Monday, November 29, 2010

Going back....

Do you have a favorite pattern that you use when you quilt? There are a few giveaways going on in blogland and sometimes the blogger will pose a question.
One of the giveaways that I entered tonight, asked me if I had a favorite pattern.
I guess I am a traditionalist at heart- I love patterns like Lone Star, Log Cabin and Double Wedding Ring- the designs are simple designs with lots of color. The quilt in the photograph was made a number of years ago(rising 10 years) and it belonged to my inlaws. I believe it is a Double Irish Chain and, even though we have taken a number of photos of it, the colors just do not come out correctly on the computer or photograph. The red is a rich cranberry/ burgundy red and gold and green are quite luscious in person. However, I like to post at least one quilt this post. Here is one to kick out the Festive Season.
My spouse and I share a great love of flowers. Bruce found some lovely peach colored roses with alstroemeria. They are such a pretty flower and last quite awhile- They certainly brighten a winter's day.
Winter arrived last week with a bang. The first seriously cold day was on the 22nd which also just happened to be my birthday. It is not unusual to have snow on my birthday, but one hopes not to get hit with a real cold spell at the beginning. This one lasted for only a couple of days,thank goodness! Too many cold days in a row can make for some serious cases of cabin fever in kindergarten.
Since I last wrote - all the most important writing has been completed at school. I have met with my families and we now are preparing for the annual Christmas concert. The children are getting excited for the upcoming arrival of Santa.

You already know that I love creating and making things with my hands.One of my other interests is family history or genealogy. When I was about 16, I began to research my father's family. Like a disease spreading, other family members got hooked into looking at things from the past. M This weekend Bruce and I went to visit my folks in Red Deer(it is about a two hour drive).My mother has developed a serious bug and collected information from 8 different lines that radiate out from my grandparents. Imagine my pleasure when my mother handed me a pamphlet from the local museum, with a photograph of my grandfather's family. The photo was taken in 1912 when my grandfather was 2. He is the little boy in the doorway dressed in white. (I think you could click on the photos and make them larger.)The curator, Michael, was someone with whom I went to school. He gave a lecture Sunday afternoon which we were invited to attend. It was a wonderful hour spent learning more about the settlement of the area and some of the trials,tribulations and challenges that the families experienced when they arrived in this New land.

This dapper fellow holding the violin was my mother's great uncle John. The photographs were all taken on glass negatives and have been well preserved.
Here is my mother Dolores(the fair haired one) and her cousin Lavila taken on either side of the family photo. Lavila's father was born a year later than this photograph.
My great grandparents were Swedish and came around the turn of the 20th century. Like others, my great grandfather came ahead and his wife followed awhile later. Their journey was long and arduous. They came to land that was not yet developed and worked hard to establish a new life. The exhibit is called "Nya Bachen" which refers to "New Land".

Here is a photo of my mom and I with the family photograph.

This past weekend was quite hectic- my friend Val and I went to a local bead show of hand made beads.(I hope to show you them in a different post). There were some really lovely ones and,of course,I bought some to use to make Christmas gifts. Bruce and I left to spend the rest of the weekend with my folks.
Some family friends of my parents came in to have " American Thanksgiving Dinner" on Saturday evening. They are transplanted Americans. We had a pleasant evening and enjoyed chicken dinner with all the trimmings.

Sunday was even busier- In the morning, Mom and I made gingerbread playdough for my students. I have some gingerbread cookie dough chilling in the fridge compliments of my mother. One evening this week, I will roll out the dough and make gingerbread cookies for my school kids. After lunch, we went off to the museum and returned to watch the Grey Cup (our national football championship). Some family members were disappointed because our Western team - the Saskatchewan Roughriders lost to the Montreal Alouettes.
Our journey home from Red Deer was later than usual as the road was covered in ground fog for the first half of the trip. It felt good to fall into bed on Sunday night.

