Sunday, June 10, 2018

Gelli print bag, kayaking and hiking

It’s pretty much a perfect weekend for me when I can say I did all the 3 things in my title in a weekend. Yesterday, was sunny and warm and after a visit with the in laws, I was able to take my kayak out for a first of the year short paddle.

I’m very careful about how much I do at first as I don’t want any strains. While it was lovely and calm, the tide was running out, and paddling against it took effort.

We had colder temps overnight and frost this morning. A 10C overcast day was perfect for my first hike of the year on the mi’gmaq trail. We did about 1hr 20min but this includes walking around roots and up and down some steep hills. It’s a good workout. There were lots of mosquitos which a small spray of fly dope repelled. We saw no bears only moose droppings, not fresh.

Near the water a good breeze kept the flies away.

There is so much flora to see as well, so much more than I’m familiar with on the trails closer to home.

Now that raised my iron levels I’m feeling so much more like myself. After a short snack and rest, I headed to my studio  where I ironed and put away a few newly washed pieces of fabric. I pulled out one of my Gelli prints to play with — my first real creative work in a while.

I’d like to start using some of my stash of prints (so I can make more!). I also sometimes like to use my prints in useful ways so I cut and sewed a piece for the front of a bag that will be similar to the twister tote I made a couple months ago only a little smaller and with no twisters. The print on bottom will be sewn on after I finish the free motion on top.

I really had to do a little free motion before I quit. After pulling a few different variegated threads, I defaulted as I often do to black. It’s so effective.

I got it started and stopped to go make homemade pizza crust for pizza. Hubby chopped veggies.

It was just enough to make me happy!
I hope your having a lovely weekend too.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Back in my studio

This is the longest break I’ve had in posting since I began my blog. Life has been really happening. Besides my mother who we recently moved into assisted living, both of my husband’s parents have suddenly had serious health issues involving round the clock help. We’ve been very busy. 

Meanwhile, the weather is warming, things are greening and I’ve also been spending some time cleaning, mulching and planting in my garden.

I’ve got a few things up in the raised bed which I can view form my studio. The lilacs are just opening and we have chickadees nesting in the birdhouse on the pole near the back of the yard. Things are changing everyday; I love watching all the different flowers and blossoms opening. 

I’ve finally gotten the top of the Cascades baby quilt finished. It needs trimming—finished should measure about 38” by 48”, a pretty good size. I will leave the quilting until later as I need a gift for a new baby.

I do have some art pieces to finish up and lots of ideas for new work but there is too much going on right now. I am happy to continue working on UFO’s. With my new studio cupboards all organized, it’s easy to see all my fabric and projects and I’m inspired to get more things done. This is a section of selvedge edges that I’d started to make a cover for the back of my computer chair.

It needs batting and some quilting before I’ll make a simple slipcover for the chair back.

Our Northstar Quilt Guild has a show going on this weekend which I’ve not helped with. I did pop in for viewing quilts yesterday and spent some time and money in the shops. I ordered a cute pattern for a gnome quilt and bought more batiks for the Majestic Mountain quilt that I’m making.  I didn’t even get pics. There are so many beautiful quilts and displays and even a bed turning. I think it has been well attended. 

I contributed a lap size Hallowe’en quilt, one piece of fiber art and this Twister bag.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Happiness in my studio

It’s not surprising  how much overwhelming fatigue can dull your thoughts and drag you down. It’s so gradual though that at first you don’t see it. When it gets bad you know it but it’s often hard to explain and find your way out. Luckily for me, this time it was the iron levels. I’m amazed at how much better I feel and how physical well being can have such a drastic effect on mental well being and creativity. I am brimming with it again.
I’m so content to be back in my room creating.

The addition of a large monitor (my old 27” tv) on my countertop means I can now watch quilting shows and all manner of things on you tube while I stitch.
It may give me a few too many ideas!

This morning I made it back to yoga for the first time in a few months. Taking it slow. At lunch I did another small mandala at the kitchen table.

I’ll be picking up Flora and fauna soon to sketch. I’ve always wanted to try mandalas though and since the green is just starting here, the timing is good. You’ll find lots of simple directions on you tube. It is very relaxing and meditative.

Then I took my tea to my sewing room, something I’ll be doing a lot more of since the Reno. I’m continuing to work on the Cascade baby Quilt. It’s such a fun (and easy!) pattern by Victoria Finley Wolfe.

The pieces are all from my stash. 

There will be 4 columns so I’m getting there.

When it’s not too hot, this time of year, I like to have the window cracked so I can hear the birds.

I pushed myself to head outside at 3:00 to do a little yard work while the sun is shining. As I write this I’m settled on my swing on the deck in the sun with an Afghan tucked around my legs. It is breezy and quite cool but I’m comfy. Waiting for G to come home and barbecue chicken burgers. Life is good.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Studio Reno

Since increasing my iron, my energy is returning and I feel like I’m emerging from a fog. I’ve had a little Reno angst going on too. The work is all done except for a second window going in which is on order. It is the same size as the existing one and will go next to it on that blank wall. It’s going to be like a mini sunroom.

Gradually, I’ve been cleaning out boxes and putting things into the new cabinets that occupy what used to be 2 single closets.

There is space for my monitor and a sewing machine on the counter.  I really love the pegboard that I picked up from IKEA. There are other pieces available that I could add to it.

As you may notice, I’m working on the Cascade baby quilt. 
In the rare case that I would do night time sewing there is LED strip lighting to go under the cabinet. It will be brighter in the daytime when the other window goes in.

The machine that I use for my fiber art is still in the window facing the garden. 

The in wall ironing board was a bit pricey but so worth the space gained.

This afternoon, cup of tea in hand and window cracked open to the sound of rain, I looked around the room and teared up with gratitude and happiness. It is a dream space.
For now, I think I’ll keep the design wall portable. There is space for the crib/juvenile bed for our grandson if I move out the glider rocker.

At lunch today with my tea I pulled out my sketchbook, compass and retractor to experiment with making my own mandalas, a definite sign that my energy is returning.

It definitely contributed to a sense of calm that I haven’t had in a while.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Cascade baby Quilt

I sewed and cut a few more strips for the baby quilt, starting a second row. I’m determined to stick with stash fabrics. I’ve laid out a loose arrangement which will probably change.

This truly is the most fun I’ve had piecing in a while! I’m enjoying my new space even though it’s not quite finished it feels fresh and clean. 

I will be able to watch quilting shows and tutorials once I get my computer back in there. I’m getting a little frustrated with Kent’s as every week they tell me the cabinets will be in. I was assured they’d be in today and I haven’t heard. I called and left a message. I guess it’s just a busy Reno time of year. I need patience!

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Cascade quilt

My sewing room and I are both in a transition. The messy work in my studio is done and the walls are painted a soft grey. The former closet space is awaiting the cabinets and countertop which should be in this week. Then I have to wait for the carpenter.

This is how I’m working right now. The pic is a bit dark because I took it towards the window. Can you make out the white? Still a yard full of snow.

The in wall ironing board has been ordered and should also be here soon. What I give up in ironing board size, I’ll gain in room space.

Gradually, I’ve been picking  away at what came out of the room, a seemingly growing pile of stuff. However did it all fit? I know it’ll never all go back in but a nice freshly organized room where I’ll also have space for my glider rocker will be nice.

This afternoon it’s damp outside (no gardening yet with the snow) and I felt the urge to do a little sewing.  The Cascade quilt from Victoria Finley Wolfe’s book was calling to me.

Before all my renovations got under way, I started a sample to see how it would go and I really liked it. I think it’s much like piecing a braid only with gentle curves. At the time I set it aside  because I have another quilt started (who doesn’t) but then I liked it so much, I decided to make it baby quilt size.
Girl colors.

I recommend this one. It’s very addictive once you start cutting and adding colors.

Inexplicably, I’m suffering such a great amount of pain right now in all my joints, especially my back. I haven’t been able to do my usual length of sewing, walking or yoga. Although maybe it’s a phase - I’m hoping so - perhaps my doctor will have some insights when I see her Tuesday, I do know my iron is low. 

