Monday, February 24, 2014

Scrappy Stationery

Look out!
More heart themed projects. ;o)
Hope you like them....
   I think these projects would work for more occasions than Valentine's Day and secondly, you know I love ideas for using fabric scraps.

Scrappy Heart Notecards

I made these notecards from pink and red scraps. Many were strips left over from squaring up fabric, which means their widths vary.  Using machine needles I  keep specifically for sewing through paper, I pieced the fabric strips directly to the cardstock.  After all the strips are sewn on, I "quilt" them to the cardstock (which simply means I stitched random lines every which way across them ;o).  Then, I add some fusible web to the back of the cardstock, trace and then cut out my heart shapes.  Next, I fuse the hearts onto tiny notecards and then stitch around the heart.  Simple, right?

No two cards are exactly alike.

I also use a similar method to fashion some scrappy tags.  All steps are the same except I use my Sizzix machine with a tag die. All cutting was done with the die,  after I fused my scrappy pieced cardstock to coloured cardstock.  Voila!  Tags are fabric on one size and coloured cardstock on the other.  Add ribbon and attach to gift!  Simple and unique.  I like it!

A fun way to personalize a gift tag.

I love having handmade notecards and tags for gift giving and even better when they let me make good use of my scraps!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

It's not too late...





Can you believe we only have a week left to the month of February? 
That brings to mind a fast approaching deadline! 
 Adrienne from On the Windy Side and Anne from Play Crafts
are co-hosting the
 2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Radiant Orchid. (this link has the details).


It sounds like a lot of fun and if you click on the Flickr group link (given below) you will see some entries are all ready being shared. So inspiring!
 Since I'm hoping to have something made to join in the challenge, I  realize I better get a move on!

Entries will be open from March 14 - March 21 2014. Entries will close at on March 21 2014 at 11pm PST and winners will be announced on March 26 2014.
 Flickr group:  2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Radiant Orchid Flickr Group


I've been doodling some designs, and having fun selecting possible fabrics to use for my ideas.  Would you believe I had to go fabric shopping to be able to participate? ;o)
I have joked that Pantone seems to choose the colour of the year based upon which colours I DO NOT have in my stash. ;o)  Seriously.  In 2012 it was Tangerine and in 2013 it was Emerald... and now Radiant Orchid... this makes three years in a row that I've had to find fabrics in those colours so I could participate in the challenges. (Yes, my stash weighs heavily with pinks, reds and blues... but with each challenge, my range of colour has expanded... lol).    At this rate, I expect the colour Pantone selects for 2015 will be YELLOW (this is a colour that I truly prefer to have little of). ;o)





 
  The lovely fat quarters shown above came from Mad About Patchwork
 Pam has put together a lovely collection of "radiant orchid" fabrics to get you started and they are guaranteed to get your creative juices stirred. ;o)

Of course, I've been gathering other "purple" fabrics to play with.
 

Totally smitten with AMH Field Study linen (top left) and amazed at the range in hue for purples (I tend to lean towards the pinkest ones ;o).

There have been some wonderful fabric sales at this time of year so my "purple" stash now includes several fun prints as I try to work out my design ideas - so I'm not complaining.  I'm even adding some "radiant orchid" Kona solids as well. 
 Looks like I'm embracing this year of Radiant Orchid! ;o)

Speaking of fabric sales...
I thought you might be interested in the one happening at Craftsy this weekend....
 



Knitting Supplies at Craftsy.com Save Big at Craftsy!
Heads up Craftsy fans...Craftsy wants to help you escape the ordinary and create the extraordinary! Enjoy up to 80% off all inspiring project kits and supplies. Shop now to find your next amazing project during the Stash Of Possibilities Sale.


 Hurry, offer ends at 11pm PST on February 24, 2014.

Check it out...                                

Save up to 80% on Yarn at Craftsy!


Save up to 80% on Fabric at Craftsy!


Wahoo!  I love a good sale don't you? :o)



P.S. **This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links
I couldn't resist including some yummy fabrics (on sale!) with purple in them that are tempting me...

Friday, February 21, 2014

Running away with my Heart...




Yes, Valentine's Day was a week ago and I'm still sewing heart projects. ;o) 
 Want to see my late, but very loved finish?


I took those scrappy patchwork heart blocks and joined them using a variety of solids ranging from the lightest pinks to red and threw in a shot of purple for good measure.



I even sneaked some piecing and some purple onto the back,



along with a shot of dots (cause all of my projects get a shot of dots ;o).


I meander quilted inside all the heart blocks with a variegated thread and stitched loops all over the backgrounds in light pink thread for some whimsy.

This crazy, long runner (which was tricky to photograph due to its size and colours) is specially sized to fit our antique buffet that resides in our living room.




I'm just smitten with the colours in this runner so much.  I love reds and pinks together! You guessed it, I won't be waiting until next Valentine's Day before using this.  We need a shot of colour to counteract the Winter Blues, right? ;o)

I'm linking up with  Crazy Mom Quilts for

and with Lindsey for


Fort Worth Fabric Studio Blog

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Basting away the day


There's going to be a whole lot of quilting in my near future as today is the day to baste. ;o)
First up, is a little project using those scrappy patchwork hearts I made a couple of weeks ago...


and then it's my king size quilt top. Last night, I finished piecing a backing for this quilt, so tonite will be spent basting.  I'm lucky enough to have the floor space to do this, but  I think I've mentioned before, that basting is my least favourite part of the quilt making process. Time to just get it done!  At least I have a good audiobook to listen to and knee pads to wear and best of all after the basting is done, the fun begins!

That's a whole lot of basting ahead of me!  Which do you think will give out first... my supply of basting pins, my knees or my fingernails? 

The good/bad news is there's another 3 completed quilt tops waiting their turn for basting, but for today, getting granny ready to quilt is my goal.  I'm taking it one day of basting at a time. ;o)

I'm linking up with friends ...
HERE

and HERE
Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, February 17, 2014

Choosing

Never one to have only one project on the go at any given time, I've dived in and started a new quilt.  Really, I needed to... for three good reasons...
 1. to try my friend Cheryl's wonderful pattern ("On a Jelly Roll"),
 2. to use those fun Barcelona scraps I won from Brigitte,
 3. to have a small quilt to try out quilting on my vintage Singer 201 (as I normally use my domestic Janome for quilting).

I'm making a baby sized version, so it should be a quick one to finish.


The blocks have all been sewn and now I'm playing with the layout.



It's a game of "musical blocks"



and as soon as I get the layout finalized I'll be ready to baste.



Decisions, decisions. ;o)

Needed... a manly gift

Recently, I stitched up a gift for a special someone's birthday and even though it hasn't reached him just yet, I thought I'd share it here without spoiling his surprise (as I highly doubt he visits my blog ;o).  I love giving something hand made as a gift, but at the same time, I aim for a gift that will be useful to the recipient. However, this time around, I was stumped for awhile trying to sort out what a newly minted teenager might like.



Then it occurred to me that a simple toiletries bag might be appreciated or at least needed.  Guys may not have the same self-care accoutrements (or as many) as girls, but keeping them organized is just as important.  I love this zippered pouch design, but felt I should keep it as clean looking as possible (meaning no patchwork, quilting, too bright fabrics or fancy piping or trims).  Nothing that would embarrass him. ;o)

Re-purposed clothing labels and a coloured bead slipped onto cording on the zipper pull, add a bit of flair on a very simplistic zippered pouch design.


So, I began a search through my stash for some masculine fabrics. Imagine my surprise to realize I have a very small amount of fabric choices in that category. ;o)  Hopefully these geometric prints strike the right note.

Who knows just what this new teen will decide to store in his toiletries pouch...

Not knowing his personal tastes, I decided to skip tucking any toiletries into the pouch and instead found a handy multi-tool and a mini flashlight to include.  My experience has shown that guys love tools and handy gadgets, so hopefully, even if the pouch isn't a hit, this young man will find a use for these items. ;o) 

 It's funny, because as simple as this design is, I found it more challenging to keep from adding to it (apparently I like to embellish - so stopping at adding those two labels has me applauding my restraint ;o).  Lucky for me, I have 3 males in the household to consult with.  They gave this gift a two thumbs up rating, so with fingers crossed, I hope the young man receiving it will like it as well.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Happy Hearts


Hello and goodbye, Friday.  I had so hoped to have a finish to share for the end of the week, but I just couldn't complete my granny square quilt top in time for today. However, I can share some blocks I've been making. 
Valentines Day is almost upon us and heart themed items are popping up everywhere, so it's no surprise to find myself  thinking of things to make with hearts.

Amongst my fabric sorting system,
I keep organizer bins in which I place any leftover squares from my projects, sorted by size.  Realizing I had a good selection of pink and red fabrics already pre-cut, I started playing.

Since I can't seem to stop at one block it looks like there may soon be some patchwork heart projects  decorating our home. ;o)

I'm linking up with friends at




Fort Worth Fabric Studio Blog

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Too cute to resist OR I'm not on a fabric fast

If you're one of those disciplined folks that is on a fabric fast, turn away. 
 I seem to be picking up the slack in the fabric buying department
 (can't let my friend, Susan feel lonely by thinking she's the only one buying fabric! ;o).  

Personally,  I've discovered I have a serious weakness for fabric when it comes on sale.  If I was smart, I'd remove the temptation by not subscribing to the newsletters of fabric shops.  However, since that is obviously not the case, I shall proceed to tempt you with a peek at a few little fabric treats I picked up (on sale, of course!).


I don't usually buy many fabrics from a single line as I like to mix and match, but there's something about the designs of Kate and Birdie that has me reaching for as many as I can.  I picked up a charm pack of Blueberry Park in the fall, fell in love and have been wanting to pick up more.  Tell me they are on sale and... well, I will blame it all on those adorable little hedgehogs.



Winter's Lane is also by Kate and Birdie and I've decided to give in to the temptation before this disappears out of all the shops.  I love the simplicity of  the design and colours in this line.  That and those wee birds.  Yes, I'm a sucker for cute.

I've ideas for using these recent additions, but need to clear some WIPs on the list first.  Until then, these beauties will be safely tucked into the stash.

Do you feel better now, Susan?  If not, I can surely show you more... ;o)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Wednesday Work in Progress is all about Granny

I'm soldiering on with plans to turn all those mini granny square blocks I've sewn from scraps into a king-size quilt.  It's been a labour of love - cutting up countless 1.5" squares from a rainbow of fabrics scraps and then stitching them into blocks.  No fabric is repeated in a block - which delights me endlessly because it makes this quilt a bit of  an "I Spy" quilt of favourites.



I'm in the thick of it with granny blocks on the design wall and more blocks awaiting their turn in the layout.  I'm literally surrounded by grannies! ;o)



To make the layout as random in colour as possible, I decided it would help if I grouped the blocks into colour stacks.  It helped immensely and it was fun to discover my favourite pairing of colours (since I was working from scraps and making the blocks for year, I had no idea which colours I used the most).  Any guesses which colours were used for the most pairings? ;o)  I will tell you which colour I used the least for my blocks... yellow.  I don't hate the colour, but find it a bit tricky.  Too easy to have it looking like it belongs at McDonalds. ;o)



What about the layout?
  Here's proof a design board can be invaluable.  In the eight columns of blocks shown above, you can see two layout ideas.  A grid layout on the left, while  the four columns on the right are in a staggered layout.  Definitely a different feel to the two layout options.  Everyone in the household has chipped in their opinion on which looks best and I think I'll leave the blocks like this for a day or two so that I can decide. I can hardly wait to finish and finally be able to cross this project off my FAL list!




Sew Fresh Quilts

Monday, February 3, 2014

Spending time with an old flame...

I'm talking about my love of sewing Bento Box Blocks, of course. ;o)  The attraction to making these in red and white continues, although this time around I'm mixing in some modern fabrics with traditional ones. 

 

It's such an easy block to make and maybe that's part of the appeal... or maybe it's a craving for sewing with red that's fuelling this obsession.  More to show... soon! ;o)

Lucky girl


Overlooking my continuing struggles with Blogger (which means that in order to write a post I  now have to upload photos in one browser and then the text in another because it seems one browser isn't capable of making it possible to do both), I thought I'd share some of the lovely mail that has popped into my mailbox recently.  You won't believe just how lucky/spoiled I am. :o)

First is the lovely handmade swap goodies from my lovely friend Teje.  Just like her gifts, this friend is like a ray of sunshine and I am so happy to have met her through blogging.  Take a look... is that not the sweetest little fabric card (you know how much I LOVE handmade fabric cards!) ?  How about the pretty little handmade ornament with the embroidery and ric-rac? So darling!  I adore her stitching details and fabric choices for her sweet gifts.  Thank you, Teje!


This next parcel of goodness arrived without me knowing it was coming.  My sweet friend Maja likes to send special surprises, I've discovered and this one had me teary eyed when I opened it.  You see, I had at some point, casually mentioned in an email with her, that I adore Tilda fabrics, but of course can't buy them locally here in North America.  Little did I know, but this dear friend then set out to collect some Tilda fabrics just for me.  She said she had a few pieces herself, but swapped with others she knew so that she could send me this amazing collection.   Can you believe it?  I told you that I'm spoiled! ;o)   Thank you, Maja!



If those two parcels weren't enough to show how lucky I am... just wait there's more.
  Remember the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaways at the end of November?  Well, I was lucky enough to win twice.   The first lovely parcel only had to travel across the city (how fun to discover Kristel is a "neighbour" and loves fabric as much as I do!) and the second parcel had to travel all the way from Wales  (what a treat to discover Catrin and I share a love of vintage sheets).
  Thank you, Kristel and Catrin for such generous giveaway prizes -  can't wait to start sewing with the pretties you sent.
 

I won these yummy canvas prints from Kristel



and these wonderful vintage sheet charms + yardage from Catrin.




Amazing, right?
I know. I'm a very, very lucky girl to have such sweet and generous friends - near and far.

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