Thursday, July 19, 2018

Group Quilt is Finished


I have been working on a group baby quilt this week. Each person in the group was requested to add one or two kites to the quilt. It's a challenge working on a group quilt. Everyone contributes in whatever way they can and you have to give up all your perfectionistic tendencies to accommodate a wide range of sewing abilities. 
The goal is to have everyone participate, not to get a beautifully made quilt.



I appliqued two kites to the quilt - a sock monkey kite and a striped kite. 

The striped kite got a ricrac tail, and the sock monkey has a couched yarn tail which were both fastened down by machine.


I also finished the edge of the quilt with a striped binding. 
Here it is hanging on the clothesline.  Now I am passing the quilt onto another friend who will hopefully add a kite or two. 
And then it will be gifted to our friend who is a first time grandma. So happy to be done with this "must do" project so I can get back to some fun projects of my own!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Design Wall Tuesday



The big family camping trip of the summer is over. It was similar to all the previous ones... too much sun, lots of laughing, chatting and playing games, and not enough sleep. And for the Moms, it is way too much work. Cooking on a Coleman stove or over an open fire, and hauling water for cooking and washing dishes is not as much "fun" as it used to be when I was younger! And let's not even talk about the whole outhouse experience! 



But memories were made, relationships were strengthened, and new members of the family ("add-ons" as we call them) were met. No bears were seen this year (read about the bear adventure here), but Granddog Max had a close encounter with a snapping turtle which left him with a sore nose!



Anyway, I missed "Design Wall Monday", but this quilt is on my design wall today. It's a bit of a hot mess. The project was started by a high school friend to gift to another one of our friends to celebrate becoming a grandmother. The creator of the project has no quilting experience and thought it would be "easy". The quilting was done without a walking foot and this photo doesn't show how hard it is going to be to put a binding on that wavy bunched up edge. My job is to add a kite or two, put on the binding and pass it to the next friends who will add more kites. I am trying hard to not let my quilter perfectionism get in the way of making a group gift full of good intentions for someone we love. It is what it is! Today I'm making binding for the kite quilt.
Hop over to the weekly design wall linkup at Small Quilts.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

It's finally Sunday - a day of rest, reflection, renewal, and slow stitching! Why not join us as we get out our hand stitching projects and put in a few relaxing stitches?


I'm working on my Life Is Beautiful project today. I put all the finished blocks on the design wall to see where this project is at. 
30 blocks are quilted, which is almost the half way point. I have quilted more embroidered blocks than the alternate blocks, so today I'm going to pin baste a stack of alternate blocks to work on.




I have the blocks appliqued, the batting and backing squares cut, and am ready to get a few more blocks completed. Well, the completion won't happen today, but lots of stitching will be happening and they will all get finished eventually.



What are you hand stitching today? We love to see what you're creating so link up your blog post and share your project with us.

**Sorry the link up didn't work right this morning! I was camping and set an autopost that apparently didn't like my instructions. Click page refresh and hopefully the updated link will appear...

   
    An InLinkz Link-up
   

Friday, July 13, 2018

Square Dancing Improv Style

After making Carole's Square Dance mystery quilt top, I became preoccupied with the scraps. The first project from the tiny scraps called Diamonds in the Rough is a mini quilt. But the larger scraps were big enough to make a lap size quilt. You can see Carole's improv scrappy version here.
Here is the fun stage of trimming units and generating ideas of how they might be sewn together. I trimmed up all the blade units to the same size. 
Because the original Square Dance design had windmill shapes in it, I was drawn to this windmill configuration and just had to figure out the math for pieces to fit in the open spaces.



When I was sewing it together somehow I got the white background pieces on the opposite side of the blade and didn't realize it until it was together and I was measuring the block size.
It's interesting, but not the design I was hoping for.
Try again. I took the entire block apart and resewed it.


That's better!

Chocolate Windmills!

The next step is to figure out how to make it larger by adding  some scrappy sashing and/or borders.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

July Shop Hop

It is time once again for the July Shop Hop. This is a large scale mystery quilt adventure sponsored by stores in southern Ontario, Canada. 
This year there are 15 stores that you visit to collect a block pattern and the fabric to make it. If you go to all 15 stores, you will have a 15 block sampler quilt. Each store makes a unique sampler quilt using the same blocks, so you get to see 15 different quilts.
It is such a large project and I am amazed that they are still offering this to us for free! And there are door prizes and a grand draw prize of an amazing sewing desk made locally by Adam of Eddycrest

I have attended on and off over the last few years:
-in 2012 it was called "Yours to Discover" and had 10 stores, 
-in 2015 I collected a few blocks and Barb gave me all her blocks since she doesn't like blue, 
-in 2016 we collected block fabrics in fall colours and I didn't make it to all the stores but together with some of my friends we are making a quilt to donate to the Mennonite Relief Quilt Auction with these blocks, and 
-in 2017 the blocks were grey and I got around to 10 of the 15 stores.
It is quite a lot of driving, and this year I am joining with some quilting friends to try to get to as many of the 15 stores as we can before the end of the month. It is inspiring and very fun, and a very expensive adventure because of course you spend money at every store you go in. 
Click here for the Shop Hop Facebook page.
Do you have shop hops where you live? Do you participate?

Monday, July 09, 2018

Indian Orange Peel Update

There has been some recent progress on the dreaded IOP. Here it is still on my secondary design wall. I recently dusted it off, picked up all the pieces that had fallen on the floor and figured out where I had left off. Only 6 more blocks need to be sewn and several of the columns are almost together now. There are even some moments when I am working on it that I don't hate it!
Working on it can even sometimes be relaxing, and removing the paper from the back of the 120 paper pieced arcs is easy work. I say to myself: "Kathryn, I don't know why you hate this project so much? See how easy it is? You don't need to procrastinate working on it. Just go ahead and finish it up!"

And then comes the moment when I do remember how challenging this project is! Pin pin pin, measure and pin, add a few more pins so you don't lose all those points. Sew from the centre of the curve out on both sides. 
Then look at how you sewed the whole thing wrong because you pinned it incorrectly. Swear and curse. Get the seam ripper, remove those painstakingly made stitches, and start over again. 
Repeat.
I realize I have learned so much from this quilt because I can quickly fix most of the mistakes that I make over and over.

Two of my friends have finished their Indian Orange Peel quilts and they are gorgeous and amazing! Jacqui posted her quilt here and you can see Louise's quilt here
It is hard to finish something I haven't even been working on. I'm back to making some efforts to finish this in my lifetime if only to get it off that design wall.
What's on your design wall? Are you actually working on it?!?
To see more design wall posts, hop over to the Small Quilts link up.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching Anniversary!

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! The Slow Sunday Stitching link up has just entered it's 7th year! You can read the first post here from 2012. I used a different link service then, so I can't look back and see who posted at the beginning, but I do know that several of our folks have been stitching with us a long time.


It's hard to believe I have been posting a hand stitching post every Sunday for 6 years now. With all that calm, meditative stitching, you'd think I'd almost be a buddhist monk by now. But no! I'm just as wound up as I was when I started, and always in need of the benefits of slow stitching.





I have a few more finished embroidery blocks that I haven't show on my blog yet from Gail Pan's "I Stitch Club". Isn't that a cute block with a spool flower holder? And of course a sewing machine has to make an appearance in the pattern collection. 


Here is the new embroidery  pattern that I traced and will begin stitching today. This cute bunny will be stitched in these colours... brown (like the backyard bunnies that used to eat my vegetable garden), orange for the carrot, and other colours for the flowers.




What are you slow stitching today?
Please link up to your blog post that features HAND stitched projects only.



   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Scrappy Saturday

In a demonstration of great self restraint, I am NOT joining in on the Moda Summer Camp Quilt Along. It sounds like so much fun, but really how much fun can one quilter stand?!? Also Bonnie Hunter announced her new leader and ender challenge Jewel Box Stars, which looks like lots of fun too. 
MUST STAY FOCUSED!
Okay... staying focused means working on quilts already in progress, so instead of starting anything new, I better buckle down and get to work on my multi-year Omigosh project. Last month was teal month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge so I've been working on some tiny teal blocks.


These are the alternate blocks in Omigosh which are a shoofly variation. There are 41 pieces in each of these labour intensive little 5" blocks. Because they are so small, there is no wiggle room and all components must be squared down to the exact size. 
Here is the collection of the alternate blocks made so far. I have finished 27 as of today. Only about 80 more to sew!! LOL















See how wonderful they are when put beside the double nine patch blocks?!? YUM!

To see more Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects, hop over to the weekly link up. I'll be looking for some red scraps to stitch up today.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Blockheads II

Block #2 Buckeye Beauty 6"
Block #3 Pennsylvania
Block #5 has just been released and I am right up to date on this quilt along. I posted block #1 here and wasn't all that keen on how my fabrics were looking together. But I decided just to "press on" (quilter's joke!) and see how the project began to develop. After all, it's just the beginning stage of making blocks for a large quilt.
Blocks #2 and #3 are 6" traditional blocks, easy to cut and piece, and turned out "not terrible". 
But then block #4 arrived and this one I could sink my teeth into... a complex block called Roman Cross. This block has 33 pieces and is pieced on the diagonal with bias edges on all the outside triangles. My value placement is different than the pattern to emphasize the crosses, made with 4 different grey fabrics.

Block #4 Roman Cross

I was in my happy place, or "in the flow" as people like to say now... cutting and sewing, listening to my favourite music on Spotify. Secretly I was wondering how this was all going to work out, but just stayed in the moment and happily placed that bulls eye circle right in the centre of the block. And you know what? It turned out perfectly! An exact 12.5" block with great contrast!


Blocks #1 - #4

Here are blocks #1 - #4 on the design wall, with two 6" blocks and two 12" blocks so far.
But then block #5 called "Impact" was posted this week. 
Ummmm... a 24" block with 8" units?!? NO. I can't have that much blank space. I'll have to use my mad math skills (laughing hysterically!!) to rescale that pattern by at least half.
This is the fun of a mystery quilt along... you never know what's coming next, and you get to opt in or opt out, enjoy the best parts, tolerate the 'hum ho' parts, alter what you don't like, and make it your own!

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Improv update


Happy July 4th to readers from the USA! I hope you are enjoying celebrations with family and friends today!
Here's the update for my improv "dots and dashes" quilt. You can read more about the start of it here if you missed that.  
This is how it was last week.
I stared at it good and hard, and decided I really like the combination of the orderly uniform squares in various combinations, with the occasional strip of different sizes of small scraps sewn in columns. 

Then I picked 3 things that I didn't like and want to change:

1)  I don't like the horizontal lines which were just auditioned on the design wall, so no unsewing was needed.


2) I don't like the little squares touching the vertical lines and wanted white space on both sides of the lines. That did involve some unsewing.

3) I don't like that one of the white on white backgrounds looks yellowish at times. Oh well... definitely can't change that!


I decided it needed to be 5 rows instead of 4 to become a rectangular quilt. I rummaged around in the scraps to figure out if I have enough scraps to stretch it to 5 rows? I think I do and am still working on filling in the spaces.
I had to add in another white on white fabric since the solid white was done.

I auditioned adding chunks of fabric to the ends of the rows to even up the lengths. I'm not sure if those are staying yet.

One of my friends saw the quilt on the design wall and said "I love it... You should write a pattern for that".  
Ummmm NO! That's the fun of improv... there is no pattern, and no two quilts are alike. At times I look at the design wall and think it is just a hot mess. At other times I think it's such a fun quilt and can't wait to sew it all together. That is just how is goes with an improv adventure!
Linking up to Oh Scrap! and Let's Bee Social.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

July UFO

The UFO of the month decision is usually a challenge for me. I have to really look at the month coming up, how much quilting time is available, think about what is a realistic goal, what supplies might still need to be purchased, and if there will be time to shop for those supplies. 
Ringo Parts
This month I'm choosing a piecing project simply because it's too hot to do any machine quilting. Also I have everything needed for this project, so no shopping is required.


My goal is to complete my On Ringo Lake quilt top. Here is the pile of parts ready to be organized and sewn together.
At the half year point, I have finished 3 of the 13 UFOs on my 2018 list (on the right sidebar). Several of the quilts on the list have seen some progress this year but aren't yet completed. I sure do hope to have many more finishes in the last half of the year.
Hop over to One Monthly Goal to see what the other quilters are going to accomplish in the month of July. One lucky UFO completer will win an Aurifil thread box this month!

Monday, July 02, 2018

Square Dance Mystery Top



Carole's Square Dance mystery started in January and she posted one step each month on her blog. It was a perfect pace to build a scrappy quilt along side all my other projects going on. This photo shows the blocks on the design wall sorting out the layout. It's a bit different than the recommended layout since I had a few 9 patch blocks leftover and added them in here and there to make the quilt top a little larger.



Then I went to a weekend quilt retreat at my friend Deanna's house so I had to pack up the pieces of the quilt in such a way as to be able to piece it together without the benefit of a design wall. Here is the pile of parts pinned together and labelled .. hopefully done in a organized manner so that it could be easily sewn together.

Here is the quilt top that emerged and the only good photo due to the windy conditions the day of the photo shoot. I like the photo because it also shows the creek that runs along side Deanna's home. After finishing it, I did not like the half stars (or windmills) on the left side of the quilt. So I plan to take the seam ripper to the left column and swap them with some blocks in the top right corner. But it's coming along and almost ready for a border or two.
Hop over to Small Quilts to see more design wall posts.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! Get out your needles and threads and join us... the more the merrier!
It's Canada Day here and I plan to celebrate by stitching because it's too hot to do anything else. The weather that had us wearing jackets last weekend has changed dramatically and we are sweating now. A heat warning is issued which means it will feel like over 40 celsius (which is 104 fahrenheit). Melting weather!



This is the most recently finished block that I hand embroidered last weekend at Fabric Piranha's retreat at Deanna's house. It is one of the May blocks from Gail Pan's "I Stitch Club". Since this block has flowers and bees, I had to take a photo of it in one of Deanna's gardens.

And here we are doing some Slow Sunday Stitching in the gazebo at Deanna's last weekend. 
It was lovely and cool and we had the wood stove in the corner pumping out some heat so we could stitch outside. I am so lucky to have friends who enjoy hand stitching time as much as I do. Deanna was stitching hexies, Barb was sorting little squares, I was hand quilting, and Louise was hand stitching a binding.



I was able to finish hand quilting another Life Is Beautiful block. These are all the tools needed for that project... needle, thread, scissors, thimble, needle puller and glasses. Interesting that my glasses are almost as big as the block is!



When that block was quilted, I wanted to do more embroidery, but didn't have a block prepped. So I used the handy dandy light box (aka the front door) to trace another pattern to stitch. I taped the pattern to the door, and taped the fabric to the pattern. Then I traced the design with a frixion marker. I really like those markers for hand embroidery designs. 
So far my system of tracing on a window has worked out okay. How do you trace stitching designs? Do you have an official light box for tracing designs for applique or embroidery? 


I'll be sitting by the fan today and trying to stay cool with my hand stitching. What are you creating today? Link up your blog post below and share your hand made projects with us. 


   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Scrappy Saturday

It's scrappy Saturday at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. June's colour was aqua and July's colour is red, so I got to work making four more Maverick Star blocks from the pile of scraps on the cutting table. The red star was made from the mitered ends of the binding strips of Red Repro Broken Dishes, pieced on a 2.5" strip left over from the Square Dance blocks
The teal scraps are from the scrappy improv quilt I'm working on. It's so rewarding to clean the scraps off the cutting table by turning them into useable blocks. They will join the star block collection that were seen on the design wall last month - click here.
To see more aqua projects, hop over to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge linkup.

Another finish!

attaching binding strips
It's always exciting to announce a finished quilt, but when it's the second finish in a week, AND when the finish actually meets the goal you set for yourself, well that's just a great day! My UFO for the month of June was my Broken Dishes quilt, made from red reproduction blocks received almost 2 years ago in one of Barb Vedder's block swaps

back of quilt showing quilting design


The blocks were sewn into a quilt top at winter retreat last year using a layout from Hyacinth Quilt Designs
The quilt was machine quilted over the past month using a combination of free motion curves and straight lines. More info can be seen here and hereThe binding took 4 evenings to stitch down and the quilt was finished on the very last day of June. Finished size is 48" square.



Here is the clothesline shot of "Red Repro Broken Dishes"...

To see more UFO finishes this month, hop over to the link up at One Monthly Goal.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Mini Quilt Finish

Part #1 was posted yesterday describing how I took some quilt block trimmings/garbage and turned them into little "tent" units.  
This is part #2 of the finishing of the mini quilt.


The scrappy diamond blocks were sewn together randomly and because it's a mini quilt the quilting was really quick and easy...7 lines of "stitch-in-the-ditch (vertically and horizontally).



I cut the 1.5" binding strips from a 10" square of a chocolate bar print fabric and needed 5 strips to go around the quilt. The label is a 4" square folded in half and tucked into the bottom corner on the back of the quilt. I hand stitch the diagonal edge of the label and then sew the binding down on top of the sides of the label.





The finished size of "Diamonds in the Rough" is 9.75" x 10.75" (about the size of a wine glass) .

And now for the photo shoot...





Diamonds in the flower garden













Diamonds by Trout Creek

(it was windy so it could have been "Diamonds up the Creek" at any minute!





Diamonds in the field of wild lupins

(no snakes or other wild creatures were encountered during walk into field)

Isn't it interesting how the pink background fabric looks slightly different in each photo depending on the lighting and the colours around it!?!
So there you have it... a little improv quilt made from scraps.