Announcing the arrival of Théo the Wonder Puppy and  other Things! 

Thank goodness babies are cute because otherwise I’d be tearing my eyebrows out already. Nope we do not have a new “actual” baby. We have a new puppy.  He is a brindle phantom inter-variety (AKA Moyen or Medium) poodle.  This variety is quite rare in Canada and not recognized by CKC or AKC. It’s kinda a cross between a miniature and a standard poodle.  We hope he will grow up to be about 30 lbs and be a little brother to our big 76 lb Standard Poodle. So far Tigg wants very little to do with the new addition.

Here is Théo.  As  can see, he is fully loaded in the looks department but I don’t want anyone to think he’s just a pretty face. Here he is reading the newspaper with my hubby, which is, I’m sure you’ll agree quite astonishing for a fella as young as he is (talking about Théo, not hubby).


Now on a different topic, I am expecting again….Nope, not expecting a baby….I’m expecting to accomplish lots in my  sewing room this year.  This is what’s already on the agenda.

  • Patchwork City Quilt Along.  This started back in September with members all across Canada and already its coming along nicely. I am in awe of the talents of my fellow quilters in this one. It’s simply shocking how very very talented my friends are.  Stay tuned for further pics from this project.  Here are my  blocks so far. I seem to be stuck on green and orange.
  • Bee Inspired.  This is an online Bee comprised of bloggers I met last year in the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. My month is June. I’ve already sent one block off to the states. Only 11 more to go. 

It’s a simple paper pieced Block called Split Hatchet. I love it and am eager to see Sharon’s finished quilt.

  • PEIMQG Round Robin challenge.  My centre  block is boxed up and ready to start its travels beginning at the January meeting on Thursday.  Here is a sneak peak of the box and it’s contents. This one has me very excited.
  • Long Time Gone Quilt-Along.  Holy Heck Hermione.  I did this.  It’s A crazy crazy quilt along that aims to complete this quilt in 4 months. The pattern arrived in the mail earlier this week (and Théo has already chewed the pattern book covers)  so I cannot back out now. Yikes this one may be a bridge too far!

  • Japanese Crosses. I’m not sure where this one is going, but I’ve already got about 24 blocks done on this one.  Here is a quick pic of blocks I’ve made since mid-December. 
  • Marie’s Granddaughter’s Graduation Quilt.  There is very little info on this one yet.  It’s going to be a traditional photo remembrance quilt, which is something way outside my wheelhouse, but it’s always good to try new things.   This one has to be done by June, so stay tuned for pics as we progress.

So that’s it for my projects (I think).  I didn’t include the blocks I’ll make monthly for my PEIMQG Bee block exchange or any special blocks I’ll be making for Kindred Spirits Quilt Guild; and I also didn’t include the “150 Women Quilt” that Selina and I are considering making to celebrate our Nation’s birthday. It’s got 150 six inch blocks and it’s a monthly QAL. We are still thinking about this, not sure how or if we’ll get it done. It’d be really cool and I’d do it in a heartbeat, if I was convinced there was a possibility I could make another 75 blocks.


Here is a picture. Here is a link to the site.  150 Women.  Check it out. It’s an important quilt and one any Canadian quilter should have a look at!

What’s on your plate?

Soon it will be Christmas Day…..or Grandma got run over by a reindeer….your choice

At our house, we have been listening to Christmas music for about 3 weeks straight now.  We actually tuned our radio to CFCY in Charlottetown, PEI where the DJs are playing country christmas songs with some of the really old, all time favourites thrown in once in a while. I have to say I really get a kick out of the country hurtin’Christmas songs, while my hubby is a fan of the silly songs.

Speaking of hubbies, I have one who is a Christmas decorating, Ninja.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but my sweetie REALLY REALLY loves it…For example when we moved to PEI, we brought about 30 tubs of decorations with us including more than 40 plastic poinsettias and close to that many Christmas  nutcrackers. And that’s just the bare beginning of the stuff that gets set out at our house in December. We have two fully decorated and lit trees already and about two weeks ago when we were putting them up, he suggested we should consider getting another tree so we could put one in the bedroom…not a word of a lie folks. I  did manage to put a stop to that particular excess but I think I’m lucky and wouldn’t want to change a thing about him.

