Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What a year!

 Hard to believe that this is the last day of the year 2014.   I like to look back over a year as work on plans for the New Year. I decided it might help me to make a pictorial record as a quick overview of some of the things I sewed in the course of this past year.

The above collage is a random compilation of the things I made in January - June and the collage below, is for July - December.  It's encouraging to look back and see what I accomplished in a year and the variety of projects (many which were gifts and many my own designs).

Over the course of 2014, besides sewing whatever struck my fancy, I also participated in a few bloghops, a couple of quilt alongs, took part in the Pantone Colour of the Year contest, published a new pattern and shared a couple of tutorials.  Fun times, all around!
Personal favourites for 2014?
Right off the top is the king size granny square quilt made from scraps - a goal I've had for a couple of years - so it was a bit of thrill to see this finally achieved.
Next, is the Rainbow Connection Craft Case that I designed for my nieces to store their Rainbow Loom and supplies ( a design which I made two versions of and still hope to turn into a pattern).
My final favourite from this year's finishes is my recently completed Festive Trees runner from the Last Minute Christmas Sampler QAL.  Today, I'm sharing some updated photos of it. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

From me to you...


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
xoxo Katherine

Monday, December 22, 2014

Still stitching snowflakes

One of the things I love best about having a room dedicated to my sewing, is that any moment I can, I'm in it stitching. 
It's a good thing too, as I won't win any awards for speed when it comes to paper piecing.  That being said, I am certainly enjoying sewing Julianna's blocks from her  Last Minute Christmas Sampler QAL.   I've just finished a new version of her snowflake block, which happens to be a mirror image of the first version.  I. Am. In. Love. ;o)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Stash - Winter Solstice edition

There's been some enthusiastic stash enhancing recently - thanks to a gift certificate combined with a sale at Fat Quarter Shop.  The tricky bit has been trying to photograph them to share.  Short daylight hours and some overcast days can make this season the most challenging for picture taking, but believe me when I say that the colours are fresh and crisp in person.  Just what I wanted!
Fabrics I chose as my prize (for winning the Sew Sweet QAL with my cupcake bag).
What a treat to have a gift certificate to go shopping with!  You can bet I had a good time browsing and selecting just what I wanted for some upcoming projects.

Yay! Five Miss Kate flannels to add to the flannels I've been gathering for a much longed for king size  quilt, plus a low volume red dot fabric for another project.  All in all, a very satisfying and well spent gift certificate (thank you, Fat Quarter Shop and Joanna's Sew Sweet QAL!). 

Flannel from Miss Kate collection by Bonnie and Camille.  Red dot from Henry Glass "A Year of Love" collection.
I'm hoping to start the quilt after the holidays, knowing that we will still have plenty of winter left for it to be appreciated. ;o)  Speaking of winter... so happy that today is the shortest day of the year and that our daylight hours will begin to increase once again. 
 Happy Winter's Solstice!
Linking up with Molli and the glitterati for...

Molli Sparkles

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Stitching up a storm?

I'm taking a quick moment to check in with you, because there's a wonderful stack of projects cut and waiting to be sewn into gifts.  Yes, I'm spending some quality time with my sewing machine every evening. Yay! 
 There's also been some time sewing Julianna's fantastic (and free!) paper piecing patterns from her
 It's official.  I am now in love with paper piecing.  Seriously.  How could I not be?  Just check out the latest block I finished...
Let it snow!

and try to talk me out of sewing more of these awesome snowflake blocks! ;o)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Is it a forest yet?

I'm referring to the Christmas tree blocks I have stitched using Julianna's fantastic paper piecing pattern from her Last Minute Christmas Sampler QAL.   I've been totally smitten with making trees using her fun pattern!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I think he'll like it

Near the beginning of the year, I made a gift (this kit bag) , for a special young man.  Surprised by the lack of masculine fabrics in my stash at the time, I started gathering manly fabric for future gift making for guys.  This week, I dipped into some of those 'stached  fabrics to stitch up a new version of the kit bag as a gift.
A simple zip top bag design is great for organizing toiletries... and makes a perfect gift idea for guys or gals - it's all in the fabric choices!
The two main fabrics are from Michael Miller's Urbanista collection.  I especially love the mustache print. :o)

   Piping adds great structure to the finish and looks sharp in this Amy Butler print.

I've got some more mustache themed ideas as additional gifts, as this is only the start on gift making for the guys on my sewing list.  Now to stitch up a couple of more of these kit bags and some flannel lounge pants.  How's your gift making going?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

A Sew Sweet prize

Last month, I participated in Joanna's Sew Sweet QAL, featuring her delicious paper piecing patterns.  I entered my finished project and was wonderfully surprised to be selected as the winner.  Among the fabulous prizes from Joanna's sponsors, a lovely bundle of assorted FQs from Fresh Squeezed Fabrics. 

Look!  It's a pretty rainbow for me to sew with. :o)

Thanks so much to Randi at Fresh Squeezed Fabrics for  this sweet prize and to Joanna for her delightful Sew Sweet QAL.

P.S. You can find Joanna's patterns on Craftsy
 Don't hate me, but I was also lucky enough to win my choice of 5 of Joanna's patterns as another part of the prize package from the QAL... any guesses which 5 I picked? ;o)

More Christmas Trees

There's been more paper piecing sewing happening here as a part of Julianna's Last Minute Christmas Sampler QAL.

 Looks like I'm either on my way to sewing a Christmas Tree sales lot or a forest. ;o)

My first and second versions of the Christmas Tree Block have me wanting to sew more of them.

I suppose I should "branch out" and start stitching some of the other fabulous blocks that Julianna has designed for the QAL. ;o)  How about you?  Are you stitching along with Julianna?

Linking up with Lorna and friends over at...

Sew Fresh Quilts

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Trees Block # 1

A quick post to show the first block I've finished for Julianna's Last Minute Christmas QAL.  More soon...
until then, go visit Julianna to see the newest paper piecing block she's sharing for the QAL.  It's a beauty!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Making a start

December!?! Goodness, I'm not sure how we can already be starting the last month of the year.  It's going to be a busy month, but I decided I just couldn't miss out on joining Julianna's Last Minute Christmas Sampler.  Her patterns are so charmingly festive looking, that I really couldn't resist. ;o)  I'm going to stitch up as many blocks as I can for some projects I have in mind in between working on the other sewing items on my list.  That's the plan, anyways.  We'll see how that goes.
Christmas QAL
Choosing to participate was easy, the tougher choice for me was settling on a palette to use to base my fabric choices on.  I'm determined to sew from my stash and wanted to mix things up by not going totally traditional with colour choices.  Design Seeds to the rescue!
I love fresh, happy colours and the palette idea above, caught my fancy.  It lead to a fabric auditioning session that has pretty much taken over my sewing table, but boy, do I feel inspired!

Last evening, I finally started the first paper piecing block that Julianna shared for the QAL - *Christmas Trees.  I'm hooked.   Uh-oh.  I believe it's going to be hard to stick to my sewing list now. I'm totally smitten with sewing these blocks. ;o)

*Julianna has already given the patterns for four blocks so far, with more to come - all are conveniently linked up on one blog post (click here).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

An evening of stitching

There has been a little stitching happening in between helping my husband with some custom cabinetry installation work.  This time, I'm using some of Robert Kaufman's quilter's linen (in white) to do some ribbon embroidery.  I love the way the ribbon colours play off the white background.  These are destined to become sachets. Stitching is such a relaxing way to unwind after a long day.
I mark dots, with an archival micron pen, to transfer the design onto the linen for embroidering.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Made with "XOXO"

I had a wonderful time stitching up gifts to give to Jeanie as a part of the "Twas the Night" blog hop.  Jeanie is an animal lover and recently lost her second beloved kitty (Oliver) and so, he became the inspiration for my gift making.  Cotton + Steel fabrics were the "purr-fect" choice for my projects.  The orange kitties were an obvious pick, but the navy print was chosen because it is aptly named "XOXO" (I thought some hugs are just what Jeanie needs). 
A "purr-fect" set in Cotton + Steel fabrics.

Now, what to make?  I decided to stitch up a matching set of sewing goodies for Jeanie, featuring, "Oliver".

I made a fussy cut fabric "stamp" to stitch to the front of the needlebook and love the vintage snap closure that looks like a button.
First, a compact needlecase to securely store her needles (designed by Tone Finnager. Pattern can be found in her book Sew Pretty Homestyle).  This is by far, my favourite needlebook pattern.  I have lost count of how many versions of this pattern I have stitched for gifts.

Made using the Prettified Pincushion pattern, from Patchwork, Please! by Ayumi Takahashi.
A needlebook needs a pincushion!  It was serendipity to have a paper pieced pincushion pattern that allowed me to fussy cut kitties for the front, with a "hug" button in the middle

and a kitty face on a self covered button on the back.  Love all that kitty goodness!

My own design for a round bottom drawstring bag.  It's my new favourite way to "wrap" a gift.

Keeping it all together, is a round bottomed, drawstring bag which I couldn't resist embellishing with mini pompom fringe and a fabric tag.

Here's a peek at the insides of the bag and needlebook.  This was my first time using Cotton + Steel fabrics and I love how those fabrics mix and match.   Jeanie has been so appreciative of these gifts, that I'm sure my noggin' has swelled so big I can barely fit through doorways anymore. ;o)  Seriously, what can be better than knowing your handmade gift has been received and appreciated with so much love?  Jeanie made it all such a pleasure and it's my hope it gives her heart a lift each time she uses my gifts.

Oh, but wait... I'm not quite done with the kitties...the finishing touch to all this?  A handmade card, featuring "Oliver", wishing my new friend, Jeanie, a "Meowy Christmas".  Well said, Oliver!

A simple idea - add a fussy cut of cute fabric to a mini card and then hand stamp greetings.  Love it!
I'm linking up this very happy finish with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts for

More Sweetness

 Joanna at Shape Moth  designed the cutest paper pieced blocks for her Sew Sweet QAL.  You can find all the blocks available in Joanna's Craftsy shop (click here).

