Tuesday 23 April 2013

From K - On the Cutting Mat

Since coming back from vacation it has been increasingly more and more difficult to get back into my sewing room. This weekend though I pushed my commitments aside for a bit of 'me' time, which included a few hours working at my cutting mat

A couple weeks ago I showed you a fabric pull from my stash for a new quilt, and I was really excited to slice into it. I'm nearly finished cutting my A and C templates, but I'll have to wait a while to cut out my B and D as my background fabric is in the mail.

In the meantime I'll have to start thinking about starting a new project, but somehow I don't think that will be too difficult.

Thursday 18 April 2013

From A & K - We're Going!

Well it's official, our flights are booked and we're heading down to the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City, Utah, in September...you know what that means... we're all signed up for Sewing Summit 2013!

Neither of us has ever attended a sewing/blogging related conference before so we're both really looking forward to the opportunity to try something new, learn new skills, see a bit of Salt Lake City and of course, meet tons of new sewing/bloggy friends!

One of the best parts of blogging is getting to interact with so many sweet and talented folks out in the sewing community, and the idea that we might to meet some of you for REAL is so unbelievably exciting!

Are you heading down to Sewing Summit this fall, or know of someone who has? If so please do drop us a line, we'd be so thrilled to meet up!

p.s. if you're still thinking of coming, you can get your ticket here (there still seem to be some spots left!).

Tuesday 16 April 2013

From A - Lone Star To Be

I pulled these fabrics to make a bed sized lone star quilt (even though I do not need another WIP). 

Lone Star

I've started cutting into this stack and am excited to see how this will come together!

Saturday 13 April 2013

From K - Bikini Beach Pouch

We've been home from our Carribbean cruise now for just over a week but sometimes it feels a bit like it was all a dream. Luckily pictures like this one of Mr K on the beach remind me of what a great time we had.

When we first booked our trip, this beach in St John, US Virgin Islands was all I could think about. A white sand beach, clear turquoise water, a floppy hat and a swim suit. With this vision in my mind, it didn't take me long to cut into some laminated cotton to whip up the perfect bikini beach pouch.

There are few things more annoying at the beach than having to make the decision to either wear a wet bathing suit around all day, or alternatively getting your entire beach bag contents wet because you decided to take it off. To solve this inconvenience, I made a simple pouch and lined it with laminated cotton.

For the outside of the bikini bag I used an aqua coloured print by Apple Jack by Tim and Beck for Moda. For the lining I chose Honey Violet Mosaic from Honey Honey by Kate Spain. This was a quick project that made the beach extra enjoyable. Don't you love when simple things have the power to make your day?

Now if only the snow in Canada would melt and bring on summer so I can put this little pouch to more good use. In the meantime I'm headed straight for cover under a warm quilt to wait it out.

Thursday 11 April 2013

From A - One for the Dog

Well I've been avoiding writing this post for the past few days. Crafty tragedy befall my home last weekend, shortly after I triumphantly posted about my Posy quilt. It's just like those pesky craft overlords to never pass up an opportunity to humble you right when you're getting a little big for your britches.

I put my Posy quilt in the washing machine all by itself - cold water, delicate cycle. This is what greeted me at the end of the wash cycle.

Posy Wreck

Yes friends, that is what cheap crappy batting looks like after it has shrunk to within an inch of its life. Needless to say I was more than a little miffed. Especially since I've used all different kinds of batting in the past and have NEVER had a problem like this.

Posy Wreck

It makes a mockery of my hard one acceptance/appreciation for crinkles by making this sweet quilt look like some sort of bad down-filled winter coat.

Posy Wreck

The only bright spark is that this quilt has found a new fan. The furriest member of our household flung himself on top of this nightmare as soon as I put it on the floor and he hasn't moved since except to eat and go outside. I guess that's dog for "thanks for the quilt". I even think he looks worried that I might take it away in this picture.

Posy Wreck

Where do things stand now? With a few days' distance, I've picked myself up, ordered new fabric and am currently psyching myself up to try again. Step one of that process is to make something non-quilt. I'm starting with a nursing cover. There is nothing that could possibly go wrong with a large square of fabric now, is there?

  Posy Wreck

Monday 8 April 2013

From K - Prep for a New Quilt

One of my main New Years hit list goals was to create a couple of quilts using my stash. I recently came across Cynthia's Kaleidoscope Quilt and knew right away that it would work well with some of the stash that I've been hoarding.

When I first found the world of modern quilting, I was immediately attracted to Amy Butler and Dena Fishbein prints. Unfortunately it didn't take me long to realize that these larger prints can sometimes be more difficult to work into specific patterns. I've been hoarding some of these prints for more than two years while waiting for the perfect pattern, and now I'm finally ready to cut them up.

The templates were very easy to make, and I love how Cynthia's pattern gives you various size options. I decided to make 12" blocks, which will give me a finished quilt size of 47.5 x 57. I'm really excited to start cutting into these prints. What projects are you excited to jump into?

Friday 5 April 2013

From A - Posy Quilt

It's been a long time since I've finished a quilt. In the past few months, I've made lots of quilt tops and even a few quilt sandwiches but finished quilt tops have been scarce...well non-existent really. This pattern couldn't continue as April has ushered a whole new round of baby and wedding showers, which means that it was time to dig out the sewing machine a whip up a gift quilt or two.

Posy Quilt

First up was a baby quilt made from 2 packs of charm squares. A quick and easy weekend project that just involved sewing the charms together, basting the quilt with a solid backing and spending a few hours quilting and binding.

Posy Quilt

I have been struggling to find a batting that I really love for as long as I have been quilting. Most of the cotton battings I've used are too lightweight and don't offer the warmth I need to really cuddle up with. I've used 100% wool batting and although it is perfect for some projects, it doesn't work as a go-to batting. It's high loft made it shift a bit during quilting, creating an added challenge. Also the wool batting makes for a fluffy quilt that can be impractical to store.

Posy Quilt

I used a 50% wool and 50% cotton batting for this quilt that I found at my local Fabricland. I really liked the weight and warmth it gives this quilt (ETA - until it self-destructed in the wash). The only drawback is that it was fairly yellow and would likely show through a quilt that used lots of white fabric. Any favourite batting suggestions would be appreciated!

Posy Quilt

The Nitty Gritty:
  • Quilt Name: Posy
  • Finished Size: approx. 36" x 45" - Crib sized
  • Fabric: Aneela Hooey's Posy collection
  • Pattern: None - Charms sewn together in 8 x 10 configuration
  • Quilting: Stitch in the Ditch with heart detail in bottom corner

I used a white print from the Posy line for the backing on this quilt. I love the little girls reading adventure books and chickens. The stripe print I used for the border is also from the Posy line. The thought of having to match the pinks in this one to pick something else made me reach instinctively for a stripe from the collection. Problem solved! The stripe binding happened to match up perfectly in the corners. It's so nice when things turn out better than you could have planned them.

Posy Quilt

I used a pre-fab label that was thrown into one of my fabric orders as a free perk. It was so easy and works perfectly with this quilt. I did some heart quilting on the lower left-hand corner of the quilt to avoid sewing straight through the centre of the label. I like that it adds a bit of interest to this simple quilt.

Posy Quilt

I am really happy with how this little gem turned out. The colours are so bright and cheery. Looking at this quilt helps convince me that Spring might actually be on its way despite the cold temperatures and almost daily snowfalls we've been having lately. I took this on my last trip to California for photos so you can all enjoy a bit of spring too! Linking up with TGIFF at Quokka Quilts and Finish it up Friday.

Wednesday 3 April 2013

From K: A Second Kaftan

Last week while showing you my travelling handmade goodness, I broke the news that I was headed south for some much needed R&R. The hubs and I hopped a cruise in the Caribbean and before we left I made sure to add a few new handmade shirts to my wardrobe.

After loving my last Shearwater Kaftan so much, I took the plunge and ordered some stunning Nani Iro from Japan to whip up another. I used my amended pattern templates from my first take of this top, and I'm thrilled with how it turned out a second time.

While it was a wonderful escape for the past 10 days, it really does feel great to be back at home. I have a few more reveals from my travels coming up, and some big quilting plans in the works. After having a bit of a break, I'm really feeling motivated to hit my Janome again!

Monday 1 April 2013

From A - Taking Stock

I was digging through my go-to carry on bag and in its depths, I found not one but five cross stitch projects. Although cross stitch is very portable it is also slow. The thought that I would need five projects to tide me over for a weekend away is excessive, even by my standards.

There's my woodland sampler, a hydrangea kit I bought on my last visit the paradise that is Liberty of London, part of a Russian nesting doll trio, an aboriginal loon design by Sue Coleman, and a baby gift I started well over a year ago. This doesn't even include the other cross stitch projects I've started that are still at home, and all the other stitching projects I have waiting in the wings.

I didn't quite realize how crazy things had gotten. This stack alone is likely a year of stitching for me. I think it is officially time to divide and conquer. The hydrangea will be first up. Maybe getting it finished will encourage Spring to make an appearance. I for one, am more than ready!