Saturday, September 30, 2023

A Finished Quilt Top

A big party is happening here (in my mind!) 

Chilhowie is a finished quilt top!

The photo has a stained glass quality because it was taken at sunset. It doesn't look that luminous in real life.

This was the Quiltville mystery project in 2022 and my version is totally made from scraps. Not a single fabric was purchased to create this quilt top. 

These were my scrap categories:

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

I love the challenge of trying to create something beautiful from scraps, which are either quilter's garbage, or quilter's treasures depending on who you ask! 

It's amazing to me to look at this creation and remember that I made decisions each clue about which scraps to sew without knowing what the final design would be. Such a crazy quilty adventure! I can't wait for the next one to start in November (fabric requirements are posted on Halloween).

Linking up my finish to One Monthly Goal - thank you to Patty for hosting this linky party for 93 months! My quilting journey has been helped with the motivation to complete a monthly goal!

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Design Wall - Still Chilhowie!

Progress has been made and I am still holding out hope for a September finish on this scrappy quilt top. The light border sashing pieces are cut, but only the right has been sewn to the scrappy outside border. But I'm very happy with it now! You can see that my current design wall is only big enough for 2/3 of this quilt. The left border is resting on a roll of batting, waiting to be attached.

I am still fussing around with the corners and have tried various options for turning the corner. I think this one is my favourite for two of the corners, but when I look at the other two corners, I like it less. I'm still going with it though, because Chilhowie and I are coming to the end of the construction journey - estimated time of finish is September 30 at 11:59 pm! 

Deadlines are motivating!

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party in this little corner of the internet! This has been a weekly post on my blog for over 9 years now. Stitchers have come and gone, and I have enjoyed seeing all of the amazing projects created over the years, following their interests, some short term infatuations, and some long term loves. What a treat - thank you for reading and for posting your projects, and encouraging others in the comments!

And what have I been up to this week?

I finished the binding on another comfort quilt. I love being part of a group project like this where one person sews the blocks (Jacoba) and one person does the machine quilting (Sharon) and I finish the quilt with adding the label and binding. 

This is how the finished quilt looked hanging on my clothesline. Such a terrific quilt made from scraps! I really enjoyed visiting with the scraps as I stitched on by, and saying "I had a piece of that" or "I wish I had a piece of that"!

I also became obsessed with that darn *squirrel*!

He's just so cute and I couldn't put him away. 

I decided to make each letter in the sampler a different colour of floss and really enjoyed the process of routing around in the stash to find fall colour floss. The bright yellows on the left got voted off the project. I stitched a letter in one of the bright goldy yellows and it just wanted to be the star of the show, which made the squirrel jealous!

I picked the colours for a few letters at a time, decided on the order and got to stitching.

I was thinking about how sometimes you just really need an easy project with a prepared kit that requires no thinking. 

And sometimes you want a project that you can create from scratch and make all the decisions as you go along. Both experiences are wonderful and have a purpose in our stitching lives! (Oh...and also I was avoiding the dreaded Chilhowie decisions!)

That's my hand stitching summary for this week. What are the projects being created by your hands?

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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Design Wall Chilhowie

To finish this quilt top is my September goal, but it has been slow progress.

I posted some photos and layout options last week and received some interesting feedback and creative suggestions in the blog comments. I spent this week playing with different fabrics and border layouts.

I know some of you understand the process - make a change and ask myself "do I like it more or less than before"? Stare at it longer. Beg the quilt to tell you what to do. Be indecisive. Hate the quilt. Try something else. Be more indecisive. Walk away.

One of the ideas suggested was a light border instead of a dark red border. I tried it with the outside border both ways, with the points to the outside or the points to the inside light border, and I just didn't like it.

I wanted to like it, as it would be much easier because I have lots of the neutral fabric.

But I just didn't.

Then I found another Kaffe fabric in my stash and had enough of it to finish the border and it looked okay. It fit the bill in terms of this being a totally scrappy project made from stash. Decision made.

But then I saw the photos on the computer and decided that the light border actually looked better!

This indecisiveness is exactly the place where many projects start marching into the UFO closet, never to be seen again!

But not this one! I set a goal, and I'm finishing it!

Check in next week to see the final decision!

Linking up to Design Wall Monday

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly celebration of all hand stitched crafts! We hope you will join us in setting aside a few moments each Sunday for some relaxing stitching on your favourite project. Pick up a needle and thread, breathe deeply, and enjoy a little vacation from the responsibilities of your life.

I was making good progress on some of my stitcheries until I saw Melisa's adorable squirrel sampler pattern *squirrel*

I had to set everything aside and stitch the squirrel. I love this guy so much! Today I will be pulling fall coloured threads from my DMC collection to stitch the sampler letters. 

I have also been finishing the binding on a scrappy comfort quilt for my guild. Black thread is hard on my eyes, so I can only work on this in the daylight.  Luckily the backing is this yummy mottled fabric that helps when sewing with black thread. One side of the binding is stitched, and I hope to finish it up this week so I can start on another quilt binding.

I am dreadfully behind in blog reading and hope to have time today to visit some of you. Please link up your instagram or blog posts below and share your projects with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Saturday, September 16, 2023

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

It's Fall Fair time! Usually I judge at several fairs, and enter in 2 or 3 other fairs. But due to time constraints this year I'm not entering any quilts or photographs, and am only judging at 4 fairs.

I really do enjoy the cognitive workout that the judging process forces my brain to do.  Yesterday I made 231 decisions (77 judging categories with first, second and third place ribbons)! 

