Friday, 12 September 2014

Finished - first zippered pouch!

Happy Friday !

My guild had a zippered pouch swap yesterday.  So on Tuesday, I set out to sew my first zippered pouch.  Yikes!


As you can see, I am not over the Red and Aqua combo...

Other side...
I have sewn zippers before, but a pouch?  With a lining an all?  Scary stuff!  I checked a couple tutorials and narrowed down on this one by Lindsay at Craft Buds:  That was easy, people, EASY!

that fabric with the bicycles... I am saving it! that's why I only used it for the top 2 inches of the lining.

I made a few changes, of course: I layered and quilted my outside fabric, added a pocket in the lining, and a little ribbon on the side.

There's a pocket in there

I am still not over my Red and Aqua phase...  Can't get over the cuteness.  It's pretty girly but thankfully our president Adrienne, who was the recipient loves that colour combo too.  I am happy this went to a good home!

And which one did I received? Check this out:

I am totally stealing the idea of the picture with coloured pencils from Margaret's Facebook page

This was made by Margaret of Fortune Cove Designs.  She hand dyes her fabrics and she made this using a layered scrap cut away technique.

I love that button!

This pouch ranks pretty high on the coolness factor.  That was my first swap... not my last.
Check out the other ones: So much variety...

I love my guild!

Linking up to TGIFF at Quilt Matters.  Enjoy your week-end.

Friday, 5 September 2014

The Re-Fashion (Upcycle) Edition

My First Re-Fashion

Edited: this is more of an Upcycle than a re-fashion... But i am counting this as a refashion.

A couple months ago while getting sidetracked in blogland, I stumbled upon a fabulous blog called Refashionista.  Refashion?  Take unwanted, unloved items (sometimes hideous), and turn them into something you actually want to wear?  I had no idea it was a thing...   And then I discovered there is actually a whole refashion blogging community... (why did that strike me as a surprise?  Of course there is!). 

Making garments from scratch is time consuming, so I don't have much interest for it right now.  But refashion?  Half the work is already done, and it is really inexpensive (if you mess up, it is a learning experience).  Gillian, the Refashionista blogger makes it look so easy... Ah, the possibilities!  I have visions in my head of walking out of my local goodwill store with seriously unloved clothes and turning them into beauties to wear the next day.

But I am getting ahead of myself....   Right now, these are only ideas in my head.  My time is limited and, well, I kinda want to keep quilting too!  For my first re-fashion project, I started small:   My daughter needed an art smock for school and it wanted to make her one.  I headed to the Salvation Army and came home with this colourful number:

Not bad for $2
I started by chopping off the collar and the sleeves:

The first cut is the deepest scariest

I measured against an old store-bought art smock and chopped the bottom too.

It helps to have a model

I used a piece of pink stretchy jersey from my non-quilting bin for the collar and cuffs:

Not perfect but close enough

Before finishing off the cuffs, I needed to take in the sides and the sleeves.

This is way too big for her right now...

...but that is an easy fix!

I sewed on the cuffs and hemmed the bottom, then proudly showed my creation to my husband and presented him the following dilemma: how to machine embroider my daughter's initials on the front pocket without rendering the pocket unusable?  

You can't see it, but there is a pocket
In his wisdom, he said: Do the initials have to be on the front pocket?  Why don't you just embroider her name somewhere else? Duh!  Of course!  The idea with refashion is not to have a set idea of how you are going to do things, but to work with what you have.  I embroidered her name on the back using free motion quilting (no picture).  I first stabilized my fabric with freezer paper in the back, which I just tore it afterwards, like you would do for paper pieced block.

My daughter tried it, and it was still too big.  So I took it in a bit more, and then, just for fun, I added a bright orange pocket in front.

So I present to you my first official refashion:

From man shirt to girl art smock

One person's trash...

- We will resume our regular quilting programming next post -

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

My New Apron

 - We momentarily interrupt our quilting program to talk about aprons -

Here is a very basic apron I made myself about 10 years ago.  I love the colour, but you will have to agree with me that this style really does not do the job.  It does not cover anything.  I always end up with some flour on my shirt and I can't do anything that involve grease like carving a turkey.  Which, come to think of it, is not necessarily a bad thing: my husband has the right apron for the job.
Cute, not practical
Of course, because I sew, I refuse to buy a new one.  I have been meaning to make a full length apron for a long time but never got around to do it until this past week-end.  I was puttering around the sewing room looking for an excuse not to clean up when I saw a vintage sheet that needed to be put away in its proper place.  I thought "why put it away when I could make something out of it?"

I love vintage sheets!

So I set out to make an apron, using my husband's apron as a model.  I really loved this print and I think it makes a great apron, but it lacked a little oomph!  I looked through my stash of fat quarters: browns, yellows, reds and found the perfect match: yummy cream dots on an orange-y red.

Fake action shot: the pot is empty...

On my husband's advice (the real chef in the house) I added a pocket in the front.  I am told they are useful.  For what?  I can't really see myself carrying a spatula in the pocket like I am doing in this picture (his idea, too).


My daughter loved the apron and was quite sad this was not for her, but seriously, why does she need another apron?  I made her one a couple years ago with leftover denim and another vintage sheet.  I even made her a matching head scarf!  I have this thing about not putting pictures of my kids on the blog, so my husband offered to model it for the blog.  I politely declined, so here I am again:

Believe me, it looks much cuter on her than on me!

Well, I think that is enough pictures of myself for today.

What non quilty things have you sewn recently?

Linking up to Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

10 Quilty Little Secrets

13 Spools

I am jumping on that bandwagon too.  Inspired by Amy at 13 Spools and some of my bloggy friends, it is my turn to reveal my 10 Quilty little secrets:
1 - I get excited about a trend well after everyone else is over it.
2 - I change my sewing needles often, but rotary cutter blades?  I make them last way past their useful life.
3 - I sometimes cut paper with my sewing scissors.  Don't tell my husband... he got in trouble for doing the same thing.
4 - I do not know - nor care about - the name of Kona Colours.
5 - I am a binding snob.  I think all bindings should be hand sewn and I dislike the look of machine binding.
6 - I sometimes rush to finish quilting something just so I have a binding to hand stich.
7 - I have rarely met a shortcut I did not like.  Except for machine binding, of course.
8 - Though I have made a couple, I find quilts made entirely of one collection quite boring.
9 - My sewing room is constantly messy.  My post on my sewing room is a bit of a fraud... there was a lot of piles being moved around in order to take pictures.  I have been known to cut projects on the floor because my super-duper cutting table was too messy.
10 - I do not like cats.  I cringe when I see pictures of cats messing around near sharp objects and shedding their hair on their owners precious works.

What are your quilty secrets?


Friday, 29 August 2014

Friday Finish... a Very Special Pillow

It's finished :(
The vacation, that is.
I am just back from three wonderful weeks away.  Having been on a ferry for five hours this morning on rather rough seas, I am still feeling like the rolling of the waves.
Yes, there was a bit of hand quilting, some button sewing, and a quick seam on a sewing machine in the first few days, but then, no sewing at all.  Who has time to sew when there are rocks to skip, sandcastles to build, kites to fly (OK, we did not get to fly our kite, but we wanted to, does that count?) and hills to climb.  And let's not forget long roads to run accompanied by a little monkey on a bike...

I was with very intermittent internet service - not a bad thing - so this is the first chance I get to post about my early vacation finish.  Remember this?  I was debating making a pillow or a wall hanging, and whether to add buttons or something else for the leaves.

Well, I heard y'all, and I went for a pillow with buttons.  Lots of buttons!

But before the reveal, the story.

Giving is the best

C. is my second cousin: Her dad and my mom are first cousins.  I am sure we have been at family gatherings together as children, but I only have a vague recollection of her at the time.  I met her again four years ago at a big family reunion for our extended family - descendants of our great-grandparents - which includes over a hundred people.

Since then, C. and I have become acquainted through Facebook - a way to get glimpses of each other's lives but without really knowing each other well.  One thing I know, though, is her dedication to our extended family.  Since the big reunion, she has been maintaining a Facebook page for our  family.  Every month, she reminds us of upcoming birthdays.  Announces births (and deaths), and posts pictures of family gatherings.  It is a thankless "job" and I am sure there are many who appreciate her efforts, but perhaps we don't say it often enough.  When I decided to make another quilty gift for an unsuspecting recipient again this year, I knew it would be for her.  It does not hurt that she hits the "Like" button when I post pictures of my quilts on Facebook...

For the construction, I made a slab of low volume scraps which included both traditional and modern fabrics and appliquéd a tree to represent the family (I am that subtle, I know).

The buttons came from my stash - I emptied the green jar and had to dig in the blue and the yellow ones, which worked out great.

On a side note, the buttons were all sewn using Clark & Co's #10 cabled thread I found amongst other treasures in my grandmother's old sewing machine... very fitting!

It's the one with on the left with the green label with anchor.  By the way, if anyone knows of a great resource for antique/vintage thread, do share...

So here's a picture of the almost finished project.  I thought it was finished but there was something bugging me...  Can you notice?

The pillow cover is slightly too big for the pillow form and it is sagging.  I might have let it slide on a birthday pillow for a 7 year old, but not for this one.  And it was a quick fix, too...

Here, much better...

I am happy to report that the pillow was gifted - in person - to C.  I know she was both surprised and touched by the gesture and, well, you just can't fake that reaction... I know she loves it!  That is the best part of quilting.  Designing, making, finishing, yes.  But giving is the best.

Linking up to TGIFF at Ms. Midge and Finish Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

More Shop Talk and a Simple Vintage Sheet Project

In Tuesday's post I talked about my visit to Patch Halifax.  I had forgotten my camera but owner Chris promised to send me a few pictures.  However, because of a typo in my email address, someone random person in cyberspace received the pics and is wondering what to make of them! 

Anyway, I have the pictures now... here I am, holding the very first purchase made on opening day.

First Customer!

I think Chris was happy to have a customer within minutes of opening!  I know she's had many more that day, including a few fellow members of the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild.

Me and Chris

Oh and speaking of the guild, we are delighted that our monthly meetings are moving to this delightful space at the back of Patch.  Thanks Chris!

Patch Halifax

But enough of the shop talk.  Let's talk vintage sheets.  I have a fondness for vintage sheets, as evidenced by these quilts (blogged here):

Orange Julep

I should have called this one Mint Julep, to keep up with the theme...

The good thing about collecting vintage sheets is that people just give you vintage sheets.  I have not bought any for a while, but somehow people just like to get them out of their closets and send them my way.  I am not complaining.

Although I am not too fond of kids sheets with cartoon characters, I can always make an exception for this guy:
Who doesn't like Snoopy?

That sheet is great and in good condition (quite unusual for a fitted sheet).  Except that it does not really go with any other sheets I have (the flowery 1970s ones)...  What's a girl to do?  But, wait a minute, look at this fabric collecting dust since the beginning of times.  What is that?

Really?  What was I thinking?

I'll tell you what that is.  That is a perfect backing for the Snoopy sheet.  These two were made for each other...

They're even better together in real life!

I cut a piece of the sheet the size of the backing (I only had one meter), layered them with a piece of batting and quilted loops with a nice variegated thread (another perfect match) on the backing and white on top.  On second thought, I could have used the variegated thread on the top too.

Perfect match!

I have since added a darker blue binding which I still need to hand stitch - I love hand stitching binding.  I am not kidding myself, this is not a heirloom quilt.  I even hesitate to call it a quilt - I think blanket might be more appropriate... yet, it was quite satisfying to make, and it will make some kid happy.  As an added bonus, I have a portable project to take with me next time I am going on a business trip.

Who is your favourite Peanuts character?

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

New Fabric Store in Halifax

This is exciting, folks! 
I had the pleasure of visiting Patch Halifax on their opening day.  And guess who was the first customer to make a purchase?  Yes indeed!

Patch Halifax is owned by Chris Pasquet who believes everybody can learn how to sew and should have access to a sewing machine.  That is why her shop is equipped with several machines (Berninas - she has good taste) and a serger that people can rent by the hour.  She caters not only to quilters, but all sewists alike.  She has some books, notions and a nice variety of basic patterns for garment making.  Hmmm… I could be tempted…

As far as quilting fabric goes, the selection was quite modest on opening day, though more fabric is coming soon.   Right now, she has gorgeous solids from Westminster (to all the Kona lovers out there... take note: Westminster solids are niiiiice!), and beautiful collections with a modern vibe: Joel Dewberry, Charley Harper, some Essex Linens and... drum roll please... Liberty Stile.

I am told there is more fabrics on a truck just waiting to be delivered.  I may be making a special trip when Denyse Schmidt’s Hadley comes in!  Good thing it is on my way home from work... or is it?