Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Customer Quilts 2015

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.



Sunday, 23 June 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching....

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 7 years now that Kathy has been hosting this Slow Sunday Stitching link up party every week. Just out of curiosity I went looking in my blog archives to see when I first linked up with Kathy. It was July 15, 2012. So I’ve been with her almost from the beginning. One of the big bonuses of doing a blog is to be able to look back and find information like that.
This week I’m working on a new project. I know, the last thing I need is yet another new hand work project, but hang on a second while I explain.... I have a good reason, really I do. I’ve been approached by a guild to do a trunk show and a workshop for them in the fall. I sent them information on the workshops I already have organized, but they wanted something a little different. What they asked for was something that in the morning would be a good beginner introduction to English Paper Piecing and then in the afternoon something more advanced. I don’t have anything in my repertoire like that so I did some thinking and came up with an idea. And of course, since it’s a new workshop, it needs a sample for people to see, therefore a new project. The whole thing will be based on Lemoyne Stars which a lot of people find very intimidating to sew, especially by machine with those inset seams. With EPP they are very easy to do. I’m not 100 percent sure just where this is going to go, whether it will be a sampler or what. I’ll decide that later. Right now I’m just making blocks. I accomplished the pieces in the picture last evening, so it shouldn’t take too long to get it done.
Kathy asked us to show our favourite hand stitching project. Mine hands down has to be my La Passacaglia which was the start of this crazy English Paper Piecing addiction.

It was so much fun to do. I had a blast doing all the fussy cutting for it and it resulted in my never looking at a piece of fabric in quite the same way ever again. I still look for fussy cutting possibilities even now when purchasing fabric. 
I’m linking up now with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching as I have been doing for the last 7 years. Thank you Kathy for all the years of hosting and inspirations.



Sunday, 16 June 2019

Connections progress

I haven’t done a Slow Sunday Stitching post in a couple of weeks since I wasn’t making a whole lot of progress and there wasn’t much change in any of my projects. But now I can show a section of the Connections quilt is finished. It measures about 22 inches square right now. I’m planning on working on it in sections this size and see where it goes and how big it gets. The scrappy squares were all gifted to me by friends at the London Friendship Quilters Guild. Here’s a close up of some of the fun squares.

I’ve also finished a sweater in the last week. It is one of the fade projects. It’s a pattern called Spectre by Joji Locatelli. I’ve made a few of her designs now and really like them.  Here’s a close up of the yarns and how they fade together. There are three different coloured yarns in here. I did 3/4 length sleeves on this project. First because I’m always pushing up my sweater sleeves and also because I was running short on the yarns and didn’t want to run out before the second sleeve was finished. I have another of this sweater pattern almost finished, that’s how much I liked it.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching before going back to making more Connections blocks.







Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Itching to get to machine sewing

For the first time in a very long time I’m itching to get to machine sewing on a large quilt project. In fact, there are 2 that I want to do, both from my favourite designer, Judy Martin. I’ve been browsing through one of her books that is devoted entirely to Log Cabin quilts Extraordinary Log Cabin Quilts.  The first is one called Pioneer Log Cabin. 
And the second is called Aspen Log Cabin. 
I  grabbed both of these photos from the page on her website that shows sneak peak pictures of the quilts in this book found at the link here
However, there is a very large problem preventing me from working on either of them. I’m posting a “let’s be real” photo here of the current state of my crafting/knitting/sewing area.
It’s gotten to the point where just about everything has chugged to a halt because I can’t get near the table and am having a hard time finding anything in the mess. It is time to do something about it. But I have this slight problem of other work to get done. What to do, what to do as Winnie the Pooh would say? Little bits at a time is my answer. So my goal for today is to get the customer quilt that is currently on the long arm finished. And then I’ll spend some time tackling the mess and think about how to organize this almost total chaos. I think I need some boxes or totes or laundry baskets or some sort of containers, If you don’t hear from me you’ll know I’ve gotten drowned in the mess.........



Sunday, 26 May 2019

Fussy cutting bliss

I’m at it again.... taking perfectly good fabric and turning it into Swiss Cheese. But it is so much fun seeing what the final piece looks like when done. I’m continuing to work on Battle of the Stars from Willyne Hammerstein’s Millefiori 3. These have been the focus of my slow stitching this week.   I also finished adding all the navy blue background pieces to the centre of the quilt. All of these next round of stars will also have navy blue around them. These two aren’t fussy cut. The fabrics were interesting enough to not need to.
Here’s the finished centre with the four stars laid around it. I have six more to do. I’m trying very hard to use fabric I already have rather than buying more.I think I have found a few more fabrics that will work for more fussy cutting. But I think I will fill in with other fabrics that stand well on their own in the mix without the fussy cutting.  Perhaps alternating them around the centre.
I had hoped to spend some time outside stitching this afternoon. But the clouds have moved in and the temperature has dropped to the point where is isn’t  comfortable out there, so I’ll do my stitching in my favourite chair beside the window instead.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching






Sunday, 19 May 2019

Battle of the Stars

I was quite happily working on my Battle of the Stars quilt last week. I have almost all of the centre of it done. Just a few more of the outer background shapes to sew in up there on the top left. 

So, since I was curious to see how the full 10 point stars that circle the centre looked, I made one and in the process created some more swiss cheese fabric.

This was on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday came along and I wanted to check the pattern, which is in Willyne Hammerstein’s Millefiori 3, for some layout details and I could not find the book. I had been using it on Thursday and overnight it vanished. Poof, gone, nowhere to be found. We have a saying in our house to the effect of  “when searching for something when all else fails look under something.” Unfortunately in my area of the room where I do my sewing there is no end of things to look under. But I had just had it Thursday so there was no way it could be at the bottom of any of the piles, but even so I looked under them and through them trying to find this book. Well to make a long story short, I did eventually find it in and in a place I had looked numerous times.... under my chair. In my defence it was under the chair in such a way that it could not be seen from the front or from the side when looking under said chair. It was curled up on itself so I found it only by feeling for what was under there rather than looking.
All of that to say that I can now start to figure out how the in between pieces for the 10 point stars will work. They are odd shaped and the instructions aren’t clear so I’ll need to play with them before actually putting scissors to fabric for them let alone starting to glue baste them.
Before I found the book, I took my severe frustration out on doing more stabbing fabric with a needle and got lots more done on my embroidery piece. I’m working my way across the bottom lace bits now.

The sunflowers and their leaves are done. There are french knots supposed to go at the top of the lace, that’s what all those little dots are for. I am considering using some fine seed beads instead.
It is a gorgeous day here today, so I'm going to post this and link it up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then head out to play in the garden for a while.....

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

A few weeks ago I started a series of tiny embroideries, just to see if I would enjoy getting back to it. Well it turns out I do enjoy it, a lot, so I have ordered in a few more ambitious project patterns. A couple of friends and I went to the Oxford Quilter’s guild show yesterday and on our way home we stopped in at Stitch It Central. They have a huge selection of embroidery floss and I wanted to pick up some variegated colours for the new design I want to do. It is from Crabapple Hill and is a stitchery folder found on their website here. I had never done crayon tinting of an embroidery project before, so that was fun, I did that Friday evening after tracing the design out. I picked out a few old floss colours I’ve had hanging around for many many years, specifically the colours I’ve used in the sunflowers, but wanted some new ones for it too. It seems appropriate to do up a folder for stitcheries as my first large project. That way I have someplace to store and carry any further projects I plan to do. And it can be used for more than just embroidery. So the green is new, as is the neutral that will form the lace design at the bottom and also a purple/pink that will do the flowers. Everything else will come from floss I already have. I’m rather surprised at how fast the stitching actually goes. I have the petals of the sunflowers finished , the needle started and the word Stitch done, all since Friday evening.

In other stitching news, if it can be called news, I did finish the crochet shawl I was doing in the time frame I wanted. It’s very difficult to get photos of these large shawls, so I’ve draped it over the front of our wardrobe cupboard in order to get it all in. I’m going to link this post to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then maybe get back to one of my English Paper Piecing projects for the remainder of the day. I love having a variety of projects to choose from.