Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sewing Room Makeover - part one!

Now that I had to move my sewing room upstairs to the spare bedroom, I'm working on making it my "Happy Place" once again!  I even bought a sign for my room!
(bought at Target Canada closing sale for $2)
In my little corner of Canada, the last of the spring flowers are just about done and summer appears to have arrived already!
(Flowering Crabapple)
It is already 22C (72F) in my backyard, and it will get hotter over the next few days! Given that our average summer temperature here on the West Coast is normally around 23 - 25C, it bodes well for a hot summer.
The first thing I set up in my sewing room was my Ikea shelves and mason jars filled with buttons.
Here's the complete wall of shelves:
The shelf holds a mix of practicality and nostalgia. The tin on the third shelf came from my maternal grandmother's sewing collection, and held her buttons.  The tomato sugar and creamer set was my mom's, which she bought at a garage sale because it reminded her of  the ones her mother had. The little flower box on the right-hand end of the third shelf is one my kids brought me back from Cuba, and is carved from wood. 
Just for fun, I also have jars filled with my dog-ears and labeled by year! Sadly, 2014 is only about 1/2 as much, so I'll put them in a smaller jar.  2015 is practically non-existent, so I need to get cracking!
I love mason jars for storage because they are inexpensive (sometimes free!) and see-through - very important for me as I am "visual" when comes to being inspired. 
I plan on posting more pictures as I get each area just the way I want it!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Finally back at the machine! Sunday Stash Report, Week 15!

Wow, it's been 10 weeks since I've been able to post a report!  The move is mostly done, still some totes to go through but I've been able to make a path in my new sewing room and do some sewing.  

My brother and his wife are finally grandparents, so I had to make a quilt for my grand-niece!  Little Eloise is finally here, and this weekend my daughter flew to Calgary to meet her so I had to finish off this quilt for her!

(I wish the picture was better, but it was late at night.)  The quilt police will have a field day but it is made with a mix of poly-cottons and laces and trim from my mother's sewing room, and these are scraps from the dresses and clothes my mom made all her granddaughters.  I backed it with minkee, which is another synthetic material, so it probably be quite durable and hardy for a baby.  I don't care what the "pros" say, the sentimental value of this little quilt is all that matters.

We great-aunties and gramma-friends are all referred to as Gramma ____ (name), so of course I had to use that name when signing the label, with a homage to my mom.  My daughter will explain it to my niece when she gets it to her.

(Still too yellow of a picture, but shows the laces and trim better)

I practiced my barely-adequate free-motion quilting skills and did a meander with a flower loop-de-loop.  Some of them looked like butterflies!

This quilt is my own design and I think I'm going to make a larger version as a summer quilt (maybe for me).

On to the stash report, still no purchases!

Added: 0 metres

Added Year to Date: 0 metres  
Used/Given away: 3.25 metres

 Used/Given away Year to Date: 15.25 metres
Added for 2015: -15.25 metres

Tomorrow, more work in the new Quilt Cave! Here's some gratuitous kidlet pictures! 

Mya, (5 1/2 months) on her first Easter, 

Zoey, (4 in June) and Alex (6 1/2) enjoying the first marshmallows of the year!

Linking with Judy's Stash Report at and Michelle's Let's Make Baby Quilts. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunday Stash Report, Week Five - in the middle of a major move!

Nothing in again, but some significant yardage out! I got rid of a minimum of 10 metres out (acutally more, but I quit measuring), mostly flannel and minkee I've been saving hoarding to make rag quilts.  I know I will never get them done, so off to my sister the bags went, with more to go.
Added: 0 metres
Added Year to Date: 0 metres  
Destashed: 10 metres

 Destashed year to Date: 12 metres
Added for 2015: -12.0 metres

 Total spent YTD $0.00 = $0.00/metre
Not a whole lot of sewing has been going on around here. I have set up a temporary sewing station this weekend, because it's been driving me crazy not to have a spot as my sewing room is torn apart.  As soon as I finish this post, I'm going to get caught up on my Project of Doom blocks.
(The toys from the spare room need to be sent to my other daughter's or will end up in Alex's bedroom.)
I am in the process of downsizing my living area by half.  My daughter, her husband and son are tired of living in a townhouse, and I was considering selling and buying something smaller and easier to maintain, so originally I thought we might trade homes, but they have a lot of stairs and I know in a few years, my knees would hate me.  They then came up with the idea of splitting my house and making an up-and-down duplex! I love it because I love my neighbourhood, but will have help with the expenses and maintenance of my home.  And a single person certainly doesn't need 4 bedrooms and a separate rec room.  What we each lose in square footage will be offset by them gaining a yard (almost 1/5 acre), babysitting, for me, the security of having others in the home as I get older, help with the yard work and we will definitely save money.
And as far as getting along, we have shared my home in the past when they were saving to buy the townhouse.  They lived here for 1 1/2 years, and their son was born while they were here.  He is now 6 and is so excited to be moving to Gramma's house!
Now I have to move my sewing room to the upstairs spare room, plus add my scrapbooking supplies to it.  The room is basically the same size but configured differently, so I am going through everything and getting rid of a lot!
So this is the old room - I've already moved a large IKEA Expedit shelf upstairs, so this is mess I haven't been able to work in.
I had to keep the spare bed up until this weekend, but now I can take it down.  It was mainly for the grandkids when they slept over, and now the other grandkids will be able to sleep in Alex's room when they have an overnight visit. 
This new room has a bigger closet with an organizer system so that will go a long way to help hide the stuff!
Hopefully, by next weekend, I'll have it put to rights and all will be back to normal!  In the meantime, I need to add to these...

I'm saving the final trimming for when I have the blocks ready to put together, so if I've skimped a little I have some fudging room.  
Linking up to Judy's Stash Report linky party - see what else others are up to with their stash.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Stash Report 2015 - Week Two

Happy New Year, all!  I've started off the new year with a good start - nothing in, but a few yards out! 
I've worked out a trade with a fellow Project of Doomer who makes 3D pieces.  I'm sending her a bundle of fabric strips good for titles in exchange for a few items such as an embroidered Chocolate Frog box, including the chocolate frog!
(Kirsten's finished product)
Added: 0 metres
Added Year to Date: 0 metres  
Destashed: 2 metres

 Destashed year to Date: 2 metres
Added for 2015: -2.0 metres

 Total spent YTD $0.00 = $0.00/metre
Like last year, I am going to track my spending.  I found that really help rein in my acquiring of new stash.  Now I've only been buying what I need to finish a current project.
I managed to get started on my Project of Doom.  Since we are only doing one block a week as part of the quilt-along, I should be able to keep up. 

I haven't trimmed it to the final size of 10 1/2" yet, as I plan on embroidering the book titles. Because I don't have an embroidery machine, I'll be doing this by hand.  I may attempt to stencil some titles or use fabric pens as well.
My goal is to do this quilt completely from stash.  I'm also going to use some fun fabrics in it.  This block has silver lame, purple satin and a shimmery fabric for the crystal ball. Wish me luck!
Check out other quilters' stash reports at

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Project of Doom - a Harry Potter quilt!

Starting January 7, 2015!
I'm a huge bookworm, and have been all my life. By the time I was eight, I had read every book in the children's section of the base library (I'm a military brat). You can bet the Harry Potter series would have been my favourite back then, and I still enjoy re-reading it now. As a family, we discovered HP when the second book was launched. My daughters and I actually stood in line at midnight for the release of the last two books, and I bought 3 copies, one for each of us so we could all read at the same time! 
My grandson Alex is almost (but not quite) old enough to start reading the books. He has loved being reading to since he was a baby, and is now reading chapter books on his own (although he still loves being read to).  He turns seven in September, so I figure by Christmas of this year, he'll be old enough to understand the fantasy world of Harry Potter.  It would be so fun if I could give him a quilt along with the first book. I plan on reading it with him and we could cuddle under the quilt.
The original Project of Doom was presented in 2011 by the designer, Jennifer Olenstein, and is foundation paper-pieced.  I love making blocks like this, mainly for the accuracy and I've wanted to do this quilt for a while now.
I had even made a smaller block in the summer in the hopes I would get inspired to start, but now Jennifer has recently announced a sew-along for those who missed it the first time around. I've joined her Project of Doom group on Facebook and excitement has been building.
My first part of a future block
I saw some examples with black backgrounds so I decided to try this gifted piece of fabric to see how it would look.
The Monster Book of Monsters by Eva Willet
Some people have been working on the blocks before the sew-along was announced, and the group is filled with so many variations and adaptations. I love the fake fur on the Monster book - definitely something I want to copy.
Others have added to the bookcase border, things on top, on the sides and even "feet" on the bookcase.
Dobby by Peggy Gonzales
Peggy printed Dobby on a piece of fabric and added him to the side of her bookcase. She has been kind enough to share the file through the Facebook group, I encourage you to join the fun!
I've been struggling what I'm going to use for the background (which forms the back of the bookcase. The original was done with a light brown/beige fabric, which was in keeping with the idea of a wooden bookcase, but I have been really struck by the way most of the objects stand out against a black background.  Since I have resolved to try and use my stash as much as possible, and inspired by the block I made in the summer, I finally decided on a blue-black mottled fabric, with two different gold prints.  I have enough between the two, so if I carefully plan my blocks, I can use the same print for an entire row of blocks and make it look like each row has been "wall-papered" differently.
Both fabrics together.  I'll use the starry one when I need more contrast for some of the darker blocks (hat, glasses, caldron) and the horoscope one for lighter blocks or smaller chunks of background.
The closeups show the mottled effect of the background - that should help with those darker blocks.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome 2015 - The year of UFOs!

Happy New Year, fellow quilters! My wish for all of you is a peaceful year filled with love, happiness and no drama - the same one I am hoping for. 
Last year was a difficult one, but it's now in the past. Today is a new year and in just a little bit, I'll be spending part of the day with my favourite little ones!
The only resolution I am making this year is to finish what I start. I need to do this with everything in my life, from housework to my job to my hobbies. Funny, I chose "Finish" as my word of the year last year, but didn't really do what I intended.  This year, I guess I'm repeating myself, but I will also add my other "words", Joy, Focus, Change. I feel like that dog in the movie "Up", Squirrel could be my nickname!
I'm going to update my UFO page later, but in the meantime I am picking 12 projects to focus on.  The first 12 are all completed flimsies, so it means I have to quit procrastinating and become more comfortable with doing my own quilting. Once they are done, I will pick 12 more and so on, until they are done! (yes, I have that many!)
In no particular order (click on the title for more info about the project:
This one is already sandwiched ready for quilting.

I have actually already started quilting this one, it will probably only take me a weekend to finish it.

This was a Thangles BOM project, unfortunately there wasn't enough contrast in the blocks so the patterns don't show up really well.  This one still needs a backing. 

I have finished the applique, sandwiched it, and have outlined the blocks.  Now I have to decide how I'm going to quilt it.
This top has been finished for some time now, it's time it got done.  I sandwiched it with a green cotton that has a "quilted" pattern on it that I plan to follow for the border.  I would do it all over except for that flange inner border - not sure how I will figure that out.
This is my latest Bonnie Hunter finish, I have a backing for it.  This one is destined for my grandson's bedroom. 
I've sandwiched this one twice, but stole the backing for another project once so had to redo it.  This one will be here at my house for the grandkids to cuddle up under. 
After 4 or 5 Christmases under the tree unquilted, I am determined this one will get done this year.  I have sandwiched once, but stole the backing and batting for another quilt.  Time to redo it.
Made 15 years ago when I first started back to quilting, it's about time to get this done.  My daughter wants it, so it will go to her (maybe in time for her birthday in March.
My first Leader and Ender project, this is made from 2" scraps dating back to the 70s (some of my mom's scraps.  This will be a play/picnic quilt at my house.
Sandwiched and ready to go - I even have the pillow form.
12. 6-Hour Quilt-as-you-go

Somewhere buried in this bucket of flimsies! Somehow I have never managed to take a picture of one of my oldest UFOs. About 15 years ago, when I started quilting again, I took a couple of classes.  I learned how to use rotary cutters (the best invention ever!), pieced the Pansy Rail Fence and then started a quilt-as-you-go. My machine did not like FMQ, so it got put aside and I've just never had the inclination to finish it. Since I have so many quilting projects that need to be finished, this will probably be a good one to start with, just to get the feel back. 
 Now that I have made my list, it's time to get sewing!  I plan to update my progress every two weeks.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Stash Report, Week 52 - Year-end wrap up!

It's been a whirlwind of sewing and shopping this month, delayed by many hospital visits.  My brother-in-law finally got his triple-bypass surgery on December 11th, 3 weeks after his initial heart attack.  He was home in 4 days, but of course it will take a long time for his extra-thick breastbone to heal (but like the doctor said, "I have a bigger saw!").  Unfortunately, he caught a cold and is having to try not to cough.
He did enjoy visits from his newest grandchild, Lexi, finally a girl for my sister's family after 4 grandsons:
My sister, her husband and I are very close. Having been on my own for almost 30 years now, I have often had to call on Sanford to help me with things that are too heavy or difficult on my own.  Of course, I reciprocate when I can, like hosting the whole family for six months while their home was being rebuilt after a house fire.  His friends joke that I am his second wife - poor guy!  I love him dearly, and I'm so grateful that he got through the surgery with flying colours.
On to my stash report:
Added since my last report: 2.6 metres
Added Year to Date: 72.7 metres  
Destashed since my last report: 16 metres

 Destashed year to Date: 69.9 metres
Added for 2014: 2.8 metres

 Total spent  YTD $380.19= $5.27/metre
I would say that is about as close to break-even as I am ever going to get!  And I didn't break the bank either.
I added 2.6 metres to use in my Grand Illusion quilt.  I had to get my yellow constant, and some blue since I'm using pastels instead of neutrals, as I have pretty used up my stash of those and I had some coordinating pastels in the line of fabric I chose to use for the mystery quilt.  I didn't take a picture of the fabric, but you can see it in these units.

 This is pretty much all the blocks I have done so far.  This December was just not conducive to elective sewing this year.  I hope to make more progress in January!
I made a grand total of 6 pillowcases this year, but I've already had to remake one, thanks to my dog, Daisy. 

She ate a quarter-size hole in Zoey's to get at the chocolate inside (she's fine!).
 I made 10 infinity scarves in various colours, 3 for my daughter's birthday and 7 for extra gifts at Christmas. Each one is made from a 20"x30" or 20"x40" piece of minkee, mostly scraps leftover from quilt backings.  It worked out to 4 metres removed from the stash! I even took photos to do a tutorial, which I hope to have posted this weekend.
Christmas PJ's for the kids was good for another 5 metres out.

And at the last minute, I also made tag blankets for the babies, for another metre out.  16 metres total out, not bad for a busy month.
And my newest obsession for my scraps and crumbs are Bonnie Hunter's Wild 'n Goosey block.  You can find the instructions in the May/June 2013 issue of Quiltmaker magazine . Those adorable corner blocks are only 3 1/2" square!
Check out Patchwork Times for more stash reports - I love watching people's progress.