birds in the neighbourhood

I live near a pretty big city, in a fairly urban area just outside of the city.  Most of the wild creatures I come across are of the unlikable kind, rats in the shed-eewwww!  Tiny ants coming in under the baseboards in summer, Wasp nest in the bike shed-eek it was big!, and raccoon poop on the back fence.

But sometimes I get little treats!

I have a breeding pair of Anna’s hummingbirds in my big Sugar Maple in the back yard.  It is super cute to see tiny hummingbirds zooming around with their parents.

The other day I looked out the window and saw a little family of quails in the front yard.  I snuck out from the backyard to try to get a decent photo. Not very successful.

DSC0414720170912_184744

And the other day after school drop off I spotted a Northern Flicker

20170915_092531

Mostly this shows that I need a better camera for faraway shots of moving targets:)

In quilting news, my Modern Quilt Guild had a birthday challenge using Libs Elliot fabric swatches.  I can’t remember if I told you about the lovely fabrics that I ordered and gave out to guild members in the form of a birthday cupcake.

I chose this piece with gold diamonds on it. And after much debate settled on this yellow and teal(ish) accent fabric.

DSC04115

Using the print on the fabric for inspiration, I sketched a design and started cutting.  Kind of scary when you only have a fat eighth of fabric to work with.

do you see where I am going with this?

DSC04188

Ta-Da! And sparkly white fabric background to complete this mini quilt I have named “Shiny, Happy”.  Lots of fun to make with little sparkly details,DSC04193

some geometric free motion quilting

DSC04190

And my favorite swirl quilting

DSC04191I didn’t win the cool Libs Elliot designed vodka bottle which is just as well, I don’t really drink very often;)

Mini quilts are a fun and satisfying way to get in some fabric play and have the sense of completion that is often a long time in coming on big quilts.

Advertisements

and sew it grew

Here’s where you hope your hubby isn’t looking!

My hubby wears white cotton t-shirts under his dress shirts for work everyday.  Over the years I have had the kids make handprints and footprints with craft paint (with a few drops of textile fixer) on these t-shirts and given them as father’s day or birthday or Christmas gifts.  Of course white shirts get yellowed and gungy so there is a decent turnover.  And being the saver, I have stashed all these memory shirts away in a drawer.

And now my man is coming quickly to the big 5-0.  Time to put my plan into action.

Manly colour palette, check.

DSC04126

I started cutting out the prints and using fusible webbing to make the t-shirt material less stretchy. I was short a few blocks, so added some of the boys old favorite t-shirts.DSC04123

I also had the boys do one more set of handprints on quilting cotton.  Some of the bigger prints ended up 12″, so I added borders to make the others come up to size. Then a black border.  The blocks were getting pretty big by now and I still had more to my quilt design. Block 1 with my youngest boy’s current mitt size

DSC04146

And then it just kept growing

until I got to this…

DSC04186

those grey tiles on my floor are 1′ square, that makes this quilt 5 3/4 x 9 1/4 feet! Huge! Although it was intended as a lap quilt, this will now work well for on his side of the bed on winter nights when he is cold and I am warm.

I have now pin basted and am starting to quilt.  October 6 is my birthday deadline, so I better get back to sewing while he is at work.

Fabric note; I am not a fussy fabric girl, and this quilt is typical of me.  There are some thin cottons, some stiff cottons and of course the t-shirt cottons.  I square up lots and press lots and seem to end up with pretty good results without worrying about it all being pristine equal weight fabric.

Have a great rest of your week!

 

tiny appearance

whoa, I almost forgot how to do this!  I took an accidental break that turned into an intentional break from blogging.  Hope you are still out there now that I am back.

This is where I have shared all the little things I see around me, as well as my creations.  But along came Instagram.  I can snap a pic, post it, and get all kinds of interaction. boom.  So do I post the same stuff here? just with more detail? hmm.  we’ll see.

I have heard that rhododendrons and azaleas will sometimes bloom twice in a year, given the right environment. This morning in my backyard, I spotted something on my Azalea…

DSC04151On further inspection, look at ALL those buds!  Maybe this will be a full show.

DSC04148

I don’t know what I did, but suspect that neglect thru a very dry summer, and then more attention in the last while has reset the plant. Fun!

About mid-July I finally finished My Canada quilt.  Hooray.

DSC04159

I probably mentioned this before, but there is LOTS of quilting in there.  Even trees quilted into the blank space around the trees. And oh crap, look at the peeks of red fabric and thread showing thru.  Too late to fix that.  Character, right?

DSC04161

And I couldn’t find plain striped red and white fabric so I went with this one for the binding, and I’m pretty happy with it.

canada quilt binding

This was gonna be great at the Saanich fair.  I had the entry form printed and ready, but neglected to look at the submission deadline until 1 day too late. Man, was I bummed out.  Maybe next year.

