Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sara's Year in Review

These posts seem to be all the rage today, so I'm jumping on the bandwagon. It is a great way to put the year's work into perspective. Here they are, my quilts of 2009:

For starters, and mostly because 10 quilts don't make a nice even mosaic, here is the first finish of the year. This one was a pretty big deal for me because it was my first time using free motion quilting.
It opened up a world of possibility for me and hence the next 9 were produced...
They all have a special place in my heart because they've all taught me something very important about quilting and patience. If I had to pick a favorite it would be crazy carnival. That one definitely stretched me to my outer limits so for that reason and also the color combo, it tops my list of 2009 quilts. Thanks so much for all of your encouragement throughout the year. It means so much to have you along for the ride!

My to do list for 2010 is quite lengthy and coincidentally, I have more than enough fabric in my stash to accomplish it with. Did I just say that?!

Happy New Year, everyone!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Season's Greetings, Gang!

Felled by serious colds and coughs+pinkeye, three of my four family members were too sick to celebrate on Christmas Day. All four of us were too cranky to subject our friends to our moods. So . . .I have to say, this is one Christmas I'm glad is behind me. Grilled cheese and frozen peas for the kiddies' Christmas dinner, and frozen pizza for hubby and I after the kids were in bed. Christmas is largely about the food and the merriment for me, so this one was a bust.
There were fun crafty things to ogle under the tree for me though, and that helped take away the sting.

Denyse Schmidt's book!

Rashida Coleman-Hale's book from Sara!

Gingher 8" Dressmaker's Shears from my husband!
A new thimble and seam ripper (which, funnily enough didn't end up in my stocking, because I SWEAR TO GOODNESS, MY HOUSE EATS SEAM RIPPERS!!) I'm sure it will turn up soon.

I didn't get the quilts I started on December 22nd done for my girls. I finished the backs up today and will baste and maybe quilt them tonight. They girls head back to daycare on January 4th, so I've got time. (They're intended for naptime at daycare). I didn't get the table runner I'm working on done for my MIL (I told her I was making her something, and that it would be late so I will get to it after the quilts.) I'm quite far along but need to do a bunch of squaring off, which we all know is my least favourite. I'm working on relaxing and reducing expectations a wee bit!

Hope that you all celebrated in style with a merry cherry on top.

- Donna

Monday, December 21, 2009

Her Second Quilt

She didn't think she'd get it finished in time for Christmas, but she pulled through! Since her first quilt, she's been talking about making a "real" quilt, a bigger quilt. I suggested she get her idea down on paper first and then we'd figure out what she needed. She designed a few different looks and off we went to get the necessary supplies. (note the scarf - I wish I looked as fashionable while quilting!)

She did a really great job, especially considering the size of the quilt! It is a gift for her 14 year old cousin who ritually cooks us nachos when he visits. I can't wait to see the exchange when she gives it to him on Christmas eve!

Is anyone else out there excited for Christmas to get here? I can barely sleep with the anticipation!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Winner ..and a winning advent calendar

so that title is boo-worthy. I'm working, as usual, on about 5 hours of sleep.

I put the pedal to the metal to finish the advent calendar for my daughters (in future years, it will be for both . . my three year old is benefitting solely this year since baby #2 is just 15 months and could care less!) in time for Dec 1. I used Oh Fransson's tutorial from back in July on Sew Mama Sew, and followed her lead by using mainly Michael Miller Funky Christmas fabric. I made a ton of mistakes but I think I've finally learned my lesson and pledge to square up at every stage next time.

I'm happy with it, and we've had fun so far . .

Day 1 . . .chocolate lollipop

Day 2. . new tights (this is a girl who wears dresses all the time)

Day 3 . .some new headbands

Day 4 . .a mini bag of popcorn and a note for family movie night - (we watched Shrek the Halls and Merry Madagascar . . tried Rudolph and my daughter was scared of the monster!)

Day 5. . .a glowstick and a note for Santa Claus parade of lights (which we ended up skipping as both girls skipped their naps and it would have been ugly

Day 6. . a fancy decorated sugar cookie I got at a craft show yesterday with a note for decorating sugar cookies with friends. I made gingerbread and sugar cutouts and another family came over with their kids who are 5, 7 and 9 and they all went to town.


Here's the calendar in its glory:

I had to handstitch the appliquéd numbers on since I quickly realized that my skill on the machine did not allow me to machine appliqué. My plan is to make one of these for my first grandchild so that I can measure how far I've come . .this is quilt number 6, counting two doll size quilts so I think it's not too bad! It's definitely my most square quilt.
And now on to the winner of my giveaway . .*drumroll, please . . .*
. . Eeme-le - congrats! I've sent you an email asking for your mailing address, so as soon you provide me with that I'll get your things sent out!
Night, all. And thanks for playing along.
- Donna

Comments on Giveaway post now closed

Hey all
Wow. I somehow wasn't expecting so many comments! I'm closing up comments now (in words, since I don't know how to do that in blogger!) and will finish entering names into my spreadsheet and then pick a number later today. Check back to see if you're the lucky winner. I'll do my best to contact the winner and will give the person 48 hours to respond and if I hear nothing I'll move along to the next lucky person.

I'm really pleased that so many new people commented and added our blog to their reader or started to follow us. Come back and say hi anytime ! We love new readers and do our best to answer comments (I petered out on the giveaway post, I have to admit, but I appreciated every recipe and entry! I have me some baking to do.)

Who knew the popularity of snickerdoodles, magic cookie bars, peanut butter balls, peanut blossoms, and chocolate crinkles? Gingerbread and Shortbread, sure, but some of the others surprised me.

Since you all shared so kindly, here`s a to-die for recipe that I sampled at a Christmas open house yesterday.

Gluten-Free Rocky Road Snowballs

Enlist your favourite helping hands to roll these delights and coat them in coconut. For a nut-free variation, replace walnuts with chopped glac?herries.
Servings: 75 snowballs

1-1/2 cups (375 mL) semisweet chocolate chips
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) milk chocolate chips
1 pkg (250 g) cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) chopped walnuts
1 cup (250 mL) mini-marshmallows
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) shredded sweetened coconut

In bowl over saucepan of simmering water, melt together semisweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and cream cheese, stirring occasionally, until very thick. Remove from heat; stir in walnuts and marshmallows. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Roll by scant 1 tbsp (15 mL) into balls; roll each in coconut. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheet; refrigerate until hardened, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 5 days.)

They`re from Canadian Living Magazine and they`re pretty much AWESOME.

tune back for a winner . . .

- Donna

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giveaway Day

Over the years that I've been entering contests via this lovely internet community, I've been lucky enough to win a few great prizes. . fabric, a calendar, cute clothes for my girls, a beautiful quilted journal cover, handmade cards, a fabric storage box, and of course, an autographed copy of Alicia Paulson's Stitched in Time - the list goes on . . .

I enter a giveaway almost every day . . I think they're such a great way to give back to the blogging community that gives so much in terms of inspiration.

Which is why I'm taking part in Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day on December 2.

I have this book on my wish list this year . . I borrowed it from the library a few weeks ago and fell in love! I didn't have a chance to try out any of the projects but I think it belongs on every quilter's bookshelf.

If you win this giveaway, I will order it directly from a bookstore and have it delivered to you. I will also mail a little package of handmade fun. This will include an ornament for sure, but the rest depends on where the winner is from since postage rates can vary and it would be nice if the package could arrive before Christmas.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post telling me what your favourite Christmas cookie is . . and a link to a recipe gives you two entries. I need to get started on holiday baking!

Want a third entry? Become a follower of our blog and leave a comment telling me you've done so. (If you're already a follower you get a bonus entry but be sure and let me know.)

The deadline to enter is December 6th. Please include your email with your entry so I can contact you if you win!

Good luck!

- Donna

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Crazy Carnival

Oh boy! It feels really great to have this one finished and not a moment too soon as it is being gifted today. I struggled on many levels with this quilt and resorted to asking both you and the recipient for guidance to get me out of the ruts. I really hope it's what she wants now that it's together!

Things I am not so proud of about this quilt include the inordinate amount of time it took to decide on the pattern (had the whole thing laid out in the first of these patterns, but could not wrap my head around squaring up the edges), the time it took me to get the right amount of blocks (had some going in the opposite direction and after fixing those, ended up with some STILL going in the wrong direction...oh, and of course cut one too small when trimming).

