Wednesday, July 22, 2020

North Stars Quilts!

Back in February I shared a quilt I was working on called North Stars by Elizabeth Hartman.  I finished all the blocks and yesterday assembled two kids sized quilt tops with 8 of the blocks.  There are 9 blocks in total but I'm saving the Owl block to make a wall hanging.  I didn't want to make a large bed size quilt as I knew I would never use that.  Making 2 kids quilts made more sense for me.
 Here is a link to my last post about this quilt.

I finished Meredith Muskox back in February at a quilt retreat at Keystone Modern Creative in Winnipeg.   Remember quilt retreats...those were the days! ;)

Next I finished Willa Walrus at my Tuesday sewing group in March.  Miss my sewing group friends and our sewing days.

Then in May after realizing it will be a bit of time before our sewing group meets again I started working on the rest of the blocks at home.  Here is Patty the Polar Bear.  I struggles with finding fabrics for this one until I found Elizabeth Hartman's 'Arctic' collection online at Sew Sisters. And it was on sale for $8/m, jackpot!  The original pattern has the polar bear fabric on the seal block, that made no sense to me! ;)

And the last block I finished in May as well, this is Owen the Owl and he will be made into a wall hanging.  I didn't use the grey background fabric that I had on the other blocks as I wanted the owl to be grey. So I changed the background to blue knowing it was not going to be put together into a quilt with the other blocks.

So yesterday after not touching my sewing machine for 2 weeks I went back down to my quilting room and found sashing and border fabrics to make the top kids tops.  I was very happy with what I found in my skinny stash. I have been collecting a lot of fabrics for bags so dipped into that stack to find what I needed.

For this first one I originally had the Polar Bear where the Reindeer is but once I found the right border fabrics I decided it needed to be a blue/brown themed quilt. I was so excited to find this blue polka dot fabric for the sashing as well as the Dear Stella fabric in my stash, it worked perfectly. 

The second one I struggled more with how to sash it. I found the outer teal floral border quickly but what to sash it with?  I had a lot of my background grey left and that seemed to be the best option for what I had on hand.

So I hope to quilt this both up before the end of the month. I think a simple panto will finish them off nicely.

Friday, July 17, 2020

More Comet Photos

We have had a couple of clear night skies to get out and take more pictures of the comet.  A few nights ago I focused on getting a close up shot and got this image above.
Then Tim and I went for a drive last night and captured the following images using my wide angle lens. I was in search of more scenic locations but close to home. Started at the old Barwick Train Station to use that outline as a foreground. This was just at sunset so the sky was still very blue.

Next we stopped at a large barn.

When I looked at this image closer on my computer I was happy to discover I could make out the thin blue plasma tail the comet gives off beside the larger dust tail.  I adjusted the exposure to make it more visible in the next photo.

This was another barn closer to midnight when the sky was completely dark.

I then turned my camera to the Milky Way as it was so visible last night along with Jupiter and Saturn shining so bright.  The towns lights are visible along the horizon in this next shot so we then drove to another spot.

Our last stop was along the Rainy River right in Emo looking south,  lots of street lights to light up the foreground.  This was my favorite shot of the night. Since we have moved here I kept thinking I should come to the waterfront to get some night shots, glad the comet got me out to capture this image.

Hope to find a few more locations for taking comet photos in the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020


Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE is a newly discovered comet and has started to appear in the evening sky in the norther latitudes just after sunset.  It was visible in the predawn hours last week, we even set our alarm to get up at 3am one morning but it was cloudy. So my first viewing of it was on July 12 around 10:30pm from my front deck.  It is located NNW, low on the horizon so right where the sun sets. Once the sky starts to darken and your eyes adjust to the night sky you can see it with the naked eye.  I aimed my camera and took a 2 second exposure shot and was thrilled to see it how bright it was on the screen.  After playing around with my camera settings I settled on f/5, 2 to 3 sec exposures, ISO 800. I use a tripod and a remote shutter release to reduce camera shake.

I walked down our street to get out of the few street lights we have here and set my tripod up on our green space to the north of our house. These next shots were taken around 11pm.  I wanted to have some foreground images so moved to get the tree line into frame.

  I had my 150-600mm zoom lens on but kept it at the 150mm range to include some foreground.  I hope to get a calm clear evening this month to zoom right in a get a clear close up shot of the comet.  I was still getting a bit of camera shake from the wind which you can see in this next image where I cropped into the comet on my computer.  

The next clear night I plan to go for a drive to find a more interesting foreground.  I have been seeing a lot of well done composite images of the comet with a barn or church in the foreground but I do not know how to layer 2 or 3 photos or use Photoshop to create those composite images.  The images I share here are pretty much what you should see with a pair of binoculars. 

Here is a great chart for those living in Southern Manitoba.

I also turned my camera to Jupiter as it is in opposition (equivalent to a full moon as the earth is between Jupiter and the sun right now) now so very bright in the sky.  You can see 4 of its largest moons with a pair of binoculars as well.  You'll find Jupiter in the SSW sky, you can't miss it!  Here is the shot I got of it with its four moons.  I had not idea I had captured the moons until I loaded the pictures onto my computer, happy accident!

Hope to get more shots of the comet over the next month to share here.
Edited to add a new picture of Jupiter that I took the next day.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Lightening Strikes

We had an amazing thunderstorm last week and I was able to get a few shots of some lightening strikes.  The rain was just pouring to the right and then the sun was peeking out on the left which highlighted the amazing cloud formations.  Love the swirl of lightening at the top of both bolts. These photos were taken from my front deck.

Then once the storm passed the sun came out just before it set.

I have started taking pictures of the Neowise Comet so will share those this week.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Tula Pink All Stars Quilt

Cindy made this great quilt for her granddaughter using Tula Pink's All Stars collection.  She fussy cut the center of the blocks to highlight the animals in this fabric line.  Cindy said she purchased this quilt as a kit at the Quilters Nine Patch in Elmira, ON but did not know the pattern name.

Cindy asked for thick batting so I used Quilters Dream Puff, it is fluffy and light, great for a kids bed quilt. I quilted it with the Fascination pantograph and used light pink So Fine thread.

Well this is my last client quilt for awhile as I am taking my usual summer break.   I plan to spend a lot of time with my camera as well as working on a few of my own quilting project which I will share here so the blog won't be completely quiet!  Hope you all have a wonderful summer (or winter in the southern hemisphere).

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

What Cancer Cannot Do Quilt

Suzette made this heartfelt 'What Cancer Cannot Do" quilt for her aunt who is going through cancer treatment right now.   We chose the 'Pieces of my Heart' pantograph for it, used light purple So Fine thread and Warm and Natural batting.

The words were a panel purchased from The Enchanted Quilt and they also sell kits in their online shop.  The pattern is available free from Block Party Studios and you can download it from this link, click here.


Sunday, July 5, 2020

Antique Lace Quilt

Cindy made this lovely Antique Lace quilt,  the pattern is by Missouri Star Quilt Co.  It is a Jelly Roll pattern so she used the 'Something Borrowed' jelly roll by Riley Blake Designs.  The pattern and fabric line names really suit this quilt as it is a wedding gift for one of her children that are getting married this year.

Cindy chose the Chantilly Lace pantograph for the quilting design, I used white So Fine thread and used Quilters Dream Blend batting. 

I'm finally able to use my fence again as I had a very aggressive pair of Kingbirds nesting in the back yard and they would swoop, snap and dive at us for 3 weeks! I was loosing my patience with them as I gave them their space and didn't approach the back half of the yard but they started swooping at me just walking from the house to the garage.  Glad they are gone without me being involved in them 'moving on'. ;)

We are having a heat wave with highs of 34'c this week.  Lots of thunderstorms around but most are just in view and not reaching us.  We really need the rain.