"There is a destiny that makes us brothers:
None goes his way alone:
All that we send into the lives of others
Comes back into our own."

Edwin Markham

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Happy Birthday, Canada

My Sesquicentennial Quilt, otherwise known as Canada 150, is finished. Actually it was finished a week ago, allowing me plenty of time to show it to my kids and grandkids and to take a few pictures.

Joanne Kerton of Canuck Quilter Designs gets all the credit for the beautiful pattern and easy to follow instructions. I added fabric and sewed. The quilting is mostly stitch-in-the-ditch with some outline quilting and a few stars thrown in.

The border fabric is full of tiny white stars. They bring to mind the fact that day after day 36 million-plus Canadians work and play, laugh and cry, love each other and raise families, all under the same bright stars. Something we all have in common. We are not perfect, far from it, but then neither is my quilt.

Lulu the Sheltie is my very unwilling model in some of the pictures. You will need to look closely, though, to see the pained look on her face!

                Saturday, July 1st is Canada's 150th birthday. Happy Birthday, Canada!


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Following "Love's" lead and my Sesquicentennial quilt project

Way back on March 14th, "Love" of I Just Love Quilts posted a photo of a great looking block she had made. She had been inspired to join a new block of the week, Moda Block Heads, after seeing Ruth of Country Log Cabin's first block. Long story short, I decided to sew along as well. I sailed through the first three blocks and then hit a roadblock -- no pun intended. Appliqué! I have done a little appliqué, enough to know that I don't do it well. So, my block four Bee Skep is just a little wonky but I was able to use some fairly old bee fabric so I am okay with it.  More appliqué for blocks six and seven! I decided to  switch the appliqué in block six for a snowball block, and made a very simple basket for block seven. I guess I will end up going my own way with these blocks!

My Sesquicentennial Quilt project started with an amazing pattern from Joanne at Canuck Quilter Designs. My fabrics are very different from the fabrics Joanne used for her quilt, and I was a little concerned that paisley and polkadots might not be right for my maple leaves, but I love them. I am about to put this quilt top together, and I can't wait to see how it turns out. Joanne is the best pattern writer, by the way.

I hope to complete this quilt before July 1, the 150th  anniversary of Canada's confederation. 


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Snow Dreams Tree Skirt

I just love my new tree skirt. The pattern is from Joanne Kerton at Canuck Quilter Designs. Paper-pieced snowflakes, of course!

The colours are not Christmasy, but they co-ordinate with the other colours in the room, including my favourite Christmas throw.


We have decorated for the holidays a little early this year. I am having knee replacement surgery this Friday, and want to be able to come home after surgery to a pretty house. 

I love my Jim Shore Santas and snowmen. Several of my pretty, and somewhat fragile, ornaments have perished over the years. At least these guys are sturdy. The Dutch and Scottish Santas are for my two  grandpas, and of course the Canadian Santa is for me.

I still have some Christmas baking to do, as well as the wrapping of gifts. I should definitely get busy!

                                             Merry Christmas, everyone.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Snowflakes on the table

It has been a long while since I sat in front of the computer, desperately trying to think of something to write. Here I go.

I decided to write today so I could tell you about the beautiful snowflake patterns that Joanne of Canuck Quilter offered this past fall as part of her Snowalong. Beautiful "paper-pieced" snowflake patterns. I am a lover of paper piecing, and jumped at the chance to make some snowflakes. Without further ado, here are my snowflakes.

                                                         Table runner number one

Table runner number two

This one is a Christmas gift.

I know, the photos are not the best. Since I no longer blog, I have not bothered much with taking pictures. The instructions were easy to follow and the pattern pieces fit together so very nicely. 

Table runner number three.

Geese Across the Table

This is another pattern from the very talented Canuck Quilter. I made this runner for my mom's September birthday. It is a little wider and a little shorter than the original pattern. Mom loved it.

My computer skills are very rusty. If I don't mess up in the next minute or two, this might actually become a real blog post. Fingers crossed!

Merry Christmas everyone.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Decisions, decisions, and doing what I love

Our summer is winding down here in southern Alberta. With any luck, we will still enjoy some warm weather -- to make up for our very cool spring and early summer -- but fall is definitely in the air.

Some of you might know that I love making mini quilts. I am a big fan of the little quilts of Ann Hermes, and decided recently to make a little quilt based on one of Ann's called Pastel Triangles. My inspiration can be found here:

I could never do what Ann does. I have trouble cutting into new fabric. I can't imagine cutting into precious antique fabric!

Here is my version of Ann's little quilt. Pink and green is one of my favourite combinations.

I have decided that this post will be my last. While you have all been welcoming and friendly, and generous with your comments, I am not an original member of your group. I enjoy writing about what I do, but I enjoy the 'doing' even more. So, I will continue to do what I love -- sewing, quilting, counted cross stitch, and even a little knitting.

Of course, I will also continue to follow all of your blogs. I will once again be lurking in the background, much as I did during the APQ days. While I was much too 'shy' in those days to ever leave a comment ("Love" and I did exchange a few messages) I hope that this time around I will feel more comfortable.

Thank you "Love" for your friendship. Your encouragement meant a lot to me.

Now, I really do need to get back to my sewing room. There are a lot of projects waiting for me!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Love Coleus

I love Coleus! One of the best things about spring is that first visit to the garden centre, and the opportunity to see all of the gorgeous new Coleus plants. Imagine how thrilled I was to read "Love's" most recent post about her efforts to save her beautiful Sun Coleus:  http://ijustlovequilts.blogspot.com/2011/08/another-week-of-over-100-degree-weather.html

My front yard faces north, and over the years I have planted lots of different annuals. Begonias, Impatiens, and Coleus are the ones I can usually count on to do well. Here is a picture from last year. Coleus and non-stop Begonias. The Coleus very nearly took over the pot.

Here is this year's version. The Coleus are missing! Eight different Coleus plants (two at a time) were planted in the pot. None lived more than a few days thanks to our extremely cool spring. (Cold overnight lows, cool daytime highs, and a nasty north wind.) The Begonias were doing fairly well until last week, when three severe hailstorms nearly decimated the plants. 

          Last year's Impatiens did well with very little sun. This year's pot is struggling.

I have not planted a garden in years, but on one of my visits to the garden centre in mid June I decided to buy a couple of tomato plants. They are thriving! If the first frost holds off until the end of September, we might get to enjoy some of these little beauties. They are still pretty small. The Blanket Flowers (they once blanketed the prairies) usually take over this bit of garden.

I don't have much of a green thumb, but that doesn't stop me from trying. Now, it's back to my sewing room!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Meet Bindbara

Meet Bindbara, my fairy quilt godmother. She loves hot pink lipstick and purple eyeshadow, and is a product of the Not-So-Mystery Block #61 at Paper Panache, found here: http://www.paperpanache.com/index.htm

Bindbara and I are not alike, although I once had a pair of reading/sewing glasses with purplish frames. She was a lot of fun to make, and now hangs in my sewing room. (Yes, she was paper pieced, and yes, she came with her name.)

We have finally had a bit of summer-ish weather. Nothing over 29 degrees Celsius (about 84 degrees Fahrenheit), and that was only for a day, but outdoor activities have kept me out of my sewing room (for the most part). Needless to say, progress on the retirement quilt for my brother has been slow.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Chenille Quilts

Have any of you ever made a 'Chenille Quilt', like the ones made popular by Fons & Porter (and others)? My first chenille throw was made shortly after the January/February 2005 issue of 'Love of Quilting' came out. I made it in a weekend, and had so much fun that over the next year or so I made a few more.

This was my first effort. It has four layers of flannelette, so it is somewhat heavy.

I made three more for Christmas gifts that year. My mom's is often draped over a chair. My brother uses his as a bedspread (sadly no picture), and the third belonged to a brother who passed away in November 2009. I brought that one home.

I have made a few more, as well. This one was made from Christmas fabric a few years ago.

I even made chenille baby quilts for my first two grandchildren.

