Thursday, August 15, 2013

Been There, Done That . . . .

I got an email this week that absolutely made my summer! Well, okay. I got a lot of emails that made my summer, but this one stood out.

Barbara said:
Attached are a couple of pictures of the quilt "Double Irish Chain" that our group the "Pieceful Quilters" from Anne Arundel County, Maryland completed and donated to benefit the community that was recently affected by the Alberta Flood of 2013.  We were informed about this quilt drive recently by your newsletter - thanks for the inspiration.

This quilt was in a friend's closet for over twenty years, cut up and ready to sew and just waiting to be completed.  Our group took on the challenge at our winter retreat this year and when we heard about this quilt drive, we knew that we had found the perfect charity for this quilt.

Sometimes the answer is right there in front of you, even when you don't know what the question is . .  . yet! Fabulous. Ladies, thank you, thank you, thank you! Someone in Alberta, Canada will be so grateful! If you have a quilt you'd like to send to Alberta, or if you'd just like to learn more about the project, click here.

Speaking of Canada, on Friday I headed north, into Canada to speak at a quilt guild event and to attend an open house event. My first stop was the Canadian border. This was the line after I was in line about an hour waiting for my turn speak with the border agents.

The rest of the drive went smoothly. Many thanks to Sandy Lindal who hosted me for my stay with the York Heritage Quilters Guild in Toronto. Sandy has a long arm business, Scrappy Gal Quilt Company, and while staying at her house, I got a close-up look at her work--wonderful! If you are in the Toronto area, and need some quilting done, Sandy is your gal!

The next morning we headed over to Black Creek Pioneer Village. Sandy is on the set-up committee for the annual quilt show, so she got to work setting up the quilt show for the weekend, and I headed indoors to lead a quilt workshop.

The annual quilt show is outdoors, and the setting is a traditional pioneer village. Each day the quilts are set up for the show, then they are taken down and stored for the night. This guild has got the system down! And the weather was absolutely perfect!

The pioneer village is filled with all kinds of fascinating displays. You feel like you have stepped back into history.

Visitors get to see demonstrations from volunteers dressed in period costume. This gentleman is carding and spinning wool for a mom and a very inquisitive young lady!

This frame is ready for the quilt demonstration.

The quilt are hung everywhere! At the Emporium. . .


. . . and on a barn.

The lawn mowers were out in full force!

 Getting ready for the show!

Inside with me, guild members were busy working on their blocks for "Sweet Revenge," a quilt project from ScrapTherapy, Scraps Plus One!

Most folks finished a few blocks, but one high-achiever had a head start. Lovely! Just a few more rows and this one is ready to quilt!

Two happy quilters. Chris on the left, and Maggie, my workshop helper for the day.

On Saturday, I headed out to Georgetown, Ontario, about 40 minutes by car west of Toronto. QuiltSource Canada is a quilt industry distributor. I was invited to demonstrate during their semi-annual Open House event. 

All set up and ready to meet lots of quilt shop owners and employees on Sunday and Monday.


Once I was comfortable with my quilty accommodations, I set out for a quick walk around Glen Williams--that's a town, not a person. A small cluster of artist studios are open for business!

Inside each studio, you can purchase pottery, jewelry, paintings, and sculpture directly from the artists. Many of them work on their craft while visitors look on.

On Monday at the end of the Open House, once quilts were put away and the QuiltSource Canada warehouse was returned to normal, it was time to head back across the border.

Since I would be passing so close, and there was still plenty of summer daylight left, I decided to make a small detour on my way home. Before Crossing the border into Canada, I headed into the town of Niagara Falls.

Even though I only live about a three hour drive from the Falls, I haven't actually visited here since I was a kid. Things have changed a bit (a lot!) since way back when. Much more commercial in the town itself! Huge hotels and casinos are everywhere you look.

 For a moment, I wondered if this side-step might have been a mistake!

My goodness! Parking is at a premium--$20! By the way, I did not receive any Half-square Triangles with my parking pass! Quite a disappointment. *Wink-wink!*

Fortunately, the park area near the falls is as fantastic as ever! The outrageously-priced parking spot was near the Canadian Horseshoe falls. It takes your breath away to be so close to the brink! By the way, I got over the high priced parking spot pretty quick! Experiencing the Falls is priceless! Worth every penny!

Still photographs cannot possibly capture the essence of the falls . . . the Falls drop about 188 feet--they are much bigger than you think--as the river connecting Lake Erie to Lake Ontario travels eastward! 

Mist rises from the basin and clings to the sidewalks (and tourists) above. An ever-present roar as the water races over the brink and into the river below is a constant--fearsome, but alarmingly pleasing. Every inch of the sidewalk that overlooks the entire length of the Falls is dotted with tourists from all over the world.

Below, the Maid of the Mist tour boat at the Horseshoe Falls. The Horseshoe Falls are entirely on the Canadian side of the border. The American Falls are in the background. In 1960, a 7 year old boy named Roger Woodward, went over the Canadian Falls after a boating accident wearing only a life preserver. He survived and now lives in Alabama.

A view of the American falls and the Maid of the Mist tour boat.

The park is beautifully landscaped.

At night, the Falls are illuminated with colorful light until about midnight. These are some of the lights.

And yes, I got the T-shirt!

Until next time. . . .

Happy Stitching!

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