Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Some Spring Surprises....

Pink Carnations are such happy flowers and they are the current arrangement on our dining room table. These ones are such a rich pink color.
 One of the things that I love about carnations is that they will stay fresh for a couple of weeks before they need to be changed.
 Recently I managed to get rid of all the vestiges of winter in our house. I took out the bunnies and the other Easter things. I found this lovely antique bowl- not sure where I got it from but I thought it would look lovely with the Easter eggs in it.  Did you notice the black one with the hand painting on it. It is a Ukrainian Easter Egg. We live in the North Central part of Alberta. There were many Ukrainian immigrants that came to this area at the turn of the 20th century. There is a very large land mark Easter Egg in Vegreville. It is quite the landmark - Google it if you are curious to see what it looks like!

My sewing room is looking messy and somewhat forlorn these days. School kept me busy for most of the month of March. I have finished up all the reports and met with my families last week. Hopefully this week, as I am on spring break from school, I will get a chance to get back sewing and working on some quilts.
This machine is my quilting machine. It is a baby lock quilting machine which is quite similar to a Juki. It goes very fast (1100 stitches per minute) and is really easy to quilt on.
I don't piece on it - just machine quilt. My sewing room is in the gables of the house.

As well as having a busy time at school, we had a wonderful surprise visit from our son, Kevin and his girl, Roseanne. He is going to school in Charlottetown PEI . They moved to Prince Edward Island at the beginning of August. PEI is about 4000 miles from us. Kevin was on mid term break so they thought they would surprise us. We were gob smacked when our front door opened and we heard Kevin's voice and footsteps at midnight. They were here for nine days and it was a blur of activities and times out together. He also took a. side trip to visit my parents in Red Deer, who were thrilled to see them both too. We enjoyed having them here and look forward to the next time they can return. 

One of the things that we did while they were here visiting, was go out for a very nice brunch with my sister in law, her husband , their two daughters and their spouses,and the lovely baby, Annabelle, who will soon turn one
. I took this lovely candid of the two of them, in the restaurant. While they were here visiting, they announced their engagement.

What a lovely ring he chose to express his love for her. I love this photograph of their hands together. His large hands remind me of all the men from my mother's family- We hope that they will be very happy together for many years to come. The wedding date is yet to be determined.


A photo of the four of us together. I am the shortest one and I am not that short,( 5'5') but compared to the rest I am a little low to the ground. LOL

One of the things that Kevin brought in his suitcase was this new cat house/tree. He designed and built it and then took it apart and put it back together when he got here.  Mars heartily approves of her new perch. My husband has since, bought her a basket for the top, that she can often be found sleeping in, during the day. The morning sun streams in the window and she can observe the birds and squirrels from the large living room window. You can see that she has a food bowl inside the enclosure. She can climb inside to  get to, but our dog, Dusty, can not.
Mars can not jump as well as she used to, so this is a great arrangement for her. Now if she could just convince Bruce that she does not want any other kind of food but regular Whiskas- everything would be perfect in her eyes. They are having Whiskas wars- so far, my money is on Mars. She managed to leave the designer cat food in the bowl and eat all the Whiskas food  bits without even leaving drool on the designer cat food. She definitely has her own preferences!

 I have finally decided to make one larger one of the lattice quilts and one throw size quilt. I have enough fabric to make 9 more blocks and that will be enough to make one 4X5 and the other 3X4. I am still hunting for the perfect border but I am sure I will find something that will work. I know that it looks black in the photograph but it really is a deep chocolate brown. I have been trying to get started on it this week, while I am on break, but so far I keep getting distracted by other things. I have managed to do some cleaning and get rid of old papers and clutter in one room. I still would like to tackle my clothes closet but we shall see. One of the joys/ challenges of living in a small old war time house is that the closet and storage space is really limited. I drool when I see those houses with walk in storage- I don't even have a broom or linen closet!

 As there is not much quilty content in this post,  I thought I would pull a quilt from the vaults. I made this quilt about 5 years ago. This quilt belongs to Gary who loves the sea. If you look closely at the prints you will see that all the fabrics are nautical in theme. It is a variation of yellow brick road with an asymmetrical mariner's compass on it. He recently celebrated a birthday so I thought it might be a nice one to share. I designed the layout and the compass block is paper pieced from a Carol Doak pattern.

I am still trying to figure out how this new layout and posting works with Google Chrome. I have moved the pictures around as  I type and am not sure where they are going to end up.

 Last weekend I went out to find a few things for school and I found this Starbuck's cup for Bruce. It was in a second hand shop and was the perfect sized cup for him. Now if it only came with a lid. Drinks and computers can be a bit of a hazard ....

It is very late here so I will say good night. I hope that life is treating everyone well and that spring has sprung in your neck of the woods ( if you live in the Northern Hemisphere) .We have had a couple of spring snow storms but the snow is starting to melt off again and it won't be long before there are lots of mud puddles for the little ones to play in - I can only hope that the school fields are dry, before we return to school next week.
Warmest regards,

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The world is turning upside down...

My mother says there could be days like this... One day not long ago, it had been a pretty hectic day in my kindergarten and I came back and found the world globe turned upside made me laugh so I had to take a photograph of it.. I love purple flowers and these alstroemaria with babies breath are a slice of spring on our dining room table- or at least until Mars the cat tries to eat them..
One of dear school colleagues recently brought me this lovely little wall hanging- She found it in her travels and said it made her think of me-- Wasn't that a lovely thing to do? I plan to hang it in my sewing room.. It says:" good friends are like quilts, they age with you, yet never lose their warmth"
There a number of quilt rings and forums around. I belong to one on Quilt with Us which can be found on the Connecting Threads company web page. It is easy to subscribe to - you just go to the freebies header and register on it. I chose to joined the Quilting Canadians group. Recently we decided to have a little fabric swap. A few packages have begun to arrive on my doorstep. We were asked to list some fabrics choices so I decided that I might need some neutrals and Christmas fabrics. The ladies did a fabulous job of choosing fabrics for me. Don't you love getting packages in the mail with fabric in them ?
You probably know that I love participating in giveaways(occasionally I host them too) Recently this beautiful bag arrived from Lila of Lila Tueller designs. She creates fabulous fabrics and patterns and recently had this wonderful giveaway. I am so looking forward to using this funky bag in the summertime. I love turquoise and flowers.
Look at these beautiful details she added to the bag- The carved button
and the grand toggles, grommets and beads.. I do love the bag and Lila's one terrific lady. Go and visit her blog and see her beautiful projects, patterns and fabric line..
Life has been pretty full the past couple of weeks. I finally finished my report cards this week. This morning, I went out to a memorial service for a work friend's father. After the service, I stopped to do some errands that needed to be done. I went looking for a couple of things for school at a local thrift shop. While I was there, I found these fun fish oven mitts. Don't you love those great embroidered eyes and the rich lush colors...They were a great price so, of course they came home with me..
I also came across these pieces of cotton and thought they would work great in some quilt. The light flowers are so airy looking- very pretty and the brown one will look great in a fall quilt..
Do you ever go seeking some inspiration in books or magazines? I recently ordered these quilt books for that very purpose. Connecting Threads often offers books for 40% off so the prices were very reasonable. There are some very fun patterns in each book- the trick is to just pick one...
Judy Laquidara of Patchwork Times has recently published a new book for creating pieced borders on quilts. She has a wonderful blog where she shares some of her cooking, quilting and knitting projects as well as telling about her life in Texas. I love her color choices and the interesting designs. Do go and check out her site- you are in for a real treat...
Here is the reason that I am looking for inspiration. I want to use these coffee cake batiks. The color palette is a bit limited but I am sure they would make a great pattern- I just haven't found it yet- Perhaps these books will help me get this quilt started...
In the meantime, I am continuing to work on the Sunset quilt- I have decided that I better trim the blocks so they will fit together more accurately.
Perhaps I will have finally chosen a pattern by the time of my next post.
The full moon is rising and the clocks are changing this evening to Mountain Daylight time. I hope to get some time tomorrow to quilt.. Springtime is coming to Alberta- maybe the world has found a way to return to its normal rotation...
Warmest regards,