Saturday, June 30, 2007

Working on my bag

I am having fun making this bag. It is coming together quite well. I really, really liked Andrea's hint about putting the ribbon/string inside the handles before stitching them together to assisit with the turning.

Almost finished.

I am having a very weird problem with my blog comments right now. Sometimes when I click on the comments the pop-ups that normally come up and you click "yes" - they are continually popping up again and I can't close them and I can't close the program and I eventually have to "control,alt, delete" to shut everything down and start over. It has been going on for a few days. Making commenting a bit difficult. It seems to happen randomly and just to the blogspot blogs. I wonder if others are having this problem? We just got the speed of our DSL increased a week or so ago - so I am not sure if this is the problem. I hope it resolves itself because it is a bit of a bother.
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Thursday, June 28, 2007

My Fun Mail

I got this wonderful package in the mail from Nadine!! Last month when she saw all the beautiful African fabric she offered to send me the pieces she had left from making her daughter's African quilt. I just love the Dancing Mama fabric. She also included this book for inspiration. Nadine is so sweet. It is nice to be part of a great blogging group and to have such wonderful "imaginary friends" Thank you so much Nadine. I have been looking through the book and already I have a couple of ideas :))
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Sunday, June 24, 2007

A good day sewing

I was very pleased to actually get to spend the day sewing today. It rained off and on most of the day. It feels like March here on the west coast. I wonder if we will ever get summer.

I am following along with Welsh Quilter and the very nice bag she is providing a tutorial for us bloggers. I have completed step one today. I have the handles yet to do.

I am using the left over bits of Chocolat fabric from my table centre. I think I could use that fabric for everything I make from now on! Love the fabric. The bag looks lovely and Andrea is providing such great instruction. I can see more bags in my future. The hint she provide for the handles and how to turn them the right way around is worth the "price of admission" alone -- gosh the things we learn from each other :))

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Then I spent the rest of the afternoon machine quilting the Chocolat Charm Squares table centre. It is almost finished. We are getting new windows and three new sliding glass doors installed tomorrow so I am so excited that once the new doors are in I will have a new table centre!!! It will be beautiful on the table -- which of course will sit in front of a new sliding glass door. I work my first 12 hour shift tomorrow - and I should come home to the windows and doors all installed and finished. So - all and all - a very productive day :))

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The two books I ordered have arrived

After seeing this book on Jenni's blog I knew I "needed" it!! The link will take you to Jenni's post about the book and she has a few more pictures of the book. It is a great book, full of patterns with fairly easy to follow rotary cutting instructions for each block. The are 125 different pieced blocks, applique blocks and sashiko. Some of the blocks are very simple to assemble and others are much more complicated. Great book, I am very happy I bought it -- Thanks Jenni!!

Of course the site had a special that if I spent $40.00 I would get free shipping. The book was only $18.00 - so I thought I should order another book - of course :))

This is the second book I ordered. It is also a great book. It is a "That Patchwork Place" book by Kitty Pippen.

And to my amazement the pattern for this quilt is in the book. I had seen the quilt at a quilt show somewhere and just loved it. I thought I would love to make it one day - great for little colourful bits of Japanese fabrics. And I open the book and here it is - plus the pattern. How exciting is that.

"Japanese Garden Path"

This is also another of the patterns in the book. It is called "Linked Shapes"

I love this pattern as well. The templates for the shapes are included in the book. Also the patterns for various sashiko designs are included. So - I am very pleased with my purchase. I have recently added to my Japanese fabric collection so I think it is time to get busy on a small quilt to use it up!!
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Monday, June 18, 2007

We are home - and I got mail

We got home fairly late last night. The ferries were very busy yesterday - a Sunday in June, we had a 3 hour wait at the ferry terminal. So I was able to almost finish another Dear Jane block! The little applique bag I made works great - it can hold all the supplies needed plus one or two unfinished blocks and the little piece of felt I lay the pieces out on to keep them in place.

I came home to two packages waiting for me at the post office.

The first is a book that was sent by Angela. Thank you so much Angela. I have already started using it, I will keep my little ideas and patterns that I find in books and in my blog travels :))

Next I got my order of fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop. I bought a selection of Amy Butler fat quarters. Plus I also got a collection of the Folklorique Fig Tree reds and blues. They were on sale. As well as a double charm pack of Aunt Gracie fabric. And -- no, I have no idea what I am going to do with any of the fabric :)) I am getting quite a collection of Amy Butler fat quarters - and I still have the Japanese quilt pattern that Jenni sent me way back when. I think that quilt would be perfect for the fabric. So I guess I do have a bit of a plan.

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It is always so nice to come home to mail :))
The weather is still very "unsummer" like here but I have a very weedy garden that needs some TLC this week.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A few pictures on our last night

We were supposed to leave today but the weather on Friday was just beautiful that we extended our stay by one day. We will go back tomorrow and hope the ferries are not too busy on a Sunday afternoon.

We were out very early Friday for a walk in a 0.0 foot tide. I love to walk the beach in a really low tide. You can go places that you can't usually get to because of the surf and water.

