Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Snippets of a quilt show...

Hibicus are such gorgeous plants- doesn't it make you think of the tropics.. Bruce and I visited a local green house last weekend to attend a quilt show that was being held there. We really enjoyed viewing the different quilts that had been lovingly created by some local quilters. We also really appreciated that the door admission proceeds were going to support the diabetes association.
Check out the walls behind me-look at all those lovely pieces. What a sea of color and design to view, and enjoy in such great ambience.
On the way out of the greenhouse, we picked up this wonderful fall mum, which seems like the perfect compliment with some other fall decorations. If you look closely,you can see a wonderful hand quilted piece made my blogging friendEileen who sent it to me, a couple of years ago. I have not ever tried handquilting and sure admire those people that do quilt by hand.

Do you visit your local library? Going to the library is part of our regular routines and recently, I came home with a bag of books that held this collection of quilting related books. There is one missing- a children's book called "The Kindness Quilt". I often go on line and order from the library catalogue. The library is a great source for quilt patterns, stories and resources. Have you a favorite quilt story? I really like authors like Jennifer Chiaverini(The Elm Creek Quilts books) and Earlene Fowler( Benni Harper mysteries). If you haven't read their stories I encourage to check them out- I am sure you won't be disappointed!
My friend Pam from Passionate Purple quilter recently hosted a giveaway. I was one of three lucky winners. Look at this box of beautiful scraps that she included with a very lovely kit called Americana Rose by Shabby Fabrics. There are some beautiful fabrics in this box and I know that I am going to have fun playing with them. The kit is a beautiful kit with such pretty fabrics- it will be a fun project to make. Thanks so much Pam.
Have you ever wished that you owned some really good snips? Over the summer, I had been thinking that I should buy a pair. The Gingher scissors are such high quality. I recently discovered a new to me blogger named Randy from Barrister block. Not long after I began reading her blog, she found that she had a second pair of snips and decided to have a giveaway.Imagine my loud Wahoo, when she sent me a note saying that I was her lucky winner.( In case you are wondering, I am buying my lottery ticket this week :O)Thanks so much for those snips Randy- I will have no excuse for loose threads.

One of my favorite movies is " My Fair lady". It was one the first movies that I ever saw and my grandparents took me to see it. One of the songs includes the words " On the street where you live". This photograph was taken of the street where we live. The leaves on the trees are beginning to change. I hope to take a few more photos of it as the foliage changes this autumn. Hopefully the wind won't kick up too much fuss so that the leaves are all blown away, before they have created a gorgeous golden canopy over the neighbourhood's roads.

I thought I'd leave you with a photo of Mars the cat sleeping in our living room window( She has some favorite spots where she can lay in the sun. We can count on finding her there in the early morning as our windows face the east.

Thanks for stopping by.. if you feel so inclined do leave a comment. It is always nice to hear from my blogging friends.
Warmest regards,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Color wash and remembering.....

One of our favorite flowers is alstroemeria- As a cut flower, the blossoms take a little while to open up in bloom. Once open they last for quite awhile. These beautiful purple ones, have been sitting on our table for the past two weeks. In the center is a statice like flower whose name I have forgotten.

Here in Alberta,the September weather has been mostly hot and warm outside for the past two weeks- It has made the classroom quite warm, but manageable. My students and I are settling in together. I have 27, four and five year olds, who keep my days full. It takes some time to get the classroom routines established, but we are working hard at getting those routines in place. This week we will have our annual corn roast to kick off the school year. Meanwhile, we are playing games to learn each other's names and enjoying painting, reading stories and being active in the gym.

At home, our kitchen window has some beautiful cacti and a solo blooming pink violet plant. People keep telling me that violets bloom better in pairs but this pink seems to be unaware of that particular rule of nature. The sunflower containers were a gift from our very talented family friend Sherry. Pretty aren't they? I plan to keep coffee and tea in them.

This posts edition of From my Quilt Vault:

One of the techniques that I have explored on my quilt journey, is making quilts using the colorwash technique. I saw this churndash quilt in a magazine and really loved the graduated color. I really like the churndash block. Do you have a favorite block? The quilt is a nice sized wall hanging and our cat, Mars, thinks its a lovely place to sleep in the sun. I made it around 2001.

This quilt's name is Gran's Garden and it was made to celebrate my grandmother's 85th year of life. It was made from a McCall's quilt magazine pattern. The central medallion has 30 X 40- 2 inch squares that were laid on a large iron on grid fabric. The outer border addition came from an Australian patchwork and quilting magazine in 2002. I have done very little applique in my quilts but I liked how the flowers worked out. Perhaps some day I will design my own quilt completely. This quilt comes the closest to being my own design. I combined elements from a couple of different sources. I know that my gran loved her quilt. It was returned to me after she passed away in 2003.

Our niece posted this very cute photo of her little one. It makes me smile just looking at these sweet eyes peeking through.. She will be a year at the end of this month... Where has this year gone?

My blog friend Michele recently had a blog contest for a quilt album program where I was her lucky winner. Michele wrote this lovely piece about all the things that one can do with the album. I was very touched by all her kind words too. The quilt album is very cool tool and I feel really fortunate to be her winner.

Do you keep photos of your quilts? Do you journal about them. I have a couple of quilt journals. I am looking forward to using this great tool. Do check out Michele's blog. She is an amazing lady who creates beautiful quilts to raise money for Alzheimer's research. She has lots of links to explore and some great free patterns too.

Do you have a favorite color? Another blogging friend Pam had a giveaway to celebrate her 200th post where she gave away some beautiful fabrics. She loves purple(so do I) but her blog is called passionate purple quilter. I had the good fortune to be one of her winners. Do go and visit her blog and see her wonderful quilts.

There is a Moda county fairblog hop going on right now Sandy from pieces from my heart blog was the first of a number of designers who are offering free patterns and some prizes through out the month of September. They are creating some fun little projects for the hop. It is always fun to see what the designers are making... Do go and visit the links and catch up

I want to leave you with a link that another blogger,Melinda posted about 9/11. It is a four part link on You tube. You can find the link here:

Melinda has written a beautiful post for 9/11. Like so many others, I do remember that tragic day. It was a day like many others, where I began teaching my little ones... One where a colleague found a link to CNN news and we watched in bits and pieces, the tragedy unfold... In the days following, I remember thinking how quiet our skies were because of the grounding of the planes even in a city that was 4000 miles from NYC. As a society, we were forever changed- less innocent and trusting and marked by the tragic events ten years ago..We pause to remember those people who perished in that senseless tragedy....

Until next time,

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fall is coming

Life has been a bit of a blur in the later part of August. My father is a wonderful gardener and on our last visit home I took this photo of his front flower garden. He has some beautiful verbena,phlox, snapdragons, portulaca and petunias growing in the front flower bed. This years flowers are particularly lovely. Recently I scanned some of my older quilts into my computer. In the coming weeks, I plan to share some of them. This golden leaves is one of my favorite quilts that I have made on my 15 year old quilting journey. The pattern was taken from an older issue of the Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine. I made it in 2002. It is made with template pieces and it can be found gracing our living room in the autumn.

It is a large quilt- queensized and has a maple leaf border that I added to the original design. The photograph below was taken in my grandmother's house- she has since passed away- It will be 8 years that she has been gone on the 10 of September. How she loved my quilts... and how I loved her...

The prairies are a beautiful place to live- One of the most striking characteristics is the huge big sky- On a clear day you can see for miles. The crops are starting to turn golden and they are a stunning contrast against the blue.Those large bales weigh about 1500lbs.

Over the summer, a friend's daughter gave birth to this beautiful baby boy, Sam. He sure looks cosy in this baby wrap.I loved the Golden Books fabric and thought it would be a great choice for the wrap.

One of the things every quilt should have is a label- Here is the one that is on the back of my father's nature quilt. I named it " Over the hills and through the woods". The fabric was the perfect backdrop for a label.

And finally this quilt graces a bed in my parent's house. I was very pleased the way the quilt quilted up. It is more densely quilted than some of my quilts. I tried to outline all the animals as well as adding clouds and waves in the background.

Just a bit closer look at the animals in the wild..

School has begun and this weekend I have been doing some school work and projects related to school. I sewed up 4 clothing bags for my students. A few years ago I made 25 cloth sacks for my students to store their belongings neatly on the coat hooks. I have more than 25 students right now( 27) so I needed some bags repaired as well as a few additional ones. I just have to add the cording around the top and we will have enough bags to start off the year.

This upcoming week my quilting group begins again. I would like to finish the top of the tesselation quilt tomorrow(see previous post for a look at the tesselation quilt). Monday is a holiday here in Canada called Labour Day. My current plan for the holiday is to do a little school work in the morning and then get quilting. The weather is pleasant and September will be full. One has to take the time to quilt when one can.

Wishing one and all some good quilting time,