A Pieceful Life

A Pieceful Life

Welcome

I'm so glad that you stopped by, and hope that you enjoy your visit. Here you will find pieces of my life - quilting, cross-stitch, family, travel, friends.
My name is Peg - I am a 60ish wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin, friend - and if we're not already related or friends, hope to become your friend too.
We live in the eastern end of the beautiful Fraser Valley, about 1.5 hours east of Vancouver, BC. Empty nesters, we have one son living just a few minutes away, our other son and daughter live in Alberta.
Comments are always welcome, always read - and answered if need be. Feel free to share, I love hearing from all my cyber-space friends.
Please do check out some of the links in my side-bar - you'll find other bloggers and fabulous people to visit.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Design Wall Monday

It’s been a nicely productive week.  Besides getting this flimsy done (ready for sandwiching):
001
Row # 8 of the Row-by-Row is ready for satin stitching around the appliques (see the salmon and starfish at the bottom):
005 I don’t know what’s coming next for this project, but the quilt is now about 48x64 – I think borders are coming up soon
And then the hearts (posted about these yesterday) are ready to send in the mail:
006
And the Christmas tree is up!!  We’re full of Christmas cheer – ready for the season now!004
Happy Christmas season!        Blessings, Peg

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Giving Hearts

This morning, I read of this ‘giving’ opportunity.

So I’m going to start making some hearts

(This picture taken from Leslie’s blog, apparently made by Tamara)

Thank you Tamara and Leslie for spreading the word.  I’m going to try to put a button on my sidebar (crossed fingers).  Anybody else want to take up the challenge – go here for info, mailing address:  http://shirleygoodwin.blogspot.com/2010/11/call-to-all-quilters-for-healing-hearts.html

Blessings, Peg

Hope

It’s First Advent today – and so begins the season of anticipating the celebration of Christ’s birth.005
In preparation, yesterday some of the Christmas decorating was done, including placing the Advent wreath prominently on a living room table.  Each Sunday we will light a candle, and sit for a few moments contemplating ………. today the focus is Hope –
Hope in the promise of the Messiah, so anticipated all those years ago
Hope in the love of God in our world today
Hope in the future, when Christ will return

Happy First Advent               Blessings, Peg

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sewing Triangles

Well, the rain has arrived as promised, and the snow seems to be all gone.   Sigh!       I knew it couldn’t last – we do live in a rain forest after all.   Lots of people have commented how they dislike the snow, a few others how much they love it – as for me, I’ll take snow over rain any day.  Somehow I don’t feel as cold when it snows (even when temperatures dip well below freezing), as I do when it’s raining out there!  And I’d much rather walk in the snow than in the rain.  Driving – well, as long as I don’t have to snow-plow….

Anyway, with the cold, cold weather we’ve been having, it didn’t matter what it was doing outside, we weren’t going out in it if we didn’t have to.   And that meant I got this flimsy done:001  Yesterday the weather warmed a bit, and we ventured out to get caught up on some errands, including finding some backing fabric for this – so should be all finished in a day or so.

As you can see, this quilt also has a few triangles – I seem to be doing a lot of those lately.  When I lamented to another blogger about my struggles with triangles, she kindly posted a tutorial.  Her method was very similar to what I’d been doing.  Over the next few days after that, I did some more blocks with triangles (posted here), and I said I’d share the three different methods used for the three different blocks.  So here it is:

This block:005 was made using the traditional method of creating half-square triangles from sewing 2 squares together, marking the diagonal and sewing on either side, then cutting on the marked line.  But first I pulled out a few tools – a ruler with a 45-degree angle marked on it, and an emery board.  Grizz made the emery board for me a little while ago, fine sand paper on a very thin piece of plywood.  The sandpaper helps to keep the fabric from stretching when marking it:

002 

Then, I found a ruler in a drawer, hidden, purchased a few years ago and then totally forgotten – this ruler is specifically for marking the diagonal on fabric:

003 

And when marked, the center diagonal (cutting) line is ‘dashed’ and the 1/4 " sewing lines are solid.  Really helps to sew straight!

004 I still found that my triangles weren’t exactly square – so my answer to that: cut the original squares a little larger (on the 1/4" especially if the original measurement is on the 1/8"), then there’s some leeway for squaring up and still having the right size square for the block.  I really do wonder if the problem lies in how I press – will have to do some more research on that!

The next method for triangles was in making this version of the Seven Sisters block:009 

It’s a pattern by Marti Michell, that simplifies the block without using inset seams

010 

The pattern includes these templates, to get just the right size triangles, diamonds and pentagrams –

011

easy once you figure out the size of the pieces.  Marti also makes the rulers to match the templates, to make all this cutting easier – I haven’t purchased any yet, though (too much Scot in me to buy something that I’m not sure I’ll use regularly).

 

When I got to this third block:014 I pulled out a couple of books to see what they had to say about how to do triangles.  I found this book in my ‘library’:004 

with a method for making triangles, cutting the fabric on the bias

005 The one drawback – the triangle size examples in the book weren’t large enough, and my math skills are just not good enough to easily figure out the width to cut to get the size I wanted.  So I cut quite a large width on the bias.  As with any bias cuts, there’s more waste of course – but when sewing these triangles together, the sewing is all done on the grain of the fabric.  This seemed to make for the best triangles I’ve ever done, and they were square!!

Tomorrow is First Advent – and we begin to celebrate Christmas.  That means today is the day the boxes comes out, and we get started on the decorating.  But that will be after I go out for breakfast with friends, and ‘chat' with my sister.

Happy triangles!    Blessed season!       Blessings, Peg

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday’s Words ...... and a Winning!

This was going to be a quick post this morning before I got on with my day.  But fate or something equally as puzzling intervened.
When I plugged in my camera card to import pictures for this post, the card reader didn’t respond.  Nothing, nada, no pop-ups, no auto-play.  I checked ‘My Computer’ – the SD card reader drive wasn’t there!!
Yesterday, I had discovered that I hadn’t returned the card to the camera before I took some pictures, so had to upload a few pictures directly from the camera memory.  No problem…plug the camera in, transfer, done!!  But when the card reader didn’t respond this morning, I thought that I’d somehow changed the configuration of the drives on the computer and started the search to see what I needed to do to fix it.  An hour and a half later, after restarting the computer, and just as I had decided to try my external card-reader, Grizz wandered into the room and I told him the problem I was having.  Now, you must understand that Grizz is one of the least knowledgeable computer tech-no people in this world.  So, he listens to my story and says:
‘Do you know that there’s a lock button on the side of the card?’
‘What lock button?’ I reply
‘Well, right here.  All of the cards have it, see even the cards from our old camera.’
Well, lo and behold – somehow, inadvertently, I’d locked the card – and the computer had no way of knowing that the card had been inserted.  Slide the little button (how do they get a button on something that’s already so tiny??  Another of life’s mysteries), plug the card in and import the pictures.  Easy-peasy ….  if you know what you’re doing!!
You all probably knew this, but just in case, here’s a picture of a camera card – do you see the little yellow  button on the left-hand side.  That’s the button that will lock the card so it can’t be read (and presumably erased). 
003Another little tid-bit that I discovered this morning – if you slide the button far enough in the right direction, the card will be ‘write-protected’, so that when it’s in the camera, pictures won’t be taken on it.  Now how do you like that!!  Such a little itty-bitty, easy-to-lose piece of plastic, and it can control your picture-taking, picture-transferring world completely.

After all of this, my words for this morning are even more significant (to me):
Before we can pray ‘Thy Kingdom come’, we must pray ‘my kingdom go’.
This is an Amish proverb that I found in a book I received just yesterday.  It gave me pause for thought then, and will continue to give me thought over and over again, I’m sure.  Before I start out to do things the way I want, should I not be asking the Lord for His plan – what does He want me to do, how does He want me to spend my time,  where does He want me to be.  If I can only set aside myself and my desires, maybe I can discover what it is that God wants for me.  And surely if I can get into that space, I can gain peace in whatever circumstances come my way.

I also want to tell you about this book.  Some weeks ago, I entered a giveaway.  After several days enjoying MaryAnn’s stories of her life growing up in an Amish community, when she offered this book, I couldn’t resist.  The Amish lifestyle and history has always intrigued me.  The book arrived yesterday (thank you so much MaryAnn):001 It came directly from the author, and is even signed by her (thanks again to MaryAnn for arranging this):002 I’ve rarely bought or received a book that’s actually signed by the author, so I feel extra privileged to have this.
This book is short stories of the Amish, that apparently demonstrate the serenity and peace within which they live – a life-style art that eludes me completely.  Each story is prefaced with an Amish proverb – I think I’ll use it for a devotional for the next while.

