Sunday, July 23, 2017

(Un)Stitching on a Sunday

On Friday I was feeling sorry for my progress on my Dutch Treat quilt....you can read about it here and even a few days earlier here.

I was definitely ready to call it quits, especially after I'd had a few messages from others who have started and not finished this quilt!

I don't know why I thought to try one more block....but give it a hit of spray starch first.

Right away things were going better...



Wow, a nice smooth curve with none of the dreaded fraying that I've had problems with!

I'm quite impressed so far, especially after having so many frustrations!....



I guess I'll keep at it for a bit, but next block I'll be sure to pick one that has some inner corners. Those are what give me the most aggravation, so we'll see if the starch helps with those.

I know people say that starch attracts silverfish. Is that only in certain parts of the world??? I know my husband starches his shirts and we haven't had a problem here.

Here is the finished block, I'm quite happy with it!....



As for the un-stitching on this Sunday morning.....

A couple of weeks ago I'd finished the four of these blocks needed for my Down the Rabbit Hole...





They've been up on the design wall as I've been constructing the houses for this round...


It was only yesterday that I realised that I used the wrong background fabric for these four blocks. Maybe I could have left them, but it really won't take much to make it right.

So, bring on the seam ripper...



Hopefully, if I'm careful, I can re-use the applique pieces.



On Saturday I started getting things organised for the Guild Retreat Day that's to be held on Tuesday.

I've decided to get back to the Freefall Sew-along that was offered by Sandra at Musings of a Menopausal Melon back in the early Spring...



I'm looking forward to seeing how this one turns out!


Our little Minnie is only a couple of weeks from expecting her puppies. She's been acting a bit odd lately, so I thought maybe we should make up her nesting box to see if that would help. She jumped right in before we'd even finished and made herself at home...



I wonder if I have her dates wrong...I don't think so, but we'll see. I figure around the first of August. 

A friend of mine makes little beds for dogs using her smallest snippets of fabric as stuffing. I've been saving mine, but have nowhere nearly enough to make beds for the new puppies to take to their forever homes. 

Maybe some of my more local friends could save their bits and pieces in the next month and give them to me at the September guild meetings to recycle? It would be greatly appreciated!

I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching, then I think I'll go take a little while longer to do some stitching...and un-stitching. I am also liking with Cynthia for Oh, Scrap!.



Friday, July 21, 2017

This is supposed to be fun!

I'm still moaning about my Dutch Treat applique project.....so sorry!

This morning I finished up this block...


I realised as I was trying so hard to take some nice stitches without the fraying that seems to happen that I was gritting my teeth. 

That's when the thought struck me.....this is what I do for fun and because I enjoy it!!!! I gave myself permission to call this one done.

So out of the 196 or so blocks needed, I have nine :(

Then I stuck the nine up on the design wall to take a picture....


Darn it all, don't they look pretty???

Maybe I'll compromise and do a block occasionally when the mood strikes.

I hope you are having a more satisfying time with your stitching this week than I am.

Today I am linking up with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Friday.




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hello, hello!

It feels like quite a while since I've sat and written a post.....so sorry!

For the first bit of July I had nothing quilty to talk about, then we booked an impromptu trip to Cuba!

Since being back I've been ill, along with having an infection in my ear, on my eyelid and in a gland in my armpit....not a happy camper the last few days!!! I'm starting to feel a bit more human today even if I don't look it.

We went to Toronto the day before our trip as we had a very early flight the next day. I'd never been to Yorkdale Mall, so we ventured in. I have to say, none of these stores show up in the malls that I usually frequent!

I did have fun in the Christian Louboutin shop...




As a shoe lover, I have to say I may have been drooling just a tad.

Cuba was wonderful....the best holiday we've had. I absolutely love looking up at all the varieties of palm trees...


This was our third trip to Cuba, but the first time we've spent a day in Havana. As a quilter I was in sensory overload with all the colour. I wish more countries would be so decorated in colour. I will have to visit Canada's east coast as I think the people there love to have colourful houses, as well.

For some strange reason, all the photos I took on my phone in Havana are not showing up in my Gallery, but here are a couple...




The food was great, but the pastries were over-the-top delicious! I don't usually eat much refined sugar, but this was vacation-time, right???

And, because we like to watch The Great British Baking Show, I knew that one of these pastries was a vol-au-vent and actually got to use "vol-au-vent" in a conversation! 


Entertainment in Cuba is always fun and well-done. One day this woman came around to the pool to invite everyone to the evenings festivities...


I'm not going to share the photo I took with her....some sights are better off not seen!

Here are some of the entertainers from that evening...


I did take some stitching with me to Cuba. 

I planned to do some sewing on my wee houses on the plane. 

Luckily, I remembered that I should trim the pieces ahead of time as I didn't want to risk taking scissors on the plane and have them taken from me by security. So, I trimmed them in the car on the way to Toronto....which was a good way to pass the time as I'm not a good highway passenger!


