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


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!