Friday, 25 November 2011

Quilts at Dundurn Castle

We went down to Hamilton the other day and visited Dundurn Castle. Well, we went to watch a play later in the evening at Redeemer College but we drove in early with my husband's wonderful professor and his wife who wanted to show us a little of Hamilton. It was a treat! The castle has been restored to what it most likely looked like in 1885 and it is such a beautiful place. 38 rooms on three floors and you can get guided tour. It's like walking onto the sets of a period film! Everything set out like it would have been while the family lived there... it was wonderful!                                                             

There were three quilts that I saw in the rooms but I only got pictures that I can show of two. The light was not very good in the castle so a lot of the pictures are not terribly clear. The nine-patch quilt above was place in the butlers room. I am not sure if these are recreations or quilts from that very time. The articles in the house were auctioned off at one time and when the government wanted to restore the house and make it a museum they had to trace these items and bring them back. So I don't know what the story of this quilt is.
Needlework by Jane Elliot, one of the daughters of MacNab.
This quilt the guide says is the real deal! From the 19th Century. I hope he's right 'coz I got mighty excited about it! :) Well, he seems like a good historian so I don't think he would make it up. The quilt was in the cook's room. Again, not sure if it was specifically used by the cook or a hand me down. I did notice however that the bedrooms on the top floors did not have quilts but blankets.

It was really wonderful to have been able to do this tour. And I always get very excited when I see an old quilt. I wonder who slept under it. What tears were cried into it. What dreams are woven into its patchwork.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Giveaway time!

Ok... there are a few giveaways happening and you know how we quilters like to share so...

  • Stray Stitches has an adorable fat quarter bundle you can win from the Fat Quarter Shop. 
  • Blueberry Patch ( I love the name) is giving away samples of Basic Grey's line Fruitcake. Hurry! This one ends Nov 24th. 
  • Cut to Pieces is giving away a set of fat quarters from Fabricworm! Storyboek - the girl collection. 
  • Happy Quilting is giving away Fat Quarters from Khristain A. Howell's new collection The Woodlands. 
  • Love Affair with my Brother is giving away Free Spirit Solids from The Intrepid Thread. 

    My fat quarter arrived!

    A couple of weeks ago I won Barbara's Fun Fact Friday Freebie at Cat Patches. My fat quarter arrived in the mail today! I love it! Thank you Barbara!
    Fun Fact Friday Freebie happens every Friday. Check it out this week if you haven't. And if you win Barbara takes special care to ask you what kind of fabric you like so she can send you something that you will enjoy. I told her I like bright colors and modern designs and this is what she sent me. Isn't it gorgeous! I love the flip-flops and the colors just pop!

    Thursday, 17 November 2011

    Color Vie

    Color Vie is based in Toronto. Their water based pigments are a great and easy way to color up textile. I managed to watch the demo. She really does some fantastic things with the pigments and its so easy! Would love to get me one of these.

    Wednesday, 16 November 2011

    Kona Solids Giveaway at Lily's Quilts!

    Oh to win this one!!!! 
    Go to Lily's Quilts.

    Tuesday, 15 November 2011

    My very first fabric purchase in Toronto

    I bought these fat quarters on sale at the Sew Sisters Quilt Shop booth and the show. They make me so very happy. I have to wait till I can sew them... but I'm sure that day will come soon too. :)

    Quilts I voted for...

    Ok... so I'm not allowed to put up pictures of the quilts but I can tell you about them can't I? They had a viewers choice award and you got to vote for 5 quilts that you really liked. I can tell you about 4 'coz I didn't take a picture of the 5th one.
    • Aunt Nancy's Garden by Nancy Weller-McCracken. This one was simply gorgeous. It was hand and machine appliqued (mostly hand), machine pieced and longarm machine quilted by Karen Power. The Design was "Aunt Millie's Garden" by Piece O' Cake Design. Nancy used bright colors on a white background. It was so beautifully done. You can check out the pattern here. The one in the link has red for a background but I think the white is way better!
    • Feathered Star Quilt for "The Johnston Hotel" (75" X 92"). Designed and made by Kirsten Johnston (Traditional Feathered Star) Machine Pieced, Hand Appliqued, Machine Appliqued, Machine Quilted. This one was made for the guest room in Kirsten's brother-in-law's house. Apparently her brother-in-law and his wife have had many many visitors and their home was open to Kirsten and her family when they had to evacuate their own following the Mississauga train derailment 30 odd years ago. The guest bed had a Dresden Place quilt made by her brother-in-laws mother and it finally gave out after many year. Kirsten volunteered to make a quilt for the bed. The quilt was beautifully executed and I think the story is just such a lovely one. I hope many many will sleep under Kirsten's beautiful quilt and find comfort, rest, hope and beauty. 
    • Regal Tiger by Rebecca Sham. (74'X68") This one just blew me away! It was a mosaic wall hanging - the side profile of a tiger that looked like a painting. And I stood there for so long just mesmerized by it. Like when you see a painting that draws you into it. This quilt was spectacular. I didn't know what her technique was but I overheard some others who did and they didn't seem as taken up by it as I did. :) Well, I guess that's ok. It moved me and that is enough for me. Design is based on the cross stitch pattern by Dimensions Craft: "Regal Tiger" Paper Foundation, Machine Pieced and Quilted by Rebecca Sham.You can see the quilt on Rebecca's site.
    • Sweet Dreams by Anne Wood. (75" X 75"). Design based on "New York Beauty". Machine Pieced, Hand Appliqued and Quilted by Anne Wood. She made the quilt for her sister as a Christmas present.
    I hope one of them wins! :) 

    And now for the show...

