Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Very Harry Christmas

Hey y'all! With Christmas only a couple of days away, I thought I'd share a little project I made for my friend Ale. Ale and I originally met on Instagram and quickly bonded over our mutual love of both sewing and Harry Potter; we finally met in real life when I taught at Sewing Summit last year. Last Christmas we decided to exchange HP themed Christmas pillows and so (as Ale dubs it) "A Very Harry Christmas" was born! I never had the chance to share the pillow I made for Ale, but since Christmas is here again, I figured now is a great time!

This picture was totally stolen from Ale since apparently I no longer have the pictures I took (they were on my phone that died). I used the same sketchy applique method that I outline in this tutorial; most of the pieces were traced onto fusible web using templates (like the letters), but some of the smaller bits (the socks, the snitch, etc) were drawn freehand. Like the Lumos/Nox mini I made, this pillow was also quilted with the Deathly Hallows.

This is one of the only photos I have from when I was working on the pillow, but you can see the applique method a bit better. Most of the fabrics used come from Bonnie and Camille's Vintage Modern collection and the pillow is finished with an envelope-style back.

In the spirit of the holidays, here is the Christmukkah card that Alex and I made and sent out.

Since I forgot to take pictures before mailing all of the cards, I totally stole this one from my friend Tracey. Hmmm, I starting to detect a theme here... reminder to self: take your own pictures.

I hope that you all have a lovely holiday season and get the chance to relax a bit. I'm uber-excited to have some time off work so that I can get down to the business of sewing - woot!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Hey y'all! So, it's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day - one of the funnest days of the year. For everyone that has been around here before - hi! - for anyone new to my world, pull up a chair, put up your feet, and feel free to stay awhile!

Since Giveaway Day snuck up on me there this year, I've decided to give away a few of my digital patterns. I'll pick five winners and each winner can pick one pattern of their choosing from my Etsy shop. Here's a little sample of what you can choose from:

This is Orion and it's the most popular of all of my patterns. It features giant stars and paper-pieced arrows.

This is Winter Chalet and is part of my Nordic Christmas cross stitch collection.

Itching to be Stitching is the first pattern that I released as an independent pattern (if you'd like to see some of the free patterns that can be found on this blog or in magazines and books please see my full pattern page). And remember, there are more quilt and cross stitch patterns in my shop to choose from if you win!

So I betcha 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 about your holiday traditions. We celebrate
Christmukkah around these parts, so we've got lots going on.

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 on December 12th and announce the 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).

Be sure to head on over to Sew Mama Sew to see all of the other wonderful giveaways that you can enter! There are supplies and handmade items to be won!

*the giveaway is now closed*

Monday, November 24, 2014

Washi Tape Christmas

Hey y'all! A couple of months ago the folks over at Stitch Craft Create in the UK asked my if I'd like to participate in a little Christmas ornament blog hop, of course I said yes, and today is my day! I worked with the US side of Stitch Craft Create many, many times before it became a UK publication (four issues in a row to be exact and have had a couple of my patterns republished in the UK edition too), and I must say that they are really fab people to work with!

Since I have more washi tape than can possibly be good for me, I chose to make one of the ornaments from Washi Tape Christmas by Kami Bigler. Although, who am I kissing? I love books and SSC has so many fun looking holiday craft books (I already own Handmade Scandinavian Christmas and it is awesome).

This book is super cute and has lots of ideas for using up all that spare washi tape; there's cards and gift wrapping, ornaments and decorations, and so much more. Very, very cute!

I decided to make the Jolly Holiday Baubles and they were so simple! The best part was digging through my washi tape and deciding which tape should be next to which. Since I don't own any circle punches, I cut all of my circles out by hand so there are a few that are a little wobbly. I still think they're cute though!

Just for fun, I decided to make two baubles using different colour schemes. This one is red and white with a little gray thrown in (which sort of matches my holiday theme for this year.

The second one I did in turquoise and pink for a vintage Christmas feel! I think this colour scheme also makes this bauble less Christmas-y - something that you could make for decorations for a baby or bridal shower.

Go here to see all of the bloggers participating in this hop - many have blogged already but there's still a few more to go!

SSC is also hosting a little contest...

Hop on over here for all the details! There's only a few days left in the contest so be sure to check it out soon if you're ineterested!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Cotton + Steel Giveaway Winner!

Hey y'all! Just popping in to let you know the winner of the Cotton + Steel Pony Express bundle. Without further ado, the winner is...

Congratulations Jeifner (Jennifer)!! Please contact me with your mailing address and Fat Quarter Shop will send your bundle out to you!

Friday, September 26, 2014

National Sewing and Quilting Month with FQS

Hey y'all! Did you know that it's National Sewing and Quilting month? Well, it is, and Fat Quarter Shop is hosting a little blog hop to celebrate (and they've also got a free little heart pattern up)! Today is my day and Daniar sent me a few questions to answer...

How did you start quilting/sewing?
 I first began sewing when I was about five years old and my grandmother taught me to use her sewing machine to make clothes for my Barbies and dolls. I've always been super crafty, and used to spend a lot of time sewing teeny items for my miniature dollhouse. I made my first "quilts" for that dollhouse too, using fabric pieces from sample books and using de-wadded cotton balls for stuffing.

When was the first time you knew that you were a quilter/sewer?
Hmmm, now that's a hard one! As I said, I've always been crafty and I've been sewing for most of my life. I guess, quilting would be the best topic for this answer. I made my first "real" quilt when a friend from high school was getting married. I randomly decided that a quilt seemed like a good idea. At the time I didn't really realize that there was such a thing as a quilt pattern, so I just made up my own (it was almost entirely hand sewn too since my machine gave out partway through). After that, I just kept making more and more quilts. Through the magic of the Internet I realized that there were other people just like me, and they were calling themselves quilters, so I decided that that's what I was too.

Do you have any sewing/quilting horror stories or faux pas?
I think I've actually been pretty lucky in this regard! I occasionally stab myself with needles while hand sewing and I have sewn through my finger once with the sewing machine (ohh, and there was that time my sewing machine needle broke, flew up in the air, and cut my lip open), but really nothing too serious at all! I make mistakes just like everyone and my seam ripper and I are pretty good friends, but I also have a pretty healthy respect for sharp objects (did I ever tell you about the time my mum cut her finger off when I was a kid...yep).

What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out in sewing/quilting?
Try everything without fear! If you want to make a quilt - give it a try! If you want to make a purse - give it a try! Sure, you might end up wasting a bit of fabric in the beginning, but the hours you spent trying out new techniques are not wasted. They show you what you like, what you don't like, and where your strengths lie. There are tons of classes available, and if you can't afford them (or if you're like me and just like to teach yourself), there are tons of tutorials online that will show you everything you need to know. I still get discouraged if something doesn't work out quite the way I want, but it's all good, I just keep going.

I have only one other piece of advice - treat others as you'd like to be treated. Most designers, bloggers, and sewy-type people are very receptive to questions. We like to lend a hand whenever possible (if you don't understand something in a tutorial or pattern, a lot of designers are willing to give a little email advice), but don't be that person. You know the one I'm talking about - the accuser, the nagger, the egotist, the gimme-gimmer, etc. If you are trying a new technique, it's really okay to reach out for help and advice, but don't demand that someone help you or demand that they sent you a free pattern just because, etc, etc. It's all about kindness people. In the immortal words of our favourite little sketchy man, don't be a dick.

Now, the second part of all of this was to try something new, but unfortunately I have no pictures to share. I did do some new stuff, but since it's for publication, I can't talk about it *sigh*. I sewed with leather for the first time (good thing I got that new sewing machine that will sew through anything), and this weekend I'll be teaching an EPP class where the majority of students will have never sewn before (eeeekkkk!), scary.

And just because it's funny (and I'm totally wearing this to teach my class), do you want to know the real reason I quilt?

Tee Shirt can be found at Patchwork Threads
Yep, that's it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Giveaway Time - a little Cotton + Steel!

Hey y'all! I thought it was about time we had another giveaway, so I took to browsing Fat Quarter Shop's website, and what do you think I saw? Cotton + Steel! Ohhh yes, I thought, people will most definitely like that.

