Monday, December 09, 2019

Shoo Flies


I'm busily working on Christmas presents, and there is no time for putzing around in the scraps. But I was looking for a binding fabric and unearthed this baggie of batik HST blocks. I have no idea what project they were from or maybe someone gifted them to me, but aren't they pretty?
Squirrel!

I started sorting them to see how many there were that matched. When my children were younger this would have been a job I made them do an educational exercise to learn matching skills. But they are grown up now and refuse, so I have to do it myself. I should have left the baggie closed, but I didn't and well... before you know it, I was making more of those darn Shoo Fly blocks.
49 Shoo Fly Shoo blocks

So then I had to put a few on the design wall to see how the project is coming along. Wow that lion block really jumps out, eh? 

Okay... back to what I'm supposed to be working on.
Don't get distracted.
Focus.
Christmas is coming.

Linking up to design wall Monday.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching! 

We meet here every Sunday to celebrate the art of all varieties of hand stitching. If it involves a needle (or 2 or 3!) and thread, and stitches taken with your hands, we want to know all about it!
This is what I am hand stitching these days ...some embroidery projects for Christmas gifts.  Is there anything more fun than embroidery AND selvages?!?! 
I have a rather large collection of selvages that are an untapped source of enjoyment. Most people call this garbage and throw it away, but as my friends know, I consider this a treasure! Do you know how many wonderful things you can make with this collection of colour and inspiration?!?!
What are you hand stitching today?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Scrappy Saturday Sprouts

This month I decided to focus on my scrappy sprouts project.  I started making these blocks in June 2015 and apparently I'm really tired of these blocks because I haven't made any this year so far!!  
It's time to finish this quilt ... but how?!?

One of the things I love about being part of the online quilting community is the never-ending creative ideas. Recently I visited 2 RSC blogs that helped me to solve the challenge of my scrappy sprouts project.


Scrappy Sprouts blocks on the design wall
I sewed the blocks into columns and then remembered that Diann over at Little Penguin Quilts added a sashing between the columns of her scrappy sprouts project... good idea. I put some sashing on the design wall. Maybe I need to make a few more blocks?

Then I remembered that Cynthia who blogs at Quilting is more fun than Housework made a wonderful RSC project this year with fruit and veggie blocks, and on the top of her scrappy sprouts, she made a rolling stones block. You can see her wonderful quilt here.

I used Cynthia's inspiration to make a rolling stones block which I think looks like a sunflower. I made the centre section slightly wider than the sides to fit the top of my sprout stalk. I like it!

This week I will work on sewing 2 more rolling stones/sunflower blocks, and then start sewing the columns together. 
Might this be finished in 2019??!!
Hop over to the weekly RSC link up to see more projects being finished this month. 

Friday, December 06, 2019

Sawtooth Stars

The focus block for Barb's block swap this year is the sawtooth star. It is one of my all time favourite quilt blocks so that was a happy choice for me!


Here are some of the pieces cut out and ready to sew. I did not have any luck making the flying geese blocks using the "no waste" method. All of them were wasted because turned out inconsistent and never the same/right size. I gave up on that and went old school method... perfect every time!


Here are half of them on the design wall. The colour is way off... it is actually bright pink, not red.

The next step is to pop them into the mail box and send them on their 550 mile journey to another country to meet up with hundreds of other sawtooth star blocks! It will be an exciting quilt block party where they will mix and mingle with new friends... a very exciting journey awaits them!
Sure wish I was going with them!

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

One Monthly Goal

Well let's not talk about the fact that I didn't even look at November's UFO project so therefore did not make any progress on it! I didn't even cut the batting, which is a fairly easy job to do. I just got busy with so many other things (squirrel!) and spent too much time hibernating because it's dark and cold.

So this month I'm choosing a project that might have a chance of getting some attention... my Kim Diehl Christmas Tree project. I bought the fabrics and book in 2017 as a Christmas gift to myself. It was such a fun project to sew... I loved the fabrics, the instructions were terrific, the blocks were complicated enough to challenge me but not too overwhelming, and the overall design is unique. I would really like to finish it as a gift to myself by Christmas of 2019!
But I can't decide... does it want to be a tabletopper or a tree skirt?
Linking up to One Monthly Goal.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Happy Little Things Reveal and Giveaway Draw

The finishing instructions to the Happy Little Things BOM have now been posted and it's time to finish up your project! Hop over to Jacquelynne's blog The Art of Home to read all about it.

4 embroidery blocks in the centre of the quilt

This has been such a fun project to make and I especially enjoyed working on the four embroidery blocks in the centre of the quilt. 
That salmon coloured fabric is a hard one to photograph and looks different in every single shot I have taken.


top and bottom scrappy borders added
Here is the quilt after the scrappy top and bottom borders were added. I loved being able to use up all those little scraps from piecing the centre blocks! I had to do a lot of piecing small scraps of the white fabric sashing to get all the way around. The instructions said you need 2/3 yard for the sashing, and you really do! I managed to squeak it out of two fat quarters, but it was tough! Lesson learned... follow the directions!



Here is the finished quilt top in the daylight! 
finished quilt top

The on point grey gingham fabric is perfect for the final border and I was so happy I had enough (including the binding). I was hoping to get the quilt finished for the big reveal today, but ran out of time.

I did enjoy getting started on the machine quilting process. Picking threads is one of my favourite tasks, and I always chose a few spools to start. The soft green is for the bobbin, the cream and the salmon are for the majority of the quilting, and the grey might not actually make it into the quilt.


I have started free motion quilting around the embroidered flowers with the open U shaped foot so I can see exactly where the stitches are going. I hope to finish the quilting this week so hand stitching the binding can be my focus for Slow Sunday Stitching.

So guess what? In addition to receiving the Happy Little Things BOM pattern free, we are also having a giveaway of a Thermoweb prize pack! !


If you like to use fusibles, you will want to win this package (open to US and international sewers). You can enter my random draw by leaving a happy comment below. The winner's name will be drawn on December 8th.
And if you want more chances to win, visit the other bloggers below. You can see their version of the Happy Little Things quilt and enter their draws for up to 8 chances to win a prize (one prize per person per giveaway).

And for another special treat, hop over to Sarah's Quilting by the Sea blog to see the lovely red and white table runner she made with these embroidery blocks!
You can see more projects over at the Sew Quilty Friends Facebook group.
Thanks again to Jacquelynne for another wonderful quilt pattern, a fun BOM adventure, and for all the wonderful prizes that have been generously offered to our blog readers. 

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!
Sunday is our day to slow down and rest, to be thankful... and to stitch!



This is the time of year when my creativity is at an all time high. I have lots of ideas for Christmas gifts, and never enough time to make all my brilliant ideas. I have never made bunny pyjamas, but I have made a wide range of gifts over the years.



Today I'm working on a Christmas embroidery design from Gail Pan (free pattern here - thanks Gail!)


Four little designs were finished this week, and only one more to stitch today. I thinking of adding some selvages to turn this into a mug mat gift.

What are you hand stitching today? Are you working on some gifts? Please link up your blog or instagram and inspire us with your slow progress.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter