Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Living thoughts among the dead...

I took a little stroll through a cemetery today. I hope that doesn't sound morbid, but I do find old cemeteries interesting.

Our summer residence is one lot away from a very old cemetery. If you had told me at the age of 15 that this is where I would enjoy spending my summers I would have said NO WAY! I wouldn't go near a graveyard. ( I guess I watched  one too many scary movies when I was a teenager.)

I have many people ask if it bothers me to be so close to a cemetery, and I usually answer with one of the following comments; "Quite the contrary, my neighbours are very quiet." or " Not at all, when I wake up in the morning and realize I am still on this side of the fence it give me a reason to be grateful and enjoy the day."

I have to say it is a very well maintained place. It is at the very end of a road that comes down the middle of a point of land so we have water on 3 sides. The local residents are very respectful of their ancestors. There is not a day  that goes by when someone is not down here placing flowers or watering flowers at one of the many grave markers, because this is a cemetery that still allows you to plant rose bushes, or flowers at the grave site even though it does make the job of maintaining the lawns a lot more labor intensive. It is almost like strolling through a garden or a park.

Some of the gravestones are almost 200 years old.

Look at the writing on this one;

 I cannot even begin to imagine the grief a parent feels to bury 6 of their 7 children before the age of 3 years old. Out of seven children, only one lived to adulthood. Obviously it must have been a genetic weakness and not a plague or sickness, because they were born several years apart. With all the advancements in medicine that would not happen today, but it breaks my heart for the pain those parents must have felt back then.

Have you ever read The Nine Lives Of Charlotte Taylor by Sally Armstrong? Very interesting read. Sally will be here at the local library/museum  for a reading and book signing on Sunday afternoon. Charlotte Taylor's gravestone is here at the Tabusintac Riverside Cemetery.

Visitors and tourists are always asking where they can see the gravesite of Charlotte Taylor, which prompted this sign.

There is quite a story behind this marker.

It belongs to an unknown sailor. I am told by one of the locals that many years ago a large boat/schooner  from down "Boston way" drifted in to the wharf area. all on board were dead. Quite naturally the ship was kept quarantined and eventually all of the bodies were claimed but one. The  body was that of a black  man. (quite possibly the cook ) There was a bit of an issue as to burying a "black man" in a white cemetery, but the "good Christians" of the community won out and his body eventually was put to rest in the lower corner of the local cemetery; sounds like a story for Oprah,doesn't it?

Many of the locals take their evening walk down this point road to the cemetery , and sometimes stop and sit on the benches and look out over the water or take a walk on the beach. I met an elderly lady who used to drive down here in the early eveings and sit and write in her journal. She told me she called her journal, "Living thoughts among the dead". which I thought was quite fitting.

I have to tell you this is the best spot in the community to watch the sun rise or set and I don't mind living here one little bit!

Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live. ~Henry Van Dyke

“Do not fear death... only the unlived life.

You don't have to live forever;

You just have to live.”  Natalie Babbitt

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Conference calling...

We had our first telephone conference quilting day! Our first of many I hope. I finished 2 more star blocks which brings my total to ten.

Just 2 more brings me to the half way mark for piecing all the stars;and you know it didn't hurt a bit. I thought it was going to be a really tedious job, but I am rather enjoying it. I am reminded of what I kept repeating to Mom during her rehab.  Some days she would get so discouraged because she didn't seem to be improving fast enough and I kept telling her, "Inch by inch life is a cinch, yard by yard life is hard." Sometimes I need to be preaching to myself ... Barb and I met at 9 this morning by phone and made one block and then took a break, had our showers did our exercise and then made a plan to meet back in the afternoon for another block. I needed to make a trip to the grocery store so I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone. It is about 8km return from the store so I took my bike, but I got a little carried away with my shopping and had a VERY heavy load in my basket on the return trip...

1 canteloupe
1 pineapple
small bag of apples
small bunch of bananas
box of baggies
2 litre bottle of 7-UP
5 lb. bag of oranges
along with my wallet and sweater and shopping bag made for a tricky drive back but I made it and rewarded myself with another hour of block making

Here is what I made.

I am off to Barb's blog to see the blocks she made. Come check them out with me...

