Wednesday, June 9, 2021

wild winged

( black bird on bull rush card created from paint chips)

wild winged flute

Friday, May 14, 2021

a buzz and a blur

Hummingbirds are a buzz and a blur.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

feelin' groovy

 Long, long ago, I pieced this patchwork. Then I folded it up and put it on a shelf. I wasn't sure how I wanted to quilt it. I wasn't sure about a backing fabric. I just wasn't sure.

A year or two later, I pulled the pieced top out of the cupboard and added a wide, dark brown border. It seemed like the right color. Many of the fabrics were etched in dark brown. But something didn't feel right. I wasn't sure what it was, but something just didn't work. 

Time did what time does and then, rather suddenly, a few weeks ago, I pulled the pieced top out of the cupboard and put it on my design wall, AKA the floor. Poor little patchwork. Maybe it wasn't the color of the border, but the width that was wrong. My husband, AKA a valuable second opinion, agreed. The brown border was 'completely overpowering.' Quick as a blink, before I could reconsider, I sliced off four and a half inches all round. The border was now the same width as the blocks making up the pattern. Blissful harmony. 

The beauty of slicing fabric from the border meant I also suddenly had fabric for a matching binding. Double happiness.

I wanted straight line quilting but I also wanted all the borders to look the same. Not little, bitty, short lines one direction and great, long, quilt length ones the other.  What to do. Hmmmm. Diagonal! That was the answer. It's pretty fun to quilt a square quilt on the diagonal. You start with the shortest line imaginable. And the lines get longer and longer and longer and longer and then shorter and shorter and shorter and presto, yahoo, you are done! 

I love this quilt. I love the colors(so 1960's) and the pattern(so mesmerizing) and the quilting(so modern) and the backing. (vintage Ikea) Long, long ago, my mother named it Pieces of Eight after pirate gold and that is an awesome name. Can a quilt have two names? No? Yes? Well, I am also thinking of this one as Feelin' Groovy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

once for all

"Have you seen the robin eggs yet?" my granddaughter asks. "No," I say, leaping from the lawn chair in anticipation.  Away we dash,  around the corner of the house and up the stairs to the deck. Bumping into each other, clutching arms, and holding our breath, we tip toe towards the far corner. 

A robin has faithfully nested year after year in our yard and this trek to the deck has become a yearly pilgrimage.  We have knelt, bowing slowly, our foreheads touching the dry dusty boards, eyes zooming in and out of focus, the nest a few inches below. 

This year my granddaughter became the guide (and the tech support). She asked for my phone and placed it over the space between the boards, screen side up and there were the eggs! Three dusky green eggs glowing in the golden grass of the nest. No bending or bowing. She even snapped a picture for posterity, suggesting this new view would be less stressful for the mother robin, a sort of once for all and all for once.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

more than anything

More than anything else, as far as wishes go, she wished she could go blueberry picking. She wished she could get in her car and drive through the mountains to Blue River and take her pails out into the woods. She thought she might meet our Mom there. (I thought she might meet a bear there!)

Our mom grew up picking wild blueberries. So did we. We shared the patch with hosts of mosquitoes, and black flies and no-see-ums. No bears that I remember but my oldest sister remembers a friend of our mother crashing out of the woods with terror stamped on every feature. If making noise is the best defense against a bear attack, she was positively invincible. 

I'm sorry I didn't think of making this quilt the moment my sister mentioned our Mom and blueberries. Sometimes I need neon lights and a marching band to wake up and smell the coffee. But the moment a quilt appeared before my glazed eyes I rushed to my sewing cupboard. A few years ago, my sister had given me a quilters panel with bears on it. Hazah!!! Perfect! I phoned the nearest quilt shop to see if they had blueberry inspired fabric but Covid had closed their doors permanently. I phoned another store and another. No blueberry fabric was to be found. I trolled about online and finally found some but the shipping time was six weeks!! And that was just an estimate. 

Fortunately, desperation saved the day. I cast my net further afield and turned up a quilt shop in a nearby town, a shop I didn't even know existed. They had a smidge of blueberry fabric left but were closing in less than an hour. Was it a fools errand to lurch out of the house, just as every sensible person was hastening homeward? Gamely, my husband agreed to drive. He gripped the steering wheel and headed off, changing lanes and taking back alleys. I gripped the door handle and breathed shallowly. 

But we were triumphant. I spent the weekend slicing and dicing and piecing and pinning. When the new week dawned, I had a moment of clarity. I had tried every possible fabric combination and there was no other possible way forward except to have more blueberry fabric. Not much. Just a smidge really. Likely just the amount that had been LEFT ON THE BOLT by me!!! 

I drove back to the shop myself. Sadly, I had not paid attention during my husbands wild race to the store and it was as though I had never been there before. I completely lost my inner compass before I let my phone help.

Amazingly, they still had the snippet of blueberry fabric I had unwisely left behind. And it was reduced in price now because it was a scrap. I could have kissed it. I staggered out to my car with a giant roll of quilt bat and a teeny tiny wisp of fabric.

The backing is a bunch of black bears boldly browsing....... That fabric was from my sister too!! I'm telling you, this quilt was meant to be hers!

 I folded the finished quilt into a postal box and put my faith in Canada Post. They didn't let me down.

Thursday, April 22, 2021



My granddaughters are two of Moriah Elizabeth's six million fans. They love to curl up and watch her brandish her paintbrush. She has created dozens of 'squishie' characters but Georgie, the pineapple duck is a legend in his own time. 


With stars in my eyes, I stitched up a little felt version of Georgie.



To impress my granddaughters. 


But alas, their hearts belong to Pickle. (the dinosaur) 



Fame has tarnished Georgie as fame often does.


 There's just something about babies isn't there?