Tuesday, January 25, 2022

UFO Update

I've been deep into sewing mystery quilts this month, so my January UFO was a little delayed. But I still have a few days to finish it up. 

backing, batting and quilt top


I had this pile ready to proceed for a while - the backing pieced (only 5 pieces to sew together), the batting cut, the quilt top pressed, and the threads chosen. That's a lot accomplished already, but it's not a finished quilt yet!




Pin basting has started with my handy dandy Kwik Clip tool (to close the safety pins easily). While I'm basting, I talk to the quilt and come up with some possible quilting designs. Since this is a medallion quilt, I've decided to quilt it from the centre out, making the decisions as I come to each round.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Design Wall Monday

It's a finished quilt top on the design wall today... woo hoo!

This is my version of the Rhododendron Trail which is the Quiltville mystery that started in November  2021. If you think it doesn't look exactly like the original design, you are correct. Here are the changes I made: 1) sew fewer blocks, 2) blocks are straight set, not on point 3) no sashing, and 4) different borders on the top/bottom and sides, made from leftover blocks.

Sewing the blocks together was a breeze, but the borders took a lot of thought.

 At first there was going to be a dark plain border but after I sewed 2 borders on and made a cutting error and ran out of the purple stick figure fabric, a new plan had to be made! (Pay no attention to the sewing machine collection on the top of the design wall!) 

trial and error border construction

I spent a long time playing with the blocks to a workable design and to get the measurements right. My friend Becky tried to help me figure it out mathematically to sew coping borders, but my brain nearly short circuited doing that! So I used the trial and error method, and added extra pieces here and there and ... voilà!


Quilt top measures: 48.5" x 58.5" 

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly Slow Sunday Stitching party! 

If you enjoy hand stitching of any kind, then you have found your tribe! You are welcome to join us here every Sunday and learn how we keep ourselves stitched together... it's one stitch at a time!


If you're anything like me, you have multiple hand stitching projects in progress at one time. I have a couple of half finished knitted cloths, an abandoned EPP class project, a large multi year hand quilting project, a quilt-as-you-go project, and 2 hand embroidery projects! Especially during the covid pandemic, I only want to spend my free time doing what brings me joy. 

Today I will be adding stitches to this embroidery project (design by Joy). Even though I have a couple of designs traced, this one keeps attracting my interest. 


It's a wonderful meditative project and today I'll be stitching the words "Believe" and "Joy"... a perfect combination for Slow Sunday Stitching! 💖

What are you hand stitching today? We enjoy seeing the great variety of hand stitching projects each Sunday, so we hope you will link up your blog or instagram post below and share your slow progress with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Another project?!?!

Yes. I have been enticed to start the Riley Blake 2022 block challenge. I swear I wasn't going to, but the blocks have been too fun to not make them! 
Why, you ask? Well, the more small pieces there are in a block, the more I like it!

Each Tuesday one 10" block pattern is posted and there will be a total of 16 blocks. Each block pattern comes from a different designer, some of whom I recognize and some I don't.


Here is block #1
Daisy Chain designed by Lori Holt with 39 pieces.



Here is block #2 Sweetheart designed by Beverly McCullough with 42 pieces. I adore this one!

I don't have a plan for these blocks and am just making the blocks from whatever is on my cutting table. And because I am a long time member of the rainbow scrap challenge, I am surrounded by red scraps this month. These blocks might be turned into placemats, or might become a sampler quilt. I'm waiting for some inspiration to make make that decision.

Linking up to Rainbow Scrap Challenge

A few leader-ender fish blocks are being made too!

Friday, January 21, 2022

Quilt Repair

Earlier this month a friend asked if I would repair a quilt for a one of her friends. I had already registered for Carole's "Well Loved Quilt Repair" workshop, so I happily agreed to look at the quilt. My friend dropped the quilt off at my house in a black plastic garbage bag - horrors! 

1975 lone star quilt
It turned out to be a huge king size lovely vintage lone star quilt and I fell in love with it immediately! I don't have anywhere to hang a quilt that big, so this terrible photo will have to do.

Notice how the fabrics in the star points are different? Clearly she ran out of some of the fabrics when she was finishing the star!


shredding fabrics

The diamonds are all hand pieced and hand quilted 1/4" inside each seam. Some of the fabrics (like the peach) are shredding and some still look brand new. All of the diamonds are securely stitched in place. 



The quilt was made by the owner's grandmother. I was told that the grandmother used to work hard in the morning so she could go to church in the afternoon on quilting days. In one of the corners is embroidered the date of 1975.


ghosts of stitches past
There is no quilting anywhere outside of the lone star, so the batting has shrunk and is unevenly distributed around the star. I can see by the indented lines that there used to be hand quilting everywhere. I felt so sad that the quilting was gone, and also happy that this quilt has been so well loved and used.

thread audition

I asked the owner what she wanted me to repair, and she just wanted me to sew together the seam that had come open.  Oh okay... that's easy. 

In the class with Carole I had the opportunity to hear her ideas of what it would take to fully restore this quilt (ie. how to fix the batting, quilting the empty areas, replacing the torn/worn fabrics, etc) so I was full of ideas when I called the owner. She indicated that she planned to hang the quilt over a bar in a safe place so she could still see it everyday and didn't want it to be restored. 

So I went ahead and hand stitched the hole closed. And I also stitched a few tiny repairs here and there on the binding. I put the quilt into a clear bag with a note to tell her what a treasure this quilt is and that my advice is to never wash it again as some of the fabrics are disintegrating. 

I highly recommend Carole's Well Loved Quilt Repair class. She also has a lot of advice on her blog posts - click here.  I feel inspired to fix up some of the quilts that my Granddog has loved!

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

New Mysteries

 For all you mystery quilt addicts, here is an update:

1) My friend Susan tempted me with a mini Valentine mystery from Kathleen Tracy. This is a double delight for me - small pieces AND a mystery. 


2) Nancy Zieman Productions is hosting a 2022 mystery block of the month which is "not a block sampler". That sounds intriguing doesn't it? Steps will be posted on the 3rd Saturday of the month.


3) Sherri from A Quilting Life is hosting a BOM with 6" and 12" blocks. Each pattern will be a churn dash block with a pieced block inside. Here is the first block pattern.


4) Alycia is starting a new mystery soon called Stop Tossing, which she says will be a "fast, quick, fun mystery" with no HSTs! Fabric requirements will appear on Groundhog Day.  

5) A special treat for hand stitchers is a monthly BOM from Buttermilk Basin called "Joy in Stitches". The designs will be oval shaped with sewing themes. The first block has been posted and I can't wait to get stitching!


6) I also have started sewing some of the Riley Blake block challenges. Block #3 by Kristy Lea was just posted. 

Phew - that's a lot of new projects! 

Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, January 17, 2022

Design Wall Monday

The big reveal of the Quiltville mystery was on Friday and I enjoyed playing with my beautiful blocks on the design wall . 

I put the sashing fabric I had chosen on the bottom right and hated that! Although it has all the colours of the fabrics, it's too much green. I auditioned a couple of other possible sashing fabrics and decided I liked my blocks best being side by side with no sashing (blocks on the bottom left). The diagonal chain that is formed by the purple QST blocks makes me happy.

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's