Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Stash - and a winner!

Weekends in the summer (especially when the weather is nice) are just so...yummy, aren't they? It seemed like winter here on the prairies went on and on and on this year but the summer weather we've been having since the start of July has been just gorgeous!

I did not bring any fabric into the stash this week but hubby and I did go up to the big city yesterday and found ourselves at Ikea (which was actually his doing) and a couple of pieces came home. They are assembled and now I have to figure out exactly what I'm going to do with them. I confess, I got caught up in the "cute factor" when I saw them and my husband (very sweet) said I should put them in the cart, so I did and the whole process wasn't particularly well thought out. Oops.

I've seen the turquoise cart all over the place online and I am impressed with it. It is very sturdy, a good size, and it rolls around smoothly. The little set of drawers are from the Alex line - I first saw them in a pretty mint green colour and wanted those but they were out of stock and in the end, I'm actually happy I picked up a white set. The aqua binder on top of the drawers is a Martha Stewart product from Staples - I fill it with page protectors and then slide my quilt patterns into them. It keeps them nice and neat and organized. Not my idea, I confess I saw Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts doing it at a class of hers I attended and copied her - but it's SUCH a good idea!

Lastly, I had a drawing from my post on Tuesday for a cute little pincushion I made from some fun project scraps - and whatever else I can find to tuck in with it. I'll be emailing Kris to give her the good news.

e.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sewvivor - HappyFabric

Guess what? Quilter's aren't all just about 1/4" seams and "which way do you press?" Nope, we can be a lot of fun (and maybe even a little competitive) so when I heard about Sewvivor Season 3: Quilter's Edition over at FamilyEverAfter I just knew I'd have to audition.

There won't be any tropical islands (darn), insect diets (yay), or tricky alliances to work out (double yay!), just lots of sewing and fun. This is my audition post, which means I'm posting this project in hopes of earning one of 16 places in this year's Sewvivor contest. If I am successful I will make several projects over the next few weeks and hopefully not get "voted off the island" too soon.

So here is my entry for Sewvivor:

I like pillows. I like making pillows. My husband might grumble (just a little) every night about having to remove all the pillows from our bed but that doesn't stop me from making more. This pillow is actually a companion piece to a project I have planned for down the road. It is 24" square and filled with a skooshy feather insert - nom!

This pillow features some of my favourite things, not the least of which are the Henna Garden fabrics I have been collecting and stashing - these are just the best stash basics and the colours are yummy.

My pillow also features (organic) channel quilting);

Scrappy black & white binding;


and, a lovely quilted back - I like the body a quilted backing gives to pillows (and aren't those fabrics pretty?)

I'm sure you recognize the pattern as the very popular Nested Churn Dash block from Want it Need it Quilt! (quick and easy to purchase on Craftsy). I love churn dash blocks, especially when there is high contrast between the block and the background.

So there it is, my entry into the big game. We'll find out next week who the lucky contestants will be. No matter what happens, I have an awesome project to show for my time.

Check out all the other auditions over here. And stay tuned to Family Ever After for Sewvivor Season 3: Quilter's Edition.

e.







Pitch It to Win It - Summer Days at Mad About Patchwork

Have you heard of Mad About Patchwork? It's a great shop which carries lots of modern fabrics and guess what, they're Canadian! They have lots of Anna Maria Horner, Denyse Schmidt, Joel Dewberry, Lizzy House...you name it, you should check them out! The service is friendly and fast - now if only Canada Post could keep up!

A few weeks back I was reading their blog and found out about their "Pitch It to Win It" contest. Basically, they featured a gorgeous bundle of fabric and readers could submit their idea about what they would make if they won those fabrics. I had just happened to see a table runner pattern on another blog and I thought the Summer Days fabrics featured in the bundle would be perfect, so I sent in my idea and sure enough, they selected it!

Aren't these fabrics pretty?

The pattern is called EZ Breezy Quilt-As-You-Go table runner and I assure you, it really was easy. There are no curved seams to piece at all; instead, the designer has a neat trick for getting those gorgeous curves.
The PITWI bundle was fat eighths but the table runner pattern calls for fat quarters. I figured I'd find a way to skooch the pieces on to the fat eighths and make it work - nope, didn't work. In looking at the fabrics in the bundle I knew some of them were busy enough that I could probably piece together what I needed and it would barely show. In fact, the photo above is focused right on a pieced section - if you don't see it that means my plan worked.

