Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Customer Quilts 2015

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Multiple stitching personality disorder

I really do need to stop adding in new stitching projects. I definitely have a disorder of some sort. Some call it “startitis” which fits. But so does the title of this post..... multiple stitching personality disorder. Why do you ask???? Because I’ve started yet another hand stitching project. In my touring around blog land I came across this post from Jenny of Elefantz. In it she mentioned a friend of hers named Allie and provided a link to Allie’s blog which took me here which was a post about the final block in her series called Grow in Grace. That then took me to Allie's facebook page which I requested to join because Allie provides free embroidery patterns there.  I printed the pattern today

and got started with the stitching. 

I’m also continuing to work on the class sample that I started last week. All the components are made and just need to be stitched together. Another day or two should finish it.

And finally the other thing I’ve been working on fairly steadily is my EatSleepKnit second quarter fade sweater. It’s a pattern from Joji Locatelli called Spector. The colours in the picture aren’t quite right. The fade from the one colour to the other is actually more gradual than it seems in the picture. I love this pattern!!

So, after I finish writing this I have a decision to make.... what shall I work on for the rest of the evening? I’ll be linking up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching in the morning.

Edit: Last night I decided to keep on with the embroidery for a while before picking the knitting up again. The planter is done and I can move on to the greenery now. I’d forgotten just how much I enjoy doing the embroidery. It was actually the very first stitching I learned as a child. I remember my Mum getting a scrap of fabric and drawing a house on it and teaching me how to do the stem stitch. I used to take my allowance and buy the heat transfer patterns from the dime store..... Kresges if I remember correctly.... along with floss and pillow cases. Then I’d sit on our old front porch in the summer and stitch away. For that matter, it was my Mum who taught me to knit and to sew. I don’t have a lot of pleasant childhood memories, so these are precious. Does anyone else remember Kresges? They used to have the best hamburgers and cokes at the lunch counters.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

I’ve had a slight change of plans as far as my knitting goes. I wanted to do the shawl Jacinta as a fade design as part of the Eat Sleep Knit second quarter challenge. I cast it on and started knitting away on the first of the month. I’ve gotten as far as changing to the second colour and that’s where the plans sort of fell apart. There isn’t enough of a contrast between the two yarns to show up as a fade from one colour to the next. And I think the third yarn I chose has too much of a contrast to fade properly. I think it will stripe rather than fade.  This is as far as I’ve gotten.  I kept on knitting for a couple of inches with the second yarn just to make sure that my suspicions that it wasn’t working were correct. Now I have to decide whether to rip back to the first colour. So, there may have been three more skeins of yarn ordered today that might work better......

In the meantime while I wait for the new yarn to arrive, I’ve chosen some different yarns for a different fade project. I’m going to make the sweater Spector out of these three blues. I’ve also been doing a bit of hand stitching on a new project. Judy has reopened her store Cornerstone Quilts and More and has asked if I’d be interested in teaching an English Paper Piecing class. I’m making up a class sample using some of the fabrics she has in her shop. I love the print on the white background. It’s very spring like. As soon as I have more information about times and dates, I’ll post them here and also my Facebook page. I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching

Sunday, 31 March 2019


I’ve been working on my Connections project this past week and am making good progress. I’ve almost double the size of it. Or at least, I have the pieces made to double the size of it but they aren’t all sewn together yet. I’m hoping to get a good way towards that today. That should bring it up to measuring about 24 x 24 inches. The pieces are 1 1/4 inch hexagons, squares and 60 degree triangles. I have no idea how big this is going to get. I have lots of the 2 inch squares left that were gifted to me from friends, so I might just continue until those are gone.
I’ve been having lots of fun this year knitting as well as working on quilts. The store Eat Sleep Knit hosts quarterly knit alongs. The  next quarter challenge which starts tomorrow is to knit a Fade project. I have a couple I want to do. One is a sweater by Joji Locatelli called Spector. And the other is a shawl by Ambah O’Brien called Jacinta. I have one of the hanks of yarn for the Jacinta shawl wound already. I still have to do up the other 2, but I can at least get started on it tomorrow using the yarns shown in this picture. As far as the Spector Sweater, it will be from these colours starting with the lightest at the top of the sweater and progressing to the darkest at the bottom. These fade projects are rather addicting, I think. I have 3 months together them both done.

