Sunday, 27 April 2008

Off and away . . .

Convention time again . . . seems like that's all I've done in April! Two days last week, three days this week . . . how much conventioning does one need?

Didn't get any quilting done this weekend - off to the City all day Saturday and then getting ready for the bigger City on Sunday and travelling in. My daughter, Candace, and I ordered supper in and tomorrow night we will be doing the restaurant thing with my son, Brennan.

The little Church shown above is a little used one that is located in Wawanesa, Manitoba. I loved the steeple so had to get a shot of that and the red door.

Simplicity by 3Sisters for Moda - 12 fat 1/4's of loveliness.

Dandelion Girl by FigTree for Moda - even more loveliness.

I brought my design books along with me to the hotel room, so hope to get in some designing so that I can use this little beauties. I also have my embroidery, drawing and watercolor books along for the ride - just in case I get inspired for something different than designing . . .

'til next time,


Friday, 25 April 2008

End of the week . . .


Of course there are no flowers in bloom here . . . just snow, ice, wind, muck and cold! Early Spring storms remind us that winter really was just here and not wanting to leave just yet. Last week everyone was running around in t-shirts and shorts and this week all the winter gear is out again. But . . . I'm glad we don't have some of the storms the rest of the world gets - we are very lucky here in Manitoba -

even with the early morning gloominess.

The pretty flowers were for my Assistant to honor "Administrative Professionals" day on Wednesday. Courtney is so organized and I wanted her to know that she is appreciated - everyone should get flowers at least once a year, plus a million thank you's every week!

As promised . . . here are some of my stack-n-whack blocks. I managed to get 12 made this week - the pattern only required 9 - what an over-achiever I am!

and . . . of course I'm only going to show you closeups of the ones that worked very nicely in the center. There are two out of the twelve that I would like to redo the centers on, but I'm also concerned about how much they will stretch if I take them apart. So I've talked myself into just leaving well enough alone.

If this quilt ever gets quilted and binding done - I will be giving it away. These are definitely not my colors! I think when I was shopping for this workshop I was craving Spring . . . plus I was limited to finding a print of some kind that would lend itself to being cut apart and then put back together to form these unique designs. I do like it - just not for me.

Let's all go to the North Pole (seems like we're already there this week)! I've been working on some more Christmas/Winter designs and having fun with it. Another snowman? Imagine that!

And a little Teddy, too. See - I can make other things besides snowmen.

Can you see this as an applique design? Could be quite interesting I thought . . .

'til next time,


Monday, 21 April 2008

Wine and Quilts . . .

Friday night was wine tasting night! Our little community hosted a small gathering of very refined people (ha!) to participate in a little wine tasting session hosted by the local recreation district and the Liquor Control Commission.

Food and wine go very well together - especially when you sampled some of those very "distinctive" wines that puts a look on your face like when you down a dose of bad tasting cough medicine. Food is very good! Of course, not all of the samples were questionable - some were very, very tasty. Quite the experience . . . try attending a wine tasting session if you get the opportunity . . . even if you go just to see the weird faces other people make.

Saturday was a quilt workshop with my quilt group in Brandon. We were learning the stack and whack method. Wow! What a huge spectrum of different blocks you can get from one print of fabric - who knew? The preparation part took quite a bit of exact thought, but then once the fabric was whacked the pieces went together fairly quickly - as long as you didn't stretch the bias edges.

This was Sheila's blocks that she had completed by the end of the day - a wine print fabric that provides a bunch of different "spins" (no pun intended) on the same fabric.
Do you see a theme developing for my weekend . . . wine tasting and then Sheila's wine fabric? What can I say - wine is very, very fine!

I'll show you some of my blocks next time - I have five done so far . . .
'til next time . . .

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Gardening and Quilting . . .

As I had previously mentioned in an earlier post . . . the local "Communities In Bloom" committee has designated the 2008 theme to be "Quilted In Color". I think this is a fabulous theme - fits into both of my perfect little worlds!

So last Saturday, the Communities in Bloom committee hosted a luncheon, quilt show and three gardening presenters. One of those presenters was from the Lily Nook from Neepawa, Manitoba and it was a very interesting and educational presentation on lilies.
Of course I know that most plants have many, many varieties, but I had no idea that there were that many lilies in the world! These folks also brought over some lily bulbs to sell and I purchased the one shown on the front cover, as well as a very similar one in pale pink and another in the yellow. I have some single lilies but have never had double lilies like these ones. These little bulbs are sitting patiently in my fridge crisper, just waiting for the ground to thaw just a little bit more before planting. By July, I hope to have some wonderful pictures to show you!
See the website address there - take a peek and see what you think . . . they ship all over the world and the varieties are endless.

Now . . . the quilt show.
There were quite a few quilts brought in that certainly added to the color of the room. The Hall is quite large and when you only have a luncheon and a few speakers, the room looks pretty empty. It was a great idea on the part of the committee to incorporate the quilts . . . it really added to the whole day.
So, sit back and enjoy the show . . .

Of course, these were only some of the quilts on display - I wasn't the official photographer and didn't want to appear to know what I was doing - so these were only a few of the beautiful quilts that were displayed.

I'm taking today and Tuesday off from work and I have lots planned for these two days . . . so I better get to work!
'til next time,

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Sweet Sewing . . .

Remember this little charm pack I showed you last week . . .

It became a whole bunch of 2 1/2" and 1 1/2" squares, added some plain white fabric . . . and then some happy little circles . . . and then . . .

it became this!

Such a fun, sweet little project . . . kind of like a little stress reliever in amongst a whole bunch of things going on. Randy says he doesn't like it . . . looks like a dog's breakfast! He's used to seeing the nicely coordinated, "put-together" kind of quilts I have been making over the past few years. He's not used to seeing all the colors mish-mashed together.

I like it! I think it looks like a very happy, scrappy little quilt. Love those skinny little borders - I don't think I've done 1" finished borders for a very long time - need to do more. Plus I have a plan for it. Every year the local Communities In Bloom committee chooses a theme for the town and this year it is "Quilted In Color". So I want to do a front doorstep display and incorporate this little quilt into it. I expect I may be the only one in town with an actual quilt displayed amongst my flowers, but I think it will look great. I fully expect that the colors will fade over the Summer, but it didn't cost me a whole bunch of money or time and I expect to get some wonderful enjoyment out of. Everyday when I pull into the driveway, I will see all the flowers PLUS my little happy quilt!
'til next time,

Saturday, 5 April 2008

New Toys . . .

. . . but first, a couple of final photos of Sioux Falls, SD . . .

Even though it was the end of March when we were at Falls Park the views were wonderful. Some of the locals were telling us that during the Christmas holidays the Falls were lit up with lights and was a real draw for the holiday crowds.

I thought the stone was really nice - the shades of it were very interesting. That warm terracotta kind of color.

Very nice place to visit and we picked an excellent time to go - hardly saw any visitors. Although I was asked to take a couple's picture and in return they took ours - but, alas, my personal pictures never turn out and always end up in the archives to never be seen again.

For some reason we liked this view - the way those twin steeples are peeking over the wall and how they are framed by the trees on either side. In the summer the view would be mostly blocked out by the leaves - good tourist shot!

And here are some of my new toys. Nothing fancy - just new and different for me. The pretty little green pail and the larger yellow pail are for the Crabapple Hill pattern you see there. It's called Flower Basket Gathering Pail and has beautiful embroidery on the outer layer and little pockets for all those little quilting tools we use - scissors, pens, rulers, hoops, etc. With the embroidery part of the project I'll be able to have that as a take-along for little trips here and there and hopefully once that is done the rest will go together pretty easy. There's also a little matching pattern for a needlecase that could be a good warm-up project.

I also found this little pattern made up as a sample in one of the quilt shops I was in - it was done up so nicely that I just had to try this for myself. It's coming along quite nicely . . . I had the snowman done in no time, but have slowed down going around the border. What a nice little change from the usual and I think when it's done I'll finish it as a framed picture or as a pillow and have it on standby for an extra Christmas gift.

I finally purchased my own pressing sheet - could make some of my applique projects a bit easier. Looking forward to breaking this little item in real soon!

I found my yo-yo makers! Still haven't been home long enough to try these little gadgets out, but have read lots of "good" things about them. I'll keep you posted.

And . . . I purchased The SideWinder for 40% off - thanks Sheila for the coupon! This little item and I are still fighting it out - I'm either not doing something right or it's being obstinate - but I hope to come out victorious eventually. I was a little "taken aback" by the cheapness of this thing - lots of little hard plastic pieces - reminds of a children's toy that usually breaks in next to no time.

If anyone out there has one of these things and has any pointers, drop me a line!

'til next time . . .


Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Amazing . . .

Have a look at these wonderful pieces . . . I was enthralled with the amount of detail that each of these pieces has. I would love a couple of these in my front and back yard . . . not likely to happen though!

Please ignore the lady in the blue coat - she just wouldn't move out of the way! Those two little kids just look like they're having so much fun - the artist captured the moment with these two.

This one reminded me of a little Shetland pony we had when I was growing up . . . stubborn and determined through and through.

I thought that this sculpture was positioned in the most appropriate spot . . . grasses, trees and then that little bit of greenery. I guess the city background isn't quite the right thing, but it was a very beautiful piece.

Quite the little storyteller this little guy was! The details were awesome.

Frolicking in the snow - they look so happy.

And, last but not least, a mosquito - I swear they are this big in Manitoba!
'till next time,

More Vacation . . .

This is the weather we came back into Canada with -it seems as though we took the bad weather with us and then turned around and also brought it home. This photo was taken on Saturday evening as we came across the border.

As we headed North the snow got heavier and heavier - thank goodness we didn't have to go any further North than Wawanesa. Some folks received a lot more of the wet, sticky stuff than we did.

This was our hotel in Sioux Falls, SD - the most memorable part was the bartender in the bar! He was quite the character - magic tricks, card tricks and he just created a really friendly and relaxing atmosphere - highly recommend the bar!

Sioux Falls currently is currently displaying wonderful sculptures all through the downtown areas. Tomorrow I will post some photos that show off these very amazing pieces. As you can see this guy is larger than life and very detailed. Wait 'till you see the others!

Another quilt store!!! Wonderful little spot . . . I was able to find some wonderful fabrics at sale prices here and also cleaned off a few bolts for them.
I discovered the only reason Randy was letting me stop at so many quilt shops was because then I had to (dragging and hissing, of course!) hang out in Irish Pub's! This particular one was gorgeous . . . beautiful copper ceilings and dark stained wood, wonderful appetisers and of course the beer tasted not too bad either. As a weird converted Canadian it seemed really strange when people were smoking in restaurants and pubs . . that really took some getting used to. This particular pub had ash trays on the bar but we did not see anyone light up - the Irish Pub we had supper in the previous night was like eating in a blue haze - not used to that anymore! Most of the chain restaurants also did not allow smoking - although I didn't see any signs. The smaller establishments must have a choice.

We managed to hit a 2 for 1 Happy Hour - looks really silly having that many drinks on the table for two people! Oh, well . . . someone had to do it . . . and it was half price!

And this is the Comedy Club where we laughed ourselves silly. Met a wonderful couple from Sioux Falls that sat at our table and had a wonderful visit - could have visited longer but the staff cleared the place out really fast after the show because they had to get ready for the second showing. I've never been to a comedy club before and found it very interesting and of course absolutely hilarious.

This is the funny guy we went to see - he even posed for me after he autographed our CD. I know, I know . . . the picture is a little fuzzy . . . but, hey, I was probably still laughing. I hope Canada can get this guy up here for some shows - he is a hoot!
His name is Jon Reep and he won the Last Comic Standing show that was on TV last year . . . PLUS . . . I found out on the trip down to SD that he is the "hemi guy" off the Dodge commercials. Remember when the Dodge truck pulls up at the stop light and this guy leans out his window and yells "Has that thing got a hemi?" - plus other commercials also for Dodge.
I started a new quilt project this morning before I left for work. I couldn't wait any longer to open one of those little charm square packages! I did make myself finish an old project first though - keep you posted on the progress . . .
'til next time,