Tuesday, August 29, 2023


Last year's Quiltville Chilhowie mystery was made totally from my scrap bags. 

Nothing was coordinated or purchased, and I made the fabric choices each week as the clues were posted. I used value categories instead of the 4 colours that were recommended:

Light (for white/neutral)
Medium light (for aqua)
Medium dark (for orange)
Dark (for purple)

I decided that I didn't really care how it turned out, because my focus was to have fun with scraps. And it has been great fun! This was the design wall a couple of weeks ago - 6 blocks sewn, and 3 to finish.

I treasure my scraps and appreciate the donations that quilting friends often make to "Kathy's Home for Wayward Scraps". Sometimes your own scraps get kind of boring and new infusions of old treasures perk up the selection! 

Here are the completed blocks on the design wall. I made 9 blocks instead of 16 (as the pattern called for). It's a bit frenetic, but the sashing units give more breathing space.

And here are the blocks with the sashing added. I enjoy comparing the 2 photos and seeing what this sashing adds to the design. That QST block in the centre of the sashing strips creates a cool secondary design.

Now I am working on sewing together the border strips. I wish this photo was clearer, but you get the idea -  sewing border strips while I eat breakfast! I find myself increasingly motivated to work on the quilt this week since
 the end is in sight!

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching! We meet here every Sunday to celebrate the art of all varieties of hand stitching. If it involves a needle (or 2.. or more!), and thread/yarn, and stitches taken with your hands, we want to know all about it!  

Cross stitching has preoccupied my hand stitching time this week  and I finished 2 more designs from Melisa's Spring Stamp SAL. This is stamp #4 called "The Hatchlings" - two sweet little baby birds.

And stamp #8 called "A Spring Day" is also stitched. There is only 1 more block remaining, and I'm seeing the end in sight which is exciting! I would like to stitch one of Melisa's fall designs next - a squirrel sampler. 

What are you working on this week?

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Saturday, August 26, 2023

Scrappy Saturday

It's yellow month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and I have enjoyed my projects this week. 

First I put some gorgeous Alison Glass fabric called 'crochet' in the centres of some flower blocks (a small start for a table runner).

Then I used this yellow fabric to make a 6" yellow sewing machine block (another one of my long term RSC projects started in June of 2021). And I also made a sweet little yellow 3" sewing machine block from yellow scraps.

These blocks are made from a free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop. I am making the 3" and 6" block sizes, but oddly have no interest in the 9" block size. Quilts can be made much quicker with bigger blocks, but rapid production is not my goal - enjoyment is, so I follow my bliss!

Here are all the blocks on the design wall. 

I don't know yet when I will tire of making these blocks, or how big the quilt will become. The plan of the moment is to border the 3" blocks with white sashing as alternate blocks to the 6" sewing machines. 

Linking up to the weekly scrap party at Angela's

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Quiltville Mystery Update

We are quickly approaching the fall season, and I still have not finished piecing the Quiltville mystery from last year. I start getting annoyed with myself at this time of year, because another new mystery will be starting in November, and I have a self imposed rule that the quilt top from the previous year MUST be finished in order to start another Quiltville mystery. I got some blocks out and started cutting the remaining pieces for the borders.

Meanwhile, I was further inspired by recently sleeping under my sister's finished Frolic quilt. This was the 2019 mystery and my quilt top is STILL in the UFO closet for heaven's sake! 

My sister machine quilted this on her domestic sewing machine and made up her own quilting design. I think it's very creative!

She even made a matching wallhanging with the leftover pieces! It hangs on the wall beside the bed quilt.

Okay, so I am inspired to get myself motivated to reach some finishing goals.

I sewed some border blocks together on her fancy Janome machine when I was visiting last week. 

Progress is being made and I'm on a roll!

Monday, August 21, 2023

Design Wall Monday

Last week I treated myself to a little getaway with my sister. We took a class at Cherished Pieces to make bargello table runners. 

I took Elsie to the class and even though she is now 72 years old she did a great job sewing all the strips and seams. I put a piece of masking tape to the right of the needle to help with the 1/4" seam accuracy and it worked perfectly. I did notice that her wiring is a little crumbly and needs replacing, so I will look into that some day.

I bought a Christmas kit and enjoyed just showing up to the class with everything precut for me! Here are my labelled columns.

Here is my sister working on her project. She brought strips from home in blues and browns to match her home decor. I think it's looking great!

Here is my pieced runner on the design wall beside the Evergreen mystery that I posted about last week. 

You'd think it's Christmas time around here with all these festive projects on the go. But nothing is actually finished, so I must get motivated to do some quilting and finishing.

On the way home from the class, we saw a gorgeous field of sunflowers and I couldn't resist stopping for a photo. This whole day  made me ridiculously happy - sister time, a quilting class, and sunflowers - what could be better?!?

Linking up to Design Wall Monday over at Judy's

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Hello stitcher! Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party where we hope you will find lots of inspiration and encouragement to help you on your stitching journey!

Last week I was able to attend the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games and had the privilege of sitting around a quilt frame once again. I have really missed this! I have joined the stitchers in previous years and if you'd like to see some of the other quilts we've stitched on, just click on the year - 2012,  2014, 2016, and 2019.

What a delight to enjoy hand stitching with old and new friends once again! In the same tent, there were also embroidery displays, weavers, spinners, and of course, the bobbin lace makers.

I am always fascinated with the lace making  process and have decided that when I retire, I will take a class to learn this art form. In the meantime, I have been watching youtube videos to learn some basic techniques and the history of lace making.

In my own sewing room, I have finished stamp #5 - the bird bath block in the centre of Melisa's Spring Stamp Mystery SAL. I have started stamp #4 and hope to at least finish stitching the frame today. 

What are you stitching today? We look forward to seeing your progress!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, August 14, 2023

Christmas Wallhanging

The Fat Quarter shop offered a free Christmas mystery in July and I have been sewing along behind the scenes of other projects. 

I ordered the kit for this mystery since I liked the idea of using a non Christmas line called "Favorite Things" for a Christmas project. There is not a single snowman, Santa, ornament, or reindeer to be found on these fabrics. But the colours are red and green and have a Christmasy feel to them.

This is a row quilt pattern with many pieces to cut and organize. Here is row #2 cut out and ready to sew. As always, the instructions were impeccable and easy to follow.  

Here it is on the design wall. 

It has a plain white border around it now and is ready for quilting.

Four rows, four clues. So fun!

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the Sunday hand stitching party! Make yourself a nice cold (or hot) beverage, take a deep breath, and get out your hand stitching. We hope you will join us in creating hand made items that bring beauty to our world! 

I have been bringing the beauty of spring to life in stitches - the blue birds, the sun, the flowers, the butterflies, the bees - so beautiful!  As soon as I finished stitching the birdhouse block, I had to take a picture beside my real birdhouse. 

This has been a slow and enjoyable project since I started it in April. This is a free mystery pattern from Melisa at Pinker 'n Punkin Quilting. It's not a mystery anymore since all the patterns/stamps have been posted, but when I started it, I had no idea of all the sweet scenes I would be spending time with this summer.

I started this block waiting at the hospital while my dear friend had surgery. It made the time pass faster, and made the wait bearable. We are so thankful that all went well with the surgery, and I will think of that day whenever I look at this birdhouse block.

I don't know why I stitched the blocks/stamps in the order I did - 3, 6, 2, 9, and this week I stitched block #1 with a blue bird on a  watering can. 

I think I wanted to move from top right to bottom left so that I wasn't always holding finished stitcheries in my left hand while stitching the next blocks? I'm not sure what experienced stitchers would do - do you stitch left to right, top to bottom, right to left when you cross stitch? I have no idea what is considered the best method since I am new (again) to cross stitch. Any suggestions are welcome!

In last week's post I offered the slightly used Stitcher pattern by Luminous Fibre Arts as a giveaway.  The random number generator picked #13 which is Terri in B.C. Congratulations Terri - I will email you and get your address to send the pattern to you. I wonder what colour of floss you will enjoy using for this fun project!?

And now it's your turn - what are you hand stitching this week? Link up your instagram or blog post below and share your slow progress with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Scrappy Saturday

Two yellow blocks have been added to one of my favourite RSC projects. It has been an unnamed project but I have decided to call it "Scraps and Stars". The original (out of print) pattern by Lydia Quigley was called "When this you see", but that didn't fit the quilt. To see the inspiration quilt made by my friend Deanna click here.

I love making the 25 patch blocks from my box of 1.5" squares. So many fun yellow scraps from past projects. 

Then I pick out a couple of larger scraps to make the star block. This is my favourite way to make a quilt - one leisurely, colourful block at a time, stitched over years! Next month will be this project's first birthday and I have made 27 block so far - not quite a crib size yet! That's okay, I have hopefully have a few more years to add more blocks each month! LOL

Linking up to the weekly scrap party at Angela's

Monday, August 07, 2023

Design Wall Monday

It's a holiday Monday here for me and I plan to sew for the entire day! I'm so excited! I will be working on my local quilt guild summer mystery called "Teamwork".  Here is the recycled bedding container that I use to store my mystery quilt parts. All the blocks are  counted and labelled, and either in a baggie or pinned together in sets of 10.

The trimming of the square in a square blocks gave me a chance to try out my new Gypsy Quilter cutting mat cleaner. It's a cute heart shaped scrubber that you put your fingers into and you give your mat a good massage to clean off the fibres. I was surprised what a good job it did - I give this new tool a big thumbs up! 👍

Clue #5 had us make 20 
Aunt Dinah blocks. There is always at least one oopsie block when concentration declines late at night!

These are the finished blocks on the design wall from clue #5. 

I love the look of all these blocks on the wall!

And now it's time to sew them into a mystery layout. Mystery clue #6 arrived in my email on Saturday, so that will be my focus for sewing today. 

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's

Sunday, August 06, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! It's the middle of the summer here and we have a 3 day (Civic Holiday) weekend, so I have been stitching to my hearts content! 💖

I am excited to share a finished stitchery today! I started this cross stitch on St. Patrick's Day this year.

I used Weeks Dye Works hand dyed threads for the first time and I am disappointed that I didn't love it. I only bought 1 skein of the colour called "Lucky", but I was unlucky because of course I needed a bit more thread from a 2nd skein. The 2nd one that I ordered by mail (from the same store) was quite different from the 1st one, but I used it anyway. My friends say that you can't tell the difference between the 2 skeins, and maybe that is true. It does still bug me slightly, but the lesson was learned - when buying specialty threads, always buy more than you think you might need.

I stitched this with 2 threads of floss over 1 square on 14 count Aida, and added 4 buttons which were given to me by my friend. She let me dig through her white button collection jar and pick the best size for the project.

This pattern is called "Stitcher" and is by Misty Pursel of Luminous Fiber Arts. I would like to have a draw for one of my blog readers to win this pattern (which was originally stitched in red threads).  

It's a nice big 2 page chart, so no magnification was needed for me to stitch this design. Let me know if you'd like to be in the draw by leaving the word "Stitcher" in the comment section and I'll announce the winner next Sunday.

I've also been working on the binding of the quilt I showed last Sunday and should finish it up today. I really enjoy hand stitching outdoors, while watching Flosstube videos on my laptop. Here I am hand stitching the quilt label while I watch Jane and Julie on Running With Scissors. They are my favourites and always make me laugh (and sometimes cry).

Once I'm done the binding, I will put more stitches into Life in Full Bloom. This was a mystery stitchalong that started in May. I am really enjoying stitching the flowers, but have learned that I do not enjoy stitching blocks of solid colour - where the needle is pointing are 4 long blocks of blue that I need to stitch. Boring! But maybe it will be a good takealong project for waiting at appointments?

What are you hand stitching today? Link up your instagram and blog posts below and share your projects with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, August 05, 2023

Scrappy Saturday

It's yellow month for the Rainbow Scrappers, and I have started digging through the 1.5" scrap box for yellow squares to make into 25 patch blocks. It's an interesting task to decide what is actually yellow, and what reads  more as gold or orange.

Sewcialites 2 is also getting some attention this weekend. This is block #17 called Simplicity pattern by Vanessa Goertzen. 

And here are all the Sewcialtes 2 blocks on the design wall. There are 24  blocks in this  collection, so I have 6 more to sew. I think this will definitely need some sashing to be a less busy sampler!

I am motivated to get these blocks sewn because rumour has it that Moda Blockheads #5 is coming this September, and I only like to have one sampler project on the go at a time! 

Linking to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge