Saturday, December 30, 2017

Bonnie + Camille Scrap Challenge

Following on the footsteps of my previous post, is the second half of a challenge to sew with swapped fabrics sent from my friend, Maja.  She had purchased a scrap bag that contained a variety of Bonnie & Camille fabric scrappy cuts and she spilt it with me. Then we challenged each other to make whatever we wanted with those scraps and to share a finished project before the end of 2017!
 

Sewing with scraps is something I really enjoy - however the challenge for me in this swap was to come up with a way to use them in a more "controlled" scrappy design. 

Mini Nines to the rescue! This is a fun block to make with scraps and the pattern can be found in Amanda Jean Nyberg's book, No Scrap Left Behind.


Working with the scrap strips and pieces that Maja sent, I added in a few pieces from my scrap stash to complete the nine patch blocks - there wasn't enough in the swapped scraps for me to completely frame a nine patch, so I improvised! 


This sweet table runner is backed in a solid red that shows my loopy free motion quilting and then I bound it in a Bonnie & Camille fabric from my stash.


Once all the blocks were made and laid out, I decided to add more scraps to frame the ends (and add a little extra length to the table runner). 


It was a fun challenge and a happy finish!

Linking up my happy little finish with Amanda Jean and friends, at Crazy Mom Quilts, for Finish it up Friday!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Bountiful



Bountiful is the word that seems to sum up my year! Many wonderful opportunities and adventures made up my 2017.
 
The Sewcial Bee Sampler was one such opportunity and it also was a wonderful adventure! This virtual quilting sewalong was comprised of twenty five quilt blocks which were shared over the course of 25 weeks, for anyone willing to participate, to sew. This fun event was hosted by two lovely designers, Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell
 
The community of quilters sharing their makes on Instagram  while cheering each other on, made for a lively and delightful experience, I was glad to be a part of. If that wasn't enough - we also had weekly giveaways to enter from several generous sponsors. I happened to be among the prize winners over the course of the sewalong, when I won a pretty fat quarter bundle of ten fabrics from Sharon Holland's Bountiful fabric line, supplied by Brooke from Ladybelle Fabric.
 

Ten fat quarters of Bountiful designed by Sharon Holland for Art Gallery Fabrics, which I won from Ladybelle Fabric this past summer.
 
I decided to split my winnings with my friend, Maja, and we came up with the idea that each could make whatever she wanted using Bountiful and keep it a surprise until the end of the year. Today's the day to share!
 
All ten Bountiful fabrics were used in my project - combined with several other designers prints.
 
I fell in love with sewing flying geese blocks during the sewalong and even though I sketched several other ideas for using my share of the Bountiful fabrics, this simple one won my heart.
 

I sewed nine flying geese blocks, paying attention to colour placement and arranged them to all point in one direction, bordering them with natural coloured linen. A simplistic design that lets the fabrics be the stars!


Long wavy lines of quilting, in Aurifil 50 weight (#2420) in a soft peach, happened to be the perfect complement and can be found in Maureen Cracknell's Bohemian Garden thread collection.

 
The back of the table runner is a combination of two fabrics from my stash that are from the same collection as the blue houndstooth print used for the binding.
 
 
If you are at all familiar with my sewing style, you will know that this is not my usual colour palette,  but I couldn't be happier with my table runner made from Bountiful fabrics!  I really wanted to do justice to the quiet beauty of Sharon's fabrics, so I am glad I took some time to work out a design that would let them shine!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Keeping it casual clutch

A cute pattern deserves to be made more than once, right? My second version of the Noodlehead pattern, the Rainbow Clutch, by the talented Anna Graham, is also a gift (pattern found in Handmade Style: 23 Must-Have Basics to Stitch, Use, and Wear). This time around, I selected scraps of quilting cottons to make the front pocket pieced (following the pattern's design) rather than in one fabric like I did in my first version. Once again, I fussy cut the fabric selected for the front tab - which is one of my favourite design features in this pattern.
 
 
Can I just say how much I love the casual, yet stylish look mixing these blues with denim gives this clutch? I am hoping that the mama of four that received this clutch finds it to be everyday useful made in this combination of fabrics.
 

 I thought the choice of using denim for the main body of the clutch would make it wear well and design features such as the exterior inset zippered pocket make it very practical.


A pretty, coordinating cotton was used for the lining, in colours that add interest to the inside but ones that should also hide any stray pen marks (or is it only me that always carries pens around?).  The saying is "third time a charm", so maybe the next version will be the one I make to keep. You just know that I will be making another version, right? ;o)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The clutch I almost kept

This fall, I finally had the pleasure of sewing my first Noodlehead pattern by the talented Anna Graham. I decided I would make a version of her Rainbow Clutch as a gift for a friend, from her lovely book Handmade Style: 23 Must-Have Basics to Stitch, Use, and Wear.

 
It's a fun design and I was delighted that I was able to fussy cut some long hoarded Joel Dewberry fabrics (which I featured on the flap and front pocket) to make my version a extra special for the recipient. The pocket is pieced on the original design - but I think choosing a treasured fabric to make it in one piece is a great option!
 

The fabric I used for the all the exterior pieces is a decorator weight, which worked beautifully to give the clutch a crisp shape. It did make it a little more challenging in terms of bulk, due to the darts that form the curved shaped, but I made sure to stagger rather than stack the direction of them when pressing and stitching.


I wanted to play up the hot pink accents on the front pocket, so I selected a quilting cotton in the same colour for the lining of the back inset pocket and for the lining of the clutch. I love that pop of pink when you open up the zippers!


The pattern is well written, easy to follow and gives such professional results that it may not be a surprise that no sooner did I finish this one, I started cutting out a second. ;o)

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A new venture!

Sometimes what you have been looking for is right in front of you! This fall, I was invited to stop by an impromptu garage sale hosted by my lovely friend, Heather and in conversation with her, an idea was sparked and a dream rekindled. Years ago, while busy raising our families, we would talk enthusiastically about our love of vintage and thrift store shopping, even daydreaming a bit about how fun it would be to have a shop selling such treasures.
 
A sample of the vintage Christmas fabrics we have for sale @sewgoodvintage

Last month, we decided that we would follow that dream and start a business together. We are selling vintage fabrics, patterns, notions and vintage sheets online, from our new Instagram business account @sewgoodvintage. We already have a sizeable inventory (so stay tuned as it's taking a bit of time photographing and tagging each item to be uploaded for viewing/selling) and we continue to search for more vintage treasures to offer to our customers. Further plans are being discussed, but the exciting part is that we are taking action on a dream and full of enthusiasm to be sharing vintage goodness with others! Pop by @sewgoodvintage on Instagram to see what we have been up to and perhaps find a vintage treasure or two that you might want to claim. ;o)

Friday, September 29, 2017

Rainbows and Unicorns

 Time flies! Here we are at the end of the week and at the end of September, already. Wow.  Somehow, I lost track of time and the rhythm of blogging without meaning to. Let's jump back in and share my latest happy little project!

During a visit with family a few weeks back, one of my young nieces took notice of the handmade bags I had with me, with this one in particular catching her eye. She told me how much she liked all the colours I had used and that she would really like to have it, so I offered to make her a pencil case of her own using the same pattern as mine.

The pattern for this colourful case can be found in the book, Sew Gifts and is the design of Adrienne Smitke. 
 I decided to make her version in a rainbow of pretty fabrics and to play up the variance in the tips of the improv pieced pencils. Then I tweaked the original pattern by enlarging the strip of fabric above the pencils in order to give her extra room for storage and to allow me the opportunity for some embellishing!


Fussy cuts from a text fabric were the basis for making several "tags" to decorate the front, back and even a piece of plain twill tape (that I inserted into a side seam).



This niece likes a bit of "bling" so a sparkly charm added to the zipper pull should satisfy that desire!

