Friday, 5 September 2014

Very Cherry Swap and Canuck B-day Club Instagram Swaps

I have been happily sewing to get some of my swaps out in the mail before the birth of my baby. Today I would like to show you some of the things I made that went in the mail this past week.

First up is the "Very Cherry Swap" items for an Instagram swap I am participating in.

These are the items I put into a box to sent to my swap partner in Ontario. The mini quilt in the foreground is the main item. I made yo-yos for the cherries and leaves. My new Brother sewing machine does fancy little decorative stitches so I used the machine to put the little hearts all around the border.

The tea towel also has yo-yo cherries. I made a little scissor fob and added some little craft supplies in the zip lock bags.

I got out my embroidery book "Little Stitches" by Aneela Hoey and used the cherry pattern for this adorable pin cushion and needle book. (I made an extra embroidery to turn into a pin cushion for myself.)

Of course there was candy too. Cherry Nibs!
 I am part of a "Canuck B-day Club" on Instagram as well. We are a group of 10 Canadians and each month has a different birthday girl. We all make and buy gifts for that person each month. When it's our own birthday month the gifts come to us. This is what I sent to the September birthday girl. I made the pin cushion and zipper pouch on the lower left as well as all the sewing themed cards. The rest of the items are purchased.
The embroidery patterns were from "Little Stitches" again. The card making supplies were from Stampin' Up.

I adore how these turned out! Once again I stitched extras so I could make items for myself but of course my items are not completed.

This little pin cushion is stuffed with fibre fill on the left so it doesn't show through the white fabric and then crushed walnut shells on the right side. The twill tape says "My hobby is knitting and handcrafts." Is that little embroidered sewing machine not the cutest!? I've had the book for two years and just now I finally made some of the things in it.

And this is the little zipper pouch. I am very happy with how well the embroidery turned out. I think the September birthday girl is going to love it! I can't wait to see what she thinks. Her package should be delivered today.
Besides these I have also sewn projects for two Halloween Instagram swaps but I'll save those for another post closer to Halloween. Now I am back to sewing for baby! I made two receiving blankets on Wednesday and a quilt top yesterday. So today I will be finishing the quilt. Happy sewing everyone! :)

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

A Finished Quilt of Valour

I finished a Quilt of Valour this week. I was really pushing to get this done before my new baby arrives. (Only two weeks to go until my c-section!) I am so happy that this is finished and ready to go out in the mail to it's soldier.

Here is the Quilt of Valour. I used the Oh Canada line by Northcott fabrics. Northcott printed this line in support of Quilts of Valour Canada. This is my third Quilt of Valour but the first one using this line. There are four swoon blocks around a centre panel of fabric.

Here is the centre panel. I added the black borders to fit it in with the Swoon blocks. (Swoon blocks are from the Swoon pattern by Camille Roskelley of Thimbleblossoms.)

It's hard to see but I quilted the black borders with feathers. The white borders between the black and the Swoon blocks are loop-de-loop quilting and the rest of the quilt is stipple quilting.

The outer two inch white borders are quilted with figure 8s.

The soldier that I have sewn this quilt for went through one particularly bad week on his tour in Afghanistan and in that week one of his friends died. I put this poppy block into the quilt in honour of that friend.

I put a striped binding on the quilt because I love striped bindings.

The quilt is backed with a flannel moose and maple leaf print from the Oh Canada line. So soft and cozy!

I rarely post pictures of myself but here I am on Monday when my order from Patchwork Threads came in. I am eight months pregnant here. I ordered a onesie for my little Future Quilter too. :) I also ordered the pink "Swoon Block" t-shirt. Plus, I won Challenge 1 in the Sewvivor Sew Along (by random draw) so I will have the Hexagon shirt coming to me too! I am decked out with quilting t-shirts now.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Fun Finished Projects for Instagram Quilt Alongs and Challenges

Hi All. I have been very busy sewing! I had a week off to do some major cleaning and purging in my house and now I am back at it with sewing and quilting. I have a few fun finishes that I would like to show you.

First up is a mini quilt that I sewed for "The Strawberry Swap" on Instagram. I mailed it out on Thursday so my partner doesn't have it yet but I'm almost positive she is not following my blog. :) There was a pillow similar to this on Pinterest but it was paper pieced. I did mine with applique and enjoying trying out the blanket stitch on my machine for the first time. I changed out the thread to match each piece of fabric so it took a few sewing sessions to get the blanket stitching finished.


I cross stitched three little strawberries onto a plain tea towel as a little add-on to my swap package.


This is what I sent out to my partner. I made the little strawberry pin cushions for her too. The pattern for them is in the Martha Stewart sewing encyclopedia and is also free on the Martha Stewart website.


Next up are three pillows I made for the "Sewvivor" challenge #1. I didn't make it into the top 16 contestants but I am sewing along. The hashtag on Instagram for the sew along is #sewvivorsewalong and the first challenge is "Nautical." I designed these decorative whale pillows for my son's bed.
 

 
 
I also made an anchor cushion for his little chair that he has in his room.


I originally meant for it to be primary colours on a white background but my prints are mostly low volume and it would have been washed out so I put it on a red maple leaf background.

Here is the back of the pillow. This was the first time I used binding on pillows and I love it! It's like a mini flange on the edges without all the fussing. I think all my pillows will have binding from now on.

So those are my projects for #Sewvivor and #TheStrawberrySwap on Instagram. Now I'm onto working on the #VeryCherrySwap and also the first gift for the #CanuckBdayClub. Busy! Come find me on Instagram if you're on there. :) There's a button up in the mason jars on the right side of the screen.

Chicopee Hashtag Quilt Finish

I have a finished quilt to show you today! Yay! I actually finished it yesterday but my husband was on duty and not around the house to hold it up for me to photograph. Try to ingnore his feet in the following photos. ;) I had to angle the quilt so it was not in direct sunlight and that made cropping out feet impossible.

 This is the "Hashtag" quilt. The pattern is by Camille Roskelley of Thimbleblossoms and I received it in the workshop package that came with her "Pre-Cut Piecing Made Simple" class on Craftsy
 All the patterned fabrics used are from the "Chicopee" line by Denyse Schmidt for Free Spirit Fabrics. I won a roll up of 30 x 2 1/2 inch strips from from the Canadian Quilt Talk podcast over a year ago and this pattern calls for 30 strips! So it was a perfect fit.
 I ordered the border, binding and backing fabrics last month from Mad About Patchwork. The backing is the "Voltage" print in black.
 The binding is double folded and machine sewn to the front, then hand sewn to the back with a double thread of Aurifil black 50 wt. thread. The batting is 80% cotton and 20% polyester. Normally I prefer 100% cotton batting but this was the more cost effective choice as I was buying quite a bit for several projects.
 Here is a full photo of the back of the quilt. I am donating this quilt to my local Military Family Resource Centre for them to raffle in a Fundraising Quilt Raffle.
I stipple quilted all of the background of the top with white thread. I also stipple quilted the border with black thread. All threads used were Aurifil 50 wt. 100% cotton thread. I left the hastags unquilted. I thought I might hand quilt inside each centre square but I have many quilting deadlines this summer and at come point you just have to call it done! :)

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Have You Heard of Massdrop?

Hi. I am writing this post to tell you about a new resource for quilting and crafting supplies online. It's a website called Massdrop. How it works is people with similar interests get together on a group buy and because we are buying "en mass" we can get lower prices. When the "drop" ends Massdrop orders the products on behalf of us, the buyers, and ships them out to us.

There are also opportunities to vote on upcoming drops so you can see more of what you are interested in buying become available on the site.

This week I couldn't resist getting in on the Pearl Bracelets bundle drop that they have listed on the site. $2.00 a fat quarter? Yes please! Even with shipping and exchange to Canada it's a good deal for me. Plus, I can't find these fabrics in my local quilt shops.


Pearl Bracelets Bundle. Photo from Massdrop.
The ribbons I received in the mail last week.


A month ago I joined the drop for Tula Pink Ribbons. (This was a birthday gift I chose to buy with some of my birthday cash.) I checked the price and it was lower per yard than the one or two websites I could find some of these ribbons on. And again it was an item I cannot find in Canada. Usually you have a week to join a drop. You do not actually pay for your items until the drop ends thus ensuring you get the lowest possible price. (The more buyers in the drop, the lower the price goes.) There are other things on the site as well such as electronics and tools but my primary interest is craft supplies. :)
 
Before that, I bought the Aurifil Thread drop for six spools of neutral threads. Again, with shipping and exchange it was still less expensive than driving 40 minutes down the highway to the closest quilt shop to me that stocks it. (Although, I do pick it up from them when I am in their town... I just don't want to make a special trip just for thread.) All my items have arrived without any issues so I am a happy customer.
 
Disclosure: If you click on the link I have provided in the first paragraph and choose to buy it is possible I could receive a reward from Massdrop for promoting their site. However, I do feel it is a valuable service and that is why I have chosen to write about it on my blog.
 




Sunday, 20 July 2014

My Sewing Room/Studio

Hello! I hope you are all enjoying a nice relaxing Sunday. My Sewing Space is being featured on the Mad About Patchwork blog as part of their Sew Canadian studio tour of Canadian Sewing Spaces. There is an opportunity for readers to link up their spaces too and enter to win an ombre sewing kit so be sure to check it out. There's a button in my button bar on the right that you can click on as well. It looks like this:


 My three tiered basked of pre-cuts and half yard cuts of fabric. To top basket contains mostly Bonnie & Camille.
 Some of my yarn on the shelves. Scrapbooking and stamping supplies on the white shelves on the wall and my Aurifil thread and Divine twin on the turquoise shelf above the hat boxes. Under the hat boxes is my antique sewing machine that you see in my blog header. It was my Grandma's machine.
 This is the room after I cleaned for a whole morning! And it still looks messy. Ha Ha! :) This is in the basement of military housing so there are no ceilings. This is so they can access pipes and electrical if repairs are needed and so it is classified as an "unifinished" basement.
 The wall by the basement stairs. Sometimes when the kids charge down the stairs things fall off my shelves. :/ (frowny face)
Looking back the other way. The dresser is full of fabric but I need to empty it as I need it for baby clothes soon. Fabric scraps are sorted by colour and piled in baskets just out of this shot. You can see a bit in the lower left corner of the photo. My computer that I am typing this blog post on is on the far wall in this shot. On the right of the shot is overflow from my kitchen. (Not enough cupboards in this house! Typical basement right!?)

So that's my studio, as good as it gets right now. Not the dream studio I have in my head but it works. I have answered some interview questions on the Mad About Patchwork post so make sure you check that out and you can see the studio of Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts on that post as well.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Fabric Pull for the Celestial Star Quilt Along

I went through my fabrics and scraps tonight to pull fabrics for my Celestial Star Quilt for the Celestial Star QAL. Some of these are my highly prized fabrics and I think it may actually physically hurt to cut into them but I also think the end result will make me very happy. So I am going to take the plunge and cut into some of these that I have been hoarding in my stash treasuring in my collection.

The beginnings of my Celestial Star Quilt. It's going to be rainbow-tastic!