Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Ten Days

Interesting title, no? This is thanks to my friend Preeti, who inquired as to my well-being (so did Pat), and I thank you sweet friends who notice a gap in posting from time to time.  This one was 10 days, as Preeti let me know.  A lot can happen in 10 days.  To be honest, and not totally transparent (yet) a lot happened in the first 12 days of February.
On the left you see 2" finished 4-patches destined for two projects and on the right trimmings from a big project that I can't talk about just yet.

I can talk about those 4-patches. A bunch went into this house block.
Along with a floral piece by Riley Blake and some batik, grass and sky scraps that I brought with me for Cindy's Canada blocks, those 4-patches became a 6" finished heart block for the side of the house.  A house filled with love and sunshine and bedecked with flowers.  My wish for the recipient of the quilt of which this one becomes a part.  Time hopefully can heal, lessen the pain and horror and anguish.
These two blocks have been mailed to the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild.  (That link will take you to the explanation and details as to how you can help.)  They are collecting house blocks to be made into quilts for the families of the victims of the massacre at a Québec City mosque.  Such senseless violence in the sanctity of a holy place, not that anywhere else would be less of a horror, but in a place of such peace and reverence...innocent people, families bereft of a dad, or a grandpa, a husband, a son...I still get so emotional thinking about it.  I immediately knew I'd make my 16" house block I designed.  I resized it to 12" and yes there will be a tutorial for this size too.  The 16" size is available here on the blog or in PDF form free in my Craftsy Pattern Store.  The maple leaf is only 5" so I added two borders.  Scraps for the maple leaf are from Windfall, the backing of Whirling Stars, and grass/sky/batik as mentioned.  The chimney pieces were a perfect find in the bottom of my scraps bin, leftover Kaffe Fassett from the Three-Quarter Patch Tote I made for Craftsy (affiliate link) last year.  Love it when serendipity strikes.

Love it when Bella strikes, a pose, that is!
Decided the scrap bin was a purr-fect spot for a nest; playing peek-a-boo in a drawer
Ahh, she brings me so many smiles.  And lots of material for the blog and Instagram.

Mail Concerns
I do not love it when I have to mail stuff, especially to another country from here.  We had to send some stuff (happenings in those 12 days of the unquilty kind) via UPS and so I took my blocks in a reused 6.5X8.5" padded envelope to see what they would charge me, as they have regular postal services there too.  Choke!! $16 First Class mail.  According to her, that was the cheapest I'd get.  I spluttered, "Thanks, but I'll see what the post office says.  I took the exact same envelope to my local post office here in Florida.  I got one of the two 'good' workers (there is one that will never try to help you find a cheaper way to send stuff) and she said, "Well, as it is right now, these two quilt blocks that weigh next to nothing will cost you either $9-11 to send.  However..."  as my eyes popped.  This was almost half what the other girl had said postage would cost, but still exorbitant.  She suggested I take them out of the reused padded envelope, which, btw, Preeti had used to send me a super-hilarious book written by various dogs, observations on human behaviour.  It cost her $3.78 to send it to me. I know that is the media rate, and within the US, but still--!  If I put these two blocks into a regular envelope, it could probably go for around $2.50, much better.
I made my own envelope using regular paper.  Gift card is there so you see the size, about 5.5X8.5"
I took it back there the next day, and it went as a letter because it was so flat and so light and in a regular envelope.  Cost?  $1.15!  Now, this kind of variance makes me incensed!  Of interest to note: the mysterious first 12 days of February project which weighed 50 or more times cost me a flat rate of $13.60 to send from Florida to Michigan a week later!

Despite these mysterious goings-on, both of which were simultaneously exhilarating and positive but somewhat stressful as well, I still did daily walking and noticing and marvelling.
There were two of these pretty butterflies flitting around by the side of the road. One posed for a split second...maybe it's a moth?  The moon in broad daylight always fills me with wonder.  I project myself there, look back at our blue/green planet, and think, yes, your life is pretty insignificant, really.  Or not.  One person can make a difference, whether by appreciating the beauty around her, or by adding to the beauty, as my wise friend Jasmine said to me a couple of years ago, with quilts.

The 150 Canadian Women Project has me, and plenty of others, anticipating Tuesdays like never before!
Block 37: Mary Meager Southcott - because of parents' disdain for the nursing profession, she waited until they died before going to nursing school. She was 37.  Two years of training and two years of experience later, she became a superintendent of nurses, and then set about raising the standard of nursing to professional level. When she stood up to the establishment, she was forced to resign, which was reversed, but 15 years later. Still, after her forced resignation, she set up a private hospital, continuing to fight for women. Perseverance or what.  38: Roberta Catharine MacAdams Price - she was a domestic sciences instructor, a dietician in England during WWI, first woman to successfully move an Act that brought legal recognition to a veterans' organization, and worked to establish an Edmonton teacher training college.  39: Dr. Maud Menten - brilliant biochemist that co-developed with Leonor Michaelis the famous Michael-Menten equation for measuring the rate of a biological reaction catalyzed by enzymes. "Although this equation is internationally recognized and is necessary for the production of most modern drugs, Maud is unknown."
These are this week's:
Block 40: Margaret Newton - internationally renowned agricultural scientist, she did ground-breaking (ha no pun intended) work in cereal crops rust protection; 41: Agnes Deans Cameron - first white woman to reach the Arctic Ocean. The winter birches fabric reminds me of the cold wintry Arctic. Prior to that she was a teacher, then the first woman principal, fired for allowing her students the same 'cheating' privileges as her male colleagues, who of course, were not fired; 42: Joan Bamford Fletcher - she completed a mechanics course during WWII, drove vehicles for the Polish Army, and at the end of the war was assigned to assist in the evacuation of Allied troops from Sumatra.
Just so much joy in rifling through the pinks, reds and whites/creams scraps!  So much awe and inspiration in reading about these kickass, "I'm not taking no for an answer" women.  Will update later today with a note about each one.  Amazing women.

I cannot get over having made 42 6.5" unfinished blocks with those three baggies of scraps I brought with me.  They don't feel much flatter; what's with that?!  Blocks 41 and 42 made me so gratified that I save scraps as small as 1-1.5".  Block 42 had four 4-patches made with 1.5" squares!  I used 4 different lights for them, 2 different lights for the corner triangles and yet another different one for the centre.  Didn't even have to cut that puppy out because I brought my drawer organizer of 2.5" squares with me!  Can you spot the one rogue red 1.5" square in the bottom block?!  Rather than cut into the dwindling piece of Debbie Mumm red check for the 8th square for the 4-patches, I cut one from the Windfall scraps, already a 1.5" little strip!  That made me grin.  I'm a simple girl; doesn't take much to make me happy.

Linking up with
Sew Fresh Quilts

and finally,
Quilt Fabrication for


  1. Proof that you are loved and missed. This is the time of the year when there is so much pink around us that even those of us who like pink can see red!!! Since you have me sprinkled all over this post, I should be the first one to comment. Love your house blocks. Mine are complete too. Will show in the next post. Eagerly awaiting the reveal of the blue-purple project!!!

  2. Lovely fabrics in the top right block, and I too am using all scraps in mine. Postage, from here in New Zealand the envelopes( for the fabric swap for the 150 blocks ) would have been $14.30 each, NZ dollars, Annette took them with her, they were posted near Kelowna, 7 for a huge total of $15, Canadian dollars. If from here, they had to go parcel rate as they had fabric in and not just paper as in a letter!!! At that time the exchange rate was 95c Canadian to $1 NZ.So not much difference at all. I need to have family flying for skiing holidays regularly!!!

  3. Good to see you back - was wondering where you went! Love all of your blocks - putting me to shame! Thanks for sharing

  4. Thank you so much for doing this. The lady at Atelier Fibre Arts is a wonderful gal. I met her the other day.

  5. Love my furry niece so much!!!!❤

  6. Shipping costs are something that can drive a person batty. I know what you mean about the 'good' folks at the USPS counter. I'm glad you got some good advice and were able to save money! Also, welcome back and I look forward to more details. DrEAMi details?

  7. Yes, I did see that you are in Florida, warmer, lots of stash taken that fits in with those blocks, and the postage queries.

  8. Yep, I see the red rogue. :D I did something like that but a lot more obvious when I made the Christmas Ribbon in the Jolly Christmas Quilt Along. I thought I had enough of the same white for the background, but no, I didn't. Since the block was all but complete when I realized it I just forged ahead.
    Postal rates can drive you nuts and postal workers are encouraged to upsell you as much as possible with insurance, tracking, faster delivery, yada, yada, yada. Also, if you look closely at the website, any off-size or shape will cost you more. Nice you got one of the good ones.
    And, in parting, don't you know that using scraps generates MORE scraps? It's a losing battle. lol

  9. Sometimes other things take time away from blogging and it isn't always easy to balance both. Love the canadian women blocks, I'm need to get mine done.

  10. I noticed you hadn't checked in for a long while! But you've been busy;)

  11. I love seeing your red and pink blocks. The house blocks look sweet and are sweet. I hope you met any deadlines you may have had.

  12. Bella's peek-a-boo pic has me rolling. I swear she and Caroline are cut from the same cloth, but I'm pretty sure Bella is the princess and Caroline is like the ninja that protects the princess. Those beautiful pink and blue bits look so yummy I could just dive in and eat them like candy :) And I do hope those house blocks bring some comfort where ever they end up. I know they are packed full of love and good energy <3

  13. I figured you were enjoying the weather down south and didn't want to make us poor folks buried under snow feel bad. LOL Great looking blocks.

  14. It may have been 10 days but you sure made up for it with this post. I love hearing about those wonderful women, how the world has changed, and in these instances for the better. I weigh my envelopes to send abroad but a couple of months ago I knew I was close but my scales must have been out and I was over by two grammes, it cost an extra £7, I couldn't believe it. What I should have done was take it home and remove the excess packaging and replace the enclosed card with paper, but that would have made it late and I didn't. I am extra careful now though.

  15. What a lovely group of happy little blocks. It's wonderful to sew for charity isn"t it?

  16. You got lots done in your 10 days off the computer. Love your blocks going to Canada. It's very sad that such things happen. I'll never understand why. Your Canadian Woman blocks turned out beautifully too.


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