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Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Back to town today.  I know - it is pretty bad, but I'll go for any excuse.  Actually my Dad had to run some errands and we were getting some pictures printed. Sounds good to me. Of course that gave me a chance to do some more knitting.
Now I have TWO more blocks done.   I have one more skein of yarn with me.  And there are nine more at home.  Drat - I wish I had brought more.  I have 21 skeins of yarn in total. There are leftovers from each skein so I am hoping to make 25 blocks for a 5 by 5 configuration???  That is probably realistic. Then I have to knit the sashing which Tish assures me is quick.  She better be right!!!!   I am NOT allowing myself to start anything new (knitting) until this is done.  Better knit faster!!!!!

I did buy some dish cloth yarn so I can make that before I leave if I run out of things to do.

I got a LOT of hexagons prepared.  I am almost done the initial 300 of the small ones.  Now to start sewing them together. That is for later. Since I am trying something complex (of course) - I have to think about what colours I am prepping. But last night - I got more fabric hexagons cut out. This time I used the striped fabric - what do you think????

I think this one will be the traditional "flower" shape with the black in between the striped flowers. 

My mom was showing me what she was working on in the scrap quilt world.  When I was here in February, she had dug out some of her quilts and I took four home to quilt. Then she got out her quilting to see what was there.  At some point - she had cut blades for dresden plate blocks.  Well she went wild!!!!  When she got them all sewn together - she had enough for TWO HUNDRED blocks.  Actually these blades had been cut YEARS ago.  She just sewed them together recently. I know - and you thought I was obsessive!!!!!!

The plates together - 200 blocks worth

The Dresden Plate ready to be appliqued to the background - a LOT of those scraps are leftovers from things that I made or my mom made.  Many (OK - all of them) are old. 50 years or so.  Anyone want a Dresden Plate quilt?????   There will be TEN of them - each one 4 by 5.  Oh boy!!!!!   That red plaid in the above picture was from a shirt I made myself when I was in high school and there were many other fabrics that belonged to me.  Great memories!!!!!

Well I'm off to check out some of my Dad's toys.  Catch you later.

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Emergency run........................

As you have probably figured out by now - I am in Saskatchewan visiting with family.  Since there is not a lot to do but visit, I always bring hand work.

Since I have been here - I have finished hand stitching the binding down on that quilt that I quilted for my mom.  The one that she made 50 years ago.

Yep - while visiting with family, I got out my needle and thread and got the entire binding stitched down.  Haven't done a a binding in a while and great to get this one done.  Mom was very pleased with the end result.  So here is an OLD UFO - done!!!!!!!!!!!!    The only thing - I forgot to make a label, so will make the label and bring it next time and stitch it on. 

Brought some knitting and got one square done.  I am rarely a passenger in a vehicle, but the other day I knit all the way to town and back and got this done and half the next one done.  I only brought three balls of yarn with me and half of it is done. Do you see where I am going here?????

I think I meant to bring my embroidery and I forgot it at home, but I had thrown something else in my bag. Does this look familiar?????   Tish?????   Diane????   A number of friends are getting involved in English Paper Piecing.  I have had this project on the go for YEARS.   The only thing that I had done was cut out some of the hexagons.  I had only prepared ONE hexagon.  OK - I am going to tackle this project and try and get some done.

English paper piecing

Get out the needle and thread

Oh crud - this is fiddly - did I mention that my hexagons are 1/2"  - so each of the 6 sides are 1/2" long. 

Now somewhere along the way I had heard of using glue pens to do the "stitching".  I must have because I had one in my box.

Glue pen

Hmmmm - is that really going to work?????   and how do I get the papers out?????

Well time to open up YouTube and see what it is all about. Found some several videos and after 5 minutes - I thought I would give it a whirl.

YouTube video

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hexagons glued down.  FAST FAST FAST

I had two packs of 100 hexagons with me and I had picked up another one at the quilt store in Saskatoon. 

These things are fast to make

There is 100 done. 

OK - so now we have a problem.  I had black hexagons cut and I had some orange - but a silly orange. I don't really like the fabric. Now that I had 1/3 of my hexagons done with black - I needed some more fabric.  Well if I were home, I would make a 5 minute trip to Ruti's. However she is a bit far right now.  So I hopped in the car and drove 50 minutes to Fabricland.  The only option. However this is a great Fabricland and they have loads of quilting fabric.

Look what I found.   Got .25 m of each

Now I have to cut the hexagons. Oh boy - not looking forward to that.  However my Mom has a small cutting mat, one ruler and a HORRIBLE cutter that needs a new blade.  Well - it is all I have, so will have to make due.

Now here is something absolutely hysterical. When I was a kid we were NOT allowed to watch much television.  For numerous reasons. We could watch, but not much.  Now I do not watch TV at all and my Mom spends the entire evening watching TV.  Oh my - how the tables have turned!!!!!!

Anyway - I watched two shows with her (and now I know why I do NOT watch TV any more) and in two hours, I was able to prepare over THREE HUNDRED little fabric hexagons.   Oh yes - I had the cutters, the scissors and I had a production line going.

Table room is scarce at this house (my mom is a piler - just like me). So I improvised with a little stool - worked like a charm

I think I got 28 of each of 12 colours

Made a few pink ones before I went to bed and reconfigured my little box and everything fit in

Got some silk thread to stitch them together. Not sure it is the best, but all I could find. 

Those little packs of hexagons aren't cheap - well I paid $7 for the last batch of 100.  My mom says - I have a punch. So she dug it out, but the edges are 3/4" (or very close).

So what do you get with an 8 1/2" by 11" piece of card stock and a hold punch?????

50 hexagons in a mere matter of minutes.  She is well trained with hole punches. Now I need her to do that three more times!!!!!!!

I picked this fabric up to use with the larger hole punches.  I know - a stripe.  No one said I was smart!!!!!

Also got a ball of cotton yarn to make a dish cloth in the event I get really bored

Saw this gorgeous rick rack so bought all they had - it was cheap!!!!!!

If you have ever been to the prairies you would know how wide open the skies are.  I don't think I will ever get enough of that.  It is stunning to see the sky change.   There is NOWHERE in the city that you get that feeling.  As I was driving yesterday - I had to stop many times and take pictures. Here are a few for your enjoyment.   Yvonne - these are for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This yellow in this canola field was just BRILLIANT 

Looking off in the direction of North Battleford

Cool clouds in the sky

More neat clouds

Looking out over the river valley

This picture was taken in February - same spot

Had to stop and take a picture of these pretty flowers

Hmmm - would be nice to make into a quilt???????    A journal cover?????

On that note - I have hexagons to put together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Ring around my finger.........................

Nope - no special anniversary ring for me. I only wear one ring and that is on my left hand pinkie. When I graduated from high school a LONG time ago - my group of friends and I (we were five in total) all purchased a pinkie ring with our initial engraved on it.  My initial has been gone for years and I am the only one that still wears that little ring.  I have no idea why - but I do.

Anyway - a couple of months ago, I was closing the door of the car and my hand got caught in the door.  Well not my hand - but the door caught the ring and squeezed it - ON MY HAND.  The door did not touch my hand but the ring was now badly misshapen.  Hmmm - what to do????

First off  - I could not get the stupid thing off. So as is the norm for me  - I left it. What else was I going to do???

OK - so not that badly out of shape - don't forget my finger was still in there when it got bent.

On the plane on the way to Saskatchewan - it was freezing on board and I thought about the ring and managed to get it off. Then at dinner, I mentioned that I needed a jeweler to straighten my ring.

Now you have to realize that my ENTIRE family is crafty, handy and LOVES to fix things. So my two brothers pipe up that they will straighten the ring for me.

Back to my brother's house and we were off to the shop.......................

Wally and Glen - performing surgery on my ring

I hope you notice that my older brother has a SHOP - that is the equivalent of my sewing studio.  Oh yes - we are all alike - we need our stuff spread out around us. We need plenty of tools and LOTS of supplies.
I will get a picture of my Dad's shop - but yes - we all have something.

A HUGE mallet does the trick

And there is my ring - back like a circle!!!!!   I was so happy and they saved me a trip to the jewelry store. 

I must say that is one thing that I miss about being home - my family can fix just about anything and I can't take advantage of any of it.  Of course - if I lived here, they would probably pay to have me move away so I couldn't bug them.

You know how us quilters always say that we will NOT give quilts to those who won't appreciate them.  Well while we were visiting yesterday, my brother alluded that he knew nothing about quilts (fair enough), but to him they were just blankets.  OK - he's off the list and I told him so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We also love dogs and my older brother (Wally) has two dogs.  They are pretty sophisticated dogs.  Look how one of them sleeps outside.

Meadow - napping on the lawn chair
Ah - just flip over and catch some rays on the other side
And Moose - well - he is too hyper to sleep, but he can get a better vantage point!!!!!

When I was here in February, I so wanted to get pictures of the buffalo that are raised on a farm on the way to town. Well every time we drove past - the buffalo were not near the road, or when they were near the road - I didn't have the camera or the battery was dead or the card was left at home.  It became a huge joke between my Dad and myself.

Anyway - this time - the buffalo were by the road, I had a working camera and I got pictures.

"Domestic" buffalo - do you see the baby buffalo?

