Sunday, November 30, 2014

December's UFO Project

Slow Sunday Stitchers have been seeing my block sampler quilt a lot over the last two months while I have been hand quilting it. I have decided to make this quilt my last UFO project of 2014. I was able to finish 6 UFO's on my 2014 list (on the right sidebar of my blog), and this week I also finished one challenging quilt top. I would like to add one more finish before the end of December. You can see more UFO goals over at a Lovely Year of Finishes.
Here is the basted quilt thrown over the boat launch at my friend's cottage. It had just been pulled out of the water for the winter, and it looked like an easel to me. A perfect place for photographing a quilt!

The sampler was pin basted at the end of September and I have been quilting it with each week for my Slow Sunday Stitching project. I have enjoyed it so much that sometimes I also pick it up in the evenings, and it is so close to being finished.

Here are the hand quilting stats:

Stars - 14 of 20 quilted

Blocks - 11 of 12 quilted

Sashings - 27 of 31 quilted

See what I mean?!? So close to being finished, although I still have to figure out what to quilt in the border.

Granddog Max is saying "Come on Grandma, time for some Slow Sunday Stitching on this quilt"!
What are you hand stitching today? Link up your blog post and share your project with us - we love to see what you are working on and encourage you along.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Scrappy Saturday - Spools

The colour of the month for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is light blue. I have been finishing up a few blue spool blocks and went in search of the pile of blocks to see if I have enough to start putting this quilt together. Wow, do I ever!!

These are just the blue and purple spool blocks on the design wall. You can see on the bottom left of the design wall that I have a few more spool blocks to sew together into the 4 patch blocks. In playing around with different ideas, I decided my favorite layout was the on point setting with an extra spool between each block around the edges. And I think I will make the outside triangles from light scraps and then decide if it needs a border or not.
I also decided to make the spools my main Rainbow Scrap Challenge project for the month of December. It would be awesome to have these blocks into a finished quilt top by the end of the year!
To see more RSC projects, hop over to SoScrappy.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Grand Illusion is here!

It's a beautiful sunny Friday here and the Quiltville mystery has started.
Grand Illusion

Step #1 has been posted. Time to grab the rotary cutters and rulers and get cutting pieces. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Temecula Letter Sew-Along

These are my little Temecula letter blocks that have been posted weekly since September. It has been a very comfortably paced sew-along to keep up with, and the last letters were posted yesterday.

I had a wee bit of difficulty with some of the letters. What do you think this letter is?!?
Next I will be cutting sashing strips and cornerstones, and there are still some filler blocks to sew.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


My Roll, Roll Cotton Boll quilt top is finished!
This is the largest quilt I've ever made and measures 93" x 84". It takes up the whole wall in my quilt studio! The photo isn't great because it was taken indoors at night, but you get the idea.
This was my fabric collection that I started with for this  2010 Bonnie Hunter mystery.
I loved it then and I think it made a terrific quilt, although it was kind of like a long and painful labour to birth this quilt baby! LOL

This quilt was quite an accomplishment for me since it was my first time making seminole borders and it was a challenge indeed. But I am happy with how it all turned out and pleased as punch to have a finished quilt top!
To see more finishes for November, hop over to A Lovely Year of Finishes link up. And to see more progress being made on the "Bonnie UFO Challenge", hop over to Jo's Country Junction.

From Quiltville

A big thank you to Bonnie Hunter for this pattern and for all the fun she has given us quilters over the years.
And now.... 
Bonnie's next mystery called Grand Illusion starts on Friday over at Quiltville. You can see my fabric choices here. Are you joining in the fun?  All the Hot Quilters are doing it! LOL

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


The Quilt Pattern of the Month (QPOM by Jackie Syer) at my quilt guild this month is called "Mini Bonanza".

I am using up chunks of some deep stash for this one and am not quite sure yet what the colour scheme will end up being. There are two blocks in this quilt - one block has a pinwheel center and the other has a 4 patch center. This pattern was designed for 100 of each of these 6" blocks. I won't be making that many, but I have a good start on the pinwheel blocks. 

Here are the first dozen blocks up on the design wall today. 
I am hoping to make a lot of progress on these blocks before step #1 of Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion mystery starts on Friday and I get wrapped up in that new project.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Design Wall Monday

Looks like I can't get away from seminole piecing this week. I had been trying to finish the seminole borders on my Roll Roll Cotton Boll quilt and having a dickens of a time. 
So I took a break from that project to work on my "Cascadia" mystery from Humble Quilts to work on part #3, and just try to guess what we were making? 

That's right.... not one, but two seminole pieced strips!
I had all the squares ready and got to work sewing on Lucy (a long bed 301 Singer). She sewed these little 1.5" squares beautifully. Together Lucy and I sewed up a huge pile of scraps in this project - each of the seminole strips uses 59 squares cut at 1.5"! 

I must also admit that a few swear words may have been said in the process... it was tricky to get those muslin triangles going in the right direction. Let's just say my seam ripper was well tested and I am happy to report that it is in perfect working condition.
But finally this step was completed and I put all the pieces of the mystery on the design wall.
My seminole rows are not as long as the previous rows sewn, so I hope that's the way it's supposed to be.
And I see at least one bright blue square that needs to be removed since it sticks out like a sore thumb!
To see more design wall postings, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching Joy

What do you need from your stitching time today? 
I had a frustrated sewing week with trying to attach some very challenging seminole borders on a large quilt. So today, I need something fun and easy to stitch. No math to figure out, nothing to match up, no decisions to make - just fun stitching.  So I plan to pick up some pumpkin seed blocks that I had already prepared. These blocks are cut at 4", so when 4 are sewn together they will finish at 7" in the quilt.

Here is the what the block collection looked like last month. In November I have been working on finishing some orange and blue blocks to add in.

I just love this little block with the snail background fabric... very fun! I'll finish this one today and applique a few more happy blue blocks.

May your slow stitching bring you much JOY and soothing medicine today.
And if you would enjoy having company while you stitch, Bonnie Hunter is hosting QuiltCam at 2pm - click here to join in.
Link up your hand stitching blog post below and share your project with us.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rainbow Alamo Stars

It's scrappy Saturday over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
I have been making these little Alamo Star blocks for about two years now. You can read the first post here
They measure 2.75" and will be 2.25" once sewn to other star blocks.

I try to make some of these stars in the colour of the month over at RSC using batik scraps cut to 1.25".
I use the  Tri-Recs rulers to cut up the strips into useable pieces. Cutting the little pieces takes longer than sewing them together!

This is my little storage box where I keep some strips I want to cut, some pieces that have been cut and are ready to sew, and a few recently finished stars.
In december I am going to do a grand total count, and put them on the design wall to see how many more I want to make next year.
To see more scrappy updates, hop over to SoScrappy.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Shweshwe Fabric

Last week at my guild meeting we had guest speaker Celeste Compion. I was delighted to see her again since I met her years ago in a mini quilt class I was teaching, but haven't seen her for a long time. These are mini quilts she made in the class with me so many years ago!
Celeste shared with us about her new venture importing Shweshwe fabric from South Africa through her company called Meerkat Shweshwe. She is a wonderful speaker and we enjoyed hearing about how this 100% cotton fabric is made.

This is the cute "Three Cats" stamp on the back of the fabric which verifies that it is true Shweshwe made by Da Gama.

This is my special collection of Shweshwe fabric and now I am pondering what I could make with it. I am thinking of making a tote bag since the fabric is very durable. When you buy it, the fabric feels quite stiff so you have to prewash before sewing with it.
These chocolate and indigo colours are very traditional, but they also have wild and bright colours - you can check them out here.

Okay... time to stop admiring my Shweshwe and get to work on those RRCB borders!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Turned a Corner!

es I turned the first corner successfully!
It's pretty darn good if I do say so myself. And it only took about 4 tries! There has been more pulling and tugging and fudging in this quilt than any other I have ever made (with the notable exception of the IOP!)
But it matches up on this corner fairly well.
I probably should have mitered that green border, but too late now!

It has been very cold and windy here this week and snow season has started. It's great quilting weather!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A mid week break from myself

Am I the only one who can turn my hobby and the activities I immensely enjoy and rely on to center myself and creatively renew my energy, into a source of stress and pressure? Really? 
I am frustrated with myself.
I am going to do some relaxing hand stitching tonight. I am not going to berate myself for lack of "progress". I am not going to think of all the other things I should be doing (my UFO!) I am not going to feel guilty that the dirty dishes from today are still not washed, and I am not going to multitask.
I am going to breathe and stitch. 

And tomorrow I'm going to take the advice from Judy's comment from yesterday's post and get to work on that seminole border. She said "It's not a matter of life and death, it's a border. Now do it!"
You are so right Judy... a friend is always honest with a friend.
I think my big girl panties are in the laundry! As soon as I find them, I'll get to work on that border! LOL

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mid Month UFO Update

It's past the middle of November, so it's time for an update on the UFO of the month....
Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll .
This thing has been hanging around here for no reason, other than my fear of attaching these darn seminole borders. I dislike attaching borders at the best of times, but this one is the hardest one I have done in my quilting career so far.
I started by putting on a scrappy green "coping" border, but it didn't help me cope at all! I really worked hard getting that first seminole border to be the correct size and to get it attached to the quilt top properly. I think it's okay now and the side of the quilt lays fairly flat. 
Now for the adding another border. 
How on earth do the corners go together?

Clearly I should have paid more attention to how Bonnie did it, but at the time I thought "I'm never going to make that hard border" so I didn't pay attention. 

But the border just looked so nice on all the finished quilts I've seen, that I convinced myself to give it a try.
I plan to have this quilt top finished in the next 12 days. 
Wish me luck! And if you have any ideas or suggestions, feel free to leave me a comment!
Linking up with Jo's Bonnie UFO Challenge.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Design Wall Monday Letters

The Temecula letter sew along is continuing and I was able to get caught up on the blocks posted so far. We have finished 20 letters and have 6 more to go, plus the 4 filler pieced blocks.
I am loving these hand dyed fabrics made by Vicki Welsh!
To see more design wall postings, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Now don't forget about the two blog hops starting today:
1) Quiltmaker's 100 blocks volume #10 and
2) Sew Sisters Canadian quilt blog hop  
Have fun in blogland!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching

The time change here has resulted in sunset occurring around 5 pm, which means the days are shorter and colder - perfect hibernating and quilting weather! I have been hand quilting my block sampler quilt almost daily during the long, dark evenings.  I find that I just don't feel like sitting at the sewing machine, and instead want to snuggle up under a quilt, and slowly drink hot tea and quilt.
This is one of the finished blocks in my sampler quilt. Doesn't the quilting texture look yummy?!? I am totally sold on the 12 wt. Aurifil thread that my friend Deanna gave me to try. I like the way it threads the needle, the way it pulls through the quilt sandwich so smoothly, and the way the stitches look.

The update of the hand quilting completed on this quilt so far is:

Stars - 9 of 20 quilted

Blocks - 8 of 12 quilted

Sashings - 17 of 31 quilted

That is approximately the half way mark of quilting the center of the quilt. It is time to start thinking about how I will quilt the red outside border when I get there.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the linky party last week. There were so many wonderful projects to enjoy!
True Random Number Generator  21
Powered by RANDOM.ORG                    
The winner of the snail fabric draw is linky #21 who is Sarah! Email me your address Sarah and I will pop the snails in the snail mail to you!! 
It's Slow Sunday Stitching day so go get out your stitching and spend some time with your needle and thread. Then link up your blog post below and tell us about your project. Happy Stitching!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Scrappy Saturday - Light Blue

There has not been much progress so far on my pile of light blue scraps. A few spool blocks were made last week, and I have some scraps cut up for leader/ender sewing. 

I made a light blue Maverick Star block to add to this little block collection. The pattern can be found here.
The star points are really small bits that I usually fish out of the trash bin!
I will for sure continue to make more of these blocks in 2015.
Hop over to SoScrappy to see more light blue scrap postings.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Happy Friday! I feel like I haven't had enough sewing time this week to keep me in good balance, so I am looking forward to making it up to myself this weekend!

Have you heard the exciting news that Quiltmaker is releasing another 100 blocks magazine? This is my favorite magazine and I spend many hours reading the patterns in each issue and dreaming about quilts that will never be made. I have also made many blocks from my collection of 100 blocks magazines. Starting on Monday there is a party going on with a blog hop that includes giveaways. You can read more information here. One year I won a magazine AND a mug, which I enjoy using. Some of my quilt blog friends have blocks in this issue and I can't wait to get my hands on my copy. "See" you at the blog hop next week!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Grand Illusion Plans

Bonnie Hunter is hosting her annual mystery extravaganza starting November 28th and I am ready! My fabric choices are way outside of the suggestions this time, so that will make it interesting. And I am using yardage instead of scraps, so I hope I won't get bored! And I hope I will have enough contrast with these choices.
My favorite fabric is the blue floral and it will be in place of Bonnie's turquoise because the quilt uses a lot of it (2 1/4 yds) and I like it the most!
The black and white are the same as Bonnie's suggestion.
The red will be her pink (2 yds), the light green will be the green (1.5 yds) and the light floral print (1 5/8 yd) will be Bonnie's yellow. I tried to get a yellow to go with these, but I couldn't make a combination I liked. I'm thinking I will make half of the units to make a smaller sized quilt this time. If I really like how it's turning out, I can always make more blocks.
So that's the plan so far. But I still have two weeks to change my mind!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

QPOM blocks together

Here are the blocks sewn together for the QPOM (Quilt Pattern of the Month) at my quilt guild. This is called "Arrow's Up" and the pattern is by Jackie Syer at FRJ Designs. I used primarily Berenstain Bears fabrics and scrappy lights. 
It looks like a bit of a hot mess, since I sewed the blocks together randomly. I'm thinking of adding a border or two to make it a bit larger.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Treadling on Tuesday

Max the treadling granddog is up to his old tricks again! My daughter took this picture on her iphone when I wasn't home. Max had put his food dish under the treadle, and you can tell by the look on his face that he knows he is not supposed to be there. I just love how his whole body is snuggled right up to the treadle! He is a real character.

When Max is not in control of the treadle machine, I have been working away on piecing these scrap strips. 
It's mindless and relaxing sewing, so I like to do a little each night before bedtime.

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada. We remember those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Design Wall Monday

I have started another project and it's all Lori's fault!Lori over at Humble Quilts hosts great quilt-alongs, and she is starting another one. 
"Hello. My name is Kathy and I admit that I am a quilt-along-aholic."
These are my step #1 pieces.

Many of these little 1.5" squares were from my scrap box so I didn't have to do much cutting. I sewed the squares on my old blue White to give it a workout. It sewed beautifully.


These quilts are from Lori's previous quilt-alongs.

Cosmopolitan (Pink Lemonade)

I love each one of these quilts and can't wait to see how this next one turns out.
Mountain Trail
To see more design walls, hop over to Patchwork Times.