Saturday, October 21, 2017

Slow Stitching and My Christmas Quilt

For many months now, I have been working on blocks for Lorna's Holly Jolly Christmas quilt.  She released a block pattern every couple of weeks and I managed to keep up with making the blocks. A couple of weeks ago, I fixed the one block that I did not like. This week, I cut out the sashings and borders and put the quilt top together.  This picture was taken before the last two rows were added.

I love how the blocks look with the dark grey Essex linen background.  I pieced the backing and added a label. Today, I took everything to Cathy, my long arm quilter. 

I have some red and white striped fabric picked out for the binding.  I will show the entire quilt when I get it back from Cathy.

Today, for the first time in weeks, I did some work on my counted cross stitch picture... I outlined the second snowman and now you can see that he is holding a tray with a bird on it.   I will be spending some time in the car tomorrow so I hope to do some more.  

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

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Blue Partridge

I made this Partridge in a Pear Tree block for my Holly Jolly Christmas quilt back in March. It has been on my design wall since then. I decided early on that I did not like it--the colours did not go with the rest of the colours in the other blocks. I was not keen on the idea of taking it apart and changing the colours of the partridge and played with the idea of making an alternate block instead. In the end, I decided to make a blue partridge. I took the block apart and remade the bird.  I am much happier with the blue partridge...

The "blue bird of happiness" co-ordinates much better with the other blocks!

I have an idea on how to change my tree block so it fits in better as well.  This will happen next and then I will put the blocks together into a top.  My quilter, Cathy, is ready to quilt this one up as soon as I get it to her.  It will be done in plenty of time for the Christmas season.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Moving on to Outlining

We spent part of our day today at my cousin's farm where we went through his corn maze and had a BBQ with everyone in the extended family.  It was a beautiful fall day--the sun was shining and it was not hot like last week.  I took this picture in the maze--most of the corn had brown and shrivelled up silk but this one was bright pink. I did some sewing in the car on our way to the farm.  Last week, my picture looked like this:

I managed to finish the snow in this section as well as the bird.  I started on the outlining today in the car after doing the last few stitches of the snow

I like the way the outlining makes the snowman stand out against the snow. 

There's still more snow to do at the other end of the picture but for now, I think I will continue with more outlining. 

I am linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching link up tomorrow. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Baby Quilt for the Talent Auction

My church is having a talent auction this weekend to raise money for a new roof.  My talents lie in the area of sewing and quilting, so I decided to make a baby quilt for my donation to the fundraiser.  I found some fat quarters in my stash and purchased the yellow background fabric. The pattern is from 42quilts.

I cut out the pieces and sewed the blocks together one night, and added the borders another night.

I found the backing fabric in my stash and had to add a light blue strip to make it wide enough for the quilt. I added a label before quilting.

The animals on the back are fun!  I used the serpentine stitch on my sewing machine to quilt it with my walking foot.

Christine was here to sew last night and she voted for red binding.

I hand sewed the binding last night and this morning, before I went to work.  Tonight, I showed my finished quilt at the Elgin Piecemakers' Guild meeting.  I will deliver the quilt to the organizers of the auction tomorrow.

My favourite quilt holder helped with the photo shoot.

I will be linking up with Crazy Mom's Finish it Up Friday tomorrow and to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching link up on Sunday. .  There are links in my sidebar...

I hope someone likes the quilt enough to buy it!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Fall Weekend

It feels like summer here this weekend with sunshine and temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius.  My husband and I had lunch out today on a patio and these lovely flowers were beside our table. I took a few pictures while we waited for our food to arrive.

This is unusual weather for this time of year where we live. We were very thankful for air conditioning this weekend.

On our way home, I did some sewing in the car.  Last time I showed my counted cross stitch project, it looked like this:

I have managed to fill in a lot of the snow in this section.

There is one bird left to do in this part and then I will fill in the rest of the white.  The other end of the picture still needs to be done as well.  Maybe I  will do some of the outlining after I finish the snow at this side...Come back next week to see what I decide!

I am linking up tomorrow with Kathy and the other Slow Sunday Stitchers.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Libs Elliott Class: Embracing the Chaos

Last Saturday, the London Modern Quilt Guild hosted Libs Elliott to teach an "Embracing the Chaos" workshop.  I signed up for this workshop months ago, but of course waited until the night before the shop in my stash for suitable fabrics and gather my supplies.  I needed to find around 10 co-ordinating fat quarters --I started with the fabric in the middle of this photo and added the other fabrics to the pile.  I ended up using the chartreuse fabric on the upper right but not the yellow on the upper left. 

Some of these fabrics have been in my stash for a while and a couple were recent additions.

Libs told us about how she designs her quilts using a grid and a randomizer on her computer to place pre-chosen blocks into the grid.

She brought along three quilts to show us and we spent quite a bit of time examining them and asking questions about how she chose her fabrics, colours and how she put the blocks together to make her quilts.

She recently was asked by Absolut vodka to design a special label for their Canada 150 bottles.  Several of the quilters brought along their bottles for her to sign.  (All bottles remained sealed during the workshop!)

Some people used pencil crayons to colour their designs before cutting into their fabrics but I jumped into using fabric and picked the fabrics as I went along making the blocks.

By the end of the day, I had all my blocks pieced except one. I pinned my rows together and labeled them so that I would be able to lay them out when I got home.

Earlier this week, I put my last block together and sewed all the blocks into a 30 by 30" flimsy.  I have picked out some thread for quilting and just need to get this top pin basted and quilted.  I will do another post when it is done.  This was a fun workshop and I would recommend taking a class with Libs if you ever get a chance.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Snow in September

Even though I have not done a Slow Sunday Stitching post for a couple of weeks, I have been working on my counted cross stitch snowmen picture when we are travelling in the car.  This works well when the sun is shining and I have lots of light to see what I am doing, but part of our drive last weekend was though a rain storm so the stitching got put back into the bag.  This picture was taken just before it started to rain.

The last time I posted about my CCS project, it looked like this:

I added a second bird...

And more snow...

Now, my picture looks like this:

It just might get done before the snow flies.

BTW, I bought some Thread Heaven and since I started using it, I am getting a lot less tangled threads.  Thanks to whoever it was that suggested that!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Christmas Lights and a Tree

Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts released the pattern for the last block of the Holly Jolly Christmas quilt a couple of weeks ago but I did not have time to make it until last night.  This one did not have as many pieces as some of the blocks so I was able to cut it out, sew it together and press it all in one night!  Some of my fabrics that I put aside for this quilt are down to very small scraps so that limited what I could use for my "lights".

I also made a Christmas tree block from some of my green scraps to add to this quilt.  It is the same type of block as I used for my pillows last fall-my own design!

I want to have 16 blocks for this quilt--I am using 14 of the 15 blocks made through Lorna's quilt along (I decided not to use the partridge in a pear tree block) and the tree block is #15.  I am going to make a snowman block for #16, again, my own design.  I hope to get it done soon so that I can work on getting this top together and off to the long arm quilter's house for quilting.  I have already bought the backing fabric and I found some red and white stripes for the binding.  I will be finalizing the layout as soon as at the snowman block is done.  It has been fun making the blocks but I am ready to get this project done!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Another Baby Quilt in Waiting

As you know, I like to make a few baby quilts to have on hand in case the need for a baby gift arises. I put this quilt top together over a year ago and had the top, batting and backing in a plastic storage container in my sewing room.  At one time, I had 5 quilts in a pile, waiting to be quilted.  Of the original 5, I have only one left to do. I have added another one to the pile in the meantime so there are two waiting to be quilted at the moment.

My husband was away last weekend, so after completing all my errands and jobs around the house, I pin basted this quilt and another wall hanging.  I did not have the right colour of thread for my wall hanging so this one moved to the front of the line for quilting.  I used some dark orange thread  and my walking foot to quilt this baby quilt.  The pattern is inspired by a class I took last summer with Jacquie Gering--Machine quilting with your walking foot.  

I used some nice soft flannel on the back--you can see the quilting in this picture. 

I finished off the binding last night after supper, but it was too dark for pictures.  I sent a text to my favourite quilt holder before coming home from work today to let him know that I wanted to do a photo shoot when I got home. 

The fabric in this quilt was in a jelly roll that was purchased ages ago. I added some solids from my solids collection to make the blocks and found a nice light green solid for the binding.  Everything came from my stash!

There won't be any quilting time this weekend as our schedule is jam packed but I may find some time to do some counted cross stitch in the car.  I am linking up with Kathy and the other slow Sunday stitchers. 

Have a great weekend. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Design Workshop with Jacquie Gering

I spent three days in workshops with Jacquie Gering last week.  You can read about the first workshop here.  The second workshop was two days of learning to design the Jacquie Gering way!  We were told we would not need our sewing machines until Day 2!  We spend much of the first day using paper and scissors to experiment with achieving "exchange" (balance, harmony...) in our paper designs.  My first attempt is shown above and I got a gold star from Jacquie for this one!  My second attempt was not even worthy of a picture before it landed in the trash can!  I made two more--

By lunch time, we had lots of ideas up on the design wall on one side of the room.

Next, we looked at some of Jacquie's quilts and discussed the designs, some of which she loved and others that she did not love.  We talked about ways that some of them could have been designed differently to create different looks.

Our design challenge for the rest of the afternoon was to play with some paper blocks that Jacquie gave to us to create more quilt designs.  I could not believe the number of possibilities that the participants came up with in this exercise!  Here are a few of my designs.

On the second day, we discussed moving from paper or craft-foam designs to fabric.  I decided to skip the mock up of my design idea on using craft foam and moved straight to fabric.  I make 18 liberated drunkard's path units and started playing with placement on the design wall.

I have done a lot of garment sewing in my life so a few curved seams did not faze me.

At first, my blocks were too big so I ended up cutting them down to a smaller size and playing some more.

Jacquie and I played with this 16 patch design for quite a while, moving pieces here and there and trying to find a pleasing design.  After a while, she left to work with someone else.  I stared at what I had on the design wall and all I could see was the curved arrow on the upper right corner.   I then came up with this idea...

Others in the room, including Jacquie, concurred and after a bit of tweaking, this became my final design.   I sewed the blocks together and had my top together before the end of the day.

This was a fun and challenging workshop with ideas that will continue to influence the quilts that I make for a long time!  I already have my quilt basted and ready to quilt.  The quilting pattern is already chosen. I just need to find the right colour of thread...

Thanks again, Jacquie, for an amazing three days!