Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Welcome to Canada!

So glad that the quilt finally read red (lol get it?) in these outside pics! This is my second finish in the new sewing space, second Hands2Help finish.  Let's toss it over a bush, shall we?
I am SO excited to tell you that this quilt was pieced entirely on my Featherweight girls.  They shared it.  đŸ’• The backing was pieced together on them as well.  It went from a pretty cool flimsy to a perfectly cuddly finished quilt!  Love the texture.

Probably the most accurate colour for the rich red/burgundy

I quilted it with an all-over design of Christina Cameli's called "Cherish".  It kind of just happened as I made my first swoop on the quilt top.  I really like this one, and it is just a small step up from meandering, so a good 'next quilt' for Avril and I to get back in sync.
Quilting detail. As I quilt, I think flower, maybe peacock or rooster comb, and then add a couple echoes. Can you spot the mistake?  I left it as is; the stitches were so tiny there that they won't come out, and once it's washed, you'll get nothing but texture.

The back:
You can see the design a bit better here.  Yes it's a cobbled together backing again, my favourite kind! The vibrant orange, purple and red leaves fabric is from a favourite quilt of mine, "Autumn Glory", that I appliquĂ©d over many many coffee time get-togethers with my Dad. You can see it here on a Throwback Thursday post.  The jewels fabric at the bottom is from the backing of a kaleidoscope I did in a class with Deb Tilley years ago. She is a portĂ©gĂ© of Paula Nadelstern's. Neither piece was big enough, so I found another purpley fat quarter to add to each end which is old too, but oddly it reminds me of a Sarah Watts design for Cotton & Steel.  Finally the strip in the middle is a piece off a 4-yard cut I snagged for a potential backing last Fall when we were in Ohio at Pink Doxies Julie's Fall Retreat and, of course, went shopping in Amish Country.
Notice the strip of Kaffe fabric there?! Left over from the Three-Quarter Patch Tote I made for a Craftsy review. I use that bag 4X/week to take my yoga stuff to classes I teach!
I bound it with 5 strips that were already cut for a different project and then not used (how convenient) of an RJR Handspray.  I've used it for bindings on a few quilts, love.

After washing, snuggly central, ha:

Here is the back after washing:
You can see the design again here.

I quilted two words and two symbols in the bottom row of the quilt:
Welcome with a heart

Peace with a maple leaf

I had troubles with the thread for the last row of the quilt, and it started when I ran out of my own self-wound bobbin and just threw in a pre-wound one I'd got in a sampler from Superior Threads.  I love their thread.  I think I just needed to monkey around more with the tension, but this bobbin thread switch wreaked havoc with that final row.  I ended up going over the words on my Bernina with the Fufus thread, a GĂŒterman in the bobbin, because I was unhappy with the AvantĂ© tension. But I didn't rip out the AvantĂ© one.  As you can see, it did sink in fine after washing.

I will be dropping it off at the Mosque School of Ehlul Bayt, who is accepting all the basics for setting up a household, after yoga on Friday. The City of Windsor has taken in just under 1400 refugees see info here, and I hope that this quilt will be the beginning of me helping out however I can.  I plan to swing by the Sexual Assault Centre that same day and take them Kringle Trees.  And now I have a couple of my own family quilts plus one more refugee quilt, a Canada one, to get cracking on!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  original design based on a photo, somewhere...
Size:  50" square; after quilting and washing: "47.75 X 47.25"!
Fabric: scraps; the red is stash bought for a different project, but never used
Batting: thin polyester bought at Zinck's in Ohio
Quilted: on Avril the Avanté
Threads:  pieced with GĂŒtermann; quilted with Floriani Fufus rayon thread, Bottom Line in the bobbin

Linking up:
Sew Fresh Quilts
Quilt Fabrication

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sunday Stretch for Sewists #20 Square

Sunday Stretch on a Monday again, oops... We square our quilt blocks as we go, section by section.  Then we square our quilt tops, and after quilting, square the quilt sandwich.  Lots of squaring goes on in quilting; here's a pose called Square in Yin that is one of the best poses for us Westerners.

