Sunday, March 31, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!
For an unknown reason I was forced to use a new format for our link up today. I have no idea if this new coding is going to work or not. I've enjoyed using InLinkz to host our weekly link ups but this new format is not user friendly, so if you have suggestions for another service, please email me or leave me a comment below.
Today I am piecing a quilt block by hand. I joined the Hand Piecing Quiltalong and have finished 5 of the 9 blocks (see my finished blocks here). It is very relaxing and I have enjoyed the blocks I've made so far, but haven't been able to keep up with one a week since I have many hand stitching projects on the go.
I finished the binding on a quilt this past week and that was 197" of hand stitching. Today I'll be back to my hand piecing and hope to finish another block.
What are you hand stitching today?
I hope you will be able to link up your blogpost or instagram below and share your progress with us. If you have any difficulty, please let me know... not that I can help you to solve the problem, but it will help me decide if I need to switch to another service.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Scrappy Saturday

A bit of progress has been made with my green scraps this month. Sally posted the instructions to make the most adorable little owl block on her blog and I just had to try making one. Here are all the bits and pieces cut out for the owl... that's one complex little block!

And here she is... meet Olivia Owl! This is a 5" block (unfinished) and cute as a button! As you can see I had to remake the eye sections since the fussy cut pieces I had chosen (in the photo above) didn't pop enough.
OMG! Total cuteness! 
I adore her!
I'm not sure if she will be a "one of a kind" block or if she will eventually have some friends joining her. It was very time consuming, but we shall see. Did you know that a group of owls is called a "parliament"? Sally made a parliament - click here to see it!

Here she is with the scrappy green star blocks I made this month. These  blocks will join the collection of Maverick Stars
Linking up to the green RSC party over at Angela's.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Piano Friday!

Happy Piano Day!
Piano Day

Did you know there was such a thing as a day to celebrate pianos?! It is held on the 88th day of the year because there are 88 keys on this wonderful instrument that is being celebrated!

In addition to being an avid quilter, I am also an avid piano player. I have played many pianos over the years, including this one that was outside the public library for a month last fall.
I play for relaxation and personal enjoyment, and I like the challenge of keeping my brain sharp by learning new music.
One of my piano related life highlights was seeing The Piano Guys last summer. It was a great show and Jon Schmidt is an inspiring pianist. The big screen often showed close ups of his hands and I loved that!
Here's one of my favourite Piano Guys songs. 

piano bench cover in progress
Today I will enjoy some piano playing time, and will also enjoy some quilting time. I'm working on a quilted cover for my piano bench and this is as far as it has progressed.  I can't decide if I want it to tie to the bench, or if it should be elastic around the edge to fit snuggly, or if it should just sit on top of the bench. Ideas?
Happy Piano Day!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

March Finish

My March UFO is finished well before the end of the month. This is called "Secret Santa" and is a mystery quilt that was offered last fall by Temecula QuiltsI'm so glad I had enough of that striped sashing fabric for the binding.

Thanks to my blog reader Dotti in CT who checked in with me to make sure that I had fixed the mistake block before I quilted it. You can read about that here and see links to other bloggers who finished this fun mystery. I sure do hope there are no mistakes to be found cause it's quilted now! The backing fabric is one of my favourites from the Sweetwater "Mama Said Sew Revisited" line.  

The finished size is 42.5" x 56" and has 1,375 pieces (yes, I counted!)  And it is even ready in plenty of time for next Christmas! 
Linking up to the March finishing party over at One Monthly Goal.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Ugly Baby Quilt

I have been working on a baby quilt made from a pattern called Shadow Stars by Tied With a Ribbon
sawtooth star blocks being sewn on white featherweight
My daughter made it clear that she does not like this quilt, and I have to admit that her expressed dislike of the result of my efforts did take a bit of the "wind out of my sails" when I was working on it. 
I made this quilt using fabrics given to me from my friend Helen's stash after she died. Helen would have been this new baby boy's Great Grandmother had she lived to see the day, so I do hope that it means something special to the family that this quilt is NOT made with the newest, most beautiful, colour coordinated modern fabrics. 

Not all quilts can be showstoppers, right?!? 
This will be a drag around, take to the beach, "use it up until it's thread bare" kind of quilt. 

Next I am trimming the 160 bonus HST blocks from the sawtooth star points and plan to use them in a border to make the quilt a little larger.

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Every Sunday we roll out the welcome mat for like-minded hand stitchers to gather for a party. Thank you for joining us! We encourage you to get out your hand stitching project and put in a few stitches. Then make yourself a cup of your favourite beverage and visit other hand stitchers around the world to see what they are working on today.

I'm very excited to be working on a quilt binding today. It's my favourite relaxing, "no brainer" hand stitching activity. 
I have finished the quilting on my March UFO and hope to have it finished by the end of the week. I attached the binding to the back of the quilt so that the design on the red and white fabric could rest on the edge of the binding on the front. I'll be hand stitching it to the front of the quilt today while I watch a few episodes of "A Place to Call Home".

We hope you will share your hand stitching project with us below. What do you watch on TV or listen to on the radio while you are stitching? Do you have some recommendations for us?


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Quiltalong Temptations

It's the weekend! I can't wait to get into the sewing room and have so many ideas for things I want to sew that I might not come out again until summer...
or Monday, whichever comes first!
I am trying to get focused, but then... 
well you know how it goes!?
You see another wonderful pattern that you just have to try. 
I really want to make an owl block that Sally posted for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. You can see some versions of the owl posted here at the weekly RSC linkup. These are the green scraps that I am working with today and hope to have some owl blocks to post soon.

AND I'm really trying hard NOT to start another project *snort* 
I can hear you all laughing out there in blogland!
There is constant distraction from the multitudes of amazing projects going on in quilt universe and I'm so sad that there are only 24 hours in the day and that I have to work. 
Here are some of the treats that I have said "NO I can't possibly start another quilt" (see Janet, I do have a teeny tiny bit of self control sometimes LOL):

1) A fun mystery over at Alicia Quilts called "L1 Marvellous Mystery". Fabric requirements are here and she is making hers in plaids, which was so so tempting for me.

2) Alison at Little Bunny Quilts is posting steps for a mystery quilt called Daisy Chain. You can make your version in any size from baby quilt to queen size. 

3) AQS is offering a free pattern called "Paducah Sewalong" for a complex double wedding ring design with pieced blocks in the circles. If you're up for sewing a large king size quilt using a challenging design, they are posted a block per day. 

4) Also completely irresistible is the Sew Let's Quilt Along with a sewing theme! Block patterns are posted every 2 weeks and the first block is a sewing machine! 

Sewing on a project I love is the best strategy to avoid a bad case of Startitis...
I'm off to the sewing room and turning off the computer!

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.