Wednesday, September 19, 2018

WIP Wednesday - Bitty Butterfly


I have been stitching with one of my favourite colour combinations this week! Pink and orange together is such a happy, energizing duo.  It's a project that I started a couple of years ago on a creative whim and then set aside. I'm delighted to return to it and see where it takes me!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Calmness


This week, I am very grateful for the new jobs that my husband and I started on Monday.  Mine is a seasonal position and starting out, it is part-time - with the option of doing some work from home.  I have the pleasure of joining a local, small business owner in sewing personalized Christmas stockings.  I am so thankful to have this opportunity and for the joy that my efforts may give to all those that buy those stockings for their loved ones to use!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Monday Making - Mini Modern Maple

Fall is in the air, here on the mountain.  The air is noticeably cooler and the leaves are beginning to change.  Perfect inspiration for starting a bit of tiny patchwork in pretty Tilda fabrics!



Thursday, September 6, 2018

Thankful Thursday - See What is There



Life in this busy world can distract us to where we miss seeing what is right in front of us.  I love meaningful quotes - they help me to pause and reflect.  A gentle reminder to pay attention.


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Online Quilters Meet and Greet

Welcome!

I don't know about you, but I love making new friends, so when Benita emailed me an invitation to participate in today's online quilters meet and greet, I happily said, "YES, please!"


Let me introduce myself, for those that are first time visitors to my blog.  My name is Katherine and I am Canadian quilter, living on a mountain in beautiful British Columbia.  This is the view I am grateful to enjoy, in our temporary summer rental.


I am currently set up to sew on the dining room table and get to be inspired by that glorious view, while I stitch away on one of my vintage Singer sewing machines.


Colour plays a huge part in anything I sew - I tend to be drawn to bright, clear colours in all of my projects.

My favourite quilts are also the ones I've made from scraps.  I finished a scrappy version of the Community Sampler  sew along quilt, this summer and can't wait to get it quilted and bound.

Not a finished quilt as of yet, but this scrappy sampler quilt is one that delights me!
Two of my most satisfying quilts to make, both happen to be quilts that I made from Amanda Jean Nyberg's books.  I share her love of scrappy!

 The quilt below, is my version of her pattern, June - which you can find in No Scrap Left Behind.

Berry June 
 The next one is my version of her Candy Coated pattern from her book, Sunday Morning Quilts.

Anything But Plaid


Simply Irresistible is a king size quilt pieced from scraps 1.5" square!  A two year labour of love that started after I made the two large granny square pillows for our bed and was inspired to make a quilt to match.






Simply Irresistible

  Thank you so much for stopping by and I look forward to visiting you, in turn!

Please click here to enjoy visiting and making friends on all the blogs participating in today's Online Quilter's Meet & Greet!

Many thanks to our gracious hostess, Benita, for all her work behind the scenes, making this fun quilters get together happen!



Monday, September 3, 2018

Monday Makings - Pencil Case



All but one of these colourful pencils are improv pieced using sweet prints from designer Elea Lutz's fabric collections.


My Singer Featherweight has been humming along this long weekend. This latest bit of scrappy sewing is to make a new pencil case for a sweet niece starting school this year.

A year ago, I made my second version of this pencil case design, from the book Sew Gifts, with a few modifications.

The last pencil case I made, just happened to be for her older sister and it's hard to believe it's already been a year since I made that one.  I enjoy making them and this design in particular is a fun one, with the pencils being improv pieced.  That means no two pencils will look exactly the same!


My first version, is the one I made for myself!

This third version is about to be personalized for my niece. Yay!  I love being able to give handmade gifts with extra special details!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Happy People


This quote makes me smile!  The pure simplicity of knowing that we can choose to be grateful and that, in turn, this makes us happy. YES!  Who doesn't want more happy in their life?

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

WIP Wednesday - Mini Terrific Tulips

My Tilda fabric scraps are getting my sewing attention again this week. 


I am making progress on turning pretty scraps into a second prototype for a design I created awhile back, using an adaptation of my terrific tulip block . I've bounced back and forth a bit on whether I should turn it into a pattern, due to the scale of the pieces in this project.


This is the project I was working on prior to getting sidetracked and making this sweet pouch.

I am leaning towards writing the pattern, in part because I know I like a mix of challenging and easy designs to choose from in my own sewing - and I believe that I am likely not alone in this.  Plus, I am  loving this design so much and would love to see more versions of it made - which is perhaps the most fun part of putting a pattern out in the world for others to use.

What are your thoughts on tiny patchwork? Do you find it too fiddly or do you enjoy it (perhaps every now and then as an occasional bit of sewing)?   Would love to hear your thoughts!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Thankful Thursday - Beauty and possibility


Our season of calling Silver Star mountain our home, is nearly over. We have really enjoyed living here, with so much peace and the beautiful views.  I am so grateful that we had the opportunity to live here!

This week, I am grabbing hold of this quote, as I am currently in the midst of searching for the next home for my family and I to rent.  I want to stay focused on all that I am grateful for, rather than letting the fear and anxiety that can accompany uncertainty or the unknown overwhelm me. I wish I could say that it's always easy, but it's not!

I have felt those same feelings earlier this year, threatening to drown me in negativity. I made conscious efforts to choose to be open to possibilities and chose to be grateful for the time we had at our previous home, rather than getting frantic about where we would be living next.  With less than two weeks left before we had to move, I found the rental on the mountain.  It has been a blessing! I wonder what adventures we will have and where we will be next?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

WIP Wednesday - Making Mini Mushrooms

Summer is almost at an end, and harvest time is right around the corner.  Perhaps like me, you're looking for a quick and simple sewing project.  Something to make just for the fun of it!


Monday, August 20, 2018

Monday Maker - Tiny Terrific Tulip Pouch

A little sewing time this weekend, resulted in a sweet and satisfying finish for the scrappy terrific tulip blocks I shared last week.

Using straight pins to temporarily hold my project layers together so I could hand baste to prepare for machine quilting.

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!



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