Monday, January 31, 2022

Mini Mystery Reveal

Kathleen Tracy offered a Valentine mini mystery this month at her blog A Sentimental Quilter. Here are my little pieces cut out and ready to play. If you are still sewing your mystery and don't want to see the reveal, don't keep reading!

Here are the first blocks which should be the same but alas they are not! UGH. Did some quick unsewing and made them the same.

Here is the mystery block reveal. This was a fun and quick mystery to enjoy in the middle of the winter. I added a little checkerboard of squares on both sides to make it into a rectangular shape for a placemat.

Et voilà! 

A mini mystery quilt turned into a placemat! Quilting stitches were made "somewhere near the ditches", and some kisses stitched into the checkerboard sides. 

Thanks to Kathleen Tracy for this fun fabric adventure!

 Linking up to the mini quilters at Wendy's, and the Table Scraps Challenge at the Joyful Quilter

Finished Quilt!

On the design wall today is pinned a finished quilt!

This quilt was a mystery offered by my local quilt guild in the summer of 2021. The fabrics were curated by Trish from donations to the guild. I used extra blocks (aka mistakes!) to add a final border that was not in the original design. This quilt is called Milady and was designed by Judy Eckhardt. The pattern can still be found here.

Because it is a medallion quilt, I machine quilted it on my domestic machine in a medallion fashion by starting at the centre block and quilting each successive border.

There was a lot of yellow in the centre so I filled in that space with some feathers. The rest of the quilting was mostly straight lines following the design of the borders, and on each side of the sashings.

The last binding stitches were put in yesterday and now the quilt is ready for donation. Thank you to everyone who had a part in bringing this quilt to life - the fabric donators, the fabric curator, and the pattern designer, and to the quilt guild for offering us this fun summer project! This quilt has been loving donated to my guild's community outreach efforts.

Linking up to One Monthly Goal and Design Wall Monday

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

 Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!

We're starting today with a little humour... I saw this at Sharon's blog Vroomans Quilts and it made me laugh!

Quilters as athletes! LOL

I guess some of us truly are, but for sure not me!

And for sure not today!

At this moment the temperature here is minus 20 degrees Celsius (which is minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit). Too cold to go outside for any reason! So I will be an athlete in my sewing room today, and until further notice.

This week I have spent some heavenly hand stitching time  binding my January UFO. Notice the sunbeams shining on my quilt, while my cute Granddog Max snuggles under the quilt? I'm very excited to be close to finishing and will post more about that tomorrow. 

I also hand embroidered a word on a secret round robin project I am working on. I just had to put some sunshine into this January stitching! The owner of the project brings sunshine everywhere she goes and I hope she will be happy with my additions to her quilt. I may add another word or two if inspired.

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

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Scrappy Saturday

It's the last Saturday of red scraps and I have finished the red ladders for my RSC version of Bonnie Hunter's Bitcoin pattern. I love sewing these ladders and using up all the strips and scraps in the colour of the month. Some scraps give long ladders and some are shorter. But the effect when they are all together is very cool.

I just love the text fabric which was a gift from my friend Debby...just one sweet strip looking for a special project in which to shine!

Linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

UFO Update

I've been deep into sewing mystery quilts this month, so my January UFO was a little delayed. But I still have a few days to finish it up. 

backing, batting and quilt top

I had this pile ready to proceed for a while - the backing pieced (only 5 pieces to sew together), the batting cut, the quilt top pressed, and the threads chosen. That's a lot accomplished already, but it's not a finished quilt yet!

Pin basting has started with my handy dandy Kwik Clip tool (to close the safety pins easily). While I'm basting, I talk to the quilt and come up with some possible quilting designs. Since this is a medallion quilt, I've decided to quilt it from the centre out, making the decisions as I come to each round.

Monday, January 24, 2022

Design Wall Monday

It's a finished quilt top on the design wall today... woo hoo!

This is my version of the Rhododendron Trail which is the Quiltville mystery that started in November  2021. If you think it doesn't look exactly like the original design, you are correct. Here are the changes I made: 1) sew fewer blocks, 2) blocks are straight set, not on point 3) no sashing, and 4) different borders on the top/bottom and sides, made from leftover blocks.

Sewing the blocks together was a breeze, but the borders took a lot of thought.