I have 4 quilts planned/ due in the next 4 months, so there should be lots to show soon.

still quilting

I love piecing a quilt top, and I love quilting, but somewhere in the middle of free motion quilting details I feel like I am walking through thick mud, making VERY slow progress.  I did a lot this weekend, but there is still lots to go.  Perhaps I need to make better choices in how I quilt things.  I do love dense quilting, but less can be more.  Too late for this one though.

I decided to attack each block as a single entity.

Wood grain and skyline background for the totem pole

DSC04105

Veins on the maple leaf (still undecided on the background of this one

DSC04106

Rocky shore below the lighthouse

DSC04108

stippling background for the snowflake

DSC04104

And a glassy reflection for the ice, as well as “Made in Canada 2017” on the hockey stick.

DSC04107

pretty happy in general, just at the point where I want to be finished. Now.

And my older son’s All Star baseball team starts their district tournament tomorrow, everyday for a week, so not going to have this out for another week.  Go Lakehill! I will be out there cheering.

 

they’re back!

I love so many flowers and plants, but my all time favorite has always been the Hydrangea.  They were the flowers I had for my wedding, I have always had at least one in a pot on my deck or in a flower bed at the house I was living at.  Periwinkle blue ones are my perfection.

20170702_171136

Some neighbours have a full display already

20170702_171047

I love that you can change the colour, depending on what you feed it.  Often very deep pink Hydrangeas have been given a very rich acidic fertilizer.  Blue for basic, so if you use lime, or coffee grounds, you can get pretty blue flowers.  I have one plant in the flower bed in the front yard, which has been given lots of fertilizer in the form of Alpaca poop.  This one is pretty strong pink, although it has only begun it’s show this year. This photo looks a lot more purple than the flowers do in real life!

DSC04101

And my smaller plant in a pot in the back yard is showing signs of less nutrients, pretty pot bound, I think.

DSC04103

Last year it had amazing variety…012

we shall see what comes.

I found another plant with two different colour variations, cool.

20170702_171119

not sure how that happens on the same plant.

Spent a lot of time wrapping up the school year and watching baseball and doing my annual summer cleaning.  I tend to get in the mood at the end of June, rather than doing spring cleaning. Maybe because the house has survived on a lick and a promise since baseball season began back in April.  Eek!  But when you let things go, the change when it does get cleaned is really noticeable and satisfying! So there’s that going for me.

And I really tried to get My Canada finished, but it is still in progress.  Didn’t want to rush for July 1 and have it less than what I wanted it to be.  It will be done soon though. Lots of detailed Free motion.  Lots of thread! Results soon.

Have a good week ahead, thanks for visiting my little part of the internet.

coming along

Steadily working on My Canada, every free moment I get. Finished the appliqued beaver, and filled in the last spaces with trees.  Now to decide on layout.

Subtle differences, not quite right.

This is the final decision…

DSC04090

I have now added a white border all the way around.

And it’s time to start pinning.

DSC04099I found some Canada-esk fleece for the back. Maple leaf in a mac jacket print.  That’s Canadian, eh?

DSC04100

So now for the quilting.  I tried to start planning what/how I would quilt this as I pinned.  Grand plans, but we’ll see how time goes.

Clock-a-ticking, I will start free motion quilting tomorrow night.

 

You can’t always wing it

In general I am a rule follower.  But for some reason I am ok to play with fabric without a pattern or instructions.  I sometimes sketch out a plan, but often I just have an idea in my head and I go for it.  Usually with some measure of success.  Often with frustration and telling myself to plan better.

For my Canada sampler quilt I figured it needed a snowflake.   60 degree triangles, no problem.  Never done them before, but I can give it a go…FAIL

DSC04058

Yup, this is a funny failure. poor planning and no knowledge.  I have made many other blocks in between, but really wanted a snowflake.

So I made my new 60 degree points. so far so good.

DSC04057

And then I went online and found a tutorial on 60 degree triangles.  There were some good tips and tricks, and I think it came out pretty well.

DSC04059

Next blocks I have been putting off are the applique blocks.  It’s not my favorite thing.  This poor beaver looks like he is trying to be a porcupine, but it’s what I needed to get it together.DSC04056

Still stitching.  Maybe I will get to the moose antlers soon.   But time is running out!  I really wanted this done for Canada day.  That is only 12 days away.  Eek!  That’s 6 days off between now and then.  Oh, but there is grade 5 grad one day, B’s party one day, field trip one day, etc.  Hmm, unrealistic goal.  we shall see.

But I was pleased when I laid it all out the other day…DSC04055

This isn’t the final layout, but gives a good idea.  Yay. I really want to sit on this finished on Canada day!