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.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I’ve been remiss

Sorry about that!  But I’ve simply been lazy this past week – at least about blogging.   Lots has been going on elsewhere, though, so this is a bit of a catch-up post.

Last weekend I spent most of my days at the Creative Stitches and Crafting Alive show.  So much to see, so much inspiration.

The contest this year was small quilts, denoting spring.  It was a nice little collection of quilts001

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And the winner, if I understood the announcer correctly was ‘The 8 of Hearts’.   No names on the quilts, so not 100% sure which one is the winner – what do you think?

My main shopping goal for this show was thread – Aurifil, not easily available in this area, and some Egyptian cotton for the long arm.  I scored, and came home with an arm-load of neutral colors that should see me through for a while!

I attended 2 classes – one by Prairie Quilt Mercantile, where they showcases their quilts emphasizing the use of value and variety.   They gave each attendee a free pattern of their choice, and this is the one I brought home, Big Sky:

Big Sky

The other class was by The Secret Workshop, showing rulers and templates for long-arm machines.  Who knew there were so many more gadgets that (someday) I’m just going to have to have!

Both of these shops are on-line only shops, so you can all shop there too!

Then on Sunday – I emptied another bin!  This one is a ‘surprise project’, that I’m sharing with a sister-in-law.  We got our blocks all sewn together, and the borders cut out.  Now S will put the borders on and take it off to a quilter.  Here’s a little glimpse of the quilt:008

We’re really excited about this one!

We had a family gathering that evening – to honor 1st quarter birthdays.  Lots of fun – great time together!

The rest of the week, I’ve been concentrating on another surprise project.  At this stage, I’m creating 384 HST patches.  All that cutting, all that sewing, all that trimming!

To make these I’m using a method shared with me by Lynn from my sis-in-law’s guild.

 

Squares of fabric, 19.5” cut out”003

 

Then a grid of 3.25” squares marked out, and diagonals marked.

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Then sew on either side of the diagonals, and once that’s done, cut on all the marked lines.

Then press and trim to 2.75” squares – and…..012

216 HST patches – only 168 to go!!!

Another scrappy quilt came off of Big Bertha this week as well, the pile is slowly dwindling.

Now March is almost over, and I’ve not done my Quilting Canadians BOM for this month.  Also the LQS BOM class is coming up, very quickly, and I need to get my block done for that.  Lots of work ahead it appears!

So I guess I’ll go and get started on some of it.  Weather has been gloomy and rainy for the past few days – a good excuse to stay indoors and sew.  Soon we’ll have nice enough weather to get outside and do some yard work.  And then it will be trailering season.

Make quilts while the rain pours, so we can make hay when the sun shines!

Happy quilting!                     Blessings, Peg

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One Bin Emptied

I started the year with so many projects on the go, that I finally broke down and bought bins to sort them all out.  Seven bins later, and I began to wonder how I was ever going to get anything done.

But….this wee project got finished up a few days ago.  I’ve waited to share it with you all until I know it had reached its final destination.

A few weeks ago, my sister asked if I could make placemats and table center mat for her triangular dining room table.  Now there was a challenge – just coming up with a pattern.  And then, the edges of the table are slightly rounded.

But, without further ado – here’s the finished products:

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There are 8 of these placemats – and yes, they are narrower at the top, hoping they’ll ‘nest’ together on her table – and yes, she’ll have 2 extra, because there only is 3 sides to a triangle after all  LOL!

I saved this post until the mats had made it to their destination.  Canada Post came through fabulously and they arrived in very short order.  Here’s a pic of the mats on the table:002 (1)

So glad they worked out!

Happy designing!               Blessings, Peg

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I Stand in Awe

at the power and grace of God.

I’ve just finished reading the book ‘Heaven is For Real’ by Todd Burpo.  It’s the story of his 4-year-old son’s near death experience of Heaven.  Absolutely amazing!

This little boy, too young to have intellectual knowledge, describes things in Heaven that match Bible descriptions, talks about people in Heaven that he had never met.

If you get a chance, this is, IMHO, THE read of the year.  I’m sure you’ll be as amazed as I am.

I want to go to Heaven!                      Blessings, Peg

Monday, March 19, 2012

WOW

This morning, as I grazed through my blog readings, enjoying what others are doing, picking up inspiration, catching up with lives, I came across Karen’s blog, Sew Many Ways.  I’ve enjoyed Karen’s blog for almost as long as I’ve been blogging.  She has so many innovative ideas, and lots and lots of craft and techno-savvy, that I sit in awe.

Well, today, she shared about a new photo editing site, PicMonkey.  And oh, my goodness!  So many wonderful things that can be done with pics, and so easy!!!!!  Head on over and take a look for yourselves. 

In a matter of minutes I reworked a picture from this:001.Morning tea

To this:

Morning tea

Added a kiss, a flower, a thought, an arrow, made it black and white with color focus!  Unbelievable.

I’ve hunted for a good photo editing site, and found most of them difficult and slow and confusing.  This site is totally amazing!

Just think how much more fun I’m going to have with pictures.  And I’m sure you all will too!  I can hardly wait until they get collages going!

Now this is the kind of inspiration that bloggers bring to the rest of us!

Thanks, Karen – Thanks, PicMonkey!     

Happy, happy photo-editing!                          Blessings, Peg

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

All Things NOT Quilty

It’s interesting that as I look back at old posts, I see almost all quilt-related sharing.  And that’s not totally why I started blogging.

I mentioned, in passing, some other non-quilt activities, but I though I’d share with you all to day some more detail about that.

Emergency Social Services has been a big part of our lives for the last three years.  This is an organization, mandated by federal and provincial governments, managed through local governments, that provides for temporary emergency support if people need to be evacuated from their homes.  A house fire, flooded basement could affect a single home.  Or a forest fire (many of which have been experienced in BC over the last few years), river flood (an almost annual threat in our area), earthquake, train derailment – any of those kinds of things could mean hundreds or even thousands of people being evacuated.

And that’s where we come in.  Training to be able to effectively meet these needs is on-going.  But we also work to promote ESS and recruit volunteers, as well as help the folks in our area understand how they can personally prepare for emergencies.

Right now, we’re working on banners that will be used in our promotional activities.   To get ready for these banners, we took some ‘mock’ pictures.  First, a recent house fire in our area, meant that one of our team responded to arrange for hotel, restaurant meals, clothing for the family.  We returned to the scene to take some pictures.  Here’s one of Grizz ‘interviewing’ M as if she was a victim.IMG_4242

We also went to a local strata clubhouse, and set up a mock Reception Center (this is how we would manage an event involving a large group of people).  Of course we couldn’t take pictures in a real event, even if we were involved in one, to protect people’s privacy.

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Thankfully, there have been few calls requiring response, but we’re prepared.

Here’s a picture of one of the banners that we’re having made:ESS banner

When finished, the banner will be 3’ wide by 6’ high – should attract attention don’t you think?

 

Another passion of mine has been genealogy.  A number of years ago, I spent many, many hours in a library pouring over microfiche census reports, and searching through genealogy web-sites.  Recently a cousin sent me a package of copies of immigration papers for our grandparents.  They came from Hungary in 1926, with three daughters, settled in southern Alberta where my father and two other sons were born.  The photocopies included their passport, one document issued for the whole family – really different from today’s world.  Here’s a picture of one page:002

Interestingly – the documents are all in both Hungarian and French.  I just love finding all this information.  My cousin said, she recently sent a photo of the ship on which my grandparents and aunts traveled (it’s long since gone, picture obtained from the internet – the marvels of our world today), to our oldest aunt.  When she received the photo, my aunt phoned my cousin and told her she remembered her mother, our grandmother, crying before getting on board because she didn’t want to travel on a ship with only one smokestack.  It must have been a very traumatic trip on many levels.

 

And I’m a reader – I love books, have always loved books, can get totally lost in books.  I remember my mother frequently saying ‘didn’t you hear me?’  And I hadn’t, I really hadn’t.  I was off in the world of whichever book was in my hand at the time.  When I was younger, I often had 3-4 books on the go at once.  Not so any longer – it’s all I can do to keep track of one book.  I also don’t read for as many hours at a time as I used to, it tends to put me to sleep.  But there’s always a book nearby, always at least one ready for when I’m finished my current read. 

Last fall, I finally joined a book club.  Interestingly, the books chosen have mostly been very difficult reads – not just for me either.  The month that  The Last Passage was our read – almost nobody actually finished the book.  But the challenge of stretching my reading wings, and trying out new authors and then joining in lively discussions has been fabulous!   Right now we’re reading:

And I’m actually surprised at how much I’m enjoying this, despite the fact that it’s an autobiography (not been one of my favorite types of books in the past).

Waiting to be read is this gem, just picked up from the library yesterday:

Chiaverini is one of my favorite authors, writing about quilters.

So I guess this post isn’t totally NON-quilty after all.  But there it is – quilting is, after all, a big part of my life.

Happy days!!!          Blessings, Peg

Sunday, March 11, 2012

It’s All Progress

It’s been a busy week and a quiet week all rolled into one. 

Our Emergency Social Services team is doing a lot of organizing and getting a couple of projects rolling, which has taken up some time.  One of our projects included doing a mock Reception Center for photos.  Here we are ‘at work’:032

Work has been fairly quiet, with only 3 appointments, all on the same day.

Quilt projects are progressing – one of the ‘surprises’ is starting to take shape – here’s a wee glimpse:038

Big Bertha has undergone a bit of a transformation.  First, I replaced the leaders, with ones that actually fit (the leaders that came with her were zippered and for a 12-foot span – but I can only fit a 10-foot span in the room).  Then I had read on Elsie’s blog about leader grips.  We did some research, and I watched a bunch of U-Tube video clips, and Grizz decided he could make these for me.

We bought doweling and u-channel (for dry-wall and paneling)015

And I created the sleeve on the leaders, slid the doweling in, and attached a quilt back.   Works!!!!  At a fraction of the cost of buying them.

One quilt has been done using the grips, successfully.  I experimented with ‘floating’ the quilt top (per some of the videos I watched), but have come to the conclusion that pinning the top is still the best way to go.

Then I finally attached the skirt to BB (came with her, but I’ve been lazy about doing this).035

This lovely skirt hides a multiple of sins – and makes me forget how much I still have to do:036037

But, because BB lives in our bedroom, it makes sleeping much easier!

So progress on all fronts.  Hope you’ve all seen some progress in your projects, too.                     Blessings, Peg

Blogging–a Way of Life?

Sadly, I’ve been rather neglectful of my blogger friends and blog.  Well, not totally neglectful, reading but not writing, not even writing many comments.  Which of course means I’ve not been receiving many comments or replies either.

A few days ago, I read of a blogger who was ready to give up blogging because she had few followers, and received no comments.  Her lament did not go unnoticed – and suddenly she had more followers and comments than she could handle.  But all of that got me to thinking.

Why do I blog?  What do I expect from blogging?  What is the purpose (read MY purpose) in blogging?

I guess I just needed a break.  I had been feeling a bit bogged down by it all – so many bloggers out there, so many blogs to read, so many bloggers with whom to connect, so many comments to make, so many deadlines to meet (swaps, and groups and quilt-alongs)….. 

And the reality, my follower list grows slowly (which is okay, I can’t keep up with all of them anyway), and only a few actually comment and/or reply to my comments.

I thought of quitting.  But a conversation with Grizz, who encouraged me saying he enjoys my blog posts, and he knows there are a few others out there who appreciate the connectedness, stopped me. 

Okay, then, how to proceed?  Well after some thought, and another conversation with an ‘unofficial’ follower (thanks sis-in-law), I’ve come to a decision.

No more swaps, no more groups, no more quilt-alongs, no more blog hops, no more give-aways (either entering or sponsoring).  Just enjoy the relationship with those who are connected, and don’t worry about the others.  Just enjoy sharing what’s meaningful to me, without deadlines and boundaries and pressure. 

This has meant weeding out the blogs that I’ve been following (which BTW really freed up a lot of time previously spent reading blogs and commenting). 

This also means that I’m only commenting when I have something meaningful to say, so if you’re not hearing from me, it’s not because I’m not still here – I am still reading your blogs, just not saying anything if I don’t actually have something to say.

 

Having said all that – I will now go on to post about the last little while in my life, and what I’ve been doing.  Stay tuned – coming right up!

Happy blogging all!              Blessings, Peg

Monday, March 5, 2012

Belated Wishes

Actually the personal wishes went out on time, I just am late in getting my greetings into my blog.

Our DDIL celebrated a (young) milestone birthday yesterday.  We did celebrate with her and her family, enjoying another evening of sharing, prayer, laughs!  08.Mirjana, Biology major

This picture was taken when M finished her biology degree last year.  Now she’s almost finished her kinesiology degree, and she’s headed for post-grad in Occupational Therapy.  There’s no telling where she may land in this endeavor, so we cherish every opportunity to spend time together.  She wants to work with children, and will surely be a fabulous OT.  She’s so smart, and regularly teaches me things, especially about fitness and anatomy and physiology.

We talked a little bit about the future, and all I can say is we wish her every success in everything that she wants to do – school, family, career, serving God!

Much, much love – and many more milestones!

Love                             Mom