Friday, January 31, 2020

January Round-Up and a Start

January was a productive month for me. I think the main reason was because to celebrate 10 years of blogging I decided to blog every day for the month - I needed things to write about! Some days it was just about tiling bathrooms, but at least those are finished now too.

I finished four projects in January - a woven table runner (with handspun yarn as part of the weft), a quilted wallhanging, a quilted table runner, and a quilt for a single bed.
I completed four projects as part of OPAM (Thanks Kris!), and two of the projects were part of my WOOFA Challenge (thanks Cheryll!). I realized I am motivated by challenges!

Now for the start-

I finished sewing the Pineapple Quilt blocks together, and pinned it ready for machine quilting.

I auditioned some thread, and decided on the red. Both are Essential Pro thread that I had such good luck with on the last quilt.

I started quilting an overall meander.

All the best!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Pineapple Quilt Top

The WOOFA Challenge is amazing! I am working on my third of seven projects I hope to finish this year (quilts that have been languishing for years!). It helps that it is winter on the Canadian prairies, I don't work outside my home, we will be renovating the basement later in the year, so I won't have  a sewing space for a while, and I am determined to finish these quilts.

Here are my Pineapple Quilt blocks laid out - once again with so many different fabrics it is hard that the same ones aren't side by side. I rotated a few blocks and did my best, but I am sure when it is all finished I will spot two of the same fabrics together.

First four rows sewn together. I really don't know why I didn't finish this before!

All the best!♥︎

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Finished Flowering Snowball Quilt

I finished the Flowering Snowball quilt.

It is 72"x84", 12" blocks set 6x7. This is a quilt that I cut out with a GO! die, about 5 years ago. 
I think I kept putting off finishing it because I didn't know how to quilt it. It turned out much better than I hoped. I was thinking of selling the die, but now I see more potential.

I quilted open heart feathers in the cream sections and citrus peel, and an echo in the print sections.
The batting is Hobbs Tuscany Cotton/Wool blend (80/20). It was lovely to quilt, light weight and not at all stiff.

It was free motion quilted on my domestic sewing machine using Essential Pro from Connecting Threads, a 70 weight polyester thread, for the top and bottom. I haven't used this thread much, but my machine seems to love this it.

I have a Husqvarna Sapphire 870 Quilt sewing machine that is about 10 years old. It has always had an issue with the bobbin case, mainly when free motion quilting. The original machine I bought was replaced within the first week because it was even worse.

I think it has something to do with the top thread passing around the top of the bobbin case, sometimes it seems to move the bobbin case out of alignment. It seems to be fussy about what thread I use too.

I end up having to take the bobbin case out and putting it all back together. No big deal, but the last quilt I free motion quilted (my Mom's quilt), I took apart the bobbin case about 25 times. Normally I take it apart a few times when quilting a project. This time I didn't have to take it apart once! It was a joy to quilt.

This knitting isn't mine, but I did the cast-on, and the kitchener graft to finish it.

It is the Obsessio Cowl by Laura Nelkin, knit by my Mom. 

I cast-on another one (a provisional cast-on, on a spare interchangeable cable) for my Mom to knit. This cowl will be for me. I have a white one I made years ago, and before we had a puppy I wore it all the time (now my clothes have to be sturdy, and puppy proof). I bought the two skeins of yarn - a silk and mohair blend, in Japan, to make a lacy brioche cowl, but when my Mom accidentally shrunk her original cowl, this made more sense. It is such a light weight, warm cowl.

Photos from around -

Woodpecker on the peanut feeder.
Molly running like the wind on her track.
Bonding? Well at least Maggie isn't running away.

All the best!♥︎

Tuesday, January 28, 2020


I am pleased the the Flowering Snowball quilt is all quilted.

Just the binding left.

Photos from around -

 Another frosty day.
 Molly has learned to sit while a vehicle goes by on the highway behind our home.
A sliver of the moon at sunset.

All the best!♥︎

Monday, January 27, 2020

Still Making Progress

I finished quilting another row of blocks today -seven. Fourteen to go.

We had to go into the city today, and on the way home saw a small herd of deer.

Far off, in a field, but still exciting to see.

