Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas quilt show

Here is my entry for SewCalGal's 2011 Christmas Quilt Show:

This is the Flurries quilt I made a few years ago. I actually made two of these - one for my mother and one for me - because I liked the pattern so much.

It has a LOT of appliqué and that part took rather a long time, but the actual sewing of the quilt was simple because it's just strips with a border. I quilted it in an all-over swirl pattern. My mum's quilt is backed in soft, fuzzy flannel, but mine just has muslin on the back.

Now that I've got my Christmas decorations up, it's time to bring this quilt out of the trunk so I can snuggle with it!

Head on over to SewCalGal and see some of the other wonderful entries in the 2011 Christmas Quilt Show!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

On a wild monkey chase

Oh, I had such plans for sewing this weekend, but my time last night and this morning was taken up by a wild monkey chase. I was looking for some of these

These are the original Rockford Red Heel socks made by the Fox River Company. They do not sell these socks ANYWHERE near where I live.

Mr. P and I drove all over the city. We went to Army & Navy, The Bay, Zellers, Sears, Winners, Walmart, Mark's Work Wearhouse as well as a couple of jobsite supply stores. No Red Heel socks to be found. Sigh.

I really wanted to make a couple of Sock Monkey shirts from Angela's tutorial (found here) for my friend Kim's girls. I finally managed to order some online (and got 50% off by searching on Google for a promotion code for the company - brainwave!) but you know my trials and tribulations with Canada Post. Who knows if the parcel will arrive in time for me to make the shirts as Christmas presents? I'm researching other options too. Just in case.

In the meantime, I will do some other Christmas sewing. My friend Patt mentioned last weekend when we were Christmas craft sale-ing that she wanted an apron, and she specifically wanted one with a loop for a tea towel. I found the perfect pattern on Sew4Home and bought some fabric to make two.

The colours are a little off in this strange twilight, but the two fabrics on the left go together and the two on the right also coordinate. The apron is lined, with a pocket and trim. I also bought twill tape for the tea towel loop, neck strap, and ties - black for one, white for the other. I'll decide later who gets the second apron. Maybe me?

Right now, though, there's a stack of grade 10 social studies essays calling my name.... I'd better stop monkeying around and get to work!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I've discovered that I can, actually, achieve something with just a few minutes or an hour of work. Revolutionary idea, I know.

I used to think that I needed a whole day, or at least an evening, to make it worthwhile to turn on the sewing machine and get out the rotary cutter. Not so. Yes, I know many of you have already figured this out and I'm, once again, arriving late to the party.

This weekend, I started the Snowdrops mini quilt from a little kit my friend Kim gave me last Christmas. I was saving it (really...). When I put up my Snowman in the Woods quilt in the front foyer on Sunday, I knew it was time to make Snowdrops.

I was sewing on the very last button eye, when it broke. So that one little snowman has BIG button eyes. Cute!

It might be time to unpack all the snowmen and decorate for the season (winter, that is - in our house, Christmas decorations must wait until Advent begins).

And how funny that as soon as I want to decorate for winter, the temperature rises to above freezing and the snow begins to melt...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Snowman Mug Rug Tutorial

Last night during the Friday Night Sew-In, I worked on finishing these:

Then I thought I'd whip up some more and write a tutorial while I was sewing so you could make some for yourselves. So here's my...


Materials for one mug rug (approximately 9" square when finished):
  • 1 - 6" square white fabric
  • 4 - 2" squares red or green fabric
  • 2 - 2" x 6" strips red or green fabric
  • 2 - 2" x 9" strips red or green fabric
  • Small scrap of orange fabric for nose and Heat n' Bond (or other applique adhesive)
  • 1 - 11" square of quilt batting
  • 1 - 12" square of backing fabric
  • 1 - 2 1/4" x WOF strip fabric for binding
  • 2 small, flat black buttons for eyes

Step 1:
Sew 2" squares of red fabric to corners of 6"" white square.

Step 2:
Trim corners 1/4" away from stitching.

Step 3:
Press corners outwards with seam allowance towards red fabric.

Step 4:
Sew 6" strips of red fabric to opposite sides.

Step 5:
Press outwards with seam allowances towards red fabric.

Step 6:
Sew 9" strips of red fabric to other two sides.

Step 7:
Press outwards with seam allowances towards red fabric.

Step 8:
Make triangular-shaped nose from orange scraps; bond and applique (I used blanket stitch) to middle of white square.

Step 9:
Layer 12" square of backing fabric, quilt batting, and top. Baste (I used 505 Spray for this job) and quilt as desired.

Step 10:
Trim to 9" square and apply binding using your favourite method. I like to use Anita's binding tutorial, found here.

Step 11:
Sew on button eyes to create a unique expression for your snowman.

Step 12:
Enjoy a mug of hot chocolate and maybe a cookie or two on your new mug rug!

For maximum enjoyment, repeat Steps 1 through 12 and create more Snowman Mug Rugs for gift-giving.

I'm also thinking that a whole quilt made out of these blocks would be adorable

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Friday Night Sew-In (Christmas Edition?)

Perfect timing! This Friday is FNSI and I have a couple of little projects to finish.

It's been such a busy week but I should be able to take a little bit of time on a Friday night to work on something fun!

Stay tuned for "finished" pics coming Saturday (I hope).

What are you going to work on for FNSI?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The *S* Word

It was inevitable.

All my exclaiming about the lack of snow the other day did nothing but encourage Mother Nature. "Oh, look!" she said to herself. "I totally forgot about Edmonton. It's way overdue for a dump of snow."

Okay, so it's a teensy amount of snow for now. More to come later, I'm sure. It did put me in the Winter/Christmas spirit, though. Today the OnlyChild and I, along with my friend Patt, went to a Christmas craft sale. Never mind that we bought food items rather than anything Christmassy or crafty, it was a lot of fun! And never mind that I have totally avoided doing any kind of work this weekend at all - no marking, no writing, no reading for my course, no postings, not even any housework. I might regret that tomorrow or Monday, but right now I don't care.
Instead of working, I enjoyed the time with my girl. We visited a friend/coworker who just had a baby.

Excuse the terrible cell phone picture above. Little Elliot really was the most warm and snuggly baby and so cute! The Baby Bow Tie quilt went to him; his mom and dad were so pleased with it.

Plus the OnlyChild bought him the sweetest onesie - white with bicycles all over it and green trim around the neck and sleeves.

Tonight the OnlyChild and I are going to the Rocky Horror Show - a live theatre performance. We've been looking forward to it for a while. It's been a good weekend, but she has to leave tomorrow afternoon and I won't see her again until Christmas break. She's made me promise not to decorate the house until she gets home. But with the fresh snow and the bite of winter in the air, I'm not sure I can hold off. I'll have to bring out the snowmen at least!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Let's talk about the weather

Really... it's November 9th today and it has yet to snow in Edmonton. According to the newspaper this morning, that's a weather record. In recorded history, the latest we ever received snow here was November 6. Amazing!

But snow is forecast for tomorrow so I'll hold off on the cheers.

Let's talk about what I've been doing.

I finished my paper last weekend even though the professor emailed everyone and offered an extension until this weekend. "No way!" I told myself. "Let's get this thing done." So I did. The OnlyChild is on her way home as I write and will be staying for the whole weekend. I'd much rather spend time with her than on my course (although I am a bit behind on my reading...).

I finished the green cowl and made another, smaller one. Nothing fancy. Then I happened upon this pattern and decided to knit a scarf in blue. I love this pattern from JaceyCraft. It's easy but not boring. If you want to make one, you can download the pattern for free - just make sure you cast on either 32 or 34 stitches instead of the 33 in the instructions. There was a teensy mistake that Jacey is going to fix.

Now let's talk about what I am going to be doing (besides coursework and school work and marking blah blah blah). 

I am a sneaky, sneaky girl. I bought a Swoon quilt kit from Fat Quarter Shop. Normally, I don't go for kits. I like to inject my own flair and personality into my projects. But I just adored the Swoon quilt that Camille showcased on her blog Simplify (scroll down a bit to see the picture) and I couldn't (honestly!) think of fabric I'd rather make it in than Ruby. Beautiful! So, yeah, I gave into temptation and just ordered the kit.

I got the card from the post office in my mailbox yesterday and picked up the parcel this afternoon. I opened it, checked it all out, took a couple of pictures, then carefully packed it all away. There's not a chance I will be starting this baby before the new year. It can be my first 2012 project!
Finally, let's talk about what I haven't been doing.


The first few days went well. Then I had to write that paper, which took Friday evening and most of Saturday (not too bad - I had all my planning done). I did a little more novel writing on Sunday but my brain was a bit fried and I really wanted to get away from the computer.

I haven't touched it since. Mind you, it's been really busy at work this week too. We had our Remembrance Day service today and I'm one of the committee co-chairs so that has been my focus the past few days. Plus, it's grad picture time at school and that's another of my responsibilities. I've spent every lunch hour booking appointments and answering questions. I've taken parent phone calls and teacher enquiries. I'm sick of it already.

So, by the time I got home from work, I was exhausted. A little bit of work then some total vegging out with the knitting needles. That's how I've spent the last three evenings.

Not very productive. But, oh well...

In a few minutes, Mr. P will be pulling in with the OnlyChild in tow. I have a feeling it will be a late night tonight. I can sleep through our PD day tomorrow. Just kidding...teachers never do that!

Friday, November 04, 2011


You can just see it peeking from underneath my textbook...a ball of yarn to knit the green cowl I've been working on here and there.

I wrote about 1/4 of my paper tonight but now I'm ready to relax and knit for an hour before bed. I'll get back to writing bright and early tomorrow morning.

Needless to say, there's no sewing going on in the sewing room right now!