Friday, January 28, 2011

Waiting for Spring

I haven't been able to write as much here as I'd like lately - too many night meetings this week in addition to my day job. I was going to do this last night when I got home, but I came inches away from hitting a coyote on the highway last night on my way home from work and I had to destress by sewing for a couple of hours. The good news is that the coyote lived to tell about it and I got a good start on my next project. Here are some of the HSTs that resulted. Lots of blues for someone with an Aquarius Rising.

Several HSTs to choose from when making blocks
That's m biggest worry about driving at night - hitting an animal. It's not so bad in this part of the country - this is only the third wild animal I've had to slow down for on that highway in eight years (including a deer and a vole - yes, I slow down for voles. I can't intentionally run over any living thing). I'm more likely to have to brake in town for cats and dogs on the street. But I used to live up north in the BC Peace Country where deer and moose and the occasional bear on the highway used to be a real hazard. And once a very large cow that was running down the middle of the highway one night after being moved to another pasture earlier that morning. Out in the middle of nowhere, we were driving along under the stars, and suddenly a big white rump appeared in front of us, getting larger and larger in the headlights. We passed her safely and called the rancher once we got home.

We lived in the Peace (the Peace River Block, named for the Peace River) for just over 10 years, but we still have family and many friends there. It's too bad I didn't have a digital camera when we lived there. I have a few pictures, but not that many. It's a beautiful part of the country, with great spirited people but really long Winters. There's a saying there that goes: Eight months of Winter and four months of tough sleddin'. Now, I'm finding that I almost miss those Winters - and then I find a hammer and whack myself in the head. What I miss is the Spring that comes roaring in out of nowhere with the gale force winds that shake the poplars awake and cover everyone with roadspray while melting the last of the snow and ice. There's a distinct freshness in the smell of the air and you know that Spring is here and it's not just another crazy Chinook ("Shnook") wind that comes down from the Rockies, melts 12 inches of snow and leaves nothing but mud behind it and then let's Winter resume. Spring in the Peace only lasts about two weeks, then it's on to a short but glorious Summer.

The coming of Spring was never more well defined for me than on one trip I made years ago. I lived in Nova Scotia and I was getting ready to move back to Ontario, but first I wanted to visit some friends in Newfoundland. It was the middle of April and there was still a bit of snow piled here and there in Halifax. I caught the overnight ferry from Sydney to Port Aux Basques where I would catch a Greyhound bus that would drive all the way around the island (province) and end up in St. John's - my destination - several hours later. We finally took off after a short delay and travelled in some pretty awful road conditions through a blizzard. The weather behaved for the rest of my visit to St. John's until it came time to leave two weeks later when another blizzard on Apr. 27 closed down the airport that I was supposed to fly out of. So my friends got their 4x4s in gear and loaded up on beer, invited half the city over and we had one of the best parties I've ever been to. But, of course, that's Newfoundland! There was still a bit of snow in Halifax when I got back. The next day I got on the train to Ontario - a 26 hour trip that took me through Nova Scotia to New Brunswick, through Quebec and into eastern Ontario, with the snow disappearing as I travelled west. It was gone by the time I passed through Kingston, Ont. - all of this in a day. By the time I arrived home in Windsor - southern Ontario - on May 1, the leaves were all out on the trees and everyone was in t-shirts and shorts.

An immature Bald Eagle looking for lunch
All of these Spring time thoughts, and it's still Winter. Well, what better time to be thinking about Spring, I guess. We should be just a little thankful for Winter because it gives us time to work on our quilts. When the good weather comes, it's time to work out in the yard. It's either that or haul the sewing machine out on the deck because who wants to sit in the house when the sun is shining?

I was going to talk more about colour today, but my thoughts got a bit sidetracked by the sunshine, and local contingent of eagles who are starting their families. A sure sign that Spring is coming.

Until next time,

Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm cursed

The universe is plotting to keep me away from my home computer! (Not my computer at the office, just the fun one at home.)
Yesterday was a warm, beautiful sunshiney day and the cats took full advantage of it, sitting in every pool of bright light they could find in the living room and soaking up the "rays". We also had out hot water tank fixed over the weekend, so now we have lots of lovely hot water again. There are few things more wonderful on this Earth that a long, hot, steamy shower.
And now the weather is back to blah. The temperature is above 0 (Celsius), which is very nice, but the sky is gray and the light dingy.

Our frosty looking Thompson River

Bored with chewing on the binding clips, Ginger sets her sights on the pencil
While binding the wall hanging I've been working on lately, I'm discovering more and more problems with the stitching. Although I'm working on it now, it was one of the first projects I began two years ago and some of first blocks I did are an inconsistent size. I missed stitching a few areas when I attached the binding because there were gaps wider than a quarter inch. At first I thought there were just a couple, and a little stitching here and there wasn't going to be noticed. But the more I stitch, the more I find. There are too many NOT to be noticed, so now I'm thinking I need to take out all of that "little stitching" and come up with a way to take care of the mistakes so they won't look like mistakes while at the same time avoiding ripping out the stitching in ALL of the blocks and redoing them - at which point I will have tossed the whole thing in the garbage. I'm starting to feel like this project is cursed!

My "design wall" in the foregrond is a roll
 of batting that  I decorated with some leftover squares

In the meantime, I've found a cute and simple little design over at Jan Patek's blog that looks like something I can have fun with and finish quickly to lift my spirit. I'm basing it on her Lilly's Hearts Mini here. It's needleturn applique, which I haven't tried yet, but it shouldn't be too hard, right?

Be it ever so humble...

  I would have started it this afternoon, but I had to clean off my sewing table, and then Rusty and Ginger convinced me to take a nap with them on the couch. It's not a large area - it can't be because it's taking up part of the dining room - so stuff builds up quickly. Especially when I continue to collect fabric and have nowhere to put it. See that nice little cube shelf with the coloured drawer fronts? That's where I store my fabric. That is, the fabric that isn't sitting on my sewing table, or on the ironing board, or on top of the cube shelf, or on the table not shown in the pictures, or... Aaaaarhh! I need to get busy and use it up.

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The lunatic is in the hall.
The lunatics are in my hall.
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
And every day the paperboy brings more.
- Brain Damage by Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon)

Wow, it's an active day in Blogland. Full Moons always seem to have the effect of stirring up things - often emotions that had laid dormant for some time, but also just thoughts and feelings in general. Most people can tell it's a Full Moon without even looking up at the sky. There's a certain feeling of restlessness.

Today's Full Moon is in Cancer at 29:27 degrees, exact at 21:21 GMT. This is a potent and  fortuitous Full Moon that trines Jupiter exactly and Uranus closely, and occurs at the critical 29th degree of Cancer and Capricorn. It brings to the forefront our concerns about finances, home, security and social responsibility.

A Full Moon in Cancer can make for an emotional week, so try to keep grounded and serene while allowing the inspirational vibes of this beautifully-aspected Moon and of Jupiter's entry into Aries to bless your mindstream and activities. Colours that Cancereans enjoy are silver, light gray, white, pearl and old ivory - especially if they glow.

Binding construction!
Full Moon days are great days to wrap up a project - or at least start that final stretch to the finish line. Yesterday I finally got the binding on a project I've been working on (and mostly off) for the past year and a half - the one I've been stitching, unstitching and restitching lately. Hopefully I'll get that finished tonight. This is what I chose for the binding. I'll show you the rest once this little wall-hanging is in the hands of its recipient.

Actually, the heading of this post, "Luntics", refers to the cats. They're crazy every day, but last night and today in particular. They are both Scorpios, one of the three water signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces), and even more so affected by this Full Moon than others. They come running whenever I turn the faucet on so they can play in the water! One of these days I may have to share my shower with them.

Nutcases, Rusty and Ginger trying to communicate with another lifeform
 On Thursday, Jan. 20 the Sun enters Aquarius; and on Saturday, Jan 22 slower-moving Jupiter enters Aries where it will stay until June, bringing an atmosphere of sometimes over-exuberant but certainly courageous zest to Aries people in particular. The other two fire signs, Leo and Sagittarius, will feel the residual pleasant effects. Enjoy the lovely weeks but don't take on more projects than you can handle. Over-commitment may be a real challenge since Aries people have been struggling for the past year under adverse Saturnian influences as Saturn passes through Libra. Saturn isn't making life much fun for Librans right now, but it's sure helping us to stay focused and get those little projects finished and off of our To Do lists!

Until next time,

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Quilting with energy

No takers on the Winter Giveaway, dammit. We had freezing rain last night. I worked late and then had to drive home in it in the dark. I work in a different town from where I live, so it was a little bit of a drive. Today I'm not leaving the house. I'm going to quilt, surf the internet and cuddle with the kitties.

But before that, some more esoteric thoughts on colours. The view through my window right now is gray, dingy and cold. I'd love nothing more than to surround myself with "hot", bright colours. You too? Why is that?

Basically, every living thing gives off energy. We constantly "vibrate", regardless of whether we're sleeping or running a marathon because our heart never stops beating, our lungs pretty regularly inhale and exhale, fine muscles are constantly moving and our bodies have to maintain a regular temperature or we'd be dead. Burning calories (metabolism) gives us heat and energy.

Each colour found in the visible light spectrum has its own wavelength and its own frequency (vibration), which produces a specific energy and effect.

On a more subtle level, specific manipulation of energies are used to heal and motivate. Astrology is the interpretation of the energies of planets and stars and how they influence people and events. Every culture has energy practicioners, and have had for thousands of years. Homeopathy uses the energy of plants and minerals; there are many forms of hands-on energy healing - we instinctively know that just the simple touch of a hand will lift someone's emotions, but we don't think of it as the transference of energy.

We all have it within ourselves to creative positive energy. We can use it on ourselves, give it to someone else, or throw it open into the universe for everyone to benefit from. Imagine, or visualize, a beautiful light. Surround yourself with it, or imagine it flowing from yourself and through your hands to someone else and letting the light surround them. Or let it flow from you, out of the top of your head and into the universe.

In general, we use Pink light for friendship; Red light for action; Blue light for peacefulness; Green light for healing; Yellow (or Orange) light for communication; White light for protection. Avoid Black, as it has rather a rather negative influence.

Chakras also emit and are influenced by colours. They are energy centres that channel the vital force in the body. Chakra is the Sanskrit word for ' wheel ' and their appearance is like a spiral or vortex of energy spinning clockwise, each one relating to the others. Both spiritual and physical well being is achieved by a balance of all these energies or the smooth running of these wheels.

The seven main chakras begin at the base of the spine and finish at the top of the head. Though fixed in the central spinal column they are located on both the front and back of the body, and work through it.

Each chakra vibrates or rotates at a different speed. The root or first chakra rotates at the slowest speed, the crown or seventh chakra at the highest speed. Each chakra is stimulated by its own and complimentary color, and a range of gemstones for specific uses.
The Root Chakra (Muladhara) is situated at the base of the spine or tailbone (coccyx). This chakra represents our sense of safety and survival instinct. The skeletal, lymphatic, and excretory systems are ruled by the Root chakra as well as the kidneys and adrenal glands.
Main colours: deep red, brown and black, earth tones
Musical note: C
Gemstones: Garnet, Smoky Quartz, Obsidian and Black Tourmaline
The Sacral Chakra (Svadhistana) is situated just below the belly button. This chakra rules the reproductive system (ovaries and testes), sensations, feelings, taste for food, and appetite.
Main colours: vivid reds and orange
Musical note: D
Gemstones: Carnelian Agate, Orange Calcite and Tigers Eye
The Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura) is situated just below the solar plexus. This chakra rules the muscular and digestive system as well as the pancreas. It represents our sense of freedom and empowerment, the intellect, and identity of the self.
Main colours: bright yellows and orange
Musical note: E
Gemstones: Citrine, Topaz, and Yellow Calcite
The Heart Chakra (Anahata) is situated at the centre of the chest. This chakra rules the respiratory, circulatory, and immune systems as well as the Thymus gland which controls T-cells and the immune system in general. It represents compassion, our perception of love, acceptance, relating, and giving.
Main colours: pink and green
Musical note: F
Gemstones: Rose Quartz, Kunzite, and Watermelon tourmaline
The Throat Chakra (Visuddha) is situated at the throat. This chakra rules the Thyroid gland and the metabolism. It represents communication, our ability to listen and to be heard.
Main colour: light blue
Musical note: G
Gemstones: Aquamarine and Azurite
The Brow Chakra (Ajna) is situated on the brow between the eyes. This chakra rules the Pituitary gland which controls the entire endocrine system (hormones in the body). It represents our imagination, capacity for creative visualisation, consciousness, and spiritual awareness.
Main colours: purple, indigo and dark blue
Musical note: A
Gemstones: Amethyst, Sodalite, and Lapis Lazuli

The Crown Chakra (Sahasrara) is situated at the top of the head (crown). This chakra rules the Pineal gland which controls the nervous system and the brain. It represents our capacity for empathy, the highest level of consciousness, at the universal level.
Main colors: purple, violet, gold and white
Musical note: B
Gemstones: Clear Quartz Crystal, Oregon Opal, and Amethyst

Still with me? I know that's a lot to choke on, and that was the short version!

It's all just food for thought on a cold and crummy day, to give you a new way of looking at colours. Think of the emotional, or maybe the health, impact you want to create as you plan your next quilt and use this information as you choose your colours. Decide for yourself whether it makes a difference.

Until next time,

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter giveaway

I am so ready for it to be Spring! I'm giving away Winter this week. You want it, it's yours. Come and get it. No returns.

I'm listening to The Buena Vista Social Club on the stereo - lovely Cuban music - trying to drown out the sounds of another Winter gale outside. Now that Winter has finally arrived, it won't leave.

If nothing else, I'm making headway on a little wall hanging that was supposed to be a Christmas present in 2009. With luck I'll get it to her before her birthday this year. This is the one that I'm constantly ripping stitches out of. I haven't had this much trouble with my stitching in a long time, but the backing might have something to do with it. Nice looking material, but very coarse and not really a good choice. Live and learn. At least, I'll blame it on the backing fabric. I've unstitched it about four times now - some of the fabric is starting to look like Swiss Cheese.

I was more or less happy with the stitches I did last night. They got better as I went along and were not too bad by the time I finished. The first few... well, I could live with them. This morning I was working on it and Rusty decided to jump on it. I grabbed it away from him but he snagged a claw in one of the stitches and managed to pull the thread out. (That's Mr. Innocent there to the left.) Yeah, it was the part I wasn't really happy with, and it was near the edge rather than right in the middle of the whole thing. So, uh huh, pulled the stitches out again. Just a few. The good news is, though, that once I replace them, I'm ready for the binding! Woohoo. Hard to believe. I will be so happy to get this thing out the door and in the mail!

I wish I could post some pictures, but it's still a surprise - even after all this time, and the recipient might be reading. Most of what I make, I give away. No reason to keep them - I have pictures if I want to see them again. Someday I'll make a quilt or two to keep. Until then, it's all practice. These mug rugs were Christmas presents to my co-workers, and I used mostly scrappy fabric that I wanted to use up and get rid of. It was the first time I'd tried applique, which I'd always referred to in the past as the A Word. Not a great first attempt, but not bad. My co-workers liked them

I machine-appliqued these. My old sewing machine is pretty limited in its stitches, and this was the best one I could find. It's not bad on a large design, but I tried it later on some small pieces and it was awful. When I first started quilting, more experienced quilters told me I'd be wanting a new sewing maching pretty quickly. It's taken me a couple of years, but I think I'm finally at the point where I want to do more than my sewing machine will deliver. I have my eye on a Janome Horizon (MemoryCraft 7700), but it'll be Summer I think before I actually make a purchase. I may have changed my mind before then.

I figured that I could whip these mug rugs off pretty quick - the bloggers all said how fun and easy they were! Well, they were fun. And easy, I guess, compared to other projects. But finding the time is always a problem for me because I work full time and at odd hours. I ended up finishing the last few stitches on these at my desk on the day of our Christmas dinner.

I was pleased with the way the free motion stitching on them turned out and thought (again) I was finally getting the hang of it. It's like two steps forward, one step back, but it's the same when you're learning something new. Before I grew interested in quilting, I hadn't used a sewing machine in 30 years. My mother tried to teach me how to sew when I was young, but I had no patience for it. She passed away many years ago, but she'd be astonished to see me sewing now.

You know, we cast our seeds of knowledge here and there and never know where they'll take root. Often we never know. I'm sure that my mother never expected me to ever use a sewing machine again in this lifetime, but here I am, and it's as much due to her influence as anything.

Here's a picture of Ginger. She's an awful Quilt Inspector at this point. Maybe she'll get better as she gets older, but right now she scatters my squares or plunks herself down right in the middle of operations. I can't turn my back on my iron because she's right there, drawn to the heat. She steals all of my pencils and stashes them under the refrigerator. And she would eat my discarded thread if I let her. She and Rusty are still young. If they survive their kittenhood (or if I do) they'll be fine cats.

Until next time,

Monday, January 10, 2011

Moon Day

I'm trying to use my reading glasses less these days, so we'll blame any typos on that. I find that I'm using them too much lately. I sit down at the computer and put my glasses on. I sit down at the sewing machine and put my glasses on. I go to work and I have a pair in my pocket that I use. I've never worn glasses in my life, but I started using reading glasses two years ago when I began to quilt. The more I use them, the more I seem to need them.

And if I don't wear them, it's easier to overlook the problem stitching in my projects! NOT. Anyone can see those mistakes a mile away. I'm still un-stitching a couple of pieces I did before Christmas. All I have to do is look at a mistake and think: Do I want to give that away as a gift? And out come the stitches.

I shudder when I think of the first few pieces I finished and sent off. I did a lot of re-stitching on those as well, but ... Why can't we all be perfect from the moment we start?

Yes, I started out in a scrappy frame of mind. I made this little wall hanging to the left for a dear relative - there are three friendship stars, three hearts and three angels and man! did I spend a lot of time redoing stitches! I also found out that it was a bad idea to mix cottons with wools, flannelette and other synthetics. At this point, I was still buying my fabric from the local thrift store. I still buy some of it there, but I've learned to take only the cotton (and sometimes the wool) and leave the rest alone. That silvery stuff frayed like the devil and moved all over the place as I was stitching it.

This nice little batch of Ohio Stars never got finished. And it never will be. Can you guess why? My points were all wonderful. I sewed and re-sewed to get them all just right. Squared all my blocks and laid them out. Made a big star for the centre... But it didn't hit me until I went to sew it together that as soon as I did that, I'd lose all my points. Cripes! About all these babies are good for now is as an example of what not to do.

I probably did this one just after the Ohio Stars. Can you tell, I love stars? My points are mostly all there, but I didn't do a very good job with the background. I was aiming for a nice gentle shading from dark to light. And my stitch in the ditch is not even close to being in the "ditch". I have to say, though, that I kind of like it. It looks not too bad sitting on the back of the couch with a cat perched there to look out the window. I like the colours in the stars. I used old denim jeans for the background. I'll probably finish it some day.

Most of us would say that we have a favourite colour, but it doesn't really stop there. I love green, but there are some shades of it that I detest. I loathe pink, but I have to admit that it goes nicely with other fabrics in some instances. My appreciation for colour has increased since I began quilting, as my appreciation that not everyone likes the same combinations. We all use colour differently. As an astrologer, I try to use an individual's chart to determine what sort of colours they might prefer. At this point, though, it's all hit and miss. Our Sun sign is just one of several "planets" in a chart, but if it's all we have to go by, we'll end up with a very general "Leo likes gold" or "Aquarius likes blue" which may not be the case at all with some individuals. So what is it? Is it the Moon sign which governs our unconscious likes and dislikes? Or our Ascendant which describes how we would like others to see us? Maybe the sign our Venus falls under, which might best describe our taste in aesthetics.

I found a quote attributed to Laurel Burch on a blog today. I can't verify its authenticity, but I hope it is hers. She said:
"Spirit speaks in many colors . . .
Today I am teal.
Tomorrow I am purple.
I listen to the colors dancing within me . .
Sometimes I am every color all at once . . .
A RAINBOW spirit."
- Laurel Burch
Laurel was a Capricorn with a Moon in Sagittarius and a Cancer Ascendant. If you are familiar with her fabric designs, her trademark was bright colours (Cancer) and also earth tones (Capricorn), horses (Sagittarius), cats (three planets in the Sixth House - us Sixth House types seems to have a thing for those critters) and a certain spirituality and freedom that comes with Sagittarius and also Pisces, which made up her Midheaven. Not just one thing, but many.

A while back I found a good article on the subject that you might be interested in - The Astrology of Colours by David McCann

Yummm, leftover casserole for lunch today. Mashed potato and refried black bean, with a package of "Just Like Veggie Ground" (looks like hamburger, but isn't), other undetermined mashed vegetables - maybe carrots or squash (I mashed the potatoes and vegetables together a while back for some other dish and froze what was left), an egg, half a cup of bread crumbs, some diced onions and a bit of shredded cheddar. Vegans can omit the egg and use soy cheddar cheese instead of the real thing. Scooped it into a couple of loaf pans and baked it at 350 for an hour. I like it.

Taken just one year and a couple of days ago - my wierdos from another planet. They looked so sweet when they were kittens! What happened? At this moment, they're telling me in no uncertain terms that it's time for THEIR lunch!

Until next time,

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What a day!

Every once in a while, a pile of poodoo happens. Like today. Nothing serious, but very irritating. Like forgetting to take crucial work-related material with me to work today, and no way to go home to retrieve it. Which means I have go to back to the office tomorrow.

And before I left for work today, I went to look for some of my quilty pictures ... and they were all gone! A huge file of not just my quilt pictures, but also this year's Christmas pictures - just gone from my external hard drive. Gone. I finally remembered that I'd backed up all of my pictures (100+ Gigabytes) to DVDs back in September after they all came back from a brief hiatus. So I still had most of my quilt pictures, but nothing from Christmas.

Losing one file of pictures made no sense, so I restarted my computer. My pictures were back. I'm thinking it's time to a) Do another photo backup and b) get a new external hard drive.

Even this page is looking different as I type it. Wonder what it will look like on my blog, as my "preview" function quit working yesterday.

BUT! On the bright side (yes, there's always one) - NEW FABRIC! It came Friday morning, but I've been too busy to do more than admire it in passing and pet it on occasion. (C'mon, admit it - y'all fondle your fabric, dontcha.)

I couldn't resist the Christmas sales, and although the batiks weren't on sale, I'd had my eye on these for months and since I was picking up some Christmas fabric... Well, it just made sense to order them as well. They're for a Storm At Sea that I'm planning for my favourite Pisces.
I'm also a sucker for cat prints. I've seen some pretty ugly cat prints, and have been the recipient of a few of them from well-meaning friends, but usually I cave in. As I did in this case. I can't resist these big, happy tabbies. Nor those tiny little paw prints.

I picked it up on the way in to work so a co-worker saw it. "What are you going to use it for?" she asked. As if I knew! They will no doubt be put to good use eventually in one of the million projects I have planned. Until then, I'll just admire them whenever I get the chance.

Until next time,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's a marshmallow world

It's finally our turn to get SNOW. So pretty to look at, ugly to have to drive in. We've gotten five inches  since Tuesday morning. But I'm thankful that it held off throughout the holidays, even if it did mean a brown Christmas for us, because it waited until all of the travellers were back at home before it let loose.

Everyone has been so busy quilting since the beginning of the year, while I'm still working on this past Christmas's presents. And the Christmas before! I'm envious, but devoting my days to quilting just isn't going to happen until I retire. But I have been practising my Free Motion stitches. I have to say that they looked better a year ago! Don't know why, but they're just not clicking right now. I'm doing a lot of repeat stitching. Maybe I'm experimenting more - last night I tried using some lovely Sulky metallic thread. I'd heard metallics were tough to work with, and I was prepared for it. So I wasn't too disappointed when I didn't get far with it before it began snarling and breaking. I'll keep trying, because I love the way it looks. Maybe I'll practice on some more cat blankets.

I got caught up in the Christmas rush, making a few last minute gifts for friends and co-workers, and I put aside some large projects I was working on. Now that the Christmas crazies are over, I've start working again on them. This one is for my partner's granddaughter. She's only five years old, but a little sparkplug: a Leo with a Scorpio Moon and a Virgo ascendant. The notes I made while researching that astrological combination were: "Bold golds and blues, red, green, brown, orange and black. Sunshine, stars and bright shapes. Hidden patterns. Deep and passionate designs and colours with either dramatic contrast or subtle differences in colour. Snakes and anything dangerous or mysterious. An endurable quilt top for sitting and playing on, easy to clean, indestructible. Themes of adventure, heroism or royalty." I fell in love with the cowboy boots - You Go Girl by Northcott - and I think she will too because her mother's side of the family is very much into horses and ranching and rodeo. It's a very simple design of snowballs and... ? I can't recall the name of the block so I'll just call them "coins" because they look like old Chinese coins to me.

Until next time

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Moon

There is a New Moon this morning at 13 Capricorn. New Moons are the best time to start a new project - so if you've been holding off or procrastinating on something, now's the time to do it. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, and Saturn has a reputation as a taskmaster, so this is especially good if your project involves a lot of detailed work. It will most likely be slow going, but the end result will be satisfying and will be admired by all who see it.

The Moon in this photo of Laurel Burch's Bountiful Blessings collection is, of course, not a New Moon - it's a waxing Crescent Moon, but getting a picture of a New Moon is difficult when there's no light being reflected from it. New Moons happen every month when the Sun cozies up next to it. The effects of this aspect last for about a day and a half. The next New Moon will be Feb. 2 and it will take place at 14 Aquarius.

Poked my head out the door this morning and... it's snowing! We haven't seen snow here since the middle of December. I don't think anyone has missed it. The lack of snow at this time of year is unusual for us, so I had to take a picture of it actually coming down. Judging from the weather forecast, it should be all gone again in a couple of days.

Until next time,

Monday, January 3, 2011

Old dog, new trick

Is this thing working?

Hello and welcome to my first ever and only blog. I've been reading a good many quilting blogs over the past few weeks, and learning a lot from the experience and enthusiasm of others who have been doing this better and longer than I, and wishing that I could join in.

Well, with New Years fast approaching, I decided to do something about it and create my own blog. And even if no one ever reads it, I'll have taught myself something new and kept myself amused while doing it.

Two years ago I joined out local quilters' guild and learned the basics from a group of very talented and lovely ladies.

In those two years I've only completed one lap quilt, a wall hanging and some mug rug Christmas presents. I've finished tops for another wall hanging, another lap quilt, a queen size and I've started on twin-sized quilts for five young grandchildren. Hopefully I'll have them done before they're ready to start their own families.

Someone asked me recently when I found the time to quilt. I told them, "In the hours between when I get home from work and when I go back to work the following morning."

And then there are holidays around Christmas, although I spent most of that time pulling stitches out of the wall hanging - for the third time. Those tension gremlins!

But my assistants Rusty and Ginger make sure I take frequent breaks by either planting themselves on my sewing machine - although they are no longer the kittens you see in this picture - or in my arms. They're very considerate in that way, for a pair of Scorpio cats.

Astrology comes into play when I'm deciding on colours to use in the quilts I make for others, especially if I don't know them well enough to know what their favourites are. I haven't found much published on that particular aspect of astrology, so I know know at this point if I'm choosing correctly. I'm gathering information as I go along.

I hope I can entertain you with future postings and pictures: learning my way around Blogland is still engaging the major part of my poor old brain.

And I still have sewing to do tonight. Now that transiting Mercury has gone Direct, perhaps my free motion stitches will as well.

Until next time,