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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Little Boys are Treasures

Little boys are treasures
Who are worth their weight in gold,
And charm everyone around them
From the time they're hours old....
They're Mummy's little darling,
They're a special pal to Dad,
And they bring the very happiest days
A family's ever had.......

-Author unknown

Yes, my little boy is all grown up. These two photos taken at age 7 are among my favourites. I wanted professional photos taken of Mark and Laura, before he started losing his teeth and before we cut her long hair. Karen Hawkins of ProLab on Regent Street did an awesome job; she put the kids at ease and despite a very hot sticky summer day, got some great shots.... Some people seeing this photo asked if they were twins...
This seems like sooo very long ago...

Where have the years gone? Wasn't it just yesterday I was watching him learn to play basketball with the YBC program? He went on to play on Junior Varsity and Varsity teams at both Albert St. Middle School and Fredericton High School. Here he is in his FHS Black Kat uniform he was so proud of - this is one of his Grad photos, taken by Harvey Studios of Fredericton. Six foot two, tall dark and handsome..that's my boy!!!!

And here he is on Prom Night, June 18, 2007- his first Tux! What a handsome guy! I am such a proud Mother.... can you tell? He's now in his second year of Science at Dalhousie University in Halifax. A young man, all grown up...This is the first year that he's not home for his birthday.. I miss him....
You have always been so special
In all things you've said and done,
I am so very proud of you
Just because you are my son!

"Being a full-time Mother is one of the highest salaried jobs - since the payment is pure love."
-M.B. Vermont

Friday, February 27, 2009

Labour of Love....

Twenty years ago tonight, I was "thoroughly involved" in a labour of love... yes, I was in labour for my firstborn- a son, Mark Kelly Hubbard. I remember it very well- it was a very cold day, but sunny and bright. I was two weeks overdue and more than ready to have the entire process overwith!! I won't bore you with the details, suffice it to say Mark was born at 1:06 a.m. on Feb. 28th.

Here is one of the first professional photos I had taken of him - we did them in October as a surprise for Daddy for Christmas - Mark would have been 8 months old- isn't he cute? And look at me- that BROWN hair - where did that ever go to? Guess that proves that grey hair comes from children! We lived in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia at the time- this was taken by Blaine MacCall of Hantsport.

It's true what they say, time flies! I can't believe Mark turns 20! Here he is on his first birthday - a photo that I had cut into an oval- hence the weird shape here... He had such fun with his birthday cake- chocolate cake with boiled icing. I put a piece in front of him in his highchair, and let him go at it. Those little fingers sure were sticky!! Chocolate cake is still the cake of choice for all family birthdays. I guess we're a family of chocolate lovers....

Where do the years go? How can this sweet little guy be all grown up- yes, over 6 feet tall now? Time is passing much too quickly and when I look back at pics like this, I realize just how many years have flown by....of course I'm not getting any older... yeah, right!

Check back tomorrow to see what the birthday boy looks like now...
Happy Birthday, my darling son! I love you!
With every little baby's birth, a bit of stardust falls to earth......

Amish Shooting Star

Here it is!! Finished! Ready to be framed, or hung, or...? This is a cross-stitch from a kit that I have had for......years... probably more than 20... I'm on a FIFI kick...that's "Find It and Finish It". It measures 4 5/8"x 6 3/8" and is done on
14 count black Aida cloth. The kit is by Cross My Heart. I really liked it when I bought it; now that it's all done, not so sure I like it that much. But, as Judy Morningstar says, Done is Good!
Included in the kit was a black wire hanger, that you would hang the piece from, like a quilt hanging on a quilt rack. However, several friends have said after all this work, I should get it framed or put in a shadow box. What do you think?
Again, I'm not 100% happy with this photo- the colors are more vivid in "real life"- the purple is a very rich purple and what looks like red is actually a rich fuschia - like the outermost "border".... I guess it's difficul to get perfect exposure when you've got black and pale colors too - something has to give...
So, let me know your thoughts on finishing- should I frame it, shadowbox it, or hang from the hanger?
I'm in therapy...stitching is cheaper than a psychiatrist.....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Another one done...

Another one done! I'm slowly chipping away at some little projects that have been sitting around too long, waiting for me to get back to them to finish them off. My little cross-stitched Amish quilt is finished, but you're going to have to wait till tomororow for a photo. I much prefer natural light; tried a flash photo tonight, but the colors are just not right, so I'll post one tomorrow.
It's been a busy week, with Mark home. He heads back to Halifax tomorrow; I hate to see him go. But I am so grateful that he is happy there. Before we know it, he'll be moving home for the summer.... I always find that after March Break, the rest of the school year just flies by. Laura starts her Break tomorrow.....
There are only two lasting bequests we can leave our children: one is roots,the other, wings.
- H. Carter

Monday, February 23, 2009

Did someone say "Snow"?

Okay, Mother Nature, this isn't funny anymore!! We got 17 more inches of the white stuff in this storm... we have drifts around our house that are close to 5 feet high... there is nowhere to put any more snow!!! The snowbanks are incredibly high, the driving is dangerous because the visibility at intersections is so poor...Have I said that I'm tired of winter??? The entire city was pretty much closed down today- Gov't offices were closed, as were the schools, malls, banks, etc. Even the Police Dep't. was running on just a skeleton crew - thats a rarity.

I am grateful that my Grandfather had the foresight to purchase land high on a hill for the family farm... I'm very much afraid there will be bad flooding again this spring... there is so much snow -more than last year, I think... and we have had no winter thaws this year, to take it down a bit.

On another note, today is Ian's birthday- that would be our oldest son - 31 today! Wow! Where does the time go? This is the beginning of what I call "Birthday Week"... our 3 children all have their birthdays within the next 2 weeks. Mark is next, turning 20, followed by Laura who hits the magic age of 18!! I'm feeling old...
Here's Ian with fiancee Tiffany.
I have put in a fair bit of time today, trying to finish up my cross-stitch. It's almost done-just working on the borders now. Hopefully I'll post a photo tomorrow....
"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face" Victor Hugo

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Pause for the Boys in Red

Today is a BIG day in the NB basketball world.... today is the day of the Provincial Championships, played here in Fredericton at the Aitken Center. Well I remember the excitement from several years ago when Mark was one of the FHS Black Kats, the top seeded AAA team in the province. The entire season "builds" to this day- the day you get to set foot on the floor at the Aitken Center. It's pretty exciting stuff for high school players. And although my son is no longer part of it, we'll be there.

I think the crowds today will surpass other years, even though the "Final Twelve" has been cut down to the "Final Eight". Why? Because today the Bathurst Phantoms are playing in the AA championship. And I'll be there, cheering them on, wearing RED. Oh yes, tonight I'll be wearing Yellow and Black and cheering my heart out for FHS, as always: my Alma Mater and my son's team. Go KATS!! But this afternoon, I'll be in RED and cheering on those Phantoms. This team has done the unthinkable. They have rebounded from a terrible tragedy last January - a motor vehicle accident on their way home from a game in Moncton, which claimed the lives of 7 of their players, and the coach's wife. The whole country poured out love and support for the city of Bathurst, as we watched on national TV the coverage of those sad days, the grief, the public mass funeral. I was so very proud of the way the city handled the intrusion of the media at such a greif-stricken time, when families must only want privacy to grieve the loss of their loved ones. Yet, the Mayor, School Principal and even some of the parents were kind and patient enough to speak with reporters and answer difficult questions. I cried my eyes out for those families, trying to imagine what they were going through. I kept picturing my own "basketball family" - the parents and the boys you become so close to, as they play together over the years -Geoff, Luke, El, Brad - you love them all like your own sons - I kept picturing us waiting in the parking lot at FHS, for the van to pull in, home from another road trip.... and then getting a phone call, that there had been an accident..... unimaginable....My heart broke for those families and the Coach......

But they've re-built the team this year, with a new coach. They've had a great season, with a 34-3 record, and heading into todays' final on a 26 game winning streak. I would think every person in the province who even knows what a basketball looks like, would be there today to cheer them on. I will be there, supporting the Phantoms...wearing RED!!

Last January, I was working on this Miniature, when I heard about the accident. It was nearly done and I was trying to decide on a name for it....something other than just "Red Bear Paw".... And then I knew- "Pause for the Boys in Red".

It is 15 1/2" square, with blocks of 3 1/2", each individual paw is 1 1/2" . It is not paper-pieced; I used Thangles for the "claws"....

I will never look at this quilt without thinking of the Boys in Red... Rest in Peace Javier, Daniel, Nick, Nathan, Codey, Justin, Nikki and Beth.



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

Friday, February 20, 2009

Okay, Okay, Enough Already!

I do believe we have quite enough snow now, thank you very much!! Yesterday we were hit with yet another storm, (number 11, I think) giving us another 8" or so on the ground, and even higher snowbanks. The winds have whipped up some tremendous drifts- we have one across our back deck that is amazing! The driving around the city is treacherous because visibility at intersections is so poor. I keep telling our son Ian, the meteorologist, that he can lay off on the snow anytime now, and he keeps reminding us he doesn't make the weather, he only reports it...

I am ready for spring...NOW!!! Bring it on!

Here is a photo of our home, taken today, from the corner of our front lawn - yes, the lawn is under there somewhere, I am sure... As you can see, the sky is grey, and we're told that yet another storm is on it's way for later this weekend. Great!!

Mark is on his way home from Halifax today, for his Spring Break. I wil be so glad to see him walk through the door tonight, home safe and sound...

Ollie is getting tired of winter too - looking out at all that white is getting boring.. he would much rather be lying in the open (screened) window, smelling the summer breeze and freshly cut grass, and watching all the birdies in the apple trees in our backyard....

On the upside, this winter weather has been great for getting sewing done, as you just don't want to go outside when the snow is up to your hips and the temps are well below freezing. At least we are approaching the end of February- although we will no doubt see a few more snowfalls in March, surely the minus 40 windchills are behind us now, and spring cannot be too far least that's what I keep telling myself!
I am hoping to finish up several small pieces this weekend and get them to the Framer early next week. One is a cross stitch of an Amish Quilt, done on black. The other is a piece of needlefelting. Stay tuned for pics!
"O,Wind, if winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" Percy Bysshe Shelley

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Here it is! This little baby has been in the works for a while; I decided it was time to make those border decisions and finish it off! I had it done in time to take to Show and Tell at my monthly Guild meeting last night. Years ago, I subscribed to Miniature Quilts magazine for several years. I still have quite a list of minis I would like to make, from that stack of magazines.... this is one that caught my eye years ago and I finally got back to it!! It is from Issue #18, Summer of 1995. They called it "Along the Wilderness Trail"... I think I'll come up with my own name... Any suggestions? It is 9" square, the pieced blocks in the border are 1". The pieced blocks are paper-pieced, as this is the only way to do blocks this tiny, accurately. I have quilted in the ditch, again minimally.

I have been remiss in not saying a HUGE thank you to my friend Gail who has helped me set up this blog. Although she has gone south with the "snowbirds" for a while, she is still helping me from afar...Thanks Gail, I could not have done it without you... I also must thank my daughter Laura for being my "home Tech Support"... She gets tired of showing me how to do something more than once.. I remind her that my brain is not 17 years old and it takes time for things to "sink in".... I tease her that I'm not going to allow her to go away to University next Fall, because who will help me when I have a computer "problem"..??? haha Thanks Laura, love ya darlin'... Speaking of Laura going away, she got her first University acceptance this morning. Yeah! What a great way to start the day!
Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try....

Monday, February 16, 2009

So much to learn...

I tried to add this second photo to my last post, but obviously did something wrong. The color in the last photo was a bit dark- it really doesn't show off the rich purple and cherry red of this beautiful batik. This closer shot is more true in color.... Exposure is always a challenge - the darker colors are true here, but the light pink of the background is washed out....
Anyway, hope you'll bear with me through this whole learning process... I'm the first to admit that I'm technologically challenged..but I sure am learning a lot..

Done is good!

Another Miniature quilt done!! Done is good! It's a few days late for Valentines, but that's's early for next year! I am trying to get some new minis done before I teach another class in Miniatures. This one is 12" square, with 2" blocks. Personally I prefer smaller blocks - 1" or even 1 1/2", but some students are stressed by trying to work that small. I remind them that everyone's definition of just what IS miniature is personal - and not to worry about how small mine are, or what size someone else is doing. Rather I just ask them to challenge themselves.... and work in whatever size they feel most comfortable, without stress. So, to that end, I am trying to get a variety of pieces done, in different sizes. I will share them with you in future posts, as they are completed. I do have another almost done, it's just waiting for me to make "border decisions"... I hope to show it to you soon. It's more what I consider a challenge - 1" pieced blocks - 20 of them...all different!
This one was fun - quick and easy. I have always liked this "Woven Heart" design, and have used my favorite fabrics - batiks. They are so great to work with, being of high quality and tightly woven. I've added a very narrow piping (less than 1/8") between the quilt and the binding - you can barely see it- I wanted it to be subtle. The quilting is minimal - by machine, "in the ditch". It is so easy to distort a miniature with too much quilting, so my theory is "less is better"... Any suggestions for a name for this little piece?
The best vitamin for making friends... B1

Labels: Miniatures

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm wishing all my friends a Happy Valentine's Day - this bouquet is for you!! I received this on an email - I cannot give credit to the photographer as there was no info, but look at those roses - aren't they beautiful? Especially on a cold windy winter day...
As the email said - "I would rather have one rose and a kind word from a friend, than a whole truckload when I'm gone"....
I'm going to spend my day sewing, finishing up that Miniature. We're in for a snowy windy day, so my studio is the perfect place to be!
"What a grand thing - to be loved! What a grander thing still- to love!" Victor Hugo

Friday, February 13, 2009

Welcome to my Blog!
I hope you will stop by to visit often to check out what I'm up to! I will be sharing with you, my quilting projects, what I'm currently working on, photos of my work, the odd favorite recipe and who knows what else!
On my sidebar, you'll find my Gallery which will be added to regularly, a list of other blogs of interest and my favorite websites, a list of some of the recent books I have enjoyed, and I will no doubt add other things as I go on...
I have always regretted never having kept a list of all the books I have read over the years, so I have started the list below, of those I can remember reading recently. Feel free to send me your suggestions, of good books you have enjoyed!
One of my dreams when I was a young, was to be a photographer for National Geographic. This never came to be, although I certainly enjoy photography as a hobby. I have added, on my sidebar, the National Geographic "POD" - that's "Picture of the Day". I hope you will enjoy them- it will be a new pic every day- click on it for a larger view, and an explanation...
I have started this Blog for several reasons- firstly so prospective students can "find me" and view my work and that of some students. Secondly I thought this might "spur me on" to accomplish more, if I commit to blogging regularly and showing you what I'm working on.... My goal is to blog several times a week... we'll see how that goes! My third reason is purely selfish- simply to keep a record of my work.. and life.
I will be adding several more Galleries shortly, one with photos of some of my Miniature Quilts, and another showing "regular quilts". Check back often....
Tomorrow is Valentines Day.. a day I don't really believe in - we should be showing those we love that they are special EVERY day! But I am working on a special little Miniature for the "day of love", so check back in a day or two to see it.
Until then......
Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, and forget about the ones who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.
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