time to the northermost coast of Cape Breton
to paddle this


as well as do a little sightseeing.

Plus, there has been plenty of yard work to do
and small home improvement projects,
altho' I have managed to get in a little sewing time.

I set up this small table topper as my 'to go project'
for our northern adventure


because the hexie quilt I've been working on
is getting too big to be a 'to go project' now.

This is only as much as I accomplished
due to the many distractions.













***

When my young friend in Houston announced  
that she was adding a son to her family in October, 
and was decorating his room with a nautical theme,
I began making his quilt


inspired by THIS post from Melissa
at Cornbread and Beans Quilting.
I just need to square it up and put on the binding.

And I finally finished Patty's 60th birthday quilt.


I'd appliqued these blocks while sitting with an elderly neighbor 
of my daughter's three winters ago, so her husband could go bowling 
a couple of days a week with his buds and take a well deserved break.
Only my second FMQ attempt, I was very pleased with the results,
although it isn't exactly perfect! 
(This quilt is living proof that I eventually DO finish what I start.
Little Sister, who's been waiting 6 years for her 
25th anniversary signature quilt,
will be glad to hear that!!)

That just leaves the label,


which is under construction.

It dawned a windy, wet, cool day today -
so there will be lots of quilty pleasure in my forecast!

Hope you have as much fun,
however you choose to spend your day!
~karen


Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Love Affair


Ahhhhhh,
I am loving my new Janome.


This is UFO #3,
Flowers for Hannah
from the Sept/Oct 2009 issue of Fons and Porter's 
Love of Quilting Magazine.

I'm keeping it simple as I learn and practice on this colorful quilt,
a birthday gift for a lifelong friend.
My childhood was a gypsy's journey,
and acquaintances came and went,
but I've known this woman since the day she was born
in April of 1955.


A 60 year friendship deserves special recognition.

I love to make things for the people in my life
that I hold dear to my heart.
For Christmas this past year,
I gifted this wallhanging to The Ranger.


I copied it from one of his favorite prints.
It measures approximately 20" x 30".

Sew many things to make,
sew little time!

Back to work!!
I'm having a quilty day,
and hope you are, too!
xo,
karen





Friday, July 25, 2014

Into the Tobiatic, Day 1


How silly of me to worry about having time
to spend on my new sewing machine.
Our weather hasn't been the greatest!
This morning, it's 68 degrees and raining.  Oh, darn!
I'll have to stay in and practice my FMQing.



But lookie where I've been
when a stretch of nice weather was in the forecast!
It was my pleasure and delight
(ticks be damned!)
to have had the unique opportunity to do a little wilderness camping
in the SW interior of Cape Breton.
We were rained on a little,
but it was all just part of the adventure.


The Tobiatic Wilderness Area,
protected under the Wilderness Areas Protection Act
and designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve,
 encompasses over 257,000 acres of ultimate beauty.
Included in the Biosphere Reserve is Kejimkujik National Park,
the darker green area on the map,
with an area of 156 square miles.
(So yes, I had to do the math for the Tobiatic.  
257,000 acres equals 401.5 square miles.)



I hardly know where to begin,
or just what to say.
I was totally entranced.

The area is rife with landscapes influenced by glaciation-
outwash plains, eskers, kames, drumlins, and moraine ridges.
the last glacier passing through a mere 10,000 years ago.
These massive boulders, known as erratics, 
are strewn about everywhere,





including in the middle of the lake.

Evidence of inhabitants occupying the area 
date back more than 5000 years.
The Mi'kmaq Indians were present 400 years ago
when the first Europeans appeared.


Perhaps they pulled their canoes up into this very same spot.
Hope they watched out for the frogs!

Pickerel Frog
(Rana palustrus)
Green Frog
(Rana  clamitans melanota)

During our 13 miles of paddling
over two days,
there were little distractions around every bend,



We came across an active beaver's dam.

In the middle of one night, I was awakened by a loud
and mighty slap, splash, 
when a beaver felt threatened by something
lurking in the darkness,
and slapped the water's surface with his might tail
as a warning.
It was quite the awakening!
And even thought I didn't 'see' it,
it was exciting to hear.
Anyway, all along the shore of the lake were areas
showing slides in the mud 
used by the beavers to slip into the water.
So cool.


The Ranger waited patiently while I spent 
what must have seemed like forever


floating among the waterlilies
enraptured by all the dragon- and damselflies.


They don't mind sharing space.

Seeing a bear on an old logging road is one thing,


but being able to observe one REALLY in nature,
foraging along the shore,
was a whole new experience.
One more bear sighting, and I'll be able to declare 2014
as The Year of the Bear!

But at the moment,
it's The Day of FMQ,
so off to my new machine I go.

Have a great day
in your little corner of the world.
xo,
karen


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Housewarming Giftie


I was so excited to receive


that, as soon as I downloaded it, I couldn't resist making one.

I didn't even stop what I was doing!
I just dug out my 1-1/2" strip bag,
dumped it onto the floor,
chose and cut my strips to length,
and fed the project right in with the block I was already chain piecing.
In no time at all, I had a finished block, 
and an almost finished house!

The possibilities are endless.
They scream to be fun and fanciful,
but my friend is a serious, no-nonsense gal,
from the prairies of western Canada,
who just bought a house overlooking the harbor.



So, I made her a fun, no-nonsense Housewarming Giftie!
The back is a pocket, perfect for tucking a card.

This, despite the distractions outside my sliding glass door.

Female Hairy Woodpecker-check out that tongue!

I also couldn't resist Stephanie's Prairie Tote any longer,


and it's next up at my sewing machine!
I'm auditioning fabrics now.
I love Stephanie's patterns and have purchased and made
so many of her 'creations' over the years,
that she has her own notebook on my crafts bookshelf!



A big thank you to Stephanie for keeping them coming!!