Monday, 6 February 2017

My Quilty Christmas

 
If you follow me on instagram, you may have noticed one of my recent projects... Quilty Christmas; pattern by Lori Holt (Bee in My Bonnet).  Last year a friend and I noticed some of the quilt blocks and then the whole quilt on instagram and pinterest and we were curious about it because it was so cute.  We searched online and could not find the pattern anywhere so I emailed a few quilters I follow that I knew made the blocks and one of those quilters emailed us her collection of all of the instructions that were posted on instragram.  The designer, Lori Holt, would post instructions on instagram as a "quilt-along" to follow in real time.  There was no book or pattern printed to purchase but this wonderful fellow quilter gladly shared her collection of instructions with us.  Go and visit her blog, Thistle Thicket Studio or follow her in instagram, like I do.  My friend and I were so happy that she shared with us so I dedicate this blog to her! 

 
Some of the block instructions were in the book "Quilty Fun", by Lori Holt, but with a little changes to make the blocks more "Christmasy".  I purchased the book and I love it because it is filled with so many other fun block patterns and ideas to use with the blocks.  Her quilts are eye candy to me...
 
I have a large collections of scraps so I really wanted to create my quilt using what I had but I ended up buying some fat quarters to help me along and keep the colours looking "put together".  In the end, my quilt is scrappy but has quite a few fabrics the same throughout.  I used a lot of the collection "Cookie Exchange" by Moda




 
I enjoyed the process, most oft he time.  My biggest complaint would be that for all of the cutting and piecing involved, I wished the blocks were bigger.  I would cut and sew and press and curse... and then the block would come out super small.  I wish I had thought ahead to make more of the blocks bigger then I would have had a bigger quilt in the end without much more effort.  The mittens block was the most difficult for me.  I must have made it 5 times.... and in the end I just kept the two "right-hand mittens" and moved on to the next block.  **Note:  I don't think they were actually too difficult; I must have been preoccupied with something else... like... preparing for Christmas!





 
I had the quilt top done for Christmas so I hung it on the wall without the border and binding.


 
Once the kids were back in school, I finished the whole quilt, folded it up and put it away... I know I will be happy to see it next December!  I am so proud of it and I learned A LOT.  I want to also thank Shari (my friend who was also sewing blocks of her own) for keeping me motivated with our own "quilt-along".  Sometimes that's all we quilters need to finish something amazing! 
 






Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Tribe

I have noticed a lot on social media about having a "tribe";  a group of close friends that you can share with and be yourself with and trust.  I stress the part about a "group".  I sometimes feel envious of people who talk about their "tribe" as a group they have been friends with "forever"... live close together and see each often.  I have no idea if that's true or not but that's how I picture it in my head.

I get a little down sometimes that I don't have what they have... yup I admit it... I sometimes think the grass is greener on the other side.  Luckily I can snap out of it for a time and shake my head. 

It dawned on me that I do have a tribe but it looks a little different than what I have been thinking it should.  Recently I have been reaching out and it turns out I have a pretty darn amazing tribe of my own but my group has some different qualities:
- we don't necessarily live close to each other... but I need to remember they are only a phone call away.  Texting is a marvelous thing but sometimes I just need to talk!
- the group isn't necessarily close with each other in friendship.  I have had so many experiences in my life; I live far from where I grew up, I have friends from university that I don't live near, I have a sister, sister-in-laws, aunts, a mother and mother-in-law and I have friends close to me that don't even know each other but I feel a connection with each of them.
-we are at different stages in our lives
-we have different outlooks on life but this can provide a different perspective.

Despite this, I can go to all of my close connections and confide in them.  I can send them a message, call them or see some of them in person easily.  Each one of them has value to me.  I need to remember that I have all of these amazing women in my life and all I have to do is reach out and they will be there for me.  I will also be there for them.

That's pretty darn amazing and something to be thankful for.  Each stage of life has it's own challenges and supporting one another is how we manage.  Being able to share a glass of wine together (or more) is just a bonus.  All we need to do is reach out and someone will be there.

Thanks Tribe.  Near and Far.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Glenroy Farm Lochwinnoch - my previous blog

A few years ago, once my quilting passion really took off, I created a new blog, The Farmhouse Quilter.  At the time, I thought, I could keep up two blogs... What was I thinking?  As a result, I now write only at The Farmhouse Quilter and unfortunately, Glenroy Farm Lochwinnoch is left on the back-burner. 

If you are looking to read anything about our life before 2015, please click on Glenroy Farm Lochwinnoch.  I haven't been able to find out how to merge these two blogs and to be quite honest, I won't be looking to hard. 

Happy Reading!

Start Your Own Sewing or Quilting Journey

Take some time this year to learn something new or re-learn a way to create something special. I offer private or semi-private SEWING and QUILTING lessons. Get to know your sewing machine...possibly again!

I have been actively sewing for over 10 years and have a passion for creating with fabric. I love making quilts and dabble in other sewing projects. Visit My Gallery to view just some of my projects or follow me on instagram.

I use Shea Henderson's Book, The School of Sewing, as a guide for what I teach.  This is an amazing book, even if you just want to buy it as inspiration, you will not be disappointed.  Most of my teachings will revolve around the concepts in the book including the projects. 

 

Send me an email and I would be happy to give you more information. All lessons can be catered to what you want to learn. 

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

There is nothing quite like time to make you think.  Even though Christmas holidays are still a busy time with dinner parties and events, the routine is different.  There are more moments of reflection and connection with those close to us. 

I have honestly been feeling like our life is a blur at times.  We have had a few more things thrown our way lately so I have mostly been just trying to keep the wheels from falling off... and a few times they almost did.  I am finding myself reminiscing and missing the times when our children were very young.  I know this is cliché, but life was so much more simple then.  Issues were small and easy to manage.  I lacked sleep (of which was not easy for us because we love our sleep) but I could function and felt mostly confident... now I don't feel nearly as strong.  We are heading into unknown waters of parenting and I just hope and pray our boat stays upright. 

One lesson I am learning is to trust my own judgement, my husband's and children's judgement.  They are the most important people in my life... everyone else will come and go but they need to trust me and know I will always be here for them.  Sometimes I get all caught up and forget that. 

I want to step into 2017 with a much more clear focus... take the good with the bad.  Know that life is not always easy but it is good.  Trust God that he has a plan for me and that I can turn to him when I don't know what to do or say.  Teach those same things to our children.  I want to relax a little more and try not to overeact as much.  Make room for those really important to me and not worry about all of the rest... I have a very full life so now is not the time to be spreading myself too thin.  From this, I feel a sense of calm come over me.  I have so many other goals for 2017 but this needs to remain the big picture... I am turning 40 this year but I don't want that to be my focus for change.  I hope to change and tweak a few things so I feel better about myself and who I am but mostly I just want to accept who I am, who we are as a family and know that I can trust in myself. 

How about that for New Years Resolutions? 
 
 
This photo was taken a few years ago but gives me a nice warm feeling.

The McGregor Family Annual Christmas Letter


The McGregor Family Annual Christmas Letter



Our Favourite Things of 2016
At the end of each year, Ian and I like to summarize and highlight the past year.  Again this year we decided to ask each one of our children to list some of their favourite parts.  It shows a little repetition but that doesn't surprise me.  Happy Reading!

Jean (8 years old, grade 3, dancer and sings): 

1.       Walt Disney World trip; February:  She loved the ride “It’s a Small World”, she saw Mary Poppins and got to give Marie (from Aristocats) a big hug!  (this made a perfect picture).

2.       After WDW, we spent a few days with Grandma and Grandpa McGregor.  Jean loved being there especially playing mini golf, shuffleboard and swimming. Our van broke down on our way to Florida so we took a ride in a tow truck and taxi and got to stay in a very nice hotel.  (Let’s just say, this was NOT a hightlight of mine but it’s sweet to know that the kids thought it was great!)

3.       We put in a pool this summer.

4.       Our annual camping trip with friends to Bon Echo park in August. 

5.       We travelled to the International Plowing Match this September with the whole McGregor family and met up with the Peterson/Currie/Garner crew for the day.  We stayed over in a hotel as well which Jean loved!

6.       Her 8th birthday party was a lot of fun especially the piñata!

Alex (10 years old, grade 5, hockey player)

1.      Walt Disney World trip; loved Epcot’s scavenger hunt around the world.  We didn’t realize just how much fun the kids had at Epcot travelling through the countries but it was a quiet, calm and relaxing activity… we sure loved it to!

2.       Saved up his money for his first ipad.

3.       Going to summer hockey camp in Ottawa with a good friend.

4.       Our annual camping trip to BonEcho with the Costello’s and Collins families.

5.       His 10th birthday party in October.

6.       Making a new, good friend at school.

Grace (12 years old, grade 7, dancer, singer, student council… this list could go on and on!)

1.      Disney – she loved it all!  She especially loved Boma, an African restaurant with AMAZING food and great service.

2.       She loves having our own pool and going night swimming.

3.       Camping with Grandma and Grandpa Garner and bringing a friend with her.

4.       Her 12 birthday party!

5.       Going to her first “away” summer camp, OELC (leadership camp). 

6.       Grade 7: having some new opportunities such as student council and sports teams. 

Ian: I am still doing what I love and feel lucky that I can make a living at working the land and growing crops alongside my family . It was another great year both on and off the farm. Yields were higher than expected despite all the dry weather we had throughout the growing season, which was an added bonus. Our family was able to take part in many different activities throughout the year as you can see from the all the highlighted events for 2016.  I look forward to the upcoming Christmas break and all the visiting, eating and relaxing with family and friends that goes with it.  Take care and all the best for 2017!!

Deb:  I don’t have enough space to sum up how amazing this past year has been.  I am a busy mom and I help to run a very large farm business!  I don’t have enough time but I really do try to savour as much as I can… our Florida vacation is always a highlight.  It brings me immense joy to plan and plan and then re-plan when mishaps happen like a delayed arrival to Florida (see above).   A big highlight is that we put in our pool… I treasure the memories we have already made and look forward to many years of summer fun!  I have had a lot of “fun” this fall; I have taken quite a few mini-trips (Quebec City, Plowing Match, London, quilting retreat, hockey tournament, shopping in the US) and each one has been awesome.  Ian and I spend much of our time running the roads of Renfrew County for our kids (and all summer long for the business).   I am very, very proud of our kids… there are always new challenges but Grace, Alex and Jean each have a good heart so we must be doing something right!  The days go by way too fast… I am REALLY looking forward to Christmas break where I hope to hunker down as much as I can.  Winter is here… stay warm!
This is our version of the "dab"... obviously I need to work on my technique!
 

Monday, 21 November 2016

The Quilt That Just Kept on Giving

This is the quilt that has been hanging around for a while... it's not one of my longest projects but it is one that I started, still loved but never quite got to finishing it until this fall.  I loved the fabric.  I think it was the first jelly roll I bought (those of you in the quilting world know what this means; those of you who are not, well it's not food but just as sweet and tempting as it sounds). 
 
Anyways, I quickly pieced the top of the quilt.  Then it sat for a while.  I wanted it to be much larger (it's a bed quilt for my oldest daughter) so I added borders.  Then I added more borders.  Oh boy... it then started to become a bit tedious.  
 

 

 Then it sat for even longer, folded up on top of everything but then new fabric started piling up on top of it.  THEN Grace started wondering when was I ever going to finish her quilt  I began to worry that she might even hate the colours by the time it made it to her room finished. 

 

 I love quick projects so I took some of the leftover fabric and made a table runner for her dresser and two pillowcases to match.  Still no quilt for her bed though. 

 
So finally I made a date with my living room floor and sandwiched the quilt (again the relationship to food... imagine a fabric sandwich... backing fabric, quilt batting and then the pieced quilt top... makes sense?)  There was no turning back once I started this process because eventually there would be people home that would be stepping all over it so I got down on my hands and knees and got it done!!  Phew.  Folded it up and set it aside... again.
 
 
 I blogged about my recent quilt retreat (read about it here) and first on my quilting agenda was to finish this quilt.  Seriously.  No other quilting was going to be done until this quilt was "quilted" and then binding attached.    Initially I was having some trouble with my sewing machine and free-motion quilting but luckily there just happened to be some "experts" close by so once I figured out the mistakes I was making, I was on my way.  Wine by my side (in a non-spill cup of course) and I was done before I knew it. 
 

I was so happy with the finished product.  I don't think it would have been as nice if I finished it... well... way back when I bought the fabric.  This one was a labour of love and learning.

I apologize for the poor quality of these photographs but I needed help so two held it up for me (with some pizazz of course) and one was behind the camera.  The sun was setting so the lighting was strange as well.  This goes down in the books as a funny memory!