Monday, December 19, 2016

An Evergreen Finish

I've wanted some quilted Christmas decorations around the house for several years now, but actually making them has kept getting pushed off for one reason or another.  However, not so this year!

This year I have two new holiday pieces up on display!  My first finish was a holiday frost table runner (shown here), and the second is an evergreen tree advent calendar.  The top (inspired by this tree by Turid of densyendehimmel.) was completed in May.  Then it was quilted with a holly and berry motif and bound in one of the gold fabrics used in the stars.

There are small green buttons sewn on the tree as hanging hardware that blend in better than I hoped.  The one downside is that I think the ornaments might have been easier to hang if I had put the buttons on backwards - there's not a lot of room for the twine to rest, as is, and not all of the ornaments can be hung at all spots.  Still, it's a pretty minor problem and something I could fix in the future if need be!

The ornament buttons were collected over the past year, and there is one for every day of December leading up to Christmas.  Some peppermint twine pulled from my stash seemed a perfect touch!  It's a lot of fun to watch this little tree fill up!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Pooh Parade - L, J, and B

Success!  I was able to finish all three letters with time to spare!  This is my second cross-stitch finish.

Linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

November Plus Block Report

With my big Celtic block out of the way, my design wall is full of small blocks for my plus quilt again.  I have enough blocks to make the pattern as written now, but I was hoping to make it a little larger.  I like throw quilts you can get all tangled up in!

I had been thinking that I might just make another set of blocks, and grow the quilt that way.  But now that it is all laid out, more blocks seem like they might be overwhelming.  I'll leave these up for a bit and see if they have anything to say.  Maybe I can sneak in a couple of pieced borders!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Nine Knots... Plus One

Nine Knots - 85 inches square

At the end of September I finished this Celtic knot quilt top and was trying to decide what to do for the back.  My original thought had been to make one large quilt block, but I didn't have enough fabric to make that happen.

Back at the drawing board, I considered what I could design with the fabric remaining and wasn't able to come up with anything that really worked for me.  I briefly considered going with a wide back but figured if I was going to buy fabric, I should get the additional dark fabric to make the large block I had originally wanted.

So now, one and a half yards of dark fabric later, I have nine knots for the front and one for the back!

Plus One - 90 inches square

The blocks for the front are about 24 inches square (2 times the pattern size) and the block for the back is 70 inches square (worked up at 5 times the pattern size)!  The borders are similar to the front, but there wasn't enough dark (again) so I improvised on the edges.

Now all I need is a quilt plan and I'll be in good shape to have it done before Christmas! I had been thinking that the front might look good with some stitching in the ditch around the knots and ghost patterns in the dark diamonds but, now that it's a reversible quilt, I'm having second thoughts.  I'll have to think on it a bit and see if anything pops up!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Rainbow Batiks - A Finish!

My rainbow batik top is finished! Now I just have to figure out what to call it.  Rainbow Trails perhaps?

I had originally planned on using a wide back but when I found this batik it was meant to be - despite needing a seam.  It reminds me of fall leaves!

This was my first time using a scrappy binding.  Picking a binding thread to go with all the different fabrics was hard, but I think it came out pretty well.  I may have to see about stitching up my old binding odds and ends that are laying around!

Linking up with Finish it up and Fabric Frenzy Fridays.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Pooh Parade - L and J

How time flies!  I thought I had shared the L when it was finished, but apparently I forgot.  Whoops!  So now I've got two finished letters to show off!  Only one more to go!

Today I'll be working on the last piece.  This one has parts that stick up way above the actual letter, but hopefully I'll be getting to the letter soon!  It's looking like finishing before Christmas is a real possibility.  Finger's crossed, for sure!

Linking up with Slow Stitch Sunday.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

October Block Report

While I've been doing hand stitching and working towards finishes a lot recently, I've also been trying not to let any project fall too far behind. Slowly, my 9 Positively Perfect Nap blocks have turned into 30, and the next set of 30 is underway.

It's funny how pictures can show you things you don't see looking at a layout in person. I just noticed there is a blue dot next to a blue plus!

