Monday, December 11, 2017

Mystery Link Up Step #3

Today is the Quiltville mystery link up - click here to see all the wonderful mystery quilts in progess.
I did a bit of sewing on the clue #3 pieces over the weekend while watching The Crown on Netflix. I was sewing the blocks on Ethel, a short bed 301 Singer machine which makes a beautiful stitch, but refuses to wind a bobbin. I sewed until the bobbin ran out!

some step #3 units
Although I sewed right through season #1 of The Crown, one bobbin was not enough thread to get anywhere near the required number of units for step #3 of the mystery. That's okay.... my schedule is getting busier with Christmas approaching, so I probably won't be able to keep up with the steps from now until after the holidays. But I will sew a few of each of the steps as they are posted.
To visit the Quiltville link up, click here.
To see more design wall postings, visit Small Quilts.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching! 
We meet here every Sunday to celebrate the art of all varieties of hand stitching. If it involves a needle or 2 and thread and stitching taken with your hands, we want to know about it!

I have taken out my winter hand quilting project. It has the ceremonious distinction of being my oldest UFO and has been in progress since 1996, so it's 21 years old! I still really like it and enjoy quilting the blocks. I can't help but wonder if 2018 might be it's last year as a UFO?

This is a big quilt, and it's heavy and warm, so it's perfect to work on at this time of year. I have set up my little quilting corner and put this UFO in my oval floor frame. It's a cozy little spot where I listen to iTunes and hand quilt when I have a few moments to relax. This is where I will be, putting in a few stitches to start the day.
What are you hand stitching today? Share with us the project you are working on by linking up your blog post below.
Happy Slow Sunday Stitching everyone!


    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, December 09, 2017

Scrappy Saturday

It's the finishing time of year over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. There are many half finished scrappy projects sitting around here and they need to move along towards becoming a finished quilt. Some of them have been sitting around a long time and not turning themselves into finished quilts!! What's with that?!?!

This past week I've focused on completing the ninth/last Mad City Mama block using lime green scraps. The strip blocks and the 25 patch blocks are sewn together. The next step is to make a centre block and finish sewing on the light triangle corners.

I have also made some progress on my UFO of the month which is a long term RSC project. The backing was sewn together from 2 pieces of yardage, and pin basting has begun. I am motivated to get the basting job finished quickly because it ties up all my table space.
Hop on over to the RSC linkup to see more projects being completed this week.

Friday, December 08, 2017

It's Mystery Day!

The last step of Magnolia Mist Mystery has been posted this week and this is a sample of the blocks that I will be sewing together this weekend. I think I might change up the layout a bit to use up some of the fabric I have. 
AND as if that's not enough excitement, Step #3 of the Quiltville mystery is posted today! I will have to do a lot of cutting for step #3 blocks, so first I will put on some Christmas music, wind down from a busy week and enjoy some mindless sewing putting together the Magnolia blocks.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

When the window closes!

Sometimes I find interesting words I enjoy mulling over in my brain. Teresa inspired me with her blog post about windows of creativity and of "otherness" - read her post here. I could relate to that feeling of a burst of creativity and the energy that comes with that, inspired by a new project we feel so much passion for, and can't wait to see how it will turn out.
And I also know very well how it feels when the window is slammed shut, when the initial vision doesn't materialize or is lost, and you are left with a big fabric mess instead of the lovely quilt you had envisioned. 
This happens in quilting and in real life.
The IOP design wall
Exhibit A - Indian Orange Peel
This is one of those multi-year adventure projects! I have written over 20 blog posts about it over the past 7 years and tried many incentives to entice myself to finish it. My sister even tried to get me to take it to a quilt retreat and helped me set goals about it. But guess what... I didn't even take the project with me! 
Can you say AVOIDANCE!?!?!?
So why is it still not a quilt?
I have finished many, many quilts over the years since I started the IOP.
And still... there it sits taking up space on the design wall. 

I loved the pattern years ago and always wanted to make it. I seized the opportunity to take an IOP class and learn the necessary skills. 
Every step of making this quilt was really hard, but in retrospect I allowed it to become way harder than it needed to be. Every decision seemed to be the wrong one, and the energy of the project became more and more negative.
I procrastinated working on it because I couldn't figure out what the problem was, let alone how to "fix" it.
So now I have accepted that it will never be fixed. I will never have that amazing quilt that I dreamed about. 
It is what it is.

But I'm telling you... this thing is going to be finished come hell or high water! So here it is under the needle again, getting some attention, and progress is being made. 

And I still don't like it!

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Wild Geese

Are you sewing along with the Quiltville mystery? While my machine is sewing all these blocks, I am singing to myself..."It's the most wonderful time of the year"! 
It's so fun making lots of little pieces for blocks that will eventually become a quilt and I have no idea how it will turn out. It's the most fun that a quilter who is somewhat risk-averse can have!
Here are some of my blocks on the design wall ... flying geese are everywhere! Instead of using coral/melon colours for this step, I am using gold/brown paper bag, and loving it!

There are usually so many little pieces to keep track of in a Quiltville mystery and here is my idea to stay organized. 
Mystery blocks for step #1 and #2
I reuse a spinach container to store all the block pieces. Everything is exactly where it should be and I can find everything needed as the steps progress. You can see my recycled container with pieces from last year's mystery here and I even found a photo of the same container being used for the 2013 Celtic Solstice mystery here.
Hop over to these link ups: Quiltville step #2 and Sew Fresh Quilts.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Cutting Mat Tip

Every quilter needs a good self healing cutting mat. I prefer the Olfa mats  - I have no affiliation but am a very satisfied customer who has tried many different brands of cutting mats over the years. I found a list of great tip for mat care at the Olfa website and decided to try the eraser idea after cutting some batting. 
You know how the fuzzy bits get stuck in the tiny slits left behind by the rotary cutter? When you rub an eraser (I bought a cheap Staples brand eraser) over the mat, it pulls out the fuzz. You end up with schmutz that you just wipe into the garbage and your mat is clean again. I then wipe it gently with a damp cloth.

This mat however, is dead. Done.
It has worn completely thin and is no longer a self healing mat because it is bare. No amount of rubbing it with an eraser will fix it. It needs to go in the garbage.
Santa knows I need a brand spanking new self healing mat, and he also knows that I have been a very good girl!