Sunday, January 21, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching - Photo Challenge #1

Welcome to the weekly hand stitching party! We celebrate all things hand stitched and encourage you to join in the fun. You don't have to prepare any food, or get dressed up, or even leave your house for this party. Just get out one of your hand stitching projects, put in a few stitches, visit with hand stitchers around the world, and share your creativity with us.

A new addition to the Sunday link ups this year will be the occasional photo challenge. I love photography and enjoy seeing the photos you post on your blogs. I often make the pictures as big as I can on my computer screen in order to see the detail in what you are making. 
The photo challenge will encourage you to take a picture of something specific to include in your Slow Sunday Stitching blog post. This week the challenge is to take a photo of any of the hoops you use in your hand stitching. Some types of stitching don't require a hoop, but if you use one, we'd love to see it. And tell us... what do you like about your hoop? 

I regularly use a variety of hoops for the different kinds of projects I have on the go. Let's visit my hoops and see what's in them... 
This is my small plastic embroidery hoop where I always have some kind of embroidery project ready to put in a few stitches. It's lightweight, fits easily in my hand stitching bag and I almost always have it with me just in case I have a few moments to stitch.

This is my most frequently used hoop. It is a circular hoop and today it has my oldest UFO in it, which I am hand quilting. It is a great hoop to have on my lap while traveling or watching TV. It is sturdy and made of solid wood. It's a little heavier than most hoops, but I went through several flimsy wooden hoops that easily broke before I became a very happy customer of the hoops made by Keith Small of "Impressions in Wood". He was a regular vendor at quilt shows in my area for many years and although he passed away in 2015, his daughter has carried on his business. I'm thinking about buying one of their half hoops this year - click here and scroll down.

I also have a an oval hoop on a wooden floor stand which I have used a lot over the years. It's not very portable, so it stays in a quiet corner of the house and I go there when I want peace and quiet! I like that the whole oval frame can tilt to the angle that is most comfortable for quilting. I bought this frame over 20 years ago at Mary Maxim and don't know if they sell them anymore.

Okay now it's your turn! Take a photo of your favourite stitching hoop and add it to your hand stitching blog post. There will be a random draw from all the link ups that have a hoop photo and of course there will be a prize for the first ever photo challenge winner!


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Scrappy Saturday

Angela and Mari have created a 10 block sampler project for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilters. We all know how much I love sampler quilts, so of course I started some blocks. The great thing about this project is that you can sew whatever size of block you prefer based on a 5 unit grid.
Because I have a lot of small scraps, I am making my blocks 5" finished, but you could make yours finish at 7.5", 10", 12.5", 15" or even 20"! I can't imagine working with a block that big, but some scrap quilters are doing it.
The RSC colour for January is blue and I couldn't wait to dig into the blue scraps. I easily had enough to make 4 of the first sampler blocks called "Red Cross". It seems like they should be made in red with this name and I might have to add some in red blocks later. But for now, here are 4 blue red cross blocks. I omitted the corner HSTs in the bottom left block and like how that one looks too.
Hop over to the weekly RSC link up and see more blue scraps projects.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Quilt Along Addiction

It has been rumoured that I have a bit of a quilt along addiction. Teeny tiny and hardly noticeable, but it has become a wee bit of a challenge for me LOL! It's such a relief when I'm able to resist, but most of the time I'm just not able!
Do you know that there is a link up for all quilt alongs over at Busy Hands Quilts? Oh dear... be still my heart!💙
Luckily many of the projects don't appeal to me or are expensive and require book purchases, so truthfully I am not tempted by those.

I had already decided to start Carole's Square Dance on Friday - click here for the intro post. And guess what... no half square triangles in this one! Woohoo! I made Carole's Scrap Dance Tango 2 years ago and love it (although it's still a lovely UFO). 

But when I was over at Busy Hands Quilts link up I noticed the "It's a wild life" BOM starting soon at Sew Incredibly Crazy. I have a pretty wild and crazy life, so that sounds perfect for me! 

And I loved the Aurifil BOM from 2016 which I made in red and white and finished in November last year.  I skipped their project last year because the first block was an applique cat which I didn't want to do. Some of the blocks later in the year were interesting, but I was already on to other things and lost track of that. You can see the block patterns here

The theme this year is "The places we go" and you can see the list of 2018 block designers here. Most of the designers are new to me so that's exciting. The first block looks like a fun challenge. The info is posted here and is by Canadian designer Katja Marek. You can see the link up for the first block over at Pat Sloan's blog here.

Did I just confess that I am starting 3 new projects?!?!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Blogging thoughts from the sick bed

For the month of December I accepted Cheryl's challenge of writing a blog post every day. That meant writing something every day during the busiest time of the year. Why did I do that to myself when I'm always in overdrive at that time of year already?
I did accomplish my December goal of daily writing with 31 blog posts in 31 days. But I didn't really enjoy the "have to" part of the experience and don't think I'll do that again.  Although I enjoy writing, which is why I have maintained this quilting blog for about 12 years now, I didn't really enjoy having the pressure of daily posts.
However, it did remind me that I do enjoy the process of writing. 
years of journals
And the more you write, the more you want to write. The challenge did encourage me to put more effort into other things I have been writing, such as work related journal articles and the book I have been writing in my head for 5+ years.
So for 2018 I'll be happy to resume my usual structure of a minimum of 3 blog posts a week, plus any other extra things during the week that I feel inspired to write about, without the pressure to post something every day. 

Kathy's Quilts blog stats indicates that more than 39,000 comments have been made and that the 2 millionth page view is imminent! 
Thank you to each and every person who reads my blog, and I truly appreciate the time it takes to leave encouraging, funny and creative comments. You're the best! I even have some folks who send me encouraging emails ... hi Dotti! 
I can't wait to get back to my regular healthy life, and my beloved quilting activities. Thanks again for reading!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the weekly link up for hand stitching bloggers! As my blog readers know I started off the year with influenza, and unbelievably I have not made one single stitch, by hand or machine, for over a week now. That is unheard of for me! So I have no stitching to show you today, but I do have three things to share...

1) Interesting information posted by the New York Times about recovery from influenza includes a link to the "misery map" tracking the statistics in the US. The visual impact of the weekly chart is surprising.

2) When you can't stitch, you can watch videos of other people stitching. I came across this cute video on Canadian Knitting. Who knew there was such a thing? Enjoy!

3) A new addition to the Slow Sunday Stitching link ups this year will be occasional photo challenges. I love photography and still regularly use these 3 cameras. This photo was taken with my least favourite camera on my old Samsung phone, so I guess I actually use 4 cameras! I really enjoy seeing your  stitching photos on the  Sundays link ups and often make them as big as I can on my computer screen in order to see the detail in what you are making. So be watching next week for the details as we start our first Slow Sunday Stitching photo challenge. 

So what are you working on this week? I do hope you will cheer me up by telling me all about your hand stitching projects and the progress you are making so far this year.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Sick Saturday

While spending days in bed fighting a nasty influenza virus and trying not to go crazy/crazier, I treated myself to some Angela Walters Midnight Quilt Show videos. When you're too tired to quilt, watching someone else having fun in their quilting room is the next best thing to actually doing it yourself, don't you think?!? If you're not familiar with the show, here's the link to the last episode of 2017, which might be a fun place to start watching - Midnight Quilt Show
Angela demonstrates how she makes an interesting quilt top, and then shows how she machine quilts the project on her home sewing machine. She ostensibly makes the quilt in one evening, but of course there are days of work in each part of the quiltmaking process. She has a great sense of humour and I adore watching her machine quilt.
This is my new favourite line from Angela ... 
"Quilting is my therapy and threads are my meds".
Yes! Love this line!
Well, you'll never guess what happened to me... some thread medication arrived at my door while I was lollygagging in bed, trying to recover from influenza! I was in bed for the 7th day, sweating, coughing, exhausted, and trying not to move due to severe headaches, when this parcel came to the door.

I had won the end of year draw in December from Patty at the One Monthly Goal linkup partyWhat a great box the gift came in... I loved that movie that I saw with my sister and niece over the holidays. 

Just look at this! A whole box of my favourite Aurifil threads from Fig Tree & Co.!!!  I was so excited but had to quietly celebrate from my sick bed. Just look at the delicious colours! 
I have propped up the thread box beside my bed so I can see it all the time and dream about quilting. I am in the second week of suffering recovery and Doctor says that is just how the flu is this year... nothing to do but rest, drink fluids, wait, and hope you don't get pneumonia.
Remember that Angela says:
"Quilting is my therapy and threads are my meds".
Unfortunately this beautiful box of medication did not help with the influenza, but it sure did help me to feel a little better each day while trying to recover from it.
Thank you Aurifil for sponsoring One Monthly Goal and thank you to Patty who encourages the members of the quilting community to finish their wonderful projects!

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

On Ringo Lake Update

Yesterday was the link up for the quilters who are making the Quiltville mystery. I'm sure some superstar quilters will have their quilt top finished already, but most of us are in some stage of quilt block construction. 
I've only made 4 blocks so far. 
I'm entering the 4th day of laying in bed, with my fevered red cheeks, my aching bones, hacking up my lungs, and getting more frustrated with my lack of recovery with each passing moment. I am not a good patient and detest being sick/unable to quilt. 
block parts in development
Here is a photo of the "parts department" where all the bits and pieces of my version of the mystery are in various stages of readiness, just waiting for me to be to able to sit upright pain-free and get  sewing. All the gold sashing pieces on the right are ready to go because they were from step #3 early on in the mystery (before Christmas). But many of the later steps aren't fully completed yet.  
Hop over to the Quiltville mystery link up to see all the wonderful quilts that the non-sick quilters are making!