Friday, December 31, 2021

Favourites from 2021

 The end of the year is a good time to look back at what we have accomplished in the past 12 months.  Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs hosts and annual "Best of..." party and so I will be linking this post up to her blog.  I have done lots of machine sewing, hand stitching and knitting this year and it is hard to pick out which projects were my favourites.  Here is my best effort!

1. My favourite hand stitching project was "Love Birds"--a counted cross stitch picture that I made for a friend's daughter and her husband as a wedding gift.  They have it hanging on their wall and were very pleased to receive it, even if it was several months after their wedding before I finished it! 

2.  I participated in the Colour Blocks challenge this past year as a way to use up some scrappy 2.5" squares and made several quilts--I still have lots of squares left so there may be more quilts assembled using these colourful scraps! I had lots of blue scraps and made this baby quilt with them. 


I also really loved my gray and yellow colour blocks quilt. 

3.  Last year, I made a scrappy red and white Modern Snowflake quilt for a friend.  I wanted to make one for myself this year and used stash fabrics to make this Buffalo plaid version.  I finished hand sewing the binding this week and it is now in use in our great room for the winter months. This was the only sewing I did this past week so I will be linking up with Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching party on Sunday morning. The pattern is by Modern Handcraft. 

4. I am happiest when just playing with fabric to make up my own designs and I want to do more of this in the coming year.  I made a wall hanging for a friend for Christmas this year doing just that.

5. I had a couple of sewing goals this past year --use only stash fabrics and try not to buy any fabric except backings and backgrounds. I made lots of quilts using my stash this year including some baby gifts and quilts for family members. Many of them had pieced backs in an effort to use up what I had. Here is one of the quilts I made with only fabrics from my stash, including the backing and binding. I made it to match the colours in the family room of the recipients. 

I bought some fabric online during QuiltCon in February and have been using lots of it in my projects--many of which are still UFO's on my list to complete in 2022. Stay tuned--there should be some finishes early in 2022. 

Happy New Year, everyone!  

I can't have a blogpost without a picture of my favourite grand-dog, Finn and his new squeaky Fox toy!

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Some Gifts Revealed!

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!  Happy Holidays!  I am taking a few moments away from working on a new puzzle with my husband and our daughter to write my weekly blogpost.  Finn is curled up on the floor in front of me.  It is so nice to have them home.  (our daughter tested negative for COVID before coming to visit) We have had a quiet day at rained in the morning and we took Finn for a walk after it stopped.  

I wanted to share some Christmas gifts that I made for some friends.  I dug into my very large selvage collection and sorted some of them by colour before making many hot pads.  I had a couple of pieces of insul-brite which I cut into squares (and one rectangle). I kept making them until I ran out of insul-brite!  Here are a few pictures of my creations: 

I ended up giving all of the hot pads away and did not keep any for myself.  I will have to buy some more insul-brite and make a few for me!  I have no shortage of selvages to use to make them!

I knit a hat for my daughter and finished it just on time for Christmas!  It fits well and will keep her warm when she is out walking Finn. 

I finally finished the snowflake dishcloth too.  I made a counting error in one row and did not notice until 2.5 rows later.  Un-knitting is not fun.  The snowflake does not show up as well as I had hoped, but that's ok. 

Another hat underway...

I added black binding to the modern snowflake but in the flurry of knitting, I did not get it all hand sewn yet.  This will be a project for the next few days. I have to work on it in good light as black thread on black fabric is not easy to see!

Finn has a new squeaky toy which he really likes.  We know exactly where he is when he is playing with it!  He wore himself out with all the excitement today. 

Books are a popular gift at our house.  Here are this year's book stacks.  The first one belongs to my husband.  The second is my daughter's and the last one is mine.  I have lots of reading to do!

I will link up with all of the other Slow Sunday Stitchers at Kathy's blog in the morning.  I hope to work on the snowflake binding tomorrow. 

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Three Finishes to Share

Like many of you, I love to make gifts at Christmas for my friends and family. Sometimes, a block I see on someone's blog or on Instagram catches my fancy and I print out the instructions.  This was the case this week with this Peppermint Twist block from @runningstitchquilts.  I made this block into a little table mat for a friend.  She has already opened it as I thought she might like to display it this year.  I used a snowflake print for the backing. 

I finished the binding on my batik disappearing nine patch quilt last weekend.  This one is being given to a family member of a friend who has cancer. It's just the right size to keep her warm while she rests on the couch.  

I put this wall hanging together at a retreat in November and quilted it at home.  It has been given to a friend for Christmas--she opened it early so that it could be put out for this year. The backing and binding fabrics were in my stash--leftovers from another project but perfect for this little quilt. 

I have finished off all of my Christmas gift sewing now but still have a few knitting projects underway.  I will be able to complete these gifts over the next couple of days. No pictures for now. 

My Buffalo Check Modern Snowflake quilt is back from the long arm quilter's house and now I just need to make the binding and sew it on.  She used a snowflake pantograph and it is perfect for this quilt. 

I took these pictures while out for a walk one day this week--such interesting seed heads on these ornamental grasses. 

Finn is always excited when a parcel comes in the mail, especially when it is for him! (even if its just poop bags!)

I will link up with Kathy's gang of Slow Sunday Stitchers in the morning. 

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Retreat Sewing and a Comfort Quilt

I love going on quilting retreats!  Lots of uninterrupted time to sew, no meals to make and no dishes to do!    Christine and I had a wonderful time and both of us got lots of sewing done.  I made this cute little wall hanging--I called it "Gnome for the Holidays!".  The gnome block was designed by   I quilted it with my walking foot--inspired by a class I took with Jacqui Gering a few years ago.  I even added a hanging sleeve and have cut the dowel!  I will find a spot to hang my Gnome tomorrow. 

I assembled these bird blocks, made by members of the Elgin Piecemakers, into a quilt top.  This will be quilted and bound and given to our local women's shelter. The bird blocks are a lot of fun!

I spent quite a bit of time assembling my lupin quilt.  I had access to a large table where I could layout four columns of blocks at a time.  

Pretty soon, I had half of the quilt put together.  You can see my blocks all numbered off to the left.  I had a system to keep all of the pieces and blocks organized!

3/4 done--the last four columns are each together but not sewn to each other yet.  I will work on getting the top finished as soon as my Christmas gifts are made and wrapped.  I had hoped to work on my modern sampler quilt at the retreat too, but ran out of time.  

I made a disappearing 9 patch quilt this week using some of my batik stash as a comfort quilt for someone with cancer this week.  I had a wide variety of fabrics in browns, beiges, and greens which all seem to go together. 

Here is the top, waiting to be pin basted.  

I used some leftover squares and larger hunks and chunks of batiks in the same colours for the pieced backing. 

I do my pin basting on the kitchen floor.  It is hard on the knees but it's easy to spread everything out then and tape the backing to the floor. 

The wavy line quilting was done with my walking foot--it is one of stitches on my machine. 

Tonight, I made the binding and got it sewn on by machine.  I will continue to hand stitch it tomorrow for my Slow Sunday Stitching project. I will link up with Kathy in the morning. 

Finn enjoyed a walk in the snow this week.  He does not like to wear the booties though and it is quite a production for my daughter to get them onto his feet before they go out. 

I made a Christmas pillowcase for someone special this week.  She does not read my blog. 

This black squirrel was enjoying a peanut when I walked by him at the park earlier this week.  

Secret sewing and knitting continue around here as well.  Take care and have a good week.  Stay safe. 

Friday, December 3, 2021

Packing up for another Retreat!

 My friend, Christine, and I are off to another quilting retreat this weekend!  The weather looks good and won't interfere with our plans.  I have packed several projects to take with me including the Lupin Quilt (all of the blocks are made and the sashing and borders are cut out and ready to go):

A comfort quilt for the local women's shelter using bird blocks made by members of the Elgin Piecemakers:  (all sashing, cornerstones and borders are cut) The last block was given to me last week. 

My modern sampler quilt: (all blocks made and the fabric for sashing, borders, etc is in the bag)

I'm also bringing along two knitting I can't show as it is a gift, but the other one is my nearly completed snowflake dishcloth.

In the sewing room this week, I made several Christmas gifts.  I mailed out one parcel this week and have a couple more gifts to make and mail next week. I will show pictures of what I made after Christmas. 

My husband and I did some Christmas decorating this week.  I have three Christmas quilts hanging in various parts of the house.  I made this one a few years ago--the pattern was in a magazine.  The pillows are my own designs. 

Christine gave me this cute gnome quilt last year. 

I made this snowman wall hanging over 10 years ago--it was a kit. 

I noticed someone has done some outdoor decorating at the park where I walk each morning with a friend. 

The snow has melted now but I'm sure there will be more in the not too distant future. 

Finn enjoyed a nap this week on the quilt I made my daughter when she went away to university.

I will link up with Kathy's slow stitchers on Sunday morning.