Wednesday, 26 December 2012

From A & K - Happy holidays

Happy holidays everyone! I hope that you have all enjoyed some time off with the big three - Friends, Family and a whole lot of Food (I know we sure have)!

December always seems to come and go in the blink of an eye, without time to catch your breath. This year has been no different for either of us here at Everyday Fray. Although there are always intentions to sew, glitter and craft a seemingly endless supply of holiday creations, the whirlwind lead-up to the Christmas break always seems to take over (I have no doubt that you can relate).

Now that the holidays are upon us, there is nothing better than living in the moment. This time of year always makes you focus on what's important, and I hope you get the chance to take a quiet moment to sit back and soak it all in – the laughter, the joy, the mishaps, and the great memories that come from the mishaps. This week we’re going to do the same and if you’re looking for us, we’ll be sipping tea to fight off the cold, and soaking in all that this time of year has to offer. Have a fabulous holiday season and we’ll see you next week with a few more reveals.

Monday, 24 December 2012

From A - Home Stretch

This holiday season has been a hectic one. Since finishing work on Friday at about 6:30 p.m., I did all of my Christmas shopping, made mashed potatoes, went to Christmas dinner at my in-laws, wrapped all of my gifts, cleaned my house, did laundry, went to a friend's birthday party, fought off a cold and barely slept at all.

Despite the chaos, I managed to wrap up the last of my gift sewing late last night. As you might have guessed, it's none other than another Kobo e-reader case. This one is for my mom and it is made with some leftover scraps of fabric. Specifically the flower print is Raindrops Poppies by Anna Maria Horner and the pink text print is Babble by Brandon Mably.

I'm amazed at how different this little case looks from the last one I made although it is the exact same construction and dimensions.

Now that all of the preparations are finished, I am looking forward to sitting in front of the tree with a mug of lemon honey tea and a good book while I wait for Santa to arrive (hopefully the tree skirt will get made next year).

Wishing you all a fun-filled holiday!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

From A - Frantic Pace

Things have been hectic. To escape the madness, the hubs and I went to New York City for the weekend. Although booking the trip was probably a momentary lapse in judgement of how much time we'd need for holiday preparations, we were both desperate for a weekend away.


(Please don't ask why my hand is raised like that. I have no idea.) We spent most of the weekend walking around the city and just enjoying some time together before hubs makes the big move to California and we start living in different countries.

In addition to some casual strolling, we also found some time for some of the classic touristy holiday things, such as admiring the tree at Rockefeller Centre.

Rockefeller Square

And the Rockettes' annual holiday production.


Throughout the hours spent at airports, on planes and the hours spent relaxing on our mini-vacation, I knit. What was once a tiny square of knitting is actually turning into a fairly respectable baby-sized blanket. Since Christmas is a mere 5 days away the next few days will likely be a dash to the finish line.

Ceres Baby Blanket

In my "spare" time between now and Ho Ho Ho day, I'll be trying to wrap things up at work for the holidays, get my Christmas shopping finished and wrapped, finish this blanket and a few other handmade gifts I have planned. Wish me luck...I'm going to need it!

Monday, 17 December 2012

From K - eReader sleeve

My sister-in-law is a huge reader, and since having her son, she finds her Kobo touch easier to manage than a book since she can hold it easily with one hand. After seeing Amanda's Kobo Mini sleeve, I was inspired to make one for my sister-in-law as part of her Christmas gift.

She loves whimsical prints, and after looking through my stash, the hubs thought Nests in Celebration by Laurie Wisbrun would suit her taste. I added Kiss Dots in Aqua by Michael Miller Fabrics for the lining, and I like how they complement each other.

Not having a Kobo Touch eReader myself, I following this tutorial and altered it to meet the dimensions I found online. In the end I decided to cut my fabric 8 inches wide, and 13 inches long (here's hoping it fits!).

It feels nice to check one more thing off my 'to sew' list. I really hope she likes recieving this along with her other gifts.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

From K - A Christmas table top

Last week while wondering through Fabric Land to pick up black fabric for sashing on this quilt, I stumbled across a sale on this pretty Christmas table cloth fabric.
Being both a sucker for hipster bird prints, and tone on tone shiny ivory, I couldn't resist picking some up. Yesterday I trimmed it into a square, hemmed the edges and voila, a Christmas table top was born.
During the day it adds a warm touch to our dining room table, and at night it fits in nicely with our holiday decor.
Overall this turned out to be a very quick and simple last minute holiday craft, taking no more than 30 minutes from store to table, but I'm really happy with the result. I think it looks especially pretty with the mini winter scene apothecary vases that I put together at the same time.
This time of the year always seems to be filled with lots of WiPs on tight deadlines, but I was happy to take a quick break to work on something stress free and fun. Now it's back to my holiday sewing list!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