One of the best things about judging is the privilege of seeing beautiful and inspiring hand made items. Here are some vintage embroidered tea towels that have been kept in good condition.

And look at this crocheted pillowcase edge - the lady has a full 3D skirt!

This was a framed piece of embroidery with a well documented history. It reminded me of the importance of getting labels on my own projects.

It is always so inspiring to see beautiful hand stitching. I did feel a surge in my desire to get out my own hand stitching projects and put in some stitches!

This is a photo of my friend Gayle judging the baking entries. She was deciding on first, second, and third place ribbons for chocolate cake. I was lucky enough to be consulted as a fellow judge. They were all delicious, but one was a clear winner!

It takes a village of committed people to hold a community event like this. The pandemic shut down all of these events, but thankfully many communities are bouncing back and resuming these events. So a big "thank you" to the entrants, the organizers, the sponsors, the volunteers, and the fair goers for keeping this tradition alive.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the regular 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. 

We just had the second of the three family weddings that are scheduled for this year, so it has been very busy around here. I got to meet the special baby that my sister and I made a baby quilt for in January. His name is Atlas and he was fascinated with taking selfies!

And in spite of all the activity going on, I have found time to relax here and there with hand stitching. Truly, it keeps me grounded and sane (most of the time!) You can see the seed stitch heart design emerging in my knitted cloth. I should be able to finish it this week.

Lots of progress has been made with my Strawberry Faire cross stitch. This is such a fun stitch! I am ready to start on the big strawberry which will emerge on the left. It is a challenging design so I'm looking forward to seeing how I do with that.

What are your hands working on this week? What hand stitching has been making your heart sing?

We love to hear about it, so link up your instagram or blog post below.

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Monday, September 04, 2023

September Goal

Happy Labour Day Monday! It's a holiday here for many people, and I am looking forward to an extra day of relaxing and sewing!

It has been a while since I set a monthly quilting goal, since I became discouraged when I wasn't able to meet my goals on a regular basis. But I'm ready to try again and hope to set some
realistic goals in alignment with my available sewing time. This month I am highly motivated to finish the Chilhowie quilt top so I can happily start the new Quiltville mystery in November.

I'm very close and have almost assembled enough lengths of the pieced scrappy outer border. I'm now looking at which layout design I prefer and am open to votes and suggestions!

Option 1 - no inner border (easy finish!)

Option 2 - scrappy inner border as pattern recommends (could be all red bricks as the first block shows or scrappy as the middle and bottom shows)

Option 3 - solid inner border (also easy but might not have enough fabric and may need to add in a bit of something different)

Option 4 - solid inner border with flying geese to finish the look of the blocks

Which layout do you prefer?

Linking up to Design Wall Monday and One Monthly Goal

Sunday, September 03, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching - 1 Finish and 2 Starts

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!

This is the time of year when everyone around here says "can you believe the summer is over?" The weather here was perfect for me this summer - mostly not too hot, with lots of sunny days, and lots of rain. The grass was green all summer, we didn't get the usual city-issued water ration warnings, and there were no brown-outs from lack of electricity due to a high need for air conditioning.  

I am very happy to announce that I finished the  "Blooms, Bees & the Bluebird" stamp. It makes me smile to remember how optimistic I was (as I always am with new beginnings!) about starting and finishing a spring project IN the spring time! LOL 

Here is my finished Spring Stamp SAL.

I love, love, love, super love this stitchery and have an idea to turn it into a wallhanging. Thank you to Melisa for this wonderful design! 
Can you guess how many Xs I made on this project?
Precisely 5,944! Impressive if I do say do myself!

And you know what a finished project means?!?!

Yes - a new start! I started another bird stitchery of course! This pattern is called Strawberry Faire by October House Fiber Arts. It was planned for my summer project to stitch during strawberry season, but I missed that window of time. It was also a SAL with Helen D last winter which is where I first saw the project. 

I ordered the chart and threads from Cobweb Corner as Helen recommended. These supplies were expensive enough to send to Canada, so I didn't order the recommended linen. But I did get the hand dyed threads. I'm glad I tried them as I've only tried 1 skein of Weeks Dye Works thread before and I was curious. I am very happy to go back to my regular DMC which feels slightly smoother, is much cheaper, easier to store, and is easy to colour match perfectly. 

For the stitching fabric,  I just tea dyed a piece of old 14 count aida cloth. The top is the piece I'm using, and the bottom is the original cloth.

And here is the bird already finished! So pretty! 
This photo is called "a bird and a guard dog!!
I enjoyed a couple of days away and soaked up the last wonderful days of August. Some of the leaves are already starting to fall.

My second start is a knitted washcloth for my first grand nephew. He is coming at Christmas and we are very excited! I am using the seed stitch heart pattern again as I really enjoy knitting this pattern.

And that's it for me this week! What are your hands creating? We love to see your slow progress and hope you will link up below. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Saturday, September 02, 2023

Scrappy Saturday

It's teal month at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, and I haven't opened that box of scraps yet. But I did sew with some teal fabric last night, making some flowers for a table runner (pattern by Cluck, Cluck, Sew). Very pretty and fun to sew!

But I made a typical piecing mistake when sewing with white-on-white fabric. I always try to double check that I have the right sides together (under full light) before sewing the seam, but somehow the left rectangle slipped past my double checking process.

I was watching a flosstube video while unstitching, and discovered that I was a winner of a cross stitch pattern from Kathleen at Snickerdoodlestitch! Yippee! Something good happened while fixing my mistake!

Today I'll be cutting scraps for my Chilhowie border. But first I'll pop over to see what the Rainbow Scrap Quilters are making this week.