Monday, May 30, 2022

Blast from the Past...

So the sewing room got emptied and packed up yesterday.  There was a binder with printed pictures that I don't think have ever been scanned but they are now.

Who is the skinny young woman?  She's sewing on a vintage Kenmore (it wasn't vintage back then though LOL).  And she's sewing on a counter in the small laundry room.  I don't have the exact date but it's sometime between 1993 and 2000.  The baby who received this quilt is in her 20s now so it was probably closer to 2000.  What a blast from the past!

This was also the first baby quilt that I gifted.  Triple Rail is the quilt pattern.  I took a beginner's class at Muriel's Sew and Serge and for some reason I cannot comprehend, we were instructed to use straight pins for basting.  It's surprising that I carried on with quilting given the number of pin pricks I endured during the quilting.

Eric and Dana, proud parents of a beautiful baby girl, Kiyannah, who is now a beautiful young woman.

While scanning all these photos is laborious, the enjoyment of seeing these memories has been very sweet.

Here's a picture of my first ever quilt.  I made this one for my son and he still has it. I chose the fabrics very carefully from Cloth Castle.

This is all part of the adventure right?  Back to the boxes I go!  


Friday, May 27, 2022

Free Pattern!! Strudel Quilt

Oh the things we find when we are scanning through all the papers!!  I created this free quilt pattern at the request of APQS for their blog.  I meant to upload it to my blog/website way before now but today is the day!

It's a lap size which makes it a perfect quilt to gift or for charity. It's 51 x 65" without borders and is easily enlarged by make more blocks and following the layout.

Please share the blog link and direct people to my blog rather than sharing the free pattern.  Thank you!

And if you should make one, please post it with the hashtag #strudelquilt so we can all enjoy your handiwork!

The quilt pattern is free and is available  here.

Enjoy and Happy Friday!


Thursday, May 26, 2022

Towards a Simpler Life

It occurred to me this morning, while driving yet another load of electronics recycling to the depot, that as we walk through this life we collect so much stuff.  I know...Thank you Captain Obvious!

In the past week I have donated quilts to people who needed them more than I need to keep them, books I've never read to thrift store, and patterns I have never made to guild contacts.  I am the common denominator in all of these scenarios.  So what exactly does this tell me?  It tells me that the urges to acquire beautiful things, or interesting things, is stronger than the sensibility to resist those urges.

In the past months as we have come to the conclusion as a family that less is more, adventure is preferable to things, and some hard work needs to be done to minimize.

Our new mantra is:

Share, Shed, or Store ???

Shedding began with the closet as I dispensed with all of the manmade fibers.  All of that polyester is gone!  This came after a revelation that natural fibers are better for the skin (our biggest organ after all...) so my almost 100% linen wardrobe is much smaller and so much healthier. And I'm quite sure I saw someone in the grocery store wearing my favourite polyester tunic. LOL

Shedding then reached to my sewing room.  This was a bigger problem than my wardrobe.  All that cotton is NATURAL but will I ever use it all?  More hard questions. Oh my goodness.  What a job!  And we still have a ways to go on this one.

Sharing was the easiest part.  Giving to someone in need is always a good thing and my daughter was able to help a single mom fleeing an abusive marriage with a lot of her belongings and I was able to rehome some quilts to her as well.  The rest of my quilts for sharing went via my guild who will pass them on to those in need of quilty hugs.  

Ah...storing...I'll cut to the quick...storing costs money.  As we ponder this one we will commit to bringing less home and enjoying minimalism.  Check back with me in a few months and I'll let you know how we are doing.  The lust of the eyes is a big one!

Back to the scanner I go.


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Quilts for the road...

The process of downsizing this time has meant basically selling everything except the valuables, like paintings, portraits, musical instruments and my "culled" sewing stash and of course Millie, my long arm.  Those things will be in storage during our adventure.  Our RV "Harriet the Chariot" is a wonderful 38 foot rig but there's only so much stuff you can bring along on a road trip, especially an extended one. So we are having to be quite brutal on what we will allow ourselves to bring.

It goes without saying that hexies (my La Passion quilt) always go camping with me.  They will be coming.  I haven't worked on this quilt for ages as we've been laser focused on the task at hand...sorting, shedding and sharing in preparation for the closing date of June 24.  And it's the perfect portable project.  Here's where I left off in November 2021.

Besides hand sewing, my favourite quilts will be coming for our bed in Harriet.

Northern Star Quilt (my original pattern)  (pattern available in my Etsy shop)

Whole cloth linen quilt, quilted on my APQS Millenium

And my daughter and I will each be bringing our travel machines so we can sew on the road.  I will be bringing two "kits" to work on when the mood strikes. 