Those blue scissors are always at the spot where I applique in my house. Yesterday I couldn't find them anywhere, which was driving me nuts.....then I came across this picture and remembered they were in the car. If I hadn't taken the picture it probably would have been months until looking in the glove box of the car!!

So I did do a bit of airplane sewing...


.....and in Cuba I would sit with my morning coffee on the verandah and do a bit of work on my Dutch Treat blocks. I have to admit that sometimes I find these blocks frustrating. I actually thought long and hard whether or not to continue with this project. 

When new quilters come to me feeling frustrated, I tell them to allow themselves to be a beginner. Those words came back to haunt me, so I will continue and hope to see some improvement.



I hesitated to enlarge those two pictures, but what the heck, you may as well see them, warts and all!

One more thing to pass along. I've come across a blog put on by the PEI Modern Quilt Guild. In September they are hosting a Mystery Quilt-along and I'm going to join in. I've not done much in the way of Modern quilt-making, so this should be fun. You can find out more about it and see the fabric requirements HERE.

Today I am linking up with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social, with Mama Spark's World for WIP's with Friends, and with Susan at Quilt Fabrication for Mid-week Makers.

Have a wonderful hot, humid Summer's day!


Friday, June 30, 2017

June UFO update / July OMG

Not much to report on my June UFO Goal except to say there was not much time for piecing this month....plus the fact that my favourite long-loved iron up and quit :(

Hopefully, I'll have more time in July (except for the fact that we've booked an impromptu vacation!).

So, I think June's OMG - One Monthly Goal has now officially become July's OMG - One Monthly Goal!!!

Here's where things stand as of this morning on my Down The Rabbit Hole....





Not bad, just 37 houses to go!

I am linking up with Busy Hands Quilts for Finished or Not Fridays, Elm Street Quilts for OMG-One Monthly Goal and with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get A Whoop Whoop!.





Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Stitching

Well, I'm not even close to having my goal for this month completed. 

The goal was to be caught up on my Down The Rabbit Hole.

I have, though, taken a little break from my hand-quilting so I could have the applique portion of DTRH done.

So this morning's slow stitching was working on these sunflowers...





They're so nice and bright....I hope not too bright!


Our little Miss Minnie should be a couple of weeks pregnant now...one subtle sign is that she is becoming a bit more affectionate...


She still has her attitude though....she is the boss and she knows it!

This will be her second and last pregnancy. Last year she had five pups....I hope she only has three this year. Five seemed a lot for her in the last couple weeks before she had the pups last time...she's just a tiny thing herself so it was difficult for her to move around.

I am linking up with Kathy today for Slow Sunday Stitching.



Sunday, June 18, 2017

Taking it easy...

I'm relaxing into my day this morning with some quilting on my Year in My Life...


Quilting came to a stop, though, when my Ott Lamp finally has a burnt out bulb...


I love to stitch under this floor lamp...I find it difficult to stitch without it! The bulbs are expensive, but this is the first one to burn out and I've used it practically every day since I bought the lamp in 2008!! So, not bad value!

I feel exhausted after spending two days at Quilt Canada in Toronto. I think it's more like a mental exhaustion from all the sensory overload. How wonderful to be in a convention hall full of people with the same passion!

At Quilt Canada it took me by surprise to come around a corner and see this quilt...


I've totally forgotten about this quilt...it is one I started also a few years ago. The idea was to hand-piece a wee house, one a day for a year. 

I love the fussy cutting...


I've located my "wee houses"...believe me, it took a few minutes...



.....time to resurrect this ufo!!

If any of my friends happen to come across some little bits that could be fussy-cut for my windows, it would be much appreciated! They measure at about 3/4" finished.

I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching so we can see what others are working on today.




Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Mini Update....

So far, so good.

Last week I started on a new little project hosted by Temecula Quilt Co. called Marvelous Mini Monday.

It's a twelve week sewalong and I'm doing well so far on week 2...


The block is 4" unfinished....so that wee bit in the middle is 1-1/2"!

I did not fussy-cut the centre...but it sure looks like it!

I haven't had a great history on working in mini-sized blocks, but have learned a bit along the way to improve my work.

I am one to press to the dark side, but on small work...such as HST's 1-1/2" or smaller I press open to help the block lay flatter....



On this block I tried using starch on the fabric for the HST's before using it....and I think that helped.

I also reduced my stitch size. I'm not sure that helped, but I tend to think so.

And...what would I do without my lovely stiletto made for me by a friend?? It really helps hold things in place as they are sewn. I hadn't realised how much I rely on the stiletto until recently when I did not pack it for a Retreat.....I kept reaching for it, but it wasn't there. I recommend trying to get used to using one, you will love it.

When the block was done I gave it another light spritz of starch and pressed it...what a lovely flat block I had in the end.

I hope some of you have decided to join in on this sewalong!

Linking up today with Quilt Fabrication for Midweek Makers, Confessions of a Fabric Addict for I May Have a Scrap Problem and with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.

Have a great day!