Monday, November 17, 2014

Sew Sisters Blogathon

Hi! Welcome to my little piece of the quilting web. My name is Erica and if you are visiting from the Sew Sisters Blogathon you probably already know I'm from Alberta. Specifically, I'm from southern Alberta where our blast of winter is being carried away by the (not as warm as I'd like) chinook winds right now. I have been sewing and doing needlecraft as long as I can remember but quilting seems to be where it really sticks for me. My husband and I have three children who are all married and moved out on their own so we are now empty nesters running a little bit wild with all our new-found freedom. When I'm not at work and when we aren't trekking off on a trip somewhere I can be be found spending a lot of time in my sewing room. This is my husband and I at a place we frequent often on vacation:

Speaking of my sewing room, I am very excited because we are converting one of the now-empty bedrooms upstairs into a sewing space for me. Having spent many, many years setting up my machine on the end of the dining room table and clearing it each night for supper I've been thrilled to have my own little sewing space in the basement for the past several years; moving into a larger room with natural light and room for a design wall has me practically swooning - it will be like Christmas coming early and over and over again! This is my current space:

 And here is where I'm moving:

Super nice, eh? I'm very excited. We're actually renovating the entire top floor. The carpet will be installed in a couple weeks so we (and by we I mean mostly my hubby) are working to get everything ready for that. After 15 years, three kids and their friends, and several pets it was time for new carpet. Since we're pulling up the flooring anyway, we figured we would paint and - because my husband is a finish carpenter in the real world - we are replacing the half wall in our stairwell with a nice wood and spindle railing (those are some of the wooden parts leaning up against the wall).

Of course my new space requires a bit of outfitting. In my present sewing room I am spoiled having a built in sewing desk and shelving; husband is looking forward to taking that area over for his remote control planes and Go Pro hobbies so the room will go to good use but that means I have to find things that work for me in my new space. So far, I've managed to scope out these:

I need to get out a measuring tape and some graph paper to figure out what will work best - it will probably take a bit of trial and error to get it just right, but I'm up for the challenge!

Thanks for stopping by to visit and I hope you will come again. I have a few projects on the go so you will be able to see I'm a fabric lover just like you are and I actually do get a few quilts made, too!

A big shout-out to our Alberta blogathon hosts:

Kelsey @ Everyday Fray

Leanne @ She Can Quilt

Thanks to all the hosts across Canada as well!  Have a great week, everyone.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bits and Pieces

The most enduring friendships I am blessed to have are ones that have been cultivated over a long time, often in fits and spurts punctuated by less busy times or even periods of relative quiet. In those relationships, we know one another are out there but we also recognize that life can get full and other things end up taking precedence - nobody is forgotten about and no relationship is less important, it's just the way things go sometimes. I'm realizing blogging can be that way at times, too. Sometimes the silence is because there is intensity in other areas or, in my case, it's because life is just full of lots of wonderful, exciting, challenging stuff and there aren't enough hours in the day to squeeze everything in.

Hmm. Sounds like my sewing room, at times.

I have not lost my quilting mojo but I definitely got distracted, Ironically, the last five months were somewhat consumed by a project management certificate I was taking. Funny how learning to get my act together for work caused me to have it less together in the sewing room - does that seem a bit backwards to you? Me too! I'm also fairly certain my newly endowed project management skills will not prevent the quilter in me from hopping from project to project, starting things because of inspiration (darn you, Pinterest!) and the like.

My meager sewing accomplishments, of late, have been fairly limited to things I needed to finish as part of my social media group commitments ( which by the way, is totally okay). First up, my November blocks for the Happiness circle at Do Good Stitches. Our quilter asked for log cabins in mustard, aqua/light blue, and grey.

I know, you don't have to say it. Those aren't exactly log cabins, are they? Don't ask my where my mind was as I was sewing these together but let's just say there are a couple of "oops" blocks which I hope can be repurposed on the back of the quilt - sorry, Marika! Thankfully, it was an easy error to correct:

One project that has been ongoing most of this year is a result of being part of Traveling Quilts Canada. It has been such a fun experience that I would do again in a heartbeat (hint, hint!) and each month I marvel when I open the package to see what has come my way. We are at the end of our sewing journey now so the past couple of weeks I have been working on quilting and finishing one of the member's quilts. All that is left is to stitch on a label and send it home - how exciting! It wouldn't be fair for me to post a full picture before the quilt makes it to its final destination but here is a little peek - a burst of light and colour to help chase away the snow and cold temperatures.

Speaking of snow, I picked up a kit earlier this fall that probably doesn't look much like the contemporary projects I usually work on. At heart, I'm a quilter and although I prefer and tend toward a modern aesthetic, there will always be a place in my heart for traditional quilts and projects. While attending a retreat in Wisconsin back in September I saw a project I really liked and eventually came home and purchased the kit to make it. Since it is a winter-themed quilt I thought I better start getting on with it. Unfortunately, I was not as careful as I should be when fusing my wool applique to it's background:

as much as I'd like to tell you that darkened area is some kind of primitive effect I've purposely added to the fabric the scorching truth is, well, I scorched it (let this serve as a warning to Olaf about the dangers of too much warmth!) Thankfully, this block can be salvaged with a little design alteration and it will find its way into my finished quilt.

Whew, that was a fair bit of catching up and certainly more than enough for one post. I'll actually be back shortly, already, because I was invited to be part of Sew Sisters' Canadian Quilters Connect Blogathon Canada which starts tomorrow. It is an honour to be asked to join in and I look forward to meeting and revisiting other Canadian quilt bloggers this coming week - should be fun.

Stay warm (but not too warm).