Monday, May 25, 2009 I come

We have had a busy week. The farm we bought last year and where we live now was badly in need of tile. Winter set in too early last fall, so it had to be done this spring. A lot of small shrubs and trees had to be moved first.A few larger trees will be used for fire wood. It was a lot of work, but it is done and as I write this Laurence is planting soyabeans in the field. This morning we finished picking up all the sticks, roots and tree branches.
I have been working on some smaller projects, one a challenge for the guild ,that has to be done by the next meeting. And this sashiko piece is coming along. The three borders will have to wait till I get home from Quilt Canada in Saskatoon.
That's why I'm doing this earlier. My suitcases are almost packed. I will be teaching Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We had plans for Laurence to come out after the conference and then visit his brother and sister in Saskachewan, but with the late spring that was not possible.
Plans are now for me to fly to Calgary next Sunday. Shawn will pick me up and I will stay at Shawn and Emily's place till late Monday evening and then fly back during the night to London, Ontario that is. I leave you with another orchid. An oncidium according to the label. It is a small one with 1 inch flowers. They are very dainty and have lasted over a month.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Frisian Quilt

Yesterday was our guild meeting and I managed to take both papercut quilt tops along. Here is the "small" one about 70 by 70 inches. Except for 2 blocks I can use for labels and one that did not meet the size requirements all the blocks have been used. One that was not centered I used for making a pillow to keep these 2 tops in. I think the members liked it . Since I did not want to stay for both meetings a friend showed them in the evening and took them home. She also will take them with her to Quilt Canada in Saskatoon next week. I will give a power point presentation there with as subject the quilts I have coordinated for the Mennonite Relief Sale over the years. Those quilts are gone and since I want to be able to show at least something I was in a hurry to get these 2 new ones done. Growing up I in Friesland I never knew what a quilt was. Last fall I learned about a quilt show at the Frisian Museum in Leeuwarden. I also found out, that there were antique quilts around.I would have loved to go, but it did not suit. I did buy the book and in it I found a Frisian quilt made around 1780. The fabrics were the old fashioned Dutch printed cottons. Lately they have been reproduced by DE Haan and Wagemakers from Amsterdam. I had bought some a few years ago, but since they were pricey I waited for a special occasion to use them And this was IT. I make up a pattern and sewed the top together. I barely had enough fabrics, but it all worked out. Here is a close-up of some of the fabrics. Some are very familiar, since they are used in Frisian costumes also. Before coming to Canada I did make my own Frisian costume and the fabric looked something like this, except I got it in the "cheap" store for a few dollars. The quality was far from these fabrics. At that time it was all I could afford. It looked fine. I took it with me to Canada, but after a few years I realized that I had never worn it, so I took it back and gave it away. Now I regret it.
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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Birds and blooms

Soon after we moved here in December I put my bird feeder out. But no luck. Not a single bird in sight, except the hawk flying over the place. Last week I decided to put the feeder away and after inspection I noticed that the plexi glass sides were upside down and no feed could come out. No wonder the birds did not stay around! After correcting that and a cleaning, I put the feeder back up and in no time the birds arrived. First a flock of gold finches Then my favorite showed up: the gorgeous blue Indigo Bunting. This was the fourth time I have seen one. They usually stay for a few days and then continue their travels north. One evening I saw one rose breasted grosbeak. I have only seen these birds once before. This time 2 more followed. By this time I had my camera out and took pictures through the window. I put one of the feeders closer to the window, but each time I came near, the birds flew away, so no luck there. I had also complained that there were no bulbs out here. I was wrong on that account, also. There are a bunch of red tulips blooming at the side of the house. But no daffodils, so I have to get planting in the fall. I'm gearing up for Saskatoon. My CD with the PowerPoint presentation has been sent off. So has the quilt for the teacher display. The second, smaller Relief Sale quilt has been finished. I have 2 blocks to be used for labels, and one extra that will be used for the pillowcase I want to make to transport these quilts in. I'm working on a wall hanging with alternate blocks of sashiko and appliqued silk circles. One more sashiko block and the center is ready for sewing. The border will be a lot of work. There will be sashiko block design all over.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Sew and Sews

The first weekend in May means a visit to the Homer Watson Gallery in Doon, near Kitchener. The opening of the yearly quilt show there is the beginning of all the quilt festivities in the area. This year I could not miss it: a small group of friends were asked to show their creations. I met them all over the years at our guild meetings and most have been very supportive of the quilts made for MCC. They call themselves "The Sew and Sews" and meet twice a month. They mainly like to applique and are very good at it! This is the group (pictured: Charlotte, Emily, Brigitte, Hilary, Jeanette, and Marg in the front) which was in our place this winter to start making the difficult center blocks for the papercut quilt. If you have a look at the quilt (I showed a picture a few weeks ago) you will notice the incredible 9 blocks in the center. That is some of their work. The show was hung beautifully and the opening was very well attended. Emily is not only a very good quilter, she makes the most amazing sock puppets. Then she puts them in all kinds of situations. This is the second year she even had a calendar made with the proceeds going to charity. Have a good look at the quilt on the bed. Those are small pieces! The weather has improved and Laurence is almost finished with the corn planting. Then it will be on to the soybeans. More rain is expected. My PowerPoint presentation is ready to be sent to Saskatoon, thanks to the help of some very good friends. When we moved here late last year everything was covered with snow and now I have to wait and see what is in the flowerbeds. There is a long bed with all kinds of roses. Now I never had much to do with roses, because I find them too much work. When spring came it looked like all 25 bushes were dead. Time to dig them up, but wait... do I see some green emerging? Right now all show growth, so for this year I will clean them all up and give them a chance to prove themselves.