Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Fill-ins

I haven't done one of these posts for such a long time, so when I read Sara's tonight, I thought I'd give it a go.

1. I need more hours in the day!

2. It always amazes me how lucky we were to find each other when we were so young.

3. A great deal of my time is spent doing things I'd rather not do.

4. In the summer, I enjoy iced green tea with honey and lemon in a big tall glass.

5. It was announced that the Edmonton Oilers might actually have a chance at making the playoffs this season!
6. When I need to cut vegetables, I just use my steak knives.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to relaxing a little and working on my paper, tomorrow my plans include finishing that paper! and maybe putting the first coat of paint on the walls in the dining room and Sunday, I want to finish painting the dining room and, if I'm lucky, start making the OnlyChild's dress. 

And a photo:

An Autumn scene from a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mollie's quilt

I know I haven't been around much lately. Work is so busy and I'm trying to get through this last master's course. My poor Bernice has been neglected once again and is, sadly, gathering dust. Soon, my friend, soon.

Since I've got nothing new to share with you, I thought I'd show you a picture of Mollie and her Patisserie quilt. I received a really nice note from her mom (my colleague) in appreciation for the gift and she also sent me this picture.


I have a paper due in my course next week so I probably won't be hanging out with Bernice this weekend either. Too bad - I have loads of projects, including a dress for the OnlyChild that's been sitting around since Spring and my Ghastlies quilt that hasn't even been started yet. Oh my! I feel like I'm missing out! I'll try to be a good girl and get all my work done so I can spend Sunday at least in my sewing room.

Scratch that - I've got to paint the dining room too. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Halloween Cat Mini

My Halloween Cat mini quilt is finished! I had very little to do to complete it, which makes me wonder why it took me nearly a month to get around to doing it. I suppose that the month of August doesn't quite motivate me to finish Halloween projects the way September and October do.

The quilting gave me a little bit of trouble on Saturday night when I started it. My machine was playing games (naughty Bernice!) and I put it aside rather than get more frustrated. Sunday night I just re-threaded the machine and it worked. Sometimes it's just those little things (and some patience) that make all the difference.

I know Halloween is more than a month away, but since this little quilt was actually finished, I thought it should find its home on my front table along with a pumpkin bowl and my Autumn yo-yo tree. (Plus, the Little Lamb had been there since March so it was time for a change!) I also hung up the Cat Wall-hanging I made last September after we said goodbye to dear RexCat. 

Yesterday, I made the label for the Patisserie quilt and put it in the washing machine. I just need to find some nice wrapping paper or a pretty gift bag (I was sure I had one somewhere...) and I will send this one to baby Mollie. The label is simple and inconspicuous (just like me haha) because I didn't want it to stand out too much. Just a little reminder that this quilt was made especially for someone by someone, and not bought in the baby section of Wal-mart!

P.S. I linked up to Fabric Tuesday

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Celebration of Quilts

Yesterday morning, I went to see A Celebration of Quilts which was held at a beautiful greenhouse in the next town. I went by myself and thoroughly enjoyed the outing - it was like visiting a museum or art gallery, which I always feel is best experienced alone.

I forgot my camera (it isn't working very well anyway), but was able to take photos with my phone. I'll spare you the pictures that didn't turn out well.

Most of the quilts did not have any information attached, and even for those that did, I didn't take notes. There were no prizes, although we could vote for our favourite on the way out.

Lots of inspiration in the Christmas quilts. I wanted to take the first one (snowmen) home with me.

I love this quilt, but it had very little quilting on it - just around the squares and I felt kind of sad for it because, with lots of use and washing, it might fall apart.
Do you see that in the corner? It's a Lamb Mini, like the one I made!

There were quite a few spool quilts. Love them!

Very pretty sampler quilt.

This was really beautiful. The colours were much more vibrant than what you see in the photo.

This Dresden Plate was pieced and quilted in...I think the sign said the 1940s. Tiny little hand stitches and all hand-quilted too.

I cannot believe I didn't take a picture of this entire quilt. It was amazing. It's called String Tulips. Look at the beautiful feather quilting!

Another type of Spool quilt. I thought the border was really neat.


Flying Geese in reds.

Scrappy Irish Chain - be still my heart! Wow!

More Flying Geese. I might have to make one of these some day.

Another Christmassy quilt.

This quilt was pretty amazing too. All the flowers and vines (which you can't really see) are appliqu├ęd.

