I finished this quilt just in time to give it a good test drive during a short camping trip to Jasper National Park last
It’s so much fun having a quilt to photograph when you’re camping!
This particular project was a “Shop your Stash” challenge quilt hosted by the Good Time Quilters, one of the guilds I belong to.
We paid for the pattern, sight unseen last fall, then had the rest of the year to make something using the pattern as inspiration. The only caveat? You had to shop your stash. And did I ever!
The pattern is Garden Party by Blackbird Designs. It’s a combination of piecing and applique, with little 3-D flower centers.
And, because I always try to learn something new with every project, I decided this quilt was a good opportunity to try out the quilt as you go method. This allowed me to use up a whole lot of those small pieces of batting that are too big to throw away (because batting is so damned expensive!) but too small to back anything larger than a place mat. I’m not 100% sold on the method, but at least I’ve tried it. 🙂
The backing is made up of miscellaneous bits and pieces of green & brown fabrics. What I’d call my ugly fabrics.
Including this interesting piece:
Mr. C. actually likes the back better than the front. I guess there’s no accounting for taste, lol.
It’s quilted free-motion style on my little Janome 2030 in what’s called the stipple pattern .
Folks, this was my very first attempt ever(ever!) doing free-motion quilting, and I’m pretty darned proud of myself. I didn’t quilt inside the flowers…as a result, they’ve puffed up a bit. I like the effect.
And you know what? It’s 100% made from my stash. I didn’t buy a single new thing to make this quilt. 🙂 This makes my thrifty heart do a happy dance!
It’s destiny is to live at our cabin at Fox Lake, in the Yukon, where I plan to spend chilly visits snuggled up in front of the fire for years to come. If you come visit, I’ll share a quilt corner with you. But you might have to fight Mr. C. for it…
When we left the Yukon to pursue a new life as early retirees 17 months ago, our plan was that we would return for at least one month every year. Except for that first year. Mr. C travelled back and forth quite a bit doing contract work, but I wanted to experience an entire uninterrupted year in the Shuswap before leaving. And also, I was a little bit afraid of coming back too soon. Afraid I would be overcome with homesickness.
But this year we have both come back together and I’m pleased to report that I don’t feel any grief or homesickness whatsoever. We really do have the best of both worlds. It was a good decision to relocate – we love living in the Shuswap. And it was a good decision to keep our Yukon property…our tiny-yet-full-of-character heritage log cabin that has sunk in the back corner so that a marble rolls in a lazy S pattern across the floor and where Fox Lake is only fifteen steps from the front porch. (Yes, I just got up and counted them. 15 steps.) Some sad day we will have to sell it because a time will come when we will need the income. That is the day that will break our hearts. But not yet. Not for a dozen or more years.
Here at the cabin, we only exist in the here and now. There is no yesterday. There is no tomorrow. Only today. And since we will be here for a long and luxurious 7 weeks, that is a lot of todays to enjoy.
So…we spent 5 days traveling 2,560 kilometers (that’s approximately 1500 miles for you metric-challenged folk) from our new home in the Shuswap to our home-away-from-home in the Yukon. Lots of people do it much quicker than this, and I think it’s a shame. I love the drive, I love the Alaska Highway and I love taking my time to enjoy it. A seven-hour driving day is just about right for us, though we usually end up driving for eight. After 8 hours, we’re tired and ready to stop for the day.
And the weather on this trip! Don’t get me started…the weather was completely, absolutely, 100% FANTASTIC the entire drive. Sunny blue sky. Warm. Perfect. Every day.
When we arrived in Whitehorse, Mr. C picked up the car (he travels back and forth doing contract work in the winter, so keeps a car here) and went off to contact his flying students while I continued on to the cabin in the truck & camper. I was looking forward to that first glimpse of the lake … looking forward to following the twisting North Klondike Highway until it crosses Fox Creek, past the boot-end of the lake, all reedy and full of beaver dams before it climbs a bit and follows just above the lake. When we arrived at the top of the drive, I got out to unlock the chain and smelled the hot dusty smell of early spring, the sticky-sweet smell of newly opened leaves (spring comes late in the Yukon), the clear green smell of lake water. I smiled when I saw the Private Residence sign nailed to a tree. That’s Us! The Collins’ are back in residence!
In the truck, Sam stood on the passenger seat, his front paws on the dashboard. He was whining and staring intently down the drive, ears up, tail wagging. He knew exactly where we were. Back in the camper, the cats opened their eyes, stood up and stretched, enjoying a welcome break from the swaying and rattling of the “noisy moving house.”
“Hello house! Hello lake! I’m back!” I stood outside the open truck door and threw open my arms, yelled the words with a big grin on my face. The little cabin was so happy to see us, too! The first thing I did was unlock the front door and go inside, one step behind Samson. Sam jumped up into his window seat to see if his basket of toys was still there (it was) while I set about opening the house. I unlocked each shutter in turn, opened the windows to let in the air and light, turned on the propane, and lit the fridge. I carried the cats into the house and set them down on the bed. They knew exactly where they were, too. Whiskers curled forward, ears pricked up; they raised their chins and sniffed and sniffed. Then they set about investigating the entire place, saving the best for last: a roll-about on the deck and a good long soak in the sun on the deck they remember so well. Meanwhile, I unpacked the camper and stowed away the groceries, our clothing and the selection of quilting, knitting & sewing projects, my laptop, notebooks and novels to read that I’d brought with me.
There was still a bit of ice on the lake, and the leaves on the willow trees along the lakeshore were not quite open yet. I was so glad! I love to watch them unfurl. Spring in the Yukon lasts about 3 days. I’m glad I was here in time to see it.
When Mr. C arrived we set up the patio furniture and had supper.
Grilled cheese sandwiches & a bag of chips. Beer for him and a cider for me. Maybe not the healthiest supper ever, but just the perfect homecoming feast after a long five days on the road.
The Millennium Trail is my favourite Whitehorse walk. Starting at the S.S. Klondike, it follows the Yukon River in a 5 km loop, crossing the river at the Whitehorse Dam. It takes about an hour to walk the dog, depending on how active the “pee-mail” message boards are. 🙂
If you’re reading this on your tablet, you will need to go directly to the website to see the slide show as movies don’t seem to work on tablets or phones.
Music by The Big Band (and you can clearly hear me on bari sax, lol!) Enjoy!
As you may know, I’ve been taking a Northern Studies course (Introduction to the Circumpolar World) and since I love textiles, quilts, knits and all things that require stitches to make, I thought it would be fun to tour around some of the circumpolar blog world and take a look at what’s up in other Northern countries! Maybe I’ll go there someday in person, but for today, lets take a cyber visit and skip on over to Finland. Grab a cup of glögi (mulled wine) and let’s get going!
I don’t understand a word of Finnish, so this will be a photo-tour. Here is a little glimpse into what’s going on over at Ajatusten Aalloilla in pictures:
Eija Kause has a blog called TILKKUTAIDE in Finnish (of course) but with bits and pieces of English. I learned that she is a hairdresser who quilts in her spare time and enjoys time at her lake-side cottage. Oh! We have something in common, eh? Here is what Eija has been up to:
…and I assume this is her lake-side cottage: beautiful!
Then I found myself over at Inglborg’s Lotta and found this picture. Dogs and quilts seem to go together no matter where in the world you live. And just look at that beautiful quilt – such beauty in simplicity!
Love this shot, too:
Ina at Ina-Knits spins and knits and sometimes uses Drops patterns, which I have only recently discovered myself! Love the smallness of our world sometimes!
Before hubby left for work this morning, he made sure I was tucked up on the couch in my jammies and a quilt, with a cup of tea and 2 aspirin at my elbow, my laptop and iPad, and about a dozen sewing projects close to hand. Yup, he’s a keeper, that one!
Did you guess from the clues? This is my second day home from work. While it’s nice to be home from work, having a mouth full of cold sores (did you know you can get cold sores inside your mouth? ugh) is not. It hurts to talk and it hurts to eat. Two of my favourite activities. Sigh. So what’s a girl to do but browse the internet and catch up on bog reading? (I hope Amanda isn’t reading this…she’s my NOST 101 instructor, and she’d probably be telling me that I should take this time to start my research paper that is due next week. Did I tell you I’m taking an on-line course called Introduction to the Circumpolar North? I thought maybe I should be introduced to it since I live here, and all that.)
So I’m sitting here under my quilt trying not to spill tea into my keyboard while being entertained by Katy over at Monkey Do (or I’m a Ginger Monkey, whichever she calls it, I’m not 100% sure.) Honestly, that girl made me snort my tea up my nose, she is so funny!
I’ve decided that there are some really cool quilters in England, and that I should probably go over there someday and meet them. Like Miss Ginger Monkey. There’s also Lynn over at Lily’s Quilts, who not only has great tutorials, but also gives great blogging advice. And is very funny to boot. (what do you suppose “to boot” really means?). AND they have the London Fat Quarterly Retreat! Just listen to this: “ we have planned a fun-filled weekend of silly games, sewing challenges, tutorial workshops and more!” (now, if you ever took a bellydance class from me, you KNOW how much I adore silly games, lol!) So I figure that silly quilt games must be just as much fun, right? I just gotta go and meet these English quilter gals!
Meanwhile, Sam is keeping my feet warm. I just hope he doesn’t wake up and want to play ball or something energetic that requires me getting up. Besides, it hurts to laugh. Here he is snuggled with his favourite squeaky toy. Goofy guy!