Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Customer Quilts 2015

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

End of year round up.

I hadn’t planned on doing one of these because I had it in my head that I hadn’t accomplished much to report about. But out of curiosity I browsed back through the year’s blog posts just to check and see exactly what did happen. And to my surprise I finished a lot more that I thought I had. The finishes are a lot heavier in the knitting end of things than the quilting. I don’t have pictures of everything though. I’ll start with the knitting finishes:

5 shawls....
1 cowl....
7 sweaters....

Those numbers completely blow me away. I had no idea there were that many until I started looking through the blog posts talking about them and then looking at my Ravelry account to actually see what projects were listed there.  There are also a couple of pairs of socks that are waiting to have their toes grafted and a blanket that needs a few more inches done.

Back at the beginning of the year I did a post about what I’d like to get done. It was mostly about quilt tops that needed to be quilted and finished. Again, I didn’t think I’d gotten that much done, but no, there was more accomplished than I thought. There were 6 quilts listed that I wanted to get finished. Of those 6, two are now done.
The one I wanted to finish most of all was the Round Robin quilt that was the oldest of all my finished tops. It is done. The lighting in the house isn’t the greatest which means the quilting doesn’t show very well in the photos.





And Three of a Kind also is finished. This quilt is so big I had to fold it in quarters in order to get a picture.



The hold up on both of those was not knowing how to quilt them. Once they were loaded onto the machine the decisions were easy. Lesson learned.... just load them and they will tell me what they want. I have four more still to do. I haven’t added any more finished quilt tops to that list. Not on that beginning of the year list were a couple of other finishes.

Friendship Chain



East to West Compasses.



I also did a baby quilt.



So there were five total quilt finishes. I seem to have spent most of the last few years doing hand piecing using English Paper Piecing. Making that baby quilt brought back the enjoyment of machine piecing. So at the end of November I started a quilt that had been on my bucket list for a while now. Judy Martin’s Pioneer Log Cabin.



I am loving doing this! It may even get finished before the end of this week. I have 12 more blocks to do for the centre and then 28 border blocks to do.

So, that was my year full of finishes that I didn’t know I’d finished. I am so glad I blog, although it has been very sporadic. If it weren’t for this blog, I’d have no idea just what I’d been up to all year.











Saturday, 28 December 2019

Slow Stitching

I’ve made some progress on Hold Onto Your Heart this past week. The embroidered stems are done and the leaves are all prepared and glue basted down. There is still a flower to place on top of the stem on the right but I haven’t decided on the colour it will be yet.



It will have three rows of petals. Right now I’m leaning towards 3 shades of purples.
I’ve also started piecing on a new quilt by my favourite designer Judy Martin. This one is from her book on Log cabin quilts. I love the secondary design formed by the pieced logs.



I have six more blocks than this done now, but don’t have a picture. The blocks are 12 inches finished with the individual logs finishing at 1 inch. I’ll be doing 36 blocks, so I’m over half way there. The cutting and piecing, like most of Judy Martin’s quilts, is quite time consuming and intense but I’m enjoying the process. I’m doing 4 at a time and trying to get a good mix of fabrics in each block. I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.



Sunday, 22 December 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

I have a slow stitching, or make that slow knitting, finish this week The pattern is called Canyon Road. I have fallen in love with this persons patterns and have happily fallen into the rabbit hole of colour work sweaters. 


 It still needs to be blocked. After it is blocked the lace and colour work around the yoke will be even prettier.


I have some yarn left from this one, but of course it wasn’t enough to do a full sweater so of course I had to order more yarn. And then after I ordered the yarn to make up the difference so I could make another sweater, I got a notification that I had reached a milestone and therefore had a $25.00 store credit. Which meant, you guessed it, I ordered yet more yarn. With the yarn I already have here and the yarn that is coming I figure I have enough to do 5 more sweaters. And that’s not counting all the leftovers from all the other projects. Yep, I’m building a whole second stash, with yarn instead of fabric.  
In between the knitting I’ve been working on my Hold Onto Your Heart design by Esther Aliu. I’m working on the houses and the foliage surrounding them. 


Her design for the houses had shutters by the windows. I’ve left those off and have instead added some lace trim inside the windows for curtains. I’m doing embroidery for the stems of the foliage rather than using bias fabric. This afternoons job is to prepare the leaves and get them glue basted in place. And maybe get some more of the stems done.

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

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.