Time for a QuiltyQuiz!

I thought we’d try this again.  Sorry to all those of you who came to visit me earlier and found the link not working.  Enjoy your day.  Scroll down to find the button to click on to start this quiz.

 

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And now for something absolutely ridiculous

Sometimes, especially 16 days into a month of daily blog posts, it is exceedingly possible to be unable to think of a single thing to say…even if a detailed list was compiled barely two weeks ago.  So when that happens, can you find it in your heart to allow the writer to be just the tiniest bit silly and to poke the a minuscule bit of fun at herself AND at those who share some of her interests?  I knew you could.  Thank you.

FYI, before you read any further, please know that I spent several hours trying to find the source of these photos so that I can give credit where credit is due.  Having said that, it’s possible (possibly probable) that I’ve gotten it wrong in some way and if I have, please contact me so that I can make sure that everyone who deserves credit for these pictures, gets it PDQ.   Merci Beaucoup.

The first two photos before were taken from a post by Kathy Mathews, who is an awesome blogger.  You should definitely spend some time checking out what she has to say over at  Quilting Sewing Creating.  I did and I’m so glad.

I think we can all relate to this!

This one is for the Presidents of Quilt Guilds everywhere, but especially for  Heather and Meghan, who preside over the Guild Meetings I attend. I betcha a FQ you guys carry on like this once or twice a month, every month.  I know I do.

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Cartoonist , Julia Icenogle has a whole collection of Quilty comics featuring the wonderful Mrs. Bobbins.  Check out  The Big Book of Bobbins   for about 1000 little giggles.   What would we do without the fabulous long arm quilters who take every wonky quilt-top  we send their way in stride and somehow get it wrangled into a perfectly flat and fabulously square quilt.  Liz, Colleen and Robin, this one is for you!

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This Pickles cartoon by Brian Crane is one that my husband (and probably yours too) can relate to.

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This one speaks to me! The source as per the picture is Txt2pic.com.  I’ve seen various versions of this one and every time I read it, I wonder what would happen (other than my husband having an apoplexy on the spot) if I did this.

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The following image was taken from Mark Lipinski’s  blog .  All I can think to say about this is Woot woot. However, I must add, it’s never, ever been too hot to quilt on PEI. And now perhaps the bad girl inside me wishes it was…..sigh.

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And finally, my own personal favourite example of  Mrs. Bobbins. (See above for credit).

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I hope one or more of these photos/cartoons made you smile.  I promise I will try harder to think of something interesting to talk about tomorrow.

 

 

Real Reality vs. Virtual Reality.

Holy Heck, Herminone,  Have you noticed we can communicate with each other via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Messenger, E-mail, Flikr, Skype, FaceTime and probably at least one hundred other social platforms that I’ve never heard of…

I’m of several minds regarding how all this technology affects me and my world.  On the one hand when I’m being honest with myself I know I spend way too much time on Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram which means I have less time to spend having actual person-to-person coffee dates with friends and newsy/gossip sessions with my besties in the real world. But, on the other hand–without Facebook and Instagram, I wouldn’t have so many virtual friends who affect and influence me in a hundred positive ways everyday and it somehow doesn’t matter that I probably will never ever meet you in person.  Do you feel like this too?

As far as Quilty things go, Pinterest and Instagram definitely influence  the way I choose projects to make.  How about you?  Back  in the day  I’d finish one project, then go to the library and borrow a quilt book, or possibly, if I was feeling fabulously flush with wealth, I’d go to the drugstore and purchase a quilt magazine;  Then I’d choose/find a pattern and start the whole quilt-making process again.  Sounds familiar (and a tiny bit old-school) doesn’t it?  One quilt at a time, start to finish…

BUT NOT NOW…Nosirree Bob, Now I almost always spend part of every day, during and  between projects poking around Pinterest, drooling and swooning at the beautiful things people dream up out of their very own heads; and questioning my talent level or lack thereof, compared to EVERYONE ELSE in the quiltiverse.  Day after day, I wonder “how did they imagine that beautiful block up?”  Do you do that too?

But here is what inevitably happens….I start something wonderful, then I see something else to love, so I start another something and  every morning Pinterest shows me some more Quilty magnificance which means I start another something and another something. It becomes overwhelming. Seriously.  Every time I start something new, something gets left behind, or pushed aside, or OMG perhaps forgotten entirely.

So in 2018, I’m making a resolution to be more mindful about how I balance real reality and virtual reality.  I want to gab with my girlfriends around the kitchen table more; I want to show and share more finished quilts both online and at my guild meetings.  I want to finish what I start and I want to love everything I do.  Seriously.

Do you find yourself in a reality/virtual reality push and pull for the 24 hours in your day?  Do you have a plan that works for you?….if so, please share in the comments.

And because every blog post, should have a picture attached to it, here is a little look at the Christmas tree that sits in our back porch every year.

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Do something creative today1

 

 

 

 

A Picture is worth a thousand words

unless it is a picture of Christmas goodies made and consumed in years past….then I think its just mean to post a picture without adding recipe words.

As a ferinstance… doesn’t this look tasty?

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Its called sponge toffee/honeycomb candy/seafoam crunch;  and OMG its simply killer simple to put together. Here is a link to the recipe that I used when I decided to have a go at it a few years back.  Ever since then, it has made an appearance annually.  I know, I know, its nothing but sugar and corn syrup and the only thing worse for me than eating this confection is knowing its out there and I’m not eating it.

If you want to be decadent about it…dip it in chocolate and you have a dang “Crunchie” chocolate bar.  Holy Heck Hermione.  Seriously it is that good.  Nope, its actually better than the real thing.

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This is December 13 and post #13 for the Third Annual 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge being hosted by Cheryl Sleboda over here.  As I’ve mentioned about 13 times now, there are about a gazillion mega-talented bloggers participating in this challenge that are all well worth a read, so you can imagine how excited I am to be part of it. Take a few minutes out of your busy day and  click on the link to check them out.  Many of these bloggers also have a home on Instagram and can be found using the hashtags  #31dayblogchallenge or #2017blogwritingchallenge.  So, Go…enjoy…..but please come back here tomorrow…Thank you.

Improv Piecing is So NOT for me.

There are many aspects of modern quilting that I can and do identify with based on the description as posted on the MQG website, which I visited to copy and paste the description below.  Thank you very very much to The Modern Quilt Guild for being such a valuable resource every day.

Modern quilts are primarily functional and inspired by modern design. Modern quilters work in different styles and define modern quilting in different ways, but several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. “Modern traditionalism” or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting.

FYI on one hand, I am undeniably a fan of functional quilts; I am known to be nuts for bold colours and funky prints, especially graphic/linear designs and text print. You should see the lime green newsprint FQ that I’m hoarding for a very special project down the road.   On the other hand,  I’m really on the wrong side of the fence when it comes to minimalism–More is ALWAYS more in my book–;  negative space makes me a Nervous Nelly.  I always want to fill it with something.  And as a matter of fact, I’m not sure what alternative grid work even means.

However, without a shred of doubt, the thing that twists my tummy into knots every time is “Improvisational Piecing”.  I have tried this method time and time again (most recently this morning) and failed in a monumental  way (as recently as this very morning…sigh)  Don’t get me wrong,  I’m a big fan of this style when someone else does it. I just cannot do it myself.  I am seriously in awe of people like Krista Hennebury and would gladly give my good scissors to have one Improv bone in my body.  But sadly I don’t.  It makes my eyelids twitch to consider slicing into a fabulous FQ without a 14 inch ruler gripped tightly in my left hand. My blood runs cold at the notion of sewing random length strips of fabric together without a pattern to refer to.  And I’d rather stick pins in my eyes (okay, that’s a bit of exaggeration) than try to  cut curved pieces without a specialty ruler. (I’m not the least bit ashamed to confess that I have at least 3 different types).  So does my lack of skill regarding Improv Quilting, or my views on any of the other styles of quilting that I don’t have in my regular repertoire mean I don’t have the right to call myself a “modern quilter”.  Nope Nope Nope, No Siree Bob.  I do make modern quilts, therefore I am a modern quilter.

I am unashamedly a Modern Traditionalist. I’m sure I was one before the quilt world coined the term.  I love love love many of the traditional blocks that I learned to quilt with and I always will. There is nothing that defines me as well as a Churn Dash block especially when it looks shiny new and fresh, boldly pieced  with with bright modern colourful fabrics…or in perfectly subtle low volume greys mixed with graphic prints. FYI, in that regard, you should definitely stay tuned here for something ahhhmazing and SECRET I’m working on and will be sharing in February.

Look below to see my most recent finish   This one was a real eye-opener for me– FYI there is no pattern for her.  I drew it on graph paper and coloured in the squares, then cut out 3.5″ squares and put them together in rows.  Sew Simple, so freakin awesome. This idea is based on a fabulous skull quilt top that Paul Leger showed us as part of a trunk show recently hosted by the PEIMQG.  If ever you get a chance to attend one of his shows, you should definitely go.  FYI, After I took this picture, I reduced her jaw by 2 rows as I thought her face was to long.  This is a big quilt.75.5 x 78.5 (approx.) I’m not sure if or when it will ever be quilted.  If I was to make this again, I would not put the grey corners on, as I think the skull would stand out a whole lot better without.  But, sadly by the time I figured that out, I was half way down the face and knew I didn’t have enough white-on-white to replace it with.  Sew, another lesson learned.

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I’m calling her Esperanza.

Which of the many characteristics of modern quilting do you identify with the most?  Why?  Show and Share in the comments, me and Ezzie would both love to see the projects you are working on in your “modern” world… or “traditional” world if that’s your thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I May Need An Intervention.

Let me begin by straight out saying that I am smitten with the on-line quilting community. You took me under your wing, encouraged my ridiculousness and every day you make me feel appreciated and valuable.  You always listen to what I’m chattering on about AND  you always offer your positive point of view about everything I’m sharing. You are officially THE BEST EVER.

So puhleeeze puhleeze puhleeze understand that what I say next is coming from a place of love and understanding and possibly desperation.

STOP having so many fabulous  On Line Sewing Bees, Sew Alongs, Mystery Quilts, Block Challenges, Blocks of the Month, and Block Swaps. SERIOUSLY STOP NOW!

I am addicted to Group Sew in all its formats;  Just like chocolate (or potato chips) I cannot take part in just one, or even two at a time. Nope, I have to sign up for everything that I click on.  Sigh….

Here is where I find myself today…

Gypsy Wife Sew Along.  I confess I chose to work a bit ahead on this one, because I made it before (also on a QAL, sigh) and therefore it wasn’t terribly scary for me.  However it did have its moments as we went along.   My sew-along group hasn’t seen yet and I hope they like it.  It is quilted and ready for binding on Saturday,nunless something else turns up.  Official reveal date is January 3, 2018.  IMG_5051.jpg

Patchwork City.  Right now I’m waiting for the quilt to come back from the Long Arm Quilter, so I can bind it and share with my on-line group.  I think I’m the last one to finish. (FYI I decided to re-jig the borders/sashing on this one, after I took the pic.  It’s really green and orange and I thought a bit more sashing might tone it down…NOT!)img_5079-1

Clue 4 of the PEIMQG Mystery Quilt came out a few days ago and FYI it was a doozy for me because there was improv piecing involved.  After much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair, a few really wicked words and a great workout with my seam ripper,  I finally got this clue all sewn up and managed to post a pic to the Linkup.  IMG_5371.JPG

A Year of Scrappy Triangles.  These are 6.5″ blocks and I’m making two of each to ensure I have enough for a quilt top this time next year….these blocks are so pretty. I’m in love every Tuesday when Sewn by Leila posts the block of the week.  The picture after the one right below is a compilation of all the blocks I’ve finished to date.  I’m making one set of bright blocks and one set of low value blocks. IMG_5378.JPG

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Wonky Stars 2018 Swap.  I signed up for this a couple months ago and last week received an email with all the details.  Thank goodness the specifics are quite straightforward.  I just have to make 14 wonky stars (any size) between now and the end of January, 2018, mail them off after that and receive 14 wonky stars from fellow swappers in February, 2018.  At this stage I have four stars put together but haven’t posted pictures of them anywhere (against the rules to do so until mid-January), so I’m posting pics of scraps left over from each completed block.  Here is one for your viewing pleasure.IMG_5384

Make a Mini – Make a Friend – This is a swap originating with the folks who put together Quilt Con 2018.  I have not revealed this finish yet, but I started it about 2 weeks ago. It is a person to person swap.  The swap fairies took all the names and matched everyone up.  This swap’s home base is on Instagram.  FYI I made a 22 x 22″ mini quilt, and Holy OMG, I machine and hand quilted it myself.  The only thing left to do on this one is adding the label.  Her name is “Formal Dress” and it’s supposed to be sent off in time to coordinate with Quilt Con  2018 dates, so I believe we are supposed to mail them to our partners at the beginning of February.  IMG_5346.JPG

Bee Inspired Year Long Quilting Bee.  This is the one that started this whole addiction and brought me to where I am today.  We are a group of 12 quilters from all over the world, who take turns monthly being Queen Bee.  I just finished the December block for this year and mailed it off.  Next month, we start all over again. I’m very excited and proud to be part of this group, because OMG the talent here is very impressive.  Every month I learn something new. IMG_5309.JPG

…and I now must confess that all the above is just a sampling of the projects I took on in 2017.  There is another one that I cannot talk about right now because its a SECRET, but I’m very excited about it….because it involves my very favourite block ever — Churn Dash — and although I cannot give too many details right now, I will be gushing and chattering and crushing on this one in early February, 2018.  So, please please come back and visit. Guaranteed you will love it too.

So my friends, whatdaya think?  Do I think I need an On-Line Sew-Along Intervention?I’m convinced I do.  Either that or I need to shut off  the Internet and stay completely away from my computer for a few weeks;  because every day someone else has a fantastic idea for groups of  like-minded people to come together and enjoy creating these beautiful fabric masterpieces.

Oh yeah before I go, I wanted to share a picture of some beautiful fabric that arrived in the mail today from The Fabric Snob….my new favourite Canadian online fabric shop.  This is definitely going to play a part in many of the projects I am planning for 2018.

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Did you do something creative today?

 

Chapter 2 0f Whiteflower Field

Just because a few folks were kind enough to say something kind, I am sharing Chapter 2…I hope you like it.

Chapter 2 – Danger, Danger

Penchance was restless this morning, as she patrolled the perimeter of the colony with her guards and advisors. New memories were surfacing in her mind every day, and had been since the Princes’ arrival 6 weeks ago. Every breeze in the air, every blade of grass, every raindrop that fell, whispered to her, Danger is coming, be ready. Today there was a frighening, metallic, smell in the air which triggered an nearly uncontrollable sence of urgency. Whatever was going to happen was almost upon them. Would she be ready? Would the colony be ready? Would Whiteflower Field still be here after she was gone?

Whiteflower Field Colony wasn’t easy to find. In fact, even one with the Memories was unlikely to find it easily. The colony made its dens beside a long forgotten cemetary, that every spring was carpeted with tiny white lilies of the valley. The flowers peeked out from under overgrown bushes and trees near the edge of the cemetary in early spring and left a beautiful frangrance everywhere. In the summer, the lilies gave way to dense clumps of white clover that grew up between the headstones. And in late fall, early mornings would find heavy white frost lingering in the shadows cast by the ruins of the church in the center of the field.

The broken down stone fence surrounding the cemetary provided ample nooks and crannies where the cats built safe, cozy dens to raise their kits. The grass was full of plump tasty fieldmice, moles and other delicious creatures to eat. There were even find wild honeysuckle bushes growing along the fence in the far corner, which some of the adult cats nibbled once in a while.

Yes, it was certainly a beautiful place and the community of cats living there when Lukas and Leopold arrived had called it home for more than 20 generations.
Penchance, of course, knew Whiteflower Field was the envy of many. Her Memories reminded her of many battles her colony had fought to defend their home. She remembered all those who crossed the bridge before she was born and all the struggles the colony underwent through the generations. As a newborn kit she survived the most terrible raid in the colony’s history. It took the lives of her father, the King, and many other cats and kits. Penchance knew, and this was a memory which she had never disclosed to anyone, until that morning six weeks ago, when she entrusted it to Lukas, that terrible times were coming again for her colony, and that every kit of the royal family would be directly affected by it.

You see, Penchance was born on the eve of that Great Raid, and her father the King had crossed the bridge before he could entrust her with his memories. Penchance had only her mother’s memories… So while she knew everything about her colony, she knew nothing of her father’s lineage and had no memories of how he, or those of his colony, protected their families and homes. Ever since she could remember, she knew she would be called to battle some undescribable enemy, and ever since she could remember, she feared she would be unable to protect her family when that day arrived.

These were her thoughts..as she made her away from guard post to guard post. Suddenly, over in the corner by the honeysuckle bushes, she saw George, the kindly old ginger tomcat who carried Leopold to them. He was hunkered down close to the ground, ears close to his head, eyes staring straight ahead, not moving, barely breathing. What was he looking at? Could he see the danger she felt all around her? A scout came swiftly back to them, purring rapidly, tail twitching. There are humans on the old lane, 5 of them that we can see. They are on the way to the ruins of the church. They don’t appear dangerous, but we must be on guard. Penchance nodded. She must get to the ruins before them. This was the day that Bella was going to bring the kits out of her den in the steeple of the old church. The kits would be playing there and would be in grave danger any minute now.

Penchance called out to George. “Go. Now. Find Lavender and tell him he must return today.” “I fear an unknown danger has befallen our colony and I seek his guidance.” Without asking a single question, George turned and together with 3 of the scouts, trotted out of the cemetary, heading north down a pathway know only to a few, towards the City, where Lavender had gone less than 10 days earlier.

Penchance virtually flew across the cemetary towards the ruins in the centre of Whiteflower Field. She could hear the humans, talking and laughing as they made their way to their destination. One of them, a female, had stopped and picked some of the Lilies of the Valley and they were entwined in her hair. In her arms she carried a bouquet of dozens more of these tiny flowers. The other female carried a smaller bundle and one of the males had a tiny sprig tucked into the lapel of his jacket.

As the humans approached the ruins, they stopped laughing and talking, and one of them, the oldest male, brought a tattered book out of his pocket. He spoke quietly to the younger humans pointing and gesturing towards the ruins. All nodded soberly and the males headed towards the raised area near the front of the ruin. One of them took an instrument out of his pocket and raised it to his lips. A female opened her mouth and filled the cemetary with song. Penchance stopped in her tracks. What was this? It was such a beautiful, sad sound the two humans were making together and it echoed off the walls of church and seemed to bring it to life. How could anyone who could make such a glorious sound be dangerous. Or was this part of the danger?

Bella and the kits heard the flute song too. The kits had been jumping around, attacking each other and playfighting with their shadows since dawn. Luke and Leo knew this was the day they were going to leave the den’s safety for the first time and go outside. They just couldn’t wait another second. Both of them scrambled out of the den, and down the stairs, towards the sound. Stop boys, take cover, cried Bella, but it was too late. Just as Penchance stepped over the threshold, Luke and Leo tumbled into the main body of the ruin and landed at the feet of one of the human males.

What’s this, he called out…Look Fred, look, two kittens…It seems like there will be a couple more witnesses to your wedding to Margo today. Fred smiled, This was a definitely a very good omen. He reached down, and before either could move, scooped them both up and popped them inside his uniform jacket. Luke and Leo almost stopped breathing they were so frozen with fear. They had never even heard tell of humans before and didn’t like being inside that pocket, not one bit. It was very dark in there, and it smelled of…peppermint. While it didn’t feel dangerous exactly, it definitely didn’t feel right.

Fred stepped towards the altar, with the kittens still motionless inside his jacket. He smiled tenderly at Margo as she walked towards him. At that moment Fred didn’t care if he was in a strange country, training to fly an airplane full of bombs into battle with a terrible enemy. That was tomorrow. Today he was going to be blessed and bound forever to the woman he loved. Margo and Fred knew this ceremony was foolish. They knew that Fred was leaving tonight on a very dangerous mission across the English channel. They knew he might never come back. Many had gone before and few came back safely. They knew this was the only chance they’d have to be married for a long time to come. Making a decision Fred took both kittens from his jacket, handed them to the minister and said, “We didn’t have enough time or money to purchase rings. Please bless these kittens and they will be what binds us to each other until we are together again”.

The minister thought for a moment, then nodded his head in agreement. These were terrible times, there might not be a future for anyone after today. Why not let these two young lovers bind themselves together in whatever manner was available to them. He silently blessed the two kittens, then taking Leo, handed him to Fred, saying…this kitten serves as a living token of your love for Margo. Do you entrust him to Margo this day, to care for and love, just as she loves you? Yes, I do. I love Margo with all my heart and know she will watch over this kitten and me always. Frank responded happily and handed the kitten gently to Margo.

Then taking Lukas, the minster turned to Margo and said Will you entrust this kitten to Fred, as a token of your love for him, knowing he will nurture it and care for it just as he plans to do for you. O yes, I will love him always as I love him today whispered Margo and handed Lukas carefully to Fred. The minister then declared “Although you begin your lives together at a dangerous time, you have promised in God’s house, and in the presence of his creatures, to love each other and have agreed to care for these helpless creatures as proof of your love for one another.” I now declare to all those present and to all England, that you two are now one in the eyes of God. So it was done.

Penchance and Bella remained motionless and horrified in one dark corner of the ruin. What were these humans going to do with the colony’s young princes. Surely they would put them down as soon as the ceremony was over. But no, they did not. The humans kissed each other, the female tossed her bundle of flowers towards the other female and then they all ran down the aisle of the ruin, outside and across the cemetary. What was going on? Where were they taking the princes?

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