Sunday, December 31, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching - New Year's Eve

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! It's New Year's Eve today and the whole world will be preparing to wrap up 2023 and start a fresh year ahead.

In 2023 I naively entered the wonderful world of Flosstube and discovered so many interesting folks enjoying a wide variety of hand stitching - mostly cross stitch.  As a result, I experimented with a number of new products such as variegated hand dyed threads, and the world of Mill Hill kits which combines stitching with beading. There are so many amazing creative opportunities!

I recently heard about the 12 x 12 event started by Kea Bee. The idea is that on New Year's Eve you start 12 new projects, and starting at noon you put stitches into a new project every hour. That is a lot of new WIP's to add to a collection that is already too big! 

So I decided that I will try a variation of this idea and work on 12 projects, one each hour, but they will mostly be projects that I have already been working on. What better way to bring in 2024 than by stitching all day long!

I have spent time the past week on preparing to start a few new projects, but mostly working on WIP's. I put command hooks on the wall and hung up my projects so that I could put stitches into 12 projects today. I have spare ribs, carrots and potatoes in the crock pot for supper, so I have the whole day to stitch...I'm so excited! You can pop over to my Youtube channel to see what I plan to stitch today.

Are you ending 2023 with some hand stitching? We love to know what you're working on so tell us in the comments and/or link up your blog post below.

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Saturday, December 30, 2023

Indigo Way Update

With all the Christmas activities going on, and lots of snuggling time with my new great nephew (while his Mom gets back on her feet) my mystery quilt sewing was on the back burner for a few days. 

And then the mystery quilters anonymous group at my local quilt guild had a zoom sew day together. It was just what I needed to get back to the project, with the encouragement of others.

It was fun to see the colours other sewers are using and to hear about their preferred methods, rulers and organizational strategies. And of course to make progress on each of the steps. These are my blocks for each of the 6 steps so far.

Here is where the project stands today:

-Clue #1 and #2 are finished

-Clue #3 is 50% finished (all cut)

-Clue #4 is finished

-Clue #5 is 75% finished (all cut)

-Clue #6 is cut with only a few blocks sewn

Because I am doing my blocks at half size, the math was a little tricky to figure out for step #5, but I experimented with a few different sizes until I got the one that came out perfectly. 

I have all my little pieces in bags, labelled and ready to take to a New Year's Day sewing extravaganza. A few of my friends are sewing a mystery quilt with Kris at Scrapdash, but I am focusing on my Quiltville mystery so I don't get too far behind.

I just posted a Christmas unboxing video. If you want to see the quilty things I got for Christmas, come watch the video.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Merry Christmas!

Christmas 2023 is in full swing here, and everyone is taking a wee nap right now to prepare for the next round of visits. So I thought I would write a little blog post to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

I did some cross stitch yesterday, trying to finish the words on my Christmas sampler. I stitched late into the night until I finished them!  What better time to stitch "Merry Christmas" than on Christmas Eve!?!?

This is how far I stitched in December on my Quaker Christmas sampler. 

Now the question is - will I keep working on it, or set it aside until next Christmas for the remaining stitches? What would you do?

Sending all of you special friends Christmas greetings, wishes for time with your loved ones, and lots of relaxing stitching 💖

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Happy Christmas Eve everyone and welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! If you have been as busy this week as I have been with the usual pre-Christmas shopping, wrapping, cleaning, cooking (and eating), you probably haven't had much time for stitching. But today is the day for at least a few moments of relaxation, and putting some stitches into your projects.

My stitching time this week has mostly been cutting and sewing the blocks for the Quiltville mystery, but there has been a bit of time here and there to stitch a little motif on my Christmas Quaker.  

But most importantly, this morning I will be traveling to meet my grand nephew who was born on Winter Solstice! 

I have now become a great Auntie and take my responsibilities very seriously... can't wait for cuddle time! Seriously, how many times in your life do you get to hold a brand new baby? And one that shares a gene pool with you?! It's so rare, and I am savouring every moment! And later this evening I plan to enjoy some Christmas cross stitch and some hot apple cider which will also be wonderful!

What are your plans for Christmas Eve? Will you have a chance to enjoy some calming hand stitching?
I wish all of you my wonderful blog readers a very Merry Christmas!

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Friday, December 22, 2023

Indigo Way Mystery Update

Things are rolling right along here in the sewing room. The pace is not as fast as Santa's workshop out to be right about now, but that's okay. Here's the update of my progress:

Clue #1 is finished, 

Clue #2 is about 2/3 sewn (photo on the right),

Clue #3 is also about 1/2 done, and

Clue #4 (photo below) is about half way done.