If you are still with me, I want to share a few giveaways that are happening in Blogland.
Rebecca is having a lovely giveaway of some gorgeous fat quarters.
Elaine is having a birthday giveaway- She is a big fan of civil war fabrics and has lovely blog - do go and check out her blog.
Charlie is celebrating having 500 followers. He along with the Fat Quarter Shop, are having a nice giveaway with a 50 dollar gift certificate and a baby quilt that Charlie has created. He is giving away the fabrics to make a chenille baby blanket.
Oz Jane has a very nice giveaway going on just now. She often shares her adventures with Moggie the cat and life in the land down under.
Heather of "Trends and Traditions" is part of a group of designers who are hosting a blog hop with 17 other designers for the first 7 days of December. It is The Henry Glass Parade with a free project and a mystery word to collect. At the end you could be the winner of some great prizes. Do check it out from Heather's post.
December is soon here. May you enjoy some wonderful family times during this hectic season.
Until next time, I hope you spend some happy time creating.
Warmest regards,

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November Ramblings...

So how is life everyone..... Are you getting ready for Christmas? Is it getting cooler and the snow arriving in your neck of the woods(for my Northern Hemisphere blogging friends)? Here in Edmonton, we had one snowfall that has melted away but this weekend has been cool and grey. The sky looks threatening- I guess I will have to put away my open toed shoes soon. LOL

One of the things my husband Bruce often does, is bring home flowers when he goes grocery shopping- The newest flowers were red carnationa and a stem of orchids - The orchids are actually white and deep red purple, and have graced the table that I have been working on, for most of the past couple of weekends.

For me it is that time again where I worked on report cards for school. The flowers looked beautiful and gave me something to enjoy viewing when I needed some time to reflect on the writing.

Once I had completed some of the report writing, I thought about other things that I have on my plate to do before the Christmas season is upon us. One of them is a small quilting project. I went looking in the stash of fabric for some pansy fabrics. A quilting friend very kindly had given me some pieces for this particular project. I am very grateful for her generous gift, because as I dug through the boxes of beautiful fabric, I found many beautiful pieces of batiks, tone on tone, stars and other floral fabrics but very little pansy fabric.

I have read a few blogs lately that showed some new fabrics that others had added to their stash. I am trying to use my stash when I can, rather than buy new fabric. There are many beautiful pieces up there just waiting to be made into quilts. Do you collect lots of the same kind of fabrics and not much of other kinds? How is it that I can have boxes of one type and only a half a dozen pieces of another?

Choosing a pattern was also a bit of a challenge as I usually make bed quilts. I found the pattern for these bargello placemats in this older issue of Quilter's World.
Here you can see the original pattern called Land and Sea bargello placemats.
I do love the color combo that they used. I am not sure how well it will work with the pansy fabrics, but we will soon find out.

You can see the strips laid out on the table. I am still trying to figure out if this is the sequence that I want to use for the place mats. I can't decide if I want to include the bright yellow strip or not- I am wondering if it is going to be too jarring to the eye?

A friend at work asked me if I would make her some bracelets for her to give as Christmas gifts. These were today's creations- If you are wondering why they still have loose wire, it is because I want to check and see if they all fit, before I cut the wire and finish them. She will not want all of them, so I have a start on some Christmas gifts as well.

The one bracelet on the left that has bigger beads, is for me- I bought some Christmas beads and got them strung in time to wear for this Christmas season. Wahoo..

In between report card writing, we had the opportunity to take in some great music by some local musicians who participated in an event called "Homefest". The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of Homelessness in our area. We have attended before (3 other times). Each time we have enjoyed the music and been moved by the stories shared by the people willing to share their challenging circumstances. Affordable housing is a difficult issue for many people in the current economic times. It is particularly daunting in our winter climate.

Later last week, Bruce and I went to hear a lecture at the local Art Gallery about the work of Henri Matisse. I found it interesting to see this week,that Hancocks of Paducah was advertising a new line of fabrics " Vie en Rose" by Alexander Henry that use Henri Matisse works as inspiration for the line.

I am still wanting to finish reading all the quilt stories from Amy's blogging festival. The icon at the top of my blog can take you to Amy's festival where you should be able to view the quilts. There were 649 quilts in the show- so many magnificent pieces...

This next week there is still some paperwork to be completed for school. Hopefully next weekend I will take out the winter village to decorate the sideboard. The days seem to fly by at this time of year, with lots to do and not enough time...Christmas is coming...

Hope you all are well and getting some time to create and enjoy life.

Warmest regards,