July 28, 2015

Summer’s Garden Bounty

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 7:42 pm

Garden2Wonderful July to everyone. I wanted to take a minute to really appreciate my flower garden and show you a few photos of it. Usually in Calgary, the growing season is not only short, but it’s also erratic at best. This season, for some unknown but delightful reason, the summer has really been summer – hot for several days in a row with some rain showers/hail storms spinkled in between. It’s kinda nice.

As a result, our (northern) Canadian gardens have been better. Here’s a few photos of my favourites:

BlueClematics

Blue Clematis

Garden9

Exquisite Pink Astilbe

Garden8

First Red Daylily

Garden5

As the summer wanes, quilting will definitely be more on my mind. For now though, I’d love to see photos of your gardens! Please send them my way.

Till later….

Kim

June 3, 2015

Wednesday Charm – Waterton

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 10:04 pm

Hello everyone. Happy Wednesday. So very nice to have you here, as always.

My husband and I took a very quick trip down south last weekend, to some land near Waterton National Park in our Province of Alberta. The day was stunningly beautiful; very sunny with a little stormy cloud. Wind was blowing as it always seems to be.

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It’s the undiscovered country, it really is. So few people are even aware of the beauty that lies in southern Alberta.

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Number9

Chief Mountain looms large on the horizon – it is located in the State of Montana and is a highly sacred and powerful place to the Blackfoot Confederacy.The mountain is said to have mystical power; a force that is highly palpable. I love being close by.

Wetlands border Chief Mountain….home to so many different species of birds.

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Number24

One of my favourite places is a church that is basically in the middle of nowhere. The door is left unlocked for anyone who wishes to look around inside. The church is very dark inside now, as the windows have been boarded over, but there are still four or five small rows of benches and religious pictures adorning the walls. There is a guest book to sign.

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It has a small cemetery attached in the church yard and it is a privilege to wander around the grounds.

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It is so wonderful to take a break sometimes, to treasure and admire what nature offers us each and every day. Beauty, tranquility and peace.

Till later…..

Kim

May 28, 2015

Hadlie’s Quilt

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 10:42 pm

Good day to you all. I hope spring has sprung in your neck of the woods; it definitely has here in Calgary! Nature is so inspiring…awakening all of our senses. My backyard clematis is in full bloom and it’s so lovely.

BlueClematics

I’ve so wanted to write about this little girl for awhile now and it’s finally time.

A few months back, the editor of Quilter’s Connection magazine contacted me and asked me for a contribution to her Spring 2015 issue. Heather asked me to design a project incorporating machine embroidery as an integral part. I loved the fact that Heather asked me to do this project and I wanted to deliver. A child-like spring quilt immediately sprung to mind and I began to put pencil to paper in an effort to design something worthy of the magazine. Who shall I make the quilt for I wondered?

I had been following a page on Facebook called Hadlie’s Bucket List. Hadlie and her family had been featured on the news here in Calgary a short while before which brought me to her Facebook page. Hadlie was a wee little girl, 3 years of age, with beautiful, big eyes and long silky brown hair, who had terminal cancer. Her cancer was called DIPG – a disease of which I knew nothing. Her parents and their son, Kade, were embarking on a journey to help Hadlie check items off her Bucket list – things like “turn 4″, “eat delicious cupcakes” and “get Kade to meet Ryan Nugent-Hopkins”. Perhaps I could design a quilt for Hadlie?

A design was down on paper and now it was time to choose some fabrics. Hadlie’s parent told me that their daughter’s new room in their new house was going to be coral and that Hadlie loved purple. Checking my stash of Riley Blake fabrics, Lila Tueller’s Bohemian Festival would work nicely.

BohemianFestival

Working quickly with a looming deadline I zeroed in on some sweet little bird embroidery designs from CherryStitchDesign….

CherryStitch

and some chunky alphabet embroidery designs from Designs by JuJu…..

chunky_curly_applique_alphabet

so I could spell out H-A-D-L-I-E on her quilt.

This is what I came up with:

Quilt

Quilter’s Connection put Hadlie’s quilt on the cover. A tribute to a beloved little girl and her wonderful, giving, resilient family.

HadliesQuilt

I sent Hadlie her quilt, tied with a purple bow. Hadlie passed away March 28, 2015, one day after her 4th birthday, so she was able to check that one off her list. Although I didn’t even know this baby girl my profound sadness, at times, has been overwhelming. Her delightful dancing, her ever-present sunglasses and her unrelating courage touched my heart in a way that cannot be described. A beautiful spirit; may she rest in peace and may her family heal in peace.

Kim

DIPG

May 20, 2015

Wednesday Whimsy – Erin’s Bag

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 5:27 pm

Beautiful blue sky morning all! The sun is shining brilliantly, the trees are looking like life has hit them and the birds are singing. It’s a lovely day.

My sweet friend, Valerie, recently asked me to make her daughter-in-law, Erin, a yoga mat bag for a birthday gift. Of course I was thrilled to do that and Val and I started discussing colours and style for Erin’s bag. Valerie stopped short…..thinking perhaps her favourite colours and Erin’s favourite colours were dissimilar. So we decided to make Erin a completely custom bag, suited entirely to her.

I must say my usual colour palette revolves around blue and green and purple. Something like this:

Photo13.jpg

Turns out, Erin enjoys a vastly different colour palette than what I am used to working with. She requested blacks, grays and white. What? Really? Wow!

Okay, so I checked into Fabric.com and began to gather together some black and gray batiks. Much to my surprise, there were some beautiful choices. Erin made the fabric selection, I ordered them and we were off.

Erin'sbag

I’m now thinking Erin may not be partial to my usual preference for embroidery designs. Such as:

lotus

sunshine

So, I direct her to my favourite yoga-inspired embroidery design site, Windstar.
Erin comes up with a design called Old Dead Tree.
Yes, interestingly, that is what she comes up with.

It looks like this:

Deadtree

Beautiful, right? Who would have thought?

Fabrics in hand, designs chosen, I’m ready to sew. I found I loved working with a different colour palette and new embroidery designs. It was such fun!

Erin’s completed bag:

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Erin with her completed bag:

Erinsbag

Erin is delightful – a talented and clever woman …. and her photo shows how creative and artistic she is.
She has opened my eyes to new possibilities.

Till later….

Kim

May 13, 2015

Wednesday Whimsy – Blog Tour Winners

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 9:59 pm

Good day. Thank you to everyone who participated in the Quilter’s Newsletter, Best Kids Quilts 2015 magazine’s recent blog tour. Some pretty fabulous prizes were given away.

From my blog, the two fabric winners were: AnnMarie and Jessica P. Congraulations! Both ladies will be contacted directly by Quilter’s Newsletter magazine and will receive one of these sweet little fabric bundles in the mail.

SweetThings1_550

The winner of my new blog subscribers is……Kristy! Congratulations to Kristy and I will contact her directly via her email address. She will receive this pile of great magazines.

Magazines

Thanks again, so much. It was fun hearing from each and every one of you.

Till later….Kim

May 8, 2015

Laminated Sweet Dreams

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 3:57 am

Good morning everyone. Welcome to Day 5 of Quilter’s Newsletter’s blog tour. I so love that you are here. I’m privileged to have my little laminated quilt hanger featured in Quilter’s Newsletter Best Kids Quilts issue, 2015.

Cover_BestKids15_500

Working with Quilter’s Newsletter is a joy; special thanks to Lori Baker, Mary Kate Karr-Petras and Caitlin Dickey. Lovely ladies.

Like many of you, hands down, my favourite quilt to design is for a child. Sweet dreams is a simple, child-themed project that conveniently hangs on your kid’s headboard, footboard or on the side of a daybed.

BestKids

The six pockets can hold books, small toys and treasures; secret storage for your wee one. The quilt front is made of Riley Blake laminated cottons…the fabric line is called Floriography. Machine embroidery embellishes the little bed hanger but you don’t necessarily have to follow my lead – you can skip the embroidery altogether or choose only to applique designs on the top pockets.

BestKids1

Stitching with laminate is not at all difficult. I’ve compiled a list of hints that accompany my project on pages 19, 20 and 21 of the issue. It’s chock full of 22 patterns and you can purchase a copy here.

Leave me a comment on my blog. I will choose two winners randomly and Quilter’s Newsletter will award two very lucky quilters each a fabric bundle aptly entitled Sweet Things by Northcott.

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In addition, if you leave me a comment AND sign up to subscribe to my email blog, I will choose one new subscriber to receive this fabulous pile of quilt magazines, which includes Best Kids Quilts. Double the fun!

Magazines

Comments will be accepted until Monday, May 11, 2015 at midnight MST. Good luck to everyone and thank you so very much for taking the time to stop by.

Till later….

Kim

Two other quilters are featured today on this blog tour. You can check out their posts by clicking on their names – Kate Colleran and Mary Kate Karr-Petras.

April 29, 2015

Wednesday’s Blog – Decorating with Quilts

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 4:22 pm

I love making quilts that are not always bed-sized, but are more unusual sizes and shapes. Bed runners, smaller children’s quilts and wall hangings are quick and easy projects for all of us. But, how to best showcase those smaller quilts is always an issue; if they don’t fit on a bed per se, how best to surround yourself with them in everyday life?

I made this quilt a long time ago – it was featured in Quilter’s Connection magazine; I called it Savasana…after the final resting pose in yoga. Photo1

Savasana2

I particularly love the teals and purples of the batiks in this little quilt and thought, perhaps I could use this quilt in our family room. I think it works pretty well on top of our blanket box folded. The wooden crate on top holds magazines for easy reading.

Trunk1

Another way the quilt can work is unfolded.

Trunk2

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The embroidered images are surrounded by Brother teal metallic embroidery thread; the perfect complement to the small area rug in our family room.

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How can you best utilize your quilts in your home decor?

Till later…..Kim

April 8, 2015

The Perfect Quilt

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 3:14 pm

This little essay of mine is currently featured on the Quilter’s Newsletter website.

The Perfect Quilt

Infusing my heart and soul into creating a quilt for someone that I love, is my the recipe for creating the perfect quilt. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder, and sometimes the creator – it is never universal. Perfection is the “idea” of a creation that fulfills the objective.

Years ago, I came across some stunning vintage fabric on eBay. As it was truly vintage, it was only 20 inches wide and was like an old English painting; delightfully portraying the utter sweetness and simplicity of life through a childs’ eyes. When the fabric arrived at my door, it looked even better than it had on my computer monitor, and I was thrilled to have it in my hands. I folded it and placed it in my stash, not having the vaguest idea of what it would be used for.

One day our beautiful granddaughter, Harlow was born. Once I saw her sweet little face, I instantly knew why I had purchased that fabric so long ago. It reminded me of her! Even though I hadn’t yet met her, my heart knew her. Harlow is a blessing beyond words, whose only mission in life is to find joy and spread it around.

I made her a quilt featuring the vintage fabric; it’s uncomplicated and simple, like her. Soft pink and muted green cottons work in concert to complement the unmistakeable innocence of the vintage fabric. An embroidered “H” for Harlow confirms the quilt is hers, and pale pink flannel serves as the most comfy backing ever. No quilt was easier to make, yet it meant so much to me.

HarlowsQuilt6

HarlowsQuilt4

There are imperfections in Harlow’s quilt but I don’t see them. I just see the lovely perfection that is my granddaughter and delight in the way she snuggles under her quilt at nap time.

Till later…..
Kim

P.S. You can click on the photos and they will be larger on your computer monitor.

April 1, 2015

Scraps, Scraps and more Scraps

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 5:12 pm

Good Spring morning to you all. It’s so wonderful that April has arrived! Although winter here in Calgary has been unseasonably warm, it’s still such a wonderful feeling to experience the imminent arrival of Spring.

As some of you know, I have been refurbishing our basement to make way for a better working space for me – more light and better organization for quilting and for writing. We are almost there – just waiting for some lighting fixtures that have taken more than 8 weeks to arrive. Hopefully, they will be worth the wait!

I’ve come up with an idea to easily store and display my scraps, and wanted to share it with you.

Scraps3

It’s a fabric shoe organizer and I think it works very well as a displayer-of-all-things-scrappy. The scraps are easy to see so it’s more likely they will be used. Fabrics can be rolled up into bunches and placed in the stretchy, mesh shoe compartments, making it easy to store a ton of fabrics in this handy dandy little item.

Scraps6

The shoe organizer can be hung anywhere in your workspace – on a doorknob, in a closet or on a cupboard door. So easy!

Although I don’t remember where I purchased my shoe organizer they are easily found online and are not at all expensive.

Take care everyone. Till later

Kim

January 28, 2015

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em….

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 10:04 pm

join ‘em! I’m not really fond of that saying, but it’s appropriate for how I’m feeling. Let me explain.

For the longest time, usuallly in the warm summer months, I’ve longed for a quilt studio that was apart from our home; some place that was my very own creative and cozy little nook. I’ve searched pinterest and magazines for backyard studios, checking every picturesque nook and cranny and then dreaming about how to build it in my backyard. I even had a recurring dream about a sun-drenched, backyard quilt studio that was like a little vintage cabin, complete with gauzy curtains blowing in the breeze. At the snap of a finger, I can recreate every tiny detail of that dream – it was so very real. It looked a bit like this little gem.

BackyardGardenStudio

or like this (if it were new)

Mybackyardstudio

Speaking of real, winter set in. Living in Calgary, Canada and not on the California coast was the truth I had to deal with. In my neck of the woods, given the inclement and unpredictable weather, creating a warm and spacious backyard studio would be challenge number one. More importantly, however, came the realization that we are not moving from this house anytime soon, so why not work with what I’ve got? What I did have was a basement workspace – lots of room, lots of storage but not a lot of light. The basement felt like a dungeon some days…making me dread “going to work”. But, I must admit the basement has some strong points…..it is warm, it is spacious and it can be improved.

So, in keeping with the motto of “if ya can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” we are in the process of having our basement renovated, which is surprisingly thrilling! I can hardly wait until it’s finished. The ceilings have been scraped of the popcorn, the walls have been patched and taped and sanded and the old carpeting has been removed. There are now ten brand new pot lights adorning the unpainted ceiling and three new junction boxes for wall sconces. New casing and new baseboard have already done a ton to make the space feel better. Painter is coming on Friday and then carpeting will be laid the week after. As soon as I set up my new workspace, I will send you all a photo.

A new workspace, a new direction and a new attitude. Believe it or not, I already “feel” much better about my revamped basement. I am going to be changing my webpage and working toward a different goal in 2015. I am in limbo and can hardly wait till I can get back to work. Take care everyone.

Till later…

Kim

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