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!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

WIP Wednesday String of Pearls and Some Finishes Too

Well, here it is almost 9:00 p.m. and I am finally writing my WIP Wednesday post. I started quilting my "String of Pearl's" quilt from a Quilt Along that happened a year ago over at Christa Quilts (check for it under her Tutorials tab.)

My String of Pearls quilt on the machine.
 All was going well until I had to change the bobbin. I must have wound the bobbin incorrectly because I spent an hour trying to get the machine going again. I tried everything. Cleaning, oiling, changing the needle, re-threading. I was just about ready to cry from frustration so I posted a picture on Instagram and my friends over there advised me to wind another bobbin. That worked! So I was back in business. I now have the quilt quilted and the binding sewn to the front. I was hand sewing the binding down and am about halfway through but I had to come hang out here in the basement because I was just getting too hot! It's 30 degrees Celsius today plus I am seven months pregnant and then sitting under a quilt to sew binding. It was a bit much. So that is today's WIP (work in progress).

Now, here are some finishes. First up is my projects from Monday. I sewed my daughter and her Maplelea Doll matching sundresses with Tula Pink's racoon fabric. I also sewed a matching bucket hat for my daughter too. The hat and dress patterns were both free patterns on the Oliver + S website. There's a photo of her in the hat and dress with her doll over on my Instagram feed. Click on the Instagram icon in my mason jars to find me over there. :)

And last week I sewed up three baby quilts for my Etsy shop (link also in the Mason jars on the right.) So here's a quick look at those.

So that's a bit of what I've been up to. There are also photos of some individual blocks for various projects on my Instagram and Facebook feeds. Thanks for visiting my blog today. I am linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

My Colouring Page for the Celestial Star Quilt Along

I usually try to avoid Quilt Alongs these days as I wind up with WIPs that sit for a year. (As you will see in my WIP Wednesday post.) This one caught my eye though for two reasons: 1. the block design is very cool 2. it's a skill that I need help with learning and that is - Paper Piecing! So here I am taking part in the Celestial Star Quilt Along over at From Blank Pages.

Here is my colouring page. I wanted a rainbow colours quilt. I will probably sew a 24 inch wall hanging to start. I tried to convey low volume fabric in the diamonds in the white ring by colouring lightly. One thing I have already learned here is that I need more pencil crayon options. 24 colour choices is not cutting it! But I am happy with how this block looks and I plan to go with it.

Now I'm going to go sit down and have a read through Diane's amazing pattern that I bought from her Etsy shop. Head over here to see the sponsors and schedule. In addition to learning new things there are also prizes. :)

Summer Days Tote Bag

My Summer Days Tote Bag is being featured on the Mad About Patchwork blog today. I won a fat eighths bundle in their Summer "Pitch It to Win It" contest and then added a few more  fabrics from my own stash to the mix. My tutorial on how I made this bag is over on the Mad About Patchwork blog so head over there for all the details. They have the "Summer Days" bundle available in their shop at www.madaboutpatchwork.com if you want to make a bag like mine.

The front of the bag with grass, sky, a Dresden sun and yo-yo flowers.
I did reverse applique for the mushrooms growing in the grass.

The back of the bag. This was my first time machine pieceing hexagons.

The dresden sun in the sky and some hand stitching around the top of the bag.

Yo-Yo flowers with oval yo-yo leaves.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Briar Rose Challenge Voting is Open

Happy Wednesday everyone. Quilt Sandwich Fabrics has posted their Briar Rose Challenge on their blog and opened the voting. Head over there to see all the wonderful things that were sewn for the challenge. I want all the things! I really love every project that was made. I am inspired to sew more zipper pouches now especially.

This burlap pillow was my entry and I'd love it if you would vote for me but please pick your favorite. To vote you just write a comment on Quilt Sandwich Fabrics' blog post. The person with the most votes will win a prize. I wrote some more about my pillow in this post.

Head over to Quilt Sandwich Fabrics for some inspiration.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Sew-vivor - Season 3: Quilter's Edition - Audition Entry

The Family Ever After Blog opened auditions for Sew-vivor Season 3: Quilter's Edition yesterday. I thought about it overnight and have decided to audition. As my audition piece I am entering my "Oh, Canada - Quilt of Valour". I feel this represents some of my best work. I apologize if you've seen this quilt a couple of times now. :)

 This was the quilt ready for the binding to go on.

 Here is a close-up of one of the blocks. I used straight line quilting on the bars on either side of the maple leaf and meandering quilting around the leaves. The leaves are appliqued on using Heat n' Bond light and then machine stitched in a zig zag with matching thread around the edges.
These are the quilt blocks laid out on the floor ready to be sewn together.
 This is the finished quilt with binding on, washed and ready to be mailed to a Canadian soldier. This quilt was mailed out in March of 2014. It was a lot of work but a true honour to be able to gift it to someone who needed a boost and who needed to know their work and sacrifice has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.

I pieced and quilted this quilt myself. The pattern is "Oh, Canada" by Cheryl Arkinson. The binding is machine sewn to the front and hand sewn to the back.

I am looking forward to seeing how the competition plays out and seeing everyone's quilted creations. Head over to the Family Ever After blog to have a read through the rules and challenges and decided if you want to throw your hat in the ring for this one. The prizes are out of this world!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Sew Canadian: A Summer Studio Tour of Canadian Sewing Spaces

Mad About Patchwork, a modern Canadian quilt shop, is hosting a tour of Canadian quilters' studios this summer. It's called Sew Canadian, and they've invited me to participate! (My studio will be on the tour July 20th.)

Starting tomorrow, July 6th, you can have a virtual tour of two studios every Sunday over the summer. There will be a linky to link up photos of your own creative space for an opportunity to win a great prize. Here is the schedule of studios on the tour:

July 6th – Patti @Retired to Quilt and Krista @Poppyprint
July 13th – Dominique @The Running Thimble and Cinzia @Deux Petites Souris
July 20th – Anita @Daydreams of Quilts and Lorna @Sew Fresh Quilts
July 27th – Shena @Apple Pie Patchwork and Katherine @Sew Me Something Good
August 3rd – Felicity @Felicity Quilts and Josee @The Charming Needle
August 10th – Janet @What Comes Next and M-R @Quilt Matters
August 17th – Erica @Happy Fabric and Jacqui @Treadle Quilts
August 24th – Leanne @She Can Quilt and Jaclyn @Jaclyn Quilts
August 31st – Pam @Mad About Patchwork and Laura @Waffle Kisses

I hope to see you on the tour!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Giveaway Winner

The winner of the $50 gift certificate to Mad About Patchwork is Joan H. Joan, I have sent you an email (please check your junk mail folder too). I would like to confirm your email address to send your prize to.

WIP Wednesday - Working on 2012 Block of the Month Blocks

I pulled out my Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Quilt Block of the Month blocks from 2012 again. Last summer I said I wanted to finish this and I got nowhere with it because we moved to a new town. So I am hoping to get it finished this summer.

This is block 3.

Block 4 has been cut and is ready to piece together.

Yesterday was Canada Day and our town had a big Canada Day party on the military base where we live. There were ATV rides, canoe rides, bouncy castles, a zip line, magic shows, stilt walkers and more. There were also horse back rides put on by the local saddle club. Here is my daughter on the horse she chose. Naturally she wanted the one with the fancy main. (His tail was braided too and he had maple leaves painted on his rump.) She even let other kids go ahead of her just so she could be sure she got this horse. :)

I am linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Last Day to Enter my Birthday Giveaway!

Hi! Just a quick reminder that today is the last day to enter my giveaway for $50 to "Mad About Patchwork". Use the rafflecopter in the giveaway post. :) Good luck!