Monday, July 24, 2017

Christmas Design Wall



On the design wall today are the blocks for my "Have a Jolly Little Christmas" quilt. This is a sew along project from Sew Fresh Quilts. 
I just finished the Christmas Wreath pattern that was posted in June. It was just like constructing a jigsaw puzzle using pieces of fabric!



I've fallen quite a bit behind on this project. There have been 13 block patterns posted and I've just now finished sewing my 4th block. 
That's okay... there are still 5 months until Christmas!
Up next is the reindeer block... I'm thinking I'll make mine a Rudolph!

To see more design wall postings, hop over to Small Quilts.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party!
At Slow Sunday Stitching, we brag about our slowness, and take pride in the art of relaxing, breathing deeply, and not really accomplishing much. We believe in the health benefits of relaxation, and take it seriously enough to commit to the practice at least once a week. If you need a reminder of the benefits of relaxation, click here.

This week has seen me slowly stitching on a few different projects:

*here I am stitching the split hanging sleeve on the back of a miniature quilt that I am calling Bonnie's Star. I sew my hanging sleeves right into the binding along the top of the quilt. After the sleeve is hand stitched, I stitch the binding down on top of it.

*here I am stitching the label for the Bear Quilt. I have been remiss about making labels for my quilts in the past, and every time I do a quilt lecture and trunk show I feel embarrassed about that. So I am trying to improve my habits by making a label for every finished project.  
This label is a plain muslin rectangle in the centre with the quilt's information, surrounded with sausage fabric. It's an easy label to make, with the edges turned under and appliqued to the back of the quilt. Sometimes I just tuck a triangle label into the corner of the binding. I'm also stitching the binding on the bear quilt today and am so close to finishing!

*here I am appliqueing the centre of a trillium block. The pieces were tiny and I used the toothpick trick from Becky Goldsmith (video here) to turn the edge under a bit at a time. I don't enjoy applique this tiny, but for one block I can force myself to do it!

What are your hands stitching? 
We encourage you to relax and spend some time creating something with your needles today! 
Slow down, take some stitches and then link up your blog post below so we can see what you're working on.

   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   



Saturday, July 22, 2017

Scrappy Saturday

A couple more blue blocks were added to the Maverick Star collection this week. This a slow growing, no pressure project... just the way I like my quilting to be! The star points are mostly corners cut off of flying geese blocks. This is a free Bonnie Hunter pattern (click here) and uses up lots of scraps. 
To see more Rainbow Scrap projects, hop over to the weekly link up here.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Finished Mini Quilt


Back in May when issue #15 of the 100 Blocks magazine came out, I was immediately smitten with Bonnie Hunter's blockIn the magazine this block was called "sawtooth flutter" but I'm calling my version "Bonnie's Star". 

I sewed her block pattern using leftover triangles given to me by one of my quilt guild members (who would have otherwise thrown the pieces in the garbage). It was a fun challenge to turn the baggie of scrap triangles into this 133 piece 12" block. 
Since I already had the walking foot on my machine because I was quilting the Bear, I thought a quick little diversion with some instant gratification would be nice. And it was! I just did some stitch-in-the-ditch quilting around the block pieces and some parallel lines in the border and it's done - including a label and hanging sleeve.
A quick finish is just what I needed to maintain my motivation for my larger long term projects. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

New Mystery Quilt

I caved to the temptation to start the Meadow Mist Designs mystery quilt called Magnolia Mystery
Why?
Because there are only 4 fabrics required and I already have them in my stash! When I read the fabric requirements for this quilt, I could see in my mind's eye the exact fabric I could use from my stash. I have a lot of fabric leftover from my Swoon quilt and this is the perfect project to use it up.

A - yellow (3/8 yd scrappy)
B - grey (3/4 yd yardage)
C - black (5/8 yd yardage)
D - white with black designs (background 4 1/4 yd scrappy)
We won't actually start sewing until August but I have everything ready to go. Thanks to Kate for the enticement to join in the fun!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Blockheads

Are you sewing along with the Blockheads mystery sampler?
This is the block for week 19 called "Night Flight". If you're sewing this block be sure to use the instructions on page 2 if you are doing traditional piecing (page 1 is for "layered patchwork" technique).  We haven't had many flying geese in the blocks so far, so it was nice to sew a few of those. 


Here are the blocks on the design wall in no particular order. My block collection is missing the #16 flag block since I haven't figured that one out yet.
Hop over to Moda to see what block #20 is.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Still Quilting the Bear

Progress continues on machine quilting the bear. After the stabilizing lines on both sides of the sashing were stitched, I started quilting the paw print border blocks. I just stitched a free motion 'X' through each plain square. 
And then in the next border I free motioned an 'X' design again. I marked each section with an air erase marker to have a spot to aim for. It's not a precise method and the lines are usually not even straight, but I like quilting this way, and the results are good enough for the bear and me!



Then I decided to quilt across the brown bear paw blocks on the diagonal. I like the way it looks but it's a lot of stopping and starting. I decided to not tie in the thread tails, but to just tack the beginning and ending of each line of stitching, and clip the threads. It doesn't look as nice, but the bear and I are both okay with that too! If progress keeps going this smoothly, this bear might even be done by the end of the month!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Marvellous Mini Monday

Are you sewing along with the Temecula summer mystery??
It's only 1 or 2 easy blocks every Monday. Well, there was one week that wasn't easy at all, but all the rest have been easy peasy. 
We've just made these blocks with a tiny 9 patch, a flying geese centre, and a broken dishes centre. These 4" blocks use up all your tiniest scraps, the pieces that "normal" quilters throw in the garbage.

Here are all the blocks I've made for this project so far.
Hop over to Temecula to see what block we're making today, and then hop over to Small Quilts to see more design wall postings. So much quilty goodness to enjoy!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching where we celebrate the art of hand stitching! We encourage you to pick up a needle and thread, and S L O W L Y take some relaxing stitches today.
Last Sunday I finished hand quilting the first Life is Beautiful block. I did a bit of quilting in the embroidery, stitching inside the heart and following the swirling tree branch lines. Then I quilted just outside the appliqued circle, and in those middle seamlines that go out to each edge. That didn't seem to be quite enough so I also quilted a diagonal from the circle to the corners. I think that's enough to hold each block together, while still being not too labour intensive so that it will not take me another 2+ years to finish!!
One done and 62 more to go!

What are you hand stitching today? Do you have a take-along project that is travelling with you and getting finished slowly over the summer (or winter if you live in the southern hemisphere)? Link up your blog post below and share your slow stitching progress with us.


   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Scrappy Saturday

I'm working away on my collection of Alamo star blocks. 
 I've been making blocks for almost 5 years and this year I am sewing them together into 4 patch blocks with two light colour backgrounds and two dark backgrounds. The star colours in each four patch are random, which I constantly remind myself does not mean "evenly placed"!!  Here are a four more finished green 4 patches from May, and eight blues from this month. The 4 patch blocks measure 4".
To see more Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects, hop over to the weekly link up.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Quilting the Bear

One of the biggest challenges of being a quilt maker is figuring out how to do the actual quilting. I know of many quilters who have a collection of quilt tops because they just don't know how to quilt them. 

While I am basting a quilt, I am thinking about the quilting design. Sometimes I have a clear understanding of how I will quilt a project (like when making the Scrap Vortex) and sometimes I have no inspiration. When that happens, I just start by quilting a grid of some sort, making horizontal and vertical lines from the centre to the edges, or diagonal lines from the centre to the corners. As I'm doing that, more ideas for possible quilting designs usually come to mind.

That is what I'm doing with the bear quilt. I started by "stitching in the ditch" on both sides of the sashings using the walking foot. 
Then I decided that the bear needed some free motion swirling designs. My concern about this is if one area of a quilt is densely quilted and the rest is not, the quilt will not lay flat. 
I'm not sure how this will work out, but we shall soon see!
Linking up to Sew Fresh Quilts.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sampler Quilts

Sampler quilts are some of my favourite quilts to see, and to make. As opposed to quilts in which all the blocks are the same, a sampler quilt is made from a variety of blocks that are unique. Each block of a sampler quilt uses different layouts, scraps of fabrics, and/or construction techniques. These projects hold my interest WAY longer than quilts where I have to make a bunch of blocks that are exactly the same. My version of Votes For Women (pattern by Barbara Brackman) is my most recently finished sampler quilt, and therefore my current favourite! You can see some of my older sampler quilts here and read about some historical sampler quilts here.



My love of sampler quilts is one of the reasons I love the Moda Blockheads project. Last week we sewed block # 18 called Rocky Mountain Puzzle. It's a bit of an unusual name for this block, and you can learn more about the history of the name here

Because this is a mystery quilt project, I don't know how the layout will be. But I'm already leaning toward having some of the block be straight set and some on point.
A huge thank you to the Moda pattern designers who are providing this mystery sampler quilt for our enjoyment completely free of charge!
Hop over to Moda to see the pattern for block #19.
If you have Facebook, you can visit the Blockheads page and see all the block variations being sewn.
Linking up to the Oh Scrap! party at Cynthia's.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Empty Design Wall

Nothing is on my design wall today.
That is a rare occurrence here in my quilt studio.
I am trying to stay focused on my UFO of the month, which is the bear quilt. I finally attached the last two borders (a light, and a dark green) and here is a photo of the next stage of quilting - pin basting.
It's not a fun task, but it is necessary to move to the next fun task, which is the machine quilting step.
To see some design wall postings, hop over to Small Quilts.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching


Welcome to the weekly link up for hand stitchers! Make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and join us in celebrating the benefits of slow stitching!

Because I am finishing up my last Life Is Beautiful block, I put them all up on the design wall to see how it's going to look.
Looks great if I do say so myself!
I decided to do this project in the quilt-as-you-go style, so I am hand quilting each block individually and once quilted, I'll join them together.


I spent time prepping a few blocks for hand quilting this week, so that's what I'm stitching today. This is the first block I embroidered, so it will be the first block I quilt. This is a perfectly portable project for dragging around with me this summer. 


What are you hand stitching today? We'd love to see your project, so link up your blog post below and share with us.


   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   




Saturday, July 08, 2017

Scrappy Saturday

July is blue month over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I'm starting off the month by organizing my blue Alamo Stars into 4 patch blocks. I'm surprised that there aren't more blue blocks, but this is all there are to work with. 
What are you sewing for the blue month? Hop over to the link up at SoScrappy.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Temecula Sew Along

Temecula Quilts is hosting a "Marvelous Mini Monday" sew along for the summer, making a block or two or three every week. Here is my collection as of this week. These blocks use up the tiniest scraps that "normal" quilters throw in the garbage, so I feel like this is a free quilt!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Blockheads

Are you keeping up with the Blockheads project?
Block #17 was posted last week and is called "Trail of Tears". But there were no tears involved in sewing it! It was an easy block and used up lots of small scraps.
The block pattern the week before is an appliqued flag, and because it's Canada's 150th birthday this year I wanted to make a Canadian flag. So I have to figure out how to make that.



Here are my first 16 blocks.
I wonder if this week is another applique block? Hop over to Moda to see the pattern for block #18.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Fun Summer Projects!

Happy July 4th to my American friends!
There are some new projects starting in quilt land if you're in the mood for something new. I love starting new quilting projects and it's especially hard to resist when projects are scrappy because I probably have everything I need to make it. I wouldn't have to buy anything and could use up more "deep stash" (the old stuff). But I really want to work on the projects that I am in the middle of because I like them and want to see them become finished, useable quilts. So I am trying really hard to resist new starts at the moment. I tell myself that time is a finite resource, and I'm not going to live forever.
It's especially hard to resist these three projects because I LOVE mystery quilts.
But YOU ... maybe YOU have a vacation coming up and don't have any plans except to sew and relax. Here are some fun projects to consider:

Alycia is starting a new Quilt of Valor mystery on July 5th. She says that each weekly clue will take you one hour to sew and you'll have a finished quilt before you know it!





Sherri at A Quilting Life is hosting a scrappy sew along based on one of her grandmother's quilts. It will be a full sized scrappy quilt made of larger pieces. Two steps have already been posted so it's not to late to join in.
Kevin has started a mystery quilt called Sapphire Stars. It will be 70" x 90" and designed to use up colour groupings of scraps. Clue #1 has already been posted and future steps will use the tri-recs rulers.  

You're welcome!

Monday, July 03, 2017

Design Wall Monday

The Bear quilt is back on the design wall. 
Wow that last border was a lot of work! I had a terrible time with the measurements and redid a couple of the ends of the seams more than once. You know how it is when the outside edge of the quilt is wider that the inside measurements, and you try to make it fit and the fabric is just pulling too much? But if you give too much fabric, the border becomes a hot wavy mess! Attaching borders are my least favourite part of making a quilt for sure! And I'm planning to maybe add two more...a light and then a dark.
This quilt is a pattern of Lorna's from Sew Fresh Quilts. Her designs are intricate, detail oriented, and lots of fun to challenge yourself to make. Did you see her Canadiana version of the bear quilt? Check it out here. It's amazing and features two pieced bears in the finished quilt. 
It was my goal in June to finish this bear quilt. I did almost finish the quilt top. So my UFO goal for July will be the same as June's was... to finish this quilt.
To see more design wall posts, hop over to Small Quilts.
To see more UFO promises, hop over to One Monthly Goal.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Celebrations

Welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching! I have two things to celebrate with you today. 
1) Canada turned 150 years old yesterday! There were parties, parades, picnics, concerts, and fireworks to celebrate. Even though it was a bit rainy throughout the day here, we spent the day outside celebrating with our neighbours and friends. 



2) And in between those celebrations, I finished the last embroidery block for my Life is Beautiful project! The last stitches were put in on the 150th birthday of Canada! This last block seemed to take longer than the other ones, but it's done now and ready to applique onto a 4 patch block.



Were you celebrating Canada's birthday this weekend? Or some other special event? 
Link up your blog post and share with us what you are planning to hand stitch today! 

   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Scrappy Saturday - Alamo Stars

It's Canada's 150th birthday today and I wrote about it here yesterday so that today I could show the Rainbow Scrap Challenge stitchers my yellow progress this month.

I was able to get all my Alamo Star blocks with yellow backgrounds sewn into 4 patch units! I had to match up a few of the yellows with some darker background blocks using oranges and browns, but I'm happy with them. These 64 star blocks have been sewn into 16 four patch blocks. Let's not mention that I'm still working on the green ones from last month and will now start working on the blue ones also! 
Hop over to the RSC link up to see what the scrap quilters are working on today.