Friday, December 31, 2021

December UFO

pin basting the layers
I didn't do anything with my December UFO prior to Christmas, but during the past week I buckled down to it. My brain needed to be in a relaxed state where I could focus and make decisions. 

I was quite hesitant to start the quilting but once I started it
 went very quickly. 

The little stars were outline stitched with an X through the middle.

The bigger red stars was outlined stitched also, and I used the hera marker for the lines through the centre.

The background was quilted with random swirls and loops.

I decorated the tree with red thread and made clam shell shapes to look like garland. I don't it ended up looking like garland, but that's okay :)

This quilt was made from a beautiful kit I purchased in 2017 from Quilter's Nine Patch (which unfortunately closed due to covid, but still has a small online store). The pattern is in Kim Diehl's wonderful book called Simple Christmas Tidings

This is my last finished quilt for 2021 and I'm so excited to finish it before midnight! 

Linking up to One Monthly Goal.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2021

New Years Mysteries

Now that the busyness of Christmas is over, it's time to look ahead to a new year. How do you celebrate the end of one year and the start of a new one? 

Pre-covid celebrations have included attending concerts and parties with friends, but covid has taken all that fun away. The most fun a quilter can have is to start a new quilt! How about starting 2 quilts on New Year's Day?!? 

Double your fun!

1) Merry Mayhem is providing a free mystery called Ups and Downs. This one starts with 8.5" blocks which is a huge size for me to work with, so I'm intrigued about that. It looks like a great stash buster and you can make the mystery in any quilt size you prefer. The fabric requirements and first step of making HST blocks has been posted here. I'm ready!

2) Scrapdash is hosting their usual New Year's Day mystery and this one is called Winter Walk. The fabric requirements and cutting instructions have been posted here, but all the sewing happens on New Years Day. I'm ready! I have sewn several of the Scrapdash mysteries and enjoyed every one! Click here to see last year's mystery.

You may have guessed by the photos that I plan to sew both mysteries because I couldn't chose between the two of them! NO, we are not talking about the fact that I am knee deep in the Quiltville mystery right now! There is always room for one or two more projects right?!?!

These are the 2 mystery quilt adventures that I am aware of to celebrate the beginning of a new year. If there are there other mysteries I have missed, let us know in the comments below!

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Favourite Finishes 2021

Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs is hosting a linky party to celebrate our accomplishments in 2021. It was quite a stressful and memorable year, so it was good to look back and remember some happy quilty memories.

These are my top 6 finishes for 2021:

Favourite Machine Quilting

1) Grassy Creek - this is my version of the 2020 Quiltville mystery. I made a smaller lap size donation quilt. This is my favourite machine quilting accomplishment from this year, especially the hearts in the grey border spaces.

Favourite Original Design

2) Swimming in a sea of scraps - this quilt was a real challenge for me. I received a bag of scraps in the mail from the Sister's Scrap Challenge to make a quilt. There were so many small scraps! We could add a background to the project and this is the quilt I ended up with.

Favourite Mini Projects

3) Table Scraps placemats - the Joyful Quilter issued the Table Scraps Challenge to help us use up our smaller scraps and I made many placemats to donate to Meals on Wheels. It was a wonderful project to use up old blocks and little  scraps, and provided a wonderful sense of accomplishment each month.

Favourite RSC project

4) RSC Maverick Stars - this is my favourite Rainbow Scrap Challenge project! Some of these star blocks are made from very tiny scraps and this quilt holds a lot of wonderful memories for me. The quilt top was finished during a special visit at my friend Deanna's house.

Favourite Hand Quilting

5) Hand Quilted Rails - this was made from fabric strips given to me by my friend Gillian. I just love the soft colour pallet and really enjoyed my first experience (and definitely not my last) hand quilting with a wool batting.

Favourite Mystery Quilt

6) Bats and Boos - this is my favourite mystery quilt adventure this year. It was a free mystery from the Fat Quarter shop, made completely from stash, and every step of the process was fun, fun, fun!

Linking up to the Best of 2021 party!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Quiltville Mystery Update

Part 4 QST blocks

Part 5 has just been posted for the Quiltville mystery called "Rhododenron Trail". It has been fun working with purples for a change, and I just love this old batik fabric with the stick people!

I have been making about 2/3 of the blocks for each step to make a smaller quilt. But part 4 was a doozie, so I'm behind in finishing those QST blocks. 

