Friday, November 26, 2010

Grandma's cross stich quilt

When Jeanette asked me to take a few of her quilts home so that they can be flat on a bed for a while, this was one of them. With one large dog and 2 cats her house is not set up to display her "good" quilts. I still remember when grandpa and grandma Helmuth went on holidays to the States for a few days. Grandma found this pattern for a cross stitched quilt top. She had bought the kit and spend the following few winters making the top. It is a beautiful design with lots of different colors. Once the top was finished, she quilted it, all by her self. Really, 100% of this quilt has been done by her. Then when Jeanette and Tony got married, grandma choose this quilt to give to them as her wedding gift. Right now, she cannot display it, but she hopes that in the future she has the right place for it. It has been another busy week with specialists appointments for grandma and dentist appointments. Right now Shawn is home for a few days, so we want to spend as much time with him as possible. He will fly back to Calgary at 6 tomorrow morning. That means leaving about 4. It will be a short night! I'm allready packed to go and teach in Burlington tomorrow. This will be the last workshop for this year. Last week I send a picture of my crazy quilt to a quilter by the name of Allison Aller, who is very well known for her crazy quilts. I asked if she had some ideas about how to put my crazy quilt together. She gave me some great suggestions. According to her I should put some thought into what I put on the back. Now for me a backing just means to get a piece of fabric, preferable matching the front somewhat, and that's it. I knew I wanted to use the fabric my mother had bought years ago to make a Hindelooper costum. She never got around to it and finally gave me the fabric. Over the years I had used some of it, but I did have enough left to make the back you see here. Then I used some of the lace I used for the front and covered the seams with that. The lace is then embroidered to the background. This is all I will do. The next step will be to do some hand quilting around the blocks and around the border. The rest will be tacked together with beads. How I have not quite decided. It will be one step at a time.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 19, 2010

Back to the crazy quilt

It has been another week where not much quilt wise has been accomplished. My mother-in-law came back from the hospital at the beginning of the week. She is much better, but still needs regular visits. Since the week-end we have a canine visitor, Bernie the Bernese. A few days ago Laurence took her for a long walk through a corn field and unknown to us, she ended up with burdocks on her legs. That was the beginning of a frantic search to get them all removed. We have never seen her that upset, to the point of starting to vomit. I clipped most of them with scissors and after a few hours of trantic searching she quieted down. I guess she is not what you would call a farm dog. She likes to be very clean I was told later.Now we just take "clean" walks on the lawn. We also had company from out west. That and the guild meeting on Wednesday took a chunk of time.I also realized that in just a few months entries for the NJS have to be in and the crazy quilt is far from finished. Today I sewed the last of the lining to the front. It is a very heavy quilt and I want to be sure, that it will not start to sag. So far so good. Next I will put a variegated piece of yarn around the blocks, so the edge will pop out more. For the bat I will use a piece of heavy flannel and then on the back will be the fabrics my mother gave me. Next question is: How to put it all together. There has to be a "quilted component" I figure I will hand quilt on both sides of the border.The inside of the border and the blocks I will tie with light colored embroidery floss. For the black velvet I have some black beads in mind. That will come last and I'm not sure about it. This landscape has been put on the backburner for a while. I was planning to have it finished by now, so I could do some of the embroidery tomorrow during my workshop, but that is not going to happen. The car is all loaded up for my workshop tomorrow in Guelph. For this one I need a sewing machine and I spend some time today to make sure it was all set up right. Then next week the last workshop for this year. I will be at the "Quilters Dream" in Burlington. We will start an Hawaiian style block, using the snowflake folding method of making the pattern. I think there are a few spaces left and if you are interested you can get information at 905-681-8164
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It took a long time!!

In May 2009, I taught my 2 day workshop "Vase with orchids" at Quilt Canada in Saskatoon. One of the organizers saw my sample, and she mentioned that she had a lot of orchids at home and asked if I wanted a small one (notice the word "small").

The next day she showed up with, in my eyes, a large orchid in a clay pot. No way I was going to leave it behind, so I emptied one of my bags and stuffed it under my seat on the plane. It got home in one piece. Over the next months it grew a few new shoots, which would then turn brown and wither away.

This spring I got fed up and took the plant outside. I smashed the pot to pieces and cut up the plant in 6 pieces. Two were very small and they ended up in the compost pile; the rest I potted up. One I hung in a tree, the others ended up in the shaded area of the deck. A month later, I found the 2 small pieces in the compost pile had roots. I found pots and put them with the others. Later I gave a few away, and the rest are doing fine. No more water out of the tap (runs through the conditioner) but water out of the barn -- and no more brown points. And yesterday I had the first flowers! And it was worth the wait.

I see I have lost a picture of my landscape in progress that I had loaded up and have no idea how to get it back. That will have to wait till later. There was a question about the sky fabric. It is not a batik or a hand dyed. It was a small piece that I found somewhere in my travels. And all I had is being used.

These fabrics are the ones used for the foliage. I try and buy fabric with lots of variations and then I cut where ever I find the right piece. This makes for very "hole-y" fabric. Notice the small piece in the left bottom corner. It has maple leaves, and those leaves are the perfect color for some of the "trees". Notice also the holes.

We had a busy week. On Saturday I taught a landscape workshop in Guelph, and this coming Saturday I will repeat the class. On Monday, I spent a big part of the day with my mother-in-law at Emergency, and finally at 7 at night she was admitted. She is doing well, but will be in the hospital for a few more days. On Tuesday I had a trunk show in Ajax. I do not like to drive in the city and was not looking forward to this. But Laurence came to the rescue. He came along. This way we were able to visit grandma in the hospital first. We took the road through the country, Orangeville, Newmarket and then south and we did not run into heavy traffic till a few kilometers from where we had to be. With him driving, it was a piece of cake. By the time we were done, the busiest time was over and we came home over the 401, through Kitchener. And in the end that way was only 1/2 km farther than the other.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Fall landscape

We have had a few busy days, and we can blame it on this little fellow and his companions. The busiest time for us is before the chicks arrive.

It amazes me always how these little chicks, barely out of the egg, hit the straw ready for action. As small as they are, they will start eating and drinking right away.

Now it is back to quilting. For the next two Saturdays, I will be teaching my second landscape workshop at Greenwood Quiltery in Guelph, and there are a few places left. If you are interested you can give them a call at 1-866-364-2790. In this workshop, I will teach you how to make a pattern from your own picture.

It is always good to have a project on the go. I started this landscape as a sample of how I approach a project like this. The picture is from a very old postcard I found in my mother-in-law’s box, when we were getting ready to move her to a retirement home. I enlarged the picture and made a copy, first on transparencies, and from there on freezer paper.

For me the hardest is to find the right piece of fabric for the sky. Once that is in place, I feel like I'm getting somewhere.Then after the applique is finished, I will keep on with some threadwork.

We have made some changes to this website and you will notice the menu line across the top. We will re-organize the quilt galleries and the first one shows the quilts I have co-ordinated for the Mennonite Relief Sale. As time allows, we will update the other categories. Some new ones will be added and some older ones removed.