Motivation, Family, and Quotes

My sister made a comment on a previous post about needing to be motivated to get back to her quilting projects. Here is what I said to her,
 " You know what I did. I committed to just one hour a day to finish a block. Then I wanted to get the next block done...
change it up a bit, start making some of your star blocks for the border. They look so nice that it really inspires you to get the next one done. Start with the 12" blocks...there are only 4 of them; one morning's work...just one morning.
A couple times last week I knew I was busy, but I set the alarm on my cell phone for one hour. Amazing how much you can get done in an hour...try it. I am trying to not to sweat the small what if the shade of red is off a bit, or there is too much cream in one corner. When it is all quilted it really does not stand out.
Come on commit to starting the 12" pieced blocks...I still have to do 2 of them. Lets make a date...tomorrow morning. What time do you want to meet at our machines? Well our cutting tables really. We can each do the same block. How about the maple star block in 12 "? I need to do that one. Call me and we can put it on speaker phone till we get started...I'll be waiting.
Just promise not to put me to shame and leave me in your dust."

Well you know what? She took me up on the challenge and we are meeting at our sewing tables at 9 my time; 6 her time. You see we live 3000 miles apart, but that shouldn't stop us from being able to sew together. With the technology we have available to us and phone plans being what they are, this is doable!

Choosing a goal and sticking to it changes everything.     Scott Reed

I sure wish we lived closer together. I speak to people sometimes who see family members once or twice a year and they are only 2 hours drive away from each other...I can't understand it.
One of the positive things that have come about as a result of Mom's accident last summer is that I have been able to spend a lot more time with both of my sisters and my brother. I know there were days when I whined about being lonesome for Mr. O and my home, but I do cherish the times we had with Mom over the last year.

Back row; Barb and Wendy. Front: Gary and Pam

Pam gave me a copy of a picture of us three girls that is very special to me. I have it framed and beside another framed sketch of 3 ladies walking arm in arm with a quote above it.

This is the quote;

When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder, who stands a chance against us? ~Pam Brown

....and another one I came across this morning....

How do people make it through life without a sister? ~Sara Corpening

I am gone to sew with my sister, be back later with results.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

A few more scenes of tranquility

Looking West from my sewing machine.

Looking East in the wee hours of the morning.
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Pictures of Paradise

I have a friend who refers to our summer place as our little paradise. On days like yesterday and mornings like today it would be impossible to argue with her. I took my camera out last night and again this morning to show you what I see from my sewing studio, and living room and kitchen; or almost anywhere you happen to be.
A little out of focus, but you get the idea. Sunset almost every night unless it is raining.

Many herons around. So interesting to watch them fish for their supper.

seaweed hanging from the anchor ropes of the rope. With the coming and going of the tides the scene changes daily.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Making progress and sharing a brilliant idea

Well, all the embroidered blocks are assembled and the first border is on.
Not the best photo, but as you can see, the border sure changes the look of things. I have also started adding the feather stitch to all the seams of the stitchery blocks. This is going to be a slow job. Doing the stem stitch, or outline stitch is relatively mindless, but I have to put a little more concentration into the feather stitch to try to make the spacing somewhat even. It's really adding to the overall appearance of the quilt though. Have a look see...

There are approximately 160 inches of seams to stitched, so it will be awhile before I get it finished.  I am trying to do at least 1 hour of work a day towards the stitching.
I have also been working on some pillows for a birthday gift in August. There will be three different ones. The first pillow is an appliqued house but still needs the words "God Bless Our Home" stitched on it.

The next one is to be a crazy patch elongated heart appliqued  to a linen background with a homespun plaid border; also with a verse stitched on it. I am still undecided about the third...been tossing around a few ideas with sunflowers or cone flowers and a crow..jury is still out on that one.
Now for a complete change of subject. I came across a very clever picture the other day. Who ever came up with this idea is brilliant! 

Just one of many great uses for those "binding clips" all we quilters have. I think this is especially handy for those of us who have a laptop. Every time I take it to the desk to plug or unplug one of the accessories, ie. the printer/copier I am fishing for the "other" end of the cord, and don't youjust  hate having all those cords hanging and tangled behind your desk? This is brilliant!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Zip! Zilch! Zero!

That's how many redwork blocks I did yesterday! I did however get all the stitched blocks pieced together and hope to put the first border around them and then start doing the "fly stitch" along along the block seams. Did I mention that this quilt is very labor intensive? I am enjoying it though...embroidery was my introduction to needle work and it is still my first love. So portable and versatile. I have such special memories of sitting with my Gran and stitching with her, while she did her "fancy work" as she called it. When she passed away I asked Mom if she could get me one of Gran's aprons ( she always wore an apron over her work dress) or her embroiderd pieces. Fortunately I got one of each. The embroidery piece was done on a bleached sugar sack and was done quite late in her life so the stitches are big, uneven and the colors are way out there, but that's ok with's special because of who made it and because of all the memories it stirs up when I take it out and use it. ( I use it to cover my bread dough while it is rising)

 I have another stitchery project to do, but I am trying to hold off a bit. It may be the perfect handwork project to take on my trip in September; one piece of fabric and one color of floss. Simple and uncomplicated and not too bulky.
I have a busy day. Still have lots of rhubarb, so I am making a batch of freezer rhubarb/strawberry jam. ( I have to go pick the strawberries first) So yummy! I may get those strawberry rhubarb pies done too, although it would be better to wait until Friday and then I would not have to freeze them. I have company coming this weekend. Looking forward to seeing them and also looking forward to having a

little time

 to do



This is how summer days are meant to be spent.

or maybe stretched out in the hammock with a good book and a glass of lemonade.
I really hope to set aside at least one hour for the hammock and book idea. In fact I may just "do" lunch in the hammock today.

