Sunday, July 05, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! Get out your needles and threads and join us... the more the merrier!

Last Sunday I was adding some hand quilting stitches to my June mini quilt, and I was able to finish it this week. Hand stitching the back of the binding down is one of my favourite things, and I enjoyed every minute. Isn't that a pretty Amy Butler backing fabric?

Now that the quilt is finished, I am back to my hand embroidery project. 
This tea towel has seemed to take forever, but this is called Slow Sunday Stitching for a reason! The goal is to relax with very stitch added, not to be quick. I'm not loving the outside ring on this design and think I should have used a lighter floss colour so the centre design would stand out more. But I've done too much to take it all out now, so I'll just finish it up and move on to the next one. 

What are you hand stitching today? Link up your blog post below and share your slow progress with us.
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Scrappy Saturday

July will be the month to sew up our dark blue scraps. I took the opportunity to start the month off by finishing two blue blocks for my Wishing Rings project.

dark blue wishing rings
Last year I started making 9 blocks every month, and in March I started sewing the 9 blocks together. I realized that my blue block collection
needed to be separated into 2 blocks, so I made a dark blue and a medium blue.
I originally sewed these blocks without any planning ahead to how many dark or light rings I was sewing. So when I put them together, in order to continue the light/dark alternate layout, this is how they had to be.

Wishing Rings block collection on the design wall

I plan to make a few more sets of 9 blocks, maybe dark green, grey, and gold and will try to be mindful of the light/dark ring layout issue. But I really love how this project is coming together so far!
What are you sewing from your blue scraps today? Hop over to the weekly link up at Angela's.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

This Little Pandemic Piggy

Happy Canada Day!
It will be a different kind of celebration this year for Canada Day. There will be no parades, no public firework displays, no midway in the park, no outdoor concerts, and no gatherings of more than 10 people. It is such a strange time due to COVID.

In addition to quietly celebrating Canada Day, I am also celebrating that "This Little Pandemic Piggy" quilt is finished! 

"This Little Pandemic Piggy"

I did a bit of machine quilting and then added some hand quilting in pink stitches for added texture and interest (and fun!) 

auditioning binding fabrics
I had so many creative suggestions for names for this project - you can see some of them in the comment section on this post. Julierose suggested "This little piggy" and I added the "pandemic" adjective. I also had help from blog readers to decide the layout since I wasn't sure about how to position the letters/words around the centre block. 

The centre pig 
block is from Kelli's blog "Seriously... I think it needs stitches" and the letters are inspired by Tonya Ricucci's style of letter making from Word Play Quilts.

I really wanted to have the words read "Take ONLY what you need", but there was not enough space on a mini quilt for that many words. But still... the sentiment is there. Take what you need and leave the rest to share with your neighbours/community! This mini quilt will be my reminder of what the COVID19 experience was like in March and April. The panic buying and hoarding that went on was shocking to me. I think some people won't have to purchase toilet paper for about 20 years! Having witnessed the selfishness every day, I shudder to think what would happen if there ever was an actual food supply chain issue!

Here are my 2020 minis quilts (minus the red and white April mini that seems to be MIA!)

2020 Miniature Quilts

I'm so pleased to have my June mini quilt finished! Hop over to Wendy's blog The Constant Quilter to see more mini quilt finishes this month.  And also...I'm so tickled to have my mini nesting doll block included in Wendy's "Community Supper" potholder style quilt!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Shoo Fly on the design wall

The Quiltville leader-ender project from last July was the Shoo Fly block. Bonnie gave instructions for two blocks sizes and I made the 4" size because smaller blocks use up all the littlest scraps. A new project will be announced next month, so I have been motivated to get the 2019 leader-ender project finished. 

Auditioning sashing fabrics
You can see the list of leader-ender projects from the last 10 years here. Some years I have resisted starting something new, but on 4 occasions I have joined in the fun. Shoo Fly has been one of my favourite long term projects using up random scraps throughout the year. 

Once I had sewn 120 blocks, I decided to join 4 blocks together (chosen randomly) using white sashing. Then I attached a light floral sashing on 2 sides of each set of 4 shoo fly blocks.

💗 120 blocks sewn together in groups of 4 💗

I just need 20 more blocks to make another row and then it will be the perfect size and I can get the quilt top together before the next leader-ender project starts...woo hoo! 
Linking up to Oh Scrap and Small Quilts

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the Slow Sunday Stitching weekly linkup party! If you like to stitch things by hand, you have found your tribe! Each week stitchers from around the world share their projects and slow progress to encourage and inspire us.

I have enjoyed some relaxing hand quilting on my pig mini quilt this week.  I am using pink thread to make all my uneven stitches visible and to add another layer of interest to this little piggy quilt. I hope to get the hand quilting done and the binding on to finish this quilt by the end of the June.

Hand stitching is helping all of us to get through the global pandemic... stitch by stitch we work our way through another day, another week, another month.  I hope you and your family are staying well and have decreasing number of COVID cases where you live. In Ontario Canada our "emergency orders" have been extended to July 15th but we have the lowest number of new cases (160) reported on Friday since this began in March, so maybe we are close to being free of COVID19... won't that be great?!? 

I enjoy learning about people who are discovering hand work while staying safe at home. I enjoyed reading this story about Ariel Bade-Shamai who started hand weaving with materials she had in her home as a way to cope with long days at home during COVID19. You can see her collection here.

What are you hand stitching today? We love to see your projects and hear how you are stitching your way through COVID times, so link up your blog post below and share with us.

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

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Scrappy Saturday

It's the last Saturday in June, so our month of sewing up the pink scraps is coming to an end. 

A quilting friend shared a bag of scraps with me last week and I pulled out all the pink pieces. Can you guess what she has been sewing a lot of? 

She makes the fancy kind of face masks and has all these unusual shaped scraps left over.

So I started a new project - slab blocks from face mask scraps. Such a great idea!

In my search for pink scraps this month, I came across one that I think I'll just toss in the garbage. Not every scrap is a keeper!

12 Shoo Fly blocks left to sew
And I have been cutting up random scraps to make 12 more 4" Shoo Fly blocks to finish up the collection. I love these little piles of bits just waiting to be sewn in leader-ender style in between other projects.

Hop over to the RSC weekly link up to see what other quilters are doing with their pink scraps.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Masks.. and this little piggy

I did another round of sewing masks for the local family health team and emptied another spool of my favourite Aurifil thread.
I picked out some of my favourite bright and happy fabrics hoping to cheer people up. It's onerous to wear a mask, especially in the hot summer, but it's important to try to do everything we can to prevent even the slightest chance of passing on COVID to our friends and neighbours ....and so we carry on sewing masks and wearing them. 

I made 8 childrens' size in dinosaur fabric, and 20 adult size in fun bright fabric. They seem to need them as fast as we can sew them.

And then I took a break to sew the little piggy block into a quilt top. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and votes on Monday's blog post. This is the layout that was preferred. I sewed a white border around the pig, and then started filling in the empty spaces with chunks of background fabric.

And here is the finished quilt top. I hope to do some machine and hand quilting, and finish it this weekend. I can't decide whether to call this "Pandemic Pig" or "This little (greedy) piggy". Or do you have another suggestion for a name?

Monday, June 22, 2020

Design Wall Monday

This little project started in March when I sewed a pig block for National Pig Day. It inspired me to make a Pandemic theme quilt and I wanted the words "take what you need" to go around the pig. 

I enjoy making letters using the Tonya Ricucci style of letters from Word Play Quilts. I started with 1" strips and sewed and trimmed until I got letters of similar sizes. In this project the letters are about 2.5" finished.

So here is my question... which layout is better... should the words read in a clockwise circle around the centre pig block as in layout #1 or in a counterclockwise direction as in layout #2?

Layout #1 (clockwise)

Layout #2 (counterclockwise)

Please vote in the comments below and tell me which layout you prefer. The letter 'W' is a little unique looking, but I like it so I might just trim the top a bit and start sewing it together in which ever layout is preferred. Thanks for you help!
Linking up to Small Quilts

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching Father's Day

Happy Summer Solstice and Slow Stitching Sunday! 
That is a lot of 'S' words to say in one sentence! And it's Father's Day here in Canada and I am thankful to be able to spend time with my Dad. We are so delighted that summer weather has arrived and we can enjoy some backyard visits. I'm fairly certain my Dad would not survive COVID and have felt desperate to protect my parents from this terrible virus.

Here is my Dad measuring how far I have to be away from him to keep him safe. It has been a challenging time for people who want to hug and reassure our loved ones.  We must constantly remind ourselves to stay 6 feet apart. So far, so good, even though we feel worn down from months in social isolation. We constantly joke about the switch from my teenager years when Dad was forbidding me to do fun but dangerous things, to present day COVID times where I am forbidding him to do fun but dangerous things! The forbidden activities are definitely much different now and include everything outside his house LOL!

Zoom has been a godsend and helps us to stay connected to family across the Canada/US border, which COVID prevents us from crossing. Who knew the Christmas visit would be the last time we could see family for a long time. 2020 will be the first year with no family camping trips, celebrations, or visits of any kind!

And so we keep on stitching, to keep ourselves stitched together through the stress. This past week I finished hand stitching the binding on a donation quilt and enjoyed every single stitch while sitting in my backyard. Today I will be back to hand embroidery and working on this tea towel pattern from Colonial Patterns

If you missing family today or are prevented from visiting or hugging your Dad due to COVID restrictions, I am sending you lots of virtual hugs and hope you will enjoy the hand stitching link up today. Stitch on!

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

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Scrappy Saturday

I started a new project inspired by Nann who blogs at With Strings Attached. She calls it "waffle stamps" and you can see her most recently finished quilt here

Here is my first test block. It is made with 1.5" squares and strips, and it's a perfect RSC project to use up these size scraps. 
It's also a great leader-ender project, so it's a win-win in my sewing room!

Here are my first 4 pink waffle blocks. It's so fun to have a new RSC project. Don't you find that new projects have more energy than old ones??
Hop over to the RSC linkup to see what the quilters are sewing with pink scraps.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Patience is a virtue

If you are a blogger and haven't tried the new system yet, I encourage you to not wait until you are forced to learn. At this point we can go back and forth between the systems which is great. You can start writing a post in 'new blogger' and when you get frustrated, you can switch back to 'legacy user friendly blogger' and finish the post. Apparently we eventually won't be able to switch back and forth, so I recommend that you start learning now and spread out your frustration in manageable chunks!
It's a steep learning curve and a non-intuitive system. I am getting better at it and although it takes way longer than the old one, I am hoping that with practice, the frustration and time investment will decrease. 

I made up this sarcastic message from the Blogger:
"Dear faithful bloggers:
We are giving you many new options you don't want and won't use, and we're going to make the entire system harder to figure out, but we're not going to tell you how to do any of it. Good luck with that. 
The Blogger Team"

I have learned some tips and tricks from other bloggers but mostly it's a matter of navigating new screens and learning how to use new icons. And oh my... the new photo posting challenges!
Below is my attempt to learn about the new table feature where you can set many photos into a grid style. Photo posting is a whole new world!
The old blogger dashboard is on the left (note the warning about the system change in the yellow bar across the top) and the new dashboard on the right. Unfortunate changes.

If you don't get all the sizing and alignment set  correctly,  it will extend the grid to post right over top of the text in right hand side bar, but you won't know that unless you "preview" the post!! LOL (you just have to laugh because what else can you do?!?!)

Anyway, from blogger frustrations to quilt studio frustrations... 

I am sewing the blocks for the last border of the Unity quilt and realized I sewed some of the flying geese with opposite colour placement.

The pink should always be on the same side of the fling gees units. UGH. It's way too many pieces to fix, so unfortunately these blocks are staying like this.
And on we go... 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Finished Quilt

I just finished hand stitching the binding on my version of Carole's mystery pattern called "The Twist". I am very happy to have a finish this month already!

Scrap Dance Twist

It was a delight to create this quilt with the easy to sew but interesting blocks in the design, using pastel colours that I don't usually work with, and finding those sweet fussy cut centre blocks to use up. See how the Mama is taking away a spool of thread from the kitten? So sweet!

I used warm and natural batting, which is my favourite for machine quilting. It is needle punched so it doesn't have scrim or glue, and it can be quilted with lines up to 10" apart. I just love it!

This is the back of the quilt. I had the yellow yardage and extended it with a strip of blue print inserted vertically and horizontally at the midpoint.
Everything used in making this quilt was from the stash... total win!

This quilt is being donated to my guild comfort quilt collection. We all know that violence and sexual abuse did not take a holiday during COVID, and my local guild donates quilts to the pediatric sexual assault treatment team at our local hospital. 

Unfortunately is a very busy service all the time and the staff are grateful to have a quilt to wrap around a victim of abuse when they come into hospital. This is going to bring someone a big quilty hug and hopefully provide lots of comfort.

Finished size: 48" x 60"

Linking to Finished (or not) Friday

Monday, June 15, 2020

Shoo Fly blocks

Shoo Fly blocks are on the design wall today. This is last year's leader-ender project from Quiltville. I'm not exactly sure of my layout design yet. 
All I know is that I'm starting by sewing four blocks together with 1" white sashing between. I'm auditioning possible other sashing fabrics to be between these blocks. There are 120+ Shoo Fly blocks, so once I get them all sashed and see how that looks, I'll make more decisions from there. It's so much easier using sashing with these blocks... no seams to match.
Linking up to Small Quilts.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!

We are in full summer mode here, with long lovely evenings and lots of time for stitching in full light. It is one of my favourite times of the year.

And I am doing my favourite hand stitching activity today... finishing a binding. 

hand stitching a binding

This was last night's stitching and you can see the setting sun still peeking through and giving me lots of light to stitch by. I do love the 80 weight Aurifil thread. It is thin and glides through the binding so easily I hardly need a thimble to push the needle.

In my area some COVID restrictions are being lifted. Some businesses are opening and soon we might be able to get a haircut... so luxurious! It will be interesting to see the haircut that happens around a mask! We are waiting to see if we get a second wave of COVID but hopefully that will not happen now that we all know what we can do to stay safer. 

We may also be able to go camping this summer which will be so wonderful. All these activities we have taken for granted, that became forbidden and are now returning to our lives. I am so thankful!

Gratitude for everyone working hard to help us survive COVID19

What are you hand stitching today? Link up your blog post below and share your progress with us. If slow stitching goes well today, I hope to be posting a finished quilt this week!

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

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Scrappy Saturday

Blogging update: 
It has been a real challenge to start learning the new Blogger system. I have made several mistakes, had misdirected posts, weird layouts, difficulty loading photos, and lots of frustration. I am relying on the clever bloggers who have been able to figure out some things about the new system and to share what they learn with us. You can find some helpful info at the bottom of this post from Barbara, and
Lyndsey has posted some helpful tips for us hereIf you know of any other resources posts, please let us know in the comments. As Lyndsey said..."The blogging community is like a family and we all help each other. Especially in the current state of the world it would be very sad if anyone gave up."

Rainbow Scrap Challenge update:

Pink is the colour for June, and there is a lot of pink in my sewing room these days. Here are the flying geese blocks I am sewing for the last round on my Unity quilt.

pink shoo fly blocks
Also, this is the last month for the Shoo Fly leader-ender challenge. Next month Bonnie Hunter will announce another leader-ender project, so I would like to finish up his one. These are the newest blocks using pink scraps.

I have quite a stack of scrappy blocks ready to be turned into a quilt top and that's what I will be sewing today. I'm thinking of using 1" sashing strips so that I don't have to struggle to match all those bulky seams. The quilt will be whatever size it becomes when these are all sewn together.
Linking up to Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Friday, June 12, 2020

Machine Quilting

Progress is being made on machine quilting the Twist comfort quilt. It has been a bright and cheery project to work on this month. 

The quilting started with my standard stitch in the ditch grid with the walking foot. I decided not to quilt the diagonal lines of the design which would go right through the adorable centre blocks.
After all the straight lines were quilted, the fun part started! I changed to the free motion foot and started quilting arcs in the HST blocks. Aren't the fussy cut centres just so sweet?

Then I quilted  more arcs in the empty yellow squares. I just eyeball the arc path, trying to sew a smooth curve from corner to corner. No marking. No rulers. Lots of wobbles and whoopsies. I'm fine with that. 
It's "good enough"!