I am a bit of a grinch in some respects.  I do not like the hustle, bustle, hassle, shopping, parking lot craziness and freaking out that usually culminates around mid-night on December 22…which coincides perfectly with the realization that our budget, and often our contingency budget has run out, but I love the other more homely stuff, like baking cookies with the grandkids, surprising hubby with a batch of homemade peanut brittle (not that its much of a surprise, its actually more like a tradition at our house) or searching out the Christmas quilts that don’t come out any other time of year.

I thought I would share some of the little Christmas Quilts ( and a couple of the nutcrackers) I’ve made over the years to decorate the door to my hubby’s office (because of course he had a whole selection of office decorations too).  Now that he’s retired these little darlings don’t get out much anymore.

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I love this little door quilt (and there are a couple of the nutcrackers!.
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Tangled Christmas Lights – part of the Joy of the Season.

This year we are very excited for two reasons.  First – our son Kevin is coming to PEI to visit us.  He arrives early early in the morning on Boxing Day, so we are saving our Christmas Festivities until Boxing Day.  We will of course have Christmas Dinner with my mom and sister on the big day, but the main party is reserved for Boxing Day afternoon.  We are having friends and family over for Open House (including all the wonderful treats I’ve been baking and buying this month).  We are both looking forward to spending time with close family members.

— AND —

We have gifted ourselves with a brand new puppy.  So there will be a baby in the house again starting December 27, 2016.  I promise I will post pictures of the new addition (its a boy) as soon as he arrives and settles in.  The last few days we have been trying to choose a name to suit our new bundle of joy.  Here is where we are at in that regard.

I love Dino, Fitz, Theo, Matteo and Mozes.  All of these are perfect for a black standard poodle puppy.  Hubby is a big fan of Dantes, Gunner, Tio, Marco and Sparky.  Come back early in the new year to find out what we ended up deciding to call him. There is an off-chance he will be Noel, or Gabriel to celebrate the season.

So that’s it for me in 2016 (I think).  Merry Christmas Everyone.  Enjoy your time with your family and friends.  Eat lots of turkey and stuffing, drink responsibly, be kind to everyone and pay it forward to someone needy if you can.

 

In my humble opinion….

Our PEIMQG is attempting to build a library for members use and part of the responsibility that goes along with that, is to offer insight into the books available for loan.  Naturally this is a huge job and we are a very new Guild, so the other night our blog author, *Cathy* asked for volunteers to write a book review on one of the books in our library.  Since I have no personal self control at all, I took the plunge and agreed to give a report/review on one book on the list.

So here goes.

It was long long ago, and far far away in my Grade 12 literature class, when I last wrote a book review so it goes without saying that I completely forgot how to do it and a reminder was in order.   It turns out I am not the first to wonder about writing interesting and informative book reviews.  There are approximately 1.2 gazillion sites that will tell you how to go about it.  But for the most part, all agree with step one.

Introduce the Book… so with no further ado, please meet

ModBlock – Missouri Star Quilt Co.  – The Color Issue.  

Click here to go to the Missouri Star Quilt Co. (MSQC) website to get all details such as: place, publisher, publication date, edition, pages, special features, price etc.

I have to say right here at the get-go, this is not an old-fashioned beginning to end book written by one author, explaining the one technique that made him/her famous and then giving examples of his/her work; this is the first edition in a series of books by MSQC to feature some really well known and respected quilters/bloggers, talking about what they do best.

Are you a “new-ish” quilter? or perhaps you are new to the whole idea of “modern” quilting. Then, you, my friend, are the person who this book is written for.  Let me quote what ModBlock has to say,

“There is a new found freedom that you feel when making a modern quilt.  You can follow the pattern or break free and choose you own design path.  There are no rules, just great ideas to help you get started….”

So, there are no quilt police, no rigid rules to follow, no right or wrong, no matchy-match match monkey business.  Anything goes.  Sounds like a great place to start doesn’t it? (or alternatively, absolutely terrifying and the stuff of your worst nightmares…. but that’s a subject for another day and another book review)

The contributors in this edition are Molli Sparkles, Shea Henderson, Amy Ellis, Natalie Earnheart, Lisa Hirsch, Alexia Abegg, Vanessa Vargas Wilson and of course, Jennny Doan, founder of MSQC.  Each of them tackles a part of the quilt making process and explains what they think about and how they approach building a cohesive, modern block/quilt.

