Thursday, 31 July 2014

Quilting begun

Well, after a whirlwind visit with our DD and family, the quilting has begun again. It is a good way to drown one's sorrows at losing this...OOPS!! Thanks for the hot tip, Dolores:-) - Fear not folks! This little boy is well and full of beans as usual- just a L O N G , L  O  N   GGG way from us! His Mummy and Daddy- likewise :-( Thank Goodness for Face Time!
After that photo, the quilt looks pretty shabby! I have started the quilting on Poppies Aglow II. DH was worried about the wrinkled background:-) I am NOT! That is what the quilting does... levels everything out nicely! So here is where I am at the moment. I will be tied up for a couple of days so progress may be slow.

The bottom picture is the truest colour. The top one is heavy on the blues  which is inaccurate but you get the idea of the quilting.

OK, VERY short of time today but I wanted to post to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com. They had some sort of glitch last week but I see they are back firing on all cylinders this week. Enjoy the other posts and enjoy the long weekend!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

A serendipitous little landscape

I start teaching a new landscape class at the end of the month so I am trying something a little different this time. There is no particular sample done for people to use as inspiration. Normally, I teach the techniques using a set pattern I have drawn and had enlarged. Because I usually have at least ONE very timid student, there WILL be a little basic pattern, should I not be able to encourage someone to at least TRY to make her own pattern. BUT, I am also going to talk in general terms about what makes a good landscape picture- centre of interest, point of view, Rule of Thirds etc. With this info, I HOPE I can encourage some people to just start from scratch. Also, I want to present the idea of serendipity in making landscape quilts. You may remember my recent "If Monet Grew Hydrangeas"? It began as a piece of my own hand dyed fabric that screamed "Look at the hydrangeas in here!!" the end result- the aforementioned Hydrangea quilt( to date, unquilted as I am not sure it is finished just yet!)

Well, I was looking at my commercial fabric stash and found an ombré stripe which shouted  "Landscape" at me ( my world is VERY noisy!) I saw sky and foreground in the lovely, subtle stripes. It made me think of a misty morning- or evening- on a still, cloudy seashore with waves just lapping onto a deserted beach  and dry sandy dunes in the foreground with a derelict slat fence, tufts of sere and wispy grasses and a scatter of rounded, bleached beach pebbles.  Here is what I have so far...
Not spectacular but promising, I think.
Now, the trick here is that you need a base fabric that has a story to tell. This is where the serendipity comes in. It depends on the quilt shop and on the eye of the beholder. I WANT to give the students a little time to shop the shelves and see if there IS any "talking fabric" . Otherwise, we shall proceed to step two and work on some gentle arm twisting to get them to try to design something themselves. I am torn because there are two techniques I want to teach them- turned edge and fused appliqué. Maybe I will start by demo-ing those, THEN let them loose to shop the shelves. I think that has just made up my mind- teach technique first, serendipity next! We are nothing , if not adaptable:-)

As it is Wednesday evening already, I will send this off to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com and hope you will check out other postings there.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Nostalgia, Sentiment and Peaceful Coexistence

Many years ago, when I was a boy ( tee hee) I lived a pretty monastic life on a busy street in Hamilton, Ontario. There were very few children to play with and besides, I was a solitary sort of child anyway- always living in my own head and content with my own company. (What's new, I hear some of you ask???) I was always away somewhere else in my head, creating, imagining, dreaming! This week, two hollyhocks that persisted after the great garden culling of 2013 came into bloom in one of our front flower beds! They are not very tall and not very profuse bloomers, but they ARE in bloom! I had to dig out the old ones last year as they had succumbed to rust and weevils.

Those two little stalks of bloom INSTANTLY transported me back to my Granny's garden on that busy street in Hamilton. Very little in the way of flowers grew in that garden but hollyhocks DID bloom there. To amuse myself , I used to pick a few blooms - and Granny grew LOTS of colours- and matching buds. Then with a toothpick, or sometimes a straight pin, I would transform the hollyhock flowers into beautiful dancing ladies or fairies in colourful, fluttery gowns. I know now that I was not alone in my pursuit of this pastime but at the time, I felt terribly clever :-) I am not sure if Grandma or Aunty Lizzie showed me how to make these dollies or if I just figured it out by myself, but they were a magical outlet for my passion for flowers as well as for my passion for creating.

Today, in case I had forgotten some little trick in making hollyhock dolls, I googled it and found that I remembered EVERY step! I learned a new step too for making little "faces" too, but as that was not MY way, I ignored it. Then, of course, I had to make one doll, just for fun. I WOULD have made a whole bevy if I had had enough flowers but this one was all I felt I could spare!
All the same bloom, just different views!



I find I still love making them and have the little flower doll in a bit of water. She will likely have perished by morning :-(
Well, that is most of the nostalgia. On to sentiment! In preparation for the impending visit of DD, DSIL and Baby O, we are in a frenzy of cleanup and of chucking out to make room . Baby O is not THAT big but he comes with EQ!!! The EQ needs room so DH is trying to clear out some long held stuff in his little study so there is room on the floor for a Pack 'N' Play and a desktop clear enough to use as a changing table. I have been down in the grotto throwing out magazines, books :-( and fabric etc. Some of the discards tugged at my heartstrings but a lot of it needed to go ages ago. WHY DO WE KEEP THAT STUFF??? Then, came the hard part!!!

Years ago when our daughter was a boy ( again with the tee hee) , she was bound and determined to be a palaeontologist and to that end, she became VERY keen on geology and fossils etc. We spent many magical and wonderfully educational summer holidays in Nova Scotia , beach combing for fallen fossils at Joggins ( you are NOT allowed to pick up ANYTHING off the beach there now but we were actually encouraged to do so way back then) AND, DD learned about forams- or foraminifera, to give them their full name. Forams are tiny, one celled creatures that live in the sea and when they die, their minute skeletons wash up on the beaches , invisible to the naked eye except as a little, lacy line of dried foam on the sand ,but spectacularly exquisite under a microscope. We all had a BALL collecting sand samples and then looking at the samples with a borrowed microscope from the school where DH taught. Google the word and see for yourselves.

We collected sand samples ourselves and friends who were travelling collected them for us too. I had several big boxes in my laundry room devoted to samples and as Archaeology is now DD's chosen field, I called and asked what to do with the foram stuff. She said what I thought she'd say- chuck 'em out! She said, rightly so, that if she needs more samples , she now knows where to go and how to find them.

Well, that was a HEAP of sand and we had samples from all over the world- Nova Scotia, Scotland and England, Philippines, South China Sea, Indian Ocean, East and West coasts of USA etc. WHAT TO DO?? I simply could NOT just chuck it into the garbage- so, by way of Peaceful Coexistence, I mixed the sand all up , threw in some little shells and I am going to distribute it in our garden, symbolic of a bringing together of the whole world at our house!so now, the sand and shells from all over our poor beleaguered little world, will join with good old Canadian garden dirt to help amend it into a fruitful medium for growing- hollyhocks and other beautiful things. I call that a good day's work!

And , as a parting thought, I got two emails today that made me smile! They were announcing that two of my quilts have been juried into Central Canada SAQA's Fibre Content show here in Burlington this year in September-
Bruce's Favourite

Wire Fence II
That was nice to hear on a very wet , hot Monday!

I believe I will pass this on to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com I was not going to post this week as I have clearly been doing other than quilting. However, I am now in mid experiment( stay tuned) and decided that I would pass this off as WIP ;-) Hope you have all had a great, productive week!

Friday, 4 July 2014

Equal time :-)

For our neighbours and family to the south, Happy Fourth of July, All Y'All!
Looking a bit skeptical about all this!

An outfit for every occasion

Fuzzy photo but some serious contemplation - and some even MORE serious drooling!

And his Mum hopes that drooling on and trying to EAT the American flag is NOT a treasonous offence! I like that left big toe! Very handy for keeping the flag where you really want it ! 
                                                        Happy Fourth of July. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Happy Canada Day ETC!

01 July, 1867 - Canada became a country.
01 July, 1966 - DH and I were married
01 July, 2014 - Canada still going strong
                      - 48 years later- DH and I still going strong!

And early this morning, THIS young man was also going strong!! We had a nice Face Time visit before he fell asleep.

Hope you have all had a lovely day. It is HOTTT and humid here today so we are playing it calmly and dining out tonight to celebrate. Love to all, even if you are not Canadian :-) BTW, O is lying on the I Spy quilt I made for him . NB the maple leaf square near his left ear !!

Just in case you thought I had given up..
I had a wacky moment and wondered about putting a little chequerboard strip down one side of the Poppies piece. I did't like it though - so here is the final look , awaiting layering and quilting- starting tomorrow!
OOHH! This does not look well focussed but you get the idea. I removed some detail from the lower front centre petal. I like it better this way.

So now, after feeling like this was a Sunday all day, I realized it was Tuesday so I am going to pop this over onto the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com. A few people have already posted so check out the site.