Colours of Easter 

My Easter has constituted of being able to spend some time playing with fabric.   And, doing a bit of quilting.  

I got the top of the frog quilt together.  And decided it needed a border or two.

I went to a local quilt store (big mistake for my pocket book), and I found this delightful frog fabric, which I will use in conjunction with this adjacent fabric as borders.  I think I will cut the frogs so that way they are lining  up all in the same direction.  

I also made some more of these blocks.  Figuring out what I would like to do, as I think I would like to do more of the same blocks, but having the colours go in the other direction.  

The colour is coming together bit by bit at the sewing machine

So my Easter weekend has felt pretty productive.  a the weather here has been sketchy at times, so it was nice to spend some time at home getting a few things done.  

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend.  Revelling in the colour like I did!


Groundhog Day in March…..

Have you ever had those kinds of days where everything you attempt to do or work on will not be completed at that moment of focus?  Where no matter how much time you spend on a particular issue, or task, it will either have to be redone, can’t be completed, or just plain is determined to thwart your most concerted efforts to get one thing done.  Kind of like the movie “Groundhog Day”. Groundhog Day

I had at least 2 of those types of days this week.

I was lucky enough to acknowledge it early enough in the day to actually find it humourous, as well as find some patience about the whole thing.  It was enough to make me thankful when I am able to get something checked off the “list”.  It really did remind me of the movie and I found the movie pretty funny.

Then I went to a movie with my niece yesterday.  B – thanks so much for the great suggestion – “Before I Fall” was a great movie.  It kept getting more and more interesting, and I found the ending of the movie to be really moving.  Before I Fall

It really made me think about what I would do if I was stuck in the endless loop of a day.  How would I change my actions or reactions?  What would I do to make the day better?  Would I lose my filter for the day, and say exactly what I thought?  Would I try to change the outcomes for those I was affecting?  I will try not to spoil the movie’s ending; I found it to be a bittersweet “feel good” ending.  And, it made me think.  

What would you do if you were challenged with having to relive the same day over and over until the outcome was as the universe intended?  

I think that many things we allow into our lives, actually are there to teach us something, and until we have learned that particular lesson, it keeps being presented again and again.  (Actually, this happens in quilting, as if you don’t get something right, you will keep getting opportunities to “Unsew”, “reverse sew” or “rip out” until we get it right.  

So we all have our own versions of “Groundhog Day”.  I hope you are able to make it through with humour and grace.  

Irish Blessings

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I hope everyone is enjoying this celebration of the Feast of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

I have a special place in my heart for Ireland.  My grandmother’s maiden name is Murphy.  Not much more Irish than that. I participated in a cycling tour of parts of Ireland almost 8 years ago.  It was an amazing trip, and I really appreciated being totally immersed in the environment, as well as enjoying the authenticity of the Irish.

Even through the rain showers (the trip was during September – most days had showers), it was amazing.  I really enjoyed the fresh air, the quaint little towns we passed through, and the welcoming nature that everyone had.  It is a spectacular place, and the landscape is breathtaking.  THe 40 shades of green – well – I think I saw them.  It was beautiful.  

This has brought me thinking about Irish Blessings.  One of my favourites:

Wherever you go and whatever you do,

May the luck of the Irish be there with you.

And here is a wonderful IRish toast for this day often accompanying some adult beverage indulgence:

Here’s to you and yours,

And to mine and ours,

And if mine and ours ever come

Across you and yours,

I hope you and yours will do

As much for mine and ours,

As mine and ours have done

For you and yours!

I do not now the authors of either.  

What blessings do you bestow on your friends and family on this celebration of Saint Patrick?  Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Three truths

I chose this from a question Lewis Howes asks of the interviewees during his podcast.  It is asking what that persons “Three Truths” are.  I explain a bit better below.  

I often listen to Lewis’ podcasts when I am travelling. Lewis interviews all sorts of people in his “School of Greatness” podcasts.  I find they make me think.  I really enjoy hearing the stories of people who others tend to look up to, and what has inspired and driven those people to achieve what they have achieved.  One of the last questions during the interviews are about the “three truths”.  (Check it out – Lewis Howes School of Greatness). 

I think about what I think are three truths to what I would want imparted to people if everything I had completed/achieved up to this point was erased, and you had to describe three truths to impart to others before you were gone from the earth.  (I don’t think I have directly translated this question correctly, but I think you get the idea.)

The first truth- choose love.  Always choose love. I think this can be one of the hardest choices.  Choose to love yourself.  And choose to love others.  

Another truth-we grow up into adults that often are scared to play, or don’t take time to.  Choose to laugh and play.  I don’t know about you, but I often have a hard time allowing myself the time to do this.  Yet any time spent doing this is joyous.  

The last truth that I think about is what is the truth in my world.  The most important things that I do in life or that I value is not the titles that have been on my business cards.  It is the people in my life.  It is the times I have spent with those people ,and even the time I spend by myself.  What is really important to my well being.  

In quilting.  Wow. Three truths.  Press.  Take the time to press.  I have allowed this to become a zen time for me too, but press.  Some of that joy can come from your friends giving you a fun ironing board cover to expand your adventure or make yourself one from some fun fabric so you smile whenever you see it.  Ironing board covers

One of the other truths I think about is to ese some of that fabric you love.  I have lots of fabric that I think needs to age before I use it.  You may have some of that also.   It’s kind of like fine wine.  It becomes more special.  However some fabric is like bad wine you let age.  You open it up and wonder what ever possessed you to purchase it as you no longer love it. That doesn’t suit your tastes any more. 

You may love that particular print with its squiggles in a pretty blue.  Or that batik that makes you sigh. Make something fun for yourself with it. Like a fun pincushion that you giggle and your heart feels warmer when you use it.  There will be more amazing fabric that you will love too.  I just had a better idea.  Make something wonderful for someone you love.  You will be giving of yourself in more ways because of it. The recipient really gets a part of you for they now have a wonderful gift from you, with something you love in it.  Below are all fabrics I love. 

The third truth that I think about with respect to quilting is that you may not love the whole process, but the most important thing is to try. And sometimes finishing something you have started can be satisfying in its own way (finished is warm).  You can choose to try to push your way through your least favourite part of the process (choose to love)  ha ha.  Or, you can do a swap with a friend by doing something for them that they don’t enjoy (maybe blocking a quilt, helping with layout, helping cut out fabric) in exchange for them binding your quilt.  Or vice versa.  There is always cash quilting as well.  Paying someone to quilt those quilt tops for you that are sitting neatly stacked in your studio, waiting patiently for their turn to shine.  

If you absolutely can’t finish something you have started, then let it have wings and maybe donate it to a group or a recycle centre that it could be used in someone else’s project.  

These are all pretty simple truths.  What would your three truths be?  

Progress on a quilt…. in a wonderful place!

I promised that I would share some of my progress after a weekend away at a wonderful B & B north of Evansburg, AB.  Rustic Ridge Ranch.  It was a really awesome time, with some fantastic friends. 

We all relaxed, ate some amazing food, and shared each other’s company while we were each creating.

I brought 4 different quilting projects with me, and one knitting project.  I will take pictures of the knitting project later – but as a side note, I love the yarn I am using.

So I brought a table runner to finish that I had started a year ago.  Well, I didn’t finish it.  I realized when I got everything laid out, I hadn’t made enough copies of part of the pattern I needed to cut some things out.

Two of the other quilting projects I brought were all block exchanges for 2 different quilts.  I was considering laying one of them out, but I knew I wouldn’t get very far at either of them.  So, I will have to find another large floor to lay them all out on to figure out the rows.  

I did bring along the quilt that I was showing in a previous post the pattern and the fabrics.  

I got all of the strip sets and other squares/ triangles cut out.  

I tried out one strip set and got it pieced and cut using the special ruler. I also got one half block together. 

I proceeded to get a strip set from the other colours done and cut out. 

I now have some half blocks from the other strip sets finished. I still have to trim all of these blocks. 

I tend to usually assembly line my quilting. I will do a bunch of sewing. Then I will go and press. The back for trimming and more sewing. As I was with some friends, I was quite excited to see how the blocks are going to start looking so I deviated from my system a bit.  I actually am finishing that it is a bit chaotic now with my project.  I am at a few different spots with several blocks.  It may take me some time to “recover” my system, but it was worth seeing some of the colour.  

All in all, I am really excited about the colour. I think It will be really fun. 

What do you think?

Projects in my immediate future….

I’ve been thinking about the kinds of projects I want to work on more for this year.  

I have a few trips planned – all around quilting.  And, the cool thing is that I can chose what I want to work on.

I think I’m getting a good balance of new projects worked on, as well as trying to finish up some UFO’s.  And, I can say that I feel more balanced about what I am accomplishing.  

If I finish up a couple more projects in the next couple of weeks that are well “seasoned”, it will definitely feel like 2017 is heading in a great direction.  

For instance, I am heading to Arizona soon to hang out with a good friend, and do some quilting.  Before I go,  I do want to get the project completed that her and I started in a class for almost a year ago.  

That project isn’t as seasoned as some others, such as the frog quilt I have been working on for the last couple of months in between other things. 

Even though the AZ project is still of a relatively young vintage, it will still be extremely satisfying to complete.  

The list of accomplishments includes a few petal bags completed that I spoke about in my last post.

I’m starting to get more excited about working on the quick curve project I mentioned in my last post.  

I looked at the fabric selection again tonight – this is definitely going to be started this weekend.  I’m really excited.  I haven’t done a “rainbow” array of colour in a quilt for quite awhile.  

I’ll give an update of progress – as it gains traction, and to really think about my process as I complete a quilt.  The past week or so – has been a bit of rumination about the project.  I’ll let you know what the next phase really is all about for me. (And it hopefully won’t be about procrastination.  )

Happy quilting!  What things are you working on these days?

Planning a new project

Happy Sunday Evening!

I have been planning a couple of new projects – One for small gift bags that can quickly go together.  

Another – where I want to try out a new ruler and associated pattern that I just received a couple of weeks ago.

I was thinking if I document how my process goes – and by the way – would love some suggestions as to how you start a project – it would be extremely helpful.  

The gift bags – are planned to be given away to several different friends – so spoiler alert if any of you are at a retreat with me this year – you may receive one of these – or a facsimile of such.  

I am using the pattern on the link Petal Bag.  It is a fun pattern – I have done it before.  I can’t find the bag I did before, but below are the pairs of fabrics that I have chosen to use.  I think they are kind of fun.  I am trying to break further into my stash.  I don’t think this is far enough…. But it’s coming.  

The other new project – a small quilt – I am considering using as a baby quilt.  (See pattern and ruler below).  

I have thought about using a light fabric for the background, and using a rainbow of colours for my rings.  I haven’t decided on what colours to use for the triangles – maybe some bright colours, maybe a couple of greys….  What would you do.

I put my current selection of fabric below.

I have found that taking photos of the fabrics together really help me see them in a different way.  Another way is to look through a door viewer / peephole.  I

Now, I ruminate on my fabric selections.  Doesn’t mean that my first selections aren’t right, but I find it a useful practice.  How do you proceed?  

I was considering using a dark fabric as a background – would be extremely dramatic, but I don’t think I want this to be too dark – especially if it ends up being a baby quilt.  

What do you think?  

Happy quilting in the week ahead!