What I am proud of is that my points line up somewhat well. It really is impressive when you're careful to keep everything the same size and to press the seams in the right direction. It ends up fitting together just like a puzzle. Also, there was somewhat of a crisis during quilting, but I persevered and after the washing and drying magic of a stippled quilt, the crisis is barely even visible. Phewf!
There were a few firsts with this quilt. It's my first pinwheel which I enjoyed. It's the first time I've quilted with bamboo batting which is so soft and gives a really nice drape to the finished quilt. Lastly, it was the first time I've used flannel for the back. I will definitely do another flannel back again, but I have had some trouble with colored flannel running before, so it may be wise to pre-wash if white isn't what you're using.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Calling all Flea Market Fancy Freaks

I want so badly to tell you about the craft show . . but daughter's child care giver is sick with the flu so I'm with the baby ...

In the meantime . . .click on over here and enter. What an AMAZING giveaway!!!

- Donna

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sneak Peek

No time to fiddle with getting pictures to look nicer but here are a few sneak peeks. . .
Shirts are all sewn . . .I love this one (I think because it has two scraps of Flea Market Fancy!)

Ambrosia Macaroons are setting.
And doodads (magnets, pushpins and hair clips) are done and packaged.

It's the last day before the sale! I'm working on packaging today and designing my table layout. And making soup for the crafters' lunch (roasted apple and carrot with ginger and a butternut squash with chipotle peppers, pancetta and sweet corn. Sprinkled with some goat cheese it's pretty much heaven in a bowl). It's going to be a good day tomorrow!

I can't wait to fill you all in on how it went.

- Donna

PS -thanks for all the birthday wishes. I had a super nice day with a fantastic lunch out here with Holly, an amazing birthday cake baked by my husband. He then helped me make candy for three hours. Love that guy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Down but I'm not Out

I think I had it. I'm pretty sure three of my four family members have succumbed.

The swine flu has infiltrated our house, darn it all. And the week before Craftalicious.

I'm stumbling along, feeling better, as are my girls. . .we've all been vaccinated so it wasn't terribly severe, but, but. . . I'm so behind!!

My week of time off to prepare for the sale has been pared down to three measly days. I also have a facial booked in there (hey, it's my birthday gift to myself every year!), a lunch date on my bday, some time for putting up posters (way too late but haven't been able to leave the house in days), and I'm making soup for all the crafters at our sale so they don't have to bring lunch. ACK!

Top this all off with the fact that my first batch of never fail chocolate almond butter crunch (aka almond roca) DIDN'T turn out. It's hanging out in the porch right now, in hopes that it sets up. I have my doubts. This has never happened before. EVER.

Deep breaths.

I did finish piecing all the parts for my 60ish shirts today. (Yay!). They're ironed on, and ready to be sewn (most are in fact already sewn, and were done before the week started). I got my small order of toddler tees in just in time, late last week. The owner of the wholesaler called me a few weeks ago to let me know that they were held up at the border, but that he had high hopes they'd get in just in time for the sale. Yay ZeeSpot!

My pushpins are done and packaged.

I have forty Christmas ornaments made.

I've done a few hairclips up, and my magnets are half assembled.

I picked up my awesome labels today (I'll do a show and tell at a later date. Nadia did a great job of designing them!)

Ingredients for my cookies and candies I'm planning on making are purchased, as are the ingredients for the crafters' lunch.

Sara's contributions to the sale are labeled and priced.

I've put some thought into my table layout and pulled together the necessary materials.

I can do this. I can do this.

And now, that I've bored you with all the nitty gritty what I have left to do before Saturday details, a bit of show and tell.

I loved loved loved Lina's patchwork star, and asked her permission to use her tutorial to whip some up for the sale. She kindly agreed. I labouriously cut out about 80 diamonds in various red and white fabric. (Don't worry, I used a rotary cutter and a ruler . . took me a few to figure this out though!). I stitched them together. I sewed on some beautiful fabric buttons. I sewed the first front to the back and turned it inside out and realized . . D'oh! My diamonds were far too small (not sure how I managed this, since Lina gives dimensions! .. I chalk it up to late night crafting .. which is the only time I craft so I should be used to it by now!) My stars, in the end, look different than hers, since I had to sew them together wrong sides facing, leave a gap, stuff, and finish sewing before pinking the edges. I really liked Lina's suggestion to just cut squares for the backs and then cut once. Brilliant time saver.

Ok. To the sewing machine I go.

Can't wait to write more about the sale . .have lots of thoughts about a) selling handmade goods for the first time and b) co- organzing an independent craft sale for the first time. (No, I couldn't just sell a few things to see how it goes . . I have to put on the craft show also!

- Donna

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Giveaway Roundup

Hi gang!

I've been extra lucky this week - I won a honeybun from the Rouenneries line, as well as a beautiful looking Down Under Quilt calendar from Sarah (of Material Obsession fame!) AND 8 bottles of wine at the wine raffle held in my Office today. Taking home grand prize at the closing event of our charitable giving campaign is a good way to go into the weekend!

I admit I'm not organized enough to get a giveaway of my own going (maybe before Christmas once the Craft sale is over) but I thought I would point you all to some great giveaways on the web.
  • Our friend Holly attended the recent fabric flea market with me and is wanting to share the wealth. Pop over to her blog A Fish in the Water and enter!
  • Cruise over to Giddy for Paisley and take a peep at her sweet tweet quilt pattern. She's giving one away!
  • True-Up is hosting a great giveaway of beautiful Japanese fabrics by Kiyohara. To enter you just have to tell someone who loves fabric about the giveaway. Check!

Good luck!

- Donna

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Well Behaved

I recently did some cross border shopping which always means a trip to JoAnn. Since I usually only get over there once a year at the most, I really don't put any limits on myself in the fabric buying department. I was very proud of myself when I escaped those doors with only this in hand...well, this and a water soluble pen! Well behaved, right?


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My very own magic mushroom!

I've been meaning to show off my sweet toadstool that Holly made just for little ol' me! Is this not one of the cutest things you've seen in a long, long while? I don't know where she gets the patience for all the fine little details like the holly (Holly - holly, get it?!) around the door and cutting those little polkadots so precisely. She's pretty much my hand stiching hero!

Thank you so much for thinking of me, Holly!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fabric Flea Market - Worth Waiting For

Once a year, there is a Fabric Flea Market held at the Community Centre in my neighbourhood. It's a school fundraiser, and such a fantastic idea. They bring in tons of money by charging a small admission fee (2$) and manning (personning?) a large table of donated fabrics. Vendors also rent out tables to sell all kinds of crafty goodness, from fabric (new and vintage), buttons, thread, all kinds of notions, yarn of all varieties, patterns, sewing books and magazines .. the list goes on. Doors are only open for a short while (four hours), so it's a quick fundraiser that is so anticipated by the local crafting community.

Holly and I lined up at 9:35 and were within the first 20 or so people. By 9:45 the line had snaked out the door, through the parking lot, and around the community centre. It's a bit of a pushy crowd and I admit you have to get a bit agressive to make it through this sale in one piece. But oh, the dividends are worth it.
My first stop was a kindly elderly woman who was selling off her stash of unwanted goods. I picked up a huge baggie of white buttons for a dollar. A dollar!! I quickly moved along, losing Holly in the process, and picked up some cute cottons, some funky trim, a big ziploc bag full of vintage doilies and hankies (2$!), more buttons, and some thread and some embroidery floss (10cents a skein). All in all, a perfectly fruitful morning. (And I managed to find Holly with enough time to grab a coffee and compare our finds - possibly the most fun part of the morning. We're scheduling a button sorting part in the near future. Call us mega craft nerds if you will, but I just love my new buttons and so does she.)
Here are a few shots of my finds:

(Image 1 - the Lot, Image 2 - Vintage prints - sooo good, Image 3 - Funky Owl Trim, Image 4 - Button-apollooza)

I'm hoping to get some ornaments made using some of these luscious new buttons in time for the sale. I'm planning on some patchwork stars (thanks Lina for the tutorial and the go ahead to make some for my sale!), and am also feeling inspired by this, these, these, and this. Wouldn't a mini tree full of ornaments made using buttons be great?
- Donna

Whaddya think?

Thank you so much for your votes and suggestions on the layout of the quilt! I must say, Isa's suggestions of what Rita thought up pretty much consumed me! I could barely sleep thinking about the options. Early this morning, I got to ironing the little blocks so I could start laying out something. I didn't even get through 1/4 of the blocks before I started pinning to my project wall (aka-white sheet pinned to wall). Keep in mind this isn't all of the colors/patterns that will be included, but these are kind of cute together, aren't they?

excuse the terrible photography, please!

My challenge with this is that I'm not sure how big this is going to be when it's all sewn together which means I don't know how many of these squares I'll end up with on the quilt. If I was to estimate, I'd say there would be 4 blocks like this (2x2), but I don't want it to be too square as I was going for a crib sized quilt.

About the zig zag, a lot of the quilts I've seen have zigged or zagged one color per line. There aren't enough blocks of each color in the quilt to have a full line, so how do you feel about a multi colored zig zag? The one thing holding me back from the zig zag is what Donna said, that I have done one already and sort of want to try something new...

Which brings me to another option that appears to be simple to put together, but I'll admit, took me an inordinate amount of time to arrange!

At the risk of sounding needy, what are your thoughts now?


Saturday, October 17, 2009


See, I have this quilt I'm making and up to this point, I've chosen fabric (after ruining the surprise and getting the recipient to help me), cut out 80 - 6" squares (40 patterned and 40 white), did this to them and am left with 160 squares of half white/half pattern. Now, I'm stuck. Pinwheel? Zig Zag? Hourglass? This? This? Is there anything else you can do with squares like that that I'm missing?
If you could help a girl out here, I'd really appreciate it!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Lil' Handmade Swap

I signed up for a 'lil handmade swap today. It is perhaps a bit crazy to sign up right now when I am in the midst of crazy craft show preparation, but it just sounds so nice and doable. One handmade ornament, one lovely Christmas card and that's it. You can sign up here, at Daisy Quilts. Sign ups are open until November first, and the swap is open to international swappers. I've had lots of practice lately as I've been working on oodles of ornaments for the upcoming sale. I love adding handmade goodness to our tree every year.

- Donna

Friday, October 9, 2009

Have you seen this?? Flea Market Fancy STATIONARY, people!

I was at my local paper store this afternoon, picking up some paper to build my Thanksgiving Day menus for tomorrow's dinner, and what do I see?

Dudes, there's a stationary line, designed by Denyse Schmidt!! This is a gift bag set, but Chronicle Books has notecards, mini journals, and more. Check it. Although I want them, I cannot buy this gift bag set since I will never be able to give them to anyone.

- Donna

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Operation Save the Quilt

You really do just have to love the Internet. After 9.5 years of not seeing one another in person, Donna and I reunited in her front hall and it was as though I'd seen her the evening before. That's really something, isn't it? I met her wonderful husband and tooth achingly sweet daughters and I must say, she keeps good company, my Donna! After she filled our bellies with some fantastic fare (note to self: get recipe for that honey mustard sauce), a trip to the fabric store (like I really needed more!) and some quality time with the family, the girls were tucked in "snug as bugs in rugs" and Operation Save the Quilt began.

We were joined by the lovely Holly, of A Fish in the Water (note to self #2: show the blogging world the adorable mushroom ornament she gifted you). Three crafters are better than two, especially when you're rescuing a quilt! Donna, Holly and I regularly share the fruits of our crafty trawl of the www in case one of us missed a gem in our travels. For all the time we've been doing this, I've never met Holly in person (my first honest to goodness e-friend!). Finally, like three ships passing in the night, we three were crafting in the same room together. All was right in the world.

By crafting, I mean ripping out more than 80 blocks, spraying them with starch, pressing them, squaring up said 80 blocks, pinning the heck out of them and sewing until they made 40 blocks...then 20. Just when we thought the squaring up was well behind us, we squared up some more and then pinned some more, sewed some more and ironed some more. Donna is very close to a quilt top that looks not unlike the one we ripped apart some hours earlier.

