Saturday, December 3, 2022

Another Retreat

You may have noticed that I was missing in action last blog post!  Christine and I were away for the weekend at Camp Kintail.  The camp hosts two crafter's retreats every year and we try to attend both.  We both made great progress on the projects we brought with us and the meals and accommodations were fabulous!  The camp was decorated for Christmas, inside and out. The other retreaters were sewing, knitting, crocheting, doing paper crafts, making cards, making blankets, etc.  It was fun to see what everyone was up to and to visit with friends, old and new. I'm sure you are wondering what we made at the retreat...

I always like to bring a simple, warm up project to kick off a retreat.  I put my scrappy drunkard's path blocks together and decided on a layout.  I took a picture and then put the blocks away to sew together at home.  I will likely use this as a wall hanging.

Next, I dug into my turquoise scraps, cutting lots of strips between 1" and 2.5" wide.  Such a pretty pile.  

The idea for this quilt came from a free pattern on the APQS website called "Improvised Herringbone".  The pattern recommended foundation piecing the strips on a muslin base.  I didn't have any muslin so I used the interfacing cover from my recently purchased microwave instead.  I grabbed the cover from the box before it headed to the garbage and saved it from the landfill. (the box was recycled) I still have lots left, even after cutting everything I needed for my quilt. 

The blocks always look better after being trimmed!  Some of these scraps have been around for a while.  The heart fabric in the left rectangle is leftover from a quilt my daughter and I made for her bed when she was 12.  (She is 30 now!)

By Saturday evening, I had the quilt top made.  The background fabric is gray, even though is looks brownish in this photo due to the lighting in the room. 

I used lots of turquoise scraps, but, alas, when I put the lid back on the turquoise bin, it still looked full!

Christine did some hand stitching and made a cute ornament for her dog, Charley, for the Christmas tree. 

She also embroidered a name on a Christmas stocking, put the binding on a quilt, pin basted and marked a baby quilt for quilting and made some Christmas bags.  I don't have pictures of her other projects, sorry.

Saturday was a beautiful day so we took a walk down to the beach to see the lake after lunch. 

These friendly snowmen were outside the dining hall at the camp. 

The table centrepieces were made from pinecones and wood slices from the trees at the camp. There was a a big wind storm earlier this year that brought down a lot of trees.  The downed trees were cut up for firewood and crafts/decorations. 

I finished piecing the back of the wedding quilt I started earlier this year.  Samantha was too many letters to make so Sam it is!  As you can see, the wedding was several months ago.  I promised to have their quilt to them by the end of the year and I should be able to meet this goal.  The bride and groom chose the colours and style (modern) of their quilt. 

I spent some time this week working on the straight line quilting.  I'm about 2/3 done and hope to finish it soon. 

Of course, there was some secret sewing at the retreat as well...

I received a parcel in the mail yesterday.  It was from my daughter.  Last Christmas, she gave me piece of paper with the pattern for this embroidery picture to me as one of my gifts, with a promise to complete the embroidery before this Christmas. I was thrilled to open the package and find the finished embroidery.  It is now on the fireplace mantle in our living room. The pattern is by the Barmy Fox.  

Finn didn't want my daughter to leave his side as he slept on the couch yesterday, so he held her down with his paw.  

It's mitten season!  Finn likes to carry her mittens around but he doesn't damage them. 

I will link up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge group as well as the Slow Sunday Stitchers.  My secret sewing projects are hand sewn...  have a great week!

Saturday, November 19, 2022

A Busy Week

 For many reasons, this has been a very busy week!  Today was our church Christmas Bazaar so I was adding some quilting to some placemats every time I had a bit of time to sew this week.  For this set, I quilted along the red stripes both vertically and horizontally, creating a grid. 

Wavy lines were sewn in the boat and house sections of these placemats. I though they might be nice for a cottage. 

These red and white placemats had a few rows of wavy lines added. 

Organic wavy lines were quilted onto these paisley placemats. 

Lots of people came to the bazaar and most left with bags full of items purchased from the various tables...knitting, crafts, Christmas decorations, baking, canning, wood working, books, puzzles and more. The sewing group sold a lot of items and we have some things left to store for next year's bazaar.  I also did some Christmas shopping...

For my slow stitching this week, I continued to work on my secret projects.  I heard from quite a few others last week that they were also making gifts. 

My husband and I are sleeping under our new Lupine quilt.  Warm and cozy and it looks great on the bed!

Finn got snow on his beard when he went for a walk this week. There is nothing like fresh snow to sniff!

I will link up with Kathy and the Slow Sunday Stitchers in the morning. 

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Finishing Other People's UFO's

Sometimes, we quilters have UFO's--unfinished projects that seem to just take up space in our sewing rooms that we just don't feel motivated to get them to the finish line.  The quilt below was given to me by another quilter along with the backing fabric, probably over a year ago...long enough for me to forget who gave it to me to finish! I was asked to quilt and bind it and then give it to the Chemo Unit at the hospital for an adult chemo patient.  Just before last weekend's Oxford Quilt Guild retreat, I found this in a bag and decided to take it with me to quilt at the retreat. I used my walking foot to quilt straight lines through all the blocks. The quilting shows up better on some blocks than others.  I used leftover backing fabric for the binding. I brought it home to do the hand stitching on the binding.  It is now completely done and ready for donation!  Lots of scraps in this one!

