Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Molasses: A Finished Quilt

A long time ago, on an Instagram feed far far away, I saw Pen and Paper Patterns post about her garden snail quilt and I was instantly in love. Then I found out that Gnome Angel was going to do a slow sew-along and I conned my friend C over at The Edgy Perfectionist to join in (and I talked Jen at A Quarter Inch from the Edge to do it too...but she ran out of steam. I think having twins might have contributed to that!).

Each week I made one snail using a different Lizzy House fabric and posted my snail to my Instagram. At the end of 42 weeks I had 42 adorable snails and with a little sashing (and a big score of long OOP Lizzy House for the backing) I now have a finished quilt!

Here is Molasses:


Each snail shell is different, but all prints are by Lizzy House.

I like how the wind shows you the back and front in this shot.

The backing is this Castle Peeps fabric from 2004. Thank goodness for strange outlet fabric stores that carry such treasures (I think it cost me maybe $10/yard?)

I did organic (my term for I didn't want to measure) straight line quilting in a light grey down the quilt. It is more functional than decorative and I really like how it looks.
This quilt will be staying with me. I couldn't give it up! But I do have to note that despite using all Lizzy House I have not made even the slightest dent into my stash. What a shame.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Moving Mountains: A Finished Quilt

My dear friend, whom I've known literally my entire life as our moms are best friends, had her second child in mid-November. He is a tiny little peanut and he is sheer perfection. Obviously I was going to make him a quilt.

My friend is very particular about...everything, really, so I let her tell me what she wanted for his quilt. She picked the pattern by scrolling through Pinterest, then came over to my house and went through my solids and my Kona card to pick the colours. She also ordered one fat quarter of a special origami fox print from Spoonflower for me to add in as a couple of HSTs. I was surprised when she let me pick the backing- ha!

She is delighted with the end result and promised me pictures of my wee "nephew" on his quilt as soon as she can manage. 

Here is Moving Mountains:
The quilt is intentionally very modern (as per mom's taste) and is also simple HSTs.
For any "mountains" that had white space above them I did some loose echo quilting.

The backing is all one fabric because that is also what the mom prefers.

I used this grey fabric that looks like a lot of tally marks. I am not even sure who makes it but it was the perfect modern, neutral fabric for this quilt while still having something slightly interesting going on.
 Baby is still very tiny and it certainly won't be in his crib until he is older, but I anticipate some tummy time will be on his quilt from me!

Monday, 6 November 2017

The Short Short Version

Work is taking over my life but I promise there is sewing and sewing-related action happening around here in small bits.

So as per The Princess Bride's epic wedding scene, here is the short, short version of what I have been up to:


This simple baby quilt for a baby literally due any day now is now done except for a label.

These lined drawstring bags were gifted to someone to brighten his day after something sort of crummy happened to him (the little one was for him and the big one for his nine-year-old Rey-loving daughter).

My pre-order of Tula Pink Spirit Animal came and SHUT UP I LOVE IT.

My birthday gift from my husband finally arrived and it is so awesome. This is Magic Forest.

Molasses, my snail quilt, got quilted and binding got made. I just need some quality time on the couch to get this binding hand sewn on the back.

And my new Diving Board fabric arrived. It is my favourite Alison Glass ever with the exception of the Ex Libris panels. This fabric is 1000% in person. I'm tempted to take it to work with me so I can just look at it all day there too.
So there is what I am up to- the short, short version!

Monday, 30 October 2017

Big Bag for Mom

My mom is incredibly generous with her time and often gets called in for "grandma duty." She requested that I make her a new Chubby Charmer bag for her swimming gear as she swims every day with her friends. I had her pick out the fabrics that she loved and got to work making her a new bag.

Note: I hate this pattern. I do not recommend it. It is poorly written and there are ways I would change the pattern. I forgot since the last time I made her one of these bags. But once I was in, I had to persevere.

I quilted the outside panels to give some additional structure. (Isn't that sand piper cute?)
 The handles going on seemed like a really big step because you can start to see it is going to be a bag.
The handles are very sturdy because of the fusible fleece inside and the extra quilting.
 The assembly stage involves putting the outside of the bag inside out and then adding in the lining.

This was a great use for my Wonder Clips. This was a lot of layers and I had a few issues with the needle skipping stitches. I switched out to a fresh new needles and slowed down a lot and that helped immensely.
 After some struggles, the bag was finally complete! I snapped some quick pictures before gifting it to my mother the very next day!

