Yukon wild

Yukon wild
Wild rose

Friday, June 24, 2011

On Giveaways

In another week my blog will be a year old and my blogging career will be about that old as well.  And it seems that it is customary to have a giveaway to celebrate blogging anniversaries. 

I don’t have lots of impressive statistics to show.  I have 54 wonderful followers - please know I appreciate every one of you and everyone who drops by to read my blog or says hi.  I’ve written less than 100 posts. 

I have entered many giveaways since I started blogging, and I have to say I have won my share of them.  It is great fun winning a nice prize and receiving it in the mail.  I have said to myself again and again that I have to have a giveaway.  And now that my blog anniversary is coming up it seems like an appropriate time.  Except there are two problems….

First of all Canada Post is on strike.  No mail in or out.  It is a bummer.  I have fabric and swap parcels waiting to get to me and lots of swap items waiting to go out.  But the strike will be over one day, so I’ll just have to mail when that time comes. 

The other problem is my inability to pick something to give away.  I’m really good at doing lots of things, but I’ve never been good at buying presents or throwing parties.  For some reason, these tasks bring out every insecurity I’ve ever had in life.  So I have waffled around about what I could possibly give away that others would like.  It doesn’t help that I am cheap and fabric is so expensive here – otherwise I could just go buy the latest that my LQS has in, which still wouldn’t be one of the coveted modern lines, but would be nice.  But I can’t bring myself to pay $4.50 for a fat quarter to sew with, or to give away.  And what about all that fabric I buy on line?  Well I honestly don’t buy that much and what I do I covet.  I get more fabric through collecting scraps than anything else.  I don’t think many other people would love the little scraps that I cherish. 

But I will figure out something to give away and I will have a giveaway next week.  Probably July 1st, because it’s Canada Day and I can celebrate Canada. 

In the meantime here are the most recent giveaway items I’ve won.  I should have posted most of these a couple of months ago.

This book from Kay Mackenzie.  The next swap partner I have whose choice is “any block” is going to get one of these.

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A copy of  Rebecca Johnson's pattern from Lesly at Pickle Dish. This is so fabulous.  It is definitely on my list to make some day.  In Christmas fabrics I think.

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This book is from Liz.  She is such a sweetheart – the postage from Australia was so dear that she bought a new copy from Amazon and had it shipped directly to me.  Such fabulous work to drool over.

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This fat quarter bundle from Pam.  This is a great addition to my stash which has virtually no pastels. Aren’t these pretty colours?

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And this book which I won during Pat Sloan's blog tour of the book. Now if I could ever get my hands on any of these novelty fabrics….

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These are all such lovely things to win.  I’ve read the books, perused the pattern, fondled the fabric.  I’m such a slow sewer that I haven’t started any new projects from any of them yet.  A great big thank you to those who sent these gifts my way!

Janet

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A weekend of bluegrass

I’ve been at the Kluane Bluegrass Festival all weekend.  Two and a half days of some of the best bluegrass music in the world.  For those who don’t know what bluegrass music is – here is part of what Wikipedia has to say about it.

Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and is a sub-genre of country music.  Bluegrass was inspired by the music of immigrants from the United Kingdom and Ireland (particularly the Scotch-Irish immigrants in Appalachia), and was influenced by the music of African-Americans through incorporation of elements of jazz.

In bluegrass, as in some forms of jazz, one or more instruments each takes its turn playing the melody and improvising around it, while the others perform accompaniment; this is especially typified in tunes called breakdowns.  Breakdowns are often characterized by rapid tempos, and unusual instrumental dexterity and sometimes complex chord changes.

Bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe characterized the genre as: "Scottish bagpipes and ole-time fiddlin'. It's Methodist and Holiness and Baptist. It's blues and jazz, and it has a high lonesome sound."  Bluegrass is traditionally played on acoustic stringed instruments. The fiddle, five-string banjo, guitar, mandolin, and upright bass (string bass) are often joined by the resonator guitar (also referred to as a Dobro®) and harmonica.  A distinguishing characteristic of bluegrass is vocal harmony featuring two, three, or four parts.

For those who do know bluegrass, we got to listen to Dale Ann Bradley, Claire Lynch, Michael Cleveland, Grasstowne, the Gibson Brothers, Jim Hurst and Balsam Range.  There were a couple of Canadian bluegrass bands there as well – Headwater and Four Chords of Wood – and a Canadian blues duet, Rick Fines and Suzie Vinnick.  Plus our local talent, who are also very talented, Kevin Barr, George McConkey and their friends.  There were two venues, one that holds 425 people and the other 150 people, so this was up close and personal fun.  The people from far away love coming here because it is so beautiful and because we treat them really well.  Plus they are always amazed at all the light this time of year.

