Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Goodies Galore!

Phew, what a week! The heat has been monstrous in Toronto but we finally had a couple of good rainstorms and things have cooled down considerably - good thing too since Alex and I don`t have air conditioning! I've got a couple of projects in the works right now but nothing completed to share with you all (although I will very soon) so how about I share some of the goodies I've acquired recently? Good? Okay!

As I mentioned in my last post my Mum and I spent a day last week crafty shopping; we went to Mary Maxim (which is sort of like Michaels or Joann's) and Fabricland, and visited a thrift shop.

I picked up four skeins of Cascade 220 Heather in Sparrow - the colour is very difficult to capture but it is sort of a greeny-tan with yellow undertones. They had a sample knit up with this colour in the store and it looked so pretty! I'm thinking about using it for either the Every Last Yard cardigan or the Contented Cardi; I sort of wish now that I had bought five skeins so that I could make the Effortless Cardigan but ah well!

My Mum brought me these two little fat quarter sets too when she came down; apparently a new quilt shop opened in the city where she works and she just *had* to stop in a take a peek for me - I know, my Mum's pretty cool! The top are FQs from Basic Grey's Blush collection for Moda and the bottom are FQs from the Deco Metric collection by Ro Gregg for Northcott. The colours in Deco Metric just scream my Mum so I'm seeing something for her in the future.

This fabric has all come to live with me recently - hurray! With the exception of the print from Hideaway on the far left (which I also got at Mary Maxim) all of this was on it's way to me before the Canada Post strike but then I had to wait for it. I had been looking all over for the yellow cafe dots from City Weekend by Oliver + S (which came out about a year ago) and finally found some online at CityCraft and then I threw in the Modern Meadow and Innocent Crush prints for good measure - what can I say? They were on sale *wink*! I have been lusting after the camper fabric from the Circa 60 Beach Mod collection by Monaluna for Birch Fabrics for a long time and finally just gave in a bought a half yard off of Etsy - I'm so excited to use in for something just for me! And when Spoonflower was having their free shipping day I ordered a yard of my labels - I like making my labels simple like these ones so that I can use them on both quilts (I left enough room around them for seam allowance and so that I can write the date on with a fine tip Sharpie) and smaller sewn items.

And last but not least is my Sew, Mama, Sew order (which I also placed before the Canada Post strike)! Let's see I got some of the Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in Steel, Moda Crossweave in Brown-Tan, Spring Toss in Blush from the Memoire A Paris collection from Lecien (which is cotton lawn), and three prints from Tula Pink's Prince Charming collection.

I've got some big plans for most of this fabric already - I just need to find the time to actually implement some of it, haha! Okay, I'm off to bed, but I'll be back soon with some finished projects to share!

Monday, July 18, 2011

My New Librarian Mitts!

Today my Mum headed down to Toronto, picked me up, and then we made our way to Paris...Paris, Ontario that is! We went to Mary Maxim - which is a giant craft store where I got yarn and fabric - then had lunch and went to a thrift store, and then we drove to Hamilton to go to Fabricland (the one near me is closing, boo). I've got lots of fabric and goodies to show y'all but that will have to wait until it's no longer dark outside and I can take pictures! I did however finish up my "Librarian" mitts last week so I thought I'd share those!

I've been working on a cardigan for the last little bit but with the heat we've been having, the 100% wool yarn, and the fact that the cardi is almost completed, I just could not hold it in my lap anymore with being drenched in sweat after a few minutes since we don't have air conditioning (pretty picture I know)! I put the cardi aside and decided to work on a smaller project that I wanted to have done before the cooler weather hit. Enter Susie's Reading Mitts which I have dubbed the "Librarian Mitts" because I plan on wearing them at work when my hands get cold.

I used Sublime Yarns Organic Merino Wool Dk in colour number 0115 for my mitts and I think they turned out just lovely! I do have one thing to say though, I knew this yarn would work for the pattern because I looked around on Ravelry to see what yarns people had used for these mitts, but in no one's universe is this a DK weight yarn - I would definitely say that it is closer to a heavy worsted and it has even been suggested that it might be an aran weight.

The gloves go almost to my knuckles and then about half way up my arm - they are seriously awesome and I love them! I know I'm crazy for sharing knitted gloves in the middle of summer (although maybe my Aussie friends are enjoying this) but I am in all kinds of like with these; if it weren't so danged hot I'd be wearing these all the time!

Rav'd here: Kaye's Librarian Mitts

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Get Stacked - a Custom Pillow Cover!

Hey all! So I was supposed to head out with some friends today to the Niagara region to visit a winery - complete with picnic lunch and tastings - but I am sick, so instead I'm going to stay in, watch some BBC dramas and Sex and the City, and work on a new cross stitch I designed for an awesome friend.

This week has been super-busy with work, looking for jobs, and completing some very fun projects that I can't tell you about right now! But one thing I can share with you is some custom work I completed and sent off - good times! A few weeks ago I was contacted by a very lovely lady named Jen who wanted to buy the Get Stacked quilt I showed you all back before I left for Quilt Market. In case you don't remember which one I'm talking about - or in case you're new to these parts - here it is:

It's made using Tula Pink's Nest and Kona Coal - geez, I just love the way these two pair together! Well anyway, Jen also requested a custom cushion cover that matched the quilt so I got to work designing it in the same style - luckily I had more Nest fabric in my stash since it's out of print!

The front follows the same design idea and uses eight prints from the collection and Kona Coal. I quilted it in the same straight line style that I used on the quilt itself. It finished at 16x16" square.

I created an envelope style back using the green woodgrain print from Joel Dewberry's Ginseng collection and Kona Coal again for the top edge binding. The back was basically created using my tutorial from Sew Mama Sew but adjusted to account for the 16x16" size. The buyer didn't want to see the custom pillow before I sent it off - she wanted to be surprised - so I really hope that she likes it and that the baby who receives both pieces will love and hug and cherish them for a long time!

I absolutely love doing custom work for buyers because I get to be creative but have a little bit of guidance and I have a time line which helps me to get my butt in gear and get things finished!

I'm working on some more new projects this week and have a few finished items to show you! What do you guys think about a table runner pattern which would be available as a PDF through my Etsy store? The sample is all finished and I'm working on the directions right now; I'm also thinking about including instructions for expanding the table runner into a full-size quilt - what do you think about that? Sound like a good idea?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Kona Challenge Quilt: Colour Block Cross

So I said I had a quilt to show you right? Well here we go! I had some logistical issues getting pictures of this quilt because my neighbours got a second car and now park it in front of the fence that I use for my shots; last week I literally had the quilt in my hands ready to go downstairs and take my photos when my neighbour pulled in - very frustrating! But I finally got some when the car was moved for a bit - woot!

This quilt was made as part of a challenge for the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild; as you all know I'm President of the guild and a few months back Robert Kaufman offered us some Kona charm packs to do a challenge. Of course I jumped at the offer and selected charm packs in the dusty palette for the guild; I set out the challenge rules so that each member person could only use up to one yard of one other fabric in their quilt top (binding and backing were extra) and selected this palette because I thought it would present a nice challenge for picking the one contrasting fabric.

This is the design that I came up with - I used 36 of the 44 charm squares (the other 8 charm squares didn't have enough contrast with my chosen solid) and paired them in sets of four like tones. I didn't want to cut the charm squares down too much because I wanted the quilt to be as big as possible without going over my one yard contrast fabric limit so I went with a very simple design.

Each of the blocks are rectangular rather than square (finishing at 12x13") which I think adds interest to the top. I decided to called this design Colour Block Cross and will be donating it to charity; I was originally going to donate it to the chapter of Project Linus in our area but they don't want it (don't even get me started) and we've had an issue with them as a guild in the past (ugh).

I really love this quilt though and the colour blocks make me super happy! I really hope that it finds a home with a child who will be comforted by its warmth and who will love and hug it fiercely!

Oh, and you should all head over to Kate's blog to see some darling pictures of little Grace in the cardigan I knit her! It finally arrived in Australia after being in the mail for three months (eeek!) - we thought it was lost but it got there and luckily Grace is still small enough to wear it, hurray!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Canada Day - a little late!

It is just after midnight here in Toronto so officially it is actually July 2nd, but I'm still awake so I say it's still Canada Day for me - and really it's still July 1st in other parts of the country so we're all good!

Alex and I found a giant Muskoka chair outside the Duke of York pub - where we had lunch and I indulged in a watermelon mojito - and I thought that it was the perfect place for a Canada Day picture! I mean really, if you found a giant Muskoka chair outside, wouldn't you climb up on it too? Let me tell you, it was no mean feat getting back down!

Wait, wait, wait, this picture will give a little better idea of how big the chair actually was...

Doesn't exactly show how far off the ground it was, but good enough! And for those who don't know Muskoka chairs are further off the ground at the front of the seat than at the back because they slope - at one point I slid all the way to the back and had a fun time trying to right myself! If I had had any amount of foresight I would have found someone to take a picture of Alex and I in the chair together - obviously he's the one holding the camera for these ones.

So a Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians and to all those who wish they were one of us too (hah!) or who just need a reason to party! I do have a quilt to show y'all coming up but I've had some logistical issues getting pictures of it but I'll be sharing it soon!