Wednesday, March 27, 2013

you win some, you lose some

Thanks, everyone, for your votes and encouraging comments for the Sew-vivor contest!  Unfortunately, I am not advancing to the next round.  I made the top 5 according to the popular vote (thanks to all of YOU!) but I was voted in the bottom 3 by the two judges, which lowered my score and took me out of the running. *Le sigh*. Ah well, you can't win 'em all!  Regardless, I had a fantastic time participating.  Best of luck to the very talented advancing contestants!  Be sure to check them out at Family Ever After!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sew-vivor: Round 1 Emerald Challenge

Well, today is the day that the Emerald Challenge items are revealed for the top ten Sew-vivors!  This is my first sewing competition and I was feeling a little awed by the talent of my competition, so I knew I would have to think of something special.  Luckily inspiration came quickly for me, and I am very happy with my project!  Although there is something fishy about it.....

I decided to use the green as scales for this cute little fish pouch!  I have had this idea rattling around in my head for a couple years, when I bought a similar backpack style fish bag for Big G in a market in Italy, and have seen some variations since on Pinterest.  This challenge was the proding I needed to get it done!

The drawstring closure can be pulled on both sides for a shorter wristlet strap, or pulled to one side for  over-the-shoulder wear.  And the drawstring doubles as a fishy mouth :)


Lots of room for a phone, change purse, keys and all sorts of treasures inside!

This little fishy was instantly claimed by The Middle Child.

I am sure the other contestants will be bringing all sorts of talent to this challenge, so hop over to Family Ever After, take a look and cast your vote!  Voting is open now through Friday evening, and the five who advance will be announced next Wednesday. One vote per device :)  Thanks so much and wish me luck!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Luck of the Irish

I have been feeling green this weekend, which is fitting seeing as it is St. Patrick's Day and all! I have been working on my Emerald Challenge for the Sew-vivor contest, and also put the finishing touches on my min/pillow cover for the Pantone Emerald Challenge over at a.squared.w.....JUST in time for the deadline in a few hours!

I decided to do a mini quilt, measuring 14.5" square, with a zippered back to allow for use as a pillow cover as well. Feels nice and spring-like, which I can definitely use right now considering the unseasonably cold weather we are having around here!

Just raw-edge appliqued a bunch of my scraps onto some linen, then did a bunch of pebble quilting in the open spaces.

A concealed sipper closure (using Svetlana's tutorial), some green binding with a splash of pink, and it is all done!

Happy St. Patty's Day!  Back with my other Emerald project on Wednesday :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pregnant Mama Doll Tutorial: a Kona Solids Challenge

I was recently invited by Sew Sisters Quilt Shop to participate in the Kona Solids Challenge over at their blog! I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do.  While I constantly admire the works of others in solids, I find that I tend towards prints myself.  So, given 4 solids to work with and asked to produce a project, I was surprised how quickly inspiration came to me!  Perhaps it was the fleshy tone of the Kona butter, or the happy Kona corn yellow, but immediately I thought they were perfect to make dolls for my daughters.  And then I recalled a "pregnant" doll that I had seen in cyberspace at some point, and I knew exactly what to do!  This doll is perfect for all little girls who what to be like their Moms, and would make the perfect gift for a "big sister" or "big brother" to-be!

The Baby doll tucks up inside under the dress to make the Mama "pregnant"....


.....and can be "born" and loved!  You have the option to add Baby to a string (I know my daughters would loose it, otherwise!).

I also added instructions for a little baby sling to help Mama Doll tote Baby around.

The pattern can be modified to create a non-pregnant female doll by omitting the baby and maternity dress, or why not make a little boy doll by also leaving out the buns?  There are many options, choose one to suit you!

The full tutorial and the PDF templates is over at the Sew Sisters Blog.  Hop on over and check it out!  They are also running a giveaway for a pack of the same Kona solids that I used in the challenge!  Just leave a comment on their blog post to enter.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

I'm a Sew-vivor

I was really excited to see that my yoga bag made the top ten finalists out of 146 excellent entries in the Sew-vivor competition over at Family Ever After!  There is some stiff competition, including one of my besties, Kaelin of The Plaid Scottie who kicked some arse with her woven pouch!

Now I have to complete three sewing challenges.  First up: something emerald.  Then something with buttons, then something brain is working overtime, will see what it comes up with!  Wish me luck!

(and I can't get the Destiny's Child "I'm a Survivor" song out of my head!)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Hockey Quilt Pattern is here!!!

Over 2 years ago, I made a hockey rink quilt for Big G for his birthday.


I can't tell you how many wonderful compliments and comments I have received about it.  And I promised multiple people that I would write a pattern.  But life is busy and my computer graphics skills are nil and time just passed!

Well, thanks in large part to a big helping hand from my wonderful quilty friends Tracey and Ali, it is finally done and in my shop!

I named it The Good Old Hockey Game quilt pattern as a tribute to the song by Stompin' Tom Conners, who sadly passed away last week.  The pattern is in PDF format and includes a combination of graphics and photos, along with templates, to guide you through.  This is a great pattern for beginners as it involves basic patchwork and an introduction to simple pieced and appliqu├ęd curves.

It comes together quickly and the top could easily be pieced over a weekend!  The pattern is for a twin sized quilt top, finishing up at 68" by 88".

To thank you for your patience in waiting for this pattern, I have applied a 20% coupon with the code LONGWAIT20.  This coupon is valid now through March 20/13.

This is my very first pattern and I am so excited to finally have it complete after a loooooong process!  hope you like it, too :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

yoga bag of Awesome

I don't mean to brag, BUT.... I made something Awesome.

There is a story behind it, naturally.

I decided to give yoga a try.  I am getting older and all, and figured it would be good to stretch my bones.  I opted for the popular Moksha Hot Yoga studio.  Any workout that has you in a sauna-like room in the dead of frosty winter and includes mat time to lie down and relax is A-okay with me!

Part of the whole yoga practice is to clear your mind.  Well, all through my first hour of class, all that was rattling around in there was: "Hey, don't I have a scrap of that Heather Ross munki munki yoga fabric somewhere?"  From there it was end of story.  As IF I could focus.  All I could do was design a yoga bag in my head. I NEEDED one.

So, the score goes something like this:

5 hours of yoga classes (to date)
15 hours of yoga bag making

Okay.  I might have a problem.  Fortunately, this problem often results in pretty things :)  And this groovy new bag ensures that I will be attending yoga classes for some time!

So about that bag.  Boy, did I have fun with the details of this.  I paired some Essex yarn dyed linen in black with the Heather Ross munki munki and an assortment of my favorite purple fabrics.  The outside of the bag features a zippered patchwork pocket on the front, just the perfect size for my keys, phone and money.  I hand-stamped the word "breathe" on one of the squares and added some hand stitching.

Above the pocket, I added a fussy cut of a you girl thinking of a martini :)

I also used accent fabrics for a side pocket, with a second fussy cut of a yoga girl thinking of pretty shoes.  Those girls make me smile!  The side pocket is pleated and has an elastic at the top to allow room for an extra large water bottle.

The front and back panels of the bag extend to cradle my mat, which is secured on top with an adjustable strap.

And if I don't need my mat, there is a hidden pocket in the lining that I can retract the strap into!  I am crushing on the funky black and purple zippers I found for 70% off (!!) at my local Fabricland.

For the straps I used some natural webbing, with an accent strip of Essex down the centre.  The perfect length for slinging over the shoulder.  On the back of the bag, I included a horizontal strap perfect for slipping over the handle of a rolling suitcase, as I think this bag would make the perfect sized travel carry on!

Inside, I lined the majority of the bag with a washable waterproof fabric, perfect for those damp towels!  There is a large dry pocket as well, lined with some Denyse Schmidt Hope Valley, that includes a second zippered pocket.  The interior of this bag has plenty of space for my workout clothes, a shower towel, a large mat towel, a bag of toiletries, shower flip flops and sneakers.  Yup, she's big!

So that is the story of my new shiny yoga bag.  And I am so proud of her, I decided to enter her in a couple competitions :)

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Have you ever heard of The Plucky Knitter and her yarn?  I hadn't either, but it kept popping up all over, with rave reviews.  But here is the thing.  You can't just BUY it.  No. You have to be on the email list to be notified of its release, then sit at your computer at that exact moment and hit refresh a bunch of times to buy it up before it's gone.  It is seriously a frenzy.  It seems Plucky is the rock star of yarn.

Naturally, I had to have some to see what all of the fuss is about.

I ordered a couple sample skeins in different weights, then enough in her pretty bohemian blue for a sweater for thinking this one here.

I wanted to try it out right away.  So I grabbed a skein of the bulky weight in sagebush, a pretty grey-green, and cast on the dropped stitch cowl pattern (love my pouch form Ali!!).

I knit like a maniac in ocd-worthy fashion, and finished this cowl the next day.  And I have to say....this Plucky is good stuff!

This one will be heading south to my lovely friend Kelly, who I had the fun of hanging with in Atlanta, and has made me a gorgeous AMH velveteen and voile cowl in return!  Life is good :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


So, I may or may not have caused a little controversy yesterday with a post that was on my blog for a number of hours.  I took the post down, but I am going to repost the content now because it is a big pet peeve of mine when someone posts about dirty laundry and are all ambiguous, no naming names, etc.  Here is what I wrote and I own up to it.

As I often do, I shared a conversation I shared with my 5 year old daughter, who I refer to as Last But Not Least due to her spunk.  It was titled "Jesus and the clothes line" and here is what it said:

Last But Not Least:  Mom, remember when Jesus was on the clothes line?

Me:  Er, it wasn't a clothes line, it was a CROSS.

LBNL:  Oh yah!  Right!  Anyways, wanna know the funniest part about that?

Me:  I am not sure there was anything particularly funny about it....

LBNL:  Well, he was NAKED, except for a leaf on his front bum, but his back bum was all bare, and THAT is where the farts come out!!!

I received a number of the usual comments, sharing a laugh over the crazy things kids say.  But one was offended that I found this funny.  Carole from Nebraska was a no-reply blogger so I could not email her directly to discuss.  And I felt badly.  I certainly did not mean to offend anyone.  If it was your first time to my blog and read this, not knowing ME at all, I can see how one might not know how to take this.   But, if you tune in even semi-regularly, I HOPE that you would know that I would never, ever intentionally disrespect, belittle or ridicule anyone's beliefs, culture, background...anything.  It's not how I roll.

This story was a sweet interaction between me and my daughter.  She is FIVE.  She is full of questions and curiosity.  I encourage her and my other children to talk to me about anything.  Sometimes it is awkward.  Sometimes inappropriate.  But I strive to always make them feel that anything they have to say is valid and worth listening to.  LBNL is a sweet, caring kid who will only say "hi" and not "hello" because "Hello has "hell" in it, and that's a swear word."  I love the way her mind works.  And while we are not a particularly religious family, we do encourage dialogue about religion and answer as best as we are able.  And the way I see it is this:  Jesus was a HUMAN, who was said to die on the cross for our sins.  He had human thoughts, human imperfections, and human body functions, including farts.  Isn't his humanity what makes helps us to relate to Him, to feel closer to Him?  And that is why I did not think what I was sharing was offensive.  I am sorry if you disagree.

Blogging for me is a diary of sorts.  Something to look back on, to remember the things I made, the people I shared them with.  It is peppered with stories about my family life.  I have made so many dear friends from blogging, and I think that is in large part because I am open, I share a part of myself with you and I love the interaction with people from all over the world.  I don't do it for any other purpose.  The number of followers is so arbitrary for me; so many read who don't follow, and so many follow but never pop by at all.  There are blogs out there written by talented witty people with no following and many that have a legion of followers and I have NO clue why.  I am not trying to use my blog to market or sell anything.  It is just one of many ways I share and interact in the world, and journal a bit about my life.  And I will continue to do so, just as I have.  Thanks for reading.

Have a spectacular Tuesday :)
xoxo Kristie