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. 

Friday, March 15, 2024

Spring has Sprung!

Warm, sunny weather was with us most of this past week.  (We won't discuss the snow that we had last weekend!)  I have put away all of our winter decorations and have pulled out the Spring things!  I want to sew with Spring colours too.  My MIL likes to have her room decorated for the season so I am working on a Spring wall hanging for her.  The rabbit and flowers are attached to the background with fusible appliqué and I used a narrow zigzag stitch around the shapes to hold everything down.  I plan on getting this quilted this weekend so I can take it to her next week. 

I added a bright green binding to my Crumby Stars quilt and it has been hand sewn down on the back.  A finished project!

I picked up my Spring Rabbit cross stitch picture at the framers this week and it is now hanging in our living room.  I like the distressed frame with a touch of orange to match the carrots!

I added some leaves to my Sunflower cross stitch this week too.  

Finn enjoys nothing better than a nap in the sunshine, inside or outside!

He supervised my hand sewing this week too.  He's a very busy boy!

These hellebores are from my MIL's garden.  They came to live in my garden when my MIL moved out of her house. Such a  pretty colour!

I think a squirrel must have transplanted this crocus to my backyard from the front yard.  

I will link up with the Slow Sunday Stitchers at Kathy's blog on Sunday morning. 

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Quilting Retreat Report

Last weekend, I sewed for three days straight at the semi-annual Oxford Quilter's Guild retreat.  Early in the pandemic, I cut up many of my scraps into 2.5" squares and put them into piles by colour into a plastic shoebox.  I challenged myself to make quilts using these squares to use them up.  I have made several quilts with these squares but still had lots left.  I brought them and some gray and white print yardage with me to the retreat.  I had designed this quilt in my head and put all the nine patches together at the retreat. It measures 44.5 by 44.5"--a great size for a fun baby quilt.  Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) I still have lots of squares left.  There will be more quilts made with these squares sometime in the future.  The colours are random and I like how it sparkles.  I have a quilting plan and hope to quilt this one soon.  The backing is in my stash so I am ready to go. 

As an outreach project, the Oxford Guild is making pillowcases for Indwell, a charity with provides supportive housing for homeless and people at risk of homelessness in our community.  Everyone in the guild was asked to make 3-4 pillowcases each and I made two at the retreat.  I have already made one and have the fabric ready to make a fourth one this week. 

Next, I pin basted two quilts--I hade the use of two tables at the retreat to do this --much easier on the back and knees than basting on the floor at home.  One quilt was quilted at the retreat with my walking foot.  I have picked out some green solid fabric for the binding and will be adding that soon. 

I have been admiring this Film in the Fridge free pattern for a while and decided to give it a try with a jelly roll that was given to me.  I added some solids from my stash to make this quilt top. The online pattern uses 3" strips for the blocks--so I scaled it down so I could use the jelly roll.  I did some Quilty math to maximize my use of the strips so each piece in the block is 3.5 by 2.5".  This top is now in the "to be quilted" pile. 

I purchased a kit from Gotham Quilts (based in NYC) to make a sewing bag at QuiltCon.  I read through the instructions, cut out the pieces, and applied iron on interfacing at the retreat.  I am now ready to sew it together.  I love the fun NYC prints!

This was posted on the door to the room where we were sewing at the retreat!

The food was delicious.  Lunch one day featured Italian Wedding Soup and gourmet sandwiches.  

When I got tired of machine sewing, I pulled out my counted cross stitch project.  I managed to finish this one this week and will have it framed soon. 

You may remember that I was not quite finished my sunflowers when I started the above winter stitching.  I am back to working on the sunflowers now.  Here is where I left off and where I am now. 

We went to pick up Finn earlier this week for his annual stay with us while our daughter is busy at work. I took a picture of my daughter's murder mystery cross stitch while we were there. 

People who go to the retreat donate door prizes and then everyone gets something to take home.  I won this fun puzzle. 

Spring is in the air at my house.  I bought these bunny tea towels in Raleigh. 

Like many other places, spring has come way too early to our area and my primroses are in bloom.  This is very concerning!

I will link up with Kathy in the morning for Slow Sunday Stitching and with the Rainbow Scrap challenge folks as well. The colour for March is purple.  There are lots of purple squares in my scrappy 9 patch quilt at the beginning of this post.