Yukon wild

Yukon wild
Wild rose

Sunday, April 29, 2012

This week, April 23rd to 29th, I….

Sewed absolutely nothing!  I am still quite tired out after the retreat last weekend and a few busy weeks at work. 

I travelled to Mayo for work this week.  A five hour drive from Whitehorse and one goes through two small towns in that five hours.  Like many towns in the Yukon, Mayo is situated on a river: the Stewart River.  Although the snow on the ground has left early this year, there is still ice on the rivers.

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Mayo is known for its temperature extremes.  From http://www.taiga.net/yourYukon/col112.html:    Mayo set the record for the Yukon's extreme high on June 14, 1969, when the thermometer topped out at 36.1 degrees Celsius. The extreme low for that community, -62.2 degrees Celsius, was recorded in 1947.  With a difference of 98.3 degrees Celsius between the extreme high and low temperatures, Mayo holds the Canadian record for the greatest range of absolute temperatures.

I saw no animals on the trip, other than two wolves that I saw five minutes from my home when I was returning on Thursday evening.  I had a good look at them as we sized each other up for a few minutes but was so surprised to see them that I didn’t even think to pick up my camera.  I had a glimpse of two wolves running off the road back in February.  Other than that I’ve never seen wolves near the road in 35 years in the Yukon. 

Speaking of ice on the river, the ice on the Yukon River is a beautiful blue colour right now.  I did get pictures of that…. No touch ups here and it isn’t a reflection from the sky – the ice is really that colour.  I have no idea what causes this…Any scientists out there know?

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The pussy willows are out, I’ve seen some crocus buds and there is a mating pair of eagles in the area.  Spring is definitely here…

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I will be back later this week to show my quilt receipts from the mail as I promised…

Janet

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

TUSAL Report and some gifts from the retreat

I missed posting my TUSAL(totally useless sew-a-long) report on April 21st.  I only managed to get internet service for about half an hour one afternoon while at the retreat.  Not that I tried that often – too busy sewing Smile 

For those who don’t know the TUSAL report is posted on the new moon each month.  It is a photo of all your scraps that you would normally have thrown away the previous month.  The last couple of months I have been putting all my scraps in the TUSAL jar, but this month I decided to go with just threads.  My jar is not nearly as full!

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If you check out the window you can see that the snow is largely gone from my yard. 

At the retreat we played a few games for prizes, did a “Chinese auction” gift exchange and received a gift from the ladies from Haines.

I won one prize in the fabric game; my friend Linda who I went with one three!  I got these three gorgeous fat quarters.  Gotta love those oranges!  The top one is Fiesta from Robert Kaufman.  The other two don’t have the name selvedge on. 

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In the gift exchange I got some lotus flower tea light holders which were beautiful, but not my style at all….and apparently no-one else’s style because no-one stole them from me.  In the end I gave them to one lady who had admired them but chose to open a gift rather than take them.  She then graciously gave me the gift she had won, a little souvenir plate.  It is cute and I can give it away to someone who comes to visit – if I don’t hang it on my plate wall. 

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The cosmetic holder was an extra that came with my gift – very nifty and I can use it to carry small items to sewing classes or retreats Smile 

The ladies from Haines, Alaska are very sweet.  They often bring gifts for everyone and get up early to do their quilt fairy thing, so you come to your sewing table to a lovely surprise in the morning.  This year I got a neat looking book and a little needle keep with some funky pins.

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I know it’s a far cry from those retreats where people come home with baskets full of things donated by all kinds of sponsors, but this is more personal and lots of fun! 

Still more to come sometime this week as I have to show all my mail!

Janet

Sunday, April 22, 2012

This week, April 16th to 22nd, I ….

It was a busy work week to start, but that has disappeared in a blur, as I only worked Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, then took off Wednesday evening for a quilt retreat! I’m just back this evening and exhausted (quilting is hard work – tee hee), but I want to show all that I got done.  It was a very productive four days for me. I was delinquent in taking pictures this weekend so don’t have any of the quilt venue, quilters or all the beautiful quilts to show.  And there were some fantastic quilts being made!

Someone asked me where I go for a quilt retreat.  This one was in another small Yukon town, Haines Junction.  It is a town about the same size as the one I live in, but situated closer to the coastal mountains.

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The highest mountain in Canada and second highest in North America, Mount Logan, 19,551 feet, is nearby, and the highest US mountain, Mount McKinley at 20,320 feet is also in this range of mountains.

There were thirty-four women at the retreat: three from Haines, Alaska, two from Mendenhall which is about an hour down the road, one from Faro,Yukon, two from my town and the rest from Whitehorse.  No quilters from Haines Junction attended, although a number of townspeople came by to see what we were doing.  We were in the town office and convention centre, a lovely bright space, with a gorgeous view.  There was also a mixed martial arts workshop, a poetry reading and story telling evening and a young writer’s workshop going on in the building this weekend.  Busy place! 

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Our dinners were catered by The Backerei.  These are two men who had a very popular coffee house and lunch restaurant in Whitehorse.  When they left they had restaurants in three other locations and are now settling in Haines Junction.  The food they make is superb.

Here is the lowdown on all I accomplished.  The first morning I spent catching up on some blocks I had to send in the mail.  This block is for Michele, who is collecting blocks to make a raffle quilt in honour of her nephew Danny who was killed by a drunk driver in 2004.  Click on her name to link to her blog post if you would like to contribute.

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Next I made my 6 1/2 inch block for the Modern Mystery Round Robin that Michele has organized. Our blocks travel to seven other participants who will each add a 1 1/2 to 2 inch border.   I am very late in getting my block in the mail.  Hopefully it gets where it is going soon. 

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Third up, I made my blocks for Medora in the 6 1/2 inch block swap.  She asked for a star block or a nine patch, so I made on of each.  She also asked for pastels, which I don’t do that well.  I hope I have it right.

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I spent some time working on my mystery Christmas blocks and got five more finished.  I was short a couple of pieces of fabric so couldn’t get the sixth finished.  I pieced four blocks together, but didn’t have the pattern with me and I don’t think I did it correctly.  Sigh… I predict some unsewing in my future.

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I also made a little progress on Block 1 of Merry, Merry Snowmen.  This block isn’t finished yet though….

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I  worked on this UFO table runner, finishing the stitching in the ditch quilting around the bias tape.  Big job!  This is one of the items I resolved back in January to get finished this year.  Next a little echo quilting and I think I’ll be able to bind this baby. 

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I got another 200 two inch blocks joined …

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And for the crowning touch …. TA DA…. the Sunshine and Shadows quilt is pieced!  All 195 blocks are together and it is ready for batting, backing and quilting!

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This photo does not do it justice at all… I’ll have to get some better ones…

And I will have to be back later this week to display all the mail that I received on Friday.  After the lull there is a storm!

Janet

Sunday, April 15, 2012

This week, April 10th to 15th, I….

It has been a busy week.  I had to work late two days this week, and consequently stayed in Whitehorse.  And I worked on Friday, which I normally have off.  I’m trying to get everything caught up because I am taking this coming Thursday and Friday off to go to a quilt retreat.  YAY!

Aside from the blocks I made on Saturday during Christmas Quilt-a-long and the BINGO card I made this evening for May for Me BINGO, I had one major sewing accomplishment this week….

I finished the last fifteen blocks for DD # 2’s quilt and got them up on my design wall so I have the layout.  Double YAY!

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This is a queen size quilt and there are 195 of those babies!  I’ll be taking this with me to the quilt retreat and hope to have a pieced top to show by this time next week! 

The Name Game swap miniquilt that I made for Wendy has arrived in Queensland, so I now show what I made.  Wendy’s blog name is Sugar Lane Quilts.  I was going to make something sweet, and then I read Wendy’s blog where she talks about how much they love living in Queensland, where they grow sugarcane and have lovely beaches.  So I went with that theme. I was super pleased with how this turned out.

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DGS and DGD stayed over last night.  We had a busy time: walking the dog, bike riding, jumping on the trampoline, cooking and eating, playing Candyland, reading books, having a sauna, playing in the sandbox and just plain old playing. 

DGD has a doll; her name is Brianne.  Brianne has to do everything we do.  She is quite active.   Brianne came for a bike ride with us today…

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Of course she had to ride on the back of my bike.  Brianne has lovely clothes and she has a raincoat and boots coming in the mail.  I would like to make a pack so that DGD can carry Brianne on her back when she wants.  Kind of like a baby backpack.  If anyone knows of a pattern for one for a doll please let me know.

Brianne was sitting at the table this morning eating pancakes (!) and I noticed that DGD had made her a personalized place-mat out of felt pens on paper.  I took this as flattery.  I make DGD and place-mat last week and this week she makes one for her doll Smile 

I’ve got lots of preparation to do to get ready to go to the retreat, and lots of work to finish before Thursday.  I think I should go to sleep now.

Janet

May for Me BINGO

I got my card for May for Me BINGO made this evening.  Well it doesn’t have a backing or binding, but otherwise it is all done Smile 

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It looks pretty cute now that it's all together.  And here is my word list.

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EDITED WORD LIST

BLUE – FAIRY, OWLS, PLANE, HEARTS, BLUEBIRDS

YELLOW – FROG, BALLS, BUTTERFLY, BANANAS, APPLES

RED – STARS, BOAT, MUSIC, CANDY

GREEN – CAMPER, ANTS, LAMB, BASEBALL, GLOVES

PURPLE – BERRIES, HAT, PANSIES, FISH, BUTTONS

I’m linking up to the BINGO party here.  Come along and play too!

Janet

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Christmas Quilt-a-long

Once again my Christmas Quilt-a-long was catch-as-catch-can.  A friend who has been gone since October came over to visit this morning after just arriving back in the Yukon.  When he left around 1 p.m. I got a little bit of sewing in, until my grandkids arrived around 3 p.m. to spend the night.  It is after 10 p.m. and DH is reading them a story prior to bed.  We’ve walked the dog, made homemade pizza for supper, had a sauna and then a bath, played Candyland and now they are finally tired and I’m finally able to show the sewing I got done today.

Four more blocks for my red and white Christmas mystery quilt.  I thought I had four blocks done, but when I went to get them to hang them all on the wall together, I found I had only made two last month.  Here are the six completed ones together.  I have six more to make.

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Isn’t this a pretty design! 

I plan to take this project to the quilt retreat next week, so maybe I’ll be able to jump ahead and get six blocks done and next month I can start on Quilt Sue's mystery quilt.  Sue is the ultimate hostess of Christmas Quilt-a-long and she has designed a mystery Christmas quilt for us this year.  This month was instalment # 3.  You can pick up instalment # 1 from Hazel at Hazel's Quilts, who was our hostess in February and instalment # 2 from Joanna at Needles, Thread, Happiness.  She was our hostess in February.

Instalment # 3 can be found here at Lesley’s blog The Cuddle Quilter.  Lesley was our hostess with the mostest for April and she even has a giveaway!  And you can check out all the Christmas Quilt-a-long quilters by following the Linkys on her blog.  Some of them might has some sneak peeks of Quilt Sue’s mystery quilt in the making.

Janet

Friday, April 13, 2012

Giveaway winner and April Christmas Quilt Along

Wow!  282 comments!  That is definitely a record for me.  I’ll tell you who the winner is in a minute, but first I need to let you know the results of my survey.

You liked thirty-three different lines at The Intrepid Thread!  Some people couldn’t decide and just liked them all.  Quite a few people liked the bundles that Julie puts together.  The line that got the most votes was Poetica, followed closely by Peak hour and Fruit Slice. 

A lot of people said they also love Cosmos.  A few people politely said the fabric perplexes them Smile  

There was a huge range of suggestions for what I should make: bags, quilts, place mats, table runners, skirts, Christmas tree skirts, pillow cases, kimonos, aprons and a landscape.  Some people thought I should do up my sewing room, kitchen or living room with the fabric.  Billie Bee suggested I make her a beautiful quilt Smile 

Some people suggested specific patterns I could make; and there were lots of suggestions for types of blocks: hexies, zigzag, 1/2 square triangles, circles, strips, stars, chevrons, kaleidoscope, granny square, twister, rail fence, retro flower, snowball, pinwheel, D9P (I had to look that one up), diamonds, bento box,swoon, sudoku, schnibble, dresdens and circle in a star.

Many people felt that whatever I make it should have big blocks to show off the patterns in the fabric.  Twenty-seven people voted for me to make a quilt and fifteen thought I should make a bag.  The block that got the most votes is the Swoon block.

Thanks for all the fabulous suggestions!  I will be looking into them more closely once the fabric arrives (no day after ordering delivery here – if it comes in a week I am more than happy).

The winner is ….(sorry I couldn’t get the little picture to copy)

True Random Number GeneratorMin: Max: Result:126Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Kathy MacKie Apr 6, 2012 11:37 AM

I love the Poetica line, thanks for the giveaway.

Congratulations Kathy!  I’ll e-mail your right away.

And a reminder to everyone that Saturday April 14th is Christmas Quilt Along day, hosted this month by Lesley at The Cuddle Quilter.  See you there.  I’ve got three Christmas quilts to work on now!

Janet

Monday, April 9, 2012

This week, April 2nd to April 9th, I….

Did you notice that this week has eight days?  Since tomorrow feels like Monday, and today feels like the weekend, I decided to include my progress from today in last week.  I’ve had a busy week for sure.

I took Thursday off work so I could go to the SALE at the quilt store nearby me in Alaska.  They have a sale once a year, usually in February, but it was later this year.  I didn’t spend too much money – after all I did just buy a fat quarter bundle from The Intrepid Thread …..They were busy cleaning the streets and washing store windows in Skagway….getting ready for the tourist season….

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Still lots of snow in the pass though…

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A little while ago my blogging friend Sheila made some I Spy placemats and I thought it was a great idea for my grandkids for Easter. Of course I ran out of time…. but I found some cute fabric for DGS at the sale that didn’t require cutting and piecing….

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And for DGD I made this one which did require some piecing… and the fabric didn’t come from the sale…

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There was another cute piece of fabric from the sale that I made into a third place mat for a little girl …. but I forgot to take a picture before I sealed the envelope….

On Saturday we had a lovely Easter turkey dinner at my nephew’s house…. the weather was beautiful… see how northern kids dress for the weather….

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Of course jumping in the mud puddle requires a little more covering…

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Although I’m not sure why ….

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A lovely dessert rounded off the day…

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We all stayed overnight and got to watch the excitement of egg hunting in the morning…. although I was tired enough that I needed a nap before we went off to our next turkey dinner at a friend’s house on Sunday evening…the topic of conversation at this party was mostly politics…

I spent a bit of time in my sewing room today.  Mostly I was cutting two inch blocks for the second postage stamp swap party over at Mary's.  She is taking signups until April 22nd…. I signed up to swap four sets of 100 and to gift four sets of 50, so I have lots of cutting to do…. My friend Alberta is swapping fourteen sets!….

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And I also sewed together another 200 blocks…

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One lovely little gifty in the mail this week… I won this little house ornament from Kathy at Sew Happy House.  She made a wooden gift tag to go with it!  So cute.

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Janet

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Light

The most fantastic thing about living in the far north is the light.  It is also the worst thing.  When I first lived here I lived in a tent, with kerosene lamps.  Kerosene lamps don’t throw much light.  In the dark of winter when light comes around ten a.m. and leaves around 4 p.m. I grew to hate Kerosene lamps.  When they work well you can barely see.  When they don’t work well they smoke up the chimney and you really can’t see. 

Now I live in a house.  We have electric lights and lots of windows.  And I still remember how much light means to me.  Even with all the artificial light available I miss light during winter.  I crave it, I get depressed because it is missing. 

It is spring now.  It is light when I wake up at 5:30 in the morning and still light out when I look out my window around 9:30 at night.  It will get lighter by about two minutes every day.  I love that light.  And with the spring light comes sunshine – rays of sun, giving strength and happiness.  Oh I love light!

Janet

I’m hosting a giveaway!

This giveaway is closed.
Today I have the awesome privilege of hosting a giveaway for Julie at The Intrepid Thread!  The Intrepid Thread is my go-to on-line store for modern fabrics.  Julie brings in many beautiful lines – too many I would say, as I swoon over them and have to use all my willpower not to buy!
Julie’s service is delightfully speedy, she is always pleasant and goes out of her way to make sure she is giving you exactly what you want.  Her prices are great (and I’m the original miser), and she has lots of special code days with 15 or 20 % off.
And on top of that Julie has a giveaway every Friday! 
This fat quarter bundle of Cosmos by Dan Bennett is my most recent purchase from The Intrepid Thread.  I loved this line the moment I saw it - only I foolishly waited a bit too long to place my order so my bundle is missing two of the fat quarters…
cosmos
I only ordered this yesterday, so it isn’t here yet for me to play with… I can’t wait to see it in person and decide what to do with it! 
This week Julie is giving away a Joy Charm Pack and a half yard each of Betty's Teal and Betty's Red which match it nicely.
giveaway
You have two ways to enter the draw. 
1. Go over to The Intrepid Thread, browse around, and then come back and leave me a comment telling me which line of fabric makes your heart go pitter-patter.
2. Leave me a second comment with a suggestion of what I should make with my Cosmos fat quarter bundle.
The giveaway will close at noon Pacific Standard Time on Friday, March 2012.  I will draw the winner that evening.  Edit – oh my, I forgot to put in the date – and I’m still back in March!  Friday April 13th: is it your lucky day?
Oh this is so exciting!
Janet

Monday, April 2, 2012

This week, March 26th to April 1st, I….

Feel like I didn’t get a whole lot done, between a busy work week and some ill health.  As well it was year end for our local recreation board.  I do their book keeping so spent a lot of time on the weekend making sure all the last year bills were paid.

I did manage to spend an evening earlier in the week making perogies with my friend Donna…. there are two layers there, hence the lumpy look.  These are in the freezer for future consumption…

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I finished the third of the Purple postcards and got them mailed….

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Here are the three of them together…. You cannot tell from the photos but the middle strips are scrunched up with Texture Magic and then dotted with beads….

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I also made this block and wrote a tutorial for it ….as it is my month in  Victoria’s New Bee swap over on this site….

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It is constructed out of “made” fabric. Sewing scraps together in a random manner to make pieces of fabric and then cutting the required pieced from that…..

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And that is all for this week….

Edited to add... EXCEPT I almost FORGOT, (how could I forget), to say that Spring is here, the swans are back.... Glorious skiing on the lake in the sun, over to the river which is more and more open everyday and filled with these guys...

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Janet