Monday, June 26, 2023

Scrappy Stars

A scrappy rainbow scrap challenge project is on the design wall today. This pattern alternates a 25 patch block and a star block.  That's a very old Debbie Mumm print used for the star fabric.

I started making blocks last fall and wasn't sure if I would keep up with the project or not. It turns out I really like sewing these blocks and using up my collection of 1.5" squares, so it will continue!

Here are the recently sewn blocks using blue scraps for the June Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I love the secondary design you get when the blocks are side by side.

Here are all the blocks I've sewn so far.

I'm looking forward to adding in some warm colours soon - red is up for next month.

Linking up to Rainbow Scrap Challenge and Design Wall Monday

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the Slow Sunday Stitching weekly linkup party! If you like to stitch things by hand, you have found your people! Each week there are stitchers around the world who share their projects and slow progress to encourage and inspire us.

June has been a  busy month with weddings and other celebrations. I knitted a little dishcloth to give to my niece and new husband in their wedding card. Giving money just seems so cold (although I know that young people need it) so I had to make something to put in with the money. I finished knitting the cloth on the way to the wedding!

I was so happy to have found a blue Sudz yarn that is close to the colour of their bridesmaid dresses. You can't see the colour match very well in these over exposed photos, but trust me, the blue yarn is a very close match to the blue dresses! 

I also finished "the early bird" stamp #6 for Spring Stamp Collection by Melisa at Pinker 'n Punkin Quilting. I love these tiny blocks featuring blue birds. This is the first time I have made long stitches (the lines from the sun) and I hope they stay put! I know it is already summer, and I'm still working on my spring projects, but that's okay - I'm enjoying making each stitch! Next up is stamp #2 Spring Planting.

What are you hand stitching today? Are you finishing any gifts for celebrations?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Monday, June 19, 2023

Mini Quilt Design Wall

Last month I attended a quilt retreat hosted by Cherished Pieces and had such a wonderful time sewing my little heart out. Of course I brought along many projects to work on, but what did I actually do?! 

I started a new project! *snort* Of course I did!

Here is my work surface after I just dove right into cutting and piecing little squares to make a double four patch quilt. 

In my own defence, Cynthia (of Cherished Pieces) gave all the retreaters a scrappy quilt book called Sew Charming (by Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene) and a Fable charm pack (by Riley Blake). What's a quilter to do but start a new project immediately?!?!

Here is the little treasure on my design wall today.

I am very happy with the green diagonal chains made from 1"  squares (finishing .5" in the quilt). And I love the hidden animals in some of the neutral prints. I spy... some cats, a bird, a rabbit, and part of a squirrel and a swan. 

It's time for decisions to be made. How big will it become? The pattern in the book is 18.5" square but I still have lots of little blocks and I could make it a bigger mini.

Does it need borders? And if so, what colour? Borders will need to be pieced because I do not have yardage of this fabric line.

Oh and also, I notice one renegade mini four patch block that will need to be sorted out. There's always at least one in every quilt that needs extra attention!

Linking up to Design Wall Monday over at Judy's

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!

This week marks the 11th anniversary of Slow Sunday Stitching adventures! The inaugural link up was June 24th, 2012. I can't believe that much time has passed! My original goal in creating this link up was to inspire people to slow down, to take a deep breath, to dedicate precious time to the healing process of hand work, and to connect with other creative like-minded stitchers.

Slow Stitching Gang!
And surprisingly all these years later, there are still folks who are hand stitching and blogging about it! And they are still willing to share their projects with us and I am thankful! Although I don't get around to visiting everyone each week, I do visit as many stitchers as time permits, and hope you all take the time to visit a couple of friends each week too. Thank you for posting, for reading, and for leaving encouraging comments for all of us hand stitchers!

This week I finished up a donation quilt and enjoyed hand stitching the binding. These are my commonly used tools, and you probably can't see my favourite needle which is a #10 Clover black gold needle.

I also stitched the label (created by our community outreach committee) onto the back of the quilt.

Once the quilt was finished I had enough time to get a new facecloth started.

What are you hand stitching today? We hope you will join the slow stitching gang and link up your blog or instagram post below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Comfort Quilts

One of my life pleasures is to work on a quilt that someone will receive with appreciation. So much of our efforts (especially as women) go unnoticed and our hard work is even criticized by others. And so it is in the quilting world sometimes unfortunately. 

But to put effort into creating a quilt for someone who needs it and will appreciate the effort and the gift, is an entirely unique and inspiring experience. 

My guild is partnering with several other community organizations to create stable and safe homes (Home for Good) for 80 homeless people in our city. This program uses an innovative client centred model, and I'm very excited to be contributing in a small way to it's creation by donating money (here) and also by making quilts to bring comfort and beauty to those who will finally have a home. 

Last week I had the privilege of working together with other guild members on donation quilts at a sew in day and I brought home a gorgeous scrap quilt to finish up.  The quilt top was made by Becky, the machine quilting was done by Roxanne, and I had the privilege of finishing this quilt by attaching the label and hand stitching the binding.

As I stitched, I admired the precise piecing, the use of such a wide variety of scraps, and the beautiful quilting crafted by  talented women who are donating their time and talents to this worthy cause and I felt so proud to be a small part of this effort. 

And here is the finished quilt!

This gorgeous quilt will soon be covering someone who has had a very challenging life. I hope it brings beauty to their life and a little bit of quilty comfort. 
Everyone is someone's child/sibling/loved one!
Lyrics from the song "Somebody's Someone" by Daphne Willis:

You're somebody's someoneWe're all still missin youBack where you came fromWherever you go we hope you knowYou're somebody's someone

Monday, June 12, 2023

Disappearing Pinwheels

This project has come to an end for me. I made 20 of these blocks to contribute to a group gift for a quilting friend. Three of us made 20 blocks each (total of 60 blocks!) for a 60th birthday surprise - Happy Birthday Louise! We  started with 3 colour suggestions - green, blue and orange, and each of us made whatever kind of blocks we were inspired to sew from our stash.

I made these 20 disappearing pinwheel blocks using the 3 chosen colours and some light background fabrics. They were a delight to sew and they will combine with 40 other blocks to become whatever the birthday girl wants - either one big quilt or two smaller quilts. 

Linking up to design wall Monday at Judy's

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching - Bird Parade

Welcome to the Slow Sunday Stitching party here at Kathy's Quilts where we celebrate hand stitching of all varieties. We want to encourage our fellow hand stitchers to keep making slow progress, and to squeeze every ounce of enjoyment possible from each stitch taken.

This week I have a confession to make and here it is - I LOVE birds. Love them 💖. I "know" the birds in the back yard, and I know which birds are calling or singing even when I can't see them. My family members love to tell funny (in retrospect) stories of me coping (or not coping!) with birds in need of help. And I enjoy watching Robert Fuller videos for entertainment. 

So it isn't any surprise that I enjoy stitching bird projects. Today I am sharing a bird project parade.

Shari the Colorado Cross Stitcher is hosting an online Cross Stitch Camp event and the theme for June is birds! The camp badge even has a pink bird on it. But I am NOT starting anything new because I have enough bird projects on the go! 

#1) Stitcher by Luminous Fiber Arts was started in March. I have enjoyed stitching with the Weeks Dye Works threads (although I still prefer my DMC floss). Of course I stitched the bird first! 
It is close to a finish. 

#2) Spring's Messenger by Scattered Seeds Sampler
I started this in April and couldn't wait to stitch my way to the blue eggs. I'm stitching the second egg and realizing that my count was off in placing the branch that the nest sits on. It will just be a smaller egg than anticipated! 

#3) Melisa's Spring Stamp Collection was also started in April and has been a delightful slow stitch. I am almost finished the header and have finished 1 design on the top right. I adore these little blue birds and wish my hands would allow me to stitch more often. But pacing is important and I am trying to listen to my body to inform how many hours I can stitch each week.

I am using the "sewing" method of cross stitch now and although the stitches don't look as flat (as stab stitching), it is easier for my hands to do. I am stitching design #6 which has the early bird catching a worm. 

#4) I also knit a hummingbird dishcloth from the Garden Dishcloths to Knit pattern book using a pretty blue Sudz yarn. Can you see the cute little bird fluttering on the top right? I love knitting these little cloths!

That's my bird project parade! Are you stitching any birds this week? Link up your instagram or blog post below and share your hand stitching with us!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Saturday, June 10, 2023

Crappy Saturday

Yes it is Crappy Saturday here at Kathy's Quilts! 

The sewer backed up into the basement on Thursday night which will cause a huge repair expense when it hopefully gets fully fixed next week. It also caused me to miss out on a weekend quilting retreat with friends in Trout Creek. Instead of quilting with my friends I am cleaning the basement 😰

I am thinking about how sewer and sewer are heteronyms - the words are spelled the same but mean very different things! 

I will spend half the day in the sewer basement, and half the day in the sewer room!

Making more disappearing pinwheel blocks has been such a delight. 

I have finished 6 disappearing pinwheel blocks in blue (which is the colour of the month for the Rainbow Scrappers). Here they are on the design wall.

Linking up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge

Monday, June 05, 2023

Design Wall Monday

On Saturday I attended a fun "in person" sewing day with my guild members. I have been attending regularly via zoom, but gosh I missed being with people during the covid years! Zoom is fun, but there is nothing like actually being together and working on donation quilts with "like minded" quilters!

We had a wonderful day of sewing string blocks. I worked on sewing together the purple blocks that other guild members had made. I brought my 1952 Featherweight sewing machine for this outing. At first she had a bit of trouble with the tension (out of practice!) but I was able to fix it and she did a great job of getting these blocks sewn together.

Here are the string blocks on the design wall. I am still leaning to the chevron layout and look forward to making more purple string blocks to add to this collection. Notice the occasional pieced strings which add character to the project and use up smaller pieces 💜💜💜

I went to the sew day with no projects to work on and just wanted to help with whatever was needed. 
And I came home with THREE projects! This is the other string piecing project I adopted. I'm sure you can see why I couldn't let it stay at the orphanage! I love these blocks and can't wait to make more of them!

Sunday, June 04, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly celebration of hand stitching! It's the one time a week where we make sure to set aside some special moments for playing with needles and thread. We hope you will join us!

I have been knitting the project from the Garden Dishcloths book that I started last week. I am using Estelle Sudz yarn which is 100% cotton and made for dishcloths. I enjoy the portability of this hand work - in this photo I am waiting for Granddog Max to come out of the vet office. It was a $1,400 Wednesday for Max as he now has pancreatitis and kidney stones. The knitting helped me pass the time feeling less worried.

Here's the little sick boy home safe and sound. We each bought him a new toy since we were feeling so sorry for him! He has another surgery next week.  

Here is the finished dishcloth. Can you tell what the pattern is? I love stitching these so much that I want to make every pattern in the book! I have already cast on the stitches for the next one!

I have also been working on the Fat Quarter Shop mystery cross stitch. I was getting frustrated with my very slow progress, and discovered that although the pattern calls for 2 threads over 2, at some point I had started using 3 threads over 2. Why? I have no idea, but it was hard to pull the threads through and tiring for my hands. Finally I realized the problem and returned to using 2 threads, which is so much easier of course! I should make some progress on this today.

What are you hand stitching on this first Sunday in June? Maybe you will be able to enjoy some outdoor stitching if you have good weather? Please link up your instagram or blog post below and share your slow progress with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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