Well here I am showing you yet anotherred project!! If you know me at all.... even a little bit.. you know I am a tried and true blue person! Blue. Not red. For as long as I can remember, I have loved blue. And if you looked at my "stash", you would see more blue fabric than any other color. I probably have enough to start my own Quilt Shop specializing in blue fabrics. I'd call it The Blue Bobbin. Or the Blue Kitty... or... sigh........ Okay, snap out of it Linda! Back to reality..
So what is it lately with all the red? Well, the truth of it is, sometimes you just need a change! I blame it partly on my new car. (How's that for an excuse?!) You see, my car was 13 years old and it was time....We lucked into a gently used, low mileage 2010 Nissan, but it was red! It was a push for both of us, having driven "neutral" cars for all our married life. Yep we're pretty boring folk - silver, grey or beige... lol So red was quite a change! But I'm lovin' it. You know how men of a certain age buy the little sports car, and they call it his "Mid Life Crisis car? Well, maybe that's what mine is... Whatever, I'm loving the red car.. So my theory is every once in a while you just need a change.. or a little shake-up! So here I am working on a predominantly red quilt. Reds and lights. I started cutting for it this summer during the Olympics, but didn't progress much on the sewing aspect. I'm just getting to that now, since my nest is empty once again. I am making some time each day to sew... And I'm lovin' it!
I am using any and all reds - bright, dull, light, dark, reddy reds, orangey reds, browny reds, blue reds, pinky reds.. you name it, I'm using it. The lights have some variety too from creams and off whites to tans, light golds and taupes. It is a 12" block, with several different components. The first component I've been working on is string-pieced triangles. I need 48 of them; I have 41 done, so I'm almost there. Each triangle averages 9 strips, all different fabrics. Can you believe, in all my years of quilting, I had never done string piecing! I know - Crazy, eh?! It is really fun.. and rather "freeing". I tried really hard to just put together whatever I picked up, not paying attention to whether those two reds really "went together " or not... And it is a great way to use up little leftover bits, ends of strips, scraps, etc.
The next component is a nine patch. I have 12 of those to make. With the forecast of a rainy weekend, I'm thinking I might have those all done by the first of the week, if I'm lucky and don't get sidetracked on another project. The red squares are all cut, I still have some light squares to cut.... Stay tuned...
Sew... that's what's going on in my studio... What's happenin' in your sewing space?
“Red stimulates and excites your nerves, pulse rate and blood
circulation, and lends energy to your entire system. When you are
fatigued, lethargic or sluggish for any reason, red has an energizing
~ Tae Yun Kim, The First Element, Secrets to Maximizing Your Energy
Here is a quick and easy little project if you have a Mom-to-be in your life. I cannot take credit for this idea, it is the "brainchild" of my creative friend Gail. She is going to do a tutorial for it later on in the fall, so I cannot give you any "details" or directions right now. But thought you might enjoy the photo. What is it, you ask? I'm sure Gail will come up with a great name for it, but in the meantime, I'm calling it a "smilemaker". You slip it over your camera lens to get your baby to smile while you are taking photos.
I made one for an expecting Mom back in August. Her beautiful baby boy, Jackson, arrived September 13th. Congrats Kathryn and Adam!! And also Congrats to the new grandparents, my good friends Susan and Gary! Guess I better soon get over to see the little guy and get some photos...
"To see a newborn is to forget our own egos, to realize how little we do to affect the mystery of creation." ~ Samuels
I promised a photo of my beautiful RED Spiced Apple Jelly - here it is. I made 26 bottles of sweet yumminess! 10 large, 16 small... Thanks Grammy Lil for this Kelly family tradition! These are the small bottles, to go with roast chicken. The large bottles, a little more than twice this size, are the "turkey" bottles... Edit -I have finally learned the name of this apple variety - it is called "Beautiful Arcade".
Next - another red project...
"Surely the apple is the noblest of fruits." ~ Henry David Thoreau
I think I should share a few more of the beautiful quilts from the Sussex Show with you.. are you up for it? This wallhanging caught my eye - I'm always drawn to anything oriental. It is called Asian Blocks Plus by V. Leigh Smith. She called the technique "rough edge appliqué"; I love the extension of appliqué pieces into the sashings and border. It was also very nicely quilted.
Another stunning wallhanging nearby titled Magic Cubes was also by V. Leigh Smith. Her comment on the card was so true - "the black background and the bright colors give the quilt a WOW factor." She's right- it definitely has WOW factor!! Wouldn't it look great in a totally neutral room or a room with black furniture?
Back to some large quilts. Baltimore Bouquet by confessed quiltaholic Gail Fearon was stunning. Not only does Gail do wonderful hand quilting, she also does amazing hand appliqué. This is only one of her many appliqué quilts in the show, but this one was my favourite. The appliqué work is sooo perfect- right down to the tiny little perfect circles for berries, grapes, etc. Ahh Gail, you amaze me. I know appliqué will never be my thing... so I guess I'll just leave it to you. That way we'll both be happy!! :)
Memories by Gail Fearon was another fav of mine. Made to commemorate her husband's 38 years in the RCMP, she did it in secret and surprised him when he retired; she says it was the only time he's ever been speechless! What a very special gift and way to honour a husband's career.
Canadian Christmas, eh! also by Gail Fearon (Gail, you Quiltin' Queen - you rocked this show!!!) was just too darn cute not to show. Adapted from the book A Porcupine in a Pine Tree (written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Werner Zimmerman), Gail sketched and drew, and drew and sketched, until she was happy with the figures. Then of course comes the job of putting it all together and making things fit... Awesome job Gail!!!
Susan Snyder is another long time SVQG member who does exceptional appliqué work- look at this darling little wallhanging called Appliqué Flowers. Just sweet!
This scrap quilt was one of the first quilts you saw when you entered the room. Done by the Guild, it is called Blowing in the Wind and it's for sale! What a gorgeous scrap quilt! Love the design and of course the appliquéd leafy border.. now I wonder who worked on that!??
All in all, a great show. I hope you've enjoyed seeing what I think were some of the highlights...
The work of the hands brings forth the spirit of the heart...
A friend and I journeyed down to Sussex today for the Sussex Vale Quilters' Guild Show "Sweet Threads of Life". Let me assure you, it was worth the drive. They do a show every two years and they never disappoint. They have many talented members and their shows are always worth attending.... today was no exception. I hope they get good "traffic"- if you are in NB and have no plans for tomorrow, take the drive to Sussex. Show hours tomorrow, Saturday, are 10a.m. to 4p.m.
There was a great number of bed sized quilts and a smaller number of wallhangings, miniatures and original works. Five wonderful vendors (gotta love those vendors), tables of small items for sale, a "tearoom" area and workshop and challenge pieces to view made for a busy few hours. We tried not to miss anything!! Of course, you always run into quilters you know and haven't seen for a while, so it's catch-up/chat time too...
I am more of a traditional quilter than anything. Although I appreciate the skill and talents displayed in "modern" quilts or "art" quilts, it's still the traditional pieced and appliquéd ones I love most. I think this Guild is like-minded. There were SO many beautiful large quilts- it was wonderful to see. The new venue this year is SO much better- spacious and well-lit, not at all crowded like the previous spot. (Stick with this facility if you can, girls! I meant to write that comment in your Guest Book and forgot!!)
OK, enough blathering.. on with the Show. Here are some of the many beautiful quilts at "Sweet Threads of Life". Enjoy!!
The first two you see here are two that I felt were very impressive. This Dear Jane quilt at the left titled Dear Dorothy Jane was made by Gail Fearon. One could not help but be amazed at this quilt - every block different, some pieced and some appliquéd - just an incredible amount of work! Well done Gail!!
The one beside it was also Gail Fearon's. It was called Posy Chain and I liked it equally well. The quilting on it was just gorgeous.. of course Gail IS an exceptional hand-quilter. The tiny even stitches.. oh my!! Be still my heart! I just loved the simplicity of the "chain" and the wonderful perfectly executed quilting designs in the alternating plain blocks. (WHY didn't I take a close-up shot of this one???) You'll just have to trust me, it was exceptional.
Another one which really caught my eye was Carol's Quilt by Carol Davis (on the left in photo). Although I am not a big user of Moda fabrics, I do like this line (Kansas Troubles, I think?) and again loved the simplicity and repetition of this design. There is something about the browns, golds, reds and blues that I find calming...
Here is another of Gail F.'s quilts - (can you tell I'm a fan?? wink) This one is called String of Pearls, and I DID get a closeup shot of her quilting this time (below). Just LOOK at those wonderful feathers in the border... Wow! And of course the feathered wreaths in the plain blocks were awesome too. Just loved the quilting on this one...
Well, it's getting late and I am so tired my eyes are crossing.. I'm having a little trouble adding photos tonight so I think I'll stop now, and continue with more from this awesome Show tomorrow. Y'all come back...
"The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes."
~ Frank Lloyd Wright
It seems that I am on a Jelly roll... no, not the fabric type- the eatin' type! It's jelly-making week! When I was in Halifax I got 2 baskets of very special apples from the Annapolis Valley - don't ask me what the variety is called - I don't know! All I can tell you is that they have the most beautiful red flesh and they are perfect for making the most beautiful crimson apple jelly! The farmer I get them from only has one tree, so it's always a stroke of luck if I manage to get them when they are ready- they sell out fast (no wonder!) This year I emailed a friend in the Valley to ask her to check and see when they might be
ready - her brother-in-law is the farmer/producer. Lady Luck was with me as they had started picking them that very day and Shelley was coming into Halifax that week and would bring them! How lucky was that!! Thanks so much Shelley!! So, you know what I had to do as soon as I got home from N.S. I have cooked those apples and frozen the juice. This week I will be picking crabapples, adding that juice and then cooking and bottling the jelly. This Spiced Apple Jelly is an old family recipe of my paternal grandmother's and we eat it with roast chicken or turkey- no cranberry sauce for us - the Kellys like their jelly! You can find the recipe and directions here. I'll post a photo later in the week when it's done, but you can see last years batch here, and that batch didn't even have these "special red apples" in it...
Ok, one batch of apple jelly, half done, does not a "Jelly Roll" make... But there's more.. Yesterday after a visit to our wonderful Saturday morning Farmer's Market, I came home with a big bag of red peppers, and did a batch of Red Pepper Jelly, and did a second batch today... Did you know that one red pepper has three times the amount of Vitamin C in one orange?! They are also a rich source of lycopene and beta-carotene, and contain folic acid, potassium, and iron. It's all good!! (Sorry- just had to put on my Home Economist hat there for a minute!!) And red pepper jelly is sooo good on a cracker or melba toast with a bit of cream cheese. Mmmmmm. And it's SOO easy to make.
Here's my recipe. If you want to make it a bit "hot" you can add a dash or two of Tabasco, or a little cayenne pepper once it is cooked, just before bottling.
Sweet Red Pepper Jelly
2 cups pureéd red pepper ( 2 - 3 large peppers)
1.5 cups white vinegar
5 cups white sugar
one box (170 ml.) liquid Certo (2 pouches)
Wash peppers, remove seeds and inside membrane, and cut peppers in chunks. (Some people leave the seeds in for some "heat", but I don't) Place chunks in blender and pureé. Add pureé to stockpot with vinegar and sugar. Stir well. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes, stirring frequently and skimming off any foam that forms. Remove from heat and add Certo. Stir for 2 minutes. Pour into hot sterilized jars, and cap. Yummmm.. bring on the crackers and cream cheese...
Just a reminder...If you haven't entered my Giveaway yet, you only have a few more days.. check it out here.
