Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On my mind...

Some days I stare out the window and lose myself in my thoughts...
New Year...
New Ideas...
New Beginnings...

Do you start to ponder and reflect at the end of the year too?

Monday, December 13, 2010

On my doorstep...

Connecting Threads purchase - cyber Monday sale - 50% off
I got almost 100 fq's for 50 dollars.

They're very soft, they have a slight sheen to them, and I know I will make good use of them. Kona cottons appear to be slightly thicker.
I will report back on the sewing side of the fabric when I get to it. For now they are mine...uh... well, they're actually dh's, because he's wrapping them up and gifting them to me.
He has the easiest job ever...seriously. I even shop for myself to help him out at Christmas.

I know a few anonymous people from my original post asking about CT were not thrilled with the fabric quality, but when I read AmandaJean's post a few days later, I read all of the comments about their thoughts about CT and most were pretty positive, so I thought for 50 dollars, I'd take a gamble on this amazing sale.

I wish I knew who the anonymous people were. Why are you anonymous? I truly value your opinion, and when you are anonymous, it makes me feel like we have a secret relationship. I start to fantasize about this....maybe Martha Stewart really IS reading my blog. Maybe it's some uber cool european designer waiting to pounce on my talents.
...Maybe it's John Travolta....oh that's a different fantasy.

Friday, November 19, 2010

New on my bookshelf...

I must say that blogs are what really got me inspired to quilt and keep quilting...but Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr's The Modern Quilt Workshop really really got me inspired. So when I heard there was another book coming out, I just had to order it.

Quilts Made Modern is their newest book. It's in my hands now.

If you go to their blog Craft Nectar and scroll through pages 2 and 3 (way better photos than AI could ever take!), you will get an idea of most of the patterns in the book. I like them all...what I like about the book, is that it gives you colour variations and shows how different colour combos will affect the pattern.

I'm going through a phase right now of quilt design burnout. I'm on a wave of not wanting to design my own anymore, and just relax and use the gorgeous patterns that everyone else has worked on. I think this is truly getting in the way of enjoying quilting right now. I sit there and stare at my fabric and the ideas just aren't flowing. And then I think...who am I trying to be? I'm not trying to become a quilt designer. Why can't I use someone else's pattern? That's why they MAKE patterns! What a silly concept... sometimes I think blogland unintentionally gives that pressure. (perhaps it's actually home renovation burnout and I'm just lashing out at my creativity slump)

This book caters to my love of simple and clean design, and has beautiful patterns to feed that need.

The other two books that I am really interested in are Elizabeth Hartman's The Practical Guide to Patchwork (I wonder if it is overrated and it is more how to than patterns. I'll need to see for myself, I guess) and my all time favourite solids designer, Cherri House's City Quilts.

Actually...I think I'm going to go buy me some Cherri House right now. She inspires me.
**thank you for your feedback on Connecting Threads fabric. I won't order for now, there was a definate consensus on the quality. If you have any positive feedback, feel free to let me know. As for the threads, my favourite is Aurifil, and after numerous terrorist -like attacks of thread on my machine, I found Aurifil to be the one to keep the peace. I won't waver from it now ;-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Connecting Threads

I was shopping online at Connecting Threads. Have you bought anything from here?
Solids are 3.96/yard, they have a great selection of basics and prints. Some really cute dots and stripes.
Shipping is free with purchases over 50.00 .

And CANADIANS, you know how expensive it is here. If you purchase over 50.00 at Connecting Threads, shipping is only 7.00 . It doesn't matter how much you buy...you don't have to worry about fitting it in an envelope. It's 7.00 They charge a 10% tax/duty fee on top of that. I still think that is an incredible deal.

There are some prints and solids on clearance for 2.96/yard. Kits are 50% off.

I've heard the thread is good too.

Have you bought any of the fabric/thread there? What do you think of the quality?
I'm planning on doing a big order and have done the math.
Local fabric shop here sells Konas for 8.95/meter. Add 12% tax to that. So let's round it to 10.00/yard.
I'd get about 6 yards for the 60.00 I'd spend at Connecting Threads.

At connecting threads, I'd get just over 12 yards of fabric for 60.00. That's if I bought the 3.96/yard solids.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bathroom Reno..

We knew there was some work to do on the house when we moved in... painting has been ongoing here and is almost done. Just a few more rooms to go. The bathroom was a biggie, one that we are just not experienced enough to tackle.
**insert cheesy sixties disco ambient music now...

Gorgeous sauna siding....
Yes, that's a yellow toilet, yellow sink, and yellow tub.

We didn't want anything fancy or upscale - just something up to date, clean, white and energy efficient. (That toilet tank took about 5 minutes to fill!)

When the contractors came to gut and reno...we found moisture damage...and HOW! The subfloor that was put in under the lino was fibre board - which totally sucks up moisture like a sponge.

no decor yet...this is bare bones ...
toilet hasn't even been peed in yet in this photo!

We put up one of those curved shower rods for our bath - what a HUGE difference in space it makes when taking a shower! highly recommended.

Onto sewing related posts next time... promise ;-)


First dusting of snow on the mountains... this was a spectacular sunset a couple of days ago(this is facing north east, however) Everything was reddish pink..

Friday, November 05, 2010

Ikea finds...

I've discovered that fabric shopping in Vancouver is worse than in Edmonton. Well...unless I want to travel 45 minutes. not.

I was looking for some Kona solids for backing my new quilt, and couldn't find the right gray. I didn't want to wait for up to 3 weeks for an online order to come in. I'm so impatient, I need instant gratification. I decided to head to Ikea and check out what kind of fabric and sheets they had.

Grey isn't easy. But I did find a charcoal twin sheet, 100% cotton, for 14,99 which I'll use. It's just a backing right?

On my maze through the aisles (and experiencing almost pedestrian rage as this woman and her cart stopped dead in front of me, in the middle of the aisle to start TEXTING for pete's sake. This is Ikea...do they not know I'm racing through so I can get the $1 hot dog deal at the end?)
I came across this whimsical fabric. They come on mini bolts - 47" x 118"
They are 100% cotton.

I bought two bolts - they kind of 'go' together. The characters are the same, the themes are slightly different.
Some of it was worthy of giggling though.... no words needed here..oh how I love the Swedes!
(if you need me to explain, just email me privately LOL)

such a sweet duck, look at his boxers!
all of the characters are riding on different items, like teacups, shoes, cupcake liners...chairs!

The bolts of fabric were 9.99 each, and there were about 5-6 different kinds.
Now run, scurry, hurry!!! Go to Ikea! Buy some fabric! Send the kids to the SmalLand and take your hubby out for a date night at Ikea! Dinner tonight is only 1.99! Breakfast tomorrow is $1!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween at the new house...

warning image heavy...
My little mario and big batman...

stairs leading up to my home....

our pumpkins, carved artistically by moi.... please note the creative use of triangles (lol)
my front display....
my culdesac - we all pitched in to make the Tide Place Cemetery...

neighbour homes....truly, this is an immense, insane amount of work, that I would rather partake with fabric and my sewing machine...

I ran out of candy.

They came in cars.

They came in vans.

They came by bus.

There were many haunted houses.

Many foggy scenes.

Fireworks galore.

I was warned.

It was insane.

*truly, it was so busy, no car could get though, there were so many people. It was like a huge long lineup of people filing up and down from house to house. I couldn't even enjoy the wee cute trick or treaters, because there were just too many people, no pauses, no breaks for 2.5 hours straight!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival October 2010

Welcome to my entry for the Bloggers Quilt Festival Fall 2010
Thank you to Amy , for organizing this wonderful event. It's always such a treat to go and visit new blogs and view such inspiring work!

My entry this year is a quilt that I have shown before, the Bedford quilt:

I really like the look of square in square quilts, but I wanted to do something different - with rectangles instead.
Solids are my favourite fabrics so I chose a wide selection of coordinating greens, browns and blues, et voila - Bedford was created. There is no emotional story today for my post. It was just a beautiful (to me) quilt, and the colours just seem to go together in harmony.

I am really proud of the machine quilting I attempted with this quilt... I made large circles all over, which was a first for me. It was a lot of fun, and once it washed up, I just loved the effect. AND any mistakes that I made in the machine quilting, all crinkled up!

In between the circles, I made curve/feather/paisley type shapes....
I completed the quilt with white sashing, and a pieced border around.... the binding was done in a solid brown.

Thanks for visiting - if you have any questions, please feel free to ask away!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A good thing..

I'm probably the only one who didn't know this.... but in case you are like me and figuring things out as you go, here's a tip. NUMBER your rows after you have laid them out. That way, when you're doing Indy 500 sewing like I was with the sashing, you don't have to get up an down and remember where they were to be placed.

I know. You've heard it before.

**I used scrap address label stickers, marked them with the numbers and cut them up, stuck em down.

Thanks for your input on the sashing. I have come up with a totally different colour than white or charcoal. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Loving rectangles..

I love rectangular blocks. At about 9:30pm last night, I got a simple quilt idea (which I'm sure has been done many o times) to use my new fabric in a simple quilt with large and small rectangles. Easy peasy right?

Piecing is easy - except when you randomly pair them together, and then hang them to position them on your design wall..... This is where I use up wayyyyyy too much time making sure the combinations are just right. Time waster.

So, do I put any white or charcoal vertical sashing in between the rows? yes or no?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Eye Candy...

My creation
Created with fd's Flickr Toys

What is your favourite flickr group for inspiration? Simply Solid Quilts is mine. I have really continued to know, that I love solids, I love plain jane, I love the clean lines and beauty of the understated. Above are some of my flickr favourites...

Could it be that my stash will one day become only solids, and a variation of solids - cross weaves, handweaves, hand dyed... and the threads I use will be the embellishment? I'm leaning that way.

I look at all of the different fabric lines out there, and none of them really grab me. Unless, it's two colour, simple dots or stripes. I know. How adventurous.

My stash of patterned fabric will soon become quilts for others... and then I can see a journey continued with solids.

So do you have a flickr group you just love to follow for inspiration? Is there one artist or quilter that you just always identify with, or get inspiration from? Does this reflect or run parallel with your own personality?

I'm not sure my inspirations or aspirations reflect my personality....

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! For all of my American friends, here is an article explaining similarities and differences of the Canadian Thanksgiving. Enjoy! Looking forward to that tryptophan drowsy state tonight LOL

Friday, October 08, 2010

I should be painting...

I should be painting my raspberry coloured basement. (it's going white) But I am trying to catch up on my bees so I can lessen my to-do list...
Loved doing this Mondrian block. Every single aspect of this block screams 'me'. I love the solids, the blank white canvas, the gemoetric clean lines...Love.
This was a fantastic use of greys and stripes - it will be such a handsome quilt. I will definately keep this colour design in mind for a male quilt.

And finally, some inspiration I found wayyyyyyyyyyyy back in June. This father's day card was the perfect quilt layout to me. I wonder if it would have the same appeal if the squares didn't have the rounded edges. This is where that GO cutter would help with the circles, for sure! what a neat idea - using the cutter on your already cut squares. Applique the squares on beige background... Or just cut a bunch of beige circles. ;-) I'm going to keep this card on hand... I really love the colour combination, and somehow, I'll modify it to work into a quilt.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

My new sewing room unfolds...

The view from my living room window.. believe it or not, if I drive 1 minute down the hill, it's a major shopping area!

My sewing room closet - already had shelving in there. I've mashed my fabric in. I need to organize by colour, etc. My sister thought I had too much fabric. What??? Is that possible?
The room needs to be painted, and we intend to put new carpeting in (well, I'd love hardwood, but that's just not in the budget) It has alot of natural light, so it's a great little corner.
My new sewing cabinet, which I absolutely adore. It's a little taller than a normal table, and works fabulous for cutting and sewing:
I intend to make a design wall right above this desk - for inspiration and for project work. I thought of taking just regular chair rail lengths and frame it around a piece of batting.. hope it works!

This is another view of my new table. Note the drawers are on each end of the table, and the bottom one is full length of the table. Great storage for the unsightly stuff like batting. I love that the table can be extended or folded up to a narrow length... I only have one leaf extended here... The other leaf, I plan to cover with Insulbrite batting and fabric, to make it into an ironing side.
My first bee project in my new home....
I forgot to photograph the next one which was a spiderweb string block. Oh my gosh, those were so fun to do! I definately will be making string blocks again!

I feel bogged by being behind in the bee blocks, but they will get done slowly but surely. Thankfully, there aren't too many red alert speed demons needed.

Finally.. thoughts on this?
Is the internet blogging world buzzing with this new product or what? Do you have one? What do you think? They are incredible marketers of this product - going for the bloggers to spread the word. They know how word of mouth travels...I love that!

I'm not sure what I think about this tool. My first thought is - another thing to find a 'spot' for in my room. Also, I actually enjoy the process of cutting the fabric for my quilts. I love folding and cutting and stacking and watching the colours blend together in their little piles. Would it take away from that - would I become a little factory? Would I REALLY use this to control my stash, or would it just create more to-do projects? Thoughts?