Outlander Stitch Along

Happy Wednesday Twilters!

For those stitching along, I wanted to let you know that the August Outlander block is going to be a bit late. I hope to have the pattern uploaded by this time next week.

I’m actually still stitching the sample Ack!

With things getting busy at work, and prepping for our final back to school season ever, (insert mom tears here) some tasks have just gotten away from me lately.

You’ll still have plenty time to get it finished before September rolls in. Holy mackerel.. September! Where is 2016 going?!

whew, I’d better get back to it.

Twilt on!

Am Writing

It is no secret that ever since I was a small child, I’ve loved books and reading. I learned to read and write at a very young age, long before entering kindergarten.  I was rebellious and headstrong, and sometimes the only threat that could coax acceptable behavior from me was the fear of losing access to My Books. 

I also tend to be a do-er. When I admire something, I eventually want to create things in that vein.

I loved candles, so I started making them. I enjoyed handmade soaps, and then started making my own. I loved quilts, and became a quilter. That avenue has been the most enduring so far, and actually led to a professional position.

I’ve written a lot of poetry, and many short stories over the years, most of which were set afire in fits of self doubt and loathing. I’ve lived enough years now, and learned enough lessons to understand that it’s a painful shame that those things are lost to the ether.

I am now working on a novel length story, and in the process I’m learning so much about who I am, who I’ve been, and what I want to become.

I know enough now to resist the urge to destroy my early drafts. I’m saving them so that I may look back and see where I started.

I am thoroughly embracing the idea (and the hashtag) of “am writing.” So much about this journey is just being aware of the space I occupy.

I find myself looking at the world around me through a different lens. One that is simultaneously more critical and more tolerant.

I’m examining nature with a more critical eye, taking note of the reactions of all my senses, and how those reactions affect me, and possibly those around me, and my responses to them.

I’m becoming more tolerant of others and the ways  they interact with their world, and their place in that world.

I think writing (or trying to write) is making me a better human, and because of that it doesn’t matter that I’ll never be a best selling author. It doesn’t matter that I won’t sell a frajillion copies or create the next big series that is turned into a huge HBO hit. None of these lofty aspirations are part of my goals.

It is enough to be moving on.

It is enough that I am exploring who I am.

It is enough that I am true to the characters I channel.

It is enough that I am writing.

 

 

Who cares?

So, we are now a society divided into two categories yet again, those who play Pokemon, and those who make fun of the ones who do.

We hear a lot about about how certain politicians have divided us, but we’ve only ourselves to blame. No one can divide us without our consent. We do that to ourselves. Let’s stop blaming others for the state of the world and start looking inward. Let’s start by examining our own hearts, and asking how we’ve contributed to the chaos.

Is it any of my business if a grown adult wants to play a game? Should I think I’m smarter, better, cooler for not playing? It’s a harmless game. The insults directed at the players, are themselves a sort of game that deserves a bit of scrutiny.

Perhaps it’s possible to be a decent human being who is a productive and responsible member of society, deserving of respect, who also plays video games.

Let’s stop being so damned judgmental about how others spend their leisure time. Unless they’re out there kicking puppies, throwing rocks at strangers, or some other horrendous crime, does it really matter what game they play? Some of the same folks throwing shade (is that what the cool kids say?) on Pokemon Go players are the very ones from whom I had to block endless FarmVille requests.  At least Pokemon Go gets you up, and moving, and interacting with real people. We hear so many complaints about young people having too much screen time and not enough human contact. This game is bringing people together.

If you have time to criticise how others entertain themselves, consider taking up a hobby. I recommend starting with reading a book. Try this one, Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn Wall. It’s an instant classic, in my opinion. It deals with issues of loss, race, redemption, and love.  I gave it five stars, because I couldn’t put it down. This engaging story will have your nose buried in a book, instead of someone else’s business.

The Hard Binding, The Easy Way

I mentioned on a past episode that I would take some pictures the next time I did a binding join so I could show you how easy it is. It really is simple, though it may take a little practice. I don’t use any special tools.

 

Step One

Leave some of the binding unattached at the start and end, and lay your quilt flat on a table. Open the ends of your double fold binding. Turn one end up, and one down, on a 90 degree angle, and finger press a firm crease in both ends.

 

Step Two

Here’s where that slack comes into play. If you find there isn’t enough room, seam rip a few inches back to loosen up the area to give yourself room to work. If the binding is sewn down too close to the area you’re working on, it will be a struggle.

Match up those finger pressed lines and put a pin in place.

 

Step Three

Sew on the finger pressed line.

 

Step Four

Lay the quilt flat again, and double check that it fits perfectly. It should lay flat, no slack, but not too tight either. If it’s not flat, now is the time to pick out that line of stitching, and try again. If it’s not flat in step one, it won’t be flat in step four.

 

Step Five

If everything looks good in step four, now you can trim off the excess. Don’t do this step until you are sure the binding is fitting perfectly.

 

Step Six

Finger press this seam open.

 

Step Seven

Finish sewing down the binding.

Tada!

 

LDQ #72 Ask Me Anything about Ren Faire

In this episode I answered the rest of your Ask Me Anything questions. I talked a lot about longarm quilting, and costume making. I had a great time looking through my pictures from those days to find a few to share with you. I wish I could share them all, but here is a small sampling. (I just spent an entire day fondly looking back)

I recommend the book Daisies For Innocence, the first in a new Enchanted Garden Mystery. So many titles in the Cozy Crime Genre are just too twee.. but this book really captured my heart. My hubby bought it for me on my birthday, which happened to fall on our weekly bookshop visit.

The first quilt I ever made was for my son, Ian, to honour his admiration for Superman.

 

There were sassy wenches aplenty…

 

And many ladies too…

Inexpensive poly blend broadcloth sure cleans up nice! I often made wench garb, and court attire from the same fabric.

 

Pirates sometimes made their way in…

 

And a few of them said “I Do”…

 

Twilt On my friends!

LDQ #69 Gazing Balls

In this episode, I talked about what I am currently working on, a queen size quilt using two alternating blocks, the snowball block, and the spool block. I love alternating two traditional blocks for a new and unexpected design. When I am feeling stuck, I often open up EQ and just start playing.  I’m stuck on my show quilt, because I can’t even decide what background to use! I am hoping the meditative sewing of the current gazing ball/egg cup quilt will free up my brain and let me make a decision.

 

In this, I used the spool block, and the snail trail block to create a quilt I called Barrel of Monkeys. I love this design as it reminds me of those toy monkeys my kids used to hook onto everything in the house.

 

Here is the Lawn Chair quilt pattern I mentioned. Stay tuned for a post with my finished quilt sometime this week. I am still stitching the binding.

Don’t forget to prep for the #SummerReadingQAL ! 

 

Books I mentioned..

Edge of Evil by J. A. Jance

Obedience by Will Lavender

What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Quilt Happy!