Saturday, October 31, 2020

Piecing, Stitching and Knitting

Last weekend, I took a class with Mary Elizabeth Kinch on piecing with small bits of fabric.  The quilt I am making is called Summerhill.  It has 4 blocks surrounded by some borders.  I have now finished two of my blocks.  Each square in this first block finishes at one inch. 

The second one is a Courthouse step block--each log is .5" finished.  This is not paper pieced. 

I am using scraps from my cool Kona solids bin plus red violet.  About half of the scraps are all over my cutting table so I am going to have to keep working on the last two blocks and the pieced border before working on any other projects this week. The next two blocks are started.  

Earlier this week, I sewed my last 16 lupin blocks together...this took longer than I expected but I am glad to have them done.  All 48 blocks are in a bin, waiting for me to cut the setting rectangles and then lay everything out on the floor to put it all together.  This is a queen sized quilt and is too big for my design wall. 

This scrappy yellow block is the first in my next rainbow scrap challenge project.  Even the white pieces were cut from my Kona scraps.  The pattern for this block is from Gudrun Erla's Quilts of Iceland book. 

I started a new baby washcloth this far, I just have the lower border done but I will be working on this again tomorrow for Slow Sunday Stitching, along with my blackwork project. There are 9 coloured squares and 4 gray ones in this Celtic knot design.  

My daughter's blackwork bee project looks amazing!  She sent me this picture today after finished another bee.  There are 19 hexagons in her picture, as well as several bees. 

Her embroidery has lots of wonderful texture!

We planted four different types of daffodil bulbs in our back gardens today. The squirrels tend to leave the daffodils alone so I'm looking forward to seeing these interesting blooms in the spring. 

We didn't have very many Trick or Treaters this year, but the few we did have were all very cute! I gave them their candy with a long tool that belonged to my parents--they used it to pick things up off the floor or from a high shelf. It worked very well to deliver treats to the kids' bags at a safe distance. Until next week, have a great week, filled with lots of sewing, knitting and stitching. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

20th Anniversary Challenge for the Elgin Piecemakers

 I belong to a small quilt guild--the Elgin Piecemakers--that recently celebrated 20 years of getting together to share our love of all things quilting.  We have 20 members and we meet in each others homes. There is always a wonderful social/snack time at every meeting.  In late 2019, we decided that we should celebrate our 20 years as a guild in a significant way.  Someone proposed an anniversary quilt challenge--we would each make our own centre block and then each month for several months, we would be given instructions on what to add to the centre block to make a medallion quilt. Somewhere in our quilt, we had to add something to indicate 20--and I chose to make my centre block XX--20 in Roman numerals. 

I chose to use fabric I had in my stash.  I found a half yard of yellow paperweight Kaffe Fassett fabric and a fat quarter of the same fabric in green. The background is leftover from another project and I had about a yard of it. Then, I got out my green and yellow Kona solid scraps and added those to the mix. I also made the decision to make my blocks in a liberated fashion, like I had learned at the Beaver Island Quilt retreats with Gwen Marston several years ago. 

For the first border, we were told to add stars. I made 4 liberated/wonky stars and decided to just add them to two sides of the centre block. 

Next up was appliqué borders on two sides of the quilt.  I cut some of each of the two Kaffe fabrics on the bias and hand appliquéd them to the background fabric. 

For paper piecing, I made some string borders using various widths of my scraps and Kaffe fabrics.  You can see the string borders above. 

Curved piecing was the next prompt.  I stacked a solid with a Kaffe fabric and sliced through them on a curve before sewing them together again to make my units. 

The second to last border was to be made with HST's. By this time, I was running short of the background fabric so I figured this might be my last border.  I made some string pieced squares and cut them in half on the diagonal to make my HST's. 

The final border could be whatever we wanted it to be.  I chose to use the binding as my final border.  I had just enough of the yellow paperweight fabric to bind my quilt. 

I found a piece of bright green solid which I used for the backing.  I quilted my quilt on my domestic sewing machine with my walking foot using yellow thread. 

My husband took a picture of me with my completed quilt out in our backyard earlier this week. 

This was a great challenge for the members of our guild.  

I wonder what we will do for our next challenge.  I will just have to wait and see.  I will link up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge crew on Saturday since this month's colour was yellow. 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Stitching Report

I finished off the walking foot quilting on my London Modern Guild HST BOM quilt this week. The orange diamond was my focal point and the quilting lines ran parallel to each side of the diamond, creating an X of parallel lines and other areas of cross hatching off each corner of the diamond.  I used orange thread for the quilting and even though this is a relatively small quilt, I went through 3 bobbins of thread!  

 The orange binding is leftover from the HST's. I just love those seagulls!

I purchased the backing fabric on sale several months ago, before COVID, just to have on hand for a backing.  You can see the quilting a bit better in the picture below. 

The second block in the Modern BOM was posted this week and I did not waste any time getting it done.  I added some more fabrics to the bin for this quilt and will continue to use the glasses fabric and the gray hash dot fabric in every block.  I have chosen several other striped and dotty fabrics for this quilt. 

Here are the two blocks I have made so far. 

I figured out this week that I probably do not have enough of the gray Michael Miller hashdot fabric and have been checking with local quilt stores to no avail.  If a Canadian Store near you has a yard of this fabric, please let me know and I will order it!

I attended a quilting workshop today taught by Mary Elizabeth Kinch on Zoom. I met Mary Elizabeth several years ago at the Beaver Island Quilt Retreat that Gwen Marston used to run. Mary Elizabeth is in love with making large quilts out of tiny pieces and today's class was an introduction to her methods for cutting and sewing small pieces of fabric. The finished quilt, Summerhill, will include 4 blocks as well as a pieced border. We made a start on the four blocks today and here is the result of my day of sewing.

I am digging into my cool solid scraps for this quilt and throwing in some red-violet scraps for fun. Stay tuned for more progress on these blocks. 

My blackwork project is moving right along--I'm working on the 5th colourful square now.  My daughter is also stitching along on her landscape and the honeycomb.  

I have 4 sets of four blocks cut out for my lupin quilt and hope to sew these this coming week.  As you know, the cutting takes quite a while!

My husband and I went for a walk by Lake Erie today before supper and came across a large flock of seagulls taking to the air. 

I will be linking up with Kathy in the morning for the weekly Slow stitching party at her blog. If you would like to read the story of my music challenge quilt, you can read it here

Friday, October 23, 2020

Thank You for the Music (Music Challenge Quilt)

About a year ago, the Elgin Piecemakers Guild issued a challenge:  create a quilt that depicts a song.  We were given a piece of fabric with musical notes on it that we were to use in our quilts. The quilts were to be revealed last Spring but we were unable to meet at that time so there was an extension on the deadline.  We have now shown our quilts to each other so I can finally do a blogpost on my music challenge quilt. 

When I think of music, my first thoughts turn to my dad.  He played the fiddle from when he was a small lad taking lessons in Scotland until he died at 88 years old a couple of years ago.  Dad played by ear--if he heard a tune he liked, he could just pick up his fiddle and play it.  He had a huge repertoire of songs that he knew and would often take requests at various family events, dances, concerts or at the retirement home where he spent his final years.  He was a member of various music groups and bands over the years and I have tapes and cd's of him playing.  Sadly, the music gene did not pass on to me -I enjoy music but can't play a musical instrument or sing well enough for anyone to want to listen to me for long. 

When choosing the song I wanted to depict in my quilt, my first thought was ABBA's "Thank you for the Music", specifically, the chorus:

    So I say
    Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
    Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
    Who can live without it? I ask in all honesty
    What would life be?
    Without a song or a dance, what are we?
    So I say thank you for the music
    For giving it to me

The tune and the words danced around in my head as I cut my fabrics and sewed my quilt. 

I chose to use my Dad's shirts for the background and backing of my quilt. I machine appliquéd the fiddle onto the quilt after it had been quilted.  The music fabric is in the f-holes on the front of the violin body. It was originally white but I tea dyed it. 

 Here is the back--another shirt. 

My Dad came to Canada from Scotland after WW2.  He had $80, a suitcase of clothes and his violin when he arrived.  Like most immigrants, he came to Canada for more opportunities and a better life. His violin was his constant companion and opened many doors to friendships that lasted a lifetime. 

Thank you for the music, Dad, for giving it to me. 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Blackwork and Binding

I spent quite a bit of time this week in front of my sewing machine, but most of what I was sewing cannot be revealed yet.  I finished quilting a challenge quilt for the Elgin Piecemakers 20th Anniversary and did the hand stitching on the binding.  This is all I can show you for now.  I quilted this quilt with my walking foot on my DSM. 

While the walking foot was warmed up, I started quilting my London Modern Guild HST BOM.  I'm using orange thread on this baby quilt.  I hope to finish this one shortly and should have it ready to show by next week's blogpost. 

I did not make any lupin blocks this week so will have to make two sets next week.  My blackwork project got some attention this week...I am working on the 4th of 9 coloured squares. 

 My daughter's blackwork honeycomb is coming along too, with the addition of two more bees. There are 19 hexagons in her picture. 

She finished her bee wreath embroidery this past week...  There are lots of French knots on the bee's body between the wings.  I love the texture!

She started another embroidery project and quickly discovered that she is missing several of the thread colours she needs so this one will get put on the back burner for now. 

I have several secret projects going on behind the scenes as well.  It is that time of year. 

The fall colours are still putting on a good show.  We have quite a bit of rain in the forecast over the next week so the trees will soon be naked!

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

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Progress on Many Fronts!

 I have been working on these modified Geese Migration blocks for the last couple of months with the aim of making 16 different coloured blocks from my scrap bins.  Each block has 25 different fabrics in it so there are 400 different fabrics in this quilt!  There was no noticeable difference in the volume of scraps in any of my scrap bins after making these blocks, so I will have to come up with another scrappy quilt to use up some of these scraps.  Each block is 10.5" square.  I am not sure how I am going to set them yet.  Here are close ups of the three blocks I made earlier this week:

Navy Blue: several of these scraps were leftover from my Blue Ridge Beauty quilt that I made 8 years ago. 

White with black:  Those owls are my favourite!

Black with white:  The square with the orange bug is the backing fabric for my Tula Pink 100 Modern Blocks sampler. 

Of course, I made 4 more lupin blocks this week, this time using some purple pearl bracelets fabric.  

I have 8 sets of 4 lupin blocks completed for a total of 32/48 blocks completed.  I have chosen the final 4 fabrics that I will use for the remaining blocks.  I will try to continue to make 4 per week but can't guarantee that I won't get impatient and just finish the rest in one fell swoop.  Here is a sample of each block I have made so far. 

I started a new Block of the Month quilt this week, because, of course, I need another project!  My friend, Sandra is leading a BOM for her guild, the Twilight Quilt Guild, based on a pattern published by the Knoxville Modern Guild in 2012 (with permission).  This week, I gathered up my fabrics from my stash and made my first block.  I have a few striped and dotty fabrics chosen as well as a funky glasses print.  The top fabric, a gray hash dot by Michael Miller, is the background.  The orange fabrics look red in this picture.

Here is my first block.  

The stripes and directional glasses print are going to be fun to play with!  If you would like to join in the fun of this Modern BOM, here is the link to the BOM blog. The September 14th post has the instructions for the first block. 

In the knitting department, I finished another facecloth!  Excuse the second picture for being sideways!!

My daughter and I have both been doing lots of embroidery/blackwork this week.  She finished her practice piece:

Then, she started a "real" project:

Here is my daughter's blackwork project, which inspired me to work on one too. I love the bee!

And here is my project...based on a Celtic knot design. 

I'm reading the next book for the library book club--Anxious People by Fredrik Backman.  I am only 50 pages in but it's good so far!

The garden always has something interesting going on...this week, our burning bush is red hot!

The fall colours continue to be spectacular this week.  I took this picture one morning on my walk. 

Finn wishes all of our Canadian readers a wonderful, socially distanced,  and safe Thanksgiving.  Our family will be getting together on Zoom tomorrow. Finn and my daughter did not come home this weekend.  I am thankful that we can all see each other via technology during these COVID-19 times.