Sunday, January 30, 2011

One World One Heart 2011

Welcome to my blog and the OWOH blogging festival- there are some lovely gifts to be won but, more importantly some new friendships to be made as you travel to the festival stops. I am giving away two handmade bracelets but more about that later...
This mystery quilt's name is Bear in a Cabin and is a mix of log cabin and bear's paw blocks. It is one of my oldest quilts- I began it around 2000 and finished a couple of years later.

I have been thinking about this post for awhile now as I am a big fan of Lisa's from " A Whimsical Bohemian - the creator of One World One Heart. The intent is help bloggers around the globe meet other bloggers during this two week festival.
Did you have penpals when you were growing up?

My name is Anna( aka quiltmom) and I am a middle aged woman from Western Canada, who has loved having penpals from all over the world since I was a teenager. Blogging reminds me of those days of writing letters; only now you get feedback and make connections much more quickly than when I just had snail mail..

I started my blogging journey over two years ago. I love to quilt and create things and have played with lots of different types of medium- pottery, candlemaking, macrame, knitting, crochet, sewing, stamping and beading. Still my first love is quilting followed by beading. Perhaps one day I will combine two but right now I enjoy playing with fabric and beads separately..

I am a kindergarten teacher in my professional life. My husband and I have a grown son. We share our house with a dog named Dusty and a cat named Mars.

One day last week I came home to two packages waiting for me on the table. One of them was large heavy plastic bag from Hancock's of Paducah and the other had some books from Amazon. It was a red letter day for Mail that day....

Now inside this big plastic mail bag, there was some beautiful fabrics to add to the stash- fabrics for baby wraps, a Halloween and Christmas project and some more fabric for my Kaffe Fassett quilt.I am not sure just how big that quilt might end up!! Most importantly, it has a large piece of fabric for a quilt that I am planning that is using some wild life panels. I am still trying to find the right pattern but soon...

The Amazon box had some other treasures in it, but these two books were special to me. The Art Quilt Collection book is brand new to print and was recommended on a couple of blogs. As someone who enjoys looking at other people's work for inspiration, this book is a beautiful addition to my quilt books. Each page has an art quilt with some information about their technique- lots of ideas to ponder..

The other one is a book that I read many years ago and gave to my mother. It is about three generations of Alberta women, but mostly about Mamie, who came to the prairies at the turn of the 20th century. Her story reminds me of the stories of my great grandmothers.(One of my other interests, is genealogy)

And now some information about my giveaway prize. Remember those two bracelets that are laying on the table in front of the bear. I am giving away those two bracelets that are handmade by little ole' me. The bracelets are black stone and silver and will be fitted for the two winners. All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog and I will draw the winner on February 17th. Lisa has asked that all winners have their own blog as this is a festival to introduce bloggers to other bloggers. All bloggers world wide are welcome- please remember to leave an email address so that I can contact you should your name be drawn.

Do click on the OWOH icon - it should take you to Lisa's list of other bloggers who are participating in the festival.. Enjoy the festival- it is going to be great deal of fun...
Warmest regards,

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It all started when...

The weather has turned mild here in Alberta(unlike some of my friends living in Manitoba and Ontario where the mercury has dropped quite low).
Still, we have mounds of snow that has needed to be dealt with, in one way or another- We had our roof shoveled off on Saturday as it was causing some problems for us in the house. Hopefully it will be better now that the roof is cleared but it is a challenge to get rid of the ice build up.
Bruce found some lovely pink and white carnations to grace the table. Nothing like flowers to add color and life to the house.

On Saturday, I decided to get going on some quilt projects - I pulled out this Tesselating Pinwheels and counted out the block pieces that were already cut. I discovered that I had not cut enough of the black background to make a bedside quilt(a large twin) so I went upstairs to dig around for the black fabric. I was pleased to find another piece of the background. A little while later I had enough cut to make the blocks required.

Here are a few of the blocks made up - the colors are much richer than the photos show- I can't seem to get the light quite right for taking inside photos.You can also see the bag of block pieces waiting to be put together.

While I was upstairs looking for black, I pulled out some fabric to make some new baby clover leaf shaped wraps.

I cut three - all will have the green minkee inside them and different outside fabrics- the sock monkey, the Yellow Golden books and the Raggedy Anne and Andy fabric. I will put batting between the layers and quilt them on the machine and then bind them with bias made binding from the matching cotton fabrics.

Some friends and family members are having babies this spring so I need to get the baby quilts made soon.

