Monday, June 30, 2014

Design Wall Monday - Market Day

I had a whole day off yesterday! No work, no lawn cutting, no housework, no medical appointments, no laundry, no errands, no shopping, no cooking ... nothing except quilting. That hardly ever happens in life, but I made it happen yesterday.  What a treat to have a 1 day holiday from the busyness of life!

So I finally got started on Pam Buda's Sew-along
And not only that, I was able to get completely caught up. I am doing the miniature size of course, and really appreciate when mystery quilt writers give us the choice to make it in miniature... so fun!

I made my version in completely different fabric, using up scraps from my Journey of a Quilter. Instead of red and blue, I am using green and pink. 
These blocks are 2", so each step was completed quickly.
The only block I dislike is the center one, so I'm going to change that one.
This is the layout I came up with for the blocks made so far,
but I am sure that this will not be Pam's layout. She will have something more creative in mind to surprise us!
We will find out on Friday.
To see more design wall postings, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching Giveaway

Welcome to the world of relaxing hand stitching!  Grab yourself a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the blog posted about stitching by hand.
Last Sunday we had a record number of 29 link ups and we enjoyed seeing many wonderful projects being made the slow, "old fashioned" way ...thanks to everyone who posted!  
To celebrate we are having a giveaway today. In keeping with the S L O W theme here at Slow Sunday Stitching, I have 3 fat quarters of this Michael Miller turtle fabric to give away. Just look at those cute turtles! All comments will be entered to win and I will pick the winners and notify you when the link up closes on Tuesday.
I was treated to a real (not fabric) turtle sighting this week - a Midland Painted Turtle, who was taking it's own sweet time getting across a gravel road. I made sure it finished crossing safely, and I was thankful to see this very pretty turtle (look at the yellow and orange highlights!) And I reminded myself that I am proud to be a "turtle stitcher"!

Okay... onto my slow stitching project this week... I have been hand quilting my "Always Home" wall hanging and couldn't find my regular thimbles. I tried to use this thimble my son bought me when in Austria. But it didn't work well because the dimples weren't deep enough to catch the needle. I guess this is a thimble for admiring, not using!
So then I tried this new thimble I bought to try - Clover's adjustable ring thimble. But the logistics of how it worked just didn't work for me. I tried to use it like the picture showed, but nope... it didn't work. 
So I didn't make much progress, but today I'll be enjoying some hand quilting as soon as I locate my favorite thimbles!
What are you hand stitching today? Link up your blog post below and share your project with us. And remember to leave a comment on my blog to be entered in the turtle fabric giveaway! Happy Slow Stitching!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Scrappy Saturday - Last Yellow Week

It's the last week for the Rainbow Scrap Quilters to work on decreasing their pile of yellow scraps. I finished sewing 9 tiny leader/ender Alamo Star blocks using yellow fabrics as either the star or the background.
Aren't they so pretty?!?
I wonder if I will ever finish this project since I still love making these blocks?!? 
Do you want to see how many I have made so far?

This many!
They are only 2.25" so it's a very small container, but the collection sure looks pretty!
I definitely need more dark background blocks, so I'll try to work on that.

I also finished some miniature double 9 patch blocks for my Omigosh quilt. I finished 2 green blocks from last month, and 2 yellow blocks for June. That brings my block total for this project to 45.

To see more yellow postings, hop over to SoScrappyThe best thing about the last Saturday of the month is anticipating what the colour for next month will be! 

Friday, June 27, 2014

UFO Finished!

The Miniature Storm at Sea quilt is finished! Woohoo!
Let the celebrations begin!
I bought the laser cut kit from John Flynn at Paducah in 2009. I started piecing the blocks in February 2011. To see how small these blocks are -  click on this blog post. I love making miniature quilts, so I enjoyed every step of making this quilt. The only drawback is that it takes a long time... and I have a lot of patience, so we make a good combination :)

I machine quilted bubbles in the border and hand stitched the binding. Hopefully you can see the bubbles in this altered photo. This is a very fun design to machine quilt... thanks for the idea Missy!

The finished size of the quilt is 19.5" x 23" ... a finished quilt after all these years!!

To see more finished UFO's finished this month, hop over to A Lovely Year of Finishes.

