Sunday, July 15, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

It's finally Sunday - a day of rest, reflection, renewal, and slow stitching! Why not join us as we get out our hand stitching projects and put in a few relaxing stitches?

I'm working on my Life Is Beautiful project today. I put all the finished blocks on the design wall to see where this project is at. 
30 blocks are quilted, which is almost the half way point. I have quilted more embroidered blocks than the alternate blocks, so today I'm going to pin baste a stack of alternate blocks to work on.

I have the blocks appliqued, the batting and backing squares cut, and am ready to get a few more blocks completed. Well, the completion won't happen today, but lots of stitching will be happening and they will all get finished eventually.

What are you hand stitching today? We love to see what you're creating so link up your blog post and share your project with us.

**Sorry the link up didn't work right this morning! I was camping and set an autopost that apparently didn't like my instructions. Click page refresh and hopefully the updated link will appear...


    An InLinkz Link-up

Friday, July 13, 2018

Square Dancing Improv Style

After making Carole's Square Dance mystery quilt top, I became preoccupied with the scraps. The first project from the tiny scraps called Diamonds in the Rough is a mini quilt. But the larger scraps were big enough to make a lap size quilt. You can see Carole's improv scrappy version here.
Here is the fun stage of trimming units and generating ideas of how they might be sewn together. I trimmed up all the blade units to the same size. 
Because the original Square Dance design had windmill shapes in it, I was drawn to this windmill configuration and just had to figure out the math for pieces to fit in the open spaces.

When I was sewing it together somehow I got the white background pieces on the opposite side of the blade and didn't realize it until it was together and I was measuring the block size.
It's interesting, but not the design I was hoping for.
Try again. I took the entire block apart and resewed it.

That's better!

Chocolate Windmills!

The next step is to figure out how to make it larger by adding  some scrappy sashing and/or borders.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

July Shop Hop

It is time once again for the July Shop Hop. This is a large scale mystery quilt adventure sponsored by stores in southern Ontario, Canada. 
This year there are 15 stores that you visit to collect a block pattern and the fabric to make it. If you go to all 15 stores, you will have a 15 block sampler quilt. Each store makes a unique sampler quilt using the same blocks, so you get to see 15 different quilts.
It is such a large project and I am amazed that they are still offering this to us for free! And there are door prizes and a grand draw prize of an amazing sewing desk made locally by Adam of Eddycrest

I have attended on and off over the last few years:
-in 2012 it was called "Yours to Discover" and had 10 stores, 
-in 2015 I collected a few blocks and Barb gave me all her blocks since she doesn't like blue, 
-in 2016 we collected block fabrics in fall colours and I didn't make it to all the stores but together with some of my friends we are making a quilt to donate to the Mennonite Relief Quilt Auction with these blocks, and 
-in 2017 the blocks were grey and I got around to 10 of the 15 stores.
It is quite a lot of driving, and this year I am joining with some quilting friends to try to get to as many of the 15 stores as we can before the end of the month. It is inspiring and very fun, and a very expensive adventure because of course you spend money at every store you go in. 
Click here for the Shop Hop Facebook page.
Do you have shop hops where you live? Do you participate?

Monday, July 09, 2018

Indian Orange Peel Update

There has been some recent progress on the dreaded IOP. Here it is still on my secondary design wall. I recently dusted it off, picked up all the pieces that had fallen on the floor and figured out where I had left off. Only 6 more blocks need to be sewn and several of the columns are almost together now. There are even some moments when I am working on it that I don't hate it!
Working on it can even sometimes be relaxing, and removing the paper from the back of the 120 paper pieced arcs is easy work. I say to myself: "Kathryn, I don't know why you hate this project so much? See how easy it is? You don't need to procrastinate working on it. Just go ahead and finish it up!"

And then comes the moment when I do remember how challenging this project is! Pin pin pin, measure and pin, add a few more pins so you don't lose all those points. Sew from the centre of the curve out on both sides. 
Then look at how you sewed the whole thing wrong because you pinned it incorrectly. Swear and curse. Get the seam ripper, remove those painstakingly made stitches, and start over again. 
I realize I have learned so much from this quilt because I can quickly fix most of the mistakes that I make over and over.

Two of my friends have finished their Indian Orange Peel quilts and they are gorgeous and amazing! Jacqui posted her quilt here and you can see Louise's quilt here
It is hard to finish something I haven't even been working on. I'm back to making some efforts to finish this in my lifetime if only to get it off that design wall.
What's on your design wall? Are you actually working on it?!?
To see more design wall posts, hop over to the Small Quilts link up.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching Anniversary!

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! The Slow Sunday Stitching link up has just entered it's 7th year! You can read the first post here from 2012. I used a different link service then, so I can't look back and see who posted at the beginning, but I do know that several of our folks have been stitching with us a long time.

It's hard to believe I have been posting a hand stitching post every Sunday for 6 years now. With all that calm, meditative stitching, you'd think I'd almost be a buddhist monk by now. But no! I'm just as wound up as I was when I started, and always in need of the benefits of slow stitching.

I have a few more finished embroidery blocks that I haven't show on my blog yet from Gail Pan's "I Stitch Club". Isn't that a cute block with a spool flower holder? And of course a sewing machine has to make an appearance in the pattern collection. 

Here is the new embroidery  pattern that I traced and will begin stitching today. This cute bunny will be stitched in these colours... brown (like the backyard bunnies that used to eat my vegetable garden), orange for the carrot, and other colours for the flowers.

What are you slow stitching today?
Please link up to your blog post that features HAND stitched projects only.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Scrappy Saturday

In a demonstration of great self restraint, I am NOT joining in on the Moda Summer Camp Quilt Along. It sounds like so much fun, but really how much fun can one quilter stand?!? Also Bonnie Hunter announced her new leader and ender challenge Jewel Box Stars, which looks like lots of fun too. 
Okay... staying focused means working on quilts already in progress, so instead of starting anything new, I better buckle down and get to work on my multi-year Omigosh project. Last month was teal month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge so I've been working on some tiny teal blocks.

These are the alternate blocks in Omigosh which are a shoofly variation. There are 41 pieces in each of these labour intensive little 5" blocks. Because they are so small, there is no wiggle room and all components must be squared down to the exact size. 
Here is the collection of the alternate blocks made so far. I have finished 27 as of today. Only about 80 more to sew!! LOL

See how wonderful they are when put beside the double nine patch blocks?!? YUM!

To see more Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects, hop over to the weekly link up. I'll be looking for some red scraps to stitch up today.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Blockheads II

Block #2 Buckeye Beauty 6"
Block #3 Pennsylvania
Block #5 has just been released and I am right up to date on this quilt along. I posted block #1 here and wasn't all that keen on how my fabrics were looking together. But I decided just to "press on" (quilter's joke!) and see how the project began to develop. After all, it's just the beginning stage of making blocks for a large quilt.
Blocks #2 and #3 are 6" traditional blocks, easy to cut and piece, and turned out "not terrible". 
But then block #4 arrived and this one I could sink my teeth into... a complex block called Roman Cross. This block has 33 pieces and is pieced on the diagonal with bias edges on all the outside triangles. My value placement is different than the pattern to emphasize the crosses, made with 4 different grey fabrics.

Block #4 Roman Cross

I was in my happy place, or "in the flow" as people like to say now... cutting and sewing, listening to my favourite music on Spotify. Secretly I was wondering how this was all going to work out, but just stayed in the moment and happily placed that bulls eye circle right in the centre of the block. And you know what? It turned out perfectly! An exact 12.5" block with great contrast!

Blocks #1 - #4

Here are blocks #1 - #4 on the design wall, with two 6" blocks and two 12" blocks so far.
But then block #5 called "Impact" was posted this week. 
Ummmm... a 24" block with 8" units?!? NO. I can't have that much blank space. I'll have to use my mad math skills (laughing hysterically!!) to rescale that pattern by at least half.
This is the fun of a mystery quilt along... you never know what's coming next, and you get to opt in or opt out, enjoy the best parts, tolerate the 'hum ho' parts, alter what you don't like, and make it your own!