Monday, April 29, 2019

Design Wall Disappointment

On World Wide Quilting Day I started a new project made entirely from the Tula Pink fabric line called Zuma. It's probably one of the busiest quilts I've worked on in a long time, and I really like the energy it has. 
I was so excited to get the blocks together with the sashing and cornerstones in place. When I put it on the design wall I went from satisfaction to frustration in an instant.
Do you see the problem with the bottom row?
I briefly thought about leaving it like that, but decided I can't. 
I have no idea how that happened, but the seam ripper will be earning it's keep as the most used tool in the quilting room this week!
Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

It's Sunday, which means it is time to slow down and do some hand stitching. It has been such a whirlwind week that I still haven't even had time to visit all the hand stitching links from last week. 

There was the Be a Diamond blog hop which required me to finish my April UFO (self inflicted deadline) and there was the completion of forms for the tax man (government inflicted deadline). But I am so happy and relieved that all deadlines were met. I also finished the hand piecing quilt along quilt top.

I look forward to some time to relax today, to visit blogs, and to review my memories from the week. Sometimes life passes in such a blur that you don't even remember what you've done (or maybe that's just me??) 

Today is for slowing down and hand stitching. Gail forwarded this smile to me that she saw on Instagram.
Let's all join the Sloth Slow Stitching Team and link up your hand stitching project update below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Scrappy Saturday Aqua Arrowheads

It's the last aqua Saturday at RSC and this week we will get a new colour to work on, so I needed to make some aqua arrowhead blocks to add to the collection. 
The unique construction method makes this a fun block to sew. Each block starts with two contrasting 4.25" squares which after sewing, cutting, resewing and trimming end up to be 3.5".

Here are the 30 arrowhead blocks I've made so far. That purple one really sticks out like a sore thumb eh?
I like making this block so much that in addition to making this miniature version, I am making a blue arrowhead quilt using the 9" block size.  The pattern can be found here if you want to give it a try. And to see how to cut for various sized blocks from 3.5" to 12.5", click here
Enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Be A Diamond - New Project and Giveaway Winner

It's the last day of the Be a Diamond blog hop. There have been amazing quilts posted this week, all connected with the diamond theme. 
You will never guess what happened?
As a result of all the inspiration, I remembered that I had been given a bag of triangle scraps at the last guild meeting, and you know what 2 triangles make? A diamond shape! The triangles were hand traced from old scraps and I could see the drawn lines on many of the pieces.

In addition to the triangles, there were actually some round brilliant cut diamond shapes in the bag. See them on the bottom left of the photo? 
That was odd. There was no way to fit those pieces together with the triangles but some of them were cut from the same fabrics so I don't know what the project creator had in mind for these pieces. 

I just couldn't stop playing with the triangles until this happened. I made a wall hanging size quilt top. When the triangles were used up, the quilt was big enough! I think I'll trim up the sides, add a couple of borders, and ta da... another project  waiting for quilting!
So fun!

Thanks for Carol for organizing the blog hop and thank you to all the participants for sharing their creativity and inspiration with us!

The random number generator picked comment # 35 for the winner of the giveaway (template and foundation papers) on Monday's post ... congratulations to Karrin!
Here are the blogs to visit on the last day:

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Scrap Dance Minuet

Step #3 was posted for the mystery scrap quilt over at Carole's. This was fun sewing as I haven't made a flying geese block using the "no waste" method in a long time. 
The "no waste" method does take more time in trimming, but it results in a perfect block every time!
I typically use the "wasteful" method of sew and flip corners (because I like the "waste" which is the bonus HST block). Most people throw those corners in the garbage, but I hoard use them. 
I think my blocks look prettier in real life than they do in these photos!

This is a photo of the cutting board beside my sewing machine. It shows how I typically sew this kind of a project. I don't enjoy lengthy periods of repetitive tasks, so I mix it up by marking a few blocks, sewing a few, pressing a few, trimming a few, and repeat until the job is done. I also like that this method forces me to get up to the iron with frequent stretches.
Is this how you sew? Or do you fully complete one step at a time? 

Looking forward to the release of step #4 next month!
And speaking of the number 4, it's day #4 of the Be a Diamond blog hop:

April 25

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Hand Pieced Quilt Top

Did you join in on the hand piecing quilt along hosted by Kristin and Patty
It was a refreshing project to work on a little at a time. I fell a bit behind when the blocks were being posted weekly, but managed to catch up eventually.
This is how the quilt top looked with all the blocks stitched together. It's a bit of a mishmash without sashing, but I didn't have anything that worked in the stash, so it is what it is!

I had a relaxing time over the Easter weekend stitching the borders on. And to maintain my energy level I did eat a few chocolate eggs left behind by the Easter bunny! Here is the finished quilt top with the lime green borders attached. I like it much better with the border on and have enough of that green fabric left for the binding.

I look forward to hand quilting this lovely sampler over the summer months. It is the perfect size for a portable quilting project.
Hop over to the Finale Party where you can see amazing finished quilts and so many lovely layouts of these blocks.

It's Day 3 of the Be a Diamond blog hop. Here's where to hop:

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Blog hop and another Giveaway!

The Be A Diamond event continues today with these lovely blog stops:

April 23

And also Temecula Quilts is having a fun giveaway here

I'm finishing up my quilt top for the Hand Piecing Quiltalong and will hopefully post that tomorrow!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Be A Diamond Blog Hop and Giveaway

Hi blog hoppers!
Carol has organized another fun blog hop for us! This time the blog hop is for projects featuring the diamond shape.

See the shape of this golden yellow diamond template? That's called a "round brilliant cut" shaped diamond, which provides the maximum reflection of light. I thought it was a perfect project to work on for the Be A Diamond blog hop.  Although some quilters (including me) are wary of using templates, I cut my template diamonds using 2.5" strips and it was quick and easy. 

Me, Susan, Marj and Barb all working with the diamond template
This project was started during a quilt retreat last winter. What a surprise it was to find that there were 4 of us at retreat who brought the diamond templates to start working on this quilt pattern. Two of us had a large template and two had the mini size. 

working with the layout

Susan and I used the small template and made our projects in reverse. She put the colour in the template position, and I put the colour on the edges of the template. It was fun at first, but then I realized how challenging it was to do the layout and needed to have the project laid out beside the machine as I sewed the blocks. I could have made the quilt construction much easier on myself to use one background fabric, but I didn't of course!

wrong side of a block which uses 2 foundation papers
Using this layout, a block is two foundation papers sewn together on the long diagonal side. This is how the block looks from the back. One side has the paper still on and one side has the paper removed. It was very easy to remove the papers as they are just a wee bit stronger than tissue paper. 
This project is an interesting blend of using templates and paper foundation piecing. You can watch a video on how to piece the blocks using foundation papers here

All the machine quilting was done with the walking foot. I stitched vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines, and then stitched 1/4" inside the light diamond shapes.

Here is the finished quilt! 

This bright and happy wallhanging wanted to called "Umbrellas". It has 144 pieces and measures 16.5" square. 
Linking up to Alicia's Finished Friday and the One Monthly Goal Finish party because this project is my April UFO.

right side of a block which uses 4 foundation papers
Because I still had many leftover foundation papers, I started another project using the easier layout with reverse values that Susan had made. In this quilt design the template is used to cut the coloured fabric and the pieced sides are the background fabric. I am using up the little scraps left over from the Tula Pineapple quilt. Four foundation papers make a block in this design and are joined on the short diagonal side.

Here are the diamond blocks I made from the leftover scraps. The plan of the moment is to sew these blocks into the backing of the Tula pineapple quilt. You can see the quilt top in progress here.

Here's the "Be a Diamond"  giveaway... a lucky blog hopper will win the diamond template and 150 of the foundation papers!  If you would like to give this pattern a try, leave a comment below. The random winner will be drawn at the end of blog hop on April 26th. The draw winner was randomly chosen... comment # 35!

A big thank you to Carol who organizes these wonderful blog hops for the online quilting community to enjoy! You can find all the Be a Diamond projects on the Pinterest page here.
Here's the list of bloggers to visit today:

Kathy’s Quilts (that's me!)

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day - Say no to plastic pollution

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Happy Easter and welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching where we celebrate the art of creating things with our hands, where we connect to our ancestors by using time-honoured techniques to make things we could easily buy for a fraction of the cost, and where we recognize the value we add to our lives by engaging in this restorative practice. 

Today I am binding my April UFO and you just know how much I love my binding by hand stitching time! It's exciting to be so close to finishing a project and to be able to spend some relaxing stitching time thinking about the project, and what it has taught you. I'll be posting this finish tomorrow for the Be A Diamond blog hop.

As a special treat today, I want to share a treasure that my friend Debby found (this is the same friend that found the antique paper needle books a couple of years ago). 

needle book side 1

This needle book is made of wood. The images on the outside depict St. John's Church on one side and the river Tay in Perth. I have no idea how they fastened the image to the wood but it really is a lovely piece of stitching history. If only we knew that history!

The blue fabric in the centre is quite fragile and worn. The paper needle folder in one of the pockets is literally disintegrating.

needle book side 2
I believe this needle book comes from Perth, Scotland but I was not able to find any information on this treasure online. Have you ever seen a wooden needle book before?

Are you celebrating Easter today? 
Easter cookies
We had our big dinner yesterday, so today I can relax, eat leftovers and stitch! I even made some labour intensive, one of a kind shortbread cookies for the celebrations.

If you are looking for an Easter project to make today, you can scroll through the 27 easter projects that Jacquelynne has posted for our enjoyment here

I hope you will link up your Easter hand stitching activities below. Happy Easter!

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

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Scrappy Saturday Doughnuts

Aqua Doughnuts
A few teal scraps were sewn into blocks this week. This RSC block project was inspired by the Temecula Quilts One Block Wednesday sew along. I don't know what they are actually calling this block, but it looks like a doughnut to me, so that's what I'm calling it! The project uses up the 1.5" scraps. It's fun to look at these blocks and remember which quilts the scraps came from.

I started this RSC block collection in January, so now there are 4 months worth of blocks. These blocks aren't sewn together yet because I'm not sure how they will be in the final layout. This is how they will look in colour blocks and you can click here to see how they looked last month in diagonal colour lines. I won't decide about the layout until I have many more blocks to play with.

aqua diamond block

And here's a sneak peak of my project for the Be A Diamond blog hop happening next week. I hope you can stop by and see my project on Monday. Linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge weekly party.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Design Wall - Alamo Stars

This project started as a 2012 leader-ender project. Blocks were made slowly over the years, here and there from time to time, sewn in between piecing the other quilts that made their way through my quilt studio over the years. 

Alamo Stars

Wow that's beautiful if I do say so myself!
I prefer rectangular quilts, so I'm thinking of rearranging the blocks into a layout of 16 stars across by 18 stars down. 
Alamo stars sewn into 4 patch blocks
The fact that in the past 7 years I have never put the blocks on the design wall together is a testament to the fact that quiltmaking is really all about the process (for me). I just love playing with colour and fabrics, and constructing quilt blocks! I did not have a vision of what I was making or how big it would be at the beginning. I just started making little blocks for fun. It might have become a mug mat, or a placemat, or a table runner. But it has grown into a wall hanging now and I don't really want to make any more as I feel done with making this block.

Thank you to Bonnie Hunter for her ideas which revolutionized my way of sewing with the leader/ender concept. The blocks for this quilt were sewn together using her construction methods.

I have some muddy dark  blocks that I'm not sure about putting in. What do you think of these? They kind of don't fit in with all the colour saturated blocks. But maybe a quilt (and life in general) needs some of this muddiness to appreciate the colour?

When I look at the old photos of block construction for this project I marvel at my former highly organized self, dealing with so many little scraps. Each star block finishes in the quilt at 2.25" and has 17 pieces. This is a box that Julie sent me many many years ago that was perfect for keeping my strips, pieces and blocks organized.

Thank you to my blog readers for their encouragement on this project and for occasionally asking about the status of the Alamo project. I really appreciate your interest and support over all these years!
Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!  Take a few moments to set aside your machines, your devices and screens, and just take a deep breath... ahhh... so much better.
Now pick up your needles and fibres, and put a few stitches into your project. You will feel better in no time!
Today I am slowly working on my hand pieced quiltalong project. This task seems to require a lot of coffee and treats!

There are a few holes that have appeared in places where I didn't connect the units properly. My hand stitching friends said not to worry, that "the quilting will take care of the gaps".  So I decided to hope they are right and just accept the holes. 
Holes happen!

I didn't have much of the background fabric left, and the rest of the fabrics were from a charm pack, and I had nothing that suited this project for sashing. Hence, there will be no sashing. It might be a bit of a busy mishmash, but that's just the way it goes sometimes!

What are you hand stitching today? 
Are you have any challenges... like holes appearing in your project, or not having the right materials for the next step?  Link up your blog post below and share your miseries and successes with your slow stitching friends!

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