Friday, March 25, 2011

DQS10 - complete!

It's done! And a week ahead of time, no less. A freaking miracle by my standards!

It took me weeks of doodling and waffling on all sorts of ideas, but about 2 weeks ago I finally decided on a plan and got to work. I was feeling pretty intimidated considering my swap partner said she likes more traditional patchwork and I don't usually work in that style.

I feel like it turned out pretty well!

DQS10 Complete - Front

There are definitely some wonky bits and some cut off points, but I did the best I could and I am happy with how it turned out. Of course, once I was done all the blocks, I looked up a tutorial today and found out it would have been way easier to assemble them as 4 patches instead of in rows like I was building a log cabin. Oh well, live and learn. Next time I will try it the other way.

DQS10 Complete - Back

The back is pretty simple. I added a pieced in label and since my partner won't get it for another week or so, I have covered her name to keep it a surprise. I also added a little hanging sleeve which is a first for me. I don't know why I had never done that before.

Mug Rug

I also made a fun little reversible mug rug to go along with it. I hadn't made one yet and since they are very "of the moment" I thought it would be fun to add. I guess if I had to pick, technically this would be the front. Originally I was going to quilt it in concentric organic circles, but I got about 4 circles in and hated it, so I changed to straight lines.

Mug Rug

And here is the back. Totally improv, and I think I might like it more than the front.

DQS10 - Sent!

I also included a little hand written letter and a bundle of some favourite scraps. I wanted to send more, but shipping internationally from Canada costs an arm and a leg, so I had to try and keep the weight down. I actually really wanted to add this neat Kath Kidston book I have, but clearly that would have added too much weight.

I'm super glad to have been able to participate in this round of the Doll Quilt Swap, and will definitely sign up for the next round! Now I just have to post this little package tomorrow and sit back and wait for my little quilty to arrive.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

a long week

One of the downsides to my super awesome job (feel free to want to set me on fire after I finish this sentence) is that when I work several full days in a row it feels like the longest week of my life.

This week has felt extra long. Of course, that is not to say that I didn't enjoy my days with the kids, I really and truly did, but I just feel exhausted. Here's the kicker: I only worked 3 full days this week. (I should say that a full day for me is usally 9-10 hours instead of the usual 8.) Oh geez, as I write this I realize what a complainer I sound like.

I tend to get kind of whiny and emotional around the time change every year. I don't sleep well, I just feel lazy and un-motivated. It's not a good scene.

The point of all this complaining is this: when I get like this, it's good for me to sit down and think of all the things I have to be proud of or thankful for. So instead of 10 on Tuesday, here is 10 on Thursday.

1. I have an awesome job that means I get paid to play with some of the cutest kids you'll ever meet. It also means I work for people who are kind, generous and great parents who treat me very well. Lucky.

2. I am married to a sweet and hardworking man. He fills my life with laughter (especially when I really need it) supports me in all my endeavors and works his hiney off at school and his internship so he can get a job that will (later in life) support our family.

Silly Love

3. I have the cutest cats in the world! Seriously, at least a couple of times a week, Joel and I marvel at how good it is to have them in our lives. We both had pets throughout our childhood and had to wait 5 and 11 years respectively before getting our own pets, and we couldn't be happier. They are sweet little monkeys who follow us around the house and make us laugh constantly.

Kissy Face

4. I live in a great house in a great city in a great country. We are heading into our third year in this house (amazing since I moved 8 times in the 5 years previous) and it feels like home. We may only rent but it makes such a difference to live in a place that I feel comfortable in, and that allows us to live a lifestyle that we love. It has enough space for me to have a dedicated sewing area and 3 extra rooms which we fill with guests and roommates. Also, despite the current silliness going on with the Canadian government (seriously, silly) I love being Canadian. I am happy to say I live in a country of such beauty and vast wilderness, where people from every culture and religion are accepted with open arms and I can live peacefully and safely.

5. I have great friends. I won't bore you with the names of all the people you don't know that I love but I count myself lucky to be friends with such a long list of truly high quality people. A special shout out to my long time dear special friend Krissy. Oh, and also, Candace-bo-bandace who I love spending Sundays with. You two make my heart happy.

6. This week I did some major sewing for once. What's up Doll Quilt Swap! I am so happy to have been chosen to participate, and while I was really stumped for quite some time, I am now finished except for binding. I spent many hours making tiny HST's and while they aren't quite perfect, I am really happy with the result. More on that later.


7. I was super productive in other ways this week too! I cleaned the WHOLE house on Monday. (A really amazing feat for me) and then made sure it was tidied up again on Wednesday. I made dinner TWICE this week which if you know me means that hell might possibly have frozen over. I did a ton of laundry and...yup, that's it. Haha, but seriously, that's a whole lot of domestic goddessness for me to accomplish in one week. And guess what?? I plan on continuing tomorrow!

8. I got back into reading this week! I guess technically I got back into it while in Mexico. I read Jodie Picoult's House Rules, which I do not recommend. I enjoyed it until the very end when I literally though "Really? I wasted over 500 pages just for that weak ending??" This is all beside the point. I started reading The Poisonwood Bible this past week and so far so good. I've had it for a while, but finally picked it up on the recommendation of the aforementioned Krissy. She says it is her favourite book in the entire world and so for her I am giving it a read. And Krissy I promise we will chat about it when I am done. Or maybe I will write you a letter?

9. I got some really positive feedback from one of my families this week. I talked with J's mom today when she got home and I have to say it feels good to know that I am liked and that I am doing a good job. I try to tell them, but I hope they know, I love my job and I love their J. It truly makes my life good to work with them and I look forward to lots more time spent with them.

10. I have a quiet night to myself tonight. Hubby is off playing poker with the boys tonight. Just me and the cats and our roommate having a quiet night to himself elsewhere in the house. This ia a pretty rare thing, and I don't usually look forward to it. Joel and I talk about this sometimes, how we feel like we spend much less time away from each other than many of the other married couples we know. Not that they spend too little, or we spend too much, it's just different. We are best friends and homebodies and love to spend evenings in, eating dinner together and maybe watching our current favourite tv show or working side by side on various projects. But tonight it's just me. I've got a stack of books from my trip to the library today, a cup of tea and a cup of chocolate milk, How I Met Your Mother is queued on the tv and I am in our warm on toasty bed. Life is good.


Wow, writing that out makes me feel good. Oh, and one more thing: as depressing as it was to have to switch back to waking up in the dark, since we are so far north, I have to tell you, we gain almost 4 minutes of daylight each day! Yes!

Thanks for reading through my very long list of ramblings. I'll get back to quilting and sewing related things in the next couple days once my DQS10 package is shipped off.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

tropical breezes

So, as I posted about several times, dear hubby and I went on vacation to Mexico. It was AWESOME!

Our first tropical vacation together, and our first trip that was just for us. Each time we have gone away (other than our honeymoon) we have to gone to visit friends or family. All of those trips were great and it was wonderful treat to visit with people we love, but there is something so great about getting to be with just each other.

We flew out on a VERY cold morning. -37 degrees celsius (-34 F?) is more than enough motivation to go somewhere warm.


The resort we stayed at was amazing. For those of you looking for a great place to stay, check out the Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun. Seriously.

Lazy Days

Secrets Capri Riviera

We went for a VERY long walk down the beach to Playa del Carmen one day.


We saw amazing birds and iguanas all week. Checked out Coco Bongo and it is exactly as crazy as it's name sounds. You should check it out too. But be prepared, we were up until 5am. Yikes!

The food was awesome, the staff were great and super friendly, and lets be honest, who needs the cold? I wish I was still there.

It was a wonderful and much needed break from reality and responsibility, and it was so great to spend a week with Joel.


Maybe next year when Joel is done school we can go to somewhere warm again!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

365 February

365 February 2011

1. 365.39, 2. 365.40, 3. 365.40, 4. 365.41, 5. 365.42, 6. 365.43, 7. 365.44, 8. 365.45, 9. 365.46, 10. 365.47, 11. 365.48, 12. 365.49, 13. 365.50, 14. 365.51, 15. 365.52, 16. 365.53, 17. 365.54, 18. 365.55, 19. 365.56, 20. 365.57, 21. 365.58, 22. 365.59, 23. 365.60, 24. 365.61, 25. 365.62, 26. 365.63, 27. 365.64, 28. 365.65

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

the family quilt - finished!

Let me tell you a story about a very special quilt. From the beginning I loved the idea but wasn't sure I would love the process. In fact I was pretty much dreading it. The quilt was commissioned by my mother for my Grandma and Grandpa (affectionately known as Nini & Papa). She asked me to include a selection of family photos and to make it in a style that would suit Nini & Papa's condo.


After weeks and weeks and months of procrastination and frittering away time, I finally came up with a plan that I felt would create a balanced quilt in a traditional style. Originally I was going to see if I could find some Bonnie & Camille fabric but that was a no go locally and I didn't have time to find it online, I found something else.

I pulled a collection of fabrics in pinks, creams and browns.

A new project

I started cutting and piecing and it was all coming together well. Until I realized that when you use iron-on transfer paper, you shouldn't iron the pictures. I had to re-stick the paper backing on the pictures and try to iron around them all to keep them intact.

The Family Quilt

Anyways, after it was all said and done I was pretty happy with it. I only quilted in the ditch to keep it simple, and used the backing wrapped around the front to bind it.

The best part about this whole project was seeing the pictures from when my grandparents opened it.

Here they are, as recorded by my step-dad:

Family Quilt - First Quilt

Family Quilt - Front Side Revealed

Family Quilt - An Overview

Family Quilt - Touching David

Family Quilt - Cuddle Demo

Aren't they so cute??

Family Quilt - Happy Tears

My Nini is so beautiful! Apparently she was so touched by the quilt that after all the kerfuffle she sat down and had a good happy cry.

Family Quilt - Skype

After they opened the quilt we all hopped on Skype for a while to chat. On the computer screen you can see Joel and I sitting in his office and I wrapped in one of my great-grandmother's quilts.

It was a great experience making something so personal for people I love so much. So much of my childhood is filled with memories of my grandparents. They were (and are!) so good to us. We spent weeks during the summer at their cottage, lots of Sunday night dinners at their house, playing pranks with my Papa, going to see movies where my Nini would pack little goody bags of treats to sneak in. They are great.

Apparently the quilt is hanging on the wall in their bedroom where they can look at it often. That makes me smile.