Thursday, 29 November 2007

Road trip continued . . .

Standing at the little dollhouse (see previous post), and looking South, you see lots and lots of these oil pumps. There is so much development and exploration going on in this region of Manitoba and through into Saskatchewan right now and in some areas this has been a common sight for quite a number of years. Everywhere you looked there was either new ones being put in or dozens and dozens already pumping away.

Question: If you pump stuff out of the earth, do you need to put something back to replace it so that the ground doesn't cave in? Oil is one of the many layers below us, so how does this really work?

Do I really need to know . . . probably not - just a thought!

As we were driving along my husband started laughing, something had struck his funny bone, - obviously I had missed something of interest! On the way back from Weyburn he stopped and showed me this sign - it kind of contradicts itself, don't you think?

Wonder who Anni L. is? Hello, Anni!

What do you do in the car for three hours one way and three hours the other way? I bring a stack of past issues of my very favorite magazines and go cover to cover to cover. I took along the last issue of Quilt Sampler and I spent most of the three hours on the way there, inspecting every picture and re-reading every article for the second time. Honestly, I did read it when I first purchased it, but I obsorb more and see something new everytime I go through it.
I do get my money's worth when I buy a magazine!
I did survive (barely!) the three and half days of Municipal Convention . . . guess where I really wanted to be and what I wanted to be doing? Sometimes it is terrible having a creative mind and being trapped in a convention with 974 other people - wonder how many really wanted to be there?
Quilting this weekend . . . photos Monday? . . . we'll see,
'til next time,

Monday, 26 November 2007

Looking to the past . . .

Whenever you head out on the highway you never quite know what you are going to see . . . You know the kind of thing I'm talking about . . . you're cruisin' along not really paying all that much attention to anything in particular and then . . . POW! - you do a double take and there it is . . . a DOLLHOUSE! Right there . . . on the side of the road - how weird is that!

On #2 Highway just East of Sinclair, Manitoba is this little house. At first glance you think "wow, this is cute" . . . "what a neat idea!" and then you drive around the house and read the intent behind why the house was recreated.

The creator has provided a driveway that comes off the highway and goes right around the house. This allows people to have a look and not even have to step out of the vehicle if they don't want to. Really a wonderful idea! The whole back of the house has been removed and replaced with plexiglass to allow the viewer to step into another time and place.
The photos above and below are pictures of the kitchen. All displayed in period furniture and painted a bright, cheerful yellow - you can almost imagine coming downstairs in the morning and having your breakfast in this kitchen!

The complete intent of the project has been imprinted on the backside of the house and is very, very interesting. It really touched my heart . . . these are the little houses that so many prairie families grew up in on the family farm. These were harsher times than we will ever understand and now they stand and wither away - almost unnoticed on the edge of the roads or tucked away among the stands of trees that we cannot even see. This was someone's home! Imagine the untold stories of happiness and sorrow that are held within the remaining walls.
The Dollhouse project was created by Heather Benning as an Arist in Residence project and was undertaken to reflect the period when the house was abandoned in 1968 using furniture of the era throughout the display. At some point in the past, this house stood alone on the bald open prairie and was so very typical for a farm house prior to the '60s. The landscape today includes the busy highway and a multitude of oilfield pump jacks that can be seen in every direction. One of the sentences in the imprint states "This Dollhouse is nothing less than a chilling monument to the decline of the prairie farm."
I think that the word "chilling" is so fitting.

This was a very cold, windy November day without a quilt in sight . . .

'til next time,


Thursday, 22 November 2007

Fabric, yummy . . .

It finally arrived . . .

my wonderful box full of fabric - what could be better! Who needs Christmas when you can find a most wonderful deal on fabric all by yourself? I guess it would be nice if someone else was paying the VISA bill next month . . . but, oh well, we can only wish for so much!
This stack of fabric is called Meadowbrook from Benartex - also in flannels. Isn't it wonderful? I purchased this to make a Maywood Studios pattern that is posted on their website - at least that was the plan . . . we'll see how that turns out. I do need to start working on my own designs again really soon - big plans are in the works and I need to start focusing on business again instead of all this fun I've been having for the past couple of weeks.

I now have the backing for my mother-in-law's quilt, so I will be able to get that all layered together and ready to quilt next week. Heading to Saskatchewan to visit family this weekend, so other than taking my big, big quilt (the one Shadow was sleeping on previously!) to hand sew the binding on, there will be nothing happening this weekend.
Good news came a little quicker than I was expecting - I mailed out my wonderful "surprise" package on the 5th of November and had the phone call the morning of the 20th!
So until I know more you'll stick with me, right?
I promise that as soon as things are finalized - you'll be the first to know!
Back to earth though . . . Monday is the first day of a four-day (government) convention in Brandon, so I'll be away at that, plus quilt group on Monday night - finished my blocks last night for the snowman/star block exchange we're doing.

I did get started on this naked little snow guy the other day, so we'll see how he comes along for one of the 2008 block exchange months - I think we do this exchange until April or May of 2008 - so I need to keep thinking of other blocks that will work. (his head really isn't cut off like that!)
Here is another piece of a block I've been working on . . . the turned edge technique from Southwind Designs - have a look for some of these patterns, they are quite fun to work on.

So far I have only played with this star, but the technique worked very nicely. This block will be handed in at quilt group to be used for the charity quilt that we will do after our block exchanges are all done. Everyone is supposed to hand in one or two blocks extra to be eventually made into a donation quilt for a charity not yet chosen.

I hope everyone is keeping busy and you don't have the snow covered ground that we have here in Manitoba . . . just means that I have to get used to all the cold temperatures again - I did pull out the old winter coat this morning . . . not very happy about that!

'til next time,

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Cleaning up . . .

Sometimes it is just enough! Enough mess, enough stuff laying around, enough with the UFOs!

And then you get unwanted help - what is it with cats and quilts - I think they smell the comfort or something.

I had just started to sew the binding onto this Judy Niemeyer quilt and along comes Shadow to plunk herself in the middle so that I can't maneuver the binding around all the wonderful scalloped edges that I need to. She doesn't look too happy to be having her picture taken either - that is the evil glare look.

This is a quilt that I made for my wedding, sent it out to be hand quilted and then it stayed in the bag for the past 8 years! Luckily I was bright enough to put the binding fabric away in the same bag so I was able to make the bias binding from coordinated fabric.

So now I have the binding to hand sew on this wedding quilt, on the witch quilt and I still need to finish a couple of snowman faces for next Monday's quilt group block exchange. My fabric package that I ordered from cleared customs on Saturday, so I'm expecting the backing for my mother-in-law's quilt any day now. Lots of projects on the go! It's always nice to have things falling into place - good to see the end is nearing for at least a few projects.

Keep in touch and have a great day . . .

'til next time . . .


Thursday, 15 November 2007

I disappeared!

Wow, how time flies when you have nothing to say . . . well, that's not quite true, I always have something to say! But time does fly . . .

. . . and speaking of flying . . . that's me flying over the moon. Really! It's me - kinda, sorta . . . My brothers used to always call me "Broom" because my birthday is on Halloween - I guess that's a better nickname than "witch". Anyways, this little quilt I've been working on is really, really neat - I love it! The only trouble is that Halloween is gone. I did manage to get started before Halloween but I really wish I could have had it completely done and on display.

I am in the process of doing the edge stitching around all the branches and stuff with invisible thread and then I need to decide how to quilt the background and all the black at the front. Help! If you have some suggestions let me know - I'd hate to wreck it now.

I love the way the fabric is looking so spooky - the colorful background looks so turmoiled (is that a word?) and the smokey black that I used adds to the mysterious, scary scene. I wish I had a straighter picture for you to look at - after I'm done with the quilting I'll try and take another one.

I can't wait till next Halloween now . . . the only problem is that I'll be another year older :(

Here is the other project from the previous post that I have now finished (with a few modifications of course!). This is a wonderful alternative to all those bags on the market right now - this is for decoration and I think it's going to be a wonderful addition to my Fall, Christmas and general Winter decorating scheme. Really nice pattern - one goof in the directions though, so if you decide to try it, let me know and I'll pass on the correction.

This little sheep is made from the same Kansas Troubles material as the bag (above) and I think he is a cutie! This is actually a little fabric postcard that the quilt group had a class in - he turned out as a "happy" project.

I will need to pose the Flowers Around New York quilt, the bag and the postcard together in one room and take a picture (once the quilt is quilted, of course!) - they're all made from the Bound to the Prairies fabric line and look so coordinated.

And, then there is my mother-in-law's quilt - the top is done and I am now waiting for a fabric shipment from that will include the backing for this project.

Have you visited this website before . . . Wow! The prices are great and they ship really quick and I love the fabrics they have! If you're looking for coordinated groupings, this is the place to go. I ordered 17 yards of flannel - can't wait for the postman!!!

Have a great day and I promise to not take so long between postings . . . (isn't that irritating when bloggers do that?!?!?!) But in my defence . . . I was busy!

'til next time,


Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Back to Basics . . .

I'm sewing again!

On Saturday, the quilt club I belong to had a quilt workshop to make a "dilly bag", but Ramona (another member) and I decided we wanted to to do something different. Both of us had a copy of the December/07 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting and decided that we wanted to make the Season's Greetings bag on page 71, by Sherri Falls of "This and That". Ramona had actually ordered the kit which included all the fabrics as shown in the magazine. I wasn't that organized so had to do some digging around and came up with some leftovers from a Bound to Prairie quilt I had made last year (plus a couple of other prints).

I'm quite pleased so far with the results and I love the colors. The magazine shows the bag hung on the front door with Christmas greenery spilling out of it - very nice!

I have all the blocks sewn together and am ready to start quilting the top. This needs done before the bag is joined and the top and bottom pieces added.

But, . . . I started another project also . . .

Remember the previous post about Randy buying me some fabric . . . well I got the pattern written to the point where I could start testing it out and it is working wonderful!

(So far . . .)

As of this morning when I left for work, all the blocks are done and the centre plain squares are cut and two of the corner triangles are in place. The actual pattern is going to have applique added but this is the test part of the base quilt, plus I don't think what I have in mind for the applique would look very good on these Christmasy colors
It is going to be such a warm and cozy Christmas gift for my mother-in-law - she can't help but like it! I can think of a couple of more people on my Christmas list that would like one of these
. . . how many more weeks 'till Christmas?
'til next time,