Friday, January 24, 2020

A Variety of Projects

I spent quite a bit of time this week working on my Modern Quilt Guild "Make a Mini, Make a Friend" swap quilt and I am very pleased to be finished.  It is ready to put into the mail to my swap partner in Texas.  I will be mailing it after the London Modern Guild meeting in February so that I can bring it for show and tell.  Here is a sneak peek of the backing and binding as well as some of the quilting which I did with my walking foot on my DSM.

On sewing day on Monday, I worked on making a quilt with the neutral swap blocks that I have been making, swapping and collecting for 16 months now with other members of the Elgin Piecemakers.  The swap is finished now and I have divided my 320 blocks into two piles--white, grey and black blocks,  and beige, tan and brown blocks.  I decided to use the white, gray and black blocks for my first quilt with the swap blocks.

 I found some turquoise fabric in my stash--I had a little over a yard.  The goal is to make a quilt using the fabric that I have rather than purchasing more.

I used the design wall to lay out a few blocks to see how they would look.  I like it!  It will continue to is bigger than this now and I have not run out of blocks or turquoise fabric yet.  I'm aiming for a rectangular quilt, lap sized.

My embroidery has had quite a bit of attention this week.

It's relaxing to sit and stitch, a cup of tea beside me and an audiobook on loan from the library for my listening pleasure.

I think I have used all of the different types of stitches at least once now.

When I am finished stitching, I will soak it is cold water which is supposed to wash away all of the pink lines.

Here is how the picture looks now.

I finally started the scalloped roof today.  I'm hoping my stitching on this part improves with experience!

I will be linking up with Kathy and the other slow stitchers on Sunday morning since I did both binding and embroidery this week.   Have a great weekend.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Sewing This Week

Monday sewing days are very productive!  I had my spinning 4 patch top done to this point before I left home and managed to get both borders made and sewn on by shortly after lunch. 

I had limited blue fabric to work with so that dictated how wide the blue border would be.

I used some of the Kaffe Fassett "Millefiore" fabric that I had leftover from the spinning blocks to make the final border.

Next up, pin basting, and then quilting with my walking foot.  The backing fabric was in my stash.

I even used my bowl cozy at the sewing day at lunch time.  Worked well--I did not burn my hands!

In the afternoon, I made February's Comfort quilt block for the Elgin Piecemakers: a red and White House block.  It's a split level, made with scraps from the red scrap bin!

After building my house, I put my machine away and pulled out my embroidery.  It's so relaxing to add more slow stitches to this picture!  I will be linking up with Kathy and the Slow Sunday Stitchers this weekend.

I still have not done that scalloped edge on the roof of the house...soon.

I signed up to participate in the Modern Quilt Guild "Make a Mini, Make a Friend" swap again this year.  The finished quilt is to be mailed out in three weeks.  Ideas for a design have been floating around in my head for a few weeks now and yesterday, I finally put the design down on paper and picked out some fabrics.  This project will be my focus during sewing time for the next little while. Here is a sneak peak.  The big reveal will be after my swap partner receives her quilt.

The Elgin Piecemakers meet next week.  Pat P and I will be making the May Comfort quilt and so I made a sample block --Double Disappearing Nine Patch (pattern by Bill Stearman--used with permission for the Comfort Quilt) using some batiks I had in my stash.  We will be giving each person in the guild two squares of the focus fabric for colour inspiration when choosing fabrics.

I'm heading for the sewing room now to work on the swap quilt!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Slow Stitching and some Blocks

Since I finished my Tula Pink 100 Modern blocks sampler quilt top earlier this week, I needed to find something to sew this week. I am trying to work on my UFO's for a challenge for the Oxford Quilt Guild so I pulled out the UFO bin and chose my spinning 4 patches, made at least two years ago.  Earlier in the week, I posted some pictures of colour options for a checkerboard layout and several people voted for the blue fabric over the other choices.

I got looking at the gray and blue fabrics again, and decided to use both!  I made 25 hour glass blocks yesterday.

I have my blocks all laid out on the design wall and and after some tweaking of spinning four patch block placement, I have everything ready to sew together now.  I am doing a 7 by 7 layout with hour glass units in the corners. There may or may not be borders.  I will decide after I get the middle part together.

I made a couple more comfort quilt blocks for the Elgin Piecemakers charity project this week. This block above is for a special comfort quilt made in memory of one of our members who passed away in the fall. Her favourite block was a churn dash and she often made a churn dash block for our comfort quilt each month. My April block is done now too. We were given the green batik fabric for the stem and leaves of the flower and then we each get to choose a bright colour for the flower.  I chose an orange batik from my stash.

My embroidery project has had lots of stitches added this week.  I stitched during sewing time at the London Modern Guild today too.

The chimney is satin stitch.

I am going to work on the scalloped detail along the edge of the roof next.   Tomorrow morning, I will link up with Kathy for Slow Stitching Sunday.  Won't you join me in admiring everyone's projects?

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Sewing Day

I spent Monday at the weekly Oxford Guild sewing day.  I try to go every week, but was doing some volunteer work during November and December on Mondays, so have not been for a while.  It was fun to get back into sewing after the holidays.  I have been working on Tula Pink's 100 Modern Blocks sampler off and on since March 2019.  On Monday, I finished putting the top is a peek at part of it.

I will be making the backing this week and then taking it to the long arm quilter's house.  I will show the entire quilt when it is done.

The Elgin Piecemakers had their annual post-Christmas dinner at a local restaurant earlier this week.  We meet later in the month and will be handing in two blocks for comfort quilts this month.  I had shown my green block in a previous post (here) and here is my completed black, tan and purple block.  I used my new drunkard's path rulers to make this block.

I did some more embroidery on the weekend and hope to add more to this picture before this weekend's slow stitching post. 

My next UFO challenge is to make a quilt out of these spinning four patch blocks which I made at least two years ago.  I am contemplating three different fabrics for a checkerboard layout...  Option 1- a grey print (excuse the shadow!):

Option 2- white background with blue dots:

Option 3- a blue print.

Here is where you get to weigh in---which one do you prefer???  Or should I use two of them in a pieced block in between the spinning four patches?
Until next time...

Friday, January 3, 2020

Slow Stitching During the Holidays

We had a quiet morning at our house yesterday.  Finn had a nap while my daughter read a book and I did some embroidery.  The Christmas tree lights were on--yes--it is still up but will come down soon. I have finally added some more colours to my embroidery project and I have learned some new stitches as well.  This one is called the buttonhole bar stitch. 

Here is the finished flower.

I finished the star stitches in the tree trunk.

Then, it was on to some of the lazy daisy leaves on the branches.

The other new stitch I tried for the first time was the buttonhole wheel stitch in the centre of this circle.  The circle itself is stem stitch.

It doesn't look like a lot is done yet, but the embroiderers out there will know that this represents several hours of stitching.  

We had a couple of inches of snow the other day and Finn had a great time frolicking in it!  He had lots of snowballs in his curly hair when he came inside.

This lens ball is a new toy that I received for Christmas. Here is my first attempt at taking a picture through it.  I will continue to experiment. 

My daughter added some more stitches to her feathers this week as well.  It will be fun to see this come to life with the colourful threads in the kit. 

I will be linking up with Kathy and the crew of slow stitchers on Sunday morning.   I have been thinking about goals for 2020 and one of them is to learn how to knit.  I once made most of a yellow scarf when I was 8 but never finished it.  That was the last time I used knitting needles.  My friends, Pat and Cathy, have offered to help get me back into knitting again.  I received some wool and a gift certificate to the local knitting shop for Christmas so hope to get started on a project soon.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 in Review

2019 was a productive year in my sewing room.  I finished several projects and still have lots on the go to keep me busy in the new year.  I have had a couple of non-sewing relatives ask me what I do with all of the quilts I make.  I keep some, I give some away as gifts and some are charity projects.  In any case, having lots of quilts does not make me want to stop making more.  Sewing relaxes me and feeds my creative soul so I will continue to sew. Here is an overview of my completed projects this year.

I signed up for the Coming Home BOM with Sarah Fielke this year.  I made this block book to keep the pieces organized as I worked on the quilt.  I had to take a break from making this quilt to get ready for Christmas but hope to get back at it in the new year.  I have two more borders to make to complete the quilt.  This will be a 2020 goal...

My next January finish was one that should have been done in 2018 as it was a Christmas gift... I made a sewing machine cover for a friend who loves to go camping.


In February, my friend Christine and I attended our first Quilt Con in Nashville.  I participated in the Make a Mini, Make a Friend challenge.  Here is the quilt I made for Evie.  It is called Maple Keys from Canada.

The London Modern Guild issued a colour challenge in 2019 for a mini quilt made with black and white plus one other colour.  These mini quilts were on display at our first quilt show in September.


My third challenge for 2018 was the snip it, rip it, drop it and pass it challenge issues by the Elgin Piecemakers.  I made a bag for my car stitching with my fabrics.  I use this bag all the time for my current cross stitch or embroidery projects.  It's very handy!

This wall hanging is in my sewing room.  The sewing machine is a Lori Holt pattern.


There was lots of sewing going on in April, but no finishes.


I made several gift quilts this year.  This one was for my cousin's new grandson in Scotland.


A colleague at work retired in June so I made her a zippered pouch.  I made lots  (over 2 dozen!) of these this year so I won't show pictures of all of them here.

The next quilt was a gift for my cousin in was an old UFO that just needed to get done!  We delivered this one in person in August.

This next quilt also now resides in England with my step Grandmother.  The fabrics reminded me of her pretty garden.


Gail's Garden is another older UFO that was completed in 2019.  This quilt was started at a class with Jacquie Gering a few years ago.


I gave this quilt to my aunt when we were in Scotland in August.  Purple is her favourite colour.


We visited a lot of cousins while in Scotland and England in August and most of them received a small quilted gift--many received zippered pouches or pillow cases made with Canada fabric and one received a Christmas table topper.


It was time to get started on the Christmas sewing in October.  I retired at the end of September so suddenly, there was more sewing time after that.  This little wall hanging was donated to the church's Christmas bazaar.

Another baby quilt--this time just to have on hand, ready for gifting. This was an attempt to use up some of my 30's prints.  I still have lots left...

There were lots of zippered pouches made this month too...


Another baby quilt in attempt to use up my flannel scraps.  No fear--I still have lots left.


Yet another baby quilt this month---this time with a Bonnie Hunter pattern...Bricks and Stepping Stones with an I spy theme.  This one will be delivered soon.

Another challenge was completed--this time for the Oxford Guild.  I made a pillow inspired by the colours on a Kleenex box.

I made a pillow for my brother for Christmas using our Dad's shirts. There were more zippered pouches, pillow cases and bowl cozies made in December as well.  My next post will hopefully outline what I hope to accomplish in 2020.