Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Another quilt to make

A week ago our son phoned us. He let us know, that he was engaged and that we could expect a wedding next year. Great news!
It will be here in Ontario and they are busy planning.
That also means for me that I will have to make another quilt. At least I have almost a year to get it done. This is a picture of the quilt I made for Jeanette and Tony. It is called Raspberry Parfait and Jeanette saw the pattern in Quilters Newsletter Magazine.I realized that I have not a good digital picture. I tried to scan one in, but it just did not work for me. This one was taken at their shower at our church with grandma inspecting my work.
Shawn and Emily are trying to come up with something they would like.
Last week I spend a few days at the YMCA Center in Orillia. The Ontario Quilting Connection had their bi-annual conference there.

The classes were small, but we had a lot of fun. Here they are working hard on the sashiko pieces.
And the food......great. It was good for my waistline that I did not stay any longer.
Once home again I worked on the farm and appliqued the field in the front. I did not really like, it, but kept on, just in case more would be better. Of course it did not improve . I put it up on the wall last night with the hope that it would look better this morning, but surprise, it looked just as bad. So out came the ripper and I took it all out, even before doing the chores. Now it will stay on the wall, till I have found a better solution.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Plodding on

Only 50 more pieces to applique and the top is finished. It is getting time, because there are other projects to start.Last winter I taught 2 postcard workshops for my guild and as a result 80 cards were made and send to volunteers from the Mennonite Central Committee all over the world. They were asked to put a stamp on the card and pop it in the mail Yesterday I picked up more cards and 50 have come back. I do hope that a few more will return.
I have a few ideas and as soon the farm is done, I will start on that project.
I'm busy getting ready to go up north for a few days. I will be teaching at the Ontario Quilting Connection in Orillia. I was there once before and I enjoyed it very much.
But right now we have another emergency. I broke the top of the kitchen faucet and we cannot find a new one that will fill the hole. For the time being we can manage with a vice grip attached to the broken end, but it is not very handy.Laurence has gone to town, again, to see what he can come up with.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Back to the farm

Wheat weaving is out of my system for the time being, so it is back to the farm quilt. I'm finished with most of the embroidery. The next step was the trees. The trunks were cut out of one varigated brown batik, a lot of fiddly work, but not hard. But how to do the foliage? Solid fabric would be too much and snippits of fabric just did not do it.
So the next to try was thread painting. I had done a little of that before , but only very small pieces.
I did have a good variety of green threads on hand and I found some water soluble stabilizer. I made a few small samples and it seemed to work.
I drew the outline on the stabilizer and starting with the darkest thread I would fill in the bottom, using a zig-zag stitch and later a straight stitch. By using these 5 colors I got the results I wanted. The small holes will let some of the sky through I hope.
Once finished I cut around each shape and put it in luke warm water for 15 minutes. By that time the stabilizer has disappeared and, after drying, I can use the pieces on the quilt.

Most of these pieces I did today, so I have not had time to put them in the water. That's why some of the stabilizer is still showing.
Next up will be the biggest tree and I will use a few different colors for that one.
The front is not done yet.
There will be a fence, small meadow and a ditch.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wheat weavings

Last week I showed you a picture of the different kinds of wheat I had picked on our farm. This was the week to make something with the wheat.
I was at Jeanette's for the week-end to look after the cat and dog, so I figured I had lots of time. What I did not figure on was the cat. She wanted to eat, play, scratch in the wheat. And when I pulled her away, she seemed to be mad at me for the rest of the week-end.
I did manage to get a few done though.
Starting on the left, the first is a 5 and a 6 braid out of unbearded wheat, The next is a small 3 braid ( that's all I had), than 2 out of bearded winter wheat both with 6 braids, just put together different.
This one is out of barley. The straw was very fine and it was hard to work with, but the result is very nice with those long "beards"
This one is also with 6 braids.
It will take some tender loving care. One drop on the floor and it will not look nice anymore( don't ask me how I know).
The last 2 are out of spring wheat. These are larger, because the straw was longer.
The one on the left is made with a flat 7 braid, the one on the right is a double "modiford" an old name for a heart shaped weaving. This one is also done with 6 braids.
There is some wheat left, but I have put it away. It is out of my system, so it is back to applique. Next week I should have some more to show.I'm working on the trees around the farm.
The trunks are easy, but I have to decide how to do the foliage. Thread painting might be the way to go, but I do not have much experience with that.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Wheat harvest

Last week-end was very busy. We should have been in 2 places at the same time. First there was the yearly antique tractor show in Drayton. Since we lacked the time, only this J.D A got to go. If you have a good look you can see the roses behind the tractor. They have been blooming for over a month now.
We did go to a wedding in Algonquin Park, a 41/2 hour drive up north from here.
The weather was beautiful and still is.
Once home again we had to get to work. The wheat was ready, so was the c0mbine.
After the dew was gone on Monday morning, Laurence started to combine.By now, Wednesday, he is almost finished at home. He usually does some custom work for neighbours next.
This year the yield and the price is good. Most years it is one or the other.
But that was not all the harvesting that got done.
It must be about 25 years ago ,that I saw a small decoration made out of straw. When an evening course was offered at the local High School I took it. I wanted to know more, but could not find any more information. I knew that it was an old English craft, so I send a letter to the Women's Institute in England. They got me into contact with Janet Brewin, a teacher /judge. She has been a very good friend ever since. And so the journey started. She kept me up to date and send me books. I even managed to go to England twice. Once I made it to the Wheat Gathering of England. Then about 1o years ago I developed more problems with my back and shoulders and it got harder to do. Slowly quilting took over.
But I never totally forgot about wheat weaving( in North America) or corn dollies (England)
I usually gather at least a few handfulls of grain. Here you can see this years crop.
There are 2 different kinds of wheat. Winter wheat is planted in the fall, stays in the ground over the winter and is harvested the next summer. Springwheat is planted in the spring and harvested also during the summer, usually a week or so later.
There are also a lot of varieties. Most noticable are the long "hairs" on some. These are called beards.

So starting from the left we have:
winter wheat, beardless
red winter wheat, bearded
winter wheat, bearded
barley, very long beards ( taken from a neighbour's field. Promised them to make something)
spring wheat, bearded. I cut this before it was ripe. It will keep a soft green tinge.
spring wheat, bearded.
This coming week-end I will be at Jenny's and I have everthing ready to make at least one weaving out of each variety. I hope to show you some results next week.