Now that I have finished another quilt, George and I will be at the fabric store buying some fabric to start a new quilt!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blocks for Quilts of Valour

A friend bought some "hug mugs" at Quilt Canada that had a pattern and some fabric inside to make a block for Quilts of Valour.  Very Canadian looking fabrics, eh?
I didn't see these being sold in the vendor area, and she didn't remember exactly where she got them, so we can't track down more.  My friend bought four of the hug mugs and here are the finished blocks. I will put them in the mail tomorrow to be part of this group effort.
I was able to find more information here about the collection of "hug blocks" if you are interested in participating.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Quilting Bubbles

When I posted about quilting the borders on my UFO of the month, Missy suggested quilting bubbles. That idea sparked my interest and I was excited to get started... thanks Missy!

Why was this the perfect idea? 
a) It's a fun quilting design that I know I like to quilt
b) It's a design that I hadn't sewn in a while and was eager to try again, and
c) It fit with the theme of the Storm at Sea quilt.
Perfect design! 

Quilting the bubbles is going swimmingly - ha!
Get it... swimmingly!!?!
I tried to make a variety of sizes for the bubbles. The binding is ready to apply and an end of the month finish looks probable!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Treadling on Tuesday

I had a great time treadling with Bonnie Hunter last week while watching QuiltCam. The photo of my 113 year old machine working beside my relatively new computer just makes me smile! Both of these machines have been fantastic investments and have made my life a happier place!

I am still sewing scraps onto adding machine tape and am delighted to share that I sewed up a whole box of scraps! Just look at this empty scrap box! Inside are some of the strips I've sewn that need to be trimmed up.
Now that's a major accomplishment in my scrappy world!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Design Wall Monday- Baby Quilt

On my design wall today is a baby quilt in development. My neighbours are having a baby soon and have decided to wait to find out the gender when it arrives.  So this quilt will be for their daughter, or if they have a son, I will need to figure out something else!

I just cut up some fat quarters in 2.5" strips and sewed them around 4.5" squares. I ran out of the center squares and had to piece a few of the center blocks, but I am relieved that I had enough fabric to finish 30 blocks. 
To see more design walls, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Slow Sunday Stitching - Beading

I have finished all the embroidery on this little project (free pattern available here). I decided that I don't like how those orange knots look on the top left of the project and think they draw too much attention to themselves. I want to feature the words on this piece, so I am going to take those stitches out.

Instead I am going to add some beads for a little sparkle! Every one of those little circles will eventually be covered by a tiny bead. That's what I'll be working on today... breathing and beading!

Make time to relax and enjoy some hand stitching today! And then link up your blog post below and share your project with us. We love to see what you're working on!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Scrappy Saturday - Green and Yellow

I made a few more spools for my block collection, even though I said I wasn't going to make any more of these blocks this month. I just couldn't resist cutting up the scraps and sewing a few!  There is such a pretty variety from bright sunshine yellows, to orangey yellows, to brownish yellows. I love these scrappy blocks and the range of light background scraps I have found to use up.

I also finished up a few more pumpkin seed blocks. I hand appliqued the seeds and sewed together 5 green blocks from last month, and 2 yellow blocks from this month. 

I also sewed up a 6" green scrappy wonky star block that I had cut last month.

To see what other scrap quilters are sewing with yellow, hop over to SoScrappy and visit the links posted.

Friday, June 20, 2014

It's Friday! Time to start a new quilt?!?

I am so tired at the end of this week that I haven't scheduled anything fun for Friday Night Sew-In... *gasp*
I think I will just put my PJ's on and do some relaxing hand quilting.
Did you sign up for FNSI? If not, there is still time to do so - click here.
But I must admit that I am really tempted to start a new quilt (other than the baby quilts I need to start and finish asap!)

There are so many new projects popping up around blog land and I am getting the itch to start at least one of them.
Here is a list of ideas I am considering:

*Alycia has started a new mystery quilt - click here for the fabric requirements. You just need 4 fabrics for this one.

*The Temecula Co. has started a new summer mystery called "Summer Spools" - start cutting fabric here. You can do this one scrappy and it has "a secret applique center"!

*The Moda Bakeshop started a new project called the Trifle Dish Sew-Along. I really like the posy block just posted.

