Friday, 1 June 2012

Pay It Forward

I was lucky enough to be one of the first three people who responded a PIF post on Kelsey Sews blog so I can look forward to receiving a fun handmade gift!  You can join in the fun too!  Here is how it works:

1. I will make a crafty gift for each of the first three people to comment on this post. This little gift is a surprise, and will arrive to you anytime within the next 365 days.

2. To sign up to pay it forward, you need to commit to pay it forward too! Post this, or something similar on your blog so others can get involved.  Be sure to keep the cycle going!

3. I will email you asking for your mailing address so I can get your little treat in the mail. {Please make sure that your email address is visible on your profile or leave it in the comment.}


Monday, 14 May 2012

Sibling Together quilt tops done!

I'm so happy to have finished both my Sibling Together charity quilt tops!

The fabrics are partly generously donated by BessieMae on Flickr and partly coordinating fabrics  from my own stash.  I tried to make the biggest size I could with what I had (one is about 57 x 70 and 60 x 73.5) and even used up the small scraps by piercing the binding.  So excited to send this off to another Flickr member in UK to finish these up!  :)

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Resuming WIP Wednesday

It's been a few busy weeks around here, with sicknesses and the husband travelling for work.  Trying to get back into the groove of things.

Completed projects:
1) Covert Robin gift:

I ended up making my partner a Jane Market bag.  She seems to like bold/geometric prints so I choose a fun pattern for the middle panel.
I also saw on her blog that she likes selvage projects, so I make a middle panel with selvages on the other side of the bag, with her etsy store name written in fabric ink.

Since she's all the way in Australia, it seems that she still hasn't gotten her package yet, but I hope she likes it when it finally arrives.  Sorry the pictures are so bad and the bag is so wrinkly, but I finished it late one night and needed to get it packaged and shipped the next morning.

2) bee blocks

For the Comfort Quilts bee, I made these fun blocks:
I was also thrilled to make my first granny blocks for the Stash Bee:

3) I decided that I would make some quilt tops for the Siblings Together charity in the UK.  Here is the first one completed.

Also did a little selfish sewing - a Wiksten tank!
I've been loving all the Tovas and tanks I've seen on blogs and on flickr.  I finally bought the tank pattern last Friday and had this tank done by Saturday.  Such an easy and satisfying pattern!  The most time consuming part was the bias trim for the neck and armholes but so worth it because it makes it look so nice.  I'm also almost finished a dress version of it too.

In Progress (aka no progress):
1) HST quilt for mom: ugh, I have really have with the HSTs...I thought I was careful in cutting and square-ing but my blocks don't lay flat and I got so frustrated I put them aside and am tempted just to abandon it.  May give it another try when I'm feeling optimistic one day.

New projects:
1) Second co-ordinating Siblings Together quilt top - really want to get this done quick so that I can ship it off to the UK where another volunteer will be quilting it.

2) mother's day gift for mom - probably a Michelle pattern zippy wristlet pouch like I made my SIL for her b-day

3) mother's day gift for MIL - still have no ideas on this one.

4) mother's day gift for SIL - maybe some oven finger mitts like the ones I made my MIL for xmas.

I have many other projects I'd like to complete in the next few months, but I need to keep focused on the ones I need to get done in the near future.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Covert Robin gift! :)

I received my beautiful Cover Robin gift and here is the lovely Allison to tell us about herself and the gift she so kindly made for me:

Hi there!  I'm Allison, wifey, mom of two, crafter, sewer, wannabe cook, fabric hoarder, and blogger over at My Raina Sunshine!  I'm a stay at home mom, currently trying to balance the needs of an energetic 3 year old, a 6 month old who thinks night time sleeping is optional, an amazing hubby, and a lovely sewing table that wishes I could spend more time with it.  (The feeling is mutual!)  While being a mom has always been my dream job, I studied elementary education and art in college, and have always looked for a career that would allow me to balance all of my loves.  While I wouldn't call a blogging SAHM to be a career, it definitely allows me to combine my love of children (and they're my own!  bonus!), art, and learning.  I feel pretty lucky.  Most days :).  My favorite things to make are gifts and accessories for tiny humans!  Some of my favorite projects have been my personalized rainbow taggie (best seller in my etsy shop!), this rapunzel hat I made for my 3 year old, this dress I just finished, and these awesomely adorable dino hoodies.  Really though, anything I make for my kids is my favorite project of that minute!

