Saturday, July 16, 2011

Holiday Mode- away until August

Well, it is that lovely time of year when our family takes a break from it all and just enjoys our all-too-short summer!

Normally this time is spent in lazy days at the cottage, but this year due to the flooding there we are taking this opportunity to do something new.

Road trip!

Look out Wisconsin Dells, we are heading your way to try out these apparently crazy water parks of yours! So be warned, world....I will be in a bathing suit over the next weeks, you may want to shield your eyes ;)

We are also planning to take in Minneapolis, and some local sites and fun while the kiddos are off school. I will be coming and going from home, but am going to be taking a bit of a blogging/computer break over the next few weeks to enjoy some family time! Will catch up with all of you and your crafty accomplishments later on in August. But if you are just going to miss me too much and can't wait (hee hee), then you can pop by Amy's Creative Side next week...I will be her featured blogger :-)

Wishing you many days of sunshine, flip flops and ice cream cones!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Quickie quilt done!

Lately I was feeling a little low in the quilting mojo. No lack of inspiration (or fabric), just not much energy in the tank and starting something new (or finishing up other quilts) felt daunting.

I needed a quickie.

So, when I had an unexpected afternoon off work recently, I neglected to pick up the kids from daycare or do my "to-do" list (it never gets any shorter, anyhow). Instead I spent 3 uninterrupted hours cutting up and sewing together my AMH Little Folks that I bought, in full, May of last year! A very simple strip quilt, completely inspired by the ones by Red Pepper Quilts. I made sure I did it with the rules of:
1. no thinking and
2. no pulling apart seams, no matter what.

Just pulled a fabric from the pile, cut a strip of whatever width, sew it on, etc until it was long enough. One strip was even sewed on with the back facing outwards! Whatever. Left it like that. And I didn't die or anything!

For the backing, I used a sheet I bought on clearance from IKEA. Easy peasy! It is a charcoal color and has a sheen to it that I just LOVE. I normally go for a fancy pieced back, but really like how this simple solid accents my quilting.
I did some simple line machine quilting, using grey on the back and colors that coordinated with the fabric on top. I popped on the binding (by machine) and hand stitched it here and there with Perle 8 thread in contrasting colors until I felt it was "done." Love the randomness, and how the hand stitching pops against the solid back.

I love it. It was stress free, simple, and as far as I am concerned, looks fantastic. Been so overwhelmed with all that is life lately, this was a much needed escape.

I was feeling guilty about my unfinished vintage sheet quilt, and also that I hadn't started the promised birthday quilt for The Middle Child (her birthday is this weekend) but I will get to those, eventually. Had to take time to remember that quilting is supposed to be FUN, right??

Bring on the next project!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Heather Ross scraps giveaway winner

Well, summer is here, and between extra work shifts to cover holidays, and 3 lively kids underfoot, the wheels of craftiness are turning a bit slowly over here! Plus most of what I AM making is under wraps as it has been for swaps or secret surprises :-) Will have more actual projects to show you soon. Also have a couple new tutorials and a couple quilt patterns in the works! But since up here in Canada we get maaaaaaaybe 15 good days of summer, I am doing my best not to waste it on the computer indoors! I am sure you understand. But I will get to it all, eventually!

Anyways, I decided to make an activity out of this giveaway for my kids. I had Big G write all the comment numbers down on paper....

....then had The Middle Child cut them up....

....and let Last But Not Least draw the winning number! She took it very seriously and insisted that she close her eyes.

THAT kept the little monsters busy for awhile ;)

So my crafty attempt at randomness found the winner to be......

....#38, which is Sandi P.!

Congratulations, Sandi, I will be emailing to get your mailing info.

As Time Goes By

There is a great new shop called As Time Goes By in Winnipeg (at 442 Academy). It is home decor, has all sorts of fun goodies, and the owner, Katie, is a hoot! She also has a couple really fun ideas-her store has a free book exchange and....a button plate? What is that, you ask? Basically a plate full of awesome grandma vintage buttons that are FREE! Look at all the treasures I walked away with:

And here are some of my very favorites :-) I tell you , I was like a kid in a candy store.

Also, I bought this really cool beeswax needle holder. Apparently it helps your needles stay sharp!

Also scored some awesome maple flavored honey, made right here by little Manitoba bees! So crazy yummy...makes your toast taste like French Toast!
Anyways, Katie ships across Canada, so why not pop by her web site and take a peek for yourself?

Okay, at the risk of sounding like I am gloating, I received a couple more great things in the mail this week. First off- some more Denyse Schmidt to add to my obsession...I mean collection. These are courtesy of Kaelin at The Plaid Scottie, as part of a little swap we are doing. Thanks, Kaelin!

Second off, look at these luscious hand dyed yarns!

The purple is Malabrigo Chunky in Cuarzo, meant for a hat for a Christmas gift. Yes, already thinking ahead to Christmas! The orange is Madelinetosh Vintage in Warm Maise, for a sweater I am planning for Last But Not Least. It will be in the same Tiny Tea Leaves Cardi pattern that I am currently working on for The Middle Child. Man, sweaters take a long time!
We are heading on a bit of a family road trip soon (Lord help me), so I hope to take this along to keep me occupied/sane :-)

Monday, July 11, 2011

My new machine

No, it is not a sewing machine. In fact, it is kind of an ANTI-sewing machine.
You see, it keeps my hands kinda busy....... ;) It has kind of become a nightly ritual at our house, put the kids to bed and then the hubs starts blending! Ah, summer!

BUT... I have managed to almost finish my Little Folks quilt. Here is a little sneak peek. I am doing it a bit backwards as I have already done the machine quilting and put on the binding and am now adding some hand quilting after the fact. It is fun as I can use the quilt and enjoy it as is, and will just pick it up here and there and add stitches until I feel it is done. I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed the process of making this quilt! Zero stress, 100% fun. Mojo definitely restored, can't wait to start on another!

Cheers, friends!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Look what came for me in the mail from Australia, from the always hilarious Shay of Quilting in My Pyjamas:

That's over a kilo (about 2 pounds) of yummy Aussie chocolate, people. Yes!!!

We decided to do a chocolate swap- in Shay's words (paraphrased): no sending 10 homemade extras or your family pet, just chocolate. And lots of it! She wrapped it up so festively, it felt like a parade popping out of the box! Feeling kind of slack now about my uber-creative ziplock bag wrapping...... But considering how fast I ripped it all off to jam it in my mouth, I guess the wrapping doesn't matter too much!

So there needs to be a strategy when given this much deliciousness. I'm about to let you into my head for a minute here folks- be very afraid!

First off- you must take ONE BITE of every item, immediately. This way when your kids sniff out your bounty and wander over saying, "Mommmmmy? What is that? Can I have some?" You can just shake your head solemnly, point to all the open wrappers and say, "Sorry, they all have GERMS."

Then there is the matter of The Spouse. They are often, though not always, smarter than the children. More importantly, they are certainly wise to your chocolate hoarding ways. So, step two involves combining all (remaining) chocolate into one unmarked bag like so:
Next, this bag must be hidden. I am going to give you guys a gem here, so listen up. The ultimate hiding spot? In the bathroom, behind the tampons and pads:

Do you notice it there? Well you can bet your man will not. Really, it is like kryptonite for men. If they inadvertently open that cabinet and see your monthly stuff, they will shield their eyes and run in panic. And this, my friend, is The Secret to my Chocolate Success!

Wishing you all a great day, filled with many sweet things :-)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Karma giveaway :-)

{This giveaway is now closed}

Well, once again I have been spoiled :-) And when good things happen, I like to spread the word about the goodhearted people out there. AND I would like to pay it forward. How about a giveaway to share my luck?

But first, take a peek at some great things from some wonderful people- yup, I am talking about bloggers again!

Giveaways- The stars aligned and I won 2 great giveaways in 2 days last week! First, a $50 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop from Bec at Chasing Cottons. I am soooo buying some of the Children at Play fabrics by Sarah Jane when they are out. Love them! Naturally, I am certain I will spend much more than the $50 ;) Don't tell the hubby! These fabrics would make the perfect picnic blanket, me thinks. A big thanks to Bec and Fat Quarter Shop!

The very next day, I won an assortment of AWESOME Denyse Schmidt charms from Natalie at Greenleaf Goods! Some of my very favorites! So excited to get my hands on these. There is a funny story to go with that one, if you want to read on ;) Thanks so much, Natalie!!
Mail- I have received a couple wonderful and unexpected bits of mail this week. First off, I have to thank Amy from one of my favorite blogs, Diary of a Quilter. A while back I asked if she would mind picking some extra Denyse Schmidt fabric from JoAnn's that I could buy from her, and she very happily accommodated my request. And now this very thoughtful lady has sent me another "bonus" package of extra prints she had found later, as a present, including a piece of my FAVORITE yellow print. Thanks so much Amy! This is one line I can't wait to cut into.

I have made a friend in a new Canadian blogger, Sarah, from Coincidentally Quilting. She saw that I had won some Mendocino from (another Canuck) Felicity, and emailed me offering to send me some of her own Mendocino scraps from her own quilts made with this line. Along with those fabulous scraps, Sarah also included some other Heather Ross and Munki Munki (gnomes!!!! unicorns!!! ), some adorable Japanese prints, and some Halloween scraps.

In addition, she sent some sweet Spoonflower fabric she had designed herself, and a card with a print of an INCREDIBLE watercolor paining she had done. What a talented lady!! Thank you, Sarah :-)

As you can see, my cup runneth over with Good Things this week, and I think it is only fair to balance out the universe by paying it forward. So, I am thinking a little giveaway is in order.

So, what the heck am I giving away?

How about a Heather Ross grab bag of scraps? I will throw in a little of my own Munki Munki collection, some pieces of Far Far Away 2 and I will also share some of my Far Far Away 3 once it arrives. All shapes and sizes....will dig through my stash and put together a little package for you.

To enter, leave a comment. Anything will do. Anyone can enter. One entry per person, please. I will draw a winner next week sometime....May the force be with you ;)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Chap stick lanyards

My daughters go MENTAL for chap stick. Not sure if they lace some kind of drug in the stuff, but they adore it, can't get enough. I think they eat it more than apply it, but anyways.....

So I decided to do a quick little project inspired by a post by Noodlehead. Anna's is a super cute patchwork version, but I decided to do mine with a little bling factor using sparkly pink sequins.
The stuff was on sale (buy 1 meter get 3 free) as was some pre-made bias tape. As per usual, I bought enough for a small army (of little girls) and made these two, got bored, and then packed it in. Not sure how much money I "saved" with that kind of logic.....
I added a D-ring to attach the chap stick lids and in about 15 minutes a piece, they were done.
And I had two very happy little girls :-)

Friday, July 1, 2011

A clutch for a gardener

When Amy saw my Denyse Schmidt clutches and asked if I wanted to do a swap, I knew this was my chance for get an awesome goodie from her- as if I could refuse! She made me a gorgeous "kidlet" using her very own adorable printed fabric. In return, I wanted to make a clutch just right for her. And, if you follow her blog you will know she is also quite the gardener. What is better than a flower?

I modified the big bloom tutorial by Keyka Lou to size for this bag. I used some of my Rowan shot cotton in pink for the flower, and a mustard colored button from my stash for the center.

Amy loves linen, so I knew this would be a great base for the bag. Inside, I used a big floral print from the Dream On line....I love it :-)

As the clutch is compact of course, I thought to incorporate a little pocket for stashing cash and a couple slots for credit cards and license, to eliminate the need for a wallet. Still room for a lipstick and cell phone, too. But, no, NOT a diaper bag, ladies!

I also chose a frame with loops for attaching a chain so it can be worn over the arm or body when wanting to keep the hands free.

Interfacing is always the bane of my existence, and I had some struggles getting it just right here. I wanted the bag to have lots of body, so I used a fairly stiff interfacing paired with some quilt batting for softness. When inverting the bag and attaching the frame, I had troubles with it bunching and wrinkling....had to take it apart a bit and trim it back to get it right. Not perfect, but much better.

I have packed this clutch with a few little treats and it now on its merry way to its new owner. Hope you enjoy it, Amy!

p.s. And to all my Canadian friends out there....Happy Canada Day!! Grab some Labatt's and and head 'er out to the lake, eh?