A Winter Walk

A friend and I took a winter walk in Shubie Park this afternoon. It snowed this morning but began clearing around 2:00 so we decided to brave the weather and did the canal walk for a short distance.

The Canal

Cold enough for the snow to remain on the branches; the walking not too slippery underfoot with just enough snow on the paths for decent traction. Lots of people and pets were out enjoying the not quite sunny afternoon.

The ducks are used to being fed by visitors so groups of them paddle quickly to wherever they see people stopping to enjoy the view ever hopeful some food will show up. Unfortunately we hadn’t brought anything to feed them.

(BTW these are colour photos, the shadows lightened a tiny bit.)



Charm Pack Quilt – 1

A couple of weeks ago my physiotherapist handed me a Northcott charm pack with blue/turquoise fabrics – forty-two 5″ squares in 10 different coordinating colours. Not enough to make a quilt on it’s own. I went through my stash pulling out blues and turquoise fat quarters, half-yards, and scraps to cut another forty 5″ squares which would get me closer to what I’d need for a good-sized lap quilt. This quilt isn’t for me – she wants it to use in her new house.

Charm Pack with Quilt Backing Fabric

I thought about a lot of possibilities – finally decided to do a disappearing 9-patch. I didn’t want to invest a huge amount of time executing fine detail – setting up a 9-patch didn’t take long, cutting the blocks into quarters went quickly, arranging the resulting blocks is now my challenge. Because I didn’t think the blues/turquoises had enough life, I decided to use a golden yellow (with hints of blue) as an accent colour. I placed the yellow blocks at the centre of the 9-patch so they were all cut into quarters when I spliced the 9-patch blocks. Here is my current layout:

Disappearing 9-Patch using Charm Pack

Not big enough for a good size lap quilt – so far just a 5×7 array. The question I’m deliberating right now is whether to extend the quilt with a narrow border in light blue along with a wide dark border (I actually bought a second charm pack, in case I didn’t have enough for the quilt center – I could use the charm pack squares to piece an intermediate 2.5″ border then finish with a wider dark border). Or, I could add sashing between blocks/rows and space out these elements – but what colour to use for sashing?

I have to keep thinking about this – not sure what to do,  yet.

Oh, and I came across some appropriate backing fabric for half-price so I picked it up.

As I was leaving the physiotherapist’s office Tuesday, I noticed the additions to the tree in her yard. I think there’s a pottery studio in the garage – used by the previous owner – these faces bits of the potter’s work (top face missing it’s left eye).


Amaryllis 2 2018

I got a second amaryllis for Christmas – so far the first stalk has completely bloomed. There’s a second stalk well on the way and I think I’m seeing a possible third stalk peeking out….

Amaryllis 2 2018

Crazy weather – it snowed last night, then turned to rain, then the temperature dropped well below freezing leaving black ice patches. I haven’t been out yet today, but just about to venture forth.

It’s All About The Pink – V

Just finished the pink quilt  – I bound it in the same fabric I used for the wide border. In the end I left the narrow border alone – I began stitching the leaf motif but two repeats of the stitch and I stopped and picked it all out – the stitches weren’t quite even and it just didn’t look good.

It’s All About The Pink – Completed

That’s likely it for sampler quilts – while I enjoyed creating the 63 different blocks, most of which I’d never constructed before, the task is time consuming because each block had to be cut out and pieced individually – couldn’t streamline the process.

The back – because the quilt top is so busy I decided to simplify the back insert – I used large pieces broken up with strips of accent fabric. The quilting shows on the back – you can barely discern it on the quilt top.

It’s All About The Pink – Back

Another winter scene: Friday, after the storm – with ice pellets and freezing rain the night before – a beautiful sunny day, if cold, and the trees, shrubs, plants, grass – all sheathed in ice – a beautiful sight. This small tree made me stop and capture its image as I was leaving the pool after my morning exercise class. I tried capturing other photos but there was so much vegetation covered in ice that the images weren’t worth keeping.

Sheathed In Ice

In The Midst Of Winter

In The Midst Of Winter is actually the title of a recent book by Isabel Allende, but it’s apropos for today – snowing quite heavily right now, has been snowing all day. Expected to turn to rain during the night – the roads tomorrow will be horrendous, I’m sure. And I just checked – I have nothing on my calendar for the day so I can stay home and work on the quilt.

“In The Midst Of Winter”

18 blocks embroidered/quilted yesterday, 25 completed this afternoon. That leaves 20 for tomorrow. Then I will need to stitch the narrow border and embroider the wide border – who knows, I might get all of that done by afternoon.

I tested a number of decorative stitches for the narrow border – I’ve decided to use # 8.4.29 on my Pfaff Creative Icon – modified to 20mm width, 55mm length – that should complement the overall embroidery design – because the narrow border is pale I think I will use a variegated light grey thread (Aurifil 4060) which won’t show much. The pink variegated thread I’m using for the quilting would stand out too obviously.

Stitch for Narrow Border

Yesterday, I dropped into one of my local sewing/quilting shops. At the counter there was a clay magnetic tool holder in the shape of a flower – I thought about buying one, but I knew I had a number of rare earth magnets on my fridge at home so I decided to see what I could create.

Wearable Magnetic Tool Holder

Wearable Magnetic Tool Holder – II

When I’m quilting I use three tools – small scissors, fine tweezers, and a self-threading needle (for burying thread ends at the start and finish of each embroidery). While I’ve always kept them close at hand on the sewing table – actually having them on my person means not having to look/feel for them at beside the machine. I’ve been wearing my improvised tool holder today while I worked – definitely useful. The holder isn’t large, but an adequate size and strong enough to hold my tweezers and small scissors. The padding allows me to store the needle while I’m working so I don’t have to hunt for it among the other stuff beside the machine!

Construction: I started by cutting out a 6″ square of fabric and batting, a circle from the lid of a plastic kitchen container. I taped one rare-earth magnet to one side of the plastic disc, then cut the fabric out in a circle (3/4″ larger than the plastic disc), stitched a running thread around the edge, pulled it taught and finished off with another smaller covering circle tacked over the back of the padded one. Then I embedded the second magnet between two pieces of clear plastic, taped it in place, cut out a circle of fabric and stitched the edge together. The second magnet is slipped under whatever I’m wearing to connect with the magnet on the larger, padded disc which gets worn on the outside.

So back to work on the quilt tomorrow.

Peggy’s Cove

Went to Peggy’s Cove a couple of days ago with a friend visiting from BC. It’s been a while since I’ve been there and couldn’t get over how built up the Prospect Road to the cove has become.

Peggy’s Lighthouse

We ventured out onto the rocks. It was a calm day, but we were still cautious and stayed back from the edge – the ocean there is very unpredictable and hazardous so although it appeared calm large waves can arrive unexpectedly.

Couldn’t resist taking another classic photo of the lighthouse – what you see on the horizon is the St.Margaret’s Bay shore along the Aspotogan Peninsula.

The Terrain Around Peggy’s

The terrain around Peggy’s Cove is abruptly different as you approach the cove. The land here was scoured bare by glaciers and granite erratics are everywhere left by the receding ice. All that manages to grow here, even after 12,000 years, are creeping and low bush shrubs.

The Swiss Air Memorial

One half of the Swiss Air Flight 111 Memorial is located just outside of the cove. The second half is located in Bayswater on the other side of the bay. The sighting lines cut into the standing rock on each site triangulates the actual point of the crash. The site is peaceful and yet disturbing. I feel it every time I stop there and look through the cuts in the rock.

Signting The Precise Location Of The Crash

The point on the horizon visible through the cuts is the actual location of the crash. It’s impossible not to think about the victims of the disaster when you’re standing there.

It really was a lovely day. The tourist season hasn’t yet begun so there were very few people around. We shared a lobster roll for lunch at the Sou’wester – noticed a woman nearby enjoying the classic gingerbread with ice-cream.