Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring Nesting & Sewing

                                       Rexton enjoys sleeping on the pet pillow on the sofa.

                                                 Until the birds start chirping quite loud...

                                           She's now awake & will take herself to the front door.
                            She now listens to the commotion of  loud chirping, coming from the birds.

                                       It's the making of a nest for a spring hatching of sparrows.

 These little birds sure made a lot of noise as they gathered the pieces like little whips, they come from fallen bits from the black walnut tree that resides next to me in the neighbours yard.

 They're like long skinny sticks, the birds worked all morning bringing pieces & chirping.

The bird house has occupants in it, so this was an opportunity for a new home in the neighbourhood.
You can see the new nest in the background.

 The wind would come later in the day from the north & all the sticks would not stay secure & everything fell apart. I think the one bird knew & that's what all the chirping was about!  lol
We've never had a bird build a nest on our house before, not this year either! There's many tree across the road, maybe that's were they are now.

A New Birdhouse!

 This is a handmade beauty that I purchased from Heirloom Nursery on Fanshawe Park Road in London, ON.
 How sweet & mystical is the birdhouse! This is the back door but it could be the front of a Fairy Garden House. Just love the shape of the wooden door on this cement clad wee building.

The door lifts for the spring cleaning...if needed. I just love how this house was designed for the birds! It's quite heavy so I'm hoping that the winds from the water will make the east coast birds feel cozy & safe as they nest inside. I'll post photos once it's installed at the cottage.

 Here's the front door, it's made of blue stain glass, as well as two side blue stained glass windows, installed underneath the eves!

 It has a rustic look with the bark roof & bark ground cover that the stone house sits on.
Thank you Deb for 'hand delivering me' to the store! lol
And Bev for seeing your inspirational birdhouse on your front porch, greeting all those that come to visit! Such a charming unique piece & they're crafted by a husband & wife team. What fun they must have playing with designs as no two are alike!


Newest Quilt

 This is the newest quilt that I've put together. From the left- to right---flannel backing, outer border, inner border, body of the quilt that's done in a Irish chain. I made the body in 2010 & did not like it for the snowman quilt, that the center blocks were to be appliqued. I was thinking primitive style...

But instead ended up with a quilt top that said 'Green beans, yellow beans, & potatoes'! All great in the garden but not for what I was trying to do. So into my studio I went & played with the stash & was really surprised to come up with a fishing trip quilt for my guys. I used the flannel that was purchased for their comfy pants...now the back of the quilt. I'ts with Liz my longarm quilter & should be done this week. We chose round bubble quilting to quilt it together & I think that it will pull the fishing theme together. A plaid binding in the backing colours will finish it off. I'll post it when it's done & back from Liz. The UFO pile is coming down...who am I kidding, it's not even a dint! lol
I know why I wear a mouth guard at night, my brain doesn't have the ability to shut off even then!
Must stay focused...

Playing with Blocks----

After such a masculine colour with the Fishing Quilt, I needed spring again! So I played with the old stash from the BOM Flowers. I had some scrap yardage from years back & this block is called 'Memory Wreath' & 21 pieces later...Voila!
This is the back, I used the May fabric scraps from a table topper that I gave to my May born granddaughter back in 2010. I just love lily of the valley, the way the little flower bells look & smell.
 I chose a pink batik to bind this little quilt mat with. I made two & did different backings on them.
 This is the backing on the other. How sweet & happy is this spring print?!

The baby quilt I've been working on is finished! I used the brown/white stripe for binding to pull the monkey colour in. Liz did such a nice playful meandering star & circle quilting on it. :)
I've cut out 3 burp pads in the monkey flannel from the side scraps, burp pads are much needed with new babies & easier to wash than clothes after a spit up! lol

Cottage Garden Quilt---

 Back from Liz, my longarm quilter, she did small meandering in the embroidered block & boy did it bring my handwork to life! The body of the quilt has a larger more open meandering to hold the quilt together. It looks great Liz, thank you!

 The binding is now on & it's so garden like. I'm pleased at the way it all came together & will enjoy seeing it in my new potting shed at the cottage.

Tommy saw this photo shoot as an opportunity to climb into the quilt for a cozy snooze. What is it with cats & quilts?! lol

Thrift Store Finds!!-------

Deb & I went on a hunt, she for wool to make into applique for quilting & me for the perfect outside summer chair. Deb really dislikes shopping & me...well I could make it a full time hobby of it,  just looking at things & getting ideas from colour & texture. We both had a great day in the Goodwill thrift store!

                                 I love robins & get excited every spring when I see the first one!

Someone did a beautiful job on this wool piece. I'm admiring it as it sits on my counter & I smile every time I see it!

I feel in love with the colours in this piece. This was so much work & it too is done beautifully!
The colour is more somber here but you can see it in its entirety. It's a long body pillow to sit on the back of the blue denim coloured leather love seat at the cottage. It will add a cozy feel in the fall.
So many hours, weeks, months...doing such a project. It was a great find & well worth the $20!

Here's the find I was looking for & found it the first five minutes there for $5!! The openness of the rattan allows it to dry out, if left outside. As you can see it's inside in the lounge as we're having April showers & I don't mind bringing it in as it's as light as a feather!

Boris has been doing very well & I had him out walking & in the park, he too is so happy with all the wonderful smells of spring. And to socialize with other dogs as I talk to their pets. lol

The weather here is doing the yo-yo, warm on day cold & wet the next but the bulbs are up & the snow is gone. Spring is well on the way!

Thank you for stopping by & have a great spring week!

Saw this saying & it gave me a chuckle...

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Cottage Potting Shed Quilt & Spring!

Spring has finally sprung!
                 This Sunday's temperature finally was the sunniest, warmest weather this year!

                       Tulip buds are not seen yet but it will only be a few days till they appear!

                                                    That is if the squirrels don't eat them!

 This is a bud from the Magnolia tree in Nicholas's yard. The flowers are a beautiful soft pink  & a sweet fragrant smell will fill the yard when all the blooms are full.

 This is the side of my studio were Nicholas has the garden with his Magnolia tree, far right you can see the shadow. There's also a climbing deep pink rose bush & seeds from the Morning Glories grow wild in this area.

 The evergreen has really grown since it was planted in 2008. The yard stonework was designed around it. The tree offers winter shelter to the birds & gives you texture & colour during the winter months of snow.

The tulip bulbs have sprung up under the tree, those squirrels have a way of rearranging your plants!

            This is the side door of my studio, the birds aviary is just outside & fills the yard.

There's a Japanese Lilac is just starting to bud. When the purple flowers are in bloom it smells oh so heavenly!

The Guardian  Gargoyle sits outside the studio's front door. His base is starting to show signs of wearing through the seasons. I need to coat him with some Thompson's Water Sealer to repel the water.

 The shed door is showing signs of weather abuse too. A good scrapping & sanding & a fresh coat of paint will set the look right again.

 The door knocker has rust showing through too. Time to freshen the look up once the weather stays warm & dry.
 With the sun coming through the patio door & Boris tiered of chewing his bone, he had a afternoon nap in the sun.
 Rexton was in her highest perch, watching shiny things reflect in the room...

                                                            And on the ceiling. lol

Sewing The Cottage Potting Shed Quilt

I've now got all 12 blocks embroidered! Six green & six pink, the thread was a purchase I made while in the Czech Republic  a couple years ago.
The embroidered blocks were a birthday gift, a few years ago from cousin Ann. They were a joy to work on & I've noticed that it all has to do with the garden & a potting shed! I've been reading blogs that have their potting sheds & gardens done ever so beautiful! I'm so inspired by what I've seen & want to 'dress' mine up too! It will start with this quilt!

 I pulled this fabric from my stash. The colour was perfect for the thread colour I used. I tested 3"x3" piece of fabric & placed it in a cup of hot water. To my surprise it never even got wet, it floated. The fabric was Teflon coated! Later it did take on the water & never shrunk in size. Yes this is the fabric to use! It even feels vintage, like a hop-sack weave.

There was way more green fabric than red. It was fr! It was to be used as curtain fabric but I never did get around to making those drapes. I did however make my niece Olivia a jumper & matching over the shoulder purse to match back in the 90's. It was done in the red fabric & could be why there's less of that colour.

 I thought that some pinwheels would make a summer design for the corner stones.

 The pink embroidery was framed with the green fabric. I tried the red fabric but the design was lost.
 Using the complementary colour worked well to enhance the embroidered pictures.

 With two blocks done & my pattern that's dancing in my head, now in fabric in front of me...

 I begin making many pinwheels to use as corner stones. I'll need 4 per square for 12 blocks, yes 48 of those pin wheels will be needed. Chain sewing begins!

 A potting shed is in one of the blocks, how sweet is this going to be?!

After all that work on the pinwheels, the design was lost in the pattern because there wasn't enough contrast! With that hide sight, I worked the 8 inch border in squares & they showed up better!
It was a learning curve & one that I'll will remember in doing a design again.

                                                                See how the pinwheel design is lost.

 Rexton is a real quilt lover & enjoys feeling the quilts...

She's getting thick & is due to grow longer. She reminds me of the kids growing, they would go out then grow up, repeat. Rexton will be a year this June & she carries the 'M' gene of a Manx & they get to be their full size after 5 years...look out Boris she's already nearly 1/2 your  24 pound weight!

VOILA! It's together. I took it outside to the aviary to hang it up for the photo shoot. Look at the blue sky on this wonderful spring day!

The scenes in this quilt are so garden related, something I'm learning to do this summer, gardening!

 What a great place to hang a quilt for taking a picture! I needed a stool to reach the top to hang it up & it was oh so worth it!

 Bill & I went looking for a backing for the quilt & he found this wide backing. It's called Through The Seasons with Eleanor Burns, good find Bill! It's 108" wide too!

With nothing blooming outside, I picked up some tulips for the inside! Yellow with red, these look unique.

And a spring colour of lilac!

Handsome Boris

 Boris is doing much better the last few days, he's missed a lot of his sleeping following me around.

 But has been chasing the cats again, he's on the mend. lol

Today we had a good rainfall this afternoon. The pets were quite at home listening to the rain, Rexton & Tommy curled in the chairs & Boris gnawing on his chew stick. It was a good fresh rain & the temp stayed warm so the gardens will do well & buds are going to grow bigger!

My son Donny sent me these pictures of me as a young girl. Ever since I can remember, I've loved cats. I don't remember this day but the photos came from my moms place being cleaned out. She took photos on visitation days. I lived with my dad & had visitation with my mom once a month for 4 hours. I did love my cats, even back then! Thank you for capturing this happy memory mom. My parents divorced in 1965, something that was nearly unheard of back then! How times have changed.
My mom is in a home now & doesn't know me anymore but she seems happy & is well cared for in the institution that she's in.

Getting old really is a privilege as many will not get that opportunity!

Thank you for stopping by & I hope you too are experiencing spring wherever you are!
Have a great week. :-