Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mindemoya Classic

Up bright and early today... not a day for quilting but a day for athleticism. Our team of 4 women were participating in the Mindemoya Classic, which is a relay event of a 5.5km run, a 6km paddle and a 13 km bike. I was in the canoe with TJ. Unfortunately the day was rainy and windy, but that was the only bad part of the whole day. It was fabulously organized with an abundance of volunteers to help along the way and several brave teams showed up to compete. And just entering you received a great t-shirt.

Our team did amazing, while the final results aren't up on the site, I can tell you a few details. Our runner, got us off to a fantastic start coming in 3rd, only behind a much younger woman who runs for an American University and another woman who is a professional triathlete. TJ and I managed to come out of the water in 2nd place, having overtaken one canoe. The credit solely goes to TJ, who had coached me in the proper paddling technique earlier in the month and continued offering advice along the way. Our cyclist is a real trooper, biking was by far the most perilous of all the events, due to massive water holes, mud, slippery roads and strong winds. As well, this cyclist enthusiast decided that this wouldn't be enough of a workout, so the night before she went out on the big water and assisted in a search and rescue till almost 2 am for a boater who was broke down. In the end, she didn't let us down, she held her own and came in giving us a great overall time.

I had a blast and can't wait to form a team for next year...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Art Quilt is Where It's At

I didn't sell my quilt. A good friend pointed out that it had a chance to get into the National Juried Show next year so I am going to try for that. This is the last purse I am making for a bit. I have alot in my house at the moment and don't have much enthusiasm for attending a farmer's market. I will go and see.

I have been reading articles about Etsy and how difficult it is to actually sell your product, and a quilt art group I belong to has expressed similar ideas.

But my boys are off for the summer and we have been swimming all day every day, so all other things can wait till the fall.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Current Art Quilt Dilemma

I dreamt it would happen, I waited for it to happen, I planned for it to happen, I was not ready when it happened. One of my quilts was hanging in our guild booth at a senior convention and a man approached the member with his business card and said to please give it to the owner of the art quilt as he wanted to purchase it.

I have contacted the individual and a price has been thrown out there, and now I am stuck. There is no way the price compares to the hours I sat beading the oak leaves in front of the tv. Or the time I spent designing it, or dyeing the fabric. But I do realize you never get paid for the love you put into a quilt.

Oh, I should mention it is my fall leaf quilt that won the president's challenge. Scroll back a bit if you don't remember.

I want to sell my quilts. I want to teach techniques. I want to contribute to our family income in a way I enjoy. But can I sell it now? I should also mention, I have stored it away as I have no where to hang it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Grandad's Spear

14 months ago my grandfather passed away, and the emptiness in my heart remains just as strong as the day he died. But I will tell you a story that gives me some comfort.

When Grandad was 82 yrs old, which would have been 13 years ago, he was coming up from the crick past his farm on his 4 wheeler when he was greeted by 2 MNR officers. One he had known for a long time and with him was a very keen rookie.

The problem was Grandad was caught spearing fish with his homemade spear. It was 8' long made of a cedar pole with the end of a pitchfork attached to it. Grandad had made it. Now to spear with this, it has no barbs at the end, so you have to drag the fish on the bottom and it takes a great deal of talent to actually spear one and get it out.

Grandad told the conservation officers that he had family coming for Easter and he was getting some fish and yes he did have more at home in the freezer. So off they all went up to the farm where Gram proceeded to give the rest of the fish to the officers. And they also took the spear.

The officers took the fish to the Hope Farm and 3 days later the senior officer came by and told Grandad he wasn't going to charge him but wondered if he could keep the spear for teaching purposes. Grandad agreed. I should tell you that during those 3 days, the senior officer did come by once but thought no one was home so didn't go in, and when he finally did show up, Gram told him that Grandad had been sick with worry over it.

As time passed the spear was forgotten, until last month when I ran into that officer and we started chatting. He told me that he didn't want to do anything to Grandad except issue a warning, but had the other guy with him so needed to follow procedure. And he said he always meant to return the spear as it is an heirloom to the family but it just was forgotten.

Last Friday as the boys and I were out for a walk, an MNR truck pulled up beside us and the officer got out and handed me the coveted spear. As the tears threatened to come pouring out, I managed to choke out a thank you as I accepted a tool that my Grandad had touched and used countless times over his life.

It is now back where it belongs, in the Dewar family, and hanging on our wall. And every time I look at it, I think of Grandad.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Terrific Day

Tonite was our guild meeting. And it was the announcement of the winners of the president's challenge. Well, now I can reveal my big secret. I entered 2 quilts. Everyone just thought I entered my 3D quilt.... the wild flower one pictured above. What no one knew was that I entered a second 'more 'traditional quilt. The leaf quilt pictured here as well.

The small leaves are all beaded and it took an hour and a half for each leaf to complete. There is a ton of machine quilting and it is mostly hand dyed fabric by myself.

Anyway, I did okay. I won 3rd place in viewer's choice with my leaf quilt, and my 3D quilt won Viewer's choice.. And my leaf quilt won the president's choice. I finally won at our guild. I was happy.

I also had a wonderful thing happen as well but will post that separately, as it is not quilt related, but love related.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Kamloops is here

My friends arrived yesterday from BC. How nice to have friends from my life back there visit me. They came out when my youngest was just 3 weeks old and I was very tired. I am still tired, but my kids are older=)

I dropped in on a farmer's market today in another town, and there was barely any vendors and barely any visitors. Now I am getting nervous to attend one as a vendor. I am getting terrific ideas from people though. One friend reminded me that it was alot of the 'grey crowd'. After a minute I figured that one out. She also suggested tea cosys as an item. I had to google what a tea cosy was! And my mom said they always sold at her church bazaars. I will look for a free pattern online.

Okay, I had told you about etsy and the great fabric prices, but I have now found a great Canadian online store. It is called Pink Panda Fabrics. And till June 30th, if you place an order, any order, you get a free fat quarter. And a little tip, if you keep it 2 yards or under than shipping is only $2.75 in Canada. If you go more than the postage jumps to $9.00. They have good designer names for fabric and the prices range per yrd from $6.50 to about $8.50. I ordered their 6 fat quarter bundle and with shipping and tax it came to $17.81, and remember I also get a free fat quarter with that... so 7 fat quarters for that price! Check it out! (thanks for the tip, serger queen) If you do order, put in the message box that I told you.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Friends are Coming

11 years ago I lived in Kamloops, BC for 5 years. I went back a year and a half ago for a short visit. And now I have a couple coming out to see us tomorrow. They came 4 years ago when my youngest was just 3 weeks old. I can't wait for them to arrive.

We put a pool in this weekend and went boating and walked through poison ivy. And I did stay up late and do some more sewing. One of the ladies that runs the farmer's market has emailed me again asking if I am going to be a vendor.

I even made bread and cinnamon buns on the weekend, just to make sure I remembered how as my recipe is ingrediants only. The cinnamon buns lasted 22 hours, I only got 1/2 of one. And that was a 9x13 pan of them.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sewing up a Storm

The studio is a total array of fabrics here and there. I get an idea so have to pull out fabric to work with that idea and leave a pile here and move on to the original task at hand. So needless to say I have a storm of fabric and patterns in my room. The sewing machine goes non stop from 9 pm till 11 pm each night.

I think I am making progress. Things are getting finished. Coffee cuffs, purses, handbags, now onto these kids colouring bags, complete with crayons and colouring book.

I have some wonderful friends, 2 in particular, I would hate to name them for fear of them thinking I actually value their opinion. But they have been giving me some great advice and tips on what they think would be some good items regarding selling at farmer's markets. Having said that, I am trying to act on their advice and am drafting patterns, searching internet, cutting, sewing, ironing, and now going to start baking as well. Whew, it is tiring just typing it=)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Purse #2

I finished up 4 purses last nite. I had been waiting on the magnetic snap closures to come in the mail and they arrived. I will post a few of them. I am now onto coffee cuffs. My art quilt is taking a back seat for 2 weeks while I try and do some other sewing.
Thank you to all who left such witty and helpful comments. Now here is another question, as some of you really seem to excel at answering them. What would you think would sell at a farmer's market on the island?

Monday, June 8, 2009


This is the latest purse I have made. I like it. And I just got my magnetic attachments in the mail today, so have 4 more ready to go.

The sigh, at the top... well that is due to rejection. Sent a brief outline in to a magazine to see if they would do an article on my 3D technique and they rejected it. On the positive side, they did it in a timely manner and were very polite.

Okay, don't even start to tell me rejection makes me strong, blah blah blah. I know it all. With my kids both going to school next year, I have to figure things out. I haven't been in the workforce for 5 1/2 years, and won't be going back now as my kids still need to be put on the bus and I need to be home when they get off. But there are 7 hours in between all that, and I must figure out something productive to do, and I would prefer to enjoy it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Purses, Bags and Totes

I have my grandad's neckties, well 2 of them and I want to make them into a purse so have been searching the web for a nice picture. If I find one, I can make a pattern, this is the best I have come across so far.
I got my quilt back from the National show yesterday and the comments were good, the last line was this, " your 3D technique is both a risk and an asset." What does that mean? Wait till they see the next one!

Off to buy fabric today......

Monday, June 1, 2009

Something New

I have been looking at the funky purses out on the market and thought I would see if I could make one myself. I drafted up a pattern and some instructions and went to work.

Now the big question, would they sell? Opinions wanted.