Thursday, May 2, 2019

It is spring isn't it? or is it?

They say it is spring time here in Alberta  but Mother Nature has other things to say about it , and while the calendar says its the first  week of May, we have continued to have had snow arrive on and off the past few days. I, probably should not complain ,as other parts of Canada and the US, have had to deal with serious flooding.  Each day when I go out , I wonder do I still need a heavier coat etc but I know that this too shall pass..  In the meantime, the trees look beautiful  but we are tired of Winter and really do want spring.
 Bruce has been out walking on the trails in the St. Albert area these days. He often sends me photos of the beautiful things that he sees. My arthritic body is not up to walking the distances he is walking so I appreciate him sharing the natural habitat and animals that he comes across on his daily treks. My daily treks involve exercises and movement classes that are making me more mobile - at least on most days. The whole point is to keep moving in what ever way one can . Some of these photos are ones that I am collecting in a file to perhaps paint one day. I especially love these ducks and the branches beside them  and I intend to paint them one day soon.

Below is a photo of my most recent completed painting of a flower and butterfly. It is my second oil painting of choice. It is a very different medium than acrylics or watercolor (watercolor is a little too intimidating for me right now)  I have been taking an oil painting class all winter . I am starting to  make some progress in my ability to see shapes and value. It is different than quilting but somewhat the same. You do need to be able to see light , medium and dark  values in both. It is interesting to train your eyes in other ways. Perspective is particularly challenging.

  I have just begun a new floral piece with orchids.It is probably hard to see but I have started the under- painting. It is drawn using  a grid and then all the details are shaded in, by under painting the piece.  You have black and white and get to mix all the shades of grey.- and there are many shades of  grey.
 For me, the drawing is still very painstaking and I find myself continuing to add additional lines as I start to see the values. I thought that painting would be less time consuming that quilting but that is definitely not so. Both of these pieces are done on canvas that has been gessoed and measure 16X20 inches . Learning brush control is another interesting challenge.

 Just in case, you thought perhaps I had abandoned quilting , I thought I would post my newest top that has been completed. It still needs a backing made and to be spray basted together so that I can quilt it. It is a Maple Islanders Quilt Pattern called Sideliners . All the BQ( big quilt blocks) patterns showcase the fabrics so nicely.  I have made others of this pattern but am particularly pleased with this one- Sunflowers are my favorite flower and this one was partially cut out. Athena the cat is generally a fan of all the quilts. Below you can see the additional borders that were added to complete the top.
  Earlier this year, a couple of friends and I attended another Mixed media workshop ( the Instructor Darlene , was the same lady that taught us how to make the mandala in one of  earlier posts) . My piece is the one on the right .
 I used a variety of found materials  in my piece including a skeleton key, a cat earring , clay, a wood sign that says "Embrace the Journey", and a metal sign with the word" Family".  The baked clay has quilt like imprints with a lettering piece on top that has the word Love . The story totems are intended to reflect things that might be important to the individual.
 My friend did a beautiful  intricate heart where she added some detail painting using wax paints and special inks on it. There are so many ways to express one's self through different artist mediums.
My hope is that you take the time to find ways to express yourself through an art form.

I have started another convergence quilt so I will share that with you next time. A friend posted some convergence quilts from a recent workshop, and it gave me the urge to try another. I have the luxury in retirement of trying different things and  sometimes, it is fun to return to old ideas and make them new. Each of these projects feed my creative spirit..
Spring is coming isn't it- hopefully we soon will see some green grass and spring flowers blooming . Stay warm and dry wherever you live. Until next time, be well. .. Warmest regards, Anna

Saturday, March 23, 2019

We spent National Quilt Day in Las Vegas ..

My husband Bruce, has been an ardent hockey fan since he was 6 years old . We have been huge hockey fans together for the near 40 years that we have been a couple. In fact, when we first went out, Bruce already was the owner of  two season's tickets for the Edmonton Oilers hockey team. ( He had  tickets beginning in the late 1970s throughout the 1980's) . He first had season tickets with them when the team was not NHL, but belonged to the WHA.  By choice, his two seats were not together- one was at one end of the ice and the other was at the other end of the arena ( He liked seeing the game from different vantage points.) One of the seats was part of a trio of tickets with friends, and the other was a single seat. When I would go with him, he would sit in the single at the other end of the area for part of the game and his two friends and I would sit at the other end of the arena. Between periods, we would meet on the concourse and sometimes, one of his two friends would go and sit in the single seat and Bruce and I would  get to sit together. It still makes me smile thinking about our first hockey game dates!  Later we did have some seasons where we had our seats together when we still had season's or partial season's tickets.  The cost of tickets escalated and life priorities changed ..

These days we get the opportunity to go to an occasional game thanks to the generosity of others. Attending a game live is a  different experience but our recent experience was  indeed unique!  In January  we were offered an opportunity to go to see a game in March in Las Vegas!
 First we had to get on a plane- something that I had not done for many many years for various reasons. After some thoughtful deliberation on my part, and, me actively seeking a passport, we found ourselves boarding an early morning plane to  Las Vegas on March 16. This meant that we had to get to the airport by 5:30 am which meant leaving our house at 4:45 am! Here we are on board the airplane at 7:30 am. I am pretty sure that I am still half asleep!
We stayed in a very nice Hotel called the Aria Hotel and Resort   Like all the big resorts on the Las Vegas strip,there is a huge casino on the main floor. It also had numerous restaurants and a high end shopping area called Crystals that included shops like Harry Winston, Gucci, Hermes etc
-Here is sunrise from the 22nd floor of our hotel room on Sunday Morning. The view was spectacular and we enjoyed seeing all the flashing billboards and lights on the Strip.The city is an amazing  happening city with lots of things to see and do, if you have the time, money and energy. 
  One of my favorite things in life is to look at Art. The hotel and resort area has 20 different art installations . Bruce is sitting in one of the 3 chairs that were called  a Turtle Dove chair ( though they reminded me of pigeons which  made me think of a series of children's books by Mo Willems  that include a story named " Don"t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus") It was a nice space in front of the hotel and a great place to people watch :)
T- Mobile Arena is a vibrant place- there were cheer leaders and show girls with feather head gear, lots of very loud music , noisy fans and lights displays throughout the evening .It happened to be St. Patrick's Day, as well, which added to the ambiance. Before the game, there was a big tailgate party in the area outside the arena. The crowd was large and filled with many hockey fans wearing their team jerseys and/or green or both!
 While the Oilers lost, it was a never to be forgotten experience.  Earlier in the day, our group went off to see the Welcome to Las Vegas sign - here we are standing  proudly wearing our NHL Jerseys- The Oilers have had a mediocre season and are not likely to make the playoffs, but this year will be a special one for Bruce and I . It is not every year that you get to go to a different  NHL city to see a game -  what a fabulous opportunity it was, as a fan of the sport of hockey.  I highly recommend the experience! For more complete analysis of the game, you can check out this link to Bruce's hockey post!https://edmontonjournal.com/sports/hockey/nhl/cult-of-hockey/edmonton-oilers-greatest-weakness-among-several-candidates-poor-transition-game-stands-out
 The Saturday that we arrived in Las Vegas it was  also National Quilting Day! I wanted to post some photos of a quilt that I have been working on this fall and winter to honor my quilting passion. I have made a number of retirement quilts over the past years for friends . Our family has lived in our current house for over two years and it was time for me to make a quilt for our bed in this house.

Here is my Retirement Quilt for us. I started it to test out a pattern that is currently being written by Janellea MacBeth.  This photo shows the quilt without the final borders. In the ones below, you can see where the final borders have been added. My version is a king sized quilt and it is totally scrappy.  Some of the scraps go back to when I began quilting in the mid 1980's. There are scrap bits from the over 100 bed quilts that I have made since that time- Fabric is really like a memory keeper- I found pieces of our son's baby wrap that  I completed over 30 years ago.
 The background fabric is all the same until the borders. I used all 6 yards of  fabric in the background in the body of the quilt.  I had to search my fabric stash for something that would work for the set in triangles  without trying to compete with the zig zag strips.  (The quilt is put together on point so you end up with zig zag edges.) I think I found a subtle batik that works well !
I chose a red stop border to float between the two border sections. Athena the cat obviously approves of the newest quilt. As always, she enjoys coming to check out my quilts - Isn't that what quilt cats do?  Now I just need to find backing and get it spray basted so that I can quilt it!

