Sunday, June 30, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching celebration!  Last week was the 7th birthday of the Slow Sunday Stitching link up and I posted on Thursday that Sandra was the winner of the draw for the quilter's prize package. Congrats to Sandra!

Who knew that the inspiration of a turtle seen on a random walk by the river would result in a weekly event for years to come!  At this point I have written at least 364 times Sunday blog posts about the benefits of slowing down with hand stitching.
And today is no exception.

It's time to slow down your life and relax with some hand stitching. This means you sit and relax, with your project in your lap, and your hands slowly taking stitches.
One at a time. 
There is no machine involved. 
Just you and your hands, your needles and threads. 

This is the embroidery block I finished this weekend. A little bird/sheep stack of cuteness! This is a Gail Pan pattern from the "I Stitch Club" last year, which is now called "Send my Love" and is available as a BOM. I have my next pattern traced out and today I'll be stitching a chicken!

And I also wanted to show you a stitchery that my friend Janet worked on while we enjoyed a relaxing visit last Sunday at the park. 
She is stitching a family joke/riddle using a variegated crochet cotton. She doesn't like the way the title "Riddle" turned out, so she is removing those stitches and trying something else. Eventually it will become a pillow for a wedding shower gift.

What are you hand stitching today?

Link up your blog post below and share your project with us. Last week we had our first instagram link up and thanks to Stephanie from Simcoe, I now have an instagram account! Woo hoo! You can tag me (whatever that means!) at SSSKat7.
Thanks Stephanie for the encouragement to take the next social media step... now I just need to learn how to use it!
Let's stitch! 

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

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Scrappy Saturday

This is the last week for sewing up our blue scraps before we move onto another colour for July, so I put the pedal to the metal to sew up all the pieces I had already cut out this month.
I started with a few more blocks for the multi decade Omigosh project. I have no idea where this project is at, so I should count how many blocks are done and how many are needed. 

Maverick stars and Arrowhead blocks
I also made a couple more Maverick stars because the scraps were from Quilt Canada. The cat fabric and the dark background pieces were given to me by a fellow student in a Tamara Kate class at Quilt Canada, and the shark fabric is an actual Tamara Kate fabric! So these 2 blocks on the left are Quilt Canada Maverick Stars!
And the 2 on the right are to add to the Arrowhead collection.

Wishing Rings
And here are the newest blue "Wishing Ring" blocks (inspired by Temecula's One Block Project).
See that middle block on the right side of the photo? That blue is a Y2K fabric! That's right... it's 19 years old, and I still have a hunk of it floating around in the quilting room! Too funny!

And here are all the Wishing Rings on the design wall. I am making 9 blocks each month and will just keep on making blocks until I'm tired of it. So far I'm loving it!

To see more Rainbow Scrap Projects, hop over to the weekly link up at Angela's.

Friday, June 28, 2019

June UFO

Sometimes when I am working on an improv project (which means there is no pattern and you are making it up as you go along) I get myself tied up in knots. There are so many decisions to make, there's math to calculate, and there are pieces to fit together that don't fit! 
Having "fun" late at night!
I saw a quote from fabric designer Tula Pink that I love:
"This is quilting, we are not saving the world we are saving ourselves, so we might as well have a little fun with it."

Oh yah... I'm supposed to be having fun here!
So instead of agonizing over the pieces not fitting together, and doing endless math calculations to make things fit, I just decided to sew pieces together and hack off the ends! I made 5 rows, added some hunks to the ends, cut them all to be the same size, and sewed them together. Then I added a border from leftover pieces and ta-da... 
I'm delighted to say that "Dots and Dashes" has finally become a quilt top!

Dots and Dashes quilt top

This quilt was started last June when I received some fabrics from Sarah for making a Hands2Help quilt. I combined those gifts with strips and 1.5" squares leftover from one of my favourite quilts called StarburstI'm so happy these little bits found a quilt to be sewn into and can't wait to quilt this one now! Woohoo!
Linking up to One Monthly Goal June finishes.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Scrap Chat

Before I start talking about scraps today, I should  announce the winner of the Slow Sunday Stitching anniversary prize
... drum roll...
link up #6 is the winner which is Sandra from Cro's Nest!
Congratulations Sandra ... email me your address and I'll pop your little gifts in the mail.

