Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Reporting in!

It's been a busy week! We've managed to pack and move furniture and boxes to a storage unit, dispose of some unused exercise equipment, furniture, miscellaneous objects, cookbooks, magazines, all donated to the thrift store. We've made 6 trips to the latter so far and will have much more to donate once we're ready for the movers.

Many many boxes aren't seen in this picture hidden behind other boxes. There's even more packed and ready to be delivered; we just ran out of time and energy over the weekend!

Part of the house prepping for the upcoming sale involved getting our Christmas tree up. This wasn't outside my usual date for decorating since Thanksgiving happens so near December 1st. On Wednesday last week when I went to Home Depot to pick up some packing supplies, I noticed they were ready to receive their shipment of trees and was hoping they would start selling them on the weekend! Sure enough! Saturday, the trees were there and although there was no one manning the stalls, and the gate was locked, they sent someone to help us. This tree is huge! The trunk measures close to 6" in diameter and boy is it heavy! We used our handcart to transport it to the backyard where my husband cut off 4" and drilled some holes to help it "drink".

 Earlier last week, before the flurry of activities, I had the pleasure of preparing these two blocs for the Deauville to Cape Cod mystery quilt from Scrap Quilt and Stitch. Needless to say, this is as far as I've gotten... the hand sewing and embroidery await quiet time!

From our house to yours, may you all have a very happy and safe holiday season!

Happy Thanksgiving!



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Can you smell them??

Oh! The familiar smell of boxes and packing tape! How I have missed you! NOT!!!

But there you go... this is what we're up to these next few weeks!

Our realtor and stager visited yesterday and we took down all the artwork from the walls...

Boy! do the walls look bare!

Then we set out to reposition the furniture in every room... some will be delegated to the storage unit and thrift store if no one in the family claims them.

Today we'll rent another storage unit and pack up the artwork and start thinning all the bookcases, shelves and cupboards in the main living areas. Plans for this weekend are to put up the Christmas tree here so that right after Thanksgiving, the realtor's photographer can come do his bit!

All this with 11 people coming for dinner Thanksgiving day! YIPPEE!!! What a celebration we'll have!!! Perhaps we can enlist them to move some boxes before we feed them?? :)

I'm armed today... my favorite tools for the process of packing... I list everything in the box as I load them and photograph the contents then I number the boxes according to the room the contents were in. For example: Living room: Box no 1 of 30, Box no 2 of 30 etc is what would be on the box (30 being the total number of boxes in that room). In the notebook: Living Room Box no 1 would list the contents. No description of the contents is recorded on the box. It is so much easier at the unpacking stage to refer to the notebook, identify which box contains what you're looking for then go find the box. I've used this system for all our moves and it never fails to impress me how easy it is... sure, it takes time to list at packing but the rewards are there in the end!

Off to get some mirror cartons at the big box store... according to our mover, you can't find them cheaper anywhere! Even they can't sell them to you cheaper! Go figure! Used to be they would give you the boxes!! I guess the economy shot that down too.



Sunday, November 17, 2013

Something new, something old!

I'm sorry to have been silent this past week. It's been a busy couple of weeks with different projects.

First, our son and his wife are in the throws of moving to their new apartment. It's exciting for them and we wish them all the best in their new surroundings. One more day and the move should be complete.

Second, my DH decided to retire at the end of this year. THAT is exciting! This means 2 things for our immediate future: 1) we will be selling our house; 2) we will move back to the Maritime region of Canada! HOME AGAIN!! I can't tell you how excited we are to make this journey at the end of his career! Lots of planning and decision making... during the holidays no less!

With all this happening, you can appreciate how hectic it's been in our household. It's hard to keep your mind focused on quilting when everything else around you needs planning. However, I did get a chance to work on 4 projects since last weekend. Sometimes I need to escape life's "stresses" and hide in my studio... it soothes the soul and calms the nerves as well as it allows me time to solve problems.

These were my projects:

1) December Daily 2013 album:
I know! It has nothing to do with quilting but I'm also a scrapbooker/crafter. I followed along with Ali Edwards for the first time in 2011 but she's been blogging about DD since 2007! She does a phenomenal job at recording December memories and it inspired me to try to do something similar. That year, I got all my stuff together but sadly never got around to completing the album. The intention was there; I followed her and her many followers daily though and got to see some wonderful memory books develop and I learned a lot about digital scrapbooking. Last year, I was really excited to participate and realized my own album. You can see the pages here.
The secret to success and to enjoy the process is to pre-plan your book early: get all the pages ready to receive the photos and journaling. I intended to do it again this year, despite the changes in our lives at the moment, or perhaps because of them so that meant getting my book done before all h*** breaks loose. Ali Edwards promotes the sale of a kit for this but I like my own version; it worked for me last year and I think it'll be fine this year too if I keep it simple.
Two years ago, I attended the LA Printer's Fair in Carson, CA where they sold "left-over" cardstock for $25 per box. I bought 2 big boxes and 1 box at last year's sale. I'm all set for awhile! :) This is what I used to design my book. Check out how I made this year's album here! I will update the FlickR website perhaps not daily but often throughout the month of December... at least that's the plan!

2) On Monday, I completed the first of many table runners I will make. These are fun and quick projects. Photos were taken before the binding was hand sewn; that was Wednesday evening's handwork.

 3) On Tuesday, after watching inspirational Henna quilting video by Sharon Schamber at The Quilt Show website, I headed to my studio and surprised myself by loading a WIP (work-in-progress) on Lolah! This little moose and deer wall quilt was made several years ago and was intended for a sister whose name I had picked for Christmas gift-giving. As it happened, that year's family reunion was put on hold and so was the quilt. Until now!
I have yet to apply the binding but this is what I played with that day! SO MUCH FUN! Don't be too harsh with comments... this is my first thread play! :)

Since most of the classes I've registered for at Road to California Quilt show in January involve feathers, I thought it was time to try my luck at putting some in this 3in border. I do need more practice before I head to class!

4) I also finished the Peppermint Place snowflake blocks I brought with me on vacation. I had 1 remaining block to applique when we returned to LA.

Before I end this long post, I want to share with you a picture of the finished quilt promised in Wedding Quilt post dated 11/04/13. It will follow S&J to their new apartment today and may it bring them comfort for many years.



Monday, November 11, 2013

Not forgetting!

In Flanders Field

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields. 

Your family misses you everyday!

Love you forever...


Thursday, November 7, 2013

East Coast quilt shops visited!

While away at our summer home, aka: soon to be our year-round home, we decided to make a special effort to visit a few "local" quilt shops. Yes my husband comes along; he's even been known to suggest or point out certain items he's found while cruising the store! He's a wonderful quilt store shopper in-training! :)

But first, I attended the Fibre Arts Festival in Amherst Nova Scotia and had a chance to meet with the wonderfully talented Jennifer of Sister of the Brush, a sister blogger, longarm quilter, fabric dyer, and a great artist, for a quick introductory visit. We had a great chat, albeit too short, (my husband waited in the car). Plans to meet again just wasn't in the cards this trip unfortunately! However we will be together again soon...

The Fibre Arts Festival (see Jennifer's post!) included a quilt show by the Cumberland Quilt Guild as well as a small vendor's mall. This is where I made my first purchases. The Fabric Cupboard is a quilt shop located in Moncton, NB. I haven't been to this store yet but plan to rectify this in the next few months. I hear they have quite the selection of wonderful fabrics.

These stripes may of course show up in my De Deauville A Cape Cod:

And who doesn't like a few more Valdani threads? Just picking up colors I don't already have.

The Zonta Arts Bazaar vendor and Fiber Artist (Rug Hooking) Felicia Knock was selling some wonderful wools. These I bought in 1/2 yds:

These are some of her hand dyed 100% New Dorr Wool and they're 1/8yd cuts. Aren't they beautiful? and sooo soft!

Visiting with friends in Riverview, NB, I had a chance to check out The Covered Bridge Quiltery where I found a beautiful display of this quilt: "In The Meadow We Can Build a Snowman" and I just fell in love with their colorway! Since they have a "NO PHOTOS PLEASE" policy, I can't show you their quilt although she let me take a picture since I was buying the pattern which happens to be a BOM (block of the month) since ended. Their colors were darker 

They used a combination of cottons and wool flannels so I helped myself to some of their plaids. Did I tell you that I love plaids?? It's really a passion!

On display in the shop was a Christmas table runner I knew would make an excellent gift for someone special. They even had kits made; such a cute design on the bag!

The runner is found in Disa Designs book. I came home with 3 of her books... I fell in love with her adorable Santa Polka Dot pattern while cruising Pinterest last year... perhaps I can make one this year?? 

These 2 half-yards are meant for backgrounds in Yoko Saito's Quilt Mystere for Quiltmania. One of them was used for the church in "In The Meadow" quilt.

By the way, if you get to The Quiltery, whether on the website or in person, have a look at their Quilter's Homes and Quilter's Garden BOM quilts going on now. Specifically, look at the wonderful quilting done by Penny Bubar. She does fabulous work which you can also view on her FlickR page and drool some more!

Next day trip was spent on the island! Prince Edward Island that is! We love to trek over there any chance we get so on this day, we were headed west to the town of O'Leary to visit The Quilt Gallery & Fabric Crafts N' More. You can also like them on Facebook to learn all about their sales, promotions etc. They have a wide variety of beautiful quilts for sale displayed in a "room" at the back of the store. I was on a mission to find the yardages below which appeared in "In The Meadow" quilt. 

And of course I'm always on the lookout for architecture and landscape fabrics. This time, it was mainly textures in fat quarters.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about all this shopping is that it fit in our suitcases! :)



Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Did you miss me?

I have certainly missed you!

We're back from a month away! All I can say is: there's no place like home! It's fun to travel though and we've had some great moments touring Venice, biking the Dolomites with 18 wonderful bikers and 2 great tour guides, experiencing a bit of Verona, then vacationing at our summer home in the Maritimes of Canada.

Stay tuned for updates as I unpack our bags, reorganize our household, get used to Pacific Coast time zone, losing Daylight Savings Time, and bring our sleep patterns back to normal! 

Quilting is always on the mind and although I wasn't as productive as I had wished to be during my vacation, I did manage a few things which I'll share later.

Meanwhile, I must go back to bed to get some well-needed zzzzzzzzz's! 



Monday, November 4, 2013

Wedding quilt

When our youngest son was little, he and I did a lot of shopping in quilt stores. Sometimes he was patient, other times not. He remembers those days as "painful" (with a laugh!) and for a 4-5 yr old, it must have been an experience he'd rather not have to do often! 

We lived in Vancouver, BC at the time I bought these fabrics. I don't quite recall the name of the line... sorry but this was sometime in 1994-1996. 

A few years ago, I made the quilt top and there it sat on the shelf ready to be quilted... someday! 

When our son announced his plans to marry, I knew which quilt would be his. In 2011, I brought it home to New Brunswick Canada for the ladies of St Ann's ACW to hand-quilt. They did a beautiful job and I was able to bring it home last June to apply the binding in time for the August wedding. 

Unfortunately, I do not have a photo of the completed quilt. My mind was too busy with the preparations to stop and take a photo! WHAT was I thinking? ME?? not take a picture?? Such a state my mind was in!

Perhaps now that he and his wife have moved in to our home while they look for a suitable home, I will get a chance to photograph this quilt. 

We didn't lose a son... we gained a beautiful daughter (in-law) and a second chance at a few pics of the quilt! :)



Saturday, November 2, 2013

Falling for Sunflowers

These days as I walk towards my sewing room, I am reminded of our father who loved his sunflowers! Last year, I fell in love with this fabric panel at a quilt shop in Palm Springs and just had to have it. It reminded me of Dad... It hangs just outside my sewing studio.

I had just gotten back to machine quilting after a long hiatus and this was my "first" piece of the season. This is before Lolah, some free motion quilting and ditch work.

We cherish our reminders... this is a memory quilt I made for our mother after Dad died. I salvaged his plaid shirts, pyjamas, bathrobe and used those fabrics for the backing.

The front is a collection of memories we have of our yearly family reunions and other photos.

Notice the sunflower at the bottom right...

And here he is standing near his largest sunflowers... our father was 6' tall... these were amazingly tall flowers.

I machine quilted every family member's name (children, grandchildren, great grand daughter) on the borders and all the nicknames we had for him.

With the remainder of the fabrics from Dad's clothing, I made each family member a Christmas bell-pull.

Found this pattern in a Christmas magazine that year and knew instantly what I was going to use to make them.

The stars are from his neckties, the buttons are off his shirts, all the fabric from his clothing except for the batting which I used for the snowmen.

Christmas was a big part of our lives; mom used to start playing Christmas carols in August as soon as we went back to school. Dad would decorate outside, get the tree from the woods in early December and set it up for us to decorate.

My brother-in-law has the old wheelbarrow that our father used to ride us in... of course that was not the primary purpose of this wagon but anytime there was nothing on it, we ran to jump on for a ride!

This brother-in-law has the most fabulous garden. Every year whenever we visit, there's something new to see. Someday I may share more of his work which is truly a labor of love for anything beautiful! These are a few of his sunflowers...

From our own garden...

Always thinking of you DAD!

Love you and miss you!
aka: LVP