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!