Saturday, April 4, 2020

A Variety of Projects this Week

Last Sunday, I brought up this week's sewing projects from the basement sewing room to the dining room table where I have set up my temporary sewing space while Finn the grand-dog is here.  The first order of business for the week was to finish quilting this table topper, started 7 years ago.  As you can see, the binding is on and it is done!  The blocks are Bonnie Hunter's Boxy Stars. 


I don't know about you, but I am finding it hard to stay focussed on one thing for very long these days and tend to flit back and forth between projects.  I did some counted cross stitch on the March pattern from Linens and Threads.  I have to decide how I am going to use the other colours in this pattern...I have a few ideas floating around.


I started cutting and piecing the units for a new quilt that will be a gift.  I only had .5 yards of the bird print so that limited how many blocks I could make to 51 four patches.


The other unit is an HST using white and a gray print. I am aiming for a barn raising layout which may or may not be asymmetrical.  I need to make more HST's...


One day, when feeling quite rattled by all that is going on in the world, I picked up my knitting and made another dish cloth.  I find the repetitive process calms me down and gets me back on track.



And, another one to add to the growing pile!

A friend from church is organizing the making of scrub hats for our local hospital staff.  I dug into my stash and found some fabrics that I could use to make some hats...first up:  Elvis!


My SIL purchased this fabric for me at Graceland many years ago and I could just never think of anything to make with it.  I am sure it will bring a smile to someone's face when they see a doctor or nurse wearing this scrub hat!


My first batch of hats were delivered to the hospital today and I am in the process of making more.  The pattern is from YouTube and can be found here.


We have been having some beautiful sunny spring days here this past week.  Finn loves to go outside and sit or lay on the porch and watch the birds, squirrels, people and dogs go by.   I read a book and said hello to the people walking by. 


Today was Finn's 2nd birthday!  No cake but he did get some apple pieces and peanut butter for his birthday treat.


My daffodils are popping out today and should be fully open tomorrow, I hope.


I will link up with Kathy and the slow Sunday stitchers in the morning. 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

A Few Finishes

My sewing machine was moved up to the dining room table as the sewing room is not a safe place for Finn to hang out with me...too many things for a curious little dog to get into.  I started out this week making three more blocks for the London Modern Guild HST BOM.  The patterns for April and May were posted this week --three blocks in total.  Here are my blocks. 



And here are all 8 that I have made so far.  The final reveal of how they are to be put together will happen at the end of the year.


Finn and I also did some knitting this week.  He loves it when I sit down to knit or read or cross stitch.  He curls up in a ball and sleeps in my lap. He doesn't seem to mind being a model for my knitting either!  This half made dish cloth could be his super-hero cape!


I finished off the hat I was making last week and made a second one the same.  I am up to 4 dishcloths now too.  Here is a picture of my finished knitting projects.


I am not sure what I will make next.  I have a different hat pattern to try and the wool to make it.  I found another dishcloth pattern to try as well.  I enhanced my dish cloth yarn stash this week by ordering online from a local yarn shop so I won't run out of knitting to do for a while. It was very handy to just drive to the store, open my trunk and call them on my cell phone--they brought out my order and put it in the trunk for me.  I ordered some fabric online from a local-ish fabric store and they mailed it to me.  It arrived the next day.  I hope that all of the small businesses manage to stay open during and after this crisis and I did my part to help them this week.

Finn and I also spent some time cross stitching this week.  I finished off the February ornament for the Linens and Threads stitch along.  The material is cut out and ready to start March's pattern tomorrow. 



I spent quite a bit of my sewing time this week making the rest of the blocks for my Snowflake quilt. You can see Finn was waiting for my husband to get home from work while I was sewing.  He seems to know that it is time for him to be home in the late afternoon and will sit on the back of the couch for an hour, eyes glued to the street, looking for the right car to come around the corner. 


I finished the last of the blocks for this quilt this morning.   Finn wanted to help me show it off.


He lost interest quickly when he realized that no treats were involved.


The backing fabric is in the laundry basket, ready to wash before I sew it...there are some extra red squares leftover from the front so there may be a stripe across the back so I can use them up.


Finn and I came across this sage advice on one of our walks this week. Day by day, we will get through this difficult and trying time.  Stay home.  Keep sewing. Stay safe.  Take care.  I will be linking up with Kathy and the sewcially distancing Slow Sunday Stitchers in the morning.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

National Quilting Day, plus some Slow Stitching

To celebrate National Quilting Day, I started a new quilt!  The London Modern Guild Sewing day was cancelled today, for obvious reasons, but we were all encouraged to #sewcialdistance and work on our projects at home.  I have had my eye on this pattern for several months now and finally bought the Snowflake pattern online last week.  I was not sure which colour I would use for the scrappy background and after surveying my stash, decided on red.  Here are my first three blocks, completed on Friday. 


On Saturday, I made 4 more blocks, but only got a picture when the total was at 6 blocks.  The snowflake is growing.  There are twenty blocks in the quilt.


Some of these red fabrics are very old and have been lurking in my stash for years.  Others are more recent additions.



Together, they all seem to work. 



I've also been doing some knitting this week.  In my previous post, I showed the beginnings of this hat and now I have added a couple more inches to it.  Finn likes to lie in a ball on my lap while I read or sew or knit.  (Sorry the picture is sideways, I could not get it to turn the right way.)


I'm pleased my tension is even!  Finn and I hope to finish off the hat sometime in the next few days.  I will need to make a pompom to add later.


The February Linens and Threads ornament is just about done.  The March pattern is printed, ready to  start when this one is done.


Finn was in the mood to play ball one night this week.   We have been going for a walk every day, keeping our distance from other dogs and people.  It was cold yesterday morning so he wore his coat.


I will be linking up with Kathy and the Slow Sunday Stitchers in the morning.  Stay safe and healthy. Take care.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Keeping Busy

So, how is everyone doing with their social distancing?  I am trying to stay in the loop with what is happening but I am not watching or listening to the news constantly...too stress inducing!  We have our grand-dog, Finn, with us right now so we have been going for a long walk every morning.  We meet others along the way and everyone stays to their own side of the wide sidewalk and nods as they walk past.  For the rest of the day, I have been reading or knitting or cross stitching or sewing or doing odd jobs around the house. I keep in touch with friends and family via texting or phone calls or FaceTime.  It is very odd to not be able to go out to see them for tea and some stitching and a chat.

I have now finished knitting three cotton dish cloths.   I gave one to my daughter and here are the other two.


I have another pattern for a dish cloth but will need to get some more needles (in a different size) before making it.

I started making a hat this morning--very simple...sewn in the round with stockinette stitch.  Finn likes to stay close by--he does not understand social distancing.


The yarn is quite thick so this is knitting up quickly.  There is no ribbing on this hat so the bottom just rolls up a bit at the edge.  I will borrow a friend's pompom maker after I finish the knitting part.


I have made 20 Scrappy Trips blocks for a lap quilt.  They are up on my design wall, waiting to be sewn together.  I have chosen fabrics from my stash for a 2" border and the binding, and will be quilting this myself with my DSM.

There are plans in the works for more stash busting quilts in my near future.  I am currently sewing on the dining room table as my sidekick, Finn, would not be safe in my sewing room downstairs.  Take care of yourselves.  Keep washing your hands.  Stay connected with your friends and family --isn't it wonderful that we can keep in touch without seeing each other in person??


Friday, March 13, 2020

Weekly Sewing Report

True Confessions:  I started a new project this week.  As I have been cleaning out my sewing storage area, I discovered that I have a large collection of batiks.  They had not all been stored together so I put them in their own (large) bin as I found them here and there around the room.  I decided that I needed to make a batik quilt or two in an effort to use them up.  Pulling out an assortment of blues, greens, golds, oranges, reds and purples, I decided to make Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Trips pattern.  Here is one of the blocks I have made this week. 


This will be a lap quilt with 20 blocks.  I even found some fabric for the borders in my collection...  So far, I have 7 blocks pieced and the rest of the blocks are started.  I spent some time earlier in the week cutting all the strips I will need.  I have lots of variety!


On the knitting front, I finished my first dish cloth, although I still need to weave the ends in.  I learned how to do this on a Youtube video last night so hope to do that today.


I started a second dish cloth using the same pattern and it is half finished already.  I have taught myself how to "unknit" when I made a mistake.  I'm getting faster at knitting and hope to tackle something more challenging soon. I have some wool and a pattern for a hat.  Here is my second dish cloth:


My husband could not understand how I would knit using circular needles so I gave him a demo one night this week.  He had only seen people knit with straight needles before now.

My daughter has made a bit of progress on her cross stitch feather project.  She does not have much time for stitching right now as she is very busy at work.


The Elgin Piecemakers Guild issued a Music Challenge in the Fall and the projects are due at the March meeting.  We were each given a fat 8th of a black and white music note print which was to appear in our piece in which we were to depict a song.  I picked my song and hatched a plan.  I have been working on this project over the last 6 weeks or so and, this week, finished it off.  I just have the binding left to stitch down by hand.  Here is a sneak peak of the front,


And, here is where I will be stitching today.


Finn will be coming to visit and stay with us for a few weeks soon.  We will be going for lots of walks --my sewing machine time may go down a bit when he is here but I will keep busy with hand work and knitting.


I will be linking up with Kathy's crew of Slow Stitchers on Sunday morning.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Knitting, Binding and Cross Stitching

I'm still stitching away on February's cross stitch ornament from Linen and Threads.  I will add some more stitches this weekend for slow Sunday stitching.  I need to buy some extra skeins of these colours so that I can use them for all 12 ornaments. I have a plan in my head for a project which will include all 12...


My friend, Pat, is teaching me to knit.  This week, I made the big leap from working on my red practice sampler to actually starting a real project using a pattern!  We went shopping yesterday at the local knitting store and I purchased knitting needles and stitch markers with a gift certificate that my husband gave me for Christmas.  Pat gave me a pattern for a cotton dish cloth and showed me how to read and follow the pattern as well as do yarn over.  She sat beside me and coached me as I did the first few rows.  The new circular knitting needles are stainless steel and are very slippery, but I am getting the hang of it.  Yesterday, after she left to go home, I knitted for a while and got this far...


This morning, I went to town and got to the point where I had to start reducing the number of stitches on the needles.  She had not shown me how to do this, but I figured it out and now my dish cloth looks like this:


Knitting is obviously addictive!

Earlier in the week, I made a quilt top with the nine patches I showed on my last blogpost.


I only had one yard of the fabric I wanted to use for the backing so I used up the leftovers from the jelly roll and added more length and width to my backing to make it big enough.


The gray fabric has little rabbits on it.  You can see below that I did straight line quilting with my walking foot in a diagonal grid through all of the white squares.


I went searching through my stash for the appropriate fabric for the binding and found this yellow print.


I hand sewed the binding down on Wednesday as I wanted to have the quilt finished in time for show and tell at guild on Thursday morning.


Here is the finished quilt. 


The March pattern for the London Modern Guild HST BOM came out this week so I made my block.   I have 4 blocks done now--there were two in February. 


I am happy to announce that Spring has officially arrived in my back yard.  Our witch hazel bush is in bloom.


Finn continues to offer guidance and assistance as necessary to my daughter on her stitching project.


I will be linking to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching link up in the morning.  One less hour of sleep tonight but one extra glorious hour of daylight after supper from now until the Fall.  Have a great week!