 At first there was going to be a dark plain border but after I sewed 2 borders on and made a cutting error and ran out of the purple stick figure fabric, a new plan had to be made! (Pay no attention to the sewing machine collection on the top of the design wall!) 

trial and error border construction

I spent a long time playing with the blocks to a workable design and to get the measurements right. My friend Becky tried to help me figure it out mathematically to sew coping borders, but my brain nearly short circuited doing that! So I used the trial and error method, and added extra pieces here and there and ... voilà!

Quilt top measures: 48.5" x 58.5" 

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly Slow Sunday Stitching party! 

If you enjoy hand stitching of any kind, then you have found your tribe! You are welcome to join us here every Sunday and learn how we keep ourselves stitched together... it's one stitch at a time!

If you're anything like me, you have multiple hand stitching projects in progress at one time. I have a couple of half finished knitted cloths, an abandoned EPP class project, a large multi year hand quilting project, a quilt-as-you-go project, and 2 hand embroidery projects! Especially during the covid pandemic, I only want to spend my free time doing what brings me joy. 

Today I will be adding stitches to this embroidery project (design by Joy). Even though I have a couple of designs traced, this one keeps attracting my interest. 

It's a wonderful meditative project and today I'll be stitching the words "Believe" and "Joy"... a perfect combination for Slow Sunday Stitching! 💖

What are you hand stitching today? We enjoy seeing the great variety of hand stitching projects each Sunday, so we hope you will link up your blog or instagram post below and share your slow progress with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Another project?!?!

Yes. I have been enticed to start the Riley Blake 2022 block challenge. I swear I wasn't going to, but the blocks have been too fun to not make them! 
Why, you ask? Well, the more small pieces there are in a block, the more I like it!

Each Tuesday one 10" block pattern is posted and there will be a total of 16 blocks. Each block pattern comes from a different designer, some of whom I recognize and some I don't.

Here is block #1
Daisy Chain designed by Lori Holt with 39 pieces.

Here is block #2 Sweetheart designed by Beverly McCullough with 42 pieces. I adore this one!

I don't have a plan for these blocks and am just making the blocks from whatever is on my cutting table. And because I am a long time member of the rainbow scrap challenge, I am surrounded by red scraps this month. These blocks might be turned into placemats, or might become a sampler quilt. I'm waiting for some inspiration to make make that decision.

Linking up to Rainbow Scrap Challenge

A few leader-ender fish blocks are being made too!

Friday, January 21, 2022

Quilt Repair

Earlier this month a friend asked if I would repair a quilt for a one of her friends. I had already registered for Carole's "Well Loved Quilt Repair" workshop, so I happily agreed to look at the quilt. My friend dropped the quilt off at my house in a black plastic garbage bag - horrors! 

1975 lone star quilt
It turned out to be a huge king size lovely vintage lone star quilt and I fell in love with it immediately! I don't have anywhere to hang a quilt that big, so this terrible photo will have to do.

Notice how the fabrics in the star points are different? Clearly she ran out of some of the fabrics when she was finishing the star!

shredding fabrics

The diamonds are all hand pieced and hand quilted 1/4" inside each seam. Some of the fabrics (like the peach) are shredding and some still look brand new. All of the diamonds are securely stitched in place. 

The quilt was made by the owner's grandmother. I was told that the grandmother used to work hard in the morning so she could go to church in the afternoon on quilting days. In one of the corners is embroidered the date of 1975.

ghosts of stitches past
There is no quilting anywhere outside of the lone star, so the batting has shrunk and is unevenly distributed around the star. I can see by the indented lines that there used to be hand quilting everywhere. I felt so sad that the quilting was gone, and also happy that this quilt has been so well loved and used.

thread audition

I asked the owner what she wanted me to repair, and she just wanted me to sew together the seam that had come open.  Oh okay... that's easy. 

In the class with Carole I had the opportunity to hear her ideas of what it would take to fully restore this quilt (ie. how to fix the batting, quilting the empty areas, replacing the torn/worn fabrics, etc) so I was full of ideas when I called the owner. She indicated that she planned to hang the quilt over a bar in a safe place so she could still see it everyday and didn't want it to be restored. 

So I went ahead and hand stitched the hole closed. And I also stitched a few tiny repairs here and there on the binding. I put the quilt into a clear bag with a note to tell her what a treasure this quilt is and that my advice is to never wash it again as some of the fabrics are disintegrating. 

I highly recommend Carole's Well Loved Quilt Repair class. She also has a lot of advice on her blog posts - click here.  I feel inspired to fix up some of the quilts that my Granddog has loved!

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

New Mysteries

 For all you mystery quilt addicts, here is an update:

1) My friend Susan tempted me with a mini Valentine mystery from Kathleen Tracy. This is a double delight for me - small pieces AND a mystery. 

