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

Friday, May 31, 2013

Another Book Recommendation

Are you ready for another book suggestion? The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman is now on my "finished" list... I had waited for it for a while, on my library's "Place on Hold " list, but it was worth the wait. Inspired by a true story, it begins  in Prague in 1934 and ends in New York City in 2000. Although it is a story of the Holocaust and partly an account of life in the Terezin concentration camp just outside Prague, it is also an enchanting love story, a story of the strength of the human spirit, a story of courage. Lenka, an art student, and Josef, a medical student, meet in Prague on the eve of WWII and quickly fall in love. Both are Jewish, and despite the looming shadow of Hitler and the Nazis, they marry. Shortly after, they are separated and it appears they will never be reunited. Josef and his parents are fortunate enough to escape the country and sail for America. Lenka's family cannot get exit visas and are soon sent off to Terezin with the swelling numbers of Jews. Each receives the news that the other has perished. They eventually go on with their lives but each suffers from "survivor guilt". When they finally meet up again many years later, at a wedding rehearsal party.. can it be? Each looks familiar to the other, but how could it be...?
The accounts of life in Terezin and then Auschwitz are not pleasant to read. Indeed they are gut-wrenching.. heart-breaking.. the horrors and humiliation endured by the Jews is difficult to comprehend. There really are no words to describe... Yet Richman balances the terrible horrors of the camps with some positivity - music and art bring some "relief" and pleasure to those who endure the atrocities of the wretched daily routines, the sickness, the hunger, the cruel torment.
It is obvious Richman has done her research very carefully and thoroughly. The addition of those characters who bring music and art to the Terezin camp, in particular to the children there, not only "lifts" the story a bit but it keeps you reading (this book is difficult to put down). I suspect Richman has based these characters on the Viennese artist Friedl Dicker-Brandeis. This daring woman found her life's calling in teaching the Terezin children freedom of expression through art. She later died in Auschwitz in 1944. Today some of the artwork of the Terezin children is on display in the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague's Jewish quarter. You can be sure I will be visiting that exhibit this July when I am in Prague. It's high on my "Must See" list.
What more can I say? Read this book - you won't be sorry.

Peace,
Linda

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ~ Lao Tzu


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Apple Blossoms!





Yesterday I told you of my adventure with Blogger friend Pamela to an apple orchard up on Keswick Ridge. The gentle scent of the blossoms was so lovely as we wandered among the trees with our cameras. There were a few bees buzzing about and a hummingbird was sipping and zipping around...Can't you almost smell these heavenly blossoms?

Each year when "my" trees are in bloom I love being outside, especially in the backyard where their perfume fills the air... I don't think there is a sweeter scent of spring than this...




  Apple Blossoms

I sit in the shadow of apple-boughs,
In the fragrant orchard close,
And around me floats the scented air,
With its wave-like tidal flows.
I close my eyes in a dreamy bliss,
And call no king my peer;
For is not this the rare, sweet time,
The blossoming time of the year?

I lie on a couch of downy grass,
With delicate blossoms strewn,
And I feel the throb of Nature's heart
Responsive to my own.
Oh, the world is fair, and God is good,
That maketh life so dear;
For is not this the rare, sweet time,
The blossoming time of the year?

I can see, through the rifts of the apple-boughs,
The delicate blue of the sky,
And the changing clouds with their marvellous tints
That drift so lazily by.
And strange, sweet thoughts sing through my brain,
And Heaven, it seemeth near;
Oh, is it not a rare, sweet time,
The blossoming time of the year?
~ Horatio Alger


Peace,
Linda

"The apple blossoms' shower of pearl, Though blent with rosier hue, As beautiful as woman's blush, As evanescent too."  ~ Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday

I think it's time to start some Wildflower Wednesday posts again. I know I won't have one every week, but will do my best to bring you something interesting as often as I can.
It's funny how things don't always turn out the way you think they will. I had been chatting back and forth with blogger friend Pamela of Playingwithmycamera - we live about 20 miles apart and have similar interests. Anyway we have become friends through blogging and I was telling her that I was sorry to not have had the chance to get any photos of my apple blossoms due to the many days of rain. The blossoms on my trees are totally done, past, finito. And she replied that the trees on the Ridge where she lives were just coming into bloom! (Lucky me!) So we planned a get-together for today for a quick photo shoot in the orchard. We didn't know what other treasures we were going to find! So, you're going to have to wait till tomorrow to see the apple blossoms, because I'm going to share with you our "other finds" since they fit the Wildflower Wednesday meme. After all this IS Wednesday...

We drove down to the bottom section of the orchard since the owner told us that's where the best blooms were. On the other side of the road is mixed forest and both of us, cameras in hand, meandered over there for a "look-see". We quickly spotted some purple trilliums (trillium erectum). The more we looked the more we saw, but all were a bit past their best - definitely on the wane. I was (mistakenly) referring to them as red trilliums, but the red trillium (trillium sessile, aka Toadshade) has a stalkless flower which appears directly above the three whorled leaves. (Thank you, Audobon Field Guide to North American Wildfowers!!) So this is for sure "purple" trillium even though it looks more red than purple!! (Clear as mud, right?) We did not find any white or painted trilliums.. only the purple.

Next we spied some purple violets, our provincial flower, (see them in my header photo) and close by, yellow violets. I haven't seen yellow violets since I was a child! Yes that's many, many years ago....  The yellow violets are a bit smaller than the purple and seemed to have only one blossom per plant. When I consulted my wildflower guide at home, I learned there is a "smooth" yellow violet and also a "downy" yellow violet which is described as a "softly hairy plant with leaves and yellow flowers on the same stalk. Flowers are ~ 3/4" with 5 petals, the lower three with dark purple veins, the two lateral ones bearded. Heart-shaped scallop-toothed leaves." So I think I'm correct in identifying this as a downy yellow violet ( viola pubescens). Everything fits except I didn't notice that it was very hairy... But then I didn't get really up close and personal. By this time the mosquitoes had discovered us... and I have the bites to prove it..

There were some lovely small clumps of the purple violet in the dappled shade but also this paler purple one which was more in the sun. At first I thought it was the same thing - just bleached by the sun - but upon checking with Mr. Audobon (I LOVE this guide) I see that it is a different violet altogether. It is the Dog Violet (Viola conspersa) with paler bluish-violet petals, and leaves and flowers on the same stalk, like the yellow one was. (I am learning to pay attention to these small details. which makes ID'ing  a plant so much easier!)

Next we spied a Jack-in-the-Pulpit! And then another. And another. Look - we even found twins! Maybe this is Jack and Jill? I wrote at some length about Jack-in-the-Pulpit here several years ago, so I'll spare you now. But it was fun to find them. Their other fairly common name "Indian Turnip" likely results from the fact that American Indians gathered their fleshy taproots as a vegetable. (I don't suggest you try eating it though- it is poisonous due to the calcium oxalate crystals it contains.)


 Our last find before we turned our attention back to the apple orchard was this plant - it had both of us baffled. The leaves on it looked somewhat like the leaves of Astilbe, but the flower didn't. So again- I turned to my trusty wildflower guide when home and figured out that this plant is Red Baneberry (Actaea rubra)  "A bushy plant with large highly divided leaves and a short thick rounded cluster of small white flowers. When in flower the clustered stamens give this plant a feathery appearance." This plant is of the Buttercup family and its red fruit is poisonous.

So there you have it. Our first Wildflower Wednesday for Summer 2013. I hope to find many more wildflower treasures to share with you. Who knows- perhaps Pam and I will team up again soon and see what we can find... What do you think Pam? I hope you'll stop by Pam's blog here for her "take" on today's adventure.

Next up .. APPLE BLOSSOMS!

Peace,
Linda

"For myself I hold no preferences among flowers. so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous..."
~ Edward Abbey 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ragged from the Rain...

We've had day after day after day of rain and my tulips have suffered... They are beaten down and broken... only a very few are "still standing", and certainly not vertically. I took a quick walk around last night around suppertime when there was a short break in the rain/drizzle. Everything is sopping wet, the ground is saturated and the weeds are growing so fast you can almost hear them grow. I think it will be days before I can get into my veggie garden without sinking to my knees in mud.. Will I ever get it planted? Mother Nature, please turn OFF the tap!!
Although these are not the most beautiful tulip shots I've taken, I hope you enjoy them. I still see beauty in each bloom, even when they are past "their best"...



