Sunday 29 December 2013

From A&K - Huge Holiday Giveaway

With another wonderful Christmas behind us and a New Year just around the corner, we have been counting our blessings and decided it was high time to spread some good cheer.

2013 Holiday Giveaway
Want to win a 22 Fat Quarter Bundle of Lizzy House's newest line, Catnap? This is your chance! This collection is still only available for pre-order but we'll get it shipped off to our lucky winner as soon as it is released.

How to Enter:

  • Leave a comment telling us what you were most grateful for in 2013.
  • For a second entry, leave a comment telling us how you follow our blog.
  • For a third entry, share this giveaway on Instagram using #everydayfraygiveaway.

Contest Rules:

  • The contest will stay open for 1 week (closing at 8 pm MST on Sunday Jan. 5, 2014).
  • The winner will be posted on our blog on Monday Jan. 6th, 2014.
  • International entries are welcome, we will do our best to ship anywhere in the world.

Earlier this month we celebrated our 200th blog post here at Everyday Fray. Your comments and camaraderie have really made this blog a special place for us. Thanks for joining us in our wee corner of the interwebs.

Sunday 22 December 2013

From K - Mermaid Triangle Quilt Top

A started this quilt back in September and am a bit ashamed of how long it's been sitting around on my design wall. Last month in my desperate need to finish this baby I even polled the audience for arrangement suggestions. In the end it was pretty much a 50/50 split so I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone with this one by simply doing a random arrangement.
Random is easier said then done. At least for my A-type ways....
I couldn't help myself though when I decided my eye needed a place to land in all the randomness, so I added a subtle purple hexagon.
The hexagon on its own isn't very easy to spot but I'm hoping that if I quilt it differently than the rest of the quilt, it will really make it pop.
I'm typing this out with very sore shoulders. I was able to quilt 1/3 of it yesterday and I'm back at it again today. Swirly swirly swirly. 4 days left until Christmas! Tell me I'm not the only one with unrealistic finishing goals this holiday season!
p.s. If you're wondering why I have prenamed this quilt my Mermaid Triangle Quilt, just wait until you see the back *eek!

Tuesday 17 December 2013

From A - Simple Satchel

Finally recovered from a few harrowing weeks of exams and the flu, it is time to show you a recent finish before I throw myself back into Christmas gift sewing.

Just over a week ago, in a flurry of exam stress, I dug out a project that I cut out back in August for a quick study break. A couple of relaxing hours later, I had a finished bag made using Guy Latulippe's killer Simple Satchel pattern in the small size. I really love Guy's patterns. This is my second (my duffle being the first). They are simple to make but you're left with a finished product that could easily be passed off as something you bought in a chic boutique.

Simple Satchel 

I used a gorgeous navy herringbone print that I bought when Kelsey and I were in Seattle together for the bag exterior. It's home dec weight which makes it perfect for a nice and sturdy satchel. Some of the leftover Indian Summer fabric from my Eucalypt tank was a perfect match for the lining.

Simple Satchel

I ended up adding some lightweight interfacing to the bag to give it a little more structure but otherwise, followed the pattern exactly. The pattern was great and although my sleep deprived quilter's brain couldn't process the three dimensional bag instructions when I first read through them, they were crystal clear when I actually started sewing.

Simple Satchel

I am beyond tickled at how well the exterior print lined up across the seams. I made a half-hearted attempt to fussy cut as I was going along but this level of accuracy is the product of sheer luck.

Simple Satchel 

This bag is a perfect size, it will comfortably hold an iPad or a book, a wallet, keys and some lip balm. The ADJUSTABLE cross body strap makes it the ideal thing to use when I'm running errands on my bike. This was my first time using bag hardware and it really adds a nice touch. I bought mine from a wholesaler called UMX after I couldn't find anything big enough locally. I bought enough hardware for three bags when I ordered so you can bet that there will be more of these in my future.

Friday 6 December 2013

From K - Finished Manly Plus Quilt

Have you ever had a quilt transpire in your mind with such a presence that you just couldn't shake it until it became a reality? That's what this quilt was to me. I tiny compliment from my husband on my Pink Pluses Quilt was all I needed to dream up this manly plus version for him to keep.
Manly Plus Quilt
For someone who is extremely supportive of my 'more often than not' all consuming hobby, I have yet to thank him with a quilt of his own. He has never nagged for one but I know he feels a bit slighted every time I show him a finished quilt and he says "wow! That one's great, do we get to keep it?!"... and then the answer is always "no".... *insert wife hanging her head in shame here*
I know what you're thinking - just give the man a quilt already Kelsey! And so I will.
Manly Plus Quilt
I wanted the backing to be timeless, simply, and obviously a bit manly. Using fabrics from the quilt top, I laid out varying widths of remnants in a strip to play up the gradient from the front.

