Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Julie Ann Thorburn Padula

July 31, 1962 - April 26, 2008

It is with profound regret that I report the passing of my dearest friend Julie Ann. We'd been friends for over 30 years, and I fully expected to have her in my life for another 30.

Julie was so full of life. She truly lived everyday to its fullest. When you walked into her house, she made you feel welcome and at home. She could sense if you were down and had the right words to lift your spirits. A soothing cup of tea was never far from hand. She couldn't help but make you feel good.

Julie Ann was the mother of two wonderful children, Matthew and Emily and the wife of Peter.

For years she was actively involved in the Canadian Music industry. Many of her friends will remember calling Julie when Bruce Cockburn was performing in their town to beg her for tickets. I can't hear one of his songs without thinking of her (I hope to be hearing lots of them).

My children will remember her as being 'fun' and for the greatest children's parties. They won't forget her dragging them to see the 'Mudmen' at the Medieval Faire in Milton and ensuring that we sat close to the front for a 'good' view (and a lap full of mud).

Julie was my inspiration for starting this blog. She was a graduate of the journalism program at Ryerson in the mid 80's and it impressed me that she could write stuff and willing offer it up for others to read. I am trying to do my best, but I will never have the flair that seemed to come so naturally from her.

Good-bye my friend, you shall be missed.

Please add your favourite memories of Julie in the comments section and I will pass them along to her family.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Sea Storm Quilt Design

It's been a while since I posted the previous design for these blocks. This one is called 'Sea Storm'. It sorta looks like waves on the surface of the water.
To me, the rust colour zig zags make the pieced triangle squares move, at one glance they move forward in the quilt and the next they seem to recede.

I am quickly running out of options to try with my blocks. I would welcome suggestions of additional designs. Remember that I have 64 blocks, so an 8x8 design will work best.

My next quilt project is a display of 'fabric postcards' that will be shown at my guild's show in May. They are part of the quilt shows of St. Jacobs. I have a few that I have made, several from my mom, and a few members of the online Maple Leaf Quilt Guild have sent some to include. I plan to make more varied samples over the next two weeks, so stay tuned for some pictures.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

The Running Man by Michael Gerard Bauer

We are all running from something, at least according to reclusive Tom Leyton.
For thirty years Tom has remained within his house, spending his days raising silkworms. One day his sister invites their young neighbour Joseph, to draw Tom's portrait for a school assignment. While essentially a straight forward task, none of the participants could have anticipated its far reaching effects.
The metaphor of silkworms living their entire life within the confines of a shoe box , is akin to the internal walls each of us erect, whether they're to keep thoughts or people out, or to protect us from previous experiences. As Tom starts to break down the walls he has erected, Joseph finds that he is enjoying Tom's company more that he expected was possible. He then confides to Tom his fears of 'the running man', a local eccentric. With Tom's guidance, Joseph unlocks the mystery of 'the running man' and gains insights into life that many of us don't realize until we are much older.
I have to admit that I was floored by this book. I expected that Joseph would do the portrait, get to know Tom a little bit and that would be it. But his small practical assignment soon grew to life altering proportions, and not just for Joseph. He realized he could have turned away at many times, but he stuck to the harder path and ended up finding the greatest rewards.
I would highly recommend this novel to adults and teens alike.
Thanks to Harper Collins for the cover photo.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Sea Horses Quilt

This is a totally unique quilt design. I can't recall that I have seen another like it. It is called 'Sea Horses'. When I look at the two sea horses facing each other, it looks kinda like a coiled ribbon.
I will be on vacation for the next couple days so will not be posting further designs till I return. So check back next weekend for the next 'Sea' design.
bye for now.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Another Alphabet inspired Quilt

Today's arrangement is a variation on yesterday's 'X'. This one is called "W's". Tilt your head sideways and you'll understand why. To me, it almost looks as though the middle part is vibrating.
Come back tomorrow and we'll move to the sea.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Less Traditional Block Arrangements

I am now moving into the less traditional block arrangements. This one is called 'X's'. A good choice for obvious reasons. I find it a very striking. Its simple, but it carries my eye around the surface. Movement in a quilt/picture is always a good thing.
While I have been posting these designs, I have been working at marking a queen size bed quilt. Since its of my own design, it doesn't seem to fit any of the pre-cut stencils that I bought. So, I traced them and used my printer/scanner to re-size. Then traced them on freezer paper. Now with the help of my light table I am drawing the actual lines. Its kinda difficult since the background fabric is a mottled, medium blue. The next step is to draw a template for the full length of the inner boarder area in a 2 size twisted rope motif. Arg. What was I thinking, I could have done something simple, but no. OK, It will all be worth it in the end when I give the quilt to my cousin. Yes, there will be pics at some point.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen

This is a first novel by Canadian born Rivka Galchen. It follows the developments after psychiatrist Leo Liebenstein decides that the woman who comes home with a dog one day is not actually his wife Rema.

Oddly, the mystery of Rema is linked with the disappearance of Harvey, one of Leo's patients.

With each step Leo takes to unravel the mystery, he adds more clues and the search takes unusual twists. Who is Anatole, and why does this new Rema call him by this name? Who is Tzvi and is he really working with the mysterious Royal Academy of Meteorology? And what about this purported other husband of Rema's?

This story kept me guessing up to its conclusion. I was constantly trying to understand which characters know each other and how are they related to Rema. This is a good story to sit with a cup of tea and to take time to ponder the associations of those who we are introduced to.

I am still considering Leo's fascination with both his and Rema's reflections in the mirror. Which is the real person, and which the reflection? and did they somehow get exchanged? And in light of the mirror situation, I have to question whether Leo is still sane or has he succumbed to his patient's illness?

This would make an excellent read for a Book Club. There were lots of instances where I would have enjoyed discussing the characters and their relevance to the plot.

reviewed at 1more

Wild Goose Chase

This is a variation of the Wild Geese Flying that I showed yesterday. I love the effect you achieve by offsetting the alternate rows. It really emphasis the diagonal pattern.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Elmira Maple Syrup Festival

Yesterday was the 44th Annual Maple Syrup Festival in Elmira, Ontario, Canada. As a family, we were waiting in line for our pancakes by 6:45 am. It was still a bit nippy, but the line-up is shorter at that time. Both the festival and the sap bucket have been certified by Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest.

The third picture is a view inside the pancake tent. The pancakes are the size of the plate my daughter is holding. Two of those are enough to take the hunger edge off most attendees. Remember, they are slathered in a large ladle of pure syrup. yummy!!!

The fourth picture shows syrup that has been boiled to the taffy stage, it is then poured on the snow to cool, then rolled around a stick so that you can pick it up to eat.

I haven't forgotten my quilt block arrangement. The final picture shows the "Wild Geese Flying" design. Tomorrow will feature a variation of this. You could easily make a miniature version of this using your favourite size of flying geese blocks

Friday, 4 April 2008

Streak of Lightning

The arrangement of blocks shown today is called 'Streak of Lightning'. It is very versatile. it can run top to bottom, as shown in the first picture, or left to right as shown in the second picture. Likewise the length of the 'jags' of the lightning can be changed to any length that suits the size of your quilt.

The second picture is a quilt that I made for my brother-in-law. The blocks are made from 7 1/2" squares of fabric sewn into 1/2 square triangle blocks. I have elongated the jags of the lightning to a more unusual setting. This quilt has been appropriately named 'Christmas Lightning'.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Straight Furrows

Today I am featuring a very traditional arrangement for log cabin blocks, 'Straight Furrows'. In my opinion it is reminiscent of a recently plowed field.
Watch for a new design tomorrow.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Which Quilt layout to use???

At the beginning of August I started a new quilt project. I was doing this in conjunction with other members of an online group, Maple Leaf Quilt Guild. Nancy Rose, one of our members, suggested the project and offered to keep us all moving along. You are invited to check her blog for the details. I finished all 64 blocks a few weeks back and have been playing with them to determine their final layout.

The block is called 'Birds in the Air' and is shown to the left. Note a difficult block to make.

The layout suggested for the project is shown in the next photo. That design is a variation of one called 'Barn Raising'. Barn Raising would have a dark centre as opposed to the light centre shown.

While this is a lovely setting, I thought I would play around and see what happened. Since this block has the same visual impression as a log cabin block, I decided I would take my clues from "the Great American Log Cabin Quilt Book" by Carol Anne Wien.

Over the next few weeks I will continue to post pictures of the many different layouts I have 'auditioned' on my design wall. Let me know which is your favourite.