Monday, August 23, 2010

Do you wonder where August has gone?

Medicine Lake,Alberta

I know its been awhile- Perhaps you were beginning to think that I was giving up blogging? or that I was lost somewhere and couldn't find my way home?LOL Went on a long journey? Well it is true that my husband Bruce and I went away on a short little trip. We visited the mountains around Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. It is very beautiful there don't you think?

Summer vacation is soon over for me-classes begin again next week. Perhaps a sign of the seasons changing, is the changing weather- this morning it was quite cool and I put on a pair of slacks and shirt rather than my usual summer sun dress. I have even been thinking about putting on my slippers....

My aunt ( my mother`s sister) came to visit me today- we had a lovely time together- looking at some genealogy books, talking about our projects and having some lunch that I prepared for us to share together ( turkey spread, buns, tomato bean salad, greek salad, salsa and fresh fruit). While she was here, she showed how to do a bow knit knitting stitch so that I could make a baby blanket or scarf( that is a whole other post). My aunt asked to look at some of summer projects.

Here is a little tour of some of the projects that I have been working on these days..

This convergence quilt is done -Waa hooo..... I must have been more wonky than usual whenI was cutting this quilt because I had lots of difficulty getting this quilt straight- I am pleased with it now - we seem to have recouped it from its original bad haircut!

You may remember me making the large wonky tiles quilt last summer for our dear friends to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. I thought maybe they would enjoy having matching pillowcases so with a couple of spare blocks( I have another 100 to turn into another quilt or two VBG) I had some scraps from the borders of their quilt and used them to make two pillowcases for them. Happy anniversary dear friends!
I do love Convergence designs and here is a second one. This one still needs to be quilted and bound(I even have the binding made- Now if I could just get it spray basted so that I could quilt it) It is fun to see how the design converge - I really loved how the red stop border sets this quilt off..
Perhaps you remember when I was trying to decide whether I wanted to use this fabric for a border for this quilt? I really like how it sets off the blocks- Sometimes I find it helpful to see a few quilts that have been made using a particular pattern. This is a BQ pattern from Maple Island quilt patterns- I have now bound this quilt- It is waiting for its label and then I can give it to some special people in my life.. Fabric variations really do change how patterns look. This is the same pattern as the previous quilt, but with a little more variety in the big blocks. I am sure it would look different again with all scrappy fabrics. Mars the cat, came to be our assistant when we were setting out the quilts to be photographed. I am very pleased to have 3 quilts finished except for labels. I have some more blocks to join of the tessellation quilt. As well, I have more wonky rail tie blocks that need to be sewn together LOL. I hope to get some of these blocks together so that I have two more quilts made into quilt tops.

August is soon over but it is nice to have finished some projects this summer. The sands of time stop for no one...I wonder if I can put my pedal to the medal so that I can go a little faster?

These past few weeks I have visited some friends and family as well as enjoyed a few books. I recently finished reading " The Forgotten Garden" by Kate Morton ( good story) as well as some more of Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swenson cooking mysteries.

Last week I attended a workshop to help me improve my teaching of reading. I will go and spend some time in my classroom this week. I want to get a few things set up before class begins next week. Our school was renovated this past year and they are working fast and furious for us to be ready for school opening. There are lists to be made and some materials prepared and new lessons to develop _ I can feel the pace of life starting to rev up.

My friend Lou and I went on another local shop hop. Bruce and I stopped in some quilt stores on the way to Jasper. More about that next time...

Some Thank you's

I want to acknowledge two very fine ladies who sent me giveaway gifts in the mail..
Nancy from Blogging near Philadelphia sent me a lovely cupcake pincushion pattern with some sweet buttons.Thanks so much for your thoughtful and generous gift Nancy. Do visit her blog - I enjoy reading her postings - I am sure you will too!

Elizabeth sent me the coolest Abby pincushion and thread bag. If you go to her August 23 posting you will see one that is the same pattern that she made for me. I will try and take a photo of it to show you her brilliant work. Thanks so much ladies- I am such a fortunate person..

There are some wonderful giveaways going on around blogland.

If you are wishing for the Accuquilt Go you can enter to win one here: Paulette has a great tutorial going on for the the GO or here: Jackie has some lovely quilts on her blog. You might enjoy visiting her shop too..some really yummy fabrics including Kaffe Fassett.
( Kaffe is coming here to Edmonton to speak- I must go and get my ticket soon.. Waa hooo)

Aunt Spicy's friend Erica has a very cute pair of earrings that she is giving away. I remember having some of those carved earrings some years ago. I love the updated look of those earrings.

Pat is celebrating a writing opportunity by having a giveaway. I enjoy reading her quilting and stories - She has such a great sense of fun...

Enjoy your last days of summer if you live in the Northern Hemisphere (I am sure my friends in the southern hemisphere are looking forward to warmer days and the flowers of spring just as we are looking forward to all the colors of autumn. Such an interesting concept to be thinking about fall and spring at the same time!

Warmest regards,

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Travels with Anna....

Lilies from my father's garden..
I am not sure where the summer has gone ... Well that is not quite true.. my days have been full enough with some quilting time, family time, a little cleaning and a bit of local travelling... Since I last posted, I have been away visiting my parents and getting a bit of quilting done.Over the summer, I have read a few novels that included some by Jennifer Wiener, Earlene Fowler( State Fair) and a book called the Knitting Club by Ann Hood. There is a stack sitting on my night table that include "Three Cups of Tea", The Forgotten Garden and Leaving Gee Bend..)

I finally got caught up on my blog reading until my laptop died. I am currently using my husband's machine as we contemplate our next step- the warranty on my computer has just recently run out:(

We travelled the backroads to my parents who live 100 miles south in a city called Red Deer. The city is now about 90 thousand people ,but when I grew up there, it was only around 25 thousand. We have travelled the main highway many times over the past 35 years and it does get a little boring. The traffic is a lot heavier as it is the main corridor between the two largest cities of the province (Edmonton to Calgary)This photo is not too far east from my folks- if you look close you can see the rocky formations of the river bank.
Along the road you often will find what we fondly call Nid Nods. They are oil pumps and they are a common enough site on the drive.
Alberta countryside is sometimes referred to as knob and kettle land. Some parts of the prairies are quite flat but the prairies where I was raised is quite hilly. I loved the fields of canola(rapeseed) when they are yellow and ripe. My grandparents were farmers in the Alberta foothills and their farm was much like this land.

You can see my hand in the mirror taking the photo- It is sort of Escher like (some of Escher's brilliant work happens to be showing at Alberta Gallery of Art along with Looney Tunes) This picture was a fluke but sure was interesting...

When Summer comes, it usually means that I have the opportunity to have a longer visit with my parents. I spent four days with my mom and dad. During the visit we went shopping, visited Tim Horton's for coffee and checked out the local quilt stores. The quilt store trip did not produce any great finds - perhaps just as well, with the cost of a new computer on the horizon.. We visited a family friend, Sherry, who has an old homestead house that she and her husband are renovating. She is a fabulous artist and her home is filled with her beautiful paintings and lots of antiques. The quilt on their bed is one that I made a number of years ago, called Chimneys and Cornerstones.
Her husband Brian is a fabulous woodworker. Don't you love his beautiful sleigh coffee table?

On their property is a Pretty cool antique thrashing machine..

My parents celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary while I was home. To mark the occasion, we took a few pictures of our family. I particularly liked this one of my folks.

This family photo was taken after a celebration dinner that we had to mark the occasion. Unfortunately my husband and son (as well as one niece and her husband) were not able to be there, because they were working. Pictured here are my two brothers, my sister and their partners, along with myself and my parents.

Earlier in the day, I suggested to my folks that we should go and take a photograph of them outside the church where they had been married. We arrived at 2:25 in the afternoon at the approximate time when they would have been leaving the church. They obligingly stood outside the church where they exchanged their vows 55 years earlier.

For those of you who may be wondering if I have been having any quilting adventures... Before I went to my folks, I did get three quilts spray basted so that they are now ready to quilt. My teaching partner and I went to school and used the tables there to lay them out for spraying. Next goal is to find some quilting time... I made a new couch sized convergence quilt that I am very pleased with the results. Some of my summer projects are finally coming together but I have not taken updated photos.
Over the weekend, I took a tessellation quilt workshop- I have some blocks made. We had a bit of excitement during the Friday nite session as the power went out. Quilting by candlelight was somewhat limiting so we headed home about 40 minutes early. Perhaps I should learn how to use my grandmother's treadle machine...LOL

On Saturday, we learned how to make a disappearing 4 patch pattern block. Disappearing 4 patch looks more complicated than it is and is made with charm squares. Hopefully I will get some quilting done by the end of the week and have some new photos to show you.

Next week we are off to the mountains for a few days. We are going to Jasper which is a beautiful spot. My husband is hoping for clear skies so that he can see lots of meteors during the Perseids meteor showers.. The summer is moving along too fast-
I officially return to the classroom on August 30 and there will be school things to do before that time. The time does pass all too quickly..

Happy travels and safe journeys,