Now, I know these are not real quilts, at least not the kind that have beautiful pieced blocks and lots of lovely quilting. They were fun to make, though!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A new project

It has taken a while, much longer than I had thought, but I have finally started work on my new project. I was not totally convinced that I had made the right colour choices, so I made a couple of blocks the other day. I think I like it.

It is a very simple pattern from the current issue of 'Simple Quilts & Sewing' magazine. This is to be a gift for my brother, who has decided to take early retirement. I learned last Christmas that his current bedspread is a throw I made almost six years ago. I think he deserves a real quilt!

There has been a lot of non-sewing activity here lately. There have been soccer games to attend (our two older grandchildren both play), as well as a dance recital. Grandma has also been doing lots of babysitting. Grandpa signed up the two older kids for golf lessons (the under six program), so when he is not busy golfing he can check on their progress. There is lots of gardening to do, as well. I have lost a few plants to our chilly overnight lows. At least the garden centre is close!

I love reading about all of your beautiful new projects. They really inspire me!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Our anniversary road trip

My husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary on May 22 and decided that a road trip was in order. Last weekend, we drove north to drop the dogs off with my mom, and then headed for the mountains. Our first stop was Jasper National Park. Parks Canada is celebrating this year, as well. It is their 100th birthday.

                                              The view from our balcony.

                           This picture was taken just before sunset at Pyramid Lake.

The next morning (our anniversary) we rode the Jasper Sky Tram. There was still a lot of snow at the summit.

                     Next came a trip to Sunwapta Falls. What an amazing place.

A side trip to Penticton in British Columbia included lunch at a beautiful winery, and then we moved on to Lake Louise. We saw lots of deer and elk, and even a bear, but chipmunks are the only wild animals I am comfortable photographing.

We were back  home on Friday afternoon. My husband had done all the driving, so I think he was a little tired, but we both had a great time. Here is my new Jim Shore Scottish Santa. What a souvenir.

I have fabric for my next sewing project, although I should do a little gardening first.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring Showers

Yes, spring is finally here. The snow is gone (except for a few stubborn patches here and there) and the grass is starting to turn green. Brave perennials are poking their first green leaves through the soil. Robins can be heard singing from early morning to well into the evening. All is well!

There was even a lovely spring shower yesterday --- a baby shower. I love baby showers. There is always lots of wonderful food, good company and, best of all, a beautiful new baby to hold and admire. I finished my gift, a quilt, on Saturday evening (thank goodness). By now, everyone assumes that my gift bag holds a quilt, and I would hate to disappoint.


I used the Dutchmen's Puzzle Baby Quilt pattern from the apq website, and dug into my little stash of Petite Maison fabric. I like pink and green together, and I hope Baby Chloe will, too.

I would love to start gardening today, but the ground is still frozen in places. I lost a few plants over our exceptionally long winter, but that gives me a good excuse to make a trip to the garden centre.

Maybe I could start planning my next sewing project, as well!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Counting my blessings

There has not been much sewing (or crafting) going on around here lately. While I would like to blame my lack of creativity on the weather (yes, this is what I looked at this morning), or on my aching joints, I know that our weather woes will pass and my arthritic joints will start to feel better. I have decided that I really need to look on the bright side. I need to count my blessings. There is a sweet song about just that, made popular years ago by Bing Crosby. Diana Krall has recorded a lovely version, too. My blessings are numerous (too numerous to mention here) but I can say that they begin and end with my wonderful family.

I have managed a little sewing recently. I made an Easter card for my mom from this paper-pieced daffodil.

Of course, Easter would not be complete without some Easter goody bags for my grandchildren. I decided to use some iron-on transfers this year.

The transfers worked well on my granddaughter's bag and on the one for my little grandson, but not so much on the bag for my four-year-old grandson. What to do? I decided to try paper-piecing a soccer ball instead. My husband told me last night that the kids don't really pay attention to the outside of the bag. They are more interested in what is inside. He is probably right!

I still need to start work on a baby quilt for a little girl who is due this Friday, April 22. No pressure there!

                                          HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!


I just heard that Chloe Alexandra was born early this morning. Now I really need to get busy!