Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Sunday 31 December 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas, and that the New year will bring blessings. We have been incredibly busy these past couple of weeks due to the holidays and also business related stuff. The last half of the afternoon today was taken up with counting inventory for our Eagles Wings Quilts Canadian English Paper piecing supplies web site. In addition to that, we also had to count all the different cones of thread and all the quilt batts I have on hand for the long arm business. The counting is done. Now comes the task of converting the cost of what I bought in US dollars into Canadian dollars and then adding it up. But I don’t have to do that today. I just wanted to make sure we went into the New Year tomorrow with an accurate inventory count.

The rest of today is going to be spent working  on my long time friend Leo. Or at least it feels like it’s been a long time. In reality I started this project back in June of this year, so I’ve only been working on it for 6 months. Considering the size and complexity of it, that’s not bad. I’m still working on the fourth border. It’s the one with the most pieces and also the most complex piecing, so it’s taking me longer than I had hoped it would, but it is making good progress. The third of the sides just needs its bottom small triangles added and then I can sew it to the main body. And I have most of the parts I need for the fourth side well under way. Another couple of weeks should do it. Here’s what it looks like with that third side of the fourth border laying beside the rest of it.
The fifth and final border is much less complex that this one, so I’m hoping it will go much faster.

I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then will be spending the rest of this last day of 2017 quietly stitching. I want to wish everyone reading here a very Happy New Year!

Sunday 17 December 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching

As usual, I’m plugging away at Leo’s Mane. I love the project, and the way it is coming together. Here are more parts for the fourth border. I’d say I’m almost 2/3rds of the way finished this particular border. I’m making the individual parts, and the slowly sewing them into the border. I need to get most of the purple units done so I can get an even distributions of the colours.

Every now and then I need something that isn’t quite so small and fiddly. This next project has been around for a while but I don’t know if I’ve ever actually taken a picture of it and shown it here. It’s a public domain design from EQ7 called Sapphire Net, and it’s a perfect candidate for English Paper Piecing.
The octagon shapes are 5 1/2 inches long, and are perfect candidates for using up some of my large scale floral stash I have hanging around here. So far it measures 24 inches across. Whether I make it any bigger than this or not is yet to be determined. There will eventually be papers and pattern available for this in our web store. I’ve been working on it this week when I get tired of Leo’s tiny pieces.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching, before going back to more stitching.

Sunday 10 December 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching

First off, I want to acknowledge the comments I received last week, and thank you for them. For some reason, they did not get sent to my email where I could answer them. I’m not sure if it was a problem with blogger or a problem with my email. I’ve changed the email address where they will be sent and hope that will fix the problem. If you don’t hear back from me it will be because either the problem wasn’t fixed by changing the email or because you have your setting at no-reply.

I’ve set Leo’s Mane aside for the week while I worked on a smaller project. I have a friend who has designed lots of pieced hexagons, and she is giving the designs away for free on her Facebook page Hillbilly Quilt All Free EPP. If you join her group, you can access the designs. She has given me permission to sell the paper kits for these designs on our website. So, I am going to slowly attempt to make one of each. That’s what I’ve been working on this week.
I made some of these,
and then some of these, 
which got put together into some of these. Which finally resulted in this.  The sides will be six inches each when it is finished.
I am hoping to finish this today, and then get back to Leo. I’m finding that he is such a big project, that I need to add in some smaller faster ones every now and then.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then it’s back to my lovely stitching.

Sunday 3 December 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching

I’ve made good progress this week. Last week my second length of the fourth border for Leo’s Mane looked like this. It had three stars and three of the lantern type units finished. This week the entire border is now finished.
Two down, two to go and then I move onto the last of the borders. As I progress through the quilt the borders are taking longer to do, since the quilt is getting bigger. These two took me a month to make. That’s something I need to keep in mind for writing up the sew along instructions. The instructions are released twice a month, so I’m attempting to divide the steps up to take that length of time.
haven't  yet decided today whether I’m going to sew these two sides in place, or whether I’m going to continue making more units.
However, my brain is kinda fuzzy today, so maybe the simple sewing these borders in place should win out. Yep, I just decided, that’s what I’m going to do. So, after I link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching, I’ll get started on sewing these borders into place. 

Sunday 26 November 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching

I need a slow down day today. A day of doing nothing except taking long deep breaths, sitting in my comfy recliner with my feet up while sewing slow relaxing hand stitches.

Yesterday was a whirlwind. It started several hours earlier than my days normally do, since it was our guild’s Quilt Till You Wilt day. I spent part of Friday getting ready, using my Go Cutter to get everything cut and ready to sew. My goal was to do an I Spy quilt for our grand daughter. I’ve had the fabrics for several years, at least. She is starting to talk really well, and learning lots of new words, so this is a perfect time to get one done for her. I shocked everyone, including myself by arriving at the quilt day right on time at 9 am with my essential coffee in hand. With all my fabrics cut and organized and ready to go, I sat and put the pedal to the metal. By lunch time I had most of the blocks finished and was ready to start sewing them into rows. By the time I left at 3:30 all of the rows were sewn together. I still have to piece some partial blocks for the ends of 3 rows, and the the centre of the quilt is finished.  I used partial seams on the rows, leaving myself enough space at each end to add in the missing pieces and the finish sewing the row.
I haven’t decided what to do about borders. I was so focused on getting all this done, I didn’t even think to stop and take pictures. The only reason I have these is because my friend Gail, who blogged about the same day here,  grabbed my phone and took the pictures for me. (Thanks Gail!!)

After leaving the Quilt Till You Wilt time, we came home, picked up our grand daughter, since her parents had won tickets to a concert yesterday evening, and proceeded out to visit with our son Noel, his girlfriend Mel and our grand son Avery who was down visiting for the weekend. We had supper at their place, and then drove down to Port Stanley where there is a house that does itself up hugely for Christmas, or should I say its owners do. The statistics say that it has over 75,000 lights on the property. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t what I saw. It was fabulous! Here’s a link to the Facebook page about it Port Stanley Christmas Lights. Both Abbie and Avery were mesmerized by it. Avery kept telling everyone that “it has 75,000 lights aka 75 million!!” using the phrase “aka" being a new thing with him. Abbie ran...... everywhere... through the lawns, up the deck with the Christmas tree, down the steps of the deck,  up the paths on the hill at the back of the house and back down, then back up, then..... well you get the idea.... Abbie ran, exploring and examining everything and Grammy followed. Grampy would have followed, except he was hampered by the stroller that we foolishly thought Abbie would quietly sit in. Silly us, we should have known better, knowing Abbie..... although by the end of it she was tired enough to settle into the stroller for the walk back to the car. All in all it was a fabulously happy day, full of good friends and loving family. What could be better.

So, back to Slow Stitching. Today I am continuing to work on Leo’s Mane, no surprise there. I have the first side of the fourth border finished. Here it is laying beside the main body.  And a closer view. I’ve started on the second side of the fourth border and hope to get a good long way into getting it finished today, probably while bingeing on the British archeological TV series Time Team. 
 I’m going to link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday stitching and then get to my own stitching.

Sunday 19 November 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching

Last week at this time I was unstitching a goof. This week, the goof is fixed and continuing progress has been made on the first of the border #4 for Leo’s Mane. I have 7 of the 8 units needed for this side of the border sewn together, and all the tiny side triangles added to it. So instead of an “oh bother" from Winnie the Pooh I can have a happy dancing Walt Disney designed
Winnie the Pooh. I don’t really know why this particular character is stuck in my brain these days, but there it is......
I suppose it’s because there have been a few other instances this week that have caused me to say the “oh bother” phrase, so it’s kinda stuck.

It’s cold and blowy and snowy outside today, so it’s a good day to stay inside and do some hand stitching. I love how my hands can be busy doing one thing, while my brain can be busy doing something else entirely, even if that is the cause of the occasional goof when my brain isn’t paying attention to what my hands are doing.  (grin) So, today I have a bunch of things I want to do. I started an honeycomb pillow using 1 inch honeycombs a week or two back.  I want to get it sewn down to a background square. Then, I want to finish sewing the white edges of my small version of Willyne Hammerstein’s Creme Brûlée to the dark borders. One of the corners of the dark border wasn’t laying flat the last time I worked on it, so I had to take it apart and re-mitre the corner.

 I want to start another variation of the honeycomb pillow, doing a different arrangement of the colours. And then of course, more on Leo, at which point I’ll have to re-engage my brain.
I have no idea how far I’ll get on this list today, but I’m going to enjoy the process. I think I will start with the one that is closest to being finished, which is the Creme Brûlée variation and then go to the pillow and finally back to Leo.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then it’s on to the stitching marathon.

Sunday 12 November 2017

Slow Sunday Unstitching......

Winnie the Pooh has a saying when things go wrong..... “Oh bother.....” I was happily sewing along yesterday, making more parts for the fourth border for Leo’s Mane. I’m doing this border a bit differently than the others. Rather than making all the different elements first and then sewing them together, I’m making the elements and then attaching  them into the long border as I go. Gail, aka The Cozy Quilter, and I were having a virtual sewing hour together via FaceTime. Just before signing off, she asked me to show her what I’d accomplished. She very kindly pointed out the sewing snafu which was the cause of my “oh bother”. It may even have caused me to say some words that sound very like Pooh’s name, with the “h” replaced with a “p”. There may have been even a few variations on that same word.....

The blue/gold star unit on the left end is turned wrong. It was completely sewn into place.
When I’m English Paper Piecing and I come to intersections between one piece and another  that need to be turned, I always take a few extra stitches at said intersections so that they are nice and strong and will not come apart and will hold up to the stress of much manipulation. That’s all wonderful until said pieces need to be ripped apart without damaging them.
So, instead of starting my Slow Sunday Stitching day with comfortable relaxing stitching, it will be started with unstitching, neither comfortable nor relaxing........ sigh........

My handy dandy goose necked Ott floor light that is in permanent residence beside my stitching chair will come in very handy as I cut loose all those neat and tiny stitches. I can bend it so that the light is just inches above the piece I am working on. So, after I link up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching, I am going to fortify myself with more coffee, turn on that bright light, put on my drug store purchased 3.25 magnification glasses and get to work taking out those stitches so that I can turn that unit around and sew it back in place again......

Wednesday 8 November 2017

Leo’s Mane Fourth border

I’m late writing up a post this week. I usually do one up for Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching. I was stitching on Sunday, lots and lots of stitching. But I was also binge watching a show on England. Tony Robinson is the guy’s name, and he does walks all over the country side and talks about the land marks and the history. I am fascinated by all things English history, so I got rather caught up in it. By the time I realized what time it was, it was too dark for pictures and too late for thinking straight. And now, here it is Wednesday, and I’m finally getting around to writing that post.
The good thing is, the third border is completely stitched onto Leo, and is all pressed and laying nicely flat. It took a bit of persuasion with some steam from the iron on the eight point seams, but they finally cooperated.
And now, I’ve started work on the fourth border.  The colours in this photo are a bit yellower than in real life. The close ups in the photos further down are closer to the actual colours.

These are the two basic units that make this particular border,  with a couple of extra things as well. It’s going fairly quickly, with all of them that are laying beside the quilt finished since Sunday. There will be small gold coloured triangles filling the space along the edges of the border.

I’m linking up to Lorna’s Let’s Bee Social, Esther’s WIPs on Wednesday and the Canadian Needle and Thread Network. Then it’s time for supper and some more stitching.

Sunday 29 October 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching....

I’m continuing to work on Leo’s Mane. And yesterday evening I put the last stitches into the last star for the third border. Woohoo, yippee and a happy dance or two!!

I’m a little later posting today than I like to be, but I have an excellent reason. Our grandson Avery was visiting this weekend, so we spent the time with him today. He’s on his way home now, so it will likely be a month before we see him again. (sigh) We did some fun halloween crafts with them yesterday. He made a wreath, using a styrofoam circle, a whole pile of black and orange 2 1/2 inch squares of fabric, poked into the styrofoam, and then a battery operated string of eye ball lights. As long as you don’t look too close and actually see the eye balls, it’s kinda pretty. LOL! Here he is, holding up his masterpiece.

He had fun with it, and the rest of us had fun with him having fun.
So, my task for the rest of this evening is to begin the process of sewing the borders of stars onto Leo’s main body. I am so very thrilled with the way it looks all laid out on the floor.
 I said last week that I hoped to have this border finished by the end of the month. That goal was met, with the exception of actually stitching it in place. Whether I can actually get that done before the end of the month..... I’m not sure but I’ll give it a good try.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching before going back to more sewing. I’m having so much fun!!!

