Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Customer Quilts 2015

Saturday, 30 November 2019

I’ve been busy

I’ve been busy and it’s been a good busy too. It’s been a long time since I sat at a sewing machine and made a quilt. There’s a baby shower coming up on December 13th for a couple at our church. I hemmed and hawed about what I was going to do for it since I don’t have any little girl baby quilts hanging around here. Should I or  shouldn’t I make a quilt? My go to solution for questions like that is to head to my Electric Quilt software and see if I can come up with a good design that can be done quickly. I was successful  It went from block choice using 6 inch and 3 inch squares, to quilt design on Thursday evening.

The black borders are 1 1/2 inches finished and the pink border is 3 inches finished.



 I picked some fabrics and started some cutting and piecing that evening. By Friday the centre of the quilt was finished.



Saturday saw the borders added and the backing pieced.



I’m so pleased with myself! And better yet,  I rediscovered that I like to make quilts by machine. So Saturday I started the process of cutting for another quilt.

Also this week I made 3 more rosettes for Battle of the Stars.  The yellow one will be surrounded by the red pieces. I haven’t decided yet what will  go around the green or the blue.



That’s the last I’ll see this quilt for the next month or so. I’ve packed it away into its project box and I’m going to pull out Hold Onto Your Heart and get back at it this week. I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching where there are lots of fun things to see, all made by hand. I have bonus time today for stitching too. It is freezing rain outside and everything is covered with ice. So church is cancelled for today. I’ll put some stitches into Hold Onto Your Heart and maybe continue with cutting  for a new machine pieced quilt.



Sunday, 24 November 2019

Progress and decisions

More progress on Battle of the Stars. Last week I left everyone, including myself, hanging about what fabrics I was going to use for the filler diamonds and for the outer edge stars. I studied what I had done so far and it led me to 2 decisions which involved only a little bit of stash diving. The stars that surround the centre of this pice are done in 2 colours - a light green and a bright pink.



I decided to repeat this in the stars that go in the outer edges.



The other fabric I found is a stripe that had most of the colours I’ve already used and seems to fit with everything else.



I’ve cut them to form a chevron. Here’s the stars laid in place up against the stripe.



And a photo of the whole thing so far.  The stars and that outermost rosette are actually one of the corners.



I think I am going to get this corner done and then put it away. I’ll pull Hold Onto Your  Heart back out for the month of December or until I get another of the sides on it finished, whichever comes first.

I’m going to link to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.









Sunday, 17 November 2019

Battle of the Stars.

I’ve made real progress on this project in the past week. The centre section is now finished.



I’m starting on the corners and the sides now.

I haven’t 100 percent decided on all the fabrics yet, but this is a start for one of the corners. I’ll need to do some stash diving to decide on what else to use. There are some five point stars and some setting diamonds that go in between these 10 point stars, I’ll get these 3 large 10 point stars done and then I’ll lay out some colours and fabrics with them to determine what is going to work. I should know what I’m doing with it by the end of the week. So my job for today, after I link up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching will be to finish off these large stars.



Saturday, 9 November 2019

Battle of the Stars

I’ve retired the appliqué project for a bit and gone back to one of my english paper pieced quilts instead. The last time I had this one out was back in July, going by what I was writing about here on the blog. (At that time it was the middle of the summer and we were in the middle of a wonderful camping trip. Now, it’s cold and snowy out..... sigh.... I want summer back..... Anyhow, I got a bit distracted there for a moment.) And that sounds about right because I started the appliqué project in early August. The bonus of having so may different things on the go is the lack of opportunity for boredom..... not that I’m ever bored. But  I needed a bit of a change. I added two more of the ten point stars to the centre section today. And since I took those pictures I’ve added on a thin green diamond unit to the right of the yellow star. The next one is aqua coloured. But this is what it looks like so far. Another of the bonuses of having multiple projects going is the ability to rediscover the enjoyment from one to another.  I love doing EPP and also love doing appliqué. So it seems only fair to do both. Or at least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. I’ll link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.



Saturday, 2 November 2019

Slow Stitching....

Slow stitching to the point of being almost non-existent. I’ve been sick, with drags everything to a halt.... stitching and knitting and blogging. But I’m on the mend now other than being very very tired.It wasn’t anything drastic, just a cold, but every one I get as I get older seems to take more out of me and longer to get over. But I guess that’s true of most things as we age.

I’ve pulled my Hold Onto Your Heart quilt back out and am getting ready to start back at it.  The centre section of this quilt is almost halfway done. 



I’m also thinking of getting out one of my hibernating English Paper Piecing projects, but that hasn’t gone any further than just thinking. I hate this feeling of being too tired to even think let alone do anything else. But as always, it will pass. In the meantime I do web browsing and youtube surfing and marathon Primevideo watching. I’ve gotten into watching Doc Martin lately. It’s quite a lot of fun,

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



Sunday, 20 October 2019

Applique and knitting

I did more knitting than appliqué these past couple of weeks. I’ve started a new sweater called Moon Pulls, found here, using a wonderful wool called Washted by Malabrigo. It is so deliciously soft!!! I don’t want to put it down. It’s worsted weight yarn so it is going really fast. In addition to this much of the body, I already have the sleeves already done.



 I watched a few youtube videos and learned how to do two handed stranded colour work. I’m clumsy at it since my left hand has very little coordination, but it is a great improvement over one handed and having the colours of yarn twist around each other. And just because I’ve learned that new technique, I have to make sure I get lot of practice...... all new techniques require lots of practice don’t they? You know where this is going don’t you? I ordered more yarn and bought another pattern for yet another sweater. It’s likely going to be another week or 10 days before the new yarn gets here. I wonder if I can get this project done before then? Wanna see a picture of the new one? It’s called Canyon Road and is found here.
This seems to be my year to get engrossed in knitting. I hadn’t realized just how much I’d done until I got curious the other day to look at all the projects I’ve finished since last January. I won’t bore you with the names and details of each of them. But I did come up with an interesting statistic when I added up the yardage used on all of them. Over 18,000 yards of yarn which converts over to over 10 miles used in the past 10 months! YIKES!!
However, today I am determined to get back to my appliqué. I have half of this section finished but got stalled because I needed to trace out more of the shapes and draw in the embroidery lines.



The tracing of the shapes isn’t bad, but the placement of the embroidery lines is a bit more time consuming and bulky. It involves a makeshift light box using a desk lamp and a large clear tote box. The tote box gets balanced upside down on a foot stool and my lap with the desk lamp on the floor underneath everything. Then I have to wrestle the paper pattern that has been taped together and the quilt over top of that in order to do the placement tracing. All of which explains why I’d been putting off doing it. But now it’s done and I’m ready to go.



Time to fill up that empty space in between the diamonds and the berries with another pineapple and  pomegranate and all the other fun details.
Before I get to that I’m going to link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.





Saturday, 5 October 2019

Hand on your Heart

I’m continuing to work on this quilt. It has so much variety and interest that it is continuing to challenge me to keep going. I have the bird scenes finished now, except for a little bit of embroidery.



So now I’m moving on to what Esther Aliu calls the Bowl of Plenty Scene.



  These pieces are just sitting there. I have some embroidered stem to do before actually basting and stitching the elements into place. There are some leaves and flowers yet to prepare for stitching as well.  That pineapple took 3 tries with different fabrics before I got one I was happy with.



I’m not going to get much done on it this afternoon unfortunately. I have a dentist appointment..... very close to the top of the list of things I hate to do. I’m Linking to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching. I’m looking forward to seeing her post next week about the slow stitching retreat happening today.





Saturday, 21 September 2019

I’m just a bit Obsessed....

I can’t seem to put this quilt down. It’s Hand on Your  Heart by Esther Aliu. There is so much variety in this quilt which saves it from being tedious. The worst thing is the small leaves, and I have found a system to get the edges turned and the flaps of the points tucked under on those leaves so that nothing sticks out. . This large flower was fun. I found a fabric that had flowers with large centres in them. The flowers couldn’t be fussy cut, the edges were too jagged. But the centres fit perfectly into this big one. Kinda like a big stylised sunflower or zinnia or dahlia.
And then there’s the bird. I went stash diving because I wanted a subtle brown tinted bird and found this wonderful McKenna Ryan fabric that is actually birch trees. I thought it would make wonderful feather type colour effects. I might have to do some sort of colouring or tinting on the lilac type flower behind the bird to make it stand out more. Here’s the bird in its context. 

And another shot showing the side of the quilt with the second bird just set in place. Looking at it now, I think I’ll need to do the leaves and flowers that are in close to the centre coming off the bow before I do any more on the right hand scene. It will be too  bulky to hold on to if I don’t. Sometimes it’s a good idea to stand back and look at things to analyze the process. And taking a photo is one of the best ways to be able to stand back and look at something. Especially when living in small spaces.

After these bird scenes are done I get to go to the second side of this centre square and do some houses. Which gives lots of opportunities to do some more deep stash diving.
 I’m linking up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.



Sunday, 15 September 2019

Hand on Your Heart Stitching

I’m continuing with my obsession with this quilt. I’m starting to add in the bows and some of the leaves and flowers. 

In Esther’s instructions for these flowers and stems she gives an alternate of doing embroidery for the stems rather than bias fabric. She even gave a link to the instructions for the Hungarian Braided Stitch. I’d never seen this stitch before so I went to the link and watched it and decided to use it. It took a few tries but I finally got it and I really like it. The texture in it is great. The size of the final stem can be varied depending on the thickness of the embroidery floss. I wanted a fairly thick stem so I used a thick floss.
I have lots of floral fabrics that are the right scale for the flowers on the end of the stems so I’m trying some fussy cutting. This is a Dahlia, but I think I need to trim off the leaves. They make the motif too big to fit in with the other things that will be going on. Plus they don’t fit with the leaves coming off the stems.



 I love the depth the flower gives without all the work of building it up petal by petal. Here’s a big shot showing what Is finished so far, minus the flower. There are four of these bow designs that go around the centre of the quilt. I’m thinking right now of using different flower heads on each one of them. But that decision will wait until I get to each of them since I’m working one section at a time rather than doing all of the bow units at once.



There are months to go before this comes anywhere close to being finished but it has revived my love of appliqué.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then I think I’ll trim off those leaves and get that flower in place.




Sunday, 8 September 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

We’ve had an eventful couple of weeks that prevented me from posting. Our son was moving from one job in one city to searching for another job in another city. For years he’s worked as a carpenter in various theatres, never being able to stay in one place or one job because most theatres are seasonal. He finally decided he’d had enough of the itinerant lifestyle and made the decision to move to the small city where his son lives. However, minus a car, he had no way to get there nor did he have a place to stay while he searched for work and a place to stay. So in the middle of August we packed up our trailer, picked him up and then grabbed a campsite to give him a centre of operations. It also gave us a great time to visit with him and also with our grandson Avery for a bit. A win win on all counts. It ended up that he got a job and found a room that he could afford. Such a blessing and an answer to a lot of fervent prayer. While we were there we saw a couple of interesting things. This park, which is on the southern shores of Georgian Bay, used to have a shale shelf along the waterfront. This picture of me laying out my La Passacaglia quilt was taken there a few years ago. You can see how wide it was at the time. This picture was in 2015. Four years later that entire shelf in under water. We saw this really interesting willow tree that has some kind of red moss or something growing around the base of it in the water. There is none of the shale shelf showing at all. It is all under water. There are spots where the wave action of the water is starting to effect the waterfront road of the campground.

During our time camping I got a lot of stitching done on Hold Onto Your Heart by Esther Aliu. There is still some embroidery to do on the pansy corner blocks. None of the elements are actually stitched down to the centre background. This is this year’s block/element of the month by Esther Aliu. It started in January, so I’m way behind. But that’s kinda good because it means I can work at it to my own pace and do the placements the way I want. I’m thinking of doing one side at a time rather than all the single elements at the same time. It might cut down on the tediousness of making the same element over and over again. It also will mean I can change things up as I go to make it mine.

Since we got home a week ago I’ve been working on a workshop sample. We are doing a Trunk Show at the Twilight Quilter’s Guild Monday Evening and then a workshop in October. They requested a two part workshop. In the morning we will be doing the basics of English Paper Piecing and then in the afternoon they requested a Brimfield Block. This is my sample for the workshop. I figured it would be a good idea to make one before teaching a group of people how to do it......

I’m going to link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then get back to my stitching. I think I might start on the embroidery on two of the pansies so I can count them done and then maybe start the actual stitching of things down to the background.



Sunday, 25 August 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching on vacation

We are currently camping at Craigleith Provincial Park. I brought a lot of hand work projects to keep me busy. One of them is the Hands on Your Heart design by Esther Aliu and It’s coming along quite well.The centre of the quilt is done as are two of the centre corners.



This quilt is so full of so many different elements that I don’t think there will be much chance of getting bored with it. There are four of these diamonds clusters.



I’ll be doing two of them using the fussy cut roses and the other two will be fussy cut pansies. Here’s a close up showing one of the corner pansy blocks.

There are still the centre yellow areas to be embroidered on the pansies and then a ribbon to embroider around the stems of the pansies. I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.





Sunday, 11 August 2019

Bitten by the startitis bug

I have been eyeing this lay’s website for several years now... Esther Aliu .... ever since she came out with the Love Entwined pattern with is a redo of an antique applique quilt. Every year she does a free Block of the Month and a paid Block of the Month. I follow her facebook group and have been drooling over this year’s quilts, both the free and the paid, but especially the paid one called Hold Onto Your Heart.  I’ve been giving myself all kinds of talks about how I have way more than enough projects already started, that I don’t need anything more, etcetera, etcetera. Anyone who is prone to this illness knows the drill and the self talk that ends up being of no use. So, I did it. I bought the pattern.... I told myself it was a birthday gift and that starting the new quilt was a birthday gift and the new fabrics that I needed for this quilt were a birthday gift. I have the centre section of it ready for basting and hand stitching. We are going to be heading out for a week’s camping next weekend, so I’m putting a push on to get a bunch of pieces prepped and ready for stitching.

However, I have kinda promised myself that I will keep working on Connections as well. I have the second section half done, so it is making good progress. The pattern for it is almost finished, but I’ll wait to release it after we get home.

So I’m going to link this post up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then do some more prep work for this quilt. I’m going to do up a whole pile of 1/4 inch bias stems and then get to working on the pansies for the corner squares in the centre of the quilt.



Saturday, 27 July 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

I took a little break last week from both blogging and  hand stitching to do some intensive knitting. I’m working on a blanket called Sweet Spot.



It takes hand dyed yarn and makes it into a really neat looking design taking advantage of the long colour repeats.
  

The Sweet Spot refers to the number of stitches required to make the yarn pool and pattern the way it does. It’s rather hypnotic, watching the design unfold from the needles.

But I did finally pick up a hand stitching project again - my Connections quilt. I have one section of it done now which currently measures 23 x26 inches.



I’d like to do three more in order to get it up to a usable size for a lap quilt. I’m a good way into the first row of the second section.

But I’ve had to stop and cut more dark grey triangles. So after I finish this post it will be time to get those triangles basted to the papers so I can continue on.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.









Sunday, 14 July 2019

Taking it slowly

We are on vacation at the moment, camping at Wheatly Provincial Park. What a surprise this park has been. I grew up in Windsor Ontario many many years ago, back in the days when Lake Erie was extremely polluted and a place to be avoided. So it became an ingrained thing in my thinking even after the pollution was cleaned up, that we don’t go to anything on Lake Erie but head up to Lake Huron instead. However this time round we wanted to check out Peelee Island since we’d never been there so we elected to use Wheatly Provincial Park as our home base for exploration. I am sure we’ll be coming back. It is a small park with some lovely campsites and overall has been very quiet even over the weekend. The campsite we are in is very private and large but it had the downside of being in the full sun. So we got creative with a tarp at the back of our trailer and rigged up a sun porch of sorts. It’s been a lovely place to rest and read and stitch.
I’ve been able to get lots of hand stitching and knitting done. I don’t have a picture of the knitting but do have pictures of the hand stitching.All the ten pointed stars that go around the centre of my Battle of the Stars by Willyne Hammerstein are done. I had these finished before we left last Sunday. 

The last three have been done this week.



 Now I can start to add them all around the centre. Some of them as you can see, already have their setting dark blue pieces in place. The rest of them I’ll do as I get to them. I laid the whole thing out on the grass in our shady spot to get an idea of where they will all go and what it looks like.


I can reference this picture as I go to remind me of which star goes where.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching. Then I think it will be time for some lunch and some more stitching outside. We head home tomorrow, so I want to enjoy as much of this day outside as I can.










Sunday, 7 July 2019

Slow Stitching

I’ve pulled my Battle of the Stars found in Willyne Hammerstein’s Millefiori 3 book back out. I went over to Gail’s Thursday evening for a stitching evening and got a star surrounded by the navy pieces and then got to work on a couple more. One regular cut and another fussy cut. I think I have two more stars to do. Although they still need their navy setting pieces before it can start assembling around the centre.
I’ve also been doing some knitting. I found this pattern when looking for a project for Eat Sleep Knit’s 3rd quarter challenge which is to make something by a Canadian designer that was published before 2010. This pattern is called Sweet Spot and uses hand died yarn that has the potential to pool. The pattern caused a really unique and interesting stripe to form. I really like it. It will, some day, be big enough for a blanket or at least a small lap throw.
We are heading out today for a 5 day camping break. These projects are coming along with me. I hope to get lots of relaxing and stitching done.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.