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

Monday, May 31, 2010

When the Horse Chestnut blooms....

I have a lovely Horse Chestnut tree at the southwest corner of my home right outside my studio window. It grew from a sprouted chestnut planted by my mother. It seemed to take many years before it reached any size at all and she always said she hoped she would live long enough to see it bloom. And she did - it bloomed the spring of the year she died. And now, every year when it blooms, I think of her and wish she was here to see it again. As Horse Chestnuts go, it is still not that big and the blooms are sparse. But there is another Horse Chestnut nearby planted by my grandmother and it is huge and covered with blooms - I'm hoping they can both see them from heaven...

I had never noticed before, until taking these photos that the individual flowers on the "stalk" are spotted with different colors- see how some are red, some are orange and some are yellow? Interesting... and the bees love it...
Tomorrow- do you like purple?


Trees by Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain:
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Great Little Quilt Show

Yesterday I visited the Maugerville Quilt Show just outside of our fair city. This is put on by the Maugerville WI, and quilts are provided for display by WI members and local women. Some of these women belong to guilds in Fredericton, so there is always a lovely display with lots of variety, despite the small venue. Tickets are sold on a Raffle Quilt each year, drawn in November, and your visit is always topped off with a hot cup of fresh coffee or tea, homemade brown bread and cheese and sweets. Yummm... This years' show featured another offering as well - there was a table laden with quilting magazines, most of them quite recent- and they were free for the taking! Bonus! Did I need any? No. Did I take a few? Yes...
I thought I would share with you a few pics of some of my favourites from this little show. My friend Gail also posted pics of her favs- you can skip on over to her Blog and see her pics here.

As soon as you came in the door you were greeted by this bright and cheery wallhanging (above left) titled Sundance, made by Dawn Sharpe. I loved it! Love that hot pink- reminds me of a scorching July day- bring it on!!
Another fav was this One Block Wonder by Cathy Hachey(right). This is similar to a Stack and Whack, but rather than cutting a number of pieces from the exact same spot on the print and using one stack of triangles for each block, each block is from a different spot on the large format print, at least that's how I understand it... I love the way Cathy has added in those hollow 3D cubes - great effect!!

Although I hope Fall is a long way off, I couldn't help falling for this one- a gorgeous Autumn quilt by Darlene Dewar. It was for sale for a very reasonable price- lucky buyer, if there was one!
Below you can see a few more of the beautiful scrap quilts that were on display. There's nothing like a lovely scrap quilt to help decrease one's stash... I have about a dozen of them in my mind, on my "Want to Make" list...
Even though this was a small show, it made me itch to get back to my Bernina... I just have so much gardening to take care of right now, it will be another week or more before I get back to the stitching. My goal for this week is to get all my outdoor planters/pots planted and a vegetable garden in... Once thats done, it'll just be maintenance then. All other gardening jobs are pretty well done.
"The most noteworthy thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always enterprising and never satisfied. They always look forward to doing something better than they have ever done before". ~ Vita Sackville-West

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's a Good Day....

Thanks to all of you who have been enquiring about my brother Wayne and his foot injury. He came home from hospital today so we are all feeling very grateful. Although the Doctor told him he is not "out of the woods" yet, at least he is home to his own bed and good home cookin' so I'm sure that will help speed along his recovery. At least his home is far more quiet and he will get better rest. He is still feeling quite weak and low-energy, and of course pain management is an issue. He will be making frequent visits to Saint John to have the Doc check his foot for signs of infection, gangrene, etc. So he has a long road to travel, but we are so grateful for his progress so far, and we realize it could have been much worse with a tragic outcome. So thank you for your prayers. Please continue, if you will, to pray for a speedy recovery.....
Each day is a precious gift. Take the time to unwrap every one.

Friday, May 21, 2010

What a difference a day makes...

How true, a day or two can make all the difference in the world. Take for example these tulip fields just outside of Chilliwack BC. My friend Wendy was anxious to take me to see them as they were in full bloom the weekend before when she and her hubby had driven by. Unfortunately by the time we got there (7 days later) they were pretty much past their peak. But I could imagine how glorious they must have been. Just picture what you see here- those few rows still with blossoms, for field upon field upon field- as far as you could see...Another thing to put on my list for another visit...

The last few days have sure thrown our household into a tizzy... Good news and bad. The good news first: on Wednesday night, my son who is heading into his fourth year of University won his years tuition and a spring break trip to Cancun Mexico. He is pretty excited! So is his bank account!

