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Sunday, December 27, 2015

More Sunday sewing!

Another productive day thought not quite as much sewing got done.  But I did go through my bin of 3" strips and pulled out some brown and beige fabrics that will work with my 9 patches.
And then I went through my Canadiana bin and found some great strips for my next project... a rail fence.

I want to play with some easy quilting patterns so that I can hopefully hold a few free sessions in the spring for Quilts of Valour and encourage quilters to come with either 2.5" strips or fat quarters and I will demonstrate a couple of quick and easy blocks that can turn scrappy fabrics into easy blocks and simple quilts perfect for donating to soldiers who have been injured while on duty in service to Canada.

My first project is a batik quilt that I got the borders added to.  It is a Villa Rosa pattern called Cool Water and is made from 12 fat quarters. It will go home for quilting.

And I made more brown/beige strips sets so that I could stitch up a few more 9 patches for my patch a day challenge.  I think these will get put aside for a few days while I work on the other projects that I have started.  Fourteen of them means I have two weeks worth made.  I really need to spend time stitching the strip sets so I have a variety of pieces to choose from to keep the blocks scrappy looking.

Then I wanted to try this simple pattern that uses 2.5" strips, the width of fabric.  It is easy and perfect for scrap fabrics that you have cut into strips or leftover strips.  I am using up some strips of Canadian themed fabric and will mix and match in some red and cream strips to get the quilt large enough.  My stash of Canadian themed fabric is limited here but I found a shoebox of fabrics that I will use up.  Two contrasting strips stitched together lengthwise will make one 12.5" block. 

And back to my Sunday in the Park quilt.  A few more blocks are stitched together.  It is slow because I have found that if press my seam allowances the correct way, they will next nicely and it takes time to figure out which direction to press for each block. Seven of the twenty blocks are on the design wall.  If I can make three a day, should have the blocks ready by New Year's eve!

Of course, am still working on my flying geese as well as my Christmas batik quilt.  But all these projects are in their own bins and all stacked by my sewing machine ready for me to sit and stitch.  I need to take time out to fill some bobbins, clean the dust from the bobbin area and change my needle and oil the moving parts so that I can put the pedal to the metal when I get free time this week.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

My quilting mojo might be back!

Christmas Day 2015.  Cool but sunny and we started off our morning with a game of tennis with friends.

When I got home, I spent some time in the kitchen and got the ham into the crockpot and peeled potatoes and made a large dish of scalloped potatoes.  Once my kitchen duties were done for Christmas dinner, I had time to head into my sewing room.  On Thursday, I managed to spend 4 hours in there!

First, I worked on my batik quilt and finished taking the blocks off the design wall and getting them joined.  The border fabric is cut and ready to be added to the quilt and this will be first top finished this fall!  Well, guess I should say winter.

And I played around with hexagons and made a mug rug/trivet or wine bottle pad... not too sure, could be used for a variety of purposes.  Fun to make and will get some finished for our craft fair in the fall... only 11 months away, 10 months to get some stitched and finished.

 I also played with a block design called Summer in the Park.  Last fall, I was inspired by a project at the modern guild that I attend and then this week, at the quilting group here, someone once again showed the same project.  So, I dug through my strip bin and pulled out lots of browns.  Funny though, took all those strips out and the bin isn't any less full!

And you can see the progress I am making with the flying geese.  I have a stack sitting by the sewing machine and making them as leaders and enders as I work on my other projects.  I have four projects on the go!
On a blog that I read, there was a challenge to make a 9 patch a day.  That would be 365 by the end of 2016!  I had the brilliant idea to continue to work with the browns since I had a bunch of strips leftover from the Summer in the park blocks (which are all made, just need to be pieced together into four patches... then into the quilt top) and then I also thought, rather than cut 2.5" squares, why not strip piece?

Of course, the problem is that with strip piecing, you don't get the variety for scrappy 9 patches.  My original plan was to make two strip pieces per day and one block per day but that idea won't work too well until I get a few strip pieced units stitched and cut into 2.5" slices.  So now, I will concentrate on making strip pieced units and catch up and make 7 of my 9patch units at the end of the week.  I did spend an hour searching for more strips of neutral colours and more brown fabrics and have a nice stack in a bin ready to use.  These are the 9 patches that I made today but some of them have fabric repeats in them.  By the time I get lots made, they will be spaced farther apart and only you and I will know!

And, just for fun, I cut a batik Christmas quilt to work on for next year.  I have 11 months to get that finished!

Was a busy stitching day.  I am emptying bobbins and feel happy that my sewing mojo is back! 

Of course, my room is a mess, I have too many projects on the go but it feels good.  Hopefully, you all had a Merry Christmas.  We did here in Arizona although the cool, windy weather is helping to give me sewing room time instead of tennis court time!

Friday, December 18, 2015

And, 3 weeks later....

So three weeks has passed since I posted.  I was beginning to get really motivated about quilting and then I had a health setback... something to do with my kidneys, an infection? kidney stones?  Not too sure but took some antibiotics and slept a lot.  I lost a few weeks out of my life and am still a little tired but am getting a few things started and finished.

I managed to finish this runner just in time for Thanksgiving.  I didn't go to my last post to see if I had posted a picture so forgive me if you see this twice.

And I managed to get our Arizona home decorated for Christmas.  Simple but puts us in the Christmas spirit.

And I made two striped placemats for our Thanksgiving table, ready for 2016... nice to be early!  Though that really means I was too late for this year!

I also made two pillowcases for the bed I sleep in most nights.

And then I started a new project.  Quick flying geese from Missouri Star using some of the stack of fun polka dot fabrics that I had on hand. 

I just realized that I have had finished blocks up on my design wall for a month... whoa... that is so unlike me but am determined to get them stitched together in a flimsy which will wait to be layered, quilted and bound. 

Right now, I am busy adding labels to a couple of quilts that I am going to give to friends who are undergoing cancer treatment.  So sad when that is the reason for giving a warm gift of caring hugs.