A Little More Stitching

Two more blocks to go, that is what I have left to do on the Snowman A to Zzzzz quilt before I get to put the top together.

I had some time during the month of March for some uninterrupted hand stitching.  I had all my blocks prepped and ready to go and away I went.  During that week I completed 6 of the remaining 10 blocks.

Since then I finished up two more blocks leaving only two more to go.  I’m dragging my heels a bit with these last ones because I’ve enjoyed stitching them and am not quite ready to let this stitching project go. Besides, I’m not sure what hand project I would go to next.

Though, I am looking forward to being able to put the whole thing together.  Maybe, just maybe I will actually get it done before Christmas.

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Back to Work

My time has come, after 10 wonderful months of being at home with Ella, for me to head back to work. Last Monday, I returned to my school and my full time teaching position.

It was a day filled with mixed emotions to say the least.  I was excited to be back and flailing my arms and working through musical challenges, but I was missing my time with Ella.  Our play time, eating meals together, and splashing in the bath.  Just being with her and her silly expressions and laughs I was going to miss terribly.

I mean seriously look at that little face, how could you not miss being with her.  The first day was a  busy day, with little blips here and there, like passwords not being remembered (it had been 10 months and they weren’t exactly priorities during that time to remember) and no class lists to be found.  As I watched the clock throughout the day I found myself thinking about what Ella would be doing, napping, playing or maybe having a bite to eat.

In all honesty it was a great week.  The students were incredible and made the transition back into work an easy one.  I feel bad that I had such a great week though and enjoyed my time there, guilt.  I missed Ella and our time together.  I was anxious to get home every evening and spend time with her.  I have that fear of missing something.

It was a tough decision to go back, I basically fought it with the moment she was born until the day I walked into the classroom again.  The next 3 months will be a real learning experience for me with a lot of questions left to answer.

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And the Winner is….

Holy Cow.  Thank you so much for the response to my first giveaway.  I was humbled by how many of you stopped by and how many left such nice comments.

I agree with you all, the fabric in the fat quarter pack is lovely and it is so versatile as well.

Ecco Giveaway March 2014 Jen

And before I get to the big announcement of who our winner is, I must say that the ladies of Sew Sister  have been lovely to work with on this giveaway.  If you haven’t headed over to their online store I really suggest that you do.

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Ok without further ado……..our winner is……..

 

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NUMBER 93 which is Joyce Mitchell

Winner March

 

CONGRATULATIONS JOYCE!!!!

I have emailed you to get your postal address so we can get your fabric to you.

Congratulations again to Joyce and once again thank you all so much for participating.

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GIVEAWAY!!!!! From Sew Sisters Quilt Shop – Now Closed

Hello Everyone.  I am SO EXCITED to be offering my first GIVEAWAY.  YEAH!  I’ve teamed up with the ladies of the SEW SISTERS QUILT SHOP .

 

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Sew Sisters is a Canadian quilt shop dedicated to all things quilting. 


For the past decade we have offered Canadian quilters great quality fabric, notions, books, kits and patterns, both in our store in Toronto and online. 
At Sew Sisters we believe you should buy fabric, not postage! So we offer terrific shipping rates on orders within Canada. 

The giveaway is for a bundle of 8 fat quarters from Ecco by Greta Lynn for Benartex.

Ecco Giveaway March 2014 Jen

 

These fabrics and more are available on their website. Here’s the link to the quilt fabric page on their online store.  Check them out!  I’ve already got a wish list going :)  They also have some wonderful patterns, BOMs, Kits, Books and Notions.  

The BEST PART of the giveaway is that IT IS OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL PARTICIPANTS!  

It is so simple to enter the giveaway as well.

Leave a comment in the comments section below.  One comment per person please UNLESS you are a follower.

If you are a follower of this blog- you get to leave a second comment for a second chance to win.

 This giveaway will be open from today, Friday, through Sunday night.  Early Monday morning we will select a winner.  I will then contact the winner to get their postal address which I will pass onto the lovely ladies of Sew Sister so we can get your prize to you.

 

If you are interested in more chances to win check out the Sew Sisters on their Facebook page where they host WEEKLY GIVEAWAYS!

Don’t forget to leave a comment below to be entered into the giveaway and followers of the blog, feel free to leave a second one.

Keep a watch out on Monday morning for the winner.

 

 

 

 

 

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33 To Do

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday dear me, Happy Birthday to ME!

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Today is my 33rd birthday. Its hard to believe actually.  I don’t know if I’m quite ready to be 33.

Anyways, two years ago I started a “TO DO list” for myself, a bucket list of sorts for the year, 31 things that I wanted to do before I hit 32.    This year I had 32 things to accomplish and you know something I think I did really well completing the majority of them.

Because I enjoyed the list so much, I decided to make another list, my 33 things to do before I hit 34.  So here we go.

  1. Lose the “baby weight” (still have some to go :( )
  2.  Take Ella to the Zoo at least twice
  3. Learn to stop in my hockey skates
  4. Visit the corn maze
  5. Go to swimming lessons with Ella
  6. Finish a Christmas Quilt
  7. Complete all the Sherlock Holmes readings
  8. Make a year book for our baby girl
  9. Complete the top of my Anchor Quilt
  10. Eat at one of the restaurants featured on “You Gotta Eat Here.”
  11. Go Bowling with Nate at least once
  12. Crochet a ripple blanket
  13. Make a cute little girl dress for our baby
  14. Finish my trip around the world quilt
  15. Make the Staple Dress
  16. Go camping with Nate and Ella and Molly
  17. Visit Banff and Canmore
  18. Make fudge
  19. Have a chocolate fondue night
  20. Have a backyard BBQ with friends
  21. Finish the baby wishes book for Ella
  22. Go to Peter’s Drive Inn for milkshakes
  23. Host a Tea Party
  24. Make a lava cake
  25. Learn to Skate Ski
  26. Get out at least once to X Country Ski
  27. Work out 3-4 times per week
  28. Have a picnic in a park
  29. Read the Old testament – even Numbers and Deuteronomy
  30. Finish one of the quilts hanging on my quilt ladder
  31. Go out for Ice Cream and sit in the park to eat it
  32. Ride my bike around the Reservoir
  33. Take Ella to the Spray Park

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Sashiko Stitching

This year the guild I belong to, The Flying Needles Quilt Guild, is working through the theme “Quilting Around the World.”  Each month a member has done a demo featuring a quilting technique from somewhere in the world.   We’ve been to England with English Paper Piecing and Hawaii for their snowflake technique.  We are also heading to Ireland, the Amish Country and South Africa/Africa.

This month I had the pleasure of doing the demo and I worked on the Sashiko quilting method from Japan.  It took me a long time to learn to pronounce that properly.  Sash – i  (the i sounds like the i in the word it)- ko.

Sashiko means little stabs and it was a way for the commoners during the Edo period 1603-1867 to stitch their material together to make their warmer clothes and blankets.

It was an interesting technique to learn as the running stitch is not one of my stronger stitches to use.  And my fingers took a beating through this technique.

One of the most interesting things I learned was the “rules”, for lack of a better word, that the stitchers used.

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Throughout the project pieces I did, I really tried to ensure I was following those rules because I wanted to be as authentic as I could be.

The first work I did was a pre screened/stamped design on a cotton fabric.  It was by Sylvia Pippen Designs which I found on our trip to Maui.  It is called Hawksbill Honu.  Hawksbill is the kind of sea turtle and honu is the Hawaiian name for the green sea turtle.

What was nice about this pattern was it gave me the stitch lengths.  From what I found of sashiko is that the stitch is longer and the space between is shorter.

Then I traced some of my designs using light weight interfacing and adhered it to the back and stitched it from back to front.  This is where my hands took a beating.  Originally, sashiko pieces were stitched on a looser weave of fabric.  But I used a marble cotton with interfacing so it was difficult to get the thick 1.5″ needle through with a thick piece (4-6 strands) of floss through.  But working from back to front was tricky.  You stitched everything with the back facing you, but you had to keep in mind the “rules” on the front.

But for designs like these above, it was nicer to have a design you could trace rather than free hand draw.

I also tried creating a grid on the front of my fabric with a marking pencil and then was able to stitch the design.  The darker pieces are an example of that.

Overall, I really liked the technique, even with the rules.  Lately, I’ve seen a lot of magazines with sashiko designs with a more modern twist.

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Snowman A to Zzzzz

It may seem like I haven’t been sewing lately, but I can assure you that I have been.  But alas, I can’t share with you all that I have been working on.  I’ve been working on my challenge pieces for the guild I belong to and I keep them under wraps until June when we have our final guild meeting for the season.

In between those projects I’ve been working on some hand work.  As mentioned, I have taken a small break from the Scandinavian Rose I was working on and turned my attention back to the Crabapple Hill Snowman A to Zzzzz project.  It was what I was working on before I started the Scandinavian Rose.

Basically, it is the alphabet in a Christmas theme using fun snowmen.

Since completing the Sunflower Stitch Folder that used the color tinting technique I’ve wanted to add it to more of my stitching projects.  After looking at the pattern one afternoon at WWG and talking it over with Paula and Betty, I decided that some of the blocks in the quilt definitely were screaming for a touch of color.

It took me until letter K/L to realize that I should make myself a color chart of the floss numbers and the crayon color that closely matched it.  Its made things much faster.  Another change I made was switching floss.  The pattern was originally done in DMC floss, but since discovering COSMO  it is my preferred brand of choice.  Though some of the colors I’ve changed to add a bit more pop or tone down.    I’m about half way done with the blocks and I am loving it.  Its such a treat to work with well designed patterns, with great stitching designs, fun colors and fab floss.

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