Sunday 22 October 2017

Leo’s Mane Third border

Hand stitching is all about slow stitching. It’s about enjoying the process as much as the finish, since the finish takes so long to happen. But, slowly Leo’s third border is coming together. I started the third border back on the 6th of September, but then took two weeks out of that time to work on something else. Out of 28 blocks needed for the border I have 18 1/2 of them finished. The last of them should be done by the end of this month, if I keep up with the amount of stitching I’ve been doing. It’s mostly evening stitching, 2 or 3 hours at a time, but not daily. Last week I had 10 of the stars finished, so that’s about 1 1/2 blocks a day, on average. I’m keeping fairly close track of this both for my own information and also so I know approximately how to break down each border into steps for the sew along for this project.

This past week Manuela posted a picture of her finished centre on her blog here.  Martina’s is here and Ariane has posted a picture of hers on instagram here. They are all so completely different and it’s so much fun to see other people take the design and make it theirs.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching before going back to more stitching of my own.

Sunday 15 October 2017

Leo’s Mane back in production again

I’ve gotten as far as I can get in my version of Creme Brûlée without rethreading the sewing machine with dark thread. I have to sew up the corners of the borders before I can sew down the last of the outside diamonds. So, I am back to working on Leo’s Mane, the third border. I’m taking these stars and am adding on the outer triangles to turn them into finished blocks, which I am then stitching together to make the borders. Here’s how it looks so far, with that third border laid beside what is already finished. It is a long, slow process. But that is the point of hand stitching, to take our time and enjoy the process. Of course, it’s made even longer when this device currently sitting on my lap, on which I am currently typing, keeps distracting me with all manner of interesting things on the internet and Facebook and blogs. But that too is part of the fun and process and relaxation of the Slow Sunday Stitching thing.
There are fifteen people signed up for the sew along for Leo’s Mane. Four or five of them are actually over in Europe, mostly in the areas around and in Germany. That is so thrilling!! Not everyone has shared pictures, but Martina has here. And Ariane here in Canada has shown a picture of hers here and here.
I’m going to link up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then get back to more stitching myself, assuming I can drag myself away from this device. (grin) I’m also linking to Esther’s WIPs on Wednesday and Sarah’s Help for hexie-aholics

Sunday 8 October 2017

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

It is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, and I wish to extend our hopes that all who celebrate it will have a wonderful weekend. Kathy asked what are we thankful for? There is so much.... our God and Saviour have to be at the top of the list along with all the gifts and blessings He has given. This home and the family in it is right at the top of that list of gifts. It is such a joy to live here and to be able to share in the lives of our daughter and son-in-law and grand daughter on an almost daily basis. It is wonderful to be able to be useful, to be able to help as they both work full time. Our grand daughter is such a joy, even as she navigates through the challenge of finding her voice and her individuality and we navigate those challenges with her as she is coming up on the 2 years old milestone. She has a very strong will! I am thankful that our grandson Avery will be here today. We don’t get to see him anywhere near as often as I would wish, so these times are precious. My husband, such a kind, generous, gentle soul who loves his God and his family has to be named in that thankfulness list, too. The gift of quilting, and the friends that come along with it, have to be on that list.

My Creme Brûlée is almost finished. All of the rosettes are sewn together, the bordering diamonds are sewn on, and I made a decision about how to finish it. I’m not going to square off the piecing. There is something in me that just shrinks away from the idea of doing all that hand sewing, only to cut it off. Plus, I like the look of the irregular edges contrasted against a border. So, that’s what I’ve done. The Kona Snow edging is being appliquéd down to Kona Pepper borders.

I love the way it looks. And at the moment, it is telling me that it wants an overall feather quilting design done in a light coloured variegated thread. So, unless it changes its mind, that’s what it will get.
It’s very close to being finished. I don’t know if it will get done today. We are celebrating our Thanksgiving today, and the house is going to be full of family and friends with ten adults and four children under 8. We cooked the turkey and dressing yesterday in order to cut down on the work and the chaos today. All we have to do is put it in the oven for 45 minutes or so to heat it up.
So, I’m going to link this to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then maybe get a little stitching in before the family arrive.

