Wednesday, March 31, 2021

A Mystery Quilt Finish

My UFO project for March (and for February but we won't talk about that!) was to finish the guild mystery quilt that was started last summer. Nothing new was purchased to make this quilt and so many old scraps were used up. Being unable to shop during the pandemic has really helped me to be innovative in using up what I have accumulated over the years and I feel quite proud of that. 

The quilting is all free motion done on my domestic sewing machine, with each round of the quilt having a different design. I did not agonize over how to quilt this project like I sometimes do. I just made a decision as I came to each border and ended up with a variety of designs including arcs, swirls, waves and a few semi straight lines.

I really love the outside border for 2 reasons:

1) there are 13 pieces of black fabric scraps in the border and this really makes me so happy!

2) I love how the double swirl design turned out  using 2 different colours of threads. It was so fun to stitch that I contemplated adding another layer of stitching with a 3rd thread colour, but decided that I should focus instead on finishing the quilt instead.

The free pattern is by Robert Kaufmann and is called Gazebo Medallion. My version is much smaller and measures 54" x 64.5".


This quilt will join my guild's comfort quilt collection which is donated to victims of sexual assault that are treated at our local hospital. I love that this funky scrappy quilt will be given to a young person in need of some comfort.

I always use Warm and Natural batting for machine quilting and one tip I'd like to remember (so I am writing it here) is how to decide which side of Warm and Natural batting should be facing the quilt top. There are many different and opposite opinions on the internet (as there is with everything these days!) so I only trust the website belonging to the maker of the Warm and Natural batting. They say: 

"When quilting Warm & Natural or Warm & White, it is usually easier to do so in the same direction it was needle-punched – the cotton side facing towards your quilt top and the scrim side facing toward your quilt backing. With Warm & Natural the cotton side is distinguished by its leaf & stem remnants (face to quilt top)."

That is very helpful and I will remember that from now on as it helps with reducing thread breakage. The scrim side is smooth and it should face the backing.

Proudly linking up to One Monthly Goal and Favorite Finish party at Meadow Mist Designs

Monday, March 29, 2021

Design Wall Monday

On the design wall today is the jelly bean project. I have all the blocks sewn together on point which I thought looked more interesting. Cozy Quilter Gail sent me more jelly bean fabric since I had run out of scraps. It's a slightly different jelly bean fabric, but it gave me an idea of another border to add which I'll work on this week. 

Linking up to Small Quilts

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! You don't have to stand 6 feet apart, or sanitize your hands, or wear a mask... you can sit at home and enjoy the company of hand stitchers around the world!

This has been a week full of bindings for me. I have been finishing 3 quilt bindings and am loving every stitch! The first one finished was my green March placemat that I posted yesterday.


Here is a photo in which I am actually stitching outside in the sun in March! It was warm enough to wear a jacket and sit outdoors... I was delighted to soak up the sun and put the finishing touches on my March UFO.

I finished the hand quilting on this little lap quilt (started in October last year). It's so soft and puffy with the wool batting. It really was a delight to hand quilt and the texture makes me want to keep touching it... is that weird?!?

This is a 27" square lap quilt for a nursing home and the flannel backing will hopefully keep the quilt from slipping off the lap. And it's so pretty with the soft colours of the scraps from my friend Gillian.

Can you believe it's the last link up in March? This month went by faster (for me) than January or February. I'm sure it's because the weather has warmed up enough on some days to allow us to be outside and enjoy some outdoor visits with family and friends that we haven't seen yet this year.

Please link up your blog below and your hand stitched projects with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Finished Monthly Mini

Which green thread is best?
This month's mini project used up some leftover green 9 patch blocks sewn into a little heart, and a very old embroidery pattern. It was great fun to pick out some green threads to use! Green is a wonderful colour with such a wide range of tone and value.

I embroidered this young lady a long time ago, but she resurfaced recently and I can't remember where I found the pattern. I know it was a  free online pattern, but after a search I can't locate it. If you know where I can give credit for this design, please add a comment and let me know. I used a variegated green DMC floss on a yellow fabric to stitch the design and really liked her citrus skirt. 

The heart block is made from nine patch blocks made of 1" squares (finishing .5" in the quilt). There are a total of 22 little nine patch blocks in the placemat which makes my heart sing :)



The quilting is very simple on this placemat. I free motion quilted around the body of the lime lady, and then quilted straight lines around the heart and around the 9 patch blocks in the borders.

This is a photo of the backing so you can see the quilting design.  

The finished size of this placemat is 14.5" x 18" and it will be donated to Meals on Wheels to be given out with the lunches delivered to house bound folks in my community.

This is the 3rd in my series this year inspired by the Joyful Quilter's Tablescraps challenge, and The Constant Quilter's crew of mini quilters.

Scrappy Saturday

Green month has flown by hasn't it? Perhaps it's the excitement of spring in the air, or the anticipation of vaccines, or the sun returning this week? Nothing outside has turned green yet, and more snow will come, but for now the sewing room is full of green.

Here are my green bracket blocks for the Full Stop sampler quilt. I'm making 4 punctuation blocks each month and will decide on the layout closer to the end of the year.

I have also been playing with other blocks and green scraps. I like this photo that shows the variety of projects I have been working on - the Easy Breezy leader-ender, the waffle blocks, and some leftover tiny 9 patches from last weekend's class.

Linking up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Mystery Bin

One of the things I have enjoyed during the pandemic is online auctions. I always keep my eye out for antique machines that might want to be adopted into my herd.

Max and the mystery bin!
This past week I was bidding on a 1936 Singer hand crank sewing machine that I really wanted, but at the last minute a new bidder jumped the price too high for my budget and I wasn't able to get it. But I did console myself with bidding on a plastic bin of mystery contents, which I won!

The bin and contents cost me $12.50. I quite like the turquoise colour of the bin and like that it's translucent to vaguely see the contents in storage. I plan to fill it up with UFOs!

But what was inside? Here are the quilting related things - a fleece throw kit, a fabric book kit, some fabric markers, and a big bag of buttons.

There were also several tins, some that went to a thrift shop (altoids, etc) and 3 that I kept. I really like the Amatller tin which is from a chocolate company in Barcelona. I will keep tiny fabric collections in these tins.


There was also a stack of blank canvases that will go to an artist friend. 

Even though I didn't purchase the item I had hoped to, I was quite pleased with this auction treasure, and will keep searching for the elusive hand crank sewing machine that will one day join the herd.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Design Wall Monday

Truthfully there isn't much on the design wall today.
It was an exciting day on Saturday celebrating  International Quilting Day, and all my efforts last week went to developing 2 online classes for the guild event. These are the heart blocks we made from 1" pieces for the miniature class. It was very fun and a little bit stressful with managing technology, but it was our first time with online teaching, so we get an A+ for effort!
I look forward to quilting these blocks and turning them into finished projects. The larger pattern can be found here.
Linking up to Small Quilts

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to our weekly hand stitching party!

Yesterday was International Quilting Day and I celebrated with my local guild as they co-hosted a full day of online events. I taught a hand quilting class with a slide show of my projects and demonstrated my technique on my current project. It reminded me of how much I truly love hand quilting and want this method of quilt making to be passed on to the next generation.


I put more stitches into this little lap quilt which was my demo project, and just love the texture that the wool batting gives. I think I'm sold on wool as my new favourite batting! 

What did you work on for International Quilting Day?? What are you putting stitches into today?

Happy 1st day of Spring everyone (or autumn if you live in another hemisphere) ! Please share your projects with us today!


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Happy International Quilting Day!

Happy International Quilting Day! Today we are celebrating the gift of quilting - all the fabric, tools, quilty friends, and of course... QUILTS!


My International Quilting Day project was inspired by an instagram photo of Moda's 9 patch heart mini. I looked up the pattern called Stiletto and mini sized it.

This is my first version.  The pattern uses 1.5" squares and my version uses 1" squares (which finish at .5".) and I use a fun method of sewing 9 patch blocks. So sweet and perfect for an "I love quilting" project!


My second version will be part of my March Table Scraps Challenge project using green fabrics, which is the colour of the month for the RSC quilters.



I'm teaching my first online class today at an International Quilting Day celebration that my guild is co-sponsoring. It will be fun to celebrate this day will like-minded friends!

Another fun thing to do today would be to start a new quilt. The Fat Quarter shop has posted a free pattern for a lovely World Piece Quilt if you need a suggestion of something you can make from your stash! 

Whatever you get up to today, try to enjoy some quilting time!

Linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Monday, March 15, 2021

Design Wall Monday

Can you believe I forgot all about changing the clocks yesterday? I only remembered when I read the Scrapdash newsletter and saw this meme! Luckily my computer and my phone are smarter than I am, and they adjusted on their own!


Do you remember the scraps that my friend Jackie shared with me? 
I have been having so much fun playing with them. I decided to vote the teal coloured fabric off the island because it looked too much like "hanging melons"! And once I saw that, I couldn't unsee it!
If anyone wants the melon scraps let me know and I'll mail them to you!


So then I sorted the 1" squares and strips of neutral and dark scraps into various lengths. I figured out how to sew this 3" block which uses the scraps very efficiently. 



Here are the 4 blocks I've made so far. I'm thinking of  setting the blocks  together with some sashing and dark cornerstones? 
 I'm going to keep sewing the pieces together until I have enough blocks to make into a placemat. 
Linking up to Small Quilts

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! Bring your own beverages and snacks, and enjoy perusing the link ups below!

This week I am focused on hand quilting since I'm teaching my first online class next Saturday for International Quilting Day. I have put together a trunk show of some of my hand quilted projects and am excited to share it with the students in the class. I'm going to try to download a video to whet your appetite for hand quilting... let's see how this goes...


I'm hoping to finish quilting this lap quilt to show the class and am using it in a little demo video. 

You can join us if you like! It costs $20 for the day and includes classes, demonstrations, quilt shows, draws for prizes, and sewing breakout rooms if you feel like sewing the day away with friends around the world. Click here for more information.


In this project I used a wool batt, and a flannel for the backing and I am loving the texture of this combination and will definitely use it again!

What are you hand stitching today? We hope you will link up your blog or instagram post below and share your project with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Scrappy Saturday

Green Waffles
Last year I started a waffle quilt after being inspired by Nann's project. Since then I have been making a few blocks every month in the Rainbow Scrap colours.

Here are the green waffles made this month. I love how this project uses up all the 1.5" squares! 



Here are all the waffles blocks I've sewn. It's a riot of colour! You can really notice the colours that are lacking... more orange and purple, and some teal and light blue.

Linking up to the weekly RSC party

Friday, March 12, 2021

Scrap Medicine

One of my favourite  things to do when life feels overwhelming is to sort scraps. My friend Jackie gave me a scrap bag and I spent a very  relaxing afternoon sorting the pieces into piles of same colours and sizes.

There were 1" squares and 1"  strips in neutrals and browns, and some larger teal pieces. There now, everything is sorted and the world has been set to right!


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

UFO Update

More progress is being made on my UFO this month. It is a fun challenge to think of how to quilt each round of this mystery.  This is the centre star block quilted with some straight lines and some arcs around the star.

These are some of the threads I will be using - mostly Aurifil, and one YLI that is a good blender, and grey is in the bobbins. You know how I love to quilt with a selection of colours!

This is one of the 6 smaller stars at the top and bottom, quilted with arcs. The black on white background fabric is now quilted with random loops.

Looks like a finish by the end of the month is within reach!

Monday, March 08, 2021

Design Wall Monday

This project was  inspired by some 2" squares of jelly bean fabric in a scrap bag. Each month a few blocks have been sewn in the colour of the month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and now the jelly bean fabric has come to an end. An on point layout with an alternate square seems best to make the quilt a bit larger. The light fabric on the right will be the alternate block and the 3 FQ border prints will become borders of some sort.

Linking up with Small Quilts

Sunday, March 07, 2021

March Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! We encourage you to pick up one of your projects and put in a few stitches. And if you need a reminder about 13 of the benefits of hand stitching, click here. 


I am getting organized for my first online hand quilting class for International Quilting Day and am trying out a new (to me) thimble. I was intrigued by Becky Goldsmith's method using a cone thimble from the Thimble Lady. It's a very different hand motion than what I am used to with a traditional thimble, so I'll see if I can catch on to it or if it will be a passing fad for me. Have you tried out this thimble? Do you use a thimble for your hand stitching? Let us know in the comment section below.

These are my "go to" tools for hand quilting, plus a needle and sometimes a hoop. I'm getting projects ready to show for the class and it is reminding me of my long history of enjoying hand quilting. I'll be putting more stitches into this quilt today.
What are you working on? We hope you will link up your blog post below and share the progress you are making with your hand stitching projects.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, March 06, 2021

Scrappy Saturday

For an extra special treat this week, I got out one of my vintage machines to sew some scrappy blocks. This is Charity  my 1952 featherweight machine. She sews like a dream.

These are 16 patch blocks made from 2" squares. Here are the blocks made with jelly bean fabrics and green scraps. I have run out of jelly bean fabric now and will be substituting a pink cupcake square here and there.

Today I will work on a layout for this project so check back on Monday to see what I come up with!

Linking up to Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Wednesday, March 03, 2021

Late Design Wall Post

I think this is the first week in a very long time where I haven't posted a photo of my design wall on a Monday morning. I kept thinking something more interesting will be on the wall shortly, but nope... same old thing every day!

There are odds and ends, including the centre of a round robin project, a knitted facecloth, my February placemat made with 80 HST blocks, and two 16 patch green blocks for one of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects.


It feels odd to not be working on piecing a large quilt, but I'm trying to stay focused on my One Monthly Goal (which is a repeat from February!) to finish this quilt. I started the pin basting today so the quilt will soon be ready for quilting. This is going to become a finished quilt before the end of March!