Monday, April 29, 2013

Sending some love...

all the way to Boston!
My little flag will be joining countless others from all over to be displayed in Boston, hopefully in early June.
If you're interested in sending a little love too,  The Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild has all the details (including tutorials to make some flags).
To Boston With Love

There's even a Flickr group, if you're looking for inspiration.
  P.S.The deadline  is May 21, 2013. 


Kitchen scraps and leftovers

 Hot on the heels of finishing some potholders, I've made another scrappy finish for my kitchen.
 Bold and bright scraps were selected in oranges and pinks. I randomly stitched fabric strings and bits onto a foundation fabric,

until I had a piece large enough. 
Checking to make sure my patchwork  is large enough for the pattern piece.
 Then I went on to quilting it, making a back and inside for the oven mitt.
The colourful patchwork is the top for one oven mitt.
I did it all a second time...

and love the results!

Looking at my new oven mitts, I want to go bake something, just so I can use them. ;o)
 New oven mitts and new potholders - all from scraps.   I'm all set for kitchen duties!
Reverse side of oven mitts are made from cut-offs from the quilt backing from my Orange Twirl quilt.  Leftovers never looked so good! ;o)

Friday, April 26, 2013

I almost missed it

 It only happens once a year.  Which is probably a good thing (considering how much I always bring home... lol).  I look forward all year long to this fun day of gathering sewing notions, fabric, yarn, patterns and other creative goodies while helping out a worthwhile cause.
I nearly missed out this year, though.  My usual source for notification of the sale wasn't helpful.  Luckily, I had the name of the charity and went online searching, to discover the sale was to be held the very next day!
Each year I've attended, I try to stock up on some basic sewing notions.  This year, I returned to gathering buttons and snaps and zippers.  I also snagged a few small embroidery hoops.
I showed great restraint in the yarn section.  I only brought home 10 balls of crochet threads (at 50cents each - you will understand how much willpower I had to resist bringing home more! lol).

Along with cards of buttons, I gathered up loose buttons and went about sorting them into colours when I was home.  Lots here to add to my button stash for use in projects.  Zippers were priced at 10 for a dollar in small bags, but as my stash of zippers is already pretty healthy, I didn't go overboard this year.

The biggest attraction for me this year, was fabric. Believe or not, I didn't even look for quilting fabrics!  I was on a quest to gather some staples for sewing some clothing for myself and family.  I zoned in on flannel (for pj pants), interlock jersey (for T-shirts), jogging fleece (for hoodies), denim & corduroy (for bags and garments) along with some muslin, canvas and burlap for other sewing projects.  Being able to purchase a couple of metres at $2/piece means that some affordable sewing is ahead.  I even scored some pieces that are over 3metres in length (that sold for $3/piece).  Crazy good, right?!
Buttons and zippers sorted and ready to add to my stash.  A tower of freshly laundered fabric awaits me!  Lots of sewing ahead for my family's needs.

Is it any wonder that I anticipate this sale each year?  Enough that I stood outside in the windy, cold weather with other devotees, awaiting the doors to  open and the thrift shopping to begin.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Scrappy Strings Potholders

I have my first finish for Q2 of the Finish-A-Long with Leanne.
she can quilt
Okay, it's a small finish, but after a week of being sick and accomplishing little else, it does make me happy to cross these off my list.
I especially love finishes that come from scraps (here)!
I've made potholders before, but this is the first time I've made them using a special  fleece specifically for hot or cold applications. I used one layer of the Insul-Fleece along with 2 layers of quilt batting and three layers of fabric (my scraps were pieced to a foundation fabric).
  Free motion quilting through all those layers went quite well.  The tricky part was in adding the binding - but that was manageable too after I reduced my usual seam allowance  for binding.

 I made two sizes of potholders, mainly because I'm not the only one that will be using them.  My hands are the smallest in the household, so to accommodate the menfolk (with their larger hands), I made this one for their use.  Plus, I figure this size would do double duty as a hot pad to set pans on.

Scraps on the front, polka dots on the back.  Two of my all time favourite fabric combinations. ;o)

The second potholder is smaller and more suited to my hand size, although my sons thought it was a coaster.   Okay, it is small and there's no hanging loop (which I not only find useless as I store my potholders in a drawer, and  I always end up burning off a  hanging loop during use anyways... so no loop on purpose  ;o), but it's the right size for me.

Again, scraps on the front and dots on the back.  Yum!

I admit to having some fun with the quilting.  I love free motion quilting a flower design!

No sooner did I finish the potholders, I put them to the test removing some home made bread from a hot oven.  They passed the heat test with flying colours!

Now my kitchen helpers have requested a pair of oven mitts and more importantly, that I FINALLY toss out the thread bare and thin little potholders I have been using for far too long. ;o)
  I guess more scrap play sewing is in order!
I'm linking up with Amanda Jean's  Crazy Mom Quilts... Finish-it-up-Friday!

What a week!

 I think I forgot just how NOT fun it is to get sick.  The past week I've been down with a nasty head cold - the kind that leaves your nose raw and sinuses burning. The staying home from installing with my husband part was nice... but it wasn't exactly a jolly holiday. I mistakenly thought that I would be able to work away on some sewing projects while I was sick, but I didn't count on how much energy being sick takes. ;o)

 The week wasn't all bad though. I spent a little time crocheting - seems I could manage the simple repetitive stitches in this hand made trim (that I've been wanting to make for awhile).  This was a prototype  as I want some to add to pillowcases I  intend to make for my bed.  More crocheting ahead, now that I know the pattern works with this particular thread.

While I was under the weather, I received a lovely package of fabrics from my blogfriend in Sweden, Maria.  She knows I'm trying to collect some low volume fabrics for some quilting projects and she wanted to contribute.   I feel so spoiled by her kindness (she even tucked in some yummy Brandon Mably fabric, too!) and I'm quite excited to put these pretties to use. Thank you, Maria!

The final highlight from the week I was sick, is that I was able to attend the annual Unwanted Fabrics and Crafts Sale.  Here's just a small sample of the treasures that came home with me (more on that in another post ;o).

Thank you to all who sent "get better soon" wishes.  I'm so happy to be nearly 100% well again. 
 Nothing like being sick to make you appreciate being healthy!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Can't complain...

that I'm under the weather.  Seems that the 3+ years being illness- free streak I was on, has been broken.  Actually, it's been so long since I had a sore throat that I wasn't even sure that I had one... at first.  The restless night with a swollen throat clued me in that this was for REAL. ;o)  So, I've been drinking hot lemon water and resting.
Too sick to help my husband on the construction jobsite, but not so sick at this point, that I couldn't spend a little time sewing.
Wrapped up in a quilt, I've been working on one of my FAL projects.  Yay!  Progress!
My 1" square collection has been put to good use making more mini-sized Granny Blocks.

Since I'm wanting to make a king-size quilt with these colourful little beauties, I have a lot more blocks needing to be made.  Thankfully, these are simple enough for this under-the-weather sewist to distract herself with (while not blaming her hubby for being the one to share his germs ;o).

Monday, April 15, 2013

The List: Q2 FAL

I'm all set to knock some works in progress off my to-do list, so I'm joining in with Leanne and friends for the second quarter of Finish-A-Long 2013!
she can quilt
This time around, I have 3 projects carried over from the first quarter and 3 that were started in the first quarter.  Seems as much as I like finishes, I can't help but start some things too. ;o)
1.  Pop Star Quilt -  basted and ready to be quilted.  Still  have no idea what I will use for binding!

2. ManDarin Quilt - it's a flimsy and I've sewn extra blocks to make a pieced backing.  Need to get that backing pieced, then on to basting, quilting and binding.  Yay!

3.  Mini Granny blocks - only have a few blocks made towards accomplishing a king-size quilt.  No backing fabric or binding determined just yet, but I have my batting ready and waiting.

4.  Possibilities in Blue and Green -  would love to turn this into a mini or baby quilt, but need to do some more piecing first.

5.   Potholders - I've been piecing some scraps and strings together, but nothing finished.  Really need new potholders, so this WIP is a priority! ;o)
6. Garden Plot Quilt - a flimsy I made for the Emerald Challenge in March.  Ready to be basted, quilted and bound. (So I guess I best sort out what I will use for backing and binding... lol). 
Okay, I think I'll stop my list at this point. I believe have plenty to finish over the next 3 months. Plus, you know I won't be able to resist starting a few things as well. ;o)
Curious to see what others have on their FAL Q2 lists?

Monday, April 8, 2013

String me along...

I've been doing a little scrap busting, with my eye set on making some "yardage" from the assorted bits and pieces.  The bins I have for keeping some order to my scrap collection were hauled out and I found myself caught up in putting together the "strings" of fabric (which are basically the cut away bits I have from when I square up fabrics - now you know that I really hang on to every stray bit of fabric... lol).   First I made a lovely mess, sorting through those bins,
A creative mess? ;o)
 but I did end up with some new "yardage" to use for projects.  I have to say, it never ceases to amaze me, what you can make with scraps!  Here are only a couple of the pieces I patched together.

 I'm thinking that these two "new" pieces will become much needed potholders and for that reason, I stitched the strings onto a foundation fabric (figure the extra layer of fabric can't hurt in making them more heat resistant).  I'm rather excited  not only to replace my worn out ones with colourful (and whole... rather than holey ;o) ones, but to see those fabric bits sewn into something useful.
  So gratifying!

While working on my scrappy ideas (why is it, one idea always leads to a dozen more?), I've been thinking about the works-in-progress list for the second quarter of the Finish-along.  I already know I have 3 quilts to carry over from the first quarter,  but am certain I have a few more projects I can add. Might even find some scrappy projects on that list. ;o)
Hope your week is off to a great start!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

2013 FAL... Q1

Time to take stock of what I accomplished on my list of unfinished projects for the first 3 months of the year as a part of...

she can quilt

The first projects I completed from my list are gifts (see this post).  Mama Roo and her Joey are for my niece

while the dolphin is for my nephew.

The first quilt to be completed from my FAL list is Orange Twirl (click here).

The second quilt I managed to complete is Summer Sparkler (click here).

Now what about the other THREE quilts I had on my FAL list?...
Not one of them is finished in time for the first quarter,  although I'm closer now to finishes on two of the three.

The ManDarin quilt is now a flimsy and is awaiting completion of a pieced backing - so a finish is within reach. ;o)

My version of Made in Cherry, which I've named Pop Star, is basted and awaits quilting, so I'm pretty pleased on the progress on this quilt.  This was the one quilt that I had not even sewn a stitch of, when I added it to the FAL list.

My final project that I hoped to complete is a king-size scrappy granny square quilt.  No progress was made on this one.

That means I have 3 out of 6  finishes for the first quarter of FAL.
  My hopes were high, but I'm not disappointed to only have completed half of the projects on my list.  I love the momentum participating in the FAL created - not only did I finish 3 WIPS, I managed to complete a few others not on the list and start a few more. lol  Happy times!
Want to see what everyone else has finished?
Click here to find out!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Simple is good.

I have two small finishes to share this week. 
 Small and simple, but sweet nonetheless.
A bit of linen, a few embroidery stitches and a couple of lovely prints, all add up to a pretty way to keep needles safe and ready for use.

I love this needle book design!  Yes, this is not the first time I've used this pattern, which can be found in Sew Pretty Homestyle, and I know this won't be the last.  It's such a gratifying little project and makes me feel happy to see I accomplished a bit of sewing despite a busy week.

I'm going to keep the green linen needle book for my own use, but want to offer you the chance to win the needle book with the embroidered red rose on linen.  I'm certain to tuck in a few other sewing related treats along with it, so if you're interested... leave your comment* (making sure I can contact you by email) for your chance to win.  Consider this a long overdue thank you to all of you that stop by and make my day with your support.  I want to pass a little sewing happiness and friendship along...

*I'm willing to ship internationally and will draw the winner on April 7th.

**Comments have been closed for giveaway entry.  Winner to be drawn and announced here shortly...      Congratulations to Linda!  Your needle book will soon be on its way overseas to you. :o)
Thanks to all that entered.  I love giveaways...and I treasure your visits.  We may have to do this again SOON. ;o)

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts
 Finish-it-up Friday

Thursday, April 4, 2013

How did that happen?

Well, hello, there!
Somehow, I've lost 2 weeks. ;o)
Can I blame it on the long work days that seem to be a part of the latest round of installing I've been doing with my husband? 
 In the past 3 weeks we've worked in four different homes that  are worth over 1 million each.  It has meant lots of high end work that understandably, takes more time, concentration and energy (leaving me too tired by days' end for much of anything besides cooking supper and early to bed ;o).  Two of these expensive homes required us to set up our tools outside to work (all of our cutting with chop and table saws was done in the fresh Spring air)... so we were really happy when we awoke to this yesterday morning... 
 Out my window on April 3, 2013.
 ah, yes, nothing like revisiting winter to kick the day off right. ;o)
Thankfully, all the snow that fell early Wed. morning melted off before noon, but it was still a rather nippy temperature to be set up outside for all our cutting.  Brrrrr... 
Meantime, some sunshine arrived in my mailbox, several days ago, that worked wonders in distracting me from our on again/off again Spring weather. lol
My lovely friend, Maria, sent me a wonderful gift!
A pretty patchwork pouch made entirely with plaids and some gorgeous Brandon Mably fabrics.
Thanks so much, Maria! 

Look at those glorious colours!  These are the first Brandon Mably fabrics I've had the pleasure of sewing with.  Didn't Maria completely spoil me with her gift?!  I'm so in love with the details on her pouch - such great texture with her quilting and I love the bit of ric rac on the button loop.
Maria teasingly told me I was to "sew something good" for myself using those beauties...
and I did.  More on that, tomorrow. ;o)
Wishing you a happy finish to your week!
I can hardly wait for the weekend ... even though we have some snow in our forecast (do I need any better reason to stay indoors and sew?) .   LOL
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