Monday, January 09, 2017

Still quiltin'

Hi there, and Happy New Year! What did you spend your New Years Day doing? Because of course, it is said that whatever you do on the first of the year, you'll spend all year doing it! Personally, I slept in, ate leftovers and also worked on my hand quilting. I did a little housework too, but I'll keep that on the down-low. I sure want don't want to spend all my time this year doing chores!!

I'm still quilting here, and I can honestly say that I'm growing a little tired of it. I MUST keep going though, so I'm trying to find joy in the little things ... like each time I fill a section ... or when I move the hoop ... each of those small achievements will eventually give me a finished quilt!

Goodness me ... what a blurry picture ... let's pretend it's all artsy and that I meant for it to be that way!

** Before I sign off - I just want to mention that I upgraded laptops recently, and I lost any emails I received from my last blog post. If you asked me a question, I'd love to respond ... do you mind getting in touch with me again? Thank you so much! **

Well, I'm going to head back to my quilting throne and put some more stitches in for the evening ... chatter soon! xoxox

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Catching up ...

Hello there Christmas, I am ready for you! The only gifts I have left to bring into the house are anything being given to Camo - and that's only because I'm not entirely certain he might not look for them ... (or stumble across them, as I'm not very good at hiding things ...)

Before I get into the bits and pieces that I'd like to share with you, please allow me to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas. And if Christmas isn't your particular thing, know that I'm sending good wishes from my home to yours, and hoping we'll all have a wonderful New Year!

I have a few things to share, first up, Shay and I decorated cookies for the season on Sunday - I knew I wouldn't have time to put together a gingerbread house this year, so I made a 3D gingerbread cookie tree:

This was fun to put together - and it was nice to have Shay's company while I started working on it. Hopefully Shay was able to take home enough information for her to ice cookies for upcoming celebrations. 

And I can't even tell you how fun it was to see that Mark Lipinski snagged the picture from my Facebook page to share on his own. It was like a little brush with fame!

One of the reasons that I don't have a lot of time to put a gingerbread house together is because I'm really trying to spend as much time as I possibly can working on my hand quilting ... I took the Caswell quilt out of the hoop recently so I snapped a quick pic ...

This is only a little of the work that I've done, but you can see where I'm heading. There are some areas to fill that may not have fitted in the hoop when I was working on that area, and I'll get back to them as I can.

I also had a number of people asking about my hoop setup, so I took a picture of the floor stand to share with you:

My goodness I was blessed that this hoop came into my life. Literally the same day that I heard from Lizzy that she'd finished basting my quilt, I received an email from Lyn, a lovely lady that I used to work with. She had this stand, and wondered if I'd like it as she was de-cluttering her sewing room. Of course it was the perfect thing I needed, at the perfect time - and bless her, Lyn delivered it to me at work the next day. I don't know much about it, but I believe it was hand made by the husband of a quilter that Lyn knows.

Now that I've been quilting on the floor stand, I don't know how I persevered with hoops for so long! It's just so nice not to have to worry about balancing the weight of the quilt. However the only down-side is that my quilt is not portable at all - I can't quilt anywhere but home. But if I'm honest, the quilt is really too big to drag around easily, so it's not a problem at all!

I also had some questions regarding what kind of marking tool I was using to get the blue lines on my quilt. I'm always happy to help with info, and a sweet reader Janet shared that she hadn't seen the blue marker I'm using, so I took a pic:

I use a number of the Sewline products (no affiliation, just a happy customer) - for marking I use this blue marker on lighter fabrics, and on darker fabrics either their white or pink ceramic mechanical pencil. When I finish a quilt, I'm not happy to just spritz the marking lines away, I actually put the quilt through a gentle cycle in my washing machine and then dry the quilt flat on towels. It makes me happy to know that the quilt has been completely immersed in water and then there is no chance that any of the markings will remain or return.

Last of all, readers will know that I recently learned a new applique technique from Teresa's blog - and I in turn passed this technique on to a sweet lady named Pam who comes to my classes. She has fallen in love with applique and is running with it - this is her first project:

Her next job was to place the applique in the borders - and by the last class this year, she had completed all the applique and had moved on to the quilting. She selected big stitch quilting with perle cotton. It's just lovely!

Well, that's it from me for now - I have a feeling I had other things to share, but I can't remember what they were right now. If I remember and I get a chance, I'll pop back in and share, but if not, I'll see you on the other side of Christmas ... chatter soon! xoxox

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Still Quilting!

I'm quilting away on my Caswell quilt, and though I'm just loving it, hand quilting doesn't really make for exciting blog fodder.

So, if you need me, I'll be here ...

... for probably around the next five or six months!

Hopefully I'll have some fabulous progress pictures soon ... because I'm super happy with how it's coming along :-)

Chatter soon xoxox

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Operation Hand Quilting

Hand quilting on my Caswell quilt is continuing in earnest. Every spare moment I have is spent on the 'throne' in the sewing room with needle in hand, and for now, I'm loving it!

It's hard to capture the stitches in a photo adequately, but you can see some of my efforts, and hopefully some of the patterns I've been trying to stitch.

This is going to be a long term commitment to stitching, and hopefully I'll be as enthusiastic about it near the end. So far, all signs are good! Chatter soon :-)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

HOQH - Two more blocks

This past week I put two more blocks together for this sweet project. I am really having fun trawling through my repro scraps to find the perfect pieces to use. Until I get to the stage of sashing etc, I'd like to try not to cut into yardage. Because they're only 6" blocks, it shouldn't be difficult right?

Here are the next blocks:

Block 22 - Leaf Block

Block 55 - Malvina's Chain

With both of these blocks I paid absolutely no attention to the directions whatsoever. With block 22 I made up flying geese units using the flippy corners technique. With block 55 I made up the pinwheels using the doubled up half square triangle technique. I can truthfully say it was much easier than cutting all the individual triangles and worrying about bias edges etc. I'm not sure if I'll be able to do this with all the blocks going forward, but I'll be trying to cut some corners where I can!

These blocks will go on the back burner for an indefinite period of time now though. On Thursday Lizzy delivered my basted quilt top to me, and I'm now quilting in earnest!

This is not going to be a quick process, but I'm enjoying how it's coming along already. I'm playing tennis this afternoon, but as soon as I'm done I'll be stitching those tiny stitches again. Can't wait!

Also - a sweet lady emailed me and asked some questions about having my quilt basted, and I put the message aside to answer once I got my quilt back - but I now can't find the message. So I'm so sorry to that person, do you mind messaging me again? Thank you :-)

Chatter soon :-)

Monday, October 24, 2016

HOQH Blocks 43 and 51

After a busy day of chores yesterday, late last night I was able to put another block together. It was kind of a stressful one!

Block 43 - Flower Pot

These blocks are 6" finished, so you can imagine that some of those triangles are on the small side. Not Nearly Insane kind of small, but small enough nonetheless. This particular block was frustrating me ... for some reason the little triangles just weren't playing nice and I found it hard to get the block to sit straight. I got there in the end, but holy moly. Maybe I shouldn't piece late at night - I think I finished it up at around 11.30pm.

Another busy day today with chores, but I was hoping to have time to get another block together - after I picked up Camo from school, I had my moment!

Block 51 - Toad in the Puddle

This block went together much easier, and I'm super glad! This finish means I've made 14 of the 59 blocks for the quilt. Yay!

Just for fun I made a collage of the blocks I've stitched up so far. The collage repeats two blocks, but it's still fun to see how they're looking:

I'm super happy with how the blocks look together, I'll keep going with the brighter of my reproduction fabrics and keep the brown and black to a minimum.

In other news, I have finally had an opportunity to take a picture of the latest Dresden project I put together. I had made a baby play mat for a gift a while back and wanted to make another to share in my Etsy store:

I have been hoping and hoping for a bright day, but even the brightest of sunlight won't make me a better photographer - hopefully you can see how cute this mat is anyway :-)

Well, that's it from me for today, hopefully I'll have a few more blocks made by the end of the week! Chatter soon :-)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

More Quilting Heritage blocks ...

These blocks have really hooked me in - I do love applique, but I love piecing too - absence makes the heart grow fonder maybe? While I have some momentum, it's best to make as many of these blocks as I can. I was able to put two together yesterday, and I pieced another before my tennis match this afternoon, and then another this evening after I got home. Here they are:

Block 1 - Xquisite

Block 24 - Squares & Diamonds

Block 33 - Double X

Block 54 - Aunt Dinah

Block 33 Double X - I may or may not have put the block together, taken the picture, cropped it down and posted it on the blog ... BEFORE I realised that I'd added a corner back to front ... and then had to delete everything and fix it. Can't prove anything ... ;-)

Once again, a lot of the fabric I used in these blocks was from the various parcels from my friends in the USA - thank you ladies, I always love using the fabric you send me :-)

Speaking of fabric, I didn't forget to take pictures of the fabric I received in the mail this week. I made a purchase at Threadbear after a blog post they put up recently. I hadn't seen this fabric anywhere locally and knew I'd have to move quickly:

I just loved this panel - it's by Howard Marcus Dunn, and the range is Collection for a Cause - Preservation. Wouldn't this look just lovely as the centre of a medallion quilt. I'm so pleased I jumped when I saw it, because they're out of stock of the panel already!

And I had to have some of the large print that went with it:

This would be fabulous for broderie perse too! After the Di Ford-Hall workshop I did earlier in the year, I've been looking at fabric in such different ways.

Anyway, that's all I have to share for today - I wonder if I'll get any more blocks made over the next few days? If I do, I promise I'll share them with you really soon! xox

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Honouring our Quilting Heritage

While I spend some unpressured time waiting for my quilt top to be basted, I've been able to revisit a project I started at the same time as the Caswell quilt. I don't know if you remember, but a year ago I declared that I was going to have two projects on the go - one appliqued, and one pieced. It didn't take long for my true colours to show and the applique project bullied it's way to the forefront and once again I was focusing on one thing only. It seems like that's the way I work best!

So these past couple of days I've been able to put a couple of blocks of the Lori Smith 'Honouring our Quilting Heritage' project together, and tonight I took some pictures to share with you all:

Block 3 - Flutter Wheel

Block 5 - Handweave

Block 19 - Connecticut

Block 41 - Quilters Dream

The blocks are 6" finished and really do go together quickly. Some of them look a little wonky in the pictures (like the one directly above looks crookedy at the bottom) - but it's just because the bottom row was propping up a little when I took the picture. Maybe I should use double sided tape to stick them down in future ... just thinking out loud there ...

I'm using some of the pretty fabrics that were gifted to me by my friends in the USA over a few visits. We share a love of repro fabrics, and I'm determined I'm going to use some of the lovelies they gave me. I think I'll limit the use of browns and keep this quilt on the brighter side of things? This quilt won't grow quickly though, I'm going to be spending a lot of time hand quilting in the not too distant future.

Before I go, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone for the lovely comments on my Caswell top finish. It really made my heart sing to read all your lovely words. I haven't responded to you all personally just yet, and there are a few I won't be able to, but I promise to email those that I can shortly.

Lastly, I received a squishy in the mail today, and I'll share the contents with you in my next post - it's too dark for pictures right now, and this lovely fabric really deserves to be seen at it's best! Chatter soon xoxox


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