Awesome view of the prairies

When I arrived in Saskatoon on SATURDAY - for some reason I thought it was Sunday. Do not ask me why.  I headed out to the quilt store (which had moved since I was here last time).  When I was walking to the store - I had this terrible thought. It is Sunday - they will be closed.  But I continued to the store and saw the sign - CLOSED SUNDAY. Oh shoot - but there are people in the store and the door is open.  So I asked if it was OK to shop.  They must have thought I was a LOONEY TUNE!!!!!!!  

On that note - I am out of here.

Have an awesome day.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

I need a GUN!!!!

I am a pretty loosey goosey kind of person.  Not much scares me. So I am walking in the forest this morning.  It sounds ALIVE as the acorns are raining down. Now whether this is because of the squirrels or just because - I don't know enough about acorns.  But it is pretty cool to walk and hear them falling.

We were not far from the house and I was waiting for the girls to catch up. I had taken Sparky's brush as her fur is coming out in clumps.  I bent down to brush her as we waited for Sammy and OH MY GOD!   There is Sammy sort of running down the path and a coyote on her tail!!!!!   Not I don't think this was a prey stalking kind of walk, but the coyote was there. Probably 20 feet away as there was a bend in the path.

Gulp!  I yelled NO at the coyote who stopped, looked at me and took off into the bush. Sammy ran to me, Sparky attempted to run after the coyote. I yelled at her and she stopped. Yikes - that was a bit close for comfort.

Sammy was like velcro to my leg. Problem was - she kept looking back which made me want to look back too.

Then a little further on, we heard this big growly noise - oh god - now what. Oh - just a raccoon.  So we continued to walk and feeling a bit more confident. But I kept looking over my shoulder. Now when you do this - you never see anything - right?

Well - I looked back at one point and CRAP - there was the coyote - watching all of us.  OK - this is getting a bit creepy.  It eventually turned away (down to where I think the den is) and we continued on our way.  I think Sammy was very happy to get back home. OK - so was I.

Since a gun is probably NOT a good idea - I was armed with just a rubber dog comb - perhaps a sling shot would be in order.  I had better get one and start practicing.  I could kick myself as the darn camera was sitting on the table. Poo - no picture.  I know - what is more important - a picture or staying safe!!!

I did notice on the last two nights of walking that there were NO rabbits and normally the area by the forest path is littered with them at night.

We were also out in the forest a half hour earlier than normal, but it wasn't far from the back of our house. Then I have seen it walk right down our street!!!!

Oh well - on that note - I am out of here.

Have a SAFE awesome day.


Happy happy happy!!!!!

While it is always nice to get home, I was in so much pain there was no way that I could enjoy being home. I would like to think that I have a relatively high pain tolerance, but every time I even flinched it felt like someone was driving a knife into my leg and then twisting it.  Sitting down on the toilet made me wish that we had a handicap bar - getting up even worse. Driving - well I probably should not have been driving as I was in so much pain. Anyway - I will spare you the gory details, but it was NOT pretty. I like to move and move fast!!!!!

I could NOT even phantom the idea of using the foam roller to get some deep massage into the muscle.  So I took a pain killer and while I could still feel that I was in trouble, the sharp pain was gone. Then some stretches and deep massage with my hand. As deep as I could tolerate.  I have to say that this morning, although again I am not out of the woods, I can actually walk around without looking like I am 100 years old.  Gosh when my Dad got his new hip, I think he walked faster and moved better than I did yesterday.

Bottom line - more stretching and more deep massage with my hand. My whole leg is affected and I need to get this resolved ASAP because I am changing my gait and that affects the knees, the hips and well it has to be fixed. I did some checking because this type of thing usually happens from over use - as in riding a bike for hours.  While I have had very tight IT bands in the past - NOTHING compared to this.  A bit more research revealed that a LOT of use (i.e. walking the streets of London) with IMPROPER footwear is the likely cause of the flare up.  While I do have orthotics in my nice running shoes, the chiropractor and my family doctor have both poo pooed the combination.  I ignored them both, but perhaps?????

So my question - do they have funky orthopedic shoes?????   I think I am a bit young to move into that realm of BEIGE orthopedic shoes.   Perhaps just a good pair of running shoes???  I must do some investigation.   Drat - I love my shoes and I guess they are OK for every day use, but I must resolve this issue for future.  In the meantime - deep massage (and soon I can use the foam roller) and more gentle stretches.

My funky shoes - see I have blue orthotic inserts in there - I wonder why that doesn't help the problem?????

Oh boy - you do not know how happy I was when I woke up this morning.

So you want to see what I bought when I was away.   Keep in mind - I did not buy lots because of the cost and also - I don't really need anything so I was looking for unusual stuff.

