Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Sunday 24 December 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

 Our little Prayers and Squares quilting and knitting group has decided to do a UFO challenge next year. We are going to do it a bit differently than most and just choose 6 rather than the traditional 12 UFOs. We will work on each for 2 months rather than the traditional 1 month. My oldest UFO is My Tweets. I started it way back in 2011 as an appliqué block of the month designed by Erin Russek of One Piece at aTime blog. She doesn’t appear to be posting to her blog any more, which is a shame. Anyhow, I pulled out the box of pieces to assess exactly where I was and what is left. From what I can see I am working on the 10th block. I haven’t checked yet, but I am hoping that I printed out the patterns for the 11th and 12th because they don’t seem to be available any longer. If I didn’t I can probably improvise a couple of blocks of my own using elements from previous blocks which I’m pretty sure I still have. This is simple stitching which doesn’t take a lot of concentration, so it is suitable for working on in the evenings, as long as I have my good light and my magnifying glasses. It’s a busy and joyful time of year, so easy stitching is a good thing. All our gifts are wrapped. The menu for Christmas day is settled and the cooking assigned out so that one person isn’t doing all the work. I want to wish all of you who read here who celebrate this miracle of Christmas to have a joy filled Christmas and a happy New Year.

I’m linking to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching

Sunday 10 December 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

 Most of my slow stitching time over the past couple of weeks has been taken up with mindless sock knitting. I started and finished a pair of socks. I took the last stitches in them last night and decided to wear them today. Here they are in their sock modelling debut.

And then I did the tiniest bit more on the hardanger lace section of my Quilting Bee Sampler. By the time I get to it most evenings my brain is too foggy to concentrate on it or I’m watching something that requires watching rather than listening. I just might settle in this afternoon and put on a program I’m familiar with and listen while I stitch. I would like to get this one finished.

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

Wednesday 6 December 2023

What we are working on

 Our Prayers and Squares group are so close to a couple of finishes. The Scrappy Stripes quilt now has its binding sewn to the front. It just needs the hand sewing to the back to declare it finished.

 The Woodland Panels quilt has all its borders on and quilted now. The binding is made and ready to sew on. 

The purples and pinks with aqua accents is coming along and almost ready to sew together.

And we started a new project. It’s a Maple Leaf quilt done with Toronto Maple Leafs fabric. It has a recipient already selected who is a large Maple Leaf hockey fan.

And then there is the Atlanta Garden sampler quilt that I’ve been working on at home. Four rows are completely sewn together and quilted. The fifth row is all sewn together but it still needs its sashing pieces quilted before I can add it to the main body. I have a small amount of baking to do today but I’m hoping to get the quilt finished in between the timer on the oven.

I’ll link up to Mid Week Makers

Wednesday 29 November 2023

What We’re Working on

 We finished another quilt this past week, other than the hand stitching on the binding. And I’m making good progress on the Atlanta Garden Sampler, where the blocks are available on Barbara Brackman’s Civil War blog and also here on her Etsy shop. I’ve gone a little rogue on this one. I didn’t like November’s block and December’s is going to have curved pieced Drunkard’s Path type blocks which I didn’t want to do. So I substituted a couple from the Electric Quilt libraries. I've started on the quilt as you go process, using pieced sashing between the blocks to carry over the turquoise found in the centre of each block. As usual, the quilting process is slow going, but so much easier on the neck and shoulders and back than doing the quilting all at once on a big quilt. This one is going to measure 62 x 62 inches square when done. I was hoping to get more done on this one today, but there was a snow squall warning out for our area so school was cancelled. The original alternate plan because of the snow day was for Abbie and I to do some baking of muffins. But somehow the "Abbie and I" ended up just “I" as she decided playing with Papa was more fun. She may have been right. I did up 3 different muffin recipes.... Pumpkin Chocolate Chip and Blueberry Oatmeal both of which got baked up. Then I mixed up a batch of Six Week Raisin Bran muffins to go in the fridge to bake up in the next few weeks. And now I’m all tuckered out. 

I’ll link up to Mid Week Makers.

Sunday 26 November 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

 I managed to dig around in the spare bedroom upstairs that is acting as our storage facility while our renovations down here are happening and I found my Quilters’ Bee cross stitch sampler. I’ve been slowly working my way through the white hardanger lace work at the bottom. It is very fiddly and slow going, which is the whole point of slow stitching, so that’s OK. 

And when my brain or my eyes are too fried to be able to concentrate on the cross stitch, I’ve been working on a very simple mindless scrap sock yarn scarf. It is knit on circular needles with all of the yarn joins being in the middle where they won’t be seen and therefore don’t need to be neatly woven in. It might be close to being done. And of course, I have enough scrap sock yarn here to be able to do another of these. Then again, I may just start another pair of socks.

