Sunday, June 17, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching celebration! 
This is a special weekend because it's Father's day and also my birthday. I'll be taking my Dad out for a special lunch today and remembering how blessed I am to have such a wonderful DAD!

At some point today I'll be enjoying some slow stitching time and conversation with Dad. In addition to visiting with his kids and grandkids (who adore him), Dad loves to spend time playing games, so I might need to put the stitching aside for a while!

Yesterday was also a day of celebrating - my friend Debby organized a sewing party for me with a mystery project, which was a bag with a measuring tape snap closure. Making 3D projects is a little challenging for me since my brain doesn't process the steps well, but I managed to keep up fairly well and am delighted with my finished product. 

Of course I made the  construction process a little longer by doing the quilting by hand. I can't help myself because I love it! You can maybe see that I quilted lines in all the seams, on some of the motifs in the fabric, and stitched a few diagonal lines for fun. It wasn't too difficult to hand quilt through the fusible batting.

When the quilting was done, I hand stitched a little pocket to the inside of the bag. So darn cute!

You can see my trusty little 1952 Featherweight machine was along and it did a lot of the work for me. But given a preference, I do like to do as much hand stitching as possible.

Here are the two sides of the bag... back and front. 

Many thanks to my friend Debby for organizing this special birthday party and making a lovely lunch for us, to her Mom Dorothy for sewing along while always keeping several steps ahead of us (and making sure we knew she was!) and to our wonderful teacher Deb Beirnes. Look at the pretty dessert she made for us!
So that was my fun birthday project, and in the time it took me to make one bag, both Debby and her Mom made two! That's what happens with hand stitching... you get to enjoy your project longer since it takes twice the time!

What you are hand stitching today? Link up your blog post below and share your slow progress with us.

    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Scrappy Saturday

It's aqua month over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and for some unknown reason, most of my projects at the moment involve aqua, so the scraps are everywhere!
First I got a lovely surprise package in the mail from Sarah from Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge. Just look at these pretty Kate Spain fabrics which are mostly aqua, with a bit of lime and purple. The colours reminded me of a triangle quilt I made in 2009, and the Starburst quilt made in 2015. I searched around in the scrap bins and found the leftover blocks and scraps from both of those projects! It's a disaster in my quilt studio but miraculously I can usually find things I need!
Here are all the pieces I found. The plan is to combine the Kate Spain fabrics with the leftovers from these two finished quilts. It's so fun to make an improv quilt using this process. It's kind of like looking in the refrigerator and making a casserole from whatever is in there. You never know how it's going to turn out! 

I also finished up some quarter square triangles for the next border on my Clarissa quilt.

To see more aqua projects in the making, hop over to the weekly RSC link up.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Glue Batik Painting

At a recent weekend away with some friends we decided to make glue resist batiks. We watched a glue batik video and gathered some supplies... plain white handkerchiefs, Elmer's white glue, acrylic paints and paint brushes. We drew our designs with pencil and traced over the lines with the glue. 

My glue line was way too thick and took too long (overnight) to dry. Lesson learned. Once the glue was dry, we got out the paints. The dried glue contains the paint and prevents the colours from bleeding into other areas. I've done a lot of fabric painting with Setacolor paints but not much with acrylics. Both are fun.

Once the painting is dry, you put it in a hot water bath to dissolve the glue. There was definitely some colour loss in that process.
Here is the finished piece hanging outside on a table to dry. When picking up the freshly painted fabric some paint transferred from one area/colour to another.  You can see some blue where orange is, and some red where only blue should be. You can't control all the elements! That's life!

Here it is pinned to the design wall, which shows that some of the colours are much less intense once the paint dries. I'm looking forward to hand quilting this over the summer.
And I'm going to get more supplies for the kids to try out this technique on our annual family camping trip this summer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Ideas needed!

The new Blockheads II has begun with the first pattern released last week. Every Wednesday will bring us a new pattern from the Moda designers, although the newly revised website is harder to navigate. Hop over to see if you can find the new block that will be posted today (here's the link to block #2). 
For this new project I bought a collection of fat quarters from the Harmony fabric line by Sweetwater.  I love to start a new project, and I love to open a new bundle of fat quarters!
Love 💕 love 💗 love💖
We are not going to talk about the fact that my version of the first Blockheads project has not been completed, nor the fact that I said I was not going to start the new one until the old one was finished.

I was wrong about my self control and once I saw the first block pattern posted, I immediately opened up the bundle and grabbed the rotary cutter. When I spread all the fabric out I wondered if I was going to have a problem with the lack of contrast. The values mostly read from light medium to dark medium. 

Hmmm what to do?
I went ahead anyway and was so happy cutting up the little pieces and sewing them back together. My favourites are the text prints and the sunshiny yellows.

Here is my Stellar Star block.

 I was disappointed to see how it turned out. After all that time and excitement, to not really like the end product is just... ugh.
Do you see what I mean about not enough contrast? What do I need to add in order to improve this fabric collection to make future blocks more appealing.
Add in some dark tone on tones? Use a pure white for the light, the lights for mediums and the mediums for darks? All ideas are welcome :)
Linking up to Sew Fresh Quilts.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Aurifil DOM on the design wall

My design wall has been propped up once again and although unsafe, it is usable at the moment. On the design wall today are my Aurifil Designer of the Month blocks.

Here is block #5 called Santa Barbara Tile by Minke Kim. The photo tutorial on Pat Sloan's blog was excellent as it helped me figure out how to sew this unique block together. It was an interesting construction method and surprisingly came out to the correct size. My only concern is that the outside of the block is all bias edges, so I stitched around all sides to hopefully stabilize it until it's sewn into the quilt (likely some time in 2020!)

Here are my first 3 blocks. January's block is still under construction, and I'm not going to make the paper pieced bridge block from April. June's block will be posted this week, so I'm right on schedule. I love it when that happens!
To see many creative versions of block #5 click here for the linkup. To see more design wall postings, hop over to Small Quilts.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! Our goal is to encourage you to pick up your project, put a few stitches in, take some deep breaths, and enjoy the happy feelings that will result (and the subsequent improved health)!
I finished hand quilting two more Life is Beautiful blocks last weekend and have returned to another "I Stitch Club" embroidery block this week. I like how the variegated blue thread looks on the spool. Three more designs will be sent out soon so I'd like to catch up with last month's patterns. 
Early this morning I will be returning from the airport to pick up my daughter, who is flying home from another international coral restoration work project. Depending on the flight delays I might get lots of stitching done waiting at the airport. 
Check back next week to see the progress...  or lack thereof.

What are you hand stitching today? We love to see your slow progress so link up your blog post below.

    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Scrappy Saturday

It's aqua month over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I have several projects that need an aqua infusion so I hope to be able to sew lots of blocks this month.

The first task is to make the monthly sampler blocks. The pattern for June is called "Country Lanes". I made a tabletopper in 2015  using this block, which was a quiltalong called "Country Roadsfrom Humble Quilts.
Here are the 4 aqua blocks for my 5" version of the RSC "Squared Away" sampler. Very quick and easy to sew together.

Here are my sampler blocks from the first half of the year. Six months making four blocks each month, for a total of 24 blocks. I have no idea how it will all come together in the end, but I'm loving it so far. Thanks to Angela and Mari for all the work you put into this fun project for us!
To see more aqua projects, hop over to the RSC linkup.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

June UFO

This is me! It has been quite frustrating dealing with some Blogger issues recently and I don't understand how processes that have worked well for years are suddenly broken. Did we wear it out? Perhaps we used it too much and it broke?!? LOL
I remind myself "you get what you pay for" and I haven't paid anything for all the fun that I have had all these years. But still, it is very frustrating and I am sorry that I can't interact with and respond to the wonderful comments left on my blog. At the moment I am still able to read them so thanks for making the effort!
And in case you were wondering why there was no "Design Wall Monday" post this week, another frustration to deal with is that my design wall fell over (wasn't attached to the wall) and broke my primary lamp/light source in my quilting room. 
See the above video of my reaction to this new frustration!
So for the month of June I'm not going to work on a UFO that requires good lighting or a design wall (which is now on the floor!)  My goal will be to finish my Broken Dishes quilt. The machine quilting has been started, so I'll continue with that and get this quilt finished up. I have the binding fabric and will enjoy hand stitching the binding later in the month.
To see more UFO goals, hop over to One Monthly Goal.
One good thing that happened this week is that I won a participation prize for linking up to OMG last month. I received two quilting patterns of my choice from Quilting Jetgirl. Thanks Yvonne for sponsoring the OMG!

Tuesday, June 05, 2018


marked quilt

A friend of mine asked me to machine quilt a project for her. She wanted to put it in her guild quilt show but wasn't going to have time to finish it. 
So guess who agreed to help get it done?

walking foot quilting

My friend marked the design she wanted with a water soluble blue marker (on light fabrics) and some 1/4" tape (on dark fabrics). The tape was a pain to deal with. I had to clip out parts of it in order to stitch continuous lines, and it kept getting stuck to the walking foot.

free motion quilting

I much preferred quilting with the free motion foot and following the blue lines.
Look at how dirty my Machinger gloves are, just from dye transfer and dirt on the fabrics. I do love the increased grip that these gloves give when machine quilting.

This is the quilted project. It is the same pattern as my train quilt (click here and scroll down to see it). These quilts look so different you would never know they are made from the same pattern
Now my friend can put the binding on and the quilt will be finished in time for the Grand  Quilt Guild show in Fergus on June 8 and 9.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly celebration of hand stitching! It's the one time a week where we make sure to set aside some special moments for playing with needles and thread. We hope you will join us!

I have pulled out my Life is Beautiful project again. I've been working on it for more than 3 years now. At this stage the focus is quilting these alternate blocks. They are the perfect summer take along project. I have a stack of blocks pin basted and am looking forward to sitting outside today and putting in some stitches. 

What is your take along hand stitching project for the summer? Link up your blog post below and share your progress with us.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Scrappy Saturday

These Maverick/wonky  star blocks (pattern here) have been added to my collection. The blue blocks were leftover pieces from binding on my Wish Upon a Star quilt. And the pinks were from the scrap box. 

Here are all the blocks on the design wall.
The colour for June is turquoise/aqua so I'm looking forward to pulling out those scraps. This quilt definitely needs an aqua infusion.
To see more Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts, hop over to the weekly link up.

Friday, June 01, 2018

New Blockheads Project Fabric

Did you know there is another sampler project coming our way from the Moda designers?
I'm excited about the new Blockheads starting in June, but I have decided that I'm not going to allow myself to start it until my Blockheads #1 project is finished. I mean, a quilter has to have SOME discipline, don't they?!?!
So if I really meant business, that would mean finishing how many blocks?  Okay now... where are those blocks?!? LOL 

While I search for those, I'll show you the fabric I bought for the new Blockheads II (which I might not start until I finish Blockheads I)!
When Thelma posted her Harmony II quilt made from the new Harmony line from Sweetwater, I was totally smitten. 

And here is it! This will magically become a quilt over the next year, or two, or three, or....
Are you starting the new Blockheads II?