Friday, July 13, 2012

Another Beautiful Summer Day

Hi once again.  I have not been writing because of internet issues but I hope the problems have been rectified.  It is another beautiful, hot summer day in Alberta.  However we do have smoke in the air from forest fires to the north of us.  We could sure use some rain.  The lawn goes crunch crunch when I walk on it.  Fortunately, I have a drip system set up for watering the garden and greenhouse. 
I wanted to share a photo of my lovely pink peonies.  I brought a big bouquet into the house to enjoy them more.
This shot will show the tablecloth better and I will tell you about it.  For several years a group of friends have gotten together on Thursdays, in the winter time.  We call it Ladies Day Out.  It is just an  opportunity to fellowship with friends. Most of us will be quilting, but there are others who do crochet, embroidery, do painting, hardanger, cross stitch etc.  This project was a round robin between 5 of us.  Each one did a centre block and supplied some fabric and it was passed around so everyone added a round to it. You also had to add some of your own fabric.  Of course we did not see the finished product until the end.  It was so much fun and I was delighted with the finished item, including the memory, and to cherish something from my friends.  At a later time I will tell you about another project that is currently going on with the quilt guild that I belong to.
I have a long history of quilting.  I always wanted to quilt, but did not have any mentors in my family.  My mom and grandma did other handwork, like crocheting, knitting and embroidery.  I was on  my own but was inspired by my friend's quilts. Her mom was a quilter and sent new quilts to her by mail as they lived in different parts of the province.  I drooled over those quilts and just had to take a stab at it. My friend, at that time was never going to quilt - she had memories of growing up with a quilt always on a frame in their living room.  She changed her mind after a few years and joined me and others as we progressed.  We had a Singer  treadle sewing machine when I was growing up but I did acquire an electric one soon after I was married and so began my quilting career.  First I sewed fabric onto a newspaper for a foundation.  My fabric was pretty limited as was my budget for supplies.  But I had fun and was learning.

 Now this kind of piecing is called string quilting and I have started to do it again as a way to use up scraps.  I have made twenty 8"X 10" blocks so far.  I work at it when I feel like doing some 'mindless' sewing. 

One day I found an article in a magazine about Elleanor Burns and a pattern to make a quilt in a day.   I read it and was hooked.  I made a Trip Around the World Quilt - I believe it took me more than one day.  LOL
I still have the magazine by the way.
From that point on I just kept going and introduced many others to the pattern and  as they say "the rest is history".  I have not looked back.  9 years ago a quilt guild was formed in the community and I was a charter member.  I have enjoyed it so much and learned so much more from fellow quilters.  Patterns are endless, fabric is endless, sewing gadgets are endless.  I am still in love with quilting although I should call myself a 'piecer' instead of a 'quilter' because I realy do not like the actual quilting part - either by hand or machine.  In the early days I tied my quilts wilth embroidery cotton but now I stitich in the ditch with the machine or send the quilt out to a long arm quilter.

This quilt was from  a Jinny Beyers kit which took me a long time to piece together -some fussy cutting on it.
 I sent it out for quilting.  I love her patterns and her choice of colours are always 'eye candy' for me.

 Here's another one for you.

This quilt was a fun one to make.  I made it for a granddaughter.  It was a way to use up scraps and the hearts are done with the paper piecing method and appliqued onto a background fabric.

I have also learned to do English Paper Piecing and will share some of that with you at another time.

Happy summer everyone.

Cheerio for now.


  1. Hi Darlene,
    Came over from QWU. I'm going to be doing a string quilt as well. Its a challenge with a girlfriend.
    Love your garden shots, a greenhouse is on my wish list.
    Take care,

    1. Thanks for visiting. Good luck with the string quilt. I look forward to seeing your pictures.

  2. I have never done a string quilt- I don't know why- I love how they look- mary johnson has some great scrap piece patterns with good instructions on her website. You can find it here:
    She lives in Minnesota but is from Georgia area I believe- Look for the how to link at the top of the page.
    I love your heart quilt- I love heart quilts and collect their patterns. What is yours called? I bet your grand daughter loves it.
    I think that you know that I love flowers- Your peonies are gorgeous- I don't get many blossoms on mine- I am not sure why- I don't have much of a green thumb- Great post- love the photos ..
    Warmest regards,

    1. Thanks so much for Mary's website. I took a brief look and know I will love to explore more pages.
      The heart pattern I used was from a book called Hearts Desire by Janet Selck. It has many interesting patterns and I think I will do some more from that book [maybe even this one again]
      Glad you enjoyed my flower pictures. I love them too. Lilies are my very favorites, but I love all flowers. TTYL, Darlene