Friday, December 06, 2019

Sawtooth Stars

The focus block for Barb's block swap this year is the sawtooth star. It is one of my all time favourite quilt blocks so that was a happy choice for me!

Here are some of the pieces cut out and ready to sew. I did not have any luck making the flying geese blocks using the "no waste" method. All of them were wasted because turned out inconsistent and never the same/right size. I gave up on that and went old school method... perfect every time!

Here are half of them on the design wall. The colour is way off... it is actually bright pink, not red.

The next step is to pop them into the mail box and send them on their 550 mile journey to another country to meet up with hundreds of other sawtooth star blocks! It will be an exciting quilt block party where they will mix and mingle with new friends... a very exciting journey awaits them!
Sure wish I was going with them!

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

One Monthly Goal

Well let's not talk about the fact that I didn't even look at November's UFO project so therefore did not make any progress on it! I didn't even cut the batting, which is a fairly easy job to do. I just got busy with so many other things (squirrel!) and spent too much time hibernating because it's dark and cold.

So this month I'm choosing a project that might have a chance of getting some attention... my Kim Diehl Christmas Tree project. I bought the fabrics and book in 2017 as a Christmas gift to myself. It was such a fun project to sew... I loved the fabrics, the instructions were terrific, the blocks were complicated enough to challenge me but not too overwhelming, and the overall design is unique. I would really like to finish it as a gift to myself by Christmas of 2019!
But I can't decide... does it want to be a tabletopper or a tree skirt?
Linking up to One Monthly Goal.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Happy Little Things Reveal and Giveaway Draw

The finishing instructions to the Happy Little Things BOM have now been posted and it's time to finish up your project! Hop over to Jacquelynne's blog The Art of Home to read all about it.

4 embroidery blocks in the centre of the quilt

This has been such a fun project to make and I especially enjoyed working on the four embroidery blocks in the centre of the quilt. 
That salmon coloured fabric is a hard one to photograph and looks different in every single shot I have taken.

top and bottom scrappy borders added
Here is the quilt after the scrappy top and bottom borders were added. I loved being able to use up all those little scraps from piecing the centre blocks! I had to do a lot of piecing small scraps of the white fabric sashing to get all the way around. The instructions said you need 2/3 yard for the sashing, and you really do! I managed to squeak it out of two fat quarters, but it was tough! Lesson learned... follow the directions!

Here is the finished quilt top in the daylight! 
finished quilt top

The on point grey gingham fabric is perfect for the final border and I was so happy I had enough (including the binding). I was hoping to get the quilt finished for the big reveal today, but ran out of time.

I did enjoy getting started on the machine quilting process. Picking threads is one of my favourite tasks, and I always chose a few spools to start. The soft green is for the bobbin, the cream and the salmon are for the majority of the quilting, and the grey might not actually make it into the quilt.

I have started free motion quilting around the embroidered flowers with the open U shaped foot so I can see exactly where the stitches are going. I hope to finish the quilting this week so hand stitching the binding can be my focus for Slow Sunday Stitching.

So guess what? In addition to receiving the Happy Little Things BOM pattern free, we are also having a giveaway of a Thermoweb prize pack! !

If you like to use fusibles, you will want to win this package (open to US and international sewers). You can enter my random draw by leaving a happy comment below. The winner's name will be drawn on December 8th.
And if you want more chances to win, visit the other bloggers below. You can see their version of the Happy Little Things quilt and enter their draws for up to 8 chances to win a prize (one prize per person per giveaway).

And for another special treat, hop over to Sarah's Quilting by the Sea blog to see the lovely red and white table runner she made with these embroidery blocks!
You can see more projects over at the Sew Quilty Friends Facebook group.
Thanks again to Jacquelynne for another wonderful quilt pattern, a fun BOM adventure, and for all the wonderful prizes that have been generously offered to our blog readers. 

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!
Sunday is our day to slow down and rest, to be thankful... and to stitch!

This is the time of year when my creativity is at an all time high. I have lots of ideas for Christmas gifts, and never enough time to make all my brilliant ideas. I have never made bunny pyjamas, but I have made a wide range of gifts over the years.

Today I'm working on a Christmas embroidery design from Gail Pan (free pattern here - thanks Gail!)

Four little designs were finished this week, and only one more to stitch today. I thinking of adding some selvages to turn this into a mug mat gift.

What are you hand stitching today? Are you working on some gifts? Please link up your blog or instagram and inspire us with your slow progress.

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

Saturday, November 30, 2019

The day after the frolic began...

Yesterday was an exciting day! It was the beginning of Bonnie Hunter's annual mystery quilt adventure. I invited 3 mystery quilters to join me in sewing the first step.

First we set up our sewing areas and shared our colour choices. This is a washed out photo, but two of the quilters made the independent decision to use these similar colours... yellow is their raspberry. And in this quilt, pink will be the aqua. It's so fun to see all the creative choices!

Dark blue, light blue and raspberry... ish!

Then we cut our strips for sewing 4 patch blocks. Some used FQ's and others were using small scraps in true Bonnie style.

It was so fun to see the pieces coming together. 
Dark blue, light blue and raspberry... so pretty together.
3 of us made the 4 patch blocks the way Bonnie suggested, and 1 of us did it her own way!

Here are more pretty 4 patch blocks being sewn.
Dark blue, light blue and yellow patches.
And necessary items like glasses and cell phones!

And more necessary items... food and drink! You can't sew all day without some sustenance.

Ta Da!
Here are my blocks for the first step! 
I like to use a recycled spinach container to store my mystery blocks. These won't be stored for long, so they don't need a fancy labelled container with a lid. 
Can't wait for step #2 next Friday!

Friday, November 29, 2019

Let the Frolicking Begin!

Friday is the start of the Quiltville Frolic mystery!
In preparation I  washed all my fabrics.
This is why I hate prewashing fabrics. See all the thread knots! Even when I wash it on the gentle cycle... it's a big mess.

But this is why I do it.
See the pure white Color Catcher? The two sheets underneath absorbed all the running dyes in the wash water. I don't want those dye particles running around causing havoc on my finished quilt! 

Here are my fabric choices:

Framboise (red)
Aqua (pink) 
Green (gold)
Dark blue (blue)
Light blue
and a few new neutrals that I bought specifically for the mystery.

Can't wait to fire up the sewing machine and the rotary cutter, and get sewing!

Monday, November 25, 2019

Embroidery Project Update

This is an update on my embroidery project. These blocks were hand embroidered over the past 2 years, and I finally decided that I needed to stop making more blocks and put them together into a quilt top. This is a Gail Pan pattern from the 2018 "I Stitch Club", which is now called "Send my Love" and is available as a BOM.

I trimmed the blocks, and looked at them on the design wall for a long time.
Finally the inspiration came to border the stitcheries in pastel batiks. I cut some strips and liked where this idea was heading. This terrible photo shows the border strips pinned to the design wall.

Once all the pieces were organized, I pinned them all together and took the pile of blocks to a sewing day with friends. 

I really love this photo of my friends flipping through the stack of blocks, making  comments on each design, and picking their favourites. They are such kind and supportive women, and as we all know... loving friends are necessary for survival!

Lucy my Singer long bed 301 was the machine choice for the sewing outing. She is lightweight to carry and sews like a dream. Lucy and I had a great outing and successfully sewed all these blocks into a quilt top.

I love it!
I don't know how to quilt it yet... the ideas are still percolating. 
Hop over to Small Quilts and see more design wall postings.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! We invite you to settle in for some relaxation, visit our inspiring stitchers at the links below, and take some time to put a few stitches in one of your favourite projects.

I finished a wallhanging this week and posted photos on yesterday's blog post. I enjoyed every single stitch in finishing this binding while I also enjoyed a coffee and gingerbread cookie. This is multi-tasking at it's finest!

Today I'll be adding more stitches to a Christmas project. 
I mentioned this little Gail Pan project a couple of weeks ago, but have only stitched  the heart so far. I have progressed to stitching the gift, but at this slow pace it will not be finished in time for Christmas. I will try to at least finish the gift today, and get started on the star.

What are you hand stitching today? Are you working on some Christmas gifts? Please share your hand stitched projects with us by linking up your blog post below.

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

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Scrappy Finish!

It's so exciting to announce a Rainbow Scrap Challenge finished quilt! And it's so amazing and rare to actually finish an RSC project within the same year in which it was started!
Finished Economy Path

I started making the 3" Economy Path blocks as a new 2019 RSC project in January. It was a project to use up the smallest scraps because these blocks finish at 3" and each block has 13 pieces.

There are 48 blocks in this quilt, made from 98 different fabrics and I enjoyed sewing each and every one of them!

Maybe we always love our most recently finished quilt the most, but you guys... I really love this quilt!!

This is where the quilt is hanging in my sewing room. 

Thanks to the RSC quilters for all the colourful inspiration each  week and for helping me to finish this quilt by voting on the layout two weeks ago (popular vote was Layout C).

Size: 18" x 24" 

Total # of pieces: 624 

Hop over to the RSC weekly link up to see more scrappy projects.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Those Darn Flies!

These Shoo Fly blocks (from Bonnie Hunter's leader-ender challenge) are driving me crazy! I can't stop thinking about them! 
Shoo Fly pile
They use up little pieces for the HST corners and feature a larger scrap in the centre. They are like eating chips... you can't just have one or two!
Here's the handful of blocks I've made so far... 70 plus (over 800 scraps sewn) but still a relatively small quilt. So many more blocks to make!

I really enjoy piecing these little blocks and always have one at the ready to put under the needle at the beginning and end of sewing other seams. Here I am sewing borders onto the "Home Grown" quilt top and sewing a leader ender Shoo Fly block from scraps from this quilt. See the parts sitting on the sewing machine bed waiting to go under the needle?

Add caption
Here are some of the recent blocks I've made from scraps of other projects. The red print was the border on "Scrap Dance Tango", the brown on the bottom left was from "Almost Reproduction", etc. 

That is one of the things I love about scrap quilts. I know where most of these pieces are from. Some are from quilts I've made and some are from scrap bags from friends. Scrap quilts are memory holders and connects us to each other. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

New Quiltville Mystery

Bonnie Hunter will be hosting a new mystery quilt adventure starting on Black Friday. 
I have been sewing Bonnie's mystery patterns since 2008 when I made two of her projects (Carolina Crossroads and Orange Crush). One of my favourite Bonnie mystery quilts is Easy Street, which is on my bed right now and gets the most use. A couple of the past mysteries have not yet become finished quilts, but they will! 
Who knew that more than 10 years later I would still be just as excited to start yet another Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt?!?

I am also excited that my sister is joining in for the first time this year and here are her fabric choices so far (without the neutrals). She is using yardage for the "Framboise"/pink and the "Parakeet"/green.

Here are my fabrics (without the neutrals) going just slightly "outside the box". 
I don't worry about my colour choices at all. As long as there is contrast between the fabric choices, it all works out. My blues are more to the "Prussian" blue end of the spectrum and my "Framboise" is more red than raspberry. The gold yardage will be my green, and the light pink will be my aqua. Who knows how it will all work out?!? 
My motto is... as long as you love your fabrics, you will love your finished quilt!
Are you joining in the fun?

Monday, November 18, 2019

Crazy Triangle Project

Back in the spring, these scrappy triangles were given to me at a guild meeting. Scraps just seem to follow me home sometimes! 
I wasn't sure what to do with them, but when playing on the design wall, I liked the diamond shape and sewed this little design together. 

Then I wanted to make it a larger scrappy quilt and add some triangle shapes to the sides. I pieced a few triangle blocks (top left of above photo) but I didn't enjoy them, and couldn't see myself making enough to go all around the quilt.

Then I remembered Amanda Jean Nyberg's tutorial for piecing scrappy triangles and I immediately wanted to get out the scrap bin and start sewing some of those. 
YES! These blocks are so much more fun, easier to make and I'm off to the races! The new blocks are at the top left of the quilt, and the bottom 3 are the old ones. I'll tuck those in some where, but for now, I'm putting this project into storage because I've figured out the plan, and it's a perfect (no brainer) scrap project to work on at quilt retreat in February.
I have put together the quilt top, the scrappy triangles blocks made so far, and a phone book. These are the base foundation triangles that I cut from the phone book. I can get 6 from one page. I look forward to finishing this quilt top at quilt retreat in the middle of winter.
Hop over to Small Quilts to see more design wall posts.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching Finish

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!
I'm proud to share a finished quilt today!
This finish is very exciting because it is a hand pieced, hand quilted project and it took a long time to complete. 
This is the hand pieced quilt along by Elm Street Quilts, started in January 2019 using the Moda fabric line called "hello luscious". The sampler blocks were hand pieced and stitched together by the end of April. It then became my take along project to quilt during the summer months. 

Friendship Album back
The backing was made from some left over charm squares, but I discovered that was not a good idea for a backing on a hand quilted project. There were so many seams in the quilt top, added to the extra seams in the pieced backing and it made the quilting a real challenge. I won't do that again!

I'm calling my quilt "Friendship Album" since I listened to an audio book by the same name while I was stitching this quilt.

Linking up to Meadow Mist Favorite Finish linky party.

What are you hand stitching today? Share your progress with us and link up your blog post below.

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

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Scrappy Saturday

Progress is being made on my Economy Path quilt.
 The vote on last week's post was overwhelming positive for layout C, so that is how the blocks were sewn together. There were lots of other wonderful creative ideas shared, but I didn't go down that rabbit hole. I wanted to finish the quilt and I know myself well enough to recognize that layout indecisiveness makes my quilts head toward the UFO closet!
I quilted a very simple stitch in the ditch grid, and put on a grey binding.
Don't you hate it when this happens and your binding strip is just slightly too short? UGH!
I added another strip and finished sewing down the binding, so hand stitching the binding down will be tomorrow's Slow Sunday Stitching project!
Hop over to the RSC weekly linkup to see more projects moving toward completion.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Mosaic Mystery Update

It was fun sewing this month's step in Cheryl's mystery at Meadow Mist Designs. There was nothing fancy or difficult requiring use of the seam ripper, which made it fun to sew.
My bright colour choices are bringing some sunshiny cheerfulness into the sewing room.
Don't they make their own sweet  little spring time quilt!?
I enjoy the pace of a project with a bit of sewing each month. It's fun to pull out the fabrics, sew a few blocks and then put them back in the box until the next month. Eventually it will magically become a quilt with seemingly very little effort!

Hop over to the Meadow Mist link up and see the variety of colours and fabrics that quilters are using to make these same diagonal blocks.