Easter Bunny Sighting

This is Rambo.

Rambo does not belong to our family, but he seems to have adopted us. Rambo often hangs out in our yard and visits through the glass with our cat, Joey.

Rambo is very focused on something or someone in our yard….

Could this be the illusive Easter Bunny?
This rabbit has recently started hanging around our yard. Word must have gotten out that we are a pet friendly household!
Photography by my talented daughter! (Can you tell that I am a very proud Mom?)

International Quilting Weekend

Saturday, March 21, 2009 was National Quilting Day in the US. I noticed another Canadian blogger who referred to Saturday as INTERNATIONAL Quilting Day and I feel a little like her and think this should be more than an event limited just to the US. Given all the good that quilters do worldwide for their communities, we should be recognizing quilting world wide and the day should be changed to International Quilting Day!

I told my mother that it was International Quilting Day and she asked me what I was going to do. I told her that I was going to quilt of course! And quilt I did. I joined http://catsnqlts2.blogspot.com/ in a Move It Forward Challenge. We challenged one another to pick a UFO and move it forward from pieces of fabric sitting in a box on the shelf to at least the flimsy stage.

Friday night I had put the finishing stitches in a quilt that Linda and I had worked together on previously – on Super Bowl Sunday in 2008. As I quilted Linda’s quilt I thought about the fun we had making our quilt tops together–Linda in the southern US and me in Canada, connected only through our computers and the Internet. What fun we had planning our quilts and working together through some of the challenges of the pattern. We ended up with a flimsy each. I quilted my Bargellobowl quilt last weekend and this weekend, I finished up Linda’s Bargellobowl quilt. Linda’s quilt is large–approx. 90 inches square. This quilt was so large that my daughter’s arm span was not large enough for her to act as the official quilt hanger. So for the picture, we put the quilt on the floor. As you can see, Joey is walking the border, doing his customary quilt inspection.

Once the pictures were taken, I packaged up the quilt and headed off to the post office. Linda’s quilt is now on its way back to her. It still seems surreal that the quilt that had only existed as pictures on the Internet up until now was actually in my hands, thousands of miles away from where it was pieced. Linda’s quilt is full of memories–there are fabrics in there from the FAB stashes, her Mom’s stash, and it now has my quilting stitches holding the sandwich together. So I started the Move It Forward Challenge by helping a fellow FAB move her flimsy one step closer to being a finished quilt.

The next project I tackled was taming the overflowing unruly box of string pieced rectangles that I have been working on over time. When I am looking for a mindless project to do where I don’t have to match anything or concentrate much, I work on string piecing scraps to used Color Catcher sheets. Once I have a stack, I trim them up to 4″ x 9″ .

These are the stacks of blocks that I trimmed up on Saturday. Each stack is at least 3″ high. Linda asked me what I had planned for these blocks. I was just going to sash and cornerstone them into a simple top. Linda asked if I had thought of making a Railroad Crossing quilt.

After searching the Internet for ideas and swapping pictures of quilts back and forth, I came across a quilt with pink and tan alternating squares that I fell in love with. It wasn’t long and Linda sent me this EQ drawing of a quilt similar to the one that I fell in love with. With this drawing it is easy for me to figure out how many squares of what fabric I need and just how many of the string pieced bits that I need. It is obvious to me now that I have enough string pieced bits to make about three of these quilts!
This is very typical of what happens when Linda and I get together and start discussing quilts and quilting. We start with one idea and the next thing you know the pattern ideas are flying back and forth over the Internet and we both have a few more quilts added to our Quilting To Do list! It is great to have someone to bounce your ideas off of.

The UFOs that I decided to move forward were my Easter table toppers. This first topper is for me. It was previously just a flimsy and Saturday I managed to get it quilted. Sunday I machine stitched the binding to the front of the quilt. That pink strip around the perimeter of the topper is the binding ready to be hand stitched to the back of the quilt.

This second topper is for my Mother. The fabrics are those that my mom bought while we were on our recent trip to Arizona. I managed to piece and quilt this topper on Saturday. This topper is also ready for the hand stitching of the binding to the back of the quilt.

This is a picture of the cute fabric that is on the back of both toppers.
The members of my local Monday night quilt group have decided that they would like to make some quilts together. We have picked Bonnie’s Scrappy Trips pattern. I have decided to make my quilt out of fabric in my stash. I have a huge collection of floral fat quarters that I am cutting 2 1/2″ strips from for this project and 4 1/2″ strips from for a future project – Terry Atkinson’s
Daisy Chain. While putting together this first block on Sunday night, I remarked to Linda that maybe I should make the center squares on my blocks out of green fabrics in order to tame some of the chaos caused by all the florals that I am using. I was asking Linda what she thought of my idea.
Before I knew it, Linda had drawn up this diagram in EQ to give me some idea of what my idea might look like.
So, what started as National Quilting Day ended up as International Quilting Weekend! It is great to celebrate time to quilt together with friends – no matter where they live!

Enlarging Images

I am not sure why when I embed a picture within my text, the ability to double click on the picture to make it larger seems to be disabled. I have posted this picture again as it is impossible to read in the previous post. If you double click on this image, it should appear larger and easier to read. Blogger is such a mystery to me!

Happy Easter

As I sit contemplating the events of the last three days, I am left with feelings of contentment resulting from a perfect weekend.

Easter and Spring are synonymous–this time of year is one celebration of life and new beginnings. Friday and Saturday were perfect spring days–warm and sunny. I spent Friday doing what I enjoy most–quilting. Joey and I spent the day in the studio with the windows open.

I also changed my display quilts to something more appropriate for the season–a little late this year, but the weather has not made it feel much like spring. There are two locations in my house where I try to change the quilts with the seasons. These first two pictures are the quilts that currently hang in the front entrance.

This is the dining room decorated with Spring / Easter quilts.

The pleasant weather continued on Saturday and I couldn’t resist going outside. I spent some time pulling weeds and trimming the hydrangea.

Sunday, Dana and I attended the Easter service at church with my parents. The Easter story is at the heart of Christianity. I struggled with the right words to capture my thoughts and then found Johnny Hart’s BC Easter cartoon. Sometimes a picture DOES say more than a thousand words!

No holiday would be complete without family. We finished the day around the dining room table enjoying another wonderful family meal with everyone present–Grandpa and Grandma (my parents), Harold, myself, Matt, Miranda, Dana, and Dusty. We enjoyed barbecued salmon, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, orange fluff (salad), peas, corn, and baking for desert.

There was also a generous distribution of chocolate and Easter candy supplied by a couple of Easter Bunny stand-ins.

After everyone left, I spent the last few hours of the day in my studio finishing up the quilting on my Debbie Mumm Building Blocks Quilt. I won’t show you a picture yet as the threads still need to be tied off and buried inside the quilt. My quilts always look a little they need a hair cut when they are at this stage.

So this weekend was about all the things that are important to me: my faith, my family, quilting, my faithful companion: Joey, great weather, new life, and of course chocolate!

It is my hope that this weekend brought you an opportunity to enjoy those things that mean the most to you as well. Happy Easter to each of you!

This bunny belongs to Dana. It was a gift from her great aunt and godmother. He is animated and plays the song, Rockin’ Robbin with the chick filling the role of back-up singer as he pops out of the egg. Very cute!