A Pieceful Life

A Pieceful Life


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.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wednesday’s Words and Hodgepodge

Back home and back to a normal routine, which includes Hodgepodge.  If you want to read others, click on the link on my sidebar.

1. What question do you often ask yourself?

What WAS I doing?

2. Do you grow roses? What's your favorite color of rose?  Ever been given a dozen roses?  Where was the prettiest rose or rose garden you remember seeing?

We have just a couple of roses bushes now, both yellow, which is probably my favorite color, other than the bronze Woburn Abbey, which I’ve never been able to find, but always wanted to have in my garden since I carried them on our wedding day.  Minter Gardens near here has a fabulous rose garden that we love to visit several times over the season.

The roses are just starting now:


3. Do you read the freshness dates on grocery store products?  Will you use eggs past their 'use by' date?  Take medication that's expired? Buy a dented can?

When buying foods we certainly check the dates, especially of those things that may expire before we get them used up, but once they’re home, if they ‘expire’ we don’t necessarily throw them out, we check to see if they’re still usable or obviously spoiled.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen eggs on a store shelf that are expired.  We certainly avoid dented cans, but given a choice will buy a dented, if it’s not rusted, over a bulging can!!!!  Medications we certainly would not keep past their shelf life, not because they might not be spoiled, but because they might not be effective any longer.

4. Should athletes be role models?

Some athletes are certainly not worthy of being role models, but we know a couple that we’d love to see be role models for children everywhere – that would be our sons!!  DS1 has competed on the national and international stage for over 20 years, not a ‘famous’ athlete, but known in his circles (shot-put, discus, power-lifting and Scottish heavy events).  When he was just 20 years old he was quoted in our local newspaper as saying ‘if it hasn’t been done without drugs, it hasn’t been done’.  I just love telling people that!   DS2 has been a soccer player for most of his life, and now is coaching, loved by children and parents for his skills as a player as well as his approach to coaching that encourages physical as well as emotional/social development.

5. Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first explorers to reach the top of Mt. Everest on this date (May 29) back in 1953. What's something you hope to achieve in your lifetime?

I’d like to write – not sure what, and I dabble at it now and again, just don’t really know how to get going!

6. What would you do if you had twenty acres of land and the money to develop it any way you choose?

I always thought it would be wonderful to have a retreat center – especially for pastors and their wives, because I really think pastors need time to rest and refresh periodically after giving so much of themselves to others.

7. If I invite you to a party with a 7 PM start time, what time will I actually see you there?

7:00 PM – I’ve always believed in being on time!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I am an organizer, have always been an organized person, and get frustrated with disorganization.  But I’m learning, slowly, to accept the fact that others are not organized, or at least not organized in the same way that I am.  We had this discussion just a couple of nights ago with our DS2 and DDIL1, and listened to DDIL1 expressing her growth in learning to accept DS2 being very, very organized when he’s at work or on the soccer field, but NOT at home.  But then, why should he be organized at home, he has her to keep him organized there!  LOL! 

Because I am an organizer, I’m regularly going through cupboards and closets and drawers and reorganizing, which drives Grizz crazy!  Because reorganizing usually means moving something somewhere – and then you know what, neither of us can find it!!! LOL LOL!!

But one thing that’s not organized the way I’d like it to be is my quilting rulers.  Right now, they’re standing against a wall in a corner near my sewing machine – handy and not hidden, but pulling out one means usually moving others to get to it.  I do try to keep the smaller ones in front, but that doesn’t always stay that way.  I came across this idea a little while ago, and now I’m on the lookout for one of these (because I can’t seem to motivate Grizz to make me one of those fancy wooden ruler stands):

ruler storage

Doesn’t that look cool!  And how neat to be able to just pick up the ruler I want, and not send 3 or 6 others flying!

Happy organization!                Blessings, Peg

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Home again, home again

The rest of our trip to Alberta was essentially uneventful.  We had a great time with our kids, and otherwise laid low because we both had colds.  This meant not visiting elderly relatives, and staying out of crowds – and not shopping at quilt stores.

One of the features we enjoy when we’re in Alberta is the heritage signs at rest stops along the highways.  We stopped at a new one (to us at least) on one of our drives:


History and differences in cultures always fascinates both of us, and we look for opportunities to learn about the areas where we travel.  I hope you can read this.

Southwestern Alberta was expecting mega rain the day we left, so we were happy to be leaving that behind.  On our drive home back through the mountains, we got most every type of weather imaginable, from sun to snow, but the roads were good, and there wasn’t much construction to hold us up, so we made good time.

