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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More of Saskatchewan

As we were driving from Moose Jaw down to Weyburn, Sask. on our way home we came across the Dog River elevator. This is where the TV show, Corner Gas was filmed. (Sorry, only in Canada).

This is the gas station and restaurant built specially for the show, I assume as they are on the outside of town across from the elevator. Too bad they stopped doing the show. If they had done another season, they probably would have been filming.

And here is a view of a huge canola field in flower. Some people find this kind of scenery boring but I love the huge sky and the fact that you can see such a distance.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Moose Jaw Quilt Show

In my last post I mentioned the outdoor quilt show in Moose Jaw. This is what we saw as we entered the park. It was my first outdoor show and I was very impressed. The quilts looked so nice in the bright dappled sunshine.

There were a lot of quilts hanging on clotheslines stretched from tree to tree.

This is the back of one vendor's booth.

This Celtic Knot was amazing. This is the front.

This is the back. It started out as all mottled gray. The color is entirely from the quilting.

Here is a detail of the intricate quilting on the background. I think I liked the back even more than the front!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Our Trip

We decided to take a little road trip to celebrate our anniversary. We drove to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. You need to be Canadian to spell that one first try! It's a beautiful city in northern Saskatchewan, the next province west of us. What we really wanted to see was the Crooked Bush, about an hour and a half northwest of Saskatoon.

The Crooked Bush is a strange unexplained phenomenon. There is a small grove of Aspen trees that are very crooked and twisted. The other types of trees in the grove are straight. The trees just outside the grove are also normal. It's eerie and odd looking.

Here is the little write up that was posted in the middle of the grove.
The next day we headed for Moose Jaw (one of my favorite names for a city!) , a few hours south of Saskatoon. Moose Jaw is famous as a location used by Al Capone during prohibition in USA. We wanted to enjoy the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa there and as a huge bonus, I read about an outdoor quilt show that just happened to be held on Sunday. The spa was wonderful and apparently the water contains many of the same minerals as are found in the water at Bath in England.
The quilt show was amazing. I'll be posting pictures of that tomorrow.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


We will be away for a few days on a short holiday to celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary. Pictures when we get back.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Our "Newest" Machine

This is our newest hand crank machine, from the thrift shop, as usual. It is an odd one. I have never heard of this brand, which looks like Tim or Jim.

This is the name on the back of the machine where you can open it for oiling.

The tension mechanism is on the opposite side to most machines and the needle threads from left to right. It has the round bobbin, not the long one, so it can't be all that old.

Here is the crank end, also a bit unusual. The case has a curved wooden top that locks on, but I forgot to take a photo with the lid on. It looks a lot like the old singer cases but this one is quite a lot longer, partly due to the large area on the end for attachments.
Does anyone know anything about this kind of machine? It's in very good condition with the gold almost perfectly intact. It sews a beautiful stitch.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Another Tibetan Robe

I guess I am working in a series. I started a new Tibetan Robe to work on while I am hand stitching all the facings on the first one. This one is much better. It's not quilted so much easier to work with. I plan to line it with red. It doesn't display very well on a hanger but I'll get someone to model it tomorrow. It already looks very elegant.

These are the two pieces of silk brocade for the shoulder decorations, that I have right now. I am not totally satisfied with either one. I'd like one with red and silver. I'll have to dig deeper because I think I have a couple of pieces that are mainly red.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Modeling the Robe

Here is the Tibetan robe being modeled by a reluctant model but there was no one else available. The sun was shining in my eyes and I was being jabbed by several pins. I still have to hand sew down the slit facings, and collar facings, add facings to the bottom and hand sew on the brocade shoulder decorations. The next one will definitely not be quilted. It's quite heavy and cumbersome.
I'm standing in front of our wild flower garden which is in bloom right now.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tibetan Robe Coming Along


Here's the Tibetan Robe so far. I got the quilting done this morning, not exactly the way I had planned with the chalk. It was too wide a pattern for my mid-arm so I revised it as I went. The blue decorative shoulder parts are just pinned on. There will be a collar that is brown on one side and blue on the other that goes all the way down the front. It will also have facing at the bottom and around the side slit.

Things I learned.
1. It's pretty heavy when quilted. It would probably be fine with just a lining or else quilted with no lining.
2. I knew this but forgot. Draw the pattern pieces on after quilting. I forgot to account for shrinkage when quilted. It's not much but made it a bit hard to fit the underarms. I'll have to cut a bit off the lining at the bottom.
3. Be careful of the straight side of the pieces that get narrow at the top. I think I have one or two wrong and it may not hang exactly straight.

Maybe that's why it's good to work in a series.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More on the Robe

I went to Fabricland this morning and got a nice piece of burgundy cotton. This afternoon I stamped it with the leaf stamp I made a few weeks ago. Here I have marked the shape of the pieces and chalked the quilting lines. I'll quilt it with yellow or gold thread. I couldn't quilt it today because the paint has to dry for 24 hours before it is ironed to fix it.
The lining is made so it won't take long to assemble once I get it quilted. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tibetan Robe

Here is my newest project. I have had this pattern for years and never got around to making it. I love those Folkwear patterns. I got the Moroccan robe one and made lots of robes to wear at our art party. People love them. Now I want to try something a bit more complex. I have the fabrics chosen, but the burgundy is just a sample of what I want. I don't have enough of it and will get some tomorrow. The gold leaves are stamped on. The blue is a silk brocade I got in China when we were there a few years ago. On my monitor it's hard to see the dark brown piece on the left but it will be the plain strips in the picture. I sandwiched and quilted it this morning. The pink is the lining. I have sewn the lining together and can see that the whole thing will be very nice to assemble once I get the rest of the fabric and get it stamped and quilted. I will be looking for some interesting way to fasten it in the front.
Now, where can I get some of those neat Tibetan boots? Maybe I'll have to go to Tibet soon.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Finish

We have been in recovery mode since our party. I did finish this one up except for the hanging sleeve.
The exciting news is that I have been asked to do a workshop on my techniques for these wall hangings. I have never even attended a quilting workshop, let alone given one. I do have 30 years teaching experience in elementary classrooms though. A roomful of quilters can't be much more difficult than a room full of nine year olds. Or can it??

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

July 7 Art Party

Yesterday we had our annual art party. Here is a photo, courtesy of Sara, of a red hot pot coming out of the raku kiln.

Later, after the pot luck we lit a huge bonfire.

And then lit a grass fire in a circle around the stones. After that we set off some fireworks but I didn't get any photos of that.
Many of us were wearing cloaks that I made a few years ago. I'll have to make more though, because there aren't enough of them to go around.
We are thinking next year we might have an outdoor quilt display on the stones. Stay tuned...

Monday, July 06, 2009

My First Quilt

Camille at Simplify is hosting a Parade of Quilts featuring first and latest quilt. Pop on over to her blog if you want to join in.

This is the first full sized quilt, which I made in 2005. It was made with all Bali Batiks which cost me an arm and a leg! I still like it a lot although technically, it has some issues. I quilted it in sections using stitch in the ditch. The back is gray with a rainbow border and a black border.

This is my most recent completed piece. It is a small wall hanging, about 20 inches square.

In between these two quilts I have learned so much that I don't know where to begin. My biggest breakthrough was buying a mid-arm quilting frame and machine.
Much of what I now know, I learned from all those generous bloggers out there. Thank you all.

Sunday, July 05, 2009


We are hosting a party in a couple of days so I've been too busy to sew. Instead I'll give you a picture of our Mock Orange shrub with the last of the wild roses snuggled up to it. The perfume is heavenly.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Back to Work

After enjoying a family party on July 1, Canada Day, I am back in the studio.

I changed the top on this one and auditioned some rick rack to unite it with the area below it. It's not sewn down yet so it could still change to something completely different.

I did some dyeing while the weather is nice and sunny. These are some of them on the clothes line.

And some more.

This one was spread out on a tray and the dye painted on with a foam brush. I like the watery look. I may do some more this afternoon.