Saturday, April 30, 2022

First Shop Hop

For the first time in almost 3 years, I went on a quilt shop hop! It was so exciting! Of course I went with my quilting mentor Louise as we have been doing this shop hop for as long as it's been happening.

The last shop hop was in 2019 and we were delighted that there are still 5 quilt stores that survived covid and were open to visit on the 2022 shop hop. 

Most people here wear masks because we don't want to give or receive covid. Here we are in front of the shop hop quilt called Square Box by Sewl Sister. Every store made the same quilt with a different "background" fabric. 

This is the version of the shop hop quilt that Louise is going to make... "someday". She collected all the Fossil Fern fabrics and the pattern and is ready to sew. This quilt has navy blue as the background fabric which gives the quilt a different vibe.

And you will never guess who I saw at the first shop... my friend Christine! We met at Quilt Canada in 2014 and we continue to randomly see each other at quilting events. It was so serendipitous that on my first quilty outing since before covid Christine was there to greet me! That made me so happy 😄

In preparation for the shop hop, I reviewed one of my all time favourite blog posts by Maggie at Making a Lather - the stages of grief of a quiltaholic. My fabric is not yet at the point of breaking through walls, and in fact has been greatly reduced over covid lockdowns, so I was very cautious to make only necessary purchases which include batting, backing and background fabric.
Thank you to the quilt shops and to the organizers for a wonderful event full of demos, door prizes, and inspiration. 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Blockheads IIII Update

A few more blocks have been added to my Blockheads project.

I found a bonus block pattern called Mix and Match by Michelle White. It used up little scraps and was easy to sew.

This is block #5 called Two of Five by Barbara Groves which is really a churn dash block.

This is block #6 called Spinning into Spring (great name!) by Linzee McCray. This block was more fun to sew because of all the pieces, and the possibilities for making the block look different with value changes.

Here are all the Blockheads on the design wall. There is one more bonus pattern to make and I'll be caught up. Loving it so far!

Monday, April 25, 2022

Design Wall Monday

For some unknown reason, the Easy Breezy project jumped the cue and started pestering me for attention. This was the leader-ender challenge for 2020 and had been a dormant project for a while. It was in the UFO closet until Friday night when it started calling out with ideas, and I had to dig it out to see what was going on.

And sure enough, it's quite close to becoming a quilt top.

This is the left side of the quilt. The purple/navy/blue/dark green columns are sewn together, and the green and yellow columns are sewn to each other. 

Next I will have to sort out the colour decisions at the edges of the quilt with these grey and brown blocks. I'm just taking it one decision at a time!

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!

I have a new knitted dishcloth started. This "Let's go campin" design is a little challenging for me, but I'm plugging along. The pattern is from Knitwits Heaven from the camping category. I don't know if this looks right or wrong, but I'm going to just keep knitting!

And I finished the cross hatch quilting on my word meditation project and am ready to work on the border design. I found this old stencil in the cupboard which fit the space. It was a challenge to mark the design evenly but I'm satisfied with it enough to start stitching with a blue pearl cotton thread.

Spring is supposed to be coming to my neck of the woods, but this is how the little daffodils looked this week. I am eagerly waiting for warm enough weather to stitch outside.

What are you hand stitching today? Is it warm enough to stitch outdoors where you live? I hope you will share your slow progress with us!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Scrappy Saturday

A new machine has been added to the herd! Before you roll your eyes and wonder "how many machines does that crazy lady actually need"?!? 

I did not increase the sewing machine herd. I increased the sewing machine BLOCK herd! LOL

I love sewing these 16 piece blocks - pattern by Lori Holt published by The Fat Quarter Shop. I have been making blocks in the 6" size and the 3" size. 

Although the pattern provides instructions for the 9" size, I haven't made one yet. It just doesn't seem as much fun! But if I want to make a real quilt bigger than 18", I'll have to make a few larger ones or I'll be working on this RSC project until I expire!

Linking up to the weekly RSC party

Friday, April 22, 2022

On Being a Judge

After reading all the interesting comments on my experience at judging school, I have been reflecting on why it is important to me to maintain my judging credentials. Here is what I came up with:

1) Building Community:

Events that build community and focus on creativity are rare. 

It is invaluable to have an opportunity to create a positive event that brings people out of their isolated lives to interact, to view great beauty, and to have fun! Community fairs and quilt exhibits demonstrate that the world is full of beautiful worthwhile pursuits that enhance meaning in life. I want to support that! I started entering quilts so there would be a full display and the love of quilts could be shared with folks of all ages. 

2) Quality:

Once I was entering quilts I realized that many judges were way behind the times (that was before the certification process was in place). As was mentioned in the comments, some judging is poor quality, based only on personal preference, and lacking in awareness and training. I wanted to bring my 25+ years of experience to the conversation to help increase the quality.

3) Positivity:

Some of the comments I have had on my quilts have been caustic and just plain incorrect. I don't want other quilters to experience the discouragement that leads to not putting their work out there for others to be inspired by. An important topic at judging school is how to provide feedback so that the overall experience is encouraging, and people will continue to participate in the process. Otherwise we will eventually have no quilt exhibits for communities to enjoy.

4) Fun:

Being a judge means you get to be up close to all the treasures that are entered. I have the privilege of seeing a wide variety of techniques and it's always a feast for my eyes and my heart! Just look at these vintage hand stitched pillowcases!

I'm working on my photography and quilt entries for this year's fairs, and filling my calendar with judging gigs. It's going to be wonderful to see all the projects that have been created over the covid years!

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

New Project

Hello! My name is Kathy and I'm a mystery quiltaholic!

I was minding my own business last week, and then suddenly I started a new mystery quilt called "Oh say can you sew". 

I found this new adventure on the Primitive Gatherings blog and thought it would be a great way to use up my reproduction fabrics. I spread out my fabrics for this "red, white and blue" mystery quilt, and decided I would make a totally scrappy version instead. The plan of the moment is to substitute black instead of blues, and "everything else" for the reds. 

The first step started innocently enough with a few little 3" patches. Who could resist that?!?! Certainly not me as we all know! I started cutting up the smallest neutrals in 1.5" squares and strips. That took a long time but it made me happy to bring order to the scrap bag.

Here's the first step finished - a big pile of 9 patches cute as a button!

Clues are released the first Monday each month (for a total of 7 steps) and are free only for that month. The April clue is already posted and will be available for 2 more weeks, so get it while you can!

Monday, April 18, 2022

Design Wall Monday

The design wall is full of blue and white today!

I sewed the 4th Blockheads block called Spinner by Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill. I'm making this series of blocks in the 5" size (4.5" finished). If you want to join in, check out the Moda Blockheads IIII archive page

Here are the first 4 blocks on the design wall. You can't really tell how sweet they are, but trust me... they are cute! 

I remembered that I had made some 9" blocks for a group quilt project that has been temporarily forgotten about, so I put them on the design wall too.

They all play nicely together, but they are for 2 different projects. Maybe.

Linking up to Design Wall Monday over at Judy's

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! We want to encourage you with making slow progress on your projects. Hand stitching can sometimes be discouraging since there are not a lot of completions to be celebrated, and no instant gratification. But here at Slow Sunday Stitching we celebrate every small accomplishment with you!

Some progress was made this week on my embroidery project. It's my new meditation project, which means I don't listen to music or a podcast when I stitch. I just focus on the slow movements of the needle and breathing. It's my version of stitcher's yoga! LOL

I put a few more quilting stitches into the Buttermilk Basin mystery called March Into Spring (it was a free mystery on their website but I can't find it there now). This is the perfect project to stitch on Easter weekend and in between the stitching, I'm already using it as a table topper!

Look who I saw walking down the street in my neighbourhood yesterday. I hope he finds his way to my house and brings me lots of chocolate!

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter! 

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, April 16, 2022

Scrappy Saturday

The RSC colour for April is pink, which is one of my faves. My Bitcoin quilt won't have any pink in it, so I put that project away until May, and went right to sewing my Riley Blake Challenge blocks. I'm making 2 blocks per month.

Block #7 is called On Point Hourglass by Melissa Mortenson. I used one of my favourite fabrics in this block - the snails trail! It gets a little overpowered by all the other prints, but it makes me happy to see it.

Block #8 is called Garden Charm by Fran Gulick and my block features a 1930s reproduction fabric in the centre. 

The yellow and pink RBD blocks are finished for this month, and a few more blocks for fish school are being made today. A very happy design wall!

Linking up to Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Friday, April 15, 2022

Judging School

For the first time in over 2 1/2 years I attended a quilt judging school. I like to keep up my certification with the OASS to be a quilt judge. You have to be re-certified every 3 years, so I'm just getting my certification completed under the wire this time (due to covid and lack of available schools to attend).

It was so fun to see old quilts and old friends, learn about new trends, and to be surrounded by quilts once again. It was a tiring and exhilarating day. My brain hasn't had a workout like that in a long time! Even after being a certified judge for 15+ years, I still learn new things each time I attend a school which never ceases to amaze me!

The participants bring their own projects for judging so we all take the same ego risks. This photo shows the judges examining my On Ringo Lake quilt. It's humbling and a little bit squirmy to have your own quilts judged by experts while you listen! 

Here the judges are examining my quilt called Milady which I just finished in January. 

I learned that my quilt backings (pieced from leftover scraps) are not desirable, and could result in deductions in being judged. That's okay with me, because fabric is expensive and I want to use up as much as possible when finishing a quilt, so I will still continue this practice. I did get some hints on how to make a scrappy back look more cohesive/appealing, so that was great.

I can't wait for fair season to begin once again after 2 years of everything being cancelled! Do you enter your quilts in fairs for the general public to see? It's such a great way to continue this wonderful hobby by enticing interested folks to learn more about it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Blockheads 4 Update

If you missed my post about the beginning of this round of Blockheads, click here to read why I just had to start another sampler project (well, beside the obvious reason of I am a quiltaholic!)

Block #3 is called Kouign Amann by Minick and Simpson and was the trickiest block so far with 45 pieces in a 5" (4.5" finished) block. I sewed sections of the block together and measured each one to ensure the block would end up to be the correct size. 

Here is the finished block. 
Such sweet little pieces and so many points to lose! It turned out okay although it's a little ruffly on the bottom.

It seems I only want to use blue fabrics so far in the first 3 blocks.

Block #4 has been posted today and I can't wait to cut and sew. This will be an easier block with only 13 pieces.

Monday, April 11, 2022

RBD Challenge Blocks

Riley Blake challenge blocks are on the design wall today. There have been 11 blocks posted, but I have only made 6 so far. That's okay... it's not a race! You can see that I accidentally made one block twice - oopsie! I won't put them side by side in the quilt, but it makes me giggle every time I remember that I did this!

The pink block is the most recently sewn. It is block #6 called Scrappy Churn Dash by Sandy Gervais. I only have a small bit left of that sweet print in the middle. I bought a FQ for the backing and binding for My Easter Dress miniature quilt and have wished I had purchased more of it ever since. Coveting is a fabric lovers downfall!

Linking up to Rainbow Scrap Challenge and Design Wall Monday 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!  Take a few moments to set aside your machines, your devices and screens, and just take a deep breath... ahhh... so much better.

Now pick up your needles and fibres, and put a few stitches into your project. You will feel better in no time!

I am continuing to hand quilt my word meditation. Only 1 or 2 more crosshatch lines to stitch and then I will need to settle on a border design to quilt.

I'm also hand quilting my version of the
Buttermilk Basin mystery and have come to this pretty  outside flower. I probably should have finished one project before starting the other, but as per usual, I didn't!
What projects are you hand stitching today? Do you like to have several on the go at the same time? Link up your instagram or blog post and share your progress with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, April 07, 2022

Hearts of Hope

Bonnie Hunter's Sew-Along is continuing with part #3 being posted tomorrow. I have really enjoyed making my blocks and experimenting with different methods.

For the 1st step I pieced blue strings onto phone book pages and although the outcome was great, I didn't like the ink transfer that the phone book pages left on my hands and machine. 

So for the 2nd step with yellows, I tried sewing pre-cut pieces together without any stabilizing base. I used the Essential Triangle Tool No Waste Method to sew the flying geese blocks by sewing pieces together, trimming the strip set to the correct width, and cutting the flying geese triangle from that strip.

When I couldn't get another triangle from the strip, I joined it to another strip and kept  cutting. It worked out beautifully! And this same ruler was then used to cut the corner triangles.

Here are my 12 blocks on the design wall. I'm hoping some friends will make a few blocks and we can put together a donation quilt.

Part #3 will be posted tomorrow!