Happy to be home now, and starting to prepare for another, slightly longer trip in just a couple of weeks.

And I wasted no time getting the sewing machine busy again – I’ll have some pics in a day or two.  It’s amazing how much I miss quilting when we’re away, as much as I enjoy getting away!  It’s getting so bad, that I even took a picture of a bathroom wall that put me in mind of a quilt pattern.  I have some ideas, including doing a mystery quilt once I get the idea worked out in my head and onto paper (and make up a sample to be sure it’ll work out LOL).

Happy travels, happy home-coming!              Blessings, Peg

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Over the Mountains and Through the Woods

Off to the prairies we go……

After we left Oliver, BC we drove along the Crowsnest Highway through some high mountain passes.  We couldn’t believe how much snow was still sitting under those trees:


But the roads were clear and the sun was shining, so it was a lovely day to drive.

And suddenly, we were in the rolling hills of Alberta.  It’s almost like day and night, the change is so abrupt.  These windy hills are particularly suited to the wind generators that begin to dot the landscape.  In the first picture below you can see giant white arms just peeking over the trees center left:


About this time the highway becomes known as the Red Coat Trail, so named for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (or actually back in the day Northwest Mounted Police) red coats, as they used this trail to make their way westward to take charge of law and order in the western provinces and territories.

Shortly after, though, we turned in a northerly direction on the famed Cowboy Trail, which runs most of the length of western Alberta and was used for driving cattle to market.  Sadly, no cattle drives for us to see.

We made a short stop at Longview, a small town that was the home of a little restaurant originally called the Navajo Mug.  If you’re a country/western fan you may recognize the name as a take-off off the Ian Tyson song Navajo Rug.  Ian Tyson was the original owner of the restaurant, having made his home for a few years in the area.  If you’re not a country/western fan, or if you’re old enough you may know Ian as 1/2 of the folk duo Ian and Sylvia. Now called The Rustic Artisan, we picked up a snack and drink and took a photo op:004

This town is intriguing, with a real cowboy flavor, and we plan to come back some day and explore it properly:


But it was getting later in the day, and our goal is visits with our children, so we pushed on to get to our reserved campsite in Okotoks.

Happy trails!               Blessings, Peg

Saturday, May 18, 2013

CQA Show

The first leg of our trip is to the Okonagan area for a couple days of simple R&R, and……for me to visit the Canadian Quilting Association National Juried Show exhibition at Penticton.  We’re in one of our favorite campgrounds near Gallagher Lake, about a 1/2 hour drive from Penticton.  And today my parents are going to come and spend the day with us here in the fresh air and sunshine.

But yesterday was the day to visit the Show, and what a show it was!  The juried show was closed to photography, so I’m sorry I can’t show you any pictures, but I stand amazed at the imagination, creativity and skill of all of those entrants.  Blogger friends Janet and Renata both had entries, and you can be sure I sought theirs out!  Wow – and wow again!  Hopefully they’ll be able to share their creations with you all on their blogs after the show is over – if they do, I’ll be sure to send you in their direction so you can take a look for yourselves at the wonderful quilts they made.

Besides the juried show, there was a Western Canada Fibre Arts display, an invitational show, a display of samples of 24 years of Trend-tex Challenge quilts (5 fabrics supplied in a kit with a theme and entries are auctioned for the benefit of CQA); this year’s theme is Sunshine and Vines, so apt for this area of BC.  Quilts of Valor had a small display also.

So here are some pictures – just a small sampling, but I hope you enjoy the Show

First some of the invitational entries – how I wish there was a way to show you the textures and 3D effects


The Fibre Arts (aren’t all quilts fibre art?) seemed to feature the elements of wind, water, earth and fire


And the Challenge quilts:



Isn’t it amazing how the same 5 fabrics look so different when an artist starts using them!

While I was at the show, Grizz was out at the lake with Sadie, watching the ducks and geese, and a few other swimmers as well but he didn’t take any pictures of them LOL.071


Doesn’t that lake look too cold for swimming?  Apparently the geese thought so.  The sun hasn’t had enough time to warm up that mountain runoff yet.

Happy shows!             Blessings, Peg

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Good Old Summer Time


We’ve had a week of gorgeous sunshine and very, very warm weather.  While I didn’t sit outside and quilt, I did get time to sit outside and read.

Now, after a couple of days of rain, and some very, very stormy weather, it looks like the sun is going to come back!

And we’ll be headed off in a couple of days for our first trailer trip of the year – to Penticton for the CQA quilt show, and hopefully a visit with my parents, then to Alberta to visit our children there.  The last few days has been filled with a lot of sorting and finding and prepping and filling of containers to get the trailer ready to go.  We’ll do the final loading and then off to, hopefully, enjoy some more great weather and just relax.

There will be internet connection at least some of the time, so I’ll try to keep in touch.

Happy summer, happy travels!                 Blessings, Peg

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wednesday’s Words and Hodgepodge

1. When the children of today grow up, what do you think they'll say about this period in time?  What do you most hope they remember?

I think they’ll remember the opulence in the midst of the poverty – no matter where you look, EVERYBODY has a cell phone and a computer no matter the expense, while the world is in the midst of a recession. 

I hope they can remember family times, and laughter, no matter what the personal circumstances of their lives.

2. National Teacher's Day is celebrated in the US of A on the first Tuesday in May, this year May 7th...share how a particular teacher positively influenced you.
My third grade teacher was a musician and singer, and I wanted nothing more than to be like her.  She led a children’s choir at our church, which I joined, and as I got older had opportunities with other choirs, playing the piano at school and church, and eventually accompanying singers and choirs at church, and even a few times singing with small groups.  Her inspiration led to the fulfillment of dreams.

3. What's a dish your mama made, that if set in front of you today would whisk you right back to childhood?
My mom used to make a soup from cooked potatoes, breakfast sausages and canned tomato soup.  No idea where she got the recipe, and don’t think I’ve had it since I was in grade school, but it would surely bring back those memories of coming in from playing outdoors, and sitting down to hearty meals

4.  Mother May I was a game we played when I was growing up...no pieces, parts, or plugs required.  What games from childhood do you remember loving that were also pieces, parts, and plug free?
Red Rover, Red Rover, send …… over.  Those boys could always break through my hands, but I could never break through anybody’s. 

5. Besides your own mother, tell us about a woman who influenced you as a child.
My friend’s mother, wife of our pastor, such a sweet and gentle soul, I wanted to grow up and be just like her, even to being a pastor’s wife (which I’m not!) 

6. Mamma Mia!  What's the best play or musical you've ever seen?
Jesus Christ Super Star – front row seats surely played a huge part in how very very much I enjoyed that.  Not to mention the fact that I remembered most of the songs from my teen years (didn’t see it on stage until I was in my 50s) and could sing along – quietly of course so as not to disturb the listening pleasure of everybody around me LOL!

7. What are three smells that make you feel nostalgic?
I don’t have much of a nose, but turkey, apple pie and campfire smoke

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

It’s not been much of a quilting week around here, but I did finish one.  This was a BOM at our LQS that ended last October – yes, it took me that long to put it all together, borders on, quilting done and finally the binding.  It was such a beautiful day yesterday, that we hung it over our balcony railing:


Sadie, of course had to be front and (well, not quite) center.  Lots of fun and lots of challenges in this one.

Happy sunshine days!                 Blessings, Peg

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Quilting Question

Dresden Plate – a beautiful, beautiful quilt block pattern.

And so many, many variations on the theme.  And probably a number of different methods for making the pieces, all applique I believe:

This morning I opened my email to see this message first on the list:

Hi Peg....
I have a question. I am making a Dresden Plate quilt... the pieces are curved....once I have the circle made...the pattern says to sew it to light weight interfacing....when you turn it inside out you have the good side facing...and the sticky side of the interfacing out ...then you are to press it to fasten to the block...
I am having a horrid time to get the curves to lay flat after I turn it...and I can't press it as it will stick....  It looks awful....
Do you have any suggestions ...

My first thought – oh, man, somebody actually thinks I know what I’m talking about when it comes to quilting.

My second thought – oh, man, Dresden Plate – ummmm…..have I ever even done one?  Nope, not one.  Way back when I first started quilting, I did a sampler that included some curved-piece applique, as well as some Y-seam piecing, and I’ve never got up enough nerve to do either of those again!  And I’ve not tackled hand-applique at all!

My third thought – okay, how can I help?  And I right away thought of all you fabulous quilters out there, who know what you’re doing with things liked curved-piece hand-applique.  So here I am asking for your suggestions.  You needn’t write them to me, just send them on to Bev at This and That (her email contact is available on her profile which you’ll find by the little pansy picture on her sidebar).  If you choose to answer here, I’ll be sure to send the suggestions on to Bev.

My fourth thought, after I finished panicking – well, those pieces should still work, and I’ve already suggested first clipping the curves before turning, and using a chopstick or something like that to smooth out the curved seam after turning, then pressing on a Teflon pressing sheet or parchment paper to get the pieces looking good before pressing onto the block where they’ll stick permanently. 

So can you help?  Looking forward to seeing what you all have to say – and maybe I’ll be inspired to do a Dresden Plate myself, once I know how to do it!

Thanks in advance for your help!           Happy sharing!            Blessings, Peg

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Fabulous Give-away

Check this one out everybody – even if you don’t win, a visit to their Etsy shop is worth the time!

Pop on over to Quilting Calicos to check it all out, and enter the draw.

Blessings, Peg

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wednesday’s Words and Hodgepodge

Well, it’s Wednesday again, and the A to Z Challenge is completed (whew!) and life – blogging life that is – gets back to a somewhat normal routine.

1. This week's Hodgepodge is Volume 123. What's something you've done recently that was as easy as 1-2-3?
Believe it or not, it was taking off a sweatshirt.  About a year and a half ago, I awoke one morning unable to move my right arm.  After doctor visits and physiotherapy, X-rays and MRI, the final decision over a year later was ‘frozen shoulder’.  No reason, no cause, just is.  Then a new physiotherapist directed me to yet another physiotherapist for a treatment called Intra Muscular Stimulation.  Well, this new fellow did the treatment (kind of like acupuncture), but said the only ‘cure’ is to stretch and somehow release the adhesions in the rotator cuff.  And stretch he does!  Ouch!  But after he stretches, he relaxes the muscles with the IMS, which also has relieved the inflammation so pain is not near what it could be.  There’s still more work to do, and now it’s apparently time to consult a surgeon to see if surgical release of one particular set of adhesions will help, but in the meantime, I’m able to do more and more actions easier and easier – like take off a sweatshirt over my head!

2. The Wednesday Hodgepodge also happens to fall on the first day of May...what is something you may do this month?
We plan a trip with our trailer – first to stop at the Quilt BC show for a couple of days, then on to Alberta to visit our kids.

3. The Englishman Horace Walpole is credited as saying, "The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think."  How do you see it?
Sometimes when I think about what’s happening in the world around me, I just have to laugh at the comedy of errors that make for some of the tragedies.

4. May is National Hamburger Month...how often do you eat a burger?  What are your must-haves when it comes to burgers?  I assume you vegetarians won't be celebrating so tell us what you'd like instead?
Hamburgers are once-in-awhile in this house – except we BBQ’d last weekend, and will be BBQ’ing again next weekend – hamburgers both times.  And with them – I absolutely must have relish and cheese and bacon

5. Pansies, petunias, geraniums, impatiens...of the four mentioned which is your favorite in a patio pot? Will there be pots on your patio this spring? (Or whenever spring comes to your part of the globe?)  Who does the gardening at your house?
I like them all, but think I favor the smiling faces of the pansies.  There are a couple of pots on our patio and in our front garden – tended to by both of us as the mood strikes. 

These popped up from last year’s planting:


6. When did you last (literally or figuratively) shout "Mayday, Mayday!"
Mayday comes from a French word which literally means-help me! 

Almost every day I look for help for something or other, mostly to reach something that I can’t get because my arm just won’t go that far!

7. Say farewell to your April in ten words or less.
Bye-bye April showers!  Hello May flowers!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

The momentum of the 20-minute challenge of March, lasted through most of April, with the A to Z challenge keeping me going making all those little applique blocks. Here’s pics of all the blocks completed:

111. A to F (Challenge)

I just realized that A to F is actually displayed F to A – so Frog, Elephant, Donkey, Cat, Bunny, Alligator

112.G to L

Giraffe, Horse, Iguana, Joey (kangaroo), Koala, Lion

113.M to P

Monkey, Nanny goat, Octopus, Panda

114.Q to T

Quail, Raccoon, Seahorse, Tiger

115U to ZUnicorn, Velvet crab, Whale, Xantus, Yak, Zebra

Toward the end of the month, I started some machine embroidery for a couple of projects – and suddenly ran out of steam!  I want to do the last embroidery, and know what I want to embroider, but not which fabric to use for the background – because I can’t decide on what fabrics to use for the blocks to go with the embroidery.  Such a dilemma!  And I don’t want to take the embroidery arm off until this is done.  So I’ve spent the last few days auditioning fabrics, and procrastinating on getting anything else (quilting-wise) done.  And today, we want to work on getting the trailer ready for our trip…….  Well, you know how it goes!

Happy thoughts, everyone!               Blessings, Peg