Monday, April 30, 2007

My Grandfather

Here is a picture of Jim, my Grandfather, Paul, and my Uncle David.

I am flying off tomorrow to go to my Grandfather's funeral. He was 97 years old. This picture was taken July 1st 2005.

My Grandparents divorced when my mother was about 14 years old. They both remarried, but remained very close over the years. The last time I saw him was when he flew down to Vancouver in 2005 for my Grandmother's funeral. He was 95 at the time. He stayed for about a week, at my Uncle David's house (his youngest on by my Grandmother).

Both him and my grandmother had more children from their second marriages and when all the kids were younger we would have big family get togethers that included all sisters, brothers, half sisters, half brothers, and step brothers and sisters -- and the grandchildren. My grandfather has a son that is about 3 years younger than me.

He was still living at home with his wife. He had done some work in the garden last spring, he had built a little pond and a bench for the back yard.

Both of my grandparents led very interesting, free spirited, full, long lives. We should all be so lucky. It is not a time for sadness, but a time to celebrate the goodness of a life well lived.
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Saturday, April 28, 2007

I got my Siggy's

I got my siggy's on Friday. I wonder if everybody has them now? The postal system in Canada is so slow - I am betting that I am the last to get them. They are so wonderful to see. There are quite a few names that I don't recognize -- new blogs I will have to go visit. I know there is someone who posted a list of all the people and links to blogs that were involved in the siggy exchange. I will have to find the list and check it out, now that I have my siggy's. There is one here from Korea! So nice to see the siggys from some of the bloggers I "chat" with regularly as well. I really enjoyed my first siggy exchange.

I can't believe it has been almost a week since I last posted. I have been working this past week and I never can get much computer time when I work. The weather this week has been terrible -- rain, rain, and more rain -- until today. A beautiful blue sky out there today, so here is a picture of this morning. So nice to see the sun finally.

Of course -- that means - it's Martini time!!

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That was not from this morning though -- LOL. We jumped the gun a bit last weekend and I had one martini while I was quilting the baby quilt. The sun was sort of peeking out a bit last weekend -- enough for one :)) And one is usually enough!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

This is NOT the Beetle I was driving

The VW dealer phoned at 9:30 Saturday morning to say the Mechanic stayed late on Friday night and fixed my window (both of them were done) and the car was ready to be picked up. How wonderful -- I was a little nervous driving their car. So I never really had much of a chance to drive the new Beetle - just home and back. But I am so pleased to have my car back. I had my quilt show purchases and my camera in the trunk.

After I picked up my car I stopped at the mall and this is what was in the mall parking lot.

What a hoot. The inside of the car is jammed with stuff just like the outside. Since I had my camera I took a bunch of pictures. Notice the license plate.

Notice the little water fountain on the front.

The tiger sticking out the passenger window. There was a bunny sticking out of the back window on the drivers side.

This is the back of the car -- at least they are Canuck fans. After an hour in the mall I came back and the car was gone - so obviously it is drivable. I can't imagine it would be a comfortable drive!! Too funny.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Quilt show today

I went off to a quilt show this morning in my 2002 Jetta TDI.

And I came home in a Volkswagon Beetle 2007.

Now -- there has got to be a story here!

We were a group of 5. We left very early and drove an hour to the Fraser Valley Quilt show and spent the morning at a very nice show. I shopped at the Merchants mall -- the S.E.X. was pretty good. I bought some wonderful fabric ( I don't have the pictures because they are in the trunk of my car). We went off to lunch and another fabric store. On stopping the window on the passenger side needed to be rolled up. We all here this terrible crack, and the window didn't move. So I play with the button a bit and the window rolled down and stayed down! So we shopped a bit more!

It was a very breezy ride home. I got back to town and took the car to my Volkswagon dealer. He said it could not be fixed today, it would be 1 1/2 hours and then the driver side window would need to be done as well, because if the one had gone the other would not be far behind. Apparently the "plastic" clips in the 2002 Jetta will do this and they have since been replaced with metal clips. He suggested they could put plastic on the window and I could come back next week and it could be fixed. I said - I could put plastic on the window, but I can't come back until Friday because I am working 7 AM until 7 PM and then a night shift and I can't drop the car off and pick it up and get to work across town.

So I made an appointment for Friday morning and told them to put the plastic on the window. I then sat outside in the sun for a few minutes while the work was being done. The poor boy must have felt sorry for me -- I saw the car in the shop with the window taped up with plastic. It looked terrible. When I came back in to get my car he told me to leave the car over the weekend, he would do both windows Monday and I could pick the car up after 7:30 Monday night. And he would give me a loaner car for the weekend!! What a nice, sweet boy. So I have a 2007 Beetle, with a sun roof for the weekend!!

I left my bag in the trunk, with my camera, so I can't show any quilt show photo's. But it was a good show and I bought some great fabric.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More Spring Retreat -- a post for Darlene

The first thing I wanted to complete is the baby quilt for the couple down the street. The baby is due May 3rd. I got it layered and machine quilted and the binding machine stitched on. It just needs a bit of hand quilting in the solid blocks and the binding hand stitched down.

The Chocolat table centre was quite a bit of work as it turned out with all the sashing and corner blocks. I should have strip pieced the sashing and corner blocks - it would have gone a little quicker. I put the first border around (light green fabric) and then decided I really needed the sashing to go around the outside before the first border. So I had to take off the light green (only two sides though) make more sashing (these are 1 inch strips and squares) and sew them around the outside of the blocks. Does that all make sense? Anyway that put me behind for time - I was hoping to get this top layered this weekend as well. But it is small enough I can layer it at home.

As I was working on my charm pack quilt another quilter showed me what she was doing with her charm pack. I thought Darlene would like to see this. I thought it was pretty nifty - looked great and was really easy.

She took the full five inch blocks and sewed them together as a nine patch. Then they are cut right down the middle in both directions. Then you just mix them up and sew them together any way you want. It is hard to see the nine patch from the picture - she didn't have any nine patch blocks before they are cut. You can see how the nine patches are cut in quarters and then can be mixed back together.

But you can see what happens with the block. You get a block that has one 5 inch square and the 2 1/2 inch pieces on the sides.

I thought it was a great idea. I don't know if I am behind the times completely and this has been out in the quilt world for years - which is entirely possible :)) but I had not seen this idea before. You could even do this and sew blocks together to make fabric for a really cool bag. I bought a new pack of charm squares -- Chez Moi -- which I thought would be great fabric to try this with.

A few people have honored me with a Thinking Blogger award last week. It was so wonderful to find my blog among the names of some wonderful bloggers that I also love to read each day. I thank you all so much including me among your favourite reads. There are so many inspiring bloggers out there. I am so happy to have stumbled upon blogging, ( by accident - and it is a long story which I shall tell one day). I have such a list of bloggers that it is hard to pick out just a few. Most of the blogs I read are on the Quilting 4 Pleasure blog ring. I am so glad I was able to join the ring - and how it has grown, from me coming in at #13 to now 73 members and more waiting to join. Not all of the blogs I read are from the blog ring. It is so strange how we accidently happen across a certain blog that pulls us in and then brings us back again - and then an email or two and before you know it you know a fellow quilter in Italy, Portugal, Australia or Ontario. And of course so many American quilters, one or two for almost every state - no Hawaii yet. We will have to wait for Kim I guess. I can not really single out just five blogs, I love to read you all!!! Thank you.

A tour around Spring retreat

Every spring my quilt guild has a small retreat up at a local camp. There is a nice little facility there that is often used by adult groups for workshops and seminars and such. It is set up along a river just north of the town of Squamish -- just south of Whistler B.C. It is just a lovely little river valley. I didn't take any pictures of the outside. I should have brought my camera along on our walk Sunday afternoon. The camp also has a small farm attached and there are chickens, ducks, two turkeys, a bunch of goats and a very large pig. We go up for two nights and three days of sewing. All food is cooked and provided - we just go to the dining room when they ring the bell. The food is great. Lots of snacks. Everyone brings their own bottle of wine or such. There are gifts and door prizes - this is about the only place I ever win anything. We are given a big stack of quilting magazines each year.

This is the sewing room. It is a bit tight, but there is never everyone in the room at once. Usually there are quilts all over the walls but this year they didn't start putting up quilts until late Saturday night. I did take a few pictures of quilts on Sunday.

This is a room set aside for layering and basting quilts. The tables have the risers on them. I am going to get me some of those! You can see some of the bedrooms off this common room.

This is the little cutting room.

This is my bedroom. Very comfortable little room. The rooms can sleep two people but because we do not fill up the place we usually have our own rooms. The facility sleeps about 45. There is usually 25-26 people at retreat.

Here is the ironing room. There is a little gaggle of quilters taking a break all lined up on the couch! One quilter always brings a little portable massage device for our pleasure. Usually there is a line up to use it.

Here is the dining room. It is so nice to not have to worry about taking time out of quilting to plan and prepare food.

A very nice weekend. The sun came out on Saturday and lots was acomplished by me.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thank you all my blogger friends

Thank you all so much for your kindness and hugs. I really needed them.

I am heading off now to long planned weekend quilting retreat. I have a few UFO's that I really want to finish. The baby quilt - for the baby that is due May 3rd. The Chocolat Charm pack table centre (which I am really loving). Mostly I am going to relax and have a nice visit with my quilting friends, and enjoy the food and wine.

I will have a progress report and pictures Monday.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A long post today

This is a picture of Chesterman's beach. It is by Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island. A beautiful place to go - I think it is a place that God created so we could go there and reflect and renew ourselves. This is the place that I go. I posted this picture for Teodo, she posted such a beautiful picture of a lake in Italy. I saved her picture and I will one day go there.

As you have been following my decision to change jobs I will tell you about this week. I have worked as a nurse at the same hospital for 16 years. The "powers that be" are changing things so much - and moving all of the medical patients from my hospital to another hospital - so although I would still be working with all the same staff we would no longer be at "our" hospital. The new hospital is the largest in BC and things are very different there. On Tuesday morning - while I was at work - I had to tell the people that I work with that I will not be working there anymore. It was so terribly hard. But I think for me it was a good decision.

Tuesday afternoon we found out that a beloved nurse on our ward had committed suicide Monday night. We are all so upset, devastated and angry. She has left behind 4 teenagers and a husband. She never even let us know how unhappy she was, although she was close to us all. I spent the day with her last Tuesday at the new hospital -- she did not like it and did not want to move -- but none of us did. I was quite happy to join in with her unhappiness about the move. Then we worked together on Wednesday - she was a bit irritable - we all were - we were short staffed and had extra work in the morning. We all pitched in and helped each other. I did some stuff for her, by afternoon things were better, she was happier - she had a party to go to after work that night with her daughter. She wanted to skip her dinner and leave a little early to get to the party. So I said that was fine - and off she went. I did not work the next day, and she worked three more shifts and no one else at work got any indication from her that she was in such despair. I wish she would have talked to us - I would have listened and told her not to do it.

I hope it is okay that I posted this - but I really needed to. Thank you for listening.

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We will be going back to Tofino in June - it will be a time to reflect and renew.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Weekend

We had a fairly eventful Easter weekend. With the kids all "adults" and away from home there isn't any Easter Egg hunting anymore. We did have everyone over for dinner on Saturday night though. We had a very nice turkey dinner this year. Andrew and Anri, Eric and his friend Dusty and Jessica (who is in town for the weekend for her girlfriend's stagette) and her girlfriend Danielle ( the bride to be). So we had quite the group for dinner.

Jenny, who has never barked, decided there was something evil lurking in the backyard this weekend and would not go into one corner of the yard. She also decided whatever was evil needed to be barked at from the deck during dinner. So all in all -- Easter this year was noisy if nothing else.

Andrew's girlfriend, Anri, is wondering if I can teach her to sew a summer dress and maybe also learn a bit of quilting. Her and I looked through my fabric cupboard and she was right away drawn to my collection of Amy Butler fabrics -- I think she might make a good quilter!

I did some more on the 4 patch Chocolat charm square table quilt. I am putting the little sashings in. The sashing is just 1/2 inch finished. I think it was a good idea, I really like the look of this quilt and it will look great finished and on the table.

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Well, I am off to work for the next couple of days. We had the turkey on Saturday because I work Monday and I hate making a big meal the night before I have to work. I went for a job interview on Thursday - it went well and a big decision will be made by Tuesday I think. I think changing jobs is more stressful than getting married! Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


I thought I would show a picture of the work I did with the Grip-n-Grip. I iron the freezer paper templates on the muslin and then draw a sewing and cutting line on the fabric with a mechanical pencil. I do prefer it to the sandpaper. The line is smooth and easy to draw. The fabric does not move at all.

When I was at the Sewing and Craft sale there were just tons of notions and gadgets for sale there. The woman I went out there with and I were talking about how it would be interesting to have a show and tell at our guild meeting one night of the "Most Useless" and "Most Useful" gadgets. Boy -- I tell you I have bought some useless stuff over the years. Maybe we should have a blog "show and share". Sometimes something looks like such a good idea - you spend $20.00 on it and come home and find it is a complete waste of money. Anyway -- I think the Grip-n-Grip is good value for money.

I bought a few fat quarters as well to add a small sashing in between my four patch blocks for my table centre. The sashing will be the blue and then I will put small red corner blocks. I have also bought a new TV and another table for my sewing room. So -- I guess I gotta work for a few more years yet :))

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And here is a Jenny picture. She really seems to be settling in well. She is a bit more playful than we expected. Last night - when we were ready for bed she was ready for ball! We gave her a bath on Sunday and her fur crimped up like it had been through a crimping iron. She is so soft - and isn't shedding any hair at all. She is such a mixture of breeds. She is so gentle and quiet. We have heard her bark only three times so far, and only one short bark each time.