Monday, December 26, 2022

Post Christmas Happenings

It's the day after Christmas and all through the house, the kids are still sleeping ...and the Mom is up early doing dishes, cooking food and cleaning up the house. Magical Christmas memories are created by Moms who love their family and work hard to make it all happen! 

We had quite a snow storm just before Christmas, but the kids were able to get here for Christmas Eve and we had a wonderful celebration together 💖

I didn't get many hand made Christmas gifts finished this year. I did make a few more quilted bowl cozies. Click here to see the pattern I use. Can you believe that Len's Mill (the big junk/fabric store in Ontario) did not have any hockey themed fabric the week before Christmas? 

Oh well, I got a Canadiana fabric and it worked fine for the men's gifts.

I had hoped to give a cross stitched gift to my son but it was too hard, and I just couldn't get it finished. There was a bleeding incident that caused me to throw in the towel on this one! I didn't realize I had poked my finger until the floss started coming up red! There is more blood on the back so I'm not sure if this will be abandoned or not?!? The weird thing about this is I didn't feel a thing and had no idea my finger was really bleeding. I guess that is a job hazard of hand stitchers?

On the design wall today is my first block for part #5 of the Quiltville mystery that was posted on Friday. I will have lots of time to sew this week once the Christmas chaos is sorted out, and many more of these scrappy blocks will be made!

Linking up to Design Wall Monday

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! How fun that Slow Sunday Stitching falls on Christmas day this year! I hope each of you will enjoy some peaceful moments with needles and threads, surrounded by family and friends, or enjoying the solitude of your own company.

I am so excited about my little snow family embroidery. This is a free pattern called "Family Portrait" created by Melisa at the Pinker n Punkin blog (click here to get the pattern).  I made 2 slight alterations to the design and love how it turned out! I used a dark blue variegated for  Momma, a light blue/purple variegated for Daughter, a navy for Son, and an orange/brown variegated for the birds. I adore the addition of the sweet birds! I hope to turn this into a finished mini quilt before the end of the year.

I have also been working on a cross stitch pattern for a Christmas gift. I found the pattern when I was snooping around on Etsy. I found
an old piece of Aida cloth in my stash that cost me .50! That is an old, old purchase that is finally getting used!

It has been another wonderful year of being inspired by your beautiful hand stitched projects each Sunday. T
hank you for sharing your blog and instagram posts, and thank you for every encouraging comment you took the time to write to another stitcher over the course of the year.
Merry Christmas stitching friends!

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Friday, December 23, 2022

Quiltville Mystery Update

It's amazing how quickly time can pass when you're preparing for Christmas. I remind myself that everything always gets done somehow - the shopping, organizing, cooking, wrapping, visiting, etc. 

I'm very pleased that I was able to squeeze in some time to make a few blocks for part #4 of the Chilhowie Quiltville mystery. Sewing a few seams here and there is definitely not how I prefer to work on a quilt, but it's the only way (for me) at this time of year.

These are the blocks I've sewn so far, which are stored in a recycled spinach container. I look forward to seeing what these will become in 2023! I'm popping over to the Quiltville website to see what the next step is, even though I have no time to sew! That's okay - next week there will be lots of time to relax and sew!

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Design Wall Tuesday

Step #4 of the Quiltville mystery was posted on Friday. I am trying to do as many blocks of each step as I can during the week, and move on to the new step when it's posted. 

A few of my HST blocks are on the design wall. I used yardage for these blocks since most of my scraps are too small for this step. These blocks are made from a 2012 Kaffe Fassett print and the light is a Lori Holt neutral. And to fill the design wall, I pinned up one of my favourite Grinch panels which might become part of a quilt one day!

Linking up to Judy's Design Wall party

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

Hi stitchers! Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! It's time to rest for a few moments, to get out your needles and yarns and pretty threads, and add some stitches to your favourite project.

As I have mentioned previously, I have fallen into the rabbit hole of Flosstube. It's a fascinating international world of stitchers. 

I am learning so much, but the most important lesson I have learned from the videos is... the more WIPs you have, the better! I call them UFOs, but the Flosstube folks emphasize that all their projects are "in progress". I like that! I am totally inspired by the amount of projects these stitchers have on the go at all times and realized that I do not have enough UFOs/WIPs! These stitchers are clearly a bad (or good?) influence.

All of this to say - I started a new embroidery project!

This is a free pattern called "Family Portrait" created by Melisa at the Pinker n Punkin blog - click here to get the pattern. I have altered my version slightly and am enjoying stitching with a dark blue variegated DMC floss. I am using the Thread Potion from the Fat Quarter Spooky Box. This snow family block is part of a quilt that you can see here. All of the blocks are darling, but this one appealed to me the most.

I visited with a few stitching friends earlier in the month and want to share their amazing hand stitching projects with you. 

Here are Barb's hands stitching her adorable vintage embroidery cat  design. 

Here are Louise's hands crocheting a shawl for her daughter. The colour of this yarn is just delicious. (Notice her vintage Simplicity tin on the top left of the photo?!)

These are Debbie's hands finishing a quilt-as-you-go tshirt quilt to be gifted to a friend whose Mother has died. The quilt is made using the Mom's shirts from her years of volunteering. Truly a very special Christmas gift!

And these are the hands of my sister, who (sadly) dislikes hand stitching. I know it's shocking, but it's true. Her special talent is unstitching!

It's the last Sunday before Christmas so I know some of you are busy finishing hand made gifts. I didn't put any pressure on myself this year to make anything with a deadline. I just didn't want to stress myself out like I usually do (remember the knitted earbud pocket fiasco from 2017?!) So if you have some projects you can share with us this week, link up your photo, instagram or blog post below.

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Saturday, December 17, 2022

Sewcialites Saturday

In my continuing series of the weekly Sewcialites 2 blocks, this is block #8 called Interwoven by Shereece Nicole. This was another challenging block pattern to sew even in the 6" size.  I can't imagine sewing it in the 3" size, although I am very tempted to try!

There are 32 pieces to cut for this block and I felt like I was making a fabric jigsaw puzzle. I had no idea if my selected fabrics would work or be a complete disaster. What do you think - will this combination turn out okay?

Here is block #8. 

I love it!

It's a combination of some old Kaffe paperweights, plus some recently acquired Dublin fabric, with the border print (Dragonfly Lagoon) in the corners.

Here are all the blocks on the design wall. I look forward to adding more colours next year sewing along with the Rainbow Scrap Quilters.

Linking up to the weekly RSC party

Friday, December 16, 2022

Quiltville Mystery Update

We are already at step #4 of the Chilhowie mystery and I am starting to fall behind a wee bit.

I'm not worried as I have been making Bonnie's mystery quilts for many years, and I know that this time of year doesn't have many extra minutes in which to sew. That's okay - it's a long winter and I'll have lots of time after Christmas.

My goal is to at least make a few units of each step. Here are the blocks we've sewn so far in my recycled spinach container. I'll sew a few more QST's from step #3 and move on to step #4.

Are you sewing along? Are you keeping up?

Monday, December 12, 2022

Design Wall Monday

I made some progress this month on my scrappy version of the Primitive Gatherings "Oh say can you sew" quiltalong. This mystery quilt started in April this year and even though it has been a TON of sewing, I love it's scrappiness and am happy I started it.

I haven't finished sewing all the sashing units yet, but I started constructing a few rows to see how it's going to look. My goal in starting this mystery quilt was to use up my stash of reproduction fabrics. It's not really my preference anymore since I seem drawn to brighter colours. But wow I am delighted with the reduction in this stash! 

This project has to be put away for this month to make creative space in my brain for Christmas tasks, but watch for it to re-appear in 2023!

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! Make yourself a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and visit the links below for some creative inspiration. 

It's a busy time of year and there is a lot to be done for Christmas, but for a few minutes today, just breathe and stitch, and take a break from all your planning, list making, and worrying.

I did finally get the Christmas tree up and my favourite decoration (that my friend Gail made for me) is hung with care. I will add a few more ornaments as I feel inspired. My Grinchyness is really about the consumerism and  resisting the pressure of expectations that surround us. 

In my heart I am a Christmas elf with not enough time to fulfill my handmade gift fantasies!

I spent a lot of time this week removing paper from the back of a Swan round robin quilt top that I unearthed. It was a mindless task and seemed to be the perfect hand work task to focus on.

As I mentioned last week, I have recently become fascinated by Flosstube. Thank you to each person who made some channel  recommendations in the comments, and I hope to try to visit those channels over the Christmas break. 

So far it seems to be mostly cross stitchers and it has given me the inspiration I need to finish my old project from 1991 (pre-quilting). I love how these stitchers  celebrate even the smallest bit of progress on projects - a few stitches here and there really do add up! I need to finish the grass in that open space, and then work on lettering.

My current challenge is how small the stitching charts have become since 1991! Even with my glasses, I can't read it. I have been taking photos of the pattern, transferring and enlarging the photo and reading it on my laptop. I have asked Santa for a magnifier lamp for Christmas and hope that will also be helpful.

What are you hand stitching today? Will you be able to make time for some relaxing slow stitches?
Link up your photo, instagram or blog post below.

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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Sewcialites Saturday

Block # 7 called Butterfly Garden was just posted. It's a pattern by Pat Sloan and although it was a  challenging pattern, and I made a few mistakes, I really enjoyed sewing it!

Here is a photo of some strips of Dublin fabric I recently 
bought and it matches my Sewcialites border fabric so well that it had to be used in the butterfly block.

I tried so hard to be organized and used the Alphabitties to label all the pieces. After I made my first mistake, I labelled each of the quadrants.

I finally figured out why I had pattern reading dyslexia. On page 2 of the pattern it has the left bottom block written on the right side of the page, and the right bottom block written on the left side of the page. You can't make this stuff up you guys! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it! 

But finally I figured it out and here is the butterfly in all her glory. I'm not loving the colour combo without the background fabric right by it, so this block will have to be placed beside the border in the final layout.

Here are my Sewcialites blocks on the design wall. It's quite a disparate collection so far. Oh well... I have made so many sampler quilts that I just trust that it will all come together well in the end!

Linking up to the weekly RSC party where the quilters are finishing up their RSC projects, and I am still making more blocks!

Friday, December 09, 2022

Quiltville Mystery Update

We are already at step #3 of the Chilhowie mystery and I am keeping up fairly well so far. I am using scraps sorted according to value (instead of colours) and enjoying seeing the scrap bin getting used.

Medium darks on the left, lights in the middle and darks on the right.

I enjoyed sorting through scraps, deciding which pile to put them in, cutting and sewing them into fun blocks.

Aren't these interesting blocks? I don't quite have the number of finished units yet, but I'll have time for sewing on the weekend.

Now I'm hopping over to Quiltville to see what the next clue is! 

Happy Friday!

Monday, December 05, 2022

Buried Treasure

On the design wall today is a surprise find!

I have been digging around in old scrap bins and bags, finding just the right scraps to put into my  Quiltville mystery, and I found this lovely swan in one of the bins. This is an old round robin project that pre-dates my 16+ years of blogging! 

Here is the back of the paper pieced swan block in the centre. I do remember sewing this Paper Panache pattern called Serene Swan

I do know that this was a round robin project of some sort because I did not add the other borders. I'm certain of this because I always trim the threads as I sew. I don't like having a thready mess on the back of a project I am working on. 

My first step will be to trim the threads and remove the paper from the back of the project.

But I don't know what to do with it next. Should I finish it as a wall hanging or table topper, or should I add borders to it and turn it into a lap quilt? 

What would you do?

Linking up to Design Wall Monday

Sunday, December 04, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! Sunday is our day to slow down and rest, to be thankful... and to stitch to our heart's content!

I have been embroidering some tiny Christmas designs called the Hugs and Kisses mystery advent stitch-along. It was a previous mystery and is now a pattern for purchase. Maybe it was from last year, or the year before, but I found these designs traced and half finished, and since it's the perfect December project, I'll put more stitches in today!

I have recently become smitten with Flosstube videos on YouTube. I know I am very late to the party, and for the life of me I can't figure out why I am interested in listening to stitchers describe their many, many ongoing projects. Maybe it makes me feel better about mine?! Anyway, do you watch Flosstube and have recommendations for videos that are not to be missed? Any if any of you have a channel, please let us know in the comments so we can visit.

What are you hand stitching today?  Link up your photo, instagram or blog post below and show us your slow progress.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Saturday, December 03, 2022

Scrappy Saturday

 Are you keeping up with the Sewcialites 2 blocks?

The pattern for block #6 was just posted and is called Always Star by Camille Roskelley. I used the multicoloured print that will be the border in this block. The centre is fussy cut from this print. So pretty - it looks almost watercoloury!

Here are my six blocks on the design wall. It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait until all of the blocks are made - it will be amazing!

Linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Friday, December 02, 2022

Mystery Update

Here are some of the blocks I have sewn for my scrappy version of the Quiltville mystery. The first step had us sewing 4 patches and 9 patches, which is a very fun way to ease into a project.  These are my 4 patches using the light polkadot in all the blocks.

I want to make a quilt that is a bit smaller than the pattern so I am making 2/3's of the number of blocks listed in the instructions. I can always make more blocks if needed once I see the design. 

I am enjoying using up my scraps according to value only. This photo makes me smile because I am sewing late at night, drinking tea in my Bonnie mug, and wearing my pink cow pyjamas!

Go to sleep for heaven's sake! You can sew more blocks tomorrow!

Here are some 9 patch blocks which can be used as an "I Spy". Can you find the stop sign, the dove, the kitten, the starfish, the butterfly, the swan, the panda, the ladybug, and the bird? So fun!

Okay... time for more fun now! I'm popping over to Quiltville to see what we will be sewing for step #2!

Thursday, December 01, 2022

December Goal

December requires a Chrismasy goal don't you think? I'm going to make my OMG to finish the Fat Quarter Shop's mystery called Christmastime. The pattern was free on their blog earlier in the year and is still posted if you'd like to make one too. I have quilting ideas and am hoping to finish this quilt to hang on the wall for Christmas.

Linking up to One Monthly Goal

Monday, November 28, 2022

Design Wall Monday

A finished quilt top is on my design wall today! 

This is the project called "Scary Faces" that was in the Spooky Box from the Fat Quarter Shop. The quilt top includes 8 spider web blocks, 4 pumpkins, and 4 ghosts. 

So fun! I have some ideas for how to quilt this project and I'm hoping to have it pin basted and ready to quilt next weekend. And then I'll be done with Halloween and be able to jump right into Christmas projects... yippee! 

I'm so excited about this because this was my November OMG - I'm dancing over to add my blog post to the OMG link up and Design Wall Monday at Judy's!

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Slow Sunday Stitching

Thanks for dropping by the weekly hand stitching party where we're all about needles, threads, fabric, inspiration and self care! There is no advertising here, no Black Friday sales, no machines to give us grief, and no stress whatsoever! It's just pure relaxation, taking deep breaths, and taking one slow stitch at a time. 

And because we are all about the S.L.O.W. part, it's not very often that we can announce a finish... but today I have a finish to share! This is my Bee Happy embroidery from the October online class with Julie of Clever Poppy.  First I did some hand quilting along the stems and around the jar to stabilize the 3 layers.

I hand quilted 1/4" away from the edge of the added border on both sides. Once I got to this stage I was really excited to finish this miniature quilt, and I was quilting it late at night.

Then I got a great (late night) idea to appliqué triangles on the inside of the border. This was challenging because the pieces were so small, and I'm not very experienced with appliqué. And when I woke up in the morning, I didn't like it!  

At all!

So I removed those triangles.

And in their place, I hand quilted a triangle. Thankfully I liked the way this looked much better. I didn't detract from the embroidery as much and it just felt lighter, but filled the empty spaces in the corners.

I'm so glad I had enough of this pretty paisley fabric for the border, backing and binding.
Time to get the label on, add the corner triangles (to put the dowel into for hanging) and attach the binding.

And ta da... here it is! I love it so much!

The name of this miniature quilt is "Bee Happy" and it does indeed make me happy to see it displayed on my wall!

Finished size: 6.75" x 7.5"

Linking up to November's Favorite Finish

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

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