Wednesday, May 20, 2015

One Lovely Blog Award

Two days ago I got the most lovely email.  Lisa of Sunlight in Winter Quilts, a sister Ontarian, wrote to tell me she'd nominated my blog for this award!

Was I ever touched.  I had never heard of this, but it is a terrific idea as a way to recommend other blogs to your readers, and thus, find new blogs, and make new friends.  Moreover, it really makes a person's day when they hear they've been nominated.  :-)

The idea of this award is to basically spread the love, by nominating other bloggers, mostly newer ones, that I think should be recognized.  This way, we bring attention to blogs that we think are lovely, that we enjoy reading, and that we think others should too!

I can so relate to Lisa's title of her blog, as when we used to spend the winter months here in Canada, I'd long to feel the sunlight soaking into my bones, couldn't conceive of, in the cold dark days of January, ever again being outside with bare arms and legs and feet!!  Lisa and I are also similar in that we both enjoy creating traditional as well as modern quilts.  I love the intricacy of traditional piecing but I love the simplicity of modern quilts with the impact being so often the quilting itself.

So in accepting this award, I have agreed to do three things.  One is to thank Lisa, and to point you in the direction of her blog, well worth a read.

The second is to tell you 7 things about myself.  Here goes!
1.  My mum sewed clothes for us, but never liked it; however she loved to knit and taught me, as well as let me use her machine once I was 12!  Her mum, my nana, was a seamstress, so I guess those genes skipped down to me, as I loved sewing and handwork from the get-go.  My Auntie Phyl, who reads this blog, was a terrific seamstress herself, and gave me some coaching in various areas from choosing fabrics (we both love ultrasuede) to my first machine purchase in 1979, an Elna, which I have to this day.

I started quilting when my friend, Shirley, helped me make a Grandmother's fan pillow in 1995 I believe.  She was taught by her husband's grandmother, who is my husband's great-aunt (got that?!) and, just as she was taught, so I, too, cut the pieces out from corrugated cardboard templates I made (I was not impressed), sewed them together, topstitched them onto a sandwiched square and piece of polyester batting, put lace at the top edge of the fan before topstitching, then made a ruffle for the outer edge of the pillow, layered the whole thing with a back, stitched and flipped it right side out, stuffed it with polyester stuffing and sewed the opening closed!  It was made out of broadcloth (65/35 poly/cotton) and the fan wedges were cut from scraps from garment making, scraps that included wool challis, rayon, cotton and polyester!  But scraps!  I always thought, and said, that winning the block of the month was my first foray into quilting, but it came to me while writing that no, I made that pillow first...and with scraps.  I love fabric, the more the better, and I love scrap quilts.  I don't think I have that pillow anymore; another victim of a major purge before the big move.  But I was bitten, and a few months later, I won the block of the month at the local not-yet-a-quilts-only-shop, so started taking some classes, discovered ROTARY CUTTING (cue the choir sound) and I was off to the races.

2.  I love summer. We spend about 4 months of the winter in Florida.  I love water, both being in it and gazing at it.  So I feel particularly blessed to be able to spend time at the azure Gulf of Mexico, a mere 30 minutes' drive from our North Port home, as well as to live the rest of the year on one of the beautiful Great Lakes, Lake Erie, where it is a mere 30 seconds' walk down to the beach.

Dot to Dot placemats (made last month in a class in Sarasota with Angela Walters-in person!) on our patio, Lake Erie in the background

3. 3 is my favourite number. It won me a prize last night at our guild meeting.
Everyone got a free pattern; I won the bag from Laura Coia, our guest speaker and video-blogger SewVeryEasy

I actually won 3 prizes all told!  I have never won before.  I also won these two:

Fabric, two tape measures, one retractable, a bee clip, and a steam pressing cloth
I joined the Erie Shores Quilt Guild in Fall 2013.  I've started to get to know some of the people a little better now within the guild.  After I won TWO prizes from the same quilt shop vending at the meeting, well, I spied this on my way out, and just had to buy it.  I mean, as a thank you to her, right?!

A lovely batik; it will be added to my growing collection of black and white fabrics
I have to say, though, that I just adore my online quilt bloggers' "guild", a community of incredible people, amongst whom I now call several my very good friends, even though we have not met in person (yet).

This blog has enriched my life in so many more ways than I ever dreamed it would.  I'll be a part of the new bloggers' hop this year (missed it last year, and was, I'll admit, a bit shy to join in), I've tested another blogger's pattern, thanks Joanne, and loved the process, I'm currently testing hopefully two (I need to stop spending 2 hours already writing a blog post) of another blogger's patterns, thanks Cheryl, and I'm now entering the pattern-publishing world.  Most of all I just really enjoy sharing my thoughts, my quilts, some of my life goings-on, and chronicling my creations.

4.  I love laughter.  Hearing it, doing it, creating it and sharing it.
Okay, and I love Downton Abbey!
Yet I can be pretty philosophical and introspective.
btw Brady, my 6-year-old grandson LOVES dandelions
5.  I am passionate about yoga; I do it as well as teach it.  I try to live by the yoga philosophy of ahimsa, (do no harm).  I do both Ashtanga and Yin, great complements in that the former is vigorous and you work your muscles, and the latter is meditative and you relax your muscles but work into the connective tissues.  I designed and quilted this yoga mat bag last year; I hope to do another yoga-themed art quilt...I have an idea or two percolating.

6.  I recently had a pretty major life change.  I am just shy of 3 years into not working full-time.  I now teach yoga, just 3 classes per week, and I love it.  I love teaching, always have done.  I taught French and English for 30 years, quit a little before pension-eligible age and moved 2000 miles across the country to Kingsville, Canada's southernmost town.  In the 80s, we lived for 5 years in Essex, 20 minutes north and east of Kingsville; both our daughters were born in Windsor, and we often would drive to Kingsville.  Many a time we'd say how much we'd love to live here amongst the beautiful painted ladies, the majestic brick houses, the stately old trees and shimmering blue waters of Lake Erie.  Little did we know it would eventually come to pass.
My beloved Lake Erie, taken April 24, the day after we got home

7.  I have mainly done traditional quilts
Seaside Rose, pattern and fabric by Three Sisters
until I started blogging and seeing more and more modern quilts, and now I do both, but seem to be producing more in the modern strain!  As I said in #1, I also have started writing patterns; if I can sit my butt down in front of this computer and figure out how to do the damn I mean lovely diagrams for the patterns, (I got a great tutorial from Modern Quilters Ireland thanks to Lara so I have no excuse now).  I will soon have two, one that will be free (Pocketful of Sunshine) and the other I will sell, both in a soon-to-be-opened Craftsy shop.
Pocketful of Sunshine
I love all aspects of the quilting process, from choosing the fabric, to cutting,
a secret I can share soon!
to piecing, to the design process, to the quilting -- really really love that part, whether it's on my Bernina or on my Avanté, to binding, to washing and laying it out to block and finish drying and then finally to using it.  If you haven't noticed, I enjoy writing too... ;-)
WIP - another of Cindy's Scrap-a-Palooza quilts, this one also going to be a quilt for a senior in a wheelchair

And it wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention my quilt inspector, Bella

my beloved Pitbull, Rocco
May 3 in front of the exquisite gardens of Mettawas End B&B, Kingsville

 and my strong and silent but so very loving, Rottweiler, Naala.
March 1, 3 days before her 8th birthday--she twists and turns her head à la Pug!
The third thing I must do is nominate some other blogs that I love to read, and want to nominate for this prestigious award.  I looked on bloglovin' and apparently I follow 75(??) so it is difficult to choose.  In email contact with some of my fave bloggers, there are those who said, no, they don't want to accept the award, for various reasons, even though they're touched I wanted to bestow it upon them.  So here is an incomplete list (otherwise I'd need to list like 50), in alphabetical order:

Buzzin' Bumble by sweetheart Lara (she's been nominated more than once, but I was first, just sayin')
Canuck Quilter by Joanne
Confessions of a Fabric Addict by Sarah (hers is not exactly a smaller blog, but I just love it and read every post)
Pink Doxies by Julie
poemsforproles by my talented Uncle Frank
PugMom Quilts by Nancy
Quilt Paradigm by Judy
Quilt Kisses by Jasmine
Quilting is More Fun Than Housework by Cindy (another whose blog is not exactly smaller, but the first I followed and, as with Sarah's, never miss a post)
Shimmerette by my hilarious daughter, Brianne
Vicki's Crafts by Vicki

Remember the Bloggers' Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side!  Voting starts in TWO days, May 22!  Viewers' choice can be voted upon right HERE right NOW!  My two quilts are Gears, here and Seashell runner here.  So many delicious creations!

Linking up:


  1. Hi Sandra: This is a great post. I learned so much about you and yes you do like to write!

  2. Yay for you Sandra! While reading this, I found out new things about you that I hadn't known before and love you all the more! I can really see the impact of ahimsa in your life.
    Hmm... I like those secret fabrics you gave us a peek at.

  3. C'mon! You named blogs I was going to name. . . OK, I need to get my post going, maybe tomorrow. . . I need to start emailing people. Although, Marly just named people and told them later. . . join or not, I don't care but I'm putting you on my list :D haha I think I'm gonna do the same! Seems we have similar tastes, whoda thunk? :D

  4. Wintering in Florida!! How fun! I retired a year ago and now I winter in Arizona. Too cold to stay in North Dakota over the winter anymore. Just visiting from Freshly Pieced but I might stay and poke around a bit and who knows just might join.

  5. What a wonderful post! I am from ND originally, now live in VA, am retired from Medicine, happily quilting and walking my dogs, too. It is so fun to run across people with the same interests here and share quilting experiences and projects. What great projects you've included above. Inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh, thanks Barbara, and I couldn't agree more! So you "went east young woman" lol like I did? This is a wonderful time of life, isn't it? And SUCH a wonderful online community, truly. I'm off to visit you now! (which is when I discovered you are a no-reply blogger... :-( will try to find you...

    2. Gotcha! That wasn't as hard as some of the times I've tried to find no-reply bloggers...In case others are curious to find Barbara:

  6. What a fun post to read, Sandra! I love the perspective on dandelions. So interesting that your quilting style has changed since you started blogging. Mine has also been affected.

  7. Since we are sisters, I could add several more items to the list of things to know about you lol lol. But I won't. But you owe me for that!. Bahahaha!
    Lovely post as always. You deserve to be nominated!

  8. I have had a lovely visit to your blog, getting to know you! I love your pattern, Pocketful of Sunshine !
    I was so interested to hear that your quilting style has evolved since blogging. I think that quilt blogs have opened up so much of the quilting world to us all. I love your Quilt Inspector , Bella , and your doggies.

  9. Nice to meet you Sandra! I am an teacher who retired early, too!. I was teaching middle school English and Language Arts and I decided to leave it behind to live my life in a happier way! No regrets! Congratulations on your nomination and happy quilting. *Sent here by Lara B.!

  10. I know I am late to this party in terms of commenting but THANK YOU for the nomination :) I think I might have taken a liberty or two with the rules. . . adding the non-quilt related things about myself and listing three blogs that are by no means small but darn it, SO inspirational ;)

  11. Your blog is new to me -- so glad I found it!