Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Generations - Peach Trees

My upbringing has taught me to make practical things and not have idle hands. I don't know if that was a conscious lesson or not. Definitely my parents are some of the hardest working I know.
Dad worked sometimes unending on the family fruit farm his whole life. At 84 he still goes out daily to prune in the winter and Spring, Summer and Fall to do what needs to be done. Farming is not his job it is his vocation.

Times have certainly changed this work. All the canning factories in Canada are gone to my knowledge. No pears or peaches you buy canned off the shelf are from Canada. The economy of scale and standard of living here has taken care of that.

Fresh fruit in our local stores tell the story too. Strawberries from Florida or California can sell in our season for much cheaper. $ 5 a quart or more for Canadian Strawberries. Who can blame the parent or person who buys the cheaper imports.

I made a piece of fibre art last November that celebrates the annual taking pictures of the peach blossoms that my family usually does. It is kind of a joke that we have but upon reflection it also celebrates the hope that comes along with it. The hope of a full crop. The hope that the blooms made it through the winter. The hope of a good price to the farmer so you can pay the bills and have some money left over to do the whole cycle again the next year.

So I created the peach trees in their blossom state. A tribute to the cycles of a farmer, to honour the work that they have done and will do and a hope that this way of life, this vocation of farmers will still be around. Farmers work hard. They are not defined by pension plans, minimum wage, benifits.
They are called.

I love the land but I don't have the vocation, the calling to carry the burdens and worries of a farmer.

So here is my piece. I entered it several call to entries. I am pleased that it was accepted into Fibre Content 2016 which will run at the Art Gallery of Burlington, Ontario from the 8th of September until the 18th.



Maybe I don't have a vocation for farmer but maybe I have a desire to tell a story in fabric.  I must admit it is difficult to pour your heart into a piece of work and not be accepted. That is part of the process of life. Disappointments, successes, roadblocks. But in the end maybe I have to change my mindset and become more like my dad. Do the work, put in the time - day after day. 

This one is for you Mom and Dad. 

No matter what the future brings  on reflection you have taught me resiliency.


Jo

And PS thinning peaches was and remains my most hated memory of jobs on the farm. 


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Inspirational Class With Katja

Mother daughter bonding. A long time scheduled class with Katja Marek author of The New Hexegon, host of the New Hexegon, Millefloria Quilt Along, and Quilts on the Go for Quilts on the Grow was yesterday. My daughter and I have been packed for weeks, fabric chosen and anticipation high. This is the first class my daughter and I have gone to together since she was in high school and we went the Creative Festival in Toronto each year.

I was not disappointed in the class only in the fact that I could only watch people stitch!
I am feeling better - able to walk better, nose almost healed but I am waiting for my follow up x rays to see if I need a full cast.

Katja was an amazing teacher. Very organized, thoughtful, giving, sharing and engaging!
She was so interested in seeing the show and tell of some of the class participants on her quilt a longs.

Her Quilt Along information is free on her web site. She just asks that you purchase a book and register. She sayes she loves what she does and you can tell she does too!

The book is like a primer in English Paper Piecing, well laid out and organized published by Martingale.
Viewing potential where to fussy cut.

Diamonds laid out and on template paper ready to stitch

Six triangles laid out to stitch. 
We all learned that English Paper piecing is not as hard as it looks and makes a great by the TV, in the car, out at the park, in a waiting room type project. 

Katja uses a glue basting technique that cuts down the time to prep the pieces.

If you get a chance to have a class with her, or would like to book a great lecture for your guild ask Katja to come. 

Katja also owns a quilt shop in Kamloops, BC Canada. She has been to Germany and the Netherlands teaching this year. 

She also brought some lovely quilts that her very supportive mom has made. Beautiful workmanship! 

I am thankful my friend Leslie and Karen from my stitch and chat group decided to try and book her. They organized a great 2 days of classes and lecture for The Stoney Creek Quilters. Oh what you can achieve with a dream and some work! 

Till next time... 
Jo

I ran out of steam one hand typing or I would have written more about what a great day I had!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Oh Whats A Girl to do!!!! Forced Vacation

I have been so geared up to sew a storm. This week was to be the week! But it is not to be...
Friday I had a freak fall. Down I went off a curb... I can say life through me a curb honestly! lol
So now I sit (literally). After 1 ambulance ride, 4 hours in emergency I came home with a cut up nose, badly sprained ankle and a broken wrist bone.  Combine that with a few bruises and I was set to celebrate our May 24th holiday weekend in a lazy boy.

I am actually mending quite well. My face looks a whole lot better. Swelling has gone down in ankle and wrist. Still can't walk comfortably and I don't know how long I will have to wear my splint cast on my hand.

So for now I am having a forced rest and spend my time surfing the net, reading and watching videos. Off to the osteopath for assessment tomorrow and the Dr's next Wednesday.

I always say I want to be served by my family but it is not as fun as it once sounded. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May Marching Along...

Marching along. That is what I feel like I am doing. Since my latest body rebellion I have been trying to just march along on what needs to be done.

Goals to get through the month.
Family needs come first. This has been another month of appointments for mom and dad and myself. The last to get through will be for my hubby at the last day of the month. Hopefully June won't be as full. Although mom has another spot of her cancer that has to be removed. We are glad it is only one tiny one.
Honour my own body rebellion. Letting go of the need for perfection and asking for help. This one is hard for a helper.

Craftsy's 50% off members favorite classes sale
Craftsy is continuing its birthday festivities! Put on your party hat and celebrate with 50% off member-favorite classes. Grab a class before the deal expires on Saturday! 



On my sewing activity front. My main goal has been to finish my pieces I wish to enter into a regional show. The deadline is fast approaching. I did not feel well enough to work on this in April and some technical issues had alluded me. The issues are now resolved and I had a great day stitching away.

Portion of my piece yet untitled.

I am having a hard time coming up with a name for this piece. I think I have been working on it to long!
I took quiet time just to do some stitching on a project that I started in 2014. It is not a high priority and I usually only work on it in my monthly stitch group. It is a Judy Niemeyer Quilt - Log Cabins. 
It is not that it is particularly difficult but the process is time consuming. It is a paper piecing pattern for those who don't know. A lot of prep work. It just has not been on the high priority list. 
But to prove to myself that I have spent some time on it. Here it is ongoing. 
This is colour way two of five. The set consists of 5- arc A and 5- arc b. And 5 paper pieced log cabins. Set 1 is complete. Set 3, 4 and 5 are in bags patiently waiting their turn. 

The arcs take me sometime to figure out each time I start. I always did hate geometry with a passion. 
The log cabins less time. 

And Finally this week I will let you gaze at  another ongoing never ending project. My hand pieced grandmother flower garden. I have no idea when I started this. I did however start it using Linda Franz Inklingo products. http://www.inklingo.com/ This women's product is neat. You can use it to print paper piecing templates  as is the popular craze right now or to print on the back of your fabric to get perfect lines to sew on either by hand or machine. She has been
 doing this for a while and even had her husband drop off a book for me when he was going by to save me postage. Now who does that easily! (She offered.) 

I have no clue of how many I have made. I must find the box I have them saved in. It is a project I take in the car on long trips or lately been doing while waiting for someone at the hospital to have surgery or appointments.  This is not paper pieced but done by stitching on the lines printed on the back. 

I am going to test it out on my up coming Katija http://www.katjasquiltshoppe.com/ New Hexegon project. I just found out that I could use my already purchased Inklingo products to run paper through my printer to make my own templates for paper piecing. 

Well that is what I have been up to. I am finally feeling much better than I was for the last two months and am also happy the sun is shining. 

I am going to link to needle and thread network 

I enjoyed reading the blogs of my fellow Canadians last week so I thought I would try to join in each week as well. 

till next time

Jo
What have you been up to?


Reminder: Craftsy is offering a 50% off members favorite classes sale.  If you go through the link below as an affiliate I do get a small renumeration. I want to encourage you to get access to some of the best classes on a broad number of topics to help your creative growth.  I will never promote something that I don't myself use or feel is a rip off. Craftsy classes are one of my main goto's to learn new things. No pressure but if you like craftsy please consider going through my link. These offers will always be at the end of my blog posts. This is to ensure you are not pestered and can read my blog posts for enjoyment not pressure.
Jo

Craftsy's 50% off members favorite classes sale
Craftsy is continuing its birthday festivities! Put on your party hat and celebrate with 50% off member-favorite classes. Grab a class before the deal expires on Saturday! 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Work in progress



I have been busy working on two pieces I hope to enter into a show that will be in Burlington Ontario. No guarantees to get accepted especially with all the very talented artists who will be entering.
The encouragement from my family especially DH is so empowering. To have someone believe in you is such a besting. 
My small group the Fabrigos are like this too! We can bounce ideas off of each other, ask for opinions on the direction of our work and support each other. 
I wonder if there is any statistics on percentages on submissions to acceptances to shows. This would still be quite subjective depending on number of entrants, skill level and a mirad of other things. 
So why take the chance to enter juried shows? I think the best reason is because it pushes you. It pushes you to complete. It pushes you to hone your skills. It gives you a goal. Does that mean if you don't get in that your piece was no good? Maybe... To the standard of the day. Or maybe yes it wasn't that good. Or it wasn't what the juries liked. But if you are happy with your piece than you have accomplished a goal that many never try. Putting yourself out there! 
With that in mind I have been working on two pieces that are near and dear to my heart. Afraid to continue in case I may wreck it. 
Talking to my friend Al helped me put it in better perspective. It is only a few meters of fabric and 65 hours of work! Lol the investment in actual materials is small. Less than a dinner out. But in reality the time is the expensive part. But I can now say I have learned many ways I don't want something and vital lessons on how to do somethings...or not. 

How not to make my tree attempt 3!

Fear of quilting in action. What if I do it wrong. 

Time to get off the couch put some tunes on and tackle my fears and move on. 
These works in progress need to be done! 

Jo
Do you let the fear of perfect stand in your way? 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Craftsy Class Review - Amy Johnson - Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine.

Craftsy Class Review - Amy Johnson - Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine.

So I have set my note book (see last post), viewed the whole class and now have completed some of the lessons.

I have to say I really like Amy Johnson as a teacher. freemotionquiltingadventures.com is her blog which has lots of information and her online shop where you can find machine rulers and feet for your domestic machine. Disclosure: I do not get anything for promoting her web site. I just love it!

Her teaching style is easy to listen to, filled with information and she repeats key points which is helpful when you are learning. She shows many rulers that are available but stresses that you can use just two to start a straight machine quilting ruler and a curved machine quilting ruler. She even provides a template and how to create your own temporary ruler to get started! No hard sell for supplies here. I like that in a teacher. This makes this a class for those who maybe can't quite afford it all to participate. And will let you test some experience before you leap into the world of supplies.

Here are a couple of pictures of my first attempts
The machine I am using

Using the straight ruler in grid work. Notice the little glitches on the bottom line as I started up the line.  
 The great thing about this class is you can take a picture and ask the teacher why this happens. Amy responded within a day.
Here is the finished square. 
This square was done not using the stitch regulator that comes with the machine. I have yet to try that. 

Next I did grid work with the curved ruler. 
 This I didn't feel as good with. I did not take my time or mark the grid lines well. I also did not understand how to use the registration lines on the ruler. Rulers are not created equal. Before you invest I suggest watching or looking at on line tutorials of how the ruler is used and see what you think would work best for you. I plan to use the two rulers I have until I feel that I have mastered them. My I bought are about 6 inches. If I bought another I would buy a 12 straight ruler as well for bigger blocks.


Seeing Amy do it it looks effortless. But she stress what I think we all know... practice, practice, practice.

I would definitely recommend Amy's Craftsy Class.

If you are interested you may click here to go to Craftsy and this class description
Quilting With Rulers on a Home Machine

Disclosure: If you do, I do get an affiliate fee.
I am stating that I don't want to turn anyone off of reading my blog.  So No Pressure Here!




From time to time I am going to share my free motion progress as well. Here is a sample of a design based from Leah Days 50 Free Motion Filler Book. freemotionquilting I have been following her since shortly after she started her 365 free motion project. Go to her site and check out her story. She has posted the most amazing videos showing her designs for free. You can also purchase supplies from her.  Disclosure: I get nothing from promoting her web site. I just love her. 

Leah also has classes on Craftsy with if you went through my craftsy button I would get an affiliate fee for. Again no pressure. 


I will add more pictures of my class work for you to view. This I hope is going to keep me accountable. 


How do you feel about machine quilting. Is it something you want to do? Is the learning curve to high? If you are an accomplished machine quilter how long did it take you to feel comfortable with your skills? 

Trying to figure this new skill out is a challenge for me for sure! 

jo

Monday, May 2, 2016

How I approach learning from an on line class like Craftsy.

How I approach an online class like from Craftsy or any other online or in person class.

I have a tendency to watch the whole class before I start any work so that I can get a feel for the class.
Being bit of a geek I then print the class requirements and put them in a three ring binder that I have for classes I have taken. This is to ensure I don't lose the papers!

Then I use one of these

for each course I take. I am not expecting to fill up all the pages but they are so cheap at back to school time I stock up to use them. 

I write the course name on it and as I watch the video I write down the information I like to remember or any questions I may have. 

Craftsy makes it easy to stop the video and rewind to review again or to listen again to what you missed because the dog choose that moment to jump on your lap or the cat threw up a hairball! 

Samples I make and want to keep go into this book. Pictures I take of my process through the class can go into this book. 

Working this way helps me to remember. It is how I worked in school too. Write notes, transcribe them and find out what I didn't know or need to look up. 

I prep anything that needs prepping ie find fabric, supplies etc. 

Then I work through the class with the computer beside me to remind me what to do and my notes. 

This is what works for me. What do you do when you take an online class? 

How many do you actually finish? 

I have not been very disciplined. I have viewed all my classes but not finished them. Some I admit just are for me to do the project. But with my note taking I have learned valuable things from each class. 

I am hoping that accountablity to blog land will help me not only add to my skills but make me finish what I take. 


Craftsy has a sale often of which will be noted on the side bar of my blog. 

I am also going to add bloglovin as a feed option. 

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/6045929/?claim=9qkxz4c8v3v">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Hope you enjoy how I work. 

Jo