Monday, October 31, 2011

Lucky, lucky me :)

I just found out that LBNL's sweater is the lucky first place winner in the yarn category of Rachel's Celebrate Color contest over at Stitched in Color, with an amazing 245 votes. Can you see me through your computer screens doing the happy dance?? Yes, I know, awkward and dorky, but heartfelt ;) Thanks to all of you for your kind words and votes!

There were some seriously amazing prizes! Here is my loot:

Let me wipe the drool off of my chin as I introduce you to my new uber-cool knitting bag by Jordana Paige. I currently carry my knitting around in ziplocks, so to say this is a step up is an understatement. Made of gorgeous lapis blue vegan croc leather, it has a zillion well thought out compartments and pockets for all of my knitting necessities. Even some super cool loops to prevent your yarn from tangling! If you want to check out a raving review of this bag, look here. I am going to ROCK this purse....I think I need to find me some new matching shoes, eh? And I am pretty sure I will be using this bag to tote around some of Jordana's patterns....I want this and this for starters :)

Another great project for ze bag? What about this adorable hat by Tanis Fiber Arts?
It comes in 4 "seasons"- this is the winter pattern and colorway. This is well beyond my usual knitting skill level, so I am very excited to take on the challenge!

Last but not least....needles from Knit Picks! These were actually on my Christmas list, so I am soooo pumped to be getting these a little early!

A big thank you again to Rachel and to each of these amazing sponsors. I am thrilled!
{continues dorky dancing}

Saturday, October 29, 2011

finalist :)

My little orange sweater knit for my sassy youngest daughter has been selected as a finalist in the yarn category of the Celebrate Color contest at Stitched in Color.

Voting runs through to Sunday night. If you have a minute, do drop by and vote for your faves in yarn, needlepoint, wearable and home decor. And if my little entry gets your vote...thank you :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Friendship Quilts


Welcome, Blogger's Quilt Festival visitors! Have fun perusing all the amazing quilts out there. Today I am going to share a new finish with you that is dear to my heart. If you would like to see more of my past quilts, you can find my 2011 quilts here and my 2010 quilts here. Thanks for popping by!

When you were a kid, did you ever exchange jelly bracelets with your best girlfriends? Or make up matching embroidery thread ones? It was also a fad when I was young to decorate your shoelaces with friendship pins adorned with beads, made by your buddies. How about one of those heart necklaces that broke into two pieces, reading "best friends?"

It was along this line of thought that I decided to make matching "friendship quilts" for my best friend and me. We became BFFs (long before there was ever an abbreviation "BFF") back in elementary school in the early 1980s. We both had a knack for skipping double dutch and played a mean game of hopscotch. Over the years, our friendship has grown and encompassed all the things that make up a life- graduations, boyfriends, breakups, marriages, deaths and births. And all the little things, too- shared recipes and bottles of wine, movie nights, girl gossip.

I had bought this fabric awhile back with the intention of making these quilts to celebrate our 30 year "anniversary" of friendship, which will be in 2012. But last month my best friend had a heart attack, a freaky one-in-a-million crappy lottery she won, though she never bought a ticket for this- it was 100% unrelated to genetics or health or lifestyle. So, I thought if there was ever a time when someone needed a little love and comfort, it was now. And so I got to slicing and dicing, and here is what we have:

One for her, one for me. I used Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush line because I loved the vibrant colors and hints of purple, my friend's favorite color. I cut it into charm squares, as she has often commented that this is her favorite kind of quilt: simple patchwork.

I had intended to do some fancy straight line quilting, but wasn't feeling it when I sat down at my machine- it seems that life's paths are anything but straight at the moment, so a meandering pattern it became. I love the way it shows itself on the plush minky backing.

I made a couple hand embroidered labels for the quilts which I hand stitched onto the front.

(my dog always finds the softest places to nap!)

