Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Finishing Challenges

Amy reminded me of the importance of moving projects past the flimsy stage, to actually finishing the quilt. For quilters whose favourite part of quilting is sewing blocks and constructing quilt tops, the finishing part is often more challenging. Boxes of quilt tops in a closet are of no use to anyone!
The One Monthly Goal program helps me to try to move at least one project closer to completion each month. But sometimes a quilt takes a little longer, and when it's out of sight, it's often out of mind.
Such was the case with my wonderful "Tied up in Knots" quilt. It was my UFO of the month for December last year and I made a good start on the quilting. Then the Christmas season of overwhelm hit, and the quilt got buried under other projects.
After reading Amy's post, I went in search of that quilt to see what the hold up was. 
All the blocks are quilted and this thing is so close to being finished. I remembered that I got stalled at the stage of figuring out the math for quilting a diamond design in the sashing. This is a photo of using different sizes of squares to try to visualize how the design might look. 
Now that my taxes are done, my brain has a little more space for crunching numbers!  So I'll sit with the math problem again tonight and see if I can solve that, figure out a stitching path, and get this project on a direct path to finishing.
Hop over to Sew Fresh Quilts and see what other quilters are working on today!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Design Wall Monday

Progress is continuing on my Churn Dash/Nine Patch project. I decided it might be fun to sew this quilt top together by sewing the blocks into sets of 4, instead of joining long rows. Here are the first 9 blocks on the design wall. Will I have the courage to sew them together randomly? Or will I need to lay them out on the design wall to balance the colours? I'm thinking about throwing caution to the wind, putting these blocks in a brown paper bag, pulling them out and sewing them together... eeeekkks! 
What would you do?!?
To see more design walls, hop over to Small Quilts.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Happy Earth Day

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching link up! 

Since it's April 22nd, the theme for today's party is "earth day". Although we should be taking care of our earth every day, today is set aside to focus on reducing environmental protection and the theme this year is "end plastic pollution". I have had my eye on a couple of polluted areas of town that I plan to clean up today... after a little bit of slow stitching and blog visiting of course!

Around here it has been cold and miserable for longer than usual. This is how the daffodils looked in my parent's snow covered garden on Friday. But the sun came out yesterday and melted much of it, and we are wondering if the daffodils will be able to recover from the deep freeze.

It'll be too cold to have any outdoor flowers for a couple of months yet, but if you're longing for some flowers, you can stitch as many flowers as you want. Stitched flowers are still pretty, but unscented, which might be a good thing for those stitchers with allergies! Today I'll be working on some hand embroidered flowers from Gail Pan's BOM. 
What are you hand stitching today? Link up your blog post below and share your project with us. Are you stitching flowers today and wishing for spring weather to bring us real flowers!?!


    An InLinkz Link-up

Friday, April 20, 2018

Orillia Visit

I've had computer problems this week so haven't had a chance to post about my wonderful day in Orillia on Wednesday. My photo program had to be reloaded, and the operating system needed an overhaul, and in my nonexistent spare time I've been chatting with "AppleCare" staff in other parts of the world to figure all of this out. Computers can be so great and also so stressful. I will try to post some photos and will be amazed if they appear!
I wanted to take a photo of my "Scrap Rescue 911" quilt in the snow. When I finished it in February, there was no snow. And here it is the middle of April and now we have snow! Such weird spring weather this year. 
I went for a walk by Lake Couchiching looking for a spot to photograph this quilt, and found this perfect rock. You can't tell in this photo, but it was really windy, so this was the one lucky shot where the quilt wasn't blowing away.

I also like this photo. I was laughing to myself as I positioned the quilt because I wasn't sure what I was walking on here at the water's edge here and was hoping the ground was solid under the snow! I envisioned myself showing up to the guild meeting soaking wet!

Anyway, I was able to enjoy a brisk walk, took some fun photos, and arrived to the right places and the right times. The guild members were very attentive and encou
raging, and we had wonderful conversation. Here is the afternoon guild members starting to assemble.

And this is the location for the evening guild meeting - Thimbles and Things. What a fun store! If I lived around here, I'd be spending a lot of time and money here! There is so much to see ... and look who I found?!? 

This is my quilty friend Christine from Cookstown, who randomly appears at quilting events and it's so fun to see her when I least expect it. We last met at Quilt Canada 2016 and have taken several classes together over the years... unplanned and synchronistically! 
I am so thankful that the driving was good and the roads were clear for this trip since the last week was horrendous weather. And now I'm home safe and sound, and in much need of some sewing time!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mid month UFO report

Since the weather outside has been fierce and wintery, with ice storms and high winds, I have been "sewing up a storm" inside too. I just finished up a huge cone of neutral Aurifil thread. That's a lot of thread put into fabric in my sewing projects! 

When another empty spool is added to my collection jar, it feels like there should be a celebration of accomplishment, especially when it's a cone (5,900 metres) vs. a spool (1,300 metres)!

16 of the last 18 Ringo blocks

Although lots of sewing is going on, the April UFO goal is not anywhere near completion. All the blocks have been sewn for my version of On Ringo Lake. I have a total of 48 blocks sewn, for a layout of 6 blocks across and 8 blocks down. 30 of these blocks are sewn together, so now I will be attaching the last 18 blocks. And then there is the border to work on. That's okay, I still have a week and a half to the end of the month.

From Queen of Your Own Life
And today I'm off on a road trip to Orillia to speak to two groups of wonderful women.... the Orillia Quilters Guild in the afternoon and in the evening... the Evening Threads Quilt Guild! It will be an interesting and perhaps challenging trip depending on the weather and whether there are road closures (notice the clever use of homonyms in that sentence!) 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Donation Quilts

Every year my local quilt guild donates many quilts to worthy causes in our community. Just as with all acts of kindness, we never really know how sending symbols of love into the universe will evolve and unfold. 

My daughter emailed me a copy of this facebook note regarding the gift of a quilt that was received by a brave soul, who was willing to publicly thank the anonymous quilt maker from our community.
This is her post with the identifiers removed.
This is precisely the reason why we make these quilts. It's why we invest our own money and time to create symbols of comfort and safety... because it helps to heal the wounds of others.

This reminder motivated me to get working on some quilt blocks for the guild collection. We have a very hard working committee that takes fabric donations and organizes them into block kits for guild members to sew. I picked up 4 packages this month and each baggie has a pattern and all the fabric needed to sew the block. 

This block pattern had a lot of HST blocks but it went together well and will make a great quilt.

If you are looking for a place where you can a donate quilt or quilt blocks, hop over to Sarah's Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge for ideas and inspiration.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Design Wall Monday - Churn Dash and 9 Patch

Here are some of the blocks for my current project on the design wall. These are the churn dashes from Barb's block swap and the 9 patch blocks I've been sewing. I'm loving how they look together! There is a circular element that develops when these blocks are side by side, and as I continue to sew more blocks and put them on the design wall, I'll be thinking about how to emphasize that circular movement when it's time for quilting. 

But first... let's not get ahead of ourselves! There is still a lot of sewing and pressing to finish before the quilt top construction can begin.

And giving credit where credit is due... this layout design idea came from a photo I saw on the internet while googling "churn dash blocks" and I was able to trace it back to a quilt by Mary Manson called Colorways.

Hop over to Small Quilts to see more design wall postings.