Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Thanks, Purolater

I did some on line shopping, the end of last week, and according to the tracking, my parcel was to arrive yesterday, via Purolater. So, I arranged my schedule, to wait at home for the parcel to arrive. At about 1:30 PM, I saw the Purolater truck slow down, then speed away, down the street.

I live in a suburban neighbourhood, with lovely big trees, and garages attached to each house. The original neighbourhood covenants required home owners to park in their garages. Since the houses were built when cars were larger, the garage is quite roomy. So our cars spend their downtime, cozy and dry, in the garage. In the cooler weather, it is not possible to tell if someone is home, without going to the door and ringing the bell.

Lately, we have been having the problem that delivery people assume there is no one home, because there is no car in the drive. Five times now, I have had to call and complain because a parcel has been returned to the depot of a delivery service, listed as no answer, when I have seen the truck go by. I am not saying this is what happened yesterday. When I complained about the truck not stopping, I was told, that sadly, they had put my order on the wrong truck. I find this hard to believe, since the parcels are all bar coded, however, I am stuck waiting for this turkey delivery person again today.

On the upside, I made good progress quilting my New Brunswick wall hanging, while waiting for the delivery. Since New Brunswick is an Atlantic province, I am quilting the blue with kind of random wavy lines, to make it look like water.


I think it looks pretty good. About two more sessions should get it finished.

My 1001 Nights shawl is progressing slowly. I am now at the section where it takes about 120 beads per row. Since they must be added one at a time, it takes over an hour to get across the row,


However, the end is near! Just 26 rows to go!

I was tidying some stuff and found a table runner I made a few years ago. Since I seldom use table runners, I hung it in my kitchen.


I am using a snack clip as a quilt hanger. I might want to think about finding a better hanger.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

MosaiCanada Part 2

As I said, I have lots of pictures, so here are a few more.


Chinese artists came to work on the project. This is their first piece, the dragon dance. On the left, the border plantings are Swiss Chard.


The Lions were represented, too.



In the centre, you get a sense of how big these sculptures are. There is a man in a bucket, with a hose, watering the arch.


A tribute to Glen Gould, a Canadian classical pianist. The piano was playing a recording by Glen Gould.


Maintenance of the works was an on-going task. Here is a gardener, trimming a buffalo, as the buffalo watches. 

The centre-piece of the whole show was Mother Earth.


I couldn't get her into a single picture. Her hand is raised and water is running off it. I love how the different plants give texture to the piece.


The walk ends with a different kind of piece, horses made from driftwood.

The display was truly wonderful, well worth the discomfort of the 31C weather. It closes this week, as the park is returned to its usual state, ready for ice castles and slides in February. We hope that they will come back another year.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A Preaching Stole and a Shawl

Back when I first started my blog, I organized and helped sew 22 preaching stoles, for a national church event. You can read more here.

I have acquired a bit of a reputation, with those stoles, so recently I was asked to make another. This one is for a Lay Preacher, who also needed a place to put the transmitter for her microphone, since women's dress clothes seldom have pockets. She asked me if I could have the children of the congregation, help.

We actually ended up with two stoles. One is now finished and was presented last Sunday, while the other will need a bit more work.


The fabric was supplied to me, and my helpers did some hand stitching, with embroidery floss, around the motifs.


The back side, where you can see the pocket for the transmitter and the label from the makers. Some of the makers will not be confined to a box on fabric, so the label is also a pocket, with names on the inside, as well.

Needless to say, the recipient loves it.

A few weeks ago, I showed you my 1001 Nights shawl. I am slowly making progress, although it might be 101 nights before it is done. This week, the designer's photo assignment is to take a picture of the shawl relaxing, while not being knit.

The weather here is breaking heat records for September, so my shawl is relaxing in the air conditioning with a large glass of ice tea.


I spread it out for a better view.

The upside of the weather, is that the flowers are at their best right now.


My Rose Mallow, with flowers the size of plates!

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Brief Vacation

I had the opportunity to spend some time this week as a tourist. I traveled with friends to see some popular Ottawa sights.

First up was a trip to the Canadian Museum of History. This is the museum which seems to have an identity crisis. It started as "Museum of Man" which, of course, was not very inclusive. Then it became the "Museum of Civilization". A couple of years ago, they decided to change again to the History name.

I discovered this on the ceiling (who ever looks up).


It is called "Morning Star" by Alex Janvier. You can read more about it here.

It is a huge museum, and I didn't take a lot of pictures, just enjoyed the exhibits.


In the distance you can see Samuel de Champlain, using his astrolabe as he prepares to navigate the Ottawa River. Behind him is the National Gallery, with the glass roof.

The next day, we went to MosaiCanada. Wow, just wow!

I took so many pictures, I have to spread them over some other days.

As I arrived, I walked through a train station, and saw this train.


It is sitting in a field of sunflowers, which had their backs to me. Sitting on the platform, was an old friend of mine.


Anne of Green Gables, waiting for Matthew to pick her up. I am sure she is pleased that her skirt is flowering.


Nearby, a fisherfolk is catching lobster.


Across the way are Sable Island ponies. I had the problem that the sun was so bright, I couldn't see my camera viewfinder, so I cut a bit off in some pictures.


Some puffins were eating lunch.


The French explorers arrived to map Canada.


I love that the Musk Ox has a mouthful of the plants at his feet. I just wanted to reach out and pet him.

It was 29C, and very humid, but the grounds were packed with visitors.

I have more pictures to share with you later. I probably need to go and sew right now!



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Bibs

Last year, I was busy making bandana bibs for my not yet arrived grandson.



However, he is now nine months old, and these bibs are not big enough. He eats real food now. So he needs bigger bibs.

I found a pattern for Knot Bibs, that looked perfect. 

So I went into my fat quarter stash, and whipped up a couple of bibs for Nana's house.


The bibs have a buttonhole on one side and a knot on the other. The knot passes through the buttonhole to hold the bib around the neck. I think it is genius.

The fabric is Laurel Burch. I believe it was a gift from someone who knows I like Laurel Burch, and it was perfect for a bib for a baby boy, bright and colourful. The bibs are backed with some flannel left over from pillowcases.

In the background, you can see my teacup, so I thought I should take a picture of the bibs with his teacup.


He gets Royal Doulton Peter Rabbit. It was a gift to his Daddy, and Daddy and I shared many tea parties. Now it is the next generation's turn. He just has to get passed the sippy cup phase.

Linking to Needlework Tuesday, and The Needle and Thread Network.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Plan B

Last week, I showed you the yarn and beads I planned to use for 1001 Nights. Sadly, the best laid plans don't always work. I discovered that my yarn was too dark to be able to read my knitting, except in very bright light. It has rained everyday this week, so bright light has been at a premium. On to Plan B.

Plan B involved a trip to the LQS, where I came home with some lovely Drops Lace, a silk and alpaca blend. Since the bead shop is conveniently located in the same mall, I bought 2250 size 8/0 Iridescent Blue beads.

Of course, the beads are smaller then my usual, which necessitated a second trip to the store, to buy a smaller crochet hook. A 0.6 mm hook is really tiny.

Want to see how it is going now?


You will have to click on the picture to see all the tiny beads. I am doing 9 repeats of the lace pattern. I currently have over 200 stitches on my needle. One row takes a very long time and a lot of concentration, so progress is slow but steady. I am trying to do at least 2 rows, every day.

Anne-Lise, the designer, is currently having a picture contest in her group on Ravelry, where you are to show your shawl at a party. My shawl is attending a Teddy Bear Picnic. With all the rain I suggested that the teddies have their picnic at the dining room table, and I let them use my good teacups.


This is Marmy, with her own teddy, and Twila, in the hat. The shawl has progressed a bit since the previous picture. The cup is Trillium, by Royal Albert. They will be having lemon zucchini bread, and strawberries with their tea.

I found a really cute and sensible bracelet, at one of the yarn shops.


It is a leather tape measure bracelet and it is accurate, so you can use it to measure your knitting, of sewing projects. It is 17" long, so it is perfect for travelling knitting projects, like socks or hats.

While I was at the yarn shop, I accidently came home with a cake of Katia Spring Rainbow. It has become my knitting for when I don't want to concentrate, and follow the lace charts.


The pattern is a simple, reversible triangle shawl. No beads!

My grandbaby has suddenly gotten mobile, so this week, I moved a bunch of stuff our of his reach.


My nail polish is now on a much higher shelf and while I was at it, I tossed the colours I never wear, and sorted the baskets by colour. Serious organization! Nail treatments, decals, and other accessories are in the left basket, the middle one is reds and pinks, and the right one is blues and purples.





Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Knitting Adventures

My sewing machine is lonely, and I seem to be on a knitting bent right now.  I seem to keep skipping around, but things are getting finished.

Last week, I made another Charlotte Bonnet for a friend's new granddaughter.


I was surprised that grandfather was more pleased with it then grandmother. I guess the baby will be her grandpa's princess.

I have been carrying a sock around all summer. It has been to the west coast and back, to meetings, and waiting rooms. Today, I finally got the first sock finished.


I learned some time ago to never let the needles get cold before casting on the second sock, so the first 5 rows of the second sock are done. I am not trying to make them twins, because the repeat in the striping is rather long. These are for the Christmas box.

Every summer lately I have worked on a challenging knitting pattern. I think it helps improve my skills for simpler pieces. Last summer, I worked on Alberta.

Summer is nearly over, so I need to get at my challenge piece. This summer I have chosen 1001 Nights. 


These are the yarn and the beads I have pulled from my stash. I think I don't have enough beads, but I have enough to get started. The yarn is an alpaca lace weight. I have challenged my friend Cheryl to join me again this summer, and she has accepted the challenge. It is always fun to have someone to knit with, even if it is by email.

The rain has brought lots of flowers to the pots in the backyard.


These lovelies are about 4' high and give off a lovely send at dusk.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Walking


We have had precipitation on 65% of the days in 2017. That is more than every other day. Since it rained over night, and again just now, I am starting to feel washed away. The flowers are fairly happy. This is one of the post on my patio. However, the tomatoes would like way more sun. They are seriously stunted.

So, with all this rain, I obviously need to learn something new. So I borrowed a book from the Quilt Group Library.


One of my friends had recommended it, so I am trying it out. The first thing the author tells you to do is make a test piece to get to know your foot. She suggests you use muslin. Since I am not good at following directions, I used a couple of 10" squares for my box of large scraps.

I discovered that my needle is not in the middle of my foot.


I quilted three straight lines, two using the left side of the foot as a guide and one using the right side. The foot sits a small but noticeable bit to the right of centre. While I can't do much about the foot, now that I know this, I can figure out where to place the needle to be able to use either side of the foot as a guide.

Next up, I quilted across my lines, to make sure the foot was feeding the fabric evenly.


That looks perfect! At least I don't have to adjust for that.

I decided to use a bit of my new knowledge to start quilting my New Brunswick piece. I echo quilted around the maple leaf in the middle.


That looks pretty good. Not perfect, but better than some of my past efforts. You can see the maple leaf on the back.

One of the things the author suggests is making marks on your walking foot to aid in knowing where to turn, so your lines are even. She suggests using nail polish. Good, because I have lots of that.

Periwinkle might not be the best choice, but it occurred to me that I have the perfect thing for marking the foot.


You can get these where Sally Hansen Nail Polish is sold. It is a fine point marker, with nail polish.

I have a pile of quilts in need of quilting, so I can practice the different ideas in the book on lots of UFO's. This book might be just what I need to get some of them done!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Oh, Pshaw

I went to get my keys out of my bag the other day, and ended up with this in my hand.


Not good, at all. Some how or another, the stitching has come out at the end of my zipper, creating a problem.


I am not sure what caused it. I had noticed that the stitching was coming loose, but never when I had a needle at hand, and I would never remember when I did have a needle.

I had to unpick the seam in the bottom of the lining, so I could unpick the seam at the other end of the zipper, to put the zipper slide back on. Then, I closed the opening in the bottom, and hand sewed the zipper ends back together, since there isn't room to use the machine without taking the whole thing apart.


It doesn't look too bad. I can live with it. I suspect the zipper slide might have been catching the stitches, so I am being careful to close the zipper gently. While I had the bag apart, I added a fabric loop for a carabiner, to hang my keys on. I somehow forgot to do that when I made the bag.

Meanwhile, this week's other crafty project was renewing our high chair. Over the last many years, a multitude of small children have sat in the high chair, and the paint had become badly chipped while the vinyl cover was in tatters. No more!


It looks like new, now. It just took a can of spray paint, some upholstery vinyl, some heavy batting, and a staple gun. My grandson thinks it is great, and his parents are impressed.  I managed to get a shot when the floor wasn't covered with Cheerios!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Prairie Girl II

I was asked by a friend to make another Prairie Girl, this one for her trip west. The fabrics and zippers were her choice. I picked the hardware, and did the sewing.


Prairie Girl #2, this one in chambray in a denim colour. The zippers are metallic silver.


The front pocket, showing the book print. It is called Literary by Heather Givens. I didn't realize, until I had the fabric under the Ott light, that there are words in the background, in a very pale turquoise. Very subtle.


Top pocket number one, with a better view of the zipper. I used a couple of two way separating zippers and cut them in half, since the store didn't have purse zippers in appropriate lengths or colours. I like the zipper pulls on them.


I added a second inner zipper pocket to the back compartment for keys. I have been using my Prairie Girl for over a month now, and I don't like that I keep losing my keys in the bottom. I need to retrofit something to my back.

All and all, I think this one came out very well. I like this pattern and think it is a great bag for daily use.