Friday, December 30, 2016

Holly the Christmas Hound

When our good friend John was last over, her told me how much he loved Myrrh, my Christmas cow.  He wanted to see her in person, and commented on the Santa Claus fabric.  An idea hatched in the back of my mind.  But then, it evolved into not making him a Christmas cow, but a Christmas dog, since he is a dog whisperer extraordinaire, and 'papa' to red-nosed pibble mix, Brandy.
The flimsy

I have wanted to make Sew Fresh Quilts Lorna's Dog Gone Cute dog blocks since they first came out, wanted to join in the QAL, but just could not squish it in.  For John?  You bet I could squish in a final project for 2016!

The stars do align on a regular basis: I won a bundle of "Kringle Krossing" by Shelly Comiskey for Henry Glass Fabrics last week.  I did not bring any Christmas fabric to Florida except for the few pieces to make Myrrh the Christmas cow.  Luckily I had enough of the Santa fat quarter left that John especially liked for Holly's face and then I used Henry Glass prints for her blaze, muzzle and background.  Just love that background fabric especially!  The dark green for her ears is triangle scraps, and small rectangles (one of which is pieced to make the 6.5" required strip) all from John's quilt I made last year for his 75th birthday.  I'm into connections, symbols, double entendres, deeper meanings, in case you haven't noticed.
And woo hoo!! I'm also into meeting good friends for breakfast that evolved into visiting two quilt shops! Quilt Lovers' Hangout is fabulous!  As is the Go-Go Diner for breakfast, in case you may find yourself in North Fort Myers sometime...
Despite that foray into fantastic fabrics with a fabulous friend, Julie of Pink Doxies, and despite another blip in production from the QC (quilty cat) department...

I managed to get the cushion quilted this morning and photographed for today's several Finish Friday parties.
Flat Holly
and a fitting photo resting against one of John's two potted Christmas trees, which he gave to us after Christmas 2014 and 2015 to plant. They are thriving.
Holly has an ear tattoo, not a number ID but her name, FMQ-ed with Sulky Blendables in 30-weight.
I kept the quilting simple, doing Lorna's trademark wavy lines with Sulky metallic thread.  I tried to catch the sparkle...
Actually this one shows it pretty well.
I also tried to give her eyes a little more definition by using the Sulky Blendables I used for her tattoo to quilt a spiral in each eye.  It helps somewhat.  Aren't those reindeers adorable? I made sure to centre one on her muzzle.

The back:
Envelope back with that beautiful Holly (LOL just realized it this second) on white fabric, and a label.
For once I actually remembered to sew in my mmm! quilts label before I sewed on the binding.  I used the reindeer fabric, such a great strip it has in it!
I am not a machine-binder, but I am becoming more and more of a convert, and I have to tell you that I didn't have to go back on any missed spots on this cushion, woot! woot!  I used white Gütermann on the top and red Essentials in the bobbin.
I thought I'd share a couple of tips for sewing with metallic threads that I learned in a Sulky threads class taken many years ago.
First, be sure to use a Metallica needle, no not the band, although you could be playing one of their songs; I sometimes do listen to them on a rock playlist, ha, bet you didn't think that of me!  Metallica needles by Schmetz (no affiliation) have a teflon-coated eye to reduce friction.  Smart! They also have a much larger eye than a regular needle, which is on the left, Metallica on the right.
Second, you cannot sew as fast as you would with cotton or with polyester.  Think metal on metal and what do you get? Friction.  I only had one thread break, early on, and it was because it did a coil and double-hooked itself around my take-up thingamajig.  So I rigged up my system (some of MacGyver is rubbing off on me, clearly) that I always use for Holoshimmer threads, which are flat threads and need to feed off the spool like a roll of toilet paper, from the top.
Arrows point to the cone threads guide which helps to lessen tension as opposed to feeding the thread right from the spool into the take-up guide. The other arrows point to the spool itself, lying horizontal on a child-sized knitting needle, which is propped on the finger holes of two pairs of scissors.  This way the thread feeds off the top of the spool à la toilet paper, up to the cone holder thread guide, and from there to that take-up guide at the back of the machine.  No more breaks once I did this.
John saw the flimsy on Wednesday when he was here for a dog walk and lunch visit; I couldn't wait to show him.  Now I cannot wait to give Holly to him, and I kind of have a feeling there might be an Ivy 😉 coming to my own house soon!
Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  Dog Gone Cute by Sew Fresh Quilts
Size: 18.25" square
Fabric:  scraps and leftovers, except for the Henry Glass Fabrics "Kringle Krossing"
Batting: Pellon Nature's Touch 100% cotton
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann; quilted with Sulky Metallic 142-7027 and Sulky Blendables 30-wt 733-4022

In case you haven't stocked up enough on fabric deals, remember the Craftsy one still on until midnight Dec. 31! That is an affiliate link!

Many quilt shops both bricks and mortar type as well as online type are having end of year sales.  It's a great time to pick up backings or treat yourself.

Linking up with
Crazy Mom Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
TGIFF at Arabesque Scissors

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Best of 2016

The end of 2016 brings with it several ways to celebrate accomplishments, look back, evaluate and then re-evaluate for the coming year.  I already posted my Goals for 2017 and linked up with Yvonne at quilting JETgirl, so it's not too late to write up a list, publish some or all of your goals, and link up.  Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs hosts a 'Best Of' Linky party and I am linking up with her for the second year.

I decided to list my Top 5 Most Viewed posts for 2016.  What a fun way to look back!  In reverse order they were:

5.  Rainbow Kitty Rows
I joined in with Modern Quilters Ireland to do this quilt-along.  I loved it.

4.  Oxymoron a Mini Mini
One of my goals (that I forgot about until writing this post, and going back...) was to do a mini swap in 2016.  This was the first one.  I made it for Anja of Anja Quilts.

3.  Mini Round Robin Round 3 and Final Reveal
This was the post that I revealed my round, which was the final round, for Tish's starting block.  This was a fun, challenging summer project first dreamed up by Cindy of Stitchin At Home, and tweaked and reshaped a bit by moi.
Here is Tish's flimsy from that post:

and my final quilted Mini Round Robin, which I just LOVE.

2.  Blue Skies OMG Finish and  Blue Skies & Sunny Days Pattern Release
Although the posts came out two months apart, it seems weird to separate these two, and moreover, they are side by side in the ranking of pageviews.  Rather fitting to have a photo of the two side by side, I'd say!

The pattern to make these is my very first pattern for sale. It is in my Craftsy shop, and that is a shameless link for you to click (affiliate link) to check it out.  I hope to have more than just the one by this time next year!

A HUGE tooting of my own horn is being inserted right here before the #1 most viewed post (although go ahead scroll down and look, you know you want to) but this morning, Tuesday, I opened up my email and clicked on the Craftsy Blog one, and then on the link to view it online.  If you haven't signed up for their blog posts delivered to your inbox you should; you could be missing all the Bag-a-Day giveaways. (No comments from the peanut gallery, oh sister Linda of mine!) Scrolled on down after I entered Day 5 Bag (yep this quilting baglady ain't missin' no free bag giveaways chances) to view the Got the Winter Blues and wouldn't #6 on the list of 7 free buh-LOO quilt patterns be...

Pocketful of Sunshine!! Mine!! This is my very first quilt pattern and I am ecstatic that they featured it on their blog! 👏👏😎
Uh, it's been downloaded today, Dec. 27 at just before 3pm EST 257 times!!  Whoa!

So, drumroll.... the #1 most pageviews post of 2017 is....
1. Windfall!

This was my project for the Autumn Abundance Blog Hop hosted by Bernie at Needle and Foot.  What a fun and enriching experience it was!  I can't thank Paint Brush Studio Fabrics and Bernie, of course, enough!  From this quilt has come a project that is a goal on my 2017 list, to host a quilt-along of my own.  More details to follow, but a couple of hints: it will be smaller, a wallhanging size of approximately 37", starting in late January, and in Spring fabrics!

One last plug for Craftsy, and that is that if you missed taking advantage of all their classes on sale for $20US and under, you can appease your own sad self by checking out their year end clearance on kits, fabric and supplies, on now until midnight Dec. 31.  Maybe you got a little Christmas moola? Or maybe you'd like to give a Craftsy gift!  You can do that and get more bang for your buck these last few days of 2016! Click here to find out how to give Craftsy stuff to your quilting friends.
Linking up with
Meadow Mist Designs
Freemotion by the River
Sew Fresh Quilts

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sunday Stretch for Sewists #15 - Butterfly

Merry Christmas!
Today's pose is Butterfly, a wonderful one for your hips and low back, a very gentle pose for this last stretch of the year.
I took that back in July. It is one of my favourite shots of all time.  Think of this Monarch butterfly's gorgeous wings when you are in this pose.


This is a very gentle decompression for your low back, and a great hip opener.  Many Yin yoga flows begin with this pose.  In the beginning, use blocks or cushions under the sides of your thighs to support your legs if it pulls too intensely on your hips.  Remember you do want a tugging feeling though; that means you are starting to lengthen the connective tissues, which will lead to more freedom of movement.

The beauty of this pose is that you can do it sitting your couch, a suggestion by one of my 70-year-old yoga students. 😍 You don't even need to wear yoga clothes. 😉
While reading a good book, like this one, a gift from a darling friend, or while watching TV
Butterfly is similar to, but different from, Baddha Konasana in that the feet are further away from the groin.  Your legs should form a diamond shape.  Lean forward, letting your back round.  This is a lovely way to stretch the lower back without requiring loose hamstrings!
Beware of 'puddy-tats' who want to worm their way into your lap, wait, there is no lap, what's with that?!
I did these photos with the timer on my phone, so it does a 'burst' of 7-10 photos. Thought this was hilarious; the last four photos showed her emerging into the photo!

Let your hands rest wherever they naturally fall:  on the floor inside your legs, on your feet or outside of your feet.  Let your head hang if it is okay for your neck; otherwise keep it in line with your spine.
Notice the butterfly shape in one of the 150 Canadian Women blocks? That's your legs!
Do not pull, because you will then be engaging muscles.  In Yin we relax the muscles so that we target connective tissues, or fascia, the ligaments, the tendons, that white gristle you see in meat that we, too, have throughout our bodies.  This tightens up, or shrinks, as we age.  If we've been injured, the filaments that are naturally mostly elongated, tend to bunch up like shrunk yarn strands, and cross-weave themselves to protect the injured area.  That creates scar tissue.  These long-held poses can help to encourage the filaments to let go, to elongate, stimulating regeneration at the microscopic level, which will leave us with better blood circulation, better flexibility, better range of motion, and that, my friends, leads to a happier human, right?  I once said in a yoga class, it just popped out of my mouth, that I think politicians should practise Yin yoga!

Hold for 3 to 5 minutes or even longer.  Breathe slowly and steadily, in and out through your nose, feeling your lungs expand and contract, continuing to relax as you let gravity have you.

If you have low back issues that require you not to round, then simply lean forward from the hips, keeping your tummy pulled in and your back flat.

If you suffer from sciatica, this can aggravate it, so elevate your hips by sitting on a cushion, or a couple of cushions, until the knees are below the hips.  Bernie Clark,, says to beware of your hips rotating backward while seated; we want them to rotate forward.

If your back still doesn't like this pose, do it lying down, known as Reclined Butterfly.
Ahhh!  Feels divine!

To come out from seated Butterfly, roll up slowly, and then lean back on your hands to release your hips.  Slowly straighten each leg and enjoy that 'spearmint' feeling of hot/cold as the blood flows back into the compressed areas.  This works in the same way that massage therapy does, to remove toxins and/or blockages.  Slowly straighten each leg.  To come out from Reclined Butterfly, slowly bring or help the legs back together, roll to one side, pausing for a few breaths, and then help yourself up  and slowly straighten each leg.

It used to take about a day, I believe, in the olden days, for a group of neighbours to raise a barn on a new homesteader's place.  It took me about that to raise this barn block, from drafting it, to finished block.  It is based on Lori Holt's Barn Along of a couple of years ago and another re-drafted block from a blogger (which I spent half an hour trying to find with no luck) who was doing the Barn Along but made some changes to the roof, and then my own version of hers.  So here is my 12" version:
Cows need a barn, right?!  A Churn Dash block on the side to echo the others that will be in the quilt as well.  Purple, because that is my aunt's favourite colour.  Cats.  But of course. Keep the mice down, y'know?!

Hope you are having a most wonderful day today, doing what you love, and/or loving what you are doing!

Linking up with:
Cooking Up Quilts
Patchwork Times

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

Do you ever sit at your computer with the blank post screen, and spend a good five minutes or more, mulling over a good post title?  That's me, and that's what happened yet again for the title of this post. Subject material has been gathering itself on the back burner of my mind all week.  A few people I follow, and even my own self, have done or are doing basically a being thankful, or simply being aware, post on a Thursday.  At this time of giving, I've been reflecting once again on all I have been given.
1.  Eighteen blocks done as of this week in the 150 Canadian Women QAL at Next Step Quilt Designs.  I look forward to each Tuesday when I get their newsletter delivered to my inbox with three more 6" quilt blocks.
This week's blocks, Daurene Elaine Lewis, Canada's first black woman mayor in...can you believe it 1984; Leila Wightman, first woman telephone company owner; Harriet Brooks, second most prominent woman physicist in radioactivity, second only to Marie Curie herself, with whom she worked.
I love learning about these AHH-mazing courageous women.  I love mucking about in my scraps that I brought with me, and having to make do and figure out ways to cut HSTs, for example, when I don't have a full 3" square of the red or white/cream I want to use.  This is showing me very graphically what women even as little as 100 years ago or less did when they made quilts.  Gorgeous, ingenious quilts.  Some blocks are super-scrappy, some less so.  I did bring down a few 1/4-1/3 yards chunks of red fabrics with making a barn in mind for the cows quilt as well as possible fabric for block testing for Cindy's Canada quilt, so I have a little wiggle room.  The last block, in the bottom right, is a red scrap (only one measly 1.5" strip left now) from the three stars runner that I finally finished the hand-quilting on in time for last year's Christmas, said runner which sits now on our coffee table.  That's a 20-year-old fabric scrap!  I love finding new sites like this one, Kickass Canadians.

2.  I am so grateful to all the generous souls who put out free stuff in the form of tips, tutorials, giveaways and patterns.  This 150 Canadian Women is one.  Connecting Threads is another. (no affiliation)
I made a couple of their Knotty Travel Tissue holders, so cute! So quick and easy.  And giveaways.  I haven't won anything in a long time, but this week I was informed that I won, fair and square, by Rafflecopter, the Henry Glass Fabrics giveaway!
Update: Eeep! Got home from yoga and it was already HERE! A cute panel and 4 yards of fabric.
That's a Christmas Stack 'n Whack quilt peeking out from underneath, SnW block, my own layout.
Each week they have a giveaway of a fabric bundle, and I won the Kringle Krossing by Shelley Comiskey.  I enjoy reading their Designer Spotlight feature, and since I follow by email as well as every which other way I can, I never miss a post.

3. Here's a tip for you from me! I love giving little "Aha! Moment" tips; there's a link to several on my Tips and Tutorials tab.
From left to right: completed 2.5" HST; one 2.5" square cut in half which will NOT, repeat, NOT work; the right way to cut a triangle from a 2.5" strip which you see on the far right.
What to do if you don't have the 3" square required to make two 2.5" HSTs?  What if you have a 2.5" strip of fabric can do it!  If I can't put my hands on my homemade little template (it's in a 'safe' spot right) then I cut my 3" square of fabric that I do have, cut it in half, mark the 1/4" seam line, and then cut off the little dog ear before I even sew it, at that 1/4" seam.  That is the second triangle you see in the above photo.  Note that the first triangle is simply a 2.5" square cut in half; it will NOT work. You can see that it is slightly smaller than the second triangle which has the dog ear cut off.

Here is what a 2.5" strip would look like with two of these babies lined up on it:

See how they are offset, and because you've pre-trimmed off the dog ear, you can now fit the triangle onto a 2.5" strip and still come out with a 2.5" HST?! Cool.

4.  I love being able to go to the beach, listen to the waves, the birds, smell the air, feel the sand, look for shells, shark teeth (fossils) and (new to me this year) coral.  Last week I went with some friends at dawn.  My good friend Nancy was telling me about an artist who lives in Nokomis, who walks the beach and will toss the odd shell upon which she's painted a tiny scene.  On the shell's reverse is a message and her signature.  Sometimes you find them at random, other times she's tossed one for you to hopefully find, if your eyes are peeled, directly in your path.  Such was my luck that morning.

I was beyond tickled!  Not too many steps further along, we both spotted another, and Nancy was kind enough to let me keep it.
I set this one on a piece of coral that I, or one of my friends, had found
On the reverse:
Isn't that such a whimsical, generous, and yes, inspirational thing to do?!

5.  I love flowers, although the garden guru in our family is really MacGyver.  I do help and sometimes am allowed to do my own thing.  These came the other day, such intense reds, and even some rich pinks here and there against the cream and whites, much like my 150 CA Women quilt.  I didn't realize until I got home and was cleaning my finds, that this black rock is a heart shape.  😍

6.  We were given another incredible plant, this one a

7.  I love my Bella, despite her aloof air with pretty much everyone except me.  I love how she loves to be in photos, especially photos of quilt stuff.  I also love this snow lady my mum gave me a few Christmases ago. She stands on our kitchen table, looking like she's just done a twirl.
8.  I love love love Mother Nature.  Although this poor fish is dead, he was whole and I just love his shape, and his belly, which reminded me of the patterns in the pieces of coral I was finding.

9.  I love quilting.  I love scrap quilting.  Duh.  I washed Nine Lives, my Midnight Mystery, entirely made of scraps and leftovers, down to the quilting thread, and it crinkled up just a bit, enough to help the quilting show up.  I think I was able to capture the beautiful variegated King Tut thread I used for the meandering.

10.  I love yoga.  🙏  And that's where I'm headed right now!

11.  WAIT!!  Hold the phone!  I love Angela Walters. Did you check out her latest YouTube Midnight Quilt Show?

If you'd like to read more inspirational, grateful posts, head over to
Not Afraid of Color
Molli Sparkles

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Quilty and Bloggy Goals for 2017

Yvonne at Quilting JETgirl is hosting a very important and worthy linky party once again...
I am a goal-setter and list-maker.  I LOVE LOVE checking off items on the lists I make.  A good friend of mine, who, I recently discovered, also loves lists and especially the checking off part, asked me if I ever add something I did do to my list that wasn't originally on it,  just so I can check it off...oh YES!

In visiting a few other bloggers who are making lists and checking them twice (or five times in my case), I read that sharing your goals significantly raises the percentage of attaining them.  That is like the reward for taking the risk of making your goals public, in my opinion.  This year, I am piggybacking on Julie and Beth's idea of having an accountability partner with whom I will periodically check in (who am I kidding, we check in with each other pretty much daily) to further increase my success rate.
Yep, my sweet friend Tish and I have already shared our list of goals with each other, asked for and given feedback, and subsequently added to or further refined said goals.  Say what you will about Apple as far as expensive goes, but my oh my, I am so very grateful for their FaceTime and iMessage apps as they allow me to talk with friends with iPhones anytime, anywhere for free.  No I am not an affiliate!

First off, though, I should review my goals for 2016 and see how I did.  I set them up last January much as we had to when I was teaching school, our PGPs (Professional Growth Plans - teachers, much like quilters, love their acronyms). I had three Main Goals.
1.  Submit a pattern to a quilt magazine.
Bzzz.  Did not do.
However, I DID get accepted as the June Desire to Inspire Designer for Henry Glass Fabrics! I had several original designs completed by the end of the month sitting in my beach chair of projects, very proud of that.
And I was asked by Bernie to participate in the Autumn Abundance Blog Hop, sponsored by Paint Brush Studio Fabrics, which has led to a new exciting experience for me in 2017.
✅2.  Open up an Etsy Shop.
I did do this!  Although I have yet to make a sale, I have two items there and another that I just haven't written up yet (I don't find Etsy that user-friendly or is it just me?)
3.  Quilt a quilt for someone else.
Bzzz.  Did not do, although as of this writing, I have two customers lined up.

