Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A New Year - Wishing you Joy......


I have been meaning to write a new post all during the Christmas vacation. I can hardly believe that I have been back to work for almost a full week without a post written. The Christmas break was quiet but full. One of the surprises of this winter is that our winter, so far, has been mild(warm temperatures have set new records on a couple of occasions) and we have very little snow especially for January. We recently returned from a trip to my parents who live in Red Deer(100 miles south). This is a photo of the local community gold course. As you can see there really isn't much snow! The golf course is down in the river valley and the skyline is some highrise apartments that over look the river valley.
One of my favorite quilters is Ruth McDowell who I had the privilege of seeing a number of years ago in Calgary. She recently offered this book " Art and Inspirations" on her website for a very reasonable price, so I put it on my Christmas list of books. I was very happy when it showed up in yesterday's mail. I believe that it is out of print except from Ruth, and I am thrilled to own my own copy. Do you have quilter's that make you want to explore new techniques? get quilting? start a new project? What are your favorite quilt books? There are so many wonderful quilters that are inspiring. My favorites include Jinny Beyer,Paula Nadelstern, Carrie Nelson of Schnibbles patterns, Kaffe Fassett and Ricky Tims. There are many other talented quilters out there. Who inspires you?

You may recall that our son Kevin, and his girl, Roseanne moved to Charlottetown,PEI over the summer. As travelling across Canada is quite expensive (especially during the Christmas holidays) they were not able to be with us during the holiday season. On Christmas Day,we enjoyed some face time with Kevin on my husband's I phone, which was a particular hit with my parents. It can be quite mind boggling to see the technology at work. Kevin was able to assist my mother with a computer problem from 4000 miles away in the blink of an eye- but I digress.. During the holidays, Kevin built a cat tree for their cats, Freddy, Lucy and Lily. They sent me some fleece, batting and measurements and asked me to make some cat mats for the cat tree. You can see that Dusty approved of them. She reminded me of the Princess of Princess and the pea fame laying on top of the five mats. I wonder if his cats will be as fond of them?
You can see that Dusty leads a hard dog's life in our house! My dear friend, Lou made me some beautiful quilted things for Christmas. She gave us this pair of navy batik pillowcases that are perfect for our bed. Don't they match our quilt perfectly? The quilt pattern is a feathered star that I made many years ago now- Each block had 150 pieces in it. I altered the design so that it became a medallion quilt with a chain border. It seemed easier at the time LOL...

Lou also made me this fabulous thread catcher with a sunflower pincushion. She has been exploring free motion quilting and did a wonderful design on the bag in variegated thread.

Right before the break, I took this quilt for Elizabeth to school to spray baste. Once the holiday festivities were over, I had a number of days to play and visit with friends. During the vacation, I was a home body most of the time, and had some dedicated quilting time. In the close up, you can see that I made some spiral flowers in her quilt blocks.
I still need to bind the quilt but I am pleased with the way that it quilted up. I took it to my folks to show them my latest quilting project. Hopefully, it will get finished this weekend so that E can enjoy snuggling with it. It is a good double sized quilt in size.
A while back a local quilter was looking to trade some fabric so I ventured up into my scrap bin to find some things for Michelle. I have been quilting for quite awhile now( fairly steadily since 1996) and the scrap bin often gets over run with bits from various projects. I periodically play in those bags, and cut up strips for scrap quilt projects. but somehow the bags take on a life of their own... They remind of Strega Nona's pasta bowl that continues making more and more pasta until there is pasta everywhere
Michelle and I spent a lovely afternoon with her two little girls at Tim Hortons. Nothing more Canadian than going to Tims for coffee or tea and donuts.. The little girls were wonderful and it is always great to get together with another quilter. I hope that Michelle and I will get a chance to meet again. Do check out her blog and see some of the things that she is busy creating... You can find Michelle'sblog here.

While I have not been commenting on many blogs lately, as the New Year arrived I was reading posts about words that would describe your hopes for this New year. I found this little quilt like Christmas card and loved it. The word Joy is a word that resonated with me. Living life with Joy, and finding joy in daily life, seems to me a great way to live.

Life can sometimes be very challenging. Recently, some dear friends both near and far, have been struggling to cope with the loss of loved ones. It is hard to find ways to live with joy during those difficult days. While there is no way to take away the pain of the loss of a loved one, my wish is that there will be things in one's daily life that can be a day brightener. To me, that is what living life with joy is about- finding the little things that helps to lift one's spirit even if only for a brief time. As we begin this New Year, may you find things that help celebrate the day.
Warmest regards,
Anna
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