Yorkshire Rose Quliters Guild of Toronto

Monday, 23 April 2018

Six Reasons Why Sewing Benefits Your Mental Health

This blog post on This Blog is Not for You is a great reminder that our mental health is important and that sewing can help us maintain balance and relieve stress. While the author is talking about dressmaking, I think it really applies to quilting as well. 

As a new mum finishing up a masters degree, it can be very hard to find time to sew. But looking over the 6 Reasons Why Sewing Benefits Your Mental Health, I can see that making time for sewing is something I need to do more of. 
  1. "Selfish" me time is essential for everyone - and it can be hard when the baby wants me, but if I feel stressed, so does everyone else in my life! 
  2. I agree with her comment that too much tv/computer/phone is dissatisfying and exhausting. Once the baby has finally fallen asleep, I often just want to curl up on the couch with a stupid tv show, so I've started doing some hand piecing, so I feel like I'm doing something with my time (while watching a stupid tv show!) 
  3. And how mindful sewing is for me! There is nothing more in the moment than being at the sewing machine. If I let my mind wander for even a second my 1/4 inch seam is now 3/4 inch! 
  4. And the joy of accomplishment! I got my President's Challenge Square Foot Garden completed last night, and I couldn't stop smiling! We often have so many projects on the go, that we forget what a thrill it is to just finish something. 
  5. Ok, her next point, about body image, might be a stretch for quilting, but I think the idea of appreciation is there. When I give someone a quilt, they are amazed with my talent and skill - a response that reminds me that I am more than a dress size! 
  6. And finally, the sixth point, our quilt guild is great for socializing and meeting new people who share my passion about quilts. I look forward to my "me" time at quilt guild every month - and leaving the baby at home with her father!
How do you find that quilting helps your mental health? What other benefits do you get from quilting and from being a member of the quilt guild? Let us know in the comments.

Monday, 16 April 2018

Sew and Share at the April Meeting

Everyone has been busy this month, completing projects for friends, family, and the quilt show!

Irena was busy on four different quilts this month.
First was her original design "Please, just don't ask" - a good thing to remember for anyone who wants to inquire as to when a particular quilt might be finished! It was paper pieced and uses a pattern Irena found on the internet. It has an original front, and back:

Irena also made a "Noah's Ark" baby quilt using a panel:
 And Irena used "One Fish Two Fish" book panels to make two baby quilts:

 Don't forget those charity quilts!

Char shared a lap quilt that grew a bit. It was a commission for a 10th anniversary:

Helen shared the charity quilts she has been working on this month:

Bev shared her four-patch twin quilt:

Carole shared three quilts that are ready for the quilt show. This is a pin-wheel colour wash quilt of her own design using a hex template:

She also shared her large dragonfly preserved in amber. Carole pointed out that 350 million years ago, this was a life-size dragonfly!

This is Carole's Backyard Bird quilt, from the book of the same name. She paper-piece appliqued the birds and it was machine quilted by Joan Hug-Valeriote: 

Isabella shared a Dr Seuss baby quilt that she made for a neighbour's baby boy who is only 3 weeks old:

 Anthony shared his Inman Park quilt from designer, Brooklyn Quilting:

Teri shared a wall quilt of her own design:

Monday, 9 April 2018

What's happening at this month's meeting: April 11

This Wednesday, come hear Mary Hopkins as she tells the story of how she became a fibre artist and quilter. Mary says, “Like most women, I learned to sew under the watch of my mother. I made doll clothes and then I made my own, starting with a hand crank machine, which I still own. I made my prom dresses and my wedding gown, but then it all was put on hold for a career and when motherhood gave me 2 boys I stopped sewing except for the occasional foray into curtains and slipcovers.
It wasn’t until I purchased a memory quilt from the Cancer society in 2006 that I seriously
looked at quilts. As my father taught all his children I immediately said, “well, I can do
that!”. After I made a quilt for everyone I knew, (and bought a long arm at Creative
Festival) I ventured into free motion quilting on the domestic. That evolved to sketching
trees and animals.”

Want to hear the rest of Mary’s story?

Join us on Wednesday, April 11.
Location: Danforth Mennonite Church, 2174 Danforth Avenue
Doors open for socializing at 7:00 pm
Guild meeting starts at 7:30 pm

Don't forget your membership renewal, your mug for tea, your change for treats and library raffle, and your membership card!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Meet a Canadian Quilt Blogger: Izzy of Dizzy Quilts

There are so many amazing things happening in the online world of quilting, so we thought it would be a great idea to share some of the people who are out there - online and IRL (in real life!) - who are making the quilting world go.

In this post, we will introduce you to Izzy of Dizzy Quilts.

Yorkshire Rose Quilters Guild (YRQG): Why did you start blogging? 

IZZY (I): I decided to start blogging back in 2010 as a way to document the quilts I was making. Also, I used the Internet quite a bit to find ideas for quilts and noticed many quilters had blogs. I thought – why not?! The first few months felt like I was writing a journal and that absolutely no one was ever going to read my posts, but I stayed with it, commented and followed lots of blogs and after a while, I started to get followers and comments.

YRQG: How do you connect with your readers? 

I: I love that my blog enabled me to meet quilters from all over the world. The number of comments I get on each post has gone down a bit (and I think that’s true for most bloggers), but I respond to each and every one. I also have an Instagram presence and many of my readers are there as well.

YRQG: Which of the projects featured on your blog are the most popular with readers? Why? 

I: The project that still gets lots and lots of views every month is a mini I made for a swap back in October of 2014. I think the reason it’s so popular is the design itself. It’s very striking, very graphic and super versatile. (I did not design the quilt.) Also, it’s a mini so not a huge commitment and minis are just so much fun to make!

YRQG: Do you offer any bonuses or special content to your blog subscribers? If yes, do you partner with any other bloggers or retail outlets to offer those bonuses to readers or to increase the reach of your blog? 

I: This year, I was super happy to become one of the global Finish-Along hosts. Every quarter, we host link-ups where participants can link to projects they want to finish during the quarter. When they finish their projects, participants can then link-up the finishes and win fabulous prizes! You can check it out on my blog by clicking the 2017 Finish-A-Long tab at the top of the page.

YRQG: Do you have a retail shop for visitors to your blog / shop? 

I: I do not have a shop. I have a full-time job and work crazy hours so my quilting is still a hobby and I have no plan to turn it into something that’s revenue-generating for now.

YRQG: What is unique about your blog or your sewing style? 

I: That’s a really difficult question to answer! I think my readers like my blog because I share finishes that aren’t complicated, are modern, and I always link out to the patterns or resources they would need to make something similar. Also, as I said above, quilting is a hobby for me. It needs to be relaxing and not stressful in any way – so my projects aren’t perfect and I don’t pretend to be a perfect quilter. I sew projects I enjoy and I think that comes through in my blog posts.

YRQG: What bloggers or teachers are you inspired by? 

I: I’m inspired by so many quilters and designers! I love the work of Jacquie Gering, of Debbie from A Quilter’s Table, of Yvonne from Quilting JetGirl and from Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs. But I’m inspired by all of the blogs I follow, by my fellow Montreal Modern Quilt Guild members and even by the stuff I see around me (I’m sure I’m not the only one who takes pictures of floor tiles!)

YRQG: Is there a particular style or genre of artwork that inspires you?  

I: I love everything modern. I bought a book by Josef Albers and would love to make a bunch of mini quilts inspired by his work.

YRQG: Where do you find ideas for your content? 

I: Most of my blog posts are about quilts I finish. I unfortunately don’t get a lot of time to blog (I have a full-time job, six children, will soon have 5 grand-children as well as a dog and a cat!), so when I get to blog about a finish, I’m happy!