Sunday, November 29, 2009

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest -Mark Twain

I wanted to blog so many times this week, but I’m just heading into the last two weeks of my first semester of graduate school and things have been mighty crazy! I can not believe how fast it’s gone – it feels like I’ll be a full-fledged librarian in no time! In the next two weeks however, I have two papers, a synopsis, a (ridiculous) tutorial write-up, and a giant presentation (which somehow involves me embroidering a data flow diagram) to do; here’s to hoping I make it through! *The winner of the Hazel Hipster giveaway is named at the end of this post*
Last Friday I went to a certain local fabric store to check out a college textile studio sale. I picked up a set of handmade coasters and a hand-printed set of fabric napkins, and I also bought a couple of fat quarters from the new Rouenneries collection by French General for Moda. The napkins are for me, but the coasters will be part of a Christmas present.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be going to this fabric store again (I don’t want to mention the name because I think that would be mean). They have beautiful fabrics and a lovely space, but I have been completely ignored every time I’ve gone in. I’ve tried saying hello to the staff and the owner, and have not even received a grunt of acknowledgement in return. No one offers any sort of help, or asks what project you’re working on, or even tries to appear pleasant. I have friends who feel the same and as such have not returned or only go when they really need something specific and can’t wait for it to be shipped if they order online. Apparently they’re really nice to certain Torontonians, but evidently I do not qualify for that category. It really is a shame, because it is a beautiful space, but considering how expensive it is to buy fabrics, etc there I would most definitely expect a higher level of service, or service in any form.

So, I know this is going to sound a little odd since I just finished a giveaway, but I’ll be taking part in Sew, Mama, Sew!’s annual giveaway day on December 2nd (yes, that’s Wednesday). I hadn’t realized it was coming up so fast or else I would have closed the Hazel Hipster giveaway a few days earlier. Oh well! This giveaway day is awesome – basically hundreds of people post giveaways to their blogs (have to be handmade items or supplies) and then Sew, Mama, Sew! compiles a list of them and posts the list on their blog. It’s a huge thing! If you’ve never taken part in giveaway day, I encourage everyone to check it out and enter as many giveaways as possible!
I’m sorry that this week has not been a very exciting one in my life! Genevieve and I have been sewing up some Christmas presents, but I can’t show them to you because some of the recipients read my blog, oh well!

The winner of The Hazel Hipster pattern from Two Peas in a Pod Designs is Meg (Megara) of Curls & Coffee who is both a follower and a fellow Canadian, yay Meg! Send me an email and I’ll mail the pattern out to you!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Hazel Hipster pattern giveaway!

I have another giveaway for you! The ever-amazing and sweet Trish Preston of Two Peas in a Pod Designs (who I’ve mentioned quite a few times; most recently here) just released her first sewing pattern and has generously agreed to give one away to you, my sweet readers.

Trish is so (sew) talented and does wonders with whatever fabric you put in her way. Not only does she take part in craft shows and host workshops, she also has an Etsy shop where she sells her beautiful creations. She is the mother of three (the eldest are twin girls, hence “Two Peas”!), a wife to one, works at a university, and creates her beautiful, handmade items as a side business.

Now on to the giveaway! Trish’s pattern line is called Sprouts and her first release is The Hazel Hipster pattern.

Not only does this pattern include the instructions for the full-sized bag seen on the cover, it also includes the instructions for a mini-version perfect for a little purse-toting girl. The pattern also has instructions for different exterior pocket variations.

Trish’s instructions are clear and concise, and there are lots of pictures to help you along the way! Trish made sure that the pattern was tested by various people before having it printed (I was originally supposed to help out with this, but you all know about my sewing machine woes), and the final product is excellent!

Trish also sells this pattern in her Etsy shop, so be sure to head on over and buy one if you don’t win it here. Supporting handmade, and those who put their hearts into it, is always in style! Even if you are not a sewer yourself, think about what a lovely holiday gift this would make for the person in your life who does.

To enter this giveaway please leave a comment on this post. If you are a follower of my blog, please leave a second comment and you will get an extra entry. This will not give you any extra entries, but if you’d like please head over to Trish’s blog and leave her a comment – they’re always nice to receive!

This giveaway is open internationally – I will ship anywhere! I will leave the giveaway open for one week, and will announce the winner here on the blog on either Sunday or Monday (November 29th or 30th) next week.

Good luck everyone!

*the giveaway is now closed*

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My creative space for today!

I've been doing quite a bit of embroidery lately to keep my hands busy. Here's what I'm working on now...

See more creative spaces today over at Kootoyoo!

Monday, November 16, 2009


So I am finished the pinwheel baby quilt I’ve been working on, yay! I finished hand-stitching the binding on while having a Glee/crafting night with Erica on Friday and I’m really liking how it turned out. I wish that the binding wasn’t ivory since it’s against white sashing, but I couldn’t find another colour I liked and didn’t having any matching fabric to make my own.

 This quilt was made for a new just-one-month-old little girl named Viliya. Her mum, Olya, and I have been friends for probably about 5 years or so now, and I thought that little Viliya deserved some snugly-quilty-love. It hasn’t made it to its intended recipient yet, but it will soon. I used fabrics from the Nature’s Chorus collection by April Cornell for Moda and some random white cotton. Here’s a close-up for your viewing pleasure:

 I quilted inside each triangle piece and within the white sashing (but not in the pieced border), because I don’t like to over-quilt baby blankets because I find it can make them a bit too stiff.

 I used a pink and white flannel that is just so soft and snugly for the backing. I love this backing fabric so much that I’ve been considering just hoarding it for myself, but that would defeat the point of it being so soft and snugly – it really is just meant for little ones. I used this tutorial from Vanessa to make the pinwheel blocks and gosh is it easy! It really is better than piecing each triangle piece to another individually (hehe, I just noticed when going to put the link in for Vanessa's tutorial that she also did a pieced border around the pinwheels...great minds think alike and all that you know).

I’m currently working on some cute little embroideries and some Christmas ornaments that I’ll be sharing when they’re all done. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with the upcoming Holiday season approaching so quickly; I really want to make a little something for everyone but I’m worried that I’m running out of time. Do you think some people will be willing to take Holiday rain checks?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Finally...a Halloween picture!

I finally got a half-decent picture of Alex and I from Halloween. Unfortunately you still can't see Alex's tail or my legs (and socks, haha!), but I think we look cute. As a reminder, I was Tom Cruise in Risky Business and Alex was Max from Where the Wild Things Are.

Alex's ears and tail were the first thing I made using Genevieve, and Alex made his crown all by himself!

Monday, November 9, 2009

...and a list.

Because I’m working on some stuff right now (but also wanted to blog), this post will include lots of pictures, but not quite as many words as usual.

I am working on:


This blanket is the last one my Great-Grandmother made before she passed away. She passed away when my Mum was still a girl, so I never met her, but I’ve had this blanket for as long as I can remember. It’s a tad wonky, but that makes me love it all the more!

Unfortunately though some of the blocks are starting to come apart, and I think my Mum may have already had to do a repair job on it at some point. Hopefully I have enough matching pieces of yarn that I don’t have to buy whole skeins just to repair this. We’ll see what happens.

And this:

You don’t get a picture of the whole thing until it’s done. This beauty belongs to my Mum (she didn’t make it though) and I’m repairing it for her. There’s a giant kinda-funny, kinda-sad, kinda-ridiculous story that goes along with it, but you don’t get that until it’s done.

And I’m almost done the pinwheel quilt that I’ve been working on – all I need to do is sew on the binding. It’s not the pinwheel quilt that I mentioned in this post though – that one is still in progress.

I got an amazing package in the mail from my friend Trish on Friday. I knew she was sending me a little Halloween bag she made (unfortunately the post system is super-slow so it didn’t arrive in time, but there’s always next year!) and some fusible fleece. She mentioned that she was going to be including something else as a belated birthday present, but I had no idea what it would be. Here’s the cute bag she made.

And here’s the surprise...

Look at all that gorgeous fabric – it’s all pieces and scraps from Trish’s stash! Now wasn’t that generous of her?

Speaking of Trish, keep an eye out on my blog over the next couple of weeks. Trish just released her first sewing pattern and has generously offered to send one over my way so that I can do a giveaway here on the blog. As soon as it arrives I’ll put it up!

Now to wrap this up, a little list:

-I want one of these...okay really, maybe one in every size.

-I am taking part in Beki’s Blogger Ornament Exchange, doesn’t this sound like fun?

-I just discovered this blog this morning...who knew they had a craft blog?

-I could seriously use some of this. It comes out soon; don’t you just love Denyse Schmidt?! If anyone has a line on some Flea Market Fancy at a decent price, I’d love to know about it!

-I really need to start doing more sewing, etc that’s easier to tote around. I’ve been embroidering a bit which is fun, but I’m too scared to take my knitting anywhere with me. I wouldn’t want anyone to make fun of me and my stripey scarves.

-Rachel is just too cute! You should see the gushy comment she left on the previous post when she found out she won my giveaway – I just love making people happy!

-Weird question, I know, but I lost two of my followers after to my last post (people who’ve been reading for a bit) and was wondering: did I say anything weird or off-colour in my previous post? I read over it, but didn’t see anything. Just wondering is all.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sewing machines, cupcakes, and a giveaway winner...oh my!

The winner of my first giveaway will be announced at the end of this post – that’s right, I’m going to make you read my ramblings before you find out who it is. Conversely you could also just skip to the end of this to post to find out who it is, but that would spoil all my fun, now wouldn’t it?

I have so much to share, but don’t think I’ll be able to get through it all today. Let’s start with my amazing sewing machine story! Many of you have been through the dark times of going through three sewing machines (since May) with me and have already heard the stories, so I won’t repeat it here but you can read about it here and here.

I found a Janome RX 18S for a good price on Craigslist and my Mum offered to buy it for me as my Christmas present. I was a little sad when I thought about the idea of not getting any presents at Christmas, but figured that since sewing makes me really happy it wouldn’t matter. I posted about going to look at the machine in my previous post, but then something amazing happened!

The wonderful Cathi, who lives not that far away from me here in Toronto, emailed to say that she had a Janome which she had barely used and that it was mine for the taking if I wanted it. I couldn’t believe it! I went and saw Cathi that night, and met her very nice husband too; since the manual wasn’t with the machine Cathi showed me how to thread it (it’s a little bit trickier than others, although this may be because I haven’t had a machine newer than about 1974) and we chatted for a bit. I tried to offer Cathi something for the machine, but she wouldn’t take anything and said that she only wanted to see pictures on my blog of what I made with it – I can do that!

Isn’t she pretty? Her name is Genevieve.

Since the machine doesn’t have a case I had to haul it home in my duffel bag and ended up with few bruises for my troubles (the machine was smacking me in the knee and lower thigh all the way home), but it was worth it! Isn’t that the best story you’ve heard in awhile? I can never fully thank Cathi for the kindness she’s shown me – she’ll never know what it meant to me to have someone be so nice to me! Maybe, if you’d like, you could go over to Cathi’s blog and say something nice to her. She’s an amazing quilter, so you should go over anyway just to look at all her great quilts and blocks and pictures of her two cute kitties.

Now for a few other things. About a week and a half ago, right before the Singer died, I was working on a quilt top; I was pressing the seams and everything was going well until I went to move the top a bit. My exposed forearm managed to hit the hot plate of the iron and now I have a burn on my arm! I tried to take a picture of it to show, but because it was on the underside of my right arm, that would just not work. It looked pretty heinous there for awhile, but now it’s starting to flake and peel, although I think I might be left with a scar. Ah, the trials of being a quilter!

I also got a job last week and completely forgot to mention it in my previous post! I got a job in collections management at Robarts Library (the big library) on Campus. The library is actually attached to the Faculty of Information building so I’ll never have far to go to get to work and today is my first day! I’m very excited because it was looking like I was going to have to just take any job to help pay for school since I couldn’t find one in a library, but now I have and it’s wonderful.

This past weekend, as you know, was Halloween. Alex and I headed to an apartment party; I was dressed as Tom Cruise in Risky Business and Alex was Max from Where the Wild Things Are. I don’t have a good picture of us right now, but if one surfaces I’ll post it. I made the ears and tail (on Genevieve) for Alex’s costume and Alex made his crown and used pipe cleaners to make whiskers. I wore one of Alex’s white dress shirts, white socks, white boxers I have, and sunglasses.

I also made these cupcakes for the party. They’re Devil’s Food with vanilla icing. I dyed the icing orange and piped it onto the cupcakes running a skewer through it to make a spiderweb pattern. I also added chocolate sprinkles to look like little spiders. They were pretty good if I do say so myself!

I’m thinking that after I get my work done for this week I’m going to finish that quilt I started before the Singer died. I might also get some stuff done up for my Etsy shop, we’ll see how it goes since I’ll be at work on Saturday.

Okay, now for the giveaway’s Rachel from Lost in the Attic with Cupcakes. Congratulations Rachel! Please email me your address and I’ll mail it out right away. I really hope you like it!