Finished Projects · Non-Quilt Projects · Piecing · Quilt Designs · Uncategorized

The Year Was 2020

Just in case you somehow missed it, 2020 was the year the entire planet was ravaged by the Corona virus, COVID19. Most countries completely shut down, even third-world countries that would normally lump through. No one in, no one out, and lots of people stopped working. To call it a stressful time for most everyone is a bit of an understatement.

It started out not too bad for me. I lucked my way into an opportunity to buy a serger! It’s an older model from the 90s (Husqvarna Husklock 936), but it still goes for 700-800$ online because it does coverstitch. I was fortunate enough to get mine for 200$. Whoo hoo! First thing I did was make a ton of masks and ship them off to the families. I tried to pick some of the brightest fabric I had. If you’re forced to cover up your face, it may as well be happy colours! I of course kept a couple for myself and made some more muted ones for Husband. He’s not what you would call a flamboyant character.

The summer started out pretty well too. I was determined to enjoy the lovely weather as much as I possibly could. Fortunately for us, we don’t live in a big mega city, so it’s easy to get into the great outdoors with minimum effort. It sucked not being able to see people, but that was a problem for most everyone. Mid-summer comes and my husband takes time off to try to finish up some of the bigger parts of the reno’s we’ve been working on. Sometimes when you do remodelling, things wind up bing more in-depth then you originally realize. Prime example was our bathroom. When redoing part of the bathroom, we discovered someone had boarded over a whole closet in the wall. Besides being creepy, it made us re-adjust our plan for the space. Well, the rest of the house is pretty much going the same way, but it’s going about as poorly as you could ever expect a remodel to go. At one point, I had to go visit my parents for a couple weeks so I could work in peace while he hammered away at things that needed to be done as fast as possible. It’s had a surprising impact on our relationship. We are doing better now than we did before, but physically and emotionally, we’re getting run down.

My family was not spared loss during the pandemic. We first lost my auntie in May – the one I made the Winter Garden quilt for. I was so thankful that I could get that to her before the pandemic. If I had waited a couple of weeks, she never would have seen it. It was tough on everyone, especially my grandmother. My aunt was her last living sibling and they had been living together until October 2019. Grandma was expecting her to pass, but it was still so difficult when it happened. Since it was the height of the pandemic, visits were kept to a minimum. One of my dad’s siblings was able to get an exception for a couple of hours to go in, break the news to her, and stay with her, but that was it until the summer. Even when restrictions started to be lifted, her place was one of the last to allow visitors, starting in August. Her birthday was early August. Some family in the area set up a drive-by birthday celebration to help lift her spirits, but Grandma had been having a very tough summer health-wise and I believe that the isolation was starting to impact her very hard. I had scheduled a COVID test followed by a visit for the next week, but she didn’t make it that far. She fell and broke something, landing in the hospital. When she finally got back to her residence, she was only there a few days before she complained about feeling very ill. They sent her back to the hospital around 7 in the evening and we got a call that she had passed unexpectedly around 10:30.

The following week was tough. I was very close to my grandmother. I felt cut off from her due to the pandemic and I felt cheated of saying goodbye. I used the week to quilt out some of the emotion. I decided to make a pattern called “Tree of Life” to hang on my wall in memory. It helped, surprisingly enough. I pulled out a lot of pictures of my grandmother over the years and had them scattered around my sewing room. I took my favourite and printed it on some fabric to attach to the back as a label. I even used the same backing I used on the quilt I made for her. The two weeks I spent with my parents, while stressful, was also therapeutic. We talked a lot about Grandma, had some tears, some laughs, and started remembering the happy things more than the sad reality.

The end of October and start of November, while not bad, is definitely adding to the stress. I got a temporary job placement in August and two additional positions were posted recently. I applied and have two job interviews coming up in November. The outcome will dictate if I get a new role (with a new pay) or go back to my home position for the foreseeable future. I always find this process stressful and I have two happening at the same time, each of which are two-part interviews. 4 days of interviews. yaaaaaaay.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to Christmas. 🙂

~M

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Winter Garden

Before talking about the next project, I need to close the book on the baby quilt from the last post. The quilt was very thankfully received. Evidently, the baby’s older sister has taken a fancy to the quilt. The mother foresees issues convincing her that the quilt belongs to her little sister, but that’s a future problem! 🙂

The new sisters

2020 Quilt 2: The pansy lap quilt. I was so excited that I forgot to take a picture of the fabric before I cut it up! Oh well. 😛 The pansy fabric was bout 0.5 of a meter. The fat quarters were … well, a quarter of a meter. 😀 When all the fabric was cut up, I had cut all the pansy fabric, all the yellow and green fabric, and half the purple fabric. I used my new Creative Grids Stripology ruler to cut the fabrics into 3.5″ strips and sub-cut the strips into squares. It only took me maybe 15 minutes to cut all the fabric! It would normally take me most of the evening to cut out all the fabric for the quilt. Some tools are totally worth buying, even if they are a bit costly. The most cool thing about the cutting was that I used up literally all the fabric (except the purple) AND I had exactly the right amount of fabric for each pile without re-cutting! I know that’s super lame to get excited about, but I was dancing around the room! I even rushed downstairs to tell my husband about my super awesome lame cool happenstance. He was understandable unappreciative. For some reason, I still love that man. 😛

My goal was to make a nine-patch quilt. I originally planned to make a disappearing nine-patch, but after I had everything cut up, I wasn’t sure. Since the first step to making a disappearing nine-patch is to first make an nine-patch, I finished up all the squares (all 18 of them) and tossed them on my display wall. While I really liked the look, I thought that it would be more interesting if I cut them up – so I did!

The biggest thing with making a disappearing nine-patch is how to rotate the blocks to make them into a seamless repeating pattern. After playing on the wall for an afternoon, I decided to go with a very standard pattern where you switch blocks 1 and 4 to make the biggest blocks and the smallest blocks “kiss” in the middle.

After sub-cutting the blocks to 4.5″ to make sure they were all even, I started stitching them together. Instead of running rows like I usually do, I strip-sewed them back into 9″ blocks, then strip-sewed the blocks into rows. It went fairly quickly this way and it made sure that I didn’t sew any of the blocks the wrong way around. The quilt was 8×9 small blocks, so the last row was simply a strip along the bottom. It took about two days to put it together. I think it looks very bright and happy!

The finished quilt is currently 34″x39″ inches. I was planning on using a dark green stash fabric for the back and what was left of the purple combined with a white fabric for the binding, but Fabricland is having a sale starting today. All their quilting fabric is 50% off. I have to go in to pick up the background fabric for the quilt I’m talking about next week, so I’m planning of matching the purple and getting enough to put a border around the quilt. It will increase the size a bit and I’d like it to be a little longer. Once I have everything together, I’ll post an update!

And just in case you’re curious – the cupboard in the picture isn’t supposed to be there. It’s the towel cupboard. I moved it in here while husband sands the drywall mud in the bathroom. I’d rather not have dry wall dust in my towels when I wash up each morning. 😛 There isn’t a lot of space in the house right now, so the cupboard will live here temporarily (I hope! :P)

~M

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The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

I’m Auntie M (or “Em”) of Snowdog Quilts. Welcome to the blog!

My goal is to show that quilting is FUN! You don’t need experience (Lord knows I have little to none). You just need to like sewing and love creating.

Snowdog Quilts is named after my personal snow dog, Bjørn. He’s a Samoyed. He loves to play in the snow or sleep on my bed. I might talk about him occasionally … oh, let’s be honest. I’m a little obsessed. He’s going to show up here.
Meet Bjørn:

Thank you for joining me! Let’s have some fun … and quilt!

~ M