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. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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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!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Saturday, February 17, 2024

A Finished Wallhanging

At quilt retreat earlier this month I finished the 2023 Fat Quarter Shop's Christmas quilt along called Evergreen. It was such a fun mystery to sew last year. 

I really enjoyed sewing my project from the kit offered by Fat Quarter Shop featuring the Favorite Things fabric line by Sherri and Chelsi. I don't usually buy fabric kits, but I really liked the slight variation on the Christmas colours they used.

The machine quilting was fast and easy. I quilted curvy lines to look like hanging garland across the tree, simple stippling in the background, and individualized designs on the presents and the star. It is so fun to think of a different design for each part of a quilt. As long as a project is quilted evenly in terms of the denseness of the designs, it's all good!

It's a fun brain snack for me to figure out things like how to do the curved corner-to-corner design on red pieces of this star block with the fewest starts/stops.

Another brain snack was thinking of a different quilting design for each present under the tree. 

The binding was completed during a late night chin wag with my dear retreat friends. It was accompanied by a nightcap of my new favourite Canadian drink by Cabot Trail maple and blueberry cream liqueur. It tastes like blueberry pancakes and syrup - yum!

Finished size: 31" x 37"

Here is the Evergreen Wallhanging with my other retreat finish - Spring Stamp SAL.

Linking up to Alycia's Finished (or not) Friday.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's the day of celebrating love! I made a goal to finish the February Square Dance cross stitch pattern by Valentine's day and I met my goal! 

I only made one change - using Cayenne (a dark variegated red hand dyed thread) for the letters.

This design is full of pretty hearts and was very fun to stitch. The addition of the 3 little buttons required me to use the smallest needle in my collection to get through those tiny holes. Finished size is 3" square.

I posted a little unboxing video on my Youtube channel today to celebrate Valentine's Day 💖

Monday, February 12, 2024

Design Wall Monday

You better put your sunglasses on for this post! 

This are my first 3 (of 9) blocks for the Good Hope Quilters' Guild mystery called "When you shine". These blocks measure 14" finished which will make a square quilt. I will make it into a rectangular quilt, and donate it to my guild's community outreach program. The last step will give us ideas for sashing and borders so I am looking forward to that (and to getting this shiny quilt out of my sewing room LOL).

Linking up to Design Wall Monday at Judy's.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome stitchy friends! We are so happy to see what your hands are creating and to encourage you in your creative journey!

I am just back from a quilting retreat with long time friends. I feel inspired, exhausted, and exhilarated all at the same time! I am delighted to share some photos of the hand stitching projects my very talented friends worked on.

This is Sandy starting the day with some rug hooking. I was fascinated to watch this stitching process with wool strips hooked onto a canvas. The texture she created using different yarns and wools was luscious!

Here is Barb (very late at night) finishing the hand stitched binding on a guild quilt. This quilt was pieced by someone, machine quilted by a long armer, and completed by 2 different retreaters. Truly a labour of love to donate to the quilt collection to be donated to Home for Good project.

Another late night stitcher Louise is crocheting a gorgeous shawl for her talented physiotherapist as a thank you gift. Her hands are a blur as she stitches so fast, working from muscle memory, and not even using a pattern. Louise gifted one of her shawls to me at the beginning of the covid pandemic. 💕💕

This is my friend Debby knitting some beautiful purple socks with some self patterning yarn. Knitting socks is on my "to learn someday" list. She shared with us about the process of cutting the knitting to insert the heel and we were horrified! LOL 

And here is Sandy again, and this time she is hand quilting her blue block version of Life is Beautiful. I'll post more about this project next week. Sandy uses a  thread puller tool (hers is yellow) that you can buy from Amazon here. I want to try it out, especially for using with perle cotton stitching. Maybe I could finish my Kawandi quilt (using perle cotton) without so much hand pain?

I worked on many projects throughout quilt retreat, including finishing the binding on my Spring Stamp SAL. I love this little bird print I found for the backing fabric, and the happy floral print for the binding. 
Finished size: 9" x 10.5"

When the binding was finished, I took the mini quilt outside for a photo session and was pleased to have photos that really reflect what 'spring' means... blue skies, budding trees, cool breezes, melting snow, and sunshine filled days.  A big thank you to pattern writer Melisa who blogs at Pinker 'n Punkin Quilting and Stitching

Thank you for reading about my retreat friends' stitching projects. And now we look forward to seeing what our online friends are stitching! We hope you will link up your blog post below and share your slow progress with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Friday, February 09, 2024

Design Wall Friday?

What ever happened to design wall Monday? LOL

I missed my Monday post because I was at quilt retreat and I was too busy having fun to write a blog post! Today my head is swimming with creative ideas, future quilts, and adventure planning for next year! Of course I took double the number of projects I had time to work on, but am pleased with the progress I made on several quilts. More details to come on Sunday's blog post.

This blog post is about 3 different mystery quilts (yes, I have a severe case of startitis!).

1) On the design wall today is my SAHRR. The theme this week was triangles, so I made 3 tiny churn dash blocks (finishing at 1.5") to add to the bottom. The quilt now measures 7" x 9.25".

If you would like to see the other round robin quilts being made, hop over to the SAHRR link up and be prepared for a visual feast!

2) I also sewed the 48 HSTs for step #4 for the "When you shine" mystery. 

Step #5 was posted this morning and I can't wait to get these blocks on the design wall to see what it will look like! This is the best part (or sometimes the worst part!) of a mystery when you see how the blocks are going to come together in your quilt. More details to come on Monday's blog post.

3) Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday, so you know that means a Super Bowl mystery from Scrapdash. The fabric requirements for the "Key West" mystery are posted for a quilt measuring 70" x 82".  It looks like I could pull the fabrics from my batik stash, so tomorrow I will get organized to start yet another mystery project!

There are many flying geese in this quilt and designer Kris has listed 7 different ways to sew these blocks - amazing! I am going to sew my blocks using yet another method - Bonnie Hunter's Essential Triangle Tool ruler

Linking up to Design Wall Monday and the SAHRR linky party.

Sunday, February 04, 2024

Sow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the hand stitching party where we celebrate all types of hand work and enjoy seeing what is being created by hands around the world. 

This month is International Embroidery Month, which was apparently started in 1992, so of course I will be starting some new projects to celebrate that!  If you are looking for a new project to celebrate, here is a fun one to check out - Crabapple Hill 2024 Stitch Along!

This week I will be working on one of my oldest embroidery projects - Life is Beautiful. I started this in February 2015 so it is 9 years old this month! I still love it and would like to keep working on it. My friend Sandy has also been making this quilt and she is using blue thread for her stitching. We are meeting this week to encourage each other to make some progress, and I will take some photos to share next week of the projects together.

Today I will be starting the February block on "Woven Wreaths" while I watch the Kathy Schmitz instructional video. Even though I have been embroidering for years, I find the tips she shares to be very helpful in making tiny embroidery stitches.

And also this week I am planning to start the first block of "P.S. Don't Forget" which is a Bareroots pattern. I have the messy random floss box to dig through (yes, I enjoy that!) and the background fabric chosen. 

Do you enjoy hand embroidery? Please link up your blog post below and share your embroidery and other hand stitching projects with us! I am dreadfully behind in blog reading and hope one day soon to catch up to see what you are working on. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Friday, February 02, 2024

Mystery Update

Part 4 was released today for the Good Hope Quilt Guild's mystery called "When you shine". It's not feeling very shiny for me this week, as this clue is the same as the previous 2 weeks - making more HSTs. Each of these steps has us making 48 HST blocks using a sewing method that requires trimming. Bleck! 😖😖

I don't know why I'm complaining about it so much. Remember when I sewed the "Say can you sew" mystery in 2022 and made over a thousand 1" HSTs and enjoyed it?!? Maybe it's because I liked the size (small) and method (paper piecing) more?

This is how my pile of pieces looks this morning (on the border fabric).

The 3 piles of squares that are pinned together and placed slightly above the other piles (hot pink, light orange and grass green) are what I'll be making into HSTs this weekend.

I'm having a hard time with the riot of colour and nowhere for the eyes to rest. And I really dislike some of the combinations of my fabrics. This is one grouping with a horrid red and bright pink in one of the blocks.  
Again - bleck!😖😖
But the pattern says to "trust the process" and although I'm finding it hard, I'll keep trusting!