Sunday, August 4, 2019

Sit back and relax a bit

Today I need to find some time to prep a bit of applique. 

I do have some EPP to do and I did do a bit this morning. My Tula Nova is coming along nicely, but it's getting bigger and a bit more cumbersome to work on.


You can see on the purple-striped section that I am trying something new-to-me. 

There is something called the flat-back stitch for joining EPP pieces, and I've tried it before...unsuccessfully. My attempt looked sloppy and loose. The purpose of this stitch is to actually look neater and not see see stitches from the front, as you can kind of see when doing the whip-stitch.


I tried using painters' tape for this method, but it didn't hold well enough while inserting multiple-pieced segments, like I'm doing now. Then I tried gift-wrapping tape....stickier than the painters' tape but not sticky enough to leave any residue on the fabric.

I have to say, my attempt at the flat-back stitch this time was much more successful...


Hmmm, maybe you can see in the picture above....on the right of the otter is some whip-stitching....to the left of him is the flat-back stitches. 

As you can see, I'm still "old school" and baste my pieces to the foundation paper. I'm not finding it easy to do the newfangled gluing method.....and that's ok, as I even enjoy the thread-basting process.

Thanks to SS for walking me through the flat-back stitch. I really do try to be open to different methods even though I may stumble a bit at first :)


So, today I am fatigued. It feels too busy, physically, lately. I've been doing some painting this week...this morning I'll do the last hour or so needed to finish the job then really take it easy for the rest of the day.

I'd really like to prep the next block on my Kim McLean Animal Album quilt.

Here is the first block, practically done....I just need to prep three more small circles....


I do love very busy quilts!!

The other day I posted a picture of me with my arms full of garlic, you can see that post here.

Yesterday we tackled braiding the garlic. It was fun, and the first attempt without supervision. There is definitely room for improvement, but I'm quite happy with the result...


I think we should have made two smaller braids instead of the one, but once we got going it was hard to stop!

Well, I'd better get to my painting. I've always enjoyed painting, but I'm ready to have it done with.

I'll leave you with a picture of how my Temperature Quilt is coming along. This is it complete from January to the end of July...


I'm loving this one, and may even think of doing another version for 2020!  

Have a lovely day, and hopefully you get a chance to sit back and relax a bit.

I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Friday, August 2, 2019

One Monthly Goal - August

August???....already???....

I thought I'd check in and share what is up on the design wall lately at my house. 



First up....my Temperature Quilt, which is across the top of the picture.

Those rows represent May, June, and July....I actually finished the July row this morning so I'm almost up-to-date.

All the rows for January thru' April are sewn together and by the end of August I'd like to have the whole thing all together so I can share it a the next Guild meeting.

I figure it will be nice to show this one in progress so other people who may want to do a Temperature Quilt for 2020 can start looking for ideas for their own quilt. The secret?....keep the block choice simple so as not to get bogged down with it. I only work on mine once a week or so and it's very quick to do.


Next up...a quilt that I haven't shared yet. It's one I came across on Instagram called Shades of Scotland Souvenir Quilt. 

Here are the blocks....



There will be 16 blocks in total. When I go to Scotland in the Fall each block will "photo-bomb" a photo of some Scottish scenery, so when I put the quilt together I'll have a nice memento of my trip!

You can check the idea out at #shadesofscotlandsouvenirquilt on Instagram. You can also follow me on Instagram at @sandra.croley if you'd like to see my version progress when I am in Scotland!

Mine won't be a large quilt....the blocks are supposed to be 6.5"....mine are only 5-7/8" due to a printing problem, which is ok since they will all be consistently that size.


Next up is a BOM I'm falling a bit behind on....Geometric Fun designed by Gosia  at Quilts My Way...



That picture represents blocks 1 and 2....block 5 has just been released, so I have some sewing to do! 

Here is my colouring page for this quilt...




Getting this one up-to-date will be my goal for August.



I've started a new "leader and ender" project this month to use up small scraps. 

The blocks are log cabins, starting with a 1/2" orange centre and 1" logs.



I'm not quite sure if this one will work because there may not be enough contrast between the lights and darks, but I will continue as I have a vision for this quilt and I will trust that vision...for now.


Finally, I'll share some gardening pictures.

My perennial bed is out of control with weeds and such this year, but that is a project for this month. 

I do love this lily, which was a gift four years ago. The lily has always been beautiful, but it's never been this tall!....




.....and I don't know why it gives me so much pleasure to succeed at garlic, but it does...



I know what is on the calendar for this weekend...braiding the garlic :)


I didn't know whether to share this, but what the heck!! lol....

I've recently run a unique 5k....which was held at a nudist campground. During the race the runners had dyed cornstarch thrown us. I'll never do a marathon or a triathalon, but I can now say I've done something that many people haven't!! 

I don't know who had it worse for bouncy bits...the women or the men, bwahahaha!!! Not a great picture, but it's all you're getting!




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


Sunday, June 23, 2019

A little bit of applique and a little bit of handquilting....

I truly didn't think it would be such a long gap between this post and my last one.....the days slip by so quickly sometimes!

Today marks the 7th anniversary of Slow Sunday Stitching hosted by Kathy at Kathy's Quilts. Every week she invites us to share the projects that we are stitching away at. 

Lately I came across the new quilt published by Kim McLean, called Animal Album. I had no interest in starting a new applique project, but I just love Kim's designs and I finally caved in....thinking I'd get the pattern and it would be a new start for 2020.

I've completed two of Kim's patterns and loved both of them. I told myself it's ok to just work on one block...just one! 

Kim McLean's are "a little bit much", as I overheard a woman say once when she was viewing my Stars and Sprigs at the Fair a few years ago...and as I began this block I've realised, once again, that I really do like quilts that are "a little bit much"!


The blocks are 18" and there are still a lot more pieces to go on block #1.

This week I also started hand-quilting a quilt that was part of an online sewalong that just wrapped up, called Shimmer...


I love that I can baste quilts on the longarm. Back in the day I would pin quilts to the wall-to-wall carpeting that I used to have in the living room and spend a few hours crawling around the floor basting them. This is so much quicker and easier, and a service I love to provide for my hand-quilters.


Then I just had to sit down and put those first lovely stitches into the quilt. I wondered which feeling is better....those first few stitches quilted on a quilt....or the last few? I don't think I know the answer, both are pretty good!

My favourite thread and needles....and my new thimble, ready for action...




....and who'd a thunk it....I can't use my beautiful new thimble to quilt with .... it will have to be only used for applique :(

I wrote about my new silver thimble in my last post, which you can find here

I bought it at the quilt show hosted by the Genesee Valley Quilt Club in Rochester, NY. I do have a few more pictures to share with you from this wonderful show.

I always love house quilts. This one was beautiful and you can see in the close-up one of the "pictures" that were quilted into the background...




I like when we can see different quilters' interpretations of the same quilt. Especially nice when the quilt is from one of my favourite designers, like this one designed by Sue Garman...




This one is my favourite...



The following quilt was their raffle quilt...I haven't heard from them so I guess I didn't win. It's probably the most beautiful raffle quilt that I've ever seen at a quilt show. I also love the extra effort they put into the beautiful feature around the edge of the quilt...



I always love a good scrappy quilt. This one really caught my eye, I think the blocks are 3 or 4"....




I'm thinking it would make a good "leaders and enders" block. I made one up to try it out. I cut a 3.5" square, sliced it in half and and inserted a strip...





I seem to remember someone once being hesitant about attempting a scrappy quilt, worrying about how everything would go together. But I also remember hearing how each of the fabrics are usually in your stash because you liked them at some point, so they should be wonderful together in a scrap quilt!

Today I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching. I hope you have a moment to visit with her to wish her a happy anniversary and maybe visit with other slow-stitchers.

Have a lovely Summer's day!

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Beautiful quilts and a silver finger...

It seems like the perfect morning to spend a little extra time with some hand-stitching.

 It's a bit grey outside and I've had a lovely couple of days away and feel relaxed, refreshed and peaceful.

On Monday evening I will be presenting the next section of our BOM, Queen's Garden, and I'm almost finished the embroidery part of the blocks...



I was having a bit of trouble marking the lines for the embroidery on this type of fabric, when I thought of my Hera marker, which did an excellent job. Can you see the marks on the lower leaf?...



Here is the quilt so far...



There's still some embroidery to add. I'll try to catch up on that over the Summer. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Friday and Saturday we went on a little road-trip to Rochester, NY. 

My husband had come across a big quilt show there put on by the Genessee Valley Quilt Club and suggested we go down...I guess he's a keeper, after-all :)

It was quite the event, held in the Rochester Institute of Technology, a venue that was 70,000 square feet. I think it may have been the best quilt show I've been to. 

Here is the picture I took of the event on the first day...


I didn't realise until the next day that past the furthest bit of the picture was another half of the show! There were 700 quilts and 60 vendors. I was surprised at the amount of quilts that were somewhat new to me....and that a lot of the vendors were selling items that I'd never seen before. 

Since this is Slow Stitching Sunday, I'll stick to showing you mostly handwork that I saw at the show.

A lot of quilts had this "hand" attached to it...


I thought it meant "keep your hands off the quilts"...but it was to indicate a hand-quilted item.

 There were more than usual that were hand-quilted. The most fantastic and my favourite was this one...





Here is the Best in Show, also hand-quilted...



This one is not done by hand, but I love that the applique is done on a background that has been pieced of diamond shapes...



Then there is this fantastic quilt. All of the letters on the quilt spell out the words to the song, Morning Has Broken. Truly fantastic.





I was lucky to see someone selling some of the same type of fabric that I'm using in my Queen's Garden, so I picked up a bundle to add more interest to my quilt...


I made a couple of other purchases that I'll save for another post....but I will show you one more.

There was a woman at the show who is a silversmith and she had a booth filled with the most beautiful thimbles and chatelaine's. I was positively drooling over the thimbles....but made myself walk away and think about it so I wouldn't make an impulsive purchase (yay, me!)...as the thimbles were a little on the expensive side.

I thought it over until the next day when we were returning to the show and convinced myself that I did indeed deserve such a beautiful thimble. After-all, it's like a piece jewelry and art...and something I would use each and every day, right????

I was looking at the thimbles that were open on the back and had lovely filigree work over the fingernail area. It wasn't until I was almost ready to make a purchase that the silversmith had me try it out on a bit of quilting. Well!....it turns out I use a part of my finger that was more toward the fingernail to do the pushing....not protected at all by these beauties! Even the silversmith was surprised. I'm glad she had something to test on before I bought one and returned to Canada. (Although, they come with a lifetime guarantee, so I could have switched it out later)

I ended up with a fully enclosed thimble, which I quite enjoyed breaking-in this morning with my applique...



When my eldest grandson was about 4 years old, he would ask permission to try on my "silver finger"....and proceed to walk around the room carefully balancing my thimble on his tiny finger.

Now I am happy to truly have a real silver thimble and I will use it with great pleasure.

I could show you a lot more to inspire you from this wonderful quilt show, but I'll save some for another day. 

This show is held every two years, the first weekend of June. I'm sure we will go back again!

I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching. I think I'll sit with an extra cup of coffee and see what everyone has been up to this week!