Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quiet North

The north is quiet now, and waiting for winter.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nine Patch Obsession

Lately all I want to do is make scrap Nine Patch blocks. I think it's a reaction to the economic crisis. My Bed Quilt Club has a Nine Patch Exchange in its second year, and I owed several sets of blocks. I've designed a bed quilt pattern just for my blocks, and I can hardly wait to make it. But first, many more blocks must be exchanged!

How to make 3" finished size Nine Patch blocks (these cutting instructions make one block, but I cut my strips about 18" long which makes 12 blocks):

1. Cut 4 light strips 1 1/2" wide by at least 2" long
2. Cut 5 dark strips 1 1/2" wide by at least 2" long
3. Sew the strips together to make these 3 sets:

4. Press seams towards the dark fabric strips.

5. Cut the strip sets into 1 1/2" sections, as below:

5. Sew the strips together to make a block, as below:

Here is my little pile of blocks to date. The two piles below that are for the next exchange at the Bed Quilt Club meeting this week.

I need 225 of these 3" blocks to make my new Nine Patch twin bed quilt pattern. Time to dig into my piles and piles and piles of scraps! It comforts me to spend my time doing this.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Red Oak

"Listen! the wind is rising,
And the air is wild with leaves"
Humbert Wolfe

Friday, October 17, 2008

Frosty Morning

Crisp, clear, bright, beautiful morning.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Bed Quilt Club 9

The Bed Quilt Club met yesterday; the 2nd meeting of the season. It was wonderful to see old friends again. Pat, Marg and I were the only ones available but we had a good time nonetheless! Pat's Country Quilter shop was a busy place and Pat had to keep running to help customers. So we invited the customers in to visit with us too!

Marg showed her Lemonade quilt top, which is truly a one-of-a-kind. She had purchased the red fabric, then mistakenly treated it with a product designed to removed colour that runs and stains white fabric. Unfortunately, her red fabric bleached out to gold in many areas. So Marg cut the gold areas seperate from the red areas, sewed the strips end to end, and made a Faux Log Cabin. What do you make with a lemon? Lemonade.

Marg also brought a box of half square triangle blocks that she had sewed since last spring. She is working on a Friendship Star quilt which requires 2040 blocks. There are over 300 in the box, which brings her count up to 1539.

NOTE: Marg emailed me to say that the product is called "Dylon Run Away". It is made to use on white fabrics only.

Friendship Star Quilt blocks

Pat has made progress on her Kentucky Log Cabin quilt blocks from Judy Martin's Log Cabin Quilt Book. She groused just a little bit on the log sizes: 1 1/4" strips. It will be worth it in the end - the smaller the log size, the richer the quilt.

Doris has finished her quilt top but couldn't make the meeting as she is on the Danube this week.

I showed my newest design; a wall quilt and matching twin bed quilt hot off the sewing machine. Alas I can't show you any photos - the project is for a magazine.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Aerial Views of Killarney Provincial Park

The following photos were generously provided by Roel Teunissen, taken while piloting his Cessna 152.

View of the La Cloche Mountains in the fall.

Silver Peak in Killarney Provincial Park, with Georgian Bay in the background. This peak is a popular climb and can be done in a day. Sid and I climbed it a few years ago with our dogs. The view is breathtaking: Lake Huron and the town of Espanola on one side and Sudbury on the other.

East end of O.S.A. Lake (originally called Trout Lake, but later renamed for the Ontario Society of Artists).

O.S.A. Lake and Georgian Bay.

Looking northeast from Georgian Bay on Lake Huron towards George Lake. We camped on nearby David Lake a few years ago when we climbed Silver Peak.

Thank you Roel for providing this bird's eye view of the crown jewel in the Ontario Provincial Park system.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Serenity Garden

The following photos are of a serenity garden that I designed for clients in Sudbury, which was installed in 2007.

The clients wanted a quiet private space to relax in. The keywords I was given for reference were: simple, traditional, serene, clean, neat, tidy, low-maintenance, full season interest, simple elegance. Hardscaping elements had to include a water feature as well as rocks, rocks and more rocks. A gazebo was on the wish list.

Space was limited and the grade sloping away from the house was extreme (8' drop over 23'). The house was built by the clients in a new subdivision, so privacy and lack of trees were issues.

Side (before)

Side Path (after)

The side path leads to these steps.

Future deck/patio area.

Patio and Serenity Garden


Tsukubai water basin provided in Japanese Buddhist temples for visitors to purify themselves by the ritual washing of hands. The client (a knowledgeable plantswoman with excellent design sense!) installed this lovely little grouping beside the gazebo.

Small-space garden design is challenging. Every element has to fit together like a puzzle, as there is no room for fudging. It helped that my clients believed in good design. Once again, I had Steve Elliott of Acer Land Developments install the project. It required massive below-grade timber framing and an 8' retaining wall to hold up the gazebo. The result was worth the effort. My clients love to spend summer days in the gazebo, and I've enjoyed a nice glass of wine there myself.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lichen and Quartzite

I took these photos in the hills around Grace Lake in Killarney Provincial Park. I was gobsmacked by the colours in the quartzite, and entranced by the textures of the lichen.

Moss - the rock is so white it looks like snow.

This piece had sheared off. It looks like marble to me.

A pink spot.

Rock face near the shoreline of our campsite.

These lichen patches reminded me of snowflakes.

Pink, alabaster and grey-green.

I had to wait for the morning sun to illuminate this rock face.

Here's a stitchery just waiting to be born.

Ram's horns? Shells? The Golden Mean?

I'm going to play with some of these images in thread and cloth and beads. I had collected fibre art supplies years ago with lichen images in mind. It seems like my inspiration has finally come at a time in my life when I can commit to creating something just to please myself.

Oh, and Anita emailed me to admit she was crazy about lichen too.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Grace Lake, Killarney Provincial Park

We did our annual canoe trip to nearby Killarney Provincial Park 2 weeks ago. This time we stayed in the north end of the park, with 3 nights at Grace Lake and 1 night at Nellie. Canada's Group of Seven painters sketched and painted in many areas of Killarney. One of Franklin Carmichael's favorite places to paint were the La Cloche Mountains and Grace Lake.

I stitched two photographs together to get this image, taken from one of the hilltops above the lake.

The La Cloche Mountains are brilliant white quartzite, with shots of rose pink, gray and the occasional melon orange. They are ancient and worn down to hills. We spent the days scrambling around the hills, enjoying the views, taking lots of photos and enjoying the last warm days of the summer.

Log and stone markers, thoughtfully placed by previous visitors, directed us to the hilltops.

The hill above our campsite.

Sasha and Lily beside an inukshuk marker. Sid took this photo.

Glacier scrapes.

Wintergreen grew everywhere.

My next post will show my new obsession with lichens. I may be the only person I know who would spend so many hours photographing lichen. I'm a cheap date, what can I say!