Saturday, September 30, 2017

DrEAMi! Linky #8

Sorry this is posting late; seems to be a theme in QBL today! What do you get when you put a not-quite-finished orange row for your RSC project #3 together with water, a fair amount, though not a flood, in the basement which mystifies your MacGyver? Yup, a late DrEAMi! link-up.  He's at Lowe's, as I type, going to replace the bath faucet because he thinks that may be the culprit. He's not sure this is the cause, which has me a tad alarmed as this has been an ongoing issue since we moved in here, though only once before has there been this much water dripping from between, yeah, between, the toilet and the tub area. Anyhow! This post is going to serve two purposes: my RSC link-up for September and the DrEAMi! linky party.

I actually sort of have a DrEAMi! this month. It's not the true kind, where you see something on Pinterest, or in a magazine, or at a guild meeting and it just GRABS you and you rush into your sewing room, dig through your fabric and just do nothing else, like not even eat or sleep (lol, kidding but it is that kind of intensity) until that baby is done-done! Mine is this quilt:
You can read more about it on Sew In Love With Fabric, and here on my blog. I actually did drop all other sewing and not only make this quilt in time to mail it to Michigan to get photographed for the e-zine, but I also made a test one you can read about here, while I was waiting for the fabric to arrive! Here is my own picture in the late afternoon sun:
The fabric is 'Bree' by Nancy Halvorsen, a brand new line

My RSC orange projects are up to date, ha, isn't that great for the last day of the month?! I'll be linking up with the others at Angela's soscrappy Saturday linky party.

Here is project #2, the migrating geese, orange row against my beautiful fridge, lol.  I still plan to give you a kitchen reno tour, and ya, sewing loft in progress post.
It sways a tad to the right doesn't it? It'll straighten up once I get them all sewn into rows. Lots of bias edges, and lots of shades and tints of orange, n'est-ce pas? I have a new-found enjoyment (it's not love...yet, sorry Anja and Preeti) of the colour orange. 😉

Project #3, the rainbow strings quilt has an orange square on point now as well as another yellow.
I think the edge half-squares are going to be alternating red and turquoise with the four corners in neutral. It hasn't evolved with any sort of plan at all, but when I saw what had inadvertently happened along the edges, (it's probably going to be 6X8 blocks) I like it. I've learned after the first couple of months to sew the colour of the month on one side of the centre strip unit, so that I can organize the colours somewhat.

Last month were lots of pretties again:
Diann'sLittle Penguin Quilts 'Stripes in the Wild' - my favourite photo of her improv quilt
and this one, another stripes quilt:
Rose's (something rosemade) Scrappy Rails quilt sure grabs me...ah how I love love scraps!
Maybe it's making order out of seeming chaos that appeals to me, on many levels...

So what has grabbed you this past month?  Just a quick note that Craftsy (affiliate link) might...they've got all, I mean all, their classes on under $20 this weekend...SQUIRREL!!
Link up below, visit a few others, and watch the squirrels multiply!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I Like #8

Here is my list for September.
1. I love living 10 minutes' drive from this incredible beach and marina:

Seacliff Beach, Leamington, looking east towards the marina
How/why have I not visited this properly, spent time walking all around here, in the past 5 years?  It has been totally redone because it was devastated in the 2011 tornado that ripped through our area. What an incredible place it is!

Allow me to indulge...
I photographed Radiance here a few weeks ago, early one morning. A couple of friends had said it is a good spot for beach glass, possibly due to the currents. I was blown away by the beach, the new amphitheatre, new splash pad, the thoughtful plantings, the expansive beach. Here is a collage of my beach glass find that first morning in the crystal vase, a piece of coral (looked it up and yep, this used to be a tropical seabed! so there are plentiful fossils), today's haul of beach glass (not all fit within the collage parameters) with a dime and a ring to give you scale, and a glimpse of the pebbles in one spot, chunks of beach glass amongst them.

Last weekend MacGyver decided it was too hot one of the days to do his 20-30 mile (not km) ride, so I convinced him to go with me for a walk. We also visited the marina, which is where we read about the renovation project. Wow. We've been here for Art by the Marina, but the tents set up blocked much of the view and surroundings.
They've done it up right.
Okay pinch me. Am I in the Bahamas? This is what it reminded me of. 

Breath-taking! I want a pinks and super-light pink, not white, and orange yellow quilt. Wish I was Samantha in 'Bewitched'...
A little further on...

The hanging baskets were out of this world

You can sit at a table, bring your own lunch if you will, and chill.  Watch the birds...or turtles. We spied one little guy swimming in the bay here who was super shy, so didn't manage to get his photo.

I'm an Aries, a fire sign, but I love love love water.

2. Think I've said it many a time, but I love my friends. This past week we had a wonderful supper and evening twice with three different couples.😋
A sunset to rival those I've witnessed in Key West and other Florida Gulf places
Both houses where we had supper and a great visit are on the water, this one on Lake Erie, the other on the Detroit River.

3. I like surprises. This one was Happy Mail from Lisa of Sunlight in Winter Quilts. I won a set of charms from her in the Design Challenge she and I ran at the start of 2017. We've both had a rough past few months, and so it was extra-special to received these beauties from her this past month, Alison Glass sun prints!

4.  I love love love my grandson, Brady. I love September when they come for their annual visit.
Who knew such happiness and special times would come (well we hoped, and it did) from a $10 garage sale bike?!

5. The day after they got home was his doctor visit, a new one for him. I just adore texting with him! He's hilarious, got such a great sense of humour. He comes out with the most jaw-dropping comments:
6.  I love this planet and everything about Mother Nature.
This was that same sunset shown earlier in this post. Spot the moon? I love it when the sun and moon are visible at the same time, whether it's broad daylight or beginning twilight. And clouds lit from beneath? Perfection. I also spotted another turtle just off the shore but again, didn't get a photo! Mary Jane saw it too, just so y'know.

Along the Greenway I spotted this huge fungus on a very large tree. Kilometres away at a different leg of the trail we like to walk were tons and tons of gorgeous blue-ish-purple berries which my trusty nature-knowledgeable friend Julie of Pink Doxies informed me are wild grapes. Cool! Of course! They grow on massive vines we see everywhere.  Masses of birds were zinging in and out of the bush, feasting, no doubt, on Nature's bounty.

7. I love the bounty of Essex County: fruits and vegetable galore. We got some beautiful local peaches, and I combined them with some overripe strawberries (from the grocery store) from Brianne and Brady's visit to make a delicious peach cobbler.
Before topping
They are having good success at growing strawberries in the greenhouses around here year round apparently. We are known for great outside berries here too. And cultivated grapes...for wine!

8. Like all of us quilters, I love free fabric...
This is my original design I made for Benartex's Meadow Dance by Amanda Murphy blog hop at Sew in Love With Fabric, last week. That is the link to the tutorial, but I'll also be posting it on my blog here next week.

9. I love free fabric and getting published again 😁 in Modern By the Yard's latest e-zine issue (link also on sidebar). That quilt travelled to northern Michigan, well not quite the UP (Upper Peninsula) I don't think, but still.  Cool! Isn't that model a cutie-pie?

10.  I really enjoy the show on CBC, "Still Standing".  Jonny Harris visits small towns all across Canada who have been hit hard by various circumstances, often economic.  Along with unique and innovative ways to keep their towns alive, the townspeople are always full of humour and Jonny brings it out in his hilarious Newfoundland way. There hasn't been one episode where I haven't experienced what psychologists call "moral elevation". (see #11)

11. (nearly forgot this little like!) I actually love it when I spy a pattern of mine (can't believe I can write that phrase) rendered in someone else's fabrics.
This beauty was made by Janice of Color Creating and Quilting
Janice has chosen houses and buildings blocks for her month when she is Queen Bee. She's using my pattern, free here on Craftsy, (affiliate link) as one of the options her hive mates have. When I saw this on Instagram, I was so pleased!

12.  I love a good book. I just finished Option B by Sheryl Sandberg. Sheryl, the COO of Facebook, lost her husband very suddenly in 2015. She's written very openly about several elephants in the room that appear with a sudden tragic death and how to handle them. She's written from her own personal experience, with her good friend, a psychology professor, co-writing. Being grateful for what she does have is one of the first things she works on. Writing these gratitude posts once a month helps me be a better person because I am more aware of things I like, things I appreciate, and being aware means I become that much more aware of both my surroundings and my feelings of gratitude and thus, I am a happier person. She writes of doing this exercise too, even when going through profound grief.  She describes a phenomenon I've felt many many a time, when she was reading a post from a young husband who lost his wife, the mother of his 17-month-old son, in the 2015 Paris terrorist attack:

"When I started reading Antoine's post, I felt tremendous sorrow. But when I finished it, I was overcome by a tingling sensation in my chest and a lump in my throat. Adam told me there was a term for this (psychologists have a term of reverything). 'Moral elevation' describes the feeling of being uplifted by an act of uncommon goodness. Elevation brings out what Abraham Lincoln called 'the better angels of our nature.' Even in the face of atrocity, elevation leads us to look at our similarities instead of our differences. We see the potential for good in others and gain hope that we can survive and rebuild. We become inspired to express compassion and battle injustice. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.'"

