Friday, February 12, 2016

Circa 2016

It's Friday!  Time for another Circa 2016 installation!
Here are my 28 hourglass blocks from last week's step. They aren't as scrappy as I would like because I used the traditional method of making QSTs (start with squares, draw a diagonal line and sew both sides of the line, etc.) which makes two identical blocks.
Total Circa blocks made = 44
Hop over to Temecula and see what we're sewing this week!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

First Finished Swoon

Here is my first Swoon block finished already!  It was really fun to quilt since the block is only 24", so there is no pushing and pulling it through the harp of the sewing machine. 

And here is a photo that shows the quilting design a bit better. I love how the design turned out in the centre block. I wish all the curves were smooth lines, but hey, it's made by a human so it's never going to be perfect!
One block down, eight to go!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hosting a sewing event

If you like sewing with your friends, why not host your own sewing events? It is sew much fun you will wonder why you don't do it all the time. Well, except when you have to work the next day, and you are exhausted from your laughing and sewing marathon. 

Here are the steps to hosting your own sewing party...

Step #1 - decide on a theme and/or date
For the past few years I have hosted a mystery sewing day in the winter, either on New Years, or Super Bowl Sunday. Fellow blogger Andee hosts a Quiltville mystery kickoff party that I would love to attend, except that she lives over 2,000 miles away!

Another idea is to host a monthly event. I used to host a Friday Night Sew In, but have been so busy that it has fallen off the schedule. That must be remedied immediately!

Step #2 - Decide on a guest list
I have room for 4 - 6 sewers and one presser in my space. Sometimes we can't force entice someone to be our presser and we have to do our own, but quilting is always faster when someone else does your pressing for you. It's also important to invite friends who will enjoy the type of sewing you would like to do. I love to sew mystery quilts, but not everyone enjoys that. If you want to host a mystery quilt event, you have to invite people who like adventure, who don't get stressed about figuring out quilt designs, who are handy with a seam ripper, and who are willing to risk making a quilt they don't love (sometimes even "ugly") while they have a fun day of sewing.

Step #3 - Prepare
The next hurdle is that you have to clean your sewing room! Once you've thrown everything into the spare room organized your projects, vacuumed, dusted, and cleaned up your space, you are ready for a nap your sewing party.

Step #4 - Purchase necessities
These are the minimum requirements: lots of water for hydration, buckets of chocolate and assorted snacks for energy, and each quilter needs a tin of "calm down" mints.

You can make your event as complicated or as simple as you desire. The important thing is that you spend time with people in your quilting tribe, and you make wonderful memories to enjoy long after the event is over.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Back to Swoon

Have you made a Swoon quilt by Camille Roskelly?!? It has been a very popular pattern for years and I started my Swoon project back in 2012 using black and white, grey, and gold fabrics. I really enjoyed sewing the blocks and then they sat for a while until they were ready to become a quilt.  I have no idea why this quilt bubbled to the top of the UFO list this week, but it is finally coming together in my mind, so I decided to start the machine quilting. The blocks will be individually quilted and then I will join them using the "Quilt-As-You-Go" technique (good photos of the technique here).

I treated myself to a brand new pair of Machingers, which I really like to use when machine quilting.
The batting was joined together from some scrap pieces using fusible batting tape.

The design will be free motion curved lines. It is a great brain stimulating activity to plan out how to quilt as much of the block as possible without stopping/starting.

Monday, February 08, 2016

Design Wall - Super Bowl Sunday

Did you celebrate Super Bowl Sunday by sewing or by watching TV? I'm sure you can guess what I did!

I had some friends over to sew the Quiltbug Super Bowl Mystery quilt called Peekaboo.
Here are the fabrics I started with which are way, way far away from the recommended colourways. But I really wanted to use up stash fabric, and it was a challenge to get the necessary yardage.

Here are the blocks from the 4 of us who sewed the mystery. We each chose very different colours. The one closest to the recommended colourway is the floral pink, green, and yellow which is the column of blocks second from the left.
It was a great day of sewing and these are some of the possible layouts I came up with using my blocks.

layout #1

layout #2

layout #3
layout #4

layout #5

Which of these layouts would you pick to be your favourite?  To see more design wall postings, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching - February

It's time once again to enjoy some Slow Sunday Stitching! I am starting off February with another finished Life is Beautiful embroidery block. I think this is my favourite block so far, but maybe I say that every time I finish one?!
This block took more than 2 months to finish and for some unknown reason the pattern had faded and was getting difficult to see. Maybe my eyes have deteriorated, but it was hard to stitch the last half of the block.

I traced over the pattern again with a red frixion marker and was able to see much easier to continue stitching. 
This particular block had a lot of lazy daisy stitches, which made up all the leaves on the two trees. 

What do you do while you are slow stitching? Do you listen to music or TV or radio? Do you like to stitch in silence, or while in conversation with loved ones? I enjoy all of the above at different times in my stitching life.
When putting in some of the stitches in this block I was "watching" Bonnie Hunter on QuiltCam, and of course while watching Downton Abbey on Sunday nights. 
But recently I discovered (reading Cheryl Arkison's blog) that there is a "Slow Stitching Movement"! Who knew?!? The website has a list of 20 podcasts to listen to. I started with Cheryl's podcast and really enjoyed it, so am now listening to Gail Pan. It is fun to be slow stitching while listening to thoughts about slow stitching! There is some annoying background music at the beginning of the podcasts, but it goes away at about the 1 minute mark so stick with it. 
I have another block ready to go into the hoop to begin stitching today.
What are you working on? Link up your blog post below and show us your hand stitching project.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Scrappy Saturday - Maverick Stars

It's brown month over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I needed some brown blocks for my Maverick Stars collection. 
I made a light star on a brown background, and a brown star on a light background.

And here's the whole collection so far on the design wall. It is such a fun project to work on to use up small cutoff triangles for the wonky star points.

To see more brown projects, hop over to SoScrappy.