KEEP CALM ... and STITCH ON!

 

2020 August 02

Happy Sunday Fellow Quilters;

Stage 3 and all that it brings!

Let's talk "positively".  I ran into a Real Estate Agent up here in the north this week and she said that she will continue to work from home even after everything has passed and settled down.  I think that is a positive thing... as there is less stress when you are able to work productively from home.

So... stress... it isn't really going away soon... but the good news is... we have ways to combat it!

Here is a three step approach for your day.

1) Start your day (even before you get out of bed) by stretching a few muscles, and doing some deep breathing.  Take a few moments before you get out of bed to meditate, thinking within about the positive things that you can do and control in your day.

2) If you feel stress during the day take the time to stop and breathe.  Way back on May 24th the links were there to help you find your "happy calm place".  The one stress reducing exercise was to have each finger reach over and touch your thumb.  One at a time, and when they touch the thumb, each touch has a word associated with it. Such as "I am at peace" or "I can do this" or "this too shall pass".  Make up your own "touch mantra" to help slow your breathing when you are stressed.

3) At the end of the day when you are going back to bed, take time to relax the muscles in your body before you drift off.  That is, in your head go through this exercise:  " I am relaxing my toes, I am relaxing my feet, I am relaxing my ankles, I am relaxing my knees, etc ... all the way up to I am relaxing the top of my head".  You will be surprised by just thinking about relaxing how much you do relax.

Until Next week...

Stay Safe!

Keep Calm and Stitch on!

Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline

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2020 July 26

Happy Sunday Fellow Quilters : )

Last week we focused on humour as the best medicine.

I hope you found a few good jokes to help make you smile.

But in the list of 5 ways to move forward from last week it started and ended with music.

Number one on the list said to start your day with positive upbeat music.  I can just see you dancing around the kitchen to some good “Old time rock and roll” by Bob Seger and his band.

Music can lighten your mood… a little Mozart anyone?

Music can calm you…. A little Brahms anyone?.

Music can distract you…. Take your pick.  AC/DC, Bob Seger, John Denver, Neil Diamond.

Music can be there for you when no one else is…. Good love songs by REO Speedwagon, or Chicago. 

I once heard about people leaving their radios /tv’s on for background noise for their pets when they went out.  The article went on to mention that the pets were “happier” and less “bored” and thus less likely to chew the sofa when the music was on…

I actually found a cassette tape of “mush” music from when I was back in University. 

Now we have playlists, podcasts, and twitter to keep us “up” on all things musical.

Take some time this week to get re-acquainted with long lost music genres.

I bet if you surveyed your quilting friends they would tell you exactly what music they listen to when machine quilting.  I personally listen to ABBA, as I feel it has the right beats per minute to keep me motivated and happily stitching.  What do you listen too?

Until next week… when we dance around the kitchen again.

Keep safe!

Keep Calm and Stitch On!

Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline

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2020 July 19

Happy Sunday Quilters!

I hope this week you are both positive and productive!

This week we take a look at how to move forward, while keeping safe!  A few things to consider…

  • Perhaps start your day listening to high energy music (it will surely lighten your mood… and perhaps your waistline). :)
  • Humour… use it (see examples below)
  • Take frequent daily breaks (and don’t talk shop… that is… don’t talk C-19).  Keep the C-19 talk to times when you feel up for it.  Perhaps also keep your C-19 media coverage at bay if you are feeling less than positive and productive.
  • Reach out to others… make those positive connections
  • Listen to more feel good high energy music when you are feeling overwhelmed. Let the music wash over you and de-stress you!


Now… let’s go back to #2 Humour… here are a few instances of guild humour and how it de-stressed the day  :)

  • You find a long lost project and realize it was to be a crib sized blanket and the recipient is now over 6 feet tall.
  • You stumble upon a long lost coordinating jelly roll and cake pile while looking for the lost bag of noodles for dinner (much to your partner's disbelief…you skip dinner and dream up projects instead).
  • This joke is my favourite  :)
    • A friend comes to your door (obviously in a face mask and protective gear) and says “How are you?”
    • To which you reply, “Great.”
    • And the friend proceeds to say “How is your significant other?”
    • To which you reply, “Great… they are in the garden.”
    • Your friend looks over the fence and says, “I don’t see them.”
    • To which you reply, “You just have to dig a little.”


Now note: we are not making fun of the C-19 situation… we are just trying to add humour and make you smile.  Also, note… I told the joke to my mother-in-law while we were enjoying a social distancing garden weeding event together… her response was, “Ha ha! That used to be a mother-in-law joke.”

Try a wee bit of humour this week.  Perhaps a google search is in order… or just call a friend… I am sure there are stories they could tell : )

Until next week… Stay Safe!

Keep Calm and Stitch On!

Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline

Resource: Shannon McLaughlin’s article on “Burnout… and how to fireproof against it” (American Embassy School, New Delhi)

Disclaimer: in these uncertain times the Quilt Guild Executive thought it would be good if we could reach out to each other and provide support.  The views expressed here are not meant to make light or fun of the times we currently find ourselves in. 


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July 12, 2020

Happy Sunday Quilters : ) 

With the 100 day mark long gone we find ourselves in a new reality.

Maybe we will continue some of the positive practices this new reality has given us : )

With at least 15 weeks of time in our quilting rooms... perhaps it is time to take stock and inventory.  Ask yourself the following questions...

Has my quilting room expanded past its designated area?  Do I need to corral it back in?

Do I have a better way to organize it?

Can I spend quality time in my sewing room with others via skype or Zoom?  

Maybe pick up the phone (use a headset or hands free phone) and have an old fashioned conversation while quilting.

The reality is... quilting and our friends/family make us happy.

So spend your week connecting with both of them!

Until next week...

Stay Safe...

Keep Calm and Stitch On!

Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline

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Sunday July 5, 2020

Happy Sunday Quilters : )

Last week we talked about letting the world in...

Now that we have been an entire 7 days with a wee bit more freedom (groupings of 10), we need to consider the "positive" interactions we can have!

It would be really easy to moan and complain about how the world events are affecting us...

But I think it is time for the "high road".

Yes, we can moan and complain with that one special person... but outside that group a little sunshine goes a long way.

We can take just about anything and put a positive spin on it.

Maybe you didn't clean out every closet you thought you would get to... but small victories... perhaps you got to read a book you found in one of those closets you meant to clean.

Perhaps you wanted to clean out and sort all of your recipe books and piles of paper... but perhaps you just found great recipes to try, and to share with those unable to get out much.

There is always tomorrow for the clutter, dust, and tasks.

But today needs to be about "sunshine" - being the sunshine that makes a difference.

Try and find your sunshine this week.  

Once you find it... share it : )

The world will be a lot better off with more sunshine!

Until next week...Stay Safe!

Keep Calm and Stitch On!

Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline

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June 28, 2020


We are a team!

We have to be a team!

A team sticks together! 

While staying socially distanced apart!!

I personally had a set back this week (and I know we all have them)! I let the world in.  I was in a work related ZOOM meeting... and doom and gloom entered the meeting.  It came from various people, at various times in the meeting.

I had to step back, breathe, breathe some more... and remember that we have worked so long and hard to keep C-19 at bay to throw in the towel now.

I remember as a child watching the Muhammad Ali boxing matches with my dad!  It was one of the few times in our lives that we were allowed to stay up late!! Well... Muhammad Ali had strength, determination, perseverance, resiliency and an amazing right handed style!!  He could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!

Maybe when life tries to punch it's way through our defenses we just need to dance a bit to our own side of the ring, re-group and come back swinging.

So... find your team! Find your inner strength!! Find your resolve!!

Yes, the world is going to dance us around the ring a few times.  But a solid landed punch will get us back in the game!!

It is going to be a tricky summer. We need to stay strong, and listen to the health advisories on how to stay safe!! And then Just do it!!

Until next week...


Stay Safe!

Keep Calm and Stitch On!

Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline

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June 20, 2020

Happy Sunday Quilters : )

We just passed the 100th day of C-19!!!

That is 100 days of social distancing, self isolation, wearing masks to stores, and being isolated from friends, family, loved ones, and quilting buddies!

My first thought when the 100th day passed was "WOW! We've got this!!"

We started 100 days ago with PURPOSE... purpose as a country to do our best!

We started 100 days ago with PURPOSE... to start each day with a routine to be the best you, you can be!

100 days ago we started a new reality... the reality of what life can be in these uncertain times.

The Health line website says it takes 18 to 54 days to form a new habit.

Well... I believe the new habit is "Putting ourselves first" which means making sure we are happy, content, and well provided for... so that we can provide for others.

We can't help others (family, friends, or our country) if we do not take care of ourselves first.

So... make taking care of YOU priority #1! 

That is, MAKE IT A HABIT!

You are worth it! You need you! And your friends and family need you!

Until next week...

Stay Safe!

Keep Calm and Stitch On!


Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline

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June 14, 2020


Happy Sunday Quilters : )

In the past few offerings on line we have been on a wee "retreat" across Canada to get inspired for summer adventures with our sewing buddies...

But what about our "Quilting Bucket List"?

I was talking a week ago to a friend who spoke of an item on her "bucket list" she wishes to go in a 10km walking race in every Province and Territory in Canada.... My first thought was, "Well that would be a great many quilt shops to visit".  But as she is not a quilter I just nodded, smiled,  and told her how inspiring her bucket list item was.

Then later last week on the CAA Magazine cover they featured the article "The Ultimate Canadian Bucket List".  Which set me on yet another quilting thought... How many quilt shops would you visit on that Canadian Bucket list journey.

So my question for you to ponder as you relax this week is "What is on your Quilting Bucket List?"

Is it to

a)  paper piece at least one thing in your lifetime?

b) perfect those tricky flying geese blocks?

c) sit on a quilt guild executive?

d) do a bargello quilt just for the fun of it?

e) finally clean out that quilting room of yours?

f) finish planning the ultimate quilting road trip with friends (and then take it)?

What is on your Quilting Bucket list?

Until Next Week...



Stay Safe!


Keep Calm and Stitch on!

Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline

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June 7, 2020


Happy Sunday Quilters : )

Last week we took a virtual journey across Canada.

This week your relaxation technique is “visualization” ;

You have two tasks

1) Visualize one or more "awesome/outstanding" road trips you have taken with quilting friends

2) PLAN a quilting adventure with a few friends for when C-19 allows us the opportunity for bonus relaxation and motivation

3) Share your plans with “said” quilting friends from #2

Stay Safe!


Keep Calm and Stitch on!

Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline

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May 31, 2020


Happy Sunday Quilters : )

This week we are going to live vicariously through the guild websites across the country!

It is a lot like taking a vacation at home : )  

Note: I could not obtain links to webpages for all provinces and territories (and since I am not a facebook user those were not available to me)

Take some time to breathe and just get inspired by what other Canadian Quilters are doing.

Let's start in the Western most province of British Columbia

Here is the guild website from Cranbrook B.C. thriving metropolis of 20,000.  Here are their quilt show winners.

http://cranbrookquiltersguild.ca/2019-quilt-show-winners-and.html

Now moving to Alberta, our tour takes us to Grande Prairie Alberta.  Where we have their show and tell since June 2017

https://northernpiecemakersquiltguild.weebly.com/show-and-tell.html

Saskatchewan bring us to Regina

http://www.prairiepiecemaker.com/photos

Manitoba brings us to Beausejour (46 km North East of Winnipeg) Population 3126

https://common-threads.weebly.com/-challenges.html


Ontario brings us to home : ) Where the heart is... Let's take a peak at what Halliburton is up too...

http://www.haliburtonhighlandsquiltguild.com/our-art.html

Quebec brings us to Montreal and their Modern Quilt Guild

http://mtlmqg.blogspot.com/

From the East Coast we have Woodstock New Brunswick (and their show and share dates back to 2010)

https://woodstockquiltguild.weebly.com/show--tell-2018-2019.html

And up North to the North West Territories - Yellow Knife

http://www.ykquiltersguild.ca/feb-9-17-guild-meeting.html

 
I spent an entire evening "oohing and awing" over quilts as I put this virtual tour together for you.

Stay Safe!

Keep Calm and Stitch on!

Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline

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May 24, 2020

As an executive we talked about ways to be helpful to each other.  Next week we have a light and airy edition to mark the beginning of June.  If you have any links to virtual tours of quilt rooms etc we would love you to submit them to Jacqueline H. (use the membership listing to find her email), or if you cannot find it, then via the following button durhamtrilliumqg@yahoo.ca, and pleas use subject "please forward to Jacqueline H."

We will check out the links and make a nice viewing for your June pleasure.

This week we are going to focus on "Finding Your Happy Place" (when you are not in your quilting room), and ways to maintain your most positive outlook.

Hope you all had a restful and relaxing weekend!    Please find three short links to supporting your emotional self...

1)The mental impact of COVID-19 and how to cope

The first short video (8 min goes over 6 small things you can do at home to ensure you keep in the best frame of mind possible)

https://youtu.be/o74nLLD7YCY

2) Gabby Bernstein's mantra for tough times is a quick and very easy way to get yourself re-grounded if you feel stress.

https://youtu.be/eiLWO9jOTao

3) 4 ways to Cultivate Mindfulness is a quick gentle video that is also a wonderful way to cope with our changing times.

https://youtu.be/6Wxk5gMTs2o

Note: I personally took notes on all three videos (but there is no test).  They are shared just as a gentle way to let you know that your guild executive truly values each and everyone of you, and is looking out for your best interests.


Sources:  It takes a village to raise a quilter : ) Thanks so much to the Port Perry High School Guidance Department for sharing these three great and useful links!

Stay Safe!

Keep Calm and Stitch on!

Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline

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May 18, 2020

Statistics...

Oh the math!

Do the math!

YEP! We all need a few good stats in our lives.

This last week our Guild meeting poll, 66% of you indicated that the "Keep Calm and Stitch On" section of the website has actually helped you navigate these difficult times.

Well... I heard a different statistic this week that held some meaning to me with regards to the C-19 times we are in.

The statistic goes like this "5 out of 6 people under the age of 18 have never put a stamp on an envelope" I personally thought perhaps they had never used a rotary phone. But it is stamps... I guess with e-mail, texting, face book and twitter there is no need to affix a stamp to a letter.

So... my challenge to you is to connect with someone this week.

Connect with someone who might need a smile, or piece of good cheer.

I personally am going to a fix a stamp on a letter to a friend who only lives 1 hour from me.

Take up the challenge and again "do for others when you feel blue", lend a helping hand.Until next week.


Until next week.


Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline

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2020 May 10

COOKIE! Did you say Cookie? I might need a cup of tea : )

NO!... You are one TOUGH COOKIE!

This weekly tidbit is just to remind you that you are tougher then you think!

You are one tough cookie!I

If some days you are feeling blue, and weepy due to the world crisis with c-19... that is OK.

But remember.... you are tougher then you think!

Think of your RESILIENCY... years of stitch ripping

Think of your PRECISION ... years of perfecting the perfect pointed star

Think of your REALISTIC nature... you always know when it is time to turn to a different project when one is just not quite turning out.

Think of your PRODUCTIVITY... who else would spend an entire weekend at a quilting retreat with pots of tea and your sewing machine?

Think about you FACING YOUR FEARS... one day Kate will truly embrace paper piecing : )

And lastly you face the fears that hold you back.

Be it C-19, your quilting stash (that needs downsizing), your quilting room, or just your day to day self isolation.

You are tougher and stronger then you think!

Stay Safe!

Keep Calm and Stitch On!

Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline

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2020 May 03


LIVE LIFE WITH PURPOSE...

This section of the website was built with purpose.  We continue to keep each week's topics in the stack, so that you can go back and review the tips and thoughts for happiness. We have come along way from Stress, to KISS, to being helpful to others, and now that we are weeks and weeks into isolation and social distancing you might be feeling down.

When feeling down have you thought about?

Having a cup of tea? Reading a book? talking a nap? Cleaning your sewing room? Cleaning your sewing machine? Calling a friend? Making a batch of cookies and doing a drive by to a shut in friend?

When we live our life with purpose, feeling down is just a state of mind... and that can be worked on : )

A few coping thoughts I stumbled upon this week include 

"Everything will get better, sooner or later"

"If I stay strong I know I will get through it"

And if you live your life with purpose (being there for family, friends, and your community) you will get through this : )

Keep Calm and Stitch On!

Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline


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2020 April 26

Canada is a great country to live in!

We are free!

We are positive!

We listen! We learn!

In these challenging times it is great to take our minds off of world events for a moment... and just breath... breath and think about not what you can do for yourself... but what you can do for others less fortunate.

If you are anything like me... you might make a mistake or TWO while sewing quilts in these trying times.

I found this quote that helped me put things in perspective.

"It's not how we make mistakes, but how we correct them that defines us" by Rachel Wolchin of The Goodvibe Company.

So... when I find a pattern challenging... I just take a break... breathe... and then work on a charity quilt.  Either the binding for our outreach children's blankets or a cancer quilt.

Forward is forward. One stitch at a time...

And in closing... if you are cleaning out closets, and jewelry boxes you might come across some costume jewellery that you want to re-purpose.  Have you watched our very own Steven Bland as he puts all of that costume jewelry to good use? His Youtube video on how to turn it into the cover for a journal is just fabulous!! I am considering making one for a friend and another one for my daughter!!

Woo wee! Look at us being productive!

Until next week,

Keep your scraps traveling Kate H's way, and keep your stitches straight (unless of course you are machine quilting)...

Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline


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2020 April 19

KISS - Keep it simple STITCHERS!!

We have now embarked on just over 1 month of social distancing.  In the beginning our minds were not "cluttered" with stress.  This is no longer the case.  Whether you are a front line worker, or a stay in person (one of our most vulnerable to C-19)  just waiting for groceries to be delivered, or someone in between, the stress may be mounting in your life.  if you are anything like me... my stitches reflect this stress...

I just spent the afternoon re-writing a pattern (because I cut a block wrong) to then fix the boo boo (pattern design alternation) to do yet another cut incorrectly.  Needless to say I am now going to go to the top 5 list (previously posted, see below) and reduce my stress.

I may even hit #1 first and do a fabric drop to Kate's front door!  Of course I would use the guild directory and call her first : )  

If you are in the same boat try and de-stress.

KISS - keep it simple means not working on the hardest UFO you own... but doing stitching for sheer pleasure.

I may even view a "Steven Bland program" off of YouTube.  He is funny, witty, and one of our own : )

         (added by webmaster:  for convenience, here is a link to Steven's YouTube videos:  https://www.youtube.com/user/stevenbland)


Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline


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2020 April 05

Happy Day Quilters...

This section of our website will be dedicated to ways to help relieve your stress in these uncertain times.  Please feel free to send me links and such that you feel would benefit our members.  I will try and add them into the theme of the week they fit in : )

This weeks theme:

TOP 5 ways to relieve stress:

  • #5  Start each day with purpose.  Perhaps that means something like; make the bed, get dressed, clean the kitchen, make a list.
  • #4  Make a small goal for the day (one small attainable goal). Perhaps something like; quilt one block, clean the kitchen, walk around the block (2 meters away from anyone else on the street)
  • #3 Consider a yoga or meditation practice. Here is one I have tried with success : )  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZKybZyZVQs&t=220s
  • #2 Try a new type of exercise.  I always think I am going to try pilates but then refer to my go to man Richard Simmons.  Some of his workout videos can be found on Youtube : ) NOTE: if a new exercise is just not a way for you to reduce stress... then perhaps you could pick up the phone and call a friend : )
  • #1  Clean out your stash and arrange a drop off to Kate's house.  She will be happy to keep the parts and pieces safe for the fabric basket and other outreach projects.


Again, Keep Calm and Stitch on!

Disclaimer: in these uncertain times the Quilt Guild Executive thought it would be good if we could reach out to each other and provide support.  The views expressed here are not meant to make light or fun of the times we currently find ourselves in. 

Yours in Stitches, Jacqueline H.