Sunday, 26 July 2015

Slow Stitching Update

    There's nothing quite like sitting in the backyard with a little slow stitching for company. I've had the last week off work and I've managed to squeeze in a little time sitting in the backyard, reading a bit, stitching a bit and just looking at the trees.  I have made  some slow progress on my hand stitching projects  so it's time for an update.   Here's where I am with the Hexy Star Count.

     This may not be all that different since my last link up but I do know that the lighter purple star in the centre is definitely new and so are the white diamond additions.  I decided to start adding the white background now so I don't go crazy adding them all at the end. At this point I'm planning on making a lap size quilt.

     I've also made a little bit of progress on my Japan sleeves sweater.  There are some techniques used in the sweater  that are new to me ,  wrapped short rows and carrying the yarn at the back of the sweater.  It's taken me a while to get used to them but I'm thinking that my progress may speed up some  as I get used to the techniques.

          I won't get much time today to work on my stitching. Our friends Carol and David are camping in our backyard.  We'll be having breakfast with them and then we are off to Toronto to visit our daughter.  We spent a lot of time in the backyard yesterday as our son came to visit and the three of us spent the afternoon weeding and digging. But alas no time for hand stitches then either.

     Maybe next week I'll be able to look at this view while working on some hexie stars

          Have you managed to get some slow stitching done outside?  I'm linking with Kathy at Slow Stitching Sunday and with Jessica at the Monday Morning Star Count.



Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Midnight Mystery

  Greetings I'm having a stay cation this week and I am super grateful that humidity has blown away and the weather is my idea of perfect...sunny, hot but not too hot, and breezy.  So far I've spent a fair bit of time quilting, and a fair bit of time checking out the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop (see bottom of post for details).  I've also spent a tiny amount of time weeding the garden and another bit of time sitting in the backyard watching the leaves blow in the wind and listening to the crows.  Have you ever listened to crows? They don't just caw.  They mumble and grumble and make all sorts of noises.
   On to quilting.  I'm participating in the Midnight Mystery Quilt Along hosted by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs.  I find picking fabric for mystery quilts  difficult and it took me a really long time to come to a decision.  I kept checking in at my local quilt shop and I could find maybe one or two fabrics I liked together but not four.
     Finally on a trip to the Modern Quilt Guild in Toronto I found three fabrics at the Workroom, and then found a fourth at Greenwood Quiltery.

     The top two are Art Gallery fabrics both designed by Katarina Roccella but from different collections.  They are followed by Cotton and Steel followed by an unknown peachy pink solid which is fairly light weight, so I'm hoping it will survive in a quilt.  Going from top to bottom they are fabrics A,B,C and D.

     This fabric choice is a bit of a departure from the brighter fabrics I've been choosing lately. I fell in love with the wild flowery print and it set the tone.  The two fabrics designed by Katarina Roccella are really beautiful.  The little brush marks on the mint fabric are subtle but really cool.

      I'm looking forward to channeling my softer side as I work on this quilt.

     My fabric is all cut out and ready to go.  The sizes of the cuts are really intriguing and I'm curious as to how the pieces will fit together.

     Are you participating in the Midnight Mystery?
You still can as we don't start cutting until the first Thursday in August.  The details are on Cheryl's blog.

     I'm linking to Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts and to W.I.P. Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

     Are you following the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop?  
These are my hive mates participating in this weeks hop. 
I'm sure they would appreciate a visit from you as they are the tail end of the hop.  While you are at it please visit the blogs of our hop organizers, Cheryl of Meadowmist Designs, Terri Ann of ChildLike Fascination, Stephanie of Late Night Quilter and Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl.

Monday, 13 July 2015

New Quilt Blogger Post

     Welcome to week three of the New Quilt Bloggers blog hop hosted by Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl, Stephanie of Late Night Quilters, Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs and my group leader Terri of Childlike Fascination.  Participating in the Hop has been a wonderful experience.   
    My group is called the Sewcial Swarm and we've been very busy checking out each others blogs and working on our own. It's been so busy that at one point I was thinking we should have called ourselves the worker bees, but we are fresh off a two week break and it's my turn to share a bit about myself, so here goes.
     I was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario where I met my husband Dwight.  He was from a smaller town and he didn't like living in the big city  so after we married we moved to a smaller close by where we still live.  We have two adult children, one in law school and one in teachers college. 

        This picture was taken  a year ago when we helped out at a tree planting with my co workers.    Dwight and I enjoy gardening with native plants and trees.  We have a mini forest at the back of our yard which you can sort of see in the picture of my Swoon Quilt below.  Now that there are leaves on those little trees it looks a bit more forest like.

Swoon Pattern by Camille RossKelly
     I have a degree in Biology and I work full time in a Health Food Store.  I fit  as much quilting as I can into the evening hours and weekends. I learned to quilt just over 10 years ago.  What started out as a very part time hobby  has blossomed into more of a passion in the last couple of years as my children have left home and I have more hours to fill playing with fabric and improving my piecing skills. 

Houses Pattern by Johanna Masko
     My husband's only comment on the first four quilts I made was "That's bright." so I think it is fair to say that for the most part I prefer bright colours and strong contrasts. I  do sometimes make softer quilts. I belong to a traditional guild and a modern guild and I make quilts in both styles. This past year I have been focusing on the actually quilting:  free motion, walking foot and hand quilting.

Mod Blocks Runner Pattern by Lynne Goldsworthy

     I've been blogging for about a year and a half.  It took me a really long time to pick a name as it seemed like all the good names were taken.  Here's how I finally picked my name.
       Like many people who live in the northern hemispheres I can get quite low in the winter.  One winter I decided to try a couple of  creative hobbies to see if some creativity could help get me through.  I tried mosaics and quilting, and the quilting stuck.  I named my blog Sunlight in Winter Quilts as an expression of the joy I find in working with bright fabrics in the greyness of winter. 
     My blogging tip comes from an observation made by my critique group.  They found my blog difficult to read because the print size was too small and was written in italics.  So my tip is USE BIG PRINT.  Another tip is to view your blog as a work in progress and make slow changes to it when you can. (this tip is really for me!)

     My quilting tip is don't trust your 1/4" foot.  If you find your piecing isn't lining up your foot is not accurate.    I've found the most accurate way for me to get consistent 1/4 inch seams is to use the foot but move my needle over to position 4 on my machine. For me to make this change  It took a workshop instructor  pushing the button on my machine to adjust the needle. So if you, like me are slow to change just imagine me reaching out of the computer and pushing that button for you!

     Joining this blog hop has been a wonderful thing.  I've met a lot of great new bloggers and I've pushed myself to make changes to my blog that I just wasn't getting around to doing, or didn't know how to do.  The process has also helped me  to think about the direction my quilting and blogging has taken and to think about where I would like to go in the future.

    I have some goals I would like to share with you.  
1.  More humour.  When I was a little kid I had my family in stitches telling them stories about my day.  It's hard to capture that spirit in writing.  I'll try.
2.  Work on more Modern techniques such as improv.
3.  Design some of my own quilts.

      How about you.  Do you have a blogging goal or quilting goal you would like to share?

Random Facts:
Sign: Virgo on the Libra cusp.
Favourite Author: Miriam Toews
Favourite Book:  Read to many to pick one but the best two in recent times are Your Face in Mine and All the Light We Cannot See. Currently reading War and Peace (Wish me Luck)
Love to watch Scandinavian Detective Shows.

     As I come to the end of this very long post I would like to encourage you to check out the other members of Sewcial Swarm posting today.  Here are links to their blogs.

                        Elenor @
               Corinne @
               Vicki @
               Karen @

Please also check out the posts at our organizers blogs:  Terri Ann of Childlike Fascination, Stephanie at Late Night Quilter , Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs and Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl.
 These women have put an incredible amount of time into organizing the blog hop and giving us encouragement and tips, so to the four of you I would like to share this photo of two things that showed up on the lunch table at my work.  The sentiment on the card is for you:

     I'm off to check out the other blog posts.  I hope you join me.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Blocks in Progress

     On Sunday I was at the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild meeting where we had a block lotto for Pick Up Stick blocks.
Everyone who participated got one ticket for each block they brought , a ticket was drawn and the winner got to take home all the blocks.  I made these four blocks.

          They finish up at 9 1/2 inches and were really fun to make.  The lotto was organized by Berene who blogs over at Happy Sew Lucky and posted a tutorial here.  I did not win the blocks but I was happy that Adrienne won them as she made 8 of these addictive blocks.

     No worries as I will be making more, this time with variable grey backgrounds. It's a summer project for the small modern group at the Royal City Quilter's Guild.  We will be putting them together in one or more donation quilts this fall.

     Speaking of donation quilts.  The community outreach group of the RCQG handed out block kits to all members at our meeting in June.  Here is the completed block for the first of three kits I took home.

    It's a really colourful block.  All of these blocks are sewn with the fabrics in the same sequence.  I'm really curious to see how they come together in the finished quilt.

     The block below is from the Sea Star Pattern by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs. I participated in pattern testing for Cheryl this spring.  I made the one block and I thought I would make it into a pillow cover but I I loved making the block so much that I think a lap quilt is in my future.  You can check out other versions of the pattern here. It's amazing how different pattern choices change the look of a quilt.The pattern is on sale until July 6th and you can get the details on Cheryl's blog. 

       I'm one of the 70 or so  participants in the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop hosted by Terri Ann of ChildLike Fascination, Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl, Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs  and  Stephanie of Late Night Quilter.  My turn to post will be on July 12th and my blog has become a work in progress. Some of the participants made a lot of changes very quickly.  I'm moving at a slower pace so we'll see what I manage to accomplish by then.  I'm linking up to Let's Bee Social and Works In Progress Wednesday( Nope this one got cancelled this week).  Happy Canada Day Everyone.

Oh Yes.  I forgot to mention that Donna who likes the patriotic (U.S) colour combination of red, white and blue one the Grande Scrappy Tiles Pattern.  Congratulations Donna!