Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. -Peg Bracken

Well it's almost Christmas and I finally finished the tree skirt for my Mum! Quite a number of years back my Mum received a tree skirt cross stitch kit as a gift, but didn't finish it because our cat, Smokey, wasn't de-clawed and she knew he'd tear it up. Smokey was put down last year when he got very ill, and my Mum decided it was finally time to finish up her cross stitch. She finished it just before last Christmas, but she doesn't sew so she asked me if I could turn it into an actual skirt for her (it was just one giant square - about 48x48" or so - of aida) and of course I said yes!

Now, me being me, it would not suffice to finish the skirt the way the directions said; they basically said to cut the aida into a circle, hem it, and throw it under the tree...what?! To me this just seems a little crazy - you spend all that time on the cross stitch and this is how they direct you to finish it? No no, this would not do! So let me present you with a tree skirt finished the "Kaye-way",

Now, isn't that better? I cut the back half of the aida off because let's face it aida is not cheap (especially for that much of it) and it bothered me that the back half of the skirt would just be blank (not cool). I used a brushed cotton plaid and also used a cotton print on the underside. I also bound it because my Mum asked that I finish it "like a quilt" - and my gosh, binding circles is HARD! I had never tried it before and it was a test!

I quilted some snowflakes on the plaid to add a little fun, and sewed in a couple of stay stitches throughout the cross stitch area (only on areas that were blank aida). Here are some close-ups of my Mum's stitching,

Didn't Mum do a fabulous job?! She's a "great stitcher" according to Amanda!

I also wanted to share with you the fact that I'm in a magazine - the issue just came out! I was interviewed for Quilter's Connection magazine in my capacity as President of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild and they showed a picture of my The Garden Path quilt (actually the same picture twice - once in the table of contents and once in the article).

Yes, please ignore the part where they misspelled my name next to the quilt (grrrrr)! I'm not sure if this magazine is widely available in the States - it's a Canadian publication and relatively new (only on their 6th issue) but I have heard a rumour that it is available at some Joann's stores.

Okay all, I'm off to a Christmas party in a little bit and then Alex and I are heading to my Mum's tomorrow to spend Christmas. I hope you all have a lovely holiday weekend!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Coming in January...

Header graphic
By now, many of you are busy making the final push towards the holidays. But what are your crafty plans as we enter 2011? Well, clear your plate, because we have a great quilt-along planned that will begin in January!

18 quilt bloggers have collaborated to bring you the first-ever Bloggers' Block-a-palooza. We'll jump from blog to blog making 2 quilt blocks per week, wrapping up with a custom setting and layout design to help complete your quilt. I am so excited to be one of the participating bloggers.

We're calling this quilt-along "Waiting for Spring" because we'll be using the brand new Sunkissed line by Sweetwater for Moda, and the bright colors and botanical prints should help you (or at least those of you in the Northern hemisphere!) push through the cold winter months and have a fresh new quilt ready for the Spring.

More details will be available soon, but in the meantime feel free to grab our button below and spread the word.

Grab our button!

Quilt Dad

P.S. More information (i.e. fabric requirements, etc) will be posted here as it becomes available.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons. -Ruth Ann Schabacker

Hello all! So I'm right in the middle of finishing up my final assignments (one due tomorrow, and one due next Monday) and I completely forgot to send in my email for Sew, Mama, Sew's semi-annual giveaway day! Darn, I know! I do have a giveaway for you all but I'm not going to do it in this post...I'll save it for a bit later once you're all through with entering all of the lovely giveaways from other people! I do however have some knitting and fabric loveliness to share with you all!

I just started knitting up Diorama from Berroco which is the vesty-type thing that you can see on the front of the pattern booklet (Vintage #290); here's the link to it on the Berroco site so that you can enlarge the stitch pattern. I'm actually doing it in the exact same colour as shown on the cover (Douglas Fir) because I bought the yarn without having any idea what I was going to do with it - I just really liked this colour! I ended up having to rip the whole thing off the needles when I realized that I had cast on for a girls size XL instead of a womens XS (all of the patterns in this booklet include instructions for girls sizes as well as womens), but luckily I was only on the third row at the time so it wasn't a big deal!

I finished knitting up a present for my Mum for Christmas but I can't show pictures until after because she sometimes stops by my blog to check out the pictures (hi Mum!). I will say that it is green though and very squishy and soft ;) By the way, did you know that I'm on Ravelry? If you'd like to be friends, I can be found here.

I caved and bought the entire line of Parisville by Tula Pink in fat quarters a few weeks back! I haven't had the time to start sewing anything yet, but I can't wait until I can! I bought the FQ bundle from Randi's shop Fresh Squeezed Fabrics - not only does Randi have wonderful prices to begin with and a great selection of fabric, she is also a sponsor of Fat Quarterly and had a discount code in the most recent issue (issue 3) - woot! You can also find Randi at her blog, I Have to Say...

I also received a super-awesome little box of gifties from Amanda yesterday.

I bought the 1974 jelly roll off of Amanda when she destashed but the rest are belated birthday presents! She included a Moda Bella Basics jelly roll, two colourways of Heather Ross' riding clothes, four FQs from the Dream On line by Urban Chiks, and a half yard of Anna Maria Horner voile. She also included three skeins of Cosmo embroidery floss in various shades of green but I forgot to include them in the photo! Isn't Amanda just the sweetest? I love that girl sooooo much and am so lucky to have her in my life!

And last, but not least, a photo that I took "on accident" when taking the others in this post. I took this when I accidentally hit the button while putting the camera down. I think I like it! In the front you can see my Diorama and in the background is the Christmas ornament that Alex made me at our friend's Thanksgiving dinner - our friend is American so she throws dinner each year on the (November) holiday and we have a potluck; every year she also picks a craft for us to do after dinner is over (she is very Martha-y). Unfortunately I couldn't go this year because I was pretty sick - I had a fever and actually ended up eating no dinner, just laid in bed and moaned ;) - but Alex made me this ornament (it is a plastic ball with bits of paper inside to look like snow) and he painted the little curlicues and candles on it all by himself!

Alrighty everybody, I need to get back to paper writing! Don't forget to check out all the awesome Sew, Mama, Sew giveaways - I would just love to see one (or many) of you lucky ducks win something!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Guest Posting Today on Indie Fixx

I case y'all wanted to know I'm guest blogging over on Indie Fixx today! As part of Jen's handmade holidays I've shared my recipe for Caramel Nut can find the post here!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Swap Love!

I had a lovely mail day the other day and received both my mug rug swap and my scrappy hoop swap from my partners! Would you like to see what I got?

This is my scrappy hoop that I received from Safieh! Isn't it pretty? I love the Hope Valley fabrics and the stitching is just beautiful! I have a spot already picked out for it on the wall. Oh, and didn't I say that I'd show you my finished hoop when I received mine in the mail? Well, here ya go!

This is the completed hoop that I made for Krista; she received it a little while ago and really seemed to like it.

And this is the mug rug that I received from Kelly. Isn't it pretty? She dug into her Anna Maria Horner stash and came up with this little beauty. I also love the fabric that she sent along and I can't wait to try out the recipes! You can see the mug rug that I sent to my partner in this post.

I'm slowly but surely working through all of the stuff I need to get done by the end of the semester and thank goodness it will all be over soon! And guess what? Alex gave me tickets to The Nutcracker as my gift for Hanukkah and I can't wait to go!