Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What's on Lady Mary?

Good Morning Friends!

Well, I am a huge fan of Downton Abbey and I have really enjoyed curling up on the couch in my quilt of the week, every Sunday night, to watch what the beloved characters of Downton Abbey are up to.

Upstairs, downstairs, I love them all. I was so put out that Dan Stevens (Matthew) left the show that I almost quit it. However...I was soon over my snit about that and engaged in the next season.

I miss Lady Sybil. She was by far the one closest to my heart with her causes, her forward thinking-break out of the box-I have an attitude but I am soft too, character.  She was always dressed in my favourite colours. I often wonder what the show would have been like had she stayed. At the time she was, in my opinion, the only thing left on the show that was redeeming about it. oh well...

As a matter of fact I have ordered the Downton Abbey fabrics and will make up a quilt that showcases all of the ladies' fabric colours.  Then I will really be ready for season 5 when it rolls around.

So about the title. I have named my longarm Lady Mary. Why you ask? Well, since I have had this monster in the studio, I think I've learned that she has a mind of her own, and a steel will.  If I don't get things just right, she will not cooperate. Just like Lady Mary! Adjustments are always being made, by me, not her!


This quilt was made for my daughter and her husband for Christmas 2 years ago. I quilted it on my domestic machine. Things have gotten a lot easier with the longarm!

I went outside to walk the dog a while ago and I think I hear the birdsong ramping up. They must like the above freezing temperatures that we are having! Yay! Spring can't be far off!

Happy Quilting...


Thursday, December 12, 2013

I needed to be reminded...

I recently read this quote of Spurgeon on the internet on a blog I follow.  I will take it for today.  I hope it blesses you too.

“To a man (or woman) who lives unto God nothing is secular, everything is sacred.
He puts on his workday garment and it is a vestment to him.
He sits down to his meal and it is a sacrament.
He goes forth to his labor, and therein exercises the office of the priesthood. His breath is incense and his life a sacrifice.
He sleeps on the bosom of God, and lives and moves in the divine presence.
To draw a hard and fast line and say, “This is sacred and this is secular,” is, to my mind, diametrically opposed to the teaching of Christ and the spirit of the gospel…
Peter saw a sheet let down from heaven in which were all manner of beasts and four-footed creatures, which he was bidden to kill and eat, and when he refused because they were unclean, he was rebuked by a voice from heaven, saying, “What God hath cleansed that call not thou common” [Acts 10:15; 11:9].
The Lord hath cleansed your houses, he has cleansed your bed chambers, your tables…  He has made the common pots and pans of your kitchens to be as the bowls before the altar –
if you know what you are and live according to your high calling.
You housemaids, you cooks, you nurses, you ploughmen, you housewives, you traders, you sailors, your labor is holy if you serve the Lord Christ in it, by living unto Him as you ought to live.
The sacred has absorbed the secular.”

Monday, August 12, 2013

Life Stages

Good morning friends! (I wrote this post a few months back)

Do you ever stop and take a minute or two to look back on your life and look for patterns or even just wonder at the path you have walked?  And as the various experiences along the path are remembered, what does the mental journey tell you?



When I was growing up we lived on the edge of a park which was bordered by forest, so our backyard was open to the forest. I spent a lot of time walking through those woods, on those well worn paths to and from public school, then high school, and to and from my friends' homes.

Back in those days, it was safe to walk those routes, if need be, after dark and this I did many a time. I knew those paths so well and even in the dark, I was seldom afraid. The moon would shine down through the trees lighting up the path in front of me. I knew well the main path which ran east west through the woods, and the path to our back yard was well marked.



Spending so much time in those woods meant becoming particularly attentive to the changes the different seasons brought to the forest. Millions of oak and maple leaves crunching under foot in the late fall, then winter snow covering the paths becoming well worn with footsteps from kids going to and from school; spring woodland flowers appearing on schedule...trilliums, jack-in-the-pulpits, dogwoods, violets...I remember them all and I particularly enjoyed this harbinger of spring. Then the long hot days of summer when the wood was in full leaf, squirrels busy gathering, chipmunks running in and out of the woodpile that was on the edge of the yard, various birds building their nests in the trees...

The pathways became so familiar. Even though the different seasons brought changes to the wood, the pathways remained the same. The paths took me to school, to the park, to friends' homes, and to my home.




And so it was a season in my life which I remember often.

The path I seem to be on now involves a new stage in my life as once again I intersect with my mother's path. She is moving into a retirement centre and for a few of us in the family this change represents a new stage in life that brings with it many mixed emotions. Together, mom and I have been sorting through her closet, cupboards, and drawers throwing out things that need tossing, deciding what needs to be passed on or given to the Sally Ann, and what will be kept to be taken to her new room.

 As I have worked I find myself remembering the early days with my mother, when she ran a house, cared for 4 children, preserved jams and jellies, froze the produce from the garden, and kept many balls in the air. I have other memories from the stages since then that my mom has gone through. My life has always intersected with her life and now I find myself mentally addressing every stage of life she has experienced so far.  And as I do this, I marvel at the path of a woman's life. The path is continually being walked...at different speeds...and changing seasons. How we navigate those changes, whatever they may be, determines our quality of life.

I am honoured to have accompanied my mom on her path and witnessed her life to this point.  Even though there have been hard times there have been many joyous times. I am thankful she was a witness to my raising my children, and that my children knew her at different ages and interacted with her. She has been an important influence in their lives.

And now she is going to experience another season...one which I hope will bring her much joy and rest. She will meet new people, develop new routines, have new experiences, and while this is a little frightening for her, I think she will rise to the occasion and be a blessing to others in her new community.


The pathways a woman walks throughout her life take her in many different directions and through many different experiences.   Our experiences are unique and mean something. What we learn along the pathway is important and worth sharing with others. Pathways. That's another post. Be well.







Saturday, August 10, 2013

Choices

Good day Friends!

I realized the other day that crickets were chirping and in my piece of this planet that means August has arrived and fall is not far away.  I love Fall! I don't love the heat and humidity of July here on the shores of Lake Ontario.  So I've been planning my projects for this coming Fall...the quilting...the decorating...the planting of the urns with mums...and I might even start knitting a new sweater for this winter.  Being a quiltmaker, I love the thought of snuggling up under a well worn quilt and that's just not something I do during the muggy summer months here. I will welcome the cooler days of Fall with exuberance!

There have been some sad stories in the news lately...stories that I just can't wrap my head around. Sometimes I think I will take a media fast for a month or so, but then I am not sure God wants his people to be unaware of the suffering going on the world, and, there is always prayer. He needs us to engage with Him in his work, in prayer. And so, for those who suffer in our world, our community, our families, we pray God's peace in troubling times.

Once again, we are experiencing life without family. We had some good visits earlier in the summer, and now they have all returned to their homes to live their lives. I must admit I am jealous of my friends whose grown children have chosen to live their lives nearby.  How pleasurable it is for grandparents to witness their children raising their families. And what a blessing it is for grandparents to be an influence in their grandchildren's lives.  Our small opportunities to do this via facetime leave us unsatisfied, to say the least.

I wake up in the mornings these days choosing to be thankful, although my heart is sad. And in choosing thankfulness for what we have in this time, and in this place, some of the sadness is put into perspective. After all there is much to be thankful for...and I am. I guess you can have deep sadness, and be thankful at the same time.  I'll let you know how this works out.

Since there is little demand on our time these days, I find myself becoming more reflective during quiet moments. Lots of questions for Him. Lots of asking...lots of wondering.

Speaking of wonder, just looking at the scene in our back garden we are awed at the Creator's work. The night sky last night was a beautiful shade of midnight blue and I thought of the artistry of God. The colour of the early dawn sky and the sound of the birds waking as the sun comes up.