 A dark text fabric seemed the perfect choice for the lining of the pencil case as it shouldn't show any stray pen marks so easily.


The back of the pencil case should also delight my niece as I was able to fussy cut a unicorn out of scraps left from sewing myself a fitted blouse this summer. Who can resist unicorns from the talented designer Heather Ross? Well, apparently neither I nor my niece can. The sweet little poppet tried mightily to convince me that my blouse would fit her (she's just 7) and that she should have it. Can't blame a girl for trying! 😃

 
 
Linking up my happy little finish with Amanda Jean and friends, at Crazy Mom Quilts, for Finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Colours of Summer

Have you heard? Rachel at Stitched in Color is hosting another of her fabulous fabric mosaic contests, called Summer Crush.   You can make up to two mosaics (enter by Aug. 20th)!  Then on Monday the 21st, voting will open.  The two top Mosaics will earn a complete fat quarter set of their mosaic fabrics from the sponsor of the contest, Quilt Sandwich Fabrics !!!  Winners announced August 24th. 
 
Summer can be such a busy season and it seems to pass in the blink of an eye... or maybe that's just me getting older! ;o)  This summer has been a rich one - I've been gardening, canning, taking in favourite outdoor summer activities, travelling, exploring, spending time with family and squeezing in some sewing time (mostly garment making - which has been so lovely to return to!).  It has been wonderful! One activity I enjoy year round is fabric play, so it only made sense to take a favourite past time and put together a mosaic for the Summer Crush fabric mosaic contest.
 

The bright, happy colours in my inspiration photo (above), represent my take on summer. Minty greens, lemonade yellows with a burst of berry pink. Fresh, bubbly, slightly tropical and full of summer vibes! Pour me a tall glass of summer, please. ;o)


Pink Lemonade with a Dash of Mint - my entry for the Summer Crush Mosaic Contest

So what are you waiting for? Let's make the summer fun last a bit longer by popping by Quilt Sandwich Fabrics, selecting fabrics that say summer and put together a mosaic to enter in the contest, Summer Crush at Stitched in Color!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Week 25

This is the last block in the Sewcial Bee Sampler (a fun online sew along), hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell! The block for this week is Prairie Queen (for the free download to make this or the previous blocks, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).  
 
Block 25 is Prairie Queen, in the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along

Woohoo! Super excited to finish the final block in the sew along and to have made each block using my scraps.  I have had great fun going through my scrap stash and playing with lots of bright, happy colours as well as a myriad of low volume fabrics for my backgrounds.  My plan is to continue to use low volume scraps to make the sashing for my blocks, which I know will take a bit more time and consideration than using a single fabric.  However, I wanted this quilt to come completely from my stash and I'm looking forward to seeing how I can mix more low volume fabrics into the finish. ;o)


Although all the blocks are now finished, the sew along is not over with just yet! Sharon and Maureen will continue to guide us through the completion of our quilts.  I'm looking forward to not only turning my blocks into a quilt, but also seeing all the other participants' quilts made from the SBS blocks. I really can't believe how quickly the weeks passed and how much I anticipated the release of each week's block!  What a wonderful sew along that I am happy to have joined!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Week 24

This is the second to the last block in the Sewcial Bee Sampler (a fun online sew along), hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell! The block for this week is Crosses and Losses (for the free download to make this or the previous blocks, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).  
 
Block 24 of 25 is Crosses and Losses
Only one more block left in the sew along!  The weeks have passed more quickly, I think, with a new block to look forward to and I can hardly believe that we are nearing the end.