Next up, I made four table toppers out of quilt blocks that had been donated to the church sewing group for the bazaar.  I quilted each one differently and used some of my own fabrics for the binding.  The backing fabric was donated to the church. Again, I did the hand sewing of the binding at home this past week. The church bazaar is next weekend so hopefully, someone will buy them and take them home!

I also worked on a pieced backing for a wedding quilt that I am making.  I used Lori Holt's "Spelling Bee" book to piece the Bride and Groom's names and wedding date for the back of the quilt. This took a while as there are lots of pieces and steps to sewing each letter.  I'm pleased with the result though and I hope the newlyweds will like it too. 

A secret cross stitch project is underway as well.  Here is a small peek.  Other secret sewing happened at the retreat as well but I'm not revealing anything for now. 

The Elgin Piecemakers had a sewing day on Wednesday and Yvonne and I worked on our quilt for a refugee family that we started in the summer at another sewing day.  We managed to finish the top of the quilt and piece the back. It was taken home by one of the long arm quilters who will call one of us to pick it up to do the binding as soon as it is quilted. Each pair of quilters was given a stack of batiks to use for their quilt.  The fabric was donated to the guild. 

My butterfly weed was fluffing this week when I was out cleaning up the gardens and raking leaves in the yard.  This is one plant I would not mind having more of!

When my friend and I were out walking one morning this week, we noticed that there were five squirrel nests in this one tree. They are all visible now that the leaves have fallen. 

Finn thinks the best way to deal with colder weather is to cuddle up with your favourite fluffy blanket and have a snuggle. 

I will link up with Kathy and the Slow Sunday Stitchers in the morning. 

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Secret Sewing Season and a Retreat

 I have been working on some secret Christmas sewing all week.  It is a hand stitching project and I just love how it is turning out!  Unfortunately, I can't show any pictures until after December 25th. 

This weekend, Christine and I are going on a retreat with the Oxford Quilter's Guild.  I spent a couple of hours Wednesday evening gathering projects to take with me.  I like to bring a variety of things with me so I have a choice. Of course, I have a couple of projects to work on by hand, including this cute sheep ornament.  I bought this little kit at a quilt show a couple of weeks ago. (my only purchase!)

In the picture below, you can see my projects.  Upper left--a comfort quilt--someone gave me the top and the backing.  I am supplying the batting and quilting and binding the quilt.  The purple pile is a wedding gift that is not done yet.  They were married in June.  I hope to get the top and the back finished this weekend so I can quilt it next week.  My rug hooked sheep just needs the edging done...I'm hoping that there is a rug hooker on the retreat that can remind me how to finish the edge.  The bag of fabric on the lower right is full of the supplies I need to make some Christmas gifts.  I also have a box of Christmas fabrics and a couple of table toppers to quilt for the church bazaar.   Believe it or not, last year, I ran out of projects to work on!  I don't think there is any danger of that this year!

A friend and I go for a walk every morning.  Thursday morning, it was a bit foggy and the water was very calm...a great combination for some pictures. 

Finn likes to nap in a sunbeam and watch our daughter work. 

I will link up with Kathy and the Slow Sunday Stitchers on Sunday morning. 

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Two Finishes for the Bazaar!

I have not one but two finishes to share this week!  I quilted the baby quilt that I made for the church bazaar this week using light yellow thread and my walking foot to create a rectangular grid.  The backing is donated minke in light green which goes perfectly with the colours on the front  of the quilt.  The binding is made from the same Kaffe fabric that was used to make the spinning four patch blocks. 

Excuse my squinting...the sun was in my eyes!

I had 8 spinning four patches leftover after making the quilt so I decided to make a table topper, also for the bazaar.  I added one solid green piece in the centre square.  You can see the quilting design in the first picture below. 

After sewing the binding down by hand, I noticed the topper was not lying flat. 

The backing and binding fabric is the Kaffe fabric that was used for the 4 patches.  It made such neat designs for the blocks! I had to piece the back as I did not have a big enough chunk of fabric leftover to do it in one piece. 

I blocked the quilt and lightly sprayed it with water.  There are lots of pins around the edge to get it to lie flat as it dries. 

I will link up with Kathy in the morning for the weekly Slow Sunday Stitching party.  I hand stitched the binding on both quilts this week and have plans to work on a hand stitched Christmas gift tomorrow afternoon.  I can't show it as the recipient reads my blog.  It is getting to be that time of year!

Finn had a haircut this week.  We can see his eyes now! He likes to watch the squirrels out the window in the morning as my daughter drinks her coffee. As you can see, he likes to be comfortable while doing this!

My husband and I went for a two hour hike today at a local conservation area.  Many of the leaves have fallen but there was still lots on some of the trees. I love the sound of leaves crunching under my feet as I walk in the woods. 

Another portrait of my husband and I.  I like how this picture gives the illusion that I am tall...(I'm not!)

Have a great week!