Tuesday, March 28, 2017

On the 1st Day of Christmas...

...My true love gave to me...

...a Partridge in a Pear tree!  

This is the latest block in Lorna's Sew Fresh Quilts Christmas Quilt Along.  Christine was over to sew last night so I worked on this block.  It took quilts a while to cut out all the pieces and I did not finish sewing the block until tonight,  

Here is my collection of six blocks so far.  

Even though I am sewing a Christmas quilt inside, my crocuses are blooming outside!

The daffodils are in bud.   Spring is here!  

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Textile Museum and Slow Stitching

Last weekend, my husband and I spent the weekend in Toronto.  We connected with friends and family, went to Canada Blooms, cheered on the Toronto Raptors at a basketball game and went to see the current exhibit at the Textile Museum of Canada. We arrived just in time for a guided tour of "Kind words can never die: A Personal Collection of Victorian Needlework".

The exhibit included several of the 173 needlework mottos that Jane Webster collected in her lifetime while living in Nova Scotia.  I had seen pieces like these but had not looked at them closely before.  

These pieces were popular "Slow Stitching" projects for women and girls in the mid to late 1800's.  The kits were available from catalogues and included the wool thread, a perforated cardboard rectangle with the pattern printed on it and the frame. Some included a silver foil that could be put on the back after the piece was finished. 

I thought this one was interesting...  There was also one with the same sentiment about "Mother" as well.  

Several included Bible verses, song titles and mottos.  Most were completed with variegated thread and several had a lot of fading from being displayed in bright, sunny rooms.  

The Textile Museum is small and can only display some of their collection at any one time.  I would recommend that you stop in if you are in Toronto.  It was interesting to see what past generations of Slow Stitchers did with a needle and thread. 

I managed to make a couple more plus signs this week too.

I also hand sewed a button this week and have three pairs of pants to hem ---not my favourite type of slow stitching, but necessary. 

I will be linking up with Kathy tomorrow for our weekly hand stitching sew-in.  Take care! 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Canada Pillow Challenge

In the fall, each member of the Elgin Piecemakers was given a 10" square of fabric and a pillow form for a 20 by 20" pillow.  We were challenged to make a pillow using all of the fabric we were given along with whatever other fabric we wanted to add to our project.  The pillows were to be done by our March meeting, which took place tonight.  I actually finished my pillow a week ahead of the deadline!

I decided to make a simple pieced leaf and spend my time matchstick quilting it with the word "Canada" left unquilted across the middle of the pillow.  I used freezer paper letters which were traced from a printout from my computer.  

I added a few lines of red thread but ended up taking them out and just using beige thread for all of the quilting.  I was really pleased with how well things were coming along as I quilted my pillow over several evenings.  It takes a long time and a lot of thread to do matchstick quilting.  

I started with following the edge of my walking foot for each row of stitching and then dividing each interval in half two more times.  When I took the paper off after I had finished all the quilting, I realized that I could not see the letters on the printed fabric.  Ugh!  Lesson learned!  The C shows up at the beginning and the "a" at the end... I think that I will only do this on solid fabric from now on.  

All of us wore red and white to the meeting to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday.

We had a Canada quiz while our guest judges picked their favourite pillows.  There were Canada themed snacks including bacon with chocolate drizzled on it, butter tarts, Canadian cheddar cheese and cookies shaped like maple leaves.   Everyone was given a jar of maple syrup to take home at the end of the evening, 

The winners of the judges and viewer's choice awards were given gift certificates from Cherished Pieces in Tillsonburg.  

Here is a picture of all of us with our pillows.

We each wrote a short note about the symbolism of the fabrics and patterns depicted in our pillows.  

Of course, we all brought in our yellow, gray and white blocks for this month's comfort quilt as well.  

It was a fun meeting!  Thanks to Joanne and Julie for organizing the challenge and tonight's gathering!  

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Christmas Candles and some New Fabric!

I'm happy to report that I finished one of my secret projects this week!  Unfortunately, I can't share any pictures of it until after my Elgin Piecemakers meeting later this week.  It is the project for our annual challenge and I am glad to have it done a week ahead of time!

Yesterday, a friend and I went for a drive and we ended up at the Marsh Store (there is a link to their website in my sidebar).  I came home with these...

I was offered a shopping basket as I was browsing but declined...I decided to buy what I could hold in one hand.  My red stash was looking very depleted so those reds are a welcome addition.  

I received a squishy in the mail this week from Kathy.  She sent me some wonderful black and white scraps for my EPP plus signs!  These will add more variety to my plus sign project and have been added to my EPP bag. Thanks, Kathy! 

There will be some car sewing this weekend so I should be able to get some more plus signs done for my slow Sunday Stitching. 

Last weekend, Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts released another block pattern for her Christmas quilt-along. I made the candle block last night.

Here are the five blocks I have made so far:

We had a lot of cold snowy weather this past week but there is some hope that Spring will soon be here...I saw my first Robin this week!  Sorry this is not the clearest picture!  He was joined by a bright red Cardinal in the bush over the fence. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Elephants on Parade done!

I finished quilting and binding my Elephants on Parade this week.  I started this quilt at a workshop with Lorna McMahon in the fall.  Lorna blogs at Sew Fresh Quilts.  I used lots of my black and white prints for the elephants and some bright scraps for the other animals and the flowers.  The quilting added some wonderful texture!

The binding is white with small black dots.  The backing is gray flannel with large dots. 

I used an extra elephant block for the label.  I had Lorna sign a piece of fabric at the workshop for the label.  

My favourite quilt holder was pressed into service this morning. 

This quilt will be living at my house.  I will be linking up to Kathy's slow Sunday stitching tomorrow morning. This quilt makes me smile!

I'm off to work on my secret projects...

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Adding more + signs

As my regular readers know, I have been making a few EPP plus signs each week for my slow Sunday stitching.  This week, I added 4 more to the pile....

I love how the different fabrics add texture and fun patterns to the collection.  

I am using each fabric once...I may need to raid my friends' stashes soon to add more variety to my plus sign collection.   Which plus sign is your favourite so far?  I like the bikes! 

I pin basted my Elephants on Parade quilt this week and started quilting it tonight.  I quilted one row of elephants with horizontal wavy lines...this is one of the fancy stitches on my sewing machine.  I love the texture that it is creating. 

I am using a pale yellow Auriful thread top and bottom.  The backing is a soft gray flannel with white polka dots.  

With any luck, I will quilt another couple of sections tomorrow afternoon.  

I have a couple of secret projects underway at the moment.  One is a Canada 150 challenge for the Elgin Piecemakers. The big reveal is later this month.  My piecing is done so I need to get it quilted this week and complete my project.  The other project is a commission.  I have lots of things going on to keep me busy and out of trouble these days.  For those of you that read last week's post about me having the "crud", I am happy to report that I am feeling back to my normal self!  It only lasted 4-5 days and then left the building.  I am glad to be back to my normal energy level and activities.  

I took this picture of the windmills today.  I love the shapes the blades make when they overlap as they spin....perhaps some quilty inspiration...

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Comfort Quilt

Each month, one of my quilt gullds, the Elgin Piecemakers, makes a comfort quilt for adult chemo patients at our local hospital.  In Febrary, each member made a Bonnie Hunter Scrappy Trips block using a strip of inspiration fabric that I gave out to each member at our November meeting. Here are my blocks...the flower fabric is the inspiration fabric.  It had been in my stash for a while and I thought it had lots of colours that could be used in then blocks.

We needed 20 blocks so I made two and the other 18 members made one each. 

Diane and I got together tonight to put the blocks together and add borders.  Diane brought along some blue batik for the border.  It did not take too long to get the quilt top together.  The border fabric was perfect! 

 We had a fun evening chatting as we sewed.  I think this will make someone feel warm and cared about as they go through their cancer treatments.