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

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.


"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!


"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.


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