Summer here has been one for the record books with it's string of hot, dry days. Ironic, after the record breaking flooding we had this Spring. Sadly, this also means that we are now dealing with wildfires across the province. I love the wild beauty of this province, and it's always sobering to realize the danger that exists when a combination of factors (such as extreme heat and a random spark - via Nature or mankind) come together. Thankfully, at this point,we only have poor air quality locally, which is due to the smoke from the various fires. However, it is a very real reminder of the wildfire experience we lived through in 2003, when we were among those evacuated from our (then) home. We were among the lucky to have a home to return to, while homes within a kilometre of ours were destroyed.  I feel for all those with homes, businesses and lives being changed by the wildfires happening now.  There is a very surreal quality to such an experience. Sometimes it is easy to forget how quickly life can change and that we are not in control of all aspects of life.  I am hoping that the weather will bring rain (no lightning!!) and for the winds to die down so that these fires can be contained and no further losses are incurred.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Week 23

Counting down the last three blocks in The Sewcial Bee Sampler (a fun online sew along), hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell! The block for this week is Friendship Star.  (for the free download to make this or the previous blocks, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog). 
 
Summer is in full swing here - our temperatures have been over thirty degrees Celsius with the promise of reaching +40 Celsius by the end of this week!  Looks like the weather has affected my colour selection for this week's block. ;o)
 
Block 23 of 25 in the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along

This week's block was one of the simpler ones to make and for my version I decided to reverse placement of background (in my case, the low volume fabrics) and the main colour. This allowed for some fun fussy cutting of a wee owl for the center of my block, as a focal point in the design.  It was a complete accident that my owl looks like he has a tuft of feathers on his head, thanks to the print used above him, but I love the results! Since this block finishes so small, I decided that I would select low volume fabrics that contain lots of  yellow to use for the borders, in hopes to keep this simple block from looking undersized next to the others in this sampler.

If you've been following me along this sampler making journey, you know that this is my second yellow block in my rainbow, scrappy version!  Any guesses for the colour(s) for next week's block?

I can't sing the praises of this sew along enough! Please visit Maureen's blog and Sharon's blog  for all the details in joining this fun,  sew-at-your-own-pace, virtual sew along! It doesn't matter if you're new to quilting or if you're experienced - this sew along is geared to be fun and manageable for all skill levels. The best part is the community of support you will be a part of! It's unbelievable - truly makes it so enjoyable! If you're on Instagram, you can find all the inspiring blocks that are being made shared under the tag #sewcialbeesampler - although I will warn you, it will be difficult to resist joining in, once you see so many beautiful versions.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Week 22

Time is flying and the countdown is on for the completion of the last row of blocks to be released in The Sewcial Bee Sampler (a fun online sew along), hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. The block for this week is Mosaic.  (for the free download to make this or the previous blocks, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog). 
 
Block 22 of 25 in the Sewcial Bee Sampler is Mosaic
Here's a look at the first 20 blocks in the sew along, which today's and last week's block will be joining.  My vision for a scrappy rainbow sampler is coming together quite nicely and I am super excited that there's only three blocks left to make before I can start joining them together with sashing.

Blocks 1 - 20 for the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along

I love seeing so many favourite fabrics and all those happy colours thrown together!  Nearing the finish, I guess I better pay close attention to make sure I keep a good mix of colour.  ;o)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Week 21

Another week has zipped by! Time for the next block to be released in The Sewcial Bee Sampler (a fun online sew along), hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. The block for this week is an Hourglass.  (for the free download to make this or the previous blocks, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).
Block 20, Hourglass for Sewcial Bee Sampler
If you're following along, you know that my plan for this sew along is to make blocks using my scraps and to make the overall colour theme for this quilt, a rainbow. So far, so good! This block will be the second one to use the colour purple and considering that this is not a popular colour in my stash, my block was made mostly from fabrics that I have received in swaps over the years.  It feels like an achievement that I found enough purple fabrics to make this block happen!

Rather than share a mosaic of all 21 blocks together, I will just link to last week's post for that.  I have decided that for the final row of blocks, I'm going to skip sharing a mosaic to build up a little anticipation for the finish. ;o)

Pop over to Maureen's blog and Sharon's blog  for all the details in joining this fun,  sew-at-your-own-pace, virtual sew along! It doesn't matter if you're new to quilting or if you're experienced - this sew along is geared to be fun and manageable for all skill levels. The best part is the community of support you will be a part of! It's unbelievable - truly makes it so enjoyable! If you're on Instagram, you can find all the inspiring blocks that are being made shared under the tag #sewcialbeesampler - although I will warn you, it will be difficult to resist joining in, once you see so many beautiful versions.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Shades of Rose

Today, I’m excited to be able to share one of Free Spirit Fabrics’ newest lines, Shades of Rose, by one of my favourite designers, Tanya Whelan! Please, pop over to the Free Spirit  blog for the Artist UnSEWn series and more.

Shades of Rose is now available to purchase, but I was lucky enough to receive some yardage in advance, so that I could do some secret sewing with it. ;o) What a pleasure to be sewing with these gorgeous, romantic fabrics! I love the vintage, yet modern feel to Tanya's designs. Shades of Rose is soft and feminine with a shabby chic flair to it, which I love.  A great line to start with, if you're new to Tanya's designs, as well as being a great line to add to her other collections.

 I selected four fabrics from the red colour way to sew up a few projects of my own design.

My kiss clasp coin purse design is compact, yet roomy - it will hold more than just coins! The fabric rose on the front is fastened by a brooch pin, so it is removeable.

 Shades of Rose seemed like the perfect fabric to debut a couple of coin purses that I designed several years ago (and always intended to turn into a pattern). My first coin purse with the attached fabric rose brooch, has Trellis for the exterior and Falling Rose for the interior. The fabric used to make the brooch is Toile.


The coin purse with the pocket, has the exterior made from Toile with Trellis for the interior, while the pocket flap is fussy cut from Falling Rose.




I couldn't resist sewing up my favourite gift bag design using Shades of Rose and adding a couple of extra details to it.  Perfect for tucking a gift or two into! The drawstring bag features Wild Rose and Toile for the exterior and Trellis for the interior.


I used some fussy cuts from Falling Rose and Trellis combined with scraps of linen and twill tape to make two different "tags" for a special detail.  The rose prints work so well for fussy cutting!


Speaking of fussy cutting... I didn't stop with making tags for the gift bag! I also made some individual gift tags featuring fussy cut roses stitched onto canvas and then backed the canvas with more Shades of Rose (**I used my tag die in my Sizzix Big Shot to cut them out of canvas & fabric which allows me to make multiples quickly and easily. However,  you could draw or trace a tag shape you like and then you can cut tags by hand).

For gift giving, I can either stitch or stamp the recipients name onto the tag - or more often, I use either a fabric pen (which is permanent) or a Frixion pen (which is removeable when heated by iron - just be aware that ink will reappear if subjected to below freezing temperatures ;o). 

Simple gift tags made from fussy cuts stitched to canvas and backed with interfaced Shades of Rose.

The final simple project I made were sweet notecards, that use scraps of Shades of Rose along with assorted haberdashery (scraps of lace, ribbons and odd buttons work wonderfully for this!).

Notecards made from scraps can be stitched onto the card or as in this case, secured using double sided tape.

I had the most fun creating with Shades of Rose and I hope you will find some inspiration in what I've shared today.


Be sure to check out the Grey and the Turquoise fabrics in the Shades of Rose collection (there are six prints in each of the three colour ways). 

GIVEAWAY:  update: winner is Marta!  Congratulations!  I know you will enjoy creating with Shades of Rose! 

Comment below for a chance to WIN a bundle of  Tanya Whelan's Shades of Rose fabrics (the ones that I used in my projects) from Free Spirit Fabrics!
  • Contest will run through 6pm PST on June 23, 2017 and is open worldwide.
  • One entry/comment per person, please.
  • Winner will be contacted via email (please, leave your email in your comment) and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.
The giveaway and the fabrics used in this post are both sponsored by the friendly folks at Free Spirit Fabrics!


Thank you so much for visiting and special thanks to Free Spirit Fabrics!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Week 20

Time for the next block to be released in The Sewcial Bee Sampler (a fun online sew along), hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. The block for this week is an Irish Chain Variation.  (for the free download to make this or the previous blocks, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).
 
 
Block 20 - Irish Chain Variation in the Sewcial Bee Sampler Sew along
 
I love that I was able to use squares that were already cut and waiting in my scrap stash! The block is very straight forward in design and this allowed me to use twenty four different low volume fabrics for the background, plus another four for the borders. I was surprised to find so many prints that contained red on white in my stash, but it made me very happy to find a block that I could put them all into. ;o)
 
 
 
This block would make a wonderful quilt all on its own! I couldn't resist making a mock up using the collage option of PicMonkey to see how this would look.
 

Sewcial Bee Sampler Sew along;  Blocks 1-20
 
Woohoo! That's the fourth row complete in our quilt top - only five more blocks to finish and then it will be time to add sashing strips.  Getting really excited to be nearing the finish!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Week 19

Another week has flown by and it's time for the next block in the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along! This fun online sew along is hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. The block for this week is Circle of Friends.  (Please visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog for the free download to make this or the previous blocks).
 
Block 19, Circle of Friends

My favourite blues were selected to make this fantastic block! Digging through my scrap bins, it was fun discovering how popular aqua has been with me and how similar in value many of these fabrics are.

I gave  Block 19 a minor alteration from the original design. I decided to eliminate half square triangles (HST) as much as I could to give unbroken sections of my aqua scraps. Dividing this block into quadrants you will notice that there is only two HST units per quadrant (which means I reduced seams needed to construct each quadrant by three ;o). It made sense for me to do this since I'm making my blocks from scraps - this change even allowed me to use larger scraps, and I love the results! I could easily see this block being used to make a whole quilt, wouldn't it look fabulous?

Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along, Blocks 1- 19

Wow! One more block and we will have finished the fourth row of blocks in the quilt - with only one more row to sew. I can hardly wait! Hopefully my mosaic making will help guide me in choosing colours for the remaining blocks.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Week 18

The Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along, is now at 18 out of 25 blocks!  This fun online sew along is hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. The block for this week is Square Peg.  (for the free download to make this or the previous blocks, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).
 

It has been my goal with my version of the sampler blocks, to use scraps and to mix colours of the rainbow with low volume fabrics. I am eighteen blocks in on this quilt and still having fun searching through my scrap bins for fun colours and treasured bits to make each block.  I love scrappy quilts!

I decided from the very beginning of this sew along that I would play with the block's design if I could.  Sometimes block design changes were made just for the fun of it, while others were made to allow me to use particular scraps. This week's block underwent a few changes.  First I eliminated the half square triangle units and chose to make a half and full version of flying geese units instead.  It meant fewer seams and the opportunity to use larger scraps. ;o)

I ended up making a couple more changes once I finished sewing my block (you can see my first version of block 18 shown in photo below, while the final version is in the photo above).

 
I decided to replace a couple of my fabrics for the border when I realized I had mixed up placement of the long and short sections. Ooops! While unpicking the borders, I remembered that I had the key print ( Sandi Henderson print from her Secret Garden fabric line) in another colour way and that it would perfectly compliment the fabrics in my block.  I couldn't help but exchange the border fabrics once I discovered that!  I'm even more pleased with the second version.
 
You may also notice that just like block 17, I couldn't resist making a pieced square from my low volume fabric scraps.  I like that it adds a little more interest to the block and gives me the opportunity to use up a few more of my tiny scraps.
 
Sewcial Bee Sampler Blocks 1-18
 
 
Pop over to Maureen's blog and Sharon's blog  for all the details in joining this fun,  sew-at-your-own-pace, virtual sew along! If you're on Instagram, you can find all the inspiring blocks that are being made shared under the tag #sewcialbeesampler - although I will warn you, it will be even harder to resist joining in, once you see so many beautiful versions. ;o)
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