Saturday, April 10, 2021

Outstanding Blogger Award

I am honoured to write this post, which is, ahem, three weeks overdue, but a certain quilt along has been a priority of late! Roseanne, of Home Sewn by Us, whose blog I thoroughly enjoy, and whose personality just brims over with good will, first nominated me for this award. I was honoured, and touched that she chose me as one of her favourite bloggers. And then a week later, Helen, of Word Weaver Art, nominated me as well. My heart just swelled up a little more! So it is high time, well, it's past high time, that I write this post.

The Outstanding Blogger Award is given one blogger to another. It's a way of supporting and acknowledging one another. (I'm all about community: supporting, sharing, caring for, and cheering one another on are big reasons why I continue to blog when the tendency is to move to Instagram.)

As an award recipient, I get to answer some questions from Roseanne and Helen.

I'll start with Roseanne's.
1. Have you had any major quilting/sewing successes that you'd like to share with us? Please toot your own horn!
Well, yes, a few! I've had several quilt designs published; if you click the Publications tab you'll see them all and where to find the patterns. Most recently my quilt 'Heading North' was published in Make Modern. It nearly made the cover: they asked their readers to vote, and it lost by a squeak. (Lara's terminology!) Just prior to this quilt getting published was Follow Your Own Path, which did make the cover of Modern by the Yard, and is this year's QAL that I'm hosting. I guess even more recently, I was totally shocked when Tish showed me that this quilt was used in a full-page ad by Benartex for their line 'Color Theory', and that the ad was the first page inside Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Follow Your Own Path QAL - Fabric Requirements

As Cindy said on a previous post, "Let the fun begin." One of, if not the, most fun parts for me of starting a new project, is combing through my stash to pick fabrics. This one is great for scraps or bundles of fat eighths or fat quarters.
Beautiful Benartex fabrics: 'Believe in Unicorns' by Ann Lauer; the black is Cotton Shot by Amanda Murphy

The two versions I've sewn have both used shades of the same colour. However, when I designed the quilt, I originally planned to have all of the shadows of the arrows in grey or black. So you could do that if you like, especially if you don't have two shades that work well together.

One thing I want to emphasize is that the small quilt size has borders, while the throw size does not. Look at the graphic above. Note that the borders, of which there are two, are four different colours. There is nothing saying you have to repeat colours from the arrows in your borders, but it does tie the quilt together. However, we know, as quilters, that we can tie colours and fabrics together in a myriad of ways!

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Follow Your Own Path QAL: Schedule and Sponsors

Welcome to the official kickoff of my fifth annual quilt along. I am so pleased you are here. As usual, the QAL begins today, April 3, and ends June 15 with the parade of finished quilts.

Please grab the QAL button above using the HTML code below. Pasting it on your sidebar will help to spread the word: readers of your blog who click it will be brought to the main page of the QAL. If you want it the button smaller, simply change the height from 200 to 150.

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" target="_blank"><img border="0" data-original-height="800" data-original-width="800" height="200" src="" / /></a></div>

I would also love it if you would pin the graphic on Pinterest, and for any posts you make on Instagram, I've started a hashtag: #followyourownpathqal

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Follow Your Own Path: Fifth Annual QAL Announcement

Welcome to my fifth annual Quilt Along! I am so glad to have you here. You are on the Main Page for the QAL. We will be making my quilt, Follow Your Own Path, a fun arrows with shadows quilt.

Here is the HTML code so that you can paste the button on your sidebar. Anyone who clicks on it will be taken to this main page.

<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;" target="_blank"><img border="0" data-original-height="800" data-original-width="800" height="200" src="" / /></a></div>

*Note as per Marly's comment below, I've resized the HTML code to make the button smaller, something I forgot to do when I added in the URL for the button to direct people to this post! If you want the button even smaller, then change where it has height="200" to 150 instead of 200.

As in previous years, the QAL will begin on April 3, with the final parade of quilts on June 15. The pace once again is slow, which hopefully allows you to fit this in with your regular programmed quilt schedule. Those of you who have quilted along with me in previous years know that these two dates are rather auspicious for me: June 15 is the birthdate of a 'famous Canadian' aka my dad, who, every year, would write the birthday of a famous Canadian on that date on our wall calendar, all the while with a twinkle in his eye and a mischievous little grin! April 3 is the birthdate of the daughter of that famous Canadian.😉

Saturday, March 27, 2021

DrEAMi! #50

Wow! Fifty posts about the squirrels we love to chase. Here's a terrific video of an industrious little gal chasing who knows what, or simply having a blast (sound familiar?!) Just click on the photo to watch it. It's only 11 seconds, so I'll wait here...

The very first DrEAMi linky was January 28, 2017. This cushion cover, my own design, was my Drop Everything And Make it project. If you want to go back and read that post just click the photo. Wow! I had 18 linkups!

Friday, March 26, 2021

Rainbow VIP

It's the end of the month and time for an update on my PHD (Projects Half Done) programme. I'm happy to report that it's the end of the first quarter and I am still right on track to complete this. This is a UFO from last year, one of my two RSC projects, which I've called Rainbow VIP. It's also my OMG for March!
I love how it turned out! Each month last year, I made ten blocks, a 6-patch with a white bar on one side in the colour of the month. This is a pattern in American Patchwork & Quilting April 2006 by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr. They did theirs in just six light colours. It's a bit of an improv way of assembling the quilt top, chopping off parts of blocks so the white bars purposely do not align and the side edges are random.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Gratitude #50

Once again the end of the month is nigh and it's time to gather my 'likes' for the past month and link up at LeeAnna's blog Not Afraid of Color.

"When I'm grateful, I live in Three Pines."
-Louise Penny, from an interview at the end of Bury Your Dead

1. I am so grateful for these books. I'm grateful for authors, period. Living in another's world, be it fictional or real, is nourishment for me, on all levels, mental, emotional, spiritual and physical. You may think huh? Do you walk/run while reading, Sandra? Well, tbh, if the book is an audiobook, occasionally I will listen as I walk, one earbud in so I can still hear my surroundings. However, I prefer to listen to my surroundings when I do walk, so listening to books while walking is the exception, not the rule. But if reading sustains, no, nourishes, enhances, my mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, then it is a given that physical health follows, for me.

Sidenote: This was the second time reading Bury Your Dead. The first time I read it was over a decade ago. It was recommended to me by my good friend, Marianne, a prolific reader. She introduced me to the Gamache books, and said how good this one was, and that it had won more than one award. However, it's book #6, and at the time I had no clue about the first five, so although I enjoyed it, especially because of all the places in La Belle Ville (Quebec City) with which I'm familiar from many school trips there with my students, much of it had been entirely lost on me. I got out of order by mistake, reading #7 before #5, and then once I'd finished #5, I knew from having read #7, how important it was that I reread #6 now I knew.... you with me still?! So I reread it on audio book, loving every word (though I'm still irritated at the mispronunciation of some of the French by the narrator, but I digress). 

I've mentioned before that I write my gratitude posts off and on throughout the month, adding things or taking photos along the way. So the above two paragraphs were written a couple of weeks ago. As I was adding to this post on Thursday, what came up in my YouTube suggestions when I went to do another meditation? This! I've only started it (it actually starts about a minute, slightly more, in) but I am in LOVE! I want a mask like Danny's that says, " I'm F.I.N.E." (snort!) Think I may have to make myself one! 

Update: I've finished watching the interview, worth every minute of the hour. Knowlton is a truly beautiful town, like so many in eastern Canada, such history, the houses, the buildings, ahh, so be sure to pay attention to the video and don't just listen while you sew. 😉 

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Santosha Project Quilting 12.6

As with many ongoing activities, it seems like it's been quite a while ago that the first Project Quilting challenge went out, and yet it seems hard to believe that 12 weeks have gone by and this is the last one.
This last challenge was Ab Intra, in other words, from within. Peel off the layers and who is the real you?

I had a long think about this over the week. By Wednesday afternoon I had decided to do a pouch, either for toiletries or sewing supplies; I wanted something useful. I hit upon the idea to make it using 2.5" squares where every other square would have a personal meaning, a pretty profound one. Alternating ones would be a low volume, and I'd chosen the leftover fabric of Free Motion Fantasy by Amanda Murphy.

Wait. That doesn't look like a toiletries pouch! 
It isn't. Let me explain...

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Heading North in Make Modern Issue 39 and TGIFF

The hardest part of having designs published in magazines is the waiting. The quilt has to be done months ahead of the issue's publication date, and it is so hard not to show the quilt when you've finished it. However, the day is now here, and, because the editors couldn't decide which quilt should be on the cover, they asked for readers' help, and so you've seen a little glimpse of it. Well, allow me to give you a much larger look!

Apparently it was down to the final day for voting when the winning cover quilt (and I quote), 'just squeezed by yours'. Sigh. Ah well, the one that squeezed by is beautiful, and 'in the wild' too! Knowing that my quilt came so close makes me happy, and having heard from so many of you that you'd voted for it warms my heart. I worked my heart out on the quilting of this baby.

And, a warm welcome to TGIFF, where we celebrate fully finally finished quilts! This isn't for UFOs or in-process quilts; it's a finish party, so let's par-tay and I'll show you mine if you show me yours. 😉

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Fond Memories - Project Quilting 12.5

The Project Quilting 12.5 challenge was 'You're Crazy!' We were to make a quilt using crazy quilting techniques. I stewed for a bit, of course.This time it wasn't because of a plethora of ideas; it was a dirth. I just wasn't feeling it.

Then I got Wendy's Pieceful Thoughts blog post in my inbox and read it...and ping! A little lightbulb went on when I read, "That light blue piece is from an old shirt of BigJ's."

I knew I had some scraps from clothing I made my daughters when they were little. I'd had to do some serious culling of sewing stuff when we moved from Alberta in 2012, but I knew I'd cut off some little squares/hunks of various fabrics before I donated it all, and there was a TON, to a very happy girl who makes comfort quilts. The problem was, and is, that my sewing studio, though new and huge and lovely, has not got any new cabinets other than the two Kallax I ordered for MacGyver to hack into my cutting/pressing table. Because of Covid there's no stock at IKEA. So lots of my stuff remains in Rubbermaid tubs.

But I found the scraps! I have one tub dedicated to dressmaking fabrics and they were in it! So I was able to create this mini:

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Be Mine

I finished this mini quilt a few days ago. It started off as a DrEAMi, for those that are regular readers. The fabric is month 2 of a 3-month fabric stash enhancer subscription that Dayna got me for Christmas. The fabric line this month was 'Be Mine' by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda Fabrics. In December I'd bought the pattern, 'Strippy Improv' from Lisa at Love to Color My World which is actually for Christmas blocks. I recently had the idea to do a heart with this improv reverse appliqué technique. Lisa has done one too!

Tuesday, March 2, 2021


Delia, the strings Card Trick quilt you've seen a few times, is done.
This is actually a very true photo as far as the colours go; the sun had just set.  This was an unplanned RSC project, from the book Classic to Contemporary String Quilts by Mary M. Hogan. It's a great book: my trees quilt, The Final Season was adapted from it, and my main RSC project is also from the book. I am focusing on strings this year because they are exploding.

They are still exploding. I loved the movement in her quilt, loved the black, grey and white with the pink she had used. I planned to switch out the white for another RSC colour.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

DrEAMi! #49 Chase Squirrels, Chase Away the Blues

That title came when I was responding to a comment left on Wake Up Make Up by Roseanne, and I liked it so much, I immediately named this month's post that! I was saying how I was chasing another squirrel and it was taking away some of the blah and blues that February tends to bring with its never-ending feel of winter, and longing for spring. Whether you watch the squirrels in your yard or you chase the squirrels I your sewing room, they certainly bring joy to us don't they?

Thank you to Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for this month's squirrel video. It's the best! It comes from this TikTok user. He has uh, a few squirrel videos, fair warning!

I had quite the squirrelly month! Warning: plenty of distractions to follow.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Gratitude #49

Welcome to another Gratitude post. Several of us write these posts on Thursdays and link up with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color. Being grateful can totally change your mood, your day, your life. In these seemingly never-ending days of anxiety and unknown, taking time to pause and think about all the things for which I am grateful is very powerful. I've started thinking about things for which I'm grateful as soon as I open my eyes in the morning before I even get out of bed. I don't remember every single day, but it sure sets a tone for the day, a clean slate of possibilities and goodness!

1. I like YouTube playlists. I'm listening to one right now as I write this. Classical. I have several genres. I particularly like this piece, "Danzón No 2" by Arturo Márquez played by L'Orchestre de Paris, conducted by Alondra de la Parra (yeah! a woman!)

Monday, February 22, 2021

Mr. Whiskers Project Quilting 12.4

This is my quilt which, sadly, annoyingly, my own fault-ingly, missed the deadline by eight hours.
Sorry, crazy windy today, so it's a bit of a wonky look!

No matter. It is done, and I absolutely love it. 

It was a literal DrEAMi, (I did nothing but madly sew on this all weekend) because as I have been ahem, known to do before, I left it until the last minute.

Friday, February 19, 2021

9-Patch Spectrum

I have another Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt finished! This baby is staying right here with me. I don't know what it is, maybe loving 9-patch blocks, maybe all the memories tied up in the 120 fabrics surrounding the 9-patches, but I feel very attached to this one.

Yep, we got some more snow, this time just a light one, overnight, so I had pristine snow on the front lawn upon which to toss the quilt. And bonus: a beautiful sunny warmish day!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Wednesday Works in Progress

Because I don't like posts that are, 'Here is my finished quilt, here's the back, here's a close-up, the end', kind of posts, I thought I should give you a peek into what I've been up to up here in my sewing space. I do tend to post progress photos on Instagram, so you might have already seen some of those that follow.
Note: I did not mean to offend anyone with that opening statement; I simply love people's processes, and seeing how a quilt evolves. I also like to keep a record of what's going through my brain as I create!

First and foremost we have had full-on winter for the past couple of weeks. I know because here is the current state of my temperature quilt:

You can see that the last time we had above 0℃ (freezing) was the highs of February 2 to 4, and the overnight low on Feb. 5. It dropped throughout that day and we haven't seen chartreuse temps since. In fact, last night was the coldest (-16℃) we've seen in more than a year, possibly two.  (Yes, I looked back on But that low temperature meant I needed to use a new colour! Kona Turquoise. Thank goodness it is only one night and then we are back to -10 to -13 until the weekend when it finally smartens up to where we normally are.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Wake Up Make Up

This small quilt was finished in January. As it has finally arrived at its destination this past week, and since my daughter reads my blog, I haven't been able to write about it until now. You've seen some sneak peeks  of sections on the blog and on Instagram. Well, here is what I made:

This was another design-as-I-go project and it was so satisfying. I saw the phrase 'wake up, make up' somewhere. Pinterest or Etsy, maybe something on Instagram. It stuck with me as a perfect phrase for the makeup mat Brianne had requested last summer, and which I'd made...but that was a different mat. Let me back up a bit...

Monday, February 8, 2021

Varadero Vibe - Project Quilting 12.3

As per usual, I had a few ideas for the challenge. Also as per usual, I couldn't decide which one to follow. And finally, as per usual, I chased a squirrel (made another pixellated 9-patch block) while the backburner of my brain flipped and flopped from one idea to the other.  Procrastination at its finest. Finally I went for the harder of the two ideas (often the way I roll), took a course, and made a sea glass quilt, though I prefer to think of it as beach glass.

The prompt for PQ 12.3 at Persimon Dreams was to make a vacation-themed quilt. I've had the pleasure of having had some pretty amazing vacations in my lifetime. In February in Canada, I don't think you'd find a person that wouldn't prefer to be outside of Canada and on a warm beach somewhere. Not quite two years ago, we were, and the beach was Varadero.

That is not photo-shopped or filtered, and was taken with an iPhone 7, no fancy camera or settings. If it is this stunning in that photo, you can imagine how surreal and stunning it was in person.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

DrEAMi #48

Welcome to another year of chasing squirrels, of all things Drop everything And Make it! The photo below is one of several on this great (pretty hard) quiz on CBC Kids. I scored 2/8 so clearly I don't know nearly enough about squirrels. I do know that I have as many quilt projects either on the go or planned for this year as the leaves in this squirrel's mouth!
DavidBarber - Flickr
I haven't really had a DrEAMi this month, unless you count the Project Quilting makes. It's not for lack of temptation, but so far I have kept my head down and been a good girl. Boooorrring. Says the squirrelly part of me. Oh I did pull out some 2.5" and 3" squares and actually cut some 3" ones and made a few bear paw blocks with 4-patches for the paws, but shhh, it wasn't a DrEAMi because it was only two blocks, and 'just to see' and 'so that I remember this' and maybe it will be another leader/ender project if I finish my pinwheel binding triangles leader/ender one... Do I sound like I'm avoiding declaring a new start? I may be. It's all Yvonne's (Sew Yummy) fault. I saw her scrap project, and well, ding-ding-ding! I have lots of appropriate fabric to make that... Betcha can't resist...

Friday, January 29, 2021

Rainbow Way

I am so pleased to present my Rainbow Way quilt which was one of my 2019 RSC projects. This quilt pattern was in McCall's Quick Quilts August/September 2018, though the original was done all in greens.

I am also glad we had another beautiful sunny day, albeit with the coldest to date overnight low of -10C. One good thing about that is that I got to use a new colour in my temperature quilt! Time is running out for me to run fresh new quilts down to this lake lot for photographing: it has been sold, as I mentioned a while ago, and they've been doing a lot of work to fortify the shoreline at the bottom of the cliff, which you can see from the above photo.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Gratitude #48

"When you're present in gratitude, you can't be anywhere else." - Jay Shetty

Here is my list for January of things for which I'm grateful. A group of us link up each week or month, whatever you like, with LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color, who kindly continues to host. These post are uplifting, both to read and to write.

I love reading, ergo I love books. I've read five so far this month! I like fantasy, and I love YA (Young Adult) Literature. Somehow, in the Libby (digital library) vortex of searching for authors, I came across Holly Black, whose Tithe trilogy I read years ago when I was still teaching. She has a new trilogy out, The Folk of the Air, and I read all three in no time at all. Yes, they are that good. I lived in them for the entire time. Don't you love when a book keeps circulating in your brain while you go about your everyday life? You keep speculating as to what will happen, and revisiting what already did, but living in that world? 

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Project Quilting 12.2 Fussy Cutting

The challenge this time was to incorporate fussy cutting into our project. I did two projects again, two of each, though due to real life happenings, one of the four items is still as you will see, in the blocks stage.

Still, I do have three finished items.

One of my quarter of the year goals has been to make two cat mats which I donate to either the Windsor Humane Society or to Kittenaide. Cats photographed sitting on something cute or homemade like a little cat-sized quilt, tend to get adopted faster. And what cat doesn't love a snuggly place to curl up?

Bella already tried them out, as some of you may have seen on Instagram.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Black Scraps Sorting Box

This is box #10! It's been done for almost two weeks, but I'm just getting around to posting it now. My fourth finish in 2021, in keeping with the fourth book I'm currently reading! Off to a great start, I am. 😇

I've really enjoyed making these boxes. The tutorial is on Angela's blog, so scrappy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

To Do Tuesday Update

Popping in with a quick 'what am I up to' post. The PHD programme is helping to keep me focussed for now.
Last week's list:
1. Keep up with the temperature quilt.✅ Posted on Instagram.
2. Start or dare I say finish quilting the Smooches quilt.✅ Done and posted here.
3. With nearly half the month gone, I want to at least pick a UFO from my PHD list and get the backing assembled, ready to quilt.✅

For January, I've decided to finish this UFO from 2019, my Arrows RSC quilt.

I spent a little time contemplating whether I would keep this quilt for myself, sell it, or put it on the comfort quilt pile. Once I decided I wouldn't keep it, I knew then I'd save the two rainbow backing hunks of fabric for an RSC quilt I am going to keep. Off to the stash I went to see what I could use up.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Love That For You

My first quilt finish in 2021 is a wrap (ha, love saying that)! This is my OMG for January.

It's actually my third finish, one being my mini for Project Quilting, little hard to wrap up in it, and the other shown on Instagram but not yet blogged, a black scraps sorting box. This, however, is a lap quilt. 

Yay for a little sunshine today! The temperatures have been lovely this month, but it's been mostly grey skies.

Aren't the pinks just wonderful? It is such a good colour with which to work in the grey long month of January. This quilt has a bit of a story to it, as is the case with most of my quilts. It is a quilt I designed for one of PQ #11 challenges last year. This one, the third one I've made, is going to Brianne's best friend who is an essential worker. She, like me, absolutely loves Schitt's Creek, but she has been a fan longer than I! Both of us, unbeknownst to the other, think that Brianne is much like Alexis. The quilt is named for one of Alexis's famous sayings, one Brianne and Michele use between them quite often. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Accountability and PhD

For those of you who have followed me for a while, you know how I love lists, and organization, and checkmarks. I have a rather amorphous list of my 2021 Goals that isn't published this year, but that doesn't make me any less accountable, and besides it's in my planner. However, this year instead of the FAL which seems to have fallen apart (correct me if I'm wrong) I've decided to join the PHD  (Projects Half Done)programme with Gail of Quilting Gail.

Basically you must finish 12 UFOs, and you must finish all the projects you start in 2021, so as not to add to the UFO or PHD pile. This is hard for a squirrel-chaser who has the entire canopy of trees this year to explore because of no Island Batik commitments and deadlines! In fact, as of the writing of this post I have completed all my deadlines, even the self-imposed one of updating my sadly neglected Gallery of 2020. The only on-the-horizon deadline is to make a lap-size quilt, (the baby one is done), for my Quilt Along, which begins April 3. It feels actually really good!

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Project Quilting 12.1 I Am Divine Light

This is the second year I've participated in Project Quilting hosted by Kim at Persimon Dreams, with Trish of Quilt Chicken, the dreamer-upper of challenges. It is right up my alley: a challenge, pushing your creativity, with a deadline!

This week we were to create a quilt using predominantly the two Pantone colours of 2021: yellow, aka Illuminating, and grey, aka Ultimate Grey. I immediately thought of a line I love from Bruce Cockburn's "Lovers in a Dangerous World", 
Got to kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight

and somewhere between that thought and I don't even know the exact moment when, the idea for my mini appeared, fully formed, deep in my brain, in the grey recesses where fissures appear and out comes the light of creativity.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Pink Projects Popping up Partout!

"partout' is French for everywhere. It worked for my alliterative title, and since I'm deep in another L'Inspecteur Gamache book, it was à propos. 

So, after a few posts on Instagram on Saturday I took the rest of that day and Sunday and almost all of Monday off that social media platform. It was rather wonderful, and I mean to do that more this year. I don't know if it's the menopausal muddle in my melon or what, but I certainly seem prey to being easily sucked for an hour or more into that vortex. I plunged into my pink scraps and strips with abandon. Ahhh! I petted. I played. It was perfect.
What once was a neatly arranged pile of pink, slowly but steadily erupted into this disarray. What first evolved from the strips were these blocks for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge Project #1.

Friday, January 1, 2021

On Point

Here it is! My December challenge for Island Batik, my last challenge as ambassador, is done! I've named it On Point. You know how I love double entendres.

As I said in the process post, this is the first quilt where I've actually designed a portion of it because I want to showcase the quilting I know I'm going to do there. I wanted to do ribbon candy there and thought the strips of aqua and flame would show it off perfectly. The pearls row finishes off this section to perfection (though they are definitely not perfect!) adding to the meaning of the quilt's name. The quilting becomes a part of the piecing. I love it. And wee-ooh wee-ooh, but didn't HandiQuilter talk about this very phenomenon in their newsletter?! This was after I'd  made this section, so imagine my surprise!