Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This little piggy

I was at the library and came across this book:

Immediately, The Middle Child begged, pleaded, whined, "Mommyyyyyy?? Can you PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE knit me this cute pig???"

Big Gulp. Looked hard. But I checked out the book (in fact, I loved it so much I have since ordered a copy!). And I happened to have some pink yarn in my stash (when the heck did I start a yarn stash???). And here is what I made:

Sweet piggy tail (thanks, Kathy!):

A-DOR-able fabric details in the ears and on the feet:
And a very happy daughter:

It was actually quite simple. Honest! I am pretty certain I will be making 95% of the cuties in this book. It is so well written and photographed, I would recommend it to everyone!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sherbet Pips Giveaway!!

Sorry! This giveaway is now closed! In the interest of slimming down some of my fabric stash that is not in use, I have another giveaway for you today. Back in December, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a layer cake of Sherbet Pips. For the same shipping, I could get two. Having no pattern in mind at the time, and being consumed by a full-out Pips frenzy, I thought I should go for it. In the end, it only took one layer cake to make my Pips quilt:

Which means...I have one layer cake left.

Calmmmm down. I am nice and all, but not that nice. I am not giving it ALL away. The Middle Child has insisted she have some pink puppies in her Far Far Away 2 quilt that is next up on my to-do list once her sister's quilt is completed. And I set aside some of the other duplicate squares for a baby quilt I have in mind. But that leaves a stack of swinging girls and scooters and puppies and more that I would like to share. A total of 23 slices of 10" by 10" goodness, or almost 2 yards in total. Enough to make 2 baby quilts or, with some added solids or coordinates, you could manage a nice lap quilt with that! Here's how to enter: 1. Leave me a comment telling me your favorite flavour of sherbet or ice cream. 2. My faithful following peeps can leave a second comment. 3. If you blog about this giveaway, leave a third comment with the link. BONUS: I am going to give one extra entry for every comment that was left on a PREVIOUS post in March (except for the last giveaway post). This is to give a bit more of a reward for all of you who are so sweet and take the time to encourage me along the way. I love hearing from you! Now don't go back and try and comment now, ya scammers! Only comments before today will count ;) You don't need to do anything for this, I will take care of it automatically. Open for international as well as local friends. Winner will be announced on Friday April 1 after noon sometime (CST). This way you can be assured it is not an April Fool's joke ;) Best of luck!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Winner :-)

Envelope please....thank you Mr. Random...and the Fandango fabric goes to:

#177: Natalie! Incidentally, she has an awesome blog -you can check out some of her gorgeous quilts here.

She said:
I have to admit, my guilty purchases are almost always fabric! That makes me wonder if I should be entering a giveaway for more :) Those fabrics are gorgeous-- I can't resist!

Congratulations, I will be contacting you for your snail mail address!

Have a great weekend! I am being featured on Modern Day Quilts on Saturday. Great blog with awesome inspiration, you should drop by!

This was fun. I think I will do another fabric giveaway next week....I have a bunch of this left over that I might be willing to share....

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I think I have finally settled on a design for my daughter's Rainy Days and Mondays quilt.

A little of this, a little of that.....

And a ton of my own design. This one will be a challenge and will certainly stretch my limits with new techniques to will have about 1200 itty bitty pieces in all sorts of angles to make the top alone!

Her birthday is only a month away! In keeping with my "new attitude" of balance, I am not stressing about finishing this one up in time. I will pick at it when the mood strikes, show her what I have on her birthday, and let her be involved with the process until it is done. I think she will appreciate having an attentive Mom more so than a quilt on time....but I will make sure there is an "alternate" gift for her to unwrap!

Thanks so much to all of you who offered your support for my post the other day. It is nice to know I am not alone with my SuperMom complex! I stopped the clock for a day or two, played with the kids, and just reset my priorities a bit. I need to have my creative outlet, but it has to all mesh with family life. So, sorry Alison, I am NOT quitting sewing and sending you all of my fabric! But I may just pull back the pace a wee bit!

Back tomorrow with a winner for the giveaway!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The truth about me

I am having some trouble with balance lately.

I have been going through a bit of a selfish phase this past while. I am starting to see that this isn't working for me of my family. I guess I have spent the past 7 years giving my all to my family, my work. We had 3 kids in 3 years, moved across the country and back, bought a house, renovated it, bought a practice, renovated it. I was tired. I was needing something for ME. I found it in sewing, etc. It has made me happy. BUT...sometimes it also adds to the chaos in my life. I try to do too much, I am thinking about it when I am with my kids, when I should be playing with them and focusing on them. I am not as interested in my career. It is great to have a hobby that you enjoy, but it should probably enhance your life, not take it over. Really, sometimes I can just buy a baby gift at the Gap instead of whipping up a quilt, right?

I feel like I am losing some closeness with my kids. I think part of it is the age and stage- this year one started full time school in Grade 1, another started Kindergarten at a new school, the last started preschool. They are getting bigger, more independent....but I don't want them to become distant. I need to pull them closer now more than ever. Too often I am too tired from trying to do it all, and end up snapping at them. There has been too much t.v. time. I need to tune in, and not just for the big stuff.

I need to find a balance of me as a mom, a wife, a sister/daughter/friend, with my work and just as Kristie: none of the above. I need to just sit and read a book. I need to phone an old friend to catch up. I need to drink a cup of tea, while doing NOTHING ELSE. I need to get more fresh air. I need to give my dog a scratch behind the ears until his leg starts thumping. I need to get to sleep at 10 o'clock, regularly.

I am going to try and start that. Today. I'm off to put the kettle on.....

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bought it. Don't need it. Want some free fabric?

Sorry! This giveaway is now closed!

I am starting to feel a wee bit guilty about the stash of fabrics. And the amount of time I would (honestly) need to sew them all up in their glory. My "to make" list is a mile long, of things I am aching to get to.....

Anyhoo, as mentioned I recently bought some fat quarters of Kate Spain's Fandango when I was at a local quilt shop. Love them. BUT. No plan for them. No time for them. Want 'em?

Up for grabs: these 6 fat quarters.

Up to 3 chances to walk away with the prize:

1. Leave me a comment about a purchase you feel guilty about...fabric, clothes, whatever!
2. Leave a second comment if you are a follower- because you guys are great :)
3. If you want to blog about it, leave a third comment.

Open for international as well as local friends. Winner will be announced on Friday March 25 after noon sometime (CST).

Best of luck!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I bought an ironing board.

This may seem like nothing special. I didn't make a cover for it or anything. The reason this is newsworthy is that I am 37 years old, and have never owned one.

It's true!

So what the heck to I use to press quilt seams, you ask? I have a mini sized table top one that I pull out when needed, and have been known to iron directly on our granite counter top. Let me tell you, it is an awkward experience, trying to keep my quilt top out of the sink full of dirty dishes!!

So, now I have a REAL ironing board. I have already informed my husband that this does not in any way change my policy on ironing shirts....ain't gonna happen ;)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy birthday, Honey

It's my hubby's birthday today.....

So lucky to have you! xoxox

I made him a little something. I put together an album of pictures from our trip to Italy last October like the one above, and covered the album in some Italy-inspired organic scooter fabric by Jennifer Moore for Monaluna. (I will make you all a little tutorial on this, hopefully next week!).

Just one of the many happy memories I have shared with my guy :-)

It is also a family tradition to decorate the house with birthday signs and balloons. So, on the eve of the big day, the kids and I were hard at work. Check out what they came up with....look closely at the spelling!

Think we are maybe hitting the video games a bit too hard lately at our house?!?! Blame it on an extended winter!!

Happy birthday, Honey!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Another mother-daughter hat and a Kindness Tree

As mentioned, my youngest insisted that Mommy have a hat that matched hers, so we could be "twins", too!
Used the same yarn as for her hat (Sirdar Indie wool/acrylic blend, Shade 0152), but did a bamboo stitch in the round instead of a stockinette stitch on straight needles. She was pleased, and so was I!
Thanks also for all of you who offered advice in my post about my recent trials and tribulations with the girls. I am on it, and am sure this, too, shall pass! Parenting isn't for sissies, is it? To help with some positive parenting to combat this issue, I made a "Kindness Tree."
My youngest has one at her preschool- when someone is "caught" doing an unprompted kind deed for another, they get to decorate the tree. I had my son paint the trunk on some poster board and cut it out, then hot glued an assortment of leaves, birds, eggs, flowers from the dollar store to some thumb tacks.
The kids are really excited to work together to have the tree all filled up in time for spring, so it will be a great lesson in teamwork as well.
I guess I'll keep them!

As you can see I used clovers in the place of leaves on the tree....Happy St. Patty's Day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

My new favorite quilt: Postage stamp complete!

My postage stamp quilt from Rachel's quilt along is all done. I hereby crown it my new favorite!

You can read about the quilt top here and here. I used a Hello Betty jelly roll (original plan was Bliss, but I changed my mind once spying Katie's HB!) paired with strips of linen. I love the combination! And the linen continues to soften with handling and washing. Such a nice texture.

My one hesitation for the quilt along was that my quilt would be like everyone else's. To combat that, I decided that I would spend the time to make an original pieced back:

I had made my quilt top slightly smaller than specified, leaving me with some extra strips to play with. I decided to do something a little more modern on the back, to coordinate but contrast a bit with the very traditional postage stamp style. What would you call this? A lattice? Anyways, I love how it pops against the espresso brown solid! The espresso is also a great backdrop for some good old Canadian snowflakes, as you can see in the photo...they were falling faster than I could wipe them away!
I threw in one square of yellow polka dots, to pick up the subtle yellows in the Hello Betty fabric. Brightens things up!

Quilting. I had originally planned to do diagonal machine quilting. But here's the thing- I knew this would lead to frustration as (a) many of my corners don't match up perfectly and (b) with the diagonal strip pattern on the back, it would likely not be perfectly parallel, which would drive me bonkers. So I kept putting off the quilting. Then, one afternoon, as I was waiting in line at Starbucks (Tall nonfat Tazo Chai Latte with cinnamon), it hit me- how cool would some hand quilting look against the brown? I had 5 minutes, grabbed my tea, sat down and whipped out my trusty "Idea Notebook" with graph paper, and concurrently sketched out a bunch of random boxes and scarfed down a ginger molasses cookie :-) I didn't modify that 5 minute sketch one iota....that is exactly what you see here!
I used Perle 8 thread, in white and yellow- just picked a color randomly for each square. While crappy machine quilting drives me batty, I actually love inconsistencies in hand quilting-gives it all the more the homey feel. So mine is VERY homey ;) It took a while...probably about 20 hours in total over a couple weeks, but well worth it. I absolutely love how all those random squares pop against the back.

To cap it all off, I had the perfect binding on hand- some of my Riley Blake Wheels stash. These teal blue circles were an exact match to the Hello Betty. Happy, bright, perfect.

So to sum it up, here are some quilt stats:

Fabrics: Moda Hello Betty jelly roll, linen, espresso solid from LQS, yellow dot from stash
Finished size: approx 60 inches by 70 inches
Design: Quilt along at p.s. I quilt, back designed by me
Quilted by me, exclusively by hand, using Perle 8 thread in white and yellow
Binding: Riley Blake Wheels line, by hand
Keeping it real: linen was hard to cut in *straight* strips, so some variable size I am sure and a few corners that don't match is a particularly bad example:

That said, considering that I put together the top in just 2 days, I was surprised how many or the corners were bang on:

All in all, I love how this quilt finished up, and it has been happily accepted into our little "quilt family" :-)

Linking up at Sew Modern Monday and Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory:-)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mean girls

So, it turns out my daughters, the sweet looking ones shown here:

Are mean.

I am horrified.

Evidence for the court:
1. Older daughter was scolded at daycare because she would not allow one of the little girls to participate, because she didn't have "yellow hair" like the rest of the girls.

2. Younger daughter trots over to me with a new little 3 year old friend in tow, as I have tea with the girl's mother.
"Mom, can I have a piece of paper?"
"Sure, why?"
"Because I want to make a sign for the door of my room that says SHE (fingers pointed at sweet 3 year old friend) has to stay out."

3. I am approached by a little girl we know well after the younger daughter's dance class, who says my daughter told her that she doesn't want to be her friend anymore. My daughter is sporting a wicked grin, even while I am forcing her to apologize.

What the heck?!?!? I don't know what to do. At our home we are constantly stressing that everyone needs to be included and welcomed (there is always an odd man out with 3 kids!), and we always talk about kindness, manners, respect and people's feelings. In each of these instances we had a full discussion with the girls, made them apologize, etc, etc. But yet new incidences keep popping up. I would never have expected it from them, they have always been such sweet, sensitive girls.

Any motherly advice would be welcomed....before my girls further terrorize the neighborhood!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sewing goodies

Back in February, I was lucky enough to win a fabric giveaway from Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations. I scored me 5 half yards of the Grand Tour from Victoria and Albert Collection, generously sponsored by Sew Fresh Fabrics. My bundle of fun just arrived in the mail! I am especially crushing on the book fabric. Thanks so much to Megan, Becca and Peg!

Also got myself a little something fun on Etsy...check out these cute sewing magnets from The Green Daisy:

You can find more here in a lovely grey/yellow colorway. Thanks, May, for tipping me off on these!

Have a lovely weekend! Mine will be spent, in part, stitching on some binding :-)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Like mother, like daughter

Two peas in a pod!

Whipped up a hat for The Middle Child to match my hat and her scarf. Now my youngest wants Mommy to be "twins" with her, too! So, now I have started a hat for me in yarn to match her hat, too! I'm loving the knitting!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

by hand

Change of plans....

Decided this Big Boy is getting quilted by hand. EnTiReLy...... I am tackling it with typical OCD tenacity so hopefully won't be long before I have it all ready to show you ;)

Linking up to WIP Wednesday.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I finished knitting my hat!

And this one actually fits ;)

I plan on resizing and making another in this pattern for my middle daughter now that I had my first go at knitting in the round. Fun! Bought myself a few more sizes of needles so I will certainly be at it again. I received the book Hattitude for Christmas, and it is full of all sorts of fun hat patterns for adults!

Here is the one I used for this hat...and mine actually even kind of looks like that! Success :-)