The first one is a pattern from Fons & Porter called "Libby's Log Cabin".  Anyone that knows me knows that I love star patterns the best, second only to a traditional log cabin.  This one ticks both boxes.  The strips are all cut and grouped together.  All that remains is to sew, sew, sew!

The second kit is a free scrappy quilt from called "Boxy Stars".  The free pattern is available here.  This one has also been precut so that I just need to sew the pieces together.  I don't have the borders planned or included in the kit.  That can happen later.

We are also trying to launch our fall collection of linen clothing for Tahorah Designs, our newest family venture.  So there will be some linen fabric coming along on the journey as well.  

I joined a facebook group called RV Quilters and I'm hoping to scour that page to get some good tips and advice about how to tame the sewing space while living in a small (shared) space.  Thankfully my hubby will have theatre seats and plenty of DVDs to keep himself amused while we sew in the evenings.  At least that's the plan.  I'm hoping for some beautiful summer nights so we can spend lots of time outdoors, including sewing outdoors.  If we should encounter rain, no worries, we will happily sew indoors.

We thought about creating a different blog for the adventure, but we are thinking it will just be an Instagram page where we can load pictures and stories.  I will post here when it has been launched.  We are still finalizing the name and format.

This blog post has been a nice diversion from the stacks and stacks of paper and boxes of photos I still have to scan.  Everything will be digital and it's a daunting task.  I'm looking forward to a reward of a pedicure with my daughter after we are done and before we leave and also some sewing time.  It will be SEW sweet to get back behind the sewing machine.

We've booked our local camping spot for June 20th so that gives us less than a month to get prepared to load the RV and begin the adventure.  Gotta scoot while I still have some energy tonight for the task at hand.

Until next time,


Sunday, May 22, 2022

My last great adventure...1984/85

It's time!  When your last great adventure was 38 years ago, it must be time to have another one.  As we are preparing to close our house sale, I have been scanning photos so we can have them digitally on the road with us.  We have slides.  We have prints.  We even have video footage.  Now that we will have some relaxing family time, I can think of no greater time to pull them out and revisit our past family adventures.

Here are a few pictures of my 1984/85 solo adventure of moving to Israel for a year to live on a Kibbutz.  This was a long time before I found quilting and I was a mere 27 years old (younger than both of my now adult children). It was a long time before marriage and kids too.   I took a year sabbatical from my job at a law firm to set off to a foreign land to meet up with a bunch of other Christians from multiple nations to live together in community for a Discipleship Training program called Project Kibbutz.

Bougainvillea - still one of my favourite flowers

Doing laundry on the porch at Kibbutz Hagoshrim

New friends - Michelle from South Africa and Suzanne from Michigan

Painting the pool at Kibbutz Hagoshrim (Northern Israel)

Washing the floor on the porch

Orientation team for first six weeks before we headed south to Kibbutz Gvar Am

Not all work.  We had some wonderful relaxing times too

Zikim beach, 12 km from the Kibbutz

Packing envelopes in the envelope factory.  This was my main job on the Kibbutz.

Another new friend, Amy from Florida

Camping under the stars at the Sea of Galilee

We had just tubed down the Hasbani River

Team Photo

Michelle and I pruning the roses

Canadian visitors from my home town during Feast of Tabernacles

Our "Lonely Road" just outside the Kibbutz.  My friend Karen and I spent a lot of time walking this road together.

In case you thought it was always warm in Israel.  I had on about 4 layers.  It was cold!

After a walk down our Lonely Road

Christmas Eve dinner provided by the Kibbutz

Birthday celebration for a team member.  Maybe Suzanne's birthday?

Our hike through Wadi Arugot

Wadi Arugot

The team

Taken in front the of the Bougainvillea at the Finnish School in Jerusalem

Near the end of the year I worked in the diningroom.

And just like that, that year and eight weeks was over and I was back on a plane and back to my job at a law firm.

It was one of the most wonderful years of my life.  It was so rich in culture, just the right balance of adventure and serenity, and I'm thrilled to say that these 'new' friends are now my 'old' friends.  And I am hoping to see of them for a reunion on our next adventure.

I'm 38 years older now but I'm still keen on discovering some beautiful places, meeting some people that have become friends online, and seeing where the road leads.  This is an adventure with God (we call him by His Name Yahuah/YHWH/Yah/Yahweh) and we can hardly wait for it to begin.

Back to reality now....we are still in the purging phase of emptying the house.  So I better get back at it.  Those boxes won't pack themselves!!

Until next time,