Wishing you all peace, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing
Blessings, Peg

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Harmony

Is there anything better than harmonious music?

Our first venture to the new Cultural Center nearby

and we listened to Barbershop-style Harmony.

It was a wonderful evening of entertainment.  A friend is a member of both groups, and told us later that he had to know 22 songs from memory for that evening – not only the words, but the bass part – they were all truly amazing.

 

Happy harmony          Blessings, Peg

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dreams, Winter, and Design Wall Monday

Do you dream?  Well, of course you do, what I should be asking is – do you remember your dreams?
As a rule I don’t remember my dreams, I most often wake up thinking ‘that was weird’ and realizing the dream had to do with something that had occurred recently, or somebody with whom I’d had recent contact or information.  The occasional dream that I recall vividly has turned out to be somewhat (very loosely)prophetic.  And then there are the dreams which produced some creative writing a few months ago – wonder why I don’t have them anymore!
But then there was last night’s dream.
Actually I think it was two dreams – one had to do with organizing a basement.  Not really sure what that’s all about, as we don’t have a basement right now, and we do have our crawl space fairly well organized. 
The other dream was about having some car repairs done.  I do know where that came from – two TV shows last night had scenes with car accidents in them.  But………while I was at the shop, with my young children in tow, we were suddenly surrounded by mice and rats.  That woke me up!  I really don’t like mice, and have a huge fear of rats.  When I woke up, I wondered what made me dream about rats of all things, and then I got a close look at the repairman:

Oh, my – this isn’t actually what I ‘saw’ but you get the idea.
I just hope this doesn’t mean that we’ll have rats in our crawl space this winter!
And it looks like it’s shaping up to be a cold one, so mice and rats may be looking to move indoors.  Yesterday morning we woke up to this:006 This skiff of snow is the second in a week.  The wind howled all day, and it was a perfect day to stay indoors.  Lots of reading got done yesterday, and some cross-stitch, but no sewing or quilting.
This morning the wind has blown all the snow away from the grass, and the sky is a little clearer, so we can again see the mountain behind our house:003The wind has died a little, so venturing out of doors will be a little less daunting – just have to wrap up warmly!!

This is my first post for Design Wall Monday, and I hope to be able to keep up the momentum every week.  I’ve shown you all these blocks before, individually, but here’s what’s finished for the sampler table toppers that I’m doing:009  I’m at a standstill, as I’ve almost run out of the light background fabric – I knew that would happen at some point as I bought packages of fat quarters for this project.  It’s a common fabric, so I shouldn’t have to much trouble getting more – just have to make myself go out in that cold.   But when I get that fabric, the rest of the blocks will keep me going for a while, and I won’t have to think about venturing outside too often.
Happy winter sewing.            Blessings, Peg♥

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mailbox

I stopped at the mailbox on my way home the other day, looking for a parcel that I’ve been expecting.  There was the usual – flyers, a bill or two – and there was indeed a parcel.

But not the parcel I was expecting – it was from my sister, the knitter.  Look what she sent me:

001 Cozy warm wool for these cold winter days.  Don’t they look great on my feet:

002 I am truly amazed at her skills and talent – she designs these herself.              Thanks, sis!

Happy winter cozies.          Blessings, Peg

It’s been a sewing week

This has been a great week for sewing – got three more blocks done for my samplers:

005 009 014

These triangles were all done using different methods – will share that soon!

Early in the week, I went on a hunt for a pattern that I just knew I had – but never did find.  What I did find was a whole bunch of stuff that’s been sitting around for ages waiting for me to pay some attention to it.  In among all that was these two beauties:

012  I don’t know why I made these, but I had fallen in love with the series of patterns.  They really challenged my crochet skills.  When I found them, they needed a little TLC, so after getting them fixed up, and braiding the very fly-away hair – they’ll go to the local thrift shop – hopefully some little girl will be looking for a Barbie-type doll and these just might fit the bill.  I don’t know that the costumes will be useful, but at least they’re dressed  LOL!

Then yesterday, my dear friend Bev came for a sewing day together.  She had seen this in a store in Fairview, WA recently and wanted to make it for her granddaughter:DSC03767 No pattern!!!  Now that was a challenge, but using measurements she had, and a pajama top she’d bought, we drew out the top and started sewing.   She had chosen the cutest fabrics:

017 I serged, we shared the sewing and ironing tasks, 

018

015

And gradually this little beauty came together:019 

 020 

021 As the day wore on, we found some trying moments with the serger and sewing machine, and knew that we should probably be stopping, but we were so close to the finish, and finding a day together again would probably be a while so we forged on through.  I can’t wait to see that little girl’s face when she gets her ‘cape’ so she can help Grandma bake.

Bev brought me some fabric, too!!

This charm pack, and a half-meter of lovely retro fabric:022 Look at the lovely colors in this charm pack – I see another project in the near future:

023

It was a wonderful, blessed day.

Happy sewing with friends.          Blessings, Peg

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday’s Words

I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers do a weekly post on a specific theme, Wednesday's often being ‘Wordless’ or ‘One-Word’.  This is the beginning of a new venture – Wednesday’s Words – where I will share with you some tidbits through words.

They won’t be jumbled like this (I hope) – but just some thoughts on …. life…..quilting…. faith.  They may be serious, they may be funny, they may be tips that you can use, maybe even a tutorial once in a while.  To start off, here’s a poem that I found a few years ago, don’t know the author, so hope I’m not treading into copyright waters.  Lately on various blogs there’s been a lot of discussion about finishing projects – here’s another take:
UFO’s or QUIPS
Whilst pinning quilts, my friend and I, one dreary winter day,
Talked quilting blocks and patterns to while the hours away.
We talked about the one we’d made, and ones we’d like to do.
I could feel excitement building, I could start on something new.
Then without a hesitation my friend said ‘Don’t you see
To start a new creation is the hardest thing for me.”
She said, “I read somewhere, or heard it from some expert someone knew,
That when you finish a UFO you then can start anew.
“So that is what I plan to do,| she said, “I’ve lots of UFO’s
And if I take note of anyone, it’s the expert. She should know!”
She said, ‘I don’t believe the ladies who come and say to me,
I don’t have any UFO’s, I finish all you see.”
I pinned and thought and pinned some more, and felt a touch of guilt.
It wouldn’t take a long time now, and I’d have another quilt.
“Well!” I said, “To tell the truth, there’s something you should know,
That when these two are finished, I will have no UFO’s”

My friend said, |You’ve got lots of blocks, some I know you’ve won’
Block exchanges you’ve been in, I’m sure they’re not done.
There’s also blocks you’ve made in class, round robins – that I know,
You’ve piles and piles of quilt blocks, they’re UFO’s you know.”
“No!” I said, “you’ve got it wrong, no UFO’s for me;
What I’ve got are quilt in progress, QUIPs they’re called, you see
‘QUIPs’ are blocks I’ve won, or made from a class I took,
Some were given just to me; some are patterns from a book.”

So blocks and things don’t count you know, they have to wait their turn.
For QUIPs are quilts in progress and one day they will learn
That to become a UFO, first you have to be a quilt,
With just the innards missing, something that’s been built.
And when it’s all together – when it’s finished, end to end,
It’s ready then what e’er it’s called, for pinning with a friend.


Happy Quips                      Blessings, Peg

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Christmas Start

Yesterday was a quiet day around our household.  While Grizz watched soccer, I got busy in the sewing room.

A friend had picked up this little beauty at a garage sale 002

– no home in mind for it, but the price was just too good!!  So I bought it from her for somebody I know who is needing a beginning machine.

It came with all the basic feet and screwdrivers

003 And a sewing box filled with goodies

004 

005 I sorted through everything, and after it was all organized, I whipped up a quick cover, and another thread-catcher, and put it all away.   Maybe a great Christmas surprise?!?

After that was all done, I found this pattern, and decided to try to make this little pincushion.  I must say that curves are not my favorite seams to sew!!

006

 

Today – I must make myself get busy doing some painting (of walls).  The paint and accoutrements have been in the laundry room for weeks!!!

Happy sewing – not so happy painting    Blessings, Peg