Tuesday 15 July 2014

New Blogger Blog Hop

So I've been taking part in this New Blogger Blog Hop hosted by the lovely Beth at Plum and June. And this is my week. So far, the experience has been great. Thanks to everyone that has been involved and to Beth for putting this on!

Plum and June

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to write about for my post for the hop. I'm so bad about introductions. I always feel like I'm filling out an online dating profile or something. I like long walks on the beach, etc. (um, actually long walks on the beach sounds really nice). And I do have an 'about me' page on my blog (so I feel like I'm covered, um, kind of).

But here's something that is maybe new to you (whether you've been here before or not). I'm a little bit of a an academic (I can hear the doubt and snorts of derision now, but its true). Books and information are like food to me (and libraries give me this little high- I shouldn't be allowed into them). In fact, I've noticed that most quilters are highly educated highly intelligent people.

That being that, the origin of my quilting journey actually started long ago with my study of the origin of all goodness- fabric (well, textiles as a more encompassing term). I had almost forgotten about it. It almost seems like a different life now (kids will do that to you). I even forgot that I have a bin of fabric that I collected in India- a stash before I even knew I had a stash (or even used the word)!

Celebrating a local god in India, Tamil Nadu

I spent two tours of duty, so to speak, in India researching and studying textiles/fabric.

Left to right: Hallway of temple in Tamil Nadu, Taj Mahal, and a holy man, or sadhu (who wanted me to take his picture)

This is the place to buy fabric. It's like one of the birthplaces of weaving and textiles and cotton- lots of cotton.

Wall of fabric, silk sari (modelled by a man), and a bunch of local women buying saris (it's a group decision)

I studied the social and economic aspects of saris (the local dress) and spent sometime researching the handlooming industry of India. I even co-curated a museum exhibition on textiles from around the world. Someday I have to write about it all (other than the papers and theses I've already written about it).

Handloom workshop in India. All the looms are recessed into the floor.

So I have more background in fabric than I would ever remember to admit.

And I would call myself an artist before I would call myself a quilter (or academic). You can read about the transition from a paint media to quilting here (and see the reason why the boys are part of the blog).

From left to right: Mini quilt,  first quilt ever
Star Wars quilt
I haven't completed many quilts yet. I like to say I'm into the slow sewing movement (like the slow food movement, but with sewing), but it's usually not by choice (hence the 'boys' added to the name of this blog).

Wedding quilt
From left to right: Melodie's quilt, Feathers quilt

Currently I'm working on a double wedding ring quilt for my brothers wedding. Never mind I have relatively new quilting skills and no experience with sewing curves. But I like to jump into things like that. I mean if you're going to do it, man... just really do it (for better, or for worse, this seems to be my mantra).


Lastly, here's my one little bit of knowledge that I will leave you with (gleaned from all those years researching, studying, etc). Ikat (pronounced ee-cot), is a term that often connotes a certain design. But ikat is really a technique, where the warp threads (ones that run up and down) and the weft threads (ones that run across) are dyed before they are woven together. The result is patterns and designs that are slightly feathered on the edges (because it's pretty hard to match up the threads when weaving them). Real ikat material will look the same on the back and the front (and usually costs more because it requires more skill to achieve).

Ikat sari from India

And now you are a little bit smarter and can carry on to visit all the rest of the awesome bloggers that are taking part in this hop!

Elli @ Lovelli Quilts
Sally @ Wonky Patchwork

Plum and June

Sunday 13 July 2014

Q3 FAL list

So, I thought maybe that I wouldn't do a list this quarter for the 2014 Finish Along hosted by Katy at The Littlest Thistle. After all, in the last quarter of the year I only managed one finish.

But then I changed my mind. I need some motivation some accountability (and more time. Always more time.)
So in true 'Jehnny' form, it's a big list (I might have been an overachiever in school):

1. The sunnyside quilt. Finish top, finish quilt!! How can I be so close and yet so far away?

2. The triangle quilt (you'll notice I have very creative names for my quilts, haha). All it needs is a baste and a quilt. BASTE and QUILT! (sorry, I feel like a gym coach all of a sudden).