I took some hand sewing with me but didn’t do a stitch.  I did get a photo of the gorgeous theme quilt.

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And here are the local musicians having a ball in the smaller venue. 

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All this great music has got to be good for my soul…

Janet

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Flower Garden Quilt and a request for help

Today DD # 2 and I had our second basting party of blue hexies for the flower garden quilt.  I think it looks fabulous!  Here is DD # 2 working on it the other day.

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And here is her progress to date.

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Pretty impressive for a first time quilter, no?

But she is asking me about finishing and I don’t have the faintest idea….other than a few things I’ve seen on other people’s blogs. 

Does anyone have a recommendation for a good book, web site or blog on different ways to back, quilt and bind a hexagon flower garden quilt?

Wild flowers are coming fast and furious now.  There are quite a few purples at the beginning of the summer.  I have the Pasque flower, commonly called a crocus here, in my blog header.  It is the first harbinger of spring.  (Spring is short here – maybe a month long over May, then we launch into summer.)

Here are the other purples that follow behind the crocus.

Jacob’s Ladder (my book calls it Beautiful Jacob’s Ladder) a member of the Phlox family.

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Then there are the Lupines (officially called Arctic Lupine).

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There are great stretches of them in some spots….as you can see the dandelions are also prolific this year.

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The Lungwort, or Bluebell, is not common.  You won’t see big patches of them that often, but they are so beautiful when they do appear.

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The flowers will continue to appear….and then disappear again before we know it.  If only my garden bloomed as quickly!

Janet

Friday, June 3, 2011

Some More Great Mail!

Despite the fact that Canada Post is on rotating strikes, I got lots of mail today.  Look at all these lovelies! 

First up, my mug rug from round 1 of Leona's swap.  It is a bit late getting here, but oh so worth waiting for.  Beth made me this lovely mug rug.  It has wonderful colours and the grass is quilted in.  And a kitty.  So cute!  Thanks Beth.  I love it!

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Here is the back – great fabric – and the card she sent.

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I received five, count em, five hexie flowers from Leslie.  She and I did a swap.  I had a pattern she wanted and she made me these wonderful hexies, as per my request in the Inchy Hexagon swap, in exchange.  My favourite is the dark one with the dark dots in the center, or maybe it is the flowered one with the orange center, or….  Thank you so much Leslie.  I love them all, and what a boon to my hexie collection!

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This block came in Wednesday’s mail – yes it HAS been a good week mail wise.  This is my May Christmas Block Swap block from Robyn.  I just LOVE the green fabric.  So bright and happy!  My block for May for Robyn went in the mail the other day but I forgot to take a picture of it, so it will have to wait until she receives it and posts a picture.

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I don’t usually post pictures of fabric I buy but I am going to today because I want to tell you about this shop.  I have been wanting to get some “modern” fabric.  Just to see if I like them in person, to have a few on hand for swap blocks or other swaps when my partner is really into modern fabrics, and if I really like them to make something with them.  The modern fabrics tend to be more expensive and I have never seen any of them in any Canadian stores I’ve been in, or the Alaskan store I go to sometimes. 

Well I’ve found an online store that sells “modern” fabrics that I really like.  The Intrepid Thread.  EDIT – Duh – her name is Jewel!  Julie has great prices and lots of selection of fabrics that look really fabulous.  She is friendly and pleasant.  She has great giveaways on her blog (not that I’ve won any).  And both times that I have ordered from her so far the parcel has come very quickly.  She wraps it so nicely too.  This is what arrived from her today.

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Sherbet Pips and …..Silent Cinema…

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And she sent me this layer cake size square of this beautiful fabric.  I’m not sure what line this is from but I think she is trying to tempt me Smile

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I haven’t done much sewing this week.  The aforementioned block for Robyn and this one hexie – which I am keeping for my own collection.

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All three of my daughters are currently in the Yukon – for the first time in almost a year.  DD # 2 and DD # 3 just arrived at my house for a visit.  DD # 2 is putting the vintage hexie flowers together with stepping stones right now and she told me we have to have a basting party, so I think I know what I’m doing tonight and tomorrow morning.  Or maybe we will be finishing the blinds for her room.  Smile

Janet