Tuesday, 8 January 2013

What’s New?

There’s actually a lot that is new . . . or at least to me!

The end of last year and the beginning of this year have been busy with learning new things, committing to new things and trying new things.

I’ll start with the committing to new things news . . .

Last Fall I received an email about the Manitoba Prairie Quilters Association 30th Anniversary Conference and was invited to submit a proposal to teach one of the workshops.


Sheila and I from As The Crow Flies Quilting Workshops threw some ideas around and we decided to submit two proposals – one for our “twofer” pattern which uses the 12 fat quarters to make two wonderful quilts.  The leftover pieces from making the first quilt are used to make the other one.

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The second proposal was for the Loonie Blooms wall hanging which is a Sipiweske design that teaches piecing, free-motion appliqué, covered buttons and making tabs.

Both proposals were accepted and we’re now gearing up for our “big” teaching debut at a conference.  We’re very excited to have been chosen and are really looking forward to travelling to Winnipeg to teach our wacky concepts.

If you’re going to be in the Winnipeg, Manitoba area the first weekend in April, be sure to check the link for a listing of all the fantastic teachers and their amazing projects.  We are very humbled to be keeping such talented company.  Registration for non-members opened up on January 1, 2013, so act quick if you’re planning on attending.

In September 2012 my dear hubby and I finally took a summer-type vacation and headed to Minnesota – this included a visit at almost a dozen quilt shops along the way.  Wow!  Is there ever a lot of quilt shops in Minnesota . . . almost every town seemed to have one.  Hubby was a very patient man and allowed me to visit 3 or 4 every day – I was a very happy camper to say the least!

Which leads me to the part about Learning New Things . . .

So before we left on our trip I decided it was time to upgrade to a nice camera instead of my little point and click baby.  After much research I chose the Nikon D3100 and have been trying to squeeze time in to learn all the ins and outs of this little wonder.

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I received a new lens for my birthday and another big one for Christmas and now also need to learn how these all work.  The great thing about this camera is that I can now snap quick photos of Whiskey and actually capture her head instead of her rear end.  The little point and shoot camera had that little pause before it actually snapped the picture and I was taking more pictures of her tail instead of her head! 

Lighthouse before action copy

This is a photo of the Split Rock Lighthouse in Minnesota, that I took with the new camera . . . without the new lens that I got for Christmas.  If I had the big lens in September I could have zoomed in a lot closer – but I still love this photo the way it is.

Lighthouse - Sunny Days Action copy

And then I discovered Paint The Moon, and some of the amazing “actions” that she uses to enhance photos using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.  See the difference in coloring?  The photo was taken on a VERY cloudy, rainy day and looks a little dull, but by applying the FREE Sunny Days action I brightened the whole photo up and brought those colors to life.

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Here is a photo of Whiskey – the first one is the original and the second one is done with the Sunny Days action again but also incorporates an overlay technique that she also shares for free.  You can also check out Annie’s fabulous, inspiring, awesome and downright amazing photos on her blog Oh My Stars, and also follow her over on Pinterest.

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I’m not sure if my new little 2012 Buick Regal should fall under “committing to new things” or “learning new things”, but either way I LOVE it!!!  She is black, drives like a dream, has that new car smell and has committed me to debt for a couple of years.  She does drive a little different than the Impala and has a lot more toys to play with, so I am learning new things at the same time as enjoying my drive to work again.  I’m in love!

And this last thing is definitely learning AND committing to new things.  Last July I attended a Warrior Wellness month long commitment to cutting out sugars, wheat and dairy from my diet and switching to whole foods instead of processed foods.  Sure opens your eyes to see what the options are when it comes to replacing those things!

During that month long challenge a group of us met once a week to discuss what we were finding and how we were doing and the topic of juicers came up numerous times.  I figured there was no way I had the time or money to commit to juicing, so I implemented blending instead.  I now have blending down to a delicious science, but really feel that I’m consuming too many natural sugars by restricting my smoothies to fruits only and felt that the time was right to introduce green juices to my diet.

So this beautiful, shiny “thing” arrived in my kitchen yesterday . . . have the veggies all washed and ready for it’s first juicing tomorrow morning – sure hope it’s worth it! And I hope I can stick to it and commit to the change.  Do you juice?  What are your favorite recipes?

Last July this link was provided to me (Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead) by one of the other participants in the Warrior Wellness month and I just got around to looking at it this morning . . . I wanted to include it for everyone here as well . . . just in case you’re curious :)  Now I’m not going to classify myself as fat, sick and nearly dead, but I do believe there is always things in life that we can change for the better and even the smallest changes are a step in the right direction.

On a lighter note (no pun intended!), I am just getting ready to quilt a full-size quilt for my daughter.  I’m going to say that this long blog post could be classified as procrastinating . . . I could have had a quarter of the quilt quilted by now!!!  Oh well, parts of this post will form a wonderful reference for me down the road, and hopefully will inspire you to try a few new things in 2013 as well.

Let me know whether you have tried any of the things that I have mentioned, or if you think you will try something.  Are you attending a workshop?  Buying a new camera? Playing with photo editing techniques? Buying a new car? Have you tried juicing or changing your diet/way of life?

I’d love to hear what you’re planning!!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Sunshine and Antique Quilts

Happy New Year everyone!

Here’s hoping that 2013 will be filled with awesome new fabric and tons more quilting time!  I also wish everyone a very happy, stress-free, healthy and prosperous year that is filled with laughter and sunshine.

And speaking of sunshine . . .


Here is little Whiskey on New Year’s Day soaking up some lovely afternoon sunshine.

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She really isn’t all that little anymore . . . she’s been growing up so quick.  January 9th will see her 11 month old birthday – wonder what she wants for her BIG birthday on February 9th?  Santa was super good to her so I’m not sure what could possibly top those gifts.  Any ideas out there?

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I received a call a few weeks ago from a lady that lives in the area and she was cleaning out cupboards.  She said she had some old quilts and wondered if I would be interested in them.

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Visions of Fortrel and denim came immediately to mind, but I politely said “Sure I would have a look at them” and she sent me some photos.

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I offered her $40.00 for the lot and she accepted!

Unfortunately she had washed everything before bringing it to me – might be a good thing :0) but on the other hand it has created HUGE wrinkles in everything and a bit of fraying.  I’m hoping that everything presses out and will return to an un-wonky state so that I can make a quilt top or two.

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I need to find a book on dating fabric though . . . the lady was around 60 and she said the quilts belonged to her partner’s mother or grandmother – she wasn’t sure which.  Also in the box was an old 100 lb. sugar sack that I have researched and the only reference I can find to it is on a museum’s website that dates the bag to circa 1920.  Most the cream color in the quilts is muslin/sugar sack weight - not sure if the fabrics are that old as well.

If anyone has some ideas as to how to research the age of fabrics, please let me know.

Have a fabulous W.T.F. – Saturday is just around the corner!