Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Sew Sisters Blog

Thank you to Sew Sisters for hosting Blogathon Canada for their 3rd year. Also a big thank you to Linda at Scrapmaster  and Linda at Stitch Lines for being our Maritime hosts for today. Make sure to hop on over to their blogs and if you missed out on yesterdays bloggers, check out Stacey in Stitches and Momiji Studio from BC.

Each year I look forward to seeing what Canadian quilters/textiles artists are working on and meeting new people. It creates a wonderful sense of community! This summer I unplugged so that I could spend more time with my husband and children and fly to Alberta to visit family for the first time in five years. While there, we had the opportunity to check out the Western Threads exhibit at the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton. There is some pretty amazing textile and fibre art happening across this country. Once we got back to Nova Scotia my sewing room became our storage room and we embarked on kitchen and bathroom renovations. Today is my day off and I FINALLY get to reclaim my space now that all the work is done. (read as .... catch up on my We Bee Canada quilt blocks that I am months behind on and Teresa hasn't had access to her sewing room since July soooo .... no quilt pics to see for now ... sorry)

We moved to Nova Scotia almost 5 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario. My daughters' dance and music lesson schedules prevent me from joining any guilds. I have come to realize that one of the things that I miss most is the community of textile artists that I had around me .... those days of packing up to head to the Quiltin' Hilton for the weekend with my group of quilting friends. So, a couple of weeks ago, I packed up and drove to Cape Breton to seek out like minded fibre people at the Maritime Handspinners' Retreat hosted by the Unspun Heroes. 

I drove up on Tuesday to the beautiful Gaelic College to participate in a daylong Historical Knitting workshop on Wednesday and a Wet Felting workshop that spanned Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

My first foray into Wet Felting .... the layout before felting. Today, my plan is to finish the embellishing (I'll post a pic of the finished project)
The retreat began Friday afternoon and lasted until Sunday noon. It is amazing how quickly friendships can be forged over a bag of fibre, a spinning wheel, shared stitching with over 80 spinners/weavers in one room. The Gaelic Singing at the Milling Frolic and the Ceilidh only added to the wonderful atmosphere in the room.

Sunday Morning in the Great Hall in the Hall of the Clans before anyone arrived to pack up and go home.
 I went knowing not a soul and came home with planned retreats in January and February to meet up with new friends in NB and Maine; I came home reminded what I love about quilting, spinning, and weaving....that lovely community! I have seen this clip floating around FB lately. It is so true!

If you are new to quilting (spinning/weaving or whatever your preferred textile passion is) or have never had the opportunity to head to a retreat, my advice is to find one and go. I'm a home body and introvert so I usually suffer about a week or so of "what the heck did I sign myself up for?" panic but once I get there, I have never regretted it....I learn new tricks, built lifelong friendships, and typically laugh until my sides hurt.

If you know of any textile related retreats that are coming up in  2015 then please feel free to share in the comments below. I would love to hear about what is happening in your community and who knows, maybe I might pack up my car and join you!

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Thief In The House

I've started to knit a new shawl.  Knitting right now for me is more portable than my sewing.  I have to find my sewing room after what seems like a long hiatus from quilting.  It seems when my family doesn't know where to put something it lands in the centre of my cutting table.  Yesterday I was able to clear through most of the stuff and find it a good home (often the garbage bag).

My new shawl is called Life Cycles; another beautiful design by Laura Nelkin..  You can find it as a Craftsy class if you would like to knit along with me. This is a square shawl knit from the centre out.  It can be started on DPN or circular with the Magic Loop.  I'm more comfortable with DPNs so that was my needle of choice for the circular cast on.  After about three tries I finally got past Row 3.  Nothing wrong with the pattern ... just the operator getting distracted by kids needing things or phones ringing.

I found this lovely yarn while in Prince Edward Island for Mother's Day.  We made a brief stop at the Belfast Mini Mills.  Their website says that aren't open at this time of year but you can catch them by chance or by appointment.  After a quick call we discovered that they were there busy working in the mill.  I've been there once before, last summer.  It is a lovely spot and the owners are so helpful.  You can take a tour of the mill and visit with their three dogs, see their new peacocks, lambs, etc.  They are creating a new enclosure for the peacocks and creating a little picnic area so that you can have a restful place to have your lunch before continuing on your journey.  I believe I have some photos from last summer ... if I find them I'll share put them up. For now ... check out their link.

Nupps .... I've tried them before without success and swore I would never torture myself again. hahaha  Never IS a long time.  Success!!!

I was hoping to share more progress.  I started this on Friday evening.  The problem...It seems one of my kittens is quite fond of my knitting needles and one of them has disappeared (the needle ... not the kitten). We tore the house apart this weekend looking for the 5th needle.  I managed to find my husband's missing glasses, 5 cat balls, a stuffed mouse toy and my daughter's book...no knitting needle.

Neither Oscar or Ondine are talking.
I think they're holding out for treats.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

End of Hibernation

I feel like I am just coming out of hibernation.  I can't believe my last post was in November and we are now in May.  I wish I could say I was travelling the world or on the verge of some great discovery ... but, I wasn't.  I had thyroid surgery in mid-December "to keep me healthy" then spent the rest of the month and Jan recovering; Feb to March catching up, getting a grasp on  "keeping healthy" turning into the discovery of stage one cancer on my thyroid and a slew of new doctor's appointments; April diving right into organizing volunteers for an Orffestra Music Educators National Conference in Halifax with my daughter's dance competitions the week prior and the week following .... and ending up with both kids and husband home sick the week of the conference.  May ...I'm recovering from the month of April!!!   Sounds glamorous, doesn't it!!  

My apologizes to those that follow or have commented and I have not responded to your lovely comments. This is my fresh start.  After the twists and turns of this past year, I am looking forward to getting back to what brings me joy ...spending time with my family and in my spare time (hahahaha) spinning, quilting, drawing.....

Knitting was one thing that I could do after my surgery.  It kept me focused and brought me a lot of comfort. In the fall I posted some pictures of my Skywalker shawl off of the needles and the beginnings of my Clarus shawl (both designed by Laura Nelkin).  I have FINALLY blocked them and am so pleased with how they turned out.  Tonight, I am casting on a new lace shawl ... another beautiful design by Laura Nelkin and I am knitting up a gauge for a lace shrug.  I will hopefully get some photos up for those tomorrow.

Skywalker Shawl

Blocking Clarus Shawl

Knitting this shawl brought me so much comfort after this surgery.  I feel extremely blessed that my cancer was discovered extremely early and that they got it all with the surgery so I don't need any treatment other than thyroid medication and follow up appointments.  I know there are so many other families coping with so much more.  My thoughts and prayers are with those families. It seemed only appropriate that the shawl that I knit through my own recovery be used to raise funds to help others.

I have donated this Clarus shawl along with a table runner to help my children and their friends raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society.  Their Relay for Life team (Rabbits for a Cure) is hosting an online auction on Facebook.  If you would like to help them with their Fundraising please join the auction. Auction ends May 28th at 9 pm

or support them through their team pages

Love and peace xo