Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Home Made Christmas: Part 2

Okay, I meant to write this post before Christmas, but you all know how life goes, right? So here are a few more gifts I made for my family this year.

First, a couple of pillows for my sister. She requested brown, cream and a hint of red. The first is a simple zig zag. For some reason I have a huge amount of that MM print in my stash, so I put it to good use. Background is Kona Bone.

The second is a simple wonky square, using up some of my red and brown scraps. It's my favourite. I LOVE it. And word is that my sister loves it too.

I also made my niece a wonky star doll quilt. I used some of my favourite Munki Munki for the centres of the stars and then raided my scrap bins. The background is an unknown light pink solid.

The quilting is very dense (probably too dense for a doll quilt). I wanted to practice my loops and stars. 


I just adore those Munki prints...perfect for a little girl. And a big 30-ish girl too.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday. I was so thankful to spend it with my family. But I'm happy to be home. Can't wait to read everyone's 2010 wrap-up posts.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Home Made Christmas: Part One

I tried my best this year to make as many homemade gifts as possible. Here are a couple of them:

A car cozy for my godson:

I used this tutorial with a few simple changes. I put an "S" for his name on the outside, and instead of ties, I added small tag and velcro for the closure. I also used a scrap of fusible fleece and quilting weight fabric instead of denim and canvas.

This is a fun, fast project. And judging by how much my own kids played with it before I got it wrapped, it's a hit with kids.

I also made a quick tote bag for my mom. She saw a bag she liked in Patchwork Style by Suzuko Koseki and this is my interpretation of it. (I'd already returned the book to the library...)
 I love the combination of grey, black, white and aqua. Okay, I love anything with aqua in it!

I have a few other things to show you over the next couple of days. Enjoy the holiday season.

Give Away Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway for SMS Give Away Day. There were an amazing 513 entries.

The winner of the fabric bundle is #455:
Joanna said... 
For Christmas I am hoping for a new TV since our old one broke and for a few months we have been using an old 13 inch one!!! I am hinting quite strongly to the hubster :) Congratulations Joanna. I'll send you an email right away so I can send you your prize.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Give Away Day

The Give Away is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered. I'll post a winner asap.

It's the most wonderful time of the year....Welcome to Give Away Day at Quilting Barbie. Up for grabs are four Fat Quarters (Canadian sized...bigger...just like our football fields) from my stash.

***Sorry for the terrible photo, I just wanted to make sure I got this post up on Sunday so I wouldn't have to wake up ridiculously early to make the 9am Eastern deadline. It's dark here in the Great White North. I'll post a better one on Monday. I promise***

They are from top to bottom:
  • Heather Ross Brown Flowers from Lightning Bugs and Other Mysteries
  • Michael Miller Owls
  • MoMo Freebird
  • Joel Dewberry Broad Stripe

To enter:
  1. Leave a comment...tell me what you'd like for Christmas. Or just say hi.
  2. Make sure I have a way to contact you.
  3. Have fun entering all the give aways. And good luck!
  4. Give Away open until December 17 and then I'll chose a winner randomly.
  5. I'll ship anywhere in this beautiful world of ours.

Monday, December 6, 2010


I just saw the announcement for the SMS Give-Away Day next week. I LOVE Give-Away Day (let's just say the kids watch at least one movie that day), and I've been lucky enough to win a few prizes too.

I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not I'll participate this time. Are you joining in? If so, what are you giving away?

My Give-Away Package from May 2010. Granted the bag is pretty ugly, but the fabrics are lovely.
If I do participate, I'm also not sure what I should give away. What do you like to win? Fabric? Something homemade? If so, what? 
And finally thank you to all of those who gave great advice about taking pictures from my last post!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Finished Pillow

I finished up my pillow for Pillow Talk Swap 4 last week. I've had a terrible time trying to get good photos...the snow outside makes it impossible for me to do an outdoor photo shoot, and I can't seem to get good shots inside. Any suggestions from seasoned photographers?

I added patchwork border in aqua, orange and pink and then finished it up with some Kona Snow. You almost, just almost, need sunglasses to look at this pillow it is so bright. But I think my partner will like it...she said she likes colour and I took her word for it.

The back was inspired/copied from this gorgeous pillow. I used my new favourite colour combo of yellow and aqua and a heaping of Kona Snow.

The pillow finished just under 20" square. I only have an 18" pillow form, but I think it would fill out beautifully with a 20" form. Now I just have to put together some goodies for my partner and it will be in the mail.

Finally, because I'm curious nosy, I'm wondering, did you take advantage to all of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday fabric sales? I was so, so, so tempted. I even filled up a few carts over at Sew Mama Sew and only to cancel my order. In the end, I just made one impulse buy at Solidia's Etsy store for some hard to find fabric.

I admit, those sales were so hard to resist. But I really am trying to be more responsible with my fabric purchases. One look around my sewing room shows that I already have more fabric than I can use. And just when I was thinking about the expense of my hobby, I came home to read this fabulous post about money and crafting by Jacqui at Hazelnuts (an Edmonton girl living in New Zealand). Go and have a read (the comments too) is thought-provoking and it helped me to be thankful for what I have instead of lusting over all the gorgeous fabric on sale all over the internet.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Friday, November 26, 2010

A few handmade gifts....

My mom was here last week and it gave me a chance to make a couple of handmade gifts while she played with the kids. (Thank you, Mom!)

I found this great tutorial through flickr and I made two cute box tote bags. The first one is for my cousin's birthday. She loves green so I chose a sweet Nicey Jane print. The tote is fully lined (I used a Kaffe Fassed Aboriginal Dot) and it is a perfect size for pencils, bath stuff, etc.

The second is for one of my dearest friends. She is a vet and an equestrian so I dived into my HR stash for her little bag. It is lined with a cute Michael Miller flower/paisley print. I filled it with some lovelies from the Body Shop and mailed it a full 2 weeks before her birthday. That in itself is a miracle...I am always late with birthday presents. Especially homemade ones.

And finally, my mom arrived at my house with her knitting in a plastic bag. I couldn't let that stand. She asked for aqua and red and I threw in a whole bunch of pink (because I seem to have a bunch of pink scraps) and made a quick drawstring bag. (I used the principles from this tutorial and just made the bag with scraps and a bit bigger).

Side 1:

Side 2:

I've also finished up my pillow for the Pillow Talk Swap but the pictures I took this afternoon are horrible. (Singing, "All I want for Christmas is a fancy camera....") I'll try to get some new photos tomorrow with better light and I'll show them to you asap.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Improved Nine Patch

Can you tell I found my Double Wedding Ring Template set this weekend? Remember when I made this block at a class two summers ago? (and no, I still haven't made any more...) 

Well I discovered that the template set also allowed me to make Improved Nine Patch blocks. (The template is From Marti Mitchell). I was inspired by these gorgeous blocks (scroll down, they are worth it) by Amy at Badskirt.

Up first is my pillow for Pillow Talk Swap 4. My partner loves bright colours, Heather Ross and Flea Market Fancy (who doesn't??). I had fun pulling out a few favourite fabrics to make this block. At first I was concerned that it had too much pink, but the friendly people over on flickr seemed to like it.

What kind of border do you think I should make? I was thinking patchwork with aqua, orange and pink. Or maybe just aqua...I'm up for any ideas that you have!

Since I was on all roll, I decided to make another for Austen for The Maple Leaf Quilting Bee. I'm behind (sorry) so I was just happy to get this done before another month passes by.

I'm pretty much in love with these blocks. I'm thinking that I need to make a baby quilt with this pattern (without squaring off the blocks). I found that once I got going the curved piecing wasn't as difficult as I remembered.

Hope you have a wonderful Monday!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Last Minute Halloween Treak or Treat Bags

I decided at the last minute on Saturday that my kids needed home-made trick or treat bags. Needed. So bought my very first Halloween fabric, and worked late into the night.
I used this tutorial as my inspiration and added a few inches to both sides to make them a bit bigger. I want these bags to last a few years. I also referred to this tutorial for basic bag making instructions. I used some images from Clip-Art for my applique templates.

A pumpkin for my son:
 And a bat for my daughter:
These were so quick and easy and I was so happy that my kids didn't have to use pillowcases for trick or treating. Now I just have to start making home-made costumes!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Have you ever been to Vanderhoof?

Have you ever even heard of Vanderhoof? Probably not, unless you live in British Columbia. And I bet there are more than a few British Columbians who haven't heard of it either! It is actually a small logging and farming town in the geographical centre of BC, about an hour west of Prince George.

Why I am I rambling about such a small town?!? Because they have two wonderful quilt shops (which are magnitudes better than the shops in Prince George), and I went on a field trip yesterday to check them out.

Here are my lovely finds:

 From the bottom: Sandi Henderson Farmer's Market, MoMo Freebird, an Art Gallery Oval Dot (oh, so soft), Kona Cotton "Tomato", a Kaffe Fassett Dot, Heather Bailey Bijoux and Amy Butler Belle.

 A lovely Corduroy (bottom) and a Michael Miller print for a skirt for my daughter.
And some gorgeous Kate Spain "12 Days of Christmas" for a Christmas Table runner.

It was a great day and it was wonderful to see vibrant Quilt Shops in such a small town. I wish I could say the same for Prince George.

Have a great Saturday and happy sewing. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

We're having a baby!

Yup, #3 is on his or her way! I wonder which of these beautiful fabrics I'll get to cut up???

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another slight for Canada....

Oh, why, oh, why do people (or one creative, artistic, wonderful person in particular) insist on "NO INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING"????

I am so sad to be missing out on this year's sale. I would adore a Heather Ross Scrap Pack or a small piece of artwork. Have fun all my American friends...

Just to fuel my heartbreak, here's a shot of my loot from last year! Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Nothing like a deadline to make me finish a quilt!

I finally got the last of the buttons sewed on my little doll quilt this morning. Of course, today is the deadline to ship internationally, and I am going to make it, whew. (So there is a little hint...this quilt is not going to Canada).

I meant to get it finished yesterday but after pricking three tiny little holes in three of my fingers while sewing buttons, I thought I should take a bit of a break before finishing. Perhaps I should use a thimble???

This little quilt gave me lots of troubles. I designed it with borders because I thought Cathedral Windows were tricky, but it turns out that actually, it was the math for the borders that gave me the most trouble. And then a terrible ironing incident (imagine brown yucky water spewing out all over my beautiful pristine white fabric) caused some of the reds to bleed. Thankfully the kind folks on flickr helped to solve the problem...I just picked out the offending piece and sewed in a new one. Why couldn't I think of that???

Overall, I am pretty happy with this quilt. Again, I am hoping the Flea Market Fancy Effect will prevent my partner from looking at the flaws. Like the fact that the borders are not square (at all) and there is still a bit of bleeding in one of the yellow bouquet windows.

Here is the back of the quilt. As you can see the middle square isn't quilted...I had planned to bring the thread through from the buttons to have a tied effect, but it just looked funny. I'm assuming my partner won't want to wash it so I hope it is okay. You understand, right partner???

I also made my partner a little bag from a tutorial over at Pink Penguin. Isn't it cute? I love free tutorials....

I am so thankful that I finished this quilt (and in time for the mailing deadline no less). Now I can just sit back and wait for my own package. I love this swap!

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Quick Tote Bag...

I've been working madly on my Doll Quilt, but I managed to whip up this quick tote bag this weekend. My mom is coming today for a week (I am so excited) and her friend is picking her up on Friday for a road trip. My mom's friend makes my kids the most beautiful hand knitted socks...and not just one or two...I get packages in the mail all of the time with a couple of pairs each. They are gorgeous (yes, I am jealous of my kids' socks). So I owe her. Big time.

I thought a nice bag, filled with some goodies would be a good start at saying thank you. I used this great tutorial over on Moda Bake Shop. But as you can see, I used scraps instead of a charm pack.

I'm also really working on getting projects completed...I had a great message from Rebecca about setting small goals, deadlines and keeping track. Rebecca just had a baby girl so pop over and say congratulations. And while you are there check out her fabulous sleep sack. I love it!

I also made some yummy jam...I ran out of raspberries so I added some blueberries and it is a refreshing change from plain old raspberry. Isn't wonderful when things work out even though they are different than your original plan?

Have a wonderful Monday. I'll be back soon with photos of my finished Doll Quilt.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Doll Quilt Update

One of the reasons that I shouldn't start new projects right now (other than of course that I never actually finish my projects) is that I have a few obligations to complete first.

One of the most pressing is my quilt for Doll Quilt Swap 10.  I've had my plan in place for quite a while, but I needed the courage to actually get going on it. Of course, the deadline didn't hurt either.
(Sorry for this awful photo...I really need to work on my lighting!)

I'm going for the FMF effect here. Blind my partner with Flea Market Fancy, and hopefully she/he won't notice the flaws in the construction of the quilt. I think my partner will love both the FMF and the cathedral window design. I used this tutorial. (Here is part two). I also read this great post/tutorial that has tons of great suggestions on how to make a cathedral windows block. 

I'm counting on using buttons like in this pillow to hide where my points don't match up.

I think the trickiest part was actually folding the fabric but now that I'm at the sewing stage it seems to be going pretty fast. I love how the white gives some separation to all those bright prints. It also makes a difference what kind of fabric you use for the background. I bought some very soft Japanese cotton from my LQS because I loved the feel of it, but I think it is just too soft for this pattern to get a nice, crisp fold. Perhaps good old Kona Cotton would have been a better choice. I know for next time (if there is a next time!) Wouldn't this pattern be beautiful to showcase some of my favourite Heather Ross prints?!?

Thanks for all your great comments on the price of fabric from the last post. It seems folks in NZ have it much worse than us Canadians. But I'm impressed with how many of you work to support local shops.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fabric Finds...

I always stop at the Jasper quilt shop on my way to Edmonton. It works out husband takes the kids to the playground and I spend too much money on fabric. The shop has a great mix of fabrics including lots of 30's reproductions, wilderness fabrics (they are in Jasper National Park after all) and every time I go there is a bigger and better selection of beautiful contemporary fabric.

This is what I came home with:
  • 1 FQ of Heather Ross Mermaids
  • 4 FQs of Light Blue American Jane Pez (I cleaned the store right out!)
  • 1 metre of Tula Pink Flutterby Ladybugs
  • Unfortunately, I left all of the Nicey Jane and Hope Valley in the shop. (Believe me, it took terrible constraint)
I'm sure that for most of you, seeing this kind of fabric in a real, live, quilt shop is pretty common place. But I live pretty much smack-dab-in-the-middle of British Columbia, Canada and I am surrounded by Thimbleberries, batiks and dusty rose. I never get to actually see the fabric that I buy until my order arrives at my mailbox. So I feel like a kid in a candy store when the opportunity actually presents itself.

But the thing that gets me most is the darn prices of fabric in Canada. I bought the above lovelies because I know they are almost impossible to find on-line and I LOVE them, but they were all at least $18/metre. $18 per metre...isn't that disgusting?!? No wonder I buy my fabric online. I don't know how people afford to quilt/sew in Canada.

Okay, end of rant. Sorry. Especially to those of you in the US. Please enjoy your low fabric prices. Now I'm off to sew...I think my little darlings are finally asleep (is it really 9pm already?) and my husband is off watching UFC. I must get caught up on my all of my bee commitments.

Have a great weekend! Happy Sewing.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Thank you!

We are just on our way to Edmonton for a family golf tournament, but I wanted to post a quick thank you before I left.

Stacy, from Peaknit, sent me the most beautiful pincushion yesterday. Really. I'm still gushing over it. And as if a Heather Bailey pear pincushion (weighted wonderfully at the bottom so it will stay put on my sewing table...and believe me...nothing stays put on my sewing table) wasn't enough, she also sent some gorgeous Tufted Tweets.

 Stacy also included a cute ladybug pin from this etsy shop. All the way from Isreal. Isn't it sweet?

Go check out Stacy's photostream, she does amazing work. I really hope we can become 'friends.' So thank you so much Stacy. I love it. I'm thrilled.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Happy Mail Day!

I received my fabric from Holly last week for our Colour Wheel Quilt Swap.Oh Happy Day! We decided to swap 10 fabrics, 9 of which we chose and the 10th one was dedicated as a surprise. Holly sent the best surprise, Pink FMF Seeds! Isn't she the sweetest? These fabrics are going to be perfect for my quilt. (I am also in love with the elephants!)

I think I only have about 20 more fabrics to collect. Interestingly, I'm finding it difficult to find pure blues from my stash. I love blue, but I seem to have lots of aquas and multi-colour print blues, but very few tone on tone. I may have to fix that with some fabric shopping.

I also was very inspired by this post. I wanted to do my part so I made these two blocks last night. These cross blocks are quick and simple to make and they are fun and modern too. Check out the flickr group for all of the blocks being made around the world.

Lucia has inspired me to get working on some more charity quilts. Once I get this Colour Wheel Quilt wrapped up, I'm making a few quilts to give away.

Oh, and I almost forgot. I also got these gorgeous squares in the mail yesterday. I won them from Katy. Thank you! I love this fabric, it reminds me so much of the sheets we had growing up. Maybe I could make a quilt like this as my first charity quilt....

What about you? Do you make quilts to give-away? What do you make? Who do you make them for? How do you find time to fit them all in?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ice Cream Social

While I work away on my Colour Wheel Quilt (and I promise, I really am working on it), I decided to join the Ice Cream Social hosted by Amy and Kate. I've discovered that I like sewing things for my daughter because A. she looks really cute in homemade clothes, and B. I can actually get them finished.

She decided she wanted a mermaid dress, so I found some Heather Ross in my stash and ordered a bit more off off ebay.

I struggled a bit trying to find a good coordinating fabric for the yoke. First I thought I'd find a good Kona Solid. Unfortunately, I don't have a LQS that stocks it or a Kona Swatch Card, and even with help from the friendly sewing community on flickr, I decided not to take a chance.

Fortunately, I did find a great print at the local LQS that I think will be even nicer than a solid. I went with pink rather than orange or brown because I know my daughter will wear a pink dress. She may not, however, wear orange or brown. She likes her pink.

So the first set of instructions are now posted, so I need to get my pre-washing and pattern tracing done so I can catch up. I can't wait to see how this project goes...I can see that the Ice Cream Dress could make fabulous Christmas presents for all of the little girls in our extended family. Go check out the flickr pool...there are some very lovely dresses there.

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I really don't need another project...

I have to admit that I'm not always completely honest about the number of projects I have on the go at one time. Sure I have a small list on my sidebar, but the truth is that I have way more in the works that I have blogged about once or not at all. It seems that in the past year I've become extremely good at starting projects and terrible at finishing them. I think it is all the gorgeous inspiration out there. I'm hoping that I'll get to the point where I can disclose all of those projects, but today, instead, I'm just going to share a new start!

I've been in love with Joelle Hoverson's colourwheel quilt forever. And then of course my idol, Melanie, made a gorgeous hand quilted one, and I knew it was time to make one for myself. So I got the book out of the library, and made myself a template of the wedge and pretty much left it there. 

Until, I met a new bloggy friend, Holly. She blogged about her start and I commented that I was working on one too (or at least I had the intention of making one anyway). Then she suggested a fabric swap. What a wonderful I got right to cutting. 

I got 22 wedges cut the other night. I seem to have lots of pinks and oranges, but I'm lacking in the blues and purples. I can't wait to swap with Holly so that I can round out my colour wheel.

And I'm determined to finish this one. This summer. So I can hang it in my new house! And so that it won't join the growing mass of UFO's in my sewing room.

How about you? Have you made a colour wheel quilt? Do you start one project and finish it? Or are you like me and have quilting ADD?