Monday, May 30, 2011

Things to love

New shoes. I can't wait to wear them!

(Weird picture taken as I was changing the bedsheets. Is it bad luck to have shoes on the bed?)

Lilacs from the tree in the back yard. They smell heavenly.

The Postage Stamp quilt. I finished it Saturday night!

Here it is before being washed.

And the back, pieced with leftovers from this quilt as well as O'Cherries.

Just in case I forget who made it (and when).

Photos taken tonight after the quilt was washed and dried. I do like the crinkliness of this one, much more so than I did O'Cherries. It's probably because I kept the quilting so simple on Postage Stamp so washing and drying didn't crinkle up the design and detract from all my hard work.

My neighbour probably thought I was crazy taking photos of a quilt on the front lawn. But, hey, he was bbq-ing without a shirt on. (Don't worry - that's a good thing haha.)

One last shot of the quilt draped over the sofa. I really need to start taking pictures before the sun goes down.

Yep, three things to love today!

p.s. I am linking this post to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Postage Stamp on the machine!

At last...

I quilted the Postage Stamp quilt.

This was supposed to be my April project. And it's nearly June.

Just the binding left to do now!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Dog's Life

I spent the long weekend with my friend, Kim.

After a five-hour drive from my city down to hers, I was greeted by this cute little face:

This is Kim's new puppy, Penny. She's a golden retriever-Brittany spaniel cross. What a sweetie!

Our plan for the weekend was to do some visiting, get lots of sewing/quilting done, finish our marking and have a girls' night out.

Visiting - Check
Sewing/quilting - Sort of
Marking - Not much
Girls' Night Out - Yep (got home after 2 am)

I was so ambitious and optimistic about my projects. I packed my sewing machine, my Postage Stamp quilt top, batting and backing, as well as the fabric and pattern for my skirt. What was I thinking?

I managed to piece together the backing for the Postage Stamp quilt. No basting, no quilting, no cutting out or sewing the skirt. I packed it up again and brought it all home with me.

Someday...someday I will get that quilt finished. Someday I will sew that skirt and then the dress.

But not tonight. I'm exhausted. The five-hour drive home was terrible - it rained the entire way and in some places it was raining so hard I could hardly see the road. Yuck.

Back to work tomorrow. I can almost see June on the horizon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Summer of No Pants

Question... What is The Summer of No Pants?

a.  the name of a new light-reading teen novel
b.  a confession of my exhibitionist tendencies
c.  a plea for a new wardrobe
d.  an opportunity to wear skirts and dresses all summer long

And the answer is....

d. an opportunity to wear skirts and dresses all summer long


It's a sewing challenge, hosted by Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! that runs between May 23 and June 17. Make one dress or skirt each week (4 total) and post your creations on the SONP flickr pool. There will also be guests posting patterns and tips about sewing skirts and dresses, including a post from Kay Whitt who wrote Sew Serendipity. (She has some amazing new patterns on her website too. I'm tempted. So very tempted.)

Yes, there are prizes, but the real fun of this challenge is the sewing AND getting to wear pretty skirts and dresses. It's Spring - time to cast off the tights, leggings and pants. Show your legs (shave them first) and run free in a skirt!

My first project will be

followed by

Both are from the Sew Serendipity book.

Yes, I know you've seen these patterns and the fabric before, but I've got nothing else to show you right now. My sewing machine has been gathering dust for about two weeks while I work on projects for my course.

But there's a long weekend coming up so, in addition to doing some quilting on the Postage Stamp quilt (still not finished), I'm hoping to get at least the skirt cut out by Monday.

So, why don't you join us? It will be fun!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bloggers' Quilt Festival: Spring Edition

I love the Bloggers' Quilt Festival that Amy hosts each Spring and Fall. It's an opportunity to check out so many beautiful quilts and be inspired all over again!

I've decided to showcase my Be Yourself quilt. The name comes from an Oscar Wilde quote: "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken."

I made this quilt for my daughter earlier this year. The project actually started ages ago when I bought a charm pack and some yardage of Authentic fabric. I knew I wanted to make the OnlyChild a quilt with it, but I didn't see a pattern I really liked.

I started off with the plan of making some kind of Chinese Coins quilt. I carefully cut the charm squares in half and sewed them together in long strips.

Then I stalled. It just wasn't what I wanted to do. I put it away to percolate for a while. A long while.

When it came out of hiding, I envisioned something entirely different for this quilt. I was inspired by some square-in-square designs I had seen around the internet but I didn't want it to be too even and monotonous looking so this is what I ended up designing.

The quilting is completely straight-line all across in one direction. I didn't worry too much about perfectly even lines; I just used the walking foot on my sewing machine as a guide and reoriented my stitching at every long seam. I'd seen this quilting technique on lots of projects but I'd never tried it before. It worked out great and looks pretty cool.

My daughter loves this quilt. It's not too girly (the last one I made her had a lot of purple in it) and will fit with any decor so when (if) she moves into her own place, she can use it as a throw in the living room without it looking like a little girl's bed quilt.

If you want to see more of the Bloggers' Quilt Festival line-up, head over to Amy's Creative Side.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Fabric Frolic

I rarely buy fabric without a specific project in mind. Take, for example, these two pretties that arrived in my mailbox yesterday:

I purchased them to make a dress. (I actually had hoped I'd get the package last week so I could sew the dress in time for Grad - which is this Thursday and Friday - but it didn't happen, so I'll have to search my closet for something decent that still fits me. Groan.)

In the past couple of weeks, though, I've received some awesome treats that I haven't ordered or purchased myself.

This sweet little bundle was sent to me by Riel of The Q and the U in return for some charm squares I mailed to her. Little-known fact in Blogland: Riel and I went to high school together! Who knew we'd connect 20 years later through quilting?

Then there's this gorgeous group below. I won these fabrics in a giveaway from Quilt Dad, John. Yellow is my favourite colour and I love it paired with grey. I'm so glad this colour combination is back in style. When I was in grade 8, I made a yellow sweatshirt in home-ec class and wore it with my very chic grey cords. So stylin'!

I think a little quilt will be made from this fabric. I have a grey solid that will coordinate nicely.

And lastly (but not leastly), this stack arrived in the mail a couple of weeks ago. Six yards of Kona solids in colours of my choice won from Rachel at p.s. i quilt (I think she picked me because she likes my name - wink wink). I stuck to neutrals, except for the green and purple. In case you'd like some for yourselves, the colours are (l-r) grass, white, stone, parchment, aubergine, and butter. The colours look a bit washed out in the photo, but really they're quite beautiful.

Honestly, I don't enter a lot of giveaways. I have enough fabric to last me a lifetime (and it's, for the most part, leftovers from projects or hand-me-downs from other people). I think I have been extraordinarily lucky in the last month or so.

Now, I just need to be lucky enough to find some free time. This time of year (May/June) is incredibly busy - grad, IB exams, finals, marking, preparing for next year, marking and more marking. And I officially started my new Master's course yesterday. It's already got me run off my feet. So much work! I hope I'm doing more than is expected and that the prof tells me to calm down because it already feels like it's taken over my life (I actually started doing the work on the weekend so I could get a bit ahead before I got behind this week).

Is it June yet? I want to play with my fabric!