Saturday, December 27, 2014

No late fees incurred - The Library Project winds up!

Well, it's December. Time for all those posts summing up a year's work. This year, Adrienne over at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts challenged all of us to use some of those fabulous quilting books we have in our personal libraries. She even created a monthly link up (with prizes!) to keep us motivated. There's something about a link up that gets me movin'... alas, this month, some other projects took priority and I didn't make the deadline. Oh well...

But, I am undeterred. I will do my round-up post anyway! Feel free to pop over to the final link-up and read about some other bloggers' experiences with TLP! If you're interested in the books mentioned below, I've linked to the authors websites whenever possible.

My first quilt of TLP year was Oh Deer, made for Young B, one of Himself's good friends. Young B loves his quilt and claims to spend far too much time under it! It's from Boo Davis' Dare to be Square Quilting. So many clever designs in this book. Definitely worth a read!
Next up were the Christmas Candy Dish pillows that I made for the Rents for Christmas. I counted them as a half project since they were smallish! They're from a Jaybird Quilts pattern that had been hanging out (unused) in my library for some time. It uses that oh so fun Hex n'More ruler!
Then there's Go Your Own Way. I made this one for the MQG's Michael Miller Challenge using stitch n'flip triangles, a technique described in Jacquie Gering & Katie Pedersen's Quilting Modern.
Next up, J-Boy's Good Old Hockey Game quilt designed by Kristie over at Obsessive Crafting Disorder. I bought it as a digital download on Etsy when I fell in love with it on Pinterest. It's yet to get a Friday Finish Post of it's own but here's a fun pic taken of it by my dad! Post coming soon!
Once I'd finished J-Boy's quilt, I decided that it was time to make something for myself! And what I really needed was a wall hanging for my newly re-designed studio. I went for Honey from Elizabeth Hartman's Modern Patchwork. This quilt has also been finished for some time but hasn't gotten it's official Friday Finish post. Here it is in progress...

All that remains is to get a hanging sleeve on this one and it'll officially be done. If I can do that in the next five days, I'm calling it a 2014 finish!

My goal was to complete four projects and, though they changed over the course of the year and some haven't been fully blogged about, I did it! Yay me! I also kept my new quilt book acquisitions to a minimum, another goal of TLP.

If you're looking for more details (you, keener, you), you can read about my monthly progress here:

Many thanks to Adrienne for throwing down the gauntlet on this one. Like a hit BBC show, this project had a limited run and won't be doing a second season!


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Edge!

Knowing that this year was going to be, well.... different, I worked ahead to get some presents done. If you can manage it, this is really the way to go. You get the fun of making presents without the stress of last-minute sewing and worrying if it will be done in time. I think there are more sewn presents this year than many others!
The gift of the year was definitely pillows... Christmas pillow covers and pillow cases for the little ones (and some teenager-y ones too!) Last January, I went a little wild and made a pile of pillow cases.
I even wrote a tutorial. You know, in case you want to make some too. That Christmas fabric will soon be on sale!
I also made pillow covers for  Himself's brother and his SO... I blogged about them here. Love this fabric and the Jawbreaker pattern from Jaybird Quilts!
For the 'Rents, pillows from another Jaybird pattern, Candy Dish. This one uses charm squares, but I cut into my Christmas stash instead. These will coordinate with the Christmas tree pants I made a couple years back.
And for Himself's parents, more pillows! These also coordinate with the tree skirt I made for them. I had lots of fun doing those EPP hexies and the other pillow is the plus pattern that started it all!
For two of my favourite crafty girls, Miss E and Miss O, I whipped up some Noodlehead Road Trip Cases. I blogged about the process here. They loved them! I suspect that the one on the right is already fully stocked with Rainbow Loom paraphernalia and the one on the right has some sweet art supplies in it!
The largest project completed for this year is J-Boy's Good Old Hockey Game quilt, one of my projects for The Library Project. There's a Friday Finish post in the works on this one... getting out to take pics has been a challenge for me. Thankfully, I contracted out for a few! I can't wait to hear what J-Boy thinks of this one!

And for Double Trouble? Well, Santa doesn't sew things, but Mamma sure does! When I made their Christmas Big Butt Baby Pants, I decided it would be fun for them to have a little quilty for their first Christmas. You know, for seasonal tummy time...
I have now used absolutely every scrap of that red flannel print. There are some really small segments in that binding!☺
And behold... my first completed project since DT arrived! Christmas bibs!

Honestly, why didn't I think of these months ago? I used the same pattern as the every day bibs. Okay, in truth, I used the every day bibs. I flopped down four layers of fabric (2 print, 2 flannel), pinned the spit up stained every day bib in place, and cut out around it. I was rushing so much that I didn't even slow down to use coordinating thread! DT have a tendency to wake up in the middle of projects requiring hands... there was no time to spare!

I leave you with a couple of my favourite Christmas thoughts...

Hope you and yours have wonderful holiday season!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

What to do when you have no time to sew...

Buy fabric, of course!

My only goal in stopping by my LQS was to say hi to my pal Miss N. Really. I planned to buy nothing. I need nothing. I am not starting new projects. Then I saw this...

Ann Kelle's latest in the Urban Zoologie line. Weak. I am powerless to resist the new animals! And I know they go quickly... some of those bolts were looking thin!
Foxes, alligators, flamingos. These are going to make some damned cute Big Butt Baby Pants! But come on, Robert Kaufman, for fabric this cute, your selvages are ho hum at best.
It's always going to be a good day when a box with this sticker arrives!
I jumped on the bandwagon and joined the Sew Sisters Stuff your Stocking program this year. Special deals each day for the first week of December? Free shipping, you say? Yes, please!
The first deal I went for was some very reasonably priced notions... I'll be tucking these away for swap goodies!
If I buy needles marked "for the Professional" and the quilt police don't show up at my door, does that make me a professional quilter? Talk amongst yourselves.
And then there was Kona pre-cuts 40% off.  This jelly roll makes me smile. I have no purpose for it all all. None.
 But if I make something with it and use every strip, I can check off all the colours released in 2013 ☺
 And then this little goodie from Tula Pink fell into my virtual shopping cart. Again with the cute animals... and camping themed.
The last deal of the week was a 50$ gift certificate for just 25$... this could be quite useful if a certain new Elizabeth Hartman book I've been eyeing doesn't make it's way under the tree this week! ☺

I'm linking up with the oh so fabulous Molli Sparkles for the penultimate Sunday Stash of 2014!


Saturday, December 13, 2014

A major WiP turns into two fabulous Finishes!

Can you hear the silence? Yup. Full bloggy silence. For an entire month. Were you wondering if I fell down a well and Lassie failed to alert my readers? Nope. A month ago today, my latest (and long running!) WiP turned into two fabulous finishes!
Double Trouble are finally here! Lucas & Cora were born in the late afternoon on Thursday, November 13th. Big brother was 7 pounds 15 ounces and little sister was 5 pounds 13 ounces. 
Lucas Joshua
Cora Margaret

Thank you to everyone who sent good wishes our way on my last post. Our little family is happy and healthy, settling in to daily routine... even if it is a little chaotic! There hasn't been a whole lot of sewing going on... but I did manage to mend a hole in my sweater and sew about 4 inches on a crib sheet!
I can't say how much time I'll manage in my studio in the coming weeks and months, but I hope you'll stick with me, dear readers! We've got some new adventures ahead!


P.S. The fabulous newborn shots you see above are not my work. They're the product of two photo shoots by local photographer, Samantha Ryer. Patient, caring, and with a real eye for capturing the unique personalities of little people - we couldn't be happier with her work!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Finish - Plus Two!

By the time you read this post, these quilts will be in the tiny hands of their new owners. Himself & I have been waiting so long to meet them. One of my main distractions during that time was making special things to welcome them into the world. You've seen some of them here, here, here, & here.

Their quilts were by far the toughest for me. It was so hard to can read about my deliberations here. I wanted them to be special. Similar, but unique. In the end, I think I got there!
Here's Quilt A for Aaby... background is Kona Honey Dew. I love that I didn't buy any of these prints specifically for these quilts. I raided my stash and this is what I found! It means that some favourites that have been around for a while made the cut.
And here's Quilt B for Baby... featuring the same fabrics for the pluses, but with a Kona Aqua as the background.
The late afternoon sunshine doesn't do much for the colours of these two, but it shows you the straight line diagonal quilting. I wanted the negative space (background) to get the attention when it came to the quilting. The pluses are simply outlined. Both are quilted in white thread.

The backings feature large pieces of Amy Butler's Martini and Garden Maze from her Midwest Modern line, as well as a strip of Sunprint Text. These fabrics are also in the quilt tops. I love it when I'm able to use the same fabric on the front and back... though it doesn't happen often!
Rather than matching the bindings to the background colour, I went for a contrasting binding using the background from the other quilt. I really wanted these to feel like a pair!

The Deets
Title: Plus Two
Size: 35 by 44 inches
Konas Used: Aqua & Honey Dew
Quilting: Straight line diagonal using Aurifil White (Colour - 2024) 

Binding:  Aqua & Honey Dew Hand stitched with Aurifil
Backing: Martini and Garden Maze by Amy Butler, Sunprint Text
Favourite Part(s): Making something special for my own babies!

If I'm able, I'll be linking up with Finish Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts. But then again, I might just have my hands full!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WIP Wedneday - Charm Pack Cherry sans cherries!

I did it... I jumped on the bandwagon. I kept seeing these fabulous quilts around the blogosphere made from Fat Quarter Shop's Charm Pack Cherry Pattern. In search of some quilty distraction, I grabbed one the charm packs that has been languishing on my shelf and got to work!
Thank goodness I had a small bolt of Kona Snow on hand... I always worry about mixing prewashed fabric and "fresh" fabric. Cutting straight from the bolt took some of that away.... now I'll just obsess about whether the colours are going to run when washed. I am such a creature of habit!

If you're looking at these fabrics and thinking "These seem just a little off...", you wouldn't be wrong! I'm not a buyer of charm packs. These were a thank you from Sew Sisters for taking up their Kona Club Challenge. Don't panic - I haven't gone all floral on you! 
I was having a hard time not planning my fabric selections, so I grabbed a plastic bin and gave the charm squares a good shake. It makes plappy (planned+scrappy) quilts a little more doable!
First up, I had to sew some nine patch blocks. Nothing too wild and crazy there! The only tricky bit was that the pattern called for 2 charm packs (72 print squares) and I only had one. I figured I'd wing it and see what size quilt I could come up with.
 In the end, there were just these two sad squares left. Those tone on tone ivory dots wouldn't work at all!
 Some of the completed blocks pre-slicing.
I've said it before, I'll likely say it again. There is something that makes me VERY uneasy about slicing into a completed block.
To get enough blocks to make a 3 block by 3 block quilt (as opposed to the pattern's 4 block by 4 block layout), I had to get a little creative with the leftover bits!
But in the end, it all worked out! Once you figure out that there are two types of blocks and figure out how many you need of each, adjusting the pattern is pretty easy. It helps that slicing the nine patch blocks isn't a point of no return!
The finished top is roughly 40 by 40 inches. It came together in just a few hours over two evenings... not too shabby! I'm already thinking that this could be a fun way to use those Kona Charm Squares I won! And I'd get the bonus of crossing off all 32 new colours from my Kona Love list!

I'm hoping to link up with WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced and Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts. If you find that I haven't, you can rest assured that my biggest WIP, Double Trouble, has made some real progress this week!


P.S. If you're a blogger and have made a quilt from this pattern, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your blog... maybe we'll get a few more people on the bandwagon!

Saturday, November 08, 2014


So, yeah... Kona solids have turned 30! And in honour of that anniversary, there's an awesome blog hop.
I can't believe I wasn't asked to be part of the blog hop... I mean, shouldn't there be a real life superfan among that who's who? Oh well.. I'll get over it.

I've been checking out all the stops during the hop's first week (it runs until December 3rd!) and entering all the giveaways. There's no "Rafflecopter, sign up for a newsletter, blah, blah, blah." You just leave a comment and are entered in the giveaway. And the fabric gods have looked upon me with favour! I won... I actually frickin' won! There's a charm pack of the 32 new colours headed my way. And to make it even better, I also won a free Craftsy class from Anita Grossman Solomon of Make it Simpler.

