Thursday, September 30, 2010

"It's a small world" giveaway

Sorry, friends, this giveaway is now closed!

Do you know I am Canadian? Proudly so :-) There are probably lots of things you know about Canada. We boast some beautiful mountains, lakes, wilderness and wildlife such as beavers, moose, loons and polar bears. Our national police are called Mounties, though they only wear the red uniforms and ride horses for ceremonies! We say "eh" and are super polite. We are friendly, if a bit reserved. We apologize all the time. Oh, and hockey. We are pretty passionate about that. Good thing we are so awesome at it (Olympic double gold, Baby!! Sorry, U.S.A.).

Some other things you may not know. We are pretty smart, I think (sorry if that sounds like bragging). Did you know it was a Canadian who discovered that diabetes could be treated with insulin? Canadians can also be credited with the invention of the light bulb, the telephone, pacemakers, zippers, the sport of basketball, and the Blackberry. Not bad, eh?

What I love about the blogosphere is that it makes this great world of ours so much more smaller and accessible. I have a live traffic feed on my sidebar, and I love to see the visitors from all over! I have made some awesome new international blogging buddies!

I have been lucky enough to have done a good deal of travelling, and as you may recall, my hubby and I are headed to Italy (!!!) this fall for a short trip to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. One Italian lady, a massage therapist we booked with, went above the call of duty recommending hotels, restaurants, sending me train schedules and the like. I was moved by her kindness, and thought I would make her a little present in thanks.
I made these pouches as a nod to Canadiana, using our national colors of red and white on a chocolate brown linen. One style is the gathered clutch, with a couple vintage wooden buttons that I found thrifting, and for the other I modified the gathering design, and embellished it with a few yo-yo flowers. Inside, I have stashed a variety of Canadian goodies :-) Some organic tea made from local herbs, some maple sugar fudge and more.
So, I thought I would do a giveaway, where everyone would get a chance to do a shout-out for the places they call home.

Here is how you enter:
Leave a comment, in which you say where you live, and something you love about your country, city or town. Or, tell me an interesting fact about where you are from. Be proud! Brag a bit!

The prizes! TWO winners!
Pink Panda Fabrics, which I have often mentioned as my FAVORITE online Canadian designer fabric store (plus free and FAST shipping in Canada, whoo hooo!), has offered a $30 gift certificate to her shop, for one of my Canadian resident readers. Awesome! Thanks, Cheryl!

Not to leave anyone out, I will send one of the above pouches (winner's choice), filled with Canadian goodies, to one of my "non-Canuck" readers!

AND... Pink Panda is also offering a 3 % discount on purchased fabric to my readers until October 31, 2010. Just enter the coupon code "CRAFTER."

So go ahead, leave me a comment and tell me something special about your little corner of the world! Giveaway closes on Tuesday, October 5 at noon Central Standard Time.

(Note- In order for me to contact you, please make sure your Blogger account is set to accept emails. If it says "no-reply", I am sorry but I will choose again. Click here for easy instructions on how to change from no-reply).

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy feet: acquisitions of a shoe-a-holic!

I am in love. Samantha and I headed to Calgary a day early for our reunion, and took in some shopping. Spent MUCH more than I anticipated (which is why it is likely best she and I DON'T live in the same city, though I wish!) but had so. much. fun.

This particular store...walked in, gasped in joy, turned over the nearest awesome boot, almost fainted at the price, and resigned myself to "just look."

Then I found these. And suddenly, it seemed worth it. This is BY FAR the most I have ever spent on shoes (I am normally a cheapie), but as I wear them today, I can honestly say, I have no regrets. So unique....Turquoise shoes! A must to add drama to any wardrobe. And while I was at it...I got these awesome purple boots. Don't worry, these are completely justifiable. 1. on sale
2. perfect fit
3. functional and warm (winter IS coming)
4. purple! boots! (what fun!!)
5. did I mention they were on sale??

Happy, happy feet!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Nicey Jane quilt for Samantha

Looking for my giveaway? Click here, until October 5!

If this wasn't going to one of my very favorite people, I don't think I could part with it....
But there is no better feeling than making a gift for another crafter, who understands the work put into it, and responds with the appropriate squeals and exclamations!! Samantha and I have been bosom buddies since basically the first week of dental school in the '90s, and have bonded over school stress, vacations, breakups, weddings, 3 babes a piece, and many-o-crafts over the years. She lives in Toronto, so we don't get to see each other often, but she is the kind of friend I know I can always count on. We have already declared that when we are both 95 years old widows (bless our wonderful husbands, we will have surely worn them out by then!?!), we will move in together and craft and drink wine and eat cupcakes until our time comes :-)

This is the second quilt I have made with Nicey Jane- the other is for me, and is stuck on the back burner at the basting phase for the moment while I work on things for everyone else! I like this one better. The bold prints on this line are softened so well when in smaller squares, with the neutral grey and white.
I have never done a squares quilt before, and I love the look of this. Didn't realize how hard it is to match up all those corners! I did, most of the time.... It was all the more critical with the quilting I wanted to do, with the single diagonal lines over the grey squares and double lines, 1/4 inch apart, over the patterned. The back was left rather simple. I wanted it to be a nice backdrop to highlight the quilting. The white thread looks great against the grey.

I used the striped Welcome Road fabric for the binding, and love it! I think I will be hoarding more stripes from now on....

I decided to do something a little special with the quilt label, so I used my circle cutter (addicted to that thing!) and made a little flower, and centered it with an inscription. I put a funny friendship quote ("Friends are like bras: close to your heart and there for support") and a few words, then hand stitched on the lot with Perle 8 thread. The edges are raw and again frayed up nicely in the wash. The quilt is lap sized, measuring 60" by 65", which is ample for my shrimpy-barely-5-feet-tall friend! It was so nice to be able to give it to her in person this past weekend at our reunion. Here we are holding it up among the beautiful Banff Rocky Mountains!

I will be sharing this quilt over at Quilt Story, Sew and Tell and A Crafty Soiree (which also featured my reversible bird bib- thanks Malia and Katie!).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Reunited (and it felt so good)

When I am not crafting, I have one of those pesky things, called a job. Lucky for me, I like it (most days). And I get to create there, too....kind of crafty, eh? For example:

From this:
To this:Yes, I am a (dreaded) dentist. I hope that doesn't make you respect me any less... But it is a great career, it enables me to help people who are hurting, make things look pretty, and even requires the occasional hand stitching (ick- too much info??). Most importantly, I am able to work part-time, so I can remain a "full time" Mom.

Anyways, I had the pleasure of enduring the 4 torturous years of dental school with 25 of the best human beings I know. They even made microbiology, dental anatomy and, well, pus, seem like fun. That was 10 years it was time for a par-tay! We chose beautiful Banff, Alberta, Canada as our rendezvous point for a wonderful weekend of reminiscing...and some good old goofing off! Seems none of us have grown up much :-)

We enjoyed plenty of food and drink... (that's me on the left, with my often-mentioned buddy Samantha on the right)

...sported some stylish reunion t-shirts... ...enjoyed some hiking in the mountains... ...goofed off (as only we can do)....

....and explored our "rock star" side in a 2 a.m. photo session (yes, that is D, in MY bra!).
Mostly, we just reconnected, talked and laughed like we just saw each other yesterday, and had the BEST weekend ever! Can't wait to do it again. Love you, WATOs! We are still #1!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stuck on you

Look at these little beauties.... Had to get me some, when I saw Kelli's. I have been meaning to make a pincushion for ages, but hadn't gotten around to it. Can you believe I didn't even own ONE?? So I bought two- one for me, and one for a friend. They were made by Amy, using a stencil of freezer paper, at During Quiet Time on Etsy. She has a great blog as well!

How am I ever going to stick a pin in this? It's too cute! Maybe I will just name her and she can be my sewing partner. We can have long chats and laugh together, and if she insults my wonky sewing lines.... well, I will stab her with a pin. Meh ha haaaaaaa (evil laugh)!!

I also asked Amy to also make me a mini-quilt, to hang on my wall in my craft room, based on another adorable pincushion she blogged here. Just gave her a color palate preference of red and aqua, and a go! In a flash, she had it done- take a look:Isn't it great? It will be wonderful inspiration as I work away in my craft room. All the steps of quilting listed, and a sampling of different quilt squares along the left. So cute. Can't wait for it to arrive! It was also made with a freezer paper stencil for the words. Now Amy has me stimulated...bought my own freezer paper at the grocery store this week, we'll see what comes of it, eh?

In other news, I got a lovely email from Healther and Megan at Quilt Story asking to feature my Twin Quilts today....gave me the warm fuzzies! Thanks for the quilt love, everyone :-) I have another one to show you next week, in some sweet Nicey Jane!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm in! Quilt-as-you-go at ala mode

Do you have a bin that looks like this?

Healther at ala mode started a quilt-along (#2) for these cute quilt-as-you-go squares. I thought this would be the perfect way to use some Japanese fairytale prints I have, along with all those scraps accumulating in my scrap bin! I am going to make a quilt for my kids, to snuggle with in the basement when they watch tv. Planning this for a Christmas surprise, so lots of time. It looks like a fun project to do in bit in pieces....just up my alley at the moment, as I have a few quilts on the go and it is nice to have those "instant gratification" go-to projects! I'll show you my progress as I get started....hopefully soon!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"Tweet" reversible bib

Whipped up this little number for a friend who had a baby girl in the spring....will be seeing him this weekend at our reunion so thought I would make something special for his wee one. On this side I used a linen-look cotton blend as a base, and appliqued on a sweet birdy, using Heat and Bond and some hand stitching with my Perle 8 thread (I think I am hooked on hand stitching!). On the reverse, I used that cute bird fabric that I picked up at the local Fabricland for under $4/yard. Then I monogrammed on her initial with a little Hunky Dory. A little snap closure, and away we go! A nice, quick project.

