Sunday, May 21, 2017

Canada Pillows and Cross Stitch

I made the Canada Flag pillow in my header photo for one of my nieces for Christmas.  She is off to university in the fall and this pillow will be used to decorate her dorm room.  My daughter and I both decided that we need Canada flag pillows to to help celebrate Canada's 150th birthday this year. When Christine and I got together to sew this week, I worked on the pillows. This one is for my daughter.  I tried to pick fabrics that would mean something to her...she wears glasses and lives in a place where there is lots of snow in the winter, tulips in the spring and many places to ride a bike.

Here is a close up of some of the fabrics.

This one will be my pillow.

Again, the fabrics have some personal meaning for me.  Do you see the fishing bobbers?  I used to go fishing with my dad and my brother when I was little.  I remember catching lots of sunfish and then letting them swim away.

While looking for something in my sewing room, I found this old Cross Stitch UFO.  I decided to work on it this summer for one of my slow stitching projects.  I will need to enlarge the pattern so that I can see it better....

There are 4 snowmen in the finished picture so I am half way there.

On my way to work this week, I stopped to take another picture of a barn quilt. I love seeing these on the drive.

My garden is bursting with new growth with the warm weather we have been having. My husband and I spent the day in the backyard yesterday, doing spring chores.  We will be working on it again on Monday.

The lilacs are beautiful and smell like spring.

 I will be linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching.  Take a look at what everyone is up to today.  There is always lots of fun inspiration to be had!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Christmas Quilt Block and some Slow Stitching

Today, another block pattern was released by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for the Holly Jolly Christmas sew along.  This one is called "All Wrapped Up."  There were not as many pieces in this ones as some of the previous blocks.

Here are the eyes and noses...

Pretty soon, I had the block finished.  I had only used the blue dot fabric once so far in my blocks so I was happy to use it again.

Here are my 9 finished blocks on my design wall.

It was a beautiful sunny day today so my Dad and I ate lunch outside.  There are quite a few blooms in my garden this week.  This is the inside of one of my Canada 150 tulips.

This one is called a Mickey Mouse tulip.

This one is on our fothergilla bush.

The seed heads of the Pasqueflower are interesting and I love the green glow from the middle.

For my Slow Stitching this week, I am making more plus signs.

I finished two and have fabric cut out for two more.

I'm still making bean bags for the weighted blanket too.  I have over 2/3's of the 140 bean bags I need done.  I hope to finish those off this week. Each one is filled with plastic pellets and hand sewn shut.  The blanket itself has 140 pockets which hold the bean bags. There is velcro at the top of each pocket to hold the bean bags in.  Weighted blankets are used by people with anxiety, autism and sleeping issues to help them to relax and get a good night's sleep. 

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms!  My daughter was home last weekend so I celebrated early. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Three More Blocks

Tonight, Christine and I got together for our weekly sewing time.  Christine has decided to jump in and make the Sew Fresh Quilts Holly Jolly Christmas quilt that I have been working on and I worked on comfort quilt blocks for the Elgin Piecemakers charity project.

First up...September's block made with red and turquoise.  I found some scraps that were hanging around in my sewing room to make this block. The original pattern was from the Aurifil sampler for 2016.  I changed it slightly by making the star points wonky.

October's block colours are orange and navy.  I found the orange pieces in my 2.5" scrap bin.

November's block colours are grey, black and turquoise.  I still had my turquoise scraps out so I just needed to find some gray and black fabrics to add to make the block.  I found this pattern in a magazine.

We don't meet in December so there is no block for that month.  I have May's block done already and one of our members will be supplying inspiration fabric for June's block at our next meeting so I am all caught up for now.

It's fun to dig through my scraps to find fabrics for my blocks for the comfort quilts.  Here are my four blocks on my design wall.

My Canada 150 tulips finally bloomed this week.  Several people have found that the red and white tulips they bought and planted in the fall to celebrate Canada's special birthday have not been red and white, but other colours like orange or yellow.   I am pleased that mine are red and white like the ones on the package label!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Flannel Vortex Flimsy

While sewing with Christine this week, I managed to put together my flannel vortex baby quilt flimsy. I love seeing the wide variety of scraps and can tell you where most of them came from!  I used to make PJ's for my daughter and my nieces and all the leftover bits and pieces were fair game for this quilt.  I also have cut offs from various quilt backs in there and some other flannel pieces given to me by my quilting colleagues as well.

Once I had the top together, I found that I had a bunch of spare parts--they will be put into a bag and saved for another flannel vortex quilt sometime in the future.  I see this bag as a starter kit...sort of like that sourdough starter that I used to have on my kitchen counter.  I just fed it each week and baked something with it using a collection of recipes that I had.  My quilt starter kit has a lot fewer calories than the sourdough starter did!  I will just keep adding to the basket of scraps to feed it...there is never a shortage of scraps to add around here!

I will be linking up with Crazy Mom's Finish it up Friday.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017


I am trying to get ahead of the game by making a few charity blocks ahead of time.  Each month, the Elgin Piecemakers make a comfort quilt for adult cancer patients at our local hospital from blocks made by the members of the guild.  Last month, we were to make a pinwheel block using navy, white and lime green.

The March blocks have already been made into a top, ready for quilting.

I saw a pattern on the Internet from Whistlepig Creek and decided to use it for my May block, using green, gold and cream.  

The pattern included paper templates but I managed to figure out how to use my rulers and strips of fabric to cut out the pieces for my block instead.  

I'm hoping to make the blocks for the rest of the year shortly.  

Friday, April 28, 2017

When Life Gives You Scraps, Make a Quilt!

I'm sure all of you are familiar with an overflowing scrap bin (or two!).  A few years ago, I had two overflowing scrap bins of flannel bits and pieces.  Many of the pieces were leftovers from flannel pj's I have made for my daughter and my twin nieces over the years.  I decided to tame the flannel scrap bin and made each of the girls a lap quilt from their PJ fabrics.  I used up lots of scraps in the tops and   several yards of hunks and chunks in the pieced backs. The best part of this--I was down to one bin from two after the quilts were made!

This is my daughter's quilt. 

This one belongs to one of my nieces.  (I can't find a picture of the third quilt.)

There was still lots of fabric left so last year, I made a flannel vortex quilt, which I gave to a friend who was going through treatments for breast cancer.  She found it quite cozy while resting after her hospital visits.

I have added to the flannel scrap bin over time with cut off's from quilt backs so now it is overflowing again.  Time for another scrap vortex quilt...this time I am using up my brightly coloured flannel scraps.

I had lots of small pieces as well as strips which I cut up into smaller pieces.  According to Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts, you just take two pieces and sew them together and then keep doing this over and over again. 

Press each twosie and then sew the twosies together to make bigger pieces.  This is a long process and involves lots of pressing and trimming and sewing and then more pressing, trimming and sewing.

Here is my progress so far.

I am hoping this will become a baby quilt in waiting.  There is no baby in mind for this quilt, but if one comes along, I will be ready with a gift.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Santa has arrived!

The next block in Lorna's Holly Jolly quilt along is none other than the man in the red suit...Santa!   I cut out all the pieces on the weekend. 

Not quite as many pieces as the last block...

Tonight, my husband was out so I headed down to the sewing room after supper.  Soon, some eyes were staring up at me...

Then, a mouth...

A jolly beard...

And a nice red hat. 

Eight blocks done...only 7 more to go. 

I also made my Elgin Piecemakers comfort quilt block on the weekend.  The colours for april are navy, green and white and the block must include at least one pinwheel.  

First I made this block...

I decided to change it a bit...My block has two liberated pinwheels! 

It was a beautiful sunny day today.  I stopped to take a picture on my way.  

There are actually several barn quilts along the way...I will try to get some other photos another day.  

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Slow Stitching

On Saturday, Karen and I went to the Embroiderer's Guild show in London (Canada).  We all sorts of wonderful hand stitching projects including cards, book covers, fidget blankets, ornaments, knitting, tatting, and wall art.  I was ready to grab my phone and take some pictures when I saw the sign...No Photograhs.  You will just have to take my word for it...the show was inspiring!

I did some more sewing in the car this week.  

I finished two more plus signs.  

I'm also making 140 4" square bean bags for a weighted blanket.  Each one is hand sewn shut after I add the plastic beads.  I have 40 completely done...only 100 more to go.  

More flowers blooming this week...

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