 Another day, another opportunity to choose to be thankful.








Monday, March 25, 2013

Update!

Good morning friends :-)

It's been a long, cold, quiet winter here in B town. I thought I'd give you a look see at what I've been up to since Christmas.  Enjoy!

 This is the spool quilt, designed by Edyta Sitar, and I finally got the applique finished along all the borders.  I think it's the most intricate applique I have ever attempted. 


I enjoyed the quilting process on this quilt.

My son and his wife have moved into a new home and this squares quilt will be for them. It is quite different from the quilts I usually make and it looks much better now that it is being quilted.



Here is an up close view of one of the blocks I fussy cut. Just to remind him of home...


My friend has decided to use her beautiful Robin Pandolph christmas fabric for a lovely dresden plate. She worked on this at our annual after Christmas retreat.



My other friend decided to complete a quilt she wasn't really fond of. But she persevered and finished it. We had a great time quilting for the weekend in a lovely setting.
 
 
 
 And I did go shopping and couldn't resist this little bundle. I am a sucker for red.

 
We are off to visit family out west while they are on their spring break.  We will have 6 adults and 6 kids, 5 of whom are under 7, in one house!  Lots of fun, I am sure!
 
Do you think spring is going to arrive anytime soon? On my walk the other day, I spotted some snowdrops blooming, as well as a clump of crocus. It was a reminder to me that despite the cold winds still present, and the frozen ground, spring is advancing and can't be stopped.
 
I love this time of year and enjoy watching my garden begin to awaken. I go out daily to see what is coming through the ground.  I am sure that once the weather starts to warm up, the daffodils and tulips will emerge quickly and be ready to bloom.
 
 
 
 

 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry After Christmas

Anybody out there? I've been gone so long from the blogging world. Anyhow, Christmas was mixed this year. The older I get the more I value being with family rather than the whole present/gifts thing. I guess that comes with age, I don't know. Maybe by the time you pass 50 you have everything and you are on the way to trying to purge yourself of stuff that just clutters up your house and your life...except fabric of course!

I had two lovely luncheons with two different groups of girlfriends and I thoroughly enjoyed being with them. We chose interesting, different-from-usual venues and that just added to the enjoyment.

Two of our children and their lovely families live too far away and this year we didn't spend Christmas together. We used face time to enjoy some time together and let me tell you, that just doesn't cut it. Our other daughter was home for Christmas with her family and it was nice to see them and spend some time however they were sick and couldn't enjoy Christmas the way the might have liked to. They leave soon for the south and won't be back until June. I'll sew lots :-)

So...my tree and my decorations are coming down pretty quickly this year. I'm not sorry to say goodbye to the season this year. I might totally de-clutter the house and repaint during January. I'm thinking something robin's egg blue with a touch of grey. It will give Jim something to do while he waits for the golf courses to reopen.

Here's my completed "Night Before Christmas" quilt. I enjoyed making it so much.


and this is my Whistler Quilt. I had a relaxing week in the mountains visiting my sister-in-law (who doesn't much appreciate that quilting is an art...)

And the blue star quilt, which I began 5 years ago and completed this November. I need to get a proper shot of the quilt before she leaves for the south!


I'm getting together with some special friends in a few weeks for a weekend retreat. I'm not hosting it this year and I'm so looking forward to some solid quilting and visiting. 

My takeaway from Christmas this year is less is more. Fewer decorations, fewer outdoor decorations, not too much baking, not too much eating, and enjoy the simple things and the meaningful things, like enjoying the people you get to celebrate the season with, for whatever time is given...enjoy those you love.

My need-to-do-next-year is this. Cook less. As usual, even though there were only 4 adults and 2 children for Christmas dinner, I cooked enough to feed 5000.  When will I learn?

Talk soon,




Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mountains

I'm madly cutting kits to take on vacation. Fall is not when most people take a vacation...but we being retired have that option. I love Whistler in the fall. The drive up from Vancouver is breathtaking. The snow is starting to collect on the top of the mountains. The mornings are crisp...you can see your breath. When I'm out with the dog early in the morning, I'm mindful of wandering bears. Maybe this year I'll see one. Our residence while we are there sits just outside the village and from the yard there is a view of two imposing mountains - Blackcomb and another - I don't know the name of it. When I walk down the street I get the feeling I am somewhat insignificant as I look up and see those towering gigantic masses of rock.

DH will golf and I will be quite content to pull on comfy yoga pants and a sweater and sew my days away. I'm sure there will be a few shopping trips in the village, and maybe even a few hikes, although they are highly overrated by the locals! My daughter says with disgust, the "H" word. Not a fan...

My workout for the past few months has been inside, at the gym on the treadmill and the bike. It will be a welcome change tying on the running shoes and leashing up the dogs to go on a mountain trek. No tv needed during this kind of workout! The dogs think they are "working" and trot along at a good pace. The humans will tear up the terrain while keeping a watch for bears. I remember the hike we did last visit, a few years ago. It lasted hours and we ended up on top of a mountain with beautiful views. We earned our supper that day! Many calories were burned in an enjoyable way.

When I am in Whistler, I am put in my place. The mountains do it like nothing else ever has. I look around and take in the majesty of the imposing mountains and realize how small I am. And how weak. I am reminded of the majesty of the One who created what I see, and how vast and beautiful His creation is. Not a day goes by that I am not amazed at what He's done. That's why I love being in Whistler. I'm thankful.

And those mountain hikes...there's a metaphor in there somewhere...I'll post when I find it.







Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Borders of one kind or another

So, today, my friend and I did a quick road trip to that great country that sits below the big red maple leaf. In order to get there, we had to wait in line to talk to the nice US border guard and tell him we two old ladies were going shopping at the quilt store. That always brings a curious response... Anyhow, we did our meager shopping (unusual, yes) and crossed the bridge to come back into Canada. As we shared with the Canadian border guard that we had only spent a few hundred dollars between us, and we had no alcohol or tobacco, he began to write on the yellow sheet. Never a good sign. So we got nabbed for the tax...me, a grand total of $16.00 and my friend even less. Honestly. You would think that the process to supply the personnel to collect our meager taxes cost a great deal more than what we paid. What a monumental waste of time and taxpayers dollars that system is. I was put out! But it is still worthwhile shopping for our fabric in the US. Canadian quilt shops charge a ridiculous amount for fabric and we just can't justify paying their inflated prices for old fabric. Nuff said on all that for now. And speaking of borders, I never know how to quilt them. I am always stumped when I come to the border. Must research that on the Internet and get some ideas. Do you ever google something about quilting and hit "images"? Try it. For instance google "snowman quilts" and you will have some eye candy that will get you in the mood for winter even though it is 90 degrees outside! Off to bed.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Note From HRH!

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee...and I sent a note to her, and I got a thank you note from Buckingham Palace complete with a beautiful picture of the Queen.  God Save the Queen!



The Queen sends her grateful thanks
for the words of support
which you have so kindly sent
on the occasion of
the Sixtieth Anniversary of
Her Majesty’s Accession to the Throne.

2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May!

This is what has been taking up my time lately...and it is nearing completion. Loved making all those pinwheels.

She is a girly girl and she will love this!

I love the month of May. It means flowers, planting, blossoms, mother's day, a daughter's birthday, moderate temperatures (here in Canada!) and beautiful smells in the air. Spring in my neck of the woods is always one of my favorite times of the year. I'm a "not too hot, not too cold" girl. So the temperatures in spring suit me just fine!

Bleeding heart from my window basket


Spring Pansy

Forget-Me-Nots




Spring, new life, new beginnings...lovely, yes?  Off on my walk. See ya!