Quilting 103

Well I suppose it’s time for an update about my quilting project!  This week I finally finished all the sashing for my quilt–sewing my 20 blocks together to finish my quilt top.  On Friday night I had a few friends over…my quilt ‘mentor’ was there… I surprised her by pulling out my completed quilt top! Quilting 103- 008

It was a bit of a process as I had to cut the sashing and then add some more material to make the sashing long enough.  With the help from ‘the google’ I learned how to join two pieces of fabric with a horizontal seam.  (Didn’t take any photos of that process!) Quilting 103- 010

At this point I had joined all the blocks into rows then started the process of joining the long sashing to finish up the quilt top…trying to make sure everything was square.
The quilt top is done…laid out on the floor to get measurements so we could figure out how much material I need to cut for the backing. Quilting 103- 003

The only material I bought for this quilt was the backing…everything else I used from my Gramma and Mum’s sewing scraps.  The ladies who sold me the backing at the quilt store did the calculations on how much they thought I’d need….apparently they thought I’d need about 5 meters more than I used.  So I have enough material to use as backing for future projects.  It’s a good thing I liked the material.

Ironing the miles of fabric I had…thank goodness my friend had a LARGE ironing board!! mine was just too tiny to try to iron this!  Then we wrestled with the large amounts of fabric to cut two pieces to sew together for the backing…
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Then together we started the sandwiching process… first you lie down the quilt back with the right side down….we didn’t have a table quite large enough, so ended up taping this fabric to the bottom side of the table.

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Then we took the batting…and cut it down to size and laid it down on top of the quilt backing.  Then we took the top and put it down.

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Then came the fun job of pinning all three layers together with special curved safety pins. I was short of these…so we had to do a bit more basting.  Basically starting in the middle and stitching it with a loose stitches to help keep the layers together during the quilting process. Quilting 103-006…so after almost 5+ hours…the backing was completed, batting was cut and the quilt top was sandwiched. I still have a bit more to baste before I can start quilting…but for now, the quilt is coming along nicely.  There’s still quite a bit of work left to be done before I can put this beauty on my bed.

Here’s the other posts I’ve done about my Quilting Project:


Meet You at the Fishing Lake

On Friday it was time to head out of the office Avataaqtu Lake for a day of fishing.  The last time I was at Avataaqtu lake was in 2009! The reason was time for our Department’s Spring Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) Day.  Here’s more about our time in 2012 and 2013.

It was windy in Pangnirtung but we all met at the beach…and then took off across the fjord and up over the Kulik Trail.  As we got on the way…the wind stopped and it was just clear skies…but still pretty cold! (Around -22C plus a wind chill).

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The coldest part of the day was the time it took to get to the fishing lake…riding in a qamotiq is cold, but if you are dressed and prepared for it…it’s not too bad. Fishing IQ Day 2014-002

A quick stop to move and get blood flowing to all parts of your body along the trail! Fishing IQ Day 2014-003

Finally at the fishing lake… we went to work clearing the snow from the top of the ice… and then the guys started using the auger to drill all the holes.  In some spots even with the extension on the auger the ice was ‘almost’ too thick! (like 5 feet) Fishing IQ Day 2014-004

Everyone quickly took to their holes…there were prizes for the First Fish, the Most Fish, the Biggest Fish and the Smallest Fish caught. I didn’t win any of the prizes…but within probably the first hour I had caught 3 fish (see below)…and had about 3 get away.

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Photo Credit for left photo: Delia Siivola

The rest of the day was just spent jigging away… the bearded lady hat didn’t bring much luck, instead just an old weight from a net…my hook got pretty tangled up in that!  I had to get help from a friend to get it off.  My phobia of fish hooks still is alive… they seriously freak me out still.

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Photo Credit: Delia Siivola

The day was pretty awesome…we had blue skies with the sun shining, then it started to lightly snow at some point…and then back to blue skies! It’s amazing to me how even though it was probably -22C I was comfortable enough to fish just in my hoodie!

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My strategy was to stick to the same hole all day.  Others in the group don’t do this…they move around, and probably caught more fish than I did…but honestly 3 is more than enough for me!  Fishing IQ Day 2014-008

Joavie who was the outfitter that helped transport part of our group to the fishing lake…prepared some char for us to eat! Fresh fish right on the fishing lake is soooooo good!  Fishing IQ Day 2014-009

On our way home there were a couple times that the snowmobile got stuck going up the hill…partly because of the fresh snow on the trail…and the fact it was pulling two qamotiqs!  So we jumped out…. dropped on qamotiq off the train… the snowmobile continued the way up the hill then we used our power to pull/push the other one up the hill.  It was a good workout.
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The scenery along the trail is so stunning…everywhere you look is amazing stellar view. Fishing IQ Day 2014-011

Just at the top of the Kulik Trail we jumped out of the qamotiqs and walked down.
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This part of the trail is pretty freaky…especially this winter because there isn’t much snow on it at all.  It’s a trail that’s literally made on the side of the mountain.  It’s maintained by adding fencing/boards to the side to help stop you from sliding off the mountain.  Anytime going down it’s easier for the snowmobile driver to have their passengers walk…because it’s less weight in the qamotiqs. Fishing IQ Day 2014-014

As you can see…it’s a steep drop down to the river below. Fishing IQ Day 2014-015

Looking up on the left and looking down on the right… Fishing IQ Day 2014-016

Stopping to take a shot of Pangnirtung across the fjord! Fishing IQ Day 2014-017

Almost home… just waiting at the end of the Kulliq Trail for everyone to make it down safely.  Then we had a short ride across the fjord home!

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Photo Credit: Markus Siivola

It was a fantastic day out on the land… During my time fishing Joavie helped with learning some more Inuktitut words and phrases. Days like this is what living up in the Arctic is all about.

#ABrightProject: Task #2

Task #2 for #abrightproject was completed just after I got back to Pang… it was due on Feb 15th…but I didn’t get my letter written before I left for El Salvador…and the week I was back before coming back north was crazy-fast-paced!  So I ended up being a few weeks late (yes, vacation, travelling and maybe some procrastination might have all been factors.)

Moving on… Task#2 focused on self-love… one of the parts of our task was to post 10 selfies on our instagram accounts.  At least one of them had to be without a filter…and you had to tag them and add things about yourself you liked!  Then other people participating in #abrightproject commented and left affirming comments for the people that posted photos.

Selifies are something a lot of people love to hate.  But I really don’t have a problem with taking a photo of myself because I look at it like documenting a moment in time.  If you’ve been a reader at Sarah on the Road  for any amount of time you will realize that ‘selfies’ are something I do quite often.  Why? I find it’s a way to put me IN the picture…often after going somewhere or doing something I find that I didn’t have a photo of ME at that spot… I have heaps of photos of friends, family and other people…but none of me.  Taking a quick selfie is a way to document that moment…even if that means laughing at the photos later!


The other part of the project was a bit harder…it was the self-reflection part.  The heart of the month’s challenge was to help us take a look at ourselves and what we thought of ourselves.  Looking at our appearance…what do you think of yourself? what is our is that self-talk? What do we feel in our hearts of hearts about ourselves? Wow…those are some loaded questions.  Honestly, this is something I’m working on but sometimes struggle with to this day.  I try to ‘fake-it-til-I-make-it’ and often try to portray myself as a person that doesn’t struggle with how I feel about my appearance.  Sometimes I can do that…and that image of everything is all good is pulled off for the people around me.  But sometimes that portrayal isn’t so strong as I thought it was….and people see through the cracks.  One thing during this task I really tried to stop was the ‘self-hate’…i.e.) that little voice inside of my head that would often shout horrible things about myself. Instead I had that little voice say something good & positive any time it thought something negative.  (It’s a struggle, honestly…but each day if I can consciously stop…then I have faith that soon that negative voice won’t be around…and I will continue to fake-it-til-I-make-it…and it doesn’t seem fake, because I won’t feel that way anymore and it will be truth instead.)

The social part of my task was comment on my Bright Half’s photo…and then send her a letter talking to her about your process and how you feel about yourself.  The more important thing was to affirm her and give her 5 points that were awesome that you learned about her through her self-protraits she posted on instagram!

My letter was waiting for me when I got back from my holidays in February… it was so exciting to get mail that wasn’t bills!


Those little tags each held an affirming statement my Bright Half saw in me from looking at my selfies…it was an awesome gift, thank you!!!

Task #3 was all about being Grateful…I’ve sent off my parcel, but haven’t received mine yet…it’s on it’s way…but who knows when it will arrive here in Pang!  Once I receive it I’ll do a post explaining more about this task!


If you wanted to check out my previous tasks with #abrightproject click on the links below:


Spring has sprung!  The weather has been gorgeous here in Pang…the sun has been shinning and the temps between -15C  (-20C with windchill).  The days are getting longer too… the sun is rising around 5:45am these days and setting at 7:10pm!

This is a post that has many random thoughts from my head…from this past week. Right now I have another 6 blog posts in draft format in my blog dashboard.  I need to finish them…and hopefully will soon. But for tonight here’s my random thoughts!

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This has been on my mind all week a report was released and shares what all of us living in the north know, but many southerns in Canada don’t. Like: “76 per cent of Inuit preschoolers skip meals, while 60 per cent have gone a day without eating.” and “The report says the average cost of groceries for a family of four in Nunavut is $19,760 per year while almost half of Inuit adults earn less than $20,000 annually.” Here’s a link to another article about the issue.  It’s a complex situation with no real clear-cut answers. All the “southern” food has to be flown in, or brought up in the summer on big barges…that makes the food prices extremely high!  This weekend I bought a bag of 8 oranges for $15.95.  I’m not sure what the answer should be…but something needs to change.


The other thing that was happening this week in Nunavut was “#sealfies”…now what is a “sealfie” you might ask? Well it all started with Ellen’s selfie from the Oscars that broke twitter, you see Samsung donated $1 for every retweet which was about 3million dollars to charties of Ellen’s choice.  One was a children’s hospital and the other was the American Human Society which has been very vocal about stopping the commercial seal hunt in Canada. (which normally refers to the commercial hunt not the traditional Inuit hunt)  Fellow Nunavut Bloggers over at Finding True North had a fabulous explanation about it on her blog… so go CHECK it OUT!


“@ellenshow my #sealfie not only a beautiful piece of art, but functional 4 Arctic Life. Eat. Wear, Hunt Seal”

Killaq Enuaraq-Strauss from Iqaluit had this brilliant response to Ellen. 

This week I joined a sewing group.  The Inuktitut Teacher at the high school about 2months ago opened up her classroom for a sewing group on Monday & Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons.  She’s donated her time to help others on projects. This Wednesday I went with my friend…and started cutting the pieces for my seal skin mittens and started sewing.  Then on Saturday afternoon I went back and got more direction about how to do the next step of ‘gathering’ for the sewing.  When I’m done I’ll post more photos and story of the progress…but for now here’s a quick shot of me cutting out the seal skin pieces.

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Photo credit: Cassandra Yantha

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I’ve also been working on my quilt top…finally joined the 4 blocks to make strips. Then today spent the time cutting and sewing together the rest of the ‘sashing’ strips I needed to join the sets of 4 blocks together.  Still have heaps of work to do…but it’s coming closer together to a nice quilting sandwich for lots of hand-quilting to begin.

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…so that’s what’s been happening in the last week in Pangnirtung.

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