Linking up to Quilt Story Fabric Tuesday.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

If the costume fits.....

The Middle Child cracks me up.

For her first Halloween, when she was about 3 months old, she wore this adorable butterfly costume. You can see how much she liked it.
So, the other day, now 5 years old, she comes running to me. "Mommy, Mommy, look what I found! My butterfly costume....and it STILL fits!"
I just about peed my pants seeing how she had crammed her little tushie into this. Priceless!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The twins are here....and so are their quilts!

After 39 weeks, followed by 2 days of labour, one natural birth and one c-section (S., you are my hero!), two cute little bundles of love have finally made their way into the world!

And, at long last, so have their quilts! So, without further ado, here they are:

Evan's quilt...... ......and Sam's quilt! I loved working with the Riley Blake Wheels line. The fabric had a great retro feel to it and strong colors, which made them feel so rich. Evan's quilt was made as a strip quilt, with a vertical strip intersecting the horizontal, like crossroads! I used a chocolate brown color as sashing and binding to add to the "man factor." For Sam's quilt, I modified this quilt design to allow for rectangular blocks, to best suit the fabric for fussy cutting these cars.I opted to use the Wheels blue dot fabric as a base, and paired it with the same chocolate brown sashing for continuity with his big bro's quilt. I was striving for 2 complimentary quilts, but with individuality, just like these boys. The backs- I will abandon all modesty here and just say....I rocked it!! :-) I couldn't take a picture that did these justice. These turned out even better than expected. At some point in the process I came up with the idea of the stop light, using each of the lights as a way to record the birth information- name in the red light, date and time of birth in the yellow, and weight and height in the green. I love how these are now embedded in the quilts as a keepsake. I hand stitched these in brown embroidery thread (though I wish I had used a slightly darker brown), using the same method as I did for the Mckinley quilt. I used a circle cutter, then attached the embroidered circles using Heat and Bond, with some stitching around the sides with Perle 8 thread. The edges are raw, and I love how they frayed up a bit after washing. Quilting- my FIRST go at free motion. I was so scared! But I knew the design of the quilt called for it, so I sucked it up and went for it. This is where I was glad I had a "third" twin quilt.....remember how I didn't like one of the originals, so I made another? Anyways, the third quilt became my guinea pig. During the course of it there were many s-sharps uttered, tons of spikes and loops in the stippling, and let's not forget that basting/puckering fiasco.....Up close it kind of looks like crap (to a quilter's eye), but when you look on it as a whole, the imperfections kind of fade....that is what I love about quilting. So, not bad for a reject. For the second/third go round at free motion on the "keeper" quilts, I tried out 505 spray adhesive for basting, and it was a dream. I know it adds cost, but in the end I will pay a premium for my sanity! Not a pucker on any quilt since (I have used it on 4). My free motion vastly improved as I went, and I can honestly say I enjoyed it by the end. I love how the stippling adds that puckered feel, and the brown thread looks great highlighted against the blue solids on the back. Some people have asked me what I intend to do with the third quilt. Well, when I started quilting back in the springtime, it was in response the the amazing Quilting for Babes program started by my friend Kathy at Magnolia Designs. Baby quilts were made and donated to the NICU at the Children's Hospital from all around the world. I had planned to make 3 to donate, in gratitude for the health of my 3 gorgeous kids. I donated 2 "girl" quilts (my first quilt, plus another), but had yet to contribute a "boy", here it is. Hopefully it will give some joy to a family who is in need of comforting.

In other twin news....2 more twins have just arrived to another good friend of mine. Yes, it is true. Something in the water up here?? And boys again. So that means...."Twin Quilts 2" will be coming to a blog near you (er, right here, actually). New designs, but (hopefully) equal Awesome Factor. I'll give you a hint: I will be using the stack of blues and greens.....

Linking up at Sew and Tell and the Crafty Soiree and Quilt Story Fabric Tuesday :-)

Thursday, September 16, 2010


My fabric necklaces needed a buddy.
When I saw this linked up at Quilt Story a couple weeks ago, I knew I had to have one. The tutorial is at Flamingo Toes. She had a great theme week where she made necklaces inspired by those for sale at Anthropologie. This little number retails for about US$ 140. Including the cost of the silver chain, I made it for under $20. Not bad, eh? I used some kind of charcoal shimmers a bit (I suck at fabric names beyond "quilting cotton", remember?) and paired it with some pretty little purple/pink beads to add a subtle splash of color.

I love the little detail of the baby flower at the clasp. So pretty when you have your hair up.

Thanks, Bev, for a great tutorial!