Tuesday 2 December 2014

From K - Finished Sundottir Sweater

Just two months ago, I was very genuinely over the moon with excitement to show you my very first hand knit sweater, my Grace Cardigan. Today, just a few months later, I'm back to share my second ever knit sweater - sqeeeeeel! *excuse me while I do a little happy dance!*

Sundottir wooed me from the beginning, and continues to woo me every time I put it on. I made minimal edits to the pattern, which included lengthening the body and arms, as well as sizing down two sizes on the arms (all of which give this sweater a practically perfect fit).

I found this project to be a perfect balance of quick (hello stocking knit body!), and fun (colour work yoke for the win!). All in all it took me just over five weeks to turn five skeins of yarn into a wearable sweater!

I picked up the Malabrigo Rios (worsted weight) in the colourway Plomo from my LYS for the primary colour, and paired it with a simple natural wool for a contrasting yoke. I've worn this sweater more than a dozen times since finishing it in early November, and it wears like a dream.

I'm still hooked on the fair isle / colour work band wagon, so don't expect this to be the last sweater you see me whip up this winter. I foresee a few more cozy knits in my future, maybe even another Sundottir!

To read more about this project, check out my Ravelry page for more details.


Sunday 30 November 2014

From K - Finished New Wave Quilt

Two years ago, when I had only just started quilting, I fell for Elizabeth Hartman's blog, Oh Fransson!, followed quickly by my love of her New Wave Quilt pattern. As a novice quilter with only three other quilts under my belt, I thought this was a good next step.
This quilt marked my first foray into quilting with a more modern design, and was the first time I ever tried free motion quilting. Simultaneously, it also happened to be the first time I had ever ordered fabric online (Fat Quarter Shop to be exact!).
While I'm not traditionally a crayola colour scheme kind of lady, I feel hard for the little owl prints! I think this is a timeless treasures line, thought the name escapes me.
The bundle I purchased came with a panel featuring various forest scenes, so I fussy cut them, framed them in gray and white, and then used them on the back.
This poor quilt has been sitting neglected in my fabric wardrobe for a few years, and recently had a wee run in with a metal drawer slide. After trimming down the bottom of the quilt to cut off the hole, I debated cutting some off the top as well to recenter the quilt back. In the end I decided the future recipient (who is 3 and ADORES both owls and the colour green) won't mind the back one bit so I left it as large as possible.
It's fun to look back at a quilt that challenged me in so many ways, but also really opened my eyes to a whole new world of modern quilting. While my colour palette has matured over the years, and my FMQ has improved, it gives me a lot of joy to pull this quilt out from storage, and to gift it to someone I know will love it.

Wednesday 26 November 2014

From A - Best Laid Plans

I picked up some Christmas fabric for my birthday last year with the intention of turning it into two Christmas quilts. Predictably, neither quilt was finished by the time Christmas rolled around and I set them aside, patted myself on the back for my "head start" on next year and moved on to the next big thing.

Christmas Fabrics

Figuring that I had already started making blocks, I didn't bother digging out the Christmas quilts until mid-October. When I finally did, I was surprised to find that I had actually only made one of the 48 blocks I needed to finish both quilts.


Never one to be deterred by great obstacles, I set about making blocks for the quilt I wanted to keep so that I could finish it early and have some time to enjoy it in the time leading up to the Christmas season. There would still be loads of time to make a second quilt for my mom after I was snuggled under a quilt of my own.


Two weeks and two blocks on (bringing the score to 3 of 48 for those keeping track), my computational error became evident and I reconsidered my approach, opting to abandon my quilt completely and put all of my sewing time into the quilt for my mom.

Fast forward another couple of weeks and I can honestly say that my house is just two fistfuls of tinsel away from looking like the aftermath of a particularly festive Christmas morning except with piles of fabric occupying the places traditionally reserved for piles of discarded wrapping paper.


