Friday, 30 May 2014

Sequin Confetti

Today I am having some fun designing my own fabric palette mosaic based on this sequin picture below. This is for a fun contest at Mad About Patchwork where you can win your fabric bundle if they choose your mosaic.

I chose to create a fabric mosaic based on this photo from www.design-seeds.com
 My Mosaic was made using the mosaic maker at www.bighugelabs.com
My fabric choices in a fabric mosaic I am calling Sequin Confetti.
I hope you like it Pam and Laura! :)

Monday, 19 May 2014

Long Weekend Sewing

It's the May long weekend here in Canada and today is Victoria Day. Normally, this is the weekend to head to the lake and/or cabin or plant your gardens. We planted our gardens. And I sewed! :)

On Saturday morning I sewed this overstuffed burlap garden pillow. I had made the yo-yos and English Paper Pieced hexagon flowers ahead of time. These were my first time sewing EPP hexagons. I've been trying a lot of new things lately as you will see further down. This is also my entry in Quilt Sandwich Fabrics' "Briar Rose Challenge."

Overstuffed burlap garden pillow designed and sewn by Anita LaHay.
 I used burlap for the pillow and jute ribbon. I am giving this to my Mom for her patio garden and those are common materials used in gardening but I have used them in a different way. This is a softer burlap which I bought in a decor shop.
A close-up of some of the yo-yo flowers.
 I used the Clover yo-yo maker (in different sizes) to make the yo-yos. Super quick and easy!
An English paper pieced hexagon flower with a bee in the centre.
 My narrower ric-rac was white so I used a pigment ink stamp pad to colour it green. The wider ric-rac is the colour it came from the store.
Jute ribbon for a border above the frog fabric.
 Quilt Sandwich Fabrics sent me the frog fabric and the orangey coloured strawberry fabric to use in the challenge.
Mom's Mother's Day gift.
 I didn't see my Mom last weekend but I am seeing her next weekend so this is her Mother's Day gift along with a knitting themed Smashbook that I decorated for her. (She's a knitter.)
My first ever Swoon Block. The start of another Quilt of Valour.
 On Sunday I cut the pieces for this Swoon block and this morning I sewed it. It took over three hours all together to make but I am very happy with how it turned out. This is the start of my next Quilt of Valour.
My first ever mini Swoon block. Made friends with Mr. Seam Ripper.
This afternoon I tried sewing a Mini Swoon block and although it went faster I had trouble. I sewed several pieces wrong and had to take out the seams with Mr. Seam Ripper. I was not a happy camper and it's quite raggy around the edges. I hope I can make it work in my "Design Your Own Sampler" quilt.

Other than that, we seeded a very large vegetable garden plot at our community garden and got finished before a good soaking rain came. I also seeded and planted bulbs for the flower gardens around the house. I have put all the seed packs into a notebook and plan to keep notes on how things are growing and producing so I have a reference for next year.

Happy Victoria Day! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Sew Mama Sew {Giveaway Winners!}

Wow! That was quite a week eh? Thank you so much to everyone who visited my blog, commented and followed me at different haunts around the web. I appreciate it so much that you came by.

The winner of the $50 Westwood Acres Gift Card was comment #322 (out of 903 comments!) as chosen by Random . org and that is Sandra. I have sent you an email Sandra.

I really enjoyed all your comments about Canada and I am sorry I could not answer every one. (I am still reading them!)

The winner of the hand decorated notebook and handmade card set as chosen by Random . org was comment # 94 (out of 146 comments!) and that is Cara. I have sent you and email Cara for your mailing address.

Thank you everyone for participating and for your organizing tips. Thank you to Sew Mama Sew for hosting!

My Blogger's Quilt Festival Quilt - Quilt of Valour

It's Blogger's Quilt Festival! Thank you to Amy for hosting this fantastic online event for all of us.

I am entering this quilt in the Applique category. I know long-time followers of my blog have seen this quilt posted before. For all my new followers - thank you for following! - this is a Quilt of Valour that I sewed this year and sent to a recently retired Canadian soldier who is suffering with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) so badly that he is unable to work. I think the letter I wrote to him to send with the quilt tells the story of this quilt best so I will post it at the bottom of this post for those who are interested in reading it (without his name). This quilt measures 72" x 48".


Pattern is "Oh, Canada" by Cheryl Arkinson. Pieced and quilted by Anita LaHay.
This pattern is by Calgary designer/author/quilter Cheryl Arkinson. It is called "Oh, Canada" and she sells PDF copies in her Etsy shop.


The light green block.

The orange block.

Here are a couple of close-ups of my favourite blocks. The maple leaves are appliqued in the centre of the blocks with Heat n Bond Light fusible web and then I have machine stitched in a zig zag stitch around each one in matching thread. The leaves and side bars are pieced with the "slab" technique that many of your are familiar with from Cheryl's first book that she co-authored with Amanda Jean Nyberg called "Sunday Morning Quilts."
 
One of the things I love most about this quilt is that it is sewn from scraps in my stash and it is fun to see each piece and remember which project or gift it was from or who gave me the fabric. For example, I won the Oakshott cottons in these blocks from "Little Island Quilting" in a scrap bundle during a "Sew Mama Sew" giveaway day. The sunflower batik was from a charm pack of batik fabrics that I bought in a closing out sale (sadly) at a shop in Edmonton, AB. The "Ruby" small dots in the the green block were in a "Moda Scrap Bag" that I bought while in Cold Lake, AB for one of my son's hockey tournaments. You can see it's been a trip down memory lane for me. The quilt is backed with a homespun plaid in forest green and tan that I got at a church charity fundraiser to benefit grandmothers in Africa raising their orphaned grandchildren.
 
I hope you like my quilt and will please consider voting for it when voting opens in the festival.
 
I won't post up a photo of the label because it has the soldier's full name on it. He worked as a nurse in the Kandahar Airfield (KAF) Hospital in Afghanistan with the Canadian military. Here is the letter I wrote:
 


April 6, 2014

Dear Soldier:

Please accept this Quilt of Valour on behalf of myself and all Canadians to say “Thank you for your service and sacrifice to Canada.”
I don’t know if you remember me. Your son went to playschool with my son.
I am sending you a “Quilt of Valour” that I have made specifically for you. I am also emailing a photo in to Quilts of Valour Canada so they can have a record of it and post it on their website. If you do not know about Quilts of Valour or would like to know more their website is: http://www.quiltsofvalour.ca/
So I’ll tell you a bit about how I came to sew this quilt. Before Christmas a soldier you may know named LCol. Chris Linford came to Wainwright to give a talk about PTSD at the Legion. I went to his presentation and when I was there I bought a copy of his book "Warrior Rising - A Soldier's Journey To PTSD and Back". I was very touched by his talk and I had him autograph the book “To All Military Families” as I knew I would share it and pass it on. I took the book home and looked at it for a while as I was a bit afraid to read it. I was scared that it would be so sad and would make me cry and feel sad. Finally, I picked it up and started reading and I found it hard to put it down. It was sad in parts but it didn’t make me cry or drain me as I had been afraid it might do. What it did do was open my eyes to PTSD and what people suffering with it are going through.

He writes about his experiences working in the hospital in KAF and being that you are the only person I know who has worked there I kept thinking of you throughout the book and wondering if you had gone through some of the same things as he did. And wishing I had listened more closely when you were telling me some of your stories at the poolside while our kids were in swimming lessons.
Just after I had finished the book I received the most amazing gift of a Juki sewing machine (something I cannot afford!) which was sent to me by way of my family who came out to visit me on Dec. 23rd. The gift came from a dear family friend who is dying of cancer. (NOTE: She has now passed away May 8, 2014.) She also happens to be a quilter like me so I feel especially close to her. She wrote a letter (that made me cry so hard!). In the letter she said that the gift came with no strings attached but that she would love it if I would use the machine to sew Quilts of Valour as she had hoped to sew more of them before she became too ill to sew. I wrote back and told her of course I would sew quilts of valour!
And then, of course, with Chris’s book fresh in my mind and having thought of you so often in the previous few weeks I knew I would sew the quilt for you. So I wrote my friend a text and asked her if she thought it was a good idea. (You may know that last year I sewed a Quilt of Valour for her husband.) She wrote back and said yes she thought it was a wonderful idea and that I should do it.
So there you have it. That is how this quilt came to be. The pattern is “Oh, Canada” by a Calgary quilter named Cheryl Arkinson. The quilt is pieced and quilted by me with fabrics from my stash.
I hope that this quilt will bring you warmth, comfort and hope. I hope you will enjoy quiet naps under it and cuddle with your kids for a story or a movie. Most of all I hope you will enjoy it. I have already machine washed and dried it prior to sending it to you. This quilt comes with “no strings” but that I hope it helps you in some way.
I have enclosed the book that Chris wrote in case you have not seen it or read it. I think it is also helpful for people who don’t have PTSD to read it so that they can understand better. If you already have the book, or for some reason it is not helpful to you, please pass it on to someone who can use it.
Take care,
Anita

 

AmysCreativeSide.com

Blogger's Quilt Festival Mini Quilt

Maple Leaf Modern Mini


It's Blogger's Quilt Festival! Thank you Amy for hosting this fantastic online event for all of us.

This quilt is my entry in the mini category. I designed and sewed this quilt for publication in Quilter's Connection magazine and it was published in the Spring 2014 issue along with an opinion piece that I wrote about modern quilting. This quilt measures 19.5 x 17.5 inches.
Maple Leaf Modern Mini designed and quilted by Anita LaHay.
I photocopied a maple leaf line drawing that I found on a free clipart site in different sizes and then traced them onto 'Heat n Bond Light' fusible web. I fused them to the grey (Kona solid) background and then stitched around the edges in matching threads. The red maple leaves are hand stitched around the edges with a blanket stitch (because they are special Canadian maple leaves) and the rest are straight stitched on the machine. I machine quilted around the outside with pebble quilting.

 
Backed with grey polka dots.

Crinkly after being washed and dried.

A close-up of quilting and blanket stitching on one of the red maple leaves.
I hope you like my quilt and please consider voting for it when the voting opens in the festival. Thank you for stopping by to see it.

AmysCreativeSide.com

Monday, 12 May 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

***UPDATE*** The winner of this giveaway as chosen by Random Number Generator is comment number 322: Sandra. She said, "I have heard people talking about going to Canada. I would think that the trips planned would probably be visiting the Prince Edward Island. I know that would be where I would go. My ex-husband is French Canadian and I know that if he were to go to Canada, there is where he would go. Thank you for being a part of the Sew Mama Sew giveaway and giving all of us a chance to win the $50.00 gift card to go fabric shopping. Very generous giveaway on your part"

I have emailed Sandra. I agree... Prince Edward Island is one of the top places to see in Canada. I have been there three times and once was for my honeymoon. :)

*** This Giveaway is now Closed. Thank you to all who entered. ***

It's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day (well, Giveaway week). Yay! A much anticipated event in sewing and blogland.
If you haven't been to my blog before - Welcome! And if you have - Welcome back! I am a Canadian Quilter, military wife and Mom to two kids (expecting my third this fall). I LOVE quilting! I can't stop thinking about it so that is why my blog is called "Daydreams of Quilts." I currently work full time at a Fire Hall as an administrative assistant but will be back to stay-at-home Mom at the end of June.

I thought long and hard about what my giveaway prize would be this time around. I know for myself there are some lovely bundles over at Westwood Acres that I am dying to buy. So I am giving away a $50 gift card to Westwood Acres.




Westwood Acres is my current favorite online shop. I have bought most of my fabric from this shop this year. (I am going to do a giveaway featuring a Canadian online shop soon so stay tuned to my blog for that in the next month or so.)

To win this prize please leave a comment on this post telling me something you know about Canada, your favorite fact about Canada or your favorite place to visit in Canada. This giveaway is open to everyone. The Giveaway is open from May 12 - May 16 5:00 p.m. PST.

OPTIONAL BONUS ENTRIES:
After leaving your comment you can (if you wish) leave up to four additional comments telling me that you:
1. follow my blog and how you follow
2. follow me on Facebook
3. follow me on Instagram
4. follow me on Pinterest

I normally respond to all comments that are not "no-reply blogger" but will not be able to during this very busy time. I'm sure you understand. Have fun for Giveaway Day (week) and best of luck! Go back to Sew Mama Sew to enter more giveaways!!!

Sew Mama Sew Handmade Item Giveaway

***UPDATE*** The winner of this giveaway as chosen by the random number generator is comment #94: Cara - who said "I follow you in IG" and she also said she uses Pinterest Boards to stay organized. I have sent Cara an email.