Sunday 1 October 2017

A little Creme Brûlée

I’m continuing to take a break away from Leo’s Mane while I work on Creme Brûlée, which is a design by Willyne Hammerstein from her book Millefiori quilts 2. It’s much less complex than Leo, so it’s been a nice brain break.
I’ve taken the original single rosettes and started putting them together.
 I have a total of 12 of them finished. I don’t know if this is going to end up being a full sized quilt, or if I will end up just using what I have and making it into a smaller wall hanging. I have so many ideas bouncing around in my head that I want to play with. They all take so much time that making a full sized anything seems like it won’t happen. So I might stick with doing smaller, which is something even two years ago I never thought I’d ever hear myself say. I was always “I don’t do small”. But that was before I discovered the addiction called English Paper Piecing, all done by hand therefore taking so very much longer to actually finish anything.
I’ll see how big this ends up and what it looks like with another row of four rosettes added to the bottom and make my decision about what to do then. It could end up squared off with white hexagons around the edge, trimmed square and then hung up on a wall in my studio.
So, my task today is to continue sewing these together, after I link up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Saturday 30 September 2017

Leo’s Mane Second Step

It’s time for the second step of Leo’s Mane.

Centre Stars

The centre section of Leo’s Mane requires 16 star units as shown in the photo.
These require 64 of the centre kite papers. Using your preferred method, baste your fabrics to the papers. Sew them together into the configuration shown in the photo.

Putting the Stars and Diamonds Together

Now it’s time to put the stars and the diamonds together. Arrange the stars, making sure that the colours of the points come together in the centre. A finished single star/diamond unit will look like the photo below.
Sew a diamond unit in between a pair of stars, as shown below. Make 8 of these.
Place two diamond units in between two pairs of star/diamond units and sew together, as shown below.
Make a total of four finished star/diamond units.

Sunday 24 September 2017

Slow Sunday Stitching

I’ve put Leo’s Mane aside for a few days. The third border is well on its way to being finished, and I wanted to put some stitches into a project I started a while ago. It’s called Creme Brûlée from Willyne Hammerstein’s second Millefiori Quilts book. I’m doing some preparation of diamonds and triangles, getting ready for stitching. I’m a glue baster when it comes to English Paper Piecing. I’d rather save my sewing time for actually sewing them together, rather than basting. Almost ready to start sewing the contrast triangles and diamonds onto the next three rosettes.

I’ve started putting some of the rosettes together. This is partly why I set this project aside a while ago. I couldn’t decide what to use for the filler hexagons. I finally decided on basic Kona Snow.There is enough going on in the fussy cut centres, that I didn’t want to add anything else. I have all kinds of fabrics left over from doing La Passacaglia that are perfect for fussy cutting. Also left over from La Passacaglia are Kona solids in all kinds of brights and soft colours that are perfect for the framing triangles and diamonds in these rosettes.
The rest of today is going to be spent sewing on these. It’s gloriously hot and muggy outside. Almost too much so, but I refuse to be driven inside. All too soon now, it will be too cold to be outside, so I’m enjoying it while I can.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching

Sunday 17 September 2017

Leo’s Mane progress

So close, so very close to having the stars for the third border finished. I have 26 out of 28 done. Then all I have to do is add on the background triangles, and they are completely finished. Another week or two, maybe?

This is what I will be doing this afternoon, while outside on the swing, enjoying the glorious mid September day.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then going back to enjoy more stitching.

Friday 15 September 2017

Friday finishes

I have two finishes, finally. I put the speed on to get them done for the first guild meeting of the year. Sometimes it take some sort of incentive in order to get the gears moving. These are both English Paper Pieced, and the result of my recent fascination with the kits shape, which is what forms the points of the stars.

The first one is called Castor and Pollux. It  is actually a design developed by Nancy Cabot and originally published in the Chicago Tribune back in the 1930’s. Here’s a link to more information about her, if you happen to be interested. Nancy Cabot. She did some fascinating patterns. There are more of them that I would love to do. There is a pattern for this quilt, along with the papers and acrylic templates available in our store here

The second one is called Orion’s Belt. There will eventually be a pattern and papers and acrylics available for this one as well. You can click on the pictures for more detail to make them bigger. I’m Linking up to Finish it Friday