Wednesday, 28 January 2015

My Valentine Embroidery Projects Featured on Sew Mama Sew Today

Welcome to Daydreams of Quilts. If you are visiting today from Sew Mama Sew I am so happy to have you here!

It's only January 28th and already I have achieved one of my big goals for the year! To write a submission for the prestigious sewing blog Sew Mama Sew! It's a dream come true. A big thank you goes out to Sew Mama Sew for having me today.

Now is the time to start thinking about what you would like to make for your loved ones for Valentine's Day. I have some embroidery project ideas for you over on the Sew Mama Sew blog today including a tutorial on the stitches I used and some ideas for what you could make using my simple (and free) PDF pattern. Here are some  photos of what you will find. Please head over there to check it out. Oh, and before you leave, there's a little giveaway at the bottom of this post.

A medium sized drawstring gift bag embellished with a heart and flowers.

A closer look to show some detail including French knots and glass seed beads.

An idea for a smaller project if you are short on time.
To celebrate my first ever free PDF pattern and tutorial being published on Sew Mama Sew I am giving away five skeins of embroidery floss (all the colours I used in the projects) and some white and low volume squares of fabric for you to stitch on. Please use the Rafflecopter to enter. If you do not have Facebook to sign in just sign in with your name and email address. This giveaway is open to everyone worldwide and closes Feb. 2, 2015 at midnight mountain standard time. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for vising me today and checking out my post over on Sew Mama Sew. Have fun stitching! I guess it's time for me to set a new goal... to write for Sew Mama Sew again! :)

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Mug Rugs

I have been happily signing up for swaps like some kind of crazy person over on Instagram. Some of the swaps are mini quilts and some are even smaller than mini quilts - they're mug rugs! Today I would like to show you some of the mug rugs I've made recently.

If you're wondering "What the heck is a mug rug?" I'll tell you... they're smaller than a place mat and bigger than a coaster. They're just the right size for a mug and a little side plate with a snack!

I said I would be a swap angel in the Festive Mug Rug Swap. Swap Angels make and send a package to someone whose partner has dropped out of the swap so that that person is not left with nothing after they fulfilled their end of the swap. I made this little mug rug and hand quilted it as a swap angel.

Here's a shot over by the window so you can see my quilting a bit better.

This is a mug rug I made for Lori at Sew Psychd. She had posted a picture on Instagram of a moose eating her flowers with the caption "THIS is why we can't have nice things". I made this mug rug based on that photo. I have embroidered some flowers for the moose to eat. I ran my fabric through my printer in order to get the caption printed on it. This is both machine and hand quilted.
If you want to print on fabric you can iron your fabric onto an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of freezer paper and run that through your printer or you can just tape your fabric to regular printer paper. Keeping everything as smooth as possible of course so it doesn't jam. I recommend using an ink jet. Then you need to heat set your ink with your iron. I don't know how it washes but hopefully it won't come out. I don't think it's a good idea to try this with a laser printer. (Possible fire hazard!)

This is the back of the mug rug. Tilt your head to the left cause it loaded in sideways. (You probably need to stretch your neck anyway right?)

This is a mug rug I made for the Instagram Secret Pals Swap. Every month we have a new secret pal to send to. My January pal (Stephalofagus) is also in the rainbow mini swap so I knew she would love a rainbow. Again tilt your head to the left to see it. Then you better tilt to the right to stretch out the other side. ;)
Mug rugs are a very satisfying little project because you can usually get them finished in one sitting. Maybe two if you do the embroidery. :)

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Showing you my Schnitzel and Boo Mini

I want to show you my "Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap" quilt that I sent out in the mail last week. If you think you are my partner and don't want to see it (I am in Briawna's group) then look away now! If you haven't heard of the "Schnitzel and Boo" swap it's a huge swap on Instagram that is just wrapping up now. I has 950 participants and is hosted by Kristi of the blog "Schnitzel and Boo".

Okay, here it is. I saw on my swap partner's Pintrest boards that she likes the "Round and Round" quilt pattern by Camille Roskelley. My partner is a very talented quilter so I was quite nervous making for her but I knew I could probably sew this one without screwing it up. :)

She really wanted Heather Ross' Mendocino in her quilt so I have that in the centre square and also in the centres of the spinning star blocks. (I think of them a ninja stars.) I used Cotton + Steel basics for the stars. I asked my husband how he thought I should quilt it and he said with bubbles. I traced some cups and bowls with a water soluble fabric pen to do the quilting. The binding is also a Cotton + Steel Basics fabric. This mini is 24" x 24".

I ordered some fabric from Heather Ross' Spoonflower shop too and made a zipper pouch. It's lined with the octopus Mendocino fabric. It's stuffed with fat 16ths and scraps of Mendocino that I didn't use for this project. I also decorated a tea towel with a band of Mendocino and printed some Mendocino note paper which I can't show you because it is peronalized with my partner's name. I am proud of this project and I really love how the Cotton + Steel works with the Mendocino! I can't wait to see what she thinks of it.

Did you see my post from last Wednesday of the WIPs on my ironing board? I said I really was hoping to get them finished. Well, of course, I didn't get them all finished but here's what I got done. I sewed two flying geese blocks for my bee that I'm in over on Flickr. I am now in two bees. This one is called "We Bee With It". There are six of us and we make two blocks a month for six months. February is my month. Whoo-hoo!

The January Queen Bee wanted Flying Geese blocks and she said we could make any ones that we wanted. These finished up a bit small at 12" instead of 12 1/2" but she said she really likes them and that it was okay they were a bit small. Whew! I was so relieved. :)

I used scraps from my Hazel block below for the yellow flying geese above.

Here is my Hazel Block. This will be part of the upcoming Hazel Quilt Along and Blog Hop that Angie at Gnome Angel is hosting in February. Head over there or click the Hazel QAL button in my button bar to find out all about it. I am so excited to be a part of this! My Hazel is not finished yet. She still needs her glasses appliqued on but she had to get set aside for a project with an earlier deadline. (You will see that one next Tuesday.) You can get a 25% discount code for the Hazel the Hedgehog patterns by signing up for Angie's newsletter. Awesome! :) Take that deal and pick out your fabric so you can quilt along with us. Incidentally, I will be sewing only with fabrics already in my stash and I encourage you to do that too! Let's Sew Our Stash in 2015! (There's a button on my button bar for that too.)

Alright, I think that's all I had to tell you today. Thank you for coming over to see my projects. I am linking up with the Tuesday and Wednesday Linkies "Let's Bee Social", "Sew Cute" and "Building Blocks Tuesday" (also found in my button bar - I love blog buttons!)

I am linking this up with The 2015 Finish Along. This was goal #5 in this Q1 Goals Post.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Whimsical Woodland Mug Rug Swap

I have been sewing my heart out whenever I get a chance and I have many things I want to show you. For this post I am going to focus on the things I made for the "Whimsical Woodland Mug Rug Swap" over on Instagram.

Inspiration finally struck and I came up with this little mug rug. I have reverse appliqued adorable Heather Ross gnomes into a little mushroom house and garden.

The actual mug rug for the mug rug swap. :) To reverse applique I just put my gnomes face down on the back of the project, stitched around them and then carefully cut away the fabric from the front. The edges will fray and become fuzzy over time. I like this because it's like we all have x-ray vision and can see into the mushroom and the flower bed and see the little gnomes that are hidden in there.

A closer view. I found the quote "Trust not in Sprites nor the Motivations of a Gnome" when I Googled gnome quotes. I think it's a line from a movie? Anyway, I love it for this project.

I just sewed this little needle book up this afternoon. Remember I said in this post that I wanted to make one for the swap? So here it is.
 This is a pattern in the book "Scrap Quilt Projects" from Vivebooks.

Here is the back.

I also decorated a tea towel for a swap extra.
This swap is going out in the mail on Tuesday. I think my partner will love it. I hope she will! :)

I am happily linking up this finish in the Q1 linky for the The 2015 Finish Along. This was number 9 on my list of goals in this Q1 goals post.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

WIP Wednesday - Sewing My Stash

Hello! I'm popping in this cloudy Wednesday morning to write up a WIP Wednesday post and show you what I'm working on. I have many Works In Progress but for today in particular I am hoping to get these three items sewn up.

Here is my ironing board which I cannot iron on at the moment because it has WIPs on it. On the left is my Hazel Hedgehog 20" pillow all cut out and ready to sew. This pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson. I cannot wait to see it all put together. I'll post more about this and an upcoming event on the Gnome Angel soon. And on the right are the pieces for two flying geese blocks for my "We Bee With It" Quilt Bee. The January Queen Bee said to make any flying geese blocks we wanted. Of course I decided to make one with 12 flying geese and that means for two blocks I need to sew 24 flying geese. All fabrics here are from my stash and have been residing here for quite some time.

I finally bit the bullet and cut into my prized "Sew Stitchy" fabric for the background of this Christmas Quilted Joy wall hanging and all pieces are now cut and ready to sew together. Again I am sewing with scraps and stash fabrics only.

Photos of cut up blocks are not very exciting so here is a finish to show you. This is for my "Sew Cute Birthday Club." You may recognize some of my recent fabric acquisitions here. The January birthday girl said she likes French Bulldogs, Elephants and Gnomes and her favourite colour is orange. Do you think she will like this cushion/pillow cover? I hope so! It's going out in the mail tomorrow.
I am linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and I hope I will have some more finishes to show you soon! :)

Also, today (Jan. 14) is the last day to enter my current giveaway over here.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

"Scrap Quilt Projects" ebook on CD Review, Giveaway and Discount Code

Hello! Happy Thursday. I am back today with another wonderful ebook from Vivebooks. This one is called "Scrap Quilt Projects" and the subtitle is "Easy mini gifts to make and sell". I love this book for so many reasons. Let me tell you about it and then at the bottom of the post there will be a giveaway for you to enter to win a copy on CD.

First of all this book is an ebook which offers many conveniences to readers such as an interactive table of contents where you can just click the name of the project you want to see and be taken there in the book immediately. There is also a supplier list where you can click the supplier and be taken to their website. You can also enable 'previous view' and 'next view' buttons on your toolbar and this will allow you to browse the book the way you browse a website.Those are the technical aspects that I like.

This book is fantastic for all skill levels. It teaches a variety of techniques for those just beginning in quilting and it has quick makes for those who have been at it for a while. There's nothing more satisfying than a finished project!

Now as you know, if you follow my blog, I am crazy about swaps right now. Usually there is something specific you are supposed to sew for a swap such as a mug rug or a mini quilt. Then it is also nice to include a few extra surprises that your partner is not expecting. These could be pin cushions, needle books, zipper pouches and so on. I found this needle  book called 'Petal Needlecase' in "Scrap Quilt Projects" that I think would be an amazing little swap extra. I love that it's not your usual rectangle and as you will see in the book it is actually not difficult to make at all.

If you are new to quilting this is a great way to learn about making Dresden Plate blades and you have a quick and satisfying little project finished in an afternoon or evening of sewing. If you've been quilting for a long time like me you probably still revel in your finishes no matter how big or small. I know I do more so than ever with three lovely little children whom I adore but who cut down my sewing time. I want to make this needle book for my Whimsical Woodland Mug Rug Swap and customize the fabrics to the theme of the swap (think gnomes!)

Another fun quick project in the book is this shopping bag.

This is a great way to learn flying geese without trying to sew a whole quilt when you're first starting out (like I did) and getting overwhelmed (like I did). Again, customize this with fabrics you love and then wear it out shopping with pride.

You can see in the book cover photo that there is also a Flying Geese Quilt and a beautiful Vintage Drawstring Bag made with re-purposed vintage embroideries. If you have found some of these treasures in your local thrift or antique shops and are wondering what to do with them this is a great idea. This way they're out of the closet and drawers where you can see and enjoy them plus they're now made into a useful item.

There are 10 projects in "Scrap Quilt Projects" plus a techniques section and a suppliers section. Vivebooks has generously provided me with a CD version to giveaway to one of you! Thank you Vivebooks!

They've also offered a discount code for 10% off the price of the book. You can order either a download or a CD. The code to enter is ‘daydreamssqp’ and it is valid until January 18th, 2015 (cannot be combined with any other offer.) Enter this code in the box on the basket page and then click 'apply coupon' to get the discount.

Please use the Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. This giveaway is open to everyone worldwide. If you do not have a Facebook account to log in with you can just use your name and email address.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was given a free copy of the book my review. All my opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way. The links in this post are affiliate links.

Thank you for visiting my blog today!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

2015 Finish Along Q1 Goals

This is my 2015 Finish Along proposed list of finishes for the first quarter of the year. I am linking up with the Finish Along linky at On The Windy Side

For January I am motivated and focused on getting all my Christmas things-that-I-wanted-to-make-for-myself-and-didn't sewn!

These things include:
1. "Penny Candy" Christmas Quilt which my readers have heard of before. It's the project that always gets put off.
Partially pieced.

2. "Oh Christmas Tree tree skirt" designed by Sherri Falls of This and That Patterns from her Holly Jolly book.
Fabric is chosen and cut into strips.
 3. Pink Christmas Quilted Joy Wallhanging designed by Angie at Gnome Angel
Just before I started cutting. I was worried I wouldn't have enough pink.
After cutting all the pink squares needed. It doesn't even look like I took anything out of the bag! I have all fabrics cut now except the background.

4. And while I'm sewing up things that were not finished in time for holidays gone by in 2014 how about I finish my Halloween quilt? I don't think this will be finished in January but for the first quarter it will be (I hope).
All HSTs are now trimmed and squared up and ready to be pieced into blocks.

And then there's all my swaps. These have to get done so I am confident I will have finishes to show for them.
5. Schnitzel and Boo Mini Swap
6. Sew Cute Birthday Club Jan, Feb and March
7. Canuck Birthday Club Feb. and March (we have no January person)
8. Rainbow Mini Swap
9. Whimsical Woodland Mug Rug Swap
10. Marsala Colour of the Year Swap
11. There's one more swap that I'm forgetting the name of (don't have my partner yet) - may roll this into second quarter.

Just as an aside... I have a three ring binder for keeping track of all my swaps and deadlines. :) It's very motivating! Everything is in order by closest deadline to furthest deadline with sticky tab labels and everything. I also put notes from stalking partners in it and sketches of ideas for what I might want to make. I love it!

Other commitment sewing:

12. Hazel the Hedgehog Quilt
13. Washi Bag (I think? Not sure if that's a go just yet)

And just so I don't end on number 13...

14. My Swoon Quilt
In all reality I'm pretty sure this one won't be done in the first quarter but I'm putting it here anyway and will likely have to roll it over to the second quarter. But you never know... super quilter powers may be bestowed upon me.

Oh! And 15. After reading through the list I also want to sew my Gnoma Claus Christmas throw pillow (out of the same line as the photos above) before I sew up all my Gnomas and give them all away and end up with none for me!

Okay. So those are my first quarter goals. Do you think I can get them done? We'll see soon enough I guess. You should like up too. There's prizes to be won! :)

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Monday, 5 January 2015

Are You Looking for a Bee? Are you looking for support from other bloggers?

Are you looking for a quilting Bee? Or maybe you don't want to commit to a bee but you would love a monthly quilt block tutorial series. Angie of Gnome Angel and Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts have set up "The Bee Hive". You guys! I am so excited about this! My husband was just shaking my head at me last night because I was so excited. They are running sign-ups for bees, or swarms as they are calling them, through Angie's blog and Alyce is running a monthly tutorial series on her blog.

Go to their blogs and check it out! Angie will be posting the bee details later today and Alyce has the tutorial list up already. They are setting up hives internationally. Each hive will have 12 bees and on your month you will be Queen Bee and will get to pick your block and colours. There's some fun extra details and I don't want to screw up the information to please visit them and find out all about it. If they get 12 Canadians there will be a Canadian  bee. 12 from the UK will make a UK bee and so on.

Also, Angie and Alyce have set up a group on Facebook called Quilty Bloggers and Instagrammers Support Group I am a member and it is fantastic. People are sharing information about blogging, online shops, websites, writing books, selling patterns and more. If you are a blogger or Instagrammer, or you want to be, or you are part of the online quilting community I recommend checking it out. It's a closed group so you need to request to join but it's all good! :)

Sunday, 4 January 2015

An Ice Cream Dress for the 6 year old

I have been meaning to sew this dress for months and I finally got it done in the quieter days between Christmas and New Year's. My six-year-old daughter was so excited when it was done. It only took a few hours but it kept getting put off for gifts for other people. When she finally had her finished "Ice Cream Dress" she was so happy she was skipping and leaping around the house. I wasn't expecting that big of a reaction and it was so touching. She even kissed me on the cheek! I immediately got to work on sewing two "Lazy Days" skirts with the fabric I had left. Both Patterns are by Oliver + S. Now she has a cute new wardrobe to start back at school tomorrow.

My very happy daughter in her new dress. Fabrics are designed by Aneela Hoey and are from the "Hello Petal" and "Posy" lines for Moda.

Here are her new dress and skirts in her closet next to her older "Briar Rose" skirts.

"Lazy Days" skirt in navy "Hello Petal" fabric. The skirts are so easy! And the pattern is a freebie on the Oliver + S site. These take me about 20 minutes to make.

"Lazy Days" skirt in pink "Hello Petal" fabric.
I think I have redeemed myself for not having the dress finished in time for Christmas. :) I look forward to seeing what she chooses to wear in the morning.

I am linking up with "Think Pink Sunday" at Flamingo Toes. There's a button to the right in my button bar.

Sunday Stash - Christmas Gifts

The good thing about ordering your own Christmas gifts online with your Christmas money is that they come in after Christmas is over. If your mail is like mine all the packages come in at once so it's really like opening gifts on Christmas morning again. I think Canada Post saves up the packages in Edmonton and only delivers them to my town a couple of days a week so those days are extra happy mail days. Here is the remainder of my Heather Ross orders. I actually remembered to get photos while the sun was up today!

I ordered these from Heather Ross' Spoonflower shop. The two on the left are Mendocino and the purple on the right is the frog prince from Far Far Away. I ordered them to be printed on Kona but now I am wishing I had ordered on poplin. This is my first time ever ordering from Spoonflower. The ink does not go right through the fabric. I think it is like it is literally put through a printer. So I'm not sure if it holds up to washing and wouldn't want to try to find out. I think I will use these for backings on mini quilts in the swaps that I'm in on Instagram. That said, I would order from Spoonflower again for sure. There's loads of great stuff on there.

Here are the precious gnomes from the Lightning Bugs line. I found this on EBay. Several of my swap partners love Heather Ross and gnomes so some of these little guys will go into swap projects. My sister also adores gnomes so I must make something for her too. (And me!)
I found the horses from West Hill by Heather Ross on eBay. Love these too! I did some quick sewing of a mug rug for the #festivemugrugswap as a swap angel because someone's partner had to drop out of the swap. The person I was making for love horses so I cut a fat quarter off of this to send to her. She actually owns horses so I know it is going to a good home. I was feeling quite virtuous in sharing my precious Christmas gift but I know good things will come to me this year because I shared. :) Plus, I think the recipient will be very happy so that makes me happy.
This did not make me so happy. I ordered a Heather Ross scrap pack on Etsy. The listing said she would take requests and I requested Lightning Bugs. When this came in I was like "Really? I paid $12 for this?" I was not impressed. So buyer beware I guess. When it says scrap pack you don't really know what you're getting. I started looking on the brighter side though and I think I can use some of these in hexagons for my Heather Ross and hexagon loving #rainsbowswap partner.
This Jungle Book piece really disappointed me. Clearly it is a piece of deconstructed pyjamas and you can see where the pocket seam was. Most of the images are not suitable for fussy cutting and if they are they have seam holes through them. Maybe I can do something with the upper middle part. :( I will be wary ordering scrap packs in the future.
My #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap partner loves Mendocino so I set about looking for some for her quilt. This is what actually started me on my current Heather Ross obsession. I bid on two fat 16th bundles on eBay and no one bid against me so I won them both at the lowest possible price. Hooray! This is one of them. So now I don't have to hoard save it because I have two bundles. :)
A closer shot. This centre piece is the focal fabric of my mini quilt. This print is called "Underwater Sisters".
Before Christmas I won a collaborative giveaway on the Thread Riding Hood blog from Sherri of Thread Riding Hood and Daryl of Fabric Spark. I feel like I know these ladies just from interacting with them online and on Instagram even though I've never met them and they live in Toronto. I won a pattern kit and fabric to make four gift bags. I sewed this one up today for my husband's birthday at the end of the month and it literally only took me 10 minutes.
You can see the four different projects in Sherri's pattern above. I highly recommend this pattern. It is very well written and beginner friendly. Plus it has cute little hint icons and tips throughout to make sewing these bags super easy. You can find the gift bag kit HERE. Thank you Sherri and Daryl! :)
I am linking up with "Sunday Stash" at Molli Sparkles

Friday, 2 January 2015

Christmas Gifts - Pillows!

Now that everyone has received their Christmas gifts I can show you what I made. It was quite a frantic time of sewing in December I can tell you. I am thankful that my machines kept going strong and didn't break down. Time was running out on me so I decided to sew very simple patchwork pillow covers with charm squares and quilt them on the diagonal.

A pillow for my Aunt and Uncle. It's a bit hard to see but I've appliqued two Santa gnomes who are peeking in from the side and the bottom corner. Fabric is "Holiday Happy" and "Winterkist" by Monica Solorio-Snow for Lecien.

A pillow for my cousin and his girlfriend. Again with appliqued Santa gnomes. Fabric lines as in above photo.

I love these fabrics so much! I am going to be sad when I've sewn through all that I have.

A pillow for another Aunt and Uncle. You may remember these fabrics from a giveaway I hosted that was sponsored by Country Clothesline in December. I ordered some from Sylvia after seeing the giveaway photo she sent me. The black binding was from my stash. Fabrics are from Riley Blake.

A pillow for another Aunt who has a French decor theme in her home. Fabric is Fa la la la la by French General for Moda.

I pillow I embroidered and quilted for my coffee loving sister. The embroidery pattern was free on the Wild Olive blog. I think she posted it back in May or June.

A pillow for my Grandma. I'm not sure of fabric info as these were in my stash already cut into charm squares. The binding is Kona from Robert Kaufman.

A pillow for my brother. Again, from my stash so I don't have fabric info. It's very reminiscent of our good times in the mountains in Jasper.
There were a few more that I didn't capture with my "real camera". You can see more photos on my Instagram and Facebook feeds (click on the links in my Mason Jars at the top of my button bar on the right). I also have posted a 37 second recap "Flipagram" video on my Facebook feed.

Thanks for stopping by today to see my finished Christmas gifts for my family. :)