I had 4 sub-goals:
✅1. Expand my Craftsy Store.
I did.  I added two patterns, a free one, Pocketful of Sunshine, and one for $7, Blue Skies and Sunny Days. You can see both through that link, which is an affiliate link. (psst, classes sale again right now, everything under US$20)
✅2.  Make at least 2 quilts for charity.
I made 3, all of which were donated to the Windsor Sexual Assault Centre.
✅3.  Finish watching Small Changes, Big Variety.
I did, and I reviewed it here.  That is a part of something I didn't have as a goal, or even knew I might want to do ha, but it sure helped with quilting growth: hosted a blog hop with my good friend Julie for all things Craftsy.
4.  Do a pantograph on a quilt.
5. Somehow this isn't on the published list, but it was a goal somewhere (going to trawl the early '16 posts) that I do a mini swap.  And I did! Not one but 2!  One was planned, with Anja of Anja Quilts, the other more spontaneous, with Preeti, of Sew Preeti Quilts.

I had 5 Personal Goals:
1.  Walk 80 km per month or thereabouts.
I averaged 65 km/month.  That was down I know because of Rocco's knee surgery.  I do miss walking with him.
✅2.  Do Ashtanga 3X/week and Yin once or twice.
✅3.  Watch more TV.
This is hard to measure but I believe I did; I have branched out a bit too; currently I am watching "The Queen", "Gilmore Girls", and I have started "Murdoch Mysteries".
✅4.  Do more hand work.
I finished the flimsy for my wool appliquéd daisies quilt; I knitted two sets of fingerless gloves, and the Fisherman's Wife Cowl.
5.   Read more books than I did last year, one a classic.
Bzzz.  This is awful but I am only on #17. For a person who, just 2 years ago easily read about 30 books a year, shameful.  If I finish the current one, 31 Hours by Masha Hamilton, I plan to start either Wuthering Heights or My Cousin Rachel, both of which I brought with me.

Okay. Breathe.  No one is going to cut my pay or fire me because I did not complete some of this stuff!

Ahh, that collage restores my inner peace.  I put that on Instagram last week after I went to the beach at dawn to hunt for shells and coral and sharks' teeth.  Tick! Tick! Tick!  I checked off each one of those three items, and another fabulous very unique and inspiring find that I will be featuring on Thursday's post.

Why this collage here?  Well, many years ago, after our first trip to Florida, which would be Christmas 2004, we had a dream of one day owning a home here.  When I made that collage after that magical morning, it struck a chord deep within me that dreams and goals do, in fact, come true.  You can't just sit back and wait for them to land in your lap, but if you do little things towards attaining the dreams and goals, and, more magical yet, if you are open and aware to small tidbits (events, knowledge, people and so on) coming your way that do open the path to those dreams, you will get there.  Promise.  Pinky swear.

2017 Goals

Over-arching Goals
A.  Lifelong Learning
This is a teacher catch-phrase, and something in which I deeply believe.

B.  Balance
Something I struggled with throughout my teaching career, and continue to do so, is finding balance.  I am not reading enough novels.  I am not watching enough TV.  I seem to spend too long at the computer, usually to do with the blog (I take an agonizing amount of time to write each post for one).  I am not completing enough quilts for family members.

Main Quilting Goals 

1. Expand the purpose of my blog.
This belongs under the Lifelong Learning Goal.  I started my blog as a way to let my friends and family know what I was up to in my new stage of life, as well as a way to document my quilts.  It has become so very much more and I'd like to continue that, but give back as well.  Measurable sub-goals will be:
  • Run a Quilt Along
There was a surprising (to me) amount of interest in me offering up Windfall as a quilt along.  I plan to start this in the second half of January.
  • Set up a Linky Party
  • Do something with the DrEAMi Moments I've experienced
This will involve a Linky Party, but also be a way to share ideas, give inspiration, provide temptation, and have some fun.
  • Organize a blog hop or quilt along with Tish.  We have formulated a plan, it just needs to be fleshed out and details need to be knocked out. 
  • Make and donate at least 2 charity quilts.

