Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Green Cross Quilt

The sewing machine has been getting a good work out over the weekend as I finished two quilt tops and began another two.  The green cross quilt is simply that.  I am loosely following Jeni Bakers quilt pattern, for a cross quilt.

t is simple once you have everything cut and laid out in a pleasing to you manner. It also is one of those quilts that allows you to use up all that mid size scraps of fabric too.  I can see a few more of these quilts in my future as I try to whittle down the scraps that are growing in my basket.

As you can see I used shades of green and some brown to break things up.  I am currently about half way done piecing this quilt, making simple nine patches to makes up a row and sewing row to row.  Not sure if I need to add a bit more to it to make it a bit larger but we will see.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ironman 2014

Ironman 2014 is done for another year and I for one am sad to see it go.  I had so much fun training, spending time with members from my unit who were trying their darnedest to succeed.  For those who are not familiar with the Army version of the Ironman, it is quite rigorous. 32 kilometers walking with a 40lb pack in your combat boots.  Then you arrive at the portage station, place the canoe on top of your head and pack and walk 4 km. Once you arrive at the water you paddle 8 km where when you arrive at your destination, you walk or as the promo material says, sprint 6 km to the finish.  Yeah right, sprint....

 Last Wednesday and Thursday saw the races begin with the non competitive folks like me start on Weds and the serious competitors head out on Thurs.  Let me tell you the two days were very different weather wise.  Overcast but warm on Weds and frigid, wet and cold on Thursday. As you can see from the photo above the skies were very atmospheric on Thursday.  These frames are actually mod tent frames and are used to rest your canoe on because after 32 km of walking you are pretty tired and this makes it easier to get the canoe back on your back. You can see how the wind is blowing the guys ground sheet that he was using to keep off the rain.

 I felt bad for those Thursday folks cause they got rained on, blown around and tipped out into the river so rough were the conditions. They actually closed the river later in the day, too late in the day if you ask me.But first they had to get through the portage.  Some folks actually had the wind gusts take the canoe right off their head and into the road or ditch.  Kinda funny to watch happen, but not so nice to experience let me tell you.

As you can see at a certain point folks got smart and decided team work was the best way to get to the water.  The only issue with this is that it is hard on the hands.  If it was me I would have whipped out my rope I was carrying and jury rig something to make my body or pack carry the weight not my hands. 

So how did I do?  Better than I thought.  I am a slow walker, some training days I was able to up my speed but this particular day was a slow walk day.  From about 7 km on to 32 km I was the only person on the road as the speedy folks were far far away.  Yes there were water stations every 3 km which was great and let me tell you I was never so glad to see a porta potty just for the chance to sit down and rest my hips... It did take me longer than I had wanted to get to the destination, so much so that I did not finish the portage.  I arrived at the portage station just after 1230 ( I think) and the sport stats guy had packed up his stuff but when he saw me he put it out so I could get my time logged. I felt pretty good that I arrived there, and mentally was in good spirits despite being tired. I plopped on my canoe only to find that something had shifted in my pack so I had to stop and fix it all.  Then go again only to have stop again, this time cause I had the hiccups that were giving me the dry heaves followed by puking.  LOL. Padre Ray Smith, one of my colleagues who walked with me, held my by the pack saying all the while he was a sympathetic puker!!! I think he thought that I was done at that point but I rinsed my mouth out and went off again.

Sadly at km 34 I looked at my time and I realized it was almost 1400hrs, the cut off time for the water.  If I had another 10 min to go with the 10 min that was left I could have done it.  Certainly my mind was focussed on it as was my body but time was against me.  If I can humbly brag, I got further than the 38 people who did not even bother to get their canoes.

So next year I know what to expect and I am going to try again. Yes I am disappointed I did not get to the destination but in some cases the journey is even more important than the destination and this was one of those times.

 I walked in the light of a full moon and talked with God; I was kissed by monarch butterflies once the light came up (this was pretty neat they followed me all over). I since have been told that butterflies are a sign of change. I saw a moose and I walked the equivalent of two load bearing marches.  I also didn't give up, not that particular malady visited me as I walked along.  It did on the training days and I slogged through but not the race day which says something about perseverance and endurance. I can't wait for training next year.

Monday, September 8, 2014


I think it was three years ago when I came across an online sale of a charm squares and went a bit crazy in the amount of them that I purchased.  My justification? It was a really good sale with the packs less than $5 CAD. Recently I have been working my way through this stack and using them to make runners, quilts and other objects and I am pleased with the rate they are shrinking.

One of those charm packs was called Martinique from Moda, which is a nice blend of coral, browns and aqua dots, florals and stripes.  Its very pretty and feminine without being cloying if you know what I mean. 

 As you can see I paired it with a solid in a soft sand color. This is a Art Gallery Solid that my LQS has on sale for $10/m which is a great deal so I bought lots of it.  So soft and silky and has a bit of a sheen to it that really looks good in the quilt.

The block is a simple HST sewn to make a square. Add this sashing fabric from Kate and Birdie you have a nice mix that is appealing to the eyes. The pattern is one from Fons and Porter Quilting Quickly, Fall 2014, which by the way has some great quick patterns that I am wanting to use to make some Christmas present quilts. The quilt when it is finished, later today I hope, will measure 53 x 73.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Navy Fizz Finish

Navy Fizz
As mentioned a few posts ago I made a very simple quilt for a retirement gift for one of my colleagues. I picked it up on the weekend and spent a few hours sewing away on the binding. The quilting is a simple curling wave which suits a quilt with a navy theme.

  My colleague Stephen (in the white shirt) is a Methodist minister who has faithfully served many parishes and in the Canadian Forces. He has reached retirement age and has decided that he would retire.Selfishly I say that is a shame as he is a humble faithful man who's wisdom and support I and many others have been grateful for.

 It is interesting going to these Depart with Dignity ( another name for retirement parties) as you never know who will show up. In the case of many clergy it is a good sampling how how many peoples lives you have interacted intimately with over the years and a reminder of how small our Canadian Forces is.

Fellow Padres

More Fellow Padres

Monday, September 1, 2014

Cherries Jubilee

I don't think that I have had Cherries Jubilee, I know my mom used to make something called Cherries in Snow ( a rice and cherry dish) that was pretty yummy.  I wonder where that recipe is, I might have to make it as a treat.  This cherries jubilee is a quilt top for a lovely little girl who goes by the name, Jubilee.
some folks have a design wall, I have a design bed.

The fabrics came from my scrap bin and I have to admit I had a lot of pink scraps. Enough that I can make two quilt tops in lap size. The pattern is called The Belle Wave and is by Faith Jones from Fresh Lemons quilts. I love her stuff, its so bold and graphic, and make a big impact with simple blocks.

of course its in this pic I see the block that is upside down!!

I spent one night cutting the fabrics, then two hours the next day sewing the blocks. Another two hours and I had the top together and ready to be quilted. I haven't decided if I am going to tackle this one on my own or if I will take it to the long armer to do.  Considering I have seven lap size quilts to make for Christmas so I may not have the time to do it.

Quilt Stats:  Size: 50 x 60
Fabrics: assorted scraps and 2.25 m of beige cotton

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rocket Age Baby quilt top

I started this quilt top in July only to come to a screeching halt as I was short one piece of fabric. While I like charm packs one always takes a risk of being short of fabric then scrambling to find something that will work with it if you can't find a piece of this fabric line. I lucked out as my LQS has some in stock but I had to travel to get it....

Fast forward to a few weeks later when I had some sewing time I laid it out the the design bed
 ( haven't hung up the design wall yet) and played around with it. I was going to put double borders around it but it didn't look right so I added a simple solid border and called it done.

Not sure how I will quilt this baby up, but I am sure that something will come to me.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Kissing Booth Runner Finish

Back when it was cold and snowy I took some fabric scraps from another project and made a runner. The runner in question is a pattern by Heather Mulder Peterson of Anka's Treasures and its the second time that I have made this runner. 

 It is a simple pattern of rectangles and HST's that makes quite a effective ribbon pattern. It was quilted simply with a ribbon pattern going down its length and intertwining on the background.  I like to have an assortment of runners around to give as presents to people and this one will be no different. The person who gets it loves pink so I will be giving it to the right person as this quilt is very pink....