Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Binding Again!

Now that I am finished with binding Old Tobacco Road to Delhi it is time to start working on the binding for Adam's Ugly Christmas Sweater quilt.

I chose a striped fabric that was used in the quilt top and borders for the binding and I think it is going to look just fine. I spent a couple hours last evening stitching away while watching tv and I got a whopping 77 inches done.

As we get closer to Christmas things are getting really hectic. My husband and I steam cleaned the carpet in the living room and dining room yesterday and that was two weeks later than we intended. :(  We are behind schedule!! Anyway, I planned to give it all a really good vacuuming this morning but I don't think it is totally dry yet. I usually just give what my MIL used to say was 'only where the Pope walks' vacuuming but that just won't do right now. It will have to wait until later this evening....grrr....I just want to get it done and put things back into place. We are also going to steam clean the family room carpet today and that should be it for the really heavy cleaning - I hope!

I am participating in the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge and so far so good. It really is quite a challenge to write a blog post every day - kudos to those that do it on a regular basis! If you are interested you can join in here and you can also check out the blogs of the other challenge participants.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Old Tobacco Road to Delhi

I finished stitching the binding on Sunday night and now it is on my bed and I couldn't be happier!

Old Tobacco Road was a free Bonnie Hunter mystery from 2008 and when I discovered it several years ago I knew that I wanted to make it. It brought back memories of when I was a child.

When I was a child we lived in Delhi, Ontario and at the time it was the heart of tobacco country.  In the last house we lived in we were on the edge of town and we actually lived beside a tobacco field. Delhi has grown since then and in 2011 it had a population of 4172. The tobacco field is now a park and there have been many new houses built in the area. Our old house is still there and I can't believe how tiny it is. My sisters, Cheryl and Christine, and I took a trip down memory lane a few years ago and visited Delhi to check it out. Over the past many years we had returned to the area several times to visit our grandparents and family friends but we had never taken the time to walk around the town and revisit. Anyway, while we were there we decided to have our lunch while sitting in the park beside our old house. We were looking at the house and talking about it and the current residents invited us in.  They were jammed packed in there with only a family of 4  - we were a family of 11! They couldn't believe that 11 of us lived in that teeny tiny house and neither could we. The kitchen was so tiny that there wasn't even enough room to put a table never mind with chairs. There was barely even enough room for us to stand in while we were visiting. It seemed unimaginable that my Mom was able to cook for eleven people everyday in that kitchen. My goodness where did she keep the pots and pans.  It didn't seem that small when we lived there! Anyway, enough about memory lane. :)
I pieced the backing using a wonderful print that I got at Fabricland for $3.00/m. Of course, I didn't have enough so I added a strip of the same red fabric that I used for the borders. I had enough fabric left over to make pillowcases and I couldn't resist.

This quilt is big enough to fit what I call my 'princess in the pea' bed but I had to turn it so the longer edge is on the sides. I am only 5' tall and the bed is so high I almost have to climb onto it to get into bed - just like a little kid! I think this quilt will stay on my bed for at least the winter and then I will change it out with something brighter in the Spring. In the meantime I will enjoy this beautiful quilt!
close up of the top - I made all of my 4 patches neutral/green
I like to keep track of the details of the quilts I make and this quilt finished at 81" x 102". I really thought I wanted to quilt it with gold thread but instead it wanted this greenish colour and I think it was the right choice.

The thread I used was Cansew # 6717 with dark brown magnaglide in the bobbin. The panto is called Flying Paisley by Jodi Beamish and I used 80/20 cotton/poly for the batting.

This quilt makes me happy and Molly and Peanut like it too!

Monday, December 11, 2017

On Ringo Lake Mystery - Clue 3

See all of those neutral strips in the background  - I cut a ton!
As soon as Bonnie Hunter posted this step I was downloading the instructions and printing them off. It was really fast and easy for me to cut the rectangles because I was cutting from one big hunk of fabric instead of from smaller pieces or strips of fabric. I cut wide strips and then subcut them to the smaller measurement and it was quick, quick, quick.

To make the required block pieces I have chosen to follow the Bonnie method.  I had previously cut a whole slew of neutral strips so they were all ready for me to cut the triangles for the corners of the rectangles using my easy angle ruler. Lucky for me I just happen to have a Simple Folded Corners ruler to use for cutting the corners off the rectangles prior to sewing. Now I just need to find some time to use it. :)

I have already used this ruler when I was making the sweater blocks for Adam's ugly Christmas sweater quilt and it worked out quite well for me.

My coral rectangles still require lots of attention before they are finished and ready to be used and I am looking forward to digging in. I hope to be able to show more progress a little later this week.

Funny thing, after I posted about having no willpower to resist this mystery I noticed this tissue box sitting beside my computer.

No wonder I couldn't resist - I was constantly getting this subliminal message every time I used my computer. :)

Today is mystery Monday link up over at Quiltville - pop on over and check out all of the mystery quilts in progress.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dish Cloths

For Christmas this year, I will be giving my Mom some knitted dishcloths. She can use them as washcloths instead if she chooses to do so but I think they do a great job on dishes. These are so quick to knit and even though I am not really much of a knitter I can manage them fairly easily. As you can see I already have two made. I want to make several more so my goal is to make one per day over the next week or so.

I am using a very simple and easy pattern and I think they look great when done. I am always amazed that you wrap a piece of string around a stick and use another stick to manipulate the string and have fabric. I am also amazed at the number of different knitting stitches that can be made. Whoever figured this out was brilliant!

I am linking up with Kathy's Quilts Slow Sunday Stitching.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Binding Time

I am getting so close to finishing the binding on my Old Tobacco Road to Delhi quilt. Last evening I plunked down on the couch and continued to work on it while watching tv. As I stitched away I couldn't help but giggle about the backing fabric that I used. I only paid $3.00 a meter for it at Fabricland a couple years ago and I just love it - especially for this quilt. :)

I used to always have trouble with my thread getting all tangled and knotted as I was hand sewing binding but since I started using Thread Heaven it seems less of an aggravation. Smooth stitching is so much more relaxing and much quicker too! There are so many tools and accessories that are now available to quilters that can make things so much easier to do.

There is slightly less than 100" of binding to go and I think it just needs one more marathon evening of binding time and then it will be finished and ready to go on my bed. I can't wait!

Friday, December 8, 2017

On Ringo Lake

I couldn't take it anymore! I caved in and started working on Bonnie Hunter's new mystery quilt. All along I have been pulling fabric possibilities just in case I had no willpower. ;)

A whole gaggle of one-winged geese has landed on my sewing table. ;) 
I started with the second clue yesterday and I got a good start on making the flying geese but before I could even get going on those I had to replenish my stock of neutral strips.

I have finished quite a few quilts recently and I mentioned yesterday that En Provence used up a lot of my purple bits but it also decimated my neutrals. I still have lots of strips in the bins but I needed much more variety to be able to participate in this mystery. So I pulled out the larger hunks and chunks as well as fat quarters and yardage of neutral fabrics from my stash and cut mainly 1.5", 2" and 2.5" strips. I don't normally use a lot of 3.5" strips so I cut much fewer of those. It took forever but I am ready!

The actual colour of this fabric is somewhere in-between this photo and the photo above!
I love the colour scheme Bonnie has chosen but I just couldn't reconcile the coral/salmon/melon/whatever. I just didn't have enough variety in my stash, so, I was thinking I would go with oranges and pinks together. For some reason I vetoed every fabric I pulled from my stash. So, after I read in her instructions that going with just one fabric of each colour family would be fine in the finished quilt I chose that option for the coral. Whew...that works so much better for me. :) The fabric that I chose has lots of streaky movement and multiple shades of what I would call coral so I think it solves my problem.

The third clue will be released this morning so I have a lot to get caught up with!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Fabric Scraps

En Provence
Lately I have been very fortunate to receive lots of them. :) Not that I don't already have tons of scraps but I honestly was running low on purples. I have made a few quilts that used up quite a bit of my purple stash. I still have some larger pieces of purple but the scrappy bits that give variety were pretty much used up especially once I finished my version of  Bonnie Hunter's En Provence. I love that quilt but I was getting quite hard pressed to find enough variety in my purple selections.

Through member volunteers, my Guild provides a 6" square of fabric to all members each month and they call it cotton candy - cute huh. Shhh....don't tell anyone but last month when I saw that there were purple squares in the basket I took two. ;)

Another member was standing near me when I picked up the squares and I mentioned that I really needed to expand my purple pickin's and she volunteered to give me some of her scraps. I happily accepted the offer but I made sure to let her know that I really meant scraps because I do have a ton of fabric in my stash - just not a lot of purple bits and pieces. I plan on living to be at least 100 and I don't think I will ever run out of fabric. :0

Well, Susan came over to my house and gave me all of this and they are not just small pieces. Thanks Susan, I particularly like the one on the right. :)

Not only did I receive scraps from Susan but my quilty sister Cheryl gave me a big bag of scraps and hunks and chunks of fabric last week as well. She has no intention of ever using up such small scrappy pieces so she saves them for me and every so often I get a bag of fabric gold.

Look, she even gave me all of these hexagons because a design idea that she had wasn't working out for her. These are 7.5" from point to point and there is quite a few of them. I am sure I will figure out how to use them up.

Over the next while I do plan to make many scrappy, crumby, stringy quilts but it is not likely to start until after the new year.

You quilter's trash is another quilters treasure!