STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a mother, quilter, stitcher, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grow Your Blog Party

 Hello and Welcome!  Hosted by Vicki at Two Bags Full, today marks the start of the 3rd annual Grow Your Blog Party, which gives bloggers the chance to make new friends and find new blogs to follow. Of course you don't have to be a blogger to join in on the fun - anyone can go to Vicki's blog here and peruse the list of participants, many of whom have listed some of their main hobbies or interests - isn't it fun to find new "like-minded" friends? A huge Thank You to Vicki for spending many long hours organizing this fun event for us! I am honoured to be one of Vicki's helpers this year!

 In another few weeks I'll be celebrating my sixth blogging anniversary, and am approaching my thousandth post! Like many, I began blogging at the urging of a friend, and had my doubts about how successful I'd be or how long I'd stick with it. I gave myself one year... And here I am, almost six years later! As well as serving as a "projects and progress" journal for myself and a way to keep in touch with family and others who are "away", this blog has brought me a great deal of pleasure because of the wonderful friends I have made through blogging, friends who are always there to support and encourage each other. I look forward to meeting and making more blogging friends through this event. If you are new here, I hope you'll take the time to have a good look around, and perhaps consider "joining" me as a Follower - through Google Friend Connect, or via Bloglovin' or email.


This quilt was donated to a Guild charity project
A set of  placemats.
 Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Linda Hubbard and I live in a beautiful small city in New Brunswick, in eastern Canada. I'm a Mom to two young adults and one very spoiled cat. Let's just say we have a  "semi-empty" nest. By profession I am a teacher, happily retired; by choice, I am a quilter and a stitcher, loving them both equally. I'm always trying to find more hours in the day for both!! I teach quilting classes at a local quilt shop and for Guilds in a widening area.  I enjoy piecing quilts large and small, with scrap quilts a particular favourite. Here are a couple of recent "finishes".


You can see more of my quilts by clicking on My Quilts and Small Projects under "Looking for Something?" on my sidebar. I have several tutorials on my sidebar as well- the one on Finishing Placemats is very helpful and has been quite popular.

(Have you figured out that blue is my favourite color...? Yes I do work in other colors as well.)









 I also enjoy making miniature quilts, this little Pineapple quilt is 8.75" square, and has 447 pieces! I love the challenge of working small... (I know, I know, many think I'm crazy...) Actually "crazy quilting" is another one of my loves although I have not done any lately!! There just aren't enough hours in the day!! You can see more of my miniature quilts and crazy quilt projects in the Galleries on my sidebar.





Gardening is another of my passions. Our growing season here in Atlantic Canada is fairly short, but I appreciate the seasons and spend the cold snowy winter dreaming of next year's garden! I am a serious amateur photographer and spend many happy hours with camera in hand in my perennial gardens, and those of my friends. ( I use a Pentax SLR digital K7.) I love nature; the natural world is my favourite "subject" to photograph. I enjoy doing seasonal collages with my photos. Here are a few...

Spring
Summer

Autumn


I always have a stack of books waiting to be read.






I am an avid reader. There's nothing better than holding a good book (or a camera) in your hands... well, unless it's a good piece of dark chocolate!! I love sharing book reviews, and my tried and true recipes on my blog too, chocolate and otherwise. When I started blogging, I began a list of  Books Read, you'll find it at the bottom of my sidebar. It's getting a tad long...

















Travel is a love I wish I could pursue more frequently. I recently spent 10 days in South Florida and have been sharing photos from the World Quilt Show in West Palm Beach, and other Florida adventures (like my visit with this cheeky parrot), so if you scroll down to earlier posts or visit again soon, that's what you'll be finding. Summer often sees me off on short road trips with my camera so I can share the beauty of the area I live in.

I always appreciate comments from readers. (After all, if you don't leave a comment, how will I get to know you?) If you'd like to leave a comment below on this post, I'll enter your name in my Giveaway, which will be drawn on Feb. 15th. In your comment please tell me where you're visiting from (i.e. where you live.) If you are not a blogger, or you are a No Reply blogger, be sure to leave your email in the comment so I can reach you if you're the lucky winner.  The Giveaway is open to all - you do not have to be a blogger to enter - and I will ship anywhere in the world. The prize will be a pack of 5 of my photo cards, with envelopes. The winner can choose from a floral pack or a variety pack. 

Have fun with the Grow Your Blog party, click here to return to the list of participants. But before you go - thanks for stopping by, and I do hope you'll return to Stitch Lines again!

Peace,
Linda

"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and new." ~ Will Carleton

Friday, January 23, 2015

Let There Be Light!

Have you ever heard of Solar Sister? I hadn't. But this exhibit really spoke to me. "Organized by Quilt for Change (quiltforchange.com), this challenge showcases the work of non-profit Solar Sister (solarsister.com) that helps African women start small businesses selling solar energy products in their communities. Thanks to this, children can study at night, mothers can care for their families and run small businesses and communities can provide basic health care. These quilts debuted at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva,Switzerland. Quilt for Change hopes this exhibit will inspire guilds to use the proceeds from raffle quilts to sponsor a "Solar Sister Entrepreneur" and help her become an environmentally-responsible businesswoman." (Quoted from show brochure)
As I said I found the quilts in this small exhibit very moving. It's a basic concept - how something as simple as a solar light could make such a huge difference for those who live in "energy poverty". I urge you to check out the two links above. Perhaps this is a charity project you might want to mention to your local guild, or to a group of friends. Even a small donation can have a large impact. I plan to make a personal donation, and bring it up to my Guild as well. What a worthy project!!
Perhaps these quilts will speak to you as they did to me...

Power is Knowledge by Lea McComas of Superior, Colorado

"For want of a light the lesson was lost.
For want of a lesson the student was lost.
For want of a student the teacher was lost.
For want of a teacher the school was lost.
For want of a school the viallge was lost.
For want of a village a culture was lost.
And all for the want of a light.

A simple solar lantern has the power to illuminate, not just
the simple family home, but the minds of those within."














Light = Hope = Light by Marianne Gravely of Woodbridge, Virginia

"Our children are both the light of our lives and our hope for the future. While we in the U.S. turn off lights to save electricity, and worry about conserving energy to protect the planet for our children, on the other side of the world children live in energy poverty. No electricity means no reading or studying at night, which limits their educational opportunities. This quilt is my vision of a happy planet with plenty of light and energy for all the children of the world."




Light for Enlightenment by Diana Ferguson of Sweetwater, Tennessee

"Joy is inherent in the human experience, yet it can be worn thin through hardships. Opportunity creates a lifting up of the spirit and makes hardships seem less controlling. Solar lamps are a miraculous part of an uplifting opportunity. To receive the gift of light during the dark hours of the day gives the potential for growth which consequentially fuels a future with hope. Solar light provides extended time for productive work, reading, and family. I find the idea of physical light retained in a lamp from the rays of the sun giving a gift of illumination (both literally and metaphorically) to the human spirit, to be a beautiful, and impactive concept. In this quilt, I wanted to express the joy of life, the gift of the sun, and to give thanks for the power of enlightenment in everyday lives.
Techniques used in this quilt were: raw edge appliqué, piecing, color discharge, free motion quilting, thread painting, embellishment and fabric ink pencils."


Good Day Sunshine by Laura Cooke of Barrington, Rhode Island

"When I read the title of this year's challenge: Light, Hope, Opportunity: Empowering Women through Clean Energy, the image of a benevolent sun shining down on all of Africa lit up my mind. On a sunny day, I hang laundry outside, watch the plants in my vegetable garden grow, and sew next to the window. In Africa, I imagine women enjoying the same sunshine as they work through the chores and joys of each day. Perhaps some are now cooking on solar stoves to give children breakfast before school, or using solar cells to charge cell phones to connect to family, or to light lanterns so children can read and study after dark. Traditional or modern, the sun gives wonderful ways of using clean energy and even a single ray of sunlight can inspire hope.
This quilt is an original design from my initial vision of the sun shining down to blanket the whole continent  of Africa. It is made using commercially available fabrics, raw edge appliqué and free-motion quilting with rayon and machine quilting cotton thread."

Let There Be Light by Jennifer Day of Santa Fe, New Mexico

Let There Be Light is a quilt based on a photograph taken by Solar Sister. This organization graciously agreed to allow me to use this image in my quilt. I love the look of joy on the woman’s face as she holds a new solar powered light.  Her friends and family are near as she experiences electricity at night for the first time.  It is amazing that there are still large portions of the world without electricity. Solar powered light is changing the way people live and is bringing light into their lives.
I printed this photograph on Belgian Linen. I then covered the woman’s face and the lamp entirely in thread. I used 76 different colors of thread in this work of art.  The other faces were brought to life using free motion embroidery. I also used ten techniques of free motion embroidery to finish the background of the quilt."



Behind the Darkness is Light by Dawn Piasta of Dauphin, Manitoba

"The appearance of black is merely a sign of the absence of light. Without light, there would be no sight.
In researching the works of the Solar Sister non-profit organization I was drawn to a dark and mysterious photograph that simply showed the shadows of a group of women radiating from one small solar light.  It made me wonder what things I don’t see because of the darkness.  The strength, versatility, and endurance of the woman behind the light made me curious.  The unseen, the hope, the wonder, the love that is lost to the darkness; I needed to see more.
Radiant chartreuse rays emit light into the pictures that I have seen of solar light sources.  These rays illuminate faces, books, families and homes. From afar all that is seen are the bursts of light.  When viewed from close range these rays bring into view a life that is full of hope and opportunity.
Strips of natural linen and silk fabrics were woven to create a texture to the blackness.  Simple lines were drawn with one highly contrasting color.  Various shades of black thread were used to create shadows and depth. Small crystals reflect on the most important aspects of the process: the light and the eyes of the women – because without light there would be no sight.  Light creates a vision of hope for the future."


Sewing Sister by Allison Wilbur of Barrington, Rhode Island


"When I first met Katherine Lucey, Executive Director of Solar Sister, she told me the story of Teddy the Tailor. Before she purchased a solar light, Teddy Namirembe would walk to the nearby village in Uganda to work at night, leaving her three daughters at home. The simple purchase of a solar light brought so many changes to her life and her business- she has extra time to work since she does not have to walk to the village and back and so her income has increased 30 percent. She is safer for not having to make the walk and her children are not alone at home. Her children also share in the use of the light to do their homework. She is not paying for renting a work space or for expensive kerosene and they no longer breathe in the kerosene smoke. Like most women, Teddy turns the extra money she makes (she sews school uniforms) back into her family and her business.
As the owner of a small quilting business, I can relate to Teddy. I choose to work at home so I can be available to help my children with their homework and take care of my parents. The hours I have to work after dark, after the work of caring for my family is done, are vitally important to my business. Solar Sister is not only important to the entrepreneurs who sell lights, but to many others who buy the solar lights and phone chargers as a part of their small business."

Peace,
Linda

"Human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights once and for all."
~Hilary Rodham Clinton,  Remarks to the U.N. 4th World Conference on Women, Beijing China, 1995

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Dushi Korsow - Lovely Curaçao

Are you ready to view more quilts? I find it so interesting to see quilts from other countries where fabrics are often different, as is the use of color. Dushi Korsow (meaning Lovely Curaçao) was an exhibit of works by a small group of art quilters residing in Curaçao. The posted info stated that they all started out as traditional quilters, but have recently taken a more "out of the box" approach, with their inspiration coming from their beautiful islands' nature, peoples and architecture. Here are a few of my favourites.














There now...don't you just feel like you've spent some time in the Caribbean?
Not sure which exhibit I'll share with you next. You'll have to come back tomorrow and see!  ;)

Peace,
Linda

You can shake the sand from your shoes, but not from your soul.....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Off to the Big Show!

Now that I've given you a little taste of southern Florida beauty on the St. Lucie River, let's be off to the West Palm Beach Convention Center which is about a 35-40 minute drive south, depending on traffic. It was the site of the "World Quilt Show- Florida VI", January 8-10, 2015. This event, organized by Mancuso Show Management, was  comprised of 19 shows under the one roof! The big draw was of course the World Quilt Competition XVIII - On Tour. These are the international entries of the 2014 World Quilt Competition, which was judged in August of 2014. Participating countries were Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The others were a mixture of state, national and international shows: Florida Guild shows/challenges, the Florida Quilt Competition, the Hoffman Challenge, shows from Israel, Curaçao and SAQA Brazil... I'm sure you get the picture. There was something for everyone- art quilts, traditional quilts, thought-provoking quilts, humourous  quilts, hand quilted, long arm quilted, you name it, it was there. And then of course there was the Vendors Mall- 73 vendors this year, and naturally you must visit each and every one! Some we visited twice. And some we visited more than twice... (Now you're beginning to understand why we spent three full days, from 10a.m. to 6p.m. at the WPB Convention Centre. By the time we exited the building each day, the sun was going down...) Yes our feet, our eyes and our brains (and our wallets) were tired, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!!
So- let's look at some quilts, shall we? I'm going to begin with a few Guild Challenges first. My friend Sandi is a member of two guilds in her town, and she had an entry in both of their Challenges. The Martin County QG did a music challenge in 2014; participants were to select a favourite song as their inspiration for  a quilt, with a perimeter no smaller than 96" and no larger than 180". I thought the entries were all awesome. They were so varied - it's always interesting to see how each person interprets the theme.

Best of Show/Viewer's Choice and Best Use of Theme ribbons went to The Other Mozart by Jane Taylor.



First place and Best Use of Color was won by The Reach by Nancy Smith.



Second place went to Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes by Sandi MacMillan.



(Sorry, I somehow missed getting a photo of the third place winner...)
Honorable Mentions went to three quilts:  Achy Breaky Heart by Joan Carman,



Splish Splash by Sandee Monk




and finally, Come Fly with Me by Maureen McNally.




Sandi's other guild, Gone To Pieces Quilters, meets weekly, and they had an exhibit of their 2014 Challenge, "From The Sea". Entries in this challenge are not judged. Here are just a few of my favourites:

Oku No Kame (Lots of Turtles) by Mary Anderson.Mary is a sweet, sweet lady who does such beautiful hand appliqué. I loved this one!!



Of course Sandi's entry, Bathtub Beach was a favourite as I too love Bathtub Beach. You can see photos here of my visit to this beautiful beach last year. Sadly I didn't get there this year (ran out of time.)


I think Sandi did an awesome job quilting this piece. Note the iridescent bubbles...
I wonder if it's a coincidence that this cat bears a strong resemblance to Sandi's cat Angus...



I loved the blues (of course!) in Jane Taylor's quilt One Fish, Two Fish. Great quilting too!!




That's all for tonight. Stay tuned for lots more quilts to come....




Peace,
Linda

My body is here, but my heart is at the beach.
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