Sunday 24 January 2016

One Mans Junk

Once upon a summers night in 2015 the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild held their first yardsale. (You can read all about it here.) The peeps cleaned and gutted their scrap bins, purged their stashes and drug it all out to the meeting place and set up shop. What a fun evening...we hooted, hollered, laughed and emptied our piggy banks into the hands of the sellers. I lugged home 17$ worth of random textile goodness from Adrienne over at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts.

There were fat quarters, half meters, triangles, and scraps of every size and shape imaginable in my bag o'loot.  Oh... and of every print imaginable too. I brought it home but never got around to amalgamating the fresh haul into my stash. And so it sat and sat in the bag.  One day I started playing with it...I sewed up long strips of those already cut triangles without purpose. Another day I started making slabs of scrappy bits without much though of arriving at any particular destination. Without any real plan for the goods I ended up putting that bag away and almost forgot about it. Almost. But a couple days ago, an idea came out of nowhere and blindsided me. A spark suddenly caught and a fire grew.

It grew.

And grew.

And now, it's going off on a little trip to grow some more.

I have always loved the idea of a round robin quilt building project and in the Stashpocalypse spirit of "using only what we have" (as per the manisfesto) fellow stash buster Anja, over at Anja Quilts, has agreed to take a shot at the pile of "junk" and add something to it. I will bring her all the bits and chunks in the pile along with the center medallion (which now measures 32.5" × 42") and set her loose with only one rule:

She can ONLY use the junk in the bag. As now proclaimed in cloth 100% of the fabric in this flimsy has to come out of that original 17$ investment. Nothing can be added to the pile unless it once belonged to Adrienne. (Perhaps it's worth noting that now might be a good time to break into her sewing room to swipe a little more currency in the low volume department? It took every square inch in the bag to piece the background around all those letters, there's not one bit left in that bag and only slivers in my trash can.)

Perhaps you, dear reader, might like a turn playing in the heap of cloth? Let me know. When Anja is done adding her two cents worth the flimsy is going to need to go somewhere with a fresh set of eyes to build on some more patchwork.

Seriously. This is going to be a blast!   

Monday 18 January 2016

Four Patch For Patch

A 4 patch improv sampler for Patch.

How's that?

Remember the fun little sampler I showed you last week freezing in the garden? It was a prototype for the Intro To Improv class I'll be teaching at Patch, in Halifax, in February. It's made up of four "patches" or maybe they're just blocks, but that doesn't make for a catchy lil blogpost title does it? 

Sampler 4 Patch, the 1st edition: a prototype in Kona

Sampler 4 Patch, the 2nd edition: a breath of spring in the dead of winter.

I made it again in fabrics that Chris, the shop owner, chose from her oh-so-handsome stock for the class sample. (She has SO many gorgeous fabrics on her shelves...all the trendy, super-fun stuff I keep seeing popping up on my Instagram feed is there!) This time round I took lots of process photos so I could make notes for potential students. Notes. Yes. She thought notes would be helpful.

It's hard to write a pattern for improv, because there's no pattern. Nothing is measured, everything is eyeballed and at the whim of the cutter. So I took photos. Lots of photos. And then I attempted to put them into a build a tutorial...sorta.

This exercise was really an expose on my computer skills, or lack thereof.  Jeez Louise. Not hard to tell that I do not rely on Office programs for my job. I figured it out...sort of...but it ain't pretty. My formatting skills leave a lot to be desired really. Oh. And, did I mention I forgot to take pictures of Block One? Not to worry...I'll figure something out for that blunder. That's exactly what an improv brain does, it figures stuff out as it goes along.

Oh well, at least the pictures will speak for themselves...and I'm pretty sure they're in the right order. It's a darn good thing I like to talk so the students will get the up close, rambling, hands-on account of how I made each block and then joined them altogether.  

A four hour workshop sure does take a lot of hours of prep time...
if you're me. I hope you're not me. The world can't handle too many of us.

Thinking about giving improv a try? Come play with me in February!
I promise my improv skills are far superior to my computer skills!!

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Wordless Wednesday

Ok, well you know that's a hard one for me. 
So let me just say these few words:

I am glad I remembered socks today.

And these few words:

Why the hell are my top 2 pictures blue? 

Sunday 10 January 2016

The Sunday Morning After

I know what you're thinking. But let me explain.

Last night I was high as a kite when I went to bed, but not in the way you might think. I was high on the rush of not one, but TWO finishes in one day! So you know that I was just as high this morning when I got up. It's not everyday that I start and finish two projects. Sadly, I have no process photos to show you, my phone was out of reach when my brain was on fire and by now you all know that I can't stop for anything when I get in that state of "must-get-idea-out-now".

So intoxicated was I still this morning that I just had to get outside to take pictures to share with you guys first thing.

Like right away.

Before coffee.

Before feeding the springy things.

Before clothes even.

Socks might have been a good idea. But there's that little problem of not stopping when I'm all "must-get-that-idea-out-now".

Apparently that applies to picture taking too.
Stopping is overrated.
Even on freezing Sunday mornings.

I can feel my toes again now. And, the magical machine in the kitchen has beeped to signal that the Brown Holy Water is ready for consumption.
This is going to be a good day.

This is the best hangover ever.

Thursday 7 January 2016

Throwing Back For Jen

It's Thursday, and Jen over at A Quarter Inch From The Edge has asked to see some of the bygones, the unblogged, the quilts of prezzies past...I gave this one to my Mum a few years ago. She took such good care of me when my jaw was broken and I was all wired up that I wanted to do something really special for her in return.

I saw this sampler pattern by Liz Lister in a McCall's Christmas Quilting magazine. Had to make it...I loved all the wee scrappy bits, different blocks and the challenge of all those pretty points. The design pleased was not symmetrical, didn't have sashing (I hate sashing), the blocks were all different sizes, and while there was a lot of repetitive sewing of triangles the fabrics were not repetitive so I managed... but mostly, it pleased me because there is movement. This design begs your eye to travel, to look at all the little things that make it whole yet are independent in colour and form. It was simply beautiful. I had no plan of making mine in Christmas fabrics simply because at the time I was having a love affair with the civil war reproduction earth tones, warm and cozy...yum.

Truth be told I still have affection for all those fabrics, colours and patterns though rarely use them anymore. And it's a damn good thing I still kinda like them...surviving the Stashpocalypse is going mean bringing some of those oldies back into the limelight. Dear Dog. Brace yourself...anything could happen around here this year. It's all stash afterall, and I paid top dollar for all those meters too.

Maybe Ma will end up with another quilt...or seven. Yeah, it's like that.
Holy boat load of earth toned textiles, Batman! Such testament to a long ago (perhaps better left forgotten) era! Rumor has it we'll love polyester again too one day...anything can happen I suppose if certain designers say it's "the thing", but if quilts start turning up bearing patchwork stitched of spandex, I'm out. Just sayin'....   Pay all you want for those tights, Lulu...but they'll  never upcycle like a good plaid shirt or your grandpoppys tie.

And, while we're tossing around old pictures and memories...have a look at this one taken right around the same time! My Springy Things, all of them; unusually still, in one photo, laying down as if they weren't springy things at all...ready to do the Hokey Pokey or begin a new round of "Rah-Rah-Wreck-The-Place!" Pictures like this are rare...well, maybe not rare like hens teeth but certainly uncommon, like the elusive blue lobster. Let me clarify too, when I say "all of them", I mean: all of them at that moment...there were no "squatters" here at that time as I had taken time off from the rescue world to heal.

These dogs,
Old Dog, Blind Dog and Stupid Dog,
Brought and continue to bring so much love and laughter, and dirt, into our home.
Now we are two.
Old Dog left us behind in 2013 but she's not really gone....

Art is a wonderful thing.
Thank Dog for art...
and the talent of neighbour, friend & dog loving artist Sarah Irwin.

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Something To Kvell Over

Imagine getting up in the morning, pouring a cuppa, sitting down to catch up on the notifications of the morning and finding this as the word of the day! I barely slept last night. A combination of "brain-on-fire" and just wanting to stare at my evenings work...

I love new words and I love that app on my Samsung devices that delivers me a new word everyday at 8am like clock work. This was absolutely the perfect verb for me today. You see, yesterday I finished the patchwork for Project: Kona Nerds, Unite!. With a bit of help from Voodoo Duck I pinned and stitched that long final seam that would finally marry the two halves of the flimsy. Talk about Monday night excitement!

Today I put on the borders. And gave it a final pressing....and though I had been racing the sunset to finish in time for an outdoor photo, I ran out of daylight. I so wanted to capture this outside so you could really see all that Kona Kandy in its glory, but the short January day would not hear of it. The bottom and left side borders are Ultra Marine. The top and right side borders are not brown like this silly photo suggests, they're purple...Hibiscus to be exact. All the colours are falling flat indoors, the only brown in the entire flimsy is found in the Chocolate block. This is why I wanted to get some pictures outside on that crisp white snow. Picture it...aah, yes.... Maybe another day this week will cooperate.

Now the question becomes: how do I quilt this monster? It's a big quilt coming out at 81"×100". In fact, the size makes it hard to photograph inside as I just don't have a spot to lay it out properly, here I moved my table and chairs to try the lighting in the kitchen in hopes the colours might translate better, but no. I disturbed all that roving dog hair under the table for nothing. It's also hard to take photos that show the top part as well as the bottom...the angle is annoying.

So, by now you might be wondering...Who Made What?

 JUNGLE by Lynne Tyler, New Hampshire, blogs at The Patchery Menagerie
 WASABI by Adrienne Klenk, Nova Scotia, blogs at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts
 POPPY & FOG by Dominique Gallant, Nova Scotia, blogs at The Running Thimble
 BLACK by Katina Chapman, of Nova Scotia
 HIBISCUS & COAL by Linda Smith, Nova Scotia, blogs at Scrapmaster
 TORCH & KALE by Anja Clyke, Nova Scotia, blogs at Anja Quilts
 BLUEGRASS & CANARY  by Jennifer, Kentucky, blogs at Little Black Cat Quilts
 CHINESE RED by Gale Bulkley, Ontario, blogs at Gale and The Scale
 AQUA by Heather Jarmyn, Prince Edward Island
 SKY by Susan Boudreau, Nova Scotia
 GRAPEMIST by Dena Emaneau, Nova Scotia
 POOL by Krista Fraser, Nova Scotia
 CITRUS by Aimee Semel, Nova Scotia, blogs at Candy Coated Quilts
 CHOCOLATE by Beth McKay, Nova Scotia

All the other blocks and bits are my own.

Now...about that roving dog hair...somebody pass the sticky roller!

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

Saturday 2 January 2016

Through My Rose Coloured Glasses

Plugging away on Project: Kona Nerds, Unite! this week...sewing, cutting, slicing, dicing, scratching my head...I felt ultra-ambitious Friday afternoon, bored with making straight lines and filling holes. So I got out my pencil, some Steam-a-Seam Lite and I played. Before I knew it, this had happened....

The glasses were a Google image clip art that I printed out at 195% and the letters were sketched, traced in reverse and then fused in place. I stitched the letters down first and then happily zig-zaged my lil heart out to attach those super cute glasses on top. 

So now the bottom half sits here:

Things are really getting close, through my rose coloured glasses I can see unity in the palm of my hand. A lot of these units are sewn now, I think I'm going to end up a half inch too wide...which is easy to remedy! Chop, chop! Just 4 more chunks of joining patchwork are necessary to bring me to that final seam of flimsy-finishing-glory.

Friday 1 January 2016

The Stashpocalypse Is Upon Us

Well, well, we are...2016.
A brand new year...clean slate...still water just waiting for some one to jump in and splash it all up. 

I'm jumping right in with Jen over at  A Quarter Inch From The Edge who has written the manifesto and decreed that 2016 be The Year of the Stash. You might want to check it out...and if your cupboards look anything like mine do, go ahead & get on board and for Dogs sake, buckle your seatbelt. This textile-limiting-train is far too easy to jump off; we're gonna require 5 point harnesses, blinders, nose plugs, ear plugs, mittens...anything at all that will prevent the sights, sensations, scents and sounds that induce the need to go fabric shopping.

Because I'm not a dip-your-toe-kinda-girl, I'm going to forego all the nice & polite promises to use up my stash and really lay it out for ya...I'm just gonna tell it like it is. The horror that is facing me on this first day of the new year is what I call "The Stashpocalypse". 

Friends, I am fighting demons. Demons that claw away all my sense & sensibility, that blind me to the numbers that the Visa statements attempt to proclaim and that rob my homes every hidey-hole of the possibly for non-textile storage. The shelves sag, the stacks of fat quarters topple and the scrap buckets overflow...I can bear it no longer. 

The madness ends today.
This ain't gonna be pretty.
I will whine and cry...and perhaps stomp off occasionally.
It may be necessary to isolate myself from non-demon-fighting-sewists.
I will clearly need to self medicate and mend my shattered spirit with "spirits"of another variety.
I may slip off to the darkside occasionally to gather provisions that will make surviving the Stashpocalypse possible...thread, Kona and the odd bit to finish a stash based project.
I will overcome.
I am ready to fight my demons.