Peace,

Linda

"Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright..." ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Citrus Quinoa Salad

Today for you, a new recipe. It's new to me too and has gone right into my "Favourites" file! This past Tuesday evening was our final Guild meeting until the fall, and we always end with a Potluck dinner. Each year it is obvious that we have many good cooks in our group!  The tables always overflow with tempting dishes and this year was no exception. One dish that was a real hit at our table was a Citrus Quinoa Salad, made by Ann P. so I got the recipe from her and made it this weekend. I think I could easily eat the entire recipe by myself, it is sooo yummy! (Please know I am trying to exercise restraint, but it is tough!!)
If you are not yet familiar with quinoa, (pronounced KEEN-wah) it is a grain-like crop grown mainly for its edible seeds. It originated in the Andean region of South America. Because it contains all the essential amino acids, it is a complete protein and also is a good source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and fiber. It is low fat, gluten-free and cholesterol-free. Not only tasty but good for you too!!

Citrus Quinoa Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup dried cranberries
6 green onions. chopped
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds
salt and pepper to taste

Citrus Vinaigrette

2 Tblsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
2 Tblsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tblsp. grated orange rind
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 Tblsp. freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch of salt and pepper, or to taste

Rinse quinoa well. Bring 2 cups water to a boil, add quinoa and cook about 14 minutes, until translucent. (Follow pkg. directions.) Remove from heat, drain any remaining water, and fluff with fork. Gently stir in apricots, cranberries, onions, parsley, salt and pepper. Let cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Combine vinaigrette ingredients, pour over salad and stir in almonds. Serve.

You KNOW what we're having for supper ... accompanied by some shrimp, and Rhubarb Upside Down Cake for dessert...

Peace,
Linda

"Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments." ~ Bethenny Frankel

Rainy Day Reading...

Several short weeks ago, we were enjoying lovely warm sunny weather and we needed rain. Well it seems too many people must have been praying for rain because it's been raining for two weeks now... and we've had enough. Or at least I have had enough. Shut off the tap!! Things are lush and green (which is good) and my perennials are growing much too fast (which is not good). If this rain ever stops and the ground dries a bit, it may be too late to do any digging and dividing...
The rainy days are good for one thing at least- I have finished two good books. Today I'll tell you about Annabel by Kathleen Winter. Another debut novel (I seem to be reading a lot of those lately), this story, written with great sensitivity, is about a young person coming to terms with his identity and sexuality. Set in remote coastal Labrador in the late 60's, it is the story of a young couple whose first (and only) child is born a true hermaphrodite (born with both male and female functioning tissue). Treadway, the father, a hunter and trapper, wants the child to be raised as a male without ever being told of the circumstances of his birth. His wife, Jacinta, agrees, not wanting to go against her husband's wishes, but her choice would have been for Wayne to be raised female. The baby undergoes surgery to assign him the masculine gender, but as he matures it appears this was the wrong choice. After a medical emergency in his early teen years, he learns the truth of his birth and continues on his journey to find his true self.
I found it hard to believe this is Winter's first novel. It is well written and her characterization is so very well done. Each of the main characters are well developed.  Jacinta's loneliness, Wayne's doubts and uncertainties about himself, and Treadway's quiet ways and desire to retreat to the solace of his trapline - these all make the characters so realistic. This is not a book with a great deal of action, but it draws you in to the lives of this family and their struggles. I found it both touching and heart-breaking.

Peace,
Linda

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." ~ E.E. Cummings

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Out of the Box" Challenge

It's DONE. And done is good! Last fall our Guild suggested that members challenge themselves this year with something that is new to us and out of our usual "comfort zone". There were no other "rules" - the choice was our own and we could challenge ourselves however we wished - colour-wise, skill-wise, technique-wise, whatever... I decided I would work with an unusual (for me) colour and I would try a new technique. As often happens, I spent a long time trying to come up with an idea. Then I saw something on Pinterest that caught my eye. It was a small quilt called Primitive Pumpkins designed by Rita Briner, and it had been published in the Fall 2011 issue of Quilt Sampler. It took me a few months to track down a copy of that issue - thanks to my friend Sue W. of Bathurst who kindly offered to loan me her copy, and thanks also to my friend Donna C. for delivering it !!
If you know me at all, you probably know my least favourite color is orange, so I knew that this would be the colour I would work with. And I wanted to not only use orange, but to make something I actually liked which was predominantly orange. I also decided it would be scrappy - meaning I would use a number of orange fabrics- I used orange orange, yellow orange, gold orange, rusty orange, peachy orange, coppery orange, red orange.. and I must say, I was a little surprised to find so many oranges in my stash. (As you can see the pieces are small so I have not significantly reduced my oranges...) Gathering the blacks was quick and easy. The only fabrics I purchased were the mottled black and the brown print used through the middle and in the border, and the green for the vine.
 I re-worked the design somewhat. The original design had the dark diagonal section off-centre, which also meant that there were more orange/black half square triangles on one side than the other. Call me anal, but this bothered my eye (apologies to Rita!) so I made the two sections even with the diagonal section centred. I also made the hst's smaller (2" instead of 3") and the borders narrower. The original design called for wool appliqué, and that was my plan until I had trouble locally sourcing the wools and time was growing short, so I decided to stick with cottons and do hand appliqué (which I have never done before, so also a personal challenge). I used the pattern for the pumpkins as given (original size) but felt the addition of some embroidered vines was needed. I stitched these in a variegated green cotton perle from Stef Francis - one of my favourite threads for embroidery. 
I enjoyed piecing the base- nothing too difficult or taxing there. Of course I used Thangles for the hst's - my fav. method. Placing them to get a good balance of the varying oranges was easily accomplished on my design wall and stitching it up didn't take long. So far, so good! From this point  on it was all "new territory"... Having never done hand appliqué before, I figured trying to quilt the piece after the appliqué was added would not be the easiest, and when no one replied to my question I posed on the blog here about why I shouldn't do it, I went ahead and quilted and bound the piece. (So all you hand appliqué experts out there- don't tell me now that I did it wrong!! lol) I backed it with a pretty fall print that I've had for a while.
The vine was a bias strip which was needed to allow the smooth curves. I folded in both edges and basted it in place before stitching it down. I added the pumpkins next, using the interfacing method. The pumpkins were drawn on a very lightweight interfacing, stitched to the right side of the fabric, slit and turned right side out. This gives you a smooth folded edge and the interfacing adds very little extra weight or thickness. A good portion of the pumpkin appliqué was done in the car on the way to and from Halifax last week. Then I added the pumpkin stems and before stitching them down, I added the threads for the vines so my knots on the perle cotton would be under the stems. Once the stems were appliquéd in place, I did all the vine embroidery.
Now the leaves. I purposely left these till last as I was not sure how I would do them. The original pattern for the leaves (to be done in wool) would not work as they were too small with too many curves (think oak leaf style). After trying a slightly simpler shape with both the interfacing method and freezer paper method with little success, at this point I was pressed for time so had to go with a very simple leaf. Not my preference but hey, at this point, (less than 36 hours left) it will have to do! I used the freezer paper method of cutting leaf shape out of freezer paper and pressing fabric over it, so that the seam allowance is turned under, then freezer paper is removed and you have your shape all ready to apply, with edges turned under. Twenty leaves... the last one was finished at 3:25 yesterday afternoon- a whole 3 hours and 5 minutes to spare before meeting time!! lol
So.. overall I'm happy with it. Despite all the orange, I DO like it, and even though my appliqué is not perfect, I am happy with it for a first effort. It measures 30.5" square.
This was a fun challenge for our group; 23 people took part, not a bad response. I liked the fact that there were not many "rules" - we could do whatever we wanted, as long as we challenged ourselves. And I think a little challenge now and then is a good thing...

Piece (and appliqué!)
Linda

"I like the challenge of trying different things and wondering whether it's going to work or whether I'm going to fall flat on my face." ~ Johnny Depp

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Another Graduation...

Hello!! I'm back! I've been MIA from here for over a week, but for good cause... We were away for three days for Laura's Graduation, and add two days before for preparations  (why are there so many things one has to do before going away, even for just a few days??!) and then a long weekend with one day at a friend's cottage  and many outdoor chores at home to get caught up on... and there you have it - missing for a week plus!! The last few days I have been  frantically working on my Challenge piece to finish it off for tonight's Guild meeting... more about that tomorrow...
Photo by Calnen Photography Ltd.






So- here she is. The recent graduate. A Double Honours degree in Journalism and Canadian Studies.
Miss Laura Hubbard, BJH.  We are so very proud of her!  Let the job offers start rolling in!! lol





Laura and Kate




Graduation day was cold and rainy... not quite what we had in mind, but I did manage to get some photos inside before they lined up for the  procession from Kings campus down to the Cathedral Church of All Saints where the Kings Grad ceremony is traditionally held. At least the sun was out by the end of the Graduation ceremonies but by then people are starting to disperse and it's harder to round up the gang of friends...






 Here she is hamming it up with friend Kate who is also from the Fredericton area. No girls, that is not how the hood is worn.. (although it might  keep the rain off...?) I think it was just after this one was taken that Laura lost part of the heel of her shoe....



With two more friends- Natascia (on left), winner of the Governor General's Silver Medal (Congrats Nat!!) and Lauren (in middle). The Grads sat alphabetically and Laura was between Kate H. and Lauren H. When names were called, Laura was mistakenly called before Kate and she was given Kate's degree. Kate was called next and given an empty tube as they had realized the mix-up by then...When Laura did finally get her degree later on, it read Lauren Hubbard...So we had to go back the next morning to pick up the correct degree with correct name.. and then it didn't have the University seal on it. Geez, what you have to go through!!

So here we are after the ceremony - the proud parents and the happy Grad. Let the party begin!!
We survived the rain, the broken heel, the wrong degree... 

Our Darling Daughter,
We wish you the strength to face challenges with confidence, along with the wisdom to choose your battles carefully...
We wish you adventure on your journey and may you always stop to help someone along the way...
Listen to your heart and take risks carefully...
Remember how much you are loved.
We are so very proud of you.

Peace and Love,
Linda

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."  ~ Buddha

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

To all my friends, followers and readers, to all of you who are mothers and to your mothers.. Happy Mother's Day! Bouquets to you all!!! 

I had good intentions of posting this first thing this morning. However, things didn't quite work out that way. You see, today was my Ladies Choir Concert... I went to bed later than usual last night (which is always quite late anyway) and I could NOT get to sleep. I was rehearsing in my head, going over words, words, words... I'm sure it was after 3a.m. when I finally drifted off.... I didn't hear another thing until I heard hubby say "Are you getting up today?" I responded "Yes...What time is it?" and he replied "Noon". Well I came out of that bed pretty quick... I was supposed to be at the church at 1:15... Needless to say, I did not have time to do a post this morning...
Yes I got there in time, with a  bowl of porridge in my tummy to sustain me until suppertime. The concert went well I think.. one of our better Spring ones, I'd say...

I do hope you all have enjoyed a wonderful Mother's Day....

Love and Peace,
Linda

"Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother." ~ Lin Yutang

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Gift of Music...

Mother's Day weekend! The days and weeks are flying by! Although we have had some wonderful sunny warm weather lately, it looks like the weekend is going to be wet and cool. So if your plans for a lovely outdoor activity tomorrow have been foiled by the wet forecast - why not attend the Fredericton Ladies Choir Spring Concert? Treat yourself to some wonderful music- what a lovely gift to give yourself. You deserve it! We have been working hard to bring you a varied selection of music- we will sing in English, French, Latin, Hebrew and Mi'kmaq. From Ave Maria to show tunes, from folk songs to some humour - we'll have it all. A beautiful song written by well known Cape Breton artist Allister MacGillivray is my favourite, and the Mi'kmaq Honour Song is guaranteed to send shivers up your spine... Why not join us for a special afternoon? The concert begins at 3pm (doors open at 2:15) at St. Dunstans Church, corner of Brunswick and Regent Streets. There will be tickets at the door, $15.00 each. Come and enjoy the gift of MUSIC. It doesn't get any better....
(Please forgive me for the shameless plug...)

Peace,
Linda 

"Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us." ~ Martin Luther

Friday, May 10, 2013

Another Book Finish.

My latest "book finish" is The Dovekeepers, it had been on my list for quite a while. This is my first time reading Alice Hoffman, but it won't be my last. (I'm beginning to think I will never live long enough to read all the books I wish to... the list just keeps growing...)
A story of faith and human spirit, over five years in the writing, The Dovekeepers is Hoffman's most ambitious novel, and as the book jacket states: It is her "masterpiece". Indeed.  It is set in ancient Israel, and begins in 70 C.E. when 900 Jews held out for months against the Roman army on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert overlooking the Dead Sea. According to the ancient historian Josephus, only two women and five children survived the slaughter. Based on this tragic event, The Dovekeepers is the story of four extraordinary women who find themselves together on Masada.
It is a fairly long story, allowing for good character development and much history; it's not a quick read for 10 minutes here and there. You will want to set aside some good blocks of time so you can really "get into it". Hoffman seamlessly weaves together the characters, their historical setting and the emotions of anger, joy, sorrow, and love as she writes in great detail so that you feel you are there, experiencing each of their personal journies. Secrets, pain, distrust, cruelty, sex, loyalty, friendship, magic, tragedies and triumphs - it's all there, along with richly detailed history. This story will touch you, it will stay with you, and you will be left wanting more....  5 stars from me.

Have you read others by Alice Hoffman? What would you recommend?

Peace,
Linda

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." ~ Charles W. Eliot

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fun with Bonnie Hunter

Imagine my delight when I found out in late-March that I had gotten in to a Bonnie Hunter class with the Pine Tree Quilters' Guild of Maine. I have been a "floater member" for a number of years and attend their annual State  show almost every summer, but this would be my first time attending a class open to all members of the state guild. I did not expect to get in, thinking there would be a huge response, but had my fingers crossed. I was pleasantly surprised to get in, and to find out that the class was not totally full. Mind you, 36 ladies seemed like enough!
If you are not familiar with Bonnie Hunter, she is a well known scrap quilter who lives in North Carolina, and travels and teaches extensively- I don't know where she gets all her energy! She is also an incredible blogger at Quiltville's Quips and Snips, posting two or three times most days! She writes a column on using up scraps for Quiltmaker magazine, designing a new scrappy block for each issue, and she offers several Mystery Quilts each year to her readers.

Recently she has added international travel tours for quilters - not long ago she took a very lucky group of quilters to Bali, this summer she's off to Ireland, and then an Alaskan cruise. She has written four books...need I go on? You get the message- this is one busy and energetic lady! I guess I was hoping that if I spent a day in her close proximity, some of her energy might rub off on me!! Well.. not sure that happened, but I did have fun!  


The class was held in Bangor, a three hour drive for me, assuming no lineup at the border (which there wasn't). I left on Thursday morning so I could have a little "retail therapy" time before Friday's class. I was coming down with a cold earlier in the week and I had the worst runny nose ever, so I was popping cold meds all day long, in hopes of getting it "stopped up" so I wouldn't be sniffling and snuffing all through the class. Well.. it worked.. but obviously I was a bit overdosed on Pseudophedrine because at bedtime I was buzzed and did not sleep  one  minute  all   night    long. NOT  ONE  MINUTE!  Despite the lovely hotel room, the king sized bed.. not ONE minute. Needless to say I was not my normal peppy self on Friday... But regardless, it was a fun day. (By the way, do my local readers know about hotelcoupons.com? Find them online or stop at the Houlton Tourist Bureau - right at Houlton exit, and pick up the booklet. GREAT savings on hotel rates in New England - I stayed at the Marriott for more than 60% off the normal rate!)
The quilt is called Jamestown Landing and  the blocks are built from two very simple units- string-pieced
Bonnie Hunter of ME, Bonnie Hunter of NC and Bonnie #3
squares and half square triangles. Nothing too taxing!! lol  So I was looking forward to a nice relaxing day of sewing. It was fun to meet Bonnie and hear her "take" on making scrap quilts. She is definitely the queen of scrappiness! As I said there were 36 of us in a large room, and it was interesting to walk around and see everyone else's "scrap stash" - it boggles my mind to see so many fabrics that I've never seen before! I have a sizeable stash, and visit a lot of quilt shops in the run of a year, so I see quite a wide range of fabrics- but it always amazes me to see so many different fabrics! And isn't it good that we all have different taste?
Of course I didn't know anyone else in the class, but did have a nice chat with the two lovely ladies from Lewiston-Auburn who sat across from me. There was another Bonnie Hunter (from Maine) in the class! and a third Bonnie, so we decided there should be a photo taken of the three Bonnie's! Here they are above.

I managed to get fifteen string pieced blocks done and enough HST's to make two star blocks, one dark and one light star. Only 153 more string blocks and 28 more stars to go!! lol  Sadly I am going to have to put this project aside for a while as I have others that need more immediate attention- like my Guild Challenge which is due in two weeks (yikes!) But I can see this one will be as much fun as my Talkin' Turkey quilt was, so I'll be anxious to return to it when I can.



Bonnie always tells her students if they have made a quilt from one of her free designs, books or mysteries, to bring it along to class for Show and Tell so naturally I had to take my red Talkin' Turkey to show her. She was happy to see it and gave me a "well done" pat on the back. ( a little praise from the teacher always feels good...) Here we are posing in front of it...
And thanks to Stephanie Thibodeau from Lewiston-Auburn for sending me the photo below right. Stephanie sat across from me and was kind enough to take a few photos for me.


One of the things I enjoy most about following Bonnie's blog is that she posts photos/slide shows from all her classes on the road (I really don't know where she finds the time and energy!) Here are the posts from the class I took- this one shows some of the work as she walked around the classroom during the day. And this one features the Show and Tell that students brought to her two classes. Both classes she taught (Jamestown Landing and Smith Mountain Morning) are from her most recent book String Fling.
Thanks Bonnie! It was lots of fun to meet you and take the Jamestown Landing class!

Piece!
Linda

"We all have dreams. But  in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort." ~ Jesse Owens

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May already?!!

I cannot believe a whole week has passed since I last posted. No doubt you're wondering where I am! Well I'm right here.. just very busy. This past week was dear daughter's last one in Toronto. Her internship went very well and she thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. She learned a great deal and felt it was very worthwhile, in fact she would have liked to stay longer.. Other than getting "turned around" (that sounds better than "lost") a few times on the TTC, it seems her month in the big city went off without a hitch... She took this shot of the CN Tower one day this past week as she was enjoying a few minutes of R &R in the sun before heading to work for one of her last evening shifts.
I encouraged her to see as much of the city as she could on her days off and on the days when she was working 4pm till midnight; one thing she did was see a taping of the Marilyn Denis Show. She had a front row seat and enjoyed the show, the guests, the freebies given to the audience, and just watching the whole process of the show production. She got to meet Marilyn after, and as you can see, took advantage of a photo op too!
 She flew home last night, did laundry, enjoyed one good sleep in her own bed, packed up again today and moved off to Moncton where she will work for the summer.  Another exciting chapter begins...
Sooo, it's been a busy week for me, getting more of her things stowed away (it's not easy to "absorb" a whole apartment's worth of stuff again...). some things sorted and organized for her to take with her, etc. Then I was preparing for my class with Bonnie Hunter in Maine on Friday. Had lots of cutting to do in preparation.. I managed to pick up a cold somewhere, so a few days of sniffling and snuffling didn't help matters any... but here we are at the end of the weekend and this is all behind us now. I did a little more work outside today, things are popping up in all my perennial beds, but we really need some rain (never thought I'd be saying that after all the rainy days we had in April...)
Next I'll tell you about my class with Bonnie Hunter....

Peace,
Linda

"Time is your only enemy, it disappears very quickly and never gives you a second chance." ~ Steve Douglas

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