Monday, October 24, 2016

Strong and Free

That's my country.  A line from our national anthem.  We Canadians are a rather laid back breed for the most part.  Quiet.  Polite. Peacemakers.  I am very proud of that description of us.  I'm also very proud of my country and I love it.  This post has a few Canadian images and thoughts for you.
Sunset on Lake Erie October 15 at the home of friends of ours
Maple Leaf Forever
Not sure of the variety, or wait, I think this may be an oak?!! My friend Doug taught me that red oaks have pointed leaves...please do let me know.
Okay this next definitely is a maple, known as Autumn Blaze.  I got that name from the guy who owns these spectacular beauties, trees I have photographed every year for the past five Falls that I have walked past them.
I think the big one right in front of me and on my right is a silver maple. Maybe a red maple!  Autumn Blaze is a hybrid of those two I learned.

A little maple of my own has been a-happenin' in my sewing corner...
Love it when seams line up purr-fectly!
Speaking of purring, Bella has been right beside me every step of the way on this secret project which will be revealed this coming Friday!
From cutting, to discovering my desk lamp throws some lovely warm heat (don't worry; the iron wasn't on), to settling down all nice and cosy, ensuring both sides of her head got toasty, to oops!  Guess she sat too near the pile of HST trimmings...
Back in the summer Bernie of Needle and Foot asked me if I'd like to be a part of a hop she was planning for the Fall, to showcase a fabric company's Fall line of fabrics.  For sure!  Paintbrush Studio is our sponsor and I picked Windfall for my project.
Some of the incredibly rich hues in this gorgeous line.
Here is a teaser photo during construction:

And during quilting:

The Autumn Abundance blog hop runs all this week.  Be sure to check back as I will update the links below as each post goes live.  You should get some great Fall inspiration!

Monday - Bernie at Needle and Foot
Tuesday - Janine at Quilts From the Little House
Wednesday - Mari at The Academic Quilter
Thursday - Tish at Tish's Adventures in Wonderland
Friday - moi!

Back to Canada.  I've been thoroughly engrossed in another fantasy by Ottawa, Ontario resident Charles de Lint, Trader.  I am nearly finished; if you like a good fantasy, especially one that paints the veil between Faerie/Spiritworld and ours as being very thin, and blends Celtic lore with Native American, then you will love his work.  The Little Country is the first of his that I read, with Moonheart and its sequel, Spiritwalk, in a three-way tie for favourites.

While working on my quilt, I decided to go through some CDs that I was organizing, ensuring they are loaded into the laptop (and therefore my devices) for easy transport.  This was the point at which I realized how I'd unknowingly been surrounding myself with Canadian art while I worked on my Autumn Abundance quilt.  I'd completely forgotten about this gift from my mum from several years ago, a Canadian Brass CD, love!  Bach's fugues have mesmerized me since I first was learning them (and they are hard!); the intricacy and interweaving of themes in each 'voice' quite a work of art and organization, not to mention genius.  In keeping with the fantasy atmosphere, Canadian Loreena McKennit's haunting melodies are just the ticket.  They've been getting a fair bit of play recently.  I do believe I own every one of her CDs, and, imported into the laptop though they all may be, I will still keep the hard copies!

Canada is such a rich country in many ways from resources, to a variety of peoples, cultures (we are multicultural and proud of it), vistas, and interesting weather to be sure!  Out west in Alberta, they had an unwelcome blast from Old Man Winter a couple of weeks ago, and he is hanging on yet with his icy fingers...
Still, there is incredible beauty and magic to be found:
Photo courtesy of my sister Linda, taken by her son
I think she should enter that photo in a contest.  I just love it!  The snow is pretty much gone now.

2000 miles to the east and 700 miles south of Edmonton, I sat and enjoyed the sun and water on my walk yesterday.  Canada is indeed diverse.
Can you spot the black Lab swimming? Ah, would Rocco have loved to be with him...
A little later on that same walk, I had to stop and take a photo of this fabulously decorated house.  People really go all out in my little town, but this circle of dancing ghosts was just so creative! I immediately heard the music of "Outlander" in my head, thoughts of the dancing white witches in the standing stones overlaying the ghosts in front of me.

Ahh, day I hope to go there...  Finally, a nod to Canada's 'mother' country, from none other than my own proud to be English, mum.  She sent me this photo the other day, her lunch of homemade broccoli soup (she makes the best) on her Union Jack placemat I made her last year, and in the background a tablerunner from probably about 15 years ago that I also made her. How I love seeing my quilts being used and loved.  

Photo courtesy of my mum. Thanks Mum!
Be sure to check out the Autumn Abundance Day 1 post right here!

Linking up with
Cooking Up Quilts
Sew Fresh Quilts


  1. I feel like a I just went on a little vacation via your photos Sandra. That snow and sand pictures are crazy!! Thanks for sharing these. :-)

  2. Your quilt inspector seemed very intent on your project. I'm looking forward to the reveal. :) Beautiful pictures!

  3. Ohhh Canada is indeed a rich, resourceful and diverse country. Wonderful pictures.

  4. The vastness of your country, a climate change from North to South.Those fabrics, such rich deep colours, Then the snow, and the water,, I am sure you'll have some more warmish days . And the feline fluffiness, great for collecting little scraps and threads.

  5. Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts and photos, Sandra! Be careful, you may convince some of us to move there - especially given this election season we are enduring. Lol! I just keep sewing for my sanity! I enjoyed Bernie's post for the blog hop today and looking forward to the others as well! Love your sneak peak - that looks like it will be a gorgeous maple leaf!

  6. Now if you do make it to Scotland I can come have coffee with you , it's only a hop skip and jump away from here . I love your Canada photos (Canada photos rather than Canadian photos!) and I'm looking forward to reading all the blog posts

  7. I want to come to your country so much!!! Have always had an urge to visit but have not yet made it .... hopefully one day I will so that I can experience all it has to offer. Thanks for a wonderful post!

  8. I really love the sneak peek to your maple leaf project. Thanks for all the photos you shared. I'm definitely a proud Canadian too!

  9. Love this post! Especially the pic of the chick in the red hat - me!! BAHAHAHA!! :D :D :D

  10. Oh what a lovely post. I too have always wanted to visit Canada and this makes me yearn even more... bee-u-ti-ful😀 it is clear you are a very proud Canadian and with good reason. If ever you come to the UK, I too will join Helen and meet up with you... my friend across the water .... xxx

  11. Oh what a lovely post. I too have always wanted to visit Canada and this makes me yearn even more... bee-u-ti-ful😀 it is clear you are a very proud Canadian and with good reason. If ever you come to the UK, I too will join Helen and meet up with you... my friend across the water .... xxx

  12. Strong and free and beautiful and .... SANE!! Please ship some of your sanity south.

  13. Sandra, your posts always make me feel like I'm right there with you. Thank you. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing your post on the hop.

    Fall seems to be lagging north of us as a lot of our trees are moving toward nakedness already. I love the cycle of the locust shedding first to the Bradford pears dead last. There is always a little color out the window that way. It must have been very different when you lived in the west. Enjoy your colorful fall, and may Bella and the dogs enjoy it, too.

  14. Thank you for sharing your fall pictures! Here in Southern New Mexico our fall seems to be gone before we can blink!

    Your projects are so lovely! My favorite was your "teaser photo"! I'm eager to work a batik quilt - my first - in 2017!

    Thank you so much for sharing such an entertaining post!

  15. I'm over here visiting from Bernie's and read through some of your posts and am now listening to this beautiful Hindu song from your early Oct. post :)

  16. It is the best feeling when one of your quilted gifts makes its way into a photo of something else. It is my favorite. :) I just smile knowing my gifts are being used and loved and not tucked away in a closet or drawer.
    Thank you for sharing those wonderful photos. I have some of those rainbow maples over here on the west coast and I can't get over how beautiful they were this fall.

  17. I am definitely adding that author to my list! Also, your Windfall quilt is just gorgeous! I saw the finish on your other post and it is simply stunning. I don't think I've ever seen shadow quilt before and I love the idea. You always inspire me!


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