Friday, December 27, 2013

A Little Catch-Up + the Giveaway Winners!

Hey y'all! How's everyone doing after the holidays? I'm pretty much wiped out, but it was nice to see everyone. I'll post all of the crafting I did for holiday gifts soon, but I've got something else to share today. This should tell you exactly how behind I am - this particular project was finished in mid-October and I'm only just getting around to blogging it now! Since my computer is still broken, I am just getting further and further behind with sharing everything.

It's a tablet case! I bought the Nexus 7 in October as a birthday present to myself and it's what I've been using for email, internet, etc during this time without my computer. It's very similar to other cases I've made using Amber's tutorial before but this time I included a patchwork pocket on the front (and again, it's re-sized from the original tutorial). The main body of the sleeve is yarn-dyed Essex and the patchwork pocket features a bunch of scraps from my bin.

I used an Art Gallery print for the interior because the cotton is really soft and I thought it would be nice next to the tablet. I accidentally made the tab closure too big but didn't notice until I had the whole thing sewn together, so I just doubled it up over itself and tacked it down by going over the topstitching line again.

Now, this is super-late but (better late than never) I thought you'd like to know who the two winners of the Botanics Roll Ups from Fat Quarter Shop are! Here we go...

Megan from A Little Bit of my Life
Jessica from Quilt Habit

Congratulations ladies! Please email me with your addresses and Fat Quarter Shop will get your Roll Ups out to you! I'm a wee bit jealous since I don't have any Botanics and want some sooo much!

That's it for now. I hope you all recover from the holiday madness quickly!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Giveaway Time: Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander

Hey y'all! How's everyone doing? Since it's Hanukkah (and I just like giving things away), I thought it was high-time that we had another little giveaway! I think everyone is going to pretty excited about this one...

Eeek! Botanics by Carolyn Friedlander!! Guys, I totally want to win this for myself - Botanics just makes my heart sing.

My good pals over at Fat Quarter Shop are letting me giveaway two roll-ups to two separate winners - woot! That's a whole lotta love.

Yum! While I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Carolyn in person (no Quilt Market for me the last couple of years), she seems like a pretty neat lady - you can read an interview with her over here on the Fat Quarter Shop blog.

So I bet you'd like to know how to win, right?

You have two chances but please be sure to leave separate comments for each entry. Here's what you've got to do:
1. Leave a comment letting me know what your favourite 
collection from FQS' Coming Soon section is.

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 (December 10th) and announce the two winners 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*

Friday, November 15, 2013

Falling Maple

A few weeks ago, our friends welcomed a new baby girl to the world, so of course I need to make her a quilt! When Heather saw this on Instagram, she asked me if I could do a tutorial on enlarging this specific quilt block, so that post will be coming this way soon!

I used the traditional maple block and enlarged it by about 200%. Since the baby was born at the end of October, I thought that the maple was a nice block to choose since it just screams Fall to me!

I used Mind's Eye in Toast from Anna Maria Horner's Field Study collection for the maple, Kona white for the background, and quilter's linen in plum for the binding (or maybe it's purple...I have both and I can't remember which is which).

For the backing I used two prints from Tula Pink's Parisville and a strip of the same golden shot cotton that I used for my Birdie Sling. I machine quilted it on point, using a light yellow thread.

Name: Falling Maple
For: Vivian
Size: 40x40"
Completed: November 03, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sock Sacks!

Just before Sewing Summit in September, I went into a bit of a sewing frenzy (no doubt aided by the crashing of my computer). I made quite a number of things, including matching a couple of Sock Sacks - one for me and one for my super-awesome Sewing Summit roomie.

The Sock Sack is a pattern available on Craftsy from Ramona Rose and it is awesome! This is the one that I made for DD featuring the cutest bunny fabric from Modern Whimsy and a little Lizzy House. The purple accent fabric on the zippered divider and bands is Kaufman Quilter's Linen (one of my absolute faves!).

This one I made for me and it lives in my purse. I keep both my knitting and EPP in it at the same time. For mine I used the transistor fabric from Melody Miller's Ruby Star Rising (gifted to me by the lovely Debbie, who you might all know from the workroom here in Toronto) and Riley Blake's Saddle Up. The Saddle Up fabric is facing the wrong way (the FQ can only be cut a certain way to get the right fabric amounts), but I just got it into my head that I absolutely had to use this fabric for the interior. I used the same Quilter's Linen for the band but swapped it out for some pearl bracelets for the pocket. The only thing I changed from the original pattern was to omit the interior tabs and to make my own drawstrings rather than using ribbon.

The original Sock Sack pattern only has a divider in the middle but Ramona Rose put a tutorial up on her blog for turning this divider into a pocket, which is the addition that just sends this pattern over the edge! Although the pattern is meant for accommodating knitting two-socks-at-a-time (where you have two balls of yarn, one can go on each side of the divider so as not to get tangled), I thought it was fabulous for just knitting in general or for carrying more than one project. I keep my knitting on one side of the divider and my EPP supplies on the other, with all of my notions and tools in the little pocket.

Sock Sack in action! I took this picture on the plane on the way to Sewing Summit; I knit and did a little EPP on that trip. Trust me, I got some weird looks from some of the other passengers! The flight attendant asked me what I was doing and she gave me the blankest look when I tried to explain it.

Even if you don't knit, you could definitely use one of these little sacks to carry around other hand projects!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Purse Palooza: the Birdie Sling

Hey y'all! So even though I am in the UK right now for work (that's right, I'm now apparently a jet-setting librarian), I just wanted to let you know that I am guest-blogging over at Sew Sweetness today as part of Sara's Purse Palooza series.

I am reviewing Amy Butler's Birdie Sling pattern. This was actually my first time making the Birdie Sling (I know, late to the party, right?) and I just love how it turned out! I used My Folklore from Lecien for the body, and golden yellow shot cotton (I can't remember if this was a Moda or Kaffe off the top of my head) for the bands and handle. The interior fabric is the dark brown Henna Garden from Sandi Henderson's Meadowsweet 2.

So, hop on over to Sara's if you want to check out my review and read my thoughts on it! I'll be back from London on Saturday and hopefully I'll have lots of fun pictures to share with you then!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pre-Holiday Sampling + a Pattern Sale!

Hey y'all! First off, I just wanted to say that the reason I haven't been blogging much lately is that my computer crashed the week before Sewing Summit and I still haven't been able to get it fixed. I wrote my last couple of blog posts using Alex's old laptop that is so slow (and the space bar doesn't work properly) that I want to gouge my eyeballs out every time I use it! I seriously have so much to share with you guys, I have been sewing up a storm lately, plus I want to share some pictures from my Sewing Summit class; I'm still getting pictures from my students over Instagram as they work to finish their pillows and it is awesome!

This is just a quick post because, seriously, I can't stand to type on this computer for long, but I wanted to do a little something special! With Chrismakkah and the holidays just around the corner, I know that many people are already starting to look at making gifts and things for their homes. I've already begun on a couple of gifts and have more plans that I will, hopefully, be able to execute in time. To get everyone in the holiday crafting mood I am offering up a little discount on all of my downloadable PDF patterns. How does that sound?

For my Etsy shop the coupon code to get 15% off (downloadable patterns only, please do not use on finished items such as quilts) is: HOLIDAY2013. Now unfortunately, Craftsy does not have a way to accept coupon codes, however, if you wish to purchase from my Craftsy shop rather than my Etsy shop please send my an email after you purchase including both the email you use for your Paypal account and your Craftsy screen name and I will refund you 15% through Paypal. The coupon code/refund policy are in effect for two months (two whole months!!) and will expire on December 18, 2013.

Here is just a sampling of the patterns you can purchase:

Nordic Christmas! This is the cover from the "series" where you can buy all three patterns together at a discounted price, however you can buy them individually too. And don't forget about the tutorial for turning one of the blocks from Ornament Sampler into a finished ornament!

Orion! Seriously, I am still pretty much in love with this quilt. I know it's not cool to think one of your own patterns is awesome, but seriously, this quilt makes me smile every time I see it! And don't forget, that the paper pieced arrows (all templates included in the pattern) can be used on their own and built out to create a cool pillow, or to form a portion of another motif.

Itching to be Stitching! This pattern is still one of the most popular in my shops. It was originally designed when I was asked to be the first guest designer for The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery; after it went out of print with the folks over there, I revamped and re-released it. It gives me no end of pleasure to see people stitching this little guy up and hanging it in their craft room/studio space.

There are a few more patterns available in my both my Etsy and Craftsy shops, but I won't inundate you with any more pictures for now. Don't forget the code for the Etsy shop is: HOLIDAY2013

I can't wait to see what everyone stitches up for the holidays - let's hope it's a good one!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sewing Summit 2013: All the Friends!

Hey y'all! So I debated with myself for awhile about whether my first post-Sewing Summit post should be about my class, the general experience (lost luggage *cough*), or everything else. But I realized while going through pictures, looking at Instagram, and seeing some other blog posts pop up, that all I really want to blog about right now is my friends and all of the super-cool people I got to meet.

My awesome roomie came bearing gifts...

Dinner with a great group of girls who laugh when I curse or say something a little irreverent...

We've got Angela, Lindsey, Deedrie, Jeni, Me, Elena, Amy, and Kati here at Brio - yum!

There were great friends that I only get to see very occasionally (come to Toronto!)...

Christina and I: by Christina

Christina and I: by Jeni

Jeni and I: by Christina

Elena and I: by Angela

Although, this can occassionally lead to fisticuffs too...

Elena and I: by Deedrie

Or inappropriate pictures of Kaye trying to take a picture of friends at dinner...

by Deedrie

See? Inappropriate!! And occasionally friends say things like "I like people who like me" and strike a super-cute pose...

And you get to meet some other people for the first time in real life...

from Jess
Ale (sitting beside me) and I talk HP all of the time on Instagram and Jess (in the red Mickey Mouse sweater) is always so positive towards me that I just want to smooch her! Jana was almost my roommate and Jessie (who is awesome) taught a class at Sewing Summit too! And yep, that is indeed Heather Bailey standing behind me.

I had a wonderful time hanging out with all of the ladies and I'm a little sad that I don't have more pictures of everyone else that I met! I'll be back soon with more pictures and stories from Sewing Summit!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Jelly Roll Jam + a Giveaway!!

Hey y'all! How's everyone doing? I've got something fun to share with you guys! The folks over at Fat Quarter Shop are sharing their first "shortcut quilt" with a free pattern and video tutorial. Not only is this quick little pattern free but the video tutorial is free to view on YouTube too - how neat is that?

Fat Quarter Shop was kind enough to send me a Jelly Roll of BasicGrey's PB&J test the pattern out - so cute! This top came together so quick and easy! Unfortunately, with preparing for Sewing Summit and all ('I'm up to my armpits in alligators' as my mum would say), I wasn't able to get this little guy quilted up but I will!

This pattern uses half of a Jelly Roll for a 36x36" top - that means that you can make two sweet little baby quilts from one Jelly Roll - awesome!

This pattern is very beginner friendly and would be quite easy to quilt on a home machine- just good things all around! I cannot say enough about how simple this was to do - really, you should give it a try!

So I bet you want to know about the giveaway, huh? Well, to celebrate the release of the Jelly Roll Jam pattern, Fat Quarter Shop and I are offering one lucky reader the chance to win this...
A Lush Uptown Jelly Roll by Erin Michael for Moda- woot! Now I bet you want to know how to enter, right?

You have two chances but please be sure to leave separate comments for each entry. Here's what you've got to do:

1. Leave a comment letting me know what your favourite Jelly Roll at FQS is.
(oh, and just a little FYI, all Jelly Rolls are 20% off this week to celebrate the release of Jelly Roll Jam)

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 (September 23rd) 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*

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tutorial: Welcome to the Neighbourhood

Hey y'all! Things have been quiet around these parts lately but that's because I'm in the middle of getting everything ready for the EPP class I'm teaching at Sewing Summit - I cannot believe that it's only 10 days away. I'm so excited! But let's not talk about that right now, let's get onto a fun, new tutorial - woot!

I received these lovely fabrics in the mail a couple of weeks ago from Liberty of London and Sew, Mama, Sew. These fabrics are from the Stile collection by Liberty Art Fabrics and they are lovely! You would not believe how excited I was to receive a package marked with the Liberty logo in the mail - I've never been able to buy anything directly from Liberty, so it was quite a treat! Now why, you may ask, would Liberty and SMS possibly send me these beauties? To take part in a super-fun pillow challenge of course! And, because I'm me and I love to write patterns, I decided to turn the challenge into a tutorial - woot!

Introducing... Welcome to the Neighbourhood! This little pillow uses all 8 of the Liberty prints I was sent, plus a few solids, to create a little gathering of sketchy applique houses! This tutorial is more about the applique than the specific dimensions of the pillow itself so you can feel free to make it any size you'd like (mine is about 9x13"). So let's go!

-Scraps (prints and solids) for the houses
-Linen background fabric
-Black thread
-Heat and Bond (or other paper-backed fusible web)


Print off the houses template (print at 100% without scaling). Using your fusible web, trace each piece from the template onto the paper side.

Cut out the templates from the fusible web, leaving a little bit of room around each template. Label each template so that alignment and fabric selection is easier.

Following the directions for your specific web, steam the template (glue-side down) to the wrong side of your fabric.

Cut out each template along your tracing lines.

Peel off the paper backings and decide on the placement of your pieces against the linen background fabric  - as you can see from the picture above, the roof overlaps the chimneys and a teeny bit of the body of the house. Follow the directions for your fusible web to fuse them into place.

Repeat the above with the window and door pieces. Fuse into place.

Now here's where we get to the fun sketchy bit! Using your black thread, stitch around all of the pieces that you've fused. This is supposed to look sketchy and slightly uneven - try not to get hung up on perfection here! It's all part of the fun! Make sure to go around each bit so that they are permanently stitched down.

As you can see, after I finished sketchy-stitching my bits down, I added another strip of Liberty fabric across the top to resemble the sky. I also added some sketchy wisps out of the chimneys, and hand stitched a french knot onto each door for a door knob.

I finished off the pillow by stitching a piece of cotton batting to the wrong side of both the front and back pieces of the pillow to give it a little loft. I used another Liberty print on the back (and for the label) and did a simple turned finish.

I hope you like my little tutorial and that it inspires you to try some sketchy applique - it's quite fast and fun! If you do end up using the Welcome to the Neighbourhood templates or tutorial, I would love to see it! Either share it in my Flickr group or feel free to drop me a line!

Thanks so much to both Liberty of London for the fabrics and to the entire Sew, Mama, Sew team for putting this challenge together - I sure had a good time!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Poof! What do you need?

Hey y'all! See the title for the blog post up there ^? That's for my mum! That's her favourite line from Aladdin, but I also thought it was pretty funny because...

Poof! I made a pouf! Oh boy, I slay myself! Alex and I are working on redecorating out living room and we were looking at poufs and ottomans to brighten the space up and to give a little bit of extra seating, but man, all of the ones we found were ridiculously priced. I figured, hey, I can make that!

The pouf is currently paired up with our new Strandmon chair and new bookshelves. We've got a new couch and coffee table on the way too - pretty exciting!

I used this tutorial - which was totally awesome! I expanded the size of my pouf (which is why you can see a break there in the fabric by the handle). Both the mustard home dec fabric and royal blue piping are from Fabricland (a bit like JoAnn in the States but their home dec fabric is all really nice quality). This was the first time that I've ever put in piping and I'm pretty proud of how it turned out.

"But, oh! to be free! Not to have to go 'Poof! What do you need? Poof! What do you need? 
Poof! What do you need?' To be my own master, such a thing would be greater than 
all the magic and all the treasures in all the world! But what am I talking about? Let's get real here. 
It's not gonna happen. Genie, wake up and smell the hummus." - Aladdin

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tutorial: The Euclid Quilt

Hey y'all! You ready for this? After years of being asked about the original Euclid quilt, here is a tutorial just for you! As I mentioned in my last post, I have gotten many requests for a tutorial or pattern for this quilt over the last three years and after showing Alex snuggled up under it recently on Instagram, I received a renewed wave of requests. I decided that I should just do it! It's a pretty easy quilt to put together - it's the math that seems to be a killer for people who've tried to figure it out for themselves. That's why it's called Euclid. Let's go!!

24 - 2.5"xWOF strips of fabric
1 Yard solid fabric
4 Yards fabric for backing
1/2 Yard for binding

*Finished quilt measures 48x64". All seams are 1/4" unless otherwise stated. Press in between steps. Also, you don't have to use a solid for the centre of the blocks - something like a text print, or texture (like Sketch) would be really fun! Fabrics used are Botony by Lauren and Jessi Jung and Kona White.


-From each 2.5"xWOF strip cut two (2) 2.5"x4.5" strips and two (2) 2.5x16.5" strips.
-From the 1 yard of solid fabric cut twenty-four (24) 4.5x12.5" rectangles.
-Pair up the four pieces from each WOF strip with one solid rectangle. These five pieces will comprise one finished block.

-Sew one 2.5x4.5" strip to each end of the solid rectangle. Press.

-Sew one 2.5x16.5" strip to each long side. Press.

You now have one finished rectangle block. Repeat the above steps with your remaining strip and solid sets.

-Take three of your finished rectangles and lay them out like the above. Sew the two horizontal rectangles together. Press. Sew the vertical rectangle to the previously sewn horizontal rectangles. Press. I like to call this the "big rectangle block".

*Sorry, that there aren't any pictures for the next stop. But you can refer to the finished quilt top above. You can also refer to the colouring sheet that I've made (link is below).

There are four rows of two big rectangle blocks that make up the quilt top. Lay out your blocks as indicated below and sew together.

Row 1 (Top): Vertical rectangles to the left
Row 2: Vertical rectangles to the right
Row 3: Vertical rectangles to the left
Row 4: Vertical rectangles to the right

Your quilt top is now finished - yay for you! Sandwich, quilt as desired, and bind!

If you would like a colouring sheet for the quilt, you can get it here!

My quilt isn't finished yet, but I'll show it here when it is. It's actually going to be a wedding present for my godmother who is getting married in October. Have I mentioned that I have two (TWO!) weddings and my birthday all in the same weekend?! Craziness.

So what do you think? I hope that those who have been asking for a tutorial or pattern for this quilt for the past three years are excited to finally have it. If you do end up making the quilt, make sure that you post pictures in my Flickr group! I'm excited to see what you do.