Friday, October 29, 2021

Just In Time for Halloween

The Holly Bazaar binding frenzy continues. I've just finished up six more toppers and, as luck would have it, they are all autumn and Halloween themed so good timing to share them.

Linda, Jane and I got together in the fall of 2020 and worked up several hexie table toppers. While they were both smart enough to focus on one or two, I became a little crazed and ended up with six. I also didn't particularly like mine and didn't finish any of them, so they have been staring at me from the back of a chair in my sewing room ever since (sort of spooky 😮). Somewhat prophetically, I noted in that post that 'maybe they will be the start of my 2021 Holly Bazaar making'. Yup.

They are all backed with the same black and then bound with either a black on black print or a black and white bias gingham. I still wasn't overly keen on them when I saw them quilted but the bindings made all the difference.

They are all quilted with Roberta's darling little pumpkin panto and the perfect pumpkin shade of thread. This pic isn't showing it off quite right, but you get the idea.

There are six toppers made from three different strip sets (love the yellow & orange print on the outer edge of the top one, and those white and black polka dots! I think that was one of Jane's fabrics). 

This topper is made from the same strip set, just laid out in reverse. It's interesting to see the difference in the look, depending on how the strips are rotated.

The purple is showing up a little hotter than it is in real life.

I think this is the last of that fun spidey/candy corn print.

In the end, I am glad that I finished them up. For whatever reason, I couldn't see them working out, but I guess the trick is not to second guess things until they are completely finished. The challenge now will be whether folks are interested in anything Halloween so soon after it is over. Regardless, I will give several to the bazaar and hold a few back for the Madonna House Gift Shop next spring.....M

Sunday, October 24, 2021

It's Not All Christmas

It might be called the Holly Bazaar, and it definitely has a Christmas theme, but the gals who run the craft table also welcome items that can be used year round rather than just during the holiday season, so I like to try and ensure that they get a bit of variety.

Several years ago I made journal covers and a set of placemats for the bazaar, so I got to rummaging in my batik stash (it's actually just a tray of fabrics that I have somehow kept to a manageable level).

As I was playing with a few ideas I came across several strip sets, remnants from a project I had tried and abandoned.

Leaf-shaped potholders, to be exact. My sister, Dori, had made a lovely pair so I decided to give them a try. I wasn't as taken with mine as I was with hers so they never got bound, left to a life of limbo in the batik cubby.

Anyway, back the the remnants. There were four strips, which was perfect, so I trimmed them to a three-inch width and tucked them into a blue floral batik. Too easy!

A little straight-line quilting and I had a set of placemats ready to bind. I've just put the last stitches in the binding - a creamy beige - so there's now a set of four to add to the Holly Bazaar goodie pile.

The backing is a mottled tan with several colours running through it which works well with the binding and I think they could easily be used either side up. The photo is a tad on the dark side but the print is warm shades of brown.

In addition, I've got the last five I'll Be Gnome for Christmas potholders prepped and will spend the day hand stitching them down because there's no time to dilly dally.

Roberta has already quilted all of the goodies that I dropped off for her last weekend so this bundle of joy is now waiting for bindings. Not surprisingly, she has done just a superb job on them; I'll have more to share as they reach the finish line. Who knows? I might even decide to bind those leaf potholders and see if they appeal to anyone....M  

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Christmas Thistles

I tried another new pattern for a Holly Bazaar table topper. While the end result was okay, I have to say that I didn't really enjoy this pattern.

It's Thistles by Fig Tree. I'd seen a version done up with four different blossoms and quite liked it (I believe it was an autumn palette so I aimed to make a Christmas version). Maybe it's me, but I seemed to spend a lot of time flipping back and forth between pages to confirm the number and size of each square to cut and finally worked it backwards, using the graphic of the block. 

I'm really happy that, for simplicity's sake, I made all of the thistles identical because if not, I might still be sewing 😏.

There was a little piece of this red pinecone print hiding in my stash so I used it for the centre of each thistle. Unfortunately, the pic doesn't do the colour  justice.

And how about a gaggle of flying geese? This gorgeous green was from Roberta who has a bolt of it that she is eager to get used up, so I tried to comply as much as I could. It will be backed and bound with the green as well, so that will help her out a little more.
I was getting impatient with it by the end so, even though I had made the four cornerstone blocks for the border, I opted not to add them in and I think it still works. This will be another one that will be quilted with the snowflake panto.

It finishes off at about 28 inches square so it will be nice on a good-sized table. I guess you could also use it under a mini Christmas tree, if you were so inclined.....M


Sunday, October 17, 2021

The Holly Bazaar Sweatshop is Humming

You know that feeling when you've spent a little too much time at the machine? The one where your shoulder blades feel that they might be knitted together? Well, I've got it. 

The pedal has been to the metal for the last couple of weeks so that I could get a bundle of runners for the Holly Bazaar off to Roberta for quilting. In the past, I've quilted most of the runners that I make for the craft table but last year I had her do one for me. I'm pretty sure it helped increase the price that they charged for it just a titch, so I decided to have her quilt more of them this year. Every cent that they can raise helps, and Roberta does such a beautiful job with the quilting that it's a no-brainer. Not sure why I didn't think of it sooner.

I set a deadline of Friday to get everything that she was to quilt to her so that she isn't rushed, hence the shoulder blades...

This gorgeous Poinsettia runner by Lorna McMahon at Sew Fresh Quilts is another new pattern that I thought I'd try. It's been on my radar for some time now (it was part of a 2017 sew along, so you can see just how up-to-date I am not). 

Regardless, can I just say now how much I love it? So does the Official Cookie Tester, and you know what that means.. he wants to buy one, which means that I had to make at least two, so I've made three. Luv, luv, luv. 

The pattern is very well written and the more I made the quicker they came together. They are all very similar with one exception - I've used a different dark red in each one. 
This is the second; it has a little more black in it.

And for the last one, I used a gorgeous Laundry Basket Quilts print.

It was fun trying to ensure that a few of the design details, like this little snail, didn't get cropped out in the making.

They will be quilted with a snowflake panto, which I think will really suit. More runners to come, so stay tuned!....M

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

I'll Be Gnome For Christmas

It's been a little herky jerky, but there has been some Holly Bazaar sewing happening over the last couple of weeks, starting with these happy little gnome potholders (I decided to actually look at all of the ideas that I've pinned and try a couple of new projects 😏).

This idea and tutorial came from The Crafty Quilter and was designed as a mug rug, but at 6.5" I think they will work nicely as potholders too. They come together quite quickly and consist of a couple of flying geese and a few extra bits. 

I had a bit of a challenge getting the noses to look nice, primarily because my nose fabric was so light and similar to the white. I followed her suggestion for the first pair and did straight stitching to attach it. Meh. It was passable, but looked like it could be improved.

So I tried using a blanket stitch and a slightly pinker fabric on the next pair. I think I could have gone darker still with the nose but there was nothing in the stash that suited. The tight cornering and light fabrics still made for a challenge, but I managed to finish up all eight.

Two are now bound (I was anxious to see what the candy cane binding was going to look like - fun!) and I still need to attach the binding to the remaining six, which will make for some good handwork to do while watching TV at night.

The big question will be whether or not folks know that they are supposed to be gnomes! When I showed them to the Official Cookie Tester I had to spell it out for him. Maybe I'll attach a little tag so that they know what what they are. Either way, I think they're cute....M

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Time To Get My Little Trees Together Too!

Off and on throughout the last year you've seen the progress and finishes of the Little Trees quilt from Jane, Linda, Sandy, Anne and I. After seeing Sandy's come together I decided that there was no time like the present to move mine forward a little bit, especially as the calendar creeps towards Christmas.

All of the trees are sewn by hand but I decided, in the interest of moving things along, to sew the rows together by machine.

I believe that there are 12 rows with 14 trees to a row. I had one tree left over.

Following Linda's lead, I used a spare bed as my 'design wall' to get the right mix of trees, stumps and backgrounds. That last row really had me hugging the edge...😉.

Credit for moving this along goes to the fact that I had ordered border and backing fabrics. I wasn't certain that they would do the trick, but when they arrived I realized that they would be ideal.

The green will be for the border, possibly with a thin border of the pink check. Love the tiny snowflakes.

And these sweet little snowmen will be the backing. Is it not just the cutest???

I mean, seriously... ADORABLE! Lena is going to love them.

All the rows are together and about a third of them are pressed. I had thought that I'd hand stitch them while watching TV but I think I'll try putting them together by machine so that I can get this flimsy to Roberta and have it back in good time for Christmas (only 81 days to go!)....M