Thursday, 31 July 2014

Little Quilt and Studio Progress

I’ve been busy stitching away here in my little basement . . . it’s hot outside and it’s nice and cool down here – wonderful little spot to create . . . for now.

I still need to do some embroidery on this little piece – up in the upper left corner it’s going to say “Memories are stitched with . . .” and then of course the “love” still needs to be appliquéd down.  Binding is a nice striped blue and I think will really finish the piece.  This was all made with scraps from a Drunkard’s path quilt I made a few years ago – very vintage and old-fashioned prints, but so cheerful :0))


Progress is being made on our little building project -


the roof and shingles are all on now and we’re expecting another load of building supplies tomorrow.


I am so excited about the screened in porch area – the mosquitoes have been exceptionally bad in all areas of Manitoba this year, and, in my opinion, have been increasing in numbers over the past ten years.


We’re still ironing out exactly how the porch is going to look – skinny posts, wider posts, etc., etc.  I’m sure I’ll be happy as long as it has screens in it!!!  The porch will be facing West (towards my garden) and even in the late afternoon there is only dappled sunlight that is hitting on it – the trees create a canopy of sorts and make this a wonderful cool spot to sit and relax.


This is the view towards the back of the house from the porch – I’ll still be able to see anyone coming towards the studio and know if there are any problems at the house.  We will have to find some stepping stones or something to create a walkway between the two buildings – the grass isn’t going to stand up too much longer!


I’ve already told my husband that my space isn’t big enough and that I need to confiscate his workshop . . . doesn’t look like that will be happening anytime soon from the response I got.

Once that interior wall goes up (where the eight foot rafters are), my new space will be about 16’x18’ – double what I currently have, but . . . more space is always good!

I’m busy pouring over cabinet designs trying to create storage that will make the best use of the space without overwhelming it – cutting table with extensions and mounted on wheels so that it can be moved around plus storage underneath; lots of bookcases and storage along that back wall where the ladder is; large ironing surface with a flip-up extension and drawers; and the list goes on.  All of these will be custom built by my husband eventually – may be a couple of years before that happens so I will be making do with my mish-mash of what I currently use for a while.

I did opt to give up the six feet for the front porch so that I could spread out into that space  in the summer months and enjoy good weather.  I mulled over that decision for months, but eventually decided that a screened in space would be worth giving up studio space for.  Sure hope that was the right decision!!

I will still have my little space in the basement of the house to store some of the larger quilting items that I don’t use all of the time.  Who knows, maybe I’ll win the lottery some year and my Gammill long-arm can go down there :0))

Ricky Tims’ Super Quilting Seminar update:  Things are moving forward – his administration has made contact with the various quilt shops/guilds/groups in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota.  They will be receiving information on the seminar so that they can pass on the information to all of their customers and members, so that no one will be left out.  Registration will likely open up sometime around the first part of September – it’s so hard to wait when all we want to do is get our name registered and on the list!!!

May, 2015 seems like such a long wait . . .

Patience is a virtue I’ve been told!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Ricky Tims is Coming North!!!

Announcement Photo

Needless to say, we have had an amazing week and the response has been overwhelming!

If you or your guild are anywhere within driving or flying distance of the International Peace Gardens, and would like more information, please send me an email at: and I’ll try and answer all of your questions.

This is still really fresh news and there are still lots of details that will be decided in the coming weeks, so please be patient.

Having a quilting celebrity (or two or three!) come this close to Canada is causing quite a stir in these parts . . . we are sure that there are some very excited people on the other side of the border in North Dakota as well.

I’ll try and keep everyone posted of some of the details as they are sent our way - registration has not yet opened for this Super Seminar.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Dream Studio Construction Underway!


As in many construction projects, trees needs to be sacrificed.  In the grand scheme of things we were pretty lucky to have to only remove three trees.  Our yard is covered with 40 – 50 oaks, so when choosing our building site we located it where the least amount of trees would need to be removed.  I love my trees!  Except when it’s time to rake all those leaves . . .


Tia is supervising all of the plans and most of the construction – her attention to detail is amazing and if things aren’t going quite right she lifts that big right paw and threatens a cuff on the ear!


All of the forms and compacted gravel are in place . . . that little jog there is where my screened porch will be.  I’m hoping that I won’t regret giving up 6’ of my sewing space for this porch, but after trying to do construction with all of the mosquitoes, I’m thinking it will be the right decision in the long run.  There is nothing worse than a lovely summer day and you can’t enjoy it because of the mosquitoes – at least now we can still sit out and be somewhat protected from these blood-sucking monsters.


Next up was the insulation, rebar and water lines for the in-floor heating . . .


then it was time for the cement to be poured . . .


then my back wall and side wall . . .


then some more walls.

I have been plugging away on a few quilting projects at the same time -


another gift quilt for a friend . . .


a sample for the Migrating Geese workshop that we did back in June and of course preparing for the upcoming Fall season . . .

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our Dresden Tea Party workshop scheduled for October 25 and 26th in Brandon, Manitoba.


We are offering many different versions and techniques for making the Dresden and registrations have been pouring in.


I’ve always loved the Dresden and there are now so many options for making this beautiful pattern that I’m torn as to which one to make . . .

Oh, please come back and visit soon . . . I will have some breaking news for a big “EVENT!!!!” coming in 2015 . . . stay tuned!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Tia Marie – My New Quilting Terror!


Well, actually she’s not so new anymore . . . that little foot has grown into a HUGE little Bengal girl!


Tia was a terror at Christmas and kept everyone on their toes.  This is a photo that is currently entered into a calendar contest . . . pretty good odds – maybe?!?!


I REALLY liked this one of her, but I think the photographer was laughing so hard that it turned out a bit unfocussed – too bad on this one :0(


With intense eyes like that you just know there is trouble lurking everywhere.


We’re not having too much of an interior mosquito or fly issue so far this year . . . between Tia and Whiskey they are keeping the bug population pretty much extinct.


Whiskey has adapted to having a baby in the house – sort of.  She does miss her alone time with us and comes seeking us out when she can.  Unfortunately she can only do that when she can lose the little monster – which doesn’t happen too often.


Sometimes all she can do is try and squish her into being good – that’s when the evil looks start flying!

Life has certainly changed in our house . . .

Up next – new studio has broken ground!!!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Down on the Farm Workshop– October 2013

So . . .

to continue with my posts from last year . . .


In late October, 2013, As The Crow Flies Quilting Workshops hosted their annual Fall workshop and this year’s theme was Down on the Farm.  Fall is the perfect time of year for a theme like that and we sure enjoyed the smell of hay for the two day event that permeated the front entryway of the hall.


It takes the four of us hours and hours to set up the hall for these workshops . . . sometimes the wee hours of the morning or night will catch us hard at work!


The tables all need to be set up in just the perfect way, chairs positioned, cutting mats strategically placed, and decoration and inspiration placed in every nook and cranny that we can find.


All four of us go through our quilt stashes to see if we have items that fit in with each theme that we do . . . this year I found my pony pattern, my farm scene wall hanging and a few log cabin quilts from the past.  The little miniatures down on the floor are actually part of this year’s project offerings and the pattern can be found over at . . .

MODA Bake Shop


. . . together with the Star Log Cabin pattern.  Although I’m noticing that they still can’t get the pattern sheets to upload to their site – so feel free to contact me and I’ll send off the files to you.


We also encouraged registrants to dress up in their finest farm gear . . . not sure if this is “farm” or not, but I do have to wonder what was in that cup he’s she’s carrying!


Every workshop we do up a little giftie for everyone and this year the water bottle aprons was the perfect little pattern to make up for our 90 registrants . . . sure glad we can split the work four ways!!!  I’m not sure if I could have handled 90 aprons all by myself.


There was also a corner to set up some As The Crow Flies and Sipiweske patterns and samples – it sure brightened up an otherwise bare corner.

Cover Photo copy

This was one of the featured patterns for the weekend –  and this pattern is also available over at MODA Bakeshop.


This version has a paper pieced top panel and the log cabins are strip pieced.  It was a great project for beginners to sewing/piecing as well as for beginners to paper piecing – the larger pieces make it easier to put together.


Of course there is always room to make changes to any pattern and this version had the clouds and the trees placed differently than in the pattern . . . still looks awesome.  Plus the lights and darks on the log cabins can be changed around to give the bottom half a bit different look.

A N N O U N C E M E N T!!!!!



. . . the appliquéd version of Down On The Farm!


I love this version . . . a bit whimsical . . . 


allows for lots of options . . .


and it looks fabulous in so many different color variations.

The pattern is available as a PDF and is listed in the right-hand column or click under Sipiweske Patterns along the top edge of the blog header.

I’ll be back shortly to update my life in November of 2013 . . . things never get slow around here!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Alaska – August 2013

Now it’s time to flash back to August 16th to 23rd, 2013 . . .

Earlier in the year my Dad confessed that it would be his “dream vacation” to go on a cruise to Alaska, but was concerned that he would never be able to go by himself.  I told him that that was no excuse . . . if there was somewhere in the world that he wanted to see, then he should do it before it was too late and just became a regret.


So on August 16th here we were, my Dad, my husband and myself, boarding a plane in Winnipeg and flying to Vancouver.  This was a first for me as I had never had the opportunity to fly before and it was quite a number of years since either my Dad or husband had flown as well.  Dad had the window seat for his BIG holiday and it was beautiful and clear all of the way to Vancouver.


Our trip was booked through CAA and the Amsterdam-Holland America Line was our cruise ship.  Every detail of the trip was efficiently organized and there was never a misstep – we were met at the airport and ushered onto a bus that toured us through the city streets and to our destination to board the ship.  An amazing lunch was prepared and waiting for us and our lounge chairs were all set up on our own personal verandah!


Look at that smile!!!  I think it says it all – this was the vacation he had been hoping for and it was certainly a thrill and honor to be part of his trip.


It sure would have been easy to become a “foodie” photographer on this trip.  What an amazing list of offerings they had in each and every dining room/restaurant on board the ship . . . definitely something for everyone.

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I found a quilt shop in Juneau, Alaska (I bought this kit to make a memory quilt for Dad – gorgeous fabrics!) . . .



. . . another one in Skagway, Alaska . . .

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. . . and another one in Ketchikan.  The Silver Thimble had two shops on the same floor – one was an Alaska themed shop with all Alaskan patterns and themed fabrics and the other had what I’ll call “regular” fabrics in stock.

In addition to being “allowed” to visit all the quilt shops on our vacation, we all took part in a few excursions – a wildlife sightseeing tour on board a large enclosed boat (weather was not cooperative for that one – but was very interesting anyway :0)); a train trip through some fabulous country and also a stop at Liarsville where we were educated on a few interesting things about Alaska (brothels!!!) as well as an opportunity to pan for some gold.

Dad at Liarsville copy

Here is Dad again, grinning like a Cheshire cat, with the ladies he just met from the “brothel”.  What an amazing job these gals did with their storytelling!!!


It goes without saying that the scenery would be amazing . . .


. . . breathtaking . . .


. . . awe inspiring . . .


. . . gorgeous . . .


. . . calming . . .


and so very hard to leave behind.

Dad’s Christmas present was a 12x12 hard cover book with all of these pictures and so many more.  It has yet to be put in the bookcase . . . he’s constantly taking it and showing it to people.  I know it really was a trip of a lifetime for him, and I’m so thrilled that my husband and I were able to be there with him.  What a fantastic vacation!

"Never put off  till tomorrow what you can do today".

Thomas Jefferson.