Sunday, April 14, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!  Take a few moments to set aside your machines, your devices and screens, and just take a deep breath... ahhh... so much better. Now pick up your needles and fibres, and put a few stitches into your project. You will feel better in no time!

I have a finish to share today, which is always very exciting! This is the "
Life In Full Bloom" mystery from the Fat Quarter Shop. The mystery started May 2023 and is stitched 2 over 2 on 28 count Lugana. The design measures 6.5" square and it is in a Wood Side frame (which interestingly sometimes looks blue and sometimes looks green).

This is the first time that I framed a cross stitch piece myself and I was pleased with how it turned out. Next time I will use a thinner foam core board which will allow me to put a piece of thin batting behind the stitchery. I didn't put the glass in - do you think I will regret that choice?

This was such a fun project for me. It was my first mystery cross stitch, and although I was not able to keep up with the steps as they were posted, I enjoyed learning about what I enjoy to stitch (flowers!) and what I do not enjoy (large blocks of same colour thread to fill it!)
Progress continues on my version of Modern Folk Embroidery's "Light a Single Candle". I am stitching it 1 strand over 1 square with a variegated floss on 25 count Lugana, which is very tiny and delicate.  It is hard on my eyes, and I use my cheater glasses, and my magnifier, but I LOVE it so much! 

I am very excited to be attending Stitch North next weekend in Markham, Ontario. Is anyone else out there in blog land attending this event? 
It promises to be a hand stitching extravaganza and I can't wait for all of the inspiration that awaits! 

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Sunday, April 07, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly celebration of the art of slowly stitching by hand! We encourage you to slow down, breathe deeply, take a few stitches, and enjoy seeing the slowly created projects of hand stitching gurus from around the world. 

I came across a lovely quote this week: 

"Focus is how you knit the hours of the day together. With focus, the day becomes a beautiful tapestry. Without focus, you end up holding a bundle of loose string." (James Clear)

My days have been bundles of loose string lately due to caretaking responsibilities. It is my privilege to be in this role, and I do it without regret, however it does sometimes become overwhelming when demands exceed capacity.

I was so happy to finish a cross stitch project for my Mom's birthday gift. The pdf pattern was purchased on an Etsy shop and was easy to follow. (You can watch the designer Sarah's flosstube video here). I used DMC variegated thread 4240 and it is stitched on 32 count Belfast linen.

I finished it into a pillow filled with poly pellets. It has a nice weight to it and I really like it. 

I recently joined a book club with a flosstuber named Katie (whose channel is The Novel Stitcher). She picked a book for everyone to read, which is called "A Single Thread" by Jennifer Chevalier. And when we start the book, we start a new stitching project of our own chosing. I am starting the Modern Folk Embroidery's free design called "Light a Single Candle". I am stitching it 1 strand over 1 square with a variegated floss on 25 count Lugana.

It is so sweet and so tiny, and also very challenging. The top border is stitched and it is just over 3" wide! I am also really enjoying reading the book and stitching the design I have chosen to work on while I read. Obviously I'm not doing the reading and stitching at the same time! LOL 

I feel very connected to Violet who is the main character of the book - she is learning to embroider on Cathedral kneelers in 1932. She did a lot of ripping out of stitches, and so am I! If you would like to learn more about the "stitches and pages" book club, click here. Feel free to join us!

What are you hand stitching this week? Please link up your blog post below and share your projects with us - we love to see your slow progress!

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Sunday, March 31, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the Slow Sunday Stitching link up where we celebrate all the benefits of hand stitching. It's also Easter, which is a busy time for some families, so I hope you can find even a few minutes in between all the activities to pick up a needle and thread and put some stitches into a project you are working on.

I have several hand stitching updates for you today. 

Last weekend I enjoyed some time with a few stitchy friends, including this sweet pup who desperately wanted to learn to stitch! Here he is trying to figure out how the Clover needle thread works! 

Some progress was made on the Historical Sampler Company stitch along. 

I am disappointed that I didn't have more time with this because the fourth and final step will be posted tomorrow and I am not anywhere near finishing step #3. 

I have enjoyed some binding stitching this week. This is a donation quilt for my quilt guild. One person pieced the snail's trail quilt top, a long armer machine quilted it, and now I will finish it with a lovely binding. Can you see the beautiful quilt design?

This was a late night photo I took the night my 6 month old furnace started leaking gas just as the long weekend was starting. 

I thought I would cosy up with this quilt in bed to keep warm and stitch that binding. We had no heat overnight while the mechanic searched for a replacement part. The temperature only went down to 64 degrees so it wasn't unbearable with lots of quilts.

But you'll never guess what happened!! I dropped the needle - in my bed! I carefully took off all the bedding in search of the tiny needle and never found it! You know what that means - it will be a painful discovery for an unsuspecting body part at some point in time! LOL It happens to all hand stitchers at one time or another I suppose. And when that painful (and probably bloody) discovery happens, I will remind myself that at least we didn't die from a slow gas leak! Never a dull moment around here!

I finished the "It is Well" cross stitch pattern this week. The pdf pattern was purchased on an Etsy shop and was easy to follow. I used DMC variegated thread 4240 and I love how lacy it looks stitched on 32 count Belfast linen. I want to make it into a little pillow but can't decide which blue fabric is best? Which one would you prefer?

And lastly I finished March's Square Dance pattern. I loved stitching these 13 sweet little birds! The design is only 3" square so it is tiny stitching on 28 count Monaco evenweave.

Here are the first 3 months on the design wall.

I'm not sure yet if I want to sew these together in a calendar type wallhanging, or finish them individually as flat folds that I could change monthly in a frame.

So that is all the happenings from the stitchy room here. I do hope I will have time to peak in on the linkups to see what other folks are stitching this week. 

Happy Sunday Stitching everyone!

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Sunday, March 24, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching

Every Sunday we roll out the welcome mat for like-minded hand stitchers to gather for a virtual party. Thank you for joining us this week! We encourage you to get out your hand stitching project and put in a few stitches. Then make yourself a cup of your favourite beverage and visit other hand stitchers around the world to see what they are working on.

Today I plan to do some cross stitching and some binding stitching. I am pleased that I am keeping up with the Historical Sampler Company stitch along called "All things grow with love". 

This shows the stitching to the end of part #2 and part #3 has been sent out already. I changed up the colours on the right side flower and got a wild hair to use some variegated teal floss. The flower on the left has the "called for" floss. I think the variegated floss calls too much attention to itself, but I'm not sure. Do you have an opinion?

I'll also be doing some quilt binding today. When I attended the guild mingle yesterday I brought home some quilts that just needed the binding finished. Here they are sitting on the steps to go upstairs to my sewing room.

I got a quick start last night on the blue quilt on the top. Of course I had to use my blue scissors and blue thimble to stitch with blue thread on blue fabric! LOL

Also, I wanted to show you my new Mac Sport XL folding wagon (with brakes!) that my nieces bought for me. It holds all my quilty stuff to go to meetings and retreats. I'm terrible at taking selfies but hopefully you can see my wagon filled to overflowing as I was leaving the guild meeting. I was so excited about it's inaugural outing - no assembly required!

So now it's your turn... what are you hand stitching? Please link up your blog and/or leave a comment, and share what stitching project has captured your interest today.

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Sunday, March 17, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! Bring your own beverages and snacks, and enjoy perusing the link ups below.  

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Will your beverages be green? 
I have missed out on the celebrations this year since my Dad has been very sick this week, but improvement is hopefully coming, and I look forward to more rest and more stitching time this week. 
I really wanted to stitch one of Melisa's Irish inspired designs this year, and still hope to - my favourite is her St. Patty's stamp.

I did get some cross stitch done on my March birds (Square Dance by Heart in Hand). Do you notice that some of the birds are about the size of a fingernail? They are tiny and adorable!

I also got some embroidery stitches into a Anni Downs block from her Simple Pleasures book. I just felt like stitching a cat so I started. No rhyme or reason - purely impulse. Sometimes often that happens over here! LOL

Yesterday I celebrated a bit of International Quilting Day with a virtual zoom featuring a presentation from Kaffe Fassett. I was blown away! 

I was unprepared for how amazing he is, how his words would resonate with me, how gorgeous his photos would be, and how gobsmacked I felt with the beauty he shared! The above photo was inspired by buttons and circular shapes. I was riveted and inspired by how he effortlessly flowed between the mediums of quilting, embroidery, knitting, tile mosaics, crocheting, and even a pebble mosaic wall! I felt my spirits lifting with the colour and textures, my mouth gaping open at such beauty. Have you ever heard Kaffe speak or met him in real life? Is it just me, or is he a creative genius?!?

Anyway, I'll be in my sewing room today for a little bit (if we don't end up in the ER with my Dad overnight) and do hope to get some stitches into one of my relaxing projects.

What are you hand stitching today? Are you focused on a project, or starting things randomly like I seem to be doing? We hope you will share your projects with us and link up your blog post below.

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Friday, March 15, 2024

Plans for International Quilting Day

I can't believe that it's already Friday! The week has been a blur and I wanted to share that tomorrow is International Quilt Day and if you would like to celebrate the day with my quilt guild (joining together with 2 other local guilds and quilters around the world!), you are most welcome to join our virtual celebration!

You can access all the information at the Royal City Quilters' Guild website. Check out the featured speakers - so exciting! There are also 6 sessional speakers and it promises to be a very inspiring day! Click here to access the schedule for the day and click here to sign up to join the fun.

Yo can also make an International Sister block to celebrate this day. The pattern is made by our friend Preeti from Sew Preeti Quilts - visit her blog for more information and click here to get the instructions.

Image from Flamingo Toes

For those who are coming to the party, I will see you tomorrow at 9 am EST! There will be prizes, vendors, and a virtual quilt show!

And if you can't join us in this virtual party, I hope you will celebrate this special day by spending time with your quilting projects.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Design Wall Monday

My local quilt guild hosted a zoom sew day on Saturday and I made a lot of progress on my Hexagonal Spiral project.

This is from a John Flynn kit I bought in Paducah in 2009 and started last November. It is a brainteaser puzzle and was a challenge to get started. But now I'm at the point where the sewing is mindless. However accuracy is crucial in order to avoid a 3D curvy block. All the block edges are bias, so must be handled with care!

Each spiral block has 42 pieces and with 7 blocks in the design that's a total of 294 pieces sewn for each round. On Saturday I sewed an entire round on the 7 blocks and I still have these pieces to add.

This kit is no longer available but I have sewn 3 other kits from the John Flynn company (all laser cut from batiks) and have loved every one of them - highly recommend! Check them out - Carnival, Storm At Sea, and Wheel of Mystery. They have many other quilt designs available and if you dislike cutting fabric but enjoy sewing, you might like to try one of their kits. (I have no affiliation to this company, I'm just a happy customer!)

Linking up to Design Wall Monday

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party

Did you turn your clock ahead one hour last night to adjust to "daylight saving time"? Although it's not as stressful of an event as it was when my kids were young, it is still a change that takes some getting used to.  I'll use it as an excuse to take things slow today, and do lots of stitching. Also the weather forecast is for "blowing snow", so it's the perfect day to stitch!

I have been a bit obsessed with the Historical Sampler company cross stitch mystery called "All things grow with love". This is how my project looked at the end of step #1.

I love how it is looking so far! I will be putting more stitches into this project today, and hope to at least finish the birds. The next step will be sent out on March 18th, so I have another week to finish up step #2 which includes stitching more flowers and bees. But first... the bird bodies must be finished!

What are you hand stitching today? Are you obsessed with a project that you can't put down, even though you have so many other things you'd like to be working on? Share your progress with us and link up your photo, instagram or blog post below.

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Sunday, March 03, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! Sunday really is the highlight of my week and I thank you all for the encouragement to continue this Sunday practice for almost 13 years!

This week I have been focused on a project to give to a special person as a birthday gift, and have made great progress. This design is a pdf download from a Nova Scotia etsy shop which I first saw on a flosstube video by SewMeSarah. It has been a delightful project to stitch - a bit challenging (which I like) but not too overwhelming (which I don't like!) I am stitching on 32 count Belfast linen and I love how the linen makes the stitches look a bit lacy.

Everything was going well until I ran out of floss! It didn't say on the pattern that you need 2 skeins of floss. Thankfully I was able to get another skein, which is a "close enough" colour match that I think most people wouldn't see a difference. I am relieved I can continue and hope to have a finish soon!

It's time to dig into the March projects which will include a Woven Wreaths embroidery block, the March Square Dance cross stitch block (featuring little birds... so excited for that!) and a new quilt mystery quilt by Canuck Quilter

What are your March plans? Link up your blog post below and share your projects, slow stitching progress and your plans.

The inspiration shared with us at each Sunday's linky party is mind blowing!  I encourage you to visit the stitchers who create such beautiful things, photograph their projects, write up a blog post and link up with us. 
Truly you are an inspiring and talented group of makers!

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Monday, February 26, 2024

Design Wall Monday

There is a finished quilt top on the design wall today! Isn't that always so exciting!?!

This is the Good Hope Quilters' Guild 2024 mystery called "When you shine". It was a fun mystery with a very different approach to block sewing, so I'm glad I tried it. And I did clear out a lot of fabric!

I love the border print that jumped out of the stash to volunteer for the position! I was looking for a dark frame, maybe black or navy, but this Tula Pink print called "Fairy Dust" in Cotton Candy insisted on being the choice. 

I fussed around about sashing, borders, size, etc, and really just went with the yardage that was available, which was enough for 1 border and 2 sashing strips. Finished size: 49.5" x 56.5"

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the last February linky party for the hand stitchers! Are you finishing up winter projects and getting antsy to start stitching spring? I sure am!

This week I started a new stitch along with the Historical Sampler company. The project is a mystery called "All things grow with love" and steps are emailed to the participants every fortnight (which is every 2 weeks!). 

I signed up for it because the description said "The design is just stunning, full of gorgeous Scandi inspired flora & fauna - it is the perfect project to stitch to celebrate the arrival of spring". Yes please! Next I will be stitching a bird and a bee. I am using 18 count Aida and enjoying the bright spring colours.

I also finished the embroidery on block #2 of Woven Wreaths with Kathy Schmitz. Thank you for the advice shared on last week's dilemma of a dangling thread loop. I tried a couple of the ideas but wasn't happy with it and eventually unpicked the stitches back to the loop, and then carried on. The fan stitched leaves were tricky for me, and I didn't get a good shape on all the leaves, but that's okay for my first try.

Yesterday I attended a guild meeting and came home feeling exhausted and full of inspiration! I took in 3 finished quilts (I did the binding only), and dropped off 3 of my mystery quilt tops to donate to community outreach work (Teamwork, Chilhowie, and Triangles at Play). I am hoping I get them back to do the binding. This cleared out some space in my sewing room and I am feeling inspired to start spring cleaning and get more projects finished.

What are you working on today? Are you starting new things or working on finishes? Link up your blog post below and share your hand stitching update with us. 

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Monday, February 19, 2024

Design Wall Monday

Happy Family Day (if you live in Canada)! I think this is statutory holiday because it's the middle of the winter, and we just need a 3 day weekend to recharge, and be able to keep on chugging through to spring!

I have finished sewing the blocks for the Good Hope Quilters' Guild mystery called "When you shine". Wow that is indeed shiny! 

And now come all of those decisions, like should I add sashing or just sew them all together? It would measure 42" square so some sashing or borders would make it a more useable size. You can see some of the layout suggestions here.

Below the blocks is the fabric that inspired the colour selection, but it doesn't sing to me anymore.

What are your suggestions to help me finish this comfort quilt? 

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the stitchy hang out! Gather up your hand stitching projects (of course you have more than 1!), your threads and needles, and let the creative process renew your spirit!

I finished two Valentine's stitcheries this week. This is a free pattern from Silver Creek Samplers and so fun to stitch. You only need 3 floss colours and you can stitch it on any size fabric. My project finished at a little over 4" on 14 count aida. I posted my other stitchy finish and 
video on February 14th.

It's International Embroidery Month and I have been working on the Kathy Schmitz Woven Wreaths embroidery sampler. The 5 embroidery stitches we are practicing on this month's block are stem stitch, fly stitch, running stitch, french knots, and fan stitched leaves.

As the kids say "I'm on the struggle bus"!  
I watched video #2,  stitched the heart, and was slowly making progress around the wreath. Then I turned it over and saw this random loop in the middle of the stitch line, where for some unknown reason I didn't pull the thread through correctly. Should I unstitch back to the loop? Should I secure the loop with stitches somehow? What would you do? I will put that on hold and wait for your advice!

In the meantime, I am cross stitching a pattern called "It is well with my soul". 

I saw this pattern on "Sew Me Sarah" flosstube (minute 38). Sarah is stitching hers on 32 count Zweigart Silk from left to right, and I am stitching on 32 count Belfast linen from right to left. I am finding it to be a challenging (but beautiful) pattern. I am enjoying the variegated thread (DMC 4240).

What are your hands stitching this weekend? Is it smooth sailing, or are you also on the struggle bus?!? LOL Keep on stitching and share your progress (and/or struggles) with us!

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