I hope that, while she is recovering from this ordeal, she can feel a hug from me each time that she wraps herself in this quilt....and I will feel the same when I am cuddled up with mine.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Drunkard's Path Quilt Along: Sewing your blocks

Well, kids- it's finally time to sew!

Take that bucket-o-pieces you cut up last week....

....and start stitching them together! Feel free to review my instructions for sewing curves over here. But I have a confession to make....I modified my method to a way I found easier/faster. And, of course, I did it to get rid of those pins, lol! Here is what I did (much more like Kate's method, really!):

1. Line the pieces up as shown, with top edges aligned- right sides facing.

2. Sew using a 1/4 inch seam, with the edge of the presser foot following the edge of the bottom outer curve piece and using your fingers to pull the upper inner curve piece to the right to line up with the lower piece as you sew.

3. Middle notches should still line up.

4. In the last centimeter/half inch or so, you may need to stop (needle down) and lift your presser foot to help arrange last bit of fabric so the bottom edges are also square as they were at the top.

5. Press towards darker fabric- done!

Repeat 324 times for a lap quilt, or about 168 times for a baby quilt (phew!). Get busy, people! This is the most labour-intensive step of this quilt along, so we are allowing 12 days to complete it. Meet you back here on November 8 to arrange them into patterns and blocks!

Happy sewing!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Picked up some of The Ghastlies fabric while in Salt Lake City. Had never seen it before! Had no ideas for it whatsoever, but it was too cute to leave behind. If you saw my haul from SLC, you know I was hardly discriminatory...don't think the word "no" was in my fabric shopping vocabulary that weekend!

The last thing I needed was to start a new project, what with 6 quilts already in progress and a mile long to-do list!

Anyways, not sure where I am going with this.....

....but I sure am having fun getting there!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Giveaway winner :)

Thanks again to Ginger of Gingersnaps for giving way a set of labels to......

which is....Nanci! Nanci said:

Congratulations, Nanci! I will be sending you an e-mail to claim your prize.

(and a big thanks to Anita for teaching me how to cut and paste crap onto my blog! Yippee!)

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Finished up a new quilt top, but it is not my favorite.....

Liked the pattern. LOVED the fabric line (Children at Play) and I even added some more of my favorites. But put it all together, and it didn't do much for me. It seemed kind of drab. So, I bought some more fabric while at Sewing Summit and thought I would add bolder borders and bring it up to double bed size. So now it is just an EXPENSIVE quilt top that I still don't love!

Ah well, it is just destined for the guest bed in my craft room, where I can see it and brood over it every day, lol! I am going to ship this puppy off to Jenny to quilt so hopefully she can turn things around and make me love it (no pressure or anything, Jenny.....). I have never had a quilt long armed before! But a double size (85" x 100") is beyond what my little machine can handle, so I am excited to try farming out the quilting, which is normally my least favorite step anyhow. And it will be good for me to be separated from this one for awhile! I know it is in good hands with Jenny, I have been crushing on her work since I found her via the Blogger's Quilt Festival last spring. Speaking of which- the fall festival starts up on October 28, so get busy, people!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Drunkard's Path QAL: Let's cut some fabric!

Time to slice up that fabric, folks! If you are cutting it using templates, go visit Kate at Needle and Spatula for the low down. If you are using the Accuquilt Go! baby cutter, read on!

Step 1: cut your fabric into 10 inch squares. If you are using a layer cake like I did, that part is done for you!

Step 2: Take those squares and iron them in half.

EFFICIENCY TIP: The Go! Baby works best cutting up to 6 layers of fabric. That is 3 folded pieced of layer cake. As you are ironing your stack, line them up in sets of 3 like so, so you can just grab and go for cutting!

Step 3: Get yourself comfortable and start cutting. I did this while watching Alice in Wonderland with Last But Not Least :) Take your stack of 3 layer cake slices and line them up to cover the cutting edges on the die. It should just cover it all with a bit to spare on each end (minimal waste!). Place the die on the machine, fabric on top and the cutting mat over the fabric as shown:

Step 4: Crank it out! Or enlist some child slave labour to do it for you ;)

Step 5: Peel the excess away to reveal your cut pieces

Step 6: Repeat until you have a big old container full!

