Saturday, October 31, 2015

October Binding Blitz

October has been a great month for finishing quilts! It must be the cooler weather motivating me to snuggle under a quilt to enjoy hand stitching.

I finished Cozy Afternoon which was 136" of binding. It was a little harder on my hands because of the flange in the binding on the front of the quilt. I should have cut the binding strips a bit wider to accommodate the flange, but I forgot, and had to really pull the binding to cover the stitching line on the back. 
A quick finish, was the Peaceful Country Roads quiltalong which was 21.25" square, so it only adds 85" to the monthly total, but I'll take it!
Then I finished a little hand quilted miniature block called Times Nine That added 48" to the total.

And the big finish was Easy Street, a Bonnie Hunter mystery from 2012. It finished at 88" square, which adds 352" to the tally.
October's total is 621".

And adding this number to September's total of 2,832" gives me a total of.... 3,453" of binding in 2015 so far! Woohoo!
PS.... I hope someone is checking my math :)

Linking up to Julie's binding blitz.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Easy Street Finish!

Easy Street is a finished quilt! But it was not an easy quilt in any way! This was the 2012 mystery from Bonnie Hunter. It's a large quilt, with over 2,300 pieces that I cut and sewed together over the past 3 years.  And it's an on point setting which was challenging at times. 
But it's DONE! 
I was so pleased with my finished quilt that I convinced a couple of friends to come with me to do a photo shoot at the lake. The convincing process took some time and included some chocolate bribery, but the actual photo shoot took much longer! 

During the complex series of attempts to get a photo of the entire quilt, great gusts of wind came out of nowhere, and the quilt became a sail! There are three strong women behind that quilt holding it up, while at the same time trying to prevent it from blowing away. This was the best shot I could get.
How do magazine photographers do this?!?
Well, I guess they don't go to the lake for ambience!

This photo shows the gorgeous fall leaves and what a wonderful sunny day it was. The lighting of the quilt isn't great, but the leaves are perfectly lit!

A huge thank you to Bonnie Hunter for this fun mystery project, and hugs all around to my friends who are such good sports and are up for any kind of crazy adventure.
To see more quilts that have been finished in the month of October, hop over to A Lovely Year of Finishes. And then hop over to Jo's to see how the mystery quilters are getting along with their pre-mystery finishes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Another Finish - "Times Nine"

While resting my back last week, I hand quilted a 12" block that has been waiting to be finished for almost 4 years. It was in a blog post I wrote in January 2012
The block is called "Times Nine" and was in the 100 Quilts magazine volume #4. The pattern is by Jo Morton so I used some reproduction prints to make the blocks. I was drawn to making this pattern because I like how each of the 9 blocks look different depending on the placement of the light, medium and dark values.

Once the blocks were together, it waited. I pondered adding a border for a while, and then it drifted into the UFO closet due to lack of a decision. But when looking around for something to work on last week, I rediscovered it, chided myself for it's UFO status, and went to work to remedy that.

Every single seam on this block was hand quilted. Maybe a bit of "overkill" on the quilting? But I just love the texture that all this quilting gives. And the amazing thing about hand quilting is that no matter how many stitches you put into it, the quilt does not become stiff like it sometimes does with dense machine quilting.

I even found a Jo Morton fabric in my stash that was perfect for the binding!

And now it's a finished quilt ready to be enjoyed!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Quilt Canada 2016

I am so excited that Quilt Canada is going to be in Toronto, Ontario next year! I have attended these national conferences before, but am doubly excited this time, since I will also be teaching a class on Intuitive Beading.

There are just so many wonderful components to this event and I just hope I don't get too overwhelmed by all the fun. What a great problem to have!
There are 44 workshops and 9 lectures (including Jane Sassaman, who I am totally pumped to see!) This blog post is a "heads up" for anyone interested in taking classes at Quilt Canada. On line registration starts tomorrow for members of CQA. You can review the amazing list of classes on line here. Sign up asap so you can get into the classes you want. Registration will be open to non-members of CQA in November.

Kits are available if you'd like to make a quilt to donate for the Trend Tex Challenge - click here for more information.
And of course, if you'd like to enter one of your quilts in the National Juried Show, click here to find the details. Entries have to be in by the beginning of February, so get quilting and let's make this the best Quilt Canada ever. No pressure!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Design Wall Monday

On the design wall today are lots of strip pairs. It's not much to look at, but that's how it is at the beginning of a project. 

I wanted to sew this quilt on my Singer 301 to give it a bit of a workout. But first I had to remind myself how to thread the machine and the bobbin (great diagrams here). 
It's all smooth sailing sewing now!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts! Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and join us to celebrate the experience of living life more deliberately and slowly.

I am so happy today to be hand stitching the binding on my October UFO. I cut these lime green scraps from the quilt top and backing to make up over 360" of binding.

It is now attached to the quilt and I'm plan to spend the better part of today hand stitching it to the back of the quilt.

Busy brain
Why do I stitch by hand when I can make a machine finished binding in a fraction of the time?  For me hand stitching is all about how it makes me feel. It forces me to slow down, calm down, power down. It's like yoga stitching. It brings me out of my head and into my body, into my hands, into the enjoyment of this moment. I breath deeper, and feel the relaxation increase as I take each stitch. 
How are you relaxing with hand stitching today?
Tell us about how you benefit from stitching slowly and link up your blog post below. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A cutting day

There will be no sewing for me today - it's cutting fabric day in my sewing room. I very rarely cut the fabric for an entire quilt at the beginning of the project because I have learned that I change my mind as I go along, so it's better to cut and sew a bit at a time. But today I am starting my next scrap squad quilt and have a specific layout in mind, so I'm cutting the whole thing - 300 pieces of fabric - some strips, some squares, and some rectangles. It will be tough on my hands and wrists, but then I can sew to my heart's content all week long!

Friday, October 23, 2015


It's Friday! We made it through another week and it's time to get the fabric out and sewing it into something new!
But first I want to announce the winner of the pattern draw from the Cozy Afternoon reveal. The random number generator picked comment #41, who is Kate. Congratulations to Kate! Jacquelynne will be sending your gift to you soon.

And today is the release of the next step for "Tucker"! Don't know what that means?
It's the newest Pocket Patchwork from Pam Buda. If you have scraps, you can do this. You probably don't even have to do much cutting. If you've been quilting for a while, you probably have these pieces just hanging around waiting to be in a quilt. What are you waiting for? Go sew!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

UFO Quilting Update

All the straight line quilting is done on my October UFO! Phew... that was tough going for a while. But it's done now, and I have moved on to free motion quilting in the border. I found a very pretty slightly variegated lime green Aurifil thread that is just perfect.

Border quilting is the time when you get to see just how well you did with adding your borders, pin basting and overall quilting. If you have done a good job, the quilt will lay nice and flat, and there will be no ruffles in the border fabric. If you have a bit of excess fabric, you can try to smooth it out and quilt it more densely in those places where there are ruffles. So far this quilt is laying quite flat and all is well.
I don't know if you can see the stitching in this terrible photo, but I am quilting around the swirls in the print.
So far, so good.
One side down and three to go. I have been carefully pacing myself because of my sore back, but it's looking like this old UFO might be finished by the end of the month!
Hop over to Jo's to see how other quilters are progressing with their Bonnie Hunter finishes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Country Roads Finish!

The link up has started for the Country Roads quilts so I had to hurry up and finish it.
This is the latest mystery quilt along project from Lori at Humble Quilts
I used the red and teal fabric that was leftover from my most recent Scrap Squad quilt because it was laying around my sewing room. The hardest part of making this quilt was picking the grey fabric for the setting squares. Having too many choices often makes the decision making process much lengthier.
I machine quilted this one in straight lines using my hera marker and walking foot. Quick and easy.
This quilt is sitting in the middle of my table with my favourite candle. 
Maybe I should call it "Peaceful Country Roads".
Click here to go to the link up party and see over 30 finished Country Roads. Thanks again Lori for another fun quilt along!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

More machine quilting... and a new sew along starting!

Did you see that Pam Buda is starting a new Pocket Patchwork Sew Along called Tucker - fabric requirements are here.  I made the last pocket patchwork project called Nabby's Dowry, and it's one of my favourite quilts. So you just know I'm eager to start this next one. And it's all small scrappy pieces, so that's even better!

But first.... I have to finish my last sew along project. I do have some bits of self control, on some days! It's pin basted and half quilted. It's a great little project to work on when I am tired of pushing and pulling my large UFO through the machine. I am marking the quilting lines as I go along using my hera marker. It's my favourite tool for marking stitching lines. Now I am highly motivated to finish it up since a new project is on the horizon!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Design Wall Monday

A little bit of machine time this weekend produced these disappearing 4 patch blocks for my quilt guild's BOM, using the tutorial at Material Girl Quilts
I have made 3 quilts over the years using this block (you can see them here). I'm not loving these fabrics, but it was a prepared package to take home, so I didn't have any choice in that. I'm sure they will look good when put together with all the other blocks that the guild members are making.
It was definitely fun to make disappearing blocks again. 
To see more design wall postings, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Slow Sunday Stitching

Sometimes the body just forces a person to slow down. That's what happened for me this week. Due to back pain, I have been forced to do everything more slowly and thoughtfully. It's a different way of moving through life when you have to consider each movement, how much pain it might bring you, and if it is going to be worth that pain.

I went to the Waterloo County Quilters' Exhibit on Friday, which was a calculated risk, and totally worth it! It was a lot of walking and standing but manageable for a short time. Yesterday's blog post showed a few quilts, but today I want to show the Slow Stitchers the quilt I won in the mini quilt raffle. This little gem was made by Judy Pearce and the squares finish at 1/2"! The green hand stitching is done with varigated thread using stem stitches and lazy daisy stitches. It's a tiny gem that is now living at my house :)

Life is Beautiful Block #18

The positive side of having body pain, is that while being force to slow down, I've been doing a lot of hand stitching. Another block is completed for my Life is Beautiful project.

Then I picked up an old hand quilting project. It's a 12" block that has been waiting to be finished for a couple of years. Ahh... hand stitching is just what the Dr. ordered!

What are you hand stitching today? Link up your blog post below and share your project with the hand stitchers.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Waterloo Quilt Show

There was no sewing this week for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects. My back has been very sore, maybe because of wrestling with my UFO quilt, or maybe because of Oktoberfest shenanigans, or maybe because of outdoor yard preparations for winter. Or maybe a combination of all of the above? But either way, in spite of some intense massage treatments, I am having a lot of back pain.
So I was very happy to be able to walk around yesterday at the Waterloo quilt show even if it was much briefer than I would have liked. I also didn't get to do any shopping at the vendors and they had lovely booths set up stuffed full of quilting treats.
Don't you love it when your favourite quilts are made by your favourite people? I was delighted to learn that my choice for favourite quilt in the show was made by the wonderful Judy Pearce.

Why is it my favourite quilt? Because it is technically brilliant, and it transforms fabric and thread into a photograph. This quilt captures a symbolic moment in time and it invokes an emotional response from the viewers. 

Here is Judy's write up about the quilt. It is inspired by a photo of her parents who have been married for 64 years. 
This quilt is all about love. In my mind I started singing the song "Walk Hand In Hand "(click here for a Youtube version of the song that is the perfect sound track for this quilt).
I could feel that love oozing right off the quilt! I put my hand (inside a white glove of course!) on their quilted hands just to feel connected to the power of that love. I couldn't help myself.
Life is all about the love!
And I love this quilt!

There were also some fabulous scrappy quilts at the show that I loved.

This one was also made by Judy and is called "36 Patch". The photo doesn't show the wonderful quilting and I didn't get a good photo of that on my camera. This is a big quilt 83" x 96" so there are a lot of small scraps in this quilt!

And here is an amazing scrap quilt made by Sandy Campbell. It's a block called "Wild and Goosey" by Bonnie Hunter. The pattern can be downloaded here.
Sandy calls her quilt "4,057 Pieces From My Friends". Yep... she counted the pieces! Truly amazing!
And she machine quilted it herself through all those paper pieced seams.

And if that is not amazing enough, this is another one of Sandy's quilts called "Cabins Under the Muskoka Sky" (designed by Ruthie's Quilt Creations). This one is 80" square and completely hand quilted by Sandy herself.
She can do it all!

If you stop by the show today, I promise you will enjoy it. They also have a mini raffle quilt, and you know how I love mini quilts! Stop by tomorrow for Slow Sunday Stitching to see one of the quilts I won.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Local Quilt Show Today

Just a quick reminder (for my local readers) about the Waterloo County Quilters' exhibit today and tomorrow. They always have a terrific quilt show with a vendors mall. You can see the details and the raffle quilt here.

And here is a little teaser.... when my friend Sandy came over to sew last week, she brought one of her show quilts. It is made of batik scraps and it just sparkles! You will definitely want to get your eyeballs right up to this one to see all the amazing quilting details.

Hope to see you at the show!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Midmonth UFO Update

Having a little break with some free motion quilting on Cozy Afternoon was just what I needed to get myself back to the straight line quilting on Easy Street
Here is a very boring picture of the grey backing of the quilt. It's really not as puffy as it looks, but you can see that lots of fairly straight lines have been quilted, and progress is being made. I'm starting to believe that this UFO might actually be finished this month!! Should I think positive, anticipate a finish, and get the binding prepared just in case?!?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cozy Afternoon Finale!

Today is the release of the last step of the Cozy Afternoon free block of the month project. Click here to get to Jacquelynne's blog post with all the details (click here to sign up to receive the pattern).
What a fun quilt it has been to make! My version is a soft, light version of Jacquelynne's pattern. I made my quilt smaller by eliminating all the alternate squares, and just using the 5 stitchery blocks on point.

It measures 34" square, which is the perfect size for a wallhanging.

I would have liked to use more of the blue colour in the quilt top, but didn't have enough yardage, so I added a little blue flange around the edge using this technique. I'm so happy with that bit of blue peeking out there to interrupt all that pinkness.

The free motion quilting was a little tricky at times because I did not want to quilt on the embroidery, so I tried to slow down and quilt as close as I dared to the stitching.

Here is the list of my quilty friends who are blogging today about their version of Cozy Afternoon:

The Crafty Quilter

44th Street Fabric

Red Letter Quilts

Lily Pad Quilting

A Quilt and a Prayer

I hope you can hop over and visit them to see what their creativity has produced. Each quilt is so different that it's hard to believe they are made from the same pattern!
Have you started your own version of Cozy Afternoon? Don't forget to add a label to your quilt.  I usually just tuck a little triangle into one of the corners under the binding. I try to remember to write the name of the pattern designer, and of course my name. If you don't want to make your own label, you can order the official labels here.

A huge thank you to Jacquelynne for sharing this wonderful pattern with all of us! And not only did we get this free BOM, Jacquelynne is also giving away these patterns to a few lucky readers. Just leave a comment on the bottom of this blog post and tell me if you have already started your Cozy Afternoon, or have you printed the instructions to make in the future. I will randomly draw the winning blog comment on October 19th. You can enter to win the draws on each of the participating blogs listed above.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Empty Design Wall Monday

Nothing is on the design wall today. It's all about machine quilting in my sewing room this week. I have 3 quilts that are in various stages of being completed:
*"Easy Street" which is my UFO for October,
*the quilt along mystery called "Country Roadsfrom Lori at Humble Quilts, and

*"Cozy Afternoon" which is a free BOM from Jacquelynne Steves. I am free motion stippling this quilt, being careful to go around the embroidery stitches. The big reveal is tomorrow, so I have about 24 hours to get 'er done! No pressure!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Slow Sunday Stitching

Happy Thanksgiving!
Welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching and Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers! Today we celebrate all that we are thankful for. One of the things I am so thankful for is each of you who contribute to Slow Sunday Stitching, by linking up your blog posts, sharing your love of hand stitching, and by leaving encouraging comments for others. 
Life Is Beautiful block #17

In between cooking, visiting, game playing, and counting my blessings, I will find some time to fit in a bit of hand stitching. This week I finished another block for Life Is Beautiful and I'm well into the next block.

What are you stitching today? Link up your blog post about your hand stitching project and share your progress with us. We are thankful for you!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Scrappy Saturday - Brown

It's brown month for the RSC'ers.
I don't love brown (it's just so dark and colourless!) but we are learning to get along. I must admit that I like brown quite a bit more when I call it chocolate brown! 
Here are the brown Alamo star blocks I have sewn so far this month as leader/enders. Their job will be to help the other blocks to sparkle in the finished quilt :)

I've also finished 4 brown blocks for the Omigosh collection.I have more than half of the double nine patch blocks finished now. That means about 1/4 of the piecing is done on this quilt - now that's progress.

Here's the pile of the blocks that live in my fridge, where they can stay nice and fresh for years!

To see what the RSC'ers are up to with their brown scraps, hop over to SoScrappy's link up.