Wednesday, September 30, 2020

September Mini Quilt

I am excited to be posting 2 finishes this week!

This is my September mini quilt that was made from a free pattern by Snowy Days Quilting. The pattern is called "Stars at sea" and was part of "QAL by the sea".  
The hardest part was cutting out and organizing the 86 pieces for the 12" block.

The easiest part was picking the thread colours for quilting. Blue thread in the background sky and yellow or gold thread for the stars.

I machine quilted the star blocks with straight lines using the free motion foot.  It's always a challenge for me to quilt a project evenly and not "over quilt" some areas. I quilted a few random radiating lines in the background to help the quilt lay flatter, and was careful to stop when it was "enough".

I was so pleased with that starry blue batik that I found in the stash for the background of this starry night mini quilt, but it was difficult to accurately photograph and looks a little different in each photo. 
Finished size"12.5" x 12.5"

Hop over to The Constant Quilter to see more mini quilts made this month.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

September UFO

My UFO of the month is called Home Grown. It is one of Nancy Halvorsen's wonderful patterns, and it was made from a kit by Cherished Pieces. I just can't say enough about how wonderful the kit was. I don't usually sew quilts from kits but I fell in love with this one. It was beautifully organized, and even though I made several cutting errors, there was plenty of fabric to not have to worry about having enough. If you've ever made a quilt from a bad kit, you will know exactly what I'm talking about!

The machine quilting was so much fun. Quilting with all the colours is like being in kindergarten again and painting with ALL the colours. Why use a neutral thread when you can use yellow, aqua, salmon, and navy?!? So fun! I free motion stitched around most of the flowers with a coordinating thread colour. You can read more about the quilting here.

In the border I quilted a free motion feather design using white thread on the solid white border and blue thread on the outside print. It's such a was fun and fast way to quilt a border. See the free motion foot? It's 25 years old - the same age as my sewing machine and even though I have acquired several new feet over the years, it's still my "go to"!

I love how the quilting looks from the back too.
This photo shows the feather design on the border quilt well. 

Finished Size: 41.5" x 52"

It was a windy day when I finished the quilt and tried to get some photos. I love this quilt just as much as I did when I saw the sample in the quilt store window!  I will be giving this quilt to my sister for her 50th birthday and I hope she will enjoy having it in her home.

If you would like to have my copy of the Home Grown book that this pattern is in, just leave a comment and I'll draw a name and mail it to the winner. It's such a lovely book, but I know I will never make any of the other patterns so it should go to live with someone who might! I did a quick search and it looks like you can still get the panel for this pattern at several shops.

Linking up to One Monthly Goal and Finished or Not Friday.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Design Wall Monday

The summer mystery quilt from my local quilt guild is on the design wall today.

This has been a terrific scrap user with every piece coming from my fabric stash. This photo shows the end of step #4 with the addition of 44 flying geese blocks. I removed the brightest yellow geese blocks that I didn't like (on this photo) and decided to have the flying geese blocks point to the middle on both sides. 

There is one step left in the mystery which consists of 2 more borders to add. 

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!

We are having spectacular fall weather here this weekend. This time of year is visually beautiful with the golds, reds, yellows and oranges, it's the perfect temperature to enjoy stitching outdoors, and fall even smells delicious to me! 

We are enjoying some of the flowers that are still in bloom. This is my hand embroidery project. I started the line of blue thread above the word 'chocolate' but decided it was too much blue, so today I'll be taking those stitches out and selecting another colour.

And I will also be hand stitching the binding on my September UFO. I am so excited to have this quilt almost finished and just love stitching the binding. So it's going to be a great day with my favourite stitching in my favourite weather on my favourite day of the week!

I am slowly getting to be friends with the new blogger system and finding out what I can and cannot do with the new program. I was delighted that the link up worked last week, so hopefully my good luck will continue with today's coding. We would love to know what you are hand stitching today. Link up your blog post below and check in on your slow stitching friends to give them a little encouragement. 

Happy Stitching!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Machine Quilting

September is more than half over and I'm busily working on my UFO of the month called Home Grown. My goal was to turn the quilt top into a finished quilt, which is a fairly lofty goal for such a busy month. The backing and batting were chosen, the quilt was pin basted and the quilting was finally started. 

In the panel blocks I am machine quilting around the shapes (hearts and flowers) and some of the words. In this photo I am stitching around the windows. It's a lot of stopping and starting, but I don't mind that. It's going to be a wallhanging so I didn't want the quilting to be too dense which would make it heavy to hang.

One of the fun tasks of quilting is picking the coordinating thread colours. These are all the thread colours I used in this block panel which is my favourite in this quilt. Many quilters complain about changing colours when machine quilting, but I really enjoy it.

I am still hopeful that this quilt will be finished by the end of the month!

Monday, September 21, 2020

Design Wall Monday

A new star project was started this week. The first step was cutting a lot of pieces and keeping them all organized.

These are the first few stars that were sewn. The pattern has 3 different sizes of star blocks and I only need to make 6 blocks so I'm half way there. The construction method is the same as the scrappy Maverick Stars quilt blocks I made last year. 

Linking up to Small Quilts

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching

It's Sunday and you know what that means... it's time for the weekly hand stitching party! We hope you will pick up your needles and thread or yarn and start making some stitches. 

Blogger has switched over to the new system and I'm learning how to blog again. 

I know some bloggers have managed the change very well (I'm looking at you Barbara and Lyndsey!) but most of us are struggling, and some are experimenting with other blogging platforms. So bear with me while I see if an old dog can teach herself how to do the tricks that she used to know how to easily do. I have already learned that we can't click and drag photos like we used to do to place them where we want them. See, I am trainable!?!
And if you are a blogger who is struggling, don't give up! Keep trying and just keep posting, no matter how weird or incorrectly formatted the blog posts turn out to be.

This is what I'm adding stitches to this morning. 

This is my fourth Stitcher's Revolution tea towel. This saying is perfect for the week in which the blogging world was forced to change to a new system. We are not quitters, so let's keep stitching and blogging (and drinking tea and eating chocolate!)

Let's see how it goes with posting the linky party... here we go... if you see the link up and if you can link your blog post and share your hand stitching project, that will be awesome!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Scrappy Saturday

This week the Google Blogger system switched over to the new version and stopped allowing bloggers to use the old user friendly version. I waited until the weekend to tackle the learning curve so we'll see how this goes.
Last Saturday I blogged about a bag of red scraps that I received from a quilting friend. The bag has been organized and cut into useable pieces. 

There were several 2.5" pieces and triangles that were cut from the end of strips. I sewed 30 of those pieces together into a 12.5" slab block.
The last slab block I made was in June when the colour was pink (you can see that one here)
This will be a very slow growing quilt if I only make 1 block every 3 months! 
Linking up to RSC red scrap party

Monday, September 14, 2020

Design Wall Monday

The guild mystery project is on the design wall today. I have been sewing the side flying geese blocks. 

I'm not sure about the yellow geese. I wanted to bring the yellow from the centre of the quilt to use it again in this border, but maybe not? According to the pattern one line of geese goes up and the other goes down, but I think I might change that. I have just a few more geese blocks to make and then there are 2 plain borders to add to finish the quilt top.
Linking up to Small Quilts

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the regular weekly practice of relaxing with some hand stitching! We encourage you to join us... all you have to do is take a deep breath, find your hand stitching project and put in some stitches.

I have been taking lots of deep breaths this week, including when I drove over this nail sticking out of a piece of wood. Now what are the chances of that? And what are the chances of it happening while driving my daughter to her first day of college (yes, the labs are still being held on campus and the classes are on line). We were able to get my daughter to school on time (car to the mechanic, walk to parents and borrow their car, I go to work, she drives herself to college, etc. etc) but wow it was's just been that kind of week.

And to top off the week perfectly, the Raptors lost their 7 game series on Friday night and it was an exciting game so I needed a little relaxation to stay calm. I distracted myself by starting one more dishcloth. This is a terrible photo but shows how the knitting helped me through the series.

Dishcloth #2
I'm finding it so much easier than I had thought it would be to knit these specialty dishcloths where every row is a different series of stitches. Can you tell what this one is? It's the second one I finished and it turned out even better than the first attempt. For this one I used straight needles and Sudz yarn.

So now it's time for some relaxation and slow stitching and recovering from the stress of the week. Here is a special treat for those of you who enjoy hand beading - click here to read an article about the making of a beaded map of Canada and the US made by indigenous artists. 

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, September 12, 2020

Scrappy Saturday

red scraps

Not much sewing was accomplished this week, but I did sort out a bag of red scraps given to me by a friend. See this lovely bag of bits and pieces that were headed for the trash? It was the perfect project to focus on since it requires very little brain power.

Taming the scraps
I pressed and sorted and cut to a useable size all the oddly shaped scraps while I watched "Away" on Netflix. I loved the show but there were many tense moments that were eased by the distraction of the task.

Red waffle blocks
Some of the larger pieces might become a slab block but most were cut into useable pieces for waffle blocks and easy breezy blocks.
Here are the red waffle blocks sewn this week. I love these blocks for using up lots of random 1.5" squares.

