Busy Bee


This Hardy Hibiscus is one of my favorite plants in the backyard.  Clearly this bee thinks it has hit the jackpot.  I couldn’t get a photo, but the bees are so loaded down with pollen that they can hardly fly away.

A few years ago I was inspired by this lovely plant to make a mini wall hanging.


Garden Variety Inspiration

The garden presents such lush colour combinations.  How can I not be inspired?



After hunting around and snapping photos, it became clear that there seemed to be a colour theme at this moment, this morning in my backyard.



What’s a girl to do, but start pulling fabric!  Whether it results in a new quilt or just a fun moment with fabric, it’s all good for making a girl smile. I am always amazed at how a glimpse of a colour palette can get my creativity whirring.


And that’s all for my colour break for today.  Time to give the house some attention.  It has been desperately neglected in the pursuit of summer pleasure.  But some days you just need to buckle down and clean the toilet!  Balance, right.

Look up

Take a big breath, let it out, and look up into a tree.


I can almost guarantee it will make you feel better and maybe more peaceful.  Babies can be soothed by laying them under a tree with rustling leaves (I’ve tried it and it works) and the movement of the all the leaves stimulates brain activity.  Trees are good for us.


Part of the reason (among many reasons) why we bought this house was the two trees. In the front there is a beautiful Golden Black thorn Acacia.  It has this lovely spring green all spring and summer long.  We had a tree like this in the yard where I grew up.  There are tiny black thorns up to a centimetre long on all the branches and we used to break them off and lick and stick them on our noses to be like… I don’t know what, but it was fun.


In the back there is a huge Sugar Maple.


It drops tons of little maple leaves in the fall, but for now it gives privacy, lovely shade, and is home to a breeding pair of hummingbirds.

Again, look up.


The leaves rustle and you can feel stress float away.  How many shades of green can you find.

That’s all I had planned for this post when I saw the light in the trees this morning and grabbed the camera.  But I compose my post in my head through the day, and along with my thought of Look Up came talk at the office, on the radio and news about the ridiculous new game for smart phones called Pokémon Go and people being glued to their phones walking around like zombies and being oblivious to the world around them.  How crazy are these people to be missing all the wonder and beauty around them simply because they find the world on their phone more appealing.  Sad.

So look up at the world, not down at a phone.  Be enthralled by all the colours surrounding us everywhere.


dark and bright, dark and light

The garden is in full bloom, and Zucchini season has begun.  I found this lovely bright bloom this morning.


and nearby under a big leaf…


And then the dark comes from local farms

Stellar Farms on Oldfield road in Saanich has the best blueberries I’ve ever tasted. Including Duke blueberries that are the size of small cherries! They didn’t survive the car ride home.  Oops. No sprays or pesticides either. Yum.

On the sewing side, I dug into my bag of neutral scraps to work on a gift.  It is definitely worth having your scraps sorted by general colour for a quick grab for this kind of project.


And started sewing bits together, Cheryl Arkison http://www.cherylarkison.com/ slab style.  After joining a few strips of random size, you put them together to build your chosen size block. It’s fun, but time consuming.  2 hours flew by, and the kids were asking “what’s for dinner”. No wonder they asked, it was 6:45 and I hadn’t even thought of what to cook.  Poor neglected boys.  Hardly!


I can only give you a little peak until this project is gifted, but there is a dark side to this one…


You can see how the slab comes together nice and random. Hopefully my Swallow silhouette works out. Time for hand stitch applique.

Sweet colour

First tomato of the season ALMOST ready. These are Juliet Romas.


If all goes well, there will be plenty of Romas to enjoy through the summer, in tacos and salads and on pizza.DSC03442

I also have a crazy looking heirloom


And a plant full of Super Striper Beefsteaks.


I normally grow Tiny Tim cherry tomatoes, but those and the heirloom got mixed up in a friend’s greenhouse. Oops. Good thing we have lovely places like SunWing farms http://www.islandfarmfresh.com/farm/sun-wing-greenhouses/ to buy amazing organic grape tomatoes and other lovely treats.

every last bit

There’s this funny thing about quilting.  Every quilter I know has a stash, small, medium or ridiculously big. as a general rule, we all love to buy fabric and treasure it and use it too.  For me part of my stash is making use and using it up.  Ultimately I dream of using up every last piece of fabric in my stash to make beautiful things.  But there is a further expression to Stash…a quilter’s stable of fabric.  STABLE…stash accumulation beyond life expectancy.  sigh, there is never enough time to quilt.  And what a sad life if one only quilted and there was nothing else.  So, I guess balance.

In the mean time, it is very satisfying to use up all of a fabric bundle.  In this Not a bargello quilt, I have managed to use up all the fabric.  Not that I don’t like these fabrics, but I am ready to move on and not have them haunting me anymore.  Patch work on the back helps use it all up.

And I like having that little touch of the bargello remnant.


On using up all the bits, I piece together batting when I don’t have enough.


Even these little bits will get patched together for potholders one day.


And so the quilt progresses. Yay.


All pinned now and I have begun quilting.  I have mentioned before that my least favorite part of making a quilt is the basting, but when I started pinning, I was having troubles planning the quilting.  As I pinned, I came up with a plan.  So I guess the process was helpful.

Wishing you a good week of satisfying sewing and using up.

Volcanos, baseball and quilts, Oh my.

I am privileged enough to only work 3 days a week at the dental office now. But part of having more time at home means to me that I need to do more quality things with the kids.  Enter Summer Science day.  I have been researching a bit on science projects with kids and have a fun line up so far.  This weekend was about Papier Mache.  We started with a basic cone structure (ooh look, geometry!)from a water bottle with a broken lid, cardboard strips and some duct tape.


Next we mixed flour and water to make a goopy soup, and built our volcano with newspaper strips.


After a day to dry, we painted it Volcano colours, and it is ready for lava chemical reactions next weekend.


Baseball… no photos, but my older son B tried out and got chosen to play on a post season 9/10 all star baseball team.  The tournament started on Canada day. We spent a LOT of hours at the ballpark this weekend.  More games to come this week.

And in between, I managed to find a bit of me time to sew.  I have been playing with those pieces from Not a Bargello and came up with a fun layout.DSC03404After all the triangles were sewn together I now needed to do the much despised task of squaring up.  Tedious, but well worth it when you see how much gets trimmed away to make the squares all line up and lay flat when sewn.


Sorry about the bad lighting in the photo.

The bargello beginning of this fabric is long pieces of fabric sewn together in strips.

DSC03414 I didn’t have enough fabric to make any more strips, but enough to fiddle and make a few more triangles.  A quilty friend commented awhile ago that I have a “size”, when it comes to the quilts I make.  True, other than a few king size, I seem to make lap sized quilts.  I do like the function of a lap quilt, but wanted to try to make something a bit bigger.  I tried.

Anyway, here is the completed quilt top.  Hopefully to be quilted soon, and not relegated to a drawer for a few more years.  Here’s to not getting distracted by a new quilt plan.

DSC03417And here’s to better lighting for my photos.