Catch-up time

I’ve been doing plenty of sewing lately, despite the summer heat.  What I haven’t been doing is blogging about it.  So this is kind of a kitchen-sink catch-all kind of post.

I’ve worked on 2 more quilts for the Canadian Travelling Quilts group.  First Julie’s which was a lot of fun and very eclectic, and then Laura’s with its wonderful colour scheme.  I can only show sneak peeks here, in case they read my blog.  I am so, so glad I joined this group. It has stretched my creativity and I’m amazed at the incredible places that every in the group is taking these quilts.

Canadian Travelling Quilt

Canadian Traveling Quilts

I made a skirt for Thing 3 with the Pitch it to Win it contest hosted by Mad About Patchwork. My project was actually featured about 2 weeks ago already, but here are some photos of her modeling it. She wants me to make her lots of skirts now, and declared that it was her ‘most beautifulist skirt ever!’ so I’m pretty sure it was well received.

Front of skirt

Back of skirt

I’ve been sewing lots and lots of hexies. I’m up to about 18 flowers now and I have loads more hexagons waiting in the wings. It’s a great thing to sew when it’s too hot to iron and I want to sit outside and enjoy the cool evening breezes. Yesterday was one month exactly until my hysterectomy, so I’ll have had lots of practice making these by then!

Hexie progress

 

Thing 1 and I also worked together to make a table runner for my mom, but no pictures were taken.  It went together very well and she is really getting the hang of sewing on her own now.  It’s a wonderful thing to see.

Sew Canadian

I meant to blog about this sometime last week, but I plum forgot.  Awhile ago, Mad About Patchwork contacted me to see if I was interested in taking part of a blog tour they were hosting about the sewing spaces of several Canadian bloggers.  I said yes, of course.  And then I started cleaning up before I took some pictures to send them.  :)

Sewing area

 

Here’s a sneak peek of my tiny, main sewing area, after I cleaned it up.  And it still looks slightly untidy.  Maybe I’ll just say that I need the mess to be creative.  That’s legitimate, right?  Thing 1 made that kite a couple of years ago, in grade 2, I think.  She also loves colour, as evidenced by the letters.

Here’s the schedule.  I’m set to launch on July 27.

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

English Paper Piecing

I have long been interested in trying English Paper Piecing (EPP).  The portability of it, the high cuteness factor of the finished product, the idea of sewing something entirely by hand, these are all factors in my fascination.  The thing that finally made me start was finding out that I’m having surgery in August and the realization that I will go crazy after 3 days in the hospital without something to do, and packing a sewing machine is not feasible.

So, ever in character for me, I started to do some research.  What size hexies did I want to start with? (Hexies are measured by the length of each side, not their width or height.)  How would I get/make the templates I would need?  I decided to go with 1″ hexies: not too big, and not too small.  I read about lots of different ways to make templates, and also places that you could buy templates, and in the end, I decided to buy a Fiskars easy-squeeze XL hexagon cutter.

Fiskars squeeze punch, XL size

This has worked perfectly for me. It cuts 1″ hexagons and saves me so much time with scissors. It is also more accurate than I could be with scissors, also a bonus. I got it at Michaels, with a coupon. I think Joanns in the States sells them as well.

I figured I should probably make just a few test hexies to make sure I actually enjoyed this project. Well, as some people have said, they are addicting, and ‘just a few’ has turned into 4 full flowers and many, many more extra hexies after just a few evenings of work.

Finished flowers

1" hexies

 

Are they not just so cute?  I’m using 2.5″ squares of fabric, which fit wonderfully around the templates.  They are so quick to make, and the hand-sewing is very relaxing.  Also, awesomely portable.  And Thing 1 wants to learn how to make them already.

Lucky

2.5 weeks ago, (already!) I was at a sew day.  We came not knowing what pattern we would be making or what fabric we were making it with.  I was very excited when I showed up and saw that we were using Bonnie and Camille’s fabric, Scrumptious, and making their pattern, Lucky.  I have only recently started to love Bonnie and Camille’s fabric, so the timing was fabulous.  My favourite prints in this line are the bias stripes and the ones that look like flowers made of dots.  The colours are soft and yet saturated enough at the same time; the perfect balance.

Lucky - Bonnie and Camille pattern

At the end of the sew day, I had 6 blocks done. During the next week, I made the other blocks and then sashed them, and completed the quilt exactly a week after I had started it.

Lucky - Bonnie and Camille pattern

Thing 1 helped me mark triangles with my new Frixion pen. I received it at the sew day. I had been looking for one locally for awhile, but Staples, my local office supply store, doesn’t carry them, and I hadn’t ordered any online, though I was tempted to. It worked wonderfully, and Thing 1 thought it was awesome how the marks disappeared with the iron.