I am enjoying the sewing of each different block and am excited to see what the
 5th clue is for us today.

While I was sewing last night, I watched a movie that Cheryl recommended called The Fabric of Christmas - doesn't that sound like a great title? 

I was able to find it  on Youtube and enjoyed a light and fluffy seasonal movie with a quilting theme. It was very funny to look at what they appeared to be putting through the sewing machine (pretending to piece blocks) and also ridiculous that in a couple of weeks a new quilter could make this spectacular quilt! But it was fun to watch while piecing actual quilt blocks for a quilt that will take months (or years) to finish!

Monday, December 18, 2023

Design Board Monday

Pieces of the Quiltville mystery (Indigo Way) are covering every surface in my sewing room. Sometimes I wish I was the kind of sewer who could just do one step at a time. Cut all the pieces, sew all the pieces, press all the blocks, and then trim all the blocks. But I just can't do it because I get bored, and also because my hands hurt from too much cutting and trimming all at once.

So I do a little of each step and make a big mess, and have partial blocks all over the place! But it's one big happy mess and mostly I love it!

These are the blocks for step #4, and are not set in the correct layout at all. I have sewn 6 sets of blocks for this step and have many more to go. Don't you love pinwheels?!

These are the rulers I have used in cutting the shapes for this mystery. I love having a variety of rulers at the ready. It's so much easier when you use the right tool for each task.

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!

If you are feeling like you have no time for relaxation this weekend, I understand completely! And yet, it's so important to make time to slow down, to breathe deeply, and to reset with some relaxing hand stitching. 

First up today I would like to show you my favourite ornament this year. This is a gift that a friend made for me -  a fox made from a dried orange. Here are the instructions if you would like to make some yourself. And it smells quite yummy hanging on the tree. So fun!

I have been enjoying stitching the Little Quaker Christmas pattern by Susan Ache (free pattern at Fat Quarter Shop) in small amounts of time. I haven't made a lot of progress, but many of the holiday parties are done now, and hopefully there will be more time this week to stitch while watching some Christmas movies. 

I have also been spreading Christmas cheer and visiting friends and relatives.🎄 I really missed this during the lonely days of covid lockdowns so maybe I am making up for lost time this year? This is a photo with my Dad - we enjoy being together at any time of the year, but especially at Christmas.

What are your plans for today? Will you be enjoying some time with needles and threads? Link up your blog post below and share your projects with us. 

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Friday, December 15, 2023

Indigo Way Update

Slow and enjoyable progress is being made on my version of the Quiltville mystery.

Step #1 - 100%

Step #2 - 33% sewn (all cutting is done)

Step #3 - 33% sewn (cutting is 50% done)

I love my little recycled plastic container (it has a lid) where I am keeping all the sewn parts organized. It's hard to imagine how many hours have already gone into producing this little box of blocks!

Step #4 is posted today and I plan to abandon the previous unfinished steps, and move onto cutting the hundreds of triangles needed for the multi triangle blocks. I am not stressed about it at all as I know I will have lots of time between Christmas and New Years to catch up on all the steps. 

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Hello stitchers and welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! 

It's that time of year again when we have to be diligent about the societal, cultural, family, and self imposed pressures to be in a frenetic and overextended state during the holiday season. How about we don't put any pressure on ourselves, and just do what we have the energy, finances, and desire to do??

I have started my December cross stitch (Free Little Quaker Christmasproject and I put in some stitches every night before bedtime. This is the right side length of the project completed, which allowed me to trim to fabric on the bottom. I was very pleased with this progress and stitched the gold bell.


And as soon as the bell was finished and I started those little pink stars, I realized the bell was the wrong size, and I had to remove most of those stitches! Maybe stitching at bedtime is not always a good choice!!?? LOL

So I abandoned the right side and I moved to the top for some fresh energy and am really enjoying this project once again.

I also finally finished hand stitching the binding on my Christmas Bargello tablerunner. Isn't this backing fabric fun?

This was pieced at a class I took with my sister in the summer at Cherished Pieces. I machine quilted it through the rectangles following the bargello pattern using black, green, white and red threads.

Finished size: 15.5" x 45.5"

Now it's your turn... what are you hand stitching this time of year? Are you finding moments to relax and enjoy your pretty threads and projects? Link up your blog post below and share your slow progress with us.

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Friday, December 08, 2023

Indigo Way Step #3

It's Friday and that means another Quiltville Indigo Way mystery clue was posted. I have fallen a bit behind (already) in the second week! Even though I cut a million triangles, it was not nearly enough of the trillion light background pieces that are needed. For those of you sewing along, pink in my quilt is red in the pattern.

I do enjoy making these sweet blocks, but it was hard to find time on the schedule for sewing this week. That's okay - some weeks are like that. 

I went ahead to step #3 and did some cutting and sewing.  My quilt's light blue fabrics will be aqua. Don't you love a creative selvage? These aqua campers are a fun surprise on this RJR fabric.

We are making "split half square triangles" in week #3, which is another fun block to sew. I am making my version of this mystery in half sized blocks. So cute!

I have some little block sets in a baggie all ready to sew in the evenings when my body is still awake but my brain is already asleep. If you cut accurately, and sew with a scant 1/4" seam, these blocks turn out exactly the right size. No trimming required!

If there is extra time this week, I will come back and work on finishing the step #2 pieces.

How is your mystery coming along?

Monday, December 04, 2023

Last Fall Project

This is a Halloween leftover and I finished sewing the top together over the weekend.I really enjoyed playing with these "Boo! Fright Delight" fabrics that were in the 2023 Spooky Box

I fussy cut several of the strips and featured some of those squares in the corners and sprinkled a few more throughout the quilt. I love the white fabric with tiny orange stars that is from the Bee Plaids by Lori Holt collection. The pattern has a white border around the quilt, but I'm going to leave it as is, and look in the stash for an orange or maybe striped black and orange binding.

Now this project is going into the UFO closet to wait until it's aged the perfect amount and is ready for quilting. It will be together with it's friend from the 2022 Spooky Box project called "Scary Faces".

Spooky season is now over, and Santa season is starting! Bring on the Christmas music! ♬♫

Linking up to Judy's Design Wall Monday

Sunday, December 03, 2023

Switching it up!

Happy Sunday stitchers! 

It's a day for rest, renewal, and stitching!  We hope you will join us as we slowly stitch creative projects using needles and threads.

I am switching up the projects in my sewing room this weekend. I have finished all the fall and thanksgiving things that I could, and it's time to put everything into hibernation until next fall (except for BOO which I want to finish this week).

I did finish one more sweet project. This is Melisa's Mini Pumpkin Sampler pattern stitched on 14 count tea dyed Aida. It was delightful to stitch! I wish I would have trimmed more of the edge so that there wasn't so much space between the stitches and the binding, but I have some ideas on how to fix that space - which I may or may not try next fall when I see it again! LOL

I love the little  piece of backing fabric I found - isn't it perfect?!? And I do enjoy putting little bindings (single fold, cut at 1.5") on these mini  stitcheries.

If you would have told me this time last year, that I'd be into cross stitch in such a big way in 2023 I would never have believed you. But here I am -  totally addicted! I attended the Jingle Ball virtual event this weekend and downloaded many free charts, and bought some fabulous new exclusive designs. I didn't enjoy the stitching rooms as the sound was not manageable for me in the rooms that I visited. But that's okay - the ballroom videos and chats with designers were great entertainment and well worth the $10 price of admission.

Of course I started a new Christmas project which is a free chart called Little  Quaker Christmas. This pattern by Susan Ache is still a free download over at Fat Quarter Shop. The thread listed is Aurifloss which I don't have, so I converted the colours to DMC floss and called it "close enough". The reds are kind of orangey, but I'm willing to give them a try.

I detested the 22 count linen fabric I had bought from Michael's and quickly started my stitching over on an old 14 count white Aida. Here is my start - a cute little Christmas tree. You can see how tiny it is compared to the needle minder that my friend Jackie gave me!

What are you stitching at the beginning of  December? Are you making any Christmas gifts this year? I hope you will link up your blog post below and share your plans and projects with us.

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Friday, December 01, 2023

Indigo Way Progress

It's a rewarding week during a Quiltville mystery when all the parts are finished and you're ready to start cutting and sewing the next step on the day it is posted! Woohoo!

If you are a mystery quilter, you know exactly what I mean. From my experience in making Bonnie's mysteries since about 2008, I know that if I fall behind, I won't likely catch up until after the mystery is done, and that is frustrating for me. So I really try hard to keep up, and this week - I did it!

But I won't get too excited - it's like going to the gym the first week of January ... it gets harder after that! LOL

Here are my part #1 blocks stored in one of my favourite reusable Naan bread containers (with a lid!)

Part #2 is posted today - so exciting!