Themes discussed are tone/color play, colour placement,  improv piecing, twists on old-fashioned/traditional blocks, use of negative space and new and exciting tools of the trade.  There is even a section for someone who wants to really break out of their box and make a tote bag! Holy Heck Hermione!

Each chapter is presented by a contributor in his/her own words so you can get a really clear picture of how they interpret a particular aspect of quilt making and IMHO should make sense to even the newest newbie who ever picked up a rotary cutter. And bonus, there are tons of photos in every section.  Naturally each presenter provides great examples of projects and provides a pattern for you, should you be inclined to try out the technique.  All told, there are 10 great projects included in this book.

In terms of which author provided content that was most meaningful to me AND which project I want to try, there was absolutely no contest,  my favourite contributor was Natalie Earnheart.  I absolutely fell in love with her “Dapper Dan” quilt.  The section discusses “negative space” and how to make it interesting (which is something that I always struggle with).  It also touches on composition and making opportunities for interesting movement in quilt design (another thing which I grapple with every times I pick up my rotary cutter).  O yeah,  there are also templates involved in this pattern….Yikes.  So am I going to make this quilt…You betcha, but I’m gonna need help from my friends at PEIMQG to make it happen.

If you are a somewhat cautious or new “modern” quilt artisan, you will enjoy this book because it is simply written, with tons of great features such as supply lists for projects and tips to help guide you through construction 0f each project while making it as easy peasy as it naturally should be. The frosting on the cake are the great pictures (sorry folks, there no cake pics).

If you are a well established modern quilter, you will identify with the ideas presented and enjoy the opportunity to get a better perspective of what some of your favourite quilt designers/bloggers are doing and how they go about doing it. In my opinion thats a win/win. 

All told this is a very good book, with information that both new and more experienced modern quilters will appreciate.   It’s well worth a read! 

 

Packrat or Collector? It’s a very fine line folks.

The thoughts that fill my head constantly astound me.

For instance I used to wonder about people who collect things. I’m very curious about how they got started. Did they wake up one morning and say “hey, I think I’ll start collecting wash basins. I can start with the one grandpa used to feed the chickens with”. Which leads me to wonder how people know what will become collectible.

When I was growing up, my family home was full to the rafters with stuff that would now be very valuable antiques, had they survived. I remember every spring my mom would gather together more of the “old junk” she didn’t want, or couldn’t stand to look at, or dust anymore and my dad would put it in the back of the truck and take it to the back field and dump it in our garbage pit. Today, that pit is chock full of antique picture frames, crockery bowls, even dressers, mirrors, and chairs which were all replaced with modern new items, which of course, fell apart and were carted off to the pit themselves.

But back to my original thought. How many of an item makes it a collection? More than one of course. So does two of anything count as a collection? More than a dozen? or more than one hundred? Do people actually like to receive pieces to add to their collections? My friend Sharon is a collector. She has a menagerie of pigs, frogs and cats, various different types of aliens and holy heck who knows what else. Which is good for me, because it makes buying gifts for her easy – but if I were her I’d want to choose the items for my collection. Just because I thought that wooden cat was cool, perhaps she hated it but was too kind to say anything.

Anyhow I’ve always hoarded little leftover pieces of fabric that I use in my quilts, and save all the snippets that don’t make it into a block and store these little scraps in a drawer in my sewing room. I don’t know why I do it, but it feels necessary to do and I  go and look at my bits and snips  sometimes… But I’ve  never done anything with them and naturally now I cannot remember where most of it came from or where I used it…sigh.  Somedays I thought I might be a bit of  a packrat.  See definition below.  Yup that definitely could be me.

Packrat (Definition)

  1. Also called trade rat, wood rata large, bushy-tailed rodent, Neotoma cinerea, of North America, noted for carrying off small articles to store in its nest.
  2. Informal. a person who saves things that are not needed or used but that may have personal or other value.

