Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mid month UFO report

Since the weather outside has been fierce and wintery, with ice storms and high winds, I have been "sewing up a storm" inside too. I just finished up a huge cone of neutral Aurifil thread. That's a lot of thread put into fabric in my sewing projects! 

When another empty spool is added to my collection jar, it feels like there should be a celebration of accomplishment, especially when it's a cone (5,900 metres) vs. a spool (1,300 metres)!

16 of the last 18 Ringo blocks

Although lots of sewing is going on, the April UFO goal is not anywhere near completion. All the blocks have been sewn for my version of On Ringo Lake. I have a total of 48 blocks sewn, for a layout of 6 blocks across and 8 blocks down. 30 of these blocks are sewn together, so now I will be attaching the last 18 blocks. And then there is the border to work on. That's okay, I still have a week and a half to the end of the month.

From Queen of Your Own Life
And today I'm off on a road trip to Orillia to speak to two groups of wonderful women.... the Orillia Quilters Guild in the afternoon and in the evening... the Evening Threads Quilt Guild! It will be an interesting and perhaps challenging trip depending on the weather and whether there are road closures (notice the clever use of homonyms in that sentence!) 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Donation Quilts

Every year my local quilt guild donates many quilts to worthy causes in our community. Just as with all acts of kindness, we never really know how sending symbols of love into the universe will evolve and unfold. 

My daughter emailed me a copy of this facebook note regarding the gift of a quilt that was received by a brave soul, who was willing to publicly thank the anonymous quilt maker from our community.
This is her post with the identifiers removed.
This is precisely the reason why we make these quilts. It's why we invest our own money and time to create symbols of comfort and safety... because it helps to heal the wounds of others.

This reminder motivated me to get working on some quilt blocks for the guild collection. We have a very hard working committee that takes fabric donations and organizes them into block kits for guild members to sew. I picked up 4 packages this month and each baggie has a pattern and all the fabric needed to sew the block. 

This block pattern had a lot of HST blocks but it went together well and will make a great quilt.

If you are looking for a place where you can a donate quilt or quilt blocks, hop over to Sarah's Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge for ideas and inspiration.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Design Wall Monday - Churn Dash and 9 Patch

Here are some of the blocks for my current project on the design wall. These are the churn dashes from Barb's block swap and the 9 patch blocks I've been sewing. I'm loving how they look together! There is a circular element that develops when these blocks are side by side, and as I continue to sew more blocks and put them on the design wall, I'll be thinking about how to emphasize that circular movement when it's time for quilting. 

But first... let's not get ahead of ourselves! There is still a lot of sewing and pressing to finish before the quilt top construction can begin.

And giving credit where credit is due... this layout design idea came from a photo I saw on the internet while googling "churn dash blocks" and I was able to trace it back to a quilt by Mary Manson called Colorways.

Hop over to Small Quilts to see more design wall postings.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Slow Sunday Resting

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! 

It has been a weekend of freezing rain and ice in my neck of the woods. That means staying at home since driving is unsafe. I realized how rare it is that I stay home for a whole day! Which made me think of when Sunday used to be a whole day of rest for everyone. Except for going to church, everyone stayed home to rest. Does anyone remember those days?!? You weren't allowed to do any work (well, except the women who still cooked and served food, and then cleaned up and washed the dishes) and mostly you spent time visiting with family and friends, resting, and enjoying good conversation.
Fast forward to 2018, where we feel guilty if we sit down to rest for a few minutes! 

Yesterday I rested much of the day and did a lot of hand embroidery. I know that if the weather was not terrible, it would have been "business as usual" and I would have been out and about, running errands, getting groceries, etc.
But instead I felt relaxed and finished 2 more blocks of the "I Stitch" club by Gail Pan.... a heart and a butterfly. Today I will be tracing out the next block, putting in a few more stitches, and continuing to rest.

From Simplicity Relished
Resting is NOT clicking around on a computer/iPad, or scrolling  through Facebook messages, or watching TV. It means to really disconnect yourself from any devices and screens (after you finish reading this of course!) and just... R E S T.  Try doing nothing and give your brain some time to power down. Stare out the window, go for a walk (if it's not icy!), breathe deeply, pick up your hand stitching project, put in a few stitches, and repeat. 

I love this line from Daisy at Simpicity Relished:

"Resting takes courage. Resting says, “I am okay with what I’m missing. I’m okay with what I can’t do. I recognize my limits. I submit to my own needs.”
WOW! Can you do that? How about for 15 minutes? 
And to fill up your spirit, hop over to Rosie's Arty Stuff to see her beautiful "Rest, Restore and Renew" inspiration. Make it as big as you can on your screen as there is so much to see in her work.

What are you hand stitching today? We love to see the slow progress you are making with your projects. Your stitches inspire all of us!


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Scrappy Saturday

Today the local forecast is for lots of freezing rain, and we haven't seen much of the sun lately. But it's all sunshine and yellow over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

We are being encouraged to use up some yellow and gold scraps this month.  I had fun digging in the scrap bins to find small pieces to use up in my April Squared Away sampler blocks.  This is the 4th block for the sampler and is appropriately called 4X Star.

5" Squared Away blocks

I am making 4 blocks each month for my sampler and these use some of my favourite scraps.The yellow with circles in the bottom left block is one of my favourite Kaffe Paperweight fabrics. I don't know what happened with the top left block... I got really carried away with fussy cutting those flowers which are on a gold background, but I had to cut them so small, they only look pink. Oh well... they will fit into the sampler quilt somehow.

To see what other quilters are making with their sunshiny fabric scraps, hop over to the weekly RSC link up.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Guild Report and 9 Patches

I had a lovely visit with the Hamilton Quilters Guild last night. What a great audience they were. They didn't make me feel like I was an odd duck at all! This is a photo of part of the audience after my lecture was over and you can see some of my quilts hanging on the other side of the room.

Doing a trunk show is always a good time to give some of my quilts an airing out and refolding. How many quilts does one person need?!?! LOL
Truthfully, quilt storage is starting to become an issue but what a great problem to have!

I have been enjoying some mindless sewing after work these days. Sometimes that is the only kind of sewing that can be accomplished when your brain is full of other things. 
I always try to have at least one or two projects on the go that are relaxing and simple, and no brain power is required to make progress. 
This week, my "no brainer" project is making 9 patch blocks to be the alternate blocks for my churn dash swap blocks. All the patches are cut, so it's just a matter of putting them through the sewing machine. So fun!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Guild Trip

I'm packing up my favourite quilts and preparing to speak at the Hamilton Quilters Guild tonight. It's always a bit nerve wracking to talk honestly about my quilting life because I recognize that I am a bit of a unique character, or as I was recently described ..."an odd duck"! LOL  

From Bonnie at Quiltville

I often wonder what people are really thinking when I'm talking, and I think it's probably something like "wow she really is crazy"! But I have often found that in any group of quilters, there are also other "odd ducks" like me, and they can relate in some way to most of the unusual things I say and do. 

piles of quilts to share

And here's a fun fact...
I visited this same Hamilton guild on Wednesday April 11th in 2012, and here it is exactly 6 years later, and I'll be right back there again on Wednesday April 11th, 2018! You can read about the 2012 visit here. It is interesting to look at the photos from that lecture because I remember many of those quilts but don't have them anymore. I know exactly where some of the quilts are and others I think "Hmmmm ... I wonder what happened to that quilt"?!?