I'm having a blast using intense colours for my versions (big surprise, right? ;o).

I'm developing a sweet tooth for paper piecing, thanks to Joanna. They really are addictive (and thankfully calorie free ;o).

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Twas the Night

Hello and welcome, blog hoppers!  I'm delighted to have you visit and hope you'll find some quick-to-make gift inspiration with me today.  Let me start with sending huge thanks to Marlene and Mdm Samm for all their work behind the scenes - we appreciate all you do! 
If you're new to this hop, you need to know that along with showing gifts that could be made in a few hours, we also show gifts received from the hop participant ahead of us on the schedule.  This way, everyone makes and sends something handmade  AND everyone receives something handmade. Pretty amazing, right?
Look at all the handmade goodies Bobbie at From This to That sent me...

there's a fantastic lanyard + vintage button covered scissor fob (with the prettiest sparkly red scissors), a blinged out tape measure, a decoupaged sweet gift keepsake, handmade notebook (with my initial made from a zipper), sparkly festive cup with straw  AND... pretty ribbon, seasonal fabric, yummy tea, mmmmmm... chocolates, the funny "Keep Calm" tissues and cute emery boards.

Yes, I know, Bobbie completely spoiled me with her thoughtful gifts.  Thanks so much, Bobbie!

Check out that mannequin shaped scissor holder on a lanyard - super cute!

Now for my own gift making ideas...

These little pouches only take two squares of fabric and can be made in different sizes.  I used 10.5" squares of fabric for this pouch.  Perfect size for tucking a small gift into! Click here to see my other versions.
I updated the look of my simple drawstring pouch (here's the link to my original tutorial) using two squares of fabric by adding some baby pom-pom fringe and not turning up the corners. 
Fill with jingle bells candy for a simple and sweet gift!

Another favourite gift to make - my ribbon embroidered snowflake spicy sachets, which I first made last year (here and here).

I have to say, that even though I've made these sachets before, my ribbon embroidery was easier this time - all thanks to a handy new light - a Beam N Read!

 I live in a house with few windows and limited lighting, so light for stitching is always an issue. Shadows get in the way of seeing my marked guides for embroidering those snowflakes on the linen, but with the Beam N Read I had all the light I needed.

It's small and portable (I like the option of using batteries or the USB power kit - depending on where I'm stitching) - unlike the lamps that I had been using.  It has made such a difference that I was lamenting I didn't have it with me the while helping my hubby on a kitchen install (I was placing screw cap covers in the back of a dark coloured cabinet and those LED lights on my Beam N Read would've made my job easier!  I'm just afraid if my hubby sees how handy this light is, he may permanently borrow it. ;o).

Make some to give, make some to keep - the gift of a Beam N Read will make all your stitching easier!

A favourite gift combo I like to make and gift to sewers is a needlecase  (especially the one designed by Tone Finnager  in her book Sew Pretty Homestyle), paired with a pincushion (such as this felt one designed by Betz White - pattern can be found in her book Warm Fuzzies).  Both are quick to stitch. 

Now that leads us to my go-to gift idea this year... my design for a round bottom drawstring gift bag ( I debuted this design a few months backs, using fancy fabrics - click here to see).  I love making bags....

Couldn't resist using some baby pom-pom fringe on the drawstring bag!

I had fun playing with this design using seasonal quilting cottons and making differing sizes.

Two sizes of round bottomed drawstring gift bags trimmed with different sizes of pom-pom fringe (my latest haberdashery crush it seems ;o).

These will be perfect for tucking in a variety of gift items (such as specialty soaps, lotions and bath salts for girlfriends).

I have plans to sew more of these including some in a larger size (using masculine fabrics, to fit some slippers I'm making for my guys), so it's a good thing these are quick to sew!

 I  also have a few other quick to sew gift ideas with tutorials or links to my patterns for you, if you click the links under my blog banner.

Thanks so much for visiting and be sure to stop by all the talented ladies I share today with.  You don't want to miss a bit of gift giving ideas and inspiration! Enjoy...

Wednesday, Nov. 19

Sew Me Something Good (you are here!)

P.S.  Looking for the full schedule of the hop?  Marlene has it!

Happy gift making!


With a cherry on top...

I stitched up a sweet drawstring bag using the paper pieced cupcake block I shared yesterday. It's just the right size for tucking in some yarn and my crochet hook for portable projects.

My taste in bright colour appears to extend from fabric to yarn. ;o) 
 I'm linking up this satisfying finish with Joanna at Shape Moth for her Sew Sweet QAL.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Sew Sweet Cupcake

I've been having fun doing a little paper piecing using the amazingly cute designs from Joanna at Shape Moth for her Sew Sweet QAL.  You can find all the blocks available in Joanna's Craftsy shop (click here).

 Don't forget!  There are two wonderful blog hops happening this week that you should definitely check out...

T'was the Night blog hop for lots of quick to make gift ideas...
and don't miss discovering Canadian quilt blogs this week during Blogathon Canada.
Sew Sisters Blog
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...