Saturday, September 11, 2021

Using up the Charm Packs

At one time, I would purchase precuts when I liked a certain fabric line or sometimes people gave them to me as gifts, and I may have won one or two in a door prize draw at a guild meeting.  I have been working over the last few years to use these precuts up so I don't have any left in my stash.  I have had a farm themed charm pack on my sewing table for a few months now so I could look at it and decide what to make with it.  This past week, while talking to Christine on FaceTime, I started sewing and by the end of the day, I had a baby quilt top finished.  I started with a 25 patch and then added borders with white fabric from my stash as well as the rest of the squares, cut in half. 

I wanted the quilt to be more rectangular than square so the top and bottom borders are wider than the side borders.  I used all but 4 of the charm squares.  The leftovers have been cut into 2.5" squares and added to my bin of squares.  I found some turquoise dotty fabric to use for the back and the binding.  This quilt has been added to the "to be quilted" pile. 

When I was in my sewing storage area this week, I found two charm packs of the same fabric--I must have bought them for a specific purpose but I'm not sure what it was now.  I looked in my solids stash for co-ordinating fabric and found some green that is a bit darker than the green squares in the charm pack.  

Perfect, but I only have a yard of it...  so I found some brown as well.   I started by cutting out the parts for 6 star blocks made with the larger scale prints in the centres. Soon, I was sewing the stars together. 

I added some brown sashing and green cornerstones. 

I did not have enough of the sashing fabric to do the outer border so I used a slightly darker solid brown instead. 

I am pondering how I will make the next border--I am leaning towards four patches on point with green backgrounds.  

I am aiming for a lap sized quilt and want to use only what I already have in my stash for the front and back of the quilt.  I wonder how far my one yard of green fabric will stretch?  We will see!

Today, I got together with some quilting friends to work on our projects outside.  There were two of us knitting, one hand piecing, one crocheting, two cutting fabric for upcoming quilts and one doing needle felting.  I did not get pictures of everyone's projects but this is Pat's felted gnome. 

Diane made a few hand pieced hexagons. This is a long term project--it will be a bed sized quilt someday. 

I concentrated on my knitting and added several rows to my snow person. The sharp eyed knitters among you may notice a mistake here but I am ignoring it and moving on.  This part will be covered by a scarf. 

My daughter has been cross stitching on Dubrovnik this week.  

Finn slept through some online training that my daughter did for work this week.  Obviously, it was not that interesting to him!

Seen by the side of the trail where a friend and I walk each day:

This photo was taken at our local St. Thomas Elevated Park as the sun went behind a cloud.  This is a favourite walking spot.

Here is what the elevated park looks like from below:

I hope to do some embroidery tomorrow for my Slow Sunday Stitching with Kathy.  I will link up in the morning. 

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Knitting and Stitching!

Last week, I showed you the block I made for one of the TMQG members for a round robin of sorts.  That block was supposed to be done and mailed by the end of July, but I was obviously late!  In an attempt to be caught up by the end of August, I made these 4 blocks for D.  She had requested black and white with a pop of colour and some words that reflected the times we are in on her block.  I found some fabric in my stash with French words on it--Bonjour and Merci were the words I wanted to share with her.  (hello and thank you in French)  Bonjour--because I have been actively saying hello to the people I meet when out on my walks each day and Merci--because I am thankful for the health care and essential workers who have kept us all going during the pandemic. 

I left the blocks whole but they could be cut up into quarters and reconfigured or into HST's or QST's.  I will leave that up to the recipient. 

I did some knitting in the car this past week.  Thankfully, I did not drop anything between the seats in the car this time!  I have added another repeat of the cables on my project. I might be the world's slowest knitter!  

Several of you have asked what I am making.  The plan is to make all three snow-people but the one I am currently working on is the snow-person on the left in the picture below.  This is a free Mary Maxim pattern which you can download here

I picked up my rust and brown swap blocks quilt from the long arm quilter this week and the binding has been applied by machine.  I am in the process of hand sewing it down on the back of the quilt.  I will finish this tomorrow and do some more knitting for my Slow Sunday Stitching with Kathy. 

The pantograph is called Maple Syrup and features swirls and maple leaves.  The centre square in the centre block of the quilt has jugs of maple syrup on it.  I had just enough of the rust coloured fabric to make the binding.  There is a little bit left which will go into my scrap bins.

My husband and I celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary this past Thursday with a field trip day planned by my husband.  We had lunch on a patio at a winery followed by stops at a lavender farm/winery,  a quilting store in Waterford, a garden walk and then supper on another patio in the evening.  It was a fun day.  I had no idea where we were going when we headed out in the morning. I bought 4 one yard pieces of fabric...the white fabric with the circles on it will be the backing for my pineapple log cabin quilt. 

Have a good long weekend!  Finn says hello!

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Sewing, knitting and embroidery

I have been participating in a round-robin quilt project with a group of 5 other quilters from the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild over the past few months.  We each made a centre block and then everyone else in the group makes a border or another block or two for each member of the group according to the style/colours chosen by the quilter.  This month, my block is for J.  Her block was pieced in an improv style with these colours.  I dug into my scrap bins and made her a block that I hope will compliment what she made and what others have made for her as well.  This block is in the mail!  Next, I have to make a block for D, but I am waiting to hear from her with a picture of what she has so far. 

Last week, I showed the front of my swap blocks quilt.  This week, I pieced the back using leftover blocks and some more of the rust fabric.  I should have enough rust coloured fabric to use for the binding, I hope! I had to made a second row of four patches to make the back big enough. The rest of the square in a square blocks have been put away, waiting for inspiration to strike so I can use them up!  In the meantime, this quilt is off to the long arm quilters.  It should be done sometime this coming week. 

The fabric I used for the barn on this little wall hanging is a dark red but it looks brown in this picture... I will quilt this one this week. This is another Lori Holt barn pattern. I'm still working on using up my 30's prints. 

I started the embroidery on this little project today.  The instructions say to use 6 strands of floss, which makes threading the needle a bit of a challenge.  I will have to dig out my needle threader...

Earlier in the week, we went to visit my MIL so I brought my knitting along to work on in the car.  I'm using 5 bamboo DPN's (double pointed needles) and have not had any problems with the stitches falling off the needles until this week--of course one needle fell down between the seats and that was the end of my knitting for that journey!  I retrieved it when we arrived at our destination.  I did not get much knitting done but did roll all of the yarn into a ball so that it does not get tangled up while I am knitting... this was starting to be an issue.  I can use my yarn bowl now for this project!

I will link up with Kathy and slow stitchers all over the world in the morning. 

The flowers that I associate with the end of the gardening season are in bloom now--this week, the sedums were looking quite pretty. 

On Tuesday, my husband and I went bike riding and had a picnic lunch at Pinery Provincial Park. On the way home, we stopped for ice cream in Parkhill. My husband enjoyed Root Beer ice cream and I had Apple Pie ice cream.  It hit the spot!

This is Finn, out for a walk.  Apparently, someone had spilled their poutine on the sidewalk and my daughter would not let him eat it, so he laid down in protest!  They eventually got moving again and Finn did not get to eat the poutine.  (French Fries with gravy and cheese curds, for those of you who are not familiar with poutine!)

Have a great week!  I'm hoping for some cooler weather than we have had for the last few weeks so I can sit outside to knit in the gazebo. 

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Another Hat and a Quilt Top

I had started the second hat last week on our way home from the cottage, and managed to finish it this week.  I will need to make pompoms for both of these hats--my friend, Christine, has a pompom maker that I can use. This yarn is super chunky and the hats are thick and warm--the bottom bands are turned up so they will keep the ears cozy on a cold day. 

 During my sewing room time this week, I finished putting this quilt top together.  The rust colour really brightens up the brown, tan and cream swap blocks.  I had over 150 swap blocks and the top used 81 of them.  

I have pieced some into 4 patches for a strip on the back of the quilt.  The rest of the back will be the rust fabric.  I will use one of the blocks for my label for this quilt. The extra swap blocks will be put aside for another project later. 

We had Finn out for a walk in Port Stanley one evening this week.  Finn and our daughter will be going home shortly. 

My quilt top is Finn approved!  He thinks some of the brown squares match his fur. 

I took a few pictures of some flowers in the garden this week.  Our clethra bush is in bloom and I took a few close up pictures of one of the flower clusters.  When I looked at the pictures later, I noticed one of my pictures was photo-bombed by a tiny flying insect.  

The wasp's nest in the tree in our backyard is huge now with lots of wasps buzzing around.  It is bigger than a basketball now. They have not bothered us but I am looking forward to when they move out for the winter and we can get rid of the nest. Hopefully, they find a different spot next year!

We have three colours of phlox in our garden--white, coral and purple.  You can also see that the black eyed Susans are putting on a show at the moment as well. 

For Slow Sunday Stitching this week, I will be starting the embroidery on this kit that my daughter gave me for Christmas.  I traced the pattern onto the material this morning. I will link with the other slow stitchers in the morning at Kathy's blog. 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Knitting the Same Hat, Twice!

Our family, including our daughter and Finn, spent the last week at a cottage up north.  We passed our days sitting on the dock or the screened porch, reading, doing a puzzle, going for walks and I also did some knitting.  I brought my new embroidery kit with me as well as a couple of knitting projects, but I did not even open the embroidery kit.  I was more in the mood to knit. The screened porch was the perfect place to knit--a nice breeze off the lake and no mosquitoes!

I was quite happy,  knitting away, and managed to finish the hat in short order.  I used a basic pattern that I had made before but added ribbing around the lower edge of the hat. I used slightly smaller needles for the ribbing and then switched to a larger size for the rest of the hat.  I wove the ends in right away and took a picture of my creation. 

I gave the hat to my daughter to try on, and much to my chagrin, it was way too tight!!! The next morning, I took the hat apart and rewound the ball of yarn to start again. 

I started knitting again, this time using the larger needles for the entire hat, ribbing included, with a much better result.  The hat fits just fine now!  

On our way home from the cottage today, I started another hat.  I will need to make some pompoms for both hats later. 

I read three books while we were at the cottage.

I have read 5 of Jennifer Robson's books--all historical fiction--probably my favourite genre.  The 44 Scotland Street Series by Alexander McColl Smith was originally published as a serial in the newspaper, a chapter a day, and then later as a series of books.  They are amusing and I often find myself laughing out loud and reading sections to my husband.  I bought the first one when we were in Scotland a couple of years ago.

I saw this stick on the road when we were out for a walk this past week. 

Here are a few pictures in Finn's favourite spot at the cottage, the dock. 

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