Lucky - Bonnie and Camille pattern

Both my girls wanted a picture of them beside the quilt, so I obliged them. It is one the more girly quilts I have made recently, so I can understand why they are drawn to it, since they both like feminine things.

Lucky - Bonnie and Camille pattern

This is my favourite block out of all of them. It has that bias stripe that I love, and also the zing of the solid apple green. So pretty.

Lucky - Bonnie and Camille pattern

 

I wasn’t sure if this picture worked out, being mottled in the sunshine, but it was a cool effect.  I was hesitant to take a picture of this top in the ash tree, since it’s so white and it had rained recently.  I didn’t want to quilt a dirty top, and I didn’t want to wash it to quilt it either.  So, I’ll have to wait with the ash tree shot for this one.  But she’s Lucky, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

St. Louis 16-patch

This is officially the fastest quilt top that I have ever made.  I think, from start to finish, cutting to pressing the last long seam on the back, it was 5 hours! Now, I have been told before that I am a very fast sewer, but that’s just crazy. It’s 56″x70″, so not quite a twin size.

St. Louis 16 patch

I used a tutorial I found online, at Sew with Sass. It was very clear and well written. I had a FQ pack of Dear Betty, by Darlene Zimmerman, and it had 22 FQ in it, so I used 20 of them, made 20 blocks, and plan to use the last two for the binding. This is not a typical colour scheme for me, but it felt good to push out of my comfort zone a little bit.

St. Louis 16 patch

This is my favourite block of the bunch. I absolutely love that stripe with the dots.  When I paired the fabrics together I tried to match a busier print with a not quite so busy print.  That way, from a distance, you can see the actual 16-patches and not just a mash of colour.

I would share more pictures with you, but I think I accidentally deleted some of them, because I only had these and one more poorly cropped, bad lighting design wall shot.  So I hope these will suffice!

 

Happy Birthday!

Today my little Thing 3 turns 4 years old.  It seems like it came so quickly for me, like she was just born a few months ago.  She, on the other hand, has been waiting for this day for ages.  She couldn’t wait to be 4!

Things 1, 2, 3

She came 2 days early, on my sister’s 20th birthday. She was the first of my children to be born with a full head of hair. She was immediately adored be her older brother and sister, and they have gotten along very well ever since. And she is a busy, busy girl. Always running and playing, and generally very happy and cheerful. And also very independent, which is sometimes a challenge. :)

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She was a flower girl for my sister-in-law’s wedding earlier this year.

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She exercised her right to do her own hair and played in the garden with Thing 2.

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We had great fun at the Mother’s Day Tea at her preschool earlier this year. She sang some nice songs and we got our picture taken together. She loves having her picture taken.

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She had her face painted and the year-end preschool picnic. A rainbow of course, because then you can enjoy all the colours and not just some of them.

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She also jumped in a potato sack race at the same picnic, on a team with Things 1 and 2. Thing 1 was the fastest jumper there, having the longest legs and all. :)

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And she loves to help me sew, and wants to run the machine by herself. That’s her independent streak pushing through. So far she’s been able to sit on my lap and help feed things through, since she can’t reach the pedal yet. But, as she informs me, if she keeps on growing, she will not have to wait too much longer until she can do it all by herself!

She is such a little character, that girl of mine.  So different personality wise from my older 2.  She was always outgoing and never shy, and she loves to talk to everybody she meets.  She is loving and kind and a wonderful addition to our family.  Happy Birthday, sweet Juliet.  We thank God for giving you to us every day.

A finish – Baby Ships

I finished the quilt for my nephew, and since I’ve given it to him now, I figured it was time that I blog about it.

Baby Ships

This ended up being a really fun project, and I love how the finished design turned out. Sometimes little mistakes make it better than you could have planned.  I had to re-design this quilt after I made a math error in the construction stage.

Baby Ships

It was a wonderfully sunny day when I took these pictures, so the colours are a little saturated, but not horribly so. I quilted it on the long-arm of a friend of mine, who generously lets me use her machine for a small fee. I’m still saving up for my Juki, but until then, it is a great way to get some of these flimsies turned into actual quilts that can be used for snuggling.

Baby Ships

It was sunny, but also windy. The ash tree shot didn’t work as well as I’d hoped because the quilt kept getting blown to one side. On the plus side, my grass is all green again!

Baby Ships

The wind blew the quilt off the fences too. :)

Baby Ships

 

It was very well received.  My sister-in-law and brother loved it.  I backed it in some of Sarah Jane’s Rocket Launch Club that I happened to find at one of our local chain shops awhile ago.  Of course I didn’t take a picture of that, though.  I even put a label on this one!  But you’ll have to take my word on that because I have to photographic proof.  It was easy to do though, and I’ve made a resolution to put them on all my quilts in the future.