Saturday, January 26, 2019

Preparing for the Coming Home BOM

As I told you a couple of weeks ago, I have signed up for Sarah Fielke's "Coming Home" Block of the Month (it is actually a medallion quilt...) 2019.  She sent out an email this week to everyone participating recommending that we each make a Block Book to keep our appliqué pieces in as we work on this quilt.  She sent us the link to a short video explaining how to make the book.  

I had just purchased a set of 4 sewing themed fat quarters earlier this month so I decided to use them for my book.

This project used up almost all of the fabric... I only have a few small scraps left.

I used the sewing machine fabric on the back of my book and for the  pocket on the inside of the front cover.   I had to add green strips to the side of the sewing machine fabric to make the pocket big enough.

There are 5 pieces of fleece for the pages which will hold the appliqué pieces.

Inside the back cover, I used the thimble fabric.

The green ribbon will be used to tie the book shut so the appliqué pieces stay secure inside when the book is shut.   I also added handles so I carry the book easily.

My daughter has been adding some more stitches to her Prague cityscape and I spent some time with Frank this week as well. I have turned the corner...

Finn enjoyed some fresh snow this week.

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

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Frank and a Secret Project

Last Sunday, there was some stitching done in the car, and I have found a few moments here and there this week to add a few more stitches to Frank.  I am now at the top edge of the picture and moving counter clockwise around the window.  It's coming along!

My daughter did not get much stitching done this week...she was busy with work...maybe there will be some stitching time for her tomorrow and I will have a picture to show you next week.

I am participating in the Modern Quilt Guild Mini Swap through Quiltcon 2019.  My swap partner lives in Maine, USA.  I have been thinking about this little quilt for a few months, letting several ideas percolate...  About 18 months ago, I took a design class with Jacquie Gering. She told us that she uses sheets of fun foam cut into shapes to help her design her quilts before cutting into the fabric.  This week, I cut into my fun foam and designed my mini swap quilt, picked out some fabrics from my stash, cut out the shapes I needed, sewed and then quilted my quilt.  The quilting was inspired by the walking foot quilting class I took with Jacquie.  Tomorrow, I will add the binding and do the hand sewing.  The label was attached to the backing before I did the quilting.  I'm excited for my swap partner to see what I have made for her!  I can't show any pictures yet as I want it to be a surprise.

I also made the February block for the Elgin Piecemakers Guild comfort quilt project.  I used my new drunkard's path rulers and played with different layouts before sewing the four units together for my red, black and white block. The next block will be purple, green and white...

It's a cold and snowy weekend here... Finn has the right idea--curl up on a cozy blanket and stay warm!

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Neutral Swap Blocks

Back in the summer/early fall, I made four months worth of swap blocks for the Elgin Piecemakers Guild swap which I am organizing.  The first four months of swapping have flown by and so I had to dig out my bin of strips and squares and scraps of fabric that I had set aside for this project and get sewing again!

The square in the middle is 2.5" x 2.5".  The next strip is 1" wide and the next one is cut 1.5".   

Then, I trim each block down to 5" square.  There are 10 of us participating in the swap so each month we make 20 blocks.  I take them home after the meeting and redistribute the blocks so each person gets two blocks from each participant.  We all end up with lots of variety in our blocks.  

It takes a lot of blocks to make a quilt so this process will be going on for quite a while yet.  You can see my stack of blocks that I have received so far above.

We are just using neutral colours for our blocks--black, brown, grey white, cream, beige.  This is a great way to use up bits and pieces in my scrap bins as well as odd hunks and chunks of fabric that need to be out of my stash and sewn into something.

Our January meeting is next week.  I have enough blocks made to keep me going for the next 4 months.  That's good because I have other projects with deadlines looming that I need to work on.  I have my next project designed and cut out, ready to sew when Christine comes to sew later this week.  It is a mini swap and I can't show it on the blog until it has been swapped in February.

Have a great day!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Frank, Prague and a new BOM

As you can see, my daughter has made a lot of progress this week on her Prague cityscape counted cross stitch picture.  I'm told that the blue parts are all water of some sort...I wonder what colour she will stitch next?  It will be interesting to see the buildings...

I have been working on my new cross stitch picture---this one is the office window in Frank Lloyd Wright's studio in Oak Park, IL.  Unlike the last picture I just completed, this one is only three colours plus the outlining.  I will be stitching in the car again tomorrow.

The London Modern Quilt Guild had their 5th anniversary meeting today and celebrated with an open house.  There were games, vendors, and of course, cake.  I bought myself a new pair of scissors to keep by my sewing machine for cutting threads.   Aren't they cute?

I also purchased 4 fat quarters to use in my Sarah Fielke Coming Home BOM which starts later this month. I have been gathering up my fabrics this week for this project. The three grays are the backgrounds and the rest of the fabrics will be used for the piecing and appliqué.

I'm sure many of you have been watching the Tidying up show on Netflix lately---I have been tackling my fabric storage area and have been making progress in organizing and,  yes, getting rid of some fabric that no longer brings me joy...I'm actually wondering if some of the discards ever brought me joy...I can't remember ever purchasing some of them!

My fabric has been sorted by colour in plastic drawers for a long time but they were getting messy and some of the drawers would not shut...after some purging and folding, all of the drawers shut and the fabrics are all visible when I open the drawers.

The challenge will be to keep them tidy (and use the fabric!) I have a lot of fabric...  Don't be fooled by these pictures of neat and tidy fabric...there are still piles to be tackled and organized.   The joyless  fabric will be sold at our annual rummage sale at the Elgin Piecemakers Guild meeting---we put the money towards our comfort quilts for adult chemo patients.  I'm hoping that others find joy in my discards!

Finn had a lazy morning today.

I will be linking up with Kathy and the Slow Sunday Stitchers in the morning.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

A New FLW Project

I started a new Frank Lloyd Wright cross stitch picture today.  This one depicts the stained glass window in the ceiling of his office at his home in Oak Park, Illinois.  Our family toured FLW's home in Oak Park in 2013 when we were visiting Chicago.  I remember seeing this window in his office when were on the tour.

This is about 6" by 11" when finished so it should not take as long as the Fountain Glass Window to complete.

There are only three colours in this window and I am hoping I have enough of each colour to complete the picture so I won't have to go begging to all of you to search your stashes for older matching thread like I did with my previous project!

My daughter has also been doing some cross stitching on her Prague cityscape.  I spy some swans...

I have signed up for Sarah Fielke's "Coming Home" BOM for 2019.  I have been wanting to do some appliqué for a while now and have jumped in with both feet--this quilt will fit our queen sized bed when it is done.  Today, I picked out the background fabrics for each border.  The bottom fabric was already in my stash and I purchased the other two dotty fabrics today.  I have plenty of fabric in my stash for all of the piecing and appliqué parts of the quilt.  I also picked up the other supplies I need for this project.

My sewing room is coming along as far as being tidied up.  I have spent several hours in the last couple of weeks getting things put away and clearing off surfaces.  It is looking much better and I will be able to work on my new projects without having piles of fabric falling over on top of me.
There will be stitching in the car tomorrow on the new cross stitch picture for Slow Sunday Stitching.   I will link up with Kathy in the morning.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Comfort Quilt Top and Blocks

At the November meeting of the Elgin Piecemakers, everyone brought in their Scrappy Churn Dash blocks for the comfort quilt.  I collected 19 blocks and then made one more to make it 20.  Here is block number 20.  The pattern is from Crazy Mom's blog.  I enlarged the block pattern to a 12.5" block. 

Before Christmas, I put all 20 blocks together and hung them up on my design wall.  I like the variety in the grey background fabrics that everyone used.

I chose some border fabric from my stash as the quilt top was not quite big enough for a comfort quilt with just the blocks.   Then, I got busy working on Christmas projects and the borders had to wait until today when I had time to sew them on.

The borders frame this quilt nicely and make it the perfect size for a comfort quilt for an adult chemo patient at our local hospital.  I just have to put the flannel backing together and I can give it to the long arm quilter so she can do her magic.

At our January meeting later this month, we are to bring a block in using cream, brown and green.  It is hard to see the colours in my picture but it looks brighter in person.

We do not meet in December but will be getting together for dinner next week.  I made a brown and teal block to bring to the dinner meeting.  I used my new drunkard's path rulers for this block.

I went for a walk today with a friend and we saw these geese as we were walking. We don't have any snow yet where I live.  The geese were quite happy to have open water for swimming.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The First Finish of 2019

Technically, this finish should have been done in 2018...but it took a little longer than I thought it would to complete this project.  I also did not have a pattern, just an idea in my head that I wanted to try, which lengthened the amount to time I spent working on it.

My friend, Cathy, and her husband are avid campers so I decided to make a camper themed sewing machine cover for her for Christmas.  I finished off the last of the hand stitching today and wrapped it up for delivery this least she received it before the holidays were over!

I had seen a sewing machine cover that someone made on a blog--then entire sewing machine cover was a camper which gave me the idea for Cathy's gift.  I started by piecing a rectangular camper and then free hand cut it to the shape of a vintage camper. The camper was appliquéd by machine with a satin stitch in light green. (I used a stabilizer underneath to keep the stitching from bunching up the fabrics) The wheel is a black circle of wool with a grey wool circle blanket stitched on top of it.  The wheel was added at the very end as it partly overlaps the binding at the bottom of the cover.

The above picture shows the back --I added a licence plate from one of the shops on the July Shop Hop from a couple of years ago and signed it as my label when I was done.   The binding on the edges has not been added yet in this picture.

I quilted the cover with straight lines before assembling it into a 3D object using my walking foot and a light green thread. The backing fabric is some sewing fabric that was in my stash.  I took this picture today when I was hand sewing the binding along the bottom edge.

I also used binding to cover the seams so that there are no raw edges visible on the cover.

If I decide to make another sewing machine cover, I don't think it would take quite as long as this one did.  There was a bit of trial and error in the assembly and some unsewing during the process.  In the end, I'm pleased with how it turned out and Cathy likes it!  I spent over an hour tonight cleaning up my sewing room and putting projects into bags and bins to keep things organized.  I have a few projects with deadlines coming up so those will be my first priority as soon as I can find my sewing table again...  It always looks worse before it looks better.