Monday, August 23, 2010

Halloween Quilt Projects

I started working on a series of Halloween quilts. I have a stash of Halloween fabrics left from previous projects, so I pulled them out and started working with them.

The first project I started was Scrappy Log Cabin by Two Kwik Quilters. I was anxious to try this pattern because a couple of friends from my Monday Night Quilt Group had already made lap quilts from the pattern with great success.

My Scrappy Log Cabin project is finished to the inner border stage. I have an idea for the outer border that was inspired by Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran in their Collaborative Quilting book. Because the blocks for this quilt are a bit wonky, I thought I would refer to the Queens of wonky piecing, Gwen and Freddy to find a suitable border treatment. I may consider putting some Linda inspired blocks in the corners of the Gwen and Freddy inspired outer border.

While I was putting the narrow green border on the Scrappy Log Cabin, I remembered that I had some leftover blocks from the queen size All About Me Halloween quilt that I made two years ago. I thought I might be able to incorporate these blocks into the back of the Scrappy Log Cabin. I started putting the blocks up on the design wall and I realized that I had more blocks than I remembered. In fact, I had enough blocks to make another lap quilt. So before I finished the borders on the Scrappy Log Cabin, I switched gears and assembled the lap size All About Me Halloween quilt.

I love the pumpkin border fabric on this quilt. It is a Debbie Taylor-Kerman fabric from her Spooktacular line by Henry Glass Co. If you double click on the photo you might be able to see the mice peeking out from under the pumpkins.

While I was working on both the Scrappy Log Cabin project and the All About Me project, I started to think about the new pattern I bought on my recent vacation to Alberta by Joanie Morrow--Contemporized Country Squares. I still had some Halloween fabrics left in my stash so I made 6 test blocks. The blocks are large--11.5 inches, but perfect to showcase a novelty print. I love the test blocks so I will definitely be making some more blocks from this pattern. Our little on-line group of quilting friends has started calling this easily distracted type of quilting, "serial quilting." I have heard some quilters refer to themselves as having some sort of attention deficit disorder which leads them to start multiple projects at once. I prefer to call this, serial quilting as I think it has a more positive tone. This is the way my quilting mind works--always thinking of the next project. After all, I started out to make one Halloween quilt and now I have three Halloween quilts on the go.

In the end it really doesn't matter what you call it as long as you have fun....right? And I am having fun!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

First Sockeye of the Season

Sockeye season is open here in BC! We have not had a sports fisherman Sockeye opening for 4 years so this is a momentous occasion!

We love barbecued salmon, so to celebrate the opening, we had some fresh Sockeye on the grill.

My husband is the official chef when it comes to cooking fish.
Yummy! We tried a new recipe this time that used peaches in the grilling process.

There were a lot of smiles around this table!

Paddlewheeler Cruise

On the last day of our holiday, we took a paddlewheeler cruise on Harrison Lake. Harrison Lake is the largest lake in the Coast Mountains of BC at 250 square km in area--60 km long and 9 km wide at its widest point.

Harrison Lake has two large islands in the center of it; the largest being Long Island, 9.5 km long and 2.6 km wide, and Echo Island which is south of Long Island and 4 km long and 2.2 km wide.

We spent the entire day aboard this vessel: the MV Native. This is the view of Harrison Village as we looked back after leaving the dock as we headed to the Harrison River.

This is the point where the Harrison Lake meets the Harrison River. It is possible to travel from Harrison Lake, down the Harrison River to the Fraser River, and eventually the Pacific Ocean.

We watched a barge move its log boom.

We were in search of pictographs. We found them on this rock.

You really need to know where to look for the pictographs as they are faint and not easy to spot.
After locating the pictographs, we turned around and headed back to Harrison Lake. If you look through the opening in these trees towards Harrison Lake, you can see two islands that are faint in the center of this photo. These islands are Camile Island (smallest island on the right) and Marguerite Island (larger island to the left of Camile). These islands were named for Miss Margaret de Gusseme who managed the Harrison Hot Springs Resort from when it first opened in 1926 until her death in 1946 and her sister Camile who was the hotel's assistant manager. Margaret did a lot to promote the Resort worldwide. The Island to the left of Camile and Marguerite is Echo Island. Only the tip of Echo Island is visible in this picture.

These purple buildings are part of Elfinlau (aka Purple Palace). Elfinlau is a bed and breakfast on Echo Island in the middle of Harrison Lake that is only accessible by water.

The rock on the left side of this next picture is Echo Rock. As we sat in the bay here, the Captain let off his boat whistle and we heard an immediate and clear echo return to us. In the upper right hand corner of this picture you can see Owl rock.

This is a close up of Owl rock.
It was surprising how many homes and cottages are located on the shores of Harrison Lake--especially given that many of these homes are only accessible by water. These residences are located in Cascade Bay which is on the east side of Harrison Lake.

The air was smoky the day we cruised the lake. You can really see the smoke in this picture. The mountains are almost totally obliterated from view. The smoke is from the many forest fires that continue to burn in our province.

We had a great time cruising the lake. Our only regret was the amount of smoke that made it hard to see the distant mountains.

Alberta Holiday - Part II

We left the reunion location in Alberta on August 2nd--the Monday of the August long weekend. We headed home via Kelowna.

While in Kelowna, we had opportunity to check out the local quilt shops. First up was Findlay's. This shop is primarily a sewing machine dealer. They have a few nice shop samples and some yard goods, but the selection is limited.
Our second stop was Linda's.

As soon as we parked, my husband noticed the sign.....

.......and made some comment like, "It looks like you only get 15 minutes here!" As he laughed, I had him turn around and look at the parking stall that we had parked in....

................"Correction! I get 1 hour here!" Now who had the last laugh? LOL

Seriously, an hour would never have been enough time to do this shop justice. The staff here were fantastic. I was treated to a tour of the shop, including the classroom.

As it turns out, one of the ladies I had travelled on the bus trip to the Sisters' quilt show with 5 years ago is a regular teacher here. I was thrilled to see Laurie's quilts. We'll have to see if I can get back to Kelowna sometime in the future for one of Laurie's weekend classes.

I loved this picnic display by the front door. They used food fabrics as the food on the table--too cute.

This African panel was one of the purchases I made at Linda's. I have been collecting African themed fabrics for a while to make a quilt for my daughter.

This ruler was also a purchase made at Linda's. They had a sample in the shop made using this ruler. You fuse two fabrics together and then fold and use the ruler to make the cuts. Once the fabric is cut, you fold the pieces and you end up with a Seminole pieced look.

By this time we were hungry for some lunch. I asked my husband what he felt like having for lunch. He replied that he could really go for Wendy's. Well, wouldn't you know it, in the same parking lot as the Wendy's was another quilt shop.
This was a nice shop, but it didn't have near the selection and samples as Linda's.
Then we headed out of Kelowna down the Okanagan Lake. We stopped at Agriculture Canada's Research Station in Summerland. They have a gorgeous display garden there. The view of the lake would have been incredible had it not been for the thick smoke from the forest fires in BC that blanketed the lake and obscured the view. None the less, we enjoyed walking around the gardens before getting back in the truck and heading home.
This was a great holiday!

Alberta Holiday - Part I

We had a bit of a holiday at the end of July / beginning of August. My husband's family was having their family reunion in Alberta over the long weekend in August. We headed out from home on July 29. We started out early in the morning (5 am) to ensure we beat any long weekend traffic. We found that we had the road to ourselves until about 11 in the morning. By the time we hit Salmon Arm we were in need of a gas station. My husband spied a Chevron across the highway. When we turned to go around the block so that we could easily enter the lot, we passed by a quilt shop! Given that we were already stopped, my husband agreed that I could have a few minutes to look around in this shop.

