Saturday, June 25, 2022

Alpacas! (sewing and knitting too)

I finished knitting the whale baby facecloth this week and wrapped it up with these other two cloths I made earlier to give to a friend's new grandson. I'm pleased the pictures show up well on each cloth.  I must be getting better at making these as there was only the odd stitch to unknit...not whole rows like I used to have to do. 

I finished making the rest of the heart blocks and added sashing to the blocks to make the hearts float.  I am not adding an outside border as it is the perfect size for a baby quilt without a border. This flimsy will be added to the "to be quilted" pile... Some of the fabrics are going the "wrong way"--the issue was trying to get two pieces out of each fabric using the fabric that I had so sometime I had to orient the ruler in two different directions to cut out the pieces.  To me, this just makes the quilt more interesting!

I finished the last of my Blue Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks this week--the Drunkard's Path blocks in bright and navy blues. 

Rug Hooking was on my agenda this afternoon. I added the pink flowers and leaves at the bottom of the picture.  I only have to fill in the grass and sky backgrounds now.  Someone asked if this hurts my hands.  I tend to only work on this project for a short time to avoid RSI problems.  In fact, I do this with all my crafting--knitting, sewing, ironing, cutting, etc. I switch activities often and do not sit still in one spot for very long to avoid problems. 

My husband's sister's family gave him a gift certificate to meet and walk the Alpacas at a local farm for his birthday this year, so we cashed it in on Friday.  We learned about Alpacas, fed them shredded carrots, cooled them off with the hose and took Nicholas and Gibson for a walk down the road and back.  The gray and white one is Nicholas.  The black one is Nicholas.  All of them had names--this brown one was quite happy to eat carrots out of my hand. They were all sheared about three weeks ago, leaving hair on the top of their head as well as on their lower legs, which made them look like they were wearing leg warmers. 

Our daughter said Finn was getting inspiration for his next haircut from the Alpacas!  This is Finn refusing to walk home after going to the pet store with our daughter.  He likes it there because they give him lots of attention and treats. She had to carry him part way home before he would walk again!  

We had some wildlife in our yard this week. This toad was beside the flower pots on our front porch.  The rabbits have been busy nibbling on my perennials but they were moving too fast to get a picture. 

Tonight, while watering my parsley plant, I noticed there were several of these striped caterpillars munching on the leaves.  I googled "striped caterpillars on my parsley" and found out that these cuties will become Black Swallowtail Butterflies someday!  I have decided to share my parsley with them!  I will harvest some for me and they can eat the rest. 

My thread leaf coreopsis is in bloom this week.  Love the lemony yellow colours of these little flowers. 

 I'm linking up with Angela for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and with Kathy and the Slow Sunday Stitchers. 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Hooking, Knitting, and I started something new...

 I made some rug hooking progress on my class project. The sheep is now done, including the tail and the legs.  The wool strips are not trimmed yet so the wonkiness in the legs and tail is due to that.  Next, I will work on the flowers.  Then, there will be lots of sky and grass to fill in.  

I just have the last border to do on the whale baby facecloth--I had hoped to finish it today but we got busy with gardening and then doing other jobs inside so I did not sit down to knit. I should have a finished cloth by next week.  I may be the world's slowest knitter...

As you know, I have been making 36 patches in various colours each month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  I have a confession to make...I got impatient to finish the blocks for this quilt and just sewed up enough blocks to make a 4X4 block quilt.  Here are a couple of the extra blocks I made.  I have a box full of 2.5" squares so it was very easy, maybe too easy, to just grab the squares and make the blocks.  

I will put all the blocks on the design wall soon and get them sewn together into a top.  I hope to quilt this one myself.  For the rest of the year, I will just have my selvage blocks and my scrappy drunkard's path blocks to make each month. I still need to make my blue drunkard's path blocks this month--I will put that task on the list for this coming week. 

In the meantime, I started another baby quilt--this one is just to have on hand in case a baby comes along that needs a quilt.  I like making baby quilts- I can put them together fairly quickly with fabric I have on hand and I can quilt them myself.  Here are the first 4 blocks.  This is a pattern by Jaybird Quilts, using her Hex N More and Sidekick rulers. 

I got together someone from the sewing group at church and we made two zippered pouches for the Christmas bazaar.  I have kits cut out to make 4 more.  I will likely make them over the summer.  The Kaffe fabric was donated to the sewing group by someone from the church. 

My husband and I went walking tonight on a local trail--the daisies were in bloom--it was hard to get a picture as it was breezy and they were blowing around!

I have a few new plants in my garden.  Here are a couple of the flowers--I'm not sure what they are as they were given to me from someone else's garden. If you know, please tell me! PS. These flowers are quite small.  Don't be fooled by my close up pictures. 

Our black lace elderberry bush is in bloom. Here is a close up of the flowers!  So pretty!

Finn is just relaxing after his walk tonight.  

I will link up with Kathy and the slow Sunday stitchers in the morning. 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Blue Scraps, a Baby Quilt and Rughooking

This past week flew by but I did manage to find a bit of time to spend in my sewing room.  I made two sets of selvage blocks for the rainbow scrap challenge this month --navy and bright blue. It's so much easier to make these blocks now that my selvages are all sorted by colour. 

I quilted this baby quilt for our church Christmas bazaar--the fabrics were all donated to the sewing group--I added the blue fabric squares from my stash as well as the light blue and white striped binding. The sailor fabric has a piece of red and white striped fabric added in to make it big enough. 

Christine and I took a beginners rug hooking class today.  We sat under a tree in the park for this class.  The teachers were members of a local rug hooking guild and shared lots of their projects and knowledge with us as we worked on our projects. The fee for the class included all of the supplies necessary to make a small rug with a sheep on it. It was my first in person class since before the pandemic and we had the perfect day to get together outside. We started by outlining the sky with light blue.

Next, we tackled the sun--curved lines are hard but I hear they get smoother with practice! 

The eyes and face of the sheep were done after the sun. 

Then, I started outlining the sheep's body and filling it in. 

I bought a hook so that I can finish my project at home.  I already had a large hoop at home that I have used for quilting but it will work for rug hooking too. I had fun trying something new--I won't be joining a rug hooking guild any time soon as I have lots of other hobbies on the go besides quilting...reading (I belong to two book clubs), cross stitching, knitting (still working on the whale face cloth!), genealogy, gardening, etc.  

We went to visit Finn and our daughter last weekend. We did some shopping, sight seeing and hiking. Finn was quite tired by the end of the day in the woods!

The day lilies and peonies in our garden are in bloom!

I will link up with Kathy on Sunday morning for Slow Sunday Stitching and with Angela for the RSC today. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Home from Our Getaway!

We got home Saturday night at 1am from a 6 day trip to Illinois and Indiana.  It was our first time crossing the border to the US since before the pandemic.  My quilting friend, Christine, and her husband came with us. The original inspiration for the trip was an advertisement I saw online for a display of Ken Burns' antique quilts at the Peoria Riverfront Museum in Illinois...I told my husband that it would be interesting to see this exhibit and the vacation grew out of this small seed that I planted! We spent a few hours at the museum, amazed by the variety and stunning beauty of Ken Burns' antique quilt collection. The quilt exhibit will be there until June 5th and if you live within driving distance, I highly recommend a trip to see them!  

Our favourite quilt in the show.  
String Star.  Maker unknown.  1880-1900. Machine pieced and hand quilted. 
Amazing how such an old quilt looks so modern!

My husband is an excellent trip planner and was soon googling other things to see and do in the general area.  If you are a long time reader  of my blog, you will know that I am a big fan of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture and that we have toured several of the buildings that he designed. Our first stop was in Kankakee, Illinois where we toured the Bradley House. The stained glass windows are a particular highlight for me. The tour guide was excellent and her enthusiasm for the house and its designer were very evident on our tour. 

This one was above the dining room table. 

 We then drove to Springfield, Illinois, home of the Dana Thomas House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  One of the cross stitch pictures I did was a window from this house and it was thrilling to see the original window.  We were not allowed to take any pictures inside the home which was disappointing as I would have loved to get a picture of that window!  

While in Springfield, we also visited Abraham Lincoln's home and law office as well as 
the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.  

In Columbus, Indiana, we toured the Miller House, a mid century modern home designed by Eero Saarinen and completed in 1957.  It was raining while we were there so we did not get any long views of the house.  Here are a few pictures I took on the tour.  I loved the conversation pit! The pillows and carpeting in the conversation pit are changed seasonally. 

The next morning, we did an architectural tour of Columbus with another volunteer guide.  She was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about her home town.  She wore a great jacket, hand painted by her daughter, with silhouettes of many of the iconic buildings and sculptures in Columbus. If you are ever near Columbus, Indiana, we highly recommend these two tours!

This used to be drive through banking and now its a lovely place to eat your lunch outside. 

Our reflection in the Irwin Conference Center (the building in the picture following this one). 

A sculpture, Large Arch, by Henry Moore, framing the First Christian Church, designed by Eliel Saarinen in 1942. 

Inside the church.  This picture also shows off our guide's jacket. 

These colourful tubes are the vents for the HVAC system of this building. 

Inside the North Christian Church. This church was designed by Eero Saaranin, 1964. 

5th Street, near the library, lined with Japanese Zelkova Trees. 

Even the washrooms at Mill Race Park were iconic!  This is the Women's side and the men's side had an "M" roof. 

We could have spent hours at the library, looking at the building and the books!

If you want to see more of the buildings of Columbus, you can watch the movie, "Columbus", which was filmed there. 

Since this is a quilting blog, I should probably share some blocks I made recently for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  June's colours are navy and medium blue.  I had lots of blue squares so I divided them into three piles, navy, medium blue and light blue and made these blocks. 

I made a backing and pieced some batting scraps for the red, blue and white baby quilt I am making for the church bazaar and will be working on getting it quilted and bound over the next few days. It is pin basted and ready to go. 

I did some knitting in the car when we were away, finishing the yellow bird baby facecloth and starting a blue whale facecloth.  Funny how my knitting matched my outfit...

The keys are out on my Japanese Maple tree. 

The Clematis are in bloom.  

Finn has been a bit under the weather over the last week but is back to his usual self today, finally.  He will be going for a haircut soon! He likes to keep one paw touching my daughter at all times, in case she tries to escape...

I will link up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge on Saturday and the Slow Sunday Stitchers on Sunday. 

PS. I have been having trouble commenting on a number of blogs recently--the comments are often blocked or I have to comment anonymously.  I'm not sure why this has happened but if I don't comment on your blog and I usually do, it is not for lack of trying!  Thanks for visiting!