Friday, July 27, 2012

Fargo North Dakota - Mini vacation

Recently, the Canadian government doubled the allowable amount of goods I can bring back to Canada after a 48 hours stay from $400 to $800 CAD.  Wow!  So I went shopping with my dear friend Marilyn who happens to be the shopping queen of Brandon.
This is the back of Marilyn's Toyota Rav at the gas station before I took my loot out.  The red tub is Marilyn's and the blue one is mine. I also stuffed purchases into my suitcase and reusable grocery bags.
Check out my bounty, I got a ton of great stuff for $799.00!  The customs lady asked me if I could have gotton any closer to my $800 limit to which I replied "no".
It took several trips to haul everything inside.  I bought chocolates, nuts, cereal, potato chips, brown rice and milk bone biscuits.
These furniture refinishing chemicals are for touching up some vintage sewing machine cabinets that I don't want to strip completely.  These products were purchased at Lowe's and they are not available in Canada.
Hair accessories, vitamins, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner.
Towels, four brown bath sheets, eight facecloths, four hand and four bath size. Also one set of fabulous white 100% cotton 440 thread count queen size sheets.  I love towels and sheets from the USA because they are softer and better quality than what is available here.
The lovely pink travel organizer will replace my large size freezer zip lock bag!
A charcoal grey polo shirt for my hubby.
Two Xerion quick-dry 100% polyester sport shirts designed to wick away moisture and keep you cool, perfect for walking the dog or working out on the treadmill.
  A 100% rayon summer dress.
Three pairs of jeans.
 Three 100% cotton t-shirts and one 100% cotton ladies golf shirt.
Three dressy summer tops and one pair of 100% cotton red Capri pants.
Three new pairs of shoes!  Not photographed but also purchased was one litre of Wild Turkey bourbon whiskey, two skorts and two pairs of shorts.  Not bad for $800 eh?

If you love to shop, please share your shopping adventures. Happy Friday all!

Friday, July 20, 2012

July fmq challenge - Tiles

July's teacher is Angela Walters her tutorial provides excellent information on free motion quilting tiles with filler designs inside.  Her written instructions and photos are fantastic.  At the beginning of July I drew out the pattern.
Then I went on vacation for just over two weeks.  The only thing I sewed was a pair of royal blue and white lace garters for Véronique's wedding attire.  We flew to Ontario to visit our  daugher and son-in-law.  Then we traveled by car to Québec to attend Véronique and Scott's wedding.  I finally got back to the July fmq challenge on July 18.  Instead of making a practice block first (which I always do) I quilted the tiles directly on to my fmq sample quilt!  Big mistake as I forgot how to do it.  What was I thinking?  Oooops!
I used a different fill designs in every panel.
Rainbow 100% polyester variegated thread and a Schmetz 80/12 universal needle.
There are two mistakes in this small 8 by 8 inch block.
The pink and purple blocks are the quilt top.
The unbleached white cotton is the back side.
It is much easier to see my mistakes on the back side.  The tile piece that looks a little like a hockey stick is not joined to another tile. 
The second mistake is on the tile above the heart-shaped leaf filler.   I'm undecided about whether or not to rip them out and quilt it again. There is approximately two square inches of very tiny stitches to rip out on both tile and filler designs. 
I really like the way the unique filler designs turned out. The round pebbles, vertical lines and the other designs give this block a lovely texture.  It is wonderful to run your hands over.
After I did my quilt block, I made an 11 by 15 inch practice block to quilt the tile technique again. 
This time I used the same filler design in all the tiles and varied the tile shapes.  The top is 100% off-white cotton sheeting.
The back side is 100% cotton pink flannelette.
Readers, when you are learning a new technique, do you always make a practice block?

Would you rip out the mistakes to fix the sample quilt or leave it alone?

Happy Stitching all!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fun in my backyard

Usually my husband is the family gardener. He takes care of the lawn, trees, shrubs, flowers, herbs and our vegetable garden.  I plant a few flower pots, herbs and harvest yummy veggies during the summer months.  However, this year Doug was working out of town all of May and June, so he wanted to put the garden to summer fallow.  That is why I took this task.  I hired a guy from a newspaper with a rototiller, then planted the seeds in mid May and bedding plants the end of May. 
I planted yellow, white and red snap dragons along the front of the garden to attract bees and make the garden look inviting.

It was cool and wet in May and the  first part of June so the seeds were slow to germinate.  Since mid June it has been hot with almost no rain.  I have been watering my pots every day and the garden every second day.
 These are red hot chili peppers.
This is mint.
Curly parsley.
Second rosemary plant, this herb is delicious in salad dressings and marinades for meats.
Romaine lettuce.
Sweet Spanish onions.
Tomato plants, there are two Healthy Heart, Beef Steak and Roma plants.  The tomatoes are green now but all six plants are loaded.
My Auntie Helen gave me those pink lilies last summer when she was here for Shannon's wedding.  The beets are growing in front of them.
Below is red bell pepper plant.  At the moment it has tiny green peppers on it.
I squeezed in 24 red potato plants.
Flat leaf parsley.
Pole beans are climbing up the  wooden tripod, they are purple when raw and turn green when cooked.
Potato plant blooms.

It has been keeping me busy as our garden patch isn't big enough to use a tiller between the rows, I have been pulling all the weeds by hand.  This combined with scorching temperatures 35 to 43 Celsius with the humidex (95 to 109 Fahrenheit), makes the work even less appealing.  I love to soak my feet in Lily's pool after working in the garden.
I also have two cherry tomato plants, two citronella plants, geraniums and begonias in pots in the back yard.

Just before I snapped these photos I harvested a dozen ripe cherry tomatoes for the pasta salad Doug was making.
Just look at all those yummy green tomatoes, they will be ready to eat in a week or less.  These little tomatoes are sweet like candy.
Citronella plants are supposed to deter mosquitoes.
We have central air-conditioning so our house is wonderfully cool during this heat wave.
 Readers, I hope you enjoyed this photo tour of my backyard.  What's growing at your house?