Sunday, August 28, 2016

Shooting for the Stars

I've spent the last few evenings sitting in this armchair with my feet up sewing more strips together for Danuta's Garden. They are all together now so it's time to look at how the stars for the border will be laid out.

Actually, what I should have said is, 'all six of the block strips with the exception of the two sashing strips that go along the outer edges'.

I've been distracted by table toppers so it's been a while since this one was picked up, but it's always so relaxing to move away from the machine to my hand stitching.

I want a change from sewing long seams so I'm turning my attention to the star border. They are separated with a strip of plain sashing so I'm going to start sewing a sashing strip to each star block to make the final layout go a little faster, an idea I picked up from Jane.

It's hot and muggy today so working with smaller pieces will be a little cooler than having the entire quilt top on my lap as I stitch. If memory seves me correctly, there are 42 stars so that will keep me busy for a while....M

Friday, August 26, 2016

Halloween Lite

Some people really get into Halloween, but I have to say that I'm not one of them. I love autumn and the changing leaves and pulling on my sweaters after a long, hot summer, but I've never been that much into getting dressed up or decorating for it. I like a little bit but am not into the ghoulish side of things.

So I was a little surprised when I found myself looking at a 'Halloweenish' table topper on Pinterest by Buttermilk Basin - it's sort of Halloween, but I'm calling it Halloween Lite.

I'm on a kick to get my Holly Bazaar sewing done early, and hopefully a few things for the Madonna House Christmas Shop, so I've been trolling my Pinterest Table Runners board for ideas. Last year's square format were a big hit and seemingly flew off the shelves, so I started there.

This pattern is one of Bonnie Hunter's Leaders and Enders projects - Lozenges. Follow her tutorial - it has great hints on trimming and pressing so that all of the seams are nicely nested when you put the blocks together (though you have to pay attention - there were a few rip outs and repressses!). That said, it's a fun one to sew.

Her idea of laying a block out to remind yourself of the order that seams are pressed makes all the difference.

I didn't mark my small squares, I used a strip of painter's tape as my guide and it worked really well and sped things up nicely.

I've cut enough lozenges for four table toppers and now have two centre panels together in slightly different colour schemes - they still need a couple of borders. I made the green one above first and used only two black and cream prints for the little pinwheels, but for this gold version I used a much more scrappy selection of black and cream.

I like them both so maybe I'll do one more of each for the remaining two. I'm thinking that one of these might just stay with me rather than making them all to charity....M

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Simple Simon and a Handful of Hearts

Remember that nursery rhyme 'Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair...'? Well, blueberries are in season, and after a few recent rains they have come on like gangbusters so Anne and I did our best pieman imitations and had a pie-making session.

I did the pastry and she did the filling (she had found mom's recipe and was keen to give it a try) and in a couple of hours we had eight pies in the freezer ready to be enjoyed this winter. Anne also picked all of the berries so I got off easy.

The farm where we pick is expecting to have berries for at least another month so maybe I'll make a couple more and share them around.

Sunday's slow stitching was really productive. I often start with great plans and then get totally side tracked but I got nine little heart decos stitched together and then finished the last three off last night. I think I'll prep another batch so that they are ready to go when I am. Who knows, I might even be a little ahead of the game for this year's Holly Bazaar!....M

Sunday, August 21, 2016


It's been a full, full week of meetings and company and dinner parties but the kitchen is now clean again and the guest room is empty so it's time to sit and stitch. When I was cleaning up the study in preparation of weekend guests I came across this hot mess that had fallen behind my chair - the makings of a batch of felt hearts for the Holly Bazaar.

When I got everything sandwiched back together and organized things didn't look quite as bad so I think I will spend some time stitching a few of these together this afternoon.

Hopefully soon each one of these...

will be looking like this. Looking forward to it....M