Friday, October 29, 2010

Giveaway: How would you like to be "Happy Sew Lucky"?

What's this about a giveaway, you say? Well, last Friday when I went to Creativ Festival, the lovely Berene of Happy Sew Lucky gifted me with a couple of her super-awesome kits to giveaway to readers of my blog, woohoo!

Berene's designs are printed directly on to 100% organic cotton fabric, and the kits also include instructions, stuffing, cotton tape, and turning tools. All you need to add for yourself are basic notions such as a needle, thread, and pins. Now isn't that awesome? Two winners will be chosen to win the Sweet Angel or Babushka kit (one kit to each winner).

I had the greatest time hanging out with Berene, and her friend Becky, at the show and wish her all the luck in the world with her new endeavour! Here's how to enter to win:

For one entry: Leave a comment on this post letting me know which of the two kits you'd like.
For a second entry: Leave another comment if you are a follower of my blog, or if you become one.
For a third entry: Tweet or blog about the giveaway. Be sure to leave a link so that I can find it,
or, in the case of Twitter, be sure to mention me (i.e. @KayePrince).

Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry (if you do all three, leave three comments). This giveaway is open worldwide, so be sure to enter! I will announce the winners next Friday.

And in case you missed it (even though I just posted it about 20 minutes ago) my entry for Amy's Bloggers Quilts Festival can be found in this post!\

*The giveaway is now closed*

Blogger's Quilt Festival!

It's that (semi-annual) time of year again - Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival, hurray! As some of you remember from my last post, I was actually going to share the new flannel quilt that I made using the fabrics Valori Wells sent me from her Bliss fabric line, but for a reason I cannot discuss at this time I'm not able to show it right now. So, instead, I'm going to show you a quilt you may have already seen, but I'm quite proud of it. Without further ado I give you Pinwheels in the House!

This quilt was actually my first pattern/tutorial for Moda Bake Shop and I still love it. If you're interested, you can find my project here on MBS. I came up with the idea for this pattern because of my love of mixing different block styles together...I also seem to love half-square triangles, even though they drive me completely batty sometimes!

Right now this quilt is sitting and waiting for a little baby girl to be born; we seem to have only little boys in our life right now and this quilt would most definitely be better suited to a little gal! For this project I used Verna by Kate Spain for Moda, and it finishes at 35" square. I have another project in the works right now for MBS, and can't wait to share it with you all!

Be sure to visit Amy's blog and check out all of the other super-awesome quilts that have been entered into the festival. I'm going to plead with everyone here to please leave a comment if you see a post with a quilt you like - so many times people put their heart and soul into making something, only to be a little disappointed when no one seems to like it. I know that none of us create the things we do just to get recognition from others, but it sure feels good when we do - I know my heart sings a little every time someone tells me that I did a good job or that they like something I've made. Now I'm not saying you need to comment on every single quilt (that might be a bit of overkill, hah!) but if you see something you really like, show it a little love! Sorry if that sounded preachy in any way, I just want everyone to be happy that they participated!

Note: I had to remove the giveaway for now because I didn't realize that we were prohibited from offering giveaways in our festival post this time around. I'll post the giveaway as a post by itself shortly.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Creativ Festival Take 2!

The past few days have been very crafty around here and it's been lovely! On Thursday night I designed and cut all the pieces for a new quilt using Valori Well's line of Bliss flannel (which you can see in this post), on Friday night I assembled both front and back of the quilt, on Saturday night I sandwiched it, quilted it, cut the binding, got the binding sewn down on the front and started hand sewing the binding down on the back, on Sunday morning I finished sewing the binding down, and on Sunday afternoon (while at my TMQG meeting) I sewed on my little "Handmade by Kaye Prince" label. Phew! I will show you the quilt in a few might just be my entry for Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival.

On Friday afternoon after I got out of class I headed to Creativ Festival which is held here in Toronto every October (the show is also held in April, but in Mississauga so I never get to go). Creativ Festival is basically a supplies show where you can buy all sorts of fabric, yarn, beads, scrapbook supplies, and notions for everything! I remember finding more that I wanted last year, but I still found some goodies this time around. First up, the fabric:

I was good and only bought fat quarters, but as you can see I bought a few of them! All the ones on the left side of the picture are from the Blossom collection by Urban Chiks; I bought a few more than I needed for myself because I thought I might be able to swap some for some other goodies! There's also some Katie Jump Rope, Chocolate Lollipop, Lotus, Picnic Parade, Bubblegum Basics, Fandingo, and Chez Moi (by Sentimental Studios for Moda. It's from 2007 and I couldn't even find a reference to it in the United Notions archive). I forgot to put it in the picture while I was taking it, but I also bought a fat eighth bundle of Kona solids that I already have an idea for!

Some yummy Spud & Chloe yarn. I have no idea what I'm going to use this for yet, but it was just so squishy and soft, and the colour made my heart sing so I couldn't leave it there! It's superwash 55% wool and 45% organic cotton; the colour is firefly (eeek!).

Some Berroco Vintage. Again, I have no idea what I'm going to use this for, but the colourway, Douglas Fir, is just so wintery that I know I'll think of something! I was actually looking for some Berocco Vintage Chunky for a hat I want to make, but couldn't find any.

This yarn is actually not from Creativ Festival. I picked it up at The Knit Cafe after TMQG meeting to make myself some Purl Bee Ribbed Hand Warmers. The Knit Cafe doesn't generally carry quarter size DPNs so I'm going to use a set of US size 4 instead of 3 for these; it should be fine though since I'm a tight knitter. The yarn is Elitespun fingering weight and is 100% merino.

I also picked you guys up a couple of really cute kits at Creativ Festival, so be sure to come back in a little bit for a giveaway!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We may sit in our library and yet be in all quarters of the earth. -John Lubbock

Thanks you so much to everyone who left a comment on my Winter in the Woods mini-quilt! I really appreciate the lovely compliments and am so happy that some of you are thinking of making it or using bits and pieces in different applications. Right now I'm working on my next Moda Bake Shop pattern and got quite a bit done on it today!

I recently participated in a scrappy pincushion swap on Flickr; this was a blind swap so I knew who I was sending to but not who I was receiving from. Here's the one I sent out to my partner,

I once again used my Pieced Centre String Block tutorial, but resized it to be more pincushion friendly. My partner hadn't really given me any directions as to how she'd like her pincushion to look, so I decided to go super-scrappy! Basically, I just randomly pulled pieces out of my "string bag" - I have a bag full of strings already cut for making myself a quilt using my tutorial - and sewed them together. There's quite a few different lines in there including Far Far Away 2, Mendocino, City Weekend, Nicey Jane, Chestnut Hill, Verna, and many more. I also sent my partner some fabric, four cover buttons I made using some Verna, and a few hexagons I made for her to use on one of her own projects.

Here's what I received in return from the awesome Frieda,

Didn't Frieda do a super job on both of the pincushions?! I think they're beautiful! I also love the Heather Ross Spoonflower fabric she sent and those Clover silk pins are definitely going to come in handy!

A couple of weekends ago Alex and I headed up North to my Mum's for Thanksgiving. I brought along my camera hoping to get some good pictures of the fall colour, but most of brilliant colours were gone by the time we got there. I grew up in a village of about 200 people in a farming area and I thought I'd share of few pictures of where I come from even if the colours weren't as pretty as I was hoping.

I finished my Madelinetosh honey cowl last week and I'm so excited about it that I've basically been wearing it everyday! I also knit a version of the Autumn for Alex; I'm so glad he likes it, he's been wearing it everyday since I finished it too! I'll show pictures of it all once I have them!

And lookie what showed up at my house today!

It's my new Amy Butler Hampton bag! Eeekkk, it's so pretty! I found this bag for a really great price (about 1/4 to 1/3 the retail price) and couldn't stop thinking about it for a month. I finally gave in when the seller only had one left and I'm so happy I did! This bag is actually from an older collection called Sweet Life, but you can see Amy's newest bags on her website. This is not where I bought my bag from, but you can see the inside here (it has a gazillion pockets).

I hope you're all having a great week! I'll be back soon!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Winter in the Woods

My mini-quilt pattern "Winter in the Woods" is in the special Christmas edition of Fat Quarterly!

You can find it on page 50! This pattern is fun because it allows you to show off, and maybe try out, some different skills including paper piecing, hand-sewing, quilting, and embroidery.

The little cottage embroidery was also designed by me and the paper transfer pattern is also included in the magazine. The finished mini quilt finishes at 22.5x28.5" and I am so happy to have been included in this awesome magazine.

This special issue was sent out to subscribers of the magazine as a little gift, but you can also purchase it yourself on the Fat Quarterly website for a special price; go to buy it here. There are so many other awesome projects in this issue, including a tree skirt, a quilt, the cutest dolls designed by Katy, a Christmas tutorial challenge, a cowl designed by my super-rocking  friend Amanda (who, by the way, just released the first patterns for her own pattern line, The Frosted Pumpkin), and so much more; you will not regret purchasing this issue!

Just a little note: If you are a subscriber and received your issue on the first day it was sent out, please see the errata page on the Fat Quarterly website as there is a mistake in the first version of my pattern. It has been corrected in all the other copies of the magazine, but you may want to check it out.

And in case anyone is wondering, all of the printed fabrics I used (with the exception of the brown tree trunk hexagons) are from the "Have a Sheri Berry Holiday" line by Sheri Berry for Northcott.

So what do you guys think? Is this a pattern you'd like to try out yourself? Will you use bits and pieces of the pattern, like the embroidery, on other projects? I'd really like you know what y'all think! And don't forget to upload pictures of your finished projects made from the magazine to the Fat Quarterly Flickr group.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

One very awesome package - or - why I heart Valori Wells

So a little while ago the ever-awesome Valori Wells showed off her new flannel line, Bliss, on her blog...then, you know what happened? She emailed me and offered to send me some! How cool is that?! Of course I said yes, sure, go-ahead Val, you can send me some fabric if you'd like *wink*

A giant box arrived on my doorstep...well, I had to go and pick it up at the post office...same difference. Inside the box was one of the most generous gifts I've ever received and I decided to count it as my first birthday present.

Val sent me about 1/2 to 3/4 yard of each of these prints and it is the most silky-soft flannel I've ever had my hands on!

Elephant March in green, tangerine, ocean and ruby.

Circles in green, ruby, ocean, tangerine, and multi.

Little Birds in ocean and tangerine. Birds in turquoise and tangerine.

Leaves in green, ruby, and tangerine.

Lions in tangerine, multi, and turquoise.

Medallion in ocean, sun, green, tangerine, and ruby.

Isn't it just so pretty? I love it all! It has all been pre-washed now and is ready to go. I don't generally pre-wash my fabric, but it is highly recommended with flannel. Unfortunately for me this post from Rae came a day after I washed it, and I had a tangly mess in my washing machine but no worries, it's all sorted now! I don't own a serger, but I think I could have achieved something similar if I had at least zig-zagged around the edges.

Well, hello there prettiness! I've already got some awesome ideas for how I'm going to use this flannel and can't wait to start sharing my projects with you!

Thank you so much again Val! You are a wonderful person and a great friend; wish I could see you again at Market in Houston this month, but we'll get together for that glass of wine in Salt Lake City in May!

For some reason I could not find the Bliss line on the Free Spirit website, but you can view it all (and order it) on the website for Val and Jean's store, Stitchin' Post.

A few tips for sewing/working with flannel:
-Prewash and dry on hottest settings. Depending on the quality of the fabric it is advisable to do this twice.
-Because the flannel can shrink quite a bit (about an inch or more) always buy a bit more than you need.
-Serge or zig-zag edges before washing if possible to avoid a crazy mess in your washer.
-Use 1/2" seams (not 1/4" even when quilting) for strong seams.
-Flannel can stretch, again depending on the quality, so use a walking foot whenever possible.
-Flannel can dull your needle rather quickly. Use a new needle to begin and be sure to check it as you sew and replace when necessary.
-Flannel is linty! Check your machine periodically during sewing and clean out any lint that might accumulate.
-Flannel is best used in projects with simple shapes. Because of the loose-weave of the fabric, flannel shapes can distort easily especially while cutting and ironing. Spray starch/spray size fabric before cutting for more "true" cuts.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Scrappy {Hoops} Swap Inspiration

1. Oregon Star, 2. polaroid-embroidery-hoop, 3. be-inspired-hoop, 4. Savvy seasons done!, 5. urban goods home swap - part 1 done!, 6. Project #2 , 7. one., 8. saturdays, 9. Stack of Dreams Draped, 10. Raindrops Pincushion, 11. i *heart* the forest!, 12. Bunting Pillow, 13. Better Go In Disguise..., 14. Pillow Talk pillow, 15. dreamy mug rug, 16. birds and bees

So I'm participating in the Scrappy {Hoops} Swap on Flickr (another wonderful swap brought to us by Heather and Kerri) and this is the inspiration mosaic I created for my secret partner. Amanda's mermaid mini quilt up there in the top left-hand corner is one of my favourite things ever made - it's just so perfect and beautiful!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Creative Space...

Here's what's going on in my creative space today (as well as some secret things I can't show you)!

My Madelinetosh Honey Cowl! This is my on-the-go and in-front of the tv project! It's just so soft and pretty and I can't wait until it's done!

By the way, did you know that Kate Conklin and I share a birthday? I knew her birthday was this week, but her sister (Amelia) just informed me this morning that it was actually on the 5th! Happy birthday Kate - we're like twins or something (hah)!

If you'd like to see some more creative spaces, head on over to Kristy's and join in the fun!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

There is still no cure for the common birthday. -John Glenn

Hmmm, seems I've been away from the blog for a little bit! You'll have to forgive all my bloggy sins though since it's my birthday today! Yes, yes it is; I'm even closer to thirty than to twenty today than I was last year. You really will have to excuse my absence; for some reason getting back into the swing of things with school has been very difficult this time around. I think I'm starting to get used to it again but I guess my brain just really wants to be done! And if you follow me on Twitter, you know that I've been sick for over a week...yuk! I think I'm at the tail end of it now, but I'm still a bit under the weather.

Now let's see, what first? Well, I've been knitting up a storm lately! In the past few weeks I've knit two scarves (one for me and one for Alex), a hat (Autumn by Jane Richmond), and am currently about 75% finished my Madelinetosh honey cowl (I'm making the long version). Here's a picture of the scarf I made for myself...

It's just a simple ribbed scarf, but I'm not joking when I tell you that this is the first knitted project I've actually ever finished. Crazy, I know! I learned how to knit when I was about 7 years old, but just never finished anything. I used the same idea and made Alex a ribbed scarf too using some Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in Wood, but cast on fewer stitches to take into account the chunkiness of the wool.

I don't have a picture of my Autumn to show you right now; I never realized how difficult it was to take a picture of a hat on your self so I'm going to have to ask Alex to do it! But here's a picture of the lovely Madelinetosh Tosh DK that I'm using for my cowl, it's super-yummy!

This colour is called Composition Book Gray and I bought it at The Knit Cafe here in Toronto; the lovely lady who owns the store even wound them into cakes for me at no cost - love that kind of service! This picture was actually taken in the shop while she was winding the first skein.

My friend Mo had a birthday last weekend, and I knew her boyfriend was buying her a sewing machine, so I decided to buy her a bunch of notions (machine needles, bobbins, thread, pins, buttons, etc) and some fabric. I also made her a tote bag that all the other little gifties went into.

The outside was made using a very soft, decorator weight fabric (actually the same fabric that I used on the back of my Mum's pillow) and some linen. For the inside I used a quilting weight cotton and included one of the little labels I printed through Spoonflower recently. Unfortunately I couldn't be there when Mo received it, but she liked it!

How about a little sneaky peek of something one of those top-secret projects that will be coming out this month? Yes? Okay!

Hmmm, I wonder what it could possibly be? Do you have any ideas? *wink*

Oh, and did I mention that Alex got mu a Bamboo Pen tablet for my birthday?! So very cool! I had been looking at the Bamboo Craft and Bamboo Fun tablets, but the Bamboo Pen is a very good entry-level tablet and I've already spent the morning watching all the tutorials and playing around with it a bit. Can't wait to get the hang of it and find out what it can really do!

Trust me, I still have a bunch of things to show and tell you but right now I'm going to sew! I've been having a rough time lately with that too (with finding time and feeling creative) but right now I really want to so I better get on it before the feeling flies away! Birthday hugs to all of you!