Winter in the Yukon

Winter in the Yukon
Baby it's cold outside!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Friday Night Sew In Report

Well Friday night was pretty well a bust for me.  I was exhausted after a long week at work and other than about fifteen minutes working on the layout for my Spring themed postcard for Sheila, I did nothing even slightly related to sewing. 

But the whole week wasn’t a wash-out…  I put together one flower using the second round hexies I received from Jenny for February in the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap

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And I made these blocks for Lisa from Saskatchewan for the Canadians Quilt Bee.  I love these + and x blocks – they are so much fun to make.

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And yesterday my friend Linda P. and I went to a class where we got detailed instruction on how to make the Sew Together bag (pattern by Sew Demented).  The pattern was duly purchased from Craftsy where you can purchase it too if you want to make yourself one of these beautiful babies!

Here is my completed bag.  Notice FOUR zippers (three inside pockets and the outer zip), full binding, a little pin cushion, and there is also a needle keep on the opposite inside wall.

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I know…. my fabric choices are bright and busy, but It turned out beautiful.  And I have been wanting to use the Love Bird fabric in something for a long time.  Smile 

As you can see it is lovely and sunny here these days and our snow is melting.  I must get a new photo for my header…

I hope the snow is melting for you too - especially if you live in Eastern Canada.  I must be off and finish that postcard as it needs to be in tomorrow’s mail.

Janet

Friday, March 13, 2015

Christmas trees!

So many of you guessed on my last post that my friends and I were making Christmas trees and you were right!! 

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Aren’t these cute?!  My friend Donna’s mother Eleanor sent her one of these last Christmas and we decided we had to make them.  Eleanor was here visiting last weekend when we sewed these together so I was able to ask about the source of the pattern.  One of her other daughters bought one of these for her at a craft fair somewhere in the Vancouver area and she had copied the pattern to make one for Donna.  Then we copied Donna’s to make ours…. so who knows where the pattern came from.  The one that Eleanor made had 17 tiers to it.  These ones only have ten or eleven.

I finished my second tree earlier this week.  Here are the two that I made.

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I still have to add embellishments to them. 

Today I received my February second round hexies from the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap.  I thought it was Friday Night Sew In so I settled in to sew the second rounds to the chosen flowers.   Oops – it isn’t until next Friday.  Oh well I am sewing them on tonight anyway! 

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Jenny also sent me a lovely card and a couple of “handmade” tags, made out of wood.  Thanks Jenny!

Janet

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Friday Night With Friends

It was a good FNWF for me last night. I put together two hexies for my swap partner for March.  Penny asked for pastel fabrics with white centres.  I am surprised at how difficult it is for me to use pastels.  I keep wanting to add some bright colour.  I think I did okay though.

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I also basted batting to pieces for a Christmas project that some friends and I are making.  We had a first get together a few weeks ago when we made up templates and cut fabrics.  Tomorrow we sew them together.  Mine are ready – can you guess what the project is?

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The moose were by to visit the other day and hung around the yard for an hour or more.  First they washed my car…it really needed it…

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Then they cleaned up the sunflower seeds that the birds have spilled…notice the antler buds above the eyes…

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And they did a bit of tree trimming…

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Mom was here with these two one year old calves but she was busy cleaning up my compost heap so I didn’t get any pictures…

I hope you’ve had some excitement in your life this week! Smile

Janet

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Weaving Workshop and other fun

It seems like much more than a week has gone by since I last posted.  It has been busy!  Last weekend my friend Dahn and I impulsively decided to drive to Skagway.  I guess this is because we missed out on going to Haines.  Actually she needed to go to the quilt store there for some specific fabric she needed and I went with her.  But it was impulsive.  We left my house at 2:30 in the afternoon for the one hour drive.  It was gray at home but fantastic scenery on the drive through the pass. 

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This is the White Pass through the Coastal Range.  Check out the link if you are interested in the history.

We saw a momma moose and a calf on our way home but it was too dark to get a good photo.

Then on Monday S-I-L # 1 called to say he had a deer.  It was hit by a truck in front of DD # 1 as  she was driving, so it was really fresh road kill.  We got a nice little bit of meat out of the effort needed to cut it up, and ate the liver for three meals.  It was so delicious!!

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This weekend I spent Friday night, Saturday and today at a weaving workshop.  I did weaving many years ago but had forgotten most of it.  This was done on a table top loom.  I am definitely going to play with this medium a bit more.  One side….

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And the other…

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I played a lot with different weaves, as you can see. Smile  It was tons of fun!

And tomorrow I have to go back to work again.  There just isn’t enough time in life…  Hope you have had a wonderful weekend!

Janet

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Friday Night Sew In Report

Have I mentioned that I hate paper piecing?  The reason I joined the paper piecing swap was to try to get better at it, but I think I’m getting worse! 

Last month I had to send the pieces for the blocks off to my swap partner to sew together as I just couldn’t get them to line up.  Fortunately Michell was able to sew them up.  (The photo is Michell’s from the Quilting Blocks Swaps Facebook page)  Oops, I just noticed that she put the second one together wrong.  I wonder if she has noticed.  Or maybe she did it on purpose.

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After my fiasco last weekend with the paper pieced block for this month, I decided to give the pattern another try.  After all it was my mistake, not the pattern’s.  My friend Dahn showed me a helpful tip of cutting templates for the pattern pieces.  That way you don’t cut your fabric pieces too small or the wrong shape, which is one of the mistakes I tend to do. 

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I realized half way through cutting the pieces for one of the pieces of the block (6 pieces cut, 6 to go) that I was cutting them the wrong side up.  And no they weren’t symmetrical.  Fortunately for the fate of the block, and possibly for my participation in this swap, they could still be used.  I just made those pieces of the block wrong side up.  It means that the star spins the other way, but I bet you wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t told you. 

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Kelly (no blog) asked for a bright star on a white on white background.  The white I used creates tons of movement in the block!  I hope not too much.  It was the only piece of white on white fabric I had in my stash!!

This block is called Carol’s Star and is from Quilter's Cache.  Lots of great blocks to choose from there. 

So another paper pieced block is accomplished and FNSI was a success.  How did it go for you? 

Janet

Friday, February 20, 2015

Last weekend

My buddy Dahn and I had a wonderful mini retreat last weekend, despite some frustrations….  First up I thought I would tackle the two blocks that I had to make for February.  I had all nine pieces of my paper pieced block done before I realized the pieces were different sizes and wouldn’t match up.  ARRGGH!  I blamed it on the pattern maker until the next day when I realized that I had made the copies with the photocopier set on different magnifications… oops…

On to the next project.  The Canadians Quilt bee recipient for the month had asked for a courthouse steps block in a specific colour range with a navy centre.  This block came together quickly and easily.

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Next I pulled out the Valentine placemats that I started about five years ago.  Finished them up and gifted them to hubby for Valentine’s day when I got home. Smile I don’t love them but it’s the thought that counts they say and they are a finish.  Open-mouthed smile

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Next I did the quilting on this table runner, also started quite a few years ago.  This was a class from Quilt University, an on-line quilting school that no longer exists.  I think the class was on Celtic knots, although I learned a lot about making bias tape, applique placement and applique inserts.  I quilted stitch in the ditch on all the seams, including the applique seams, and one round of echo quilting.  I like how this makes the applique and inserts pop.

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Here is a close up of the quilting where you can see that the black fabric really picks up every bit of lint.  I haven’t brushed or washed it yet as I still have to put on a binding.

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Dahn got to flit around and work on lots of pieces of different projects.  That’s the bonus of having the retreat at your own home. Winking smile  This is one of the pieces she worked on – she started this art quilt in a class with Velda Newman a number of years ago. 

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Now she tells me she doesn’t like the pattern and she doesn’t plan to finish it – EVER…. I don’t know if I could make such a decision.  It is like once I start the thing I HAVE to finish it…

I was in the Whitehorse library the other day for a meeting and saw that they have a fun project on for February – Blind Date with a Book.  I had to pick one up.  This is what it looked like in the wrapper (and before I spilt my tea on it and had to open it up lickety split).

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The book is called The Last Thing He Wanted and is by Joan Didion.  I\ve only just started it and don’t know if I am going to like it, but I’ll let you – and the library in their feedback form – know whether this was a happy date or not. 

It is Friday Night Sew In today and that paper pieced block is still waiting to be made.  It isn’t too late to sign up (it’s still Friday night for those of us in North and South America – for Australia and New Zealand it was yesterday).  Hope you’re joining in. Smile

Janet

Friday, February 13, 2015

Weekend fun!

I love the weekend!  I get to do whatever I want…. well I get to do some of the things I want at least….

Last weekend was my birthday.  The family came out for the day on Sunday.  I had gifts for them all from Hawaii and I told them they had to don their new Hawaiian duds and take a picture out in the Yukon snow – at – 28 C.  :) 

Isn’t this a fine looking group…

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But see the sneaky smile on DSIL # 2’s face….  Ha ha, the fun is on me….

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During the week I whipped up the hexie flowers for my February swap partner and they are off in today’s mail…

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And since it is already Valentine’s Day in Austratlia, I think I can show you the Valentine’s postcard that I received from my lovely swap partner Maria of Life on the Block.  Maria walks on the beach and swims in the ocean with her pals regularly.  Lucky girl!  Thanks for the pretty card Maria!

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You may be saying “what is she talking about?  It isn’t the weekend yet!”  Well I took Friday off work so I could sew. :)  My sewing buddy Dahn and I were going to go to a retreat in Haines, Alaska but decided against the 392 km drive in blowing snow, icy roads and probably rain on the other end.  So we’re having a mini retreat at her house.  Lucky us!! 

I’m off to sew.  I hope you have some fun lined up for your weekend.

Janet

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Friday Night with Friends for February

I had a productive evening – yay! 
I prepped the hexies for the flowers I have to make for my February partner in the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap
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And I finished putting second rounds on two flowers for my own garden.  There is a story about these flowers.  Penny was my partner in December and she sent me two sets of second round hexies.  But there was a problem.  When I tried to sew the hexies on to their chosen flowers they were just too small.  I was in touch with Penny and she explained that she had downloaded the hexie templates and had hit "fit to page" instead of "actual size" and never realized the templates weren't the right size.  Of course, she felt very badly about her mistake. 
But never fear Penny!!  I was determined to use the lovely hexies she had sent.  One set is a directional print in orange, pink, green and white.  The other is hot pink with neon yellow dots.  I love bright colours.  So I took the hexies apart to rebaste them on to new papers.  The directional print ones worked fine and here is the exciting flower they created.
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When I went to resew the hot pink hexies I realized there was another problem.  Penny had used a narrow hem on the hexies and there were a few that just wouldn't fit on the slightly bigger hexie papers.  But I was determined to use the fabric because I love it!!  So I decided to play with the techniques I had seen on Karen's blog.  edited to add... ( I had put the wrong name here in the link.  What a clutz!!)
And this is what I came up with.
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Isn't she a beauty?!!  She is definitely going to be a diva in my garden.
I  don't usually baste through the hexie papers but I had to with these ones due to the extra bulk in the seams.
This isn't the first time that I have had to resew items from my swap partners because they are the wrong size.  I have had to take apart and put back together a few hexie flowers because they were too small.  And I have one waiting to be redone because it is too large.  Fabric has a lot of give and if there are very small discrepancies in size the hexies can be stretched or scrunched together to make them fit.  But sometimes they just have to be redone. 

That’s the way it goes in swaps.  It took me a long time to learn that.  The very first block swap I joined, my very first swap partner didn’t send me anything.  And I made her a beautiful block, using fabric that I loved.  Ah…  I’m glad I didn’t give up right then and there because I have had a lot of pleasure from making things for my partners which often stretch my creativity because they use fabrics and techniques which I haven’t tried or wouldn’t choose.  And of course receiving packages in the mail with pretty pieces in them is always fun.
And then there are the prizes.  I received two prizes recently which I haven’t shown yet.  One of the three swaps I am involved with this year is through Quilting Swap Blocks Australia which is organized by Sue Belleli.  This girl has a lot of energy.  She runs at least four different swaps (there may be more),  seems to take on multiple partners in each of the swaps for herself each month and she is a real estate agent on the side. Smile with tongue out  I participate in a paper piecing swap with the group.  I hate paper piecing but I want to get better at it so I thought I would join this group.  At Christmas Sue had a few giveaways for her swap members and I was one of the winners!  Seven pretty fat quarters and a charm pack arrived from Australia.  Thanks Sue! 
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And then in December I was the prize winner in Friday Night Sew In which is hosted by Wendy of Sugar Lane Quilts.  Another package from Australia.  Smile  She sent me a really cute and very “friendly” panel. Thanks Wendy!
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I hope your week in sewing has been as much fun as mine!
Janet



Thursday, January 29, 2015

Home again

We had our last morning in Hawaii on Monday and an exciting morning it was.  There were a group of whales – Humpbacks go there in January to March to breed and calve – in closer to shore than any we had seen previously.  We did see them everyday we were in Hawaii.  This day we had a fantastic view of them and we were convinced that there was a female giving birth. 

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My camera only has 6x zoom… We figured they were about 400 yards out and we had a very good look at them through the binoculars.

Then there were about 50 turtles feeding and we again got to look at them up close – like a couple of feet away. 

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And I know I said I wasn’t going to show the dead fish, but this is too intriguing… Two days out and the fish is shrinking as the crabs feast on it…

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I had a day off work when we got home.  I planned it that way as I knew I had to sew a block for the 2015 Canadians bee swap.  This is a Bonnie Hunter block and the original tutorial for it is found here http://quiltville.blogspot.ca/2005/06/scrappy-mountain-majesties.html

Our bee bunny of the month wanted bright modern fabrics paired with low volume.  Hopefully I did it right. She asked that we not sew the four pieces together as she wanted to play with layout.   I love how it looks.

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I have to make two Valentine’s postcards this weekend so I’m lined up to sew…  What do you have planned for your weekend?

Janet

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Friday Night Sew In Report

My friend Linda P and I had a lovely FNSI – although it took place mostly in the late afternoon.  Most mornings when we first get up we sit out on the lanai and sew, but yesterday in the morning it was so windy that we had to retreat inside to do our morning sewing.  There were lots of interesting things on the beach … (I won’t show you my dead fish pictures :))

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And the wind surfers were out in force…

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By late afternoon the strong wind from earlier in the day had lessened and the sun wasn’t too hot for us to sit out on the lanai.

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Linda stitching away on her cross stitch.

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And me stitching on my Grandmother’s Flower Garden.  added these two new flowers.

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I need one more flower to complete this row.  I hope to get it added in today.

How did your FNSI go?

Janet