Thursday, August 16, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Decide

Bundles of pretty vintage sheets worked as the background for this beautiful quote - it all came together using PicMonkey!

I am a believer in the power of words - what we say and what we think.  Perhaps that is why I love to continually collect quotes that give me pause in my day-to-day living, and lift my thoughts. I jot these quotes down on any available scrap of paper when they cross my path.


 Months ago, I started adding some gratitude quotes to some of my photos, as gentle reminders to myself.  The simple act of being grateful keeps me focused on all the good, all the blessings and all the abundance of life.


Knowing that a positive attitude can make a world of difference, especially when we face challenges in life (which apparently is what life is about! ... hello, personal growth! ;o), I decided that perhaps it's time to share some of these wonderful quotes here on my blog, with you.    My hope is that you will find that they give you a little boost as well.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Monday Makings

 Treated myself to a little stitching to kick off the week!


I'm using my scraps from my Tilda fabric stash paired with a variation of my Terrific Tulip Block pattern for a new project.  I'm excited to see this come together as the idea just popped into my head as I was working on some pattern writing using this block.  One idea leads to another and it can be so much fun to see where inspiration takes us!


Thursday, August 2, 2018

August


July just zipped by and August is promising to do the same.  Somehow the stack of sewing works-in-progress, doesn't seem to be keeping pace with how fast the days fly by!  Might have something to do with all the distractions of summer. 😉

Using my terrific tulip block, I'm working on a new design - this time in some lovely Tilda fabrics!

One of the projects in the teetering stack, is a pattern I'm writing using my Terrific Tulip block. I'm playing with a second prototype using some Tilda fabrics that I've been stashing.

Keeping it real... designing and sewing with pretty fabrics is my favourite part of the process! I have to work harder at the pattern writing aspect - it's where my perfectionistic tendencies can slow me down. It also seems that I always come up with more ideas and more variations of ideas to try and better methods to use, once I'm in the midst of things.  That also slows me down.  Anyways, I'm determined to keep plugging away at the techie end of things and get some patterns together for pattern testing.  I want this to be a month of finishes! Fingers crossed.

How about your plans for this month?

Woohoo! 
Just in time for the long weekend, Craftsy is having a sale! 
Save up to 70% on Supplies (8/3-8/6/18)!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Vintage Style Worth Repeating


Last summer, I decided that it might be fun to sew a summer nightie using a vintage pattern I found at a thrift store, from some of my stashed vintage sheets.  I paired two of my lightest weight, all cotton sheets and even added a touch of vintage ric rac to the yoke to make the perfect summer sleepwear!


Summer nightie made using vintage pattern Style #1721.


Temperatures have heated up again, calling for something light and comfortable. Time to make another vintage nightie!  


Vintage sleepwear patterns - a new obsession! ;o)

 Thankfully, I brought a few patterns along for our summer stay on the mountain, and my vintage nightie pattern was included (along with 2 others that I bought since last summer!) so now I have to decide which vintage pattern to use along with the pretty vintage sheet I scored last week. 

Sewing something pretty and practical, while giving new life to vintage materials always makes me happy!  I particularly enjoy sewing items from vintage sheets -  from quilts (here and here), lounge pants (here and here) and even shopping bags (here)!


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Go with it!

Inspiration took me on a lovely creative adventure with a rather circuitous route, that (not surprisingly) landed me in my scrap stash for some instant gratification sewing. 


I have this thing for making scrappy blocks.  Especially if I get to use bright colours paired with low volume fabrics. Maybe it's a phase. Maybe it's just ME.  Time will tell...

Several elements (and people) brought inspired me to a mad dash to my sewing machine.


No surprise, I just couldn't resist going as scrappy as I could with this second version of the block!

First, I was struck by the beauty of a photo of some purple cone flowers, taken by Sharon Holland, the colours so lush and vivid that they were vibrating with energy!  This, in turn, triggered my memory of having a flower block set aside in  my "must sew one day" folder, one that could mimic the look of a cone flower.  A delightful, simple patchwork flower block with large petals, designed by Lori Holt.  The final inspirational influence that prompted my action?  Remembering the  most beautiful quilt using this block, made by  Dana Bolyard.  It's jaw dropping gorgeous!

I love and appreciate the creative talents of these women and the countless others that  share those talents with the rest of us.  I also enjoy how creativity can be sparked and spread, which is why I love the times when I just follow that energy and see what happens.  It's magic!

**Edited to add** Here's the link to the page where you can find the Zinnia block for sale as a downloadable PDF pattern. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Made Mine Scrappy

Guess what? All those scrappy blocks that I have been sharing in previous posts have become a quilt top!


I had the most fun using my scrap stash to sew the free block designs in the Community Sampler sew along (hosted by the talented and lovely Art Gallery Fabrics designers;  Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell). 


 Working from my scrap stash, I selected a mix of low volume fabrics to frame each block. It just so happened that I still had a few special low volume fabrics from a swap that were the perfect size!


Low volume scraps were pieced to make the inner borders and then for the outer borders, I altered the design so that I could have little pops of colour (and a larger quilt top).


The trickiest part is photographing a finished quilt top! Lucky for me, I stumbled upon the idea of hanging the freshly completed top over the window, which happens to show off all the extra piecing that went into my version.


It's easier to see the areas that I pieced from tiny scraps to make my blocks unique. Check out how tiny some of the scraps are!


The above block, Square dance,  has lots of extra piecing that went into it - the original design has a single fabric for the center (which is an 8.5" square).  Held up against the light, you can see that I made four log cabin style blocks in low volume scraps and then added a quarter of a circle (also pieced from scraps) to one corner of each of these.  I love the secondary pattern that I created by doing this extra design and piecing.


Pieced entirely from scraps and full of happy colours, this quilt will be a wonderful reminder of a time of transition in my life - the unexpected move and then the amazing summer rental on the mountain.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Life higher up

This week marked one month since we've been renting on the mountain.  We have watched the record breaking amounts of snow that fell this winter, mostly melt off during that time as we experienced some gorgeous warm weather. However, it is a mountain that is home to a ski resort, so at this elevation, rain can become snow - which is exactly what we awoke to, yesterday morning!

 The sky was so heavy with precipitation, we couldn't even see the Okanagan valley, as the snow came down, fast and furious.  It was a brief white out of snow!
The view from the windows in our living/kitchen area in the morning May 30/18.
It was beautiful! I knew the snow wasn't going to stay, so it didn't bother me to see it coating the trees and cocooning us. 

The view from the dining room table (where I have my sewing machine set up).
The views are changing and always inspiring. It is one of my favourite things about renting here. I am grateful for this temporary home and love being able to step right out into Nature.  It is so peaceful and we are doing our best to make the most of this opportunity - hikes are becoming a daily treat, allowing us to commune with the rhythms of the season at a higher elevation.

An evening view from the deck off our living room. If you look off into the distance, you can see Kalamalka Lake ( it's that bright area in the valley and one of two large lakes that the city of Vernon is blessed with).
Besides enjoying the great outdoors, I have also been making time to work on my final blocks for the Community Sampler sew along hosted by the talented and lovely Art Gallery Fabrics designers;  Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell.  You couldn't ask for more supportive and helpful guides for quilting!  The blocks can be found on their blogs as free PDFs for you to download, along with tips to help you achieve the best results.

Here are my versions of the final three blocks for the quilt I'm making in the Community Sampler sew along.  Each one has been made using scraps from my stash!

Block 9 of 11; Double - T, for Community Sampler sew along.
Rather than use a single fabric square in the center of this block, I chose to piece some of my tiny low volume fabric scraps into a square.  It always makes me happy when I find fun ways to use up even the smallest bits of fabric!

Block 10 of 11; New Four Patch, for the Community Sampler sew along.
This block kept me busy digging through my scraps to find just the "right" colours to mix! ;o)

Block 11 of 11; Sawtooth for the Community Sampler sew along.
The final block of the sew along is actually a half block as the quilt layout has the blocks on point, so each row of blocks needed a half block (the other 2 half blocks were made in week 4 of the sew along).

Here's a mock up of the blocks (you will notice that the 4th block is actually a half block, so it has 2 places in the mosaic). The final layout may change and of course the blocks won't be positioned like this as they are place on point in the final design. I may move things around a bit, but love seeing all the blocks gathered in a mosaic to see how the colours are working with one another.


Late yesterday, I started playing with possible layouts and auditioning fabrics for the background.  Lots of fun! It's a bit different doing a layout without the aide of a design wall - so I laid my blocks out on our bed to help me with placement.  This worked pretty well and I took several pictures, which gives me another perspective when deciding if I have a layout that works nicely.  I am getting so excited to start piecing this top together!  Guess what I'm going to set aside time to work on this weekend? ;o)


Friday, May 25, 2018

My new sewing set up

This week I finally got back to sewing blocks for the Community Sampler sew along!


I do not have a sewing room in the home we're renting here on the mountain, but I have the most incredible view from the dining room table where I set up one of my Singer featherweights.

Block 7 of 11; Weathervane, for the Community Sampler sew along.
 The scenery is absolutely stunning and inspiring.  I am loving it!

Block 8 of 11; Morning Star, for the Community Sampler sew along.
I have been thoroughly enjoying stitching up my signature bright colours mixed with low volume fabrics for some scrappy blocks.  


Here's a peek at all the blocks I have stitched so far. This is not the final layout, but a good way for me to view the mix as I select fabrics for the next block (especially as my first 6 blocks haven't been unpacked yet ;o). Hopefully, I will complete the final blocks before the weekend is over, so that I can get the top assembled.  The sew along has progressed to adding borders to the quilt top and I would love to catch up!  Looks like that along with sewing like crazy, I will need to unpack my first blocks and some fabric for setting the blocks (oh, and my large quilt ruler would be pretty handy to have, too!).  Wish me luck!  Happy weekend!



Saturday, May 12, 2018

Catching my breath

Life has been a whirlwind of activity, with lots of changes happening. The biggest is the unplanned and unexpected move that came at the end of April. The news from our landlord came days ahead of a month long (working away from home) departure and it admittedly left me a little dazed.  I immediately had thoughts of cancelling the trip!  The timing meant I would have about six weeks to pack our household and find a new place for our family, without help from my husband - who continued to work away from home until about a week before our move.

I think I am finally starting to slow down a bit and catch my breath after so much change in such a short time-span!

Block 1 of 11 in the Community Sampler, is Kitty Corner.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Modern Plus Sign Quilts Book Hop - Day 7; Cute as a Button

Welcome!

 I was delighted to be asked to make a project from quilt designers,

 Cheryl  Brickey at Meadow Mist Designs and Paige Alexander at Quilted Blooms lovely, inspiring book, called Modern Plus Sign Quilts.

Photo credit: C&T Publications

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Fold'n Roll Shopping Bags

My finish for January's #sewingmystashadesigneramonth2018 is a trio of my Fold ' Roll Shopping Bags sewn using (mostly) Heather Bailey fabrics.

This bag is my own design and the one I use for all my shopping! The pattern is available as a PDF in my shop on Craftsy (click here).  
 
 I decided that I would alter my original design slightly to come up with a pretty update on my favourite shopping bag!
 

At first glance, you can't see the changes I've made to my original design.


Opened up and in use, you can see right away that on this new version, I've added a contrast fabric to make the side gussets of the bag.


Not only does this mean a chance for some fun fabric combinations, but it also means you need less yardage of  any singular fabric to make this bag.


The main fabrics I chose, are from a couple of Heather Bailey collections (Up Parasol! and Lottie Da),  for a fresh combination with a vintage vibe.


Ruffles around the pocket add a fun, feminine touch, but they don't need to be added.

Need more ideas besides ruffles or a plain edge? Try using piping (or faux piping if you wish to skip the use of cording), mini pom pom trim, ric rac or simply finish the edges with double fold bias binding in place of ruffles.


I love the fresh Spring colours in my latest versions and that I made a little dent in my stash, which was part of the intention behind the year long challenge of #sewingmystashadesigneramonth2018 (click here to read about this fun goal/challenge my friend, Maja and I have planned for 2018) !


Maja and I have already drawn the names of the designers for each other to sew from for the month of February - mine will be to sew from my stash of Tash Noel fabrics! Woohoo!

Linking up this week's finish with Amanda Jean and friends at

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Vintage Sheet Love

I've been enjoying a fun and busy week making fabric rainbows from vintage sheet fat quarters.


These pretties are part of the selection my friend, Heather and I, are offering in the little online shop we have  @sewgoodvintage on Instagram.


Along with putting together bundles and listing them this week, I did manage to acquire a few new vintage beauties to add to our inventory.  All this vintage goodness has me wanting to dive back into finishing the pink vintage sheet quilt I have waiting to be basted and then start a new quilt from vintage sheets, using all the colours of the rainbow!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Tiny Dresdens!

It's been a few years since I've stitched Dresden plate blocks, which are a lovely and classic design for quilting. This week I've been revisiting them, only with a bit of twist - downsized into a mini Dresden!  I have Deidra, over at Quilt Obsession, to thank for this inspired idea. She has put together a series of posts on making them which can be found on her blog and she is currently hosting a #tinydresdenparty on Instagram!
 
 
I began my foray into mini Dresden making using fabrics from my Heather Bailey stash (as a part of my #sewingmystashadesigneramonth2018 sewing plan).  I have been downsizing a pattern to make my dresdens into minis - the first attempt resulted in a Dresden that is 8" across and then further pattern reduction brought the finished Dresden down to 5" across (which qualifies as a "mini"). I may push the limits a bit more with scaling down the pattern further to see if I can manage a Dresden that finishes in the 3.5" range.  Meantime, I am loving the results!
 
There is just something so appealing about a mini version and I'm not sure I'll be able to stop making them just yet - especially when I dream about all the things I can sew these little beauties onto. ;o) Pop by Deidra's blog for links to templates, instructions, tips and inspiration, if you're feeling the need to make some mini dresdens, too!
 
 
 

Monday, January 1, 2018

The start of something fun!

Happy New Year!
 

I hope your year is off to a wonderful start! I'm looking forward to and making plans for the next year and I wanted to share one lovely plan that I have put together with my friend, Maja.  It is something I hope you will consider joining us in.

This is the hashtag to use on Instagram if you decide to join our challenge of sewing from your stash and featuring a designer a month in 2018!

Fabric stashing is outpacing our sewing, it seems, and as pretty as our shelves in our sewing rooms look filled with so much loveliness, we decided to encourage one another to use those pretties in projects!

 Our plan involved writing a numbered list of the designers that have fabrics we have lovingly stashed and yet are the ones that we hesitate to cut into (because they are precious! ;o). We then chose for each other, a number.  Maja selected the number three, which on my list happens to be the designer, Heather Bailey!  This means that during the month of January, I need to sew a project (or projects) using some of my stashed Heather Bailey fabrics.


I had fun digging through my stash and gathering these treasured fabrics together!  It feels good to have a plan for getting me into my stash and fun to know that soon I will have turned this "potential" into something I can use and enjoy (which is the point of stashing fabric... I think? ;o).

Maybe you would like to join Maja and I in our plan to sew from our stashes in 2018?  This is not a contest or a competition - just friends sharing a love of fabric and sewing! We would love to have you join in.  I will post on my blog as well as on Instagram to show you how I'm doing with this - including works in progress as well as a final result. Please feel free to sew along, too and if you're on Instagram, tag your post with #sewingmystashadesigneramonth2018.

Here's to a wonderfully creative 2018!
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