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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

The best Thanksgiving story ever.  I heard this on the Deep Tracks channel on Sirius radio last night.  I haven’t heard it for a long time.  Yes I come from the era of love and peace.

Hope you enjoy it….


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to my American neighbours

We celebrated Thanksgiving here in October.  Officially Canadian Thanksgiving occurred on October 11th, however you may remember that my DD # 2 was here visiting from Newfoundland.  She was leaving to fly home on October 9th so we had our Thanksgiving dinner on October 8th at DD # 1’s house in Whitehorse.  There were twelve adults and three children around the table for turkey with all the trimmings and apple and pumpkin pie.  This included my nephew and his beau and my long time friend Jan and her two daughters and one grandson.  They have celebrated many Thanksgiving dinners with us.  The tradition I set up for my family is that we all go around the table and say what we are thankful for this year.  The younger crowd all groan when I bring it up but they would object if we didn’t do it.


These two are thankful for each other…

Elaine, master of the Travelling Goat group, has asked me to tell the group members about Canadian Thanksgiving.  I confess that I had no idea where it came from.  I know American Thanksgiving originates with the pilgrims, but whence Canadian Thanksgiving?  I’m happy to tell you  that Wikipedia helped me out – and I know you can’t rely on them but their information corresponded with a couple of other sites so it must be at least partly accurate.  This is long, but interesting.

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean.[7] Frobisher's Thanksgiving was not for harvest but homecoming. He had safely returned from a search for the Northwest Passage, avoiding the later fate of Henry Hudson and Sir John Franklin. In the year 1578, he held a formal ceremony in Newfoundland to give thanks for surviving the long journey. The feast was one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations by Europeans in North America. Frobisher was later knighted and had an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada named after him — Frobisher Bay.

At the same time, French settlers, having crossed the ocean and arrived in Canada with explorer Samuel de Champlain, in 1604 onwards also held huge feasts of thanks. They even formed 'The Order of Good Cheer' and gladly shared their food with their First Nations neighbours.

After the Seven Years' War ended in 1763 handing over of New France to the British, the citizens of Halifax held a special day of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving days were observed beginning in 1799 but did not occur every year.[8] After the American Revolution, American refugees who remained loyal to Great Britain moved from the newly independent United States and came to Canada. They brought the customs and practices of the American Thanksgiving to Canada.[citation needed]

My aside here… some of my ancestors were United Empire Loyalists.  When I was a child we had a rocking chair in our basement, a beautiful wood and leather creation.  My great, great, great (not sure how many back) grandmother had ridden in the rocking chair in the back of an ox cart with her baby in arms when she and her husband fled Boston after the tea party.  He was a tax collector there.  The chair is now in a museum in Quebec where my mother donated it. 

Lower Canada and Upper Canada observed Thanksgiving on different dates; for example, in 1816 both celebrated Thanksgiving for the termination of the war between France and Great Britain, the former on 21 May and the latter on 18 June.[8] In 1838, Lower Canada used Thanksgiving to celebrate the end of the Lower Canada Rebellion.[8] Following the rebellions, the two Canadas were merged into a united Province of Canada, which observed Thanksgiving six times from 1850 to 1865.[8]

The first Thanksgiving Day after Canadian Confederation was observed as a civic holiday on April 5, 1872 to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) from a serious illness.[9]

Starting in 1879 Thanksgiving Day was observed every year, but the date was initially a Thursday in November. The date of celebration changed several times until, in 1957, it was officially declared to be the second Monday in October.[9] The theme of the Thanksgiving holiday also changed each year to reflect an important event to be thankful for. In its early years it was for an abundant harvest and occasionally for a special anniversary.[citation needed]

After World War I, an amendment to the Armistice Day Act established that Armistice Day and Thanksgiving would both be celebrated on the Monday of the week in which November 11 occurred.[9] Ten years later, in 1931, the two days became separate holidays, and Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day.

And there you have it.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are observing it this week.  May you remember your roots, give thanks for your present and pray for those who follow you.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday Night Sew In was…Sew In

I felt really productive last night.  Little bits of this and that but it adds up to a lot!  First, I finished thirty of these blocks for DD # 3’s quilt.  I had started them earlier in the week but ran out of pieces and had to cut more, which I did on Thursday evening in preparation.  130 blocks finished and only 65 left to go.


Next up is my November Christmas Block Swap block, finally finished.  I’m only showing a side view of this to keep my swap partner in suspense.


Then I made the label for this quilt which we are raffling today at our local craft sale.  I was there most of the morning and already spent $100 – have to go back at 4 p.m. for the raffle draw and I’ll probably spend more!!!


Then I made these three blocks for a new quilt that I have been itching to start. 


My plan is to make a quilt based on the setting in this small quilt that I made a while back.  IMG_2624

I will need seven blocks in each colour and I know already that I don’t have enough yellows and oranges in my string scrap basket.  I may have to cut into yardage (gasp!).    I thought it was Freudian that I started with the red blocks – I love red, as you know if you’ve looked at my blog.  When I see those red blocks together I almost think I should just make an all red quilt!  Not enough red strings though.

And finally here are my postage stamp leader/ender blocks from last night.  I now have more than 450 of these blocks.  Another 100 or so and I’ll start putting them together into a quilt top.


A very successful Friday Night Sew In!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday thinking

Em at Em Celebrates posts a Thursday thought.  I like this idea and am going to try it for a while.  Em has one of my favourite blogs with lots of good cheer and exciting happy quilts.  So I am going to emulate her in hopes some of that niceness will rub off. Smile

Today I want to tell you about this quilt.


This quilt resides on my bed and has done so for about twenty years.  Here’s the story behind this quilt.

For twenty years I was a volunteer ambulance attendant in my small town.  The ambulance here is all volunteers – people get paid for going on a call but the dedication of being on call, ready and available to go is all voluntary.  I went on hundreds, probably thousands, of calls.  We had people with chronic illness, drunks who fell down, women in labour, hurt children, accidents, suicide attempts, heart attacks and more.  I got called away on Canada Day, during Thanksgiving dinner, on New Year’s Eve, at 2 in the morning and 4 in the morning and all the other hours of the day.  Some of the calls were funny, many were tragic.  A few times I felt that I helped save a life.  Much of the time I didn’t know what had transpired after we left the hospital.

One of the highways that runs through my town goes from a town on the Alaskan panhandle to Whitehorse.  Cruise ships come into the Alaskan town all summer and lots of tourists get off the boat and on a bus to go on some other adventure.  Those buses are a constant fixture on our highway in the summer.  They drive us crazy when they motor through our small town at 5 km an hour spewing their exhaust.  Then the tourists wander all over the road taking pictures and you have to play “dodge the tourist” to get to the post office or library or health centre. 

One summer day I got called out to an accident on the highway about thirty km toward Alaska.  I don’t remember the details of this call except that it was a motorcyclist and he was hurt.  First on the scene was a tour bus.  Someone on that bus had covered the motorcyclist with the purple quilt to keep him warm.  We took the man to the hospital in Whitehorse and when we left with our equipment the quilt was there amongst our other stuff.  I made some attempts to try and figure out who the quilt had come from but it was too vague; some tourist on some tour bus that went by on this certain day.  So I kept the quilt and put it on my bed.  It has stains and paint and cuts up one side where my youngest decided to learn how to use scissors. 

It is not a beautiful quilt anymore but it has been a lovely quilt.  I would never have chosen those colours but they are soft and beautiful.  The construction appears to be quilted blocks that were hand sewn together.  I wonder if the quilter was working on it while on the cruise ship.  I wonder who the quilter was, where he/she came from, if they minded the loss of this quilt. 

If you read this and recognize this quilt please let me know.  I won’t give it back but I certainly will thank you.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Looking for help with the hexies!

DD # 2 is whipping these hexies up so quickly that I have to start thinking about how I am going to join them together.  I have 39 hexies so far and I’m pretty sure I don’t have all she’s done yet.  When I called her today on Skype she was busy ironing fabric for the next set of hexies she’ll work on when she goes on shift tomorrow.  In case you are wondering she is on shift 24 hour days for two or three days.  She works outside of St John’s so stays at the provided apartment when working.  There is inevitably some down time and she keeps busy instead of just lying back and watching tv.  A true crafter at heart!

So here are a couple of photos of two different sets; one portrays the flowers joined by hexies, the other shows the flowers joined by strips.  I’m not sure how one would do that setting but ….  I am also showing them with a white background and a green background (I wouldn’t use these green dots – but the fabric is representational). 

What I want to know: 

Your favourite setting.  And if you have suggestions for a setting I haven’t thought of.

Colours.  Light or dark?  Any particular colour way?  The hexies shown here are representative of the colours of the hexies.  There are a few that I haven’t shown and there are lots that have duplicates or triplicates. 



Thanks for letting me know what you think.


I’m a winner!

I can hardly believe it!  I’ve won seven giveaways over the past couple of months.  Some of them are taking a long time to get here but I have received three of them and I want to show them off. 

First up, I won this prize during Friday Night Sew In.  Heidi is one of the hostesses.  (no gender neutrality here!)  Because she was in the middle of a move she was slow with the mail out and sent me a bonus gift to make up for it.  I won a Bliss charm pack and she made me this lovely appliqued tea towel!  Lucky me!  Thanks so much Heidi.


I won three prizes in the Fall into Fall giveaway.  I wanted to participate in this one by having a giveaway but missed the deadline to do that so I made up for it by entering as many of the other giveaways as I could. 

First win was from Thearica.  She sent me sooo many things and they are lovely!  A BIG thank-you to you Thearica.


Yarn, two batik fabrics, a pattern book, thread, and lots of buttons.  Here’s a close up of the buttons…so cute.


And a couple of cute shelf sitters…


My second win in the Fall into Fall Giveaways was from Leslie.  She knows I love bright colours and I was so thrilled to win her giveaway of these beautiful bright oranges and related fall fabrics.  She also sent me a book of Judy Murrah designs.  I have another book by Judy Murrah which I use all the time.  Hope to find some inspiration in this one as well.  And I LOVE the fabric.  I’ve used some of it already in my grandkid’s Halloween bags.  Thank you Leslie!


In other news I have received installment # 3 of hexies from DD # 2.  This girl is on a roll!!!  I am going to have to start thinking about how I’m going to set these beauties.


And here is DD # 1 with her doll.  She ended up so cute and I’m really pleased with her, except that I’m going to modify her head/hat sometime in the future so the hat is removable. 


A couple of beauties!!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Christmas Quilt Along

Today I participated in the Christmas Quilt Along hosted by Quilt Sue at Quilt Times.  I have to confess I spent most of the day working on this


It is for DD # 1 whose birthday is next week.  The family are all coming for dinner tomorrow.  This is a pattern from Volume 8 Number 11 of Australian Country Threads.  I followed it pretty closely but now that I’ve made it once I know what I would do differently next time.  Like make the hat a separate piece so that the doll can have different costumes for different occasions.  (I’m thinking about when DD # 1 graduates in a year from now and how cute this doll would look in a graduation cap and gown.  I’ll have to see if I can do a modification of the head and hat.)

I have been working in the evenings on a couple of hand sewing projects for Christmas swaps.  This is for my November block for the Christmas Quilting Block swap…


The pattern is by Cyndi from Stitch, Stitch, Stitch

And this is for my Secret Santa swap…


Gotta go sew!


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day


Today I have been thinking about my mom, my uncle and my aunt, my mother’s first husband who died in WW II and my husband’s cousin who has served three terms in Afghanistan.   Also about my Austrian relatives, people who I don’t know, Austrian Jews who probably didn’t survive the war.  Susan do you have any information?


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The goat is travelling

I’m one of the secret sisters of the travelling goat.  This is a very secret club in which goats are flying around the world and having interesting experiences before they return home.  All the sisters are going to have global influence….in any future goat escapades!!!

My goat will leave tomorrow morning by dog team (aka Canada Post).  Today the huskies are chowing down on salmon to get their strength up for the long trip tomorrow.  My goat is going all the way to Maria in Australia.  How will the huskies get over the ocean you ask??? Why they meet up with Santa’s reindeer who run that leg of the journey.  Then I believe there is some kind of kangaroo express…..  Maybe this should be the sisterhood of the travelling reindeer or the travelling kangaroos! 

I forgot to take a picture of my goat before s/he left… but as a reminder of him/her I have this little goat waiting here for her sibling to come back home….


Let me tell you about goats.  I knew I had some wool fabric but couldn’t find it anywhere.  My friend Dahn and I drove over the snowy mountain pass (in her all wheel drive, fully equipped vehicle) to Alaska yesterday where we raided the quilt shop and I bought wools.  (How many of you make a trip to another country for a shopping spree in a town where there are only three stores open and the only restaurant closes at 2 p.m.?)  

This morning I had a moment of clarity and remembered where I had stored my wool fabric twenty years ago when I last used it.  Now I have lots of wool.  The piece that Lucy is resting on above is a small remnant of a Hudson Bay blanket that DH and I were given for a wedding present.  There was a fire 6 months after our wedding and we lost everything we owned.  This scrap of the blanket managed to escape and I kept it thinking I’d make something out of it.  Hudson Bay blankets are beautiful and warm.

I also found this dress that I made for myself at least 30 years ago…

IMG_2570 Whatever was I thinking?  What will I do with it now???

While we’re on the vintage theme – here is the second instalment of hexies from DD # 2.  They arrived in the mail yesterday!  What a fabulous job she is doing!


Happy travelling, goat!