Sooo, up for grabs we have a Pony Express Remix bundle! This bundle includes 15 fat quarters that have been chosen from each of the five C+S' designers debut collections, as well as a couple of prints from their basics collection.

As I mentioned before in one of my Quilt Market posts, this mix-able quality is one of my most favourite things about the C+S collections. Ohhh, look at those mustangs, and arrows, and crosses, etc, etc, etc...

So, 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 
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 (September 18th) 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).

Good luck everyone!!

*the giveaway is now closed*

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Quilter's Mixology Sew Along: Butterflies

Hey y'all! So today is my day for the Quilter's Mixology Sew Along; my actual post for the Sew Along is over on Sara's website if you'd care to read, but I thought I'd share the quilt (and a few other things) over here too!

I was assigned to make the Butterflies quilt from Angela's book and decided to make a mini version! I did not change the scale of the pattern at all; this mini is based on one section of the quilt that finishes at 24" square.

I used a bunch of fabric from my scrap bin for this one and some Kona (Silver, I think) for the background. The binding is an older Art Gallery print I had in my stash. Now I should mention that I've never ever sewn curves before (and seriously, Angela's book makes it far less scary than I supposed it would be), but that wasn't my only hurtle...

I got a new machine and this is the first thing I sewed on it!! My mum bought me a Janome 8900 as an early birthday present - isn't that awesome?! I'm turning 30 next month and mum thinks that's a big birthday that needs a big gift...who am I to argue with her? I've named her Ginevra (Ginny for short, of course); for a size comparison, here she is with my old Janome Genevieve. I have now sewn 5 larger projects on her and it's been wonderful! I can not even tell you how nice it is to not fight with small throat space anymore.

Even though I say it over on Sara's site, I just wanted to reiterate again how fabulous I think Angela's book is. It's really special, and lovely, and thorough, and just plain awesome! And yes, Angela is my firend, but I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true *wink*.

Photo courtesy of Angela Pingel
And just because I think this is a lovely picture of the three of us (and I miss my girls so much), here is a picture of Angela, Ali, and I celebrating the release of Angela's book at Quilt Market last May. See those drinks we're holding there? That's a special cocktail that Angela made up to go with the book and they were yummy! Cheers everyone!

P.S. In case you are a giant nerd like me (and think shipwrecks are kind of neat...also like me), you will be interested to know that they found one of the ships from the lost Franklin expedition. Here is some Stan Rogers for your enjoyment...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Meet + Make

Hey y'all! So I just wanted to let everyone know that I will be teaching an English Paper Piecing class at the end of the month at Meet + Make.
Meet + Make is a full day creative workshop hosted by The Makers Nation. Participants will be able to choose two workshops from a total of six to participate in throughout the day; these workshops include such awesomeness as Silk Screening and Book Binding (more info below). Breakfast, snacks, lunch, and happy hours drinks are all provided in the registration cost.

Ohhhh now, doesn't that look like fun?! As I mentioned, there are six workshops to choose from, these include: English Paper Piecing, Book Binding, Silk Screening, Wood Carving, 3D Printing, and Instagram 101. I think it's going to be a super-awesome day.

And, as a little something extra, I have a $25 off coupon code that I'm sharing with you guys. If you think this is and event that you'd like to check out then you should definitely use it to register here (there is also a "bring a friend option" that allows to people to participate for a discounted price). The code is: MM_Teach

I cannot wait to meet some new faces and to hang out with such creative individuals for the day - I am so excited!!

Where: MakeWorks at 1139 College St. Toronto, On
When: Sunday September 28, 2014 from 9:15am to 6:30pm
Why: Making awesome things of course!
What: Chicken butt.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Coming Up: A Quilter's Mixology Sew Along!

Hey y'all! Well, it has been a busy few months around here. I have so many deadlines coming up in September that I'm not really sure I could name them all off at once without forgetting something, eek! I really do need to be better about writing things down. One of the first things coming up in September is a sew along/blog hop for Angela's book, A Quilter's Mixology.

The sew along will be hosted by Sara of Sew Sweetness and I think it's going to be a lot of fun! There are lots of super awesome ladies participating and I hope you'll be able to join us. All the fun will start on September 8th, and from what I hear there are going to be some pretty spiffy prizes up for grabs - woot!

Here's just a little sneak peak at my cuttings for the quilt I'm doing (my day is the 9th). I must admit to being a little afraid of the curved bits as that's never been my forte, but that is what this book is all about - helping you master curves! Who knows? Maybe everything I make will have curves from now on!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Bag Making + the Giveaway Winner!

Hey y'all! How's it going? While going through pictures on my iPhone today, I discovered that I hadn't shared any pictures of the Super Tote that I made before heading off to Quilt Market. Frankly, I think Instagram is having a detrimental effect on my blogging - I take pictures of the things that I make (or am in the process of making), post them to Instagram, and then completely for to post them to my blog! Bad.

With that said, I'm going to share a few of the pics that I took that day while making it!

I watch a lot of Harry Potter while sewing (I also tend to drink a lot of coffee)! Anna's Super Tote pattern is absolutely one of my most favourite bags to make - the pattern pieces go together so easily and the instructions are just fab!

The Clover Wonder Clips make this stage of making this bag soooo easy! The first time I made a Super Tote I didn't have Wonder Clips and just used pins - it was super frustrating. I also use these while hand sewing binding and they work great!

I used fabrics by Sarah Watts and Jay McCarroll for the outside, along with some wool suiting for the sides and outer handles. The interior (lining, pockets, zipper bands, and reverse of the handles) features three prints by Anna Maria Horner.

I still carry this bag everyday and just love it! I was going through my Quilt Market pictures, and it's quite funny, but my Super Tote doesn't show up in any of the pictures - it's always hidden by someone else!

So, I bet you want to know who the winner is, right? Well, without further ado, the winner is...

Congratulations Adrienne! Please email me with your details and FQS will ship your thread box out!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Giveaway Time - a Moon Shine Aurifil Box!

Hey y'all! How's it going? It's been a little while since we've done a giveaway and I thought, since Fat Quarter Shop is celebrating their 11th anniversary, that now seemed like the perfect time!

This time around I'm giving away something a little different and I really hope you like it...

Ohhhh, what could this be?! Why, it's one of the brand-spanking new Aurifil thread boxes designed to coordinate with Tula Pink's not-yet-released Moon Shine collection.  This particular box is the Dandelion colourway but threads to coordinate with Moon Shine are also available in the Meadow and Strawberry colourways. I was lucky enough to receive a few fat quarters of this new collection while I was at Quilt Market, and let me tell you, it is gorgeous!

This awesome little box contains 10 spools (220 yards each) of Aurifil 50wt. cotton thread - isn't it pretty? If I had any disposable income right now, I would be buying one of each of these little boxes for myself - totally jealous! And just in case you wanted to see a little more about the thread (and other Tula awesomeness), FQS shot this little video with Tula at Quilt Market.

To celebrate their anniversary, FQS is offering a shipping sale, so if there's anything over there that you want, I say hop to it now!

Now I bet you want to know how to enter the giveaway right? Well, here ya go!

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 (June 25th) 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).

Good luck everyone!!

*the giveaway is now closed*

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

SMS: My Favourite Quilt

Hey y'all! Just popping in to let you know that I'm participating in the "My Favorite Quilt" series happening right now over at Sew Mama Sew. The series is curated by Jessica Skultely of Quilty Habit and will feature designers and bloggers talking about their most favourite quilt (made by them).

I chose Orion as my favourite (love it so much I can't use it). If you'd like to read more about my favourite quilt, and see who else is featured too, head on over to Sew Mama Sew!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Spring Quilt Market 2014 - Part Two

Hey y'all! Let's get back to the Quilt Market action!

This is Thomas's booth - it was fab! I spent quite a nice time, sitting with Thomas in his booth and just chatting. As we do, we chatted about ideas, theory, and his book Modern Quilt Perspectives. On the night that I arrived, Thomas threw a little party in his rented loft to celebrate his book and it was a great time.

This is Alison Glass' booth - as with the Cotton + Steel booth from my last post, it was really hard to get one picture of the full booth because it was always full of people eager to see Alison's new work. I have one tip for you: see that blue solid in the quilt at the back? Get it and get it now, it's called Celestial and it's Kona. It is frickin' fabulous!

This is a shot of the other side of Alison's booth - just as fabulous as the other side! Look at all the pretty things!

Quilt Market, for me at least, is also about seeing the friends that I don't get to see very often since we're spread all across the world! We were out every night of Market (as a matter of fact John, Sukie, Lee, and I all went clubbing on the Friday which is something I have not done in years!) and it was so great to just catch up and relax with each other. On Saturday night, we had a big dinner and then headed to a bar where we chatted until the wee hours. Not everyone made this picture, but let's see... there was John, Katy, Brenda and her husband, Sara, Violet, Tula, Tula's brother Cameron, Angela, Ali, and I'm sure a few other people that I'm not thinking of right now.

Speaking of Violet, her booth was amazing! I can not get over this paper-pieced quilt - it blew my mind! I am definitely going to need the pattern. Her new fabric line, Brambleberry Ridge, is absolutely gorgeous and I will be getting all of it.

Photo courtesy of Violet
I tried really hard to steal this pillow (tentatively called Stan the stag), but Violet caught me! It's hard to see in the photos but Brambleberry Ridge has these really great metallic accents that will work great in a range of projects.

As always, the Echino section was gorgeous and full of wonderful linen-cotton prints. The Nani Iro prints were right by these and I nearly swooned!

Photo courtesy of John
Just before John left for home on Sunday, Angela, him, and I took one last photo together - I miss these guys so much already!

Photo courtesy of John
He also took this one of Angela and I at Art Gallery and I think it's my favourite photo of the two of us from the whole time! Angela is one of my favourite people and it was so wonderful to spend three whole days with her!

Well, that's it for the Market pictures I guess, but I still have some swag pictures to share and I'm going to try and review at least a couple of the books I got. Tune in next time!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Spring Quilt Market 2014 - Part One

Hey y'all! How's it going? I've been back from spring Quilt Market in Pittsburgh for about a week, and am only now beginning to wrap my head around it all and the great time that I had. I've been to two Quilt Markets before but I haven't been for a few years, so it felt a bit like a new experience all over again. I have so many pictures and got to sorting them out tonight; the one big difference that I noticed was how many more pictures there are of friends rather than booths this year. Sure, I saw and admired a lot of booths and talked to a lot of people, but I think the times that I remembered to whip out my phone (or other people whipped out their phones) were the times that I wanted to capture memories with my awesome people.

Picture courtesy of Amy Smart
So many awesome peeps all in one photo!! Here we've got Melissa, Amy, Angela, Me, Anna, Allison, Ashley, Faith, Amanda Jean, and Lee - wow!

Jeni's booth was my first stop on the first day of Market because I love her! Jeni, Anna, Amanda Jean, and I all roomed together over Market which was pretty fun. Jeni's new collection with Art Gallery called Geometric Bliss is just awesome and I love the colours.

Photo courtesy of Angela
Wandering around, I ran into Ali and Angela, and we basically ended up spending the rest of Quilt Market as a threesome. This super-awesome photo shows Ali using Angela's back as a table to sign a copy of her book, Quilt Lab, for me. Also, note the tote made by Amanda of TheCraftJunky; it was my Christmas present from her and I carried it around everyday. I totally pimped her super-geeky awesomeness to anyone who would listen.

Of course, I had to find the awesomeness that is Cotton + Steel and it did not disappoint! I didn't get very many pictures of their booth because it was constantly packed with people, but I managed to snag a couple including this one showing their award for best first booth - wonderful work ladies!

This is another one from Cotton + Steel; one of my favourite things about their booth was that they melded all five of the collections together rather than keeping them separate - really brilliant!

Photo courtesy of Ali
While we were hanging out at Angela's book signing (for her book A Quilter's Mixology) we were approached by a couple of ladies from The Electric Quilt Company who graciously offered us some copies of EQ7 - how cool is that?! I got the PC version and Ali got the MAC. Thanks again EQ!

Photo courtesy of Anna
I'll leave you for now with this kind of hilarious picture of me in Heidi Boyd's booth! I was super-excited about meeting Heidi since I love her book Stitched Whimsy, but I think this pretty much sums up my face for most of Market!

I've got tons more to share so tune in later in the week for more Quilt Market antics!