Sunday, October 31, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to Slow Stitching Sunday where we make time to slow down our lives, to breathe deeply, to pick up a needle and thread, and take some slow stitches. 

Here are some reminders of how to enjoy the lovely autumn season.
Today we are celebrating  Halloween, so the trick and treaters will be coming around tonight. Last year was pretty quiet, so hopefully there will be more activity this year. 

I finished my  Halloween quilt this week and enjoyed sitting outdoors to hand stitch the binding on (probably) the last nice day of the season.

I just have to show you the next door  neighbour's beautiful tree that I was looking at while hand stitching the binding. Magnificent!
The wind will blow these leaves away within days, so it is a reminder to get outside and enjoy the glorious colours of nature while we can!

Pretty paisley border fabric

It's time once again to get to work on my oldest UFO. It's cold enough to have a large heavy quilt on my lap while stitching, and I'm enjoying quilting the straight line border design. I remember when I hemmed and hawed over the decision because I wanted to quilt the lines, but thought it was too simple, and I "should" stitch a feather design or a cable or a more complex design. 
I'm SOOO happy that I went with something easy so this quilt can be finished within my lifetime (hopefully!) 

This is a terrible late night photo of the back of the quilt showing the stitching design along the edge. No one will notice the slightly wobbly "straight" line quilting.

What are you hand stitching today? Link up your blog post below and share your project with us!

Happy Halloween!

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Saturday, October 30, 2021

Scrappy Saturday

My October placemat featuring light green QST blocks is done! This month's placemat creation was quite the interesting journey! It started with little HST blocks that wanted to be sweet little 1 3/8" QST blocks.  Many blog readers voted on a sashing fabric, and the green batik crackle fabric was the fan favourite by far.

The quilting was relaxing - straight lines with the walking foot between the columns, and sometimes (if I remembered) in the ditch also. And I stitching some free motion vines and leaves on the 2 side borders.

Ahhhh... the most relaxing part is hand stitching the binding. Here you can see the lovely green backing fabric, and you can also see the fact that two of the stitching lines are missing. That's okay... it lays flat and I am a recovering perfectionist, so I'm leaving it as it is! 

And here is October's finished project!

Linking up to the Table Scraps Challenge,  the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and Wendy will link me up to the mini quilts challenge at Constant Quilters.

Friday, October 29, 2021

October UFO is Finished!

I am so happy to have finished my Bats and Boos mystery quilt! This is a free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop and is the perfect table topper for Halloween! I didn't add the outside border as it was already large enough for my table.

I posted about quilting the centre block here.

In the pumpkins I quilted curvy lines, and then made wavy lines around them, which look a bit like tendrils in the pumpkin patch.

I quilted curvy lines inside the bat, but because it's black thread on black fabric, you can't really see that quilting.

This is my favourite block - the cat bat! The wavy lines around the bats look like they are in flight and pushing the air forward around them.

The binding is made from 4 leftover strips of black fabric that were used in making the quilt.

Finished size: 32.5" x 32.5"

I'm so happy with this quilt and offer my thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for this fun mystery adventure!

Linking up to One Monthly Goal

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Mini Challenge Started

Recently Janet (Rogue Quilter) issued a challenge to the "monthly Mini-acs" group at Wendy's (The Constant Quilter) to create a mini from one of our scrap bags. I have a lot of little scrap bags around here and am blessed to have quilty friends who share their scrap wealth with me.

These treasures are from a baggie that my friend Jackie shared with me. I dumped the bag out on the table and started sorting through the pieces. You can see some ideas emerging in the bottom left.

There was only 1 teal fabric in the bag and it did not appeal to me! To me it looked like hanging melons! So it got voted off the island and I started making some neutral and brown blocks.

This is the block idea that I came up with. A handful of sweetness made with the above scraps.
I started with a 4 patch and added to the sides. I stopped here because us miniaturists prefer small blocks! LOL

Here are the first 4 blocks. 

Love the total scrappiness of all the neutrals!

It's going to need a touch of colour added and for Janet's challenge we are allowed to add one neutral and one colour. 

What colour would you bring into this project?

Monday, October 25, 2021

Design Wall Monday

My small quilting group is getting motivated to work on another group project for fundraising. Our last quilt sold for $400 and because we haven't sewn together since covid started, we haven't been motivated to start another quilt. But we are getting going again and encouraging each other to sew some blue and white blocks for another group quilt effort. 

We are starting by sewing up the block kits we collected during the 2019 Shop Hop. This block was from the Kindred Spirits quilt store in St. Catharine's. The pieces were pre-cut with an "AccuQuilt Go" cutter and they were amazingly accurate. It went together like a dream and measured exactly 9.5".

Here are the 4 blocks I finished for this week's contribution to the project. Once we have many blocks sewn we will start talking about layouts and sizes, and how many blocks we will need to sew.

For now it is in the block making phase and that's my favourite part!

Linking up to Design Wall Monday

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Happy Slow Sunday Stitching!

It's time to pick up your hand stitching project and put in some stitches. You will immediately notice the health benefits of breathing more slowly, clearing your mind to focus on a simple task, and feeling more relaxed as you enjoy creating more stitches in a project that you have chosen. Even if you just put in a few stitches, you will benefit, and your project will be closer to completion. 

Yesterday I started stitching the binding on my monthly placemat, and that feels like an accomplishment! See how the backing fabric says "breathe more"?? It's one of my fave fabrics! I'll write more about this finish in next Saturday's blog post.

I have also been putting more stitches into my Kawandi. It has all the fall colours so I feel drawn to work on it. However, I do get discouraged seeing the wide variation in the size of my stitches. I like using coloured threads but it does make my uneven stitches really noticeable. Oh well, I will just keep on stitching!

This week I finished my little fall embroidery. Here it is hanging in the tree in my backyard. I really enjoy making it and love the little blue bird! You can find the free pattern at Melisa's blog if you want to make one.

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

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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Scrappy Saturday

I have had very little time to sew or read blogs this week. Today I will need an infusion of quilting to get my energy level renewed. 

I am slowing working on my monthly placemat and hope to have a finish to post next week. 

I did sew a few leader-ender blocks that are on the design wall. These are blocks for the last 2 Quiltville leader-ender challenges. I can't seem to stop making those Easy Breezy blocks, even though I've started to sew Fish School blocks!

A highlight of my week was getting scraps in the mail from fellow blogger Chris. Who doesn't love squishy mail?!?! 
I wonder what this pile of loveliness will become?!?

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching where we celebrate all the wonderful benefits of the art of hand stitching! I am so glad you can join us this week and I have some photos to share of an outdoor visit I had with some quilting friends this past week. It was a sunny day, we had a lovely visit, and they brought some hand stitching with them. 

We had a knitter - just look at that delicious yarn! It looks like bits of candy in the yarn. This will become a child's sweater.

We had a quilt being bound by hand. It is so close to being a finished project to be enjoyed at Christmas time.

I was doing some embroidery on a tea towel, and I somehow accidentally snipped the green thread in the letter  'e', so I have to go back and fix that.

We had a hand piecer working on the Border Creek 2021 sew along. She's making the whole quilt by hand! 

And we had a bag of hand pieced blocks that one of the stitchers brought to show us.  They belong to her neighbour who found them in her mother's belongs after she had died. The neighbour wants someone to finish the quilt for her. Should I volunteer?

We spread the pretty blocks out on the patio table and we all fell in love with these pretty 6 pointed stars. If I tell you that they are all slightly different sizes, likely made over several years, and varying about 1/2" in size from side to side, do you think I should try to tackle putting these together? I want to simply because of the story that goes with it, but will it be stressful? Impossible? A regretful decision? I would love to hear your thoughts on this dilemma. 

Today I'll be working on my embroidery again. What are you hand stitching this week? Please link up your post below and share your projects with us.

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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Mid month UFO report

When you want to machine quilt a project and you don't know what pattern to use, you just have to start somewhere.

So I started quilting my October UFO in the centre block.

This is the design that happened from stitching continuous curved lines. It's a little wobbly in places, but I just kept on going.

Then I moved to the pumpkins and stitched a few lines with grey thread in the centre stars, then made 3 echo curves in orange thread on each side of the pumpkins.

When I was on my last pumpkin I realized that my Peter Pointer fingernail had poked a hole through the top of my Machingers. That means I have done so much quilting that I have actually worn them out! Time for a new pair!
I'm ready to quilt the bat blocks next, and am happy that I am on track to finish this before Halloween!

Monday, October 11, 2021

Auditioning Sashing

Since light green is the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour for October, I started playing with some leftover green HST blocks. I don't remember what these pieces originally belonged to, but they jumped out of the box and wanted to become little QST blocks. 
How do I know this? 
Because they told me of course!

I started sewing them together and when it was time to trim them all to the same size, the blocks measured 1 3/8" unfinished and will finish at 1 1/8". So little and sweet!

As I began to sew together the QST blocks, they started lining up into columns with similar friends. 

This is not what I thought I was making, but these blocks are bossy and I was just along for the ride.

Today I am auditioning sashing fabrics and trying to make it big enough for a placemat. 

Here are two options... the light green sashing on the right (maybe too light?) and the crackle batik on the left.

What do you think about these choices? A medium green on the right (maybe too dark?) and the same fabric as the block spacers on the left. I like this one but it's a stripe and there's not much left so I can't control those long dark lines, but maybe that's okay too?

How about this one? On the right side is a light spotty one (maybe too olivey?) and on the left is the crackle batik again, with a possible border and/or binding choice.

The more fabrics I audition, the more confused I get. Please help me decide and give me some feedback in the comments.

Linking up to Design Wall Monday and Oh Scrap!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly link up for hand stitching enthusiasts! 

Today is Thanksgiving here in Canada and I am thankful for so many things, including this international community of enthusiastic and talented hand stitchers! Whether you post your projects in the link ups, or you encourage others in their long term, slow stitching endeavours, or you are stitching along quietly on your own hand stitching projects making your corner of the world calmer and more beautiful, we are thankful for YOU!

I started a new hand stitching project this week to celebrate the wonderful fall weather. Melisa at Pinker 'n Punkin Quilting posted a free fall embroidery design which I thought would be perfect for my front door. When I saw Diann's version on her blog Little Penguin Quilts I was inspired to get going on my own little quilt.

I traced the design with my Frixion pens. I really like these for tracing embroidery designs, but apparently they have all died except the teal colour. Does anyone know why this happens? I haven't used them much and there should still be lots of ink in them.

I am hand stitching the design using 3 strands of DMC floss and have backed it with a scrap of batting before stitching. I am trying this out to give the project more stability instead of using a hoop. 

The pumpkin is embroidered using the back stitch. Pumpkins are orange so that thread choice was an easy!  Now I am auditioning other thread colours to use. 

What are you hand stitching today? Have you started a new fall project? Or maybe you are finishing an old one? Link up your post below and share your slow progress with us.

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Saturday, October 09, 2021

Scrappy Saturday


A little progress has been made on my RSC Full Stop punctuation sampler. These are the orange dash blocks for September. I made mine slightly different since I'm not sure of my layout yet.

This year I have been making 4 blocks each month and they are all different sizes. I put them on the design wall to see what it's looking like and I got very excited about this project again!  Of course this is not my layout because it's too long and narrow, but it has started up my creative process to think about various layout possibilities.

 I think I will have a lot of fun putting it together at the end of the year. 

Linking up to the weekly RSC party and hope to see other scrappy sampler blocks being made

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

One Monthly Goal

There is nothing on my design wall this week as I am trying to focus on finishing.

My October goal is to finish my Bats and Boos mystery quilt in time for Halloween. The quilt is now pin basted and it's ready to quilt.

One of the steps I enjoy most about machine quilting is picking out the thread colours. I never quilt with just one colour - why use only 1 colour, when there's a whole thread box with a beautiful range of colours?!?

Here are the threads that I'm planning to use for this project. Black for the bats, gold for some of the  pumpkins, orange for the dark pumpkins and the bobbin, and grey for the background. Okay... now I need to decide what designs to stitch.

Linking up to One Monthly Goal

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!

The temperatures here are cooling down for the beginning of autumn and the leaves are just starting to turn colour. It's my most favourite time of the year!

If you didn't read about our Slow Sunday Stitching friend Deanna's quilt finish - click here. I took it to the flower clock for a photo. Soon it will be too cold for the flowers, but Deanna's Daisies will last all winter long!

This week I enjoyed hand stitching the binding on my monthly placemat. September's colour was orange and I did some of the stitching outside under the light of the setting sun. The sunset colours on the orange fabric were very pretty. 

I took a photo of my Clover needle threader which I adore and take with me everywhere I go. I cannot thread most needles these days, even with my magnifying glasses on. This needle threader can thread most of the needles that I use for quilting, but it can be finicky. The thread has to be taut when laying across the threader, and sometimes it takes 2 or 3 tries to get a tiny needle threaded. 

I have also been doing some secret hand stitching on a round robin project that I don't write about on my blog because the big reveal won't be until February. I used my Sewline air erasing marker (love it!) to mark some stitching designs and embroidered with perle cotton.

I think it's cool enough to get out my oldest UFO and get it ready for another winter of slow stitching! I have been quilting it off and on for 6 years now! What will you be hand stitching today?

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