Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Back to the postcards

As promised Laurence came home early Wednesday morning, but with a bad case of the flue. He has been sick for most of the week and is finally feeling a little better. For far so good.
It is back to the postcard quilt. Sometime it will get a more appropriate name, but for for now this will do. The rows of cards and the center piece are all sewn together. I did finally manage to do it by myself. It was silly to ask somebody to drive all the way to the farm to help me with a few seams. Was it The border strip is wider than it will be in the end. I made it this way, so that I will have some extra once I'm ready to put it together.
In the four corners will be mariner compasses. In the center of the border will be smaller compasses. Once I'm that far, I will know if I need to add more, say some silhouttes. The following are a few of the cards on the front.
This is a few of the back. Since I want it to be a two sided quilt, this side is just as important. The extra cards are just pinned down for the time being. The piece of fabric on the left shows the world map. It is 12 inches wide and I like to figure out how to use it and make it all fit together with the front.
This shows the back of a few of the cards.
I really want to try and finish it, so that the borders can be quilted before spring. And yes, yesterday we had another stormy day. Tonight I met 3 snowmobilers crossing the road and taking of with a lot of speed. I don't mind winter, but even I have had enough. Let spring come, the sooner the better.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A touch of spring

It has been a very quiet week here at Lauren Farms.
Early last Wednesday morning Laurence left with fellow enthousiasts to go to Moline, Illinois for the "gathering of the green" And no, this has nothing to do with St. Patrick's Day.
This is a gathering of antique John Deere lovers. So that meant, that it was just me, the dog and the chickens at home. Now I do chores all the time, but it is different, when you are by yourself. As long as everything mechanical is working I'm fine, but if even one switch won't turn or one auger stops, I'm lost. It would only be till Sunday evening, but things changed. I ran into a few problems in the barn, which were fixable, but annoying and took a lot of time and than Laurence phoned. The truck had broken down, was in the garage, but parts would not be in till Monday so.... their return had been delayed. Can't say I was overly thrilled. Then yesterday I was told, that the wrong part had been ordered, so it would be another day. By that time I felt sorry for the guys, more than for me. We still managed here. But they are on their way and should be home in a few hours. But we did have a few sunny days and one of the visitors to the bird feeder was this nuthatch. They are very shy birds and don't stay at the suet ball long. I love watching them going down the tree.
Then yesterday I found a sure sign of string. Right there, in a sunny spot I found the first snowdrop. I have always loved these small flowers, even as a kid.
Needless to say, that not much got done on the postcard quilt. It is almost impossible to sew the narrow strip on by myself. When the quilt is nice and level I cannot get at the machine and when Im ready to sew, it is all bunched up. So I have asked a friend to help me next week. Tomorrow is guild meeting and 3 small quilts are ready to be taken in .
Right now it is raining and a lot of the snow is gone. I do hope for better weather for Easter.Laurence's wish is to be able to go for one last snow mobile ride at Easter time. I doubt he will get his wish or it has to be a very slushy ride.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Another week-end....more snow. What's new! But this time it affected us quite a bit. Shawn and Emily flew home for the week-end. Their bridal party had organized a big party at the local Community Center. A few hundred tickets had been sold and everything was a go, till Saturday morning. It started to snow and it never let up. By supper time hubby decided to blow snow again and I would do the chores. Problem number one: The door handle to the barn was frozen, but nothing that some hot water could not take care of. Problem number 2: once inside I closed the door, so when the chores were done, the lock was frozen again. Laurence was still blowing snow and even if he came home, I could not be sure he would notice my absence. For all he knew I was upstairs, sewing. But there was this small side door. I got it open and faced over 4 feet of snow. It seemed most of it ended up either in my boots or under my clothes. But I did get out and closed the door. More hot water opened the door again. This time I kept the door open ,while I checked things out one more time.
The road was very bad, but we did decide to go to the party, at least for a while. But I was prepared. We took the 4 wheel drive truck and I took an extra coat, snow pants ,socks, and hat along, just in case.About 200 people showed up. When we left (early) it was funny to see the parking lot, full of big pickup trucks. And yes, we made it home. Sunday was better, although I had counted on 12 for dinner ( 4 birthdays the previous week) and ended up with only 4. So lots of left-overs. By Sunday afternoon things had turned back to normal and we got the kids back at the airport in time for their flight to Calgary. Next time home will be for their wedding in July.
Back to quilting. I have been working on this quilt for MCC. I want it to be a two-sided quilt ,so both side of the cards can be seen. The problem was, how to make it strong enough. I came up with the following. First 2 cards were sewn togheter with a zigzag stitch. I cut 1 inch wide strips of dark blue fabric and ironed them double.
I sewed a strip on each side with a narrow seam. Both strips were folded over and ironed. The loose ends were sewn down with a narrow blanket stitch The cards were all supposed to be 4 by 6 inches, but some were wider, some narrower and that made it harder to get them all in a straight row. But I did get them all together and pinned around the center. And oh all fitted just right.
The next step will be to sew the long inside strips. I will have to set up a few tables and ironing boards to get a big flat area for that. The size right now is about 45 by 60 inches. My idea is to put another 12 inch wide strip around this, again in the trip around the world pattern, with a few Mariner Compasses and some silhouettes.And now it is back to knitting sock number 2. And I did find out that 5 rows is all I should do or my shoulders start to complain.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Anniversary quilt

Exactly a year ago we had a big snow storm. Laurence left early that morning for a meeting in London and he never made it back home till the next morning. He ended up sleeping in the car about 20 km from home. Well, this morning he left for the same meeting, again with snow coming down heavy at times. But right now things have changed. The snow has stopped falling and the sun is out. He should have no problems this time Just a day to go for a long walk with the dog. I have been working on a few projects, but really have nothing to show yet. This quilt I made over 10 years ago after my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. I'm the only one in Canada. My parents decided to celebrate this day with us here in Canada. This time they did the traveling, not us.The rest of the family all came over and they all stayed over at our place. We did borrow a few trailers, but it all worked out fine.
After everybody had gone home I started to work on this quilt. I had some of the pictures printed on fabric, a first for me. The blue fabrics I used for the piecing and appliqque were choosen to give it a feel of the old tiles we had in our kitchen

The walls were covered with old Delft's blue tiles, some with fancy flowers. Later, when the front of the farm was replaced, some of these tiles were incorporated into the new hall.
The lettering I did with reverse applique, also a first for me. The leaves are embroidered. It was quilted by my mother-in-law Hilda Mae. I finished it a year after the celebration and had it shipped over to Holland, where it has hung in my parent's bedroom ever since.

When my mother passed away in January I took it home with me and now it hangs in our bedroom.