Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Secret swap

This year I participated in Marigold's Loft Christmas swap.  The idea is to make a handmade ornament and send it to someone, somewhere else in the world!  I wish I could show you what I made, unfortunately I forgot to take pictures.  I haven't heard if the ornaments even made it to Belgium yet.

Here is what I received.  It's just lovely!  I had a hard time capturing the color with just my iPad.  I think I'm pretty lucky, don't you?  It's soft and really cozy for this nasty weather we are having.  Thank you Katerina!  I don't know anything else about you but I hope you see this thank you note!




Monday, 16 December 2013

A Christmas Finish

I worked hard this weekend to quilt and bind a quilt for Christmas.  As I had said before, my niece is heading off to college this fall.  She and I are very close, and I feel I've had a big part in raising her.  It's not often that I feel my quilting skills are good enough to give as gifts.  But Madison has always taken an interest in my sewing and I know she will love a quilt for her dorm room.

She loves pink, so pink she gets.  However, I wanted to make it a little edgier so added some slashes of gray.  The quilting is definitely organic in nature.  A quilt this size is still difficult for me to push through my machine.
 The backing is unbelievably cozy.  I had heard that this material was really difficult to quilt but it wasn't too bad, a bit of puckering but I'm satisfied.
The binding was a little difficult.  I always find binding to be difficult though.  I think I tend to make it a little too narrow and then run into trouble. 
 
My four year old saw it (and cuddled with it).  She's hoping it's going to be hers.  I didn't think she cared that much about handmade quilts!  She's made me promise that I will make one exactly like this.  I hate making things twice!

This quilt measures at about 72in. by 48in.  I used a low loft batting and it has a wonderful weight to it.  I love it and so very much wish we could keep it to cozy up under for the winter ahead but it will be appreciated.

One more Christmas gift off the list and just one to go, I think! 

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Advent Events

Growing up I always had an advent calendar.  Marking down the days until the most exciting day of all.  It usually had a piece of chocolate hidden behind a little door for each day that was opened.  I ate the chocolate quickly and got back to what I was doing.

My girls are just little but I wanted to do something more meaningful.  This year we made red and green links out of construction paper, like a garland to be hung on the tree.  Each link has an event of some sort written on it.  Some of the events are charitable acts and some are just cosy things for the four of us to do together.  Here's a look at what we've been up to so far:






(The pictures are super bad quality, as I left my camera behind at Thanksgiving time and can't get it until Christmas)
 
So far the girls have been loving this kind of advent.  As far as charity/pay it forward events so far we've put money in the Salvation Army kettle and made a special shopping trip for shelter groceries.  We also bought a 4 year old some Christmas gifts.  My four year old had a really hard time understanding why we were buying toys for another child and why she herself was not allowed to have them.
 
But I have a feeling this will become a tradition and will teach us all a bit about giving, loving another and the true meaning of Christmas!
 
Not many days left in the calendar here are a few events coming up:
  • Mama and Daddy celebrate together.  The girls make Christmas crafts with the babysitter!  (My favorite!)
  • Read any Christmas books of your choice.
  • Make peanut butter/seed ornaments for the birds.
  • Drive to see the Christmas decorations, all while drinking hot cocoa.
  • Make cards and decorations for our elderly neighbors.

Do you follow an advent calendar?  I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Giveaway Day!

The Giveaway is closed and the winner is Rachel from Life of Riley.  Congrats Rachel!

Giveaway day over at Sew Mama Sew is one of my favorite days of the year.  If you are visiting for the first time, welcome!  I hope you stick around and read a bit about me and my little family.  Like many of you, I'm a wife, mom, crafter, quilter, runner and I used to be a nurse!  Maybe we have some things in common and I would love some new blogger friends.

A peak at things I've made:





 So let's get on with it!  My giveaway is for ten cuts of fabric, each is about 1/4 yard (give or take).  Basically I picked pieces that I like and that I had too much of in my stash!


A closer shot of some favorites:




So all you need to do is:
1) leave me a comment, any comment will do!
2) for an extra chance let me know that you are an old or new follower.

Giveaway closes this Friday 12/13.  And a winner will be notified.  I'm letting my daughter choose the winner so best comment might be the winner! 
Oh and I will ship internationally! 

Good luck to you all!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Must see quilting documentary!

I just stumbled across this documentary.  This link is for a 15 minute clip to the original documentary.  However, if you are a quilter this is a must see.  I absolutely love it and will probably order the full length DVD.

Quilts in Women's Lives

Check it out and let me know what you think!


"Of the seven women seen during the course of Quilts in Women's Lives, some are indeed painters using scraps of material for their medium, and they take traditional painterly attitudes toward their work. But over and above painting, quiltmaking develops into a metaphor of life itself. Quilts in Women's Lives is visual anthropology. It examines by implication quiltmaking as a system of communication, record-keeping and structuring principle. The film, like the quilts, embodies the reassuring care, the forgiving attention to detail and the fascination of detail and emerging pattern that animates the best of life itself."
--- Charles Shere for the Oakland Tribune.



Monday, 2 December 2013

I Love Finishes!

This project was a bit more in detail than I thought it would be.  Meaning it took way longer than I had assumed it would.  So worth it though.  It's a pattern I designed myself and is appliqued, not pieced.


My sister and I have a bit of an obsession with glamping.  Glamorous camping is not something I'm really into BUT one of my dreams is to eventually buy old campers and renovate them and then rent them out. 

This little pillow is my first complete Christmas gift for this year.  It's for my sister, but I really want to keep it.


I used a web like interfacing for each little piece, which made them much easier to handle.  Some of the stitching was done by hand but most of it is machine sewn.  Hand sewing something like this would have taken me a really long time.

 
The back is made with glamping fabric.  I love it and have been holding on to it for a while.  This is the first envelope backing I've done and thought it would be difficult.  It was a breeze!


 
I hope she loves it just as much as I do.  I'll have to wait until the holidays are over and make another for myself. 
 
How is your Christmas list coming along?  


Friday, 22 November 2013

Lately..

Once again we are preparing for a trip.  Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go...  Thanksgiving is next Thursday and my family is eagerly awaiting our arrival.  However, with snow in the forecast and high winds we may have to be more flexible on our timing.

But even before we celebrate Thanksgiving at home, the Canadians here have begun to prepare for Christmas.  And I guess we have too...


 We were fortunate to attend two Christmas parades this past weekend.


I don't usually have a tree here in Canada because we celebrate in the US but this tree was "found" in our neighbors yard.  He had recently cut it down and we scooped it up!

 My hubby is so sweet;


 
Have you ever dipped fall leaves in beeswax to preserve them?  We did, and then made a garland with the leaves.  It smells wonderful!

 


Our newest family member is a guinea pig named Teeny Little Super Guy.  Named after a Sesame Street Character from the 70s.  We love him...but yesterday he mistook my finger for a carrot and nearly bit it off!  Today, I am unable to do any hand sewing which I had intended to do!


Do you save all your fabric scraps?  Do you ever do anything with them?  I find that when I don't really feel like working on any of the projects I have going, I like to take my tiny crumbs of fabric and sew them together.  Maybe eventually they will make one large quilt!



Baby it's cold outside!  We've been spending most of our time inside lately.  Little girls seem to have a thing against the cold.  At least mine do, I like walks in the cold and they detest it.  I like riding bikes, blowing bubbles, making fairy houses in the cold and they whine.  So I guess we are in hibernation mode...maybe the grandparents will get them out!

 
What have you been up to lately?  Sewing, baking, projects, travel?  Are you ready for the holidays?  If you are celebrating Thanksgiving next week, I wish you happy and safe holiday!


Monday, 18 November 2013

It's a WIP

Christmas is approaching fast!  I've been absent lately because of all the Christmas preparations/sewing to be done.  I'm really not sure what I used to do in the month of November before I learned to sew.  But making gifts is so exciting, I feel just like an elf!

One of the larger projects I'm working on is a quilt for my 17 year old niece.  She'll be heading off to college next year so I wanted her to have something fun for her bed.  It's been raining for ever here so sorry about the pics.


It's moving right along.  I think I will add some large white borders to tone things down a bit.  As you can tell pink is her favorite color.  I just about used up my entire pink stash!
 


I'm a queen for November!  It's pretty exciting really.  So far this month I've only received one block, the others pictured below were all early.  So I should be getting a whole bunch of them any day now.. wink, wink.


I love this lighthouse block.  I don't think I would have been so clever.  Instructions were for any kind of wonky house block and so far they all fit the bill.  They are all wonderful I plan to add things to it such as trees, maybe a park and school.  We'll see.


Other things I'm working on:
  • Glamping pillow for sister's Christmas present
  • Husband requested a handmade tie!  Yikes!  The only thing he wants for Christmas.
  • Two ornament swaps
  • Medallion quilt
  • King size vintage sheet quilt
  • Possibly pj pants and crowns for the girls.
Everyday it seems as though I add more to the list, but it sure is fun.  What are you working on?