Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Customer Quilts 2015

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

We were away for a week’s vacation so there was no post last week. We had a fabulous and restful week camping at the Pinery Provincial Park. In fact, it’s the best week we’ve had away in a long long time. It’s turned into somewhat of a running joke that the weather forecast is always.... the Shepherds are camping..... it’s raining and cold. But not this time. It quite reminded me about why it is that we go to all the work of packing up and setting up to go out into the quiet of the trees. I was beginning to wonder the last few times why we even bothered and whether it really was worth it. But this trip proved that yep..... it’s worth it. The day time temperatures were wonderful for being outside. The night time temperatures were perfect for sleeping under warm comfy quilts.
I managed to find a spot quite near our campsite with a lovely shaded bench where I could sit with my stitching and look out over the river. While there I was treated to the sight of a blue Heron flying by and some Canada geese and some hawks hunting and gliding. 
As you can see by what is on the bench, I’m still working on Friendship’s Chain. Less than 2 rows left now to sew up and then it is finished. I don’t know if I’ll make my goal of the end of this month though. There are some busy days and evenings ahead. I’m doing an afternoon English Paper Piecing class this Wednesday and then a full day English Paper Piecing workshop on Saturday. Then there are a few customer quilts to finish up in time for our guild’s quilt show a month from now. We are vending at that show, so there is stuff to get ready for that as well. All of that is seriously going to cut into my slow stitching time. But, I will continue to work on it as I can and get it done, slowly, one stitch at a time.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching before going back to do more stitching of my own.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching


I’m in the process of chasing a squirrel. It’s a project that’s been in the back of my head for a while, and a couple of days ago it demanded to be let loose. At first it started as a mostly grey squirrel, but once it was partially assembled, I decided I didn’t like how dark it was turning out. Since there are potentially going to be a lot of these units, I don’t want the over all quilt to be that dark. So then it turned into a brown/beige squirrel and I think I like it much better.  Other than the very weird face in the hexagon. It’s supposed to be a rag doll, but it doesn’t quite come across like one.But they both have their down sides. If I use the greys, I’ll be limited in how many dark colours I can use, but there will be many more places to use lights and I could also use lots of brights. If I use the beige, I’ll be limited to mostly mediums and darks, but few lights. There’s a picture of where I am heading with this quilt here on the Quilter’s Cache. It’s a variation of the Jack’s Chain block. I’m going smaller with it and replacing the nine patches with a smaller square. But the layout will be the same.
So I’m looking for opinions here..... what would you do.... grey squirrel or beige?

I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching

Friday, 7 September 2018

Sapphire Net is Finished

It’s done, finished, finally. Sapphire Net is a finished quilt. The blocks measure 12 inches finished. The entire thing, as shown, measures about 35 inches square.

Not only is the quilt finished, but the pattern is done too. Double added extra bonus for me so I can call it done and done. And the third done is that it’s been added to the website. Printed pattern or pdf pattern and the papers for it too, since it’s English Paper Pieced.  If you are interested, you can find them here Sapphire Net.
Amanda Jean, at Crazy Mom Quilts, took the summer off from her finish it Friday posts and I must say that I’ve missed them. It’s good to have her back. So, saying that, I’m going to link this finished to Finish it Friday.
After that, It’s time to get some work done on the long arm on a customer quilt that was supposed to be done by September...... whoops.......

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

It’s here again, Slow Sunday Stitching day, but there is always slow stitching happening in our household these days. I seem to be very hooked on the process. My poor old sewing machine hardly ever gets used any more. It must be feeling so sad and neglected. (insert sigh here).
In Kathy’s post today she encouraged us to show our stitching locations. Mine is nothing exciting, but is exceedingly comfortable and close to home. We have a lovely shady patio area right outside our door. I can hear traffic and air conditioners running in the distance, but mostly I hear the breeze in the trees and the sounds of birds and cicadas. No matter how hot it is, it is always at least 10-15 degrees cooler here in our little oasis. We are underneath a canopy of 4 large maple trees, 2 in our yard and 2 in neighbouring yards.

I’m still working on Friendship Chain.  Three more rows to go and it’s finished. So that’s my stitching for today, to continue working on this. I have all the fabrics chosen for the rest of it and I succeeded in my goal - completely from stash and scraps with no fabric repeats making it a true charm quilt.
I'm linking to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching before going back to stitching.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

Two Fridays ago at the Chatham quilt show I started a Mariner’s Compass. This past Friday I finished it. Had I to do it again I would have used a solid in the same shade of grey for the large background piece. I’m not 100% happy with the directionality of the white. But the purpose behind this was to choose unusual for me fabrics and to make the piece. So, challenge complete.

Once I finished the compass I got back to working on Friendship Chain. I’m at the point where I am comfortable enough with what I’m doing to be able to break it down into steps for pattern purposes. So I’ve chosen all my fabrics for the remaining rows and have started at the other end so I can take pictures of the beginning row and explain the process. This is obviously slowing things down a bit. But I’m still hoping for my finish date of the end of September. The next few pictures show part of the organizing process: Numbering the fabrics, starting the stitching process with the fabrics numbered. Adding in more colours and more pieces. As I’m doing this I’m also writing myself reminder notes for when I actually sit down to write this up. Now that I have the pictures of the process that I need, I can go ahead and start sewing this row together.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then I’m going to do some Stitching on this.

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

We just got back home from 5 days away. It wasn’t a vacation though but a working trip. We were at the Plowing Match quilt show in Chatham as vendors. We took our trailer and went down Wednesday evening and stayed at a conservation area near Chatham so that we wouldn’t have the 1 1/2 hour one way drive to do 3 days in a row. It was a kinda slow day on Friday for activity in our booth, so I decided I needed something new and fun to play with. I grabbed one of our Mariner’s Compass English Paper Piecing kits and went fabric shopping at Michaelanne’s MyStache booth. She has some fun and modern fabrics which are totally outside my usual fabric styles. I started cutting and basting and sewing right away. Here’s how much I have done since Friday. It’s going to be 16 inches across from point to point. I bought 2 fat quarters of the dark grey. One to use for the outside pieces and the other to use as the background square into which I plan to reverse appliqué the finished compass. I haven’t a clue what it will be when it is finished, but that’s ok because I’m having fun. Sometimes it is necessary to put aside the large complex projects and do one that is small and fast. In the slow hand stitching process there is no such thing as instant gratification, but this is coming pretty close.
We still have lots of stuff left that we need to unpack and organize back into the places where it usually lives. But for the rest of today, I am going to relax, slow down after the busy-ness of the last 5 days and stitch more on this compass.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

This past week has been crazy busy. We are vending our English Paper Piecing supplies at a quilt show in Chatham next weekend. Now you would think that because we knew this was coming we’d slowly and gradually build up the stock we want to take, or at least that’s what organized people would do. But no, that’s not what we did, so now this past week we’ve been scrambling to get everything cut. And of course, I keep adding to the list of things I want to take. That means there hasn’t been nearly as much time for slow stitching as I would like. Some days I wasn’t sitting down until after 9 pm. But I’ve still managed to get some progress made on Friendship Chain, but not a lot. I’m hoping to do more today since other than going to church, I have no other plans for doing anything else other than slowing right down, letting my hands keep busy while my brain roams freely dreaming of my next project or 6.
I’m also planning pattern writing for this one while I stitch and I think I have it figured out how to write it up in an organized manner that will make sense. After this row is finished, which is number 6 out of 10,  I’m going to try and pull the fabrics for the rest of the quilt. Then I’ll start the process of taking pictures while I work on it for the pattern. The pictures serve a couple of functions. Obviously they are very helpful in the pattern so that there is a visual representation of what I am trying to explain. But it also serves as a reminder to me of the various steps since there is often a lag time between doing the steps in the quilt and writing it down. But first, row six needs to be finished.
I’m linking to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Slow Sunday stitching

Slow Sunday Stitching happened every evening this week. I really want to move this project on to a quick finish. Or as quick a finish as hand piecing using English Paper Piecing can get. I had someone ask last week where to get the pattern. I couldn’t answer as I have yet to get my comments thing fixed. Someone sent me instructions on how to do it. But I didn’t have the time to do it then and now I’ve lost those instructions. But to answer that question, this is one of my own designs, adapted from an Electric Quit block. So, as of yet, there isn’t a pattern. As I’m working on the blocks and the quilt  I’m taking notes on what would be the best and most understandable way to write up instructions. It might be finished and ready for release by the end of September. If I can do one row a week, that time line might be doable. If not, it will be October.
In the meantime, the process seems to be speeding up. I starter row 5 last Saturday and finished it  today, which is Saturday evening. I have all the fabrics selected and cut for row 6. This evenings task is to start glue basting them. I’ll finish writing this post tomorrow.

I finished most of the glue basting last night. So today I can start the process of organizing the diamond pieces together with the fabrics they go with and start in more stitching.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching. Then  I’ll finish up my morning coffee and get to stitching. It’s a glorious day, so some if it might actually happen outside.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

I’m continuing to make really good progress on Friendship Chain. I have the first four rows completely finished and sewn together.

I’m now working on the diamond parts of the fifth row.

One of the bonuses of keeping track of projects like this on the blog is that I can see at a glance when they were first started. The first post about this project was June 10th of this year - 7 weeks ago. That gives me an average of about 1 row every 1 1/2 weeks. Maybe even less than that because I was sick for part of those 7 weeks and didn’t do any stitching at all. However, using that the line I can estimate the finish of this project. I have 6 more rows to do for a total of 9 weeks. That takes me to the middle of October, maybe sooner. It will be interesting to look back and see if this turns out to be accurate.

I laid the pieces of this quilt down on a sheet of flannel out on our patio. The light is better for accurate colours. While I was out there I had a very curious visitor wanting to see what I was up to. My husband enjoys feeding the resident neighbourhood squirrels and chipmunks. I think this little creature thought I might have something for it.
It’s kinda cute, but I can’t help thinking that in spite of its cuteness it’s really just a mouse in disguise. My husband has them trained to the point where they will come up to him on the chair or the swing and take the peanuts right out of his hand. They seem to think that I have stuff for them also, so they also jump up onto the swing when I’m out there too, something I’m not keen about at all.

I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

I’ve just noticed something lately. I seem to have put aside the tendency to be working on more than one thing at a time. In spite of having all kinds of ideas bouncing round in my head, I’m continuing to focus on working on Friendship Chain. I do have a wall hanging that needs binding though. Maybe I’ll get out the sewing machine this week and get that done.
In the meantime, Friendship Chain is growing. I’ve gotten half of the fourth row done.
I love how it is turning out now that I can see more of it. The colours in this photo are almost completely accurate. I think it’s going to end up a nice twin bed size when it’s finished.  I think it may need a border or two, but I’ll decide that later.

It’s raining today, which we badly need, so it’s going to be a quiet indoor day. We’ll be going to church and a fellowship supper this afternoon, but the rest of the day is set up for visiting with our sweet Abbie and maybe a little bit of stitching. She’s 2 1/2 years old now and talking up a storm. She’s such a delight and a joy. She was away for a week visiting with cousins, so it’s great to spend some time with her again.
I’m linking up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

I’m almost finished the third full row of Friendship Chain. So I’m now in the process of choosing the fabrics for the next row and glue basting them for stitching together. You can see the next set of fabrics cut and clipped to the bottom row. The colours are much more vibrant in real life. It’s hard to get an accurate photo at 7:30 in the evening.

This is going to be a very short post. I’m going to link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then get back to glue basting.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

A little bit of stitching...

Once again I’ve been absent from the blog world because of a virus, not a computer virus but a cold virus. I’ve been sick...... again. I think this might be the fourth time in the last 6 months. It is getting just a tad tiresome...... But as of today I’m starting to feel a bit more like myself again. The cement inside my sinuses is starting to soften up and at least I can put one or two coherent thoughts together at the same time. I’ve been doing some work on Friendship Chain. The second full row is finished and stitched in place and the third all row is halfway done. I’m starting to get into a rhythm of how to do it.

When I started this project, I thought I was going to have to cut everything first and then decide where the colours would go. Then it dawned on me that I could choose the fabrics first and where they would go and then do the cutting. That was a huge step forward in the process since it saves me a lot of cutting for fabrics that may or may not get used. It is a challenge to get the fabrics contrasting with each other side by side, as well as the one that is above it. Ultimately each fabric will be touching four others. But this is one of the things I love about designing my own quilts and choosing my own colours.... the challenge.

I hope to get this row finished this week and move onto selecting the fabrics for the next one.

I’m linking up to Let’s Bee Social and to the Canadian Needle and Thread Network and also to Esther’s WOW on Wednesday.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

My new quilt called Friendship Chain is growing and taking shape. The mechanics of how to put it together are coming along. One of the things I wasn’t sure of was how to figure out which colours and fabrics would go where when adding on new rows. I think I’ve figured out an easy solution. Cut a whole pile of sets of diamonds and trapezoids out of lots of fabrics and colours. Then lay the new ones on top of the preceding row since they will be intersecting with that row, changing out colours and fabrics as necessary.Then make sure that there is enough contrast between the new additions that are beside each other so that the chains will be distinct from one another. Then I took pictures to remind myself of which colours were going where for reference. The last step is to clip a pair of diamonds to the bottom of the unit where they belong and then set the rest of them aside. Now I know which colour diamonds need to be sewn to which. This picture is my working version with the some of the pairs already sewn in and the rest just clipped in place. I love playing with colour.My goal is to make this 8 full chains wide by 10 full chains long. I would like to be able to make this a “charm” quilt, meaning that I won’t repeat a fabric. Whether I can make that goal is debatable at this point. The more important thing will be to achieve a balance of colour and brightness.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching. Then I’m going to take everything off the design boards and get to stitching.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

Last week I showed a picture of a quilt I’ve named Friendship Chain that I wanted to start. It was an Electric Quilt 7 generated picture - this one. 

Since then I’ve actually started on the quilt and made a bit of progress.  It’s a bit of a challenge trying to figure out how to sew it together in a logical manner. If I were doing it in just two colours it wouldn’t be bad at all. But I want each chain to be a different colour and haven’t quite figured out yet the best way to do that. I’m English Paper Piecing it and am quite happy with the way it looks so far. I’ve changed the triangles that show in between each block in the Electric Quilt picture to diamonds and that is part of what is making the piecing so challenging. But I didn’t want that extra seam in there. I suspect at some point I’m going to have to set up a design wall and lay it out and then do a diagram of what colours are going to go where and what will be paired with which. In the meantime, I’m having fun. I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

I have a couple of Slow Sunday Stitching project finishes this week. First off, the class sample - which really does need another name - any ideas anyone? Not that I can respond to thank you or say that I like it since blogger continues to have issues with forwarding comments to my email.......

Anyway, here’s the picture.

And then I finished off and added borders to Sapphire Net.

It’s an Electric quilt public domain block, and that was the name given in Electric quilt, so I’ll keep it. The border is quite bright and in your face, but it works well with the large scale florals that are in the centre of the quilt.

And because those two are done I’ve given myself permission to start a new one. I’m calling it Friendship Chain. It is also from the Electric Quilt software in the Barbara Brackman Blockbase. I’m still working on figuring out exactly how to put it together. It’s quite complex and I’m not sure off the top of my head how to tackle it. I’ve started cutting pieces and it will be English Paper Pieced using my scraps with each of the intertwined chains a different colour. And that’s the part that is causing the  difficulty in putting it together. A two colour quilt would be easy but since when have I ever done anything the easy way?

Anyhow, I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching before going back to more cutting to get ready for this new project. I’m hoping lots of scraps will be used up in this one.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

I finished putting together the class sample for Stitch It Central and appliquéd it down to a background square. I am very pleased with the way it looks so far. It needs a couple of borders to finish it off and then I can get it quilted and into the hands of the quilt shop so they can promote the classes.

We had a vendor’s booth at the Sarnia quilt show on Friday and Saturday. What a great time we had. We met lots and lots of people and introduced a lot of them to the English Paper Piecing techniques. So many of them thought it would be so hard and after showing them the basics of it they came away realizing that yes, they could do it. I even did a couple of demonstrations to a couple of groups. Anyone who knows me well realizes what a challenge that is for me, and yet it went well and I had fun and wasn’t nervous at all. It used to be that when I had to talk to people I didn’t know, especially a group of people, I would get huge knots of anxiety in my stomach. I seem to have gotten over that and I think a large part of that can be credited to several very good and supportive friends, (yes Gail I mean you) Belonging to the quilt guild and being an active part of their programs has also helped immensely. Here I am showing someone what the paper is like and how it looks after being used and removed.

Since the class sample is finished I picked up Sapphire Net again. I started this ages ago and then it got set aside while I worked on Leo’s Mane. It’s time for this one to make some progress now. The floral units are all stitched together. All that is left is to do all the background units and then I can call this one finished.

I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching before going back to more stitching.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

I missed doing a post last week. We were away camping for Avery’s 7th birthday. There was no stitching done during that time at all. Lots of grandchild enjoying. Lots of hikes and playing outside and getting wet since it was, of course raining. After all the Shepherds were camping and we can’t ruin a good pattern can we? Even so, we had a good time.

I went out to a local store this past week to talk about teaching English Paper Piecing and we have come to an agreement. I will be teaching at Stitch It Central after they move to their new location in London. I don’t have dates yet, but I will post them as soon as I have them for anyone interested. I am now working on my third version of the class sample piece. They liked the design but wanted it done in fabrics from their store so they could offer fabric kits to anyone wanting them.

Version 1, done from my fabric stash using 7 different fabrics. It will be appliquéd to a white background and have some borders added to it.

Version 2 also done from my stash using 5 different fabrics. It too will go onto a white background square and have borders added to it.

Version 3 using Stitch It Central fabrics that will be available as a kit. It also will go onto a white background square with borders. This is the centre of it. This shows the rest of the fabrics in one of the diamond units and one of the edge wing units. All of the sub units are done for this and I am ready to start assembling it. Not bad considering I got the fabrics Wednesday. I’ve been working on it almost non stop since then. So, with the goal of having this done by the middle of the week, I’d best get back to it.

I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching before going back to my stitching marathon.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

I’m slow stitching through this lovely Mother’s Day. I hope all you Mother’s are having a great day. I’m working on a second version of the class sample I made a week or two ago. I showed a picture of it last week, but I can repost it again. It will save you from having to back track to see it.
The first version was a test sew to see how it should break down into units for a logical way for assembly. This next version is for taking pictures as I go so I can write instructions for it. I love this process. I love looking at a design, breaking it down and then rebuilding it and describing the process in pictures and writing. In my wildest dreams many years ago I would never have thought that I would design and write patterns and classes. Isn’t it odd how life can throw such curve balls? The biggest news though is that as I said last week, Leo’s Mane is finished. The weather cooperated a few days ago and I was able to hang it up outside and get some pictures. Here’s a picture of the full quilt.

 And a picture of the centre section 

and then the four borders. This quilt has been a challenge and a joy to work on from beginning to end. So now in the midst of working on these smaller class sample projects, I’m thinking on what the next bigger one is going to be. I have plans........

In the meantime, It’s time for lunch and more stitching. I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Slow Sunday Stitching

I’m a little slow getting a start on my slow stitching today. It’s been an exciting and also a disappointing weekend. We were booked into the Norfolk County Quilter’s Guild quilt show for the weekend as a vendor and were having a wonderful time on Friday, meeting and talking to lots and lots of wonderful quilters including at least one fellow Slow Sunday Stitcher. However our wonderful time on Friday together came to an abrupt halt due to some nasty weather that caused power outages to the area. Rather than staying until 5 pm we were all ordered out of the venue by the county authorities at 3:30 in the afternoon. The drive home that afternoon was quite the challenge. Instead of white outs due to blowing snow we had brown outs due to blowing top soil off the farmers’ fields.
When we arrived back at the venue on Saturday morning it was to find that the power was still out and that the show was cancelled for Saturday and would be held Sunday instead. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to stay for Sunday so we had to pack up and head for home.  Because of that we missed meeting up with even more of our fellow Slow Sunday Stitchers which is where the disappointing comes in. (sigh)
I have finally finished Leo’s Mane. He is quilted and bound and was able to go to the quilt show with us. I don’t have any pictures though due to the weather not allowing for outside pictures and he’s too big now for indoor photo shoots. While I ponder my next big project I’m working on a couple of smaller ones. The sample for the class I’m planning to teach is finished.

This first one was to figure out the best and most efficient way to break it into units for assembly purposes. Now I’ve started another so I can take pictures as I go for the written instructions.
 I’ve also pulled out my half hexagon sampler project that I started quite a while ago. I’m not sure yet exactly where this is going.  The current thought is to do a row of each type of pieced hexagon with the rows separated by a yet undecided something. The braid will be the outer borders. I think I have enough of the half hexagons units so now I’ve moved on to a combination of half hexagons and triangles.

So far this is all coming from my scrap 2 1/2 inch strips. It could end up being rather wild with all kinds of different types and styles of fabrics in it going way back to 10 or 15 years ago. I can certainly tell that my fabric colours and style tastes have changed over the years. But it is all going to be in here.
So,  now that I have this late in the day post written, I’m going to link up with our fellow Slow Sunday stitchers and then work on some more of these pieced hexagons. I’m going to have to find something to watch on Netflix on my computer while I do this. It’s hockey play off season on the main TV in our house. Since I am not at all a hockey fan, it will have to be the computer with my ears buds to drown out the hockey.