We’re home from our short tour to Sherwood Park and Calgary Alberta. It’s sometimes a bit dicey to drive through the Rockies, this time of year, but we made it uneventfully. John did most of the tough driving, which was fine with me.
We sang for the Sherwood Park quilting guild, just east of Edmonton, and got to meet Matt Sparrow (obviously Johnny Depp’s brother….), who runs a long-arm quilting shop and studio called Manquilter (www.manquilter.com). He’s very helpful, and fun and a great quilter. There were some stunning quilts hanging in this shop. He offered the shop for my Mock Mola class for the guild, and we had a great time. This is the piece he was working on, but I expect many more pieces using the technique from him in the future.
As you know, if you follow my blog, I’m always very excited to see what my students produce in this class. They each design their own pieces, and take it in new directions. Sometimes it’s the most reluctant designer who comes up with the most elegant and stunning piece. In this class, one student brought in lots of images of horses she thought would be good to do. We found a pen-and-ink sketch on the internet, changed it a bit, and she produced this magnificent piece.
And she was one of only two who were finished at the end of the class!! Here is another piece from that class.
It was incredibly cold in Edmonton. John and I used to live in Calgary, and we still have the winter gear required to go outside in that climate. I’m so glad I brought along the down jacket! The temperatures had warmed up to a balmy -15C when we arrived, but, compared to the +8C at the coast, it sure felt cold! I think the way residents cope is by being neighbourly, and by eating a lot. This is the spread they laid out for the guild meeting — and it doesn’t include the desserts, which were on another table!
We continued our tour to Calgary. I lived there for 10 years during the ’90s, and was looking forward to attending THE event of the season – my friends’ Mike and Jo’s “Nogfest”. I bought my new guitar from Mike; he runs the Acoustic Guitar store (http://www.acousticguitar.net/) from his basement. There were probably 100 people there, with music in almost every room. People were encouraged to try out his stock, which includes guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, banjos, etc, and they made some wonderful music. I was thrilled to see most of my close friends from when I lived there – the first time I’d seen some of them since we left in 2000!
The next day we sang in My Sewing Room (www.mysewingroom.ca), Canada’s largest quilt store. We sang for Ann and her staff two years ago, and when we found out about the show in Sherwood Park, John contacted Ann to see if she might be interested in a special Christmas show. She decided to make it a “customer appreciation night”, and put on some goodies and hot cider. It is SO challenging to sing in a quilt shop! There were wonderful quilts hanging on the walls, and my eyes were constantly drawn to them. It doesn’t help me to remember the words to songs I’m singing, while trying to figure out how someone made a quilt! I was also making mental notes of fabric I HAD to have before I left! Happily, Ann stayed open until everyone was out the door (including me!)
Our trip home over the mountains was beautiful, but messy. There was snow everywhere, sometimes falling on us. The roads were well taken care of, but still very slushy. When we were driving through the Kicking Horse Pass, we saw a herd of mountain sheep, who decided to saunter across the Trans Canada Highway. They were drawn to the salt on the road, obviously, and afforded us a nice photo op.
We’re home now until Christmas and beyond. I’m back to work on my songbook and the new quilt I’m making for my brother. I’ll post a picture when I get the top completed. It’s turning out beautifully. I hope your preparations for Christmas are finished and that you can just relax – and do a bit of sewing – until the busy season commences. 10 days to go!!!