Thursday, January 31, 2013

The long days of Winter

January is one of those months that sometimes, seems to go on forever. Once January is finished, I feel like the rest of the year speeds on by.. This January has been particularly long and I have had my share of being physically under the weather. I am now on the mend.  Hopefully,we are soon going to be past the mid point of the long winter season, for which I am glad.  The snow continues to fall and the temperature dropped down into the frigid area of the thermometer earlier this week. Today it has warmed up some, which will make getting out and about this weekend more pleasant. One way my wonderful spouse brings spring into the house, is with flowers. These lilies were a gorgeous color and opened beautifully.
And what about these lovely purple tulips!!! Tulips are such happy flowers don't you think? They come in so many spectacular colors and this shade of purple is one of my favorites..
 This was a shared project as I did not piece this lovely quilt. It was made by a dear friend who decided that she no longer liked it when it was finished. Have you ever done that-got tired of a UFO project? What have you done with those UFOS? Do you keep them or pass them on to someone else?
Mars certainly approves of this quilt- It is a traditional block- I believe that it is a drunkard's path pattern and has lots of curved piecing it. Do you like to make traditional block designs- Dresden plate, Drunkard's path, Star blocks, Log cabin , Irish chain and other such designs? This past week there has been a fun blog hop called Dare to be Dresden. Sew we quilt  is a link that will take you to Madame Samm's blog hop. There were some wonderful Dresden plate patterned quilts and projects to view- some of them offered giveaways, and all of them shared some terrific blocks and variations of the Dresden plate pattern. You will be able to see some traditional creations as well as  modern intrepretations of the block. Check it out - I am sure you will enjoy the many beautiful projects.  By the way, the Dresden Plate was the first quilt block I ever made.
I love the floral fabric in this quilt. It is definitely a pink quilt with a mint green strip used as an accent in it. I used a polished cotton on the back. It quilted up quite nicely and I am sure it will be well used by its new owner. I still need to bind it and will probably use the mint green fabric for the binding. 
While I have not quilted very much this month, I have knit up a few more of the frilly scarves. They are so fun to make and it is quite interesting to see how the different yarns make up. I really like the nubbly yarn on the right and the soft twist and curly one on the left.
NHL hockey has returned - Wahoooo! For those of you who live in other parts of the world, Hockey is Canada's national sport. Our son played minor hockey growing up- attending games and practises both indoors and outside, was part of the fabric of our lives for about a dozen years. The snowglobe graces our table during the winter season. 
Each morning I start my day with a cup of tea- I love many different kinds, though my new favorite is ginger peach, when I am not drinking chai. This snowman cup is a real day brightener and makes me smile.
Winter and snowmen seem to be everywhere in my world just now. I am looking forward to February with some hearts and flowers to enjoy. Valentine's day is one of my school kids favorite times of year. They love making letters and cards for their friends.  And of course , they love the chocolate treats and candy hearts to read...
 As far as quilting goes, I have some new projects on the horizon and an old one that I want to complete. It is a cube quilt and has been in a bag for well over 5 years- I have made many rows of beautiful batik flag like shapes  but need to piece all those flags together to make cubes. I have had some difficulty getting my head around this project so I am hoping this time I will finally figure out how the pattern works. I am also intending to attend a workshop around the middle of February so do come back and see how I am doing with my quilting goals.
Until next time, stay warm ( or cool if you live in the land down under) ...
Warmest regards,

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Three quilts and three machines... Happy New Year too..

At the beginning of January these lovely tulips graced our table. There is something special about tulips- maybe its that in the dead of winter I long for spring. This winter seems like it has been around for a long time. We have had a fair amount of snow and cold. I miss the grass and the flowers so tulips always make me feel better- that spring may return soon- even if it is only indoors.
While school returned this week- I did not after the first day- felled by illness that has kept me away from the classroom for a few days. I am feeling much better and will be ready to go again on Monday but it has been a rather strange week. Since my energy was minimal, I took some time to read blogs and one of my Aussie blogging friends posted about the beautiful forest in her neck of the woods. Here is a photo of my husband standing inside a tree in the Cathedral forest on Vancouver Island. My husband is tall( just over 6 feet and he disappears in the base of  these massive trees. It is protected and is a park of sorts that is about a two hour drive north of Victoria.
When I wrote last time, I shared the quilts that I delivered during the festive season. Here is my brother and his beautiful wife receiving their belated anniversary quilt.
And a view of it spread out on a bed - if it appears lumpy it is because Mars was hiding underneath as she sometimes likes to do..
This lovely lady and her husband were the recipients of the pansy sidelines quilt. We are checking out all the luscious pansy fabrics together.
I thought some might be interested in seeing this gorgeous pansy backing. It turns added so much to this quilt. It is such a stunning piece of fabric. Thanks again to my friend Linda(no blog)who generously shared this piece of fabric.
Mars was not too impressed when we interrupted her sleep to take photos of this quilt. Here is a frontal view of the quilt..
My friend, Sherry brought a piece of quilted clothing to show me- it is gorgeous and is made by another friend of my parents. Mrs. P. used an old sweater as a foundation to handquilt all these pieces to the front and back bodices of this sweater. Her stitching is beautiful- very neat and even - I have never hand pieced any thing so I marvel at Mrs. P's wonderful intricate work.
I mentioned last time that I received a lovely package of bags in the mail from Sue. I finally got a photo of the these terrific fabric bags- Aren't they pretty? I am sure that they will be filled with treasures next Christmas. Thank You,Sue If you click on her name you can check out her blog- it is a fun place to visit..
When we came back from my folks I finished the third quilt in the holiday. It graces our loveseat in our living room. It is hard to get a good photo of the colors as the quilt is quite red. I quilted around the individual poinsettia flowers in the border.
My husband found this lovely scarf at the Alberta Craft Council. It is silk and has a grain elevator on it- I love it. I am a prairie girl through and through and these elevators remind me of my childhood when the prairies I call home were speckled with them. They are all but disappeared these days. Bruce knows how much I love handmade things and this one is particularly gorgeous.
If you have visited before, you will know that I am a big rock fan. This beautiful piece was given to me as an anniversary gift from my husband. It is a piece of lapis luzuli and is a gorgeous deep bluey purple color. I love the antique like shape of the pendant with the lovely scroll work - sorry about the fuzzy photo of it..
The last thing I did in my sewing area last weekend was tidy up the many boxes of fabric scattered hither and yon around the small space. On Christmas Eve I worked on my three different sewing machines. Here is my babylock quilting machine( I can see I need to fix my bulletin board behind my table-LOL) It is a good quilting machine and I have quilted a king sized quilt with it without any difficulty at all. I put the pedal to the metal and can really motor with it. I hope to get back upstairs quilting one day soon so that I can get some more quilts finished.
Here is the other extreme - my little featherweight (vintage Singer 1947)I recently took it to the shop because it had a short in the wiring and gave off a good spark. I have it back at home and it is now working like a charm. Mars certainly likes to come and check it out no matter what machine I am using..
I have used this little gem the longest. It is nice little Elna 6003 that I was given around 2000 and still does the job. On Christmas Eve it was my finishing machine. I was able to blind hem the binding of the two quilts at the top. Three machines and three completed quilts over the holiday. I completed two of them in one day. Not bad for one long day's work - though I don't think I will try that again any time soon..

Are you still with me- if so- you can see how the beautifully the tulips opened and then drooped. They were glorious bits of spring for a few days..
And for a change of pace - some orchids- very interesting color - almost tan in color but quite pretty too..
As we begin a new year I wish you and yours time to create and find Joy in the daily bits of life. Live ,laugh and love joyfully in 2013. Until next time- be well if you can, Warmest regards, Anna