From K - Wax print WiP

I don't know about you, but I'm 100% gold star motivated (come on admit it, you love those stickers too!). But honestly I'm extremely goal orientated and nothing brightens my day more than checking off another WiP from my 'to sew list'. Today I'm happy to share that I finished my second wax print quilt top, which is one step closer to quilting them both!
Since daylight hours are fleeting now that it's winter, and I didn't have enough time to leave town to find a pretty barn, a rustic fence will have to be the next best thing for today's photo shoot.
To create this quilt top, I made six 8.5" wide columns, cutting my scraps into various heights. To finish the columns off, I added 1.75" sashing to separate the blocks.
I knew I wanted the sashing to act like a frame around each column and tested out a couple options before settling on black. What separated it from the other options was that it allowed the wax prints to take center stage, keeping the colours bright, and not distracting your eye from the real focal point.
If you're interested in checking out my first wax print quilt top, you can check it out here. I'm really excited to quilt both of my wax print tops in the near future.
In the meantime, I thought I'd leave you with a little shot of my helper today. Oh how I love this face.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

From A - Nine Blocks a-Finished

Although it was yet another crazy weekend, I managed to find a few minutes to make some more progress on my Smitten quilt between Christmas shopping, Christmas eating and general pre-holiday to-do list type stuff.

Finished Yellow Smitten Block

I have started sewing my finished blocks together into units. I'm putting the units together one colour at a time to try and keep things organized and to ensure that I don't end up with units that have duplicate fabrics.

Finished Red Smitten Block

So far I've made it through all of the yellow and red units (also, I'm seriously loving the little people in canoes on that red block). To celebrate, I set up a makeshift design wall in order to get a senses of how the units will come together in the quilt top.

Not a ton of variety in there yet but I did start working on the teal blocks yesterday so it will start to look like a real quilt soon.

Teal Smitten Blocks in Progress

Back to the ironing board!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, 7 December 2012

From K - Feeling inspired

On Monday I posted photos of my new birdie sling bag featuring a print from Anna Maria Horner's newest line Field Study. When I first spotted the Sundial print in person I was immediately inspired and knew I needed to quilt it up.

As soon as I brought this fabric home I set to cutting out my pattern pieces for the bag, and then immediately starting shopping my stash for coordinates.

Lucky for me I had a number of great near solids in my stash because of the Stash Stack Club from Pink Castle Fabric to get me started. I followed that up with a couple stops by my favorite local quilting shops and now I'm ready to slice these beauties up.

Fabrics from left to right (silver to purple) include:

Silver by Maywood Study; Kona Solid in Peacock; Nordic Diamonds from Heaven and Helsinki by Patty Young; Diagonal Stripe in Aqua Sea by Curiosities; Dots in Magenta from Nurse Central; Purple Tufts from Outfoxed by Lizzy House; Purple from Hello Pilgrim by Lizzy House; Ladder Dot from Chicopee by Denyse Schmidt.

Fabrics from left to right (citron to confetti print) include:

Four Square from Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidt; Crosshatch Sketch in Citron by Timeless Treasures; Dot n' Square in Citron by Michael Miller; Honeycomb from Modern Meadow by Joel Dewberry; Gelato 11766 by Daiwabo; Pick a Bunch by Nancy Mims; Azalea Kona Solid; Guinea Hen from Farmington by Martha Negley; Fiesta by Jennifer Sampou.

I'm so excited to get started! What fabrics have you been inspired by lately?

Thursday, 6 December 2012

From A - Dust It Off

Smitten Blocks Navy 

You may remember the Smitten quilt challenge that Kelsey and I were working on in October. Although Kelsey finished hers on schedule like a champ, I somehow lost my steam. You may recall that at my last update, I was working on blocks and block configurations. Funny thing is that after that post, I never really picked it up again and this project has been languishing.

Smitten Blocks Yellow

Good news is that I finally seemed to have gotten a second wind and last night while working my way through my usual line-up of holiday viewing (Love Actually, Elf, Charlie Brown Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street - amongst others).

Smitten Blocks Green

Finally all of my blocks are finished. There are 5 main colours in my charm pack and I am grouping blocks one colour at a time. Last night I grouped them all by print and colour, moving blocks around between colour groups until each colour had a number divisible by four.

Smitten Blocks Red

Hopefully by next week I'll have all of these sewn together and I'll be working on layout for my quilt top.

Smitten Blocks Teal

I'm glad to finally have some momentum back on this quilt!

Monday, 3 December 2012

From K - Weekend away

This past weekend the hubs and I high tailed it to the mountains for a winter getaway. We spent three glorious days in the Rockies, and came home feeling completely rejuvenated. While away, I took the opportunity to break out my newest sewing creation, as I recently added a third birdie sling bag to my growing collection.
I used three great fabrics for this bag, all of which were picked up during my most recent trip to Toronto. The main exterior is a buttery canvas by La Couture (style MS 15-3); the handles are Sundials from Anna Maria Horner's newest line Field Study; and the lining is a Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton in Aloe.
To best demonstrate our time away, I'll keep the rest of this post light on words, and heavy on photos!

