STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Sunday, February 10, 2019

On My Bookshelf


I guess there's one good thing this bitterly cold weather is good for... reading! We're into February now, so that's progress. However winter could hurry along and I wouldn't be one bit sad. I'm trying to ignore the cold weather and snowstorms and just immerse myself in good books, quilting projects, comfort foods and Netflix! That's my solution to a long cold winter...   :)
So what have you been reading lately? I am waaaay behind on book reviews, don't know if I'll ever catch up! Today I'll share with you four recent reads by the same author- Gilly Macmillan. After several "bookworm friends" told me I had to read What She Knew, I took their advice and wasn't disappointed. I read her next three as soon as I could get my hands on them: The Perfect Girl, Odd Child Out, and I Know You Know, and I'm sure I'll be reading The Nanny when it comes out this year.
What She Knew, set in Bristol England, tells the story of an eight year old boy's disappearance and the ensuing search for him. His mother Rachel tries desperately to not fall apart as hours and days pass with no signs of her son Ben. Everyone surrounding Ben becomes suspect, from Rachel's newly married ex and his wife, to Rachel's "perfect" sister, to eventually Rachel herself. Macmillan does a fine job of convincing you the reader that you know "who did it," as each character comes under the harsh glare of suspicion. The story is told by Rachel and by lead detective Jim Clemo. I felt like I was in the middle of the police investigation, complete with the use of social media posts concerning the case. The characters are solid, and one cannot help but feel sympathy for what Ben's family are going through, understanding their angst. What parent could not relate? I know this is an over used line but I truly found it hard to put this book down. The chapters are short, which made it so easy to keep telling myself "just one more chapter..." An impressive debut novel. Of the four, I enjoyed it the most.

 From the book jacket of The Perfect Girl: "Zoe Maisey is a seventeen-year-old musical prodigy with a genius IQ. Three years ago, she was involved in a tragic incident that left three classmates dead. She served her time, and now her mother Maria, is resolved to keep that devastating fact tucked far away from their new beginning, hiding the past from even her new husband, and demanding Zoe do the same.Tonight Zoe is giving a recital that Maria has been planning for months. It needs to be the performance of her life. But instead, by the end of the evening, Maria is dead.
In the aftermath, everyone - police, family, Zoe's former solicitor, and Zoe herself - tries to piece together what happened. But as Zoe knows all too well, the truth is rarely straightforward, and the closer we are to someone, the less we may see." A good read as well but it just didn't seem to hold my attention like the first one did.

 Odd Child Out, Macmillan's third novel is the second to feature Detective Jim Clemo, back from a compulsory leave after the Ben Finch case. From the book jacket: "Best friends Noah Sadler and Abdi Mahad have always been inseparable. But when Noah is found floating unconscious in Bristol's Feeder Canal, Abdi can't- or won't- tell anyone what happened.
Just back from mandatory leave following his last case, Detective Jim Clemo is now assigned to look into this unfortunate accident. But tragedy strikes, and what looked like a simple case of a prank gone wrong soon ignites into a public battle. Noah is British. Abdi is a Somali refugee. And social tensions have been rising rapidly in Bristol. Against this background of fear and fury, two families fight for their sons and the truth. Neither of them know how far they will have to go, what demons they will have to face, what pain they will have to suffer. Because the truth hurts."
I found this novel more engaging, more suspenseful. Macmillan has again developed her characters well and family dynamics and secrets play a role in the tension between the two families. Racial tensions and prejudice stirred up by a reporter, and Abdi's subsequent disappearance make the case more difficult. Just what did happen that night at the canal?  Another novel very difficult to put down...

I Know You Know, the story of two Bristol murder cases twenty years apart, is truly a "whodunnit" with lots of twists and unexpected turns to keep you guessing until the end. Cody Swift returns to Bristol to launch his own investigation into the murder of his two childhood best friends, eleven- year-olds Charlie Paige and Scott Ashby whose bodies were dumped near a dog racing rack. Although someone had been convicted of the crime, Swift was not convinced the case was truly solved. Lingering questions and doubts compel him to take matters into his own hands, hoping to find answers and uncover missed evidence. When another body is found in the same location, old files must be opened to see if the two cases are connected. The clock is ticking...
Another suspenseful story, it held my attention to the very end. If you haven't read any of Gilly Macmillan's novels, do give them a try, but if you read at night in bed as I do, and you have to get up early, maybe you should wait until the weekend, as I'm sure you'll find it hard to put the book(s) down and turn off the light.. don't say I didn't warn you...

