Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fresh Sewing Day & Small Blog Meet

We had a little burst of productivity, chez nous. Here's what October looked like.

I'm happy to say that I finished my King sized voile quilt, and have been sleeping under it almost every night since. It adds the perfect extra layer of warmth over our duvet on chilly nights, but is warm enough on its own on not-so-chilly nights. This is for sure my favourite finish for October.
I also made some simple backpacks for goody bags to give out at my son's birthday party, some long-overdue cushion covers, and trick-or-treat bags for my kids.

I continued hand stitching T-Hex, estimated date of completion: June 2013!

I'm so happy that I tried a cathedral window pincushion, it really lit my fire to make a cathedral window cushion cover.

On the yarny side, I pulled out some WIPs from last winter that I want to complete - beautiful fiddlehead mitts. And because two sets of unfinished mitts is not enough, I started another pair for the baby-daddy.

I also started some Japanese x and + blocks, maybe one day destined to be a table runner.

The Pirate quilt made a reappearance -- every time I worked on a different project my six year old would raise his eyebrows and ask why I wasn't working on his quilt! His guilt trip was apparently successful and I got back to work.

I made up the little shark guy on the bottom (the pattern will be available to download next week if anyone needs a shark!) and still need to add some more elements and then maybe an HST border.

Thanks so much for visiting -- I look forward to seeing what y'all have been up to, too!

Lily's Quilts

Lily's Quilts


Put a shark on it!

I don't know how it happened -- probably it was the unrelenting rain last Saturday that meant I didn't have to take the kids out, but could proclaim it a movie day for small people -- but I actually had a small burst of productivity.

They do brighten up our otherwise very neutral living room.

I also scratched another long planned project off my list - I love, love, love cathedral window quilts, but thought that getting those smooth curves might be challenging, so I started off with one of these from the Moda Bake Shop site.

So easy and so cute! I shortened the stitch length for the curves and they went perfectly. The only thing i would change is to cut the centre square 4.5" instead of 4.25", as i had a hard time making sure all the raw edges were sewn in before turning it. Next, I would love to make a small cushion. Of course, that cushion would then have to be encased in plastic (like all that "good" 60s furniture) so that no sticky paws could destroy it!

The major project last week was making the shark for my son's pirate quilt. I still had to make the sea, and then enlarge my original test shark. All went smoothly until I had a little lesson in values (I'm sure you've been noticing all the blog talk about value quilts!). See what I mean?

His jaw and bottom fin are almost invisible because I placed them next to fabrics of the same value. I could only face so much ripping out of improv pieces, so I only replaced the one next to the jaw. I can live with it! I just have to clean up the pattern, and then I'll have it here to download for anyone who might need a little shark in their life. Who knows, sharks could be the next owl, hedgehog or fox! It could happen.

I think he is pretty cute. I don't have a firm plan for the rest of the quilt - paper pieced letters for my sons name, maybe a paper pieced Jolly Roger. An HST inner border and a plain outer border? I think it will evolve as it needs to. I think this quilt will require some hand-quilting, as I can imagine I might break some needles trying to fmq with all those seams!

Lastly, (I told you I actually got some stuff done this weekend!) I saw a gorgeous table runner with four Japanese x and + blocks by Liz of Dandelion Daydreams, and I have wanted to make that block for a long time so I figured I would give it a shot.

I'm not crazy about the block on the left, a little too pink and blue I think, but I do like the one on the right. I think the Field Study fabrics work really well for these blocks. I feel like I still have so much to learn about colour, scale and value and these blocks are a really good exercise for that. I like how Liz used a neutral for the triangle pieces, it certainly works well to tone down the craziness of this block - but I also kind of like the crazy!

Well, it felt great to accomplish some stuff this week. The thirteen loads of laundry doesn't count, right? Thanks so much for visiting, it is great to have people to share with!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday, and the Slow Blogger link up.

Knotted Cotton

The Lets Get Acquainted blog hop is still going strong for another few weeks - here are the recent and upcoming bloggers:


Oct 11

Chrissie from madebyChrissieD

Marit from Sew, love, live

Oct 16

Vicki from Quilting Lodge Blog

Liz from Dandelion Daydreams

Oct 18

Melissa from issa.ino: handmade

Julie from The Crafty Quilter

Oct 23

Tracey from The Peony Teacup

Megan from City Stitches

Oct 25

Kerstin from Sunset Sewing

Jenniffier from Jenniffier's Sometimes Creative Life

Oct 30

Janice from better off thread

Shena from Apple Pie Patchwork


Nov 1

Kelly at Live. Love. Create

Wendi at Bethadee Zoo

Nov 6

Gertie from Quilting for England

Christa from Christa Quilts

Nov 8

Pat from Color Me Quilty

Cathy from Cut it Straight

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fiddle dee dee!

Finishing up some WIPs from last winter -- I really want to be able to gift them this year!

These are the fiddlehead mitten pattern, I was struggling with getting the lining to fit nicely inside the mitten as the original instructions weren't working for me. So I got frustrated (after finishing two other pairs last year) and cast them aside in disgust! But I love them, so they must be finished. The best part?

That there is a Brushed Suri lining. It feels like you are wearing little baby bunnies on your hand. Sadly, nay, outrageously, my friend who works at the LYS tells me that Brushed Suri has been discontinued - sad, sad face. Fortunately, I have enough stash to last for a few more pairs.

Which is good, because I just started another pair for the DaddyO.

In case you thought there was no sewing content in this post - I would hate to disappoint you, so I whipped these up!

Halloween trick-or-treat bags, reversible with squared bottoms.

And lastly, do you remember this guy?

He is about to make his return ... Everybody get out of the water!!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday. Hope you're having a grand week, thanks for visiting!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

On Belay!

Yay, a WIP Wednesday post actually accomplished before 9pm Wednesday night! Things around here have been pretty busy -- this week was focused on my oldest son's birthday party. I am notorious for leaving the planning of these things to the last minute, but even so, this year we were fortunate enough to be able to book a rock climbing party at a local community centre. It turned out to be lots of fun for the kids, and relatively stress-free for me, so win-win :)

Here's the birthday boy, at the top of the wall.

And the siblings:

Everybody had a great time. For the goody bags, I stitched up some little backpacks based on this simple drawstring backpack tutorial.

We filled them with rock candy, pop rocks, "rock star" pencils, caribiner clips, trail mix ... see the theme? I tried to make the backpacks out of the stash: I already had the Ikea fabric, but I did end up buying the toggle clips to cinch the top of the bag closed, and the nylon ribbon for the straps, all in all though, not that much money, and there were only nine kids (and three of them were mine!) so it was pretty reasonable, and they got something that might have a bit of useful life beyond the party. Do you usually give out goody bags at birthday parties? It doesn't even seem to be a choice anymore - it is entirely expected around these parts.

Other than that, I have been plugging away at T-Hex. See? Last week:

This week:

This is approximately 1/4 of the finished size - I think this width is good for a throw quilt, and then the length will be about four times this. I plan to add a neutral border, maybe a grey, to make it a tiny bit larger.

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday, and the Lets Get Acquainted Monday Linkup and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has been working in this week!

The Lets Get Acquainted blog hop is hopping into its last few weeks, here are the recent and upcoming blog posts:

Oct 2

Martha from Weekend Doings

Oct 4
Catherine from My Life in Binding
Patricia from Quilting Lines

Oct 9
Foster from Foster Reviews It

Oct 11
Chrissie from madebyChrissieD
Marit from Sew, love, live

Oct 16

Oct 18
Melissa from issa.ino: handmade
Julie from The Crafty Quilter

Oct 23
Tracey from The Peony Teacup
Megan from City Stitches

Oct 25
Kerstin from Sunset Sewing

Oct 30
Janice from better off thread

Thanks for visiting!!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Not really a WIP, but...

A finish!

It feels like a million years since I actually made a quilt! (Actually, it was back in May.) My Little Folks voile king sized quilt, in all her wrinkly glory! I never thought I would ever make a quilt this big, but making it in the lightweight voile certainly made it a lot easier to accomplish. It is 100" x 95".

I had just enough of the pink Village Path voile (on sale from to cover the back with just one (almost invivsible) seam up the middle. I do like a nice pieced back, but I also love an easy finish!

I went to the fabric store to find a nice yellow print for the binding, but ended up walking out with some Kona Pomegranate. I love it!

The 25 fat quarters of voile were just enough to complete this top - I miscalculated the number of squares I needed to cut (of course), so had to go back to the scraps to make a few more squares. I ended up piecing together little strips of scraps, and included a selvage in this one square - it's my favourite little detail. It is so great, though, to use up almost every inch of fabric.

It has already been test driven on the bed - very warm, despite being so lightweight. And, bonus, it is big enough for all five of us to snuggle under on the couch.

As far as real WIPs go, T-Hex continues on. I think I am almost 1/4 done! Maybe pictures next week :)

And for a little puzzler, I received a fabric shipment from Spoonflower a couple of weeks ago, with this curious little return label:

Return to Malmo, Sweden? Really? You'll probably only get why I found this so funny if you're a fan of Henning Mankell or Wallander.

And one last thing: a few weeks ago, the playground at my boys' school was vandalized for the third time in two years, and part of the play structure was burned down. It has been temporarily repaired, but we will have to replace it. The parents and school staff have started a fundraising campaign on Aviva - if you had the time or the inclination to register and vote for our project that would be really appreciated! You can register pretty painlessly through Facebook and so far I haven't received any spam from them. Here is the link. You can vote once a day. Thanks so much!!

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday. Thanks for visiting :)


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hello Wednesday! Uh, hello October.

Remember last week when Wednesday came right out of the blue and caught me off guard? Somehow it happened again - totally blind-sided! Not to mention October. Sneaky little October! My partner will be home for a week for Canadian Thanksgiving, and that is good because I am starting to feel a bit burnt out. Which may explain why I have been so lame about visiting and commenting on all y'all blogs. And scrubbing the washrooms.

I have been working on basting little hexies - it's a good mindless, zen activity for evenings when I feel like all I can do is crash on the couch and watch tv. Plus there is a small sense of accomplishment when you see the little pile of hexies at the end of the night. Hello, my pretties!

The crispness of fall is now in the air - Vancouver has had an amazing September and October is also starting out to be spectacular. True vancouverites know it is only a matter of time before the grey blanket of rain descends for the next 8-10 months, so these rare spell of sunny dryness are to be appreciated. The beautiful weather made me pick up some Malabrigo Rios and whip up a Honey Cowl. I wish I could say I put it on my Ravelry page, but I have not. Feel free to friend me if you're on Ravelry too!

The Honey cowl is a free pattern from Madeline Tosh. This is the second one that I have made and I just love the warm spongy texture of this stitch.

This colourway is Archangel. I am going to marry it.
I am almost finished quilting the little folks quilt, but I have been fighting with my walking foot. It starts off okay, but after a while it starts to get a little louder and then, although it looks to be working the same, it seems to stop pulling the top layer as effectively, and then the top layer seems to get pushed out of whack with the bottom and there is a little puckering. Does that ever happen to anyone else? Do you have any idea what I'm talking about?! I googled this and found some threads on Pattern Review about oiling your walking foot. Um, well I'm not going to try that right now, out of fear of getting oil on the quilt, but I might try it after I'm done with this quilt, and then it can sit and drip oil on some paper towel for a while. Has anyone else ever had to do this?
Linking up with WIP Wednesday.

Now I'm going to go write myself a reminder that Wednesday will be happening again in seven days. Thanks for visiting!