Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring adventures....

These are not really spring time flowers but are something different for our table. This was an orchid stem that has not thrived in our home. We weren't sure why but perhaps because it was too drafty or the stem got too much water. It was a pretty thing but did not have much fragrance. I am looking forward to having daffodils and tulips blooming in the flower beds before too long. They are among my favorite flowers of all. There is something about spring flowers after the drab of winter. We have had a couple of snowstorms earlier this month, but the snow has all melted away, and it is beginning to green up outside. This past weekend was beautiful and warm. It was a pleasant weekend- I went off with my dear friend Lou to visit some local quilt shops. We had a lovely time together and added a few more pieces to the stash. It is hard for me to resist batiks, and one of the shops had just added a number of them to their clearance area.
I have not done much beading lately but I was given a little project for some students at school. For the past 10 years our school has held an Aboriginal History Quiz. The Quiz is for our division II students(grades 3-6).The quiz is played in a Jeopardy game format, where the student has a buzzer to hit. The first student to answer the question correctly, gets the points. These beads were donated as a prize. I was able to create a number of bracelets with them, for prizes. The beads are paper beads that have been shellacked to prevent damage,should they get wet. The children came be fitted for their individual wrists,after they were awarded them. It was fun to work with some different kinds of beads besides glass or wood.
The knitting continues - the scarves knit up quickly and I have just one more to finish before I run out of this ribbon yarn. I have had difficulty finding the yarn locally but was able to find some on line for a much better price. I am trying to get some made up for Christmas gifts. I am not sure which one I like the best!
Recently I have received some wonderful gifts in the mail. I participated in a spring blog hop and won two sets of fat quarters and this beautiful handmade pincushion from Wanda of Needlewings blog. She made some cathedral window pincushions - Isn't it pretty! Kris of Lavendar Quilts sent me these fabulous autumn fat quarters, I think that would make a wonderful fall table runner, don't you? Kelli of Seriously.. I think it needs stitches and the fat quarter shop gave some very fun kid's fat quarters - it would make a great baby quilt or wrap..Some days I do wonder, how I got so lucky! All three of these ladies have very nice blogs- do go visit them by clicking on their names. They are doing some terrific things on their blogs... Thank you so much ladies for hosting some fabulous giveaways and sharing your talents. Blogland is a richer for the sharing of your talents...
I have not done much quilting lately ( first I was sick with a head cold, then I was busy knitting and beading LOL) I have got the four baby wraps quilted and their bindings completed. Now I just need to get them bound and they will be ready for the next new babies..
Speaking of babies- this orange baby ( well really Mars is a senior cat) went for a little adventure last week. She decided that she might like to check out the outside world( she is an indoor cat) one evening last week, when my husband went outside to check the night sky. When we could not find her the next morning and the following day, we were terrified at what might have happened to her. We searched all her favorite hiding spots and she still could not be found. We created posters and visited the local Humane Society to see if she had been turned in. The next evening came and still no sign of her. By then, we were beginning to lose hope of finding her safe. However, this story does have a happy ending- Our son suggested that we put her food out on the back deck and Bruce noticed that some of her Whiskas was gone. We called and no response. Just before I left for work the second morning, Mars appeared with her tail in the air at the back door. To say we were overjoyed and relieved is an understatement. It has been almost a week since her return and she seems her normal self. We found her asleep on these raggedy Ann and Andy dolls a couple of times. This evening we are watching the Alberta Provincial Election. There is the expectation of change this election something that has not happened in 40 + years. Hockey and politics have filled the TV screen the past couple of weeks. Until next time, be well dear friends, Warmest regards, Anna

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spring brings some new projects..

On this Easter afternoon, the sun is shining outside, and these purple carnations brighten our table. I have been busy with some projects this weekend- making my rotary cutter work extra hard, or at least hard enough, that it will soon be time to replace the blade in it. My new square(16.5 X 16.5 inches) was perfect for squaring my blocks for the lattice quilt. I was lucky enough to find the ruler on sale half price this weekend at Fabricland. The square was perfect,and made the trimming quite easy. The blocks are ready to be joined together into a top. I still have to find the right fabrics for the borders but I have a few choices now.
This pile of fabric and batting will soon be 4 more baby wraps. Mars, our cat, loves to shred the batting if she can, so I have to make sure that it is well hidden from her, or I have chunks torn out of the batting. This time it was more challenging to make the baby wraps as I had to piece some of the batting and the minkee and minkee like material, in order to make the wraps. I used pieces of leftover batting from larger quilts for inside the baby wraps.
I have a couple of colleagues and friends that are expecting babies soon. It is easier to just cut a bunch of the baby wraps out all at once. I will spray baste them and then quilt them on my smaller Elna's Quilter's Dream machine.
I have cut the matching binding as well, so that I have everything all ready to go- I will sew the bindings together and press them, so that I will be able to apply them, when they are quilted . I am a little concerned that there will not be enough strips of the truck binding to bind it - I only bought a yard of it, and the top of the wrap takes almost the whole yard. Sometimes when I order fabrics from the States, I only order a yard, forgetting that it is slightly less than a meter(39 inches). That three inches of fabric can really make a difference sometimes!
I have returned to another past time recently- knitting. I love these new frilly scarves and found out how to make them. Its all in the yarn. This is the second one that I have made in the last couple of weeks. I am not sure how well I like the turquoise/blue one. It is very flouncy- Like fabrics, there are a number of different kinds of yarn but lots of the brands are not easy to find locally. You can find some of these yarns on Mary Maxim or Herrschener's needlework websites. I did find some variety at a local yarn shop called River City Yarns. There were many different kinds of beautiful yarns, there to touch and see. If you need a place to be inspired by color and texture, go and visit a yarn, fabric or bead shop. You are sure to leave such places inspired!
In some ways this newest return to knitting is my mother's fault. She had given a beautiful orangy red one scarf for Christmas. I knew that my mom wanted to have a black and white one, so I went in search of the black and white color combination.There is a sparkly thread that runs through this black and white yarn. The yarn has a stiffness about it that makes it hang nicely. I love the black/white one on my mom. My mom will soon celebrate her birthday so this was an early birthday present for her. I hope that you have a terrific birthday Mom!
Don't you think that this yarn is kind of strange looking stuff? It is like a lacy ribbon that you knit into the top holey areas. I didn't have too much trouble knitting with it, once I figured out where I was supposed to knit. There are some excellent you tube sites if you want to make one yourself. Google frill seekers or sashay yarn. You can knit or crochet with it. You only need one 1 or 2 balls to make a scarf. Here is the next one that I am going to knit. I love the color purple, so I had to make at least one purple scarf. I am going to make it while Bruce and I watch our favorite TV shows. We have been watching The Good Wife for a while now as well as Game of Thrones and Mad Men. Sunday night is TV night in our house!
We were at my folks not long ago and I snapped this photo of my parents with their beloved dog Tammy. Like all dogs, she is a big fan of my father. He has a great way with animals- I have never met a dog who was not crazy about him. It is my father's birthday today. My sister will be having them for family dinner- Life has been quite hectic around here this past few weeks, so we decided not to go south this weekend. Happy Birthday Dad ! I hope you have had a fabulous day.
This is one that I gave to my dad a few years ago now. It is a quilt made with a template but quite an easy quilt to put together. The fabrics are all batiks and I love the way the flowers look like they are spinning. I am not sure what is the name of the pattern. My parents have a number of my quilts now - each one made with love.
For his last birthday, I made my dad this nature scene quilt.It is a quilt that I designed by looking at other quilt patterns that used panels in them. I found a great background fabric that helped to join the animal panels together. I know that it is a well loved quilt in my parent's home!
For the first time in many years, we did not have many Easter treats floating around the house. We hope that you and yours have spent an enjoyable day doing the things that celebrate the arrival of spring. Last week's spring Alberta snow storm has been melting away quickly. Soon I will can look forward to seeing the daffodils and tulips show their faces. Spring flowers are among my favorites, as they signal the rebirth of life.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful Spring Season, Warmest regards, Anna