Friendship Ties


Our denomination encourages her clergy to pursue continuing education opportunities.  The seminary from which I received my degree offers courses in the summer that are often of interest.  In July of 2017 I flew west to attend a course on Sacred Dying.  Part of the attraction to return is spending some time with my friend, mentor and now, colleague.  She is wise and faithful, caring and lovely.  I have learned so much from her.  I have had the pleasure of staying with her and her husband on many occasions.  About time I brought a token of my gratitude for their hospitality.

This quilt is similar to one draped over the sofa in our living room.  The bow tie blocks had already been sewn together as an accent wall hanging to complement the throw in the living room.  I couldn’t envision a way of hanging the finished project, it was the width of a block and twenty feet long.  I ripped them apart and reconfigured them into this quilt.  Now my dear friend and I share similar quilts, in fact, the centre block that is slightly different from the rest in the quilt is exactly the same as blocks on the back of my quilt.  We are tied together, in faith, in friendship, in affection.  I give thanks to God for her.

Proverbs 17:17  A friend loves at all times, and kinsfolk are born to share adversity.

It’s Growing Well


DSC_0710December we took possession of our new house in our new community.  Winter seemed to take a long time to break as I waited in anticipation of what would spring up in the flower beds.  I knew there would be purple cone flowers, other than that, it was all a mystery.  Spring arrived and I gave all the beds some housekeeping.  There appeared to be some hostas, irises, day lilies.  Daily I watched to see what was to be.

The beds were quite the mess.  I wasn’t holding out too much hope, they appeared to have been neglected for a few years.  I told myself not to be too surprised if the plants took a year to re-establish themselves.  The bearded and flag irises did poorly.  Less than a half dozen blossoms on four bunches.  The one nearest the house was mush.  I had to removed a number of rotted tubers.  I expect to transplant it later in the season.

There was an abundance of hostas, they were late in the southern most bed which is quite shaded.  I’m going to have to thin them out.  All of them bloomed, beautifully.

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The cone flowers began blooming this week.  They are fabulous!  One of my favourites, mainly because of the colour, of course!  There should be more than enough for some bouquets soon.
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I didn’t plant too many annuals this year.  We got a couple of hanging  baskets for the veranda.  There were pair of tall pillar planters on either side of the bench that I filled with cala lilies, pansies and petunias in shades of purple.  The pansies are struggling a little, DSC_0706but those in the front flower bed are doing well.
The day lilies posed the greatest concern for me.  They, like the hostas, dominate the beds.  My fear was the colour they would eventually display.  The fear was realized when they bloomed orange last week.  I know orange is a good contrast for purple, but it is not part of my preferred palate.  They have redeemed themselves, the blossoms are glorious.  DSC_0704
I will be thinning them out, quite a lot.  There are a number of people volunteering to take the discards.  I have a fabulous white one as a replacement and some more bearded irises.  Plus I want room for spring bulbs, tulips, alliums, grape hyacinths, and narcissus.
The flowers have done very well, inspite of at least three heavy hail storms that punched holes in the hostas and beat down the pansies and impatients.  Still, the weather has been warm and there has been lots of rain. Perfect for a riotous display of colour. So grateful for the glory of flowers.  Praise God for the beauty of the earth.
Deuteronomy 32:2   May my teaching drop like the rain, my speech condense like the dew; like gentle rain on grass, like showers on new growth.

Jelly Roll Race


Sometimes it’s a colour that catches the attention.  Sometimes it’s a fabric print.  Other times it is a technique that just begs to be tried.  Once in awhile it is a convergence of them all.  Such a convergence happened when I happened upon the fabric palette used in this project.  I always wanted to sew a jelly roll race quilt.  Jelly rolls are pre-cut strips of fabric 2 1/2″ wide and WOF (width of fabric 42-44″)  There is usually 40 strips in a roll.  A race is joining all the pieces together end to end.  Next fold the the long strip in half, right sides together and sew along one edge.  Cut at the fold, press open.  Fold in half, right sides together and repeat.  This is the finished project.  DSC_0336

I had been keeping my eye open for the perfect fabric.  Almost perfect, the polka dots don’t quite fit, but I love the rest.  I’ve decided to name it “Raindrops on Glass.”

This quilt is for my husband’s sister in-law who recently underwent surgery for ovarian cancer.  I really like the way the border and the back co-ordinated with the top.  I quilted it with a varigated thread that has all similar colours in wavy contoured lines.

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DSC_03411 Corinthians 9:24  Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it.

 

 

WIP Wednesday – Primitive Reproductions


DSC_0243I absolutely love this fabric.  I’m not too crazy about the partridge with the pear, but it is seasonal, so I can make allowances.  I bought 4 charm packs and some yardage of  Seasonal LIttle Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings from my favourite quilt store in Fort St. John.  I am doing my  utmost to be very deliberate in the construction of this quilt.  Already I have made a couple goofs and am upset with myself.  I wanted all the pieces with parallel lines to go in the same direction.  Third block, fail!  Sigh.

To this point the planned layout is as shown.  Once I took the picture and it presented as quartered snowballs rather than bow ties has me second guessing the plan.  Either way, I am going to be snuggly and warm on the couch with this new lap quilt.

Mark 8:18  Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember?

Scrappy WIP


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Almost at the finished stages for one quilt top, now fallen to neglect when I realize that the left over scraps are the same size as a stash of other scraps from a previous project.  I was working on a quick strip pattern using two Moda 3 Sisters Park Avenue jelly rolls I purchased in Kamloops.  We were there just prior to the May long weekend visiting classmates on a Four Day Getaway.  My creative impulse has transferred my focus to sewing long strips of four patch blocks, adding a strip of blue to the right and then separating the four pieces with six inches of a neutral.  Today I expect to finish piecing this latest project as the weather forecast calls for rain showers and thunderstorms all day today.

Birthday Quilt


I mentioned in the previous post that I had a ‘birthday quilt’ on my list of things to finish.  I finally got it bound and cleaned up two days ago.  It is ready to be put in the mail.  I stippled the entire surface this time.  I wanted a particular variegated thread and thought I had been lucky enough to find it until almost a third of the quilt was completed.  ARRRG!  It wasn’t white, red and brown, but green!  Duh, I should have twigged onto it when I read the label and it said ‘Holiday.’  The technique was done with my new free motion foot.  It will take some practice to get better at it.  I learned it is necessary to keep the speed of the machine consistent and move the fabric a little at a time.  Of course the tendency is to move faster as the machine goes faster and the result is stitches that are too big.  I am getting the hang of it and am looking forward to trying other free motion patterns with subsequent projects. This effort is not perfect, but I am still thrilled with the way it turned out.

Here is what it looked like to start —

I had a bunch of pre-cut squares in various sizes and thought they would be a good choice since the recipient’s favourite colour is red.  Some you might recognize as fabric from the quilt I made for my father’s 90th birthday.  Because the squares were all different sizes, it required some math and mental gymnastics to figure out how to assemble them into some sort of pattern that would work.  I thought sewing them into strips the width of the quilt would work the best and for the most part it did.  Stretching and compacting each strip to get them to fit resulted in a finished product that does not lie perfectly flat as the full image shows.

Still, I think it looks great!  This colour palette is one of my favourites. I never thought I was so partial to red until I organized my stash one day and realized how much of the fabric I had purchased — was.

The birthday is tomorrow.  Somehow I doubt that Canada Post will get it there by then.  Better luck next time…

 

 

My Father’s Quilt


In 2011 my father celebrated his 90th birthday.  Its a long time to accumulate everything you could ever want or need.  What could I possibly give him?

My latest ‘fun’ has been quilting.  He’s colourblind and sees red the best.  I settled on a beige/brown/red lap quilt that I managed to finish enroute as we travelled to Ontario for the gathering of the family.  It was a splendid time.

He seemed pleased with it.  I asked if he would have a use for it, napping on the couch possibly?  He protested that he didn’t nap on the couch (although the day following his party he did, a little weary from regalling his guests with stories and jokes all night perhaps?).  He intends to use it when he is keeping the fire in the wood box going.  That requires he sleep in the recliner in the basement.  The woodbox only has the capacity to burn for a half hour at a time.  My mom dismissed that option immediately.  “It will smell of smoke and get full of burn holes before you know it!”  Better that than sitting folded in a closet somewhere.

     I attempted free motion quilting for the first time with this quilt.  The effect turned out alright, considering I had the incorrect presser foot for my model of sewing machine and I had to use duct tape to keep the foot slightly off the surface of the quilt.  I’ll  know better next time!