Canada, Christmas, Customer Quilts, Family, Grandson, Life, Longarm Quilting, Longarm quilting Thunder Bay, Ontario, Thunder Bay, Uncategorized, Wendys Quilting, Winter

January and Possibilities

Ok time really is getting away from me, ESP when it comes to blogging!
Just a quick recap from the last few months, I have been very busy with customer quilts as well as working as a respite worker for Wesway. Christmas as always seems to show up before we are ready though as always it was a wonderful time with family, oh and for those who don’t know…Erik and I became engaged!!!!
My oldest was home from with her family (I guess I should acknowledge that Texas is her home) Jerry really enjoyed his visit! At 3 1/2 he sees snow as fun and didn’t care that it was cold out either. His Dad really had fun fort building as well, his Mom while being a great sport has really grown used to the Texas weather.

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Jerry and Liam had fun getting reacquainted, and Jerry informed his Mama that Liam isn’t Baby Liam anymore cause he is big now!

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On the quilting front I have really enjoyed a new book by Judi Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts called Quilting Wide Open Spaces, such an inspiring to me book. She and her husband also run an online fabric store that I have ordered from numerous times with great satisfaction. So I am always happy to recommend them to others, their prices are awesome to as is there integrity!

Speaking of quilt shops I heard that there is a new shop in town! Super exciting news!!

I attended our Possibilities club tonight, I have missed too many of these meetings due to work this year. (I haven’t even made it out to a guild meeting this year though it looks good for next month!) anyways tonight’s meeting was fun, casual and full of fun and exciting ideas!

And yes I am and have been busy quilting customer quilts for the most part. I will share a glimpse of one as the customer hasn’t seen it yet…lots of fun with freehand and inspired by Judi’s book.

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birthday, Blogroll, Family, hiking, Life, Quilting, Uncategorized, Winter

Sunday

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I am not very good about labeling quilts but I’m trying to turn over a new leaf so for now on I won’t let a quilt leave me without a label. This one was very simple, I traced the circle portion of on of the BOM’s that I’m working on from Gail Pans site, that I showed in the previous posting to this one. But I really wish I would have had time to embroider it.

I meant to get more quilting done this weekend but between being really tired and having to get my taxes together and plans for today..well I might still get a couple of hours in tonight.

If there are any Canadians reading my blog you will know who Rick Mercier is. He’s a reported for the CBC and travels about and does “reports” pretty funny stuff. Anyways not very long ago he visited Thunder Bay to experience a few “local” things. Thunder Bay has a large Finnish population, so he visited The Hoito which has been one of my favorite places for years. The food is all homemade kinda old style and very yummy in the way only comfort foods can be. So he went there to learn the fine art of making Finnish Pancakes, we make our own here. And then he joined some fellows and went ice climbing which is something that I never ever plan to do myself and then finished that day off with a good old fashioned Sauna. I found the episode on you tube:

The weather was a bit chilly today with the wind but we still made it out for our hike, its a conservation area not far from Eriks and is a 4.5 km loop through the bush, so relaxing and a good workout as its very hilly. I took a few pictures to show that the snow is melting. There is another snow storm in the forcast for up to 10 cm, I ‘m really hoping thats wrong its supposed to be spring!!!

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Blogroll, Family, Life, Moda U, Quilting, Winter

New Energy

It must be spring, although we lost an hour last weekend the extra day light has made a huge difference.
Winter is refusing to let go of its grip and we found ourselves under a winter snow warning Tuesday night. We received about 25 cm of snow and the windchill’s were brutal in the -30C range. Today has been a beautiful and sunny day and the temps are looking promising for the coming week. I’m very ready to get my hands in the soil again 🙂
I finally finished the customer quilt that was on my machine for the last few weeks.
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There’s something about the back of a custom quilt job, its always a surprise to me when I see it laid out.

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My coworkers quilt is bound I’m just waiting on the label so it can be delivered.

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Then it was time for a little fun so I loaded this little quilt and just played, I’m really pleased with how it turned out. I’m going to either make a little something or find a surprise to send to the big sister and then it will be on its way.

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you can’t really see the quilting in the picture from the front

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We decided to make this quilt abit bigger so today I made and added 12 blocks. They are laid out in my living room and will stay there until I put the top together. My girls and their friends are pretty used to this practice.

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I’ve been asked to speak at Quilt Guild about longarm quilting Monday night and show a few of my quilts. I’m not really a front line person but when I’m speaking on something I’m passionate about I really don’t mind.

Work has been very stressful lately, thankfully my quilting helps to ease that stress. I can always tell when I’m at my limit, the quilts start appearing. At one of my most stressful times as a mom I pieced my summer wind quilt and quilted it in 3 days.

Blogroll, Family, hiking, Life, Moda U, Quilting, Winter

A Sad Tale and My Quilting Update

We were going to take our usual Sunday afternoon hike today but first Erik wanted to show me something in the back of his property.

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He’s had a stand of Pine trees that he’s been really proud  of, they really are beautiful trees.

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Last week when he went back there he notice that almost all of them had been stripped of the bark which means they will all die.

While we were looking at the trees……look what else we saw

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Yep, thats the culprit. This porcupine has been a very busy critter. Its amazing how much damage such a small animal can do and so thourough too check out these branches:

even-the-branches-smallSome of the branches are so small you’d think it would have fallen out of the tree.

On a brighter note heres a shot I took from the back looking towards the house. I love the little playhouse.

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The wind was really bitter today so we skipped the long hike. I sure hope spring is planning to come soon.

On the quilting front I accomplished quite abit on the custom job on my machine, I still need a full day or so to complete it but its coming along. I’ve been spending alot more time piecing these days, I need to remember not to let life get so busy that I don’t make time for my domestic machine and making quilts.

rosy-checks-trimmed-blocksAll trimmed and ready to be sewn into a top

hello-betty1And my Hello Betty Quilt I have 44 half square triangles trimmed and another 44 to trim and another 88 to make…

This week will be a full one so hopefully I’ll still be able to tuck in some sewing for me time and get the customer quilt done and delivered.  I want to be able to do it all but with a full time day job its pretty challenging.

My oldest daughter will be home from Texas tomorrow night….and with her my order from Fat Quarter Shop, I’m very excited to see both of them.

Blogroll, Family, Life, Quilting, Uncategorized, Winter

Favorites

Today was one of my favorite things. Working full time outside of my home makes me really appreciate Fridays. I also really do appreciate my full time job, the security it give my girls and I as well as the opportunity to be of assistance to others. I work for a government agency that puts in home care. Nursing, homemakers, OT/PT and some other services that for the most part are in place to enable seniors to remain in their own homes as long as possible. We also put the nursing services in so that people can go home from the hospital and recuperate in the comfort of their own home.

Still I do love Fridays!

My plan for tonight was to work on a customer quilt for the most part. I was supposed to be home alone all night but instead one was home for a visit and my youngest was home longer than she’d thought and had a friend over who also brought her mom along so we could meet. ( the girls are 14 and are abit horrified when we moms want to meet each other, but I really do like to know their friends moms if possible) Turns out her mom is making a quilt and has made a few in the past and wanted to see my studio. So I did not get as much work as planned but there’s always tomorrow.

Last weekend we took a quick trip to Duluth, we just needed abit of a getaway.This winter has felt extremely long and the trip did help. I woke up before everyone so I went for a little walk. Lots of snow and ice still but Lake Superior was open in Duluth, we are 3 1/2 hours north and the lake is still frozen here.

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Grand Marais is a little town a couple hours from here in MN. It is a cool little town so worth a visit. There’s a great Quilt shop there called Crystal’s. There are actually a few quilt shops on the way to Duluth and this time I discovered a new one called Behind the Seams….I was well behaved but oh that shop was full of my kind of fabric…

I was really well behaved partly because we didn’t want to go over our limit and pay duty and also because I went on a bit of a binge ordering from Fatquartershop.com and Hancocks this week. Next week I’ll share some pictures of my latest additions to my stash. I really have to ground myself from those sites for abit I think 🙂

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I did piece all the blocks for my Rosy Checks this week, I decided to piece a few every time I had a few minutes to spare and tonight I pressed the last few. I couldn’t resist laying them out to have a peek. They still need to be trimmed before I put the top together, but it felt so good to finish the blocks. I think Erik’s mom will really like this quilt.

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I’m ready to start my Hello Betty Quilt. One of the reasons I like the Moda U quilts is that I can just cut and piece. Sometimes I just need to use my tools and these quilts fit the bill for that, I get to use some to the newest fabric lines and they give me variety and I get to try some new patterns, some are easier than others and sometimes easy fits the bill especially when life has been challenging enough.

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My youngest daughter has been creative all of her life, always prefering craft supplies over toys. Making all her gifts and even making things to sell while she was in grade school. She made Rice Bags a couple of years (grade 5 and 6) and sold them to classmates and teachers, promoting them as gifts they could give. That little girl has a business mind. Anyways a couple Christmases ago she made me this pillow using my little scraps from the Wuthering Heights quilts I’d made and then wrote on the back of it. It is one of my most treasured items. Sometimes she’ll ask me to put it away (remember she’s 14 now) because her friends always read it and ask her if she made it.

She told me this morning that she thinks that paint is her medium. She just completed a semester of Art in Highschool and really enjoyed it, even though she found it hard and challenging she apprecitated how much she learnt.

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Blogroll, Family, Life, Quilting, Uncategorized, Winter

February

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I hear we have another 6 weeks of winter….well that’s really no surprise around here, winters rarely finished around here until the end of March. Spring takes it’s time arriving and by the middle of June we can start planting.

Tuesday was My Eldest Daughters 23rd Birthday, she has really grown into a beautiful young woman inside and out.  She has been a joy to raise and watch her become who she is. She’s an awesome big sister and always was right from the day she found out she’d be a sister when she was 3 years old. This spring she’ll graduate University with and Honors Degree in Social Work.

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This winter has been long and cold. I’ve really been feeling cabin fever……so what did I do?

img_2503-smallI went shopping at fatquartershop.com I really don’t have the time for piecing but I”m going to schedule some time in. I also ordered a few new patterns that I wanted to try. Some from Hancocks and due to the ice storm I’ve had to wait for their arrival. Of course now that I’ve ordered more patterns I’ll need more fabric right?

img_2508-smallMy Valentines quilt is bound and hanging.

img_2511-small1This weekend I’m working on a custom customer quilt and also on a few little projects.  That I’ll share a little later.

Til then TGIF!!

Blogroll, Family, hiking, Life, Quilting, Uncategorized, Winter

January

This week was the coldest so far this winter with Windchills in the -38 to -41C range. If you haven’t experienced those kind of temps  and you don’t have to I don’t recommend it 🙂 Around here life just continues on, you make sure to plug in your block heater at night so your car in my case van will start and you adjust your driving to the conditions. Oh and you make sure you’re dressed for the weather and keep extra things like blankets, winter gear and safety kit in your vehicle. The Coldsnap started on Monday, also the day my daughters boyfriend came up from Texas. He flew into Minneapolis and rented a SUV and drove up here I think at first he was pretty suprised at how cold it really does get up here but the kids sure made the most of their visit. They took some pretty cool pictures in the city and area so I thought I’d share some:

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Go0d Northerner Hat! These hats are superwarm and this one came from Egli’s Sheep Farm about 3 1/2 hours west of here.

Sleeping Giant
Sleeping Giant

This was taken right at the water front, there are summer shots of the Sleeping Giant as well as the Falls in earlier posts, I think the ice really makes the Falls look interesting.

Kakabeka Falls:

Kakabeka Falls winter 09
Kakabeka Falls winter 09

The Forestry industry has taken a big hit in the last few years leaving thousands unemployed in Northern Ontario. This picture is of Bowater which is still running but after considerable downsizing.

Paper Mill
Paper Mill

These next pictures are of what we all call the Cheese farm. Its always so worth visiting for the Gouda Cheese they make and I always add some “squeeky cheese” aka Cheese Curds to my purchase. They also carry Dutch Licorice which is one of my favorite candies. The kids did bring me some home but I can’t take a picture of it now 🙂

Thunder Oak Cheese Farm
Thunder Oak Cheese Farm

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I used to walk by this place alot its about a mile from here down an old country road. I like to think that many years ago a young couple built this place and raised their family and lived out their years. Its been deserted for I don’t know how long now, in the summer the lilac bush in the front is always in full bloom, the lady probably planted it and at one time took great pride in how her place looked.

Old homestead
Old homestead

The barn I’m sure has seen much better days, It sure has character now. The oil tank is still by the house, at one time it would have been heated with oil.

homesteads barn
homesteads Barn

On the quilting front, its been a busy month at work and trying to keep up with quilt jobs. I finished up this blue quilt, its a king size that the piecer wanted free hand quilted with an overall pattern and her embroidered blocks SID’d and simple quilting to tack the blocks down.

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This one was very fun to quilt with lots of free hand.

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