Monday, January 22, 2018

Red, Gray and White Slab Quilt

A few posts back, I showed you two red, gray and white slab quilt blocks that I had made for a quilt for a new refugee to Canada.  I did not have time myself to make all of the blocks for this quilt, so I asked members of two of the guilds I belong to if they would like to help out by making a block or two. Several members of both guilds made blocks for me and soon I had enough for a single bed quilt.  I received 26 blocks from my quilting friends and ended up making two more myself (still not even a dent in my scraps!)  for a total of 30 blocks (including the two I had made previously). 

I decided to use sashing and cornerstones around each block.  The gray and red fabrics were in my stash.  I used two different reds that looked similar for the cornerstones.   My friend, Cathy, has Electric Quilt on her computer and she helped me to figure out the number of squares and sashing strips to cut as well as how wide to make them to end up with the right size of quilt in the end.

I don't like sewing long skinny strips to rows of blocks so I added two sashing strips and a corner block to each 12.5" block.

Here are my extra two blocks in progress.

Here are the first 12 blocks laid out on the floor.  I hope to have all of the blocks sewn together into a finished top by later this week.  The sashing and corner blocks will go around the entire quilt.  Then, I will need to get some backing fabric.

Thanks, quilting friends, for your help making blocks for this quilt!  I could not have done it without you!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Hooping It Up!

This week, Kathy has issued a photo challenge for all of the Slow Sunday Stitchers.  She has asked us to show everyone our hoops. When I was in Grade school, one of my favourite gym activities was hula hoops!  We played all kinds of games with them.  Does anyone else remember using hula hoops in gym class?  I wonder if they are still used in gym classes today...  I just looked up hula hoops on Google and found this picture:

The ones we used in gym class did not look like these!  They were all the same dirty white colour--they probably were white when they were new.   I digress...Kathy asked to see our sewing hoops!  Here is my CCS project the last time I showed it on my blog, showing part of my embroidery hoop.

I recently had to replace my embroidery hoop because the wood split at the opening of the hoop where the rivets hold the hardware onto it.  I threw out that hoop and found the one shown above in my collection of hoops. It has the same flimsy hardware on it as the one that broke after many years of use.

A few weeks ago, I found this sturdy embroidery hoop and purchased it for my CCS project.  This morning, I changed my hoop to this one, after being prompted to show my hoops by Kathy.  You can see I made a bit of progress on my picture this week.  I am working on the bird on the lower right. I hope to finish it today and do some more of the snow as well.

The old hoop is on the left.  I'm hoping the new hoop is easy to use--it is a bit heavier than the old one but the hardware tightens better and does not bend under tension like the old one did.

For full disclosure of my hoop collection, I also have this quilting hoop.  I think it belonged to my grandmother at one time.  My aunt gave it to me a few years ago as she was not using it.  I don't do a lot of hand quilting but have used it for the odd project.

I will be linking up with the other slow stitchers at Kathy's blog.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Fancy Forest Finally Finished!

How is that for some alliteration???

I made a baby size version of Elizabeth Hartman's Fancy Forest  quilt ages ago. I has been in a plastic bin in the corner of my sewing room for months, waiting for backing and quilting.  I was not pleased with the first backing I chose so the quilt top just sat and waited until I had time and the inclination to get it finished. I found this soft flannel backing, perfect for my quilt.  Christine and I each made our own versions of this quilt, working on the blocks at our weekly sewing night.  We started the blocks in June 2016 and finished out quilt tops in October 2016.  

I took the backing, batting and quilt top to Cathy at Eagle's Wings Quilts in December. Earlier this week, Cathy sent me this picture of the first pass of the quilting--it looks like tree bark--perfect for my Fancy Forest friends. 

Cathy brought my quilt to me on Thursday night.  Friday, after doing errands, I went down to my sewing room and sewed the binding on by machine.  I used the same fabric as I used in the background. 

I love the animals on this quilt! I felt like I was being watched as I hand stitched the binding!

Here is the completed quilt, finished tonight while I watched a movie on TV.  

I will be linking up with the other Slow Sunday Stitchers at Kathy's blog in the morning.  

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Churn Dash Swap

Last year, Christine and I signed up for a swap with "Fun With Barb".  We made Broken Dishes blocks for the last swap--I have still not done anything with my blocks but Christine has her quilt top made. I am waiting for inspiration on how to put them together.  This will come in time.

