Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Design Wall Tuesday

Nothing is on the design wall that is in the design stage right now. I have my 4 placemats on the design wall to cheer me up (January pink, February yellow, March green and April blue).

My Sister's Scrap Challenge was on the design wall, but I really don't like it, so I can't look at it right now. It just reflects the state of the covid crisis in Ontario - it's a hot mess. The vaccine rollout here has been disorganized and painfully slow. It is causing crisis, conflict and death. I have a dear friend (since high school) in the ICU unconscious since Friday. She didn't qualify for a vaccine since she is not in a "high risk group". She got covid from her Mom who did have her first  vaccine and is also in hospital. No one will get a second vaccine until mid summer. It's an unbelievable national health crisis.

I will do lots of hand stitching this week to just stay calm and grounded.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching where we celebrate the art of creating things with our hands. 
Any hand stitching activity is welcome here :)

I did some hand stitching yesterday to finish up my April placemat challenge (you can read about it here). Isn't that a pretty backing fabric?

This week I also put a few more stitches into the Kawandi I started last fall in a class with Sujata Shah. I am enjoying hand stitching with the perle cotton threads. Soon I will need to review my class notes to figure out how to finish the centre. Today I will work on adding the 3rd round of scraps.

What are you hand stitching today? We hope you will link up your blog post below and show us what you are working on.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

April Challenge

My goal for 2021 is to create a placemat each month which combines the RSC colour of the month (which is blue for April), the Table Scraps Challenge, and includes some miniature blocks. April's placemat is a celebration of blue Ohio Star block variations.

These are the larger 6" star variation blocks. These blocks are made with leftover HSTs from my Mosaic Mystery.

And I made 3 sweet little 2" star blocks. Working with miniature blocks really makes my heart sing! 

I set the mini stars on point and placed them in the centre of the design. The machine quilting is a very simple stitch in the ditch, and a single wavy line in the outside border.

The finished size of the placemat is 17" x 14".

Linking to the Table Scraps Challenge, the RSC party and the mini quilters over at the Constant Quilter

Friday, April 23, 2021

Online Class

I attended my second online quilting class this week.

The class was called "Traditional Variations" taught be Cheryl Arkinson. It was a wonderful day exploring creative ways to make traditional blocks. I played with friendship star variations and these are the blocks I sewed during the class.

Cheryl gave us so many ideas to run with and it was a day of cutting and sewing and trying new things. For example these are friendship stars made with curves instead of HST blocks. 
I'm going to make a few more blocks and turn this collection into a backing for my 21 Stars quilt.

What I discovered when playing was that one idea sparks another idea (and more scraps) and it was so FUN! Remember when we used to play as children just for the sake of having fun? As adults we think everything has to be purposeful and goal focused. Especially during covid there have been so few opportunities to play and have fun with our  friends. This class was a great reminder to enjoy the benefits of play - it's good for your health and we all need to be as healthy as we can during this pandemic. Hence... we need to play more!! I'm so grateful for this reminder!
You can read more about Cheryl and the workshops she offers here and can read her blog here.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

New Project - Step #5

I'm starting to feel the time pressure with this challenge quilt because the deadline to become a finished quilt for the Scrap Sister's Challenge is May 15.

The next decision was what to do with the many green strips in the envelope. Having no other ideas at the time, I just made a stack of 4 patch blocks.

Now I need to figure out how to integrate them into this quilt. 

I don't know... sprinkle them around the quilt? Use them as sashing? There aren't enough to go around the quilt for a border, but maybe partial borders?

I will ask the quilt and see what she says!

Monday, April 19, 2021

New Project - Step #4

The best thing about a quilt challenge is that at the beginning you have no idea what to make, and eventually your creative brain makes decisions and gives you direction, and before you know it, you're making something. It might not be something you like, but if you're open to the creative process, it's a fun ride!

In making my version of the Sister's Scrap Challenge I have been asking myself "what could I do to help me like this project more"? 

I had to deal with this ugly fabric and the best way to deal with ugly is to cut it into small pieces. So I made 4 more friendship stars with the background blue fabric and the ugly. It's not too terrible.

Let's see how it's coming together with all the decisions made so far. Here is the design wall situation today.

Gulp! Well, so far it's a dog's breakfast and maybe that's the name of this quilt?!?! I'll keep asking myself what I could change/add to help me to like this more and see where it takes me!

Linking up to Design Wall Monday over at Judy's

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching here at Kathy's Quilts where we celebrate hand stitching of all kinds. We want to encourage our fellow hand stitchers to keep making slow progress, and to squeeze every ounce of enjoyment you can from each stitch you take.

The only hand stitching I worked on this week is some knitting during zoom meetings. I am really tired of zoom meetings and yet so thankful to have them (if that makes any sense). I am making good progress with this washcloth pattern from Knitwits Heaven and you can probably guess who this will be for! I like how the outside border pattern is turning out.

What are you hand stitching in the middle of April?

Link up your blog post below and share your progress or lack thereof!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Scrappy Saturday

The monthly RSC colour for April is light blue.

Here are the blue projects I sewed this week:

-Several new waffle blocks were made with blue sashing. More are cut out and will be leader-ender pieces for other sewing.

-My Sister's Scrap Challenge project with a bright blue background is coming along. This is the design unit and I'll be making more of these blocks today.

-But look at this tiny blue star! I adore this treasure that measures 2 3/8" unfinished! 
💖 It was a practice block and will hopefully become part of my monthly placemat.

Linking up to the weekly Rainbow Scrap Challenge party

Friday, April 16, 2021

New Project - Step #3

The friendship stars made earlier in the week gave me an energetic boost for this scrap challenge. I really like them. Then I took a good look at the fabric pile and found these 2 fun pieces that look a bit like fireworks.

I fussy cut the circles in different sizes and bordered them on 3 sizes with the background fabric strips.

Okay, now what should I do with those?

I just kept on sewing the small scraps to a piece of background fabric and accumulated a pile of these 2 piece units.
And I learned how hard it is to photograph this growing quilt with accurate colour since there is so much bright blue.

 Thinking of the next step...thinking...thinking!

Finally I decided to join the fireworks with a pile of the crumb pieced units and got these fun strips. Oh yah... this is going well.

Now, what next?

Stay tuned for an update on Monday!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

New Project - Step #2

As I'm working on an improv quilt, I keep asking myself the question "what could I add to make me like this quilt more"? The answer that came to me working on my scrap challenge quilt was...  throw in a few friendship stars. Perfect for a "sister's scrap challenge" project since we are all quilting sisters!

I picked my favourite piece from the scrap pile which was a batik binding and I made it into 6" friendship star blocks. I was 1 HST short, so I used that opportunity to add one of the three selvages that I was given. See it on the bottom right?

I decided to sew the stars together with the improv crumb pieced blocks and it looked good in a 12" block. 

So that's another decision made as this will be the design unit.

What next?

Monday, April 12, 2021

New Project - Step #1

Last month I signed up for the "Sisters Scrap Challenge" with Quilter on Fire. The project is raising funds for Quilts of Valour in Canada. The participants received an envelope of scraps and we are to make a quilt using only the scraps received and 1.5 yard of a background fabric. 

This is the zoom meeting with organizers Brandi (Quilter on Fire) and scrap sisters Kathy and Bonnie.

And here is the background fabric reveal that we chose BEFORE we saw the scraps we had to work with. I chose a bright blue only because I had a big enough piece of yardage. 

And here are the scraps that were in my envelope and you can see  my blue background fabric at the top of the photo - yikes! Well, this will be a true challenge in every sense of the word since we cannot add any other fabrics!

So here is what is on the design wall at the moment. I started to make some kind of a crumb/confetti pieced scrap quilt. I'm not sure yet if I'm making blocks or strips so I'll keep sewing until the answer comes to me.
Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party, where we value the slow process of creating with our own hands. If you knit, bead, hand quilt, cross stitch, embroider, tat, applique, hook rugs, hand piece quilt blocks, or enjoy english paper piecing (did I miss anything?!) you will find other like-minded stitchers here!

Every once in a while I come across something beautiful that I want to share with you and recently I saw this gorgeous stitch art piece called "The Embroiderers" by Ercigoj Art measuring approximately 24" x 30".

This machine embroidered piece is based on an 1866 oil painting by Adriano Cecioni called "Le Ricamatrici". It is such a peaceful scene, and I love the vibrant colours in the peace, the texture of the apron and dress, the attention of the artists to their stitching. It just makes me take a deep relaxing breath!

I cannot explain why I love this piece so much. I know it's popular now, but "machine embroidery" seems like such an oxymoron to me. Yet here is a piece made by machine incorporating thousands of stitches, taking over 300 hours to construct and picturing women doing embroidery by hand. WOW!

This week I finished my Morewood Mystery quilt and hand stitched 264" of binding. It was fun to stitch a pink and orange binding. 

And since then, I've been slow to pick up another project. I always feel a little lost after a big finish, but I'm sure I'll find something to put stitches into today. We are under a 28 day "stay at home" order in Ontario, so I won't be going anywhere. Since a lot of the outdoor yard work is already done, that means it's a day of stitching ahead.

What are you hand stitching this week?  We'd love to see what you are working on and hope you will link up your blog post below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Scrappy Saturday - Scrap Organization

If you want to be a scrap quilter, you really need some kind of organizational system to make good use of your bits and pieces. Most of the time my "system" looks like this photo of scraps in bags!

But on occasion I enjoy organizing scraps into my favourite collectable tins and boxes. I especially like tins that have a little window so you can see what is inside. This tin holds my waffle blocks.

And I have this gorgeous tea box which has such a pretty embossed design on the lid that you can only see when you have it tilted at the exact right magical angle. 

This Harney and Sons tea box is the perfect size to hold my collection of 1.5" squares and organized sets of blocks. I can open the box and start sewing up these leader-ender blocks whenever I have time. 

And these are the blue Easy Breezy blocks sewn this month so far - so pretty! Blue is definitely a colour that needs more representation in this quilt, so there will be several more made over the month.

What are you sewing on this lovely April day?

Linking up to the RSC party

Friday, April 09, 2021

Friday Finish

I am delighted to share that my April UFO Morewood Mystery quilt is finished! 

This was an easy mystery quilt to pick fabrics for... we chose 4 colours and a background. My choices really cheered me up over the long covid winter of 2020/21.

The 3 thread colours I picked for the quilting were green, salmon, and yellow.

The quilting is all straight line on the diagonal using the walking foot. 

I really liked the text fabric in the centre of all the orange blocks and in many of the other blocks. It's one of my favourite things about this quilt. I'm so glad I found a special quilt to use it in.

Another thing that made me happy as I was working on this quilt is that I did a good job on the pin binding. 

You can assess your pin basting success by looking at how the the quilt top looks around the pins as you are quilting. If the quilt lays flat as you are quilting, and there are no little hills that develop between the needle and the basting pins as you approach them, you are doing a good job! If you get little hills or mountains around the pins, the quilt top was not taut enough during the basting process.

The backing is a bright green butterfly fabric. The binding is a combination of the bright pink fabric and a little bit of orange on the 2 sides. I'm so pleased with all the scraps that were used up in this special quilt.

I enjoy the manageable pace of the mysteries at Meadow Mist Designs - making one step for the quilt each monthThis is my 3rd mystery quilt with Cheryl (previous mysteries are Mosaic Mystery, and Magnolia Mystery). Thank you to Cheryl for another fun quilty adventure! This quilt will be donated to my guild's comfort quilt collection. Finished size: 60" x 71"

Linking up to the Morewood linky party (where there are 300 versions of this pattern posted and I am number 301!)

Also linking up to Finished (or not) Friday at Alycia's and One Monthly Goal

Monday, April 05, 2021

Design Wall Monday

This is how the design wall looks at the beginning of April.

I have been working on the jelly bean quilt. I fixed the green block at the top of the quilt that eagle eye Lisa noticed when I posted the quilt last week. It needed a 90 degree rotation to get the jelly beans to line up, so I unsewed it, and put it back together - correctly this time. Then I added a narrow white border and started on the next jelly bean border with the fabric from my friend Gail. I'm not sold on this idea yet, so I'll keep playing with it.

At the top of the design wall are some Ohio Star variations for my blue April placemat. 

Linking up to Small Quilts

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly celebration of the art of slowly stitching by hand! We encourage you to slow down, breathe deeply, take a few stitches, and enjoy seeing the slowly created projects of hand stitching gurus from around the world. 

Here in Ontario we are into our 3rd shutdown as the covid cases continue to rise once again. This 28 day shutdown will hopefully slow the spread enough to free up some ICU beds as the medical system is under tremendous stress.  Our vaccination roll out has been very slow so we are playing a waiting game to see who wins - the virus or the vaccines!

So once again, while we stay "safe at home", what else is there to do but stitch the days away?!

have a start and a finish to share with you today.

First, my new project is a grey washcloth square that I'm knitting for a gift. The pattern is from Knitwits Heaven. I just feel such a sense of accomplishment as I check off each of the rows!

And I finished another mini quilt. I added a round of hand quilting just for the added texture. I enjoy a combination of machine and hand quilting on a project.  These silicon needle grippers are my new favourite tool and I use them for most hand stitching these days.

Here's the finished miniature quilt
 made for International Quilting Day. There are 8 little nine patch blocks set on point. The squares in the nine patch blocks finish .5" in the quilt.

I also played around in the kitchen this weekend, making some creative edible (?) projects. This was my favourite for Easter brunch... a DIY deviled eggs chicks that are supposed to look like the photo on the right...so darn cute!

But in real life, they turned out like this! Some mutant baby chicks (and these are the best ones!) There was a lot of time spent in the kitchen and a lot of giggling going on, but not much to show for it!

Wishing a Happy Easter to everyone!
Please link up your blog posts below and share what you are working on this week. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter