Yukon wild

Yukon wild
Yukon wild

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Friday Night Sew In for June

Since I got back from Saskatchewan I have had no time for sewing... until this weekend.  I did sign up for and sew on Friday.  I had high hopes that I would have lots of ambition, especially as I was home alone, so would have time and attention for sewing.  But alas, I was too tired to tackle anything major.  I did finish another hexie flower.


I think I am up to 21 or 22 of the 27 I need.  I have to get back on a roll with this quilt!

What have I been doing instead of sewing?  Well after 10 days at the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference, I had a three day drive home.  Our route was a bit different than we had planned.  We left on Saturday afternoon and drove to Lloydminster where we planned to overnight, but there was "no room at the inn".  So we went on to Vegreville, Alberta, home of the world's largest Pysanka.


We checked into one hotel but it was so filthy that we promptly checked back out.  A few blocks up the road we found a lovely place to stay.  The next day we continued on to Ft. St. John, B.C.  Our hotel that night was connected to a casino.  This is irrelevant to me as I look at all the flashing lights and wonder what the attraction is, but my travel partner had fun there.  I went for a swim in the pool and a soak in the hot tub.

The next day was another Walt Disney day with many animals frolicking along the road - black bears galore, sheep with babies, grizzly bears with babies, bison with babies, moose, etc..  We stayed that night in Watson Lake, B.C. in an old air force barracks with bathrooms down the hall.  It was very clean and pleasnat though and other than getting a mosquito bite on my nose in the night, it was a great stay.  From there it was a short (5 hour) drive home the next day.  Then promptly back to work for me, and out to Fox Lake at night where my hubby was doing some work on my sister's cabin.  She was also there visiting from New Brunswick.

Last weekend was a family get together at the cabin.



I came home on Tuesday night with a list of things to do, including unpacking, but found my husband's cousin and her friend had stopped by to visit from Powell River, B.C.  So that took priority!

When I finally got home this past Friday after work it was all I could do to lie on the couch and sew one hexie!

Yesterday the bike relay race that takes place between Haines Junction and Haines, Alaska was cancelled due to snow.  But today it is sunny and beautiful and I hear they ran the race today.  Hubby is cutting our hay field and I am going to go and plant a few plants in the garden.

I hope you had a productive FNSI.  You can check out what everyone got up to on Wendy's blog.

I will be back in the near future to tell you more about Saskatchewan.  What a trip that was!

Janet 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Well I'm here at the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference and I have to say "WOW".  I have never been to anything like this before.  There is constant motion, talking, sewing, knitting, garment making action and conversation.  I don't know how many people there are here but we had to set up 180 chairs for last night's fashion show.  One of the instructors here is Ron Collins, who teaches clothes fitting and making.  He happens to be a local boy who has made it big in the world of clothes making and is now creating patterns for Vogue.  I wish I was taking his classes, but then I wish I was taking the classes from Jan Bones, who teaches lingerie and sports/lounge wear, and from Lucy Neatby, who teaches knitting and from Liz Thompson who teaches quilting techniques... oh yes I did take one class from her.  It was a free motion class.  I really enjoyed Liz' style of teaching which was to give a bunch of lecture type instruction and then tell us to practice away.  Here are a couple of my practice pieces.



 
The other class I have taken so far is a two day class with Dianne Jannson.  She is teaching the Gypsy Wife quilt by Jen Kingwell. She is well known in Australia and beyond for here bright eclectic patterns.  I haven't made one before.  What I have learned about her patterns so far is that you get to try many different blocks and to learn about cutting different shapes for those blocks.  And that you can spend a lot of time agonizing over colours.  Here are the blocks that I managed to make in two days.  Yes I am very slow! They are sort of laid out the way they go in the quilt.  I have a lot more blocks to do.
 
 

Dianne is a lovely instructor.  She owns a quilt store in Pritchard, British Columbia called Di-Versity Quilting Supplies.  She says she has about 200 bolts of Kaffe Fassett fabric in her store right now.  I wish I could go there!

In addition to the daytime classes there is something going on here every evening.  The other evening Jan Bones taught her Secret Bag as a free class. 


She is a lovely woman, very elegant and very kind.  She designed these boxes when her kids asked her for square blocks for their juggling class.  She had the pieces all cut and serged for us.  What a lot of work for her with over 20 people in the class!  Here is my magic box, filled with my socks.  The boxes fold down flat when not in use.


I tried to add a link to Jan Bones website but... I am at a monastery and her site is called Lingerie Secrets and the computer policy of the monastery won't let me open the site.... :)  I think it is progressive that they have wifi available! 

I have to tell you about the monastery.  Such an interesting place.  But I'll keep that for another post, maybe later today.  I have a free day today, doing laundry and phoning home and the like, and of course keeping in touch with my blogging buddies!  Interestingly although the internet works fine in the building, one has to walk around the grounds to find a spot where the cell phone will work. 

Janet

Monday, May 22, 2017

Travelling

Two days and 1784 kilometres down.  The next two days will be a piece of cake.  Day one we travelled from Carcross to Fort Nelson, British Columbia. This highway is two lane, it has some rough and windy sections, but traffic is light so it was fairly easy driving.  It took us eleven hours to travel through this wooded area with beautiful lakes and several provincial parks.  There was ice on the river in Tagish...



and on Muncho Lake...



The outside temperature was 14 to 17 C and the day was grey as you can see.

We saw a little black bear and a porcupine within a kilometre of my house and then no animals for the next 400 kilometres.  But after we passed Watson Lake it became a Disneyland of animal viewing. Ten or more black bears, a small grizzly, a deer, four or five moose, including a beautiful new calf, about five porcupines and about thirty bison, with babies (so cute), sheep and two birds that I think were juvenile Sandhill cranes.

 
 
 
 
 
Today we travelled from Fort Nelson to Whitecourt, crossing into Alberta and into a new time zone. It took us 9 1/2 hours but we lost an hour because of the time change.  We only saw one wild animal - we're in ranch country now, with lots of horses, cattle, llamas, donkeys, sheep etc.  But the one wild animal we saw was this gorgeous boy...
 
 
Or is it a girl?? 
 
The temperature today hovered around 25 C.  This would be a very hot summer day at home and it felt pretty warm here too.  I feel like I'm on holiday!
 
And even though I said the hexies were on hold, I managed to complete one between yesterday evening and this evening.
 
 
Tomorrow we only have to travel about 650 kilometres so it will be a more relaxed day.  See you soon.
 
Janet
 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Friday Night Sew in for May

Guess what I did for Friday Night Sew In this month.... I completed another hexie flower!  The centre flower for this one was made by my friend Alberta from Georgia.  Oh how I would love to meet her one day.



Only nine more flowers to complete and then I can start to put the whole quilt together again.

But the hexies flower quilt will be on the back burner for a few weeks.  I leave tomorrow morning to go to the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference  with my friend Linda.  Why are we driving 2600 km to quilt and stitch?  Well we have a friend, Lori, who moved to Saskatchewan years ago.  Lori went to the conference three years ago and she told Linda that the conference was a spiritual quilting experience.  Linda and Lori both went last year and this year they have convinced me to come as well.

I have signed up for six classes and I am sure they will all be very exciting and interesting.  Right now I am exhausted from working lots of overtime in the last couple of weeks and having to get things finished up prior to going away.  But I have my camera ready to take photos of our drive and the fun at the conference.  The only problem is that it is at a monastery and I understand there is no internet access.  But I'll figure out a way to put up a post or two about our adventures!

Head on over to Sugarlane Designs to check out what others accomplished for Friday Night Sew In.

Janet 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

I know it isn't mother's day everywhere in the world but it is here in North America.  So happy mother's day to anyone who has been a mother, stepmother, adoptive mother, pseudo mother, or any other kind of mother.  It is a tough but rewarding occupation in life!

I am still having a very busy time at work and don't seem to get much done all week besides working.  But the weekends are a different matter.  Yesterday was my great nephew's third birthday so I whipped him up a place mat.

It is just a panel that I added borders too.  I think it is pretty cute.  I had made my grandson a place mat using this same fabric a few years ago, so now the little guy can be just like his older cousin.

I did a minimal amount of quilting on this and you can't see it really from this side.  It shows up a bit on the back.


I also managed to get another hexie flower finished this weekend.  I have seventeen made - just ten more to go before I can start putting the whole thing together again.


Spring is progressing here.  The ice is almost gone from the lake and the water is starting to rise.


We have a few more wildflowers in bloom and the barest beginning of buds on the trees.  The shrubby cinqe foil  is the only flower I could get a photo of.  The others are tiny and delicate and the wind was blowing them all about.  


That has been my weekend.  I hope yours was lovely.

Janet 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Friday Night with Friends report for May

It was quite the week last week.  It started with two 6.2 magnitude earthquakes at 5:30 and 7:15 Monday morning.  The epicentres were about 100 km from my town.  We were really moving and shaking but no one was hurt.  There were a few building issues, but nothing huge.  In my house a pair of already not functioning well binoculars fell off a shelf and one of the eyepieces broke off.  In the bigger picture there was an Argentinian climber trying to solo climb Mount Logan, which is the tallest mountain in Canada and the quakes caused avalanches that left her unable to go up or down.   The weather wasn't conducive to a rescue right away but they managed to get in with a helicopter and get her out on Thursday.  She was fine but says she won't attempt another summit of the mountain. I wonder why! :)  Here's more on her story if you're interested.  http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/climber-rescued-mount-logan-natalia-martinez-1.4100727

I had a super busy work week and had to work some overtime, but I took Friday off to attend another quilting retreat.  Exciting!!

Although I sewed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday I didn't get a lot accomplished.  I think I must have been socializing too much.  And on Sunday one of our quilters learned her son had passed away overnight which put a real damper on my day.  My heart aches for her.

But there were a few good things on the sewing front.  I did get the straight line quilting finished on my postage stamp quilt and cut the excess batting off.


I still have to do the binding.  I'll do a post about this quilt sometime with all the details.

I cut a bunch more purple 2 inch squares for En Provence - still have about 175 to go.  But I made up a second block.



And I did work on one hexie flower but didn't get it finished.  Pitiful output.

And I won the door prize - a ruler and rotary cutter - and received a retreat gift of three fat quarters and an awl.  Pretty nice haul!


I hope you had a great Friday Night with Friends.  I sure enjoyed quilting with my friends and seeing all the quilts they were working on.  Now I am going to go and check out my on-line quilting friends at Cheryl's blog.

Janet 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday report

I did not do any sewing during the week, this week.  I was very busy at work and tired all week.  But on Saturday I decided I had to do something.  So I cut some more pieces for En Provence and then I put together one block, because I was so itchy to see what it is going to look like.


My verdict - this is going to be an interesting looking quilt.  Most of my yellows are darker than these ones.  And gee, I didn't realize how purple it is going to be.  But I think once the neutral borders go on that will be toned down a lot.

No hexies to show this week.  I didn't work on them at all :(

Spring is definitely coming, even though it was grey and windy today.  I saw my first crocuses earlier this week.  These are the very first spring flowers that we get here.


The ice is melting off the lake and the creeks and rivers are opening up.



There are birds everywhere, calling and hooting.


Today we watched about six eagles.  One had caught a fish and the others chased it around and around, trying to snatch it from him.


I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Janet 


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Friday Night Sew In Report

You may be wondering why I haven't posted for Friday Night Sew In.  Well.... I mentioned that I was going to a quilt retreat this weekend and I did do a lot of sewing.  But my tablet computer malfunctioned and I couldn't use the keyboard.  I could still use the touch screen, but it is way beyond my capabilities to type anything on the pop up keyboard.  So no responding to emails and no writing blog posts for me this weekend.

But I am back in action now and I have a few things to show.  I have no memory of what I actually did on Friday night though!

One of my two main projects for the weekend was straight line quilting this quilt.  Some of you may remember seeing this quilt before.  I'm not sure how long I have been working on this quilt but I see that I posted about it when I first started blogging, circa July 2010, so it is at least seven years.  I decided this year that it is time to get her done and I am close enough to taste it!

 
The blocks are 2 inches finished with a half inch sashing between them.  I am straight line quilting on each side of the cross ways red sashing.  I have seventeen more rows of quilting to do, then trim and bind and it will be done, done, done!!!

I also worked on En Provence this weekend.  I had hoped to get one block put together, but I am still cutting pieces.  I only have the light and dark purple four patches to finish cutting - 168 blocks needed and I have 55 done.  But I think once the various components of the quilt are all ready the blocks will go together quickly.  I am hoping to be ready to start building blocks at my next retreat which happens the weekend after next!

I only finished one hexie flower all weekend - but it's a wild one!!


And I made a set of second round hexies for my April swap partner.  She asked for bright, happy colours and these fit the bill.


There were lots of wonderful quilts being worked on at the retreat.  I took pictures but most didn't turn out too well because the lighting was poor.  But I'll show you a few of my favourites.

Exquisite hand stitched applique.



Pinning the border on a colourful star filled quilt.


Another star quilt.  I love this funky fabric.

