Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sniffles and sneezes

By Friday afternoon last week, everything was packed and I was ready to go to the Heart and Hand Festival. It was a wet outside, not looking promising for the next day. I knew that a lot of the people would be outside. But by Saturday morning it looked totally different. I left around 7:30 with my camera, and it was very hard to keep on driving: it was one of the days with a ground mist, perfect for taking pictures!
I was good though and arrived at the Schneider House nicely in time for the set-up. The day before, I was asked to bring a few larger quilts – dowels would be provided, along with screws and a tall girl with a drill. One minute tops, and a quilt was hung! 
I did manage to look around before it all started, but quite a few had not arrived yet. That's what I miss: I love to see what others are doing. By the time my things are back in the car, theirs will be too!
I had a good size area inside where I could show a nice variety. It was a long and tiring day. Before I made it home at 7pm, I took my crazy quilt to another guild member. Our guild show is coming up and that meant one less trip to Kitchener.
At left is a block I made for a quilt that will be put together for the Mennonite Relief Sale next year. I received the pale yellow and pale purple fabrics and was asked to make a 9 inch block, on point, with flowers. I had started it at home and worked on it, while at the Schneider House. It was a perfect take-along project.
Jenny and Tony came for Sunday dinner. They had to go for business up north and we were asked to look after Bernie, the Bernese. By early evening I started to get a sore throat and by Monday morning I had it all: sore throat, cough, runny nose and whatnot. Now my mother -in-law had the same early last week, so it was not that surprising. Needless to say the last few days have been very unproductive.
I did finish the block. The tulips and the inner heart have trapunto behind the applique and all the pieces are highlighted with a black stem stitch done with perl cotton. With my gucky eyes it was hard to see, but I think it turned out presentable.
Back to the guild show. The Waterloo County Quilters Guild has their bi-annual quilt show at the RIM Park in Waterloo on Friday September 30th and Saturday October 1st from 10am till 6pm. There will be lots of quilts, merchants and a tea room.
We are ready for the harvest to start, but we are still waiting for the beans to dry down some more. Most of the rain went past us, but there is lots of moisture in the air. And it does not look very promising for the next few days. Better keep our fingers crossed!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Heart and Hand Festival

A few days ago, I received a call from Susan Burke, the curator for the Joseph Schneider House. On September 24, there will be a craft festival at the museum and they wanted a quilter. She wondered if I would be interested. Since it is only one day I thought it might be nice to go and see all the other crafts. I would have to bring some quilts and have something to demonstrate. The house is from the mid 185o's and that made me think that a crazy quilt might just do it.
After finishing the last crazy quilt project I made myself a promise to stay away from it for a while, but what harm would it be to just make one block? So out came the stuff! I always like something in the center that stands out. I have done embroidery and pictures on fabric, but this time I wanted to use one of the transfers I bought a few years ago. I had tried a transfer once and it had not worked out. This time I was very careful and did everything according to the instruction sheet. And it worked great!
As you can see it will be another horsey block. I have enough odds and ends to make it work. I will not be able to take all my "junk" with me next Saturday, so I cut out already some ribbon. Later in October I will teach a workshop making a crazy quilt block at Buckhorn, and this same block will come handy for that. Now back to an oldie. This wall hanging was made about 10 years ago. I had ordered a lot of different colors of 1-1/2 inch shaded wired ribbon; some I had used for other projects, but there was still a lot left -- enough to make this quilt. The bushel basket and leaves are hand appliqued. The flowers are all made with the ribbon, but they are twisted and sewn different ways. The centers are either made with lots of small beads or French knots.
I made these centers with black fabric in a hoop. When done I would cut it out with a seam allowance, which would be folded around a few pieces of quilt batting and sewn down with big stitches. The last step would be to sew it in the center of the flowers. That gives it a somewhat puffy look.All the beading was a lot of work, but very relaxing. The border was done with reverse applique. I had another border first, but it just did not do it for me. Finally I ripped it out and did it this way. And it does look much better.
It might be a week and a half before you will hear from me again. Next week will be very busy: first my trip to the Trent Valley Quilters Guild, then our monthly guild meeting, then we have to get the barn ready for the chicks we are getting on Friday (yes I do have to do some work around here!), then Saturday to the museum. Sunday we can expect Jenny and Tony here for the day.
The harvest is about ready to start. Next week Laurence will start with the white beans and that will be followed by the soybeans and then the corn. All we need is some good weather!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


It has taken me a while to get this done, but we have had some problems with our Internet connection. Let's hope it will work today.
This is the week of the Outdoor Farm Show near Woodstock, a sure sign that fall has started. We went yesterday early and it was a great day with beautiful weather. We saw all the new and ever bigger equipment, and with the ever bigger price tags!
We missed out on the free breakfast this year, thanks to a computer glitch, but we came home with lots of goodies, as you can see on the left. From free bags, hats, toy truck pens, paper and what not. And that’s not counting food and drink: we dined on pie, apples,candies, coffee, juice and water and peanuts. By midmorning wheelbarrows full of peanuts are parked in all the intersections. I guess it is not really free, somehow we will end up paying for it, when we buy our seed or fertilizer.
Now back to quilting. I managed to machine quilt this top and put the binding on. All I have to do is find some way of putting the big coins I got at the Mandarin Restaurant in the center of the flowered blocks. The hole in the middle is square and I'm looking for old buttons with a square shank (I'm not sure that's what you call it) that would fit in the hole.
Then it would work with another button on the back.
The machine quilting was hard on my back and shoulders and I decided that this would be it. It took about 4 days to change my mind.
I appliqued a small landscape last fall and it needed some quilting and then embroidery. One more day and the quilting will be done. And that will be it for now. Last week I had my first trunk show for the Brant County Quilters Guild in St. George. Next week I will be gone a few days to the Trent Valley Quilters Guild for a trunk show and a workshop.
I have had some problems with my foot and at times it was hard to stand for any length of time. I did get new and better sandals and it has improved quite a bit. Now I know, that sandals do not look too classy and I came up with the following, still not classy, but a little different. For my trunk shows and workshops I will be wearing my sandals with socks, that will match my top.
Here, you can see the socks I just finished. The picture turned out a little redder, than the socks are in reality. I'm working on a green set now and I have grey yarn set aside for later. These socks are designed by Cookie A and were fun to knit.