Friday, January 20, 2017

Clarissa Update

Agnes Gru
I cannot believe it is Friday!
I haven't written a blog post all week, which is most unusual for me. No blogging usually means not much quilting time, which means I feel quite miserable and depleted by Friday. 
But today is the first Friday Night Sew In of 2017 and I have quilting friends coming over, so very soon I will start to feel much better! You can click here to sign up, or you can just join in wherever you are and make some progress on your sewing projects. 
Block #6 Clarissa
I did finish my 6th block for my "Clarissa was a Superstar" quilt. This is my leader ender project for Bonnie Hunter's challenge this year (you can read more about the challenge here). My project is inspired by a quilt from the 1800s which you can read about here
I used the light triangles as the centre pinwheel for this block. I like it and think I'll do more block centres like this one has.
It's funny that whenever I post another Clarissa block that people think I am making HST (half square triangle) blocks. These are not HST blocks, they really are QST (quarter square triangles) which are more commonly called hourglass blocks. They are cut and sewn differently using the Companion Angle ruler, or you could use Bonnie Hunter's new ruler.
Here is how I cut the 1.5" strips to get the 144 quarter square triangles I need for each 12" block. I cut two or four strips together and place the pieces ready to sew by the machine. I have learned that I have to put two pieces through the machine with the dark fabric on top and oriented in this way or else the block just doesn't work out.
This is my machine set up, showing that I am piecing a block for the En Provence mystery quilt. And my Clarissa triangles are sitting on the right side of the machine bed waiting to be a leader/ender between sewing sections of the mystery. I love that it doesn't waste any thread! And I love that I am making progress on 2 quilts at once.
I can't show you all the Clarissa blocks together because En Provence pieces are on the design wall. I can't wait to see all the blocks together and find out if I like the addition of the dark red colour in this block. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Design Wall Monday - Aurifil BOM

I was a little tardy in finishing the Aurifil BOM blocks for 2016. By the end of the year only the December block remained unsewn. The last block is a paper pieced flower block designed by Amanda Herring.
My 5 fabrics were organized back in December, but it took me a while to get the pattern printed, and to gather the concentration required to sew it.
Because I am used to sewing smaller blocks, the pieces seemed very large to handle. And no matter how I worked with each section, there was a lot of fabric wastage (which I will use in my 150 Canadian Women blocks, so it's not really "wasted" at all, I guess).

This is the pattern with 6 sections having 5 pieces each.
It doesn't look like it should have been that hard. 
But it was!
Why did it take me over 4 hours to put it together??

I can't explain it!!

Here is the 12th block for my 2016 Aurifil BOM project. Although the striped fabric doesn't match up perfectly around the centre, it's close enough for me, and I'm very happy with how it turned out, all things considered!
When I'm back in the quilt studio I will get all 12 blocks up on the design wall. I can't wait to see the suggested layout for these blocks and get them sewn together. 

You can see many variations of this block pattern over at Pat Sloan's blog here. To see more design wall postings, hop over to Patchwork Times.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching - 1 Year of Stitches

Welcome to our weekly hand stitching party!

We are already 2 weeks into the new year, and I've only started 1 new project... that's pretty good for me! How about you? How many new projects have you started in 2017?
I decided to join in on the "1 Year of Stitches" project hosted by Sara over at Brown Paper Bag. The guidelines for this project can be found here, but the essence is this... take one stitch every day for a year and see what you create. How hard could that be?!? 
I thought it would be easy for me because I do stitch everyday already, so this is just an extra project that would be used for "warm up" with my daily stitching. 

This is an intuitive piece, which means there is no pattern, no "right" or "wrong" way, and you have no idea what it will look like at the end. You just follow your intuition. 
The hardest part for some people is where/how to start. 
I thought about it over the last week of 2016 and decided to start with an embroidery pattern that I found on the Wild Olive blog.

Love has to be in the centre, right? It's at the start of all creative endeavours... you love something/someone and want to spend more time with it/them. 
Here is the disembodied thumb photo to give you a sense of the size I'm starting with for my year long project.
1 Year of Stitches - week #1
One of the suggestions with "1 Year of Stitches" is to take a photo of your stitching every day over the year. I'm not going to do that, but I do plan to take one photo each week.

These are my photos for week #1 and #2.

1 Year of Stitches - week #2
The hardest part so far is only taking a stitch (or two) each day. As you can see on the instagram feed, many people are taking a different approach to the challenge and have already created massive stitcheries! 
It's really hard to only take 1 stitch, 1 step at a time! 
I got carried away a bit in week 2 and clearly made more than 7 stitches. But I was loving the LOVE and wanted to finish the word!

Are you joining in with this creative endeavour? Do you have the ability to take one stitch each day on your project? 

We love to see all types of hand stitching, so please link up your blog post below and show us what you are working on today.

    An InLinkz Link-up

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Scrappy Saturday

Another crazy week is over and I am relaxing today by sewing some tiny random 1" bits of purple fabric into 9 patch blocks. Purple is the January colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and I have just finished my 9th purple block.
I was so sad reading the news that Sue Garman died, which was announced this week by The Quilt Show. I have followed Sue's blog for years and have been inspired by her quilting and life adventures. She was an amazing woman with a fascinating career at NASA, followed by a brilliant career as a creative quilter, teacher, pattern designer and blogger. 
The news of her passing inspired me to get out my own Sue Garman project called Omigosh. You can see her original version of the pattern on her blog post from 2008 here. I've been working on my version for more than 3 years now and I have 84 of the double nine patch blocks done (110 are needed), but haven't even started sewing the second block yet! It's a perfect RSC challenge project, and I enjoy picking it up now and then to make more blocks with small scraps around the sewing room.
To see what the RSC quilters are making this week, hop over to the weekly link up at SoScrappy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

UFO Report

The second Votes For Women panel is quilted! 
This is a 42 block quilt that was a sampler project from Barbara Brackman which started in 2012, and is made from reproduction fabrics. I am quilting it in 3 sections, and this panel is the two columns of blocks which will be on the left side of the quilt. It feels like a big accomplishment since I've been working on it for a few weeks.
The panel looks like it's curved in this long photo, but it's an optical illusion due to leaning on my design wall.
Each of the 14 blocks in this panel was quilted individually. I viewed each block as a mini quilt needing a unique quilt design to be created. I didn't mark any quilting designs, and just tried to create as many continuous curved lines as possible.

By Jessica Hagy

The next task is to piece a backing, prep a batting, then pin baste the third panel. You can see all the panels here
It feels like I have crossed a psychological hurdle on finishing this quilt and am stoked to get to work on the last panel. 
Linking up to Sew Fresh Quilts.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Design Wall Monday - En Provence

Progress is being made on my version of Quiltville's En Provence mystery quilt. I have made 2 changes so far in the process of working on my quilt.
In my photo from last week's DWM, I had used "background" squares in the block because that's what the directions said. Background to me means neutral fabrics. But in the photo of Bonnie's quilt, she used yellow 3.5" squares. 
I tried that out and liked it better. See how the block on the left has background squares and the block on the right has yellow squares? Yep, the yellow shines more, and shining as much light as possible is always the goal! So I recut those pieces and started sewing the blocks together.
The next decision was what to do about those pink stars in the sashing. It was too scrappy for my liking in the above photo. I like scrappy for sure, but that was too much, even for me! So I am grouping the pink star points with the same fabrics together as you can see in this photo. Oh I see one star point on the right is upside down... good thing the sashing isn't sewn together yet.
I am really having so much fun with this project. It's like one big jigsaw puzzle! There is still lots of sewing to do, but it's taking shape and looking more like a quilt.
To see more design wall postings, hop over to Patchwork Times. And to see more mystery quilts in progress, hop over to the Quiltville link up.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching

Welcome to the first Slow Sunday Stitching link up party for 2017! If you enjoy hand stitching of any kind, then you have found your tribe! You are welcome to join us here every Sunday and learn how we keep ourselves stitched together... it's one stitch at a time!

The #1 health risk is loneliness and we want you to be have a healthy and happy 2017, so join us! We are a little quirky, we love our needles and threads, we are excited by colour, and we could talk endlessly about our collections of fabric, wool, frames, hoops, and stitching tools. If that sounds like you, then you are one of us!

  • This week I will be putting some stitches into my next Life Is Beautiful block. There are a lot of curves in this design, so it helps to take smaller stitches to get the curves more rounded. I do contemplate the words of each block as I am stitching. But I save the actual stitching of the letters until last, because it's my favourite part and I enjoy the anticipation. Would you stitch your favourite part first or last? 
  • So now it's your turn... being part of a tribe means you contribute in whatever way is comfortable for you. You can link up your hand stitching blog post below and/or visit some of the links that look interesting. See what you can learn, enjoy the sights, and leave comments to encourage your fellow slow stitchers. Happy Slow Stitching Sunday!
        An InLinkz Link-up