Saturday, February 5, 2011

Wow, Time does fly!

Hi Folks,  Here we are in February already and I haven't found time to post since November.  What can I say?  Christmas, Birthdays, weather all seem to take me away from the blog space.  I truly hope you are all fine and coping to the best way you can with some of this winter weather we have been having.  I am very lucky to be right in the center of North America, so the weather is pretty stable.  Six months of winter one month of spring, three months of summer and two months of autum.  You can pretty well bet on a cold winter, wet spring, hot summer and beautiful autumn. 
     I haven't worked on my long arm for a very long time.  I did manage to give away all the quilts I made for some of my family members, but it is long overdue for me to take up the rest of the challenge and finish off the remaining quilt tops sitting in my basket.  I have about 21 quilts waiting to be quilted and another fifty or so that are waiting to be claimed by family members who haven't made it out here to pick out the top of their choice.   I have been at the sewing machine during the past five months though and have managed to finish putting together a couple of dozen tops that were sitting unfinished in my UFO pile.  Some were blocks I had swapped on the Cdnquiltswappers list group and others were smaller projects started as wheelchair quilts.  I had a change of heart and made borders from my scrap bin to enlarge them to twin size medallion type quilts.  These I can donate to my charity of choice when they are quilted.  I have used up my stash of batting, though and had to go on a spending spree for more warm and natural as well as backings.  That's what put a stop to my quilting in the first place.  Once I stopped because of lack of batting and backing, it was hard for me to get started again what with Christmas and such right in the path of progress.  :>)  Only two more birthdays to get through this month and I will be back in stride at the long arm.  I got as far as putting a quilt top on the frame, now to make time to actually turn on the machine. 
     I need to update my groups web page and delete obsolete info.  How about the rest of you? Are you in the same boat as me?  The last top I made used up several diamonds which were given to me about 7 years ago.  I hate to throw out any fabric, so will find some way to use all the scraps up.  This week I found myself with a few minutes on hand, so I made a cover for my thermos.  Now the water stays hot overnight, so I am ready for my morning coffee first thing when I get out of bed.  How many of you turn on the computer as soon as you open your eyes?  Gotta check out the email and then turn on the sewing machine to sew up those things you dreamed up in bed during the night.  LOL.  We are creatures of habit, aren't we?  Well,  I hope to get on here at least once a week, but no promises are made. I have to learn blogging all over again. I've forgotten how to post a photo and other little tidbits of knowledge that I never really grasped in the first place. LOL.   Hugs Judith

Friday, November 5, 2010

Taste of Winter

Well, folks, we had a touch of winter last week.  Even though I know its coming, winter tends to put me into hibernation mode.  I got my Christmas shopping completed in three days.  The snow has all melted by the end of the day, but it was a rude awakening to the lull the beautiful fall weather had me in.  Mind you this week has returned to the double digits weather and my mums are none the worse for the cold blanket of white stuff, but nevertheless, I know we can't escape the inevitable white that will arrive sooner rather than later.  Most of the geese have flown and many of the birds we see outside my kitchen window these days  will remain here to brave the weather as long as we can keep the bird feeder filled for them.  Some of the trees are reluctant to give up their green dressings of summer while others quickly succumbed and eagerly wore the white dress of horefrost last week when we got a taste of whats to come.  
     With my son home for a while, my quilting has come to a halt.  I just can't work in the sewing room when he's around.  My computer is in the same room and he monopolizes it most of the time.  I get to check in after he is in bed.  Good news coming though is that he plans on returning to Edmonton on the 20th of this month.  The positive spin on him coming home for a month is that I can plan on defrosting my freezer right after he's gone cause it will be almost empty then.  He isn't a growing boy anymore, but he still has the appetite of one.  LOL.  On the negative side of this is once the defrosting is done, I will need to restock it.  VBG. However, as much as I complain about having him underfoot, I must admit its only because I have grown accustomed to my freedom of being able to eat, sleep, wake, quilt, clean whenever the mood feels right living by myself, and with having him home, I must revert to spending my time with considerations to him as well.  Many of you have partners still and enjoy the companionship they provide. For this I envy you, but when I am deprived of my freedom with independence, I sometimes forget what it was like to have someone around to need me.  I guess its a tradeoff and depending on what day it is, I swing from one desire to another.  
     I got to spend the day with my sister this week.  She has bought two season tickets to the Manitoba Theater Center performances for the 2010/2011 season.  I accompany her for this first production while the weather is nice and the roads are clear, then my other sister will attend the next three performances during the winter months.  Come March and May, I will attend the last two presentations of the season.  This way, she enjoys spending time with two of her siblings.  The cost isn't too bad either as they are during the day and at the senior prices.  I have always loved the theater and used to go with my mother while she was still with us.  Both my mother and sister bought season tickets in the hopes their partners would accompany them, only to find it wasn't really what the men liked to do.  My younger sister and I jumped at the chance to pick up the cost of the extra ticket they were left with when their husbands refused to go. Living in the country like I do, I tend to stay home during the winter and do my quilting.  I'm not a big fan of winter driving.  I don't mind running up to the local store for groceries, but I don't relish traveling too far from home. The roads are generally fairly good in the country, but once you get close to the city, they get congested with traffic, ice/snow etc. so I avoid what I can from the first snow drop to the last.  I love winter, when I can look out the window at the beautiful clean white stretch of snow marked only with the rabbit or bird tracks.  I'm not a big fan of being out in the cold unless it is warmer than minus 20 celcius. Once the temps get below minus 25, I keep myself nestled in the house under the quilts.  LOL. I guess thats enough rambling for today. I need to get some swaps organized, so should be busy doing that instead of gossiping here.  LOL.  Til next time. Stay healthy.  Judith

Thursday, October 21, 2010

learning my own name

Well, today I have to admit my learning curve is a bit more than I could handle without making mistakes.  I posted my blog address to my online quilt guild "Cdnquiltswappers" only to find out I don't even know my own name.  LOL.  Sometimes I don't know much at all.  I have been busy enjoying this nice fall weather and hoping it would stay til Dec 15, then come back again by March 15.  I believe in equality in most things, including the weather.  Each season should run three months.  If I were mother nature, I would have it organized that way.  LOL.  I will eventually get the hang of blogging.  In the meantime, there are no frills here.  Just a running account of how my brains rambles.  I sat today listing the jobs needing to be completed before snow flies and it filled the page.  None of it will get done if I sit here all day.  So I'm off to the yard to shorten that work list by half at least right after I change the blog address listed at Cdnquiltswappers.  Catch ya tomorrow

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day of Reckoning for me

Well,  Today, I have been running chores for the neighbour.  It is another beautiful fall day and a trip to the mall was in order.  My neighbour is elderly and no longer drives.  Because we live in the country, it is imperitive we have a means of transportation. Hence, I am the designated driver these days.  It was a quick trip to the store, but a slow return.  LOL.  There is always the cuppa tea at his home before I get to return home to my very patient dog.  She was glad to see me after being alone for four hours.  You gotta love these little dogs.  They are so intelligent and make you feel so welcome when you walk into the room.  Today was no exception.  She was just so glad to see me, I began to feel some guilt for leaving her alone all afternoon.  I'll have to make sure I don't leave again for at least a few days. 
     I have spent more than a few hours on the computer today, trying to arrange swaps  and plans for my online quilting guild.  The most obvious realization is that I need to organize myself to make the most productive use of time.  Do you have that problem too?  I wear many hats and want to be an equal opportunity person.  It is clear I will need to adjust the time I spend between my many passions.  So much of the time, weather will be part of this decision making.  Once again today is over and I still didn't get out in the yard to winterize.  I must give this a priority tomorrow.  Bulbs need to be planted and gardens cleaned up while I mulch some of the more tender perrenials.  I also need to spread some soil conditioner in the flower beds and weed the garden so the spring fever can take wings without obsticles to slow me down next year. 
     Having said that, I am looking forward to getting another quilt top on the long arm and resuming my first passion.  I have to say, the long arm has been the best investment I could have ever made.  My fingers are succumbing to arthritis these days, so having the long arm has made it possible for me to keep up with my quilting goals in spite of the arthritic condition. Let's hear it for Long Arm Machines.  Til tomorrow..........

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More Fall Colours

If you look carefully, you may see the deer hiding in the poplars. They like to come out at dusk and dawn.  Between the deer, fox, birds and rabbits, I am always entertained at the kitchen table looking out the window.
My goal I set just about ten months ago, was to make a quilt for every member of my family.  This means 97+ quilts will be given out to siblings, nieces, nephews and great nieces/nephews.  There are even a few Great-Greats in the mix.  Over the past ten months I have succeeded in completeing and distributed 37 of these quilts.  I haven't worked on the sewing machines for over a month now, because the yard needed to get ready for winter.  I think I will be able to resume the quilting in about two weeks.  I do have all the quilt tops made already.  I have been having family members come out for a visit and to pick out the quilt top of their choice from the available tops.  Today was one of these days.  My niece and her family came out to pick out the tops she would like to have.  Since the beginning of September, I have had four other families come to pick out their choices.  So I now have about twenty+ tops tagged with names to be quilted.  They will get worked on first.  It has been interesting to hear their comments on the various styles and colours of the quilt tops I offer up to choose from.  These quilts are all bed size from single thru queen size.  I don't do king size as my setup is not user friendly to anything larger than queen size. 
After they went home, I sat and played with some scraps of poly cotton, making up a few blocks which will find their way into some charity quilts once these family quilts are all done.  I thought it would be good to donate a few serviceable quilts to the local charities.  Most quilters I know do a lot of charity quilts and I know they are always well received.  Its interesting to hear comments from others about the cost of this hobby of mine, but since I don't drink, smoke, or spend money in ways other than cost of living, I chalk this up to my form of addiction.  LOL.  As my daughter says, it is my form of poison.  LOL.  I am a passionate person and usually give 110% of myself into anything I do, so this does not feel extravagant to me.  The smiles and thanks I get are a rich payment indeed.  I especially love the little children who drag their quilts everywhere with them and who fondly wrap their dollies and teddies up with as much love as they can find in the quilt.  I will post photos of some of these quilts in the weeks to come. I will see what tomorrow brings as we are promised another week of beautiful fall weather which still ranges in the double digits.  Oh another thing I got done this weekend was to bag up the halloween candies into handout bags.  I'm all ready for that big night in two weeks time.  I wonder how many kids will knock on my door this year.  Last year I only had three.  My lowest number in forty years. But I prepare for thirty and have enough on hand to quickly make up more if needed.  That's my thoughts and comments for today. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Last of the Fall Colours

Looking out the back winlow, I can see Fall is on the way out.  It won't be long before winter will have us in its grip and the sewing machines will be humming.  To me there are but two seasons.  Gardening season and Quilting season.  Both of which keep me too busy to do the housework. This week, I will have finished up the last of the gardening, planting fall bulbs, cutting back the old growth of the plants and getting the yard ready to sleep.under the deep cover of snow.  The birds at the bird feeder also indicate they are ready to take flight on their southern journey and those that stay to entertain me for the winter outside my kitchen window will be looking for cover in the grapevines when the cold temps do come. 

By now you can tell I am in a country paradise, living the life of a spoiled retiree.  I have my stash of fabric, thread, working sewing machines and a head full of ideas that will hopefully convert to completed quilts during the white season. To add a bit of colour, there will be the occasional gardening magazine which I can browse in dreams of the summer gardens to come. In the reverse order, during green season, I have the occasional quilting magazine to flip through and dream of the cooler white season during the height of the heat waves of summer weather.  

This is the first day of my blogging. I wonder how much of a learning curve this will take.  I don't want to take too much time away from my sewing, you know.  Stay tuned to see what I am thinking of tomorrow.