Sunday, December 28, 2014

Behind on Blogging

I’ve gotten behind on my blogging again (surprise). I finished a couple things recently that I just forgot to photograph. I also have some really old photos of things I’ve made that I’ve just never posted. I’m going to look back at the blog and compare it to my pictures and see what I could post that I haven’t yet. Hopefully I’ll get caught up on that in the next little while.

One thing that I did finish recently and managed to take pictures of was another self-binding receiving blanket. I used this tutorial again from Shannon Fabrics. I couldn’t remember the measurements that I had used for my first one that I was so happy with, so I picked new ones - I wasn’t as happy with the final dimensions/proportions, but it turned out fine. Looking back I see I wrote down the first dimension - apparently I didn’t remember that I did that either.

This time around I used minky for the middle section. I had never used minky before, but I had heard that it can be hard to work with so I did some googling. Some of the things I read that I took into consideration included the fact that minky does not need to be washed first because it won’t shrink, minky gets fluffs all over your workspace (and floor, and pants, etc.), and minky doesn’t always feed nicely through your machine so use a walking foot, or make sure it is on the bottom with your feed dogs (what I did).

I made this blanket for a coworker to give her godson. The parameters/directions I was given were monsters and blue. I think I did a good job meeting the criteria.

Again, I was really happy with how it turned out and have already bought more flannel to make another one.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Shop Hop Continued

Postcards from Muskoka at Thimbles and Things
Each store had their own completed version of the quilt. They generally used the same colours for things, but would use different fabrics. We enjoyed comparing all the different versions. The blocks we looked at the most for the comparison were the campfire and the northern lights (not seaweed like I originally thought).

After leaving Orillia, we headed to Barrie. Our first stop was Simcoe Sew & Quilt. This store was how I heard about the shop hop. I found it when I was out for lunch one time in Barrie, and I have been back a number of times. They had the most gorgeous blue fabric they used for their water, but they were out when we got there. There kits did give enough to complete the tree block (which is one of my favourites).
Northern lights and tree blocks with
two blues, a green, and a brown fabric
The second stop in Barrie was at Elite Quilting. This was a lovely little long arm studio. They had a small selection of fabric - along with some delicious chocolate chip cookies. 

Campfire block
Brown(with gold), yellow/red, red, and blue fabric
Our last stop was at Country Concessions in Cookstown. This store was quite surprising. I wouldn't have guessed based on it's name, or small town location, that it would be so large, but it had a huge amount of fabric and supplies. The quilt designer was here showing her quilts and giving demonstrations. This was a good spot to end our journey. Unfortunately, it was so popular they had run out of kits. We put our names in and are expecting a package in the mail. This was also my favourite block, so I'm really excited to get the kit. I will post a picture whenever it arrives.

It was a lovely day with some beautiful scenery, good food, and great company. We'll have to see what the quilt looks like for next year's shop hop.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Shop Hop in Muskoka

This past weekend, my friend and I drove up to Muskoka to participate in a shop hop that was taking place. There were 6 different quilt stores participating and at each one you could get the pattern for one or two of the blocks, and you could also purchase a kit of fabric to help you make your block.

The quilt pattern was designed by Joni Newman of Quirks and Quilts. Here is what her original version looked like:
Image taken from Quirks and Quilts blog
I love the look of stained glass quilts, which is why I decided it would be worth the drive (plus I've always thought it would be fun to do a shop hop - and this one was doable in a day).

We drove to Barrie on Friday night so that we could get an early start on the day. We were up bright an early on Saturday morning, and after some breakfast were on our way. We could not have picked a better time of year to do the drive - the trees were absolutely magnificent.

Our first stop was 3 Gals and a Quilt Shop in Huntsville. Huntsville is a lovely town if you have never been - it's downtown core is right on the water and it is surrounded by beautiful scenery. We arrived just after the store opened (as did a large number of other people). After looking around for a bit, we got our patterns and kits and moved on.
Loon and Beach blocks along with orange and brown batiks
We had some car troubles (that's a different story), but managed to sort them out and made our way to The Muskoka Quilting Co. in Bracebridge. Bracebridge was also celebrating Colour Fest while we were in town, but we managed to avoid all the street closures. They had just run out of kits when we got there, but they managed to get some more whipped up in no time.
Cabin block along with green, brown, and black batiks
Our third stop was at Thimbles and Things in Orillia. Don't worry, we made sure to stop at Webers for a burger on the way. This was a lovely quilt shop - mostly in the middle of nowhere, but very spacious with lots of fabric and some great looking projects. I wish I lived closer. Instead of just a package of fabric, the kit included an insulated lunch bag, a water bottle, a piece of chocolate, a pen, and some fabric. They also had delicious samples of Fraktals chocolate (which I highly recommend).

Muskoka chairs block with red and blue fabrics
The red fabric was really cool - it went from a really
dark red at the top to a light pink at the bottom
That seems like a good spot to stop this post. I will write about the other three stops another time.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


I thought I'd finally hook my camera up to my computer again and show you those projects I'm working on (or rather have been working on).

This first project (like my other Project Linus quilts so far) started out from these two shoe boxes full of squares. They used to be more organized than this, but they have had 3 quilts worth of digging to mess them up. This time I pulled out the stack of denim I had and the plaids and came up with this:

The other project I finished (though I shouldn't take much credit for it since it was mostly finished when it came to me) was a flannel scrap braided quilt.

I got it in this state: 

And made it into this:

I managed to get most of the seams lined up. However, with the number of biases I was working with, it may not lay exactly flat.

Now I just have to let my lovely quilter know they are ready.

Friday, September 19, 2014


We often talk about how many projects we have on the go at once. Right now I have two that are in the middle of being hand quilted, one I just finished piecing that needs a back so it can go off to be machine quilted, and one that is in the middle of being pieced. But what about projects that we've bought the fabric for and just haven't had time to start? Or what about the ones that have been percolating in our minds for a while, but we're just waiting for the right time or the right fabric to get started? Or how about that project you started years ago but it has since been relegated to the back of a closet somewhere and you've either completely given up on it or completely forgotten about it?

I've been thinking recently about some of those projects that are just a faint idea in my mind. Will they ever even see the light of day? Will some of them just forever remain projects in my mind? Will I start them, with the best of intentions, but never get around to finishing them?

A large portion of my fabric stash has come from people who are no longer sewing for whatever reason. It's my favourite way to obtain new material. But usually it's also a way to obtain other people's unfinished projects. The two quilt tops I'm working on right now are two such projects. And as I sit and work on things that other people have chosen and cut and sometimes even stitched, I wonder what their plans were for the project. Did they start it with someone specific in mind? How long ago did this project get started (sometimes you can tell based on fabric choices)? What were their intentions for the project? Have I put it together even remotely close to the original plan or vision? Would the original person like what I've done with their project?

I've mentioned this before, but one of the things I like to do with the partially finished projects I receive is to complete them (in my own way) and donate them to Project Linus. I like to think the starter of the project would be happy with how it was finished (regardless of their original intentions).

I don't really have a point to this post. Just a few early morning thoughts I wanted to share.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Another One

After the success of the first blanket I made, I decided to make another one. But this time I did things a little differently. All the sewing was the same, but this time I had the new baby's older sister come over to help with the project. She is 11, and has a little sewing experience. She did a great job. I mostly guided, she did all the hard work.

We had a very fun polka dot print this time for the back of the blanket, and Hailey chose a fun stitch for the top stitch.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Quick Wins

Sometimes, when you've been working on the same project for a while, it's nice to have some quick wins.

On Sunday, I put together a self-binding receiving blanket. I mostly used the Cuddle Baby Self-binding Receiving Blanket tutorial found at the Shannon Fabrics Blog.  I used flannel for both the front and the back and made it rectangular instead of square. The backing fabric I made 41"x45", and the front fabric I made 28"x32", so altogether it is 34.5"x38.5". It came together fairly easily and quickly and I am quite happy with it. Now I just need the baby to be born.

Last night, I also decided to throw something together for a co-worker's new nephew. I have been interested in trying my hand at a tag blanket, but had never gotten around to it. I decided that I could pull it together with materials I already had. I got out my ribbon supply (thanks to anyone who has given me a present with ribbon on it), and my fabric, and set to work. I pieced together a couple pieces of flannel for what I thought would be the front of the blanket, and grabbed an extra piece of denim I had lying around for the bag. I decided to put the baby's initial on the denim with a piece of flannel. Once everything came together, the denim piece looked nicer than the flannel piece, so I switched what I considered the front and what I considered the back. Big shout out to Becky for helping me with my last minute idea - she handled the ribbon aspect of the blanket.

Flannel side

Denim side
Blanket might be a bit of a misleading word. I cut my squares 11.5", so that the finished square is 11". We felt that 3" of ribbon made a good finished size for the loops, so we cut each piece of ribbon 3" long. We pinned the ribbon tags in place on the top of the flannel square and I stitched around the edge, about 1/8" in, so that the ribbon would stay in place for when I stitched the two sides together. Once I had stitched them together and turned them right-side out, I topped stitched the outside. It really added nicely to the look.

 Finishing things really does feel good.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Time With Friends

One of my university friends is home from England right now. I was lucky enough to get to spend some time with her, and another friend, for the last 24 hours.

We picked her up and headed to Stratford to see Crazy for You. We took advantage of the Play On program which allows people aged 18-29 get tickets for $25. I would strongly recommend it to anyone in that age category. The show was very good - full of energy, great dance numbers, awesome sets and set changes. We've had I Got Rhythm stuck in our heads ever since the show.

Today we tried to fit as much Canadian food into what we were doing as possible. We started with a delicious breakfast of pancakes and maple syrup (along with fresh Niagara peaches). We then went to the store and picked up ingredients before making Nanaimo bars. We used the recipe from the Nanaimo, BC website, and it was quite good. I might skip the nuts in the bottom layer next time, but overall they turned out well - especially considering it was a first time experience for all of us. We then had Kraft Dinner and caesar salad for lunch. Apparently Kraft Dinner is not something that is available in England - how sad is that? We finished everything off with some maple leaf creme cookies.

It was great to spend some time just chilling with my friends. Now I need to go help my kitchen recover from the invasion.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!

It was my birthday this past weekend. I had a wonderful weekend. The weather was gorgeous. I got to enjoy the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale (which combines quilts and food - my two favourite things) with my family and friends. And then I got to go for a picnic with my husband (who I barely get to see these days).
Plus when I checked the mail today, this came:

I entered a number of giveaways as part of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day. This was my first time entering (or even hearing of) it. It was a wonderful experiences. I got to connect with a number of new blogs/bloggers, and I now have a bunch of new blogs that I regularly visit. Not only did I get to make new connections, but I actually won something! Thanks to Stephanie over at Simple Sewendipity for the wonderful fat quarters.

Now I just need to get a few things off of my to do list, and get my creative juices flowing.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


So, I finished the quilt top I was working on and set it off to my friend to get quilted. Apparently I forgot to take pictures of the finished product, so you will have to settle for pictures of the finished top.

It is going to be in a quilt show in a couple weeks, so I will make sure to get pictures of it then. I have never had a quilt on display before, so I am quite excited (even though there was no criteria to get your quilt into the show - it's still exciting to me).

I also got another quilt top pieced (going to Gramma's really helps with productivity), and finally put it in the frames this weekend. I was a little scared to piece the back because the fabric has a chevron pattern on it, but I finally bit the bullet on Monday (yay holidays), and it was not nearly as scary as I thought.

Here's a close up of my seam.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


On Friday I cleaned up my craft room (which for the last month and a half or more I have just been shifting the mess around). I now have all my flat surfaces, including my floor back. With that out of the way, I was able to start back into a project I started in October or November.

I keep the squares on a flannel sheet for easy transport
since they don't move around much on there.
I am making another quilt for Project Linus. This time I picked out pinks and aquas. I've had them laid out for quite a while, but I finally got them squared up, and yesterday I cut the sashing. I also started piecing things yesterday, but realized when I stopped for dinner that I hadn't set my sewing machine to a quarter inch. Thankfully I hadn't gotten too far. So this morning I ripped things out, and this afternoon after I got the rest of my house cleaned I started piecing again.