Peace is...a world in which women are inspired to hope and imagine.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Claiming my blog with Bloglovin'!

I've changed over my blog reader to bloglovin' months ago when GoogleReader first announced that they were closing up shop. I'm thrilled with Bloglovin'!

and for those of you who only read my blog via e-mail...Bloglovin' is a way of aggregating the various blogs you read into one view. When you go to a blog that you want to follow, you can select the "follow me with bloglovin'" widget, and lo and behold, it will show up in your ever lovin' bloglovin' list!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Have a good adventure with some bloglovin'!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

1st mandala done...

My first ever mandala (courtesy of Ranae Merrill's fabulous technique!) is done! Now to figure out what to mount it on, border and quilt it.... And start planning another mandala!

Happy spring!

What adventures are you having today? Leave me a comment at the blog!

And if you read a few blogs, and would like a better way to aggregate them - try "Bloglovin'"! select the icon on the right of this screen that says "Follow me with Bloglovin'" and see what happens!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

A different craft

Over the last few months, I applied for a new position at work. I was offered the role, and my first day on the job ( sort of) was March 4. I say sort of, because I can't really get my teeth into the role until I hire someone to replace me in my current role. Working on that.

Anyways, this involved a move to a new office. (quite nice.) However, it doesn't have a tack board. It does for sure have a white board!!! Which is key. So facilities found me a board covered in the lovely grey material...well, we couldn't have that. So off I went with our brand expert to see if we could find some material in the company colours to re-cover the board. Success! I took the board and material home and played today. The original material was all of the same value so I popped it out with some reddish material. The key thing I wanted to get on the board was some kanji symbols to set a tone- listen and harmony.

the board to begin with. in my sewing room.

cutting out the symbols, using a fusible interface.

my home made light box, usable when it is sunny out...actually, i used it last night too, to trace the symbols on to the fusible interface. worked pretty good with just the patio light on.

the final version! the board is going on a wall that is pretty dark brown, so this should pop a bit. The red fabric on the right is full of those little stick characters. thought that was applicable as well to my work. 

the symbols are "listen" and then "harmony".  

The following is from the U.S. Department of State website. Pretty cool that the U.S. Department of State is teaching this...

The most common problem in communication is not listening! A Chinese symbol for "To Listen" is shown below.  It is wise beyond the art. The left side of the symbol represents an ear. The right side represents the individual- you. The eyes and undivided attention are next and finally there is the heart.

chinese letter
This symbol tells us that to listen we must use both ears, watch and maintain eye contact, give undivided attention, and finally be empathetic.  In other words we must engage in active listening!

Active listening is a skill taught to teachers and police officers, counselors, ministers, rabbis and priests. It is a skill we would all do better having learned, practiced. To begin being an active listener we must first understand the four rules of active listening.

The Four Rules of Active Listening
1. Seek to understand before you seek to be understood.
2. Be non judgmental
3. Give your undivided attention to the speaker
4. Use silence effectively

What's your adventure today? 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Christmas 2012 projects #1

A close friend of my husband and I got married this year (her first time!), sold her house, and bought a new house with her new husband - married in August, and moved into the new house in September. A bit of a whirlwind summer for her! And congratulations again!

We visited them for the first time in October, I think (maybe early November), after seeing a stunning fabric art show at the Burlington (ON) Centre for Performing Arts. Beautiful house with lovely touches and lines...and several fireplaces and lots of couches. 

When we received their invitation for a housewarming party in December, my immediate thought was that I would make them a quilt for their new home and life.  

The quilt is based on "Basket Weave" from Denyse Schmidt's "Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration."
The Christmas blocks on the front are from a Moda line - I bought the material about 3 years ago, planning to make placemats for all our friends. I even mentioned it in one of my blogs that this was underway! I think I pieced one placemat and severely lost interest.  This initial material was purchased from Reichards Quilt Shop in St. Jacob's. 

I didn't want to buy additional feature fabric, so the quilt is not quite the dimensions in Denyse's pattern, which is 72 x 86. I had written the dimensions of the finished quilt down somewhere...likely my whiteboard...but it's been cleaned several times and it's gone. The full blocks are 14", and the border (on sides only) contains blocks of 5x13. 

I purchased the green fabric for contrast on the front - Robert Kaufman Fusion - I have used this fabric a lot in many different shades of green and brown, cream, red...and maybe more...over several projects. The shades just seem to be what I am looking for. And the variegated colour of the fabric makes it very interesting. You can kind of see what I mean in the above photograph - it's not a solid green, it even looks a bit bluish in some parts. The binding was also done in this green.  

I really like the Christmas prints. I did have to buy a small piece of the red material with white snowflake to finish up the blocks. And some blocks needed pieces of material pieced together to get the full strip. I particularly liked making this border strip below as an accent.

 Since I purchased material from a wide backing bolt for the back  (the red), I brought some of that to the front to tie it together. All the additional material was purchased from Creative Sisters in Kitchener. 

The back, well, I did need to purchase material for it. Carol at Creative Sisters helped me with picking the green fusion material on the front, and when I went back later, also helped me figure out the back - material AND math!!

I liked the idea of the strips in the back. Made it interesting. 

The quilting was done in 2 steps - I stitched in the ditch around the printed blocks, and then did a diamond pattern based on the pattern on the front. Quite happy with how it turned out. The thread was a variegated King Tut. My next quilt I'm trying Aurifill! I found it in another local store today!

I called the quilt home, and gave it to my friend, who I understand spent the next day wrapped up in it on the couch, after the party. That is a very good use of a quilt. 

What did I learn with this quilt? 
1. I tracked my time with this quilt. I first set up a work breakdown structure using Trello, so that I have a reference of all steps required to make the quilt. I then used another tool to actually track time per activity. Unfortunately, this tool changed while I was using it. However, it turned out that my actual time was about ...hmmm..i just went back to Trello and it turns out I didn't actually add up all the hours. Let's call it at least 20. 
2. I wanted to show myself I could complete a project on a deadline. Last year I completed 1 quilt (started 2 years ago), and two small projects. This was my start to see if I could do better for 2013. I was successful. I had a target to finish it a week before the party, because I was going to Vegas before that date, and the quilt needed to be done. It was. 
3. I had fun modifying the pattern to fit the material I had. That was pretty creative. 
4. I let myself go a bit crazy on the back! I like piecing backs, but this was different because of the material I used. 
5. I used 505 adhesive for basting. I'm going to try safety pin basting next time. Basting is my least favouring activity (it used to be binding, but I got past that!), and I really could tell on this quilt that the spray basting didn't do me any favours.

Next up, the Christmas present blog, and then the Sampler blog, and then...quilts I'm working on in 2013! I've almost got the first one done! It's due to be done by the end January, and it will be. It's been a lot of fun to work on it!

What's your adventure today...this week...this month? 


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Always learning...

Working on a quilt for a friend. Will posture after delivery, but I am so excited to be learning new things!!! Here's one thing-appliqué using designs found on line, and incorporating some fabric painting. The swan on the left is the paper design, the one on the right is my fabric swan, with painted eye and beak. Just going to put the wing on. Nice. Very exciting for me. I always challenge myself to learn or do something different with every quilt, and this is no exception!!!