Saturday, December 17, 2022

Slow Stitching

 I have been furiously sewing this week to finish off some Christmas gifts in time for the big day.  Just a little bit more to do! My cousin and her husband came for lunch on Friday.  We do not get to see each other very often but often talk on the phone about our mutual genealogy project--shaking the family tree on our mothers' side of the family to see what we can find out.  The majority of our family members are Scottish with some Irish as well.  I made my cousin a wide open zippered pouch with some fabric I bought in Scotland at a small quilt store in Inverness in 2019.  I picked up a few Scottish themed fat quarters in that shop. 

I am making my MIL a wool sheep ornament.  I bought this kit at a quilt show in October and finally got around to cutting it out this week.  I fused the pieces to a black base and got to work on the stitching. 

You can't tell, but I have most of the head and ears stitched down. I have to add eyes (French knots) and a mouth as well as blanket stitching the snow at the top of the wreath.  There are a few small buttons to add as well.  This will be my slow stitching project for tomorrow.  If you know my MIL, please keep her gift a secret!  I worked on some other gifts too, but this is all I can share for now.  I have a bit more stitching to do on the other gifts as well. 

Finn and my daughter got a lot of snow over the last few days.  Of course, he loves to stick his face into the snow!

My grandmother died in 1985.  I remember her always having a knitting or other project on the go.  She made us mittens when I was growing up.  I still have a few pairs that she made!  One year, she made herself and her four daughters (including my mother) each a NOEL decoration.  When my mother died, I received her NOEL which I hang up every year in memory of my grandmother. Each letter is stitched on plastic canvas. 

I will link up with Kathy and the Slow Sunday Stitchers in the morning.  Next week, I should be able to share the other gifts I have been making.  Have a great week. 

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Wedding Gift Finished!

I have been working on two wedding gifts for couples who are already married.  The first couple got married in June and were told that they would receive their quilt by the end of the year.  This week, I finally finished their quilt!  I sewed straight lines about an inch apart across the quilt with my walking foot.  Would you believe that this took three bobbins of thread to complete???  I like the texture that the quilting added. 

I used some leftover purple fabric for the binding and hand sewed it down a couple of days this week as I watched Christmas movies on TV. 

My husband and I started our Christmas decorating today and hope to do the rest of it tomorrow.  We had to move some furniture around to make space for the tree.  My friend, Christine, made us this gnome wall hanging for Christmas a few years ago.  It's hanging in our front hall.  (I made the pillow)

Finn is happy as long as my daughter is close by.  He keeps one paw on her at all times, just to make sure she doesn't move.  This strategy doesn't always work...

Our church Christmas Pageant is tomorrow and I was asked a couple of weeks ago to make a couple of curtains for the "TV" at the front of the church where a reporter will be telling the Christmas story.  One curtain is plain black and the other is white with the words "Breaking News" on it. I used yardage from my stash for the curtains and hand sewed (with very large stitches!) some felt letters that I cut out onto the background.  This way, I can easily remove the letters and put the fabric back in my stash.  

I helped to install the curtains this morning before the dress rehearsal.  The top of the curtain is attached to rings with clips on them so the curtain will slide easily to change it from the white one to the black one.   

 We are looking forward to seeing the pageant tomorrow!  

Of course, there has been other hand stitching this week on my secret projects...   I will link up with Kathy in the morning. 

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Another Retreat

You may have noticed that I was missing in action last blog post!  Christine and I were away for the weekend at Camp Kintail.  The camp hosts two crafter's retreats every year and we try to attend both.  We both made great progress on the projects we brought with us and the meals and accommodations were fabulous!  The camp was decorated for Christmas, inside and out. The other retreaters were sewing, knitting, crocheting, doing paper crafts, making cards, making blankets, etc.  It was fun to see what everyone was up to and to visit with friends, old and new. I'm sure you are wondering what we made at the retreat...

I always like to bring a simple, warm up project to kick off a retreat.  I put my scrappy drunkard's path blocks together and decided on a layout.  I took a picture and then put the blocks away to sew together at home.  I will likely use this as a wall hanging.

Next, I dug into my turquoise scraps, cutting lots of strips between 1" and 2.5" wide.  Such a pretty pile.  

The idea for this quilt came from a free pattern on the APQS website called "Improvised Herringbone".  The pattern recommended foundation piecing the strips on a muslin base.  I didn't have any muslin so I used the interfacing cover from my recently purchased microwave instead.  I grabbed the cover from the box before it headed to the garbage and saved it from the landfill. (the box was recycled) I still have lots left, even after cutting everything I needed for my quilt. 

The blocks always look better after being trimmed!  Some of these scraps have been around for a while.  The heart fabric in the left rectangle is leftover from a quilt my daughter and I made for her bed when she was 12.  (She is 30 now!)

By Saturday evening, I had the quilt top made.  The background fabric is gray, even though is looks brownish in this photo due to the lighting in the room. 

I used lots of turquoise scraps, but, alas, when I put the lid back on the turquoise bin, it still looked full!

Christine did some hand stitching and made a cute ornament for her dog, Charley, for the Christmas tree. 

She also embroidered a name on a Christmas stocking, put the binding on a quilt, pin basted and marked a baby quilt for quilting and made some Christmas bags.  I don't have pictures of her other projects, sorry.

Saturday was a beautiful day so we took a walk down to the beach to see the lake after lunch. 

These friendly snowmen were outside the dining hall at the camp. 

The table centrepieces were made from pinecones and wood slices from the trees at the camp. There was a a big wind storm earlier this year that brought down a lot of trees.  The downed trees were cut up for firewood and crafts/decorations. 

I finished piecing the back of the wedding quilt I started earlier this year.  Samantha was too many letters to make so Sam it is!  As you can see, the wedding was several months ago.  I promised to have their quilt to them by the end of the year and I should be able to meet this goal.  The bride and groom chose the colours and style (modern) of their quilt. 

I spent some time this week working on the straight line quilting.  I'm about 2/3 done and hope to finish it soon. 

Of course, there was some secret sewing at the retreat as well...

I received a parcel in the mail yesterday.  It was from my daughter.  Last Christmas, she gave me piece of paper with the pattern for this embroidery picture to me as one of my gifts, with a promise to complete the embroidery before this Christmas. I was thrilled to open the package and find the finished embroidery.  It is now on the fireplace mantle in our living room. The pattern is by the Barmy Fox.  

Finn didn't want my daughter to leave his side as he slept on the couch yesterday, so he held her down with his paw.  

It's mitten season!  Finn likes to carry her mittens around but he doesn't damage them. 

I will link up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge group as well as the Slow Sunday Stitchers.  My secret sewing projects are hand sewn...  have a great week!

Saturday, November 19, 2022

A Busy Week

 For many reasons, this has been a very busy week!  Today was our church Christmas Bazaar so I was adding some quilting to some placemats every time I had a bit of time to sew this week.  For this set, I quilted along the red stripes both vertically and horizontally, creating a grid. 

Wavy lines were sewn in the boat and house sections of these placemats. I though they might be nice for a cottage. 

These red and white placemats had a few rows of wavy lines added. 

Organic wavy lines were quilted onto these paisley placemats. 

Lots of people came to the bazaar and most left with bags full of items purchased from the various tables...knitting, crafts, Christmas decorations, baking, canning, wood working, books, puzzles and more. The sewing group sold a lot of items and we have some things left to store for next year's bazaar.  I also did some Christmas shopping...

For my slow stitching this week, I continued to work on my secret projects.  I heard from quite a few others last week that they were also making gifts. 

My husband and I are sleeping under our new Lupine quilt.  Warm and cozy and it looks great on the bed!

Finn got snow on his beard when he went for a walk this week. There is nothing like fresh snow to sniff!

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

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Finishing Other People's UFO's

Sometimes, we quilters have UFO's--unfinished projects that seem to just take up space in our sewing rooms that we just don't feel motivated to get them to the finish line.  The quilt below was given to me by another quilter along with the backing fabric, probably over a year ago...long enough for me to forget who gave it to me to finish! I was asked to quilt and bind it and then give it to the Chemo Unit at the hospital for an adult chemo patient.  Just before last weekend's Oxford Quilt Guild retreat, I found this in a bag and decided to take it with me to quilt at the retreat. I used my walking foot to quilt straight lines through all the blocks. The quilting shows up better on some blocks than others.  I used leftover backing fabric for the binding. I brought it home to do the hand stitching on the binding.  It is now completely done and ready for donation!  Lots of scraps in this one!

Next up, I made four table toppers out of quilt blocks that had been donated to the church sewing group for the bazaar.  I quilted each one differently and used some of my own fabrics for the binding.  The backing fabric was donated to the church. Again, I did the hand sewing of the binding at home this past week. The church bazaar is next weekend so hopefully, someone will buy them and take them home!

I also worked on a pieced backing for a wedding quilt that I am making.  I used Lori Holt's "Spelling Bee" book to piece the Bride and Groom's names and wedding date for the back of the quilt. This took a while as there are lots of pieces and steps to sewing each letter.  I'm pleased with the result though and I hope the newlyweds will like it too. 

A secret cross stitch project is underway as well.  Here is a small peek.  Other secret sewing happened at the retreat as well but I'm not revealing anything for now. 

The Elgin Piecemakers had a sewing day on Wednesday and Yvonne and I worked on our quilt for a refugee family that we started in the summer at another sewing day.  We managed to finish the top of the quilt and piece the back. It was taken home by one of the long arm quilters who will call one of us to pick it up to do the binding as soon as it is quilted. Each pair of quilters was given a stack of batiks to use for their quilt.  The fabric was donated to the guild. 

My butterfly weed was fluffing this week when I was out cleaning up the gardens and raking leaves in the yard.  This is one plant I would not mind having more of!

When my friend and I were out walking one morning this week, we noticed that there were five squirrel nests in this one tree. They are all visible now that the leaves have fallen. 

Finn thinks the best way to deal with colder weather is to cuddle up with your favourite fluffy blanket and have a snuggle. 

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