Monday, 28 October 2013

Current Works in Progress

Today was a scheduled day off for me and I realized that I've done very little quilting since finishing Damian's quilt. I have dabbled a little with the blue and cream pinwheel quilt that I'm working on for my nephew. Then I sort of lost interest in that one as well. Of course, I didn't take quilting with me when I went on vacation. I did take a crocheting project however. I bought "The Lord is My Light Throw" kit early this year for a friend's birthday, but hadn't started working on it yet. So I took the pattern and a couple of skeins of yarn along and actually made reasonable progress. And some mistakes. It's the first time I've crocheted from a graph and it is challenging. 
 I've still got a long way to go. This friend is doing a cross-stitch picture for me and isn't making any greater progress than I am with her throw. I wonder which one of us will finish first...
Regarding my quilting, I think I was getting bored with my projects, so I started a couple more. Back in August, I won a charm pack and quilting pattern from Jackie Berdych of Sew Excited Quilts. I set them aside for future consideration. Since a lot of the charms are baby-related, and no one in the family is pregnant, I wasn't in a hurry to pursue this project. Meanwhile I bought an issue of Fons & Porter's Scrap Quilts and was "charmed" by a pattern for a charm pack-based quilt. It actually called for 3 charm packs. Charm packs are not readily available locally, so I bought 2 fat quarter bundles of baby/child fabric and cut my own charms to make up the requisite number. Yesterday and today I have been working on this project. All of the charms are cut out and 49 of them were cut in half to use in the sashing. I've also cut strips of red fabric for the "intersections." I set the charms up in the order I wanted them and sewed one row of charms and one row of sashing.
Aha, a couple of my 2012 BOM blocks photo-bombed this shot. LOL!
Not very easy to get much of an idea what the quilt is going to look like from this little bit. You'll just have to come back and see when I get it finished.
One of my nephews and his wife are in the adoption process for a second child, so it looks like that child will probably be the recipient of this quilt. 
Here's my other project for today:
I bought the kit for this at Len's Mill while in Ontario. Another nephew and his significant other have a foster baby that they hope to adopt. This nephew is a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, so I felt the kit was perfect for his baby boy. 
I have no idea why I decided to start 2 projects in one weekend. I really need to get some of my many ongoing projects finished. I have 2 design walls and both have multiple blocks from different projects. And then there are my crocheting projects...
Ah, some day...

Saturday, 26 October 2013

2013 Vacation Report #3

One of the places I decided that I wanted to visit while I was in London was Len's Mill Store. I have to admit that when I walked in, it did not make a good first impression. It's an ugly, warehouse-type store, but once I found the fabric department, I was happy.
I visited the store at least 3 times during my stay in London. They also have an awesome yarn section. Obviously they must cater to some cross-border shoppers because the fabric can be purchased by the yard or the metre. There used to be a place called McKay's Fabric Surplus (or something like that) near my sister's place. I was disappointed to find out it was closed. Len's Mill was just a little farther away, so that made up for the loss of McKay's.
I went to visit my Aunt in Port Stanley and on the way back to London, I stopped at this now empty hospital. It's the St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital and it's a massive institution, built to house up to 5000 patients with 460 acres of land, a working farm and beautiful grounds. 
 My father worked there for over 20 years and for me it's a part of St. Thomas history. I find it a pity that it's now empty, apparently sold to developers and slated for demolition. That makes 2 hospitals connected with my personal history to meet this fate.  The other one, of course is Victoria Hospital in London, where I did a lot of my nurse's training and got my first nursing job. I drove by it for a quick look and they still haven't started the demolition, but didn't take any pictures on this visit. However, I did take some pictures on last year's visit.
The front of the hospital - I went through these doors many times.
Nurses' Residence - I lived here for most of my 2 years as a student. I'm not sure if they're demolishing this building or not. 
The nursing school - I spent many hours in this building as well. I don't think it's part of the demolition plans. 
Further down Memory Lane...
This is the veterans section of the cemetery where my mother's parents were buried, the South Park Cemetery.
Below is a picture of the St. Thomas Cemetery, where my father's mother is buried. I was only ever able to find her grave once, and even though I was there during the posted office hours, the office was closed, so I was unable to visit her grave this time either. However, I discovered that they have an online search function, so next time, hopefully, I will find it. I must take my aunt, as she said she has a hard time finding it as well. I'm sure she would appreciate visiting her mother's grave with me. 
 I went from there to my favourite old church, the St. Thomas Anglican church, built in 1824.
At one time I wanted to be married in this church, but since it doesn't have central heating and I was married in November, it would have been a bit chilly. Maybe if I ever remarry...
Some really old graves in the church yard cemetery, with some figures of local historical interest buried here.
Right next door to the church is this old building:
Now dubbed "adult living," it was at one time a senior's home, called Thomas Williams Home, where my mother's father lived after my grandmother died. That name is still on a sign just under the peak of the roof.
I saw lots of beautiful autumn trees, but most of them were while I was driving, so not able to take pictures. This one was right across the street from the Thomas Williams Home. As you can see, the tree right next to it was still fully green. 
That's all for this vacation. The rest of my pictures are all family pictures, which I'm not sharing on my blog.
Don't forget to comment on my Time to Pass It On post to enter the giveaway for 5 free fat quarters.

Friday, 25 October 2013

2013 Vacation Report #2

Forgot to mention on yesterday's post that Wendy and I visited Fanshawe Pioneer Village on Thanksgiving Day, that was October 14 this year. After we finished at the Village, we stopped and had a bite to eat in London and headed down to Port Stanley. That's the nearest beach to my hometown of St. Thomas. 

 This is Lake Erie. Isn't it gorgeous? 
When you grow up by the Great Lakes, as I did,  you're always puzzled by what passes for a lake in other areas. I'm used to lakes that you can't see the other side of, lakes that actually have tides.
Wendy convinced me that I needed to stick my feet in the water. Remember this was October 14...
And no, the water was not at all cold. So, I convinced her to join me.
And we got an "innocent bystander" to snap our picture. We used to work together, so I emailed a copy of this picture to my colleagues at work back in Alberta. It was an incredibly beautiful day for the middle of October.
Supper was at Mackie's, a place I try to visit every time I'm in Ontario. 
This restaurant has been a beach-side fixture in Port Stanley for over 100 years and is part of my childhood memories. "Famous" for their orangeade and special fry sauce (to use on French fries instead of ketchup), they even sell a veggie burger now. 
Next day, we went to the Aylmer Sales Arena. I could hardly believe the beautiful produce available. 
After 14+ years in Alberta, I had forgotten how long the growing season is in Ontario and hadn't expected there to be so much produce available.
And the prices were really great. Inside the arena was the typical fleamarket stuff, and 
FABRIC! A really large section of fabric. I bought a few yards.
Next, we headed for Paris. Seriously, we visited both London and Paris while on vacation. I even considered a quick trip to Copenhagen, but couldn't fit that in the agenda... Yes, these are all place names in South Western Ontario. 
When we arrived in Paris, we had lunch at 2 Rivers Restaurant. It was a little cold to sit outside, so we ate inside, but they did have a lovely patio overlooking the river (and no, it isn't called the Seine, though the river in London is called the Thames). 
 They also served a very good veggie burger.
My main reason for visiting Paris was that it is the home of Mary Maxim in Canada. 

Most of you crafters will be familiar with the Mary Maxim catalogue, filled with all kinds of supplies and projects for knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, cross-stitch, etc. But not quilting, at least not in the catalogue.
Surprise! The store has a fairly large quilting department. More fabric purchased...
I also bought the Midnight Brites afghan kit, which I've been admiring for several years. 
That's it for today. I'll have one more batch of pictures to share, which can wait till next time.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

2013 Vacation Report #1

October 8 - Stayed overnight at Western Budget Motel #1 in Nisku as I was leaving for Ontario at 0630 the next morning.
October 9 - Flight delayed in leaving Edmonton as the plane had to be de-iced before takeoff. Arrived in London, Ontario wearing a heavy fall jacket. It was sunny and warm (20 C) and there were still green leaves on the trees. I felt like I was on a tropical vacation.
I stayed with my second oldest sister, Judy. She has two Himalayans. This is Lily.
And this is Crystal. They are both a little skittish, but we became friends. Especially when Lily realized I knew where the treat cupboard was.
Judy and her husband were given this quilt by the quilting group from their church. She had it on my bed. I really loved the colours in it, though they don't show true in this picture. They are actually darker shades.
My friend Wendy took the train down from Brockville to spend a couple of days with me. We visited Fanshawe Pioneer Village, where there were several quilts on display.
Wendy got a little out of hand, so she had to be locked up in the pillory. LOL!
 One of the volunteers is working on a more modern quilt.
Quilts could be found on the settees and the beds.

 Even a crazy quilted pillow.
There were several antique sewing machines
including a large display in the Paul Peel house.
If you couldn't buy your cloth, you could always weave it.
Since I live in farm country, I couldn't ignore the farm machinery.
I managed to convince a rooster to pose for me.
That's all for now. Will post more another day.