Thursday, March 27, 2014

One can never have enough socks. -Albus Dumbledore

Hey y'all! How's it going? just a quick reminder that the giveaway I'm hosting is ending tomorrow, so if you want to enter, be sure to hop on over soon!

Everyone knows I love socks - I have in the past written a whole post just about socks. This post is, once again, all about socks! They are my most favourite thing to knit and I love wearing. In the original sock post, I mentioned that I wanted to knit a whole bunch of socks based on some of the Harry Potter inspired sock patterns freely available on Ravelry. Well, I've now completed two pairs!

These are my most recently completed pair - they're called the Moody Stockings and the pattern was designed by Erica Lueder. These are my favourite socks to date - I am in love! The pattern is gansey-inspired and, as the designer notes in the pattern, they require "constant vigilance!" (that's an HP-reference just in case you've never read the books).

I used Shibui Knits Sock in Sand which I bought at Eat, Sleep, Knit and 2.25mm needles. I just bought these sock blockers and frankly, I really dislike them. They are far too thin and flimsy. I have my eye on a wooden pair that I really like but the shipping to Canada is crazy.

I knit these socks for Alex as a Hanukkah gift, and boy, let me tell you, they took much longer to complete than socks for my feet since they're much bigger! These are based on the Phineas pattern by Rosemary Waits. While the pattern includes the charts for making the socks "man-sized", it did not include any information for turning the heel at this size. Luckily the number of stitches matched the number of stitches in a pattern from Wendy Johnson's Toe-Up Socks for Every Body and I was able to use her instructions.

This picture shows the colour and variegation of the yarn much better. For these I used Raventwist Starri in Night Rider and the same 2.25mm needles.

I case you've never read Harry Potter (or you're a little rusty), the Moody Stockings are named after Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, retired Auror and member of the Order of the Phoenix. The Phineas socks are named after Phineas Nigellus Black, great-great-grandfather of Sirius Black and former Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (the least popular head of the school ever).

I am so going to knit more Harry Potter inspired socks - they are just so fun!!

"I? I see myself holding a pair of thick, woolen socks." Harry stared. 
"One can never have enough socks," said Dumbledore. 
"Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair. 
People will insist on giving me books." -Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Friday, March 21, 2014

Magazine Feature + a Giveaway!

Hey y'all! How ya doing? Look at me, blogging after only two days - I think I'm doing pretty good at jumping back on the bandwagon!

Back in the fall, I was approached by Quilter's Connection magazine about contributing to their Spring 2014 issue all about 'modern quilting'. I've previously worked with the magazine before when I was interviewed in my capacity as President of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild (have I mentioned yet that I resigned as President at the end of 2013?) and was tickled to be asked again. While I wasn't able to contribute a brand new design to the magazine because of time constraints and prior commitments, I gave the magazine permission to republish my Ziggy Zaggy Table Topper pattern which originally appeared on the blog way back in 2011.

In case you haven't heard of Quilter's Connection, it is a Canadian magazine, published out of British Columbia by the lovely Heather. I'm not sure if it is available in the US, but I know it can be found in stores across Canada and is also available as both a physical and digital subscription.

The table topper shown in the main pattern picture is the one I made back in 2011, but then QC had another one made to show another colour option. I always like it when magazines do this because it helps the reader to see how a design could fit with their own personal aesthetic.

Hey look, it's me! Since I'm usually the one taking the pictures, this was one of the only ones I had to send to Heather for my little bio. I probably should do a head shot at some point in time.

This issue also features designs from Cheryl Arkison (who is rad) and a slew of other great Canadian quilters. I feel like I'm in good company.

As you can see from the first picture in this post, I received four copies of magazine. You know what that means, right? It's giveaway time! One lucky person will win a copy of the magazine - woot! Here's what you've got to do:

1. Leave a comment letting me know what is your most favourite thing 
about your particular country of residence.
2. Leave another comment if you are a follower of my blog.

