|Me with Brandy, our dear friend John's Pibble (75-pound lap dog) Feb. 2015|
Stephanie of Late Night Quilter (my hive leader, woot! woot!)
Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs (currently testing two patterns for her, awww yeah!)
Terri of Childlike Fascination
Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl
I am truly in awe, not to mention so very grateful for the extra time these gals are devoting to helping us improve our blogs.
In 2012 my husband and I made a rather bold decision: we quit our jobs, he a few months shy, me a few years shy of retirement age. On top of that, we left Alberta, where we had spent the past 23 years raising our two daughters, and moved to southwestern Ontario, a place we had lived for 5 years in the 1980s. We had set the wheels in motion a few years prior to the actual move, but it was quite the be-still-my-beating-heart, outside of the box kind of thing to do. Prior to, during, and after, and even still today, nearly 3 years later, I had and have many deep thoughts, aha moments, profound events occur, thought-provoking incidents, all of which led, and still lead, to much pondering about life in general. I also had time to pursue more fully my passions, sewing, yoga and reading. I wanted to keep in touch with my family and friends back in Alberta, and I wanted to document not only my quilting projects, but also to share with them my journey in this new and exciting phase of my life. Thus, "Musings of a Menopausal Melon - mmm quilts" came into being.
Menopause really is a profound time of change in a woman's life, and although I question on a daily basis just where my brain cells have gone when it comes to mundane tasks like opening up a recipe on the computer (3 tries later, after getting sucked into "just checking email, just looking up this Ontario tree, just seeing if I could fix the damn Pinterest button"--which is ugly I know--I finally did get the recipe and the cake made and it was actually delicious--more on the trials of baking with a menopausal absent melon in another post...), where was I? Oh yeah, I find I really think more deeply about the big stuff, the important stuff. Important stuff...like let's get on with the post! I hope you are starting to see the blend of humour with profanity. Wait! Not profanity! (another menopausal issue, can't think of the appropriate word when I want it) "blend of humour with profundity." That sounds archaic, but I checked and it's a word, as is profoundness. I think you get it.
I've quilted for 20 years. It always interested me, but I thought it too fiddly and time-consuming when I first had a go, armed with scissors, pencil, and corrugated cardboard templates, to make a Grandmother's Fan block into a cushion. Then when I won blocks in a BOM draw at the LQS, urged to enter and "just make one block, Mum, it's only $1" by my eldest daughter, age 9 at the time, I signed up for a class at said LQS, and, well, garment-making took a backseat to quilt-making!
|Fleurs, a challenge from last year: guild executive-directed, sew your own rounds on an orphan block (love this, still need to quilt it)|
Which is exactly how I've come to view the online blogging community. When I moved here to Kingsville, it was really hard to find out information about local guilds, and when I did find a guild, Erie Shores Quilt Guild, very difficult to "break into" that guild.
|Seaside Rose, one of my all-time favourite quilts, Lake Erie in the background|
|Summer Breeze, one of my first modern quilts|
|Yoga mat bag designed by moi|
So, to wrap this up, I have a couple of tips for you:
First, a blogging tip from me is to answer your comments by email (unless you are having a giveaway and have like lots!) and then visit the commenter! We learned last week that answering them directly on your blog does not automatically send an email to the person who wrote the comment. Emailing and visiting the commenter has led me to making some invaluable friendships with other bloggers, friendships I treasure, talented women with whom I frequently chat. I love sewing "with" them, thinking (knowing!) they are at their machines right at this very moment, creating beauty, all across the continent, and around the planet. :-)
But I interrupt my tips with a question for you: how do you balance your time on the computer with your time on your sewing machine? Any tips would be much appreciated, as this is something I am struggling with this year in particular! I keep joking that I need a secretary...
Second, a quilting tip is one I learned on "Simply Quilts", and it is a timesaver when trimming up HSTs!
|Layer 2 HST squares right sides together, atop each other, wiggling the diagonal seam together with your fingers so they abut|
|Lay your ruler down (I love my 8"square from That Patchwork Place) as shown, so the diagonal line is right on top of the seam line. I'm trimming these to 3 1/2"|
|Ta da! TWO HSTs perfectly trimmed.|
And finally! Are you still with me?! Here is some quick trivia about me:
1. Dream Vacation Spot: a tropical small island, set up for one couple only
2. Favourite Book: SO many!! Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Cutting For Stone by Abraham Verghese, The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough, The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien, Kingdom of Shadows by Barbara Erskine, pretty much all of Charles de Lint's books, The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley...okay, I'll stop, but there are more
3. Favourite Movie: "The Princess Bride" with "The Commitments" and "Chocolat" coming close behind
4. Favourite TV Show: Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, Once Upon a Time, Outlander
5. Random (fun) fact: Other than I have a difficult time making decisions (and picking one favourite!), hmmm, I learned to do a wheel and a headstand in my 40s and as of last year, age, egad, 54, can do splits with either leg in front. This is thanks to yoga.
I hope you might poke around a bit, stay a while, grab a java or a cuppa, and maybe pop back in on a regular basis! :-)
|QC inspector and sewing coach Bella makes frequent appearances on the blog|
I hope you also check out my hive mates' posts for today on this first week of the New Bloggers' Hop:
Johanna at Sewing Time With Brownie
Jinger at Trials of a Newbie Quilter
Kelly at Quilting it Out
Tessa at Half Square Quilts