Of course by then it will be mid summer and way too warm to actually use them, but that is totally beside the point. As in quilting, the fun and challenge are in the making not the using.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Battle of the Stars and Connections

Things have been very slow here in the hand stitching realms. I’ve been doing a lot of knitting.. mindless and repetitive and relaxing. Just what my overwhelmed mind needed this past month. I have made a bit of progress on Battle of the Stars. I went to a hand sewing get together with three friends on Thursday afternoon and got quite a bit accomplished. Unfortunately I left the pieces for the last two units behind, so I can’t finish off this centre. I think I’ll use that as an excuse to go and work on Connections. I have a lot of partial units ready for this one so I may be able to show significant progress by this time next week. It’s quite a lot of fun to work on and requires not a lot of concentration so it should suit my frame of mind these days. I’ll be linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Battle of the Stars

If you recall, back in January I decided that I wanted to schedule a time period for each of the hand piecing projects I have on the go. Two weeks for Willyne Hammerstein projects, one week for Connections and one week for the pieced hexagon sampler. We are at the beginning of the month which means it is back to my Willyne Hammerstein projects. This one is Battle of the Stars from her third Millefiori book. I have half of the centre sewn together. Now comes the hard part of choosing the rest of the fabrics to complete it. I think this is what I’m going with. The small stars around the centre will continue to be alternating pink and light green.
So today’s job is going to be cutting the pieces I need out of those fabrics and then continue sewing more together. I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching before getting back to these fun fabrics.

Sunday, 24 February 2019


I’m working on the English Paper Piecing quilt that I’m calling Connections this week. I’m having fun playing with the 2 inch scrap squares that friends from the quilt guild brought to me to use in this project. The hexagons are Kona Ash and the triangles are Kona Pepper. It is growing slowly, currently measuring 22 inches by 10 1/2 inches. But that is what stitching by hand is all about - the slow progress with each stitch an enjoyment.  I have no idea at this point how big this will get. I’m just enjoying the process.

We were supposed to be going out for supper today but once again the weather is not cooperating. So instead we are staying home where it is warm and dry and sheltered from the high winds. And that means I can finish this post, link it to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching. and then do some more slow stitching of my own.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Slow Stitching in yellow and purple and blue

I’m doing a little bit of stitching in this month’s colour for the Rainbow scrap Challenge which is yellows. I seem to have quite a lot of that colour although if you had asked me I would have said it isn’t a colour I have a lot of. Who knew? That’s one good thing about this challenge, it gets a quilter motivated to go scrap digging. And in using up yellows I’m also using up a piece of yellow’s complimentary colour which is purple. By the end of the year I’m hoping to have a quilt with all the colours evenly distributed. How it will look is another matter entirely, but I’ll figure that our later.

 I seem to be in the middle of a knitting binge in the last month or two. I finished a shawl on Thursday and even got all the ends sewn in and the shawl blocked. It’s dry now. This is a close up of the end of it. It’s a pattern called Teacup Shawl.It’s made from a double knit yarn, so it is lovely and thick and soft and warm. I’m also working on a couple of sweaters. One of them has a lovely cable design going down the back and also will be on the sleeves. 
This one is a thick and warm worsted weight. It’s a pattern called Bloomsbury Sweater. I haven’t got a recent picture of the other one.
I’m going to link up to the Rainbow Scrappy Saturday today and Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching. tomorrow.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Half hexagon sampler

I found all the parts to the half hexagon sampler I started a few years ago and thought I’d spread them out to see what it looks like.There’s no rhyme or reason to the fabrics or colours other than they are from my scrap bins and 2 1/2 inch strip bin. The braid is probably going to be a border of some sort. There are going to be triangles of a light neutral in between each pieced hexagon. I have yet to determine what will be in between the rows.
It will be laid out in rows as it is in the photo with something in between each row. Any ideas or suggestions for what to put between the rows would be gratefully received. Maybe once I have some of the pieced hexagons together with their triangles I’ll have a better idea of what to do. It’s not like I have to decide in the next day or two.. In the meantime, it is now all packed up back in its project box and it’s time to work on the next time slot project which is my Willyne Hammerstein Battle of the Stars. I have one of the partial rosettes that circle around the centre finished and fabric for another one cut. I need 10 of these in colours that complement the complete one. I think I have what I need in my stash already. All I have to do is dig for it. (grin). I think the background is going to be a dark blue.

And lastly, I finished knitting on a shawl last week. It still needs to be blocked and stretched out to its proper shape. It’s made out of a lovely soft alpaca yarn that will be wonderfully warm and soft wrapped around the neck in the cold arctic vortex weather.

It is super bowl sunday, and since I am not a football fan I’ll be sitting in my comfy recliner away from the TV set, either listening to a book or watching something on the computer and keeping my hands happily occupied by stitching. I’m going to do at least one more of the rosettes and then maybe some more knitting. I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Slow stitching plans

Earlier this month I made myself a rough plan of how I would like to tackle the multiple hand piecing projects I have on the go. I decided the easiest way would be to roughly divide them into blocks of time during the month. I’m not going to be rigid about this, but more or less use it as a guideline. I have two Willyne Hammerstein projects going. I’ll work on those from about the 1st of the month to the 15th. I’ve already shown pictures of my progress with those in earlier posts this month. Then from the 15th to the 21st I’ll play with my Connections pieces. I didn’t get much of that done this month, but did make a little progress.

And then from the 21st to the end of the month I’ll play with the sampler I started a couple of years ago using half hexagons paired with other shapes.

I started in on that on Saturday. After looking at the picture of these, they remind me an awful lot of the radiation shelter signs that used to be prevalent in the 1960’s when there was fear of nuclear war. All of these projects now have their own project boxes so I can pull them out to work on them and then put them back when working on something else. I’m organized...... who knew I could do that? (grin)
In between working on these I’ve also been doing a lot of knitting. The online store EatSleepKnit does a yarnathon thing where you can participate in knit alongs and for some reason it caught at my attention at the beginning of this year. The first challenge was to knit something using a pattern from an Australian designer named Ambah O’Brian. I think one of the things that caught my attention with this was the challenge to try some new stitches and techniques and new knitting designers. I’ve finished the first quarter challenge already. I did up a pattern called the Mendia Cowl. Mine looks like this finished.
I slipped a couple of pages of white paper into the cowl so that the lace work on it would show up in the photo. There were a number of different techniques in this I’d never done before so it was a challenging and fun knit. It did have the down side that the eyelet pattern that is on the other side of the cowl isn’t completely lined up properly. But I wan’t going to rip it out and it won’t be noticeable when it is being worn and it will still be warm even with the mistakes.
Now I’m working on a very large shawl using up some Alpaca yarn that I bought quite a few years ago. I made a pair of socks out of it, only to find that they shrank quite badly when accidentally thrown into the washing machine.  So the yarn sat and aged while I waited to decide what to do with it. The pattern is called Impressionist MKAL. The designer used three colours, but I’m only using two. Right now the pattern says that it is 75% done and there are 462 stitches on the needles. You can see a bit of the lace work in it and also the colours of the yarn. I’m two rows away from changing back over to the gold yarn for the final edging rows. Only 24 more rows to go and it is finished. But considering that the final number of stitches is 534, it is going to take a while to get it done.
Given that it is a very cold day out there, my goal for the day is to stay inside where it is warm and play with fabric and yarn. So I’m going to link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then finish up my coffee and then stitch slowly and relaxingly for the rest of the day.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

A finish and 2 new starts

So far this year I’m even. I’ve finished 2 hand stitching projects and started two new ones. This is the latest finish - my East to West compasses. It has jumped the queue for quilting and will go onto the machine as soon as the customer quilt that is on there now is finished. I’m not quite sure how it will get quilted as of yet. I’m hoping inspiration will hit before I get there.
A group of us from the guild have decided to challenge ourselves to doing another Willyne Hammerstein quilt with the goal of finishing before the next quilt show. I’ve actually chosen two which are the new starts I mentioned. I’ve always wanted to do her quilt Good Times Bad Times out of her first book. It is made up entirely of 60 degree triangles in 3 different sizes. I’ve been wanting to get back into the Rainbow Scrap Challenge and this seemed a really good quilt to make that way. I’ve decided to take the colour of the month and pair it with its complement when making the blocks. This month’s colour was red, so I’ve paired it with a light green. I’ve figured out how many of the basic blocks I need and have divided that by 10 since that is usually the number of colours put out in the challenge. I need six of the small triangle blocks per colour and 4 of the large triangle blocks per colour. I’ve mixed up the placement of the main colour and the background colours to increase the visual variety.
And then the other project I started is out of Willyne’s third book and is called Battle of the Stars. I did some fun fussy cutting with this first piece for it. I think this is going to be the centre star and the colours will be variations of what are in this. 
I’m linking up to Angela’s Rainbow Challenge today. And then on Sunday I’ll link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Friendship Chain is finished

My goal for the end of last year was to get this quilt finished. One of my goals for this month is to get the pattern finished and released. I can now say that the writing is finished. It will go off to my editor next week to check for errors and clarity. I hope to have it released by the end of January.
It is completely hand pieced using English Paper Piecing. Each of the chains is a different fabric, all of which came from my stash. I quilted it on my long arm machine.I used a diagonal print for the binding which picks up the fabric colours from inside the quilt and gives it a definite stop point on the edge of the quilt.
I will announce here on the blog when the papers and pattern are available. I have had a couple of comments asking for notification from people who are no reply bloggers, which means I have no way to get in touch with them, other than here on the blog.
I’m linking to Lorna’s Let’s Bee Social.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Monthly Goals

A few days ago I did a post about setting some goals for finishing off some quilt tops that have aged long enough on shelves in my studio. I think I want to do the same thing for some other areas as well. I have hand stitching projects that I’m working on or want to start that are also going to require some planning and goal setting. Once more, if I don’t write these thoughts down they will wonder off somewhere and get lost so I’ll write them down here. For this month I want to finish my East to West Compass quilt.

