19 September, 2014

Friday Favourites - Alturas Portability

So, making the Alturas blocks was a lot of fun. I completely fell in love with both the portability of the project and the uniqueness of each block. Here and there I would take photos as I was sewing. It was a good reflection of the places Alturas and I went together. And the daily bits of my life. Often, I would Instagram the photos, some I did not.

Follow me, see where we've been.

Sitting on our balcony in Ixtapa, Mexico. One of the first blocks. Little did I know what I was getting into when I started.
(I also took Alturas with me to Turks and Caicos the following month, but due to that camera going swimming in the pool thing I have no proof.)

Snowy afternoons sometimes call for drop-in gymnastics on Fridays. I think I got approximately two stitches and this picture in before I was called to watch yet another bounce on the trampoline.

Sewing while watching The Great British Sewing Bee. Very meta. Very awesome.

Our Telus Spark Science Centre is a pretty great place to spend a day. In the Creative Kids Museum the kidlets are so wholly entertained by all the games, gizmos, water stations, stages, climbing structures, and more that I am completely forgotten. That means Alturas and I play together.

You wouldn't know it from this photo, but during the spring the girls took rhythmic gymnastics. But the old Russian ladies who ran the club wouldn't let parents watch, so I would sit watching the swimmers, remembering my competitive days. That is, on the rare days there was no toddler to entertain too.

I clearly remember that this was a bright, clear, spring day. The girls were at the park and I sewed. Until I was called to monkey bar duty. Seeing the trend? I think I'm going to get to sew, then I have to be a Mama again. That's okay, Alturas always knew I would come back. 

Road trip! The best drive in the world - The Icefield's Parkway. It was actually rather difficult to sew while on this road. First, there is the view. Then there are all the twists and turns and ups and downs. Don't be fooled by this picture.

Sometimes, we parked, and then I could sew more. While moving all of this had to stay contained in my handy pouch.

A truly loverly weekend in Jasper with all of my immediate family. All of us in one luxurious cabin. It did have this deck, with a view of marmots, elk, pika, chipmunks, and golfers.

My birthday weekend. A quiet affair and was treated to a quiet morning with leftover birthday cake for breakfast and time to sew one whole block from start to finish.

On our way to a wedding here. We were in Ontario and I sewed up quite a few blocks during the endless Toronto area driving. Alturas got dressed up too. I made that belt AND a block from that yellow fabric.

Had said goodbye to my family and The Workroom after a day of teaching. Then I was headed down to the Niagara region for what turned out to be a transformative teaching experience for me at Quilt Canada. This was on the shuttle. Then I stopped sewing to watch the sunset.

So we went to Jasper again for the Canada Day long weekend. Part of my packing included another handful of prepped Alturas blocks. We got there and the kids started to explore and play and make new friends. We saw a mama bear and her cub walk through the campsite. As we adults settled into conversation and an early campfire I got frantic. I couldn't find my little sewing pouch. NO!!!! I forgot Alturas. I was totally distraught. I felt like a part of me was missing. You mean I would have to just sit, and do nothing with my hands? Felt so strange. Then I found the pouch, buried in the car and I started to breathe again.

It was Jasper in the mountains at the end of June. So when the rest of our group went on a hike and a boat ride, we and another family stayed at the campsite to veg, paint rocks, and chill out. As it was rather chilly the men obsessed with a fire in the wood stove of the cook shelter. And I snuck in a little sewing between bear lookouts.

Le Tour!!! I think I made at least a dozen blocks during the 2014 Le Tour. Every night we sat together, chatting, watching, and me sewing. And life was good. 

A weekend in Revelstoke to hit the Skytrek Adventure Park. I spent the first few hours in the car with a little guy napping. More Alturas for me!

On the way home with Alturas and my bruises. Worth every second and every bruise

Ah, summer. Kids in bathing suits on the front lawn. Alturas put aside for water fights and lemonade refills. (And I would be remiss in pointing out the primary colours here, The Monster would totally catch that.)

The day I tried to sew at the beach. Bad idea. At least the little guy wouldn't go in the water, but the girls did and so Alturas had to take a backseat to safety.

My brother is a doctor, so here Alturas waited with me while he took The Monster on a little behind the scenes tour at his hospital. I drank tea and chatted with this lady a little bit.

 Another glorious weekend morning with all the things I love. Okay, not all of them. How about the inanimate objects that I love? Alturas and Peaches and Magazines!

 That time I sewed my finger to Alturas.

True story: I finished this block while recording a podcast with Carolyn Friedlander. Pretty cool. And you can check out the podcast on Modern Sewciety. It's all about the QuiltCon experience. 

The very last Alturas being done, in the wild. If you count a meeting of our community playground committee the wild. I think I was distracted because I signed up for the sponsorship sub-committee. Oh, the power of Alturas.


liz said...

Thanks for this fun post!

Deborah said...

This quilt has had quite a journey already!

Anonymous said...

Could you elaborate on how you prepare the applique? In one photo I see some diagonal basting but it doesn't seem like you've basted around the small holes.
Is this needled-turned? Any tips on how to do this?
Is your applique thread chosen to match the applique rather than the background?

Also, you say your teaching experience at CQA was "transformative." I would like to hear more about this.
Thank you.

Quilter Kathy said...

What an amazing travelogue of your growing quilt! It turned out great and holds so many wonderful memories!

Patti said...

Better than those garden gnome travel stories, lol! Wonderful post. Amazing how you can fit quilting into a day. I am inspired. Thx!

Cheryl Arkison said...

id, this is to answer your questions. (You are a no-reply commenter).

The prep for the appliqué involves cutting out the appliqué itself from the original pattern. I then basted it onto a background square. Frankly, I was lazy and basted a line across, up/down, and two diagonals. It isn't the proper way for needle turn, but it held the appliqué in place well enough for my liking.

I don't think I'm the person to turn to for needle turn advice!! This was my first real project. But there are two classes on Craftsy that I used as resources.
Hand Applique Made Easy with Mimi Dietrich
Big Techniques From Small Scraps with Sarah Fielke

As a bonus, there is a big sale on Craftsy classes this weekend. Check out all the classes here: http://www.craftsy.com/ext/CherylArkison_holiday

But yes, I do match the thread to the appliqué - more or less - I didn't want to go out and buy a million shades of teal.

As for my Quilt Canada experience, here is my post on that:

DIane Warburton said...

A great post. Hand sew projects are fab and little blocks like this are so portable, as there aren't loads of little pieces to carry around and probably lose, if you're like me :-)
I hope many people are inspired - no time to sew?? = nonsense!

Karen said...

WOW!I've now put Jasper and the Icefields Parkway on my places to visit soon. What stunning places--thanks so much for the info AND the gorgeous photos! I've been to a lot of the US National Parks so now it's time for Canada--and we're a neighbor just across the border in Maine. (Don't know if I'll get any blocks made though!)

Blogger said...

Ever wanted to get free Twitter Re-tweets?
Did you know you can get these AUTOMATICALLY & ABSOLUTELY FREE by registering on Like 4 Like?