This morning I peeped inside the cabinet again, and rather than feeling bewildered, overwhelmed and distressed about the cacophony of fabrics crushed and crowded into my cabinet, I was overcome with  an amazing sense of peace and righteousness. That is when I had an epiphany. 

I did not throw those fabrics into the cabinet all higgely-piggely for no good reason.  I put them there to keep them safe from ever being used or misused, so therefore I must have collected them.   Who knew, all this time, I worried that I was a packrat and would someday have to burrow my way out of my house and it turns out I am a bonafide collector myself.

See what I mean about my thought processes…Have a great day folks.

GRANNYcanQUILT…that’s me!

Hello, and welcome to my tiny piece of cyberspace.

Lucky me, along with about 55 others, I’m part of the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop. We are hosted by Cheryl at Meadowmist Designs, Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl, and Stephanie at Late Night Quilter. Way back in the spring,  our hosts divided us into smaller hives and I found myself part of Chery’s tribe.  We call ourselves “Mis-Bee-Hivin’. This is our button.

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The awesome Amista from Hilltop Custom Designs created it. You should check out her blog, you’ll love it.  You should also come back so you can click on the links to check out these great blogs.

Kate @ Smiles from Kate

Jennifer @ Inquiring Quilter

Abigail @ Cut and Alter

Jen @ Faith and Fabric

Emily @ The Darling Dogwood

Susan @ Sevenoaks Street Quilts

Heide @ Heide’s Quilty Hugs

Hannah @ Unsophisticated and Jejune

Ann @ Brown Paws Quilting

Jamie @ Small Town Stitchin

Irene @ Patchwork and Pastry

Jen @ Patterns by Jen

Velda @ GRANNYcanQUILT (that’s me)

Janice @ Color, Creating and Quilting

Miranda @ I have purple hair

Laurel @ Laurel, Poppy and Pine

I gotta say it makes me flinch to talk about myself, so I decided to re-work a  list of “oh-so-sad-but-true” things about me that I posted on another site a while back.  None of this of  has anything to do with quilting;  but I am however confident it will give you a clearer picture of who I am and what I’m all about.

  1. I am writing this post at 1:30 p.m. and I am still wearing my pyjamas…not such a terrible confession, unless you know as I do, that I did not bother to change out of my pyjamas when I took my dogs for a walk this morning.
  2. I am planning to cook dinner and serve it at no later than 4:45 p.m.
  3. Three times already today, I walked into the kitchen and three times I could not remember why, so three times today, so far, I have opened the cupboard and eaten a cookie while standing there, pondering the contents of the pantry.  In my defence, this behaviour is very similar to that of a teenaged boy.
  4. I had the bed made and  the bathrooms by 10:00 a.m. It was the most exciting part of the morning.  ‘Nuff said about how quiet my life is.
  5. I am supposed to take a cholesterol pill daily.  In order to remember if I took it,  I have to say to my husband, as I am taking my pill…”Honey, I took my pill.” Sigh…Is that not the saddest thing you ever read?

Lets just say I am recently retired and enjoy a very laid-back lifestyle. Somedays I think I may actually be getting OLD.  Holy O My Goodness.  How did that happen?

Now on to some other things about me that are actually relevant to the reason for this post.

  • I am a quilter/maker /lover of all things built by a person’s own hand.
  • I have a mother’s pride in every single quilt I have ever made.  Even the wonky weird ones like these. They really are almost like children to me.  If you want to see more, check out this post about my quilty family.
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    Why didn’t I see that line of dark blocks before I sewed this quilt together?
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    Holy Cow…Way too much yellow here
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    These dogs all look like they need a rabies shot.  And where did that blue cat come from?

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    This was supposed to be a “Maple Leaf Quilt”.
  • I have more ideas for quilts percolating in my mind than I can ever make.
  • I blog about quilts and quilting because I cannot, not do so.  Does that make sense?

At the end of the day and every morning, I am Velda, a person who is

  • old enough to have escaped from the workaday  rat-race;
  • young enough to dream about new possibilities, (perhaps a flower farm? or a goat ranch?)
  • o-so-glad to be enjoying a simple fulfilling lifestyle;
  • married to the love of my life;  and
  • comfortable with the person I’m becoming.  I still have a long way to go,  but I really do try to improve myself or make my world a better place in some small way every day.