2) Nancy Zieman Productions is hosting a 2022 mystery block of the month which is "not a block sampler". That sounds intriguing doesn't it? Steps will be posted on the 3rd Saturday of the month.

3) Sherri from A Quilting Life is hosting a BOM with 6" and 12" blocks. Each pattern will be a churn dash block with a pieced block inside. Here is the first block pattern.

4) Alycia is starting a new mystery soon called Stop Tossing, which she says will be a "fast, quick, fun mystery" with no HSTs! Fabric requirements will appear on Groundhog Day.  

5) A special treat for hand stitchers is a monthly BOM from Buttermilk Basin called "Joy in Stitches". The designs will be oval shaped with sewing themes. The first block has been posted and I can't wait to get stitching!

6) I also have started sewing some of the Riley Blake block challenges. Block #3 by Kristy Lea was just posted. 

Phew - that's a lot of new projects! 

Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, January 17, 2022

Design Wall Monday

The big reveal of the Quiltville mystery was on Friday and I enjoyed playing with my beautiful blocks on the design wall . 

I put the sashing fabric I had chosen on the bottom right and hated that! Although it has all the colours of the fabrics, it's too much green. I auditioned a couple of other possible sashing fabrics and decided I liked my blocks best being side by side with no sashing (blocks on the bottom left). The diagonal chain that is formed by the purple QST blocks makes me happy.

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly link up that celebrates the art of hand stitching! 

Why not get your project out and enjoy some relaxation?  Try not to think about your "to-do" list, or ruminate about your worries. Just take a stitching break and focus on pulling thread through fabric, or knitting stitches with yarn. 

I started yet another hand embroidery project this week. I found a design that I had printed a while ago from Days Filled With Joy blog. It's a free design she shares with folks who subscribe to her newsletter. I started with a little HOPE... who doesn't need some of that in our second winter of covid?!?

And then I moved on to stitch a little health, purpose, and calm.
Ahhhh... that feels a bit better now! 
For some unknown reason I am tracing only a couple of words at a time instead of drawing the whole design before I start. I think I might add 'love' or 'peace' as my next word. Thanks to Joy for this embroidery design that is perfect for me today!

What are you hand stitching today? We love to see your projects, so link up your blog or instagram post below and share your progress with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Scrappy Saturday

We are digging into the red scraps this month over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I have an abundance of red scraps and am having so much fun cutting and sewing them. 

For the first time I used the Alphabitties that I got in my Jolly Box. They are great! 

If you like to make complex blocks with many little pieces, you need these! The Alphabitties come in many colours, and I have the red ones, so they are perfect to use with this month's blocks!

The Alphabitties help to keep all the tiny block pieces organized which makes the sewing much easier. Did you notice that the 'F' Alphabitty is the same size as the pieces underneath!?

6" sewing machine
If you would like to try sewing this block, the free pattern is still available from Fat Quarter Shop. I have made the pattern in 3" and 6" sizes and they are so darn cute. This is going to be one of my ongoing 2022 RSC projects.

Next I cut pieces for the Riley Blake block challenge. I skipped right to block 2 and you will notice one small problem with the alphabitties... I am missing 'J' already! They are small, so you have to be careful you don't lose them!

Linking up to the weekly scrap party at the RSC

**Addendum - I was sewing mystery blocks  today and the lost 'J' has been found... woohoo!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Quiltville Mystery

It's Friday once again! It's so fun to have a Quiltville mystery step reveal each Friday and I'll be sad when this is finished. 

I've kept up with each step so far and here are some of my blocks from part 7. Sorry for the dark photo taken at night, but you get the general idea. These blocks were enjoyable to sew and I like how they look on the design wall on their own.

I'm excited to see what Bonnie is posting for us this morning!

Monday, January 10, 2022

Design Wall Monday

One of the mysteries I started on New Year's day is the Merry Mayhem mystery (which has already been removed from the website). I have tried a few  different block layouts to see what I like.

I like this one, but I would like it more with a scrappy version where the pieces are all scrambled.

I know this layout by the name "delectable mountains". It was an okay layout too and I like it better than the one above.

There are so many options with this block... but this one is my favourite. I made enough blocks for a lap quilt, but I want to make it larger, so this week I will make more neutral and navy blocks and add a couple more rows.

It seems like an easy block to sew, but there are so many ways to make it wrong. I made 2 mistakes with this block - a cutting error on the right and a sewing error on the left! 

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts