Wednesday, March 20, 2019

UFO of the Month Update

The month is more than half over and I am right on track to finish my March UFO. I am finishing the Temecula Secret Santa mystery quilt that we started last fall. 
At the beginning of the month I washed and pressed the backing, prepared a batting, and pin basted the quilt. 
Then I started machine quilting as I usually do, stitching a vertical and horizontal grid using a white thread. I stitched in the ditch on both sides of the sashing, and then straight down the centre of the sashing.

And then the fun part... stitching with red thread on the diagonal squares.
I'm not sure where to quilt next but I do hope to have the binding attached to start hand stitching for Slow Sunday Stitching.

In addition to finishing this quilt, I'm also looking forward to the arrival of Spring Equinox and seeing the Supermoon tonight ! 

Monday, March 18, 2019

New quilt

On Saturday I celebrated Worldwide Quilting Day by sewing all day with my quilt guild friends. You can read more about it here
I enjoyed using my 1964 white featherweight Singer 221K sewing machine that I call "Sweet Baby Jayne". So tiny, stitches perfectly and looks so adorable!
I'm using all Tula Pink Zuma fabrics for this project, with the light/background fabric being "glitter litter glowfish".

Here are the first 12 blocks on the design wall. I have 8 more blocks to sew. I'm not sure I like the big white spaces that appear with this layout. 

Let's try another one... I think I like this layout better. And I have some quilting ideas popping into my head already, so now I'm motivated to sew the rest of the blocks!
Linking up to Small Quilts design wall Monday part.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Happy St Patrick's Day! Since it falls on a Sunday this year, do you think we should probably do some hand stitching using some green thread or fabric or wool?!? 

This week I finished another little Gail Pan embroidery design, but can't find the photo on my computer so I will show you what I plan to be stitching today... a snowman. 

It won't be green!

Are you seeing any green where you live? Any signs of spring at all? Are you celebrating with the Irish today?
Link up your hand stitching project below and share what you are working on.

    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Happy Worldwide Quilting Day!

How are you celebrating Worldwide Quilting Day today? I think the best way to celebrate is to be with lots of enthusiastic quilting friends, so I attended a mystery quilt class hosted by the past presidents of my local quilt guild. 

Nancy, Susan, Marj, Jackie, Joanne, and Barb
These lovely women organize a sewing day, pick a pattern for quiltmaking, serve us a delicious lunch, and treat us to a wonderful day at the "quilt spa". They also help out with unsewing and pressing blocks as needed. They are such wonderful women and I love each one. They have given so much of their time and energy to promote quilting in our community, providing leadership, inspiration, and friendship. They just make the world a better place to live!

It was very exciting to have our youngest future quilter ever (5 months old) attending this class. Is this not the most adorable photo of fabric petting that you have ever seen?!? And this was the sweetest, most well behaved baby with about 30 eager women willing to help out with baby care! So fun!

I brought strips of Tula Pink Zuma fabrics to sew today, and brought my Sweet Baby Jayne sewing machine to do all the hard work for me. Even though she is 55 years old, she still sews like a dream!

There was a bit of precutting to do for the class so that when we arrived, we could start sewing right away. These fabrics are a frenetic riot of bright and happy colours guaranteed to brighten up a dull, dreary, endless winter. 

Here is the block we sewed. I'm not sure what to call it... would you call it a pineapple variation block?
I'll share more blocks and some layout ideas on my Monday Design Wall post. For now, I need to rest after such an exhausting day of sewing, and visiting. 
How are you spending Worldwide Quilting Day?!?

Friday, March 15, 2019

Hand Piecing Quiltalong

Florence Block #6
I can't believe it's Friday already and all I have accomplished this week in the sewing room is one 6" hand pieced block! 
Block # 8 has already been posted for the Hand Piecing Quiltalong so I'm still behind, but I am delighted with how this block #6 turned out.

Although it is cute, this block was a struggle since twice I sewed together sections that did not belong together. 
Here's a photo of the first problem. 
Instead of sewing the pinwheel sections together for the centre, I sewed them side by side to be the second row. WRONG! I have no idea why this block seemed so hard, but sometimes life is just like that.
Linking up to Elm Street Quilts

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Scrap Dance Minuet Mystery

Are you sewing along with Carole's new mystery quilt project called Scrap Dance Minuet
The second step was just posted so it's early in the mystery and you can easily join in. The steps are posted monthly, so there is no rush/stress. I also like that many sizes of the project can be made depending on your scraps and your preferred quilt size. 

I'm making the throw size version and it's going to be a total stash buster using old floral fabrics that I dislike and would otherwise never use. I did a deep dive into the stash and pulled out all the florals I could find.

Look at these things! They are old and many are ugly. 
All the fabrics across the top of the photo were voted off the island/this project as well as some of the charm squares in the pile on the bottom left of the photo.
Although most of these fabrics are really not appealing to me, en mass they do seem to have a certain charm about them. I'm hoping that Carole will be able to transform these ugly duckings into a swan!

Step #2 is 4 patch blocks. They were quick and very relaxing to sew. Easy Peasy.

Step #3 will be posted the second Friday of April. It feels great to be "caught up and ready", and I feel quite virtuous using up this old stash!

Monday, March 11, 2019

Blockheads Update

Some progress has been made on my Blockheads II project.
I skipped ahead from block # 25 to block #45 called Twelve Crowns because it looked like so much fun. 
It wasn't! LOL 
It turned out to be quite a labour intensive 18" block with 136 pieces. I sewed it on Lucy my Singer 301.

I am happy with how the points turned out, but the fabric choices are a wee bit too busy, with not enough contrast for my liking. But I have had this same thought several times in working with this fabric collection. I know I will like the overall quilt, so I push though the temporary stage of intense dislike, with confidence that the love for the project will return :)
Here are all the blocks on the design wall.

Yes... I do love it again! I have bought some white yardage from the Harmony fabric line that I will use for sashing to put these busy blocks together into a quilt. I only have 20 some blocks to sew to catch up to the block pattern postings.
To see more design wall postings, hop over to Small Quilts.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching - A Finished Middling

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching link up!
Today I'm a little sleep deprived because Daylight Savings Time started last night and that means 1 hour less sleep in the night, and I'm looking forward to an afternoon nap today.

This week I finished up my 70273 project which has a lot of hand stitching in it, so I thought I'd share it in my Sunday blog post. 

pieced and embroidered X's

I was inspired to participate in this project 2 years ago (read about the inspiration here) and had sent in some blocks for the project (you can read more about it here). 
But I couldn't let it go after that. I made a little quilt that Jeanne calls a "Middling". More details about what a middling is can be found here.

hand quilted 1/4" around each pieced X
To create the quilt I pieced some improv X blocks and added sashing and borders until it came to the required size of 18" x 22". I hand quilted around each of the large X blocks and it was tough going because that "white on white" fabric was stiff and thick. I've never hand quilted that kind of fabric before... and won't again!

hand embroidered rows of XX

I didn't plan out where I would hand embroider the double X's, I just started stitching in the open areas and stitched wherever I felt inspired to do so.

Here is my finished Middling which has 5 large double XX blocks and 48 hand embroidered double XX's.
I'll be sending this away in the mail this week to become part of the 70273 Project

What are you hand stitching this week?  Link up your blog post and share your project with us.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Scrappy Saturday

Wishing you a belated "Happy International Women's day" which was yesterday! I am so thankful to have many strong and inspiring women in my life, many of whom are quilters. 

Also this month we celebrate St. Patrick's Day, and we eagerly await the arrival of SPRING and all the green that starts to appear when the weather warms up.  On the calendar spring is only 11 days away... bring on the green!

March is green month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.

I did a lot of tiny cutting this week to add some green blocks to two of my RSC projects. The first one is the Economy Path block which uses 1.5" squares and strips to make blocks that look like a plus sign. These are so cute and I just love making them. I plan to make 4 little blocks and then sew them together into a 4 patch plus block that will finish at 6". Although it takes a really long time to cut and sew, it's still worth it! 

Here are the blocks on the design wall from the yellow, red, and green months, plus a few random blocks (on the bottom left and bottom right) made from scraps that were on the cutting table at the time. 

Then I cut and sewed 9 green "Scrappy Doughnuts". These blocks will finish at 3.5" in the quilt. This project was inspired by Temecula's One Block Wednesday. I'm not sewing these blocks together until the end of the year to make a totally scrappy layout. 

Here are the doughnuts on the design wall laid out in diagonal colour trails. Very pretty!

Hop over to the RSC linkup and see what the other quilters are sewing with their greens scraps.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

A New Project

A baby quilt has been started using a pattern called Shadow Stars from Tied With a Ribbon.  The blocks are 8" sawtooth star blocks. Half of the blocks have a print star with a white background, and the other half are a white star on a print background. Here are the first 4 blocks... 16 more to go.

I am using fabric that was given to me by the family of my friend Helen, who was one of my quilting students many years ago. When she passed away her family gave me a big bag of her fabric. The baby quilt is for her great grandson and aside from the white fabric I have added, everything I use will be from Helen's stash. The family was not thinking of me making a baby quilt from this fabric because she passed away before this baby was conceived. I am using anything that could be considered remotely acceptable for a boy's quilt, since there was not much in terms of traditional baby fabric in the bag.

It has been a challenge to make the star points using directional fabrics. I have auditioned the pieces by folding them before sewing, and am trying to get the animals centred and facing up. SO darn cute and totally worth the effort!

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Hand Piecing Update

Block #5 - Dorothy
Although block #7 pattern has already been posted for the Hand Piecing Quiltalong, I am just finished block #5. It was more challenging with lots of seams to cross which hopefully meet up in the right way. I am happy with how it turned out because those QSTs were a little tricky at the corners.

first 5 blocks
I ventured outside on a minus 20 degree day to get a photo of my blocks in the fresh snow. But I was disappointed in the photo because it looks like the blocks were just placed on a white piece of fabric. Oh what we bloggers go through just to get a mediocre photo! LOL
To see more blocks, hop over to the link up at Elm Street Quilts. I'm so happy to see the great response to this hand stitching project with over 60 photos posted this week!

Monday, March 04, 2019

Aurifil DOM

Aurifil's "designer of the month" for February is Natalie Barnes. She created a block pattern called Hanalei Garden and it was a doooozy to sew!
Wow it was a challenge. The instructions have you cutting 140 pieces for this 12" block. I combined some of the sections for a little less cutting. I also reversed the light and dark sections and like how it turned out.

Here are my 6 blocks from last year's DOM with the 2 from this year on the design wall. It will be an interesting sampler quilt for sure!

Hop over to the Aurifil link up here to see more blocks. There are many beautiful variations, and many of them actually look like flowers, which is what they are supposed to be :) 

And then hop over to Small Quilts to see more design wall postings.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching link up party! We encourage you to join us by putting some stitches into your project today. Just a few moment of stitching can provide numerous health benefits - click here to learn the reasons why you are wise to invest your time and energy in hand work. I don't know how trustworthy the research is behind those claims, but I can lots of provide anecdotal evidence.
Fabric selection

This week I enjoyed finishing a hand applique block.  I picked the background fabric first, then the star, cardinal, tree and leaf fabrics to contrast with the background.

Freezer templates ironed onto the right side
Tracking the freezer paper pieces from the pattern reminds me of  a process that is similar to playing with paper dolls as a child. You trace the shapes, cut them out, and iron them onto fabric. It is quite a mindless, relaxing task.

Finished block

I use the needleturn method of applique and although there are maybe more efficient and accurate applique methods, this is my favourite so far. Here is the finished block. 

This is the collection of blocks from the 2017 Blockheads project from Moda. There are 9 blocks in this quilt that were hand stitched over the past year. I'm starting to work on the math for the borders for this quilt.

But today I'll be cutting out and stitching block #5 of the Hand Piecing Quiltalong project. I'm a bit behind since block #6 has also been released. 
What are you hand stitching today?  Link up your blog post below and share your project with us.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Scrappy Saturday

Yellow Arrowhead blocks

It was a busy day full of activities including a lengthy funeral to attend, but I managed to carve out a few moments of medicinal stitching. I didn't finish my yellow arrowhead blocks in February, so I finished those up today (pattern can be found here).

These blocks finish at 3" and are a little tricky to make. You sew two squares together around the outside, cut them in a particular way to end up with these pieces, then sew them back together following the directions. It's like a fabric jigsaw puzzle. 

I'm also making a 9" version of this block in blues. Here is the photo showing the size difference. The little ones are fun to make, but are actually harder and the seam ripper has been used several times. Accuracy cannot be fudged with a block this small.

Here are all the blocks in the scrappy arrowhead collection so far. I'll be adding more light green blocks this month.

Hop over to the RSC linkup at Angela's to see the end of yellow and beginning of green projects.

Friday, March 01, 2019

March UFO Goal

I'm pretty happy with the 6 quilts I've finished in the first 2 months of 2019 and hope this finishing trend continues. 3 of the finishes are from the official UFO list (on the right sidebar), and 3 were started within the last year so they never even made it to the UFO list.
For this month I'm going to challenge myself with 2 tasks - one from the official UFO list and one is a more recent project:
Goal #1) From the UFO list, I will locate (which will be a job in and of itself!) Scrap Dance Tango from 2016 and get it to the pin basting stage. I'm not sure where it is, or if it needs borders, and will organize a backing and batting for it. I really like this quilt and want it finished, because Carole is starting a new mystery for us and I'd like to finish the previous ones! 

Goal #2) Finish Secret Santa which was the Temecula mystery started in October of last year. I already have a backing for this quilt and it is a manageable goal to get a batting, pin baste, quilt and bind this project in the month of March.
What are your quilting goals for March? Are you joining in the goal setting link up over at One Monthly Goal?