For the quilting, I more or less followed what was shown on the pattern covered as I liked the look. I eyeballed it as opposed to marking it and am happy with the way it turned out. These fabrics are so pretty together, how could any project made with them not turn out nice?

This is a perfect pattern for working with focus fabrics. Once upon a time, I used to be drawn to the larger scale focus prints in many fabric lines. I'd add them to my stash where they would end up languishing because I didn't really know what to do with them. Now that my stash is very limited in those types of fabrics and getting much more full (thanks, in part, to Mad About Patchwork) of basics which can go with anything, I see several more of these runners in my future. Can't you just see it made up in autumn, Halloween, or Christmas fabrics? I sure can!

The pattern truly is "EZ breezy" - I made it in an afternoon except for handsewing the binding down, which I did later in the evening. It would have gone even faster if I had used fat quarters and not spent extra time piecing together the chunks of fabric I needed in order to fit the pieces.

Thank you, Mad About Patchwork, for sharing my vision and for sharing your beautiful fabric bundle with me. I'm linking to their post about my runner here in case you want to pay them a visit.

The scraps were too pretty to toss away, so I made a couple of pincushions from the leftovers; one for you, and one for me. Would you like to win one? If so, leave a comment letting me know what you've been working on, or just say hi if you've been relaxing and enjoying your summer. I'll draw a name on Saturday night; you never know, it could be yours! If I draw your name I'll send you a pincushion and maybe a few goodies to go with it - how does that sound? Sharing is fun!

I hope your day is going to be a good one.

e.




Sunday, July 13, 2014

Leftovers

Over the past week I have been working on a neat project for some upcoming blog posts - stay tuned! When my project was finished I still have a few scraps leftover and decided I needed a new, summery pincushion to brighten up my sewing room.

It was so quick and easy and I thought "hey, it would be neat to have a giveaway to go with that upcoming blog post", so I made another.

The pattern I used is Tuffets by Carrie Nelson, the creative genius behind Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. It took me less than an hour to make both of them, including sewing the openings shut.

So what do you think? One for you, one for me?

And, it's Sunday, which means it is time for another installment of Sew Canadian. If you have not heard, Mad About Patchwork is publishing a series of blog posts featuring Canadian quilters and their studios - mine is coming up later in August. Check out the post - there is lots of inspiration to be had and I always enjoy getting a look into what other people are working on; you won't be disappointed. Here is the schedule of posts:

July 6th – Patti @Retired to Quilt and Krista @Poppyprint
July 13th – Dominique @The Running Thimble and Cinzia @Deux Petites Souris
July 20th – Anita @Daydreams of Quilts and Lorna @Sew Fresh Quilts
July 27th – Shena @Apple Pie Patchwork and Katherine @Sew Me Something Good
August 3rd – Felicity @Felicity Quilts and Josee @The Charming Needle
August 10th – Janet @What Comes Next and M-R @Quilt Matters
August 17th – Erica @Happy Fabric and Jacqui @Treadle Quilts
August 24th – Leanne @She Can Quilt and Jaclyn @Jaclyn Quilts
August 31st – Pam @Mad About Patchwork and Laura @Waffle Kisses

Hope your weekend was a good one.

e.



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hey Jude...

A few months back, a dear friend asked if I would make a quilt for her grandson due to arrive in June. You don't have to ask me twice to make a quilt, that is for sure! Her daughter-in-law wanted a woodland animal theme and colours like brown, yellow, and green. I sent her photos of fabric swatches and she ended up choosing a really cute Timeless Treasures print.

I was given design license and right away knew I wanted to fussy cut the critters featured in the main print. The design is inspired by many photos I've seen online - thank you to everyone who so graciously shares their projects to inspire us all!


I set each fussy cut square inside a 1/2" border of Kona Snow and then framed them with prints from my stash, primarily ones that read as a single colour. I think it is graphic and interesting and hopefully stimulating to this little guy as he grows.

The blocks are all 12" finished in size. You can see in a couple, I fussy cut a relatively large centre square so in both cases, I only used one print border, but I think it works and adds interest. The quilt is a good size, finishing at 48" x 55" so it will still be big enough for him when he's old enough to start knowing what some of the animals are - I hope he has fun with that. I used a wavy line stitch and walking foot to quilt horizontal lines across the quilt. One of my favourite parts of quilt-making is when I get to pull the finished project out of the dryer - I love how crinkly soft and vintage this one turned out. The binding is a scribbly text print from Sweetwater's Mama Said Sew line - it think it's neutral but present at the same time - I love how it looks.

Welcome to the world, Jude, we are so glad to have you here. May your eyes ever be open to the wonders around you.

e.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day!

Today we celebrate our country - a place where we are abundantly blessed and have freedoms not known by so many others. I am grateful. Thank you, Canada, for being my home!

e.

Monday, June 30, 2014

My Favourite Quilt

I'm sneaking in just under the wire here. If you have not seen or read, Sew Mama Sew has had a great feature running every day in June. Jess, of Quilty Habit, posted a story each day about a different quilter and their favourite quilt. All of us get to play along a s well so here I am, literally at the last possible moment, getting my post in and linking it up - it took me until now to set aside the other priorities and actually think about what quilt I would want to call "my favourite". Jessica asked each quilter a series of questions about their quilts so now, without further ado, here is my (current) favourite quilt and the answers to all those burning questions.

Tells us about your favourite quilt. When did you make it? What pattern did you use? What fabrics?

My favourite quilt is my Malibu Barbie Swoon. I started making this quilt in January of 2012. I find every year, right after Christmas, I have the urge to start something new. I'd had the Swoon pattern for some time by that point and always wanted to make it but had never really made a plan for doing so. The fabric which inspired this quilt was one of the focus prints from Kate Spain's Central Park line - I had ordered a fat quarter bundle of it as soon as it came out and then it just languished in my stash - it was time to do something with it. I got the blocks made in a big hurry but never finished putting it together until about June or so. It is a big quilt, so I decided to have it machine quilted and dropped it off at the quilter the same time I dropped off one of my daughter's wedding quilts to be done. Of course when it came time to pick them up, the wedding quilt was my priority for finishing. Then there was a wedding. Then another daughter and another wedding and another quilt. It took me until about June of last year to actually get the binding attached and stitched down so the project likely spanned 18 months total.

Have you shown it at any quilt shows or entered it in any contests?

Nope!

What memories or people does the quilt make you think of?

I'm not sure it evokes memories about people so much as about my childhood. I named it Malibu Barbie Swoon because the colours reminded me of my Barbie doll and of the beach. I think back to countless, carefree hours swimming at the lake under a glorious yellow sun - those were the days!

What do you like best about this quilt?

Everything. I love the saturated colours on the crisp white background. I love the symmetry of the stars. I love the aqua binding print. I love how vintage and crinkly it looks now that it has been loved much and washed often. This was also my first "modern" quilt that I completed and kept for myself so it represents an evolution in my personal design aesthetic, which I also like. It also has pieces of fabric from two of my most favourite (and collectible) lines - Hope Valley and Sandi Henderson's Henna Garden prints.



How did you grow as a quilter while making it?

This was the first quilt I made without pulling all the fabric from a single line or a single designer. I started with my focus print as a palette and went from there. I haven't looked back since and I'm so glad. It's so liberating to pick from my whole stash when I want to make something. And speaking of my stash, doing this helped me rethink how I purchase fabric and what I really want to have in my st ash.

If you could make this quilt again what, if anything, would you do differently?

I plan to make this quilt again. The blocks are so big that even though they take a bit of time (although not so much once you get a rhythm going) the top comes together really quickly. I really wanted a Baptist Fan quilting design on it but I was trying out a new machine quilter and she couldn't do that design for me so I went with an open fretwork-type pattern. It's very pretty, but I love the way this quilt looks with fans. It doesn't take away from the quilt at all for me, it's just something I want to see because I like it.

Where is the quilt now?

On the bed in our guest room for the summer. It spent the (endless) winter on our bed as an extra layer of warmth against the deathgrip of cold and snow we faced this past year!

So now I'll link up with Sew Mama Sew and check this off my to-do list. It was a great month. Thank you, Jessica and Sew Mama Sew for a really enjoyable month of blog posts.

e.

 
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