I did these photos again using my timer on my phone. I am not in yoga clothes because I wanted to show you that you don't have to be in order to do these poses.  Just hop out of your sewing chair, and take a few minutes to tug on your hip sockets, and they will thank you, as will your back if you lean or round forward.


Sit on a quilt to elevate your hips. This pose can aggravate sciatica but elevating the hips will help avoid that, as well as take a bit of pressure off the knees.

Bend in your left leg, bringing your shin parallel to your torso, and sending your knee to the left of your left hip joint, flexing your foot to protect that knee.  Ensure that your left foot is away from your right hip; we aren't keeping it close to the groin as we would for sitting cross-legged.  However. If you are feeling plenty of sensation in your hip sockets simply by sitting on the floor in cross-legged, then for now until your hips loosen up, that is your version of square!

Now bring in your right leg to match the left, squaring this shin to line up parallel to the left and to your torso, sending the right knee to the outside of the right hip. Flex the right foot.
See how my feet are by my knees, not by my hips?
Look down.  You should see a triangle shape formed, the point being your groin and the base being the calf of the left leg.  Both lower limbs are 'squared' to your torso, as in parallel to it, and both feet are several inches, depending on your knee health, away from your hips.

If this doesn't pull much in the hips, then try the full expression of the pose.  Bring your right leg on top of your left, aligning the right knee over the left ankle, and the right ankle resting on the side of the left knee.  If there is a lot of space between the right knee and left ankle, use a block between to rest your knee.
Yep, I am feeling rather goofy doing these selfies....😝

Now lean forward, rounding if it's okay for your back, or, if it's not, keeping the tummy pulled in and leaning from the hips.   You might find as you hold and breathe and relax, that after a couple of minutes you can pull out the block, and the knee will come close to or rest on that left foot.

Hold for 3 -5 minutes.  Eventually you may end up with your head on the floor and both arms in front of you on the floor.  However, that is not the goal.  If you're feeling it, you're doing it.  This works deeply into your hip sockets, so it is intense.  Remember that you are holding for 3 minutes, so studies have shown gentler sensations held for longer give greater improvement: in healing, in mobility.

To come out, slowly rise up on an inhale, exhaling when you are all the way up, ensuring your head comes last if it was dangling forward.  Undo your legs slowly, setting the foot soles down and lean back on your hands, enjoying the 'ahhh' feeling as you come out and the blood rushes into the compressed areas.  You might like to do windshield wiper motions back and forth with your bent legs to rotate the hips in their sockets.  Then do the other side.

My first Yin teacher, Gillian, for whom I made the heart quilt, (she's still recovering, fighting hard after 2 years now from being diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer) anyhow, she always said that Square and Shoelace, which we did last month, are the two best poses for us Westerners because of our tight hips.  Why do we have such tight hips as compared to Easterners?  Because we don't live on the floor; we sit in chairs, on toilets, on couches.

Homework for the month:  watch 5-6 minutes of one of your TV shows each day sitting cross-legged.  It doesn't have to be Square, but it could.  Or Shoelace. Or just sitting cross-legged.  Do 2.5-3 minutes  each side, which means alternating the leg in front or on top.  Your hips will thank you, and hopefully you will avoid a hip replacement, the numbers of which are astronomical as compared to those in the Eastern world.

It's done!  I will post about this finish next! Had to seize a moment between showers and thunderstorms and put it on Instagram, so here it is for my readers.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday Stash

Have you seen my brain? Tell it I'd like it back please? ASAP?  As I opened a new post in Blogger, and went to type "Sunday Stash", zap! Into my head went, "Wait a's the end of May, Sunday...I'm supposed to have a Sunday Stretch post for today!"  Erk.  So I will have one tomorrow most likely, or maybe later today, depending on how the quilting goes on the H2H quilt.  For now, let me massage your sense of creativity, inspiration and 'ahh' feeling we get when we pet or ogle fabric.

Well Hello.  This is Studio Stash by Jennifer Sampou, on last weekend at a screaming good price on Craftsy. (affiliate link)  I told you one had jumped into my cart when I was casing the site for deals.
I took it out of its plastic, intending to unwind it and show you all the strips, laid out flat, but I just couldn't do it, knowing I'd never get them to wind back up so pretty.  I love the pinky reds with the pinks and pinky mauves along with the yellows and golds, into orange and neutrals ... going to be a warm quilt I'm feeling.  And yes, there is a plan.  Kind of jelly roll race, but kind of strips, and sprinkle some stars in for good measure.  Can't go wrong with stars.  Ever.

I also snagged this kit, which was a massive disappointment when I opened the box and saw wtf FIVE charm packs??
It said 4 2/3 yards total yardage, so I assumed I would get cut yardage to make the quilt,
Dutch Garden Charm Stars 

which I didn't intend to make; I have another idea in mind, but it won't work with all charm packs.  Maybe the word 'Charm' in the title should have been a clue as to the kit contents... So I'm unsure whether I will keep this, make what I have in mind (two ideas now that I've seen the kit) and add yardage from my stash, or send it back.  I do have to say the colours are rich, perfect for the aunt to whom this is going, who loves blue in particular, and blue and yellow together.  The hand of the fabric is also beautiful, so quality is not the issue, clarity of kit contents is.  I actually made a quilt very similar to this for the Henry Glass Fabrics Challenge last June:

And well, you never know, maybe I'll end up making the pattern for the kit after all, as, what I just said: can't go wrong with stars.

I also acquired this stack which I may have showed you in an earlier post when I was in the #30quiltdesignschallenge with Lisa of Sunlight In Winter Quilts.  I designed a couple of quilts using it!
This is Kate Spain's Paradiso, which I found in the sale section of my LQS in Port Charlotte, FL, this past March and snagged a bunch of it, thinking of aforementioned aunt.  When it was just too pink, I went back and got the Moda Grunge in New Delft you see here, but it still felt too pink.  So when I spied the Dutch Garden by Boundless at Craftsy, I knew that would maybe be better, and one of her daughters has assured me it is perfect.  You may recall my despondency at putting a different kit in my cart using this fabric, only to go back the next day to finish the order and check out, and it was sold out.  Lesson learned, don't dilly-dally, fiddle-faddle around, Sandra, make the decision, and make the purchase!  What do I do now with all this gorgeous Paradiso? Oh, I'm sure I can find someone to sew up a quilt for...I've loved this line since I first spied it and got some to make Tish her pillow cover.

Okay, off to quilt away on Avril to finish up H2H quilt #2.  One more recent purchase from my other affiliate online quilt shop, Connecting Threads. They have a '20% off your total purchase' sale on until May 31, so don't dither if you were thinking of getting something.  I snagged this wide back for the back of my aunt's quilt at their last wide back sale, and it will be terrific with the Dutch Garden fabric:

Thank you to those who have made a purchase through my links.  I truly appreciate it.  Please remember to at least purchase through someone's link, doesn't have to be mine, if you'd rather support a different blogger! 😉

Linking up for the first time in a while(!) with
Molli Sparkles' Sunday Stash hosted today by the lovely Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts

Saturday, May 27, 2017

DrEAMi! Linky #5

I can't believe I am about to write this, but I am glad that May is drawing to a close, and it is usually one of my favourite months of the year. This year it has been colder than normal, with 4" more rain than normal, and gloomier as well. I would definitely not make a good vampire: for one, I'm vegetarian, so drinking blood ain't gonna happen, and for another, I need and crave sunshine and blue skies, and finally, I am most definitely not a night person.

All right how did I go from starting a DrEAMi! post to talking about vampires? (shakes head to clear it)

Two months in a row. TWO MONTHS! and no DrEAMi!  The only time I think that has happened in my quilting life is when I had to pack up my sewing stuff before we made the big move from Alberta to southern Ontario. I'm staying focused on two projects, the 150 Canadian Women and my two charity quilts for Hands2Help.

I'm behind in both.

Sigh.  One quilt is complete and written about in the previous post; the other has made it to flimsy stage and is currently on the frame and will be quilted this weekend.
Apologies for this horribly-lit photo, but it was raining and gloomy outside that day, and so this is an indoor shot. The solid is really a gorgeous rich burgundy, not brown!
I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.  I am even more pleased that the entire quilt, top and back, was sewn on my two Featherweight girls. This will be going to Windsor for a Syrian refugee family. There are some very old fabrics and some very new in it, something I love even more about it.

