STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Birthday #2

Happy Birthday Mark! My firstborn son turns 21 today! I can hardly believe it. It seems like yesterday he was just starting school. I will never forget how upset he was when he came home after the first day of Grade 1 because the teacher had not given him any homework. The frustration grew as the week progressed, and finally on the fourth day with STILL no homework, I had to agree to give him some! I can still hear him saying to me "Mummy, HOW will I get smart if the teacher doesn't give us any homework?" He was sooo keen, and I can remember praying that it would last as he progressed through the later years of school.... I'm proud to say it HAS lasted and he is still a good student, now in his third year of Science at Dal. He spent most of his Spring Break last week researching and writing a paper for his Transgenics class. His hard work is paying off with top marks.. can you tell I'm a proud Mama?

The photo above is one of my favs from last August when "TSN Sportscentre" was in town to broadcast live from Fredericton Junction, one of the winning communities in the Kraft Celebration Tour. Mark was happy to pose with TSN celebs Dan O'Toole and Jay Onrait at the Opening Celebration of the Tri County Complex. Today Mark will be engrossed in another big sports event- watching Canada play in the Gold Medal hockey game. I sure hope they give him a GOLD performance....
Happy Birthday Mark.. I love you...

Believe!
Linda

It's always nice to wish the best to someone who really is!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

I love GOLD... BELIEVE it!

Way to go Canada!!!! 3 GOLD medals today! 13 gold medals, to date.. The most gold medals ever won by a host country! Gotta love that!! Kevin Martin did us proud with a very solid gold in Men's Curling tonight. I would not call myself a huge sports fan, but I have certainly enjoyed watching the Vancouver Olympics. The television coverage has been excellent, and we have spent many hours following the events. What a few days it's been - Virtue and Moir, Joannie Rochette, the Hamelin brothers, the Women's Hockey team, Jasey Jay....And you can bet we'll be glued to the TV tomorrow to watch Sid the Kid and the rest of our men's team skate for the gold in Men's Hockey.... GO Canada GO!

Believe!
Linda

To accomplish great things we must dream big and BELIEVE that with faith, perseverance, hard work and prayer we will succeed.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Disney Bound....

No, not me. I wish!! (Had you wondering there for a minute, though, didn't I?) No, it's my nephew who is taking his family to Disney World for March Break. They leave tomorrow and have a 6 hour drive to Portland Maine as they fly from there on Saturday. Doesn't sound like the driving is going to be great, either - weather forecast is not pretty... The kids have never flown before so the plane ride in itself is exciting, never mind the destination! So, being the good auntie, I borrowed an idea from my friend Gail and made "Activity Bags" for them, for the long drive... Just simple bags with their initial appliqued and blanketstitched, and a band of Mickey Mouse fabric at the top... Mallory, almost 12, and Nathan, almost 9, both like to draw so I bought this wonderful book at Chapters. It shows, step by step how to draw all the Disney characters. From Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Daisy, Goofy and Pluto, to Pooh and Tigger, Lion King, and many of the Pixar characters from Cars, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Buzz Lightyear, A Bug's Life, Monsters Inc., Wall*E and more. I hope this will keep them busy and happy for many miles. Of course I've also put in some puzzle and activity books, joke books, sketch books, journals, pencils, markers, stickers, some gum for the plane ride and a few snacks. They are both great readers and will each have a "book in progress" as well. So that should make the trip pass a little more quickly. Have fun kids!! Mum and Dad too!!
Piece,
Linda
Childhood is the most beautiful of all life's seasons.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Birthday #1

Today is our eldest's birthday- Ian is 32! I can hardly believe it! Ian's special day is the beginning of "birthday fest " for us - all three of our children have their birthdays in the next two weeks! I guess my hubby was "dangerous" during Apple Blossom Festival, an annual festival in the Annapolis Valley in late May.... or maybe it was just a very "fertile" time, with all those blossoms and little busy bees buzzing around..?? Regardless, it's birthday time at the Hubbard household. And since my two are home this week and will be back at University for their "official birthdays", I will have to stock up on chocolate cake ingredients this week. Any birthday cake at our house must be chocolate!
Back to Ian. Happy Birthday, big guy! This is your first birthday as a married man! Hope your wife has something special planned for you....

As you have no doubt guessed, the photos here are from Ian's wedding last October... Above left to right, Ian, Laura and Mark. At left is today's birthday boy and his lovely wife Tiffany.
Peace,
Linda
Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Come on, spring!!!

Spring is only one month away - isn't that a pleasant thought? Actually we have been very lucky this winter with many days of milder than normal temps... this past week it has been above freezing every day, and the snow is beginning to recede. Yeah!! Although our lawns are still covered, I see many areas around the city that are bare. My brother has some daffodils peeking through the ground... Bring it on, I say! I just couldn't resist posting a few pics from last spring- to give us all hope!! Don't these blooms make you feel good?

This week is Spring Break for my kiddos, and both are now home. The weeks seem to be flying by; it seems they just went back after Christmas and now they are home, with only 6 weeks of classes to go before final exams! Doesn't seem possible! I am restless and anxious for warm weather, wishing I too was enjoying southerly climes. So many friends are down south right now: Sandi, Willa, Carole, Dawn and Diane all in Florida, Gail and LaVerne in the Carolinas, Cathy in Mexico, Sue and Donna in Arizona, Gail in Hawaii, Marilyn off to Barbados, Judy just back from a Caribbean cruise and Susan soon packing her bags for a Hawaiian cruise.. I am envious for sure. But spring will soon be here, and I will have saved all those travel costs to spend on new plants for the garden..haha
I am busily working on a piece of Raised Embroidery, Elizabethan style, on cream colored silk. Tomorrow night is Embroiderers' Guild and I have hardly touched this piece since we began it at last month's meeting, so I'm trying to get a little more done before tomorrow night. If I make significant headway I'll show you a "progress photo" in a few days... it doesn't really look like much yet as I'm still working with just greens- leaves and stems... looking at these delicate little flowers, many stitched with one strand of floss, makes me even more anxious for spring... Guess I'll have to content myself with this piece of work, until I can get out and dig in the dirt...
Piece,
Linda
No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fibreart Montage ~ Judith Baker Montano


I have just spent a good hour leafing through Judith's new book Fibreart Montage. What's not to love about this glorious collection of her textile/fibreart, photography and instruction....... Judith combines her longtime love of Crazy Quilting, embroidery and embellishing with other techniques such as fabric dyeing, computer manipulation of photographs, and various fabric manipulation techniques to make stunning landscapes, seascapes and other pieces of unique textile art. Chapters are titled: Getting started (she really means get yourself Organized!), Crazy quilting, The Cottage Journey, Photography, Silk Dyeing, Landscapes and seascapes, Underwater, Patterns and Stitch guide. At the end is a wonderful 4 page list of Resources, including addresses and websites.
Anyone who knows or has studied with Judith knows that she loves loves loves color! It is evident in her quilting, stitching and her photography. The two page "dividers" between chapters are wonderful collages of her photographs- visual treats in themselves. There are so many stunning pieces of work in this book, not only Judith's but also the works of students, one could easily use this as a "coffee table book".
I know I will spend many enjoyable hours with this hardcover book, which by the way has a spiral coil binding - another reason to love it! I highly recommend you add it to your library too... you won't regret it. If you cannot find it at your local bookshop or quilt shop, you can order directly from Judith here, from Joggles here or from Amazon here.
To quote Mary Fisher in her forward about Judith "She takes up residence in our souls, and brightens our lives with hope."

Piece,
Linda

"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures." ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

This and That...

I've been busy the last few days with "not so exciting" things like catching up on laundry and ironing, and housecleaning. Yesterday I tackled one of my least favourite jobs- cleaning the tops of my kitchen cabinets. I removed my collection of crocks, jugs, teapots and pitchers, and other "old junk" as my hubby calls it, washed them all, and then cleaned the cabinet tops. It's amazing how much dust and crud will collect up there! Not a fun job but it feels good to know it's all sparkly clean now, even if no one can see it...
Of course I've been watching some of the Olympics, and I'm more than halfway through another good book: What They Wanted by Donna Morrisey. Tonight was Choir practice and our monthly Guild meeting, so it will be one of those nights when I find it hard to get to sleep. My mind is spinning with music and quilts... colorful images, ideas, and harmonies that prevent me from falling asleep... AND I'm excited for tomorrow because I plan to spend some time with a new book I received today.
Last week I ordered Judith Baker Montano's new book Fibreart Montage and it arrived this afternoon. I was too busy to give it much more than a quick flip through, and I was out all evening. But tomorrow I'm going to sit down with a nice cup of coffee, and go through it page by page.. I can't wait! So come back tomorrow for a book review!