I will close with one last photo of Las Vegas. There was an enormous Henry Moore stone sculpture that was in the courtyard area at the Hotel. It is a fabulous piece of art that represents a mother and child. It is really beautiful and so enormous.. I can not imagine how many hours it took him to carve this massive stone work!
There are more quilty things I want to show you but I will save them for another day! When we returned to Alberta late Monday, there was still lots of snow on the ground.  Warmer weather has arrived and  the piles have melted away this week.  Soon we may  get to see some spring flowers.  I am really looking forward to that.. Until next time stay well and be Happy! Warmest regards, Anna

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Remembering Moe and his quilt

Our family's heart is broken-
This is my Uncle Moe - Yesterday on March 4- he left us after battling with Cancer for the past 8 months. Moe had just celebrated his 74th birthday. He was a big man with a big heart and a big laugh. If I close my eyes,I can hear his big rumbling laugh that  so reminded me of my beloved grandfather, Henry.  The photo above is a few years ago when I had the privilege of going to lunch with my parents, and two of my uncles and one aunt. Moe always had that cookie duster mustache, twinkle in his eye and that big smile that lit up his face. He was my mom's younger brother, who loved to tease and joke and have a good time. Moe enjoyed playing his guitar and a lovely voice- He was always willing to sing around the fire at camp out. Uncle Moe lived in the mountains for many years of his life- but he had deep prairie roots. 


The photo on the left, is of my two uncles together ( Uncle Gary and Uncle Moe.) The one above is of my Mama, Dolores, with her beloved Mini Moe. .These photos were taken at a celebration honoring the 100th anniversary of the completion of New Hill School.in 2012.  My great grandfather Nels was responsible for building a one room school  in the farming community where  my mother and her  siblings grew up. As in most farming communities, there were many connections to all who lived there. My mother Dolores is the matriarch of her clan. My grandfather had 2 brothers and a sister. The 3 brothers ( my grandpa and his two brothers) all raised their children in the same farming community so, while my mother had only 3 siblings, in reality, she had many more, because her cousins were all like siblings. To this day, they maintain close connections with one another. My heart mourns with all this family too.
 As a quilter, I have enjoyed making quilts for my family. This quilt is my Uncle Moe's quilt. It was a BQ pattern called Sideliners .
I entitled his quilt " Man from the Prairies- even though he spent the later part of his life in the interior part of British Columbia.
The corner blocks of sheaves of grain.
When I think of him, I am flooded with memories from my childhood. He was always generous to others. My brother and I went to visit him once when I was still in university.   Gene( my brother) and his wife Kris have spent many summers going to spend time with Uncle Moe. My uncle was a great mentor and supporter of my brother and they had a very special connection right until the end.
   My uncle gave me a great gift these past two years , He brought my parents up to visit us in our St. Albert house. It is a most treasured gift.The first visit was when I was sick in the fall of 2017 and home recovering from gall bladder surgery.  Uncle Moe was out visiting for the third time that summer and we had not had the opportunity to visit.  I was thrilled to have him come and see our home and meet our pets . He loves cats and our son and his wife have 5 of them so that was an added bonus for him :)
He returned with my parents in July  2018 and these photos are from that day.. He, my parents and one of cousins ( Stan and his wife Doreen) had an afternoon of visiting and family time. We had so hoped to have another visit this summer but that was not to be unfortunately.
I had spoken to him on the phone  a couple of times in the past few months .My family- (particularly my Mom, my auntie Janet and my brother , Gene and his wife, Kris and other cousins) had frequent phone contact with him in his last days. Some family had visited him last week while he was in hospice care.  He was blessed with very good friends who supported and cared for him in his last months.
 This  photo of our last hug and kiss goodbye is filled with the joy that I felt having time with him. It is a very treasured memory indeed. There are many more stories and vignettes that I could tell ... of play houses built on the farm and other tales ...
The pain in our hearts is great and we mourn his exuberance and zest for life. Rest easy dear Uncle - You were well loved and will be greatly missed.. Much love , Anna Me....

