Friday, January 31, 2020

A year of finishes??? to a good start...

On this last day of January 2020, it looks like I already have two "finishes" under my belt.

Maybe I'll be making up for 2019, when I had very few quilts that were finished.

This week I'm putting the finishing touches on my Temperature Quilt for 2019.

It didn't take long to quilt as it isn't very big... 60"x60"...

I worked on the binding this morning...only a little bit to go. I even managed to put on a label. I learned this method of putting a label on from Bonnie Hunter's blog, Quiltville.

Here it is on the design wall, almost done....

Not a great picture, but I am glad to say it is actually nice and square. I'm happy with the result.

Now, on to my Temperature Quilt 2020!

In a previous post, which you can find HERE, I wrote about this year's temperature quilt...and about my doubts of how it was starting out.

 Well....later that same day I change things up! At this early stage, I knew that it was the time to change my mind if I was not enjoying the process already, only two weeks into the year.

This is the new start of my Temperature Quilt for 2020...

There will be a flying geese unit for each day, showing the forecast high temperature of each day. After each round of geese there will be a sashing of background before the next round of geese.


Well, I have to admit that I didn't get a speck of sewing done to complete my "one monthly goal". 

My goal was to complete the rest of the blocks for my Farm Girl Vintage...

I am rolling that goal over to February...I really want to get these blocks done! It would be nice to have this quilt completed at some point this year.  

Today I am linking up with My Quilt Infatuation, and with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

I am also linking up with Elm Street Quilts for One Monthly Goal for February.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

It's a mystery to me....

I am one who has always enjoyed taking part in a mystery quilt sew-along. I know there are others who simply don't like them, and that's ok :)

A quilty friend of mine used to lead many mystery quilts for one of my guilds years ago and it was always a whole lot of fun. 

This week I am trying a new mystery for me....a knitting mystery.

The pattern is called The Impromptu Shawl.

It starts out with four balls of lovely yarn...

There are some nice fibres here...merino, alpaca, and the grey one is 50% Yak!

With the pattern is a deck of cards. Each suit...hearts, diamonds, spades, clubs....represents one of the balls of yarn. The numbers on the cards denotes which pattern of knitting to follow.

After doing the first bit of the pattern, I drew my first card from the deck...

The jack of diamonds tells me to use the multi-coloured ball and which pattern to follow. 

I can tell already that I'm going to love the process of knitting this shawl. I really feel like sitting and knitting all day today!

I also did a bit of applique on my Animal Album quilt. I really don't want this one to fall by the wayside. I've put it on my list of quilts that I'd like to complete in time for our quilt show in 2021, so hopefully this will keep me at it.

I had a visit with a friend this week and she was talking about how there are two kinds of crafters...Process and Projects. 

Projects....The crafter who creates because of a need of the completed craft...such as making a quilt for a wedding gift or a new grandbaby.

Process....Those of us who create for the love of the "doing". I've known for a long time that this is who I am. I love the journey of the project...the getting there is an added bonus. 

I will love the journey of the Impromptu Shawl....I hope I enjoy wearing it in the end, lol...who knows.

And, of course, I love the journey of hand-stitching. I know most of us who do needlework are in the same category as me. 

Looking back, I can only think of a couple of people in my life that made quilts only when the need arose...not just for the sake of the making. For me, I do it for the enjoyment....and I know from experience that each quilt, etc., will one day speak to who it is for. 

This has happened to me as recently as last month when I gifted a quilt to a person in my life who was obviously who the quilt was intended.

I hope you will comment on which kind of creator you are...but I have an inkling that I already know what most of the answers will be.

I am linking up with Kathy today for Slow Sunday Stitching...where I'm sure we'll see many others who are in it to enjoy the journey.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

A Potpourri of Slow Stitching

We are still in the middle of a snowstorm this morning, which seems to make for perfect hand-stitching weather. I see so many people on social media that are in agreement, be it stitching, knitting, etc.

My slow stitching today consists of a bit of this and a bit of that.

First up....actually on Saturday...was finishing the binding on my Queen's Garden....

I'm happy with it, and I am even happier it's now a completed project :)


I have completed two stars for my Temperature quilt for 2020...

My goal is to kind of keep up, and then sew a star together once a week.

I'm starting to second-guess this one, actually. It's easy enough to do, but for both stars I have a bit of a bump in the middle. Not sure whether to continue, or hope that it will "quilt out" in the end. I'm hoping it's from the bulk and maybe it will be a little better once the papers are removed. Or could it be that my template is a bit off?

I think if I had recorded the "low" temperatures this month I'd probably be switching this up for another design :(


I've always liked the idea of making a mug rug, but never got around to doing any. At Christmas a friend gifted me with two cute Christmas-themed mug rugs, and it turns out that I really enjoyed using them...thanks TA!

So, I thought, I'll have to make one for everyday use.

On another note....I was never one to save selvedges, until lately when I noticed some of them are quite cute and some have cute sayings on them. So, I started saving them for "one day".

Yesterday I sewed some of these selvedges into a mug run and this morning I quickly sewed up the binding...

I really like it! I will take note for next time to use a 2-1/4" binding strip instead of 2-1/2"...I think it will be much more tailored looking.


I didn't work on my Over The Hill today, but I did work on it this week. 


Now for my PSA....a cautionary tale....

When our guests were here from Alberta last week we took them to the Hamilton Farmers' Market....I don't think I've been for at least 40 years! 

It's wonderful and we will definitely not wait 40 years to go back again!

I came across a booth selling turmeric root and had to buy some. I'd never seen it before, I usually just use the powdered stuff from the bulk store.  (Can you tell where this is going yet?)

I used it a couple of days ago, and here's what happened...

I don't know why it's not showing in the picture, but a lot of the skin on my fingers is bright gold, too!

So, next time I will use gloves...or just stick to the powdered version!!! 

I have a manicure booked for Tuesday....not sure whether to keep the appointment or not, lol.

Have a cozy Sunday!...hopefully your's will include a bit of stitching, too.

I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching, and with Cynthia at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework  for Oh Scrap.

Friday, January 17, 2020

FOMO? Start-itis???

FOMO....Fear Of Missing Out

Start-itis...a term I discovered at some point on Kathy's blog at Kathy's Quilts.

I'm trying to diagnose which of the two I am plagued with. I think I have to come to terms with the fact that it may be both!

I've been tempted lately with a new sewalong offered on Instagram called the Scrap Bag Sampler.

You can see all about it using the hashtag #scrapbagsampler. There will be a small block released every Friday and in the end we will incorporate all the blocks into a bag pattern that we will be given.

There are a few quilters involved in the designing of the blocks. I am choosing to follow @justsewsue. To read all about it you can have a look at her introductory post on her blog, which you can find HERE.  Then you can check out the first two weeks' blocks...the second of which was released today.

Here is my block for Week 2...

I am going to use mostly Alison Glass scraps...and once I picked my fabrics it literally took about 10 minutes to complete.

I will do Week 1 sometime today or is a small strip of flying geese done by paper-piecing. Again, should be quick and painless!

Please, join me, won't you? would make me feel so much better!!

I can't remember if I came across this one on my own, or if my friend (SS) pointed me in the direction....I just hope to lure her in with this post!


I mentioned in my New Year's post that I was finally, after a few years, beginning my Halo quilt, designed by Jen Kingwell.

I was pretty nervous about this one, but I've finished two blocks and I'm going to love it! 

Here is the first block...

The blocks are 9" and my goal will be to complete 2 per week.


I finally finished quilting my Queen's Garden just to sew down the binding.

The feathered border was a whole lot of fun to do. I'll try to get a shot of the complete top for a future post.

Life is just starting to feel like normal. We had guests all last week from Alberta....and had a big Christmas meal on Saturday since we finally had the whole family together. 

Luckily I got a couple of decent pictures of all the grandchildren together. I don't think they've ever all been in the same place at the same time!

Have a great day!...I'll be trying to get a few things done before our forecasted snowstorm tomorrow.

I am linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

Sunday morning....time to enjoy a little extra slow stitching time.

It's a dull, dreary start to the day here, I hope it clears up a bit because it certainly can affect one's mood. 

I've been trying, slowly but surely, to become a slightly more organised person. This week I had help in this endeavour from an unlikely source...Cooper, one of my dogs.

I have a spot in the living room that I have always done my handwork, like many of us I'm sure. And on the table at my side there is always an assortment of threads, scissors, etc that I'm using on a regular basis. Never been a problem, until this week.

I came home one day to find Cooper had chewed up a spool of dangerous for dogs. I really believed that it must have rolled onto the floor, as he is not one to go up on that chair and bother with my sewing stuff.

A few days later, we were sitting in the dining room...I look up and see Cooper chewing on something....yes, another spool of thread. I can't believe another one had been on the floor, he must have jumped up to help himself, so time to clean up my act.

Probably 35 years ago (or more), my mother gave me this as a gift...

I'm sure many of you have the exact same one! Well, it's probably been 25 years since I've actually used fact, last month I had thought to put it in the donate pile. Now I'm glad I didn't....all of my daily supplies are now in this storage box (what are they actually called???) and the table beside my chair is nice and neat. Thanks go to Cooper for the motivation...although in a dangerous way :(

In my last post, which you can read HERE, I mentioned that I'd be meeting with a friend to do some wet felting...that we would be making "cat caves".

It was a lot of physical work, due to the size of the piece. Here is how it looked when I got home...not very pretty, really...

...but then I crammed more stuffing in to hold the shape, and I beat it into submission with a wooden spoon.

Much better...

Not technically great work, but I am still a beginner at this, so I'm pretty happy with the result. Now to get the cat to accept it!

I put a couple of treats inside to lure her in...

She's still not going in just for the sheer pleasure of it. When I get up in the morning I can tell that she does like laying on top of it though, lol. 

I wanted to add a couple of words of advice to those of you who are doing an temperature quilt this year. 

1. Keep your design choice simple so you don't lose interest through the year because it may be too much work.

2. You don't have to actually "do" it every day. You do have to record the temperature each day, but if your design choice is simple enough you can pick it up just a couple of times a week to quickly get it done.

Here is mine after 4 days of January...

I probably won't have time to do today's bit, but I have recorded today's forecast high on my calendar. 

You'll notice that I'm still old-school when it comes to EPP, but basting the segments to the paper instead of using glue. Nothing wrong with the glue method, I just find I don't get the same results and it really doesn't take me long to thread-baste.

It's not too late to start your own temperature quilt since we are just a few days into the new year :)

I also stitched this morning on the next block of my Over The Hill...

This is another instance of how I prefer to take a slower method. I do like to do a whipstitch around all the wool pieces with fine thread before beginning the decorative stitches with perle cotton. Perhaps not necessary, but I do like the stability. And, as a longarm quilter who has worked on quilts with wool applique that hasn't been whipstitched, I do see a difference. Again...personal choice.

Here's a reminder of the first block of Over The Hill...

Thankfully, not all the blocks have quite as much work as the first one!

How about the time I've gotten to this point of the post the sun has come out....what a wonderful mood-booster!!

I'll be going out shortly to enjoy some of this beautiful sunshine, but will take a bit of time to visit with other slow-stitchers, as I am linking up with Kathy for Slow Sunday Stitching.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Happy New Year 2020

A whole new year, a whole new decade!

I'm sure you are the same as me, in that you think ahead to which quilts you'd like to complete, continue, or, dare I say, begin.

I have an actual finish this past Temperature Quilt for 2019.

Well...the top is finished. I hope to have it quilted up very soon, though. We have visitors next week from Alberta, so quilting will have to be put hold for a bit.

I learned that I need to make sure there is a bit more contrast in my colours for a Temperature Quilt...way too many similar reds, I think. On the other hand, you can't really plan ahead too much, as the temperatures dictate how the quilt will play out, right?

I hope you will consider a Temperature Quilt....I thoroughly enjoyed doing mine. I had thought to put off doing another one until 2021, but didn't I come across a beautiful bundle of fabric, on sale, that would be perfect for a Temperature Quilt....and I came across a pattern that called out to me.

Here is my layout for 2020...

It's not a very big quilt and it done with English Paper Piecing. Each star represents one week of the year. I will only be using the high forecast for each day, but there is an option using highs and lows. If you google Fiona Sandwich I'm sure you can find the pattern if you want to play along.

Here are January 1 and 2...with my thimble so you can see the scale of the blocks...


This year I am motivated to get back into participating in the One Monthly Challenge hosted by Patty at Elm Street Quilts.

For January I'd really like to have to blocks completed for my Farm Girl Vintage quilt. This has been a UFO for much too long now and I still love it, so would like to see it graduate into becoming an actual quilt!

Here are the blocks I have done so far...

I have to give a shout-out to Karen Z for designing the Canada flag block to use instead of the American flag....awesome!

They aren't in their proper layout yet. I think I have 8 more to go, so it's definitely an achievable goal. There are a couple of blocks that I was going to replace...

....they are the ones with the red "cheerio's" in the background fabric. I thought it would be nice to introduce a second background (maybe 2 years ago, lol) and it wasn't until I put them with the others that I noticed that it isn't a white fabric like the original background fabric. They look dirty to me. Actually, today they don't look as bad as I'd thought....but I think I still have to replace them :(

I did manage to do a block on Tuesday get the ball rolling. Well, I'll have to call this my "humility" block, if you get my meaning...

I do like it uses a few of the new fat quarters I've picked up lately. 

One of the "pushes" to get this one done is that Santa brought me a new book for Christmas, Farm Girl Vintage 2...

....and I really shouldn't start this one until the original Farm Girl is done!!!

Now I'll confess to the new quilt that I will start this year. It's a Jen Kingwell pattern called Halo. I've had the pattern now for a couple of years and I think I've put it off as it's a bit intimidating to me.

I don't have a picture to share yet as I've just started a bit of cutting and don't have any blocks done yet.

Another finish this week is my first pair of knitted socks in a very long time....

I am very happy with how they turned out and happy to get back to knitting, especially socks. I learned three techniques on this pair, one of them being knitting them from the toe up, which I really liked.


I usually have a two-week break from longarming at the end of each year, but I'm extending it a bit this year as we have house guests arriving next week for 5 days. 

I'm taking advantage of this time off to get one of my own quilts quilted, my Queen's Garden quilt.

As always, I started with doing the Stitch in the Ditch work...especially so since I wasn't sure what I'd do in the borders. All I knew is that it would be some sort of feathering, reason being...I just really feel like doing some feathers, lol.

I looked back at notes from some longarm classes I've taken in the past years. I did a bit of doodling the other day to try to get some creative juices going. 

I'm always so nervous to get started, but then I start and it becomes lots of fun.

I'm liking the first bit of stitching...

I only did a bit more before the lighting started to make it difficult to go on. For this picture, I actually shut the light off hoping to see the effect of the quilting a bit better...

I like it, and it's turned out to be a lot of fun to execute. I will try to fill the space more as I progress. It would really "pop" with some pebbling in the negative space, but this quilt will not be so heavily quilted.

I wish I had time to do more today, but I'll be going out soon to a friend's house to do a bit of "wet felting"...we'll be making cat caves! 

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