Saturday, 4 August 2018

Web Piecing Tutorial

If you are anything like me, you get all worked up when you put your quilt rows together worrying that you will put one row in the wrong order and throw off your design. Web piecing requires a bit of front loading, but once you get organized, its a breeze! AND, your rows are attached in order so there is no worry of putting them in the wrong order! :)

I made this in a few video steps. Before you get started though, you need to organize your blocks into piles for each row. For the first row, you will pull one block from the top of pile 1 and pile 2 for each row. Stitch them together like you normally would, and then you will draw two more and continue down without cutting your thread. This mediocre explanation will make oodles more sense once you watch Part 1!! :)

Part 1:


Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Some finished project using this method of piecing:







HAPPY PIECING!

Sunday, 22 July 2018

LISA LOVES KITTIES SWAP!!!

Before entering, please make sure you have read all of the following information. The link to register is at the bottom of this post.

I have been dreaming about doing a kitty swap for a while....it is finally time!! :)

You MUST have a public Instagram profile throughout the entire duration of the swap.

The details:

You will be responsible for making your assigned partner 1 mini quilt that ranges from 12' - 24" in size or a pillow cover. Your mini will be based on your partner's interests, likes, dislikes, etc., include kitty fabric or a kitty pattern. It doesn't need to be both kitty fabric and a kitty pattern, but it must be kitty themed.

You will also make one sewn extra. This could be a pouch, mug rug, pin cushion, its up to you!

You will also send one non sewn extra (kitty post its, a pin, etc.), and a special something for the recipients kitties.

Checkins:

Please do not sign up if you cannot make these dates:

Registration: July 22 - 26, or the first 100 participants.
Partner Emails: by July 31 (hopefully sooner).
Mosaics Due: August 3
Checkin 1 - Fabric/pattern pull: Aug 17
Checkin 2 - Thread in fabric: Aug 31
Checkin 3 - Finished Mini: Sept 14
International Shipping: Sept 17 - 21
Domestic Shipping: Sept 24 - 28

Rules:
You need to have successfully completed a swap in order to participate in this one. You will need to list any/all swaps you have completed and I will double check in your Instagram feed that you have completed it successfully, you are working at the level you have indicated, and that you have not been removed from a previous swap for flaking, not providing a quality mini for your partner, or in general just not keeping up with deadlines. If you know you might miss a deadline, please let me know so we can make arrangements.

If you miss deadlines and don't communicate, I won't hesitate to remove you from the swap. It is not fair to your partner at all. So please, just reach out if something is happening in your life that makes you unable to make the deadline.

Please make sure you are able to commit to all of this. I know back to school season is a tough time to add in even more stuff, so please be mindful of that as you sign up. You have about 2 months to complete this and you should have everything from your partner by the beginning of August.

With your partner email, you will also receive a coupon code from Clinton Modern Creative should you need to purchase any fabrics for the swap!

*IF YOU HAVE NEVER DONE A SWAP BEFORE AND MUST DO THIS ONE:* YOU MAY ENTER, BUT YOU MUST FIND AN EXPERIENCED SWAPPER TO VOUCH FOR YOU AND THEY MUST AGREE TO MAKE A MINI FOR YOUR PARTNER IF YOU FLAKE.


Register here.

Friday, 20 July 2018

How 100 Blocks helped save my life

Sounds kind of dramatic right? Well, participating in the 100 Days Tula Pink City Sampler quilt along last year was an eye-opener and returning to my project this year, and starting the sew along again this year has really shed some light on my health and progress.

Lets start at the beginning! When I started the sew along last year, I truly believed that the rule was you make a block a day. No wiggle room. So no matter what was happening in your life, you could only make one block a day and it had to be on the right day. WHO IS POLICING THIS!? No one. That's who! Even if that was the way it had to be, no one is checking my sewing room to see if I have worked ahead!!! I started slow making one block a day following the rules to a T. Even if they weren't really rules, just what I assumed to be rules!

About 2 weeks in I got overwhelmed. I had started out with two fabric selections and was making two of each block. That ended. I couldn't keep up and I wasn't getting double entry into the contest so what was the point? I wasn't going to put both of them on my bed was I? Maybe, I don't know!

After another week or so I realized I couldn't keep up with the pace if I was going to sew every single day. So I started cutting ahead. I would cut 10-15 blocks at a time so at least that part was done.

Slowly I relaxed my made up rules and by the end of this thing, I was sashing and completing the quilt before we reached day 100!! I had made some progress on my rigid thinking.

But that didn't go off without a hitch either! Some of my blocks weren't exactly 6.5" square, they ranged from 5.75" - 6.5" and many weren't even square!! This bothered me. I tried to ignore the problem and just force each block into the quilt. I sewed the sashing between each block to make 10 rows. Then I started putting rows together. This quickly became a big ole disaster! Some rows were inches shorter than others!!! whole inches!!! And I had laid out the blocks exactly the way TULA did so I couldn't change the layout!

So I started unpicking seams and making my 1/4" seam allowance more like an 1/8" seam allowance in some places to try to stretch those smaller blocks. It didn't make the difference I had hoped. Blocks still weren't lining up the way I wanted and needed them to! So I put that fucker into a drawer and forgot about it. I added it to a to do list and then added as many things above it as I could think of.

For almost a year I forgot about it. Then my kiddo started pestering me. Keep in mind that this entire year I was seeing my Psychologist weekly and we were doing a LOT of exposure therapy. I conveniently didn't tell her about this project so she wouldn't make me forge ahead. Whoops! ;)

Eventually I came back to it. I ignored the fact that some rows were waaaay too short and put the outside sashing on crooked to accommodate. My finished quilt isn't a big ole square like it should be. Its not even a quadrilateral. It is some kind of weird blob shape. But its my blob!

I sent the monster to be quilted by the lovely HolyStitch.ca and she made it look even better! I got it back and bound it with some scrappy Tula binding and it has lived on my bed ever since. A year ago I got anxious even thinking about working on it. Now I sleep peacefully under that wonky fucker and I love it! A friend of mine contacted me shortly after it was finished. He desperately wanted a pride rainbow on his bed and this quilt was perfect for it! I thought it through and decided this quilt had been too much a part of my growth as a quilter, and as a person recovering from severe OCD. The quilt is still mine and now I am facing the dilemma of putting it in the wash for the first time.....what if the colours bleed!? That will be a whole new blog post I'm sure!!

In the end, this quilt has given me so much perspective. This year I am doing the project again and I am surprised to see how rigid I am with my cutting and stitching still, but I am super relaxed about what colour goes where! Last year I wanted to do each block as close to the book as possible! This year, I don't care what colour my block is, just that it is one of the fabrics I have chosen. I am doing it with V & Co Ombre Confetti this year and I LOVE IT!! Maybe each block will be closer to 6.5" this year! If not, I know a perfect blob shape it can be!

Here are my blocks for this year so far. Shhh, I am done up to block 40 and we are only on day 14!!! ;)



HEATHER ROSS SCRAP PACK GIVEAWAY!!

HUGE thank you to everyone who participated in this give away! So many awesome InstaSewers have participated in the Get Your Quilty Wishes Granted this round and so many asked for Heather Ross to no avail. So here is my grating of that Quilty wish! I can't send a pack to everyone who wanted one, but I will send this pack to @CreativeWindyCityGirl!!! Send me an instagram DM with your mailing address ands I'll post this bundle out this week!

Thanks for playing along and I hope you will follow my blog adventures!!

Monday, 18 June 2018

Welcome!

Yes, that is me holding a piece of fabric with a picture of what appears to be me printed on it!!! :)

Welp, I guess I'm doing this. I have spent the past 5....7....10? I don't know how many years, thinking about how to share my story without having to find a publisher and make a real book. While my grammar and punctuation is exceptional (thank you OCD), I am kind of lazy (thank you Depression) and as such, I don't want to do things that don't have a guaranteed outcome. A blog has a guaranteed outcome in that at least my loved ones will get some better insight into my life. And maybe I'll share my crafty side along the way!

So the basics: I'm 36 (? I think? I can never remember my age, is that a bad thing?....I was born in 82, so 92, 2002, 2012, there's 30, plus 5 bring us to 2017, I haven't had my birthday yet, woah wait! I'm only 35!!!!), no wait, I'm 35. I am married to my high school sweetheart Jordy, and we have one child. I call her Squishy Kid and will refer to her as that or SK or A in this blog.

I have struggled with mental health for years. I was essentially date raped by a friend of my roommate in university, and spent years thinking I had done something wrong. I never got help because I felt so ashamed of my behaviour. Years later, I know that he was wrong, not me. I am overcoming this skeleton in my closet.

Depression first came to stay with me for a longterm visit after I had my first ectopic pregnancy in 2006. My husband and I were so excited, we had been tracking cycles, and on major body cleanses to ensure our baby only got the best! I found out I was pregnant on my drive home from work one day (I'm a school teacher...well, was.....am-ish....we will get to that!) and we were so excited! It turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy and I was devastated. We'll go more into that later though. That's when Depression first came to visit. It was a long visit and full of lies and deceit. As always, Depression is a big fat liar!

In 2016 I was diagnosed with PTSD, Generalized Anxiety, Depression (again), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD), which is similar to OCD but more thought based than action based.

Right now I am off work, getting help weekly from my Psychologist, whom for this blog I will call Dr E. or E. I also saw a psychologist who was an OCD specialist and I will call her Dr P, or P. I see my doctor every week, usually Thursdays or Fridays, and spend my weeks following her assignments and logging my thoughts. This has been very helpful. I will expand on everything in this blog!

I also intend to share the projects I have been working on while I have been off work. My own coping mechanisms have included knitting and sewing, and lots of both! I will share some of my projects here and how they have helped me. Some have been great as something in my hands to fidget with other than my fingers themselves, others have been whole projects dedicated to a specific anxiety or OCD symptom.

I am excited to get sharing and hopefully this will help some of you in your own journey. And maybe, this will help some of my family and friends to understand me a bit better....maybe...

I also foster kittens. This is my own form of therapy and I love it. You will for sure get to see some of my babies!!

This is Tiny snuggling her buddy Stanley. 
Tiny is my baby, Stanley will be going to his new home on June 25th!


 This is Tiny snuggling Mabel. She loves her girl.


These two help me sew all the time. 
That's Mabel on the right, and Stanley in my machine on the left!
These two go to their forever home soon!


This is what my bed looks like most nights. 
We have 4 cats of our own (two seen there, Tiny and Penny), 
and two fosters (both seen there).


Sleepy fosters.


Cuddly fosters. :)


Big boy Béla giving his buddy Stanley a bath.