Friday 28 February 2014

From K - Finished Snowflake Pillow

Let me introduce you to my new favourite couch accessory - the snowflake pillow!

After spotting Rachel's original, I practically begged her for a tutorial so I could credit her creativity. I started on my blue version a day later and it sat half finished for the past few months.
I debated machine quilting this pillow to finish it quickly, but kept going back to the idea of hand quilting it. In the end the hand quilting idea won, and I'm really glad I made the extra effort. I love the subtlety that the quilting adds while still giving texture.
I used a Cosmo glitter floss in silver to quilt the background and I think it added just the right amount of shimmer. I also added a mini snowflake detail in the centre square to pull it all together. One can never play with too much shimmery quilting floss!
When pulling scraps for this quilt, I intentially looked for dark blue prints that were used in my hubby's Manly Plus Quilt. I love how they coordinate and coincidentally so does the Mr. Let's just say we might need a second pillow soon.
It's the end of a very long week and I'm ready to kick start my weekend curled up on the couch. See you on the flip side.

Linking up to Finish it Up Friday and Needle and Thread Thursday.

Monday 24 February 2014

From K - Two Cabled Canucks

Over the Christmas break you might say that I became a wee bit obsessed with cabled knit hats. My pattern of choice? Cabled Canuck by Tanis Fiber Arts.

I have only ever cabled once before so it took me a few cast ons before I really got the rhythm and followed the pattern correctly. For my first attempt I used TFA Green Label Aran weight yarn in Shadow.

I have to admit, I almost shed a tear when I gave this hat away. I could not imagine a more perfect pattern and colour combination. It makes me swoon just looking back at these photos.

To be perfectly honest I ordered another skein of this yarn about 20 minutes after I started working with it. If I could only knit with one colourway for the rest of my life, I would be happy for it to be this. For someone who changes her mind often, that's saying something!

The details in this design are so well thought out and really speak for themselves. I especially love the snowflake that this pattern makes at the top, kind of like a cherry on top, non?

After I cast off my first hat, I couldn't help myself and cast on another using the same pattern and the same yarn, but this time in the Dove colourway.

I really love the purple undertones in this skein but it just didn't capture my heart in the same way. I'm not sure that I have ever made the same exact thing twice, but I just might have to make a second version f this hat in Dove.

Here is a pretty true to life photo of the two skeins side by side (left: Dove right: Shadow).

My order arrived with a new skein of Shadow and I'm anxiously hoping to cast on another hat soon. I promised myself thought that before I do, I'll finished up a WiP first. Luckily these socks are keeping my focus.

Friday 21 February 2014

From K - Kitty Dreams Dress

I named this dress after the fabric line, but honestly this dress could easily be be renamed Kitty Kelsey's Dreams Dress as it's everything my dreams are made of and more. A dress with a wonderful fit, an amazingly whimsical print AND said print has cats, balloons, mice and butterflies no less!

When Lizzy posted about her Catnap Dress Contest last month I literally stalked the internet for a local shop (or even a Canadian online shop) that had yardage. Turns out no one in Canada had received their shipments yet from what I could tell so I bit the bullet and ordered from Stash Modern Fabrics about 10 minutes after the contest was introduced.
I then proceeded to pace around my house impatiently with my house cat Joey for nearly three weeks while it made the maiden voyage up to Canada. After customs played with it for a while, they eventually passed it along my way and I frantically started cutting, serging and sewing this week - and gosh was it ever fun!

Lizzy wanted to see how we would wear our kitties on our sleeves, so I sported this to my very corporate job yesterday, styling it with a blazer and some killer stilettos to show you that kitties can have a place in the office, even amongst the all the suits.

It seemed fitting to also show you how I intend to wear this out and about on weekends since I see this quickly becoming a wardrobe staple. I paired it with a cute pair of suede booties but I see moccasins in my future with this dress too! 
Right from the beginning I knew this Kitty Dreams in Grass print was just begging for some lime green pockets and I love the extra detail it adds. I'm quite certain that it's a commonly known fact that fun linings make everything 100x better.

The shoulder flounce on this dress is the kind of detail that makes me swoon. Simple, subtle, not terribly flashy but still unique. I might just need to add flounces to ALL my future dress projects now that I know how easy they are to sew.

Dress Details:
  • Pattern: Simplicity 1877 by Leanne Marsh
  • Fabric: Catnap by Lizzy House
  • Thread: Gutermann in colour 792
I had such a great time making this dress and watching all of the other Catnap dresses pop up on IG (#catnapdresscontest and #catnapdress) and the contest Flickr page. This was exactly the type of selfish sewing I needed before getting back to sewing my gift list next week.

Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday and Finish it up Friday.

Thursday 20 February 2014

From A - Kitten Dress

It's no secret that Kelsey and I love Lizzy House's fabric. A quick look at our stashes will reveal that we have at least a few prints from every collection. It'll be no surprise to you to hear that when Lizzy announced the Catnap dress contest in January, it took us all of five minutes to pick fabric and plan our entries.

Catnap Geranium Dress

I opted to make a dress for Kelsey's almost 2 year-old niece out of the Purrfectly Happy print in Raspberry using Made by Rae's super cute Geranium Dress pattern. I opted for view B with it's sweet cap sleeves and pleated skirt and added the notched neckline for fun. I used a piece of the Cat's Cradle print in Lemon to line the bodice and a few random Pearl Snap Source snaps I had kicking around to finish everything off.

Catnap Geranium Dress

As usual Rae's patterns are wonderful to make. The instructions are clear and there are tons of small details that make the finished product look "properly" finished. It's such a great feeling when something you make is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.

Catnap Geranium Dress

Since I didn't have enough snaps in the same colour to finish this dress, I opted instead for an ombre effect, moving from a pale, almost white pink at the top to a hot pink near the bottom. I think after this project I am a snap convert. They look so clean and finished and are SO much easier to add to a garment than buttons and button holes. I also think that they'll make this dress a little easier to get in and out of for a certain busy 2-year-old.

Catnap Geranium Dress

Sadly no modeled shots of this one since my sweet little model is probably dragging her favourite baby doll around the house up in Canada while I enjoy the sun here in California.

Catnap Geranium Dress

Since her second birthday is coming up in the next month, I popped this little number in the mail earlier this week so that she will have it her for her actual birthday (with plenty of time to spare, for once)!

Hope this whets your appetite, Kelsey has a big dress reveal planned for tomorrow. It's a stunner so stay tuned!

Tuesday 18 February 2014

From K - Stocking up my Stash (5th edition)

Since Amanda moved down to California, I have been using her new found American zip code to mail all kinds of crafty goodness to save on international postage. At $20+ per parcel to Canada, shipping adds up quickly and seriously eats in to my fabric budget. Knowing I'd be seeing her in February, like any sane irrational quilt fabric addict, I took full advantage of the situation and ordered unquestionably the mother load of all craft hauls.


Did I mention my loot took up her entire suitcase last week when she flew home?! Nothing says I love you more than cramming your essentials into your husbands' carry on just to bring 40lbs of fabric glory to you cousin. Yah I know, she's the best right?!
Getting a head start on next Christmas, I finally caved and ordered some FQs and 1/2 yds of Aneela Hoey's Cherry Christmas, one of my all time favourite holiday lines. Another classic line I wanted yardage of was Kate and Birdie Paper Co.'s Winter Lane (of which I found grey prints locally on sale after Christmas but couldn't find red or aqua). I was so grateful to find these lines on etsy as I know both are nearly sold out.
Sarah Jane's Wee Wander is likely to be my favourite release in 2014. I bought a FQ bundle from Westwood Acres and I picked up this incredible voile bundle at the same time. I had major regret last year at sewing summit when I didn't buy this voile bundle during the Westwood Acres pop up shop, so I knew I needed to get it while I still could. Soooo pretty and so silky soft!
Lizzy House can't do any wrong as far as I'm concerned. I ordered a FQ bundle of her newest line Cat Nap from Gather Here on etsy and I swooned when I opened it up. Easily another favourite line for 2014. Shamefully this haul doesn't include the 10.5 yards that I shipped to my house in January for Lizzy's Cat Nap Dress Contest (pictures soon I promise!).

Since I had already gone too far and practically sold the farm, I figured I couldn't resist a bit of chambray and metallic dots for Hawthorne Threads as well. Sometimes when you're in this deep you might as well keep digging amiright? I think when it comes to fabric it's right at least.

I know, this is seriously getting ridiculous now. Look away if you don't want to see the rest...
During the #greatfabricdestash on IG, I scored a half yard bundle of Lizzy House's Castle Peeps. This is now safely tucked away with my Lizzy collection including the likes of 1001 Peeps, Constellations, Pearl Bracelets and Cat Nap. I also scored a FQ of peach bikes, a 1001 peeps Lizzy print, and my most coveted piece of my stash now, a Paris Map FQ.
Lastly I stocked up on a few notions that are terribly difficult to find in Canadian shops. I score a quarter inch seam marker for marking HST,16 large spools and 10 small spools of aurifil purchased in a huge sale from Fat Quarter Shop before Christmas, and 36 metal zippers from Zip It on etsy.

Last year I limited myself with a lot of rules. Finish WiPs, only use stash, don't start anything new... and honestly it was a great crafty year for me. In 2014 though I decided that my rule would be to not have any rules at all. No guidelines, no deadlines, no limits... and now only 6 weeks in, my bank account is paying for it...but gosh is it ever worth it!*

*To clarify, I realize that this is an absurd stash post but I did do a lot of research to make sure that if I blew my budget I would have no regrets. I have coveted a number of these older prints for ages and I know that if I only buy a few lines in 2014, I will not be disappointed with wee wander and cat nap. I'm going on a fabric buying diet asap now though for sure! I've never been so excited to sew exclusively from my stash!!!

Friday 14 February 2014

From A - Star Light, Star Bright

After many many months of avoidance, my White Star Quilt is finally wrapped up and in the hands of its intended recipient.

White Star Quilt 

Although the top was pretty speedy to put together, it took me three tries to get this quilt basted. Since basting is one on my least favourite things, it was more than a few months between attempts which delayed the process of finishing this up.

White Star Quilt

I'm really happy with how it turned out. It's a great size for a couch quilt and it definitely captures the essence of the nights I spent last year sitting on a beach in Panama looking at the stars with one of my very best childhood friends. This is a quilt where every fabric was chosen for a reason and has a meaning. I really love when that happens.

White Star Quilt

I started off by quilting in the ditch. After realizing that that didn't give the quilt enough pizzazz, I decided to do three "rounds" of echo quilting inside each star. It really made the quilt come to life.

White Star Quilt

Final Quilt Details:

  • Quilt Name: Star Light, Star Bright
  • Finished Size: Lap Sized (approximately 48" x 64")
  • Fabric: Lizzy House Constellations, Pearl Bracelet, Outfoxed, Grunge by Basic Grey. Backing fabric is Architextures by Caroline Freidlander, Martha Negley tree Rings and Sail Away by Sarah Jane and others.
  • Quilting: Stitch in the Ditch and Echo Quilting for Stars done be me.

White Star Quilt

You may have wondered how this California girl managed to get quilt photos in an snowbank. If you follow us on Instagram, you may have seen that Kelsey and I were back in Manitoba last weekend for a family event. It was wonderful and way too fast but we sure froze out butts off in the -32 degree weather (that's -25 Fahrenheit). I'm really glad to be home!!

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday!

Wednesday 12 February 2014

From A - Contraflow

Living in California has largely exempt me from the usual Canadian winter fare of blizzards, freezing rain, darkness and grey. That said, an ice storm with its related bad roads and power outages greeted me when I returned to Toronto for the holidays.

Upon returning to California early in the New Year, I was more than ready to rebel against the cold and grey. Never one for half measures, I grabbed the brightest, most colourful fabric in my stash and started playing.

Contraflow Quilt Top

This is a layer cake of Kate Spain's Terrain collection. I chopped it up and covered the floor of our spare bedroom with bits of fabric until I settled on a layout that grouped similar colours into columns.

Contraflow Quilt Top

I began sewing strips of fabric together into a Contraflow quilt. This pattern is great. Super simple with no seams to match. The biggest challenge with this project will be its size. The extra few rows of blocks I am planning to add are going to turn this quilt into something very close to Queen-sized.

Contraflow Quilt Top

Slow but steady progress is being made on this one (part of that might be my desire to reclaim my guest room floor). Looking forward to finishing up the top and seeing how it comes together.

What have you been working on?

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced 

Linking up to WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.