Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sunday Stash

I've been meaning to start writing Sunday Stash posts and linking up with Molli Sparkles for a while now and today I am remembering to do just that! The Sunday Stash link-up is a way for us to have a show and share of the lovely fabrics and sewing things that we have acquired over the past week. So here goes.

I have a Liberty Club subscription at Polka Dot Tea in Australia. My shipment of fat 16ths came in this week. Aren't they gorgeous!? The blue one is my favourite! I am finding that since I cannot find anyone who sells Liberty in Canada that this is the most economical way for me to collect these beautiful fabrics. Our Canadian dollar is almost at par with the Australian dollar and because these fabrics are so light (tana lawns) they ship in regular letter mail so the shipping is not insane. Check them out Canucks! Or anyone else in the world too. :)

Remember Blogathon Canada that happened a couple of weeks ago and all the giveaways? I was picked by the Rafflecopter on the Sew Sisters giveaway for this Prep School fat quarter bundle from Robert Kaufman (thank you for sponsoring Robert Kaufman!) I plan to split this up and use it in a few different projects. Some of the oranges and greens will work well in a Halloween quilt that I have planned.
Speaking of Blogathon Giveaways... I announced on Facebook but if you didn't see it there the winner of my little bundle of Holiday Happy fat quarters was Gill Watson of the UK. Hopefully that prize has arrived with it's new owner by now. Thanks for coming by to see my goodies.

If you are in Canada or the US there is a Holiday Fabric giveaway that's running here on my blog from a lovely Canadian online Fabric shop called Country Clothesline.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Abstract EPP Christmas Ornaments on Branches Tutorial

If you are looking for the Country Clothesline Holiday Fabric GIVEAWAY please click here.

I have finished my tutorial that I promised a week or two ago. It took me a bit longer than I thought. I came up with this idea when I was working at the Fire Hall in the spring. There were long periods where I had nothing to do so I thought up quilt ideas. I pitched this idea to a Canadian quilting magazine in the summer but never heard back. I started sewing the English Paper Pieced ornaments in the summer in case they did want to publish my idea. Then I was busy with having a baby and I didn't follow up with the magazine.

I liked my idea though and I had the EPP ornaments sewn up so I decided to write up a tutorial for my blog. I'd be interested to know what you think. Do you like this idea? I'm going for a bit of an abstract idea of a close-up on a couple of Christmas tree branches decorated with ornaments. I don't think we can get too literal with this method. Do you think it looks like tree branches? Let me know what you think in the comments. :)

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

New Blog Sponsor and a GIVEAWAY!

These are exciting times here at Daydreams of Quilts! I have a fabulous new blog sponsor to tell you about today! Country Clothesline is a Canadian online quilt shop where you can find the prettiest fabrics all in one convenient location.

Sylvia has compiled a beautiful collection of floraly, vintagy, countryish, cute, pretty and just plain fun fabrics inspired by the countryside, farmhouses and the fresh breezes that run through our clotheslines. Today Country Clothesline is offering a gorgeous holiday fabric giveaway to Daydreams of Quilts readers.

These fabrics speak for themselves but wouldn't you just love to make something beautiful for the holidays with these?

This giveaway is open to Canadian and US addresses only. (Sorry International friends. You know there are many chances for you to win here on my blog though and more will be coming.)

To enter to win please use the Rafflecopter below. If you do not have a Facebook account you can use your email address. (If you do not have a blog or are unable to comment for some reason please email your comment to me, using the envelope icon in my mason jars, and I will add your comment for you.) This giveaway will close at midnight on Wednesday December 3rd so Country Clothesline can get your fabrics out to you in time to sew up a Holiday project. If you can't wait to see who won you know where to find these lovelies. The winner will be emailed and announced on the blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Scrap House Quilt Book Review and Discount Code

My baby had me up to feed her at 3:15 a.m. I had only just gone to bed at midnight. After she was fed I couldn't get back to sleep! So I did what any quilter would do... I came down to my sewing room! I couldn't get this little house block out of my head so I had to make it.

Christmas themed Scrap House.
The sun is still struggling to come up here and we've had fresh snow overnight. The light is not the best but I wanted to get this post up before life gets crazy today. You can see so far I have the house with a Christmas tree in the window and a reindeer on the roof. I love my little Cotton + Steel door and step.

I am using the technique taught in the book Scrap House Quilt by Katharine Guerrier. The publisher is offering my blog readers a discount code for this ebook in either the download or CD versions. To get a 10% discount type code: daydreamshouse in the box on the basket page then click Apply Coupon to get the discount. This code will expire after 7th December and cannot be combined with any other offer.

I am so impressed with these ebooks. All ebooks I've bought thus far have only been PDF files of the paper books but these Vivebooks ebooks have embedded instructional videos in them. It's like having your own private class with the author! This book teaches you how to make the little scrap houses with surrounding gardens and trees and then how to tie them together into a quilt top using various quilt blocks such as HST blocks, Dutchman's puzzle blocks and so on. This is a fantastic way to use up scraps. I don't know about you but I am starting to get a bit overwhelmed with my scraps so I was happy see that this technique is a solution to that problem. These quilts are so cute for little kids too! You can use different novelty prints like the cat in the red house above to put cute things in the windows.

A closer shot to show the little Christmas tree in the window.

I am going to add a snowy front garden and a tree to my house block and the tree will be decorated with buttons for ornaments. This will become a throw pillow for a Christmas gift for one of my Aunt's and Uncles. I was feeling a bit lazy at 5:00 a.m. (I wonder why?) and I didn't sew in a chimney. I may still applique one on. I haven't decided yet. I will be sure to post the finished project for you to see but I wanted to get this post up for anyone else who wants to make Christmassy houses and take advantage of the discount code.

You can order Scrap House Quilt anytime. The discount code for my blog readers is good until Dec. 7th.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of the ebook in order to write my review. The links in this post are affiliate links. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced in anyway.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Blogathon Canada and a Giveaway

Hi Everybody! This week is Blogathon Canada host by Sew Sisters - a fantastic quilt shop in Toronto. (I'm in their Kona Club) Sew Sisters is hosting a giveaway on their blog everyday this week. If you're just finding out about this now you can still go back and enter the giveaways from the beginning of the week because all giveaways are open for the whole week until November 23rd. All the giveaways are open worldwide.
My Halloween Quilt.
Blogathon Canada is a blog hop of Canadian Quilt blogs. There are two hosts for each region or province and they have links on their host posts of other Quilt blogs in their area. All the links to the hosts for each day are on the Sew Sisters blog. Each host has a giveaway on their blog from Sew Sisters Quilt Shop as well (and those are also open worldwide).
Toy elephants I made for my son and my daughter's friend. (Pattern, by Retromama, can be purchased here.)

Thank you for clicking over to visit my blog and thank you for clicking in from your reader if you're already one of my followers. I am so happy that you came by to see me that I am giving away a little something from my stash to one of you at the bottom of this post. If you don't win this one, don't worry, come back on Dec. 8th when it's Sew Mama Sew giveaway day because I'll be giving away another of the same prize.
My first truly modern quilt. Bloom Bloom Pow designed by Lee of Freshly Pieced.

Okay, so for those of you who haven't been here before, Welcome! I am Anita. I am a military wife living in Wainwright, Alberta. My husband is a soldier in the Canadian army. I have been quilting since 1997 when he went on his second (my first as spouse) tour of duty to Bosnia. I have been sewing since I was a little girl. I have three children: a son (age 9) and two daughters (age 6 - today! and a two month old baby). You can learn more about me and where I live in my Around The World Blog Hop post.
My three kids and I on November 11, 2014.

I enjoy traditional and modern quilting but I am strongly inclined towards modern now. I am in a birthday club on Instagram with nine other Canadian women. Each month there is a different birthday girl and we all make gifts for that person.
This is a pillow/cushion that I designed and sewed for the November Canuck Birthday Club girl. She loves flying geese.
This is a drawstring project bag that I made for the November birthay girl also. I embroidered the centre panel with a pattern from the book "Little Stitches" by Aneela Hoey.

I am also in many other swaps on Instagram. It's kind of a new addiction. The great thing about swaps and birthday clubs as they challenge you so sew for someone else and to do your very best work.
This is a Strawberry mini that I made for the Strawberry Swap on Instagram this summer.

This is a sneak peek I just posted on Instagram of my IGmini Swap quilt. It's ready to be quilted.

I also have sewn quilts of valour for three Canadian soldiers suffering with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
My first Quilt of Valour. I posted about it here. "Diamond Tread" pattern by Lee of Freshly Pieced.
My second Quilt of Valour. Pattern designed by Cheryl Arkinson. I posted about this quilt here.
My third Quilt of Valour. My own layout using a panel and Swoon blocks. Swoon block pattern by Camille Roskelley.
I posted about this quilt here.
Thank you again for coming to visit my blog. Here is the giveaway I have promised you from my stash. It is four fat quarters of Holiday Happy by the Happy Zombie for Lecien just in time for sewing Christmas projects.

If you don't win this time come back on Dec. 8th because I'll be giving away another four fat quarters that week for Sew Mama Sew giveaway day (which is actually a week long).
This giveaway is open worldwide. Please use the Rafflecopter to enter. (It makes my life easier when it comes to picking the winner.) If you don't have Facebook you can use your email address.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 16 November 2014

"Harris Tweed Appliqué" - an ebook Review

Recently I was asked if I would be interested in reviewing the book "Harris Tweed Appliqué" by Chris Hammacott. I adore appliqué so naturally I said I would love to.

Photographs © Chris Hammacott and Vivebooks 2014

I received a copy of the ebook and I have found that to be even better in many ways than a paper book because there are very helpful instructional videos embedded in the book as well as links to YouTube videos. The table of contents is interactive so you can just click on a chapter you want to go to and you are immediately taken there in the book. There are also links to sources to buy 'Harris Tweed' online as well. You can print out the templates for your projects from the templates section in the ebook and throughout the book there are also links to references in other parts of the book. By clicking that link you are taken to the reference (no more flipping through pages searching!) In short, I have found the ebook to be quite a time saver!
Andrew Hammacott working at the loom. Photographs © Chris Hammacott and Vivebooks 2014
The beginning of the book contains an introduction which gives some history of 'Harris Tweed' and the area of Scotland in which it is made - The Isle of Harris, linked to the Isle of Lewis. Readers learn a bit about how the cloth is woven. This part was very interesting to me for two reasons. One reason being that my maternal Grandfather's parents came to Canada from Scotland. His name was Alexander Weir and I could see him wearing garments made of 'Harris Tweed'. In fact, he was a businessman and I'm sure he must have owned some. The second is because when I was a child I received a toy loom complete with shuttles and I used to enjoy weaving very much as a child. To see photos of real and true weavers working at their craft and to learn how the cloth is made is fascinating.

My daughter would love this beautiful cushion for her room.
Photographs © Chris Hammacott and Vivebooks 2014
Harris Tweed Appliqué is suitable for both beginners and experienced quilters. To achieve the full effect of the projects I feel it is best to use 'Harris Tweed' to create them. There are links in the book to fabric sources and I also found some sources on Etsy as well. If one were fortunate enough to own quite a bit of this luxurious cloth I think a lap quilt made with it would be the cosiest blanket in the house for winter time. I was thinking that several of the projects could be put together as a sampler for such a quilt. The great thing about Harris Tweed Appliqué though is that the projects are all manageable and of a small enough size that a quilter/sewist does not need a large quantity of 'Harris Tweed' to make them.

I love this wall hanging and the yo-yos on the border. This is the perfect project for this time of year (in Canada at least) when it is cold and the last thing you want to do is go outside. Cuddling up on the sofa with a hand quilting project like this and a hot drink is just the thing to do!
Photographs © Chris Hammacott and Vivebooks 2014

When I lived in New Brunswick a few years ago I found that 'Primitive' crafting is very popular there and people enjoy decorating their homes both inside and out with this style. The projects in the book could easily be adapted to the 'Primitive Craft' style by their rustic nature, especially those that use raw edge appliqué.

Photographs © Chris Hammacott and Vivebooks 2014
I have a dear friend who has two pugs and when I saw the "Pearl the Pug" cushion I knew right away that is the first project I want to make from this book. I plan to order some 'Harris Tweed', hopefully by the end of the month, and get sewing on this to have it done for Christmas. I will share photos on the blog when I have it finished.

Photographs © Chris Hammacott and Vivebooks 2014

The author of Harris Tweed Appliqué gives you all the instructions you need to sew the projects in the book even if you are a beginner. As Chris Hammacott writes, "As long as you can thread a needle, this ebook is for you." If you choose to buy this book I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.

My mother is a tea enthusiast so a tea cosy is a perfect gift to sew for her and her many tea pots!
Photographs © Chris Hammacott and Vivebooks 2014

Here is the book's author Chris Hammacott at her desk.
Photographs © Chris Hammacott and Vivebooks 2014
Thank you for visiting my blog and learning about Harris Tweed Appliqué with me.

Disclosure: I was provided with a free copy of the ebook for my review but my thoughts and opinions written in this post are my own and were not influenced in any way. The links in this post are affiliate links meaning that if you click on the links and choose to purchase this book I will receive a small commission.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

3 Year Blogiversary Giveaway Winner

Hi All. I am popping into the blog quickly to announce that the winner of my giveaway is Jenny in Australia! I have emailed her and she has responded. Thank you so much everyone for entering and all your lovely comments on what you are working on. Today I am busy working on a little Christmas tutorial for all of you. I hope to have it up in the next couple of days.

Here is a shot of me with my kids from Remembrance Day on Tuesday.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Christmas Pillows

I did housework most of the week last week so I could spend the weekend sewing. It's paid off because I finished two Christmas pillows.

I made this pillow with beautiful fabrics from my stash. The red and green are Liberty Tana Lawns that I bought from Polka Dot Tea in Australia. The gorgeous white linen was a gift that I won on a Sew Mama Sew giveaway day from Lizzie at Swedish Scrapper . This pillow is for my own house.

The fabrics are Christmas colours but they are not Christmas fabrics so I can keep this pillow out year round if I like. This pillow measures 15 inches square. I thought I might use this linen for tea towels but I could not bear the thought of it being stained or eventually full of holes. (I don't know what my husband does but our tea towels wind up holey after a while. Something to do with drying the knives I think!) I also have a piece of linen prepped for some Christmas embroidery that I hope to be able to work on this week.

This pillow is a gift for my kids' piano teacher. I used the Liberty tana lawns again and the music print is Aspen Frost by Basic Grey for Moda which I bought from Sew Me A Song . The black binding fabric also has music notes and symbols. I bought it in the same online shop but I don't have selvage information on it.

I drew this pillow up on graph paper before I sewed it. It's just half square triangles (HST for short) that make up the four corners of the Christmas snowflake/flower/whatever-you-want-it-to-be-called. This pillow measures 18 inches square. If you aren't sure how to go about sewing HSTs there is a good tutorial here at Cluck Cluck Sew . I would just add that I recommend squaring up your HSTs after pressing them because it really does make a big difference to your accuracy. I have pictures of how to do this on my tutorial page for the Heart Pillow (scroll down past the shamrock pin cushion to find it.)

Here is a closer shot of the fabrics and quilting. I used Aurifil 50 weight thread throughout both these projects. This music pillow has white for the quilting. Red for outline quilting and black thread for the binding. To bind a pillow you just sew the pillow back on (I used a simple envelope back where the two pieces overlap and are hemmed at the edges that meet in the middle), trim up the outside edges to be even with the pillow front and then bind just like binding a quilt. 
I am so grateful to my husband for taking care of the kids while I got these sewn. That's one Christmas gift checked off the list and one beautiful home decor item for our home finished too.

I'm linking up with Motivational Monday Party.

Motivational Monday DIY, Craft and Home Decor Link Party

Thursday, 6 November 2014

A Late 3 Year Blogiversary Giveaway

My three year Blogiversary was in August. I always seem to miss it! I actually was aware of it this year but too busy at the time to host a giveaway. I can't believe I've been blogging for three years. Blogging would be no fun without all of you so I want to thank you for following me and all your fantastic and encouraging comments. I thought I better hurry up and run a giveaway because because I'm pretty sure the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day is coming up in December and I'll want to be a part of that too.

So here's what I have up for grabs. I have four Cotton + Steel basics fat quarters, a spool of purple Aurifil thread 28 weight (I like this for machine quilting - especially on mini quilts), a spool of peppermint Divine Twine (great for wrapping Christmas gifts!) and the book "Fresh Vintage Sewing" by Joanna Figueroa (love her!).

To enter please use the Rafflecopter below (if you don't have Facebook you can sign in with your email). And thanks again for being here. Really. I appreciate all of you. The giveaway will be open for a week and the Rafflecopter will pick a winner for me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

WIP Wednesday - Being Responsible

Sometimes it's so hard to be responsible and do what you should do instead of what you want to do isn't it? Yesterday and today I've been cleaning my house. There has been a lot of sorting and clearing of clutter going on. My house isn't terribly messy. I mean, it's not to the point where I wouldn't have anyone over. But lately things have been piling up on surfaces such as the coffee table and the top of the microwave... and my sewing table! It was getting to the point where I was wasting valuable, precious, glorious free time looking for things. So there's been cleaning and no sewing! I have had to be tough with myself and not let myself do any fun sewing until the situation was under control. But now that everything is now in it's place and I feel like I am back in control of "stuff" I am allowing myself to write this little post and then it's back to sewing! Here are my two works in progress.

This is a lot of hand cutting that I did on Monday afternoon while my baby was napping. (There is fusible web on the backs.) I was pondering how I was going to keep all my colours organized because some of them are very close and I didn't want them to get mixed up. I counted up my fabrics and there were 12. Aha! There are 12 cups in a muffin tin. Problem solved! This is for my Instagram Mini Swap so I can't say too much more just in case my partner reads my blog. But more will be coming soon.

Sadly, my Halloween quilt did not get finished before Halloween. But there's always next year! And every year after. I have almost 200 HSTs to trim up. I got a whopping 4 trimmed the other day before the baby woke up. So that's another WIP I'll be working on. You know how the rulers slip around and really mess up what you're doing? If you see my little square there the "15"s are actually the back of sandpaper that I have stuck on there on the bottom side with two sided tape. Now my ruler is grippy and I didn't have to go out an buy anything. :)
I am linking up with Freshly Pieced. Thanks for coming by to see what I am working on.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Czar Quilt Show - The Husband's Perspective

Many of you enjoyed my post on the Czar Quilt Show. Here are some more photos of the show. This time they are taken by my husband Dave with his cell phone. I think it is interesting to see his perspective of the show and how it is quite different from mine. He has photos here of things I didn't even see or notice. He said he enjoyed the show and thought it was very well presented. He liked all the antiques and the little displays and vignettes that were set up. He also said he liked the musicians and, of course, the food. There was a scavenger hunt for the kids where they had to find different items that were actually in the quilts and my husband really liked that because it made the kids a part of everything. Let's face it... when I was gawking at quilts it was my husband looking after the three kids (mercifully the baby slept the whole time). An example of a scavenger hunt clue is "tractor quilting". My son said, "Mom, what's tractor quilting?" I answered in the distracted way that Mom's do, "I don't know, I haven't heard of that technique." It turns out it was a quilt with tractors on it and there were tractors quilted into it with thread. Didn't I feel silly. :) So, without further ado, here are my husband's photos from the Czar Quilt Show.

My husband really liked this quilt. So much so that he took four photos of it. I never would have thought he would be attracted to a quilt like this. He said he liked all the cross stitched houses.

Close-up of one of the houses.

Naturally Dave liked this one. This is more of what I would have expected he would like.

He was interested in all the antiques.

He liked this wagon and that it was used to display quilts.

I did notice the hand quilting frame and meant to go back to it but never did. My husband found it interesting.

He thought to take a wider shot that shows you how the show was set up. The tables in the middle were for eating lunch and snacks.

My husband also liked that there were more realistic displays of quilts like this one.

Another wider shot showing you how some of the quilts were displayed.

He really liked this one and kept pointing it out to me. Ha ha!

Here are the musicians set up by the wagon. They were a highlight for Dave.

The tables in the centre of the hall all had nice quilted table runners on them.

This display was set up right at the entrance. You can see the bride in the original wedding photo wearing the dress for the wedding this quilt was made for.

This card gives the age of the sewing machine in the photo below.

I had this machine in my photos too. We were both very interested in the antique machines.

This card tells about the quilt below.

This card tells about the "Pillow Quilt" (sometimes called a puffer quilt) in the photo below.

Dave really liked this quilt as well.

Another wider shot. He also liked the blue quilt on the left and there are photos of that coming up.

Do you think he's trying to tell me something?

The photos inside the squares are hockey photos.

This is the quilter who pieced the hockey quilt.

Close-up of one of the squares.

Naturally there is a photo of the snack table. He said it's because of the sewing machine fabric but he visited this table at least four times and I don't think it was for the fabric. ;)

What in the world? I never saw this. It's a little "sculpture".

And another one. Again, I never saw this. The things men will notice eh?
He was quite amused that this little building is the "Treasury Branch" and that it had a quilt on display.

 So there you have it. A (non quilting) man's perspective on the quilt show. He had 64 photos but I tried to weed it down. I guess he really liked it if he took that many photos!