Christmas fabric and half finished blocks cover every surface of our living space and a "don't lean back" rule was implemented for the couch and all four dining room chairs sometime last week to protect the finished bits draped over the chair backs.

Despite these efforts, I am still 9 blocks away from finishing the first quilt. Sounds manageable until you realize that once those are done they will need to be assembled into a quilt top. Borders will have to be added. A quilt back will have to be made and I'll have to bribe someone with a long-arm to quilt the darn thing before I head home for the holidays. There is a high probability that the "finished" quilt will be gifted without a binding attached.


I did manage to finish the first two rows of blocks last weekend. It's a small victory but enough to convince me that with some luck and a whole lot of caffeine, I might just get it (mostly) done in time.

How are you holiday craft plans coming? Linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced. 

Monday 24 November 2014

From K - Blogathon Canada Giveaway Winner!

Last week I was fortunate to be a host for Blogathon Canada, representing the province of Alberta. If you missed out on seeing all of the fabulous blogs who participated, you can read more about it here.
Blogathon Giveaway Moon Shine aurifil Kelsey 1000
Sew Sister's generously sponsor a giveaway for one of our readers - two charm packs of Tula Pink's newest fabric line Moon Shine, as well as two spools of matching Aurifil thread! The contest closed last night, so we drew out of a hat and the winner is... Rebecca of Our Busy Little Bunch!

Who wrote:

Blogathon Canada Giveaway Winner

Congratulations Rebecca, I hope you enjoy these charms! Sew Sisters will be mailing your prize. Please check your email so we know where to send it.

Friday 21 November 2014

From A - Frog Pond Quilt

This quilt started as part of my September square cutting marathon. After more than 5 weeks away from my sewing machine, I was desperate to start a few new projects and tried to pick some simple ones in the hopes that they wouldn't become long-term WIPs. This strategy was obviously a good one since a little more than 2 months later, I'm proud to say that this little baby quilt is done and off to its new home.

Storytime Squares Quilt

The pattern was really simple and quick to put together. In about a week of leisurely sewing, I had a completed top. I didn't do anything too fancy with the quilting, opting to stick with stitch-in-the-ditch and adding another quilting line in the middle of each round of sashing to highlight the patchwork squares.

Storytime Sqaures Quilt

I backed it using some Lotus Pond yardage I had originally picked up to make a crib sheet and used a AMH voile scrap to make it wide enough. The effect is simple but it adds a bit of interest to an otherwise plain backing. I also like that it adds some extra softness to the quilt. A little gaffer wrapped in this quilt might find a bit of comfort holding this soft strip voile up to his cheek.

Storytime Squares Quilt

The label is a leftover bit from the Red Letter Day quilt we made for my cousin's wedding in July. It's not a perfect match but I like how it echos the coraly pink in the binding.

Finished Quilt Stats:
  • Quilt Name: Frog Pond
  • Finished Size: Crib (45" x 45")
  • Quilting: More Stitch-in-the-Ditch

Storytime Squares Quilt

Linking up to Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday 19 November 2014

From K - Blogathon Canada & Giveaway

Welcome to Day 3 of the 2014 Blogathon Canada blog hop, hosted by Sew Sister's Quilt Shop! On today's stop, I am excited to be representing Alberta alongside the incredibly talented Leanne from She Can Quilt.

For new readers to our blog, my name is Kelsey, and I blog here at Everyday Fray with my cousin Amanda (who is really more of a sister/enabler/confidant). Though we are both Canadian, I am currently the only one holding down the fort up here in the Great White North, proudly residing in Calgary, Alberta. While Amanda has sought temporary refuge from the cold down in sunny California, she is undoubtedly Canadian to the core (and we hope to woo her back here one day!). If you'd like to know more about our journey, feel free to read more about us here!

Our blog is a compilation of both of our crafty imaginations, and the content on our blog is written by A (Amanda), K (Kelsey - that's me!), or A&K. While our focus is modern quilting, we strive to challenge ourselves, and often include various other crafts we're working on like sewing, cross stitch, needle work, weaving, knitting etc.

Some of the items we like to share with our readers include:
1. WiPs:
Blogathon Canada 2014 - Collages

2. Finished Quilts:
Blogathon Canada 2014 - Collages

3. Bags and Pillows:
Blogathon Canada 2014 - Collages

4. Dresses:
Blogathon Canada 2014 - Collages

5. Knitting:
Blogathon Canada 2014 - Collages
1. Grace Cardigan (my 1st sweater!)

Now onto the fun part of playing blog hop hostess, let's have a giveaway! Sew Sister's have generously donated a giveaway today for our readers - two charm packs of Tula Pink's newest fabric line Moon Shine, as well as two spools of matching Aurifil thread!

Blogathon Giveaway Moon Shine aurifil Kelsey 1000

For an opportunity to win this coordinated collection, please comment below letting us know your favourite way to use charm squares.

Contest Rules:
  • One entry per person.
  • The contest will stay open until 11:59 pm MST on Sunday November 23rd, 2014.
  • The winner will be announced on our blog on Monday November 24th, 2014.
  • International entries are welcome (you don't have to be Canadian to hop along with us!).

  • If you are a no-reply blogger, a wordpress blogger, or do not have a blog account - please leave your email in your comment so we can contact you if you win!

Interested in seeing what other great Alberta based blogs might have to offer? Check out these blogs to find more great crafting content:
Be sure to swing by the Sew Sisters Blog today as well to check out the full list of blog hop hosts, as well as a chance to win another prize from one of our lovely Blogathon Canada sponsors, Northcott Fabrics!

Monday 17 November 2014

From A - Infinite Infinity Scarves

Many moons ago, I took a half yard of Liberty tana lawn and a half yard of chambray and made an infinity scarf for a friend.

Infinity Scarf made with Robert Kaufman Dot Chambray and Liberty Tana Lawn in Mauvey

The finished scarf was so elegant and easy that I decided I should make 10 more using various chambrays from my stash and a half yard bundle of Liberty that I had purchased during a slip of the credit card. Possibly a moment where I had taken leave of my senses but I figured I could have them on hand as gifts and maybe set a couple aside for my own wearing pleasure.

Liberty & Chambray Infinity Scarves

Although I had them cut and serged into tubes within days of planning this project they sat unfinished for months afterwards while I distracted myself with life and newer, shinier projects. I picked them up again when the occasion of another friend's birthday demanded that they be finished immediately.

I'm quite happy with how they came out and love how the mix of prints and chambrays gives each one a distinct flavour and personality. Perhaps the best part is having a treasure trove of beautiful handmade gifts on-hand and ready to go. Hopefully this will rehabilitate my reputation as a perpetually late (handmade) gift-giver.

Saturday 15 November 2014

From K - Bengal Giveaway Winner!

Last week I shared some pillows I made using one of Hawthorne Tread's new in-house digitally printed fabric lines.

Hawthorne Threads generously offered to sponsor a FQ bundle of Bengal to giveaway to one of our readers, so we drew out of a hat and the winner is...

Who wrote:

Congratulations Katy of Lethargic Lass! Hawthorne Threads will be mailing your winning bundle to you shortly.

Wednesday 5 November 2014

From K - New Bengal Fabric and a Giveaway!

A few weeks ago one of our favourite online fabric stores, Hawthorne Threads, emailed us wondering if we would like to participate in an exciting new venture they were launching - house designed digitally printed fabric! As long time lovers and supporters of their online store, we were thrilled to be able to get our hands on one of their stunning new lines - Bengal! Today I'm honoured to be hosting the 3rd day of Hawthorne Threads' Bengal Blog Hop, as well as a generously sponsored giveaway from the designers themselves.
Even before the fabric arrived, I had a million ideas swimming around in my head with all of the possibilities of what to create and share with you during our stop along the blog hop. After seeing some teaser images, I knew I would never be able to choose only one or two prints to play with, so when a FQ bundle landed on my doorstep I immediately started plotting out a way to use all of the beautiful fabric in one collective project.
Kelsey's Bengal Pillows

I typically strive for lots of colour variation in my quilts, but the idea of a two-toned Metro Rings Quilt had been stuck in my mind for ages, and the opportunity to use every Bengal print while accomplishing this concept had me sold.

Kelsey's Bengal Pillows

Knowing that finishing a throw quilt was a bit ambitious given my time frame, I came to my senses and settled on an achievable goal of turning 8 blocks into a set of matching pillows.

Kelsey's Bengal Pillows

Lindsay's designs definitely speak to me. Fine lines, curved strokes, modern in design, but also traditional and timeless in palette - I imagine you can see why choosing only one print to play with would have been nearly impossible. I especially love that while no two prints are the same, they all work very cohesively together.

Kelsey's Bengal Pillows

A yard of the Cascading Border print worked wonderfully for two zippered backs, and I am so glad I was able to tie that extra detail into the final pillows. In the above photo you can see the true colour of the Bengal indigo prints, a medium blue with a soft purplish undertone. I originally auditioned three solid background colours for my blocks (white, silver and navy), but decided on Hawthorne Hues in navy, which I think really makes the prints pop.

Kelsey's Bengal Pillows

Hawthorne provides some great suggestions when sewing with their digitally printed fabric, located on their website here. After working with Bengal these past few weeks, I have some tips and suggestions of my own that might also be useful.

  • Use a fine needle:
    • Before starting my pillows I noticed that Hawthorne suggested using a size 10/11 needle because the weave in this fabric is quite tight. Being the lazy sewer that I am, I tried to use a standard quilting needle but switched asap after my machine starting complaining loudly. Trust the professionals here and invest in a fine needle.
  • Prewash:
    • I am not usually in the category of quilters that prewash fabrics, but I wanted to see how this digital fabric would hold up. I washed my Bengal yardage with some Hawthorne Hues and tossed in three Shout Color Catchers. I was impressed that after a good wash and dry, the fabrics didn't fade, they softened up a bit, and all three catchers came out clean (even with navy yardage in the same load!).
  • Great for Curves:
    • This is the first time I have ever sewn curves, and I was surprised with how easy it was. The Quick Curve Ruler that I used helped a great deal with that, however I would also give credit to the tight weave of the Bengal fabric. The fine weave of this fabric (much tighter than regular quilting cotton) means this fabric really holds it shape well even when cut on the bias (a true benefit when working with curves!).
  • Ideal Uses:
    • The production process that is used to make Bengal uses a printer to lay pigment down on the surface of the fabric (check out Hawthorne's behind the scenes video here). This is different from traditional screen printed quilt cotton. Because the pigment sits on top of the fabric, some argue that digitally printed fabrics are less durable than screen printed fabrics - with claims that rough wear or long-term folds can lead to fading or worn bits as the pigment wears away.
    • I don't have much experience with digitally printed fabrics and can't speak to how these Hawthorne prints will hold up long-term since I've only washed them once and haven't really used the finished pillows. That being said, I'm impressed with the quality of the Hawthorne fabrics so far. Until the final verdict comes in, I'm dreaming of lighter wear items such as wall hanging, table runners, mini quilts, gift bags, pillows, or even window/shower curtains (how fun would that Cascading Border print be?!).
Kelsey's Bengal Pillows

Hawthorne Threads has generously sponsored a giveaway for this stop on the blog hop. To enter to win a FQ bundle of Bengal (shipped directly to you fresh from their digital printer), please comment below letting us know what you'd like to make with this line if you won.

Contest Rules:
  • The contest will stay open for one week (closing at 11:59 pm MST on Tuesday November 11th, 2014).
  • The winner will be announced on our blog later that same week.
  • International entries are welcome.

Monday 3 November 2014

Blogathon Canada - Coming Soon!

For the last couple of years, Judy of Sew Sister's Quilt Shop has been hosting a little diddy on the internet known as Blogathon Canada, and I'm happy to announce that it's coming back for its third consecutive year! I have loved following this hop in the past - finding new blogs to follow, meeting fellow Canucks with similar quilty obsessions, and last year I even won a prize!

Like previous years, Blogathon Canada will run for an entire week from November 17 - 22th, and this year I have the pleasure of representing Alberta, hosting along side the incredibly talented Leanne from She Can Quilt on November 19th.

Monday, November 17BCStaceyStacey in Stitches
Monday, November 17BCJessicaMomiji Studio
Tuesday, November 18MaritimesLindaScrapmaster
Tuesday, November 18MaritimesLindaStitch Lines
Wednesday, November 19ABKelseyEveryday Fray
Wednesday, November 19ABLeanneShe Can Quilt
Thursday, November 20SKHeatherPeace.Love.Quilt
Thursday, November 20MBLoriNight Owl Quilting
Friday, November 21QCJoséeThe Charming Needle
Friday, November 21TerritoriesJanetCaribou Crossing Chronicles
Saturday, November 22ONLorna Sew Fresh Quilts
Saturday, November 22ONSandyUpstairs Hobby Room

Blogathon Canada is a wonderful way to celebrate all of the locally grown talent we have here in the Great White North, and a great opportunity to win some prizes along the way! During the week of the hop, be sure to follow along on the Sew Sister's blog, as they will be hosting some amazing sponsored giveaways. This years' generous Sponsors are:


I hope to see you all back here on November 19th for my stop on the hop, including a list of talented Alberta quilters to visit. If you are a Canadian quilter/crafter and are interested in participating in this years' hop, please do write to Sew Sisters at: connect@sew-sisters.com and they will add your blog to the list.

The countdown to this years' Blogathon Canada is officially on!

Friday 31 October 2014

From A - Finished Baby Love Quilt

Back in June, I was busy studying for a big exam and had almost no free time to sew or really do anything enjoyable. After a couple of weeks, I started going a little stir crazy and decided that I would let myself work on a baby quilt for a friend.

I spent an afternoon picking a fairly straightforward pattern and laying out a couple of charm packs and some scraps from my "light neutral" drawer. From then on, I let myself make one block per day until I had a finished quilt top.

Baby Love Quilt

Trying to avoid adding yet another WIP to the pile, I whipped up the world's simplest backing from stash and basted it in early September. I spent a few weeks trying to figure out howto quilt it before finally opting to stick with boring old Stitch-in-the-Ditch.

Baby Love Quilt

Although it's not too exciting I think the quilting actually highlights the blocks quite nicely. The quilting and scrappy low volume background prints minimize the secondary square-diamond-square pattern between the the blocks that I was trying to avoid. The Dream Wool batting I used gave this quilt just the right amount of puff.

Baby Love Quilt

I used a remnant strip of pink voile to make a bias tape label and bound it with another print of Acacia yardage that I was hording.

Baby Love Quilt

I think my favourite part of this quilt is the fact that the squirrel print on the back is perfectly centered and symmetrical on the back of the quilt. Definitely not planned but a welcome surprise after I trimmed up the quilt top.

Finished Quilt Stats:

  • Quilt Name: Woodland Walk
  • Finished Size: Crib (36" x 48")
  • Fabric: Two Tula Pink Acacia charm packs and various low volume scraps.
  • Pattern: Baby Love by Camille Roskelley in her book Simply Retro (with an extra row of blocks since I'm not a fan of square quilts).
  • Quilting: Ol' Faithful Stitch-in-the-Ditch

Our lobster-dog wishes you a safe and happy Halloween!

Halloween Lobster Dog

Linking up to Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.