Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 29 - Tarra McCannell: Who IS graybie??

Hi! I am your host for 52 quilters for week 29. I must say, I could not ask for a better week to be hosting. It is hot, I am on holiday at our cabin with my adorable kids. It's perfect!

My name is Tarra McCannell. My maiden name is Gray. I have had the nickname Graybie for longer than I can remember. I am an avid (some might say obsessed) knitter, crocheter, embroiderer, quilter and sewist. I have been knitting for pretty much all my life, and stitching here and there. I started quilting 2 years ago, but really got into it when I met my Saskatoon quilties Sheila, Jaclyn, Sonya and Lisa in 2014. We're all in the Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild. It's changed my life.

Where do I begin? There's so much to tell. I am originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Don't listen to people who say it sucks. I love my city. I miss living in my city. I go back any chance I get. I have lived away for a long time now though. I lived in Canmore, Alberta for 2 years after doing one year of university. I was a lifty at Sunshine Village and snowboarded every day. It was fantastic!

I moved to Victoria and did an BSc Co-op degree in Biochemistry and Microbiology. My co-op experience took me to New Zealand where I worked for a year and then did a Master of Science in Biological Sciences. This is me on my 29th birthday, celebrating with my kiwi family. Not family by blood, but still family.

Here I am hosting a stitch and bitch night with some work friends in NZ. I taught about 6 people to knit and we had knit nights every Thursday for quite a few months.

I met the love of my life on a plane home from New Zealand at Christmas time in 2005. He lived in Hamilton - the same city I lived in!! We were both heading home for Christmas, on the same flight, and sat next to each other. We always say we had 3 dates on the flight home. We had two movies, dinner, breakfast and lunch. We started dating when we were both back in Hamilton. Then AJ left to go travelling in March 2007. I met up with him in Thailand in June for a month. That's where this photo was taken.

I finished up my Masters and moved to Saskatoon in March 2008, where AJ was living. I got my dream job, a puppy, and married in the summer of 2009.

I am a teacher at Saskatchewan Polytechnic (formerly SIAST) in the BioScience Technology program. I teach General Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Molecular Biology. It is the best job ever! It can be very challenging, but the summer off helps me to recharge.

I have two beautiful, brilliant children. Alaina is 4 and a half. She is spunky, sweet, kind, caring, loving and, in my completely unbiased opinion, incredibly smart.

Gray is my baby. He will be 2 at the end of September. He is so sweet, so cute, but already so stubborn. I feel lucky to have such loving children. Maybe it's because I smother them in hugs and kisses every, but they are fantastic cuddlers.

I have been crafty all my life. I knit hats and mitts for all my friends starting in high school. Later on, when friends started having babies I would always knit up a blanket or a sweater for the newest baby. I sold stuff in a few craft shows here and there. My favourite one to sell in was the True Knit Art Show in Regina, SK. I was in that 3 times. My absolute favourite handmade show to go to is the Flock and Gather Handmade Market here in Saskatoon. We have some incredibly talented artists here. I always make a point of going to their spring and winter shows.

The Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild, as I mentioned, changed my life. I met super cool quilters, who opened my eyes to things I hadn't seen before. I signed up for my first swap last year - the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap (round 2). I had very little experience doing anything other than squares and stitching in the ditch. I got the lovely, talented Jeliquilts (Kelly Liddle) as my first partner and had no idea what to do. I had no modern fabric, and no clue how to make anything other than squares. This is what I made for Kelly.

Not super technical, but it was very different for me and I enjoyed doing it. From then on I was hooked on modern quilting. I won't post any more right now, but I am in several bees, the Canuck birthday club, and have been in several swaps since. I love being a maker. I can't imagine not creating.

I hope you enjoy following me through a week in Cochin, Saskatchewan, as I chill with my kids, knit and sew the summer nights away!

Post by Tarra - Week #29: 

Tarra is a chemistry and genetics instructor who has been quilting for two years. She is also a knitter, crocheter, embroiderer, and dabbles in garment sewing. She lives in Saskatoon with her wonderful husband, two amazing kids and a cute Weimaraner. Tarra tries to be as natural as she can in life, but loves chocolate, wine, and has a dangerous fabric addiction. Follow along on Instagram at @graybie.

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