Saturday, November 27, 2021

Gifts and More Knitting

I'm still in full gift making mode around here right now so some things can't be shown yet.  I made two wide open zipper pouches and since the recipients already have them, I can share pictures.  I have made dozens of these pouches over the past few years.  It almost took longer to choose the fabrics than it did to make them! I had picked another colour scheme for one of the pouches and then discovered I did not have any zippers that went with those fabrics...back to the fabric storage area I went to pick something else!


The lining of each bag is polka dots. The pattern is from Noodle-head and can be made in three different sizes.  These bags are the medium size. 


I finished the hat I was working on last week.  This is a gift for someone who does not read my blog. 


Finn wants you to see the stitching his Mom has done this week.  Good job, Finn!



My daughter had some ice cream one day this week and Finn got to lick the spoon.  Apparently, it was yummy. 


This is a dishcloth with a snowflake pattern on it.  I just wanted a quick and easy project to work on this week while in the car. 


 I will link up with Kathy in the morning for the weekly Slow Sunday Stitching party. 

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Knitting, Sewing and a New Quilt Vault!

 I have accomplished a lot this week, but not not much of it was in the sewing room!  I did do some mending, made a quilt back for a comfort quilt, and sewed a hanging sleeve on a gift.  I delivered 113 placemats to Meals on Wheels organizers on behalf of the Oxford Quilter's Guild and volunteered at the local Christmas Hamper program for a day (this is a weekly event until Christmas).  Today, I cleaned out some of our gardens --cut back dead perennials and filled several brown bags with garden debris and leaves.  Last Sunday, my husband and I installed some Elfa shelving in the closet in our daughter's old room so I have a place to store my quilts. Previously, they had been stored in several piles in various places in the house...the piles would often fall over and looked messy.  Now, I have this:


The shelving is heavy duty and very easy to install, although there were a few challenging moments getting the top shelves in due to the size of the door opening. 


I sorted all of the quilts into piles--table runners, baby quilts, wall hangings, lap quilts, bed quilts in two sizes and older/antique quilts.  The closet door is back on now and so they are protected from the light and dust.  The shelves are fairly close together so that nothing is stacked too high.  The best part...there is still room for more quilts to be added to the vault!  I can easily get out what I want to change the quilts on the beds or walls or tables.  Shelves in this closet have been a dream of mine for quite a while and I am very happy to finally have them in place. 

I had one more modern sampler block to make before putting the quilt together.  I played around with some graph paper and a pencil and came up with three possibilities for my final block. Here is the design that was chosen:


I hope to get this quilt top put together soon, although Christmas gift making is a priority at the moment. I worked on some secret sewing projects as well that cannot be shared here. 

In the knitting department, I made great progress on the project I showed last week. Thankfully, I am getting a little faster at knitting now. 


I played with some red scraps with week and made a table runner.  It looks boring in the middle at the moment, but I am hoping some walking foot quilting with 28 wt red thread will add some nice texture to the white part. 


My daughter is back working on her stitching projects--these were both started a while ago and then set aside.  





Finn wants all of you to know that this particular pillow is very comfortable!


I will link up with Kathy's Slow Stitching Crew in the morning. 

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Retreat Report

 Last weekend, I attended a quilting retreat, my first in two years.  Everyone in attendance was double vaccinated and our tables were spaced apart.  I brought along 4 projects plus some mending to work on over the three days of the retreat.  My husband gave me a nifty folding cart for my birthday in February 2020 and this was my first chance to use it since I got it.  With the cart, I was able to bring in all my sewing stuff in one trip as well as my overnight bag. 



My first project was my Buffalo Check Modern Snowflake quilt top.  By the end of the first day, the top was together!  I have already purchased a flannel backing for this quilt so I will be able to take it for long arm quilting soon. 



Next up, I worked on my black and white colour block quilt top.  I made these blocks a few months ago and they got put aside for some reason--it was time to get them made into a top!  I chose to make the sashing and outer border with a fuchsia cross-stitch print.  I like the way the black and white blocks look like a checkerboard. There are all kinds of interesting prints in the little squares that make up each block.  I have chosen a backing for this quilt from my stash, and will quilt this one myself, after Christmas gifts are made. 

I took a break from quilting and shortened two pairs of pants for myself next.  A friend pinned them for me.  I used the extra fabric that I cut off the bottom to repair a hole in a pair of jeans that my niece ripped while climbing a fence.  



Back to quilting!  I brought along some Christmas prints that I bought a couple of years ago.  I had started a project with them at the last retreat I attended and then they never saw the light of day again until last weekend.  I managed to finish off a wall hanging and then did the quilting and binding when I got home.  Here is a sneak peek at this project which will be a Christmas present so I can't show the whole thing. 



I made a pompom for the hat I showed last week, and started a new knitting project this week, another gift. I got started this morning on this gift while I was attending an online seminar on Zoom. The knitted snow person also saw some progress this week. 



I spent the remaining time at the retreat cutting and organizing the blocks and sashing pieces for my lupin quilt.  You may remember me showing my lupin blocks months ago--I got stalled on this quilt when I stopped to make a bunch of gifts.  I would like to have this top put together and to the quilter before Christmas.  I made 4 more lupin blocks at the retreat:


My husband and I crossed an item off our bucket list this week--we got to ride in a combine at a family member's farm while he was harvesting corn. It was a beautiful day and lots of pictures were taken. 




We went hiking at a local conservation area on Tuesday morning and enjoyed a colourful walk in the woods. 




I will link up with Kathy and the Slow Sunday Stitchers in the morning.  I hope to do some more knitting tomorrow. Have a great week.   Finn says hello!

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Modern Snowflake and some Knitting

 The Modern Snowflake quilt is growing!  I made 10 more blocks but only have a picture of the first 8--all sewn together.  The next four blocks are made, but not added to the quilt yet. Part of the snowflake is starting to appear!  The buffalo plaid is looking good too.  I'm hoping to finish this top in the next week or so--I have purchased some red flannel snowflake fabric for the backing.  I love a cozy quilt with a flannel back!

 I also managed to re-knit the hat I started last week and had to rip out due to sizing issues.  Fewer stitches on the needles did the trick and it fits fine this time round.  I may add a pompom... I think it can be worn with the lower edge turned up or just left down for a slouchy look. 



We had our first snow this week--just a few flakes.  While out on my morning walk, I took a few pictures.  The ice in the puddle may inspire a quilt some day!





My husband and I put away all of the patio furniture and emptied the flower pots this week.  He took down the wasp nest that had been in our tree all summer.  The wasps had moved out when the weather got cooler.  I hope they find somewhere else to make their home next summer!  The scientist in me had to open up the nest to see how they had made it.  More quilt inspiration inside!


There were four layers of this structure inside. 



The outside layer was paper thin and the whole nest was very lightweight.  Amazing engineering. 


Finn is his usual happy self this week. 


I will be working on getting this Libs Elliott "Weight of Love" quilt top quilted and bound this month for my UFO challenge.  I have some backing in my stash and will get it pin basted in the next week.  I took this class with Libs exactly two years ago this week.  It is time to get this one out of the UFO pile!


This weekend, I am going on a quilt retreat.  Everyone is double vaccinated and the tables will be spaced far apart.  I have several projects packed, ready to go.  I'm looking forward to a productive weekend.  For my birthday, just before the pandemic started, my husband gave me a rolling cart to use for my sewing machine and supplies when I go on a retreat--this will be my first opportunity to use it!  

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


Saturday, October 30, 2021

Kitchen Scraps Challenge and Another UFO Done.

 Each year, the Elgin Piecemakers Guild issues a challenge to their members.  This past year, we were given a piece of insulbrite thermal batting and asked to make something for our kitchens using scraps.  On Thursday night, we met in person for the first time in ages and revealed our projects.  There were oven mitts, hot pads, a casserole carrier, tea cosies, etc.  Many in the group used selvages in their projects.  I decided to raid my denim stash (from old jeans) for my lasagna pan hot pad.  I have a large orange lasagna pan and always have to use more than one hot pad under it, but not anymore! It was fun to use improv piecing for the top and I found a fun fat quarter in my stash for the backing. 



The perfect size for the orange dish! I used 28wt orange thread for the quilting. 




I finished the quilting and binding on my Down on the Farm charm square quilt this week.  It even has a label!   I used the extra backing fabric for the binding. Another baby quilt ready for gifting!






Since I have finished 3 UFO's in the last month, I decided to give myself permission to start a new quilt!  Last Spring, I made a Modern Handcraft Snowflake quilt for a friend.  I used red and white prints for the background and made the snowflake with Kona White.  I have wanted to make myself a snowflake quilt too and since the Modern Handcraft Blog is holding another "Snowalong" this year, I joined in! This year, Nicole Daksiewicz has added instructions on how to make a Buffalo Plaid Snowflake quilt.  After looking at all of the possibilities in my stash, I picked these fabrics for my quilt and got all my cutting done.  The gray fabric is Essex Linen and the red and black fabric is Kona.  The white with the light gray dots will be used for the snowflake. 


I have made two blocks so far and have started a third one. 


I made a new hat this week too.  I received this variegated wool for Christmas last year and found a pattern that I thought would work.  I made a swatch and it was the right size so I started knitting.   


I had to switch to double pointed needles for the top of the hat. 


This is where the hat went off the rails---I tried it on at this point and it was so big, it went over my face!  I ended up tearing it all out and now I have to start over with fewer stitches on the needles!  Good thing that it is a chunky yarn and knits up quickly!

My daughter did a bit more stitching this week.  


Finn had a friend over to play today.  He was not so sure about having to share my daughter with another dog!  My daughter looked after Brick while his "Mom" was moving. 


Late Breaking News!!! Dubrovnik is done!  While Finn was napping, worn out from his company, 
my daughter put in the last few stitches!  


I will link up with the Slow Sunday Stitchers at Kathy's blog in the morning.  I hope to start knitting my hat, again!