Monday, February 25, 2019

Still not in the groove



Bruce and I have attended many NHL hockey games for all of our 40 years together as a couple.  On Thursday night we were given seats to the Oilers game.We go occasionally these days when we are fortunate enough to get tickets.  It was a terrific game where the home team won ( this has not been a frequent event lately in Edmonton).  It was a lovely date night that had capped off a  full day. I had a couple of appointments earlier in the day followed by a visit with family and then a surprise offering of a pair of tickets from a very generous friend. That is a very full day for this retired person  :)

Over this first retirement winter, I have done various artsy things that have not always been quilty. I have been playing with paint for the past couple of  years. When I first started to paint, I worked exclusively with acrylics but, this winter, I decided to take an art course that is teaching me how to use oils. It is a different medium- I have learned a great deal about color, value and how one sees light versus dark. It has also taught me how to see things in different shapes. It has been a challenging thing for me-  learning how to use a brush in a controlled manner as well with a steady hand, takes patience and persistence.
  Here is painting number 1:
 I called it Oiler Rose as the flower is Orange and the background is blue which are the colors of the Edmonton Oilers. This flower was traced onto the canvas except for the leaves and the bud, which I drew free hand..


My second painting was taken from a calendar photograph of a Nova Scotia seascape. I drew this piece on the canvas using a grid technique . I, then under painted the picture with black and white, to help give place markers for the lines, values and shadows. I finished it by adding the color. This realist painting is fairly true to the calendar picture, except for the rocks and the addition of water at the bottom. One thing I learned was that it will be awhile before I want to do windows again.

 My husband, Bruce grew up in Newfoundland on Canada's most easterly shores. Both his mother, Betty, and his grandfather Jefferson, painted seascapes that we already owned. We added my lighthouse painting to this collection of  paintings and they hang together  as a family trio, in our front entrance.

 My new oil painting project is in the early stages - I have pencil drawn the butterfly and flower onto the canvas. I hope to complete the black and white flower stage soon .
 Like Quilting, it always takes longer than one expects. One needs to spend hours learning the specific techniques such as developing one's brush control. I have found the class helpful in other ways. It is developing some skills that will be helpful as a quilter. 
Not content to just play with paint, a friend and I decided to try our hand at making a Mosaic Mandala. It was a fantastic project using found objects like beach glass, tempered glass,marbles,cut up china,  shells chain, old jewelry etc. The sky is the limit as far as what you can use to glue on the boards that form the base of the mandala.


The central motif  has tempered glass followed by chain and flat beads and a floral section that is made from cut up Sri Lankan china tea cups. The instructor used a special tool to cut into chunks for me. Everything was all glued on a wooden board . The wooden board was first gessoed( acts as a primer) and then bits of torn paper napkin were glued on - If you look carefully, you  can see under the marbles and sea glass, some of the napkin bits.
Like my fabric stash, the instructor had infinite choices of what found objects one could use to create the patterns on the board- In some ways, that was the most challenging part for me, as I can get lost in a box of fabric possibilities, and end up making a numberof combinations of one pattern. It then causes two problems - one is that I get playing with combos and don't get anything made, and the other, is that I end up with re creating the quilt pattern a few different times because I can not settle on one choice. With the mosaics project,  I had to made a choice  and then get moving on my choice, as there were many more choices and layers to be added before one could make it ready for grouting.
 After all the sea glass, flat marbles, broken china, other tiles, chain and tempered glass were glued over the napkin layer, we left it to dry overnight. The organic shell, glass star and other smaller shells were added to the glass surface, after the piece was grouted . The next day we came back to add the black grout material. Making mosaics was indeed messy, but oh so much fun.. There are patterns everywhere to be found in the art world. In a couple of weeks, my friends and I will try some polymer clay work and create a story totem. It will be lots of fun too.

Perhaps there are other creative forms that you have explored or tried. I would love hearing about them.  There are so many ways to express one's self creatively.. It is great to have time to play and create these days.

 In my coming blogs I will return to sharing some of the pieces that I have quilted more recently.  I have a few quilts to share that I have made in the last few years as well as some other kinds of projects too. Hope that you will stay tuned...
For now stay warm ( if you live in most of Canada and Northern US and stay cool if you live down south of the equator.

Warmest regards,  Anna 




Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Convergence Quilts revisited- should I begin to blog again???




 Convergence Quilts Revisited

Well it has been rather a long time since I wrote a blog post- I am not even sure that I remember how but I am going to give it a go. My friend Michele Bilyeu  wrote a post about convergence quilts and asked if she could use some photos of my quilts which I was happy to share.
 The Convergence Quilt above belonged to my in laws - a gift that I created for them for their 63 wedding anniversary. I love the borders as it was covered in Cardinals, my FIL 's favorite bird. The backing has red birds on it. After they both passed away, the quilt came to live at our home again.

In the photo you can also see my newish quilt room. You can see the wonderful cupboards and part of my fabric stash. The cupboards are fantastic and I really enjoy being able to find what I am looking for just by pulling out the roll out drawers.
 A lot has happened since I last posted in 2015. We de-cluttered and packed up our previous house and moved to a large bungalow in an area north of the city of Edmonton called St. Albert, in the fall of  2016.  We had lived in our former home for 35 years . It was in the heart of the city of Edmonton . Our old house needed lots of work and we decided we needed a different type of house.
 The old house has been torn down and there are now two houses on our former property. The house that was next door to ours is also gone!  The only thing that remains on our old property is an apple tree that we planted when our son was small.
 The new house is in a lovely wooded area and has a terrific front portico  and a fabulous sheltered pergola over the back deck that we enjoy a lot through out the year.  At present, it is very cold and snowy here, so this picture makes me miss the warmer days.
In June of 2018, I retired from teaching after 40 years. At present, I am learning how to live life as a retired person. I have taken up oil painting and am attending a weekly movement class. I am still quilting and have a few things to show you in upcoming blog posts that I have been working on- newer quilts and smaller projects - maybe a few beading things as well.  Life is good.
Warmest regards,
Anna
 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Summer time and the lost blogger returns???

It is a beautiful July day and I finally am making some time to write about the past few months. It has been a long time since I visited my blog- Life sometimes does that or maybe I needed a hiatus from writing here.. As always I love to start with flowers - Right now our table flowers are looking a bit droopy as we are having a heat wave.. Summer time often has some hot days but we have had a very warm/ hot June and beginning of July. I still have not bought any flowers for the front deck- perhaps that will be today's activity or very soon. 
Summer vacation has officially started- June 29 was my last day of work until late August. We are going to do some de-cluttering of the classroom, so I will head back earlier than some years. For now though, I have closed the classroom doors and moved the things that needed to be removed so that they could clean the classroom.. Some years, I am more tired than others, and this is one of those years.. I am looking forward to some rest and relaxation.- reading, relaxing and spending sometime with friends! Of course I will also get quilting. My summer project is to finish some quilts that I have been waiting in the wings. For sure I plan to complete our son's long delayed wedding quilt. It is presently laying on a batt on a king sized bed in our basement- I am still trying to organize the blocks in some sort of orderly arrangement but hope to soon have it back on my sewing machine..

In the meantime, I thought I would share with you some photos that tell some of my creative experiences in the last few months.. At the end of January I gave away the quilt that I shared in the previous post. The dear lady to my right, Lena retired and returned home to Northern Canada. I know that she will use it when she is going to a sun dance or during the cold winter months in our north country.
One of the people that I had always wanted to meet as a quilter was Ricky Tims. In April I got to cross that wish off my bucket list. I loved hearing his stories, listening to his music and be inspired by his quilts. One of the other participants kindly took these photos of me with him. This was my version of his kaleidoscope pattern. It was a wonderful day and I was so happy that I was able to go and enjoy his workshop. He had come to Calgary a few years ago and I figured I missed my chance but life sometimes gives one second chances and this time I made sure that I was there to see him and his beautiful quilts.
In the spring time, my husband brought tulips and a dear friend gave me a calla lily. What magnificent flowers it had for most of the spring time. The lady on the right is name Cec and is an award winning rug hooker. A quilty friend invited me to come and try out this different kind of hand work - rug hooking. It was an interesting afternoon and I loved spending time with some lovely ladies trying out this medium. I discovered I am not a very good rug hooker and have lots to learn if I ever manage to complete a piece of work.  The afternoon workshop was held at a local museum. The technique is done with wool strips cut on an amazing machine. The rug hooking tool looks like a crochet hook with a bulb handle. I will need to practice lots if I ever expect to get the hang of it.  One needs to have new challenges too .. LOL..



Some babies were born this spring and what is a new baby without a baby burrito wrap. The two little boys were born in April and I know that they will be well loved. I love celebrating the birth of new life and I hope that both of these spring arrivals live long, healthy, happy and prosperous lives. The wraps have minkee fabric inside and cotton on the outside. They look like a big 4 leaf clover when they are open flat. I have been on a journey making them - the first one was made in 1984 and I know I have easily made over 100 of them in the years since. I used to tie them with yarn and they had eyelet, piping or lace on the outside. The overhauled design has made them more washable, durable and easier to make with a bias bound edge..


I have the privilege of working in a fabulous school with an administration who finds ways to bring in some terrific programs for our students to experience. Our kids got to see an Olympic skipper and participated in a program called Rocks and Rings ( curling). They also had a pair of sports guys who came monthly and introduced the children to a great variety of games including mini golf, badminton, baseball, floor hockey and basketball.  This is a photo of some masks that my students got to make with a team of artists in residence who came and spent two weeks with our children. The children got to choose their animals and then they embellished them with different recycled materials. The children really enjoyed the process. We also did some great movement activities that incorporated yoga, dance and brain gym.

Recently I completed another jelly roll quilt - it was made from a collection by Robert Kaufman that had some gorgeous rich fabrics. I love Kaufman fabrics and have bought a few jelly rolls from Craftsy, especially for quilt patterns just like this one. This particular quilt is a wedding gift for a friend's son and daughter in law to be. It is a twin sized couch quilt and meant for using across a sofa on a cool evening or to cuddle for an afternoon nap.. I am hoping that the couple will share many happy years together..
It is quilt show season here and our local Edmonton guild had a show in mid June. The guest speaker for the Saturday morning breakfast was Elaine Quehl. She is from Ottawa and recently was awarded the Canadian Quilt Teacher of the Year. She gave an inspiring talk about her quilt journey. She recently completed a fabric line for Northcott fabrics of poppies. She brought with her many beautiful quilts. The two below are just two of her many wonderful pieces of art. She has a fantastic eye for color and uses photographs as one of her jumping off points for creating her stunning designs. Elaine also creates stunning hand dyed fabrics.

  These were two pieces that Elaine shared- Hosta and  Tree (I have forgotten the official name of the tree )that Elaine Quehl has created. Unfortunately my cell phone camera does not pick up the gorgeous detailed quilting on these beautiful pieces. Do go check out her work at elaine's website or at her blog 

I really enjoyed seeing the work and wished I would have had time to take in her course too.

 Time to do a bit of work - things like getting more of the fridge cleaned out and the stove too.  Not all of that today but soon.. LOL  after all this is summer vacation. This evening I am off to catch up to some quilting friends over dinner...
I know that Google makes it difficult to leave a comment but I hope you will let me know that you have stopped by to visit.  I will try to write sooner- so do come and check out and see what is happening here on my blog.. You can always find me on my facebook page too..

Wishing everyone a happy healthy fun filled summer doing the things that you enjoy the most.

Warmest regards,
Anna

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January jelly roll and Convergence quilts.


