Monday, August 22, 2011

August has flown by...

This summer has been one full summer ..The end of July was so hectic with our travels to British Columbia followed by our son and his girlfriend getting moved across country. Once they were on their way, I was sure things would slow down but that has not been true at all.
I went to visit my parents for a week and we had a busy time together. When I returned, Bruce brought home these red gladiolis. They are such an interesting flower and start opening from the lower part of the stem. We had some white with pink tipped ones earlier- They often are available in August and September and you grow them from a bulb. One of the things that I got accomplished while at my parents, was to square up these blocks that are a tesselating block.More about that later...
During my visit to my parents,my mother, a good friend named Sherry, and myself, went off to a little town in central Alberta called Olds.

This quilt pattern came from a general store called "Craigs". It reminded me of the old Kresge's or Fields Store, with a little bit of this and that, including fabric and patterns. I really liked this quilt pattern - especially because it has directions for more than one bed size in it. Craigs had the whole line of the Stonehenge fabrics that have recently come out. Stonehenge fabrics would look lovely made up into this quilt. However, I would like to make it out of batiks.

Olds also has a lovely quilt store called "The Quilting Bee". The staff were warm and welcoming. They had some lovely fabrics too. It is one of those places, that if you lived in the area, you would frequent it often.

I rarely buy pre cut fabrics, but I loved the color combo of these Tonga coffee cake. I have an idea in mind for them and found the two of them for a good price, on line early in the summer.I had hoped to use the star pattern but found that the strips are not large enough(they are jelly roll width) so I will have to find a different pattern to use with them.
You may remember seeing the 10 minute block pattern-( if not google it and there is a great "you tube" video produced by Missouri Star Quilt Co)
I thought I might try this multicolored batik fabric with the different batik layer cake squares. I am not sure if I am going to like the 10 inch squares, or would be happier using 5 inch charm squares with it. As I have yardage of the black multicolored fabric, I have only cut a few black squares to test it out. This is not my usual way- more often, I just start cutting blocks and then sew stacks of blocks together....

We live in a city that has a great number of festivals over the summer.
There are a variety of music festivals including a terrific folk festival.
For the past 10 days the 30th annual Fringe theatre festival was happening. This year, they had the best attendance ever. We had not been to Fringe for a number of years, but we saw a review of an Emily Carr one woman play and decided to take it in.

Part of the festival grounds, has a number of local artisans selling their work. I bought this beautiful bracelet from a young woman who happens to be a teacher as well. She makes all her own glass beads and uses pewter, silver and crystals between them. This one has gorgeous neutrals in it and it was a special treat for me. It is always nice to be able to support local artisans.

Here a couple of play bills of the shows that we attended. We enjoyed both of the plays- the weather was warm and the venues inviting- There is lots of outdoor shows that pass the hat after the performance. We saw a guy get himself in and out of a straight jacket and chains..

So here you can see what the tesselating block looks like put together- I made exactly 72 blocks and arranged it 8X9.Once together, I went looking for border fabrics. My first instinct was to use a plain black, but I didn't like how I looked.

I have not yet added this border but I think this will be the border fabrics for the quilt.
Bruce and I have had a number of opportunities to get out together. We went to a professional soccer game and had lunch out with my aunt and uncle last week. On Sunday, we visited the art gallery to see the closing of a large Andy Warhol exhibit. The exhibit had many of warhol's film clips as well as some of his famous hair pieces. I particularly liked the screen print images of Jacqueline Kennedy. He is not my favorite artist, but it was fun to broaden my horizons too. One of my quilting friends Carolyn joined us, and we were pleased to have her with us.
This last week of holidays, I have a few social engagements as well as some time at school. Today was spent beginning to set up the classroom for September. A big Thank you goes to my partner in the classroom, Peggy, for all her assistance today. Tomorrow some time with my dear friend Lou- we will try not to get into too much trouble in the quilt shops.
Wednesday I am off to see "The Help" with another good friend Val.(I loved the book so I am looking forward to seeing the movie.) Thursday I have an all day seminar and Friday is another opportunity to connect with a friend at lunch followed by visiting a new baby. Life is full and rich.... It is not always easy to get quilting/ blogging done but this summer I have done both while enjoying some great times with family and friends.
Next week I return to the classroom...I best start changing my bedtime ..
Hope you are enjoying the last days of summer..

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Where has our summer gone- well let's see...

Perhaps you may already know that I love flowers- This is a bit of color that is growing in a flower bed around our house. They are a root of my grandmother's day lilies and somehow I have managed to keep it growing- it must be a testament to my grandmother's hearty plants rather than my gardening skills
If you follow my blog,you might be wondering where I have been this past month- This week I am enjoying some time visiting my parents in my home town which is 100 miles from where I live. This past month has been a blur- full of travels and events mixed in with some changes on the home front.
Here is my father's quilt which I have since quilted as well as completing the final step- the label. My dad's quilt was the last of four large queensized quilts that I have completed since the spring.Dusty the dog has come along to test out the quilt- usually it is Mars but it appears that Dusty does not want to be left out of the quilt process.
Dusty is usually so keen to participate in my quilting adventures but this time she decided to help me with the binding process after I had finished quilting the quilt. I am not sure having her weight on the quilt is of great assistance but she is certainly doesn't care.

This family photograph was taken the morning our son and his girlfriend completed their move to Charlottetown PEI. Charlottetown is on the eastern seaboard of Canada and we live in Western Alberta-about 4000 miles between the two places. Kevin will be going to school in Charlottetown. We sure are going to miss him and Roseanne and know that it was a difficult decision for him to make. My husband and I have truly become empty nesters with our cat and dog to keep us entertained.

Just prior to Kevin and Rose's departure, Bruce and I headed to Victoria, British Columbia to attend a family wedding. We decided to make the drive to the West Coast. Over the four day trip we travelled about 2600 kms. It is a beautiful drive through the mountains but it meant two long days of driving. At journey's end on the Friday, we stayed with a friend of mine from high school in Vancouver. It was lovely to spend time with Eileen. I had not seen her for probably 5 years, but it was like time had stopped and we picked up where we left off. Thank you, Eileen, for your warm and generous hospitality!
The next morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast( thanks Ron) and then headed off to the ferry to Vancouver island. It is a lovely boat ride - complete with views of the US shores and Mount Baker. The two days on the island were full of visits to see Bruce's mother, as well as connecting with his siblings, his uncle, and nieces and nephews. Of course the primary event was the wedding, but it was so nice to see so many of our family members.

After a hectic two days on the island we headed back across the ocean on the last ferry. Night time on the ferry is very different and quite beautiful in its own way.

I managed to complete the music quilt in time for the happy wedding couple. Both ladies love music and the quilt is entitled "Love is the Music of the Heart". It is always satisfying to see a quilt go to a home where it will be enjoyed and loved.
In this photograph I am spray basting the music quilt. It was a bit of a challenge to get it to lay flat. This Kaffe Fassett pattern is not complex but it is made with a number of pieces with bias edges.I found it tricky to get the right measurements for the last set of large triangles. I wasn't certain how it would quilt up but it quilted up beautifully- no tucks to be found.

Mars always has to check out my quilts. At one point in July, our living room was quite full of the kid's things waiting to be transported to PEI. Mars loves boxes and this pile was just too hard for her to resist.

I thought you might enjoy a close up view of some of the music fabrics- I hesitated to use the red binding but it seemed like the perfect balance to finish off the quilt.

On Sunday prior to the wedding ceremony( it was held in the couple's backyard and was officiated by my husband's uncle) we took a drive around Victoria. Victoria is a beautiful city- everywhere is lush and green with gorgeous vistas and views of the sea. We found a little park that was a few blocks from the house and took a quick walk through the flowers. Victoria is the home of Butchart Gardens which is an extraordinary place. Unfortunately we did not have more time in Victoria to take in some of the lovely places to walk on this trip.
There were beautiful birds as well- even the lowly seagull looks majestic on the island. We did not see any herons or eagles that are often present there.

My last summer quilt was a queen sized quilt that we took to give to Bruce's brother Earle. The Wonky rail ties pattern is available on Mary Johnson's website "Making quilts from the stash". My brother in law lives in Newfoundland and it was a belated birthday present.

This summer has passed so quickly and I have been away from my computer for chunks of time.
There are a couple of giveaways going on that you may want to check out- one is for a Go Baby on the loveaffair with my brother blog. I keep trying to win one of those nifty machines but so far no luck. Perhaps you will get lucky, if don't!
The other giveaway is Kim who has written a wonderful post about Moms and is sharing a gorgeous heart shaped necklace with the word "quilts" in it. The jewelery designer has created some wonderful pendants with beautiful words in them.

As for me well the summer has passed by so very quickly. I would like to get some more quilting done, but we shall have to see whether I can get my new projects up and going. I plan to spend a bit of time at my school next week, in order to get the classroom set up. I know that the painters have finally come and painted my book shelves so I will be able to get the books back into the shelves. Wahoo is all I can say about that...
Thanks for dropping by - I promise to post a little sooner..
Warmest regards,