Monday, August 30, 2010

Fair Weather

You've heard a person say "smells like rain coming" and it happens. The same applies to me and fairs. This is "fair weather time". Last weekend my DH and I decided to visit the fair in the next county. I had no preconceived idea on its size but thought a small fair was probable because of the surrounding population. It turned out to be the second smallest fair we've attended yet. I guesstimate the fairgrounds were 4 acres but that did not stop the folks from coming out. Everyone had a smile on their face, played the games of chance and entered their animals in various events for ribbons. There was something for everyone. One of the things that caught my eye was a stand selling chocolate covered bacon.

I questioned "why?" would anyone invent that and what would it taste like? Needless to say I did not partake. As my DH and I were walking along the small midway I caught sight of this little fellow. He was only about 3feet tall and being buckled into the ride.
the boy on the right edge click to enlarge

He was so excited and I could tell by the look in his eyes he also had no fear. Before the ride even started he had his arms up in the air as if to say "look ma, no hands".

He kept that smile on his face for the entire ride and when the ride finished he didn't want to get off. What a guy. Next I came across a ride called "The Scrambler". Whenever I see "The Scrambler" it always evokes childhood memories and simple pleasures.

Back then I would ride "The Scrambler" time after time until I couldn't walk straight. I loved it. We also stopped for awhile to watch the horse/cart competition.

click to enlarge

This particular event used a breed called "Haflinger".

They are half the size of a Clydesdale and come from Austria. A harness for one horse can cost from $10,000 so it becomes very expensive to own a team.

Some owners put small ribbons in the tails but this owner tied the tails into a pretty knot and added an even prettier ribbon. How chic! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and since this is the beginning of "fair weather" I was not sorry to leave. My next stop was a quilt shop. A fitting end to a wonderful day.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Dresden Plate Quilt Part 2

click on image to enlarge
I took a tally of the fabric I had left over from my “secret sister” and there were only bits.  I thought it would not be a problem to find suitable sashing and cornerstone fabric from my stash.   To my horror nothing worked so off to the store.  “This should be a piece of cake” I remarked to myself but little did I know.  Two stores later and still nothing. I decided I was wasting too much time so back home I went to look through my stash again.  I felt it was time to start the practice of “stash management” which I had promised myself a while back.

I put the quilt on my design wall and auditioned what I thought would work.  I decided to use the “pink” family for finishing the quilt to stay with the theme “from the heart” and also to use fabric that was light and pale to keep the quilt looking bright and happy.  I dug deep into the bowels of my stash and finally found something. The sashing/cornerstones are actually an “orange” pink.  I wanted something to tone the “hot pink” down a notch and yet keep the quilt pale so the Dresden Plate could come forward and still be happy looking.   I tried and tried to incorporate a second border but my fabrics did not do justice to the quilt so I decided to eliminate it.  With trepidation I sewed the border on.
click on image to enlarge

The fabric choice was not my favourite but I was practicing “stash management”.   A small detour came in the way of not being able to mitre the corners because I was ½” too short but I did get lots of open space for hand quilting.   When all was said and done I had a very, very messy sewing room with fabrics piled up from the audition and I had a lap quilt that turned out fairly close to what I had envisioned.   As Martha Stewart always said “That is a good thing”.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dresden Plate Pattern

This past season our quilt guild had a "secret sister" program. It was the first time our guild offered this so I decided to participate. You drew a name out of a hat along with a short profile of your "secret sister".You were never to divulge who your "secret sister" was. Every month you would leave a present at the guild meeting for your "sister" without being seen by anyone. That was difficult to do because the members were always milling about. The program carried on for 8 months and during that time my "secret sister" gave me several pieces of fabric. I wanted to make something special out of that fabric to commemorate the occasion and having thought about it for awhile decided on a lap size Dresden Plate quilt.I have always loved that pattern and have not made one for many years. I hope to surprise my "secret sister" by showing it to her at our guild meeting in September.

click image to enlarge
This quilt is my own interpretation of that classic pattern. I wanted something a little different, something that was my own design. So instead of the circle in the centre I decided to applique a heart. The heart was to symbolize how much I appreciated the fabrics she gave me and how much I thought of her as my "sister". The block size is 10" and the blade size I just "eyeballed" until I found a size pleasing to my block and cut out a paper template. Once the blades where cut I sewed across the tops of the fabric pieces to form the points for the blades. I sewed all the blades together trying to get a random placement because I was limited by the number of fat quarters I had. I appliqued the Dresden Plate to the background fabric and used the freezer paper technique for the heart applique. I then appliqued the heart to the centre of the plate to finish the block. I now have to give some thought to the sashing and cornerstone colour. A lot depends on how much fabric I have left of my "secret sister's" fabric. We'll see what transpires.

click image to enlarge

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Apple Time

My apple pie is the best thing since sliced bread (according to my DH) so when i start to see the harvest coming in I head for the apple farm that is just down the road. There is nothing better than to bite into a fresh apple and have the juices drip down your chin while the sun is shining and bathing you in it's warmth. I love to walk the rows of apples sampling the wares while I pick. There is no feeling quite like it. I find it very relaxing almost nurturing.  The farmer does offer already picked apples but why miss out on all the fun?
I also relish the thought that I will have to return because each variety of apple has their own "due" date. That's quite alright by me because it stretches out the fun. I'll make some of the apples into pies and crisps, some will be for eating and some will become my keepers that stay in the refrigerator over the winter. Yes, they do last that long if you keep them cold and away from carrots. This time of year makes me reflect on what our grandmothers and mothers went through to keep the family supplied for the winter months. My mother did a lot of canning.  I did as well. It was a long process but i enjoyed being up to my elbows in fruit. If you have never been to an orchard go out and indulge yourself. You'll then understand my pleasure.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hello World!

I finally took the plunge and started a blog. I amazed myself being able to accomplish that considering I have limited computer savvy (sending emails is about it) and didn't quite understand the computer lingo when I was prompted. After all was said and done I can honestly say building a blog boosted my confidence. So here I am world! Welcome to my blog and hope you return many times in the future. This experience will be quite a steep learning curve for me but I now have the confidence to proceed. Please let me know in the comments section if there is anything that could be/should be made better or just leave me a comment that you have stopped by for a visit. Would love to hear from you.
I will be sharing my passion for quilts and other things that interest me that I hope you will find interesting as well. Another reason for my blog is to pay tribute to our grandmothers and mothers for the legacy they gave us by inspiring all to continue the legacy into the future. As you guessed, quilting is my passion and talking about it excites me. Please join me.