Yellow, red, ready

I came out into the garden today and was greeted by these “smiling” faces.



What a nice way to start the day. The sun wasn’t shining in the sky, but these sunflowers made up for it.

And then in the front yard the Juliet tomatoes are in full swing. Plump and ready to eat.


And looking like clusters of grapes. Yum!

I seem to have a lot of sewing happening all at once.  Different from the approximately 11 quilts in progress, these are out on the table, calling out for attention, due to deadlines.

I have entered a quilt in the Saanich Fair, in the modern quilt category.  That one needs a hanging sleeve, due by sept 1.  Better get on that.

The Ugly fabric challenge for my quilt guild needs to be quilted and bound.  Deadline Sept 15th. Quilting has  begun.

Block lotto to present at the sept 15 guild meeting.  2 blocks made and steps photographed. Still need to made up the handout and directions pdf.

Oh, wait, Netta got sidetracked!!!  I found a cute improve block in a book,that I wanted to try. Pattern by 

I started cutting 2 inch squares and was chain piecing in no time.


This became lots of little “houses”:


which became more chains:


Which became this :


Which made me smile.  Not sure what will become of this little one.  Maybe a table runner?  Fun to make, and came together pretty quickly.

Some friends tell me they get so busy some days they forget to eat.  That NEVER happens to me, but sometimes I can “forget” to clean the house, have a shower, etc in my obsession for cutting and sewing fabric.  Onwards!




I bought fabric, again.

Oops I bought fabric!


I say oops, like I slipped and it fell into my lap.  Haha, more like I kissed my hubby and the boys goodbye and headed out to look at fabric at a sale.  Buy 1 metre, get 2 free, who can resist that!!!  I mostly buy solids and a few tone on tone prints that act like solids.  But this piece just kept calling me back to the bolt to touch it.  Do you ever do that?  I have NO IDEA what I will do with this, but I had to have it.

I also grabbed a few fat quarters of solids. DSC03590

I have volunteered to do block lotto for my guild for the rest of the calendar year.  I think this might be the palette for September’s block.

That’s all I have to say tonight.  I really just want to get started on quilting my ugly fabric challenge quilt, and playing with fabric to come up with an improve block for the block lotto.  Probably not going to happen tonight.  But tomorrow!!!

Ugly colour?

I don’t like getting up early! I do it begrudgingly on a regular basis, but enjoy my 7:30 “sleep-in” when I can.   Then along comes excitement about playing with fabric, and a challenge put forth, and I was up just after 6:00 the day after my guild meeting.  I just couldn’t comfortably doze when my brain was sorting through my fabric stash looking for matches to an “ugly fabric” that I received at a MQG guild meeting.  We all came to the meeting with an unmarked paper bag with a  fabric in the bag that we determined to be ugly and why had we ever bought it.  At the end of the meeting we all took home a different bag, and voila!


Not my taste, but not all that bad.  Now, the challenge put out was to make something with this and up to 4 other fabrics.  Prizes to be awarded for best two projects.

I am not competitive in many things, but this challenge got me excited.  There was no way this fabric was going to “disappear in amongst other fabric, so I decided to take the colour lead of the fabric designer. I started pulling fabrics…


Now how to play this one?  I love HSTs and with limited time I decided to go with a chevron design.  Graph paper and pencil to calculate size of squares to cut-4″-was the winner.


These soon became a big stack of half square triangles.


And the layout looks decent.


I love working on a small project.  It can come together so fast.

Top done today.  I am satisfied so far.  I think it’s fun.  Not my best palette, but I didn’t have to buy any fabric and the solids are pretty true to the print.  Somebody might like this.


Now to plan the quilting.  Which again is much more fun when it’s small like this-30″x 36″.  That will be next weekend.

Sumac Colour

Beside my front driveway lives a Staghorn Sumac tree.  Actually it’s classified as a shrub, and since it has many trunks coming up from the ground, I would go with the shrub classification.

Although the tree is not the star of this photo from a few summers ago, you can see how lush and full it gets, with bright red drupes.


In late september we get another pretty show.



But something is wrong.

Only 3 out of 6 trunks had green leaves this spring, and only one trunk was fairly full of leaves.  Now into August, it is looking pretty sad.



Pretty stark contrast against the bright green of the Black Thorn Acacia!

I was worried about it suffering from the drought, but everything I have read says this shrub is happy in poor and dry soil conditions.

But there is hope, in a new generation.


Other years we have cut all of these suckers before they get this big, but I left them when I saw the tree looking so wilty.  Did that cause the decline? Who knows.  The stems of the suckers show part of the reason for the name Staghorn.  Check out the fuzz on the stems, similar to new antler fuzz.


Any tree dying makes me sad, but I guess it is part of the life cycle.  Hopefully the new suckers thrive.

Still match stick quilting my Not a Bargello.  I have gotten to the point of just wanting it done so that I can play with something new. Soon.

Birds of Prey

Today we went to visit the Raptors north of Duncan.  They have many birds of prey and do a few flying demonstrations throughout the day.


There were a few different lovely owls.

The young barn owl with the not-bright-white face was quite sweet, still calling out as babies do until they leave their parents nest. How can you resist that heart shaped face?  The trainer who was telling us about each bird talked about how owls used to be persecuted as heralds of death, and shot on site.  This period of time co-insides with the black plague.  Can’t see that this is a coincidence that people were killing rodent eaters and the rodent overpopulation brought disease.  We are all so connected.

The biggest bird was this “handsome” fellow named Gaston.  He is a Marabou Stork, local to Africa.  He lacks vocal cords, but that big sack at this throat amplifies the noise of his beak when he clacks it together.


Another import was a pair of very cute Kookaburras.  Native of Australia, these two are Canadians, born and bred.  We got to hear them Laugh.  My oldest son and I kept breaking into song: “Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree, merry merry king of the bush is he, laugh kookaburra, laugh kookaburra, gay your life must be”.

They moved very quick, so it was hard to get a good portrait, but you can really see the pale blue/turquoise on their wings.  Things I didn’t know.

On a more local note was this amazing bald eagle named Hera.  Just so huge! And she only weighs 10 lbs.  Lots of fluff in those feathers, and air in her bones.


There were some cool hawks and falcons too.  The one on the grass had caught a flying decoy on a rope and was enjoying a reward of fresh meat attached to it.

Well, that’s my ornithology lesson for today.

Now, fresh from my garden “one of these things is not like the others”.


Sometimes you get a random different seed mixed in.  The picture isn’t great, but that one red one was cool when cut into.  Red outside with a bright yellow core.

Not much sewing happened this weekend. 😦


dots of colour

Sometimes you can be driving along and a bright dot of colour grabs your eye.


Somebody with a colourful sense of landscaping!


not really my style, but fun none the less.

More my style is some bright dots appliqued on to a bag to make it more…pretty.


this is the not-so-exciting fabric/mesh/canvas/not sure what material bag that I got to take home my left-overs from a fancy restaurant in downtown Vancouver.  It is a nice size and shape, but definitely lacking in brightness.  So I started cutting circles to appliqued on.

DSC03533I found a great U-tube tutorial by Sarah Fielke  on making perfect applique circles.  yeah, mine are certainly not perfect, but the technique she showed was cool.

So now I have so slow hand applique to relax and do while the kids play at the beach this weekend.


More and more I am drawn to “slow” work, although the other part of me likes to see results.  I will always be torn between the two. Happy Wednesday.



Sometimes you can bite off more than you can chew.

This is random width, straight line quilting.  Something I have done more than once, and really like.


And this is random width, match stick quilting. Something that I think looks great, feels amazing, and


Takes forever!!!

But I have begun a significant section, and there’s not going back.  So I am committed to finishing this way.  Unless I get committed to the loony bin first!

And while I enjoy the process of quilting, once I have started, I want it done to see the final result. Like, now.

This isn’t all that exciting, so here’s a little fun colour from left over tie dye colour…


At the bowling alley…


And from around the house….

I realize now that purple isn’t one of my “go to’ colours, I had a hard time finding photos.

Well that was a fun little break flipping through photos.  Now back to my match stick quilting.  Good thing I have lots of serger thread.  Hopefully the quilt will be done by the next MQG meeting.  I have less than 2 weeks.

Oh, do you like my new header? Just testing out something new.



Old Colour

I was up at my parents house and had the pleasure of spending some time with this dear old piece of furniture.


This secretary/escritoire (chatol in Danish) was made for a long ago family member back in the early 1700s.  Yup, that means this beautiful old girl is around 300 years old.  I love that it has been in my family; touched, owned, loved by people related to me through many generations.  The wood does get dry and needs regular attention in the form of wood oil.  The photo above is after I gave it a treatment.

Every time I rub with a soft cloth and oil, I am entranced by the hand carved details,


depth of colour, and amazing rich wood grain.


Nothing but hand tools 300 years ago!

I remember one of the chores on our “to do” list as kids was to regularly take down the old brass decorations my mom had on top, and dust them and the Chatol.  I love antiques and old things and perhaps part of that comes from having this piece of furniture around and being taught to care for and respect it.  One day maybe this will be mine to treasure.(Although my 2 sisters might have an opinion there!)