Monday, January 30, 2012


I've made a few blocks so far for my "homework" quilt.  I've imposed a few rules for myself - including an indictment against buying fabric (until it comes sandwich time...) and trying new techniques.  I've made quite a few improvised blocks, sewing things together at random, which I'll save for another post, but I've also dabbled in some traditional ones.

Including some where you'll think I've gone insane.

Made with triangular trimmings from the Seville quilt I made for Mum this Christmas...

But it became this. Tiny, but mighty!  The trick to getting it to lay flat.  STEAM.  Much steam.

And there's this one.
Made with the trimmings from binding mitres.  I have no idea why I kept them...

And I tried out my fancy curve sewing foot.  This one turned out great.  Subsequent ones did not and I will need to do far more practice...
Curves scare the bejeezus out of me.  If I offended you with "bejeezus", be glad you didn't hear what I said when sewing the curves....

And then, I played around with the embroidery stitches.  I figured the root of my philosophy on education needs to be in there somewhere.  This phrase is something my mother said years ago when Seester and I were discussing the variances in curfew and rules for each of us.
Bad lighting + Steam iron brown gunk + water to wash out brown gunk = crappy photo.

For every student, the teacher they need.  A little cheesy?  Possibly.  Do I believe it like the naive idealist I am? Absolutely.

Anyone have any ideas on other blocks and techniques I should try?  This is about "learning", after all... :-)  Thank you to those folks who volunteered their time and talents for this project - I'm so thrilled to have you as a part of it!  More progress to come...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Request

I'm sitting here on a Sunday afternoon, doing homework and organizing my assignments for the term.  Don't be jealous, it's not as much fun as it sounds.  :-)

However, one assignment might be.  And this is where I need your help.

I'm making a quilt based on my internship experiences and teacher identity (yeah, I know it sounds....mmmm...less than academic? But the assignment parameters allow for it so I can actually work destress-sewing into my scholastic schedule and call it achievement.  So, I'm going with it.)

I am sewing it mainly from scraps and what I have in my stash.  I will be doing fairly improvised stuff with a few traditional blocks thrown in. IF ANYONE would like to sew a block or two for me, (or maybe you have leftover blocks you have no idea what to do with) I would love to have them.

1) Please use scraps - don't go cutting into anything large and precious.  Part of my idea is about using limited resources.
2) Use white or off-white as a background or border.  This isn't mandatory. I can make it work regardless.
3) Size and shape is completely up to you!  Octagons, squares, circles, rectangles, triangles, and hexagons - go nuts!
4)Pop it in the mail by the first week of February.  I'd be freer with the time but I have due dates.

Why am I asking other people to help me with my homework?  Quilting, like teaching, is a highly personal activity and everyone has their unique ways of doing it.  Also, teaching and quilting are greatly enriched and strengthened by community;  I have learned teaching from other teachers, students and community members, just as I have learned skills and gained inspiration from the online quilting/sewing/knitting/writing community I've found online.  With you.

I will be posting progress and explaining my concept as I go along.  And coming up with treats to send back as thanks.  :)  If you'd have the time and energy to contribute to my project, please send me an email at citricsugar at yahoo dot ca or leave me a comment I can reply to.

And now for a random picture of an elephant in a Jayne toque:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Today is my first day back at university since April.  It's odd to be on the student side of things again and I miss teaching like it's as important to as breathing.  And it is.  Of course, I'm an advocate of lifelong learning, and wearing jeans on weekdays again, but the adjustment is tricky.  Ready to go there but not ready to be here.  Ah, the hoops.

Tomorrow is my nephew's first birthday.  I remember it well for being so very long a day.  The call came at 12:45 am and after a few hours, they sent her home until the afternoon.  I had four classes (one a three-hour night class) that day on two hours of sleep.  I went back and forth between hospital and class all day.  He arrived at 11:30pm.  On his due date.  And has filled my life with so much love, I can't believe it.  I'm lucky that I get to see him almost every day.

I made him a sweater.  With an elephant.

From Vintage Knits for Modern Babies. Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. Elephant instead of bird.

And towards many other firsts, a second.  I was spoiled by Santa this Christmas and found a new sewing machine under the tree. It's a Janome 4120QDC and it's so zoomy!!!  I love it and can finally learn to free-motion.  It's incredibly quiet (my old Kenmore shook and squeaked the house down) and if I can't manage a scant 1/4" seam allowance, I have nothing left to blame but the operator. I have only just started to play around with all the features and what-not but I'm completely in love.

 I named it Oscar.  Yep, I name things.  Usually British men's names.  My phone is Giles. My iPad is Nigel.  There's also a Hamish, a Kenneth, and a Darwin in my life.  There was a Kevin, but it's still too hard to talk about... :-)  I don't name cars; I find it portends their doom.