I have many blocks in various stages of completion and will enjoy some sewing machine time to finish these, and start some part 5 blocks.

If you are sewing your own version of the Quiltville mystery, how are you coming along?

Monday, December 27, 2021

Jolly Box Unboxing

In yesterday's blog post I mentioned that I treated myself to a Jolly Box for Christmas. Readers made comments and sent me emails wanting to know what was in the box.

When I mentioned this to my kids they suggested I do an "unboxing video" and I didn't even know what that was. So they gave me some tips and here is the video my daughter made. Max the Granddog even makes a surprise cameo appearance!

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Merry Christmas everyone and welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! If you have been as busy this week as I have been with shopping, wrapping, cleaning, cooking, and eating.... you probably haven't had much time for stitching. But today is the day for relaxing, and putting some stitches into your projects.

This is the stitchery I am working on today. It's one of the patterns for the Hugs 'n Kisses Advent Stitch-Along. The tree is done and the house is next. I think I will have to put a foundation on my house :)

My daughter got some stitcheries for Christmas and I was happy that she jumped right in to start the first one. This is what she accomplished on Christmas day. She has learned the stem stitch and the chain stitch, and how to make french knots. Pretty good start! 

Santa brought me this Jolly Box for Christmas from the Fat Quarter Shop, but I haven't opened it yet to see what is in the mystery box!

What are you hand stitching today? Link up your blog post and share your plans for some relaxing stitching today!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Placemat Gifts

Gail's placemats
I was able to finish up 22 placemats to drop off to the Meals on Wheels office last week. The transfer of the bundle was quick, distanced and masked as all things are in these worrisome days of the Omicron variant. I didn't get a photo of that to share, but I have lots of photos of the placemats.

There were 8 placemats that my friend Gail made and I finished. Some needed backings attached and some just needed the edge top stitched.

The most fun part of finishing the placemats was picking the thread colours. I used the spool with the least amount of thread for this mat and finished it up!

14 of the placemats were ones I had made over the past year. Here are 10 on the design wall. These were made as part of the Table Scraps Challenge that The Joyful Quilter issued for 2021. I made a placemat each month using scraps in the colour of the month at Rainbow Scrap Challenge. So many of these projects were made with scraps that did not originate in my quilting room!

Here are the other 4 mats. The QST mat was made from scraps sent in the mail by Gail The Cozy Quilter,  2 mats were made from leftover blocks from my friend Marg, and the William Morris scraps were in a random scrap bag.

I am proud of these quilting efforts! It really makes me happy to turn scrappy leftovers into something that is both beautiful and useable. I hope these quilty gifts bring a ray of sunshine into the lives of folks who are shut in at Christmas.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! It's the last Sunday before Christmas, so I know all you hand stitchers are busy finishing and wrapping up gifts. Have you got your hand stitching projects to the point where they might be ready for Christmas? 

These days I'm taking life at a slower pace and I immediately shut down any grandiose ideas of "I could make this for ___" prior to Christmas!  

If I really like the idea, I tell myself that I will make it next year for that person. But I will not start any last minute creative impulse projects that end up causing me stress with a Christmas deadline!

I have been slowly embroidering some little tiny designs from the Hugs and Kisses mystery advent stitch-along. I have finished a couple of the stitcheries, but mostly I am looking forward to some slow stitching after the holidays.

What are you hand stitching today? I hope you will take some time today to rest, to put some stitches into a gift for someone special (including yourself!) and reduce the level of stress you are experiencing. Feel free to call this "mandatory preventative medicine".

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Scrappy Saturday

The 2021 punctuation themed sampler quilt called Full Stop has been really fun to sew. Each month Angela posted a block pattern to sew in the colour of the month. I made 4 blocks each month and this week I finished sewing the last block pattern, which was a period. 

It was fun to pick out the colours and to look at all the blocks on the design wall. I didn't sew the side pieces on as I'm waiting to see what the layout is to determine the block size.

This is the layout that I'm leaning towards. I think it needs one more red exclamation mark block on the top right.
Any ideas you'd like to share to improve this design?

I am hoping to sew the blocks together over the Christmas break and have a quilt top by the end of 2021.

Linking up to Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Friday, December 17, 2021

Friday Mystery Update

The new Quiltville mystery is rolling along and I am keeping up well by making about 2/3 of the blocks. In this week's step we added wings to the HSTs from step #1. I do love the wool pressing mat and even though they are expensive to purchase, I find that they are worth every penny!

Sometimes I have a little fun and entertain myself by creating different ways of pressing the blocks. This is a set of 4 blocks after sewing the second wing and pressing them in a star shape before cutting the threads that connect them from strip piecing.

And sometimes when you're sewing many many units, you make a this one!  Uh oh... some of these wings are flying off in wrong directions!

Making errors means it's time for a coffee break to settle down and refocus. This is my mug from the 2019 Frolic mystery.

These are the results of my efforts from step #1 - #3. Step #4 will be posted today and I'm excited to see what we will be sewing this week.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Design Wall Monday

Ta da! The Scraphappiness quilt top is together! 

I started sewing these blocks last winter and really enjoyed the process. The soft yellow solid sashing strips provide a bit of order with all that scrappy chaos and I love how it turned out. 

This quilt top contains over 500 scraps! 

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

It's Sunday again, and you know what that means.... it's time to s-l-o-w down and do some relaxing hand stitching.

Today's quilting tools 
I have been slowly hand quilting my oldest UFO this month (in between secret Christmas projects). I finished hand quilting the green star that I showed last week, and have been focused on the neutral blocks along the edge. It's easy straight line stitching and quite enjoyable. 

I bought a new pink Clover Chacopen marking pen this week and was concerned about the sticker on the back of the package that says "Warning: Cancer and Reproductive Harm". 

I'm not very happy about that and did some online searching to learn more about it. Even after all my reading, I have no idea if I should use this or not? I'm disappointed that Clover would sell us products that require this kind of a warning label. 

Anyway, I'll be doing more secret Christmas gift making and more hand quilting today (using my marking pencil and not my new cancer causing pen!) 

What are you hand stitching? Link up your blog below and show us what you are making today!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, December 10, 2021

Mystery Update

step #1 HSTs

We are well into the Rhododendron Trail mystery adventure with Bonnie Hunter, and step #3 will be posted today. 

In step #2 this week we were sewing flying geese with 2 different coloured corners. It was fun to cut into my bright yellow batiks. 

step #2 flying geese

My favourite way to cut flying geese blocks is using Bonnie's Essential Triangle tool. I have not yet found a method that does not require at least some sliver trimming, but this method comes closest for me. And there is zero fabric wastage!

 Ready for step #3!

Tuesday, December 07, 2021

December UFO

It's already December 7th and I haven't posted my December quilting goal yet! This month I am repeating my unmet goal from last December - UGH! I want my Christmas tree project to be finished. 

There have been 2 barriers to a finish: 1) my indecisiveness re: is this a tree skirt or a table topper, and 2) the quilting design dilemma. 

Last December the majority of my blog readers voted to have this become a table topper, so now that decision is made. 

I have been doodling some possible quilting designs on a print out of a photograph of the quilt top.
I've narrowed it down to these 8 options...
*Three background designs in beige thread: 1) stippling, 2) loops, and 3) swirls
* Two tree designs in green thread: 1) outside curves and inside grid, and 2) wavy lines
* Three star designs in red thread: A) circular, B) curved lines, C) straight grid.

I sure hope I don't get stuck on these decisions! I will give myself until December 10th to decide and then I'm picking the ideas out of a hat! LOL
Linking up once again to One Monthly Goal

Sunday, December 05, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly link up for hand stitchers! Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, and enjoy some moments of relaxation with your stitching project. 

I have been hand quilting in short spurts of time on my oldest UFO. A few stitches here and there (over years) eventually makes a finished quilt! 

Quilting Bee
I am thankful my family does not depend on my needlework skills to be warm! Otherwise I would need the assistance of a tribe of talented stitchers like this one to help me finish a quilt in less than 20 years!

The only "help" I get is from Granddog Max. He is enthusiastic and encouraging, but mostly a hindrance to any progress! Look at his little crossed paws... so darn cute!

I hope to finish the quilting on the green triangles today (1/4" inside all the triangles).

Meanwhile Max waits patiently - just like the quilt is waiting patiently to be finished!

He stares at me to try to get me to play with him, and eventually he falls asleep... usually just as I am ready to move the hoop!

What are you patiently stitching today? Link up your blog post below and share your creative inspirations with us!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter