Monday, 24 August 2015

The Summer Time

Some nights, before I go to bed, I try to catch up on some of the blogs I follow especially the ones I now follow through the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers group that I was part of earlier this summer.  Reading these blogs keep me inspired and I love to see what others are doing but it also makes me a bit sad that my life right now does not allow me the time to create very much in my sewing space.  It's all temporary though... every year it is the same but this year I feel torn more than usual because I feel I have turned a page in my quilting passion and abilities and I just want to immerse myself in it.  

Well my time will come (possibly next week when our children go back too school) when I can devote more time to my craft.  

That being said, I can explain... here's what I have been up to:

My family... this photo was taken at a family birthday party and it most definitely my favourite photo of the summer.  We are a busy farm family but taking time when we can for "the important things in life" is not always easy but necessary. My husband is our "breadwinner" and the summer is when he works the most.  We have a large farm business growing and selling fruits and vegetables.  We work with his dad, mom and brother but our little family lives right on the main farm.

 This photo is the "back-end" of our home, which is right in the middle of the action.  From each window in my home I can see some part of the farm.  Some days (in the summer) I wish we were tucked into a quiet corner where no one can find me but that's not the case.  Embracing the farm is what I strive to do and some days are easier than others.  I have  worked in the background for our business for 14 years now, raising three kids amidst it all.  I take care of marketing for our business, hiring, training and scheduling 26 sales staff, I sell our produce two days per week at one of the farmers' markets we are part of and I make jam to sell.  I love our business and wouldn't change it... I gave up a teaching career to be home with our children more and be part of what my husband was doing and I have no regrets.  As a result, it has allowed me to have "more time" to devote to my family, which is the most important thing to us (and me).

This is my table at the Pembroke Farmers' Market, where we sell our bounty.  This is where I get to talk about some of my favourite things:  food and farming.  It might be hard to get up in the morning and get myself out the door but once I am there, it's fun!  I have actually met a few quilters at my market table and one, who used to be an avid quilter, left me her giant stash of fabric because she developed arthritis which made it difficult to sew.  I will never forget her kindness to me.

I thought I should include a photo of our staff... this group is what allows us to do what we do on our farm.  We grow asparagus, strawberries, raspberries, green and yellow beans, sweet corn and tomatoes.  We sell our produce directly to consumers via 14 stands (set up in surrounding communities) and at 4 farmers' markets.  We also have a farm stand which helps us provide u-pick strawberries and raspberries (when in season).  Our staff consists of sales staff, a few managers and field labour staff (mostly from Jamaica).

If you want to know more about our business please visit our website:  McGregor's Produce.

Besides working hard, we also play hard.  That's my motto every summer.

This summer we put up a trampoline and it has proved to be so much fun for our kids (and their friends and cousins).  Money well spent.

Each year we go camping at least once.  Our kids LOVE camping and even though it is not a restful vacation, it is fun.  It takes my husband off the farm and the cell phone service was very limited so we both were forced to disconnect... it was great!  My only complaint about camping is that it rains a lot each time we go... ugh.

Each summer we welcome visitors to stay with us.  Recently our good friends that live in Boston came to stay with us for a few days.  Earlier in the summer we spent time with family from BC and southern Ontario.

Okay now on to what I try to find time for...
I have struggled all summer to stay on task with some obligations I have made regarding my quilting and blogging projects.  The timing of the 2015 New Bloggers Blog Hop was not ideal for me but I did my best and I learned a lot.  I learned a few things to help me re-design my blog (which has been a goal of mine).  This is my new banner and the look I was going for all along.  I am so happy with how my blog looks right now and the function is provides.  I have a few more bits I want to improve but those have been put on the back-burner for now.

Earlier in the summer I was able to quickly make two pillowcases; this one being made of cuddly flannel that my daughter picked out.

This was a small little project I threw together in an afternoon because I was itching to make something with that fabric.

Aside of quilting, I have a desire to learn to make some simple garments and I was able to follow instructions to make this skirt for my daughter.  I tried to make one for myself later but it did not turn out as cute as Jean's.  

Probably the biggest project that is looming for me is this one.  I have 24 blocks to make and now have 15 complete.  It is made with fabric from Moda Doe and this is a commission quilt.  The deadline is approaching...

I made a few more small things this summer but gave them away before I took a photo.  One more little project I have, that is very exciting for me, is for the 2015 Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop.  I signed up for this blog hop because it was an opportunity for me to learn to design a quilt block and then create a tutorial for my own design.  I think many quilters take a pattern and make it their own or put something together of their own design but we don't create instructions for someone else to follow our design.  For this project we were given fabric to work with and dimensions for a quilt block and we have to write a tutorial for our design and then blog about it!!  I wanted to push myself and this is doing just that... my block is simple but writing the tutorial is not.  I will blog about it soon... it's top secret right now but here is a sneak peek:

Well I think this is a good update about me for now.  Our kids have one week left of summer vacation and we have a couple weeks left of the bulk of our summer farm market season and then I can take a break and do some things for myself.  My bucket gets filled when I get to be creative and be a maker again.