Friday, October 30, 2020

Pumpkin Season

My pumpkin quilt is done, slept under last night, and OMG completed over and above the original plan! This is also on my Q4FAL list and it is my submission for October's Inspiration Collaboration, which I will discuss towards the end of the post.
Oh I do love this quilt! It is completely made from scraps, both old and vintage. That photo has not even been 'enhanced'; I felt the colours were exactly as they are in real life. I am so happy that the sun came out in the afternoon on Thursday when I took these photos. It was supposed to rain most of the day but it only did up until about 9:30 am but it was cloudy until around 2:30 when I was finishing sewing on the binding.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

I Like/Love #45

Welcome to my monthly installment of gratitude. I link up with LeeAnna of Not Afraid of Color, where you will find several of us who do this weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or whenever the mood strikes! Fell free to join in. As I quoted from Anonymous last month,

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

1. Ten days after our visit to Point Pelee near the end of September, this article was on the CBC site,
about the Renaming of a Point Pelee area to Madbin Jina, which means 'come sit awhile' in Anishenaabemowin. Since this is Anishinabewaki territory, it is fitting they named it in the correct original language.

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?