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, January 27, 2014

Monday’s ‘Musement

And not a ‘C’ in sight…..

Why is spelling so hard?  Why can’t the spelling rules apply always, not just sometimes?  Why can’t words spelled the same way, sound the same?

I was always a good speller (even won spelling bees), and still am, most of the time, but there are some words that stump me regularly

  • vaccuum – oops, got that wrong, only 1 ‘c’ but two ‘u’s – does that make any sense?
  • nemonic – wrong, there’s a silent ‘m’ at the beginning
  • read – ummm….is that ‘reed’ or ‘red’, all in the context, but couldn’t somebody have come up with a different word?

And then there’s grammar, much of which has to do with how a word is spelt (spelled?) 

  • there, their or they’re – each has its own meaning and obviously its own spelling
  • its or it’s – the first is possessive, the second a contraction.  And why, when every other possessive has an apostrophe, isn’t there an apostrophe when we say something belongs to it

I could go on, but won’t.  This little quote made me smile, just because for whatever reason English is such a difficult language to spell, at least that’s what I’ve been told.  And the little bit of spelling of other languages that I’ve learned seems to uphold the truth of that.  And yet, English is the universal language – have to wonder why it was chosen when it’s so difficult to learn the spelling.

But when I read a book, magazine, newspaper, or sign, and see words misused and/or misspelled, I get downright annoyed!  Really – in this computer age is there any excuse?  And I have to assume that magazine and newspaper writers are educated, as are the editors of books, so shouldn’t they know how to spell!  And if spelling is difficult for them, as I know it is for many, maybe they should find good spellers and grammarians to double check their work before putting it out there for the public.  After all, if our children don’t read good grammar and correct spelling, why should they be expected to learn good grammar and correct spelling, and how can they?

I’m sure that I’ll have made some grammar errors in this missive, please excuse me if I have.  But I know that the words are spelt correctly – after all Spellcheck told me so!

Here’s to spelling bees!                    Blessings, Peg

Saturday, January 25, 2014

New Beginnings–a Linky Party

My blogger friend, Thea at California Dreamin’, has started a Linky Party – New Beginnings, a place to showcase a new beginning each month this year.

For myself, I have a whole list of ‘new beginnings’ for this year.  And, of course, each of those will (hopefully) become a ‘new finish’

So, I’ve linked up – do you want to join in?  Head on over and add your blog to the list, we’d love to see what your new beginnings are!

My new beginning this month is a kid’s story quilt.  This is a pattern I dreamt (literally) up myself a few years back, and quickly did a proto-type and wrote out the instructions.  Then last year I joined in the April A-Z Challenge and made a number of applique animal blocks.  I’ve combined the two, and this is on my design wall now:

 

004

Here’s a couple of the animal blocks behind the letters:

005

I’m going to try for a finish a month, and this month I have a quilt (top left over from last year) all sandwiched waiting for quilting.  Fingers crossed I get to it in the next few days; once I start it won’t take long and then (hopefully) I’ll have a January finish to show you.

Happy linking party!              Blessings, Peg

Friday, January 24, 2014

Grow Your Blog

I’m going to a party – and you’re all invited to come along!

It’s a blog party (of course) and an opportunity to meet new blogger friends. 

Victoria, over at 2 Bags Full, is hosting this party, asking that participants introduce themselves and their blogs, with the possibility of adding blogs to our reading lists and/or adding followers to our blogs.  Many will also be offering give-aways to any who comment – you’ll find details of my give-away at the bottom of this post.  To find the list of participants, simply follow the link on my side-bar.

But first, to the business of introducing myself:

My name is Peg, I’m wife of over 40 years to Grizz who at least pretends to understand why I do what I do and supports no matter what; mother to six, three born to us and three added by marriage; Christ-follower; quilter; cross stitcher; and soon to be grandmother.

This picture was taken last September when we had a rare half hour when we were all together in one spot.  My parents, on the left, were there with us.  The three children born to us are the two boys in dark blue and the girl in the white top standing next to Grizz.  I’m the one on the other side of Grizz, peeking out from behind the shoulder, not sure how that happened LOL! 

24

This blog was started as a journal, more than anything a quilting journal, when I retired a few years ago.  Even though quilting is the main topic, I’ve included family times, travel adventures, some cross-stitch and even occasional knitting projects, geo-caching treks, volunteer efforts, happenings in the world around me, and sometimes just some words about things I see and hear.

