Be-leaf it or not!

With all the recent sewing, I finished off all the Leader & Ender nine patches (now I have to start cutting plain blocks). Which meant I needed another L&E project.

I came across the Leaves a’flutter quilt and thought the block would look good in scraps.

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I still have lots  of 2.5inch strips leftover from my rainbow log cabin quilt, so I started cutting them to size and sorting them by colour. I cut all the background pieces as well and got it all nice and organized and managed to complete one block. (The stems are applique, so I’ll do them all at the end.)

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Sadly, because I have to pay attention to the direction of those leaf points, it’s not going to make a great L&E quilt. It’s just not mindless enough. So this one is going to go straight into regular rotation.

And I’m still looking for a good L&E block!

FO and pattern release: Vanilla Extra

I know it probably seems like it’s all quilts all the time around here, but I promise you it’s not. I am knitting…. and I’ve completed another pair of socks! And man socks at that!

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Our anniversary is just around the corner , and it wouldn’t be an occasion if I didn’t give him a pair of handknit socks! I was using another skein of Rowan’s lovely striping yarn (Sea and Sand), but I didn’t want to do another pair of boring old vanilla socks. So I spiced it up a bit with some slip stitches.

And as a result – I give you Vanilla Extra!… a fun, FREE, slip stitch sock pattern in two sizes.

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All you need is a self-striping yarn and a coordinating colour for cuffs, heels and toes. I had some leftover Alley Cat in a light yellow that was remarkably close to the yellow in the stripes.

This pair came together exceptionally fast – especially for man socks. I had them done in just nine days, which I think is a record for me! Those slip stitches give it a really good rhythm! I may just have to make a pair for myself.

In the meantime, feel free to download the pattern – and tell your friends!

Gone fishin’

I found some time and finally got a Fish Called Rhonda top together…

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Well… I had to move the cat several times but…

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Isn’t it just the cutest school of fishies? To ensure the fish were floating (swimming?) within the border of the binding (once it’s quilted of course) …

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… I had to add a background border to the left side, bottom and top. The right side didn’t need one because the tails are already set away from the edge of the blocks.

And I didn’t make a mistake with the layout…

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There’s one fish going the opposite way on purpose. That’s Rhonda, a sweet little red-head who’s not afraid to do things her own way!

I need to get something for the binding, but I already have a nice big chunk of the whale fabric for the back . I also have a fantastic idea for the quilting… I can’t wait to get started!

I like big blocks

It’s true! I love big blocks. You only need a few of them to get a good sized quilt!

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I made another block for Celtic dreams. They are about 24″ square – nice and big. From start to finish (cutting included) one of these takes me a couple hours to complete. They are a perfect afternoon project! I’ve got one left and then I have to get some more fabric to finish this quilt off.

Moving on….

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I finally settled on a block for my crazy Pinkerville fabrics. (Don’t you just love that Nessie???)

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It’s inspired by the star block in MSQ’s Nightsky quilt. I’ve made some minor modifications, so mine is about 22″ square. I plan to make at least eight of these big baddies, for one wild quilt!

Sometimes bigger IS better!

Summer of the spider

As you can guess from the title, it’s another spider post! Feel free to skip if it gives you the heebiejeebies…..

 

But me… I love spiders, and this summer has been exceptional for them!

I found this little cross orb weaver hanging out on a Sunflower leaf.

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There have been a lot of Grass Spiders around. They build a very neat type of nest…

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They lay sheets of web with a funnel opening. They hang out at the base of that funnel and run out when something lands on their web…

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Peek-a-boo!!!!

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Out front, a very smart  Grass Spider has made her web on my fairy house. And she’s using the window as a place to hide… can you see her little legs sticking out?

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Occasionally I find her hanging out in full view.

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The real exciting spider was the Spotted Orb Weaver that made its home on my Cana Lilies.

It was almost invisible amongst the seed pods on the expended bloom stem. I only noticed it when it came out on its web.

I even got to see it wrap up a bit of lunch!

Which it then took back to the seed pods for leisurely snacking.

I just love nature!

Garden delights

Although I’ve been very excited about fall, there’s still plenty of summer left in the garden…

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In fact, my back yard looks positively wild!

The Physostegia I bought at the Milton market has finally bloomed, and it is so pretty. I noticed my neighbour has some too. His is VERY tall (like more than 5 feet), so it will be interesting to see what it does next year.

Chicago Peace is blooming again. Her colours always seem to be extra vibrant in the cooler weather.

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Every year, I always add a few annuals as filler. This year it was mostly petunias, and they’ve just gone crazy!

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This is another beautiful annual I have in a pot – an African Daisy in the prettiest shade of pink!

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The catnip has started to bloom too. I grow it in pots now to keep it under control (it really spreads) and to keep the cats from flattening my gardens!

My Chrysanthemum out back is enormous and absolutely covered in buds.

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I have one out front too, but it doesn’t get as much sun, so it’s much smaller and not quite ready to bloom.

And last, we’re still enjoying some lovely backyard produce, and will until the first frost comes!