Tuesday, December 24, 2013

POLAR ENCHANTMENT

I love art.  I love sewing.  And I love polar bears.  So when it came time to create a piece for the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild's January show, I knew exactly what I was going to do.  Ok, well maybe not exactly.  I actually boasted (confessed) to the other members of the leadership team that my quilt was amazing - in my head - but I had yet to put stitch to fabric until a couple of weeks ago.

 
To me, polar bears are majestic and magical.  At the zoo, I could watch them all day.  And the walruses. But let's focus on the polar bears, shall we?


This polar bear is actually made of white felt and is wearing a saddle made of Anna Maria Horner flannel.  He (yes, I imagine he is a boy polar bear) is embellished with perle cotton french knots and some hand quilting for decoration, but also to secure him to the quilt.

 
The quilt measures approximately 21" x 21" and is meant to be a wall hanging.  It is improv pieced and free-motion quilted.  I even threw in some delicious perle cotton for added pizzaz.  



I love this guy.  From the beginning, I had every intention of selling him in the show.  Now, I'm not so sure.


With love and waffle kisses.
Laura







Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Do. Good Stitches Waving Pennants Quilt. Finished!

Our Do. Good Stitches Happiness Circle started working on this quilt back in July, and finished it finally is!  Just in time for the Do. Good Stitches Festival, to boot.

  
I'm hoping this lovely quilt will be making its way along with another completed quilt from our group to two young girls in my community whose mother suddenly passed away.  I couldn't think of a better gift to have under the tree than the comfort of a quilt.


If you'd like to try making one of your own, check out this tutorial.


Happy Sewing.  And gifting.  'Tis the season! 

With love and waffle kisses.
Laura

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tea. Who? Me?

Well, it's been a while and I've finally finished up my two big shows of the year...So that means getting the Etsy shop back up and running.  

Although I've been busy, I'll admit I have been able to indulge in my new-found obsession...tea!  I was never really all that into tea until my friend introduced me to David's Tea.  And now I'm hooked.  Curl up in chair, snuggle in bed, sew-with-a-cup-of-tea hooked!

Don't get me wrong, I still need my daily dose (or six) of coffee, but the feeling of sitting down with a hot mug of Chocolate Chili Chai, Santa's Sleigh or Stormy Night has me feeling cozy and collected.  When I'm often not.  Ok, mostly not.  I think I might have ADBOBMC (attention deficit brought on by my children).

So if you're at all interested in tea, or the idea of tea, or buying something tea-related as a gift for a friend, then check out my new tea cozies in the shop.


Also, whether you're a good ol' fashion coffee addict (and I still am) or a calm and collected tea drinker, my new cup sleeves will keep your drinks hot and your hands warm. Also in the shop.

 

 

 


With love and waffle kisses.
Laura

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Little Folks Family Quilt (Bed Quilt Category)

During Christmas of 2011 when my daughter could still fit in the nook of my arm and nurse, I found myself browsing Anna Maria Horner's website.  The night was cold.  The wind howled.  I struggled to keep my eyes open.  And then...I found it.  The answer to everything.  Folksy Flannels on sale.  And it hit me.  I needed to make one extremely warm quilt for our bedroom to keep us cozy and comfortable on these cold, Canadian, winter nights.

 

Even though I bought the fabric in 2011, it took me until 2012 to come up with a plan for a quilt and start cutting.  And then it took me until 2013 to actually put the plan into action. And so this year, as luck may have it, it's finally finished in time to enter it into the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

A queen-sized zig zag quilt.  Front and back both flannel.  Inside, a super soft layer of cotton-bamboo batting.
 

I managed to scratch out a small window of time this summer to quilt this lovely with the impending weather (much like doom unless you're inside with a hot drink) as my motivation.  I knew going into this, that with two children, one dog and four cats (all of whom frequent our bed) this quilt was going to have to stand up to a LOT!  So I made the decision to overlock the edges before binding and finish off with a sturdy zig zag stitch.  I like the little touch of detail it lends to the edges and I love knowing that this thing will be around for a long time to come.

 
With my little girl snuggled safely in this quilt two years later, I am reminded of that cold winter night and look forward to many more cold winter nights snuggled in with her. I am also reminded that anything, including winter, is bearable if you have little girl snuggles and a quilt.
 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Wanna See my Suitcase?