If you are ever in the Canadian Rockies, a drive along the Icefield Parkway Highway is a must! Here is the bottom of the Columbia Icefield Glacier, as spotted from the highway (you can see the icefields in three spots in this photo - click to enlarge).
Frozen waterfalls along the highway.

Pit stop on our drive up to Maligne Canyon.

A trophy ram big horn sheep. We also saw coyotes and a ton of Elk! I hope this inspires you to come to the great white north!

Friday, 30 November 2012

From A - New Toy

As an avid reader I have long debated about adding an eReader to the household. I love physical books and wasn't sure I'd like the experience of reading without the book.

I finally caved this week and bought a Kobo Mini. In honour of Cyber Monday, they were priced at only $50.00 and I figured that at that price, it was worth a try. When I went looking for a case for my new toy, all that seemed to be available on this side of the drink (ie. North America) was a $20.00!!! piece of plastic that made the back of the device look pretty but did nothing to protect the screen.

Kobo Mini Sleeve

My crafty instinct kicked in and I found this tutorial, re-jigged the measurements so that it would fit, dug through the stash for supplies and bought some Velcro. For about 20 cents, I had enough supplies to make three cases.

Kobo Mini Sleeve

I used some leftover Storm Clouds by Tula Pink from my Swoon quilt for the exterior and some Four Square voile by Anna Maria Horner from one of the baby blankets I made for the lining. I used some Pellon Thermolam Plus for the inter-lining/padding from my Hoop Travel Bags. Not a huge fan of Pellon generally but the Thermolam is the perfect thickness/density for these padded pouch projects.

Kobo Mini Sleeve

After thirty minutes of planning, and 1 hour of sewing I had a perfectly tailored and not bulky at all sleeve. In fact my Kobo is way smaller than any book I've read lately. Perfect for my new life as a frequent traveller/long-distance wife effective January.

Kobo Mini Sleeve

In case you were also sucked into the sale and want to make one of your own I cut my fabric 6.75" wide and 11.25" long. I used a upside-down dinner plate as a template for the top flap.

Kobo Mini Sleeve

With Christmas now less than 4 weeks away, I will definitely make at least one more of these.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

From K - Three bags makes progress

It's official, I'm absolutely certain now that it is physically impossible to make just one travel hoop bag and stop there. When I started working on my first bag two weeks ago while visiting Amanda, she told me they were addictive... and now I can only agree. To support my theory, this past weekend I may have broken down and whipped up two more.... maybe...

These bags make for a very quick and rewarding project, which for a quilter, can sometimes be a rare occurrence, am I right? And even better, the pattern is stash friendly, and you could even get scrappy with it. For my first bag, I added a third row of fabric and I like the effect. I pulled some fabric from my stash such a Mezzanine from Grand Hotel by Jenean Morrison (top), and The Banks from Across the Pond by Michelle Engel Bencsko (middle), along with Memoir from Alchemy by Amy Butler (bottom).

For the second bag, I used some fabric that I picked up while in Toronto. I think I'm definitely going to need to incorporate more Raven Lace from Night Shade by Tula Pink into my life, and Tangled Threads from Sew Mama Sew might just become a stash staple. For the inside of this bag, I decided to go with Tapestry Sheeting from The Ghastlies by Alexander Henry and I think it was a perfect fit.

It sure didn't take me long to find something to fill these bags with. Last week a couple new cross stitch Christmas stocking kits arrived and were itching for a storage solution. These bags were put to good use right away and will help me stay on track. Is it a problem that I already want to make more?

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

From A - Starting

It's been a long time since I've spent any quality time with my sewing machine. Every time I try, something more important seems to come up.

In an attempt to break the drought, I spent a bit of time cutting fabric for a baby quilt. Inspired by Kelsey's gorgeous plus quilt, I decided that with another 5 babies on the way in my immediate friend circle (that brings the count up to 14 in about 19 months) it was probably wise to invest in a few more baby gifts.

I'm using the left over squares from the layer cake I bought to make my Carnival quilt and some Kona Mushroom.

Can't wait to buy some matching thread later this week so I can finally dust off my old friend and get back to making quilts!

Friday, 23 November 2012

From K - Staying organized

Although I spent all of last week on the road, I did manage to find a snippet of time at Amanda's to pull together a little project. I've been drooling over Amanda's recent travel hoop bags sewn up using a pattern by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.

Since I've been working on a couple different cross stitch projects lately, I thought I'd try my hand at getting organized by making my own hoop bag.

I absolutely love this bicycle print from Weekends by Erin McMorris, and have been holding it hostage in my stash for quite a while. I was happy to pull it out for this bag, and one little bicycle even got the honor of making a pretty label in the corner.

I paired it with a great gray print from Cherry Christmas by Aneela, and to add a bit of fun, I used Raindrops in Petal from Jack and Jenny by Laurie Wisbrun. Finally for good measure, I tossed on a hot pink zipper, because isn't that exactly what it needed?

Fast, rewarding, and oh so handy at helping me to stay organized. I see a couple more of these babies in my

Time to get stitching again!