3. Double wedding ring quilt. Why does it seem like I'm doing a flipping wedding quilt every quarter? This one is for my brother. But if finishing this means my bro is married and out of my parents house, I'll do it (um, I'd do two, or three..).

Modern bargello. It's coming, I just keep getting interrupted... by things... and little people... and things.

Ok, actually that's it. Really not a big list (guess I lied).

I could add more. I should add more, but really my goal is to finish more than I did last time (which won't be hard. I think I can top one. I REALLY hope I can top one).

Here's to more finishes and to winning prizes (which I haven't yet- seriously people stop finishing things and give me a chance)! If you'd like to join, you have like a few hours until the link up closes. Head over to The Littlest Thistle and get sewing!

Friday 4 July 2014

Hang Your Head in Shame- FAL Q2 Reckoning

Actually it should be 'hang my head in shame' because this is where I tell you all the wonderful things that I accomplished from the Finish Along with Katy at The Littlest Thistle for the second quarter.

Um... well... not much. In fact, just one. One measly finish (see the list here).
I could tell you all the reasons why, but do you really want to hear me complain more than I probably already do. The funny thing is, I did finish quite a few things, I just didn't work on any of the projects I was suppose to.

The Star Wars quilt is my one finish. I already did a post on it (here), but to make myself feel like I did something I'm posting it again.

It's gone through quite a few washings now and I'm happy (and a little surprised) to say that the stitching has held together. I'm probably most proud of this quilt because of the back.

I came up with my own pattern for the Death Star and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out (despite all the cursing I did while piecing the sucker. And honestly, when I say cursing I mean a lot of "for Pete's sake" cause that is my cursing- because I'm just one of those people who can't curse well. I've tried, real swear words just sound ridiculous coming out of my mouth. People laugh when I swear. Well, people laugh when I say "for Pete's sake" too so...).

Anyway, the quilt is loved. Here's hoping the next few months are more productive!

And linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts!

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Wedding Ring WIP (and other stuff)

So with a new month came the start of a new quilt. My brother is getting married in a month and I had planned on making him and his soon-to-be wife a double wedding quilt. I had seen the one by Victoria Findlay Wolfe  and loved it, so I wanted to make a similar one for my brother (unfortunately for me, her book on double wedding ring quilts doesn't come out until next year).

This is it so far as I got ( I apologise in advance for the photos in this post. They seem really blurry to me, but I can't seem to fix them. My husband keeps telling me we need a new monitor, maybe he's right this time :)

I didn't get much finished on it yesterday as it was Canada Day and we spent the day out at the Millarville Races.  It's kind of a country fair with a farmers market, combined with some horse races. If you've never had the experience of feeling and hearing a horse thunder past you at a million miles per hour, you should, it's something else that's for sure.

My kids rode the mechanical bull, petted goats, lambs, pigs, bunnies and chicks forever, and participated in the kid races. But by far the biggest draw was the big pile of dirt that was loaded with money for kids to dig in(in Canada our $1 and $2 denominations are in coin form). I swear they spent hours digging through that pile planning their retirement (they found two nickels).

It was about then that I wanted to be back home sewing. After all a month is not that long. I managed to finish some of the improv pieced fabric that I will use for the quilt. I keep second guessing the fabric choices and changing how I'm piecing it all together. The pile of material I pulled was enormous and gradually some of it has been axed.

I'm a little nervous as to how this is all going to come together. Hopefully there will be enough cohesive fabric to give it some unity. I'm already working with more black than I ever have before.
I also gave in and bought double wedding ring templates (instead of making my own cheap cardboard ones. It just about destroyed my inner cheap side to do so). But I have to tell you I already love them. They are going to make cutting so much easier (and probably more accurate as well).

And not everything is in the midst of chaos and cutting. I did manage to make some more pouches (seriously I need an intervention) and a snappy manicure case for my sister's birthday.

I am in love with the pattern I made for the arrows. And Essex Yarn Dyed linen in Flax goes so well with Anna Maria Horner prints (just saying).

Linking up with Freshly Pieced and
Sew Fresh Quilts