Up at Dawn

Dear Vi,

I woke up early this morning. I tried to go back to sleep, I really did. I arranged my pillow, rearranged my pillow, stuck my foot out, turned over, turned back. You know the routine. Finally, I got up.

It wasn’t really early anymore…not quite six. I turned on the bedside lamp and opened the blind in the bedroom. It was just starting to get light outside: that pearly dawn light. The big fir trees were in silhouette, a bit of a moon peeking out between them.

When I let Sam out, I stood for a moment on the porch and smelled the air, listened to the drip drip drip of melting snow, the train thrumming on its track across the lake. I could see my bedroom window from where I was standing. The light shining through, my bed on the other side of the glass, rumpled sheets and blankets.

I fed Sam, who was dancing around ecstatic at the thought of eating two hours early. Well, why not?

So while the kettle was boiling for tea, I rummaged around in the pantry and pulled out a jar of applesauce that my friends Norrie and Barry made last fall. From apples they picked at Hanna Orchards on Apple Fall day. That’s the day the orchard opens to the public and lets you harvest the windfalls for some ridiculously small amount of money.

When I opened the jar, it made that wonderful seal-breaking thwack sound, and then this aroma of apples rose up like an old memory, except it was real. Oh, my God, wonderful. Delicious.

6:52 am. A new day begun.

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Pinwheels for a Baby

Dear Vi,

We’ve all been very excited over the news that Mr. C’s cousin Frank is going to be a grandpa! Well, the baby was due on Valentine’s Day, but she decided to put in her appearance a few days early.

I haven’t gone anywhere near mama or baby yet because I’m still fighting off the after shocks of the flu (sinus infection followed by bronchitis). Some things you just don’t want to share, am I right?

…but I’ve been quietly stitching away in the background in anticipation of the special delivery.

I had so much fun shopping for the fabric. I decided not to use my stash…I wanted something brand new. Don’t you just love these sweet vintage-inspired prints? They go so nicely with the pinwheels, which are themselves a vintage quilt block. In fact, according to one quilt historian, the pieced pinwheel block pattern hails back to 1795, following the invention of the cotton gin!

I put prairie points between the inside & outside borders because babies just love little tags of cloth to explore and fiddle with..

At 35 x 42 inches, it’s perfect for tummy time.

Hand quilted with love for our wee Logan ♥

 

 

Posted in Blog Categories, child, fabric, Gifts, Hand Quilting, Quilting, Quilts | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Two Ingredient Pancakes?

Dear Vi,

Have you seen that recipe making its way around the web…2 Ingredient Egg & Banana “Pancakes”?

Yeah? Well, I decided to give it a try. I like eggs, I like bananas, why not?

All you do is mash up one banana, then add 2 eggs and whisk well. Cook like pancakes.

They look like pancakes…

…but they taste like eggs that you accidentally dumped a cup of icing sugar into. Not so much like banana.

Sugared eggs. That’s the best way I can describe them.

I guess whether or not you’ll like them depends on how sweet your tooth is. Me? not so much.

What do you think?

Bon Appétit!

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On the couch with tea and hankies

Dear Vi,

I congratulated myself too soon for managing to avoid the miserable colds and flu going around this winter.

 Sigh.

Sadly,I’ve been relegated to the couch to drink gallons of milky black tea and feel sorry for myself.

At least I have furry couch company:  On a happier topic, I was featured on the Curvy Sewing Collective!!! Well, actually it’s my sewing room that’s featured. Check it out here!

On the quilting front, I’ve been thinking that I’d really like to make a quilt to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this year.

Katherine at Next Steps Quilt Designs is hosting a quilt-along called 150 Canadian Women…150 6″ blocks to accompany the stories of 150 inspiring Canadian women throughout history.

I really, really want to make this quilt. Except I’m also making the 100-block Splendid Sampler. And how many sampler quilts do I really need? And honestly, I’m ready for the Splendid Sampler to be over. Do I really want to start over and make 150 more?

And then I had a brilliant idea. Brilliant!

I will turn my splendid sampler quilt into a quincentennial quilt! All I have to do is make 50 more blocks. I will end up with a totally unique quilt that doesn’t look like any one else’s. 😀

Fabulous, right?

Here are 4 more blocks since I last wrote. I think I’m up to 93. I need to get some more Kaffe Fasset and Rowan fabrics as I’m running out and I want to keep the quilt in that line as much as possible. I did hear about a quilt shop that stocks some about an hour away. A field trip is in my future as soon as I’m feeling better.

Meanwhile, this cold has that “I’m settling in to stay awhile” feeling.

A very boring letter today, I’m afraid … I’m off to make another pot of tea. (cough cough sneeze sniff)

‘Scuse me.

N.

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A Splendid Sampler Update

Dear Vi,

I can’t believe how many letters I’ve written to you in my head. Just about every morning I wake up with an idea for a letter, and then poof! it’s gone. So today I thought I’d just stop trying so hard to remember what it was I wanted to say and show you what I’ve been up to.

002

I’ve been talking about writing and knitting so much lately, you probably forgot that I’ve also been working on these crazy little six-inch quilt blocks.

009No kidding, Eh?

006

I’ve made 90 so far. Yup. I’m ahead of the game, since only 88 have been published. How is that possible?

008Well, you know how I am, Vi. I like to do things my own way.

007

If you’re also doing the Splendid Sampler, you’ll notice that there are blocks in here that aren’t “official,” along with some that I’ve personalized. Maybe they’re not officially splendid sampler, but they’re officially Splendid Nita, lol! 010

And in case you ever wondered just how small my kitchen is, this picture should give you a pretty good indication. I’m standing on the dining room chair to take the picture:003Yesterday I made two more:011That’s it for today. What have you been working on?

Write back soon!
All my love,
N.

Posted in Blog Categories, letters, Quilting, Quilts, sewing, Stitches | Tagged | 6 Comments

Blog Posts: Letters to Vi

Dear Vi,

Blogging has always felt a little bit awkward to me. From the beginning, I’ve wanted to address each post as though it were a letter. But it always felt awkward. A letter to whom? And yet it feels just as strange to open a new page and simply start talking. I’m old-school that way. Letters always begin with a salutation, and in my mind, my blog posts have always been letters.

And then I checked a book out of the library called Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. Have you read it? (I’ve read it twice, actually. I’ll probably read it again before too long. I should probably just go buy it.)

In the book, references are made to letters written by one of the characters, addressed simply to ‘V’. We don’t know who the mysterious V is, and it doesn’t really matter. These letters give backstory and insight into the life of Arthur Leander, one of the main characters.

And after that, I stumbled upon a fabulous knitting blog, called Mason Dixon. The authors of this blog write knitterly letters back and forth to each other: Dear Ann, Dear Kay.

There are probably more out there, but you get the idea. It certainly gave me an idea.

I’m going to try an experiment. I’m going to let my heart lead my hands and address these blog posts to a person.

Of course, that begs the question of to whom shall I address? If I pick one family member or friend, will another feel slighted? Or, God forbid, dread that they’ll be targeted next?

So I’ve chosen a person who doesn’t exist. I will name this person Vi.

As in rhymes with pie.

And you can silently substitute your own name, because you’re the one I’m really writing to.

There, doesn’t that feel better?

Until next time – All my love, N.

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