Sunday, August 30, 2009
I decided to make this one in a 9 inch size. I wanted to fussy cut a centre square for the middle of the block. Most of my other 9in. blocks have a fussy cut children's fabric in the centre. I turned the corner units because I thought they detracted from the friendship star look. I like this block, but now I think I have made up a whole new block. And look what happened to my little piggy in the centre! When I sewed the corner triangles on, I cut off one of his ears!
Can't have that! I quickly needle turned another tiny ear onto the block. Now he looks better! I think my piglet is happy in the centre of his new block!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Many years ago I figured out that those little 'Chiquita" labels that were on bananas had some interesting info on them. They had the country in which they were grown. I loved seeing where my banana came from each week. Wonderful, hot, tropical places where bananas could be grown! They fascinated me! This week's bananas are from Ecuador. Neat,eh? And my nectarines are from New Jersey. See? I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't read the labels on them.
I am even label bilingual! Because French is our country's official second language, everything must be in English and French. I have become quite good at reading labels in French. But don't ask me to speak it. That's just not going to happen. I can read "papier photo glace", "confiture de fraises", "jus de pamplemousse", "sans gras", "mode de preparation", "creme glacee" and "moka et amandes au fudge". (sorry, I can't figure out how to get the accent marks in there) Okay, I have to stop. This is making me hungry.
When it comes to fabric, I also love to read the labels. The salvages are a wonderful source of information. They have the name of the company, the colours used in painting the fabric, often the name of the designer and maybe even the country where the fabric was produced. In the past I always cut a small piece of salvage and kept it somewhere just in case I needed more of that fabric. Of course, I could never find it when I needed it.
Today, after seeing so many wonderful things made with selvages, I cut them off and save them. I even look for fat quarters with selvages on them. I have a huge bin full of selvages! But until now I have not made much with them. Then I saw Exuberant Color's blog yesterday and I got inspired to make a journal cover using some selvage scraps I had sewn together a few weeks ago. Here it is. It doesn't fit quite right, but I learned a lot in the process and I think I see a few more of these in my future. Maybe something along the line of Em's Scrapbag's journal cover, which she also made yesterday. Isn't hers great?
I also spent a few hours trying to decide what to do about the picnic quilt. I really like the watermelon top and I don't think I will make a picnic quilt out of it. My DD understands. So I will go back to the blocks I started at the beginning of the summer. I plan to finish these - most are already started and almost done - and sandwich them and quilt them before I put them together in a quilt-as-you-go technique. I had to figure out the size of the strips for the sashing that holds them together. I have used this technique several times before, but I have to figure out the size of the sashing strips each time. You'd think I could remember that, but........ Here are two blocks put together. I am using a red fabric for the front sashing.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I always thought that all my quilting buddies lived in my computer. But yesterday afternoon I had a real, live blogging friend come over! How cool is that? It was Vicki of Felines and Fibre Arts. She had a give-away last week and I won one of the prizes. Again - how cool is that? Since Vicki lives in Toronto, she brought my winnings over in person! Now I ask you, how cool is that? Tres, cool = no?
Look at what I won! Eight fat quarters of black and white fabrics! Cool - right? And two meters of Amy Butler fabrics in pink and turquoise. More cool, - yeah! And also a box of Nestle's dark chocolate delicacies! It just doesn't get any cooler than that folks!Vicki also showed me the quilt she has been working on over the past few weeks. It is all quilted and she is giving it to her friend today. I was so happy that I was able to see it before she gave it away. I have been following her progress with this quilt on her blog for weeks. It looks good in her photos, but I have to tell you..... it looks absolutely amazing in real life! The colours are fantastic! The fabrics are beautiful and the quilting is totally unique and awesome! She used a friend's embroidery machine to download outlines of dinosaurs and then quilted those shapes with the embroidery machine! I didn't know this was possible. The outcome was stunning! Go check it out! Now how cool is that?
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Then there is the red and white quilt I have been working on the past few weeks. It is based on the blue and white lap quilt I made for my mother. You can see it here. I also have a tutorial for it on my other blog. This top measures 36in. X 48in. I think I might make it a bit bigger. Sort of like a sofa quilt to cuddle under while watching television - in the winter when the weather is raging outside. I think the red and white would make a nice Christmas quilt. Maybe I'll just do a few more blocks or maybe I'll put a border around it. I haven't decided yet. And then, of course, there is the sandwiching and quilting. Hope DD helps me with this one also!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I also want to let you know about a give-away that Vicki at Felines and Fibre Arts is hosting. Go check it out. She has lots of great things to give away!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Then while lying in bed this morning, I began thinking about the block and remembered that the'geese' parts all have to be a colour and the rest of the pieces are background. So I went to my sewing machine and made this one. This is Dutchman's Puzzle!
Friday, August 07, 2009
Happy Weekend everyone!
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Although not too big, I think it will make a nice lap quilt to replace the tattered hospital blanket to keep her warm while she sits in her chair all day. I call this quilt "de Blaauw", which means "blue" in Dutch. That was my mother's maiden name.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
She is doing as well as can be expected, I guess. She is suffering from dementia as well as a series of small strokes. These have left her left side weak. She cannot walk anymore. She slipped in and out of reality while we were there. In her lucid moments she was funny and bright, her old self, but in her cloudy moments she could not follow a conversation and kept asking unrelated questions. Her hand are gnarled by arthritis. Her fingers weak and twisted. She kept reaching up and holding her head, as if she could push her brain into submission and send signals to the rest of her body. It was useless. She even had trouble holding a spoon and feeding herself.
But those arthritic hands had once held a paint brush. Canvas and oils were her medium. In her spare moments she had created some beautiful paintings. I am lucky to possess a few of her works. My sisters and brother have many more. She lived in 'cottage country' and painted the world around her. The old homes and barns.
The trees and rocks of the Haliburton Highlands. The flora and fauna in her world.
I have no words to describe how I feel today. The long drive up and back took a toll on me. Physically I am exhausted. The sights and smells of a hospital are not what I associate with the gorgeous countryside of Haliburton. It was a very stressful visit for all of us, but especially for my kids. They had not expected to see their grandmother in the state she was in. I know it was a shock for them. Nothing could have prepared them for the sight of their Oma, slumped over in a reclining chair, covered in a tattered flannel sheet, sitting in the hall outside the nursing station. It was a shock for me too. That's why I have taken photos of the paintings that hang in our home.
I know that aging is a natural part of life, but right now it seems unfair. Her paintings are a better way to remember the contribution she made to our lives.