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 connect 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.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

New Block Swap

I'm so excited to participate in another of Barb's quilt block swaps! I thought it might be fun to take a look back at some of the previous swap projects.
Bow Tie Block Swap quilt

This is my Repro Bow Tie quilt, which is one of my favourite quilts. It was made from the blocks I received in Barb's 2015 swap. I added some half size blocks for the top and bottom borders and finished the quilt in 2016. I enjoyed every single moment of hand quilting this beauty!

Red Repro Broken Dishes block swap
Then in 2016 the block for the swap was Red Repro Broken Dishes! I finished this quilt in 2018 and used a pattern by Hyacinth Quilt Design. This one was machine quilted and is also one of my favourite quilts!

The swap in 2018 was the Churn Dash block and I received so many fantabulous blocks

Churn Dash block swap
I combined the churn dashes  with 9 patch blocks to make this wonderful quilt top. It's still at the flimsy stage because I can't decide about a border. Even looking at it today I am undecided! I love it as is, but also have so many border ideas. Maybe I should just go ahead and finish it, since one year later I still haven't decided?!

Which brings me to the 2019 swap. You have to be quick to get yourself on the swap list, and this year I was too slow signing up to get in the repro group, so I am in the "modern" group. The block this year is sawtooth stars and here are my fabric purchases - I bought yardage, not the bolts! If the Honeysuckle becomes too much for me, I bought some Ultra Marine to calm down!

I don't think I am a "modern" quilter at all, but I do love a challenge, and I love colour... so let's do this thing!
Here's my first test block. Do you think the Honeysuckle is bright enough?!? LOL
Okay... 30 more to sew!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Home Grown Quilt Top

It is Remembrance Day today in Canada. 
Every year at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month we spend a moment in silence to show respect to and appreciation for all those who have sacrificed for our freedom and safety. 

It seems like the perfect day to show this project honouring love, family,  and home.
I have been working hard on my "Home Grown" quilt (pattern by Nancy Halvorsen, fabric kit by Cherished Pieces). I know it doesn't look like much, but this house was really hard to make.
R e a l l y . h a r d!
One of the challenges was the intense and lengthy cutting instructions which you can read about here. You have no idea how complicated this pattern is, even though most of it is panels!

One of the problems was that the written instructions, and the book illustration, and the included photo at the bottom (which was a life saver) were not the same. You see the house illustration on the pattern in the middle of the photo where the "blue house" roof piecing layout is backwards? It took me way too long to correctly reverse this in my mind, and then translate my tenuous understanding of the required changes to the fabric. The number of mistakes and do-overs was embarrassing.

Anyway, in spite of my confusion and many mistakes requiring seam ripper intervention, I have finally finished the quilt top on my design wall!
💖 I adore this quilt and forgive it all the frustration in the making! 💖
Thank you to Cherished Pieces for a fabulous kit, with ample fabric provided to cover my many mistakes!

Hop over to Small Quilts to see more Design Wall postings.

And also... just as an aside... I was watching the Fons and Porter Love of Quilting TV show and noticed that they were sewing with fabrics from the same line as I was this weekend! 
What are the chances of that??!?

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party where you can visit with members of the Slow Sunday Stitching crew around the world, right from the comfort of your own home! 

breakfast muffin and tea (on Cascadia quilt)

I just adore a lazy Sunday morning drinking a pot of tea, listening to relaxing music and visiting my hand stitching friends to see what they are making. There are so many wonderful projects for my heart and soul to enjoy. I feel totally inspired after visiting the bloggers that take the time to stitch, to photograph and write about their projects, and then link up with us... many many thanks for sharing and enriching our lives! 

Today I am working on  my Gail Pan "I Stitch" embroidery blocks from last year. Even though there are a few more, I felt I was done making these blocks and wanted to get them together into a project. Trimming the blocks was the first step, and as you can see they vary greatly in size. I decided to trim them down to 4" x 5". 

There was one block that couldn't be centred properly. I have no explanation for what happened to the trimming on this one! It will be the label by default!

I had 26 blocks, so with one for the label that leaves a 5 x 5 block layout. I am trying to balance the 4 types of blocks - flowers/plants, sewing items, animals, and hearts. I'm also aware that some of the muslin is darker beige so I'm trying to scatter those blocks around evenly. I'm not sure what to do next, but we'll see what happens once they get comfy on the design wall!

Meanwhile, because I can't be without an embroidery project, I have started a little Christmas gift stitching. This is another one of Gail Pan's wonderful designs. The free pattern can still be found here

Now it's your turn... what are you hand stitching today? Share your progress with us in a blog or instagram post below (and link to me at ssskat7).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter