Sunday, May 20, 2007

Morgenmad På Terassen!

I awoke this morning to the wonderful aroma of pancakes and coffee, the scrumptious scent wafting up to our second floor bedroom! My husband had gotten up early and prepared us a delicious breakfast on the terrace! Despite being just after 8 am, the sun was hot and we soon had to change into shorts and tees! I just love this time of year! Even though our spring weather can be very unpredictable, I don't mind, as long as we get a bit of sun once in a while! And yes, that IS Canadian maple syrup that you see on the table! There are some things that a gal just can't be without, even though it costs an arm and a leg to purchase it here in Denmark!!!!

While we ate, we sat and watched our tiny friends, busily flying back and forth from their little bird-house, feeding their hungry brood. I was amazed over the fact that they didn't seem to mind that we sat only a metre from their home. Their instincts regarding good-parenting are obviously stronger than their fear of humans! We keep feeding the birds in the summer months. Not a lot, but just enough so that they'll remain in our garden, keeping us entertained with their songs and antics! Do we dare lift the lid and peek into the nest?!

The shrubs and perennials are blooming in abundance and every week brings new and different varieties of flowers. It's a joy seeing this vibrant and abundant display of colour and it's certainly giving me lots of photo opportunities! These pictures are from the area visible from our Sunday morning "breakfast nook"! The clematis is one I planted about three years ago. It's been quite spindly the past while, but is now finally starting to take hold. The colour, a very pale pink with a touch of lavender, is one of my favorites when it comes to the clematis flower. They say that the clematis loves the sun, but not on its roots. So, I tried solving that problem by planting a low-growing perennial (the name slips my mind just now!) at it's base. It seems to be working!

With A Little Help From My Friends...!

It's nice to be back sewing and quilting in full-force! I had gone through a period where my desire to create had been somewhat lacking. Quite unlike myself, I might add! Several months had passed since I'd constructed one of these little Jane Stickle blocks and I was feeling a tad guilty! One of my dear friends, knowing I was in a slump, offered to sew a block for me. Well, that seemed to be the inspiration I needed! If she wanted to sew a block for me, then I would certainly want to do something nice for her in return!! Hmmm!! What about sewing HER a block??!! What are friends for, if not to give that little push that we all need once in a while??!!

Here is a picture of the "working stage" of M13, Lynette's Diamond! I began by hand-piecing the four muslin back-ground pieces together, while at the same time, setting in the centre square of green. Then, I appliquéd the four green quarter circles onto the muslin piece, trimming away the extra fabric after completing the stitching. I really enjoyed making this block, even though it's the second time around for me! I actually think that this M13 turned out nicer than my first attempt! :o) Isn't that always the way it goes???!! Thanks for your help, Lee Ann! You don't know how much I appreciate it!! ;o)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Snips of Thread!

Well, judging from the date of my last post, it's been quite a while since I've written here! Perhaps it's because I've been very busy with my quilting these days, working on several interesting projects! A few months ago, I joined a Dear Jane Signature Swap along with 160 other fellow "Janiacs" from around the world! I've since sewn and decorated the same number of "Siggie Blocks" and they've now been swapped amongst all these wonderful ladies! It was a fantastic experience, especially when I received a Special Delivery package last week with all of those beautiful blocks in return! I think that every colour of the rainbow is represented, as well as an unbelievable number of countries and states in the US.

Here is a picture of the blocks arranged upon my design wall. After starching and pressing each individual block, I then trimmed them to five inches, which took the most part of a whole day! It was great fun, though!! It was like getting to know each quilter individually, working with their wonderful little creations! I kept the scraps, as I thought they were so pretty, all lying together in a pile of colours! I'm still expecting a few more Siggies to arrive from some private swaps I've been in, but am looking very much forward to piecing this top together! Different layouts have come to mind and I may try to use some contrasting fabrics to create a rainbow effect!

Speaking of rainbow effects, this picture of a Signature Quilt made by a fellow quilter in Germany,
is a unique layout utilizing all of the different shades! I really like the way this lady made the colours work's so harmonious! I have several different ideas in mind as to how I will piece my Siggie Blocks together, but this one is high on my list!

Another project I'm working on these days is a flannel quilt for my Dad. He will soon be transferred to a care facility from the hospital where he is now, so I want him to be warm and cozy. This quilt is a very easy pattern, consisting of blocks sewn first into nine-patches and then cut into four sections and sewn together again. The quilt will consist of five by three blocks of twelve inches each. Quite a simple technique which hasn't so far required too much concentration!!! Working with flannel was a new challenge for me, though. I used lots of spray starch, made sure I cut exactly on the grain of the fabric and was very thankful that my dear Pfaff machine is equipped with a wonderful, built-in walking foot system!!! I plan on adding a dark red border and backing the quilt with the same and using, perhaps, one of the greens to bind it with! I'd like to hand-quilt this project, too, but I'll have to decide that when the time comes, after seeing how my arthritic fingers are holding out! Anyways, I'm sure it will be a while before I reach that stage!!!