Sunday, December 18, 2016

Saturday Lists, Stash, & 150 Canadian Women

The Day of Big Lists 
and Why You Should Have One

More than any other time of year, this is the Craziest (with a capital "C") for most of us. There would be no other opportune moment for me to plug the value of making lists than today, one week before Christmas and Hanukkah. My current lists are:

Santa's List
Home and Holiday Budgets
Calendars: His, Hers, Theirs, Yours
Travel Itineraries
Studio Work/ Holiday Sewing

Short of having a personal assistant, a list is a life saver. If you're still reading, and asking why I would say this, it's simple. It is a Feel Good Thing. There is a built-in reward system when we cross an item off, and even when we go back through the week and see how much we powered through. It's motivation in itself, and if you are short of believing this, just give it a try. All you Doubting Thomas's out there, pick one list to make this week, and see how it goes. 

Here's my Studio/Sewing list, and I'm keeping things fairly light the next week as I still need to decorate the tree.

1. Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt 'En Provence' continues, 
Part 4. 80 Tri Recs blocks in bright fuchsia and low volume backgrounds, though Bonnie is using her deepest purples. I hit my brightest fabric, and mixed it up.

2. Some Christmas sewing for the dogs. Maybe some quick little bandannas to get them in the Christmas spirit. Maybe they will help me find it, too.

3. I have Insul Bright coming via mail Monday, and would like to make some bowl holders for little Christmas presents. We don't do much in the way of gifting here, but something little is fun share.

Now about that fabric above...I know it doesn't look like what I normally buy, but--Pinterest has gotten me deep into the world of old quilts. I've skipped around from the Depression fabrics to the reproduction Civil War fabric. I have books on my table about the history of fabric from the Europe, Russia, and the US. I'm in deep. It's like art appreciate where you never saw the beauty of Jackson Pollack's art, and all of a sudden you wanted it on your wall. I desperately needed to work with some of this fabric! (Thank heaven for Zinck's where this fabric was all $3.99-$6.99 a yard!)

Let me take you further, and tell you why. It's not the fabric. It's the people who designed and produced the original, and the women and men who used fabric like it during that time period. It seems to transport me back, and makes me wonder what it was to survive then. Were they using similar prints to keep themselves warm or send off to soldier charities? Where did it come from, and what did they sacrifice to buy or trade for it? Was it leftover clothing from family members? Why didn't that person need the clothes anymore? Seriously, it's like immersing myself in the history of the cloth. 

When we understand how important sewing was to maintaining a household in that time, it gains greater meaning to the luxury someone took to turn it into a designed quilt block. Understand how quilt blocks each may have had a specific or hidden meaning, and we hit yet another level to the quilt.

Squeezed into a very tight work space in my living room, I've been sewing while I spend time with the family. They don't seem to mind the hum of my machine as we watch the bad weather come and go, and binge watch Netflix.

The New Project: 150 Canadian Women
Blocks 1-3

4. Catch up blocks for the 150 Canadian Women at Next Step Quilt Designs.  Printed off and kept in a binder, each week's patterns include a short history of one prominent Canadian woman/hero, and certainly make you think. This is a much different history than that of the US. 

They are issuing 3 blocks a week, and I still have 12 to do. They're fairly simple so far, and I was still making up my mind if I would join until I found the new fabric. The quilt is intended to be made entirely from reds and neutrals, but as I shopped I kept finding some lovely blues and blacks. I questioned my Canadian friend, Sandra, at mmm!quilts whether she might be offended if I Americanized it. With a thumbs up from her, I was in! It will be a nice way to create a patriotic themed sampler for me now. 

You can still join. Each set of blocks is offered for only a short time, but with a similar construction method as the rest. Click through the link above.

See? A short, doable list this week for me. What's on your sewing list?

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.


  1. You're enticing me to get up to Berlin's "Zincks" fabric store!! I have stayed away toooooo long!! lol
    I like your thoughts on Canadian quilters......I guess we do get stuck right here in America.....and there are so many other countries and peoples who have much to tell us. Too many fabrics, too many patterns, too many rabbit trails waiting to be followed......I need MORE hours! You inspire me!

  2. A sewing list is not in the works any time soon. Right now sewing and quilting is a sanity saver. The 150 Canadian Women blocks look good in your patriotic colours.

  3. I love lists, although I've been slacking in that department lately. If it's not written down, it doesn't get done. Kudos on starting the 150 Canadian Women QAL. I decided not to play along and now I'm regretting it.

  4. I haven't been to Zincks in a long time. In the summer the traffic in Berlin can be so crazy! You picked up some fabulous fabrics!

  5. I've always been a list maker, and for as long as I've had a computer I've kept my Do-List there. But as I was reading your post, I realized that the drawback of a digital list like mine is that, when I delete completed items off a Word document, I can't SEE those tasks anymore. I continually add to the list so it's never finished, and it's handy to be able to rearrange tasks in the list by priority and highlight or bold-face tasks that MUST get done that day, but I don't get to see the list at the end of the day with all the tasks crossed off. I just see that I still have a super long list of things that aren't done yet. Hmmm... I need to think about this some more!

    Also, although I'm not currently in a Civil War era phase, I totally get what you're saying about feeling that historical connection with quilters from another time. I feel that way when I sew Depression-era blocks on my 1935 Featherweight machine. It's like time traveling!

  6. Your En Provence blocks are so bright and pretty. Your version is going to be such fun to see come together. Your fabric choices for the 150 Canadian Woman are beautiful. Happy stitching this week.


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