Saturday, April 20, 2024

Cozy Flannel Scraps

I keep all of my flannel scraps in a large tote bag and when the bag starts to overflow, I make a scrappy flannel baby quilt to tame them.  Last week, I showed the crumb blocks I made at a sewing day with my guild and this week, I put those scrappy blocks together to make a baby quilt top. I have enough of that darker blue left to make the binding too.  When I give one of these quilts away, I always write a note to go with it with washing and drying instructions as well as suggestions to play I Spy, a matching game or to learn colours.  I also say that I will repair the quilt if it starts to wear out or gets a hole from the stitching coming loose. So far, I have never had to repair a baby quilt I have given away.  I want the recipient of the quilt to use it--play on it/with it, cuddle under it for story time or a nap, build a fort or take it on a picnic. 

I dug into my bin of flannel hunks and chunks bin to piece the back.  All of these fabrics are leftovers from  PJ's I have made for my twin nieces when they were little.  They are now in their mid 20's. 

I sent the pictures of the top and backing to a friend and she commented that I must have made my bins emptier...nothing could be further from the truth.  They are both still full.  Larger pieces on the left and smaller scraps on the right.  I will have to make more flannel quilts...

Here are the leftover blocks from my quilt...the sourdough starter for the next one. 

A friend has four grandchildren --she saved all the leftover fabric from PJ's she has made them over the years and has decided to make each of them a quilt.  The first one is for her grand-daughter who will be starting university in the fall.  I got together with my friend this week to help her lay out the blocks--this is a disappearing nine patch quilt. She is busy sewing them together this weekend so she can use her living room again. We will get together to piece a quilt back when the top is together. All of these fabrics have a winter theme. 

I started my Lupins cross stitch this week.  I doesn't look like much yet--a friend suggested it looks like an inkblot. I've used three colours of purple so far. 

Finn was just telling me he wanted to go outside to sit in the sun when I took this picture.  His tail was wagging!

Gardens and trees in our neighbourhood are bursting with colourful blooms.  I love this time of year!

You all know already that Finn loves to be outside on a sunny day!  

I will be adding more stitches to my cross stitch tomorrow for slow Sunday stitching. 

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Sunflowers Cross Stitch (Finally!) Done.

I spent a few evenings this past week working on my Sunflowers cross stitch.  Finn likes to lie beside me on the couch while I am stitching.  When I got up to get a glass of water, he moved over to my spot... very helpful!

On Thursday evening, I added the last few stitches and gave it a good press.  TaDa!   I love how all of the bees and sunflowers look on the blue background.  I will take this in to be framed sometime in May.  The stitched part is about 11.5" by 11.5".

Last Summer, my husband and I went to Newfoundland for our vacation and saw lots of lupins in bloom. I purchased this counted cross stitch kit while we were there. This is a much smaller project than the sunflowers. I have prepped my Aida cloth by zig zagging the edge and sorted out the threads by colour.  I hope to start stitching tomorrow for Slow Sunday Stitching. 

Today, the Oxford Guild hosted a sewing day to work on a pattern chosen by the Vice President of the guild.  Being a rebel (haha!), I chose to work on a flannel vortex quilt to use up some of my flannel scraps.  I had cut up lots of pieces earlier in the week and put them in a clear plastic shoebox.  The larger bin where I keep my flannel scraps looks fuller than ever...I think I must have just fluffed everything up.  I sewed and pressed and trimmed and sewed and pressed and trimmed all day long.  I hope I have enough crumb blocks made now to make a baby quilt.  I had some blocks leftover from the last time I made one of these quilts--sort of like a sourdough starter but fabric.  The second picture shows the blocks I made today as well as the ones that were made before.  I will work on cobbling them together soon. I love this part of the process--it is like putting a puzzle together. 

We took Finn for lots of long walks this week.  He loves to walk at the park and on hiking trails but does not like to walk in our neighbourhood...

We went out for ice cream tonight.  Finn got his own bowl with a small amount of vanilla ice cream in it.  He loved it!  You could not tell that there was ever ice cream in the bowl by the time he was done. 

His face, however, was another story!

Our azalea bush has started to burst into bloom this week. 

The bloodroot was very pretty earlier in the week until it rained for two days, knocking all of the petals off  of the flowers. 

We watched the eclipse on Monday in our backyard, enjoying Eclipse Sundaes while we waited for the full eclipse.  

Finn was ready!  (Actually, we kept him in a shady spot in our gazebo--he was very happy to be outside with us!). 

Have a good week!  I will link up with Kathy in the morning. 

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Modern Sampler Done!

I started making blocks for this modern sampler quilt in October 2020. I had to buy some of the gray background fabric for the blocks but the rest of the fabrics were in my stash--the white fabric has glasses on it and appears in every block.  All of the other fabrics have dots or lines on them in orange or blue and white. It took a year to make all of the blocks as it was a block of the month program.  I made one extra block so that I could set them as shown in the picture below. The blocks sat in a drawer for quite a while--I could not decide what colour of background fabric to use.  I took them to a quilt store in Stratford last fall and finally found something I liked--Navy blue solid.  The borders were completed in January and I pieced the back with leftovers and other fabrics from my stash and took it to the long armers who quilted it with organic wavy lines and random circles, as I requested.  And this week, it is done!  It will be used on the single bed in my daughter's old room.  

I'm happy to say that Finn approves as you can see by his waggy tail. 

While most of my hand stitching time this week was devoted to hand stitching the binding on the sampler quilt, I did manage to add some stitches to my Sunflowers as well. 

I have not shown a picture of my knitting recently--my scarf is now 23" long.  Hopefully, it will be done before next winter!

After a week of cold, wet weather, today was finally sunny and warm enough to spend some time outside on the front porch.  Finn looks like he is in jail here!  

I will link up with Kathy in the morning. I will be doing some cross stitch tomorrow for my slow Sunday stitching.  I will also link up with Frederique.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Still Binding and Progress on the Sunflowers

Easter Greetings from Finn!  We had our family Easter Dinner on Friday afternoon and Finn dressed up for the occasion!  

Snack time featured a chick cheese ball surrounded by a cracker nest.  

I spend some time doing cross stitch this week and just about finished the lower left flower in this last quadrant.  I have a couple of new projects waiting in the wings when this is done. 

I picked up my modern sampler quilt from the long armer's house this week and trimmed it up so I could sew on the binding.  I don't usually measure the quilt before I cut the binding--I just guesstimate how much binding I will need.  I played binding chicken with this one and won!  My slow stitching this week will be hand sewing the binding to the back of the quilt. 

Here's a sneak peek at the quilting.  Come back to see next week's blog post for the full reveal.

I finished the binding on my scrappy nine patch baby quilt earlier in the week. 

We finished our Stitch by Stitch quilt store puzzle this week and have started another one.  

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

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Yet Another Retreat...

 It's true.  My friend, Christine and I have attended two quilting retreats in March, two weeks apart.  (We won't mention that we were away for a week at the end of February at QuiltCon in Raleigh, NC...).  This is the end of our quilting retreats for until November, when we have two more. We are both very productive on the retreats and manage to get lots of sewing done.  It's amazing what you can accomplish over the course of 2 1/2 or 3 days of concentrated time with no cooking, dishes and other distractions!  I spent most of my weekend making quilt backs, pin basting and quilting a wall hanging and two baby quilts. 

This is the rabbit wall hanging I made for my MIL in the process of being quilted.  I used my Hera marker and a quilting ruler to mark one of each of the pairs of lines.  The second line was 1/2" from the first one. The up and down quilting was done with light green thread and the horizontal lines with the blue thread you see on the machine. I finished it off with the binding made from the same fabric as the narrow border.  This has been gifted already and is hanging up in my MIL's room.  She likes to show it to people when they come into her room. 

I bought a panel to make a quilted baby book recently and sewed it together at the retreat.  It has been gifted to a baby that is due in April. 

The walk between the building where we sewed and the building where meals were served was beautiful!

I sewed this quilt top at the previous retreat and quilted it at this retreat.  The binding was added at home this week. There is a baby in mind for this quilt.  She is due in May. The backing is the same as the background fabric in the crumby stars quilt I showed on my blog last week. I had to add a pink stripe on the back to make it wide enough. The turquoise binding fabric was in my stash.  

The scrappy nine patch quilt was quilted with a simple cross hatch through the white and gray squares. Again, the backing fabric was not quite wide enough so there is a strip of light orange added to make it work. I added the green binding at home this week and I'm in the process of hand stitching it to the back of the quilt. 

Our knitting friend, Mary, and I went down to the beach to see the sunset. 

I received some money for my birthday in February and purchased a kit to make a "Sew Together" bag at QuiltCon featuring fabrics with a New York City theme.  I started sewing it at the retreat and hope to finish it this coming week.  

Spring is being a bit fickle this week and so, in anticipation of a snowy forecast for Friday, I cut some daffodils and brought them inside for my table.  

Finn was not happy about the snow.  He likes to lay outside in the sunshine and it has been too cold to do this for the last couple of days.  Thankfully, most of the snow melted today and it is supposed to be warmer this coming week. 

Someone added some Easter decorations to a tree at the park where I walk each morning. 

Finn loves this little squeaky chicken ball.  It is not round and bounces erratically which makes the game even more fun. 

I bought a freshly baked pretzel at the farmer's market this morning...doesn't it look like it is ready to kiss me???

I will link up with Kathy and the Slow Sunday Stitchers in the morning and with Frederique at her blog.