Thursday, July 30, 2020

Mini Quilt Finish

My July mini project was inspired by a baggie of donated 1" HST blocks
I wasn't sure what they would become when I started playing with the blocks, but this is what the design board/wool pressing mat looked like during construction. 

Mug Mats

Eventually I figured out that I was making 2 mug mats for my sister. 

I used a total of 46 HST blocks and a wonderful text print I found in my neutral bin.

To give you a better perspective of the mats I took a picture of them with my afternoon snack.
Finished sizes are:
8" x 4.75" and
8.5" x 4"

We are halfway through this memorable year and I thought I would put all the finished minis on the design wall for a photo before the mug mats began their journey to my sister's house. It's interesting that I have made this assortment of quilts in the past 6 months and have not yet used purple, green or orange. I do seem to be quite narrow in my colour usage. Perhaps I can branch out a bit more the rest of the year?

2020 Miniature Quilt Collection

To see more mini quilts made in July, hop over to The Constant Quilter blog.
Linking up to Finished(or not) Friday

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

COVID19 Fabrics

My design wall is empty at the moment (cleared off to prepare for my mini quilt photo shoot coming soon!) so I am writing this post to share with you my recent purchases from Spoonflower. I have never ordered anything from them previously because the cross border shopping expenses (taxes, shipping and handling fees, border fees, low exchange rates, etc) just make it too outrageously expensive. But when I saw some COVID19 fabric that Bonnie Hunter sewed into a quilt backing (you might be able to see hers here), I just had to have some!
It was a long wait with it being more than a month from online ordering to actually receiving the fabrics, but that is due to the parcel crossing the currently closed US - Canada border. I was just thankful they let my parcel cross the border eventually.

There are so many Spoonflower choices and you have to read carefully so you order cotton fabric instead of wallpaper or something you don't want!

I ordered 8 fat quarters of coronavirus fabric and have no idea what it will become. It might become a face mask, a tea towel, or maybe part of my UNITY quilt backing. I just wanted to have some as a souvenir of this crazy year. It's kind of like all that Y2K fabric we had to have in the year 2000, and we keep laughing about it not getting used up 20 years later!

Covid19 Spoonflower fat quarters
I don't like how the bottom right fabric is so dull/dark/not readable, but I ordered it to honour the efforts of British Columbia's  Minister of Health Dr. Bonnie Henry who has shown great leadership throughout COVID days and repeatedly says "Be kind, be calm, be safe".

The fabric is very stiff/crunchy so I hope it becomes softer after washing. Spoonflower has some really cool face mask fabrics/kits available and a program where they donate one mask for every mask kit purchased. 
Full disclosure... this fabric is very expensive! The cost was $18 (Canadian) per fat quarter! But I justified it to myself as a "once in a lifetime" purchase, and I had the money to spend since I haven't gone anywhere or done anything (except work and quilt) in 6 months! What are you doing with your vacation money? 

Vacation planning

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! If you enjoy antique projects, you are in for a special treat today! I have some antique hand pieced quilt tops to show you.

I ventured out to have a socially distant visit with my friend Louise this week and she had some quilt tops to show me. 

Antique Lemoyne star quilt top
I really wasn't on the ball with taking good quality photos as I was totally enamoured with these quilts (and so excited to be seeing my friend!). But I'll show you the too sunny back lit photos that I took under the apple tree. Amazing Lemoyne Star quilts! Louise is going to quilt these and finish them for a friend (whose Grandmother made these quilts). Notice there is no border. Would you add one before quilting?

As you can see the stitches are large and the seam allowances vary greatly. It's amazing that the quilt tops lay flat at all!

This is the second quilt with 4 Lemoyne stars in one block. See how the long sides don't have a border? Would you add borders?
And if so, how? I don't know if you can see that the edge is very uneven. To add a border Louise would have to trim the edges straight and lose lots of points and parts (maybe why the original maker didn't do that!?) OR I suggested maybe needleturn applique the uneven edge onto a strip of fabric (with or without cornerstones). Would that work? Or maybe just quilt out to the edge and make a bias binding following an uneven edge? What are your ideas?
stitching the binding on mini projects today

As for me, I am hand stitching the binding on two small projects this weekend. It will not take  long enough for my liking since this task will be quickly completed and binding is my favourite!

What are you hand stitching as we approach the middle of the year? Link up your blog post below and share your project with us. And don't forget to leave a comment about your quilt finishing ideas for Louise!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Scrappy Saturday

3" arrowhead blocks on design wall

I finished sewing the 14 mini arrowhead blocks I cut for blue month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I enjoyed seeing them on the design wall and it reminded me of the full size blue arrowhead quilt I finished earlier in the year.
In case you want to sew some blocks the free pattern may be found here and alternate size cutting instructions can be found here.

I started another new scrap project this week - Bonnie Hunter's new leader-ender challenge called Easy Breezy. I'm a big fan of her leader-ender concept and you can read about the previous challenges here.

