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I see that my last posting was in February so obviously I haven’t been contributing as regularly as I had planned at the beginning of the year.  However, here’s a bit more ‘catching up’.

This past Saturday our quilting group (now named The Charm Pack) got together for our monthly Quilt ‘til you Wilt at our meeting room at the local university satellite campus. The name came as a result of us being asked to purchase insurance to protect the university from liability should one of us suffer an injury while using their facilities. So we bought liability insurance for our group and gave the group a new name!

Twelve members turned up and everyone had projects at various states of completion – even me, although I wasn’t working on a quilt. Instead, I’ve been busy making a couple of little dresses (Butterick # 3762 – and when did patterns get so expensive?) for Sophia – and I decided to make matching ‘bucket hats’ (a free download on the internet) to go with the dresses so that was my project for the day.  Here are the dresses (made before the “Wilt”) and the one hat I got finished that day.  Looking at the dresses hanging there, I realized that they were likely going to be much too large for this summer.  Oh well, I tried. The hats, on the other hand, may just be a bit too small.

Two of the ladies, Teri and Bunty had decided to make a small wall hanging using patterns they bought from Silver Linings Originals called Strolling at Lake Havasu, a delightful little pattern of a pair of Quail and their chicks.  I was amazed that they had chosen this pattern as a first attempt at paper piecing because I really feel that Silver Linings patterns really aren’t for the inexperienced, but I offered to give them a lesson and see how they progressed.  We started with the chicks because they only had to keep track of three fabric colours and I thought that would be easiest as they were just learning.  They   managed to get one section done without too much difficulty.  They’ll try again with some supervision from Marianne next Saturday at their regular sewing drop-in.

There wasn’t a lot of show and tell on Saturday, but two items of note.  This quilt was pieced by me, Patti, and Lois and quilted on her long-arm machine by Lois.  The three of us belong to our local ‘Friends of the Library’ and we made this quilt to raffle off as a fund raiser for the Library.  We’ll draw for the winner of the quilt at our annual Quiz Night in November.

Last year, Teri decided to purchase an embroidery machine and she has become very proficient in its use.  Everyone loved this wall hanging that she recently finished.  I’ve never had any interest in getting into machine embroidery, partly because of the cost of the machines and my aversion to having to learn a new, complicated process, but I have to admit when I see something like this I feel the urge to give it a try.

We’ve had an amazing Spring!  The ice disappeared from the Lake before the end of February, and the lack of ice moderates the temperature so much that what snow we did get in this El Nino year, rapidly melted.  We’ve had unseasonably warm temperatures, and that has resulted in the trees leafing out almost a month ahead of time.  Everything is green. Even the weeds. I noticed today that our cherry tree is coming into bloom – mid-May is the usual time.  In an effort to improve the crops that I get off my plum trees (the cherry is wild and never produces any fruit to speak of) I have put up some bee houses in an effort to encourage solitary mason bees to make my yard their home. I was in the garden yesterday and I could hear bees buzzing, so fingers crossed that they’ll make use of the houses. Mason bees are gentle, busy little pollinators, and they don’t make honey and are unlikely to sting.

 I planted garlic in the Fall, and usually it would just be starting to pop through the ground, but this year it’s already over a foot tall!  We’ll be eating rhubarb in the next week or so – something that we didn’t get to do last year until the end of May.  I’ve even managed to get most of the spring clean-up done out in the yard, and that’s something that I’m usually doing well into May. The trumpeter swans left about three weeks ago, and the hummingbirds arrived two weeks before we expected them.  What a treat it has been.  I’m afraid we watch the news every evening and congratulate ourselves on living here, rather back East, where they seem to be still getting snow! Of course, there are years when we’re still getting snow in April so we probably shouldn’t feel too superior! Next year it could be us!

One of the incredible sights in the spring is the annual Oolichan run in the local rivers.  These small fish, a type of smelt, are a staple food of the First Nations that lived here for centuries before the Europeans arrived and still make this area their home. The Oolichan is a very fatty fish and the oil was rendered out and used as a highly prized trade item among the different First Nations that lived in this area. This traditional fisheries continues to this day and I see that the oil still used, but now it’s sold, not traded. Sea lions and gulls follow the Oolichan up the river during the spring run and it’s such a display that many people drive down the highway towards the coast and they take lots of pictures.  This year, the run was huge and at one time someone counted over 100 sea lions in the water having an exceptional feed.  A local photographer took this picture during the run and posted it to a Facebook group for everyone to see and share. 

   

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Comment by Rebecca Sundberg on April 23, 2016 at 8:12pm

Terry - I'll see if I can get the name of the cat quilt for you.   It'll be several weeks before I see Teri again, but I'll  do my best to remember to ask her.

Comment by Terry F on April 23, 2016 at 7:26pm

I'm in love with the dresses, beautiful job!  Ditto on the machine appliqued cat quilt!  Any chance of finding out what the applique design is?

Comment by Rebecca Sundberg on April 22, 2016 at 9:22am

Barb - I was right.  The hats are too small and the dresses are too big.  I have more of the fabric so will make larger hats and mail them off to her.  She's 19 months old and the hats were for a 3-5 year old.  Next size up is for 6-8 years.  Hopefully that will be big enough. LOL.

 

Comment by Barb/WI on April 22, 2016 at 6:32am

Such wonderful pictures...love those swans.  The spring dresses are so pretty, and I do hope the hat fits because it is adorable.  Yikes, my interest in an embroidery machine keeps getting rekindled!  I keep trying to convince myself I have enough things to keep me busy for the next few lifetimes, just to talk myself out of it

Comment by Irene Gallway on April 22, 2016 at 3:41am

Lovely post Rebecca.  I love the dresses and hat.  The quilts are beautiful.  I have had an embroidery machine since 2001 and love the machine.  I would like to upgrade but the cost is holding me back.  I have a Husqvarna/Viking and it's been a great machine.  The weather here is starting to warm up.  We have been having sunny days but the wind has been cold.  I was able to take my walk yesterday without a sweater or coat.  

Comment by Morgan Hess /Fla. on April 21, 2016 at 7:53pm

Rebecca, I truly enjoyed your post!  Loved the spring dresses and the picture of the hat.  Very cute!  Quilts too were very nice. I would love to get a embroidery machine... I have an urge to try out doing some embroidery.  Maybe someday I shall be able to buy a new machine.  Your area sounds so nice!  

Hugs Morgan oxoxoxox

Comment by Rebecca Sundberg on April 21, 2016 at 10:26am

Janet - the machine Teri bought also just does embroidery.  I think she bought a Baby-Loc.  I'll continue to resist, I think, in spite of the lovely things those machines can do.  

Comment by Pam/NY on April 20, 2016 at 3:37pm

Enjoyed your posting. The dresses turned out cute...you are so right about the cost of patterns! The hats are so cute. The quilts are lovely...I thought of getting an embroidery machine but couldn't justify the price for what little I would use it. Nature sure keeps us entertained! Our area is finally waking up to sunny Spring days. Love the flowers!

Comment by Prairie Quilter Jan/NE on April 20, 2016 at 3:09pm

Nice post, Rebecca.  We had an unseasonably warm spring for a time, but winter reared its head again here lately.  Things are very green, though, which is nice.  

Cute projects.  I'm getting ready to make my mom a quilted toaster cover, since they bought a new toaster and it won't fit into her cupboards (much to her dismay).  She wants it to be a bright red, so that will be fun.  

Comment by Janet/MO on April 20, 2016 at 11:39am

It was so nice to see your post today Rebecca.  What a lovely part of the world you live in!  The quilts were beautiful.  I resisted buying an emb machine for a long time, but am I ever happy I finally did!  I enjoy doing that every bit as much as I enjoy quilting & knitting.  My machine only embroiders so I sew using my Pfaff while my Janome sits next to me and stitches out the embroidery.  Best of both worlds at the same time.

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