Saturday, September 26, 2009

Where to begin.....

Gran of Knotty Embroidery lady sent me this fantastic giveaway prize in the mail that arrived last Friday. In it, was this beautiful Sunflower fall panel( and as you all know by now, I am crazy about Sunflowers)
Gran also posted some pictures of her lovely giveaway prize on a recent blog post. You can check it out by clicking on her name. Thank you Gran for choosing me- How lucky can a lady be...

For all you fans of GoTO the squirrel, friend Rosa sent me this very funny post of another squirrel. It is very funny-- and the squirrel is amazingly adorable!

My mailbox has continued to have other lovely things that included this pattern from Kellie of " Don't Look Now" is the brilliant designer of these patterns from Australia. I also received this lovely pattern from of Toni of the Red Boot Co. Isn't it a great children's quilt pattern. She also is a pattern designer from the land down under. A very big Thank You goes out to both of these talented ladies. If you click on their names you will be able to visit their wonderful blogs too.

Last weekend, my friend Lou and I got a chance to go out together. We often go east of our city but this time we decided to head west to one of our surrounding communities called Stony Plain. They have two quilt stores in their little town- I bought a few bits and pieces to add to the stash. As always, I enjoyed a pleasant afternoon with a very dear friend.

At one of the shops,though, there was a set of tables like a flea market. I came home with some great thrift finds- some beautiful floral tiles, some dishes like ones my gran had that are carnival glass, a ruler box, a set of 5 fabric sunflowers in a reproduction can, a gorgeous primitive doll in her chair an and a great green club chair...
I love floral tiles and these ones have a space so that one can hang them as a set of four on the wall.
Isn't the doll beautiful? Don't you love her hankerchief dress? I love her primitive face!

I remember having the reproduction tins in our kitchen at home - they were the blue version of this particular can which she also had, but had just sold it before I chose the sunflowers container that I wanted. The ladies' prices were very reasonable and I came home with things that brought back a flood of memories of my childhood. As for the chair, it looks great in our living room.

On the quilty front, I have a baby wrap waiting to be quilted..
I have made many many of these baby wraps - this one is for a friend of my son's who has just had a baby... Hopefully this weekend, I will get to it- When I first made this design I tied them, but now I machine quilt them and use minkee or fleece on the inside. They work great inside car seats or when babies are first playing on the floor.

Some of you were wondering about some of the patterns that I mentioned in my previous blog. Here are the two patterns that other people chose to make in this fall's class.

However here is my project: I will continue to make more flags and form half hexagons
to form the diamonds. VBS Hopefully, I will figure out how this design works.

Pat at Silver Thimble Talk is having a giveaway- go quickly and check it out..
She posed the question of "When did you begin quilting?"

I thought I had a clear answer to her question but when I thought about it, I have been quilting for a lot longer than I realized. My quilting experiences first began when I was about 18 and I met a friend whose grandmother taught her to quilt. We made "Dresden Plate" pieces with cardboard templates and used scissors to cut them out. After that, I made baby wraps, panel vests and bags with quilted fabrics. I took a few classes to learn how to seminole piece and make "Cathedral Windows" Christmas ornaments. In 1987, I made my first big quilt - a" Log Cabin Quilt in a Day"Pattern by Eleanor Burns. It took me about a year to complete- I used a double layer of polyester batting and wrestled its queen sized bulkiness in my regular domestic machine. That quilt still exists though it is quite tattered now.
I recently bought a new book " Not your grandmother's Log Cabin" by Sara Nephew and Marci Baker. It is a lovely book with lots of gorgeous stars by making a diamond log cabin block.

My current passion for quilting began in 1996 when I started to quilted regularly. I have made over 50 bed sized quilts since that time- I continue to enjoy exploring different techniques and designs. What about your quilting journey? When did you begin to quilt?

Fall has been warm here in Alberta and the leaves are starting to turn.. My little ones continue to keep me busy and life is a bit hectic these days.

Hope all is well with you and yours.

Be well,
Warmest regards,


Thursday, September 17, 2009

And the work begins....

Progress- Waa Hoo! I have made some slow and steady work towards completing this quilt- On Sunday, I was able to get this Wonky Rail Ties all quilted. I am very pleased with the results- even though it is a large king sized quilt, I managed to quilt it all in one fell swoop. It is a great feeling to have it quilted and was wonderful to get in the groove and have it quilt up so quickly. Don't you love it, when you get on a real roll and everything works up perfectly. I used about 15 bobbins of thread to meander it. I hope to trim it this weekend and get some binding made up for it.

Life in September revolves around the routines of school and getting back into the rhythm of being a working person.

At school, we had our annual corn roast for our families yesterday and it was nice to meet some of the families I had not met before and get re-acquainted with others. The corn was sweet Taber corn and delicious to eat.

It was nice to meet with some quilting friends and begin our class on Monday night.
Some of the others were making two new patterns, "Endless Stars" and a scrap quilt that can be found in the recent "Fast Quilts" magazine.
However, I have decided to work on a quilt called "The Hollow Cubes". This quilt will keep me busy for many months. I started this quilt about 5 years ago. I have many many triangles cut, and the quilt resembles a large group of flags- they now need to get joined together to form half hexagons. It is a Challenging pattern and I have had a great deal of difficulty getting my head around the design. It is the primary reason that it has remained a UFO.
In general, I have few projects that remain UFO's. Over a year, I may have as many as half a dozen quilts on the go, but I like to finish all of them up before beginning more projects. I have been stymied by this pattern so far.. Hope springs eternal so maybe this time I will finally figure it out. The fabrics are beautiful batiks - I would really like to see it completed.

My mailbox continues to have some pleasant surprises for me. I received a wonderful package from Heather Mulder Peterson It is a 4 Moda Charm Packs and a whole series of patterns of Heather's designs that use charm packs. They are scrumptious looking and it will be hard to choose which of Heather's designs to make first.

Thank you so much Heather for the wonderful gift- it is a real treasure trove that I will enjoy exploring and creating with your lovely materials.

My friend Rosa send me gifties from her surprise giveaway. She sent me some lovely " I SPY" squares and a coffee card from a Canadian company called Tim Horton's. Tim's is famous across Canada. Rosa you are a real gem- Thanks so much for your lovely thoughtful gestures.

The gumtree designers are a fantastic group of Australian women who are having some giveaways. Do check them out - They are all wonderfully creative and do such beautiful work...

Caroline of the Contented Quilter is having two giveaways. I hope that you will use the link and check out her lovely blog.

Gypsy Lulu is a new blog to me but she also is having a nice giveaway for you to check out -- especially if you love jewellery(which I do) I love baubles of all descriptions and probably would make a good magpie bird(though I am not mean like they can be, to other animals.)

And if you are interested in making something with Jellyrolls,well, you may want to check out Sarah at the Missouri table blog who is having a jelly roll giveaway this week- I have never used a jelly roll but I am sure one can make something beautiful with them.

Many of you enjoyed the antics of "GOTO" the Squirrel. He continues to entertain one and all at the observatory on the weekends. Our weather has been unseasonably warm so he is going to have more time to collect those nuts to "squirrel away" his bare necessities for winter. LOL

Time to cut out paper doll shapes for a school project for my students where they show me "How many people live in their house".. My students and I are getting to know one another by singing and dancing and reading our favorite stories. Each day is full of interesting things - I love looking at the world through my kindergarten children's eyes-hopeful, honest and often humorous... Today one of them was looking for a shortcut across our room- not sure he found one, but he went looking anyway..There is always something to make us laugh...

Happy fall to one and all...



Sunday, September 6, 2009

Life is sometimes a bit squirrelly..

I thought I would introduce you to a furry friend of my husband's. He is a squirrel named GoTo and acts like the landlord of the local observatory where my husband Bruce works. Fortunately his rent is peanuts and he welcomes all visitors. GoTo has a lovely tent and a picnic table with a telescope.
He often likes to show off his prowess with the telescope- I wonder if he likes to see the craters on the moon- perhaps GoTo thinks it is one large peanut that is just out of his grasp??

