Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Catching Up

Last Tuesday my guild Fraser Valley Quilters' Guild had Elaine Quehl as their featured speaker.  The first part of her lecture was a slide show on her design process.  Then there was a show and tell of some of her floral designs. Here is a link to her website if you want to see more.
 She was just in Barcelona Spain showing some of these pieces and the triptych below was shown for the first time.  It is based on photos she took of Smoke Bush.
 It was challenging trying to get photos thru the heads of people in front of me.  The piece below is of a Hosta Bud, but some people think it is an Asparagus bud or an Artichoke.
 I almost signed up for her workshop and these were the samples of the flowers she offered for the one day class.  I was tempted to do the centre peony but didn't sign up in the end.  She offered fabric kits for those who wished to get one.  My friend Rita took the class and I'll try and get a picture of her test block she did.
 This is a photo of a Rebecka bloom called Prairie Sunset.
 This is Red Stool which she incorporated three different photos for the finished design.
 I believe this is a Dahlia, she used a Shibori technique to make the dyed stripes.
 I went for a walk after the lecture, inspired to take some photos to try and make my own floral design.  The cherry blossoms are starting to rain down like pink snow.
 I spotted this little girl coming from the boardwalk up onto the the brickwork to check out this small dog.  She retreated behind her dad's legs for a bit. (Dad did give me permission to share these photos and I gave these and more to him.)
 Getting a bit more confident and Dad encouraging her to pet the dog.  The dog's owner is just off camera and told me later he has a two year old grandchild that the dog interacts with on a regular basis.
 The grape hyacinth is in full bloom under the roses bushes that are slowly coming out into leaf.
 As I walked back west she was getting into a good petting mode with the dog.
 I think she was telling dog that they would be good friends.
 The tulips are starting to come into fuller bloom almost overnight.
 Some are still tightly closed.
 A large white blossoms tree ?apple?
 The water lily is starting to put out leaves.
 Came across this rather healthy group of dandelions.
 A magnolia tree.
 We used to have a tree like this in our garden.
 White star magnolias.
 More pink ones.
 Block number 4 pinned and ready to stitch.
 I also managed to get the Sue Spargo Sewing Roll that was featured in Inspirations.  I went to their website but found that the cost of shipping the magazine was the same as the cost of it!  I then found that I could purchase and download just the pattern.  They also offer kits but not for this project. Here is a link to their website if you are interested.
 Here is the beginning of my version.  Today I ripped out the larger rick rack stem and am re-positioning it and trimming it down.
 I haven't shared my Grasshopper blocks.  I did swap the fabrics out and am glad I did.
 I've also cut out the next four blocks which have over 30 pieces to each one, so don't hold your breath for a picture of one.
 I've also cut my bias and the applique pieces for the centre medallion but need to figure out if I'm framing it with borders or making a centre seam to make it the larger size.
 I do admit I think I sewed at least one leaf on wrong for each block.
 Minus the corner triangles I have the block 4 finished for Simple Folk.  I've cut the strips of green for the alternate block but need to decide on the second colour for the triangles and nine patches.  I think it will be a scrappy consistent turquoise colour but with different prints.
 A closer look at the centre.  Notice anything?

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Spring Blossoms and mini quilts...and thoughts of loss.

Many of you may have heard of a tragic accident that happened Friday night in rural Saskatchewan where a semi truck and a bus filled with Junior A hockey players collided with devastating consequences.  I don't know anyone involved but my younger brother played hockey from a very young age and hockey is part of being a Canadian.  Many times I went to games to cheer him and his team mates one.  I would hope you spend a minute or more to think of not only the team but the trucker who survived this horrendous accident and the guilt he will carry for many years to come. 
 Easter Monday I went back to a East Vancouver Street to look at the Magnolia and Cherry blossoms in the area.  The Magnolia pictures I took on the Sunday but the street with the Cherry Blossoms was so packed with people walking down the middle of the street it wasn't possible to stop and take pictures.
 Each year the street is crowded with visitors to have photos taken with them in the middle of the street while cars attempt to drive up it.  If you encounter a car coming in the opposite direction you have to pull into a parking spot so the other can pass.  Looking down Gravely street standing at the corner of Windermere.
 Sunday was a wild weather day, as you see from the shots of the Magnolias there were some clouds but it was windy and in a minute or two later the sky was white, then blue and then white again.
 The city of Vancouver plants a tree in front of each house on the boulevard with the city paying for it.
 Looking up Graveley Street from the block below.  The trees have been trimmed in the peched manner so they spread over the street rather than growing up.
 The tree trunks are huge, in some cases filling the entire space between the curb and sidewalk.
 If you go back later this week all the blossoms will be covering the parked cars of the residents and visitors to the area.
 It smells amazing walking along the block.
 I love the look of the blossoms against the tree trunks.
 This part of Gravely has Magnolias which have not been peched so they stand tall but still cross over the street but not as much as the Cherry trees.
 Looking over towards the north shore mountains you can see some fresh snow on the ski runs.  We have three ski areas within a 30 minute drive from the down town area that have downhill, cross country and inner tube runs.  There are spectacular view of the city from the top on a clear day.
 Beautiful Magnolia blossoms.
 Some furry buds and some that are just opening up.
 My friend Rita and I went to Piva Modern Italian just a short walk from where we live on the New Westminster Quay in the New Westminster Convention Centre, she had a personal prosciutto ham pizza and I had a Caprese Salad.  Then we shared Nona's Favourite which is puff pastry, marscapone cheese and cherries with an Americano.  I may have to go and just have coffee and dessert one day. 
 Rita's garden has these fun checkerboard bulbs that I bought but didn't plant in the Autumn.
 Her tulips are about to bloom.
 She has strawberries in bloom with fruit starting to form.
 I got my free motion practise piece cut down and bound.
 I had fun binding them.
 I also made a larger version of the three rabbits.
 Love how they look from the wrong side and these ones I put a hanging sleeve one.
 The white version.
 And the back.
 I also did a solitary bunny.
 I have this one stitched down now.
 And the white version.
 Both are ready to be hung next Easter.
 The large and small versions.  The large one is about 8" x 11"
 The purple ones are about the same size.
Next up is my next Simple Folk block and making a decision about the triangle corners and nine patches so I can sew up the alternate block.  Grasshopper still isn't started.  Sarah changed the size of the outside blocks so that impacted the size of the centre medallion square.  I don't think I want to do a border so I have to figure out how to match the pattern so when I sew a seam it will be almost invisible.  I cut some fabric for the bias applique design that has to be stitched down and the templates for the applique.  I did do the first 4 hand pieced blocks and have to decide what fabrics and placement for block 2.