Also, space isn’t quite conducive to artwork yet,  so I’ve been relaxing a bit more and doing some knitting. I’m lucky to always have something to do. Sometimes too much! 

At a workshop several weeks ago I started this Twister bag and Finally finished it. Well, except to sew a button onto the front. I really had fun with this too. It’s a bit of a change for me.

 As is usually the case, I’ve been designing art quilts in my head. I have to content myself with that until I get my space more settled and my body healed. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Studio Reno

I haven’t posted here because my studio is emptied and undergoing a Reno. I did bring one sewing machine to my kitchen table so I could do a bit on my twister tote. Since I’ve been away for a couple days for another doctors appointment and with the running around I’ve had to do for supplies, I’ve  not done a lot. 
I finished putting the front and back together. This is one side with the twister template.

Here is the front and back all done with batiks. We have a quilting day this Saturday so I’ll get it mostly done I hope.

My studio started out like this after the closet dividing wall was ripped out and it was opened up on the top as wel..

The holes got patched and the flooring was added. Lucky we had enough extra leftover from when we’d originally laid it.

And today the paint was done. It’s a very light grey.

Now, I’m waiting for cabinets to go atop the closet space along with a counter top. Coming later will be a larger window to replace the existing one. There will be a new ceiling light and an in wall small ironing board. 
I’m so excited!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Twister tote

I can’t believe that it’s April 4th and we’re having another snow day. Schools are canceled and I rebooked a dentist appointment. I’m having @ very domestic kind of day, changing the bed, washing clothes, making a roasted vegetable soup and sewing.

At lunch time, I chopped and roasted a tray of veggies—tomatoes, red peppers, zucchini, onion, and garlic sprinkled with sea salt, basil, oregano and no salt herb mix.

After roasting it went into the pot with some broth and frozen corn. I semi puréed it using a hand held blender.

I’m craving a grilled cheese on whole grain bread to go with.

Last Saturday at our guild UFO a generous quilter was giving a workshop on making a Simply Charming Twister Tote. 

I was so inspired by all the themes and varieties, I decided to try it myself. She’s doing it again this Saturday. In the sewing room I’ve been cutting 30 5 inch batik squares to be sewn in rows, 5 by 6 to prepare for cutting the twister blocks.

 I chose 3 fabrics for bottom, handles and pockets.

When I need to rest my back, I can put my feet up and do some knitting. I’m working on a merino wool Gingerbread Hat, pattern found on Ravelry.

The yarn is a pure merino superwash worsted weight, Mecha, by Malabrigo in Peru. I picked it up in Amherst, NS last week atDeanne Fitzpatrick’s Studio.

I thought you might like a look at the books I’m reading right now.

And finally this magazine.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Show opening, final swoon block

Three small trips in the last couple of weeks have kept me from posting. My most recent one was to the opening if the SAQA Atlamtic show at the Craig Gallery, Alderney Landing in Dartmouth, , NS.

Here I a, near my Waterfall piece.

A very old friend from high school university days met me for dinner and the opening and my son and his wife also drove up from Halifax. I was as e cited to see them as I was to attend the opening.

 I’ve been sore and tired, catching up, getting outside and I haven’t done a lot of stitching. One nice thing about the longer spring days is I can get out later on the trail.

The evening light is so pretty.
It also means the light is good for a little more evening free motion stitching. While I haven’t felt like any serious stitching, on Saturday night I did a bit of black free motion on a small leftover piece of painted canvas. Just for fun.

I will use it up in some little projects.

I’m working on the 3rd and final swoon block. I’m finally getting the hang of it! Geometric pieces often confuse me.

My plan is to use 3 vertically and add to the sides with a few stars in a border.

I happened to notice on Facebook that I hung out my first line of clothes well over a year ago. How I love a line of fresh dried clothes. You can see why this year is later!

The small items barely clear the snow.
This afternoon I’m off to my knitting group.