*In August Pam Buda is starting a new sew along called "Friends and Companions". I haven't even caught up with her last sew along called Market Day. But I did finish Nabby's Dowry last month, so that counts for something, right?!?
Oh dear... I already have too many UFO's.
What about you? Are you joining in the fun?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Star Quilt (Lack of) Progress

While I ponder what to quilt in the border of Storm At Sea, I have been trying to get my star quilt top together. I am pressing a lot of the seams open because there is so much bulk and they didn't lay flat at all when pressed to one side.

And then look what happened! 
I sewed a little tent by leaving out one (or maybe two??) of the triangles! 

That will definitely not quilt out!
Where's the seam ripper?

Maybe I'll work on unsewing this mess while watching QuiltCam tonight with Bonnie. See you there!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mid Month UFO Check In

I have been working this week on my UFO of the month, which is a Storm At Sea wallhanging.
I finished machine quilting the blocks with stitching in the ditch. I'm not sure if you can see the quilting on the back?
Now I am pondering how to quilt the borders.
Looks like I'm on track to have this finished by the end of the month. Maybe I'll prepare the binding while I think about the borders?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Design Wall Monday - Improv

On the design wall today are my blocks from the 2 day class I took with Cheryl Arkison at Quilt Canada. I did not purchase any fabric at all for my classes - just took my batik scraps and sewed up the leftovers.

The 12" blocks are in the order they were made. The two wonky log cabins were first. Great block, easy to make, and eats up lots of scraps! I plan to make more of those for sure....maybe a whole quilt of them!
The second row on the left is a slab block. That might be my favorite one to make. It uses up a lot of tiny little pieces.
On the right is a criss-cross block. I don't love it, and might add another few criss-crosses to cut down on the pinkness.
Then the letter Q surrounding the heart... that block is going to have some major reconstruction to reduce the pinkness or maybe it's going to be the quilt label on the back!
The wonky curve blocks were easier to sew than I had thought they would be. The hardest part was deciding on a layout for the 9 blocks.
On the bottom left is another slab block. It was made primarily from fabric scraps that were left for me in the bathroom in the residence with a note that said "these are for you - I know you love scraps!" I called that block the "Bathroom Fabric Fairy Block". 
On the bottom right is two 6" star blocks - one light star on darks, and one dark star on lights. They might become the centers for log cabin blocks.
So that's a lot of pieces used up from my scrap box! I am inspired to keep sewing more blocks and have lots of ideas for blocks that I didn't have time to sew in class. So fun!
To see more design wall postings, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

One Last Quilt Canada Post

I have already treated my Dad to a special meal for Father's Day, and now I'm watching PGA and FIFA while editing my Quilt Canada photos. Are you tired of hearing about the conference yet?!? As soon as I'm off the computer, I'll be back to some relaxing hand stitching. But for now... one more post about my conference experience.
I took a 2 day class on Improv Piecing with Cheryl Arkison,
Cheryl shows the quilt in her book that my
friend Barb is sewing in brown scraps!
author of A Month of Sundays. If you read my blog regularly you might remember, I won a draw for an autographed copy of her new book last year (read about it here). At that time I had just finished sewing a quilt from her first book Sunday Morning Quilts

I love both of these books, so it was great fun to meet Cheryl in person and learn from her for two days about improve piecing.

This is Cheryl's sampler quilt that inspired us to get sewing our scraps and try out some of the techniques of improv quilting.

Improve class Log Cabin blocks

We started with wonky log cabin blocks and that was fun. It was a good place to start since most quilters have sewn a regular log cabin block or two in their quilting history, so making an improve version was comfortable for everyone.
Improve class criss-cross blocks

Then we moved on to criss-cross blocks. 
It's funny how the electrical cord hung down the middle of the photo like another line across the blocks!

Improve class slab blocks

Then we started sewing my favorite block... "slabs". 
I have sewn these before  (click here and here to see them) and I really love this method for using up scraps. I have called it crumb piecing since I love to use up tiny little crumbs of scraps.
We also made free hand curves, stars, and anything else we were inspired to try.
One possible "down" side to improve work ... your sewing table becomes a real big mess in a hurry! There were times when I wondered what I was doing with all this mess! But then I'd look around and see that all the other quilters had the same kind of mess on their table. There is no way around it with this technique! It was a fun class with many interesting blocks sewn and a ton of creative inspiration! 
Thanks Cheryl! And thanks to your family for sharing you with the quilting world!
I will unpack my suitcases and put my blocks up on the design wall... check back tomorrow to see them.

