Monday, October 20, 2014

Cleaning, organizing, baking and thinking about a new work

When I got home from retreat yesterday, I unpacked almost everything and threw all my wash into the laundry basket so that I'd be ready to do the things I wanted to do today. I woke up to a beautiful, although windy and cool day just perfect for doing laundry to hang out. It is a little blustery but it's holding.
I also made made a 2 loaf batch of multi-grain bread that I just took out of the oven. I wish I could say how lovely the smell is, but I don't have any smell. I'll sample a piece in a bit.
Then, I finished ironing my winter curtains and swapped them for the summer shears. No more gentle breezes wafting through the lacy shears; it's time for window coverings, sweaters, and warm drinks.

 After lunch, I headed to my sewing studio where I put away my projects and set my sewing machine back into the cabinet. Finally, I was free to play a bit with an idea that has been floating around in my head --trees and rosehips that I mentioned and sketched a couple of posts ago. Here are a couple of my inspiration photos.

Using the pinking rotary cutter, I've cut some leaves which I will attach using a thread lace technique that I demonstrated in a post listed under the tutorials tab at the top of my blog.

The birches are done by painting on a mottled batik that is wrapped around a tin can. This is the shibori tree painting method I wrote about in my first article in Quilting Arts magazine. i have used it often.
I think I like where this is going so now I must add a few appliqued trees and get the confetti leaves stitched together.
It's a good place to stop for today. I'm going to have a cup of tea and sample a slice of the bread.
Tomorrow, I've been invited to a friends camp for the day. I'll be bringing my camera, my walking poles, some warm clothes and my sketchbook. I'm looking forward to it!
Happy Monday!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Home from retreat

I've unpacked all my retreat clothes, food, and most of my sewing. Gord and I had an easy supper of eggs and Swiss chard and then did our Bowflex workout. I  had a soak and then did some yoga. What a lovely ending to a beautiful retreat weekend.

Quilters are such a warm, friendly, giving group! We range in age from 40 something to 80 something and we all get along on the same level. Isn't that great?

I can't keep up with some of them!

One of my favourite quilts was this one by Yvonne for her granddaughter. All from scraps.

The Dalhousie girls, Laurie and Kristine were creating twister quilts with an appliqu├ęs monkey. Boy and girl version.

I also really like this black, grey and white quilt.

I believe she'd added another row by the time we left.

I'm still working on this quilt. I have two blocks left and then wil start adding all the white sashing strips that go between the blocks.

The I Pad color is not the best on this one. I finished a baby x's and O's quilt top too.

The pinks are coming through a bit more red than they actually are. It's softer and pinker in real life.

For a little break, I cut up a piece of sun printed fabric and put together a quick mug rug. Some of the women commented that they wouldn't want to use it as a mug rug. One particular lady said that she would hang it on her wall and drink her coffee while looking at it. I finished it up and gave it to her. It touched me that she got tears eyed.

I used a variagated silk thread to free motion around the fern.

One of the quilters, Kristine , who is very creative, was  showing this quilt that she devised by expanding a runner pattern and joining them together. She has another strip to add.

Pretty interesting quilt.

Well, I'm getting sleepy. I'm going to knit a bit before 'm off to bed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Thanksgiving weekend on PEI

Here I am back home again after a lovely weekend visiting with family on Prince Edward Island. I stayed with my daughter who is doing her B Ed at UPEI, but most of my family live there too, so I was able to spend time with them.

My sister has opened a cafe in a sweet little picturesque village called Mount Stewart and this is where we held our Thanksgiving dinner.

It used to be an old service station but is now quite cozy inside.

Just down the road is the Hillsborough River which the Trans Canada Trail crosses.

On my way out to the cafe I passed a couple of pumpkin farms and couldn't resist stopping for some photos. I've never actually seen so many pumpkins growing in the fields.

All over the front yard of the farm were these lovely little vignettes where people would go and have their pictures taken.

By the time I drove home mid afternoon, there were swarms of people. Also, something that we take for granted here is the method of payment.  I bought some decorative gourds, a pale green pumpkin and 2 squash, leaving the appropriate amount of cash in a locked box. I'm told that is quite unique to the Maritimes but I'm sure there are other rural placesthatcwould do it.

Today, I'm recovering from my trip. I've gotten myself unpacked and started washing clothes and organizing for my quilting retreat which starts on Friday morning for the weekend.

Ever since getting out onto  the trails last week, I've been thinking about a piece of fall fiber art featuring the rosehips. My head is always filled with ideas, some never making it to paper or fiber. At the end of my afternoon, I just had to pick up my pencils, paint and oil pastels to do a very sloppy sketch of what I have in mind.

I won't be working on this at retreat. It's too complicated to pack all the little bits I might need for a fiber art piece, but I'll be musing about it while I sew my quilts.

Friday, October 10, 2014

A little autumn walk and a colored pencil/watercolor

I was able to take a short amble with my poles today along a short section of the trail. It was a lovely day and I wanted to get out before my trip in the morning. I'm optimistic that  the cortisone shot that I gto into the hip joint under xray at the hospital yesterday is going to help.
I found this little maple tree near the end of the trail. It was so beautiful that I went back with the car (I couldn't walk any further) and the camera.
The leaves were glowing in the dappled sunlight.
Then I came home and made myself a chai tea, laced with honey and cinnamon accompanied by my favorite rice crackers with cheese spread and tomato. These are the last form my garden and oh so tasty.

As usual, I didn't come home with empty pockets.

Just enough time to sketch before supper.
To my Canadian, readers, Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Watercolour, coloured pencil, gestural sketch

I won't be doing any sewing here at home for the next couple of weeks. I'm leaving Friday, back next Tuesday, and then I must pack for retreat.
Tonight, I'm going to our guild pizza night where we have supper and then have a sewing night making quilts for charity.
I've been sorting and getting ready for packing, but took some time to do a sketch loosely based on my little hike yesterday. At first glance the colors In the photo seemed quite grey/brown/green. On closer observation one can find some really pretty soft mauves, pinks, and oranges.

When I see the sketch up on the screen, I always see some things I would change. This would be fun done in fiber.
I've got to get to work now cutting a bit of fabric for tonight. I'm connecting to The Needle and Thread Network.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Enjoying my birthday my way

Today is my birthday and aside from a doctors appointment this morning, I've tried to slow down and enjoy the day my way. Upon awakening, I thought I might sew, but it turned into such a sunny warm day that I took my walking poles and camera and headed out for a walk. I went to the trail in east Bathurst where I haven't been in a while.
When you have to slow down, walking becomes more about each step you take. I stop to breathe deeply and feel the warmth of the sun on my face. I notice  the little details in front of me instead of letting them  flow by unnoticed in a blur when I walked for speed.
The bright pinks of the fireweed  have faded but are still pretty in their way.
The summer brights on the rolling hills have softened. It makes me want to return to see if there will be more golds or if the leaves will simply fade and fall.
I came upon these berries, thinking at first that they were small rosehips, but realizing as noticed my boggy surroundings that they must be cranberries. Too bad I didn't have a container. There were lots.
Along my drive back home, I stopped and took more pictures of Indian Island in our downtown.
I'm wondering if the colors will get any brighter on the island, and if so, I hope that I don't miss it. I'm going to be away this weekend for 5 days visiting family on PEI. When I come back I'll be packing for our guild retreat the following weekend.
I planned to sew together the 9 patches of this disappearing pinwheel that is our guild block of the month, but the sunshine was beckoning. You might notice that the fabrics are different than I showed in the last post. This is my 3rd try! And likely why I'm better at art quilting. I cut the block wrong twice before I figured it out, lol!
I just have to put the 9 pieces together now, so I should get it done for tomorrow night. No wonder I don't usually do the block of the month.
Happy Monday everyone! I hope you're enjoying your day in your way.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Thread painting leaves

What a day! I had one of those days where everything I tried to do wasn't working. I have to rip out weeks worth of knitting because I ran out of yarn and can't get more.
Then I decided after doing a breakfast sketch of more leaves that I might like to try thread painting some.
I started stitching with a layer of the plastic type water soluble in a hoop but it was tearing because of the heavy stitching. It all went well once I added another layer of water soluble medium.

I got quite a bit done when I realized that I really needed more colours of thread. I've tucked some of the leaves into an envelope to carry with me when I go away next week.  A friend has invited me to raid her stash tomorrow too. Thanks, Sue!
This morning, I also cut, sewed, cut again the pieces for our guild's block of the month.

They requested fall colours.
After that, things went downhill. I tried to use my I Pad App to blog and it wouldn't work. I spent 2 hours on the phone with a technician uploading my I Pad contents to the cloud, deleting the I Pad and reloading. Scary! I thought I'd lost it all at one point.
Finally got it all back but my App won't work. Now I'm trying to figure out a new one.
Phew, I need to decompress. I'm going for a little walk before it gets dark.