Thankfully, I survived September, with all my B.Ed. teaching. I didn't get my sewing machine going once in September, and I experienced mild withdrawal symptoms! However, I did get my stitchy fix by working on my diamond hand-piecing project, and by taking a short class in Cathedral Windows. I had seen the various tutorials on the internet, so I had a vague idea of what it was all about, but there's nothing like someone who can take the dog's breakfast out of your hands and show you where you went wrong and how to rehabilitate it. It was a short class, so we made two windows, and turned them into this double-sided pincushion. The best thing about this pincushion is that it is filled with wool batting and the pins just love poking themselves in there.
During my enforced hiatus from quilting, I had loads of time to think and plan what to do next. For the last few months, I've been enthralled with the idea of kaleidoscope blocks. Not the really fancy fussy cut ones that you use mirrors for (although those are cool), but the more restrained traditional block known as Maltese Cross. There are a number of ways to do these, including cutting out templates and paper piecing, but I'm not interested in these. So, instead, I equipped myself with two new rulers. One is made by Marti Michell, called the Kaleido-Ruler. The other one is called the Smart Plate, from Sharon Sebrow. I will make a report on these rulers, for anyone who is interested in them, but for now, let me show you a couple of my preliminary blocks, made using the Smart Plate. This technique starts with HSTs - here is a stack of them ready to take the next step.
You can use this ruler to make both 8-piece and 12-piece kaleido blocks - both of these are 6.5" blocks.
Now for the project that I am making with these.
As to other things, I was in Thunder Bay, Ontario last week, beautiful country on the north shore of Lake Superior. I saw the memorial to Terry Fox, built on the point of the TransCanada Highway where he had to stop his cross-country run, and I also saw a big black bear on the side of the road - that was very exciting! Closer to home, the school year has started in earnest, and the students are beginning to think about their studies. Frosh week activities are becoming a distant memory, although they painted themselves up properly for the homecoming football game. Although our university colours are red, blue and gold, the engineers traditionally douse themselves in gentian violet. Here are some of them on their way to the game - they pass our house on the way to the stadium. Many of them have already partaken liberally of the grape (that is not why they are this colour).
The days are drawing in and getting cooler here. It's time for quilts and slippers, and finding a sunny patch to take a nap in.