So whats the deal with Ryan Gosling?

Now don’t get me wrong, I love me a little Ryan Gosling eye candy. And the meme’s are just hilarious and fun. I just wonder where the idea took off from. Was it the Spoonflower staff challenge? Or does it go deeper? Does it really matter?

I don’t really mind not getting an answer, I just wanted a legitimate excuse to go window shopping

er, do research.

For your Sunday Evening enjoyment!

 

From the Moda Blog but found on pintrest

From the Moda Blog but found on pintrest

Guess Who’s Back!

Well, after a long Christmas break I am back ready to rock and roll (and sew)! The last months has been a super whirlwind of sewing, cooking, baking and family. It was the first Christmas with our little one in our new home with all the family here (and only one person sleeping on the couch/floor). Then 10 days on the mountain with my parents and grandparents with no cell coverage and spotty internet, where the cards abounded! Its been a long time since we had everyone together for the holidays, and I forgot how much fun it is playing cards until midnight, yelling and scrapping and basically having a grand old time I BUY!! I BUY!! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

For those who play Pepper, these are two deadman's hands dealt honestly

For those who play Pepper, these are two deadman’s hands dealt honestly

Baby H got his first taste of deep snow. It was about 3 feet deep, but he is such a featherweight that he was able to sit on top of the pile. He was fine until mommy pushed him over *wink*

Not Happy!

Not Happy!

He also recieved a beautiful quilt from his Great Grandma for Christmas. Mommy loves it because its owls, and she used the Jenny Ski 10 Little Things owls for the border. H likes it because the wings are prairie points that he can flap and chew.

The Owl Quilt

The Owl Quilt

 

My big project over the last 3 months has been the Sawtooth Cat Quilt commission. I finished it and a set of pillow shams in time for Christmas ( December 23rd still counts). It was for my clients mother, who lost everything she had to a house fire. She has a very large cat collection, and Laurel Burch figured among them. The inspiration for the quilt was a panel I had in my stash of Laurel Burch’s Fanciful Felines.

December 092

The Pillow Sham

I had a major panic attack when I went to make the shams because I ran out of fabric to do the ruffle and the back. I was starting to hyperventilate when I remembered that Holly of Holly’s Red Bike, who is the President of the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild, had given me 2 meters of Laurel Burch Fanciful Felines cat print in the same colorway! It saved my sanity and the commission. Thank You Holly!!

 

The Cat Quilt

The Cat Quilt

Of course no quilt is ever fully completed without home special “helpers”, usually in the form of a cat or small child. This go round was the latter for me.

Mommy I'm Helping!

Mommy I’m Helping!

For those of you who downloaded the mystery pattern,  I am still working on the tutorial, and it will be up soon!

 

Happy New Year!

 

Stacey

 

Bottled Rainbows Quilt by Maureen Cracknell Handmade

Today I would like to share a quilt from Maureen Cracknell Handmade. Maureen’s blog is one of my favorites. She always has something creative, fun and inspiring to share with us. That she does it with 3 children makes it even more amazing!

Maureen Cracknell Handmade, Bottled Rainbows

Image courtesy of Maureen Cracknell Handmade

The Bottled Rainbows tutorial is one that many modern quilters know. It inspired one of our VMQG Challenges last year, and the resulting quilts are always beautiful and colorful. Maureen took Bottled Rainbows to the next level by using shapes and motifs instead of just squares and rectangles. You can read more about Maureen and her Bottled Rainbows Quilt here : Maureen Cracknell Handmade: My Bottled Rainbows Quilt : :. I love her construction techniques. You can also find the original Bottles Rainbows Post and Tutorial here.

Thank you Maureen for allowing me to share your work!

 

Cathedral Window QAL

Yesterday marked day one of the Cathedral Window Quilt A Long Blog Hop! Sara of Sew Sweetness gave us our first tutorial, the Layered Cathedral Window,  and I love how her block turned out! I have decided to use a consistent color scheme throughout the QAL. I am going to be using Limes, Aquas, Teals and Yellows. There are 9 blocks in this QAL, so I hope I have enough fabric! Ha ha ha, like that’s really a problem for me…

Here is my finished block! I ended up ripping 2 portions apart and placing the fabrics in a different order, but I am so happy with the result. There is some definite movement in this block! I love the lime green! It is an almost impossible to find Robert Kaufman Blender. I ordered it from Australia 2 years ago (the only place I could find it) for $20/meter! But I love it so much! I will use it in all my blocks, though maybe I should have picked a different color, Cathedral Windows do use up a lot of fabrics! There are 5 layers to sew through on each side of this block. I pressed my seams open using my heaviest iron, lowering my board, applying a TON of pressure, and STEAM. The result is a nice flat block with no seam bubbles! Hurray!

A huge thank you goes out to Bree at My Crafty Crap for hosting this QAL, and to all the sponsors for the wonderful prizes! You can find the QAL rules, blog roll, and prizes there.

I can’t wait for the next block!

Happy Sewing!

Rainbows For Maranda

I am part of a couple mommy groups, and one of the other mommies came across this. I contacted Patricia, and the little girl is in her friend’s Brownie Troop.

I know I get some international readers, so I would like to encourage everyone to take part. It will cost you nothing but a stamp! Lets help make a little girl’s dream come true!

Could everyone, including you big kids, draw a simple picture of a rainbow and mail it to Patricia Verhelst Box 355, Radville, SK S0C 2G0 Canada, by next week and I will send them all in together. There is a little girl in Saskatoon who is sick who wishes to get a rainbow from everyone in the world. Please write your name and where you are from on it. Lets make a wish come true if it was your child you would want that! Thanks everyone and please copy and paste this to help spread the word!This little girl’s name is Maranda, she is 10 years old and I’m really hoping everyone will do their best to make her wish come true!

During my clinical training, I did a month long rotation through the BC Children’s Hospital. Even three years later, that month has stuck with me, even more so now that I have a child of my own. It takes something so simple to make these kids happy.The odds seem so stacked against them, yet they shine through the adversity with bravery, strength and smiles for those who care for and about them. I will always remember my time there, and I know it shaped part of who I am professionally with my patients and at home.
Please, share this with your friends, family, and other bloggers!

Here is the address again:

Patricia Verhelst

Box 355

Radville, SK

S0C 2G0

Canada

And now for something fun…

My husband has recently quit smoking! I am very proud of him. He has been chewing a lot of gum to get through, so I bought him one of those big bottles of tablet style gum. Unfortunately its too big to lug around while he is working, so I made him a Gum Packet! I whipped it up in about 1o minutes. It’s super cute and hold 10 pieces of gum.

You can make one easily using scraps from your stash. You need:

2 pieces 5″x4″

1 strip 4″x4″ and a second strip 2″x4″ ( I used Kona White)

A button

a 1.5″ piece of 1/4″ elastic or elastic thread. You could also make a small loop out of fabric, make it about 2.5″ long to compensate for no stretch.

Instructions

Fold the 2 white strips in half and press. you will have a 2×4 and a 1×4 strip

Place the 1×4 strip on the right side of one of the 5″x4″ pieces, matching the raw edges along the 4″ side. Stitch across 3/4″ from the folded edge.

Place the short white strip on top of the tall white strip and pin.

Draw the lines for the ‘gum pouches’. Draw a line 3/4″ from the left side, then 3 more lines 5/8″ apart. Stitch on the lines from the top of the first folded strip to the bottom, backstitching at the fold for stability.

Fold the elastic in half and match the raw edges of the elastic to the raw edge of the gum pouches. Adjust the elastic so that it is in the middle of the gum pouches. The loop should be pointing to the folded edges. Sew the elastic in place securely by backstitching multiple times in the seam allowance ( within 1/4″)

Place the 2 4″x5″ pieces Right Sides Together.  Sew around the outside edge, leaving a 2″opening at the top (the top is the side with no gum pouches)

Trim the bulky corners around the gum pouches, and flip the Packet inside out. Close the opening with a whipstitch.

Press the Packet firmly, and edge-stitch around the entire Packet. Fold the packet in half lengthwise, RST. It should now measure 2 1/4″x 3 1/2″ and the gum pouches should be hidden behind the flap. Edge-stitch at the fold.

Sew your button to the center of the “flap”. The elastic should stretch over the button to keep the Gum Packet closed.
Tada! You are finished and have a funky fun packet for your gum! This will fit the regular size stick gums and the tablet gums.

The inside hold 10 pieces of gum

Fun Gum!

Since I whipped it up before hubby went to work I don’t have any tutorial pictures. You can always email me with questions!

Happy Quilting!

The UFO Problem

I don’t mean unidentified flying objects, I mean UnFinished Objects. And I have a lot. A LOT….the rule of thumb is no more than 3. Lately my brain has been in quilting overtime. I have so many ideas floating around and they are all coming out in different ways. The chaos of my sewing room is overwhelming to everyone but me.

Organized chaos is the key here……

I do love my sewing room. There is a special spot for baby H, a wonderful peg board installed by my father, a ton of space to stuff bins of fabric ( there are 10) and my Precious. A Janome 1600P Professional semi industrial sewing machine. It is a straight stitch only machine with 3 speeds: Fast, faster, and holy cow.

At the moment I have 5 projects going (that I can remember O.o;)

1. A reproduction of Claudia Clark Myers and Marylin Badger’s quilt Sparkle Plenty

2. Listen With Your Eyes by Jacqueline de Jonge

3. A wholecloth quilt design

4. A modern quilt for Quilt Con

5. 3×6 Bee blocks, Stars and Pinwheels

I also have the fabric collected for another Jacqueline de Jonge project, Circle of Life, and I have sketches for a quilt series (more on that to come!)

I am excited about the modern quilt. I have recently discovered a love of hexagons. I have ordered the Hexa-Go-Go book, written by the very talented Tacha Bruecher. She is a founding member of Fat Quarterly ezine (I highly recommend subscribing), and you can find her blog here. My block idea combines hexagons with my love of paper-pieced stars. There will be a sneak peak at the end of the month!

I also received a call from the Georgia Quilt Show. They received my entry. Fingers crossed that it gets juried in! I finally named the quilt Sapphire Star.

My patient husband acting as a display rack

Quilted by Julie House of Sculptured Threads Quilting

Until next time!

Happy Quilting!

Stardust Pinwheel Tutorial


This is the block I chose for my Pinwheel Block Swap on Flickr. There have been a lot positive comments and requests for the block, so I am posting the pattern here for everyone to enjoy. You will need to print 2 copies of each page to create the pinwheel. The templates are numbered in the order to piece them. They are also lettered but you can ignore the letters

You only need a basic knowledge of paper piecing to complete this block, which is why it is such a good one to start with. You get stunning visual results with any color combination! You can piece it anyway you like, or you can follow the tutorial below.

Instructions


Cut out your templates and place them into two piles as shown. 4 blocks will have corners, 4 will not. Pick out the fabrics you want for each part of the pinwheel.


I like to pre-cut my fabric strips. This way I know I have enough to cover the block, and I can chain piece my block. The templates with corners are numbered 1-6, the templates without corners are numbered 1-5. For the sake of the tutorial I will refer to the numbering for the blocks without corners. The templates are identical once the corner is sewn.

The numbers in the brackets indicate the position numbering for the templates without corners.

Cut your fabrics as below:

1 = 2 squares 4 ¼”x 4 ¼”” cut into Half Square Triangles ( yields 4 HST)

2 (1) = 8 strips 6″x 2″

3 (2) = 8 strips 3 ¼” x 2″

4 (3) = 8 strips 5 ¼” x 1 ½”

5 (4) = 8 strips 5″ x 2″

6 (5) = 8 strips 4 ½” x 3″

Start with the 4 templates with corners. Place the HST right side up on the unprinted side. Take strip #1 and place it Right Sides Together on the HST, as shown below. Hold the block up to the light, printed side facing you, so you can line up the seam allowance. Sew on the first line. Repeat for the remaining 3 templates.


Press the blocks ( no steam). Place a straight edge along the next sewing line, fold the paper back along that line (tearing paper from the previous stitched line as needed), and trim the seam allowance to ¼” using an Add-a-Quarter Ruler (or whatever your preferred method is). Set these pieces aside for now.


Take your 4 Templates without Corners and place strip #1 Right Side Up on the unprinted side of the template. Use the light trick to make sure the entire section is covered. Baste the strip in place on the dotted cutting line or in the extra paper outside the template. This will hold your fabric in place. Place your straight edge along the sewing line, turn the paper back, and trim the seam allowance. (It is the same line as shown above)

Light trick

From here on you can piece all 8 templates at the same time. It goes together quickly from here!

Take strip #2, place it RST with strip #1. Sew and press. Place your straight edge along the next sewing line and trim the seam allowance as before. Repeat these steps for the remaining fabric strips.

Here is a photo montage of the rest of the piecing process (‘Cuz everything is better with a montage! MONTAGE!) Enjoy!

RST

Sew

Press

Trim

(oops, no picture)

(oops, no picture)

Trim round the templates on the dotted line. Voila! 8 wedges ready to be sewn into your block!


Voila!

Place a no-corner wedge RST on top of a with-corner wedge. Pin together at the top and bottom by placing a pin through the points at the top (black) and bottom (white) so it is loose, as shown. Line up the seam allowances. Hold the bottom firmly so the pieces don’t move and secure by pinning normally.

At the top there is a lot of bulk because you have seams meeting as well as the paper. If you were to pin through all the layers you end up with a humped area that can be bulky and messy to sew through.

Bulk Hump

To avoid this you need to pin through the FABRIC ONLY. This keeps the pieces from humping up.

Through the fabric only

Sew the seam, pull the paper out of the seam allowance, and press your blocks in the same direction (this is important later!). You now have 4 quarters. Sew your quarter together into half blocks using the same process outlines above, making sure that the bottom points are well matched. Sew your seam and press in the same direction as before. Your points should match.

Sew your final seam, pinning at the corners and at the center point. If you want to make sure your points match, use the technique from the Wonky Compass Tutorial, or you can pin and sew just through the center, then open and check your alignment. If you are happy with the alignment sew your final seam. Press the last two seams in the same direction as the rest, and use the technique from the Wonky Compass Tutorial to press your center flat. Tear out your paper and do a final press with steam. Trim and clean up the edges of your block, and your done!

Where Does the Time Go?

Holy Cow.

Is it almost September already? Yup, apparently it is according to my phone, computer, and AQS wall Calender.

August always seems to fly by for me. There were the 10 days on vacation, 5 days waiting for a new video card after the crash of my computer, starting a new quilt for the 2013 CQA Quilt Show (in Penticton this year, only a 5 hour drive! Woo-hoo!), <—- Apparently Woo-hoo is not in the spell check dictionary but woo-bop is. Go figure. I also started the blocks for the 3×6 block swap I am participating in, and the name tag for the RATZ Swap. For those who want to know, RATZ stands for Rapid Tiny Zakka. Zakka means many tiny things in Japanese, so that’s what we make. The last month was needle-books, month before that was key chain tags. I am sorry I missed the needle-books because they look so cute. I am looking forward to the future swaps though. I actually finished my name tag on time and sent it to my partner in New York state. I hope she likes it.

 

I also received my packets from the Hoffman Challenge. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the challenge, so to celebrate for every 25 entries they would pull a name out of a hat and send off a packet of Hoffman Batiks and Sulky Threads. I got home from vacation to find this package at my door! I love the colors, especially the peacock thread! Batiks are my favorite fabrics, so I was giddy when I got the email saying I had won a prize draw!

I also found a second packet from Hoffman with my letter of acceptance into the trunk show and the goodies they send along: a beautiful cloche pin,  Sulky thread, and a fat quarter of a Hoffman screen print.

I am always excited when my quilts are chosen to be in a show. Even though I don’t win ribbons it is an honor to have my work displayed with some of the best from around the world. I was very excited in 2010 because my quilt Starfire was in the same traveling trunk as Fly Away by Jaqueline de Jonge, who you all know if one of my favorite inspiring quilters! Solaris, an original design, was also chosen to travel in 2011. It should be arriving home in October.

I have been participating since 2010, and I look forward to the new fabric each year. When 2012 was revealed, I was aghast. Its not that the fabric was terrible, its just not my thing. Right up Grandma’s alley, but definitely a few blocks and a kitty corner from mine. But that’s why they call it a challenge, right? Last year, when I had lots of time to sit and draft, I replicated the pieced inner panel from the Claudia Clark Myers/Marilyn Badger collaboration Greensleeves. (I did not include the applique.) Then I emailed Claudia Clark Myers and received permission to sew it up and enter it into the challenge.

I ended up going a different direction last year, but I found for 2012 it was the perfect pattern to showcase and at the same time hide this fabric. Again let me emphasize that while the fabric is nice, it is just REALLY not to my taste. The effect was charming, and I named the quilt My Secret Garden.

The fabric for 2013 is stunning, and I am so happy that it is in my palette. It has quite a large repeat as well as a huge amount of visual content in the repeat. I have an Idea forming for what I want to do. Now the waiting game begins until I can pre-order my fabric from one more of the online retailers. This one will sell out fast!

While I was away I started working on my entry for the Canadian Quilters Association Juried Quilt Show. I am making the Jaqueline de Jonge pattern Listen With Your Eyes. Here is a sneak peek at what I have completed so far! My color wheel has more than 100 different fabrics, not a single fabric repeats! I pulled all but 9 from my stash, somehow I was a tad low on yellow/lime and aqua. This is the original quilt, and I got the pattern here.

 

I also received my Glacier Star quilt back from Julie House of Sculptured Threads Quilting in Arizona. She did an amazing job and I highly recommend her. You can check our her work on Facebook. I am going to enter this quilt into the Georgia Quilt Show. I need to think of a name, any suggestions?

 

Thanks for being so patient with me! The gallery should be up and running in a week or so. As always, Happy Quilting!

This little fellow was out on my parents deck. The Mountain Bluebirds were out full force one evening, and he had a small run in with the window. I picked him up so he could get over the deck, and he is now happily living in the back  forest.

A New World for Baby Quilts

Does it ever seem like when one friend has a baby, suddenly everyone is having babies?? Not that I’m complaining, because it means getting to make lots of super cute baby quilts! I love the selection of spunky, modern fabrics available right now for babies and children. Especially all the owl prints. I love owls, and its so great that they are in right now! The only problem I’m having is that the owls all seem to be in little girl colors! I love how they look, but I don’t think my son would enjoy a hot-pink and green owl quilt as much as I would *sigh* so I slowly walk on past and find the blues, greens, yellows, oranges, reds and  browns. Don’t get me wrong, I love what they have for baby boys, such a breath of fresh air over baby blue, white, and more baby blue. But maybe they might consider all these adorable little owls Ok, I found that they do make all those adorable little owls in that palette! Zoologie from Robert Kaufman!

Anyhow, I digress!

One of my best friends, M.H. just welcomed a new little girl into her family. Born yesterday morning at 9lbs 13 oz, and she came in just under 3 hours, all natural, though not by choice I’m told! M.H. is a champion, and they chose the most beautiful name for their little girl. So yesterday baby H and I went to the fabric store and picked up some cotton prints and a pastel mint minky, and we whipped up a crib sized quilt.

I always make my baby quilts 45″x60″ ( or somewhere around that mark) because its the perfect size to lay baby on the floor to play, and when baby is old enough to use fluffy quilts safely (not until after 9 months) it will fit their beds and their growing bodies. On average, a 60″ long quilt can be used as the main covering until the baby hits 3 years old. Sometimes longer, depending on the child’s growth.  After that they are the perfect size to cuddle up with on the couch, floor, wherever your child wants, AND it works as a bed runner!

Since I plan baby quilts to last so long, I always choose colors and prints that are fresh, bright, and fun so that as they get older the child doesn’t feel that the blanket is too babyish. I always back with either minky or flannel so its always warm and cuddly, and I do an all-in-one backing/binding. I love this method, as it keeps the corners soft and flexible, and keeps the binding from becoming too bulky. It is also much easier than trying to use minky in traditional binding methods, minky is naturally stretchy and can be finicky.

Here is the finished baby quilt. I used the Turning Twenty block with only 6 fat quarters instead of twenty, and added 3 1/2″ borders. It makes a perfect crib size!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fabrics:

Urban Zoologie by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman

Good life by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake Designs

Hoos In the Forest by Doohikey Designs for Riley Blake Designs

Get Together by David Walker Studios for Free Spirit

Baby Safari by Carina Gardner for Northcott