She loved the bag and can't wait to show it off to her friends. For all the free babysitting she does, this bag was the least I could do!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

WIP Wednesday: Back to School is Cramping My Style

I am back to work (as a teacher I have July and August off so I have more sewing time) and it has meant a real slow down in progress.

Here is what I am working on:
1. I have my Christmas Tree quilt top finished. I need to piece the backing and then baste and quilt it.

2. My #QBTravellingquilt exchange is set for September 16 which is also the first meeting of the West End Modern Quilt Guild- my first ever guild! It is brand new. I will let you know how it goes! I have a round this time with my friend C's quilt. I will only show you a sneak peek until she sees it in person.
Cutting through an Ex Libris panel is PAINFUL.

Marlowe does a good job keeping an eye on things.
3. I also basted my Snail Along Quilt (named Molasses) and have it ready to quilt when the opportunity next turns up.

4.  In addition I have been working away on both a quilt and a pillow for a new baby arriving in November to a very close friend. (The new baby's big sister is my goddaughter). This pattern from 3rd Story Workshop will be turned into a pillow for baby's nursery. Isn't it precious?

Now if only I didn't have to do things like feed my children or do all my school work!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Open Window: A Finished Quilt

A long, long time ago I bought a bundle of turquoise and orange fabric. I put it aside and years later revisited it and added some teal. I still wasn't sure but I picked a pattern ( I used the Squares and Strips tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew) and got to work.

When I was finished the quilt top it still was not what I had been planning it my head. The lack of white? Too much orange? I'm not sure. So I put it aside. Again.

The thing is, I don't like WIPs. I'm a finisher. And so this summer I pulled this out and finished it up. I decided that the recipient is my friend's mother, a wonderful woman who has had a rough go lately. That is why I named it Open Window.


The backing is some Joel Dewberry True Colours that I got at a good price last summer.

It is quilted with teal thread echoing each seam line for the larger blocks.

 I quite like the little 16-patch blocks. That raindrop fabric delights me.
The recipient ended up loving it, which is the best and most important thing. The weird outcome that I was not expecting, however, was that when I posted the finished quilt on my Instagram there are many people who love it! People who have never commented on my other finished quilt photos. I guess the lesson is that even though a quilt may not be to my taste, someone (or many someones!) will probably love it. 

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Babies, Pineapples and Swimming Bags

Babies

Roar was gifted to a sweet little owner and I think she approves. (Babies on quilts- it never gets old. This is my favourite thank you).

Baby T on her new quilt. 

 Pineapples

I am making the Pineapple Farm quilt by Elizabeth Hartman for my mother-in-law. She just built a new house and I am hoping to have this done by her birthday, December 17. I think the chances are only okay because MAN, Elizabeth Hartman patterns are complicated (but gorgeous!!)

Knowing my mother-in-law wants a mostly terracotta/dusty red colour scheme (so far outside of my personal taste) and that each body of the pineapple needs three fabrics with some variety of tone (not even accounting for the two fabrics per pineapple leaves), I made a page in my little quilting book to collect trios of fabric. This helped immensely on my latest shop hop (though my friends teased me about it- they just don't appreciate genius, I guess). 

All of the fabric has been cut to the initial size (3 10" squares per pineapple) but the sub-cutting is pretty intense so I've avoided it so far. And, like I said, this doesn't even account for the pineapple tops).
There will be more pineapple blog posts in my future, of that I am sure. Wish me luck.

Swimming Bags

My mom is amazing about watching my kids for me. She is generous with her time. I was pushing her generosity one week in August, however, when I asked her to watch my kids all day Wednesday and Thursday (getting here at 7:30 in the morning!) so I could do a writing contract for work, and then all day Friday so I could go on a shop hop. 

She told me that in payment she wanted me to make her a new swimming bag using the Chubby Charmer pattern. I made her one with fabrics she had bought on a whim about...three years ago? Four? And since she swims every single day the bag is a little worn through.

I had her jump into my stash and though she was reserved at first, as we pulled more and more fabrics and she could narrow down what was speaking to her and what wasn't, she honed in on this gorgeous combination. Like, I even love this combination and usually my mother's tastes are NOT my own.
I had very, very little yellow in my stash (my mom loves yellow) but this combination was just right. That solid is Kona Bluegrass, a personal favourite. That is a Heather Bailey print on top, and a very OOP Violet Craft on the right. Also two Elizabeth Hartman prints, some C+S sprinkle and I'm not sure about the others. That back yellow print that looks like little leaves or something will be the lining.
This will be something I putter away at over the next month or two. I am back to work in a week and it will be wild for some time, I imagine! Who knows how much sewing I will be able to sneak in!