Sunday, January 29, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the hand stitching tribe! I just love Sunday mornings with my hand stitching friends! The link ups are so wonderful - I always see such a great variety of projects, techniques, and colours. Delicious!

I have a little hand stitching finish to share this week! 

This is a variation of Melisa's Family Portrait. I took it outside on a snowy afternoon to get a photo. 
I hand quilted in white thread around the snowfigures and around the edge of the block. And quilted one line in blue thread in the border.  I just love it! 💙 Thank you for the design Melisa! 

Finished size: 8" x 9"

If you would like to make your own version, you can download this free pattern (and many others) on Melisa's blog Pinker n Punkin Quilting and Stitching

I also had a mending day this week where I sewed a button on my son's coat, re-hemmed a blouse for my Mom (it was too long to wear under her sweater) and did some repairs on my 2 favourite winter gloves (sewed the bow back on, and secured the buttons which were almost falling off).

I know I should be trying to finish my son's Christmas/Birthday stitching project, but I just needed a break from that. So I turned my attention to my oldest cross stitch project and worked on the words at the bottom of the design. It turns out I really enjoy this kind of stitching!

The only thing left to do on this is to finish the grass area. I feel renewed love for this project and a desire to finish it into a pillow for my Mom for her April birthday. 

What are your hands creating this week? Please link up your photo, instagram or blog post below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Scrappy Saturday

My blue scraps haven't had much attention this month, but I did make a couple of blocks this week. I cut out pieces for an ongoing RSC project that I started last year. I really like the blocks for using up scraps, but truth be told... I can't find the original blocks I made last year! 

They will show up eventually, but for now here are the new blue blocks - a star block and and the alternating 25 patch block.

These blocks were made from scraps on the cutting table. Does your cutting table look like this? 

Honestly mine always does. I tell myself it's the sign of a creative quilter! But really it's the sign that I haven't kept ahead of organizing my scraps. So today's the day to clear some space and cut some scraps, so I'll have more space to cut! LOL

Linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Mystery Update

After last week's fiasco I needed to put my Chilhowie mystery in "time out". We needed a sanity break from each other, and one of us had to go in the UFO closet. And it wasn't going to me because it's scary in there! 

I have slowly taken the blocks out,  deconstructed them and sewed them back together correctly. It wasn't actually as bad as I thought it would be and I now have 5 blocks ready.

I'll be going to a quilt retreat in February and the Hot Mess Express (aka Chilhowie) will make an appearance there, where I will complain at great length, and my friends will console me with chocolate and sympathy.

In the meantime, I need to figure out how many sashing strips I need, and how many more border units I need to sew for this project to make some headway at retreat.

Linking up to Design Wall Monday

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly linkup for all projects hand stitched. 
We welcome stitching artists of all types. Yes you! The definition of "artist" is: a person engaged in an activity related to creating art, practicing the arts, or demonstrating an art. 
You are an artist if you have ever picked up a needle and thread and tried to make something with it. Your results may not have been stellar, A+, earth shattering brilliance, but that's okay. We welcome all stitching artists here!

I am still very slowly stitching my son's Christmas/birthday  project. I make myself stitch at least 2 thread lengths every day and that is working well. Santa brought me a wonderful magnifier lamp for Christmas and it is helping me so much.  

I am bribing myself to finish this project by telling myself that when it is done, I can start a new stitchery from Melisa's patterns!

I also had to do some mending this week, which I dislike, but my Dad had a hole in one of his cardigans so I had to fix that for him. I store my DMC floss in Floss-a-way bags and went through the bags to find the right grey for the job. I have so much floss that I always have the "right" colour!

Again, my new magnifier lamp came in so handy. I was proud of how it looked on the right side of the repair, but the back was a bit messier than I wished it was. However, the sweater is useable and it's usefulness is extended, so it's all good.

I also had a quilting finish this week... the first finish of the year! Click here to read more about the finished baby quilt. I really enjoyed hand stitching the binding while I got caught up on episodes of "This is Us". (I'm sad that this is the last season of this wonderful family drama series).

What are you hand stitching today? We love to see the projects that you are stitching at the start of 2023 - share your challenges and victories with us!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, January 20, 2023

Finished Quilt

My sister and I joined forces to make a baby quilt for our nephew's baby who will be born in February.  My sister sewed the quilt top from a kit from Cherished Pieces and did a great job. When I did the pin basting it laid completely flat which doesn't often happen with my quilt tops!

 free motion quilted vertical strings of hearts in the centre panel. The stitch length was an issue since I was quilting too fast (as usual) because it was fun!

I quilted simple straight line Xs through the border squares. The fabric was so adorable and I had warm fuzzy feelings the whole time I worked on this quilt.

We were pretty excited that the quilt was actually finished in time for the baby shower! We also put the book that inspired this fabric line into the gift bag with the quilt.  We are all so excited for this baby to come and I am predicting it will be born on my brother's birthday in February. We shall see!

This is my first finish of 2023! Woohoo! 

Finished size: 40" x 50"

Monday, January 16, 2023

Design Wall Monday

I'm back to working on the Quiltville mystery and have finished 4 blocks to put on the design wall. I was very proud of getting this far and thinking of how big to make this quilt. 

I was in a zoom sewing meeting on Saturday when I noticed a problem on the design wall. Did you spot it right away?

I have been looking at this for days, took photos, downloaded the photos to my computer, edited the photos, and still did not notice any problems until I screen shared the photo during the zoom sew. I can't believe my eyes didn't see it - it's as plain as day! It's yet another life lesson - sometimes you don't clearly see a problem even when it is staring you in the face. Sheesh!

My guild friends suggested I leave it that way, make a 9 block quilt and put the problem block in the centre. I'm not going to unsew the renegade until the other blocks are finished. 

Stay tuned for the outcome!

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's

PS... See Julie's comment below!  Up is down, wrong is right! UGH!

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Hi stitching friends! Welcome to the hand stitching zone! Why not join us today? Get out your project, 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 have been stitching very slowly these days since my thumb joint is giving me pain again. I noticed it at Christmas and usually if I don't stitch too much and use Voltaren cream, it slowly goes away. 

But not yet. 

I did get my Family Portrait embroidery pin basted last Sunday and started hand quilting it. I am using a silicone finger tip needle puller to decrease strain on my hand and I am limiting myself to one thread of quilting every day. We'll see if this works to decrease the pain. Other solutions are welcome!

Many times people have asked me if the pin basting is annoying when hand quilting, and truthfully it sometimes is. But if a pin gets in the way, and the thread keeps getting caught on the pin, I just remove it. It's still my preference over aerosol sprays or other ways of basting quilt layers.

I have also been working on a cross stitched gift for my son, which was supposed to be for Christmas. But the hand pain didn't allow me to meet that goal. He will receive it eventually whenever it's done!

I cannot fully express how much I am hating this stitching! The majority of the design was partial stitches (ie. making four 1/4 stitches in one tiny, little Aida square). Ugh - I'm hating it! Although I do love this photo of me poking "The Dude" in the eye with a needle! LOL

I am persevering and determined to finish it because I know my son would like it. And when it is finished, I will immediately return to my old 1991 cross stitch project, which used to seem hard, and now seems much easier in comparison! I want to remind myself that I do in fact like cross stitching, just not in micro form with a bad stitching chart! 

Okay friends... it's your turn now. What are you hand stitching this week? Are you enjoying it, or are you trudging through to the finish line? Link up your instagram or blog post below and share your finishes or your miseries!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, January 13, 2023

Multitasking Friday

Sometimes it gets a little frenetic in my sewing space! There are projects everywhere I look. Quilts I want to work on, stitching for a birthday gift, an embroidery pattern I want to trace, and a baby quilt that need to be finished by Sunday's baby shower (to name just a few!) Yikes!

I had to focus on projects with a deadline and put the fun mystery quilts to the side. I pin basted a baby quilt and started machine quilting.

I love the fabrics in this quilt with all the bunnies playing. Here the Mom is swinging the baby around.

And here are more bunnies playing in the snow and talking to the birds. So darn cute!

It has been a long time since I've worked on a baby quilt, and I want to do more of that in 2023 because it just makes me happy!

I will post the finished quilt photos after the Mom and Dad-to-be get to see their quilt.

Happy Friday the 13th! It's my son's birthday today and yes, he was actually born on Friday the 13th!

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Cupid Box

I'm so excited that the pre-order for the 2023 Cupid Box from Fat Quarter Shop is posted! I loved the box last year - I mean really loved it! 💖💖💖 
I made an unboxing video which you can see here and here is the photo I took of the box contents.

And inside the 2022 box was the fabric, instructions and tools to make this lovely wallhanging. It was challenging to sew, but I enjoyed every single minute! Now I am deciding whether to add a border or have no border, and hope to quilt it before Valentine's Day 2023.

I have no affiliation with the Fat Quarter Shop, just like to share things that make me happy! If you want to pre-order a Cupid Box, you can do so here. Can't wait to get mine!

Monday, January 09, 2023

Design Wall Monday

The New Year's Day mystery quilt from Scrapdash is on my design wall this morning. I only need to sew 2 more blocks before I can start sewing the top together. Just look at the piles of mess around it. Keeping it real!

My sewing area is a total mess due to residual Christmas chaos and also sewing 2 mystery quilts at the same time. "Someone" needs to get in there, stop sewing, and do some tidying!

Linking up to Design Wall Monday

Sunday, January 08, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

It's Sunday! And you know what that means - it's time for rest, relaxation, recuperation, and renewal. Relaxation doesn't happen by reading about it, thinking about it, or hoping for it. It only happens by doing it! And what better way to relax than to do some hand stitching. You will be amazed at how much time passes while you're "in the zone" of relaxing stitching, and how much better you will feel. 

I have been cross stitching on my 1991 project, and made a bit of progress this week. Thank you for all your encouragement to keep going. I am finding the lettering to be much easier than the grass area was, and it's actually very relaxing so I  am happy to keep at it. 

I have finally sewn a little border on my embroidered snow family (pattern is here) and hope to start hand quilting this project today. I think I'll just quilt around the shapes, and then stitch some snowflakes in the background. 

What will your hands be stitching today? I'm very behind in reading blog posts, so hope to have time today to drop by and visit all the links.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, January 07, 2023

Scrappy Saturday

The Sewcialites 2 project took a break over the holidays, but it's back now with 2 new free block patterns. I am sewing my blocks using the colour of the month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and the colour for January is blue

This is block # 9 called "New Plus Old" by Brigette Heitland. I have no idea where the dark blotchy fabric came from but it worked well in this easy (boring) block.

Here is block pattern #10 called "Flourish" by Lori Holt. Now this is a block I could really sink my teeth into! So fun! It started with a little bag of scraps I received from a friend on New Year's Day and I made the block completely from the pieces in the bag. I fussy cut the adorable little bunnies and used every bit of that strip that I received. 

Here are all my blocks together on the design wall.

This project needs some red, pink, yellow, and orange to make it happier. Those colours will come later in the year.

Linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge party

Friday, January 06, 2023

Quiltville Mystery Update

Progress is continuing on the Quiltville mystery. I decided to make 9 blocks for my version of this quilt and step #5 is on the design wall. I love the scrappy look of my blocks!

Oh no... do you see the problem block with no pinwheel in the centre? Top right? Would you leave it as is? 

I had to change it!

I deconstructed the non conforming block to try again. Thankfully I took a photo of the block before I started to sew it back together. If I would have sewn it wrong twice, I  would not have been a  happy stitcher!

Okay now... much better! I do wish I would have sewn the pinwheels all going the same direction, but I can live with this variation. These blocks are so pretty! But next we are adding big blocks around each one.

Here is my test block. I decided to cut into an old Kaffe Fassett piece of fabric instead of going scrappy on this step. It's kind of wild and I love the look of it!

I'm hopping over to the Quiltville blog like a kid on Christmas morning to see what Santa Bonnie has written for us to make next for step 7!

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

New Year - New Starts

For the first time since before covid, a group of my quilting friends got together to sew the New Year's Day mystery quilt. We have done a lot of zoom sewing over the past couple of years, but this year we did a hybrid sew along with 3 of us sewing together in person and 3 others joining us on zoom - so fun!

The three who were sewing together worked on the Scrapdash mystery called Cook Your Goose. I pulled some fat quarters from my stash and a bit of yardage, and had a blast sewing the day away! I think it's always best to start a new year doing the activity you hope to do most of in the year ahead!

It turned out to be a pretty 2 block quilt design. These are the blocks I finished during the day. We learned 2 different ways to make flying geese blocks, and I liked the second way more (less trimming needed). I have several parts ready to make the remaining blocks, but have hit the ground running with my 2023 work schedule. So quilting will have to wait to the weekend as I'm sure I won't have the energy this week to sew much in the evenings.

Thank you to Kris for this fun mystery project! Another mystery will be posted on Scrapdash for the Super Bowl, which of course we will do! 

Another mystery/block challenge project is starting which is a block of the month on the Riley Blake website. I really enjoyed last years challenge but lost steam about half way through the year for no reason. The blocks this year are also 10" so I will combine last year's blocks with the new ones I will make this year.

Did you start any new projects this year so far?

Monday, January 02, 2023

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 

2023 promises to be an exciting year full of adventures with family, friends and fabric! Thank you for visiting my blog, and for being interested in my quilting adventures for the last 17+ years that I have been blogging about this journey! 

Here's what is coming up on the blog this year...

*I will continue to pick a project each month to focus on for the One Monthly Goal linkup, but it will be something that I am enjoying currently and probably not from the UFO closet.

*The Slow Sunday Stitching linkups will definitely continue and here will be lots of hand stitching going on here for sure! I predict that I will enjoy many hand embroidery projects in 2023 and I have several ideas ready to start.

*A monthly mini finish will also be a continuing goal. I have a current interest in making mug rugs and am thinking about finishing at least 1 per month for Christmas gifts.

*I will continue to participate in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge as I have for 10+ years. It's a great way to use up little bits and create fabric treasures, and for some unknown reason it makes me happy. So I'll do more of that!

*And of course I will continue to participate in the Design Wall Monday link up at Judy's. It's a great way to stay current with what is being worked on (or not!) in the sewing room. This week I started a new mystery project and will write more about that later in the week. But mostly I made some great progress on Bonnie Hunter's mystery. I am sewing 9 blocks to make a smaller version of the pattern and I'm almost ready to move on to step #6!

Click here to visit the Design Wall Monday bloggers

Sunday, January 01, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Hi everyone! Welcome to the first hand stitching party of 2023! This is a stay-at-home party, and you provide all your own beverages, snacks, and stitching projects! But we have inspiration galore to share with you!

I had a wonderful Christmas holiday and visited family in the USA that I haven't seen since before covid hit in 2020. It was a wonderful treat for me! I didn't get a lot of stitching accomplished, but I did get my happiness cup filled to overflowing!

And I did get a few stitches into my 1991 cross stitch over the holidays. I have seen in flosstube videos how stitchers leave threads unfinished, and I have been experimenting with that. See how the pink threads are left undone? I'll go back and finish them, and it did help me to get those threads started in order to get the green letters going. I am having fun with this old project again.

I also had fun making another youtube unboxing video that you can see here. This is the 2022 Jolly Box full of quilty related surprises.

Today I'll be visiting quilting friends to sew the Scrapdash mystery quilt called Cook your Goose. I do love to start the new year by making a new quilt and look forward to sharing the results of the sewing day in tomorrow's post.

What are you stitching to bring in the New Year? Link up your photo, instagram or blog post below and share your project with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter