Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mysteries around the world

Books. That's what I am talking about here. I love mysteries and have recently read (actually it was on tape) a book set in Japan. Here's what the book jacket says about it.

"A man about to leave his marriage is poisoned to death while his wife, the logical suspect, is hundreds of miles away. Tokyo Police Detective Kusanagi and his assistant agree to disagree about the guilty party: was it his wife, his girlfriend, his business associate, or a random crime? They call on physics professor Manubu Yukawa, and even the brilliant mind of "Detective Galileo" is challenged by a crime that is implausible, methodical - and perfect."

It takes some thought to remember the names of the characters but I must say, I did enjoy it. The main reason? The wife in the story is a Patchwork artist/professional who also has an assistant/student. It's too bad we can't see what sorts of works the wife has made but there is a bit of description all the same. Although it is mostly set in Tokyo, we don't really get a feel for the city. I do like the main police officers (one of whom is a woman) and their physics professor friend.

Title: Salvation of a Saint
Author: Keigo Higashino
Published by: St. Martin's Minotaur, 2012     

The other book I'm listening to is set in Ireland. I haven't finished it yet but it sounds like it will be a good one. This too is set in the country's capital - Dublin, but not in today's Dublin. The book starts off in 1985 and then, 22 years later, something happens to bring back the main character, Frank Mackay, to his old neighbourhood. He is now a cop and it seems that nothing has really changed with his family in all that time.

Here's the blurb:
"Back in 1985, Frank Mackey was nineteen, living in a small flat with his family on Faithful Place in Dublin's inner city. He and Rosie Daly planned to run away to London, get married, and break away from poverty and their old lives. But the night they were leaving, Rosie didn't show. Frank assumed that she dumped him and never went home again. Neither did Rosie. Now, twenty-two years, later Rosie's suitcase shows up in a derelict house on Faithful Place."

Title: Faithful Place
Author: Tana French
Published by: Thorndike/Windsor/Paragon, 2010

Lastly, there is a book on hold that I will have to go and pick up. It is one in a series.  The setting is Kent, England in the early 1900s and the main character is Maisie Dobbs who is a private investigator. It's not the author's first Maisie Dobbs book but it will not hinder the reading and enjoyment of the book if you don't start at the first one.

Here's a bit about it:
"With the country in the grip of economic malaise, and worried about her business, Maisie Dobbs is relieved to accept an apparently straightforward assignment from an old friend to investigate certain matters concerning a potential land purchase. Her inquiries take her to a picturesque village in Kent during the hop-picking season, but beneath its pastoral surface she finds evidence that something is amiss. Mysterious fires erupt in the village with alarming regularity, and a series of pettycrimes suggests a darker criminal element at work. As Maisie discovers, the villagers are bitterly prejudiced against outsiders who flock to Kent at harvest time--even more troubling, they seem possessed by the legacy of a wartime Zeppelin raid. Maisie grows increasingly suspicious of a peculiar secrecy that shrouds the village, and ultimately she must draw on all her finely honed skills of detection to solve one of her most intriguing cases."

Title: An Incomplete Revenge
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Published by: H. Holt, 2008

And now, something that has nothing whatsoever to do with books.

 It's a latch hook rug kit that I picked up at Value Village. That's op shop to you Aussies. It's not a big one - finishing at just 8 inches square but I thought it needed a home. I haven't done one in ages and all that's missing is the hook. It was a brand new kit all wrapped in plastic so I don't know why they didn't provide the hook. Maybe that's why the owner gave it up. That's fine by me since I own two hooks so I can work on this while watching TV during the evenings.

Note: Thank you to all of you who voted for my quilt.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Time to Vote

I seriously almost forgot what today was. It is the beginning of a weekend long voting session at the Quilting Gallery.


I entered this quilt.

Patric's Teddys. 

I purposely misspelled the plural of teddy because I liked the look of the word better than its plural version.

Anyway, go over and vote for your favourite and if you can't choose, perhaps you could vote for this quilt.

