Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A flimsy...I think!

I think I should rename it my "Road to Recovery" quilt because I spent many hours stitching away while I was housebound over the past two and a half months, recovering from hip surgery. It definitely made the hours pass by quickly and helped me keep my sanity.

They're not the best photos but my "Down in the Garden" quilt is a flimsy...I think! 

I'm thrilled with the way it turned out but I'm undecided as to whether I should add a final red border or leave it as it is.

What do you think...leave it as it is or add another border?

Happy stitching!

Notes to Mary Stiles and Pauline Cabana:

I'm sorry I could not reply to your comments because you came up as "no-reply" bloggers so I'm answering your questions here.

My friend Julie in Australia bought the patterns from an Australian shop and sent them on to me.  The "Down in the Garden" design was first released as a ten month BOM by Leanne Beasley, an Australian designer, but can now be purchased as a complete set.  You can either Google the pattern by name or contact Leanne directly HERE.  

Yes, I use a VERY lightweight iron-on fusible stabilizer on the back of my stitched designs. Not only does it add stability to the stitched block but it makes the block more opaque to enable travelling between stitched elements without having to tie off threads.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunny Sunday Musings

Another 5" of snow fell overnight but the sun is out, the skies are blue and it's not that cold out so hopefully it'll all be gone by the end of the day...the new stuff, I mean.  The remnants of our many winter nor'easter storms will be here for a while yet but hopefully not too long as robins have been spotted in the area.

Yesterday was a busy stitching day.  

I finished appliqueing and embellishing all the blocks for my Down in the Garden quilt except for the one pictured below which I'll complete sometime today.

Next I'll be adding sashing and cornerstones followed by a final outside border and then it'll be done!

I have so many projects on my "to do" list, I don't know what I'm going to tackle next!

In the meantime, soup is simmering on the stove (the aroma is heavenly)...

and the kitchen floor is washed so I can now lay claim to the rest of the day as mine to do whatever tickles my fancy.

First I'm going to relax and read the Home Tours edition of Country Sampler magazine...

and then you know where I'll be...and you don't even have to guess!

Happy stitching!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Still plugging away!

I finished piecing the nine blocks for my Down in the Garden quilt.

I'm going to stay the course until I can officially call it a flimsy.  I still have to stitch the appliqued elements to some of the blocks and I want to change and add a few more things that are different from the original design.

This is a photo of Leanne Beasley's original design.  By the time I am finished mine, it will look entirely different from hers.

"Down in the Garden" by Leanne Beasley
I'm absolutely thrilled with the fabrics I used from Kim Diehl's Vintage Farmhouse line.  I "found" them after I had chosen the colors of floss to use for the stitchery blocks.  It has turned out to be the perfect 'marriage made in heaven'.


Allow me to explain.

If I can share with you a little knowledge or offer a piece of advice that I used to share with my art/painting students and that is if you stick with colors that you like and that are within your comfort zone, you will very seldom go wrong when it comes to selecting the colors and fabrics in your quilting endeavors.  

I used the same palette of 10 colors in all my artwork for over 20 years.  Rarely, if ever, did I stray from them.  Because I liked and was familiar with the colors and knew how well they worked and interacted with one another, no matter what the subject matter, everything was always in harmony.

The same principle applies when building your stash.  If you stay with the colors that you like and are comfortable with, everything should coordinate, no matter who the designer or manufacturer might be.  Problems occur when one tries to stray from that comfort zone.  Just ask me!!!

Kim Diehl's color family is very similar to the one I used when painting and that is why my choice of thread colors...even though I purchased and started stitching the blocks long before I stumbled across her fabrics...go so well together.

I still have lots of hand work to do before I can start to assemble the quilt top. Thankfully, I'm in no rush and have no deadlines to meet.  

And I thought that I would be finished by today.

Wishful thinking!

Happy stitching!


Sunday, March 22, 2015


It took a lot of courage but I finally made the first cuts into my luscious Kim Diehl fabrics on Thursday.
There'll be no stopping me now!!!
Four of the blocks in my version of Leanne Beasley's 'Down in the Garden' quilt call for these mini Dresden plate flowers so that's where I started. They measure 5 1/2" in diameter and I made them using the English paper piecing method. Each little blade or petal measures 2 1/2" x 1 1/2". I would like to get all of the add-ons, appliques and embellishments made before actually starting to cut and piece the nine blocks.

