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


  1. oh yes. I like those things. Don't know much about A walters but will check that link. Shells and nature. Your cat is so pretty. Flowers and their colors! Thanks for joining me in this

  2. Angela Walters is da bomb! I love her Midnight Quilt Shows! What a character!!!
    Your finds on the beach were so wonderful! I have beaches near me, (within a mile or two) but they are beaches on a strait, so we don't get the amount of treasures that the ocean places for us. I used to live in California a half mile from the beach and have lots of treasures from there.

  3. Beach is my favourite space too - only place we can leave the bassets off lead and not worry about losing them and I love the sound of the waves too!

  4. Your 150 blocks look so good, after Christmas I need to play catchup. Love the photos and those painted shells how neat!

  5. Just found your blog (LeeAnna's Thursdays led me here). Very nice! I love the photos of the beach and those paintings are so sweet and whimsical. Your quilt is going to be gorgeous! I love that each one commemorates a specific woman! Have a wonderful holiday!

  6. I love your blog! This post was exceptional! XO

  7. We're sisters alright....I LOVE nature and mother nature too....fascinating!

  8. I loved reading your thoughts today. Your block collection is growing beautifully. And what a sweet thing to do/find on the beach.

  9. Beautiful photos Sandra....nice relaxing post to read before I head out to buy a last minute Christmas gift.

  10. Can you do me a favor and take a walk on the beach for me since it is snowing here again!!
    Just a little not a biggee, but I wish for it to quit so our son can get down here for Christmas!!

  11. I love your blocks for the Canadian Women quilt-a-long. That'll be one gorgeous quilt!

  12. love the awesome painted shell - lucky you to find one ! love your fabulous nature shots too and I'm onto Angela's new show - she's so fun !

  13. Thank you so much for sharing your 2.5 inch strip trick for making hsts! I will give it a try - I'm doing the 150 Cdn Women blocks too with a very limited red and white stash at this point. I'm planning to add to it this year ;) Found your blog through Meadow Mist Design's linky party and really enjoying your voice and photos.

  14. Yes.
    That's in answer to your opening question. "Do you ever sit at your computer... mulling over a good post title? Yep. I think that's the writer in us that knows the importance of a great title. It's like the bow on the package, the icing on the cake, the cherry on top.

  15. I love that you love (and appreciate) so much. More people need to do that! Those little painted shells are so cool; what a neat thing to do.


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