Sunday, April 23, 2017

Red & White For Days

It feels like it.  I didn't realize until I typed the title, and these first few lines, that I'd be posting this on St. George's Day.  Heh? you say... Do you know St. Patrick?  Of course! Patron saint of Ireland.  His colour?  Green, duh! Well, St. George is the patron saint of England, the very same guy who slew the dragon (not slayed; I looked it up and that would indicate St. George was amused by it.  Which he could have been I supposed.  Before he slew it.  Or maybe the dragon slayed himself with St. George, as a cat does with a mouse, and then St. George retaliated.  In any event, St. George survived.  The dragon, sadly, did not.)  St. George's colour? Red, of course!

Here are the next three sets of blocks for 150 Canadian Women QAL at Next Step Quilt Designs, with a couple of tips in case you haven't made these yet, or for future reference.
58 - Leonora Howard King: first Canadian doctor in China, where she opened the first Chinese hospital for women and children, awarded the Imperial Chinese Order of the Imperial Dragon, the first woman to achieve such an honour; 59 - Jean Lumb: Chinese name Wong Toy Jin, at age 17, she opened her own (prosperous) fruit store in Toronto, spokesperson to PM Diefenbaker wrt Chinese concerns regarding immigration, led a successful campaign to preserve Toronto's Chinatown, 60 - Laura Goodman Salverson: Icelandic immigrant, a writer, first editor of  "Icelandic Canadian" magazine, a pioneer author of immigrant literature
58 was pretty scrappy in the whites, as I'm trying my best to use my smaller scraps.  I did use yardage I purchased for Laura's block, the snowflakes, as a nod to her Icelandic heritage.

Kat, the creator of this QAL does connector corners for making flying geese, which takes more fabric, and creates waste.  Because I'm using my small scraps as much as possible, and because I hate waste, I usually do the No Waste Method.  You make 4 flying geese units at once, pretty slick.  There are many online tutorials for this method; my own is here.  The math is simple to figure out the size of your squares: take the finished measurement of the width of the 'peak' and add 1.25", and take the finished height of the 'wings' and add 7/8".  So for a unit measuring 1.5X2.5", you would cut your 'peak' fabric 2.5 + 1.25 = 3.75" square, and your 'wings' fabric 1.5 + 7/8 = 2 3/8" square.  The sewing looks a little weird, but do enough of these, and it becomes second nature.
There you have them in a couple of finished sizes, 1.5X2.5" and 2X3.5".  I tried to expedite the catching up process by making two blocks at the same time, chain-piecing and, well, all right...
...maybe not a good idea when it's after 9 pm... Thank goodness I'd only pinned!

61 - Mary "Bonnie" Geraldine Baker: professional women's baseball player, fielding average of .953 as a catcher, stole 507 bases in 9 seasons! She was the only woman in the league to work full time as a team manager (for the Kalamazoo Lassies), and was Canada's first female sports broadcaster. 62 - Manon Réaume: first girl to participate in a peewee tournament in its history, as a Bantam AA, she was forced out because parents felt she was taking away a boy's spot; however, she went on to eventually win a silver medal in Nagano at the 1998 Olympics, AND she did play for the NHL, first with the Tampa Bay Lightning. 63 - Fern Blodgett: first Canadian woman to become a wireless radio operator, in WWII she successfully led 78 of the 98 runs across the Atlantic on the Mosdale, first woman to receive the Norwegian War Medal.
For this set I made sure to use baseball-like fabrics for Mary, and used black in Manon's, symbolic of the hockey puck but of the prejudice against her for being a girl, the pink symbolizing her femininity. As for the surrounded friendship stars, I love this block, despite its crazy tiny pieces. Each star block finishes at 3"!  I'd like to make it double-size.  Again, to simplify this one, I did HSTs instead of the corner connectors, trimming two at a time to speed up the process.  Here's how:

Layer two HSTs RST, butting up the seams. This works best if you press to one side. You can feel them butt up against each other.  Lie your ruler with the 45-degree line on the seamline, and trim two sides.  Rotate the mat.  I like to put my little mat on top of my big one so I don't have to touch the HSTs at all. If you have a rotating one, this is the time to use it.
You can see the dog ears from the one beneath peeking out.

Lie your ruler down once more as before, and trim the other two sides.
Voilà!  Two HSTs in the same time it takes to trim one.  A more detailed description of this method can be found here.  If you click the Tips and Tutorials tab up top, you will find several more tutorials or tips posts.

Oh, ha ha!  This is what happened when I spent at least half an hour looking for my sewing machine lubricant/oil.  As I wrote on Instagram, yep, of course it would be in a box marked "HQ Stuff", and aside from another smaller box inside of said HandiQuilter stuff, there were several various spray and applicator-type cans/bottles in the box, one of the cans being my spray machine oil.  😣 I did find some more minis, which I added to my mini wall eaves/ceiling tiles!  Note to self that these acoustic tiles (as MacGyver calls them, who knew) take stickpins very well, leading me to contemplate their possible repurpose as a design wall? Think beadboard eventually replacing these for my ceiling, mmm!

64 - Frances Gertrude McGill: brilliant, Saskatchewan's bacteriologist, then pathologist, and then provincial laboratory director focusing on investigating suspicious deaths, first woman to serve as an RCMP officer. 65 - Kathleen Coburn: one of two women (Toni is the other) to race on the road-racing circuit, first woman to earn points in the American Motorcyclist Association, she and Toni were the first two women to qualify for the Daytona 200. 66 - Toni Sharpless: first woman to win a Canadian Motorcycle Association national championship.
Notice the checkered fabric for another racer?! Sadly I have one tiny square of it left, which wouldn't even work for one of the triangles in Toni's block.

Three more to catch up before the next three are released on Tuesday... I don't know, I seem to go one step forward, 2 or 3 backward in my daily routine these past few weeks.  (Would you believe...sure you would...I started this post 24 hours ago?)  Such is the life of a move and reorganizing, figuring things out.  It's all good though; this is so right.  I ended up sitting in the sunshine an extra 45 minutes after I ate my lunch on the deck because it was so wonderful to enjoy the day, enjoy my family, enjoy the privacy, enjoy the birds and the greening up.

Tomorrow is another link up for the Freefall QAL.  This time you are showing us your leaves that float on the background and the large shadow leaf point.  Again I am so pleased at how many of you are joining in, and I thank you all from the bottom of my happy heart.  Hopefully I will have some new Freefall leaves to show you this week, as well as a Hands2Help project...


  1. Leaves as well as 150 Canadian blocks? I can see there has been no gentle strolling to the lake, no reading of a good book, no housework, and maybe meals eaten out!!! Love those reds, and the fast and easy way to do other parts, I do like yo9ur suggestion to use the green with the fern leaf curl in the half and half blocks, that will tie it in so well, and leave me some of each for a border if I think it might want one. Hugh asked me today how much more I needed to do to be done on time!!! I was SO happy to say they are all done...Now my machine has gone to have its annual check over, I wonder how many more thousands of stitches that I have sewn since the last once-over Barry will find.

  2. You have certainly been busy. Seating in the sunshine enjoying all that mother nature has to offer helps restore your energy levels and gives much needed piece of mind.

  3. You really had a jam packed post today. Nice blocks and enjoyed the bit of history. Nice tutorial on squaring up the HSTs. Thanks. I will definitely use that.

  4. I am woman, hear me roar! These women rock.

  5. Boy, you've been busy. A local British car club holds a car show for St. George's Day. We get as close as we can in date and have managed the exact date twice.

    You have made a lot of blocks. I'll bet your sewing machine is smoking. You put me to shame as I managed the 6 background leaf blocks in the last week, and that is it. And I didn't even sit and enjoy the sunshine like you did. Well done! :)

  6. Such an interesting post, the blocks are lovely, the history is riveting, I have only one question.......what's a peewee contest, and why should it be for boys? The mind is doing somersaults.

  7. A "design ceiling"?!?! I feel certain THAT is a first!!

  8. Good luck finding everything. Settling in is a lot of work.

  9. Absolutely fascinating post! Ha, ha, your filing away and retrieval system sounds an awful lot like mine! We're our own worst enemies, xO


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