Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Saturday 31 December 2016

Another year is ending and a new one begins

And how on earth did that go so fast? Well, I know the answer to that, partially at least. A lot of it had to do with this sweet darling little girl. She comes downstairs to our apartment almost every day for a visit. I cherish each and every minute of those visits. They cut into getting other things done, including blogging here, but they are babies for such a short period of time, and I don’t want to miss a thing. Our Grandson Avery, who is now 5...... how did that happen??..... has been down visiting over the past few days. Being able to spend so much time with Abbie often makes me regret the time we weren’t able to spend with Avery, since he lives 4 hours away. It makes my heart ache, which I am sure every other grandparent with grandchildren living at a distance can relate to.
We did our family Christmas celebration on the 28th, and got to spend some time with him then. We had planned on more time with him before he goes back home on the 1st of January. Unfortunately, both Scott and I ended up sick with the cold bug that’s going around. And it hasn’t been your average cold bug that just causes stuffy heads, but are still able to continue going. It’s been a flat on the back, no energy to do anything type bug, so we haven’t been able to see him.
This past year has been such a busy one. I’ve started writing patterns for publication. They are almost ready. Just a little editing left to do and pictures to add. The other hold up for the patterns is that I’m waiting on a business PayPal account. I tried setting one up on my own and came to a couple of sections where I had no clue what they were talking about, so I’m letting professionals deal with that. In fact, those professionals are building a whole new website for Eagle’s Wings Quilts, because we are expanding what we do. So far, it has been a long arm machine quilting business, dependant only on me to do the work. But in this next year we are expanding into sales. Specifically, we are going to be producing pre-cut papers for the English Paper Piecing market here in Canada. A group of three friends and I did Willyne Hammerstein’s La Passacaglia quilt starting several years ago, and ordered our books and supplies from the States. We all expressed the same shock at the price because of the difference in the Canadian vs the American dollar, and mostly because of the shipping costs. The shipping doubled the cost of the supplies. But we had to swallow it because there was no alternative. So, after much thought and prayer and research, we have decided to become the Canadian supplier for those papers. No more exchange rate costs and much cheaper shipping. It is likely going to be a month or two more before we are ready. The corel draw software needed to use the cutter, shown here in its home in the quilting studio, takes a bit of learning, but it’s coming. The goal is to eventually become the Canadian one stop internet based shop for all hand piecing, English Paper piecing and appliqué supplies. It’s very exciting, and very scary at the same time. But the best part about it is that it isn’t solely based on me. The whole family is in on this one, for learning the machine, and eventually picking orders and doing the shipping. I’m sure I’ll be talking about it lots more in the coming months.
Doing this has caused me to re-evaluate some other things I’ve been doing for a while, and revisit what I can and cannot do. I am definitely going to continue with lots of hand stitching, and participate with the Slow Sunday Stitching link ups . I’m continuing with the long arm quilting, both my own and other peoples’. I will hopefully be producing more of my own designs for sale, but that’s on a back burner as I learn the new software for the cutter. I will be reducing making quilts from other people’s patterns. I don’t think I’m going to keep track of stash this year. It seems to be one thing that I can safely leave off my “think about” list. One thing I would definitely like to do is produce a series of patterns specifically for the EPPing technique. I’ve noticed lately in my browsing through the Electric Quilt software that there are a lot of gorgeous complex designs that would be really difficult to do by machine. They have lots of odd angles, odd shapes and lots of pieces. They would be perfect for EPPing. They are totally different from anything I’ve seen out there right now. They should be showing up in my Slow Sunday stitching Reports as I test them out.
Well, that’s our hugely momentous news. I will post more as I know more. It is going to be a fun ride!

Sunday 4 December 2016

Sunday Stash and Stitching

I’m making progress on my tenth out of twelve My Tweets blocks. I finished up all the stitching on the pieces that were already prepped and on the background.
So it was time today to make some leaves.  still have to finish stitching the birds’ heads, but I can’t do that until I get their beaks and top knots done. I haven’t decided whether I’ll go ahead and make up all the rest of the components, or if I’ll stitch down what I have, and then do more.
We took some time on Friday to put up the family Christmas tree. Our little grand daughter Abrielle was kinda fascinated with what was going on, but really she was quite good about not getting into it too much. I’m not sure if that has remained the case in the days since, though. She’s really a very good little thing. She already knows the meaning of “don’t touch”. And that’s a really good thing, since she’s up and walking all over the place, even though she isn’t even 11 months old yet.
The stash numbers moved a little bit. I donated a couple of yards to the comfort quilts we are doing for guild members who experience loss or bereavement.

Used this week:                                      2 yards
Used this year:                                  83.8 yards
Added this week:                                  0 yards
Added this year:                             77.45 yards
Net stash busted:                               6.35 yards

I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and Judy’s Stash Report. And then, I think I’ve decided that, since everything is out and ready for shape preparation, I’ll keep on going.

Sunday 27 November 2016

Sunday Stash and Stitching

I haven’t got any real progress to show, since the actual stitches aren’t that visible. But, the birds have their tails all finished and the bird on the left has its wing all finished, too. So there has been considerable progress made on this block today.
Another Sunday worth of stitching should take it to needing more pieces prepared. I really can’t say that I’m looking forward to doing all those circles. And then there are the top knots on their heads to do before I can finish stitching down their bodies. And little tiny triangles of beaks. It is more than official..... I’m insane.......
We a sewing day for the guild yesterday, from 9am to 8pm. I didn’t arrive until 10, but stayed until the very end. There was quite a lot accomplished, which added some numbers to my stash busted column.

Used this week:                                    2.5 yards
Used this year:                                   81.8 yards
Added this week:                                    0 yards
Added this year:                              77.45 yards
Net stash busted:                               4.35 yards

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

Sunday 20 November 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching....

Well, not so much stitching as preparing for stitching. I put My Tweets up on the wall to get an idea of the colour balance, and what I should use for the tails in the next block.
I noticed that I have a lot of pink tails and purple tails, and also a couple done in shades of yellows and oranges. So, what I’ve chosen for the next one is shades of reds, with just a touch of blue and purple added in.

This is blocks number 10. I spent most of the afternoon cutting pieces and prepping them using the liquid starch and non meltable mylar method. There’s enough here now, that I can get a start on the stitching. I’ve found that I like doing the birds first, before adding in the flowers.
I’m going to link this up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching. After that, it just might be time to tidy up from all the cutting I’ve done, have something to eat, and then actually do some stitching.

Sunday 13 November 2016

Sunday Stash and Stitching report

I seem to be back in the groove of stash additions and also Sunday stitching. I finished up block nine of My Tweets today.
Next week I can start in on getting ready for block ten. I’ve been doing some more playing with McKenna Ryan stuff, too.
Would it sound crazy to say that I find the tracing and the cutting and the intricate placing of the fabrics relaxing? Because I do.
I had some new fabrics come in this week. Some was for a workshop that I participated in on Saturday. What a great time we had. It was led by Lorna, over at Sew Fresh Quilts. I got a start on doing her Forest Friends design. I finished this birds block, and got the pieces cut for four foxes. This is going to be a long term project, considering there are lots of other things that have to be worked on and finished around here, but it sure was a lot of fun to get together with a great bunch of quilters on Saturday to play with fabrics and animals.
I have a commission quilt to do, as well, which is going to take priority for the next while. We are having some new graphic designs done for Eagle’s Wings Quilts, and the designer, rather than being paid in cash, has asked for a quilt as payment. She wants this design Bravo Indigo. I’m adapting it to make it larger, and eliminate the flip and dew triangles.

Fabric used this week:                            0 yards
Fabric used this year:                        79.3 yards
Fabric added this week:                       15 yards
Fabric added this year:                    77.45 yards
Net stash busted:                                1.85 yards

I’m linking to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and to Judy’s Stash Report.

Monday 7 November 2016

Design Floor Monday

I’m plating with McKenna Ryan fabrics and designs today. I just love her stuff. I don’t very often buy kits. But one of the vendors at our quilt show had kits for one of the newer quilts, called Aurora Ridge. Since I love the fabrics she uses in her pieces, and try to purchase them in order to do her stuff, kits seemed very appropriate. These are from Sew Creative, a store in Mt Brydges, about a 20 minute drive from her. The kits were very well prepared, and I’ll be buying the rest of them for this quilt. This was the easiest block of the four I have in my possession.
It took about 3 hours this evening to get it all traced onto the fusible web, cut out and fused onto the various fabrics, and then cut out of the fabrics and fused onto the background fabric. I am very much looking forward to doing the rest of them.
I’m linking up to Judy’s Patchwork times

Sunday 6 November 2016

Slow Sunday Stash and Stitching report

I’ve pulled an old project out from the black hole beneath the stairs- My Tweets. The last time I worked on this was in February of 2014. I am hoping to work on this for the rest of this year, while I wait on supplies for another English Paper Piecing project. I put the last of the stitches into block number 8.

Then  I took out what I’d already done on block 9

and then prepped some more pieces for it. There are 2 more leaves to go onto the bottom on either side of the point of the heart, and then this one will be ready to finish stitching.

It’s been ages and ages since I posted a stash report, mostly because for the longest time there wasn’t anything going in or out.
This gorgeous, sweet little face just might have something to do with it. Given a choice between spending time playing and cuddling with her, or sewing, I’ll take our little Abbie every time.

And then there’s our little Avery, who isn’t so little any more. He was down visiting with us last weekend, and we’re hoping he’s coming next weekend, as well.
He’s 5, and in big kids’ school. How did he get to be 5 and Abbie get to be 10 months so incredibly fast?

But the last several weeks have seen some movement in the stash department, so I thought I’d post one, and get it going again. I’m not sure if it will be weekly, but certainly more often than every other month like it’s been the last little while.

Used since mid September:                    12.8 yards
Used this year:                                        79.3 yards
Added since mid September                        1 yards
Added this year:                                    62.45 yards
Net stash busted:                                   16.85 yards

I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and Judy’s Stash Report

Wednesday 2 November 2016

WIP Wednesday....

Geese Around the Tulip Patch is finished, or at least the top is. Here it is hanging off the end of the deck.
This is one of the few times in my quilting life that I have started a project and kept working at it until it was done, without starting anything else. And, to top it off, I kept with my goal of doing the label at the time of the finish, before making the backing.
This means I can actually piece it into the backing, rather than having to hand sew it on after quilting. I do these up in the Electric Quilt software, and then print them onto printable fabric sheets. Now all I have to do is make up the backing and get it quilted.
I’m linking up to Lorna’s Let’s Bee Social and to Finish it Friday in celebration of this finish. Now, to decide how to quilt it.......

Tuesday 25 October 2016

WIP Wednesday

Now that the quilt show is finished, I have time to get back working on my own projects. I did up a few more of the secondary blocks for Geese Around the Tulip Patch and put them up onto the design wall. Here they are up close,
 and also from a distance.
I have seven of the blocks finished, fourteen left to go. Then I can sew it all together and get the borders onto it. I’m looking forward to seeing it finished. This one is eventually going to be offered as a pattern to purchase.
I’m linking up to Lorna’s Let’s Bee Social and to The Needle and Thread Network WIP

Thursday 20 October 2016

Quilt Show Sneak Peak

One of the many bonuses of quilts shows is the ability to actually see a quilt hanging, from a distance and to be able to get a picture of it. I’ve been trying to weeks to get some pictures of my recent finishes, but every time I think of it and actually have a bit of time, the weather outside, where I typically take my pictures, has been horrible. So, as the editor for the guild’s blog, I was able to go in today while they were doing the set up, and get some pictures. I’m going to post the pictures of my quilts here. I entered 9 of them, 7 bed sized and 2 wall hangings. I have never been so glad to see the end of hanging sleeves and labels!! If this doesn’t teach me to do them as I finish quilts, nothing will.
All of the following pictures can be biggie sized by clicking on them.

#1 Blooming Nine Patch.

#2 Canadiana Row Quilt

#3 LFQG Blog Sampler. This is a free pattern, found starting here. There is a tab at the top of that blog with all the patterns listed, in reverse order, going back to September of 2015.

#4 Sisters Across the Miles

#5 Grandmother’s Diamond Ring

#6 Great Granny Square

#7 La Passacaglia

#8 Playing With English Paper Piecing

#9 Bon Echo Rock

  Whew, that’s a lot. But there are tons more from lots of other people at the quilt show. It’s gonna be a great one!
I’m going to link up all these finishes, a lot of them new finishes, to Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Sunday 16 October 2016

Sunday Stitching

As the London Friendship Quilters’ Guild quilt show has gotten closer and closer, my time for fun slow hand stitching has gotten scarcer and scarcer, as my to-do list has gotten longer and longer. What hand stitching I have been doing lately has mostly involved sewing hanging sleeves to large quilts. How utterly tedious and boring! Note to self.... always do hanging sleeve and label while finishing the quilt, rather than waiting until just before the quilt show.
All the hanging sleeves on the big bed sized quilts are now done. I’m down to two wall hangings to finish. The have their bindings machine sewn to the front. Today’s slow stitching will be to hand stitch them to the back, and to sew down the final sides of the labels, and to sew down the bottom edge of their hanging sleeves.
Both of these quilts are the results of workshops done at the guild in the last couple of years. Joni Newman does stained glass quilts, and I opted to do her version of the cliff at Bon Echo Provincial Park. The backing is camping themed, to go along with years of memories of camping at this park. 
The second quilt is from a workshop by Karen Howes, involving pieced hexagons. It also has its binding sewn to the front, and its label partially attached.  
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching, before taking the opportunity to do as she suggests.... take a deep breath, relax, and slow down. Quilt shows are wonderful fun things, but the work involved in putting them on and getting stuff ready for them is sometimes overwhelming. So today is for relaxing and clearing my head.

Wednesday 28 September 2016

WIP Wednesday

That was a fast week. It seems like I wrote my last post just a day or two ago, not a week ago. I’m continuing to work on Geese Around the Tulip Patch. All the big geese blocks are done and up on the wall. I’m loving the way this is looking. The patch of tulips in the centre is so pretty. I’ve started making the small geese needed for the alternate blocks, all 192 of them. It’s a good thing I like making these things. There are almost 100 finished. Then they have to be sewn into pairs. But, all things considered, this is going together pretty quickly. I very rarely ever start a quilt and stick with it until it’s finished, but this one I am going to. I started this back at the beginning of September, so this isn’t bad progress, at all.
I’ve been working on customer quilts a lot lately, since there is a quilt show coming up this year. that also means getting lots of my own done. So time spent working on a new quilt is precious and revitalizing. I’m going to link up to Lorna’s Let’s Bee Social and the Needle and Thread Network’s WIP Wednesday. Then it just might be time for some supper and a few more geese to come off the machine.

Wednesday 21 September 2016

WIP Wednesday

The count of Frayed Star blocks now stands at 21. I need 25..... almost there.....
Then I start making smaller flying geese for the second block for this quilt. After that, a few half square triangles and I can start putting it together. If I keep going at this pace, this just might be one of the faster quilts I’ve ever done. I’m linking up to Lorna’s Let’s Bee Social and to the Needle and Thread Network WIP Wednesday.

Monday 19 September 2016

Design Wall Monday

After I wrote yesterday’s post, I stated that my goal for the rest of the day was to sit and sew. Well, after a minor detour, looking after delightful little grand daughter Abbie for a couple of hours, I achieved that goal. I now have ten of the Frayed Star blocks for my new quilt done. I actually have some time this evening, as well, although I’ve spent part of it quite lazily reading a good book. But I’m up off the couch now, and after I finish this post, I’m getting right back to making more star blocks. Fourteen of these blocks left, and the 24 of the alternates.
I’m linking up to Judy’s Design Wall Monday and to Beth’s Monday Making.
I’m working through the instructions on this one before I publish it. So far, so good. I have one volunteer to test the pattern for me. Would anyone else be interested? It’s done in 3 sizes, the cover one being the biggest. If you’d like to test it, leave a comment, meaning sure your email is there. If you’re a no-reply, I won’t be able to get back to you.

Sunday 18 September 2016

Sunday stash and stitching report

I haven’t been doing any hand stitching lately. But, I do have something to share about my past Sunday stitching project. I entered La Passacaglia into our Fall Fair here in our delightful city, and it took first place in its wall hanging division. Yippee! Woohoo! Happy dance! We went to see it last Wednesday evening, just to see what it looked like actually hanging up. Here’s a pic of our grand daughter Abbie and I standing in front of it. 

I haven’t done a stash report since way back at the end of July. I’ve been keeping track, just haven’t actually had a chance to write up a report here. So the numbers are going to be looking rather good, considering they cover over 6 weeks. The up side to the rush before a quilt show is all the finishes which take up lots of stash for making backings. Add to that, the new quilt that I’ve designed and am self testing the instructions for, which involved doing all the cutting at once, and I am back in positive numbers again.

Used since August 1st:                       25.4 yards
Used this year:                                    68.5 yards
Added since August 1st:                     11 yards
Added this year:                                  61.45 yards
Net stash busted:                                   7.05 yards

I have big plans for the rest of today. I’m going to spend it sitting in front of my sewing machine to see how much more I can get done. I just might have some blocks to show on a design wall post tomorrow.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and Judy’s Stash Report.

Thursday 15 September 2016

It’s been 3 weeks.....

How did that time fly by so fast? Seriously, life seems to be flying by at the speed of light. But then again, it is a quilt show year, so that probably explains a lot of it. I’ve been crazy busy up in the studio getting quilts finished. We also went on vacation for the last week of August, so that also accounts for one of these missing three weeks. And, as always, especially in quilt show years, I have to hurry to make up the time taken away while on vacation. Add into that mix, the beginning of the guild year and the stuff that needs to be done for that, and “poof”, time just vanishes.
We went away camping for 8 days. It was strictly a working vacation this year. We had some business to attend to in the Toronto area that took a few days driving back and forth from the campground an hour north of Toronto. After that, most of my days were spent outside, sitting in the dining shelter on the campsite, writing pattern instructions. It made for a very restful office setting, I must confess, sitting outside, listening to the trees and the birds, working away on the computer. No distracting TV or internet stuff like Facebook. Just quality bonding time between me and my laptop. Scott spent his time also bonding with his laptop, except in his case it was games. So, this is what I’ve been working on......  Four patches and flying geese for my new design. I wrote it all up, thinking that a good way for myself to test it would be to write it before I make it. Now I’m seeing if I can follow my own instructions. This is what the finished project is supposed to look like. Can I interest anyone in testing this along with me? The instructions are for 3 different sizes, so you wouldn’t have to commit to making the big queen sized version, unless you wanted to.
And now, time to get back to work. There are lots more flying geese in my future......

Saturday 20 August 2016

On and off my needles....

It’s been quite a while since I did a knitting post. I was off knitting for a while, mostly because i was spending my evenings up in the quilt studio, rather than downstairs in front of the TV knitting. I did get my one sweater finished. It’s called Roads End, a design by Kay Hopkins. After that one, I decided that I really do have enough sweaters for myself, so I decided to start one up for our grand daughter Abbie. I’ve had this one, the Owlet, saved on my Ravelry favourites for years, ever since I started using Ravelry, since it’s on the first page of my favourites. The only thing that really had me intimidated by this sweater was all the buttons that had to be sewn on for the eyes. Well, that was solved by finding some beads that could be inserted over the knit stitches during the knitting process. No buttons now necessary. If you biggie size the picture by clicking on it, you’ll be able to see the beads. This one should be finished in the next week or so. After this, I think I’m going to start a winter hat for little Abbie, using this pattern for the hat. I have beads left from the package for the eyes, so I’ll put some beads on he hat, too. I love the booties in that pattern, but Abbie is way beyond the age for booties now. Those will look so cute on this precious little girl. I’m linking this up, a day late, to Judy’s On the Needles.

Wednesday 17 August 2016

Wednesday progress....

Last week I showed a picture of the beginnings of the quilting on Grandmother’s Diamond Ring. It’s a pattern designed by Judy Martin, found in her The Creative Pattern Book. Well, it is now finished. Here she is. The roses look fabulous in all the white hexagons. The pieced areas all have continuous curves, as do the smaller filler white areas. It’s bound with a faux piped binding using a diagonally printed stripe, which enables the binding to be sewn on completely by machine. The roses in the borders don’t show up very well on the front. Here’s the backing where everything shows up so well. I’m really happy with this one.
The other major thing I’ve done is finishing all the piecing on the LFQG blog sampler, and it is now loaded onto the machine and the quilting is started. It needs to be done by this coming Monday, since we are leaving for a week’s vacation on Tuesday. I’m hoping I can make it. With that in mind, I’m going to link up to Lorna’s Let’s Bee Social and also to The Needle and Thread Network, then I’ll have something to eat and get back to work.

Monday 15 August 2016

La Passacaglia is finished!!!

Here she is, in all her wonderful glory. Needless to say, I am over the moon happy with this finish! The first picture here is taken outside. It shows the full quilt and is perfectly true to colour. It didn’t show the quilting very well, though, so I took her inside to a more indirect light. I did concentric circles in all the rosettes. I love how they overlap and circle over top of each other. This has been a long journey. I started this quilt back in December of 2014. When I initially got the book and then the papers in the mail, I looked at the size of the triangles for the star points, and almost didn’t start, they were so small, and so intimidating. But with much encouragement from many friends, I kept at it and got it done. I was intending to post this on Sunday for Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching, but life got in the way, so it’s being posted Monday instead. Here’s a close up of the border fabric and the binding fabric which, continuing with the hand stitching theme, was stitched to the back by hand. I usually do my bindings by machine. The backing fabric is a perfect fit to the multicoloured rosette shapes on the front. 
So, I’ll post this a day late to Kathy’s links party. Hmmmm..... maybe I won’t. the link up is closed. Oh well, I guess then that  it’s time to trim another quilt and get its binding made and applied.
Edit.... I linked up to the next week’s party instead.... Slow Sunday Stitching