Saturday, August 31, 2013

August has come and gone....Life is indeed full of circles...

August has flown by with a number of things that have included all the mainstay life events ( one birth- one more to come, two weddings , two funerals) - they all are part of the circles in life. It has been full of a myriad of colors that as always include flowers in and out of our home. At one point these lovely sunflowers adorned our table.
With the help of some wonderful long arm quilters from Sparrow Studioz, this red and white quilt is now finished, and has made its way to Quilts for Calgary ,where it joined over a 1000 other ones, that will be given to families who lost everything in the Calgary area floods in June. I was very happy that the red fabrics maintained their color after being washed in Retayne. At one point it looked like some of the red fabric dye might try and migrate. I washed it with some trepidation, I have to say, but it truly did work out in the wash. This quilt was indeed a collaborative project- Diane, a friend from Red Deer made most of the blocks- I sashed them and bound it after it was quilted.
At one point this summer, we had some lovely pots of stargazer lilies and sunflowers but unfortunately, the Alberta weather has been fraught with storms, that brought hail and severe rain to our communities. These flowerpots are now looking quite beaten down by the storms but they were pretty for awhile.
Speaking of pretty, our pretty cat, Mars, has developed some significant health issues in her senior years. We now have to give her some insulin daily... She is soon to be 15 and is otherwise a healthy girl. Here she is helping me quilt- she does love to sit on my fabrics and quilts...The fabrics she is sitting on were for a wedding quilt that I am still finishing for my niece and her husband.
 Here is my niece Ms. A- Wasn't she a gorgeous bride- here is the handsome couple  on their wedding day. I am making progress on their wedding quilt and hope to have it finished before too long.
We had a lovely time at their wedding and took a few moments to take a photo of my siblings and our spouses. It has been a few years since we took a photograph of us all, so it was nice to have one and this one turned out pretty well.
After the wedding, I spent a few days with my folks followed by a short trip to the mountains. On our way to the mountains, my spouse and I visited a few quilt stores to indulge my quilting habit. In one, I saw this fabulous wall hanging - I loved the sentiment- quilting friends are indeed the flowers of life...
If you ever are in Canmore( a small town just outside Banff (a beautiful mountain resort town in the Canadian Rockies)- you must go to see the Sugar Pine quilt store. It is full to the brim, of quilting and beading things, as well as many other treasures such as art cards and Laurel Burch items... I added some lovely batiks to my ever expanding batik collection from the Sugar Pine clearance section..
 
Bruce and I drove up to Lake Minnewanka which is up in the mountains above the Banff townsite. It is a gorgeous spot and we were lucky to get some breaks in the weather that day. Earlier that morning, it had been raining and the weather did not look too promising - we were happy that the weather cooperated as we only had a short time to spend in the mountains. The  foothills area had suffered quite a lot of damage during the June floods ( particularly Canmore ) and the water was still quite high. Lots of the walking paths had postings of warnings to stay off certain sections of the trails.
The scenery is always spectacular in the mountains- the vistas are gorgeous and the colors breathtaking. This is one of the glacier lakes- I believe it is Bow Lake along  the Banff - Jasper Parkway.
This is some of my booty from my visits to the quilt stores. We made stops in 6 shops ( I had my own little shop hop ... LOL.  The top ones were from a shop in Rocky Mountain House which I only had  about 10 minutes before the lady was closing for the day. We had stopped there last year and I found some other treasures. The bottom ones are from a shop in Olds called The Quilting Bee. My dad grew up in the Olds Area and their is an agricultural college there. My sister has a Horticultural Design Diploma from the College. It has two quilt stores and a terrific general store called Craig's that has some fabrics as well.  These little towns are all relatively small - between 2 and 10 thousand people - it is interesting to see that quilting is flourishing in these smaller areas.
Bruce really is a good sport about my love of quilting. Recently Patti Carey from Northcott / Monarch fabrics came to give a trunk show at one of the local shops ( Lori's Country Cottage in Sherwood Park) Patti spoke about using fabrics and panels to create quilts. Bruce came along with me- it was 120 ladies and him. Patti Carey had some beautiful quilts in her trunk, and some fabulous ideas to make new quilts. This is a photo of Patti and the room filled with quilters.
She designed a quilt called the Long and Winding Road  for the magazine The Quilter in January 2001. It is a pattern that I made around 2002.
I really enjoyed making this bargello design and made  the blue version of this quilt for a raffle. I love this pattern and would make it again. The pink and brown version was a gift for my SIL. I think both of the color combinations worked very well. It makes a big queen-sized quilt and goes together quickly. I have seen it made in other color combinations and all of them were equally stunning.

 It is funny how the different angles change the way this quilt looks. Do you have a favorite technique/ design that you would make again and again? Do you ever buy large amounts of a certain fabric because you love it so much. There is a brown print in the pink and brown one that I used as a backing and and in the border. If I saw it again, I would buy a big chunk of it because it was just such a rich fabric. 
I have returned to the classroom so my daily life speed changes to a more hectic pace. I have been busy quilting most of the summer when we were not attending some special family functions, visiting friends and family, or in the mountains. One thing I love about summer is the opportunity to reconnect with friends and loved ones.
Now it is back to the busyness and business of school. It will be fun to see all my new little ones and try out some new tasks. I may be getting older, but teaching never does. I have a new Ipad to learn about, and more things to try on the smart board.  In my school classroom, we try to play everyday because that is our work in kindergarten.  We all need to have time to play and work - Hopefully I will find some time to play in the fabric. There are wedding quilts to finish and more wedding quilts to create for family members. It is a celebrating time of life.
We are looking forward to the arrival of a new grand niece or nephew soon.  And our son and his girl will get married in February. The next few months will be hectic indeed. I will drop by when I can..
Thanks for stopping by to check out my quilting journey.
Warmest regards,
Anna
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