"A day without laughter is a day wasted." ~ Charlie Chaplin
This week marks the beginning of the "fall lineup" of Quilt Shows in our province. It seems most of the Guilds stick to either fall or spring for shows. Winter is a writeoff as you cannot depend on the weather and travelling conditions, and summer.. well, it seems we're all too busy gardening, travelling or going to the cottage for some R and R. So this week was the annual KVQG show in Quispamsis. This Guild has my utmost admiration as they do a big show EVERY year! It seems to be the focus of their guild, as soon as one show is over, they're right into planning the next one! This is no easy feat. As anyone who has ever been involved in putting on a show knows, there is a huge amount of work and organization that goes into this, and to be committed to do it every year- well, it just makes me tired thinking about it! haha Kudos to the KVQG girls for their dedication to this show and all the community organizations that they support with funds raised. There is always a beautiful Raffle Quilt to purchase tickets on, tables and tables of small items to buy (placemats and runners, knitted items, totebags/purses, wallhangings, jewelry, Christmas ornaments and other holiday items, etc.) Each year this Guild gives their members a challenge and the resulting pieces show the varied talents and creativity in this Guild- I look forward to seeing the Challenge more than anything, I think.There are always a good number of quilts for sale too- bed quilts, baby quilts and tops if you want to quilt your own. I went with a mission this year- I had to purchase a baby quilt for a cousin of my mum's to give as a gift. She just gave me a dollar limit and told me she trusted my judgment. The sex of the baby is not yet known so I didn't want to get anything that was predominantly pink or blue. That eliminated at least a third. None of the panel quilts really excited me so that eliminated another third. As I went through the remaining choices, I realized shopping for someone else, when you haven't been given any parameters is NOT easy. Would she prefer pastels? brights? muted colors? modern? traditional? pieced? appliquéd? hand quilted? machine quilted? Would she be putting it in the crib or not (square vs. rectangular)? Whoever thought simply picking up a baby quilt could be so difficultstressful challenging!! With the help of the ladies at the sale table and my buddy Sue, we narrowed it down to my final choice of a pieced quilt in fun bright fabrics, "gender neutral" - bordered and sashed in yellow and green - I hope the "mama to be" will like it. I'm sure the baby will! And the bonus was the price was very reasonable and it was made by someone I know - so it's always nice to "give a sale" to a friend Thanks Sue M - you know I love your work!
On to the Show. I'm sure you'd like to see some of the great work we were treated to. I didn't take a lot of photos, mostly the prize winners. Best in Show went to Ode to Sam by Juanita Allain of Riverview NB. It is 92" square, paper-pieced and hand quilted by Juanita; the pattern is by Shaggy Dog Designs of Calgary AB. It is beautiful! Such a lot of work!!
Wow- look at all those points.. every one perfect! Way to go Juanita!!
This year's Show theme was It's a Small World and here is the winner for "Best Use of Theme": BowTies/Trip Around the World by Carol Davis. It is 80" x 91" and there are 1,512 bowtie blocks, 2" finished size, for a total of 9,072 pieces!! It took her 3 months to complete - I would have been 3 years methinks! This was really impressive- I think Carol must have great patience and perseverance! She certainly was a deserving winner in my books.
Here are some of the other winners which caught my eye:
French Braid by Joan A Smith of Salisbury. This won 1st place for Group Quilt, Machine Quilted. ("Group quilt" means it was worked on by more than one person- usually one person has pieced the quilt and someone else has quilted it... in this case, the quilter was Penny Bubar of Beaverdam NB). I love this quilt - the gradual shading on the "braided strips" is so well done.
Another beautiful quilt by Joan A. Smith of Salisbury- Gathering Baskets won 3rd place in the Group Quilt - Hand Quilted category. I loved the soft look of this quilt- even though it contains a lot of brown, I found it very "restful" to look at. Both of Joan's quilts were for sale, I haven't heard if either of them sold. Lucky purchaser, if they did! Edit: Sunday - Just found out Joan sold all five of her quilts in the Show. One went to New York City! Congrats Joan!
Twelve Days of Christmas by Agathe Klingenberg won the Best Machine Applique category. It was so nicely done, a great choice by the judges. This is a Nancy Halvorsen design.
Snug as a Bug by Tanya White, quilted by Jill Lloyd, won 2nd place in Group quilt, Machine Quilted. It was so cute, with many "buggy prints". This was made for her young son - I'm sure he loves his quilt.
My Friend Carolyn by Karen Miller of N.S. won a Judge's Choice ribbon. I thought this piece was exceptional. Karen did this portrait just as her friend was entering the early stages of Alzheimers.
Winning 3rd place in the Modern category was Autumn Splendor by Nancy Armitage. I really liked this piece- loved the design and the soft fall colors. Of course I have always loved New York Beauty designs.
2nd place in the Modern category was won by Juliet Nowlan with her wallhanging Mushrooms in the Park. Juliet is one very talented lady, and she has many many ribbons to prove it! It is always a joy to see her work. (We are so looking forward to having her share her work with us at our October Guild meeting.) This piece hung in the 2012 CQA/ACC National Juried Show in Halifax.
Fundy Mermaid by Nancy Flemming Elaschuk was chosen as 1st place winner in the Modern Category. Another exceptional piece of work! This is not a great photo of it, sorry to say. You can see better photos by clicking here, along with a bit of explanation of the piece.
And lastly a bit of humour to finish off- Quilting Is In My Bones by Riel Nason. Riel loves working with selvages and she is a big Hallowe'en lover- this is one of her latest selvage pieces.
Sew.... that gives you a little taste of this year's KVQG Show. It's always a great show and a pleasant day trip. Thanks for coming along for the ride! A complete list of all winners can be viewed here.
If you haven't entered my Giveaway yet, go here for all the details...
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions.”
~ Albert Einstein
I promised that when I reached 100 Followers, I would have a giveaway of some sort. It's taken me a while to get around to it, as the last few weeks have been particularly busy... Sorry about that! Sometimes life just takes over! lol And I do want to say Welcome to my newest Followers - hope you will enjoy visiting here and seeing what craziness is going on in my life...
Anyway, since I've now passed 100 Followers it's high time to get this Giveaway underway! I decided that because I have a varied "readership" I'd have to come up with something that might appeal to all. So what I'm offering is a six pack of my photo cards. Each will have a 4x6 glossy photo on ivory cardstock with matching envelope, and a blank inside so you can use it for whatever purpose you like - notecard, greeting card or whatever. When I look at the cost of greeting cards these days.. well it just irks me to have to pay 4 or 5 dollars for one card, so I'm using my own photo cards more and more. I have toyed with the idea of offering packs of my photo cards for sale, so I thought this might be a good way to "test the waters" so to speak. I welcome your thoughts/ideas/suggestions....
Okay, I know.. you just want the Giveaway details... I'm keeping it very simple. It's open to all
readers/visitors - no restrictions - everyone gets one chance. No extra chances for already being a follower, or mentioning it on your blog (but please feel free to do so!) All you have to do is leave a comment ON THIS POST and tell me where you're writing from. (I'm always curious to know where my readers are.) I don't get a lot of comments and it seems to be the same people who do comment. So this is aimed at all you "lurkers" out there who visit but never "identify yourselves". haha. So leave a comment on THIS post by next Wednesday, Sept. 19th midnight Atlantic Standard time and I will choose a random winner on Thursday the 20th. Of course, I must have a way to reach you - leave your email addy if I don't know you or you are a No reply blogger.
The selection of photos on the cards will be my choice- what you see here are some of the choices - of course they will not have the Stitch Lines watermark...
If you are unsure how to leave a comment, it's VERY easy. Click on the word "comments" just below this post. Write your message in the white box on the right, and if you don't have a Google account, just click on "Anonymous" (just be sure to leave your name and contact address with your comment so I can reach you if you win! Then at the bottom, click on the orange box that says "Publish your Comment".
Good Luck! Thanks for visiting/following. All you have to do is leave a comment below.. do it now! easy-peasy! Who knows- maybe I'll even pick up a few new followers!
"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Well here we are.. empty nesters once again. Both kiddos are back at school - Laura for her final year of her first degree and Mark has returned to life as a student with another 2.5 years of study ahead. It was great to get away for a few days and help Laura get settled back in to her cute little apartment. She commented on Thursday morning that this was her LAST "first day of school" so we thought that warranted a photo. Here she is on her FIRST first day of school 17 years ago, starting kindergarten, and her LAST first day of school (hopefully) as she heads to campus. She has grown a bit, don'cha think?! While she had her first two days of classes, I had a little time to myself in the city, doing some errands and shopping, and on Friday I spent the day with my friend Karen Henry. We had lots of laughs over lunch and after some shopping we meandered "down the coast" past CFB Shearwater and Eastern Passage, and on to Crystal Crescent Beach and Lawrencetown Beach. This was all new territory to me and I was wishing we had more time to explore. Although it was a rather grey and windy afternoon, we just had to do the barefoot walk on the beach, even though it was September and the water was far from warm. A few rogue waves got us a little wetter than we had intended... (Note to self - put an old towel in the car trunk! It would be useful for sandy feet or wet bums on seats...) As we walked along letting the waves wash over our feet and scrunching the sand between our toes, I was thinking - HOW can summer be over?? HOW can it be September already!! It doesn't seem possible - summer seemed to vanish into thin air... it went WAY too fast... Thanks for a great day Karen! I hope your pants have dried out.. lol
Saturday was the last day for Laura and I, as I was heading home on Sunday. So we did some of our favourite things - Saturday morning Market (a family tradition) being first on the list. Halifax has a wonderful new market space on the waterfront, next door to Pier 21, with many wonderful vendors of farm fresh produce, prepared foods, nursery stock, wines, artisans' crafts and more. You can check out the Halifax Seaport Farmers' Market here - it is open most days with the number of vendors varying daily, Saturday being the "biggest" day. Then we had fun wandering the waterfront and of course we HAD to have a Cow's icecream... I love watching the activity on the harbour - the ferries, the Harbour Hopper, Theodore Tugboat, the schooners and the gulls... and I LOVE watching for reflections on the water. We were surprised to see a new installation on the harbourfront- a large RED 1812 sculpture, right behind Cows. The reflection of red on the water was too hard to resist - I had to do it even though we were on the "wrong" side of the numerals... and I cannot resist the gulls either - they are always amusing....
We had a great day taking in all the sights...but THIS is the sight we were MOST excited to see - the Celtic Thunder trucks at the Metro Centre. We had been waiting for this day for months now- for Celtic Thunder was coming to Halifax! And now we knew they had arrived!! Woohoooo! You see, we both love celtic music and what's not to love about Celtic Thunder??!! Great music.. handsome Irish lads... When Laura did her internship last May/June at Metro Publishing, one of her last assignments was to interview, by phone, a member of Celtic Thunder re. their Sept. concert, for publication in HALIFAX magazine.
Her very last day at Metro Publishing began with a phone chat with Neil Byrne of Celtic Thunder. Needless to say, she was rather excited, especially when he sang her her most fav Irish song, Galway Girl!! They have stayed in contact since then and she promised him a copy of the magazine with said article. So we were pumped, to say the least. We couldn't resist stealing a photo beside one of the trucks... can you see Laura's big grin??! The show was fantastic, we had good seats and although we were not able to meet Neil after, as we had hoped, it didn't lessen our enjoyment of the evening. He did get the magazine she left for him, and emailed her the next day to say how pleased they were with what she wrote. This was their 3rd show of a 65 gig tour in North America which ends in early December in LA. Then they head to Australia in January to tour there. What a life! I'm glad we saw them at the beginning of their tour- while they are "still fresh"! lol If they are coming to a city near you - treat yourself to a ticket and see them. You won't regret it. You can see their tour schedule here.
And now it's September... It's been a busy time here the last few days. We're all full speed ahead getting things done. Mark left today to move into his new apartment, got registered this afternoon for his courses and did a big grocery run tonight, so he's happy. His classes start Friday. It will be interesting to see how he settles back in to being a student after his year off. Laura and I leave tomorrow to get her back to school and all settled once again. The car is almost all packed ...whew!
The "holiday weekend" was not much of a "holiday" (I always say my holidays start once school starts up again - like many mothers, I'm sure...). I did do the turkey dinner, made turkey soup, got my pickles done, five more quarts of stewed tomatoes in the freezer, etc. etc. LABOUR Day indeed! (Oh yes, I've also read the first two books of the Hunger Games trilogy in the last few days as well...) I took Sunday off and enjoyed a day at Kings Landing. I'm tired tonight so I'm just going to add a few pics from my KL visit, and say Good Night! I'll be taking a little Blog break for a few days while I'm away. When I come back it'll be Giveaway time! Have you visited Kings Landing this summer? NO? Well, don't despair.. there's still time! Fall is a wonderful time to visit. KL is open until Thanksgiving Monday. Why not plan a visit soon?