Thursday, June 12, 2014

summer's here

It's been warmer and so we've been outside mowing the lawn, making some improvements... 

I've been busy in the house too.  
This was the peek I gave to Laura for our Traveling Quilts group. 

This was the second quilt I worked on and the second that I think I love!  I now have Gina's quilt in my hands and it's definitely a different style than mine, so I hope I can make something she will love. 

I was also invited to join a group called Warm Wishes for a summer swap between some wonderful swappers.  I was given Samantha for my partner, and I couldn't have asked for a better fit!  Our mosaics even match.
I pulled these fabrics to make a special something for her.  

The special something is almost done, but I can't show it off because it's a surprise. Here are some tiny little peeks of some fussy cut bits I included.

I also made a set of nesting bowls for Samantha - this was something she asked for and I said I would make for her, so at least I can show them off. I used a tutorial from Spoonful of Sugar.

I love these bowls because they are not so deep as baskets, perfect for holding clips , washi tape and thread.

Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts put out a call for pattern testers a little while ago and I signed up to help.  Lorna is coming out with a new pattern, well 2 actually, the Ombre Sewing Studio mini quilts.  I chose to do the I LOVE 2 SEW pattern.  I swapped out the green for yellow because I didn't have enough matching shades of green.

I also swapped out solids for prints in the heart.  

I love how unfinished quilts look hanging in windows.  The light gives such a neat effect.

I bound the mini in some leftover strips I had, so because the strips were only 1.5" wide, I did single fold binding.  A little different than double, but it worked out okay.

The heart.

The spool.

I quilted with straight lines an inch apart across the width and used Kona Deep Blue (I think) for the backing.

I was planning to give it away, but now I'm not sure because a) I kinda like it myself, and b) I noticed some skipped stitches in the quilting (after a needle change, it all turned out good), and I'm always worried about giving away less than perfect gifts...  We'll see.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

when do I have time!?

Oy! I am so glad I will be done with teaching by the end of June.  I feel like I don't have enough time to do everything - and I'm only teaching two classes.  I've resorted to printing off a calendar just for sewing deadlines.  I have to make a couple dresses to finish an order, and an apron as well as bee blocks and swaps.  I know, the last two are really optional, but I like to have variety in my sewing.  I also started a quilt for my mom, but that is on the back burner right now.

A friend of mine is having her first baby this June and she asked if I would make baptism outfits for her.  In our church, we baptize babies when they are a week or two old, basically as soon as possible, so baptism outfits need to be small.  For our kids, we kept it simple and I made a large swaddling blanket from cuddle satin to wrap our babies in.  Way easier and no having to dress a tiny baby in something relatively more fussy.
Back to my friend though... They don't know if they are having a boy or a girl so she asked for a gown and a tiny tux.  I finished the gown first as it was easier.  This is the tiny tux.

Although it is tiny, I'm not sure it's tiny enough!  I told her she better have a fat baby if it's going to be a boy :)

My daughter turned 4 a few weeks ago and I always like to make something handmade for a gift. Last year I made a housecoat for her. This year she was in need of a new backpack to carry odds and ends around in.  I found a very detailed tutorial by Angela Pingel here and worked away on making the bag in the evenings.

It was definitely a lot of work, but so worth it.  I changed the owl out for a zipper pocket on the front and the mesh pockets for elasticized fabric pockets on the sides.

D loved it and that makes it even more worth it.  I didn't use twill fabric for the outer, but I did interface it with some good stiff interfacing so hopefully it will hold up just as well.

After all that difficult stuff was done, I needed to sew something simple.  Something that didn't require interfacing, buttons, or elastic.  Enter fabric basket.  Such a simple sew, even though it does require interfacing.  Seriously, once you make one of these, you just want to make more because they are so satisfying to make.

This basket is going to be sent off my my 4S swap partner.  Last round we made drawstring bags and filled them, this time it's fabric baskets.
My partner was very helpful, commenting and giving specific information for what she likes.  Based on her likes, I decided to make bearpaw blocks in bright colours with low volume background.

I offered up some backgrounds and a decision was made for the black linen.  I would have loved to have done a low volume background so the bearpaws would have seemed to be floating, but this wasn't for me, so black linen it is.

And it did turn out beautifully.

I added two rows of handstitching in yellow to brighten up the black a bit.  Love it!

Lastly, for today, I finished up round 1 of the Traveling Quilts!  Yay!  I was a little confused about what to add because in my mind what was sent didn't really seam to match in any way.  But I figured it out - just hope Julie likes my take on it.  

I can only show a sneak peek because the whole thing is supposed to be a surprise, but I wish I could show it all!  I didn't make the undies, Julie did, but I did make some of the bits that snuck in to this picture.  And now it's off to Shena.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

mmmmm, fabric

Mad About Patchwork recently celebrated their 6 year birthday and had a sale to go along with it.  Well.  It's a Canadian shop with very decent shipping costs and they were having a sale.  No fabric diets over here.
Pam also recently put together these wonderful stash bundles just in time for the sale.  So handy when shop owners group colours together for me.  I picked apart some of the bundles and ordered fat quarters from some of the blue, pink, and red groupings.  But this bundle needed to be bought in it's full glory.

May I present the Pink-Orange bundle courtesy of Mad About Patchwork.

I'd almost call these colours coral and I love them!

I almost wanted to buy a few more of her stash bundles, but I resisted.  I should really use some stash first.  

I am curating a bundle for a Modern Maples quilt to make for myself.  I'd love to have this quilt done for the fall.  It would add much needed colour to my living room and add a cozy feeling with such warm colours.  I'm slowly adding to this grouping. 

I've got some reds, teals, purples, oranges and browns.  I'm not sure how the teal fits in so great, but I can always switch it out later.

I've joined another round of the 4x5 Bee.  I really find this bee a little hit and miss.  I've done two rounds now and each time I get a little more specific based on what was sent to me the last round.  These are the blocks I plan to use.  

There are 7 here, two of which I made, meaning there are 5 that don't fit in very well.  What do you do with them?  I'm not sure.  They may become cushions over time for gifts or tote bag panels. 

For this round I am making this block.  I found this block on Flickr and loved it, so easy choice this time around.

It's actually a super easy block made by sewing strips together and layering and cutting and sewing back together.  The tutorial is here on Melissa's blog.  The only thing I changed was I took off the small outside navy corners and swapped them for yellow corners in keeping with my colour scheme of navy/magenta/splash of yellow.

And I'm finally making good progress on my Modern She Made swap item.  I decided to do a set of 4 placemats.  They are pretty simple in design, but I'm hoping they will get lots of use.

But before I continue on with these, I have to make two birthday gifts, one for my niece who is turning 7 and would like a purse and one for my daughter who will be 4 (!) next week.  I am hoping to finish up a backpack for her. And when did she grow up to be 4!!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

sewing with minions

Unexpectedly, I've been sewing more commission items now than when I wanted to.  Before I really caught the quilting bug, I had a small Etsy shop with some little girls dresses, and I was hoping sales would pick up, but I didn't have the patience or get-to-itness to keep up my shop.  It actually takes a lot of time to post things!  I had some sales via my shop, but I let all the listings expire and now I pretty much ignore it.  However, I also have a FB page attached to my shop and that's where most of the action is.  I have a couple customers who keep coming back and they keep me as busy as I ant to be because now between mothering, teaching, and quilting activities, I don't have much time for commissioned outfits.
In the end, I have a hard time saying no, and so when people ask, I make.

This set of three outfits is for a set of sisters aged 12, 3, and 1.5.  These girls' mom makes chunky bead necklaces and she will be doing a photo shoot in May with her girls modeling her necklaces.  She asked if I would make a set coordinating outfits for her girls.  

I am in love with the pink dress and I really want to make on for my girls now.

I was also asked to make another chef set for another little girls birthday.

D loves to model these for me when I'm checking to make sure the ties are long enough.

On the quilting side, I was asked to join the Traveling Quilts - Canada group on Flickr.  Really, how on earth could I say no to such fun!  I started with picking out colours - navy, lime, and aqua - and then got going on what my starter blocks would be.

I went with a 12" paper pieced star (I completely don't remember what pattern this is!) and then added a couple of things I love.

I did sew them all together, but after doing so, I saw that other members left their blocks separate and I kinda thought that was a better idea.  However, I was in no mood to seam rip and so I sent them as a whole.  If any of you Traveling Quilt members are reading this, feel free to take my blocks apart to make things work.

Yesterday we were given instructions for our do.Good blocks and since they were super quick and easy to make, I whipped them out and sent them off already.  April is going to be a busy month for me, so the less I have waiting, the better.

On the home front, D, who will be 4 this month, asked if she could sew on paper.  After a few trial runs on my dots, she came up with her own design.  She proudly informed me that this is a Y.

The other munchkin is also keeping me hopping.  Such a blurry photo, but this is really how she is 80% of the time. 

If you've watched Despicable Me 2 this will make sense - We call K our purple minion. Really, she does the whole 'BAAAA' thing too!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Saturday, March 8, 2014

little things

I've been sewing a lot of little things lately.

I had a mom contact me about making her daughter an apron with a hat for her 2nd birthday.  She wanted something bright and bold.  Well, the pink here really is that pink!

The main fabric is a Novella print from Valori Wells and I love the dark with bright.  It's the second thing I've sewn from this fabric, so now I only have scraps left, but that's okay because I find myself sewing more with scraps lately anyway.

After seeing some mini samplers pop up here and there, I've fallen in love with mini blocks.  So when I joined the Simple Sweet and Scrappy Swap on Flickr, I knew the drawstring bag I was making would incorporate some mini blocks.

The bag pattern is Jeni Bakers Drawstring Bag tutorial, and the piecing is done by my math.  The blocks finish at about 2 inches.

I have to add a few things to the package yet, but here's what I'm sending out to my partner.  We had to fill the bag with crafty things, but the only thing my partner specified was fabric!  So, more fabric and less other stuff for her.

Some more mini blocks.  But these ones are going to be made into a wall sampler for myself.  I'd been holding on to this mini charm pack of Simply Color for a while now, trying to decide how to use it, and this seemed perfect.  Only, because not all prints have doubles in the pack, I'm limited in what blocks I can make as I like to have each block in a main print and colour.

They will finish at 3inches.  It's kind of fun working with such small pieces.

Then there are the not so small pieces - 

I am slowly making progress on my Feathers quilt.  I'm hoping to have it done by the linky deadline of March 14, but I have to teach two days next week, so I'm not sure it'll make it!  In any case, it will get done soon and then it's on to the quilting part.  Sure will be nice to have a nice quilt on our bed.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Late last year I participated in the Simple & Sweet Scrappy Swap and I sent out a needle book and also received a fabulous needle book and some pretty fabrics.  It was a great swap.
But there were some others who were still waiting to receive, almost 4 months later.  One member posted that she had not yet received but she was willing to play along for another round, so I volunteered to make and send her a needle book.  All I asked for was her favourite colours and then I looked through her favourites on Flickr and got to work.

Her colours were green, pink, and aqua, and they all went well together, so I used them all together.  For the center block, I made a 3" mini pineapple block I found at Katie's Quilting Corner.

Katie, who this needle book is for, also had mentioned earlier when the swap began, that she liked the tied style of needle book.  Well, her wish was my command and tada, done.

Luckily, when I had ordered felt, I also ordered a bright green and so I stuck with the green/pink/aqua for the inside too.  The pockets face inward towards the center so that whatever goes in them will not fall out the top or bottom.  

I sent it out along with some fabric and a couple other little things and I hope it gets there soon.  I showed a sneak peek on Flickr and she already loved it, so that's a good sign.

I'm in love with this tiny pineapple block!  I saw a sampler mini quilt done for another swap and I think I might have to make myself such a thing.  I've already been looking at miniature blocks to make.  I'd like to do 3" blocks and have a 12" finished mini.  
Another added to my quilting bucket list.

For the Happiness circle of do.Good Stitches, we were asked to make two star blocks with the only specifics being the colours yellow, aqua, light gray, and white.

I'm starting to run out of aqua so many people ask for it in bee blocks.