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.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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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!

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Mystery Started

It is full steam ahead in my sewing room with the new Quiltville mystery that started last week. I am making my quilt from scraps and have enjoyed digging through the neutral and dark blue bins, pulling out pieces that could be used in this project. It's like looking into a memory/souvenir box and saying "oh I remember that project/fabric/designer", "this was leftover from Grandma's quilt", and "that can't be used because there is only a small piece left and I love it"!  Totally ridiculous!

I did find scraps that were big enough to cut sets of 4 HST's using the Essential Triangle Ruler. This is my favourite ruler to use as the blocks come out to the perfect size almost every time without the squaring up step. I was easily able to get all the triangles needed without looking through the larger scrap bin. And guess what? This year I'm making the suggested number of blocks but making them half the size! That should be a fun challenge for my brain and something I haven't attempted before. I'm excited!

Here are 9 sets of HST's pressed and ready for trimming of the dog ears. This is the perfect project for me to work on now. I love these scraps and it's mindless sewing! Part 2 is coming on Friday and I will be ready!

Linking up to Design Wall Monday over at Judy's

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Thanks for dropping by the weekly hand stitching party where we're all about needles, threads, fabric, inspiration and self care! There is no advertising here, no Black Friday sales, nothing to give us grief or stress! It's just pure relaxation, taking deep breaths, and taking one slow stitch at a time. 

And because we are all about slowness, it's not very often that we can announce a finish, but I have had a few little finishes this week. 

I posted my finished Mill Hill kit on Thursday, and my mini squirrel sampler finish on Friday. And today, another finish - "Owls and Acorns" (a free chart from Blue Ribbon Designs). I just love these owls, and although the dark brown thread coverage isn't great on the photo, it looks better in real life. The oak leaves, acorns, letters and the pumpkins were all so fun to stitch!

I was on a roll of finishing little projects there are a couple more smalls around here that I can easily finish with a batting, backing and little binding. 
But I think the desire to finish things is passing now that the annual Quiltville mystery is starting! Today I hope to be digging through scraps and choosing pieces to sew into step #1 HST blocks.

What are you hand stitching at the end of November? Are you finishing things? Starting new things? Share your projects with us below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Friday, November 24, 2023

Squirrel Finish!

There are several finishes in my sewing room this week and I'm so pleased! My goal was to make significant progress on finishing some of the fall/halloween things so I could move on to Christmas projects and the annual Quiltville mystery (which starts today!)

Yesterday I posted my Gobble Gobble finish, and today I am sharing my Mini Squirrel Sampler finish. 

This free cross stitch pattern is by Melisa at Pinker n Punkin Stitching and was irresistible to me. It makes me smile because my MIL had an ongoing feud with the squirrels in her yard. She had many old timey ideas about how to discourage them from digging in her garden, and the ongoing power struggle was very entertaining to us! 

The scrap of wood fabric that I found in the stash  is a perfect binding for the squirrel.

Finished size = 5.25" x 4.75" 

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Gobble Gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends who celebrate today! 

I am excited to share my finished hand stitched and beaded Gobble Gobble Mill Hill project! It was completed just in time to give to a friend as a hostess gift at her Thanksgiving dinner. It is very small but mighty and finishes at 3.25" x 2.5"! It took hours of hand work to complete and I enjoyed every minute of it!

Here is the finished piece before I added the grey backing fabric and magnet to be able to put it on the fridge. 

Do you see the Canadian maple leaf charm in the top right corner? So cute! It came in the kit! If my friend would rather have a hanging loop to use it as an ornament, I can add one of those. 

I think I am addicted to the Mill Hill Kit experience! 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Design Wall

This is what is on my design wall this week. This is the Spooky Box project for 2023 (click here to watch my unboxing video and see the goodies that were in the box, plus last year's 2022 project!)

I had a lot of fun sewing the ghost blocks. It took way longer than it should have because I did some fussy cutting of the strips and wanted the graphics to be facing the right way up.

Next I will be sewing the 'B' block to make the 'BOO' complete. This must get finished before the end of November because I will want to be done with Halloween and be well on my way to sewing only Christmas things.

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party where you can visit with members of the Slow Sunday Stitching crew around the world, right from the comfort of your own home! 

I have 2 accomplishments to share this week!

First, I have almost finished all the cross stitching on my Mill Hill kit called 'Gobble Gobble'. I really enjoyed stitching on the perforated paper that came in the kit. Today I'll be working on stitching the beads which will be really fun!

Second, I finished stitching Melisa's Mini Pumpkin Sampler. What a fun pattern - thank you Melisa! I used my own fall floss colours and learned that I really like stitching letters. I don't enjoy "block" stitching, like where all the orange stitches are  in the big pumpkin because it's kind of boring. But I guess it's good for those stitching times when you don't need to really concentrate on the stitching.

I have 2 guild quilts that I am binding and would like to return them in a finished state next weekend, so I also must get going on that.

But I'm starting to get the itch to stop stitching fall/everything, and start stitching Christmas. Are you a seasonal stitcher - influenced by calendar? Or do you work on your scheduled projects no matter the time of year?

Please link up your instagram or blog post below and share your slow stitching projects with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, November 16, 2023

New Quiltville Mystery Coming

It's a very exciting time of year for mystery quilters! Bonnie Hunter has released her fabric requirements for her annual mystery quilt adventure. This year's project is called Indigo Way and features dark blue, light blue, red, and white fabrics. 

Since in last year's mystery (Chilhowie) I had used scraps and worked with value (not colour), I was certain I would treat myself to new fabric this year. But I fell in love with a fabric line that won't be out until March of next 2024 (Shoreline by Camille Roskelley) so I decided that this future purchase might be for next year's mystery, and scraps will do for this year.

The scraps that jumped out are a bit unusual but I think this is what I'm using; navy, teal, pink and white. Is it too weird? The pink and teal values are a bit similar, so I might use more of the darker teals. I would love to clear these old pieces out and get them into a quilt. 

Are you sewing along with this year's mystery?

Monday, November 13, 2023

A new old project

Every year when I go to a retreat I pull out a kit that I bought in Paducah in 2009. Yes - it's that old and never started. I open it up and read the directions, feel overwhelmed and put it back in the package.

This year when I was visiting with my friends Barb, Louise and Deanna, they encouraged me to just take out the fabrics and do the first step. So I did. And here are the pieces from my John Flynn lazer cut kit.

I sorted all the pieces and sewed the first step, which are the centre blocks with kite shapes. I was 3 kite pieces short of what the colour layout on the instructions showed, and had 3 different colours leftover. So I reworked the colour layout and kept on sewing and hoping everything will work out.

This is where things are today.I love how it is coming along and so far I have had enough of the right coloured triangles to continue the spirals around the 7 blocks. There are many more rounds of triangles to sew on - I have done 2 rounds and there are 10 in total. The challenge now is that the seam allowance must be exact or the next round of triangles will not fit.

It felt great to push through these challenges and make some progress. I am so grateful to my friends who encouraged me to tackle this and with their support I actually think this old kit might become a quilt someday! 

Linking up to Design Wall Monday

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!

It's time to take a deep breath, pick up your needle and threads, and put some stitches in a project that makes your heart happy.

I finally finished a cross stitch this week. Now it is an "FFO" - a Fully Finished Object!

I had been debating how to finish some of my UFOs and decided to just add a binding and make them into little wallhangings. This pattern is called "Strawberry Faire" by October House.

I sandwiched the stitchery like I do when making a quilt (top, batting and backing) and attached a binding. Then I made a little triangle label (usually a 4"  square folded on the bias) to attach to the bottom corner. And I put 2 smaller folded squares in the top corners to put a tiny dowel in for hanging. Then I stitched the binding down.

I adore the perfect backing fabric that I found at Ye Olde Fabric Shoppe, with the little animals and fall foliage! The finished size of this little quilt  is: 6.25" x 4.25"

I have chosen bindings for these 4 stitcheries - 1 done and 3 to go. Today I will work on adding binding to these projects and turn them into little wallhangings.

My question for you this week is... how do you prefer to slow stitch? Do you listen to music or silence? Do you usually stitch in the football stands, medical appointment waiting rooms, or your crafty corner?

In her Monday blog post Bonnie Hunter said: 

I love the contemplation time that the slow hand stitching brings. ⁣

Do you enjoy the quiet time to reflect and ponder? Sometimes I do enjoy that, but if I'm not waiting at a medical appointment (a perfect time to hand stitch!) I enjoy listening to a podcast or watching a flosstube video while I stitch. Currently my favourite flosstubes are: Running with scissors (with Jane and Julie), Momma loves you GB, Sew me Sarah, Helen D., Sarah's stitchy spot, Cross stitch Cait, and Colorado cross stitcher. If you have a favourite flosstube channel, please tell us in the comments.

We look forward to seeing what you are hand stitching today!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Scrappy Saturday

It has been a very busy fall here with lots of quilty activities going on. A week ago I attended a "Saturday Mingle" with my local quilt guild and we had a great time visiting and playing with scraps.

When I arrived I had my photo taken with the Mayor and the quilt that Annie (a blog reader) had donated to the Home for Good project. You can read about the story of this quilt here. Thank you again Annie for your kindness and generosity!

There were many quilts hung for our enjoyment, and here are 2 very different Chilhowie quilts - the left was made by Annie from Washington State using 16 blocks, and the right was made by our very prolific guild member Lynn using 12 blocks. Aren't they just amazing?!? 

Just look at this lovely table full of projects. The bags are pre-cut coordinated kits with  patterns, made by the outreach committee from donated fabrics. Amazing!

 And at the front of the table are scraps cut for quarter log cabin blocks.

I took on that challenge, and sewed some blocks for a group quilt. Each block has a gold centre, and scraps are sewn on 2 sides. It was very fun, thanks to Colleen who did all the pre-cutting for us. 

While we were sewing, we were also visiting, and I was so happy to see a former guild member Sharon, who dropped by to donate her fabric scraps as she was cleaning out her stash. We had a little visit and I snapped a photo of her in front of our guild quilt which she helped to create many years ago!

It was such a wonderful opportunity to spend time with interesting and creative people. I really missed this socializing during covid and hope I never take it for granted in the future!

Today I will be participating in an online zoom sewing day with guild members. We are so lucky to have all these opportunities! 

I plan to work on the hand binding on this guild donation quilt. It is a scrappy quarter square log cabin quilt... just like the blocks I was making at the mingle to make another quilt!  I had an outing to the lake this week and took this quilt along to stitch, and today I'll finish it from my sewing room while visiting with guild friends.