Thursday, October 22, 2009

Catching up ....

Sometimes it is hard to know where to begin, especially when it has been awhile since I have posted. I haven't forgotten about my blog friends- Its just life has been a little more than busy these days. A very nice thing happened - my blogging friend Rosa sent me this gorgeous yellow sunflower center piece a couple of weeks ago as a giveaway gift. It arrived just before Canadian Thanksgiving and has adorned our dining room table since its arrival.( Do check out Rosa's post about making my sunflower) My husband brought home some gorgeous Star gazer lilies the other day to add to the dining room decor. The flowers are very fragrant - I sure notice them when I return home from work each day.

My husband Bruce was away last week in British Columbia visiting his mother and sister& family. Someone left me a comment on an earlier post, asking to see the texture quilt that I had made for her so here is two views of Mum's quilt. I found this pattern in an earlier post by Laura of adventures of a quilting diva. (I'm sorry that I don't remember exactly when she posted the tutorial) Laura has a lovely blog that she shares lots of interesting quilting ideas in each of her posts.
My mother in law Betty has Alzheimer's and recently celebrated her 87th birthday. She is pictured with Bruce's sister, - It is a beautiful photo of both of them. Don't they look like they are having a lovely time together!!! Betty was a gifted knitter and enjoyed painting, sewing and quilting. She loved knubbly textures and I hope that the quilt gives her pleasure. I used various fabrics (silk, velvets, lace, velour wool, satin, tapestry, cordoroy, brocade) that were fused to a foundation to stablize the 6 1/2 inch squares. There is a teddy bear fleece back on it and no batting as it is not meant to be used as a blanket.

Bruce brought back a couple of things from the family storage unit. This quilt was one that I had made for his parents 63th wedding anniversary. It is a harmonic convergence quilt that is made from Ricky Timms book "Convergence Quilts". It has chickadees and cardinals in the fabric and is quite a soft looking quilt. His mother has 3 quilts in her room and this quilt is too large for her single bed.

I am always happy enough to giveaway my quilts to my loved ones- it is harder to have them returned to our house. I have a quilt that I made my gran, that my mother gave back to me after my grandmother passed away. For along time, I did not want to look at it, it made me miss my grandmother more! My gran has been gone 6 years now and when I wrap myself in it- I remember how much she loved it and I feel this tenuous connection with her. There is a bittersweetness that does not go away, but it doesn't hurt like it once did. Time has helped to soften the loss and replace the sadness with joyful loving memories.

What happens to your quilts when your loved one passes away? Does someone else in your family get them? Do they get given away? Are they placed with your loved one when you lay them to rest?
Something else that Bruce brought home in his suitcase, was this lovely hooked Cheticamp rug, that comes from Nova Scotia. It belonged to my inlaws, and was given to them as 40th wedding anniversary gift, from some of their friends. We went with my in laws to Cape Breton, and stopped in Cheticamp. It shows the beautiful Nova Scotia shoreline. I have always loved the rug and plan to hang it in our living room.

There are some great giveaways going on right now- here are a couple of very nice ones but there are more you may want to check out on my blog list.
Brenda at Pumpkin Patch Primitive Quilt shoppe is having a fantastic fat quarter giveaway. I would love to win this giveaway as my friend Gran. sent me the panel earlier in the fall as a giveaway prize. Just think what I might be able to make with all these fat quarters. It is a wonderful gift for someone - do go and check it out- Brenda will close the giveaway on Halloween night.

Sue has a lovely jelly roll that she is giving away- she needs your opinion on fabric- How fun is that? Go quickly as Sue will draw on October 25th.

Life has been very busy at work - The first 6 weeks of school are busy with assessment and the setting of routines. Our days are full of interesting things -especially as they are beginning to do a major renovation in our school.

We had school pictures this week and are having a storyteller doing a presentation tomorrow. The next couple of weeks will be particularly busy at school with a field trip and a Halloween party. Halloween day at school will be exciting. It is always fun to see the kids in their costumes. I wonder how many superheroes and princesses/ fairies I will have this year? They are pretty excited already!

Last night Bruce and I had a lovely date- we went out for dinner ( Vietnamese food) and then saw a Harry Manx concert. He is a blues artist from the west coast of Canada (Salt Spring Island). Harry Manx is playing a piece in Montreal. If you are interested he has other pieces on you tube- just google his name.

