Thursday, May 20, 2010

Blogger Quilt Festival- Spring 2010

Amy has a new blogging quilt festival that will begin tomorrow May 21. There are so many wonderful quilts to be seen and blogs to visit. I hope that you will get the chance to visit many of the wonderful quilts and quilters that are participating in it. This is my third time participating in this event. A big thank you to Amy for organizing this event- I am sure you will be inspired by the many beautiful quilts and stories. I know I am!

Amy asked us to write about a favorite quilt of ours to share. After some deliberation, this was my choice.
I made this wedding bargello quilt for a friend and her husband. The pattern is called " Melinda's Heart" by Heidi K. Farmer.
I chose these rich colors as my friend was keen on primary colors rather than the pink and green combination used in the original pattern. This was not the first bargello quilt that I had made. I really enjoy constructing quilts using this technique. To some, it may look more complicated than it actually is. It does require some careful cutting and pressing but it is not difficult. Someday I want to make this quilt again in pinks and greens. It would be softer and have a different kind of elegance. My friend's birthday is the day after Valentine's day, so this design seemed particularly appropriate.

There are some fabulous bargello books and designers out there - Chris Timmons - an Australian native and Derek C. Lockwood are among my favorites. Marge Edie also has a lovely Bargello book. I have a few patterns collected for my someday quilts. My someday list is getting longer and longer....perhaps you suffer from the same problem of the ever growing list of quilts you want to make...LOL

Do you make a pattern more than once? Do you have a favorite pattern or technique?

I am currently working on a new quilt- a second version of the blue/ brown quilt(see my last post). This weekend is an extra long weekend for me. I plan to get some quilting done as well as getting some school work finished. I want to begin some year end report card writing. June is just around the corner. The cool and rainy weather will be perfect for quilting and writing- unfortunately, not so perfect for our friends who may be wanting to be camping. They are predicting wet snow in the foothills /mountains tomorrow. That could be chilly in a tent!

In Canada, the 24th of May Long Weekend ( also known as the Victoria Day weekend) is traditionally the first camping weekend of the year. As a child, our family would go camping in the foothills of Alberta. One of my first childhood memories is of sleeping in a tent by a river and waking up to snow on the ground outside. Part of that same memory, is eating fresh pineapple for the first time. Some family friends brought a pineapple for us to try. I was probably 5 or 6 at the time. Fresh produce that we now have readily available year round, was not so common place in the early 60's. Strange the things we remember and store as memories from one's childhood.
I hope the weather is not too inclement for everyone to enjoy some time out of doors.

I was very fortunate this week to win a lovely giveaway prize from Susan at Blackberry creek blog. She is having another giveaway this week- a Southern Living Cookbook that you might wish to own. Susan has been busy redoing her house- she is an avid reader and a lovely quilter- Do stop by and visit..Thank you Susan for choosing my name to win your bunny tapestry. It will be treasured..

Enjoy the quilt festival- just click on the link and it will take you to the list of bloggers that are participating in this years festival.

Warmest regards,

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Mom is....

I love you Mom - I have been blessed with a Mother, who has always been there for me when life has gotten difficult or when I was celebrating the special and ordinary events in my life. I know that I can count on her to listen and, even to parent me in middle age. Our standing joke is that she will tell me that its time for bed when the clock is getting late and we are talking on the phone. I can say " Yes Mom" and grin". This photo was taken of us about 5 years ago. She recently celebrated a birthday and my family went home to visit just before her and my dad's birthday. I wish her a very special Mother's Day. I am looking forward to talking to her some time today to wish her a lovely day. I will try not to make it too close to my bed time :D
On Friday, it was our annual Mother's Day Tea. My school children made flowers for their moms/grandmas to present to them at home. All week we practised songs, made cards and wrapping paper and finished painting our flowers. We sang 5 songs for our Moms.I had the kids do a survey- my kid's moms ranged in age from 11 to 65...five year olds do not have a clear idea how old we are..VBG
We had most of our moms come to join us for the tea so the gym( our current classroom) was pretty full with our students and their families.(My teaching partner and I had about 3/4 of our families represented). As always, our educational assistants helped to make the tea a grand success- they made sure the tea pots and food trays were full. Our special assistants gave the children without any family members present, an opportunity to give tea to someone special. We are very fortunate to have such wonderful caring support for our students. One rose was given to each parent as they left the tea. We sent home a flower with each of the students whose families were not able to come celebrate with us. Friday was a very busy day because we went on a field trip to a local school to hear Sandi and Lee Paley sing with the kids in the morning. We were a group of tired ladies at Friday's end.