If you are in the mood to continue reading, I’m pleased to share

A Blogging Tip

Keep a list  of “someday” posts on your Drafts blog page. Lets face it, getting a post started is always the hardest part of the whole process.  I learned that if I have several drafts stored, I can often turn one into a coherent post.  It doesn’t have to be words, it just needs to be something to tweak a memory, or an idea…And you’d be amazed how helpful a photo, or a quote,  or even a random thought an be in getting your fingers flying across the page.

A Quilting Tip

I wrote a post about tips a while back. You can read it if you like. Its called I’m feeling a little bit tipsy this morning! .  Here is an excerpt. Follow the link on the post.  It leads you to a fabulous video that will seriously make your life better on those terrible days when nothing goes together right.

How to use my seam ripper properly (not that I have ever, in my whole life, ever, made a mistake and had to un-sew a block).  This tip is from Sew Kind of Wonderful, which is one of my favourite modern quilt blogs.  Honestly, we all make mistakes sometimes;  and this little video on how to use a seam ripper ROCKS.  Check it out, then do what I did, go rip out a whole seam just for fun in less than 10 seconds.  The adrenaline rush is amazing and you will feel like SuperQuilter…. Seriously, I dare you.

A Question for My Fellow Quilters…

Do you sew?

My answer is always the same…No, I wish I could, but I cannot sew.  I am a Quilter, I can Quilt.  I cannot wrap my head around the idea of pinning a bunch of fragile, virtually transparent pattern sheets on a large piece of expensive yardage, cutting around them (with scissors, not a rotary cutter OMG)  and expecting that something wearable will be the end product.  The whole notion  of notches, darts and zippers gives me the heebee  jeebies. Don’t even get me started on buttonholes or blind hems. I am terrified of the whole process.  I confess to feeling some shame for this obvious failing of of mine, because I know that many of us came to be quilters out of a love of sewing and that there are amazing seamstresses who also quilt, but not me… I’d really like to know am I the only person who feels like this? And could you tell me how to hem my jeans so they don’t look like they were done by my poodle Tigg and his sidekick Odie.

 My Dream Vacation Spot is right where I’m sitting right now.  I am so lucky to be living here on beautiful PEI Canada, about .5 of a kilometre from one of the top 15 beaches in North America, with a backyard that is like a park (no thanks to me,  I am not a gardener, but my hubby is.

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And, finally one random thing about me that you might not have guessed.
I ran a full marathon when I was fifty years old…thats 42.2 kilometres (26.2 miles) of non-stop running for 4 hours and 17 minutes. Yikes.  Even now 10 years later, I smile when I remember how I felt when I crossed that finish line.  I kinda feel the same way now that I’ve finished this post…not really, but a bit anyway!  Thanks for dropping by.  Come back any time.

Five Things Friday

Hey Holy Heck, how can it be Friday again already.

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In honour of Friday, the best day of the week by far, I’m making my first “Five Things Friday” post.  In no particular order, I’m happy/thankful/surprised/amazed/awestruck, etc., about these five things.

The sun came out this morning.  We are having a spectacularly cool, wet spring here on the Island.  But, this morning when I opened my eyes, this is what I saw out my bedroom window.  (It’s sunlight, for any Islanders, who may not have seen it for several weeks)!

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I am so thankful for my quilting community here on PEI. This photo was taken at our monthly Saturday sew-in at Susan Pollard’s High Tide Retreat and Studio on the shore near Summerside last Saturday. BTW these quilts are being donated  to  Quilts for Fort MacMurray to aid those who lost their belongings in that Fort MacMurray wild fire last month.

Radishes from the garden.  We planted them just 3 weeks ago and we are eating them already.  French Breakfast Radishes…who eats radishes for Brekkie anyway?

Phineas the cat, came back, after 3 days and nights outside in the wet wet world. We were so glad he survived that adventure.  Perhaps someday he will tell us where he went.

Pathways in the trees.  This one is in my own backyard, about 20 yards from my back door.  Yes, I am thankful.

Nope, Nosiree Bob, Its not a test

Oh. Yes. It. Is.  Test your quilt knowledge by answering these questions… Relax nobody but me will see your results…I think…I could be wrong….