Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Back to winter

Yesterday it was cool and rainy. Today we are back to winter with blowing snow and hard wind. School busses were cancelled and the list of cancelations on the radio are long. A perfect time to stay inside and work on a quilt. The center of the Mariner Compass has been completed. The worst part was the cutting to size of the blocks. I was very scared to cut wrong, so I measured at least 2 times, often more. But it all went together like a charm. The size is about 76 by 76 inches. I want a 10 inch border all around, but still have not been able to find the right fabric. I did find out, that it is an older fabric, what does not make it any easier. Below you can find the culprit. It is a neutral tone on tone.
If it cannot be found I either have to find something very similar, or go for something completely different. Any suggestions?

This has never happened to me before. Only once I had to ask for more fabric. That was for my first album quilt.In that case, one of the red fabrics ran into the white, even after been washed at least once.That time I was lucky and I received enough to finish the quilt. I did remove all the bad red pieces and bought another red, which did not bleed. But boy did I test that first!

A few weeks ago Jenny brought me a partly finished baby quilt. This was the first project of one of her friends. But the baby came early and soon after she went back to work, so Jenny took it home with her. She is planning to come next week-end to help me,but I decided put it together and today was machine quilting day. A small project is fun and it is almost ready for the binding.

Then it is back to the quilt for the MCC sale or in other words the "post card" quilt. The center is almost ready to be quilted and I'm looking at all the cards now. I received two more at the last guild meeting. Of the 83 cards, 55 came back, more then enough for the quilt I have in mind. More next week.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

And life goes on

Thank you so much for all your kinds thoughts. It has been a few tough weeks and we will miss "Beppe" very much.
I never would have thought that so many of you would respond.
The reason I started this blog was my dislike of any kind of writing. That got worse after one of my quilts was disqualified from a show because of my artist's statement( that's another story). Melissa, who looks after my website encouraged me to give it a try and so I try to write something at least once a week.
Today I had planned on showing you my progress with the compass quilt, but an unexpected trip to the doctor with my mother-in-law changed all that.
Another hour and all the pieces will have been pieced and appliqued. Now the scary part.... the cutting to size. I cut one strip an inch too short already! So there has been progress, that is the good part. Now for the bad. Last week I went back to the store for more fabric for the border and it was all sold. So now I have to look around and if nothing can be found I will have to get creative. This should not have happened to somebody with my experience, but it did!!!!
It has been cold and blustery the last days and this time a picture of a winter scene. I started this small piece during a workshop with Rheta Budd. It was fun to do and did not take long
Yesterday it happend again. Another quilt magazine and more ideas. I love looking through these magazines with all those great ideas. Then I look at my work in progress and come back to reality. I seem to go for the big and slow projects that take months, or sometimes close to a year.
I wonder what it would be like to make one small piece a week.
Computer time has been at a premium these last few weeks. Two nieces have stayed with us since the beginning of the year. They will finish their school semester and then join their parents in Saskachewan. This has meant the clean-up of 2 rooms. As our kids moved out I moved in with my quilt "stuff". It all ended up in my sewing room again with as a result that I cannot find anything. By next week I can use the rooms again. I will have to sit down and make 2 piles of stuff, one to keep and one to go. It is amazing what you can accumulate over the years.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


There was a reason I have not updated my blog for a few weeks.
A week ago on Sunday I received a call from my brother in Holland. My mother had passed away very suddenly, a week shy of her 91st birthday. The Friday before she had phoned me yet and we had a very good talk. She had a massive stroke and did not suffer much.
Plans had to be made in a hurry . Jeannette and I flew over on Tuesday. The funeral was on Friday. During the visitation I met a lot of people I had not seen in a long time,but I wished it would not have been for this reason.
We flew back on Sunday and arrived in Kitchener around midnight.
This picture was taken last year, when I was over for her 90th birthday. She did still some knitting, but she complained about her failing eye sight.
It was from my mother that I learned my needle work skills. I was not even in school and I learned myself to knit, sitting across from her. It was easy for me to change hands, so I just copied her knitting and did it mirror wise. And I still knit "backwards" despite the teachers trying to change that. Sewing was learned on a threadle machine, a Singer.She did mostly mending, but did make our clothes, when we were small. Later there was a motor on the machine.
My mother loved to knit and crochet and she would knit the whole family socks till she was well into her 80th.
She also taught me to never give up. I was diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 4 and had a brace on from 4 till 16. I think it hurt her more than me to see me struggle at times. But it did help me and the cost of all that was not easy for a beginning farmer after the war.
Yes, we had our quarrels and could not agree on things, but that happens.
Friday is coming up again, the day I used to give her a call.
I will miss her!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Another year, the same quilt

Now that the holidays are over it is back to piecing the mariner compass quilt.
On New Year's Eve we enjoyed a fun evening with friends and on New Year's Day we visited Jeanette and Tony. Our son Shawn and his fiance Emily flew in from Alberta on Monday and this was the first time in a while that all six of us were together. We will not see them much for the rest of the week. They will try and get as many things as possible arranged for their wedding in July. That also means, that I have to get this quilt top done before the end of the month. The points have all been pieced and right now I'm working on the sashing. I do not have much fabric left, so I have to be very carefull with the next steps. I'm planning a 31/2 inch 8 point star where the pieces of the sashing meet. In total there will be 16. Then the 10 to 12 inch border will be plain. If I have time ( after the quilting)I will put double piping around the binding. Now I have to decide if it will be machine or hand quilted. My preference will be hand quilting. I guess it will depend on who is available.
A few weeks ago we went to get our yearly supply of birdfeed at a local Amish farm. As with so many others, they have started a side business. This family has a thriving business in bagging up different varieties of birdseed, that they will take to market. The quality is very good and the price is right. They also have a large selection of bird feeders. I found this "soda bottle" feeder and had to try it. The price was right, so I could not go wrong.
And as you can see, it works very well. The smaller birds love it. It takes some time to fill , but a funnel would make it much easier.