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

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Happy Canada Day!


Happy Canada Day! July 1 has rolled around again and I am more proud than ever to be Canadian. I profess my love for Canada each year, but this year, I am feeling even more thankful to live where I do. With what's going on south of our border and the unrest in other areas of the world, I am so happy and proud to be here in my beautiful little corner of paradise in this great country. Canada may not be perfect, but I sure wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Every Canadian should be celebrating today with great pride our country and for what it stands.



I am happy to share with you today a small "finish". This little "Canadian Pride" quilt measures about 16" x 21". It is made of 12 Log Cabin blocks (still my favourite block!) and machine quilted, the centre portion with 1/2" cross hatch and the red blocks with a diagonal straight line in each log. The maple leaf is machine appliquéd and finished with buttonhole stitch with a 12 wt. Sulky thread.







The backing fabric is one of the Canada 150 fabrics, featuring names of many Canadian cities, the perfect choice I thought!
The above two photos are a bit dark, the reds are actually bright rich vivid reds...







Peace and Love,
Linda, proud Canadian!

"Canada is not a melting-pot. Canada is an association of peoples who have, and cherish, great differences but who work together because they can respect themselves and each other."
~ Vincent Massey

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Gemini in Purple








It's time to share a finished quilt project with you. I wouldn't want you to think I've been lazy, in my absence! (Just the contrary, I've been busy and have lots of projects and book reviews lined up for you!)



This quilt was a Christmas gift for Mark and Maggie.







Their living room colour scheme is neutral - greys and black, and Maggie's favourite colour is purple. So when I found this Hoffman Bali Pop called Urbana (BP #612) I knew it was perfect! I added about 10 more fabrics to get the required number of strips. The purples ranged from true rich royal purples to burgundy and pinky-purples to more subdued blue-purples. The greys were lovely and there were a few very dark teal greens as well. I added a few more greys and some blacks.

The pattern by Blue Underground Studios, Inc. is called Gemini. Not sure that the pattern is still available (I don't see it on their site) but they have many more that are equally as nice! I have made it before and knew it would be quick and easy. I thought its modern look would suit their 30th floor Toronto condo. I was very pleased with how it turned out, in fact I like it much better than the one I made myself from the same pattern. Go figure...




















It was quilted by Gwenda Quilts with a grey thread, in a pattern called Wildmouse. I love the circular quilting design, it suited perfectly! Thanks Gwenda! I think you can see the quilting a bit  in these closeups...







Sometimes when I buy a precut such as a Bali Pop, there are some fabrics in the collection that I don't care for. When I first started quilting, I had to like every fabric, but I've learned over the years, that when they're all together in a  project, the ones you dislike don't stand out. The value is more important than the colour or the print. There were a few in this collection that I would not have chosen, but I did leave them in. I thought most of them were gorgeous! Of course, what's not to like about Bali batiks!! They're kind of like chocolates- not many I don't like!  :)









I found a perfect grey print for the backing, and pieced a strip of leftover bits to add some interest...
It measures 54" x 72".  

Oh yes.. they loved the quilt! 

I am linking to Linky Tuesday. Stop by there and see many more quilting projects.










Up next... Mr. Noah!






Piece!
Linda

"All the other colors are just colors. But purple seems to have a soul - when you look at it, it's looking back at you."  ~ Uniek Swain

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Wet morning in the garden...
















We need rain! Hard to believe after the recent flooding, but most of the province is tinder dry. We did get a little rain last night and this morning, but not near enough.. A quick walk around the garden revealed many wet tulips, some still upright, and some weighed down with droplets.
























Now that spring is finally here (it was a loooong time coming!) it seems to be moving ahead at full speed. The crocus, scilla, chionodoxa and daffodils are finished blooming, tulips are now at their peak, and I noticed today it won't be long before my beloved apple trees are in bloom as they are already budding. When visiting a friend's garden this evening, I noticed her large flowering crab is just a day or two from being in full bloom. I could already smell the blossom's sweet scent.
























Ahhh, glorious spring! There will be many more photos from the garden to come...































Peace,
Linda

"The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rains will come again." 
 ~ Sara Ban Breathnach

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Spring Concert coming up!