All the best!♥︎

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Seems to Be Working

When I sat down at the sewing machine to quilt this morning I had an idea of how I wanted to start quilting the scrappy print sections of the Flowering Snowball quilt. I wanted something simple and started with an Orange Peel design (curved corner to corner lines around the shapes, about 1/4" from the edge to mimic hand quilting). Then I just echoed that design, about 1/2 away from the first line.

I am happy with how it is turning out.

Half of the squares are done.

Photos from around -

 Foggy this morning.
Molly struggling with another big stick.

All the best!♥︎

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Machine Quilting

I quilted one of my favourite designs - open heart feathers, on the Flowering Snowball quilt.

I finished all of the cream sections.

Now I have to decide what to quilt in the scrappy sections. I think I will keep it pretty simple.
I think not knowing what to quilt on this quilt is what kept me from finishing this five years ago (click here to see when I cut it out along with three other projects - two of the quilts have been well loved for a while, and the start of a project I recently finished).

I am almost ready to start the ribbing on the sweater.

All the best!♥︎

Friday, January 24, 2020


I finally got around to pinning the quilt I was hoping to start quilting last week.

It is a Flowering Snowball quilt I cut using a GO! die, and started about 5 years ago. 

Photos from around- 

 Molly finally managed to get her big stick home.
 She had a hard time maneuvering through her track, but she made it.
 The ice on the rink is so thick.
Luckily there is one tree by the rink, so we can stash our boots away from a puppy who likes to run away with them.
 A couple of coyotes caught on the trail cam last night.

All the best!♥︎

Thursday, January 23, 2020

More Tiling

Today was another tiling day. This time in our other bathroom. It is a tiny room at the back door (you can tell it is a farm house - it is so practical at the back door).

I tiled the backsplash around the sink,

and a row of tiles around the shower stall, to hide the edge of the shower. My men were a bit worried about how this would work, none of the walls are straight - the tiles did a good job of hiding the problems. Just the grouting left, but that can wait until next week.

Photos from around -

 Molly was determined to carry the biggest stick this morning.
Bark falling off a dead tree.

All the best!♥︎

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Holey Watermelon Wallhanging

I finished up the bright wall hanging today.

It is 21" x 25". The pattern is from a tutorial from Mary & Patch (she has some great patterns and tutorials on her blog, and an amazing portfolio of quilts).

Here is what I did-

I pieced the two layers with different size strips ranging in cut sizes from 1+1/4" to 2+1/2". Since I wanted the wallhanging to be a rectangle, the strips for each layer are different. For the bottom layer I pressed the seams all in one direction and for the top layer I pressed the seams open. I used mainly remnants of fat quarters and scraps, so lots of the strips are pieced (all those seams are pressed open).

For the bottom layer I machine quilted in the ditch with the walking foot. That is why I pressed the seams in one direction for this layer - I don't like stitching in the ditch over an open seam. I used matching coloured Aurifil thread for the quilting.

 For the batting I used one layer of cotton (sturdy and flat) and a half layer of wool batting (puffy).

For the top layer I tried out different sized squares of paper, and decided on 3" squares.

I cut my pieces of fabric to 4", and arranged them before starting to sew. After sewing the holes I realized I would have preferred the holes closer together.

I used 3 strands of embroidery floss to stitch a long running stitch through all the layers.

This was the hardest part of the whole thing - the tutorial recommends just having the binding holding the two layers together, but I wanted the top layer secured.

For the binding I used leftover pieces of strips, cut to 1+3/4" (single layer binding), joined with a straight seam (usually I piece binding at a 45º angle).
Painted Thread Sally (Crafts, Cavies and Cooking), and my son pointed out that it is the colour of a watermelon - Holey Watermelon seems an appropriate name.

It was a really fun project to make, and I see lots of potential for other projects (different shaped holes,  different sized holes, more embroidery, two dramatically different layers....)

Photos from around -

 The day started foggy, so there was some amazing hoarfrost.
I put this picture on my photo blog, but it is so beautiful I had to add it here.
Another amazing sunrise.
Can you tell puppy walking happens at sunrise and sunset.
Some more tracks,
and tunnels were added to Molly's race track.
It is hard to photograph a running puppy.
 Here she is coming out of a tunnel. I am amazed how much she loves running in and out, and around.
Don't worry about the tunnel collapsing, the snow is hard packed, like cement. Plus, she is never outside alone.

 All the best!♥︎
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