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.