Sunday, March 26, 2017

March???

March slipped by pretty quickly for me. Mr. Moosebay came through his surgery with flying colors, but it will be another month before he can lift anything over ten pounds. That leaves all the dog walking to me, as Kylie is under the mistaken idea that she is really a sled dog--I'm pretty sure I will eventually end up with a dislocated shoulder! She is still very timid, and won't leave the front step unless someone is with her, so I have been doing four "walks" a day--really eats up my sewing time! 
I've done lots of Slow Stitching this month (I caught a cold, so much of my stitching was done in bed--lol!). The Stitching Society Wool Hexagons that I stitched in 2014-2015 are finally a quilt!
(information on Stitching Society is HERE)

To put the hexagons together, I used black thread to machine zigzag them onto a foundation of Shape-Flex, a fusible interfacing.  I did five sections of three rows each to make the Fly Stitching over the zigzag easier. 

This is how the back looked after the zigzag and fly stitching.
I had the hexagons arranged on my design wall and to get them onto the foundation I had to lay them out upside down and backwards from the design wall onto my ironing board, cover them with a length of Shape-Flex and press into place. Fun! 
After all the fly stitching was complete, I fused the sections together, zigzagged again, and finished with more fly stitching. 

Hand Tied Quilting on a Long Arm Machine
Hmmm....how to quilt it? I had so many ideas--maybe a tiny button at each point (too distracting!), maybe big stitch quilting inside the fly stitching in each hexagon (too stressful for my arthritic hands!), maybe machine quilted in some way? In the end, even though I hadn't tied a quilt since 1974 (and for good reasons!) that's what I decided to do. And I think I had a pretty brilliant idea of loading the quilt layers onto my HQ16, rolled it all the way to the end so I could reach under the quilt, and did the tying, working from bottom to top. It worked out great and was so easy--I would almost do it again--lol! 

Hand Tied Quilting
I really wanted to channel Racheldaisy because I love her fun and colorful take on quilting, and do some fun bright colors for the tying, but in the end, I wimped out and  used six strands of embroidery floss--two strands each of three blue/gray colors. 

And, of course, it's not a quilt until it's labeled! 

Stitching Society Wool Hexagons (no fun name--sorry) was my March One Monthly Goal and also was on my first quarter Finish-A-Long list. Sure feels good to have this one done!!

After all that hand work, I have an appointment for cortisone injections in both wrists next week, but that won't stop me from doing some Slow Stitching today--I have a few more flowers to sew down on this months Primitive Garden block! 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

March UFO Goal and Little Slow Stuff...

I feel like I have turned a corner in the saga of my Stitching Society wool hexagons....
I've finished the fly stitching on all five sections, and they are now ready to be put together. My One Monthly Goal is to get these five sections together and make them into a quilt! 

Sharyl from Temecula Quilt Co. put out the call for signed Anniversary Cake blocks (and to use our favorite color) for an Anniversary Quilt she is making. I have had so much enjoyment doing her free sew along's the past few years, I felt I had to at least make this one little block.
FYI: If you make one, use a very scant seam allowance--I had issues getting my block to measure 4.25"! 

Mr. Moosebay is have some surgery done on Tuesday, so today I will get my Primitive Garden Block 6 prepped and ready to take along. I think it will be a bit easier to handle in the waiting room than my wooly hexagons--lol!

Today is Slow Sunday Stitching, so I know I will be making progress on my One Monthly Goal--happy stitching! 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Log Cabin Progress

Even though I have 20 plus UFO's on my to-do list, here I am working on something completely new--yeesh!
My excuse is that I am using up scraps--and it's just refreshing to start something completely new!
These are the 16 blocks for the February Log Cabin Quilt-a-Long by Bea and Cecile.

This isn't the final lay-out for my Idaho Square Dance.
Just for fun I thought I would surround the log cabins with the alternate blocks that I have made so far.
You can see how my quilt will be laid out HERE--it's the cover quilt on Bonnie Hunter's latest book.  

Someday, it may be fun to make a quilt with just the Square Dance blocks--they've been good for stash busting, as have the log cabin blocks! 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Slow Stitching and a Special Link

I hadn't planned to link up with Slow Stitching Sunday this week since I'm sure everyone is feeling wooly hexie fatigue, (I know I am--lol!) but I wanted to share a temporary link that will answer lots of questions about them.
I just started the final section last night--yay!The designer of these Stitching Society hexagons, Amy McClellan, was recently featured on The Quilt Show. You can watch the episode for free for the next couple days by following this link:
http://thequiltshow.com/watch/show-list/video/latest/2004-into-the-woods-we-go-embroidery-with-whimsy-in-stitches?artist_coupon=20020212

This link is now closed!! 

Don't wait--it won't be a live link for long! It's a fun episode--you won't want to miss it is you love wool applique! There's also a lesson on big stitch quilting by Sarah Fielke.
(If the link above doesn't work, try it directly from Sarah's website HERE)

My February Primitive Garden block is finished and I plan hope to prep block six ASAP. 

These are my first five blocks so far. I'm working from a kit, so I haven't really made any fabric decisions of my own. Even though the kit is ten years old, I am  still happy with all the fabrics.
I'll be back to stitching wool hexagons tonight--I'm not sure if I will watch the Oscars or record them, but the stitching is a sure thing!
Linking with Kathy at Slow Sunday Stitching HERE 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

What a Relief.....

My Christmas Solstice quilt is finally finished!
I'm not sure what year this Bonnie Hunter mystery was first introduced, but unfortunately, I fell waaaay behind. I've been taking different parts of the blocks to retreats, and was so happy to finally get all the blocks together at quilt camp this past January--until I realized I had made a big boo-boo (that you can read about here).
Anyway, everything is fixed and finished and here she is on our king size bed--yay!

I wish I would have had enough of the Thimbleberries fabric in the foreground for the entire back, but I only had five yards. At least it was a good opportunity to use up some big chunks of fabric from my stash! 

No fabric was purchased specifically for Christmas Solstice.
I started out intending to use up my stash of Christmas fabrics and I did just that for the most part (some weren't quite the right colors), but ended up adding lots of other fabrics from my stash--and that's a good thing! The green border was made from the cut-offs of a backing from another quilt. There was just enough of the dark green Thimbleberries fabric left over from another project for the binding (with 2.5" to spare!). 

I quilted Christmas Solstice with a curly paisley inspired by Tracy fromWhirls 'n Swirls quilting on You Tube. There are several fabrics in the quilt that have paisley prints, so I thought it was an appropriate quilting design for this quilt.
 I used Aurifil # 1147 for the quilting--a lime green that blended in nicely. 

And, of course, the final touch--a label.
I happened to have this Thimbleberries label and figured this was a good time to use it!
Christmas Solstice was my February goal and is also on my Finish-A-Long list HERE
Linking with One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts HERE

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I'm Still Here....

I've been slowly plugging away on my Celtic (Christmas) Solstice top. All of the reverse sewing has been completed and the top is loaded on the quilting machine--yay! 
The quilt is so enormous! I have the sides folded in to fit it on my machine--my table is only 10 feet or so long. I will turn the quilt when I get to the end so I can finish the side borders. I hope it works out--I've never run into this situation before! 

This started out as a stash burner to use up old Christmas fabrics, but I quickly ran out of those, so there's a bit of everything in here as long as the colors worked. 

I'm actually kind of procrastinating now as I decided what all over design to use. It won't show up much since there is so much scrappiness, just some texture. Hopefully I'll make a decision soon, so I can go onto other things---lol!

Linking with Scraptastic Tuesday HERE 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Yeesh....

I kind of lost my mojo in January--all my own fault. Things started off great...I was overjoyed to finish all the blocks for my Christmas (Celtic) Solstice quilt at quilt camp and almost got all the rows constructed too. When I returned home, I put on the last two rows and double checked my pattern for the border instructions just to see how many parts I needed to sew for each side. 
In the words of Mr. Bill:
 Oh Noooooooo....!
I did a lot of color substitutions from the original pattern. Where Bonnie used orange, I chose to use tan. This is how most of the star blocks look in my quilt. Those tan background star points (Peaky and Spike blocks aka Tri-Rec) were supposed to only be used in the borders, not in the blocks (obviously orange would not look good here!)--ack! 

This is how all the blocks should look--using only the Peaky and Spike blocks with the white backgrounds. Before I realized my mistake, I was perfectly happy with my quilt--it looked fine. Once I realized what I had done, I was willing to live with it and told myself probably no one else would ever know the difference. You can probably guess where this is going....
Yes, after a day or so, those errant blocks began to taunt me and I
 just couldn't stand looking at them any longer! I've spent the last two weeks reverse sewing the tan blocks and replacing them with the correct white ones (which I had already sewn into border strips, BTW... double ack!).
I'm about half way done--only 50 or so more to go. This has been very tedious, to say the least, but I know it would bother me forever if I didn't fix it.
Yeah, I'm nuts!!

I do vaguely remember some Peaky and Spike blocks along with some other fabrics in a baggie labeled Borders, and wondered why they were in there--duh!
Lesson learned: write yourself profuse notes (and reread the pattern) if you set a project aside for a while (years)!!
Christmas Solstice is going to be my February One Monthly Goal to complete, so hopefully I will persevere!

To get a little relief (and do some forward sewing), I am making log cabin blocks using leftover fabrics from my 365 Challenge Blocks
I was inspired to get started on this project by the Béa et Cécile Quilt-a-Long on Facebook HERE. We do two blocks a week--I think I can handle that! These blocks are going to be used in an Idaho Square Dance top--the cover quilt on Bonnie Hunter's latest book. It's been a relaxing respite--no half square triangle to square up, no flying geese, and no Peaky and Spike blocks! As long as my quarter inch seam is accurate, this one should be a breeze. Hopefully, I won't end up packing this away so that in a few years I dig it out and mess it up like Christmas Solstice--haha! 

This is block four of Primitive Garden.
I belong to a Facebook group that has been making one block a month and the shovel was our January block. It's been a fun Sew Along since the pattern designer, Lisa Bongean, has been watching over us and doing some give-aways. I've won some needles and a wool bundle--an extra incentive to stay on top of this project!

Back to my reverse sewing project--boo!
Linking with One Monthly Goal HERE