This is a view from a part of Cox Bay that we could not walk to unless the tide is really low. Usually this bit of beach is under water. There is a little bluff above the beach has a few houses built there. Rumor has it (on fairly good authority) that John Travolta has built a house up there. That's my story and I'm sticking to it -- LOL

The Starfish and Anemones are easy to see with the low tide

A picture of Jim attempting to do a bit more fishing for the Surf Perch. Needless to say - none were caught.

Here is quite the picture of Jenny, exhausted after about 4 or 5 hours on the beach. She also got to have another romp in the water with her pal Monty.

And finally a picture of a couple of Dear Jane blocks. I finally finished the A-11 block ( 37 pieces!!) After finishing that one I got another one finished yesterday and I am working on my 4th block.

Oh Oh -- dog is whining to go for a walk.......

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Few More Photos

Jenny has been enjoying herself quite thoroughly. She has found a friend to play with. His name is Monty and he is a bit of a "beach dog".

We had quite a fairly sunny day yesterday. It has been raining off and on today. It feels more like our usual "spring break" holiday than a June holiday. But because we came here every year for 9 spring breaks we are quite used to the grey, rainy days. Good for walking the beach.

Jim decided to try his hand at fishing for "surf perch" He didn't catch any fish but he did come back with a nice bunch of mussels for supper. And it did keep him entertained for a couple of hours.

This is my little quilting spot. I have my light up on a stool on a chair to get the light I need for the evening. No TV, we spend the evenings listening to CBC AM. Canada's version of BBC radio. Always worth listening to. I am still working on my second DJ block. The second once I chose to do is A-11 - Pebbles Protest, which has 37 pieces!!! So it has been a bit of work! Hopefully I get it finished tonight and can start on block #3 tomorrow.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

We have Internet

We always bring the laptop so we can take lots of pictures and download every day. We turned on the laptop last night and we have internet. Some mysterious wireless network is floating around Chestermans Beach. Very strange. I finished one DJ block last night - it was just two melons that I needed to applique on though - so not too much of a big deal, but a good start.

This is last nights sunset. The weather was very wet and windy when we arrived yesterday and the forecast is for showers and rain all week.

Jenny just loves to run on the beach. She has been having a great time - all the wonderful smells. This is today on the beach.

Chestermans Beach is quite popular for surfing. Here is a group of people taking surfing lessons this morning.

Doesn't that look like fun? Not for me! It is cold in the water and you can't surf here without a wetsuit.

The sun has come out a bit this afternoon and there are quite a few surfers on the beach today. It will be much quieter tomorrow.

We spend a lot of time outside and walking the many beaches around here - but it is nice to have the internet and be able to post some pictures every so often.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Going away for a week

We will be leaving very early tomorrow morning. I will not be able to access a computer much for the next week. So I will miss all my blogging friends very much. "So --- don't you forget about me!!" Yah - I know, now you'll be singing that song all day - LOL

We are going to spend a week in this little house on Chestermans Beach on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. These are pictures I took of the house when we stayed there in June of 2004. We have been staying on this beach every year since 1994 - we have stayed only twice in this house. It is a bit rustic, but very comfortable and we can take the dog.

Here is where I sit and quilt with the sun coming in the window.

And this is the view from the window where I sit.

We will be back next weekend and I will try to catch up on all my blog reading. Hopefully I will have many Dear Jane blocks to show off!!
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My fabulous basket!

Isn't it a wonderful basket? The handle fits so nicely for carrying and it is so light and well balanced. If you click on the picture you can see on the tag a picture of a man that makes the baskets. It is made by the Fra Fra tribe in Ghana West Africa. The basket is a "Fairly Traded African Craft" Which is good for the village economy because the people who make the baskets are paid a "substantially higher than local market value" so they can make a decent income on their work. It still smells of grass. Now -- I just have to make sure I keep it well away from the Dog!!

More fabric. I bought a full metre of this piece. It has so many different colours it is just amazing and beautiful. The pictures don't quite show the richness of the colours. I think I would like to make something just using this one piece of fabric - not mixed with the others because I think it would make a really interesting quilt and you would think it was made of many different fabrics when it was just one. I went yesterday to a place in Granville Island called Maiwa Handprints , they sell fabrics from India and various other fabrics. I bought some scraps of solid blacks and yellow and blue. So -- now I need a plan!!
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Thursday, June 07, 2007

African Fabric

My LQS had about 25 bolts of fabric come from Africa last week. It is probably all gone by now. This is some of what I bought on Sunday. It is so wonderful. It is interesting to see the real - straight from Africa fabric. When Reynola was giving the talk at our guild meeting in March she talked about the types of dye that is used, the fabric (quite often Damask fabric is used) and the colours and the block printing on the fabric. And it is all here - in these pieces of fabric. If you click on the pictures you can see the inlay designs of the damask fabric. It is very stiff now - but it will soften up with washing.

These are brought to Canada by a man who lives in Africa but has family in Canada - so when he comes to visit he brings some fabric. The quilt shop said that his wife is expecting and he doesn't think he will be making another trip here for awhile.

I have absolutely no plans for it yet! But isn't it wonderful? I just love fabric!

I will post more pictures tomorrow. I also bought a fabulous basket and one more piece of fabric.
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The latest bag

This is the bag I was talking about in my previous post. I think it will make a really nice little make-up bag. It is a pattern "Little Scraps from This and That - Button Bag" I didn't put any buttons on it. I didn't want to sew the zipper in by hand - so I assembled the bag in a completely different way than suggested in the instruction. And I put it together upside down. The small narrow border of fabric on the bottom should be on the top. And I did not do that on purpose. I was just so busy throwing the squeaky toy for the dog I wasn't paying any attention to what I was doing. But - it's just for me and in the end it will work fine.

Jim is back from his meetings and his cold is much better. Which is good, I was worried he would be really feeling badly and we have a lot of packing to do to get ready to leave on Saturday. And it is never fun to be sick when you are on vacation. But I do have my camera back. He saw a killer whale swimming 50 metres of the shore, playing in the water while they were having their dinner on Wednesday night -- and he didn't take one picture! So that's the last time he gets to take the camera anywhere -- LOL
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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Dog is driving me Nuts!!!

I have been home for 4 days and every time I try to get on the computer or use my sewing machine the dog come over with this obnoxious squeaky toy - puts it on my lap and squeaks it like crazy until I throw it. If I hide the squeaky toy she does the same thing with her ball or rope - but the squeaky toy is the worst by far!

And tonight, the #$^&# dog got my Joyce Chen bambo salad fork OUT OF THE SINK -- and chewed the heck out of it!! Jim will have to add that to his list of things "Pam needs replaced" (along with the slippers). She has also taken to chewing big holes in Jim's socks. He could be completely sockless by August at the rate she is going!!

I have been doing as much sewing as I have been able to this week. I thought I would get so much done with Jim away and me off work the entire week. I did manage to make a "This and That" charm bag. I had bought the pattern at the Craft and Sewing show in Abbotsford. Wendy had made one not that long ago, she made hers slightly different than the pattern. I followed the pattern using charm squares and then put the zipper in differently and put it together upside down! That I will also blame on the dog. Of course I still don't have the camera for pictures. Jim will be back tomorrow. It sounds like he has a terrible cold - so he has not been to happy the past few day.

I have been re-arranging my blogs. I started up a "Google Reader" which I put all the Q4P blog on and then all the other blogs are still on "Bloglines" I am hoping that it works better for me to follow the blogs I like to read regularly and still be able to go around the Q4P blog ring easily. I like being part of the blog ring and meeting the new bloggers as the join and the ring gets bigger. I found out about Google Reader from Nancy. I quite like the way it works - and it is nicely linked with the Blogger and Picasa because it is all by Google. So far so good.
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Sunday, June 03, 2007

My version of the bag

My week of orientation was over. Five days!! My first week of work is my schedule vacation - so I am actually now off until June 28th, since I am only working part-time. With the province wide "one certification" the hospitals honor all seniority, vacations, etc province wide. Since we have to book or vacation way back in November - I am now on vacation. I will have to pick up a few extra shifts - they are probably wondering who the heck I am - my name has been on the schedule from sometime in April - yet I have never really been there.

I became a bit obsessed this weekend with this bag that I saw on Darlene's blog. And then I saw it somewhere else, and then someone at my stitching group was talking about it. So I decided this weekend I was going to make it. It took me most of one day to figure out what I was going to do for measurements and the size and fabric. I should have just ordered that pattern from the website. But I was obsessed!

This is my version of the bag. I made two big pockets and just one pocket that had the stitching to devide it into more sections. It was fairly easy to figure out because it is similar in design to the other bags I make.

I made it to use with my DJ stuff. It has enough room that I can take just what I need for hand stitching one or two blocks together. I have been busy this week getting more DJ blocks prepared to take on our vacation.

We will be going to Tofino next Saturday for one week. The Pacific Rim National Park on the West Coast of Vancouver Island is such a beautiful park. We have been going there every year since 1992 or so. Andrew had his 6th birthday there, and he is now 21. I will do a post later this week about Tofino and area.

I went to the LQS - The Thread Bear, this afternoon and bought the most wonderful bunch of fabric from Africa. It seems there is someone that lives in Africa and occasionally comes to Vancouver with a bunch of bolts of "Straight from the African women" fair trade fabric. Such wonderful and beautiful, colourful fabric. I also bought a beautiful basket. Jim has gone for the week and taken the camera -- so as soon as the camera (and Jim) get back I will post pictures. The fabric is amazing - now I just need to wash it up and figure out what to do with it. We just had Reynola Pakusich at our quilt guild talking about African and Japanese fabrics. She has done some wonderful quilts with African fabric and I bought her book -- "Circle Play" .

I think I will just fondle the fabric for awhile first, before I decide what I will do with it.

I had better go see what the dog is up to -- she has been awfully quiet for a while now.

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