July 31, 2009 1 comments

Pay it Forward gift number Two

So, you may remember I posted about the first of my Pay it Forward giveaways a couple/few weeks ago, and giftee number two received hers yesterday, so here is number two


When I was making the first Pay it Forward gift, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do. There were a couple of things I had in mind for each person, and I'd planned to do a personalized variation for each winner.

But I was experimenting with mini-blocks for a block swap I'm part of, and I realized after I'd made the first one, that they were the colours that Kathryn had picked as her favourite colours. So, I decided to make three more (all my scraps in those colours would allow); but once done, I didn't know what to do with them. And then it came to me - make a tote bag.

Having made the tote bag for her, I then had to make another one for winner number two. She had listed teal, aqua, purple and orange as her favourite colours and I had some lovely teals in fabrics ranging from velvets to silk, some purple satin and an aqua/violet/teal print I had picked up at the Textile Museum sale, so I happily went to town.

Crystal's a young woman, so I wanted to make young woman's bag. It was hard, because I didn't know what her lifestyle is like or what kind of work she does, but I finally just decided to make one to my aesthetic, using her colours and hope that she liked it too. (It was extremely popular with my co-workers!)

I had to fiddle a lot with this one - again, I made it with no pattern, and I tried a different technique from Kathryn's which went so badly I had to essentially make the bag again, but I'm really pleased with it in the end, because it's the first time I tried the honeycomb quilting and it turned out really well!


That's a good look at the quilting on the inside of the bag (before I sewed on the binding strips to cover the seams). Neat, huh?

And I also tried making my first little pocket for a cellphone or Ipod


and it turned out well too. So, all in all, I was really happy with experiment number 2.

Thanks Crystal, for being my guinea pig, and thanks for joining in on Pay It Forward!
July 30, 2009 3 comments


Look at this scrumpdillyicious quilt!

The colours! The quilting! The binding! (And you should see the back!)

Would you like to win this quilt? Of course you would!

If so, please go and see my friend Crystal at Sonnet of the Moon (click that link, you know you wanna!) and enter her giveaway.

I almost didn't want to tell you about it, because I sure hope I win! But you should go and have a look. And say hi! She's a lovely person with a lovely blog. You'll be glad to "meet" her.
July 29, 2009 4 comments

Making progress

on the boy's blankie. :)

I'm using fabrics that are purportedly "African cottons". I'm not sure whether they actually are or not, or what makes them "African"; however, they're masculine looking and in the colour pallette I'm looking for.

Black of course, along with black and gold and cream and gold. Some of the centre panels are pieced out of scraps of the cream/black fabric, but it's such a busy fabric, you can't tell.

I'm quite pleased with is so far. I'm going to continue working on it after I get home from my day job as I can for the rest of the week (knowing already that I won't be working on it tommorrow); and hope I can make some good progress on it. (Click to enlarge)

Beginning Monday though, I have to start working on another quilt that has to be completed by the 11th of August. I have the fabrics and my pattern idea already though, so that should help.
July 27, 2009 4 comments

I am indecisive...

I'm doing Crazy Mom's nine patch quilt along (round two).

I really just wanted an excuse to use up some funny fabrics I've had hanging around for years. We're on day seven - and I originally thought I wanted to do 140 blocks instead of the 70 her pattern requires (so my quilt would be a "usable" size instead of a lap); but now I'm thinking I want to break up the blocks with one big nine patch block in the solids (that would be the size of the nine of the small nine patch blocks) or with single fabric squares that are the same size as the nine patch blocks.

Or maybe just sashing...


I've also got some blocks on the design wall. I'm making a quilt for my oldest son's birthday this September - it will live with him as he goes off to residence. There are two ideas I have,

I'm leaning more towards the first one, but I don't want it to look too "old fashioned" y'know? I want it to be a modern interpretation, fit for a stylin' young man. :)

My design wall is at the back of my sewing room where no light gets at night - so the pictures are kind of dark and don't accurately reflect the colours. However, this one, with the border layout, will give you a better idea of the true colours:

Whichever layout I go with, the first border will be those triangles. I find it really tough to make something for someone I love so dearly. You want it to be a perfect reflection of how much you love them, don't you? *le sigh* It's much different than when you're making something for a friend, a customer, or some "unknown" person.

Do any of you feel that pressure when making something for loved ones too?,
July 21, 2009 5 comments

Non-quilting related, but fun...

I work at a Ministry of the Government, and today we had a charity Fashion Show Fundraiser. Each division within the Ministry had to produce an item of clothing for the fashion show, made from recyclable office supplies.

My office knowing that I quilt and sew clothing, immediately came running to me for ideas, and because I had seen Sunny Fong on Project Runway Canada make a dress out of Post-it notes, I knew that I could make one too.

I first cut out the pattern pieces in fabric, and then sewed "feathered" post-it notes to the pieces, then I sewed the pieces of the dress together. Here it is on my 4'11" dynamo of a model. Surprisingly, it wasn't hard, just time consuming. The only part that was fidgety, was putting the zipper in. It kept wanting to get caught in the paper!

The end result was what I had imagined - a kind of go-go dress. I was very pleased with it!

The judges picked this dress as the winner:
And it is very well done, but I thought it was cheating - after all, since when are magazines office supplies?

Instead, we won "Fan Favourite". Which I think is really winning. As BSP says "Who cares what the judges think, anyway?" (BSP always unfailingly supports me. :) )

Stephanie (my model) added her own touches in the paper chain bracelet and post-it noted shoes (if you look closely, you can see that she even made a hair ornament out of more recyclable goods).

In the end though, I think what really counts is that I was pleased with it. I called it "Sunny Daze" as an homage to Sunny Fong's amazing dress - which was my inspiration.

(and, as always, pics are clickable to "embiggen").
July 19, 2009 0 comments

Little Wild Cats

This week I've been busy with non-quilting projects, one of which I'll post about later this week because I think it's so cool. But I was kind of scratching my head wondering what to post about in the interim, and I remembered that I made a quilt last year that I haven't blogged about yet. It was around October of last year and I had decided to kill two birds with one stone: get rid of some of my flannel stash and practice my very first curved piecing.  I decided that the best way to do this was to try my hand at a Drunkard's Path.

I used a flannel printed with lions and tiger and monkeys (oh my!) as well as a plain soft yellow flannel for the blocks. For the sashing and front ruffled edge, I used a tone on tone yellow polka dot. And for the back side, I used more of the animal print.

Once I was done the finished product, I wasn't very pleased with it. I was sorry that I hadn't chosen solids for a more modern look, and I also didn't know what to do with a baby-sized quilt when I was done. I ended up donating the quilt to a charity auction, from which it was stolen!
July 12, 2009 18 comments

To un-pick or not un-pick?

(As always, pics are clickable to "embiggen").

Staying true to my challenge to myself to work only with my stash through June and July (and this just in - I'm extending it to August!) I've been working on a crumb quilt this past week.

The red crumbs are from the scraps leftover from Saucy Divo (in my header), but when I begn the quilt, I had no idea how much fabric the white strips would use up, and so I quickly blew through my stash of white scraps, and then added a further 4 metres (!) of white poly-cotton yardage I had on hand. I didn't like using up all my white like that (because after all, I can't buy anymore until fall!) but the top went together easily and reasonably quickly and I was quite pleased with the result. Here it is batted up and ready to go:

For the back, I used a length of red and white polka dotted fabric I scored at the Textile Museum's fabric sale (for a $1.00, I might add!) and added some red kitschy kitchen gingham. The back turned out well too:

As I made the top, I envisioned it as a big fluffy quilt, nearly a comfortor's thickness; so I uncharacteristically bought high-loft polyester batting *le gasp!*, and used two layers of it to get the thickness that I wanted. It turned out to be as fat and soft looking as I had hoped once I got it batted up and pinned, but the problems began when I started quilting it. I had envisioned quilting it with outlined hearts, so they too would be big, soft and puffy looking, but as I quilted them, I was watching "The Duchess" (a movie I highly recommend, by the way) and was not paying 100% attention. Because of that, I didn't realize that I was quilting the hearts so densely. By the time I was done the first 30 or so hearts, I stood back and looked at it, and realized - I didn't like it. *cries*

I decided to put off making a decision about un-picking the hearts until I'd quilted more hearts in the pattern I had first envisioned - a loose diagonal - with lots of air between the hearts, and came up with this: which was more what I had intended. (Incidentally, this shot is also a really great pic of the borders, an unbelievably soft fabric called "minky" - its delightful to touch - feels like a soft warm furry baby creature of some sort.)

I'm going to finish up the quilt with a binding of red taffetta and I think I'm going to love it - if I get the quilting right.


So I need to decide whether to continue with the "densely hearted" quilt, or unpick and go with a looser, more freely spaced heart.

To un-pick or not un-pick?

Stay tuned to this bat channel...
July 6, 2009 6 comments

Strawberry Sundae

*all pics are clickable to see "in big"

ETA: Welcome to visitors from Field Trips in Fiber!

July first is a holiday here in Canada, known as "Canada Day". Formerly known as "Confederation Day" - it memoralizes and celebrates the unification of Canada as a single country. I spent our National Holiday celebrating all things Canadian, and therefore, took my Canadian self to my sewing room to celebrate me - by quilting. :)

I've been working on all of my "must finish" projects for quite some time (two weeks) and was feeling rather sorry for myself. *hee!* Not only was I working on things I had to do as opposed to selfishly making things for me, I had further limited myself to making things only with my stash for the months of June and July. (Wah, wah *heh* Seriously though, I've loved all the projects I'm working on.) I decided that a reward was in order for all my good behaviour, so I decided to make something quick, fresh and pretty. I remembered I had the pink pinwheels that I ended up not using in "Spring Forward", so this was the result:
July 2, 2009 6 comments

Hurray! Pay it Forward, Gift Number One!


I can finally blog about the first of my Pay it Forward gifts that I sent as the recipient has (finally!) received it!

Although I'd originally planned to make her something else, I was fooling around with her colour choices of violet, green and yellow, and came up with a pretty mini block. I liked it so much, that I decided I had to make some more, so I ended up with this:


But what to do with that? Which is when the idea of making her a tote bag was born. I'd never made one before, and I didn't have a pattern for one, but I approached it with my usual "How hard can that be?" attitude, and dove in. Some mistakes were made along the way, but I had a lot of fun making it. Here's the front


I had challenged myself when making my Pay it Forward gifts (in fact, in making anything for the months of June and July) to use only my stash. I didn't have enough of any of the fabrics to make the same thing for the back, so I decided to make the bag "reversible" so that, depending on her mood, she could show a bright and sunny side, or a dark, sophisticated side. *hee*


as you can see, I coordinated the straps depending on whether you were "using" the front or the back. From the sides, the bag looks like this:


And the lining is a very dark purple.

I knew that she used some kind of mobility device from her posts on her own blog, but I didn't know whether it was a wheelchair or a mobility scooter. After noodling around online, I came up with what I thought would be a good strap length, and I am happy to report that she advises it fits perfectly on the back of her mobility scooter. Yay!

I also included a little hand made card:


And she liked that too. So, I'm happy to report that one Pay it Forward gift has been completed and received. In the near future, I hope to report on more, but perhaps before then, I'll have a quilt to show you.

Until then, hope you're enjoying your summer, and remember - pay it forward!