When I got home and was trolling around house on hill road, I found out that the problem Donna was having was likely not so much the fault of the individual blocks, but the bias of the top vs. the not bias of the border. Who knew? The night wasn't a total loss though, because we all learned the importance of squaring up at every juncture and that large doses of pressing and pinning may seem like a pain when you're in the throes of it, but really just add to the glory in the end. Even more important was the confirmation that "No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." ~Robert Southey

Thank you for your friendship, my Kindred Crafter!


Monday, September 21, 2009


So my freind Nadia has finished designing the poster for the craft sale - I think it looks pretty awesome! Two of my favourite fabrics are part of the design, gotta love that.

It seems real now! Any advice you have re: cheap ways to advertise is appreciated. So far, we've set it up as a facebook event, will be forwarding to our sellers this week so everyone can forward to their list of contacts, we'll be placing an ad in the community newspaper, and postering key areas. Anything we're missing? Our budget isn't grand, since we're hoping to charge very little for tables (we're thinking $30 per seller should about cover our costs).
In other news, today is day one of my sewing vacation. Too bad my baby is on day three of stomach flu-can't-keep-anything-down. Poor muffin. She's upstairs, sleeping it off in my sewing room, which is the room that can be made the darkest. And I'm down here, surfing when I'd rather be sewing. I've got a few hand projects to work on though so I'll pick those up and see what I can get through this morning.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Crayon Rolls - Check!

I'm having a great time getting things ready for Donna's sale...and avoiding things I should be doing!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Progress is Being Made

I'm pleased to have had two days off this week ...yesterday I celebrated my eldest daughter's third birthday, and my birth day - three years as a Mama. There was much cupcake eating, and fun was had by all.

I spent a good chunk of the day designing shirts, laying them out, and fusing them. No stitching yet, but I'm about halfway there. Not sure about whether I need to use tearaway fusible stabilizer - does anyone have any experience with sewing onto knits? I've done a few with no stabilizer and they've worked out ok . .a little wonky but since I was gifting them it's all good. Since these are for sale I want to make sure that they're the best they can be. I'm worried that if I use stabilizer they might seem stiff, and since they're intended for little wee babies this doesn't thrill me.

I've done very few that are the same, but so far, these are my five favourites.

- Donna

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

So many triangles!

I think Donna may have mentioned a craft sale she and some friends are organizing for November, but if not, Donna is organizing a craft sale for November! These buntings will be sitting pretty on her table as she ever-so-kindly offered to sell a few things for me. Isn't she great, that Donna?

They all still need a good ironing, but other than that, they're as good as done. Now, on to that improv quilt, maybe? I seem to be doing everything BUT getting at that thing!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sugar and Spice

Fresh out of the dryer, this quilt is for a baby girl due to join the world in December. Can never be too prepared, can we? The fabrics, with the exception of the back and binding, are all from the Simplicity line by Three Sisters for Moda.

It's a Bento Box pattern which I doubt I'll ever do again. Matching up seams is something I've yet to perfect, so I really had no business going the Bento Box route in the first place! It's quilted using a meandering pattern a bit larger than I'm used to which makes it a little less crinkly.

I quilted it with a light pink thread that matches the solid pink back and the whole thing measures 41" x 55". I'm happy to be at the point where I can fold this one up and put it away until the shower rolls around. It's been keeping me from some improv quilting that I really want to try, but am nervous to ruin!

Question: Can you even ruin an improv quilt?


Monday, August 31, 2009

Disaster Strikes

Quite the dramatic title for this blog post, but it's how I feel.

Last night an unmitigated quilting disaster struck.

I can't believe how devastated I felt. For those of you who have seen the film or read the book "Julie and Julia", think Julie Powell lying on the kitchen floor after her aspic falls apart . . thinking she will never be able to complete her quest to cook her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. That was me.
Scene: 10 pm, Donna's dining room. The dining room table and all chairs have been pushed and piled to one side to make room for what is about the transpire.

Characters: Donna, her loving and supportive husband, and one mofo string quit top. Donna has just spent two hours piecing her so easy (ha ha) quilt backing, which has been laboriously taped to the floor. The batting has been cut and smoothed to within an inch of its life. It's the moment of truth. Donna lays the much anticipated, much loved, and much cursed string quilt top down to get it ready for basting.
Donna: it won't smooth out.

Husband: Here, I'll pull on this edge.

Donna: Now, look - it's bunching over there.

Husband: Maybe if I pull over here.

Donna: It's not working! Look how wrinkled the sashing looks!!

Husband: Did you mean for it to be puckered like that?

Donna (to herself!) Not helpful! Not supportive! (to husband) No! I don't know what's going on! Maybe I need to take the sashing off and square off the string part (as i should have done!) before reattaching.


With that I got to work ripping out the sashing and at 10:45 I ironed the quilt top nice and smooth. Only it wasn't. What followed was a meltdown of epic proportions. Maybe it was fatigue, maybe it was hormones, maybe I was just so darn frustrated that I had put so much time and effort into this quilt and IT WASN'T WORKING . . .but I was pretty much a puddle on the floor, à la Julie Powell, with no phone call coming through with a famous quilter wanting to come to my house and watch me sew (good thing, I think).

'Cause, see, the sashing wasn't the problem, the blocks are the problem. After a night's sleep (sort of - the baby woke up twice and it was laaate before I crawled into bed), I had a flurry of emails back and forth to Sara, and it's been decided what I need to do.

Burn the sucker.

No, just kidding. When Sara comes to Ottawa to visit next month, our joint sewing project will be dubbed Operation Rescue String Quilt. The mission: we will rip all the blocks apart, square each and every block off, re-sew them into a top, add the binding and I should be good to go.

Sara has advised me to fold it up nice and neat and put it in a safe place until she arrives. Perhaps Operation Rescue String Quilt is not the most scintillating sewing project we could have tackled together, but there'll be wine, some fine dessert I shall make, and 9.5 years of in-person catching up to do.
Here the batting, backing, and quilt top sit, all folded and awaiting some help from afar!
Deep breaths.
- Donna

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Zeee Shirts

I think I mentioned that I'm participating in a craft show in mid-November (like maybe eighteen times or so ..I'm pretty excited!). I've been sitting on a big box of beautiful organic onesies that I ordered from here ages ago. They arrived in June, and while I so pleased with the quality and colours of them, I haven't touched them.

(aren't the colours GREAT? I was so psyched to find organic cotton in colours that go beyond oatmeal or pale pastels - although I did order a few in pale colours, and even a few in 'natural')

After pre-washing, the shirts have sat, in a box, in my craft room. Prompted by the birth of a very good friend's second child (Welcome, Cedar!!), I got a few out last night and FINALLY got started.

It's my daughter's first birthday, and I've had a long sleeve tee in white sitting waiting for some jazzing up. I was majorly inspired by Allison's beautiful pillow, and have based my shirt on this. (Funny - in looking up the link to this awesome pillow, I looked at it again - I had a picture of what it looked like in my head last night when I laid out the shirt but in fact it's pretty different. Mind playing tricks . . .) I machine stitched Cedar's shirt in the interest of time (I handmade a few other little treats and need to get this parcel off - the girl is going to be a month old before it reaches her, easily!), but I want to handstitch all my girl's leaves. Labour of love and all that.

I've been busy with a few other projects but nothing to show for my busyness yet! Back to it . .I'm feeling charged up by having started building some 'stock' for the show. You were right, Sara - once I got started I got excited! Only 40 or so more shirts to go.

- Donna

Friday, August 21, 2009

I'm back

Well, in all honesty, I've been back for a while now but just not back in the mood for sewing until now. What else is a girl supposed to do when she's trying to pretend she's not in extreme pain and first in line for a root canal? Here's a peek at what has been taking my mind off of my reality for the past three evenings.
The proverbial root canal was yesterday and in case you're wondering, the process isn't as bad as people say. The pain before and after is what gives root canals a bad name!
Also, August 5x5 arrived from Donna. The months they are flying by! I love the aqua theme this month. Donna was timely with the cool colors considering the heatwave we've been experiencing. I am not complaining though, I save that for the -30 weather!

I also had to show you the card she sent with the fabric this month. Isn't it adorable? Available here. And while I'm on the topic of letterpress and cards, do check out this etsy shop. I'm in love (and have one on the way!) with the camera card. Such great designs!