Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Third in a Series

Pokey probably best describes the speed at which Anna Levens is proceeding, but there is a little progress to report. My third large hexie has now been added to the finished pile.

This will likely be the centre of the star of hexies that anchor the quilt. The cream fabric was the first piece of fabric that I bought knowing that it would be for this quilt. It's been a couple of years already but nice to see it in it's place now.

And I just adore the turquoise that the smaller border hexies are made from (is it wrong to love fabric that much? 😏 ). It's probably the last piece that I bought but it's going to really make the quilt, I think. I've got plans to change the design somewhat as I go and am hoping to find a place to let more of that fabric shine....M

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Wait A Minute...

Do you see what I see? My last post had pics of the next block to be appliquéd but when I went back to take a look at it I realized that I had pinned it incorrectly.

There should be three hexies running across the top of the block rather than the vertical placement that I had.

Just a little more maneuvering around the larger print to get things just so and we're now pinned and ready to stitch. Whew - that was a close one! This could be a long, long process unless I get my act together....M

Sunday, November 20, 2016


Yesterday was a beautiful day but my how things can change in a few hours - today is lousy. It's snowy and windy and just a cold slap in the face compared to the last couple of weeks - a perfect day to find some hand sewing distractions indoors.

I decided it was time to take the next step on the large hexie blocks for the centre panel of Anna Levens. This is my first one. It needs a good press, but happily everything lies nice and flat.

The large floral blocks are to be cut 10" and then appliqué a ring of paper pieced hexies over top. I wasn't quite sure what I was doing here because I'm a rookie at EPP so I was pretty generous when cutting the 10" blocks and I'm glad that I did because it gave me lots of room to maneuver. Once it's appliquéd you trim the centre panel seam allowance to 1/4".

What I need to figure out now is whether I remove the basting stitches on the small hexies - if anyone knows I'd be happy if you let me know. If I need to remove them I'll wait and do that after all of the large hexies are together. I think once the centre seven hexies are joined I will revert to adding the remaining hexies the way that I usually do, just eyeballing my seam allowance. I just find it so much easier.

So my second block is pinned and ready to go.

I put a little dab of Roxanne's temporary basting glue at the inside point of each hexie once everything is pinned and so far it and the pins have kept everything where I need it to be. Fingers crossed that the second one goes as well as the first!...M

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Better Late Than Never

My post bazaar sewing seems to be taking me into the land of finishing up a few UFOs. Remember this Halloween table topper? It's been stalled at the 'how do I quilt it?' stage. Well, it's been sitting on the back of a chair in the kitchen for a few weeks now and I decided there was no way it was going back downstairs without being quilted, so I dove right in after I finished quilting the silver and gold Christmas star runner that you saw last time.

I started with a cobweb design but after the first round or so I wasn't convinced.

Then I found some wonky inspiration in one of the prints so I ripped the first quilting out and went on to option two.

It's easier to see the stitching from the back; I filled in a few more rows towards the centre of the web after this pic was taken.

It's okay, but I can't say that I'm thrilled with it - maybe I'll like it more when it's bound. Sometimes I like it and sometimes it looks like a really bad job of quilting. Good wonky can be tough to do :). I think I would have liked it just as much quilted with a grid pattern or even following a 1/4" on either side of the seams, but it's going to stay as it is. I think the scale of the strips is what is setting me off - if they were a little narrower I think it would be more to my liking.

It's now got a green binding on it and is ready for the final hand stitching. There's college football on tonight and our first big winter storm brewing so I suspect that the Official Cookie Tester and I will be snuggled in front of the tube. This one is too late to use this year so I'm just going to say that I'm really ahead of the game for next Halloween....M

Sunday, November 13, 2016


The sewing machine is still holding my dining room table captive but I have to say that I've been a bit of an accomplice to that. As I started cleaning things up from my bazaar blitz and getting things ready to return to the basement realized that I had close to enough squares already cut to make a second silver and gold runner for me, so I thought, "What the heck?".

It came together really quickly and is now quilted and ready to be bound. I used double sets of rows of stitching on this one and I quite like it.

