Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Swooning Along

     I've made some progress on my Swoon Quilt and I'm really happy that I picked this project for my December finish.

     You can see that I've got the short sashing done between the blocks and one long sashing strip attached to the bottom of the top row.  This of course was the easy part.  Now I have to mark the seams on the back of the sashing to match them up with row two.  I'm waiting till I have time during the day later in the week for this.  I don't like having to think too hard when I sew in the evenings.  I was reading an article about the Pantone colour for 2015 and the article mentioned the colours for the last three years.  You can see by the tangerine in my blocks that I started this quilt in 2012.

     For evening sewing I've got this little project.  My larger traditional guild is having a show this Spring, and the small Modern Group which is a part of this guild is putting in a collection.  We are each making a "modern"  mini or wall hanging .  To have the collection fit together we decided to have everyone use a grey solid somewhere in their quilt.  I've been playing around with these improv pentagon blocks.

        I got the idea from a pillow top Susan posted on the Canadian Abroad blog.  Then I found the general directions in 15 minutes of play by Victoria Findley Wolfe. The blocks measure up at 6 1/2 inches and I've only got the two done so far. Not sure if I'll use them both in the quilt but I'm having lots of fun playing with my grey scraps!  I'm linking up with Lets Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts, to W.I.P. Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, and one day late to Scraptastic Tuesday at She Can Quilt where Leanne is working on similar blocks.
Seeing hers I can see how I can make mine better.  I think mine are a bit too square.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Giant Chevron Free Motion Quilt Along Progress

     I've fallen hopelessly behind in the Giant Chevron FMQ Along over with Jess at Elven Garden Qults but  she's holding the final link up party at the end of January so I'm thinking positive thoughts about my abilities to catch up and finish the quilt by then..  Here's my attempt at the second pattern.  I'm not sure how well you can see this.

     I found the straight lines of the maze quilting difficult to do....but that's why I joined the quilt along in the first encourage myself to try these kind of patterns.   

     When I got to the edge of my quilt sewing this pattern ,I discovered a mistake I made in the first row.   I managed to fold the edge of the backing underneath the quilt and sew it down with my quilting.  Yikes!  So now I get to unpick a lot of quilting and practise fixing it.

Monday, 1 December 2014

December Goal for a Year of Lovely Finishes

     I had great success with November's goal so I decided to go big in December and list finishing my Swoon Quilt as my goal.  It is the oldest unfinished project on my current list (definitely not my oldest unfinished project).  This may be crazy, given how busy December can be but I might squeeze in some sewing time just to keep myself sane.

     Here are two of the blocks.  All of the blocks have been finished for probably close to a year so I think it's time I figure out how to do the sashing.  I always balk when I have to learn something new.

     I'm looking forward to having this one done .  Done is better than perfect!

     I'm joining the goal setting party at  fibre of all sorts and as it's December 1st and I'm remembering it I'll link up at the small blog meet at lilysquilts.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

I've got a Sunday Finish

          I am delighted to share that I have a Sunday Finish.  It was actually finished on Friday night but by the time it was done it was in the midst of winter dark and difficult to photograph.  So instead I'm sharing it with my Slow Stitching Sunday Friends.

     It's hanging on the clothesline in my backyard.  I'm pleased with the photo because it shows how luminous the Japanese fabrics are.  I love the fabrics in this quilt.  

     There were several challenges with making this quilt.  The first one was finding a backing fabric.  Japanese fabric is very expensive so I didn't want to back it with that but it was very hard to find a fabric that would blend well with it.  We finally found this fabric in the sale section of Sew Jax....bonus.  I'm not crazy about it as a fabric but it works really well to back this quilt.  The binding fabric was hanging around in my stash.   You can see some of the quilting in the photo below.  

     I'm not sure if I'll get any hand work done today maybe I'll put a few stitches in a shawl I am knitting, very slowly.  I did put in a lot of hand stitches this last week on the binding. 
This is my second finish for the 3rd quarter finish along over at the Littlest Thistle.  You can see my wish list here.  I'll be lucky if I manage to finish another.  It's also my November goalfor a Year of Lovely finishes, so I'm joining the linky party over at Fiber of all Sorts and I'm also posting with the Slow Sunday Stitchers over at Kathy's blog.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Hand Stitching Binding, Not

     Today I was hoping to share with you that I was hand stitching the binding on my large hexagon quilt.  However the quilting is taking me longer than I anticipated so instead I will be working on the sewing machine completing the quilting.

     I'm doing straight line stitching down both sides of the seams at about 3/8 s of an inch.  I may get to the hand stitching of the binding at some point today as I'm about 7/8 s finished  quilting.  I have to cut and sew the binding still.  It's a very wet and grey day here so working on this will be just the perfect activity.    I'm linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts.


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Toronto Modern Guild Projects

     I'm going through a period this fall where I have very little energy.  This is making it hard for me to sew, even harder to blog but I just finished a  couple of little projects so I thought I would share them.

     In September I decided to check out the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild.  I live more or less in between Toronto and London which both have Modern Guilds but I go to Toronto more as my daughter, my niece and my aunt all live there.  It was a fun meeting and they handed out fabrics and asked  each of us to complete a star block which would all be combined to make a quilt.   You can read more about this here.   I made this block.

     It's based on an Amish pattern which I found in a library book and I'm sorry I've forgotten which book it was.  I had fun playing with the negative space.  I'm thinking of making a mini quilt of this block .  It's 16" square.

      Of course I had to go back to the next meeting to hand in my block so I joined the guild.

     The next project which is due at the November meeting is to make a pouch which will be traded with members of the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild.  This is a bit of a stretch for me because I don't tend to make things with zippers and shape and such.   I found a free pattern on Craftsy called the No Guts Box Pouch by So Chick.  I decided that I better make a prototype first so I made this version which I will give to one of my friends.

     This was a fairly tricky project but it worked out pretty well.  I had some issues with the tabs but I'm confident I can improve that .  I'm going to make two more out of oriental fabrics and then a more modern one to send across the country.  I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social  at Sew Fresh Quilts.


Thursday, 6 November 2014

November Goal for a Year of Lovely Finishes

     This is the first time I'm linking up a goal for A Year of Lovely Finishes.  Hopefully this will work some magic and help me to finish this quilt.

    It's a hexagon quilt made of traditional Japanese Fabrics.  All I have to do to complete it, is quilt it.  This wouldn't be so difficult if I only worked on one thing at a time.  I can't hold myself to that though I'm always drawn to many directions at once.  I'm linking up to A Year of Lovely Finishes November Goal Setting Party at Fibre of All Sorts.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Sewing Kit Update

    I haven't done much blogging or for that matter much quilting of late...I guess I'll just blame it on life and spare you the details . I did notice today however that the Monday Morning Star count was back up  so I thought I'd give you a quick update on the slowly progressing sewing kit.

 I put the scissors in the picture so you would have an idea of scale.  As you can see I have 1 1/2 rows to finish and then I can start to assemble the sewing kit. I'm thinking I'll have the project completed in a couple of weeks.  That will be exciting!  Then I will have a case to bring my epp with me when I leave the house.  I recently bought some diamond shaped papers.  I've been inspired by the star quilts that I've been seeing on the link ups, so that's what I'll be doing next.   I'm linking up with The Monday Morning Star Count which is hosted by Jessica at Life Under Quilts.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Slow Sunday Stitching

     It's another beautiful fall day here in Ontario and today I am feeling thankful for all the native Maple trees we have.  Here is a photo out front of my house.  The tree across the road is really brilliant.

          This week in my meditation group our meditation leader spoke about how important it is in this busy time of cell phones and internet to just take time to be still, to meditate , to work in the garden and I would add to that to hand stitch.  I think for many of us our hand stitching time or even our time at our sewing machines is a time for quiet reflection.

     It's interesting how even our time for our hobby can have stress added to it as we work to keep up with sew alongs and block alongs or whatever.  I'm speaking for myself here and maybe for some of you as well.  So today I'll spend some time slow stitching my hexie's with no concern for how slowly they are coming along. 

     I've got the last two rows completed and I have started sewing the rows together.

     I might also spend some time with free motion quilting.  If you would like to see an update it's here.   As usual I'm linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's blog, and later in the week to the Monday Morning Star Count at Life Under Quilts.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Free Motion Quilt Along Progress

     I've been participating in the Free Motion Quilt Along that Jess is hosting on her blog Elven Garden Quilts    I loved the first pattern Echo Shell.  Here is a close up of my efforts on this first pattern.

     I'm pretty happy with it.   It's the densest  fmq I've done on a lap sized quilt.  I'm doing my practicing on Jess's Giant Chevron pattern which is  good practice piece because you have to go around points and change directions.

      Jess is up to lesson three but I've fallen behind.  The second pattern is a rectangular maze and I find it difficult to draw so I know it will be harder for me to quilt.  I've also been pretty busy of late.  The third pattern is a spiral and I am very excited to get to it. so I am going to have to get a move on with pattern two.  

     I'm really enjoying this.  Who knew fmq could be so much fun!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

4th Quarter List

       I've managed to finish two projects each for the 2nd and 3rd Quarters of the Finish Along at the Littlest Thistle.  To be fair I was slowed down last quarter by deciding to hand quilt my double wedding ring quilt.  You would think I would make my list shorter this time....but Im not going to .   You never know which two or maybe three of these projects I will feel like finishing.  So here is the big list.

1.   I still haven't quilted the half hexagon quilt
I have managed to find backing fabric so the odds are good I'll finish this one.

2.  I'm making a hexagon sewing kit out of the scraps from the above quilt.   I think the odds are good on finishing this one as well.

3.  I might get the giant chevron finished as I am trying to keep up with the fm quilt along at Elven Gardens blog.  I'm a bit behind but this one has potential.

4.  This is my fabric pull and at the top the only diamonds I've cut for the Emerge Quilt from Rachel  at Stitched in Colors' Angled Class.

5.  Here's another pattern from Stitched in Color.  The penny patch quilt along.  To finish this one, I'll have to  finish these blocks, find the blocks I've already completed and put the two together.

6.  This is my oldest project on my list.  Swoon.  All the blocks are made.   I'm not sure why I'm stalled on this one.

     So here's my crazy list.   I know I won't finish them all but maybe I'll make progress on some of them......and we'll see which two or three I manage to finish.   I'm linking up with Katy Cameron at the Littlest Thistle.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Block Along Update

     It's grey and damp on this  Thanksgiving  long weekend Monday  but we are hoping to get a hike in this afternoon with our friends.   Hmm we'll have to see if it's still raining later in the day.  The last two days the weather has been phenomenal so I can live with a rainy day.  I have been pretty busy  so I just managed to squeak in my second Tula Pink block this morning (I'm going to link up on the right day today) and I have no new alphabet blocks to share.   Maybe I can get 4 alphabet blocks done next week, although it's looking pretty busy as well.

   I'm copying others who are posting by taking pictures of the block with the corresponding block in the book.  

      I'm not sure how I feel about this block.  The outside colour is really quite bright. But it looks better photographed in the book than it does on the design wall so maybe it will be o.k. in a quilt surrounded by other blocks.  The block is also very asymmetrical  and I think my brain is having a hard time adjusting to that.  This is why we do new things.

   I've gotten tired of all the pink and purple blocks I've been working on lately so I switched over to orange and gold for the next block.

     This block is the perfect block for fall.  It will be interesting to see how it fits in with all the others in my multicoloured quilt.   Linking up to the Choose Your Own Block Along at Live a Colorful Life.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Thanksgiving Stitching.

    Today we will be celebrating Thanksgiving with our extended family in Kitchener . Before we go I will be spending some time reflecting on the beautiful fall day we are experiencing and all the other things I have to be thankful for while putting a stitch or two into another row of hexies.   Here is my progress on my hexagon sewing kit.   There are only a few more rows to put together.

     Have a wonderful Sunday everyone, and a wonderful week.  Linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathy's Quilts and later in the week to the Monday Morning Star Count at Life Under Quilts.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Choose Your Own Block Update.

      I read about the Choose Your Own Block link up at Leanne's blog   She can Quilt. a few weeks ago .  She made a reference to the Tula Pink Modern City Sampler .   I started making these blocks several months ago but in my usual fashion I bounced onto something else.  I'm hoping the link up can help keep me on track with this quilt.   Here's were I got to several months ago.

     My approach to making the blocks is to flip through the books and my fabric until something seems to work between the two.  Clock Wise from the top left they are block 10 (my favourite), block 33, block 16 and block 71.  Block 71 is a little wonky but not as bad as it looks in the picture.
     My latest two blocks are pictured below.

       It's interesting how colour affects our perception.  These blocks are the same size but the darker one looks so much bigger.  The block on the left is block 73 and must be the easiest block in the book.  The block on the right is an exact replica of block 99.  All my fabrics aren't Tula Pinks  but the fabrics in these two blocks are.  Except for the solids of course.  This is going to be one popping quilt!

     I'm also working on the Alphabet Blocks sew along over at the Temecula Quilt Co.   They are being presented 2 blocks at a time.   Here are my blocks for that grouping.

     I'm linking up one day late to the Choose Your Own Block Along at Live a Colourful Life.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Sewing Kit Progress

Here's my start on sewing the rows together for my e.p.p. sewing kit.   I decided to sew the rows together more or less moving from dark to light.

     So I have 4 of my 8 rows sewn together .   I'm linking up to the Monday Morning Star Count and checking out how everybody else is coming along at the link up at Life Under Quilts.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Modern Blocks Table Runner Finished.

     Well here it is the beginning of October and I'm celebrating my 2nd finish in the third quarter finish along.  This is the second time I've participated and the second time I've managed two finishes.   I think I get to count this one as it's done before October 6th.

     Here's my version of the Modern Blocks Table Runner.  It's made with a fat eighth pack of Oakshott Cottons "Rubies".  The pattern is Modern Blocks Table Runner by Lynne Goldsworthy from Lily's Quilts.  This was a good pattern to test the waters with improv quilting as the improv is done within defined limits.  The Oakshotts are beautiful and the improv process is fun.

     I backed the runner with a trio of  (I think ) Indian fabrics that I've had in my stash for a long time.  I was really happy to find a use for them.  Like Lynne I quilted with straight lines every inch but just for fun I threw in an extra quilting line every once in a while.
I really love this runner and I can't decide if I should keep it or give it to my sister.  I think it looks great on my table but I tend to live the kind of life where the table is covered with quilting mats and books.  Hmm,  I'll have to give this decision some thought. 

      I'm linking up to TGIFF  which Laura is hosting at Quokka Quilts because every finish deserves a celebration, to finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts and to  the  3rd Quarter finish along party  hosted by Katy Cameron of the Littlest Thistle.  My original 3rd Quarter List can be found here .

Monday, 29 September 2014

English Paper Piecing.

     Here is a quick update on my progress with my hexagons. I've worked on hexy projects before but never finished them, so I decided to keep this one simple and small.  I decided to make a  EPP travel sewing kit that I found in the book, "Quiltopedia" by Laura Jane Taylor which I took out of my local library.

     The sewing kit is 10" by 13".  As my hexies were a different size than hers I lined them up on the cutting mat to see if I had enough.  I'm pleased to say I do.  Now I get to figure out how I'd like them arranged  (this is definitely not it )and I can start sewing them together.  Linking up to the Monday Morning Star Count at Life Under Quilts

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Where did September Go?

     Hello everyone.  I have been missing in blog land for a while.  It's been an interesting month but not one for getting a lot of quilting done.  At the beginning of the month I got sick.  Nothing serious just a combination of allergies and a lingering virus that have zapped my energy.  By the time I get through the work day I don't have a lot of energy left....but the energy is coming back, along with the beautiful fall weather we have been having.  This truly is my favourite time of year.  Even with ragweed!
     The weekends have been pretty busy as well.  Last weekend was my birthday and I had lots of fun family time....a walk in Elora, a visit to a local quilt shop to use my 20% off birthday card and dinner with my husband, our daughter and our son and his  wife in the town that they live in.
     We have been looking for a large table for the sewing room that we could work on dropping the sewing machine down into.  Dwight found one at the local St. Vincent de Paul store for $35.
It's deeper than my old table so I had to refigure the furniture and move the bookshelf that holds the stash.  This of course meant taking everything out of it and resorting the stash.   It takes hours but it is so satisfying.  Since this picture was taken we've added a little home audio system.  I can listen to my C.D.s or the radio when I'm sewing.  You can also hook up a phone, an ipod or an ipad to this gizmo but I've not caught up to the current era and don't own these things.   Yet!!!

     I did manage to start and catch up with the letters sew along at the Temecula Quilt Company.  Thanks Tanya for sharing this.  It's  a fun little project to fit into the day.

     I also finished my Mod Blocks Runner.  Just like the pattern I used straight line quilting an inch apart,  I threw in the odd extra line at a half inch.  My nod to originality.   I backed it with some Indian? African? fabric I've had in the stash for about 10years.  I'm really happy to have used it and I think it complements the front quite well. It's three different fabrics pieced together.   The binding fabric had been in the stash for ever as well.  Today for Slow Stitching Sunday I'll be hand stitching the binding to the back.

     And if I get lonely I'm sure a certain somebody will be on hand to keep me company.

     Later today we are going in to the big city to join friends for dinner and before hand I'm checking out the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild's monthly meeting. It should be an interesting afternoon.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

A Little Focus Needed

     I am one of those quilters who works on a whole bunch of projects at once.  For the most part I'm fine with this but sometimes the amount of unfinished work feels overwhelming.  This is the last month for the 3rd quarter finish along and my attention has gone all over the place but not rested much on my goals.  So on the weekend I decided I better focus on at least one of my goals.   I  chose to focus on the Mod Blocks table runner ( Pattern by Lynne Goldsworthy from  ) and I gave myself the goal of finishing all the blocks and squaring them up.

So this is the amount I had done before this weekend 

 which  became this

which then became this

So all that's left of this project is to quilt it and add the binding.  I think I can get it done. Yay!  I'm linking up to Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Qults and at WIP Wednesdays at The Needle and Thread Network.  and because so many people were asking , it's a fat eights pack of Oakshott cottons.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Some FMQ Practice

     I haven't had a lot of time to quilt over the last two weeks but what little time I had I spent doodling around with free motion quilting.  Last week Chantal asked me to share pictures of the FMQ so here they are.

      In the spring I picked up the book "First Steps to Free-Motion Quilting "by Christina Cameli.  What I like about this book is that she has simple projects that you can start practicing on.  One of the beginner projects is a bowl that you start by tracing an outline of a circle and then fmq a spiral starting in the middle. Although it is listed as a beginner project I had my doubts that a free motion spiral would be easy, although to her credit she says you can use any pattern you are comfortable with.    Here is a picture of one of the two spirals I worked on.  It started out o.k. in the middle but definitely got more difficult as the spiral got larger.

     Although I wasn't totally satisfied with this spiral I was having a lot of fun so pulled out a practice sandwich and started playing around.  Here is a sampling of the results.

    My practicing seemed to be going pretty well.  My comfort level has gone up quite a bit.  I'm very happy with the pebbles.   Christina includes a pattern for a pillow using a pebble design so I will most likely work on that in future .  There are quite a few projects in her book that I think would be great little projects to practice on.

      I moved on to something functional but simple.  I work in a store and we often put out samples for customers on wooden t.v. trays.  Over time the trays have gotten scratched so I decided to make mats to cover the scratches.  My boss asked for a food theme and I happened to have some apple fabric  in the stash bought for a project I never got around to. Here's a close up of the quilting on one of them.  It's a simple edge to edge pattern included in the book.

    These were not the most exciting projects but definitely   low investment so good for practice.  I just might get to  putting the binding on these little mats today in which case I will be hand stitching some binding, or I may hand baste a few more hexies. Here are the latest additions to my growing hexie pile.

     These bring the count up to 25.  Once again linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching at Kathysquilts and the Monday Morning Star Count at Life Under Quilts

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Hexagon Update.

     I've been spending most of my quilting time doodling around with free motion quilting.  It's been lots of fun but theres not much to show for it.  I do however, think these hexies have grown since the last time I shared them. I'm not going to join any more together until I get them all done because I'm not sure about how I want them arranged.  I think I need to make 38 in total for my project.  So for my Slow Sunday Stitching I should be able to at least bast down the edges for the 4 at the top and hopefully add a few more.   I'm linking up to  Slow Sunday Stitching over at Kathy's blog. and on Monday I'll link up for the first time to the Monday Morning Star Count at Life Under Quilts.  I'm linking up late though because my work was on a wine tour today, woo hoo!