Friday, 30 December 2016

Flash Back Friday - Once Upon a Time

I was searching for some fabric to make a quilt for one of my nieces when I came across Alexander Henry's 'Once Upon a Time' fabric.  What little girl doesn't love fairy princesses, dragons and magical forests? 

This quilt is one of my own designs.  I miscut the fabric. Had there been enough to redo I would have switched locations of the large-scale and small-scale prints, as the dragon is cut off being placed in the narrower strips.

Even though he knows I quilt, my niece's dad thought the quilt was store bought.  He didn't think someone could make something that nice at home.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Christmas Stocking & Gift Bag

I have made several Christmas stockings based on the tutorial by Sew Like My Mom.


I had extra fabric so I decided to make a matching gift bag.  You can find the tutorial on the In Color Order site.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christmas 2016 Quilt-a-thon a bust

I'm sick.  Not just too sick to sew, but too sick to do anything but lie around doing absolutely  nothing and even that is draining.  So much for completing projects on my December sewing list.  Only two items to sew, a pillow and a quilt and it's just not happening.

The best I can do is post about past Christmas projects.

Flat Emelie & Flat Matt 
I always enjoyed playing with paper dolls as a child.  Using the Flat Emelie and Flat Matt tutorial by Angela Yosten I made a set of fabric 'paper dolls' for my niece. 

And a change of clothes.  Instead of flaps of paper to hold on the clothing, these ones use Velcro.  The doll clothes were a great way to use scraps of fabric and batting.

I also made a carry bag to store the dolls and their clothes.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Christmas Quilt-a-thon

I work well with deadlines, especially the non-arbitrary kind.  As a result, it seems I often have a back-log of projects to complete in December in time give as Christmas presents.  I will sew for hours on end, days in a row to complete gifts.

This year my list is fairly short:
  • monogram pillow
  • finish last year's Christmas quilt - a work in progress

The Christmas quilt is based on the Tinsel & Baubles pattern by the Fat Quarter Shop and uses the Jingle fabric by Kate Spain.

  The quilt should be a quick finish as I have already sewn all the 'baubles'.  It's just matter of sewing the squares together, quilting, and binding.  As it is a quilt for myself I packed it away last year once Christmas had passed to finish this fall, which has turned into December.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Flash Back Friday

Welcome to Flash Back Fridays! 

I am going to post about past projects, completed prior to beginning this blog, on the last Friday of the month.  As I have sewn more than a dozen quilts since making that first quilt for my mom many years ago, I have many quilts and stories to share.

This is a quilt I made for my niece using Arabesque fabric by Anna Griffin.  Her mom is a dance teacher and had painted my niece's room in soft pink and gray. 

Work in Progress
 Last minute photos before it goes in the gift bag.  I can't believe I forgot  (well almost) to take photos before gifting it.


Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Monogram Pillow

I needed wanted to update the throw cushions on my couch.  Rather than the prints and stripes I have had in the past I decided to go with a more neutral palette, something similar to some denim pillows I had seen in a store.

Off I went to the fabric store to buy white denim. I thought white denim covered pillows would be perfect for my tan couch, but no longer felt the same way once I placed the white denim on my couch.  That clean, bright look I was going for now screamed bland.

Yikes!  Was this another fabric purchase that was going to sit and collect dust?  No, I really needed updated pillow covers.  I was determined to make it work.  I searched on-line for inspiration and came across this pillow:

The peace symbol wasn't what I wanted, but I loved the texture and tone-on-tone look.  I decided to make a monogram pillow.

I'm very happy with the result.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Buyer's Regret

You may have read about the fabric I had ordered to make a birthday gift for a friend's daughter that wend missing.  You can read about it here.

In my rush to replace the missing fabric, I bought some at a local store.  Two different stores in fact, purchased days apart.  And not just any store.  They were quilt stores.  Both carrying hundreds of bolts of quality quilt fabric.  Each time I thought I was happy with my fabric selection and each time I regretted my choice within minutes of leaving the store.

Since I no longer like the fabrics bought to make this gift (I cannot share details until after it has been given) they won't be used, at least not for this project.  So much for my goal of reducing inventory. 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

La Conner Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival

I was inspired to make my first quilt while visiting La Conner.  Little did I know at the time that La Conner, known for its tulip festival, is home to The Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum.  It is celebrating it's 20th year in 2017.

Now that I am a quilter, and know there is a quilt museum in La Conner, I will be stopping by the next time I am there.  Perhaps I'll plan a visit when they are hosting their annual Quilt & Fiber Arts Festival.

Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum, La Conner

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Lost in the mail ... say it isn't so!

Inspiration arrived early for a gift I want to make for my friend's daughter who is having a birthday in November.  It's a small project.  Plenty of time to order fabric, make it, then mail it.  Or, so I thought until I went to check if the package had arrived.

According to the postal service it had been delivered.  According to the mailbox, it had not been received.  Unlike the mailboxes above, the package was sent to a community mailbox that requires a key to be opened.

Urggh!  I often order fabric on-line and have never had packages go astray.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

One of those days ...

Some friends were stopping by to visit so I decided to bake some cookies.  They arrived just as I was putting the cookies in the oven.  I forgot to set the timer.  This was the result. 

In the photo they look like double chocolate cookies.  In reality they were completely burnt.
A few days later I tried again.  This is what I had been planning to share with my friends.  Instead, I had the whole batch for myself. 

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Summer Painting Projects

I like projects and bargains.  I am often inspired by Young House Love and have been on the hunt for a wooden high chair since reading their post on how they updated a wooden high chair with sunny, yellow paint.  I finally found one - it was a bargain at $10.  I turned it into a project by cleaning, sanding, then painting it.

A few weeks later I found a pair of toddler chairs also for $10.  Another successful bargain and project!

Then I was given a pair of wooden stools that had been in storage at a family member's since their kitchen renovation in the '80s.  As I had been wanting some counter stools for my kitchen I was happy to receive them.  A couple coats of paint and they have now been given a new life.

Friday, 22 July 2016

My First Quilt

It started with a visit to La Conner in Washington state.  My mom was looking at some quilts in a gift shop ... while she was looking, I was thinking that I could make one for her.  It would be a great Christmas gift and there would be lots of time.  It was summer after all.

A few months later I found the perfect pattern on the cover of McCall's Quick Quilts.  The fall colours were perfect for my parent's home and the mountains in the background reminded me of where they lived.

March 2001 Edition
I was fortunate to find similar colours.  Some of the squares have faded a bit from the sun, but overall it has held up well to regular use and regular washes over the past 15 years.
My First Quilt - 2001
In comparing the quilt I made to the one in the photo it appears I modified it and added an extra row of stars. 

Friday, 1 July 2016

Happy Canada Day!

To celebrate Canada turning 150 in 2017 Trend-Tex Fabrics commissioned Canadian designer Grace Noel to design an exclusive fabric collection, With Glowing Hearts.

The fabric features iconic Canadian images such as beavers, inukshuks, lumber, Canadian geese and maple leafs.

Trend-Tex is also hosting a With Glowing Hearts Quilt Challenge.  The 1st place winning projects will be displayed by Moda at the International Fall Quilt Market 2017.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Bright Birch Trees Giveaway

I have been following Crazy Mom Quilts for several years.  I love the bright colours she uses and her creativity in using up scrap fabric.  One of her quilts that I particularly like is her Bright Birch Trees - the pattern really captures the look and feel of the birch tree.  It is on my list of quilts I would like to make, but I don't have suitable scraps.  Most of the quilts I have made are baby quilts in flannel or pastels.  I don't have a single brightly coloured scrap.

Today she has posted that she is giving away a bright birch trees starter quilt, complete with a pile of brightly coloured scraps.  What a wonderful kit to win.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Dreaded Request - Can you sew, mend, make ...

Today my brother mentioned in passing that his girlfriend had a dress she wanted me to hem.  I responded with a look of horror and pleaded "Please don't make me!".

I absolutely HATE mending.  Yes, that's right, I shouted out in all caps my immense dislike for mending.  It's tedious.  There are also techniques involved that I have never learned, and likely special tools that I don't have. 

It seems that when you quilt and make gifts for others that people think you are open to taking requests, such as mending clothes.  I don't like mending my own clothes.  Doing so for others is that much worse.  It also has the added pressure of what if you make a mistake?  It happens.  I have more than once hemmed pants too short, then been stuck with the mistake as there was not enough fabric to let down the hem.

I quilt and sew for enjoyment.  I like the flexibility of putting down a project and picking up again when it suits me.  It may be a few days, weeks, months, or even years.   Yes, years.  Like many crafters I have a stash of patterns and fabric waiting to be used.  I have pants that need to be mended.  I also have a pair of pajamas my mom asked me to make her.  All that's left to complete them is to add elastic to the waistband and button holes to the top.  They have been 90% finished for 10 years, but I don't mend.  I don't know how to tailor clothes to make them fit.  And, I don't know how to make button holes that are the right size.  So I put the pajamas aside and made her a quilt instead.  Hours more work then finishing the pajamas, but the quilt wasn't a request.  I sewed at my own pace and I sewed something that inspired me.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Starting to Blog

Today is the day I start to blog.   For real.  You may have noticed that this blog was created in 2012.  It is now 2016 and this is my first post.  Why?  I have been waiting until I created a logo/page header, waiting until I had finished quilts to post, waiting until I had set up the blog layout, waiting until I had ideas to write about, waiting until I had photos of quilts to post.  I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

Well, today I decided to stop waiting and start writing.  This is quite a departure for me as I like to have everything in place before 'going live'.  However, since this is a personal project it has been too easy to procrastinate and wait until I have time.  So I decided to flip things around and start with posting content.  The rest will follow in the coming weeks and months.