Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Our first Summer

I was so nice to work in the gardens and the summer of 2014 was great.  We only had about two days that were unbearably hot and it was great weather for the gardens.  Since I started my garden from scratch, I was able to pick my favourite plants.

Red Roses

Gloriosa Daisy

Balloon Flower

Miniature Rose

Black Eyed Susan
Plus there was many others. Delphinium (Blue and white), Astilbe, Phlox, Muellein, Columbine, Sage, Beebalm, Mums, Lillies,  as well as some annual plants to fill in the spaces. These have always been my favorite flowers and I even tried to colour co-ordinate the garden so the colours would be well mixed. Some are early bloomers and some are more summer plants. So there should be a mass of colour throughout the whole season.
Since this was the first year, some of the plants were quite small but I am looking forward to seeing how they survived the winter.  I also planted Tulips, Daffodils and Hyacinths in the fall.
Tomorrow I will post pictures of the gardens that my husband created. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Getting settled in the new house

We had a lot of work to do before we moved in, as this house was not well looked after.  When I complained to the Landlord about many of the things that were broken or needed to be fixed, he responded, "What do you expect, it is a rental."  We were very disappointed in this response as other houses we have rented were always in great shape and were move in ready.  However, the house size, layout and location were perfect for us, so we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. Our son Steve came up and helped us with some of the repairs and we were quite exhausted at the end. We had to keep buying tags from the township for all the extra bags of garbage that we had to get rid of. (I think there were 26 bags.) The garbage was not the vermin type but just stuff left behind that we had to get rid of.  This did not even count the shed in the backyard or stuff under the deck as this was all under snow and we could not get to it to see what was left there. This was in the beginning of March 2014 and there was still a lot of snow around.

The snow melted and we could not wait to get out and do the gardening and landscaping. The front lawn was full of weeds and my husband said that he would bring it around to a nice lawn. We bought some plants and started to work.

While my husband was working in the front, I laid out my little perennial garden in the backyard.  I had to put in some annuals as it would take awhile for the perennials to grow.

I love flowers and was pleased to see that the soil was actually quite good so I have high hopes for my garden.  As the perennials grow, I will expand the size, but this is a start. Tomorrow I will post the pictures from the summer showing the garden as it grew.  It is nice to look back to last summer and the warmth as it is freezing cold outside right now and we do not go outdoors at all. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bringing you up to date

While I am still cutting up the fabric into squares, I thought I should bring the blog up to date.

I stopped posting when I stopped doing miniature when we lived out in the country.  It was a very brutal winter and my husband just could not keep up with the snow shovelling. We had a wide, long driveway that constantly drifted in, even if it didn't snow.
It was beautiful but too much to keep up with.  And then in the summer, there was far too much grass for him to mow. It was just too much to handle and so we knew we would have to move back to town and find a smaller place with less property to look after.

We found a small place to rent that was the perfect size for us. However, it meant that I had to get rid of my dollhouses and my miniatures as I had no room for them. It was time however, as I was getting tired of the repetition of making the same things over and over. I needed a change.

We were very busy with the moving and getting the house ready to move into. It was winter when we moved so we had no idea what was under the snow. We were looking forward to the spring and doing the landscaping and planting gardens. I had already picked the spot where I wanted my perennial garden.

Tomorrow I will post about our landscaping and gardens.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Friends are Wonderful

I thought that I would have to put my quilt on hold until I bought more material but a friend came to the rescue.  Sylvia has been my mentor from the beginning and when she knew I had run out of material, she went through her stash to see if she had any of the patterns that would suit my quilt.
She sent over all this material for me to use. I am so thrilled.  Now I can go back to washing, and cutting more squares.  This will also give me a much better colour choice as I did not have that much variety before.  Thank you so much Sylvia.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Need to go shopping!

This morning, I started to lay out all my squares on the bed and switch colours around to suit my taste. Since we have twin beds, I will need to make two quilts, so I divided all the squares into two piles.  I soon realized that I do not even have enough squares to make one quilt, never mind two!

Apparently, I will need about 304 squares for each quilt and I only have 282 for both.  At least 608 needed. So I guess my project has to stop for now. I will look forward to the search for more material and more patterns.

This will also be fun as I remember when I first started to buy material for my miniatures. I was working in a fabric department at the time and I was so excited every time a new shipment would come in. Since I was working in miniatures, I was only interested in small patterns and I used to buy a quarter of a yard each time I found one I liked. It did not take long to build up a stash.

The biggest problem now is that there is no longer any store that sells material in our area.  Wal-mart does sell fat quarters but there is not much material in that. Also I do not like most of the patterns that are offered.  Well the hunt s on!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Squares are all cut

I am so lucky to have a dear friend who first loaned me the book that raised my interest in quilting.  When I told her that I was going to make a quilt from all the left over material from my miniatures, she was quite pleased, as she has been a quilter for years. She said that she would help me along the way.  She even came over and loaned me her cutter and cutting mats and showed me how to measure and cut the squares.  I happily spent the day cutting all my material into 4 1/2 inch squares.  This is the result.

Now I will have the fun of laying it all out and coordinating colours to make the strips.

It is funny that I am doing something that involves sewing.  All my life, I hated sewing and yet I found that I had to do it much more that I would have anticipated. Not only for mending my families clothes, but I did make some clothes for my children when they were young. Then when I was in guiding, I found a lot of the crafts the girls did required sewing. I even had to learn how to knit a square so I could teach them how to do it. Whenever I was invited to other camps to help out, I always seemed to be given the sewing projects. I just hated anything that involved a needle and thread.

Then I entered the miniature craft world and thought that this is my forte. I was able to cut and paint and glue everything together.  Ha! No more sewing!  "Wrong"! Some of the scenes I made required dolls in them and the dolls needed clothes - so  more sewing was required. But it was more fun as it was miniatures so the sewing was small projects.

When we moved to a smaller house in town, there just was no room for dollhouses. And even if I did scenes and room boxes, what would I do with them when they were finished?  Also, after building three dollhouses, it was beginning to get repetitious and I needed a change. So I gave away all my miniature stuff and hibernated during the winter. My only hobbies were reading, jigsaws, and computer games.  Until I read the book " Prayers For Sale" by Sandra Dallas.  The way she talked about her quilting being restful just sparked my interest and I did have all that material laying around....  and a friend named Sylvia to encourage me.   Maybe I will learn to like sewing after all.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Learning to Quilt

I pulled out all the material that I had saved for my miniatures. I was told by a friend that it was best to wash all material before making the quilt so that there would be no chance that the colours might bleed into each other.  So I washed and ironed all of it.

There is quite a bit and all different sizes.  Now I need to start the cutting.  I prefer smaller squares so I think I will cut 5 inch squares and then by the time they are hemmed it should end up about 4 inches. I have always liked the old fashioned scrap quilts best rather than ones with a pattern and since this is my first quilt, it probably is the easiest.  Here is a picture I found on the internet of a quilt that I really like.

This is what I would like my quilt to look like.  I do not know what size those squares are but maybe they are more like 3 inch squares??  So maybe I should cut my material into 4 inches??  I am not sure.

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