Quilt Canada 2014 - Trend Tex picks for Slow Sunday Stitchers

Quilt Canada 2014 is now a memory. All the vendors and spenders, all the quilts and quilters, all the teachers and students, all the organizers and enjoyers... are back home.

My highlights of the conference include:
*meeting so many interesting people from all over the world. At the closing banquet there were quilters from Great Britain, Edmonton, and all over Ontario seated at my table of 8. In my class on Friday and Saturday there were quilters from Newfoundland, Texas, and B.C., and the teacher is from Alberta! 

*great merchant's mall with a wide variety of vendors. I didn't spend much money here since the conference was expensive enough, but I enjoyed seeing the new patterns and fabrics, and soaked up the energy of the excited quilters. Some were in a total buying frenzy and it was fun to watch!

*incredible quilts with a wide range of techniques and inspiration in the various shows.  We were not permitted to take photographs of the juried show, but the photos of the prize winners have been posted on the CQA website - click here to see them. 
We were allowed to take photos of the 139 Trend Tex challenge pieces. In this challenge everyone who enters makes a quilt with the same package of FQ's and the theme of "Modern Ways". For the enjoyment of my Slow Sunday Stitching friends, I will show some close ups of my top picks for best hand stitching. You can see the entire quilt by viewing the website here.
#33 Myra Tallman

1) I loved this hand quilting by Myra Tallman, and incidentally this quilt won the first prize from the challenge judges.

# 15 Karen Menzies

2) Look at the amazing hand stitching texture created by Karen Menzies.

#41 Mabel Russell

3) Hand quilting by Mabel Russell in lime green thread that was so precisely stitched that I had to double check to see if it was stitched by machine.

#35 Katie Pidgeon

4) incredible stitching and beading by Katie Pidgeon that created most of this quilt's design (and was also a judge's choice ribbon winner).

Slow Sunday Stitching - Yellow Seeds

I am back from the Quilt Canada conference and have more to share about that later today, but first...
it's Slow Sunday Stitching time!

Before I left home to attend the conference, I prepped a few pumpkin seed blocks to stitch whenever I had a chance for a little bit of relaxing hand stitching. It's an easy, portable and quick block to pick up and sew a few stitches here and there.

I did have a few chances to do some hand stitching. I tried to sit on this rock here by the yellow flowers and stitch a bit, but quickly discovered little red ants climbing all over the rocks, so I didn't stay there very long! 

Then I went to my favorite spot on the Brock University campus and sat in the sun by the little water fall. It was very quiet and peaceful. While I stitched, I remembered the fun I had this week, the talented quilters I met, the new skills I learned, the fantastic quilts I saw, and the new projects I have started... and I felt very blessed to be there.
Today I'll be relaxing, downloading all my photos and doing more hand applique on my yellow pumpkin seed blocks.

And a quick shout out to my wonderful Dad because it's Father's Day today and I haven't seen him all week!
Here he is with two of his grandsons in one of my favorite photos of him. 
What are you hand stitching today? Link up your blog post below and show us your hand stitching project.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Quilt Canada 2014

Another great day at Quilt Canada yesterday! 
I took a class with Cheryl Arkison and I will write more about that later when I get better photos of the class blocks in the second day of the class today.
The most annoying thing to me about Quilt Canada is that you can't take any photos at the Juried Show. It is really hard for me, and I missed my camera as an extension of myself while experiencing the quilts. Does that sound weird? I saw amazing techniques, and great colour combinations, and incredible quilts, but most of that information is already lost in my fading memory. They want you to buy a show catalogue, but what I want to remember is the details of the quilting and the techniques. I saw some amazing thread work and wish I could remember it to try it at home.
We were permitted to take photos at the F.A.N. exhibit, so I will show you my favorite quilt there.
Everyone, meet Izzie...

This is a quilt by Donna Bray-Zakreski called "Strong, Calm and Fearless". I love the description of the quilt, the use of colour, and mostly I love the texture created by the dense machine quilting.

Here is a close up photo:
I have never quilted anything so densely but I just love the effect!
Last night I attended a lecture from Judy Coates Perez, which was very inspiring on a personal and professional level. Her work is visually amazing from a distance, but up close it is unbelievable. You just can't not touch her quilts...and she lets you!! 
Okay... I'm off to my last day of classes and hope to be able to post another update tonight!