2.  Explore the money-making angle of quilting a little more.
All I would like to do is support my habit of fabric buying, not pay the bills or buy food.  This is basically a Lifelong Learning because it involves improving some computer skills, as well as investigating other branding opportunities and services. Hey, I actually ordered some mmm! quilts labels from Ikaprint so that is one step.  Measurable goals here are:
  • Expand my Etsy Shop
This may sound hilarious to some, but I'd like to add a minimum of 3 quilted items for sale.  I also plan to offer all my 'for sale' patterns on my Etsy Shop by the end of 2017.
  • Add at least 2 patterns to my Craftsy Shop
  • Submit an original quilt design to a magazine
  • Have a couple of quilts for sale in a local coffee shop/bistro (I've already spoken informally to the owner, just need to sit down formally and chat about it.)
  • Quilt a quilt for someone else
  • Get involved a bit more with Craftsy (already chatted and confirmed one plan)
  • This might cost me money, but improve the esthetics of my blog and investigate branding.
3. Random Quilt Learning
  •  Make a quilt entirely of solids. (I might join in Molli Sparkles' Honey Pot Bee in order to accomplish this one.  Only one block a month...and already a wild card thrown!)
  •  Do a Design Challenge. (This will be similar to Rachel's of Stitched in Color, but just on my own.
Personal Goals
Under Balance:
1.  Walk at least 70 km per month.  That means 6 walks/week at at least 3 km each.
2.  Read 25 books.  One must be a classic.  Take a daily tea break without my phone, but with a book and/or a quilt magazine.
3.  Maintain Ashtanga 3 times per week and increase Yin to twice regularly.
4.  Organize my time better.
5.  Take a blogging break of at least a week.

Under Lifelong Learning:
6.  Take a painting class.

**Remember to once a month check back on this list!

Phew! Think that should keep me busy, no?

Linking up with Quilting Jet Girl

Monday, December 19, 2016

Jethro Tull the Bull

Good and bad news with ol' Jethro... He's done, yay and I love him.  However, something happened when I printed out the pattern last summer, and he is a 1" smaller block than the cows. 😖
You may recall his main squeeze, from my previous post, is Myrrh.  Aka Myrrh Tull. 😉
He goes together very slick, despite the rather daunting amount of, and look to the sections.  This is Maartje's (Maartje Quilts in Amsterdam) Mad Bull found here.

Thankfully I have enough scraps of all these fabrics, well maybe not those eyes, so I was thinking I'd be making another, but when I put him on the design wall amongst his herd, I thought, hmm, he'll do methinks.
This isn't the final layout -- just playing
I'll add some black to the bottom of his body and he'll be fine.  There is nothing wrong with Maartje's pattern; I reprinted one page and it was bigger than my printouts from the summer, so who knows what I did.  Invaluable are those 1" test squares, but there isn't one on this PDF which seems odd, as it's done in EQ7 and I thought that programme would have it.

Churn dash, aka Hole in the Barn Door, blocks will alternate with the cows.  I sewed, or should I say, thanks to Janine of Quilts From the Little House's wit, churned out several yesterday, ha ha.  Just look what a different design is created with a couple of 180-degree turns of sections!
"Kewl!" as my sister Linda would write.
My aunt loves her garden and her flowers, and I'm sure those cows would love to munch on some too, so all the churn dash blocks are getting made in floral fabrics, with maybe a little hay in one...

I laid out my two biggest slabs to date of the Scrap Vortex:
Miss Bella didn't see why I needed a ruler to show you how big they are getting; she was happy to be a measuring device!

She then proceeded to play with her piled together toys and somehow got tangled up and said, with her baby blues, "Take a photo of me now! I can be the poster cat for Windham Fabrics! They know they want me! They just don't know it yet!"
So of course I obliged.

Another collage for your viewing pleasure, one from Instagram so you may have seen it if you follow me there:

You may recall I recently wrote about the random fish painted on the tarmac or asphalt road, Oklahoma Street, to be exact.  That is the first photo.  I knew there were two, but didn't think you needed to see both. Well the other day while walking back home along the street from the opposite direction, I spied that second one, and a third one! If you look very closely, you will see a white blob just under my arrow in the middle picture of Seattle Street.  I didn't want to walk closer for fear of appearing rude or a stalker or worse, a peeping Tomasina, so take my word for it, there's another in the road there.  The third photo is of a third fish!  I just love the whimsy, don't you?

It's that time of year again, goal-setting time, New Year Resolutions looming.  I am a goal-oriented person, and even though I no longer work full-time, I still operate this way with lists, LOVE my lists!  Tish and I had a long conversation last night that involved some goal-setting. I'll be back tomorrow to give you the skinny!

Linking up with
Cooking Up Quilts
Patchwork Times

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Unto Us A Bossy Is Born

Well this is hilarious. Good thing I can always laugh at myself...Can't even blame Bella for this one.  Guess I inadvertently hit publish when I was just starting the title of this post!  I knew it closed the draft screen when I moved from one place to another to start this post, carrying not just the laptop but a cup of tea too (ya I know, there could've been a LOT worse accident, right) but I did not check the list of posts where I would have seen that it PUBLISHED, yikes.  So there was the shortest post ever for me and probably for any other blogger in QBL! LOL

Of course it takes me a while to write a post, and after tea we decided to go out for supper to celebrate MacGyver's birthday over a week ago, and I never got back to it until this morning after I got not one but two kind emails plus a text from Dayna, "Have you lost your marbles completely?!" kind of thing.

Okay, get on with it. (So much for morning meditation, ha!)

May I present Myrrh Tull.  (snicker)  She is the last of my herd of cows. I now have eleven.  Of course there will be a bull, a black Angus bull, since that is what my aunt used to have.  His name will be ...

you guessed it:  Jethro.

Which brings me to one of my all-time favourite Christmas songs by that band, "Jack Frost and the Hooded Crow."

Back to Myrrh Tull... she is made entirely of Christmas fabric except for her black nostrils, but even that has a pretty grey scroll design on it.  Her eyes are gold lamé!  I love how she turned out...and I just might make another to keep!  You may recall one of my sub-goals that doesn't count for the Q4 FAL is to get this top done!  I think I may just have it happen, as long as I can focus...

I did make blocks 13-15 for the 150 Canadian Women project offered by Next Step Quilting.
#13 - Shanadithit - the last surviving Beothuk (aka Red Indian; they lived on Newfoundland) young woman who died of a white man's disease, TB, at the young age of 28; #14 - Helen Gregory MacGill, first female juvenile court judge in 1917; #15 - Elizabeth Muriel Gregory MacGill, Helen's daughter, first female graduate in Engineering at the U of Toronto, and there are so many 'first's with this amazing woman wrt aviation accomplishments, I can't list them all here.
I've been meaning to add this collage to a post for a little very happy to be back practising Ashtanga Yoga with Liana at Rosemary Court.  Not only is the yoga studio in one of the four houses which all face onto this wonderful garden and koi pond, but there is a Birthing Home, and two other Wellness businesses.  If you are curious about my yoga mat bag, go here, for the tutorial to make one. It's a great way to practise FMQ!

There isn't a walk goes by that I don't marvel at something...
Sunflower, I think, but look at the SIZE of the bush they're on, oh about 15 feet! and a random painted fish on the side of the road in a residential area where I walk.

One last thing to note before I uh, 'update' the blank post.  Did you catch episode 2 of Angela Walters' Midnight Quilt Show?  Excellent, and another really amazing quilt, although I, too, would not only cry at cutting off the piecing, but at cutting off all that fabric...yikes!

You can get the supplies to make that wonderful quilt here at Craftsy. (affiliate link)

Linking up with
Sew Fresh Quilts
My Quilt Infatuation