Yukon wild

Yukon wild
Yukon wild

Monday, July 26, 2010

A great weekend!

We had a great time out in the boat this weekend.  My number three daughter came out with her boyfriend and we motored around fishing in different spots, looking for animals and soaking up the sun - and the wind but it wasn't too bad. 

My DH caught one trout which we ate for dinner last night.  Very yummy!

We saw a couple of caribou and some sheep - but too far off to get pictures.  The fireweed are out in force, both the common variety


and the dwarf variety, also known as river beauty.

There were also a few ripe raspberries.  Should be lots in a couple of weeks. 

I managed to finish these two blocks while hanging out in the boat - you didn't think I was fishing, did you?! :)


This evening I went to the local quilt night.  I live in a small town, approximately 400 people, but there is a group of about ten of us who get together to quilt.  For July and August we have quilting at the community club on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

This young woman, Edith, finished her very first quilt tonight.  She was very proud!


Hope you're having a good week!

Janet

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday Night Sew In

A quick post to report on my Friday night sew in last night.  I worked on putting together the Three Cat Stories top.

IMG_1956 Two thirds done.  Just one more panel to put together.

When my middle daughter looked at the pictures of these panels on line she said she couldn’t see the cat in the Cat at a Party panel.  This coming from a girl who had our cat live under her bed for a year or two or three.  I thought for sure she’d know to look behind the couch for the cat.  Anyway I thought I’d include a close up of that cat, just to make sure she can find it.

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And of course I finished a few postage stamp blocks which I sew as leaders and enders.  I now have 330 of these blocks.  Less than 200 left to sew!

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We’re off to go fishing in the boat.  It’s windy but sunny.  I’m excited – our first fishing trip this summer.

Janet

Monday, July 19, 2010

Excitement in the mail!

I received this lovely exciting card in the mail today from Em

IMG_1936 I sent her a silly little poem (in French yet) about saying Ooh La La  to someone and this is the kind of response I get!  This card, by the way, measures about 16 inches square!  Thanks Em, it’s so cheerful and delicious.  There is a little something on it’s way back to Em, but I’m not going to show it now, in case she happens to peek in here.

My dog and I are both getting better.  He has been spry for part of the time today.  He goes back to the vet on Wednesday to get his bandage and drain removed.  I am going to go back to work tomorrow for at least part of the day. 

My hubby was pointing out to me yesterday how heavily laden the spruce trees are with cones this year.  IMG_1932 Aren’t they giant!  Some branches are bowed with cones and some have broken off from the weight.  There was a white winged crossbill up there eating away but I don’t have enough zoom to get him in the picture.

And here’s a picture of the yellow corner of my sunroom. 

IMG_1938 See that giant nasturtium?  It hasn’t had one flower bud on it but it is sending shoots all over the place.

Janet (this font is called Batik regular.  Cool huh?)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Returning to life

I’ve been sick as a dog – well at least as sick as my dog.  I’ve had a horrible flu this week that has kept me in bed since Tuesday.  I’m just up and around a bit today; enough to water the garden and write a post.  My dog, Zeke, got hit by a truck on Wednesday evening.  He is a stray I acquired when he was about a year and a half old and I’ve had little luck in getting him to shed his habit of chasing trucks.  Not cars, just trucks.  Not semis, just pickup trucks.  And if they have writing on them he is more likely to chase them.  On Wednesday he got away from my hubby while on a walk and the dreaded happened.  Fortunately he was only damaged on his two front paws and one of those was just scraped and bruised.  He had to have surgery to repair the damage to the other one.  So we’ve both been sleeping all day and dutifully taking our antibiotics.

IMG_1929  I guess it was too hot in the sun so he moved under the picnic table.  I won’t show you any pictures of me in my weakened state. :)  Here’s a picture instead of the nice bouquet of wild flowers my hubby picked me.

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I really enjoyed reading Kelly's update today about the mission to take sewing machines into Africa. I read one book this week while I was sick, Baking Cakes in Kigali by Gaile Parkin.  It is a sweet novel, set in Rwanda, of one woman’s quest to make things better in her world.  In it sex trade workers are being taught sewing skills so they can earn a living in a safer way.

Back in May, when for some reason I thought I wasn’t busy, I offered to test a pattern for Amy at Kati Cupcake.  It took me forever to get it done, first the pattern took about a month to arrive and then things were crazy busy (amazing how it can change in a few weeks!).  However the finished dress was in a size to fit my granddaughter and I gave it to her to wear to the wedding (see the previous post).  This was a good move because when her mom went looking for a bridesmaids dress, Ella insisted she had to have a new dress as well, and was upset when mom wouldn’t buy her one. 

Before I show you the dress I have to say that this pattern was easy to follow and fit together well.  I would definitely buy one of Amy’s patterns, only she sent me the whole batch of  them as a thank-you for my doing the test!  Pretty overwhelming generosity!  The Girly Girl one on the top is what I’m going to try next.

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Anyway here is the dress.  The pattern is called Molly Mae.  There is an insane amount of gathering in this dress, which is what makes it.  There is also shirring using elastic thread, something I had never done before.  I love it and will definitely try it in the future.  The fabric is Sunshine by April Cornell which I managed to get on sale in Rushin' Tailor's in Skagway.  I wish I hadn’t put the yellow bodice on.  My plan was to put trim on it, but with the shirring it would have been complicated and Ella said she liked it as it was.

IMG_1875 I’ll have to get better at this picture taking business I can see.

After the wedding, my daughter and her kids stayed at the camp for several days.  When they came in on Wednesday evening Ella was still wearing the dress, with a pair of bright yellow rain pants underneath and her pink ballet slippers.  And the dress was filthy! Too funny.  Unfortunately I was too sick to think of taking a picture. 

What I liked most about today was seeing the birds playing in the pools of water in the garden when I was watering. 

Janet

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wedding weekend

Very busy around here this weekend.  My oldest daughter Jessie was part of a tight threesome while growing up and one of the three got married.  At her grandmother’s traditional camp down the lake about 5 miles from town.  Our house was a jumping off point for lots of their friends and there was traffic steadily through here on Friday and Saturday morning.  The wedding was at 3 on Saturday afternoon.  The weather was cold and blowing but the sun came through for the ceremony.  The whole event was beautiful and went splendidly considering the mix of cultures, the blending of two very large, already blended families and the work to have an event like this at a remote location. 

Some pictures for Laina, my daughter who couldn’t be here. 

IMG_1892 Stewart, who did the service, waiting with Ben.

IMG_1899 Cindy and her dad

IMG_1906 The bridesmaids. (My daughter Jessie fourth from right.  Vanessa, the third of the trio on the right.)

 

IMG_1904 Cindy high-fiving Arlo (her son) after he dropped the ring but it didn’t go through the cracks in the wharf.

IMG_1907 Lacey Scarff drumming and singing a traditional song.  She is a powerful and beautiful singer.

IMG_1910 We did it! (Laina, notice how Ella (my granddaughter) managed to be a flower girl!)

IMG_1917 Cindy with her eight sisters (one step, two full, four half and one adopted cousin) and her step-dad.  Cindy has four brothers.  Ben has five sisters and three brothers. 

We babysat our two grandkids and another little boy Saturday night and most of Sunday, then went back to the camp for dinner on Sunday, and a bit of fishing. 

IMG_1927 This is the beautiful place where I live!

In other breaking news:  We had a sow and cub black bear in the yard two days last week.  They seemed to be interested in the spent grain we feed the chickens.  Sadly two bears matching their description were shot by game branch on Thursday as they were also roaming in Choutla subdivision. 

Not much sewing this weekend, but I got a nice bit of fabric in the mail: 

IMG_1926 Some Kaffe Fassetts for the collection I am trying to build, two prints – gold and stars for an idea I have for a small quilt which will be called “when I was in heaven” and a black and white for the collection of small pieces “not everything is black and white”.  Small quilts are my art therapy.

Janet

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Thread Collection

  • How did you select colors for your personal thread collection?
  • I usually buy thread to go with a project I’m working on.  From time to time I’ll buy some variegated or metallic threads to add to my collection, just because.

  • Do you always match the color perfectly to your project?
  • No.  When doing hand appliqué or mending I like the thread to match.  When piecing I try to use a neutral.  For machine quilting I’m just starting to experiment with varied coloured threads.  I have done some thread painting as well.

  • Do you ever use contrasting thread?
  • Yes.  See above.  I think my free motion quilting isn’t good enough for bold contrast but heck it’s fun and in the end I don’t think anyone is going to look all that closely.

  • Do you use the same color in the bobbin as the upper thread?
  • Not always.  I have used different colours when free motion quilting and I haven’t found dots showing through to be much of a problem.  Lots of times I will go with whatever is already wound on a bobbin that sort of matches.

  • What if a fabric has big areas of very different colors?
  • I have done free motion on all parts of the quilt with one colour at times and at other times I have used different coloured threads for different sections.

  • Do you have any tips or suggestions about choosing thread?
  • I am really a beginner in the quilting area so I don’t have tons of advice.  Using the right size needle for the thread is important.  I also find that using different types of needles – e.g. metallic, embroidery – helps prevent breakage.  I always try to experiment with different threads as I want to learn as much as possible.  I love the look of rayon threads for embroidery.  Metallic's can be frustrating to use because the metal wrap strips off the inner thread core easily.  I love Aurifil for piecing as it doesn’t make as much lint and it is very strong but thin.  I recently did a project that used elastic thread for shirring.  It does a fantastic job!  And is easy to use.

  • Can you show us a picture(s) of your thread collection?
  • Yes.  I have a disgusting amount of thread.

  • Do you ever buy thread because you fall in love with the color (without a particular project in mind)?
  • Yes absolutely.  Especially specialty threads.

  • Do you “invest” in thread?
  • Anything I buy and don’t use up immediately is an investment in my mind.  I love to have different colours and types of thread to choose from.  I don’t live close to a store (one hour drive each way) so it isn’t likely I’m going to run to the store for thread if I don’t have something on hand.

  • What types of thread do you have? (elastic, quilting, all-purpose, wool, etc.)
  • Oh a little bit of everything…. Let me show you pictures.

    IMG_1883 These are cottons that I use mostly for piecing.  You can see I have a few Aurifils.  They’re the ones with the orange spools.

    IMG_1882  This is a box of polyester or poly/cotton threads.  I do a lot of clothes sewing and mending so use these regularly.

    IMG_1881 This bag hold my collection of metallic and rayon threads.  I think I need a bigger bag!

    IMG_1885 These are mostly threads I use for hand appliqué.  The grey spools are Presensia brand.  They are a bit thick for my liking, but my LQS has them in a huge variety of colours and the price is right.

    IMG_1886 These are my variegated threads.  I’d love this collection to be much larger.

    IMG_1888 Here are my perle cottons and embroidery threads.  I do cross stitch and embroidery both.  The bags in the back are a big collection I was given by my SIL.  She and my brother used to do a lot of cross stitch.  Now they play on computers instead.

    IMG_1889 These are miscellaneous threads – there are some really heavy threads for sewing canvas or upholstery fabrics.  Some rolls of thread that surveyors use – I was given a box of them.  They are quite thin but good for basting.  You can see a roll of invisible shrinking thread on top.  I was going to take a class using this but was sick and couldn’t attend.  I haven’t tried using the thread yet.

    IMG_1879 Last but not least, this is a collection of silk threads that I inherited from my MIL.  As you can see by the spools some of them are very old.  Note the tiny spool in the centre.  It’s a little wood spool.  I’m not sure if I’ll ever use these.  I haven’t experimented with them.

    And that’s it for my thread expose.  I look forward to seeing what others have to share.

    Saturday, July 3, 2010

    Three Cat Stories

    This piece of work is the reason I started this blog.  I needed to share the pictures and words and this seemed the easiest way to do that.  So Victoria you bear the burden of my fall into Blogdom!

    Back in May Victoria invited her readers to join her in a scrap swap and being bored with my projects at the time I signed up.  I received this nice package of scraps from Erin a couple of weeks later.

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      And this is what I’ve made:

    IMG_1865     Cats in the Sun  33 1/2 x 16 1/4   

    IMG_1867       Cats in the Window   38 1/4 x 27 1/2

    IMG_1869      Cat at a Party  32 1/2 x 18

    I’m going to put these three pictoquilts together into a quilt top called Three Cat Stories.  I’ve got the idea for it all worked out, now just need the time to finish it!

    I used some of every fabric she sent me except for five pieces.  If Erin was to see these I’m sure she’d ask “But what about the bear fabric? Where is it?”  Well I have to tell you, the bears got all dressed up to go to the party, but then brother started reading a book out loud, they got absorbed and they ended up staying home.

    IMG_1871 

    Seriously, did make the bears on the couch block to go in the party block.  I was going to call them “the wallflowers”, but it was just too bright for the rest of the setting.  So it’s a block of its own.  And I just could not fit in the Noah’s Ark fabric no matter how I tried.

    This is what’s left.

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    The picture of what’s left looks almost as big as the picture of the original batch of scraps.  It’s not, although I could probably make at least one more quilt block of a similar size.  However I have plans for the rest of these scraps – or most of them anyway – in my Three Cat Stories quilt top.  We’ll have to see if it works out.  I am amazed at how far a bag of scraps goes.  I made Cats in the Window first, then I was amazed at how much fabric there still was and I started to expand my vision.  Cats in the Sun came next and I knew by then that I was putting all those fabulous purples into something great.  Cat at a Party evolved easily from those exotic fabrics.  It was quite complex to put together and it took me a while to get up the chutzpah to tackle it.  I had to hand sew two seams cause I couldn’t figure out a way to get them under my sewing machine needle. 

    Oh and here are my bonus postage stamp blocks that I make as leaders and enders.  Twenty-three of them turned out in the last two days while making Cat at a Party.

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    Janet

    July 2nd Quilting Day

    Dahn came over today and we spent the day quilting.  I was tired as I didn’t sleep well last night but it was still a productive day.  I worked on “Three Cat Stories”.  I told Dahn I had just a bit to do on it and it would take me about fifteen minutes.  Three hours later I finally called it done for now.  Then I worked on blocks for Christine’s quilt and of course I got a bunch of postage stamps done in the meantime.  Dahn brought me scraps – and I mean scraps! Baa, baa black sheep have you any wool (translate fabric scraps for making quilts and other things)?  Yes sir, yes sir, THREE BAGS FULL!

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    Whatever will I do with them all? I’m sure I’ll find something once I sort them out. 

    And here’s a photo of Dahn working on her beautiful fireweed wall hanging.  Her own dyed fabrics and stained glass design.  She’s so creative! 

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    Geoff arrived home from camp around noon and talked to us steady all afternoon about his adventures.  Lots of fishing and bear viewing in this camp.  He said Phil has the bears sort of trained; when they start to get into something they shouldn’t he yells no and they react just like a dog would that was doing something wrong.  He keeps a shotgun handy though.  Lots of French people in camp.  Geoff said if he had been there another week he thinks he would have been speaking in French.  This from the guy who complains about French on our cereal box! 

    Here’s a bear photo:

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    JANET

    July 1st Canada Day Post …better late than never

    I didn’t get around to writing this post on Canada Day, but I had a few things I wanted to record for posterity.  Gisela came over in the morning and we went for a nice long walk.  It was supposed to be raining but was actually sunny, but pretty windy.  Gisela wanted to see the Canada Day parade as she was working on a project with the daycare last winter and felt a loyalty to see their parade float. Despite this she said she wanted to take the long hike option rather than the shorter one and as she pointed out, when does anything ever start on time here.  So we walked on the ski trails and the road down to the Watson River, then back along the beach.  About a third of the way up the beach Gisela said “Look!” and there was a cow moose and her very young calf standing just up the hill.  Of course Zeke had spotted them and was pointing them out as well.  I immediately told him to stay, but in vain.  He was off after them in a couple of seconds and they trotted up the hill with him gaining on them by the second.  Initially I thought “oh no, he’ll hurt the calf” but then I realized “no, that cow will kick him and he’ll be dead”.   I continued to call him as he crested the dune and disappeared; then about two seconds later reappeared charging towards me.  I guess he just had to see them safely off.  I  was so happy that no harm came to any of them.

    We got back to Carcross just in time to see the parade!  It was bigger than usual.  A mystery person driving the police car and all three RCMP dressed in their red serge, plus two cadets marching behind them.  Two floats – the daycare and Rick with a semi truck full of logs.  Then the fire truck and the ambulance.  The daycare float was set up as the old woman in the shoe.  Bev James was the old woman and there were a bunch of kids.  Also other daycare workers dressed like Old Mother Hubbard, but no dog.  We just stuck around for a brief while, then Gisela went home and I went home to sew….

    The last big excitement for the day was when I went out to feed the chickens that night.  I wasn’t thinking obviously because I opened the door to the outside pen and left it wide open.  Like a flash Zeke was in through the chicken door.  I thought the chickens were goners because by the time I got in the coop he would have them all polished off, but miraculously he came scurrying out the door about five seconds later.  I’m not sure if Wally attacked him or if he was responding to my calling him.  Wally was of course hot on his heels and then we had the armed stand off in the chicken yard, with Wally feinting at me and at Zeke, while I tried to collar Zeke and get him out of there.  I was beat after that escapade!  Two close shaves with Zeke today but he actually performed well through them both. 

    Janet