Friday, July 24, 2009


Time has passed and I want to capture some of the good things that have happened. A bit stream of consciousness.

Visit with Sasha - of Saucy Sprinkles was in town last week from Saskatoon and we got together for a coffee that turned into a drink and a heartfelt chat about our children, education, blogs, women, authority, funny things and challenges we have faced. The time flew by and it was a delight to meet in person this really special kind woman - who brought cupcakes!!

Old Red Barn Company Quilt Along - gee this has meant a lot to me. So many women have participated in this quilt along and supported each other. We have different learning styles, beliefs, colour preferences, etc., but share so much. I am blown away by how wonderful the quilts are.

I am a bit stuck on the actual quilting of my quilt but will have some time next week when Pat is at daycamp to sew.

Zig Zag Quilt Along - This is another project I am looking forward to and am pleased with my design for it, Patrick helped with the fabric selection and boy was he right!! It will be a quilt for him.

Garden - The tomatoes are growing and so are the herbs and we picked weeds out of the patio. Ive spent a bit of time on the hammock and its been a delight to sway back and forth. Our neighbour has raspberries and some of the plants have migrated to our side of the fence and we have been very appreciative of the sun warmed berries off the plant and into our mouths. I planted a blueberry bush and it has not done so well - maybe next year. The blueberries have been plentiful in the store and I have made some clafouti and muffins which were big hits.

Friday, July 10, 2009

First Quilt and what I have learned...

Camille at Simplify is hosting a parade of quilts where participants blog about their first quilt and their most recent quilt and what they have learned.

Its going way back but my first quilt attempt was from a pattern in Woman's Day or Family Circle magazine in maybe 1980. I thought it was so cool - cylinders of fabric stuffed to make rows and rows of rows. Very modern. I bought fabric and stuffing and began sewing without following the directions - just sort of winging it. It was a total disaster. I did make another attempt and pieced a throw size top but could not figure out how to get the stuffed look and it sat un-quilted forever. Sorry no photos of those sorry experiences.

In 1984 I made a quilt for my first born - Matthew - I designed a swan applique framed by pale blue eyelet quilt top and made it into a duvet cover for his crib. There are lots of wonky bits because I made it up but oh how I love this quilt. It just brings back how little my son was and how much I loved being a mother and especially being his mother. I will take a picture of it and post it tomorrow. Gee I am all choked up just thinking about it.

In 2000 I made a real quilt for my last born - Patrick - I took a quilting class and was pleased to finish it for his birth. It has a teddy bear for each of his brothers and sisters and lots of hearts incorporated into it. I put a lot of effort and time into it which contributed to a little sibling rivalry. Matthew (aged nearly 16 then) expressed concern that I had not made him a quilt and when I brought out the swan quilt to show him he sort of mumbled: "Well what have you done for me lately???"

I asked if he wanted me to make him a quilt and he said sure but doubted I would deliver. I could not let the challenge go by and so took another class to make a sampler quilt in secret for him. I learned so much from Helen and am forever grateful for her guidance. The blocks were pieced by hand over a year and I was sooo, sooo slow, finally Helen said machine quilt them together. I could not get the blocks to be the same size and she said - we are not going for perfection - we are going for delight. Then I prevailed with quilting the top with a regular machine - stitch in the ditch - it was torture - lots of bunching and ripping out and doing over. I finished the quilt for Matt's 18th birthday and he was totally, totally surprised, blown away and happy.

And so I have progressed and persevered and learned a lot, including:

fabric is seductive, and addictive
creating ideas for new projects is enervating and engaging
mistakes, flaws and revising are necessary to appreciate your mettle as a person
finishing quilts is a struggle with so many new temptations to begin new projects
incredible satisfaction and peace accompanies a completed quilt and you see it wasn't that hard afterall
the quilting community is incredibly generous and supportive

My newest finished quilt will be my strawberry quilt from Dana's Old Red Barn Co. Quiltalong - only 5 weeks to make or Cait's - 3 years in the making. Which will it be???

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day, eh!

This is a yummy layered jello dessert . This first attempt had me searching for a conversion between grams and ounces. I would make more layers now that I have got the hang of it - very easy actually.

Have yourself a great Canada Day! We are off to see the new playground at Pat's school.