Wednesday 26 August 2015

It's A Jungle Out There

So many blogs. So many designers. So many perspectives. Navigating through social media and the digital age of quilting seems overwhelming sometimes but I love it. I love that inspiration is right there at the touch of a button. I never know when I click on a link to a quilty blog what I might find...what treasures will be waiting for me?

A few years ago I stumbled on to a blog called The Patchery Menagerie written by Lynne Tyler.  I was amazed at how she approached her work and more, I was happy that she shared the process. I was in awe of her ability to create without a pattern. This was my first introduction to the world of free piecing. Without knowing it this lady became my mentor and teacher, I ate up every post and studied every picture. Eventually my brain caught fire and exploded with my very own improv projects; first the Izz-A-Boo quilt and then The Purple Cow...letters began showing up in a lot of my work.

I was hooked. Done. Like. Dinner.

JUNGLE from Lynne Tyler of The Patchery Menagerie 

When I started talking about Project: Kona Nerds, Unite! I hoped to gather all sorts of blocks from all sorts of people and I couldn't have been happier when Lynne agreed to build me a block. Having a piece of Lynne in this quilt, even though she is by no means a Kona Nerd, is very special. Without her this project might never have happened. She lit my fire when my traditional tendencies were smouldering out...she gave me permission to play and I'm so glad she played along!

Monday 24 August 2015

Meanwhile, in Newfoundland...

You didn't really think I was going to go all this time without giving you a recap & a lil quilt fix did ya?

While we vacationed in Newfoundland to visit my family we took a little side trip to spend a day on Fogo Island. This magical place has demanded a promise for further exploration in the future because one day was simply not enough. In our short time there I did however manage to scrounge up a few bits of noteworthy quilty goodness to share with you from that beautiful corner of the earth. *Fun Fact: Brimstone Head on Fogo Island is actually considered one of the 4 corners of the earth by members of the Flat Earth Society.

This wall of quilts made for simply marvelous eye candy on board the car ferry that travels the short distance to and from Fogo.... it's made of 8 panels that depict traditional Newfoundland culture, scenery and life. The tiny details were wonderful and I really enjoyed having the time to look closely at the work while we sailed to the Island. The makers of the quilts did a fine job...I have "a thing" for salt cod and that little detail  included on 2 of the panels made me squeal with delight!

And this vintage shamrock quilt found on a museum bed on Fogo made the one that is tattooed on the back of my neck tingle with possibilities. Clearly I've got to explore this idea a little more too...

A few days later we set out for a drive in search of some new scenery. I found this humble quilt on a bed of Random Passage fame. Random Passage was a mini series filmed in Newfoundland several years back. The village was constructed to historically replicate an early settlement of the late 1800's. The film set buildings are perched on the banks of a resettled outport, nothing of the actual original community exists to tell the story of this place or its people except for two root cellars. I'm looking forward to watching the series & reading the book upon which it was based now that I've been inside all the buildings.  It is open each year for tourists and is a rather neat place to visit if you're headed toward Trinity or Bonavista. The colours of this patchwork were interesting...I suppose fabric dyes would have been rather limited back then, this one was made of woolen cloth.

I couldn't possibly share with you even half of the the moments from this trip. We had a fantastic time and were all more-than-a-little sad to come home. Should you ever have an opportunity to visit this North Atlantic gem of a stone for Cod's sake, do it!

Time spent on this Rock is time well spent!

Gravity Project: Shades of Grey

All those beautiful, colourful blocks full of Kona Kandy had to be framed up with something...I guess grey seemed like a good choice to Jaybird Quilts. It certainly works well and really let's them shine.

These pieces were challenging to me only because when I was ready to cut them I was suffering the ill effects of squashed ribs and soft tissue damage caused by my motorcycle accident. It literally brought tears to my eyes when I tried to cut them with the rotary cutter so I had no choice but to keep the cutting sessions short and self medicate with chocolate and whiskey.

But, perseverance pays off every time.
N'uff said.

 Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts for the Gravity Quilt-A-Long! 

Saturday 8 August 2015

Gravity Project : Voyage

The 9th block! The final block was a piece of cake. Nothing troubling or out of ordinary here. Just a satisfying feeling of completion that faded as soon as I started thinking about all those boring shades of grey diamonds that were coming up next...I was almost sad to have come to the end of all those fabulous shades of Kona Kandy.

Myra of Busy Hands Quilts, who is hosting this Quilt-A-Long, let me know yesterday that I won the prize for Block 8's draw. A $35 gift certificate from Pink Door Fabrics and a pattern of my choice from Cluck Cluck Sew. Woot!! So exciting!  Thank you! I'll have to sit down and figure out what to choose from all those yummy fabrics and beautiful patterns.

Speaking of a Voyage...we're heading off on a road trip to visit family in Newfoundland this afternoon. Hoping to find a quilt shop or two along the way...maybe we'll spy a moose, or better yet get a taste of one! Looking forward to some fun and relaxation...but the 24 hours in the truck/ferry/truck it'll take to get "home"? Not so much.

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts for the Gravity Quilt-A-Long! 

Tuesday 4 August 2015

About That Lipstick...

First you need an idea. Then you need a sketch. Or several sketches til you get it just right. I thought my first lips looked a bit like a weird bat of some strange sort so I tried again. And again.

Then you need some spray adhesive to put down that first applique, it keeps the stiffness down to a minimum. I hold the piece down in my waste paper basket to contain the mess of overspray. I personally hate the feel of fusible's just like cardboard when you get a lot of layers. Stitch around the lips with a small tight satin stitch through a heavy stabilizer. I never applique without a stabilizer of some's a little rule of mine. Imagine. I've admitted it: I have rules!

Then you trace your letters in reverse on fusible web, cut em out and press them on. Here I used Steam A Seam Lite which was not terribly stiff and did a good job at holding those little letters in place. Lot's of intricate stitching gets the job done...stitch, pivot, stitch pivot...minutes seem like hours. Thank God for that little Pfaff 4.2 QE feature that lifts the foot every time you ease up on the pedal...that's a brilliant idea! Who ever the genius was that came up with that idea deserves a medal!

The worst part is pulling off the stabilizer. I hate this part. Just like in paper piecing, you've gotta get that stuff off. Painstakingly slow, but applique without it isn't easy or peazy.

 A quick press and we're ready for a smooch!

Linking up with Lorna over at Let's Bee Social! 

Monday 3 August 2015

Project: Kona Nerds, Unite! -- The List

Are you wondering which Kona colour names are already made?

Here are the ones I know for certain are taken:

Sour Apple
Chinese Red

That's not a lot of blocks considering there are 303 to chose from! If you haven't gotten in on the fun yet, it's not too late! I've extended the deadline to the end of August.

C' a girl out!

The Google Gremlins Strike Again!

Remember a while back when I mentioned that every once in a while one of my photos gets magically transformed out in cyberspace and lands itself discreetly back in the photo folder looking fabulous next to the original?  While I'm certain there is sound, technically based reasoning for this phenomenon I can't help but blame it on the Google Gremlins. I swear they play with this Samsung Tablet while I'm not paying attention.

It happened again today! I just got home and eagerly grabbed this tablet to take a peek at all my pictures from the weekend. Today I was boating with good friends in Halifax Harbour and took LOTS of pictures. I was the photographer for our excursion around the bay. On route back to the Bedford Basin from McNabs Island I captured a few shots of Theodore Tugboat. He was a much loved character of ours when Not-So-Little PurpleBoots was a Little PurpleBoots...we read books and watched television programs that were written about this fella. Clearly The Gremlins like him too...

They also appear to have loved yesterdays picture of this mare and her foal that we saw at the barn in the Annapolis Valley where my friend boards her horses. We were out riding our motorcycles and Beth wanted to stop to check on her horse whose foot is giving him some grief. What a lovely moment...this foal was about a month old; several babies were around at the farm, they are just so cute. Clearly the Google Gremlins have a soft spot for equestrian cuteness too...

It was a great holiday weekend here in Nova Scotia, the weather was perfect and I am glad to have gotten out and enjoyed every minute of it with good friends. It was a good thing too, had I not, those Gremlins just wouldn't have had anything to do.