Did you love the Virtual Blogging Festival? Amy's button is still at the top of my blog in case you would like to see more of the quilts. I have been working my way through the list but there were over 600 beautiful quilts to see and learn their stories. I feel like I have neglected some of my other blogging friends, as I got caught up in reading the Virtual quilt show posts.

At home this weekend, we are having a large bin come to take away some of the overgrowth and clutter in and out of the house. So far, it looks like the snow will stay away- We hope to make some more room in the basement. Space is a neverending challenge in our little house.

As you can see, life is particularly full just now. There are report cards looming on the horizon, Christmas concert to prepare for... I have been doing a bit of quilting but it is in small spurts of time... I continue to strive for more balance in life but it is a bit of a challenge just now...

Soon it will be November... Where has this fall gone...

Be well,

Warmest regards,

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fall Blogging Festival

"Star Blue Night" is one of my earlier quilts. The quilt originally was supposed to be 12 twenty inch feathered star blocks. The pattern was from a book By Nancy S.- Johnson called "Rotary Magic". Each block had about 150 pieces. It was a challenging quilt and I decided, after making 5 blocks, that that was enough of half square triangle piecing for me. I chose to do something different with my blocks. This was the final result.

I completed this star quilt around 2002-2003. The 5 feathered stars float around the large overall star that was created by using the " Courthouse steps log cabin layout". The border is a chain link border using star fabrics. The chain link border pattern came from an older magazine called " Quilting Today."

As a rule, I like to create my quilts by using many different colors- This quilt has a really limited palette and that made it a different kind of creative challenge.
"Star Blue Night" resides on our bed and still looks almost as nice as it was in this photo.

Congratulations to Amy for hosting The Fall Blogger Quilt festival. I am looking forward to visiting many other blogs and seeing all the beautiful quilts. Last spring, I met many new bloggers through the festival- I am looking forward to visiting new blogs, seeing all the beautiful quilts, and making some new quilting friends.

Thanks for stopping by to visit- I am sure you are going to enjoy the show. Should you have a quilt that you would like to share, click on Amy's icon and it will take you to the sign up list. Amy also has provided information about the process so that you can join the show. Come and participate in the fun and perhaps win a lovely prize.

I'm off to see all the beautiful quilts..How about you???

Warmest regards from a Western Canadian Quilter,


Monday, October 5, 2009

Just in case that you thought I had disappeared...

This is my god daughter' A's birthday quilt- in an unfinished state. I finished this quilt at the beginning of the summer and in the photos below you can see the quilt close up with its completed border and quilted.

Sunflowers was given to a friend who is dealing with some health issues. Both of these quilts are made using the Disappearing 9 Patch pattern.

Fabric choices make so much difference to the way a quilt looks.
In my god daughter's quilt you can see a more distinct pattern happening because of of the use of tone on tone fabrics combined with the the same central block so that it repeated.

I love the riot of sunflowers in the sunflower quilt but it is much harder to see the repeating pattern than can happen with the disappearing 9 patch pattern.

Which look do you like better? When you are making a quilt do you like quilts with overall designs or quilts that have repeated blocks? Do you like sashing between your blocks or the blocks sewn together without any separation?

This past week I have been busy doing some assessments with my students. It is a new testing instrument for me to use so it is a learning process for me.

Other accomplishments included finishing the baby wrap and making a couple of bracelets. I have cut out another baby wrap and am working on redrafting the pattern. For some reason the pattern keeps getting smaller and the babies are getting bigger so that is not a good. I hope to get a couple made on the upcoming long weekend.

The weather is turning cool and the leaves are beginning to fall from the trees. I am sure that GoTo the squirrel is grateful for all those peanuts collected earlier in the summer. I put on close toed shoes for the first time today- a sign of the changing seasons.

Today was World Teachers Day- a time to reflect on the work one does as an educator. Each day, I hope to make a difference in my children's lives- and each day I learn something new from my children. To me, that is joy of being a teacher. Happy World Teacher's Day to other teachers around the world- I hope you had the opportunity to celebrate being an educator.

Next Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving- I am looking forward to an extra day to spend with my son and some friends - My husband will be away visiting his mother and sister in Victoria. Perhaps there will be some time to get the yard and house cleaned up too.

Have a great week.
Warmest regards,