Sugar Free Quilts

Life in the PFAFF lane.

Burying Threads in a Quilt

What's the most dreaded part of the post-quilting process? No...not the binding...before that...the really most awfullest part.

BURYING THREADS!! Oh, you've chosen to block it out?

You need very few supplies:

  • a needle and thread
  • a pair of snip scissors
  • good light, if you're of a certain age

Cut a 12"-ish (30cm) length of thread.

Thread the needle and knot the ends.

Notice the knot is positioned close to the needle. The technique works best if the knot is closer to the needle than at the opposite end.

 

 

 

 

Below is a little sample. The bobbin thread is a different colour so you can clearly see the steps. See how quickly, and easily, messy turns into spectacular. We'll focus on the circled area, below, left.

Following are quick and easy steps to bring you closer to that rewarding finish!

TIP: Typically loose threads are pulled to the back of the quilt for burying. However if the back of your quilt is very light, and the front has darker values, you might want to pull to the darker side. Your threads won't show up under the surface when they're buried behind a darker fabric.

So the only thing left to decide...Will you quilt a bit, bury a bit, quilt a bit, bury a bit?

...Or are you a quilt, quilt, quilt, quilt, bury, bury, bury, bury kind of quilter?

Oh, and for the record...I love binding, but that's for another post.
Much love, and stay safe.
Karen, Living Life in the Pfaff Lane

Black Lives Matter

I’m going to jump right into this topic without preamble…

So many have died, or have been brutalized needlessly, simply because of the colour of their skin or ethnicity. This needs to stop. NOW. Social media is playing a huge part in getting the word out.

White people of privilege, myself included, really can’t understand how frightening it is, as a person of colour, to venture outside…couldn’t imagine parents having to teach specific sets of rules just to keep us out of harm’s way, indeed alive, on a daily basis. Social media is finally doing just that…enabling us to imagine the horror…because let’s face it, that’s what it is, horrific.

While we can’t change the past, I long for the day when humans aren’t judged by their race, sexual orientation, religion, gender, body weight…oh my, the list has no end.

As people of privilege it’s not for us to decide that our actions shouldn’t be hurtful, or offensive, to a group of people. If indigenous people, for example, tell us it’s disrespectful for non-indigenous people to wear feathered headdresses, our immediate response should be, “I apologize. I will never do it again.” It’s not for us to tell anyone their cultural beliefs have no merit.

When tragedy strikes, people do what they know in an effort to help. My go-to medium is fabric. After George Floyd’s and Breonna Taylor’s death, I didn’t know what to do…how could human beings treat their fellow human so heinously!

I had created some font-y designs in the past. Combing a couple of them, I came up with a design that spoke to me. I searched for beautiful skin tones in Kona Cotton Solid fabric by Robert Kaufman. I constructed the wall hanging, then quilted it. Quilting is not my strong suit but I loved the way it turned out. Now what to do with it, I wondered.

Longing for a life without racism for our future generations, I was moved to support our local youth of colour. During this journey I met Mekisha Johnston. An employee of DCS Community Services, she pointed me in the right direction.

During the month of March Mekisha, along with members in the community, raffled off the small quilt to raise funds for two local scholarships, The ABSW Ngena Bernard Scholarship and the Lake Loon Cherry Brook Seniors Scholarship Fund. Here is a link to their supportive facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1140751566295487

Recently I’ve partnered with Frame Plus. Art http://frameplusart.ca/ They have produced some beautiful prints of the quilt.
All the proceeds from these prints will go toward the above mentioned scholarships as well. I’ve included a direct link below if would like to help support our adults of the future.

https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/998620630/8-x-10-black-lives-matter-quilt-print?ref=shop_home_active_4&frs=1

Please don’t stop learning…reach out to cultures different from your own to see how you might help. Inquire if what you’re doing is helpful or harmful…it’s okay to ask. It means you care enough to seek the truth.

No one said it better than Jane Elliot when I heard her say, “There is only one race…the human race.” If you haven’t heard her lesson to her third graders, I encourage you to watch it now. It’s the most thought provoking video and very ahead of its time for 1968.

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/class-divided/ 

At the time of this writing it is Asian Heritage Month. I would be remiss if I didn’t draw attention to their rich culture and history. They too have endured much in the past, and still do today. Please take time, as will I, to educate yourself. They matter too!

https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/asian-heritage-month/about.html

My Five Ws

WHO:
Besides being a wife, mom and grandma, designing and sewing makes my heart skip a beat.

Can’t sleep at 4am? Let’s see what’s beckoning to me from my sewing space.

Watching TV? Multi-task with some hand stitching…Meh, stitch ripping for the win…am I right?

On a road trip? If I’m not designing on my laptop you might find me sketching. Or the ever present eagle eye is always on the lookout for the next design inspiration.
Moving toward retirement, I have more time on my hands to devote to what I love.

Sometimes the inspiration to sew skips a generation, so you can imagine my delight as I watch all three of my daughters enjoying their own sewing machines and a love for the craft. When asked for a stitch of advice…see what I did there?…I always encourage people not to get held back by little perceived imperfections in their work. Honestly, more often than not, once that project is complete, no one…not even the maker…will notice “mistakes”.

WHAT:
In college, as a graphic artist, I always aspired to specialize with letters in some way. I love how a font can evoke a feeling or bring a word to life. Little did I know, that path would lead me to fabric instead of the written word. I love being “fontily” creative and have discovered there are many ways…traditional piecing, paper piecing, and bias binding, as a means to bring words to life with fabric.

WHEN:
At the age of ten I saved allllll my allowance and bought my very first sewing machine. I’ve been hooked ever since. With every move my family made, I carted that thing wherever we went. Now, half a century later, the little girl in me wishes I’d kept it. I’m sure my yellow Brother sewing machine would still be going strong.

WHERE:
My husband, Michael, and I raised our family in Nova Scotia. Although our childrens’ jobs have taken them all across this awesome country of ours, Michael and I remain in this beautiful province on the east coast of Canada.

WHY:
I just can’t seem to help myself. 😊 There are so many ways to walk through this life, and everyone is so unique. Joy comes in many forms for each individual. I’m so grateful for my path and my love of design with fabric. Over the years I’ve discovered there’s nothing more rewarding than sharing this gift with others. A quilt can bring such comfort to someone, whether they’ve lost a loved one, they’re going through a difficult time, or celebrating a special occasion. Along the way I’ve met some wonderful friends who share that passion, which makes it even more rewarding.

My most recent WHY, and favourite to date…my daughter, a nurse in Labrador, called last summer to tell me that Avery, my almost six year old granddaughter, wanted to learn how to use a sewing machine to make an eye mask for sleeping. Enter Grandma! While the Atlantic provinces were bubbling in 2020, they came to visit in August. For her birthday, Grandma and Grandpa presented her with her very own sewing machine, a little Singer Prelude. Did it matter that her birthday wasn’t for another four months? Not even a little bit! I couldn’t resist being involved in fostering her love of sewing. She’s a natural and even enjoyed “cleaning” her machine with the included brush…I hope that obsession sticks! A good lesson for Grandma. Here are a few of my photo memories. She was so incredibly proud of her mask!! After a day or so I was sure it would be a forgotten “thing” but nope, she actually slept with it every night. I can’t wait to see where her love of the craft takes her, or where her passions might lie.

That’s a little about me and my sidekick…how did your passion for sewing get started? I’d love to hear in the comments below…and thanks for reading. ❤️