Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Quilting Gallery Winner

Like many others I participated in the Quilting Gallery Blog Hop.  I didn' t know how to do Mr. Random, and thus did it the old fashioned way.  I wrote all the names out on pieces of paper, and had my son pull a name from the bowl.  The winner of my giveaway is   NEEDLED MOM.  She has been emailed, and has responded with her address.  I will post pics of my methods tomorrow, along with a Canadian giveaway.....  Keep reading, and keep blogging!

Maria K

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Quilting Gallery blog hop

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

Yes, I have bitten this time to participate in a blog hop. It's how I got started writing my own. Last spring I read all the blogs that Michelle from the Quilting Gallery had for that hop, and I thought I could do the same. Writing on a continual basis was too much for me, and so the posts have been sparse. But I am enjoying seeing all the wonderful things that people make. Lots of quilts, bags, and other goodies are displayed among all. I've just finished participating in a swap thru fb, and even there, the groups have lots of new things I want to explore.

One of the table runners I did for a swap

I basically do alterations and the making of new clothes as a business. Just last week I started and finished a skating dress for my 16 yr old. She didn't have a dress to wear for her dance test, or so she claimed. It was a simple dress made with some of the material I already had in my sewing room.  I've also included some pictures of things I've made the last couple of months

The skating dress: simple, but elegant on her!
Love making pj's of any size for family

A small crocheted doily

A totebag made quite a while ago

A sweatshirt with a pillow top pattern behind it, and then cut out for effect

I am also giving away some fat quarters for this hop.  This giveaway is open till the 15 of December and I will ship internationally. I would really prefer it if you also became a follower. However, it is not a prerequisite! Thanks for your visit on my blog, and have fun hopping the other ones.

The fat quarters being given away for this hop


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Where to start?

Summer has flown by, and kids are back in school, and I'm home alone.....

Lots of stuff has happened since last posting:  Here is a small rundown.

1)We took a vacation with 4 out of our 5 children, and went to New Brunswick for 10 days:
Going down 200+ steps to see a gorge

The longest covered bridge in the world: Hartland NB
Caves at St Martin's

Hopewell Rocks on the ocean floor

2) Our second daughter left us for Carleton University in Ottawa (about 6 hrs away).
3) Our oldest daughter moved from a basement appartment to an appartment in a house.
4) Wainfleet has it's own fall fair, and was a huge success!  (By the way, Red ribbons are # 1, blue is # 2 here in our little fair)
Some of the display:  Teddy bear PJ's are mine
Most of the quilts and afghans
My tote bag
5) Thanksgiving with most of the kids and their boyfriends.
6) On the way back to university, our daughter's car was rear-ended and written off.....:(

7) Bought a car for daughter # 3 during this time.
8) We are working on getting another car for daughter # 2. 

Our daughter wasn't seriously hurt, just some whiplash and soft tissue damage, that hopefully will heal over the next few months.  I am thankful that I still have her around, as our extended community is mourning the loss of a 15 year old.  A boy, just barely into highschool was hit by a car on his way home with his skate board.  But to see the school gather together, comfort each other and the people affected by this was wonderful to see.  Long line ups were in the lobby, boys and girls waiting to sign a memorial book.  Most teachers turned to movies during the school day, as not too many students were able to handle lessons or classes.  That scenario will probably continue for a couple days, to let the students deal with their grief.  Prayer during this time is appreciated. 

In the next post I will be showing you some things I have been working on the last couple of months.  Till then, happy reading, and hug your children a little closer when you can!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Since reading all the blogs, I've started to take more of an interest in my own sewing space. I finally started cleaning it, so it will be even more inviting to work in there. It's about 5 years in the making..... That's when we added a garage with living space on top to the house. One of those rooms is my sewing room. Big, bright, open and inviting (in the beginning). Soon it was also used as storage room, and people who knew that I sewed gave me boxes upon boxes of material. Guess where it all ended up? Yes, my sewing room!
Started out with good intentions 5 years ago in the walk in closet.........

More material......And most of that is on the ground.....
Combined with  my lack of being able to throw anything out, it had over the last couple of years become a mess.  I started organizing it on and off during the last couple of years, but never really finished it, and ran out of energy.  This year, though, it seems as if I'm getting my energy back, finally.  I keep working in there, finishing up any alterations that I've had for a few years already, and even straightening, and cleaning out my sewing space.  It's become clear to me that I will be spending many more hours in that room before I finally will have it all the way I like it.  But that's ok.  I think I am ready for the next step in my life, and that involves more furniture in my sewing room so I can start teaching children and adults to sew.
I have all sorts of plans, and maybe soon they will be coming to frutition!  It all depends on how clean I can get my sewing room, and how quickly furniture can be added.  I do more sewing and alterations than quilting, but am enjoying it at this stage of my life.  Quilting for now is being kept as a hobby, something I can loose myself in, without having to share that part to people wanting to learn quilting.  I will do the occasional quilting pattern in something when I am teaching sewing, but more as a sidepart than on purpose.  When students come to learn, one of the first things I have them make is a pin cushion, but usually I have them put a quilt block on the one side.  This way they learn by trying little things, and it teaches them to often sew straight lines. 
Sewing is such an integral part of quilting, being able to sew, being able to sew straight lines (mostly), being able to cut things out for a pattern, that I really want to start at this end of the spectrum. And it has become such a lost art, that now people are starting to look for seamstresses willing to teach them the basics! And that is a niche I hope to fill in the near future.
To that end I will continue to clean, re-organize, and work away at making my sewing space look inviting. Hopefully I can show you more cleaned up space soon!

The patterns and lace cupboard fairly organized!  

I started with the book case area.  I clean that one fairly often.  It's the easiest to keep clean, and organized.  I have also been going thru some of the boxes that have been given me.  But since I like to wash everything before I store it, it makes it quite interesting.  Sometimes there is a lot of scraps, other times quite a lot of good material.  I just finished washing all the new things I received earlier this spring, and am using some of that already for a bag swap that I am taking part in.  If I really have to pin myself down, I think I prefer sewing anything over quilting at this time.  Also because I am petrified of free motion quilting.....   I know I shouldn't be, but right now it's not one of my strong points. 
Books and more books.....

Anyway, this post is long enough! Happy reading, sewing and quilting!

Maria K 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Finally, I'm back

Yeah!  Finally I am back in the blogging world.  Have been catching up on a lot of reading over the last couple of weeks, and am happy to say that I finally am up to snuff, and now have promised myself that I can write another post! 

A lot of things have happened in the last 2 months:  The greenhouse business took so much of my time, that I didn't feel like reading or posting anything. But it has closed for another year, and I have time again to participate in blog hops, fb, and other things I really want to do.

The view of the greenhouse when you first walk in

I have been the winner on several blogs over the last couple of months, and I have received all of the items except for one book I think.  I won material, books, and a couple of pdf patterns.  They are all received with thanks!  I have been sewing the last couple of weeks also, but most of them were alterations.

The Chef's hat (for a children's cooking program.)
The start of the baby blanket

 I did have to make chef's hats, and I also started crocheting a baby afghan.  I will take some pictures of  those items I have been working on lately, and will post them later.

On the family side, my son C has graduated grade 8!  He was one handsome looking dude. (I think, anyway).  He walked away with the Physical Education reward, and was also on the 80% plus average list.
Proud parents and Grade 8 grad!

This means that I now have only one daughter left in elementary school! The end is in sight for that part of our lives.  My second daughter is accepted in a University program.  Not really the  one she wants, but will get another chance of applying to the Architecture program next year.  She's taking the offer of Carleton University (Ottawa, ON) for the history and theory of Architecture.  So that will have our household 2 down.  Three more to go.......   Our middle daughter will be entering into Gr 11 this fall, and she is looking forward to taking more business courses next year.  All in all they all did well, and I am proud of their accomplishments.