My blog banner includes some of my favorite quilts, and here are a few others:

132.Verna's quilt

136. Adolf's quilt

001. Cowboy applique.jpg032.Black White and Green

 

046

047.Black, white and red

106.Life's Colors for Toni

 

128.CF BOM 2012 kid's quilt

Cross-stitching has long been a passion of mine, and it’s a rare evening when I don’t have a piece in my hands.  Just a few months ago, I completed this years-long project:

003

It is finally off at the framer’s – I can hardly wait to hang it on the wall, and there will surely be a picture to share!

We love to travel, have a trailer that has taken us on two cross-country trips as well as to Alaska and California and various closer-to-home destinations over the years.  We’ve also enjoyed a few cruises.  Stay tuned for our next travelogue!! 

As I said earlier, we’re expecting our first grandchild in a few months, and I’m sure there will be lots to share when she comes along!  Now she’s about 10 inches long and weighs about a pound, and is very, very squirmy!  She’s keeping us all on our toes already, and much, much care is being taken to ensure that she waits as long as possible before facing the big, wide world out here.

067

 

And now for a give-away.  Because I’m a quilter, and I do try to focus my blog on quilting, this give-away will be somewhat aimed at quilters, but I hope others could find these useful.  The winning person will receive the following (these are pictures from the patterns, the actual projects are not yet made):

This little coaster could sit nicely beside your sewing machine.  Pattern found on Made by Ale.  Non-sewers can put it anywhere, and let everybody think they sew! Quilting, free patterns, my sewing machine, ale balanzario
full_450_15354_CathderalWindowPincushion_1 A lovely little pin-cushion based on the pattern found at I Sew Free.  Even if you’re not a quilter, or even a sewer, a pincushion surely comes in handy when something needs to be mended.

I may add in another goodie or two, time will tell!

No requirements other than a comment.  Say, for my own inspiration in deciding what I could add to the package, why don’t you tell me what your favorite hobby is.

If you don’t have a blog, or a Google account, simply send an email (click on my blog profile left side-bar).  Please be sure that you provide a way for me to contact you – in other words, don’t be a no-reply commenter, or put your email address in your comment.

Winner will be drawn on February 15.

Happy, happy blog party!                Blessings, Peg

Monday, January 20, 2014

Monday’s ‘Musement

Wish I’d thought of this when our children were young enough to believe it!

Actually when we were expecting our first, I didn’t really worry about whether I could be a good Mom or not.  I just wanted a baby!  That mothering urge and nesting instinct had kicked in after being married a while, and Grizz was in agreement, so we forged ahead.

Did we know our children would need teaching and disciplining and examples and morals?  Well, yes, but we just wanted a baby!

Did we know our teenagers would challenge our authority and test all the limits?  Well, yes, but we just wanted a baby!

Did we know our young adult children would still want some guidance and advice?  Well, yes, but we just wanted a baby!

We knew these things on some level, partly because of our education, partly because we’re both the oldest and our siblings were enough younger that we’d seen some of what our parents did in raising them – aside from what we’d observed as they ‘practiced’ on us LOL!  But these things certainly weren’t uppermost in my mind when we started on the path of producing that first child.  Grizz admits to being somewhat fearful, until he held that little one in his arms the first time and fully realized he didn’t have to teach and discipline and set an example right from minute one, that these things would come over time.

Now, our DD and DSIL are expecting their first, and we’ve chatted with them, and with our sons and their wives as well, about some of the guiding principles that we established over time as we grew into parenthood.  And that’s just what we did – we grew into it.  We weren’t perfect, probably wouldn’t have passed a parenting test if there’d been such even after a few years of raising children, we just did what we thought was best at the time.  As we’ve watched our children become adults and strike out into the world, get married and now starting their families, we have every confidence in them as parents, that they’ll love their children and do their best.  And what else is important?

Happy parenting!               Blessings, Peg

Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday’s ‘Musement

As a quilter, I love the craft, but as much as the craft, I love to share it with others – making things that they can use, that will hopefully bring a little cheer into their lives.

I often wonder, no matter what people say, how such gifts are received.  I know my taste isn’t necessarily their taste, that the things I would treasure won’t necessarily be treasured or even used by the recipient.

But make them I must – if for no other reason than that the design or pattern just calls out to me to be made.  So my latest philosophy is – once given, I no longer have ownership.  I’ve done what I thought I should and wanted to do, made and presented a gift, it now belongs to the giftee and it’s his or hers to do with as he or she will.

I must say, though, I don’t think I’d quilt a prom dress!!!!

Happy gifting!                    Blessings, Peg

Friday, January 10, 2014

Starting up again–a tutorial

After some very lazy days, I finally sat down at my sewing machine.  First project, some bookmarks – and then on to some prep work for a kids’ quilt that I’ve wanted to do for a while.

The bookmarks – a quick and easy project/gift that I had seen at my parents’ home.  They were made for them by one of their quilting friends, and when we stopped by there before Christmas on our way to Alberta, the friend came over and gave me a quick tutorial.  Apparently she bought a special ruler to make these, but I thought I should be able to figure it out without that, and I think I have.

This is the first one that I made a few days ago, and Grizz is using it in his books right now.  I made a few mistakes, but that’s what practice is for isn’t it:

028

These are the four that I finished up today, after I did one, taking pictures so that I could share a tutorial with you.  These ones still need the final edge-stitching:

027

And here’s the one that I made for the tutorial:024

Very easy, and actually very little sewing.

Start with 4 strips of fabric – for the tutorial I used red and purple, but for the others I used 4 different fabrics, and my parents’ friend also used 4 different fabrics in each of the ones that I’ve seen that she has made.

I cut fabric 2 1/2” wide by about 8-9 1/2” long, with the intent to have a finished product 7 1/2” long.  It’s actually important for the finished look to have that 1/2” measurement for the length.

002

Back any two of the strips with fusible web – I use Misty Fuse, but a light Steam-a-seam would work just as well'.  If you look very closely at this picture you can just see the Misty Fuse on the left-hand side.  Placing the iron on the edge of the fabric, and you can pull away the excess fusible web – and as you may be able to tell I’m using a silicon pressing board, very important if you’re not using fabric-backed fusible!001

Place the fused fabric wrong sides together with the un-fused fabric:003

For this purpose the red (fused) strips are shorter than the purple (unfused) strips.  Set aside one set, and fold the other set in half length-wise, and press:

004

Mark a line 1/2” in from the long raw edge (I call this the vertical line).  I used a Fuzion pen for marking because the marks will disappear when pressed afterward:

005

Mark a horizontal line 1 1/2” from one end from the fold to the vertical line:

006

Mark lines at 1” intervals across the width from the marked vertical line to the folded edge, for the length of the folded strip:

008

This creates 6 ‘boxes’ in a 7 1/2” length strip:

009

Then mark diagonal lines from where the folded edge and marked lines meet to the opposite corner of the ‘box’.010

Be sure to make the diagonal lines run toward the 1 1/2” space at the end.  Then mark a second, shorter line from the fold to the horizontal line 1/4” above the already marked diagonal.  Do NOT mark below the last horizontal line:

011

Cut along all the diagonal lines.  Again be sure that you’re cutting from the fold toward the vertical line, with the ‘point’ away from the 1 1/2” space at the ‘top’ end:

012

Open out the folded strip, and press flat:

013

Fold up and finger press the V’s created, then press with your iron:

014015

Pick up the fused strip that was set aside, and determine which fabric you want to show through the cut out spaces:

016017

Put the strips together and secure with a dab of glue:018

Now before proceeding, make sure that if there’s any selvedge on any of these strips, that they will be cut off.  I neglected to do that, and the back of this bookmark has some selvedge at one end (LOL – must laugh at myself!).

Secure the strips together with a line of stitching down the center:019020

Trim all sides 1/2” from the points of the diamonds:

021

022

Using any decorative stitch, sew around all four sides:023024

One last finishing touch – dab Fray Check on the raw edges:025

And when it’s dry – tuck it into your favorite book:026

And, by the way, if you haven’t read this one, it’s well worth the read.  It’s a far cry from her Harry Potter books, and I found it a little difficult to follow until I began to understand some of the British terms, but a very interesting read.

Happy reading!                      Blessings, Peg

Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday’s ‘Musement

 

What do you do when the more you try to straighten things out the more you need to straighten things out!

Grizz would be the first one to tell you that I have a touch of OCD.  I like things neat and tidy and in their place.  Years ago, we built a dog run, and put a dog house in it.  We laid down the paving stones, got them squarely in place, set the dog house on top of them in a temporary spot while we put the fencing around, got everything done cleaned up all the tools and debris, and moved the dog house into one corner.  I looked back at it with great satisfaction…..until I noticed the dog house wasn’t squared up with the fence!!  Just had to go back and make it square!

The last couple of days, I’ve been cleaning out kitchen cupboards – the more I tidy, the more I tidy.  It seems to be a never-ending cycle.  But I move one thing, and ten other things have to be moved to accommodate.  Eventually I just have to force myself to stop – enough already!

In relationships, too, I like things all in a row, neat and tidy, and just the way I expect them.  No surprises!

Wouldn’t it be nice if life was like that – we could put things in place, the right place, and they’d stay there, we could know exactly how everybody is going to act and react and be prepared for whatever is going to happen!  Much as we can never make a picture of the Leaning Tower be straight in all ways, we can never have a pathway in life that’s perfectly straight.

That’s why we need faith – faith in ourselves, in each other, in God who will see us through the tough times, the crooked paths, the messes. 

Wishing you all a faith that will see you through!   Blessings, Peg

Friday, January 3, 2014

It’s a Mystery

I love a mystery or a puzzle – read mystery fiction, watch mysteries on TV, do mystery jigsaw puzzles (when I can get my hands on them), do crossword and logic puzzles, create quilts and, yes, do the occasional mystery quilt.  There’s just something about figuring out how everything fits together that suits my curious and ‘tidy’ personality.

But we have one mystery in our house right now that I don’t think I can solve.

Yesterday, we finally made our way over to the mail box to pick up all the accumulation from our away-Christmas.  Lots of last-minute cards had arrived, and among them this one:

001

Aren’t they cute!

The hand-written greeting inside wishes us a wonderful Christmas and happy 2014.  And that’s it!  No signature!  And we don’t recognize the hand-writing.  There’s no return address on the envelope, no stamp either, although it’s been cancelled.  Because of the cancellation, we know that it was sent from BC, but we tried to look up the postal code with no success.  And because it came through the mail, we’re sure it wasn’t a neighbor, because we all hand-deliver our cards in this neighborhood.  We’re stumped!

So happy to receive cards, so happy to know people wish us well and want to stay in touch.  Sure would like to know, though, who sent this one.  Somebody was obviously busy and distracted when they sent it out.

Truly a mystery – and possibly one that can’t be solved – unless there’s a reader out there who wants to ‘fess up!

Happy puzzling!                   Blessings, Peg

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Wednesday’s Words and Hodgepodge

I’m baaaccckkk!   Yes, missed the last couple of weeks as we were away for vacation, but ready to dive in and share a little more of myself.  I’ll be linked to Hodgepodge, click on the icon on my right side-bar if you want to read more of what people have to say.

 

1. Times Square is the setting for the infamous ball drop signaling a brand new year....when did you last 'drop the ball' on something?

Just this past summer.  After the floods in southern Alberta, there was a drive to collect quilts for the evacuated families.  I meant, I really did, to ‘whip’ one or two up, but somehow it just didn’t happen.  But I do have an extra quilt top here, will find another charity and send it along.


2. What is one thing you resolved to do in 2013 that you actually did?

I joined an on-line group challenging quilters to ‘Get ‘Em Done or Use It Up’ (finish those UFO’s and/or use up stash).  I did great finishing up the UFOs, mostly because there weren’t a lot.

This stack of scrap quilts needed binding

108.Stack of scraps quilts

This BOM was all together except for borders and then of course quilting and binding

116. Countryfolk BOM

This block exchange sat for quite a while before I got around to it, but it was done before Christmas

134.Snowdays table topper

And I used up stash for a lot of small projects, plus a couple of quilts:Stashbusters 2013

3. Jack London is quoted as saying, "You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." Agree or disagree? Why? 

Sometimes I agree and sometimes not.  At times I just am inspired, no idea where the thoughts come from, but just know what I want to do.  Other times, I need books and quilt shows and internet searches to find my inspiration.

4. What was the best thing you ate in 2013?

Not being a foodie, I don’t pay that much attention to what I’m eating, beyond the few minutes while I’m eating it.  But I do have to say the brined, smoked turkey for Christmas dinner was fabulous!  Probably even better because I didn’t have anything to do with the cooking of it!


5.  Share an anti-resolution...that is, something you plan to keep on doing in the new year.

Love the best I can, share the most I can, laugh as often as I can.


6. The Pantone color of the year for 2014 is radiant orchid.  Like or no like? Would I find this color anywhere in your home or wardrobe? Will you add something in this shade to either?

I like it, it’s soft and yet vibrant.  But there’s none of it in my home or wardrobe, because I tend toward using more fall-type colors.  But maybe I should think about adding it to my wardrobe, it might look good with my silver hair LOL!


7. In three words or less sum up your 2013.

Family and fun.

Family and fun 2013
 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

It truly has been a wonderful year.  We’ve had lots of family times, lots of food, lots of reminiscing.  We welcomed two new family members, and celebrated our love and joy with and in each other.  Looking forward to more of the same in the coming year. 

And wishing that all of you have a wonderful 2014!

Blessings,      Peg