I didn't want this quilt to be stiff, so I went with a combination of straight line quilting around each plus shape and then added some dense FMQ in a few feature pluses.
Manly Plus Quilt
Most of the prints in this top are patterned which adds a fair amount of texture. Two solid fabrics however stuck out, so I decided they needed a bit more attention.
The dark gray solid pluses received pebbling while the light gray pluses received a somewhat topographic design. I love that these designs are both inspired by natural elements and that they compliment the Architexture prints in the top.

Manly Plus Quilt
I also absolutely adore the texture that the randomly quilted pluses add to the quilt back. Happy surprises are the best surprises after all.
Final Quilt Details:

  • Quilt Name: Manly Plus Quilt
  • Finished Size: large lap sized (54" x 75")
  • Fabric: various prints from my stash
  • Pattern: I didn't follow a pattern. I just laid out rows using one 3.5"x9.5" and two 3.5" squares for each plus.
  • Quilting: quilted on my Janome 8200. Straight line quilting to outline each plus block, supplemented by FMQ pebbling and topographic lines in feature pluses.
I started quilting more than three years ago and I have never snuggled with a quilt that I've made, I don't even own a quilt myself (shameful I know). I'm feeling a bit selfish that I can't wait to gift this - not only because I can't wait to see his face, but also because it will undoubtedly be followed with a good ol' fashion couch snuggle fest. Pass the popcorn please!
Read more about this quilt top here. This is my third completed project for the Q4 2013 Finish A-Long - read more about my other goals here.
 Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday and Finish it up Friday.

Sunday 1 December 2013

From K - Snowfling Mitts

Two months ago, when autumn was quickly fading into winter, I cast on a pair of mitts for the very first time (first successful time that is). The combination of a long roadtrip, a work trip, and a few furious knit nights, made for some seriously speeding knitting, and after two weeks I had my very own pair of Tanis Fiber Arts Snowfling Mitts.

Kelsey's Mits

To be honest I have been dying to make mittens to a long time but flashbacks of the Christmas mitten fiasco of 2002 kept flashing in my head, and I didn't think I could stomach the idea of another pair of mitts being stashed away, thumbless and forever to be unloved. **For reference - Amanda was convinced she would teach me to knit more than a decade ago and I had a paralyzingly fear of knitting thumbs (a fear that I only now just concurred).


Kelsey's Mits

This was my first real foray into colour work and I was surprised by how easy it. To be fair though my ability to pick it up quickly might have been helped tremendously by the pure fact that I cast these babies on after Thanksgiving supper with Amanda in close range.

Kelsey's Mits

These beauties have a cashmere lining that add the perfect touch of added warmth and luxury. I can officially say I'm hooked and another kit is in the mail. The more mitts the merrier!


Thursday 28 November 2013

From A - Basting Party

No not the turkey kind. The quilting kind. Managed to get two quilts basted today and I can't think of a better way to celebrate U.S. Thanksgiving when there is no family nearby.

First up, the Posy baby quilt re-do.

Posy Baby Quilt Take 2

And next, the White Star quilt top I finished back in March.

White Star Quilt

It took me three tries to get the star quilt basted without giant lumps in the backing fabric. We were dangerously close to the point where professional intervention would be required. Fortunately I managed to overcome the issue by resorting to some James Bond style basting techniques that would make any of my quilt teachers blush with shame.

I was going to attempt a third but I think I need a mental health break from basting. Do any of you have any tips for basting on carpet? I am really missing our old hardwood floors, the bathroom floor was not nearly as cozy.

Wishing all of our American friends a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Monday 25 November 2013

From K - Impromptu Snowflake Pillow

While perusing IG last week, I came across a number of progress shots of a Christmas snowflake block from @rachelwoodenspoon and I was downright smitten. Seriously, go check out her hashtags feed and you'll be smitten too (#christmassnowflakeblock).

Next thing I knew Lindsey from Thats What Lindsey Made (@thatswhatlindseymade) and I were both on board, starting an impromptu Christmas snowflake block QAL.

Christmas Snowflake Pillow

I chose to go a bit non-traditional and chose two shades of blue instead of red and green like Rachel. I think it adds a nice icy-ness to the block that I'm really loving.

Christmas Snowflake Pillow

Now I just need to choose a centre block colour (open to suggestions!) and between having the dark blue vertical or horizontal.


Christmas Snowflake Pillow

If you're interested in jumping in on an impromptu pillow yourself, Rachel has written a mini tutorial on her flickr page (found here).


Friday 22 November 2013

From A - Definitely Darling

PB & J String quilt top 

I managed to carry the momentum I had starting this quilt through to the end and now it's on its way to Lindsay so that she can work her long-arm magic.

PB & J String quilt top

I used this video tutorial and am pretty happy with the result. Especially since I started this quilt as a way to burn off some stress and avoid writing a paper for a couple more hours. It was fun to just pull some random jelly rolls from the stash and start slicing.

PB & J String quilt top

I managed to let go of my obsessive tendencies a bit on this one (inspired by Anne's recent post) which means no fussy cutting, zero agonizing about layout and a questionable adherence to the quarter inch seam rule. It felt great! A quick and simple project. Exactly what I needed to get my quilting mojo back again.

Linking up to Finish it Up Friday.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

From K - 16 Recent Finishes

Back in July I wrote a post where I mentioned an extremely over-ambitious goal that I set as a means of keeping myself focused and on track. My plan was to complete 15 Project in 15 Weeks between the dates of July 13th and October 25th. As my current WiPs are starting to pile up around me again and I'm feeling a tad bit overwhelmed, I figured it was high time that I reflect on what I accomplished during that time to help motivate me to keep on keepin' on. 

Until I actually sat down to write this post, I had no idea if I had met my target or not... and as it turns out I not only met my goal, but I evidently surpassed it by finishing 16 projects in 16 weeks. Wha?! *brushes off shoulder* All jokes aside though, I think it's good for us all to sit back sometimes and reflect on how far we've come and what we learned along the way - a task that I know many of us don't often do.
With that in mind, here are my 16 finishes:

I adore making bags and was surprised to see that when looking back, I developed new skill sets with each bag I made. I learned how to glue on a metal frame, how to QAYG and how to sew with both strapping and duck canvas!
Mosaic of Bags
From Left to Right: Metal Frame Clutch, QAYG Pouch and Duffle Bag

In total I made four quilt: two baby quilts, a throw and a queen sized quilt (my biggest finish to date).
Mosaic of Quilts
Clockwise from Top Left:

Amanda and I also collaborated on a special lap quilt for our great aunt's 90th birthday during this time frame.
Wonky Star Quilt

Over the past 16 months I also learned a ton about garment sewing. It was my first time sewing with both piping and voile.
Mosaic of Garmentss
Clockwise from Top Left:

I have been knitting up a storm as of late, completing two cowls, a headband and a pair of socks. I might also have 4 more projects cast on already... but that's for another day.
Mosaic of Knits
Clockwise from Top Left:

Sometimes I find it considerably too easy to get caught up in my WiP list and gifting deadlines. Today I'm taking the time to celebrate my wins and look back at what I've learned in the process. I'm feeling pretty energized now to make some headway on my current WiPs: a manly Christmas quilt, a late baby quilt, a Christmas quilt and a beloved sentimental quilt that needs some finishing up.

Reflection was the perfect remedy for me today to get back at my machine. What do you do when you need to rev up your quilting mojo?

Monday 18 November 2013

From A - Liberty Lap Duvet

It's starting to get chilly here at night and as a result, the Mr. and I have started fighting over the giant grey blob of a down comforter that occupies our couch. Wanting something a little more attractive that would offer warmth and restore marital harmony, I decided to make a Liberty and wool lap duvet.

Liberty Wool Lap Duvet

This is Liberty's Mauvey print. Definitely my all-time favourite! I just can't get enough of the combination of flowers and stars. I think I have it in three different colourways at this point.

Liberty Wool Lap Duvet

I used the satin stitch on my machine to "quilt" it all together with some yellow Aurifil thread I had from this project. Finished dimensions are about 32" by 54" which makes it the perfect size to snuggle up with in my favourite armchair.

Liberty Wool Lap Duvet

Although I was a little skeptical at how warm a thin layer of Liberty tana lawn and some felted wool would actually be, I was pleasantly surprised when I took this baby on a test drive last night while watching the boob tube with my blanket hog spouse. With this baby in hand, I can probably hold off turning on the heat for another month or two.

Sunday 17 November 2013

From A - Sloppy Josephine Tee

My general clothing philosophy is comfortable, casual and fuss-free. This basically means that I live in knits. Knit tops, dresses, pants. You  name it, I probably own it in a knit. Since I would much rather shop for fabric than shop for clothes and needing an excuse to play with my new machines, I whipped up a new t-shirt this weekend.

Sloppy Josephine Tee

This is the Sloppy Josephine Tee by Papercut Patterns which I bought a few months back when my lust for knits and sergers blossomed into a full blown obsession.

I used some burnout jersey knit star fabric that I bought with Kelsey when we were in Seattle. It's a rayon/cotton blend jersey that is super duper soft and downright snuggly.

Sloppy Josephine Tee 

This top went from fabric to finished in only a few short hours. The pattern was pretty straightforward if a bit light on instructions. I didn't alter it at all except to add some top stitching to the neckline. I'll likely shorten the neckband a bit on the next one so that it holds everything in a little more but otherwise this is pretty much exactly what I was looking for.

Sloppy Josephine Hem

And the new coverstitch machine? Genius. The hem was finished cleanly and professionally in about 15 minutes. It was so easy and painless that it might even have been my favourite part of the whole process.

Sloppy Josephine Tee

The finished result is extremely comfortable and dare I say, stylish. So cool in fact that even this little guy decided to fly in for a closer look (and probably some breakfast) while we were out taking photos.

Humming Bird

Happy weekend friends. What did you make?

Friday 15 November 2013

From K - A Manly Plus Quilt Top

Ever since I finished my Pink Pluses Quilt I have been wanting to make a polar opposite version of it. Rather than soft and feminine, I wanted to make something bold and manly, all while playing with the same plus pattern.

Since my husband often speaks of how he loved the pink plus quilt I made, I figured a blue-green version for him would make a great Christmas present.

While I originally imaged this quilt to have more blue and dark gray, I enjoyed the process of playing with the various tones and shades and I'm hoping my hubby will be happy with it too.

It's all basted up and ready to quilt. I have a straight line and FMQ combo in mind all prepped up for Saturday when I'm home alone!

Wednesday 13 November 2013

From K - Decisions Decisions

I started an equilateral triangle quilt a couple of months back at Sewing Summit, while taking a class from Jeni Baker from In Color Order. I have been desperate to make some progress on this now very tardy baby gift but a few other quilts with deadlines had be tied up. This weekend with the help of an empty design wall, I started to play around with different arrangements and have landed on two options to decide between.

Option A: Random Arrangement

Equilateral Triangles - Random Arrangement

Option B: Diamond Arrangment

Equilateral Triangles - Diamond Arrangement
While I hummed and hawed and procrastinated making a decision, I decided to knit up a swatch of some new yarn, purchased with the thought of a new cardigan in mind. I'm thinking it's the perfect balance of tone-on-tone semi-solid and cashmere *insert drool here*

Swatch of Zen Yarn Garden in prepartion for a new cardigan
I also picked up some of the cutest little stitch markers of all time. Packaged up in a tiny glass vial, called 'Message in a Bottle' complete with cork top, little tiny crystal beads and a message about creativity. It was the perfect weekend treat!

'Message in a Bottle' - New Stitch Markers
So what do you think about my two options, any preferences out there? I hate making decisions, especially between two good options, so I'm happy for someone else to make this one for me. Feel free to toss in your vote!

Linking up to WiP Wednesday.

Saturday 9 November 2013

From A - Fabulous

I've done a pretty good job of scaling back my fabric purchases since the great "shop the stash" resolution was passed but a big birthday meant that there were a few new things added to the craft pile.

Christmas Fabrics 

First up a delicious pile of Aspen Frost Christmas fabrics to make Vintage Holiday quilt for our couch.

Lizzy House Bundle 

Then there was this irresistible Lizzy House bundle. 130 fat-eighths from many of her OOP collections. Not sure what this is going to turn into yet but it will definitely be fabulous.

Babylock Imagine Serger

And then the big mister treated me to not one but two new machines. Meet my new serger and coverstitch machines!!!!! I am beyond excited. I have wanted a serger for years and years and this one basically threads itself, even better.

Janome CoverPro 1000CPX

I'll be sewing if you need me at any point during the next week. Happy Saturday!!