I promised you a before and after photo of my new hairdo. This is a photo taken a few days before- I was mighty windblown( which doesn't help) but it was getting pretty raggedy looking. The pets are not very happy looking either LOL

And here is the updated haircut- sleek and shaped and not too floofie looking. I am not sure why I didn't put my specs on- I wear them all the times these days as I can not read much of anything without them.(I do have more than green shirts in my closet) just have been wearing lots of green this spring. Perhaps I am hoping that spring has finally arrived- last week we had a snowstorm and needed to pull out the dreaded shovel. It has melted again and things are really beginning to green up- Hurrah!
Bruce and I visited the Art Gallery this week to attend a lecture about Yousef Karsh. His black and white photographs are so rich with light. He was an Armenian immigrant who moved to Canada when he was 16. He lived a long life( 1908-2002), mostly in the city of Ottawa and took photos of over 15,000 people many of them celebrities. This beautiful book called "Regarding Heroes" was written by David Travis. He was a former curator of photography of the Art Institute of Chicago and was the speaker at the lecture we attended. His book was a Mother's Day gift from my loving spouse. My favorite page in the book has Martin Luther King on the left and Nelson Mandela on the right page.

Yesterday while I was out, I visited a local quilt store to check out there clearance section. They had some lovely fabrics that included a beautiful piece of paisley that I added to the stash. Our son Kevin and his girlfriend, Roseanne, took me out to Mother's Day dinner in the evening. We stopped for dessert at a local ice cream place called Marble Slab to have waffle cones. My choice was raspberry cheesecake ice cream - total decadence.

Later today we are off to the Winspear auditorium to partake in a special event where some classic Chopin will be played and nice food served. It should be a very nice evening. All in all, I am one fortunate lady.

There are a few giveaways going on in blogland:
a honey run quilters giveaway Do you like jelly rolls and charm squares? Do you have a favorite line of fabric? Go leave a comment for her to enter.
Inch Worm Fabrics is having a great giveaway of a Lonestar book by Jan Krentz . She has a great blog and very nice store - do go and have a look around.Mother's day giveaway. Be sure to go to the Mother's day link first in order to enter for the great book. I am sure you will enjoy your visit.

Angela at Fenland Textile Studio gave me a very nice compliment and chose me as one of her beautiful bloggers. There are many wonderful blogs out there so I am very touched, she would choose me. There are so many bloggers that I could pass it on to, that I can not choose a handful. Pick any of the blogs on my blog list and you will find someone special to read. Do stop by Angela's blog -she has been sick with pleurisy and will enjoy having you leave a comment.

My original idea for today's post, was to write about my four great grandmothers. They were amazing ladies who were immigrants at the turn of the 20th century. That is a post for another time.

For some of you, Mother's Day may not be a happy day. You may have lost your mother or your child recently and feel great sadness. May you find yourself buoyed by the warmth of caring loved ones today.

I have been blessed with a loving Mother and Mother in Law. My mother in law now lives in a nursing home where she is well cared for- she has Alzheimer's. I miss her friendship, her love of the arts and her thoughtful ways. She was a nice painter, a fabulous bread maker and a kind and caring friend to me. She raised 5 wonderful children who miss her presence in their lives.

