Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sunday Stash Report 2016, Week 5

I've been doing more handwork this month, so no more finishes for January but I'm having fun working on projects.

I started Katja Marek's Millifiore quilt-along using her book "The New Hexagon". 





I made the first hexagon for Rosette #6, and Millie is already proving to have a mind of her own!

It appears that the orange and limey-yellow want to stand out, plus I needed some different fabric to fussy-cut but of course, I have nothing suitable in my hundreds of yards of stash (and I know it's hundreds based on my previous stash reports)!

So off to Hamels I went! These are so not true to colour, but when it's gloomy and rainy, it's hard to get good photos.


While I was there, I picked up the first 3 blocks of the new Canadian Mystery Quilt.  Next year is Canada's 150th anniversary
Added: 1 metres

Added Year to Date: 5.1 metres 
Used/Given away: 5 metres
Used/Given away Year to Date: 5 metres
Added in 2016: 0.1

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday Stash Report 2016, Week 3


Doing weekly reports on how my stash moves definitely keeps me motivated! Last week, I powered through to finish this quilt top, that was promised two (yikes!) years ago! I still have to buy some border fabric, but I'll count that separately.


And a quilt top is not complete until it has been inspected - Daisy did her job thoroughly, and then nicely posed! I've done other posts about this quilt - just search for Super Mario or click on the label below.


I've already made the matching pillowcase, which is already in use.


I had experimented with using strips of fabric, instead of all those small squares, but it didn't work out as well as I would have liked, so the quilt top is made up of 1,956 individual 2" squares! 

I'm considering this for the border fabric, bound with red and flannel or minky on the back:



Of course, in order to finish the top, I had to make a small purchase of orange for the Fire Flower and another look at the Christmas clearance rack at Hamel's:


I broke down and bought this print from the Holly's Tree Farm line with no plan. Don't you just love those vintage cars!


Added: 0.8 metres

Added Year to Date: 4.1 metres 
 
Used/Given away: 5 metres
 
Used/Given away Year to Date: 5 metres
 
Used/Given away for 2016: 0.9

I hope to stay in the clear all year, so that means I really have to buckle down and get those UFOs done, because I don't want to give up the fabric shopping!

Linking up with all the other Stashers at Judy's Patchwork Times - come check us out!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Slow Stitching

Have you ever heard of the term "Slow Stitching"? I'm not where it originated but Kathy in Ontario has been hosting a Linky Party called Slow Sunday Stitching since 2012 celebrated the art of handwork. I've always got a bit of embroidery on the go, sometimes cross-stitch and now some "big-stitch" hand quilting, so I'm finally going to join along.



I tend not to slow stitch on Sundays, though, as that is usually a day I can spend at the machine. Instead I stitch in the evenings when I'm watching TV, so I'll use the report to show what I worked on in the previous week.  I get more done when I "have to report", but I know the only person I'm being accountable to is me!

Last night, I  finished what stitching I could get done before assembling my new tote bag:


This is my own design, made with Moda's Honeycomb pre-cuts.  I hope what I vision works out!

Linking up to Kathy's Slow Sunday Stitching!  Come join the fun!

First Sunday Stash Report of 2016

As part of my "Simplify" plan, I really debated starting the stash report for 2016, since I didn't do it very often last year, and quit altogether by about September. Then I realized it made me more accountable (to myself only!) and got me in the sewing room more often. Since I want to clear out my UFOs this year, reporting those finishes will really motivate me to get those done.

Then I promptly fell off the wagon! I needed some solids to finish a block on the Super Mario quilt for my grand-nephew that was promised to him over a year ago.  His is first up on the to-do list and I want to get it done by the end of January.


Added: 3.3 metres

Added Year to Date: 3.3 metres 
 
Used/Given away: 0 metres
 
Used/Given away Year to Date: 0 metres
 
Added for 2016: 3.3 

Hamel's had a huge sale, 50% off Christmas fabrics and 25% of all regular fabrics on the bolt (ends tonight at midnight PST), and although most of the Bella solids that I was looking for were sold out, I did pick up some off-white. I also got some Holly's Tree Farm word polka-dot for 50% off, and a little Good Morning at 25% off. All but the aqua will be used to finish those never-ending UFOs (and maybe a little in my 365 Challenge Blocks).


I then got my Leader & Ender baskets set up:


From left to right: 1 1/2" finished 9-patches (made with 1" strips); Super Mario 2" blocks, and Step Two of Bonnie Hunter's 2014 Mystery Quilt, Grand Illusion. 


Are you planning on joining us this year?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

A new year, a new challenge!