This year's swap is 6 1/2" Churn Dash blocks.  I need to make 54.  My first one is shown above.

They are rather addictive!

I ran out of the green fabric and switched over to magenta.

Then, I ran out the first background fabric I had chosen, so I found another one and kept sewing...

Here is a close up of the other two background fabrics I am using.

I have started cutting some purple churn dashes but they are not sewn together yet.  I will show more pictures in a future blogpost. I have 23 completed blocks so far.  Only 31 to go!

I hope to do some more sewing tomorrow before I head off to work.  If I get up a bit earlier than usual and get moving, I can spend 30-45 minutes in the sewing room before I leave...

Saturday, January 6, 2018

More Snow...

We have had some snow every day this past week. Maybe that is what inspired me to work on some more snow on my counted cross stitch project.  Tonight, while watching the mixed doubles curling Olympic trials on TV,  I added the white snow shown above.  The light blue parts were added earlier in the week. The threads used in the snow include a monofilament that adds some sparkle but continues to be a pain to use as it breaks and tangles easily, even when I use thread heaven on it.  I will soldier on using it because I like how it looks.

 Earlier in the week, I added outlining to the blue jay and twigs to the branches on this snowman.

I also finished off the yellow birds and the twigs on this snowman.  I still need to add the French knots to the branches and the eyes of the birds. I will do this when the cross stitching and outlining are done.

We undecorated the Christmas tree this weekend.  These three spool ornaments were made by my friend, Pat, for me for Christmas this year.  She enjoys cross stitching too!

If you read my previous post, you will know that I have started reading a new book that I received for Christmas from my husband.

The chapters weave the story of three people, all from different time periods--1911, 1950's and 2016, and how their lives intersect with a Singer sewing machine built in 1911.  I plan on doing some more reading in the morning while having a cup of tea.  So far, it is an interesting story and I am intrigued to see how it will unfold.  I am on pg. 65...

I will be linking up with Kathy's blog in the morning.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Comfort Quilt Blocks and a New Book

I am trying to get a few months ahead on my blocks for the comfort quilts that the Elgin Piecemakers make each month.  We were given a list of the colours/guidelines for each block in November and I now have the blocks done for January through April.   The mauve, white and green block above is my own design, worked out on graph paper, before cutting the pieces and sewing them together.   It looked like a bit of hot mess when I had it laid out on my sewing table before sewing it together, so I was very relieved when the finished block turned out ok!

The block for April was to be made from orange, yellow and white and be some sort of disappearing block. I found some "orange" fabric, probably more literal that was intended, in my stash.  I made a nine patch and then cut it twice on an angle.  I had to play around with the layout to make it fit under the 12 1/2" ruler when it was sewn together.

I find these blocks are great to work on when I don't feel like tackling a larger project.

My husband bought me a new book for Christmas and I started reading it tonight.  It was written by a woman from Britain.  He heard about this book on the Wigtown Book Festival Facebook page.  My husband is an avid reader and is always reading reviews and information about potential books to read.  He thought I would enjoy this one.  I read the first 25 pages tonight--I hope to have some time tomorrow to read more.  

By the way, we finished our puzzle that I showed a couple of posts back.

We received two puzzles for Christmas.  This was a great family activity over the holidays.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sewing Slabs

Christine was supposed to come over tonight for our first sewing night in 2018, but the weather did not co-operate.  The snow was coming down and the wind was blowing...poor visibility and slippery roads--not great for travel to and from my house.  We will have to try to get together one night next week.

I went down to my sewing room tonight after supper to make a couple of slab blocks.  My church is part of a group of churches that is sponsoring a refugee and I offered to make a single bed quilt for him.  I decided to use red, grey and white fabrics in the slabs and have asked several quilting friends to make slabs as well to contribute to the quilt.  You can get a description of how to make a slab block at Cheryl Arkison's blog here.   They are a great way to use up scraps.  I pulled out my scrap bins and made a pile of pieces for my slabs.

Some of these fabrics may look familiar--some were used in my recently completed Christmas Tree skirt.  I also found some Canadian Fabrics in my scrap bins--perfect for a newcomer to Canada.  I sewed and pressed and trimmed and sewed some more.  I ended up with two completed slabs and one more started, to be finished another time.

Here is the second block.

I have made many slab blocks over the last couple of years---I never seem to run out of scraps to make more. I will need 48 slab blocks for this quilt so I should be able to use up more of my scraps.