 My little loves, my biggest inspirations....

When I first read about the covert robin, I was super excited.  I'd never done a craft swap before, and was up for the challenge.  I was NOT expecting the crafter's block that followed!  Finally, after a few stalls, I came up with this lovely pillow, which I was tempted a few times to keep for myself.  In the end, I decided it deserved a home where it was safe from mac and cheese fingers!

Like I said, I had some stumbles here with this swap gift.  Making a gift/craft that was not meant to please a child/baby or said tiny human's parents was a huge challenge for me.  I made a few things - a ruffled scarf, a decorative picture frame - but what I settled on sending is this bright ruffly pillow!

My first thought was that pillows are an easy way out.  But I NEVER make pillows!  And there are so many fun ruffly pillows that I would love to make... but that would be destroyed in my toddler and baby inhabited household!  So I settled on it. 

The front is made from a home dec weight fabric - the same one I used to make the baby snuggler for Miss Lucca last fall.  I love the bright floral but not too girly pattern.  The ruffles are made from the main pillow fabric, a strip of bright pink flannel with white polka dots, and a light pink ribbon with white polka dots. 

The trim is actually bias tape - and instead of rounding it at the corners, I folded it, to give it a little more interest.  The back is pink minky.  You might think minky is my favorite fabric, since it is always appearing in projects and as my backdrop.  I'm not sure I'd call it my favorite, but I make plenty of things from it, and I always have plenty of it on hand!!

Some day, when my couch is not a magnet for dirt, crumbs, spit up, and ketchup, I'll make a few more ruffle pillows to keep for my very own self!  :)  

...So there you have it!  A finished gift, that I was very happy to send off in it's giant box!  :)  Hope you love it, Cecillia!  

My little blog is always looking for some love, and some new readers... so please come on over and take a look if you get a minute!  I have some great giveaways in mind for the future... but I need some followers before I can make it happen!  Show me some love!  Please?  :)

Thanks again Allison!  Your daughters are so cute!  I really enjoyed visiting your blog and seeing the adorable things you make for your etsy store! 

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Birthday fabric loot - FINALLY!

I've been using my birthday money to buy fabrics (of course).  Since I'm in Canada, shipping and customs can end up costing more than the fabrics.  Luckily, I have family in the US that let me ship to them.  However, that means I have to wait for a family member (aka fabric mule) to go a trip before they can bring my purchases which can take a month or two. But of course it was worth the wait!

A rainbow of Robert Kaufman's Metro living circles squares:
 Some Tufted Tweets:
 1001 Peeps (to add to the other prints I already have):
 Some random fun fabrics from timeless treasures:

 I love Tula pink so I'm happy to have some prince charming:

I'm planning on a quilt for my bed with white/grey/yellow fabrics (and you can't go wrong with some Echo and Joel Dewberry) so I'm building my stash for that:

Yah!  :)

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

WIP Wednesday: lack of progress

Completed: none  :(

In progress:

1) quilt for mom - finished all the HSTs finally and started piercing the top but then ran out of the thread..ugh!

2) covert robin gift - finally started making it and have only a couple of days to get it done and sent out before the deadline...I'm such a terrible procrastinator!  Here's a sneak peak: 
No Progress:
1) Bee blocks - hate that I'm running up against the deadline but am determined to get it done in time!

Off to check everyone else's progress at Freshly Pierced.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

WIP Wednesday

Wow a week goes by fast!  Good thing I have some progress to report.

Completed projects

I finished the present for our friend's new baby girl:
I think my appliques are getting better and I'm happy with the yo-yos I added to the closure tab (to hide my ugly stitches from attaching the velcro).

I also finished a gift for my SIL, a (modified) Keyka Lou zippy pouch made with some purple twill and AMH fabric I've been hoarding:

Ongoing Projects

Quilt for mom: I've made some more HSTs but will have a lot more to go...

Covert Robin gift: I have finally started it but it is still in the early stages.

Bee blocks: finally got my Kona white so I can get these done.

I am trying to hold off starting anything new until I have these finished these projects.

Off to Freshly Pierced to check out what others have been working on  :)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

WIP Wednesday

I really need to get more productive with my sewing since there are many birthdays coming up and I keep buying more fabric (too many online sales that I can't resist).  To help me stay on track, I'm going to resume WIP Wednesdays.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

New projects:
1) A friend recently had a baby girl.  We got them a gift card so they can buy what they need but also wanted to include something handmade, so I'm making them a couple of personalized bibs.  I've finished one (and have one more to go):
(sorry for the terrible pic!)

2. I've been wanting to make a quilt for my mom for a while.  Finally got started this week.  I decided on a HST quilt.  I am using the shortcut HST method that yields 4 HSTs at a time but it is still taking me a long time to iron, cut and sew all those HSTs.  Playing with the layout is also very time consuming!  Here is what I have so far:
3. I've been dying to work on my bee blocks based on this tutorial but I'm waiting for my kona white to come in the mail.  In the meantime, I did a couple of "test" blocks which I'll use to make a quilt for Project Linus:

4. I need to make a gift for my SIL's birthday.  I'm thinking of making her this super cute clutch.
5. My Covert Robin gift...only blog stalking my partner so far.  I have some ideas but I really should get started.

Here's to hoping that I'll have some progress to report by next week!  :)

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Online swappy fun!

Lately, I`ve become totally addicted to online fabric swaps.  I`ve done 3 i spy swaps and 3 private swaps  other bloggers or flickr members.

Now that I`ve eased into the online swapping community, I decided to take on something more challenging...actually making something for the Covert Robin!

the covert robin button

I`ve already started stalking my secret partner and trying to brainstorm about what to make.

Anyone have any tips on handmade gift exchanges?

Friday, 17 February 2012

Art Caddy Tote

A few months ago, I was lucky enough to win my pick of 3 Gingercake patterns.  I finally got around to using one of them: the Art Caddy Tote.

It turned out really cute and I think my little guy will love it.  However, I must admit, this was a lot of work.  A lot of pieces to cut and interface and assembly was tricky with so many layers.  I kept getting frustrated and putting it aside so it's actually been in the works for a couple of months.  I'm glad I finally finished it though  :)

As I tend to do with most patterns, I did make a few modifications:

1) I cut most of the pockets at about twice the height and sandwiched a layer of sew-in interfacing (aka scrap fabric) so I could avoid using more fusible interfacing and having to fold/iron/sew the top and bottom edges (i.e I just folded it in half, sewed into a tube and turned right side out instead).
2) I used home decor weight fabric as my main fabric, which allowed #3
3) I skipped the thick heavy double sided fusible interfacing altogether, which is not available at my fabric store so I just used more sew-in interfacing
4) I used webbing instead of ribbon for handles, because I wanted it to be more sturdy but was also too lazy to make handles from my fabric (which the pattern suggests as the alternative).

I found the pictures in the pattern very helpful.  I did wish that the steps were broken down a little more though, but maybe that is just 'cause I tend to skim and miss things when they are not in a short checklist-like form.  Overall, I'm really happy with it and I think it will get a lot of use!

I'm also happy that it was such a thrifty project!  
-I won the pattern = free
-main fabric was part of a piece of remnant that was $2 for a meter
-crayola accent fabric was a thrift store find - $3 for a couple of meters
-fusible interfacing used on the main body pieces I had on hand from when I bought some on sale for $1 a package.
-the webbing I also had on hand - I bought a huge roll of it from a garage sale last summer for $5.