I've also been working on some charity block projects with my quilt guild. For October the guild chose two lime green fabrics for Lyme disease. There was one modern and one traditional fabric, and we were allowed to add blacks and whites. The blocks are going to be assembled into two quilts and then auctioned off to help raise money for the cause.

Traditional Ohio Star (left) and Tula Pink inspired modern (right) quilt blocks.

We just got our fabrics for November, so I'm sure there will be another block report soon!

Linking up to Let's Bee Social.

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Neutral Finish

I had been holding on to these log cabins until I felt comfortable enough to try quilting a block by block design on my long arm.  I really wanted to showcase the diagonal stripes on this quilt, and here they are!

The tans seemed to want to wash out a bit, despite trying to get a picture in both the sun and the shade, but the sun did help to show off the quilting!  The dark side of the cabins were done with a stitch in the ditch style pattern and the light sides were done with a pattern called Swan Triangle.  The patterns even went together in such a way that the square in the center pops out on the back!

Now all it needs is a name and it's ready to leave the nest!

Linking up with Fabric Frenzy and Finish it Up Fridays.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Nine Knots - A Finished Top!

Yesterday I put the last border on my Celtic quilt.  It is now officially a finished top!

I had been thinking about trying to make one HUGE knot for the back, but I would need about one more yard of the background fabric than I have left to be able to put the corners on it.  That brings it back to the drawing board for now!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Hexie Bug!

It didn't take long to finish up the flower started last week and stitch it down to a backing fabric.  I seem to be accumulating pink test blocks, so there may be a test block sampler quilt in my future!

And with that done, I was off trying to find card stock with which to make hexagon papers and basting fabric for my next set of projects!  I'd love to hear from those who make their own templates as to their favorite type of paper to use.

This set of projects includes a large and a small version of the same design.  The small one will use 1" hexies, and the large one will be made with 1.75" hexies.  The smaller ones are a little easier to make, I think, but they should both turn out fine!

I think it's safe to say that I have, at least temporarily, caught the hexie bug!

Linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hexagon Test

My quilt guild is running a hexagon challenge this year, and I thought that signing up could be a good way to motivate myself to make a hexie quilt I've had my eye on.  However, I have never done English paper piecing before and thought perhaps I should give it a try before I commit myself.

One of the shops in a local shop hop recently gave out packets of squares and 1" papers to make a little flower.  A single flower seemed like a good size for a test, so I pulled it out and started basting!

I wasn't sure about all 6 of the petal squares in the packet going together, so I swapped in 3 fabrics from my scrap bins.  I even managed to make a fussy cut flower in just the right colors!

With seven hexies basted, it's time to make them into a flower!  Let the whip stitching commence!

Linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A New Cross-Stitch

Since I finished my sampler of critters this year, it was time to choose a new slow stitching project.

While I was looking around, some very cute Winnie the Pooh letters jumped up and called out, "pick me!"  And now the first letter is almost finished.  Pooh's tummy needs a little extra honey filling, and then there will be just a little bit of outlining to do to clear up his edges and give him a happy face!

Linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Positively In Progress

I've been wanting to make a quilt for myself using the Positively Perfect Quilt pattern from Moda's Bakeshop for some time and I figured my recent birthday was as good an excuse as any to get started!

I had bought Patrick Lose's Suds fabric line to use in this piece, but still hadn't decided on a background, so I headed towards my stash to try and find one.  However, the background hasn't wanted to play nice!

First I chose a grey marbled fabric, but when I started cutting pieces it didn't seem right.  So then I pulled out a black dot fabric and even got as far as making blocks, but ultimately decided it still wasn't speaking to me.

So I put it aside for a bit before giving it one more shot.  This time I tried a calmer tonal black, and I think that all the parts are finally starting to work together!  Third time must be the charm!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social, Fabric Frenzy, and Finished or Not Friday.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Nine Knots

Nine knots have gathered round and it's time to bind them up to keep them from accumulating any more!

