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

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Happy Little Things Sneak Preview

A new Jacquelynne Steeves sew along is starting soon and I'm delighted to be a featured blogger! 
This is a free block of the month, and the patterns will be emailed right to your inbox once you sign up. There will be fabulous giveaways every month, with a grand prize in January. 
The first post will come in August, but you can sign up right away so you don't miss anything! Click here to sign up.
Do you remember Jacquelynne's last free BOM called "Save the Bees"? You can see my version here which I finished in the dead of winter earlier this year. It was one of my all time favourite quilts, and I'm sure this one will be one too!
Isn't this a great title for a quilt - "Happy Little Things"?!?
For this project, you can choose your favourite construction methods and do whatever makes you happy, including appliqué, embroidery or piecing only. There are kits available to make this project if you don't enjoy the fabric selection part of making a quilt. It's all designed to make you happy!

You can probably guess that I'll be making a scrappy version featuring some embroidered and pieced blocks. I'm starting out with this Moda "Strawberry Jam" layer cake as my focus and plan to use the pretty floral on the left called "Garden Delights" for a border or two.

Today there is a "Blogger Spotlight" post to celebrate the Happy little Things BOM so hop over there and enter to win the draw for lots of quilty prizes including fabric and thread!

Hope you can join in on the  fun with us!

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

July Shop Hop

Is anyone participating in the July Shop Hop in southern Ontario this year? This is the 9th year for this hop and there are 15 stores this year. 
I really enjoyed it last year and finished the Shop Hop project over the winter, which you can see here. But I seem to be running out of steam and enthusiasm this year. The amount of driving is a bit prohibitive, but I do like to make a concerted effort to get out to the stores I can't usually get to in the winter. 

Last weekend I stopped in at the Hobby Horse and had such an enjoyable visit. I made a few purchases, and they gave me this free reusable box bottom tote bag which I love. And I overheard some interesting conversations while I browsed, including a very generous staff person teaching a new quilter how to hand quilt - that made me smile :)

This store is on such a beautiful property out in the country. I took along a salad (which you can see sitting on the picnic table) and I enjoyed a relaxing lunch listening to the birds, and the breeze, and heard an occasional chicken and a dog.

Do you see the old treadle sewing machine in the garden? I'm fairly certain that this baby is rusted beyond any possible further usage, even with my expert tender loving care! 
I felt restored after my visit, with the wonderful staff, the beautiful fabrics and free gifts, and such peaceful scenery.
It's likely that I won't get around to all the stores since July is drawing to a close, but I sure would love a chance to win 1st prize in the draw which is a $3,500 Eddycrest custom made sewing table, so I will see how my free time and energy holds up before the end of the month.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Design Wall Monday

My piecing project this week has been the modern alphabet paper piecing quilt by Tamara Kate. 
I started this project at Quilt Canada in June, and just got back to it recently. I have finished the letters up to and including 'R' and have joined the letters in columns.
I couldn't decide what colour to make the H and I letters and finally decided on lime green.

I really like how the green 'HI' turned out. There will be other bits of the green in the bottom row of the quilt, and I have already picked out 2 green fabrics to be the quilt binding.

This is a fun and fairly easy pattern to sew. Some of the letters are a little tricky with the odd angles, but I have really enjoyed making it. 
The letter 'F' is my favourite so far. 

If you would like to make your own version of this fun quilt you can download the free instructions here, and the paper piecing pattern here. Thanks to Tamara for offering this free pattern to quilters! Tamara has lovely fabrics, cards and journals for sale on her website here (no affiliation, just a customer who loves her products!)
Hop over to Small Quilts to see more design wall posts.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching link up! 
We are in the middle of summer here, and it has been a comfortably warm summer, with a few really hot days, but also enough rain to keep the grass completely green which is very unusual.
Projects from my takealong bag set out on the picnic table
We have had some great camping weather, and on our most recent trip I realized I had taken 5 hand stitching projects in my takealong bag! Yes 5! You just never know what you might feel like stitching, right?!? I had an embroidery block, 2 hand quilting projects, an EPP, and a hand appliqué project.

First I finished up the chicken embroidery. It is a Gail Pan design and had the word 'eggs' under the chicken. But I decided that since only a couple of the blocks have words, I would not stitch any  words since it drew too much attention to those blocks with words. Instead of the word 'eggs', I stitched three eggs!
So cute.

Then I worked on the scrappy triangle quilt that I pieced in the spring. 
This project just  needed the edge  of the triangles appliquéd to a muslin strip. I tried the Aurifil 80 weight thread and it makes a lovely job on the appliqué. However, you really need a needle threader to deal with this very fine thread as needles are impossible to thread otherwise. I love the Clover desk needle threader... it's quick and easy, and works every time! 
Eula block from Friendship Album

Then I did some hand quilting on my Friendship Album quilt. It's just getting some stitch in the ditch quilting and 2 of the 9 blocks are finished now.

What are you hand stitching today? Share your projects with us so we can encourage you on your slow journey!

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

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Scrappy Saturday

July is pink month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and I have finished sewing my pink "Wishing Ring" blocks. These blocks are inspired by a Temecula Quilts project and use up 1.5" scraps. It makes me happy to look at these blocks and remember the quilts in which the fabrics were originally used.

I arranged the blocks from January to July in vertical colour lines to see if I would like that layout. I have been making approximately half the rings light and half dark each month, but not having an exact plan made this layout harder to organize and I couldn't put the colours in the order I would prefer. Oh well, I don't like this layout as much as the diagonal layout I tried last month anyway.

To see more pink scrap projects, hop over to the RSC link up.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Midmonth UFO Update

July's UFO project has a backing and a batting, and has been pin basted. I really don't mind the task of pin basting with the Kwik Klip tool. It goes quickly while I listen to the radio or podcasts.

Because it is a bit more challenging to see when you are stitching with a white thread on white fabric, I decided to make it a bit easier on my old eyes by using a slightly variegated blue thread. 
Why work so hard to see where you've already quilted when you can make it easier to see?!?! 

Machine quilting has begun.

Look at how small some of the scraps are in this quilt. They are smaller than the basting pin!
I'm starting with some wavy vertical lines in the white spaces and don't know what I'll be stitching after that...
I'm hoping some ideas will come to me!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Mid Month Finish

My version of Carole's Scrap Dance Minuet is now a finished quilt! I was inspired by Carole using up some of her floral fabrics and I was very happy to clear out some very old stash.
Here is the clothesline shot.

It is a hard quilt to photograph, although I'm not quite sure why. The floral fabrics don't look nearly as pretty in the photos as in real life, but when I try to brighten the colour balance, it makes some of the fabrics look very strange... especially the one with yellow flowers.

Here is the quilt from the back. Can you see some of the machine quilting? It doesn't look nearly as bad as I had feared when I couldn't remember my original quilting design and changed it up a couple of times by mistake. I really like the curved lines I did in the last 2 borders.
Finished size: 47.5" x 59.5"
Thanks to Carole for another fun mystery adventure! 

Monday, July 15, 2019

Design Wall Monday - Arrowhead

My blue Arrowhead quilt top is done! This project was started at a class with Deb Beirnes last summer. The original project was a 30 block quilt, but I really liked making these 9" blocks, so I kept making more blocks until I had enough for a larger quilt. There is a lot of sewing in this project, and it's all bias seams, so I am incredibly proud that the quilt top lays relatively flat.

I don't spend a lot of time on layout because it drives me crazy. I used to rearrange blocks endlessly. And I mean for hours, always thinking there must be a correct layout where everything is perfect. But in rearranging blocks, you fix one thing you didn't like and create something else you don't like.  And it's one of the hang ups that used to result in piles of blocks and unfinished projects being stored in the UFO closet, because I couldn't get it "right". 

I have been greatly inspired by Cathy over at the Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting blog as she creates incredible quilts with random block placement. 
It is my goal to be more like her, and 'go with the flow', and spend less time fussing over layouts, and more time actually enjoying finishing my quilts!
This quilt top measures 54" x 81" and that's a good size for this one, so I don't think I'm going to add a border, and just bind with a navy blue.
To see my miniature project using a 3.5" version of this Arrowhead block click here.
To see more design wall postings, hop over to Small Quilts.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!

Today I will be enjoying hand stitching the binding on my Scrap Dance Minuet mystery. This is one of my favourite hand stitching activities.
And if I finish it today, which I probably will because it's a lap size quilt, I plan to do add some hand quilting stitches to my Friendship Album quilt.
What are you slowly working on today? Link up your blog or instagram post below and share your hand stitching project with us.

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

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Scrappy Saturday

3.5" Arrowhead Blocks

I'm having fun with the pink scraps this month. I must admit that I love pink.  I don't wear pink clothing and don't want to see pink in my home or office, but I do love sewing it in quilts. It brings energy to a scrappy quilt and it's such a happy colour. The Rainbow Scrap Challenge is a great opportunity to play with all the colours!
These are the most recently made mini Arrowhead blocks. The pattern can be found here, and to learn how to make it in different sizes, click here.

Here is the 42 block collection on the design wall! 
Wow I love it! Although the blocks are small (finish at 3" in the quilt) I can totally see myself making a bed sized quilt of these because they are fun to sew, and because I love the look of it!

To see more scrappy endeavours, hop over to the RSC weekly link up and Oh Scrap!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Machine Quilting

Hasty free motion quilting started late at night!
I probably should be quilting my July UFO, but this Scrap Dance Minuet quilt was calling to me. As soon as the pin basting was finished, I immediately started the quilting. It was late at night and I probably shouldn't have done that, but I did. What can I say? I was excited!

Thoughtful walking foot quilting during the day!
And then when I came back the next day I forgot my design idea and started quilting something else! Let's just say that nothing is symmetrical about the quilting on this... it's kind of loosey goosey random. I did remember that I wanted to make some straight diagonal lines across the quilt. You can see the pretty blue backing fabric (which was a fabulous sale purchase) on the right side of the photo.

This is a smaller sized quilt so the quilting was finished quickly. This pretty blue Aurifil thread is one of my favourite colours. I used it in the bobbin and to attach the binding.
And now I will be enjoying some relaxing hand binding!