So really, this thing only cost a couple of bucks to make and everything was from my stash, which makes it all the more satisfying!  :)

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Lesson of the day: read instructions carefully

I'm pretty excited to be in my first bee, the Comfort Quilts Quilting Bee, where all the blocks will go into quilts that will be made for those facing health issues or death of a loved one.  It's a win-win: I get to try new blocks and improve my quilting skills (hopefully) while doing some good.

February is our first month and we are using this great tutorial by our queen bee.

I read over the instructions and it seemed pretty straight forward.  It took me a while to pull out enough different scraps (which was a bit of a challenge because I needed 16 darks and 16 lights so there are definitely some fugly fabrics in there) and cut all the pieces.  I spent quite a bit of time playing around with the layout of all the HSTs.  Here are the two blocks I made:

Not bad, I thought to myself.  I don't love all the fabrics I used, but everything seemed to line up pretty nicely so I was still pretty proud of myself.  So I go ahead and upload my pictures to flickr and drop them into my bee group.  It wasn't until I looked at the blocks the others had make that it clicked in my head...yikes I messed up the layout!  It was supposed to be light coloured fabrics in the middle, not the dark ones...*sigh*.  So now I am spending some quality time with my seam ripper...lesson learned!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Drumroll please...

Thank you to everyone who entered to win and for the birthday wishes  :)

And the winner of the fuglies as determined by Mr. random number generator is:

21 = Lee who said:
"new quilters - my daughter and I so we need some stash! thanks!"

Some new stash you and your daughter shall receive!  I am off to send you an email to get your mailing address  :)

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Fugly Fabric Party!

Honestly, I've become terrible fabric hoarder.  I can't stop myself from picking up fabric if it is cheap...I justify it by telling myself that I can use them to make charity quilts.  While I have made a couple for Project Linus and I am in a charity bee, there is no way I would ever have enough time to ever make enough charity quilts to use up all of the fabrics I've accumulated.  As such, I have been considering doing some purging and it worked out perfectly when I read about this:  

Fugly Fabric Party

Here are my fuglies:
Can't tell you much about these except that they are pretty drab and I believe some are vintage.  On the off chance you might actually want these, please leave me a comment telling me so (please make sure that I have a way to contact you).  On the even more off chance there is more than one person who is interested (HA), I will draw a name randomly.  

Edit: For second chance to win, it would be great if you could become a follower and tell me you have done blog is new and it would be nice to know I am not just talking to myself  :)

Since a few people have shown interest I will be doing a draw, on Feb 13 (my b-day)  :)

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Lazy blogger

i am one lazy blogger, but luckily not a lazy sewer.

My hubby liked the tablet cover I made my dad and asked for one for his kindle:

Then I decided I needed to make a couple of things for myself for once, so I did :)

 A travel jewelry pouch with lots of pockets (using thitutorial):

A boxy pouch (based on this tutorial but with different dimensions and hidden seams)

A wristlet to hold all my essentials (based on a Keyla Lou pattern I bought but widened it to accommodate the size of my phone):

A new lunch bag to hopefully motivate me to bring lunches to work (using this tutorial ):

l love that sense of accomplishment when l finish a project!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

My first swap

I am super excited to be part of the i spy swap generously hosted by Jennifer.

For my contribution, I narrowed it down to 3 fabrics - bees, pips dogs or map:

I had a really hard time deciding but the other swappers helped me pick the bottom fabric, which is pretty cool!  :)

Friday, 6 January 2012

Vintage sheets quilt finished!

I finally bound my vintage sheets quilt and it's being put to good use on our basement couch.  It's been so dark by the time I get home from work so it's been hard to get a good picture.  The binding fabric is same as one of the fabrics I used for the top that has a stripey pattern with different widths and shades of blue:

Since I don't have a good picture of the finished product, here's one of the top taken when it was still nice out.

So happy to be finished this quilt and I love cuddling with my family under it!  :)