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

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Westward Ho!

I've been very busy trying to tie up all loose ends before I head off to Calgary. Getting daughter moved home and settled/organized, sorting out what will be moved to her apt. while I'm away, getting some work done outside in the flowerbeds (gardeners beware- the lily beetles are already on the move- I've found a few marching towards my lilies with love in their beady little eyes!!), getting the house reasonably clean, laundry done, canvassing for cancer finished, new pants hemmed, plants watered... on and on.. you know how it is when you are going away... a hundred things to take care of...
Anyway, by the time you are reading this I will be on a flight winging my way to Vancouver. I will spend a four day weekend with a good buddy in Chilliwack, then head to Calgary on Monday evening, for Quilt Canada 2010. I can't wait. It's going to be a great conference. I can't wait to see all the Shows - 13 in all!! Be prepared for some serious photos when I get back!!!
Don't know if I'll have an opportunity to blog while I'm away- probably not. So I'll likely be absent from here for a while- see you after May 2. Westward Ho!!!
"On the road again, I just can't wait to get on the road again....." ~ Willy Nelson

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday.... Spring Beauty...

"I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden." ~ Ruth Stout

Monday, April 19, 2010

Art to Walk On, Part 2

Well it's been a busy weekend and I am late showing you more photos from a local Show by the Heritage Rug Hooking Guild. I promised to share a few more of my favourites with you and here they are. This Show is SO worth a visit- the work is amazing. The largest piece is a wonderful large rug (6 or 7 feet square?) hooked by Shirley Lindsay over a span of 17 years. I have known Shirley since I was a young child and have admired her work for years. But this piece is without a doubt her most spectacular, in my mind. It depicts all the provincial flowers, and was adapted from a quilt pattern that appeared in Chatelaine magazine years ago (I remember that pattern!)
Her use of colour and shading is wonderful, and I joked with her that this rug would look sooo perfect in my home, but she didn't take the hint... I can't imagine why.. surely after working on it for 17 years, she must be tired of it by now...??!!!

Other pieces also showed wonderful colour use and beautiful shading - the skies in Inukshuk by Shirley Lewis and Blue Heron by Mary Grant are just so realistic, and so well done, don't you agree?

I seemed to be drawn to many of the pieces that had "Maritime flavor". One of my most favourite pieces in the entire show is by my good friend Carole Christie, My Dream Summer. Carole has mastered the art of using thick textured yarns and wool roving to add more texture and dimension to her work. I'm sure this piece was inspired by the cottages at the Amherst Shore in Nova Scotia where Carole spends her summers. Below are a few other favourites: Whale by Elaine Gunter, Seagull by Gladys Connely and Periwinkle Blue by Lynne Fudge. Do check out this Show- you won't regret it...
Every man is an artist painting his life every day.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I'm a Hooker Wannabe....

Tonight I have mainly photos to share with you from a current Show in our city. The Heritage Rug Hooking Guild have a beautiful display of rugs in the Gallery at Government House. The Show is titled Art to Walk On and it is on display until mid May. As you can see here, it is certainly worth a visit.
My Mother was a hooker... uuhhh.... that doesn't sound good does it? A RUG hooker, I mean.. and I have often thought I'd like to give it a try, but I cannot find enough hours in the day now, to do what I want to do, let alone starting something else... But I'm sure you'll agree, this is beautiful work.. we have so many artistically talented people in this city... it's a shame there is not more recognition...
I'm a little short on time tonight so am just going to add some photos for you to enjoy. I'm off in the morning to "fetch" my daughter home from University for the summer. I'll add more photos on Saturday night or Sunday so visit again then... In the meantime, enjoy. The four rugs shown here are all done by ladies who are also quilters and fellow members of the Fredericton Quilters' Guild- such talent! In order, from the top, are Fishing Shacks in Autumn by Carole Christie, Village by Jean Ketch, Windsong by Jane Seabrook and Vines, Leaves and Flowers by Ann Price. Come back on Sunday to see more...


"Creativity takes courage".
~ Henry Matisse

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April Daffodils

April is Daffodil month- please help out the Cancer Society by buying a bunch when you see them on sale this week. And please make a donation when a canvasser knocks on your door. The amount doesn't matter, every bit helps. We have all been touched by cancer, if not ourselves, then a friend, family member or neighbour... I lost a very good friend a year ago today.. my beautiful friend Sandy was taken by bowel and liver cancer. I think of her with each step I take while doing my door to door canvassing, and also was thinking of her on Monday night as I counted, bunched, wrapped, and boxed over 2100 daffodils.
So please help. Together we can beat cancer.
Rest in peace, sweet Sandy girl...
Legend of the Daffodil: Each time a guardian angel notices a good deed, a prayer, kindness or sacrifice, she plucks a gold star from the heavens and sends it to earth, where it blooms as a golden daffodil.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Top Five...

A while back, I picked up what I thought looked like an interesting book at Winners. It was titled "The 10 Best of Everything - An Ultimate Guide for Travelers". That intrigued me so I brought it home. It contains lists of 10 bests under many categories such as Sports, Places (islands, gardens, museums and galleries, national parks, etc.), Travel (landmarks, cruises, drives, vistas, etc.), Foods (coffees, chocolates, steak houses, ice creams, etc.). Interesting reading, for sure....
As I was sitting at the sewing machine the other day, I thought- What would I choose as my 10 best or favourite sewing tools or equipment? I pondered this as I was working on my teeny tiny blocks. I decided 5 might be an easier number to start with as 10 seemed a bit daunting... So after some thought, here are my Top Five. (Perhaps I'll add five more later, for a total of The Ten Best... )
1. Bernina - without a doubt the one thing I would never want to be without is my Bernina sewing machine. I have sewed on a Bernina for almost 20 years now and I would have no other. Their slogan is so true: "Nothing sews like a Bernina. Nothing." I love it's perfect tension, it's beautiful satin stitch, it's workhorse attitude.. I love everything about it. Yes, it's heavy, but that's a sign of quality. Metal parts as opposed to plastic. The Swiss know what they're doing... Swiss Chocolate, Swiss watches, and Bernina...
2. Bendable Bright Light - this is probably the best light I have ever used for sewing. I have Ott Lights, both floor and desk, and they are great too. But for a bright light exactly where you want it, you can't beat this little gem. A non-magnetic bracket attaches to your machine with a strong double sided adhesive, and the light snaps into the bracket easily. The gooseneck allows you to adjust the bright white LED light to exactly where you want it. It makes sewing at night and/or with dark fabrics a breeze...I don't know how I ever sewed without this light.
3. Micro Tip Fiskars Snips - I love these little babies. They are SO sharp; I love their spring action (easy on the hands) and small size. With their sharp points, they are great for snipping into small corners or curves.... I've been using these for quite awhile now and they are still very sharp. Just love 'em. Just sayin'
4. Fons and Porter marking pencil - I have tried out many marking pencils over the years but I do believe Fons and Porter have come up with the best! The leads that come with the pencil are white but you can also buy a package of dark leads. The leads are made from a water soluble ceramic material; they give a nice fine line that is very easy to remove - either with the eraser (extras also available) or with water. What more could a gal want? Read more here.
5. Travel Case - I have been lugging my machine around for years, between taking workshops and teaching.... Don't know why I didn't get one of these years ago... A travel case on wheels, similar to luggage. It holds my machine, foot pedal, power bar, all cords and lots more. Pockets on outside can hold extra items. Just makes travelling to teach SOOO much easier....
Good equipment makes this hobby so much easier and more enjoyable. What would you count in your favourites?
"Buy the best you can afford. It's money well spent and better than buying cheap and having to continuously replace..." (good advice from my Mother)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Here's the proof...

Spring is definitely here, even though the weather forecast for the weekend includes the possibility of some rain and snow...(ugh!) These pics were all taken this morning in my gardens. I haven't even cleaned off all the winter protective leaf mulch yet, as you can see. I'm afraid we may still get some nights when the temp dips below freezing so I am resisting cleaning it all off just yet. It's hard to believe that it's only April 6th - this time last year we still had a lot of snow on the ground... Easter weekend was so lovely with lots of sun and warm temps, what a lovely treat- the weather was almost better than the chocolate! (I can hardly believe I said that!)

We had an overnight visit from Ian and Tiffany and they took back Easter treats to Mark and Laura.
I'll be returning to my sewing machine tomorrow as the forecast is predicting rain for the next 6 days. Certainly that should be enough time for me to make decisions and finish up Blueberries and Cream. And I already have plans for the next Mini - can't wait to get started on it - I promise it will be colorful!! Just remembered I have a class to teach this Saturday, so guess I have to prepare for that too!

I'll leave you with this delightful little poem I found...

First a howling blizzard woke us,
Then the rain came down to soak us,
And now before our eye can focus,
~ Lilja Rogers


"Science has never drummed up quite as effective a tranquilizing agent as a sunny spring day". ~ W. Earl Hall

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hoppy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone! It's a beautiful sunshiny morning here in Freddy Beach. I hope you all are enjoying a sunny day as well; I'm sure the Easter Bunny had no trouble doing his rounds last night as it was warm and clear. I thought I'd show you some of my bunny and egg collections today, and share with you some of the important lessons I have learned from the Easter Bunny:

~ Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
~ Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.
~ All work and no play can make you a basket case.
~ There's no such thing as too much chocolate.
~ Some body parts should be floppy.
~ Keep your paws off other people's jellybeans.
~ Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.
~ Good things come in small sugar-coated packages.
~ The grass is greener in someone else's basket.
~ To show your true colors you have to come out of your shell.

I've been having trouble with Blogger today, and wrote this post this morning, and am just able to get it to publish now at 8:30pm. So please forgive my late Easter Greetings....
If you are a recent reader of my Blog, you might get a kick out of my Easter post from last year when I told the story of my son trying to trap the Easter Bunny... you can read it here.
There's no such thing as too much chocolate...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

"Blueberries and Cream" preview

I had hoped to have more blocks done by now, but the weather the last few days has been SO beautiful and WARM, I just couldn't bring myself to sit at my machine when the sunshine was calling my name... Here are the first 12 blocks and a piece of blueberry fabric that I'm pondering the use of, either for a border, or possibly the backing. Not sure yet... Still haven't decided on the setting either- whether to put the blocks on point with alternate plain squares between or just block to block, or perhaps use some sashing.... And I haven't decided on whether to stop at 16 (4 rows of 4) or do 25 blocks for 5 rows of 5 blocks.... Not very decisive am I? The blocks will be 1 1/8" finished, the HST's are 3/8". Each block uses a different blue and a different cream fabric. (These blocks are foundation-pieced, so they are not lying pefectly flat at this point). The idea for this Miniature came from a photo in an Australian magazine, the design was called Blackberries and Cream. And since I am a blue fan, of course I had to do Blueberries and Cream.... More photos later once it's together.
Delight in small things.
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