Sunday, 10 April 2016

I`m Playing Too

Sometime in the last month or so I found a hashtag on Instagram that took me to a blogger who is hosting a Finish A Long, with a bunch of other bloggers.

The idea is you make public the finishes you want to accomplish in the next 3 months. For every finish, there are a lot of great prizes to be won. You are entered for a prize for each item you finish - there is no penalty for not finishing an item on your list.

I need a little motivation sometimes, so I decided to play along and now the 2nd quarter (Q2) entries are open.

Here are my plans:

1.  This lovely charm square stack of Vintage Modern by Bonnie and Camille will become a dresden quilt for my bed. I`ve had this idea in the works for ages but haven`t taken the leap. I`m leaping. There is no pattern, I`m going to make a bunch of dresdens, then scatter them all over the white background and stitch them down.

2. This pile of fabric on the left, along with some from the right, and some from Buttons, will make a quilt for a young woman who is having a child.

The pattern is this one from a magazine (also borrowed from Buttons). I used this pattern last year for another baby quilt and it turned out great and was quick and easy.

I`m only setting two goals. That`s it. That`s all I have in the works that I think I can finish by the end of June, and my goal is to finish.

I think I`ve convinced Buttons and The Edgy Perfectionist to join too.  We`ll see.

I`m linking up, planning for finishes, and hoping for a win.

Sloooooooooooow Stitching

Not slow in a bad way, just slower than I've been going. I've finished the smaller blocks in Winter Wonderland and now I'm into a big block. And I had a very busy week.

This is my progress this week. (And this big block is traced out)

It's the left hand side of a pine tree. On the far left of the top panel

(photo from

This week coming up will be far less busy so I'm hoping to have more to show next weekend.

I'm linking up to Kathy`s Quilts

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

I Finished!

On Easter Sunday I finished sewing the binding on my Under The Stars quilt.

I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

Some quilting close ups of the borders. I used the snowflakes I used on my HO, HO, HO quilt and added some loop-de-loops in between to join them together.

Around the squares in the centre I went horizontally and vertically row by row, and I went around each gold star.

In the dark blue band at the top I did a simple loop-de-loop again. I also quilted around the snowmen shapes and the big parts of their faces. Without that, they poofed up too much. With quilting the parts, there is much better definition to their faces.

I put a round label on the back that says: "Made by me, for me, then my name and the date".

I'm not sure I'd make this quilt again, or if I'll do another flannel top and bottom. I did like the mix of hand applique and sewn piecing. And the colours grew on my over time. On my current machine, quilting through two layers of flannel and batting was a bit tricky.

I've put this quilt away until next year when I'll bring it out for the couch. I refuse to accept that we have enough winter left that I still need a flannel quilt.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Just In Time?

A polar vortex has hit my part of the world this weekend. All our snow was gone, then we got some more yesterday - and it hasn't melted yet. I was just out for a walk and it feels cold. There are 3 boys tobogganing down a small hill just behind my house and judging by their shouts they are enjoying themselves. The weatherman is calling for more snow later today. This should be it for us for winter-like weather, but I'm not betting on it.

I finished another Winter Wonderland block this week - last night in fact.

It's up against the patio door, so you can see my carried threads behind. I'm pleased with how this block turned out. And I'm still enjoying the process.

Last night it looked pretty with the snow sticking to everything. But I'm ready for spring.

I'm linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

A Birthday Minecraft Finish

I have two nieces - the oldest will turn 8 this week (and the youngest is 6 1/2). They are delightful and we enjoy spending time together - especially when we have a crafternoon.

They are starting to get to the age where they really appreciate the hand made things I make for them.

The oldest - E - is in love with Minecraft. So I put my brain to it to think up something special for her birthday. After some consultation with E's mom, I decided on a mini duffle bag, decorated with Minecraft characters.

E got asked for her 3 favourite characters - she responded quickly. And I had to look one up to see what it looked like. Her interest was then piqued - what is Auntie making me for my birthday? She asked her grandparents at least once, if not more times, what I was making, so I knew I had her interest.

Thanks to Button's Quilts, I got an online quilt-a-long for a Minecraft quilt at Seriously...I think it needs stitches (which I think is a very clever name for a blog). Kelli very generously is sharing her patterns over a number of weeks. I used her basic layout for Steve and Alex, although mine is much smaller than hers.
Alex (a girl); finished 4"square

Steve; finished 4" square

I drew my own graph paper (4" by 4" blocks in 1/2" increments) and coloured. Then I figured out my cutting (the numbers on the side). And Button's Quilts (who has a magnificent stash and therefore a magnificent scrap bin) lent me some kona solids to help with the people. (Steve's hair is espresso and his skin is rafia; those are the only colours I know).

Here is a progress shot of the purple girl - she's called Enderman Girl, to the best of my knowledge

The duffle bag pattern I got from a friend at sewing group so I don't have any other info than that. It's 12"x6"x6" and made from Cotton + Steel fabric.

Initial for ownership; 4" finished

Enderman Girl; finished 4"
E got her bag Sunday and was delighted with the outcome. She begged all day to open her birthday presents before supper, but she had to wait. She dropped a few big hints to me, hoping I'd slip and tell her what I made. I didn't tell.

Now I'll have to see if little niece puts in an order for her birthday.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Sunday Stitching (A Day Late)

It's been a busy week around here. We had a spring ice storm last week and I got an extra day off school - so a 5 day Easter weekend for me.

I finished another block in the Winter Wonderland quilt.

I'm still delighted with the process and am really enjoying the hand sewing.

The next block is traced and ready to be started tonight.

I'm linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching (unless I'm too late).

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Slow Stitching

There is a fellow Canadian blogger I read at Kathys Quilts.  I'm not exactly sure where she lives, but it's not too far from me - I found her when we had our big ice storm a few years ago. Her style of quilting is very different from mine and I appreciate her workmanship. She hosts a "Slow Sunday Stitching" link up every Sunday - the idea is you do slow hand sewing on Sunday.

Since Christmas I pledged to do some hand work in the evenings when I'm watching tv. Sometimes I knit and sometimes I do embroidery, and some nights I do both. I'm really enjoying this time and seeing the fruits of my labours. Nothing goes quickly but I'm happy with my progress.

My first hand stitching project is a pattern called Winter Wonderland by Crabapple Hill Studio, which I've had forever. I have a thing for snowmen and that is what caught my eye in this one. I've finally got at it - in my year of selfish sewing, this was one quilt on my agenda. I'm embroidering on white kona, with a mulsin backing. So far, I've been doing my marking with a pink chalk pencil by Bohin.

This is my current block:

For some reason, my white fabric looks blue. You can see the pink markings. I'm doing it all in red (2 strands of DMC floss colour 321), with a simple back stitch. The machine stitches you can see at the top and bottom are just basting to hold my two layers together.

I've finished 3 other blocks:

Again, the machine stitches are just basting to hold everything together.

I'm pleased with my results and I'm enjoying the process of this. I will probably use a different quilt layout when the hand work is finished - I'm not in love with the pattern layout provided. I'm hoping to use it as a winter quilt on my own bed. I'm not certain how my cat's claws will get along with the embroidery though, so I'll have to wait and see.

I'm linking up to Kathys Quilts today.