Sunday, November 19, 2017

My Thread Stash and a Finish

Back in August, I took a two day design workshop with Jacquie Gering.  You can read my blogpost about the workshop here. 

If you went back to the post, you would have read that I had the quilt pin basted shortly after the workshop--I just needed to find the right colour of thread.  I had lots of colours in my thread stash, but not the right colour. (Here is a picture of my thread drawer--the colour I used in the quilt is in the picture.)

Jacquie had suggested a lighter colour of thread for the quilting of this project and I did not have any suitable colours in my thread drawer.  Every time I was in a sewing store, I checked to see if they had Aurifil thread and if they did, I searched for a light colour that would work for my quilt.  Finally, I found this light peach colour.  This was one of the colours that Jacquie had suggested. 

I have saved my empty spooks in a basket in my sewing room for several years.  You can see that I have gone used lots of thread since I started sawing the spools.  Each orange spool represents a kilometre of thread--half a kilometre of sewing if you consider that half the thread gets used in the bobbin. 

Now, back to my quilt...

I used a quilting idea from Jacquie's book "Walk".  If you don't already have this wonderful book, go out and buy it or drop subtle hints to Santa...  I used my Hera marker to draw two gently curved lines diagonally across my quilt, intersecting them in the centre. Then, I echo quilted each quadrant, using the edge of my presser foot as my guide. 

The lines of quilting are 3/8" apart  and by the time I finished all of the quilting, the quilt would not lay flat.  Jacquie had told us about how she blocks her quilts by spraying them with water and stretching them out to flatten them after quilting and before trimming and binding.  I decided to give this a try, but first I had to buy a clean spray bottle.  This took a while because I kept forgetting to look for a bottle when I was at a hardware store.  Finally, my husband picked one up for me when he was out one day.  I sprayed my quilt, stretched it out and pinned it to the carpet in my family room.  I sprayed it one more time and left it to dry overnight.  In the morning, it was flat!!!  I trimmed it and made binding with some navy fabric leftover from making the quilt.

This week, I sewing the binding on first by machine and then finished it off by hand last night.

I had this bicycle print in my stash and since the front of the quilt spins, I thought it was appropriate.

Here is a close up of the quilting.

And... here is the finished quilt:

When I first made the label, I called this quilt "clockwise"...then, I realized that it if actually spinning counter clockwise, so I had to change the label to reflect this name change.

I will be linking up with Kathy and the other slow stitchers.  Go and take a look at what everyone is up to. I hope to have some more hand stitching time later today.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Placemats and More Counted Cross Stitch

The London Friendship Quilters Guild met this week.  Every year at this time, each member of the guild makes placemats to donate to Meals on Wheels.  The placemats are given to shut ins along with their Christmas dinner which is delivered on Christmas Day. A representative from Meals on Wheels attends our December meeting to receive the placemats.  The people who receive them each year are very grateful and pleased to have a homemade gift along with their meal.  This week, I made two placemats to donate.   I found a charm pack in my stash and used the squares to make hour glass units.

I ran out of the lighter squares so the second placemat has some solid squares in it.

I quilted both placemats on my DSM and used some solids from my stash for the binding.

On the backs, I used some Christmas fabrics, also from my stash.

Here is a close up of the quilting on one of the placemats.

Here are both placemats:

I also worked on my Counted Cross Stitch snowman picture, adding some more snow and outlining.

There is still lots more outlining to do, but progress is being made.

I hope to do some more outlining tomorrow, during slow Sunday stitching time with Kathy.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Christmas Quilt Finish

This week has involved a lot of waiting.  While I was waiting, I kept my hands busy by hand sewing the binding on my Christmas quilt.  This was a sew along with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.

I love this stage of making a quilt.

The red and white striped binding is just what I wanted!

The quilting is a pantograph called "Frost".

The background is Essex linen.

The sun shone long enough this morning for a photoshoot outside!

I will be linking up to Finish it up Friday and Slow Sunday stitching with Kathy.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Snow in October

Yesterday, it happened.  After a warm and sometimes even hot Fall, it got cold outside.  I had to put on my warm jacket when my husband and I went to our local farmers' market in the morning.  When I was coming home from doing an errand before lunch, it was raining and then, for a few minutes, there was some snow mixed in!  Yikes!  I was not expecting that!

Speaking of snow, I added some more snow to my counted cross stitch picture this week.

This photo was taken in the car on our way to my MIL's house last weekend.  Last night, I managed to get some more snow done.

This is a slow process!  This week, I will be spending lots of time waiting, so I anticipate getting lots of stitches added to this picture.

Speaking of snow...I went and picked up my Christmas quilt at the quilter's house yesterday.  Here is a sneak peak at the quilting--you will never guess how it is quilted...

Yup...snowflakes!  Would you believe me if I told you the snow theme was not intentional for this post?

I trimmed my Christmas quilt last night and cut the binding.  I hope to get it sewn on to the quilt by machine today so it is ready for hand sewing.

I am linking up to Kathy's blog with all of the other slow stitchers.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Slow Stitching and My Christmas Quilt

For many months now, I have been working on blocks for Lorna's Holly Jolly Christmas quilt.  She released a block pattern every couple of weeks and I managed to keep up with making the blocks. A couple of weeks ago, I fixed the one block that I did not like. This week, I cut out the sashings and borders and put the quilt top together.  This picture was taken before the last two rows were added.

I love how the blocks look with the dark grey Essex linen background.  I pieced the backing and added a label. Today, I took everything to Cathy, my long arm quilter. 

I have some red and white striped fabric picked out for the binding.  I will show the entire quilt when I get it back from Cathy.

Today, for the first time in weeks, I did some work on my counted cross stitch picture... I outlined the second snowman and now you can see that he is holding a tray with a bird on it.   I will be spending some time in the car tomorrow so I hope to do some more.  

I will be linking up with Kathy and the other slow stitchers on Sunday morning.  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Blue Partridge

I made this Partridge in a Pear Tree block for my Holly Jolly Christmas quilt back in March. It has been on my design wall since then. I decided early on that I did not like it--the colours did not go with the rest of the colours in the other blocks. I was not keen on the idea of taking it apart and changing the colours of the partridge and played with the idea of making an alternate block instead. In the end, I decided to make a blue partridge. I took the block apart and remade the bird.  I am much happier with the blue partridge...

The "blue bird of happiness" co-ordinates much better with the other blocks!

I have an idea on how to change my tree block so it fits in better as well.  This will happen next and then I will put the blocks together into a top.  My quilter, Cathy, is ready to quilt this one up as soon as I get it to her.  It will be done in plenty of time for the Christmas season.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Moving on to Outlining

We spent part of our day today at my cousin's farm where we went through his corn maze and had a BBQ with everyone in the extended family.  It was a beautiful fall day--the sun was shining and it was not hot like last week.  I took this picture in the maze--most of the corn had brown and shrivelled up silk but this one was bright pink. I did some sewing in the car on our way to the farm.  Last week, my picture looked like this:

I managed to finish the snow in this section as well as the bird.  I started on the outlining today in the car after doing the last few stitches of the snow

I like the way the outlining makes the snowman stand out against the snow. 

There's still more snow to do at the other end of the picture but for now, I think I will continue with more outlining. 

I am linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching link up tomorrow.