Thursday 29 November 2012

Quilt Inspiration

I was in an Indigo bookstore a little while ago and came across a book display of beautiful, colourful Canadian books. This series is from Anchor Canada and is called Colour Your Library. The collection contains some of my favourite novels: Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri, Funny Boy by Shyam Seladurai and Such a Long Journey by Rohinton Mistry.
But what I see, beyond the literature, is a beautiful quilt! Wouldn't this be gorgeous in Kona Solids? I can envision it perfectly in my head! What a great use of a Kona Colour Card! Does anyone else have this problem? Seeing quilts in every day things?

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Stocking Up

Though it is Christmas season, I don't mean that kind of stocking! At my local Fabricland (a store I visit more for notions than fabric, to be honest) there was a 50% off sale for members on everything (pretty much) in the store.

I picked up some batting (two queen-sized and two crib-sized) and these goodies:

I also got some needles for my machine. It was one of those trips that doesn't have much eye candy, but sure ends up costing tons! I got great prices, though, and I now can get to work finishing the FMQ on my Seuss quilt.

As another update, I pieced the backing for the baby quilt on the top of my "To Do" list. Here is an idea of what it looks like (sorry for the shadows but with dark coming so early at night I am always gone before the sun comes up and home after the sun has set!):
Notice the ever-present helpful feline? Having two means there is always a furry friend to lend a paw.
I will be basting this quilt as soon as I can (seems that the realities of life are getting in the way of productive sewing time!) and I will get to work quilting it (I'm contemplating some FMQ stippling, but who knows what I will end up going with!).

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Monday 26 November 2012

Are You Jealous?

Honestly, is there anything more delightful than a giant stuffed envelope of fabric waiting for you in your mailbox? There is certainly no better mail than fabric mail, and this package from Pink Castle Fabrics finally arrived at the end of last week!
 Their sale section is absolutely huge, and I just could not resist losing my mind a bit and buying some prints I have been coveting. Prepare to be jealous as you scroll through my photo-heavy post of my yummy new treats!
From top to bottom: Hello Pilgrim Jewels in Turquoise by Andover, Nests in Celebration by Robert Kaufman, Lady Bugs in Sky by Free Spirit

A whole delicious yard of Nap Sack in Lake by Free Spirit

From top to bottom (all from Andover): Royal City in Blue, Towers in Blue and Peeps in Blue 

Spot On Fat Quarter Bundle
I love these dots!

There is the whole stack, above. Now come on, admit it. You're jealous. 

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Friday 23 November 2012

Cozy November Kona Solids & Blogathon

If you have not heard, Sew Sisters, an online and bricks-and-mortar Toronto quilt shop, is hosting a Canadian Blogathon. What a great idea! Check it out here:
And speaking of Sew Sisters, my November Kona Solids of the Month Fat Quarter bundle showed up in my mailbox this week. Each month you receive four fat quarters (and no shipping!) of Kona solids, based on an inspiration photograph.

Here is November's inspiration photo:

And here is what the bundle looks like:
From top to bottom: Kona Cayenne, Kona Moss, Kona Dresden Blue and Kona Espresso.

I love, love, love the Cayenne. It is the perfect red, in my opinion, and if I ever need red for some reason I think this is the colour I would choose. The Espresso reads as almost black, but when you see it up close the brown becomes more evident.

It sure reminds me of a cozy November night, with a cup of hot chocolate.

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Wednesday 21 November 2012

WIP Wednesday: The Pre-Christmas Edition

My work-in-progress list does not seem to have advanced very far from my last checkpoint, but here are the updates for all my pre-Christmas sewing (noting that my list of January/February projects is super long!).

1. Baby quilt for shower December 13. The top is pieced (isn't it cute?) and the backing is chosen. I have the batting ready to go, but the top needs to be pressed and the backing needs to be pieced (plain is boring).

Backing. Flannelette!

