Sunday, October 25, 2020

Avril Has a Jacket

Long overdue is a proper cover for Avril, my longarm, but she will wait no more.

This is my project for October's challenge, thread painting.

All of the fabrics except for the lining fabric were supplied by Island Batik. The gorgeous threads were supplied by Aurifil, except for the grey which is my own purchase, the batting by Hobbs Batting, and the machine needles by Schmetz Needles. Our challenge was to enhance our quilting or shade areas of quilt for effect, add shapes or dimension. Several months ago we had to pick six spools of thread to coordinate with the line we'd been given for this challenge. Mine was Nouveau Soul by Kathy Engle, some of which you saw last month in my Back at Ya backpack. We'd been given the same line to make our bag.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Q4FAL My List

 In many ways, it seems just a few months ago that we were on a plane, flying home from a trip to Florida to help our dear friend John celebrate his 80th birthday in the first quarter of the year, not eight months ago, and here we are in the final quarter of the year. A year of such upheaval, such anxiety, and such change, a lot that is positive.

So here is my list for the final quarter, which I will post on Instagram as per the new rules for this year.
1. The damn beanie - it's been on Q2 and Q3, but I actually did make some good progress on it in the past quarter, so it's an imminent finish finally.
2. Pumpkin quilt
3. Longarm cover
4. Medallion quilt
5. Nature-themed quilt
6. Christmas runner for Etsy
7. Another make-up mat
8. Arrows quilt
9. Ringle & Kerr RSC project 1
10. T-shirt quilt
11. Black scraps box
12. Secret sewing quilt for a magazine
13. Publish one more pattern
14. Quilt for Michele

Monday, October 12, 2020

Giving Thanks

This is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, a weekend where we gather with family and friends and have good food, give thanks for the harvest, and reflect on our blessings. It does not have anything to do with the Vikings' or Jacques Cartier's landings here, or Columbus's further south. Here is a great article I found from the Canadian Encyclopedia explaining the origins of our Canadian Thanksgiving and the differences from the American one. Indigenous peoples have celebrated the fall harvest and given thanks for the bounty of this land, Turtle Island, for centuries before the arrival of settlers. So settlers did not invent this holiday, though they did bring the idea of the cornucopia with them, which itself, interestingly, according to the article, "dates back to European peasant societies."

I started being more aware, or becoming 'woke' as the expression seems to be these days, of the importance of Indigenous peoples whenever I think of my country, thanks to doing the 150 Canadian Women QAL in 2017 with Kat of Next Step Quilting Designs. She included several Indigenous women in the quilt; one in particular who really grabbed me was Shanawdithit, the last living member of her tribe, the Beothuk in Newfoundland. White settlers killed them all, directly and indirectly. I made a quilt in her honour, Beothuk Star, (link to the pattern is here), and learned more about her and her people. I've continued to do small things to educate myself and to try to make a difference in helping others to get this same awareness.

So today, I am doing something that has come naturally to me for many years, expressing gratitude. However, this year, and now always a part of my gratitude is acknowledging that,
1. first and foremost I am grateful to be allowed to live here in this part of Turtle Island, a part of Treaty 2, signed in 1790, the land of the Anishinabewaki, Attiwonderonk, Myaamia and Mississauga First Nations. 
The large island is Pelee Island, and I live directly north of it, on the pinkish shore, to the west of the pointy piece of land, which is Point Pelee National Park.

You may recall that I am auditing Indigenous Canada, an online course through the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. It is free, and I strongly encourage all of my Canadian readers to take this course. Many Americans are taking it as well, and it is pertinent for you too, in many ways. Here is the link, through Coursera. It is, as any university course is, 12 weeks in length, though you can move along faster if you like. It averages about 1.5 hours per week. It should be required for every settler Canadian, and should be taught in school right from grade 1. This week, Module 8, was Sovereign Lands. There is always an online discussion of the Module amongst the two professors, Dr. Tracy Bear and Dr. Paul Gareau, Dan Levy (yes, of Schitt's Creek fame, who announced on Instagram that he was taking this course and encouraged us to follow suit), and one special guest, that is streamed on YouTube on Sunday at 3 pm EST. This was what I posted on Instagram on Sunday after last week's discussion:

There are multiple kernels of wisdom I gain from listening to the discussion, and they are up there on Dan's YouTube channel, so you can watch/listen to them whenever works for you. Something he said yesterday I managed to scribble down, and it makes me quite emotional. To be honest, lots has throughout the course's teachings.

"How lucky are we, to live upon this sacred land."

Embedded within that, is 'How important a task have we, to not only recognize this, but to take care of this sacred land.'

I've always felt connected to the land, whether it was on our acreages in Alberta or our homes here in southwestern Ontario. But now, I also come from a place of profound gratitude, yet also with a profound sense of trying to do my part to right wrongs. Indigenous peoples have lived on this continent of North America, aka Turtle Island, for  thousands of years. When the first Europeans arrived, a mere 400 years ago, they agreed to share the land in good faith, never suspecting the white settler would not keep up their end of the agreement, would not honour and respect the land and its inhabitants, flora, fauna and human, as do Indigenous peoples, and worst of all, would try to annihilate them. For this I am deeply sorry, and therefore I am really trying hard to respect the land and the Indigenous peoples to whom it rightly belongs. In actual fact, did you know that they do not presume to own the land, but have a partnership with it, viewing it as a sentient being: the land provides and they only take what they need in a respectful way.
I could just see Pelee Island through the trees on the horizon, but sadly, it doesn't show in this photo.

So this weekend one morning I woke up, and this is what went through my mind before my feet hit the floor.
2. I am grateful for the birds I hear this morning.
3. I am grateful for the open window that allowed me to hear.
4. I am grateful for my ears, my sense of hearing.
5. I am grateful for my home, that has windows.
6. I am grateful for this bed, for my pillow, and for my quilts that keep me warm.

Those five thoughts flew threw my brain in a few seconds. And now I will add,

7. I am grateful for my family, my husband, my daughters, my son-in-law and my grandson, and that they are all in good health.
8. I am grateful for my fur kids, who bring joy every day, and who love unconditionally.
9. I am grateful for my good health, and for my real-life friends, and the richness they add to my life.
10. I am grateful for this blog and all the good it has brought to my life, my online community of friends, several of whom I have met in person, and many many with whom I have an ongoing chatty relationship for which I am so grateful. It has enriched my life, and shrunk the globe with the connection, love and care between us. Oh, and not to forget the online community activities!
RSC Project #1 yellow blocks

Another online activity is the OMG I usually remember to link up with, and I am super-happy to say I've already completed my goal, to get the pumpkin quilt to the flimsy stage.
I just may now try to get this quilted and done-done by month's end...

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers. May you be safe, smart and diligent in your physical distancing if you gather or did gather already together. We are keeping it simple and staying home, just the two of us. A good place to be methinks.
Such a beautiful surprise gift from the land this year!

And speaking of gifts. (Gosh, I do not always plan these segues; that one was a beauty!) the winner of my Pattern Bundle in celebration of my blog's seventh birthday is Jean of All Points of the Compass! I've emailed her to let her know. Thank you to all those who told me about making (or not) a bear paw quilt! I am leaving the pattern on sale until tomorrow, so if you haven't had a chance to grab it, do it now! Head to Sandra Jane Quilts.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Waltzing With Bears Pattern Release

It's a pretty special day today. Not only do I have a new pattern for you, but I am celebrating the seventh birthday of my blog. The actual birthdate is September 18, 2013 with my Ta Da! post. I didn't celebrate on that day because the originally planned pattern to release on that date did not happen because a sweet reader contacted me asking if I had a pattern for this quilt, and well, why wouldn't I oblige? I actually had the pattern almost written anyhow. Of course it had to go through proper testing, and of course there will be gifts since it's a birthday of sorts.
Strangely enough that photo, taken by my grandson, Brady, was October 6 last year. Little did we know what was about to happen to the entire planet...