Each block is about 24 inches unfinished, so this will be about 70 inches square when sewn together.  I think this is my first quilt that will be left square, but it seems to like being that way.  Next up, borders!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Several Small Finishes!

I've been continuing to work on binding pieces that have come off of my long arm.  First I finished the set of potholders from my last post and put them right into use!

Next up was putting the finishing touches on a Christmas table runner.  It's done a bit early for the holidays, but that's certainly fine by me! I'm just really excited to have decorations to use in our new home!

I really love the colors on this piece.  The grey and the red seem a little more wintery than holiday specific to me, and I am looking forward to getting all the use out of this that I can!

The back is a little busy but I wanted it to be darker than the front.  The idea is that it will be more forgiving during use than the light colors of the top... as long as I remember to turn it over!  It was inspired by the center present in Lorna's Boxes-n-Bows table runner.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Bountiful Berries

The first piece that I stitched up on my long arm was built from a fat quarter of berry fabric that my husband had picked out many moons ago.

I started by picking a green dot fat quarter from my stash, to use for the back, and put the two fat quarters on the machine with a double layer of cotton batting between them.  Then I found this berry design that fit perfectly and stitched it up with Superior Omni Light Sage thread.

When the piece was fully stitched, I took it off the machine and brought it back to the cutting board for trimming.  You can easily get four 7 inch squares from one set of fat quarters!

They weren't completely made from my stash, because I turned up shy on coordinating fabrics to bind with, but now all four squares have the first machine binding stage completed and I am slowly working on hand stitching the binding to the back.  I even took them out on the deck because the day was just to lovely to sit inside!

First Block Finished!

Linking up with Let's Be Social and Slow Sunday Stitching.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Four Knots

Once one knot has been spotted, more knots are sure to follow.  And apparently, knots on a design wall are no different!

Four down, five to go!

I have learned, courtesy of block two, that taking apart partial seams is not much fun, so I've been trying to slow down and double check what I'm sewing together. I'm very glad that blocks three and four went smoothly!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

June Finishes

I had two goals I wanted to work on in June: to assemble my crochet blanket, and to sew a piece up on my long arm.  And I was able to check off both!

The piece that I worked on the machine ended up not being the the runner I had intended, but a piece of strawberry fabric destined to be cut up for some pot holders.  The choice was ultimately dictated by a lack of free bobbins on which I could load the grey thread, so I quickly fired off an order for a dozen more bobbins and stitched up some yummy berries in the meantime.

Stitching on the last square!

And in slow stitching, I successfully finished my first crochet blanket!  In part because of how long it took, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment just for making it to the end!  I just attached the last square, tied off the remaining threads, and gave it a good cuddle test.  It passes!  I think I'll just hang out under here until dinner!

Linking up with Slow Stitching Sunday.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Celtic Test Block

The Parfait Cafe's Interlocking Seasons.
Yesterday I made the first block for a new quilt.  The original block is 12" square, but I decided to follow in the footsteps of Ladybug Lovelies and try making a 24" block.  I think the design works very well as a large block and with the first one all together, I only need eight more!

Finding all the fabric was a bit of an adventure because the original store didn't have enough of the background fabric.  A fabric which, after I bought what was available, turned out to be older and not easily found anymore!  So I may have gone a little overboard when I did manage to find another store that was still selling it, just to be sure I had enough.  But now I won't run out and it never hurts to add to the stash, right?

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Monday, June 13, 2016

June Goals

I have been pretty scattered lately, so I decided to choose two sewing goals that I would like to focus on for the rest of June.

First, I would like to graduate from muslin test pieces and stitch up a small quilt piece using my new long arm.  To this end, I started my thread stash with a silver to use on this holiday runner.

Several Superior thread cards also arrived today so I can choose some more thread to coordinate with other unfinished projects!

Second, I would like to progress my very long running granny square piece as far as possible; maybe even to finish it. The longevity of this small project has gotten a little ridiculous, so it's time to get it done!
Last night I attached row four and started on row five.  The end of row five is the halfway point and I think that if I concentrate I can get most of the blanket done this month!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Woodland Sampler - A Finish!

Twenty-nine months from the first stitch, my woodland sampler has drawn to a close.  This is my very first cross-stitch finish!  Next up is looking for a frame so that I can hang it up on my sewing room wall.

The way that this sampler was partitioned into small sections worked well for me.  Most of the pieces may not have been finished on the one month timetable intended, but having small goals to mark progress along the way kept me from getting overwhelmed and helped me towards the finish!

Linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Oriental Dots - A Fabric Pull

I was hoping to have my sewing room all set up by now, but the beast of a long arm that has taken over my space is making me re-valuate how everything will fit!  So while my stitching area is still unsettled, I have been using muslin to practice my stitching and putting together more quilt ideas!

Two weeks ago I was inspired by Kelly of My Quilt Infatuation and snapped up her Bubble Bath pattern.  I was a little nervous when I saw how many fabrics it called for because I have found that when I hit a certain number of fabrics I start replacing ones in the current selection instead of adding the last few, but I persevered!

And when all was said and done I found myself in a very different direction than originally planned, but I am excited for this one to join the queue!

Still not sure about that one all the way on the right!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Evergreen Tree

It's been a long time coming, but our house is finally finished and we're all moved in!  Since the house is brand new construction there isn't anything around it but sand yet, so it's a good thing I brought a tree of my own!  It has a little growing left to do, but by Christmas time it should be just about ready to decorate.

Current Size: 28x36
My tree was inspired by this tree by Turid of densyendehimmel.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Woodland Sampler - November

Moving backwards a bit from Christmas, I thought it was time to finish my November stitching.  Only one more row remains, so hopefully the next couple of months will see a finished piece!

For the time being I left out some of the single stitch snowflakes, because I wasn't sure of a good way to secure the metallic thread.  In my experience, single stitches aren't very secure and metallic thread does like to unravel!  But regardless of what I decide to do about the flakes, I've still got one more cute critter!

I saw a squirrel!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Christmas Buttons!

These past few weeks have seen more shop hopping than sewing, but today's shops gave me the perfect opportunity to start a collection of "ornaments" for my advent tree!

Yes, that is a dinosaur.  :)

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Christmas in March

I will soon need pieces to practice long arm quilting with, so it seems like the perfect time to pull some of my smaller project ideas to the top of the to-do list.  First up is a Christmas wall-hanging.  The plan is to quilt a tree and make two dozen little "ornaments" from holiday buttons as a sort of Advent calendar.

2.5 inch squares

Squares were cut, half square triangles were made, and now it is time to build a nice scrappy layout.  To help achieve this goal, because I'm not very good at scrappy (yet), I threw all the squares of a single color into a tin, mixed them around, and pulled out one at a time to add to the design space.  I think it worked fairly well!

A sneak peak at my design floor.

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Woodland Sampler - October

My motivation for this piece is back on track with the end in sight.  This week a cute little owl has joined my menagerie!  Only three blocks remain, and I can't wait to see this hanging on my new sewing room wall!

Linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Woodland Sampler - September

One month closer to the end of the year on my woodland cross-stitch.

The wind swirls were stitched with a white metallic floss that makes me think of bubbles! 

Linking up with Slow Sunday Stitching.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Rainbow Batiks - Assemble!

My rainbow batik quilt is almost a finished top!  All it needs is two rounds of borders to make it complete!

Currently 68x80

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Long Arm Trials

For some time now, the winter weather has been getting in the way of my ability to go try out some of the long arms I have been considering... but at the very end of last week, the forecast was cold and clear.  So I quickly whipped up a small quilt top from my stash and packed my bags for a trip to the Gammill dealer!

Apparently my stash is light on solids and neutrals, a fact which might need to be remedied for the future, but this black and white dot sashing worked out nicely!

The people at the Gammill dealer were very fun and knowledgable, and it was a pleasure to work with them.  I spent all of Saturday working my way through the quilting process and I am really excited about how my little quilt turned out!  There may be a Gammill machine in my future!

Linking up with Let's Bee Social.