Saturday, March 10, 2018

Snowflake Beads

I have done many cross stitch pictures since I was in university but this is the first one that has had beads on it.  My husband, actually fiance at the time, bought me my first cross stitch kit.  He and I lived in different cities, going to different universities, and I was getting stressed about school.  Knowing how I liked to sew, he bought the kit at a craft store.  A school friend bought herself a kit as well and soon we made a regular habit of stitching and tea after supper for 30 minutes each night.  This kept both of us relatively sane, even during exams!

The kit for the snow people picture came with all the threads, the seed beads and two needles--one for cross stitching and one very long and skinny needle for attaching the beads to the finished picture.  I put the beads in a small glass bowl so they would not get lost as I added each one to the picture.  I had to pick them up with the end of the needle and the sloped sides of the bowl helped with this.

My friend, Pat, came over to knit one night this week so I worked on the beads while she was here.  I got about half of the picture done that night.

I'm glad I decided to add the bead snowflakes...I was not sure last week if I would.

Here is the entire picture, all done. 

I will be linking up with Kathy in the morning.  I will need to find another slow stitching project now... I think there are some EPP plus signs lurking in my sewing room that need to be made into something.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Embracing the Chaos Done!

Back in September, I took a one day class, "Embracing the Chaos" with Libs Elliott through the London Modern Quilt Guild.  I came home after the class and finished piecing my class project, picked out some backing and cut the batting and then set it aside.  I needed some time to think about how I might quilt this...

I have taken a two day walking foot quilting class with Jacquie Gering and spent some time looking through her "Walk" book considering possibilities for how to quilt my project.  I wanted to try something I had not done before and decided to use her "Geometric Curves--quadrilateral variation" (page 61-62 of her book if you have it in your library).  I used by disappearing purple marking pen and some green painter's tape to mark each line as I quilted.  The quilting lines are all straight, but it appears that some of them are curved in the finished design.

Can you see the curve?

It took one evening plus a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon to finish the quilting.  I added the binding, a navy blue Kona cotton solid, on Saturday evening. We went to visit my MIL out of town on Sunday so I took my quilt with me to work on the binding in the car.

By the time we got home, it was done!

My favourite quilt holder in action!

The backing is the same aqua dot fabric as on the front of the quilt.

I am ready for show and tell at the London Modern Quilt Guild meeting this week!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Stitching Done, Beads Up Next!

I did a little stitching this week.  Once I started, it was hard to stop.  First, I finished the outlining...

Then, I did a lot of French knots including these ones that make up the seed heads on the fireweed branches.   I have admired several other stitchers' dense French knots on their projects.  This is the first time that I have done this and I think I did ok!

There were lots and lots of French knots to do--eyes on all the birds, food for the birds and berries on the branches.

The birds on the ground with this snow-woman are eating some other type of seed...stitched as seed stitches!

I did the French knots on the branch on the right several years ago, when I first worked on this picture, before it got put away.   The knots on the left side were done this week.  I decided to leave the old knots in, as a testament to the improvements in my stitching abilities over time.

Now, on to the seed bead snowflakes.  I will need to work on the beads while sitting at a table so I don't lose the beads as I sew them in place.  I'm really glad that I decided to take this project out of hiding and back into action!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Three New Foothills Blocks

Last night, I went down to my sewing room for an hour after supper and made 18 flying geese so I could finish off three more blocks for my Foothills quilt.  I am using my husband's shirts for this quilt.  He lost some weight and had to replace his shirts with some that fit better.  I confiscated the cast-offs and had been saving them to make a quilt.

My first attempt at assembling this block did not work out so well...thank goodness for my trusty seam ripper!

That's better!

The blocks in the original quilt had interesting placements of contrasting fabrics.  I am trying to have fun with this too.

That's four blocks done now...only 21 to go!

You can sign up to join in on this quilt along with Mary Elizabeth Kinch at this link:

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Near the Finish Line

Later today, the 2018 Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony will take place.  I have spent a lot more time than usual in front of the TV the last couple of weeks watching curling, skating, skiing, snowboarding, etc.  While cheering on the Canadian Olympic athletes, I have been adding lots of stitches to my Snowmen/women picture.   Last Sunday, I finished off all of the snow. 

Later in the week, I worked on the outlining of the birds, snow people and their scarves.  There is still some work to do on the flowers in this part of the picture.

On this snowman, I need to add fringe to the scarf and outlining to the hat.  There are also some brown vines to add to the mitten/arm on the left. There is a bird sitting on one of the vines that will soon appear as well. I just noticed there is a half completed bird sitting on his hat too!

Once all of these last little bits and pieces are done, there are French knots to add to the birds for eyes and in several spots for bird seed.  With any luck, I will finish off these final details this week. 

The kit came with some seed beads to add as snowflakes in the sky around the snow people but I am not sure if I will add them or not.  I will have to decide after the stitching is done.  I will be linking up with Kathy and the other Slow Sunday Stitchers in the morning.  It's always fun to see what everyone has been up to each week.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Making Parts

I have been heavily into parts production for my Foothills quilt-along blocks.  The original antique quilt has 25 blocks but I am not sure if I will just make that many or if I will try to make this quilt big enough for a bed. I have lots of shirts so there is no shortage of fabric!

I made a dozen hourglass units for the block centres.  Each unit is unique--I don't want any matched pairs.

I have 15 sets of 4 HST's done (not including the set in the completed sample block.  I'm aiming for contrast in each HST, not necessarily a dark and a light.   The dark rectangles on the left are for the centre bars between the HST's in the blocks.  Some of them will be dark and some will be medium.

Here is a picture of everything on the design wall.

I will be doing some more cutting next for parts for my blocks. I will assemble blocks when I have almost all of the parts made.

I checked with Mary Elizabeth Kinch about showing a picture of the quilt on my blog.  With her permission, here it is:

Chain and Bar Quilt, Maker Unknown, Alberta, c. dates not specified, cotton, 185.5 cm x 179 cm, from the collection of University of Alberta Museums.

 Isn't it wonderful?  The woman who made this quilt used every last scrap of some of those fabrics and then had so make a few substitutions in some of the blocks. It would be fun to examine this one in person, up close and personal.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Stitching While Watching Olympic Curling

My husband, my daughter and I are big curling fans and have been watching the Canadian Olympic Curling teams play with great interest.  Tonight, I stitched on my snowman picture while watching a close game between the Canadian and Swiss men's teams.  Unfortunately, Canada lost this game, but I did get quite a bit of stitching done.  I only have that small area of white to do to complete the snow in my picture.  There is another curling game or two to watch tomorrow so I may be able to finish it then.

When you compare the first picture to this picture from last week, you can see that I also added a bird to the picture this week.  I will be moving on to outlining once the snow is done.  This picture may get done by the end of February, with any luck.

We had some freezing rain earlier this week so I grabbed a picture of the ice on this pine tree needle.

I will be linking up with the other slow stitchers at Kathy's blog in the morning.   My friend, Karen, is coming over to do some sewing in the afternoon tomorrow.  I have started a new project using some shirts--you can see a picture of my first block in my previous post.  I will be making more parts for this quilt tomorrow.