Saturday, August 17, 2019

Scrappy Saturday

I got completely distracted this week with the multi-year Omigosh project. It started with just sewing a few 1" pieces into this double 9 patch block which was one of the RSC Tiny Tuesday blocks this week. Cute! 

So I kept making more blocks with the scraps on the cutting table, and ended up finishing these 4 blocks to add to the project.
Then I went in search of the other blocks. They are stored in the refrigerator - the fabric one, not the food one!

I decided it was time to take stock of this project and see where it's at. 
Omigosh project in the freezer
The double 9 patch blocks are on the left. I have enough of those and really should stop making any more! 
The small pile of alternate blocks on the right is another story. The piles should be the same size. They are not as much fun to make as the double 9 patch and require more coordination, but I need to focus my efforts and make lots more of those. 

I got out all the alternate blocks and put them on the design wall for the first time with the double 9 patches of the same colours. Here is what it is looking like. Omigosh!

Wow! That is awesome! There are some colours that are over-represented and some that are MIA, so that will have to be sorted out by the project manager LOL! I counted all the colours and will try to be more purposeful about filling in the gaps now. No more willy-nilly making random blocks when I feel like it for this project. Focus is required!
So see more RSC projects hop over to the weekly linkup.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Mystery Update

Are you sewing along with Kevin's Simply Sensational Summer Scrap mystery project?? 
This quilt involves a lot of cutting and sewing scraps. Did I mention A LOT?
I'm not going to say exactly how much work it was, but we are talking about hundreds of pieces to make this quilt!

I shouldn't complain because I am very happy about all the old batik scraps I am clearing out of the stash. I had many 2.5" pre-cut strips, so I cut all my squares 2.5" but you can use any measurement you prefer for this amazing mystery. 
Mystery neutral blocks 
Cutting the squares left several smaller pieces from the ends of strips, so I sewed those into blocks as well. I liked the neutral blocks so much I put them on the design wall to admire. They really could become their own quilt. I'm not loving that green fabric in the top left of the photo, but in real life I don't think it's really that dark. When I look at it again, it better appear to be lighter or it's not going to make the final cut to be included in the quilt :)

I'm very proud to be caught up and finished step #2. 
You put me through my paces Kevin! 
Here are all the pieces in a storage container ready for the next step to be posted at the end of the month. I can't wait!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Design Wall Monday

Last week I set up Elsie, one of my vintage sewing machines to give her a workout and do some power sewing on pieces for Kevin's summer mystery
There are hundreds of pieces to be sewn for this quilt, and the leader/ender style wasn't making fast enough progress for me. So I oiled her generously and found the quarter inch seam line using Bonnie Hunter's seam guide tool.

She worked beautifully, making a perfect stitch for hours. Don't you love how the fabric looks like ribbon candy coming out behind the needle when you sew long strip sets?

Eventually I was bored of working with neutrals and needed to work with the bright colours for a while. And then suddenly for no apparent reason, the thread snapped and it was hard to thread the needle again (old eyes). So I got the brilliant idea to change the needle, and when I did that, the machine stopped making stitches at all.
Everything was threaded properly but it was as if there was no thread. I reread the manual for the umpteenth time. In my own defence, I have a lot of machines and have read a lot of manuals so I can't remember all the details for each machine (yet). As it turns out, the issue was incorrect needle placement. In this machine the smooth side of the needle in the shank must face the back of the Featherweight 221K. I hope I remember this!

In spite of this  technical glitch, I was able to finish over half of the required blocks for step #1 and #2, and have the remaining parts cut and ready to finish in plenty of time for the next step at the end of August. Here are 40 blocks on the design wall to get a sense of how it's looking.
To see more design wall posts, hop over to Small Quilts.

PS... the winner of the Olfa prize package from last Monday's Happy Little Things post was commenter # 122 (out of 228 comments). Congratulation
s to Diana from Texas!
It was inspiring reading what makes my blog readers happy....thanks for entering!

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching link up!

The morning quilting crew
I'm excited to share with you that I was able to attend a quilting bee this weekend. At the Fergus Scottish Festival they had a large white heritage tent and set up a quilt in a frame for hand quilting. Lots of people stopped by to watch, to put in a few stitches, or to tell us about their Grandmother who quilted.

The afternoon quilting crew
At past festivals I have quilted on a scrappy kids quilt, a butterfly quilt, and stitched a background grid on a dresden plate. It's so fun to add stitches to a project created by someone else. This wonderful scrappy quilt was made by Mary who is quilting on the bottom left.

My favourite needle threader
I was able to spend several hours at the frame putting in stitches while visiting with new and old quilting friends. It's so fun to spend time with like minded people, to see how they stitch, and what tools they use. 

We quilted as far as we could reach, leaving the threads to continue the stitching lines after the boards were turned. Rolling the quilt by turning the boards is always exciting and it is encouraging to see the progress made.

If you didn't enter the draw that I posted on Monday for the Olfa prize pack, click here and be sure to leave a comment there. The draw will be made tonight.

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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Scrappy Saturday

August is the month of light/bright blue... I just happen to have lots of those scraps! I started with some blue miniature arrowhead blocks. They are fun to sew and I made 8 of those this week. These blocks will be 3" in the finished quilt. If you want to try making these blocks, the pattern can be found here and the sizes for the starting squares can be found here.

I had fun playing with the blocks on the design wall and tried a diagonal colour layout. I really like it! It needs a lot of blocks, particularly violet, greens, browns and golds, but it's a good start. To see more Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects, hop over to the weekly link up.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Summer of Leaders and Enders

Are you sewing along with Kevin's Simply Sensational Summer Scrap Quilt? It's a fun mystery project that only has 2 colour choices which makes it so easy peasy. You could do lights and darks, or use 2 different colours.  
My Simply Sensational summer Scrap Quilt is using up old batik scraps. I have tons of them left over from quilt making over the years, and am so happy to have a project to sew them into.

Batiks were sorted into 2 piles... all colours and light neutrals. I did buy some fat quarters of neutral batiks on the shop hop to have enough to make this quilt.

As step #1 began I realized that it is very simple sewing and I couldn't stick with it for very long because I was bored. So I decided this would be my summer leader-ender project to work on in between other sewing. Here are the first 49 of the 4 patch blocks.
Aren't these just fabulous colours? This is going to be such a happy energetic quilt!

Step #2 is working with the neutral fabrics, and I just got started with some of those.

And of course I had already started making Bonnie Hunter's leader-ender challenge blocks called Shoo Fly, Shoo, so now I will have two projects on the go to sew in between other piecing. 
Are you sewing along with either of these projects?

Monday, August 05, 2019

Happy Little Things

It's time for the Happy Little Things BOM to begin! If you are a new visitor to my blog, welcome! I have been writing this quilt blog since 2006, posting regularly about my quilty adventures and the process of making quilts. I also host a hand stitching link up every Sunday, so feel free to visit anytime!
The Happy Little Things BOM will run from August to December and we hope you will join in the fun and create your own version of this Jacquelynne Steves pattern. To learn more about this project click here and make sure to sign up for your free pattern delivered right to your email.
centre of block #!

Today you can get the pattern and start making the 1st block. 
You can chose to have a plain piece of fabric, an appliqué or an embroidery in the centre of the block
Embroidery is one of my favourite hand stitching activities, so that is what my block centres will be.
Hand stitching is my favourite way to enjoy time at the park in the summer. I take my lawn chair and sit by the river, listening to the birds and sounds of the water, and slowly stitch the time away.

Block #1
Once you have your centre block made, you surround it with some flying geese blocks and then add a couple of borders, and there you have it... the first block is done!
Most of my fabrics are from the Strawberry Jam fabric line, with a bit of grey fabric added. If you prefer to have your fabrics chosen for you, click here to buy the fabric kit that Jacquelynne has put together for this project.

And if a free pattern for a beautiful quilt is not enough excitement, there are also going to be prizes to win every month throughout the BOM! 

The giveaway price for the first month is an Olfa gift pack (for US and Canadian residents, and an alternate prize for international winners). You can visit the bloggers and enter to win at each blog, but you may only win one of the prizes each month.
To enter the prize giveaway at my blog just scroll down to the end of this blog post and click on where it says 'comments', and leave a comment about what makes you happy! The winner's name will be randomly drawn on Sunday August 11th. 
The draw has taken place and the winner is:
commenter # 122 (out of 228 comments)... Congratulations to Diana from Texas!

I'm so happy to be one of the featured bloggers and can't wait to visit all the blogs to see how they made their 1st block! Here's the blog list, so go ahead leave a comment at each one to increase your chances of winning one of the prize packs:

Kathy's Quilts (that's me!) 

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the mid summer hand stitching link up (or mid winter for those down under!)
This week I finished another UFO and enjoyed hand stitching that binding. And then I finished my block for the  quilt along starting tomorrow.
These are my starting fabrics and the embroidery threads for this project called Happy Little Things
You never really know when you pick fabrics and threads how everything will look, but am so happy with how my block turned out.

This is the start of the embroidery block. I didn't like how the gold lines look like they are behind the back edge of the flower, so I went back and restitched in gold thread over that red line at the top. Hope you can stop by tomorrow and see what you think of the finished block.
What are you hand stitching today?
Link up your blog post below and share your project with us!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, August 01, 2019

August OMG

Surprisingly I am reaching back to the 2018 UFO list (on the right sidebar) for this month's project. Why? Because I found it when I was cleaning. Yes, I was cleaning for a few minutes!!
And I found this quilt top and remembered how much I like it and want it to become a quilt. 

This is a 2016 mystery quilt project from Carole called Scrap Dance Tango. I started making the scrappy HST blocks in February 2016. My version looks slightly different than Carole's because I got the idea to add a sashing in order to avoid all that bulking seam matching. And then in November 2016 I got the idea to add some square-in-a-square cornerstones to the sashing. I love how it turned out!

Border fabric, quilt top, backing and batting
First this quilt needs the border added, and the fabric I bought is either going to be a perfect fit, or be not quite enough. 
So now I'm going to figure out that math, get the border cut, pieced and attached, and then get to quilting this treasure! I have assembled all the ingredients, and now I just need to complete all the steps in bringing this quilt to the finish line!
Linking up to August OMG goal setting party.

July Shop Hop

Completed shop hop passport & quilt block
The end of July has come and gone, and I was able to get to all 15 quilt stores on the July Shop Hop. I gathered all the block kits from each store, but didn't fall in love with any of the quilt layouts enough to want to make one. That was a relief. But there were many cute blocks that I will make, and turn into a small project like a mug mat or table runner.

One of the highlights of the many trips was the day I went with my friend Joanne to Tillsonburg and had lunch at a place called The Cup and Cake.  I just love finding these unique, creative restaurants to try. Isn't this a beautiful building for a restaurant?

The lunch was delicious with homemade soup and sandwiches, but just look at this cherry almond cake! It was heavenly and tasted even better than it looked! It makes my mouth water even to look at the photo!
I know I should be talking more about the quilt shops, but I'm telling you this cake beats all!!

I had a great time over the month with all the road trips driving with friends and sometimes driving by myself. I was able to visit with many of the store owners and employees that I have known for so many years. I also met some fun customers, and groups of friends that were on their shop hop adventure together. I left every store with a smile on my face, some fabric treasures in my bag, and a much lighter wallet!

I did make a couple of impulse purchases that I couldn't live without, including a kit to make this Nancy Halvorsen quilt. Now if only I could get some time in the quilt studio to play with my new fabric!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

July UFO

Dots and Dashes is finished!

The Dots and Dashes improv quilt is finished!
This quilt started last June using up leftover parts from other projects, such as it's sister quilt called Starburst. You can read about the piecing here, and the machine quilting here.

I don't like how one of the white on white fabrics has such a yellow tinge in this photo, but I guess under certain lighting conditions that's how it's going to look.
C'est la vie!

Dots and Dashes quilt back
This photo shows the quilting and the fabrics on the back. White is hard to photograph!
This was such a fun summer project to work on, with the improv piecing, relaxing machine quilting, and the fact that it was a "free" quilt from stash. Nothing was purchased to finish the quilt, including the batting which was also stitched together using  leftovers.

I practiced a ribbon candy quilting design on the border because I'm teaching it as part of a machine quilting class in the fall, and I wanted the practice. A heart design is an easy way to turn a corner when machine quilting.

Look way up! Finished quilt size is 45" x 52".

Linking up to July's One Monthly Goal finishing party and Cheryl's Favorite Finish.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Design Wall Monday

Alison over at Little Bunny Quilts posted TWO Bonnie Hunter pattern quilts that she finished this month. TWO! DO you know how many little pieces that is to cut and sew together?!? 
A billion, plus or minus a trillion!!
You can see her Double Delight here and Good Fortune here

Thank you Alison for the inspiration to get going on my quilts. 

Double Delight is one of my all time favourite quilts. It has been finished for 5 years but it needs a corner repaired. The corner was eaten in 2014 by my Granddog Max who really loves quilts... to snuggle in and to eat! I can't believe it's been 5 years and I haven't fixed it yet!
Double Delight is a still a free pattern on the Quiltville website. Bonnie shares so many free things with the world that I want to support her in any way I can. When I heard she had out a quilt themed jigsaw puzzle I was on the look out for one. I finally found it at Cherished Pieces in Tillsonburg. It combines 3 things I enjoy to do ... see photos of quilts, do jigsaw puzzles, and support Quiltville!

My version of Good Fortune needs more blocks to be made. I haven't really worked on it since winter quilt retreat.
I got out the parts bin and started to calculate how many blocks were already made, how many I wanted, and how many parts still needed to be cut and sewn.

First I focused on the gold and red blocks. I really enjoyed making the gold strips on phone book paper and finished up all the red and gold blocks.

Good Fortune on the design wall
Here are the  finished blocks on the design wall. I decided on a 5 x 7 block layout, so it still needs 5 more of the alternate blocks for the centre of the quilt. And then there are 4 borders to sew and attach. Lots still to do on this project!

Linking up with the Design Wall Monday party at Small Quilts.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching link up! 

We want to encourage you to relax, and enjoy the satisfaction and health benefits of creating something with your hands.
I recently came across an article on the 5 benefits of crafting and this is so true especially for all type of hand work.
Dopamine makes us feel happier, so join us today in increasing dopamine by hand stitching your favourite project!

I had a dopamine infusion on Friday night when my friends Barb and Debby came over to play! Barb was having a lesson from Debby who is an expert on how to join hexies together.

How did Debby get to be an expert?  Lots and lots of practice. She has made many hexagon quilts, and just look at how many prepared hexies she has waiting to be sewn together.
But wait, that's just the top layer of the storage container.

Here's how it looks when the top two trays are moved to the sides to reveal the bottom layer. OMG! It's a sight to behold! I looks like there are 2 sections waiting for more hexies... maybe she's working on that today?!?

My favourite hand binding!

Today I will be hand stitching the binding on my July UFO. If I stitch all day, I'll have this finished in plenty of time for the end of the month link up for One Monthly Goal.

Share your blog post or instagram link (I'm still trying to figure that whole thing out!) below and tell us what you're hand stitching today. We will be your cheering squad!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Scrappy Saturday

It's the last week for pink scraps at the RSC. Pink is one of my favourite colours so I'm sad the month went by so fast. I have 3 projects which need some miniature pink blocks.

The first one is a new project started by Bonnie Hunter's new leader-ender challenge called Shoo, Fly, Shoo. I love these little blocks which use up 1.5" scraps and are 4" finished. I have many more cut and sitting beside my sewing machine ready to become blocks in between other projects.

The second project is the Economy Path collection. These adorable plus sign blocks are 3" finished. Sometimes I feel like my fingers are just too big when I'm sewing these little things. 

Here are all the blocks on the design wall. It's a labour intensive, multi year project, and I really like it so far.

I didn't get around to getting the pink Log Cabin Loonie blocks finished yet this month. Hopefully this will be done by next week when we will already be working on our next RSC colour. Hop over to the weekly link up and see the pink projects.

Friday, July 26, 2019

July UFO Machine Quilting

Using all the threads!
It was a blast machine quilting this month's UFO. Nothing went wrong at all in the process, and it was pure fun. These are the thread colours I ended up using in the quilt, because you know I love to use as many different coloured threads as possible so I don't get bored! 

Wavy vertical lines of stitches

Most of the quilting was vertical wavy lines... easy peasy. I just went around and between the little coloured squares, quilting as much of the white space as possible.

Straight vertical lines of stitches
The vertical bars were the  last thing to be quilted and I ended up eye balling a straight line right down the centre of each bar, using a thread colour to match each fabric.

Ribbon candy design in the border
I stitched a ribbon design in the border because there was a little bit of fullness to ease in and this is a great quilting design that is a bit more intense that pulls in the fabric. After quilting, the border lays completely flat... phew :)

A striped binding is my favourite, and I found enough of this stripe in my stash to make it the whole way around the quilt. Looks like I'm totally on schedule for finishing my July UFO before the end of the month!  
Love it when that happens!
Linking up at Sew Fresh Quilts