Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Finish to Share

During my little bits of time for sewing this week, I have been working on the spiral quilting on my Jacquie Gering Improvisational Piecing project. 

I used my walking foot--each line of sewing is the width of the walking foot away from the next line.

I love how the quilting looks but it sure takes a long time to do!

You can see that I used some leftover selvage "fabric" that I made for a previous project.

No more tension issues!  I used 3 1/2 bobbins of thread for this quilt.

I will be displaying this quilt as a wall hanging.  I love the texture of the spiral quilting.

All trimmed up and ready to bind!

I chose some bright green fabric from my stash for the binding and machine sewed it on last night.

Today, I completed hand sewing the binding down.

A close up:

All done!

At the workshop, I asked Jacquie to sign the label for me.  It is now quilted into the quilt.

Thanks for a great workshop, Jacquie! 

Now, on to the next UFO...

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bee Block

This month's colours for the Elgin Piecemakers' Guild charity quilt block are gray, black and white.  I dug into my stash and found some gray fabric with bees on it.  Then, I found the chicken wire fabric, which looks like the shape of honey combs. I added in some solid black and made this block tonight. 

Our meeting is on Thursday night so I am all ready.  I have some show and tell as well as the purple disappearing four patch charity quilt top and back ready to take along.  It will be fun to see everyone else's blocks this month too.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Wool Squirrel Progress

I have had a busy week but took the opportunity here and there to do some more hand stitching on my wool applique project. As we all know, sewing with black thread on black fabric is not very much fun so I decided to outline the squirrel and his tail in dark gray.

The squirrel and the bird are friends.  I will be adding the eyes today so they can see each other better!

I like the bird's jaunty acorn cap!
The bird will get some legs and feet today.

I just need to finish off the applique on one more leaf first.
I think this project is begging for some hand quilting. It needs some borders to bring it up to the size of my pillow form before I start quilting

The snow and ice are melting at my house. I managed to get a picture of a water drop just starting to fall from the roof of my house. It is funny that we always portray water drops falling as pointy at the top end and round at the bottom.  This picture clearly shows that they fall as spheres.  I need to change all of my childhood artwork now!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

UGH! Tension issues....

I had to get out the seam ripper tonight...

I am doing spiral quilting on my Improvisational Piecing project from a Jacquie Gering workshop last summer. I was past the hard part (the tighter circles) and sewing along nicely when I decided to take a look at the back of the quilt...

Uh oh!!!  This is not good... (My friend, Christine, said I should not have sewn over the pins...)

Out came the seam ripper...of course it would not come out in one or two pieces...

Such a waste of good thread!

I sat back down at the sewing machine and started quilting again...

I am making progress!  The thread is Superior Threads King Tut--variegated purple/blue/turquoise.  I think it looks good with the colours in my quilt.

This is my first time trying out spiral quilting.  I like the way it looks but it is going to take a while to finish this quilt.

I am hoping for smooth sailing from now more tension issues!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A New Wool Project

I decided to start another handwork project this week.  I bought the pattern and wool for this project a few months ago.  The pattern is September of 12 pattern set, one for each month, called Bertie's Year, by Bonnie Sullivan. I liked the September pattern because of the squirrel!  The pattern has a gray squirrel but at my house, I have black squirrels running around the yard, hence the black squirrel in my project.   I got all the pieces cut out and pinned in the right spots earlier this week.  My background fabric is a piece of Essex linen. Instead of a wall hanging, this will become a pillow, likely for our bed.

I managed to do a bit of handstitching one night this week on the branch.

I am using embroidery cotton--two strands.

This morning, Christine and I got together at her house for a couple of hours of hand stitching time.  We both worked on wool projects.   I finished off the branch and stitched around one leaf.

This is a very relaxing way to spend a couple of hours, drinking tea, stitching and chatting with a friend.

Of course, Daisy (and Piper--no picture today) were there to provide supervision and support, as well as entertainment!

I hope to do a few more stitches later today and maybe tomorrow too.

Happy Stitching to all the slow stitchers out there!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Walking on Sunshine!

And it feels great!

My husband and I went for a walk this afternoon around our was so good to see the snow melting into puddles along the side of the road! This is the first time we have been for a walk in a long time.  It is still bright and sunny out! 

Don't you just love daylight savings time???

I love how the ice is like a lace cover for the snow.

The purple charity quilt was this week's project to finish.  I added a dark purple border first.

And then a medium purple border.

I made the backing out of the same material as the wide border.

All ready for the long arm quilter!

I have set aside some green material for the binding. It will be scrappy as I don't think I have enough of one fabric to do the whole thing.

I have some friends who knit but I think the same thing applies to quilters who have extensive textile collections (just change the word yarn to fabric):

Here is my first stash report for 2015:  (I did some shopping at Mad About Patchwork recently so that accounts for the fabric in numbers!)

Fabric used since my last stash report: 12.8 yards
Total fabric used this year: 12.8 yards
Fabric added to the stash since my last report: 16.25 yards
Total fabric added this year: 16.25 yards
Net fabric added this year:  3.45 yards

Keep sewing!  I will be pin basting a wall hanging tonight so that I can machine sew it this week in my spare moments.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Sunny Day!

Finally, a sunny day and time to snap a picture outside!  Here is the completed "Down on the Farm" baby quilt that I made for a baby that will live on a farm. This baby is due soon--the parents do not know if it is a boy or a girl, but I think that this quilt is appropriate for either!

We still have lots of snow here but the temperatures are creeping up and are forecast to be above freezing during the day for most of this week.  I will be putting away all of my snowman decorations today and my "Let it Snow" sign.  Enough already!  I am so ready for Spring!  Bring it on!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Purple Donations

The Elgin Piecemakers have had quite a bit of fabric donated to us for our charity quilt projects in the last year.  We have used up some of this fabric for chemo quilts but at last Thursday's meeting, some time was spent sorting out the fabrics into "possible project piles". Each member was invited to take home a pile and try to make a quilt top from the fabric. Here is the pile I brought home:

I had four fat quarters of the purple flower border print, several different sized pieces of purple solids and about a fat 1/8th of the green and purple polka dots. 

On Friday night, I decided to start cutting into the fabric.  I used only the purple and green flower border of the fat quarters and cut it into squares.  I then cut the purples and the dots into squares as well.  I used the squares to make 9 patches (sorry--I got carried away with sewing and forgot to get a picture of the nine patches.)  I cut up the nine patches to make lots of these pieces...

I sewed again on Saturday night--at one point I sewed for about 20 minutes with no bobbin thread.  This was not very productive!

Between Saturday night and tonight, I put the rest of these blocks together and then searched through my stash for some green fabric for the sashing. I did not have enough of one fabric for the sashing so I decided to use two different green pieces for the sashings.

A close up of one quadrant:


I finished piecing the entire quilt top except the borders tonight. I hope to add the two purple borders tomorrow night. 

Wow!  That was a fast quilt top!

On the way home from work the other night, the sun was setting over the snow covered fields.  I snapped a couple of pictures with my phone.

I am thankful for longer days and some warmer temperatures in the weather forecast...