Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Customer Quilts 2015

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.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Slow Stitching

I’ve finished up the It’s A Plus class sample and it’s been delivered to the store that will be hosting the class. That’s a HUGE relief to have that done. That took up all my slow stitching time up until yesterday. I’ve picked up the embroidery since the and have finished up the third in the series of nine.        
Grow In Grace, 
Be Healed 
and Be Blessed.
I also fell prey to an Eat Sleep Knit flash knit along, except my project is a crochet along. I rarely do crochet any more. Most of the time I don’t like the way they look. But this pattern really caught my eye.I love the ridges on it. It is Midnight Walk Shawl. I started it Friday evening and have almost one ball of yarn almost used up in it. That means it is about 1/3rd finished. I’m not sure what colour is going to go next.... probably the leftovers shown in the picture. One thing I do remember about crochet is that it is much faster than knitting. The flash means that this project needs to be finished by May 24th. Can I do it? If I keep on at this pace, I should be able to. I’ll link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching in the morning.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

It’s a plus....

I’m continuing to work on my class sample for a plus sign quilt. It’s about 2/3 done now. I’m hoping to have it finished in the next day or three or four so that I can get it to the store and she can start to advertise it. I’m taking pictures of the steps as I go for an instruction sheet. This is all I’ve done this past week, plus a bit of knitting. I finished off the fade Jacinta Shawl I was doing and also got it blocked. I’m much happier with the way it looks after blocking. I’m going to link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then get back to more plus signs.

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Multiple stitcheries continue

So I’m continuing with my multiple stitchery disorder this week. But it seems to be a good thing because I’m getting lots accomplished. In fact I have a couple of finishes. First the Leo’s Ring class sample is done and ready to be delivered to the store hosting the class. 

The second finish is the embroidery I started last week. I’m enjoying doing these so much that I’ve started the second block in the series and am well on the way to having it finished. I just have to do the flower shapes. But they are going to take a while since there are a lot of sharp curves that will need very tiny stitches.

I was approached last week by yet another store in the area about doing a class. I don’t want to do duplicate classes since I don’t think that would be fair to the stores. Plus the stores are of a different feel, one being more “modern” focused than the other. With that in mind I’m in the process of designing and stitching yet another new English Paper Piecing sample. This one is using house shapes to achieve a plus sign. 

I’m also making good progress on my two “fade" knitting projects. I’m not completely thrilled with the fade transition in colours in the shawl. There is now too much of a contrast between the two yarns, but it is going to stay this way. The hank of yarn that is as yet unwound is the third colour. Once it is finished and blocked I think it will be OK. Certainly good enough to wear next winter under a coat as a very cozy scarf/shawl.

On the flip side, I am thrilled with the way the colours in my blue sweater are blending. This one is on the home stretch. I’m done with the medium blue on the body and will be going straight ahead with the dark until the body is done. I love this sweater design. I can see me making multiples of this one. This is the second I’ve started. I also rather enjoy the whole fade/transition thing using different yarns in the same sweater. This could become a trend in my knitting for the next while if for no other reason than to use up all the single hanks of yarn that I ordered in order to try and make the fade in the shawl work. I have four more different pinks now to use up.

I’m heading off now to do some more knitting. I’m linking up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching. I hope that all who celebrate Easter will have a wonderful day. We will be spending the morning with our Church family and then the afternoon and evening with family at home.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Multiple stitching personality disorder

I really do need to stop adding in new stitching projects. I definitely have a disorder of some sort. Some call it “startitis” which fits. But so does the title of this post..... multiple stitching personality disorder. Why do you ask???? Because I’ve started yet another hand stitching project. In my touring around blog land I came across this post from Jenny of Elefantz. In it she mentioned a friend of hers named Allie and provided a link to Allie’s blog which took me here which was a post about the final block in her series called Grow in Grace. That then took me to Allie's facebook page which I requested to join because Allie provides free embroidery patterns there.  I printed the pattern today

and got started with the stitching. 

I’m also continuing to work on the class sample that I started last week. All the components are made and just need to be stitched together. Another day or two should finish it.

And finally the other thing I’ve been working on fairly steadily is my EatSleepKnit second quarter fade sweater. It’s a pattern from Joji Locatelli called Spector. The colours in the picture aren’t quite right. The fade from the one colour to the other is actually more gradual than it seems in the picture. I love this pattern!!

So, after I finish writing this I have a decision to make.... what shall I work on for the rest of the evening? I’ll be linking up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching in the morning.

Edit: Last night I decided to keep on with the embroidery for a while before picking the knitting up again. The planter is done and I can move on to the greenery now. I’d forgotten just how much I enjoy doing the embroidery. It was actually the very first stitching I learned as a child. I remember my Mum getting a scrap of fabric and drawing a house on it and teaching me how to do the stem stitch. I used to take my allowance and buy the heat transfer patterns from the dime store..... Kresges if I remember correctly.... along with floss and pillow cases. Then I’d sit on our old front porch in the summer and stitch away. For that matter, it was my Mum who taught me to knit and to sew. I don’t have a lot of pleasant childhood memories, so these are precious. Does anyone else remember Kresges? They used to have the best hamburgers and cokes at the lunch counters.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Slow Sunday Stitching

I’ve had a slight change of plans as far as my knitting goes. I wanted to do the shawl Jacinta as a fade design as part of the Eat Sleep Knit second quarter challenge. I cast it on and started knitting away on the first of the month. I’ve gotten as far as changing to the second colour and that’s where the plans sort of fell apart. There isn’t enough of a contrast between the two yarns to show up as a fade from one colour to the next. And I think the third yarn I chose has too much of a contrast to fade properly. I think it will stripe rather than fade.  This is as far as I’ve gotten.  I kept on knitting for a couple of inches with the second yarn just to make sure that my suspicions that it wasn’t working were correct. Now I have to decide whether to rip back to the first colour. So, there may have been three more skeins of yarn ordered today that might work better......

In the meantime while I wait for the new yarn to arrive, I’ve chosen some different yarns for a different fade project. I’m going to make the sweater Spector out of these three blues. I’ve also been doing a bit of hand stitching on a new project. Judy has reopened her store Cornerstone Quilts and More and has asked if I’d be interested in teaching an English Paper Piecing class. I’m making up a class sample using some of the fabrics she has in her shop. I love the print on the white background. It’s very spring like. As soon as I have more information about times and dates, I’ll post them here and also my Facebook page. I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching

Sunday, 31 March 2019


I’ve been working on my Connections project this past week and am making good progress. I’ve almost double the size of it. Or at least, I have the pieces made to double the size of it but they aren’t all sewn together yet. I’m hoping to get a good way towards that today. That should bring it up to measuring about 24 x 24 inches. The pieces are 1 1/4 inch hexagons, squares and 60 degree triangles. I have no idea how big this is going to get. I have lots of the 2 inch squares left that were gifted to me from friends, so I might just continue until those are gone.
I’ve been having lots of fun this year knitting as well as working on quilts. The store Eat Sleep Knit hosts quarterly knit alongs. The  next quarter challenge which starts tomorrow is to knit a Fade project. I have a couple I want to do. One is a sweater by Joji Locatelli called Spector. And the other is a shawl by Ambah O’Brien called Jacinta. I have one of the hanks of yarn for the Jacinta shawl wound already. I still have to do up the other 2, but I can at least get started on it tomorrow using the yarns shown in this picture. As far as the Spector Sweater, it will be from these colours starting with the lightest at the top of the sweater and progressing to the darkest at the bottom. These fade projects are rather addicting, I think. I have 3 months together them both done.

Of course by then it will be mid summer and way too warm to actually use them, but that is totally beside the point. As in quilting, the fun and challenge are in the making not the using.
I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Battle of the Stars and Connections

Things have been very slow here in the hand stitching realms. I’ve been doing a lot of knitting.. mindless and repetitive and relaxing. Just what my overwhelmed mind needed this past month. I have made a bit of progress on Battle of the Stars. I went to a hand sewing get together with three friends on Thursday afternoon and got quite a bit accomplished. Unfortunately I left the pieces for the last two units behind, so I can’t finish off this centre. I think I’ll use that as an excuse to go and work on Connections. I have a lot of partial units ready for this one so I may be able to show significant progress by this time next week. It’s quite a lot of fun to work on and requires not a lot of concentration so it should suit my frame of mind these days. I’ll be linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Battle of the Stars

If you recall, back in January I decided that I wanted to schedule a time period for each of the hand piecing projects I have on the go. Two weeks for Willyne Hammerstein projects, one week for Connections and one week for the pieced hexagon sampler. We are at the beginning of the month which means it is back to my Willyne Hammerstein projects. This one is Battle of the Stars from her third Millefiori book. I have half of the centre sewn together. Now comes the hard part of choosing the rest of the fabrics to complete it. I think this is what I’m going with. The small stars around the centre will continue to be alternating pink and light green.
So today’s job is going to be cutting the pieces I need out of those fabrics and then continue sewing more together. I’m linking up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching before getting back to these fun fabrics.