Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blame the wind

Yesterday started out well, with lots of sun: a perfect day to work in the garden. On our way home from Jeanette's, we had stopped at the Terra Greenhouses, and since the bulbs were on sale, I could not stop myself and had to get some more. You can never have too many spring blooms after a long winter. And I managed to do some additional cleaning. This arrangement shows a few of the flowers still out there.

The wind was strong, but it had been like that for a few days. Early in the afternoon, just when I was ready to sit down at the computer, the lights started to flicker. After 15 minutes of that, the lights went out and stayed out till it was time to make supper. After supper, cleaning the dishes and bringing Laurence back to the workshop, I was ready again, but right at that moment it turned pitch black and it stayed that way. We went to bed very early and by this morning we had hydro again. And yes, we have generators at the barns, just not at the house here. We did buy a small one last year, but over the summer it got stolen, along with a backpack blower.

It has been a very busy week. I was in Barrie for 2 days, for a trunkshow and a workshop. The last time I went to Barrie I ended up in a snow storm. This time it was better, but still I ran into the first snow of the year. I had a very enjoyable time there with a very lively group.

Then on Sunday, my friend Lois and I went to Jeanette's. She had tickets for the Shaw Festival after which we went out for supper. I knew that she had a few quilts tucked in the closet. I asked if I could take them home to give them a rest from being folded up.  One of them is this quilt, made by Jeanette when she was 9 years old. She wanted to make a quilt and her grandma offered her to buy the fabric and then, when it was all pieced together she and the great aunts would quilt it for her. She choose this pink fabric ( a color she cannot stand now). Each evening, after the dishes were done she would sew a block, while I was in the barn, milking the cows. She was very exact and did a lot of ripping, but she did finish it in time for it to be quilted for her 10th birthday.

I did not get much done this week. It is getting time to finish the crazy quilt, and the first step was to sew the backing on. This is a very heavy quilt and it needs an extra layer to keep it from sagging. This lining is heavy and hopefully will do the job. It has been sewn to the center. The next step will be to sew the border to the center with reverse applique. The hole has been cut and it is all basted together – all I need is time.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More sunshine

Here it is – the middle of October – and there are still gorgeous roses outside. I took a bunch of pink ones to my mother-in-law, and made this small arrangement for on the table. Since the rose bushes are at the side of the house, we don't really notice them. So we might as well enjoy them inside. And as soon as these are finished, there are more where these came from. 

All my orchids are back inside and the time outside has done them well. Most have new shoots coming and I hope to have a very colorful winter. This clivia decided to bloom early this year. It sits in the hall,inside the strainer. I really treasure this milk can and strainer. Both are painted in the style done in the small town of Hindelopen, where my mother grew up.

The can has a painting of the farm where I grew up. On the strainer is a picture of the farm my parents moved to when they sold the farm. It was their retirement place, where they could have a few heifers, horses and (for my mother) some Shetland ponies. By that time, I had been in Canada for a while, so it never was home to me.

This can came to Canada in a large crate with other things after my parents passed away. I have another milk can without strainer, also painted with the farm, that I brought years ago. I never forget how heavy it was, carrying it on the plane, full of knitting yarn. Yes, at that time it was carry-on. When I saw a neighbour at the airport in Toronto, willing to take me and my milk can home, I was overjoyed. By that time I could hardly lift the silly thing. But you forget that once it was home. Now I just enjoy looking at it.

This quilt top is finally finished. In the corners I had planned to put Chinese characters, but it just did not look good. These kamon designs look much better.

Right now the car is packed and ready to go. This afternoon, I will drive to Barrie for a trunkshow tonight. And then tomorrow a workshop.

On the farming front, the harvest is finished. This year we had good weather. That meant a good crop. And now we also have good prices. So who can complain!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More sun

We have had some more beautiful sunny days. The trees have turned color, but in general they are not as bright as some years. These trees are the best I could find, and they are just up the road from us. Other years, we have gone for drives to "find the best trees" and more than once we would find them right around our farm on our way home!

We’ve also had some fabulous sun rises. I took this picture 2 days ago, at about 7 o'clock in the morning. It never lasts long, so as soon as you see these colors, you run for the camera.

Monday was Thanksgiving, but since it was a nice day and we were busy with the harvest, we had our dinner on Sunday. Jeanette and Tony, Tony's mom and dad, and grandma all came, and with everybody bringing something we had lots to eat. I found enough flowers around the house to make this arrangement in a hollowed out pumpkin. Then on Monday I dug up all the remaining bulbs and tubers, which are now drying in the garage.

Here is a picture of another pair of socks I knitted, and as you can see, Bernie the Bernese was not impressed. The yarn is "Socks that Rock” and the pattern is from the book " Sock Innovation" by Cookie A. Looking back, the pattern would have shown up better with a less colorful yarn.

Yesterday morning, I drove up to the Grey County Museum near Owen Sound for a short workshop, and later, a trunkshow. The guilds in Grey and Bruce County had come together and put this day together. With about 180 quilters attending, it was a busy place. In the afternoon, I taught a workshop on making flowers with wired ribbon. Then we drove a short distance to the Keady Community Center, where we had a delicious supper. Then came my turn to do my trunk show.

By the time I drove home, the nice weather was gone and it was raining. I had a great day, and the ladies did a fabulous job with the organization. They were already talking about next year.
Next week I will be at our guild meeting on Wednesday, then I will be in Barrie on Thursday for a trunkshow and on Friday for a workshop.
Right now the sun is shining again and Laurence is back to combining corn. It is all going very fast and this time next week we hope to be finished – that is, as long as the combine behaves and I keep the guys fed and watered.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Gorgeous weather

Just as I was sitting down to write this post, the phone rang. It was Laurence: could I bring some lunch to Herb, the neighbour we work with? And since it would on my way, he could use some more lunch, too. And then take Herb from point A to B, back to A, then to C.

This has been been going on for some days now, but I don't mind. The weather has been beautiful, the trees are changing colors, and the soybeans are off the field. Later on today, we will start combining the corn. Up to now, it has been almost a perfect fall: completely the opposite of last year, and much easier to take!

The border pieces with the sashiko pannels are finished, but not yet attached. In the corners, I would like to add some Chinese symbols. Since Tony's parents are coming on Sunday and know both Mandarin and Cantonese, they can help me with that. The coins will not go on till after the quilting. I figure it will be much easier to do the quilting first, than having to go around all the coins.

But the quilting will have to wait till this winter. There are a few other projects that I have to finish first. One, my Christmas cards for this year, is now finished. The crazy quilt will be next. I still don't know how to get it all together and not have it sag – but I will take it one step at a time.

On Wednesday I'm teaching a short workshop for the guilds in Grey and Bruce County. It was just supposed to be some flowers made of shaded wired ribbon, but I felt that would not be enough, so I have been digging in my sample box. Each time I teach a workshop and come home with some samples, they go in this box. When needed I will take them out. It is very handy if I need some for postcards. I will make up a pattern, but all the pieces will stay separate, so we can play with the design.

Sunday we will have our Thanksgiving dinner. Jenny and Tony are coming tomorrow, and then on Sunday his parents and grandma will be here. The group is smaller than it used to be, since Shawn and Emily, and Laurence's siblings and families, have moved out west. We still will have our turkey, but no 20 pounder!

Now I’m heading out to the garden. It is the perfect time to clean up, but it is a shame as long as the flowers are still blooming. Winter is long enough as it is. So, as in other years, part of the cleaning up in the flower beds will be done in freezing weather.