*** This Giveaway is now Closed. Thank you to all who entered. ***

This is the Handmade item(s) that I am giving away for Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day.

 
If you haven't been to my blog before - Welcome! And if you have - Welcome back! I am a Canadian Quilter, military wife and Mom to two kids (expecting my third this fall). I LOVE quilting! I can't stop thinking about it so that is why my blog is called "Daydreams of Quilts." I currently work full time at a Fire Hall as an administrative assistant but will be back to stay-at-home Mom at the end of June.
 
For my handmade prize I am giving away a Quilter's / sewist's themed notebook hand decorated by myself with Stampin' Up papers and Smashbook supplies. And a set of 4 Quilting themed note cards hand stamped and created by me with Stampin' Up stamps and button die cuts.
 



The Notebook.

Inside front cover

There are three pockets total.
 These are the four note cards:



This giveaway is open to everyone. The Giveaway is open from May 12 - May 16 5:00 p.m. PST. To enter to win these prizes please leave a comment on this post telling me how you keep yourself organized for sewing and keep track of projects you want to sew. I write my projects and ideas in a "Smashbook" similar to the one pictured above. But I still need more organizing tips and ideas. :)
 
OPTIONAL BONUS ENTRIES:
After leaving your comment you can (if you wish) leave up to four additional comments telling me that you:
1. follow my blog and how you follow
2. follow me on Facebook
3. follow me on Instagram
4. follow me on Pinterest

I normally respond to all comments that are not "no-reply blogger" but will not be able to during this very busy time. I'm sure you understand. Have fun for Giveaway Day (week) and best of luck! Go back to Sew Mama Sew to enter more giveaways!!!
 
 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Raindrops and Blowing Umbrellas

This is the first baby quilt I have made for my baby due in September. It is also my entry into the Canadian Quilter's Association Spring Challenge themed "April Showers Bring May Flowers".

 I put bright umbrellas that are being blown off kilter by the wind and bright raindrops on a low volume background. I used Heat n Bond light and then machine stitched a zig zag around each shape.
 I put sock monkeys on pogo sticks on the back because that's what I had and they're cute. :)
 I hand quilted dotted lines showing the raindrops falling. I used Valdani pearl cotton for this.


Quilt stats: I decided to combine the CQA Spring Challenge theme with sewing a baby quilt for my new baby due in September. This baby quilt has raindrops and umbrellas fused and machine appliqued onto a low volume patchwork background. Some of the background fabrics have raindrop prints too. The umbrellas and raindrops are made using a combination of Robert Kaufman Chevron fabrics and Bonnie & Camille for Moda's "April Showers" line. The quilt is hand quilted with a variegated Valdani pearl cotton thread to show dotted lines for the raindrops falling. The binding is a scrappy binding of the chevron fabrics used for the umbrellas and is machine sewn to the front and hand sewn to the back. All threads other than the hand quilting thread are Aurifil. The quilt measures: 30 by 40 inches.

Thanks for stopping by to check out my latest finished project. :)

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Bubble Dress for Improvisational Pleating Challenge

After a busy week of work and running to soccer and baseball practices I am happy to be having a "sew in" for Mother's Day weekend. Last night I was working on hand sewn yo yos and English Paper Pieced hexagon flowers. You can see some of  my progress on those in my Instagram feed or on Facebook. (Buttons are in my sidebar.)

Today's project was this adorable little dress for my daughter. The pattern is the "Bubble Dress" pattern by An at Straight Grain. It took me about 3 1/2 hours to sew including the improv pin-tucked pleats on the bodice. The pleats were very easy. An has a link to a tutorial on them in her recent blog posts. She was a guest poster on the Birch Fabrics blog.

 Here is my little girl modelling her new dress. I am so pleased with how it turned out.
 We went outside for some better light but didn't stay out too long as it is chilly here today.
 This is the back of the dress. She was so happy with it too. She told me "I love you Mommy." That always makes it so worth it doesn't it? :)

 Here is a closer shot to show my improvisational pin tuck pleats on the bodice. I just eyeballed these and tried not to sew through too many of the polka dots.
This is the contest if you are interested. The prizes are lovely voile fabrics to sew more beautiful dresses. I will be imploring all of you to vote for me once the linky opens. There's still time to join in if you want to.