March 23, 2016

Handmade quilted and embroidered fabric pillow

Good day everyone! I was rummaging through some older, digital quilt photographs today and came up with this patchwork, applique, handmade, quilted and embroidered fabric pillow.

Pillowcover

I made this fabric pillow several years ago. It’s an example of how to use many different techniques and fabrics all in one project. For example, I used my Brother embroidery machine to embroider the words, “Sweet Girl” (using a Brother embroidery font card) and to embroider the little design in the lower right hand corner of the pillow top. Using some vintage fabric (including old feedsacks) and some amazingly beautiful chenille that I had purchased on ebay, I appliqued the double heart design and the little butterfly using Steam-a-Seam. Once the fabrics were adhered to the pillow top in the right place, I stitched around the design using my Brother machine applique stitch.

Little embellishments in the form of ribbons and buttons were added once the pillow cover was stitched together.

I also made a patchwork, handmade, appliqued and embroidered quilt to complement the pillow.

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These projects were really fun for me to make. I loved using old feedsack fabric and the chenille especially. These two quilted and embroidered projects are super easy to make and a great way to use your scraps. I gave them both away to charity – and kinda miss them!

Till later….

Kim

January 12, 2016

Snow is everywhere

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 12:27 am

We spent some time at our condo on Lake Windermere arriving on New Year’s Eve. The complex was crowded with people just waiting for dark so they could celebrate with fireworks. At the Lake, dark in January comes by 5 pm so the kids didn’t have to wait long for their spectacular explosions. New Year’s Day brought with it cold temperatures, -16 C, but many hardy souls were out on the Lake enjoying winter’s best – ice fishing, hockey, skating, cross-country skiing. The day was so dull and lifeless, yet the frozen Lake was alive with activity.

We walked for a little less than 10,000 steps that day and had a magnificient time in the freezing cold.

Staying only a few days, driving home on Highway 93 was a winter wonderland of snow and nature’s beauty. Having driven that highway countless times, this drive was just a little better than most. The sun shone and sparkled on the fresh, glistening snow. I loved the gray, low-lying clouds on the majestic Rocky Mountains the best.

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Tons and tons of snow covered the landscape for as far as the eye could see.

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Such a wonderful time of the year.

Till later…
Kim

January 4, 2016

January is here!

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 4:42 pm

I love all things January; at least all things in the beginning of January. By the middle of the month, nearing the end I’ve usually had enough. Enough of the cold weather and dreary days. Today, though is a great day. As with the start of each New Year, I always feel anything is possible. It’s exciting and it’s creative and it’s fun.

As many of you know, I’ve been working diligently on curing my IBS. My naturopath, Dr. Angela Kirk is a wonderful lady who has helped me tremendously through this process. She is always more than willing to listen to me and to my concerns and stubbornly tries to address each one. Since everyone’s IBS symptoms differ, it is very helpful to embark on one’s own to do some independent reading on the subject and to discover as much as possible about the insidious disease. I did some IBS-related reading online, being mindful to pay attention to the sources quoted, being sure they were reputable. I found out several things that I was not previously aware of – (1) white rice can exacerbate symptoms, (2) carbonated beverages were not helpful to those suffering from IBS and (3) to stop drinking all kinds of teas. White rice I love, so changing to eating brown rice was a bit of a chore, but it’s now done. Since I avoid alcohol and caffeine, my “party” drink was club soda. Once I understood the carbonation was hurting my recovery and healing, I stopped drinking that. Since not being able to tolerate black teas, I drank herbal teas all during the day – especially when meeting a friend at Starbucks. Quitting the herbal tea side of things was particularly difficult for the reason that drinking it was part of a social routine.

Help, though, came in quitting white rice, carbonated beverages and herbal teas, and it came immediately. It was actually shocking! As a result, I’m doing much better now. My naturopath would like me to take some herbal antibiotics sometime this month to help with the bacteria in my small intestine. I must admit that I haven’t yet decided if I wish to go that route.

I have been following a low fodmap diet which has also helped me tremendously. The diet is not as strict (at least not to me) as the Paleo diet was and I seem to be tolerating it well. I do cheat; eating onions, cream cheese (in soup) along with a few other food choices. All in all, however, I’m doing better than I have in a long time.

Yoga helps me every day that I practise. Getting to class three or four or five times a week is always a blessing. I’ve never once left a yoga class saying, “well that was a waste of time!” It allows me to work hard for 75 minutes, refocus and regenerate. It’s a Godsend and I love it.

Writing is my goal in 2016 – all kinds of writing and writing whenever I can. We’ll see where this leads me.

Thank you everyone.

Till later

Kim

November 5, 2015

A Lovely Experience

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 8:42 pm

Saturday night, October 3 – it was a little gloomy and a lot miserable outside. Just a hint of Fall in the air but an unmistakeable chill was settling in. All in all, a perfect evening for one of Debby Sereda’s heart chakra yin yoga workshops….also known as 2½ hours of bliss.

Arriving at the studio, the room is darkened with little green strands of lights strung around the perimeter. There is no conversation. Faint sounds of music are barely audible as I made my way to my place on the floor. Bolsters and blankets are set-up to mark the “spot” and it feels overwhelmingly welcoming – like being wrapped in comfort.

Once everyone is there, Debby begins by giving us all a custom mixture of essential oils in our own tiny bottle; a hypnotizing concoction of eucalyptus and lavender – oils that are compatible with opening the heart chakra. So wonderfully soothing. We are instructed to use the oil as we please throughout our practise.

Although the studio is full, there is no notion that anyone else is close by. Alone on our mat wrapped in a feeling of peace and tranquillity as we moved from yin pose to rebound to yin pose. Debby’s words are inspiring as we move slowly from pose to pose and her voice is hushed and respectful of the silence in the room. She is so knowledgeable and passionate about the subject matter.

Meditation came at the end of the practise – a long and completely unrushed session of deeper understanding and intuition.

Sleep that night came very easily. The time flies by in the workshop but the feelings of peace and calm cling to you. So very lovely. I can hardly wait for the next one!

Till later…..Kim

October 26, 2015

Turning over a new leaf

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 6:12 pm

Good day everyone. I hope this message finds you all well.

Despite the fact that leaves have been falling from the trees for several weeks now, it is still a beautiful, golden Fall day today.

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These photos were taken just a few steps from our home….in the second photo you can just make out the amazing Rocky Mountains in the background. So lovely.

I’ve been struggling with an ailment for many, many years, but lately the symptoms seem worse and are encroaching into my everyday life way too much. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is insidious and creeps into life with all its outstretched tentacles. I’ve been dabbling in so many different remedies at one time and it has become so exhausting. I figure it’s time to really concentrate on healing my digestive woes, once and for all, because I now understand via my naturopath that it is possible to heal and tame one’s IBS symptoms.

This morning, I’ve made a very conscious decision to turn my attention inward, so to speak – turn over a new leaf. Stress is a huge component of IBS, and while I feel I do much of what is expected to mitigate the stress of everyday life, like yoga, half-hearted attempts at meditation and exercise, my efforts are clearly not nearly enough to turn the tide. I think part of the healing is going to be “putting myself first” which is so very hard to do. Today, though, I am sure that if I don’t do that I will not solve the uninhibited symptoms of IBS. Natural remedies, pharmacological remedies, supplements and a great diet are not going to completely do the job. My full attention has to be directed towards healing. It’s so odd, but I also know that it is true.

So, as a result, I’m going to only quilt for personal reasons. (I have such a great fabric stash that it simply must be used!) My web lady, Shelly Caldwell is going to build me a bright and new website that deals more with writing than with quilting. I’m excited to see what she comes up with.

I will keep you all posted on my progress. Wish me luck!

Till later…..Kim

August 12, 2015

My Renovated Quilting Studio – Paper Storage

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 7:02 pm

Good day everyone. Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday.

I wanted to share with you a few more photos from my new quilting workspace in our basement. My last post covered fabric storage and this post will deal with paper storage…like quilting magazines, photos, scrapbooking supplies and paper quilting patterns.

At the bottom of the basement stairs, is a closet that we mainly used for junk….old clothes that didn’t fit anymore, kids halloween costumes, winter coats – those sorts of things. The junk was removed and the clutter was dealt with. When the door of the closet was off for painting, it occurred to me that maybe the closet would be more useful without the door. So, the inside of the closet was painted (the same Benjamin Moore shade of bluegrass as the rest of the basement) and a new top shelf was made from MDF. The closet looked so much better. Now I had a brand new, clean space in which to hide paper in pretty little boxes! Yippee!

Teal is such a great colour and I wanted to use that accent colour in the basement as much as possible. A trip to Ikea gave me a good start. I picked up a Kallax unit (these used to be called Expedit) in teal that had eight cubbies.

tealkallax

Ikea white four-sided baskets for storage would also come in handy, as these little gems are geared to fit nicely in the cubbies of the Kallax unit.

Branas

The Kallax unit is surprisingly heavy! If you get one, you’ll need to roll it to your vehicle on a cart.

Once home, putting it together was a breeze.

As Ikea is very economical, so far so good in the $ department.

The Container Store was next on my list. Thrift just went out the window! It’s not that the items are particulary pricey, but when adding duty and shipping costs here to my home in Canada, it’s a little more than I would have ordinarily spent. I had to look at it as a splurge for sure. But Bigso Stockholm and Bigso Kate products were very appealing in pink and patterned teal and were just right for the project.

The assembled Kallax unit was placed inside the doorless closet, the cubbies were filled with appropriate storage containers holding various paper-type items and then labelled. Now, I have all my paper storage centralized and it’s wonderful. However, what’s not so wonderful is that lurking in all those containers are tons of photos and scrapbooking supplies and stuff that one day, will have to be addressed.

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It’s been fun sharing all this with you.

Next Wedneday, my sewing machines and thread and cutting table.

Till later….

Kim

August 4, 2015

My Renovated Quilting Studio – Fabric Storage

Filed under: Uncategorized — kimhanson @ 7:44 pm

In January, we made a decision to renovate our basement. It was overdue for a much needed facelift and I was excited that my dreary, light-less and bland quilting space would be renewed. We thought we’d scrape the ceiling (of the existing popcorn finish), install new and much more lighting, paint and replace the carpeting. A fresh and new inspiring space in which to quilt and to write.

Work began and progressed along nicely. Soon I had a crisp and clean white ceiling with ten new glistening pot lights. Suddenly there was light! One of the walls was covered in beadboard, painted white and three new sconces were installed. So amazing. Blue grass from Benjamin Moore covered the other walls. Tiny basement windows were cased and it made them look just a little bit bigger and much, much better. We purchased some soft and silky excellent quality carpeting to cover the cold, concrete floor. Now, not only did my studio look great, it felt pristine and wonderful.

Time to move in the furniture – the best part, I think. Ten years ago or more, for very little money I purchased a black, two-door armoire as a china cabinet from HomeSense. Thinking the size and shape of the armoire would be perfect for fabric storage, I emptied it out of dishes and had it hauled down to the basement.

Space

I measured the shelving inside the armoire and heading to HomeSense, found some large baskets, small baskets and some old style wooden crates that fit like a glove. Again, like everything at this store, the prices are very reasonable.

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This allowed me to divide my fabrics into colours and batiks and designers and label each container as such. It is wonderful to be able to keep my stash all in one place now. There is 14 inches between the top of the armoire and the ceiling, so there’s plenty of room for more storage. The perfect place for extra-wide backing fabric:

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and for medium sized glass jars containing quilting accessories like Riley Blake buttons and crocheted flowers.

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Fabric storage settled and done, next it’s on to scrapbook storage and re-vamping a little-used closet.

Till later….

Kim

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:

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Blue Clematis

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Exquisite Pink Astilbe

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First Red Daylily

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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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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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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.

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

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

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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

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