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

A Sweet Little Diversion

It's not really a squirrel, because I've been sewing the HSTs left over from making the first Grace quilt back together as leader/enders, and then in pairs once I decided what design I'd make with them. I always knew I'd make a dolly quilt for the daughter of the recipient of the first Grace quilt. I'm happy to say it is done, and I didn't even have it on any finish or to-do list!

Can you believe there are 200 triangles in this little ~13" square quilt?!

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Champs et Lacs

In other words, Fields (or Meadows) and Lakes. This quilt needs a French name because it is going to a dear friend who is French. It is the Meadow Mystery designed by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs. It was a QAL back in 2016/17 in which I participated, but I hadn't quilted it until now.

It was done on Friday, but I knew we were going into the city, Windsor, on Saturday, so I wanted to get a glamour shot of it on the Detroit River, downtown Detroit in the background. The day was beautiful for a photo shoot, but as per usual, there was a bit of a wind by the water. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and how well the Warm n Natural 100% cotton batting shows off the quilting. Can I say just how much I love these fabrics and these colours? No, they are not batiks but they sure have the hand-dyed painterly look to them don't they?

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Fall Runner

One of the 17 items on my Q3FAL list is making a runner for my Etsy shop. I'm happy to say I've checked it off the list!

Rather in keeping with the theme of 2020 where we've all spent so much more time at home than usual.

I, like many others, like the buffalo plaid look to lots of fall décor I'm seeing and I thought hmm, what if I created my own buffalo plaid pumpkin using 2.5" squares? Fun!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

DrEAMi! #44

Welcome to our monthly celebration of all things tantalizing, where we chase squirrels to mad abandon. 

Tish sent me this. Pretty funny. I actually don't have a squirrel this month but that's not to say they haven't been scrabbling at me, trying to get me to succumb to temptation.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Cat Mats Installment #3 of 3

Finally I am publishing a long overdue post. You may recall I participated in Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs, and Paige of Quilted Blooms, first book release, Modern Plus Sign Quilts back in 2018. I chose to make Kaleidoscope Plus (you know my love affair with kaleidoscopes runs deep).
Oh how I love that quilt! Fabrics, front (so many cat-themed ones) and back (a soft grey textured Minky), quilting, the design, just ahhh. I named it Cat-Eye-doscope and it went to my dear friend of many years, Linda.

Well I had leftover fabric and I knew I needed to make Linda's cat daughters their own quilts, seeing as how much cats love quilts... I showed the finished mats in this post, and I alluded to needing to tell more of the story behind giving Linda her quilt and her cats their mats.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

I Like/Love #44

I know it's cliché, but the end of the month rolls around awfully quickly, and here we are with another post of gratitude and thoughtfulness. That means this Saturday is also the last one of the month, and time for DrEAMi! here on the blog where we show off the squirrels we've chased and nabbed this past month. I link up with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color where a group of us post, some weekly, some monthly. Feel free to join in because...

The more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.

1. I absolutely love Fall where I live. We really get into the fall spirit, decorating front porches and lawns and businesses. I walked over to the farm to market just down the road last weekend to take some glamour shots of my backpack (the post is here; be sure to hop over there as there are two pretty sweet giveaways). I peeked 'behind the scenes' a bit at the farm market and saw this.
What a riot of colour, eh? 😉 As you can see from this photo, and those on the backpack post, the majority of our trees haven't started changing yet. Some of our maples are just beginning to get fiery red-orange tips, and the chestnuts are going brown.

Monday, September 21, 2020

It's in the Bag Blog Hop: Back At Ya Backpack

Today is my day to present the bag I made for the Island Batik blog hop.

I chose to make the backpack 'Back At Ya 2.1'. It's a smaller sized backpack, and the perfect size for me. I was given four pieces from Island Batik's new line Nouveau Soul with which to make the bag. Read on to find out how you could win some of this gorgeous line of fabric for yourself!

Okay I just have to stop right here and say, Nouveau Soul was made for Sandra!! I have said several times how DO they do this, as in choosing the perfect fabrics, colours, but this one? A name with a French word in it, uh bonjour, c'est moi, Sandra, professeur de français, and Soul just makes me think yoga...

All the notions required to make the bag, along with the pattern itself, were supplied by By Annie, the threads by Aurifil, except for a couple that are my own purchases, and the machine needles by Schmetz Needles, except for the jeans needle which I purchased some time ago. 

Well I just had to take my backpack out into the neighbourhood for a test run!
Lee & Maria's On-Farm Market, just 0.5 km from home
I've carried many a bag of produce and other groceries home from here, (ouch my cramping fingers) so having a backpack in which to put my purchases is now a welcome addition to my homemade bags collection.

How about a little closer look?
Annie chose well! Do you see the Art Nouveau styled tulips? Love!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Island Batik Update

I hope you've been as wowed as I have with the bags on display last week! I have to say that the quality of the instructions, accompanying videos, techniques and bag parts is outstanding. I am steadily, albeit slowly, working away on mine.

This made me super-excited last night. Don't worry; the flap is not crooked, no clue why it appears that way. I was looking for the little dooma-hickey you use to pop out your SIM card, and came across the little wooden Handsewn tag that I believe I received from Sew Me A Song in with an order a while back. Or it could have been in with a Pile o' Fabric order... In any event, I knew immediately I'd put it on the flap!

I am working with a few pieces from the Nouveau Soul line, a line I just love. All the fabrics we are using are from the Spring 2020 collections, which are going to be available very soon in your LQS.

All right let's take a look at this week's lineup.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Thoughtful Tuesday: Musings on Rocks

Wait, you thought this was a blog about quilting? Well, mainly so, but from time to time I muse on other topics. However, this is the first musing I've done on rocks. Rocks is a noun and a verb. This feels like school!

Rocks as a verb indicates that something is fantastic. The Island Batik blog hop that started this week and runs through September 29 rocks! There are, as usual, lots of giveaways, so be sure to visit the bloggers as well as Island Batik. The schedule for this week is at the end of this post.

Something can rock one's world, like this pandemic. 

And then there are rocks, the noun.
I've shown you these, and many others on Instagram, before. They've given me joy over the past several months of walking in my neighbourhood. They given me pause as well.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Summer Stars

Last summer I participated in a QAL called Sweet Star QAL. It was a sort of DrEAMi, in that I started in almost at the halfway point, and I had no business taking on another project, but it sort of consumed me, as those squirrels do. The best part was that I finally had found a pattern for my Blueberry Park stack of fat quarters that I'd bought a few years ago at Craftsy (who are back, which I'm sure you know, and as Craftsy, and it's "watch whatever you want for the next 45 days" event to celebrate their return). We made four blocks a week, and I had such fun combining various fabrics to make the blocks. I love the blues and greens with a bit of yellow and gold thrown in. Once the top was done, I behaved and got myself back on track with deadlines and commitments.

Couldn't you just snuggle up with a good book in that oasis? Well maybe not; it was rather hot and humid! Still, it evokes the idea, and one could sit on top of the quilt there and read...  Our Sweet Autumn clematis is absolutely stunning and its heavenly scent pervades that entire area, reminds me of jasmine in Florida in looks and scent. It cascades down either side of the fence. There's another small one, but we think it hasn't gotten enough sun since the cannas, mandevilla vine, barberry and elephant ears have filled in all around and above it. Note for next year!

Monday, August 31, 2020

OMG Cream and White Scraps Box

 Remember the DrEAMi! I had, well two, that I wrote about on Saturday? Well, those scrap improv panels that consumed me grew up into another scraps sorting box. This was in reality my OMG, either a cream and white or a pink box this month. So it wasn't a true DrEAMi, because it was planned, whereas a true DrEAMi just sneaks up on you, unawares, and grabs you by your easily-distracted mind, and off you go, ignoring all other must-do's while time seems to stand still.

I quilted this one with floppy feathers, and I found a piece of scrap batting upon which I was able to place four of the five sides in a line. I've never quilted something on my longarm without a backing, but I gave this one a whirl and it worked out great. In no time I had them done, even writing white and some synomyms on the panels. The front there has 'opal' and 'pearl' on it.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

DrEAMi! #43


Welcome to DrEAMi! #43 where we celebrate those Drop Everything And Make it! moments. This meme of perfection for those squirrel projects is off Carol's of Quilt Schmilt blog. It describes my yesterday and this morning to a T. I actually had a squirrel interrupt a squirrel and one was my OMG but it started acting like a DrEAMi yesterday...

Thursday, August 27, 2020

I Like/Love #43 with some Thoughtful Thursday Added

Welcome to another I Like/Love post. Once again, I am adding in some of my thoughtful work.

1. I've finished a couple more very important books:  The Inconvenient Indian by Thomas King and Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese. Both of these are excellent, thought-provoking, soul-shaking/searching, and should be required reading for all North Americans.  I'm currently reading White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo on audio, and Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden. I think my next read needs to be a light one, maybe another Flavia one. I see, thanks to emails from Chapters/Indigo (love them) that Thomas King's newest book is out, Indians on Vacation. I enjoyed reading the transcript of his interview with Shelagh Rogers from CBC in the back of The Inconvenient Indian.

2. Laura (@lolly2430) sent me this article. I forgot to put it on last month's post. As she said, it is heartbreaking, and I think it's a tragedy.

3. I like this article on CBC's site that tells of an anonymous person in Toronto who has been putting up plaques that give the whole history of well-known, 'respected' families. Read the article.
And earlier this evening, a story was on our local Windsor CBC news of our Museum Windsor curator now including the whole history of the Baby (I learned it is not pronounced as you'd assume, but bah-bee) family who were slave owners. Here is the article. (Okay what is going on...since Tuesday's post, they've change the insert URL popup and I can no longer test the link?) She's researching the life histories of the enslaved people, which makes me think of The Book of Lost Friends.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

To Do Tuesday

Two in a row for To Do Tuesday, think that is a record. I wasn't going to write one since I published a post yesterday, which you should check out (see link in #1), because oh, I love the latest quilt, but I am pleased because every item on the list was completed! I even took A Positive Spin out for a road trip to a local winery, which some of you may have already seen on Instagram because I literally sat and posted it right then and there.

So let's get right to it, down to brass tacks as they say, (hmm, wonder what the origin of that saying is; must look it up as I have erased some from my usage because of their nasty origins).

1. Finish the quilt for Island Batik✅ A Positive Spin is done and blogged
2. Write up a TGIFF post✅ TGIFF - Makeup Bag
3. Make one or two makeup bags for my Etsy shop✅ See listing here
4. List my new beach glass bowls in my Etsy shop✅ See listing here

Monday, August 24, 2020

A Positive Spin

Finally, after a lost day due to a migraine, and a chopped up weekend due to adulting and gorgeous weather that I didn't want to totally miss out on, A Positive Spin is done!
Another name popped in my head when I set up this shot (yay for a timer on my phone camera, as I am behind the quilt and the camera!) 'Twisting by the Pool".

This is my August challenge quilt for  Island Batik. They supplied the fabric, Hobbs Batting supplied the batting, Aurifil the thread for the entire project, Studio 180 Designs supplied the ruler, and Schmetz Needles supplied the needle I used to piece the quilt!
This was a bit different of a challenge in that I didn't get to decide what fabric to use; I was given a 10" stack of William's Garden, yardage of a dark purple Basic, and a light purple, Bubbles, along with a Deb Tucker tool. I added in Island Batik's white solid.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

TGIFF - Makeup Pouch

Welcome to TGIFF: Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday. This is where we share a finish from this past week, not a WIP, work in progress, but a finish!

If you are interested in being a host for TGIFF, click here to go to the main page and sign up for a spot. There are lots left for this year.

