Wednesday, April 23, 2014

#quiltjourney

I am so excited about this project!!  A group of seven wonderful quilting friends have decided to do a Travelling Quilt Bee.  What is that, you say?  Well, each of us starts a quilt top, in their own style/colors.  The piece is then mailed to the next person on the list, who adds to it,  adhering to the general feel of the quilt but adding their own flair.  In the end, a finished quilt top is returned to you, passed from friend to friend and made with love- the ultimate Friendship Quilt!

We have named the project "Quilt Journey" and I am sharing it with some people I have come to know well and love dearly over the past few years: Angela (@cuttopieces), Kaelin (@theplaidscottie), Michelle (@ilikeorangetoo), Cara (@meamom), Cherie (@wright_cherie) and Rene (@luv2kreate). On IG we are using the hashtag #quiltjourney.  Each of us has done our first part and mailed it on, and I have also done my section of Cara's quilt.  We have a month or so with each....I am already impatient to see it develop!!

Very exciting, but also very scary.  Because this Type A girl has to relinquish CONTROL.   Yes, no Ms. Bossy Pants allowed in this project, gotta go with the flow.  And also, for the other quilts, I am going to have to try new things outside of my comfort zone to be true to the style and wishes of my friends, as we all have our own styles and tastes.  And the added pressure that they are all going to see my crappy seams and piecing, lol!

This is going to be GREAT. :)

My first job for MY quilt top was to pick a colour palate.  I had fun going through my stash, and decided on purples, pinks, navy and shots of lime green, with lots of low volume fabrics mixed in:


Next, it was time to pick a STYLE.  Hard one.  After much debate (and with the song "Let it Go" from Frozen on repeat in my head), I decided that if I was going to relinquish control, what better type of quilt to start than an improv style one??  I made some paper pieced blocks in the "x" style I used for my latest Epic Bag, and put them together in a wonky manner, irregularly spaced:



To this, I added a side border, using some of the same fabrics.


I love some of the cheeky (very ME) details....like the words in this bit of text fabric added (designed by my friend Berene @happysewlucky on Spoonflower).



Can I just say how much I am loving this so far?!?!  Ultimately, I hope everyone adds chunks of improv blocks in their own fabrics and styles and adds their signature to my quilt top!  I am sure it will be fabulous.

I think one of my FAVORITE aspects of this project is that we also send along a journal.  Inside, we can write whatever we want, really- inspiration, fabrics, colours.  What we are doing in this season, the weather. Thoughts about the person the quilt top belongs to. And so on. A little bit of a diary of the process to look back on for years to come!


So now, whatever the outcome, it is out of my hands and in the mail to its first destination, Rene in Texas!  Have fun with it, friends!  xoxo



Monday, April 21, 2014

swap package for Krista F!

I had the good fortune of meeting Krista of Spotted Stones Studio when in Loon Lake last November!  She is not only an incredibly talented quilter with an amazing eye for colour, but she is also a sweet and genuine person.  I just love her.

When she uttered the hint of the word "swap" in regards to my Snowfling mittens, I jumped at the chance to offer to make her some as part of a swap.  I knew they would be well used and appreciated by her up in Alaska!  She picked her colours, cobalt blue and grey on the outside with a bright turquoise lining,  and away I went, slowly picking away at them over the past few months.  Finally, they are finished- in time for spring of course!




I packaged them up along with some other goodies and away they went.  In exchange, Krista is working on some form of quilting project for me....it is all top secret, I have given her full control over project, colours and design because I don't want to limit her creativity- everything she makes is epic so I know whatever the result, I will love it!


Thanks for the opportunity to swap, Krista!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sproutlette dress

I kind of have a girl-crush on Tanis....she makes the prettiest yarn, designs the sweetest patterns, is a master at photographing them, and she has a very cute little one year old boy who doesn't look half as bratty as my munchkins ;)

When I saw her release the Sproutlette pattern, my heart skipped a beat.  I think it is the cutest baby girl dress EVER.  Because let's face it, knit dresses can go the way of....tacky.  But this one is just precious.  Especially paired with her lovely pink grapefruit yarn. A few friends were expecting babies and I knew one was bound to be a girl, so I cast on.




This one was slow going.  It uses a finer yarn than I normally choose, and there are a lot of details to pay attention to.  But as you see the shapes unfold- pure magic. The leaf hem, the eyelets, the button closure on the keyhole back- all such amazing details.


