Thursday, February 15, 2018

Basket Pincushion and a New Quilt Started.

I needed a quick small gift for someone and decided to make a pincushion.  I found several little 4" basket blocks in a drawer in my sewing room and picked out this one to quilt.  The backing is a solid blue to match the flowers on the basket.  I like making pincushions!

I met Mary Elizabeth Kinch at the Gwen Marston Beaver Island Quilt Retreat several years ago.  I have one of her books and love admiring her large quilts made with many small pieces.  Every Christmas, she does a series of blogposts about 12 different antique quilts.  This past Christmas, one of her favourites was one called "Foothills".  She recently decided to do a quilt along to make this quilt and I signed up!  I have a collection of men's shirts that have aged appropriately and are ready to cut up to make a quilt so I will be using them for this project.

I don't have a lot of time for sewing these days so this is what I accomplished one night this week. There are a lot of shirts in my collection so it takes a while to pick out the 7 fabrics needed for each block.  I finally made the flying geese and hourglass block for this block tonight.

I like the splash of brighter colours in the middle of the block!

I made a few parts for my next 4 blocks...

I am going to continue to make lots of parts and then will figure out how to combine them to make the blocks.  I have not made much of a dent in the pile of shirts yet...

Saturday, February 10, 2018

It's Still Snowing...

In the warmer weather, we like to sit outside in our gazebo and read or stitch. It is much too cold and snowy to do this now!  I took this picture on Friday and since then, we have had quite a bit more snow.  All of this snow puts me in the mood for a hot cup of herbal tea and a cozy spot by the fireplace while I cross stitch some more snow on my snowman picture.

 It feels like I have been working on the snow in this picture forever, but really, I am getting quite close to the end...

This little bit is all I have left to do!  There are a couple of birds to do as well--one in the snow and one on the red mitten.  I also have to outline these two snowmen and the birds at this end of the picture.  I will keep plugging away at this project.

I finished up the last of the 54 churn dash blocks for the swap I am participating in at Fun with Barb. (see my sidebar for the link to her blog)

I will put them into the mail soon...I'm going to use a zip loc bag and try to get as much air out as I can so they pack up as small as possible to save on postage.

My daughter sent me flowers this week for my birthday...Aren't they beautiful?  Maybe Spring is not too far off after all.

I will be linking up with Kathy and the other Slow Sunday Stitchers in the morning.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

This and That

I have been working on a few projects over the last couple of weeks, when I have some time to head down to the sewing room.  Christine and I got together one night this past week to work on our Churn Dash blocks for a block exchange with "Fun with Barb".  I have made 36 blocks so far out of the 54 that I need to make for the swap.  Here are some samples...

I cut out 12 more blocks and partially sewed and pressed them...I hope to get these blocks put together by the end of the weekend.  Then, I will only have 6 more blocks to make.

Last week, I managed to get all of the slab blocks together for the quilt for a new refugee that will be arriving shortly. 

My husband had to stand on a chair to hold up this quilt! I will get the backing soon and it will be off to the quilter's house.

Two weeks ago, my counted cross stitch picture looked like this:

I managed to add some more snow and finish off the red bird.   The snow is a bit monotonous but looks good when it is done. I still have to do the outlining on these two snow people and the birds at this end of the picture.

My daughter found some interesting cross stitch patterns online so when this is finally done, I might purchase one and make it next.

I will be linking up with Kathy and the other slow Sunday stitchers tomorrow.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Red, Gray and White Slab Quilt

A few posts back, I showed you two red, gray and white slab quilt blocks that I had made for a quilt for a new refugee to Canada.  I did not have time myself to make all of the blocks for this quilt, so I asked members of two of the guilds I belong to if they would like to help out by making a block or two. Several members of both guilds made blocks for me and soon I had enough for a single bed quilt.  I received 26 blocks from my quilting friends and ended up making two more myself (still not even a dent in my scraps!)  for a total of 30 blocks (including the two I had made previously). 

I decided to use sashing and cornerstones around each block.  The gray and red fabrics were in my stash.  I used two different reds that looked similar for the cornerstones.   My friend, Cathy, has Electric Quilt on her computer and she helped me to figure out the number of squares and sashing strips to cut as well as how wide to make them to end up with the right size of quilt in the end.

I don't like sewing long skinny strips to rows of blocks so I added two sashing strips and a corner block to each 12.5" block.

Here are my extra two blocks in progress.

Here are the first 12 blocks laid out on the floor.  I hope to have all of the blocks sewn together into a finished top by later this week.  The sashing and corner blocks will go around the entire quilt.  Then, I will need to get some backing fabric.

Thanks, quilting friends, for your help making blocks for this quilt!  I could not have done it without you!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Hooping It Up!

This week, Kathy has issued a photo challenge for all of the Slow Sunday Stitchers.  She has asked us to show everyone our hoops. When I was in Grade school, one of my favourite gym activities was hula hoops!  We played all kinds of games with them.  Does anyone else remember using hula hoops in gym class?  I wonder if they are still used in gym classes today...  I just looked up hula hoops on Google and found this picture:

The ones we used in gym class did not look like these!  They were all the same dirty white colour--they probably were white when they were new.   I digress...Kathy asked to see our sewing hoops!  Here is my CCS project the last time I showed it on my blog, showing part of my embroidery hoop.

I recently had to replace my embroidery hoop because the wood split at the opening of the hoop where the rivets hold the hardware onto it.  I threw out that hoop and found the one shown above in my collection of hoops. It has the same flimsy hardware on it as the one that broke after many years of use.

A few weeks ago, I found this sturdy embroidery hoop and purchased it for my CCS project.  This morning, I changed my hoop to this one, after being prompted to show my hoops by Kathy.  You can see I made a bit of progress on my picture this week.  I am working on the bird on the lower right. I hope to finish it today and do some more of the snow as well.

The old hoop is on the left.  I'm hoping the new hoop is easy to use--it is a bit heavier than the old one but the hardware tightens better and does not bend under tension like the old one did.

For full disclosure of my hoop collection, I also have this quilting hoop.  I think it belonged to my grandmother at one time.  My aunt gave it to me a few years ago as she was not using it.  I don't do a lot of hand quilting but have used it for the odd project.

I will be linking up with the other slow stitchers at Kathy's blog.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Fancy Forest Finally Finished!

How is that for some alliteration???

I made a baby size version of Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Forest  quilt ages ago. I has been in a plastic bin in the corner of my sewing room for months, waiting for backing and quilting.  I was not pleased with the first backing I chose so the quilt top just sat and waited until I had time and the inclination to get it finished. I found this soft flannel backing, perfect for my quilt.  Christine and I each made our own versions of this quilt, working on the blocks at our weekly sewing night.  We started the blocks in June 2016 and finished out quilt tops in October 2016.  

I took the backing, batting and quilt top to Cathy at Eagle's Wings Quilts in December. Earlier this week, Cathy sent me this picture of the first pass of the quilting--it looks like tree bark--perfect for my Fancy Forest friends. 

Cathy brought my quilt to me on Thursday night.  Friday, after doing errands, I went down to my sewing room and sewed the binding on by machine.  I used the same fabric as I used in the background. 

I love the animals on this quilt! I felt like I was being watched as I hand stitched the binding!

Here is the completed quilt, finished tonight while I watched a movie on TV.  

I will be linking up with the other Slow Sunday Stitchers at Kathy's blog in the morning.  

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Churn Dash Swap

Last year, Christine and I signed up for a swap with "Fun With Barb".  We made Broken Dishes blocks for the last swap--I have still not done anything with my blocks but Christine has her quilt top made. I am waiting for inspiration on how to put them together.  This will come in time.

This year's swap is 6 1/2" Churn Dash blocks.  I need to make 54.  My first one is shown above.

They are rather addictive!

I ran out of the green fabric and switched over to magenta.

Then, I ran out the first background fabric I had chosen, so I found another one and kept sewing...

Here is a close up of the other two background fabrics I am using.

I have started cutting some purple churn dashes but they are not sewn together yet.  I will show more pictures in a future blogpost. I have 23 completed blocks so far.  Only 31 to go!

I hope to do some more sewing tomorrow before I head off to work.  If I get up a bit earlier than usual and get moving, I can spend 30-45 minutes in the sewing room before I leave...