Friday, June 26, 2009

Bijoux Coin Quilt

I finished another quilt today!! I started this one ages ago, BEFORE I had invested in a 1/4 inch foot for my machine. Those babies help keep me straight, so the coin stacks were sewn together without the aid of a guide, which resulted in some wonkiness that I sort of patched over by trimming the stacks straight. This meant that the stacks are of varying widths and lengths, even though they're all pieced with the same number of coins. Ooops!
I also made an error in cutting a pile of charms into coins, which meant I had some scraps. Not wanting to waste the scraps, I decided to try my hand at making some tiny little log cabins to piece into the back. I had seen Red Pepper Quilts' beautiful Gelati Quilt, and I was inspired! Having made eight in an evening at the machine, I can't imagine the work that went into that quilt!

This is a quilt for my daughter, who will be three in September. It measures just 35" X 44", which is much smaller than I wanted. It shrunk a fair bit - I used pre-cut charm squares and didn't pre-wash my white since the charms hadn't been pre-washed, and the turquoise backing is a piece of cotton from a thrift store which I did wash. (Note to self: when using thrift store fabric pay attention to the fabric!! Look for fold marks that are fadey! Preferably before it's pinned and half quilted).

This one came together pretty quickly, once I got going on it. I quilted it in +30C weather, with humidity readings sending the temps well over 40C. There may have been removal of a shirt or two along the way. I escaped to a nearby coffee shop with a/c last evening and handstitched most of the binding while sipping a very tall iced tea. Another reason why hand sewing the binding is my favourite part.

We don't have a/c and I think I'll move away from quilts for a bit now until the temperature returns to a more livable level.

How are you all coping in the heat?

- Donna

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Violet Purse for Violet

My friend's daughter Violet turns four soon, and we celebrated in style today with a relaxed backyard barbecue. Now that I'm all crafty and stuff, I wanted to make her something instead of buying a gift. She's kinda in that princess phase right now, so I had the idea of making her a set like the brilliant one over at koala brains. I ran it by her mom one day after spin class.

Me: "So, I wanted to make Violet something for her birthday."

V's Mama "Great!" (V's Mama is a graphic designer and photographer who makes the most amazing lamps)

Me: "I was thinking of this cool felt wand and crown set I saw on someone's blog"

V's Mama: "Cool. Although, I'm only saying this 'cause I make handmade and I know that you won't be offended, but Violet has an aunt who is a silversmith. She made her a crown. With actual jewels. Not sure a fabric one could compete. Is that rude to say??"

Me: "Not at all! Now I don't have to spend a day making something that will be relegated to toybox purgatory. Can you think of something else she'd like?"

V's Mama: "What about a purse? She's currently using a sad little easter bag to cart around her treasures."

I had seen a cute one on skip to my lou, which I later discovered was originally published on the Object Project. (Incidentally, a great website that uses everyday household items for pattern tracing . . in this case an open dvd case). So here it is . . .

Cute. Easy. Appropriate. And hopefully it will get some play time. My own nearly three year old saw it hanging on the door knob this am and promptly put the handles over her wrist and said "I'm going outside with my new purse." I may be making another soon!
- Donna

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Quilting for a cause

Two weeks ago, my fiance's niece, Melody, was diagnosed with an incurable disease; Dermatomyositis. What I wanted to do was make it all go away for her, but since I couldn't do that, the only thing I knew I could do was make a quilt. So I did.

We plan to sell tickets on it locally to help with the cost of their many trips to the children's hospital over the next while. I used some of Sandi Henderson's Farmer's Market line as well as my very favorite polka dots ever from Anna Maria Horner. The pink border and back are from Bubbles & Blooms by Beverlyann Stillwell.

Then her grandmother came up with the great idea to ask people to send letters to Melody to help her get through this tough time. Knowing that the blog world is chalk full of kind hearts, I set to making her her very own blog. You can read more about it over here. It would be so great if you would take the time to write and even better if you could help spread the word a bit. We feel it's a great way to take her mind off of what is really going on in her world; something no child should have to face. Thanks so much!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Katie Jump Rope Quilt - completed

I finished my third quilt yesterday. I started this a few months ago, in a class. It was hard not to show any of my progress as I went along but I wanted to wait until it was done to put up photos.

This was made for friends who are expecting a baby in October. I used all Denyse Schmidt Katie Jump Rope fabric, except for some Michael Miller orange fabric I had on hand, and a few pieces of a thrifted pillowcase I thought went perfectly. Can you spot it?

The finished quilt measures approximately 37" X 50". It's the biggest quilt I've made so far.

I learned a lot making this quilt.

1) The importance of cutting correctly cannot be overstressed and makes the sewing part go far smoother.

2) Buy the largest cutting mat you can afford - mine is not big enough - I opted to get one that would fit on my sewing desk, but I should have gotten the next size up for use on my kitchen island. I think I'll be upgrading in the future.

3) Hexagon quilting is tricky when you can't sew straight. It's a commonly known fact that I can't sew straight. Even with painter's tape laid down to serve as a guide, I found this part hard. I did the lines 1.5" apart, which was what my instructor recommended. This made for a lot of quilting and took quite a long time. My lines are not terribly straight, but once the quilt was washed, it turned out ok.

4) My absolute favorite part of quiltmaking has got to be handattaching the binding. By this point, the quilt is almost done, and you can taste victory. I found myself savouring every stitch this time around, particularly because this quilt was by far the most complex - it looks simple, but 20 rows of strips was quite a bit of cutting and stitching!

On to the next one I go.

- Donna
PS - Have any of you used this fabric line? I found it a little bit 'shreddy' (I prewashed) -- but it turned out well - very soft after quilting and a run through the washing machine.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Coaster Swap Package Received

And it's so great!

Suzanne, from Foofanagle, sent me the most wonderful coaster swap package. Check it out:

The highlight, of course, is the set of Joel Dewberry drenched fabric coasters, in my favourite colour!! Orange! Love, love, love.

Suzanne also sent me a a Tula Pink charm pack, (the Flutterby line - so pretty!), some luscious smelling bath salts, a great book by a Seattle based writer, a piece of flea market fancy (my favourite out of print line, by far!), and a hilarious fridge magnet.

Whew! Hope my package arrives on the West coast soon!
- Donna

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Last week was the mail week from heaven

Not only did I receive that perfect 5x5 envelope from Donna, my coaster swap parcel arrived from Isa! She was super creative and generous. See for yourself...

I love every little bit of it, from the beautiful fabrics she chose right down to the stamps on the box it came in. We already tried making some of those heart ice cubes. SO cute. I put some in Big E's waterbottle for soccer and she thought that was pretty special! From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Isa!
Pictures of other swap parcels are popping up over in our Flickr pool. There are some very talented people out there! If you were a swapper, don't forget to post your pictures to be included in our swap giveaway!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

June 5X5 - so very thoughtful

I've mentioned before how much I love a certain vintage fabric I scored at Value Village a while back. I loved it so much I passed some to Sara with her Christmas gift.

This month, it made its way back to me, along with several other vintage finds that reminded Sara of the vintage piece I love so much. If you only count four there, that would be because I already cut into one of them to encorporate into my coasters I made for Suzanne.
Sara also sent a cute pin . .wherever do you find these things, Sara?

- Donna

- Donna

June 5x5 with a bonus

Spoiled again by the lovely Miss Donna! Some Hello Betty beauties with a side of mushrooms. Almost too good to be true, wouldn't you say?

Thank you, Donna! I really love doing this swap with you. I'd be crazy not to, really!

Giveaway Winners!

Donna and I have each used the Random Number Generator to select winners for our 100th post giveaway celebration! Here they are in black and white (with hints of blue & purple):

That means that Jodi takes home the polka dots and Mistea will get to play with the vintage linens! Congrats, ladies! A big thank you to everyone who played along.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled program around here!

~Sara & Donna

Friday, June 5, 2009

100th Post Giveaway Celebration!

When Donna asked me to start this blog with her back in January, I never would have dreamed we'd have 1oo posts in 5 short months. It's been such a great experience sharing our creative endeavors with one another and the blogosphere! The inspiration and encouragement is bountiful and most certainly, greatly appreciated.

To show our appreciation for your support and interest in our blog, we're having a giveaway...well, two actually. Donna and I have both come up with a collection of things we'd like to send away to two lucky winners. Here's the loot:

Donna's vintage inspired loot:

(vintage pillowcase & sheets cut into roughly fat quarters, 1930s repro fq, coordinating striped fabric, thread and a sweet doily).

Sara's red and white polka dot inspired loot:

(dotty mug, fabric, ribbon & post-it notepad, some giant red ric rac and a coin purse like the ones currently in the shop)

If you'd like to see one of these two giveaway parcels arrive on your front porch, just leave us a comment telling us what your favorite fabric is right now! We'll each randomly pick a winner on Wednesday, June 10th. Easy like Sunday morning, right?!
Happy commenting!
- Sara & Donna