Our Ladies Choir Spring Concert is coming up! "Show time" is 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday, May 22. This is the culmination of our tenth year, and will be our twentieth concert! If you are a local reader, tickets are available at Westminster Books on King Street and there will be tickets at the door as well. We have been working very hard to prepare a varied program. It will have a special focus this time, with some selections from the WWII era and a nod to our veterans. A portion of the concert proceeds will be donated to our local Veterans Health Unit to purchase a large flat screen tv so they can have a regular movie night.
Singing is good for the soul, not to mention your health! It has been proven to lower blood pressure and stress levels, it strengthens the immune system, is a natural anti-depressant, improves mental alertness and helps with sleep. All good things in my book! Over and above all that are the wonderful friends I have made through this group. I am a low alto, and we call our row the A team- Anita, Linda, Brenda,  Linda and Sandra. How cool is that! I've been with this choir from its inception and  it is my pleasure and an honour to sing with all these fabulous ladies. So, if you're local and you're not doing anything next Tuesday evening, why not come out and give us a listen? I promise you won't be disappointed...

Peace,
Linda

"The first breath a choir, orchestra or band takes together, a breath filled with focus, intention and emotion, a breath unified for no other reason than to make something beautiful together... that is the reason we do what we do."  ~ Eric Whitacre

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I'm Back...

I'm back! My rather lengthy absence was not planned and it has lasted too long. If you are a blogger
who has ever taken a break, you know that the longer you are "away" the harder it is to get back. But I am determined to get back to regular posting. I certainly have lots to share with you and now that spring seems to finally be here, I'll be getting out with my camera much more than I have through the winter.
As I said my break was unplanned. Sometimes life just gets busy, and throws a little more at you than you would like. Several close friends have been facing very serious health challenges, and too many friends have lost siblings and parents in the last six months. My sister-in-law lost both her parents in the last little while; they lived directly behind us and have been our neighbours for 27 years. It seems odd to look out at night and see their place in darkness.
I find that sometimes life's challenges take their toll and sap my energy so something has to "give" and it was my blog. But as I said, I'm determined to be back here much more regularly. Blogging does take a lot of time, not just in the writing, but also the photography, editing photos, etc. My fav site for photo editing (Picmonkey) is no longer free so I must find another to use. I would welcome  any suggestions.
Winter as always seemed much too long, and spring was slow to arrive. My city has just experienced devastating flooding. We are safe, high and dry on a hill, but others have not been so lucky. So many have flooded basements, or flooded permanent homes or summer homes. Some summer cottages have literally floated away! It's been terrible; the cleanup will be a very long process. Life can certainly be challenging at times, can't it? My life continues to be very busy but I do hope/plan to keep up with more regular blogging... Give me some encouragement with a comment now and then, will you?

Peace,
Linda

Life is like a camera... Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives, And if things don't work out, Take another shot.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Hellooooo

Yes, I am still alive. No, I have not given up blogging. I have just been incredibly busy. I hope to "be back" next week. Please come back then!

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Big ONE!




Guess who has had a birthday? It seems hard to believe that our sweet little Noah is now ONE year old! Time sure flies. It is so wonderful having him living much closer so we now see him much more often. What joy he brings to our lives.

We didn't actually see him on his birthDAY (they went camping that weekend) but he was here for several days just before his birthday as well as a few days the week previous, so I have lots of recent photos to share.






Look at that sweet little face... isn't he just totally the cutest little bug?!





Noah is a solid little guy at over 25 pounds and is a good little eater. He likes most things, and when he REALLY likes something, you know it! He can make it disappear before you turn around. It's not hard to tell he really likes Grammy's homemade spaghetti sauce... Although it looks like most of it went onto his face, he actually DID swallow a good amount as well...










Since his birthday was just a few days away, we had to have a special dessert. Fresh picked strawberries with lots of whipped cream fit the bill. We just sat the bowl in front of him and let him go at it.. what fun! Here is the progression...

"Strawberries and whipped cream!"

"Yummm, these are so good, Grammie!"

"I want to get every last bit!"

"I think there's still some cream, but I can get it if I lick the bowl..."

"Would this work as a hat, do you think?"

Peace,
Linda

He's tender and bashful but boyish and brute, impossibly clever and cunningly cute!

Monday, July 31, 2017

NYC 2017 wrap-up

A quick wrap-up of our NYC trip. My travelling partner Sandi had not spent any previous time in the Big Apple so I told her our daytime activities were totally her choice. (As long as I got to my shows each night, I was happy!) She was anxious to spend some time in the garment district and I was happy to comply. Our first stop... Mood Fabrics on W. 37th street. Are you  familiar with the television show Project Runway where up-and-coming designers compete for a chance to show their designs during New York's Fashion Week? For each episode of the show, they have a limited time to shop at Mood for their fabrics.


When we arrived there on Thursday morning, we were told they were closing in 10 minutes for one hour, so we knew filming for an episode was about to happen. It would have been fun to be able to stay in the store and watch, but that was not allowed. Sandi did some swift shopping for dyed leather (for appliqué) and we returned on Saturday for another browse. When we exited the building, the film crew were waiting outside.



Our other stops included Elegant Fabrics, French Couture Fabrics, Sposabella Lace and M&J Trimmings among others that just had interesting window displays. If you are interested at all in sewing, just wandering the streets in this area of the city is fascinating. There are many treasures to be found, and yes even some bargains! For instance, can you imagine a store that sells nothing but feathers? Feathers of every shape, size and colour... We didn't purchase any but it's such fun to look!



We took two of the Grey Line bus tours - the downtown and the uptown loop which cover many of the "must see sights" of Manhattan. We also wandered the South Street Seaport, Fifth Avenue and a small section of Central Park. There is never enough time, and always more to see but we were happy with what we accomplished in our short time.

Peace,
LInda

"There's something in the New York air that makes sleep useless." ~ Simone De Beauvoir
 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

How Can It Be...

... the last week of July??!!!!!! Good heavens, am I a Rip Van Winkle who has just slept away three weeks? Honestly I don't know where the days and weeks go. I have been beyond busy since returning from New York City on July 3rd. Mark was home for a few days, Laura and Noah have been here twice for 3-4 days each, (and nothing much gets accomplished with a toddler underfoot!) we celebrated our 30th anniversary, etc. etc. Toss in a few day trips, visits to a friend's cottage and all the usual daily chores and you get the idea. B.U.S.Y. We haven't had any appreciable amount of rain in over three weeks so I've been spending a lot of time watering, both the vegetable garden and the flower beds. The earth is SO dry... after such a wet spring, it's hard to believe things are now so parched. And now the raspberries are ripening and need daily picking... Yep, I'm busy!
The NYC trip seems so long ago now.... As I mentioned before, the highlight for me is always the Broadway shows. Come From Away was our first show and 43 of us from the group attended, anxious to see this wonderful Canadian story. And what a treat it was. Written by Canadian husband and wife team David Hein and Irene Sankoff, it tells the true story of small town Gander Newfoundland that welcomed nearly 7000 stranded passengers from 38 diverted flights after 9/11. Nominated for a number of awards including 7 Tonys, it has won a Tony for Best Direction (WELL deserved, Christopher Ashley!) 5 Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, 4 Helen Hayes Awards including Best Musical, 3 Drama Desk Awards also including Best Musical and a number of Dora Awards in Toronto including Outstanding Production, Outstanding New Musical and the Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award. Whew! Actress Jenn Colella who portrays Beverley Bass, the first female pilot to make Captain with American Airlines, has also picked up several Best Actress awards. Each actor/actress portrays at least two real characters - a Gander resident and an airline passenger, and each character represents an actual person or a compilation of several persons. They do such an amazing job of this, often so well that it is well into the show before you realize that two different characters are actually the same actor.
Tony signing a Playbill
I can't say enough good things about this show. Would I see it again? Yes, in a heartbeat. It was such a positive spin on a tragic event, focusing on human kindness and compassion. Not once did you hear the word terrorist or any reference to the actual events in NYC. It was simply about a community rallying to help those in need. I encourage you to visit the Come From Away website here and at the top, click on "Learn More". Scroll down and below the cast photos under "Ready for More?" click on
"Learn About the True Story." At the very least watch the videos of pilot Beverley Bass and Gander Mayor Claude Elliott. Many other video clips and Youtube clips will be available to you - hours of entertainment well worth the watch. Trust me, you'll be itching to see this show! Good news for my fellow Canadians - it is returning to Toronto in 2018 and you can be sure I'll be be there to see it again! (Mark, I'll be reserving your couch.)
The other thing which made this show so special was that we have a "hometown boy" in the show. Tony LePage is an understudy and sadly he was not onstage that night but he did meet our group in the theatre after the show and we enjoyed chatting with him about his experiences with this fabulous production. That made for a special ending to the night. (And since I set up the meeting with him, I got a big hug from Tony! Now tell me, how many of you can say you've been hugged by a Broadway actor?? lol) I know all 43 of us left the Schoenfeld Theatre that night VERY proud to be Canadian!
Our Friday night show was Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, another excellent show. Carole King has long been a favourite of mine; her album Tapestry was the first album I ever bought (1971) and I think I wore it out! I knew every word to every song, and still do. She was a successful songwriter long before she began her career as a performer. I had no idea she and husband Gerry Goffin were so prolific, with hundreds of hits for many big rock and roll acts. To date more than 400 of her compositions have been recorded by over 1000 artists! Being such a fan I enjoyed every minute of this show and every note of the score.







Our final night's show was Phantom of the Opera - you have to finish a New York visit with an "over the top" performance! Phantom has it all- not only a fabulous love story, but the music, the costumes, the set, the special effects and of course the beautiful theatre. It's pretty hard to top the Majestic! It is so beautiful, it's not hard at all to imagine that you are actually in the Paris Opera House. The Majestic is 90 years old (see the theatre here)  and has been home to many Broadway successes such as Carousel, South Pacific, Camelot, Fiddler on the Roof and The Wiz. Phantom, now in its 30th year, is the longest running show on Broadway, with over 12,100 performances to date. I've seen it three times, and love it more each time.
Ahhh Broadway, I can't wait to come back for more!




Peace,
Linda

"To enter a theatre for a performance is to be inducted into a magical space, to be ushered into the sacred arena of the imagination." ~ Simon Callow

Monday, July 10, 2017

Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival 2017 Classes



The 10th Annual Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival will take place October 10-14, 2017 in the beautiful town of Amherst. Registration is now open and classes are beginning to fill. Here is a brief outline of the two classes I'll be teaching. If you would like more info, leave a comment at the end of this post and include your email address, or email me at lindakhubbard(at)gmail(dot)com.


Machine Quilting 101 – Friday Oct. 13, 9a.m. Christ Church basement, 5 Lawrence St., Amherst

Machine Quilting 101 is geared to beginners and those who simply want more practice with basic machine quilting. This class will cover all necessary information and skills for the student to have a confident start as a machine quilter on their own domestic machine.  Your machine must have feed dogs which can be dropped or covered, and you will need a darning foot, sometimes called a free motion embroidery foot. Topics covered will include set-up of workspace and machine, feet, needles, threads, battings, marking, layering, tips for using specialty threads (rayons and metallics) and more. Quilting with straight lines, gentle curves and free motion work  (“stippling”) will be taught.  Students will be given detailed notes and many useful tips, and ample opportunity to practice skills on their own machines.
Learn to stipple!
I bring a number of quilts for illustration purposes, also a number of machine quilting books for students to browse. Join me for a jam-packed fun-filled day of info, tips and building your skills so you can quilt your own projects with confidence! 

EDIT Oct. 2.This class is now full, but I will take a few names on a waiting list in case of cancellations.




Learn to use a twin needle.  It gives a very impressive cross-hatch!









 Quilting with the Walking Foot – Saturday, Oct. 14, 9a.m. Christ Church basement, 5 Lawrence St., Amherst
Simple Echo Quilting
Do you own a walking foot but have only used it for stitch in the ditch or attaching a binding? Is free motion quilting just not "your thing?" Then this class is for you! Join me to learn the many ways you can quilt with your walking foot (or Pfaff dual feed or IDT) whether on modern or traditional projects. Geared to the quilter who already has basic knowledge of machine quilting, this class will further explore all the many applications of the walking foot. 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 lines, organic lines, grids, matchstick quilting, twin needle work,
One of many styles of cross-hatching/grid you will learn.
radiating designs, quilting curves and circles, 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.  I will bring many quilts to class for illustration purposes, as well as a number of machine quilting books for students' perusal. Join me for a fun-filled day “walking your way” to new quilting techniques! 

***Note to Pfaff Owners - your IDT or dual feed is the same as a walking foot so yes, you can take this class too!
***Prerequisite – a basic machine quilting class - if you have not taken one, I highly recommend my Friday class - see above.  Many students opt to take both classes. 




"Matchstick" quilting (lines 1/8" apart) is so easy when you know how to do it correctly.






 



There are many "decorative" stitches on your machine which can be used effectively for quilting. This serpentine stitch (at right) is one. We will explore the stitches on your machine to see which ones would work well. 
EDIT: Oct. 6   Only 3 spots left in this class.

Class registration is open. Don't wait too long - both of these classes were filled to capacity the last time I taught them at NSFAF. 

Class maximum is 15 students and fee for each full day class is $65.00. No hst and no kit fees. If you are interested in one or both classes, contact me and I will send you the registration info. Once I receive your payment, your spot is secure and you'll receive the class supply list.

Peace,
Linda

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young." ~ Henry Ford 
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