Stitched Cards

I really enjoy crafts, and usually before Christmas, I spend a couple of afternoons with my kids doing Christmas crafts. Of course, I get a lot of my ideas from Pinterest. This year, I found an idea for something I’d never tried before – stitched cards. 

We made a bunch of cards and it was fun. It is similar to string art that is done with nails on a board. I played around with simple shapes and colours, and it was fun to see the different variations. 

These two cards are done with the same size circle and same thread, but just different spacing. 

  

These are circles with fewer strands of floss and changes in spacing again. 
  

Here’s a different look with squares and corners. 

  

And because Valentines Day is coming up, I played around with some heart designs. My 8yo daughter wants to make some of these for her friends. 

  

This is a design I drew using straight lines. 

   When I started looking online, I found a lot of great designs. This cute butterfly is from stitching cards.com. There are a bunch of other beautiful designs on that site as well. 

 

This is a great quick project that is fun for both adults and kids. 

The Lauren Quilt

Here is my latest quilt – the Lauren Quilt.  I helped my mother-in-law make it for my niece. I only had to buy the white background fabric, the rest was already in my stash.  The shoo-fly blocks are done with 30’s reproduction prints.

It is an original design based on a traditional block. The blocks are 9″ square, with partial blocks in the border. I designed it on Quiltography, a great app for designing quilts. I highly recommend it if you have an iPad or tablet. 

  

The blocks were quilted with free-motion flowers surrounded by stippling.   I quilted a chain in the chain blocks. 
  

Even the back was from my stash. I made 20″ squares and pieced the back. My kids think the back is just as good as the front. 

  

You can see the quilted flowers even better on the back. 

 

The force is with me

Just before Christmas, I was asked if I could make a Star Wars hat. The timing was right, because I was in the mood for knitting and the stores had Boxing Day sales on yarn. I found this great free pattern on ravelry and went to work.

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I find patterns like this go quickly, because I am always motivated to go to the next row to see more of the picture.  Also, it’s a hat, so it is small. Before I was finished, my sons had put in their orders since they are Star Wars fans. Here is B2 with the second hat. I made a slight modification to the pattern. 

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Now I just have to finish B1’s hat while the force is still with me.  Although I do have another quilt to be working on…

Finally the Dutch quilt … almost

Those of you who  know me personally will know that my deadline for the Dutch quilt has come and gone.  My anniversary came and went and the quilt was not finished.  I am pleased, however, to announce that the quilt top is done.  When I showed my  husband, he was impressed that it was finally finished.  My reaction was “well, not exactly finished …”  I do still have to quilt it, and since I did all the piecing by hand, I am certainly going to hand-quilt it.  I have given myself the deadline of the end of the year to get it quilted and bound.  You probably don’t want to invite me to any New Years’ Eve parties, since I’ll probably be busy.

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Here it is.  Even though the size of the quilt was written in the instructions, I was still surprised to see it in real life.  I may use it on our bed, since it is big enough.  The only concern I have is that someone might spill on it, be sick, or drag it away and slide on the floor with it.  I had thought about hanging it on the wall, but it is a queen-sized quilt, and we don’t have any walls big enough.

It is all basted and ready to begin quilting.  I am going to quilt it in rings.  Wish me luck!

Apologies from a bad blogger

I’m sorry to all my friends and relatives who have wondered what is going on.  In short, I have been doing a lot of sewing, just not a lot of blogging.  I do have a big backlog of projects to share, but I’ll start with the most significant.

drumroll, please …..

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Yes, it’s a good portion of the Dutch Quilt.  It is about 4 ft square.  All that is left is the outer border that is three hourglass blocks wide, and then another border fabric.  The blocks are complete, I just have to join them.  Now that it is getting bigger, it is not as portable, so I am working on it more at home.

I decided that I am going to stitch in the ditch along the diagonal lines, so that shouldn’t take long (relatively speaking).  People keep asking how long it’s taking me to do this.  I don’t have an exact number, since I haven’t kept track, and most of it has been done during things like the kids’ swimming and music lessons or times when I’m waiting for appointments.  My best estimate is that I’m about 150 hours in.  I have probably another 25-30 hours to finish piecing the top.  Quilting will take 10 – 20 hours depending on how densely I go.  The end is in sight, but my anniversary is in five months, so I’m really going to have to focus to get it done.  My husband thinks I’m crazy, since his motto is efficiency.  He cannot comprehend working by hand when I have state of the art, computerized machine that will do it for me.  Just to bug him, I added a “special” block.  He hasn’t noticed it yet, so if you see it, don’t tell him.  It is driving G1 crazy, and she wants to rip it out.

As a side note, all my points match perfectly working by hand.  If I did this by machine, there is no way that all points would match on blocks this small.  It would be very difficult.

I will update on my other projects over the next few weeks, but for now, I have to get back to work.

Happy Autumn

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To celebrate fall, I made a quick little jumper for G2.  It is a very simple, basic pattern – only a front piece and a back piece.  I finished the neck and arm holes with bias tape, so there’s not even a facing.  It is made out of corduroy which I had kicking around from years ago.  It is the machine embroidery and applique that sets it off.  She picked out the girl scarecrow with corn from my fall embroidery designs.  This is from the Scarecrows Applique collection from Designs by JuJu, my first choice for super-cute machine applique.  I had originally planned on having leaves come down from the shoulder and across the front, but they didn’t really go with the scarecrow, so I went with the flower spiral in matching colours.

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There’s even a little surprise on the back to see when she’s running away.

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She likes it, and it is a very quick pattern.  I think I’ll make another jumper with some blue floral fabric I have.  I’m just trying to decide on what embroidery to use.  The fabric would look great with blue, white and grey snowflakes, but I’m not ready for that yet!

 

Kitchen Quilt

 

I have a spot on the wall in my kitchen where I like to hang a little quilt.  I have three that hang there – my autumn quilt, my Christmas quilt, and my spring quilt.  I needed a generic quilt to hang between seasons.   This summer, I did the class Big Techniques from Small Scraps on craftsy.  I have taken a number of classes on Craftsy, and I love it.  The classes are videos, so you can watch them whenever you want, but you can also ask questions from the instructor and interact with others taking the class.  It has no time-constraints, so you can watch it a year later again if you forget things.

Big Techniques was taught by Sarah Fielke who is from Australia, so I also loved hearing her accent.  One of her projects was step-down piecing.  If you want to try it, you should take the class yourself, but you can see that the quilt is not made in rows like a traditional quilt.  I made this bigger than her sample, and it was easy to enlarge.  I thought the fabric was appropriate for a kitchen.

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I quilted straight lines with my walking foot.  I don’t know if I’ll be in a hurry to try this again, since piecing in rows is much easier and straightforward, but it was fun to try and I like the finished result.  There are also a few more projects from Sarah’s class that I am looking forward to trying when I have the time.