Happy New Year!

It is 2/3 of the way through the last day of 2012 where I live.  2012 was on the whole a good year for us at the Apple Pie house, and we look forward to what 2013 will bring.  (2013 is, incidentally, the fist year since 1987 to have 4 different numbers in it.)

There are a number of things that I’ve been meaning to blog about for a few days, but haven’t gotten around to.  I want to amend what I said in my last post, about my mom not being here in 2.5 years.  She corrected me that it is, in fact, 1.5 years since she has last been here.  I admit my mistake.  It was wonderful to see her again.  The kids had a blast with her, and immensely enjoyed having her around.  They were sorry to see her go yesterday, and look forward to when we can all see her again.

River

I’ve not a had a chance to do much sewing lately, but I did finish off a few things about a week ago. These are some leftover Deco Shimmer pieces that I wanted to use up, so I’m going to stitch them together for a little doll quilt. I fiddled a bit with the layout, and settled on this. It reminds me a little of a river, the way it winds back and forth.

drawstring bag 1

drawstring bag 2

I made a drawstring bag, using the free pattern by Jeni of In Color Order. It came together very quickly and the instructions were very clear. I will definitely be making more of these in the future.

drawstring bag 3

This little bag is the perfect size for a medium sized bottle of Gibson’s whiskey, which my husband got as a gift for a co-worker. I made the bag as reusable wrapping paper.

Thing 123

And, last but definitely not least, we celebrated Thing 1’s birthday on the 28th. 8 years old already! She is turning into a little lady and becoming less of a little girl. Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

And to all of you, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year. Stay up late for my sake, since I’ll probably be in bed by 10 as I have no parties to go to. See you next year!

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Pink is now a colour in the rainbow

Yesterday I had laundry to fold.  Like four baskets of laundry to fold.  People who know me will know that folding laundry is one of my least favourite things to do.  So, like any other good housewife, I procrastinated and sewed instead.  The result was a productive and happier afternoon.  The kids may have had to dig through clean laundry baskets to find matching socks though.

I worked on my rainbow log cabin blocks again.  Pink is now officially a colour in the rainbow.  I didn’t think I had that many pink scraps since I don’t use it a lot, but when I opened the tub, I realized that there were more there than I thought.  I friend of mine recently gave me a huge pile of fabric, and there were a fair number of pink scraps in there.  I went through the tub and dug out the strips, and then cut more strips from the larger pieces.  I made six blocks, but could probably easily make six more with the strips I have leftover.

rainbow pink

My stack of rainbow blocks is steadily growing. I will make more red, orange, yellow, and green blocks, and I think also some purple ones. Then I will start working on a layout and see if I need to make any more. It is so much fun and so freeing to sew like this. And the rainbow effect is so fabulously happy! Just what I need for the shorter, greyer days of the winter.

rainbow log cabin 4

I’ve been working on the lighter version of the Road Trip QAL too, but I haven’t taken pictures, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. Only five more sleeps until Christmas, and only six more sleeps until my mom comes for a visit. She hasn’t been here in about 2.5 years, and it will be great to see her again. (Just to clarify, I saw her in the summer, she just hasn’t been to my house in 2.5 years.) The kids are super stoked, and have added a second countdown by their advent calendar. For some reason, Christmas kind of snuck up on me this year, but it is a very welcome surprise.

A gift in the mail

Yesterday, I got a surprise in the mail.  After the Canadian Blog Hop, Sew Sisters quilt shop asked me for my shipping address.  I was intrigued, but I didn’t ask why; I just sent it to them and promptly forgot all about it.  Then yesterday, I got the most awesome package in the mail.  Thank you!

Sew sisters gift 1

Sew sisters gift 2

They sent me 8 wonderful fat quarters, a t-shirt with the blog hop logo, and the most adorable little quilting pin. It was the most fun I’ve had opening the mail in awhile. The colours are so nice and soft, and they are great blender prints. I’m sure I’ll be able to find a great use for them somewhere.

QAL light audition

I also auditioned some fabrics for use as sashing in the light Road Trip quilt. I initially thought that I would go with the fabric in the front centre It’s a lovely soft grey hexagon print with a little yellow accent. But I thought I should lay it out with some other second choice contenders and see how I felt after that.

I didn’t like that there wasn’t enough contrast between the grey hexagon print and the blocks. I wanted them to stand out from the sashing, not blend in to it. For that same reason, I didn’t like the browns either. They were too monochromatic with the blocks. I ended up choosing the darker grey on the upper left. It wasn’t too dark, but dark enough to have the blocks stand out the way I wanted them too. Plus, it will tie in colour wise with the black sashing on the dark Road Trip quilt.

I’m linking this up to the Needle and Thread Network. It’s been a couple of weeks since my blogging coincided with their link-up, but it does today. So head on over, and check out the other creative Canadians!

Road Trip QAL, almost a flimsy!

I’ve been working on the dark version of my Road Trip QAL, and the top is almost together. I struggle for awhile on what to use for the sashing, and how to lay it all out. I did some sketching on a pad of paper, and finally came up with something I liked. I was inspired a little by Emily, who is hosting this QAL, by using a piano key type strip to fill of the gaps left between the smaller blocks. I didn’t want to have huge expanses of sashing, so it solved my problem quite well.

QAl dark 1

It’s not quite finished yet because I still need to add the last strip of sashing all the way around the perimeter. I really like how the solid black lets the blocks really stand out. It’s almost like they are just floating there. I will probably use the same layout for the light version. I might move some blocks around if it seems to flow better that way though. I also am still undecided on the sashing colour for the light quilt. I’ll have to do some auditioning later.

rainbow blue 1

I made a few more rainbow log cabins yesterday as well. I was surprised by how many different blue fabrics I had, since I don’t think I sew with blue a lot. Thing 1 really likes that little scrap of dolphin on the upper left block. It was the only piece I had, and it was so nicely fussy cut and everything!

A question I had about these blocks was whether or not I worried about the width of the strip as I sewed them together. The answer is, not really. If I had sewed a narrower strip on one side of the block, then when I did the opposite side I tried to remember to do a wider one to even it out a little, but that was about it. I didn’t really worry about value placement as you would in a traditional log cabin either. If the colour was right, in it went. I had enough blue scraps to not repeat the same fabric in one block, but if I had a smaller selection, I would have repeated a fabric.

I’m really liking how these blocks are looking so far. Thing 1 has been rearranging them on my design wall from time to time, and it is really interesting to see how her creative mind can work so differently from mine and still produce such amazing results. She uses the blocks to draw pictures, as it were. Yesterday, she used them to make a castle tower. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

Road Trip QAL: Finished blocks!

Yay!  I’ve finally finished all the blocks I need for my Road Trip QAL quilt.  It took me way longer than I anticipated to get them all done, and there were a few bumps along the way, but I can now move on to assembling the tops.  Progress is good.

QAL kansas

So, I wanted to resize the Kansas block for it to be my final 15″ block for the quilt. That way, I would have 4 15″ blocks for a medallion type centre, and then I could use the other, smaller 12″ blocks around that. So I resized the block and sewed it up using scraps from the other blocks. Everything was going great! I had 3 of 4 quadrants done, and then I measured the finished quadrants as I squared them up. Can you see where this is going?

Yeah, I had made a mistake with my math (again) and the quadrants were measuring at 8.5″ And I was trying to make a 15″ block, which meant they should be measuring at 8″. Arrgh! I couldn’t just size them down because I would lose the points. I finished the last too big quadrant because I figured I should at least get a finished block out of the deal, and then tried to figure out what to do instead.

I knew that I could draw a new, smaller, correctly sized pattern. But then I had an idea. I’m Canadian, and there was no Canadian element in this quilt. Not surprising, given the nature of the quilt along, but I wanted to add something. So I did a google image search for a maple leaf block. There weren’t any that were exactly what I wanted, but I took elements from a few and designed one to finish at 15″

QAL Canada

I made two the same; no light version and dark version this time. I used up scraps again, and the blocks finished at the right size. Victory! I really, really like how these turned out. Maybe doing the math wrong the first time was a blessing in disguise. Maybe I’ll end up with a pillow that matches my quilt.  Anyway, the blocks are done, so I will attempt to put the tops together this week. One step at a time!