And here are all the blocks made since the project started in June. Hop over to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge link up to see what other quilters are making with their red scraps.
Waffle block collection

Monday, September 07, 2020

Design Wall Monday

It's a boring design wall today. This is the first sewing step in the Meadow Mist Designs most recent free mystery quilt called "Morewood Mystery". 
Mystery steps are posted once a month which is a workable pace for me to keep working on lots of other projects and not fall behind with this one. 

This photo shows how huge the blocks are - about the size of one of my miniature quilts! It feels like I am working with giant pieces to make these 6" squares!

All of my fabrics for this project were found in my stash. It was an easy pattern to pull fabrics for - a background (black on white) and 4 colours (orange, pink, green and yellow) that won't touch each other. Easy.

It was a lot of cutting to do, and I don't usually cut the fabric for a whole quilt at once, but I do for Cheryl's mysteries. Most of the cutting was done during a "zoom cutting party" with my friend Debby who is also sewing this mystery using her collection of Tula fabrics. I looking forward to working on it each month over the fall and winter.
Linking up to Small Quilts.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! 
It's "Labour Day" weekend here in Ontario, Canada which is the unofficial end of summer and the beginning of the fall school semester.

In years gone by people would use this day to campaign for better working conditions. But for most people (not me) Monday is just a day off work to relax and enjoy a rest from their labour. 

tea towel #4
This week I attended an online seminar and was able to put some stitches into an embroidered tea towel while I listened. This is definitely one benefit to working remotely/from home and it made the difficult information much easier to tolerate as I was calm in my body while listening and stitching. I suppose having some chocolate nearby would have made the experience even better!

I'll be putting more stitches in my embroidery this morning. What are you hand stitching these days? Link up your blog below and share your project with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Scrappy Saturday

The RSC colour for September is RED! I have quite a large collection of red fabric because of starting the 150 Canadian Women quilt in December 2016. I hope to make a few more blocks for that quilt this month.

I started red month with making some Easy Breezy blocks. It's a fun scrap project and I have a pile of block pieces cut and ready to sew over the month in the true leader-ender style.

This project was started in July so here are the new red blocks on the design wall with the blocks from purple August and blue July. I'm loving this on point layout idea!
Linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Friday, September 04, 2020

September UFO

The UFO goal for September will be to finish my Home Grown quilt. This is a Nancy Halvorsen pattern and was made from a kit purchased at Cherished Pieces. I don't usually make quilts from kits, but I fell in love with this one and finished the quilt top last fall.

Since then it has been hanging on my secondary design wall, where it has been covering up the dreaded Indian Orange Peel disaster! I really want to finish this lovely quilt, so I'll need to find something else to hide the dreaded IOP (or maybe finish that one some day!)
Linking up to One Monthly Goal

Thursday, September 03, 2020

Blogging and Magazines

As all bloggers know, Google has revamped their Blogger platform and it has been a struggle for us old timers. I found a well written article that beautifully details the difficulties here at Making a Mark (updated last week here). Rumour was that the wonderful legacy system was going to be gone by August, and then by September, but here I am on September 3rd still able to access it!

I have sent lots of feedback and questions to Mr. Blogger over the summer, with zero responses.  I even offered to pay user fees to have the privilege of using the old system that has worked so well for me for 15 years.
I'm waiting to see what will happen, but as of today, they are still allowing me to use the old system, and I am able to blog today in the stress free manner I always have. 

A bit of sunshine in my week has been getting the new Quilt Sampler magazine. I rarely get magazines anymore (still greatly miss the 100 Block magazines) but I enjoyed reading about 10 unique quilt shops, seeing what they are doing in their part of the world, and seeing the new projects. Even if I don't want to make the patterns, there are great ideas for layouts and borders. Reading about a quilt store is not nearly as fun as being in a real quilt store, but it's the next best thing for now.

And also the latest Canadian Quilter magazine had an article about my local quilt guild and how we have moved our meetings online until the pandemic is over. A big shout out to Lindsay, the guild executive, and all the talented guild members who have facilitated this transition to meeting with our quilting friends on zoom.
I hope you are finding ways to stay in touch with your quilting community throughout the pandemic!

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

August Miniature Quilt

August Miniature Quilt

Wendy who blogs at The Constant Quilter hosts a miniature quilt party at the end of each month. This is my finished mini for August. It was exactly what the Doctor ordered for this month (just kidding, no Doctor gives quilting orders!)

Max and the Mini

To give you a better size perspective, we have Max the granddog posing with the finished quilt. Yes, he is bigger than the quilt and definitely cuter!

Finished Size: 9.5" x 12.5"

It was hours of mindless fun to play with 1" scraps and make a little quilted treasure out of 70 little squares that finish at half an inch.

Click here to read more about the making of this quilt, and click here to see my other mini quilt finishes this year.