Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Christmas tradition

Since our kids were small we have had this tradition around Christmas time, that I wish would go away. It seems that at least one of us would be sick or have a bad cold around that time. This year was no exception. The Friday before Christmas Jenny noticed swollen glands in her neck. She went to the doctor, who was quite sure it was the mumps Swabs and blood were taken and she was told to stay home, in quarantine ,for the next 9 days or till the samples would come back negative. Christmas eve they came back, possitive. Since we had had the mumps she could come here. Whoever did not have them or did not know, stayed away for the holidays. We all stayed home on Christmas eve,missing the service at church. Christmas Day was quiet, but very good. Grandma and our friends from up north came over and the food disappeared. Boxing Day came and Jenny was again a free woman,so off to the mall she went with Tony and Laurence. I stayed home to clean up .Since the temperature was around freezing it was a good day to put our, very small tree out in its pre-dug hole. In the morning I took the decorations of (the ugly duckling had turned into a lovely swan with all the decorations) In the afternoon the guys took the tree outside and under the watchfull eye of Bernie, the Bernese, planted the tree. We put 2 bales of straw around it and now we hope that it will survive. The papercut quilt has been named. From now on it will be known as "Plain and Fancy" That's the best I could come up with. It has very plain blocks and fancy blocks.I like to enter it in at least one show and the date to enter is coming up. Laurence and I had tried to take pictures outside, but the quilt just about flew away. More help was needed. And that I had on Saterday afternoon. The wind quieted down for about halve an hour and with the sun behind the clouds conditions were just right.
Only one more week and I will be on my way to Japan. I'm looking forward to it more all the time. The yens have been ordered and a long list of things that have to be done, has been made up.
It looks like we will have a very quiet New Year's Eve. Laurence is sick with a cough and a sore throat, so we will not be going anywhere. But to everybody reading this, I wish you a very happy 2010Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Of a small tree and a big trip

Once in a while Laurence insists on getting a real, potted Christmas tree. We have done it before and they all have survived. This year again he made me go with him to Frank's greenhouse on the other side of Listowel for a potted tree. And we were in luck. There were different ones there, even on sale. Now the one thing I do not like is, that they are small.Not enough room to decorate. But we came home with this Colorado Blue struce. Laurence dug a hole right away outside, so after the holidays we can pop it into it's spot. With a few straw bales around it for the rest of the winter and everything should be fine. We put the tree inside this morning and I decorated it later in the afternoon. And yes, I put something around the garbage bag! We also put another smaller quilt up in the hall. The way it is right now I can almost change quilts by myself. This one I made years ago and it is an amarillis in a pot with 3d accents. It has never hug on any wall before. I realize, that it really is a tad small up there, but soon I will be working on the one meant for that place. Here are my Christmas cards I made for this year. I was early and they were all ready at the end of the summer. And now you might wonder, why a Japanese kimono on a Christmas card. Well I have some news. In a little over 2 week I will be going to Japan for 2 weeks. I heard about this trip during Quilt Canada from Sandy Simmelink. She got me in contact with Kathy Nelles, who is the organizer. As soon as I received all the information I signed up. Later at our guild meeting I asked around and Elizabeth decided to come along and later 2 other members decided to join the group. We are going to Kyoto, Nagoya and will end up at the International Quilt Show in Tokyo. But first there is Christmas. Tomorrow evening is the candle light service at our church and it is one of my favorite times. With the church full ,the singing is great. Jeanette and Tony will be here tomorrow and grandma, Tony's parents and some friends will join us for Christmas Day. Shawn and Emily decided this year to stay out in Alberta. They will be here during the coming year for different weddings. To everybody out there reading this, I wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for the coming year.
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New heat source

It is just over a year ago that we moved to this house. It took some getting used to, but I like it very much. Most of all my sewing room. At the farm it used to get very cold in the winter, here it is nice and cosy. What I did not like was the heating system. This big house was heated by electricity. We looked around ( or mostly me) and decided on a geothermal system. And last Thursday, right in the middle of the first snow storm of the year, it was time to start the digging. A small high hoe started digging a trench from the house, around the back of the house to the end of the yard. I had moved some of the perenials, but I could not save all of them and a few of the roses did not make it back into the ground. Out at the edge of the yard a bigger high hoe started to make 3 deep trenches. Each had 2 loops of pipe at the bottom. The 6 loops were hooked up to the loop from the house. The pipes were filled with a mixture of ethanol and water. The heat in the ground will warm up this mixture and that will heat the house. Right now the fellows are hooking up the water heater. This will pre-heat the water to around 40 degrees. As you can see it make a big mess. At the end everything was back filled as much as possible, but with the bad weather and the snow we were getting, it was hard. Friday the furnaces were switched and we did without heat for a day, but right now the new system is working fine. We still have more snow coming down. At least the wind has calmed down.
A few weeks ago I was at the local grocery store and noticed a large group of amarillis bulbs. These had been in boxes and had started to grow in the boxes. The floral department had potted some of them up and they were on sale for 50% off. First I bought one for my mother in law, then went back and found this one with 2 buds. Right now the first stem with 5 blooms is in full bloom with the second one not far behind. Very Christmas likePosted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Ready for pictures

Once a quilt has been quilted, the work is not done. The next step was to square the quilt. I was thankful that we had managed to get the table tennis table together. That made the job much easier. The final size was 951/2 by 951/2, give or take 1/8 of an inch. I use a long carpenter ruler. That makes it easier to get a straight line for cutting. I have had my share of wobly bindings. Next step: the binding. With this get-up it went fairly fast. I turned the binding to the back and basted it down by hand. Another member of the guild asked if she could do the hand sewing since she did not make it up here for the quilting. This way we can take pictures and the sewing can be done later. Next step was the sleeve. I put a divided, 4 inch sleeve on the back. Some shows ask for a divided sleeve if the quilt is over a certain size. I also put a temporary, narrow strip on the bottom. Just in case it is windy when we take pictures. That way I can put a narrow dowel it to keep it straight. Then this morning: the moment of truth. You never know, how it will look and hang, till it is accually hanging. The ceiling in my quilt room is 8 feet tall, so there was just enough room to hang it on my stand. And it looks great hangs really, really well for such a large quilt. Let's just say that I'm very happy. A fantastic result with the help of over 100 participants. A real group quilt! There are a few things to do yet. We will have to take a good look at the back in case some stitches have been forgotten and look for loose ends. Now it is time to start writing the Christmas cards and do some baking. I'm not very good at multi tasking. The weather has not been good today. First rain, then snow , a good day to stay inside. A few weeks ago I got lucky at the local grocery store. Right there, in a shopping cart, were 2 orchids. Price: 99 cent each. I had a good look at them and they were healthy. How could I leave those behind. Just in case there is a bug present,they will be by themselves for a few weeks, but I repotted them and they are blooming well. A friend told me once, that orchids seem to breed in the night. Slowly you seem to get more. I had a good laugh, but that seems to be happening here.
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Thursday, December 03, 2009

The last stitch

This is what it looked like yesterday morning. We were very close, but all along a small strip had to be quilted yet. Esther, Judy and Kathy came early and were determined that we should get it finished. There was only room for 3 quilters without getting in each others way. So I did not get in the way and let the pro's do the work. By early afternoon they got close, just a few more stitches and then at 2.40 p.m Kathy put the last stitch in the quilt. I'm quite sure there will be some forgotten areas, but I can find those later. And then the moment of truth.Would it look as good as we thought it should after all this work? And yes, it did. The quilting looks just right and looks even better from the plain back Right now I have it on a spare bed, just to get all the wrinkles out. The next step will be to square it and put the binding on . I always take a large quilt to church to do the squaring. I can put 3 or 4 tables together and have lots of room. But son-in-law will get a table tennis table for Christmas and since they do not have room at home it will stay here for the time being. Daughter asked us to buy it (on sale) last week and could we put it together please. What a job!!!First it was awfull heavy for the 2 of us to get it in the box down the stairs. Once there we left till till the quilt was out. So last evening the time had come to put it all together. Let's just say after 21/2 hours and 2 trips to the workshop and 2 sore backs later it was together. I washed the top this morning just to be sure the paint would not come of and now I'm ready to do the job here. The table is not wide enough, but I figure that with the straight edges I will be o.k. Winter must be close. We had a sprinkling of snow this morning, but a minute ago I saw the first snow plow driving past. Looks like winter is on it's way. Posted by Picasa