And now on to scrap chat...
Tula scraps from Debby
from time to time I receive a pile of scraps that someone knows they shouldn't throw in the garbage, but they really don't want them. Did you see the donation quilt I recently made with leftover HSTs from a quilter in my guild? Wonderful treasures can be made with little scraps!

piles of similar pieces
Aren't these so pretty? How could you possibly throw them in the trash?!?
I mean seriously....

I start by spreading out the scraps and looking for similar pieces to pile up together. I study the shapes (lots of triangles in this collection) and contrasting colours and wonder to myself "what could I make with these"?

triangles in squares
As soon as I get an idea, I start sewing. I remind myself of 2 things:
1) there is no "right" answer to the above question. 
Anything could happen!
2) Nothing could happen! 

I have learned that the longer I wait to start sewing, the higher the probability that nothing will happen and the bag will go in the UFO closet.

Blocks are sewn and pressed, now it's time to step back and look at what has been created so far. 

Well now... that's a little bit frenetic!
These blocks could become part of the scrappy backing for the Tula Pineapple quilt
Or do they want to be their own little quilt?

The moral of this blogpost is, if you have scraps that you are tempted to throw out, I guarantee there is someone out there that will sew them up. So find your nearest scrap lover and save the pieces for them!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Finished Quilt

The baby quilt has been finished and gifted to its new owner. 
When I see it hanging on the clothesline, I wish I would have put one of the yellow centred blocks in the bottom right corner. Oh well, it's quilted and bound now, and I'm sure the baby won't ever be as critical as I am!

The photo of the back of the quilt shows the quilting lines - a horizontal and vertical grid, and a few diagonal lines.
I love the soft grey with white stars fabric on the back of the quilt which perfectly matches his nursery theme.

Here is a photo of me showing my 3 most recently finished quilts at guild meeting. On the left is On Ringo Lake, in the middle is the memory quilt made by fellow guild member Rose and I, and the baby quilt on the right. 
Photo by MaryAnne Girouard
Linking up to Let's Make Baby Quilts!

Monday, June 24, 2019

Quilt Canada Class with Tamara Kate

Tamara Kate with the sample quilt

One more Quilt Canada post....
I have made a few quilts with improv letters, and one with pieced letters, so I was intrigued to take a class about paper piecing the modern alphabet. This class was taught by Canadian designer Tamara Kate and this is a photo of her holding the sample quilt. Isn't it fun how the word "HI" stands out with the red letters? 

Here is a photo of Kate teaching some of the students. I think one of the hardest parts of paper piecing is dealing with the unusual angles and making sure that you have a big enough piece of fabric to cover the next section. She had some great tips for that.

This is how my work station was looking. 

You can see the Janome sewing machine M100 QDC that the students were using in this class. It was a machine that was easy to learn and enjoyable to sew on. I was able to sew about half of the letters in the class, so I had a lot of work to do when I got home.

Here are the blocks on the design wall. I couldn't decide what colours to make the letters H and I, as I  wanted it to be a gender neutral baby quilt and it's hard for me to stay away from the pink/coral to go with grey.
There is still lots of sewing to do to finish all the letters, so I have lots of time to figure out H and I!
Hop over to Small Quilts for the Monday Design Wall link up.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Happy Anniversary Slow Sunday Stitching!

Welcome to the hand stitching party!
The first link up was June 24, 2012 so this weekend we are celebrating 7 years of Slow Sunday Stitching adventures! Over the years I changed link services so we can't see who signed up in the inaugural post, but there were enough link ups to encourage me to continue opportunities for weekly connection with other hand stitchers. My goal was to inspire people to slow down, to take a deep breath, to dedicate precious time to the healing process of hand work, and to connect with other creative like minded stitchers.

The Hand Stitching Gang
And all these years later, there are still folks who are hand stitching and blogging about it. And they are still willing to share their projects with us! 

Thank you so much for reading, for stitching, for encouraging others, for blogging, and for linking up! All of these activities take time and are a commitment to the "slow movement" of mindful living. 

And now onto the celebration part... one of the link ups today will win this loot bag:
*some sparkly Wonderfil threads,
*a Quilt Canada journal and pen,
*a package of Black Gold Clover needles which are my favourites for hand stitching at the moment, and
*a charm pack called "Hello my Friend" because everybody loves fabric!
I will draw the winning number from the hand stitching link ups below on Monday night and announce it on Tuesday.

For the celebration today, I invite you to post about your current hand work projects and/or your favourite finishes.
One of my all time favourite finishes is "Journey of a Quilter", which was hand embroidered and hand quilted over a 7 year period. 
Okay... your turn....

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

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Scrappy Saturday

I have been a bit behind on my scrappy goals this month.  Blue is the June colour for the RSC stitchers and although I have a lot of blue, I haven't had a lot of sewing time. 
But this week I finally had time to sort scraps and got very distracted with stuffing and finishing some dog beds. You can read the blog post about dog beds, which incidentally I wrote at this exact same time last year.

And in that organizating process I found some tiny blue scraps and made a few of my favourite 3" Economy Path blocks. 

Here is the block collection so far this year...
6 months X 4 blocks = 24

Now the quilt measures 12" by 18"! At this rate, a bed sized quilt is out of the question! LOL 

To see more Rainbow Scrap Quilts being made, hop over to the weekly link up.

Did you see Bonnie Hunter's quote of the day over at her Quiltville blog? 
I love it! 
It is totally me! 

Friday, June 21, 2019

Quilt Canada Class with Libs Elliott

It's time to post more info about my adventure at Quilt Canada last week. I was able to get into 2 classes. The first class I took at Quilt Canada was with Libs Elliott to make an EPP (English Paper Piecing) project called Heartburst.

Libs taught us how to prep all the pieces that make up the design. It was a bit overwhelming at first since I have only ever used the EPP technique to make little hexies, and had joined the pieces with a whip stitch. Libs showed us how to use the flat back stitch, which was new to me.

Here is my work table with all the supplies I needed. I tried Aurifil 80 weight thread for the first time and really liked it for hand stitching.
I started working with the centre shapes in this pattern, but wow they were hard. I don't know why. Maybe because it was my first time with a complex EPP pattern? Or because they were long and skinny? 
Or maybe it was because I was tired from staying up too late the night before to watch the Raptors championship basketball game?!? Yah, that's probably it!

But guess what? 
My friend Christine, who I met at Quilt Canada a few years ago was there to help me out. It's uncanny how we randomly sign up for at least one class together at each Quilt Canada we attend. Here she is standing to the left of Libs. She's an expert in EPP, so when I was a little panicky about pieces not coming together and things not looking right, she was reassuring me and making gentle suggestions for improvement.

EPP pieces for Heartburst
I have no idea how these colours are going to come together. I couldn't visualize the design at all. I decided to use all Libs Elliott fabrics in this project, because it's a memory project of Quilt Canada. I really enjoyed  learning the technique once I got going.  I like making these shapes a lot more than the centre pieces. And I love my idea of fussy cutting the lips for the top of the heart. 
Love. Love. 
Watch for more progress on this in my Slow Sunday Stitching posts this summer. It will make a great take along project!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Mystery Reveal - Scrap Dance Minuet

Carole revealed the layout for her most recent mystery quilt called Scrap Dance MinuetWe have been working on this quilt for a few months now, and if you are still working on your version and don't want the surprise to be ruined... don't keep reading!

Block #1
Those of you who were guessing how all these pieces were going to fit together in one block were surprised to discover that the units we have been making go together in two different blocks.

Here is block #1 made with the flying geese units, geese pointing to the centre.

Block #2

Here is the alternate block.

Wow those are old florals that have been in the stash a long time! So happy to get them out of storage and into a quilt.

Here is the layout with both blocks. Wow those yellow blocks really jump out don't they? I'll have to be careful to space those blocks out. Border ideas are percolating to use up the rest of these florals.

I love how a white star block appears that I didn't see before. But I don't love that one block has a mistake in it!
Why does this always happen to me when I try to be so careful when I am sewing?!?! UGH!
Where's the seam ripper?

Monday, June 17, 2019

Design Wall Monday

I am just freshly back from Quilt Canada, so have some sleep deprivation/exhaustion going on and can't muster the energy to get my project bags sorted out. So I will show you what I worked on last week, which is my Kim Diehl project.
I'm not sure yet if this will be a Christmas Stars table topper or a tree skirt. It was a complex block to piece but I love how they turned out, and the directions are easy to follow. I've just cut out the star block pieces and looking forward to sewing those next when my sewing mojo returns.

a trillium and a tree

In the meantime I took a tree block to the forest for an outing just for fun. The forest is my "happy place" where it is calm, quiet, and peaceful.
And look... I found a trillium! It is way passed trillium season so I was very happy to find one still in bloom!

Of course I had to take a photo of the fabric tree surrounded by real trees. This old tree stump seemed like the perfect prop.

nature's design wall

It was a lovely outing... except for the mosquitoes. It was a wet spring, so they are out in full force this year. I swear they are the size of a hummingbird! That means you have to walk quickly so they can't catch you, but when you stop to take a photo, you get swarmed!

To see more design wall photos, hop over to Small Quilts.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! We want to encourage you in the slow process of creating treasures by hand.
I have been hand stitching a binding for a very special baby quilt. Binding is my favourite mindless stitching activity. Lots of love, prayers and best wishes are being sewn into this quilt from my heart, through my hands and right into the fabric!

And I'm thinking of starting a new project because that's what we do when we finish something, right? We just go ahead and start something new!?!
Is anyone stitching the Little Band Sampler from Aurifil? It's so cute and I am tempted to start it, but I'm worried that I wouldn't finish it. I would be happier if one of YOU Slow Stitchers out there made it and I could watch over your shoulder!

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

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Quilt Canada

Quilt Canada has come and gone for another year, and I didn't even write one blog post yet! It has been so busy, that sleeping has been an optional item on the agenda. 

Libs lecture

I'm in Ottawa with my friend Debby and here is our attempt at a selfie at the Libs Elliott lecture. It was so fun to be here, to celebrate our birthdays, to learn new things, visit with quilting friends, and be inspired by incredible quilts, 

There were so many unbelievable prize winning quilts - you can see them at the CQA juried show webpage. My favourite quilt is called "To The Nines" and features hundreds of tiny 9 patch blocks (which according to the CQA facebook page won the viewer's choice award!)

Janome booth at Merchant Mall entrance

And what can I say about the Merchant Mall?  It was a bit overwhelming to see all the new sewing machines, fabric, and quilting accoutrements.

When I return home, I will write more about the 2 new UFOs I started in classes here, but just look at these fun pieces that I've been working on. All I can say now is ...
english paper piecing is not as easy as you think!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Off to Quilt Canada

It's been 3 years since I last attended Quilt Canada and I decided to go this year since it's in Ottawa. This is the capital city of Canada and it's only about a 5-6 hour drive from where I live. When this wonderful event is so close (it's in Edmonton next year which is a 32 hour drive!) I really should go.
It's just so darn expensive. With paying for the passes to get in, tickets to lectures and workshops, supplies for the workshops, transportation, parking, accommodations, food, etc, it takes a big chunk out of the fabric budget.
But it's my friend Debby's 50th birthday, so we decided we need to go because You Only Live Once (YOLO)!
I reviewed the notes I wrote the last time I attended a Quilt Canada... words of wisdom can be found here.

I am registered to take an English Paper Piecing skill builder class with Libs Elliott and of course I had to get some of her fabric to sew with. These are the fabrics I ordered from Fabric Spark ...2 pieces from her Wild Side line, and a fat quarter bundle from her Mixtape line.

I'm also taking a class with Tamara Kate called "Paper Piecing a Modern Alphabet". I would have loved to have taken her hand embroidery class but it was full. 

Stay tuned for some blogposts about the adventure if I can access wifi.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Machine Quilting Again

Another baby quilt is needed this week so I have been machine quilting the project I started in May. I purchased the fabrics on a shop hop without a plan in mind and (fingers crossed) I hoped I had purchased enough to complete this quilt. 

I am quilting with my walking foot, just straight lines in a grid. 
Nothing exciting, but it's very relaxing.

I did decide to purchase new Machinger gloves as my old ones were way past done. 
Can you tell which are the old gloves and which are the new?!?! The old gloves were recently washed, so that is how they look when they're "clean". Oh my goodness! 
The grip tips were worn off and the thumb has a hole in the tip of the glove where I wore it right through!

Using the new gloves, I quilted a few diagonal lines. I am using the Hera marker to mark the quilting lines I need as I come to the space. You can see the cute backing fabric rolled over on the right (white stars on a soft grey).
I hope to meet the new baby soon, so I must get to work finishing up his quilt!