Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Paper-Piecing Without Sewing Through Paper

Like how? Huh? I know. I first learned of this technique from Joanne at Canuck Quilter Designs.  It has made me quite like paper-piecing ever since!  **Note! This tutorial will be needed for my upcoming Freefall QAL which begins on the Spring Equinox.  When is that? Monday, March 20 at 6:28 am EST.  If you want to try this method with minimal fabric to make the leaf point or just to make some cool triangles in a square blocks, here is what you do to get a 3" finished block as shown.

The worst parts of pp, for me have always been cutting the pieces of fabric big enough to cover the section I'm working on, (read waste), and then, not so much the tearing off of the paper, because that is kind of satisfying in a way, much like popping the bubbles on bubblewrap, but picking out all the little bits trapped in the stitches.😣
This method gets rids of both of those issues, and allows you to reuse multiple times the paper template.  You can use freezer paper if you like, as Joanne does, because a touch of the iron will adhere it to your fabric.  Alternately, you can use graph paper as I did, and use a dab of a gluestick to hold the first piece of fabric to the back of the graph paper.  I've done both; the only difference is that with graph paper/gluestick, there is a wee bit of gluestick residue on your fabric, but less is more remember, and a spritz of water will remove anything if you ensure you use washable glue.

Draft the paper-piecing template.

1.  To get the paper-piecing template you see above, first draw a 3" square, leaving room to add seam allowances.  Put your pencil at the opposing corner to the one where my 'mmm! quilts' watermark is and draw a line that ends on the halfway point of the opposite side, so, in this case, at 1.5", of the bottom side of the square.  Put your pencil back on that starting corner point and draw a second line that ends at the 1.5" mark of the side of the square perpendicular to the one on which you first ended.  Label this inside centre triangle, '1'.  Label each side triangle as I have, 2a and 2b.
2.  Now add 1/4" seam allowances (I like to make a dotted line) around all four edges of the square.  Cut out on the dotted line.  Last step that will help for later:  fold along the straight lines you drew to form the inside triangles.

Make templates for sections 1 and 2a/b

1.  I find this really cuts down on wasting fabric when paper-piecing.  Trace the leaf point shape #1 from the template you just made. Now add 1/4" seam allowances all around. Here is a tip I learned whilst taking a Kaleidoscopes class.
Because your pencil adds width by nature of its lead thickness, this gives an accurate 1/4" allowance. Place the 1/4" line, which in my 1x6" ruler's case is the solid yellow line as indicated by the top right arrow, just on the inside of the pencil-drawn line, as indicated by the top left arrow.  Draw your 1/4" seam allowance with a dotted line where I've indicated.  Repeat this on all 4 edges of this leaf point, and then the entire process for the side triangle.  You only need to do one side triangle, as you will simply flip it over if you need the mirror image side triangle. Label as shown below, labelling your side triangle 2b on the reverse side of 2a!
Here is your paper-piecing template, with the fabric templates both traced and cut out.

Cut your leaf point fabric and then see below for how to cut two pairs of side triangles! First you will need to cut two 2 3/4" x 3 3/4" rectangles and ensure they are stacked wrong sides together.  Now lie your fabric template 2a so the seam allowances rest on the raw edges. You will find the rectangle slightly big, which is fine as that way we can trim the unit to a perfect square later.  You will notice that you have an upside-down side triangle formed that, when you cut along the diagonal, and flip it around, matches exactly the 2a template. It's like a 2 for 1 deal!
No, wait--even better, because you've stacked 2 rectangles atop each other, you get 4 with that one slice, two of 2a and two of 2b, the mirror image!
 Love!

Sewing

1.  Place the leaf point fabric wrong side against the underside of the paper, ensuring 1/4" of fabric extends beyond the stitching lines.  Press lightly if using freezer paper, so the paper adheres to your fabric. If using graph paper, as I am, apply a very small swipe of a gluestick on the paper and then press the fabric against it.

Hold it up to a light source to double-check you're covered.
Now place one of the side triangles, doesn't matter which, right sides together on that leaf point fabric, aligning the 1/4" seam allowance beyond that stitching line.