OK - so even though I am able to purchase this magazine here in Canada - this was number 102 which is the current issue in Europe.  The current issue for us is 101.  I just had to say that I bought one while I was there.  Then I won't have to run around and find this for a while.  
One thing I noted on my the Southern Ontario shop hop - a number of stores had this magazine, but NONE close to me.  I wonder why?????   And many stores do not have many available for sale, but people have signed up to get the magazine.  I may have to do that to ensure getting it.  It really is a great magazine. One of my favourites.
Of course - some bicycle fabric.  Got this at Fabrics Galore

And no trip would be complete without some LOCAL fabric.  Although I am certain that both of these are US based.  Got these at Liberty's. 

And this is my LIBERTY print (see - NO florals). The colours are just gorgeous and the fabric is so soft.  I don't know yet what I am going to do - but it is gorgeous.   Got this at Fabrics Galore. 

If you are looking to purchase Liberty fabrics - here is a good source guide.  And if you want to see a HUGE selection of Liberty prints - check out this link.   They don`t seem to make fabric lines or coordinating prints - so I have a meter of this - well maybe a yard and it is wide - so it may have to be self contained, but you can do a LOT with stripes. Or maybe I could find a solid Liberty???  Do they exist?

Now I have to say that I am shallow.  No - I am a crow, but instead of liking shiny things - I like ORANGE things. We saw MANY people carrying around these bright orange bags. It was from The SuperDry Store. A store that caters to the younger crowd.  Gosh - my kid knew all the stores - she was a great shopping guide. Anyway - as much as I like orange things - I was NOT going to buy something just to get a bag.
Well one day - we happened to take a short cut to avoid people in the street and there on the sidewalk in a corner was an empty SuperDry Store bag.  I could NOT leave it there so checked it out (to make sure it was clean) and then brought it home.  Not sure what I will do with it - but I like it and it was FREE.

My SuperDry Store bag - OK - now you can call me a hoarder (except that I do have a home for it!!!!)  With all my other shopping bags. 

 Here is the current situation with the license plates for the Row by Row - this is such a cool idea.  Anyway - I now have 10 of them physically in my hands.

Rutis - Mississauga
Thimbles and Things - Orillia
The Quilting Bee - Fonthill
Creative Sisters - Kitchener
Country Concessions - Cookstown (four)
Country Patchworks, - Woodstock
Cherished Pieces - Tilsonburg

I have FOUR more, but not in my hands:
Sew Sister`s - Toronto
Quilter`s Cupboard - Uxbridge
Wee Folks - Selkirk
Creemore - Creemore

My license plates - a total of 14 when the other four arrive

It appears that they have become quite popular.  Some stores have already sold out.  Of course - they may have only purchased 48 or whatever the smallest quantity was.  There are 28 in Ontario and I have half of them.  I know - call me a hoarder and let`s move on. So if you see one of the other stores on your travels this summer and they have a license plate - I will pay you for it.  Just send me a note or leave a comment so I can post it.  Although I am sure I can find a home for any duplicates.    Many stores are sold out and waiting for a new shipment.  Country Concessions and Cobwebs and Caviar are for sure sold out. Carol was there yesterday and that is 19 days into a 60 day long program. Yikes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here is the list of stores where I do NOT have a license plate

Sew Crafty - Rideau Ferry,
Sew Creative - Mount Brydges,
Quilter's Line - Markdale,
Kalidoscope of Quilts - Exeter,
We R Quilts - Prescott (two),
Wilton Creek Fabrics - Harrowsmith,
Threads that Bind - Maxwell,
The Quilting Trunk - Dryden
Fabric Fusion - Dryden
Flair With Fabrics -  Chesterville,
Fun With Stitches - Belleville,
Cobwebs and Caviar - Shelburne
Appleseed Quiltworks  - Lindsay.  

Thank goodness my leg is feeling better today because YES - I am getting back on a plane this morning. And it does NOT look good. Oh know - a little recognizance and look what I found at one of my favourite quilt shops.  This picture was under the WHAT`S NEW section.  Hold me back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Life - Enjoy the Ride

OH - in case you are wondering what a foam roller is - check it out.

Foam roller

This is one version of it - mine looks like an over-sized pool noodle - it is 6 inches thick.  You get down on the floor and roll your outer leg over the roller.   EXTREMELY painful at the best of times (unless your muscles are nice and supple which mine are NOT).   Can be used for other parts of the body and is an excellent tool for deep massage.  Much cheaper than a masseuse provided you use it.

Check out this link to see some of the other styles. Mine is very long, but there are lots of shorter, more portable ones.  I may get a smaller one - this one is too hard to travel with.   There is also a picture of a woman rolling out her IT band on this link.   I think it is a must have - I use it at the gym, but not as much as I should.

Foam Rollers

On that note - I am out of here.

Have an awesome day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!