Little Quaker Christmas Cross Stitch

I have been enjoying Susan Ache’s Collecting Colors SAL that I went searching for any other patterns that she might have. I came across this Little Quaker Christmas and I soon had it stitched up.

This is the perfect sort of project for stitching in the evenings in front of the TV while we stay socially distanced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Christmas String Placemats.

I am on a mission to work through my Christmas scraps by making some placemats.

These string blocks were pieced and trimmed to 7.5 inches square before sewing 6 of them together to make a placemat.

I like my place mats on the larger size so there is room for the plate, cutlery, and glass without the glass having to sit on the edge of the placemat. This placemat finished at 14.5″ x 21 inches.

Ready for Christmas dinner!

Cross Stitch

While camping in October 2019 I was looking for a portable handwork project that I could take along to work on. I dug out an old cross stitch kit that I had bought for $5 at a guild white elephant sale at our guild quilt show about 6 years ago. The kit was unopened and dated 1999. I thought it was about time I got started on it. This was the first cross stitch project that I worked on in 20 years.

This kit was a Janlynn Counted Cross Stitch full coverage piece called, Smokey Mountain Cats. It finishes at 10″ x 13″. I am not sure whether I will frame the piece or make it part of a quilted bag.

When the WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic this spring, I lost my quilting mojo. Unlike many Canadians who were encouraged to shelter at home, I am an essential services worker and I continued to work. The long hours at work coupled with the extreme level of stress called for something different to relax in the evenings so the timing was right to finish this off.

This was the design. I had to use highlighters to keep track of what was stitched and to assist with keeping my place.

Collecting Colors SAL

This is how far I got by February 18, 2020 on the Collecting Colors SAL.

Beginning in January 2020, Aurifil initiated a stitch along designed by Susan Ache. The idea was that each month from January to August they would release another piece of the design. They called this design, Collecting Colors. The design features Aurifil threads but I managed to find the DMC conversion for most of the threads. For those Aurifil threads that I couldn’t find a DMC conversion for, I went to the RGB (red, green, blue) value for the Aurifil thread and then worked out the coversion to the closest DMC color using Damaniel’s RGB to DMC Color Converter.

From the Aurifil website, “Just like sewing a sampler quilt, you’ll need blocks, sashing, and a border. For the Collecting Colors SAL, we’ll name them like a menu. The sashing is the appetizer, the blocks will be the entrée, and the border will be the dessert.”  

This is the image of the finished cross stitch piece from Aurifil’s website.

When you are finished, you end up with a cross stitched “quilt”.

Retreat – February 7 to 10, 2020

I started working on these star blocks during the last retreat (in October 2019). I finally finished the blocks and got them all arranged onto the design wall on the first day of retreat and then on the second day of retreat I managed to get everything sewn together into a finished flimsy.

I must admit, I was a bit frustrated coming into the room on Saturday morning after I spent time Friday arranging the blocks, only to find that my design wall had come loose from the wall and everything was in a heap on the floor. I had to start all over with the layout on Saturday morning. It was a good thing I wasn’t married to that layout. I put the design wall back up on the wall and started arranging blocks again. My layout isn’t planned; but rather my typical random placement.

This is a large lap – approximately 66″ x 76″.

The fabrics used were from two fat quarter stacks of Jinny Beyer fabrics – 50 fabrics in total. Each star is made from a different fabric. I only needed 46 different fabrics to execute my plan which left me with 4 star blocks leftover that I will make into either a pillow or a table runner.

The pattern is from Atkinson Designs and is called Stash Stars. The blocks are very cleverly pieced with no danger of ever cutting off a point as the points float and do not go out to the edge of the block.

This was the second project that I worked on during retreat. This is my Snowflake quilt. This is the quilt that I was making for our guild’s Winter Challenge. I was very ambitious to think I would finish it at retreat and have it ready for the February guild meeting. This one might have to wait until the next retreat.

I tried to piece the blues randomly but you can see where I have too many dark blocks together. The fabrics are different but from a distance they read too similar in value. I will have to do some frogging and replacing with different blue squares to fix that look.

The quilt pattern is called Snowflake and is by Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft.

The Winter Challenge “rules” were:

Winter Challenge

You are making a quilt creation for yourself.

Requirements…..not rules….

1. Make a winter improv/modern quilt (your choice of inspiration)

2. Minimum size 16″ by 16″

Maximum size – No limit

3. Make it in your 5%, something you would love to receive.

4. Finnish and show by the Feb 13 guild meeting. If you are not available for the Feb meeting posting on the Facebook page is good.

5. Participation is encouraged as your creation will tie into our next swap plans for the spring, to be announced at the Feb meeting.