And that piece of white and gold holly/berries print that I was hoping to back it with worked out perfectly.

This is all that remains - the quilting gods were on my side.

My luck continued with the binding. The leftovers from the first one were the perfect length! I had absolutely no trimming to do - totally love that.

Time for a little hand stitching and this one will be finished off....M

p.s. There was a question about the Patchwork wine mentioned in my last post and whether or not it is available at the LCBO, and the answer is yes. I couldn't reply directly because it came from a no-reply blogger so I thought I'd mention it here.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Quilters PSA

Not sure if it was a sign from the heavens or just a stroke of good luck, but in the midst of my Holly Bazaar sewing and baking frenzy I discovered that at least one winemaker has come to the rescue of stressed quilters. I give you Patchwork. Our Australian friends might know of it as it is a Barossa Shiraz produced by Yalumba and 'crafted from a patchwork of venerable Shiraz vineyards'. Works for me.

I haven't had to break into it yet so I can't give you a review, but am looking forward to enjoying a glass or two some evening while stitching. Just wanted you to know that Yalumba has our backs :).

As an alternative to drinking I decided to bake another batch of the Pumpkin Walnut Loaves since the entire first batch went to the bazaar (much to the delight of the Official Cookie Tester since he missed out on samples the first time around and is a bit of a pumpkin fiend).

We're already into a second loaf and two have been tucked into the freezer.....M

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Backed, Bound and Baked

It's always such a relief to get things packed up and delivered to the Holly Bazaar - it's like the calendar opens up and I can breathe normally again (well, that is until the Christmas baking begins...).

The weekend was spent making lots of bindings, finding backings and finishing up the table runners for the craft table. Can I say again how much I LOVE the folded fabric method for cutting bias binding? So much faster!

So here's a quick recap. First, the summery one - it's finished off with a green leaf binding that helps cut the saccharine feeling that I was getting with the pinks...

For Halloween Lite I stayed with the same black as the outer border and used another green leafy type print for the backing...

And for the Christmas runner I went with the darker of the two binding options that I was considering and a large, loose cream and gold holly and berry print, which I really like. If I play my cards right there is just enough to back a second runner with the remnant.

I wasn't overly inspired on the baking front this year so I made my old reliables - White Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies and Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies. I switched things up with a new Pumpkin Walnut Loaf recipe that Anne gave me recently. It has a lovely streusel topping and the recipe made four small loaves, so that worked well.

So, everything has now been delivered and the kitchen is clean again, except for all of the sewing stuff on the table. I'll deal with that in a day or two....M

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Bazaar Bonanza

Well, the sewing bug has finally kicked in - thankfully. Either that, or the realization that the bazaar is only a few days off and I am rapidly running out of time!

The gold and silver runner is together.

I love this beautiful blue/green holly and berry print that I've used - I've had it for years and use it sparingly. This is a custom order with the proceeds going to the bazaar coffers. Apparently teal is an accent colour in the woman's decor so I'm hoping that this works.

Now it's time to audition binding options. Should it be light gold...

or a dark, swirly gold...

While I pondered that I got the summery square topper sandwiched together and quilted. It looks good with the backing too, which is a relief.

And then there's this lozenge one that was resurrected from the pile in my sewing room. Both borders are now on and it's quilted too so now it's binding making time. I'd like to have all of them finished by the end of the weekend because I still need to do some baking for the bake table.....M

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

One Down - Sort Of

Finally, a bit of progress on my Holly Bazaar sewing. The floral version is together and, despite lots of second guessing on it, I think it's going to work.

A light, summery feel I was visualizing and I think that's what I got - even if I didn't, this is what it's going to be! It still needs to be quilted, but I'll wait and quilt them all at the same time.

I need to give some thought to the binding and am leaning towards a gingham (surprise, surprise). I'm actually thinking of blue or green gingham, but I don't think that I have any. I'll have to do a deep dive and see what I come up with.

And I've now got the blocks cut for the silver and gold version too. This one will be rectangular, if I ever sit down to sew it :). Sometimes you feel like you're just flying through a project and sometimes it feels like you are walking through mud and not getting anywhere, doesn't it?....M