Monday, May 23, 2016

"The Twenty-Fourth of May is the Queen's Birthday"

Actually, the Queen was Victoria, not the current Queen, however, in Canada, the long weekend marks the official start of Summer. I think that spending 5 or 6 months in frigid temperatures, with icy walks and snow to shovel makes a long weekend in May even sweeter.

My crab apple trees are in flower, as are most of the neighbours'. You can smell apple blossoms as you walk down the street.

Saturday night, a friend and I indulged in another lovely summer treat.

This is a Killaloe Sunrise Beavertail. You might notice that I had to take a big bite, while it was still hot. It is serious junky street food, a fried piece of sweet dough, topped with butter and cinnamon sugar, and served with a lemon wedge, to squeeze over the top. They sell other flavours, like Nutella and Reeses Pieces, but this is the original flavour, preferred by the locals. In the winter, you have to eat them with your mittens on, but in the summer, you can sit down, on a warm night, watch the people go by, and think "I am sure this can't be good for me."

The ladies at the church have started a new quilt.

Lovely bright spring colours, it will brighten someone's life.

There hasn't been a lot of Arts here at Arts and Socks, but the Socks part is coming nicely.

The Penrose Toes are nearly up to the heel.

The first sock from the "Pairfect" socks is done, and the second one is started.

Time will tell whether the advertised claim of perfect matching socks is true.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May Flowers

Spring is very slowly creeping in. This week, the spring wild flowers have started to bloom in the woods. These woods are in a park just a few blocks from my house, remnants of the boreal forest that once covered the area.

We found some columbine.

Strawberries are flowering below them. If you look closely, you can also see the Canadian Shield, showing, between the flowers.

Trilliums, the provincial flower of Ontario, cover large areas of the woods.

Just like on my driver's license, only better.

A large patch of forget-me-nots were growing wild at the edge of the woods. They are such sweet little flowers.

A woodpecker has been assisting in the cleanup of the woods.

My walking companions enjoyed the hike and hope we return soon.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Help For Fort McMurray

By now, most of the world knows about the devastating wild fires in Northern Alberta.

We all wonder how we can help. I came across this interesting article, from Charity Intelligence Canada, which talks about ways we can help.

The article talks about how, during Canadian disasters, most of the support for people comes from the community groups nearby. They are the best ones to see the needs, and understand the best ways to solve them.

I also read a story about Canada North Airline, helping to evacuate people and their pets from Fort McMurray.  I did a bit of online research and discovered that the Edmonton Humane Society is providing housing for pets, until they can be reunited with their owners, and giving pet food to evacuees with pets who are staying with family or friends in Edmonton.

I talked this over with Dolly and Doug, and they thought we should help. So we sent a donation to the Edmonton Humane Society's Fort McMurray Wildfire Fund. They promise that any money they don't use will be forwarded to the Fort McMurray SPCA.

If you would like to help, the Charity Intelligence Canada article gives you several local options.

Doug knows all dogs need cookies.
Dolly wants to help.
Don't they look earnest?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Trip Report - Spring Retreat 2016

When I worked for other people, and had an expense account when traveling. I was expected to file a trip report on return. Now I am self employed (the pay isn't great but my commute is from the kitchen to my computer), I answer only to me. So here is my trip report.

First stop, every year (not counting the Tim Hortons on the highway, for a bathroom and tea) is always the discount fabric store. I have been very good at using up my stash lately, and I needed to restock my flannel supply. This store has fabric priced from $1.99 to $9.99/m, for flannels and cottons. Since the Canadian dollar is still quite low, the new fabrics arriving from the US in the local quilt shops are $18.99/m. Those are fair prices, reflecting what the stores are paying their suppliers. However, if you don't have need of the very latest, this is the place to pick up bargains. I buy all my flannel for pillowcases. here.

I was fairly restrained, although I think I have about 6 metres of flannel in assorted colours.

On the first night of the retreat, one of the other attendees had offered to show me how to make a Sweetpea Pod.

Aren't they adorable? I made 4, but they are quite addictive, and I am sure I will be making more. They are sweet little cases, about 2 inches high and 4 inches on a side. I don't seem to have a picture of a closed pouch.

Last retreat, I took what I thought were all the supplies to make Bethany's Two Timing Tote. She had a sew along last June on her blog. During the sew along, I managed to choose my fabric. At the fall retreat, I cut the fabric, then discovered I had forgotten some things at home. This time, I checked everything before I left. I fused all the fusibles onto the correct pieces. I labeled everything. I was ready, this time.

And, I actually was ready! (Bet you thought I was going to tell you of some disaster.)

Isn't it gorgeous? It has 3 pockets on the outside.

And six on the inside.

I love a zippered top in a bag, it just feels more secure.
Bethany's pattern is great, easy to follow, and very do-able. It is a lovely large bag, that I think will make a great weekender bag. (Of course, I travel light.)

I spent all of Saturday, and most of Sunday morning on this. The others wondered what I was up to, head down, sewing all those pieces together. They were impressed with the finish. I will make this one again. Thanks, Bethany, for the free pattern.

On Monday, I was wiped. The body was busy telling me I had done too much. However, my brain was still up to a challenge. So I started a new pair of socks.

These are called Penrose Toes. 
Since I felt like I wanted to try more German short rows, after my Jane shawl, these socks are toe up, with a German short row toe and heel. Don't you love the spring green yarn?

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at the Needle and Thread Network and Needlework Tuesday at Books and Quilts

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Spring Retreat 2016

I survived the wonderful spring retreat, though my body is complaining this week.  However, I didn't want to miss the retreat, so I will pay the price.

Today, I want to show you some of the lovely work that the other attendees did.

When I arrived, Diane was working on this sweet baby quilt, However, the colours weren't quite working for her, so she added a different fabric, and this is the finished top.

Destined to be an heirloom, I expect.

A few of Doris's blocks, the quilt top was finished by the end of the weekend.

Kathryn was making quilties for the neo-natal unit.

Joanne was hard at work on this lovely.

Judy had completed one top for Victoria's Quilts and was hard at work on another.

Maggie is making 2 bargello wall hangings, and got both strip sets finished.

Margaret was making this top for Victoria's quilts.

She also started a New York Beauty quilt. She tells us she only has 24 more blocks to go!
Doris brought this love, to finish the binding.

I seem to have arrived home without a picture of what Lynne was working on. I am not sure how I managed that. Sorry, Lynne. You will have to take my word for it. It was batiks and it was gorgeous.

Tomorrow, I will post pictures of what I accomplished.