    Well, I don't have actual pictures of the quilts 'coz they don't want you to put them up on the Internet. They let you take the pictures but its only for personal use. I wonder why though. Doesn't it only help the quilter, if you of course give proper credit, to have their work more public? And I've seen so many blogs with so many pictures of quilts at a show. It's almost like doing a virtual tour. But I guess they have their reasons and I respect that so no pictures.
    Here are some pictures of the merchants floor.

    This is the Art of Fabric booth.

     I really like the metallic look of the quilts. They pop out at you!

    Sew Little Time. I was thinking of the blog but they're not the same.
    That's Sew Sisters Quilt Shop on the left. I bought my first fat quarters in Toronto from them. :)

    Quilt Junction. Beautiful!

    "Enjoy the show!"

    A Celebration of Quilts XI hosted by the North York Quilters Guild was held at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre at Garamond Court. I wanted to get there bright and early but was not feeling up to it... now I'm down with a cold... so I left the house only about 12 noon I think. The trains are slower on the weekends and the buses less frequent and as I waiting I thought... damn... I should have left earlier! And then, because I'm trying to be more positive and joyful these days, I said to myself... It's ok. Maybe there will be something nice for me when I get there at the time I get there. Who knows.

    As I went in, a nice gray haired lady was holding the door open. I ran up and thanked her. And she asked me if I had bought my ticket already. I said I hadn't and she asked me if I would like one.  She said she had pre-purchased it for her friend who was not coming and so would like to give it to me! I offered to pay for it, I had budgeted for it, and another 10 dollars to buy some fabric, so I wanted to pay. She refused! And said, "Enjoy the Show!" :) Can you believe that? If I had walked in earlier in the day, or a minute after, or is someone was before me... I mean, things like this don't normally happen to me!
    In our situation at the moment, this was such a blessing to me. And it reminded me of grace, something I am learning more about. And the many gifts that God grants me. I don't think that wonderful lady realized what she was handing me and how much it meant to me. So I added my previously budgeted for ticket money to my fabric buying money and bought some more! :)

    Friday, 11 November 2011

    A Celebration of Quilts XI

    So the York Heritage Quilt Guild is having a quilt festival. It's on as I write. :) I will go tomorrow. Though I feel a little feverish today. Damn! I'm going. I can get sick after that. Check out the site
    A Celebration of Quilts XI.

    Wednesday, 9 November 2011

    Win Your Wish List!

    Connecting Threads is having a Win your Wish List Contest.  Open to folks in the US and Canada only. The details are on the link... and here's my wish List. :) Go to the link. I just have the picture up so my post looks pretty. :)

    Tuesday, 8 November 2011

    You must see this...

    City House Studio has a lovely quilt entered in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival. She made it for her grandma's 90th birthday. It has 90 different blocks! Isn't that a fantastic idea and such a beautiful gift. See it here.

    Monday, 7 November 2011

    Fabric for Life Sweepstakes

    Quilters Newsletter Magazine are having a fabric for life sweepstake. The Grand Prize winner gets fabric for 20 years! Can you believe it?!!! And two winners get a years supply of fabric. And there are 50 others who can win subscriptions to the magazines. You can enter daily to up your chances of winning. It's only for the US and Canada though. Read the rules before you sign up. Go enter. All the best!

    Friday, 4 November 2011

    Bloggers Quilt Festival

    There's an online Bloggers' Quilt Festival going on over at Amy's Creative Side. It's a great idea. Lots of great quilts and lovely stories of why they were made.

    I won a giveaway! :)

    Fun Fact Friday FreebieI am still so surprised and so excited. I don't normally win anything and to win fabric! AAAAAAHHH! I can't tell you how happy this makes me. Cat Patches has a weekly giveaway Fun Fact Friday Freebie. I've been entering for a few weeks and I won! Go here.
    Over the past couple of years, living in India, entering the occasional giveaway that would ship international, and not winning of course, I wondered if I'd ever get to this side of the world. And here I am. And I can't quilt just yet... need to buy a sewing machine and an iron... so I've been looking at blogs and entering giveaways and drooling over fabric... and now a fat quarter is coming to me. :) I'm thrilled. It's like a little encouragement during a tough time. It's great.
    Thank you Barbara for doing this.

    Wednesday, 2 November 2011

    Creativ Festival

    I volunteered at the Creativ Festival last month. Unfortunately... as it turned out I did not take my camera on the two days that I was volunteering... 'coz they ask you not to bring any valuables since they hold your coat and purse for you... and my camera is not small in enough to put into my pocket. My initial plan was go back on Saturday and see the shop floor and take pictures but I ended up seeing the floor on Friday and since I really can't buy anything just yet... I decided not to go in on Saturday. :( So... no pictures.

    It was great though. If you've been to my other blog Quilting in India you'd know how much I have wanted to be part of the quilting world. This was my first ever festival and sure, it was all crafts, but it was great. Sew Sisters was there and Flare Fabrics ( I found out about the festival from them) many other stores. There was just so many stores and so many people! Can't wait for next year.

    The classes seemed great too. Would have loved to have taken some... but I have points from volunteering that I can use for next year so will do that. This year I didn't even have the basic stuff you need to bring to class with me since we were living in two different houses. But Debbie, one of the organizers was really sweet and said that if I wanted to take a class I should talk to her and she would work out the stuff I needed. Very kind.
    Oh! Finally saw for real what a walking foot looks like. You can't get them in India. And all the sewing machines! Drool! It was just amazing for me. A dream come true. Really.