That has priority right now and is January’s One Monthly Goal. I have 3 more geese to sew onto the third triangle and then it can be sewn into the background. The other won’t take long. It should be done by this time next week.

Then a group of us from the London Friendship Quilters Guild have decided to work together doing a quilt from one of Willyne Hammerstein’s 3 books. We’ve each chosen a different quilt to do. Our goal is to have them done before the next quilt show. I’ve chosen mine and actually picked out a few fabrics for it as well. I don’t have any pictures as yet. For that matter, the papers aren’t cut yet either. But I did that deliberately so that I wouldn’t be tempted to start it before finishing the Compasses.

Another hand project I want to work on is called Connections. I put out a request earlier this year to guild members asking for 2 inch squares to use in the project. At the time I started it I was trying to decide between light grey or cream coloured hexagons and dark grey or tan coloured triangles. I settled on the greys. It got started and then set aside while I worked exclusively on Friendship Chain. I love hand stitching but it does have the down side of taking a long time to finish one project. This one doesn’t take long to make up the units. It’s the number of them needed that will take the time.

Then I have one more that I started a couple of years ago that is a scrappy sampler type using large pieced hexagons that will be put together into something like a row quilt.  I don’t have a picture of it. I went looking for the box that it is in but it seems to have gone missing for the moment. I’m sure it will turn up at  some point, most likely when I’m looking for something else. It’s probably up in the studio since I usually take it with me when we are vending at quilt shows. It’s a good project for demonstrating the technique.

So that is 4 hand projects I want to work on, although it will be down to 3 very soon. What I’m trying to figure out is how to work on them all at once. Do I assign days to them....... no that won’t work, I think that would be way too confusing. Maybe I can assign weeks to them. Two weeks to the Willyne Hammerstein project, one week to Connections and one week to the sampler. That way each one of them would get some quality time each month. If I make a concerted effort to make sure each one of them has its own container and all the stuff for each one is kept together, it just might work. To keep myself on track with goals I’m going to join up with the One Monthly Goal linky party each month. At the beginning of the month I’ll write a goal post, which is what this one is although the rest will be shorter. And then at the end of the month write a post about what actually got done. Accountability helps and it also helps in motivation for blogging more often which is something else I want to do.
In the meantime, I’m gong to link to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and to One Monthly Goal

Friday, 4 January 2019

New Year Goals

So I’ve been thinking..... yes I know, that a very dangerous thing to be doing, but still, I’ve been thinking. I have a ton of un-quilted tops in my studio that need to get done. They aren’t going to get done unless I schedule them in. And I know I’m not going to schedule them in unless I think about it ahead of time. So, that’s what I’ve been thinking. As with all thoughts, if I don’t write them down they will go wandering off all over the place never to be found again. So I’m going to write them down here where they will be corralled all in one place. I would like to think that I will be able to get one of my quilts done each month but I know that will be setting myself up for failure so I’ll do every other month. If I keep to it that will make 6 finishes at least.
The first one I really want to get done is a Judy Martin design called Three of a Kind. It’s been waiting since May of 2014 mostly because I haven’t figured out how to quilt it. And I still have no ideas. It won’t be the first on the list to quilt though because I need to get the East to West Mariner’s Compass  quilt that I’ve been working on lately finished and quilted in time for a trunk show in March.
The next one I want to do which has also been waiting a long time was a free design from Moda Bake Shop called Avignon Picnic. The top was finished in May of 2012. This was the best picture of it I could find.
Then there’s one that was designed by Judy Laquidara called Freeze Frame. This top has been finished for almost 7 years, My last blog post on it was April 30, 2011. That’s pretty bad. I think it would look great in Abbie’s room when it is finished.
Then there’s a scrappy 36 patch quilt.It’s been finished since July of 2013.
There’s this one called Black Tie Affair, which was in a Quiltmaker magazine. I originally made it for Abbie, but her Mommy decided she didn’t like it, so it has aged since then. It was finished in October of 2015, so it’s the youngest of all these quilts.
But the oldest of them all is this Round Robin quilt, done before I even was blogging. I think it may be anywhere from 10-15 years old. The hold up has been  how on earth do I quilt this. However, I think I have the mechanics of it figured out, if not the actual designs. And looking at the picture of it here, I’ve got an idea for design too.
So, there is is, in writing and saved on the blog which is a great place to go in order to reference old projects. If I didn’t have this blog I would have no idea of when any of these projects were started or finished. I am hoping to have the piecing on the East to West compass quilt finished before the end of this month and will load it to be quilted in February, perhaps before. I hope this works.