It's a new year, so it was time to find a new challenge.  I wanted one that didn't require me to purchase much fabric, rather I wanted to use what I had on hand. I also wanted one that would get me in the sewing room, but not take up too much time, so that I would be inclined to stay in there and work on my massive UFO pile.


I found my challenge, thanks to a fellow quilter! The 365 Challenge Quilt Blocks features mostly 3" finished blocks, but also has some 6" blocks, 12" corner blocks and a 15" medallion centre.  Every day you make a block and at the end of the year, you have a 90"x90" sampler quilt. And as a bonus, it's free (although they are asking for a small donation to offset the server costs - it's easy to do through Paypal).


I love little blocks and most of these only took a few minutes, but that bonus block with its 28 pieces in a 3" block did take about a 1/2 hour. I did switch the colour scheme of the block for Day 3, but the Red Cross just had to be in red & white!


Didn't too bad with matching the seams though!  I can't promise that will always happen, but I take this one!

I used the Easy Angle template to cut my matched pairs of half-square triangles. I swear by this template to create exact-sized HST that only require the dog ears to be trimmed.


Look at those babies - they are 1 1/4" square, and finish at 3/4" inside the block!


These tiny pieces need to be pressed with the seams open, which I don't normally do. I did end up with a few "twisted sisters", but overall the open seams really do help with accuracy on the front!

I'm using an old line of fabric - I had a layer cake of Mama Said Sew by Sweetwater from Moda, and with a few solids, I can make quite a few blocks.  The yardage requirements are quite high for this quilt, but Moda is launching Volume II of the same line in the spring, so if I am keeping up, I can buy similar fabric then.

It's not too late to join the challenge. You can sign up on  Facebook or on the website http://www.365challenge.com.au/. Hope you join me!



Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Word of the Year






(image credit: modernlaceblog.com)



Off and one for the last several years, I have chosen one word to use as my focus for the year (unlike news magazines and sites that chose a word to represent the past year).

I have used words such as Joy, Focus, Nurture and Change.  I didn't have a word last year, and thinking back now, I've realized how much I used the "word" in the past to centre myself when I got scattered throughout the year.

The last couple of years have been a challenge, with a threatened job loss after just getting back to work after a 6-month layoff, battling depression and anxiety and downsizing my home (but that was a good stress!).

This year, I was originally considering the word "Less" as I am feeling cramped and disorganized in my new reduced space, but when I was looking for images to reflect it, I think "Simplify" better describes what I am trying to achieve this year.  It isn't just having less stuff around, it's simplifying everything I do and think in order to bring the things that bring me Joy in Focus so that I can Nuture my soul. (more Words of the Year).  I think this definition says it all:


simplify

/ˈsɪmplɪˌfaɪ/


verb (transitive-fies, -fying, -fied
1.
to make less complicated, clearer, or easier

(definition from dictionary.com)


What is your Word of the Year?

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: A year in review

I have come to the conclusion if I don't blog, I don't sew.  Having the blog motivates me to take pictures to post, and therefore I have to sew so I have pictures! Since I didn't blog much this year, I didn't accomplish much.  However, I did finish the following:



2 Shark Pencil Cases (yes, they got finished in time for Christmas)



A pillow for my daughter and son-in-law's new camper



Nine pillowcases for the grands (mine, my sister's and now my brother's grandchildren)


One baby quilt made with vintage fabrics and lace from my mother's stash, for the newest of her great-grandchildren - she would have been thrilled to have nine beautiful great-grandbabies!




A multi-slot wallet with a magnetic snap. 





Some fun kidlet sewing: shorts for Alex, big sister-little sister outfits and a summer dress for Mya! That's all the pictures I could find of finished projects. I did make some 1-hour baskets (both took me a longer than 1 hour) - one because I made a 2" patchwork for the outer side, and the other because I tried a new stiffer bag lining, which I really liked and will post about later. I'm sure there are others that I gifted that I have totally forgotten about.

I did add some more projects to the UFO pile:

 

A Nested Churn Dash lap quilt (pattern can be purchased here) - still to be quilted




I got four blocks down of a Harry Potter - Project of Doom quilt. I got stuck because I was contemplating adding titles to the books, and I was undecided how I was going to do it. Now I've decided I don't like the background I'm using, so I'm going make a pillow out of this one and rethink my plan. I still want to make a full quilt someday.

And lots of small scrappy blocks which I will share at a later date.

I did accomplish other things this year. I moved my sewing room upstairs and started making it my new "Happy" place.



And I'm adding more activity to my life.  This year I even managed to climb a mountain...


to visit this beautiful lake for a picnic with my very agile family!


Lindeman Lake, near Chilliwack, BC

I hope to add more of these beautiful hikes to my life this year!

Check back tomorrow for my Word of the Year - 5 years running!