Canada Trip: Bay of Fundy

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Hopewell Rocks - "Flower Pots"

I went to Prince Edward Island on a short trip with my best friend from college recently. Before I found Galata Bridge in Istanbul, PEI was one of my favorite places. It was exactly as lovely as the setting of Anne of Green Gables, and this still rings true today. So I headed back with my friend and first we started with the reverse waterfall of Saint John, the Dickson Falls trail in Fundy National Park, and the Hopewell Rocks. I have a thing for unique topography and beautiful landscapes (over, say, museums) and this area of Canada is fantastic for that.

Saint John isn't necessarily recommended, maybe in Fundy National Park instead, unless you're really into reverse waterfalls. Saint John did not have a whole lot going on, although our AirBnB was a beautiful little Victorian suite, replete with needlepoint artwork. I would've loved to stick around Fundy National Park a bit more and do some more hiking trails. We did the Dickson Falls trail which was short but a bit steep, so not too challenging. After eating 'lunch' in the parking lot of the Alma general store (we had a chronic problem of not eating enough meals on travel days, that's what maple cookies are for!), we headed to Hopewell Rocks. It was after the park's opening hours, but they still let you wander around. Really, really lovely!

pei-cell-6
Tulips around Saint John
Reverse Waterfall
Reverse Waterfall
Red chairs on the lake
Fundy National Park
Dickson Falls
Dickson Falls Trail
Dickson Falls Dickson Falls Trail
Hopewell Rocks - "Flower Pots"
Hopewell Rocks - "Flower Pots"
Hopewell Rocks - "Flower Pots"
Trees along the trail in The Rocks Provincial Park
Hopewell Rocks (Provincial Park)

Bay of Fundy, 1 night
Prince Edward Island, 3 nights
Halifax, 1 night

How To: Make Two Half Square Triangles at Once

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

You can do some pretty amazing things in the quilting world, just by sewing straight lines. Well, cutting and sewing straight lines. It's actually fairly easy as a beginner to create some stunning quilts simply using squares and right angle triangles. These are just a few examples of quilts I adore...and use only rectangles and half square triangles.


(left) Sunshine Quilt — Flying geese pattern in yellow, gray, white by Namoo and (right) Follow the Arrow Quilt by Maureen Cracknell

(left) lily's quilt: by A Midwestern NewYorker and (right) Chevron and on quilt by CanoreRidgeCreations

One of the basic building blocks of most quilts is a 'half square triangle' (the most basic being squares and rectangles). An 'HST' isn't too tricky. I borrowed the directions from about.com. These instructions will make two half square triangles at a time. If you'll be making more than that, try Craftsy's eight HSTs at a time tutorial.

You can do this. I'm a sloppy quilter, and everything turned out okay. It'll turn out okay for you, too.

  1. Cut two squares, finished size + 1" (in my case the finished size is 5", so I cut two 6" squares)
  2. Draw 45 degree line across wrong side of one fabric square
    HSTs 1: Draw 45 degree line across square
  3. Squares, right sides together
    HSTs 2: Squares, right sides together
  4. Sew 1/4" seam along one side of line
    HSTs 3: Sew 1/4" seam along one side of line
  5. Sew along other side of line
    HSTs 4: Sew along other side of line
  6. Cut squares along drawn line
    HSTs 5: Cut squares along drawn line
  7. Iron seams open
    HSTs 6: Iron seams open
  8. Trim seam allowances
    HSTs 7: Trim seam allowances
  9. Cut square to desired size, seam connecting corner to corner
    HSTs 8: Cut square to desired size, seam connecting corner to corner

MAKE MOAR HALF SQUARE TRIANGLES.
HSTs 9: Keep making half square triangles!

How To: Constructing a Felt Boutonnière

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Completed Felt Flower Boutonnière 1

Those felt flowers, leaves, and asparagus I made awhile back had a very specific purpose: three boutonnières and one focal boutonnière. My inspiration came from the following two images, both of which are lovely and involve an asparagus-like stalk.


I must say, the final pieces don't miss the mark by much:
Felt Flower Bouquets

  1. Gather Supplies: felt asparagus, five petal flowers, felt flower buds, split stitched felt leaves, felt peony, scissors, hot glue, needle, thread, felt to match the size of the felt leaf, clip and/or safety pins.
    Felt Flower Bouquet Pieces
  2. Determine your layout.
    Place a few more flower buds with hot glue
  3. Sew asparagus to leaf as invisibly as possible. I attached it slightly off center, with enough space at the bottom for a five-point flower to fit.
    Sew the asparagus to one side of the leaf back as invisibly as possible
  4. Sew first flower, two stitches through the center beads. I attached my first flower to the bottom of the asparagus.
    Sew the first flower to the bottom of the asparagus, two stitches through the gold beads
  5. Sew second and third flowers, similarly to the first. I attached the second flower to the leaf, and the third flower to the side of the asparagus.
    Sew the third flower to the side of the asparagus, 2 stitches through the gold beads
  6. Secure thread to back of leaf. I sometimes add a drop of hot glue to be extra secure.
    Secure thread on back of leaf
  7. Put a drop of hot glue at the bottom, back of a flower bud.
    Hot glue at bottom of flower bud
  8. Attach flower bud, with other flowers hiding its bottom/attachment point.
    Place flower bud with other flowers hiding the bottom stitches
  9. Attach more felt flower buds in a similar fashion until satisfied with the aesthetics.
    Place a few more flower buds with hot glue
  10. Cut and hot glue leaf backs (should be slightly smaller than the actual leaves) to the back of the bouquet. This will hide any stitches on the back of the leaf and also strengthen it all a bit.
    Hot glue a backing leaf to cover up any stitches and strengthen the leaf
  11. Cut felt squares, small enough so that you can slide the safety pin or clip through its width.
    Cutting the felt clip attachment pieces
  12. Place and sew the felt square to the back of the leaf. I like to double secure these stitches with a line of hot glue when I'm done.
    Placing the clip attachment Sewing the clip attachment
  13. Slide a safety pin or clip through the felt square on the back.
    Pins and clips through the backs of the boutonnières
  14. Done!
    Felt Flower Boutonnières
Completed Felt Flower Boutonnière 1
Completed Felt Flower Boutonnière 2

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