Wednesday, May 29, 2013

#1, 2, 3...City Sampler!

It is an exciting week because it is time to post the first blocks for Sew Sweetness' Tula Pink City Sampler Sewalong (that's a lot of words!). I showed my palette last week and this week, I set about sewing my first blocks.

Let me introduce you to Block 1:

Here is Block 2. Now, I have to tell you, poor Block 2 is not nearly as hypoxic as it looks. It was a cloudy morning when I took these photos and the colour just didn't come out nicely. Those printed logs are actually a gorgeous Tula print and Joel's Dewberry's indigo Nap Sack. I promise, Block 2 is much nicer in person.

And Block 3:

The blocks are very simple to sew but they are little (finishing at 6 1/2") so they will look best with seams sewn as precisely as possible (so, maybe wait to sip that glass of Merlot until after your sewing session, just sayin').

Long ways to go to make 100 blocks, but I've enjoyed the process very much so far. Linking up to Sew Sweetness TP City Sampler Sewalong!


Monday, May 20, 2013

And so it begins...

Today was a holiday here in Canada (Victoria Day) but I tackled a couple of work-related projects for the better part of the day; it felt good to get them done. I promised myself as a treat, I would pull my fabrics for the upcoming City Sampler Sew Along (check out the post at Sew Sweetness if you want to play along). One of my daughter's selected the indigo Prince Charming print as her favourite colour palette from the stack of goodies I placed in front of her, and she has been asking me to make her a quilt with blues and greens in it for awhile so...

...this will get me started. Today's post was about choosing fabrics. It was suggested 5 yards should be enough to make the blocks. If you do the math, it comes out to 40 fat eighths; I have 27 fabrics pulled so far, including a few other Tula Pink prints and a handful of solids. It was late by time I got these chosen and the sun was dropping ever so quickly but the picture still turned out pretty decent. The cream fabric second from the left is not a solid, but a tone-on-tone Sweetwater print. There are definitely places to use solids in this quilt, but I don't want to go overboard with them.

I'm ready for next Monday when we'll get our first post!

Thoughts and prayers going to Oklahoma tonight; my heart is heavy as I watch this evening's news about the storms. May God be with you all.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Block 28

A few weeks back I saw Tula Pink's City Sampler book featured on her Facebook page. You could order the book, or you could order the book plus a set of fat eights to get you started on the project. It took me all of thirty seconds to succumb to that temptation...

The book is absolutely gorgeous. Each of the blocks is hand drawn and coloured in; it takes me back to a fresh package of newly sharpened pencil crayons at the start of a school year. Back when you use one, then put it ever so carefully back in the exact spot it came from. Anyway, the book is just lovely.

A City Sampler quilt along gets going on Monday (yay - Victoria Day holiday here in Canada!) but I really wanted to try something out before then.

So easy. And very fast. Oh, it's not a sampler block, but you probably figured that out already. I didn't quite have a vision, yet, of the quilt I wanted to create and didn't want to just make some random block, either. Fortunately for me, my daughters and daughter-in-law are all relatively newly married and happily feathering their little nests so throw pillows are a well-received item in these parts. Eldest daughter (by all of 6 minutes - it's very important to her for people to know that) chose the print from my bundle of fat eighths and I added in the solids. I tripled the block measurements to get an 18" finished block. The quilting inspiration comes straight from the book, slightly modified to match the scale of the pillow.

Since I had all my girls here over the weekend, I told them each to pick out a favourite print or palette form the bundle, so there are a few more pillows coming. Good thing. Work is super busy right now so having quick projects like this satisfies my urge to sew and be creative and works with the time I have. I've been thinking it would be neat to make a quilt top of 18" sampler blocks. I'm keeping that idea in the back of my mind!

And, my muse has spoken....I have my inspiration for the City Sampler quilt along, too. Looking forward to getting started next week. Come join us!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Giveaway Day winner...

Thank you to everyone who visited and left encouraging, kind comments on the Giveaway Day post. I visited many of the bloggers who participated; I loved so many of the projects I saw and smile at how generous this online community is!