Piece,
Linda

"A room without books is like a body without a soul." ~ Cicero

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ta-Da!

Here it is. Together! Finally! You notice I'm not saying "finished", just together. It still needs to be layered, quilted and bound. But not today. I need to take a bit of a break. Too many nights working till midnight or later... My own choice, I know. I am a certified Night Hawk, that's for sure. But my eyes are tired, working on black at night: not the greatest!
Anyhoo...it's together. It measures 16.5", the tiniest stars being 3/4". Overall, it's larger than most of my Miniatures, but those tiny Ohio Stars intrigued me so I had to give it a try. I must admit, they were challenging as they are NOT paper-pieced. Working with 3/4" pieces is not the easiest... I used an awl a fair bit. I found I often had to press seams open rather than to one side to get things to lie reasonably flat and line up. I did a LOT of basting- almost every seam juncture when putting blocks and rows together...
There is one little star I'm not 100% happy with, may take it out and re-do.... They have to be so precise- being off just one or two threads makes a big difference when working this size... Actually none of them are as perfect as I would like. However I finally had to slap myself and say "Get on with it. It's acceptable. Not perfect, but acceptable."
So here it is. Together. For now... It will be my entry for the Invitational Show at Quilt Canada 2010 in Calgary. (Because I am the N.B. Rep for CQA, I am included in this Show.)
Any suggestions for a name?
Piece,
Linda
Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

One year, 170 posts....

Today is my first Blogiversary! I can hardly believe it's been a year since I started this Blog. Thank you to all who have followed my progress and given me encouragement. I'm havin' fun, so I hope you'll stick with me for another year! I should say a big Thank you to my friend Gail who was a huge help with setting up this Blog and she still patiently answers all my questions and problems!
Check back later today to see my finished Miniature quilt top...I'm determined it will be finished before I sleep tonight!

Piece,
Linda

The bad news is, time flies. The good news is, you're the pilot!

Friday, February 12, 2010

So close, but yet so far...

Well, what can I say? I'm not as far as I had hoped to be... I have worked on this little gem all day and still do not have it totally together. Arrggghhhh! Shown here is almost half of it... and I have another piece exactly like this one.... it's the one row that joins these two that's holding me up.... My brain, back and eyes are tired and I'm packing it in for the day, to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremonies. Maybe I'll have better luck tomorrow and have it completed...
Piece,
Linda

Think big thoughts, but enjoy small pleasures....

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Patience, Patience...

I have had many lessons in patience this week, most of them at my Bernina... but the Mini's blocks are now all done. I plan to get them put together tomorrow and hopefully will have a photo to show you before end of day.... if all goes well. Who knows...

Ollie is totally fed up with me. He feels very much like a second fiddle this week- he thinks I have not lavished him with enough love and attention and so is ignoring me. He loves to "lounge" on the back of the couch, especially if it is sunny and he can bask in the warmth of the sun's rays.... Maybe he's getting rested up to watch the Olympics! Tomorrow is the big day we've all been waiting for. Go Canada Go! I'll be wearing my red Olympic mittens everywhere the next few weeks...

Piece,
Linda

"The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't." ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Look who's coming!! Woohoooo!

Progress continues on my Miniature. The "large" blocks (and I use that term loosely) are all done. Tomorrow I will be starting on the pieced border blocks. Sorry - no pics until it's all together!

