Friday, July 16, 2010

A North Central Alberta Fabric Journey...

Summertime and the living is easy .....This is one of my favorite summer songs from " Porgy and Bess"...

On Thursday, a dear friend Lou and I went off fabric shopping in the Edmonton vicinity...
Our first stop was a lovely little shop in a town called Mundare. Mundare is about an hour's drive north-east of Edmonton and the home of some great Ukrainian sausage. The shop's name is "The Chicken Coop". Here you can see the shop from the street. Come on in and meet the owner.

The owner, Val, has some lovely home decor pieces, decorative ware and fabulous fabrics and patterns. She is as friendly and welcoming as her smile.
Don't you love the beautiful wall hangings that you can see on the wall behind her!

I loved her wonderful selection of batik fabrics- the colors were rich and sumptuous-(some of them are seen in the bottom row) we wanted to buy them all.. There were some great chicken designs and fun applique patterns that had been made into samples.

And how about that cute baby quilt with the animals on the wall... It would look great wrapped around a sweet little one..

Here are our two piles of treasures that we found in the shop stacked in front of Val. My choices to add to my stash are the pile on the left, and ,the lovely lady with Val. is my dear friend Lou. She found some real beauties too. I love the gorgeous sunflower batik fabric she chose that is on the top.

Here you can see the Mundare grain elevator. These elevators used to be common sites around the province of Alberta. However they are quickly disappearing. My mother bought me a quilted wall hanging of a grain elevator a number of years ago. It hangs in my sewing room and reminds me of my prairie girl roots.
We stopped in a little place in Lamont and I found " The Hungry Caterpillar panel and fabrics. They had almost all of the fabrics but I am still looking for the fabric that has all the fruit and food on it. If I don't find it locally, I will check on line for it.
I love Eric Carle's books and would like to make the quilt for my kindergarten. He also did the illustrations for " Brown Bear, Brown Bear" and I have fabrics to make that quilt too. Looks like my project list is growing still...

I thought you might find some countryside interesting.Here in Western Canada, we are known for our prairie sky - you can see for miles on a clear day.

After we left Lamont, we stopped to get some lunch from Tim Hortons, a sandwich and donut place that is famous across Canada. We have Starbucks and Second Cup but when someone says they are going to Tims, it usually means coffee where you can get a double double... ( I think that means two cream and two sugar in a large coffee-) I am a tea drinker- Tim's is famous for having a contest called Roll up the Rim to win... By the way. Tim was a hockey player for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 60's.

We are back driving again and we passed many beautiful fields. This canola field is ripe- it has quite a powerful smell and is a gorgeous yellow. We left the country highway to join up with a ringroad called the Anthony Henday. It is a ring road around the city and so we drove from the North to the South and headed West to another community called Stony Plain. The metropolitan area of Edmonton and surrounding communities is about a million people. It is quite the contrast of city and countryside.

After about an hour, we arrive in Stony Plain, where there are two quilt stores there - one is called Sawdust and Tangled Threads which has lots of country and civil war type fabrics. The shop is in an big rambling house which seems fitting for the fabrics they have for sale. I have bought the Buggy Barn patterns in their shop. On this day, I bought a wildlife panel of bears which I am thinking of using for a quilt for my father.
The other shop is called Sewing with Class and, while we did not buy any fabric there this time, we admired the gorgeous samples on the wall. They had some quilts made in patterns we already owned, but have not yet found the time to make.

I seem to have more than a few of those sorts of patterns in my collection. Some even have the fabric to go with the patterns. So many ideas running around in my head - I sometimes feel like the hamster running around on one of those wheels. You know that hamsters can go very fast in the wheel but they don't seem to get very far... LOL

This past week I have been pretty low key. I had not been feeling well so I needed to do those things one does when one doesn't feel well. You have to go get checked out. Everything came out fine and I am feeling better.

In between doctor and dental checkups, I have still been putt-ing along cleaning out spaces that don't get cleaned out often during the school year. The house is beginning to look better, the sewing room tidier, and, perhaps I might still get to my current quilt projects. VBG
I have finally chosen a border for one of my quilt projects- I auditioned more than a few pieces, for this particular couch quilt. I will show you a photo when I post next time.

Today's mail brought a lovely giveaway package containing some handmade pocket mirrors made by Ebony love Thanks so much for the lovely mirrors - they are too cute and perfect for a purse. Do stop over to her blog and check out her lovely things.

Lastly, don't forget to stop at my post yesterday and check out those wonderful giveaways going on in blog land. The blog posts are interesting and the bloggers are all wonderful writers sharing their life and their loves. The giveaways are really a bonus. I continue to meet so many wonderful people through my blogging experience.
Thanks for taking the time to stop by for a visit. I am always glad to hear from you.
Your comments are very much appreciated. Until next time, be well.
Warmest regards,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Some giveaways:

Just a quick post with some giveaways going on in blogland. There are so many interesting blogs to read these days. Hope you might find some new blogs to enjoy.

kelly of once in a blue moon has the cutest blue bear that she is giving away - if you love teddies do go and check it out..

Fat quarters anyone- you may want to visit this blog.. Terri of Sew fantastic has some lovely fat quarters that are going to go to some lucky winner...

I love heart quilts and Lee has created a beautiful blue rag heart couch quilt. Wow what a lucky person who wins Lee's quilt.

Mystery prize for someone - It will be a wonderful handmade gift for the winner. GO quickly Lisa will draw soon..

Micki now lives in Ireland with Joe and their beautiful dogs. I have visited Micki for a long time and love reading about her varied interests and life in Ireland. Go quick as this one ends July 16 and announce the winner on July 17.

Spun Sugar
is sponsoring a Go cutter giveaway- They sure are popular out here in blogland and I see lots of people creating some terrific quilts with these cutters.

Cherri House has written a book called City quilts that is having a blog tour. Each of the different interviewers is giving away a copy of her book along with Robert Kaufman bundles of fat quarter solids.
Jodi of Pleasant home has a new giveaway going on- welcome her to blogland and check out her web site.
Deb at Thread gatherer's blog is celebrating her 100th post, over 300 followers and nearly two years blogging. Those are lots of things to celebrate...
Ryan is going to be having a giveaway- Check out his blog for all his exciting news.

Sharon has just opened her on line fabric, pattern and notion store. She has a wonderful personal blog called red geranium cottage Sharon really enjoys fabric and is one dynamic lady. Go check out her website - you will love her stories and her fabrics..

Today my friend Lou and I went on our own fabric shop hop- I have some photos to down load and I promise to post about our adventure soon. In the mean time go check out some of these great blogs.

Like Arnold says

"I'll be back."...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

How about a cup of tea ?

Summer holidays have arrived and I have spent the last couple of days hanging out at home- doing things like watching some movies, reading Mark Lipinski's magazine " Quilter's Home" and picking up here and there. My very good friend Val and I had lunch today and began to catch up with one another after the busy school year. We visited the bead section of Michael's and I bought a new Dr.Suess welcome sign for my classroom door. Even though school is just over, it seems like I am still planning ahead a little bit for September.
The last days of school were busy with tidying up, emptying some boxes from our earlier move and attending some social events at night. During that week I had 5 days where I was out to dinner with friends- both old friends and new as well as attending a nice barbecue with my husband.
My friend Lou and I went out to our favorite local quilt stores and stopped for an enjoyable lunch. Life was particularly full that last week of school so I was certainly ready to stop when we left school at 4:30 on Wednesday afternoon.

The beginning of summer is always a time to catch my breath. Do you have a time where you pause to reflect on life and just enjoy the that particular day? I found this tea set while out shopping last weekend. Most days Bruce and I have tea when I come home from school. I love pottery and this one just called my name. This sign "You Sew Girl" from Connecting Threads made me laugh when I saw it " It is beckoning me to get started quilting... I have been thinking about what projects that I might like to complete this summer. ( a couple of convergences? two BQ quilts? my cube quilt? get my wheel of mystery quilt quilted? two optical illusion quilt tops to finish piecing? this is the start of the list ?)
Naomi of Bee she bags blog sent me these lovely thimbles a couple of weeks ago. Aren't they pretty - I especially like the rose colored one in the middle of the plate. By the way, I made that pottery plate a few years ago when I was playing with clay. Over the years, I have experimented with clay, knit, crocheted, made candles, done embroidery and sewn clothing. Some hobbies have stayed for a good length of time and others it became clear that they were not for me. Quilting is the one that has endured since 1996.
Susanof blackberry creek chose my name when she was giving away this gorgeous tapestry hanging by Susan Winget. I am still deciding where I am going to hang it Susan but it sure is a beauty. Thank you so much for choosing my name. Do stop and visit these two ladies blogs- They are lovely people who enjoy sharing their lives and love of quilting.

You may remember that I was busily working on this Life is a trip quilt. Here was the reason: My friend Clementine was retiring. She seems very happy with her quilt, doesn't she? She is a dear friend who is retiring after 32 years of teaching and moving back home to the province of Manitoba. I will miss her zest and enthusiasm for life. Her laugh is as beautiful as the smile on her face. Safe journeys dear friend!
Clementine's photo was taken in my renovated classroom- You can see we are still in the process of sorting. They are continuing to renovate over the summer- It is like moving into a new school- Everything is fresh and clean...

The rest of the weekend I plan to finish making my quilting list, do some seasonal changes of our decor and take a look at some of the books I have taken out from our local library. I have begun to catch up to some of my friends both in my regular life as well as in blogland.
Perhaps you have some great summer plans or maybe they are like mine- you are stopping to smell the roses too... trying some new recipes and enjoying living a little simpler pace...

Here are a few giveaways for you to check out too.
If you have time, go and visit these lovely ladies-

Lori from Bee in my bonnet who is having a fun pincushion giveaway. The garden chairs are so very cute...She even shows you how to make one of your own..
Khris has a fun turnover giveaway going on her blog - She will draw on the 8th of July ( Aussie time)
Michelle is sharing her love of white and bunnies- I have followed her blog for a long time and always enjoy reading what is happening at raspberry rabbits.

On Thursday we celebrated Canada Day with Red Maple Leaves flying. Hope my American friends enjoy a very Happy Fourth of July.
And now I am off to add to my quilting plan list....and start my summer reading.

What book is on your night table just now ?