Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Sneak peak

I have been working since about 2 o'clock this afternoon on Heartland Star. It took quite a long time just to figure out what I wanted to do on it. I knew I wanted feathers, but not just your every day feathers.
I wanted the feathers to fill all of the white background and reach into all the odd shaped corners. So far, it is doing that. I am really happy with the way this is looking, but there sure are a lot more hours left to do on it. But, I'm all tuckered out, and done for the evening. Time for some recliner chair therapy.

Monday 24 September 2012

Design wall Monday Sept. 24, 2012

There isn't a whole lot more up on my wall than there was last week. All I manged to get done were 5 more boxes, with green outsides. But it did dawn on me yesterday as I walked by the wall for the umpteenth time, that the boxes weren't arranged on the wall correctly, so I fixed that. It helped give me an idea of how big it will be, and how many more boxes I need to make. I'm figuring 6 wide, by 7 long, with borders to make it to a twin bed size, which means I need 13 more boxes. I think I will have enough of the novelty fabrics to do some sort of a pieced border for it, maybe piano keys, or maybe bigger 60 degree triangles, if I had enough to do alternates of lights and darks so the each fabric would show up and not blend into each other.
I'm pondering what colour to use for the setting areas that are currently showing as my design wall showing through. Could it be as simple as a beige muslin? This will be a boy's quilt, so it can't be anything pink, or girly. White would show dirt and wear too easily. I have a lot of muslin, so maybe......
And then there is poor neglected Aunt Lucy. I had hoped to get one or two blocks a week done for her, but it didn't happen. Maybe this week.....

I have 2 blocks for her all cut and ready to go, but I never seemed to find the minutes it would take to get them done. There were bigger priorities, like customer quilts to be done, and a quilt of mine to be done for the upcoming quilt show at the end of October. I suspect that is what will be occupying a lot of my time for the next few weeks, and I LOVE it. I have the quilting design for Heartland Star all figured out, except for the borders, so that is part of today's to-do list. There just may be a sneak peak of that quilt a little later today, depending on how long it takes me to find something I like for the borders, feathers of some sort is all I know right now. I'm linking up to Judy's Patchwork Times  Design Wall Monday.

Sunday 23 September 2012

Stash and stitchery Report

I'm doing the Grandmother's Choice Block of the week, and I must confess to a few groans, and at least one "oh no!!" when I saw this week's block. It is most certainly not an easy one, and the thoughts of machine piecing all the "Y" seams and handling all the teeny pieces through the machine gave me a few shudders. However, once I calmed down a bit, I decided it would be a block that I would piece by hand. I traced out all the pieces onto fabrics and took them with me to work last night, to work on during breaks.
The first round of pieces is almost done. If I take it to work and do the same thing tonight, It should have this round, and most of the second added to it. The other hand piece I'm working on is the second of the Promises and Borders. I didn't get a lot done on it, but it is coming. I don't have a deadline for this, so slow and steady is OK.
I think all that is left to do on it is to do the flower centers, and then colour it in, and to put the textile medium over the coloured pencil, once I get the colouring done. And looking at it now, I've noticed that the bird's wing isn't finished.

There has been some movement in my stash, too. I've loaded my Heartland Star onto the machine, in the hopes of having it done in time for the quilt show at the end of October.

Used this week:                                   6.6 yards
Used this year:                                    91.5 yards
Added this week:                                  0 yards
Added this year:                                 152.8 yards
Balance:                                                61.3 yards more in than out.
Just out of curiosity, I checked last years numbers. This time last year I had used 102 yards, so I'm 10 yards behind that. This time last year I had added 121 yards, so I'm way over that. Neither is a good or a bad thing, it is just fun to keep track and to compare from year to year. I would like to end the year using at least the same amount as I used last year.
I'm linking up to Judy's Stash Report and Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Mystery Quilt went home today.

Last year the London Friendship Quilters Guild did a mystery quilt. Charlene asked me to quilt hers for her. She did hers in Christmas themed fabrics.
I like it because, although it is Christmas themed, it doesn't look exclusively Christmas, unless you look up close at the fabrics, where there are ornaments and snowmen and poinsettias.
I used a pantograph designed by Patricia Ritter called Christmas Doodle Tree. There is a wonderful website called Digitech Patterns which has hundreds, maybe even thousands of designs that can be purchased as downloads, which can then be re-sized and printed and then drawn out as pantographs. Some of them are very detailed and are obviously for the folks who have computer guided machines, but a lot are suitable for hand guided as well. It is going to be a fun reference to have for customers. They can go to the website and browse for a design they would like. I can then purchase and download the design, and then add  to my library something I might  not ordinarily choose myself.
I think the overall design of the trees is more visible on the back.
I've already purchased a few for some of my own quilts. This one is called Hotwheels which is going to be perfect for that Truck Quilt that I've done for Avery. Have I mantioned lately that I love the internet??????

Tuesday 18 September 2012

I love productive days......

The jam making is done. I started at about one o'clock this afternoon, and took the last of the jars out of the water bath canner at 7:15 tonight. Whew!!! The final tally.......

5 1/2 jars of peach marmalade

5 1/2 jars peach jam, 9 jars raspberry apple marmalade and 7 1/2 jars of Strawberry lemon jam.

I haven't done this in a large number of years.  I'd forgotten how much I enjoy looking at the final product. And tasting it is even better. I find a lot of the store bought jams over sweet, so I rally like the combinations that have the lemon or the marmalade in them. However, the other thing I'd forgotten is how much standing and chopping and especially stirring, there is involved in these. I recruited Scott to do the stirring on the last batch. He came so willingly to help...... he's such a sweetie, I think I'll keep him. LOL!!
The rest of this day is going to be spent feet up, with some quiet needle work in the recliner chair. Tomorrow, it's back to work on quilts.

Today I'm making jam

I have wanted to get back into making jams and stuff for quite a while. What usually stopped me was the heat in the kitchen when strawberries and raspberries are usually in season in June and July. However, one of the growers near us has ever bearing berries, that produce crops in September. It is lovely and cool outside, so I can heat up the kitchen, and open the windows to let the heat and the steam out.
So, later on today, these berries will be lovely jars of jam.

Monday 17 September 2012

Design Wall Monday, Sept 17, 2012

This is going to have to be a fast one. I have to work this afternoon, and it took me a lot longer to get the "Think Inside the Box" pieces up on the wall that I thought it would.
This is what I have so far. There are a lot more to come, and once all the coloured boxes are done, I'll start to mix them all up. But I am REALLY liking it.
The other thing I got some work done on was my Aunt Lucy's Medallion. Three more of the outer 6 inch squares were finished over the weekend.
Five 6 inch squares done, 15 to go. I'm thinking of doing one or 2 a week. I'm linking up to Judy's Design wall monday.

Sunday 16 September 2012

Quiltathon day 4

This has been a fabulously fun and productive weekend.  I quite liked doing up the posts and then doing updates as the day progressed. I spent most of today sewing, and got a whole pile more of the pieces for "Think Inside the Box" done up.

Picture to follow tomorrow. Right now, I still have to get the points trimmed and the pieces ironed.
I also played with some sampler blocks for the Aunt Lucy's Medallion quilt that I started last April. Doing the Grandmother's Choice sampler squares put me in the mood to do more sampler parts. I've sewn up 3 more 6 inch squares for Aunt Lucy, and cut out 2 more. And then, I sorted some of the squares I cut on my new toy tool last night into sets for 2 different quilts on my want-to-do list. In between all that, I made supper, and now I'm settling in for a chat with Susan on Facebook, and to watch a special presentation on TV about the Titanic.  I'm linking up to the last link box for the weekend with Judy's quiltathon

Sunday Stash and Sttichery Report

I managed a lot of hand stitching this week during the 2 days that I spent in the recliner chair, nursing my sore back. But taking those 2 days to rest it, and get lots of heat on it worked. It is pretty much back to normal.
  This is the second block in the series called Promises and Borders. I am loving doing these. It has been a long time since I've done any serious large scale embroidery projects. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy it.

I discovered on Thurday, at the guild meeting that they have a different vendor there every month. Oh oh. I made the mistake of going back to the vendors table with Charlene, just to see what they had. I wasn't going to buy anything. (yeah, right......) I was looking at the stuff, quietly saying to Charlene, (quietly because the speaker was doing her presentation, and it was a good one too), I'm not buying anything...... I'm not buying anything......... and then I saw these.....
and I bought something. But they were so  pretty I simply couldn't say no to them. And so they came home with me to add to my ever growing stash.
Used this week:                                  .5 yards
Used this year:                                 84.9 yards
Added this week:                               5.5 yards
Added this year:                            152.8 yards more in than out.

However, all is not lost. I have a new toy tool to help me whittle down all these pieces of scraps and fabrics so that I can get to sewing faster.
I have resisted getting one of these for a long time, and now I wonder why on earth I waited so long. This thing can take scrap strips and turn them into squares so fast, not quite a blink of an eye but still faster than the rotary blade and ruler can do....... it's wonderful!  I have a couple of quilts on my want-to-do list that require 2 1/2 inch squares. I played with used this tool last night for 45 minutes or so, and came out with a huge pile of squares. It took longer to iron the strips so that they would lay flat than it took to put them through this thing and come out the other end with squares. I can get the squares cut, and kitted up to become either quilts to work on, or leader and ender projects. WOOHOO!! I'm linking up to Judy's Stash Report and Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching, then I'm going to have some lunch, and then I'm going to go play with fabric, and maybe with my new toy tool. I'll do a quitathon day 4 post later on today.

Saturday 15 September 2012

Quiltathon, day 3

I just checked the Grandmothers Choice blog, and today's block is up. And it's a fairly easy one, no templates or inset seams. So, that is my first thing to do today, followed be a block for a sampler I'm doing, and then to finish the rest of Charlene's quilt. My hubby also mentioned an add he saw in one of the papers that states the fall crop of strawberries and raspberries is ready. I didn't even know there was a fall crop of those, so we might be making a trip to get some of those. Mmmmm, yummy. I'll do updates here as the day progresses.

It's 4 pm and so far the only quilty thing I've done today is my Grandmother's Choice block.
We decided to go out and get the strawberries this morning, before they were sold out. And then I got the idea that it would be fun to take some strawberry shortcake over to Matt and Becca's for them to serve at their house warming party tonight. So that meant a trip to the grocery store to get the ingredients for it. My original idea had been to bake the shortcake, but then Scott found some already made angel food cakes, and he talked me into getting those instead, which was actually a good thing because I have no idea where I was going to find the time to actually bake. Then, of course, we had to come home, prepare the berries, drive everything over to their house and then come back home. But then I got the idea that I really want to get back into making my own jams and marmalades and stuff. Actually, I've been thinking about it for a while now. But that meant a detour before coming home to the store to pick up some jam jars and a new water bath pot. By the time all that was done, it was after 3 pm before I saw the inside of my sewing room. So, now I'm going to post this and link up to Judy's quiltathon day 3 and then get back upstairs and get Charlene's quilt finished.

7 pm and Charlene's mystery quilt is finished and off the machine. All that is left to do on it is tie in a few ends. I can't show a full picture of it before Charlene sees it, that wouldn't be fair, after all.
But here's a picture of one of the corners.
We've had supper, and cleaned up, or should I say, Scott cleaned up..... he's so great. So I'm going to sit here, and enjoy my after supper cup of tea, and then go and do some fun sewing.

11:45 pm, and I'm done for the day. Chalk up 2 more Great granny squares and I finally finished the second pillow case that I started a couple of weeks ago. All in all, a very productive 3rd day for the quiltathon. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Friday 14 September 2012

Quiltathon day 2

It's almost noon, and I have to work this afternoon at 3. But it gives me a couple of hours to see just how much I can get dome during that time. Charlene's quilt is now about 1/3rd done. I wnt to see how much further I can get before going in to work.
I went to the guild meeting last night, and had a good time. I have had a difficult time most of my life with the issue of going out and meeting new people. It is a graphic illustration of the harm a mother's words can do. When I was a teenager, my mother said to me, when I told her I was going out with a group of people "Why on earth would they want you????" And do you know, those words have stuck firmly in my brain ever since. When thinking about going somewhere to meet new people, those words are there........ why would they want to meet you? I have been praying lately for the Lord to erase those words from affecting what I do and where I go and who I meet or don't meet. I know those words aren't accurate, or true, and yet they have, through the years, become fully entrenched in the way I think and behave. I am praying for release from them. Anyway....... enough of that. I'm going to go get something to eat, and the do some quilting. I'll stop at 2 pm and do an update.

2 pm Update:
Charlene's quilt is now about 2/3rd  done. This is all I have left to do on it.
There will, if all goes according to plan, a picture of this quilt finished tomorrow. But, the first thing I'm going to do tomorrow is the next block of the Grandmother's Choice block of the week. I'm linking up to day 2 of Judy's quiltathon at Patchwork Times

Thursday 13 September 2012

Quilt-a-thon... Day one.

Judy, over at Patchwork Times is holding a quilt-a-thon this weekend. I am quilting today, working on one of Charlene's quilts. her guild did a mystery last year, and I'm quilting hers up for her. I have 3 passes done, and I figure there are about 10 left.
Here's a sneak peek
She did hers in Christmas fabrics, so we decided on a swirly Christmas tree pantograph designed by Patricia Ritter. I'll do an edit later on to show how much I got done.

6 pm.... 2 more passes done since I wrote the above. I could have done a lot more, but I goofed, so had to spend an hour ripping out what it took 5 minutes to put in. Rats....... And I won't be doing much more today, because I'm going to go to the guild meeting, and join the guild. It's about time I stopped being a solitary quilter, don't you think?

Tuesday 11 September 2012

A tale of three Mexican Star quilts

Last year the London Friendship Quilters Guild held a class for the wall hanging Mexican Stars. I had three of them come into my studio in the past month, or so, to have the quilting done. This has to be the part of this job I like the best, seeing the same pattern done in such different ways, and choosing the quilting to compliment them. All of the photos have been left at the big file size, if you want to see more detail by clicking on them.

The first is Christine's. She didn't really have any idea for what she wanted, except that she wanted the curved areas emphasized. So I quilted in some arcs to reflect the arcs in the curved areas, and then emphasized those arcs with some pebbles. The piecing was emphasized with stitch in the ditch, and the background areas filled with feathers. I tried doing a quilting motif in the sashings of the piecing, but the quilt yelled at me very loudly that it didn't want that. So I ripped it out, and left the piecing to shine on it's own. I took this quilt's advice, and did the same on the other 2, as well.


Then there came Gail's. She had a fairly good idea of what she wanted. She requested flower shapes in the empty background squares, and leaf shapes around the edges and in the open areas of the piecing. I threw in some swirls into the leaves just to give it a vine-y feel. The piecing got  stitch in the ditch in order to highlight the piecing. I don't have any close up of this one, but Gail wrote about it with more pictures on her blog  The Cozy Quilter .
 And then there was Karen's. Hers is all about feathers. They come in from the four outer corners, and twine around to fill all the background spaces. The piecing in this one is also stitched in the ditch, also to let the piecing shine. These three quilts were a lot of fun, and also a challenge, to quilt. I love how they are all the same pattern, but the fabric choices made them look so different. I am honoured that they trusted me with them.

Monday 10 September 2012

Design Wall Monday, Sept. 10, 2012

Not much sewing going on this past week, and not much happening today, either. I don't know what I did, or how, but I was reaching to put one of my little triangles onto the wall earlier this afternoon, and suddenly had a great big "OOOWWW" right in between my shoulder blades. One of those - I can't move I have to lie down on a heating pad please don't make me breathe - moments. Scott kindly went out to the drug store and picked up some of that Robax stuff, and I promptly downed a couple. It feels better now, but now I'm a bit spaced out, and using a machine with sharp parts that move at high speeds might not be too smart at this precise moment in time. I've added 5 purple boxes in the last week to my Think Inside the Box quilt. I'm not sure how many of these I need to do, but they are fun to do. I'm linking up to Judy's Design wall monday, and then I'm going to watch War and Peace with Anthony Hopkins, and work on block #2 of Promises and Borders.

Sunday 9 September 2012

Stash Report and Sunday Stitchery

Well, I can't say that there has been a whole lot of sewing going on in my world this past week, so not a whole lot to report for stash usage. And there hasn't been a whole lot of hand stitching this week, either. A large hunk of time last week went to planning for our move into our new apartment that needs some work. And before those meetings was a large hunk of time just getting ideas of what we would like to do with the space. It is fun planning it, but it sure does take an awful lot of time. But I'm sure it will be more than worth it in the end.
However, I did get the first stitchery block for the Promises and Borders BOM finished, although that isn't saying that much since there wasn't a whole lot left to do on it. I added in the yellow centers in the orange flowers, painted on the textile fixative to make the coloured pencil permanent, and pressed it. After I finish here, I'm going to get the next square ready to do.

As for the stash report, here goes:

Used this week:                                            .7 yards
Used this year:                                          84.4 yards
Added this week:                                           0 yards
Added this year:                                      147.3 yards
Balance:                                                     62.9 yards more in than out.

I'm linking up to Judy's Stash report and Kathy's Slow Sunday stitching, although there is nothing slow about this Sunday for me, considering I have to work this afternoon. But tracing out the next block in the Promises and Borders series will slow me down, and focus my mind on where it should be, on my Father in heaven, and His promises.

Saturday 8 September 2012

Grandmother's Choice- Amethyst

Here is this week's Grandmother's Choice block, called Amethyst. I must confess to a bit of nervous trepidation when I saw this one. Not because of the "Y" seams, but because of the need to print off templates. To say that our printer and I have a love/hate relationship would be kind. It took me longer to print this than to sew it. The first copy came out the wrong size. So I tried changing the size, only to get a message that the printer wasn't responding. So, I had to turn it off, go through all the start up stuff, before I could print. I'd changed the size to print, and that one came out to big. I'm starting to sound like Goldilocks here. So, I decreased the size, tried to print it, and got the non-responding printer message again. Grrrrrrr.............. That meant turning it off, turning it back on and going through the start up sequence again. By this time I was beginning to wonder if it would get done, and if I would have the patience to sew it once it got printed.  But, it printed, and came out the right size. Then I could sew it up, and here it is. It took a bit of thought to figure out the best way to do it, and away I went. It wasn't a perfect 8 1/2 inches square when it was done, but an 8 1/2 inch square drawn on my ironing board cover, some straight pins and some steam for blocking fixed that. Two down, 47 to go.

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Think Inside the Box Layout

After my design wall Monday post, when I showed this picture of the current project I'm working on, called Think Inside the Box, there were a couple of comments asking about Y seams.
 There are NO "Y" seams in this quilt. I've separated the individual triangles out a bit on the picture to the left so you can see how they go together. The big blank triangles of design wall you see there will eventually be solid triangles of the background fabric. It will visually separate out the individual boxes. The individual triangles are sewn into vertical rows, the narrow space where the design wall fabric shows through between each of the 60 degree units in this picture shows where the seams are. After all the individual units are sewn into rows, the vertical rows, shown by the wider area of design wall showing through, are sewn together. There will be spacer 60 degree triangle units sewn onto the top and bottom of the rows that will be squared off to make the straight edges. So, you see, fairly easy construction, and nothing to make anyone afraid to tackle a project like this. The hardest part is making sure that the appropriate triangles are placed in the correct place in each row, and that nothing gets turned topsy turvey. Looking at this now, I can see that I can sew the one light and two medium triangles together, and them sew the one light and the two dark triangles together, which might make the final assembly a little easier.

Monday 3 September 2012

Design wall Monday, Sept. 3, 2012

I have a new project up today. It's from a book called Geometric Gems by Cathy Wierzbicki. The pattern itself is called "Think Inside The Box". These are using those novelty fabrics that I picked up in Hamilton a couple of weeks ago. So far, I have a box of Christmas candies, beach toys, firemen equipment, rocks and shells and the last full of umbrellas. As the quilt grows, the outside of the boxes will be different colours, but I thought it would be easier to do one colour of box at a time. This way I can cut a few, then sew a few, then go and cut some more. I have been eying this pattern in this book ever since I bought the book to do the Nine Patch Pineapple quilt as a quilt along back in 2010. It is actually turning out to be a fairly quick one to do, so far, at least. The challenge is going to come when laying it out and sewing the rows together without something getting twisted or misplaced, But that is going to be a while from now, yet.
I'm working this afternoon at the hospital, so this is going to be a short, quickie post. I'm linking up to Judy's Patchwork Times design wall Monday linky party. There is lots of inspirational stuff to see over there.

Sunday 2 September 2012

Stash Report and Sunday Stitchery

I've set aside posting about stockings for a while, as I can't show pics of it because I'm now working on Laurie's. But, I started a new stitchery project this past week. I have been drooling over this project since it first came out in January. It is called Promises and Borders and it is a stitchery block of the month that will eventually finish into a wall hanging. I hadn't started it earlier in the year because of wanting to focus on the Christmas stockings that I wanted to have done by this Christmas. Well, 3 out of 4 of them are done, and the 4th is about 30% done, so I figure I can start something else.
Earlier this week Denise did a post about an owl stitchery she was working on, where she was using coloured pencils to add to the stitchery, and I had an "aha" moment. So, I got out my own coloured pencils and started doing some shading into the stitched areas. I love the added depth the shading gives it. I still have a little bit of stitching left to do in the center of the orange flowers, and then I can add the textile medium over top of the coloured pencils, and I can count the stitchery on this square done, and then go on to block #2.
And now, I get to add up all the numbers from all the projects I've been working on this past week.

Used this week:                                       7.7 yards
Used this year:                                       83.7 yards
Purchased this week:                                   0 yards
Purchased this year:                            147.3 yards
Balance:                                                 63.6 yards more purchased than used. I am hoping to crack the 100 yards used by the end of this month. I've started a Newfo for September, actually, make that 2 of them, that might help towards that 100 yards goal.
There is a new block of the week by Barbara Brackman that started yesterday. I read about it on Denise's blog yesterday here. She's such a good influence....... LOL!  I'm even using the same fabric collection, since I loved the way her block looked so much. So, I immediately ran, well make that walked quickly, up the stairs and pulled out my fabrics and made the block in the 45 minutes I had left before having to go to work.
The theme of the whole quilt is Grandmother's Choice and it will follow the history of the fight for the right to vote for women that took place in the early years of the last century. Did you know  that women in Canada didn't get the full right to vote until 1919? Women in Quebec, according to Wikipedia, didn't get that right until 1940! In the USA, the right to vote came in 1920. So, we've had this precious right to have a say in what goes on in the government of our countries for less than 100 years!! Every week, along with a block, there is going to be a bit of history about the fight for this right. I am an history nut, and love finding out the history of various times and countries. I am also, as everyone knows by now, a quilt nut, so what could be better than to combine the 2? I am going to try really hard to keep up with this one.
I'm linking up to Judy's Patchwork Times for the stash report and Kathy's Quilts for the stitchery report.

Saturday 1 September 2012

Pieced backing......

I have to say here, that I am not a fan of pieced backings. They take up a lot of time that I'd rather spend on working on quilt tops. Plus, unless the pieces in the backing are accurately cut and pieced, they sag on the machine, and are really difficult to load onto the machine. However, having said that, I really didn't want to go out and buy a backing for Avery's truck quilt, so the only alternative was to piece it. Plus, I really wanted to use up the leftover squares from the layer cakes that I used in the top. So, pieced backing it is.
So, I searched through my fat quarters and fabrics for Avery friendly stuff, and found things I could use. The top left and right corners are actually meant for stuffed animals, or for appliques.  I don't think I'll ever use them for that, so I thought i would use them up here. There are also a couple of alphabet fat quarters in there too. Avery loves books, so I put a book fat quarter in. They live near a very large body of water, so I put in the sailboat. They have a chocolate lab, so I put in some fabric with lab puppies on it. And the maps of the world just because it fit with the colours and I had no idea what else to do with it and it balanced off the green on the other side. Looking at it now, I really like it. Oh, the blue and white fabric in the middle has all kinds of inspirational sayings on it. And now, it can go into the pile of my quilts that are waiting on my own personal Mount To-Be-Quilted.
I have to work this weekend, but before I go in, I'm going to do some cutting for my September Newfo.......... I really like that concept. LOL!! I just might have something to show come Monday's design wall post.