Sunday, January 31, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! It's hard to believe it's already the last link up for January!

Thank you for the encouragement to finish my Life Is Beautiful project! It is such a lovely pattern, produced in a high quality format.  I was able to get the pattern several years ago through the generosity of Peg an online stitching friend in Australia who sent me the book when she was done with it. You can see Peg's lovely stitching in variegated thread here. Also you can see a lovely version of the pattern made in purples at Sewcolorful

I wonder if you might still be able to purchase the pattern at the Hugs and Kisses website? If not, I'm sorry for tempting you with a project that might be impossible to start! 

I don't always have time to visit all the posts each week, but I do give it my best effort. And last week I saw so many very cool hoops and frames... it just makes me feel so happy to see you all stitching away on your beautiful projects! 😍

Hand quilting by the lake 

I thought I would share the hoop that I use the most for quilting. Although I have 2 floor stands, I find I use this circular wooden hoop the most, as it's easy to drag the project anywhere, like stitching while the family watches TV or outside when the weather is tolerable. 

Today I'll be put a few more hand quilting stitches into my oldest UFO. 

This week I finished hand stitching the  binding (on a placemat) which is a task that doesn't need a hoop. Isn't this a cute picture of stitching beside the  bird?! 

What are you hand stitching today? Do you have a favourite hoop for your projects? Link up your blog or instagram post below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Scrappy Saturday

There has been lots of pink progress in the sewing room this month. I posted yesterday about my lovely pink placemat - click here if you missed that post. 

And I have also been working on my UFO of the month, which is still not quite finished. I didn't meet my January goal, but I have enjoyed seeing this improv project on the design wall and working on it from time to time. The right side of the quilt still needs some decisions made.

 4 Waffle and 8 Easy Breezy blocks

Several scrappy blocks were sewn and added to the waffle project, and the easy breezy leader-ender block collection.

Linking up to the RSC party

Friday, January 29, 2021

Monthly Mini

I am continuing with my monthly mini making tradition with the mini quilt makers over at The Constant Quilter again this year. But in 2021, I am adding a challenge inspired by The Joyful Quilter's Table Scraps challenge to create something for a table. My plan is to make a scrappy placemat from small scraps using the RSC colour of the month. Very fun to combine 3 challenges into one project!

January is pink month and I got out some HST scraps leftover from a wallhanging that I made in 2002 - yes 19 years ago! These little babies were perfectly aged and ready to be part of a finished project. The pinwheels measure 1.5" and I had enough pieces to make 7 of them.

I put 8 more of the larger HST blocks on the sides to make the project wider and then added a 2" border all around. Of course I had a fun time choosing just the right pink thread for the quilting.

And then I had the most fun quilting little hearts all around the pinwheels. I did a little bit of preplanning in my mind, but no marking for the free motion path of stitches. It's truly the most fun you can have during lockdown :)

Tada... a lovely mostly pink placemat that will be donated to the Meals on Wheels program in my community. I imagine a lovely older woman eating her lunch with this little spark of beauty to cheer her up on long dark winter days in lockdown, and I hope it makes her smile :)

At the end of the month I'll be linking up with The Constant Quilter and The Table Scraps Challenge.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Design Wall Monday

Great progress is being made on my version of the Grassy Creek mystery. I have all the block components prepared and am sewing the rows together. The top half of the quilt is sewn together, and this is the bottom half of the quilt on the design wall. 

I do not plan to add the grey strip pieced outside border (although I do think it makes a great frame for the quilt design) as the quilt is already the size it needs it to be.

It is so thrilling when the blocks join together well, especially at the angle joins like this section. Not all of my seams are well done, but when it falls into place, I do a happy dance!

Here is a photo of sewing the rows together. You can see the pink easy breezy leader-ender block to the right of the needle ready to get some stitches at the end of this long row join.

The pattern will disappear on Feb. 12th so if you are sewing along, make sure you have all the information you need before that day.

Linking up to Design Wall Monday over at Judy's

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching - old friends

Welcome to the international weekly hand stitching party!

6 year old UFO
Lately I have been visiting some of the projects in my UFO collection. Many are unfinished because I either want to add some hand applique or I want to hand quilt them. I don't know if I will have enough years in my life to accomplish this lofty goal, but it's fine with me if they sit in the closet and wait for their turn. Or eventually get finished by someone else. 

I have been slowly working on my Life Is Beautiful project for 6 years. I still love it and enjoy putting stitches in it from time to time. There are 2 blocks in the quilt layout, an embroidery block and an alternate circular applique block. 

Hand quilting an embroidery block
This is a project that involves my favourite hand stitching activities: applique, embroidery, and quilting. I am not in a hurry to finish it. I savour each stitch, and each step of the creative process. That is what making a beautiful life is all about!

I certainly have enough quilted blocks to start the quilt-as-you-go assembly process but I haven't yet. The blocks are easier to store in a pile. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it LOL!

And I'm also hand quilting my oldest UFO that I showed last week. 

In spite of everything going on in the world, and needing to stay "safe at home" during our continuing covid19 lockdown, today I'm just going to focus on creating more beauty in life by putting stitches into a couple of my oldest projects. 💖

What beautiful projects are you hand stitching today? Link up your blog post below and share with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Playing with Pink

Did you see the Table Scraps Challenge from Joyful Quilter? Last year I enjoyed making a few placemats and decided to continue with that in 2021, combining the RSC colour of the month with a placemat project. The link up is the last Saturday of the month, so that will be fun!

I pulled out some old leftover HST blocks and made a few pinwheels to start. These are small blocks - the pinwheels measure 2" and will be 1.5" in the finished project.

Then I added a very pale pink background fabric and put some blocks on point. Cute so far, but not big enough for a placemat yet, so I'll have to add to it.

So much scrappy pinkness going on right now. Did you see the UFO I'm also working on? Totally pink!

Linking up to the RSC party

Thursday, January 21, 2021

UFO Update

This month's UFO had to be found before I could work on it! It's almost 5 years old, so it was at the back of the closet. And although I didn't actually start working on it until this week, I was working on it in my head since the beginning of the month. Thinking. Thinking. 

Why did I stop working on it? What would make me like this project more? 

Having the right mindset is the most important thing when working on a UFO and here are the four insights I had about this project:

1) Too much of a good thing (pink) might not be good (for me)! I was coming to that conclusion after the class and spacing out the pink and adding more white in the strip sets, but still not quite enough to settle it down. 

2) Adding a couple of random surprises makes me happier! In this quilt there are a few bunnies and owls.

3) There is no "right" layout, especially with an improv quilt. Anything the maker likes is "right". Sometimes when I take a quilt class I start to think there is only one way to put a quilt together, and the teacher knows the way and I don't. It ties me up in knots and then the project gets stuck. 

4) Hand stitching fixes everything (for me!). As soon as I started thinking about adding hand stitches in pink thread, I immediately wanted to finish the quilt top.

Progress is being made!

Monday, January 18, 2021

Design Wall Monday

This week I am diligently working on my Grassy Creek mystery quilt. It has been a fun quilt to piece, and I have enjoyed it immensely. This is the rough layout according to the directions. It was nice but a bit too much red for me.

I replaced all the churn dash bars with gold fabrics and it was also nice but a bit too much gold for me.

The story of Goldilocks came to mind... too hard, too soft, too hot, too cold, ahhhh... just right!

I tried a combination of alternating red and gold and that was just right! I loved how that looked and couldn't wait to get sewing it together. It is my goal to sew the entire quilt top by next week's design wall. Lofty goal, but doable if I can stay focused. 

Linking up to Design Wall Monday over at Small Quilts.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching - My Oldest UFO

Welcome to the mid January hand stitching link up! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will visit with some of the folks who have linked up below and leave some some encouraging comments for them.

In the coldest winter months I like to put some stitches into my oldest UFO. It is about 25 years old and I still love it! I am now quilting the border lines, which you might think is boring, and it is. But it's also very relaxing and easy, and is just what I need today. 

It is such a large, heavy quilt and it's perfect for winter snuggling. Max thinks so too! When I got up to go to the washroom, this is what I found upon my return! He had pulled it off the chair and made himself a little bed. He loves quilts so much, but he also eats them so we have to keep an eye on him! (PS - see my treadle sewing machine in the background... time to do some of that again!)

We all need to feel a sense of connection these days while we sit in our homes in the winter, trying to stay safe from covid and still maintain sanity! The province in which I live (Ontario) has declared our second covid "state of emergency" as of this past week, and we are ordered to stay at home, leaving only for buying groceries or for medical appointments. We are warned about "dark days ahead" if people don't comply with this lockdown period. It's no problem for me... I can stay in my house and quilt until the cows come home, or until the pandemic is over, whichever comes first! 

Quilting until the cows come home or the pandemic is over!

What are you hand stitching today? Are you working on winter projects? Or are you in the southern hemisphere working on summer projects?? Link up your blog post below and share your project update with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Scrappy Saturday

We are in a 28 day "lockdown/stay at home" order in our province. We usually experience some "cabin fever" at the best of times during the middle of every winter, so we need to be creative to find ways to make this "safe at home" experience more enjoyable.

I have been making a variety of soups and some of them have been delicious and some have been, well, "interesting". This was a "clean out the fridge" soup which was interesting! LOL 

I have also been playing in the pink scraps making my Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks and this week I added a few more to the waffle collection, and the easy breezy collection.

Linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge party

Monday, January 11, 2021

Mystery Blocks

I have kept up with the Quiltville mystery by sewing half the units each week since the end of November. And on Friday we got a doozy of a surprise with the pattern reveal! I could hardly wait for my work day to be over so I could get to my sewing machine.

And in my excitement I sewed the first two blocks wrong!! Yes I did!

Wrong! Both of my first failed attempts!

Okay, once I settled down, unsewed the errors and tried again, the blocks turned out correctly. 

I also finished sewing all the centre stars which was very enjoyable. I can't wait for more time to keep building more blocks.

Linking up to Small Quilts

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Slow Sunday link

Welcome to the weekly link up celebrating the art of hand stitching! We are interested in anything you are stitching with your very own hands including knitting, tatting, applique, hand piecing, rug making, english paper piecing, quilting, embroidery, cross stitch, and beading. 

I have started yet another face/dish cloth and am enjoying the pink Sudz yarn. I think the reason I am more likely to pick up knitting rather than other types of stitching in the evenings is because my eyes are tired, and knitting doesn't require good eyesight. I work on zoom/computer all day now and it is really taking a toll on my eyesight. I think I'm going to need one of those magnifier lamps to keep doing other types of hand work in the winter evenings.

But today I plan to put a stew in the crockpot for supper and then spend the day light hours enjoying hand quilting. 

I came across a lovely story about a Canadian knitter living in Italy and creating a knitted covid sculpture. If you want to read it too, click on this link: Making Sense of the Pandemic 

What are you hand stitching today? We would love to see your project and hope you will link up your blog post below and inspire us with some of your hand work.
Hope you are staying safe and feeling well!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Scrappy Saturday

It has been a fun pink week in my studio. In between sewing blocks for the Quiltville mystery I sewed 4 more cute Easy Breezy leader-ender blocks. I have more cut and ready to put through the machine all month.

And of course I'm joining in Angela's 2021 row sampler called "Full Stop" using the RSC colours each month. I found a perfect background fabric and hope it will be enough yardage. The first block is a pink hashtag and I made 4 of those. I'm not going to sew the blocks together yet since I might make it a sampler quilt instead of a row quilt... haven't decided yet.

Hop over to the RSC link up and see what other pink sewing is going on

Friday, January 08, 2021

Quiltville Mystery Update

Are you keeping up with the Grassy Creek mystery adventure? 

I have been making approx. half of the units each week to make a smaller version of the quilt. For step #6 I made it easy on myself and used one grey and one background. Quick and easy. Also boring. But that's okay because the blocks from the previous steps are very busy

I'm excited to pop over to the Quiltville blog today and see what we're sewing this week!

I think I might call my mystery quilt "Up Covid Creek Without a Paddle!! We are in the middle of a 28 day lockdown here and the number of covid cases are still increasing.

I'm so thankful to have a wonderful hobby to keep me busy indoors through this most unusual winter. 

Max is also finding ways to keep himself entertained in the winter ... no snowball fights in the house!

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

New Year's Day Mystery

On January 1st I participated in the Scrapdash mystery quilt called 21 stars for 2021. It was a complex pattern to organize and sew in one day, but I did it. 

I wanted to use up the baby HST blocks that were cut off when making the border in clue #6, and I turned them into scrappy friendship stars for the corners of the quilt. I also used up most of the remaining gradated blue background fabric but might have enough left for the binding. It measures 52.5" x 59".

Thanks to Kris for a fun start to 2021, and a great quilt pattern!

Monday, January 04, 2021

Design Wall Monday

It's pink month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge so I decided to start off 2021 with a pink UFO. This project is the combination of 2 improv classes in 2016. It's been waiting a while to be finished and it's time has come! Right now it is just a bunch of pink and white strip sets that need to be sewn to the centre quarter log cabin blocks. It's a bit too much pink even for me, so I'll be happy to finish this for a donation quilt.

It's a big goal to get this to become a finished quilt by the end of the month, but it's January so I'm aiming high!
Hop over to One Monthly Goal to see what other quilters are hoping to finish in January. 
Also linking up to Design Wall Monday.

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the first hand stitching party of 2021! It's the only party you can attend these days where you don't have to social distance or wear a mask! It's a stay-at-home party, and you provide all your own beverages, snacks, and stitching projects. 

I made another batch of masks for family Christmas gifts, using some covid fabrics and some Canadian themed fabrics. I rewarded myself for finishing that task but doing some knitting.

I finished my 6th knitted cloth and made a few mistakes, but maybe you can see what it is?

If I take the colour out, can you see the pattern? 

It's called "antidepressant cat" and the pattern is available from Knitwits Heaven. It was fun to knit, but a lot of counting to keep track of. Then I ran out of wool about 10 rows from the end but thankfully was able to locate another ball of blue Sudz at Galt House of Yarn to finish it. Phew!

I finished hand binding a family memory quilt for my kids just in time for Christmas. But I still have one more of those hand embroidered tea towels to finish, which is next on the list for attention. 

What are you hand stitching as we begin 2021? Do you have any slow stitching goals for this year? I would like to finish up some beading projects that are sitting around in states of half finishedness. I hope you will link up your blog post below and share your project with us!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, January 01, 2021

A great day of sewing!

I finished clue #6 of the Scrapdash mystery and I just love it! It really sparkles!

It measures 42.5" x 48.5" after this step and next is adding plain borders. But I have some cut off triangles from the sashing construction and I'm thinking about adding another pieced border.

I'm going to call it a day and come back to it tomorrow with fresh eyes.

Thanks to Kris for a fun mystery quilt! It was the perfect way to bring in the new year!

You can see more photos posted from the day here.

Sewing the day away!

This is such a fun mystery project! 

Here are the pieces sewn for step #4.

And here are the pieces for step #5. Uh oh!

Can you spot the mistake?!?

Hint... top right corner

 I'll fix that block, and then start sewing step #6.

I'm having a great day!