What have you read recently that you found hard to put down?

Peace,
Linda

My favourite game is called "How many chapters can I read in one night?"

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Winter Blossom

The winter solstice is long past, and we've survived Blue Monday. Spring is only 56 days away!! Okay, we know it'll be longer than that until spring really appears, but after a much-too-early start to winter, I'm hoping spring will arrive earlier than usual  too... a girl can hope, right?!
As my perennial beds slumber away under their warm thick quilt of snow, I am dreaming of the blossoms to come. Until then, I'll make my own blossoms in my studio. It's the next best thing!

I'm so happy today to be a "detour" on the Island Batik Getaway Blog Hop. If you're visiting here for the first time, as part of the hop, welcome! (I hope you'll linger a bit and have a look around.) If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read on. Island Batik is a manufacturer, importer and distributor of cotton and rayon batik fabrics and hand-printed cottons from Indonesia. (You can read more about the company here.) A number of very talented quilters act as ambassadors for Island Batik - several times a year they receive the new collections of IB fabrics to work with, and each month they show the projects they have created, on their blogs. Twice a year (January and August), there is a blog hop to showcase all these beautiful fabrics and the creations that have been made by the ambassadors. The Island Batik Getaway Blog Hop runs from January 7- February 2. You can read more about it here and see the list of all the participating ambassadors. Be sure to visit each one (yes you can still go back and see all those who have already posted in the first two weeks, it's now into week 3.) Best of all, there are some giveaways so be sure to leave comments to enter!

This is the Blossom collection. 

To be very clear, I am NOT an Island Batik ambassador, but my friend Karen at Sew Karen-ly Created IS! Last fall, I asked her what she did with all her leftover batik scraps... "You DON'T throw them OUT, do you?!" I said, with a degree of horror in my voice...  (I cannot understand how anyone could throw out their scraps of such beautiful fabrics, although I know many quilters do... ahem..I may have been known to rescue said beautiful scraps from waste baskets after workshops.) My question no doubt led to Karen asking me several months later if I'd be interested in receiving her scraps from the collection Blossom, which was her assigned fabric collection for this Hop. You see, Karen knows my passion is making miniatures. She told me her plan was to use up as much of the collection as she could, but I was welcome to whatever leftover scraps there were if I wanted to make a miniature from them, and show it on her day of the hop, so that's how this came about. You know I said YES! 
Figuring out my design... one at a time...

The wheels were beginning to turn... Karen told me she was going to do something with the hexagon shape and that the collection was called Blossom. I quickly decided I too would do hexies, not with EPP, but the "modern hexagon" approach. (If that sounds like Greek to you, you can visit a previous post here for an explanation of modern hexagons and how they're done.) Karen is always on the ball, and had a good deal of her piecing done before Christmas so she sent me some scraps in early December. She did send me a few partial shots of her design/partly-put-together quilt which helped with those slowly turning wheels, but I didn't reveal to her what I was planning. 
Masking tape and a ruler's edge keep it all straight.





 


Then Christmas consumed all my "free time" (Ha! What woman has free time in December?!) and I didn't get going on this until early January. Still with no concrete plan on paper, I set about making little 1/2" hexies. I made about 175, and then started playing with a design. At this point, Karen still had no idea what I was planning, other than using up her scraps. Once I had it pretty well laid out, I asked for more purples and the yellow for centres. Canada Post came through and I had her envelope in a few days (last week.) We do not live in the same province; we're only about 3 hours apart, but neither of us had time to simply "pop by." Finally she sent me a few quick shots of parts of her quilt and I revealed to her my rough design, laid out on my cutting board (photo above.) But she has not seen the end result- she will see the finished quilted miniature this morning for the first time. I can't wait for her response!











So... here it is. I'm calling it "Winter Blossom." It is 12.5" square.
Without a good straight-on shot of her quilt, I tried to do a representation of hers- not identical, as I did not receive scraps of all the fabrics, and had very limited amounts of most. I thought, when I saw her photos, that she had several blossoms "falling off the edge" so I did the same. Turns out I was wrong about hers, but although it caused me a little grief in the finishing, I'm glad I did it this way... adds a bit more interest I think.











Here are the details. The 166 hexies are 1/2" (measured on a straight side) and are 1" in diameter. The overall quilt size is 12.5" square. The hexie fabrics are from Island Batik's Blossom collection, the background fabric which I also used for the backing and the facing, is called Almond, from the Neutrals collection. It is quilted with 50 wt. Aurifil #3840 French Lilac. Love my Aurifil thread!


Whoops! I had already removed some of the tissue paper before taking this photo

My spiral lines, quilted with the walking foot  are 3/8" apart. I googled spiral images and found a clockwise Archimedean spiral which printed out to 1/2" spacing. I wanted 3/8" (the distance from the edge of my walking foot to my centred needle) so I printed it at 75% and it came out just perfect. Whew! I traced the first few rounds of the spiral on white tissue paper, pinned it onto the quilt and stitched through the tissue paper, then just continued keeping the edge of the walking foot along the previous stitching.






Spirals are not hard, but the beginning must be done slowly and carefully to keep the curve smooth. You may be able to see  I used a shorter stitch length at the beginning of the spiral.









I chose to face rather than bind the piece. This was my first time doing a quilt facing! Of course the two "irregular sides" made me stop and think "how do I do this?" I made a prototype first to be sure what seemed so straightforward in my mind would actually work. (It did! :)) Nothing like giving yourself a little extra challenge when you're down to the wire! All stitching was done on my home machine, a Bernina 1260 Quilters Edition.



If you haven't already visited Karen's blog - you will want to see her full size quilt - you can find her here. A big THANK YOU to Karen for persuading me to join in the fun with this blog hop. Bouquets of blossoms to you, my dear! Of course I must say a thank you to Island Batik as well for their wonderful fabrics and to Aurifil for producing such fabulous thread.








Thanks so much for stopping by today, I hope you have enjoyed reading about my little miniature adventure with Karen. I'd love for you to leave me a comment below and tell me where you're visiting from.









Now you must continue hopping along to the next blog in line and that's Leanne at Devoted Quilter. 
She also used the Blossom collection. If you wish to "hop backwards" to visit other ambassadors' Blog Hop posts, you can find the complete list with links here. Have fun!
I am also linking to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River.


Piece,
Linda

"The color of springtime is in the flowers; the color of winter is in the imagination."
~ Terri Guillemets



Monday, January 21, 2019

Blue Monday

Today is Blue Monday, supposedly the "lowest point" in the year for many people. Not sure if that's because of that recently-arrived Visa bill from Christmas spending, the short cold days of winter and lack of sunshine, low motivation and the desire to just hibernate, or maybe all of the above! I know I certainly get "down" a bit in the winter; I've never been a "winter sports person".. I just don't enjoy being cold. Period. Winter can't end soon enough for me. So today, following a significant amount of snow and ice pellets from yesterday's big snowstorm, I'm choosing to dream of spring and my garden, and the beautiful blues I will find there. I thought I'd share some (blue) garden shots with you; you've seen them before if you've been following me for a while. Obviously they weren't taken today - my gardens are under several feet of snow...

I get through the winter by dreaming of spring and summer in my garden. I know you're not supposed to wish your life away... but it helps me through the cold winter months. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

I read an article this morning on Blue Monday and it offered a few tips on beating the winter blues - they all made good sense to me. 1. Pamper yourself. (I like this one!!) Treat yourself to a spa date or have a pedi, buy a nice bottle of wine or some special chocolate and a good book, pick up tickets to a show you've been wanting to see... just treat yourself to something out of the ordinary. You're worth it!
2. Go to bed earlier. The benefits of sleep cannot be disputed and a little extra time in zzz-land will give you extra energy for tomorrow. (Of course, I have to learn to close the book and turn out the light....)


3. Watch a funny movie. Or take in a comedy show. We all could use a little more laughter in our lives. Lighten the mood!
4. Book a holiday. We may not all be able to afford a trip to the sunny south to escape the cold, but plan a trip somewhere. Why? To give yourself something to look forward to. This works for me. Of course it works even better if it IS a sunny southern location I'm planning to visit, but just planning a get-away to somewhere will put me in a better mood. Try it and see!
5. Perform a random act of kindness for someone. It doesn't matter what it is, large or small, helping out someone else makes YOU feel good too.   :)

What helps you get through the winter, or beat the winter blues? Do you have any tips to share?

Happy Blue Monday! Be sure to return on Wednesday, I'll have blossoms of another sort to share with you...


Peace,
Linda

If you have the power to make someone smile, do it. The world needs more of that.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Hexie Love

Hello again! Wow, two posts in two days! (See? I'm trying hard!) This last few weeks I've been working hard on a little hexagon project, which you will see next week, I promise! As I was basting these hexies, I remembered that I haven't shown you the last hexie project I completed, a while back. It's just a small piece, 10.5" x 12.5", with no intended purpose.. it's "just because." After all, not everything needs to serve a purpose, right? Sometimes you just want to have fun working on something. In this case, I just wanted to play with this colour combination- turquoise, yellow green and purpley blue.



As you can see, these hexies are not sewn together in the usual way - what's known as EPP - English Paper Piecing. This technique is referred to as "modern hexagons." They are carefully applied to the background with tiny dots of glue on the back at each point, leaving a narrow space between each hexagon as they are positioned, then the quilting passes through each one to secure them in place. I love using Aleene's Fabric Fusion Permanent Fabric Adhesive for this job. It's a permanent washable nontoxic adhesive that dries clear and is flexible. It works well as the "nozzle" has a very fine tip, perfect for tiny dots of glue. Trust me, you don't want gobs of glue oozing out from behind your hexagons.

The hexies are "sized" by the measurement of one straight side - these are 3/4." The diameter, from point to point is double the side's measurement, so in this case, 1.5." You can purchase the papers, or as I do, punch your own. I have three punch sizes - 1/2", 3/4" and 1."  I like to use a paper that is not too heavy, but stiff enough to give me good sharp edges and points when the hexie is pressed. I've been using file cards (recipe cards.) With careful placement, I can get eight 3/4" hexies from one 4x6 card.



The fabric is cut larger than the paper so you have "seam allowance" to turn to the back and thread baste. Nicole at Modern Handcraft has an excellent tutorial on basting the hexagons here, just scroll down to the last video. (This one to the left shows how simply the basting is done, no knots, no double stitches needed for security. This basting is very quick and easy to pull out once the hexie is pressed and the paper removed.)
Once my hexies are all made, I give them a good pressing using Best Press, for good sharp edges and points, then the papers are removed (you can re-use them if you're careful). There is no magic foolproof method for placing them, just care, patience, and a good eye to keep the spacing fairly even. I do use a ruler edge, or a length of masking tape to keep the first row straight.
As I said, I'm finishing up another little hexie project (with smaller hexies!) and I hope to soon get to a much larger hexie project - the fabrics are all gathered and waiting... I need more hours in my day!
Have you done a hexagon project yet? Warning.. they are addictive...

Piece!
Linda

"My 2019 new years resolution is to finish all my craft projects from 2018 that I should have done in 2017, after I started them in 2016 after buying the supplies for them in 2015 with the patterns I found in 2014."  ~ Willowlane Designs.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Winter Reading

Hello... it's me. Yes I'm still here. Yes I'm still sewing, quilting, stitching, teaching, reading, gardening...  just haven't been doing much blogging. I'm hoping to change that this year. 2018 was a very busy year with some unexpected demands on my time. That combined with lack of inspiration, motivation and energy for blogging.. well, you know what happened if you're a regular reader/follower. I wasn't "here" much. The year flew by and even though my intentions were good, my "output" was pitiful. (Why don't you help out with the motivation aspect by leaving me a comment occasionally?)
Anyway... on to a new year. And here it is already mid January! Ackkk! Since January is always a month when I try to take some extra time for reading, that's where I'm starting. I have so many projects to show you, book reviews and more, but let's start with a book chat.
I LOVE getting books for Christmas. To me there is no better gift. This year I lucked out - look at this wonderful stack of  books I found under the tree.. I can't WAIT to dive into this pile. (Actually I've already read Forgiveness and have started Eleanor Oliphant.. more about them soon.) And I received two copies of Educated and already had The Tattooist of Auschwitz, so two more from my "I Want to Read..." list will be added to this pile from those exchanges. Yippee! I'm all set for the winter - my dark chocolate stash has been nicely replenished, and I've got lots of reading material. I'll do my best to ignore the nasty cold winter weather by snuggling up to my pile of new books. 
Yes I do love getting books for Christmas. I also love giving books as gifts. My children always knew there would be new books under the tree. They both continue to love reading as adults which makes me very happy. Mark actually set a goal for last year to read 50 books, and he surpassed it by 10! Since he has a fairly lengthy commute each day to work by subway, he passes the time by reading. Good for him!
Of course I will keep my grands well supplied with books too! One which was a big hit this year was The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith. It was much in demand this fall after a Youtube video of a Sottish Grandma reading it to her grandson was widely shared on Facebook... If you have a little one you MUST add it to your library... and be sure to click on the link above to listen to Grandma reading. Get ready for some good chuckles.

So, what's on your "I Want To Read" list? What have you read lately that you'd recommend? Did you have a "favourite read" from 2018? DO tell....

Up next, a small project finish.

Peace,
Linda

"The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you the knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is moral illumination."
~ Elizabeth Hardwick

Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year!

2018 is almost done.. just a few hours remaining. Christmas flew by, as did the entire year! I haven't done much blogging, or photography either for that matter, in 2018. I hope 2019 will be a more "productive" year.
I hope you enjoyed a peaceful and relaxing Christmas, however you chose to celebrate the season. I have lots to catch you up on, do visit again soon.
Wishing you a happy and healthy new year full of fun times and wonderful memories.

Peace,
Linda

"Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."
~ Oprah Winfrey

Friday, November 30, 2018

A Musical Treat



Our Ladies Choir Christmas Concert is coming right up... Sunday afternoon, Dec. 9. I have a few tickets left, but will have them only until Tuesday Dec.4. After that, they are available from Westminster Books on King St. or at the door on concert day. We have been working very hard, some of our music this term is quite challenging. Sally, our director, is singing one piece with us - hearing this piece alone will be worth the price of admission. Trust me, you won't be disappointed! I'd love to see you there...


Peace,
Linda

"The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear!"
~Buddy the Elf

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Introducing......

11 hours old...
...Our new granddaughter finally made her appearance in the wee hours of Monday morning, October 1. She was only a few days "late" for her due date of Sept. 27, but Mummy's OB was so sure she was going to arrive a few weeks early, the last few weeks of waiting seemed to go on forever... But, here she is. She was SO worth the wait!

Can you believe they didn't have any PINK hats left at the hospital??!!







Layelah Rose arrived at 2:40 a.m., very shortly after Mummy arrived at the hospital, and weighed in at a dainty 7 lbs. 1 oz. Her birth was quick and easy, so Mummy is doing well, recovery-wise. She looks exactly like her brother Noah did at birth- except for her darker hair, they could be twins. And speaking of hair, yes, she has lots! I think she'll need a hair appointment soon! lol








Big brother Noah is getting used to the idea of having a little sister. He wasn't terribly interested in her at first - was more interested in her swing! Typical boy! But after a few days, he's doing much better. Mummy and Daddy are doing a great job at involving him and making him feel important by giving him little jobs to do to help out. Today he was very proud to fasten her car seat buckles, and sit beside her in the van.  :)







 Yes, she's a little cutiepie! I think she's a  keeper! 

3.5 days old here and already smiling at Mummy!


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! You know what WE are giving Thanks for today...

                                                                                  



Peace and Love,
Grammy Linda

Such a BIG MIRACLE in such a little girl...

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Needle Organizer

Today I'm sharing a recent small project with you - an organizer for your sewing machine needles. When I teach machine quilting classes, I always take a variety of needle types to show, and until recently I also took my bulk box of quilting needles, as many quilters don't know you can save a considerable amount by buying needles in bulk (100 in a box). After one particular class, my supplies were all loaded on a cart to transport them up from the church basement classroom and out of the building. The cart tipped a little when I pushed it over some uneven ground at the building entrance and I didn't realize all my little needle packages, held together with an elastic, slid out of my totebag and fell off.  It wasn't until the next Friday when I was packing up again to head out of town to teach another class, that I realized ALL my needles were missing. Luckily I remembered the cart tipping and thought they must have fallen off; I made a frantic call back to the church office and they were located. I said a silent thank-you to the kind person who found them and turned them in! (Bet she was a quilter!)





Anywaaaay... after that I decided I needed something larger to accommodate my needles so if they tried to escape again I would notice... wink. When I found the directions for this case on QUILTsocial.com I knew it would be the answer. You can find the first set of directions by clicking here. It is a five part article, with the link to the next  day's directions at the end of each post.











Mine measures 8.25" x 10.25" when closed and 10.25" x 16.5" when opened. Here it is opened up to reveal the vinyl pockets, top edges bound with (purchased) double fold bias binding. The stitching which divides the pockets is done with a 2.5mm. twin needle; of course it could be done with  single needle as well, but this was a project designed to get you more familiar with twin needle stitching.








Here's a closer look....

I made a few small changes - I made mine smaller (fewer pockets) and used just one size of twin needle rather than the three sizes suggested. I also rounded the corners of the case and used a continuous binding which I thought looked neater; of course the binding had to be cut on the bias to go smoothly around those curved corners but worth the effort I think.


















I used two buttons for the closure instead of just one. I decided to use two fancy buttons I had purchased years ago for crazy quilting.. I have SO many lovely buttons that have gone unused, so why not use two particularly pretty ones for this case .. what am I saving them for??!!







The organizer is made in two sections- the outside is layered with fusible fleece and quilted; I followed the suggestions of a twin needle crosshatch in the lower section but did single needle organic lines in the upper section.  I LOVE the look of twin needle crosshatching, I do it often. This one is quite narrow- the lines are 1/2" apart and done with a Sulky rayon thread. The inside layer is fabric backed with nonwoven interfacing and then the vinyl strips are added to create the pockets. Then of course the two sections are placed wrong sides together and the edges are bound.

The one suggestion I would make if you decide to make one of these is to do with stitching on the vinyl. If you have never stitched on vinyl before I'd suggest you buy a very small amount (or borrow a little piece from a sewing friend) and see how your machine handles it. The article suggests that you should have a non-stick/teflon foot. Good advice, but likely not a foot many quilters have, and they can be pricey and perhaps hard to find. So try it without and see how your machine will handle the vinyl. I had no trouble, hopefully you will be just as lucky. EDIT: Read the comments below from Holly and Karen for suggestions on stitching on vinyl.
It's a fun little project. If you make one, send me a photo!   :)
I like QUILTsocial.com and visit often - there are many interesting projects presented and lots of good info and advice, tips and techniques. You may also have noticed I use Schmetz needles almost exclusively - top quality German made, they are THE BEST hands down. For a topstitch needle I prefer Superior Threads titanium coated topstitch needles, also top quality! The needle is one of the most important parts of your machine- buy top quality and change them often!

Piece!
Linda

Sewing machine - the ultimate power tool!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Catching Up and Mr. Noah


Well it's high time for a catch-up! (Okay, it's long past time!)  The days and weeks have flown by... I don't know where the summer went. How can it already be mid-September. Sigh.
I'm so far behind I don't know where to start. Let's just say it was an extremely busy summer. Wish I could tell you I have travelled to exotic destinations, but that would be a lie. It was just super busy with lots of hot dry weather so I spent a lot of time watering and trying to keep my vegetable gardens and all flowerbeds alive. Our water bill reflects it...  :(   There were some day trips, lots of visits with Mr. Noah both here and at his home, a summer wedding, a 5 day trip to Maine, a reunion of university friends, company for several weeks... well you get the picture. Busy times! There was also a kidney stone and a bout with the flu, but otherwise a great summer. Most of my pickling is done... 2 batches of Lady Ashburnhams, a big batch of 11 day crock pickles, peach jam, salsa, and ratatouille are all done. Many litres of stewed tomatoes from the garden are in the freezer. My apple jelly is underway, apples cooked and the juice in the freezer to be boiled and bottled another day. Pickled beets are the only thing remaining; my beets are not very big, guess it'll be pickled baby beets this year!
There hasn't been a lot of sewing or quilting done this summer. I did do a few small projects I cannot reveal yet, plus helped a friend make a totebag and helped Laura make a small quilt.

So how about an update on Mr. Noah, which I promised a while back... Noah is now two!!  (Time is passing much too quickly!!) He is a bundle of energy, picking up new words and skills daily. He is a delightful little guy, and brings much joy into our lives. So without further chat, here are a few of my favourite photos of him, taken over the last 10 months, since you haven't seen any photos since his first birthday! (Indulge me, okay?!)

Photo Credit Jennifer McKelvay

Photo Credit Jennifer McKelvay 


Christmas visit with cousins Ada and Josephine



I think this one is an all time fav...  Yes he's definitely all boy, right down to the ball cap on backwards!


Noah has some big news to share with you... he's going to be a big brother!! Soon!! And this PINK icecream photo revealed to all that it's a GIRL!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't be any more excited.




Of course Noah and I had to celebrate with some icecream too, at the Wharf Village, Magnetic Hill.


          And then there was Noah's second birthday to celebrate..with chocolate cake, of course!


Who could resist this sweet face?


Yes indeed, this sweet boy has stolen my heart. I'm sure you can see why....


Peace,
Linda

"Surely, two of the most satisfying experiences in life must be those of being a grandchild or a grandparent." 
~ Donald A. Norber

Monday, September 3, 2018

NSFAF Classes




How can it already be September??!!! The summer flew by, and before we know it fall will be here. Once again this October I am teaching at the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival in Amherst NS. Classes are filling up; if you wish to register get in touch with me soon so you won't be disappointed.





Paper pieced bed quilt


On Friday October 12 I am teaching Foundation Piecing for Quilters. This class will cover both paper piecing and string piecing. If you have tried paper piecing and think you don't like it or can't do it, or if you find it frustrating or stressful, you need to take this class - I will change your mind. If you can sew on a straight line and count to 10, then you CAN do it! This technique guarantees a perfect block every time and it is the answer for blocks with many seams like Log Cabin or Pineapple, for tiny blocks for miniatures, and for complex blocks with sharp points like Mariner's Compass or New York Beauty.

Miniature quilt, 8.75" sq. 447 pieces. Easy with Foundation Piecing!
We'll spend the morning learning HOW to paper-piece by making three small blocks, progressing from easy to more challenging. Then in the afternoon you'll learn how to put blocks together perfectly, how to deal with angled pieces and directional fabrics, how to draw your own paper piecing patterns and number the sections correctly, how to approach more complex paper piecing designs, and more. You will also learn how to string piece, a more "free form" type of foundation piecing. It will be a fun-filled day and you'll pick up many tips and tricks. This is a technique that EVERY quilter should know - come and add it to your skill set. I'll bring a number of foundation pieced quilts to class, from miniature to bed-sized, as well as a number of resources - books, magazines, commercial patterns, etc.  By the end of day, you should feel confident to tackle ANY foundation piecing pattern or design.
This class is now full, but I'll take names on a Waiting List in case of cancellations. 



These are some of the straight line designs you'll learn to do
On Saturday Oct. 13 I'll be teaching Quilting with the Walking Foot. This is currently my most popular class. Most quilters don't use their walking foot to even close to its potential... if you've only used yours for "stitch in the ditch" or attaching a binding, if you find free motion is "just not your thing", or if you find free motion work stressful, then this is the class for you! Join me to learn the many ways you can quilt with your walking foot, whether on modern or traditional projects. Geared to the quilter who already has basic knowledge of machine quilting, this class will further explore the many applications of the walking foot.   I will bring many quilts for illustration purposes, and a number of walking foot quilting books for reference. Join me for a relaxing fun-filled day “walking your way” to new quilting techniques!  
...and these are some curved line designs you'll learn
After a quick review of the walking foot and how it works, machine setup, marking and preparing the quilt, we will move on to explore straight line and linear designs, organic lines, many ways to do grids (cross-hatching), matchstick quilting, twin needle work, radiating designs, quilting curves, circles, spirals and clamshells, and echo quilting, as well as the use of decorative stitches for machine quilting and more. You will learn to use your quilting guide, and several other methods of evenly spacing quilting lines without marking. (Who likes marking anyway?) Students will receive detailed notes, many tips and stitching time in class to create samples.
**Prerequisite – a basic machine quilting class. I will assume you have basic knowledge of threads, needles, battings, how to layer and baste your quilt sandwich.
**Pfaff owners – your machine probably has a “dual feed” also called “IDT.” Although called a different name, this IS your “built-in” walking foot. It functions exactly the same way. So you have nothing extra to purchase - how great is that?! 
There are still several spaces available in this class.

Contact me at lindakhubbard(at)gmail(dot)com for more info on either class and to register. 

Piece! (and Quilt too!)
Linda

"It's the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom." 
~ Michael Morpurgo

 
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