I had great designs on finishing up my Island Batik challenge for TGIFF, and it was close, but no cigar. I should have it done tomorrow, so I'll link it up here with my own party LOL. One of the things on my To Do Tuesday list was making another makeup bag for my Etsy shop since two of the three I had listed have sold, a nice problem to have! So here is the latest one, available in my Etsy shop, free shipping within Canada!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

To Do Tuesday

 I haven't linked up for a while, so today seemed like I had a moment to write a quick list. I always have a list each week, each day pretty much, in my planner, so never fear, a list-maker and checker-offer I am, always have been, always will be!

1. Turn these lovely squares and rectangles into a quilt for my August Island Batik challenge. This is the line, William's Garden, and it is divine, my favourite colours together: turquoise, green and purple.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Blogger and Purple

As promised a while back, here is the post on how to do some things in the new Blogger format. Let me know in the comments if you have questions, and/or if you have figured out something I may not have mentioned. Here is a little purple and quilty goodness to start you off in a good frame of mind, before we get to some of the annoying stuff.

These are my ten purple blocks for one of two RSC 2020 projects. I mostly do not pay attention to where they land as I take them out of my 2.5" tray in their stack. Purple is a colour I sure noticed went down after using up 57 squares! The first one in the bottom row on the left uses three patches 2.5" x less than 2.5", which is on purpose, so the rows will not line up above each other in the quilt. That meant I looked in my purple scrap basket to find three scraps to fit the bill. I'm working on making 12 black and white 9-patches for the other purple project. I mainly do these as leaders/enders, but once in awhile, it feels good, as it did here, to just pull out my 2.5" squares and sew some together without pressure or deadlines or must-do. I'd just mailed off a quilt for an upcoming ezine, so that's exactly what I did here.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

A Couple Of Requests

A few months ago both Brianne and Brady made some quilty requests. Of course Mum/Nana will acquiesce! Brady requested a plain grey, (man-style) toiletries pouch for things he might need when he starts Junior High in September, like deoderant. He wanted sections, as I did in his iPod and charger pouch. I felt like trying a new pouch pattern, so I looked in my hard drive and bookmarks and decided upon the Open Wide Pouch by Noodlehead.

It's a great tutorial.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Dark Blue Scraps Sorting Box and OMG

This was my OMG for July, but I didn't get it done until yesterday: make a dark blue scraps sorting box.
Still, it is done and in use, and probably my favourite one yet!

Friday, July 31, 2020

Antarctic Tiles - AccuQuilt Challenge for Island Batik

Squeaking in under the wire with my July challenge for Island Batik. Foof! This has been a crazy busy month, with four quilt finishes, three of them big ones, and three begun and finished within the month. Oh and let's not forget the three patterns I released this month (wow!) in my Etsy shop
So this challenge was quite unique. We were given the AccuQuilt GO! Me cutter with two dies. It was not for us to keep, however. We were to make a quilt using only the two dies that come with the GO! Me, and make a small quilt. Then we would give the quilt to someone who is new, or fairly new to quilting, along with the cutter and dies! Merry Christmas indeed!

I have several quilter/yogi friends. It's really quite marvelous how many I've found through teaching yoga. Some are very experienced, and some are fairly new to it. I chose my friend Nancy. She is a teacher too. Like me, she recently retired, and, like me, she has a deep love of trees and nature. She is a creative soul. I thought she would enjoy using this cutter to go a little deeper into quilting. 
Ready to take to Nancy's house

Thursday, July 30, 2020

I Like/Love #42

Once again, I'm sharing my list of likes and loves for the month of July, in other words, sharing gratitude. There are several of us who do this, and we welcome anyone who wants to join in. You can write a post weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, and link up with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color.

1. I liked being on blog vacation for the first half of July. I love writing, and I will not stop blogging, but it does eat into my sewing time, as does the reading of, commenting on, and responding to comments I receive. It's something lots of us struggle with in finding a balance. Since I was not writing posts during those two weeks, I missed doing a Thoughtful Thursday post, so you will get a bit of that in this grateful post.

2. I love reading. I read several books this past month. I think some are ones recommended by some of the I Like/Love crew, and some are recommended reading, part of my ongoing deep thinking about systemic racism and white privilege.
Ashley Hope Pérez - Out of Darkness. I'd just started this on my last I Like/Love post. I cried through the last several pages. It's an imagined story, within the actual school explosion in New London, Texas in 1936. Well-researched, and plausible events/scenarios that had me upset and shaken because the racism is still going on today.
Desmond Cole - The Skin We're In. - Every Canadian needs to read this. Anyone who wants to educate themselves about racism viewed and experienced through a Canadian-born black man’s eyes needs to read this.
Sally Rooney - Normal People. I also am watching (one episode left) the Irish mini-series on CBC Gem. I love how closely it follows the book. 
Lisa Wingate - The Book of Lost Friends. Another excellent book with two storylines, one in 1875 following Hannie, a freed enslaved person, and 1987, following Benny, a young teacher who moves into a house on the plantation where Hannie worked. Because the majority, if not all, of enslaved families were separated, they were able to post ads looking for lost loved ones in a newspaper that was read out at church services. Benny stirs up a nest of hornets with her student project of researching ancestors when the intertwining of black and white families is revealed within the town, because Black and White share the same lineage through the same white, plantation owner, father. Again, another imagined story but set within well-researched actual history.
Kristin Hannah - Winter Garden. Just about done. I had to return it without finishing it (darn digital books you can't just hang onto for a day or two extra) but I now have it back and I'm nearly finished it. It's about the siege of Leningrad during WWII. I've read another two books about this horrific time. Have I mentioned how much I abhor war?
I finished the Flavia de Luce one, need to get the next one on Audio book; I like reading and sewing at the same time! (ha! See what I did there?)

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Shine: Benartex Christmas in July Blog Hop & Pattern Release

Welcome to my stop on the Christmas in July blog hop with Benartex Fabrics. I had the pleasure of working with Nancy Halvorsen's newest line, Better Not Pout.

As with most of my quilts, this one has a little story to it. It is my own design, and yes, there is a pattern for it, and yes, it is available today!

I tried for a bit of a Christmas vibe against our neighbours' cedars and trumpet vine and other vines-covered fence. Christmas isn't snowy and cold in a lot of the world, right? Christmas is about gifts, and so there is a giveaway in this post...

Monday, July 27, 2020

What is in my Island Batik Box #2?

It's been HARD having to wait until nearly the end of the month to show off all the goodies I received in my second box. I will be using these over the next six months. All of the fabrics, thread, batting, bag pattern and notions for it, and needles were supplied by Island BatikAurifilHobbs Batting, ByAnnieSchmetz Needles, and Deb Tucker's Studio 180 Designs.

Just look at that collection of colour! They always give us two sets of six Basics and Blenders and several yards of a neutral. I'm so glad I got some pinks and greens and a couple of reds this time. If you'd like to watch me open it live, you can see this on YouTube!

Saturday, July 25, 2020

DrEAMi! #42

Are those squirrels still showing up in your sewing room? Are you inviting them, or are they inviting themselves, as squirrels are wont to do...

especially when there are sunflowers to gorge oneself upon! This is one of many squirrels honing in on my dear friend Helen's yard in Arkansas. I have to say if there were free fresh sunflowers seeds (already shelled thank you very much) I'd be hanging out at that place too. You need to go and read the whole story, which is at Word Weaver Art.

Well, I did have a DrEAMi this month, and it was a good one, AND I'm going to share what I did with you so you can just go have a similar DrEAMi of your own!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Still Waters

This quilt is one of those that just kind of jelled within a day or so. At the beginning of July, my daughter Brianne had a request, "Would I make a quilt, (that's not quilty - it's Brianne remember) for a very special teacher/counsellor, Mme Gifford, of Brady's?" He has finished grade 6, knew her from kindergarten all the way through grade 6. He graduated from elementary school in June, and is heading to junior high in September. (How is this possible? He should be like 5!) I asked Brianne to find out Mme Karen Gifford's favourite colour, which Brady did: turquoise. Just, and I mean just before the request, I saw a quilt on Instagram that Jasmine of Quilt Kisses had made for her neighbour who was undergoing cancer treatments. I loved it, and said I just wanted to have a DrEAMi, lol, Drop Everything And Make it, though I certainly could not afford to. Well, when I heard that Karen's favourite colour was turquoise, and I loved Jasmine's greens and blues quilt, I sent Brianne a photo of it and said what about this? Yes, came the immediate reply.

So I started going through my stash, which is one of my most favourite parts of the quilting process. Rummage, pet, unfold, pet, refold, restack, ahhh. There is a good pic of that joyful jumble on Instagram.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Bear Paw Baby Pattern Release

I'm back with a bit of a bang! Here is the first of two upcoming new patterns, my Bear Paw Baby quilt.
The Bear Paw block holds a special place in my heart; it was the quilt block that got me heart and soul into quilting. You may think, ugh, all those HSTs, no thanks, but if you make them using the two-at-a-time method as described in the pattern, you may rethink that 'ugh'! Better yet, if you use an AccuQuilt HST die, you will be over the moon, I kid you not. The HSTs are 2" finished in the quilt.

Cut Time, Quilt More
That is an affiliate link. That's another thing I did over my break, became an AccuQuilt affiliate.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Blog Vacation is Over

I'll still be taking it a bit easier, (at least that's the plan, ha) on the posting over this month and the next, but there are a few things I want to let all of you know. I didn't go completely 'dark', posting on Instagram, so if you follow me there, @mmmquilts, you'll know a little of what's been going on.

First of all, I've been madly sewing and writing up not one but two patterns. The first huge one I am super-duper excited about is Shine. This is one of my 'secret sewing' projects I've been working on. It is a Christmas quilt for Benartex's Christmas in July Project Hop, which starts today!

Read on to find out the schedule, as the hop starts today!

I don't believe I have ever made, or even started, well maybe started, a Christmas project in July, but this year I have not only started but finished one! I've put out a few photos on Instagram; here's another.
You can see another teaser of my quilt, which uses Nancy Halvorsen's new line 'Better Not Pout', as well as all the other designers and their projects in the video on Benartex Fabrics' Facebook page by clicking the blog hop graphic. Oh yes, there are giveaways!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Fly High!

I am so pleased to have this long-awaited UFO done and checked off the FAL List. It's been on that list for over two years!

The block is one by Deb Tucker, called Migrating Geese. I followed this tutorial, making it as one of my RSC 2017 projects, but doing my own layout. Each month I made one row of the geese.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Stars Aligned New Pattern Release!

Today is Canada Day, but this year I am having mixed feelings about celebrating the year white people made part of what some Indigenous peoples call Turtle Island into Canada, sticking the land's Indigenous peoples on reservations, and harming them in many horrifying ways, the effects of that treatment still lived and felt today. (See an update at the end of this post - great minds, or greater minds than mine...)

So. Today I am thinking of the 150 Canadian women represented below, many European, but lots of Indigenous ones and some Black as well, whose accomplishments I am forever in awe of, and whose quilt I still haven't finished (but it's going to go on Q3FAL list).

I do not profess to be in this league, but I think it is a good day, first day of the month, first day of the second half of the year, to release my newest pattern. I am super-excited about this one. Stars are my favourite block, and I created this design last year in the #30quiltdesignschallenge. It truly is remarkable how many of the designs in our group over the three years I hosted it have been published. They've appeared in ezines, fabric company catalogues, print magazines, and have been self-published. Mine was in Benartex's Modern by the Yard ezine and now I am able to release it!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

DrEAMi! #41

This DrEAMi! is out a bit later than usual because I had a DrEAMi! yesterday, and I didn't write up my post until this morning, then had to stop to go practise yoga on Zoom... Did you have a squirrel moment or a Drop Everything And Make it moment this month?

Helen of Word Weaver Art sent me the link to this photo. Tom writes a blog called Piks of the Day, and Stuff. As she said to me, he must be the most patient man to capture some of the photos he does. Check out that link for photos before and after this one. Mesmerizing.
Image by: Piks of the Day and Stuff: Squirrel!

Isn't that really quite beautiful? Squirrels are, both of the furry and of the fabric kind!