Motherhood, to me, is about the nurturing of loved ones- that may be your biological mother or someone who has provided you with the care and feeding of your physical or emotional spirit. Our family circles are richer for those who give us sustenance and support. Thank you to all who share their loving gifts with others.

Until next time,
Be well,
Warmest regards,

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May is here.....

Dusty the dog was in serious need of a hair cut so after a visit to the vets to get her rabies shots updated we took her to the groomers. She gets rather motley looking (as seen in the first photo)not to mention grumpy. Dusty is also not the best problem solver.Here she has managed to tie herself around the bottom of the back step because she only knows how to turn in one direction. I am not sure how one teaches a dog to go in both directions at age 8!
This is the after photo from her visit to the groomers. She is so sleek now - Dusty was not keen on the bows- neither was our son. A girl needs to get dressed up now and again VBG
Over the weekend, Bruce and I visited a local rock and gem shop. Naturally while I was there I bought a few beads to play with- I am currently making some bracelets with a black and silver theme so I added these beauties to the collection. There is a strand of abalone and some black agate. The owner had a sale so everything was 10 percent off. It was fun to see all the beautiful polished stones.

Aren't these beautiful little pots/bowls? Twice a year, a group of local potters have a craft sale. My good friend Val and I went to check out their wares and came away with a few pieces for very reasonable prices. I bought these pieces as gifts for friends and family.
Once upon a time I played in the clay before I took up quilting. Occasionally, I think about playing with the clay but somehow there is not enough time for me to create my quilts, bead and do pottery too. Have you always quilted or do you do other things to express your creativity?
Linda of Flourishing Palms sent me this beautiful handmade bag as a giveaway prize on her blog. I love the beautiful detailed quilting and the turquoise color. Unfortunately, my limited photography skills do not do it justice. Thank you so much Linda for your lovely gift. It is a beauty!

These are my two current quilt projects- I had some trouble with the border of the convergence because I gave it a bad Haircut- it was quite badly askew and I was beginning to think it might need to be a liberated version of the quilt. With the help of my quilting friend and mentor Linda, we managed to straighten it enough for me to add the outside borders. The fabric on top is going to be the back of the quilt. Do you like your front and back to be coordinated? Do you make pieced backs or use one large piece of fabric?

I recently began making this quilt as a gift. It is a fairly muted quilt for me but I think it will work for the its designated home. I am still debating about adding the printed border to it. I think it will work out nicely but I am still playing with it.

In other news, we are managing quite nicely in the gym at school. This week we are working on Mother's Day projects for our moms. We are going on a field trip on Friday and having a special tea for our Mothers in the afternoon. Friday will be a busy day indeed.

Today I bought the April/ May issue of Quilter's Home. It has a list of 55 Rad blogs to check out. There are so many great blogs out there - I am sure that I am going to discover a few more from this list.
A friend went to Quilt Canada in Calgary last week. Mark Lipinski was one the guest speakers. He is a wonderful comedic storyteller and kept everyone in stitches. I attended some of the shows that were associated with Quilt Canada when it was here in Edmonton a few years ago. It is always fun to see the newest trends, fabrics and meet with other quilters. It feeds our creative spirits and infuses us with energy to continue on one's quilting journey.

A dear blogging friend Eileen lost her beloved Geo yesterday. She is a special lady, a wonderful quilter and one of the kindest people I have come in contact with in blogland. I wish her comfort and the support and caring of friends and family at this difficult time.

Mother's Day is coming up and my blog friend Michele has written a powerful piece about her mother and her experiences with Alzheimer's. Michele is involved with Ami Simms Alzheimer's Initiative project. Please stop by and read her poignant piece.

Life continues to be full - May has arrived and there are many things on the horizon- a special Chopin concert, another trip to the Art Gallery, moving back into our renovated classroom, assessment and report cards... and a new Haircut for me..
Like Dusty, I am in serious need of a new hairdo... that is on next weekend's agenda

Until next time,
Be well,
Warmest regards,