That's it! Two easy-peasy ways to enter! I will close the comments in a week (on March 28th) and announce the winner here on the blog. International entries are, as always, welcome! Also, please remember that I have comment moderation enabled so if you don't see your comment right away it just means that I haven't had the chance to approve it yet (duplicate comments will be deleted).

*the giveaway is now closed*

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The only journey is the one within. -Rainer Maria Rilke

Hey y'all! So, it's been awhile. The past few months have been a little rough for me, but I'm jumping back in with both feet! I've felt for the last little while that the quilting world is moving on without me and like I had lost my footing. Some things have happened (or not happened) that have made me feel a bit invisible and I have struggled with what exactly my place is now. I have thought long and hard over the past few months, had many chats with quilty friends (including with the master of dissection and perspective, Thomas Knauer, while I visited his family in Cambridge), and have come to the conclusion that, while my place in the quilting world has shifted, there still is a place for me. I need to always be grateful for the opportunities that come my way, take rejection less to heart, and be prepared to aim high even if it means that I might fall and fail sometimes (if not most of the time). To that end, I will be attending Quilt Market once again this spring in Pittsburgh. I'll be rooming with the ever-awesome Jeni, and I am going to try extraordinarily hard to not let my anxieties and insecurities get in the way. Wow, I just got all kinds of introspective there for a minute.

As you may have noticed, I now have my own domain (check it out, woot!); as far as I know right now, this should in no way affect how you view this blog or see it in a reader (such as Bloglovin). If that is not the case (i.e. if your link from the old blog no longer works or if new posts are not showing in your reader), please let me know and I will do my best to figure out where I went wrong. I'm also working on a whole new design for the site and I'm hoping to have that up and running soon. I feel like I need a fresh new look as I move forward with my quilting/sewing and my pattern business.

So that this post is not completely devoid of pictures (and to prove that while I may not have been blogging, I have managed to fit in some sewing time), let's talk about the Boxy Pouch I made using Bonnie's tutorial.

I made this last month just before heading to LA for two weeks for work (see, that's the other thing, work. It does have a tendency to get in the way). These cute boxy pouches kept popping up all over Instagram and I just had to make one to carry my extra knitting project to LA with me.

My idea was to use lots of low volume/neutral prints and then throw in a few brighter colours for a little pop. As you can see, most of the colour pops are Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets.

For the interior I used some of my most favourite print from Heather Ross' Briar Rose. That little mama bee just makes me so happy every time I see her!

Just in case you wanted to get a better look, here are the quilted panels I made for the pouch. I have a tendency to take lots of Instagram pictures to document process (generally late at night) so please forgive the not-so-great colour action going on here.

If I had thought about it a little more, I would have made sure that the aqua-green prints from both panels weren't at the top, but oh well.

Okay, I think that's it for today, but you can expect to see me around these parts very soon! If you have any ideas, or something you'd specifically like to see when I redesign the site, please let me know and I'll take it into consideration. Much love peeps!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Second Euclid

While browsing some pictures on my phone, I realized I had never shown pictures of the second completed Euclid that I introduced in this tutorial! Since my computer was crashed at the time (and still is), I used my phone to take photos of the finished quilt and for the tutorial, since I wouldn't be able to transfer my photos off of my DSLR. I think with all of the planning and excitement around teaching at Sewing Summit, heading to the UK for work, and the lead-up to Christmas just pushed the finished quilt right from my mind!

Many of you know that the original Euclid quilt was made many moons ago and a picture of it accompanied me to my first ever quilt market (the quilt itself actually accompanied me to the UK this past fall). After I revealed it on the blog, I received many requests for a tutorial or pattern. At the time, I fully intended to do just that but then it slipped away. Fast forward to the Summer of 2013 (a full three years after completing the first quilt) and there was a resurgence of people asking about the pattern.

In the end, I decided to offer Euclid as a free tutorial on my blog and gave the completed quilt to my godmother when she got married in October. Two birds with one stone - woot!

When I was originally thinking about making a second Euclid, I was intending to make it much bigger (which would be super-easy)! I had bought all of this Botany with that idea in mind, so I incorporated a bunch into the backing and used different brown-hued strips for a scrappy-ish binding. There is also one piece of Flora & Fauna (also from Lauren and Jessi Jung for Moda) in the backing since the two lines matched so well.

Name: Euclid
For: Kim and Mike
Size: 48x64"
Completed: October 03, 2013
The full tutorial can be found here.

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Little Catch-Up + the Giveaway Winners!

Hey y'all! How's everyone doing after the holidays? I'm pretty much wiped out, but it was nice to see everyone. I'll post all of the crafting I did for holiday gifts soon, but I've got something else to share today. This should tell you exactly how behind I am - this particular project was finished in mid-October and I'm only just getting around to blogging it now! Since my computer is still broken, I am just getting further and further behind with sharing everything.

It's a tablet case! I bought the Nexus 7 in October as a birthday present to myself and it's what I've been using for email, internet, etc during this time without my computer. It's very similar to other cases I've made using Amber's tutorial before but this time I included a patchwork pocket on the front (and again, it's re-sized from the original tutorial). The main body of the sleeve is yarn-dyed Essex and the patchwork pocket features a bunch of scraps from my bin.

I used an Art Gallery print for the interior because the cotton is really soft and I thought it would be nice next to the tablet. I accidentally made the tab closure too big but didn't notice until I had the whole thing sewn together, so I just doubled it up over itself and tacked it down by going over the topstitching line again.

Now, this is super-late but (better late than never) I thought you'd like to know who the two winners of the Botanics Roll Ups from Fat Quarter Shop are! Here we go...

Megan from A Little Bit of my Life
Jessica from Quilt Habit

Congratulations ladies! Please email me with your addresses and Fat Quarter Shop will get your Roll Ups out to you! I'm a wee bit jealous since I don't have any Botanics and want some sooo much!

That's it for now. I hope you all recover from the holiday madness quickly!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Giveaway Time: Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander

Hey y'all! How's everyone doing? Since it's Hanukkah (and I just like giving things away), I thought it was high-time that we had another little giveaway! I think everyone is going to pretty excited about this one...

Eeek! Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander!! Guys, I totally want to win this for myself - Botanics just makes my heart sing.

My good pals over at Fat Quarter Shop are letting me giveaway two roll-ups to two separate winners - woot! That's a whole lotta love.

Yum! While I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Carolyn in person (no Quilt Market for me the last couple of years), she seems like a pretty neat lady - you can read an interview with her over here on the Fat Quarter Shop blog.

So I bet you'd like to know how to win, right?

You have two chances but please be sure to leave separate comments for each entry. Here's what you've got to do:
1. Leave a comment letting me know what your favourite 
collection from FQS' Coming Soon section is.

2. Leave another comment if you are a follower of my blog.

That's it! Two easy-peasy ways to enter! I will close the comments in a week (December 10th) and announce the two winners here on the blog. International entries are, as always, welcome! Also, please remember that I have comment moderation enabled so if you don't see your comment right away it just means that I haven't had the chance to approve it yet (duplicate comments will be deleted).

*the giveaway is now closed*

Friday, November 15, 2013

Falling Maple

A few weeks ago, our friends welcomed a new baby girl to the world, so of course I need to make her a quilt! When Heather saw this on Instagram, she asked me if I could do a tutorial on enlarging this specific quilt block, so that post will be coming this way soon!

I used the traditional maple block and enlarged it by about 200%. Since the baby was born at the end of October, I thought that the maple was a nice block to choose since it just screams Fall to me!

I used Mind's Eye in Toast from Anna Maria Horner's Field Study collection for the maple, Kona white for the background, and quilter's linen in plum for the binding (or maybe it's purple...I have both and I can't remember which is which).

For the backing I used two prints from Tula Pink's Parisville and a strip of the same golden shot cotton that I used for my Birdie Sling. I machine quilted it on point, using a light yellow thread.

Name: Falling Maple
For: Vivian
Size: 40x40"
Completed: November 03, 2013