Thank you.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Nut Hollow

In the beginning of this year, I decided to finally make the BOM that was put out by Bunny Hill Designs called "Henrietta Whiskers." We have a lot of squirrels here and I do like them (except when they eat all the pears on the tree.) What I wasn't too keen on about the pattern was all the blackbirds and pumpkins. I looked at the Flikr site that many of the makers posted their blocks on and I saw that there were a couple of them that went their own way. I decided to do the same thing.

I have already shown block one so this is block two. I love watching the squirrels on the electrical wires on our street. They are just so agile. I shrunk the little squirrels that were in the pattern for block six.

My third block features a little albino squirrel. We did have one that I had seen last year but I guess he/she has moved on. I decided that my squirrels resided on Nut Hollow.
Here is the first row all sewn together.
So that's it for now. I have plans of changing one or two other blocks in the future. This is not going to be finished any time soon.

I'm linking up with Esther's blog and also with The Needle and Thread Network where it is the 100th post.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Champagne Quilters update

Last week, even though the temperatures were high and the humidity uncomfortable, Ann and I were at Marg's to put a few more little stars together. Thankfully, Marg has central air and we were working in the basement.

We started with 33 stars and we need 56. They are sitting on a piece of plastic on the floor, hence the shine.

We had quite a production line going. I cut and trimmed and Ann sewed, while Marg ironed. We ended up with 46 in total so we had made 13 in the two hours we were there. Actually, the count was 14 but Marg was unhappy with one so we discarded it. This week we should be quite finished with star making and we can then concentrate on putting them together with the bigger stars. These little ones are 6.5"(unfinished) while the big stars are 12.5".

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Baby Patric's Quilt

Now that the quilt is totally complete and at home with its owner, little baby Patric, here's the continuing story of how it evolved.

So, once all the blocks were appliqued, I had to decide on the sashing.

I didn't like either one of these. The one on the left is a beige and the one on the right is the same fabric I used as backing for the second baby quilt I made for Luc.
The gray was OK but it seemed a bit dark. At this point I felt that I was heading in the right direction. As I was going out the door to quilt with the ladies, I thought that they could help me decide. So, I brought along the blocks and some of the gray fabrics that I had pulled from my stash. Then, at the last minute, I grabbed one that I hadn't really considered.
This is the one I finally decided to use and it couldn't be more perfect. It was the one that I hadn't considered. Take a good look or click on it and you will see that there are all sorts of baby things on it: bottle, carton of milk, rubber ducky, safety pin and rattle, etc.

Since the gray was just too bland on its own, I added strips of little blocks. I really liked the little blocks of colour in the sashing but...

 I felt that it was a bit too much with the strip in the middle so I pinned it closed to see if I liked it better.

 As you can see, I took it out and used it for the top and bottom border.

Here's a close-up of one corner once it was on the frame, ready to be quilted.

Since they are just so darn cute, here are close-up photos of each teddy.

 Marg gave me the inspiration for this Sailor bear. She made one for her quilt.

Little Green bear really needed something so I asked my daughter what she thought - maybe some books? She loved the idea. I gave him some glasses too.

Another one of Marg's inspirations with the bow in her hair. Girl bear just needed some flowers to hold.

I fell in love with the sunglasses and knew that I had to have a little Beach bear wearing them with his little overalls and with a pail and shovel.

Once I decided that there was to be a Bedtime bear, I found some fabric in my stash that had little bears on it and so this bear just had to have one of his own.

Baseball bear in purple looks like he attracted a little fly on his cap. My daughter took these photos outside - hence the fly.

And here is the owner with his quilt.


I am linking up with Esther's blog and The Needle and Thread Network. Pop on over to these sites for some wonderful inspiration.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday Treat

Little two-year-old Luc with his uncles.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Calgary bound

Since the flooding in Calgary a couple of weeks ago, quilters have taken up the cause and made quilt blocks, quilt tops and whole quilts.

Here's a quilt top that I am donating.

A few quilt blocks, and...

a slab (a 15.5" square) in burgundy to be made into a quilt.

They are off to Calgary, to Cheryl, who will make sure they get to the right place. 
My stash is a bit lighter, the scraps went for a good cause and now on I'm on to other sewing.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Christmas Quilt-a-long - July

I had decided on my pattern quite a while ago since I had been eyeing this pattern for a while. It's a freebie from Connecting Threads and can be found here. Once I took a look at it, I realized that it was bigger than the challenge allowed but that's OK because all I have to do is leave a few gifts out.

 Here are some fabrics that I gathered together. I'm leaning towards not using the blacks but we shall see.

I'm linking up with Hazel's blog this month - the hostess of the Christmas Quilt-a-long.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Quilts - the old and the new

This quilt has been hanging on my upstairs hall wall for several years now and it's time for a change. I mentioned it to my daughter Laila when she was here and she said she'd like it - for her boys. So, off it came from the wall and out it went for a good shake to get the dust off.

I was going to wash it but really, it isn't dirty and since I don't like the puckered look of 'aged' quilts, I will leave it as is. My daughter and her family live in farm country where there are cows, horses and chickens. This quilt is called Pioneer Sampler and it was made in 1994.

This is what I have been working on a little at a time. I added two more blocks this morning to the 16-patch quilt after I ironed them.

 I really do like this. It's cheerful, colourful and so simple to make. I am making it for one of my single beds so at 7 blocks across, it's fine (the blocks are 8 inches finished.) I just have to figure the length. Right now it's almost 8 blocks long and so I may make it 9 or 10 rows long. I have to see what colours to add and that's the main reason I took this photo (actually, a series of photos.) None of the darker fabrics have been repeated and I like that.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Going back home

This little fella, Patric, being held by his mummi,

 and his big brother Luc,

 went home. Here they are with their mom and pops (grandpa) at the airport yesterday. There was some concern as to whether or not their flight was on time or even take off. It was delayed for over 20 minutes. Toronto experienced record rainfall and flooding the day before. It knocked the airport computers down but we got them there on time and surprisingly, the roads were not congested at all.

Laila received compliments from the flight attendant and other passengers on how well behaved Luc was and how adorable little Patric was. Everything was fine and Laila said it was because she was well organized.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Just a few bags

I have not been idle while my daughter and little grandsons were here. I had to snatch time where I could so that I could sew a few bags that my daughter requested to hold various items for her trip home.

This is a little drawstring bag to hold a bunch of little animal figurines that Luc has. They help to keep him occupied on the long flight home. Approximate size of the bag is 5" X 7".

This little bag was made to hold diapers, sanitary wipes, cream and a change pad.

Ikea fabric was purchased because it was a nice weight for a little bag (and it was on sale.) This one holds a change of clothes for each of the little boys - just in case.

Both of these little zipper bags started off as 12" X 12.5" rectangles and I used a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Handy little bags to keep things organized in a backpack.

I am linking up with The Needle and Thread Network and Esther's blog.
Go check out what others have been working on this week.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Family Time

I haven't been around the blog world much lately because we have been celebrating family time. On Saturday we had a brunch for family and a few friends.

The oldest, my mom at 94 with the youngest, Patric, 3 months.

You see my daughter Laila and her family came over for a visit.

 Uncle Eric with Luc.

Uncle Mark with little Patric.

Gilles, my son-in-law, my eldest son Mark, his wife, Kate, Ashlee, my youngest son Eric's girlfriend, their dog Arja, Ayla, my youngest daughter, David, her boyfriend, Casey, my daughter Maili's boyfriend and my youngest son Eric.

Auntie Maili with Luc.

And then there were the Canada Day celebrations (just before Ayla's 29th birthday.)

Backyard family barbecue at Eric's.

We were all there but not my mom and Gilles, Luc and Patric's dad, who went back home to work.

It was a great day with fireworks at the park at sundown.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Canada Day


146 years young.