Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mysteries Being Finished

Super Bowl Mystery 2014
This year was the 5th year that my "Sew 'n Sews" group has tackled a Super Bowl mystery adventure (see how I threw in a football verb there?!?!) These events are hosted by Kris Driessen of Quiltbug. She writes a mystery pattern and at 10 am on Super Bowl day she starts posting the instructions for the quilt. A new step is posted every hour until we finish the quilt top. It's so much fun and we really enjoy the day together every year.
2017 mystery quilt

I thought it would be fun to review the 5 years of quilts:

2014 Appian Way Log Cabin in bright pink, orange and green

2015 Neighbourhood Garden with gardening theme fabrics

2016 Peekaboo in blues and greys

2017 Ghosts and Mosts in golds and rust

2018 Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue in train themed fabrics

In reviewing the mysteries I was disappointed to notice that none of them have become a finished quilt yet, even though I like them all! This situation needed to be remedied!
I signed up for the Hearts to Hand Charity Quilt Challenge as motivation to get these quilts finished. One of the categories is to donate a quilt top to Victoria's Quilts and that is where the 2017 mystery quilt will be going. That pattern was designed as a square quilt, but I made 8 more blocks into 2 more rows and made it a bed size quilt.

2018 mystery quilt backing
I also got to work on finishing the most recent mystery quilt. The first step was to piece a backing and this was made from leftover pieces from the mystery plus 2 striped fat quarters from my stash. Piecing a backing is like making another whole quilt and some people really dislike it. But I enjoy the process of building with scraps, which is kind of like doing a jigsaw puzzle.

Next step is pin basting and then on to the quilting!

Linking up to Sew Fresh Quilts.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Happy 1st Day of Spring!

It's spring according to the calendar. We won't be seeing anything resembling spring for another couple of months, but we can hope for and anticipate the changes to come!

I have been working on some blocks for our group donation quilt and thought I'd share a "fail" block. I had some yoyos that looked like they might want to become trees. It was fun to stitch the yoyos on, some with the flat side down and some with the gathered side down. But nope... it looks too phallic and I'm sure it will be rejected from the collection!
Here are the blocks so far for our sampler quilt. The yoyo forest definitely jumps right out!
I also just finished sewing the block to the right of the trees, and quite like how that one turned out.
Maybe I'll spend the first day of spring sewing a pumpkin block! How are you celebrating the change of season?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Design Wall Monday

The March UFO blocks are on the design wall today. A little progress has been made. All the blocks have been squared down to the maximum size they can be. 

The blocks that were X's have been turned into asterisk blocks. The blocks are laid out in 4 rows which would make a square quilt, but I'd like it to become a rectangular quilt. I have figured out the amount of useable background fabric and have enough to make another 4 blocks and make some pieced sashing.
To see more design wall posts, hop over to Small Quilts link up.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly link up party for hand stitchers!

Today will be a rest and recovery day for me following St. Patrick's Day celebrations yesterday. I usually paint my hair green and have a wee drink or two with my Irish friends. Needless to say, everything I do today will be done s-l-o-w-l-y!

There will be lots of time for slow stitching while I visit with a friend who is staying for the weekend. While chatting I hope to finish the 6th block of Gail Pan's "Send my love" BOM. This block has backstitch, lazy daisy stitch and french knots. The next three block patterns have been sent by email to the "i stitch" group. This month we'll be stitching a flower basket, a sewing machine, and a butterfly. They are so cute and I can't wait to trace them out and get going on them. 

What are you hand stitching today? We love to see what you're working on, so link up your blog post below and share your progress with us.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Scrappy Saturday

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 
I'll be wearing green today and celebrating the Irish traditions with my Irish friends. 
And who knew there was such a thing as Worldwide Quilting Day, which is also being celebrated today. That means everyone should celebrate the art of quilting, and quilters should dress in green and spend all day sewing green scraps in their quilt studio!

The RSC colour of the month is green... one of my favourite colours. I especially like light bright happy lime green and use it in many quilts (see my version of Easy Street). So I have had a great time playing with the green scraps this month.

For the Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilters Mari and Angela created a quilt along called Squared Away. There are no sign up requirements, no fees, no books or tools to purchase... it's free to anyone who wants to play along with us this year. You can make as many blocks as you want each month using the block pattern in any size you want to try. How's that for a perfect project?!?

This month's pattern is called Red Cross and was published in the late 1800s Ladies Art Company catalogue. The block pattern has been around a long time! Incidentally the January block was called Red Cross also... it's a popular block name I guess!
Here are my light green quilt along blocks. It's hard to pick a favourite. I really do like them all.

And here are all my blocks for the Squared Away quilt along on the design wall. I am making 4 blocks each month. My blocks are 5" so although it looks like a big project, it's really not! 
Hop over to the RSC link up and see the other green projects being posted. 
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Scrappy Log Cabins

How can it be Thursday already? Where has most of the week gone? Lest you think I have not been sewing this week, rest assured that is never the case! 
My sister has been sick for a while and to give her brain a workout doing something fun and low stress, she has been sorting my scrap bins for me. Now that is a win-win situation don't you think!?!  She put together this package of 1.25" strips and they are not familiar fabrics, so they must have been gifted to me by a generous non-scrap loving friend! I couldn't wait to open the bag and make something with them. Yippee a new project!

I decided to sew the strips into scrappy log cabin blocks.
Here is the pressing station. I have finished 4 blocks so far and a few partial blocks.

I am not using any rotary cutting equipment to make these blocks. I decided to just use scissors and see what happens. It's not as accurate but it is FUN and gives the blocks some character! Here is the sewing table. I have set up my long bed Singer 301 called Lucy and she is doing a great job of sewing these scraps together.
And notice my favourite quilty water bottle sitting right in the middle of the photo... which may or may not be filled with water LOL! I just read an article about how bottled water has been found to contain high levels of microplastics - click here to learn about the problem. Why drink bottled water when you can use a fun refillable quilty bottle like I have!?! I got mine at Cherished Pieces in Tillsonburg, but you can get one easily at Amazon.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Design Wall Monday

On the design wall today is a quilt that my small quilting group is building. 
We collected the block kits on a shop hop in July of 2016 and have decided to combine our blocks to make a donation quilt. None of the 4 of us were able to travel to all the shops so it will be interesting to see what blocks we end up with. 
I am sewing all 4 of the log cabin star blocks, since the centres are made from 1" strips and none of my friends will sew with 1" pieces! I have 1 more of those star blocks to sew. Also my friends don't like paper piecing, so I'll be sewing the pumpkin blocks that they collected. It will be an interesting fall themed sampler quilt.
To see more design wall postings, hop over to Small Quilts.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

Do you live somewhere in the world where you put your clocks ahead 1 hour last night? Daylight savings time begins which means 1 hour less of sleep last night, and 1 more hour of daylight in the days to come. 
That means more light for hand stitching! Why not get out  your favourite project and a cup of tea, and go sit by a window to enjoy some natural light and relaxation.

My current favourite project is hand embroidered blocks, and this is the one most recently finished. Out of the 4 blocks I've stitched for the "i stitch club 2018" by Gail Pan, it's my favourite so far - the blue bird of happiness!

Here is a tip for those who do hand stitching and want to use up scraps to stitch on, but need the background piece to be large enough to fit into a hoop. 
I use a large basting stitch to join smaller background scraps so that the piece is large enough to work on comfortably in a hoop. Then, once the design is stitched, you just remove the basting/joining stitches and trim to size.

What are you going to work on today? Link up your blog post below and share you hand stitching with us. And I hope you'll join us next week for the next Photo Challenge linkup!


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Scrappy Saturday - Omigosh!

The first order of the day is to announce the winners of the draw for the mini double 9 patch mug mats from the Small, Smaller, Smallest blog hop this past week. There were over 80 names in the draw and the two lucky winners are: 

Vicki H said...

Oh, I love your quilt. I have saved many scraps that small but haven't sewn them yet. I think my sewing machine might eat them instead of feeding them through. Now I am inclined to give it a try. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.
tink's mom said...
Please don't take this the wrong way, but you are insane. That said,Your quilt is amazing. I'd love a chance at one of those sweet mini rugs.
Congratulations and thanks to all the bloggers who participated, to Carol for organizing the fun, and to everyone who visited and left encouraging and often hilarious comments! 

This week I made a few more light green blocks for my RSC Omigosh. This has been a multiyear project and uses all the tiniest scraps from my sewing adventures. 
I still have a few unfinished purple blocks from last month, so that's what I am sewing today.

So many people have commented that 1" pieces are toooo small for stress-free sewing, and if you prefer to sew with larger pieces, you could still make the Omigosh pattern using larger blocks. My friend Helen made her Omigosh quilt using 1.5" pieces and look at her amazing quilt! She calls it something like "Oh well... whatever"! LOL

To see what other quilters are sewing with their green scraps, hop over to the RSC link up.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Magnolia Mystery Parade

Last fall Meadow Mist Designs hosted a mystery quiltalong called Magnolia Mystery
I sewed my blocks into an octagonal tabletopper instead of a bed quilt. I don't know why... the idea just popped up when I had the blocks on the design wall so I started sewing it together that way.
This week Cheryl has been posting the reveal parade of over 200 quilts made from the same pattern. It's amazing to see the same pattern made in every possible colour combination that you can think of, with sashing and without, with borders and without... the creativity and possibilities are endless!

Check out the mystery quilt parade:
Day # - quilts #1 to #70
Day #2 - quilts # 71 to #140 (my quilt is #73)
Day #3 - quilts #141 - #202

I was also amazed by  the variety of layouts and quilting designs on the quilts in the parade. I quilted my version with a free motion swirly design that is one of my favourites to quilt.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Happy International Women's Day!

Today is the day to celebrate the wonderful women you are privideged to have in your life!

It's International Women's Day and as is my habit, every year on this day I give bouquets of flowers to women who have inspired me in my life this year. You know the ones I mean... who try so hard in everything they say and do to be encouraging and loving, to make life a little easier for others, to be a bright light, and who regularly do invisible work that is not seen or acknowledged. Today is a day to honour these women!

That reminds me that today is the last day of the Small, Smaller, and Smallest blog hop! Check out the creativity of  these fantastic women:

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Small, Smaller, Smallest Blog Hop

Welcome to the blog hop celebrating small projects. I adore miniature quilts and working with tiny pieces. One of my favourite patterns is Omigosh by Sue Garman. I have been making a colour block version of this quilt for a few years.

For this special blog hop I decided to use only the double nine patch blocks from the Omigosh pattern. These blocks are made from 1" squares, which finish at .5" when sewn into the quilt.

Here it is laying on the floor in the kitchen...

Quilt statistics: there are 1,845 tiny 1" squares in this quilt and it measures 49.5" square.
I learned that it is hard to photograph a quilt with so much white in it and still be able to see the quilting. I quilted a diagonal grid using coloured threads in the double nine patch blocks and white thread through the white alternate squares. 
I eyeballed the double 9 patch stitching, but marked the line to stitch across the open white squares using a hera marker. It doesn't leave any residue on the quilt but just makes a slight indentation in the fabric to follow. I marked each line as I came to it... mark, quilt, mark, quilt, etc.

Here is the fun label that I made for the back corner using up a few more 1" squares. My quilty friends decided it should be called "Scrap Rescue 911".

Thank you to Carol for organizing this wonderful blog hop experience! And as a thank you to YOU the blog readers, I have made 2 small mug mats to giveaway. Leave a comment below and your name will go in the draw to win one of these tiny double 9 patch miniature quilts. Mr. Max is so sweetly displaying what you can win! Just look at how he has his paws crossed... OMG I love that furry guy (except when he is a quilt eater!)

There is the list of miniature quilt makers who have made special small projects to share with you today:

March 7

Kathy’s Quilts (that's me!)

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Small, Smaller, Smallest Blog Hop

Were you able to visit the blogs from Day 1 of the blog hop yesterday? SO many wonderful projects by such talented sewists! My day to post my little project is tomorrow and I am excited! 
Here is a sneak peak... 
I made my project from these bags of scrappy pieces. In them are 1" squares and strips, partially made blocks, many 4 patch blocks and double 9 patch blocks ... it's a miniature quilt maker's playground!

Tonight I am finishing up 2 miniature quilts for a giveaway draw. They are so darn cute... just wait til you see! Come back tomorrow for Day 3 for the big reveal of my project and see the draw prizes.

Today is Day 2 of the block hop and here are the blogs you can visit today to be inspired by bloggers making little treasures: 

March 6

Monday, March 05, 2018

Design Wall Monday

Ringo Lake is back on the design wall today and some progress has been made. 16 blocks are now sewn together. My version of this Quiltville mystery doesn't have any sashing. The sashing blocks are going to become the borders. I really like the square in a square block that appears in the corners when there is no sashing separating the blocks.

Lots of block parts are made and ready to assemble into more blocks.

Making blocks is my favourite thing  but sewing rows together is not. So I am joining them in sets of 4. The top photo shows 4 groups of 4 blocks sewn together. 

It takes a lot of pins to match all those seams.

And just look at my adorable new pincushion that my friend Diane gave me. She got it at the Quilter's Hall of Fame! Using this lovely pin cushion makes using all these pins much more fun!

To see more design wall postings, hop over to Small Quilts.

And speaking of small quilts, the Small, Smaller, Smallest blog hop starts today. Here's the list of blogs to visit:
March 5

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

Happy Slow Stitching Sunday!
It has been a busy hand stitching week here and I have spent time working on 2 different projects. 

The hand stitched binding on my quilt for the Small, Smaller, Smallest blog hop is finished. The name of my  quilt is "Scrap Rescue 911". Now I just have to photograph the quilt and write a blog post about it. Can't wait to share it on Wednesday!

I also finished another embroidery block for the "i stitch club" mystery project by Gail Pan. It was a fun block to stitch and I'm already well into the 3rd block. So far we have received 6 block patterns, so I have some catching up to do this month. You can see my first block here

What are you working on today?
We love to see the progress you are making on your hand stitching project, so we hope you will link up your blog post below and share with us.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Scrappy Saturday

March is green month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.
Since I already had my 1" strips out working on my project for the Small, Smaller, Smallest blog hop happening this coming week, I kept right on going with the little green pieces. These blocks are 5" for the Omigosh quilt. I have all the double nine patch blocks finished (110) and have been working on the alternate churn dash variations.

Speaking of churn dash blocks, I finished sewing my 66 blocks for Barb's block swap and got them in the mail this week. I used 3 dark repro fabrics for my 6" blocks. They really look boring on the wall, but just wait until I add in the swap blocks I receive ... it will be magical! You can see my previous swap block quilts here.

And back to the Omigosh quilt... I just started making these  alternate blocks last March and guess how many I have made? Drum roll please... a grand total of 14! Not really a stellar level of production for one year, but I do think they look awesome and many more will be made this year.
To see what other quilters are making with their green scraps, hop over to the link up at SoScrappy. And the new block pattern for the Squared Away quiltalong is posted over at the Academic Quilter. Can't wait to dig into the scraps this week to make these fun blocks!

Friday, March 02, 2018

Small, Smaller, Smallest Blog Hop

Tiny visitor #1
Next week the Small Blog Hop is starting!  
All the featured projects will be small, although the guidelines are quite flexible ... anything smaller than a baby quilt. I'm have been working on finishing my project plus a little matching miniature quilt to giveaway.  While I was working on my project, I had two small visitors, which I am certain must mean that something wonderful is going to happen! (lady bugs bring good luck)

Tiny visitor #2

March 7th is the day I'll be posting my project for the blog hop and here's a little statistical preview - my project includes 1,845 squares that are cut at 1" and finish at .5" in the quilt. Believe me that is a lot of small pieces to corral!

I'm so looking forward to seeing what these bloggers are making to share with us. Some of the participating blogs are new to me and some are old friends. Hope you will join in the fun with us next week! Here's the fabulous blog line up: