Saturday, 30 May 2020

A New Chapter

This is the hardest post I've ever written. I recently lost my hubby of 43 years. This whole Covid thing has made handling his loss harder.  At a time when family and friends are needed the most and even a hug, all where lacking it feels so unreal. It has been a time of mixed emotions. It feels like my life has  been turned upside down and focus has been a challenge. I wander aimlessly around the house. I look at my sewing machine and have had no real desire to sew.





Friday, 10 April 2020

Creativity and Hope

Creativity, the process of making something new. Hope, a feeling of expectation and a desire for certain things to happen.
I hope that we will return to normal or a near normal life.
Usually I'm busy preparing to have my family together for Easter. With 'Stay at Home' orders we will connect via phone calls or messaging. It will be different but necessary to help stop the spread. My oldest grandson Tyler sends random messages, they help to brighten my day. What I miss most are the little things like walking into a store to pick up one or two things and not feeling paranoid while doing it. The big thing I miss most are grandkid hugs!

 I just wanted, no needed to play with fabric, colour, thread in other words be creative. An idea came from a quote I read on the internet it is from Emily Dickinson:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

Usually I start a new project in EQ, this time I played in my graphics program. At first I was just going to do a small trapunto whole cloth with the word hope, but I wasn't really feeling it. The feather kept tickling me. Then it hit me why not use a feather, thankfully not very hard. How?
The ideas flowed after that. But how was I going to add that feather, with thread of course after all the original idea of a whole cloth was still there. I had never done a whole cloth before. There's a first time for everything and I was going to jump in feet first.
tracing the lettering and feather using my lightbox

I printed out the layout I came up with, it took four pages, then I taped those pages together. I used a blue wash out marker to trace it onto a piece of Kona Cotton.
stitched with washout thread

I placed a piece of polyester batting for loftiness of the trapunto, and before you ask why I didn't use wool I have a wool allergy. I stitched the outline of the words and feather with wash away thread, then cut away the rest of the batting.
I layered the backing, Hobbs 80/20 batting, another piece of poly batting and the top.
backing, Hobbs batting, poly batting and top

Next up thread decisions, I auditioned Aurifil threads.
Aurifil thread selection

I was a little worried about stitching the feather and making a total mess of it. So I started with stitching Aurifil 2024 around all the lettering and the spine of the feather first. I thought micro stitching around the letters would make them pop, it does. BUT it is slow going and I figured after half an hour in I must have been off my rocker to be doing it. It was slow going but I do like the look of it.

That feather was taunting me and I thought it's now or never. For the feather I laid down a base using 2024 followed by 2311. I'm sorry I didn't take any step by step photos, I was too into the feather to even think about photos. I used 2304 and 2902 both 40 wt next.
I like how the feather turned out

Instead of a traditional binding I did a faced binding. This is the tutorial I used. I hand sewed the sides and the bottom corners but left the top corners unsewn, I am using them as hanging pockets.

the back 
I am happy with this my first whole cloth project.
no sun this morning

Would I do another whole cloth? I think so? Did it help fill my need for creativity? Yes!

I hope you are remaining positive and finding joy in the simple pleasures... maybe it's the smell of fresh bread, a phone call or message from a loved one or friend or maybe a sunny day.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Stay at Home Day #4

We're staying home to stop the spread of this virus, but we can still share the love of quilting with friends all around the world. Today is the final day of the hop.


Have you started doing a Quilt Along or BOM to keep busy? Perhaps you're catching up on a WIP?

I am doing a little of this and that. I almost have my new pattern written and made. Are you interested in testing it?


not a hint of green
As part of the Stay At Home and Hop With Us blog hop I am offering a %20 discount on patterns in my Etsy store during the round robin.

Let me to introduce to you to some of my favourite quilting colleagues and friends.

DaySpring Quilt Company

Ms P Designs, USA

Stitchin’ at Home *You Are Here*

Sew Joy Creations

Ships & Violins

Patti’s Patchwork

Your Sewing Friend

The Geeky Bobbin

Colourwerx Designs

Kate Colleran Designs


Day #3

Bequilter

Presto Avenue Designs

Cheryl Lynch Quilts

Love to Color My World

Hissyfitz Designs

Canton Village Quilt Works

Anjeanette Klinder Designs

Pat Sloan – The Voice of Quilting

Said With Love

Orange Blossom Quilt Design

Day #2

Studio R Quilts

Toadally Quilts

From Blank Pages

Cotton Street Commons

Puppy Girl Designs

Phoebe Moon Quilt Designs

The Devoted Quilter

Christa Quilts

Stitched by Susan

Tamarinis

Day #1

Lone Star Pattern Works

Powered by Quilting

Cottage Rose Quilt Patterns

The Cloth Parcel

Faith and Fabric

Linen Closet Designs

Designs by Sarah J

Rona the Ribbiter Quilts

Quilt Fox Designs

Seam to Be Sew




Friday, 27 March 2020

Craft Happy Moments with Bluprint

Craft More Happy Moments with our FREE Creativity Care Package 3/26-4/9/20! Watch over 1,300 creative education classes ranging from sewing, cooking, family crafts, and more!

Bluprint, an NBCUniversal online creative learning platform, provides ways for the entire family to nourish their creativity from home, offering rich learning experiences for all ages.
Join us to “Craft More Happy Moments” during our FREE unlimited access creativity event; March 26 at Noon EST - April 9. 
With Bluprint you can stream thousands of creative education classes from knitting, sewing, baking, drawing, family crafts and much more, taught by the world’s leading experts.  Bluprint is your one-stop destination for classes, patterns and project ideas for all skill levels.
During the 14 day event, Bluprint will provide free access to their full slate of content; including more than 1300 classes and series and hundreds of step by step project tutorials and patterns making this the perfect time to learn a new craft or hobby.
Emotional End-Benefits Your Readers/Viewers Can Easily Connect With:
  • Creativity is one of the best ways to connect with ourselves and loved ones
  • Creating family moments of togetherness by communing over creativity
  • Keeping the kids busy while you work from home
  • Getting lost in your passion and making something
  • Sourcing inspiration for your next (or first!) craft project

Starch and Stay at Home Day3

Are you getting used to our new normal? Stay at Home! Are you using your time to sew?  Besides getting in some sewing I've also been cleaning up my flower beds. I have some closets that could use a good cleaning too, but they seem a little daunting right now. Oh well they'll still be calling my name a week from now, and if I keep the doors closed I won't hear them right?


Have you tried homemade spray starch? I was out of starch and thus began the google hunt and experiments for homemade starch.

I prewash all fabric that comes into my house except for charm squares or jelly rolls. I then press and starch that fabric before use. Starch gives the fabric a crisp hand. It also helps with bias edges, allows for sharper points and the fabric doesn't shift when rotary cutting

 I tried a couple different ones with a little tweak or two. I would like to give credit for them if you know who they belong too I will gladly credit them.

First up:

1 1/2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
3 1/2 cup cool water
2 drops Lavender essential oil helps repel insects
Put the water in the spray bottle first, then add the corn starch and essential oil.

Shake.
Make sure to shake every time you use it.

Not a fan. I definitely didn't like shaking it all the time.

Some recipes called for vodka. Nope don't have any and with 'Stay at Home' not going shopping for some.

Next up a cooked recipe using cornstarch.

3 cups water
1/2 cup vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
2 drops Lavender essential oil optional

Bring water and vinegar to a boil.
Stir the 1 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch with an additional 1/2 cup water.
Stir into the water and vinegar and boil for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
Add the essential oil if using.
Put into a spray bottle and use.

If you find it makes the fabric too stiff just add more water. Success!

I wrote the recipe on the bottle that way I don't have to go looking for it every time I need it
I'm having a “Stay at Home and Shop Hop” special in my Etsy Shop.

Today I want to introduce you to 10 more wonderful designers.


Bequilter

Presto Avenue Designs

Cheryl Lynch Quilts

Love to Color My World

Hissyfitz Designs

Canton Village Quilt Works

Anjeanette Klinder Designs

Pat Sloan – The Voice of Quilting

Said With Love

Orange Blossom Quilt Design


Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Stay at Home Day 2

These are extraordinary times we are living through and many of us are no doubt stitchin' at home.  Perhaps you have started a new project, or working on a UFO and finishing them up.


 I feel so lucky to be part of this amazing quilting community filled with wonderful quilt shops, quilting guilds, Facebook QuiltAlongs, and best of all, my fellow pattern designers who are always coming up with new techniques and patterns and to help use our stash and create beautiful quilts.

With all the that is going on around us I need to keep busy, it was time to bake and who doesn't love the smell of fresh bread baking.

ohh my house has that lovely fresh bread smell
Would you like to make one of your own? You can get the recipe here.

Don't forget I am having a sale in my Etsy Store. 

I want to take an opportunity to introduce to you to some of my favourite quilting colleagues and friends.

Studio R Quilts

Toadally Quilts

From Blank Pages

Cotton Street Commons

Puppy Girl Designs

Phoebe Moon Quilt Designs

The Devoted Quilter

Christa Quilts

Stitched by Susan

Tamarinis
https://www.tamarinis.com

Stay home and stay safe!

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Project Quilting Final Project 11.6

I have been feeling a little unfocused these past few days, I know I'm not alone in that. I find when I'm sewing or quilting I can forget about those feelings for awhile. I'm in my happy place then.

Vibrant and Vivacious was the challenge hosted by Kim of Persimmon Dreams. I drew up a couple different ideas in EQ8. I knew I wanted to make this final project for a child at Ronald MacDonald house. What child doesn't like colour, and bright colours even more.

colour pops in dresden blades
I finally settled on a flower and dresden plates make nice flowers. The blades I used are 10 inches long, every other blade is coloured and the rest are white as is the background.  Which allows the coloured petals to pop and the rest blend into the background. This gives the illusion of an airy flower.  For the border I used a Riley Blake print called Tetris Holding.

aurifil thread choices

I free motion quilted the background with loops and hearts. I wanted to keep it simple and fast, time was an issue.
hearts in the background, echo quilting in the petals with a partial line. 

The backing was another Riley Blake print called pieces of hope.

perfect backing for a child in the hospital

The quilt finishes at 38 inches square. A good baby or small child size.

this quilt will be one of my Hands to help quilts

I will have to wait to donate it until after we get the all clear from Covid-19. In the meantime I hope that everyone stays safe during these trying times.