And here was someone as crazy as me.  These pieces are tiny!  I think the blocks are 1.5 or 2 inches square.  She is making a wedding quilt for her son.  The idea is that the guests will sign the white strips.  

That's all I have to show.  I hope you had a great sew-in.  Check out Wendy's blog to see what others got up to, if you haven't already!

Janet 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter sewing

It was so lovely to have a four day weekend for Easter.  I am sad to say that I don't go to church, but I think about the meaning of Easter.  We had a family get together at my nephew's house - lots of good food and all the local family plus a couple of friends.  Of course everyone else was under 45 but they accept us old fogeys hanging around anyway.  And along with the fourteen humans there were eight dogs in attendance.  Here is DD # 3 giving them all a treat. :)


I did manage to sew some more hexie flowers over the weekend - four in fact!


As you can see I have been having fun picking some bright and colourful second round fabrics for the flowers.  Don't you love the candy swirl one?!

Spring is definitely almost here.  I washed my car outside in my yard yesterday!!  There was so much mud on it that you couldn't tell what colour it was.  There are a couple of rabbits who come every morning to graze on the grass in my yard and day by day they are changing colour.  



White fur....


And brown...  So well camouflaged!

It's time to sign up for Friday Night Sew In hosted by the lovely Wendy at Sugarlane Designs.  I am going to a quilting retreat Thursday through Sunday so I will be doing lots of sewing myself, and hope to be able to share some of it with you.  Hope to see you there!

Janet 

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Friday Night with Friends for April

I forgot to sign up for Friday Night with Friends on Friday, but only because I was so busy sewing!  What did I sew?  I bet you'll never guess!  Yup.  Two more hexie flowers.


But then today (Saturday) I had a sewing day with some ladies from the quilt guild I belong to and I worked on the En Provence quilt,  This is a mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter that I started before Christmas.  She does a free mystery quilt every December - I have no idea why she picks right before Christmas of all times!  And she only leaves it up for a short while after all the clues are revealed.  I made one of her mystery quilts before - Easy Street (this seems to be the only picture I posted of it. I did get finished and gave to my nephew and his wife as a wedding present!)

But about En Provence.  It is made up of smaller pieces than Easy Street and I have been cutting and cutting and cutting. I decided to try and make it all out of the mountains of small scraps that I have, which increased the cutting required a lot! But today I got to start sewing!!


64 quarter square triangle blocks.  They aren't trimmed yet but will be 3 1/2 inches when they are.  This whole quilt is made up of 3 1/2 inch squares!  I am not sure why I get myself into these things but I do, over and over again!

Here are what some the others were working on today.

My friend Dahn put together a lot of scrappy blocks from bits and pieces of her hand dyes mixed with some old fabrics.  She is going to cut 24 inch blocks out of these.


Wendy was working on an art quilt piece from our workshop with Elaine Quehl last spring.


And another women, whose name I never did learn, was working on a bunch of scrappy quilts, all made from a fat quarter bundle of Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  Some of them were to go to a Canada 150 project to make 1000 quilts for Ronald MacDonald House, others were going to our local cancer ward.  Here is one that I liked a lot.


So, all in all, it has been a good sewing weekend thus far, and there is still Sunday to come! 

I hope you had a great sewing time on Friday night or sometime over the weekend too.  Please check out  what everyone else accomplished too.  

Janet 

Monday, April 3, 2017

It has been a slow week as far as sewing is concerned.  Just too many other things on my plate at the moment.  Year end books for the association that I do bookkeeping for.  Getting ready to do income taxes.  Spring skiing.  Visits from my grandkids who were on spring break.  Archery. The list goes on and on.

I did get hexies made for my March swap partner and got them in the mail before the end of the month.  She wanted red and white petals and any colour centres.  I found this combination difficult for some reason.


I have six hexie flowers ready for my Grandmother's Flower Garden.  I can't remember how many more flowers I said I am going to need but as of now I have determined that I need 27.  Here are the six that are ready to go.


When my granddaughter was visiting last week she finally finished her stuffed panda that she started making last fall.


Look at the intricate piecing on the top.  She did a really good job of this.  I told her what to do, but she did all the cutting and sewing herself.  And fabric choices.



And here is the piece my friend Donna was working on at our sewing get together the weekend before last.  She hadn't finished the circle that day, but did so last week.  This is from a class that Donna and I took with Canadian quilt instructor, Elaine Quehl, last spring.




That's all she wrote for this post.  I hope you are having a wonderful week.

Janet