Easy Breezy blocks
I am (of course) sewing the smaller block size and here are the first 4 test blocks. There is a navy Shweshwe, a Kaffe, a plaid, a stripe, leftover mask making fabric... it all works well together in a scrappy quilt! This is a quick and easy block to sew and I'm looking forward to sewing these as one of my (many) ongoing rainbow scrap challenge projects.

cutting scraps
I especially like that it fits together well with my waffle block project. When I'm cutting up 1.5" strips, if there is enough to cut 4 squares, they go to an Easy Breezy block pile, and if there are less than 4, the squares go into the waffle project box. It's amazing that after all these years, it's almost like I have a system for cutting scraps now!

Linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Miniature Fun

1" HSTs
I discovered a ziploc baggie of little HST blocks this week that was given to me by a quilting friend who knew I would give  them a good home. The blocks were already pressed, and I just had to trim them all to the same size. In case you think this is a regular size quilt block, these are 1" HSTs. So fun!

PLAY time!
I just wanted to toss aside everything else that I was working on, and PLAY!  That is how you know what you love... when you could do anything, what do you chose to do? I love playing with little blocks. When these 1" blocks are sewn together, they finish at .5" and the little project becomes half the size it started out as. I pin the rows to the wool pressing mat to keep everything in order.

It is impossible for me to sew perfect seam allowances, and so I just try my best, which is always "good enough" for me no matter how it turns out (which is a great life lesson BTW!)

Mini quilt in hand

And here it is! 
A tiny treasure, a little quilt in my hand! There are 60 pieces of fabric in this sweet little thing, which measures 3.5" x 3".

Questions I am frequently asked:
1. "Do tiny blocks take less time to make than regular size blocks"? 
My answer: "The smaller you go, the more time it takes because it is so fiddly, with no room for fudging or stretching, and the cutting has to be accurate.
2. "Why do you do this"? 
My answer: "It's my kind of fun"!
3. "What is it"? 
My answer: "I don't know yet... I'm waiting for it to tell me what it wants to be"! 
Still waiting....

Monday, July 20, 2020

Design Wall Monday

fabrics for guild mystery quilt
My local quilt guild is offering a summer mystery to encourage our members to continue quilting through COVID times. I gave myself the challenge to use up some older, "less loved" stash, while still creating a funky and fun quilt that a teenager might like. This was the original fabric pile. I thought the white was too stark, and substituted some black on white fabric for the background.

Here is the first part which was a medallion centre and 2 borders. I cut the centre pieces to give a radiating effect and am really happy with how that turned out.

Then came the piecing of 36 square-in-a-square blocks. I culled a lot of small scraps for this step and used up many different greens. That's a lot of green but can I tell you how satisfying it was to use up all those little bits?!?

Well, except for a few  moments of sadness when using up the very last of an older favourite fabric... like this classic Jan Mullen fabric. Just cut it up for heaven's sake, and stop saving the last bit!

This is how it looks today with border #3 attached. 

I have an idea of what fabric to use for the next border but I'm going to wait until I see what the next step is before I add it.

Linking up to Small Quilts and Oh Scrap!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! We hope you will pick up a needle and some threads, and join us as we relax and make some progress on our hand stitched treasures.

I have been binge watching Longmire on Netflix while stitching this week. I enjoy stories about ordinary people just trying to survive and do the right thing in difficult circumstances. 
Longmire quilt season 5 episode 7
In one episode they showed a lovely quilt that caused me to stop stitching! Isn't this a beautiful courthouse steps with all the yummy plaids?!?! It's the perfect quilt for a man's bed in a log cabin. See the diagonal striped border? I got so distracted by the quilt, I had to rewatch part of the episode to keep up with the storyline!

Okay... back to my stitching...

I have been working on a tea towel in my Stitcher's Revolution series.

 Here is the link to the full collection of patterns if you are looking for a new stitchery project (no affiliation to this company, and not a paid endorsement since this is an "ad free blog", I'm just a big fan!)
I am using 3 strands of embroidery floss for these towels designs. Fewer strands don't show up as well, and any more strands can easily become a tangled mess.

What are you hand stitching today?
Share your project with us below and let us cheer you on!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Scrappy Saturday

July is dark blue month over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. That is a colour that I have lots of in my stash.
I cut up enough squares to sew a dozen blocks to add to my Mini Arrowhead project. 

I made my first mini arrowhead block in August 2018 and have really enjoyed sewing a few blocks each month over the past 2 years.
These are the blocks I've sewn so far in July.
When I get all these blue blocks sewn, I'll get out the collection and put them on the design wall for "a look see".
Hop over to the weekly link up at Angela's to see more blue projects.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Another new mystery

Yes, I know I have too many quilting projects on the go, but that's the way I roll apparently because that is what I perpetually do! I like having projects in many different stages, and new ideas and fabric combinations floating around in my creative brain.

And guess what... 
I'm starting another mystery quilt! 

But only because it's created and hosted by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs. I have sewn two of her previous mystery designs (Mosaic Mystery and Magnolia Mystery) and enjoyed the process (and the finished product) very much.

Here are some of the reasons you might want to join in:
-clearly written and easy to follow instructions
-one step per month (not overwhelming to follow along at all)
-easy to understand fabric requirements (background yardage plus 4 fabrics that don't touch each other)
-selected fabric kits available to purchase from 3 different companies (if you are worried about picking fabrics for a mystery)
-great prizes for some lucky participants

I have been trying to use up my fabric stash during this COVID year when stores have been closed and all temptation has been eliminated. I anticipate creating a fantabulous shop hop for myself to rebuild the stash with new fabrics once I feel safe to shop again. 

After pondering the options for this new mystery, these are my two fabric combinations that have enough to meet the requirements:

1) civil war reproductions with beige background (I wish I had enough blue but I don't and seem to have lots of reproduction purples to use up)

2) brights with black on white backgrounds (I love that bright pink fabric but it doesn't photograph well)

Which fabric combination do you vote for?

Monday, July 13, 2020

Design Wall Monday

Finally all the Shoo Fly blocks are on the design wall and the quilt top is coming together. Many sections are sewn together, and I hope to finish the quilt top this week. There are 140 Shoo Fly blocks in this quilt! 

I started this quilt last July with Bonnie Hunter's leader-ender challenge and made 4" scrappy blocks each month following the colours announced at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

some of the fussy cut blocks made last week
Many of the scraps came from leftovers from friends' projects and most came from projects I have worked on over the past year. I have had a great time making these blocks, but now there is a new leader-ender project to start, so this one must be finished!
Linking up to Small Quilts

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! We are happy you are visiting with us (especially during COVID times) because we could all use a little cheering up. 

I didn't get to visit the link ups from last week yet because I was away camping. It was hot hot hot! But there weren't many campers in the park, and I was pleased with all the safety protocols that were in place. Also the dog beach was deserted so we had a great time with granddog Max who thought the beach was full of sticks for his enjoyment!

I finished an embroidered tea towel this week.
Stitcher's Revolution tea towels
It seemed to take a long time, but it's done now. I didn't like the outside ring design, but realized after I looked at the finished product, that it is the edge of a pie! Well goodness me... it makes sense now!
I had thought I would stitch one towel each month, and have a dozen or so to give as Christmas gifts, but these two have taken me 6 months to finish. Oh well, that is just the way 2020 is rolling out and we just have to "roll with it"! 

This is what I'm working on today. I have the next towel started and am enjoying the letter stitching.

What are you hand stitching today? Link up your blog post below and cheer us up with your slow progress...

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

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Scrappy Saturday

I worked on some waffle blocks this week. This project was inspired by Nann's waffle stamps quilt.

Six more scrappy waffle blocks were made using up 60 little squares. On the computer photo these blocks look more grey than dark blue, but they are really blue frames. I love that I am still using up bits of the Y2K fabric... it just never goes away does it?! Do people even know what Y2K means anymore?!? LOL

blue and pink scrappy waffle blocks
Here are all the blocks on the design wall from the past 2 months. This is a great leader-ender project, but Bonnie Hunter has posted a new challenge called "Easy Breezy" and I'm eager to try a few of those blocks. I need to spend some time cutting up scraps and getting some block kits organized.
Linking up to the RSC weekly scrap party

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

New mysteries

Are you looking for something new to start? I discovered that the Fat Quarter Shop is offering a new summer mystery called the Jelly Snowflake mystery. It looks like lots of no-pressure fun with the fist block posted on July 2nd.

I am starting a new mystery quilt being offered on line through my quilt guild. I am using scraps. These are some of my starting fabrics.. dark is black background with bright designs, medium is bright greens, and background is white scraps.

Monday, July 06, 2020

Unity Update

part 8 blocks
Here are all the blocks for part 8 of the COVID19 Unity mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter. These blocks will be borders on the top and bottom of the quilt top.

Somehow a few of the blocks have the pink and blue flying geese points reversed but I'm blaming COVID life for that. Wait! I need 24 and there are only 23 on the design wall! Of course I am 1 block short... that always happens, even when I am 100% sure that I cut the exact number of pieces I need. Perhaps it has fallen off the cutting table?

Row for part 8 on the design wall
I really like the dark blue in those border blocks, but I'm a little annoyed that the turtles are facing every which way. I'm going to blame COVID for that too! LOL

Lower half of Unity quilt
Now I have to finish up the side borders for part 7 and then I can finish this quilt top. This involves piecing the letters for 2 words. I just finished the 15 letters for "This Little Pandemic Piggy" quilt, so I am all ready to get going on these Unity words.

So excited to be nearing the end of this intensely pieced quilt top. 
Linking up to Small Quilts

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 every 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.