Monday, August 27, 2007

Working like a dog!

This is my last week of more than full time work. Next week we will be back to a full staff compliment and I go back to my part time job. And not a moment too soon- I cannot wait! I have made arrangements for my children to do other things this week - my daughter to my sister's and my son to his friend's cottage, because I am working too much to have them home. They are happy to have an adventure, and I can sleep when I have the chance.
When viewing the Stashbuster blogs early this morning, I saw that Darlene has posted her beautiful new quilt using the Lucky Stars pattern by Atkinson Designs. It reminded me that I haven't posted a photo on my blog of the quilt I made for my nephew Matthew. (I have made a quilt for each of my 11 nieces and nephews, and this was for the youngest one.) It is made completely of flannel fabrics and started with a flannel panel of the dog blocks. I fussy cut the dogs, and they were the centers of the star blocks. The backing and the border were made from the red dogbone fabric that I was so happy to find. It was a delight to piece this quilt - I should make more of these quilts since I enjoyed it so much!
The quilting was another story though! The all flannel project was very heavy to quilt on my machine. I just quilted in all the seam lines, echo quilted the stars, and then got a crazy idea to free motion quilt a dog bone in each of the sashing bars, and inside each bone I quilted a dog word, such as sit, bark, Molly (my dog's name), roll over, ruff, doghouse, etc. It was fun at first, and then just labour intensive. Here is a close up of one of the blocks. Maybe you can see the bone in the striped bar? Anyway, Matthew loves his quilt, and it is already well worn!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fabric mess

Does this happen to you!?!? I don't always wash my quilting fabric, especially if it's for a miniature quilt that will never be washed. But I do always wash fabric for bed quilts. I threw a few pieces in the washer/dryer yesterday to add to a project I am working on and look at the mess that I got! I know there is a way to eliminate or reduce this problem, but I forget what it is! Any suggestions???
I need to know because I plan to make lots of fabric purchases when the kids go back to school!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The end is near!

Only two more weeks until the children go back to school! I sometimes feel a little like a "bad mother" when I admit to other people that I can't wait for September 4th, and that I do a happy dance on the first day of school. Well, I must admit that over the years, I have also had some teary moments on that first day of school. But I know that it is because I try to be a good mother and am so involved with my kids, that I find the summer to be exhausting. In my own defense I should also mention that I was "older" when we were finally blessed with our children, so I am no spring chicken! And all the activities, having the friends of the children here, family visiting, travelling, and camping are getting harder every year! I'm thinking that a long vacation at a nice resort (by myself) is what I might enjoy these days!
I have primarily worked on 3 projects over the summer, which are all mostly hand work. The first is the 365 journal quilt and I will have completed 4 months of my quilt by the end of August. The second project is A Quilter's Journey by Leanne Beasley. In addition to the piecing and the stitchery of these blocks, I have kept a journal of my memories about my quilting journey accompanying each of these blocks. It has been a wonderful time of reflecting about my journey, the people and the quilting events of the past 16 years. But the progress on both of these is slow and I don't have any new photos to show you of recent work on these two projects.
However, my third project has been the Bead Journal Project which is a commitment to make a beaded journal piece each month for a year. I have enjoyed this so much that I started a separate blog to detail each month's work. If you are interested in beading, you can read all about my work/play on my Bead Journal Blog. It has really helped me to learn about my creative process and about what I enjoy doing the most. And all the recent photos of my work are on my beading blog.
So I have had lots of time for my creative projects over the summer. Almost all of my work has been done while watching my kids swim, practise/play soccer and baseball, and play with their friends. I could have a lot more done if I could figure out how to sew/bead while I drive!! I must have driven around the earth twice over the summer - but not to anywhere quilting related!!
But now, I am looking forward to working in peace and quiet, without the interruptions of applying bandages, making snacks and more snacks, and mediating fights! And being able to meet my friends for lunch and go to quilt stores and see my quilting friends again!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Getting organized for fall

This week I have been organizing my miniature quilts for teaching fall classes and for an invitational group exhibit in Nebraska. Here are the four piles:

The pile on the left is going to Triangle Sewing Centre and the pile on the right is going to Reichards . Neither of these stores have the fall newsletters on their website yet as the teachers are just getting organized. The second from the right pile was mailed to Orillia on Wednesday morning and arrived on Thursday morning - woohoo! These little babies are safe and sound. The second pile from the left are the four quilts for the Nebraska exhibit and they are now in the hands of the US postal system. I am having some anxiety about these little guys, but it has only been two days, so I won't really worry about their safe arrival until next week!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Vacation "Mind Mush"

We are back from yet another wonderful camping trip. We had a beautiful beach front site at Killbear Provincial Park. We didn't see any bears or snakes (for which the park is famous) and I was happy about that! Here is the view from our tent. The weather was perfect, sunny and warm, with some rain only one night. The kids enjoyed jumping off of cliffs into the water, kneeboarding and tubing on the lake, swimming and hiking. I enjoyed reading (reread "Gifts from the sea" as I like to do in the summer), relaxing, doing Sudoku (one of my favorite time wasters) and stitching. Here is my finished "Journey of a Quilter" block #2. It was pure delight to stitch the "Give Thanks" block while enjoying this amazing view!
Today I am back to my reality - piles of laundry, over 150 emails to read (sadly most of them are things I need to do and not fun, quilty-related emails), getting used to my new glasses again (I gave myself a vacation from my new glasses!) and back to work. I also have to get samples and supply lists to the stores and guilds where I am teaching in the fall. And my mind is mush from being on vacation. I can't seem to get going fast enough and am feeling very "turtle like" this morning!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Struggling to see

I must admit that I am getting old! I have been trying to get used to my new bifocals, or "progressive lenses" as they are called now, for two weeks. It has been a real struggle and I am ready to give up on them. I don't know what my options are in terms of returning glasses that I can't see through! However, there does seem to be a very small spot, that when/if I am lucky enough to find it, provides me with perfect vision!
I have been slowly working away on my Journey of a Quilter stitchery, but finding it difficult because I am trying to force myself to adjust to these glasses, and most of the time I can't see the stitches. How ironic that I am stitching the "Give Thanks" block while not feeling thankful at all!!