Saturday, 29 June 2013

Quilt of Valour

I got it into my head on Friday that I wanted to sew a quilt of valour for a Canadian soldier. This has been in the back of my mind for years but came to the front again after seeing an article in the Summer 2013 issue of "Quilter's Connection for Canadian Quilters." A Canadian quilt magazine that I picked up at Indigo. (The Quilts of Valour article is on page 15.) I saw the article on Friday and by the following Friday (yesterday) I had finished the quilt. :)

A few moments after the initial idea came to me another idea came to my head that I wanted it to be for a soldier that I already know. I know quite a few being a military wife. There are many soldiers who went to Afghanistan and came home with injuries that people cannot see. There are also many soldiers with injuries that we can see and I imagine they also have injuries we cannot see as well.

This idea rolled around my head for the weekend and on Monday it was my birthday. Where would I most like to be on my birthday? In a quilt shop! So I went to Quiltessential Co. in St. Albert, AB and I used some of my birthday money for some lovely red and white fabrics. I chose fabrics with no florals since this quilt is for a man. I also chose more modern looking fabrics since this is a modern quilt. This pattern is called "Diamond Tread" by Freshly Pieced. She has this pattern for sale in several locations on the Internet including Threadbias and Craftsy.

Since this quilt is for a Canadian Hero of course it has to have maple leaves on it. (I got those at Fabricland.) I quilted it with randomly spaced straight lines using my walking foot.

There was A LOT of trimming of 80 half-square triangles. And then these were pieced to make the diamond tread strip. I love that strip! It looks like an army truck drove over the quilt! Anyway, the trimming and piecing was tedious and I could not do either of them all in one shot. I just kept thinking about what he went through for our country and that helped me get through it because sewing this quilt was nothing compared to all that he went through in Afghanistan.

The little half-squares are 2.5 inches when you are finished trimming and sewing.

Here is the label that I embroidered.

The back has Canadian flags that spell "Canada" with maps of the country.

So there it is. My first Quilt of Valour. I hope it brings comfort and that he knows all Canadians appreciate him and what he has done for our country. I'm sure I will be sewing more quilts of valour in the future.

If you would like more information or would like to sew one yourself please visit the Quilts of Valour Canada website. With gratitude to all Canadian soldiers and their families.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Pendant Necklaces and Paper Gift Boxes

I was a busy crafter this past week making year-end gifts for teachers. My son only has one teacher but my daughter has several ladies who work in her playschool room so I made several necklaces.

Here they all are hanging on the blue spruce in my yard.

I made a couple of "tree of life" pendants and the rest are bird's nest pendants. I learned how to make the tree of life from this tutorial as well as this tutorial also. (Love The Frugal Crafter!)

 This tree of life was one I made for my Mom's Birthday and blogged about it at the bottom of this post.
This is the bird's nest pendant necklace I made for my son's Grade 2 teacher. She had the kids make these for all the Moms for Mother's day so I think it's fun to make one for her. I also made her a notebook and pen set that I wrote about here. I learned to make the bird's nests from The Frugal Crafter as well from this tutorial.

On another day this week I made all the little packages for these necklaces. Here are some photos of what I did.

I found this gift box template on the Internet here. I printed it and cut it out. Then I traced it onto card stock. I put the printed template on top of the wrong side of the paper and scored along the fold lines with my Score Pal from Stampin Up. If you do not have a Score Pal you can use the scoring blade that comes with your paper trimmer or you can use a bone folder or stylus and just trace the lines.
Then I flipped it over and stamped all over the paper to decorate it with little tiny images.
Then I folded along all the scored fold line and glued down the four tabs with glue dots They are much less messy than glue and they hold really well.
I made little matching gift tags with my tag punches and punched the little holes in them with my Crop-a-dile. If you do not have a Crop-a-dile and you want holes smaller than a standard hole punch you could use a paper piercer or an upholstery needle. (Carefully!)
Then I put the little gifts inside and hooked the tops of the box together.
I tied the tags on with matching baker's twine. And voila! If you've read this far you totally rock! Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my post about my teacher gifts. You gotta love teachers!

Linking up with Crafty Girl Linky Party on Friday. The button is on the button bar ----> waaaayyy up near the top!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

W.I.P. Wednesday Diamond Tread Quilt of Valour

Today I am linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and my WIP (work in progress) is actually a Freshly Pieced pattern. I am working on the new Diamond Tread pattern that was just released.

My plan when I started out was to sew this as a "Quilt of Valour" for a Canadian soldier. So we'll see how it goes. This is why I have chosen all red and white fabrics.

I am currently at the stage of trimming down my half-square triangles.

I'm even using read and white pins! :)

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Brightened up my Rainy Day

I slopped over to the post office (half a block away at the end of my street) in the rain to check the mail and look what I found there!

These gorgeous, gorgeous!, Liberty of London fat quarters that I won on "Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day" from Kerrie of this lovely blog. Thank you so much Kerrie! These have completely brightened up my rainy day. Now I must ponder carefully what I want to sew with them. I am so, so happy they arrived here safely all the way from Georgia, USA.

Also brightening up my day is the fact that I got a text from my husband that he is on his way home today from fighting the floods in southern Alberta. We will be so happy to have him back home again. The kids especially.

I hope you are having a good day too or if not that something nice happens to brighten it for you.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Third Time's the Charm

It took three attempts but there's a reason for the saying "Third Time's the Charm" I guess. There is also a reason for the saying "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." This is the zipper pouch I made for my Mom for her birthday. We both share a birthday (and it's tomorrow!) so we exchanged gifts tonight.

It's not quite perfect but it's pretty close. My Mom loves it so I am happy. :)

Here is a shot showing the lining on the inside.

Here is the zipper from the top which I am very happy with. Those little tailored bits of fabric at the ends of the zipper really make it. I was working with this tutorial which is a very good tutorial but for some reason I was not understanding these little fabric tabs at the ends of the zipper. Once I figured it out of course it was crystal clear. The next photo is of my second attempt at this pouch.

See? The fabric tabs at the end are messy and chopped off.

I was so concerned about the zipper ends that I forgot to embellish the pouch with ribbon and I forgot to top stitch along either side of the zipper. But it's still functional and I will use it to keep sewing supplies in. Now, here comes the worst... my first attempt:

I made such a mess of the zipper ends that I had to sew these little tabs on the top corners to cover them up. It was very discouraging. I kind of panicked a bit. But I took a break and calmed down and then I was able to try again. (I almost gave up though, I will admit.)

Here is a shot from the top. The little tabs on the top are utterly ridiculous but it is functional and I will use it to keep my binding clips in. It was a learning experience and now that I have figured it out I will make more of these quite happily. In my own defence I was not using the same size zipper as the tutorial so I was winging it a bit on the measurements. And basically, your panels have to be an inch larger than the zipper when the ends are sewn on on so you can skirt by the zipper ends and not catch them in the seam when you are sewing the pouch together. That is my big piece of advice on this.

I also made a "tree of life" pendant necklace for my Mom. This was also my first attempt at this craft. I do not recommend trying something for the first time when you are on a deadline but anyway, it worked out.

I learnt this from this tutorial. I bought the wrong wire for the tree. I bought half round instead of round so that did make it a bit more difficult but it also made the tree more gnarly which was cool. It's much easier with round wire though.

So, I learned quite a lot this weekend! Mom was happy with her gifts. I made another necklace for her as well but I'll write about that in another post.

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Crafty Girl Linky Party

Thank you for stopping in on my blog and Welcome if you've clicked over from the Crafty Girl Linky Party. I write about quilting, knitting and paper crafting.

I am distracted today as we got a 3:30 a.m. call that my husband (a Canadian soldier) is to be on standby to deploy to fight floods in our Province. There is major and devastating flooding in Southern Alberta right now and our military has been called in to help. I was just checking messages and found this one from Kim at inviting me to link up with her linky party. Everyone loves a linky party right?!

So here is my latest quilt finish that I have to show you. I finished this quilt on Tuesday for my husband for Father's Day (two days late). I have more photos and pictures here and another post all about my Dad's Father's Day quilt here (or just scroll down a couple of posts on my blog.)

My regular blog readers have seen this quilt already this week but if you are checking out this post click the button or the link above to link up your recent projects. You are all invited to head over to Everything Etsy and share a recent blog post about something crafty you've made. You can find the button on my button bar on the right hand side of my blog. ---->

Here is a photo of the back of my husband's quilt which I pieced out of scraps from both of the Father's Day quilts. Way to bust my stash eh?

So, thank you for stopping in to see my recent finish. Please feel free to look around my blog and follow me if you like what you see. There is a Bloglovin button in the button bar on the right and also at the bottom of the blog.

I received a text from my husband that it's 95% that he will be going to the flood zone. He will miss my birthday (again) but I am okay with that because my fellow Albertans need him more than I do right now. My mind is already whirling with wanting to sew quilts for Southern Alberta and wondering how to get them there. (If any of you know, please leave me a comment or email me.) In the meantime my thoughts and prayers are with Southern Alberta. Especially, Calgary, Bragg Creek, High River and Canmore. My Aunt (a citizen of Calgary) emailed me that the zoo was being evacuated and the big cats were being kept in the holding cells at the court house! If you are not from Canada and want to see more of the stories go to

Stay safe everyone. I will "Keep Calm and Quilt On."

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

W.I.P. Wednesday BOM Blocks

I am linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced today to show you a project I am working on. I haven't worked on this one in a long time. It's the 2011 Fat Quarter Shop Block of the Month. I finally sewed two more blocks this past week.

Here is block number 7. It went together smoothly and I am happy with it. :)

This is block number 8. It was trickier than it looks but still came together well. Each of these blocks takes about two hours to do from start to finish. I have four more to go. I hope to get a few more done this week. Maybe I'll even work on my 2012 FQS BOM blocks too! I am so behind on these!

The fabric packs are generous and I have a lot of good scraps left over which I plan to use in my Farmer's Wife quilt. I have about 22 blocks sewn but I don't like it being so scrappy so I am starting over and sewing it matchy-matchy.

Here are the first 6 blocks that I posted about almost a year ago! I really want to get this quilt finished so hopefully by linking up with Lee's WIP Wednesday it will spur me on. If you want to see some more WIPs click the "WIP Wednesday" button near the top of my button bar on the right of my blog. ---->
Or click the link in the first sentence of this post. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blocks.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

My Husband's Father's Day Quilt is Finished!

Well, it's two days late but it's finished. I am so relieved that this quilt is now done. I am happy with how it turned out. Here is a picture of it before I tell you about it.

Originally I was going to have the blocks all randomly placed but then I decided to make diagonal arrangements of like colours together and I am so glad I did that. This quilt is made with two charm square packs of "Boundary Water Flannels" by Holly Taylor for Moda. The background is a solid cream coloured flannel.

I love the little bears and moose sprinkled throughout this fabric collection!

On this quilt I trimmed all my half-square-triangle squares when I was finished sewing and pressing them and it made a BIG difference. All of my points are bang on. When I was in the process of trimming I realised too that one of my charm square pre-cut packs was a quarter inch larger than the other. So that explains a few things. I will be trimming from now on and also checking my charms packs before I start sewing.

This is the border and binding. The border fabric is "Shaded Oaks Flannel" also by Holly Taylor for Moda. The binding is a marble solid flannel. I machine sewed the binding to the front and the back and I'm starting to get quite good at that now. I did a little back and forth quilting on the border. The rest of the quilt is quilted with straight lines a quarter inch from the seam lines.

It's woodsy and outdoorsy which is perfect for my husband. I've received many kisses today so I think he is very happy with it. He is a really great Father so he totally deserves a cosy quilt to nap under.

If you follow me on Facebook you've seen my post from last night that I had spent two and a half hours ripping out quilting with my seam ripper last night. I tried to do a candy ribbon sort of design and I didn't like it. It looked messy and took away from the patterns of the fabrics. This is the section I had quilted all over and now that the quilt is washed you can't see all the little needle holes. (Thank goodness!) Another advantage of using quilt shop quality flannel.

This is the backing that I pieced together out of all the scraps from the two Father's Day quilts and 12 sweet 16's. All the fabrics are quilt shop quality flannel.

This fishing fly fabric was the background fabric on My Dad's Father's Day Quilt. The brown fabric was the border on Dad's quilt. By piecing the backing I saved about $65 and I busted my stash. All fabrics were purchased at "Quiltessential Co." quilt shop in St. Alberta, Alberta except for the Sweet 16's which were purchased  at a quilt show here in Edmonton about four years ago. I am happy I am finally using them.

Since I was so good about saving money I went shopping at Quiltessential Co. again today. (Wearing  my imaginary halo.) I didn't get a Mother's Day gift so I'm sure my husband will be happy I took care of that. ;0) I hope so because he's probably going to read this blog post.

I bought some Bonnie & Camille pre-cuts, some Riley Blake chevron ribbons and fat quarters and those adorable little Matroyshka doll fat quarters. Thank you for the wonderful Mother's Day gift honey if you're reading this. :) I plan to use the Marmalade layer cake to sew this quilt:

which is in Camille Roskelley's book "Simply Retro." Except that my quilt will be smaller as the pattern calls for two layer cakes and I only have one. Mine will also be made of flannels instead of cotton but I am using the same fabric line that she did.

And guess what other wonderful thing happened today? I went to check the mail and this is what I found in my mail box.

A package of scraps from Alison at Little Island Quilting which I won on the "Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day." Thank you so much Alison!

All of the fabrics are fantastic and there are none that I already have. I am particularly interested in these black and white text ones. I'll have to come up with some fantastic uses for all of them soon.

All-in-all it's been a pretty great day. I hope you're having a great day too!