The green side triangle fabric should be right below that paper folded-back side triangle 2b.
Ensure you have a little dog ear sticking up that disappears exactly at the 1/4" stitching line.
Years ago one of my friends showed me this trick to ensure proper placement.  All these weirdo angles and potential slippage of fabric/paper can lead to uncovered seam allowances, so simply very carefully, trying not to shift the fabrics as they are aligned, fold back over the paper template onto the about-to-be-pieced-in side triangle.  Does it cover those seam allowances? Shift it slightly if need be. Bring the unit carefully over to your machine.  Now let's stitch.
Fold that paper back on itself as you first had done when aligning raw edges.  You are now going to sew right up against that folded edge, not through any paper.  Sew slowly.  You can chain piece these babies if you have a few to do (which we will in the QAL), so you might like to make a couple of copies of the pp template.  Repeat for both 2a and 2b side triangles.  Open out and check once more for coverage.  If it's good, then carefully remove the paper, and then press the seams to the background or open, whatever you prefer.

Squaring up

Some important registration marks to aim for when squaring this unit to its required 3.5".  Be sure to have the 1 3/4" dots on the seam line as indicated by my arrows.  Then, at the leaf point, line up the 3 1/4" dot as shown by the third arrow. You may need to wiggle your ruler a bit to hit these three marks.  Why is this important? Well, you will get a nice crisp leaf point for one, and hopefully align the 1 3/4" marks with the adjacent section leaf point.   Once you've squared two sides, repeat with the other two, looking once again for the same 1 3/4" dots but this time the 1/4" dot at that leaf point!

The rest of the leaves are regular piecing.  Of course, you really can avoid the paper totally if you want to simply use the templates you make as I showed you here.
Paper.  vs Templates.

Press to the dark side. vs Press open.

All methods/beliefs are welcome in this QAL. 😍💙🌈

Linking up with
Quilting Jet Girl


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Stretch For Sewists #17 - Dragonfly

Yin Yoga names the poses with a lot of animal and insect names, this one no exception. It is also known as Straddle and as Upavistha Konasana which means wide-leg forward bend.  Begin by sitting on the floor.  This pose can aggravate sciatica, so be sure to elevate your hips by sitting on a folded up quilt or even a cushion. This helps tilt your pelvis forward, so if you have tight hamstrings, you may find raising your hips in this way helps.  Open your legs as far apart as you can, optimally until the point where you feel that tugging sensation we always look for in Yin.  Lean forward, feeling your pelvis lean towards the floor, and letting your back round, if that is okay for your back.
These are Capsules, Letters and Low Volume
Wait a second.... That is not a yoga pose!  Ooh, but it is sure some pretty eye candy, right?!  I was so happy to get my second installment of my Christmas gift from MacGyver, a fat eighth club of Art Gallery Fabrics from Pink Castle Fabrics.  We are supposed to get 20, but I guess because there was only 19, I got extra (like half a yard!) of the one. I'm thinking I may have to order some more of a couple of these, the one floral in the bottom row, third from the left, in particular.

Okay Dragonfly.  You know, just being able to get down and back up off the floor is something.  Do not think, 'forget it, ain't happenin'; take your time and you can do this! I've said it before here and I say it pretty much every class I teach: you will be amazed at how this simple act of getting down onto and back up off of the floor can help increase your mobility.  My friend Pat sent me the July issue of Prevention, with a cute bookmark marking the article she knew I'd be interested in.  You will be hearing more in my Sunday Stretch posts about personal trainer Katy's theories of maximizing movement, one of her main ones being live on the floor.  In other words, get off the chair as often as you can, and onto the floor, put your computer or iPad on a stool and use a nice big pillow to sit on or lean against while you read or work, put your coffee cups in the cupboard above your head so you have to reach up on tiptoes to get one every morning, and so on.

I have a yoga student who is in her late 60s, doing her best to avoid knee surgery, overweight, and who wouldn't come to yoga for several months because of embarrassment at how awkward she may have looked while trying to do this very thing.  I encouraged her not to stay away, telling her Yin is in a low light room, go in the back row, no one cares because our eyes are closed or heads are down the majority of the time.  So she tried again, and now has been coming regularly, and is so amazed and happy at her improvement! We modify stuff where her knees can't handle it, and she is able to go through the class just fine!

This pose will work your hips, low back and those knees.  Before we go any further, I must also interject a quick thank you to Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl, for doing a feature on my Yoga Poses monthly post on her Tuesday Tips and Tutorials.  Gee whiz! I was tickled that she'd do that. 🙏
If you have low back issues where you should not round, then keep your tummy pulled in to protect your low back and lean from the hips.

What if this pulls too intensely on the backs of your legs (hamstrings) or you have an aching, healing knee? No problem! Use a cushion to support that healing knee:
This will take the pressure right off it!  If this still pulls too intensely, then either engage your quads which will, in turn, lift or engage your kneecaps to protect the joint, or plant your foot soles on the yoga mat.  Yin is quite different than the Yang, active, warm, use-your-muscles style of yoga.  I have a group of marathon runners who come regularly, and several of them do this pose in the following fashion:
Say what? Legs bent up that much? You bet!
Even if you are flexible and not bothered in the hamstrings, you might like to try this.  You will see how it still gets right into the groin and inner thigh area.  Notice I am doing it with my back flat but that is just to show you that you do not have to round.  Perhaps you slowly start to let your legs straighten, either over the 3-5 minutes hold, or over several weeks of doing this pose

Relax!

The key to Yin is to relax your muscles.  We get into the connective tissues, that white stringy stuff, aka gristle, you see in a package of meat.  If you are a meat-eater, it's a pain to cut through, right?  That, my friends, is the connective tissue of the animal, and we have that webbing throughout our entire bodies, into the very cells themselves.  This webbing tightens up with stress, with repetitive stress (think sewing many hours at a time), with aging, with injury, and with surgery.  Scar tissue? That's connective tissues, which are mostly elongated fibres, a few criss-crossing, but in injuries or surgeries, they criss-cross big-time and mass around the injured area, protecting it, immobilizing it.  This is scar tissue.  It's great while we are healing, not so great when it's time to mobilize.  Yin can help to break that down and give you more mobility!

Breathe!

In any style of yoga, the breath is paramount.  So it is with Yin.  Breathe in and out slowly and steadily to a count of maybe 3 or 4, even 6 or 8, as long as it is not forced.  Kino MacGregor, Ashtangi extraordinaire, says something so beautiful at the closing of the Ashtanga Primary Series, on Cody, something to the effect of "Let every inhale carry with it the memory of the exhale, and let every exhale carry with it the memory of the inhale."  So beautiful, and so flowing and so in the moment.

Hold here for 3 minutes.  Use a timer; close your eyes and go within. Notice where you may be holding onto something: is it your shoulders?  your jaw? your tummy?  Let go... feet are floppy...
If you have a yoga block, you may find you can set it on its end and your forehead may come to rest on it, or maybe you rest your forearms on it as I am on the cushion here.  If you don't have a yoga block, use a cushion as I am.  DO NOT PULL.  Relax.  Have patience here; you can hurt yourself seriously if you pull.  Let gravity do the work; your work is to breathe, to relax and to surrender.  Listen to your heart beat.  Listen to your breath.

To come out, rise back up slowly on an inhale, letting your head come up last if it was dangling.  Take in a couple more breaths and then lean back on your hands without moving your legs. Take a couple more breaths.  Fold in your legs, one at a time to a loose cross-legged seat, and arch your back, looking up, for another couple of breaths.  Ahh! Enjoy the release as the blood rushes through the constricted areas.  This works much like massage therapy to remove blockages, release toxins, and give you more space, more ease of movement.  Be sure to have a drink of water once you head back to your sewing machine.

Possibilities

Yoga is for everyone. Truly. All body types, all ages.  It can do amazing things, on a physical level, yes, but on a mental and spiritual level as you quieten your mind and go within.  If your head and/or chest comes to your mat, you may like to turn it to one side (be sure to do both sides), spread your arms apart so your hands come by your feet.  This feels incredibly good in the shoulders.
Remember to take your glasses off...

It took me years to get to this point, and I've put it here to show you there is always somewhere to go, and there is hope for everyone to see change, for the better.  I think I was about 50, maybe a bit more, when I got my chest to the floor.  Although I'd been practising Ashtanga Yoga for years, I thank the long holds of Yin that allowed my connective tissues, the ligaments, tendons, etc., to slowly give, and allow me to do this with no pulling.  Every time I start to think, meh, I'm (choke) getting too old to ever be able to do that, something happens and I see the possibility.  Be open, I guess, and I admit I am not always, to that growth, that change...those possibilities!

Acupressure

Yin combines Chinese theories of acupressure and acupuncture with the East Indian yoga theories.  We tug on areas and therefore stimulate acupressure points.  The Chinese, like the East Indians, treat the body as a whole.  I tell my students to think in this way: every cell has a Liver component (detoxification), or a Urinary Bladder (elimination) component to it.  This helps us Westerners to understand.

With that in mind then, this pose affects the Liver Meridian as it flows up the inner legs and into the groin.  You may feel some frustration or even anger surface while holding this pose; just try to breathe through it, knowing that something is being released.  Issues in our tissues, remember?  It also affects the Urinary Bladder Meridian as it flows down either side of the spine, and down the backs of the legs.  Maybe fears arise...  The Kidney Meridian is affected also along the inner legs and groin, and the Spleen Meridian if you feel tugging on the insides of your knees.  All this means is that you are stimulating these organs and energy highways and quite possibly removing blockages, if there are any, so energy will flow better.  You, in turn, will feel better, by having better energy flow and better range of movement!

Next month we'll take a look at a couple Dragonfly variations you can do that will help release tension in your back, and in your shoulders while still working the legs

Design Challenge News

The third bi-weekly draw for the #30quiltdesignschallenge2017 happened Friday night, (144 designs in the hashtag pool!!) and Abigail at Cut and Alter was the winner! She won a gift certificate to The Red Hen Shop.

I hope you'll take a moment to visit Melody's shop and give her some support. She has some lovely fabrics, at reasonable prices, and has been so very generous in supporting the design challenge.  The final draw is on March 15, a gift certificate for $50!  Here is Abigail's design.  Along with shadow quilts that I've been playing a lot with since Windfall, I love transparency quilts.
Isn't that cool?!

Now.
If you suddenly find yourself dropping the projects, the commitments, ignoring the emails mounting, refusing to cook - 'you're on your own!' words coming out of your mouth to your family, because you just have to make Abigail's design (with credit to her of course, right, and not selling it, right) then you've been hit by a DrEAMi!  February's link-up was yesterday, but it runs through the end of the month, so, until Wednesday morning. 😉  If you already had a DrEAMi! moment or episode, then you can link it up there!

I'm off to sit on a floor and lean forward for a bit here; although I wrote some of this while sitting on the floor, I still spent too much time sitting in a chair writing this post! You can join me if you've been reading blogs for too long!  Don't forget to check out Craftsy (affiliate link) sometime today though: along with another great supplies and kits sale, they also have a ton of free stuff, classes and patterns, yep, free!


Saturday, February 25, 2017

DrEAMi! Linky #2

Welcome to the second linky party for those quilt projects that just reach out and GRAB you, and what do you do? You go on and let 'em because oh! it's SUCH a knock-your-socks-off design, or oh-so-pretty, or you know just the person for whom this quilty project could be, and you have to make it for that person right now.
I have had not one, but two DrEAMi! episodes this month. 😬  The first I wrote about was my mug rug I made from the HSTs cut when I joined various strips of rainbow-coloured fabric for the binding for Whirling Stars.
Finding that teensie-weensie 4-patch in the centre, where each square is 1/2" finished--the cows!!--in my small scraps fabric bowl made me drop what I should have been doing and sew up this little 5 3/4" square, and then quilt it. It has a super-sweet back too, which I am using this week, and which you can read about in that post.

You'd think one mug rug this month would get it out of my system, but nope, I made another, Quilt Kisses.

Like I said, I have been, and I expect I always will be, bit hard by the distractions bug.

Thank you to 18, EIGHTEEN👏👏🙏  people who linked up their DrEAMi! episodes in January.  I enjoyed each post, and totally get why you were bitten.  Someone said I need to put a disclaimer on these linky parties so... voilà:

"Please be advised that visiting any links provided in this linky party may result in you discovering a project you just have to make.  You do not hold me, Sandra Walker, of Musings of a Menopausal Melon-mmm! quilts, responsible for any missed deadlines, meals, or other commitments that may go by the wayside should you find yourself mesmerized by one of these quilty squirrels."

'k?  We good? (as my daughters would say, or probably my grandson, Brady would! He comes out with the best lines.)

It was HARD to choose just 3 shiny baubles from those 18, but I did.  These bloggers' phrases ring so true for us bit-by-a-squirrel peeps.
This showstopper was made by my darling enabler (cough) friend, Tish who said "I only paused for a second......  I was officially out of control." We share a love of all things Angela.  Tish's fabric choices (I have those, or many of them too!!) have my eye zooming across this quilt top, mmm!
Allison's hearts got their hooks into her, and, like rabbits, kept multiplying on her design wall!  I made a heart much like this after seeing some stripey or strippy, both work, hearts online. Seeing Allison's makes me want to make more...

Cindy is a part of the #30quiltdesignschallenge2017 I, with Lisa of Sunlight in Winter Quilts, are hosting on Instagram (it runs until March 15, so feel free to hop in; the water's very warm!).  One of Cindy's designs, her second, in fact, led to this statement, "I sewed like a madwoman!" Love the soft fabrics and the way she quilted it.
and I have to put one more, because I've seen the flimsy, and I know she is working like a madwoman to finish this for her guild's show:
Preeti's birds (she got bird flu, or bird flew) have multiplied like 30 times these 2 and then some! As she said, "Oh no, I did not stop there..." Aren't they just strutting across her design wall all sharply-dressed with a 'look at ME!' attitude?

In other distractions news, I hope you've been enjoying the photos everyone at QuiltCon has been posting.  Some lovely quilts, and loads of lovely peeps, many meeting up for the first time after becoming online friends through this lovely QBL of which we are all part.

So what got your sudden attention this past month? You can link up any post Instagram or Flickr photo from February.  Please note this is a text-only linky from now on.












Friday, February 24, 2017

Quilt Kisses

Yesterday I mentioned all the secret sewing that has been going on over here, and today I can show you one of the projects because it arrived at its new owner's house!  It is one of two DrEAMi! projects that took my focus away from what I should have been doing this month.
This is Quilt Kisses.  You might think, hey, wait a minute, isn't there a blog in QBL by that name?  Yup.  And that is exactly where this mug rug went, to Jasmine, of Quilt Kisses.

Last May I was part of Lara's, Buzzin' Bumble, new book blog hop, Crafted Appliqué. I had a couple of giveaways on my post, along with a copy of Lara's book. One was the pattern for the dogs and cats little cushion I'd made for the hop. Jasmine won.  However, she couldn't see herself making that because she's just not really an animal person, so she said draw again.  I still wanted to give her something...I knew she was about to, or had just moved into, her beautiful new house, and a bit later I had the idea to make her a little something for her new sewing room, as in a mini, or a mug rug.  Ahem! It's been a while in the making!

You may recall this house block I sent to the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild for their Quilts for Québec drive.  Right when I started cutting the 1.5" squares for the heart, I knew I would make two, and one would go to Jasmine.  I had known right from the get-go that I would do an X on her mini for 'kisses', and kisses means love, right?  Suddenly, I just HAD to get this long-overdue mini together!
Once I was quilting it, the quilt named itself, because the heart is a mini quilt, ergo, Quilt Kisses.  Here you can see the size of the pebbles.  I love pebbling; even though it is time-consuming, it gives wonderful texture.  I added a few random double pebbles over the surface.  For the heart I did two designs, straight line echoes which, to me, gives a plaid effect, and then my favourite, feathers. Jasmine and I bonded over feathers when, a couple of years ago, she did an online course on various feather techniques, and created this quilt. (Okay, sidenote, I did not look up that quilt before making this one, but I made this mug rug/mini almost on the exact same day she posted that quilt, plus 2 years!)  Making the Honey Pot Bee Star Kisses block in solids earlier this month, and seeing Fiona's all solids rendition made me see how I could do an X block.  I quilted criss-crossing straight lines to emphasize the X.
I used these Sulky threads for the quilting; the Holoshimmer Sliver Metallic was used to stitch down the binding, which I applied to the back and machine-stitched down to the front.
Here is the back, purple of course, because that is Jasmine's favourite colour, a maple leaf print by Paintbrush Studio Fabrics, left over from my Windfall quilt.  A maple leaf, get it?

That lush hot pink binding is a piece of one of the secret sewing projects I keep alluding to. It was perfect as binding! There is not one repeat of fabric in this mug rug by the way, except for a couple of the white/off-white pieces, but all are scraps.

Something Jean of All Points of the Compass wrote on her blog the other day is so fitting here:

"Electronic communication across oceans and countries gives us all that sense that we are still so close to each other."

When I started this blog, I never had an inkling of where it would take me, as a quilter, as a writer, as a part of a wonderful online community, and as an opportunity for many new friendships.  It has definitely brought this beautiful blue/green planet to a more cozy, accessible, real-people-place where we are all connected, something I have always strongly felt, but am seeing, tangibly now.  It is like travelling without leaving your home, really, truly.  I speak from experience: my travels, though not that many, have made those similar 'small world' connections with people, many with whom I am still in touch.