This Spool quilt was my favourite and got my vote!

This one was nice too - the black background made the colours really stand out.

Bargello quilt.

Very colourful!

Gorgeous work!

Never mind the kid's quilt - look at that cat! It wouldn't stop licking itself for me to take a good picture.

So, there you have it. My morning spent at the quilt show. A couple of observations I made while walking around: 1) A lot of the quilts were stippled. A lot. And many were stippled on a long-arm machine (you can tell). I've never paid to have a quilt quilted on a long-arm but if I ever did, you bet I would get something more interesting than a stipple. I love stippling but I can do that myself. 2) None of the quilts had that crinkly, washed look, except for the old Dresden Plate. They were all perfectly flat and had never seen the inside of a washing machine. Do quilt shows demand that? 3) At the risk of sounding vain about my work (which I'm not), I have a few quilts that could be in a quilt show, based on what I saw there. Maybe that's something to work towards in the future. Do you show?

It was a good morning, as I said, and inspired me to finish my Halloween Cat Mini last night so I'll be able to show it off tomorrow. I also made the label for the Patisserie baby quilt and tossed it in the washer this afternoon.

Now, what's next? More bow ties? Ghastlies? or should I start on some Christmas sewing? Ahhh...decisions, decisions.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


It appears that quite a few of you understand the reluctance I feel about giving away a quilt when I'm not sure it will be appreciated. Thanks for your wise words and for sharing your experiences. Like you, I have been burned before - I have made quilts as gifts and have been underwhelmed by the response.

About 10 years ago, I made this quilt for the brother and sister-in-law of a friend after they had a baby.

The quilt looks really wavy in the photo, but it wasn't. And excuse our unpainted wall.

Even though it was a small quilt, it was quite a big undertaking for me. I was fairly new to the real art of quilting and was just learning the techniques. I thought the quilt turned out really well and I was quite proud to send it as a gift.

I didn't hear from the recipients for over six months, and their thank-you was a little note scrawled inside a Christmas card. I never met the baby, nor did I hear from the parents again.

A few years later, one of my colleagues/friends was pregnant with her second daughter. I was excited to make her a quilt because I really thought this woman would appreciate the gift. She asked for yellow and pink; I couldn't find baby colours so I put together this Irish Chain quilt in brights.

When I delivered the quilt, the mother was disappointed in the colours and also complained that the quilt was too big. I felt like I needed to apologize (actually I felt like I should just take the quilt and leave...but I didn't, of course). I don't work with this woman any longer, but when I see her occasionally I don't even feel like we were ever friends. Not because of the quilt, but maybe she wasn't the person I thought she was.

Then there's this quilt.

Another baby quilt made for another colleague...but with a different conclusion to the story. She was thrilled with this gift and still talks about it when I see her. It became her son's "blankie"  - and we all know what a compliment that is!

I don't mean to sound like I crave constant affirmation or that I need to be recognized for the things I make. However, like you, I do this to satisfy my own creative urgings as well as to bring happiness to other people. I just want my hard work to be appreciated.

That being said, little Mollie will receive her Patisserie quilt. As Sherri said in her comment, there is no way to know for sure if the recipient will appreciate the gift, but I know what went into its creation. And I will try to live by Janet's words, "Once I give something away, I seldom worry or even think about anymore..."

On another note, I attended a quilt show this morning. I have lots of pics to share with you...tomorrow!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Patisserie - finished during FNSI!

The binding is on, now this little quilt just needs a label and to be washed so it's all lovely and crinkly and it can go to its new owner.

I made it for a colleague who just had a baby girl, but I really love it and now I'm having second thoughts about giving it away. I'm always worried that the recipient won't recognize the had work and time that went into the making of the quilt. Those who don't create themselves often think homemade gifts are "cheap". Does anyone else feel that way? Do you end up giving the quilt away after all?

I think every new baby deserves something made for him or her with love.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Keeping busy

There are no cobwebs growing on me (my house, however, is another story). The past week or so has been filled with activity, some of my choosing.

My friend Kim and I spent last Saturday doing a Shop Hop. I'd never participated in one of these events before and it was FUN! We visited five different quilt stores in four different towns, put I-don't-know-how-many kilometres on the car, burned almost a tank of gas, and bought...

Well, that's what I bought anyway. Just a few stash-builders.

We also went to a concert that same night - Matt Nathanson/Train/Maroon 5. It was great. I had a video to post for you here but my phone won't let me send it :(

What else have I been doing?

I finally quilted Patisserie and I basted the Halloween cat wallhanging. Tonight is Friday Night Sew-In so I hope to do some binding and maybe get the wallhanging quilted. Or maybe I'm being a bit ambitious.

Are you joining us? Go over to see Heidi to sign up!

Work has been busy, too. I had a meeting on Monday night to share information about the school trip to Italy that I'm organizing for Spring Break. I already have 25 students enrolled and I'm hoping to get another 5. I can't wait! And - listen to this! -  because I'm organizing the trip, the tour company is sending me and the OnlyChild to Paris for 5 days after Christmas. It's a training tour for me and I'm allowed to bring someone with me so I chose the OnlyChild. Mr. P has no interest in going.

Also, Meet-the-Staff night was this week. What a dog and pony show! I hate being put on display and then having to make small talk. I usually don't have too many parents needing to speak to me, but this year I couldn't seem to get away. It was quite late when I got home.

Kettlebells and Yoga classes also started. As well, my FINAL (woohoo!) course for my Master of Education degree started last week.

Yep, busy.

But one last thing...if you're still awake...I grew a little garden this year - just some green onions, green beans, spinach, carrots and beet... and sunflowers.

Look how tall these are. The fence is 5 ft high and some of the flowers are at least 2 ft taller. It was a bit windy when I took this photo so they're somewhat bent over but I'm sure you get the effect. They are so beautiful that I brought some inside to enjoy.

The OnlyChild has settled in nicely at university. She likes her room, she likes her roommates, she likes her classes. She doesn't much like the food and is requesting home cooking from me. I find that funny, since I've never been known for my cooking. She's missing home a bit and (of course) the Wild Things and we miss her, but I'm so glad she's enjoying herself. Thanks for all your kind words last week. The parting was hard but we're both feeling much better about it now.

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Baby bird has left the nest

and is getting settled in her new place.

This is the view from her dorm room!

She looks out onto the coulee and is sure to see some interesting wildlife out there.

I lived in residence for two years when I was in university and all I saw out the window was a parking lot. Her view is infinitely better.

The room is tiny, as most dorm rooms are. I'm guessing that her carpet will disappear within two weeks (beneath mounds of clothes and books). I might be wrong about that... we'll see.

After a while, it started to look a little more like home, with some pictures, a couple of plants and the lovely doggy wall-hanging.

And nothing says "home" like a quilt and pillow made by Mum! (Not to mention the jointly-created Leon the Lion from our night in together in March.)

The parting was difficult. We put it off as long as possible, then I realized that the longer I stayed, the worse it was going to be.

Then I got in the truck to come home and almost turned around. I just wanted to take her out for lunch, spend a little more time with her. But I didn't want to have to go through the leaving again, so I kept on driving. And crying.

Alberta just passed a distracted driving law. I wonder if crying-and-driving is illegal?

Friday, September 02, 2011

First Week

Wow! It's Friday!

I am just exhausted after my first week back at work. It's been a good week, but very busy. Between getting everything ready at school and preparing the OnlyChild for moving this weekend, I haven't had a single minute to work on my two unfinished projects - the Halloween cat wall-hanging and the Patisserie quilt. I really wanted to have a project completed to show you today, but I guess it will have to wait until things calm down a bit.

I do want to share something with you, though.

A few months ago, I contacted Melinda to ask if she would make a special little quilt for the OnlyChild. My blog friend Deb had commissioned Melinda to make a quilt of her Jack Russell Terriers a while back and I thought it was wonderful. I sent Melinda a few pictures of Abby, Derby and Bosun (now deceased) and she created this amazing piece of art:

I gave it to the OnlyChild a couple of days ago and she was completely over the moon! She almost cried when she saw how well Melinda had captured the personality and unique look of each of the pups. I think Melinda's work is incredible! (Thank you again, Melinda!)

This art quilt will hang in the OnlyChild's residence room - a little piece of home to help her adjust. I'm driving her down to school on Sunday...and driving back by myself on Monday. It's going to be a big adjustment for both of us but I'm so excited for her. I loved being in university and I hope she enjoys it as much as I did.

I'll let you know how things go, and maybe snap a few pictures of her dorm room to show you.

Have a wonderful long weekend!