Vacation time has started.  It means that the household becomes quiet for a couple of weeks. Our second and third daughters are at a church camp: the one a counselor and the other one is working on the crew that they have at the camp.  Both are gone for 2 weeks, and that just leaves me with the 2 youngest.  Sonny is driving the tractor for his dad and uncle:  They are putting mums in the field so that we can sell them in  a couple of weeks.  And youngest D is the only one left in the house, and is complaining of being bored already.  She will just have to find her own entertainment for the next little while, as I have to get busy in my sewing room for a while.  I have to make a couple of curtains for our house.  The ones in our bedroom have been up for 20ish years, and are totally falling apart!  Yes, that is another thing that happened already:  Hubby and I celebrated our 22nd anniversary ( by going out to dinner with just the two of us).  And daughter # 3 also needs new curtains for her room so I will be busy with that, and a couple of other things I really want to get off my sewing table. 
Ok, Ok, just one picture of a messy sewing table.......

Happy reading, and happy sewing!

Maria K

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Some quilt tops

I have been blogging the last couple of times about the greenhouse business, just because it is what I was doing the last couple of weeks, but I also have a few pictures on my computer from quilt tops that I've made.  I am finding it hard to finish my quilts with the alterations business I have besides the greenhouse business, and I am just waiting on a time that I can pull them out of my cupboards and finish some of them.  I am working presently on a little Christmas table runner that was completely handsewn, and am now in the process of handquilting.  I don't have any pics from that, but will correct that soon.  Here are a couple of the tops that are begging to be finished.  Might have to take some lessons in machine quilting, or long arm quilting at a local quilting store, just to get them done. 

This is my double wedding ring done during a quilting course.  Didn't realize that the light to dark in the circles would turn out this way till after I took a picture and someone who saw it mentioned the side effect of the loops crossing thru. But it has a nice effect, don't you think?

Also made during a course.  Just couldn't resist this pattern once I saw it in the store.  Done in various shaded of yellow, with accents of blue.

The Hunter star.  Am doing this one in two colours only, and I don't even have the blocks totally sewn together yet.

This is the biggest one that I have finished at least the top from.  Once I started working on the colours, I didn't like the background pink, but I persevered.

These are some of the tops that beg my attention after reading all the blogs over the last couple of months.  One of these days I can make my UFO's into quilts. 

A friend and I spend all of Saturday at a show in Toronto. (The Creativ Festival)  We had a blast going thru and seeing all that is out there.  We even sat in on some seminars, and learned lots of different techniques, and ideas.  Hopefully we can take the time to go again in the fall, when they're having another show.  I of course forgot my camera, and wished I brought it to take some pics to show you.  But all in all it was a fun day.   

Thanks for visiting, and happy reading!

Maria K

Saturday, April 21, 2012

As promised: Eye candy

Here are some of the pictures I took of the flowers I was cleaning the other day.

Some of the full of colour baskets

And some more colours

These are all on empty pots on the floor, and watered with a spaghetti system
Some more hanging up in a different greenhouse

Close up of some of the flowers.  Don't you just love the 'pearl' in the middle?

Another colour
These little starts looked like rosebuds opening to me
Doesn't this look like a rosebud?!

The plant after I was done cleaning it
The plant 2 or 3 days after cleaning
The plant about a week after cleaning. All the flowers and buds are back!

This job took me 2 weeks to complete!  By the time I reached the last row, there were so many more flowers and buds on there, that it took me longer to clean a plant every day!  But now we're just going to let them grow, and will sell them in a couple of weeks.  Here's to hoping to good weather coming up in May!

Happy sewing!  (I've been doing alterations this week, and have no pictures to show for that), and happy reading!

Maria K

Sunday, April 15, 2012


The other day I was working in the greenhouse and I had a not so fun job to do.  Try picking up a beautiful basket full of flowers, and having to take them plus upcoming buds out.  Actually it's not such a bad job:  The plant will grow bigger and will get more flowers in a couple of days.  Our season to sell here in Ontario, Canada is basically beginning of May till mid June.  That is when we close up again for another year.  I was picking away those buds and flowers and thought I needed my camera to take some close ups of them.  Will do that tomorrow.  But some of those buds looked like rosebuds.  Really pretty to see on the plant.  The plants I was cleaning up was a Sunshine Impatiens.  It's a fairly hardy plant.  Probably perfect for me too.  I always tell people that I can kill plants faster than my husband can grow them.   And it's actually true.  I totally forget to water my plants.  Sometimes for months on end, and then I have the task of throwing plants out.  But these Sunshine Impatiens when they are dry and then watered again, will come back.  Most of the time looking just as good as the day before.  I will try to put quite a few pics of them on the blog tomorrow night, as I really like those flowers.  Did you know that if you take the blooms of any flower that you plant in your garden, those flowers will establish roots first again before flowering?  It's true.  But not a lot of people want to plant flowers and then have no colour in their gardens.  I come originally from Holland, and it's a fairly common practice there to sell plants without flowers.  If we try that here, we won't get any sales! 
A smaller basket, not yet ready to sell
A basket ready to sell
Aren't these beauties?  I love walking in the greenhouses at this time of the year and see the progress made on a weekly basis.  More colour, more varieties ready to sell, and bigger plants.  Not many people can have this around them on a daily basis!  While it does get hectic, and not much of my sewing gets done, it's a time when the whole family pitches in and does the work with us.  We are tired of the long hours at the end of the spring season, but it is our bread and butter.

Hope to post some more pics tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!

Maria K

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's been a couple of days.

Once again I just finished going thru all of the wonderful blogs out there.  I love seeing the pictures, and all the quilts people have made.  But I haven't found any time to play with the blog other than to write a couple of stories.  I finally figured out that pictures are easy to post also.  Here is one of the tops that I have made quite a few years ago, and of which a portion is part of my profile picture.

A sampler done up in purples and greens

This was a class that I took years ago, and for me it was a chance to work with some colours I am not too fond off.  I really don't like green, but it worked with the purple.  Some of the blocks have the markings on them already for quilting, just haven't gotten around to it yet.   The back of this quilt is totally pieced together also, with all the leftover fabrics from the front.  One of these days I will take quilting up again, but for the last couple of years my main sewing has been for alterations, and fixings. 

This week has been a crazy one.  With the warm weather we've been having lately, all our plants in the greenhouse grew faster than expected.  I ended up transplanting already a couple of days this week, and will do some more later this week.  We are even looking at opening the greenhouse for retail earlier this year also.  Here is a sneek peak at last years flowers www.greenacresgreenhouses.ca .  I took most of the pictures and with help of a friend put the website together.  Hope you have fun looking.  I have to change some things on it pretty soon, and put up new pictures again. 

This is all for now.  Happy reading, and keep sewing!

Maria K

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Just starting

I really enjoyed participating in the blog hops over Christmas and for St. Patrick's Day, and reading the many blogs out there.  This one will be a mix of everything:  family life, my sewing business, and our greenhouse business.  I am a mother of 5 children, who slowly but surely are growing up.  Our oldest is almost 21, and already out of the house. Number 2 is ready to head out to University come fall. The third one just got her G1 licence, and will be getting driving lessons during the next couple of months.  Number 4 is the only male, and prefers it if his sisters weren't around to bug him all the time.  Our youngest is 11, and thinks she knows everything about anything and everything. (Which of course she doesn't!)  

Hubby has a greenhouse business, and we're busy planting, transplanting and making baskets and planters ready for sale for the spring season.  I love walking in the greenhouses, and seeing all the colours and all the plants getting ready.  Can't wait to get in there myself to help him.  Which will happen within the next couple of weeks.

I have my own sewing business.  I do a lot of wedding attire alterations, will make some things from scratch, and have a stack of quilt tops ready to be made into quilts.  However, that is more my hobby, and sewing takes preference right now.  I make dresses, pillows, bags, and anything that can be sewn together.  Lately it has been pj's for family members.  I do most of the sewing out of my own house. I like that I can set my own hours, and even evenings to have people over for fittings.    During the last couple of years this part has really been taking off, and I love seeing people come back for different weddings, or their own. 

I will be putting up some pictures of the things I have sewn in the next couple of weeks, but wanted to introduce myself in this blog first. 

Thanks for reading, and thanks for following!

Maria Kievit