The bad news is yesterday my oldest brother (who lives next door to me) had a work-related accident and crushed his left foot. He is in hospital in Saint John, heavily sedated with a number of pins, screws and wires in his foot. The surgeon is not sure whether they'll be able to save the foot or not. Please say a prayer for him...
Yes indeed, things sure can change quickly...
I'll leave you with a few more photos to enjoy! Have a wonderful long weekend. I'll be gardening.. and saying some prayers while down on my hands and knees...
"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."
~ Robert Brault

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Plants for Sale!

I have been desperately trying to catch up on gardening chores since being away.. Every year I say "I really should split my hostas and perennials.." but it never seems to get done.... Well this year I have at least made an attempt. I have about 15 good size hosta "chunks" and about a dozen pieces of various perennials... If you live closeby and you know of anyone looking for good healthy plants at a very reasonable price, tell them to stop by. I'm having a little plant sale over the next few days/evenings......


Old gardeners never die... they are just pruned back hard and re-potted.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Can you say PINK?

I have so many wonderful photos from Minter Gardens I just have to share a few more with you.. If like me you love the color pink, you should enjoy this post, with few words and lots of photos... all in pink.

This was my first time seeing cherry trees in blossom..... awesome!
Magnolias are so exotic looking!

One of many pink rhodos, this one was a real beauty!

Tulips, one of my favourite spring flowers

Can you believe it- even pink shrubs!!!

What a view!

Bleeding heart- another spring beauty!

More tulips...and yet more tulips...

Beauty.... Peace.... Serenity.... Heaven!

Things To Do If You Are a Flower...
Be a wonderful color - like purplish pink.
Stay out in the rain.
Understand what the wind says.
Dance to its' rhythms.
Grow towards the sun.
Smell good.
Count every star.
Be beautiful...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

More Blooms and Blossoms...

Isn't this spring weather getting you in the mood for gardening? I am several weeks behind where I would like to be at this point...guess that's what I get for going west...

I plan to start top-dressing my beds with compost tomorrow. I did some weeding and "tidying up" today, pulling old stems off perennials, etc. I'm sure my flower beds have been wondering where I have been...

So, since I don't have much in bloom right now other than tulips, I'm treating you to some more beautiful shots from Minter Gardens in Chilliwack B.C. You can read my previous post here to learn a bit about Minter Gardens. Twelve themed gardens welcome the visitor, and the floral displays are spectacular. Being a lover of tulips and other spring flowering bulbs, the timing was perfect for our visit. Massive plantings of tulips were around every turn as we strolled the paths. The rhododendrons and azaleas were also amazing, not to mention many other plants already in bloom, many I could name and some I couldn't. What a visual feast! Surely there must be gardens in heaven, don't you think? Look at the "tulip tail" on this peacock!!

These few hours were certainly a joy. I'm sure anyone who appreciates nature even just a little bit would love an afternoon at Minter Gardens.. but for a gardener, this was pure sheer paradise. The blooms, the colors, the designs, the water features... from the stately native evergreens to the tiniest flower, it's all a treat for the senses. The gurgling brooks and waterfalls, the ponds, even a water wall added so much to the feeling of peace and serenity as we enjoyed the beauty of Mother Nature. Our visit began with watching hang-gliders soaring on the air currents around Mt. Cheam and ended in the special Bonsai display..only in beautiful British Columbia!! This was such a special afternoon, spent with a special friend. Thanks Wendy!

If you are ever in Chilliwack you must plan a visit to Minter Gardens... you won't be disappointed. You can view their website here.

Click on these photos for a larger view....


Count Your Blessings....

Count your gardens by the flowers,
never by the leaves that fall.

Count your days by garden hours,
don't remember clouds at all.

Count your nights by stars, not shadows,

Count your years with smiles not tears.

Count your blessings not your troubles.
Count your age by friends, not years.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Blossoms and Blooms, BC style

As promised here are some photos from beautiful blooming British Columbia, taken in late April. I spent four days in Chilliwack (east of Vancouver) before I flew to Calgary for Quilt Canada. I had a wonderful visit with my buddy Wendy; we had a blast. After our time at Acadia, she went into the RCMP and has been stationed in BC for pretty much her entire career, so our time together is rare.

It was glorious- just like stepping right into summer- everything was in bloom- the dogwoods- both white and pink (above and left), rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, cherry trees, lilacs, forsythia, springbulbs, you name it, it was in bloom- a virtual gardeners' paradise. One of the best parts of my visit was Sunday afternoon when we spent several hours walking around Minter Gardens after a picnic lunch. (Wendy, shall I tell them about how the car battery died because we sat there picnicing and not realizing our lights on, and after finding someone to boost the car, we had to drive up to Harrison Hot Springs to re-charge the battery... a pleasant side trip, including a visit to a Hazelnut Farm... NO? Okay, I won't tell them that part)
Minter Gardens is a 32 acre world-class show garden. Set against the backdrop of 7000 foot snow-capped Mt. Cheam, the gardens at this time of year feature close to 100,000 tulips imported from Holland. More than 1000 rhododendrons provide glorious color amid huge native cedars and rock wall terraces. Formal and informal beds, quiet cool woodlands, gurgling brooks and waterfalls... Minter Gardens has it all. It is described as "a kaleidoscope of colour, a place of serene beauty, and a gardener's source of inspiration." Indeed!
I'm sharing just a few photos here tonight..more to follow.
"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity." ~ Lindley Karstens

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

QC 2010 wind up

This is my last post about Quilt Canada- no doubt you're getting tired of hearing about it by now. I have many more pics of quilts from the Shows, but do not have titles of the pieces or names of the makers, so it is not fair to put them on here without proper "acknowledgement". So I'll just wind up by showing you a few fun pics from the final night at the Closing Banquet.
The Banquet had a western theme and Karen Henry and I sat with some friends of hers from Moose Jaw SK. The evening started off with some entertainment by "Guns of the Golden West". They taught us all the three ways to shoot a pistol and then did some demos on fast an' fancy shootin'. They were pretty impressive - I would not have wanted to be up agin any of 'em in a draw... Since they were "willin' to pose fer pitchers with any pretty young things", Karen and I decided we should take advantage, so here we are(above)!! The other entertainment was also excellent, as was the meal- yummy Alberta beef - a delicious tenderloin, cooked perfectly and served pipin' hot with a Bourbon molasses sauce....
We also could not resist seeing how we would look as Cowgirls - what do you think?
Next, for all you gardeners, I'll share some photos from Minter Gardens in Chilliwack BC where I spent a few days before heading to Calgary.
Cowboy Advice:
~ Always drink upstream from the herd.
~ Don't never interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin' you none.
~ Don't squat with yer spurs on.
~ If it don't seem like it's worth the effort, it probably ain't.
~ If you find yerself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
~ Never follow good whiskey with water, unless you're out of good whiskey.
~ Never smack a man who's chewin' tobacco.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fredericton's Great Fire, May 10,1943

Today is an anniversary in our family... and also in the city of Fredericton. Not many these days would remember it, but today is the 67th anniversary of one of the largest fires Fredericton has ever seen, and it happened right here on my family's property.

Our place originally was a fox ranch. My paternal grandfather, Alphonso Kelly (yes my grandfather was the original Fonz!!) raised foxes, and sold pelts to the Hudson Bay Co. May 10, 1943 was a very windy day, and a fire started in the building where meat was being prepared for the foxes. Stiff winds carried it quickly to several other small outbuildings and before long the Kellys had a major fire on their hands. At one point my father was up on the roof of the barn beating out flames, and someone else came along and removed the ladder, not knowing he was up there, leaving him trapped for a time. My mother, pregnant with my oldest brother, was at work as an R.N. at the Victoria Public Hospital when someone came in and said there was a big fire on the Kelly farm. She quickly found someone to drive her home. I can only imagine her fear as she saw the fire quickly spreading down the hill towards the city, starting new grass and bush fires as it was fanned by the winds..

It burned all the way down the old Woodstock Road- what is now known as Golf Club Road - destroying five homes, six barns and outbuildings, through the old brickyard (currently Garden Place), to Hanwell Road, through what is now Sunshine Gardens and almost to Smythe Street. It not only destroyed buildings, but also a number of silver foxes, pigs, cows and 400 chickens. The Daily Gleaner reported that two miles of hose were required to battle the blaze, along with the Fredericton Fire Department, auxilliary equipment from the Provincial Forest Fire Service plus 300-400 troops from the No. 7 District Depot.

Of course, this happened before my time, but I have heard the story many times, and have the newspaper clippings... Interesting reading for sure, and a story long forgotten by most, but a significant day in my family's history...

Having someplace to go is home. Having someone to love is family. Having both is a blessing.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bouquets to all you Mothers!

Just wanted to say a very Happy Mothers Day to all you mothers out there.... I brought these beautiful blooms all the way from British Columbia for you!! These are photos I took at Minter Gardens in Chilliwack, before I headed to Calgary. More about that part of my trip in a few days... Tune in tomorrow for an interesting story about one of Fredericton's biggest fires, many years ago.

Peace and Love,
"Mother" and "Love" - different only in name, the miracles they work are one and the same.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

QC 2010 Part 4 - for you Applique lovers...

Photos of the National Juried Show winners are now up on the CQA/ACC website; go here to see them. You can click on each one for a larger view. Unfortunately the photos are not that large and it is impossible to see the detail in these amazing works of art. Those of you who are CQA members will of course get the NJS catalogue with full color photos of all NJS entries, in the Autumn newsletter in early September, but one really has to see these shows in person to appreciate the quilts - photos, even large ones just don't do them justice. That's why everyone should start making plans now to attend Quilt Canada 2012 in Halifax. Even if you go to simply view the Shows without participating in the Conference... you won't regret the trip. Halifax is a very easy drive for us now, with divided highway the entire way. It is an opportunity not to be missed, to view and study work of this calibre.

The NJS Viewers Choice, Ruffled Feathers by Roxanne Nelson, (also the winner of first place in the Representational Wallquilt category, for a total of $3,500.00 in prize money) was truly amazing. You would swear that you could pat those "real looking feathers". All prize winners were very worthy of their awards, and there were many others that I would have pinned a ribbon on, as well. Truly, all entries in this Show are winners...

One three dimensional entry was disqualified from possible awards because it was on a "frame" of sorts, (this is against NJS "rules") but it was getting a lot of attention from the viewers. Picture a pop-up book type of quilt- it was 5 layers deep, mounted in a 12 - 15" thick(?) frame, which was covered in pieced and quilted blocks. The scene was a small girl walking into a wood, with a cottage type house in the background. The foreground "layers" included much foliage, tree branches, flowers, etc. If you stuck your head "into" the quilt, all pieces were backed with traditional blocks as well.. it was amazing. The maker, from Quebec, worked on it for 2 years. Unfortunately, as I've explained before, no photography is allowed in the NJS so I could not take a photo... Too bad, as it was one of the most amazing pieces I have seen anywhere...

The photos on this post today are from the Joy of Applique Show. The Wild Rose Stitchers of Cochrane AB are a chapter of The Applique Society and were proud to curate the first all-Canadian TAS exhibit at QC2010. The exhibit included pieces with many varying techniques of applique, both hand and machine, on works traditional and contemporary. I am not a hand applique person, and doubt very much that I ever will be, but I certainly admired the highly skilled workmanship that was displayed in this show. The hand quilting was incredible, the applique was perfect, the three dimensional work was exceptional......

From the top are: Reminiscence by Dawn Hunt with Grace Whiting, Wildflowers by Betty Bailey, Alberta: Moments and Memories by Jennifer Hill, with several closeups for your enjoyment, and lastly Kootenay Star by Dawn Fox Cooper, again with several closeups for the detail.... This is a small taste of The Joy of Applique Show. Hope you enjoyed it!

Piece (or maybe today I should say Applique!)

"Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old." ~ Franaz

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Quilt Canada Part 3. More Winners

Here are more prize winners in the Trend Tex Challenge. The winner of the Trend Tex Award was my absolute favourite. It also won the Viewers Choice award, so I guess a lot of folks picked it as their fav! It is titled Lucy (the girl with kaleidoscope eyes) and was made by Susanne MacDonald of Medicine Hat AB. It was a beautiful piece and I loved the Beatles portraits along the bottom.

First place winner (below left) was Flying High by Linda Schmidt of Penticton BC. It was an incredible piece of work and certainly deserving of it's prize. I thought she made excellent use of the fabrics.

Second place (below right) went to Carol Greenhalgh of Kamloops BC for Celestial Stitching. This was also one of my most favourites. As with the first place winner, her piecing was exceptional.

Third place (left) was won by Wendy Tassone of Jasper AB for Spirit in the Sky. I missed the opportunity to get a photo of this piece, so I have taken an image from the CQA website.

This show never ceases to amaze me. There were over 100 quilts returned this year.The creativity and the variety of interpretations of the theme just blow me away. Congrats to all entrants as well as the winners. All entries can be viewed on the CQA website here

Next, photos from The Wild Rose Stitchers, the Cochrane Alberta Chapter of The Applique Society.



"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars".

~ Les Brown
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