Thursday, February 23, 2017

Caw-mon Ground and Musings

Got up just ahead of the sun this morning despite some odd sleeping patterns yet again (enter menopause fun and games once more--it's bad enough that oddball things plague me during the day, well not plague maybe, but bug from time to time, but now nighttime is messed up too? Like what's with this...) where was I, oh yeah, got up, and felt compelled to do my meditation (wish I did this every morning, as it is truly a magnificent in a profoundly quiet way, to start my day) and after meditating, felt strongly compelled to draw/design.  This happened:
"Caw-mon" Ground for #30quiltdesignschallenge2017
As I said on Instagram, maybe it was my love of the number 3, triangles, pyramids, birds, meditation, sitting cross-legged, a dream last night of a Canada goose in the corner of our yard here in Florida, wow, I could see it, a still sentinel in black, grey and white, the feeling of a benevolent higher power, and of spring in the air, thoughts of heading north, seeing Abigail's rainbow stars, having done and so enjoyed Ruth's Rainbow Rose QAL, playing weekly with rainbow colours, in particular the migrating geese project #2, but I felt/saw so strongly a triangle image and a need to somehow translate this triangle image into a quilt.  After I posted the image to Instagram, I realized the (duh) significance of designing in rainbow colours today, one day after Pink Shirt Day.  Thank you to my sister Linda for reminding me; now that I am out of teaching, some of these significant days we always celebrated. escape me.  It originated in Canada, where a young teen was bullied because he wore a pink shirt to school.  I am so glad that a group of this young gay man's friends not only stood up for him, and against homophobic bullying, but did it LOUD.  And LOOK where a small group's actions can go!  How I wish we could show FREELY show, our tolerance of all peoples, (and all pibbles).
Sitting cross-legged on the floor for a 12-minute meditation.  Bella loves it as much as I do; without fail coming gently onto my lap, kissing my fingertips, which elicits a bit of a scratch of her chin, followed by a gentle pad/knead of my thigh and then a settling, purring contentedly almost the entire time.  Of course, she needs to strike a pose when the bell/gong sounds to end the meditation and I start to move a bit.
Speaking of quilt alongs, I myself have one that is going to start on the Spring Equinox, Monday, March 20, called Free Fall.  It's the wallhanging size of Windfall, and I have lined up some pretty terrific prizes for those who wish to join me and finish their wallhanging.  More details to come, but I am excited!  For now Bella is reposing on the stack of lush fabrics from Paintbrush Studio that I am using.  They are my main sponsor. 😀
There has been a LOT of sewing going on this month, some of which you see here, a total of four, no five projects, some big, some medium, some small, that I can't talk about.  Yet.  Some has involved February's colour, sea green, teal, aqua, aquamarine, known by many names and hues:
Ah aquamarine!  And Kaffe Fassett...
I've committed to another leader/ender project since the migrating geese strip for February is complete, and my Scrap Vortex is uh, in a vortex still...
Aqua corner triangles in...
or purple corner triangles in....
This quilt, "'X' Marks the Block" (I love witty quilt names) was designed by Teresa at Fabric Therapy. I saw it on Pinterest, and tracked iy down to the original designer.  Originally I was going to do it totally scrappy, as she does, but after my like/love/hate/dislike/meh feelings on my Scrap Vortex, I realize that I like and need more order with my scrap quilting.  Could I do the opposing corners in one colour family?  I could!  I am leaving a few blocks each month with a blank corner section, ready for the next month's colour strips to be added.  Not sure how this will all play out, but that is the fun and the liberation of working with one's scraps!  Patience, a bit of a 'what if' attitude of experimentation, and beautiful things happen.
Patience, focus, intensity, Naala has it all.  Yet happily all the geckos are still alive and well despite her attempts to catch one!
Much more of those three qualities are apparent in this week's amazing, not taking no for an answer, 150 Canadian Women project.  Pat Sloan interviewed Kat on her podcast on Monday! Here is the link in case you missed it.  Here are this week's blocks:
Oops.  Ha, not really.  Here is the result of some more patience and hard work done by my intrepid MacGyver who has really beautified our house front this year.  One of his Bird of Paradise plants bloomed yesterday! It is unbelievable.  I've seen several over the years of coming to Florida, but to have one right here and gaze at its wondrous intense colours, is so surreal for me.  As is having my very own jasmine plants whose scent floats in in the early mornings.  Okay closer look at those three blocks:
43 - Alexandrine Gibb: an athlete and an advocate for women's sports organizations, helped to establish the Women's Amateur Athletic Federation of Canada; 44 - Marilyn Grace Bell di Lascio: still alive today, she was the first woman to swim the width of Lake Ontario, a distance of 51.5 km/ 32 miles, and the next year she was the youngest person ever to swim The English Channel; 45 - Eliza Maria Jones (née Harvey): "earned international acclaim for her herd of cattle and bestselling butter" now you see why I put the cow 2.5" square in the centre, although her cows were not Holsteins but Jersey. She was nationally known and respected for her cattle and horse-breeding expertise.
I was tickled pink (ha!) when I found that just about 2.5" square in my tiny-scraps basket.  I love that I've randomly thrown in little pnemonic devices like this to help me remember a block's significance. (Remember the checkered fabric for the racer? The deep red/purple for Viola?) Eliza regularly entertained Sir John A. MacDonald at her farm table! He was Canada's first Prime Minister, elected in...? you got it, 1867! 150 years ago this year.

All right off to work.  Yep, on the Free Fall Quilt Along. 

Linking up with
Sew Fresh Quilts
My Quilt Infatuation

Oh! Remember my own linky is this Saturday, for any DrEAMi! projects you may have made during February. If you missed the last one in January, here is the link.  Have you ever been a victim of one of those Drop Everything And Make it 'gotta-make-it-and-right-now' experiences? This is the party for you!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Migrating Geese in Aqua

Pieced mainly as a leader/ender project, here is row 2 for the RSC2017 Migrating Geese quilt, my project #2.

Scraps of the size required, 5 7/8" squares, are not easy to come by when you do not have a lot of aqua scraps, period.  Therefore, three of the triangles were cut as half triangles of that size square.  There's a bit of the Meadow Mystery in this strip, a bit of a fabric my sister Wendy gave me from her first cruise to the Caribbean, a bit of Tula, a bit of the quilt that occupied the first 12 days of February, about which I have only hinted, and a very old marbled piece from a Magic Tiles quilt, etc...
Honestly, she has new quilt on the floor radar!
I am going to have to organize these strips a bit because I was thinking it would be fun to have one row of geese migrating north and the other south because, well, obviously, that is what geese do.  However, I do not want the triangles lining up, so I have to make sure to start adjacent rows with a triangle on the opposing side.  One row will begin with a triangle on the right, the other row with a triangle on the left.  Confused?  I know what I mean and that is all that counts, right?!

Feeling pretty blue...

I listened, twice, to "Canada's Storyteller:  A Tribute to Stuart McLean" on my CBC app while I pieced this row amongst my other projects over the past couple of days.  I am still choked up about Suart's death; how could he go in two months after announcing he was taking a little break to pursue a second, different treatment for his melanoma after the first one wasn't successful?  And only 68.  I used his stories with my grade 7 English Language Arts (ELA--English teachers, like quilters, love their acronyms) and my grade 9 Honours ELA classes.  The listening tests I made up for "Toilet Training the Cat" and "Christmas Presents" are still used at the junior high where I taught.  It was a wonderful connection with students who were familiar with the Dave and Morley stories and whose families listened regularly to "The Vinyl Cafe" on CBC Radio 2 at 9 am on Saturdays, repeated on Sundays at noon on CBC Radio 1.  I enjoyed the musician guests, many up and coming ones that Stuart would highlight; I loved the Arthur Awards, and lamented with my mum that there will be no more, and my eyes brim with tears as I type this.  For those who don't know, the Arthur Awards were given to people who did random acts of kindness, nominated by a recipient or observer of that kindness.  Those shows, usually featuring 3 recipients, made my rose-coloured glasses view of the world glow hot flamingo-pinky-orange.  Such wonderful persons from coast to coast in Canada.  Stuart LOVED his country and illuminated, but in a quiet non-boastful way, through humour and poignancy, what it means to be Canadian.  I am saddened that within a little over three months we have lost two icons of Canadian culture, Leonard Cohen and Stuart McLean.  Yet I am grateful, so grateful, for such a wealth of a legacy that they leave behind, and so very very thankful that I was able to see both of these talented creative souls in concert.

A little aqua crept in to my Honey Pot Bee blocks for the month of February.  Here we have Star Kisses and Quilter's Pantry Block.

And here are all the blocks so far.  Not really a fan yet, to be honest, but time will tell.  I keep wanting to add a print, but the challenge (to myself) is to do this entirely of solids.

We are beginning week 8 of the #30quiltdesignschallenge.  As of the writing of this post, there are 122 designs in the hashtag pool!  This challenge, to create 30 quilt designs, ends on March 15, so we still have nearly another month.  Here are my latest two, which, I realize, incorporate their fair share of aqua!
Trunk Road was sketched on the way to yoga (don't worry; I wasn't driving), just an image I had in my head of the Canadian Rockies.  I'd finished Merle's Door the previous day, and because so much of the book takes place in Wyoming and the US Rockies, and I was still living in the book in my head, specifically in the Rockies.  I wondered vaguely if I could create a landscape scene using only squares and HSTs...not bad!  This comes from travelling the Forestry Trunk Road in Alberta, basically from the Alberta/Montana border to just north of Hinton, Alberta.  We spent many a happy camping trip over many years of trips here.  This scene is from my mental image of a spot in the southern Alberta end of the Trunk Road, wheatfield or perhaps hay stubble in the foreground, foothills rising beyond and the Rockies towering beneath a blue Alberta sky, Ian Tyson's "This Is My Sky" playing in my head.

Two Point Five, a reference to the 2.5" strips I would use to make this block, is playing around with the Quilter's Pantry block I created for my jar.  Note that I put the lime green strips I thought to make version B easier to piece, on the wrong sides of the block!  I've been intrigued with playing with plaid, so I think the woven look to this stems from that.  So far both attempts to create an overall plaid design quilt have been epic fails, ha!
Linking up with
soscrappy


Friday, February 17, 2017

Mug Rug

My love-affair with scraps is well-known.  I showed you the flimsy of the 6" square I made with scraps from the rainbow scrappy binding for Whirling Stars.  Here is the mug rug I just had to finish up this past week.
I honestly do not believe I have ever bound a quilt with a yellow binding, especially one this vibrant. It's another sneak peek at one of the fabrics responsible for my 10-day posting hiatus.  I did an X through the two main diagonal lines of the mug rug and then...couldn't stop. 😬

Here is the back:
I still have a little bit of this beloved Laurel Burch rainbow angel kitties fabric called "Holiday Collection" which she designed for Clothworks, just perfect for the back of my mug rug! I remembered before stitching on the binding to apply my label from Ikaprint. 😉 On minis, I cut my binding at 1.25" and do a single-fold application, which I first stitch to the quilt back, and then topstitch the front down.  It makes for a pretty neat finish.

Here it is in action the other morning.
I am a simple girl: give me a good book, one cup of coffee in the morning, a meaningful mug (this one a gift from my mum many years ago, Mozart, much-loved composer of ours), some graph paper and crayons and pretty fabric, and I'm a happy camper.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  original design
Size: 5 3/4" square
Fabric:  leftover binding HSTs
Batting: Pellon Nature's Touch 100% cotton scrap
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann; quilted with Aurifil variegated 3817
I noted on Instagram that I had just finished a terrific book, one I think all doglovers must read, so I want to mention it here for those not on Instagram.  It's called Merle's Door: Lessons From a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote.  Just excellent.  He's got another one out, actually two, about Pukka (rhymes with hockey puck) and I got the mainly photos book about Pukka as a puppy and have ordered the novel, Pukka's Promise.

Did you know? That you can look at any public account on Instagram and see the person's photos?  I am mmmquilts, so if you want to check up on me, I am there every day or two!

I got some very happy mail yesterday:
This is from my friend Pat, who is on Flickr here.  She sent me a terrific article about the importance of moving and stretching mindfully, to keep your hips and knees and back in good health.  It is written by a personal trainer with many years of experience, both hers and her clients'.  It amazed Pat, and now me, with how similar her insights are to Yin poses and reasoning.  I will be incorporating some of this knowledge into future Sunday Stretches!  I just love the saying on the card she included and that BAG--!  I've admired these, especially the ones Anja has made, for some time and have wanted to make one but still haven't.  Love that fabric, right?

Linking up with
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Crazy Mom Quilts
TGIFF at A Quarter Inch From the Edge

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Ten Days

Interesting title, no? This is thanks to my friend Preeti, who inquired as to my well-being (so did Pat), and I thank you sweet friends who notice a gap in posting from time to time.  This one was 10 days, as Preeti let me know.  A lot can happen in 10 days.  To be honest, and not totally transparent (yet) a lot happened in the first 12 days of February.
On the left you see 2" finished 4-patches destined for two projects and on the right trimmings from a big project that I can't talk about just yet.

I can talk about those 4-patches. A bunch went into this house block.
Along with a floral piece by Riley Blake and some batik, grass and sky scraps that I brought with me for Cindy's Canada blocks, those 4-patches became a 6" finished heart block for the side of the house.  A house filled with love and sunshine and bedecked with flowers.  My wish for the recipient of the quilt of which this one becomes a part.  Time hopefully can heal, lessen the pain and horror and anguish.
These two blocks have been mailed to the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild.  (That link will take you to the explanation and details as to how you can help.)  They are collecting house blocks to be made into quilts for the families of the victims of the massacre at a Québec City mosque.  Such senseless violence in the sanctity of a holy place, not that anywhere else would be less of a horror, but in a place of such peace and reverence...innocent people, families bereft of a dad, or a grandpa, a husband, a son...I still get so emotional thinking about it.  I immediately knew I'd make my 16" house block I designed.  I resized it to 12" and yes there will be a tutorial for this size too.  The 16" size is available here on the blog or in PDF form free in my Craftsy Pattern Store.  The maple leaf is only 5" so I added two borders.  Scraps for the maple leaf are from Windfall, the backing of Whirling Stars, and grass/sky/batik as mentioned.  The chimney pieces were a perfect find in the bottom of my scraps bin, leftover Kaffe Fassett from the Three-Quarter Patch Tote I made for Craftsy (affiliate link) last year.  Love it when serendipity strikes.

Love it when Bella strikes, a pose, that is!
Decided the scrap bin was a purr-fect spot for a nest; playing peek-a-boo in a drawer
Ahh, she brings me so many smiles.  And lots of material for the blog and Instagram.

Mail Concerns
I do not love it when I have to mail stuff, especially to another country from here.  We had to send some stuff (happenings in those 12 days of the unquilty kind) via UPS and so I took my blocks in a reused 6.5X8.5" padded envelope to see what they would charge me, as they have regular postal services there too.  Choke!! $16 First Class mail.  According to her, that was the cheapest I'd get.  I spluttered, "Thanks, but I'll see what the post office says.  I took the exact same envelope to my local post office here in Florida.  I got one of the two 'good' workers (there is one that will never try to help you find a cheaper way to send stuff) and she said, "Well, as it is right now, these two quilt blocks that weigh next to nothing will cost you either $9-11 to send.  However..."  as my eyes popped.  This was almost half what the other girl had said postage would cost, but still exorbitant.  She suggested I take them out of the reused padded envelope, which, btw, Preeti had used to send me a super-hilarious book written by various dogs, observations on human behaviour.  It cost her $3.78 to send it to me. I know that is the media rate, and within the US, but still--!  If I put these two blocks into a regular envelope, it could probably go for around $2.50, much better.
I made my own envelope using regular paper.  Gift card is there so you see the size, about 5.5X8.5"
I took it back there the next day, and it went as a letter because it was so flat and so light and in a regular envelope.  Cost?  $1.15!  Now, this kind of variance makes me incensed!  Of interest to note: the mysterious first 12 days of February project which weighed 50 or more times cost me a flat rate of $13.60 to send from Florida to Michigan a week later!

Despite these mysterious goings-on, both of which were simultaneously exhilarating and positive but somewhat stressful as well, I still did daily walking and noticing and marvelling.
There were two of these pretty butterflies flitting around by the side of the road. One posed for a split second...maybe it's a moth?  The moon in broad daylight always fills me with wonder.  I project myself there, look back at our blue/green planet, and think, yes, your life is pretty insignificant, really.  Or not.  One person can make a difference, whether by appreciating the beauty around her, or by adding to the beauty, as my wise friend Jasmine said to me a couple of years ago, with quilts.

The 150 Canadian Women Project has me, and plenty of others, anticipating Tuesdays like never before!
Block 37: Mary Meager Southcott - because of parents' disdain for the nursing profession, she waited until they died before going to nursing school. She was 37.  Two years of training and two years of experience later, she became a superintendent of nurses, and then set about raising the standard of nursing to professional level. When she stood up to the establishment, she was forced to resign, which was reversed, but 15 years later. Still, after her forced resignation, she set up a private hospital, continuing to fight for women. Perseverance or what.  38: Roberta Catharine MacAdams Price - she was a domestic sciences instructor, a dietician in England during WWI, first woman to successfully move an Act that brought legal recognition to a veterans' organization, and worked to establish an Edmonton teacher training college.  39: Dr. Maud Menten - brilliant biochemist that co-developed with Leonor Michaelis the famous Michael-Menten equation for measuring the rate of a biological reaction catalyzed by enzymes. "Although this equation is internationally recognized and is necessary for the production of most modern drugs, Maud is unknown."
These are this week's:
Block 40: Margaret Newton - internationally renowned agricultural scientist, she did ground-breaking (ha no pun intended) work in cereal crops rust protection; 41: Agnes Deans Cameron - first white woman to reach the Arctic Ocean. The winter birches fabric reminds me of the cold wintry Arctic. Prior to that she was a teacher, then the first woman principal, fired for allowing her students the same 'cheating' privileges as her male colleagues, who of course, were not fired; 42: Joan Bamford Fletcher - she completed a mechanics course during WWII, drove vehicles for the Polish Army, and at the end of the war was assigned to assist in the evacuation of Allied troops from Sumatra.
Just so much joy in rifling through the pinks, reds and whites/creams scraps!  So much awe and inspiration in reading about these kickass, "I'm not taking no for an answer" women.  Will update later today with a note about each one.  Amazing women.

I cannot get over having made 42 6.5" unfinished blocks with those three baggies of scraps I brought with me.  They don't feel much flatter; what's with that?!  Blocks 41 and 42 made me so gratified that I save scraps as small as 1-1.5".  Block 42 had four 4-patches made with 1.5" squares!  I used 4 different lights for them, 2 different lights for the corner triangles and yet another different one for the centre.  Didn't even have to cut that puppy out because I brought my drawer organizer of 2.5" squares with me!  Can you spot the one rogue red 1.5" square in the bottom block?!  Rather than cut into the dwindling piece of Debbie Mumm red check for the 8th square for the 4-patches, I cut one from the Windfall scraps, already a 1.5" little strip!  That made me grin.  I'm a simple girl; doesn't take much to make me happy.

Linking up with
Sew Fresh Quilts

and finally,
Quilt Fabrication for

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Purple Project #2

Not only is it a  "Wow, how did that happen?" feeling because we are done one entire month of 2017, but it is also a "Wow, how did that happen?" moment for me again because I seem to have got a second RSC2017 project going again this year!  I do know the new colour for February has been announced, Aquamarine, but this happened this past week:

I really needed to make these in orange...

However, before I cut into my remnants of orange and white Grunge from the Radiance quilt, I had to do a test for size.  You see, you can make these in any size you want...  Here are small ones I did on the Mariner's Compass flag I did as part of the Henry Glass Desire to Inspire Challenge:

So I dug in my limited purple scraps, pulled out some white and off-white ones and started cutting and sewing, and creatively cutting, I might add...
and before too long, I had that.  These are called Migrating Geese and the tutorial I followed is here.

Problem: for the oranges I only have three shades.  I could arrange them in two different ways:
On the left the oranges are in pairs, while on the right they are alternating light, medium, dark.
I went with alternating.  So yes, the scale and size was perfect; it would add another 15.5" to the length of the quilt.  So I started on the oranges, but I needed a leader/ender project because, well, I just don't like waste.  I had a ton of rainbow triangles left from making the rainbow binding for Whirling Stars, so I started sewing those together pretty much in the exact pairs as they were in the binding.  Before too long, not only was the orange migrating geese strip happening; so were the HSTs and I suddenly had this!
At 5.75" square, it will make the perfect mug rug!  There are only 2 HSTs that are not from the rainbow scrappy binding, the red/pink and the red/black HSTs in the second row from the bottom which are from one of the 150 CA Women blocks.
That little 4-patch right in the centre with the cow face (TOO cute, right?!) was in my brown scraps that I found when I was working on the scrap vortex. It was the perfect 1" square finished size for this mug rug!  Outside of honestly 3-4 changes, I sewed these together and made myself lay them down as it happened with almost no fuss.  So yes, only one diamond shape happened.  I love the randomness and how your eye roves over this.

However, I was still sewing the orange migrating geese strip, so...yup, I pulled back out the purples and used them as leader/enders.  Because I'd started them before the oranges, it wasn't long before I had them all sewn together.
Purple migrating geese strip is done! About 66" in length.  I was still sewing the orange.
By the way, I still haven't made a decision, although I have a pretty cool idea, as to how to solve the vomit vs vortex problem on my Scrap Vortex.

I do love this purple row for my RSC2017 project!
Doubled back on each other
Linking up
soscrappy for Scrap Happy Saturday


Friday, February 3, 2017

Never Assume

At my age, I should know better, right?  I am a read the instructions kind of person, even though I may regularly find my own way to do/sew/make whatever the item is.  However, with the Block #34 of the 150 CA Women project, from Next Step Quilt Designs, I assumed (wrongly) that the bars in the rail fence sections were all equal in width.  Nope.  So I now have some 2.5" already sewn strip sets that will maybe work their way into one of the remaining 114 blocks, or maybe into the backing, or none of the above.
Clockwise from the top right: #34 - Helen Harrison, amazing woman pilot, believed to be the first woman pilot to hold commercial licenses in 4 countries. SO sadly, and interesting wrt the Women's March, she said she "couldn't overcome her sex"; #35 - L. M. Montgomery,  whose use of the initials for her first two names, Lucy Maud, I believe, were to try to not be pre-judged (aka prejudiced against) due to her sex. Beloved author of mine, and many many others, of the Anne of Green Gables books, which sadly, because of an unfavourable contract, brought her little for the new editions, and nothing for the movies and plays; #36 - Louise Crummy McKinney - she worked hard for the Vote for Women and for prohibition, she was involved in the successful Persons Case for Canadian women to sit in the Senate. 

All three of these blocks have two different cream or white backgrounds.  The scrappier, the better IMHO.  I put that cream with dashed lines in the middle of Helen's block because it reminds me of runways; I put the old-fashioned roses and leaves ivory/taupe background and soft cream floral prints in Lucy Maud's because it is romantic.  How very glad I am that I brought my scrap box!
So is Bella glad.  This pink pile provides the best armrest!
I keep thinking, enough with the caption about each woman, yet I continue to be amazed, truly amazed at these brave soul's accomplishments and take no sh*t attitude.  Never assume that because I am female I am a lesser human.  Never assume that a person's sex dictates her abilities.  Right?! For a terrific post from a quilter who rode 6 hours on a bus to get to that Women's March in DC, click here. She made a quilt as her sign too!💓

In a time when diversity and tolerance are forefront in the world news, you may also want to check out this post by a vet/avid reader/quilter I follow, Based On A True Story.  I can relate to her post because both of my daughters loved The Babysitter's Club books, and I remember all too well the one that was set in our home town, Edmonton, Alberta, so exciting, where the protagonist could look out and see the beautiful Rockies from her porch, a 3-hour drive away!  Last time I checked, a human being could not see a nearly 300 km distance!  I remember how annoyed and insulted the girls and I felt, that an author could not even take the time to investigate for accuracy.  Only 4 short years ago when I was teaching, my favourite grade and subject to teach was always grade 7 English, with grade 7 French a close second.  The novels and several of the short stories I taught dealt with the themes of prejudice and intolerance.  Wow, did we have some wonderful, incredible discussions!  I think today's young adults are much more open to the global culture of our beautiful planet, the richness various cultures and religions bring when viewed and accepted with open minds.  There isn't just one way to anything: whether constructing or binding a quilt, making cookies, finding nirvana or heaven or ultimate supreme love, solving math problems, building a home, etc. etc., there are many ways, all good.

I am a bit closer to finishing another one of my Q1 goals, Radiance, Aidan's quilt for his new home.
A finally finished flimsy!

I got the migrating geese done! They are 8" unfinished in width, so will add 15" to the length of the quilt, perfect for a tall young nephew!  I brought backing here with me, but forgot the beautiful orange threads I'd picked up from Connecting Threads on sale, drat.  Ah well, I might go pick up some orange variegated, as Tish suggested.  Here is a lengthwise shot so you get the idea of it now being a rectangle.  This is Triangle Transparency by Quilting Jetgirl, to which I added the migrating geese.

Never assume that your pattern will be recreated exactly like you designed it!  And that, in my opinion is what I love about the artistry in quilting.  Take someone's idea and build upon or run with it.

Finally, for those of you that are not on Instagram, here are my two most recent designs.  There is still plenty of time to join us!  The challenge runs until March 15, and there are two more bi-weekly draws for gift cards to Melody's shop, The Red Hen Shop, as well as the grand prizes.
'Scarlet Ice', a two blocks design, and 'Shades of Love', only one block, "Square Upon Squares"

Driving up to yoga takes nearly an hour each way, so I've been making good use of the time playing with the Quiltography app for iPad.  Very worthy and user-friendly little app for a very reasonable price.  Remember you don't have to have an Instagram account just to look!  Click here if you'd like to see the (currently) 94 designs!  You will notice you do not have to submit digital ones either. Hand drawn are just fine. The more the merrier!

Linking up
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Crazy Mom Quilts




Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sunday Stretch For Sewists #16 - Caterpillar

Here we are at the end of January, and everyone seems to be saying, "Wow, how did that happen?" Well, it did and it's time for a Sunday stretch and this one is a good 'un. 
This is a teaser for another post, but the geese here, which are called Migrating Geese, flow, much like a caterpillar, across a quilt, don't they?!

Caterpillar is a bit deeper of a forward bend than Butterfly which we did last month.  It's basically the Dangling Pose done sitting down; in fact, if you suffer from high blood pressure, then you want to avoid Dangling Pose and do Caterpillar instead.

Remember these poses are given to you here as Yin poses, not as Yang poses which are active, use-your-muscles poses.  So enter slowly, listening to your breath, which is supposed to be slow, calm and steady, matching your inhales to exhales, and relaxing as much as you can.  I also refer to The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga by Bernie Clark as well as to his website, yinyoga.com and also to Insight Yoga by Sarah Powers.

Caterpillar

This will tug nicely along the ligaments of your spine, while compressing the stomach organs, which helps with digestion. Because of the stretch along your back, you are stimulating your kidneys.  Leaning forward also massages your heart.

Begin by sitting on a cushion or a folded up quilt as I am, on the floor, legs straight in front of you.

Lean forward, letting your back round, if it's okay for your back.  If not, then don't; simply lean from the hips, as I am here, keeping your tummy pulled in to protect your low back.  You can keep your head in line with your spine if you have neck issues.  We elevate the hips because we want the hips to rotate forward.  Because we rarely live on the floor in the West, our hips tend to tilt backward, creating tight hamstrings, and making it very difficult to do forward bends.  This pose can also aggravate sciatica, so that is a second reason to elevate your hips.  Notice I am sitting on the edge of the quilt.  If you feel your sit bones right on the edge, almost as if you are going to slip off, this is perfect for helping to forward tilt that pelvis.

Breathe in and out slowly  through your nose, maybe to a count of 3 or 4.

If you keep relaxing, you may find you start to go further forward...
...letting your head go too, if it's okay for your neck.  This does give a lovely tug on the vertebrae in your neck!  Don't pull; let gravity take you forward.  You may wonder why we round in Yin; many yoga classes insist on doing forward bends with a flat back.  Not so here, and the benefit is that you will get a better, longer stretch along the back of your vertebrae. Think of the shortest distance between to points: a straight line, right?  So curving that line is longer, which translates to more tug along the back of your vertebrae.  Also allowing the rounding allows your muscles to relax which is what we want in Yin.

If it's too intense on the backs of your knees, try rolling up the quilt and placing it behind your knees, or getting a second one and rolling it up so you can still elevate the hips.

This takes the pressure off the backs of the knees, so you can continue to relax and not be thinking, 'Ow! Ow!'  Remember we want to feel tugging, but not so intense that we cannot get our mind off it, and never pain.

Hold for 3 -5 minutes or more if you like.  Close your eyes. You may be surprised at how far you get as you feel your body letting go with the breath.

See how relaxed my arms and feet are though, no effort; surrender.  Yes! I had to keep my hoodie on today as it's not warm out, and overcast.  A good day to stay inside and sew right?  Which I have been doing, which is why this post is out much later than it could be. 😉

This pose pulls along the entire back body, right from your heels, along your hamstrings, and along both sides of your spine to the base of your skull.  It is the line of the Urinary Bladder Meridian, the longest meridian in the body with 67 acupressure points.  Bernie Clark says this helps strengthen the organs of digestion through compression of the stomach organs, and Paul Grilley says this pose is excellent for balancing Chi (energy) flow and as a preparation for meditation.

To come out, slowly sit back up again, and remain in the L-shape, breathing slowly while you are aware of, and enjoy, the rush of the blood and chi within the blood as it flows back into those compressed areas.  This both removes toxins from and nourishes these areas.  If you feel this isn't enough of a release, maybe lie down on your stomach for a few breaths.  Slowly get back up and go back to your machine!
Ahhh!

If you'd like another ahhh! Check this out:
http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=1074126&b=253536&m=29190&afftrack=&urllink=www%2Ecraftsy%2Ecom%2Fquilting%2Fkits%2Fsuburbia%2Dmoon%2Dshadow%2Dquilt%2Dkit%2F466182

Yep, this is Suburbia, a purchase I made at Craftsy this weekend, and at $42.90US or $56.91CA for 6 yards of fabric, it was a screaming good deal IMHO.  There is yardage ($5.50US/$7.30CA) to be had too, just sayin'...There are LOTS more good deals to be had and hundreds of classes under $20 too remember.  Once I try out their new Boundless Botanicals fabric, I will let you know what I think.  In the photos it looks divine. (Note that the links in this paragraph are affiliate links.)

One last reminder, if you are one of those bit-by-a-squirrel, diverted-by-a-shiny-bauble quilters who found yourself diverted this past month by an attractive quilt project, I have the linky party for you!  Check out my previous post here.  Warning: visiting the other links in that post may lead to more DrEAMi! moments...