Friday, 30 November 2012

Colour My World Blue

When my dad died nine years ago, a good friend gave me a card with the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars." I've kept that card, usually on my office bulletin board, as a reminder that there is good -- beauty even -- in the midst of hardship. I cannot tell you how much I've leaned on that quote over the years.

For my Colour My World Blue challenge, I decided to do a quilty interpretation of that quote. This is Rough Seas. It may not look like it, but that little boat will make it. :)

Rough Seas
Rough Seas
Rough Seas
Quilting Detail

I started with a 16" square of medium blue solid for the background and added the batting and backing. I drew the boat and wave sections with a Clover White Marking Pen as my general guidelines.

For the quilting, I used eight yummy shades of Aurifil blue (#2612, 5008, 2770, 1320, 1125, 2740, 2783, 2785) in a variety of cotton weights -- 40, 50 and even 28 -- to see if I could get the thread to act as the light source. Then I just played with different water-like quilting motifs in each of the wave sections. Each section was pretty small so it was fun to try different motifs to depict a crazy ocean storm. Although the hubster did say that the wave sections might look like a certain light...hmm...

The dense quilting shrunk it half an inch and I trimmed it another inch so it measures 14.5" by 14.5" zig zag finish, like my other Colour My World challenges.

I'm so happy with how it turned out. Two years ago, I would never have been able to do this month's challenge so I'm definitely doing the Happy Dance today!

Rough Seas
Quilting Detail
Emma How of Sampaguita Quilts's Cinqo de Mayo wholecloth quilt is on my bucket list of quilt styles I'd like to try someday. I'm thinking it may just be possible now. :D

Only one month left to go and our last colour is green! Fir trees, anyone? Hmmm?

Also linking up with TGIFF! over at Making Rebecca Lynne because I'm definitely celebrating this finish!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Plum Pudding, Purple Fizz, Icy Mauve...

DSC09765I was browsing Pinterest the other day, when I came across this Moda Bake Shop placemat tutorial by Crazy Old Ladies. Love at first sight! I knew I had to give it a try.

DSC09766As usual, I didn't follow the instructions precisely; I swapped white for grey, used Nature's Palette by Lyndhurst Studio because that's what I had on hand, changed the height of the placemats and used my machine to do the lettering instead of hand stitching the names. I'm such a rebel.

I found some of the names for the colours online like Velvet Slipper, Bunchberry, Taste of Berry, etc. and had fun coming up with others like Purple Fizz.

DSC09768While the grey looks fine, I think the white is what gives it that paint chip feel though so I'll do the white time. Guess I should have listened to the teacher...

I like it with the ombre fabric, although mine was more swirly than the Moda fabric. I'm thinking this would also be fun to try some of these placemats using the Design Seeds palettes.

One gift done! :D

Linking up with Sew Modern Monday over at Canoe Ridge Creatons!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Works in Progress - November 21, 2012

Things seem to be settling down around here a little. I've even had some time this week to start blog hopping again. Yay!

Completed Projects:

Blocks for Hurricane Sandy: All 20 blocks are done for the Sandy Quilt Block Drive with Michele at the Quilting Gallery. I had originally signed up for 8, but then started making 20 (strip piecing) so...I signed up for 12 more. I can't imagine having to deal with flooded and damaged homes in the cold -- my heart just breaks for all those people.

New Projects:

Commissioned quilt: Yes, that's right, I have my first commission! It's for a wee spy quilt for a friend's cousin. Even though I've made about 40 of these quilts for friends and family, this one has me more nervous than usual. It's coming along well though and it should be finished today or tomorrow. Aren't those butterflies adorable?

Colour My World Blue: For this month's Colour My World Challenge for blue, I thought I'd work on my free motion quilting. I'm thinking one medium tone of blue fabric as the background and a range of values of blue threads. Here's the beginning of my sketch:

Current Projects: 

Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop:
My turn on this fun blog hop was last Friday. Now that the block is done, I'm appliquéing it to a background. I'm thinking pillow?...bag? Whatever it will be will need to be done by November 30th for the big Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop link up! Here's Ottawa, EPP-style...

Seeing the Forest for the Trees Quilt: Still enjoying the design wall. Hopefully this week!

On Hold/UFO Mash-up:
Don't Worry {Bee} Happy Bee - I'll be supplementing the blocks made by my bee mates, but haven't made any progress.
Appliqué/Quilt/Paint Thing
Mini I Spy Charity Quilt
Modern Block Monday Sampler 
Chop Suey
Wedding quilt
Nine patch colourwash

WIP Wednesday Recap: Woo hoo! We're under 20!
New projects: 2
Completed projects: 1
Current projects: 2
On Hold/UFO: 15

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Almost (Okay, Not Even Close To) Famous

Did you know that quilting is a great stress reliever? Duh, of course YOU did. Now more people in Canada know it too. The December print issue of Canadian Living (their site has an awesome recipe directory BTW) has an article about using the five senses to de-stress during the holidays, which features yours truly waxing poetic about our collective passion.

