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.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

I Couldn’t Resist!!!

Warm Winter Blessings

Isn’t this just the cutest BOM?  So simple, but so cozy and primitive . . . I really couldn’t resist!

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I signed up for the program back in September, but I know of some gals who are still wanting to sign up - I believe it started in May or June of 2013, so it may be getting a little difficult to find.  I am getting this through Mama Bear’s Quilt Shop from Ashern, Manitoba.  I don’t think that Pauline has a website yet, but she can be contacted at 204-768-2120 to see if she still has this available.  Your local quilt shops may also be offering this BOM – it’s well worth searching out :0)).

The Primitive Gathering shop can be found here if you want to find more BOMs and primitive-type kits and patterns.

Oh, BTW, I also own yardage of quite a few of these blues and creams/tans – I just couldn’t resist them either.  Here is a link to the PDF for the Snowman Gatherings fabric from Primitive Gatherings by MODA.

I think this is the perfect January quilt to be working on . . . I’m still trying to get warm!!!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

As The Crow Flies Teaching Gig - April 2013

A little background information is in order here . . .

In 2010 my good friend Sheila and I were visiting and sadly lamenting the lack of workshops to attend in our area.  There were some classes being taught by local quilt groups, but there was no large scale organization for bringing outside teachers in to teach to large groups of people.  We figured that if this was bothering us than likely there were others in the quilting community that felt the same way.

So, the question was:  “why doesn’t someone coordinate this and bring in teachers for workshops?”  The light bulb went on for Sheila and I – WE COULD DO IT!!  As The Crow Flies Quilting Workshops was launched.  There are now the four of us doing the planning and executing of the various facets needed to sponsor these workshops – Sheila, Val, Sheryl and myself – it has become too much for just two people!!  Quilters have come from Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan, north of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, and I’ve lost track of how many other communities in Manitoba.

So in 2010 we brought in the Quilt Patch girls from Moose Jaw, SK for a trunk show and workshop;
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June 2011 we brought in Joan Statz from Alberta; DSC07547
October 2011 we sponsored “The Crows Have Flipped Mystery” workshop,
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as well as hosting and teaching a “Beginner’s Workshop”;
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  2012 we put on “Quilter’s Camp”
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as well as  “Santa’s Workshop”
in 2013 we hosted the “Down on the Farm” workshop which was our first 2-day event with a total of over 90 people registered!!!  I will have a separate post on this workshop very soon.
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Which brings me to our teaching gig . . .
In 2012, we  received an invitation for Sipiweske Quilt Designs and “As the Crow Flies Quilting Workshops” to submit teaching proposals to be reviewed by the Manitoba Prairie Quilters 30th anniversary committee.

To celebrate this milestone the group was hosting a quilt education conference – Friday, April 5 – Sunday, April 7, 2013. They booked five classrooms at the Canadian Mennonite University (North Campus) in Winnipeg and were looking to fill those classrooms with a variety of quilt instructors and lots of quilters wanting to learn new techniques.

Two proposals were submitted by Sheila and myself and then we sat back to await the outcome.  Both proposals were accepted and the  planning began . . . we are usually the ones that book the venue, provide the lunch and deal with all the emails with registrants, teach/facilitate the projects, etc., so this was a nice to change to ONLY be responsible for the actual instruction part.
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We chose the Loonie Blooms pattern (see sidebar) as an Intro. to Appliqué project.
Both Pattern Covers on One Page copy
And then we chose the “twofer” pattern to introduce quick piecing as well as how to use 12 fat quarters to make two awesome quick projects (see side bar).
We had the best students and they produced some gorgeous projects!
Most students were able to get their blocks for the All Cooped Up quilt completed that day which is always a bonus. DSC09395
It’s always interesting to see the different looks you get by using different fabrics.
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My apologies for the long post, but I have been long overdue in blogging about As The Crow Flies and this wonderful teaching opportunity that we had.  Every second year the Manitoba Prairie Quilters host a quilt show and the opposite year they will be hosting workshops.  In 2014 the quilt show is scheduled for March 28 – 30, 2014 in Winnipeg.
I’m sure there will be a van load going for a road trip in March!!!  Hopefully the weather is a touch warmer than it is right now . . . feels like –45C  with the wind chill – brrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Stay warm wherever you are.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Welcome 2014!!!

I love the start of a New Year . . . everything is fresh, new and unknown.  The calendar is fresh, clean and unmarked and there is so much to look forward to.  I have a good feeling about 2014!!


But . . . before I can totally embrace 2014, I need to finalize my recording of some of the highlights of 2013 that I have not had the chance to put up on my blog.  Some are quilting related, but others are more “life” related.  2013 had some highs and lows but I believe they all had their purpose and that is what 2014 will be built on.


So if you can bare with me for a few incidental posts about 2013 – I really hope that 2014 will shape up to be quite exciting and busy on the quilting home front.  Plans are being made and pieces are slowly being put into place for a couple of projects, so unless life gets in the way, which it quite often does, there will be some blogging going on in 2014.  That is my plan – and I hope to be able to see it through!!

Happy New Year to all my quilting friends out there, and my best wishes for all of your expectations, dreams and goals to come true in 2014!