I apologize for the tantalizing teasers for post topics for this past week, and not one of those posts written.  I've covered extra yoga classes for the other instructor all this week with one more to go on Monday night, so it's been a bit more hectic, with disjointed days.

If you aren't on the Connecting Threads (affiliate link) email list, then be aware that all this weekend, Memorial Day for my neighbours to the north in Michigan and to the south in Ohio, (take a look at a map where Kingsville, Ontario, is if that makes you go, 'say what?') they are giving an extra 20% off your entire order.  That is pretty sweet. They have some pretty nice patriotic fabrics for $6.96/yard.  Minus 20% of course. Just in case.. you might need a squirrel for a certain July holiday.

All right, let's see what has turned your head, made you stop what you should be sewing, and dive headlong into a new, all-consuming project this past month!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Kringle Trees - H2H Charity Quilt

Woo hoo! First finish in the new house, new sewing loft!  This quilt fulfills two obligations: Hands2Help at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and my May goal for OMG at Elm Street Quilts.

I won this fabric, the post is here, "Kringle Krossing" by Shelly Comiskey for Henry Glass Fabrics, in December, right before Christmas.  So far, I've made 3 projects using the fabric: Holly the Christmas HoundJingle, and this one, all three given or to be given away.  This one is one of two quilts I pledged to make for Sarah's Hands2Help charity quilt drive.  It will go to the Windsor Sexual Assault Centre, a quilt for a child who should not have to ever deal with such trauma.  Hopefully, holding onto and keeping this snuggly quilt will help comfort and heal.

Several times during the quilting of it, this first quilt that Avril, my HandiQuilter AvantĂ© and I did in our new sewing loft space, these particular chocolate brown tree trunks would catch the corner of my eye, and I'd literally start to reach out to pick up the 'piece of chocolate' sitting on the quilt!! The trees pattern is one of the Honey Pot Bee Blocks, an Amy Smart block that is the same method as Karla Alexander's Stack the Deck free-cut blocks. I made my blocks for the bee (I've fallen way behind in it, and not sure I have plans to hop back in, but time will tell) and then, when I won the fabric, the idea for a charity quilt for Hands2Help was born.  It was fun using all of the fabrics to make these blocks.

Here it is hot off the frame:
I think we've had one of the coldest, least sunny Mays on record here, and so when the sun peeked out yesterday afternoon, right after another good rain shower, I threw it down in the front entry for a quick pic.
Again, early this morning the sun was out for a little bit, so I hopped into the back yard and took a few photos.  I did put a border on it to bring it up to a bit better of a child-size cuddle quilt.

I quilted one word on the quilt in one spot; do you see it?  'love'
To get the feel back after 6.5 months of being apart from poor Avril, who lived in her box all that time, frame all apart in pieces and carefully labelled by MacGyver, I did a fun, flowing meander over the quilt.  I absolutely LOVE this kind of quilting: it's flowing, it's relaxing, it's like watching goldfish, it's that mesmerizing for me. As I quilt, I think jigsaw pieces, sometimes mittens or ghost heads and arms.  The binding is the red striped reindeer fabric, and was machine-stitched to the back of the quilt this time, not my usual method, and then top-stitched down on the front. I wanted durability and speed, as the deadline approaches. I'm not a fan of the line of stitching you get on the back of the quilt, but it is what it is.

Here is the back, cobbled together pieces of fabrics left.

I love interesting quilt backs!

I still have the panel, and while adding the borders to this quilt, a plan formed, to make a second quilt for the Sexual Assault Centre, using the panel, and making blocks to go around it.  That one won't be done in time for Sarah's deadline, but it will get done asap.  I do have the Syrian refugees quilt to finish for H2H, which has so far been stitched only on my vintage Singer machines.  This one was stitched on the Bernina.

Here are all the projects I've made with this win:

Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  Amy Smart's Modern Christmas Tree Block
Size:  40.5 X 41.5"; after quilting and washing: 38.75 X 40.5"
Fabric:  Kringle Krossing by Shelly Comiskey for Henry Glass Fabrics
Batting: micro-fleece
Quilted: on Avril the Avanté
Threads:  pieced with GĂŒtermann; quilted with Floriani Fufus rayon thread, Bottom Line in the bobbin

Updated to add a signature 'quilt in a tree' pic after it was washed and dried!
Sniff...almost all the blossoms are gone now.

And just a quick note to thank those of you who support my blog by purchasing through my links to either Craftsy or Connecting Threads.  Thank you SO MUCH.  Man, that was a great sale this past weekend; I bought a couple of items I will let you know about when they arrive. Do I have a Craftsy story for you.  And no, it won't be timed with one of their sales (at least that isn't the plan, ha).  And I have a quilt sale story for you too that will warm your heart!  And if that isn't enough to make you want to come back to read more, I also have Vintage Singer installment #1 on one of my machines coming this week, Wednesday is the plan.

How's that for foreshadowing, teasers, tantalizing gotta-come-back tidbits?!

Linking up with Cooking Up Quilts for

And also with Crazy Mom Quilts
Hilarious, typical airhead menopausal Sandra: only after linking up with Beth, did I realize, DUH! I forgot to sew my mmm!quilts label in the binding...AGAIN!! Sigh.  So before I throw it in the wash, guess I'm headed upstairs to remedy that oversight.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

I Like/Love #4 - Gifts of Many Kinds

I love thoughtful gifts.
This came from Brianne for my birthday, which was in April.  I just LOVE it!!!  I want to wear it in public, but it's a pj top.  The bottoms are cute and comfy as all get-out too.  Maybe I could get away with it as yoga clothes? đŸ€”  I'll let you know if I do, and what happens.  I just know, live dangerously once in awhile.  Speaking of thoughtful gifts, I need to get better at this within my own family.

A darling reader, who is also a pitbull advocate extraordinaire, got rid of a ton of her sewing stuff.  That she has lost her sew-jo and has no more interest in quilting, makes me so very sad for her, but I know she's channelling wonderful energy into her new position, working with animals. They are so fortunate to have her.  One day, next year, I hope, we can meet on our way north from or south to, Florida.
Literally STUFFED with goodies, accompanying sweet notes--blown away doesn't begin to describe the emotions that arose when going through this magical gift.
You may recall the mini, aka mug rug I sent Jasmine of Quilt Kisses for her new sewing room in her new house. A couple of weeks ago I got this in the mail:

She knows me well! As you see it has already been put to good use and sits on my cutting/pressing counter holding important tools.

I love wildflowers.
Once again, I have no clue what these
No one tends them; few admire them; I marvel at them.

I love wild flowers of the permanent kind... THIS stunning, sweet surprise of a gift arrived the other day from my dear friend Cindy, of Stitchin at Home.  The detail! The precision! The artistry! The depth! The pleasure it gives me!

I immediately added it to my 'wall' of minis.

I love the educational and inspiring gift I receive each week from the 150 Canadian Women quilt along going on at Next Step Quilt Designs.
Here are the latest group of blocks:
73-Violet Paul King: first black person to graduate from Law at the U of Alberta, first black female lawyer in 1954, eventually moved to the US where she became the first woman in a senior management position with the American national YMCA! 74-Emily Ferguson Murphy: another Albertan who every Canadian knows, one of the Famous Five, fought for women's rights, and when she was pleading the case for a woman magistrate, she was offered the job. Thus, a self-taught legal expert, she became the first woman magistrate; fought to change the meaning of the word 'person' in the BNA act to include women (THAT SHOCKS ME-and it took them 10 YEARS to do so) so that women could serve in the Senate. 75-Eileen Vollick: diminutive, she had to sit on cushions in the cockpit of her airplane; first Canadian women to parachute into water; and, after a mere 16 hours of training in an open-cockpit biplane, in 1928, she was the first Canadian woman to receive a pilot's license.
As I wrote on Instagram, I was all set to celebrate getting to block 75, the half way point.  Then when I filed the PDFs of these blocks into my CA Women folder (I file them upon completion, so I keep track) in my laptop, I saw I was missing blocks 70-72.  Huh?  Looked in the documents folder and saw them there. "Oh!" I thought, "Guess I forgot to file these."  Opened 70 and did not recognize the name or the block.  Whaaat??  Open 71 and 72, same thing.  đŸ˜ŁđŸ˜« Somehow I'd gone out of order!  Don't worry; I've already finished 70 and will persevere with 71-72!

I love seeing everyone's yards and photos of beautiful spring blooms. I revel in the joyful bursting forth that Spring brings. Here are a few shots of my own of Mother Nature's gifts to us.
April 23-Rhododenron, survived the winter at our friends' house while we were in limbo
This crabapple (I believe) tree in our yard!

I love that I am so close to Lake Erie.  A short minute walk to the end of the lane, and another couple of minutes standing, listening, gazing, and I've restored my chi.  I put a photo on the blog April 18 from basically the same spot I was standing this morning:

Like my mum, I love views through windows.  What a surprising and wonderful gift I have been given in my sewing loft here!
Those lilacs--! I bet they are the same, or near to the same, age as the house, 70 years old.  They are as tall as the peak of the roof.  And yes, their scent wafts in.  The feline buddha is a gift from Dayna.  Bella has a perch just beneath and to the side of the window. đŸ˜»
I love Nature; that's a well-known fact how much I do.  MacGyver spotted this anomaly the day we went to check out the 1947 Featherweight:
Your eye might go to the angels, etc in the yard beneath the up the tree.  There! Do you see the white squirrel??!!  Never have I ever...  Must be an albino.  We have black squirrels, brown squirrels, some black squirrels with reddish tails, but never an all-white one!  I am so pleased I caught it on camera.

I wish you a day filled with gifts of the meaningful kind!

Okay, this post was ready to publish at this point this morning, and then outside called...

LOLOL so I did NOT plan to segue into it this way, but serendipity strikes yet again...maybe you give yourself a gift!  I freely admit that I rarely pay full price for anything from household goods to sewing supplies, and if you get email notifications from Craftsy (affiliate link there) you will know there is a screaming good sale starting today for the Canadian May long weekend: up to 60% off Quilting supplies (fist pump! These kind of sales is when I have got the majority of my purchases.) Up to 70% off Clearance and Sewing! Up to 60% off Knitting supplies!

Yeah yeah you think, like what?  Well, kits are often a great deal. Take a look:

That gorgeous quilt is 50% off, meaning you are paying less than $7CA/yard for the fabric.

How about fabric by the yard for $6.86CA/yard? Boundless Blenders Aura is one; Boundless Botanical is another I've bought several of and love. It isn't as good a deal at $8.92CA/yard but still pretty decent when you compare to quilt shop prices. These I will vouch for have a beautiful hand. Note, I was not given any of them; I bought them.

Yarns are at least 50% off.  I love Cloudborn Merino Alpaca that I've bought on sale before. Still have a pattern to sit down and try for the 3rd or 4th go...  There are hat kits for as low as $4 to make!

If you need backing, now would be the time to snag some.  Cotton & Steel's Rashida Coleman Hale has both midnight and orchid for $6/CA yard!

Or maybe Amy Butler?  At $8.68CA/yard and all prints available, it is a decent price.

Full disclosure: a jelly roll of this Jennifer SampouStudio Stash jumped into my cart just now!

You may recall I recently became an affiliate of Connecting Threads (affiliate link).  They carry more than their own brand; right now they have some adorable Shannon Fabrics Minky baby quilt kits on sale. At $34.99US, here's a cute one called Ziggy Quack! That price includes everything: pattern, fabric for top, appliquĂ©, backing and binding!

Tools are on sale 30-50% off and books are on 40-50% off.  Waaah! This book (that I LOVE) I got this past winter is now on sale for $16.19!  That's less than I paid!

Well, have fun! Just call me The Great Enabler.  Oh! Remember, Connecting Threads loves their Canadian shoppers too: at $75 they ship free to your doorstep.  I might know that personally.  And it's fast shipping too.  And the tax and duty was no more than I would pay in Ontario anyhow, so big win.  I know.  Enabling.  Okay I'm done now.  Gotta go check out on Craftsy before that jelly roll sells out.  I may know that personally as well, sniff, on a certain quilt kit I had in my cart on the last sale...

Linking with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color, and with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.