For those readers who are Crazy Quilters, in case you haven't heard, Sharon Boggon of Australia is coming to the eastern US in April of 2011. Yes! She's coming to Connecticut to teach some CQ classes and I have signed up for a three day class! I am SO excited! She's teeming up for 3 days with Betty Pillsbury and Allie Aller, and all students get one day with each teacher: you can see more info here. That sounded pretty enticing, but when I dug a little further, I discovered Sharon is doing a three day class herself, and I decided that would be my choice. Both classes will be held near Hartford Conn. You can see more info here.... Why don't you join me?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Progress...tiny progress...

Well the progress seems slow on my Miniature, but I guess that's because my pieces are small. Small blocks sure don't look like much... but I am pleased with my progress. I have now completed two of the four tiniest blocks - 3/4" finished size. I have "moved on" to working on some of the "larger" blocks so I feel like I'm getting somewhere. I'll likely come back to the teeny tiny ones tomorrow and get the last two done. Then the rest will seem like smooth sailing.
What you see in the photo here is one of the "reject" Ohio Stars (on left) because it's too big! The one on the right is one of the "keeper" blocks. Behind, you see a string of quarter square triangles, chained together. Those are ready for the larger Ohio Star blocks... Color is a bit "off" here - the background fabric is black...
Someone commented on the last post and asked what I use for needle and thread. I use a size 60/8 Schmetz needle and 60 weight thread - this is a finer needle and also a finer thread - when you're working this small, every little bit helps!! I am also using Thangles for making half square triangles. I love Thangles - they are so accurate. For those who aren't familiar, Thangles are paper strips that you use as "templates" for making HST's. You cut your strips of fabric just 1/2" larger than the finished size you need- the same as strips for the rest of your project (another reason why I love them - no more Math, no more 7/8" measurements!!) You lie your fabric strips right sides together with the lighter one on top, pin on the paper strip and sew through the lines, cut apart, and press before removing the paper. Voila- perfect HST's... You can learn more about them here and watch an excellent video demonstration here.
Stay tuned for more progress in a few days...
Piece,
Linda
"You must do the thing you think you cannot do". ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Going crazy, or already there?

I told you on Monday that I'm working on a new Miniature quilt....well, I'm not sure if I'm going crazy, or I'm already there! I decided it was time for a challenging project... yeah right! Challenging is the word!! I pieced several of the larger easier sets first. Done. Feels good to check them off. Then I thought I'd tackle the smallest most challenging units - it would feel REAL good to check them off! I'm working with 3/4" pieces - that means 1/4" when sewn together. And that's not just one piece of fabric. That's four pieces sewn together. Yes...picture one square on your 1/4" graph paper. Now imagine 4 little pieces sewn together within that 1/4" square. Uh-huh.... Four of those assembled with other pieces to yield a 3/4" finished block. 21 pieces within that 3/4" block... I have made three so far and they're getting better. I'm hoping the next one is a keeper, as the first three are rejects!
I don't have any pictures to share yet, but I hope to soon. Stay tuned... If I don't "surface" on here within 48 hours, will someone please call a psychiatrist for me?
Yep, that's how I've spent the bulk of my day..... I hope yours has been more productive...

Piece (yeah right!)
Loony Linda

"That which we persist in doing becomes easier - not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased". ~ Emerson. (Gee I sure hope he's right.....)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Victorian Noteables

I just realized I did not show you the other two notecards I finished for the class last weekend. This class is set up to be an intro to Crazy Quilting, giving students a "taste" of the piecing and embellishing. I prepared kits containing prepared cards, pattern, all fabrics, threads and needles, beads, etc. The class was a hit and enjoyed by all. Here are two more of the cards I have finished. I added a bead cluster to one and a bit of silk ribbonwork to the other... The color here seems to be a bit "off"... the top card is actually a pale peach, and the lower one is a pale green. Not sure what happened there!! lol Both cards look grey here..??? These cards measure 4.25" square with circular cutouts 3" in diameter.

This morning I started a new Miniature. I have a deadline, which is not far off, by the way, so I'm going to be putting the pedal to the metal this week. Good project for cold windy days, I figure... I have no desire to go out when it is so cold... I guess I'm hibernating! If I sew fast enough, will the generated heat keep me warm?
Piece,
Linda
Winter, etches on the windowpanes,
fingerpaints in white.
Sculptures strange soft shapes of snow
that glisten in the night.
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