Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Finished UFO!

June's UFO is done! 
I couldn't be happier with this finish!
Once I had the layout decision made with the two half candle blocks, it practically finished itself!! Well...not exactly :)
The blocks were made by machine applique, and then sewn together in the "Quilt-as-you-go" method.  

Isn't it cool how the sun is shining through the dots where the stitches are?

Isn't this a great photo of the finished quilt? It measures 30" x 30" and is called "Shattered". 

To see more June finishes, hop over to a "Lovely Year of Finishes"

Slow Stitching Sunday

I am back to making rugs again. I made my first rather "ruffly" rug last year using up scraps, so now that I am an expert (ha!) I am trying again. This is a more co-ordinated rug using only yellow and blue fabrics. I decided I better get it finished because I just bought some sale fabric to make a third rug, which will be for my kitchen.

I am using Aunt Philly's needle tool and instructions, and once you get the center part of the rug made, this is a mindless and relaxing hand work project to enjoy.  

I hope you will take time to slow down to turtle speed and enjoy some hand stitching today. Share your project by linking your blog post below.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Scrappy Saturday and another quilt along

It's the last yellow Saturday for the Rainbow Scrappers
It has been a very busy month for me, but I've managed to use up a lot of yellow scraps. I finished my Carrie Nation blocks and a bunch of spools. I also finished these 12 pretty Alamo stars.
Today I hope to do some yellow cutting - not scraps exactly, but am turning fat quarters into parts for Swoon blocks. The colours I picked for my blocks are yellow or gold, gray, black and white. I made my first block last year, and you can see how large these blocks are compared to my Alamo star blocks :) I hadn't made any progress on my Swoon blocks since last year, except in terms of fabric collecting. But I recently found a Swoonalong to help motivate me to get these blocks underway (thanks to Andee for the info!)
These are the star burst combinations I am going to make.  The backgrounds for each block will be a different black on white print.
To see what other yellow projects are being sewn today, hop over to SoScrappy.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nabby's Dowry Sew-Along

New Pocket Patchwork Sew~Along Coming Soon!
When you don't have time to quilt, dreaming about quilts must suffice!
I have been looking forward to's sew-along time! 
Last summer I participated in the Temecula Summer Stars sew-along and really enjoyed it, so I was happy to find a sew-along project with small pieced blocks to work on this summer. This year I am joining in the sew-along over at Heartspun Quilts called Nabby's Dowry. Don't know who "Nabby" is?!?  Click here to read about here.
This will be a 36" square quilt and the blocks will be 6" - my favorite! Instructions are given to make the quilt from your stash, but I ordered the fabric kit  as a special treat to myself and have enjoyed admiring these fabrics all week. There is a perfect blend of small prints and homespuns. I especially love the neutrals she included...yum! 
Instructions will be posted every Friday for 12 weeks.
Are you in?!?!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Life is mostly Yin and Yang here.
Yin - There hasn't been a lot of sewing going on this week since I have been with my brother most of the time. He has finally started chemotherapy and we are sure hoping and praying for some good results.  I am putting a lot of mileage on my car and am so happy that so far I haven't been in a car crash. The traffic has been brutal getting back and forth to hospital appointments.

Ugh...just look at the traffic and the smog.
I hate the city :(

Back of mug mat

Yang - I did manage to finish up two mug mat kits that I won in a draw over at the Feathered Nest Studio
Front of mug mat
I added a bit of my favorite fabric and made two nice sized mats. I just used the pillowcase method of turning them inside out and stitching around the edge to finish.

Front of mug mat

I enjoyed some very restful time in my backyard to do a little photo shoot with some of my flowers.

This is my favorite mug mat!

Back of mug mat

Just as I was taking this photo, the sun peaked through...ahhhh summer is finally here!
Thanks so much to was a quick and fun project. I look forward to gifting these mug mats to colleagues I worked with last year.

And now, back to the Yin!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Design Wall Monday

This is the same project that was on my design wall last week - this month's UFO. I spent a lot of time auditioning various sashing strips. I thought I liked white until I found the perfect blue.  I joined the strips by machine on the front of the quilt, and am hand stitching the back seams. There is one more week left in the month to get a hanging sleeve on and finish the binding - totally doable...a "finish" is on the horizon!
To see more design walls, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Slow Stitching Sunday

This week I have focused my hand stitching efforts on finishing my June UFO. I started making the blocks two years ago (click here to read about the inspiration and beginning of project). I am finishing it in the "quilt-as-you-go" style and stitching the seams by hand. You can check out this great QAYG tutorial by Andrea which shows the technique that I am using.

Today I will be stitching these seams while enjoying these peonies (my favorite June flower). If it rains, the blooms will probably be finished for this year, so I'm hoping for a sunny day.

stop & smell the flowers
Photo from "Love Yourself"

What are you hand stitching today? I hope you will have some time for relaxing hand stitching...
and take some time to smell the flowers!
Link up your hand stitching blog post below - we love to see what you're creating!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Scrappy Saturday

My newest leader-ender project is 3" spool blocks. After years of quilt making I have quite a vast  hoard collection of small scraps that are perfect for sewing these blocks.
Here are the yellow spool blocks I have made so far this month (pattern and inspiration by Bonnie Hunter). It is fun to watch them accumulate over the month as I add each one to the top of my design wall!
To see more yellow scrap projects, hop over to SoScrappy.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Christmas Quilt-Along

Are you participating in the Fat Quarter Shop's Christmas quilt-along? This is a great beginner project if you are a new quilter. There are videos with each step demonstrating how to sew the blocks, plus well written full colour patterns to download (just my opinion...not a commercial!) 
Also if you are nervous about co-ordinating fabrics, you can just order a pre-made kit, which is also perfect for beginners. 
Part 3 was how to sew 4 pretty star blocks. I am using up fabrics from my stash and in these star blocks I used 4 greens and 4 reds. (You can see my 3 wise gingerbreads from step 2 here)
Here are the stars attached to their spacer blocks. The sections will be ready to sew together once all the blocks are made.
Next week are the little ornament blocks.
Click here to visit the Flickr page and see all the blocks being made.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Votes For Women Wednesday

Last week I mentioned that I was struggling with the Contrary Husband block in the Votes For Women project. First I cut all the diamond angles backwards. Ugh.

I recut all the diamonds and tried to sew them together. 
After bragging about "mastering" the set-in seams for block # 29, I got a quick reality check - this block was not even close to being workable!

A big thanks to Leslie for sharing a link to modified piecing directions. Why didn't I think of that?!? If you didn't think of it either and want to try block #33, click here to go to American Homestead's directions.
Kuddos to Janet who recognized (in her comment on my Votes for Women post last week) that I had purchased a charm pack of Barbara Brackman's Metropolitan Fair .

I used one of the charm squares for the center of this block. Yum! I think I also might need to get more of the paisleys...double yum!
So, here is my successful version (finally!) of block #33.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday Treadling

The treadle time is really adding up!
A few scraps added here and there while cooking supper and doing household chores not only makes me feel more relaxed, but eventually all the effort becomes a finished quilt!

I now have 50 strips pieced... here's the pile.
If there are approximately 10 scraps per strip, that's already 500 little bits that are on their way to being part of a quilt!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Design Wall Monday

On my design wall is my June UFO. It is a raw edge applique project that is totally made of scraps from an abandoned unfinished project (the Indian Orange Peel). I decided to make one more block (I had finished 8) to make it a square sized quilt with 9 blocks. 

As I was looking at the design wall, I was thinking of how my blocks look like stained glass windows, and I was remembering the beautiful windows I had seen at La Basilique Notre-Dame last month. 

And I was thinking about all the candles and light, and before I knew it, I had turned my lighter coloured scraps into two half blocks with candles.

The two half blocks went from being an assorted pile of scraps... to being finished blocks very quickly, and the whole process felt inspired and peaceful. 
I made all these blocks in a "quilt-as-you-go" style, so I just have to sew them together with the sashing (which I will stitch by hand) to finish this quilt. 
To see more design walls, hop over to Patchwork Times.
To see more mid-month UFO reports, hope over to "A Lovely Year of Finishes".

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Slow Sunday Stitching

We finally have some warm weather here this weekend  (sunny and over 20 degrees!) which is perfect for stitching outside. Are you tired of hearing about my "Journey of a Quilter" project? I am still hand quilting it and making great progress. At this point, I'm sure I will finish it by the end of summer!
Sunday is the perfect day to relax and enjoy some time with needle and thread. What are you hand stitching today?
Link up your post below and share your project.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Scrappy Saturday - yellow

It seems that the first week or two of the month are spent organizing the colour of the month scraps. This month is yellow, and I have been finding and cutting my yellow scraps. It makes a big difference in my quilting room overall, because as I come to other stuff, I am inclined to put it where it belongs so I can get everything more organized...just another one of the benefits of participating in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge!

So far this month, I have sewn five Carrie Nation blocks with my yellow scraps. Here are 4 of them...
I am trying to avoid going too far to the 'gold' end of dark yellow.

This little wooden hanging is for a friend who thinks marshmallows are a food group! I picked it up for a birthday present for her.
I have done 3 colour months with the Rainbow Challenge of these blocks (green, blue, gold)...looking good!
Hop over to SoScrappy to see more yellow scrap blocks.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fair block

I enjoy making sampler blocks, and always try to participate in block challenges when the opportunity arises...especially when it's a "challenging challenge"!
I recently made a block for a fair with the theme of "cowbells and carousels". 
Really? What can a quilter make for that theme? 
Well, I scoured my 100 blocks magazines and found a block pattern for a horse on the cover of volume 7, which was easily converted to a carousel horse by adding a pole. The required fabrics were the background white with dots, and the print that I fussy cut for the bows on the mane, tail and the saddle.

The machine applique was a nightmare because I was using my little Janome (while staying at my brother's). 
This machine needs a tune up or something?!?
Just look at the stitching from the back...sheeshh.
Oh well, the "Carousel Pony" was finished and handed in by the deadline, and it was a fun distraction!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Crisis Management

I have been rereading my favorite Anne Lamott books. Her writing helps me to feel more hopeful when life is hard. I have been taking her advice while going through  another/bigger health crisis with my brother (I wrote about him many times before on my blog - you can check it out here
Photo by Anne Lamott
He had been waiting for a throat surgery to repair cavernous vascular hemangioma in his throat. That surgery was going to be extensive and required approx. 14 hours under anesthetic. It was decided that he was not strong enough to tolerate the anesthetic for that amount of time, because it was eventually discovered that he had an 8 cm tumour (possibly thymic) between his heart and lungs, with metastasized cancer in the lungs.
The oncology appointment for today was cancelled since all the test results aren't back yet. More waiting.
So what to do?
Breathe, pray and be kind. 
My sweet niece Ellen knows how to be loving and kind. 
What else can you do?
Oh yah...quilt!

I have been working on my "accidental quilt" again.

It is really great to always have an easy project at the ready to do some mindless sewing when you need it. Here are the blocks ready for cutting, pressing and trimming while I breathe.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Design Wall Monday - Sunny Side Up

I have sewn together the blocks for Judy's Sunny Side Up, which she offered as a free pattern for a quilt-along on her blog. 
These blocks were such a pleasure to sew and the rows went together perfectly. I am starting to think about making this pattern again but a less scrappy version.
Now this quilt is ready for the borders. Take a deep breath...
because this quilt pattern has 5 borders! Yikes! 
To see what other quilters are working on this week, hop over to the links at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Slow Sunday Stitching

Two things rarely seen together - medical equipment and hand quilting equipment!
For a quilter, you can't have one without the other! My brother has been very sick and we are wearing out a path between his house and the hospital. 
Quilting is calming and centering, and necessary for me when under stress, so I have been hauling this quilt back and forth - from home to hospital, to my house, to his house, to hospital, and back again.
The good news is that I have been getting a lot of hand quilting done.  The bad news is that he is getting sicker. We have an appointment with the oncologist on Wednesday to see if they can recommend some treatment for him. 
Until then, all he can do is stay warm, eat nutritious food, and sleep. All I can do is quilt and be with him. 

Today I hope to finish up the quilting on block #9, which means I am more than half way finished the quilting on my "Journey of a Quilter"! I wrote a post about this project over at the Celebrate Hand Quilting blog if you want to take a look - click here.  This photo shows how much quilting has been finished as of last week. Soon it will be time to think about the border quilting design!
What are you hand stitching today? Link up your blog post below and share your progress.