Jun 4, 2016

sittin and knittin

It's a hot one. Too hot, it seems, to be hidden under an 80" square quilt, wrestling with its quilting, or using an iron for piecing. So I'm knitting. House to myself and working on Oda. Dog is behaving and probably still tired from her long run yesterday.

Happy weekend!


Jun 1, 2016

May long weekend road trip

If you only care about crafts, you can stop reading now. This is a different sort of post.

If you only care about the west Kootenay region of BC, this post is for you! Hi Karen!!

On the BC May long weekend, hubby and I hit the road and got as far as Grand Forks on Friday. We got a bit of a later start, and the traffic was as horrendous as you can imagine getting through the heavily populated areas. So Grand Forks was far enough.

We stopped in Hedley to see family and I got hugs from two young sorta-cousins, a sorta-uncle, my closest sorta-cousin, and her husband. I missed my closest sorta-cousin's sister (also my closest sorta-cousin - the two of them are kind of a set) because she was out on a ride somewhere. That will be the last time we see the sorta-uncle in downtown Hedley because they're moving this week, if they haven't moved already. So happy for them!

It was sunny and lovely in Hedley on Friday. We left, and planned to stop for dinner in Osoyoos. We had the dog with us, so after some discussion, decided to pick up Subway and eat it by the lake. It was really windy and not warm, so we ate in the car pointing at the lake. Hubby saw a lynx (he thinks) and a brown bear of some kind somewhere around the Rock Creek area.

On Saturday morning, we got up, packed up and drove past Christina Lake and down to Rossland for breakfast. On the way, we stopped at this sign:

Then we stopped at the outdoor section of a Rossland museum. It was raining, but just lightly. Lots o' pictures here.

Then we had breakfast at Clansey's in Rossland and it was really, really good. After that, we drove through Warfield, and on the way down from Warfield to Trail, you go under two train overpasses. At one of them, you see the Tunnel Pub on one side of the road and this tunnel on the other side. It doesn't go anywhere and we don't know what it's left over from, but it was a nice place to stop and have a look. While we were there, a train went overhead to Teck, carrying anhydrous ammonia for the fertilizer operation.

Then we went to downtown Trail, the Trail airport, and we did a short walk to the river on the little trail close to the airport. That's the Columbia river. It's big. It's dammed - several times. It got smokin' hot while we were down by the river, which made for a really warm walk back up to the car. On our way back to downtown Trail, we saw Ken carrying rebar. Hi Ken!

We also drove up to the part of Trail where houses were placed in a terraced fashion, and the roads are wonky and there are covered staircases that cross-cut the winding roads. You don't have to drive very far to get this high. That's the Columbia river with Teck on the left, seeming to make all the clouds out of its stacks.

On the highway between Trail and Castlegar, you have to watch for wildlife. We now know where the turkeys go when they need to get to the other side - - highway 22. When we saw the turkey jogging down the road against traffic that was going 80km/h, it wasn't near this sign. That's why she didn't cross the road. She was just running to get to the sign so she could cross, I'm sure.

We then spent time at Don's house on the way to Nelson, where we planned to stay for Saturday night. Hubby and Don went shooting in Don's backyard and scared THE CRAP out of the dog. She took off faster than I've ever seen her run and went to hide under our car.

When we got to Nelson and got checked in, we went down to the lake to walk the dog a bit. She wasn't allowed on the path close to the lake for a big chunk of it, so we walked around to where we could get down close to the lake. It's called Lakeside Park and you can see the current in it and I'm not really convinced that it shouldn't be called a river. It's also dammed a lot and it's a pretty long and skinny lake ... kind of like a river.

There is apparently a loud noise every so often to scare the geese off the field. You can see why they might need that.

And the darned things breed like crazy! Cute though, right?

This mural is seen when you're coming out of the under-bridge parking area close to the lake. The bridge was orange, but they did work on the lower half of it and painted that a fresh pink colour. It's totally noticeable that halfway up the bridge there's a colour change and it bugs the heck out of Stephan, who lives in the area but not in the city.

Cutest Dairy Queen ever exists in Nelson. It's only open for 6 months of the year. While I was sitting outside with the dog, a mom came by and asked if the dog was friendly because her daughter wanted to say hello. The daughter was 2.5 years old and was super cute. She had some serious doggy tunnel-vision. We had a good chat and part of it went like this:

Dog: <whines>
Child: "What's she doing?"
Me: "She's whining. Don't you whine?" (mocking children can be fun)
Child: "No." Dead serious. Not even like she knows she's lying to me.
Child's Mother: <finds it hard to suppress her laughter, as all mothers would>

This is Nelson's courthouse. It's very old and very well covered in climbing plants, which makes it lovely to look at. It was designed by the same person who designed the Empress hotel in Victoria, BC.

Sunday morning we got breakfast and then we went to Kaslo, also on Kootenay "lake". We were hoping that the weather would clear up and it would be a nice day for walking around during May Days, and for watching the log rolling and whatnot. It was not nice. It was pouring. We did get out and walk to see the car show and the steam engine display, and we got the kid a shirt, but we didn't stay very long.

We were supposed to go back to Grand Forks for the night, but we would have been there so early and didn't want to do nothing, so we decided to go through New Denver, Nakusp, and then out to Vernon, Kelowna and home. We stopped at a little drive-in restaurant in Nakusp and ate at a covered picnic table. In the rain. The dog had to check it out.

We saw these little rental domes on the road as well, but I think I have this out of order. They were probably closer to New Denver because they're close to Slocan Lake, but I should check a map. Yeah, close to New Denver.

And we took our car on a cute little ferry to get across to the Vernon side and enter the Okanagan from the Kootenays. In the rain. It was the Needles - Fauquier ferry on highway 6 that crosses Upper Arrow Lake. I don't actually know where the Kootenays become the Okanagan, but I know that Vernon isn't in the Kootenays, so the division is somewhere between that ferry and Vernon.

And then we carried on home. It was a good trip with lots of driving and lots of looking around. We will have to go back and tour around the Slocan Valley and see what we can find there. And we'll also have to go right into New Denver because we didn't this time and I missed a yarn shop.


May 18, 2016

modern twinsies

I got my act together and lined up the photos of the "same, but different" quilts that I did for the wee twin boys who aren't born yet. I have met their mother, through their grandmother, with whom I work. Grandma is a lovely person and I probably went overboard on these for the mother who I had only met once, but none of the effort was painful and all of it added to my experience (I still consider myself new, having quilted for only a year and a half). Also, my friend Amber advised me that it would be the, "Best gift at the shower, bitches!". She's a quilter too, and she has totally gifted quilts at showers. Heck yeah!

So anyway, here they are, before quilting, after quilting, after binding and all-things-finished, and the back:

A disappearing 9-patch that really, really disappeared.
All-over meandering, free-motion quilting that has a couple of goofy spots, but is actually follow-able. I bound them both with Kona gray and now you're thinking, "Which Kona gray?" and I don't know. It's lighter than my other Kona gray; I know that much. The colours on the front are all Free Spirit. They're kind of primary colours but kinda not, right?
Those are my slippers. I don't wear socks with sandals. My daughter does and says it's totally okay, and even pointed someone out at the mall last weekend who was wearing BLACK SOCKS with her Birkenstock-style sandals. I cringed.
The flannel for the back wasn't quite wide enough (40-inch squares is what they are), so I added a strip of white flannel.
This one uses all the same fabrics, but it's different. See why I called them "same, but different"? Again, those are my slippers.
My daughter HATES the quilting on this one. I did each quadrant with a line toward the centre, and then another out toward the edge at 90 degrees. I didn't measure them and many of them have an apex that isn't in the middle. They're wonky and I like that. The thing my daughter really dislikes is the 'diagonal' line that joins the apices (I had to look that up) of each of the 90-degree quilted lines. The apices aren't in a straight line. The 'diagonal' line jogs back and forth.
I think this one is more of a modern quilt than the other one, but they're both all solids. This one has more negative space and a wonky block design that I made up as I went along. I made them both up as I went along. They would have been BOTH made from disappearing 9-patches, but I had a bunch of 9-patches that didn't make the cut because they were too flowery. So I only had enough for one quilt and then had to come up with this one separately.
And this is the back of number 2.

Yes, that's me. Yes, I have blue hair. Yes, I'm wearing a Batman shirt. No, I don't wear socks with sandals. For the last time, those are MY SLIPPERS!!!!


May 17, 2016

startitis and a linky post

I have a bad, bad case of startitis. That's when you start everything. All of it. All the things.

I have just finished three pillowcases and three pairs of pyjama shorts in the past week.

I've cut fabric for a topper for a big chest that will serve as a side table in the living room, and which is too dear to damage in any way.

I've still got that round robin quilt sitting there with the pins in, waiting for the rest of its quilting.

I've completed two quilt tops that are 36" square, which will be donated to the preemie program at a local hospital. They need to be sandwiched, quilted and bound. (That should be quick because they're small and I'll do the binding on the machine.) They were made with some Riley Blake fabric that I received from the Modern Quilt Guild in a challenge, but I couldn't procure the necessary fabrics to finish them up and get them entered (I had to use other fabrics). The Riley Blake fabric, though, was super easy to work with and aside from it being 3/4 of a yard long rather than the width of fabric (the design runs parallel to the selvedges), it's perfect. I suppose if you bought 2 yards and wanted great lengths of it, you'd be annoyed if there were only 40ish inches of it based on the width.

I've been downloading patterns like crazy and am itching to make summer pants and shorts.

I've got a paper-piecing project planned. Just a mini, but it's got 20,000+ pieces and I want to get it done and out of the way soon. It's for a girl at work. She will probably outwardly scoff at it, but she's a prickly pear and I know she'll be thinking sweet thoughts on the inside.

I have some abandoned pieces from a disappearing 9-patch that will come together to be a quilt of their own, with only a little bit more sewing. And maybe some really bold orange added to it. That'll be a wild one. I hope the other girl at work is having a girl. She won't know for a couple weeks, but if it turns out that it's a girl, this quilt is ear-marked for that baby.

My walking foot broke the other day. It's this one. I only bought my Janome 8900 Quilter's Edition last August, and I had the world's best experience at Toew's, where I bought the machine. No questions, no issues, just a new part. WOOT! So because of that, I thought it best to support this local business just a little bit more and so I also got the 1/4" foot for the walking food (Accufeed), and I picked up a 'teflon' foot for doing a project with vinyl as well.

That's the other project I've got started - the sewing machine mat from Make It, Take It. It's made with selvedges on muslin, and then quilted onto batting and a back, and you add the vinyl to the front bit that hangs down in front of your machine so you can put things into pockets that you stitch into the vinyl. It's going to be epic - I'm making it as wide as my machine plus plexi-table, not just the width of the machine. Hopefully my machine will be a little quieter. Not that it's terribly noisy now, but it isn't silent and I don't have a sewing room with a door. I have a nook area off the kitchen, just around the corner from the TV-watching area.

So .... yeah. You can see that I'll have lots of things to show you in a while, but they aren't done yet. It's because I keep starting other things.

(Truth be told, I have finished a set of two baby quilts for twins that a friend's daughter is expecting, but I haven't got the photos available right now, so they'll have to come later too.)


Apr 2, 2016

unending scraps #scraps4life

I sewed the 2-patches into 4-patches and then the 4-patches into 8-patches (so much chain-piecing!!), prepping to create the 16-patches.

My scraps that would become 16-patches don't really go together to become quilts at this time. Know what that means? I need to make more 8-patches and see what happens, or build frames for 8-patches or tall 16-patches and tie them together that way. Just having a white buddy on each little square isn't enough to bring cohesion.

So this project will continue. I'll keep building new quilts and creating new scraps, and eventually it'll work out. It's all good.