Monday, April 24, 2017

Sneak Peek...

What a fun way to start the week! Today is the start of a two week blog tour for the book, No Scrap Left Behind, written by my inspiring, sweet friend Amanda Jean Nyberg ( Crazy Mom Quilts). 
 

You don't want to miss out on the fun projects being shared each day or your chance to win a free copy of  No Scrap Left Behind - there will be a book giveaway at each stop on the tour!

I'm looking forward to sharing my version of one of the quilts in the book, one week from today. Until then, let's check out all the scrappy inspiration from Amanda Jean and the lovely bloggers that have made projects from her new book!

Monday, April 24th Mary Kolb
Tuesday, April 25, Lee Monroe
Wednesday, April 26, Sandi Hazlewood
Thursday, April 27, Bernie Kringel
Friday, April 28, Erin Cox
 
Monday, May 1, Katherine Greaves
Tuesday, May 2, Tracy Mooney
Wednesday, May 3, Cheryl Arkison
Thursday, May 4, Debbie Jeske
Friday, May 5, Amy Smart
 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Even the littlest bits

Remember that tiny block I made using scraps?
 

I've turned that sweet bit of patchwork into a wee pincushion, complete with a touch of ric rac.

 
I love how even the tiniest bits of fabric can make something sweet and useful.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler - Week #12

Right Angle is the block for this week of the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along, hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell.   Week 12 means we are halfway through the blocks for our quilt in this sew along! (for the free download to make this block, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog). My version is tweaked a little - I substituted some flying geese for a few of the half square triangle units in the block design. This meant that I didn't have as many seams and it kept the larger orange print fabric in one piece.
 
Block 12 of 25 is Right Angle

This sew along has been a wonderful opportunity to dive into my scrap stash to make each block one-of-a-kind.  I'm happy mixing colours and prints to my hearts content! Although it's not just the colours that delight me - the chance to incorporate so many low volume fabrics also excites my creative juices.  I started collecting low volume fabrics a few years back, being inspired by the low volume creations of Jolene at Blue Elephant Stitches, Svetlana at SOTAK Handmade and Stina at Kviltstina. It has taken some time to curate a healthy stash of low volume fabrics, and it helped to participate in an online swap of low volume fabrics (cut into 10" squares, some of which I have never used until this sew along). I am always on the lookout for "just right" low volume fabrics because I know that they can make a huge difference in a scrappy patchwork project. This block is a good example of the impact a variety of low volume prints can make (wish I'd bought yards and yards of that strawberry print by Heather Ross and that I had more than a 10" square of the hipster eyeglass print ;o).

Blocks 1 - 12 for the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along!

That's one more colourful block added to the rainbow mix!  I'm already looking forward to the next one. ;o)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler - Week # 11

Can you believe it? This is week eleven in the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along, hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell!  Four Square  is the block for this week (for the free download to make this block, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).
 
Four Square - block 11 in the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along
 
I love that the design of this block allowed me to use up some scrappy strips in my stash, along with some small squares.  I would like to say that I'm making a huge dent in my scrap stash, but we all know that isn't the case. ;o)  However, I am having the best time finding just the "right" (or right now?) treasured bits to combine for each block.  The hardest part is making only one version... there is a part of me that wants to try so many more versions and colour combinations for the blocks each week.  That's why I love being a part of the sew along - I get to experience (second hand) all kinds of fun alternate versions of the blocks, without making any more than my usual one block/week. ;o)
 

Here's my up to date collage of blocks 1-11, in all their colourful, scrap happy goodness.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler - Week #10

 This is week ten in the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along, hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell!  Butterfly Crossing is the block for this week (for the free download to make this block, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).
 

This block is one that takes a bit more work to make, but I found it to be a wonderful design for using lots of scraps. I used 34 different, low volume scraps for the block itself, PLUS another four low volume fabrics for the borders and there are 18 different blue scraps for the butterflies! It makes me all kinds of happy seeing so many favourite pieces tossed together like this!

 I'll be adding Butterfly Crossing, to this colourful mix of blocks made for weeks 1-9.   There are fifteen more blocks to make in this sampler before we finish and I am getting so excited to see the blocks together!

Blocks 1-9 in the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along
 

Thinking about joining the sew along?  It's not too late!  The blocks are great skill builders and Maureen and Sharon are doing a wonderful job of inspiring and cheering us all on.  You will find lots of  helpful tips, too!  Instructions for each block are well written, so it's beginner friendly and for those of us with a bit of experience, we are certainly free to play a bit with things (as I have been doing by making extra pieces several of my in my scrappy versions ;o). Sew along at your own pace, so even if the timing isn't the best for joining in and stitching a block a week; know that you can always download the PDF for each block so you have the information when you are ready to start sewing.


