Posted in books, Environment, Fiction, Homeschooling

Drop Everything and Read

Nerd Alert!

Drop Everything and Read is a program that encourages everyone to commit to doing just that, for 20 minutes.   As a homeschooling extended family we are pretty conscientious about reading at least 20 minutes every day.  But it’s certainly easier when there’s a good supply of reading material.

Our library has an even better than free book sale.  It goes on all weekend about four times a year.

They cunningly have different price points.  Saturday you pay to get in and then have the best pick of all the books.  Sunday morning you get in for free and buy the books (think it’s a dollar for pocket books and kids’ books and $2 or $3 for hardbacks and trade paperbacks).
Perhaps the best time to go is Sunday afternoon, when you pay $10 to get in but it’s an all you can eat buffet, so no agonizing.  Yup, they ACTUALLY let you take ALL THE BOOKS YOU CARE TO READ!!!

We filled a large suitcase in minutes, and then went on to fill all our tote bags too.  Eventually the volunteers started passing out boxes and in the last few minutes one of them walked around urging everyone to “Take more than you want!  Please!!”  At home I counted about 40 books for my shelf, then got tired of counting.IMG_0499  See photo for a clue to why.

It was a great experience to go as a family, as the sale was in an arena so there was plenty of space and no anxieties about losing track of the little ones.  Also it was heart-warming to see them finding books for themselves and ones they thought other family members would enjoy.  There were even board books for the baby!

Victoria boasts one other epic used book sale every May,  the famous Times-Colonist Book Sale, with proceeds going to literacy programs.  This is considered better than Christmas by all local bibliophiles.

We’re blessed too by a number of street book boxes, so as I read through my pile I either pass to friends or recycle in the book box in our neighborhood.  So far I’ve dropped off two books I realized I’d already read, some fiction and a book telling you how to make liquid soap which totally cured me of wanting to ever try doing it!  Interestingly, that was picked up by someone else very quickly.

We still go to the library but the kids are more amenable to taking just a few books out at a time so this has cut the stress of looking for misplaced books on the day they’re due back. Or they will put holds on books by the authors they found through grabbing books at the sale.

Posted in modern quilting, quilting

Modern mug rug – semi guest post

mug run laura001 mug rug laura001

For the holiday meeting in December the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild had a mug rug swap.

This is the rug I received fro “Dragon Lady” Laura (it’s the subject of her art not a reference to personality!).  Laura doesn’t blog but had enclosed a handwritten note which I thought I’d memorialize here, as  a way of easing myself back into blogging without going crazy right off the bat.

Laura writes:

Dear fellow Modern Quilt Guild Member

I’ve noticed that the blogs of modern quilters include information about fabric choice and construction considerations.  So here goes (in my low tech way 🙂  )

Spool fabric was found on a field trip to the Sunshine Coast.  I’m thinking this one was from Carola’s.  Right away I knew I wanted to piece improvisationally and add some white to complement the mug.  So that I did.  Top is quilted with Wonderfil cotton Tutti TU 03, bottom is Aurifil 50 wt 3320.

Hope you enjoy the mug rug with its spools and the heart fabric showing quilting love.

Have an amazing, creative 2015.

Ironically it was Laura who saved my bacon as we were putting our efforts out, because I had completely missed the point that the mugs and rugs were supposed to be wrapped, and Laura came to my rescue with a spare plastic bag.

mug run laura002What was my mug rug like, you ask?  Well, erm, I had the best of intentions of taking pix, but with one thing and the other that didn’t happen.  However, I took two somewhat stripey fabrics and a triangle ruler which I’ve had for years but never actually used, and put together a hexagon.  The mug I chose was white with a real knitted cable knit sweater to keep the contents warm for longer so hopefully the recipient enjoys it!

Posted in modern quilting, quilting

Quilt design

Finally figured out how to save my masterpieces made in Threadbias and be able to post them!

Here goes nothing!

ds824This has been a huge learning experience and for that I’m grateful.  One thing is that on the Quilt Design A Day Facebook page all the images post as squares in the albums so it’s preferable to design them that shape for the best impression.  In the stream they show in their full glory though.

Quite pleased with this one, I was aiming for using one shape with variations and to have a sense of weight at the bottom and airiness at the top.

Posted in quilting

Poppy palette

QDAD002_cropThis was inspired by the colours here at Design Seeds.  Today I used my box of 64 Crayola crayons although the only way I could approximate the dark blue brown colour was to mix brown and indigo.

I’ve been busy making half square triangles for the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild’s first charity project, for which about 1,000 hst’s are needed so have been thinking about different ways of putting them together.

there’s also a set of smaller ones in Michael Miller fabrics on the design wall that I’m playing around with. I thought Young Sprout and Pirate Girl might get into exploring design but for whatever reason that hasn’t happened quite yet.  More of an indoor thing and they’re happier outside in summer.

Posted in creativity, modern quilting, quilting

Quilt Design A Day

QDAD DESIGN001_cropCheck out the inspiration photo and palette at design seeds.

I watched Anne Sullivan’s webinar through the Modern Quilt Guild explaining the concept of Quilt Design a Day and took to heart her reassurance that one can participate without necessarily using a computer program to do it.  Although that is something I also do plan to look into!

This was done in two stages

  1. outline the pieces on quad ruled paper
  2. trace over onto sketchbook paper and colour

Starting a list of ‘missing colours’ to pick up either markers or perhaps watercolour pencils whenever I’m in an art supply store.  This palette also has a light cream that I don’t have anything close to, a very low volume colour.

The colouring was done with oil pastels.  The blues and gray reproduced well in the scan but the lilac around the gray in the centre portal is disappointing.

Posted in creativity, modern quilting, quilting

Is this a new block?

mqg test banner block002

Believe it or not I had my test block from yesterday out and very carefully (as I thought) followed it.  But something got lost in translation.  Can you spot the non deliberate error?

mqg test banner block001

Yep, I had the red triangle and square sewn together wrong.

There might be all kinds of secondary patterns with these blocks, although not something I’m about to start exploring at this juncture.  However knowing me I can bet even if I set out to make a gazillion of either block it would probably spawn a number of deviant blocks despite my best efforts.  Could be interesting though if done in three fabrics consistently.  You would end up with a scrap effect without actually using scraps (which is usually what I’m doing!)

anyway this block needs to be above all DONE because tonight’s Modern Quilt Guild Victoria meeting at Satin Moon is the deadline.

If the top block doesn’t already have a name I’m thinking Perverted Pinwheel.  But maybe it already has a name, does anyone know?