It is a nice January day outside but I am enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon with my favorite Chai tea from Second Cup in my favorite snowman mug. The sun was shining earlier and there were people out walking their dogs. We watched some Sunday sports (curling, hockey and NFL football) and I finished up some school work.
Yesterday I cleaned out most of the vestiges of Christmas- there are a few things left - The Winter village and this lovely poinsettia plant will be around for awhile yet. I dusted shelves off, vacuumed the floor and generally got rid of the debris that had been collecting in our living space. It looks a lot nicer and now I can concentrate on the things that I need to for this week.
Bruce brought home some fresh flowers to decorate our table.I especially like fresh flowers on the table in the winter. It just brightens up the living space.We have been enjoying the music of Frazey Ford, who is the lead singer of a band called The Be Good Tanyas. I just got a collection of their music from 2000 - 2012.  Frazey Ford has a new album called Indian Ocean that has some terrific pieces on it.
I have been getting some quilty things accomplished. Last Sunday I quilted, squared and bound this jelly roll quilt. It has turned out quite lovely. Today's goal is to add the label so that I can give it to a friend who is soon leaving our school staff. I hope that she will enjoy cuddling under it on a winter's night. I really have enjoyed making the jelly roll quilts. They are faster than most quilts and this one is about the size of a small twin bed sized quilt.

Athena the cat definitely has given the cat seal of  approval.   She looks lovely on this particular color combo. Athena is becoming a much more sociable cat with us- Her latest friendly ??? move is to come at night, and sleep behind my husband's head. She is quite taken with his head and will lick his hair- Pets really do such funny things to express their feelings and friendship.
This lovely piece of art was a gift from dear friends for our 34th wedding anniversary which we celebrated on Boxing Day. It is the work of a Newfoundland artist named Cara from the Grumpy Goat Gallery. I love the bright colors and the funky way she creates movement in her designs.
I want to find a frame for this card that came with the canvas picture- Don't you love the quilt and the tops turvy  curves . I especially like the clothes on the clotheslines. They both make me smile when I look at them. You can find the Grumpy Goat Gallery  blog on my blog list and if you are on Facebook,  she also has a facebook page.
I am making progress on the wedding quilt. It is not speedy but here is a box full of over 300 half square triangles made, for the next 80 quilt blocks. These ones are all pressed and now I am trimming so that they are all 2 and 1/2 inch square so that they will fit together more accurately. I don't have a firm date of completion, but I am making progress, and the quilt has risen to the top of the pile.
I am really excited about an upcoming event that is happening here in Edmonton. Ricky Tims is coming to Edmonton and I am going to get the opportunity to see him in person. These are some of the quilts that I have made using his techniques and designs. I know I am going to be inspired and enjoy listening to him talk about his process. He came to Calgary a couple of years ago but we were away on holiday so I was not able to take in his session. The photo above is my version of his kaleidoscope pattern.
One of my favorite techniques is his Harmonic Convergence quilts. This one I called Black, white and red all over. I gave it to a friend who was celebrating her 50th birthday.
This flower is called Chantelle Chanson- It was my first sort of improvisational quilting- we use it for a table top cover in our living room. It intentionally has wobbly curvy borders and the points cut off.
And here is another variation of the Convergence quilts... I did a series of them. The original pattern was a wall hanging size but all of mine ended up bed sized quilts.  I have done 7 other posts about the convergence quilts but am not sure how to link it here. I know that they are labelled as such, so perhaps if you are interested check the labels for convergence quilts.

My friend Michele recently posted this piece on her blog about the Harmonic convergence quilts. Michele is an amazing lady who creates really beautiful pieces for others.(if you click on the highlighted words above it will take you to her post). She was very involved in the Alzheimers Art Quilt Initiative that raised money for Alzheimers. Amie Simms spearheaded this project which has now reached its completion. Do go and check out Michele's blog - you will find lots of patterns and links on it .

Bruce and I are going to a concert with Basia Bulat and Harry Manx later this month.  We may go out and see some winter fireworks at the University that is part of Winter festival.  As always there is lots going on at work to keep me busy.  We have been lucky so far here in Alberta - the weather has been relatively mild for January with only a few indoor recess days. The days are getting lighter which always lifts my spirits.
I hope this post finds you all well and that you are  having some time to create beautiful quilts.
Perhaps in the next post I will have some more wedding blocks put together..
Stay warm if you are in the Northern Hemisphere and cool if you live down South.
Warmest regards,
Anna