Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Love Affair

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!

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.

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!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Crossing the Line

Time for a new post, eh?
(That's Canada speak!)

The good news is that summer has finally decided
to make an appearance.

The bad news is that the weather decided to change 
just when I picked up my new....

...Janome Horizon 8200!!

It's kind of difficult to stay indoors to play
when opportunities like this beg to be taken advantage of!

But I spent a few minutes each evening
getting my new machine set up and ready to go.
Now I'm practicing my FMQing so I can start my first quilt.
It'll be a small one!

I'm finding that I do great when I'm just working
on a simple sandwich,
but when I try to quilt something pieced,
my FMQ foot bogs down at the seam allowances,
making for some pretty jerky movements.
Aren't I supposed to be able to 'cross the line'?
I'll figure it out sooner or later.
Update:  A screw on the FMQ foot itself?
Who knew?

I always keep a project on the work table
so I can pass by, sit for a minute, and take a stitch or two.
Here are a couple of For Pink's Sake blocks
I constructed,

compliments of 

The Crafty Quilter

Between paddling and working in the yard,
it took me four days to put them together,
but they were so worth the wait!!
I love them and
I look forward to making them in a different color.

Four more owl pillows
sit patiently upon the craft counter

waiting to be stuffed.
Once completed, that makes 7.
Only 5 more to go.

This Mourning Cloak
(Nymphalis antiopa)
has been keeping me company most mornings
while I enjoy my coffee in the early morning sun,
contemplating my day's activities.
It's so rich and velvety looking.

I hope you are enjoying some rich and velvety
summer days!