This is my husband patiently reading the paper in our truck in front of the quilt shop.

This butterfly quilt pattern was my only purchase despite the tempting kits and fabrics in this shop. This was a great shop and worth the stop if you are ever passing through Salmon Arm. Just suggest to your driver that he needs to fill up at the Chevron and you can quickly dart across the lot to the quilt shop just around the corner! LOL

We spent our fist night in Golden. Look at who joined us--three Model A's from Wichita, Kansas. These cars were not hauled to BC from Kansas on the back of flat deck trucks; they were driven there by their owners. I had a chance to chat with the couples who were traveling in these vintage cars. They said they were headed to Whistler. They had seen Whistler on TV during the Winter Olympics and decided to make the trip. They had plans to spend a week on the BC coast and then head home to Kansas. They said it was hot travelling--no a/c.

At some point in the night, this model A truck showed up. I couldn't resist taking a picture of our modern truck next to this antique truck.

Then we headed out over the Rockies.....through the Parks......

.......... to the canola fields of Alberta.

During breakfast on Saturday morning at the reunion, one of my husband's cousins approached me because she had heard I was a quilter. It turns out that she is a quilter too--from Saskatchewan.
The evening before, I had found a quilt shop in Olds when we were out looking for a place to have dinner. Unfortunately, it was just 15 minutes before closing on Friday night when we drove by. I convinced my husband to stop so that I could check the shop out and determine if it was worth coming back the next day. Even though I only had just a few minutes to check the shop out, I was able to determine that I needed to come back the following day for a proper look around. When I mentioned this to my new quilting buddy, Linda, an alliance was formed and we made plans to head to town later that afternoon when the men were out touring the tractor collection at a neighbouring farm. Erica managed to convince another cousin, Gloria to come along with us. Gloria isn't a quilter yet, but I am sure she will be soon after shopping with Erica and I!
The shop we stopped at was The Quilting Bee. This is a picture of myself, Erica, and Gloria. Erica is holding the cute cherry pie pincushion that she fell in love with.

This shop had these wonderful Hawaiian inspired quilts - one was butterflies and the other was Hibiscus. These quilts were available in kits with all the cutting done for you! The appliques are attached using fusible web with a raw edge technique.

These are some photos of the inside of the shop. You can see why I needed to come back to this shop for a much better look!

You can see Anita in the background of this picture working the till. Anita was so friendly and helpful. She told us of another shop just outside of town that we had to go visit next.

Gloria and Erica with bags in hand after the "damage" was done! .

I purchased supplies to make this cute little wool table topper at The Quilting Bee.

I also picked up some red and white fabrics to go with the red work pieces I have been working on. The floral Narcissus fabric was in the back of the shop in the sale area and I couldn't resist. Then because we still had time before supper was going to be served that night, the three of us headed off to our second stop....The Stitchery which is located just two miles out of town.

This is a very nice shop and well worth the stop. The shop is owned by designers, Joanie and Kelsey Morrow. This very talented mother and daughter team have a great selection of ready made quilted items for sale as well as country styled fabric on the bolt and their own patterns. We were given a tour of the back room and shown the unique creations of this talented team of designers. I fell in love with three of their patterns.

These were my Stitchery purchases--three patterns and a quilt kit. The Penny Paws quilt is the kit complete with all the wool felt, buttons, and threads required to complete the table topper. What a perfect quilt for a cat loving, black cat owner! I have plans to customize one of the cats on this little topper with green button eyes so he looks like my Joey.

Sunday afternoon, our host families at the reunion arranged for rides in the surrounding countryside in this wagon pulled by a perfectly matched team of Percherons.
Seeing these horses brought back fond memories of being on my aunt and uncle's farm in Saskatchewan when I was growing up. My aunt and uncle were Percheron breeders and I was fortunate enough to spend time during more than one summer showing these wonderful animals at local fairs in Saskatchewan.