Sidenote! It's not too late to sign up for the New Bloggers 2017 hosted by:
Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl   (did you see her Tuesday Tips and Tutorials post? She featured 'moi'! My Sunday Stretch posts😊)
Beth at Cooking Up Quilts  (I've met her in person! First got to know her through her being an alumni of the New Bloggers)
Leanne at She Can Quilt  (Although I haven't met Leanne, she hails from my hometown of Edmonton, Alberta!)
It is one of the very best things I have ever done with my blog. I met so many other bloggers, several of whom I now consider my close friends, and some of those friends I have met in person, I learned a great deal about blogging and about the quilting world, and I made this blog better as a result.  If your blog is less than 3 years old, I highly recommend this. 

Jasmine and I live a couple thousand miles apart but I know when (yep, when) we do meet, there won't be a nanosecond of awkward thanks to electronic communication.  We differ in a few ways: she is American, I am Canadian; she is not a animal person, I for sure am; she is Mormon, I am spiritual.  Religion can be a huge stumbling block to happy relationships.  Jasmine and I have had some conversations about religion, and I just love that we acknowledge and respect each other's beliefs, but don't let them get in the way of our common ground.  And there is a LOT of common ground: a love of quilting, obviously, of teaching, of feathers, of organization (but she is way better than I am), and so on.

One last photo, this one taken in early morning light. You actually get a glimpse of the sparkle of the Holoshimmer thread on the binding.
Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  original design
Size:  approximately 12 X 6" (forgot to measure it!)
Fabric: scraps
Batting: Pellon Nature's Touch 100% cotton scrap
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann; quilted with Sulky rayons and Holoshimmer Metallic for binding

The second DrEAMi! linky will be tomorrow!  What has diverted your attention this past month?  Has that elusive squirrel been captured?  This sweet, squirrel-fixated pibble, Brandy, spent a lovely day at our house this past week with her human, John.  Another gem of a day to treasure.  Hope you'll pop by tomorrow and link up if you've had a 'Drop Everything And Make It' shiny bauble grab you, or see what's grabbed others' attention of late!  Fair warning: that could lead to a DrEAMi! of your own.

Yikes! Nearly forgot!  One more 'Fair Warning': I may be enabling, but Craftsy is having yet another end of the month supplies and kits sale.  I can't wait to show you a couple of my scores on the last sale, well, one was the Suburbia quilt kit which is no longer there...but this one is, and it's under $40CA!  It's called Hometown Bird of Paradise, and it is stunning, ha, much like MacGyver's real Bird of Paradise currently in bloom in our front yard. (Pic of that in last post.)
https://www.craftsy.com/quilting/kits/hometown-bird-of-paradise-quilt-kit/467968

I've got my eye on another:
http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=1074126&b=253536&m=29190&afftrack=&urllink=www%2Ecraftsy%2Ecom%2Fquilting%2Fkits%2Fcolorblock%2Dquilt%2Dkit%2F457568
That ombré! This is Colorblock.  I've used ombrés a few times, so I am anxious to try out Craftsy's own.  There are 6 and 1/8 yards here for $72CA, and remember you do not always have to use them for this quilt, right?! 

Have you seen the new Boundless So Sweet line?
http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=1074126&b=253536&m=29190&afftrack=&urllink=www%2Ecraftsy%2Ecom%2Fquilting%2Fsupplies%2Fboundless%2Dso%2Dsweet%2Dprecut%2Dfabric%2F463339
So pretty and Spring-like! I have my eye on these sweet prints too...so many temptations, right?

I've picked up some Boundless Batiks to try, and I'll let you know what they are like...
http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=1074126&b=253536&m=29190&afftrack=&urllink=www%2Ecraftsy%2Ecom%2Fquilting%2Fsupplies%2Fboundless%2Dbatiks%2Dflower%2Dmarket%2Dprecut%2Dfabric%2F454547


These are affiliate links, and please know that I sincerely appreciate any purchases made by you through my links. 😀


Linking up:
Crazy Mom Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
TGIFF at Anja Quilts (another good friend I met through the New Bloggers💕
Busy Hands Quilts

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 it 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!

And thus RSC2017 Project #3 is born.  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
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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!
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