Life has indeed been hectic - it is the same each fall when I return to the classroom- I have not had much opportunity to post this past week. I continue to have some problems with my own lap top but managed to take some new photos to show you of the slasher quilt. You can see that I have added some additional borders to it and I am much happier with it, than the original version before I had added all the leaf fabrics to it.
I have ordered some die- cut leaves from Keepsake Quilting to scatter across the quilt randomly. I had some silk ones to try out the idea and I think it will be like leaves blowing across it. I am not sure when I will get a chance to get back to finishing it up.

I did get two of my quilts spray basted last week before I returned to work.Unfortunately I had miscalculated the backing for the third so I will try and spray baste it soon. Bruce took photos of that process of preparing the quilt for quilting. Perhaps, it will be part of an upcoming post. In the meant time, the trip around the world and the Wonky tiles are both waiting for me to quilt them. Recently, it was just too hot to sit under the quilts and quilt up in the eaves of our house last weekend.

It has been unseasonably hot here the past week- about 30 degrees Celsius. Our classroom is sweltering with 26 little four and five years present. They are entertaining group as always- At one point, one little one came up to me and said " My dad rode a cow" so I asked:"then what happened ?" She answered " He got buck -ded off". She said it so straight faced, it was hard not to burst out laughing...
I can see we need to learn the difference between cows and bulls :0) but she obviously had been to the rodeo over the summer. There is always some story to make me giggle each day.. We are beginning to learn the routines like how we walk down the hall and where to find the bathroom...I sometimes forget how much my students have learned over the school year until September comes and we begin again...and how tired I am by the end of the day -Bedtime is early these days..

Yesterday, we went to honor a younger woman's life,Vanessa, who lost her battle with breast cancer in June. People came to reminisce, comfort, laugh and cry together. She was 40 years old and well loved by all who knew her- we grieve for the loss of her presence and zest for life. One of the powerful lessons that came from the evening was the importance of living in the present. While she could not change the fact she had cancer,Vanessa never let cancer define who she was or how she lived her life. Today is where one should live - not the yesterday we can't change or the tomorrow that has yet not come.. Vanessa's legacy left me contemplating the importance of living with presence in the present...

My mailbox has been blessed with some lovely things that I won from other quilter's giveaways.
Julie of "Me and my Possibilities blog sent me these wonderful patterns when she gave away 45 patterns from her giveaway. I love Pieces of the Heart patterns and the hat one looks very fun. Thank you so much Julie, all the patterns are wonderful and I hope that I will get a chance to create some more lovely quilts with your patterns.
Natima from Not Just Nat sent me a fantastic handmade journal- It has sunflower binding and is beautifully hand quilted. I love the log cabin pattern and it is some very pretty pink fabrics in it. Look at the pretty button and the beautiful crazy quilting needlework that Natima did on it. I shall treasure it always Natima- She also included a wonderful magazine for making bags- there are some wonderful designs in the magazine- my list is going ever so long :0) Thank you so very much Nat..
And lastly some special things from my blog friend Rosa sent me a fabric postcard (I had not received a fabric postcard before), some maple leaf candies and some fat quarters. Rosa knew how much I loved floral fabrics and I was so pleased to see florals with black backgrounds. She is one thoughtful lady- sending me happy positive thoughts regularly. You are so kind Rosa - Thank you for your kindness and special treats.
This weekend I received word from Kellie that
I won a pattern from her beautiful blog "Don't Look Now". My fellow blogger, Thimbleanna won Kellie's beautiful quilt. Kellie is a wonderful designer who has some beautiful patterns on her blog for sale. Do go and visit her very pretty blog.

I have truly been spoiled by other bloggers this summer- I am thinking how I will return others generosity --- we shall see....

In the meantime, I am getting into the swing of school and fall activities. I am determined to make some inroads on a quilt that I began about 5 years ago. It is called " Hollow Cubes" and it has been hanging around long enough. One needs to strive for balance and I am notoriously bad at it. Perhaps this fall is a new beginning...

Until next time, be well..Happy Quilting
Warmest regards,