While having breakfast on Friday morning, I got this 'epiphany' that I wanted to change up the quilt design even more by adding sashing and cornerstones between the blocks. Of course I now needed more yardage of one of the fabrics so off we went to our not-so-local quilt shop where I picked up two yards of this gorgeous cheddar.
I finished assembling my little Dresden flowers last night...
so you know what I'll be doing for the next couple of hours because we had another 6" of snow fall overnight.  *sigh* 
If you guessed stitching them to a background block then you're right!
Mindless stitching at the kitchen table close to the fire with easy listening music playing softly in the background...can it get much better than this?
My goal is to have the flimsy finished by the end of next week.
A lofty ambition but do-able I think, provided I can stay on track without too many distractions!

Happy stitching!

Friday, March 13, 2015

I'm back!!!

I just came back downstairs from my first adventure up the stairs and into my sewing studio after a looooong 2+ month absence.  I really did have tears in my eyes when I first set foot in the room.

At first I was a little overwhelmed but once I got started, I spent a WONDERFUL 2.5 hours dusting and vacuuming.  

Then came the chore of trying to find a home for the stuff I've been buying during my convalescence.   

There's still a lot to do but tomorrow is another day.  With two more snow storms in the forecast over the next 5 days, I'll have plenty of time to accomplish my goals.

The rest of the upstairs needs a good cleaning as well but that'll have to wait for another time.  The dust bunnies did not disappoint me!

I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to be back!

Happy stitching!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Road Trip

It started out as a quest for Zymol, a car wax that cleans and shines vintage sewing machines.  

Although I don't use it as often as I would like, I love my Mom's Featherweight.

I belong to a forum on Facebook for 221 and 222 Featherweights, and Zymol is the product that they recommend for cleaning and "shining" the outside surface of these machines.  After a few dead ends and a little bit of searching, I did find some today at a Canadian Tire store about 60 miles away in the automotive section.  

Another chore to add to my "to do" list!

While in the "vicinity", we continued another 15 miles up the road to one of our not-so-local fabric/quilt shops.

Look what I found!

Ten different prints from Kim Diehl's Butterchurn line, neutrals that compliment all her different fabrics.

Aren't they wonderful?

Some reproduction chrome yellow and turkey red also managed to jump into my cart and follow me home.

So did this fusible fleece...

and some Retayne and Synthrapol which I will use for dyeing wool.

Our last stop was for lunch at our new favorite Chinese restaurant which was the icing on top of the cake that contributed to making this a perfect day.

I also made a promise to myself that tomorrow will be the day that I will climb Mt. Everest the stairs to my sewing studio.  I'm not going to put it off any longer.

Happy stitching!

Monday, March 9, 2015

On the mend!

Last Thursday I had my post-op, follow up appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon and the good news is that everything appears to be healing well.  

Both he and the physiotherapist advised me that I should continue using my walker until I feel confident and strong enough to graduate to a cane. I still have to work at building up the muscles on my operated hip/leg because I was only able to put 40 pounds of weight on it while it was healing. As of now, it appears as though I won't need to see a physiotherapist, provided that I continue to do the exercises that they prescribed for me.

What a relief and load off my mind!!!

I don't want to rush things and I can't believe I'm saying this but I think I'll wait for a while before attempting the stairs to visit my sewing room. I'm so afraid of rushing things and overdoing it.  I've waited this long so what's a few more days?

So I figured some retail therapy was in order.

To celebrate my new found freedom, Mr. Painted Quilt took me shopping today...his suggestion if you can believe it...and look what came home with me!
Half yard cuts of Kim Diehl's new fabric line called Heritage Hollow!  

I just love the colors and the fact that all of the fabrics from her different lines are interchangeable and work so well together.  And I think I know exactly what I'm going to make with them...once I finish my Down in the Garden quilt.

The gazillion stitchery blocks are done so let the piecing begin!

Happy stitching!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

How about a March 1st FREEBIE?

I guess being housebound for so long can't be all that bad because it's allowed me to come up with a slew of new designs, one of which I'll be sharing with you today.

Do you remember when I told you all that I wouldn't be offering my FFF's (First Friday Freebies on a scheduled monthly or quarterly basis anymore but that I'd surprise you now and again with a new fee design as the opportunity presented itself?  

Well here I am again!

Since Easter is just around the corner, that is what inspired me for today's free design.  Once I am given the go ahead to climb the stairs and get back into my sewing studio where all my supplies and stash have been playing with the dust bunnies for the past two months, my plans are to make my version from wool appliqued on cotton and then make it into a pillow.  The design also lends itself to machine applique and also redwork, another of my favorites.  I'll leave that decision up to you.  You can also enlarge it and hook it as well!

This is a copyrighted design and all I ask is that you respect my copyright and not sell it or claim it as your own.  Other than that, have fun!

To access the PDF file for the line drawing, just click HERE.

Enjoy and as always,

Happy stitching!