Saturday, January 30, 2021

Challenge Quilt Done

I have never used more than one or two colours of thread to quilt one of my projects before this week.  Last year, the Oxford Quilt Guild issues a challenge to make a quilt using blocks with 15 2.5" squares and 5 flying geese.  I proceeded to make 16 blocks, each a different colour, without repeating any of the fabrics in the blocks. Each block contains 25 unique fabrics.  The blocks have been sitting in a bin in my sewing room for a couple of months while I thought about how I might set them to make my quilt. I put them out on the floor this week and tried various fabrics that I had in my stash for sashing.  First, I tried a few different prints but they fought with the blocks so I ended up using black. I cut the sashing 1.5" wide.  The black block blended too much with the black sashing so I decided to sash it in orange instead, to match the little lady bug in one of the black fabrics. 

I pin basted the quilt earlier this week and then hung it over the railing to look at it and decide on how to quilt it.  I am a walking foot quilter and wanted to emphasize the motion created by the flying geese in my blocks.  The geese in the middle of the quilt fly clockwise and the geese on the outside fly counter clockwise. 

I wanted to just use one colour of thread for the entire quilt but could not find one colour in my thread stash that looked good with every block. The quilt kept telling me to use matching thread for each block and I finally listened and plunged in. 

I only had one colour of pink thread in my stash, so the pink and magenta blocks are both quilted with the same colour.  In total, I used 15 colours of thread, which are shown in the first picture of this post. 

I used black binding, despite the fact that I hate sewing black fabric with black thread--so hard to see, even with good lighting!  

The backing is some black and white gingham, printed on the diagonal with an orange stripe inserted to make it wide enough.

This challenge was to be done for our meeting later this week.  It will be interesting to see all of the different versions that people have made. 

I finished off my December Modern BOM block this week as well. 

I have finished 5/12 blocks.  The February block pattern will be released in mid-February. 

More stitches were added to Love Birds again this week--I finished the leaves in this section and have the cream coloured flower about 3/4 done.  

My daughter received the Ecru thread I sent to her in the mail and there was enough to finish her embroidery picture. It's so pretty!

The bicycle embroidery is just about done now.  I am in love with the stitches on the basket!

It's been very cold where Finn and my daughter live this past week so Finn had to wear his coat and boots when he went out for a walk.  He has an LED collar to make him visible at night.  Finn is not very excited to put on his boots but the salt on the sidewalk hurts his paws so he must wear them. 

We had a little bit of snow here this past week--light and fluffy. 

I will link up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge today and Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching group tomorrow.  

Friday, January 22, 2021

Found my Sew-Jo!

 I have had a productive week in the sewing room!  I think those scrappy colour blocks that I was making last week got me going again and this week I was on a roll.  First, I quilted and bound my January Colour Blocks quilt.  I considered a cross hatch but ended up with diagonal lines of quilting using light gray thread. 

Green solid fabric was used for the binding. 

I will add a label shortly.  

I made a pink block for my Rainbow Scrap Quilt for this year. 

I noticed after it was on the design wall that I made a slight oops, so I took it apart and fixed it.  Looks better now. 

 Next up, I made a couple of Comfort Quilt blocks for the Elgin Piecemakers Guild.  The first one is called the Maple Leaf Star--we were each given the background fabric and told to use different shades of purple in our blocks.  I used a piece of purple ombré fabric for the star. This is the March block. 

For February, we were asked to make a blue block with white tree(s).  

January's block features gray, blue, yellow and white fabrics. I received the rulers to make this block for Christmas and had fun trying them out.  A non-quilty friend thinks this one looks like PacMan. 

I am trying to get caught up on my Modern BOM as well this week.  This block has 126 pieces and is called Pixels.  This is the block for January and I am in the process of making the block for Febuary. I will show it next week.  It looks a bit wonky in this picture but it is square!

The blue flower at the bottom of the wreath in my Love Birds counted cross stitch picture is done (except for a few stitches at the left side) and I am working my way up the right side to go around the wreath counter clockwise.  I will finish off the light and dark green leaves next and move on to the next flower this week. 

My daughter has been doing a bit of embroidery most evenings. She started a new picture this week.  I sent her some ecru floss I found in my thread box so she should be able to finish the flower picture shown in last week's post this week. 

Her counted cross stitch city is also progressing...someone guessed that it is Dubai last week, but that's not correct.  Apparently, it is a European city. 

Finn keeps a close eye on her while she stitches. 

I will link up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge folks on Saturday and the Slow Sunday Stitchers on Sunday morning.  

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Baby Quilt Top and some Slow Stitching

My friend, Christine, and I used to get together once a week to sew, usually at my house.  Due to COVID-19, we now get together on FaceTime once or twice a week to sew or knit.  This week, we were both at our machines, both working on baby quilts.  As I said last week, I signed up for the Colour Block QAL. This week, I made 11 more blocks and put them together into a baby quilt top.  I did not use any of the fabrics more than once.  Many of the fabrics are novelty prints but many other fabrics from the scrap bins made it into my blocks as well. 

This is the "Suitable for Framing" layout that was suggested for January.  I have already made a pieced flannel back for this quilt with flannel chunks from my stash so will be quilting it this coming week.  I have used this project to get my Sew-Jo back after the holidays.  I have a list of other projects to tackle this coming week. 

I managed to add some stitches to the "Love Birds" picture every day this week. I hope to finish the blue flower under the bird this coming week. 

We took our daughter and Finn home last weekend.  She works from home, which Finn thinks is wonderful. She has been doing some embroidery and cross stitching this past week in the evenings. 

She needs Ecru floss to finish off the last two flowers so this one will be put aside until she can acquire the thread.  Here is her cityscape cross stitch, with some more stitches added since last week.

I started a new knitting project this week--this is another baby facecloth. I am building up my stash of baby gifts.  I like the colours in this cotton yarn. 

The orange facecloth is finally done. It's folded in quarters for this picture. 

Finn and my daughter went for a walk yesterday at lunch time yesterday so he would be sleepy for her Zoom meetings in the afternoon.  He still managed to pop his head up during one of the meetings and greet everyone!

Our province started a stricter lockdown this week but I am still allowed to get our and go for a long walk each day.  It was frosty one morning.  This is Queen Anne's lace. 

 I will link up with Kathy tomorrow morning.  Thanks for leaving comments on my blog.  I try to leave comments on your blogs but sometimes they do not publish--not sure why.  If your email is not in your profile, I cannot respond to your comments. Please know that I love reading what you have to say. 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

A New Project and Some Slow Stitching

 While on my computer this week, I discovered a Sew Along being hosted by Debby Brown using colour blocks--16 patches using 2.5" squares from the scrap bins.  Since the Rainbow Scrap Challenge  colour of the month is pink, I made my first block using my pink scraps.  I have never been much of a pink person so had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to get enough squares for 2 or three blocks. Here is my first block:

To increase the variety of fabrics in my scrap bins and since I intend to make a baby quilt or two in this quilt along, I raided my novelty print collection for squares for this block.  My novelty prints were all stored in two bins so I sorted them all into different piles for each colour. The multi-coloured ones have their own pile.  I spent quite a bit of time this week cutting squares from each colour using fabrics from the scrap bins as well as the novelty print piles. 

The quilt along started in December so I am a bit late to the party.  At that time, everyone was instructed to cut squares and make lots of colour blocks. Each month of 2021, Debby will release a new setting/pattern to use the blocks.  This is a great way to use up scraps and make a few baby quilts as well. I I always like to have a few baby quilts in reserve for baby gifts.  My first quilt will be 9 or 12 blocks and will feature one block in each colour.  

On the hand stitching front, I have been working on "Love Birds", a pattern from Peppermint Purple. This is a fairly large project and will take months to complete. One slow stitch at a time will get me to the finish line. 

My daughter and Finn have been staying with us for the last few weeks. She has been working on her city scape cross stitch--I still don't know what city this is depicting. 

More embroidery stitches were added to this project as well.  The wheat involved lots of colour blending and I think it looks very realistic.  I have always loved the great texture of French knots as well. 

The lines on the fabric were made with a Frixion pen and will disappear when she heats them up with a hair dryer when the stitching is done. 

Finn took his role as "official leg warmer" very seriously this week while I worked on my stitching or read a book. 

I will miss both of them when they go home!

I will link up with Kathy and the Slow Sunday Stitchers tomorrow morning as well as the Rainbow Scrap Challenge folks today. 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

A Week of Slow Stitching

 My daughter and I have logged many hours working on our embroidery/cross stitch projects this past week.  We are staying home and enjoying several slow activities including puzzles, board games and reading. Finn, her dog, loves having everyone together in one place and can often be found curled up on someone's lap or beside them on the couch. Sometimes, he decides it is time to play rather than stitch. 

This counted cross stitch picture, "Love Birds",  is a wedding gift for a friend's daughter and her husband.  I hope to have it done in time for their first wedding anniversary in November!  There are two birds in the picture surrounded by a wreath of flowers. I hope to work on this for at least 30 minutes most days.  

While I was cross stitching, my daughter started a new embroidery project.  It is called "Winter Floral" from Lark Rising. She has most of the leaves done now and will move on to the wheat next. The lines coming out of the bottom are the stems of the wheat and the seeds are done freehand. It will be interesting to see how she does this.  I need to take lessons. 

When we watch TV, she works on another cross stitch cityscape.  My husband and I have not guessed the city yet. 

My daughter's bee picture was given to her grandmother for Christmas.  Grandma's father was a bee keeper. The framer was able to have it done in time for Christmas and it is now hanging in a prominent spot in Grandma's living room.  There are some odd colour reflections on the glass in the picture below. 

Books are a popular and much desired Christmas gift at our house.  I took a picture of our stacks of books...the first pile is mine, the second belongs to our daughter and the third one belongs to my husband.  Titles are often shared between the three of us as well.  

Before I can tackle any of my new books, I have a couple of others on the go to finish reading first.  I also have my eye on some of my husband's books...

Finn...he just wants to nap on top of a quilt. 

I will link up with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching group in the morning.  I suspect others have made great progress on their projects this past week too since most of us are staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.