Sunday, October 31, 2010

sunday stash #4

Cotton Linen/Japanese Prints

Cotton Linen/Japanese Prints

Friday, October 29, 2010

something blue

Photo by Jeremy's Dad.  (He was hiding in the bushes!)

Some dear friends of ours are getting married tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited!  Jeremy and Breanne are a long time love story and are one of those couples you meet and it makes you sure there is only one true love in love.

We are so excited to attend and be able to celebrate with our friends and I was even more excited at the prospect of being able to contribute to the wedding!

A few months ago, Breanne asked if I would make a set of garters for her because she couldn't find the right thing.  Of course I said yes (even though I had never made them before and had absolutely no idea what I was doing!)

Breanne wanted blue because Jeremy loves blue.  Could you tell by the photo above?  So, after some Google searching, a couple of trials and errors, I finally came up with a cute set that I am happy with and Breanne likes.


They are a simple white cotton with blue satin ribbon stitched on, encasing a 3/4" wide no flip elastic.  Overall, not actually that hard to make.  I made her one that is slightly bigger for her to keep and one that is slightly smaller for her to toss at the reception.

I woke up this morning knowing I had to run over and deliver them (easy, since she lives only a few blocks down the road!) and saw I had a Facebook message from here.  "HELP!  My veil never showed up from Etsy!"  Oh dear.  Obviously, that is not the kind of thing a bride wants to be dealing with the day before her wedding.  As luck would have it, Facebook had popped up with a suggestion to peruse my wedding album and she saw my veil and realized it was basically the same one she had ordered.

So, off I went this morning, with my veil and her garters in hand.  Not exactly saving the day, but glad I could help.  Of course, we will all cross our fingers that her veil actually shows up today!  Unlike the States, our postal system doesn't work.  At all.  And especially not on Saturdays, so if it's a no show today, it's a no show at all.

And just because I'm feeling nostalgic, here's a pic from our wedding.  :)

Photo by Brooks Reynolds

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

sea of blue - complete!

It's finished! I can't believe I did it. And on time! And I got my house clean too! Woooohoooo!

I last left you with a half finished design on the wall and piles everywhere. So here's how it all went down.

After I wrote that post, I had some lunch and raced off to the dealership to get the car serviced. After waiting TWO AND A HALF HOURS for something that was supposed to take one and a half hours to be completed, I was out of there. I ran home, and Mike (our new, wonderful roommate) and I cleaned the house and welcomed out guest for the night. I did a little bit more trimming of squares and then ran out again to go pick up my husband. (Oh the joys of sharing a car.)

I went to bed at 10 that night because I was exhausted, and woke up at 7am the next morning to keep working. (Obviously I was bent on keeping my proposed deadline because not much can get me out of bed for 9am.) Luckily, I had managed to finish my trimming and put up a preliminary design before bed the night before.

I made some slight adjustments to the design and then I got cracking on the sewing. I worked like crazy from 8am to 4:30 pm with a break only for lunch. In all that time I managed to piece the top and back, quilt and attach the binding. I took the quilt with me to work to bind (and to show it to my boss who is the one who ordered the commission) and got a little bit done.

This morning I realized I had missed one line of quilting so I unattached the binding in 2 spots, quilted, and reattched the binding with a little tag and finished hand finishing the binding. The it was off to the washer, dryer and the yard to be photographed!

So, without further ado, I give you "Sea of Blue".

Sea of Blue

I am in love! I know I keep saying I love quilts (even if I hate them in the beginning) but this one I have loved from start to finish. I wasn't feeling super inspired to begin with, but after I started pulling all the delicious blue fabrics from my stash I started drooling. The colours are so rich and this is a palette I haven't worked with yet.

Sea of Blue - Back

The back was an adventure for me. I have been sticking to solid backs mostly, but I decided to try something a little different. I had some half square triangles left over and some bigger chunks of some other fabrics, so why not?

Sea of Blue

Over the fence, as usual. Finished size is 50"x50", bound mostly in some of the deep teal with a couple little bits added in.

Sea of Blue - Folded

And there it is, all folded and ready to go. I added a little tag to it, with my info on the front and washing instructions on the back.


Now, onto the next challenge. I am going to try and make a set of wedding garters for a friend. Her wedding is next weekend, but the lingerie shower is tomorrow. (Sexy lingerie already purchased!) And I want to include the garters she asked me to make in the bag. Here goes nothing!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

in progress (or, how I neglect everything else in life when a quilt needs to get done)

I've started a new project. Unfortunately, I didn't leave myself much of a bumper with this one, so I will lucky to be able to get it done on time let alone snuggle it and stare at it for 2 days before it's delivered. What is this project, you may ask?

It started as this:

New Project

A pile of 120 6" sqaures cut from 14 different blue fabrics.

Then it turned into this:

HST Love

A pile of 120 pairs of half square triangles waiting to be trimmed down to 5.5" (my least favourite part of HSTs.)

Now it is this:

Design Wall/In Progress

Slowly going up on my impromptu design wall. (Two pieces of left over batting tacked to the only remaining wall space in my basement.

Of course when I have a turn around time as short as this one (4 days) not much else gets done around here. Which is a real shame because our house has resembled the streets of Calcutta for about 2 weeks now. And we have a visitor coming tonight. And I have other things to do like work and take the car in for service. And eat and sleep.

So, this is what I'm neglecting:


Both folded and unfolded laundry including the nice clothes my husband needs for his internship.


An over flowing pile of fabric, batting scraps and other junk all over the floor. Also included is a thick layer of dust on EVERYTHING.


And of course the ever-present piles of bits and pieces, fabric and electronics littering my sewing area. A real bonus to not taking care of this mess is that the cats run off with pins, pens and parts of my sewing machine whenever I'm not looking.

Oh yes, and all of that is just in the basement. There's a whole other floor of disaster to be dealt with! Yikes!

Sigh. I'd ask you to feel sorry for me but let's be honest. I brought this on myself. Haha, and I really don't feel that bad about it (as is demonstrated by writing this post instead of dealing with the mess creeping into every corner of my house).

Now, off to refuel my tummy, refuel my car, take it for service and then come home, run around like crazy and make the place look presentable for our guest. Once that's done, the goal is to the have the top and back pieces, and the quilt basted and ready for quilting tomorrow morning.

Updates soon.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

sunday stash #2

Hope Valley

The entire Hope Valley collection by Denyse Schmidt. Purchases online from Purl Soho.

Friday, October 15, 2010

mini quilts - july/august

I posted previously about the amazing mini quilt I received from CASharp via the monthly (now bi-monthly) swap I participate in via Flickr.

Here's a quick recap:

STUD July/August Anything Goes - Received

UH-Mazing! Right?

This is what I finished for her:

STUD July/August - Sent

This was my first experiment with half-square triangles, and even though they were a TON of work, I am in love! So much fun, AND as an added bonus, the entire quilt was made from scraps. Yay!

After I had finished piecing the zig-zags, I felt like it needed something extra special, so I added the embroidery.

STUD July/August - Sent

I actually had a really good time doing up the embroidery part. It was really fun to watch it come together.

Since the swap is now bi-monthly, I signed up for both the anything goes swap and the themed swap. For the themed swap, I was so lucky to get paired with my dear friend Krissy. She is relatively new to quilting, like me and not only did we get to swap, but we got the opportunity to work on ours together (IN PERSON!) Okay, that may not seem like a big deal, but I have known Krissy since grade 5, and after many years of tumultuous friendship, we went to different Universities and have not seen much of each other since then. And when I say tumultuous, what I mean is, I spent years being a jerk and picking on Krissy and she spent years putting up with it and loving me anyways. (Thanks Kris!)

Well, as previously mentioned, we got a chance to go on vacation this summer, for the first time since our honeymoon 3 years ago. We chose to go to Portland to visit Krissy and it was awesome! We spent a total of about 2 hours in the entire week sewing, but oh well.

Anyways, here is what I sent to her:

STUD July/August - Sent

The theme was landscapes, and I wanted to send her an aerial landscape to represent the amount of time she's spent flying and driving across Canada and the States in the last few years.

This is what I got in return:

STUD July/August - Received

Again, UH-Mazing!! I love the different fabrics she chose and the amazing job she did on the trees and the mountain. I *think* it's Mt. Hood...Right Krissy? Please comment and remind me!
Anyways, I'm in love and now it's on my wall with it's quilty friends.

So thank you to CASharp and Krissy for such a great swap experience and for sending me such beautiful minis, they are fantastic!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

plain spoken II - finished!

I am happy to announce that the Plain Spoken quilt top has finally become a quilt!

Plain Spoken II

I am in love. I actually quite enjoyed making this the second time around. I posted previously about how reading the instructions really helps you get things right (duh!) and everything went so well with this one.

I used the same colours as the previous quilt top because I had so much fabric from that one left over. The backing is the same fabric as the other one as well, only it's in a pale grey which I think ended up working better than the brown. Less contrast.

Plain Spoken II

From a distance, the pattern almost fades away.

The thing that sets this quilt top apart from the other, and also makes it one of my favourites to date is the quilting. I tried something new and adventurous for this one. Straight line quilting! (okay, not so new...) I had done straight line quilting before, but sparsely and intersecting. With this quilt, I did organic (read: not always straight) lines approximately 1/4" apart, across the whole top. Oh man, do I love it! It adds so much texture and yumminess to it I couldn't stop touching.

Plain Spoken II

Plain Spoken II

As previously mentioned, this quilt is a present for my husband's cousin Tara and her (soon-to-be) husband Stephen. They are getting married in Ottawa on October 30, and unfortunately Joel and I aren't able to make it. It was such a bummer when we figured out we couldn't go, but we wanted to send them a special gift, so voila - Plain Spoken II.

Plain Spoken II

Monday, October 11, 2010

baby shirts

Who knew a one year old's birthday party could be so exhausting?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to J's birthday party. I have been his nanny two thirds of his little life, and it has been so much fun!

For his birthday I decided to make him some custom t-shirts. I knew he would be getting plenty of toys and books from his family and friends so I figured clothes was a good direction to head in.

I headed over to Old Navy and bought two soft cotton long sleeve t-shirts for only $12 and then picked up some Lite Steam a Seam 2. After that, I was rockin' and rollin'!

Baby J Skyscape TShirt

The first one is based on the skyscape t-shirt that Rae made for her son, over on Made by Rae. I was pretty in love with the lion shirt too!

The second shirt was a bit harder to decide on. Originally, I was going to make him a tree frog shirt, but decided the red and green combo felt a bit Christmasy. Instead I went with a giraffe silhouette, and I am really happy with it!

Baby J TShirts

I LOVE these little shirts! Too many pre-made clothes out there are either too cutesy or plastered in stupid catch phrases. They were so easy to make, that they may become part of my go to list for baby and kid presents.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

sunday stash #1

Fabric Stash

Because I never actually posted a Sunday Stash after I said I would: here it is.

This is the majority of my stash. It fits (sort of) into 1 19L tote. I have scraps sorted by colour and a pile of yardage of about 8 different prints, but really, this is what I do most of my sewing from. Hopefully over the next few weeks, you will stop by for some pictures of my favourites.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

the argyle quilt of doom: complete

It's FINALLY finished! Oh happy day! Actually I guess that happy day was last Tuesday, but oh well. I am happy to report that my argyle quilt is finally finished and happily living with it's new owners.

The Argyle Quilt of Doom - Finished!

This one was a stretch for the little throat of my machine. It's final size was 70" by 90" and even with free motioning it was a challenge to get to every last bit of it.

Even though 70" by 90" is a bit of an odd size in terms of fitting it on a bed, I did manage to make it work on the double bed in the downstairs guest room.

A Bed Sized Quilt!

So that officially makes it the biggest quilt I've made to date.

I don't know what else to say about this beast. I posted before how challenging I found it to piece, and the special people it's for. I guess all I can say is, I ended up loving it, and I hope they do too. Bye bye quilt!

Argyle Quilt of Doom

Argyle Quilt of Doom - Label

Oh yes, one more thing. Trying to take a picture of this thing when my husband is in a silly mood - bad idea! He pranced around the backyard with our kind (new) roommate Mike, making it hard to get a straight shot. Oh well, I ended up with this cute one!

Quilt Photo Silliness