Monday, April 21, 2014

Saying Goodbye

On Easter Sunday, my Mom passed away at the age of 85. 
She was a wonderful artist.




 Here sits her loom.....now still.


 Mom's 85th Birthday, last July. 


 I made this quilt for her birthday. 


I was testing Cheryl Arkison's pattern "Stripes" for her book A Month of Sundays and as the quilt progressed, it just seemed to have Mom's name on it. The colours reminded me of her weaving. 

Her death was very sudden....and now we face the process of saying goodbye. She lived a full, healthy, and very creative life, filled with family and friends. 

Thank you so much, for all your heartfelt comments. Your kindness warms my heart during this difficult time.

Every evening, since her stroke, I sit snuggled under this quilt......and I suspect that will continue, for many evenings ahead.

Marianne


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Waiting and Wondering........



Last week I walked along the river.......


Spotting pussy willows along the way.


I even saw a beaver actively building his dam.


Yesterday, my Mom had a massive stroke....so today, we sat in the hospital, waiting and wondering.
Just last week, my Mom was recovering well from cataract surgery, anticipating spring and adjusting to her newly improved eyesight. It doesn't look good.

We are in shock, but thankfully we are together as a family....so we wait together.

Friday, April 11, 2014

A Clean Dress....Really???!!!

We've come a long way, baby. One of my sewing buddies saw fit to put this on facebook today. I just had to share it with you.


As it was our quilting day today, they actually had to the audacity to suggest my house be spotless, before they arrived and they expected to find me in a clean dress. Hmm....do I even own a dress. Never mind, this set the tone for the day and we did more laughing than quilting today.

As I read it to my husband he said "EXACTLY!....oh, to live in that time!!" My response to him was....oh never mind, you can imagine my response.
We have come a long way.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Low Volume.....Now that's a Scary Thought!!!

When you buy a red sectional, low volume cushions might just be the way to go.


Yup....I went a little crazy today, testing out low volume type cushions. Even my painting above the sectional is fairly quiet. I tried a much brighter painting there, but it was just too much.


I really love this particular one, on my low volume chair.......is there such a thing as a low volume chair?  Believe it or not I'm actually entertaining the thought of making a low volume type quilt....gasp...I know!!!  It's highly unlikely that I will actually accomplish such a feat.

My last project...sorry, the one I can't share, is definitely high volume, sounds so much more sophisticated than loud, don't you think?? And, there is a wall, far enough away, from the red sectional, that just might become the home, for that very colour loaded quilt.

Scary as it might be for this colour junkie.....I just might be making me a low volume quilt. Remember, I did say maybe.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

What Next??

As usual, after completing a large project, I'm feeling a little lost....not quite sure which project to tackle,next. There's certainly not a shortage of Works in Progress kicking around.  BUT ....... there is always the call of something new.

While in Victoria, I did a small trunk show and gave a short talk for the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild. What a fabulous group of quilters. Fifty-two quilters at the meeting!!! That's fantastic for a group that just started last fall. Thanks so much for letting me practice on you.


 Here's me waxing eloquent.....or here's me hoping I did!


Or at the very least, do I look like I know what I'm talking about? Lets hope!!!


Well....I could finish unpacking and sorting, from our move last fall, but that's no fun. I better cook me up a new project to work on.

I did spend the day with my fellow Blockheads helping a fellow Blockhead with a stalled project.....we all know how projects just get stalled out now and again. Don't tell anyone but we actually gab more than we quilt.  The girls then took me out for a belated birthday dinner.....love my quilting buddies.




Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lets Talk....Poorly Written Quilting Patterns





It happened again.....I bought myself a quilting pattern, from a local quilt shop, only to be disappointed. What's to be disappointed about, you might ask?? Or perhaps you might be thinking "I know exactly where she is going with this!!!"

 I have been reading quilting blogs for over three years and quilting books and magazines for over twenty and have yet to see this topic addressed.

The majority of quilting magazines give book reviews of the latest quilting books, as do several bloggers. They feel free to review some of the negative aspects of the books along with the positive. But I have yet to read a pattern review. But why wouldn't we??? Why don't we?  Quilting patterns are rather expensive. In Canada the average cost for one pattern is approximately twelve dollars. Whereas  quilting magazines run anywhere from six to fifteen dollars (approximately). Each magazine has several patterns included with well written instructions including photos making it much easier for us visual learners.

Back to the pattern at hand:
I saw a pattern using a QAYG technique that I hadn't used before and rather than just try to figure it out from the quilt hanging in the store....I bought the pattern. I didn't buy the pattern for the design as it was a four patch alternated with a one patch square....nothing too original or exciting right. I BOUHGT the PATTERN for the TECHNIQUE.....only to have the technique NOT EXPLAINED in full. Sound familiar????

Here are my complaints for this particular pattern:

  • Fabric amounts not calculated....telling me I need twenty four 9" squares etc. is not calculating yardage as far as I'm concerned.

  • Spelling mistakes in the Supply list....calling sashing fabric cashing fabric might just confuse a new quilter.

  • Including a suggested free motion quilting pattern without showing stitching starts and stops etc. is again, not all that helpful.

  • My biggest complaint comes in the directions for joining the quilted blocks. One small paragraph of sketchy instructions just doesn't do it. I have a fairly good idea what they are trying to say only because I have a fair bit of experience joining quilted blocks. There are no instructions regarding the bulk in the seam allowances, of the joined blocks. To be fair, they do suggest to clip the corners of the blocks to eliminate bulk, but, that's all.  As written, the quilter has no idea which way to press, or should they trim the bulk etc. A few pictures at this stage would be extremely beneficial. I am then told to top-stitch my horizontal rows in the same manner as my vertical blocks but THEY NEVER MENTIONED TOP-STITCHING in the instructions for the vertical blocks, in the first place.

  • Also this particular quilt has reversible binding.....one small how to paragraph just doesn't do it. Yup, one would have to run to You Tube to figure it out or a well written book.

My question.....why is this pattern costing me twelve dollars?? 

Included in the small pattern bag there are 3 sheets of standard photocopying paper and a coloured picture of the finished quilt glued to the sheet......that's it. It certainly can't be high overhead costs. 

This is not the first time I have been disappointed by quilting patterns being sold in quilt shops. The standard might be different for patterns that can be downloaded, that I don't have much experience with. 

There are many of us who take the time to write comprehensive tutorials on our blogs.....which many of us, offer to our fellow quilters at no cost. It doesn't seem quite fair to me that in order to understand these poorly written patterns one would have to search the Internet for better instructions or take a class to figure out what the pattern is trying to tell them.  After all, the pattern writer is charging you 12 dollars a pop.....just sayin'!!

Any thoughts?

Marianne

Note: I will respond to all comments regarding this topic in the comment thread as with all my "Let's Talk Posts".

Friday, March 28, 2014

Back to the snow.....sigh

It's always hard to leave beautiful Victoria....but my other life is calling me home. I sometimes feel like I live in two different realities. But hey, quilting is a big part of both worlds!!!!



One last evening walk along the water.....


A little more playing with my leftovers....which I will leave behind until next time. 

Well, back to packing up.....three of my little grandchildren have birthdays within the next three weeks. I'm thinking that is a pretty good reason to go back to the snow.


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