So when the crazies hit this holiday season, go touch some fabric!

To my Canadian quilty friends who can get this issue, I highly recommend you leave it lying open to this article on the coffee table so loved ones can see it. Maybe circle it with red marker if your family is as observant as mine (Love you, honey! :) ). Then if you want more quilting time, start wringing your hands and muttering distractedly, "Butter, gotta pick up butter for the shortbread. More butter. At least 3, no maybe 4, no definitely 6. Right, 6 bricks. Gotta remember this time! Crap, how many did I say?" Before you know it, your loved ones will be encouraging you to take some 'you' time to relax in your happy sewing space. :D

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Colour My World Blue

Color icon blue.svg
Blue Moon 
You saw me standing alone 
Without a dream in my heart 
Without a love of my own... 

When I think of blue, that song originally sung by Connee Boswell in 1935 and later covered by The Marcels, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, among others, is the first thing that comes to mind. This month's colour for the Colour My World Challenge is blue. Easy one, right? Right!

According to Wikipedia (forgive my laziness; I have a very short window sans kids here), "In painting and traditional colour theory, blue is one of the three primary colours of pigments (red, yellow, blue), which can be mixed to form a wide gamut of colours. The RYB model was used for colour printing by Jacob Christoph Le Blon as early as 1725. Later, printers discovered that more accurate colours could be created by using combinations of magenta, cyan, yellow and black ink, put onto separate inked plates and then overlaid one at a time onto paper. This method could produce almost all the colours in the spectrum with reasonable accuracy.

In the 19th century, the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell found a new way of explaining colours, by the wavelength of their light. He showed that white light could be created by combining red, blue and green light, and that virtually all colours could be made by different combinations of these three colours. His idea, called additive colour or the RGB colour model, is used today to create colours on televisions and computer screens. The screen is covered by tiny pixels, each with three fluorescent elements for creating red, green and blue light. If the red, blue and green elements all glow at once, the pixel looks white. As the screen is scanned from behind with electrons, each pixel creates its own designated colour, composing a complete picture on the screen. Blue is the colour of light between violet and green on the visible spectrum. Hues of blue include indigo and ultramarine, closer to violet; pure blue, without any mixture of other colours; Cyan, which is midway on the spectrum between blue and green, and the other blue-greens turquoiseteal, and aquamarine."

According to Sensational Color, "Blue calms and sedates, cools and aids intuition." Blue is the least "gender specific" colour in terms of preference, having equal appeal to both men and women. People associate blue with sympathy, harmony, faithfulness, friendship and confidence. But it's also associated with sadness and depression (e.g. "He was feeling blue").

Random blue fact goodness from Wikipedia and Sensational Color:

  • In Russian and some other languages, there is no one word for blue, but rather different words for light blue (голубой, goluboy) and dark blue (синий, siniy).
  • Several languages, including Japanese, Thai, Korean, and Lakota Sioux, use the same word to describe blue and green. 
  • Blue is commonly used in the Western hemisphere to symbolise boys, in contrast to pink used for girls. But as we saw when we talked about Pink, in the early 1900s, blue was the colour for girls, since it had traditionally been the colour of the Virgin Mary in Western Art), while pink was for boys (as it was akin to the colour red, considered a masculine colour).
  • In Thailand, blue is associated with Friday on the Thai solar calendar. Anyone may wear blue on Fridays and anyone born on a Friday may adopt blue as their colour.
  • Blue, blue-green, and green are sacred colors in Iran, where they symbolize paradise.
  • In India, paintings of the god Krishna often depict him as having blue skin.
  • In Greece, the color blue is believed to ward off "the evil eye." Those who believe in this Greek superstition often wear a blue charm necklace or blue bracelet for protection.
  • In 1873 a German immigrant in San Francisco, Levi Strauss, invented a sturdy kind of work trousers, made of denim fabric and coloured with indigo dye, called blue jeans. In 1935, they were raised to the level of high fashion by Vogue magazine. 
  • Blue is the favored color choice for toothbrushes.
  • Powder blue is often used in products to promote cleanliness and purity.
  • IBM's Deep Blue became the first computer to win a chess tournament against a reigning world champion chess master. Deep Blue had 32 processors and processed about 200 million chess moves per second in its historic six-game match against Garry Kasparov. 
  • Over the past decade, scientists have reported the successful use of blue light in the treatment of a wide variety of psychological problems, including addictions, eating disorders, impotence, and depression.
  • People are often more productive in blue rooms.
  • Owls are the only birds that can see the color blue.
  • Mosquitoes are attracted to the color blue twice as much as to any other colour.
  • The colour blue is the least common color in the foods we eat.
  • If you drive a Dark Blue vehicle, you send the message that you are credible, confident, dependable. (Therefore, you know that you can trust what I say here, because I drive a dark blue minivan!)
  • If you drive a Light or Mid-Blue vehicle, you send the message that you are cool, calm, faithful, and quiet. 
This interesting video by the Blue Man Group actually talks about how our eyes see colour.

Blue resources:
What do you think about when you hear blue? What would you do with blue? I think I know what I'd like to do this month so we'll see you on November 30th for the link up.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Ottawa, EPP-Style!

If you are coming by from the Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop, welcome to Ottawa, the capital city of Canada! From October 1st - November 30th, we are hopping all over the world, EPP-ing in some fantastic locations. Check out the full list here and be sure to check out the other participants.

Colours I associate with my adopted city, and I think many other people do too, are red, white, black and grey. Red and white for the national flag, which you see everywhere here and particularly on Canada Day, when we host the biggest Canada Day party across the country. Our RCMP, affectionately known as the Mounties, and the Governor General's Foot Guards (nicknamed the Googoo Foogoos -- I kid you not!), dress in red and black. Red, white and black are also the colours of our hockey teams: the Senators (boo, hiss -- they are on strike) and the Major Junior team, the 67s (my kids' favourite team).

I did a post about Ottawa and the quilting scene here last year, if that interests you, but here are some of my favourite photos and views of the city:

The best photo I have that shows the colours of this fine city is this one of the Governor General's Foot Guards during the changing of the guard on Parliament Hill this past summer:

I'm very much a rookie at English Paper Piecing, having only done two flower hexies this past summer for my bee, but I'm always game for a challenge. Thanks to Laura and Katy for asking me to participate in this blog hop. What a fun way to see the world with all the participants!

I loved the sprocket block at A Few Scraps, but I wanted to showcase more colours or fabrics so I modified it to this:

Yes, that is totem fabric in the middle hex-ring.

And snowflake fabric 'cause we get lots of snow!

Many thanks to the hubster and Ginette for helping me sort out the colours of that outer hex-ring and diamonds. It was looking dodgy there for a while!

I hope you enjoyed your visit to one of my favourite cities and decide to come back and visit me often!

Be sure to check out the rest of the schedule for the Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop:

17 Cyndi @ Cyndistitches AND Gemma @ PrettyBobbins
18 Charlotte @ Displacement Activity
21 Sara @ Sew Sweetness
22 Janice @ BetterOffThread
23 Rebecca @ MakingRebeccaLynne
24 Diane @ From Blank Pages
26 Danny @ Mommy For Reals
28 Nic @ Dragon Rambles
29 Dana @ Sea Sew

Also, you can start planning your own EPP project using a travel photo as your inspiration and link up on November 30th for a chance to win one of these fabulous prizes!

Sponsored by Paperpieces.comFabricwormPink Castle Fabrics  Marmalade Fabrics, the Fat Quarter ShopWantItNeedItQuilt, and Aurifil.

Full details for competition entry can be found here.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Works In Progress Wednesday - November 14, 2012

Whoa, I just realized it's been four weeks since I did a WIP post. Not quite sure how that happened, but let's update:

New Projects:

Blocks for Hurricane Sandy: I signed up for the Sandy Quilt Block Drive with Michele at the Quilting Gallery to make some blocks for quilts to go to Hurricane Sandy victims. I promised to make 8 wonky log cabins and I'm making 20 almost-spot on log cabins. Um, right...

Don't Worry {Bee} Happy Bee: November is my month and I've requested improv pieced blocks from my bee mates.

I made this one:

Heather from Crafting... made this one:

Thank you, Heather! I love it! So excited to see what my other beemates make. Think improv rainbow...

Travellin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop:
My turn on this fun blog hop is this Friday! Can't wait to show you Ottawa, EPP-style!

Completed Projects:

Save Big Bird: I'm so happy to report that Save Big Bird raised $100 for the United Way at the hubster's work. Awesome!
Monkey #1 sneaks into the picture
Modern GoodnessDone and shared for the Bloggers Quilt Festival!

Cheeky Pumpkin Block for Wicked Blog Hop: Done with a tutorial.

Converging Stars

Colour My World Grey:

Current Projects: 

Seeing the Forest for the Trees Quilt: Off the On Hold list and back on the design wall!

Wedding quilt
Nine patch colourwash

WIP Wednesday Recap: Woo hoo! We're under 20!
New projects: 3
Completed projects: 5
Current projects: 1
On Hold/UFO: 14

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