2. Remember this stack of sweet blocks using Vintage Modern? It is destined to be a quilt for my mother-in-law's birthday December 17. Alas, I have made no progress, using all spare time on the baby quilt since that event happens first.
 3. My Seuss quilt is partially quilted. I ran out of white thread to FMQ the borders! There is a 50% off sale for members at Fabricland Thursday through Saturday this week, so I plan to stock up and get  back to work. I haven't made the binding yet, either (but the fabric is picked, at least).
 4. My stockings are not progressing, but here is what is done. This is meant to be a pair, for my sister and her husband. The one of the left (my sister's) needs a loop, and my brother-in-law's needs a cuff and a loop. I have the fabric cut, just not assembled.

I also have finished some things on my list (quilt for my mom, bag for my mom, birthday quilt for a friend) so I don't feel too worried about my list.

How is your list coming for Christmas? Are your sewing projects getting finished in time?

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Sunday 18 November 2012

Too Busy for Blogging?

After an insanely busy week at work, with an even more insane week this coming week I have been using my spare time to actually quilt rather than blog about quilting. I guess if one has to go, I better get the actual work done!

I wanted to give an update on what I have been working on, but first I wanted to say that First Snow was given to my dear friend at her birthday celebration Saturday night and she absolutely loves it. It was the first quilt I ever pieced and I am so glad it is in a home where it will be cherished.

I discovered that a pregnant friend, whom I thought was due in February, is actually due in January. Oh, and her baby shower is mid-December. Ack! I need to get that baby quilt done pronto!

There is always a helpful feline around while I am trying to work. I need an actual board on the wall!
I have since repositioned some of the stripes, but the above gives you a taste of the quilt. I am backing it is lime green and white flannelette. They don't know the sex of the baby, so this was my take on gender neutral!

Other updates include:

  • Stockings- my sister's stocking is 99% done (just needs a loop) and my brother-in-law's is about 60% done. The others (my grandmother, mother, husband and me) have not even been started, though I did press some fabric for my grandmother's.
  • Vintage Modern Quilt- I decided (in my craziness) to try to finish this for my mother-in-law's birthday December 17. I'm an idiot. And I have lots of sewing to do.
Here's hoping a crazy work week will still allow some sewing time!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Thursday 15 November 2012

Iris Spring

I have to be honest. The Guest Curator contest over at Sew Lux Fabric had me playing with virtual fabric bundles and creating mosaics for much more time than I thought was possible. The truth is, this is a fun way to try out fabric combinations!

I had to make one more (the contest allows two entries). My second entry uses a delicious green and purple colour combination that makes me think of beautiful irises and the spring time. Perhaps I am getting a bit wistful for spring weather now that winter has hit?

Here is my bundle, Iris Spring (instead of Irish Spring, get it?): 
Fabric selections:
First row, left to right: Flea Market Fancy Eyelet Green, Bella Solids Ivory, Cuzco Citadel Orchid
Second row, left to right: Bella Solids Purple, Moda Crossweave in Apple
Third row, left to right: Half Moon Modern Ovals Lime, Simply Colour Dotted Zig Zag in Eggplant, Kate Spain's Good Fortune Lantern Flower Reflection

I love purple and green together, don't you?

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Owl Be Up All Night

SewLux Fabric is having a Guest Curator contest in which you are invited to select eight fabrics from their store and put them in a bundle. They will choose their favourite 10 for voting. I have never tried something like this before, but thought I would jump in. After all, putting fabric bundles together can be the best part!

I have about 10,000 baby quilts to make over the next six months thanks, I think, to an extremely fertile group of friends. It sure is keeping me busy!

I have always been drawn to the collection Ten Little Things by Jenn Ski, and so the first selection I made was the Owl Aqua fabric. I love a cute fabric in a baby quilt, but I don't feel it needs to be all cutesy. I like using other blenders- dots, chevrons, solids- to make the quilt feel fresh, modern and not too busy. I think this combo of turquoise, green and yellow works perfectly for a baby if you don't know the gender (something that, as a quilt maker, kills me!). The rainbow chevron adds a pop of fun colour than blends well with the colourful owls themselves. 

I've decided to call this bundle Owl Be Up All Night. :)

Owl Be Up All Night
Details of Fabrics:
Row 1 Left to Right: Bella Solids Turquoise, Flea Market Fancy Flower and Dot Turquoise, Chevron Rainbow by Riley Blake
Row 2 Left to Right: Simply Color Dotty Ombre White Aquatic Blue by V & Co, Ten Little Things Owl Aqua by Jenn Ski
Row 3 Left to Right: Bella Solids Buttercup, Circa 1934 Davis Sage, Moda Crossweave in Apple Green

What do you think of my selections? Couldn't you see this bundle combined into a beautiful quilt, maybe for a spring baby?

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Sunday 11 November 2012

Fabric Breakfast

I did it. I broke my fabric fast. And note that it was November 10, so I even lasted 10 days past my original fast.

I had to go to Ikea yesterday to buy a replacement seat for my daughter's desk chair (it met an unfortunate end when Daddy used it to stand on while hanging the curtain wire we are using as her picture display wire). Since the Ikea is a bit of a drive away, I decided to check out the LQS to see what it was like.
Quilter's Dream
I found the story tiny and certainly in my quilter's dreams there are lots more modern, designer fabrics and a lot less batiks. But I guess that's me. :)

This was pretty much the entire selection.

All the Kona Solids had me grinning!
I spotted a few things that I liked, but nothing that had me rushing to get any yardage cut until I found these three beauties:

The octagons in green and yellow are so yummy, and hello they're on flannelette! Robert Kaufman Izzy I think it is called.

Dr. Seuss letter fabric, more Robert Kaufman. This is destined for my rainbow baby quilt.

The circus fabric is also for my rainbow fabric, and how irresistible are these birds? I LOVE the colours and would totally do a mostly-solids quilt in those colours with this fabric as the centrepiece.
I think I was very reserved in how little I purchased. Granted, I was tempted to head to my favourite LQS (Greenwood Quiltery) but it was a 45 minute drive that I was not in the mood for, and I still have a huge gift certificate to The Hobby Horse. Plus, there are several new lines coming out that I must, must have and will order when they are released so I better behave now!

Do you like my choices? It sure feels good to break my fast...a fabric breakfast!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Saturday 10 November 2012

Stockings and Seuss

First of all, thank you to those of you who commented on my last post. Your kindness regarding the desirability of Decadence makes me hopeful that it will be welcomed and cherished by whomever takes it home Christmas Eve.

And speaking of Christmas, I've jumped right in to making new Christmas stockings for my family. My mother, grandmother, sister and brother-in-law take turns filling stockings for each other. Since before my memory can reach, we have used the same hand-crocheted stockings made by my aunt. They scream "Christmas" to me. The problem is that they are just too darn small. Last Christmas I ended up making stockings for my in-laws and my mother mentioned that it sure would be nice if we got some new ones as well. (Do you notice a pattern with my mom? She sure does have lots of sewing suggestions for me!) I bought the Christmas fabric after Christmas last year and got a good deal (it is not  designer fabric or anything, just plain-old Fabricland fabric).

Here is a preview of the work in progress:

When I am not working on the stockings (and trust me, piecing a zillion 3" squares is proving to be a pain in the bum, so I'm taking breaks) I have been working on my Seuss quilt, a Christmas present for my friend's son (the same friend who is receiving First Snow, actually). I got Seuss basted and the centre quilted today. I used variegated red thread on the front and white on the back. I did a loose interpretation of a herringbone pattern (blogged about previously) and love the impact. They look like giant zig zags more than herringbone. In the future I might do this on another quilt but more densely quilted and with the lines overlapping. This quilt is playful and fun, so the crazy lines really work (in my opinion).

I spent some time using my new easy-thread needles to bury the ends of the threads. It works great it is just time consuming! I have about 1000 more to go, and then I am going to FMQ the border in white.

Wish me luck on all fronts!

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Decadence : A Finished Quilt

Every year at my husband's mother's house the adults do a Christmas gift exchange. You purchase one gift (this year with a value of $75) and wrap it, and each adult draws a number and opens a present. You can steal from someone who has already opened, or you can open a new gift. Then hilarity ensues as people fight over the most coveted gift.

I decided, with some hesitation, to make a quilt as my contribution. The value is more than $75, but I did already have most of the materials purchased. My stepbrother-in-law is a skilled carpenter who has made beautiful wooden boxes and other objects in the past that were appreciated. I thought that I might delight someone with a quilt.


I am worried because the mix of people is very strange. There are great grandparents in their eighties and my brother-in-law who is 29 and a hard-drinking, life-loving bachelor who would not want a quilt. I decided to go for it because I think that though the men would perhaps not really want a quilt I am hoping their wives would, and that someone will choose this and rather than feeling "stuck" with the quilt be delighted to have it come home with him or her. I am most worried that my quilt will be one of the "unwanted" gifts that people do not want, and after hours of work and loving the quilt myself, I would be quite heartbroken if my quilt was dismissed or unappreciated. I guess I just have to worry up until Christmas Eve and deal with whatever the reaction ends up being!

On that pessimistic note, here is the finished quilt!

Flannelette backing

I love the brown and turquoise together, and I love the way the binding turned out. Honestly, I have someone specific in mind at the gift exchange whom I know will treasure this, and I hope she ends up with it.

I decided to call it Decadence because of the rich jewel colours, the chocolate brown, the pearl bracelet fabric and the flannelette backing. All of those things are just so, well, decadent, don't you think?

Also, a thank you to my friend's husband who trekked out in the cold with me to hold up quilts. He was patient and good natured about the whole thing, and I can reserve my hubby for the next quilt finish (hopefully Seuss!).
Friend's patient husband holding up my quilt

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Tuesday 6 November 2012

First Snow: A Finished Quilt

One of my oldest (length of time, not age) and dearest friends is having a birthday on November 13. When I began sewing about two years ago she wistfully mentioned having always wanted a quilt. Her stepmother quilts but they are not close and she has not had a quilt made for her in at least 15 years. At the time, her wistful request was a distant wish. I thought it would be years and years before I would ever be able to attempt quilting, never mind make one for her.

Fast forward to January 2012 when, after just over a year of sewing, I decided to tackle a quilt. I didn't take any classes, rather I learned via the internet. This is also, not coincidently, when I got addicted to modern quilt blogs. I knew the first quilt I would make would be for my friend. Her favourite colour is turquoise, and the hunt for fabrics began.

It is now November, and her birthday celebration is in two weeks, and I will gift her this queen-sized quilt. I have named it First Snow. It is my first quilt, the first quilt I pieced, the first quilt I sent out to be quilted, and it uses a simple snowball pattern. 

I took advantage of a friend's husband who is off work for a week before starting a new job and got him to hold up the quilt for me. He was such a good sport, and it avoids using my own husband too much because he can get awfully grumpy during quilt photo sessions. :)

I hope she loves it. I hope it matches her expectations from that time two years ago when she mentioned  wanting a quilt. I hope she treasures it forever.

Lynn (aka Buttons)

Monday 5 November 2012

HST QAL: November Block

I have been taking part in the HST quilt along at In Color Order since I discovered it early this summer, and I can't believe there is only one month to go!

This is what Jeni's November block looks like:
Photo courtesy of In Color Order

And this is what my November block looks like:
(I'm having photo-turning problems again. What is with that?)

I think it looks great and I'm excited for the December 1st post so I can finish up this quilt and perhaps make it part of my daughter's Christmas gift!

Lynn (aka Buttons)