The winner of my giveaway is Kelli, who said the thing she likes about summer is "Vacationing. In my world, that means laying out by the pool, with a good read or mag in hand, while jammin' tunes play in the background and with a cold beverage in reach." I think it sounds perfect and I hope Kelli is able to do lots of vacationing in the upcoming summer months!

This weekend has been busy but very fun. We had our Mother's Day festivities yesterday as that is when all my kids and their spouses could be here. We grilled steaks. enjoyed yummy Skor-bar cheesecake, and just had a great time. I am so blessed with awesome kids and the spouses they chose. They spoiled me with a new Creative Grids ruler (my favourite kind!) and some flowers:

And now, I think I'll enjoy spending a bit of time with Tula.

Happy Mother's Day and happy weekend to all.


Monday, May 6, 2013

It's Giveaway Day!

Giveaway Day is a fun event organized by the gang over at Sew, Mama, Sew and it is a great way to meet a whole lot of bloggers and crafters and take a look at lots of great projects and ideas! So, without further ado, here is my giveaway:

My prize is this pillow cover which will fit a 20" x 20" (50cm x 50cm) pillow form (mine is being modeled an an Ikea feather-filled version). The pattern is by Tacha Bruecher for Moda Bake Shop and I downloaded the tutorial last fall, when it was featured on their site. The fabrics on the front are Juggling Summer by Zen Chic. The back is more Juggling Summer and a Kona solid and the binding is a small Windsor Lane check by Bunny Hill Designs.

With the pillow form inside, this would be quite a beast to mail but a replacement one can easily be found at places like Ikea (they have feather ones and non-feather ones at a good price), Michael's, Jo-Ann's, Walmart, or your friend's and neighbour's couches. By sending the top only it is easy to make this open for interenational friends to participate! The draw will be open until 5:00 PM PDT on Friday, May 10 (gotta like 5:00 on a Friday!) and I'll announce the winner shortly thereafter.

Thank you so much for coming to visit! If you'd like to enter, leave me a comment and tell me something you like about summer. I like a lot of things about summer, but one of my favourites is knowing the farmer's market will be open again! What about you?

Linking up to Giveaway Day here!


Saturday, May 4, 2013

On the positive side

The sun was out today and the sky was blue!!!

I have to say just that is enough to warrant a blog post, in my opinion. But I'm also positively pleased with my newly finished plus-sign pillow:

I followed this tutorial over at Jaceycraft; it is really simple to put together, although laying out my squares was a lot like working on a puzzle (which was kind of fun). Once I had my layout, the sewing went quickly. The fabric came from some charm packs of Juggling Summer by Zen Chic and I quilted it in an arced pattern to mimic the circles in one of the rings. I basically tied a string to a pencil and pivoted around one of the corners. I quilted down that line using a walking foot and then echoed it. I used a lined envelope backing and bound it with 2 1/4" wide strips. I didn't want a really wide binding, but it if I am going to try 2 1/2" wide strips next time. There are four layers of fabric where the two backing pieces overlap, plus the quilted front so it was a bit of a challenge getting the binding folded over all of that far enough to cover the seam line.

Here is my attempt at an artsy shot:

I'm finishing something up for Giveaway Day which starts on Monday - I hope you'll come back then.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Low Vol-Yum!

A local quilt shop had a sale on last week and I was happy to help them out by picking up a few pieces of low volume fabric - something which seems to be missing in my stash.

These pretties are from a few lines and I really like how nicely they play together.

Spring teased us last week by bringing sunshine and warm temperatures but the weekend brought more snow. And wind. Nobody would call Chicago "the windy city" after spending any time here. The good thing is the wind takes away the snow and brings another promise for spring - I'm sure hoping it sticks around a bit longer this time!

Today is Fresh Sewing Day over at Lily's Quilts. I usually remember about it on the 2nd of the month or something like that. It's a day quilters show off what they have been working on for the past month. In my case, there isn't much to show except for a couple of bee blocks and my churn dash quilt for Do. Good Stitches. Still, I'm so thankful I had time to enjoy what I love doing, and I am excited to link up and play along!

Wishing everyone a good May!