Friday, 29 May 2009

Vacation - Days 6 and 7

When in Banff everyone is required to pee at the Banff Springs Hotel.

Just kidding!

But you really need to stop by and have a look at the architecture and the grounds . . . very nice. And while you are there pop in and get a cappuccino-to-go and also stop by the bathrooms - they are very nice!

As you can see the clouds were hanging very low the day that we were venturing around the go-to places in the Banff area.

The sun almost broke through once . . . only once though!

The afternoon turned very cold and rainy and what better thing to do than hit all the tourist shops in downtown Banff. Didn't see this horse and carriage move once while were having lunch and up and down the street visiting the shops. Poor horse stood there for quite some time . . . of course he did receive a few sympathy pats from passersby.

This was the snowy scene on our last night in Banff . . . not exactly great sightseeing weather . . . but now I have an appreciation for winter in the mountains.

The next morning we headed out for Lake Louise and our ultimate goal of reaching Kelowna. Nothing like a little snow on the ground, toque pulled down tight and flying down the mountain highways at 100 km per hour - no that wasn't us, but these two were certainly gaining some attention from other motorists. I'm sure they had their reasons and they appeared to be enjoying themselves.

Lake Louise is another "must see" destination while in the Rockies and what better way than to see it in white. There weren't too many kids out and about at this time of year, but the ones that were there were having a blast making snowballs and chasing some of the adults around. Obviously they mustn't have been from Manitoba!

I really liked this little cabin perched on the edge of the lake with all the snow loaded on those branches - I thought it was a very nice scene with just a hint of the mountains up there in the background. Maybe that could be my retirement home . . . very pretty!

And, of course, this is the famous shot of Lake Louise. Maybe try blinking a couple of times to clear your eyes . . . no that didn't work? . . . maybe try cleaning your computer screen . . . no? that didn't work either?
Poor hubby had heard all these stories about how nice it was at Lake Louise . . . he didn't get to see it though. I offered to buy him a puzzle with the beautiful, much photographed scene laid out in all it's glory . . . but it just wouldn't have been the same as seeing it in person.

Have to go back someday I suppose.

Ah, finally . . . a quilt shop! One of my first stops after hitting the outskirts of Kelowna.

Cottage Quilting is a wonderful shop with great customer service - everyone was so friendly! Customers and staff were chatting back and forth the whole time I was there and it was so refreshing and comfortable and welcoming.

Quilt displays, fabric packages, bolts of fabrics and patterns and books were displayed throughout the store in overwhelming abundance!

I picked up two books that I have been looking for and one of the staff saw me carrying them around, grabbed me and took me off to the classroom where she quickly unrolled the quilt that she had made from the book. Everyone was SO FRIENDLY!

Not sure what hubby was doing the whole time I was in the shop, but I had great fun.

More still to come . . .

'til next time,


Thursday, 28 May 2009

Butterflies and Wool

First the butterflies . . .

. . . my May Bunny Hill block is done (except for a bit of embroidery).
And yes, I did say butterflIES . . . not butterflY - I included one as a fussy-cut on the corner of the basket. It looks pretty good I thought - nice to stumble on those little surprises every so often!

My final package from The Quilt Patch was waiting for me when I got back from holidays.

First things first, the wool had to be washed in hot, hot water. So into the sink all the like-colors went with the hottest water in the tap . . . then lots of swishing and swirling that wool around . . . not sure how long you are supposed to do this, but I do it for about 10 minutes or so.

This batch of wool had some color-bleeding issues, so they got a couple of extra rinses with one rinse including a bit of vinegar added in and then rinsed some more until the water was pretty clear.

A quick little wring-out by hand and then I grabbed an old towel and rolled the pieces in it to remove a bit more water.

Then they all got thrown into the hot dryer . . .

. . . for quite a while (until dry).

So now here are the wool pieces that are going to be used to finish the borders of my Summer Baskets 3 block of the month.
All my tracing and ironing are behind me and now the fun part of cutting out all the pieces. Maybe I'll be able to work on laying it all out and start some sewing next week sometime.
We're off to Winnipeg this weekend . . . so there will be no sewing going on here. I will be posting more vacation and quilt shop tour pictures soon . . . so stay tuned.
'til next time,

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Vacation - Day 5

Ah! Our first glimpse of the mountains.

Just a little different scenery than we have here in Manitoba.

As you can see there is still lots of snow up there in those mountains. The weather wasn't very cooperative in the higher altitudes for our visit . . . saw lots of clouds, rain and snow. But that view is spectacular!

Canmore, Alberta is home to the Sugar Pine Quilt Shop which was one of the featured shops in "Quilt Sampler" magazine a few years ago.

There are lots of patterns and quilt samples with wildlife and mountain themes. Everywhere you looked there was something new and different to catch your eye.

The Christmas, Easter and Halloween sections were on permanent display . . . whatever fabric you were looking for could found if you had the time to look. I almost missed an entire section of the store because there were so many different turns and hideaways to see. I think there was only one staff member on duty when I was there and she couldn't seem to answer any questions that I had for her . . . maybe she was just filling in for someone on lunch break? Lots to see though!

I showed great restraint with my purchases . . . just two little delightful packages of fabric. No reason for them . . . "just because I was there" purchase. I had no specific project that I was shopping for, so now I will need to dream up a project for the fabrics I have purchased. I also bought a little kit that I forgot to upload the picture for, so that will be in the next post. (I have added it below . . . figured it was better to have it with the post that it belonged with. Isn't it the cutest block?!?!?! Of course in true McKenna Ryan style there is more than one block to make a quilt, but I figured this was my favorite to start with . . . you know baby steps are probably best with all that detail!)

And this is the view that you get from outside the door of the Sugar Pine Quilt Shop. How great would that be to see everyday when you get to work? Do you think they still notice the view?

'til next time,


Sunday, 24 May 2009

Vacation - Days One to Four

I'm back from holidays . . . actually for a couple of days now . . . but I'm so overwhelmed by all the photos that I just don't know where to get started!
First off . . . I hate travelling through Saskatchewan! Thank goodness I took some handwork to do.

We spent the first night of holidays in Medicine Hat, Alberta and I just had to make a quick side trip to the Quilters' Country Cottage. Unfortunately, I cannot find a link to their shop, but will keep searching and will post it when I find it.

Very friendly staff! I think she saw us drive up and knew that we were from Manitoba, probably wondered what a crazy Manitoba lady was doing at her shop first thing on a Saturday morning!

I had a wonderful visit and purchased a box of Honey Buns (Patisserie (Fig Tree) and Spring Magic (April Cornell) and a Robyn Pandolph (Sumptuous Living) charm pack.

Interesting thing is that the RJR charm packs are 5 1/2" x 5 1/2", so now I know why Blue Meadow Designs mystery quilt was originally written for these measurements. We lead a very sheltered life out here on the Prairies!

This was our humble abode for the two nights we spent at my brother and sister-in-law's acreage. They bought the property in October of last year so they certainly have their work cut out for them! Had a wonderful Mother's Day pancake breakfast at the Delburne Community Hall . . . what a wonderful little community! Everyone was very friendly and the breakfast was delicious.

This is a view from my brother's deck - everything was very dry and the gophers were plentiful - very Albertan I think. They received about four inches of snow last week, so maybe that will help with the dryness somewhat . . . don't think it was enough to drown the gophers though.

These are some photos of Alberta weather . . .

I found the clouds and sky were ever-changing . . .

Love those sun beams coming down!

Made a quick stop at the The Quilting Bee in Olds, Alberta. Very nice little shop but I found not overly friendly . . . funny how first impressions hit you.

I did find a couple of my patterns in stock . . .

with this one done up as a kit. Didn't see a sample done up though . . . that's always nice to see when a kit is being sold . . . hard to imagine the fabrics unless they are all made up.

Love the book I bought here . . . will have to try at least two or three of these patterns someday.

Stay tuned for more quilt shop tours and even some winery tours.
'til next time,

Saturday, 9 May 2009


Yes, here I am in Medicine Hat, Alberta with no pictures to show you yet.
Of course I'm travelling with my laptop which doesn't have the right "stuff" to upload pictures. So there will be a Future Shop trip scheduled sometime soon. No really great pictures so far . . . lots of weather variations travelling from Manitoba to Alberta . . . everything from sun, to rain, to slush, to snow . . . kinda covered the whole gamut of weather.
We stopped in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan to drop off a heap of quilts to the Quilter's Haven Shop . . . they're heading to Quilt Saskatchewan near the end of May and have requested some of my quilt samples to take along for their booth. So if you're at QS make sure and stop by and say hello to Heather and Alyce.
We spent the night here in Medicine Hat in an upgraded jacuzzi suite room at the Best Western - love this chain of hotels . . . have never stayed at a bad one yet. Knock on wood! Today we're heading out to visit my brother for a couple of days who lives just outside of Red Deer and then on Monday we're heading to Banff for a couple of days. Randy has never seen the mountains before so it will be very interesting and I'll make sure to get some photos to share with everyone.
I've checked the phone book already and have found two quilt shops listed, so I'll have to see whether or not they are any where close to our trip through town. I'll take photos if I stop in at any.
Also on my tours through blogland today I noticed a wonderful sale over at the Fabric Depot. Precuts are 40% off! Go have a look.

I also popped by Cinderberry Stitches and I'm really looking forward to seeing her new Tail Feathers pattern that will be released very soon. Her fabric selection is wonderful and so are the little peeks she's been showing of the new embroidery.
So I better keep moving here and go have my breakfast and see if there are any quilt shops near by. Have a great weekend!
'til next time,

Monday, 4 May 2009

Border Fabrics

. . . have arrived!

Now I just need to finish the blocks so that I can actually cut into this yardage.

We're heading out on holidays on Friday a.m. so I'm afraid that any work on this particular quilt has come to a screeching halt for two weeks or more. Good news is that it will still be waiting for me when I get back.

This yardage is for my Tisket A Tasket Bunny Hill BOM . . . I kinda went out on a limb choosing the prints before the blocks are all done, but it was a good sale and I couldn't pass it by.

Sure hope that the prints I chose will work into the final layout . . . otherwise I'll be needing to do some more "sale" shopping! Bloggie rumour has it that block five of the Bunny Hill BOM will be posted tomorrow . . . so if you are following along, be sure to check out Anne's site (see sidebar).

I have also bought my first scrap bag from Moda . . . husband thinks I'm crazy buying other people's scraps . . . but he doesn't understand how great all those strips inside that bag are.

Looking forward to thinking up a project for this luscious little stack of possibilities . . .

'til next time,