Friday, 27 June 2014

From K - Red Letter Day Quilt Top

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, one of the best things about quilting for me is the relationship that Amanda and I have built because of it. Being cousins we have always been close, but having a shared passion (and a blog no less!) makes our friendship extra special.


Another similar bond we share? The fierce love we both have for one very special lady, the third and tiniest in our threesome, the baby sister we never had, our cousin Bree.

Bree is getting married and she means the whole wide world to us. She is sweet, creative and loyal to the core. She has a magnetic personality that is quiet and subtle, but also equally quirky and bold. Undoubtedly the best cousin any cousin could ever ask for. The kind that deserves a celebratory wedding quilt, that's for sure!

Amanda and I dreamt up the making of this quilt together long distance. We chose a pattern, ordered fabric online, and pieced blocks in hopes that it would all come together as planned. Last Friday Amanda's blocks showed up in my mailbox and I couldn't wait to pick a layout and sew these beauties together.

Now that it's all sewn up we've been tossing ideas back and forth on how I should quilt it. Denyse Schmidt style loops, double meandering loops, and straight line are a few of the options we've considered. By all means, feel free to share any other suggestions you might have.

The quilt back and binding are prepped, all set for a long weekend quilting session. I'm hoping I can settle on a quilting technique come Saturday!

Thursday, 26 June 2014

From A & K - Oliso Winner!

Thanks for playing along in our Oliso giveaway! has chosen Robin Woods as our winner. Congratulations Robin! Please email us with your address so Massdrop can send you your new iron.

Monday, 23 June 2014

From A & K - Wanna Win an Oliso Pro Smart Iron?

Irons are kind of a big deal when you sew. On any given project we spend almost as much time ironing as we do actually sewing. Having a fancy schmancy iron helps makes the ironing process faster, easier and more enjoyable.
Oliso Pro Smart Iron

We have both been using Oliso irons for more than a couple of years now. You can see Kelsey's in her table top ironing board tutorial. What can we say about these irons after heavy use over the last 2+ years? Well, they are awesome. They are hot, they glide smoothly across the fabric, they don't leak and although they have an auto shutoff feature, the Pro model's auto shutoff doesn't kick in until 30 minutes of non-use (so you don't need to worry about it cooling off between seams).

The Pro is pricey, coming in at about $200.00. Fortunately, the good folks at Massdrop have negotiated an awesome deal on the Oliso Pro Smart Iron. Although it typically sells for almost $200, it is available this week on Massdrop for only $134.99. If 30 people decide to buy the iron, that price will fall to $119.99, which makes it $80.00 off!
Oliso Pro Smart Iron

So what is Massdrop? It's a website that helps communities organize group buys for their favourite products. Community members start and vote in polls for the products they want (right now there are polls for everything from batting, fabric, to shot cottons and we just started a poll for Nani Iro). Once there are enough votes, Sarah (Massdrop's new dedicated craft buyer) makes some calls to source the product and negotiate an awesome deal.
Oliso Pro Smart Iron

You might want to check them out. In addition to the Oliso Irons, they've got Aurifil Thread Kits up this week. Oh and a little bird told me that there might even be some Lotus Pond fabric before too long. You can sign up (for free) with an email account or sign in with Facebook

Do you want to win an Oliso Smart Pro Iron? Of course you do! Leave a comment below telling us what you'd like to see on Massdrop. Follow our blog? Leave a second comment telling us how you follow our blog for a second chance to win. Spread the word on Instagram for a third chance to win (leave another comment telling us you shared the love so we know to count you again!).
International entries are welcome. Contest closes at 8:00 p.m. MST on June 25th. We'll be announcing the winner on Thursday.
In the interest of full disclosure Massdrop is providing the iron in this giveaway. We did not receive any compensation or freebies from Massdrop to write this post. That said, we do have some long-standing personal relationships with some of the peeps who work at Massdrop, which means we can definitely say that they are awesome! All of the opinions expressed in this post are our own, based on our extensive experience using these irons.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

From A - Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Red Letter Day Quilt

I finished up my blocks last week and mailed them off to Kelsey.

Red Letter Day Quilt Blocks

I'm really happy with how they turned out. A special thanks to Nicole from Snips Snippets for fearlessly hunting down and sending me the fabric I needed to finish the lime green block.

Red Letter Day Quilt Blocks

Hopefully they arrive in Calgary soon, I can't wait to see the finished quilt top.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced 

Linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

From K - Red Letter Day Quilt Progress

Time is ticking and our cousin Bree's wedding is nearing closer every day. With an international border between us and a whole lot of trust in two notably slow postal services, Amanda and I are still planning on starting and finishing a quilt together over the next four weeks... yes we know we're crazy but we figure it must run in the family.
We both spent our weekend trying to finish up our Red Letter Day Quilt blocks, so I figured I would share my progress with you.
Amanda and I thought this pattern might be a good choice for us given it was striking, relatively gender neutral, and also because we might have been running out of time. Why yes, procrastination runs in our family too...
While Amanda's blocks are hitting the mail soon, I wrapped up my three blocks and have started on preparing a quilt back and binding. With only 9 blocks, this quilt top should be quick and easy to piece once Amanda's additional 6 blocks arrive in the mail. Fingers crossed they show up soon so I can baste, quilt and bind this beauty before the big day in July approaches. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Friday, 6 June 2014

From A - Finished Contraflow Quilt

In January, as many of us do, I grabbed the brightest and happiest stack of fabric I could find in my stash and started cutting my Contraflow Quilt. After five months and an epic Doctor Who binding marathon, I can finally say that this quilt is finished! 

Contraflow Quilt

This quilt was amazingly quick to piece together given its size. The strip piecing combined with the lack of seams to line up, also meant that there was nary a precision moment to be found while making this one. Perfect!

Although I loved the Terrain prints when they were grouped together in the layer cake, I started having second thoughts when I mixed them up into a more random layout. Eventually, I opted to group similar coloured prints together and shift them across the quilt top. I really love the result. I think that the shifts in colour add a nice movement to the finished quilt.

Contraflow Quilt 
In a past slip of the credit card, I somehow found myself with 5 yards of Sarah Watson's Extravagarden Bold. Aside from the charm of the flower stem lizards in this print, I have no explanation for what possibly might have moved me to buy such an insane amount of this fabric. Luckily, it made the perfect backing for this project. It provides a nice and dare I say, almost grown up contrast to the brightness of the front that really helps pull things together.

Contraflow Quilt 
I was a weensy bit short on backing fabric so I added a strip of yellow from Kate's Central Park line and used this strip to anchor my label.

Unable to face the prospect of basting an almost Queen-sized quilt on my bathroom floor, I opted to send this out to get the royal long-arm treatment from Lindsay. I chose a floral design for the quilting that I think really complements the other fabrics in the quilt without overpowering them.

Contraflow Quilt

I used my very favourite Dream Wool batting for this quilt. I can't say enough about how perfect it is. In addition to being much lighter than cotton, it is warmer, springier, and the wool's natural springiness prevents those crushed fold marks that I hate so much.

Contraflow Quilt

I chose to bind it in an old Tula Pink Parisville print that also came from the stash. It is interesting but doesn't compete with what's happening on the front of the quilt.

Contraflow Quilt

It tickles me beyond all measure that every single bit of fabric used to make this quilt came from the stash. Don't you love when that happens?

Final Quilt Details:

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

From A - Weddings are for Making Quilts

Kelsey and I have a family wedding in July. There are three women in our generation, Kelsey, me and our cousin, Miss Bree. Although we don't talk about her much here, Bree is our third Muskateer. We are all each other's sisters and as kids, we did almost everything together.

Bree is about the sweetest person that you have ever met and we love her to bits. Originally she asked us to make her a guest book quilt but when that idea fell through, Kelsey and I began plotting out a quilt as a wedding gift.

Now Bree loves blankets. Big, warm blankets. Since she was an itty bitty girl, Bree would get up early and drag all of the blankets from her bed to the couch to watch her Saturday morning cartoons. Although she is way too sweet to ever ask, I'm sure that she has been wanting a handmade quilt ever since Kelsey and I started quilting. We are only too happy to oblige.

The last time we made a family quilt together, Kelsey and I were able to meet up first in Calgary and then at Sewing Summit to chose fabrics and assemble the quilt top together. No such luck this time, this quilt is going to be made relying solely on the postal system's good graces (cross your fingers for us!).

We started with two FQ bundles of Fox Field Solids from Pink Castle Fabrics. I sent one to Kelsey and kept one for myself.

Red Letter Day Fabric Auditions

Through a series of text messages, we settled on nine solids that were going to form the basis of our blocks and agreed who would make which of the nine blocks. Since Kelsey agreed to do the heavy lifting of basting, quilting and binding this bad boy, I'm making 6 and Kelsey is making 3.

Red Letter Day Fabrics

We each dug through our stashes to pair each of our solids with a coordinating print. These are the ones I chose for my blocks.

Red Letter Day Quilt Fabrics

And this week, we finally started cutting and piecing our blocks together. Progress has stalled a bit on my end since I'm still waiting on the rest of the background fabric to be delivered after discovering that it was no longer locally available. I'm really hoping that it will arrive on Friday and I can get these blocks finished over the weekend and sent off to Kelsey on Monday next week.

Any guesses on what pattern we're using?

Red Letter Day Block Pieces

What about now?

Red Letter Day Block Pieces

You guessed it! We're using Thimble Blossoms' Red Letter Day pattern. Why this pattern? Well, we are down to just over five weeks to the wedding. The fact that the quilt only has 9 large blocks, is put together using speed piecing techniques, has no sashing and yields a relatively large finished quilt means that we actually have a shot of getting it finished on time. Plus I think it will be right up Bree's alley.

Wish us luck! We're going to need it.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced 

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

From K - Marilinda Socks

A few months ago I mentioned that I cast on a new pair of socks using some beautiful skeins of New Zealand Knitsch yarn that Adrianne sent me in our swap. I chose a challenging cable pattern because I felt anything less might not due this stunning yarn justice.

I knit these socks using the Marilinda pattern by Cookie A. Even though I have limited experience with cables, I found the pattern to be extremely well written which helped me tremendously.

Adrianna sent me her swap parcel just before Christmas and this colourway could not have been more appropriate. It's deep and rich and equally festive. For those of you interested, the colourway is Mad Blood Stirreth.

I love everything about these socks and know that I'll be using them often. I'm so grateful to Adrianne for sending me such lovely squishy yarn. Anyone else out there crazy enough to wear wool socks in the summer?