Saturday, March 25, 2023

Slow Stitching and Trying Out a New Ruler

I added lots of stitches to my cross stitch picture this week.  I just love the colours in this bright and cheerful.  One friend said this pattern looks almost Scandinavian to her and I would have to agree. There is a butterfly to sew next, once the large pink flower and the beet are done. 

I bought myself a HuRTy ruler (designed by Latifah Saafir) at QuiltCon and wanted to try it out on a small project before tackling a bigger quilt.  Here are my first few Half Rectangle Triangles on my design wall.  I am not sure what the final layout will be yet.  I have more sewn, but not trimmed yet.  Maybe, by next week, I will have a little quilt top to show you.  If you have one of these rulers, Latifah has a series of YouTube videos online to watch to learn how to use the ruler.  The print fabric is by Tula Pink and I only have a FQ of it so when it is gone, my blocks will be done!  

My crocuses are starting to show their bright colours this past week. 

The bees are starting to buzz. These flowers are covering my witch hazel bush. 

Finn likes to supervise the neighbourhood from his perch on the couch.  He keeps us informed about dog walkers, cars going by, delivery vans and the arrival of the mail.  It's a big responsibility but he is up for it.

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

Saturday, March 18, 2023

My Favourite Quilts at QuiltCon and some Slow Stitching.

The week got away from me and I did not show my favourite quilts from QuiltCon so I will show them to you in this post along with my stitching efforts from this past week.  I'll start with my stitching...

I have finished the flowers to the right of the rabbit in my Spring cross stitch picture and I'm now working on the carrots and beets under the rabbit and the flowers on the left side. I'm surprised all these flowers and vegetables have not been eaten by the bunny--that's what happened in our backyard when we had a vegetable garden.  The rabbits still nibble on some of the flowers...

Christine and I have decided to try to get together once a week to sew for a few hours.  This week, I showed her how to make a rope bowl.  I made the top one and Christine made the bottom one. 

Next, I tried an oval bowl. This shape is a little more challenging to keep the bottom of the bowl flat as you add the sides. 

Finn loves this squeaky carrot toy--I think it is his favourite--it had to be replaced once because it quit squeaking!

This is Finn telling me it was time for me to get his lunch ready.  He lets his wishes be known!

By now, you have all probably seen pictures of the prize winning quilts at QuiltCon.  They were spectacular and inspiring to see in person! I wanted to show you a few of my favourites that did not win prizes but by their very presence at QuiltCon, they were all winners!

When I was growing up, my aunt and uncle had a lava lamp.  I thought it was the coolest thing ever and could watch it for hours on end! Fast forward to when my daughter was a teenager...she won a lava lamp at a sports competition which she had in her room for the longest time. 

My husband came with me to QuiltCon and we spent a day and a half looking at all the quilts together.  This one was his favourite. I like looking at quilts with a non-quilter--gives a fresh perspective and he often sees something different than what I see. 

Atlanta QuiltCon marked the 10th anniversary of QuiltCon so there was a special challenge to make quilts with X, the Roman numeral for 10. This was my favourite X quilt.  I liked all of the scrappy fabrics she used to make the quilt and the 3-D X.  I'm also a big fan of orange!

My husband and I have done a number of architecture tours of mid-century modern buildings.  I think that's why this quilt appealed to me. (also the orange...)

The Banana Pickle quilt just made me smile!  

Chawne Kimber was the keynote speaker and had a special exhibit of some of her very thought provoking quilts at QuiltCon.  The video footage that inspired this quilt just haunts me. 

Chawne Kimber hand quilts her quilts.  This one was done with pearl cotton X's in various colours, often with two different coloured strands in each X.  Amazing to look at these pieces of art up close. 

I went to several lectures at QuiltCon including the keynote by Chawne Kimber. I am already looking forward to attending the 2024 QuiltCon in Raleigh, North Carolina next year.  

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

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Two Finished Quilts!

I have two finished quilts to share with you this week.  They are both Rainbow Scrap Challenge finishes, the first from 2021 and the second one from 2022. This pattern is by Gudrun Erla from her "Quilts of Iceland" book.  I used a turquoise Kona solid for the binding which co-ordinates nicely with the bicycles fabric on the back of the quilt. 

I used my drunkard's path rulers and lots of my colourful scraps to make this circles quilt. I quilted in the ditch between each quarter circle block as well as a diagonal cross hatch through the circles.  To finish the quilting, I added two rows of quilting around each circle. I used a blue solid for the binding.  Finn assisted with sewing both bindings down by hand. 

In my previous post, I showed pictures of my RSC blocks for February and March but did not have a picture of my pink scrappy blocks.

I was measuring out some rope for another rope basket and Finn decided to help. 

I used some variegated thread that was given to me in a goodie bag at a quilt show years ago to sew this basket.  It is a lot bigger than the ones I made at the retreat in the previous post. This one is 8.5" in diameter.  The smaller ones were 4.5" in diameter. I like the way the variegated thread looks on the white rope. 

I used a different variegated thread and some purple Kaffe scraps on this one. 

My daughter has been working on her Ottawa cross stitch a bit over the last couple of weeks.  More of the buildings are becoming recognizable.  The green building at the bottom is the National Art Gallery.

I have been adding flowers and a couple of carrots to my Spring cross stitch picture. At this rate, it might even get finished in the Spring!

Finn had a spring in his step when we took him for a walk one day this week.  He loves the sunshine!

I was happy to see that my witch hazel bush was in bloom early this past week.

And then, on Friday, it snowed again.  The only good thing about snow in March is that it melts quickly!

Finn is looking forward to warmer weather when he and I can sit outside and read a book in the sunshine. 

 I will link up with Kathy and the slow Sunday Stitchers in the morning.  I will do a post early next week about my favourite quilts at QuiltCon. 

Monday, March 6, 2023

Retreat Report

 Christine and I left early for our quilting retreat with the Oxford Guild this past Friday because there was a winter storm coming and we wanted to get there and be set up before the snow started to fall.  The snow started in the afternoon and kept going all night.  In the morning there was almost a foot of snow (30cm for the metric folks).  We were all snowed in and loving it.  We did not lose power and we had our sewing machines and lots of fabric and projects on hand to work on.  It was a great weekend!

First, I tackled my two rainbow scrap challenge projects for this year-- pineapple log cabin blocks and some 6.5" square slabs using scraps. I had not made February's pink blocks yet and the new colour for March had already been announced--green, so I had to make blocks for both months. 

The first attempt at the pink block did not go so well.  I had the colours in the wrong spot and the fabric folded when I tried to sew one of the logs down.  I had to unsew it and start again, with much better results the second time around. 

Here's the green one.  I like the dark gray background I am using for these blocks. (it was in my stash)

I made four pink blocks too but don't have a picture of them.  

The food at the retreat was delicious--I had a Reuben sandwich and a salad for lunch one day. (no sauerkraut!) 

Here is a picture of a car in the parking lot outside the room where we were sewing on Saturday morning.  

I brought two pin basted quilt sandwiches with me to the retreat as well as a third quilt top with the batting and backing fabric.  I managed to completely finish quilting one of the tops. I made a wavy diagonal grid for this one--quilted with my walking foot.  I added the binding by machine today and I'm in the process of hand sewing it down on the back of the quilt.  This was my rainbow scrap challenge project in 2021. 

This scrappy drunkard's path was a 2022 RSC project.  I got most of the quilting done at the retreat and decided to quilt the circles at home on my other sewing machine.  It has a bigger throat so its easier to turn the quilt when sewing the circles.  Once the quilting is done, I will add the binding and get this one to the finish line too. 

When I was at QuiltCon in Atlanta, one of the vendors was demonstrating how to make rope bowls and selling an instruction book on how to make several different projects with rope.  I have wanted to try making things with rope for a while now so I watched the demo and asked a few questions. At the retreat, I tried making a bowl, and then another and then more until I had five finished bowls.  They are quite small and fun to make.  I recommend this book if you are interested in trying your hand at making rope bowls. 

I added some more stitches to my cross stitch project at the retreat too.  

My final project at the retreat was putting my vice president's day challenge quilt together.  I had made the square blocks a few weeks ago and needed to make some more black and white units and sew everything together.  

Mission accomplished!

Finn spent the weekend with my husband at home.  He was very excited when I arrived home on Sunday and has been keeping a close eye on me today. 

I will link up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge on Saturday.