Saturday, December 10, 2016

Scrappy Saturday Spools Quilt Top!

My RSC goal for this month was to finish sewing together my scrappy spools quilt top.
Drum roll please....mission accomplished!

There are 612 scrappy spool blocks in this quilt!
I don't mind saying that was a lot of hard work to get this quilt top together and I appreciate those of you who have put up with my complaining over the past few weeks on the RSC link up posts. Thank you for all the encouraging comments and emails! 
There were so many seams to match from blocks made over the last 3 1/2 years. I started making spool blocks in July 2013 (read about it here).
I started working on the layout in April 2015, but it was hard work and required concentration I didn't have at that time. I took it to quilt camp in February this year and with the encouragement and organizational assistance of my fellow quilters, I got the top organized, photos taken, and some momentum going to make more progress on this thing.
When I commit to doing something, I do it! And in spite of all the distractions, other projects, and preparations for Christmas, I met my goal and finished this top. Can you tell I am excited?!? 
Now I am thinking about how to quilt it. I have a few ideas, but will put off making that decision until the New Year.
To see more RSC finishes, hop over to the link up.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Circa Progress

The machine quilting of Circa 2016 is going really fast.
Here you can see that I was stitching-in-the-ditch on one of the corners. I am sewing in all the seams around the blocks and am very happy with how flat the quilt is laying. There are no ruffles appearing in front of the walking foot as I go along. Ruffling on the quilt top (and also pleating on the backing) is an indication that the pin basting wasn't done properly, and I used to have that happen quite regularly years ago. But now I am very careful when pin basting to make sure all the layers are taut and flat, and well pinned to prevent any shifting.

This photo shows that I have switched to the free motion foot and am already quilting the HST border. It's almost ready for the binding! I hope to have it ready to finish hand stitching the binding on Slow Stitching Sunday.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Aurifil Day!

It's Aurifil day today! 
Because guess what came in the mail for me? 
It came all the way from Milano, which is in Italy y'all!
And it's for ME! 
From Mr. Aurifil
I was making strange high pitched squealing noises opening this package... good thing no one was home to witness that embarrassing spectacle! Just look at all these gorgeous threads in the Pat Sloan collection! OMG! Only a fellow quilter would understand my excitement!

I received these threads just for participating in the monthly BOM this year and posting my photo on Pat's link up. I beside myself with this very generous gift and have to thank Pat Sloan our most wonderful host of Aurifil's BOM. She had to track down my thread which got lost somewhere, but she found it and here it is... safely under my care and in my house! Can you believe it? It's like Christmas came early, only Santa didn't get the memo that I'm really on the naughty list and brought me all this amazing thread by mistake. Don't tell him!

I had to get to work making up Block #11 for my Aurifil block collection. The pieces have been cut and ready for a while and just sat there on the cutting table waiting patiently for attention. It didn't really interest me as much as the other blocks, so I had to focus to get it done but I really like how it turned out! The pattern is called Geese Tracks and is by Kim Niedzwiecki.

Here are all my blocks on the design wall. The photo is a little dark, but you get the idea... it's really RED! I'm sure I will sash the whole thing and put lots of neutral space in to calm it down a bit more.
You can access all of the block patterns at the Aurifil pattern page.

And FYI Aurifil has organized a design team and has already planned a 2017 project. It will be a colourwheel BOM and you can read more about it here. I'm sure it will be hard for me to resist again next year!

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

New Clarissa Block

Clarissa block #5

Progress is slowly being made on my "Clarissa was a Superstar" quilt. This is block #5 that was just finished this week. I am sewing these pieces as a leader/ender project between sewing other blocks, so I never really know when I will have enough hourglass units ready to sew into another block. 

Here are all the blocks together on the design wall.

It looks just as wonderful as it did in my mind's eye! I like how the dark/light rounds are working out. But I just noticed that the centre pinwheels are spinning in different directions. I had to go and look at the inspiration quilt by Clarissa White Alford and see that her quilt has all the pinwheels spinning in different directions too... phew! I really didn't want to unpick those centre blocks! I also just noticed that she had some centre blocks where the pinwheel appears to be light surrounded by a darker background, so I'll try to do that in the 6th block.
Hop over to the link up at Sew Fresh Quilts for lots of quilty inspiration.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

New Project - 150 Canadian Women

Next year it is Canada's 150th birthday, so there are lots of special celebrations planned. Of course quilters are celebrating by starting new quilting projects because that's just what we do! Sandra brought to my attention a new online quilt project called 150 Canadian Women
Since my Votes For Women quilt is really making good progress and will hopefully be finished soon, I decided that another quilt celebrating the historical accomplishments of women is a MUST DO!
Each pattern has 3 pages: one describing the accomplishments of a specific Canadian Woman, the second page is the block pattern, and the third page is to record your thoughts about some suggested themes relating to that woman's accomplishments. This might be a fun project for a mother-daughter, or a grandma-grandchild to work on over the year. So far I am enjoying the historical information but won't be printing out the 3rd page of each block.

Here is block #4 and #5. I missed the first three women posted, so my quilt will only have 147 blocks/women. One drawback is that you have to print out the patterns right away as they are only available for a short period of time. 

Monday, December 05, 2016

Design Wall Monday

It's week two of the Quiltville mystery and I am caught up with my blocks. I decided to sew half of the required blocks so that I can keep up with the mystery at this busy time of year. If at the end of the mystery I find out that I want to make the full size quilt, I can always make more blocks.

I love my TriRecs rulers and have had so much use out of them over the years. I use them to make my Alamo Star blocks in a teeny tiny 1.25" size, and even at that tiny size, the blocks are always accurate. 
Hop over to Quiltville to see what the mystery quilters have accomplished this week. And you can see more design wall postings over at Patchwork Times.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Slow Sunday Stitching

Bow Tie Quilt

Welcome to Slow Sunday Stitching where we celebrate the art of hand stitched creations!
Did you know that I just finished hand quilting my bow tie quilt? It was such a great take-along project over the last few months, and I am so pleased with the finish!
So what will I work on now? I guess the time has come to get out my winter hand quilting project. It's a big quilt, and it's heavy and warm, so it's perfect to work on at this time of year. 
Do you remember seeing this quilt last winter? It has been in progress since 1996 and therefore celebrated it's 20th birthday this year. It has the ceremonious distinction of being my oldest UFO! And I still really like it and enjoy quilting the blocks. I can't help but wonder if this will be it's last year as a UFO?

I made this weird little chart to help me keep track of the quilting progress. It looks like the block quilting is approaching the half way done mark. I'm starting to think about how I want to quilt the edge blocks and the border. I do really like just quilting straight lines on a border, but is that too old fashioned now?

What are you hand stitching? Are you working any Christmas gifts? I should be, but I'm just not motivated yet!
Link up your blog post below and share with us what you are hand stitching today.


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