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

Wednesday 22 November 2023

What We’re Working on

 We made great progress last week in our Prayers and Squares projects. The woodland theme row quilt is ready for trimming and its side borders. There is a quilt using various shades of pinks and purples accented with aqua in the works. The sampler quilt got its binding finished and is now on its way to be a blessing to someone. And the Flying X quilt that I’ve been working on here at home is ready to have the hand work done on the backing strips to finish off the quilt as you go. Here’s the full layout of it, before the sashing strips were added. And how it looks with one row all together with one of the long sashing strips added . I think this has become my favourite way to do quilting now. Today I am going to work on finishing the blocks for a BOM sampler I started back in January sponsored by Barbara Brackman called Atlanta Garden. I took a picture of it last week and am hoping to get all the blocks for the earth tone version at least, finished today.

Wednesday 15 November 2023

What we are working on

 Progress on our Prayers and Squares projects has definitely been one step forward, two steps back this past week. We had all the rows of the woodland creatures quilt sewn together last week. We laid it out on the floor to get pictures only to find that one set of rows was sewn on upside down. That was a very definite grrrrrrr  moment. So no pictures of that this week. Our scrappy strippy piece is ready for borders to go on the top and bottom and then it can get its binding on and be declared done. And the quilt I am working on at home has all of the blocks finished and the quilting started on the individual blocks. This isn’t its final layout. It will have 1 1/2 inch sashing and cornerstones in between the blocks. And that’s where the next steps backward happened. The front looks great. The back, not so much, This is the second time today I’ve made this mistake which is why I decided to take a break and write a blog post. Time to get out the seam ripper. Right after I link up with Mid week Makers.

Sunday 12 November 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

 I’ve been slow stitching all week long, not just Sunday. And I have progress to show for it too, which is always an encouraging thing. The pair of socks I was working on are done up to the point of grafting the toes and sewing in the yarn ends. And then, even better, the cross stitched hymn that I started back in June is about 6 or 7 stitches away from being finished. There are just a few black stitches to put in to finish the border on the bottom right corner. 

I think after this I am going to go back to my Quilters Bee cross stitch piece and see if I can’t get that one done too, assuming I can find it.

I’ll link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then go searching for that cross stitch project.

Wednesday 8 November 2023

What we’re working on

 Once again there wasn't enough progress made in our group projects for photos. There is still hand sewing happening on the backs of the quilt as you go projects. And another one needed some repairs done on a panel that was too short. The quilt as you go process is a fairly new one to all of us so we are learning as we go. There should be some good progress made tomorrow which should result in some pictures of near finishes. Three of us did a road trip down to the quilt shop in Minden yesterday called Remember
Me Quilts and More
. Their prices are really good and they have a good sized clearance section that makes for great prices for backings for all these quilts. 

In the meantime I’ve done some more sewing on the blocks that I am working on here at home. I have 12 done now. These will also be done quilt as you go style. I have 8 more blocks to do. They are an Electric quilt block called Flying X. They are simple to do and go together quite quickly. I won’t get a chance to get back to it before Friday though. I’m heading out today to a friend’s place to make a couple of batches of tomato sauce out of the tomatoes that came from the summer garden and also that I bought in 25 pound boxes from the grocery store. They have been stored since then in the freezer, but we need the freezer space emptied, so it’s time to get it made up. 

I’ll link up to Mid Week Makers and then I’d best get busy and get together all the stuff I need for that tomato sauce marathon.

Sunday 5 November 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

 I’m focusing, still, on my warm and fuzzy socks for winter. It’s impossible to have too many pairs of warm wooly socks. There’s something about the first snowfall of the season that triggers the desire to knit socks. We had our first snowfall of a couple of inches on Wednesday. It’s all melted now. So, I’ve made progress on this pair, finishing the first sock and well into the second. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to work on these this afternoon or if I’m going to make some more quilt blocks. I’ll decide after I link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching

Wednesday 1 November 2023

What we are working on

 At our Prayers and Squares group we are continuing to work on getting a couple of projects to the finish point. I don’t have a new picture of the woodland quilt since there was hand work to be done on the backing before it could progress any further. The scrappy stripes is getting closer to being done and might get finished this week. It has two rows left to add and the top and bottom border. Because it is quilt as you go, there are seams to be finished by hand on the back. 

As well as working on these projects during our Thursday afternoons, I’ve been doing a sampler independently at home. I love making samplers. It is finished, except for the hand stitching on the back and the binding. It will go off to one of the other ladies for this stage of its being. 

And then, just because I got new fabrics in the mail, I had to start another one that will also go to the Prayers and Squares ministry. It is a very simple block from the Electric Quilt libraries called "Flying X" made from 3 1/2 inch strips. The blocks go together very quickly and let the fabrics shine. They are from a collection called “Backyard”. I very rarely ever buy fabrics that are all from one collection. But this one really called to me and I couldn’t resist.

I will link up to Mid Week Makers, finish my second cup of coffee and then get back to more sewing. We got our first snowfall of the season overnight, at least a couple of inches, so it is a good day to stay indoors and play with fabrics and needles and thread.

Sunday 29 October 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

 I have two knitting projects currently on the go. One requires thought, the other doesn’t. Hang on and I’ll explain. Our last vehicle, the one the tree fell on and totalled, had a heated steering wheel. I had never had one of those before... what a wonderful invention that was for someone with fibromyalgia and Reynauds Syndrome. My hands get cold and when they get cold, the hurt more than usual. Our new car does not have that feature, so I am having to get creative in ways to keep my hands warm while driving. The obvious answer is a pair of gloves, but that doesn’t work. My fingers need to be all together to keep each other comfy and warm. So the next obvious answer is a pair of mittens. But I find it difficult to drive using mittens. So, I am trying what are called “trigger mittens”. The thumb and first finger will be separate from the rest. They are the thought requiring knitting, due to needing to work with two different colours of yarn which give a double thick mitten. And then there are the socks which are the very little thought required knitting. Except for the actual number of stitches required for turning the heel, I have the pattern memorized and can mostly knit these without even having to look at what I am doing. 

I’ll link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching and then perhaps will pick up the mittens again.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

What we are working on

 I remembered last week at our Prayers and Squares group to stop shortly after 4 pm and take some pictures. It’s a good thing I remembered because, even though I set my phone to go off at about 4:10, I forgot to push the save button, so it didn’t go off. We are working on 2 different quilt as you go projects at the church along with the sampler I am working on at home.

On one of our shopping trips to a little quilt shop in Minden called Remember Me Quilts and More we found a beautiful border print showing forests and animals similar to what happens here in Muskoka. We have paired the border prints with some friendship stars and some wonderful bright blue fabric.

 Here’s a close up.  It’s almost finished. 

We are also working on a scrappy quilt using 2 1/2 inch strips and squares. It still has quit a way to go yet before it is finished. 

The sampler quilt I am doing at home is making good progress. All the blocks are done and quilted. All the sashing units are finished and I’ve started putting it all together. A few more days should see it finished and ready for hand stitching and binding.

I’m linking up to Mid week makers.

Wednesday 18 October 2023

What we are working on

 It’s been a while since I did a “working on” post. Our Prayers and Squares group has been meeting and working on stuff all summer. Mostly it was on just one quilt.... an Economy Block wedding quilt. It is finally finished and I think it has been delivered to the newly weds. I am having trouble consistently getting pictures of what we are working on. We have so much fun every Thursday afternoon that time flies very quickly and before we know it the time to pack up comes around, not leaving time to lay things out for pictures. Maybe I should set my alarm for 4 pm on Thursday to remind me to get pictures.... good idea. I’ll try it this week.  However, with the cold weather coming around creating more time to spend indoors, I have been working on quilt blocks at home again. I had thought I wouldn’t be able to do that because I had taken all my quilting fabrics over to the church where our Prayers and Squares group meets. Imagine my delight when I remembered a tote of fabric that I had stored under the bed and then discovered another smaller tote tucked away on a shelf. Between those two fabric sources was enough to do a sampler. Perhaps even more than one.  I love doing samplers. Making one block at a time, using a colour theme and doing more challenging blocks that take some time and thought. I have 11 out of 12 blocks done. Hopefully today will see the 12th block done and then I will start on making the pieced sashing and cornerstones. 

I will link up to Mid Week Makers.

Sunday 15 October 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

 I haven’t got anything to show for slow stitching except the skein of yarn that I am going to use to start a new pair of socks. It’s that time of year, when the toes get cold and need new socks to keep them toasty warm. It’s also the time of year to get out the lap quilts to snuggle under while knitting said socks.  By this time next week I hope to have one of the socks from this yarn well under way. 

I have been making quilt blocks for a sampler, but that post will have to wait for another day.

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

Saturday 30 September 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

 It has been another glorious week outside, weather wise, so I have taken advantage of it while I can and have done some more stitching while enjoying the outdoors. According to the long range forecast, it is going to get much chillier by this time next week, so I want to enjoy it fully while it lasts. I’m continuing to work on my hymn cross stitch piece. A few more hours should finish it. 

I think after this is done I will go back to my Quilting Bee piece. 

I’ll link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching in the morning.

Saturday 23 September 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

 We’ve been away for the week, just the 2 of us, using a family member’s trailer at a seasonal campground. It has been a highly unusual week away for us. The usual pattern for years has been, the Shepherd’s are camping therefore it is raining. That rule held true for many years. And although it started that way last Sunday, the rest of the week has been absolutely gorgeous. So there has been lots of time spent outside reading and stitching. And that means I’ve made quite good progress on my hymn piece. If we had another couple of days here I could finish it. But we head home tomorrow. It’s been a lovely break away but I’m ready to head home. I’ll link up with Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching in the morning.

Saturday 9 September 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

 That was such a fast week. It seems like just hours ago that I wrote last weeks’ post. How can it have been a week already? We had a little bit of excitement happen here on Wednesday. A rather bad storm with lots of wind blew through between 5:30 or 6:00 pm. It brought a tree down, right on top of the back end of our car, It smashed in the back of the roof and the back side window. No persons were harmed, and it is only a thing, albeit an expensive thing, and the insurance will pay for it. But it is excitement that we could have done without. 

I have gotten in more stitching time and could perhaps be done with the words this coming week. 

I won’t bother with a photo from last week since I can say that this weeks accomplishment is the words in aqua under the black lettering. I will link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching in the morning.

Saturday 2 September 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

 I’m getting lots of cross stitching time in this week. If I keep going at this rate I might actually finish this hymn piece soon. And that will create a need to make a decision... do I go back to my quilters cross stitch sampler or do I start something new. But I’ve got lots of time before I need to decide. Last week I was here: This week I’ve finished the big letters and the flowers beside the big letters and can get a start on the rest of the lettering. Not bad, not bad at all. Of course, none of these plans to finish the stitching are taking into account all of the tomatoes that are in the freezer and still growing in the garden that need processing..... sigh....

I’ll link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching in the morning.

Friday 1 September 2023

What we’re working on

 Our prayers and squares group are working on an Economy Block quilt for a wedding gift. We are doing it as a quilt as you go, assembling the blocks into rows and then quilting the row before sewing the rows together. It is turning out to be quite striking. I love the secondary design of the stars that is starting to show up now that we have a few more rows laid out. We were able to get all 11 rows of blocks sewn together yesterday. So now we are working on finishing quilting the rows and then sewing them together and getting the seams on the back covered with the cover strips. A few more weeks should see this one finished.

Monday 28 August 2023

Gardening experimenting

 Way back in the late winter and early spring I was watching a bunch of how-to gardening videos on you-tube. What a rabbit hole that is!! Anyhow, some of them were about planting potatoes in pots rather than garden beds. We have a Kawartha dairy place that does a huge business selling ice cream and they give their empty 3 gallon tubs away for free, so I thought, why not try it. Today is harvesting day. The plant tops are yellow and dying back, which according to all those videos I watched, means that the potatoes are ready. The buckets have been sitting on the upstairs deck all summer where they got lots of sun and lots of rain. Back in the spring I bought a bag of seed potatoes. I think it may have been a 1 kg bag. Anyhow, after all the pots were emptied, this is our results. I weighed them and it came out to 10 pounds. I’d previously emptied a few more buckets which gave us enough for a meal. So our total yield was perhaps 12-15 pounds. Not that great for all the work that went into it. Each bucket was planted with a seed potato with 2 or 3 eyes on it, as recommended in the videos. Out of each bucket we averaged 2-3 good sized potatoes. So we maybe tripled what we planted. It was a fun experiment and fun to watch the plants grow. We didn’t have enough space in the raised beds to do potatoes, so the buckets were the only option. There is talk of building a few more raised beds next spring, so maybe next year we can try them in a garden bed and see if the yield is better. On the very up side, they do taste way better than store bought.

Saturday 26 August 2023

Slow Sunday Stitching

 I’ve gotten a little bit more done on my hymn cross stitch piece. I think I would actually have done more on it today, except that the light faded and my temporary seating place while our renovations continue doesn’t have a good lamp. And I’m too lazy to get my lamp and set it up. So daylight stitching it is.

Our local grocery store had a great deal on Roma tomatoes, 25 pounds for $8.99. We picked up 50 pounds. So far all I’ve done with them is wash them, cut the stem ends off and put them into bags into the freezer. I’ll process them into pasta sauce and salsa once we have a functioning kitchen again. In the meantime, they will be fine in the freezer. The tomato plants in our raised beds are just starting to show red on some of the tomatoes, which will get added to the freezer stash. The pasta sauce recipe I used last year was really good and has the added bonus of using 25 pounds of tomatoes at a crack. This is it here.

There isn’t anything else exciting happening here. I’ll sign off and link up to Kathy’s Slow Sunday Stitching in the morning.