I'll be back tomorrow with pics of the center of my WW quilt.

Oh by the way, the title of this blog post brings me to the end of the alphabet postings. It's been challenging but fun.

Monday, July 19, 2010

You're not going to believe this...

but ...wait; let me go back a bit. Last night around 10 p.m. before Mr. O signed off for the night I got him to draw the winning name for the charm pack and bone folder. Now I know I said the cut off time would be midnight, but as patient as he is; even Mr. O would not have appreciated being disturbed from a deep sleep to draw a name for this being a low tech/low budget operation we set things up to make the draw.

As you can see, post-it notes in a Pyrex bowl was all that was needed so after double checking to see that all the names were entered Mr O drew the winning name.
Before I tell you the winning name I want to draw your attention to this comment;

"i think i got it!!!! And if I'm not e"x"actly bang on then I'm way out in left field, I guess! LOL

How did I do Sis??? and by the way you don't have to put my name in for the just would not seem right if you were to pull your sisters name out of the hat, would it?"

Now I happen to agree with this comment. It just would not seem right if I were to pull my sisters name out of the hat, would it?
So this is the name Mr O drew from the bowl...

Darn that flash! This pic is a little over exposed, let me take another without the flash...

Yup! You got it; Barb from FOR THE LOVE OF THREADS is the winner! She also happens to be my sister who lives about 3000 miles away from me. Congratulations Barb you were "x-actly" right with your answer. I was using the alphabet letters in order to post my blog titles. Omitting the O and V were accidental. I wanted to go back and fix them but I only noticed after the fact and didn't know how to insert the correct lettered post without throwing things off so carrying on to the next letter was the only thing to do.

 So if you want to win a draw, just preface it with a comment like Barb's. It makes the blog owner look really bad when that is exactly what you do. Especially when it is her first "give away". (You know I even considered getting Mr. O to redraw, but that would not have been fair to Barb.)
So I will get that in the mail to you this week Barb and I hope to see a future post with pics of what you make with it. Thanks for playing along ladies. It was fun!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Xed off 6 more red and white blocks

Had a great day yesterday. Had a visit from a couple of my quilting friends. We shared stories, drank tea, ate fresh cranberry scones, and even did some stitching. What a great day! I am happy to report that Mr. O has made the necessary changes to the bird feeder and it is working like a charm. Thanks Mr. O.
I am even happeier to say that I have added 6 more blocks to my pile of Winter wonderland redwork blocks. Just 16 more to go...I know that is a lot, but starting has got me motivated...I am a woman on a mission. Want to see them? Well ok if you insist.
You know there is a "bad boy" in every crowd and I had one here. See that red and white striped pinwheel? Well let me tell you I was happy to get that baby finished for the third time. I mean, Why? It was exactly the same as the other three pinwheels, but it took me a few tries to get it to behave, and there a few things I am not crazy about, but...It Is What It Is!

Star of Hope

Martha Washington Star

My progress so far.
I really need to get in a walk, as well as a bit of housework done, but I hope to get another star or two done today.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weekend over...

Well we had a pretty relaxing weekend, but yesterday I discovered I forgot my anniversary!  No, not "OUR" (Mr. O and I ) anniversary, but my blog's 1st Anniversary. It was 3 weeks ago; June 22! I was waiting for it, and then I got so busy, it slipped right by without me even noticing. Shame  on me!

Hard to believe a year has passed since I started blogging. I mentioned  a little while ago that I was going to have a little give away. I was wondering if any one had noticed any kind of a theme going on with my blog titles. The last 23  posts or so have had a sort of theme. I also slipped up in the midst of it and missed one entry...did you notice it?
If you have any idea what I am talking about drop me a comment. I have had people say to me that they can't comment...doesn't work...but let me help. Drop down to the end of the post and where it says 0 comments click that. A new window will open with a blank comment box above which says Post a comment. Write your comment in the box...then directly under that box it has a drop dowm box with the question "Comment as"...if you have a Google account choose that option, or scroll down to where it says anonymous. Click that one. Then click the small box that says "Post Comment"
You may get a message saying it cannot be posted, but clickPost comment again. You may also have to  type in a scrambled bunch of letters as verification. Do that then post comment and it should work.
Now I realize there will be thousands ,hundreds , tens  okay maybe one or two comments to this post. For those of you who give me the right answer as to what the continuing theme has been for the last 20 or so posts, I have a little giftie. Want to see it?
It is a charm pack with 30 charms. I opened the package to show you all the yummy prints inside...

Now I know you only see 10 charms here, but there are three of each print. Guess what? I only needed 25 charms to make the "strawberry social" purse. They go a lot further than you think.
I have a little extra something to throw in with it too. It is a bone folder; well they used to be made of bone, Mr. O made this one out of wood, but let me tell you it is a handy little gadget. Looks something like this . It can press a quick seam for you, and push out corners when you need that done too. I also use it in my scrapbooking for scoring paper, and creasing cardstock.I am sure it has other uses too, but you get the idea...
So drop me a comment and I will get Mr. O to draw from the all-l-l-l the winning answers.
Let's say give me your answer by next Sunday midnight and I will post the winner Monday morning. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Undoubtedly a few more to go...

Well I did indeed  make a start on my Winter Wonderland blocks. I finished 2 blocks and now I am excited to get to the rest.
Now I know that 2 blocks hardly makes a quilt. No matter which way I arranged them they just did not make a quilt. And one alone was too big to use as a coater...I tried....

and not quite big enough for a table topper...unless of course your table is the size of a toadstool...I know; I tried...

But you have to agree they are kind of  charming all by themselves.

I can only imagine how nice they will look assembled with all the other blocks. You may have noticed that I have a new photo in my sidebar. I took the process pledge,(hope I did it correctly) and now you get to follow along in my process of finishing this quilt...and hopefully a few more. I am hoping this will keep me motivated to move forward quickly with this project and not let it fall into the UFO basket. I may need a bit of cheering and encouragement to help me along the way... I do tend to get sidetracked easily. My goal is to have it finished and ready to use by the Christmas season...there! I've said I have to do it!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tomorrow is here!

I said I would post pics of the purse I donated "tomorrow "and tomorrow is here. I managed to get a couple of pics of the purse, before the finishing touches were added. After these shots were taken I added a vintage white button on the little flap of the front pocket. Also added a magnetic closure to the purse. I may have to make another one. I kind of liked it, and it was a quick and easy project.
Sort of looks "Strawberry Social-ish" eh.

Want to know what  making this purse did? It made me very anxious to start back to work on my Winter Wonderland quilt. I think I may just make a block or two today...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Success...sort of

A few successful projects in the last while, and a few that need a little "adjusting". My roadside numbers turned out ok. I was not able to get a stencil for the letters and numbers and I had to free hand them, which is normally not a problem, but a little trickier on a rounded surface and trying to make them all the same size was a bit of a challenge as well, but as Mr. O says,"those imperfections will never be seen from an airplane". The flowers were not exactly what I wanted either, but again, "they're ok".

The birdbaths were much easier to assemble than expected. I haven't seen any birds "bathing" yet, but they look nice, so I 'm ok with that too. And really who bathes in front of an audience? Maybe they are just a bit shy...and wait for me to leave before splashing about in their little bathtubs. I like to think so anyway.

The birdfeeders on the other hand need a little tweaking. Mr O came to the rescue and did the drilling through the glass pieces that I needed done,and he came through with some great suggestions for the actual constructing of these little gems. Truth be told he actually did as much (or more) of the assembling of this project than I did. During construction we tossed around the idea that maybe the base of the feeders needed to be a bit bigger, but we used what we had and thought we would give it a try. However I need to change the bottom of the feeders because ther is not enough of a lip on the bottom plate for the birds to perch on while eating...and it has been suggested that possibly they resemble a hive and that is why my feathered friends are staying away. They sure look nice though...don't you agree.

Been busy with company too. Had a great time with my son and his family.  I have also volunteered at the local library/museum making curtains for the windows,and today they are having a strawberry social. I have biscuits to make and and I am also working at he door selling tickets. I decided yesterday to make a bag to donate to the cause. They always do the strawberry social as a fundraiser, and usually one of the local ladies donates a small quilted project to sell tickets on to help boost the funds. She is dealing with health issues this year and is away for treatments so I decided to step up to the plate and make something. I made a quilted tote/purse. It is in reds and whites with a bit of green. Perfect "strawberry social" colors don't you think?
It still needs a button sewn on so I won't have pictures til tomorrow, and I have to make my biscuits yet, so I really must run. Happy summer!

(Backup) (Backup) On The Road Again Ok, telle me the truth...are you humming thatsong now? Cause I am and I fear it may be runni...