This weekend I packed up my wares (literally) into a refashioned vintage suitcase and brought them along to the Finders Keepers Craft Show.  I loved the way my suitcase turned out and just couldn't help myself from sharing it with you.



What's that you say?  You missed the show and wished you could have gotten in on all that crafty goodness?  Fear not, my friends.  Another show is to be had.  I'll also be at the Handmade Harvest craft show.  I'll be the one with this suitcase, wearing a cowl, drinking tea :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

So Close I Can Taste It...Or Feel It

I'm blushing. And my heart is racing.  Could it be that I'm in love?  Yes!  With this fabric mosaic I've created for Rachel at Stitched in Color and I need your vote so I can win it. Help a girl out? It'd be love at first sight. Or touch.  And you'd make my heart so very happy if I got your vote and this fabric. All you need to do is head to her blog and click on mine :)




Thursday, September 26, 2013

Washed Earth

I'm playing along with Rachel at Stitched in Color.  Are you?  She's asked fabric addicts the world over to put together a mosaic of 12 different fabrics they would use to represent fall's washed earth.  If I show you mine, will you show me yours?


If you decide to share, the fabric you choose could be yours.  Are you game?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Door Envy

This weekend, one of my must dos for the summer was checked off the list and I could not be more in love with the results. This was our front door yesterday...


And this is the front door today. 

Smitten.  Completely smitten.  New paint, new hardware and a new window insert we put in a few months ago have made this house feel more like home than ever.  And I no longer have to squander hours admiring blue doors on Pinterest.  Now, if I can just peel myself away from the computer long enough to finish that quilt...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Confronting the BEAST

My son is convinced that there are beasts hiding in chairs and lurking around every corner of our house.  Whenever he screams, "Ahhh, a BEAST!" or "There's a BEAST," I tell him to be brave, confront the beast, and tell it to stop bothering him.  He usually does and then goes back to playing.

Can you believe that this happy-go-lucky boy could be so terrified of something so silly?


Well, I can, because I did the exact same thing with July's block for the Simply Solids Bee: this beast of a paper-pieced block that was sent to me to complete.  The first thing I did when I got my fabric and instructions at the beginning of the month was shove them into my grandmother's hutch, not to be removed until July 26th, exactly 2 days before deadline.  For no other reason than the fact that I was hoping it might disappear.  

Much to my chagrin, it did not.  And so, Friday night, I opened my hutch, very much hoping I would be transported to Narnia instead, to confront my very own beast.


Confront it I did.  And after a lengthy battle involving a seam-ripper and many dirty words, a battle that consumed my Friday night AND Saturday afternoon, I seem to have conquered it.


It is not perfect.  The size is not quite right.  But it's done.  And this time that is good enough for me.  Perhaps I should have just put my big-girl panties on and confronted this beast when it first showed up in the mail...


Sunday, July 21, 2013

MADE.

I'm going to the market: the Farmer's Market here in CP, that is!  And this is just a glimpse of what I'll be bringing with me. For now, the remainder exists only in my imagination and the supplies strewn about my sewing space. 


Heather Ross' Mendocino + Earrings = LOVE!


With my oldest going to school for the first time in September, I'm hoping I'll be able to keep this up and restock my Etsy store.  That is, if my not-quite-two-year-old lets me get anything done.  She did, after all, tell me she wanted to learn how to shop while her brother is in school.  Not dance.  Not gymnastics.  SHOP!  I see weekly "educational" visits to the mall in our future...


 Don't worry.  I've got ideas up my sleeve and I'm not afraid to make them!


Stay tuned!  You just might see some coffee cup cozies, mug rugs, table runners and zippered cases making a cameo.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Webs of Love - A Do. Good Stitches Happiness Circle Quilt

Normally, I'm not a girl who likes spiderwebs.  At least not up close.  From afar or through a thick pane of dewy glass, they are beautiful.  They glisten.  They shimmer and shine.  But up close, they are a sticky, disgusting mess and I would rather leave them and their creatures alone.  

Put spiderwebs on a quilt, however, and I'll wrap myself up in them and daydream all day.  That said, March was my month as quilter for my Do. Good Stitches Happiness Circle and guess what I asked for?  These lovely beauties in blues, pinks and purples with low volume backgrounds following this tutorial:


At the same time as all the blocks started pouring in, tragedy struck a family close to the community I grew up in and I knew that this quilt needed to go to a little girl whose world had been forever changed.  I hoped it would envelop her in webs of love.



