Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Midnight Owl Mug Rug + a Giveaway!

So, I've been keeping secrets again! You know me and my secrets...

That's right, I've got a project in the Fall 2012 issue of Stitch Craft Create magazine, woot! This is the Midnight Owl Mug Rug and I am in love with it (I am allowed to say that when it's my own project? Oh well)!

This cute little guy combines both patchwork and cross stitch into a quick and fun seasonal project. The colours used here are more modern-Halloween inspired but you could easily change them to reflect another season or decor-style. The pattern includes the instructions (um, ya, obviously Kaye) as well as the cross stitch chart and floss key.

I used a mix of solids and prints from various collections; I think both the blue and green solids are Free Spirit and the grey is Kona (Medium Grey, I believe). There are a couple of Kate Spain prints, some Tula Pink, Laurie Wisbrun, Sandi Henderson, and a bat print from one of the older incarnations of The Ghastlies.

I just had to show the backing because I love the way that it works with the colours in the front! It's a print from Nel Whatmore's Sleeping Beauty that I had leftover from the Flying North block tutorial. The thread colour I used here for quilting is one of my absolute favourites - it's Gutermann #860 is a really lovely shade of golden orange-yellow.

This issue is available on newsstands now and features lots of really rocking projects! But wait!! Maybe you'd like to win your very own copy instead?! Well, one lucky person will since I have an extra copy just hanging about here (there were actually three copies but my mum scooped one and obviously one is mine)! Here's what you gotta do:

1. Leave a comment letting my know what your most favourite thing about Fall is.
Fall is my favourite season so I'd like to hear what you think! 
(If you don't have Fall where you live just come up with something fun to tell me!!)
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 September 4th) 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*

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Be happy. It's one way of being wise. -Colette

A couple of weekends ago Alex and I headed up to the blue mountain for our friends' wedding - we had a grand time and it was a really lovely celebration. I decided to make myself a clutch for the occasion since I didn't own a small purse that matched my dress.

I used Anna's Envelope Clutch pattern and made the small version with a pointed flap. I didn't have a swivel clasp on hand (and no time to head to the fabric store) so I inserted the wrist strap directly to the pouch while sewing it together. I used Essex linen/cotton in natural for the body and some Liberty of London tana lawn in Caesar for the flap. The Liberty was a gift from the super-awesome Jo and is actually available in her Etsy shop right now!

For the interior I used the turtle bay print in aqua from Tula Pink's Prince Charming collection; I also used the same print in cream for creating the little accordion pocket (which I think I messed up by the way, but it still works). I included one of my labels that I printed through Spoonflower... ya know, just in case I forget who made it *wink*!

As always, Anna's pattern was well-laid out with lots of pictures and great instructions! I really enjoyed making this clutch and will definitely be making more in the future. I want to make a bigger version with the other flap style for carrying around day-to-day when I don't need my huge purse; I also want to try a version with piping since I've never tried it before!

I also made Tim and Julie a card to go along with their wedding presents. I absolutely love using small fabric scraps for making cards and have made quite a few in the past - it's especially great for using up little bits of fabric that are too small for actual patchwork. As you can see there are some small pieces of original release Flea Market Fancy in there that I've been keeping; I keep all of my teeny pieces in a sandwich sized zipper bag so that they're easy to access when I'm card making.

If you stay posted to my little space here you just might see some more cards coming in the near future... just sayin' *double wink*!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Quilts at the Creek

A couple of weeks ago I participated in Quilts at the Creek where I showed two of my quilts. Quilts at the Creek was put on by the York Heritage Quilter's Guild in cooperation with Black Creek Pioneer Village; the YHQG asked my guild (the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild) to participate in the show with them and so I decided to put in two quilts that were finished somewhat recently.

Black Creek Pioneer Village is very cool and most of the quilts were hung up outside in various places throughout the village. I've heard a rumour that the show did so well that Black Creek has already decided they want to do the show again next year. Both my mum and Sheila drove into Toronto and the three of us spent the day at the show together; we walked around and visited all of the quilts, went into most of the buildings, watched a weaving demonstration (I recently found out that we somehow missed a hand quilting demonstration), and went to the fabric marketplace about five times as well as the actual giftshop.

Before we get into a few pictures, can I just say that I'm a complete moron and didn't actually take pictures of any of the quilts. The only reason I have any pictures of my own quilts in the show is because Sheila and my mum both took pictures of them. Yep, I totally rock.

This photo was taken by Sheila (using my phone) and that's me standing in between my two quilts. The one on the right is The Geese Have Landed which has been shown on this blog before, however the one of the left is Mineshaft which I haven't shared. Mineshaft has actually been done for a little while now, but is one that I'm currently writing a pattern for (hopefully it will be done and for sale very soon). I originally intended to put another quilt into the show but it didn't fit the width dimensions that they wanted as it's destined to be a wall hanging. And yes, both of those quilts contain a whole heck of a lot of Tula Pink - you know I love her!

A little anecdote: When I originally ventured out to find my quilts at the show I was dismayed to find that Mineshaft had been hung sideways - as in with the long side across the clothesline (despite the fact that the quilt back is pieced and that it has TWO labels on it that). Luckily a staff member wondered by as I was saying all of this to my mum and got it fixed! I wish they hadn't folded the top over like that (especially since it's crooked which you can really see in the next picture).

These are the backs of my quilts! You'll see better pictures of the Mineshaft back when I release the pattern but I must say that I love it! This is where I was standing taking pictures (not this picture obviously) when I heard two older women dissing my Mineshaft quilt - not cool!! Needless to say I didn't go near my quilts again for the rest of the day.

Here are a couple of goodies that I picked up both at the Marketplace and in the gift shop. The six fat quarters on the side (as well as a Moda scrap bag that isn't in the picture) are from Log Cabin Yardage which is a Canadian online shop. The hand dyed fabric pieces are from Good Lines Decor - they were made using pre-loved cotton and dyed with vegetable dyes - I think the colours are seriously awesome! The yarn is from the gift shop at Black Creek - it was hand spun at the village using wool from their Border-Leicester's (who I saw - cute sheep!) and hand dyed using indigo and osage. The little tag on it even has the name of the girl who made - her name is Kelly. I also bought a set of handmade leather buttons in the gift shop but they're not in the picture either.

I definitely think that I'll do Quilts at the Creek again and next year, I promise, I'll actually take pictures of the quilts!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Little Catch Up

So, it's been a while since I last posted! It's been a rough couple of months - what with not having a job and such, but I'm trying to keep myself busy and not dwell too much on all of the negatives. Let's do a little catch up post here! I've been crafting quite a bit and have a few things to share, so let's do a few now and then some more later in the week!

I finished the first of my Seaweed Socks - woot! The pattern is available for free on Wendy Johnson's site and the yarn is Madelinetosh Sock in Iceburg (which is a discontinued colourway). I'm just about to start working the gusset for the second sock and hopefully I'll have both socks fully done within the next week or so. When they're both done I'll take some better pictures so that you can really see the colour.

I stitched up this little Bob and Doug McKenzie duo as a gift for my mum. The pattern is from Wee Little Stitches on Etsy and was super fun to stitch! Seriously hard to photograph so in case you can't read it the line on the bottom says "take off, you hoser" (you may need to be Canadian to get this one).

I also knitted up three teeny-tiny preemie hats for charity; I'm going to make more since I can probably get five or so hats out of each skein and they really are super-fast. I feel good knowing that such a little thing I've made can bring some serious warmth and comfort to others. The pattern is available for free and there are five different variations on the hat; I'm planning on making one of each version in both pink and blue.

And, a little announcement, Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays is now available for purchase in the print edition!! It came out on August 7th and should be available in all major bookstores as well as online at places like Amazon and Indigo. Also, just in case print isn't your thing or you want to get the book instantly, it is still available as an ebook as well.

In case you don't remember (or weren't around these parts when I first announced it), this is my pattern from the book - the Countdown-to-Christmas Advent Calendar! My pattern mixes English paper piecing, stamping, and a little patchwork to create a fun and easy calendar with pockets just big enough for a small chocolate or toy.

I have a few other things and announcements to share but we'll wait and do that a little bit later! I hope y'all enjoyed catching up with me here. I'll talk to you soon!