 Pop over to Maureen's blog and Sharon's blog  for all the details!




Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Tiny Patchwork

I tend to hang on to even the tiniest bits of fabric, not always knowing what I will end up making from those scraps, but trusting I will come up with an idea at some point. 
 

Today, as I was sewing up a version of my Terrific Tulip block for a project, I needed some leader/enders. I keep a little dish of triangles trimmed from HST units on my cutting table and decided to stitch them together as my leader/enders.  Pretty soon, I had a little collection sewn up and couldn't resist turning them into a tiny patchwork block by combining them with some handpicked 1.5" squares in my stash.

 
The results?  Too cute for words!  The next step will be deciding whether to turn this block into a pincushion or maybe a zipper pouch. ;o)

Friday, March 31, 2017

Terrific Tulip - Pattern Release!

  I am excited and happy to say that I have a PDF pattern for those of you interested in sewing a Terrific Tulip for Spring!
 

Early this month, I shared a trio of tulip blocks, that I had made from my sketches inspired by a tulip block from author and designer, Nancy MartinSince that time, there have been a couple of modifications to my design, from the initial blocks I shared.  This pattern will show you the method I use for making the block, as well as the fabric amounts needed in a simplified colour scheme. It is written with plenty of step by step diagrams and some handy tips.


Choosing to go scrappy once you have the method and information in hand, is totally possible using my pattern.  The pattern is for making a single block,  so you decide what the finished project will be (a table runner, a mini quilt, a pillow or ???). 

 Grab some fabric, your rotary cutter and regular quilting ruler and get ready to sew a whole bouquet of Terrific Tulip block projects!

 


Huge thanks to my friends and pattern testers Maria (Maja's Paradis) and Amanda Jean (Crazy Mom Quilts) . I appreciate all your help, time and expertise!  I could not have done this without you!!  I can hardly wait to see what each of you will make with your "test" blocks.

P. S. I am working on patterns using alternative versions of my Terrific Tulip block, that will be sewn into finished projects. Stay tuned!

I'm linking up my latest finish with Amanda Jean and friends over at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler - Week # 9

Wedding Ring is the block for this week of the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along, hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell.   (for the free download to make this block, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).
 
Block 9 of 25 is Wedding Ring for the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along

I've been busy this past week, writing a pattern for my Tulip Blocks, so I guess it's only natural that I stick with the "Spring Theme" and chose green scraps for my version of this week's sew along block. ;o) This block was such a fun one to make and another great opportunity to bust some scraps!  I've been trying to use a fabric only once in a single block, and I was doing just fine with that, until block 9.  I have one low volume fabric appearing twice in this block (so 23 different low volume fabrics used in one block; out of a possible 24), but it's going to stay.😜 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler - Week #8

The Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along, hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell is moving right along!   Clay's Choice is the block for this week (for the free download to make this block, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).
Block #8 - Clay's Choice

My version is made from my scraps, just like all the previous blocks I have sewn for the sew along.  I decided to have a little extra fun by altering the given block design. Four of the half square triangles units, have each been changed into half a flying goose unit. This change eliminates some seams and allows the opportunity to use some strips of low volume fabrics from my scrap bins, rather than just squares. If you're counting, I've used 13 (+ four more for the border strips) low volume fabrics for my scrappy background - not the most used in one of my versions of the sew along blocks, but the least, either.  Love being able to sew from my scraps to make my blocks!


The blocks are starting to add up!  A total of 25 blocks to sew before combining them into a quilt, so we're only about a quarter of the way there.  That means more scrappy sewing to enjoy!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler - Week #7

It's already week seven in the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along, hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell! Time flies when you're having fun.😉  Dove in the Window is the block for this week (for the free download to make this block, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).
 
Block 7 - Dove in the Window

I am having a good time making my version of the blocks in this sew along as scrappy as I want and block seven is a great one for scrap busting!  There's 28 low volume fabrics (no repeats!) used for the background - which does mean that for the block making techniques, I cannot use the multiple method (given in the pattern), for making my flying geese units.😜  I also opted to make the center of the block from four small squares, rather than one large one.  All in the name of making this block as scrappy as possible!🙌


Blocks 1 - 6 for the Sewcial Bee Sampler

I want to encourage any one that is hesitating to take part in the sew along, to join in.  The blocks are great skill builders and Maureen and Sharon are doing a wonderful job of inspiring and cheering us all on, plus giving lots of  helpful tips.  Instructions for each block are well written, so it's beginner friendly and for those of us with a bit of experience, we are certainly free to play a bit with things (as I have been doing by making extra pieces in my scrappy versions ;o). Best of all, you can sew along at your own pace, so even if the timing isn't the best for joining in at this moment, you can always download the PDF for each block so you have the information when you are ready to start sewing.


 Pop over to Maureen's blog and Sharon's blog  for all the details!


Friday, March 10, 2017

Bright Idea

I was sifting through some of my sketches recently and I came across a tulip block that put on paper, months ago.  

 
Now seemed like as good a time as any to give this design a whirl! My block*** is inspired by a tulip block by author and designer, Nancy Martin.  Her block can be found in her perpetual calendar (365 quilt blocks in a year) from That Patchwork Place. I've made several design changes; from the shape of the tulip (and the way it's pieced) to the sizes of the leaves and the way the stem is pieced. 

 
Spring being just around the corner (despite snow falling again overnight and this morning), stitching up a tulip block seemed like a fun way to ignore winter weather.
 

The pink version was my first test and I liked it so much, that I soon found myself cutting out scraps for the orange version!
 
No plan yet, on exactly what I will make with these blocks, for now it's just fun sewing them up and playing with bright colours and lots of low volume fabric! 
 

If you are a long time visitor to my blog, you likely know that you don't find me sewing with the colour yellow (as much as I love bright, happy colours) as it is the one colour I find that can be overwhelming.  A little goes a long way, when it comes to yellow, in my opinion.


However, I do have a few bits of yellow in my stash (mostly from swaps) and the one I chose to use for my third tulip block came as a giveaway prize from a lovely lady in the Netherlands (way back in 2008?).  It seemed only fitting that this tucked away piece should be sewn into a tulip!


I now have a trio of cheery tulips brightening up my sewing room!  The temptation to sew more is upon me, but I have some deadline sewing that I need to get onto, so I think this trio may be it.  I am so glad I came across my sketch in time to add a little Spring-time cheer indoors while the outdoors is struggling to kick winter to the curb. ;o)
 
Wishing you sunny days and happy stitching!
 
***EDITED to add: 
 I'm currently working on a pattern for these blocks and will share as soon as it's ready!  
Thanks to all expressing interest in my design. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sew Along Week 6

 It's Wednesday and week six in the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along, hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. This week's block is called The Seasons (for the free download to make this block, visit Maureen's or Sharon's blog).
 
Block 6 of 25 of the Sewcial Bee Sampler is called The Seasons
If you download the directions for making this block; you may notice that my block differs from the original, as I chose to make flying geese units rather than half square triangles.  It doesn't make for a huge difference, other than it eliminates a few seams.  Since I'm going scrappy with my version, I deviate from the given instructions on certain design elements to make things work for me.  Yes, I could easily have made the allotted number of half square triangle units using my scraps, but I thought it would be fun to make them as flying geese units instead (allowing me to use strips, rather than just squares from my scraps).  It's a little twist to the given block design, but not so much that it completely alters the look of the finished block beyond recognition. The biggest difference is in the number of fabrics I used to make my block over the one in the instructions.   I have used 16 red fabrics as the main colour and 6 low volume fabrics as the background - compared to 1 main fabric and 1 background fabric in the SBS sewalong pattern.  Plus, I used another four background fabrics to frame my block to make it finish at 12.5".  Now that was some scrap busting!




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)

Friday, March 3, 2017

Tilda Time

A few years ago, thanks to blog land, I made a lovely friend that lives in Sweden, Maja. Getting to know each other, we discovered several similar interests (quilting, scrappy patchwork and colourful fabric - just for starters! ;o).  It also happens that we both adore the designs of Tone Finnanger - the talent behind the Tilda brand.  A decade ago, I stumbled across one of Tone's books, Sew Pretty Homestyle and I fell in love with all things Tilda!  It is one of my favourite sewing books because I feel inspired every time I thumb through it.  The projects are lovely and cleverly designed, but they are all the more appealing thanks to the fabric they are made from.  Tilda fabric!  Oh, my! Living in Canada, I could not source any Tilda fabrics on this continent and could only dream of one day having some to sew with. Little did I know 10 years ago, that I would see that dream come true, thanks to the generosity of a sweet friend living across the globe.
 
A portion of my Tilda fabric stash - all thanks to Maja!  Besides swapping for it, she likes to gift me some Tilda for special occasions (like my birthday!).  She's so sweet!
Earlier this year, we decided to do another fabric swap and these are the latest pretties she sent. There's fabric, buttons and Tilda notebooks.  She totally spoils me!
 
 
I have been treasuring every bit she sends me, squirrelling Tilda away in a container separate from all my other fabrics.  Dreaming of the "perfect" project to use these lovelies.  Until now, the only item I've made using my Tilda fabrics has been a pincushion!  Fabric is for using, not hoarding, silly me! Laughing and telling Maja about what I've been doing, I mentioned that 2017 is going to be my year of Tilda - meaning I am determined to sew with those fabrics.  I love them, but they need to become items to be used and enjoyed.  To that end, I've dipped my toe in and started or should I say, I finally took the rotary cutter to them and started sewing ;o).
 

Small steps towards my goal of sewing with my precious Tilda fabrics, found me making a mini swoon block.  I'm not sure if I'm going to make more of these blocks, I might just finish this single block to hang in my sewing room as a visual nudge to keep dipping into those Tilda fabrics.

 
 
 The year of Tilda has begun! ;o)
 

Wishing you a happy weekend!

PS.  If you also have a love for Tilda fabrics and you live in North America, not too worry! I'm happy to report that you can get your Tilda pretties from Andrea at Willow Cottage Quilt Co. and Julie at Intrepid Thread.  Both these shops are selling Tilda fabrics.  Woohoo!
 
 





Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler - Week #5

Woohoo! It's Wednesday and that means a new block in the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along, hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. This week's block is called July Fourth and I made my version in some scrappy oranges and pinks. You may want to grab your sunglasses to look at this one. ;o)
 
Block #5 in the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along - July Fourth

I am having the best time making my blocks from scraps! Basically, I figure out which colour I want to use and head straight into my scraps to find potential candidates for this week's block.  Yes, it can mean that making my block isn't as straight forward as when you stick to the instructions, because instead of using three fabrics for this block, I have used 24 (which doesn't include the extra four fabrics I used for the borders). That is a fair amount of scrap busting, right? ;o)  I am trying not to overthink my fabric placements, but I will admit that I do some editing.  I am aiming to make my blocks a rainbow of colours combined with low volume fabrics for the backgrounds, borders and (eventually) for the sashing. 

It is exciting to see the blocks starting to add up! Since I am without a design wall in my new sewing room, I find that making a collage is useful in seeing how well my blocks are working together (and guiding me in choosing colours for future blocks). Here's how my first five blocks look together.

Blocks #1-5 in the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along
 
I want to encourage any one that is hesitating to take part in the sew along, to join in.  The blocks are great skill builders and Maureen and Sharon are doing a wonderful job of inspiring and cheering us all on, plus giving lots of  helpful tips.  Instructions for each block are well written, so it's beginner friendly and for those of us with a bit of experience, we are free to play a bit with things (as I have been doing by making extra pieces in my scrappy versions ;o). Best of all, you can sew along at your own pace, so even if the timing isn't the best for joining in at this moment, you can always download the PDF for each block so you have the information when you are ready to start sewing.

Pop over to Maureen's blog and Sharon's blog  for all the details!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler - Week # 4

Today is week #4 in the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along being hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell and this week's block is Crow's Nest.  I am continuing to make my blocks colourful and scrappy as can be!  My version allows me to incorporate as many fabrics as possible, which is one of my aims in this sew along. Clearing out my scrap bins and playing with some fabric treasures! Win, win.
 
Block # 4
 The hardest part about the sew along is waiting a week for the next block!  Here are my first four blocks in all their scrappy glory. ;o)


Top left to right: Block #1 Patience's Corners; Block #2 A Dandy
Bottom left to right: Block #4 Crow's Nest; Block #3 Flock
Maureen and Sharon are doing a wonderful job of inspiring and cheering us all on, plus giving lots of  helpful tips.  Instructions for each block are well written, so it's beginner friendly and for those of us with a bit of experience, we are free to play a bit with things (as I have been doing by making extra pieces in my scrappy versions ;o).

 All the details to the free sampler sew along, can be found on Maureen's blog and on Sharon's blog .  Everyone is welcome to join the fun! ;o)
 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sew Happy

Pretty bits of fabric and a pretty little vintage machine make for a very happy way to spend an afternoon.

Love my vintage Singer 221K!

 
 This little beauty was a Mother's Day present from a few years back and each time I stitch with her, I marvel at the beauty of this machine as well as her perfect stitches! 
 
 
It is almost  impossible for me to resist the temptation of sewing with scraps - especially bright and happy coloured ones. I don't even have a plan for these as of yet, I just wanted to sew them together and see where they lead me! I love the possibilities they present and enjoy the process even more listening to the soft purr of my vintage treasure as we stitch some magic together.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

WIP Wednesday - Sewcial Bee Sampler Block #3

 Today is week #3 in the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along being hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell and this week's block is called Flock. I had a late start with this sew along ( just made my first two blocks over the weekend), but I am making up for it by finishing the third block the day of its release as a PDF! ;o)

Block #3 Flock!

I am having a wonderful time rifling through my scrap bins and using up squares and strips from other projects to make my blocks! I am aiming for having a rainbow of blocks with a salad of low volume fabrics for the backgrounds, borders and likely for the sashing as well.


Block #1, 2 & 3 of the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew along
 
It's exciting see this take shape week by week and to be whittling away at my scraps.  A block a week means that this is a very manageable pace for a quilt, allowing for me to work on other projects in between as well (thereby adding more scrappy fabric choices to future blocks... win, win! ;o)
 
Participants are sharing their blocks on Instagram (as #sewcialbeesampler) and while we wait for each new block design to be released, we are being inspired by all the beautiful versions being made.  It's a friendly, supportive sew along that I can highly recommend, whether you're new to quilting or have experience.  You can find all the information you need on either Sharon's or on Maureen's blog.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A bit of Patchwork Love

Happy Valentine's Day!
 
Today, I'm sharing glimpses at a couple of projects that I'm currently playing with. Scrappy patchwork is something that constantly calls to me and I find it so rewarding.  My low volume fabric scraps were stacking up, so I decided they needed to be put to use! Sewing these tiny bits of fabric is something I find intriguing (you don't know exactly what the end will look like until you're done ;o) and very relaxing.  
Smitten with scrappy patchwork - low volume fabrics make a great background for some machine applique!
 
My desire to sew all things with hearts hasn't ended, as you can see from the new collection of hearts I have in progress (with more cut and waiting their turn at the sewing machine ;o).  I obviously haven't managed to turn all my ideas into finishes in time for Valentines Day, but I don't mind. 


Ideas have been sparking, so I'm enjoying the process of dreaming and making, immensely. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sewcial Bee Sampler Sewalong Blocks 1 & 2

Do you know about the Sewcial Bee Sampler sew-along being hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell?
 
 These talented ladies have designed a wonderful sampler block quilt and will be sharing the instructions for one block, each week for twenty-five weeks.  It's a no pressure, work at your own pace sew-along that I couldn't resist joining. 

Patience Corners - Block 1/25


I knew right from the start, that I wanted to make my blocks scrappy, so that I could sew completely from my stash and as I've long admired the quilts that Stina makes using low-volume fabrics, I wanted to make this my opportunity to make something along that line. You can expect lots of scrappy colour and a myriad of low-volume fabrics to be making their appearance in my blocks! 

This is week two in the sew-along and it wasn't until last evening that I finally managed to decide how I would proceed. I've adapted both of the block designs so that I could use strips and squares from my scrap stash and as many fabrics as I wanted. It does mean that piecing takes a little longer - for example the center square in the block shown below, is one fabric in the sew-along instructions and not a 9 patch block as I made.  That's the beauty of a sew-along, you can make each block "yours" with your choices and seeing the versions being made by the other participants is very inspiring!


A Dandy - Block 2/25
 
Maureen and Sharon are doing a wonderful job of inspiring and cheering us all on, plus giving help as needed.  Instructions for each block are well written, so it's beginner friendly and for those of us with a bit of experience, we are free to play a bit with things (as I took the liberty of doing with the first two blocks ;o).  All the details to the free sew-along can be found on Maureen's blog and on Sharon's blog  making it easy for you to join in.  You know you want to! ;o)
 

 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Stitching Hearts for the Kitchen!

 A year ago, I made a pair of linen tea towels embellished by some scrappy patchwork and they quickly became my favourites.  They are pretty AND practical! It's been in the back of my mind for awhile that I needed to sew another pair and when I found a series of  tiny hearts sewn from strips tucked away in my WIP bin, I had an "a-ha!" moment. ;o)  Sometimes the best ideas are right in front us!
 
Linen works beautifully for tea towels - it is absorbent and it will soften over time.
 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Mini Make

Call me crazy, but even with all the heart themed projects I shared in my last post, I can't resist making more.  Especially ones that are quick and cute! I wrapped up my week with one such project.
 
 
It's called the  I Heart You Mini Quilt and it's a free pattern by Allison Harris over at CluckCluckSew.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Hearts all around

I love to welcome February by pulling out all my heart themed projects to decorate (and finish)! 
 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Mini Swoon Ta-da!

Pattern for the mini swoon can be purchased through Thimbleblossoms
 
 I have a fun little finish to share.  I couldn't resist joining in on the "swoon along" being hosted by the pattern designer, Camille Roskelley, over on Instagram.  Since I have swooned* before, I decided this time I would give the mini block a whirl. 


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