I think those of us who write about our gratitude, whether privately or publicly, can relate to what she describes.

Just a reminder that the DrEAMi! linky party will be this Saturday. Click the link on the sidebar if you don't know what I'm talking about.
Namaste 🙏
(Sanskrit for, "The light and all that is good within me, honours the light and all that is good within you.")

Linking up with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Colour

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Framed Star

Yesterday was the post for my most recent magazine publication, Let Your Star Shine.  Here is the test quilt I made for my pattern that is in Modern By the Yard, Benartex's e-zine.
It started with this sketch I did one day at my daughter Brianne's house; grandson Brady doing his own thing at the top of the same page (which, in case you missed it, grew up into a lap mat for him you can read about here:

I used mainly modern fabrics I'd recently acquired from several different designers. One of the fabrics I used in the quilt, the royal blue one with stars on, is from a quilt that never did get made, just a few blocks, for then teenage daughter, Brianne. So let's just say it's an older fabric, ha, and on that is not a dig at her age. (both daughters read the blog)  When shuffling through my blues, which are plentiful btw, in my stash, I saw that this went perfectly with the arrows fabric and the pink starfish fabric.

Wavy quilting using Fufu's rayon in pale blue by Floriani Threads
 Yes, that's Zen Chic Modern Background you see as well. Isn't it neat when old fabrics play well with new ones?
I did a flanged binding, and this time tried alternating the flange colours because of the two colours in the outside frame. It worked out pretty well! I like that the wavy line quilting and the square symmetrical quilt means that the quilt can be oriented any side up.

Here is the back, again an older cotton fabric I love which went perfectly with the colours on the front.

Nice and crinkly after laundering!

My label:
The colours on the back play so well with those on the front!

A final shot at the end of my street with Lake Erie in the background.
This quilt will be for sale very soon in my Etsy shop.  If you'd like to make your own and see how I pieced the giant star points in one piece onto the background and outer frame (pretty slick), then head over (link in first line of this post) or click the sidebar image of the e-zine cover, and download your free copy of the e-zine!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  Original design featured in Modern by the Yard
Size: 36.5 X 36.5"
Fabric:  Zen Chic Modern Background Paper by Moda, The Christmas Collection by The Woodrow Studio, pink starfish is Dear Stella, arrows is Desk Job by Windham Fabrics.
Batting: polyester
Quilted: on my Avanté, Avril
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Floriani Threads Fufu's rayon 310 pale blue

Cuteness overload:

Meet Scout, 7-8 week old former orphan, new granddaughter kitty. Dayna got this precious sweetheart, aka nugget, as Beth Stern calls her kitten fosters, last weekend.  She is an almost clone of her other cat Harper. If you don't get the connection between Scout and Harper, To Kill A Mockingbird is Dayna's all-time favourite book. 😽 Can't wait to snuggle her this coming weekend!

Linking up
Free Motion by the River
Quilt Fabrication
Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, September 25, 2017

Let Your Star Shine

Rather an à propos title for today's post. For me, and for my quilt!
What a cutie-patootie holding up my quilt, photographed in Michigan somewhere!

EEEP! as they say.  I am so very pleased to announce that I have another quilt in Benartex's e-zine Modern By the Yard. And I can finally show you! It's in their latest edition which came out today, and is available for free download (no trees were killed; I LOVE LOVE that) by clicking on that link or on the front cover image below.

I had not come up with a cool name for the quilt, calling it Framed Star (yawn) while I was making the test one, and still didn't have any ideas when I was making the one with the oh-so-lovely Nancy Halvorsen fabric by Benartex, which is called 'Bree', after her granddaughter. I just love the name they came up with for my quilt.

Name they came up with...  Hold the phone! The winner from the Meadow Dance blog hop! A fat quarter stack of those luscious fabrics goes to.....

I couldn't stay up until midnight, so I used the random number generator to draw a number this morning after I got home from yoga. I only had to draw twice this time; sadly the first number drawn was a no-reply who didn't leave an email address. Then I took a few minutes to double-check that Lori does indeed follow me (you can do that? YUP and I always check. btw I don't have Facebook, just sayin'...) I've already emailed Lori to let her know the great news.

Here's a link for those of you who use Blogger for your blogs if you want to check your email subscribers list.
If you think you might need help figuring it out, let me know in the comments and I will maybe write up a tutorial for how to do it. It always takes me a few minutes to figure it out myself because I only check my list during giveaways, but it is pretty straightforward.  I am tickled pink to see I now have 358 email subscribers! Woot! Woot! Thank you all. Note that this is different from bloglovin followers. Check my sidebar for links if you wish to become a follower. 😊

Okay back to the topic at hand.

This quilt has a story. I love love stories, always have, always will, both reading and telling. This particular one has several 'coincidences'.
Two renditions!

In early July, Lisa Ruble, Modern by the Yard editor, sent me an email asking if I had any designs for her for the upcoming issue of the e-zine. I had just got back from three unplanned weeks out in Alberta, staying with my grandson Brady and daughter Brianne after the tragic death of Brady's dad on Father's Day; my husband was still out there. Here is the post where I wrote about it if you missed it.  So I looked through my trusty graph paper book (didn't even think of looking in my Quiltography app!) and sent her a few, one of which I'd drawn while living with B&B.
Although I hadn't taken any sewing with me, for that trip, I did grab my graph paper etc., and was able to sketch a bit here and there. On July 6, Brady asked if he could draw a quilt design, and I said sure, opening to this page which had the playing around with HRTs design at the top of the page. I started to turn the page to a fresh one, and he said, "Nana, can I put a border around this design?" Sure he could. I quickly sketched my star type idea below, and said, "Have at 'er."  That design of his grew up into an actual lap mat I made for his birthday for when he's watching TV and having his after-school snack, or his breakfast on the weekend! You can read about his quilt, Fractured Pieces, here.

While he drew, I started another design, Framed Star, which is one of the ones I sent to Lisa. I didn't have any size in mind, block maybe? Well, didn't it turn out to be the one she wanted! That, in itself, that I drew it at Brianne's house, with Brady happily making a border and scribbling, no not scribbling, making "a big diamond, Nana," sitting right beside me, gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. Lisa said how about making it as one giant block, like 36" square so I said sure!
Test quilt - I will write about this one tomorrow but note that the royal blue fabric with silver stars is from an earlier quilt I was supposed to make for then teenage Brianne's new room
Lisa gave me two choices of fabric lines, one of which ended up not being available after all, and so the line I was given to choose prints from is "Bree" by one of my all-time favourite designers, Nancy Halvorsen. I already own some of her older fabric, and it is among my all-time favourite. Here is a runner I made that happens to be still on my table as I haven't switched over to Autumn décor yet.
She has an Art to Heart book coming out with projects using Bree.
I also made a mystery table centre mat for a guild retreat, used a bit of the ivories in a quilted jacket, and used bits and pieces in gifts for various friends:

A quilt or two NEEDS to grow up from this beautiful pile of 'True Friends' fabric right?!

Back to the newest beautiful fabric at hand, named 'Bree'?  No way.  Brianne is Brady's mum, always Brianne to us, but...not at her work and amongst most of her friends, however, where she is Bri.

So my second published in a magazine pattern has lots of personal meaning.

The fabric arrived, just gorgeous:
And I got to work. In no time I had a top and then put it on Avril to start quilting. I was going to do a wavy lines quilting motif on this one too, but that pure white just begged for some custom quilting. And so..
I pulled out Angela Walters' Shape by Shape books one of which had the feathers design in squares, which makes a cool wreath when done. I did a curved point-to-point design in the inner star points and dot to dot work in the background of the inner star.

Ribbon candy went nicely in the centre frame, and then another larger row of ribbon candy in the next round. I love the effect as it weaves behind the large star points.
I did straight lines radiating out in the outer star points. Fancy quilting wouldn't have shown anyhow, and besides, that pretty fabric wants to be the star, right?! I wasn't sure about the orange/yellow for the binding, as I lean to darker bindings, but went with Lisa's suggestion, and wow, it sure gives it a great frame doesn't it? It just glows, and ties in with the centre star too, (obvi), not to mention the name of the quilt!
Snort! Had to leave my toes, at the time totally unnoticed, in the photo!
It all came together so well. For the quilting I used a white Isacord polyester (Leah Day's favourite thread) in all of the quilt except for a deep aquamarine Isacord in the royal blue fabric.

The back is another great fabric in the line:
The quilting shows up nicely on the back.

Close-up of the label.  I did remember, or wait, no, I think I had to go back in after ripping out the binding to add my mmm! quilts label...this quilt had a fair share of ripping. Sometimes things go together tickety-boo, other times, not so much. I do not usually rip out quilting stitches, but I had to here when I'd forgotten to do TWO lines of a frame around ribbon candy, for example.
That orange/yellow binding works wonderfully with the backing too, doesn't it?
One last shot in the sun's setting rays:
Texture.  Yum!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern:  Original design featured in Modern by the Yard
Size: 36.5 X 36.5"
Fabric:  Benartex 'Bree' by Nancy Halvorsen
Batting: Warm 'n Natural
Quilted: on my Avanté, Avril (Agh! I keep forgetting to note the stitch count!)
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Isacord 40 wt in white 0015 and teal 4421

I haven't decided whether I will sell both of these quilts in my Etsy shop, (no babies in my world right now, sniff, unless you count a new darling grand-kitten. (teaser for the next post; this one's long enough!). However, how I love using these small quilts is taking them to yoga class. I'd rather sit on or  cover myself up with my own quilt or blanket, thank you! I've encouraged my students to bring little quilts like this and there are now four of us who regularly do! Love it.

Linking up all over the place this week! Links in the Linky Parties up top, and I'll add to the list below as the week progresses.

Hop over to grab your copy of the e-zine that has the pattern (pretty slick if I do say so myself) for how to piece the huge star points onto the frame, no mitres needed! And if, just if, you need batting for this quick-to-make little gem, Connecting Threads (affiliate link) has a great sale on theirs, which I've taken advantage of, many a time. 30% off. Um I just checked to get the percentage, and the fabric up to 60% off open stock sale is still on as is the 30% off thread sale...gosh the whole dang site seems to have one kind of sale or another going on! And pretty Fall fabrics at 6.96/yard? Like all day long? I may have a month of Sunday stashes with all these sales and we're not even at Black Friday deals yet, egad.

Linking up:
Free Motion by the River
Quilt Fabrication
Sew Fresh Quilts
Crazy Mom Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Busy Hands Quilts
TGIFF at Kathy's Kwilts and More

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Bloggers' Quilt Festival - Cows Quilt

This is my second entry in the Bloggers' Quilt Festival 2017 held at Amy's Creative Side. My first entry is here.

I named this one for the phrase I can still hear clearly in my head from many many early mornings when I'd sleep out at my grandma's farm, and also at my aunt's, "C' Boss!" calling in the cows to be milked.  The C is pronounced "cuh", short for 'come'. "Boss" is short for Bossy, a common cow's name.

This quilt took a rather long time from germination to actual finish.  Like my other entry for this year, it lives in Alberta.
Good cattle country.

It was my Rainbow Scrap Challenge 2015 project, at soscrappy that I made for my aunt, Irene (spot her name in the background of the green cow) for her 75th birthday.  She got it a year and a half late, ha, but it's all good.

It's mainly made of scraps with a little bit of specially purchased yardage, the ivory background for one, and the border for the other. Here is the flimsy and the link to read about it is here:

Oh, I also bought the backing at Sew Sisters Quilt Shop specially for it:
Actually TWO pieces for backing. I'd bought enough to do the entire back in the cows print from Sew Sisters, but then discovered the farm animals doing yoga fabric, and, since I teach yoga, and my farm folks used to raise pigs and chickens too), I just had to get a piece of that fabric to add into the back!

My farm family raised both beef cows and milk cows.  I did Churn Dash blocks, for obvious reasons, as the alternating blocks, and cows come to the barn, don't they, at milking time! "C'Boss!"
Too much fun!  Purple is Auntie Irene's favourite colour. You can read more about the quilt and see more photos here.

If you want baby cows, aka calves, ya gotta have a little bull:
Because my aunt had and and does have some Black Angus cows, I of course had to make one. His name, though, is not Angus, but Jethro. Many of the cows named themselves as I worked at them.

She sleeps under her quilt each night!

Thank you so much to Amy for hosting the festival again this year. Thanks to my sweet friend Preeti, who told me, yup, told me to enter and which quilts to enter, LOL. I followed her advice on one of the two quilts! 😇 And now, with 20 minutes to spare, I'm publishing this post!