Just in case you can't get enough Kona inspiration from the posts, you can flip through (or even download) the Kona Cotton Lookbook: 30 Quilts for 30 Years. It features the quilts made by each of the bloggers on the hop! I'm drooling already!
Robert Kaufman Lookbooks - Kona Cotton Lookbook: 30 Quilts for 30 Years
And to pay homage in my own little way to Kona's 30th b-day, I'm adding a new page to my blog. If you're a Kona junkie (or want proof of my Kona-mania), check out the tab at the top of the page titled "Kona Love."


Thursday, November 06, 2014

WIP Thursday - A day late and a dollar short...

I know that WIP Thursday just doesn't have the same ring to it as WIP Wednesday, but things just didn't come together the way I'd planned yesterday! Oh well...

Last week, we had a new arrival at our house... nope, not Double Trouble, but the long awaited sectional  that we ordered (seemingly) forever ago. It's very comfy and looks great in the family room. But it needs some softening up. Those expanses of dark brown leather cry out for some pillows. My inspiration for the fabric pull came from a striped cotton twill that I've used to cover some big 'ole floor pillows.  Here's what I came up with....

I know, I know.... what's with the dull colours? Where did these Konas even come from?  They are (from the top) Mustard, Green Tea, Bonsai, Avocado, Robin Egg, Caribbean, Chocolate, & Snow. The reality is that as bright as my quilts can be at times, those tones don't always work practically in my home. Himself does like to have a say... and he's more of an earth tone kinda guy.

Anyway, I opted to make two of The Metro from Pillow Pop. Have I mentioned how great this book is? No need for me to include it in The Library Project - I've made more projects from it than from any other book I own!
This pillow is currently living on the couch... its 20 inch square size makes it perfect for lounging on, but the colours don't really work! These work much better...
 Can you figure out what Kona got dropped and what two got added? We'll see who really knows their stuff... I'm looking at you, Lynn from Buttons Quilts or perhaps you, Aimee from Candy Coated Quilts.
On to the quilting... I keep a few less than stellar prints in my stash to use as the backing when I'm making pillows. I don't like having the batting exposed and you barely see the backing once you put an envelope back on the pillow.
I went with random straight line quilting... unoriginal since this is just how it's quilted in the book. But it's quick and easy... works for me!
I marked with my trusty Frixion pen... I went for blue as I've had some troubles with red leaving ghost marks on white backgrounds.
 Here's the same section... post ironing. I just love those pens! I think it's that they mark like a ballpoint pen (since that's what they are) instead of the scratchiness of the usual fabric marking pen.
Once the pillows were trimmed, I moved on to the envelope backing. I always mean to branch out into zipper backs, but never have the right colour on hand when I need it. When I'm this close to finishing, there are no trips to the LQS! After auditioning a few backings (and finding that I really don't have a lot of large pieces of fabric in these colours!), I went for Bluebird Park by Kate & Byrdie that I bought in Montréal this summer.
Love that selvage! Such a junkie...
When I sew an envelope backing, I always make sure to start and end at the section where the two backing pieces overlap. I figure that if it's going to rip, this is the likely breaking point, so I stitch it a few times!
As for the pillow form, I went for re-purposing this time around. We've recently gone from two spare beds to one air mattress, so there are extra pillows floating around (and no extra closet space to store them in). I also hate throwing out pillows when they get a little long in the tooth. It's not like throw pillows get slept on nightly!

You need some sharp scissors to get through all that stuffing, but it's kind of fun! I even take the stuffing from the cut off section and bulk up the section to be used for the pillow.
And they're already on the couch... they made watching Gray's Anatomy this evening so much more comfy!
Even though this print is a little cutesy, I think it works! And there are hedgies. Honestly, I should do an entire quilt of hedgies. Perhaps a Polaroid quilt?
Though I'm a day late and a dollar short, I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts! Thank goodness Lorna is generous with her link-up closure time! Head on over and see what others are making this week!


P.S. And since this WIP turned into a Finish, I'll likely be linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday! ☺