My intentions were good but then I got distracted by some blog reading here: Naomi of Nome's bragalong blog posted this You tube link of Suzanne McNeill making this very cool block. ( I learned something new today- I figured out how to embed a You tube piece in my blog_ Wahoo!) Do visit Naomi's blog to check out her beautiful version of Suzanne's 10 minute block

After viewing the tutorial - I had to try it- so after a few tries of getting everything to be in the right direction( sometimes the seam ripper is one's best friend) I made these blocks. They are just test blocks out of charm squares. I still need to press them and I think I will fold them back like Suzanne suggests and make the cathedral window edges.They really are quite fast if you get them oriented correctly.Suzanne had some really nice ideas on the You tube tutorial.
I love the look of curved piecing- Perhaps this is the pattern for my sunflowers with dark black centers and sunflower fabrics.. Hmmmmm...

It was interesting to see the difference between the blocks that were all one color and the printed ones.

There are so many things to consider when you are choosing a quilt pattern.. Do you make your own? Use a commercial one and follow it exactly? Start with a pattern and change it to fit your ideas ? Do you add you own borders?

I sent off the parcels from my last giveaway and got word that one has already arrived. It is always nice to know that the post had safely delivered them to the new owners.

There are some interesting giveaways going on in blogland just now. Do go and check them out if you have the time:
Lila of Lila Tueller Designs is having a very nice giveaway- just because- She is giving away a layer cake and a fat quarter bundle of Riley Blake designs. She does beautiful fabrics and patterns - do go and visit her.
Linda from Stray Stitches is celebrating 400 followers. She is sharing some lovely fabrics - She is one generous lady and I know you will enjoy reading her posts.
There is also a blog hop going on that is being hosted by Moda bake shop and Stash books. Stash books is publishing a book with some Moda bake shop patterns in it. Each of the posts on the blog hop has a nice recipe to share. There is a chance to win a book and the grand prize of some great Moda fabrics. You need to enter all the designer's posts in order to be eligible for the grand prize.
If you have not heard of Moda Bake shop, you may enjoy checking out their blog to find some new patterns as well as gathering some great recipes.

January has been a difficult month for some of my blogging friends. My hope is that their loads are lessened. My thoughts are with those who are struggling with the floods in Australia ,and others, who are dealing with family illness. May the new month bring brighter days and new beginnings.

Until next time,
Be well - Warmest regards,

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Flowers for a Winter's Day

Here in Alberta the snow has fallen steadily for 10 days straight. This is a view from my dining room window-look at the weight of the snow on the evergreens. We are wondering where we are going to put more snow if it keeps falling! I have to say we were thrilled to see the blue sky and the sun today. My kids even got to go outside to play at recess this afternoon.
Like many others at this time of year, I have stopped to reflect on life's gifts. The new year's arrival has been mostly quiet and this little panel quilt always makes me smile. It is joyful and I am reminded of my life's rich blessings.
Here is my sunflower girl painting that I referred to in the last post. I love the flowers in her hair. She is happy and smiling - just like the sunflowers
I have played with a technique called Snippets to make a version of Sunflowers. It is my tribute to the Van Gogh sunflowers. I gave this wallhanging away as a gift to a family member. Perhaps one day I will make another version of it. Cindy Walters has a number of great books that can help you learn how to do this fused applique technique. She did a marvelous version of Van Gogh's painting Starry Starry Night that is on to do list.

My good friend Val knows how much I love sunflowers. These measuring spoons were such a perfect gift for me. The handles are sunflowers and the backs are engraved with one of my favorite mantras " Live Love Laugh".
Over the last few years, I have collected sunflower fabrics. One of the quilts that I created with them, was this Disappearing Nine Patch quilt. Another way that I have used some of my sunflower fabrics was in two coin quilts.
Now I have a nice new collection of sunflower fabrics just waiting to be made up into a new quilt- I just need to find a good design to show off the beautiful sunflowers. Perhaps you have a pattern or idea of how to use some gorgeous sunflower fabrics?

Our friend who painted the Sunflower lady, also painted these flowers on a set of glasses for us. She is such a talented lady and can paint on anything- old saw blades, baby carriages, candles and pots of every shape and description. She loves to create on different surfaces.
December was indeed a very lucky month for me. Heather from my muse blog had a lovely Christmas contest where she sent me this terrific light bracelet. Thank you Heather- it is so charming and will be a big hit with my kindergarten kids...
Mary Jane Carey from Holly hill designs sent me a note to say she would love to send me a pattern of my choice from the 100 designer block blog hop. This was the one I chose- I love the saying" Snow is for the birds". Right about now, I couldn't agree more- The snow is very beautiful but we hope that it will stop falling for awhile!

I had to show you this gorgeous stain glass poinsettia. It is truly a treasure from a dear friend. Flowers do make me smile in lots of different forms. I love how the light shines through the rich colors of the glass.

A blogging friend Carolyn is having a giveaway on her blog just now. She lives here in Edmonton and one day soon we are going to get together to have tea and talk about quilting. Do go and visit here and meet her cat Tika and see all the wonderful projects that she is creating.

I have been reading with great interest Barbara Brackman's blog . She is a terrific quilt historian and has two blogs(that I know of) going just now. One is on Civil war quilts complete with civil war blocks to make.This year is the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil war. Her original blog that is linked here has all sorts of interesting information about fabric and the history that surrounds it. For example, she had a recent post about a London museum who currently is showing a fabric exhibit where the fabric tokens were from the mid 1760's babies and mothers that went to the London Foundling Hospital. You can find a link to Barbara's post here. I love how she gives great background and context to provide the fabric's stories.

I finally got my own sewing machine out the other day and added some borders to a quilt. It is another version of the Wonky Rail Ties - I am pleased with the borders. I have been reading on other blogs about different challenges and goals. I am thinking about 11 quilts for 2011- that seems a bit of a lofty goal but one needs to have aspirations.LOL
It felt good to begin quilting again. Sometimes, one just needs to take out some fabric and begin playing. You never know where the fabric will lead you..

I hope that the flowers have brightened your day and lift your spirits. I know that one day the snow will melt and we will have beautiful grass and flowers again - Right now Mother Nature needs to rest and renew the earth.

Don't forget to come back at the end of the month- I will be back beading for the One World One Heart blog hop.

Until next time,
Happy Quilting,

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Some Winners

My Chantelle Fleur quilt- Ode to Ricky Tims Every winner should see a flower too...
Well Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thanks for participating in my first ever giveaway(by myself giveaway- not part of a big blog hop) I have loved reading the comments this week. It is nice to hear from people from different parts of the world. You are all so kind. I liked reading about your New Year's resolutions and favorite colors.

Bruce helped me set up the random generator with the names and I am pleased to announce that the 3 winners are: (1) Hazel B. sew crazy
(2) Teresa( no blog)
and (3) Linda Quilt Cookies

I will look forward to hearing from these ladies so that they can claim their prizes. Hazel will get to pick first and so on down the line.

Watch out in late January when I participate in OWOH - I will be giving away one bracelet or maybe even two that I have made. Lisa from Whimsical Bohemian is the webmaster for that terrific blog hop. I have met wonderful bloggers from different parts of the globe.

There is a blog tour that started today on Spun Sugar quilts Vickie is the host and she is and some of her blog friends are holding a Valentine Hop. Today she made some very cute valentine hearts. There are some nice prizes and projects to view.

Another giveaway you might want to check out is my friend Oz Jane. You can find her blog here: Jane is giving away some lovely things - a nice apron, a beautiful storage bag for quilty things and a book done by Australian Homespun. Don't they all sound lovely. Do check it out...
The last one I will tell you about is from Vicki from the pickledish patch is giving away one of her stitchery patterns. It is part of a larger one among the gumtree designers blog group who are giving away all the patterns for the fresh hope foundation quilt. It is a lovely prize Vicki...
In the meantime, I am not looking forward to morning. It has been snowing here in Edmonton since early Friday afternoon. My husband has shoveled snow and dug out cars. We are not sure how many students will make it to school tomorrow. We don't have snow days here- so off to work I will go! Stay warm...
I'll be back in a few days to post..
Warmest regards,

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Finally 100 Posts- Can you guess what that means?

Did you notice my header change- The beautiful star came to me from a giveaway that I won recently from Michelle of the Raspberry Rabbits blog. I have written to Shell for a couple of years now and I was very inspired by the quote on the Star. It seems like a fitting header for a Brand New Year!
I have been writing this rambling blog for over two years. Finally, I have reached that magic number 100 - It has been a wonderful journey. This last year I have written more sporadically - perhaps in 2011 I will make a more frequent appearance here. It is not that I don't think of you often and wonder how my blog friends are doing, but more that my daily life seems to get in my way.

For example, I had hoped to post yesterday but I seemed to have caught a flu bug and spent the day alternating between the couch and my bed, when I wasn't gracing the bathroom throne. However, whatever it was seems to have passed, and I am starting to feel like my regular self.

Today is the begin of a New Year and a fresh start... It is snowing outside and we are off to some very good friends for New Year's Dinner later this afternoon. I have some photos of the holiday to share with you and then something for my dear friends too..

This lovely collection of fabrics I posted about last time. They came from Elaine of a Faithful Quilter. The fabrics are so beautiful that I hoped that a photo in more natural light would show you how beautiful they truly are. Thank you so much, Elaine, for the gorgeous fabrics. I was one lucky girl in the month of December as I won a few giveaway prizes and this was the first one.
Bruce and I went shopping on our way back from the airport where we left our son and his girlfriend who have spent an enjoyable two weeks with her family and friends in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
One place we stopped was a little antique mall that has all sorts of bits and bobs of things. I loved this Christmas plate and these two brooches so they came home with me as a Christmas present to me. My grandmother, I am sure had one similar to the flower one and it reminded me of a sunflower. ( In an upcoming post I will sharewith you some more sunflowers, as we received a beautiful sunflower girl painting for Christmas and glasses with sunflowers from a dear family friend)
The same day I found the plate, a very nice parcel came in the mail from Carrieof Schnibbles fame- It was a beautiful parcel wrapped in Red tissue with a roll of fabric to make her Christmas pattern from the Henry Glass blog hop . As well, she included a lovely set of her patterns, a Christmas cup and a Santa Claus for my tree. It was such a wonderful prize, Carrie- Thank you so very much! I can see that I have a few of my Christmas patterns to make for next year.

On the quilting front- Perhaps you remember me debating about adding the yellow to these placemats - I thought you might like to see the finished version. Our family friend loved them. I know that I loved her sunflower painting and glasses. The glasses were given to Bruce and I to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.
On the day of our wedding anniversary, my family had a lovely turkey dinner for us followed by a Happy Anniversary Carrot Cake. A couple of days later, we had a special dinner to celebrate Christmas with some very good friends. This picture of Bruce and I, is taken with a very special gift from them to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. The painting done by Jane Lee Ling, is made using a Hayter viscosity rejection technique on an acid etched zinc plate. It is a gorgeous piece that we will cherish always. We are currently looking at how we can move some pictures around so that we can show this beautiful piece off in our home.

And now to something I have been planning to celebrate my 100th post. A giveaway of my own- I hope that you will find something in this group of things that you might enjoy if you happen to be one of my winners. All you need to do is leave a comment and tell me what is your favorite color. If you have a New Year's resolution you can add that too. I will close off the comments next Sunday January 9,2011. The first name drawn will have choice of the three prizes, the second one next and the last one will get third prize.
These are the three choices
The first one has a book called Nine by Nine as well as some fat quarters.

The second one has some patterns and something else - I haven't quite decided whether it will be a bit of fabric or something else.
The third one is a book called Twin Peaks and some fat quarters.

This giveaway is open to all of my readers where ever you live on this globe. I have been a lucky girl recently and I want to celebrate a New Year and 100 posts

Later in January I will be participating in the last OWOH event (See the icon link) in the top right corner of my blog. I will be making a couple of bracelets for that giveaway. That post will happen on January 31- through February 17th.

Here are a few other giveaways going on in Blogland-

You might want to check this one out. Vicki of the Pickledish Patch is hosting a nice giveaway on her blog. She is lovely Australian blogger who is going to open an etsy shop.

There is a fabulous giveaway going on at Stray Stitches Linda has a gorgeous quilt and fabric that she is giving away to celebrate 2011 and her followers.
Go and have a look- it really is a fabulous giveaway prize- Someone is going to be very lucky indeed!

My blogging friend Thimbleanna is celebrating four years of blogging. She is one of the blogs that I read before I blogged. Anna used to tease me about being "Anna NO Blog". She has a great blog- shares some wonderful recipes and loves to share her quilty stories. She has some lovely gifties for her winners too.

Thanks for dropping by and sharing in my journey - in some patches of time, it is more quilty than others. I have been inspired by you all and enjoyed reading about your life's journey. I have enjoyed getting to know many wonderful people from around the globe that share a passion for creating things- not just quilting.

My New Year's wish for you is that you can find time to feed your creative spirit. May the New Year bring good health, prosperity and wonderful times spent with your loved ones.
A very happy New Year to one and all.

Warmest regards,