I had seen Holly's AMH Velveteen backing and was as smitten as a kitten when my friend Pam at Mad About Patchwork got a bolt in.  When I told her I would like to buy some for the back of this quilt, she wouldn't hear of such a thing and donated this uber luxe fabric for the backing.  It is so soft I had to stop every so often and remind myself that I was supposed to be sewing and not snuggling.  I now feel like I need to buy a bunch just for me, so I can snuggle whenever I want.  It's a good thing she has some left!



I love the texture the low-volume background prints lend to the webs. 


Kudos, Happiness Circle.  Every month you continue to astound me with your talents and skills.  I am so lucky to have you ladies in my life!

 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Waving Pennant Block Tutorial - Do. Good Stitches July

Rashida Coleman-Hale, you are a girl after my own heart.  If I could take this print and make a whole quilt top with it, I would.  


And I suppose I actually could and at some point will, but for now, July is my month as quilter for my Do. Good Stitches group and also my birthday, so what's a girl to do but ask for blocks inspired by this perfection.



I am asking my ladies to make blocks inspired by these pennants in pinks, teals, turquoises, oranges and grays.  To keep things easy and uniform, we'll use a simple white background.  I would like everyone to vary the number of lines and angles in each block.  In my block (seen below), I have even decided to intersect two rows.  Don't worry about direction. The important thing is that each row covers the entire block (be sure to leave about about a quarter of an inch on each side of each row for seam allowance).  You can have as many or as little as you like at whatever angles you choose. 

Step 1: Cut your white background fabric to 12.5" x 12.5".  Be sure to press flat.


Step 2: Get all of your scraps together and start sorting colours.


Step 3: Iron scraps onto an iron-on adhesive.  I used Heat and Bond Lite.


Step 4: Cut scraps fused to adhesive into triangles of various shapes and sizes. Do not remove paper backing yet.


Step 5: Using a non-permanent fabric marker, draw the lines your pennants will follow on your 12.5" x 12.5" block.



Step 6: Remove paper backing from triangles and lay them out along these lines.  Be sure to vary or alternate their direction and leave a quarter of an inch on the sides for seam allowance.


Step 7: Iron triangles into place following the temperature and steam settings in your adhesive instructions.


Step 8: Use a zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine to secure appliqued triangles to your block.  Be sure to sew around all edges of the triangles.  I used white thread to help it blend with the background.


Step 9:  All done!  Admire your creation and thank Rashida Coleman-Hale for the inspiration!



Saturday, June 29, 2013

Rainy Day Tea Party - A Fabric Scrap Challenge

It's Canada Day weekend and summer is upon us, or at least it's supposed to be.  I'm not entirely convinced it is.  But, to celebrate summer and Canada, Fabric Spot and Rachel of Stitched in Color teamed up to create an all-Canadian scrap challenge using some bright and punchy summer prints.  I pitched my idea of some tea-party goodness to Rachel and couldn't wipe the smile off of my face when I was chosen to participate!


If you're anything like me, I love hot summer days and campfires and s'mores and swimming and swing sets and fireflies and lemonade and all things that remind me of spending my summers at our family cottage near North Bay while I was growing up.  However, I also welcome rainy days.  The days where I don't feel guilty for wanting to stay inside cozied up with the kids and a cup of tea and light candles and sew and read and listen to music and watch You've Got Mail for the ten thousandth time.

 

Thus, the inspiration for the scrap challenge: a rainy day tea party!  The kids have been asking for some toy tea bags and, I'm not gonna lie, after seeing some on Pinterest, I've been dying to make them. 


I created my own pattern and wanted to jazz them up a bit with a label that reads "tea." I used good old-fashioned baker's twine as the string and also used the baker's twine for the coordinating mini bunting.  


Finally, a little something for myself.  A place to rest my mug on those dreary but lovely days.  My rainy day mug rug.


The rules of the challenge were to use all of the fabrics supplied.  We were also allowed to add one additional fabric, so I grabbed one of my must-haves, Linen Flax, and got to it.  I just love the way it goes with anything and adds another level of texture even though it's a solid.


The play kitchen is mine from when I was a little girl and I can't wait to enjoy it again with my own kids for our rainy day tea parties.