Be sure to give us a peek at your pieces in our DP QAL Flickr group (er, how did that end up sounding x-rated??). And meet us back here next Thursday to start sewing 'em up!

Are you tired of hearing about block arrangement ideas yet? We got a great tip from "retired to Quilt" (love that name!) about a great site that shows a bunch or arrangements for the blocks. Here are a few images of the blocks found there:

Click on each image to go to the corresponding page- each page shows the blocks assembled together, which gives a whole new perspective compared to looking at each block separately- they take on a whole new life!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"get organized" giveaway

My craft room has been a disaster for ages, but I never want to waste time I could be sewing on cleaning. But, inspired by Jeni's excellent lecture at Sewing Summit on colour, I decided to take the leap and refold and reorganize my heaps of fabric. So, I took a deep breath and separated all my pretties from their collections, and am having them all intermingle, like a big old party! I also used Jeni's tutorial on fabric folding so they would look all neat and tidy. I admit I a normally a total slob. Really- why hadn't I done this before? It makes me so happy!

So far, I have sorted the quilting cottons, storing the larger yardages, solids, voiles, home dec weight, holiday fabric and Heather Ross items separate. It appears I have a bazillion blues (not surprising- my favorite colour), am a bit short on the purples, and am sadly lacking in greys (which I also love- what gives?!?). But overall, I am certainly not hurting for stash. Wanna peak? Just don't mind my yellow photos, my sewing space is in a very dark room!

My reds, pinks, oranges and yellows:

Blues and greens:

More blues, purples, browns, neutrals and multicolored fabrics:

We had this built in cabinet placed a couple years back, and I love the sliding drawers for visibility of my fabric! Never thought back then that I would be able to FILL it with so many lovelies :)

Also bought some jars from IKEA and organized some of my notions. I got these wonderful vinyl labels by Ginger Snaps on Etsy. Perfect for getting organized! They work on glass, walls, plastic- most surfaces. I know my love affair with these has only just begun....

So what is this about a giveaway? Ginger, the busy mom of 5 behind Ginger Snaps, has offered up a free set of labels of your choice! She has so many great ones to choose from- chalkboard labels, kitchen labels, black and white labels or dishwasher safe cup labels! Mine were the kitchen labels, and I just had Ginger customize them for what I wanted in my sewing room. If you want to see some other cute ideas of how to use these labels, or just great ideas in general, go check out Ginger's blog as well!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below with your favorite label listed in Ginger's shop. Winner to be announced on Sunday, October 23. Good luck!

As for the rest of my sewing room? It remains a disaster. Ready for a reality photo??

Yikes! Still a work in progress, but at least I am getting started!!

NOTE: This giveaway is now closed!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Perfect fall sweater (for a perfect little girl)

I think about 2.3 seconds elapsed between when I cast off The Middle Child's sweater and when Last But Not Least started whining, "But where is miiiiiiine???" And as I worked on it over the past couple months, the kid was like a slave driver. "Aren't you done yet, Mommy?" "Knit faster!"

orange sweater joy 4

Anyways, I am so happy that I was able to crank it out in time for her to wear this fall....and to capture the gorgeous color of the yarn amongst the gorgeous colors of nature!

orange sweater joy 2

Knit it a couple sizes can bet if I am going to knit it, I am going to make it big enough to last awhile!

orange sweater joy

Tested and approved for running and frolicking purposes.....

running girls!

Had fun walking through the park and snapping photos. The Middle Child was the "director" of the photo shoot and would swoop in after each shot to rearrange hair and offer suggestions to her sister about hand placement, etc. Suggestions were usually taken graciously. Ah, sisters!

sisters 2

sisters 1

More details on my Ravelry page here, for those who would like to know :)

orange sweater joy 3

Linking up at Rachel's Celebrate Color contest :)