A little girl was born recently and this sweet little dress will be gifted to her.  I hope she likes it!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

snap!

Just a wee, quick project for fun!


Bought some flex frames from here and decided to make mini coin purses.  You just apply a little pressure to the sides and they pop open- kind of fun!


I paired some Melody Miller fabrics with some genuine leather scraps and some Liberty lining. And in a snap, they were done!


One for me and two were shared with friends :)



Monday, April 14, 2014

sewn: epic bag #2

The original of these bags, my own design, was made for me, and you can see it here.  I have used it faithfully every day since, and I can honestly say that it is my favourite bag ever, made OR bought.  Perfect size, weight and just fun to look at.  I still have it in my head that I will make this into a pattern, and needed to refresh my memory on exactly how I made it! So I decided to make another for my "hitchhiking" friend's 40th in her favourite bright oranges.




I started with a small panel of piecing to use for the front pocket.  Paired it with some Essex linen and some hand stitching to make a fun and distinctive bag.



Added some accent handles and some hardware and some patchwork detail on the back.


Inside is a multitude of pockets, both zipped and slip.  The top also has a zipper to hold contents in securely.


It can be carried by the short handles over the arm or worn cross body as a messenger, resulting in this "fold over" look:


Wish I had planned and taken some pictures of it "worn" before it was gifted but all I have are these iPhone bathroom shots, complete with sweat pants full of thread, lol!


Anyways.

Love this bag.

It was loved by my friend, and I am happy to know we will be sporting sister bags even when we are across the country from each other xoxo

Friday, April 11, 2014

sewn: wet bags!

We have a few people in our lives who have had some babies recently or are expecting them soon.  I wanted some simple handmade gifts that would be practical, useful and not too labour-intensive for me to make!  I decided on wet bags- pretty zipped pouches lined with waterproof fabrics, perfect for toting those wet cloth diapers, soiled clothes, or even wet bathing suits.



We took the supplies out to the lake with us, and I was so excited to sew on my new/old table, a banged up antique drop leaf table I scored for $10.  Beautiful and sturdy ;)



The Middle Child wanted to be involved and so she helped choose coordinating fabrics and zippers.  She was so enthusiastic about helping with the sewing and pressing.  In her excitement, about 3 minutes in, she forgot that irons are hot and left it face down on the table......



Grr.  Good thing it was already "rustic."  Took a bit of scraping and four letter words to get the varnish off the iron, but soon enough we were back at it, and made a bounty of bags for the day.  I even pulled out some of my favourite and hoarded Heather Ross fabrics for the occasion! It felt good to USE them.



So here we have it!  I did some larger and some smaller sized bags.

For the girls:



Just love how the "just stay little" made it perfectly onto the handle :)




And for the boys:



The inner waterproof fabric:



Looking forward to gifting these and hope that they will be put to good use!


Thursday, April 10, 2014

spring break at the lake

I admit it hardly looks like spring around here....after the "coldest winter in 100 years" we have heaps of snow BUT, it really IS starting to melt!

Regardless of the weather, the calendar says it is spring and Spring Break has come and gone. Time for some mini-breaks out at the cottage!

First a weekend, just me and a long time girlfriend.  I am sure you all have one like her....friends so long you are more like sisters, she knows all your secrets and was the one you always found the trouble with?  This is her.  Back in town for a visit that coincided with her 40th bday, we had to have an escape, just the two of us.  So we piled into The Hubs' truck and beelined for the cottage!

I guess I should have checked the gas tank first....

So another first, at 40- hitchhiking!  Yes, ran out of gas on the highway and had to hitch a ride to the next gas station to fill up, jerry-can style.



But we had much good fortune- the sky was blue, the day was mild, and we barely had a chance to snap this selfie with thumbs out before a sweet lady stopped and offered us a ride, to the gas station and back!



So we filled up, made some new friends, and went on to have a fabulous time.  Ah, memories!!


Later that week, we took a couple days off work and returned to the lake with the family. Much less "eventful."  Enjoyed some family time in the great outdoors, ice fishing, building snowmen, enjoying sunsets and snowshoeing on the lake. Still 4 feet of ice on it!










Also had the opportunity to visit with friends and family, curl up by the fire and watch movies, bake fresh banana bread (in our Anna Maria Horner aprons), knit and sew.





Such a relaxing break, even for our four legged family!


Tomorrow I will show you what was sewn :)