Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Christmas Already?

 Are you sewing along with the Fat Quarter Shop's Christmas mystery?

Me neither.

It's too early for thoughts of Christmas, right?!? 

But I do love a good mystery, and I wanted to sew block #2 called "hard candy" (click here for the pattern link). It looked quick and so darn cute!  Well it wasn't that quick because I made a few mistakes as you can see on the red blocks. 

I sewed the block on Elsie (a 221 Featherweight born in 1951) and she enjoyed the opportunity to sew again. Her tension is perfect and she is a treat to sew on. 

Once I fixed my mistakes and completed the block I was quite happy with the fabrics I found for these sweet candy blocks.

And here is it with block #1 from last week.

And then block #3 was posted, so I checked it out. It took me a while to "see" the pattern as 4 Christmas cards. I couldn't visually decipher the card block, but once I "saw" it, I didn't understand why it took me so long!

I hope to sew up some fabric Christmas cards on the weekend for block #3. And I suppose I should admit that I have indeed started another mystery quilt! 

Even though it's Wednesday, I'll link up to the Monday Design Wall posts over at Judy's.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!

I am definitely looking forward to some slow stitching today. How about you? I hope you will take some time today to relax and to put a few stitches into your project. 

Last weekend I enjoyed a little quilt retreat with my friend Louise. She was finishing a mystery quilt and here she is hand stitching the binding. This was a Super Bowl mystery quilt from 2014. We are not talking about the fact that all of the quilters have finished their quilts, except for me! We are not talking about how I can't even find my unfinished quilt top! 

Louise wanted to add some hand stitched ribbon embroidery to her quilt to help her to like the quilt more. It's such a great idea to add hand stitching to a project for a little more interest! Here she is studying the stitching reference book and making up her own design.

I have never tried silk ribbon embroidery, but it seemed a lot like regular embroidery only using ribbons instead of floss. It's a whole new stash to invest in! It's so pretty - I must try to resist!

And what was I working on? I was dreaming of starting a new project of course! I joined up to the free online Bee Happy Embroidery workshop with Clever Poppy that starts Sept. 25th. Here are the floss colours I'll be searching for in my stash. 

And just look what Louise made for me! 
My very own Slow Sunday Stitching water bottle! What a wonderful surprise!

Here's the link for you to share your hand stitching with us... hope you will join in!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Scrappy Saturday

A few more blue sewing machines were added to the collection this week. I cut three blocks at the same time which is totally doable when I use the alphabitties to label the pieces.

This is the 6" machine block. I usually start with this size since it's larger and therefore easier to piece.

And here is a 3" block.

These blocks look the same size on the computer screen, but they are not the same in real life!

Here is the herd of sewing machines on the design wall. 

I love this pattern and it's a treat to make these blocks! For now, they will go back into storage until more blocks are added next month.

Linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Monday, September 19, 2022

Design Wall Waffles

The focus of my sewing time should be the "Oh say can you sew" mystery blocks. But when I was cleaning over the weekend I came across my bag of waffle blocks and became obsessed with them again. Squirrel!

This is a typical photo of my work table - 2 projects being sewn at the same time. One project that I want to finish and am slogging through, and one project that is fun and distracting.

I was looking at one of my waffle blog posts and trying to sew the blocks together according to the photo. Then I realized that the pile of blocks included many blocks that weren't in the photo layout. So I ended up putting all the blocks up on the design wall, and rearranging until I was happy with the layout.

Here are the waffle blocks sewn into columns.

I love this photo of scrappy waffles on the design wall! It's well on it's way to becoming a quilt top!

Thanks again to Nann for the inspiration for this project. She has made several waffle quilts which inspired me to make my own.

Don't even ask about the "Oh say can you sew" blocks! They are suffering from neglect at the moment but I have until the end of the month to get them sewn :)

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the mid September hand stitching party! 
Today we are relaxing with our colourful threads and yarns, and adding stitches to the beautiful creations we are bringing into to the world!

I decided I would try to finish the old cross stitch I wrote about a few weeks ago. Everyone was so encouraging to finish it (and I thank you for taking the time to make a comment and share your ideas!) I found all the needed floss colours in my DMC stash, with an abundance of the greens for some unknown reason! 

I have seen some of our cross stitchers make a single strand grid that matches the pattern graph, so I tried that to get myself started, but look what happened - I'm out 1 square on the horizontal line on the right. UGH! Not a good start! But I'll keep working on it today and see if I can make more progress.

What are you working on today? Like up your blog post, or instagram, or photograph below and share your slow progress with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Scrappy Saturday

When I was visiting my friend Deanna earlier this month, she showed us a gorgeous scrap quilt that had won a 1st place ribbon at the fair. I fell in love immediately and started planning to make a similar one in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge style. The original pattern was called "When this you see" by Lydia Quigley of The Rabbit Factory. I searched for the pattern on the internet but couldn't find it.

It is a 2 block quilt, with one block being a 25 patch made from scraps, and the second block being a framed sawtooth star. Deanna made her version totally scrappy, and I think mine will be controlled scrappy.

This is the tester 3"  sawtooth star block made in blue/blueish for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge colour of the month. So cute!

This is a practice scrappy 25 patch block. I don't know how many blocks I'll make each month or where this quilt is going yet - it's a fresh idea, still germinating.

Linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Friday, September 16, 2022

Featherweight Maintenance Class

Before Covid started I used to enjoy attending Treadle On meetings in the US to learn from the antique sewing machine gurus how to maintain my herd of machines. But since Covid took over life as we knew it, and the Canada/US border was closed, I was unable to attend any events/classes. 

But last week I was excited to attend my first in-person class with Ian Plumb at the Cherished Pieces quilt shop to learn once again. I took my 1952 Featherweight machine for a spa day and here is a photo of her guts spread out on the table!

I finally located her  problem deep inside ...see the old thread wound up in there? That is why the stitching wasn't even.

We learned all the oiling points (chart can be found here) and how often each place should be freshly oiled. That was fun, and I learned that I have under-oiled my vintage machines. And I haven't ever greased them, so that was also interesting.

Ian recommended not using the old oil from the can that came with the machine, and to use new oil instead. He added that we should definitely keep the original oil cans with the machine as they can be valuable, just don't use it!

This class renewed my interest in vintage machine maintenance and repair. But there were a few tense moments at my table when I couldn't get the machine running properly! Here is Ian trying to fix my featherweight that I disassembled and then reassembled incorrectly! Oops! He quickly fixed it and all is well, and my machine is refreshed and ready to sew once again!

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Christmas Mystery

Of course I started the new Fat Quarter Christmas mystery yesterday! I tried to be ambivalent about jumping in on this project for a few days, but as soon as I saw that the first step was only one really cute block, I knew I was making it! Here is my cup full of Santas!

Here is the new mystery block (fun and easy) on the design wall with the ongoing Primitive Gatherings mystery blocks (labour intensive and all consuming). It's a good balance of projects for me for this week!

Are you joining us in making the Christmastime Mystery Sew Along? 

There is a quilt pattern AND a cross stitch mystery - something for everyone!

Monday, September 12, 2022

Mystery Decisions

I have been sewing the "Oh say can you sew" mystery quilt and the August step was a doozy! It took me almost 6 weeks to sew the required number of HST blocks in the bin, but this weekend I accomplished that goal and was able to start building blocks for the next step.

I'm not sure if this is the layout, but I sewed 4 blocks for clue #6 and did not like my yellow/gold 9 patch centres at all. It seemed like a good choice at the time, but the contrast was not enough to make me happy in the centre of these blocks.

So I tried a couple of blocks with a black 9 patch centre and this is much better! I will unstitch the 4 blocks with the gold centres, and make them all with black 9 patches.

If it's a 2 block layout, this is what it might look like (photo is very dark, taken late at night!)

I hope to be ready for clue #7 in October.

Linking up to Design Wall Monday

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly practice of relaxing with some hand stitching! We encourage you to join us... all you have to do is take a deep breath, find your hand stitching project and put in some stitches. Easy peasy!

I am excited to share a stitching accomplishment with you - the Serenity Prayer has received it's last embroidery stitch!

It was a true delight to hand stitch this printed design by JD Needle Art. I feel a little lost now that it's finished. I don't know what to do with it. Frame it to be a wallhanging? Make it into a bag? Is it a part of a quilt? I don't know what it is! It was intended to be a meditative hand embroidery project and it has served it's purpose as such, but now what?! Do you have any ideas for what I should do with it now?

My daughter has also finished her embroidery project. I am so thrilled that she has enjoyed some Slow Sunday Stitching days with me over the summer. I never thought she would be interested in this hobby, but she has been slowly enticed into it over time. She even enjoys it now, which makes me ridiculously happy!

She received this project/kit as a Christmas gift, and has completed all the stitching, learning a few new stitches as she went along. 

So now we both have to start new projects and are looking for ideas - any suggestions?!?

We hope to see you are stitching today. The linky party is below and we hope you will join us!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Saturday Sewing

I added another block to my July Shop Hop block collection. I was able to track down more Dublin fabric (thank you Caroline) and a fellow guild member Stephanie sent me another block kit (thank you Stephanie).

The block kit had all the pieces precut, but not made from the Dublin fabric. I cannot explain why that matters so much to me, but it does! So using the kit pieces as a template, I tried to cut my own pieces using Dublin blue. This was the miserable end result for 1/4 of the block! Not going to work!

Then I got fed up with that idea and just made a modified Lemoyne star block using all  HST's instead. Perfect result!

Monday, September 05, 2022

Mystery Quilt Update

1) My ongoing mystery quilt is Oh say can you sew by Primitive Gatherings and the August step was a doozy! As you know I am an avid miniature quilter as well as a mystery quilter, but I had no idea what I was in for with this project! This month I have sewn well over 1,000 HSTs measuring 1.5" (unfinished) and made them into 9 patch blocks.  It totally took over my sewing time and was my primary project in August so I could keep up with the mystery.

The triangle paper by Primitive Gatherings worked well and I used every sheet that came in the package. In addition I made many blocks using Thangles strips. Both worked fine, but I did notice that the accuracy of the 
Primitive Gatherings product (with 4 strips per sheet) was a bit more consistent than the Thangles (with 1 strip per sheet).

This is what the finished blocks look like in their tub waiting for the next step which will hpefully be posted today. I wonder what we are doing with all these blocks!?

2) The Fat Quarter Shop is offering a new Christmastime Mystery quilt starting September 13th. I must admit that it's way too early for me to be in the Christmas sewing mood! Here is the link to the supply list if you are interested in sewing along. There is a mystery quilt AND a mystery cross stitch pattern. I might start this since it looks like it can be made in a scrappy version so I can make it from stash fabric.

Sunday, September 04, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the first September hand stitching party!  It's time to slow down and find one of your projects to stitch. Also maybe make a cup of your favourite beverage because it's a long blog post today! Thank you to regular contributor Kathi who sent me this meme to share with you!

I enjoyed my first post covid visit with my "blog stalker" Deanna last weekend, who is another of our regular contributors. It was wonderful to be together with stitching friends and catch up on all we had missed over the covid years. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon of hand stitching in her gazebo and I am going to show you our projects.

I added some embroidery stitches to my Serenity Prayer project and finished the butterfly using a slightly variegated thread. The french knots were a perfect addition.

Louise worked on the embroidery for a Christmas ornament for a new granddaughter named Tiffany.

Deanna added a few more pretty hexies to her long term diamond project.

And Barb was stitching an antique embroidery block that she was given by a quilting friend.

And after the outdoor stitching was done, Deanna helped me with my knitting problems. She showed me where I went off the rails, and at what point I accidentally started making a different design.  We debated the benefits of removing one row at a time, or just unravelling all at once. I had to rip out about 10 rows... what would you do?

I poured another large cup of coffee, and starting unravelling my incorrect stitches. Deanna helped me get the stitches back on the needle, and find where to start again on the pattern.

She also gave me a stitch counter so I don't get mixed up again (hopefully). I had been just keeping track of my rows on a piece of paper. But now, I'm a full fledged knitter with the right equipment, so no excuses for that kind of a disaster again!

And that's the hand stitching update from my weekend away. 

What are you making today? We love to see your hand stitching progress and hope you will link up your blog post, instagram or photo below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter