Monday, January 29, 2024


What's on the design wall today at Kathy's Quilts?

It's my mini version of the Stay At Home Round Robin (SAHRR)! I wanted to play along this year, but not stress myself out, so I am making a small wallhanging version and started with a little churn dash block.

The prompt for border #1 was to add the "signature block". I made my signature block side corners so small that you can hardly tell they are there. The corners almost look almost like HST blocks. It was a math error, not a design choice! LOL

This week's prompt for border #2 was to use only 2 colours. I had planned to make a monochromatic project only using blues, so I added another churn dash border in cream and blue. Maybe cream isn't actually a "colour"? But there are no quilt police at the SAHRR, so it worked for me! 

But that border made me dislike the previous one, so I decided to add some hand embroidered running stitches, and ta-da ... I like it a little better now!

The project now measures 7.75" x 7". Can't wait to see what we're adding next week! 

I'll be adding my post to the Design Wall Monday and SAHRR linky parties.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! It's hard to believe it's already the last link up for January, but the sooner the winter passes, the better!

I have another finished project to share today. I started this stitching as a St. Patrick's day gift to myself last year.  It was such a fun project, and I finished the cross stitch in the summer, but didn't know what I wanted to do with it. I finally put it together with a batting and backing, and put a binding on it to be a wallhanging for a gift exchange.  I made a little split hanging sleeve (stitched into the binding) on the back and put a wooden skewer through the sleeve to easily hang it. 

This is a pattern called "Stitcher" by Misty Pursel of Luminous Fiber Arts. I love how it turned out with the variegated Weeks Dye Works threads in the green colour called "Lucky".

Finished size: 10.5" x 5.5"

Today I'll be happily working on a quilt binding. What are you hand stitching today? We hope you will link up your blog/instagram post and share your projects below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, January 22, 2024

Another New Start!

In the past few years the Good Hope Quilter's Guild has provided several online mysteries. I haven't jumped in with them yet, and have regretted it every time when I saw their finished quilt. 

This year when I saw the required fabrics posting, I was intrigued and decided to sew along with them. And besides, when the mystery is called "When you shine", how can you resist?!?! LOL

I started by chosing a beautiful border print, even though it is not in the fabric requirements. The size of the quilt is 42" x 42" and I would like a slightly larger quilt, so will add at least one border. Look at this lovely selvage! It says "Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower" for the "Create Joy Project" by Moda (artist is Laura Muir).

I pulled my 9 fat quarter colours from this gorgeous print. 

Some FQs had chucks and bits cut out of them, so for some sets (purple, pink, and gold) I added in other squares . Perhaps it will make it more "interesting"... we shall see how that works out in the end. I just didn't want to buy anything for this mystery, so used what I could find in the stash.

The second step had us making HSTs and some blocks. Here are some blocks on the design wall for 1 set of blocks (and there are 9 sets of colours). I can't imagine how this riot of colour will become a tolerable quilt design! But the writer Diana Vandeyar said:  "Trust the process, and please don’t be tempted to move the fabrics between the groups."

She must have read my mind! LOL

This mystery is presented in quite a unique way, which is great fun for an experienced mystery quilter like me! It's not too late to join in - the next step is posted on Friday.

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the Slow Sunday Stitching linky party! If you enjoy hand stitching of any kind, then you have found your tribe! You are welcome to join us here every Sunday and learn how we keep ourselves stitched together... one stitch at a time!

It is cold and dark where I live, and mostly I just want to snuggle up in bed with a heated blanket, drink tea and read. But I am doing some hand stitching here and there. I finished my January block for the Woven Wreaths Stitch-Along. This was tiny stitching and the tips that Kathy Schmitz gave on her video were very helpful. This block included the stem stitch, running stitch, some fly stitches, a few french knots, and mostly back stitching. I am looking forward to starting the February block once the video is posted.

Oddly, I have been stitching on "Merry and Minty" which is an older cross stitch pattern by Brenda Gervais. This was a new start for me for the 12 x 12 on New Year's Eve. I don't know why I want to stitch a Christmas themed project now (maybe because it's so cold?) but it has been fun. The gold looking thread is actually a green tree. I will put a few more stitches in today.

And also I picked up 2 guild donation quilts to finish the bindings, so I will work on that today too.

What are you hand stitching this month? We love to see your slow progress and hope you will link up your blog post below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, January 15, 2024

New 2024 Start

For the past few years I have followed the Stay At Home Round Robin (SAHRR) adventures with Gail and her friends. I have always been a wallflower watching from the sidelines, admiring the amazing unique quilts the participants created. But not this year...I am no longer a wallflower - I am joining in!

I am starting with a pile of fabrics given to me by my friend Dorothy when she was downsizing and giving away quilting supplies she didn't want to move. Such pretty blues! I just added the light fabric at the bottom.

My inspiration came from the Classic Blocks Revisited book that I received in the Country Concessions Christmas box (you can see the video of the box contents here). The patterns I liked the most in the book were churn dash variations.

This morning I saw on Quilting Gail's blog that she chose the same block as I did - a Churn Dash. Her block will be 4" x 8", and mine will be 3" x 3.75" in the finished quilt. I might be mad at myself a few weeks from now for not making my starting block an even measurement, but that just adds to the challenge. It will be so fun to see how our quilts develop!

Each week there will be new inspiration and directions to add borders or blocks to our centre, and there will also be a weekly link up to see the progress of all the projects. Don't be a wallflower like I was and miss out on the fun - join us!

Linking up to the SAHRR parade and the Design Wall party at Judy's.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!

I am happy to start the new year off with a brand new embroidery project called Woven Wreaths by Kathy Schmitz.  I learned about this project from Deborah, and last week discovered that Diann and Karrin are also stitching along. Is anyone else in our tribe working with us on this embroidery project?

I purchased the fabric panel at Spoonflower and it arrived quickly. It is available in 3 colours and although I wanted all of them, I settled on the blue panel (since I was getting tired of stitching red and green Christmas projects when I ordered it). I am using DMC floss 930 to start, and might use a variety of blue threads as I go along.

I really enjoyed stitching as I watched the instruction video by Kathy Schmitz. Even though I have enjoyed hand  embroidery for many years, I learned a few new things! For example I'm starting my threads the way she recommends (instead of a knot) and am liking her technique. Kathy stitches in hand but I need to use a hoop to keep my tension more even. She also gives tips for stitching on such tiny designs - so fun!

And also... drum roll please...

I finished cross stitching the Little Christmas Quaker by Susan Ache! 

I started this at the beginning of December, and enjoyed working on it throughout the holiday season. I didn't think I would like the lighter reds (vs the traditional darker reds of Christmas) but I love how it turned out and I'm glad I followed the colours of the pattern.  This has so many memories of the end of 2023 stitched right into the cloth! I am now looking for a frame to put it in, and then it will be stored with the Christmas decorations. 

What are you stitching today? Please link up your blog post below so we can see the projects that you have chosen to start at the beginning of 2024!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, January 07, 2024

First Slow Sunday Stitching Party for 2024

Welcome to all my needleworker friends! Thanks for dropping by to visit this week and catching up with other like-minded stitchers!

A new year usually brings some new starts as people receive supplies and patterns as Christmas gifts, and because so many businesses offer holiday discounts as they clear out inventory. 

One of my new starts is Deborah's fault! On Deborah's Bits and Pieces link last week she shared about her new projects for 2024 and had links posted to the Woven Wreaths embroidery project from Kathy Schmitz, who is a favourite designer of many of our stitchers. The first lesson of her 2024 project is posted and I really enjoyed learning the embroidery tips she shared on this video. So, of course I ordered the fabric so I could stitch along this year.

But while I waited for my order to arrive, I had a few other things I could stitch! **snort**

I participated in the 12x12 on New Year's Eve, and that was fun - but crazy. I won't do that to myself again! It was painful for my hands and it took several days to recover. Here are the things I learned:

1) An hour of stitching goes by in the blink of an eye! It felt like I entered a warp speed vortex of some kind, and the entire day passed by super fast. 

2) When you get tired, you make mistakes. I made several, and when the unstitching required meant less than zero progress, it's time to put down the needle and get a cup of tea! See where the needle is pointing to my green thread mistake? I have already unstitched it and will work on restitching that area today.

3) I prefer a coloured pattern as black and white is much harder for me to read. In the future I will look for some easier coloured patterns for future stitches.

4) I really enjoy confetti stitching with lots of colours. I was surprised by this as many people complain about changing thread colours, but I like the variety. There are so many colours in this tiny wreath stitching (by Tiny Modernist)

5) Although I am totally intrigued by full coverage stitcheries, at this point in my life I prefer small projects that I can finish easily - more instant gratification. Perhaps this is because it balances out my quilting projects which take me years to finish?

6) I love stitching bird designs and force myself to stitch at least a portion of the rest of the design before I treat myself to the actual bird! I finished this little 2" design by Cecilia Turner

I made it into a little cross stitched pillow, and quickly remembered how challenging it is for me to sew the seam closed when stitching with Aida cloth.

Granddog Max liked the pillow, but he did think it was a little on the tiny side for his head!

If you have any hand stitched bird patterns to suggest for me to make, please enter the info in the comment section for me.

So what are you stitching in 2024? Did you have some new starts for the new year? We hope you will share your progress in the links below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, January 01, 2024

Happy 2024!

Happy New Year stitching friends! 

I had a great day yesterday participating in the 12x12 event hosted by Keabee on instagram. You can see my "before" video here showing my projects for the day, and the "after" video here showing the things I actually stitched.

It has been my tradition for many years to bring in the new year by sewing a New Year's Day mystery quilt. This year the mystery is called Mardi-Gras Magic and is designed by Kris at Scrapdash and is a wonderful quilt pattern (yes, I cheated and looked at the mystery ending!)

Some years I have been able to sew with friends, and some years we sewed together via the magic of zoom. Some of us sew the mystery, and some of us sew other projects. It's always a fun way to bring in the new year.

For the first time in many years, I am not sewing a new mystery on January 1st! I know, it's shocking! But I have all my pieces ready to sew for the Quiltville mystery and I'd really like to be caught up in January, so I am focusing on that project.
This turned out to be a good decision because Bonnie Hunter posted a surprise step on her blog today and I was able to make great progress on sewing the blocks.

Here are my first 12 blocks on the design wall. Don't think I'm being an overachiever here, since I still haven't finished steps #2 and #6! 

Tomorrow is back to work, so the stitching progress will be much slower, but it was a wonderful way to usher in beginning of 2024 with stitching by hand yesterday and today by machine.

I wish each and every one of you a wonderful year full of stitching, with lot of happy memories and adventures!